Serve and protect/more bad cops behavior Updated
.@GLFOP has now deleted their propaganda posts on Facebook and Twitter, but offered a tremendously valuable lesson in why you always need to treat initial police narratives with intense skepticism. pic.twitter.com/hxOLbu36KH
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) October 29, 2020
The conduct of Philadelphia police officers and the nation's largest law enforcement association this week amounted to what one journalist called "an extraordinary mix of police violence and disinformation," after it was revealed Friday that officers beat a young mother who had accidentally driven into a protest and then snatched her toddler from the car and later used his image in pro-police propaganda.
Along with several posts urging voters to support President Donald Trump, the Fraternal Order of Police on Thursday night posted a photo of a toddler who the union falsely claimed had been found by Philadelphia police "wandering around barefoot" amid the "lawlessness" of the fourth night of demonstrations over the killing of Walter Wallace, Jr.
But the union soon deleted the post after being confronted by the Philadelphia Inquirer and lawyers for the two-year-old boy's mother, Rickia Young, said the officers forcibly removed the toddler from his mother's vehicle after smashing the car's windows and violently arresting Young after she accidentally drove into an area where protesters were being confronted by lines of riot police.
The reality of what the photo shows, tweeted HuffPost reporter Ryan J. Reilly, offers "a tremendously valuable lesson in why you always need to treat initial police narratives with intense skepticism."
According to attorneys Riley H. Ross III and Kevin Mincey, Young attempted to turn around immediately after she turned down a street where police were clashing with protesters Thursday night, while her son and teenage nephew were in the car with her.
While she was trying to make a three-point turn as directed by officers, the police suddenly surrounded her SUV, smashing Young's windows while the toddler sat in the back seat. The police violently dragged Young out of the car, beat her with batons, and then threw her to the ground.
A nearby resident, Aapril Rice caught the police violence on video:
While Young was left with a bloodied head and badly bruised left side from the police attack and was detained and separated from her son for hours, a female police officer was photographed holding the toddler in what was later used for what Ross called "propaganda."
"Using this kid in a way to say, 'This kid was in danger and the police were only there to save him,' when the police actually caused the danger," Ross told the Washington Post. "That little boy is terrified because of what the police did."
The child was also hurt during the attack and was taken to Children's Hospital to be treated for a head injury after being reunited with his mother. According to the Post, the family still has not been able to locate the SUV or their belongings, including the toddler's hearing aids, which were inside.
"This is state sanctioned terror," tweeted Vox journalist Kainaz Amaria.
More state sanctioned terror.
Alamance County sheriff’s deputies and Graham police pepper-sprayed people — including a 5-year-old girl and other children — who were participating in the “I Am Change” march to the polls on Saturday afternoon.
A racially diverse group of about 200 people walked with a police escort from Wayman’s Chapel AME Church to Court Square, where they held a rally encouraging people to vote. The event was organized by Rev. Greg Drumwright, a Burlington native who leads the the Citadel Church in Greensboro, according to his website.
At least three politicians participated in some parts of the event: the current mayor of Burlington, Ian Baltutis; Democratic candidate for county commissioner Dreama Caldwell; and Democratic school board candidate Seneca Rodgers.
At one point, the marchers held a moment of silence in the street in honor of George Floyd, the Black man killed while in police custody in Minneapolis earlier this summer.
After the moment of silence concluded, law enforcement told people to clear the road.
Then, deputies and police officers used pepper spray on the crowd and began arresting people. Several children in the crowd were affected by the pepper spray.
Melanie Mitchell said her 5-year-old and 11-year-old daughters were pepper-sprayed just after the moment of silence.
She said Graham police approached the crowd assembled in the street and told them to move onto the sidewalk and soon began spraying pepper spray toward the ground. Mitchell’s 5-year-old took off running, she said. Both kids threw up.
“My 11-year-old was terrified,” Mitchell said. “She doesn’t want to come down to Graham anymore.”
The crowd then moved to the courthouse where speeches were being given. But before the speeches concluded, Alamance County sheriff’s deputies began dismantling the sound system and telling the crowd to disperse.
Police defend use of pepper spray
In a statement released Saturday evening, Graham police said Drumwright and the marchers hadn’t followed proper procedures for holding the event. The department said that it warned the group that it would not be allowed to close the road, said Daniel Sisk, a public information officer for the Graham police.
The department defended its use of pepper spraying, by saying, “[T]he assembly reached a level of conduct that led to the rally being deemed unsafe and unlawful by unified command.”
You gotta wonder what the goal was:
Faith Cook was one of the few marchers to make it to the polling place on Elm Street.
“I’ve never experienced anything like that,” Cook told The News & Observer. “Nobody should have to.
“I think it was their intention, from the moment this march was announced, that we don’t get to the polls in numbers.”
Twitter is abuzz with news from all over that republicans are trying to get ballots thrown out for any reason. 100,000 ballots in one city because of curbside voting. Others are in the process of suing. Trump told his supporters that when he wins, or doesn’t, thanks Supreme Court,...and all the other stuff he’s pulling to the ways people are being kept from voting. If any other country did what we’ve done from Obama derailing Bernie to all the other crap that’s happening we’d be sanctioning or overthrowing their government.
We have to save our democracy.
Democracy is on the ballot this year.