dynastylnoire:

-imaginarythoughts-:

hipsterlibertarian:

In July I shared a story of an incident in which my city’s police stormed a man’s house looking for drugs in the middle of the night and executed his two (understandably startled) dogs. One of the dogs was shot to death while fleeing in fear, and as I noted then, this isn’t an isolated incident. Just a few years ago, the Saint Paul Police killed another family dog…and forced handcuffed children to sit next to its bleeding corpse. The kicker? The raid wasn’t even in the right house!
Now, a new report has surfaced of SPPD brutality. This time, a young father named Chris Lollie was arrested while waiting to pick up his kids from school. The charges were “Trespassing, Disorderly Conduct, and Obstructing Legal Process,” and police claimed he refused to leave an area reserved for employees of the bank building he was in. However, not only were there no signs indicating that the location was private, but Lollie wasn’t even in the bank proper; he was in the skyway.
(For those who aren’t familiar with the skyway system, it’s a thing we have in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and some other Minnesota cities. Basically, it gets hella cold here in the winter, so they built enclosed sidewalks, or skyways, one or two stories up. In the downtown areas, the skyways form a whole second network of pedestrian roads, and once you get inside your office building—or whichever building is closest to your parking garage or bus stop or whatever—you can use them to move from building to building to get around the whole downtown area. It’s an easy way to go to lunch or meetings without having the snot in your nostrils freeze. I mention all that to say: Skyways are public spaces. You do not have to be an employee in the buildings they connect to use them. Lollie was not trespassing.)
Fortunately, Lollie had the presence of mind to capture his interaction with the SPPD on film. Here’s a transcript I’ve made of the first few seconds:

Lollie: So what’s your business with me right now?
Officer: I want to find out who you are, and what the problem was back there…
Lollie: There is no problem—that’s the thing.
Officer: So, talk to me, let me know, and you can be on your way.
Lollie: Let you know…why do I have to let you know who I am? Who I am isn’t the problem.
Officer: Because that’s what police do when they get called.
Lollie: Well, I know my rights, first off. Secondly, I don’t have to let you know who I am if I haven’t broken any laws. Like I told him, I’m going to New Horizons [School] to pick up my kids at 10 o’clock. I was sitting there for ten minutes…

As the officer brushes aside his explanation and continues to illegally demand he identify himself, Lollie cuts to the chase: “The problem is I’m black. That’s the problem. No, it really is, because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Next, Lollie and the female officer he’s been walking and talking with meet a male officer. When Lollie politely asks the officer not to touch or obstruct him, because he has to go get his kids, the man immediately responds, “Well, you’re going to go to jail then.”
As the police initiate the arrest process—telling him to put his hand behind his back or “otherwise things are going to get ugly"—the camera visuals go black. Lollie continues to be heard pleading, still polite even while he’s assaulted, that he be allowed to go meet his children.
Next, they tase him.
If that’s not enough to convince you that this is gross police misconduct, seriously, take five minutes and watch the video. The calmness of his tone alone should make it obvious that there is no possible argument that the situation merited this kind of police action:

After multiple witnesses verified Lollie’s version of events, prosecutors dropped all charges against him. One woman who is also not an employee at the bank the skyway links noted that she regularly sits during her lunch break exactly where Lollie was sitting, but she has never been harassed by police. However, the SPPD continue to defend their actions.
At The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf points out how simple it would have been for police to resolve this situation without violence and an arrest had they cared to do so:

His story about getting his kids wasn’t merely plausible, given the man’s age and the fact that there was a school right there–it was a story the female police officer shown at the beginning of the video or the male officer shown later could easily confirm. 
Lollie is also absolutely correct that no law required him to show an ID to police officers. As Flex Your Rights explains, “Police can never compel you to identify yourself without reasonable suspicion to believe you’re involved in illegal activity,” and while 24 states have passed “stop and identify” statutes “requiring citizens to reveal their identity when officers have reasonable suspicion to believe criminal activity may be taking place,” Minnesota isn’t one of those states.

The female officer shown in the beginning of the video could easily have de-escalated the encounter by saying, “You’re right, sir, you have every right to refuse to show me identification, and if you’re just picking up your kids I’m so sorry to have bothered you. If you don’t mind, I just want to walk with you to confirm that your story checks out so I can inform the 911 caller of their error. That way we can make sure this never happens again when you’re just here to pick up your kids.”
Or she could’ve said, “Sir, I totally see why this is confusing–a lot of people would think so. Let me try to explain. That totally looks like a public seating area, but it’s actually private. Don’t you think they should have a sign saying so? Calling me may seem like an overreaction, but technically they can ask you to leave. You’re walking away now, so there’s actually no problem as long as you’re not going to go back. Are you? Okay, then we have no problem, have a wonderful day.”  

As Lollie is carried away post-tasing, he can be heard challenging the officers’ “legal” assault: "Who are you? You don’t rule me. I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t hurt anybody. I didn’t touch anybody." 
If only the SPPD could honestly say the same.

That video that was being passed around yesterday

boooooooooooooooooooooost

This is disgusting. As a police officer, there will be times that the way the law should be applied seems ambiguous, or difficult to use justly due to a certain situation’s circumstances. But preconceived notions and pride should never be the source of ambiguity. I’m sure that doing this job correctly and fairly is a challenge every single day, but it’s literally a police officer’s life duty to keep their task in perspective: to keep their communities safe (so to protect EVERYONE, not one specific gender that panders to their idea of what a good person looks like), and to try as best as possible to pick up the people that endanger others emotionally or physically (and do so by EVIDENCE OF A THREAT, not racial categorization). I’m aware that I can’t speak with authority on exactly how a policeman or policewoman should handle themselves because I have no training in that area, but as a citizen, I also have expectations of these men and women and they are being missed by miles.

PLEASE HELP US: SPREAD THIS SHIT LIKE WILDFIRE

tartarsaucegaryen:

Starting on Monday, thousands of university students in Hong Kong have been gathering at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Tamar Park (outside the government offices) to protest the National People Congress (NPC) of China’s decision to restrict the right to vote for Chief Executive, the city’s highest political leader in 2017.

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Article 45 of the Basic Law (Hong Kong’s own mini-constitution implemented after the handover from Britain to China in 1997) states that the Chief Executive should be chosen by universal suffrage as an eventual goal. Time and time again the Communist Party of China have dodged/shut down any democratic progress. Last month the NPC announced that they would continue using the 1200-member committee, consisting of members loyal to the Communist Party, to vote for our CE. THIS IS ILLEGAL. THIS IS SHAM DEMOCRACY AND SHOULD NOT BE TOLERATED.

The sit-in of university students belongs to a movement called ‘Occupy Central with Love and Peace’ and is led by The Hong Kong Federation of Students (schedule and declaration of the strike included). This act of civil disobedience consists of absolute non-violence. It consists of free public lectures offered by university professors and writers on topics like Orwell’s ‘1984’, history of Hong Kong’s struggle for democracy, Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s fight to end injustice etc etc. I was one of the students sitting in Tamar Park on Tuesday and Thursday and it was one of the most rewarding, educational and, I must emphasise, peaceful political activities I have ever witnessed.

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On Friday, high school students led by the student group Scholarism joined in the protest. They marched to Civic Square, pleading for our current CE to come out of his offices and listen to their requests, just like he promised during his ‘campaign’ in 2012. More and more citizens joined in the protest after work.

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The police started cutting off access to Civic Square, which is a publicly owned area. They used shields to form a blockade against the protestors and started pushing them back. When people resisted with umbrellas, they started using clubs and pepper spray on the protestors, who started putting both of their hands up to show they are unarmed. Many students who managed to rush in Civic Square are arrested, including the leading of Scholarism. Many of them have visible injuries caused by police brutality and some of them still haven’t been released from police custody.

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THE FIGHT IS STIL GOING ON. PEOPLE ARE STILL CROWDING OUTSIDE CIVIC SQUARE AND TAMAR. Resources are running thin and the police are still threatening violence. Some of my friends are at the protest and they are continuing the struggle despite the risks. It is predicted that the police will escalate their brutality with tear gas, more pepper spray and water cannons against innocent, peaceful protestors, many of them teenagers.

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You can watch Occupy Central live here: x (Apple Daily livestream)

I know tumblr is a US-centric place but PLEASE PLEASE SPARE A SECOND TO REBLOG THIS POST. Hong Kong is a tiny city. We are anything but a formidable force in international politics. The only thing we can do is raise awareness among the world and force our corrupt government to answer to our protests. 

PLEASE HELP US. 

Articles on Occupy Central (English): x (The Economist), x (BBC News), x (Mail Online), x (Newsweek), x (CNN), x (Right Now I/O), x (NY Times)

Updates (Chinese): x (Campus TV, HKU), x (Apple Daily), x (Amnesty International Hong Kong), x (InMedia HK), x (926政總現場消息發佈)

(via bisexualmargaerytyrell)

Laurel, get over it.

6am-7am Labor Day Free-write

Remnants of the night and infant morning - birds’ feet tracking in a delicate line left from their frenetic hop and shuffle, newly-hatched crabs scurrying almost undetected, climbing the small crests in the sand temporarily dented by my and other humans’ heavy lumber.

The sea is new, silver, drawing crude mountains on the shore outlined in broken shells as it descends upon and laps the sand - the froth of its childish excitement gushing out while it trips over itself again and again.

The sun is less humble today: ascending implacably and anointing the sky with fire, cloaked thinly in wisps of clouds. Steady movement toward its direction is visible all around. Every bird seems to be journeying East, the young waves dance in jubilation of its arrival, and I cannot take my eyes off of it and its sheer cowl.

My feet are pushed into the silk sand and I remain fixated. The sea breeze pushes my bangs aside with the smell of a million secrets trapped below and kept from me beyond. It softens and curls each strand and calls goosebumps to my arms with the consistent realization of how much I do not and cannot know. It’s a mistake to call this ocean new, but it feels like everything has been born today with this sun.

DEAR GIRLS IN THE SUITE NEXT TO MINE,

I WOULD ENJOY IF YOU STOPPED FOR A MINUTE AND THOUGHT THAT PERHAPS IT IS 11:30PM AND THAT YOUR INTERMITTENT SHRIEKS AND “OH MY GOD”S ARE 1. INITIALLY TERRIFYING BECAUSE I THOUGHT SOMEONE WAS BEING FORCED TO DO SOMETHING AGAINST THEIR WILL SO I KNOCKED ON YOUR DOOR TO SEE IF EVERYTHING WAS OKAY AND 2. NOW JUST FUCKING ANNOYING BECAUSE I AM AWARE THAT YOU’RE JUST WATCHING A GODDAMN HORROR MOVIE WITH YOUR LAPTOP HOOKED UP TO SURROUND SOUND SPEAKERS AND I NEED MY GODDAMN BEAUTY REST

GODDAMNIT

lAUREL