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Something rather remarkable has happened. It was only a few months ago that the nightly news regularly featured another video of an unarmed person being shot to death by a police officer. Now, shootings like that seem to be a relatively rare occurrence.

It’s too soon to declare the epidemic over, but there has been a change. And how does the Trump administration respond? By proposing to eliminate consent decrees, those legal devices whereby the Justice Department monitors police agencies with more than their share of civil rights issues.

Did consent decrees in Baltimore and Chicago and elsewhere end the shootings? No. It’s more likely that it was simply the proliferation of phones with video capabilities and the increasing chance that violent confrontations would be filmed. Some law enforcement advocates suggest it’s because police officers have been intimidated and are policing the streets less aggressively and making fewer arrests. Others note that the bulk of the videotaped shooting deaths involved traffic stops or nuisance arrests, not armed robberies.

The Partisan would love to hear from those in law enforcement and others who care about public safety issues. Have there been changes in policies and practices? Are you concerned about the president’s pronouncements about getting tougher on crime and reviving the so-called War on Drugs? Can police departments be self-governing and self-monitoring or do they need civilian oversight?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Helga Fellay April 4, 2017, 9:26 am

    “Trump wants to unleash law enforcement”????? Hasn’t that been unleashed a long time ago – like during democratic administrations? Unleashed and militarized, and operating with almost complete impunity – for years now?

  • lia April 4, 2017, 9:52 am

    less oversight on police behavior, more guns in civilians hands = more chaos in general—feeds into the Trump plan of letting the ‘little people’ destroy themselves while the kleptocracy gains more and more power ( kleptocracies nationalize risk while privatizing profits)

    • Helga Fellay April 4, 2017, 10:33 am

      Isn’t that what’s been happening for decades? That has been our neoliberal policy for decades, (I believe it started in the 1980’s with Reagan) – forced neoliberal privatizations, not only in the US, but also all over Latin America (part of the reason why we had this huge influx of refugees from Central American nations and Mexico, because we (in the name of our corporations) stole indigenous communal lands, drove the people into fleeing for their lives, killing those who tried to resist. We have had “the ‘little people’ destroy themselves” for a very long time, introducing drugs from Afghanistan and Colombia into minority neighborhoods and inner cities, with the predictable result of now housing millions of them in our private prisons for corporate profits, courtesy of taxpayers like you and me. There is nothing new about any of this. What’s new is that the MSM (main stream media) has kept you uninformed, but now, that we can blame everything that’s wrong in our society on Trump (if not Putin or Assad), the MSM for the first time is eager to inform the American public. Just because you are hearing about it for the first time does not mean Trump started this. He may not end it, but he sure as hell did not invent our utterly corrupt system.

  • Luana Conley April 4, 2017, 11:11 am

    “Now, shootings like that seem to be a relatively rare occurrence.” Really? I imagine it depends on whether the locals get angry enough to raise a ruckus so people notice the 1,115 killed by cops in 2016, and 305 so far in 2017. You may read random reports which might show some are “justified,” (as Timothy Olyphant might say), but it is apparent that cops have been validated to act as on-the-spot judge, jury, and executioner, and that didn’t just start in November. Is it OK with this society for cops to shoot to death a nut with a knife, or a burglary suspect, or might we be more moral to demand non-lethal tactics first? All a cop need say is, “I feared for my life,” that’s the end of the story, and back to business as usual.

    Since the state isn’t keeping count at the federal, state, or city level, ‘Killed by Police’ does. “The most accurate, most comprehensive and always up-to-date list of people killed by U.S. law enforcement officers.”

    Those high-profile stories that have faded from public view generally ended with an appalling lack of accountability, charges never filed, no investigations, and the cop back on the street, a hero to his fellows. The only change is a stamp of approval from this administration vs. occasional hollow criticism from the former.

    December 31st – January 1st, 2014: 1112
    December 31st – January 1st, 2015: 1210
    December 31st – January 1st, 2016: 1155
    On track – Present – January 1st, 2017: 305

  • kayadams April 4, 2017, 11:39 am

    As stated above, since January 1, 2017 police have killed 305 people here is a website showing that: http://killedbypolice.net/ the ‘epidemic’ over is less national exposure?

  • bill leone April 4, 2017, 12:15 pm

    Yes, the militarization of local police departments started decades ago. Also, as any person of color will tell you, encounters with Some police officers can take a menacing turn very quickly. However, I suspect the tragedies we’ve been reading about will only increase under The Pimp President…just as the incidents of hate crimes have increased exponentially (according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is Not in any category of the MSM) since he began his campaign rallies.

    • Helga Fellay April 4, 2017, 12:33 pm

      Now that’s an interesting juxtaposition: Royal posts an article in which he states that “shootings like that seem to be a relatively rare occurrence.” Statistics submitted by readers confirm that this just ain’t so. Now bill, sitting on that same bandwagon as Royal, comes to his aid saying he SUSPECTS that “the tragedies we’ve been reading about will only increase under The Pimp President…” As long as we seem to be unable to blame our president, whose first name appears to be Pimp, of everything that’s wrong with our militarized police and the wanton killings of unarmed minorities, we can’t just turn around and walk away with our tails between our legs. After all, we can always valiantly “suspect” that everything that’s been wrong will only increase in its wrongness. Now who could possibly argue against that? I suspect no one can.

  • Joanna Greenshields April 4, 2017, 5:33 pm

    I guess it could always be worse. We could all live in a country where if you disagree with the government and dare to speak out, you meet with an untimely death. Small mercies I suppose.

    • Helga Fellay April 4, 2017, 7:20 pm

      I am not sure how much worse can it get. I think about 10 or so former Clinton Aides, who had been summoned to testify about her e-mails and related matters, have met with untimely deaths just before they could testify, all of them unusual, suspicious, but without proper investigations or autopsies. Coincidences?

  • Joanna Greenshields April 5, 2017, 7:57 am

    The Clinton’s must be the most powerful people in the world. It’s stunning to think that the kind of power that can snuff out associates and cover it up EVERY time, still couldn’t “fix” an election. Putin, on the other hand, kills his critics, members of the not so free press and his political opponents. Hillary should have taken a leaf out of Comrade Putin’s book. Trump could then have “fallen” out of Trump Tower installing a golden shower.

    • Helga Fellay April 5, 2017, 9:13 am

      While the Clintons may not be THE most powerful people in the world, they definitely are among a small handful of THE most powerful people. Also members of that little club are Rothchild, Saud, Netanyahu and a few others whose names I don’t know. Soros was but has apparently fallen from grace, and the Clintons are in sharp decline as well. There is a shift in progress, fortunately. Putin is a contender, but Trump is not even a contender and never will be. Erdogan is desperately trying to be a contender, but he has even less of a chance than Trump. There are reasons why the Clintons were not able to “fix” the election, and it’s not lack of trying. They are so out of touch with reality and the American people that they miscalculated. They believed that everything can be manipulated and/or bought, without realizing that there are historical forces at work that are still more powerful than any manipulations. As they say – there are some things that money cannot buy – fortunately.

  • Joanna Greenshields April 5, 2017, 9:41 am

    Oh my goodness gracious Helga! I actually agreed with some of your comments on this last posting. Excuse me, I think I need to buy some aluminum foil. Yikes!

    • Helga Fellay April 5, 2017, 12:35 pm

      If you agreed with some of my comments, that means you are learning and beginning to catch on. Don’t waste your money buying aluminum foil, it’s expensive and will not protect you against growing awareness.

  • lia April 5, 2017, 1:26 pm

    who were those 10 Clinton aides who died???

    • Helga Fellay April 5, 2017, 9:23 pm

      Seth Rich, Joe Montano, Shawn Lucas, Victor Thorn & John Ashe; all deceased 2016, all Clinton DNC a/o CGI closely connected. that’s 5, but there have been more. Google “Hillary Clinton, body count,” I am sure you can find others, the last one just a few days ago.

  • bill leone April 5, 2017, 9:20 pm

    Good Grief!

  • bill leone April 6, 2017, 10:51 pm

    FYI: the actual Hillary Clinton body count, according to the NON-MSM source, WND claims, in agreement with Rush Limbaugh, & other Far-Right Lunatics, is 33!

    Check This Out: http://www.wnd.com/2016/08/clinton-death-list-33-most-intriguing-cases/

    Now, if you are unfortunate enough to rely on MSM sources, such as the New York Times, The Economist, The New Yorker, & other similar perpetrators of “fake news,” thereby depriving yourself of access to the Truth, you might suspect the above referenced story is a screw-ball conspiracy theory,
    which (by the way) the WND has a reputation for generating in abundance, according to Wikipedia.

    I highly recommend Partisan readers do their own Internet research on WND for their own edification & amusement. This is one of the fountains of objective journalism, where many of the Pimp President’s apologists are being “informed.”

    • Helga Fellay April 7, 2017, 8:48 am

      Just two points for clarification: I have never read WND and did not even know of its existence until reading the above post. I don’t plan to ever read WND or similar publications. I get my education from PROGRESSIVE non-MSM sources, among them Consortium News, TeleSur, RT, and others too numerous to mention.
      My other point, bill, is that you seem to assume that all Clinton critics must be coming from “Far-Right Lunatics.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Far-Right loves and admires her. After all, she is one of them, as neocon and as neoliberal as they come. It’s no coincidence that both Dick Cheney and Henry Kissinger love and admire and praise her to the sky. The overwhelming majority of those opposed to Clinton are from the progressive far left. It seems you cannot tell your right from your left, a problem affecting many Americans in your age group. After all, what was considered Left when you were wee children has now turned into Right. And what was Right then is now called Alt-Right. The real Left is no longer represented on the political landscape. Sanders who is Left on domestic issues, was sabotaged by the democratic party, and the Green Party, which is Left on both domestic and foreign policy issues, seems impotent. Our political system seems designed to not allow any third party to come to power. Clinton is nothing but Dick Cheney in a pants suit and a blond wig.

  • bill leone April 6, 2017, 11:00 pm

    A bit more on WND as a reliable alternative to the MSM, which we all know is a conspiratorial mouthpiece for the “Deep State.”


  • bill leone April 7, 2017, 10:02 am

    This is what I found when I searched for Consortium News:


    • Helga Fellay April 7, 2017, 10:16 am

      for bill’s edification, I looked up “deep state” in Wikipedia (which has never been associated with “Far-Right Lunacy):Definition in political science[edit]
      Deep state has been defined in 2014 by Mike Lofgren, a former Republican U.S. Congressional aide, as “a hybrid association of elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern the United States without reference to the consent of the governed as expressed through the formal political process.”[23]

      In his 1956 book The Power Elite, C. Wright Mills outlined the origins of power and its development in the United States. Mills’ conclusions were that by the mid-twentieth century, American power had become concentrated into three major divisions; the military-industrial complex, Wall Street, and the Pentagon. Prior to President Eisenhower’s coinage of the term ‘military-industrial complex’, its existence and impact on American politics and governmental policy were well developed and recognized by Mills.

      In The Concealment of the State, professor Jason Royce Lindsey argues that even absent a conspiratorial agenda, the term “deep state” is useful for understanding aspects of the national security establishment in developed countries, with emphasis on the United States. Lindsey writes that the deep state draws power from the national security and intelligence communities, a realm where secrecy is a source of power.[24]

      See also[edit]
      Militarization of police
      Politics in the United States
      Shadow government (conspiracy)
      American Committee on United Europe
      State within a state

      In my opinion, it’s more complex than that, but never mind. Just to show you, bill, that I didn’t invent the term, and it does exist, no matter how often you deny it. And I seriously doubt that the above-mentioned professors wore tinfoil hats. Neither do I recall ever seeing a picture of President Eisenhower wearing a tinfoil hat.

  • bill leone April 7, 2017, 10:13 am

    And here is the Truthiness of TeleSur, exhibited in an article on “fake news.” Judge for yourself”


    • Helga Fellay April 7, 2017, 10:24 am

      excellent article, thank you bill. I posted it on FB.

  • bill leone April 7, 2017, 10:16 am

    An MSM evaluation of RT News: http://time.com/rt-putin/

    • Helga Fellay April 7, 2017, 10:36 am

      of course the MSM demonizes non-corporate, independent news sites, be they from the US, Europe, Latin America, Russia or elsewhere, the same way they demonize heads of states we wish to destroy, such as Saddam, Libya’s Gadafi and Assad. You don’t have to prove it, we all know that. I’m afraid you are in way over your head.

  • bill leone April 7, 2017, 3:54 pm

    In my humble opinion, Alex Jones is as Far Right of a Lunatic as you can imagine. One of his pet delusional conspiracy theories is that President Obama in concert with the Deep State are plotting to overthrow the Pimp President’s beneficent administration. Did you post this on FB as well?


    Perhaps I am in over my head, but if find it very troubling that people who claim to be Progressives have similar views as those on the White Nationalist Right, & much of the MSM, which you so despise, claims the similarity has something to do with Russian Cyber-Intelligence.

    • Helga Fellay April 7, 2017, 5:01 pm

      You ARE in over your head. No doubt the Russians are to blame for all of it. And no, I did not post the above on FB. If it’s true, many others will no doubt post it. The MSM will be silent about it.

  • bill leone April 8, 2017, 1:52 pm

    Okay, based on your implied agreement with Alex Jones…..I rest my case.

  • Joanna Greenshields April 12, 2017, 10:49 am

    Alex Jones? What a truly horrid little man. He used the horrific and tragic death of children, to spin his conspiracy theories and fuel hate campaigns against the government. Jones is beyond repulsive and I hope karma bites him on his flabby white bottom tout de suite.

  • David Norum April 14, 2017, 8:08 am

    I am retired Monterey County law enforcement. Investigated maybe a dozen OIS (officer involved shootings) with Coroner’s and DA’s Offices. None were criminal in nature, all eventually ruled legally “justifiable” (if possibly preventable if other/better tactics were used.) Just mentioned that to put my opinion in perspective. Citizen oversight can potentially be very problematical if it gets over-politicized. But then again, any “independent” investigation by an elected official (District Attorney, State AG) has the potential for being political as well. Communities that have little faith in their police (Salinas maybe?, Chicago, LA, Baltimore, etc…) could certainly use some sort of well organized, well trained citizen review board and good hard investigative journalism to keep things in check. Police officers have probably the most individual power of any people in the whole country. They need to have strong oversight when they use that power, especially in deadly force situations. To sum up, no easy answers, politics will always play a part in mucking up the works.