Riots and Fires and Urban Warfare .. and Lockdowns

President Trump walked from the White House across Lafayette Park to St John’s Church which was set on fire by protesters Sunday night. Trump held up a Bible in front of the church. He was joined by daughter Ivanka and several other administration officials. As one can imagine, some in the media were not happy. June 1, 2020

President Trump walks from the Oval Office to deliver remarks in the Rose Garden | June 1, 2020

  "Most of you are weak"

Listen - President Trump Rips Into do-nothing Dem governors during conference call

***********.

"Had officer Chauvin the sense or the pity to take his knee off George Floyd’s neck before killing the man, we wouldn’t have riots and fires and urban warfare this weekend. But that doesn’t make Floyd’s killing the sole cause of this unrest."

The lockdown riots

"It seems impossible to deny that the lockdowns are a major cause of these once-in-a-generation nationwide protests"

As liberal writer and former Baltimore Sun reporter Alec MacGillis put it, “there's been a massive, unprecedented (since 1918) shock to society over the past two months. Of *course* it is shaping what is unfolding now, in a way that didn't happen in, say, 2015-16,” when other police killings happened.

Gallup in late April found that “the percentage of U.S. adults who evaluate their lives well enough to be considered ‘thriving’ has dropped to 46.4%, matching the low point measured in November 2008 during the Great Recession.”

The share of Americans feeling stress and worry jumped by 50% this Spring. Unemployment, idleness, and fear will do that. Millions of people are without work. Millions of young people are without school. Everybody’s bars, restaurants, and coffee shops are closed.

Cities have removed the rims from basketball courts and threatened fines for getting together with too many of your friends. In cities, which is where the rioters are concentrated, people — particularly minorities and non-affluent young adults — had to deal with the added hassle of social-distancing and mask-policing.

More laws, and more intrusive laws means more potential points of friction between law enforcement and the public, which in turn means more protests, more of which are likely to go south.

Basketball games were broken up. Philadelphia police dragged a man from a bus for not wearing a mask. New York police arrested and handcuffed a mother after she rejected police instructions to wear her mask properly.

For the police, the lockdowns and the virus have added new stresses. The NYPD said that death threats against police rose as they were charged with policing coronavirus rules. With courthouses closed, many police saw all the work they did effectively discarded.

Others resented being asked to police petty infractions of new and unclear rules issued by politicians who never intended for full enforcement of those rules. Finally, when the protestors took to the streets this week, their downtowns already looked like ghost towns.

The anxiety of no school, no pool, no work, no church, and no certainty about the future, combined with added tension with police amid lockdown rules, and suddenly the kindling was a lot dryer, allowing the spark to set off a blaze that is encompassing our whole country.

.

The lockdown riots

Had officer Chauvin the sense or the pity to take his knee off George Floyd’s neck before killing the man, we wouldn’t have riots and fires and urban warfare this weekend. But that doesn’t make Floyd’s killing the sole cause of this unrest.

To light a fire, you need at least three elements -- fuel, oxygen, and a spark.

The protests and ultimately the riots were ignited by the videos of Chauvin killing Floyd. The oxygen — always present — was America’s history of police violence and racial tension. Some of the fuel, the kindling that made this spark turn into an inferno, was the lockdown of society and the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The lockdowns and the closures and the stay-at-home orders aren’t the only fuel, of course. And the pandemic itself, and the fear of contracting it, must be considered a contributing factor, too.

Yes, we’ve had violence like this America. Yes, police brutality has led to rioting before now. But why didn’t we have downtowns and police stations burnt down after Philando Castille, Tamir Rice, or Eric Garner all died senselessly at police hands? The rioting in Baltimore after Freddy Gray’s death, was mostly limited to Baltimore.

Something bigger is happening now.

Logically, it seems impossible to deny that the lockdowns are a major cause of these once-in-a-generation nationwide protests. As liberal writer and former Baltimore Sun reporter Alec MacGillis put it, “there's been a massive, unprecedented (since 1918) shock to society over the past two months. Of *course* it is shaping what is unfolding now, in a way that didn't happen in, say, 2015-16,” when other police killings happened.

On a basic level, people are more unhappy during this pandemic. Gallup in late April found that “the percentage of U.S. adults who evaluate their lives well enough to be considered ‘thriving’ has dropped to 46.4%, matching the low point measured in November 2008 during the Great Recession.” That’s a 13-point drop from a year ago, so this isn’t about Trump. The share of Americans feeling stress and worry jumped by 50% this Spring.

Unemployment, idleness, and fear will do that. Millions of people are without work. Millions of young people are without school. Everybody’s bars, restaurants, and coffee shops are closed. Cities have removed the rims from basketball courts and threatened fines for getting together with too many of your friends.

Without recreation or work, cut off from friends, and with nothing to do, people will be more on edge. Idleness will also drive people to extreme and unwise actions.

Wesley Lowery, a Washington Post reporter who has covered the beat since Ferguson, wrote that activists and organizers he spoke to in many cities noted “that this enraging death happened at a time when people had been stuck in their homes, cut off from others, and scared for their lives for months.”

Being unemployed, with most of the businesses around you closed down, also makes people poorer. That adds to stress, as well.

In cities, which is where the rioters are concentrated, people — particularly minorities and non-affluent young adults — had to deal with the added hassle of social-distancing and mask-policing. More laws, and more intrusive laws means more potential points of friction between law enforcement and the public, which in turn means more protests, more of which are likely to go south.

Basketball games were broken up. Philadelphia police dragged a man from a bus for not wearing a mask. New York police arrested and handcuffed a mother after she rejected police instructions to wear her mask properly.

For the police, the lockdowns and the virus have added new stresses. The NYPD said that death threats against police rose as they were charged with policing coronavirus rules. With courthouses closed, many police saw all the work they did effectively discarded. Others resented being asked to police petty infractions of new and unclear rules issued by politicians who never intended for full enforcement of those rules.

Finally, when the protestors took to the streets this week, their downtowns already looked like ghost towns.

The anxiety of no school, no pool, no work, no church, and no certainty about the future, combined with added tension with police amid lockdown rules, and suddenly the kindling was a lot dryer, allowing the spark to set off a blaze that is encompassing our whole country.


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  • Joe F.
    commented 2020-06-01 08:28:12 -0400
    Posted by Jim Donahue
    Jun 1, 2020 | CopConscience

    Manufactured Outrage – The George Floyd Story

    Last Monday, May 25, 2020, was Memorial Day in the United States. It was also George Floyd’s last day on earth. At the early age of 46, Mr. Floyd passed away during a medical procedure in a Minneapolis hospital, according to police reports.

    In the years prior to his death, Floyd spent five years in prison for armed robbery. He was no angel (not that any of us are) and being handled by law enforcement and corrections officers was not new to him.

    In the hours immediately preceding his death, he broke the law by attempting to make a purchase with a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill. In the process of being arrested, Mr. Floyd was taken to the ground by the officers at the scene. After he was handcuffed, he was held in place by Officer Derek Chauvin who used a neck restraint.

    Watching Ofc. Chauvin use the restraint was not a pretty sight. But then, most use-of-force events are not pretty to watch, especially if you are an untrained civilian. It was reported that Floyd told the attending officers, “I cannot breathe,” more than once. Sounds bad.

    Once on the street, rookie cops quickly learn that it is quite common for people who have been arrested and are on their way to jail to suddenly claim some kind of horrible medical problem.

    “I can’t breathe.”
    “I’m having horrible chest pains.”
    “I’m feeling dizzy and have no sensation on my left/right side.”
    “When you punched me, I think you broke my arm, wrist, hand, shoulder, ribs, yadda, yadda, yadda. I need to go to the hospital.”

    Experienced lawbreakers are doing everything they can to delay their entrance into the jail because they know that they have a much better chance of escaping from a medical facility than they will have escaping from a jail cell.

    It’s an old song and most cops quickly grow tired of hearing it. It is usually shrugged-off unless there has been some evidence of the problem previously as the incident unfolded.

    Ultimately, after an unknown amount of time dealing with the criminal, (Floyd) at or near the store, medics arrived to check him over and he is then he was whisked off to be checked at the hospital and ultimately, held at the local Iron Hotel.

    THE COMMUNITY SPEAKS OUT

    As is common these days, members of the public were recording videos of the incident. A few seconds of it were parsed and presented to public via social media.

    It was intended to show the ‘awful’ things the four ‘bully cops’ did to this poor, defenseless, unarmed man who did not deserve such harsh treatment. As a result, Minneapolis citizens began to protest against what they saw as excessive force being used by their local cops.

    They didn’t like it and they took to the streets to let their opinions be known.

    They had every right to do that.

    Over the years, experience has taught cops everywhere a lesson. The average Joe in the community believes this falsehood: Contemporaneous videos which are recorded at the scene and shown later tell the entire story. And, of course, they are always 100% accurate.

    Many times, the videos meet those expectations. In this case though, the video led the viewer to a conclusion which was 180 degrees off-the-mark.

    People demonstrated in the streets of Minneapolis. They appeared in huge numbers and their voices were loud. Their demands and their desires sincere. All of that is very much part of the fabric of America; it has been since our founding.

    Read more – https://copblue.com/manufactured-outrage-the-george-floyd-story/

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