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View Diary: KosAbility: Police Violence, Disability, and All of Us (62 comments)

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  •  Once again (1+ / 0-)
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    If you are interested in discussion, let me know. That's the goal of the KosAbility group and my engagement with the internet in general. I am not interested in attacks or defense. Discussion. Synthesis. I know that's not the norm on the internet, but why not change today?

    •  I thank you, Lollardfish- (1+ / 0-)
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      This is a very important topic, and your mannerly and insightful discussion of it is welcomed here. Many of us, at different times, feel disillusioned and cynical about many issues that need to be addressed. You are right- civilized discussion is the best way to find solutions.

      Anyone who scoffs at happiness needs to take their soul back to the factory and demand a better one. -driftglass

      by postmodernista on Sun May 05, 2013 at 07:10:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Take the word 'attack' and substitute 'discuss' (0+ / 0-)

      Ready...set...go?  I have no idea what you thought I meant by attack.  

      •  Alright! (1+ / 0-)
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        Let's take these one at a time then. You wrote.

        "One's the idea that the rule of law is important..that it applies to everyone, even the police.  But there's a whole apparatus standing behind and that has stood behind violence as long as it's by the right people.  What in recent history is going to sway this country?  This is nothing special.  This is typical.  Entirely typical.  Has been for centuries.  And the internet's been around long enough you'd think the constant availability of these incidents to the viewing public would have had its effect.  So far no go.  It's ok for the police to kill people.  That's what we pay them to do.  Go out and decide who to shoot and who to lock up, right?  So it's ok.  Because we pay them.  So they've got to be doing it for us right?"

        In fact, if you look at the history of police procedures in this country, there are lots of moments of cultural shift. We could look at race, but that's pretty complicated. I'd rather turn to look at the way that police handle domestic dispute. It's not perfect, but through a shift in the understanding of the rights of women, through changing procedures and trainings, NGO advocacy, and governmental (usually state or city) agency, police now handle domestics much more carefully than before. We have a long way to go, but things have improved. It's a slow, step-by-step, frustrating process, but one that disability advocacy groups are starting.

        •  I understand your analogy (1+ / 0-)
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          Those cultural shifts have more to do with the social recognition of the basic human rights and dignities of the aggrieved parties.  Crimes against women and against victims of american apartheid are now generally seen as crimes and prosecuted.  Groups of white people cannot now take photos of themselves burning random black men to death in the south.  The rape and assault of women is now (usually) seen as a crime committed by the criminal rather than just punishment for an amoral woman.  None of this has gone to restrict what police feel they can do to minorities or women they feel are committing a crime, which these days includes refusing to do anything a cop tells you to do.  Look at marijuana arrests in NY.  Black men are twice as likely to be arrested for marijuana related crimes by the NYPD as white men despite equal use.  There is no vast enough outcry to even slow down the process.  

          The disabled community has achieved quite a bit in the last few decades achieving equal rights with the rest of the population.  The ADA is a reflection of the increasing recognition that not only can we contribute to public life on an equal footing with everyone else, but that we have a right to.  

          This does not, I believe, address the cause of the problem here.  This poor man's disability was the root cause of his conflict with the law.  But the reaction of law enforcement to his insubordination wasn't any different than their reactions have recently been to any other class of person.  He was breaking a law, and the police had the right to do whatever it took to force compliance.  And their tool is violence.

          How can we expect police to slow down enough to even understand they're dealing with a disabled person when our social institutions give them the right to react violently to assert complete physical control of situations they don't understand?

          •  We're on the same page here (1+ / 0-)
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            We can't expect police to slow down enough ...

            But we can exert pressure on the forces around the police to shift their behavior. It has worked, if imperfectly, in other contexts.

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