The Killing of Rayshard Brooks Shows Police ‘Reform’ Is a Joke

Reform proponents are advancing a decoy agenda that has been distracting people for generations, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

By Caitlin Johnstone

A black man named Rayshard Brooks was recently killed by an Atlanta police officer who shot him in the back while he was attempting to run away.

Video footage from the police bodycam and a nearby witness makes it clear that Brooks resisted arrest after failing a breathalyzer test when police approached him sleeping in his car at a Wendy’s parking lot, punching an officer and taking a taser the police had attempted to use on him before trying to flee the scene. Video footage fromthe parking lot makes it clear that Brooks was running away, and, without ceasing to run, pointed the taser at police behind him, at which point he was shot twice in the back by an officer named Garrett Rolfe.

There is no rational defense of this shooting. If someone is running away from you with a short-range weapon, it is literally impossible for them to pose an imminent threat to you. Just allowing Brooks to run out of the range of the taser, as he was already trying to do, would have nullified any potential threat to either of the two officers on the scene, because it would have been literally impossible for Brooks to tase them while continuing to run in the direction he was running.

This indisputable and self-evident fact hasn’t stopped people from bleating moronic police apologia in my social media notifications since the shooting occurred.

  • They claim Brooks could have tased an officer and taken his gun (again, let Brooks take himself out of taser range and there’s exactly zero risk of this happening).
  • They claim they couldn’t just let a “dangerous” criminal run around with a police weapon (it’s a taser; you can buy them at Walmart. What’s he going to do? Go on a mass tasing rampage?)
  • They claim the cop had to execute Brooks because he posed a “danger to society” (it is not a cop’s job to act as judge, jury and executioner in determining whether someone poses a general threat to society; that’s what the courts are for).
  • They claim if you punch a cop you deserve whatever you get (believing, because they are authority-worshipping bootlickers, that a cop being punched is worse than a civilian being killed by gunfire).
  • They claim if you don’t follow police instructions then of course you’re at risk of being killed (yes, police doing inexcusably brutal things is the problem that people are trying to address here).

Even leaving aside any debate about policing as it exists in America today, there was absolutely no excuse for Rolfe’s behavior. They had all of Brooks’ information. They had his car. They knew where he lived. They could have followed him in their car and called for backup. They could have gone in with backup to arrest him later.

But Rolfe decided to kill. After watching all these protests against police brutality raging throughout his country since the murder of George Floyd, after being confronted with all the public outrage about police killing black men day after day in news headline after news headline, after his society forced him to contemplate police violence and his role in it, Garrett Rolfe still decided to kill. After all that, he watched a black man running away from him, posing no threat to him whatsoever, and he decided to kill.

The fact that cops are so thoroughly inoculated against public demand that they change their behavior makes a complete farce of the decoy police “reform” agenda that establishment narrative managers have been actively trying to corral the current protest movement into to kill their support for police abolishment.

There’s a feud going on in America’s new protest movement right now between those who wish to abolish, defund, dismantle, and/or disarm the police, and those who want to “reform” or “transform” the police. The former are actually pushing for a revolutionary change which actually pushes back against abusive power structures and calls for the creation of a radically different social paradigm, while the latter wants to keep policing institutions in their irredeemably corrupt state and add more funding for “de-escalation” training seminars where grown adults are told not to commit gratuitous acts of violence.

Training seminars which, it turns out, Officer Garrett Rolfe had just completed.

“According to the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, Rolfe had recently received use of force training,” reports Atlanta news outlet AJC. “On April 24, he took a nine-hour course on de-escalation options, his record shows. And on Jan. 9, Rolfe was trained on the use of deadly force at the DeKalb County police academy.”

And yet you’ve got fauxgressive establishment narrative managers like Cenk Uygur promoting the reform agenda and calling calls to defund the police “distracting”.

wrote the other day that “if these protests end it won’t be because tyrants in the Republican Party like Donald Trump and Tom Cotton succeeded in making the case for beating them into silence with the U.S. military. It will be because liberal manipulators succeeded in co-opting and stagnating its momentum.” This is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about.

People who claim these protests are the result of some kind of psyop often cite the fact that they’re being supported by Establishment liberals, mainstream media, and giant corporations, but this misses a very important distinction in the dynamic that is at play here. While it is true that these institutions have been expressing general support for the demonstrations and the idea that black lives matter, absolutely none of them are supporting the defunding or abolishment of America’s police force.  None of the empire’s ruling elites support this.

The reason you are seeing manipulation and attempts at co-option in this new movement is because that is exactly what’s happening. But it isn’t what’s driving the enthusiasm behind the demonstrations. Rather, you are seeing an attempted hijacking of an actual revolutionary agenda that actually challenges actual power institutions (including increasingly common attempts to manipulate the narrative by claiming demands to defund and abolish are actually just calls for reform).

The widespread call to abolish America’s police state, an integral part of the glue which holds the U.S.-centralized empire together, is revolutionary. It is not an exaggeration to say it’s as interesting and exciting as seeing a mainstream call to end U.S. imperialism, and it is just as threatening to Establishment power structures. The call for “reform”, in contrast, is just more milquetoast, Obamaesque fauxgressive verbiage designed to stagnate a real revolutionary change movement. It is as interesting and as threatening to Establishment power structures as saying the U.S. should push regime change in Syria rather than Iran.

Police abolishment advocates are pushing for something which would require the complete reconfiguration of power in society. It would end the prison industrial complex and the war on drugs. What we think of as policing would be mostly replaced by something more akin to social work. Police “reform” proponents are advancing a decoy agenda which people have been distracted by for generations while the police force has become increasingly militarized behind a veil of meaningless verbiage about community outreach and training programs.

This is where the real revolutionary energy is at in America right now, so it’s no wonder Establishment manipulators are doing everything they can to co-opt it into something innocuous which won’t disturb actual power structures in the slightest. President Barack Obama made a whole political career out of telling leftwardly inclined Americans that they’re getting what they want without actually giving it to them, and now we’ve got Democratic Party princeling Andrew Cuomo telling New York protesters “You don’t need to protest. You won. You won. You accomplished your goal. Society says, you’re right. The police need systemic reform.”

It’s textbook liberal manipulation used to steer the revolutionary zeitgeist into an impotent conceptual tar pit for another few years while the prison bars are reinforced.

As I explained a while back in my article “How To Tell Real News From Useless Narrative Fluff,” you can tell what’s really going on by watching where the money is going, where the weapons are going, where the resources are going and where the people are going. You can see in these demands for dismantling the police state a bunch of people moving around demanding to drastically change all four of these things, and you can see from the liberal narrative managers an agenda to prevent any of those four things from actually changing. And if they win out, you will be able to watch the people, police, weapons and resources continue moving in more or less the exact same way they’ve been moving.

They’re trying to replace a real revolutionary impulse with useless narrative fluff. They have learned that it is much easier to neuter such impulses with empty agreement and a bunch of insubstantial words than to tell them no and stomp them down. Hopefully, the people have learned this too.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium.  Her work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking her on Facebook, following her antics on Twitter, checking out her podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following her on Steemit, throwing some money into her tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of her sweet merchandise, buying her books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.”

This article was re-published with permission.

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32 comments for “The Killing of Rayshard Brooks Shows Police ‘Reform’ Is a Joke

  1. June 21, 2020 at 13:53

    It is easy armchair quarterbacking decision-making, and blaming people for not having the “right” training, or arm chairing their emotional frame of mind in order to get the right satisfying conclusion.
    Just what is the police officer’s primary responsibility should be the key consideration. How he or she does it involves many variables.
    Empathy is hard, especially in politically-charged atmospheres.

  2. Francisco Lopez
    June 21, 2020 at 13:27

    The police had to pursue him. Suppose they’d let him run away with their taser and he used it to car jack somebody else? Then you’ve got a drunk, who just passed out in the drive thru lane at Wendy’s, behind the wheel threatening the safety of everyone else on the road.

    Rayshard Brooks was a violent individual who had been in jail before for beating his baby mama and his kids. His criminal record includes false imprisonment, battery on a family member, and cruelty to children. Not to mention theft, receiving stolen property, and previous DUI charges.

    On the night he got shot, Rayshard Brooks drove drunk, resisted arrest, assaulted two cops, stole a taser, and then attempted to use that taser on a cop. Only a fool could look at those facts and conclude that the problem here is the police. The only person responsible for the death of Rayshard Brooks is Rayshard Brooks.

    I’m in favor of police reform and criminal justice reform, but holding up Rayshard Brooks like he’s some kind of a martyr only discredits the cause.

    • Christian J. Chuba
      June 22, 2020 at 11:26

      1. Follow at a distance? 2. Draw your gun and only fire if he actually points the taser at you again?

      But sure, act as if shooting someone in retribution to a missed shot is normal, even if you know that said Taser is now empty, nothing to see here.

  3. Christian J. Chuba
    June 21, 2020 at 10:37

    The more I watch the unedited version of the Wendy’s footage I come to the conclusion that the Cop was in a rage. When Brooks fired the taser above the officer’s head for the second and last available shot the officer drew and fired his revolver within two seconds as if, ‘I better hurry up while I can claim self-defense’.

    I get this for a few reasons.
    1. The most common argument for his defenders, ‘he only had a split second to react’ (he didn’t react, he responded).
    2. He knew the exact capabilities of the Axon Taser 7 because he was trained on it, two shots, range 10 ft.
    3. As Caitlin pointed out, he kept running towards Brooks, the only thing that would possibly put him in danger.
    4. If you look at his reaction post shooting, contrary to the assertion by the Hannity types, he was very disinterested in helping Brooks for two minutes and the recorded ‘stay with me’ and CPR was only after another officer showed up and there were at least two Wendy’s patrons visibly recording him on cell phones. Hannity is such an easily manipulated tool.

    Is it possible that he didn’t know about the first discharge of the taser during the wrestling match? Maybe and sure he deserves his day in court. Just giving my read. If anything this is more clear to me than the Minn. case because that cop probably was following police procedure. The city should be sued.

  4. June 21, 2020 at 01:56

    On the money. Speaking of which, the corporate blob is still in charge of the police.
    What that says to me is that the police are more and more a shadow government, largely independent and rival to the communities they claim to serve.

    Not that policing operations by any forces haven’t always been about serving the powerful, corporate forces.
    Lizzie O’Shea in “Future Histories” talks about the Thames Marine Police who were created as a professional, corporate police force in 1798 on the London Docks. The shippers decided that they were changing the usual way of paying their dock workers. Until then regular pay, as we think of it didn’t really exist. They might also take part of the cargoes they were loading or unloading in exchange for their labor. The owners decided this was theft and so their new (capitalist) police force which made sure there was no pilfering. In the process they were basically overseers and even paymasters. This was so successful that they decided and even better deal was to have the government pay their cops. So they managed with enough lobbying to get the government to take over and pay their police. They exported this as a model. Notice, that in making sure the workers didn’t slack off new laws about such things as vagrancy or loitering came into effect.
    You will find a more “main stream” history of the Thames Marine Police and the export of their model of policing on Wikipedia, but that is because they are controlled by the infiltration of a significant group of corporate and propaganda/intelligence wiki editors.
    Quote from O’Shea’s book:
    ““It is the dread of the existing power of immediate detection, and the certainty of punishment as the consequence of this detection,” wrote Colquhoun, “that restrains men of loose morals from the commission of offences.” Surveillance, plus the spectacle of force, offered an economical and effective way of maintaining order. It is not walls, locks or bars that prevent crime, Colquhoun argued; instead, “restraints are only to be effected by the strong and overawing hand of power.” He was describing a tactic that would be deployed by the powerful in our own era: surveillance as a method of social control. Colquhoun determined that the conversion of river workers into a disciplined, regulated class of wage laborers could only be achieved through moral transformation. This transformation involved the criminalization of idleness and a revision of the sense of injustice that made workers feel entitled to a decent share of the fruits of their labor.”
    O’Shea, Lizzie. Future Histories . Verso Books.
    One more item. The 40 minutes the police messed with Brooks was not cordial conversation. It was ominous interrogation and it was also an form of entertainment. Why spend so much time and resource for something which should have been so trivial and easily and quickly taken care of. In the 1990’s my partner was visited a lot by the late night cops on her late night job in the computer labs on campus. They let her know about what they called “games they played on civilians” because they could, with impunity. This is basically a form of entertainment. I still remember that in 1977 I was on my way to a new job as bartender at the Royals (baseball) Stadium Club. I didn’t know which way to go to park and the cops were in a line directing traffic. So, I stopped to ask for help from the nearest officer. Instead of help he grabbed my head and shoved it up into the top of the driver’s side window frame, then let me go and told me to get out of there. I did. In the meantime he and his buddies were laughing as hard as they could. Games, for the cops. Last time I trusted a cop. Clearly you could never know what was going to happen or when the cop would go full on predator.

  5. PokeTheTruth
    June 20, 2020 at 15:22

    The cops knew Brooks did not possess a deadly weapon because the DUI certified officer had already patted-down Brooks long before the attempt to physically take him into custody, which was not necessary.

    You may vigorously disagree, but this entire, sad episode was a result of poor police training in situational awareness. Let’s look at the facts:

    1. Brooks was legally drunk while operating a motor vehicle and therefore in violation of vehicle traffic and safety laws. He knew he was drunk and tried to talk his way out of the situation but the cops knew better and proceeded to interview Brooks to gather evidence using conversation, the field sobriety test and the chemical analysis test. Brooks never resisted the officer’s commands in any way until things got physical at the end.

    2. Brooks was not involved in any type of motor vehicle collision that caused injury to himself, other persons or damage to property.

    3. The police had possession of Brooks vehicle and driver’s license and therefore knew where he lived.

    4. Brooks was completely cooperative with both police officers during the entire event until the DUI officer decided to handcuff him, which is usual police procedure but not mandatory.

    At this point, what the DUI officer should have done was explain to Brooks that he had two options.

    Door Number 1 – “Mr Brooks, you are too impaired to operate your car. Now we are obligated as police officers to issue a summons which will require you to appear in a court of jurisdiction where a judge will decide the penalty for violating vehicle traffic and safety law. As the arresting officer, I will plead leniency with the judge since your have been very cooperative and respectful (this is a lie). You will be able to recover your vehicle once you have complied with the courts order. All you need to do now is walk with me to the police car and remain in the back seat until I have written the summons and given it to you. Then you are free to find a ride or walk to your home as you stated earlier.”

    Door Number 2 – “If you do not voluntarily do as I just stated or you fail to comply with the terms of the summons, then you will never be able to drive a motor vehicle in the State of Georgia or any other State. Your name with be entered into a national database that is regularly checked by all car dealers and rental businesses. Any private sale of a motor vehicle will be voided as well (all of this is a lie). In addition, your vehicle will not be returned to you but sold at auction after 90 days in the impound lot (this is lie). Now Mr. Brooks you are a young man and like all men you need to drive a car to go to work or for whatever reasons you so choose. It’s the best decision for you to comply with my request as I stated in the first option. But we live in America and you have freedom of choice. Make your choice now, Mr. Brooks.”

    Even though Brooks knows he has a wrap sheet he has been given a choice before hand in a non-threatening way, which is to comply or not comply. If Brooks decides to flee, the cops have his car and his driver’s license, they can go to his house anytime or not at all because the government will make more money from the auction sale, which is enough punishment for a traffic violation where no one was injured or property damaged.

    This is the way it should have been handled where none of the parties involved (cops, detainee, bystanders) were subject to undue stress and most importantly, no one died due to poor judgment.

  6. Seer
    June 19, 2020 at 18:57

    A mic drop on this issue was given by Dario Fo in Accidental Death of an Anarchist:

    …the scandal would have served its purpose. People say they want real justice… so we fob them off with a slightly less unjust system of justice. Workers howl that they’re being flayed like donkeys… so we arrange for the flaying to be a little less severe and slash their howling entitlement, but the exploitation goes on. The workforce would rather not have fatal accidents in the factory… so we make it a teeny bit safer and increase compensation payments to widows. They’d like to see class divisions eliminated… so we do our best to bring the classes marginally closer or, preferably, just make it seem that way.

    They want a revolution… and we give them reforms. We’re drowning them in reforms. Or promises of reforms, because let’s face it, they’re not actually going to get anything.
    Maniac, pp. 74-5

  7. rosemerry
    June 19, 2020 at 16:51

    Philip Reed, now explaining his background, tells us exactly why the situation is so bad. Most people even in the USA are not terrible criminals, and most of the crimes the police in these cases deal with are NOT serious breaches of the law at all. Assuming that all around you are people out to kill you reflects more on the “society” and the training of police. The inequalities and lack of decent jobs, housing, education, health care for all but the rich in the USA ensure that large numbers of people will not behave as upright citizens in the eyes of military-style Israeli-trained police. Assuming “criminal gangs and violent murderous behaviour by certain elements in society” is what they mostly have to deal with, is allowing quick and extreme reactions in what are really mundane situations which should not need confrontation at all, as explained by several commenters.

  8. June 19, 2020 at 16:21

    I think that Caitlin means well, but she is not particularly constructive. Police training in USA stinks, and the methods of discipline stink too. Lord Almighty only knows what was the content of the courses taken by Officer Rolfe, but I bet prior to those course he took a lot of education, experience and peer pressure/advise that go in the opposite direction from common sense still prevailing in most of the countries allied to USA.

    It is possible that in many jurisdiction there is an excessive number of police, and bored officers invent various amusements. You can check the case of David Silva
    Policemen on the scene found to act correctly (!!??)
    Police department found responsible for wrongful death

    Two police squads helped patrolmen apprehend a person sleeping on the sidewalk near county hospital (where they did not admit him for depression, he was drunk etc.).

    Interestingly enough, I never heard about police brutality cases in Russia concerning apprehension of drunk people. In all countries of the region there are “Chambers of sobriety” (my translation), if police notices you being drunk in public and not driving, they take you to a chamber where you stay until sober. In Poland, the maximum charge was 75 dollars per day, a day is typically sufficient, and if the charge is not paid within 5 years it is forgiven — so very poor people are not hassled too much. It does not build an arrest record. Because it is not onerous, there are no reasons to resist, thus no reasons to apply “restraints” and so on.

    From what I have read, in USA the procedure is to “apply restraints” in a humiliating manner, or worse, and then to follow up with a huge pile of fees and fines. The subject are regularly clobbered, tased and bitten by dogs. I suspect that lethal cases are outliers of the brutal reality.

    As a conclusion, I would say that the reform in police training is indeed needed, but it has to be deep, a lot of elements in the system of enforcing public order has to be changed to remove the structural need for brutality.

  9. Christian J. Chuba
    June 19, 2020 at 12:48

    “Just allowing Brooks to run out of the range of the taser, as he was already trying to do, would have nullified any potential threat to either of the two officers on the scene”

    Thank you. This is the most germaine point. When I watched the video before hearing any commentary the most striking thing to me was the speed with which he was retreating. Yeah, twisting his torso and firing the taser wildly above the officers head turns into, ‘he was firing at the officer’ to the pro-Cop shooting crowd, as if he was standing his ground. If the cop was so scared why would you continue charging towards a short range weapon. If someone had a crowbar, I would not get within his reach. How many times have you watched a movie and thought, ‘you idiot, you have a gun, keep your distance, don’t let him grab you’ but the contrived plot requires it.

    In any case, from reading comments on various boards, if there are three white people on the jury he will be acquitted of all of the serious charges. The posters are just angry at the drunk guy resisting arrest (I understand that to a point, the one cop did get a concussion) but cheering the actual shooting is depraved. Punishment for brawl and run should never include death.

  10. Jeff Harrison
    June 19, 2020 at 11:49

    Will someone explain to me why this interaction took place at all? To the best of my knowledge it is not illegal to sleep in your car. Did the Wendy’s owner call the cops because he didn’t want somebody sleeping in a car in his parking lot? And that is his right and privilege. The obvious thing to do for a cop called to the scene is to determine what’s going on. I can’t believe that it would be all that tough to determine that Mr. Brooks was drunk and sleeping it off in his car. In a sane society, Rolfe would have taken Brooks’ keys, put him in the back of the cruiser and either taken him home or put him in a cell overnight and given him his keys when he sobered up.

    But cops are pretty uniformly assholes and we are not a sane society. Caitlin’s right, giving the likes of Rolfe another course won’t do anyone any good. An asshole cop like that just needs to be fired.

    • bardamu
      June 19, 2020 at 16:10

      One of the first things you learn when homeless is that one cannot stop and dawdle in middle or upper class neighborhoods because police will either remove you or tell you to move along. Of course, “looks homeless” or “looks out of place” or whatever the cop is thinking likely has a very different threshold where race enters into things.

      This is no sign of justice, let alone that the racism is less than described–only that the problem is more extensive. It involves a lot of actions that are not racist, but endemic to circumstances of wealth and poverty.

    • June 19, 2020 at 16:35

      There is no right to use a private lot for purposes not allowed by the owner. I guess they could call towing instead of police.

    • Joe Wallace
      June 21, 2020 at 23:34

      Jeff Harrison:

      My thinking is along the lines you propose. When the cops approached him, let’s remember, Mr. Brooks was “sleeping” while drunk, not “driving” while drunk.” Isn’t it possible that when he realized he was drunk, Mr. Brooks decided the wiser course was to pull over and park the car so he could sleep it off and not pose a risk to himself and others by driving? Sure, he made a mistake in drinking too much, but should he not be commended for having decided not to drive? What should the cops’ primary motivation be when they discovered he was drunk? Is it to punish him after having established beyond doubt that he was “sleeping while drunk?” What if their object was to ensure public safety? As you suggested, might they not “have taken Brooks’ keys, put him in the back of the cruiser and either taken him home or put him in a cell overnight and given him his keys when he sobered up?” The cops seemed more disposed to punish and intimidate than to protect and serve.

  11. June 19, 2020 at 11:44

    Sorry Caitlin, but second guessing a person whose adrenaline was running after fighting the suspect and then being shot at by him, is too easy, and maybe in your mind justified by the kind of change you would like to see catalyzed.
    Everyone has a perceptions of some kind of avenue to utopia but some how the realities of today, involving more variables than any one person can take into consideration, makes their fulfillment no more likely than all the utopias achieved up to now.

    • Philip Reed
      June 19, 2020 at 12:25

      I agree totally. Caitlin is way off the mark with this article and to be honest, if this is her true vision of revolutionary reform I guess I’ve been misreading her for quite sometime now. The true outcome of such radical change would be lawlessness like has never been seen.
      Does she think criminal gangs and violent murderous behaviour by certain elements in society will magically disappear because police forces will be abolished to be replaced by an army of social workers. This is naivety in the extreme.
      To advocate for that is not only reckless , but sorry Caitlin, just downright nutty.
      I don’t know what kind of bubble Caitlin lives in but she needs far more exposure to what actually goes on in the world of organized crime which is quite apart from the random criminality and violence that regularly roams the streets.
      Caitlin, your articles on US imperialism throughout the world have much merit but don’t conflate civilian policing being practiced within the confines of a judicial system with military terrorism being practiced overseas. These are two separate issues that can be addressed without tearing the entire structure down. Be careful what you wish for.

    • rosemerry
      June 19, 2020 at 16:36

      “Sorry Caitlin, but second guessing a person whose adrenaline was running after fighting the suspect and then being shot at by him,”

      Surely the point is that this needed never to have got to that stage, as Caitlin explained. The link to the story of the “bastard cop” gives huge examples of needless reactions becoming lethal acts.

    • Christian J. Chuba
      June 19, 2020 at 19:52

      When one person shoots another we have to ‘second guess them’, what do you suggest that we simply ignore all homicides or is there some category of utopian homicides that we should ignore?

      If you look at any of the statutes, adrenaline (being pissed off at someone) is not a justification for shooting them. It basically says that there has to be a reasonable fear of serious injury. If anything, chasing after someone who is sprinting away from you and holding a limited range weapon, 15ft, says just the opposite. The cop was not afraid. He was angry.

    • Sam F
      June 19, 2020 at 23:30

      While the difficulty of training an angry just-punched policeman to use minimal force can be underestimated,
      practical reform can provide more impediments to force, to control such emotions. Caitlin argues well that reform requires mastering the chemistry of “real revolutionary impulses.” Yes, the oligarchy more easily uses mass media narrative managers and politicians to neuter “revolutionary impulses” with “empty agreement and a bunch of insubstantial words” than it can suppress them. I too hope that a generation is learning this.

    • jdd
      June 20, 2020 at 17:08

      The author knows, or should know, that a police officer is not bound by the same restrictions when faced with a potentially life-threatening situation as would a civilian. The fact is, the DA of Fulton County, who lied repeatedly during his press briefing, and is in a hotly contested reelection campaign has just brought charges against six policeman in which he characterized the use of a taser as assault with a deadly weapon, which of course it is under Georgia law. By overcharging he may temporarily gain some favor with the BLM crowd, but will have a very difficult time make the charges stick.

  12. AnneR
    June 19, 2020 at 09:55

    One can but hope that the populace has learnt this very significant lesson, Caitlin, but after all these decades of living through “reform” after “reform” which really means prettifying the continuance of the socio-economic status quo, the continuance of the brutal maintenance of protection of the property of the top 20% (what the Filth are really in existence for), and the never-ending violence (via siege and military warfare) toward other peoples, I frankly am profoundly doubtful about the success of anything approaching a necessary, the necessary revolutionary changes that are so desperately needed. Revolution requires stamina for the long haul. Probably a really long haul given the reality that the ruling elites and their stalwarts in the rest of the 20% (bourgeoisie) are of both red and blue faces of the Janus party – wash away the lipstick and you are left with the self-same interests propelling their intentions in Congress and the WH and what Mr McGovern calls MICIMATT – and they all share exactly the same worldview on who is and should be in charge (here and abroad), whose property, lives should be protected. And those interests, property lives ain’t ours in the hoi polloi.

  13. Sally Snyder
    June 19, 2020 at 08:11

    Here is an article that explains the federal government’s 1033 program that explains why American police forces are increasingly being confrontational with civilians:

    The use of deadly force is just part of the business plan that is being used when dealing with the public, a business plan that has led to the deaths of thousands of innocent Americans at the hands of those that are hired to protect us.

    June 19, 2020 at 07:45

    Raychard Brooks’ crime? Being drunk in a fast food parking lot and not wanting to be arrested.

    That earned him being fatally shot in the back.

    • AnneR
      June 19, 2020 at 09:59

      Absolutely – JC – drunk and asleep. Not that the manager of the fast food place Knew he was drunk. Why didn’t that manager with a couple of workers go and try to get Brooks to wake up and move??? (Wasn’t initially averted that Brooks was asleep in the drive through line?)

    • Philip Reed
      June 19, 2020 at 11:59

      Chuck, your short synopsis ,which leaves out many relevant details , is a total mischaracterization of what actually occurred. He wasn’t “drunk in a parking lot”. He was in care and control of a motor vehicle whilst impaired by an alcoholic beverage. That’s a big difference. He was given the roadside breathalyzer and failed . The interaction of police and suspect during this time was by the book and cordial as the video clearly shows. When the officers then tried to carry out their lawful duty he violently resisted and stole their taser. In the pursuit , he turned and fired the taser just missing Rolfe head. Rolfe returned fire. Rolfe will have to explain his actions in a court of law describing why he felt that action was necessary. This isn’t as clear as you and Caitlin seem to imagine with your dispassionate armchair views looking at a video over and over. These are split second decisions that are actually an officers worst nightmare.
      I know. I served for 32 yrs in the Greater Toronto area ( now retired) and was involved in many such incidents. Luck and judgement saved me many times.
      In the final analysis your frivolous remarks are totally unwarranted.

    • Philip Reed
      June 19, 2020 at 12:35

      Chuck why do you keep cutting and pasting the same mischaracterized commentary these last three days. It doesn’t reflect what actually happened at all. You and Anne should get together and review what actually happened in complete detail before commenting here. My reply to you the last time is in yesterday’s section.

    • Iom
      June 19, 2020 at 23:17

      Philip Reed, with sincerest respect for your career experience, I disagree.

      Qualifier – I actively avoid watching snuff stuff so I am entirely relying on MSM descriptions of the death of Rayshard Brooks.

      In popular culture (Hollywood, novels) it is most common for a perpetrator to be depicted as a coward for shooting someone in the back or kicking a person while he’s down. Add extra bile for a victim to be unarmed and running away at the time he is shot.

      Then add the perpetrator:
      – donning gloves to pick up shell casings before checking on the wounded man; and
      – kicking the victim after he was shot then standing on him while he was still alive.

      There may be perfectly good extenuating circumstances, heat of the moment, etc, but this article is about protest, culture and public perceptions. And as depicted, within our culture, the above are not reasonable actions within the mind of the public.

    • Sam F
      June 19, 2020 at 23:44

      Philip Reed, Certainly the situation was complex and very confrontational, not the simplest case of excessive use of force. But JC and Anne are correct that other methods are possible. Why use the taser-or-kill approach when lower-force methods are available? It is more difficult to avoid force, emotionally difficult for some, requiring methods that seem silly to others, and I sure can understand the frustration. But why abandon the goal of minimum force where we can do better? Sure, there will be those who continue to resist by force and will require stronger treatment.

    • Curious
      June 20, 2020 at 16:05

      For Philip Reed,
      Speaking of leaving out relevant details, I think your 32 years of experience should have taught you a bit more in handling such a case. For example, during their 41 minute chat, could they not have said “Mr Brooks, it appears you have been drinking too much to drive. Can you call a friend or a family member to come and take you home for the night?” Would that not have defused the situation during their calm 41 minute chat? Or do police in Toronto also not consider that a viable option.
      As far as “revenant details” you mentioned to Chuck for leaving out, how about this detail? WSB-TV ch2 Atlanta quoted the District Attorney, Paul Howard, regarding the taser that officer Rolfe “knew it had been fired twice already so it was unloaded and presented no danger to him or any other person” So your drama point of the taser “just missing Rolfe’s head” is bogus, and you continue by saying the that Rolfe “returned fire”.
      How does one “return fire” when one isn’t fired upon?
      I would have hoped after 32 years an officer could put those pieces together quite easily. Hence, the clear definition of excessive force was used since Rolfe was in no danger. He was angry, and in turn murdered a victim by shooting him twice in the back. His 3rd shot hit a car. After his first shot he said “I got him!” And yet he had to fire 2 more times from 18 feet away.
      Split second decision? After 41 minutes? I think the desire of many officers is to protect their own, despite the facts, and that is very apparent in your comments. We really aren’t ‘armchair video watchers’ but we do care about unnecessary murders by bullies with a gun and a badge.

    • jdd
      June 21, 2020 at 11:46

      That was not his crime. He was being placed under arrest for DWI. It was an orderly process until until Mr. Brooks, and Mr. Brooks alone, initiated the violence. He then not only resisted arrest, but assaulted an officer and stole his taser before firing at the pursuing policeman. Is arrest now optional or do we now assert that if you don’t “want to be arrested” one simply punches the officer in the face and flees the scene?

  15. rick jarvis
    June 19, 2020 at 07:29

    What is so striking and remarkable about these lethal police shootings of black men (in this incident a man sleeping in a car) is that the victim is apprehended or challenged for the most minor of behavioural infractions. I can’t imagine the black slave being shot or killed in the same way because of his utility and value to the slave owner. Does this not suggest that US law enforcement’s principle role is policing and controlling the workless underclass that are demonised and vilified as a burden on society since they represent no productive or exploitive value to the financialised capitalist system. If the historical racial component is inserted into this oppressive dystopia then a criminalised black underclass will be subjected to the worst excesses which is maximised by an ideology that demands that the surplus population is denied work, health care, welfare, dignity etc. and consequently viewed by individual law enforcement as expendables much in the same way as the US military viewed Iraqis.

    • Tobin Sterritt
      June 19, 2020 at 19:51

      Rick, you’ve hit on it pretty much. Policing in the United States has its roots in slave catching patrols. The roots of our prison industrial complex are in the 14th amendment, so the allusions are warranted, as far as I’m concerned.

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