Family Dollar Didn’t Empower Cops to Behave as an Occupying Army. Courts and Politicians Did

Cops hold up force-protection above all because they've been given the legal framework to do it

The brutal Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd has sparked violent protests, looting, and arson attacks in Minneapolis and St. Paul. A police precinct building was torched and destroyed and the Minnesota National Guard has been called out to restore order. But the killing in Minnesota is the latest reminder that politicians and judges—through federal law and judicial interpretation—have turned police into a privileged class that is most often unaccountable, if not entitled to oppress other Americans.

Almost everyone agrees that Floyd’s death was a horrendous injustice. President Trump, who urged police officers in 2017 to not “be too nice” to suspects they arrested, condemned what the police did to Floyd as “a very bad thing.” Former Minneapolis police chief Janeé Harteau said that the video of Floyd’s killing was “the most horrific thing I’ve seen in my career and in my lifetime.” Washington, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham declared that the officers’ actions were “nothing short of murder.” Derick Chauvin, the police officer who killed Floyd was arrested today and charged with murder; he and three other police involved in Floyd’s death were fired earlier this week.

Floyd was killed by Chauvin pressing his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes after he was handcuffed and laying face down in the street. Floyd repeatedly declared, “I can’t breathe.” It didn’t matter. ACLU attorney Carl Takei told the New York Times that police departments that permit “chokeholds try to differentiate between cutting off the flow of blood, which renders someone unconscious, and cutting off the flow of oxygen, which is deadly.” This dicey distinction often goes amiss, as in 2014 when Eric Garner was killed by a New York City policeman’s chokehold. But how did government officials ever acquire a right to strangle people who fail to instantly submit to their commands?

Such killings would likely not occur without the sense of impunity conferred on police in much of this nation. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a top contender for Vice President candidacy for Joe Biden, was the chief prosecutor for Hennepin County (including Minneapolis) from 1998 to 2006. Klobuchar, who was nicknamed “KloboCop” by detractors,declined to bring charges in more than two dozen cases in which people were killed in encounters with police” while she “aggressively prosecuted smaller offenses” by private citizens, the Washington Post noted. Her record was aptly summarized by a headline early this year from the Twin Cities Pioneer Press: “Klobuchar ramped up prosecutions, except in cases against police.”

Minnesota cops also benefit from their state’s so-called “police officer’s bill of rights,” which impede investigations into killings by police and other misconduct. 

Outrage over police abuses have become a regular occurrence in modern American life. In 1994, the ACLU and the National Rifle Association jointly called for President Bill Clinton to appoint a national commission to investigate “lawlessness in law enforcement.”  In 2014, after violent protests over a police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, Attorney General Eric Holder declared that “we must seek to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community.” But unjustified police shootings usually spark brief uproars and promises of reform— but no fundamental rollback of law enforcement’s lethal power and prerogatives.

Much of the media coverage quickly framed the Minneapolis killing as another example of systemic racism by police. There are many bigoted cops who have unjustifiably shot or otherwise abused innocent black citizens but people of all races, creeds, and colors are at risk from lawless lawmen. As the Washington Post noted, “In 2017, a Minneapolis police officer shot and killed Justine Damond, an Australian woman who had called police about what she believed was a possible sexual assault near her home.” The Montgomery County, Maryland Police Department continues to refuse to provide camcom videos or any other evidence on its predawn no-knock raid in Potomac, Maryland, in which police reportedly shot 21-year-old Duncan Lemp as he lay sleeping in bed in his parents’ house. The Lemp case has been largely ignored by the nation’s media (except for my American Conservative articles herehere, and here).

Focusing on racial bias also risks obscuring the fundamental problem: the Supreme Court has effectively given police a license to shoot, pummel, or falsely arrest ill-fated citizens across the nation. 

In the wake of the Civil War, freed southern blacks were terrorized by lynch mobs and other attackers. Congress responded to Ku Klux Klan violence against freed southern blacks by enacting the Civil Rights Act of 1871 to authorize lawsuits against any person acting “under color of” law who causes a “deprivation of any rights… secured by the Constitution and laws.” But in a series of decisions beginning in 1967, the Supreme Court gutted that law by permitting police and other government agents to claim they acted in “good faith” when violating citizens’ rights. In 1982, the Supreme Court granted government officials immunity unless they violated “clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.”

Regardless of centuries of court rulings that clearly demarcated citizens’ constitutional rights, the Supreme Court decided government officials deserved “qualified immunity” unless a prior court case had condemned almost exactly the same abusive behavior. Federal judge Don Willett declared in 2018 that “qualified immunity smacks of unqualified impunity, letting public officials duck consequences for bad behavior—no matter how palpably unreasonable—as long as they were the first to behave badly.”

The Supreme Court effectively added an asterisk to the Constitution that expunged much of the Bill of Rights. In a 2018 case absolving a reckless shooting that killed a motorist, Justice Sonia Sotomayor angrily dissented that the court’s decision “tells [police] officers that they can shoot first and think later, and it tells the public that palpably unreasonable conduct will go unpunished.”

How does the Supreme Court’s idealism on “good faith” G-men play out in the real world?  Courts have “approved qualified immunity for cops who allegedly shot people without cause, sicced a dog on a man who was surrendering, tased a driver who was stopped for failing to buckle his seat belt, and ordered a 17-year-old boy to disrobe and masturbate so they could take pictures of his erect penis,” Reason columnist Jacob Sullum reported in 2019. That year, a federal appeals court bizarrely granted qualified immunity to Fresno, California, police officers who stole $225,000 during a search of two businessmen. 

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said yesterday that his committee would hold a hearing on police violence to analyze “why does this happen, how often is it, is it an aberration.” Graham said the video of Floyd’s killing is “hard to watch, and I just imagine how many people died without videos.”

But Congress has, as usual, been asleep on the job. As Dan Alban, an Institute for Justice attorney and  the nation’s most effective litigator against asset forfeiture abuses, observed, Congress could pass legislation “clarifying that there is no qualified immunity” for civil rights lawsuits against state and federal officials.

But the problem goes far beyond qualified immunity. Politicians criminalize practically everything in daily life and then tell police “be nice”—or maybe mandate that cops attend  sensitivity training. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a blizzard of new mandates and prohibitions that further empower police. A video went viral earlier this month of a New York Police Department officer tackling and pummeling a young black man who was suspected of violating new dictates on social distancing. One wonders if there are a hundred such instances of idiotic brutality for each one that trends on Twitter today

Minneapolis City Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins announced yesterday that city officials will “create a healing space at the site of the [burnt-down] 3rd Precinct so that people can grieve, express their concerns, their anger, in a safe and humane way.”  It remains to be seen whether a  “healing space” will deter the unjustified looting and violence that has proliferated in Minnesota. But rather than pillaging Family Dollar, Aldi’s, and Target, folks infuriated by Floyd’s killing should focus their wrath on the legislators and judges who have effectively given police a right to kill. 

Source: The American Conservative

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ke4ram
ke4ram
4 months ago

Little will get done as we are too busy fighting among each other over stupid racist crap. More Whites are killed than Blacks, Hispanics and others by law enforcement. This goes unnoticed as usually Whites don’t burn down cities. Since only certain lives matter this killing too will slowly disappear into the night with little done.

Government needs these animals to enforce dictates such as the WuFlu mandates (Note, I did not say laws). The people must be frightened sufficiently to get them to obey or else. With the police killing folks for little or nothing and getting away with it is sufficient it scare people to obey any command whether legitimate or not.

Al Carbone
Al Carbone
4 months ago
Reply to  ke4ram

the whites are to cowardly to burn down cities and they should start doing it to get noticed

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago
Reply to  Al Carbone

The people in the streets rebelling against police tyranny and murder are definitely a multi-racial crowd. Haven’t you seen the videos? Nothing cowardly about the white men and women facing down the police.

Al Carbone
Al Carbone
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

those whites are mostly from the FBI created PANTIFA and you are to stupid to see the whites there do not riot when a white is killed by cops ONLY WHEN A BLACK IS KILLED. they are communists and not on the side of whites

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago
Reply to  Al Carbone

What arrogance to claim that you know why whites are protesting. You can’yt imagine aligning with blacks because you’re a racist.

Rightist POS.

Al Carbone
Al Carbone
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

thank you I try to be the best racist I can be just like your pet knee grows are. if you are not raising a mulatto grand kid you soon will be

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago
Reply to  Al Carbone

The race war’s over.

You lost.

Al Carbone
Al Carbone
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

it didnt even start yet you white hating communist

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  Al Carbone

The only problem with that is the fact that most communists are white.

Al Carbone
Al Carbone
4 months ago

yes they are and they are jews .they are trained by Bolshevik jews in college where kids go to learn how to hate white people

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
11 months ago
Reply to  Al Carbone

That would explain why the Chinese Jewish diaspora is so large.
That would also explain why the Chinese are practicing capitalism in Africa, where there are plenty of blacks to hate their white Chinese owners.

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago
Reply to  Al Carbone

LOL. You’re a hateful freak.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

You are the one laughing out loud.

Al Carbone
Al Carbone
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

you people just like knee grows think it is OK to hate white people but whites are not allowed to return the favor

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

How long have you been a mule?

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

PIss off dirtbag.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

The best you can do is block me if you can’t present a civil, reasoned response. I guess you couldn’t get on the Phi Beta Kappa debate team.

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

You are not presenting anything to rationally rebut. You are hurling insults and making snide remarks, basically the pot calling the kettle black.

Al Carbone
Al Carbone
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

is this your grand kid? is this your daughter comment imagecomment image

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago
Reply to  Al Carbone

Sorry, didn’t look at your pic. It’s cut off on the disqus screen.

You are racist filth, a real subhuman pig, but probably just another keyboard coward so nothing to worry about.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

Maybe you missed the “see more” button.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

The CIA prefers to hitch their schemes to multicultural actors.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  Al Carbone

Arsonists, regardless of race, should be arrested, not ignored by cowardly officers.

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

So which are you more outraged about, the murder committed by the police or the looting and arson?

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

All of those are felonies. Murdered people can’t be rebuilt.
Police officers should be prosecuted first, and convicts denied any future in law enforcement, assuming they aren’t executed for the treason of violating their oaths of office, as soldiers should be.
Treason is defined in the Constitution at Article 3, Section 3, as consisting “only in levying War against (the United States), or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”
All members of the American military take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; (and to) bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”
When the military is committed to foreign actions without a declaration of war by Congress, as required by Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 11 of the Constitution, that is a violation of the Constitution, arguably the action of domestic enemies.
When a member of the military participates in an unconstitutional foreign military deployment, s/he violates both the Constitution and his/her oath to “support and defend” it, giving “aid and comfort” to it’s “domestic enemies,” committing treason by the definition given by the Constitution.
You should watch “Collateral Murder” if you haven’t yet.

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

I have to agree with you there.

Rome had a Senate too, long after the Republic was dead.

I am neither a looter nor an arsonist, but I think burning down the Police Station was an act of justice by a community that is regularly subjected to grave injustice.

The real question? Will an anti-police state, anti-empire movement emerge from this spontaneous rebellion?

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

I’d have to assume, therefore, that all the lynchings of blacks during America’s history were acts of justice due to the temerity of those people to remain in the country that stole them or their relatives, making them ill-gotten gain that should have left the country to respect the ethic purity that they had destroyed.

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

Why would you have to assume that? The lynching of blacks is more comparable to the behavior of the Minneapolis Police, not the people fighting that behavior.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

Anyone who thinks that destruction of another person’s property or life can be an act of justice lacks the reasoning power to understand why that is universally wrong in all cultures.

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

Can’t disagree w.o making a moral judgment or insult?

Good For You!

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

You don’t seem to have any problem responding in kind.

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

Fightin fire with fire, Bozo.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

You must be the one who won’t return the transvestite outfit.

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

Go eat some more ass, dickhead.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

Does that mean you are completely out of neurotransmitters?

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
11 months ago

Fq off sht4brains.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

You were the one that compared the entire Minneapolis police department to the KKK.

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

I didn’t mention the KKK, moron.

You’re arrogance is only matched by your idiocy.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
11 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

You didn’t have to mention the biggest lynch mob in American history, which you might have known if your intellect hadn’t been replaced with Phi Beta Kappa indoctrination.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

You think a CIA setup is spontaneous?

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

The rebellion against the police is not a CIA setup. You are a paranoid rightist. Like all your type you talk a good rebellion, but when it actually happens, you clutch your pearls, cowardly swine.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

Is that what they taught you to do in Phi Beta Kappa?

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  ke4ram

Why is a statistical anomaly relevant?
Today’s federal government makes King George look benevolent.

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago
Reply to  ke4ram

“This goes unnoticed as usually Whites don’t burn down cities.”

The people in the streets rebelling against police tyranny and murder are definitely a multi-racial crowd.

Get over your racist preconceptions and join the rebellion!

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

Wasn’t it white people who burned down Dresden as well as white people who performed the holocaust murders? We’ll disregard the million Iraqis murdered by American soldiers because Baby Bush lied, since the military usually has more blacks than the general population.

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

Kurt Vonnegut's self-image

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

He apparently thought he looked like Big Bird.

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

“America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, ‘It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.’ It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: ‘if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?’ There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register.”

kv, SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

“All moments, past, present and future, always have existed, always will exist.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

I hope that you are aware that Vonnegut only wrote fiction.
Jefferson wrote more than Vonnegut and never fiction.

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

You’re really quite the arrogant and insulting prick.

Jefferson was a slaveholder and fq’d his slaves, but clearly you lack the reasoning power to understand why that is universally wrong in all cultures.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

What have you written that even remotely resembles the Declaration of Independence? So far your specialties appear to be ad hominem and speciousness.
Phi Beta Kappa must be headquartered in Washington D.C. for a similar reason to why Rhodes Scholars can only attend Oxford University, so that they will be thoroughly drenched in Five Eyes’ theology and worldview.

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

You’re a prissy little hypocrite. You specialize in ad hominem.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

I’m getting a mental picture of a mental retard spending all of the playground time arguing with smarter kids. Is that you?

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

You must be thinking abut yourself.

I’m Phi Beta Kappa and was always among the smartest on the playground.

you exhibit typical arrogance and bigotry, assuming that those who disagree with you are stupid. You copped that attitude right from the start, azzhole.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

Fraternity membership has never been a matter of IQ when the right penises had been sucked or the pockets filled with money.
Being the smartest on the playground won’t help you in the classroom where the jocks sit in the back were they can screw off.
Do Phi Beta Kappa members have to have cheap sunglasses like the virtual ones that you hide behind on your profile?

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
4 months ago

Clearly you have no clue as to what is required to be elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

You’re ignorant. No surprise there.

There is nothing you can do to undermine my intelligence, you vile rightist POS.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
11 months ago
Reply to  dreamjoehill

I can’t undermine what you don’t possess.

dreamjoehill
dreamjoehill
11 months ago

ROFL. I am very confident in my intelligence. Nothing a right wing internet dirtbag writes has the slightest effect upon that.

So you lose.

Genghis Gobi
4 months ago

The Imperalist States of Amerikastan has been murdering Afghan and Iraqi civilians for twenty years with impunity, so what’s new about the evil it inflicts rebounding back on itself?

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  Genghis Gobi

That is just the continuing commission of treason by American military members.
Treason is defined in the Constitution at Article 3, Section 3, as consisting “only in levying War against (the United States), or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”
All members of the American military take an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; (and to) bear true faith and allegiance to the same.”
When the military is committed to foreign actions without a declaration of war by Congress, as required by Article 1, Section 8, Paragraph 11 of the Constitution, that is a violation of the Constitution, arguably the action of domestic enemies.
When a member of the military participates in an unconstitutional foreign military deployment, s/he violates both the Constitution and his/her oath to “support and defend” it, giving “aid and comfort” to it’s “domestic enemies,” committing treason by the definition given by the Constitution.

voza0db
4 months ago

Don’t waste too much TIME of your life trying to CHANGE the UNCHANGEABLE degenerated uman animal…

My commnent:

This one depicts the same REALIZATION I’ve had many years ago…

comment image

The positive thing that this REALIZATION brings to the self, is that one can only CHANGE himself.

… because only EXTINCTION can CHANGE that.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago

When a brutal murder is downgraded to a “horrendous injustice,” the cops that submitted perjured testimony via sworn affidavits to a court must have given me a complement.

Melville Pouwels
4 months ago

i believe the american pigs go to the I.D.F in israel, who train them on how to ignore decency…so they have immunity ??.
regardless, your a thug, if using a mans death to justify breaking & entering, stealing from those who probably hate the pigs as much as the others… thugery boys, nothing more. good article

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago

The Zionists learned everything they know from reading Hitler’s history.
Thngs might get better if Netenyahu gets convicted of his crimes.

XRGRSF
XRGRSF
4 months ago

Our masters will talk about it, and talk about it, and talk about it, and do absolutely nothing. They know that their power depends on their perceived monopoly of violence, and they aren’t going to give up that power. What’s sad is that a heavily armed population allows itself to be brutalized in this manner.

disqus_3BrONUAJno
disqus_3BrONUAJno
4 months ago
Reply to  XRGRSF

It is similar to the fact that few soldiers have the testicles to stand up to power and refuse to do illegal, unconstitutional, and treasonous things when ordered to do so by their command.
Such people are the only military that I consider heroes, and there haven’t been any of them to replace Michael New or Bradley nee Chelsea Manning, who is still being extrajudicially incarcerated because s/he won’t lie about how Wikileaks got the Collateral Murder video.

Anti-Empire