1) If you have been reading my column for the last two weeks you know that I have been making noise about some issues that the NYPD has been having with certain arrests that they have made and how they have been carried out. With the scorecard reading one dead perp… whose death was caused by a cop using an illegal choke hold (the death has been rule a homicide by the coroner’s office)… and another being made with another illegal choke hold but this time on a pregnant woman. The two incidents were about 9 days apart from each other.
The two incidents were the most obvious violation of NYPD procedures… choke holds are banned and illegal per the NYPD.
FYI: As of July 1 numbers from the Civilian Complaint Review Board reveal that more than 1,000 New York City residents claimed to be victims of NYPD chokeholds in the past five years with 58 chokehold complaints against the NYPD since the start of the year… one substantiated.
Hmmm… strange… since that info was made public… in the span of 9 days two more incidents suddenly pop up that are irrefutable… funny what happens when peeps take film using them ubiquitous little camera phones.
The problem that I am having with the two incidents I mention here… as well as in all likelihood of many of the other choke hold allegations… is that they were carried out under the NYPD’s practice of Broken Windows. Simply put, Broken Windows is having cops… constables on patrol… make arrests for the simplest commission of the pettiest of crimes in the belief that stopping crime at that level will eventually stop petty crime from morphing into bigger and badder crime.
The guy who died due to that choke hold… was committing the crime of selling loosies… untaxed and single cigs… the other choke hold incident… grilling food on a public sidewalk.
First and foremost, I am not in agreement with Broken Windows… let me revise that… I think petty crime needs to be addressed but I think cops need to use common sense in how they address those petty crimes. Making arrests for every little “illegal” incident is nonsensical at best and very problematic for all concerned at worst… the cops, jail system, the courts, the public tax dollars involved, and of course, the peep being busted.
The NYDN recently did a story about folks who get arrested under the Broken Windows policy… “Every morning, hundreds of people line up at the city’s dingy summons courts, clutching pink tickets for such petty infractions as walking through the park after dark, bicycling on the sidewalk, drinking outside and even spitting on the street. They are the human faces of the most prevalent but under scrutinized element of “broken windows” policing, a controversial crime fighting strategy implemented in the 1990s that focuses on aggressively enforcing quality-of-life offenses to deter more serious ones.”
The article goes on to point out that 81%… give or take a percentage point or two… arrested under Broken Windows are from working class, or poor neighborhoods, and, either black or Hispanic.
Another way of looking at it… peeps from the Upper East Side who happen to be white are not being targeted and subjected with Broken Windows.
Now… a sampling of the type of busts being made were were for many crimes, includuing… consumption of alcohol in public, disorderly conduct, public urination, loitering, failure to possess a dog license, bicycling on the sidewalk, jay walking and operation of a motor vehicle in violation of the safety rules. Most could be handled with some common sense… some need to be addressed… you piss in public on the streets, or down an alley way, then, you need to get a ticket, or, maybe even have your ass hauled down to the pokey depending on your attitude at the time.
But, then if you be drinking a brew with some friends on your front stoop then maybe a cop should say… hey guys, keep it on the down low and easy does it on the noise… and, have a nice day. The implication being the officer does not want to come back and deal with some dumbass nonsense… you be civil and he will return the favor.
The logic is this… these violations… what a lot of folks call quality of life crime… need to be addressed but not all of these so-called crimes are just that… crimes. All illegal activity is not created equal, and again, common sense needs to be used in the dispensing out of justice as far as cops making arrests.
In real simple and plain words… if, it’s just something that needs a word to be said then say it… and if it ain’t really broke then don’t go breaking it.
Okay… simpler words… discretion and a warning with have a nice day might work a lot better for the cop on the beat than being confrontational and giving out tickets for stupid and dumbass stuff.
But, back to those peeps who are being arrested and what happens when they are…
Out of the 458,000 summons issued citywide 20% got tossed for whatever reason… usually an improperly written summons. Then another 5% of summonses… people pleaded guilty and sent a check by mail… which weirdly is only an option for those charged with drinking in public ($25 fine) or peeing in public ($50 fine).
Anyone else… be in court on the day you are told to be there or have a re-arrest warrant issued.
According to the NYDN… as of June, there were 1.1 million open warrants out for people who failed to show up to court over these low-level offenses.
But here’s the real rub… there are 6 courts that handle these crimes and by 9:00 am each day there are long lines outside of each one…. lines of folks outside of each of these courts waiting to be processed.
And, a lot of these folks are losing a day’s wages because they need to wait for hours to just get their case to the pleading stage. There ain’t no “slam bam thank you ma’am” stuff involved whatsoever. They need to wait for hours to go through the bureaucratic process of security… needed unfortunately… and paperwork and of being told where to go, etc… a Kafkaesque experience for all involved I am sure.
Some get adjournments with a contemplation for dismal… no troubles in a specified time period and the charge goes away.
Most take that deal…
Some just plead guilty and pay a fine.
Problem… most of these folks just want to get out of Dodge and get home. Or, maybe if they can, they can get to their jobs and at least salvage something of the day’s pay. But, this now means they also have a record…whether they get a conditional dismal or guilty plea … that means they can have future problems if they find themselves facing a judge again… or getting a favorable plea deal… or maybe influencing an immigration case… or a custody case…
In the simplest words that are possible… the people that can afford to be arrested are those that can afford to pay a lawyer to take of the nasty side of the business and probably get the charge dismissed with back room pandering. But, it’s not those peeps that get targeted.
In reality, it is those that can least afford to take the time off to deal with the arrest and to deal with the bureaucratic business with pleading the case as well as the cost in time and money lost in wages, hiring baby sitters or whatever else is needed… plus paying any fines and court costs that are targeted.
In essence, the cops are doing what I always thought was the most absurd methods used by the bad guys out there when they do the bad stuff that they do… the people that can least afford to be robbed or have a crime done to them are exactly who they rob or commit crimes against.
I mean… why steal from a defenseless poor female who can barely keep a job and raise her kids and essentially doesn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to toss it out of… when you could travel off to a rich peep’s home… or… at least a well-to-do peep’s home without security around their house… and get something of value?
The answer… it’s because it’s easy and convenient and they get the least amount of grief and resistance.
Same way with the cops… all cops not just the white ones… they target the poor and the working class who also happen to be largely the so-called minority folks because they either don’t have the time, the money or the inclination… or any combination of the preceding… to fight the charges. And, they just accept the fact that it is what it is and just want to get on with the daily chore of making their daily bread.
Broken Windows simply is broken and is not a feasible plan of attack against crime. Cops need to pay attention to the little things… the details… just the same way that the transit folks always tell us if you see something; say something… because, you just never know. But at the same time, discretion and common sense need to be used in every situation and words will often work a lot better than a whole lot of shake, rattle and roll noise, threats and physical confrontation. Most peeps just wanna avoid going downtown or getting a ticket that will require them to make a court appearance.
Unfortunately, what usually happens in these incidents when they escalate wildly out of control is that the loudest and brashest cop is the one that winds up being the driving fierce in the situation and it quickly becomes an us against them thing and that means the other officers involved will tend to have his… or her… back and before you know it the shit done hit the fan.
2) In the NYDN today (8/6) it was reported that Pat Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA), held a press conference Tuesday and essentially denied that the cop who put the choke hold that, according to the Medical Examiner’s office, was the cause of Eric Garner’s death was not a in fact a chokehold… besides, Lynch insisted… It isn’t… chokehold… even a medical term.
Ummm… the fact that a choke hold is a choke hold is a choke hold and can cause death if applied to a person’s freaking throat is … well, its sort of the fact and nothing more and nothing less. Now the medical description might read something like this… “…a form of restraint which consists of occluding the upper airway by compressing the thyroid cartilage and displacing the tongue posterior.”
But… if someone, like a medical examiner, said all of that, then, it would a lot of verbiage that would sound like doctor speak and essentially be a bunch of mumbo jumbo to the general public… you and me. Choke hold is easier and gets the point across simply and effectively.
Lynch also says it’s a method… using the particular hold the cop used to try to subdue Garner… that is taught at the police academy to trainees.
I ain’t no expert on the police academy and what is taught to newbie cop wannabes but I found stuff that says “… the choke hold is more dangerous than the carotid sleeper, which cuts off the flow of blood to the brain, but does not compromise the airways and…” and (per Wikipedia)… now bear with me here it’s a tad wordy… “The lateral vascular neck restraint (aka the sleeper hold) is still a widely taught and utilized blood restriction hold in law enforcement, and can be performed from behind the suspect by putting an arm around the neck of the suspect, with the crook of the elbow over the midline of the neck. By pinching the arm together while assisting with the free hand, the carotid arteries and jugular veins are compressed on both sides of the neck. This hold does not put any pressure on the airway, of course, an improperly applied hold could quickly turn into an air choke if the person being strangled the hold by attempting to turn around.”
Now stop right here… if that is what PBA prez Lynch is referencing then maybe they need to rethink that teaching. Because it sure do sound like a lot could go wrong when two or more folks be struggling and rolling around on the ground and then before someone is aware… one hold becomes the other hold and someone be dead.
Maybe the wise and prudent thing would be to stop teaching that other hold at the academy, too… if in fact, it is being presently taught.
Bottom line… Lynch’s presser was a lot of cover your ass speak and really nothing more.
Expected… but really not very constructive or productive and just more bull being thrown against the wall adding to the confusion of what needs to be done to resolve a bad situation. What needs to be done is for calmer heads to rise above the fray and shove the rhetoric… from all sides… into the closet because if they don’t, then sooner or later the entire sequence of events will be a case where the bull eventually misses the wall and hits the fan instead.
But… Lynch, like a lot of folks seems to not know when to STFU… “The mayor needs to support New York City police officers unequivocally.”
So, a cop should get unequivocal backup by the NYC’s top political figure simply because he is a freaking cop????
That’s like the old slogan from yesteryear when peeps were protesting America’s involvement in Vietnam and a certain faction of the opposing side… aka Nixon’s Silent Majority… said.. . “My country love it or leave it.”
Both statements leave no room for looking at the facts and changing policy or behaviors if a change is needed in order to make something, or some situation, better than it presently is.
If, a cop is doing bad stuff, or, is being a bad cop, then, it behooves our politicians to work with all concerned… the cops and the public… to fix that problem.
Just as in that turbulent period in American history years ago…because I protest a “war” and certain abhorrent actions by America don’t mean I don’t love my country and that I would want to leave it, either. In fact, one could say I love it a lot because I want my country to do what is the better course of action… resolve a conflict by stopping the killing of folks in inhumane ways.
The same is true with what seems to be going down with the NYPD now… if, a certain procedure is wrongly used and is causing perps to die when cops try to take them down and into custody then maybe that procedure should be changed or eliminated? And, if, there are bad cops then shouldn’t everyone… cops included… want the bad cops eliminated from the NYPD?
3) Now… Check this stuff out… also, in today’s NYDN… exclusively obtained info (their words not mine)… “…revealed a complaint filed by an FDNY EMT and backed up by a second EMT alleging that on July 20, in a stationhouse yet, the FDNY employees had to pull off four cops who were beating a handcuffed and shackled mental patient, hauling him off the stretcher, after the deranged man cursed and spit at them.”
Specifically the report was… “Pt. came out of the cell in cuffs. Pt. became combative with PD and (was) put on our stretcher,” wrote one EMT in the Unusual Occurrence Report filed with FDNY brass. Pt. was struck in the face by an officer … pt. spit in the face of an officer, whereupon the officer punched the pt. in the face multiple times. Three cops began to punch the patient in the face, EMS (had) to get in the middle of it to intervene. Pt’s. wounds and injuries cleaned in the (ambulance).”
A second EMT said the patient was brought out by ESU in “handcuffs and foot shackles.” And, that after cops whomped on the patient with a bunch of punches… aka closed fists… that the patient was “taken off the stretcher to the ground and restrained again, pt. was thrown by ESU again on to my stretcher… Pt. sustained injuries to face and head.”
An FDNY spokesman confirmed there was a notification from the agency to the NYPD. The NYPD said the 67th Precinct
incident is being investigated by the Internal Affairs Bureau.
Now do cops have a right to subdue and further restrain this man further? Like placing a mask over his mouth to stop the spitting?? You bet yer sweet ass they do.
Do they have the right to whomp on a restrained and stretchered person who is obviously a tad off his rocker? Not as far as I can see or believe.
The EMTs did what I would expect any person would have done in that situation but especially folks who are in the business of saving lives… should do. They stopped dumbasses from making a bad situation worse from becoming a terrible tragedy worsest… from unnecessary harm befalling an essentially defenseless sad soul in need of getting his ass into the custody of a shrink house.
But… what do some men in blue do after this stuff done been leaked? They appear on a website… NYPD Thee Rant… where the discussion begins with, “Screw these two EMTs….this EDP was assaulting UMOS, spraying bodily fluids on them, and they lodge complaints against the officers…FU EMS” and “F-EMS. They want to go to war with us? They can f-themselves when they call their 13s for police assistance.”
See… it is stuff like that makes a lot of folks think of police men as nothing more than a legalized bad assed gang. And, if, these words were representative of the majority of cops then folks would be right… the police would no more than, and no better than, a bunch of bad ass bikers… Hells Angels or Devils Disciples.
In addition… the threat that they might withhold efficient and immediate response to an EMT’s call for assistance is abhorrent and should be an immediate reason for suspension from duty or possible termination of services. It’s nothing more than a sad example of the Thin Blue Line mentality that needs to be exorcised from the thinking of cops in today’s world.
It is no better than the badass guy street mentality… of not being a snitch or whatever.
Besides… it’s sorta like… I’m taking my bat and ball and going home so nyah, nyah, nyah… childish, stupid and asinine.
But, personally, I think most cops try to be at least men and women who just wanna do their jobs and make it home to their families each day.
If, at some point, they can do something that does good… if they can bring a little peace and security to the neighborhoods that they patrol and exist within them with the least amount of grief for a good portion of their days…then all the better.
But, much like another profession maybe a cop’s motto should include the thinking… Primum non nocere… or… do no harm.
4) On Saturday (8/2) I saw this little piece in the NYDN… “Chinese parents have kicked out their lay about 29-year-old son after winning a court order to evict him and his girlfriend from the family home.”
Now remember this dude is 29-years-old… he’s staying with his folks and he has the audacity to have a lady friend staying there in his folk’s home.
Dear old pop being the good guy that he is goes out and finds his son a job. What the heck sometimes peeps need a leg up… right?
He comes home one day and starts into lying around the shanty putting a good feed on and maybe a buzz on, too. And, probably lying around with his girl friend, to boot.
Dad notices and says something like… no work?
Son says… naw, that’s too boring.
So pop and his wife get to talking and they finally get the nerve up… probably said nuffs a nuff… they tell him you and your floozy gots to go.
He says no way… and you can’t make me.
They go to court and the court agrees and orders him out.
He still won’t go.
Bailiffs were called and moved his sorry ass out.
This ungrateful puke of a so-called son expected his parents to put him through school… he had a graduate degree… and then cook and clean for him and his girlfriend. Excuse me… wake up and smell the ginseng tea… get up off your sorry ass and get a job and show some respect for the folks who bent over backwards to try and help you make something of yourself.
Sometimes dumbasses just can’t see the obvious. And sometimes a nudge just ain’t enough and it takes a good hard boot in the ass to get a point across. Even if its needs to be backed by a small group of Chinese police enforcers.
5) Over the weekend this really done went down… some folks were filming a low-budget video in the Bronx, when two of the dudes involved… who according to witnesses were all liquored up and still drinking… began arguing over who was the man… the star of the flick.
Suddenly things starting getting rough and the two stumble into a nearby deli.
Next thing… gun…. Boom… Boom… Boom… Boom… Boom… five shots. Miraculously, and probably due to the shooter being
all hooched up, only three shots hit the other dude who in now is on the floor of the deli. Graze to the head and a bullet in his chest and a leg.
All this time, the shooter is holding a drink… no more bullets… so he starts whomping on the guy with his pistol. A lot and real damn hard.
Guys laying there bloody and groaning… shooter casually steps over the body… drink still in hand… and skedaddles.
As if this wasn’t bad enough… peeps… five in total… were doing whatever they came to the deli to do and just up and stepped over the wounded guy lying there. Not one person lifted a finger to help this dude until the EMTs and cops came onto the scene…
We as a society have become that aloof and jaded by violence that we no longer give a fuck? I mean it ain’t like the shooter was still there and might have threatened to do someone else harm for not minding their own business. He had already skedaddled. Vamoosed… exited stage left.
WTF! Come on, people. Say it ain’t so! Please…
PS: Dude is hospitalized in critical condition.
6) Saw this floating out and about the internet… “North Carolina cafe is dishing out discounts to customers who pray in public before chomping down on their meals.”
Well it seems this restaurant… Mary’s Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem… has done told their wait peeps that if they see folks praying over their meal… I am assuming as in “thanks for the grub” and not for “freedom from being made sick”… can cut up to 15% off customers’ bills.
Now, one of the owners, Mary Haglund told news sources that it don’t matter what type of prayer it may be… the folks just have to take the time to appear thankful or in prayerful mood. In fact, even if it looks like someone is just being meditative before they chow down… that works and its all good.
Haglund said, her restaurant has offered a “praying in public” discount for the past four years but that they don’t advertise they do it…. “We don’t tell the people they’re getting a discount… We’ve never promoted it. We just present the (bill).”
So how’s this making the news? Well seems somebody had a copy of their receipt; said to some Christian radio station… hey, lookie this… and it posted the receipt’s image on Facebook and it went viral.
So… and of course… instead of leaving well enough alone and accepting that this place is giving out a discount for whatever reason… there were some peeps that had to chime in on the Facebook page that what they were doing was discrimination against folks who didn’t pray or were non-believers.
And, FYI… even some of Hagland’s own wait staff don’t always give the discount simply because they don’t agree with the idea.
But be that as it may be… so what, who cares? It’s what they like doing, so, fine, do it.
But, I gotta admit I do agree with the peep who said, “Can you please explain how you know when someone is meditating, or taking a moment of silence before they eat? You have no idea what people are thinking and many people pray silently without going through the motions.”
Of course, once again, it’s all subjective and according to each wait person’s feeling at the moment but here’s my take on it… go in; set right down; order a meal; when the food hits your table bow your head; think whatever damn thought you feel like it… surprisingly… I bet you think something somewhat philosophical… but… even if you don’t and it’s all a charade… just hope for the best and when you get the bill maybe there be some sort of discount on the damn thing.
But like I said… it’s probably gonna be a moment… the so-called fake prayer that you take the time to do… if you do it at all… where some little kernel within your heart opens up… like the Grinch’s did … and as Haglund said… “Prayer, meditation or just breathing while being grateful opens the heart chakra… It’s good for everyone!”
And, if you don’t know WTF a chakra is… Google it like I had to… worth reading and it might give you an insight into maybe why Mary’s Gourmet Diner in Winston-Sale does what they do.
7) And then there was this form Tuesday (8/5)… The parking job was ugly so she put some mascara on it.”
Back on June 27, this young lady saw a car parked incorrectly… it’s not specified but my guess is that it probably was taking up at least two spots… at a local community center and something needed to be don did about it and she was just the person to go and do it.
She reached into her purse … took out her mascara…. and proceeded to smear it over the windows and mirrors. One small problem… … it scratched the windshield and driver’s side window of the car causing $3,000 worth of damage.
One thing led to another and she was arrested for her vandalism.
Her mug shot shows her faced with mascara running down her face from her tears and that just may be a good thing. Because I don’t know what all is in mascara but I just gotta say if this… if that stuff did that to a car window what the hell is it doing to your eyes and skin??????
8) Late last week… Friday (8/1) I think… I saw this story about a Minneapolis drunk driver who got into an accident that killed a teenager. Unfortunately this stuff happens way too often… but this one was a tad different because the dude went and posted a photo of his wrecked car on Facebook, along with a smiley face and a caption that read… “That’s her front end after I got done with her. lol.”
Then a bit later, the dude posted… “I’m all good slept a day in the hospital then came home and did yard work. lol.”
A summary of the police report said… (the suspect) reeked of booze and was driving without a license… the dude lost his license for driving without insurance and he was on probation stemming from a conviction for making terroristic threats…. when he crashed into two cars on Highway 252… on July 22, four days before the Facebook posts.
A Minneapolis newspaper reported that Jason McCarthy, 16, was in one of the cars and he was critically injured; clung to life for a week, then died.
In an interview with the Star-Tribune, the suspect (I ain’t using his name because he ain’t worth it) admitted to posting the dumbass and self-centered messages.. .which yes were deleted… but he said when he posted them he was not aware he had injured anyone in the crash that he caused when he was driving under the influence.
How drunk were you, dude?????
Now, it seems dawn has finally cracked this dummies brain awake because he did tell the newspaper… “I know I’m looking at spending time in prison, so I’m trying to spend as much time as I can with my 18-month-old.”
Sorry, but that don’t feed the bulldog… not yet any way… I’m satisfied… if that’s the right word… that the suspect is coming around to understanding that he did something horrific and now will face consequences for his stupidity but some young man’s life is gone and sone family has to deal with the agony of that life being snuffed away far too early.
Let’s just hope this isn’t the guy who was to go on to be a doctor who discovered the cure to some heretofore previously deadly disease. Or… a scientist who was to discover a way to feed the world for just pennies a day.
9) Also on Friday (8/1)… a German teenager who dropped his phone over the side of a boat while on a fishing trip and he wanted to go jump into the water to search for the phone. However, the angling club who owned the pond where he was fishing said no can do.
The desperate 16-year-old… “I knew the phone was probably dead but wanted to get the data card back with the numbers, pictures and videos of my friends”… decided to sneak back to the pond afterwards and he had two pumps and two hoses with him.
One end of each hose connected to a pump and went into the pond… the other end into the fishing club’s toilet… his Inspector Gadget plan was to drain the pond and then find the cell phone.
He wound up flooding out the club’s parking lot which got the police’s attention who quickly put an end to his shenanigans.
The kid has been ordered to pay for the damage to the angling club’s toilet, the clean-up operation and water to refill the pond.
He did not retrieve his phone.
No good deed goes unpunished… nor does stupidity.
On the On the left… a six-month-old bear cub was severely injured in the Carlton Complex Fire, and all her pawns were burned. It hobbled up this dude’s driveway… Steve Love… who was able to eventually get near the cub and to help it.
Love got the cub… now named Cinder… moved to Wenatchee, Washington, where state biologist Rich Beausoleil picked up her care. Beausoleil said… “All four paws were 3rd degree burns. She has some burns to her face and arms and chest. Those were relatively minor and I think that will grow back. It’s the four feet we’re worried about.”
Beausoleil fed Cinder a concoction of yogurt and dog food and eventually found the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, a place that helps burned bear cubs rehabilitate.
Cinder even got an airlift from a group called Pilots for Paws, a non-profit organization that specializes in transporting injured animals to Tahoe.
Last word… “She was in good spirits, not crying and eating and drinking very normally and that’s a great sign so we’re optimistic that she’ll make a recovery.”
On the right… Mind the gap… that’s a sign that is posted in a lot of subways stations. It’s worth paying attention to…
In Australia, at Stirling Station in Perth, while trying to board a city-bound train an unidentified man got his leg trapped down under a platform and some nearby workers immediately rushed to his assistance while others told the train driver not to leave the station.
Some witnesses thought he would be stuck there for hours but it only took about 10 minutes for the crowd in the station to band together and use their people power to push the train up and away and free the lucky SOB.
The man did not sustain major injuries and he was not taken to the hospital but after a visit with emergency services for a short period boarded a later train.
One passenger said that the man could walk and seemed fine, just a bit embarrassed.
The passenger said… “He seemed to be a bit sheepish, because right where he fell was the ‘mind the gap’ (sign).”
So… see when we need to we can be damn nice folks… now… we just gotta practice making it an everyday habit.
Lately there has been a lot of talk about women aging gracefully… specifically, women of fame who be pushing 50 and beyond. Fo this week’s gratuitous pics, I present…
another thousand words
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