Tuesday, January 29, 2013

NRA & Gun Industry Targets Children In Marketing Strategies & Police Across USA Shoot and Kill With Impunity & Unknown Number Of Wrongfully Convicted Persons Incarcerated


The gun industry is spending millions of dollars a year to market their products to America’s children. Advertising to kids is all part of widening their customer base to combat the waning popularity of shooting sports. The New York Times reports:

The industry’s strategies include giving firearms, ammunition and cash to youth groups; weakening state restrictions on hunting by young children; marketing an affordable military-style rifle for “junior shooters” and sponsoring semiautomatic-handgun competitions for youths; and developing a target-shooting video game that promotes brand-name weapons, with links to the Web sites of their makers.

From: Gun industry targets kids to ensure future profits by Rania Khalek at Dispatches from the Underclass , January 27, 2013


The National Registry of Exonerations, which has recorded over 2,000 exonerations in the United States since 1989, estimates that eyewitness misidentification plays a role in 43 percent of wrongful convictions. Other significant factors include perjury or false accusation (51 percent), official misconduct (42 percent), false or misleading forensic evidence (24 percent) and false confession (16 percent). Keep in mind that these numbers only reflect wrongfully convicted inmates who have been exonerated, meaning there are many more innocents wasting away behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit, we just don’t know how many.
From: " 3 black men released after 18 years in prison on wrongful murder convictions " by Rania Khalek ,Dispatches from the Underclass, January 24, 2013

...Between 1980 and 2005, close to 9,600 people were killed by police in America -- an average of about one fatal shooting every day. However, the real number may be higher due to underreporting by some departments to the federal government. For example, the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a Freedom of Information Act request by claiming there were 79 fatal police shootings from 2000 to 2005. Yet only 38 fatal shootings were reported to the federal government for the same period.
From:Too Many Police Shootings: More Than A Few Bad Apples By Rinku Sen and Alysia Tate Sonomacountry freepress.com


Today's Topics

* Unknown number of wrongfully convicted incarcerated in USA
* Unknown number of unwarranted shootings by US police forces
* Gun industry targets children in marketing strategy

America's racist , bigoted , corrupt System of Injustice From Police to courts to the Prison Industry . US police have become more militarized and no longer view themselves as part of a community but rather see themselves at war with most if not all citizens. So what can anyone expect from the police when they view every contact with the public as a confrontation which can easily escalate from verbal back and forth to a violent confrontation.

Here's an example of police using excessive force ironically on a small group protesting about police use of excessive force:
The police tried to take or even pay for video taken by witnesses. No one gave up their video.Video phones are now the bane of police officer's existence since eye witness accounts can be questioned by the video shows what actually occurred .

In a response to a protest against a police shooting the police respond with extreme use of force and police brutality on innocent citizens. Sat July 21st 2012 in Anaheim California.

The uploading of this video for archival and commenting purposes is protected under The following Fair Use legislation.



Many of us were wrong to assume that having a black president would lead to more involvement on the part of the White House and government agencies in trying to determine to what extent local police forces were or are in fact using excessive force in their treatment of suspects. Instead Obama is on the side of the police and those in positions of authority and Obama appears uninterested in whether or not the use of excessive force has become an epidemic .

Obama has shown he is also uninterested in dealing even with the role of racism in policing and the judicial and prison system.

The prison industry having been privatized basis its profits on numbers of those incarcerated the more people incarcerated the better it is for business and so has nothing to do with real justice. The fact that Black and Latino Americans are disproportionately represented in prisons even though they commit no more crimes than do white Americans.


" 3 black men released after 18 years in prison on wrongful murder convictions " by Rania Khalek ,Dispatches from the Underclass, January 24, 2013

Michael Cosme, Devon Ayers, and Carlos Perez lost 18 years of their lives in prison for murders they did not commit. The three men were convicted of the 1995 killings of a livery cap driver and FedEx executive. Eric Glisson and Cathy Watkins, who were also wrongfully convicted in the livery cap driver killing, were released last month.

Emotions were high when they were finally released Wednesday night. Video footage from NBC New York captures last night’s heartwarming scenes of the newly freed men as they embraced their loved ones with tears in their eyes. Cosme shouts gleefully, ”I’m free, I’m free. Finally, after 18 years, I’m free.”




The convictions were based on the testimony of a single questionable eyewitness who has since died. Upon Glisson and Watkin’s release in December, their defense attorney told ABC News, “As long as you’re relying on a crackhead who gets paid, these wrongful convictions are never going to stop.”

The National Registry of Exonerations, which has recorded over 2,000 exonerations in the United States since 1989, estimates that eyewitness misidentification plays a role in 43 percent of wrongful convictions. Other significant factors include perjury or false accusation (51 percent), official misconduct (42 percent), false or misleading forensic evidence (24 percent) and false confession (16 percent). Keep in mind that these numbers only reflect wrongfully convicted inmates who have been exonerated, meaning there are many more innocents wasting away behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit, we just don’t know how many.

One significant conclusion reached by the Registry’s exoneration record is that a significant portion of the wrongfully convicted look a lot like Michael Cosme, Devon Ayers, and Carlos Perez. Though African Americans make up just 13% of the population, half of exonerees are black. This reflects the disproportionate representation of black Americans in the prison population, a result of the structural racism that plagues each and every level of the American criminal justice system.

While America and its president mourn deaths of those killed in mass shootings the hundreds killed by police each year are seen as somehow deserving to be killed and so get no sympathy from their fellow citizens or the US government or the president himself.

America as we have previously discussed concerning gun violence , sexual assault, and the widespread abuse of children has an embedded culture of violence and this culture of violence has become the norm in America. So police sometimes shoot first before evaluating the situation and whether the suspect is a real threat to police officers or other citizens. Instead often times in cases involving minorities and the poor the police officers act as judge, jury and executioner.
For example "there have been at least 238 police involved killings in Los Angeles County since 2007..."

and it is estimated that ...Between 1980 and 2005, close to 9,600 people were killed by police in America -- an average of about one fatal shooting every day...   Too Many Police Shootings: More Than A Few Bad Apples By Rinku Sen and Alysia Tate Sonomacountry freepress.com

But the federal government and FBI do not compile stats on civilians shot by police officers across the USA. Is this because of pressure from other government agencies or the Congress or the White House or the lobbying of police chiefs we don't know.


The police exist to protect and serve the community and its citizens and not just to protect themselves and their fellow officers. Police officers are supposed to be trained to take control of a situation rather than adding more tension and a further escalation in verbal and physical confrontations.

Instead the police across the USA appear to believe that each contact with a citizen is a life and death situation for the police officer and any hesitation or passive refusal to comply by a citizen is seen as grounds for arrest and possible shooting to kill of that citizen or an illegitimate use of a taser . Tasers and guns should only be used when necessary not every an officer feels like it . The police end up treating all citizens as the enemy. This in part can be seen as possibly connected with US troops in various countries treating all civilians in those countries as the enemy and developing a shoot first pre-emptive shooting because the citizen might be an insurgent or terrorist.

More unwarranted gun violence by police officers who executed another Black American citizen . The police performed the execution style murder of a black suspect erroneously believing there were no witnesses when in fact there was at least one witness.


LA sheriff’s deputies shot unarmed Latino father of 2 in the back 7 times by Rania Khalek at Dispatches From The Underclass, January 28, 2013

"there have been at least 238 police involved killings in Los Angeles County since 2007..."

“How am I supposed to explain to my daughters that their father was murdered by the police, the people who they are supposed to go to for protection,” asked Rosanna de la Trinidad three days after her husband was killed. Jose de la Trinidad, 36, left behind a wife and two daughters, ages 3 and 6 when he was shot dead by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies on November 10, 2012.

An autopsy report obtained by the Los Angeles Times reveals that he was shot from behind. Five of the bullets pierced him in the upper and lower back, one in the right forearm, and another in his right hip. Four were described as fatal.

This makes the deputies who shot him look more guilty of execution-style murder than they already did.

Police say they opened fired because De la Trinidad was reaching for his waistband where he could have been keeping a gun. But this is contradicted by a witness who saw the whole thing. She says deputies opened fire on De la Trinidad after he followed their orders to turn around and put his hands above his head. The autopsy report confirms that he did in fact have his back turned to police when they killed him.

It all started when Jose and his older brother, Francisco, left his niece’s quinceaƱera. Police tried to pull them over for speeding, but Francisco, who was driving, refused to stop, prompting a brief car chase. A few blocks later, the car came to a sudden halt and Jose jumped out of the passengers seat. Francisco quickly took off again, forcing one deputy to drive after him. Meanwhile, Jose stood on the sidewalk where he was greeted by three deputies in the street with their guns drawn. That’s when, police say, Jose reached for his waistband to retrieve what they could only assume was a gun (because, duh, he’s brown!). Fearing for their lives, two of the deputies shot and killed him.

Little did they know that a nearby resident... witnessed the entire incident from her bedroom window directly above the shooting.

“His hands were on his head when they started shooting,” she told investigators canvassing the neighborhood for witnesses some 30 minutes after the shooting.

Estefani said De la Trinidad did jump out of the car after it came to a sudden stop. After he ran toward the deputies a few feet, they ordered him to stop and turn around — which he did immediately, she said.

Seconds later, the deputies opened fire, she said.
for more on police shootings of suspects : see for instance : National data on shootings by police not collected by Alan Maimon, Las Vegas Review journal , Nov. 28, 2011

and:
Police Involved Shootings 2011: Annual Report by Jim Fisher True Crime, January 12, 2013
---------------


Gun industry targets kids to ensure future profits by Rania Khalek at Dispatches from the Underclass , January 27, 2013

The gun industry is spending millions of dollars a year to market their products to America’s children. Advertising to kids is all part of widening their customer base to combat the waning popularity of shooting sports. The New York Times reports:

The industry’s strategies include giving firearms, ammunition and cash to youth groups; weakening state restrictions on hunting by young children; marketing an affordable military-style rifle for “junior shooters” and sponsoring semiautomatic-handgun competitions for youths; and developing a target-shooting video game that promotes brand-name weapons, with links to the Web sites of their makers.

Ads encouraging the recreational use of semiautomatic rifles by children are regularly found in the youth magazine Junior Shooters, which is funded by the gun industry. The magazine’s editor once penned an article justifying advertising AR-15′s to children:

“I have heard people say, even shooters that participate in some of the shotgun shooting sports, such things as, ‘Why do you need a semiautomatic gun for hunting?’ ” he wrote. But if the industry is to survive, he said, gun enthusiasts must embrace all youth shooting activities, including ones “using semiautomatic firearms with magazines holding 30-100 rounds.”

"Semiautomatic firearms are actually not weapons," he said, "unless someone chooses to hurt another person with them, and their image has been unfairly tainted by the news media. There is no legitimate reason children should not learn to safely use an AR-15 for recreation," he said.

At the forefront of this campaign are the gun manufacturers and their biggest proponents/lobbyists, the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. And they’re spending big:

The N.R.A. has for decades given grants for youth shooting programs, mostly to Boy Scout councils and 4-H groups, which traditionally involved single-shot rimfire rifles, BB guns and archery. Its $21 million in total grants in 2010 was nearly double what it gave out five years earlier.

Newer initiatives by other organizations go further, seeking to introduce children to high-powered rifles and handguns while invoking the same rationale of those older, more traditional programs: that firearms can teach “life skills” like responsibility, ethics and citizenship. And the gun industry points to injury statistics that it says show a greater likelihood of getting hurt cheerleading or playing softball than using firearms for fun and sport.

----

The US federal government compiles stats on police shot in the line of duty but refuses to compile stats on the number of people shot by police . For some reason this is some sort of national security secret or just refusing to own up to how many US citizens are wounded or killed by police each year. So the number of citizens shot by police is of no interests to the federal government or they fear the stats could be used by various human rights groups to show that police shooting civilians occurs far too often and that many of the shootings are unwarranted. If the majority of shootings are considered warranted then why not compile stats to give to the public.

The FBI claims it doesn't collect such stats because of budgetary concerns -give me a break.

see for instance : National data on shootings by police not collected by Alan Maimon, Las Vegas Review journal , Nov. 28, 2011

The nation's leading law enforcement agency collects vast amounts of information on crime nationwide, but missing from this clearinghouse are statistics on where, how often, and under what circumstances police use deadly force. In fact, no one anywhere comprehensively tracks the most significant act police can do in the line of duty: take a life.

"We don't have a mandate to do that," said William Carr, an FBI spokesman in Washington, D.C. "It would take a request from Congress for us to collect that data."

Congress, it seems, hasn't asked.

The FBI, which has the power to conduct civil rights investigations related to any questionable use of deadly force by any law enforcement agency, has produced at least one report analyzing shootings over several years by its own agents.

In addition, the agency tracks the total annual number of "justifiable homicides," acts it defines as "the killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty," but that only covers people shot while committing a serious crime and the data aren't broken down by agency. In 2010, that number was 387, down from 414 the year before.

While the agency collects, reports, and analyzes murders and assaults where police are the victim, Carr said budgetary concerns would likely preclude collecting such detailed data on shootings by police.

Everyone from the Justice Department to the International Association of Police Chiefs to local and state police agencies have guidelines or policies on use of deadly force. But seldom do they try to quantify and analyze trends.


Police Involved Shootings 2011: Annual Report by Jim Fisher True Crime, January 12, 2013

In 2011, according to data I have collected, police officers in the United States shot 1,146 people, killing 607. Since January 1, 2011, I have been using the internet to compile a national database of police involved shootings. The term "police involved shooting" pertains to law enforcement officers who, in the line of duty, discharge their guns. When journalists and police administrators use the term, they include the shooting of animals and shots that miss their targets. My case files only include instances in which a person is either killed or wounded by police gunfire. My data also includes off-duty officers who discharged their weapons in law enforcement situations. They don't include, for example, officers using their firearms to resolve personal disputes.

I collected this data myself because the U.S. Government doesn't. There is no national database dedicated to police involved shootings. Alan Maimon, in his article, "National Data on Shootings by Police Not Collected," published on November 28, 2011 in the "Las Vegas Review-Journal," wrote "The nation's leading law enforcement agency [FBI] collects vast amounts of information on crime nationwide, but missing from this clearinghouse are statistics on where, how often, and under what circumstances police use deadly force. In fact, no one anywhere comprehensively tracks the most significant act police can do in the line of duty: take a life."

The government does maintain records on how many police officers are killed every year in the line of duty. In 2010, 59 officers were shot to death among 122 killed while on the job. This marked a 20 percent jump from 2009 when 49 officers were killed by gunfire. In 2011, 173 officers died, from all causes, in the line of duty. The fact police officers feel they are increasingly under attack from the public may help explain why they are shooting so many citizens.

also see:

Too Many Police Shootings: More Than A Few Bad Apples By Rinku Sen and Alysia Tate Sonomacountry freepress.com

The problem of fatal police shootings in America goes beyond a few bad apples. It points to persistent and systemic problems that lead to ongoing tragedies for communities of color. Between 1980 and 2005, close to 9,600 people were killed by police in America -- an average of about one fatal shooting every day. However, the real number may be higher due to underreporting by some departments to the federal government. For example, the Los Angeles Police Department responded to a Freedom of Information Act request by claiming there were 79 fatal police shootings from 2000 to 2005. Yet only 38 fatal shootings were reported to the federal government for the same period.

While the precise number may not be clear, it is apparent that fatal shootings are not inevitable. Washington, D.C. had the nation’s highest rate during the 90s. But a combination of firearms training for all and true accountability for misbehaving officers led to a dramatic drop in the number of fatal shootings. It’s also clear that shootings are not distributed evenly throughout the population. In Chicago, for example, more than two-thirds of the shootings happened in black and Latino neighborhoods, and the majority of the incidents occurred in poor neighborhoods.

African Americans are particularly at risk of being killed by police. Black people were overrepresented among victims in each of America’s 10 largest cities. This contrast was particularly glaring in New York, Las Vegas and San Diego, where the percentage of black people killed was at least double their share of the general population. “There is a crisis of perception where African American males and females take their lives in their hands just walking out the door,” said Delores Jones-Brown, interim director of the Center on Race, Crime and Justice at John Jay College in New York. “There is a notion they will be perceived as armed and dangerous. It’s clear that it’s not a local problem.”

The shootings may be explained in part by implicit bias on the part of police officers, according to research by University of Chicago Professor Joshua Correll. In New York, connecting negative stereotypes with racial identity was considered as a factor in the 1999 fatal shooting of Amadou Diallo and the 2006 shooting of Sean Bell -- both of which involved black male victims being killed by more than 40 shots fired by officers.
and so it goes,
GORD.

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