Friday, March 22, 2013

license to kill

I have seen yard signs, and billboards concerning Dan Ficker. Without knowing anything about him, i see he has family and friends whom care about him. If he had a song writing friend, perhaps a murder ballade would have been written and sung. Here is the important point: he was home, in his house in Parma, and two Cleveland policemen (one on duty) came, beat him, shocked him with an electric pistol, and then shot him dead. The police are free.
The '143' is  a code for the number of letters, in each word in the phrase 'i love you'.  Dan Ficker used to sign e-mails with that tag. I do not know whose this car is on. It is a public plea for justice. It is also an invite for police harassment. Police do not care for anything that challenges them.

There was a 1967 Dragnet episode, The Shooting Board, where Joe Friday was examined by a Board of Inquiry over a possible manslaughter accusation. Television as it was, and the programme as it was, was always go to be in favor of the Los Angeles Police Department and Sgt. Joe Friday. But in one scene, Friday's superior calls him in and asks to see his badge. The captain details the creation of the board, and how just the department is towards the public. He waxes poetic over the value of the metal. He says, "it is not a hunting license". Of course, Friday is cleared, but an assurance of proper cop behaviour would always be maintained. Well, that can always be done if it is scripted, and filmed so.

Now, Ficker was a white man. Since then, Cleveland has had a far more bold and public police killing, but of two black people after a spectacular automobile posse on 29 November 2012. The investigations are continuing, and it has taken some time for the 'feds' to become interested.

Click on these stories while they are available for the details:
deadly police shooting of Parma man
Cleveland police chase and shooting portrayed as chaotic scene
Police union chief defends officers
13 Cleveland police officers who fired 137 rounds
killing two people following a chase Thursday night
union president calls for Chief Michael McGrath's resignation
This is the oddest of the stories, Michael DeWine (R) Ohio Attorney General (the same Repuke who as Senator acted as a prosecutor of President Clinton) wants to clear the cops and blames 'the system', "The system itself failed these officers". He is handing it over to the new Cuyahoga County Prosecutor, whom as a judge prided himself on coming down hard, being tough. The game is simple: the cops, and the courts are tight. McGinty's grand jury will not be aggressive. But there may be a corrective.
Justice Department may review 2011 shooting
Cleveland police under investigation by U.S. Justice
Full Review of Cleveland Police

When this story broke, i was surprised it didn't go national immediately. Then again this is neither Los Angeles, nor New York, nor Chicago. The outline of facts are amazing. Pursuit policy was completely ignored. Several police agencies* were involved, only Cleveland cops fired. Thirteen cops fired 137 rounds. One cop emptied his gun three times, could he not see the corpses dancing from the concussions? He was an Iraqui veteran, who claims never to have fired in combat, but was scared to death while emptying his gun into the car repeatedly. Now, the cop on video is interviewed and tells how scared he is. Some fine acting is also done on camera by others. "Even through Iraq, I never fired my weapon. I never have been so afraid in my life." He shot forty-nine times.

What surprised me, is why did they not just plant a gun (it would have made everything more plausible)? The cops still speak of the incident with the dead firing a non existent weapon. How did this happen?  Two Negroes in an old car (1979 Chevy Malibu) downtown were driving, and the junker backfired. The cops JUMP to the conclusion that a shot was fired, and the cop cars emerge from everywhere to take down these two people.  Statement after statement cops made concerning the incident as it was happening, was incorrect.

When the news first hits the public, the police chief is actually dismayed. This does not go over well with the force. The police union calls for his resignation on camera. It is extremely rare, to the point of being an uniquity, for the local press to air such a statement by a union president (or union member) against his job superior, or for that matter any executive authority figure in town by anyone. But the police have their absolute defenders in exercising authority and force, even amongst those whom criticised cops and other public union workers protesting against anti-collective bargaining.

I have always been in awe of whoever is the union chief for the Cleveland cops. Jeff Follmer is in this audacious mold, the only statement he has not made (at least publicly) is for the families of the dead to pick up the cost that any cop had in the process of the killings (bullets, dry cleaning-- or perhaps the city covers that). They defend their members one hundred percent (some unions only explain management's position instead of defending the member). Every possible defense that someone uses to defend themselves against charges, no matter how ridiculous, the cops use on the behalf of their own. Defenses that would get no play in court, or towards a cop, are accepted when a cop uses them. Evidence, logic, law mean absolutely nothing. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Cop always right, non cop always wrong. Easy, no thought required. Or put this in cop talk, cops = good guys, anyone who gets in the way = bad guys. 
*"Surveillance videos obtained along the pursuit route depict that at one point, a minimum of 62 police vehicles were in pursuit or following along the pursuit route. These vehicles included marked and unmarked Cleveland Police Department vehicles, with Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers, Cuyahoga County Sheriff deputies, Bratenahl Police Department officers and officers of the RTA Police Department peripherally involved." pg. 53 of 65.

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