Friday, October 30, 2015

South Carolina Classroom

I hope you kids learn something.

SeeVideo shows school officer tossing student in classroom

"South Carolina video thrusts city into a race debate; Federal probes promised; deputy is on unpaid leave" by Richard Fausset, RIchard Pérez-Peña and Alan Blinder New York Times  October 28, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Videos of a white police officer throwing a black high school girl to the floor of a classroom thrust this city into an unsettling national discussion Tuesday about whether black students are disproportionately punished.

The incident, which the Justice Department said it would investigate, follows national studies showing that black students were far more likely than whites to be disciplined in public schools, even for comparable offenses. That issue was getting intense scrutiny here long before the videos of Monday’s incident were released, prompting the school district to form a task force last year to examine its practices.

Yet this community fits no neat stereotype of racial tension. It has at times been seen as a model of amicable integration. And while some students have called the deputy overly rough or racist, others, of all races, defend his record in the school — if not his behavior on the videos.

The videos showed a deputy assigned to Spring Valley High School struggling with a 16-year-old who had refused to leave her math class after the teacher reportedly caught her using her phone. The deputy, Ben Fields, tipped the girl’s chair and desk backward, lifting her out of her seat and slamming her to the floor, and then dragged her to the front of the classroom, where he cuffed her hands behind her back.

Sheriff Leon Lott of Richland County said that in one video, when the deputy grabbed the girl, she could be seen punching him.

He deflected a question about the role of race, saying Fields has a black girlfriend.

On Monday, the sheriff placed Fields on unpaid leave, and asked for a federal investigation. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, the FBI, and the US attorney for South Carolina will look into the episode.

If nothing else it gives them something to do.

James Manning, chairman of the district’s board, said the use of force “appears to me to be excessive and unnecessary.”

Fields has been the subject of two federal lawsuits about his conduct in the past. A jury found in his favor in one, and the other is pending.

In Richland Two, where 59 percent of students are black and 26 percent are white, 77 percent of those suspended at least once in 2011-12 were black, according to figures compiled by the Justice Department, though details to allow a comparison of the offenses involved were not readily available. And South Carolina, including Richland, relies much more on suspension than the nation as a whole; 24 percent of public school students in the state were suspended at least once that year, compared with 13 percent nationwide.

Black parents have complained that school discipline is arbitrary and disproportionately affects black students, said Stephen Gilchrist, a founder of Richland Two Black Parents Association.

When the altercation occurred, students stood up, confused about what was happening, but the deputy told them, “sit down, or you all will be next,” said one student, Charles Scarborough, 16.

Adding to the confusion, several students said, was that the girl was usually quiet and not a troublemaker....

That's because her head was in her phone all the time.


"South Carolina officer fired after classroom arrest; Videos depicted S.C. girl tossed across floor" by Meg Kinnard Associated Press  October 29, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said, ‘‘Police officers make mistakes too. They’re human and they need to be held accountable.’’

Civil rights groups praised the swift action against Deputy Ben Fields, a veteran school resource officer and football coach at Spring Valley High School. Outrage spread quickly after videos of the white officer arresting the black teenager on Monday appeared on the Internet.

I've come to not believe videos cited by the agenda-pushing propaganda pre$$ so you will have to make up your own mind as to whether this was real or another mind-bending psyop script complete with crisis actors.

Lott thanked the FBI for investigating for civil rights violations.

Who does that?

The sheriff also had stern words for the student who started the confrontation by refusing to hand over her cellphone after her math teacher saw her texting in class — a violation of school policy.

I knew it would be her fault at some point.

Both she and another student who verbally challenged the officer’s actions during the arrest still face misdemeanor charges.


‘‘The student was not allowing the teacher to teach and not allowing the students to learn. She was very disrespectful and she started this whole incident,’’ Lott said. ‘‘It doesn’t justify his actions. But again, she needs to be held responsible for what she did.’’

You lost me at BUT!

Lott also praised the students whose videos put such an intense spotlight on his deputy’s actions. ‘‘Our citizens should police us,’’ he said.

Most police departments don't feel that way and threaten people who record incidents.

‘‘She wasn’t a danger at that point; she was just being non-compliant and disrespectful. You try to deescalate a situation,” Lott said. “And when you do have to put your hands on someone, there are other techniques we use.’’

She was doing a Gandhi, and that draws violence from authority. Always has.

The girl in the videos remains unidentified, but she has obtained a prominent attorney — Todd Rutherford, who also serves as House minority leader in South Carolina’s legislature.... 

Uh-oh, coppers!


"Officials split over how videos have influenced police work" by Juliet Linderman and Meg Kinnard Associated Press  October 30, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. — When FBI Director James Comey told a national gathering of law enforcement leaders that officers might be easing up for fear of being caught on camera, the conference attendees included a South Carolina sheriff whose deputy was about to be in the nation’s next viral police video. 

See: The Ferguson Effect

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott returned home to an uproar over images of a school resource officer flipping a 16-year-old girl out of her desk and dragging her across the floor of her math class Monday at a high school in Columbia. In announcing the deputy’s firing two days later, Lott called on the public to shoot more video, not less.

‘‘I would hope that every citizen that has a cellphone that has a camera on it, if they see something that’s going on and they have questions about it, they need to film it,’’ Lott said Wednesday. ‘‘Our citizens should police the police. That’s their job, too.’’

Comey’s and Lott’s comments — one questioning whether video is causing a chilling effect, the other saying it can only help — are the latest contributions to an intensifying debate over the role of cellphones in policing.

Look how the debate is evolving, and no BlackLives in sight!

They come at a moment when departments are trying to both clamp down on violent crime and repair fractured trust with the public. And they hint at a possible disconnect between beat officers and the brass on the impact of such footage.

The US Department of Justice has launched a civil rights investigation into the South Carolina school video, the most recent example of how citizen-shot footage of police encounters is inspiring not just outrage but criminal investigations.

After which the cop is cleared. Everybody happy now?

In June, Officer Michael Slager in North Charleston, S.C., was charged with murder after a witness captured video of him shooting Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, in the back as Scott was running away.

Was that another hoax?

In July, a University of Cincinnati Police officer was charged with murder after he was caught on video fatally shooting Samuel Dubose, an unarmed black man, during a traffic stop over a missing license plate.

See: Cincinnati College Cop Disposed of Dubose

And on Monday, Baltimore’s top prosecutor announced assault charges against a police officer who was seen on video spitting on a detainee who was handcuffed on the floor.

What is it about Maryland, huh?

Addressing a law enforcement conference last Friday in Chicago, Comey suggested the possibility that the pervasiveness of smartphones could be inhibiting officers’ ability, or at least their willingness, to fight crime: Those who feel as if they’re constantly being watched could be less aggressive and less likely to walk their beats, engage with the public, and use force when necessary.

I'm sorry; no sympathy for the cops after the public is being constantly watched with their data collected.

‘‘In today’s YouTube world, are officers reluctant to get out of their cars and do the work that controls violent crime? Are officers answering 911 calls but avoiding the informal contact that keeps bad guys from standing around, especially with guns?’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t know.’’

Rich Roberts, a spokesman for the International Union of Police Associations, said the climate surrounding police, including ubiquitous cellphone recording, is certainly affecting how officers do their jobs.

‘‘They are under more subjective emotional scrutiny than they’ve ever been,’’ he said. ‘‘They’re dealing with a more hostile public. Officers will be more cautious in their approach, and that’s not necessarily good police work.’’

Yeah, cracking skulls and executing bad guys with impunity always worked a lot better.


Of course, such things could never happen up here:

"The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is calling on schools with resource officers to reevaluate how they are used, following an incident at a Pawtucket high school. Police are investigating how a resource officer at Tolman High School handled a 14-year-old student last week. A video that purportedly shows the officer taking the student down prompted a protest. Pawtucket’s superintendent told WJAR-TV she would not recommend that Officer Jared Boudreault return to the school, even if he is cleared of wrongdoing. The ACLU urged in a letter that school officials reexamine the use of resource officers and their agreement with local police departments (AP)."

The cop was injured, too:

"An officer suffered minor injuries during a standoff with an armed 33-year-old man who had barricaded himself in his Woonsocket apartment on Wednesday, police said. The incident began at the apartment when the man was reported acting erratically and waving a gun. Officers made initial contact with him through a doorway at about 2:30 p.m. Police tried to enter after the man cut off communication at about 5:15 p.m., but had trouble. The Woonsocket Call reported an officer fired his weapon into the doorway opening, which resulted in debris striking another officer in the arm. Police entered the residence and arrested the man (AP)."

Back down there:

"Feds investigate friend of Charleston shooting suspect" by Meg Kinnard and Jeffrey Collins Associated Press  September 17, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A friend of the suspect in the Charleston church shooting is being investigated for lying to police and not reporting everything he may have known about the crime, according to a federal law enforcement official.

Sign this confession backing up the staged and scripted psyop cover story -- or else!

Separately, a judge said he will reconsider his ban on publication of some of the documents related to the case.

Joey Meek, 21, of Lexington, S.C., was notified by a so-called target letter that he is under investigation for lying to police and for knowing about a crime before or after it was committed but failing to report it, the official said. The official was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation and requested anonymity. The disclosure was first reported by The State newspaper.

I'll bet he gets a Meek defense.

Meek has said that Dylann Roof occasionally stayed with him at a mobile home in Red Bank, about 20 miles from Columbia, before the June 17 shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Meek said he and Roof were school friends but went their separate ways. Then, just weeks before the shooting, Roof started coming around again.

Meek also described how Roof, while drunk on vodka, complained that ‘‘blacks were taking over the world’’ and that ‘‘someone needed to do something about it for the white race’’ before he passed out in the yard. Meek said he took away Roof’s gun the night of his rant but gave it back when he sobered up.

Meek said he called authorities after recognizing Roof from surveillance footage from the church. He also said Roof said he used birthday money from his parents to buy a .45-caliber Glock semiautomatic handgun.


Meanwhile, over the state line:

"N.C. official ousted over Facebook posts" Associated Press  October 16, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s elections board has dismissed a local official who made racially tinged Facebook posts praising the Confederacy and suggesting that blacks who protested against Republican policies weren’t ‘‘productive good citizens’’ with jobs.

The State Board of Elections voted 3-2 to dismiss Rowan County Elections Chairman Malcolm Butner, whose social media accounts also expressed support for individual candidates in violation of state law. Butner’s case marks the first time the state board has removed an elections official over social media postings.

Butner told the board in a letter that he did nothing wrong, but said he couldn’t respond fully due to medical problems. He did not attend the hearing or respond to messages seeking comment.

Butner has a long record of ‘‘intemperate’’ remarks that makes him unsuited for a role that doesn’t allow political expressions such as campaign bumper stickers on cars, said board chairman Josh Howard, a Republican who sided with the board’s two Democrats to oust Butner.

‘‘If you’re in charge of counting the votes, everybody should be confident that you’re going to count everyone’s vote equal,’’ Howard said.

Butner made national news last year for Facebook postings extolling the Confederacy, denouncing gays, and blasting demonstrators protesting the priorities of Republican legislative leaders and Governor Pat McCrory."

You are not supposed to be checking that in class! 

Good thing the bell just rang!