From Ferguson, Missouri to Baltimore, Maryland, policing across the country has fallen under a microscope over the past year. But today the Associated Press releases part three of a year-long investigation into a rarely discussed issue of policing: Sexual misconduct by law enforcement.
According to the AP’s investigation, over the last six years, at least 1,000 police officers across 41 states were stripped of their badges for offenses like rape, sexual assault, and other sex crimes.
The 41 states examined by the AP all willingly provided this information and participated in the decertification process. The nine remaining states either would not provide information or do not revoke their officers licenses.
While 1,000 officers committing these offenses may not seem like a lot when compared with the nearly 480,000 personnel nationwide, a quarter of the nation’s police officers work in states that do not decertify officers for wrongdoing, like New York and California. For those states, there is little information on these crimes.
Police have harassed, frightened, hassled, falsely arrested, beaten, and killed people of every description. We have turned law enforcement into an occupying army, not the beat cop or bobby walking the street. Most cops, like most people, are decent and hardworking. Some cops are poorly trained and poorly supervised. A few are sociopaths who don’t belong on the force (or armed on the street).
All this is true. The brunt of this truth hits non-whites hardest. Whites need to acknowledge this. All people of all colors, including all cops, need to oppose, root-out, and stop police brutality of all kinds everywhere. We’re in this together.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Years before the high-profile deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, more than half of African-American millennials indicated they, or someone they knew, had been victimized by violence or harassment from law enforcement, a new report says. …
In the 2009 Mobilization and Change Survey, 54.4 percent of black millennials answered yes to the question “Have you or anyone you know experienced harassment or violence at the hands of the police?” Almost one-third of whites, 1 in 4 Latinos and 28 percent of Asian-Americans surveyed said yes to the same question.
This study, released to The Associated Press on Wednesday, comes as the United States grapples with concerns over policing in minority communities following the deaths of Martin, 17, in Florida three years ago, Brown, 18, in Ferguson, Missouri, last year and Gray, 25, in Baltimore earlier this year. Their deaths, as well as those of other black men and women, have inspired nationwide protests under the “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name” monikers.
But even while being the wellspring of those movements, a clear majority of black millennials — 71 percent — said in that same survey they believe police in their neighborhood were “there to protect you.” Eighty-five percent of whites, 76 percent of Hispanics and 89 percent of Asians also said police were in their neighborhood to protect them.
“We know that young blacks are more likely to be harassed by the police. We know that they are more likely to mistrust their encounters with the police,” said Cathy Cohen, chair of the political science department at the University of Chicago and leader of the Black Youth Project. “But we also know from actually collecting data that a majority of them believe that police in their neighborhood are actually there to protect them, so I think it provides us with more complexity.”
Another survey done by the project in 2013, the Black Youth Project Quarterly Survey, showed that the percentage of blacks and Latinos who said they knew people who carried guns had declined, but more of them knew someone who was the victim of gun violence. Twenty-four percent of blacks and 22 percent of Latino millennials said they or someone they knew “carried a gun in the last month.” Almost half of white millennials — 46 percent — said they knew of someone who carried a gun.
However, 22 percent of black millennials and 14 percent of Latino millennials said they or someone they knew were the victim of gun violence in the last year, compared to 8 percent of white millennials.
It’s not surprising that young blacks and whites feel differently on these issues, given the different experiences the groups are reporting, said Jon Rogowski, an assistant political science professor at Washington University in St. Louis. For example, white millennials don’t report having to explain themselves to police, while millennials of color report that officers stopped them simply to question them about what they were up to, he said. …
After arrest, black millennials also don’t believe everyone gets fair treatment from the legal system in the United States. They’re not alone in this feeling, with only 38 percent of all millennials agreeing with the statement that “the American legal system treats all groups fairly” in the 2014 Black Youth Project survey.
Black millennials are the most pessimistic about the American legal system, with only a little more than 1 in 4 — 26.8 percent — agreeing that the legal system is fair to all. More than a third of other young Americans surveyed — 41 percent for whites, 36.7 percent for Latinos and 38.1 percent for Asians — agreed that everyone gets treated fairly by the legal system.
But they are also the most optimistic about bringing about change through politics.
More black millennials — 71 percent — believe that they can make a difference through participating in politics than whites at 52 percent or Latinos at 56 percent, according to their June 2014 survey.
Jesse J. Holland covers race, ethnicity and demographics for The Associated Press. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jessejholland and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jessejholland .
The cops have a tough job, both boring and dangerous. However, they have to police themselves, too. Too many cops overreact and escalate situations. Too many citizens have been injured or killed by the police. Clean house. Get rid of the thugs in blue.
Monday, November 2nd, 2015 at 12:05am
Copyright © 2015 Albuquerque Journal
Elementary school principal Stephen Maresca was heading home from hiking in the Sandias with his wife, three children and their dog when the family was arrested by armed deputies after a rookie Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office deputy typed in a wrong license plate number.
Stephen Maresca, center, is shown in this photo with his wife, Heather, and their children. At the time of a March 2013 arrest, he was serving as principal of the Arroyo del Oso Elementary School in Albuquerque. He died unexpectedly from a heart attack earlier this year at the age of 53. (Courtesy of Heather Maresca)
Responding officers had the couple and their children exit the truck, walk backward with their hands up and lie face-down on the pavement. The officers aimed firearms at the parents and children, including two boys ages 17 and 14 and a 9-year-old girl, according to a summary of evidence in an opinion by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
The court ruled last month that the arrest was illegal – reversing an earlier decision that gave the arresting officer, Deputy J. Fuentes, immunity.
The county is now on the hook for that 2013 arrest by Fuentes.
This is the second time in a week that the Albuquerque Journal has opposed Game Commission actions. (Previously, it was the approval of mountain lion traps that any decent human being would oppose.)
This is the same Game Commission whose head participated in the slaughter of a cornered mountain lion by a disgustingly privileged Texas attorney for a wheel barrel full of cash. These spoiled frat boys need to go. Fire them. Chase them down the street with sticks. Find someone with heart and sense to serve on the commission.
Unlike the Bill Richardson administration, which supported the program, Gov. Susana Martinez has not been friendly to it – even though it has been popular with many New Mexicans. A 2008 survey by Research & Polling found 69 percent either strongly supported or somewhat supported the program. In 2011, the governor-appointed Game Commission suspended state participation.
The profiteers will sell anything for a buck. They only see money. They are broken people and they break everything they touch. And the rest of us let them have their way every time.
Chaco: A World Heritage site faces fracking | Albuquerque Journal News By Andy Gulliford / Writers On The Range PUBLISHED: Friday, March 20, 2015 at 12:05 am
We are preparing to ravage a place before we know all its archaeological secrets. Every decade, more is revealed about Chaco’s complex culture. In the 1970s, for example, low-flying reconnaissance flights gave us the first hints of a vast Chaco road system, with well-made roads about 30 feet wide and laid out in straight lines for miles. And yet the Chacoans had no draft animals or wheeled carts. In the 1980s, scientists proved that one of the world’s only lunar calendars set to the 18.6-year cycle of the moon had been etched on boulders near the top of Chaco’s Fajada Butte.
In the 1990s, Anna Sofaer and the Solstice Project verified that Chaco’s buildings had been constructed to align with solstices and equinoxes of the sun, as well as to lunar cycles. In the past decade, using electron microscopes to analyze smashed pottery sherds from drinking vessels, scientists determined that, during ceremonies, Chacoans drank chocolate from cacao beans traded on foot north from Meso-America.
Who knows what else we might learn about one of the world’s great cultures? Unfortunately, our modern addiction to oil is damaging the landscape faster than it can be studied. Sofaer is creating a new film about these ecological threats. She says, “We filmed on the ground the ravages of many newly constructed roads, pipelines and well pads transforming the landscape east and north of Chaco Canyon. Some sites were within 15 miles of the canyon, where we found archaeological artifacts. On overcast nights, the skies above this area are invaded by an eerie reddish glow from the fracking rigs.”
With oil and gas revenues falling, this is a good time for Congress to draw a protective boundary around Chaco, and agree to full mineral withdrawal of adjacent oil and gas leases on BLM and Navajo allotment lands.
During a public meeting, Ronny Rardin chastised a citizen for failing to worship Jesus. This is a flagrant violation of the US and New Mexico constitutions. All elected officials swear to uphold these constitutions. Rardin should be impeached. If not impeached, he should be recalled by the voters. If not recalled, he should be pelted with rotten tomatoes at the next public meeting. What a turd in the public punchbowl.
Otero County Commission: Women, Jesus and whispers | Albuquerque Journal News By Thomas Cole / Of the Journal PUBLISHED: Monday, March 16, 2015 at 12:05 am
After commission action on other items, it was time for public comment.
A man who identified himself as a Lutheran pastor and former military chaplain said he objected to Rardin saying “in Jesus’ name” during the invocation at the beginning of the commission meeting. The man said prayers in public forums should be nonsectarian.
“Why?” asked Rardin, longtime pastor of Saving Grace Independent Baptist Church in Alamogordo.
“Because not everybody here may be a Christian or share the same sentiments,” the man responded.
Rardin said he doesn’t expect others to believe as he does but added, “I’m going to give it (the invocation) under my opinion. … If you think I’m not going to say ‘Jesus,’ you’re wrong.”
The commissioner also told the man, “I’m really ashamed that you don’t want to say ‘Jesus.’ Shame on you, but that’s your problem.”
Rardin said the raising of such “trivial stuff” made him want to strike public comments from the commission’s agenda.
He didn’t do that. But at the next commission meeting, on Feb. 12, Rardin limited public comment to three minutes and to urgent matters. No one spoke.
Note that Rardin also acted like a sexist ass and pushed the limits on public meetings. Then, unhappy with the public he was elected to serve, he imperially curtailed comments. He is the one who should be beyond ashamed.
Two months ago, Rardin was involved in an appalling act of nepotism and favoritism. Our new Land Commissioner, hardly a stellar public servant, gave Rardin a sweetheart deal of a contract. Rardin, in turn, wanted to share the wealth with the son of said Land Commissioner, who already suckles the public teat. Double-dipping, double-dealing, ethics-lacking scammers. Republicans determined to prove government doesn’t work and can’t be trusted. And Good Christians!
Official tries to give work to land commissioner’s son | Albuquerque Journal News By Thomas Cole / Of the Journal, PUBLISHED: Monday, March 9, 2015 at 12:05 am
Effective Jan. 2, Otero County Commission Chairman Ronny Rardin began work for the office of newly elected state Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn under a short-term $7,500-a-month contract.
Six days later, Rardin tried – but failed – to give Dunn’s son Blair more of the county’s legal work.
If you’ve heard of Nusenda, you’ve probably heard of the controversy attached to the name. I’ve been a member of the New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union since 1984. This week, members were told abruptly, “Here’s the new name: Nusenda. Ta-da!” Along with the name, we’re told that it’s still the same CU and we’re still the owners. Name another company where the owners came in one day to find the name had changed without warning.
We’re told the old name was too hard for people to remember. Boo-hoo. The old name confused people — they thought you had to be an educator. Isn’t marketing supposed to explain that anyone can join? How does “Nusenda” say that more clearly? You can’t even guess what kind of business Nusenda is.
Potential members confused by the name might also think you have to live in New Mexico and with that tidbit we get at the truth: Nusenda has larger ambitions than New Mexico, than educators, than its current members. Nusenda means self-serving greed and expansionism. No thanks.