Fox News Turns To Infamous Racist For Perspective On Alton S

The progress from Western colonial global expansion, and the construction of American wealth and industry on the backs of enslaved Blacks and Native peoples, followed by the abrupt "emancipation" of the slaves and their exodus from the South to the Northern cities, has led us to our current divided society. Divided by economic inequities and unequal access to social resources, the nation lives in a media dream of social harmony, or did until YouTube set its bed on fire. Now, it is common knowledge that our current system of brutal racist policing and punitive over-incarceration serves the dual purpose of maintaining racial prejudice and the inequities it justifies. Brief yourself on this late-breaking development in American history here.

Fox News Turns To Infamous Racist For Perspective On Alton S

Postby admin » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:06 pm

Fox News Turns To Infamous Racist For Perspective On Alton Sterling’s Death
by Laurel Raymond
July 7, 2016

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On Wednesday, the world woke to a scene that is all too familiar in America: A black man, Alton Sterling, was shot and killed by the police (an alarm tragically repeated again on Thursday). A cellphone video shows Sterling pinned to the ground beneath two police officers when he is shot several times at point-blank range.

Protesters immediately gathered outside the convenience store where Sterling was killed. Outrage has mounted online; his death has been called a murder, an assassination, and a lynching. The Department of Justice announced that they would open a civil rights investigation into the case.
Fox News, meanwhile, invited on Mark Fuhrman, who first came to national attention when he was exposed as a blatant racist during the O.J. Simpson trial. Fuhrman argued that Sterling deserved his death.

Megyn Kelly ✔ @megynkelly
Mark Fuhrman on #kellyfile: Man in deadly police shooting failed to comply with verbal commands given by police.
6:50 PM - 6 Jul 2016


“So they go there, and when you watch the escalation of force, first they verbalized, and he failed to comply with the verbal commands,” Fuhrman said. “They actually de-escalated the force that they could have used by tackling and then trying to grapple with the suspect.”

“Now, this man has to take responsibility that he did have a gun, and he conducted himself in some manner to draw attention to a citizen who called the police. And after that, the one officer, if this is the way it went down, one officer shot, one officer didn’t. When you hear, ‘He’s got a gun,’ if the other officer now uses deadly force, it’s because he believes that that gun is in the hand or is attempting to be put in the hand of the suspect.”

According to reports, a gun was retrieved from inside Sterling’s pocket. Video of the “altercation,” as the official police account called it, from two angles does not appear to show Sterling with a gun anywhere near his hands. Sterling reportedly started carrying a gun after a friend was mugged; Louisiana is an open carry state. The video also shows that the escalation from the police’s commands to violence happened within a matter of seconds.

Megyn Kelly introduced Furhman as a “former LAPD homicide detective.” Fuhrman’s history, however, is far more complicated than that. He was one of the detectives who investigated the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, and his documented history of overt racism — and his perjury on the stand about that racism — is one of the primary reasons Simpson was acquitted.

In the 1995 trial, Fuhrman said on the stand at least four times that he hadn’t used a racial epithet to describe black people in the past decade. In response, the defense played a tape-recorded interview between Fuhrman and screenwriter Laura McKinney in which Fuhrman said “nigger” at least 40 times, along with a slew of racist stereotypes.

Another woman testified that Fuhrman called interracial marriage “disgusting” and said that he had told her “if I had my way I’d gather — all the niggers would be gathered together and burned.” In testimony ruled inadmissible, she also relayed that Fuhrman had said he kicked and beat black suspects to relieve tension.

In other testimony — relayed to the judge but not the jury — McKinney reveals records of Furhman spewing a whole host of racial epithets and stereotypes, saying he’s “pissed” at his partner because his partner follows the rules — “This job is not rules. This is a feeling. Fuck the rules; we’ll make them up later” — and advocating for officers shooting to kill and “shooting people in the back.”

Fuhrman has argued that his comments were taken out of context. He was convicted for perjury in 1996 and sentenced to three years of probation and a fine.

“It is important to understand that, as a result of these charges, this plea and this sentence, Mark Fuhrman is now a convicted felon and will forever be branded a liar,” California Attorney General Dan Lungren said at the time. “He is also now the ultimate impeachable witness–a convicted perjurer.”

Now, 20 years later, he’s a frequent guest on Fox News after incidents of racially-tinged police violence.

In 2015, Fuhrman defended the school officer who dragged and threw a high school girl across the room, arguing that the officer used “a minimal amount of force necessary to effect an arrest.”

When video emerged of the LAPD beating a black man in a “Rodney King-esque” incident, Fuhrman went on Sean Hannity’s show to excuse the officers’ behavior, arguing he didn’t know “what is going on with the verbalization,” and that it was inappropriate to criticize the LAPD.

After the death of Michael Brown, Fuhrman went on Kelly’s show to insist that he had “visualized” the events, and therefore knew that Wilson had legitimately feared for his life, almost lost consciousness, and was physically inferior Brown, who you just had to “look at” to know was a threat. In reality, the two men were of a similar height and weight, and images of Wilson show him with only a bruise.

In blaming Sterling for his own death, Fuhrman therefore falls into a familiar pattern. He’s a reliable mouthpiece excusing police brutality and racism. Giving Fuhrman a platform and a veneer of respectability despite his widely-documented history of racism, however, is more than just one isolated, objectionable guest choice by a major cable news network.

The ideas that Fuhrman parrots again and again — that those who die by police bullets are nearly always criminal, non-compliant, and thus deserve what they get — mimic a master narrative that creates a culture deadly to black Americans. Perpetuating this narrative is a convenient alternative to actually addressing the problem of police violence. It is essential to explaining away systematic police brutality against black men. And it makes it more likely that Americans will soon wake up to another Alton Sterling.
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Re: Fox News Turns To Infamous Racist For Perspective On Alt

Postby admin » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:22 pm

Alton Sterling was shot and killed by Baton Rouge police officers. Here’s what we know.
by German Lopez
July 7, 2016
@germanrlopez german.lopez@vox.com

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Image
Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man who was shot and killed by Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police.

In his last few seconds of life, Alton Sterling seemed completely immobile. Two Baton Rouge, Louisiana, police officers had pinned him to the floor, flat on his back. But even as Sterling seemed completely unable to move, one of the police officers yelled, "He’s got a gun!" Within seconds, an officer shot Sterling, who was still pinned to the ground by the cops. Sterling died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to an autopsy.

After a bystander released video of the shooting, people quickly protested in the area and voiced their anger on social media. Several people went to the convenience store where Sterling was shot, holding up "black lives matter" and "hands up, don’t shoot" signs, Maya Lau and Bryn Stole reported for the Advocate.

Sterling’s death is the latest in a long string of police shootings to lead to outrage, particularly from the Black Lives Matter and racial justice movements against racial disparities in the criminal justice system. To many critics, it is just another example of an issue that quickly rose to the national spotlight after the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014.

Police officers shot Alton Sterling while he was seemingly pinned to the ground, unable to move

Warning: graphic footage of a police shooting:



According to the Advocate, Baton Rouge police officers Blaine Salamoni and Howie Lake responded to a call at a convenience store around 12:35 am on Tuesday after receiving an anonymous tip that a man in a red shirt who was selling CDs had pointed a gun at someone. Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, matched part of the description: He sold CDs, and he was wearing a red shirt.

Two cellphone videos recorded by bystanders, one published by the Daily Beast after the shooting drew national attention, show what happened next: Two police officers yelled at Sterling to get on the ground. The officers then pulled him to the ground, pinning Sterling on his back. An officer yelled, "He’s got a gun!" One officer aimed his gun at Sterling’s chest at virtually point-blank range. Within seconds, at least one officer opened fire, even though Sterling looks completely pinned down and unable to move. One officer then pulled out an object — it’s not clear what it is — from Sterling’s right pants pocket. Sterling was pronounced dead shortly after.

Warning: extremely graphic footage of a police shooting:

Shop owner Abdullah Muflahi told the Advocate that the officers were "aggressive" from the start, and that Sterling was armed but was not holding his gun and didn’t have his hand near his pocket at the time of the shooting.

District Attorney Hillar Moore said the officers felt "completely justified" in shooting.

Both officers are on administrative leave, per Baton Rouge Police Department policy, and an investigation, led by the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, is underway. Both officers were reportedly wearing body cameras, and the police car had a dashboard camera as well.

As the Advocate reported, Sterling had a criminal record. But Sterling’s previous convictions aren’t what’s relevant to the shooting; it’s whether he was holding and trying to use a gun on the officers at the time he was shot. The legal standard for use of force requires officers to reasonably perceive a threat at the moment of use of force.

Since Sterling was seemingly immobile in the videos of the shooting, critics argue that he was not in fact a threat and the shooting is another example of excessive use of force against a black man.

Black people are much more likely to be killed by police than their white peers

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An analysis of the available FBI data by Vox’s Dara Lind shows that US police kill black people at disproportionate rates: They accounted for 31 percent of police killing victims in 2012, even though they made up just 13 percent of the US population. Although the data is incomplete, since it’s based on voluntary reports from police agencies around the country, it highlights the vast disparities in how police use force.

Black teens were 21 times as likely as white teens to be shot and killed by police between 2010 and 2012, according to a ProPublica analysis of the FBI data. ProPublica’s Ryan Gabrielson, Ryann Grochowski Jones, and Eric Sagara reported: "One way of appreciating that stark disparity, ProPublica’s analysis shows, is to calculate how many more whites over those three years would have had to have been killed for them to have been at equal risk. The number is jarring — 185, more than one per week."

BLACK TEENS WERE 21 TIMES AS LIKELY AS WHITE TEENS TO BE SHOT AND KILLED BY POLICE BETWEEN 2010 AND 2012


There have been several high-profile police killings since 2014 involving black suspects. In Baltimore, six police officers were indicted for the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. In North Charleston, South Carolina, Michael Slager was charged with murder and fired from the police department after shooting Walter Scott, who was fleeing and unarmed at the time. In Ferguson, Darren Wilson killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown. In New York City, NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo killed Eric Garner by putting the unarmed 43-year-old black man in a chokehold.

One possible explanation for the racial disparities: subconscious biases. Studies show that officers are quicker to shoot black suspects in video game simulations. Josh Correll, a University of Colorado Boulder psychology professor who conducted the research, said it’s possible the bias could lead to even more skewed outcomes in the field. "In the very situation in which [officers] most need their training," he said, "we have some reason to believe that their training will be most likely to fail them."

Part of the solution to this type of bias is better training that helps cops acknowledge and deal with their potential subconscious prejudices. But critics also argue that more accountability could help deter future brutality or excessive use of force, since it would make it clear that there are consequences to the misuse and abuse of police powers. Yet right now, lax legal standards make it difficult to legally punish individual police officers for use of force, even when it might be excessive.

Police only have to reasonably perceive a threat to justify shooting

Legally, what most matters in these shootings is whether police officers reasonably believed that their lives were in danger, not whether the shooting victim actually posed a threat.

In the 1980s, a pair of Supreme Court decisions — Tennessee v. Garner and Graham v. Connor — set up a framework for determining when deadly force by cops is reasonable.

Constitutionally, "police officers are allowed to shoot under two circumstances," David Klinger, a University of Missouri St. Louis professor who studies use of force, told Vox’s Dara Lind. The first circumstance is "to protect their life or the life of another innocent party" — what departments call the "defense-of-life" standard. The second circumstance is to prevent a suspect from escaping, but only if the officer has probable cause to think the suspect poses a dangerous threat to others.

The logic behind the second circumstance, Klinger said, comes from a Supreme Court decision called Tennessee v. Garner. That case involved a pair of police officers who shot a 15-year-old boy as he fled from a burglary. (He’d stolen $10 and a purse from a house.) The court ruled that cops couldn’t shoot every felon who tried to escape. But, as Klinger said, "they basically say that the job of a cop is to protect people from violence, and if you’ve got a violent person who’s fleeing, you can shoot them to stop their flight."

THE KEY TO BOTH OF THE LEGAL STANDARDS IS THAT IT DOESN’T MATTER WHETHER THERE IS AN ACTUAL THREAT WHEN FORCE IS USED


The key to both of the legal standards — defense of life and fleeing a violent felony — is that it doesn’t matter whether there is an actual threat when force is used. Instead, what matters is the officer’s "objectively reasonable" belief that there is a threat.

That standard comes from the other Supreme Court case that guides use-of-force decisions: Graham v. Connor. This was a civil lawsuit brought by a man who’d survived his encounter with police officers, but who’d been treated roughly, had his face shoved into the hood of a car, and broken his foot — all while he was suffering a diabetic attack. The court didn’t rule on whether the officers’ treatment of him had been justified, but it did say that the officers couldn’t justify their conduct just based on whether their intentions were good. They had to demonstrate that their actions were "objectively reasonable," given the circumstances and compared to what other police officers might do.

What’s "objectively reasonable" changes as the circumstances change. "One can’t just say, 'Because I could use deadly force 10 seconds ago, that means I can use deadly force again now," Walter Katz, a California attorney who specializes in oversight of law enforcement agencies, said.

In general, officers are given lot of legal latitude to use force without fear of punishment. The intention behind these legal standards is to give police officers leeway to make split-second decisions to protect themselves and bystanders. And although critics argue that these legal standards give law enforcement a license to kill innocent or unarmed people, police officers say they are essential to their safety.

For some critics, the question isn’t what’s legally justified but rather what’s preventable. "We have to get beyond what is legal and start focusing on what is preventable. Most are preventable," Ronald Davis, a former police chief who heads the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, told the Washington Post. Police "need to stop chasing down suspects, hopping fences, and landing on top of someone with a gun," he added. "When they do that, they have no choice but to shoot."

Police rarely get prosecuted for shootings

Police are very rarely prosecuted for shootings — and not just because the law allows them wide latitude to use force on the job. Sometimes the investigations fall onto the same police department the officer is from, which creates major conflicts of interest. Other times the only available evidence comes from eyewitnesses, who may not be as trustworthy in the public eye as a police officer.

"There is a tendency to believe an officer over a civilian, in terms of credibility," David Rudovsky, a civil rights lawyer who co-wrote Prosecuting Misconduct: Law and Litigation, told Vox’s Amanda Taub. "And when an officer is on trial, reasonable doubt has a lot of bite. A prosecutor needs a very strong case before a jury will say that somebody who we generally trust to protect us has so seriously crossed the line as to be subject to a conviction."

If police are charged, they’re very rarely convicted. The National Police Misconduct Reporting Project analyzed 3,238 criminal cases against police officers from April 2009 through December 2010. They found that only 33 percent were convicted, and only 36 percent of officers who were convicted ended up serving prison sentences. Both of those are about half the rate at which members of the public are convicted or incarcerated.

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The statistics suggest that it would be a truly rare situation if the officer who shot and killed Sterling were convicted of a crime. But the family does have the advantage of video footage, which persuaded prosecutors before to press charges for the police shootings of Samuel DuBose in Cincinnati, Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina, and Laquan McDonald in Chicago.
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Re: Fox News Turns To Infamous Racist For Perspective On Alt

Postby admin » Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:32 pm

Tamir Rice's Mother Calls Alton Sterling's Police Killing "An Execution on Behalf of the Government"
by NY Magee
July 6, 2016

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Samaria Rice, the mother of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, the boy shot and killed by Cleveland cops while playing with a toy gun in a park in November 2014, has been left outraged by the killing of Alton Sterling, the 37-year-old black male who was shot dead by Baton Rouge Police outside a convenience store early Tuesday.

Graphic video from a witness showing officers tackling him to the ground before shooting him several times spread like wildfire across social media, and people from all walks of life, including celebrities and politicians, are expressing shock and disgust.

White boys arrested for playing with BB gun told to write Tamir Rice essay as ‘punishment’ https://t.co/ud4Dii8UMV pic.twitter.com/nBcmVUAw93

— The Voice Newspaper (@TheVoiceNews) July 6, 2016


Many social media users are questioning why Alton had to be shot after being restrained. Some even compared him selling CDs outside a convenience store to Eric Garner selling loose cigarettes outside a store on Staten Island.

Makeshift memorial for “Big Alton” feet from spot of shooting; security camera in top right (police took video) pic.twitter.com/urboAfcihL

— Bryn Stole (@BrynStole) July 6, 2016


The tragedy of Tamir recently made headlines after a judge ordered two white boys to perform community service and write an essay on the death of Rice after they were caught playing with BB guns in an Ohio park. Both of the boys were slapped with a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.

“It’s sad to me that another family has to go through this,” Samaria Rice said. “This is an execution-style murder on behalf of the government. They always say that they see a gun or he has a gun, and it’s not the truth.”

She added, “We have video footage surveillance, you have all the film in the world. What is it going to take for an indictment of these officers?”

The New York Daily News is one of several outlets noting how one of the officers in the video shouts “gun” before Alton is shot dead. Store owner Abdullah Mulfahi told the publication that Sterling’s hand was not near his gun and that one of the officers removed the gun from Alton’s pocket after he was shot.

An open carry law didn’t stop police from killing Alton Sterling: https://t.co/aShPKEgcsn.

— German Lopez (@germanrlopez) July 6, 2016


ABC News reports on the official release that names the two Baton Rouge police officers: Blane Salamoni, a four-year veteran, and Howie Lake II, a three-year veteran, both white men. They were placed on leave as the investigation into Alton’s death unfolds.

According to a Facebook post by the Baton Rouge Police Department, the two officers had responded to a call “from a complainant who stated that a black male who was selling music cd’s and wearing a red shirt threatened him with a gun” outside the Triple S Food Mart.

RIP Alton Sterling…this looks waaaaay to much like why happened to Eric Gardner…just for trying to make a living…shot dead.

— Ivan (@IvanIIMM) July 6, 2016


One resonating comment left under the Baton Rouge Police Dept. Facebook post read, “Why did they shoot him so many times? Why did that officer pull out his gun and aim it at his head after he was on the ground? Baton Rouge is not dumb. We all know that was murder. Body cams fell off but that wasn’t the only camera rolling.”

Sterling’s cousin, Sharida Sterling, told the Advocate that Alton “would have never fought the police, he wouldn’t have pulled a gun, he would have been too scared.”

Alton’s 15-year-old son cried uncontrollably Wednesday morning as his mother, Quinyetta McMillan, spoke to reporters about the slaying (see video below).

“He had to watch this, as this was put all over the outlets,” McMillan said. “As a mother, I have now been forced to raise a son who is going to remember what happened to his father.”

Image
Alton Sterling Being Held By Officer [Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP Images]

The shooting of #AltonSterling was 100% unneeded. Police misconduct and profiling have to stop. A few bad cops give all cops negative press.

— Tim Gerst (@timgerst) July 6, 2016


U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond issued a statement saying that the footage “was deeply troubling and has understandably evoked strong emotion and anger in our community.” He added that “there are a number of unanswered questions” about the death. Rev. Jesse Jackson called the shooting a “legal lynching.”

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards called for unity during a Wednesday morning news conference and announced that an investigation of the incident will be led by the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division.

“I have very serious concerns,” the governor said, while urging protesters to “remain peaceful.”

“The video is disturbing to say the least,” he added. “Another violent act is not the answer.”

Video from the officers’ body cameras became dislodged during the incident but continued recording, as well as video from the patrol car camera and the convenience store, officials said.

No justice no peace #AltonSterling pic.twitter.com/JELTPKlo6K

— ITSBIZKIT (@itsbizkit) July 6, 2016


“The individuals involved in his murder took away a man with children who depended upon their daddy on a daily basis,” McMillan said, adding that he “simply tried to earn a living to take care of his children.”

Alton Sterling died from multiple gunshot wounds to his chest and back, according to the coroner for East Baton Rouge Parish. The Louisiana U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI will assist with the investigation into his death, along will state police.
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