Vanguard Commentary: Baltimore is Still Just a Warning

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Associated Press Photo
Associated Press Photo

As I watched the violence unfold and escalate yesterday and last night in Baltimore, it was met with typical responses. There were those supportive of the cause, who urged for calmness and peaceful protesters to take back their community. There were those who opposed the cause or at the very least wanted to belittle it, chalking up the violence to a bunch of kids, criminals, thugs and, of course, out-of-towners.

Then I saw a tweet that put things into perspective. Paraphrasing here, it said that people are saying that violence is not the answer, we need to allow the political process time to work. The person then said, I don’t know if violence is the answer, but I know that the politics is not.

I hearken to the movie “Mississippi Burning,” a fictionalized account of the slaying of three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964. There is a point in the movie where the two main FBI agents finally get a kid to testify in state court against a Klansman who burned down his family’s house. Ultimately, the judge let the man off with a suspended sentence, and the black section of town rioted, burning down homes in their own quarter.

Gene Hackman’s character said, “Well, at least we know who did this.” Willem Dafoe would respond, “Yeah, we did.”

That is how I feel now. As we noted this weekend, the death of Freddie Gray remains a mystery. He apparently suffered a spinal injury shortly after being arrested. The police have already admitted that he did not receive adequate care for his injuries leading to his death a week later.

The police report says that Mr. Gray was detained “without force or incident.” Mr. Gray was chased and arrested because he “fled unprovoked upon noticing police presence.” He was injured “during transport” and later taken to a hospital with one or more broken vertebrae. Several of the police officers involved have been suspended.

What remains a mystery is why Mr. Gray needed medical attention in the first place. However, on Friday, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts told the media at a news conferences that officers should have called for an ambulance immediately upon arrest, not 50 minutes later when he was at the police station.

“We know that police employees failed to get him medical attention in a timely manner,” Mr. Batts said.

Mr. Batts also acknowledged that the officers had violated department procedure by not putting a seat belt on Mr. Gray while he was being transported.

“We know he was not buckled in the transportation wagon as he should have been,” Mr. Batts said. “No excuses for that. Period.”

But in a lot of ways, Mr. Gray becomes just the latest symbol in debate over the treatment of black men by police. It comes close on the heels of the shooting death of Walter Scott in South Carolina. Protests in Ferguson last year followed the death of Michael Brown, and also when authorities declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson for his killing.

As one observer noted, Baltimore is somewhat different than cities like Ferguson and North Charleston, which had white-dominated governments. As a New York Times columnist noted, City Councilman Brandon Scott, an ally of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and a frequent critic of Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, said, “Unlike other places where incidents like this have happened, they understand what it means to be black in America.”

“They understand how something like this can get out of hand very quickly,” Mr. Scott said. “They understand the community’s frustration more than anyone else. But at the same time they also understand the opposite — they understand the need to have law enforcement in neighborhoods. So it puts them in a bind.”

There were also complaints that the media coverage overstated the extent of the violence while ignoring the long history that built up to this violence – the years of entrenched racism, and economic inequality in addition to a long history of police brutality and killings, mostly of African-American men.

As Rev. Graylan Hagler, a civil rights activist born in Baltimore and based in Washington, D.C., wrote on social media: “[The] media may call it rioting, but the confrontations are targeted against law enforcement. It is clear that law enforcement has created such animosity and anger among young Black males here in [Baltimore] that the killing of Freddie Gray was the proverbial straw to break the camel’s back. Also, [Baltimore] political leaders cannot speak with any moral authority because they have presided all these years over increasingly devastated neighborhoods, unemployment and despair.”

Perhaps some of the most powerful commentary came from an unlikely source, John Angelos, who is the chief operating officer of the Baltimore Orioles and the son of Orioles owner Peter Angelos.

Mr. Angelos was responding to criticism of the violence on Saturday that some said was negatively impacting the daily lives of fellow citizens, and led to fans being held inside Camden Yards where the Orioles play for their safety.

Mr. Angelos agreed with the “principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law,” arguing, “It is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.”

He then went on to say, however, “My greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

“The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importance of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards,” he continued.

He concluded, “We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.”

In a lot of ways people need to understand that what they are seeing is years of frustration passed down from generation to generation, boiling to the surface. The death of Mr. Gray is only the latest and will not be the last in these strings.

However, as I watched the conflagration on Monday night, I realized what Willem Dafoe’s character must have realized – we know exactly who did this – it was us. From our standing by for years without doing anything meaningful about inequality and despair, to us sitting by and watching idly as police continued to cause the deaths of black men, at some point it was going to come to a head and while we may be shocked and horrified as to what is happening in Baltimore, perhaps perspective is in order.

As Slate reporter Jamelle Bouie noted, “On Monday night, there were riots in Baltimore, but it’s hard to say Baltimore was rioting. This wasn’t 1968, when fires touched huge swaths of the city and thousands left their homes. Instead, in a few areas around the Inner Harbor and East and West Baltimore, scattered groups of looters smashed stores, set fires, and confronted police, with residents watching from stoops or out of windows.”

This was a long time coming, but things can get a whole lot worse. Baltimore is still just a warning.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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82 thoughts on “Vanguard Commentary: Baltimore is Still Just a Warning”

  1. Tia Will

    Further reflecting on the idea of a “double standard” is a quote from a Baltimore police official who stated that rioters throwing objects at police and firefighters had “no respect for life”….. and yet who is it that demonstrated no respect for the life of Mr. Gray ? While I make no excuse for violent behavior of any type, I also agree that a good long look in the mirror for all those who who are aware of police brutality and do not speak out in any way available to them is an appropriate response. As community leaders and enforcers, our police need to live up to their own “respect for life” standards before judging the lack thereof of others.

    1. zaqzaq

      I guess LE should have used the American Sniper response.  When a rioter/protester was winding up to throw a brick at the police have a sniper put a bullet in the head to prevent the throwing of the brick and limit potential injury to the police.  Instead the police stood there and took it resulting in 15 casualties requiring medical treatment.  The brick throwers had no respect for life.  Throwing bricks at responding fire fighters just sets the tone for last night.  Hopefully the city of Baltimore will have to pay for all of the overtime, medical expenses, state police resources, the national guard deployments and the projected 5,000 outside LE requested to assist in restoring order to Baltimore.  The fire fighters should be commended for responding to put out the fires after being assaulted.  Maybe they should just let it burn until order was restored so that they could safely respond.   Particularly telling for me is the video of a group of young thugs that mobbed a Russian reporter and then stole her purse.  They looked like junior high school to high school aged children.  I wonder where their parents were?  I wonder how many businesses were destroyed and jobs lost resulting in adverse economic impact for those neighborhoods due to the riots.  The most pathetic part was the black leaders on the media trying to explain (justify) the rioters behavior as a decades long response to repression.  There simply is no justification for this behavior.  Are these riots just another example of “No Justice, No Peace”?

      AG Holder has only made things worse by creating expectations of a successful prosecution for civil rights violations in the Zimmerman and Wilson cases where none existed.  He then unduly strung out the investigations to nowhere until he was finally forced to admit no crime was committed.  With Holder gone hopefully we will see less of this type of political gamesmanship.

    2. Frankly

      Mr. Gray had a rap sheet about a mile long.  Seem that you and others like to ignore those inconvenient facts while holding the cops to a standard of perfection like no other.

      1. Davis Progressive

        his rap sheet is completely irrelevant.  the question that matters is what happened that day.

        here is the best analysis: 
        http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-freddie-gray-20150425-story.html

        By no account — not even that of the officers who arrested him — was Gray doing anything wrong that morning when police arrived. It turns out he had a switchblade in his pocket according to police, but he wasn’t brandishing it or threatening anyone. According to a police report, all that happened was that an officer made eye contact with him and another man. Gray and his companion ran, and the officers pursued him.

        Why did Gray run? He had been arrested a number of times in the past on relatively minor drug charges and other piddling offenses, like having “gaming cards, dice.” Did that make him a bad person, a shady character? His friends and neighbors say no. What it makes him is all too typical in a neighborhood where generations of crushing poverty and the war on drugs combine to rob countless young people like him of meaningful opportunities.

      2. hpierce

        Perhaps, but his rap sheet probably did not warrant “a death sentence”.  At this time, there are many questions, but think all should reserve judgement, until there are better answers.

      3. Biddlin

        Every scared white guy’s justification for every black guy, killed in police custody. Whether for selling cigarettes, loitering or more serious charges, everyone is entitled to decent treatment.

        ;>)/

    3. tribeUSA

      Tia–good point. I think the issue of excessive use of force is a legitimate one based on the available evidence; while the racial angle is not legitimate at this point in time–there is simply not clear evidence for systemic racial bias by the police on a nationwide basis; in fact the available (though incomplete) evidence suggests white suspects are shot at a higher frequency than are black suspects.

      And this particular case looks bad for the police–how did he wind up with a broken neck?

      Tia, I wondered if you know about the safety implications of a cop putting their knees down on a suspects upper back or head, when they are lying face down on the ground, grinding the suspects face into the pavement–it seems to me a slight slip of the knee could shift the weight to the neck vertebrae, and then if the cop accidentally rocks forward; you could have 250 lbs of cop on top of a neck vertebrae–but your average cop is not certified in such chiropractic adjustments (that restraining method has always bothered me; not only humiliating but seems like it could be very dangerous).

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Can you hear the sounds, the discussions in conference rooms and hallways across the east coast?

          Managers and business owners right now are canceling trips to Baltimore, canceling convention plans, and strongly questioning opening any new business there. The risks are too high, and the cycle continues.

        2. Davis Progressive

          i’d love to say that the message will be sent to get their act together, but unfortunately once the emergency ends, people will go back to business of usual and nothing will change.

  2. TrueBlueDevil

    Washington Times: Police kill more whites than blacks, but minority deaths generate more outrage
    Analysis contradicts widespread views about racial targets

    “Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison says she wants to see an officer shoot an unarmed white teenager in the back before agreeing that the “conversation about race” is over, but she almost certainly already has received her wish.”

    “An analysis released last week shows that more white people died at the hands of law enforcement than those of any other race in the last two years, even as the Justice Department, social-justice groups and media coverage focus on black victims of police force….”

    Based on that data, Mr. Moskos reported that roughly 49 percent of those killed by officers from May 2013 to April 2015 were white, while 30 percent were black. He also found that 19 percent were Hispanic and 2 percent were Asian and other races.”

    “Adjusted to take into account the racial breakdown of the U.S. population, he said black men are 3.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white men. But also adjusted to take into account the racial breakdown in violent crime, the data actually show that police are less likely to kill black suspects than white ones.

    If one adjusts for the racial disparity in the homicide rate or the rate at which police are feloniously killed, whites are actually more likely to be killed by police than blacks,” said Mr. Moskos, a former Baltimore cop and author of the book “Cop in the Hood.”
     

    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/apr/21/police-kill-more-whites-than-blacks-but-minority-d/#ixzz3YcSclzRw Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

    1. Davis Progressive

      the problem as you well know (because we have personally discussed it several times) is that there isn’t good data on officer involved shootings.

      however, there two best analyses i have seen are here: 
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/investigative/2015/04/11/thousands-dead-few-prosecuted/

      and the statistical analysis by 538: 
      http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/blacks-are-killed-at-a-higher-rate-in-south-carolina-and-the-u-s/

      btw, the point you raise is almost irrelevant for a whole score of reasons.  police shootings are not the variable that we’re looking at.  it’s unjustified shootings and killings.  and at this point, while it’s important to have proper data and analysis, it’s not going to change things on the ground.

       

    2. tribeUSA

      TBD–excellent post, glad you found a recent more comprehensive statistical study. I don’t have time to examine it now; will do later tonite or tomorrow.

      Obviously what we need are good data in order to make a meaningful assessment about whether or not there is systemic bias on racial or other grounds.

      The media and politicos have irresponsibly trumpeted each incidence of apparent excess use of force involving black suspects as an example of systemic sanctioned white-on-black racism by police, when in fact the data (gathered and examined to date, that I’m aware of) are not clear as to whether or not any systemic bias exists. The same media, politicos, and activists that whup up the outrage against the police of course distance themselves from any responsibility for the resulting entirely predictable ensuing riots and violence against police.

  3. Frankly

    Black people riot primarily because of decades of failed liberal policies.  But that truth is more difficult for blacks to face and a more difficult problem to solve.  So better to just double-down on anger and lawlessness.  Hence the cycle of misery continues.

    1. Davis Progressive

      i think it’s more about failed conservative policies – the war on drugs, militarization of police, the four decade stripping of civil liberties protections by the court, etc.

      1. Don Shor

        There’s a difference between people rioting, and people objecting to policies and practices.
        There’s a difference between people from out of town who come in, get drunk, create mayhem and do property damage (oh, wait, that’s Picnic Day…), and people who gather to complain about patterns of police behavior.
        It’s reasonable to object to the riots. It’s reasonable to complain about excessive force by police officers, and any apparent indifference or acceptance of that by police and civil authorities.
        Broad, sweeping statements about liberal or conservative policies being at the root of these issues are probably pointless. Neither provable nor falsifiable, so they’re just guesses, and usually reflect the ideologies of their proponents. Government officials and community leaders would do better to focus on the communication, the specific issues involving police training, and perhaps effective community oversight or input as to policies.

        1. Napoleon Pig IV

          Good observations, Don. This really is not about “liberal” or “conservative,” but this is at least a partial result of racism, a failed “war” on drugs, and other stupid political decisions of past and present politicians.

          There is a natural relationship between objecting to policies and rioting. It’s essentially a continuum. When complaining fails to work after serious, professional, data-backed, and legal efforts, at some point when evil persists, the evil doers will logically be confronted physically. Sure, there are parasites and criminals who will take advantage of that necessity, but in some situations, words are not sufficient. As the bumper sticker says, “The Second Amendment is not about duck hunting.”

          If the honest and honorable law enforcement personnel, who are the vast majority, at least in the U.S., would develop the spine to eliminate bullies and thugs from their ranks, the situation would be vastly improved. Changing that culture won’t be easy, thus the value of ubiquitous video cameras and the clear threat of uncontrollable physical and economic harm ensuing when basic standards of decency are violated by weapons-carrying employees of the government.

          Our species has a hard time learning that “power corrupts.” Oink!

      2. Frankly

        You and Don offer “phrases that serve as an excuse for not thinking

        The poverty rate among blacks fell from 87 percent in 1940 to 47 percent by 1960.   Then in the next 20 years it fell to 29%.  Today it is about the same.  That’s right… 35 years of Great Society liberal policies that protect crappy education and prevent economic growth and then grow entitlements as a way to patch the mess it makes… has caused blacks to stall in economic progress.

        The new excuse of the left (the left has no other option than to make excuses because the entire ideology of the left is severely flawed) is that law enforcement is the new oppressor keeping the black man down.

        But blacks resort to a life of crime and drug use for the simple reason that they do not have enough opportunities for economic self sufficiency.  And they are stuck in a cycle of a welfare mindset.  There are also injected with a victim mentality from liberals and the liberal media.

        It was Bill Clinton that boosted law enforcement numbers in the 1990s due to the steep increase in crime the country was experiencing.

        What have conservatives done to deserve black anger over their crappy circumstances?  Only one thing… conservatives have not stood up against liberals to stop the madness and attempt to return to rational social and economic-minded policies that would allow more blacks to escape poverty.  Conservative have been infested with too many RINOs that have also tilted liberal.

         

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Frankly, those numbers have to be taken with a block of salt as Democrats have defined poverty upwards. i.e., a household can make $25,000 and receive $45,000 in government social transfer payments, but those aren’t counted as part of their income. We don’t count the $70,000, our government only looks at the $25,000 figure.

          David thinks that Eric Holder made progress; while the nation as a whole believes that racial attitudes have gone sharply backwards.

          Both Obama’s administration and economic policies have failed. This is the slowest economic recovery out of a recession since WWII. Redistribution, taxes, and regulation failed. He makes Jimmy Carter look good.

    2. DavisBurns

      Since the election of Reagan in 1980 we have had CONSERVATIVE social policies and that includes Clinton. That includes shipping our manufacturing overseas, the consentration of wealth in the hands of the very few,  increasing corruption o he election process by private money, deregulation, defunding of the pitiful regulation enforcement that remains, a revolving door between wall street and government appointees who oversee the industry…I could go on and on.  The sad state of democracy in this country is due to conservative big business interests running this country for their own profit.

       

      1. tribeUSA

        DBurns–glad to see you bring up these important points; it’s what I see happening as well, and has done more damage to the average Americans prospects than all the welfare kings and queens, by a long ways (I also agree with TBDs comments on illegal immigration damage)–it’s less relevant to the topic here; hope to see it expanded another thread.

    3. Tia Will

      Black people riot primarily because of decades of failed liberal policies.”

      I  believe that the riot was due to an unexplained death due to brutality and negligence in the care of an individual in custody ( and supposedly under police protection). It was due to the probably correct perception that the individuals who were responsible, namely the police who had him in their custody will likely never tell the complete truth about what happened ( as is their right to do under our constitution which allows them to not incriminate themselves) although they doubtless know exactly what happened . It was due to the perception that this case, like a number of others, will be buried and receive no systemic notice.

      To spin it as the fault of liberal policies or the fault of conservative policies is nothing but partisan nonsense and pays no respect to the loss of life which is the central issue here. A man lost his life for the crime of having run after having been observed by a police officer. I don’t care what one’s politics are, if this is not seen as a problem, in and of itself, then we have lost respect for human life whether or not we are willing to admit it.

      Frankly, because you are, this comment is beneath you.

  4. Davis Progressive

    a friend just sent this from september 2014 baltimore sun – before this even happened – http://data.baltimoresun.com/news/police-settlements/

    The city has paid about $5.7 million since 2011 over lawsuits claiming that police officers brazenly beat up alleged suspects. One hidden cost: The perception that officers are violent can poison the relationship between residents and police.

    david, you should pour through this, it must be a 5000 word expose, it lays out a lot.

  5. TrueBlueDevil

    The Baltimore Police Department has a tainted history and has settled dozens of lawsuits. They need reform, and cameras everywhere might help, but this is only a small portion of the picture.

    1. The Mayor herself (a black woman) said that they need to give the rioters plenty of safe area to destroy. Two days latter she refers to rioters as “thugs”.

    2. It took President Barack Obama 24 hours to make a statement, and he said there were “no excuses” and the actions were “counterproductive”. Somehow, his (unproven) assessment that a Boston police officer “acted stupidly” seems more firm.

    3. Obama has said these riots are “not new”, but they seems to be a marked increase under the leadership of Obama / Holder / Sharpton / Jarrett.

    Obama / Holder riots: Ferguson, Brooklyn, Seattle, Oakland/New York, Anaheim, NATO, BART, and now Baltimore. Pretty quite under George W. Bush, focused mainly on sporting events.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_incidents_of_civil_unrest_in_the_United_States

    4. Lazy, biased journalists contribute to the purple haze. Murders are way down in the country, and both national and worldwide poverty have dropped substantially.

    5. David claims “we have done nothing”. Has he heard of the “War on Poverty”, and $22 Trillion in social programs? This was a 16-fold increase in social spending, adjusted for inflation. How about Obama’s dramatically increased social spending, and $900B stimulus (that didn’t work). His statement is patently false.

    6. Liberal polices have destroyed cities and the traditional black family.

    7. The liberal policies which have helped to destroy the inner city economies of Cleveland, Buffalo, Detroit, Washington DC, Baltimore, Newark, and elsewhere have also resulted in between 16,000 and 42,000 empty dwellings in Baltimore. This is very bad news. (The TV show the Wire is filmed in Baltimore.) Increased taxes, regulations, and government.

     

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “1. The Mayor herself (a black woman) said that they need to give the rioters plenty of safe area to destroy.”

      That’s not what she said. Her comment was taken out of context.

      “avid claims “we have done nothing”. Has he heard of the “War on Poverty”, and $22 Trillion in social programs? ”

      My comment was in reference to the war on drugs, militarization of police, encroachment on civil rights, mass incarceration. Unless we can deal with those issues, no amount of social spending is likely to make a difference. Felony status precludes obtaining jobs, precludes the ability to live in public housing, precludes the right to vote. We have turned millions into second class citizens and trapped them in poverty from a young age through the war on drugs and mass incarceration.

      1. Miwok

        Where in your list is character, mores, honesty, integrity? A lot of those would take care of a lot of yours?

        Why do you argue for child molesters, thieves, felons over people who try to live a good life and try to work? How do you turn these people around to live productive lives? Or do you just want them to have money to spend? I refuse to live in apartments or suburbs now because of these people. They have no manners, no discipline, no empathy, no compassion. Since they don’t pay rent, they don’t even keep up their places. why?

        1. Tia Will

          Miwok

          Why do you argue for child molesters, thieves, felons over people who try to live a good life and try to work?”

          Why do you think that this is an either or scenario, or that anyone is arguing for one group over another ? Also, nice grouping making no allowance for differences among those who have simply made bad decisions and those who are truly dangerous to society.

          I refuse to live in apartments or suburbs now because of these people. They have no manners, no discipline, no empathy, no compassion. Since they don’t pay rent, they don’t even keep up their places. why?”

          Who exactly are “these  people” ? You seem to have bought hook, line, and sinker into a stereotype that anyone who has done time is irredeemable and that you know exactly what ( notice I didn’t say “who” since this is a matter of dehumanization) they are.

          One possible reason for “why” is that they simply do not have the means to “keep up” the subpar housing that is frequently all that is available to them. From experience, I can tell you that it is very hard to “keep up” a rat infested, leaky, drafty, wood burning stove heat provision in one room only, shack that was our home at our low point a year after my father’s death. When we consign an entire group of individuals, regardless of how they came to be there, to these types of substandard living situations and then bemoan their inability to perform up keep while not allowing them the ability to move beyond their past mistakes, we have a systemic problem which goes far beyond the “manners” of any particular individual.

           

        2. DavisBurns

          If you are talking about low income housing, you are flat out wrong,  my daughter lives in low income housing.  She and all the other tenants pay rent or they are evicted.  They are subject to restrictions on their living arrangements that most people find draconian.  They are subject to refular inspections of their apartments which must be kept clean and safe.  Please do not talk about poor people as if they are vermin.

        3. Frankly

          The results of a new study by Mike Males from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco support the argument that teenage poverty, not teenage biology, is most to blame for teenage crime.

          Section 8 housing  = poverty

          Poverty = higher crime rates

          Therefore

          Section 8 housing = higher crime rates

          It is not talking about poor people that they are vermin, it is talking about poor people as having a greater likelihood to be involved in crime.  Certainly not all poor people are involved in crime… and not all Section 8 housing recipients are misbehaving people.  But a lot are.

          It is just facts and statistics.

        4. Miwok

          nice grouping making no allowance for differences among those who have simply made bad decisions and those who are truly dangerous to society.

          Tia, they all are dangerous. You leave your car unlocked, or your house? Why? Any one of those people, but the Vanguard thinks  some crimes are less grievous than others. I hope it never happens to David or his kids, but it has happened to me, several times in my life.

          Who exactly are “these  people” ? You seem to have bought hook, line, and sinker into a stereotype that anyone who has done time is irredeemable

          ALL the ones I have known in life who went to prison, and plenty more around me. NOT  a stereotype. People just out of prison who if female, suddenly have 5 people and kids living with them, not on the lease. Guys who get out of prison and are located in apartments I helped manage, who used one room for a kitten factory, dogs in the other bedroom, while he could spend his spare time smoking dope and beating his girlfriend. More if you want…

          DavisBurns, I might like to  live where your daughter does, but I never believed they existed.

          Tia, I am poor so I identify with them. But I ain’t like them, because of what I stated above. If you think I am a business owner or successful by your standards – I am not. But I am honest, to a fault. If I would have looked the other way in the past, I might be better off. This is why I hate thieves. You can also add liars to the list.

          thank you for your comments, but I am not stereotyping.

      2. TrueBlueDevil

        Baltimore Mayor Gave Permission to Riot

        “Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake stood before the news cameras over the weekend and really did say, “We also gave those who wish to destroy space to do that as well.”

        “She uttered these words while explaining how she had sought to maintain “the very delicate balance” between the right to protest and the safety of police officers as a week of demonstrations over the death of Freddie Gray began to turn violent on Saturday.

        “We work very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate,” she said. “And that’s what we saw.” ”

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/04/28/baltimore-mayor-s-tone-deaf-handling-of-city-s-riot-crisis.html

        I see none of your suggestions making much impact without returning traditional fathers to homes.

  6. TrueBlueDevil

    Nancy Pelosi said that “we look up to disrupters”. Eric Holder dismissed “zero tolerance” policies. The Democrats have played the race and class warfare angle for decades.

    I have no doubt there is community outrage, and then oftentimes the anarchists, communists, opportunists, and even the “Occupy Movement” come in to pimp the red-hot situation.

    1. Davis Progressive

      “Then I saw a tweet that put things into perspective. Paraphrasing here, it said that people are saying that violence is not the answer, we need to allow the political process time to work. The person then said, I don’t know if violence is the answer, but I know that the politics is not.”

      that’s what david wrote, why don’t you respond to his comments here rather than nancy pelosi and eric holder?

  7. Alan Miller

    roughly 49 percent of those killed by officers from May 2013 to April 2015 were white, while 30 percent were black. He also found that 19 percent were Hispanic and 2 percent were Asian and other races.

    Obviously the solution to whole sordid mess is that the police need to start killing more Asians.

  8. Matt Williams

    Baltimore (CNN)Latest developments:

    “Wednesday’s game between the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox will be closed to the public, the Orioles announced. A source within Major League Baseball told CNN the league is not aware of any prior closed-door games in major league history.”

    The news announcement is indicative of how confused our society can become.  It trivializes what’s going on in Baltimore.  Don’t play the game.  Reschecdule it for later in the year.

  9. TrueBlueDevil

    Social media analysis suggests links between Baltimore and Ferguson violence

    EXCLUSIVE – “An analysis of social media traffic in downtown Baltimore Monday has unearthed striking connections to the protests in Ferguson, Mo. last year, according to a leading data mining firm that shared its findings exclusively with Fox News.

    The firm, which asked to remain anonymous because of its government work, found between 20 and 50 social media accounts in Baltimore that were also tied to the peak period of violence in Ferguson. While further analysis is being conducted on the data, it suggests the presence of “professional protesters” or anarchists taking advantage of Freddie Gray’s death to incite more violence.  ”

    http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2015/04/28/social-media-analysis-suggests-links-between-baltimore-and-ferguson-violence/

  10. TrueBlueDevil

    It’s interesting how Democrats seem so interested in not having laws enforced.

    Dr. King’s niece has said he wouldn’t be approving of these lawless actions…. and for all I care, make the police force 100% black and then see what happens. Having a black President, AG, former AG, first lady, mayor, and police chief sure hasn’t helped.

    1. Davis Progressive

      maybe you should consider why that might be the case – because frankly i have ambivalent feelings on this too.  on the one hand, i don’t like violence.  on the other hand, the political system seems unable to solve this.  i see you making references to failed liberal policies but no response to the problems that the war on drugs and mass incarceration have brought in creating a huge number of missing people as the ny times called it or a de facto jim crow as michelle alexander did.  i’m tired of reading about your attacks on political figures, i want to here you respond to this because frankly it may be that the only thing YOU and those like you will listen to is, is violence.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        A perfect example of failed liberal thinking? A Democrat-controlled city for 85 years has failed policies, failed outcomes, so endorse violence as the only solution? How shallow and vain. And it comes off like a little temper tantrum.

        I don’t buy your premise that the ‘war on drugs’ and thereby mass incarceration is the core issue. Don’t sell drugs, don’t commit crime, go to school or learn a trade, pretty simple. If Baltimore is a pit… and what little I saw wasn’t nice… save your nickels and move.

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          The problem I think is once you make these mistakes – most of them at a very young age before the brain is fully formed, once you grow up in that environment, you become trapped in it. You really think someone who commits a minor offense like possession of drugs, should be trapped into felony status for life? It’s easy to say don’t do it, but once they do – which is a very significant number of people – how do you allow them to get their education, get their training, and get a real job so they can escape poverty? This isn’t a political issue – there are an increasing number of Republicans who understand this point as well.

  11. Biddlin

    Baltimore’s police and municipal government have long been cesspools of corruption. When I worked as a courier there in the late 70’s, my boss, a local, warned me that, “The cops here work  on commission, your federal id will only raise your toll.” Racism was palpable as the “hillbillies,” whites ,who came from rural areas, looking for work, confronted the young unemployed city kids, mostly black. The police did little or nothing to deal with the vandalism and burglaries committed by the out of towners on the poor community and only got involved in the 80’s, when the hillbillies started dealing drugs and not giving them a cut. This corruption and neglect is institutional.

    DP is sadly correct, next month or next year,  In Ferguson, Baltimore, South Philly and Watts, it will be business as usual, until the next blow-up or everyone decides to sit down and listen to one another without editorilisng the others’ narrative to fit one’s own life experience and/or expectations.

    ;>)/

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I learned tonight that Baltimore has been led by Democrats since 1939. … the new mayor is a joke of a leader, talk about abysmal decision making.

  12. Davis Progressive

    from a protester:

    “My question to you is, when we were out here protesting all last week for six days straight peacefully, there were no news cameras, there were no helicopters, there was no riot gear, and nobody heard us . . . So now that we’ve burned down buildings and set businesses on fire and looted buildings, now all of the sudden everybody wants to hear us . . . Why does it take a catastrophe like this in order for America to hear our cry . . . .?”

    that’s the problem and why we have riots.  that’s what you guys on the right don’t want to face.  i don’t like violence, but perhaps the reason why it’s being used as a tactic is that it works.

  13. Frankly

    Ok all you smart people out there in Vanguard land.  You have magic powers to implement your complete will on society to fix the problems you see existing here.  What would you do?

    1. Don Shor

      I’d ask Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to head up a commission to do some listening, identify the key problems involving policing and the broader topic of inner city poverty, and develop some recommendations in concert with leadership of both parties in Congress.

        1. Don Shor

          George W. His father isn’t strong enough for anything like this. Clinton and George W. have worked together on various projects. We need a new urban policy, and it has to come from the mayors, the governors, and independent individuals acting in a bipartisan fashion.

        2. hpierce

          Don… thanks… I’d completely agree except for the the sad opinion that I have, that uber-liberal Democrats, and uber-conservative Republicans couldn’t come to terms, even if Clinton and Bush suggested something that they both agreed on. Maybe that’s why I don’t affiliate with either ‘party’.  Talk about bi-polar…

          In concept, I support your idea/sentiment.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I largely agree with your point. I think partisanship is stifling us. I say that as someone who largely identifies myself on the left and has been a registered Democrat most of my adult life. On this issue there are Democrats who don’t get it and Republicans who do and vice versa.

      1. Frankly

        I like this idea.  It is an important enough social issue at this point that it warrants involvement at this pay-grade.  However, I would see Bill Clinton deflecting from this while Hillary is running for President… unfortunately.

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      Install Reaganomics 2.0. Version 1.0 created 700,000 jobs per month for a spell.

      Re-institute the Clinton-Gingrich Welfare Reform.

      Encourage marriage via social policies, education, and elsewhere.

      Ignore the race hustlers and failed politicians who have helped create these problems.

      Re-institute core classes (math, science, language), and shop!

      Get Oprah to preach marriage and hard work.

       

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        I’m sorry, I don’t think any of this works unless you can deal with mass incarceration because that’s where the cycle traps people into poverty. I agree with DP, I think unless we stop putting people into felony status for relatively minor crimes (I’m not talking about serious violent crimes), we are not going to get out of this. Also, we need to give people a way to get their lives back – allow them to get education, get a job, and turn themselves around. Right now we offer little in the prisons and the felony status makes it hard for someone who has been convicted to get back onto their feet. In a lot of states that status is permanent and stays with them even after they are off supervision unless they proactively remove themselves from that status – like California – and some states you can’t remove yourself from that status. That’s the point that I think you’re missing. Without removing felony status, no social policy is going to matter.

        1. hpierce

          David… Think Frankly was looking for “brain-storming”, soliciting ideas… what do you do, you ‘shotgun’ one person’s view… nice.  Do you understand the rules about “brainstorming”?

          Anyone got a contact for Weird Al Yankovitch? I’ve got an idea for him, “it’s my blog,and I’ll snipe if I want to” [based on, “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to”]

        2. Frankly

          David – I think you are blinded on this from too many years chasing the bad law enforcement boogieman.  There is one area that most of us agree on and that is to reduce or eliminate drug possession criminal laws and punishments.

          But I absolutely know that your suggested “solution” would do little to improve the lives of these people… it would in fact have consequences of destroying more lives from drug abuse and greater crime within these neighborhoods… more families destroyed… more kids lives negatively impacted… more good families moving away to leave a higher concentration of trouble-makers.    Yes having a criminal record and doing time damages families and kids, but so would the decriminalization of drugs and a reduction in attention to crime in general.

          Maybe you can add more context to this idea of yours.  How do you recommend that we go about reducing the impact of law enforcement on these people?  And while you are at it, are going to acknowledge the consequences for implementing our ideas and also include how we would mitigate those too?

      2. Frankly

        TBD – I agree with this list.   It matches my perspective that the root of the problem is not law enforcement.  Law enforcement actions are a symptom of the response to certain social ills.

  14. David Greenwald Post author

    The other problem I have TBD and Frankly, is that by focusing on what you believe are the roots causes, you are ignoring the fact that even if your perception of the root causes are accurate – they do not justify unlawful killing by police officers. The protesters are not rioting over the inequity of the ghetto, they are rioting over the tyranny of the state that they see enforcing that inequity.

    1. Frankly

      I was out walking my dog around the block downtown (he comes to my office with my spouse who also works here) and a police cruiser drove by and I waved and he waved.  And I started daydreaming about a situation where I was mistook for a criminal suspect and surrounded and took down and since my dog would be frightened and protective, he possible would be shot by officers as part of their training and protocol to maintain order and prevent injury to fellow officers.

      And in that moment of thought I could understand how a person could become so anti-law enforcement and anti-cop.

      Heavy-handedness from people entrusted and sworn to serve and protect is a problem.   And in a city like Davis, it absolutely does not belong.

      But the violence in many US inner cities exceeds that of Baghdad Iraq.

      My thinking here is:

      1) I have empathy for the human response to heavy-handed law enforcement.

      2) I think it is unfortunately justified in many, if not most, cases.

      3) The mistakes made when the police use heavy-handed techniques are more likely fatal.

      Now none of this excuses police lawlessness.   But that is a separate issue.

      1. Davis Progressive

        while i respect you laying out that view so clearly, the point you seem to miss is a heavy-handed approach – especially one that appears over the top – undermines their ability to do their job.

        1. Frankly

          I think you are missing the point that this is their job.  Heavy-handedness is sometimes a requirement of their job.  It is not fair to overlay utopian expectations on a dystopian reality.

          Let’s use an example… the job of military would tend to cause negative human response.  You might prefer that we replace that job with new softer protocol, but then it would not achieve the results demanded in places where the heavy-handedness was required.

        2. Miwok

          DP, if you knew the statistics on what does NOT get reported, a detective dispatched after a neighbor would not return another neighbors’ lawn mower, for example, you would scream.

          When kids get out of control, you call – PD. When people annoy you, you call – PD.

          I am of the ilk that will go to a neighbor and ask them to turn the music down, or invite me in and enjoy the party with them. But you cannot do that much any more, as people will have dogs and such, and they are annoyed because YOU think they are being annoying, making you a target for vandalism or worse. So you call – PD.

          What other approach do we have? And PD has really only one option, they don’t want a fight either, but when confronted with escalation, they escalate, and they play to win.

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