Sunday Afternoon Snark

Somebody said to me once that she thought I should try ignoring the news for a week or more, just think about positive things, and see if my mood wouldn’t improve.  Well, I didn’t bother to try her suggestion, for I’m a news junkie.  I think it’s our responsibility to stay on top of what’s happening, not only in our own country, but in the world.  Y’see … it’s not all about me … happiness and joy aren’t the end goal here, but rather, at least in my book, leaving a positive mark in the world we occupy, making a difference somehow.  And that’s why things like these two snippets make me growl, put a scowl on my face, and why I must share my growls and scowls with you, my friends.  Happy Sunday!


Murder by any other name …

Chris Craven, a 38-year-old NASCAR team worker, was having a mental health crisis last August 2nd and was threatening suicide.  His family called 911 for help.  Big mistake.  ‘Help’ arrived in the form of two police officers, Alexander Arndt and Christopher Novelli, apparently operating, under the philosophy of ‘shoot first, ask questions later’, and after shooting Mr. Craven 15 times with high velocity bullets, Chris Craven was dead.  The officers claim that Mr. Craven pulled a pistol on them, but Craven’s family disputes this and says he was complying with the orders the officers barked.

Last Friday, ten months after the murder of Chris Craven, the prosecutor assigned to the case, District Attorney Andy Gregson, decided not to file criminal charges in connection with the shooting.  He says that the two officers ‘reasonably feared for their lives’ when they opened fire.  Even if that is true, why did they fire their weapons 15 times and why did they shoot to kill?  They already knew that Mr. Craven was suicidal from the content of the 911 call … why did they decide to murder him rather than call for help?

The body cam footage has been kept secret and not released to the public.  Gregson claims that the body cam footage shows Craven pulling the gun, but the family says otherwise and they have not been allowed to see the body cam footage.  Craven’s wife, Amy, said in a statement that the District Attorney’s findings were …

“… a tale of twisted stories where unsubstantiated statements from the officers are mixed into the explanations of the video to create a story that suits the narrative the MPD wishes was the truth.”

The killing is one of more than 900 fatal shootings by U.S. law enforcement over the past year.  Don’t you think it’s time we changed the way law enforcement officers are trained to deal with such situations?  Don’t you think it’s time we hold police officers accountable for their actions?  I damn sure do!


Andrew Clyde once again crosses Filosofa’s radar

Freshman Representative Andrew Clyde from Georgia (the same state that sent Margie Greene to the House) has crossed my radar no less than three times in the past month.  First, he declared that the mob who attacked the Capitol on January 6th were just ‘normal tourists’ and that there was no insurrection.  Then he joined forces with the ignoble Louie Gohmert in filing a federal lawsuit claiming that the requirement to pass through a metal detector in the Capitol was in violation of his civil rights, or some such nonsense.  And third, he was one of the 14 racist members of the U.S. House of Representatives who refused to vote for the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act.  These newbies sure do know how to raise our hackles, don’t they?  They come into Congress, still wet behind the ears, and act like they know more than anybody else.

Anyway, Clyde has now set a new record by flying across my radar a fourth time in a period of a month.  This one is just downright disrespectful and as a human being, Mr. Clyde disgusts me.  Clyde voted against awarding police officers the Congressional Gold Medal for their bravery in protecting the U.S. Capitol against violent, pro-Trump rioters on January 6th, but it gets even worse than that.

Alexandria, VA – January 13: Michael Fanone, 40, is an officer with the Metropolitan Police Department that helped fend off rioters at the U.S. Capitol and was captured in a now viral video where he was dragged down stairs and beaten unconscious and suffered a heart attack. (Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Officer Michael Fanone was one of the more than 140 police officers who were injured that fateful day.  His injuries were severe – he was beaten unconscious and suffered a concussion and a heart attack.  Along with U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn, Mr. Fanone came to Congress this week in an effort to meet with the 21 members of the House – all Republicans – who voted against awarding the officers the Congressional Gold Medal and tell their story about that day.  One of the first people Fanone ran into in the Capitol was Representative Andrew Clyde.  According to Fanone …

“I simply extended my hand and said, ‘How are you doing today, Congressman.’ I knew immediately he recognized me by the way he reacted. He completely froze. He just stared at me.  I said, ‘I’m sorry, you’re not going to shake my hand?  I’m sorry, sir, my name is Michael Fanone. I’m a D.C. police officer and I fought to defend the Capitol on Jan. 6.’  His response was nothing. He turned away from me, pulled out his cellphone and started thumbing through the apps.” 

What a disgusting piece of human flesh Mr. Clyde is!  Democrat or Republican, male or female, there is absolutely NO EXCUSE for such rudeness.  Georgia has sent to Congress at least two of the most disrespectful, horrible representatives that have ever walked the halls of the U.S. Capitol!  DO NOT send them back in 2022, Georgia!  And in the future, teach them some damn manners!

So, Andrew Clyde is now near the top of my list of the ten most horrible people in the Republican Party.

🏳️‍🌈 Celebrating PRIDE Month – Part I 🏳️‍🌈

My posts are usually geared toward socio-political issues such as racism & bigotry, politics, the environment, etc., but every now and then there is something that takes precedence over all those things — they will still be here tomorrow, right?  Today, I am dedicating Filosofa’s Word, as I have for the past two years, to Pride Month.  Quick question:  do you know what PRIDE stands for?  I’m ashamed to say that I did not know until a few days ago that it stands for Personal Rights In Defense and Education.  Makes perfect sense, don’t you think?  The fight to be recognized and accepted has been an ongoing battle for decades, perhaps longer, and while we have made progress, today there are states such as Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and others that have either passed or are preparing bills that would legalize discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

The following is Part I of a post I wrote for PRIDE Month in 2019 and reprised in 2020.  I don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel, and frankly when I read over this post, except for a few minor adjustments, I didn’t think I could do any better if I started over.  Part II will be on the schedule for later this afternoon.  Meanwhile, to all my friends in the LGBTQ community … I wish you a heartfelt Happy PRIDE Month!


Pride-month-3June is Pride Month, a month dedicated to recognizing the impact LGBTQ people have had in the world.  I see Pride Month in much the same way I see February’s Black History Month.  It is a way to honour or commemorate those who rarely receive the recognition they deserve, and are often discriminated against, simply because they are LGBTQ, or Black, in the case of Black History Month.  A bit of history …

The Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, was owned by the Genovese crime family, and in 1966, three members of the Genovese family invested $3,500 to turn the Stonewall Inn into a gay bar, after it had been a restaurant and a nightclub for heterosexuals. Once a week a police officer would collect envelopes of cash as a payoff, as the Stonewall Inn had no liquor license and thus was operating outside the law.  It was the only bar for gay men in New York City where dancing was allowed; dancing was its main draw since its re-opening as a gay club.

At 1:20 a.m. on Saturday, June 28, 1969, four plainclothes policemen in dark suits, two patrol officers in uniform, and Detective Charles Smythe and Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine arrived at the Stonewall Inn’s double doors and announced “Police! We’re taking the place!”  Approximately 205 people were in the bar that night. Patrons who had never experienced a police raid were confused. A few who realized what was happening began to run for doors and windows in the bathrooms, but police barred the doors.

Standard procedure was to line up the patrons, check their identification, and have female police officers take customers dressed as women to the bathroom to verify their sex, upon which any men dressed as women would be arrested. Those dressed as women that night refused to go with the officers. Men in line began to refuse to produce their identification. The police decided to take everyone present to the police station, after separating those cross-dressing in a room in the back of the bar.

Long story short, a few patrons were released before the patrol wagons arrived to cart the rest off to jail, and those few stayed out front, attracted quite a large crowd, mostly LGBT people, and after an officer hit a woman over the head for saying her handcuffs were too tight, the crowd went into fight mode.  By this time, the police were outnumbered by some 600 people.  Garbage cans, garbage, bottles, rocks, and bricks were hurled at the building, breaking the windows.  The mob lit garbage on fire and stuffed it through the broken windows.  Police tried to use water hoses to disperse the crowd, but there was no water pressure.  Police pulled their weapons, but before they could fire them, the Tactical Patrol Force and firefighters arrived.  The crowd mocked and fought against the police, who began swinging their batons right and left, not much caring who they hit or where.

The crowd was cleared by 4:00 a.m., but the mood remained dark, and the next night, rioting resumed with thousands of people showing up at the Stonewall, blocking the streets.  Police responded, and again it was 4:00 a.m. before the mob was cleared.

There comes a point when people who are mistreated, abused, discriminated against, have had enough.  It is the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, and the police raid on the Stonewall Inn, the treatment of people who were only out to enjoy the night, was that straw.  It was a history making night, not only for the LGBTQ community, but for the nation.pride-month-stonewall.jpgWithin six months of the Stonewall riots, activists started a citywide newspaper called Gay; they considered it necessary because the most liberal publication in the city—The Village Voice—refused to print the word “gay”.  Two other newspapers were initiated within a six-week period: Come Out! and Gay Power; the readership of these three periodicals quickly climbed to between 20,000 and 25,000.  Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) was formed with a constitution that began …

“We as liberated homosexual activists demand the freedom for expression of our dignity and value as human beings.”

I think that says it all, don’t you?  ‘Dignity and value as human beings’.  It is, in my book, a crying shame that our society needs to be reminded that we are all human beings, that we all have value and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

Christopher Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970 marked the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots with an assembly on Christopher Street; with simultaneous Gay Pride marches in Los Angeles and Chicago, these were the first Gay Pride marches in U.S. history. The next year, Gay Pride marches took place in Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee, London, Paris, West Berlin, and Stockholm.  The Stonewall riots are considered the birth of the gay liberation movement and of gay pride on a massive scale.  The event has been likened to the Boston Tea Party, and Rosa Parks’ refusal to move to the back of the bus.  All of those were people’s way of saying, “We’ve had enough!”

2019 marked the 50-year anniversary of the Stonewall Inn raid and ensuing riots, and at long last, the New York City Police Department apologized to the LGBTQ community.  “The actions taken by the NYPD [at Stonewall] were wrong, plain and simple,” police commissioner James O’Neill said.  He also noted that the frequent harassment of LGBTQ men and women and laws that prohibited same-sex sexual relations are “discriminatory and oppressive” and apologized on behalf of the department.

President Bill Clinton first declared June to be National Pride Month in 1999, and again in 2000.  On June 1, 2001, President George W. Bush announced that the White House would not formally recognize Pride Month.  Every year that President Barack Obama was in office, he declared June to be LGBT Pride Month.  Donald Trump ignored it in throughout his tenure and blocked the display of the Pride flag at all U.S. embassies.  This year, President Biden recognized Pride Month, saying he “will not rest until full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans is finally achieved and codified into law.”

“”During LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we recognize the resilience and determination of the many individuals who are fighting to live freely and authentically. In doing so, they are opening hearts and minds, and laying the foundation for a more just and equitable America.”

Since this post turned into a history lesson, I wrote a second post to highlight some of the celebrations, the fun ways that people celebrate pride month, the people and organizations that are supporting Pride Month, and to honour the LGBTQ community, but I felt the history was important also, so … stay tuned for Part II later this afternoon!

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Sweet Caroline For Cops

Clay Jones is spot on, as always!

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The nation was shocked with the conviction of police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. Shocked because normally, cops get away with killing unarmed black men. Prosecutors will often say, “Nothing to see here,” and work diligently to protect police, which is what happened in Ferguson over the cop killing of Michael Brown and Cleveland over the cop killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. In both of those cases, prosecutors put together grand juries that refused to indict the cops. Grand juries typically do what a prosecutor wants. If there’s no indictment, it’s because the prosecutor didn’t want one. Too often when it comes to cops killing an unarmed black man, district attorneys act more like defense lawyers than prosecutors. It’s what they often refer to in the south as the good-ole-boy network. Good-ole boys take care of good-ole boys.

After Chauvin was convicted as a murderer, a…

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A Good Cop’s Perspective

Last night, I came across an Opinion piece in The Washington Post, written by a police officer that really impressed me.  Halfway through reading the article, I was saying, “Oh yeah … this guy really gets it!”  The officer is Patrick Skinner, working on the police force in his hometown of Savannah, Georgia.  Officer Skinner is a former CIA operations officer and served in the United States Coast Guard as well as the U.S. Capitol Police, so he has a broad base of experience in law enforcement.  The man knows of what he speaks …


I’m a cop. The Chauvin verdict is a message for me, and for my colleagues.

Police officers can’t be defensive. We owe it to those we serve to change policing — and slow down.

by Patrick Skinner

I was at work as a police officer when the judge announced the jurors’ verdict Tuesday in a Minneapolis courtroom. I am a violent-crimes detective in my hometown of Savannah, Ga., but like the rest of America, I was worried about the verdict. I was worried that once again, a jury would, despite clear video evidence of guilt, find that it was somehow reasonable for a minor criminal matter to end in the death of an unarmed suspect at the hands of a police officer.

But I was also worried that we would view the outcome as the conclusion of a trial and not the beginning of change. Because as powerful as the murder conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin is, what we do next — as a country in general and as police in particular — will go a long way in determining whether systemic positive police reform is possible. It is in this time immediately after the verdict that several things, which are entirely within my control as a police officer, have to happen.

The first thing is actually something that needs to not happen: Police must not be defensive. We must not circle the wagons. “Not all cops” is exactly the wrong reaction. Even though that is true — of course not all cops are bad — it is irrelevant. Systemic reform is inseparable from individual change. We need both, and they have to feed off each other. There will be a natural desire by police, myself included, to say that the system worked, that Chauvin was found guilty by a jury of his peers and that a bad apple was sent to jail, no longer around to rot the bunch. Again, this is true, but it is also irrelevant. A nation so tense about a single trial, so uncertain about what was going to happen, is a nation in desperate need of much more. And we all have to take a first step. For me, the first step is that I need to take this verdict personally if I am to change professionally: That means I need to empathize more with my neighbors, and if they’re outraged or sad or just weary from police interactions — theirs and others’ — I need to work from that space. It means these outrages aren’t just outrageous to my profession, they’re outrageous to me personally. It means to step out of comfortable anonymity and demand that we change it all.

Here’s the second thing that needs to happen: We police need to fight the destructive reaction we have resorted to before in places like New York, where members of the police union had an unofficial but announced slowdown in 2019 after the dismissal of an officer implicated in the killing of Eric Garner by police in 2014. We have to stop saying, in effect, that if we can’t do our job the way we have always done it, well then, we won’t do our job at all. We might still collect a paycheck, but we will stop a lot of work because of an exaggerated fear of running afoul of the “new rules.” Rules such as “Don’t treat your neighbors like robots of compliance,” “Don’t escalate trivial matters into life-or-death confrontations” and “Treat your neighbors as if they were your neighbors.” That anyone would consider these rules “new” is a problem in itself. Few police officers reading them aloud would take issue with such anodyne statements, but put accountability behind the statements and now they’re an attack, not just on all police but the very foundation of American policing. The truth is that we do not get to tell our neighbors — those whose communities we police — how we will do our job. They tell us.

Faced with criticism that perhaps police should not be turning a traffic stop over an unarmed person’s vehicle registration sticker into something to be resolved at gunpoint, some will say, “What are the police supposed to do, let all criminals just run away?” There is a lot wrong with that reaction. To begin with, let’s slow down on calling someone with registration issues a criminal. And then let’s slow down everything, because we police are rushing to make bad decisions when time is almost always our friend. Tamir Rice most likely would not have been killed for having a toy gun if the Cleveland police officers had not rushed right up to him and shot him. There was no violence going on; the 12-year-old was alone in the middle of a park. Slow down, I tell myself in almost every police encounter. The risk to my neighbors in my rushing to a final judgment in very uncertain and fluid situations far outweighs the risk to myself. I’m often wrong in the initial assessment of chaotic scenes, and so I try to be wrong silently, allowing my judgment to catch up to my reactions, to allow my perception to catch up with my vision. Slow down.

I don’t know the third thing that needs to happen to lay the foundation for sweeping positive change in American policing because I’m so focused on the first two. I’m worried. I’m even scared. Not of big changes but that they might not happen. There is nothing easy or comfortable about any of this. To change policing in America requires confronting issues of race, poverty, inequality, injustice — the very issues too many in America say aren’t even issues anymore, as if history and its terrible weight started today.

I believe I was wrong for some time about not taking this personally. I’ve often told myself to not take well-deserved criticism of police misconduct and crime personally, because while as a police officer I am responsible, I was not personally responsible. I even wrote about this very thing here last year after the murder of George Floyd. I meant that I must not get defensive and to accept responsibility even if I wasn’t to blame. But now I don’t think that’s enough, at least for me. I think I have to take it personally: I have to be offended, I have to be outraged, and I have to act. That means I need to understand the goal of every 911 call, and that the compliance of those I encounter is not a goal; it might be a path to a goal but it’s not the goal. It means putting my neighbors first at every instance. It means often to act slower, to give my neighbors the benefit of the doubt because they are the point of my job.

None of this is abstract, none of this is a metaphor. All of this is senseless death in needlessly life-or-death situations. And all of this is personal.

I was at work when the verdict came in; I’ll be at work tomorrow, taking this verdict personally because my neighbors demand it. And they have always deserved it.

As I said, Officer Skinner is one cop who truly gets it, who understands what his job is, understands who he really works for … We the People, and sincerely wants police officers across the nation to learn from the tragedy of the George Floyd murder.  I give two thumbs up 👍 👍 to Officer Skinner!  The rest of the police need to take their cues from him.

The Face of Ugly

Late last night, long after most people were snoring and dreaming dreams of camels in the desert or picnics in the park, I had just finished responding to comments and preparing my music post for this morning.  I thought, since it was only 3:20 a.m., I would go ahead and get a start on trolling the news stories of the day, trying to find a focal point for my afternoon post.  And then I saw this headline …

Iowa Woman Admits to Hitting Children With Car Because of Their Ethnicity

And, as I have done so many times over the past few years, I felt tears well up, and then I cursed, slamming my fist into the table and saying, “F$&@ Y$#, B@#%*!”  No apologies for the language this time … this ‘woman’ deserves that and more.

Her name is Nicole Poole Franklin and she is 43 years old.

Look at the picture.  Look closely.  This bitch with the smirk on her mouth, the two-toned dyed hair, and the evil shining from her eyes thinks she is somehow better than me or you or anybody who doesn’t look like her.

From the official release by the Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs, dated 22 April 2021 …

An Iowa woman pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to hate crime charges for attempting to kill two children because of their race and national origin.

According to admissions Nicole Poole Franklin, 42, made during the hearing, on the afternoon of Dec. 9, 2019, Poole Franklin was driving her Jeep Grand Cherokee on Creston Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa, where the first child-victim was walking along the sidewalk with another young relative. Upon seeing the children and believing that the victim was of Middle Eastern or African descent, Poole Franklin drove her vehicle over the curb towards both children, striking one of them. Poole Franklin then drove away from the scene. The assault resulted in injury to the victim, including cuts, bruising, and swelling. Approximately 30 minutes later, Poole Franklin was driving her Jeep near Indian Hills Junior High School in Clive, Iowa, where the second child-victim was walking on the sidewalk. Poole Franklin, believing that the child was Mexican, drove her vehicle over the curb and struck the victim, causing serious injury, including a concussion, bruises, and cuts. Poole Franklin again drove away from the scene but was apprehended later that day.

This happened in December 2019 … 16 months ago … and she is just now being charged???  WHY???  If I ran down a child in the street, I would be shot by police, not sent home with a little pat on the wrist!  Oh, but she is a tighty whitey, deserving of special privileges, yes?  So, in February 2020 she was declared “unfit to stand trial” by a Polk County judge … no doubt a Trump appointee!

On that day in December, Franklin’s rampage began when she  intentionally jumped a curb in Des Moines and struck a Black 12-year-old boy, injuring one of his legs.  A witness told police the SUV “gunned its engine” before the driver struck the child. She later  said she thought the boy was of Middle Eastern descent and was a member of the Islamic State terrorist group.  At 12 years of age.  Next, Franklin proceeded to run down Natalia Miranda, who was 14 at the time, as she walked to a basketball game, leaving the young Hispanic girl lying unconscious in the snow.  Her excuse was she thought the girl was Mexican.  And then, an hour or so later, Franklin drove to a convenience store where she spewed hateful racist slurs toward a clerk and customers, then threw items at the clerk.

DAMMIT people!!!!!!!!!!  I don’t care … Republican or Democrat, white or Black, Christian, Jew or atheist, gay or straight … RIGHT IS RIGHT, AND WRONG IS WRONG.  And it is dead WRONG to try to kill children … children for Pete’s Sake … because you don’t like the colour of their skin!  Frankly, I don’t like the colour of Ms. Franklin’s skin, either!  It’s plumb ugly!

I have long been against the death penalty.  In my view, it is wrong, and the odds are that sooner or later we will execute an innocent person.  But, I’d just about be willing to make an exception in the case of Ms. Franklin, for I see no purpose in her continued existence on this planet.

What I don’t understand … this woman who attempted to murder children because she didn’t like the colour of their skin … is handled by law enforcement with kid gloves, while in North Carolina, a 68-year-old Black grandmother was dragged out of her car by her hair, slammed to the ground by police, stepped on, treated so brutally that she suffered a torn rotator cuff (part of the shoulder joint) … for exceeding the speed limit.

Just to be clear here … the white woman who attempted to murder two children because she didn’t like their skin colour is not even charged for 16 months after the fact, and a Black woman is brutalized for … driving too fast.  Tell me again that there is no racism in our police departments, no double standard based on the colour of your skin.

Dirty Racist Cops … Again

Caron Nazario is a lieutenant in the U.S. Army medical corp, serving in Norfolk, Virginia.  Lieutenant Nazario also happens to be Black and Hispanic.  In December, Lt. Nazario purchased a new SUV and on December 5th, he was driving home from work in said SUV when he saw flashing lights behind him.  Lt. Nazario drove to the nearest well-lighted place, a service station, before pulling over.  He did not speed up or in any way attempt to evade the police car behind him, but rather he slowed down, activated his turn signals, and drove for less than a mile before reaching the service station.  He merely wanted, understandably, to get to a well-lighted area.

Upon stopping, Officer Daniel Crocker, with his gun pointed at Lt. Nazario, ordered him out of the vehicle, by which time a second police officer, Joe Gutierrez, had arrived and also had a gun pointed at him.  Lt. Nazario put his empty hands outside the window, as ordered, to show that officers that he was unarmed, and asked them why they stopped him.  A perfectly valid question, under the circumstances.  The officer repeated the order to exit the vehicle, and Lt. Nazario replied that he was “honestly afraid to get out” his vehicle.  Who wouldn’t be, with two officers holding guns on him?  One officer replied, “Yeah, you should be.”  Just a minute later, Officer Gutierrez told Lt. Nazario that he was “fixin’ to ride the lightning,” a slang expression referring to an execution by electric chair.

After some back and forth, with the officers yelling at him to get out of the vehicle, but also to keep his hands outside the window (ever try opening the car door from inside, with your hands outside the window?), and Lt. Nazario asking why he was being stopped, why he was being treated in such a manner, one of the officers sprayed pepper spray into his face through the open window, jerked his door open, sprayed more pepper spray, kicked him in the knees, and slammed him to the ground.

The officer’s given reason for initiating the traffic stop was that he could not see Lt. Nazario’s license plate, which was clearly visible in the back window, as 30-day plates for new vehicles are typically displayed.  The Lieutenant was released without charges, but this week he filed a lawsuit accusing the two Windsor, Virginia police officers of violating his constitutional rights by holding him at gunpoint, suggesting he was facing execution, assaulting him, and illegally detaining him.  The lawsuit states …

“These cameras captured footage of behavior consistent with a disgusting nationwide trend of law enforcement officers, who, believing they can operate with complete impunity, engage in unprofessional, discourteous, racially biased, dangerous and sometimes deadly abuses of authority.”

The lawsuit also claims police threatened to end Nazario’s military career if he spoke out about the incident.  The body cam video clearly shows that the temporary license plate was visible through the window of the vehicle.  The body cam video stopped shortly after Lt. Nazario was slammed to the ground.  Gutierrez wrote in his report that his camera stopped recording after it got “compressed” between him and Nazario during a struggle. Nazario also recorded part of the incident from his cellphone.

I watched the video and found it both chilling and sickening.  The beginning is footage from Nazario’s cellphone that he activated when he realized he had guns pointed at him.

I won’t even bother to ask the question, “If Lt. Nazario had been a white man, would the cops have acted similarly?” for we all know the answer to that.  The better question is, “How do we reform policing?  How do we stop these incidents, often leading to murder, from ever happening?”  I wish I knew the answer, but I DO know what’s going to happen if there are many more incidents like this, if there are many more murders of unarmed black men by police, or if Derek Chauvin is let off with naught but a slap on the wrist … there is going to be blood shed in the streets of America.

We the People are sick and tired of having to fear the very group of people whose duty it is to “protect and defend” us.  We the People have made our voices clear … at least those of us who give a damn have … and if our voices alone aren’t enough, then in the words of the great civil rights leader John Lewis …

Why “Defund the Police” will fail

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of the murder of Breonna Taylor by police in a horrific case of mistaken identity and police brutality. Our friend Brosephus talks of what must be done to stop these murders by police and that ‘defunding’ police departments alone is not the answer. Thank you, Brosephus, for your timely and wise words.

The Mind of Brosephus

Today marks the one year anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death at the hands of the government. Some call it murder, but the legal definition in Kentucky, according to Section 507.020, includes intent in the definition. It will be hard to impossible to improve the officers involved in the homicide of Breonna Taylor went to her apartment with the intent to kill her. That’s why I don’t think any of the officers will ultimately be convicted on any type of murder charge. That’s a different post for a different day though.

In 2020, we had to deal with the deaths of the three people above. All three killings involved active duty or retired law enforcement officers. In light of these and other killings by police, there has been a movement started to defund the police. The idea behind this is to take funding for police and move it towards other…

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Say His Name: George Floyd

Seven jurors were selected this week for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who, on May 25th, 2020 brutally murdered a Black man, George Floyd, by throwing Floyd facedown on the ground, handcuffed, and then keeping his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for over 8 minutes.  With only two more jurors to be chosen, I would expect the trial to begin next week.

Keep your eye on this one, folks, for there is so much evidence I don’t see how Chauvin can possibly escape conviction.  But he is white, Mr. Floyd was Black, and this is the United States of Bigotry.

My understanding is that Chauvin’s lawyers plan to try to make the claim that it was not Chauvin’s knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck that killed him, but rather that drugs were found in his system that led to his death.  ‘Scuse me, but that is the biggest load of crap I’ve heard in a long time.  The video plainly shows the truth, that Mr. Floyd was gasping, saying, “I can’t breathe,” while Chauvin kept putting his weight on Floyd’s neck and the other three officers stood by doing not one damn thing.

The coroner’s report indicates that Floyd had fentanyl and methamphetamine in his system at the time of his death but not that the drugs were the cause of death.  Both the coroner’s report and an independent autopsy report have ruled Mr. Floyd’s death a homicide.  Can’t get much clearer than that.

On Friday, the city of Minneapolis approved a $27 million payment to the family of George Floyd to settle the wrongful death lawsuit brought against the city.  No, it can’t bring him back into his children’s lives, but it will at least ensure those children will have their needs met since their dad can’t be there to take care of them.  Said Minneapolis City Council President Lisa Bender …

“No amount of money can ever address the intense pain or trauma caused by this death to George Floyd’s family or to the people of our city. Minneapolis has been fundamentally changed by this time of racial reckoning and this city council is united in working together with our community, and the Floyd family to equitably reshape our city of Minneapolis.”

A twist, though.  Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, sought to block any mention of the payout by the city to the Floyd’s family, arguing it would be prejudicial.  Yes, perhaps it would be, but in the most honest way … the city is admitting that it was their officer(s) who murdered Mr. Floyd.  Well, it was … it’s all right there on video for the world to see!  What, is Nelson next going to request that the video not be played in court?  Or, what happens when Nelson realizes that every person on the jury is already aware of the city’s payout, as surely they must be, since it has been widely publicized in the press.  Will Nelson then move to declare a mistrial?

Time after time after time, police officers have gotten by with murdering Black people in this country and not been held accountable.  This time damn well better be different!  Chauvin is charged with second- and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.  The evidence is plain for all to see.  If he does not go to prison … then there is no justice left in this country.

On a related note …

On March 3rd, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.  Once again, the bill passed along partisan lines with two democrats voting against, and one republican voting for, but he later said it was a mistake, that he meant to vote ‘nay’ but accidentally hit the wrong button.  When the bill reaches the Senate, it will no doubt be subjected to a ridiculous filibuster by the republicans and will fail.  Let’s take a look at what these damn fools will be voting against …

The bill would ban chokeholds, end racial and religious profiling, establish a national database to track police misconduct and prohibit certain no-knock warrants. It also contains several provisions that would make it easier to hold officers accountable for misconduct in civil and criminal court. One proposal long sought by civil rights advocates would change “qualified immunity,” the legal doctrine that shields officers from lawsuits, by lowering the bar for plaintiffs to sue officers for alleged civil rights violations.

Do you see anything … one single thing objectionable in that?  I don’t.  It means that even someone the police are arresting has the right not to be murdered, and it means that police will be held accountable for their actions, just as they should be.  A person in a position of trust must be trustworthy.

Derek Chauvin had 18 complaints on his official record, two of which ended in discipline, including official letters of reprimand. He had been involved in three police shootings, one of which was fatal.  And yet, he was still on the police force and was still allowed to carry a gun … and use his knee to murder a man!  This is why we need the bill to pass in the Senate … Derek Chauvin is the poster boy for bad cops, and he is not alone.

The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act must pass, for if it doesn’t, it will be a thumbs up to every police officer that it’s okay to be a racist, that it’s okay to use excessive force, and that there will be no consequences.  Do your job, Senators!  By the same token, Derek Chauvin must be prosecuted and found guilty, else it will open doors that nobody in their right mind wants to walk through.  Do your job, jury!

Remember the Black Lives Matter protests last summer?  Almost all were peaceful until outside influences intervened, but I’m not sure the same will be true this summer if justice is not done, if Derek Chauvin is found to be above the law because his skin is white.

The Crime Of Being Black

Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men.  Rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it?  And yet … while it’s so easy to say, it seems almost impossible to achieve.  I might have hoped to write a nice Christmas-y post tonight about the joy of the season or some such, but something crossed my radar today that I think is more important right now.

For the second time this month, police in Columbus, Ohio have shot and killed an unarmed Black man.  The first, I hadn’t mentioned here before, as I was waiting for facts.  The story the police officer who shot Casey Goodson tells differs vastly from the story Goodson’s family related, and frankly I find the police version to be rather dubious, at best.

On December 4th, Casey Goodson had a dental appointment.  Afterward, he stopped at a local Subway sandwich shop and picked up sandwiches to take back to his family, a 5-year-old brother and 72-year-old grandmother.  Meanwhile, members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office were in his neighborhood searching for another Black man.  Mr. Goodson exited his car when he arrived home and, carrying the sandwiches in one hand, inserted his key in the door of his house and as he entered his home, he was shot multiple times in the back and fell onto the kitchen floor.

Goodson has no criminal record and has a permit to carry a gun.  Now, the deputy who shot Goodson, Deputy Jason Meade, claims that Goodson pointed a gun at him, however it is reported that no other officers witnessed the shooting, nor were there any civilian witnesses.  We are told that Meade was not wearing a body cam.  Mr. Goodson was using his key to unlock the door with one hand and carrying a bag of food in the other.  Think about that one.

Because the Sheriff’s Office waited three days before contacting them, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is refusing to accept the case.  At one point, officers said they found a weapon on the ground, but it has not been mentioned since, not even by Meade’s attorney.  I smell a rat … a big, ugly, racist rat.

Fast forward to the day before yesterday, same city, Columbus, Ohio.  Two police officers were responding to a complaint from a neighbor that a vehicle had been left running for some time.  When officers arrived at the home of Andre Maurice Hill, Mr. Hill was coming out of his garage holding a cell phone.  When he saw the officers, he held the cell phone outward so they could see the illuminated screen and understand what he was holding.  Within six seconds, Officer Adam Coy fired his weapon multiple times, hitting Hill, who died an hour later in the hospital.

Officer Coy did have a body cam and the video is available, but he did not turn the audio on until after the shooting.  The second, as yet unnamed officer on the scene, attempted to approach Hill as he lay dying on the ground, but Coy waved him away, and then screamed at Hill to “put your fucking hands out to the side … roll on your stomach, now.”  The man, having been shot multiple times and lying nearly unconscious, dying, is being screamed at to roll over and put his hands out.  Eventually, Coy takes one of Hill’s arms and rolls him onto his back. Though Hill is immobile, Coy does not immediately give him aid.  Oh yeah … that’s compassion, folks!

Columbus mayor, Andrew Ginther has called for the immediate termination of Adam Coy, saying …

“… police values including integrity, compassion and accountability were absent and not on display while Mr Hill lay dying.”

Although Coy is a 17-year veteran of the Columbus’ police force, his tenure has been marked with complaints, including allegations of excessive force.  During a drunk driving stop in October 2012, Coy punched a man, slammed him on the ground, and repeatedly bashed his head into the hood of his car while the man was handcuffed. The incident, witnessed by a college student and Coy’s own dashboard camera, was so bad the victim was awarded a $45,000 settlement from the city.

Coy was relieved of duty, ordered to turn in his gun and badge, and stripped of police powers pending the outcome of investigations. By union contract the officer will still be paid.  He will still be paid … for not even having to show up for work … after murdering an innocent man.  Justice?  I think not.

This, my friends, is what we mean when we say there MUST be nationwide police reform.  These murders, and that is the only way to think of them, are far too common and MUST STOP!  We are told we should respect law enforcement officers … well, respect is earned and is a two-way street.  Police are hired to protect us, and instead they are killing us … with little or no provocation.


Filosofa’s Word will be on a brief Christmas hiatus until Saturday morning.  I have much to do, and as we are sharing Christmas dinner with our dear friends next door, I will be spending Friday in the kitchen!  But I shall return on Saturday morning.  Meanwhile, I’d like to wish you all a peaceful holiday, and I hope you are able to spend it with loved ones, for to me that is the joy of the season … my family & friends. 

Merry-Xmas

“Un-American Propaganda”??? Seriously???

Just a few short years ago, this nation seemed like a sane place.  Sure, we had problems … plenty of them.  But we always thought there were systems and safeguards in place to keep any single person or any branch of government from overstepping their bounds.  Never did we dream, say back in 2010, ten years ago, that one person could make such a power grab that the norms would all be shattered within a single administration.

Today, we realize what fools we were … or at least the majority of us realize it.  A madman was elected with a minority of the vote, and nothing has been right ever since.  The Constitution that every president and member of Congress takes an oath to uphold has been shredded by a president who knows no boundaries, who has been enabled by his sycophants in Congress, in his administration, and yes, even in the Courts.  Where are those ‘checks and balances’?  They are only as good as the people who are tasked with enforcing them.

The latest thing to send me into a fit of temper is Trump’s order to Russell Vought, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, to cease the government’s racial sensitivity training.  Trump calls such training “un-American propaganda”.  That’s right, folks … it is un-American to try to teach people not to discriminate, to try to remove the systemic racism that exists within our government and law enforcement community.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  🤬

Does this man understand that Black people are citizens of this nation with the same rights accorded to white people???  Does he understand that we have a huge problem in this nation with racism running rampant throughout our police departments?  Does he realize that we are on the brink of a race war that he will have been responsible for starting?

Trump’s former attorney and ‘fixer’, the man who, for a price, made Trump’s problems such as sexual liaisons just disappear, testified under oath to Congress in February 2019 …

“I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience. I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat.”

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He is a racist.  Was there ever any doubt?  Cohen went on to cite some examples …

“He once asked me if I could name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a ‘shithole.’ This was when Barack Obama was president of the United States. While we were once driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, he commented that only black people could live that way. He told me that black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid.”

Four decades ago, Trump and his father were sued by the federal government, which accused the Trumps of discriminating against people of colour trying to rent the Trump company’s apartments. Donald Trump was also sued for his mistreatment of black workers in his casinos and, according to a former hotel executive, once said “laziness is a trait in blacks.”

Then there was the Central Park Five case.  A group of African American and Hispanic teens named Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Kharey Wise happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time back in 1989 when a white female jogger was attacked and raped.  The five teens were arrested, tried and convicted on false evidence and coerced confessions, and they served prison sentences until 2002 when the real assailant confessed to the crime.  Donald Trump spent $85,000 placing the ads in local papers calling for the five teens to be executed.  Even though the five young men were exonerated, Trump has since repeatedly reiterated the guilty verdict of the men and has refused to back down or admit his mistake.  What if the teens had been white and the victim Black?  I don’t think Trump would have had a word to say about it.

Yes, Donald Trump is a racist, but are we going to allow him to make this nation even more racist than it already is???  How many more George Floyds, Breonna Taylors, Botham Jeans, Atatiana Jeffersons, and Jacob Blakes do we want?  How many more will it take until the thus-far peaceful Black Lives Matter protests turn into an all-out race war?  We have a serious problem with all forms of bigotry in this nation, but particularly racism, and the very person who should be dealing with it, trying to find solutions for the problem and bring the people of this nation together,  is instead pouring fuel on the fire.  It should NOT be his decision to cancel the training that might … just might be a start toward a better understanding between the people of this nation.

Trump has assembled a long record of comment on issues involving African Americans as well as Mexicans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Muslims, Jews, immigrants, women, and people with disabilities.  He is not only a racist, but a misogynist, a homophobe, an Islamophobe, and more.  This is a diverse nation with people of every nationality, religion, and ethnicity.  That the nation is led by a person who cannot tolerate any who aren’t white, Christian and male is the ultimate hypocrisy.  Will the people of this nation give him another four years to further our global reputation as a racist nation?  Remember, my friends, we will all carry the stigma of that label, not just those who voted for Trump.  Is this really how we want to be viewed?  Is this really a nation we even want to live in?