She's suing, saying police and theater security guards used excessive force against her husband, causing his death.
In a cellphone video Nair Rodriguez took the night her husband died, Luis Rodriguez can be heard saying "I can't breathe" while police held him down.
Even Cops Say Police Are not Held Accountable for Their Misbehavior
The system is built so police are above the law, a point cops themselves concede.
from AlterNet by Kali Holloway
Bad cops aren’t punished for their misbehavior, according to police officers.
A new national Pew Research Center survey of 8,000 cops around the country found just a little over one fourth of police believe that fellow officers suffer consequences for misconduct. Conversely, the overwhelming majority of cops, 72 percent, said that “poorly performing officers are not held accountable” for bad behavior.
The evidence is in countless stories from communities of color whose accounts of oppression and police abuse have, historically and today, been ignored. More recently, the proof is in acquittals and mistrials despite documentary evidence of cops criminally gunning down unarmed black citizens. The criminal justice system’s refusal to hold cops accountable is echoed at the departmental level, a fact confirmed by police officers themselves.
This look-the-other-way approach to police misconduct creates a culture of corruption that can have dangerous and deadly consequences. Between 2014 and 2015, investigations turned up corruption scandals involving racism in policing in departments in New Jersey, San Francisco, Ohio, Louisiana, Georgia and perhaps most notoriously, Ferguson, Missouri. Last year, dozens of Oakland, Calif. officers were reportedly part of a years-long sex abuse scandal involving an underage girl. Sex, drug and weapons scandals were also uncovered in departments in upstate New York as well as Illinois.
Court papers filed earlier this month by Joseph Pesapane, an officer in Long Island, New York, describes department brass turning a blind eye to domestic violence charges against officers, and a fellow cop’s fatally negligent response to an emergency that left a civilian dead. The suit claims the department has “a long history rife with public corruption where crimes and serious misconduct are condoned.”
In 2015, a record number of cops were arrested and charged with murder or manslaughter for their role in fatal shootings, a figure that omitted non-shooting deaths, such as that of Freddie Gray. The year saw zero officer convictions. One high-profile case from that year was the murder of Walter Scott, an African-American man from South Carolina. In footage caught on a bystander’s cellphone, white officer Michael Slager fires eight fatal shots into Scott’s back as he runs in the opposite direction. In December, a mistrial was declared in the case, and Slager walked free.
Other findings from the Pew survey are in keeping with responses from the police to social upheaval in recent years, particularly around race and police abuses. Two-thirds of the officers said “the deaths of blacks at the hands of police are isolated incidents.” In some cases, the race of the officer played a key role in the answers. The overwhelming majority of white cops, 92 percent, said “the country has made the changes needed to assure equal rights for blacks,” while just 29 percent of black cops agreed.
Kali Holloway is a senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.
Attacks on police officers would be classified as hate crimes under California bill
from the Los Angeles Times by Patrick McGreevy
Alarmed by a wave of shootings targeting police officers, state Assemblyman Jay Obernolte (R-Big Bear) has introduced a bill that would make an attack on law enforcement a hate crime in California, allowing stiffer penalties for those convicted.
Obernolte’s bill comes after a series of shootings that have left 62 law enforcement officers dead so far this year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. That is up from 38 officers shot to death in the line of duty by this time last year.
Just in July, five police officers were killed by a gunman in Dallas, and three more died in a rampage in Baton Rouge, La. The shootings occurred at a time of high tension between law enforcement and some communities over police killings of unarmed people of color.
“Our police officers put their lives on the line every day and it’s deeply disturbing when they are intentionally targeted because of their chosen profession,” Obernolte said Tuesday in a statement. “This law will send a message to criminals targeting law enforcement officers that their reprehensible behavior will not be tolerated.”
Offenses committed because of the victim’s race, religion, disability or sexual orientation may currently be prosecuted as hate crimes in California.
Conviction of a hate crime can result in an additional one to three years in state prison being tacked on to an offender's sentence, depending on the circumstances.
Earlier this year, Louisiana adopted a measure, dubbed the Blue Lives Matter bill, making attacks on police officers a hate crime, and similar proposals are being considered in Texas, New Jersey and Mississippi, as well as in the U.S. Congress, which can change the federal hate crime law.
Some groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have voiced concerns that such laws could dilute the original intent of hate crime measures to protect vulnerable classes of citizens.
There are already sufficient strong penalties available for those who attack police officers, said Kevin Baker, legislative director with the ACLU of California’s Center for Advocacy and Policy.
“Our hate crime statute is simply not the proper home for these offenses,” Baker added. “Peace officer status is an employment category not analogous to the personal characteristics included in our hate crime statute, including disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation.”
According to Louisiana's new law, citizens who criticize first responders can be sentenced to prison for up to six months and given a $500 penalty. If convicted of a felony, they can receive an additional five years and fines up to $5,000.
What if a cop grabs a protester’s arm and they make a movement the cop considers aggressive, a minor disturbing the peace charge could be bumped up to a hate crime! Once a person is charged with a hate crime, they'll be sentenced to an additional 5 years behind bars. (Lawmakers in eight states are trying to criminalize protesting).
A newly enacted Oklahoma law makes any “assault” on an off-duty cop a felony even if they're acting in self-defense against a drunken off-duty cop. Any physical contact with a cop is considered a felony.
Still doubt this is really happening?
Yesterday, an Oklahoma woman was charged with inciting violence because she called police "pigs".
"We don't think it was very nice of her to threaten the lives and safety of our clients," Attorney David Kirk said. (a Google search for "man arrested for criticizing police" returned 9.4 MILLION hits.)
Police also want to arrest Americans, based on 'sentiment analysis' of their Tweets.
According to professor Juan Manuel Corchado, law enforcement could use the tool to detect , threats and areas with concentrations of potentially dangerous people. “It’s based both on the semantic analysis of messages and historical data and their evolution.”
Americans are being arrested for committing future crimes
Special Order S10-06 allows police to arrest Americans before they commit a crime.
"The primary goal of Targeted Repeat-Offender Apprehension and Prosecution (TRAP) is focused on enhanced prosecution to detain, convict, and incarcerate these offenders before they commit further crimes of violence."
Arresting Americans for criticizing police is a mistake
America incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. Each year 636,000 people walk out of America's prisons while nearly half a million haven't even been convicted of committing a crime! Our justice system is one big money-making revolving door.
From coast to coast, police want citizens arrested for criticizing first responders:
Louisiana --- Maryland --- Oklahoma --- Texas --- New Mexico --- New York --- Pennsylvania --- Missouri --- Wisconsin --- Illinois --- Iowa --- Massachusetts --- California
Colorado citizens aren't allowed to resist an unlawful arrest
“It is no defense to a prosecution under this section that the peace officer was attempting to make an arrest which in fact was unlawful, if he was acting under color of his official authority, and in attempting to make the arrest he was not resorting to unreasonable or excessive force giving rise to the right of self-defense."
Law enforcement officers turned politicians want to arrest Americans for criticizing police
Last year, congressmen Ken Buck introduced H.R. 4760, which makes attacking a first responder a federal 'hate' crime. Buck worked as a prosecutor for 25 years, where he arrested and charged hundreds of people with hate crimes.
“I understand the concern about hate crime legislation,” Buck said, adding that he has used hate crimes laws himself when he was a prosecutor. When it was appropriate, I charged cases under the hate crimes laws,” Buck said.
Also last year, Alan Silvia a former cop turned politician, tried to make it a hate crime in Mass. to criticize first responders.
“I was a police officer for 22 years in Fall River and no one knows better than I the danger faced by men and women who put their lives on the line everyday under dangerous circumstances,” Silvia said in an interview. “They deserve every protection possible.”
The Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police both want to arrest citizens that criticize police.
This legislation would treat any perceived ‘crime’ against first responders an act of hate and add another 5 years to a person’s sentence because of it.
As I mentioned last year, the war on cops is a lie. The reality is, the average number of cop killings has been falling since the 1970's. The truth is, the deadliest time to be a cop in America was forty years ago!
image credit: NPR
Police across the country make "value judgments" about hate crimes
“This is a new world for law enforcement. We have people that monitor social media particularly in and around the things that we think maybe related to hate crimes, and then we make value judgments based on the law” Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said.
It's only a matter of time, before it will be illegal to criticize first responders in America.
Do Not Resist
A HATE CRIME FOR CRITICIZING POLICE