Friday 16th of April 2021

has the coronavirus panic subsided and is the new catch phrase "I can't breathe"?...


New charges have been announced against all of the sacked police officers present at the death of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The charge against Derek Chauvin has been elevated to second-degree murder, court documents show.

The other three officers, previously uncharged, face counts of aiding and abetting murder.

Floyd's death has sparked huge protests across the US against racism and the police killings of black Americans.

The vast majority of demonstrations over the past eight days have been peaceful, but some have turned violent and curfews have been imposed in a number of cities.

Announcing the new charges, Minnesota's Attorney General Keith Ellison said that they were in the interests of justice.

Derek Chauvin had initially faced charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. These will stay on his charge sheet.

The other three sacked officers are Thomas Lane, J Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao. They all face charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar said on Twitter that the latest charges were "another important step for justice".


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Apparently according to some controversial information, this is not the first instance that policeman Derek Chauvin has been involved in such situations AND NOTHING WAS DONE ABOUT THEM by either the governor nor the justice system. Something to follow and why NOW? Some other nasty sources mention that George Floyd was a "known" petty criminal... Either way, the system has had systematic failures. It is AMAZING that the news about social distancing and the virus has basically vanished from the front pages of media... as if the media goes from one event to the next like a butterfly goes from flower to flower to feed... What is coming next? The revolution subsides?... Back to an uneasy normal?

the facebook media muck...

Hundreds of Facebook employees have staged a virtual walkout against chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s refusal to police US President Donald Trump’s posts.

Dozens of staff abandoned their work-from-home desks, while others took to Twitter to criticise Mr Zuckerberg’s decision to leave Mr Trump’s most inflammatory posts unchallenged – even as the rival medium has sparked his anger by labelling it.

The protest on Monday (US time) was a rare case of staff publicly taking their CEO to task, with one employee tweeting that thousands were involved.

They included all seven engineers on the team that maintains the code library that supports Facebook’s apps.

“Facebook’s recent decision to not act on posts that incite violence ignores other options to keep our community safe. We implore the Facebook leadership to #TakeAction,” they said in a joint statement published on Twitter.

“Mark is wrong, and I will endeavour in the loudest possible way to change his mind,” wrote Ryan Freitas, identified on Twitter as director of product design for Facebook’s News Feed. He added he had mobilised “50+ likeminded folks” to lobby for internal change.


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The end game is to "get rid of Trump" no matter what. Fair enough...

a long-outstanding puzzle...

Far-from-equilibrium thermodynamics underpins the emergence of life, but how has been a long-outstanding puzzle. Best candidate theories based on the maximum entropy production principle could not be unequivocally proven, in part due to complicated physics, unintuitive stochastic thermodynamics, and the existence of alternative theories such as the minimum entropy production principle. Here, we use a simple, analytically solvable, one-dimensional bistable chemical system to demonstrate the validity of the maximum entropy production principle. To generalize to multistable stochastic system, we use the stochastic least-action principle to derive the entropy production and its role in the stability of nonequilibrium steady states. This shows that in a multistable system, all else being equal, the steady state with the highest entropy production is favored, with a number of implications for the evolution of biological, physical, and geological systems.


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Statistics can be horrors in waiting. Our simplified Gus interpretation here (if I understand the article) is that scalability of items can change the result. For example, as mentioned a few times on this site, the viscosity of water is an important factor at various scales. The surface tension of water is going to create clouds (large scale items) which are agglomerations of (non-transparent) small scale items (combined water molecules into "droplets"), creating visible vapour. Should these "vapours" combine in "bigger" items, they become drops of rain. When the molecules of water are not "agglomerated", they create "humidity". External factors that are going to change the dynamics of this are temperature and concentration of water in the medium. 

This is a simple form of "Entropy production selects nonequilibrium states in multistable systems." situation in which time-length of change is also important. The viscosity of water makes that some objects such as small insects won't penetrate a drop of water, or that alcohol is used in thermometers rather than water. In life the viscosity of water is of crucial importance for reactions and transfers to happen, hence the importance of our "electrolyte" in our body that changes the viscosity of water to suit — or using detergents to wash the dishes.


Further more, all chemical reactions have "speed" and energy production or absorption. Hence we have explosives with high speed and massive release of energy — and life, where the processes are more delicate and very measured (precise) changes of billions of interactive items under specific conditions. A lizard needs to bask in the sun to energise. 


In nuclear explosions, the changes and speed are massive, when elements become different chemical elements under specific environments. 


when the cops cop it...

A senior US police officer has admitted he is not looking forward to his next few years on the front line and suspects there will be “exponentially more” deadly encounters between police and citizens.

What President Donald Trump could do to help, the deputy police chief from west-central Illinois suggested, is to “stop being Donald Trump”.

Simon, who asked that his real name be withheld, urged his fellow officers to find common ground with protesters while quelling the crime wave that has plagued many rallies over George Floyd’s death.

Police should do their best to ensure they’re “not making the situation worse with excessive force”, he told The New Daily.

He said officers should keep their “head on a swivel, hold the line, and stay safe,” while doing their best to bring looters, arsonists, assailants, and other criminals to justice.

But in a country awash with guns, poverty, and seemingly far more violence than other Western nations, Simon expressed strong fears of more deadly police encounters.

“I think that the police are inevitably going to find themselves in exponentially more lethal and non-lethal-force encounters than their foreign counterparts,” he said.

“As for the state of the country, I think it’s getting worse as far as political divisiveness, and I don’t see an end in sight for it – and the George Floyd incident isn’t going to help.

“As far as my job goes, in reference to the current unrest compounded by past controversies, I’m not looking forward to the next few years of being a cop.”


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Martin Luther King famously noted that violence “destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue.” This week’s violent looting has produced a deafening monologue.

On the south side of Chicago, where I pastor a church and lead a ministry, Project H.O.O.D., we are in the business of building dialogue as the way of rebuilding our community. We help build community leaders and we equip our neighbors—especially young black men who are exiting gangs—to build their own character and to help rebuild the streets. We build self-esteem and respect for our fellow man. And we build stronger families with firmer foundations.

The destructive violence, rioting, and looting of the last few days, however, have quickly erased years of our dialogue.


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the burglars in your home are the police...

Last week, Andrea Ritchie, a researcher at Barnard Center for Research on Women, joined thousands of others across the U.S. to take part in a protest demanding justice for George Floyd. She proudly chanted his name outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.


“But I was shocked that I didn’t hear anyone say Breonna Taylor’s name at any point,” Ritchie said, referring to the black emergency medical technician in Louisville, Ky., who was killed by the police in March, just weeks before Floyd’s death. Officers burst into Taylor’s apartment while she was asleep during a late night drug investigation using a so-called “no-knock warrant.” Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who has said he was worried someone was breaking into the apartment, shot and wounded an officer. The officers have said that they then returned fire and shot Taylor at least eight times in her own home.

Her mother filed a lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police Department in late April and people in Louisville started taking to the streets demanding justice in May. None of the officers in her case have been arrested or fired, though the F.B.I. is currently investigating the case.

In an effort to resurface Taylor’s story on social media, users started using the hashtag #SayHerName last week.

But even that, Ritchie noted, has been turned into #SayHisName.

“All black lives matter,” she said, adding that this movement should be striving to address police brutality against black men and women and LGBTQ people, who also face violence by law enforcement.



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Read also: protest allowed... in dying in custody...

whitey gymnastics...

The chief executive of CrossFit has quit after causing offence with remarks about the death of George Floyd and the resulting protests.

Greg Glassman stepped down after athletes, gyms and sportswear firms cut ties with his $4bn (£3.1bn) brand.

Mr Glassman acknowledged having caused a "rift" in the CrossFit community.

His exit came on the day of Floyd's funeral in Texas. The unarmed black man died last month after a policeman in Minneapolis knelt on his neck.

What was the controversy?

In reply to a public health body saying racism was a public health issue, Greg Glassman tweeted on Saturday night: "It's FLOYD-19", an apparent reference to Covid-19.

He followed it up with a second tweet saying: "Your failed model quarantined us and now you're going to model a solution to racism? George Floyd's brutal murder sparked riots nationally."

He also called an affiliate "delusional" for questioning why CrossFit had been silent on the killing in Minneapolis.

According to Buzzfeed, hours before posting the fateful tweets, Mr Glassman had told gym owners on a private Zoom call: "We're not mourning for George Floyd - I don't think me or any of my staff are.


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no longer a question of fighting for equality in law...


What the US protests reveal

by Thierry Meyssan

Anti-racism protests in the United States have rapidly evolved into a promotion of the ideas championed by the Democratic Party. It was no longer a question of fighting for equality in law for all or challenging the prejudices of certain police officers, but of reopening a cultural conflict at the risk of a new Civil War.




Protests across the West against racism in the United States are masking the evolution of the conflict there. It has evolved from a questioning of the remnants of black slavery to a conflict that could challenge the integrity of the country.

Last week I pointed out that the United States should have disbanded after the break-up of the Soviet Union to which it was attached. However, the imperialist project (the "Endless War") led by George W. Bush had made it possible to revive the country after the attacks of September 11, 2001. I also pointed out that in recent decades, the population had moved around a great deal in order to regroup by cultural affinity [1]. Inter-racial marriages were again becoming rare. I concluded that the integrity of the country would be threatened when non-black minorities entered the challenge [2].

This is precisely what we are witnessing today. The conflict is no longer between blacks and whites, since whites have become the majority in some anti-racist demonstrations, Hispanics and Asians have joined the processions, and the Democratic Party is now involved.

Since Bill Clinton’s term in office, the Democratic Party has identified with the process of financial globalization; a position that the Republican Party belatedly supported, without ever fully adopting it. Donald Trump represents a third path: that of the "American dream", i.e. entrepreneurship as opposed to finance. He got elected by declaring America First! which did not refer to the pro-Nazi isolationist movement of the 1930s as claimed, but to the relocation of jobs as later verified. He was certainly supported by the Republican Party, but remains a "Jacksonian" and not a "conservative" at all.

As historian Kevin Phillips - Richard Nixon’s electoral adviser - has shown, Anglo-Saxon culture gave rise to three successive civil wars [3] : 
 the first English Civil War, known as the "Great Rebellion" (which pitted Lord Cromwell against Charles I 1642-1651); 
 the second English Civil War or "War of Independence from the United States" (1775-1783); 
 and the Third Anglo-Saxon Civil War or "Civil War" in the United States (1861-1865).

What we are witnessing today could lead to the fourth. This seems to be the view of former Secretary of Defense General Jim Mattis, who recently told The Atlantic that he was concerned about President Trump’s divisive rather than unifying policies.

Let us go back to the history of the United States to see where the sides are. Populist President Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) vetoed the Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) established by Alexander Hamilton, one of the fathers of the Constitution, who favoured federalism because he was violently opposed to democracy. Just as Jackson’s disciple, Donald Trump, is today in opposition to the Fed.

Twenty years after Jackson, came the "Civil War" to which today’s protesters all refer. According to them, it pitted a slave South against a humanist North. The movement that began with a racist news item (the lynching of black George Flyod by a white policeman from Minneapolis) continues today with the destruction of statues of southern generals, including Robert Lee. Actions of this type had already taken place in 2017 [4], but this time they are gaining momentum and governors from the Democratic Party are participating.

However, this narrative does not correspond at all to reality: at the beginning of the Civil War, both sides were slavers, and at the end, both sides were anti-slavers. The end of slavery owes nothing to the abolitionists and everything to the need for both sides to enlist new soldiers.

The Civil War pitted a rich, Catholic, agricultural South against a Protestant, industrial North aspiring to make a fortune. It crystallized around the issue of customs duties which the South believed should be set by the federal states, but which the North intended to abolish between the federal states and have the federal government determine.

Therefore, in debunking the Southern symbols, the current demonstrators are not attacking the remnants of slavery, but denouncing the Southern vision of the Union. It was particularly unfair to attack General Lee, who had put an end to the Civil War by refusing to pursue it with guerrilla warfare from the mountains and by choosing national unity. In any case, these degradations effectively pave the way for a fourth Anglo-Saxon civil war.

Today the notions of South and North no longer correspond to geographical realities: it would rather be Dallas against New York and Los Angeles.

It is not possible to choose the aspects of a country’s history that one considers good and to destroy those that one considers bad without calling into question everything that has been built on it.

In referring to Richard Nixon’s 1968 election slogan, "Law and Order," President Donald Trump is not trying to preach racist hatred as many commentators claim, but is returning to the thinking of the author of that slogan, Kevin Philipps (quoted above). He still intends to make Andrew Jackson’s thought triumph over Finance by relying on Southern culture and not to cause the disintegration of his country.

President Donald Trump finds himself in the situation Mikhail Gorbachev experienced at the end of the 1980s: his country’s economy - not finance - has been in sharp decline for decades, but his fellow citizens refuse to acknowledge the consequences [5]. The United States can only survive by setting new goals. Such change is particularly difficult in times of recession.

Paradoxically, Donald Trump is clinging to the "American dream" (i.e., the possibility of making a fortune) when US society is stuck, the middle classes are disappearing, and new immigrants are no longer European. At the same time only its opponents (the Fed, Wall Street and Silicon Valley) are proposing a new model, but at the expense of the masses.

The problem of the USSR was different, but the situation was the same. Gorbachev failed and it was dissolved. It would be surprising if the next US president, whoever he may be, succeeded.

Thierry Meyssan


Roger Lagassé

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the revolution against the street fighter...

Story Transcript

This is a rush transcript and may contain errors. It will be updated.



Mark Steiner: Welcome to the Real News. This is Mark Steiner. Good to have you all with us once again. You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about this. Trump authoritarian and racist predilections were always there from his loud mouth real estate days to his insulting reality shows on TV, and they began to manifest themselves as soon as he became president. The perfect storm has arrived of a COVID pandemic, economic collapse, and the depth of racism rearing its evil and ugly head and it converged all together to heighten the Trumpian threat against our democracy and laid bare the authoritarian underpinnings of not just Trump, but the political forces around him.

There’s one man who’s been running a great deal about this for The Nation, for Truthout and other places is Sasha Abramsky and he joins us right now. He’s an author of eight books, the most was the one called Jumping at Shadows: The Triumph of Fear and the End of the American Dream and the article he wrote in The Nation that got our attention was Where Does America Go from Here? and is about to have another article out in Truthout on militarization and the police. And welcome, good to have you with us once again, Sasha.

Sasha Abramsky: Always good to be on the show, Mark. Thanks.

Mark Steiner: Let me start from this one quote, which says a lot to me about where this administration is going and how they’re responding to the rebellions and resistance and demonstrations taking across the country. When he quoted Chief Walter Headley, this arch-segregationist police chief from Florida in 1967, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” and that whole sentiment. I mean, when he speaks, when he says things, people think that because he’s a buffoon, it’s an accident. To me, this is no accident. This is who he is. This is what he’s pushing as a way of running this country.

Sasha Abramsky: No, absolutely. And one of the things that I’ve been doing is I’ve followed Trump’s political career over the last five years from when he was a candidate through when he first won the presidency through the last three and a half years is look at Trump’s language. And what you see is, time after time after time his borrowing a phraseology from authoritarian leaders. From Mussolini, from Adolf Hitler, the quote this week about when the looting starts, the shooting stars and then he sort of backpedals and says, “Oh, I didn’t know the historical references. I didn’t know who I was copying,” but coincidentally, everybody he accidentally copies is an authoritarian from the far right of the political spectrum. He never accidentally stumbles into quoting Martin Luther King or accidentally stumbles into quoting the Dalai Lama or accidentally stumbles into quoting Mother Teresa. The people he accidentally quotes are people who spew violence, racial division and hatred.

And so the thing that has just, I mean, it stunned me on one level, but on another level it’s been entirely unsurprising, has been that as this country faces this triple implosion, the implosion around the pandemic, the implosion around the loss of jobs that then accompanied the shelter in place measures and now the implosion around civic stability, as these three things have overlapped, trump has made zero effort to unify. He’s made zero effort to reach out, to try to calm the waters. He’s made zero efforts to hold summits at the White House with people to bring them into the political discussion, make people feel empowered, make people feel listened to. Instead, as the German foreign minister put it the other day, he has thrown oil onto the fire. But the thing is, if you throw oil onto a fire that’s already waging with this intensity, you lose all ability to control that fire.

And so what Trump is doing is, he’s trying to create such unrestrained chaos, such a fear of civic unrest and civic violence that he can militarize his administration. And you said at the beginning, militarize the police. It’s actually way beyond that. The police have been militarized for many, many, many years. That precedes Trump. That goes back to the use of surplus military equipment after 9/11 and the Iraq War, it goes back to the war on crime in the 1990s and 1980s. It goes back to Richard Nixon’s war on drugs. We have a half century of militarization of the police, pretty much from the Vietnam War period onwards. What we’re seeing now, and this is unprecedented, is the President of the United States backed up by his Attorney General and at least, in part, backed up by his Secretary of Defense, has tried to introduce US military personnel and US military equipment, helicopters, even apparently Trump asked if he could use tanks, onto the streets first of Washington, DC, which is where they have direct operational control of the National Guard, because there is no state system in place in DC.

But what Trump has asked for essentially, is the right to militarize a response from coast to coast. What he wants to do, and he said it very clearly, is use the military in a show of domination to reign in protesters. And he’s describing it as well, “I only want to rein in the moochers. I don’t want to rein in the good guys, the peaceful protesters.” If you look at what he did in DC the other day in pursuit of a photo op outside a church, they personally, Trump and William Barr, personally ordered heavily-armed US military personnel to violently clear a crowd of nonviolent protesters whose only sin was, they were standing in Trump’s path as he hoped to walk toward a photo opportunity outside a church.

And this is why, if you look at what’s happened over the last three days, this array of top military figures from General Mattis to ex-General Allen, too ex-head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, they have all published public letters saying that Trump is now a threat to the constitutional order.

And I don’t know if you and your audience have had time to read Jim Mattis’ piece in particular, but I doubt you will ever have encountered, in American history, an ex-cabinet minister talk about and write about the president he served in such language. Because what he did was, he compared the Nazi tactics of divide and conquer in the 1930s and ’40s to Trump’s tactics of divide and conquer today. [inaudible 00:06:14] was a threat to the constitutional order. He said we’ve had three years without mature leadership, and this is what we get to. And he basically said that Trump’s orders to the military are illegal and for those who uphold the oath of the constitution, they cannot be obeyed. That is a simply extraordinary public letter from the ex-Secretary of Defense to issue to the American people. It is a warning that lest we stop this madness now, we will slide into dictatorship.

Mark Steiner: So let me pick up on that point here. It’s interesting to me. I mean, I was thinking about this tweet that Tim Shorrock from The Nation, the Washington correspondent put out. He said, “The numbers of US military security forces in DC right now, it’s just ridiculous. This is pure intimidation. Trump is,” he capitalized, “Very afraid. The longer we stay in the streets, the more frightened he gets.” So picking up on that point and what you just said. There’s one aspect here that’s really interesting to me and I’m very curious as to your analysis. So Jim Mattis and the others who are former generals in the United States Armed Forces, military leaders, are not exactly, they’re not neo-liberals, they’re not on the left. They’re not liberals. They’re not part of the spectrum beyond the left side of the political spectrum. What does it mean to you, with this seeming contradiction here? When you have these forces around Trump that I’ve referred to as these kind of white racist mobs, like the ones who took over the capitols in a couple of states armed and the neo-conservative lead who’s getting their way through Trump to change the entire nation, environmental laws, laws around voting rights and more. And then you have the generals who clearly are conservative, and many of them on the right, saying enough is enough. So there’s a lot of contradictions to go around here. I mean, how do you put that together?

Sasha Abramsky: The contradictions have reached their breaking point. So you had a sort of uneasy alliance of convenience holding Trump’s presidency together. So you had the white nationalists who have some institutional power, I guess, within some of the uniformed forces in particular, but by and large they’re on the outside. They’re the militias, they’re the people who take to their weapons and intimidate Gretchen Whitmer, et cetera, et cetera. Then you have the economic neo-liberals who want nothing more than deregulation and tax cuts. And that’s probably more where Mitch McConnell stands. And then you have the people who care sort of all about the courts. It’s about abortion. It’s about getting conservative justices in. Trump’s been able to hold that circus ring together in some ways.

And what’s happening now is the tensions are so overwhelming. The sheer level of economic misery that’s been sort of suddenly thrust on the country is so vast and has no end point in sight. But when you have 43 million people unemployed, you’re essentially looking at a situation where one in three in the American public, and now, if you think there are 43 million unemployed, that’s probably a hundred million people all total [inaudible 00:09:09], you’re looking at a level of economic destitution worse even that the height of the great depression. So you have all the makings of a sort of societal crisis.

You then add in the conflagration that’s emerge over race relations and over this just stunningly brutal video of police essentially lynching a black man in Minneapolis, and you throw all that into the mix. And even with the most skilled rhetoric coming from the White House, you’d have an almost uncontrollable crisis. When you add into that, that Trump has no desire to control the crisis, but every desire to make it worse so that he can then impose a sort of authoritarian answer and try and sort of recreate Nixon’s silent majority, that’s when people start getting really scared.

And so someone like Mattis, you’re absolutely right. He isn’t some sort of political radical, liberal, subversive blah, blah, blah. He’s as much a part of the establishment as any other human being in this country. And he’s right at the top of that power nexus. But the fact that so many ex-generals yesterday felt compelled to say this, the fact that the active head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Milley, felt compelled to send a memo to every head of the different branches of the armed forces yesterday saying, “Remember, you have all sworn an oath called the constitution and the laws of this country, and people have a right to rightful protest and peaceful protest.” The fact that the current head of the armed forces was compelled to say that tells you where we are and what they fear is about to be unleashed by the president.

The fact that all four surviving ex-presidents, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George Bush, Barack Obama at pretty much the same time, all felt compelled to come out and warn of the dangers of conflagration and warn of the necessity to listen to the voices of the disempowered. The fact that that is all happening at once, tells you everything you need to know about how much people who really are on the inside, not outside, just like me and you, but people on the inside with an understanding of what is meant by the unleashing of presidential emergency powers, the fact that they are all now compelled to go public in the way they are, tells you how dangerous this moment has become.

Mark Steiner: So let’s pick up on that point. I mean, in the piece you just wrote for The Nation, I love this line, you write, “The country claims to be the great exception has revealed itself to be something of a Greek tragedy instead.” And so when you look at this other thing when you, and then you talked about these kind of white racists marching down your street, saying “go after the jungle bunnies,” as they put it. And you wrote about how the breakdown of order and the collapse into warring gangs and tribes and the militarized police response. So picking up on that point and pushing it further, but it… You have to ask the question from the things you’ve been writing and what you just said, does your analysis say that Trump isolated and therefore not a danger? Or is he not isolated with all these kind of armed groups around the country who support him, plus parts of the armed forces, other places, and police who also support him? I mean, it’s just so…

Sasha Abramsky: The answer is Trump is in some ways, extraordinarily politically weak. He’s been impeached. He’s sagging in the opinion polls. He’s lost his core support bases. He’s now trailing among older voters. By most traditional measures, Trump is hobbled beyond repair. The thing about Trump is, the weaker he gets the more dangerous he gets and this has been true throughout his presidency, but it’s been this sort of operating principle throughout his entire life, that he is a street fighter of the worst sort. He plays dirty, not for any greater good, but he plays dirty simply for personal self advancement. It’s gangster politics. It’s mafia politics.

Now, the thing about our moment that makes that even more dangerous is the fact that all these different groups are ready for a fight. So when I was writing about the white vigilantes on my street, my area is in midtown Sacramento and there were these huge peaceful protests over the weekend, but then late at night, as the police broke up the peaceful protests, smaller groups that probably were sort of more concerned with looting stores than any political analysis, smaller groups peeled off into the midtown area, breaking into and destroying shops and restaurants and pharmacies and so on. And it was really quite hair-raising. I mean, I, in no way, shape or form want to romanticize what was happening. It was really destructive. But by about midnight or 1:00 in the morning, there was sirens everywhere. There were helicopters overhead. You could hear from my front door, you could hear the stun grenades going off. You could hear the volleys of rubber bullets being fired.

And then by about 1:00 in the morning, I was seeing two things. I was seeing groups on bicycles that looked to me like they were probably sort of riding through the residential neighborhoods, looking for looting opportunities. But I also saw these young white men patrolling. And when I went out and asked one of them stuff, he started talking, as you said, about jungle bunnies or old ghetto bunnies. He was using really inflammatory language. And it made me really realize something. I knew it already, but it brought it right onto my front doorstep. The sort of realization that you have these sort of colossal clashes, not necessarily of ideological vision, though that’s part of it. But colossal clashes of warring tribes almost at this point, of gangs, of people out looking for trouble.

It sort of reminded me in a way of the football hooligans that you’d see in England when I was growing up in the 1980s and ’90s where you’d these very organized groups. There was nothing spontaneous about the football riots. They were organized, they were tribalistic, they were based around region. They were based around football affiliation. Sometimes they were based around what pub you drank in, and they’d sort of clash together. It was almost social entertainment. They’d both come at each other and there’d be bottles thrown and knives thrown. And it was a Saturday evening on the town.

The problem with extending that analogy to 2020 America is you’re talking about 300 million people in this country and more than 300 million guns in this country. You’re talking about the most heavily armed civil society on earth. And people are increasingly taking those guns with them to political protests and to rallies and to their public expression. If you bring in guns and other armor into an already tense situation, there’s the potential for a calamity. And when you then have the president basically egging on the rioters or egging on the fighters or egging on whatever you want to call these different groups, you have the president essentially using his bully pulpit, not to calm things down, but to make things worse.

And the only way you can understand that is, he has to think at this point, it’s just his political advantage to cause as much chaos as possible and scare as many suburbanites as possible back into his camp, despite the economic collapse, despite the completely inept response to the pandemic. It’s his only survival mechanism. And if he has to invoke martial law to do it, if he has to invoke emergency powers to do it, if he has to bring US military tanks onto the streets, he has shown every indication he will do that. And again, coming back to what I was saying, that is why this moment is not just a moment that we can sort of say, “Oh, well, it’s like this previous moment, or this previous moment.” It’s pretty much unprecedented. The overlap of all of these simultaneous crises at the same time as Trump is doing all that he can to stir up trouble, makes it an unprecedented moment.

And I think it is a moment when every American of good conscience has to be out on the streets to protect democracy. And I know we’re in a pandemic, we have to do it with masks on. We have to do it with as much social spacing as we can, but of all the things on earth, it is worth risking getting sick for, preserving American democracy and preserving American community has to be at the top of that list.

Mark Steiner: I have a great deal more I could ask and continue this conversation with Sasha, but I want to conclude it on that last comment you made, because I think it was a very powerful and very important for us to understand. As we look calling out the military, the militarization of the police, the armed nature of our society, we are facing a really dangerous moment. And I think you articulated it better than I’ve heard before. So thank you once again for joining us, it’s always a pleasure talking to you, Sasha. Good luck to you. Good luck to all of us.

Sasha Abramsky: Thank you, and stay safe and stay healthy.

Mark Steiner: You, too. We’ve been talking to Sasha Abramsky, writes for The Nation, Truthout, is a noted author as well, and has joined us before and hopefully will join us again. And I’m Mark Steiner here at the Real News Network. Thank you all for joining us. Please stay safe and masked as much as you can, and we’ll be covering this with some depth to save what we have in this country and to move it forward. So thank you so much for joining us. Again, Mark Steiner here for the Real News Network. Take care.



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Read from top.

not counting all the dead...


Although Congress instructed the Attorney General in 1994 to compile and publish annual statistics on police use of excessive force, this was never carried out, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation does not collect these data either.[1]

The annual average number of justifiable homicides alone was previously estimated to be near 400.[2]Updated estimates from the Bureau of Justice Statistics released in 2015 estimate the number to be around 930 per year, or 1240 if assuming that non-reporting local agencies kill people at the same rate as reporting agencies.

Around 2015-2016, The Guardian newspaper ran its own database, The Counted, which tracked US killings by police and other law enforcement agencies including from gunshots, tasers, car accidents and custody deaths. In 2015 they counted 1146 deaths and 1093 deaths for 2016. The database can be viewed by state, gender, race/ethnicity, age, classification (e.g., "gunshot"), and whether the person killed was armed.


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At 4:30 a.m. on March 12, a Montgomery County police SWAT team commenced a no-knock raid by firing into a bedroom window and fatally wounding Duncan Lemp as he lay in bed next to his pregnant girlfriend.  Police then stormed the house, using flash bangs to intimidate Lemp’s mother and other relatives living in the house.  Lemp bled to death while family members were handcuffed on the floor nearby.   

Lemp was a savvy I.T. guy who was volunteering to assist gun rights groups in setting up secure websites and communications systems. But Lemp had no security to protect himself against police bullets coming through his bedroom window before dawn that morning. 

During the raid, police officers repeatedly shouted at family members that everything they said and did was being recorded. However, Montgomery police may have either destroyed any videos or never made a recording. On June 5, lawyer Rene Sandler, representing the Lemp family, sent a letter to Montgomery County prosecutor Haley Roberts: “We have been advised that Police Chief Marcus Jones made an ‘on the record’ statement that no body cameras existed for the raid of the Lemp home and the killing of Duncan Lemp.”  Sandler sought confirmation that the raid video footage existed and requested its immediate release.  She received no response.

After seeing the Sandler letter, I emailed Montgomery County chief executive Marc Elrich and Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones asking: “Can you confirm or deny that there is no body cam footage of the Lemp shooting?” I received no reply. I sent the same question multiple times to county prosecutor Roberts, the same lawyer who threatened Lemp’s parents if they attended a protest over his killing at County police headquarters in April. Roberts replied on June 12: “This matter is an open criminal investigation being handled by the Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office, and as such any inquiries should be directed to that office.”

The coverup of the Lemp killing is being aided and abetted by the Orwellian-named “Law Enforcement Trust and Transparency Act” which the county council enacted last year.   Montgomery County  and Howard County have an agreement to conduct reciprocal investigations of police shootings. Individuals I have spoken to involved in this case have zero confidence in the independence of the Howard County investigation—which conveniently permits Montgomery County officials to shirk all questions. Perhaps some months or a year or two from now, an “official report” will reveal the following: “We investigated our  law enforcement friends and neighbors and found out that they did nothing wrong except for a glitch where one policeman’s finger accidentally bumped a trigger and inadvertently killed a dastardly gun owner who was also guilty of tweeting ‘The Constitution is Dead.’ 

Montgomery County officials are offering endless dollops of piety in lieu of revealing how and why Duncan Lemp was killed, while the state government is perpetuating a “stay-at-home” dictate that is one of the nation’s strictest and has helped destroy tens of thousands of jobs. But county officials have nonetheless cheered mass rallies to protest the Floyd killing and the racial injustice. The county police shut down a major road to assist protest Black Lives Matters marches in the heart of Rockville, Maryland, right outside of D.C.


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"Obviously all these are the fault of Donald Trump" — Sarcastic Gus...

of the privileged white person...

In this country [New Zealand] I am regarded as White and therefore, privileged – it seems. People in the streets and on television say that Whites should kneel and apologise.


How come I find myself in this bizarre situation?

How did I get here?

How did a refugee from war-torn socialist Yugoslavia turned fisherman in the South Pacific become a privileged White male?

Did I miss anything?

Is it something I did?

Something I said?

No, it’s not something I did or said. It has nothing to do with me.

Except that… it has everything to do with me and there is no-one to speak out for me!

So, there you go now, hear my voice.

I was born in Yugoslavia, the most multicultural country in Europe. Through the non-aligned movement, it had many links with third-world countries and we used to call Africans: braća crnci, Black Brothers. I grew up in Belgrade listening to African American blues musicians such as BB King, Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker and Blind Lemon Jefferson, playing basketball to better the likes of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson! 

It was only in the late 90s that I noticed that the footballer Edson Arantes do Nascimento better known as Pele was black! And I remember watching him play for the first time in Sweden 1970! It took me thirty years or perhaps, ten years of living in an English-speaking country to think of the great football magician in terms of race.

In the early nineties, many of my countrymen (and women) fled the war. I too found myself in a new setting, in Nelson, New Zealand where a friend of a friend operated a fleet of fishing boats. I learnt the trade and a couple of years later, upon graduation, I could tell ALL the commercial fish species in the South Pacific. 

Filling the many forms of the New Zealand immigration service and later of the government, I identified as a Pakeha, the Maori term for white people and, apparently, also for a pig. Pakeha or Caucasian, that was the choice I had. At the same time, for most the Yugoslav immigrants in Aotearoa, I was naš – ours. I was just one of us, ex-Yugoslavs and we all spoke naški – our language. We never bothered (very wisely) to call it Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian or…


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Cherish Patton recalled springing into action when a friend sent her a message that a New York City police officer had grabbed a petite protester by her hood and had flung her to the pavement.

Ms. Patton, who has organized several Black Lives Matter protests, posted a plea on social media for help identifying the officer. She also called her friend for details on the protester, who had been whisked to the emergency room. “Oh, it’s Michelle,” her friend told her.

“Wait, white Michelle who I argued with for three years? White Michelle?” asked an astonished, and confused, Ms. Patton, who is black. The hurt protester was a former classmate, Michelle Moran, 18, whose conservative commentary on politics and social issues had made Ms. Patton, 18, cringe in high school in Manhattan.

George Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis pushed anguished black people into the streets, as had happened countless times after police killings of black people. But this time, the black protesters have been joined en masse by white people, in rallies across New York City and around the country.

Now, though, the protests in New York City are ebbing somewhat, though they are still drawing thousands of people to some events, particularly on weekends. And outside City Hall, there is a growing encampment of diverse demonstrators who are demanding deep cuts in the police budget.

And so that naturally raises a question for black activists who have long been dedicated to the movement: Will the commitment of white protesters endure?

Some of the white protesters identify as liberal and said they had long been sympathetic to the Black Lives Matter movement but had not done much, if anything, before to show it. Other white people said they had once believed that the police did not discriminate against black people but had changed their minds because of Mr. Floyd’s killing.



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Racism and anti-racism as lies

by Thierry Meyssan

The ideologies of anti-racism and racism are based on the same sham: there are separate human races that cannot have healthy common descent; a stupid postulate that everyone can see is nonsense. When questioned on the subject, the proponents of these two ideologies can only ensure that they speak figuratively, but shortly afterwards resume their racial interpretation of humanity and its history. As Thierry Meyssan shows, this passionate couple has never served the interests of anything but the dominant Powers.


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Calls for police reform are growing, particularly for the independent investigation of police conduct, following three incidents in a month where police were filmed using allegedly excessive force to detain and arrest young Indigenous men.

All three cases – two in Sydney and one in Adelaide – happened as Black Lives Matter rallies took place around the country, and all three are now subject to internal police investigations.

‘I’m not even fighting you’

Last week, an Aboriginal man was repeatedly tasered in the face, chest and neck during an arrest in Sydney.

Footage circulated widely on social media showed the man on his knees with his arms held out, before an officer grabs him and another begins using the stun gun at close range. The man can be heard saying “I’m not even fighting you”.



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Read from top.

See also: we, the people... in breaking windows...

agents provocateurs...

It is well documented that members of the police and intelligence communities have been infiltrating activist groups since the sixties. With covert spymasters rising in the ranks to hold influential leadership positions, guiding policy and strategy, and in some cases, radicalising those movements from within, in order to damage their reputation and weaken public support.

A judge-led public enquiry in the UK revealed at least 144 undercover police operations had infiltrated and spied on more than 1,000 political groups in long term deployments since 1968.

These days, rather than using coercion to suppress sedition, there is a body of evidence to suggest the state has devised more nefarious methods for countering subversion. Involving the co-opting of grassroots movements, in its bid to transform the unbridled ideals of activism into genuflections of corporate and political interest.

Indeed, the denaturing of our social movements has engendered a culture of advocacy whereby it is no longer forged in the backyard of community and instead through a series of state sponsored global debates, on authorised issues only, such as climate change.

The environmental movement, not to be confused with the ecological movement, appeals to our god-complex, and fantasises that our species holds dominion over nature, that our actions could somehow compromise the planet’s homeostasis.

An absurdity, when humanity is in fact the fragile child of a fierce, indomitable mother-nature, who can and does kick our proverbial arse, and rightly so, as punishment for romanticising our survival beyond the limit of our expiry date; a thrashing she has delivered punctually, in accordance with the cycles of her rhythm – renewing herself in the face of inevitable extinction – delivered to the ancestors of our ancestors, since the dawn of time. Welcome to the world.

It should also be noted, the consensual focus on the wrong environmental issues of the day provides some mild analgesic (or airbrush to sweep under the rug of blissful ignorance), the greater human pains, we forget to experience, as a result of complicity in a social order which unleashes devastating inequalitypoverty and famine, mostly to non-European habitants; and political disenfranchisement, stratification, and assault upon individualism, to the rest of us.

Extinction Rebellion campaigns on the politically prescribed bandwagon of the day, dressed as the proletariat, carrying the recycled torch of direct action dissidents from the eighties and nineties, who campaigned fiercely on bonafide issues, such as equality, sovereignty and political inclusion.

Yet, contrary to the ideals of those drowned out voices of civil disobedience, ER is courted by high profile financial donors and is aligned ideologically with multinational energy corporations and billionaire philanthropists. each vying for a fattened slice of the climate change pie. Making this motley crew anything but grass roots.

Another funder of ER is billionaire philanthropist, George Soros, who is, unsurprisingly, a seed investor in Avaaz, often cited as the world’s largest and most powerful online activist network. This paradoxical, head-scratching fiction, that would attempt to align the polarising ideals of activism and billionaires – as if the two would be commuted through mutual interest – is straight out of the pages of an elaborate science fiction novel set in a parallel universe.

The government, in granting rights of passage across key public access routes into Central London, to an assembly of ER, reeks of state-collusion, especially when the right to protest, decimated by the true bastion of civil liberties Tony Blair, was not granted to the hundred thousand students, who as teenagers and kids, protested the exorbitant, threefold increase in university tuition fees back in 2010. Who were instead subjected to brutal, would-be-illegal mistreatment by riot police, through appalling practices such as Kettling.

Meanwhile, the bobbies on the beat at ER appeared cheerful and avuncular, almost sitting down ceremoniously to share sips of decaffeinated green tea from the festival flask.

Conveniently, ER’s ‘Circus of Excess’ takeover of Central London took place on April 12th 2019, one day after Julian Assange was arrested inside the Ecuadorian Embassy on April 11th, delivering a timely front page airbrush to whitewash the bigger story of Assange’s arrest and its grave ramifications to free speech and press freedom at large.

It is no coincidence that another Soros funded activism group Black Lives Matter has diverted the spotlight away from the lockdown’s broader impact on the fundamental human rights of billions of people, using the reliable methods of divide and rule, to highlight the plight of specific strata’s of society, and not all.

It’s worth pointing out that BLM’s activity spikes every four years. Always prior to the elections in the US, as African Americans make up an important social segment of Democrat votes. The same Democrats who play both sides like any smart gambler would. The Clintons, for example, are investors into BLM”s partner, the anti-fascist ANTIFA. While Hilary Clinton’s mentor (and best friend) was former KKK leader Robert Byrd.

BLM is a massively hyped, TV-made, politicised event, that panders to the populist and escapist appetite of the people. Blinding them from their true call to arms in defence of the universal rights of everyone. Cashing in on the youths pent-up aggression (or post-lockdown syndrome). And weaponising the tiger locked in a rattled cage for 3-months, and unleashed by puppet masters as the mob.

The organisers of BLM make obvious their insincerity by omitting this crucial focal point on their banner, to a youth, whose precious freedoms have been hijacked more than most throughout the draconian lockdown operation. The ramifications of which are predicted to impact 135 million people in Africa and other developing countries, who are facing devastating biblical famines, as a humanitarian catastrophe looms, which BLM are not protesting.

As a general rule of thumb, it is safe to assume that if a social movement has the backing of big industry, big philanthropy or big politics, then its ideals run contrary to citizen empowerment.



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See also: we, the people... in breaking windows...

coppers' training manual for violence...


Story Transcript

This is a rush transcript and may contain errors. It will be updated.

Taya Graham: Hello. My name is Taya Graham and welcome to the Police Accountability Report. As I never get tired of saying, this show has a single purpose, holding the politically powerful institution of policing accountable. To do so, we don’t just focus on the bad behavior of individual cops. Instead, we take a critical look at the underlying political economy that makes police misbehavior and brutality possible. And today we’re going to explore one facet of that system that has an oversized influence on how police react in critical situations, but gets less attention than it deserves. I’m talking about training and in this case, a controversial training program called Bulletproof Warrior, an infamous fear-focused style of police training that encourages police violence against citizens and is taught by David Grossman, the creator of a disturbing ideology called Killology. We’ve obtained a copy of one of the manuals used to teach this use of force approach, and we’re going to delve into the details on the show. And we also speak with the sister of Jesse Cedillo, whose 20 year old brother was shot to death by Pueblo, Colorado police.

But before I get started, I want you watching to know that if you have evidence of police misconduct, please email it to us privately at and please like and share and comment on our videos. You know I read your comments and appreciate them. And of course you can message me directly at tayasbaltimore on Facebook or Twitter.

Okay, we’ve got that out of the way. Now, one of the most common solutions to police brutality offered by politicians and police unions is training. The idea is that if officers spend enough time in a classroom exposed to deescalation techniques and anti-bias training, American policing will be able to overcome its recent history of brutality and senseless in-custody deaths that had led the nation to the precipice of revolt, but a document shared with this show raises questions about the idea that training can change police behavior, because there is a vast training industry that offers an entirely different perspective than what reform proponents would want you to believe.

This training manual provided to us by one of our viewers, Stephanie London, reveals in part the origins of the mentality that makes American police so violent and so apt to shoot citizens. Let’s remember American police are one of the most deadly institutions per capita in the world. The UK newspaper The Guardian reported that American police killed the same number of people in 24 days that police in Wales, England killed in 24 years. In fact, one troubling aspect of American policing and use of force is how consistently deadly it is. Year over year, police kill roughly over a thousand people, and year over year, roughly one third to a quarter are unarmed, according to a database assembled by the Washington Post. Some experts attribute this seemingly disproportionate use of force to the American obsession with, and high rate of, gun ownership and guns, but there are also questions about the role training plays in the prevalence of police killings.

And to explore this idea in more depth, we’re going to start with this, a training manual used to prepare officers to deal with violence that raises some troubling questions about how cops view the people they’re supposed to protect and serve. It’s called The Bulletproof Warrior and it consists of a series of graphs and diagrams related to the use of violence and the police response to it. We obtained it from a source, Stephanie London, who forwarded it to us because she was concerned about the technique it uses to train officers, particularly how it conditions cops to look for signs of a pending attack. Take for example, this page, which lists a series of indicators or cues that a civilian might be planning to use violence. The list is supposed to provide guidelines for anticipating when, and if traffic stops could turn deadly, but let’s take a look at the criteria.

It’s confusing to say the least. Among them, hands in pockets, scanning, target glance, hands to face, and the more ambiguous lack of movement or actual dramatic movement. Then there are dialogue cues, repeating a question, stalled utterances, conversational cadence changes, and repeating a question. In short, just about every gesture one could make during an encounter with police could be construed as a precursor to violence. If indeed this is how police are trained, are we surprised that so many routine encounters turn deadly? To help me unpack this document and its implications, I’m joined by my cohost and reporting partner, Stephen Janis. Stephen, thank you for joining me.

Stephen Janis: Taya, Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Taya Graham: Stephen, first, you reviewed this document and there’s a consistent theme throughout. What is it?

Stephen Janis: It strikes me as highly militaristic. You look at the person who created Killology, David Grossman, and he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the US army. So it seems to me that they’re giving police military style training, training to kill rather than to police the law. In fact, our intern Kate Turner had a very interesting analysis. I’m going to read a little bit of it here. The emphasises on the will to survive and a natural survival instinct seem to be connected to an emphasis on a lot of police departments placed on self-defense when they defend police brutality. Based on this manual, it seems to me that police officers are taught to understand themselves as always on the defensive and victims of circumstance. So I think you can see it puts police in this sort of aggressive mode.

Taya Graham: There’s one part which I think is interesting, which I think makes the case that we civilians are conditioned because of exposure to the media. Can you talk about that?

Stephen Janis: I think what’s interesting is the conditioning of the mind, the brain scans, which show the difference between a brain that has not been conditioned by video games and a brain that has been, and what it kind of implies is that we’ve all been infected by media and that we’re all prone to violence and that we lack sort of the capacity to make rational judgments because of this being saturated with violent games, violent video, violent movies, and sort of makes it seem like we’re all being programmed to kill. It’s bizarre.

Taya Graham: Now you reached out to the people who published this manual, what did they say?

Stephen Janis: I called the number on the manual. I also sent emails to every email. The emails bounced back. A woman answered the phone at Calibre Press and said, “How did you get ahold of this?” And I said, “Really, that’s not the point. We just want someone to comment.” She said someone would call me back and she has not. So we’re going to keep reaching out, but so far, no response.

Taya Graham: Finally, this is not the first time you’ve reported on military style police training. Can you talk about your investigation of a program called Diamond Training?

Stephen Janis: In the late aughts, Baltimore City Police adopted a training program called Diamond Training. And it was taught by a former soldier from Fallujah, a Lieutenant also who fought in Fallujah, and was based on tactics used in Fallujah called “No Greater Friend, No Greater Foe”. And they said the streets of Baltimore are like Fallujah, where you have to be militaristic, you have to use military style training and you have to use military style tactics, and it was very controversial.

Taya Graham: To better understand the training, take a look at this video from its creator, David Grossman. Now, although these trainings aren’t part of every standard police academy, his books have been translated into several languages and he told Mother Jones that they are required reading at the FBI Academy and many law enforcement agencies. He’s lectured at West point and claims to have conducted trainings for every federal law enforcement agency, every branch of the armed forces, and cops in all 50 states. For more than 19 years, he’s been on the road, leading seminars and trainings nearly 300 days a year.

David Grossman: Some people feel bad they don’t feel bad. Some people feel bad they feel good about it. One crusty old detective came up. She said, “Colonel, you’re the first one in 20 years to tell me it’s okay to not feel bad about killing that guy.”

Taya Graham: It’s clear from reviewing The Bulletproof Warrior that concerns about the link between training and police brutality are warranted. The idea that police are combatants somehow at war with the civilian population prone to violence are not borne out by the numbers. Let’s remember that while American police have killed roughly 1000 civilians a year for at least the last decade, the number of police officers killed by gunfire has never exceeded roughly 50 during the same period. In fact, policing doesn’t even make the top 10 most dangerous jobs list. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs like truck driver, roofer and forester are far more lethal, and yet the training materials we’ve reviewed would lead any reasonable person to think that violence against police was an epidemic, that every encounter was fraught with the threat of a sociopathic public bent on killing cops to avoid a traffic ticket.

And perhaps it’s that mentality which led to the tragic killing of the brother of my next guest. His name was Jesse Cedillo. He was only 20 years old and his death on March 14th was captured on the video you’re watching now. Police say they received a call he had participated in a carjacking, an accusation his family says is baseless. Nevertheless, shortly after the call, he encountered police and then this. Let’s watch.

Speaker 4: Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit, I got that on video, man.

Taya Graham: As you can see, he has his hands up at the time of the shooting. Police say he was armed, but have yet to produce the gun nor have they publicly released the body camera footage of the officer who shot him. To discuss the lack of evidence and why his family say this shooting was unjustified, I’m joined by his sister, Jaelyn Cedillo. Jaelyn, thank you so much for joining us and for sharing your brother’s story while your family is still grieving. We appreciate you talking with us today. Jaelyn, how did you find out your brother had been shot by police?

Jaelyn Cedillo: It’s a crazy story, actually. I didn’t know it was my brother until seven hours later. There was a video posted on Facebook and I actually watched that video going to work and I had no idea it was my brother. The news channel had posted what the neighbor had recorded without a name or anything. I watched it literally going to work. And then seven hours later, my sister called me frantically and she said, I finally got her to speak so I could understand what she was saying, and she told me that my brother had been killed by the police. And so that video that I had watched that morning just totally came into my mind.

Taya Graham: Now, I’m sorry to ask about the specifics of what happened to your brother, but it appears that he had his hands up and had surrendered. What happened next?

Jaelyn Cedillo: I actually watched the body cam. What a lot of people don’t see in that video, if you watched it already, he in fact surrendered and complied with the command. Behind that wall, it kind of looks like my brother is running towards the officer, but in fact, that’s not the case at all. There’s a white truck that’s parked a little far back in that driveway. The officer proceeds to try to find my brother’s whereabouts. He couldn’t find him. Eventually he did see him behind the truck. He told my brother, “Come out with your hands up where I could see them.” My brother came out from a crouched position, he had his hands up, and literally the officer just initially started shooting him as soon as my brother came out with his hands up. So when you see my brother running, that is him trying to escape the fire of the bullets. And then my brother just sees a clear view. He goes, and then he puts himself into a fetal position and the officer continues to shoot him while he’s on the ground.

Taya Graham: Now, something that was very disturbing to you is that they left his body uncovered for seven hours, that they treated him like evidence, not like a human being. What happened exactly?

Jaelyn Cedillo: Yes. They left his body out there for seven hours handcuffed. They turned away the paramedics, so someone signed an AMR to release the paramedics. My brother was not able to do that because he was obviously deceased, so someone else on scene had to do that. That’s why the paramedics did not take him. They gave my family a call. They hurried up and cleaned up their mess that they made. And then we went to the scene. It was all cleared out, about 4:30 in the afternoon, in the evening.

Taya Graham: Did they leave his body out for the neighborhood to see?

Jaelyn Cedillo: The neighbor who recorded the whole thing for us, his seven year old son, he saw it and he said, “Dad, why did they shoot him so many times? Why did they do that to him?” And all of the kids in the neighborhood, they’re all cautioned in their neighborhood. They can’t leave. They can’t go. So for seven hours, everyone had to be there and they had to witness that.

Taya Graham: What did the police department tell you about his death? Why were the police chasing your brother?

Jaelyn Cedillo: The only person who contacted our family is the coroner. They came to my mom’s door. They knocked on the door. But other than that, all we have heard from… And it was actual the Sheriff’s Department, who was the sheriff officer, who shot him, but Pueblo Police was on scene as well as Denver Police, which is very odd because that’s in a whole other county, but they haven’t investigated our case at all. But I did see in the pictures that in fact, a Denver police officer was on scene. So yeah, all they put out was false and lying articles. They painted a narrative that my brother was a huge criminal and he did so much that morning. They haven’t proved a single thing. They haven’t even proved that my brother took that car, that they are saying that he took. There’s no video proof of that. There’s no video evidence of a gun, because the body cam that I watched, he had absolutely no weapon.

Taya Graham: Are the police involved in his death going to be investigated or charged with any crime? For example, they could be investigated for excessive use of force.

Jaelyn Cedillo: Right now, the DA has not made a decision. As far as we know, we don’t know anything. When we went to the meeting with the DA, he did not want to show me and my sister the actual body cam. He only showed my mom and my, at first. He did not think that me and my sister were going to be there at the meeting. And so they walked out and they saw me and my sister and he was trying to say, “Oh, you guys are too young, yada, yada, yada, you can’t see this.” We’re like, “Excuse me, but I have my own home and I have a child and I own my own car. I am not a child. I can watch this for myself and I need to watch this for myself.” So finally he let us, and they were super nervous showing me and my sister this footage, mind you. I was pretty much interrogating the DA’s office without being disrespectful. But I’m very observative and I have a lot of things to say, and so the things he was answering back, he was very nervous. He didn’t know what to say.

Taya Graham: Now you have asked for help from your local city council. Have you received any?

Jaelyn Cedillo: Nope. Me, my mom, and my siblings have went out and protested. The last week we protested almost all week, every single day. My mom went the first two days and then we went the last couple of days, right outside of the DA’s office, right outside of the Sheriff’s office, and right outside of the officer’s office at the County Jail. But that’s literally all we’ve had. We do have an attorney and they are very great. They have been working on our case the second we hired them, but we have not had any help from anyone besides somewhat of our community who wants to step in and do the marches with us, but pretty much we’ve just been by ourselves for this.

Taya Graham: I think the case of Jesse Cedillo is illustrative of how our discussion of use of force by American police is constrained by legal precedent, because every discussion revolves around the legal concept which demands an officer only has to have reasonable fear for his or her life to pull the trigger. That legal threshold has been used to judge fatal police encounters for decades and has prescribed a value of human life that is both troubling and limited, which is what makes The Bulletproof Warrior manual so alarming. At the very least the diagrams and bullet points seem to make the case that a variety of normal human reactions to police officer are simply a pretext for violence, that, as you recall, making no movement or making dramatic movement indicates the same possible outcome and that a so called “felon’s stretch” is just a precursor to a deadly act.

Are we really surprised when police shoot and kill citizens under questionable circumstances if this is how they are trained to think? Should we really be shocked when gunfire erupts during a routine traffic stop if officers have a mentality that almost any behavior could signal a fatal response? Take the case of Philando Castile. As we all remember, the Minneapolis resident was pulled over for a broken taillight in July of 2016. Castile calmly told the officer he possessed a gun, which he legally owned and had a permit to carry, but as Castiel’s fiancee recorded the encounter on Facebook Live, Minneapolis police officer Yanez opened fire, killing the father of two without provocation. Yanez was charged with manslaughter, but was acquitted after a trial. He was separated from the department and received a $45,000 settlement when he resigned.

But it’s not just the questionable legal outcome that is relevant on our show today, because it’s how officer Yanez was trained that makes this case as relevant as ever. That’s because officer Jeronimo Yanez attended The Bulletproof Warrior, a two-day training taught by Grossman and his colleague, Jim Glennon, two years prior to the shooting, a fact that surfaced during the trial. The cop, which had stunned the nation by pulling the trigger and killing a man who was clearly complying with the law, had been trained in the principles of fear. But I don’t want to end the show on the note that any hope for change is futile. Instead, I want to show you this. It’s a mural painted in our backyard in Annapolis, Maryland that reveals just how much the public’s acceptance of police use of force is changing. The mural is a memorium to Breonna Taylor, the 26 year old medical technician who was shot to death by Louisville police during a no-knock warrant in March.

Taylor was sleeping in her bed when police stormed into her house. The warrant was tied to a suspect who had already been arrested. A lawsuit filed by the family says police did not announce themselves before breaking down the door. When her fiance, Kenneth Walker, fired a single shot, police returned fire with roughly 20 bullets, killing Taylor almost instantly. Earlier this week, the family filed additional court papers with a stunning revelation. After Taylor lay on the floor of her home bleeding to death, the police did not render aid. The officer who shot her was rushed to an ambulance and immediately received care, but not Taylor. In fact, the lawsuit also alleges that the no-knock warrant had an even more insidious motive. According to her lawyers, Taylor’s apartment complex was smack in the middle of a major development project backed by the city. Her lawyers pointed to the fact, police served five warrants in the area, and that was the site of a major $120 million push for gentrification. Their theory? That police activity was meant to clear the way so that rich developers could create an oasis of wealth for upscale home owners.

As we look at the images of the mural painted in Breonna’s memory, we should consider the underlying truths that these allegations reveal, how often inexplicable police behavior is easily understood if we look through the lens of wealth inequality and economic despair. Let’s remember, in the case of Philando Castile or Breonna Taylor, police weren’t shooting at high priced lawyers or neoliberal technocrats. They weren’t using battering rams in rich enclaves or gated communities. No, they were focused on the large swath of America that has been the primary focus on minor arrests and nuisance charges, people who can’t afford high profile lawyers or have access to mainstream media platforms to mount a defense.

Consider the investigation by the Department of Justice into the Baltimore City Police Department. It found that the BPD used racist and unconstitutional tactics by making illegal arrests and retaliating against residents who spoke out against it. But there was one fact in the report that is illustrative of the point we’ve made throughout this show about policing. Investigators found that 44% of all illegal arrests were made in a single district in Baltimore. That is tens of thousands of illegal stops and detainments were executed in one specific area. And where was it? Well, without giving a completely detailed geography, it was here in West Baltimore, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city, an area that has suffered from a lack of investment and resources and has one of the highest rates of poverty in the country. I think that says all that needs to be said about American policing. The question is, what are we going to do about it?

I would like to thank my guest Jaelyn Cedillo for being willing to speak to us about her brother’s death while her family is still grieving. Jaelyn, thank you so much for your time. And of course I would like to thank Stephen Janis for his intrepid reporting, his investigative work, writing, and editing on this piece. Thank you so much, Stephen.

Stephen Janis: Thank you so much for having me today. I appreciate it.

Taya Graham: And of course I would be remiss if I didn’t thank friend of the show and support Nollie D for her help. Thank you, Nollie D. And I want you watching to know that if you have evidence of police misconduct or brutality, please reach out to us and we might be able to help. Please email us your tips privately at and share with us your evidence of police brutality. You can also reach out to us on Facebook or Instagram at Police Accountability Report or at Eyes on Police on Twitter. And of course you can message me directly at tayasbaltimore on Twitter and Facebook. And please like, share, and comment and do all those things that help us. I read your comments. I appreciate them and I answer your questions whenever I can. My name is Taya Graham. I’m your host of the Police Accountability Report. Please be safe out there.


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NATIONWIDE PROTESTS AGAINST racist policing have brought new scrutiny onto big tech companies like Facebook, which is under boycott by advertisers over hate speech directed at people of color, and Amazon, called out for aiding police surveillance. But Microsoft, which has largely escaped criticism, is knee-deep in services for law enforcement, fostering an ecosystem of companies that provide police with software using Microsoft’s cloud and other platforms. The full story of these ties highlights how the tech sector is increasingly entangled in intimate, ongoing relationships with police departments.

Microsoft’s links to law enforcement agencies have been obscured by the company, whose public response to the outrage that followed the murder of George Floyd has focused on facial recognition software. This misdirects attention away from Microsoft’s own mass surveillance platform for cops, the Domain Awareness System, built for the New York Police Department and later expanded to Atlanta, Brazil, and Singapore. It also obscures that Microsoft has partnered with scores of police surveillance vendors who run their products on a “Government Cloud” supplied by the company’s Azure division and that it is pushing platforms to wire police field operations, including drones, robots, and other devices.

With partnership, support, and critical infrastructure provided by Microsoft, a shadow industry of smaller corporations provide mass surveillance to law enforcement agencies. Genetec offers cloud-based CCTV and big data analytics for mass surveillance in major U.S. cities. Veritone provides facial recognition services to law enforcement agencies. And a wide range of partners provide high-tech policing equipment for the Microsoft Advanced Patrol Platform, which turns cop cars into all-seeing surveillance patrols. All of this is conducted together with Microsoft and hosted on the Azure Government Cloud.

Last month, hundreds of Microsoft employees petitioned their CEO, Satya Nadella, to cancel contracts with law enforcement agencies, support Black Lives Matter, and endorse defunding the police. In response, Microsoft ignored the complaint and instead banned sales of its own facial recognition software to police in the United States, directing eyes away from Microsoft’s other contributions to police surveillance. The strategy worked: The press and activists alike praised the move, reinforcing Microsoft’s said position as a moral leader in tech.

Yet it’s not clear how long Microsoft will escape major scrutiny. Policing is increasingly done with active cooperation from tech companies, and Microsoft, along with Amazon and other cloud providers, is one of the major players in this space.

Because partnerships and services hosting third party vendors on the Azure cloud do not have to be announced to the public, it is impossible to know full extent of Microsoft’s involvement in the policing domain, or the status of publicly announced third party services, potentially including some of the previously announced relationships mentioned below.

Microsoft declined to comment.


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WHEN THOUSANDS OF New Yorkers poured into the city’s streets last summer following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, they were met with the very police violence they had come to protest.

In the days following Floyd’s death, and then again during protests last fall, New York police arrested hundreds of people, many with no probable cause. They pepper-sprayed protesters and struck them with batons, trapped them in the streets with no way out, pushed them to the ground, and shoved them with bikes. In Brooklyn, on May 30, an officer pulled down a man’s Covid-19 mask and pepper-sprayed him at close range, bragging about it to fellow officers but failing to provide the man with medical assistance, as required by police regulations. Days later, another officer in Brooklyn struck a protester in the back of his head while he was complying with orders to disperse, causing a gash that required ten staples. And in the Bronx, on June 4, police in riot gear corralled hundreds of people before an 8 p.m. curfew, then beat and arrested them under the watch of the department’s highest-ranking uniformed officer, Chief of Department Terence Monahan.


Over multiple incidents, police regularly and unjustifiably used force against peaceful protesters, with state investigators finding that they beat people with blunt instruments at least 50 times, unlawfully pepper-sprayed them in at least 30 instances, and pushed or struck protesters at least 75 times. Officers targeted and retaliated against people engaging in constitutionally protected activity, New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office concluded, and “blatantly violated the rights of New Yorkers.”


Leading the violent crackdown was the New York Police Department’s Strategic Response Group, or SRG, a heavily militarized, rapid-response unit of several hundred officers. Since its founding in 2015 to deal with public disorder events and terrorist acts, civil rights advocates have objected to the deployment of the unit to protests, and then-NYPD chief of department and later Commissioner James O’Neill pledged at the time that the SRG would “not be involved in handling protests and demonstrations.”

The pledge turned out to be hollow. That same year, the SRG was deployed against Black Lives Matter protesters. Since then, the unit’s armor-clad officers and bike squads have become a regular presence at protests, where they stand out for their confrontational and aggressive tactics. After each confrontation, complaints about the unit streamed into the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the independent body tasked with reviewing allegations of police abuse. Investigators found a disproportionate number of SRG officers accused of wrongdoing to have exceeded their legal authority, when compared with the wider department. The group earned a reputation among activists as the NYPD’s “goon squad.”

Inside the SRG

Despite its visibility, little is publicly known about the SRG and how its specialized officers are trained to respond to protests. Even the frequently cited number of 700 SRG officers is an estimate; the NYPD will not confirm the unit’s headcount.

Now a series of internal documents obtained by The Intercept shed new light on the police unit behind some of the most brutal repression of protests in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. The Intercept is publishing three of the public records with this story, including the SRG’s guidelines and manuals for its field force operations and bike squads.


The documents offer a comprehensive overview of how the SRG operates. They outline the unit’s responsibilities during routine assignments to precincts across the city, to which its officers are dispatched in response to spikes in crime and during special mobilizations, including to protests. The documents provide instructions regarding “mass arrest” procedures, guidelines for officers equipped with Colt M4 rifles, and directions for plainclothes, “counter-surveillance” officers tasked with shadowing tactical teams in the field.

Marked as “law enforcement sensitive” and bearing destruction notices, the documents also detail a variety of formations and maneuvers for bike squads and teams of officers on foot and in vehicles. Some of the maneuvers described in detail are variations of what the NYPD refers to as “encirclement,” the police’s name for what demonstrators call “kettling,” a technique civil rights advocates have long denounced as leading to police abuses.

Over the last months, a series of scathing reports by independent agencies condemned the NYPD’s response to the protests. The reports, which underscored the department’s lack of preparedness and officers’ poor training, contributed to a narrative that has become frequent in the wake of police abuses: that officers would have better handled such situations with better training — and thus more resources.


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