F*CK THE POLICE!!: What the hell is wrong with Cops these days?

•April 1, 2009 • 1 Comment

Link: To Protect and To Serve? Yeah Right

The above link is to my previous post about three stories of misbehaving police.  Two stories are about Robert Powell, a former officer of the Dallas Police Department.  One is the highly publicized story about the Ryan Moats traffic stop.  The other story involves the Maritza Thomas, the wife of Dallas linebacker Zach Thomas.  The third story closely mirrors the Powell-Moats story, in which an unidentified officer in Memphis prevented a man from taking his dying mother to a hospital so close, the man could see it while his mother passed away in his back seat.  To these stories, and many more like them, I say F*CK THE POLICE!!! Seriously, I know a majority of the police officers in this country have more common sense than a gnat (which is more than could be said for Robert Powell and this other officer), but you have to wonder what goes through an officer’s peanut brain when you’ve got family telling you their family members ARE DYING and they’re trying to get their to save their life.  In the case of Ryan Moats, he was the sole person able to sign resuscitation papers, which his detainment prevented him from doing.  In Wayne Ables’ case (the Memphis story), the mother’s sole chance of surviving was arriving at the hospital in Mr. Ables vehicle.  In fact, reporters have stated that the drive from Ables’ mother’s residence (where he picker her up) to the hospital would take only four minutes during midday traffic.

Wayne Ables was stopped after midnight.

In Moats-Powell incident, I can forgive the officer for the first, oh, 30 seconds of things (if that much), but after that, his stupid kicked in and, well, you should know the story by now.  Like Ron White says, you can’t fix stupid.

But for the Memphis cop…I mean, what hell?  The lady was clearly dying in the back seat of the man’s truck.  And he has the nuts to walk up to her, ask for her name and, uh, MEDICAL HISTORY?!?!  What on God’s green planet is this dude thinking?  Old lady + gasping for breath + man asking for escort to hospital = URGENT SITUATION!!!.  The thing that upsets me most about the Memphis case is that they were so close  to the hospital, they could see it.  I commend Mr. Ables for stopping;  I don’t think most people would’ve pulled over.  Perhaps he thought the officer would be sensible?  That rational certainly would’ve been feasible.  After all, don’t officers have to go through training for this particular sort of thing?

And cops wonder why the general public doesn’t trust them.  If you can’t PROTECT and SERVE the people, then what can we expect from you?  A bunch of badge-wearing, gun-waving idiots who don’t know their head from their ass?  That’s what it certainly seems like.  Surely not everyone in America has had experiences like these two, but I know there are thousands, probably millions of people out there who can recall a run-in with Officer Bad Attitude or Officer No-Brains.

I’m sure there are some of you out there who would say we should cut officers a break, they do a great service for little money, blah, blah, blah, excuse me while I play a violin for you.  If I honestly thought that the majority of officers actually cared for every segment of population equally, and all responded to situations with a touch of compassion and understanding, then I would totally agree with you, but this is a case of one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch.  Officers, in my personal experience, almost always have a chip on their shoulders about something.   In my opinion, f*ck ’em all.


To Protect and To Serve? Yeah, Right

•April 1, 2009 • 2 Comments

Yes, I’ve been away for awhile; work will do that to you, you know, especially when blogging isn’t your main work. At any rate, I finally came across a group of stories that brought me out of my employment-imposed hiatus:

Story 1: “Like we were dogs”: The story of Ryan Moats

In case you haven’t heard of this story, Houston Texans running back Ryan Moats was pulled over by Dallas Police Officer Robert Powell for running a red light. According to Officer Powell, he saw Moats’ vehicle run a red light before turning into a hospital in Plano, a suburb of Dallas. The problem, as explained by Ryan and his wife Tamishia, was that Tamishia’s mother-in-law was dying of breast cancer. The offer then proceeds to detain Moats for a full thirteen minutes while Tamishia and other occupants of the vehicle ignore Officer Powell’s repeated orders to return to the vehicle. On the dashboard camera video (available below), Officer Powell can be heard making comments like “I can screw you over right now”, and “Your attitude sucks”, among other obviously insensitive comments. Also, Ryan Moats maintains that Officer Powell drew his weapon and aimed at his wife. When asked about this, Officer Powell responds
“I don’t recall pointing my weapon”. Twice, hospital nurses aasked Officer Powell to temporarily release Moats so that he could sign resuscitation forms for his mother, who had coded (heart stopped beating) 3 times during the span of the traffic stop. Another officer at the scene even asked Officer Powell to release Moats. Twice Officer Powell blatantly ignored what was being said to him by the nurses; he replied to his fellow officer “Alright, I’m almost done [writing the ticket]”. During this span of 13 minutes, Moats’ mother-in-law passed away. By the time Moats was able to make it to her bedside she was “already gone. I just held her hand”.

In the aftermath of this incident, Officer Powell insists (on multiple occasions during the interview, also available below) that the officer who pulled over Ryan Moats that night wasn’t “the true” Officer Powell. He expressed is sorrow for his actions, admitted to “making a mistake in judgment”, and went so far as to say “I think I can be a very effective officer”.

Video 1: Dashboard Camera Part 1:

Video 2: Dashboard Camera Part 2:

Video 3: Officer Powell Interview:

Video 3: Ryan and Tamishia Moats on GMA

Story 2: 1 U-turn, 5 Tickets, 1 Trip to Jail:

Again, this story is about Officer Robert Powell. In a somewhat smaller incident this past June, Officer Robert Powell pulled over Martiza Thomas, wife of former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Zach Thomas for making an illegal U-turn. What resulted from this routine stop was 5 tickets, an arrest, and a trip to the local jail for Martiza. Four of the five tickets were later dismissed by authorities. Maritza, who is latina, was new to the area, her husband Zach just being signed to the Cowboys earlier in 2008. When asked why come out about this now, Zach Thomas said “This in no way compares to what happened to Ryan Moats and his family, but we wanted to tell our story, not knowing how many others have been affected by Officer Powell. We know the vast majority of the Dallas police force are good and professional people, but this guy just seems excessive.”

Story 3: Please Sir, My Mother is Dying

On March 12, just 6 days before Robert Moats’ incident in Dallas, Wayne Ables had a eerily similar incident in Memphis, Tennessee.   Ables was rushing his 83-year old mother to the nearby hospital in his Chevy Avalanche when a MPD Officer pulled him over for driving with an expired license plate.  As the officer approached the car, Ables’ mother asked him to lower the windows to allow cooler air in so she could breathe better.  When the officer approached the window of the vehicle, Ables tried to explain that he and his wife were trying to get his mother to the hospital.  Barely a mile and a half, and within visual range of the hospital, the officer asked the 83 year old, who at this point was grasping for breath, her name, age, and medical history.  Upon receiving no answer from the ailing woman, the officer requested to see Ables’ license and proof of insurance.  Ables pleaded with the officer, but the officer refused to release them.  Ables even offered to let the officer “follow me to the hospital and write the ticket there”, but he refused, saying an ambulance was on the way.  After the ambulance finally arrived, they rushed Ables’ mother to the hospital where she was pronounced dead.  After all this, the officer’s last word to the Ables were “Don’t speed”.  No administrative action has been taken against the officer by the MPD, and the dashboard camera video has not been released by the police department.

Lynching Tiger

•January 10, 2008 • 4 Comments

In case you haven’t heard, we’ve had another (albeit slightly less outrageous) Don Imus incident. In this case, the slip up comes from the lips of Golf Channel broadcaster Kelly Tilghman. A CNN.com account of the comment is as follows:

Tilghman uttered the remark during coverage of Hawaii’s Mercedes-Benz Championship on Friday, while she and and co-host Nick Faldo were bantering about how young golfers might challenge ever-dominant Woods.
Faldo said, “To take Tiger on, well yeah, they should just gang up for a while until …”
“Lynch him in a back alley,” Tilghman interrupted with a chuckle.

Now Tilghman is a far cry from Imus in my book. For one, she’s never had a public history of racist remarks or anything of the like.  In fact, Tiger Woods, through his agent Mark Steinburg, went so far as to call Ms. Tilghman a “friend” and accepted her public apology, stating “We know unequivocally that there was no ill intent in her comments.”   Initially, the Golf Network wasn’t considering disciplining Tilghman, probably due to the good-natured way Tiger accepted her apology.  However, as public knowledge grew (along with the black public’s cry for “justice”), the network decided to suspend Tilghman for two weeks.  Among the vocal minority is, of course, Al Sharpton.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that Al Sharpton will go to bat for any and all minorities, but somethings, in my book, are more open-shut cases.  Yes, what she said is stupid, she’s been punished fairly (in my opinion), and it’s time to drop it and let it go.  However, most of the black public who know about this are either incapable of letting it go, or are unwilling.  It is clear, however, that the majority of the black public who are vocally calling for Tilghman’s dismissal are doing so under the banner of “no tolerance of racial insensitivity” carried by Al Sharpton.  Usually, I’m all for people not making stupid remarks like Tilghman obviously did.  However, in considering what this means to the black race in the grand scheme of things, I have to lean to the side of “she did it, apologized for it, suffered her consequence” and leave it at that.  If she had been more like Don Imus and had a history of racial insensitivity and generally stupid remarks, then I’d totally support the call for harsher punishment.  However I don’t believe this case warrants such a call.  I think it’s a sad day in America when someone who has no history of racist remarks or offensive remarks against any segment of society is suddenly, and without reproach, stuck with the label “racist” for one slip of the tongue.

In short, I think this whole matter is blown way out of proportion.  I’m not condoning the remark or racist remarks in general.  I’m not even suggesting that she shouldn’t have been punished at all.  All I’m saying is that she’s paid fairly for her “crime” and that people should let it go, give her the benefit of the doubt, and allow her to prove herself to be an upstanding broadcaster that both Tiger Woods and the Golf Channel thinks she is.  Can she take back what she said?  Of course not, but that doesn’t mean she should be kicked off the air totally.  This, I think, is getting out of hand…

Spin, Spin, Spin

•January 2, 2008 • 1 Comment

If you’ve been paying attention at all during this election process, you’ll know that this year, it’s all about the spin. Everything from explaining votes to comments in days/weeks/months/years past is being spun in the most positive light possible. Of course, spin control is nothing new to American politics, it’s just that with an all-out run on a soon to be vacated White House, everyone is trying to out-spin everyone else. However, what we haven’t seen alot of in American politics is pre-spin. This is when a candidate tries to put a spin on something that hasn’t happened yet. Case in point: Hillary Clinton. ABCnews.com has a story up about how Hillary’s campaign is saying (in quite the reversal of spin, I might add) that “she’s already accomplished what she needs to in Iowa, and can consider Iowa a win, even if she comes in first”.

Now, the last time I checked, I thought I knew at least two things about races:
1.) The point of any race is to finish.
2.) You have to finish first to be considered the winner of said race.

There are subtle differences, of course. If the “race” is actually a series of races where points are gained and totaled, then it is possible to come out on top and not place first in all of the comprising races. This, however, is not one of those races. This is a race to gain the support of the public which, we all know, is as stable as the Tower of Pisa is straight. L:et us also consider the fact that just a few weeks ago, her campaign was all but adamant about her need to place first in Iowa to have a real shot against Edwards and Obama.

This, perhaps, is the first sign of her campaign showing real concern about her place in the “front-runners” category on the Dem’s side. Just two days ago, Edwards, Obama and Clinton were in, according to multiple polls, a statistical tie. Fast forward to today, and at least two of those polls now show Obama with around 26-27%, Edwards with 24-25% and Clinton with as little as 23%. Given these figures, I would start to sweat a little if I were looking for permanent employment in the new Clinton White House, but there’s one small detail to mention:

They’re polls.

Now, more often than is pointed out, people tend to jump ship from one candidate to another if they see signs of weakness or a loss of ground during the early stages of a campaign. Having this poll drop Hillary from “tied for first” to “third” can be the beginning of the end. It will be interesting to watch the reports come in tomorrow.

Oh, and if you’re in Iowa and you have a chance to go caucus, do our country a favor and go caucus for who you believe to be the best candidate, GOP or Dem. If you don’t vote (and this goes for everyone else, too), don’t complain about anything, you forfeited your right to do so.

The Continuing Debate…

•November 29, 2007 • 1 Comment

CNN held a CNN/YouTube debate last night in which Republican candidates answered questions from the YouTube generation via email and videos posted to YouTube. Among one of the questions was asked by Leroy Brooks of Houston, TX. His question had to do with the Confederate Flag flying on state grounds in South Carolina: “[does] this flag right here represents the symbol of racism, a symbol of political ideology, a symbol of Southern heritage — or, is it something completely different?”

Fred Thompson, who has played up his Southern heritage while campaigning in S. Carolina, replied “I know that everybody who hangs the flag up in their room like that is not racist. I also know that for a great many Americans it’s a symbol of racism. As far as a public place is concerned, I am glad that people have made the decision not to display it as a prominent flag, symbolic of something, at a state capitol.” The only problem with this statement, however, is the fact that the Confederate Battle Flag is displayed at the state capitol. I should note here that it’s not the rectangular flag most often flown here in the south, but the traditional square design. The flag now flies next to a memorial honoring fallen Confederate soldiers; however, this memorial rests on state grounds. Thus, the Battle Flag is still flown on state grounds in South Carolina. Thompson went on to say that the flag, flown in the context of a memorial, is acceptable: As a part of a group of flags or something of that nature, you know, honoring various service people at different times in different parts of the country, I think that’s different.” Sen. Thompson concluded his statement about the issue by stating “…we don’t need to go out of our way to [bring] up things that, to certain people in our country, [are] bad for them”.

GOP front-runner Mitt Romney criticism of the flag was more blunt: “… that flag, frankly, is divisive, and it shouldn’t be shown. Right now, with the kinds of issues we got in this country, I’m not going to get involved with a flag like that. That’s not a flag that I recognize so that I would hold up in my room. The people of our country have decided not to fly that flag. I think that’s the right thing.”

While Romney’s statement was more direct and to the point than Thompson’s, I do take exception with some of it. As an African American, I wholly disagree with everything that flag represents and what it stands for. Call it racism or heritage, I view it as a representation of a dark time in our country and I do not understand the burning need to honor a lost war over an immoral cause. However, as an American, I fully support any person’s right to free speech, even if I don’t agree with what they’re saying. Do I think the flag needs to be banned all-together? No, I don’t. I do, however, believe that a state with South Carolina’s history of mistreating non-whites should seriously reconsider housing a Confederate Soldier’s memorial on state grounds and flying the Confederate Battle Flag on state grounds. I believe both to be bad decisions and represent bad taste by the legislators of South Carolina. My point is this: If you really study your civil war history like I have, you’ll notice that the argument of “states rights” was introduced after the end of the civil war in an attempt for southerners to save face with their northern neighbors. If you read the secession rights of all the states that seceded from the union, they all state, in some form or fashion, that their right to own, and profit from, the enslavement of the African peoples was in jeopardy from being overruled by federal law. It is therefore an undeniable logical fact that since the confederate battle flag so favored by die-hard southern “heritage” proponents is a flag born out of the struggle to ensure the right to own slaves in the southern states.

Below are some examples of the rights of secession issued by several southern states, including South Carolina:

Mississippi Declaration: “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world.”

Texas Declaration: “She (Texas) was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as Negro slavery – the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits – a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.”

Georgia Declaration(second sentence): “For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.”

South Carolina: “A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery.”

My final points are these:
1.) When the confederate flags were designed, the Confederate States of America was, in practice and law, a foreign country.  This means that the confederate flags designed by members of that country are foreign flags.
2.)  Logically, if the proponents of Confederate Flag-flying are correct, then the New England states should be allowed to fly the British Flag (aka “Union Jack”), Texas should be allowed to fly the Mexican flag, and many other southern states should also be allowed to fly the French and Spanish flags.  After all, these countries owned territories in the new world at one point in time, didn’t they?  Is that not a part of “Southern Heritage” as well?
3.)  Finally, my last, and probably most important point is this:  THE SOUTH LOST.  Are not supposed to be “One Nation, under God?”  Well riddle me this:  If we are truly “One Nation” how many flags can “One Nation” have?

The Stars and Bars

•November 26, 2007 • 2 Comments

By far, the most commented on posting on this blog is Racists and Their Precious Confederate Flag.  There are varying opinions on either side of the issue, and I figured it was time to do a follow-up post.  Firstly, let me say that I’m not backing down from my position.  While I do understand the symbol of the Confederate Flag has it’s very important place in history, I do believe that history is where it should stay.  I just cannot bring myself to buy into the “it’s our heritage” argument.


The symbol most associated with the term “Confederate Flag” isn’t really the true Confederate Flag.  It’s not even the true “Stars and Bars”.  This term belongs to the first Confederate Flag, seen below (there were seven total).

First Flag of the Confederacy (”Stars and Bars”)

The big “X” shaped blue cross with white stars on a red background is actually the Confederate Battle Flag, and even that term isn’t unique to this design.  It is, however, the most popular and is increasingly the only design you’ll find associated with the term.  In the design below, you’ll notice the flag is actually square, not rectangular like most national flags.

Battle Flag of the Confederacy

The modern “Confederate Flag” is a rectangular version of this flag, and is actually a combination of the Second Confederate Naval Jack (same design, but different shade of blue and rectangular) and the Battle Flag.

Modern Day Controversies:

Today, this symbol is synonymous with hate, racism, bigotry, Jim Crow, slavery, segregation, and separation .  It’s history is intertwined with the history of the “slave states” who fought for “individual state rights to self govern”.  Throughout the Civil War and beyond, the symbol of the confederate battle flag became synonymous with the Old American South.  Being associated with the South in that time period meant that the flag would be irreparably linked to slavery, bigotry, and the like.   On top of that, hate groups like the KKK utilized this flag, whether “officially’ or not, to spread their message of hate and intolerance.  More recently, the Battle Flag has shown up at the football games of LSU and Ole Miss.  Both schools have less than stellar history in race relations without the flag being thrown into the mix.  The LSU version flag was colored th the LSU purple and gold, but the layout remained the same.  Recently, a group of black students and protesters marched against the Flag, citing already deep-seeded racial divisions at LSU.    For the Ole Miss crowd, no changes was made to the flag’s appearance .  It flew at most football games, both home and away, until Ole Miss head coach Tommy Tubberville asked that the flag not be flown at football games.  He stated that he didn’t want the flag and it’s divisive nature associated with Ole Miss.   in 1999 Ole Miss formally banned the flag from all sporting events.  In 2000, under a challenge from a lawyer for the white supremacist Nationalist Movement, the 5th Circuit court upheld the decision.

Aside from colleges, many states have the confederate battle symbol as part of it’s flag.  These states include Mississippi and Georgia (though Georgia’s flag closely resembles the first Confederate Flag).  South Carolina flies the complete flag on the state capital grounds after legislation was introduced (and passed) to have it removed from atop the capitals dome.

Throughout all of this history, the flags image, name and  conotation has been forever marred.  It’s now synonymous with hate, racism, and separation.  Too many acts of “legalized terrorism” were committed under this flag for it to be anything other than a symbol of racial divide.

Back To It

•November 26, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Well, I’m back to it (hopefully).  I’ve been incredibly busy the past few months, but the new job is settling down nicely along with life in general.  There’s been a plethora of news-worthy events over the past few days.  From ‘Baby Grace’ to Natalie Holloway’s case gaining new life…the news never stops.  There’s no way I can blog on everything that’s caught my attention since I last wrote here.  Firstly, I wouldn’t remember my gut reaction to it all, which is what my blog really is about.  All of the issues, opinions and insights I offer here are gut, spur of the moment reactions to a stimulus that hasn’t been refined, planned, or massaged in any way.  I write this way because I believe it allows the truest representation of the author’s mind and heart to be captured.

Anyway,  I’m back at it, writing about the stuff that matters (to me, at least).