Wednesday, November 25, 2015

It's the COVER-UP, stupid!

Protests? Of course there are protests. There damned well ought to be. I'd be ashamed of this country if the citizenry accepted such an outrage without protest.

Many writers will try to bog you down in the minutia of what Laquan McDonald did and what Jason Van Dyke did, but -- beyond a certain point -- all such discussion is misleading. The killing of McDonald was horrifying indeed, and I am glad that Van Dyke will be prosecuted. But the ongoing cover-up is an even greater horror.

A murder is a crime committed by an individual. A cover-up is a crime committed by a system.

The sad fact is that we will always have bad individuals, at every level of society. But we can no longer tolerate such a hideously corrupt system.

Last night, Chris Hayes' show told the story of a conspiracy. (Hayes has been following the story for months.) Yes, the dreaded C-word is perfectly justified in this case, even though nobody on that program -- or on any other teevee news show -- would feel comfortable using that terminology. Next time someone scoffs at the very idea of a police conspiracy, just mention the name of Laquan McDonald.

An autopsy report was changed. The official account of the incident was an exercise in fiction: It says that McDonald "lunged" at police, when he clearly did no such thing. That deceptive report reflects on the entire department, and demonstrates a widely-shared guilt. It is perfectly obvious that if the dashcam video had not been released, Van Dyke would never have been charged.

As most of you know by now, a cop destroyed surveillance video taken by cameras owned by a local Burger King. This part of the story is still giving rise to official mendacity. See here:
Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez on Tuesday addressed questions surrounding missing footage from a security camera located fewer than 100 yards from where 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot and killed by a police officer last year.
"Forensic testing was done on the Burger King surveillance system to determine if anyone tampered with the evidence and the testing did not reveal any such evidence," she said.

She declined to comment on which agency conducted the tests, however.
What horseshit!

Surveillance footage is constantly re-recorded over the same media: Every day, new video is recorded over old video. That's how such systems work. There is no way that "forensic testing" can determine whether a footage was erased more than a year ago on a camera that has been in continual use.

Besides, law enforcement is clearly the guilty party here -- therefore, any "forensic testing" done by the CPD (or any group linked to the CPD) is valueless. Would you have trusted Nixon's investigation of the Watergate burglary?

Even Homer Simpson would be bright enough to see through Alvarez' ludicrous lie. Here are the facts:
After the shooting, according to Jay Darshane, the District Manager for Burger King, four to five police officers wearing blue and white shirts entered the restaurant and asked to view the video and were given the password to the equipment. Three hours later they left, he said.
But according to Darshane, both the cameras and video recorder were all on and working properly the night of the shooting.

"We had no idea they were going to sit there and delete files," Darshane said. "I mean we were just trying to help the police officers."
Darshane's testimony (which others in the store can confirm) seals the case. Screw Alvarez and her "forensic testing."

Now go here:
At a press conference Tuesday evening, Police Supt Garry McCarthy said accusations that police tampered with the video is "absolutely not true."
Really? And Darshane's motive for lying would be what, exactly? McCarthy's motive for lying is obvious: He is protecting his department.

Now go here:
A spokesperson for the Independent Police Review Authority tells NBC in a statement, “We have no credible evidence at this time that would cause us to believe CPD purged or erased any surveillance video.”
"No credible evidence"? Bullshit. Again: Darshane has zero reason to tell an untrue story.

Now go here:
“Our first time down at the Burger King restaurant when we started talking to employees, watching the Burger King video, when we realized video had been deleted, or is missing, absolutely we knew something was up,” Jeff Neslund, an attorney for the McDonald family.
Chris Hayes reported that Burger King security footage from within the restaurant actually shows the cops speaking to employees. I have not confirmed that claim from another source, but I trust Hayes, who has been covering this story for a long time.

Prosecuting Van Dyke is necessary, but utterly insufficient.

Absolutely everyone who has contributed to the official fabrications about this case -- including Alvarez, McCarthy, and the CPD's internal affairs -- must lose their jobs.

A systemic crime requires a systemic solution. Here's one idea: Offer Van Dyke a plea deal. Tell him that prosecutors will seek a reduced penalty if he identifies his co-conspirators.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (whom I've always disliked) has stated that only "one individual" should be held accountable.  Only one? No. This is a conspiracy. And if Rahm cannot bring himself to admit that fact, then he himself must be considered a co-conspirator.

Agreed that everyone down the line who misrepresented facts should be charged.

Such cover-ups no longer need to happen, however, after the Supreme Court ruled last week that police officer judgment as to the level of threat they face must be deferred to. That is why the lawyer for the officer in this case is out in front this morning claiming that the officer involved felt in mortal danger and that the dashboard camera footage was inadequate in determining what was really happening. The Supreme Court ruled that the benefit of the doubt goes to the officer.This is the Rodney King gambit, sanctified now by the highest court.
You're right, anon. And I guess the Supreme Court is the reason why we have to vote for the one most likely to appoint more liberal justices.
Shaun King and others over at Daily Kos have written some great pieces about Cook County Prosecutor Alvarez. She's very corrupt.
It's also insane that we're extorted into voting for neocons like Hillary because she might nominate a sane SCOTUS justice. The corporatist Dems are holding a gun to our collective heads.
Am I reading that correctly? The Supreme Court of the USA essentially just put a bulls eye on every persons head that is in this country? That basically gives every police officer in the land a license to kill anyone they want to kill for whatever reason they want to. That is very, very grave news. Forget about Trump being a fascist. We are officially there no matter who gets elected. Roberts, Scalia, Alito and Thomas have to be the most radical Supreme Court Justices of all time. They really need to be impeached for this kind of crap. It isn't about Conservative or Liberal anymore. The kinds of decisions they have continually made are as anti-democracy and pro totalitarianism as it gets.
Something to keep in mind that all Burger Kings have Cams back in the Kitchen where the office is located that is where the recorded footage would be , which means when the police entered the kitchen area to review and delete the footage they were recorded doing it, which is how the store manager knows how long they were sitting in there deleting the footage they have them on video doing it,
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