- Donations for Darren Wilson mysteriously halt after reaching over $400K. Darren Wilson Gofundme page officially shut down!!!
- The “Support Darren Wilson” Facebook page is deleting comments about basic financial questions and is urging supporters to petition against the Mike Brown Fund
- Time uses the word “negrophobia” instead of “racism” and compares fear of spiders to fear of black people. Seriously.
- The truth about flash bangs
- Public art on Canfield: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
- Video from the March on Ferguson
- Video from DC’s Mike Brown Rally
- 10 people from the Lost Voices organization are living in tents (x) until there is justice for Mike Brown
- Mike Brown’s family asks for 4 1/2 minutes of silence tomorrow instead of highway protest
please watch gekkan shoujo nozaki-kun
So there’s this.
How is this not a crime? Obstruction of justice? Tampering? Hell, a violation of Son of Sam laws?
Burn the whole damned city down, starting with City Hall and the police station.
It’s a conflict of interest, at bare fucking minimum, and he should be forced to recuse himself.
My mom has had this cactus for years and this is the first time it’s bloomed.
Last week, we wrote about the fact that the U.S. government doesn’t track how many people are killed by the police. The FBI tracks “justifiable” police homicides, which it reports to be about 400 p…
ENERGY53: IT’S MUCH WORSE THAN WHAT IS BEING OFFICIALLY REPORTED. JUST ANOTHER CASE WHERE THE FBI’S FACTS AREN’T THE REAL FACTS.
In July I shared a story of an incident in which my city’s police stormed a man’s house looking for drugs in the middle of the night and executed his two (understandably startled) dogs. One of the dogs was shot to death while fleeing in fear, and as I noted then, this isn’t an isolated incident. Just a few years ago, the Saint Paul Police killed another family dog…and forced handcuffed children to sit next to its bleeding corpse. The kicker? The raid wasn’t even in the right house!
Now, a new report has surfaced of SPPD brutality. This time, a young father named Chris Lollie was arrested while waiting to pick up his kids from school. The charges were “Trespassing, Disorderly Conduct, and Obstructing Legal Process,” and police claimed he refused to leave an area reserved for employees of the bank building he was in. However, not only were there no signs indicating that the location was private, but Lollie wasn’t even in the bank proper; he was in the skyway.
(For those who aren’t familiar with the skyway system, it’s a thing we have in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and some other Minnesota cities. Basically, it gets hella cold here in the winter, so they built enclosed sidewalks, or skyways, one or two stories up. In the downtown areas, the skyways form a whole second network of pedestrian roads, and once you get inside your office building—or whichever building is closest to your parking garage or bus stop or whatever—you can use them to move from building to building to get around the whole downtown area. It’s an easy way to go to lunch or meetings without having the snot in your nostrils freeze. I mention all that to say: Skyways are public spaces. You do not have to be an employee in the buildings they connect to use them. Lollie was not trespassing.)
Fortunately, Lollie had the presence of mind to capture his interaction with the SPPD on film. Here’s a transcript I’ve made of the first few seconds:
Lollie: So what’s your business with me right now?
Officer: I want to find out who you are, and what the problem was back there…
Lollie: There is no problem—that’s the thing.
Officer: So, talk to me, let me know, and you can be on your way.
Lollie: Let you know…why do I have to let you know who I am? Who I am isn’t the problem.
Officer: Because that’s what police do when they get called.
Lollie: Well, I know my rights, first off. Secondly, I don’t have to let you know who I am if I haven’t broken any laws. Like I told him, I’m going to New Horizons [School] to pick up my kids at 10 o’clock. I was sitting there for ten minutes…
As the officer brushes aside his explanation and continues to illegally demand he identify himself, Lollie cuts to the chase: “The problem is I’m black. That’s the problem. No, it really is, because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Next, Lollie and the female officer he’s been walking and talking with meet a male officer. When Lollie politely asks the officer not to touch or obstruct him, because he has to go get his kids, the man immediately responds, “Well, you’re going to go to jail then.”
As the police initiate the arrest process—telling him to put his hand behind his back or “otherwise things are going to get ugly"—the camera visuals go black. Lollie continues to be heard pleading, still polite even while he’s assaulted, that he be allowed to go meet his children.
Next, they tase him.
If that’s not enough to convince you that this is gross police misconduct, seriously, take five minutes and watch the video. The calmness of his tone alone should make it obvious that there is no possible argument that the situation merited this kind of police action:
After multiple witnesses verified Lollie’s version of events, prosecutors dropped all charges against him. One woman who is also not an employee at the bank the skyway links noted that she regularly sits during her lunch break exactly where Lollie was sitting, but she has never been harassed by police. However, the SPPD continue to defend their actions.
At The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf points out how simple it would have been for police to resolve this situation without violence and an arrest had they cared to do so:
His story about getting his kids wasn’t merely plausible, given the man’s age and the fact that there was a school right there–it was a story the female police officer shown at the beginning of the video or the male officer shown later could easily confirm.
Lollie is also absolutely correct that no law required him to show an ID to police officers. As Flex Your Rights explains, “Police can never compel you to identify yourself without reasonable suspicion to believe you’re involved in illegal activity,” and while 24 states have passed “stop and identify” statutes “requiring citizens to reveal their identity when officers have reasonable suspicion to believe criminal activity may be taking place,” Minnesota isn’t one of those states.
The female officer shown in the beginning of the video could easily have de-escalated the encounter by saying, “You’re right, sir, you have every right to refuse to show me identification, and if you’re just picking up your kids I’m so sorry to have bothered you. If you don’t mind, I just want to walk with you to confirm that your story checks out so I can inform the 911 caller of their error. That way we can make sure this never happens again when you’re just here to pick up your kids.”
Or she could’ve said, “Sir, I totally see why this is confusing–a lot of people would think so. Let me try to explain. That totally looks like a public seating area, but it’s actually private. Don’t you think they should have a sign saying so? Calling me may seem like an overreaction, but technically they can ask you to leave. You’re walking away now, so there’s actually no problem as long as you’re not going to go back. Are you? Okay, then we have no problem, have a wonderful day.”
As Lollie is carried away post-tasing, he can be heard challenging the officers’ “legal” assault: "Who are you? You don’t rule me. I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t hurt anybody. I didn’t touch anybody."
If only the SPPD could honestly say the same.
That video that was being passed around yesterday
A few days ago, I moved into college. I’m starting a new chapter in my life and finally studying what I’m passionate about. At an event for student organizations, I witnessed an incident. It started with a Zionist student confronting the table representing Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), ridiculing the club and its members, saying Palestinians did not exist, and it ended with a slap from a student who was not a member of SJP, but a Palestinian boy in the vicinity. He was at the wrong place at the wrong time. He had to contend with a man who represented the colonization and genocide of his people saying that Palestinians did not even exist after 2,000 Palestinians were slaughtered this summer and Ramadan in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. I never thought it would die down, I left the scene in media res and things were extremely tense and sad, just sad, because I anticipated the injustice that would follow. What I never anticipated was the right-wing response, the fabrication of events, the lies that would be spewed about the incident. The headline was as follows “Jewish student punched in face and called k*ke in antisemitic attack.”
No one called the student in question the K word because many of the people assembled there didn’t know he was Jewish. Many of the Arabs assembled didn’t even know the K word existed because it is a brand of Western antisemitism. The primary word hurled at him was ‘racist’ because it was accurate. He called the people manning the SJP table and the Palestinians present terrorists and Hamas. He racially abused them. But that escapes the popular media reporting on this, it escapes the telling of history. Moreover, it wasn’t a punch, it was a slap, and he did not fall to the ground. His Ray-Ban sunglasses did and he just grabbed his face stunned, furious that someone dared slap him. He had all the ease and arrogance of a frat boy and all the entitlement too. The people manning the SJP table, all of whom were girls, were stunned when the slap happened and did not fan what minimal violence existed against him, contrary to popular reports. And it’s impossible for a group of mostly brown kids to perpetrate rampant and violent antisemitism against a white student in broad daylight in a crowded area on the campus of a university in the American Northeast. You all know about kyriarchy, so you know exactly what I’m talking about.
This is an organized and well-funded campaign to defame Temple SJP and Palestinians as ‘antisemitic’, to foist and scapegoat antisemitism on some of the most vulnerable and racialized people in society, to effectively silence student organization against the Israeli genocide that the US government facilitates, to do it in the name of fighting antisemitism and racism. There is enormous outside pressure on the school to close and ban SJP at Temple. Ten years of the club’s activism at Temple for nothing. The pro-Israel student who was slapped works for the right-wing, Zionist organization CAMERA that promotes imperialist exploitation and suffering in the Middle East. I’m asking you to help me get out what really happened because I was an eyewitness. Read Temple SJP’s first official statement on the incident. Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) in Philadelphia already released a statement in solidarity wherein they say, “The charge of anti-Semitic language attributed to Temple SJP is completely inconsistent with the character and conduct of of the organization such that it renders the accusation absurd.” On Twitter, get the hashtag #ISupportTempleSJP going. Temple SJP is under a very real threat to get closed down, banned, extinguished. Even worst, people will believe the slanderous lies not only about the organization, but the incident itself. Reblog this in solidarity. And question your news whenever you read about antisemitism in the pro-Palestine movement, particularly when there are vigorous efforts to maintain solidarity with Jews and combat antisemitism that exploits Palestinians and their movement for self-determination to justify its oppression and bigotry.