COP KILLERS

POAJournal
Published in the San Francisco police union's newsletter, this image mocking the Black Lives Matter movement went viral in 2016, provoking international outrage. (via sfpoa.org)
An opinion column by Michael Lacey.

Would the Phoenix police have opened fire on Saturday if community leaders had joined the young people protesting the murder of George Floyd?

Would the cops have fired their rubber bullets at the mayor, the city council members, the state legislators?

I would ask where is Governor Doug Ducey, but we know where that douche is . . . Double D jammed up the rest of us with an 8pm curfew . . . as if speech could be sent to its room for being too loud.

Ducey has no moral authority. He is a former kingpin in the Cold Stone Creamery cartel. Franchisees have accused the company, while under his leadership, of bilking them out of their life savings.

consequence
Timely message from a Phoenix demonstrator. (photo by Michael Lacey)

On June 1, The Arizona Republic detailed how Elizabeth Lemay was dragged off of her front yard sidewalk by a cop who was taped telling her: “You guys think you know; You think you know everything.”

The blowhard with a badge took her to a police station where she was reportedly detained for hours for the crime of being on her sidewalk watching the march after Ducey’s curfew.

I feel so much safer . . . don’t you?

Not that the lunacy was the sole property of cops. Also on Saturday, May 30, a dozen morons were arrested after looting and vandalizing Scottsdale Fashion Square, a mall that will accept money from Blacks and Whites.

Social media indicated that the mall was targeted so that the vandals did not have to destroy their own communities. Such a dilemma.

We need something stronger than words, something more vital than witness. We need a civilian review board with the authority to remove trigger happy cops.

The marches have hammered home another question.

Where are the adults? Where are the parents, the uncles and aunts, the grandparents? They aren’t marching, by and large, with the young demonstrators.

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Demonstrators take a knee during the recent protests in Phoenix against police brutality. (photo by Michael Lacey)

How is it that your sons and daughters are outraged enough to march but you sit at home with your coronavirus blues?

George Floyd was suffocated to death as a result of passing a counterfeit $20 bill.

Yeah, it’s a crime.

I don’t give a shit.

I have been writing about cop shootings all of my life. I feel like some scrivener in a Dickens novel, pulling on the sleeve of a paying client in a grog house in hopes of getting a few coppers for rum.

(Won’t he please go away and leave us to our drink?)

All that ink spilled because of blood spilled.

From 2011 until 2018 the local cops averaged 17 shootings per million residents . . . more than New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas or San Diego.

We need something stronger than words, something more vital than witness.

We need a civilian review board with the authority to remove trigger-happy cops.

Not a single word published over decades was as effective as a teenage girl’s cell phone video in Minneapolis of George Floyd’s homicide.

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A sticker preaching Black and Brown unity in downtown Phoenix. (photo by Michael Lacey)

On Monday night as I marched with demonstrators protesting the murder of George Floyd , I watched two young women taping flyers up about the killing by an Arizona state cop ( DPS ) of Valley resident Dion Johnson. The victim was shot early in the morning of Memorial Day. Parked on the side of the road, that state trooper claims there was a physical struggle. Yet the corpse was found inside the car.

We don’t have a video of the Johnson shooting because the state trooper wasn’t wearing a body camera.

With or without cameras, the police continue to execute citizens and The New York Times reported on June 2 that 140 cities across American erupted in protest.

Unprecedented. 140 cities . . . thousands of citizens marching in each and every community.

Day after day.

That never happened during the civil rights era. Never happened during Vietnam.

As I joined the June 2 protest, I ran into City Councilman Carlos Garcia.

(I met Garcia years ago when he led Puente, a human rights group that my publishing partner, Jim Larkin and myself underwrote with a grant funded by the nearly $4 million the county paid us after Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrested us on trumped up charges. Puente was one of nearly 40 organizations that received our checks.)

In February Garcia won a 5-4 vote to create a robust Civilian Review Board to oversee complaints about police violence.

Garcia prevailed despite stiff opposition from the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) the police union.

The fact is that all police unions oppose all civilian oversight all the time.

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Volunteers pass out water to demonstrators as temperatures reach 110 degrees. (photo by Michael Lacey)

In 2016 I was in San Francisco. By that time Black Lives Matter was already 3 years old.

Founded after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer, Black Lives Matter has remained an important voice opposed to police violence.

In August of 2016, the police union in San Francisco published an infamous set of photos in their newsletter.

Two dogs were photographed with signs hanging from their necks.

On the left, the black dog sported a handmade sign: “Black Labs Matter”

On the right, the yellow dog’s signs stated: “All Labs Matter”.

This stupid police union horse shit was published while the U.S. Department of Justice was investigating the San Francisco police department after one of their cops shot and killed Mario Woods in the historically Black neighborhood of Bayview.

So . . . you know, I take anything that PLEA says today about oversight with a grain of salt.

Here’s what you need to keep an eye on.

In 2018 the Phoenix police were involved in 44 shootings, the most by any department in America.

From 2011 until 2018 the local cops averaged 17 shootings per million residents . . . more than New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas or San Diego.

Those aren’t my numbers. Those statistics were unearthed by The Arizona Republic.

But of course, what should be obvious is now slimed with politics and the police groupies on the council are trying to thwart Phoenix City Councilman Carlos Garcia.

So yes, the Civilian Review Board pushed by Councilman Carlos Garcia is needed.

The council is voting on a $3 million budget for this oversight. That should be a no-brainer after the city paid out $26 million in damages from cop shootings.

Crowd
Crowds in the thousands marched in Phoenix, chanting, “Say his name: George Floyd!” and “Fuck Trump!” (photo by Michael Lacey)

But of course, what should be obvious is now slimed with politics and the police groupies on the council are trying to thwart Garcia. Final action not expected until next week.

Marchers need to stay on the street until Garcia’s agenda is complete.

In New York City the chairman of Black Lives Matter, Hawk Newsome, announced that he was in the planning stages of creating armed peace officers to protect his people.

What could go wrong?

Adding to the Apocalyptic Funnies President Donald Trump threatened to use the U.S. military to violate citizens’ Constitutional right to protest.

He was confronted by retired military brass immediately, but, frankly, shouldn’t this trigger a second impeachment vote?

After the asphyxiation murder of George Floyd the citizens of Minneapolis went on a tear, looting and setting fires. Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon was long gone.

It turned out that all of the children were not above average.

They were angry.

The Lutherans were behaving like Catholics.

More by Michael Lacey:
Lawyers, Guns, and Money (And to Hell with Free Speech)
Cindy Lou Who? The Truth About Cindy McCain
Cindy Lou Who? Part 2: Mother McCain Is Loose Again!

Michael Lacey

About Michael Lacey

Michael Lacey is the co-founder of Front Page Confidential. You can read more about him and his business partner Jim Larkin here.

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