Freddie Gray

New Theory: Freddie Gray's Head Hit Bolt in Van. Doesn't Matter, Police Issues the Same.

No matter what happened to Freddie Gray government can't afford to afford police the privileges it does.

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Fox News reports, based on anonymous sources,  that the head injury sustained by Freddie Gray could've matched in size and shape to a bolt in the back of a van. The sources suggest that could match with what the second prisoner in the van said. There is going to be a lot of this. Now that the police investigative report has been sent to prosecutors, there's more cover to speak to the press anonymously, be it to leak factual information about the case or push an agenda, one way or another.

But none of it matters.

Last month in an article about the Rolling Stone UVA story, The New Republic's Elizabeth Bruenig bemoaned that the right "tends to understand politics on the individual level" and so "tends to pore over the specific details of high-profile cases like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown." The observation is sharp, but also stunning for its lack of self-awareness. The left, too, uses personal tales as stand ins for wider policies, and not just because the right does so. Look at the persistence of the "hands up, don't shoot myth," debunked by the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ). When a (black, because these things matter to the left) New York Times reporter wrote that Michael Brown was "no angel" in a thoughtful profile about the 18-year-old killed by police, the left freaked out. Why? It's not just "angels" that deserve not to be killed by police. The DOJ also reported the shooting was justified because Brown had, in fact, attempted to take control of the cop's gun.

Even given all of this, there's an important conversation to be had about when cops should interact with residents (Michael Brown and a companion were jaywalking when Darren Wilson engaged them), how long police should leave the bodies of their victims on the street (Brown's lay there for hours for the neighborhood to see), why Darren Wilson was allowed to go home and wash his hands and not speak to authorities for some time, and even how Ferguson uses its police department to treat its residents like revenue streams. All of these important issues that intersect in the case of Michael Brown and many others get lost because the left, like the right, needs its personal tales.

And so it is with Freddie Gray. In the best case (for the cops) scenario, Gray's death is legitimately the result of an unbelievable freak accident. That doesn't change the facts underlying what made the interaction and death controversial: that cops in Baltimore use eye contact as probable cause, that law enforcement officials have 10 days to line up representation after someone dies in their custody, and that the Baltimore police department has cost city taxpayers millions in various police brutality claims. None of these issues are as intractable as some of the root causes of the problems seem. The abomination know n as the law enforcement officer bill of rights, which grants cops a lot of the problematic privileges, was passed in Maryland only in the early 1970s—and it was the first state to pass one. Racism and violence and poverty and corruption in authority are all age-old problems. Luckily for those concerned about the level of police killings and general police brutality, the rules which govern police, and create the space for the brutality more and more Americans are starting to see as unacceptable, aren't age-old problems. And neither are the laws—like the ones against possessing drugs  , selling loose cigarettes, or even using the left lane only to pass—that contribute to the number of police-resident interactions in the country.

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  1. I love Maryland’s interrogation law. I had a link last night but lost it.

    You have 10 days to get a lawyer before you have to talk to cops.

    Interrogations have to be in a convenient place, they can’t be too long, and you are entitled to needed bathroom and food breaks.

    You get to be informed of the subject of the investigation before the questioning starts.

    This should limit the ability of the police to coerce confessions from citizens…

    wait, what? Oh, the law only applies to cops interrogating other cops. Never mind.

    1. How he died is in fact irrelevant when it comes to police abuse patterns and lack of due cause harassment. the fact that he may have died not at the hands of police brutality indeed matters when bullshit media fomenting perpetuates the destruction of property and death.

      All stories related to this riot and the coming riots should have the disclosure that no matter the cause and outcome, savages are running the streets and we should be just as angry and determined to see them come to justice.

      1. I agree, those savage cops need to be kept in line.

        Fuck off, racist pigfuck.

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  2. Officer Wilson was almost certainly an innocent cop who fired in self-defense. Making him a scapegoat for police abuse just because people rioted against him is wrong.

    I bet the Obama justice department went over the case with a fine-toothed comb looking for any excuse to charge Wilson. I would suspect that the career attorneys drew the line and told their political bosses there was no way they’d prosecute an innocent man, and they’d make a public protest if they were ordered to do so.

    Having been burned by the “gentle giant Michael Brown” story, the public is entitled to wait and see if the Baltimore cops are in fact guilty. If Maryland has inquest juries, this would be a good opportunity to use one.

    1. You should RTA before commenting maybe! The point is the Baltimore cops’ guilt is irrelevant to the privileges afforded them, like the ones mentioned in the blog post or first comment, that made Gray’s death controversial

      1. Look again at “the first comment” and see who the author is.

        1. lol. you should’ve just said “RTC”

      2. Ed’s got teeth! I like it.

    2. I would suspect that the career attorneys drew the line and told their political bosses there was no way they’d prosecute an innocent man

      Now that’s a good one.

      1. One can dream.

  3. No matter what happened to Freddie Gray government can’t afford to afford police the privileges it does.

    Well that depends, doesn’t it? If the cops are there to ‘serve and protect’ the citizenry, yes.

    If the cops are there to do the bidding of the government, then no and in fact they don’t yet have enough privilege.

    1. Yes. Are cops employees of society, meant to protect our rights? Or are they there to enforce obedience?

      1. Meningless.Rephrase what ever it is you are trying to say – there is no contradiction
        between the two statements.

        1. You have the right to obey or suffer arbitrary punishment at the hands of an armed group of state sanctioned enforcers?

    2. Well that depends, doesn’t it? If the cops are there to ‘serve and protect’ the citizenry, yes.

      Serving and protecting doesn’t require special legal privileges.

      Dominating and controlling does.

  4. But you should only use the left lane for passing.

    1. Ever notice how cops like to ride the left lane, disrupting traffic, with a cell phone glued to their ear?

    2. I say cruising is fine in the left lane so long as you GTFO when needed.

  5. Neither side wants to say what needs to be done.Make cops at will employees,end the drug war,and investigate and prosecute cops the same as any other citizen .

  6. Racism and violence and poverty and corruption in authority are all age-old problems.

    Racism? Yeah tell me about it. Why Gray was treated like that in a city whose white mayor, white city council majority, white city council president, white police chief….oh hell…it’s got to be the fault of whites somehow!

  7. I totally do NOT buy the idea that Freddie Gray somehow deliberately injured himself.

    He was unbuckled and handcuffed. That is pretty much by definition a “rough ride”. If he banged against the walls, it’s because he was getting jostled around by the ride. It’s impossible to know what the other prisoner heard, or thought he heard, or what it meant. The idea that he was “trying ot hurt himself” is pure speculation, and of a sort that seems calculated to cover the cops’ asses.
    He could have been calling for help. He could have been banging against the walls because he was getting bounced around. He could have just been kicking and screaming because he was pissed. Regardless, he was unbuckled — that’s a “rough ride” period.
    People have been paralyzed by rough rides before. The injury is completely the responsibility of the Baltimore police department.

    1. Agreed. It is so obvious that they are taking a sliver and running with it. it will also just stir the savages more.

      1. The cops likely got irritated at the repeated requests, accelerated to over 40 mph to get prisoner towards the back of van, and then slammed on the brakes With both hands and feet locked, he would have had no way to protect himself and likely hit the front wall at over 25 mph. Had he tried to stand when they hit the brakes, it would have snapped his neck just like the movies. No way he snapped his own neck.

        Maybe the cops did this because he was banging his head against side of van, or they got tired for of him asking for medical attention.

        While his arrest sheet shows no angle, it also indicates increased attention by cops in past 3 – 6 months, meaning they likely stopped him whenever possible and looked for any infraction, which could be why he ran.

  8. It’s really quite simple. When you arrested by the police, THEY become responsible for your safety, because they have removed your personal autonomy. Therefore, if they transport you shackled and cuffed, THEY are responsible for getting you there safely. There are only two scenarios possible. Either he suffered his fatal injury at the time of his initial arrest, in which case the police are responsible for his evaluation at that time, or he suffered the fatal injury during his transport, in which case the PD is definitely responsible.

    1. You make it sound like they’re a common carrier like Greyhound or something.

  9. Police Departments Have a Pre-Tailhook Mentality and That Must Change http://wp.me/p31sf8-1N2

  10. Last month in an article about the Rolling Stone UVA story, The New Republic’s Elizabeth Bruenig bemoaned that the right “tends to understand politics on the individual level”.

    Actually, it’s a nonsense statement. The cases of the alleged UVA “rapist”, the UVA “victim”, Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner aren’t inherently political matters. They are cases that involve justice.

    She’d have been correct to say that the right “tends to understand justice on the individual level” as distinct from the left’s tendency to understand justice at the level of the grievance group du jour relative to its perceptions of privilege enjoyed by the group of cis white males. Paraphrasing Bruenig: The left never uses great reasoning when it conflates politics with justice, but it is very appealing to the sub-intellectual level of, say, Elizabeth Bruenig.

    1. Excellent point. Making “justice” about groups rather than individuals results in injustice at the individual level. Always, without fail. The left has a massive blind spot about this. Heck, it’s not a blind spot, it is structured into their ideology. If it’s okay to sacrifice individuals for collective purposes, sometimes individuals are going to be sacrificed for collective purposes.

      1. That is exactly correct. The left abhors the concept of justice because justice is blind. That’s why they want to pervert the idea away into oblivion with terms like social justice. They want Lady Justice to take off her blindfold and judge the people, not their actions (white on black crime bad – black on white crime OK because privilege or something). They want to use government as an instrument of injustice, not justice (stealing from the rich is OK because inequality). It’s all about principals. Principles be damned.

        1. Not only is it exactly correct, it completely explains why the police are out of control in Dem-controlled cities. The police are looked at as a group instead of individuals who have a similar job. Put on on trial and you put the whole workforce on trial. It’s absurd, but that’s what the Dem-controlled police unions have wrought.

          Still makes me wonder why the people who bitch the most about police abuse/privilege continue to vote for the party that shits all over justice for the individual. I assume its because they value free stuff (taken from others) over liberty and justice.

  11. Last month in an article about the Rolling Stone UVA story, The New Republic’s Elizabeth Bruenig bemoaned that the right “tends to understand politics on the individual level” and so “tends to pore over the specific details of high-profile cases like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.”

    Wait. Is Bruenig alleging that the right tries to cover up dead black men with acne?

  12. Unfortunately, in ths past there was never a thrid person observer for every police action.
    And lacking physical evidence etc it always came down to the cop’s word against the criminal’s word and , quite reasonably, the cop’s word prevailed in the absence of contradicting evidence.
    But now there are body cams and squad car cams and interrogation video cams should be made
    mandatory.It will actually more often than not be a benefit to the cops, especially when dealing with a public composed of Black scum, as has been the case in the recent past. These people are
    so thoroughly racist that they doubt any evidence against a Black victim, even when provided by other Blacks. As for Black police officers – they assume they (and the entire Black city govt) are somehow controlled by Whites. Don’t attempt to convince these people – they are not operating by any mental logic – they are emotionally guided and racist to the core.

  13. All 6 cops have been charged with 2nd degree murder, manslaughter, assault, and misconduct in office.

    Whoo.

  14. Even given all of this, there’s an important conversation to be had about when cops should interact with residents

    Important to who? The vast majority of Americans may abstractly agree that police have too much power and bcome too militarized, but they will never end up in the back of a police van and it’s not high on their list of things to worry about. And if the main examples of police brutality the media talk about are ambiguous cases like Brown and Gray, you aren’t going to convince people that things need to change. There is also little indication that police brutality is on the rise, it’s just reported more.

    Even more importantly, until you make concrete, workable proposals for how to improve things, all you’re doing is trying to make yourself sound morally superior. If you want police reform, you need to roll up your sleeves and come up with concrete proposals and justify them.

    1. Even more importantly, until you make concrete, workable proposals for how to improve things

      If you were paying any attention, you’d know that many people here propose a concrete, workable proposal: get rid of police unions and immunity.

      The problem is that police very rarely face any consequences when the abuse their power, because they can hide behind the union and qualified immunity. This gives them absolutely no reason at all to follow the laws that they are supposed to enforce. They can openly break the law, illegally arrest people, lie on reports and in court, and even commit murder, all without any worries.

      End unions and immunity, and they’d find themselves an incentive to behave.

      1. If you were paying any attention, you’d know that many people here propose a concrete, workable proposal: get rid of police unions and immunity.

        Are you saying that President Obama should push through a federal law that outlaws police unions and immunity? Or what does “getting rid of police unions and immunity” mean otherwise? Isn’t that something that any of the thousands of communities in the US can decide for themselves? How is imposing these rules on local communities against their will a libertarian solution?

      2. So now you’re going to prevent people from associating? Do we need injunctions to prevent more than 2 police officers from gathering in the same place? Perhaps the government can have government watchers.

        Immunity is granted to police officers to encourage them to take risks In fluid, unpredictable situations in which they must make decisions absent full information. Sometimes they make wrong decisions. Sometimes they make decisions of malfeasance.

        There are extremely safe, low risk ways of doing police work. They are also very slow and bureaucratic. And they require a much larger government.

  15. The New Republic’s Elizabeth Bruenig bemoaned that the right “tends to understand politics on the individual level” and so “tends to pore over the specific details of high-profile cases like Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.”

    That’s perhaps because the left’s political arguments are rooted in critical race theory, which uses “Storytelling/counterstorytelling and “naming one’s own reality”?using narrative to illuminate and explore experiences of racial oppression”

    And she is right: in addition to picking apart the storytelling and narrative, a better response is to look at facts and numbers. Facts and numbers don’t support the idea that police brutality is increasing, nor do they support the idea that the police act on racial bias.

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  17. it always came down to the cop’s word against the criminal’s word of someone presumed to be innocent and, quite reasonably, the cop’s word prevailed in the absence of contradicting evidence.

    Its only reasonable if you assume the presumption of innocence is just empty words.

    Which people do, of course.

  18. We most definitely can afford it

    Reason sounds exactly like the fear monger a that say we also can’t afford 4th amendment etc protections

    Or Miranda

    Or the exclusionary rule

    In a system predicated on the concept better 10 guilty men go free then an innocent is convicted, when we place officers in a position where they naturally deal with conflict, violence etc and naturally draw complaints etc even when doing the right thing, society can and will survive God forbid paying salaries for a matter of months of criminal charges are preferred or the other due process rights we extend to persons in a position that so naturally draws conflict and invites scrutiny

    We’ve survived the exclusionary rule, Miranda, warrant requirements etc etc despite the fear monger a chipping away at them out of fear andrew can afford due process rights for cops

    If we want good cops, we will demand such rights

    Society is doing just fine and considering how astonishingly rarely cops use deadly force, they are hardly trigger happy with all these protections

    As somebody who has sued successfully when bureaucrats violated my rights, I thank god for unions, due process, and the civil court system to redress grievance and to right wrongs

    But it’s better not to wrong in the first place vs have cops successfully sue after the fact

    We devote our lives to protecting others rights and damn skippy we are going to advocate for ours

    Hth

  19. I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing,

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