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View Diary: Video of NYPD Breaking into Ramarley Graham's Home Prior to Murdering Him (195 comments)

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  •  To me the question of Fourth Amendment (20+ / 0-)

    rights violations is critical here.  It is pretty broad topic and there are a lot of gray areas and unfortunately a lot of allowances are made for the police to do just what they did here- that is enter a home because they thought Graham had a gun.

    On the face of it it seems outrageous that they could do this, but it was all because they were convinced he had a gun.  They could not have forced entry if all they were looking for was a small amount of marijuana.

    As it stands from this video, a strong case could be made for an outright and clear cut Fourth Amendment violation.

    •  Even if he had a gun, (41+ / 0-)

      he had run into his house and was no longer a public threat on the street. The house could have been monitored while necessary steps were taken i.e. cooler, smarter heads were consulted. No immediate threat- ask someone not immediately involved for a consult. Search warrant ?
      Pissed off cops with pistols sometimes make real poor judgement calls.
      But then, apparently he didn't have a gun, his house was illegally entered and he was killed.  
      Big problem there.
      Definitely about an overall acceptance that playing fast and loose with the Fourth is routine.

      Occupy- Your Mind. - No better friend, no worse enemy. -8.75, -6.21

      by Thousandwatts on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 09:11:53 PM PST

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      •  It will be interesting to see (12+ / 0-)

        if the guns rights groups make any show of support here.  Because that was the only "crime" being committed here if there was any crime at all.  For certain, nothing presented so far seems to justify the actions of the police.

        •  If it weren't for the fact that most contemporary (16+ / 0-)

          gun rights groups are racist then you might see that happen. Unfortunately they don't really care when a black man gets accused of having a gun and gets shot. I certainly haven't seen them speak up about the issue.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 10:39:08 PM PST

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          •  Yup. (12+ / 0-)

            If you want to convert a 2nd Amendment guy, ask him if African-American people get the same rights.

            The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

            "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

            by Punditus Maximus on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 11:12:03 PM PST

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            •  Bull (4+ / 0-)

              Everyone is covered in the Second Amendment.

              -6.25 -7.08 The glass is neither half-full nor half-empty. The glass is just twice as large as it needs to be. If you play Microsoft CD's backwards, you hear satanic things, but that's nothing, because if you play them forwards, they install Windows.

              by Unit Zero on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:10:25 AM PST

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              •  In the case of libertarians, (0+ / 0-)

                you simply mention women.

                The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

                "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

                by Punditus Maximus on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:13:51 PM PST

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                •  Whisky Tango Foxtrot? (0+ / 0-)

                  You are making even less sense than usual.

                  Are you trying to imply that I am a Libertarian and/or I have issues with Womens Rights?

                  -6.25 -7.08 The glass is neither half-full nor half-empty. The glass is just twice as large as it needs to be. If you play Microsoft CD's backwards, you hear satanic things, but that's nothing, because if you play them forwards, they install Windows.

                  by Unit Zero on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 07:49:32 AM PST

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          •  If there was a firearm involved, there would be (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DruidQueen, macdust, happymisanthropy

            an argument here, or at least, a discussion. I guarantee, no matter what the race or skin color involved in this situation, if the victim had a concealed firearm permit and this happened, the "gun rights" groups would come out of the woodwork. As well they should.
            I don't know what prompted the cops to pursue the victim, someone here posted about a pistol- I don't know- have to see what the facts of the circumstances are. But this,

            gun rights groups are racist
            and assuming firearm rights=Teabagger, isn't true.
            It follows that most Teabaggers are long and loud about firearms rights because it suits their agenda; they seem more serious with a pistol. And they are openly racist, at least when it's safely wrapped in criticism for the President, but it's faulty logic to assume firearm rights equals racism.

            Occupy- Your Mind. - No better friend, no worse enemy. -8.75, -6.21

            by Thousandwatts on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 06:28:09 AM PST

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            •  Go re-read what I wrote. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Thousandwatts

              I did not say that guns rights groups are racist, I said that most contemporary ones are. I'm pro-gun rights, and I'm certainly not calling myself racist.

              There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

              by AoT on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:48:09 AM PST

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              •  Now I see the distinction you're making (0+ / 0-)
                I said that most contemporary ones are
                And contemporary means: "belonging to the same age; living or occurring in the same period of time"
                So you were referring to the "guns rights" groups from back in history before we lived;they were not racist, the ones in existence today are racist.
                Okay, thanks for the clarification, now I get it.

                Occupy- Your Mind. - No better friend, no worse enemy. -8.75, -6.21

                by Thousandwatts on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 09:46:44 AM PST

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                •  The distinction is between "Gun Rights groups" (0+ / 0-)

                  and "Most gun rights groups." Are you really going to argue that there isn't a heavy conservative bias in most gun rights groups?

                  There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                  by AoT on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 02:00:51 PM PST

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                  •  Yes, most gun right groups are conservative. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT

                    That was never in question.
                    I took issue with gun rights and racist asserted as being necessarily connected.
                    I thought you explained the distinction as being "contemporary"; now you've explained the distinction wasn't "contemporary", it was "most".
                    Never mind, I get it.

                    Occupy- Your Mind. - No better friend, no worse enemy. -8.75, -6.21

                    by Thousandwatts on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 03:59:43 PM PST

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                    •  I'll admit it might have been a bit broad (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Thousandwatts

                      even with just most. I certainly don't think most gun owners are racist, at least not more so than the rest of the US.

                      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                      by AoT on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 07:03:08 PM PST

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            •  Breaking in to save their lives? (5+ / 0-)

              Professional police fire the first round only to save a life in imminent peril.

              No one can watch those thugs break in and believe they thought a lethal threat hid inside.

              Gun-tagging the perp was a license to kill and they weren't going to let hunting season expire without a kill.

              This falls below the radar of guns-rights groups because gun-tagging seems to play the role rape-tagging played in the olden days of lynching.

              The people with the guns were the police. The deadly threat came from the police only.

              Among the nostalgic rifle-freaks of my acquaintance, the only problem with this scene is that only the police get to carry it out.

        •  Yep (11+ / 0-)

          What if he'd had a gun...and a concealed carry permit? Do the cops just get to assume that anyone who they think has a gun is a criminal?

          "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

          by kyril on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 01:55:25 AM PST

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          •  That's a definite possibility (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril, CuriousBoston

            that Graham' family/counsel should bring up in court. This is one of the reasons that I would think the pro-gun types would be going ballistic, pun intended.

          •  consider the context here (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MrJersey, happymisanthropy

            New York City.

            Getting a concealed carry license there is theoretically possible but in practice it is exceedingly rare. Similarly, New York has no reciprocity for CCW permits from other states. Regardless of any other aspect of this story, I think police can safely assume that a random guy walking around in the Bronx with a gun does not have a CCW permit and therefore no legal basis to be carrying one.

            Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

            by Joe Bob on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 09:53:39 AM PST

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            •  But the police shouldn't assume (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              burlydee, NYFM, happymisanthropy, kyril

              that every black guy hiking up his pants by the belt is carrying a weapon.

              "...just ordinary people, you know, people who are not famous, if they get together, if they persist, if they defy the authorities, they can defeat the largest corporation in the world. - Howard Zinn

              by Sean X on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 11:18:39 AM PST

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            •  I would rather the cops not make assumptions... (5+ / 0-)

              that is how unarmed 18 year olds get killed. They obviously can't safely assume anything. The truth is that most of their "assumptions" were based on the kid's race and age. Your "assumptions" are just another persons racism.

            •  Concealed carry in NYC just about non-existent (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NYFM, happymisanthropy, kyril, Joe Bob

              unless you are a cop, a security guard (ex-cop), a diamond merchant, a high profile celebrity, or another very special circumstance. If you are a minority teen ager living in the Bronx, the chance that you are carrying legally is virtually zero. That's why in the documented cases of cop on cop shootings in NYC, the majority of off duty black cops were shot by white cops on duty. While their motivations are not known, one can surmise that the white cops assumed that the most likely explanation for an armed black man in the neighborhood was that he was a bad guy.

              And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

              by MrJersey on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 11:24:30 AM PST

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            •  He didn't have a gun (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lostinamerica, kyril

              The police can assume anyone has a weapon concealed under this logic, and kill them as they are a potentail threat to them. They assume AA people are an immeniant treat. This is not reall an assumption but an excuse to kill.

              Here in Portland OR a few years ago the police killed a black woman unarmed in a traffic stop. The claimed the threat to thier lives was that she might have run over them with her car. The police did nothing to this killer but suspend him until he was cleared.

              When I lived in LA the cops shot and killed a naked man on dugs because he was making martail arts gestures with his hands at them. No concealed weapon threat there. They also shot 8 times am elderly black woman named Eulia Love over a despute with the gas company over a 69$ gas bill. Officers claimed she threw a knife at them which was widely disputed.

              Police Departments across the country are out of control. They are armed and an immentant threat to citizens, especailly non white people. There is no way for citizens to hold them accountable. They seem to function outside the bounds of oversight.

      •  That's why they lied about hot pursuit. (21+ / 0-)

        If the police were in pursuit of a fleeing suspect, like they initially claimed, then they would be covered by an exception to the Fourth Amendment.

        But the video shows that's probably a non-starter.

        So now they'll probably claim they feared destruction of evidence, or that they had a reasonable belief that the (unarmed) suspect posed an immediate threat to the safety of those inside. Selling either of those lines would get them out of a lawsuit for the warrantless entry.

        Then they'll just have to explain why shooting an unarmed teenager on the toilet was an objectively reasonable use of deadly force.

        But given how damning this tape is, I'm betting on an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed sum somewhere in the high seven figures.

        And you're absolutely right: the courts have made it far too easy for the Fourth Amendment to be ignored. Justice Ginsburg wrote a great, if futile, dissent last year expressing that exact idea. Nobody else joined her.

        ‎"Our greatest asset as advocates is a deep cognizance of our own ignorance, plus a willingness to do something about it." -Joseph Mitchell Kaye, 1966.

        by JR on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 03:47:34 AM PST

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      •  he wasn't RUNNING! he was casually sauntering, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joe wobblie

        walking calmly, as if he didn't have a care on his mind. no guilty conscience, no trying to hide.

        one glance back over his shoulder, but whatever he saw didn't startle or alarm him, he didn't speed up or flinch, just continued to enter the house!

        It might have just been good security practice, I expect NYC residents learn to check behind them as they're entering their safe home premises to make sure some nut doesn't sneak up behind them and suddenly shove in with them for robbery or mugging...

        "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

        by chimene on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 02:40:56 PM PST

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    •  Maybe, maybe not (7+ / 0-)

      If they were looking for marijuana in addition to a gun, and had a reasonable belief that the marijuana would be destroyed if they waited to obtain a warrant, they might have been allowed to enter without one. The argument in this case would be something like "we believed the suspect saw us, locked the door behind himself to impede our efforts to arrest him, and then--based on sounds we heard inside the building--attempted to destroy evidence." If they can come up with a semi-plausible lie for why they believed evidence was being destroyed, they can probably get away with the warrantless entry (the case on point here is less than a year old, Kentucky v. King: be sure to read Ginsburg's dissent).

      But shooting Graham was also a likely Fourth Amendment violation. The question becomes if the officer's use of deadly force was objectively reasonable against an unarmed suspect. I could see a court letting him walk on that, but I imagine a jury hearing a claim under the Civil Rights Act (and possibly also a claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress, though I think NY's rules on that tort are a little hinky) would find for the plaintiffs without much trouble. My guess is that the officers involved will claim they acted within the scope of their employment, the city will try to hold otherwise but ultimately give in to pressure from the police, and the case will settle for a huge sum of money.

      In other words, I can see a way for the killer to walk. He'll lose his job, but he might not serve a single day behind bars. O beautiful for spacious skies: for amber waves of grain....

      ‎"Our greatest asset as advocates is a deep cognizance of our own ignorance, plus a willingness to do something about it." -Joseph Mitchell Kaye, 1966.

      by JR on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 03:40:09 AM PST

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    •  If they were convinced he had a gun, what the hell (18+ / 0-)

      were these two cowboys doing standing in front of the house violently attempting to gain access without cover and without backup?

      Did they think there was a deadly assault or rape occurring inside at that moment? To me, that's the only reason this type of entry would be even slightly legal - to prevent possible and immediate harm or injury to another person.

      I've yet to see or hear anything which would lead me to believe anyone was in imminent danger other than the poor kid was gunned down.

      If Karl Rove is "offended" you're definitely doin' it right.

      by here4tehbeer on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 04:22:43 AM PST

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      •  Obviously, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Horace Boothroyd III

        ...the police were concerned that the boy was going to flush the gun (that they never actually saw) down the toilet before they could get a search warrant.

        Or maybe he would shoot his own family.

        /snide remark

        "...just ordinary people, you know, people who are not famous, if they get together, if they persist, if they defy the authorities, they can defeat the largest corporation in the world. - Howard Zinn

        by Sean X on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 11:54:14 AM PST

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