NYAG Wants to Prosecute Police Violence Cases

@schneidermanNY
Courtesy of my friends at the new and improved Albany Project comes news that Attorney General Eric Schneiderman formally asked Governor Cuomo to transfer the investigation and prosecution of excessive police violence cases over to the AG’s office.

The problem stems from the fact that local DAs and police work hand-in-hand as colleagues, and there are questions as to whether these cases are taken seriously and prosecuted as vigorously as non-police violence cases.

DAs are already opposed to the idea.

In the wake of the gobsmackingly unreasonable and astonishing refusal by a Staten Island grand jury to indict the officers who killed Eric Garner, Governor Cuomo demanded a “soup to nuts” review of the justice system, but for some reason lawmakers who think themselves “law and order” types are resisting any such query.

 

Not just that, but in the minds of some of these mostly Republican “law and order”┬ápeople, that term doesn’t apply to cop conduct. Even body cameras, additional training – not to mention the use of special prosecutors for police brutality cases – appear to be non-starters in New York State.

Now, it’s up to Governor Cuomo to decide whether to let Schneiderman’s office take excessive force cases. Albany Project isn’t hopeful,

No way he hands Schneiderman a victory, even if it means denying meaningful justice for victims of police violence.

Protests and Riots, Same as it Ever Was

In the week since a Missouri grand jury returned no indictment against Darren Wilson, the killer of Michael Brown, a lot of whitesplaining has taken place, mostly from non-lawyers who deliberately or ignorantly misapprehend what a grand jury is and how it works. That’s before we get to Darren Wilson’s unvetted story.

Here are three facts: there was no trial, there was no verdict, and Darren Wilson was not found innocent, much less “not guilty”.

In that time, there have been protests both peaceful and violent, and I’ve seen many commentators dismiss the rioters as “animals” and “thugs”, or worse.

Rioting, however, doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

From the Buffalonian, via Reddit, here is a summary explaining why African-Americans on Buffalo’s East Side rioted in the summer of 1967.

A preliminary report

Looking at and considering the reasons why people riot isn’t the same as excusing it or condoning it. But if we want to stop violence like that from happening again, perhaps we – as a society – could consider what’s working, what isn’t, and why the problems identified in 1967 persist so pervasively to this day.

The Ferguson riots didn’t happen in a vacuum. It doesn’t matter anyway, because even when African-Americans have the audacity to protest peacefully – whether in Buffalo, Los Angeles, or St. Louis – there will be white people around to remind them that they’re being uppity, and that it’s not at all their place.

Which is it? That they should protest peacefully, or that they should STFU and not protest at all because a “jury” reached a “verdict” that Wilson was “not guilty”?

People in Ferguson were angry there won’t be a trial. Courtesy of PBS Newshour, here is why there should have been a trial. Not a guilty verdict – just a trial.

Maybe that’s why people in Ferguson reacted violently – years’ worth of frustration, sparked by apparent and perceived injustice.

table-finalfinalup4

Click to enlarge