From George Floyd To Ronald Greene;The Epidemic Of Lying In Police Reports

George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police on 05/25/2020, will go down in history as one of the seminole moments in the push for policing reform, not just in the United States, but globally. It was one of those rare occasions where people on both sides of the police reform debate, after viewing video footage of the incident, agreed that there needs to be changes in the way police officials interract with people of color, and especially, Black people.

Another major takeaway from the George Floyd incident, that rarely gets it’s deserved mainstream media coverage, was the stark difference between how the Minneapolis Police Department(MPD) characterized the event in their police report, and what the public actually saw on the video footage. Simply put, but for the cell phone video footage from a teenage girl, the world would never know what really happened to George Floyd on that fateful day, even after going through the MPD incident report. Police Departments lying on police reports is a very serious issue, so it’s very encouraging to see the mainstream media beginning to address it as such, a good example being this CNN piece by Josh Campbell.

Josh Campbell’s piece highlights the cases of George Floyd, Walter Scott, Laquan McDonald, Breonna Taylor and Ronald Greene, all Black victims whose deaths at the hands of police, resulted in very stark differences between the narratives in the initial police reports, and video footage of the events. The initial police reports basically lied about what actually led to the deaths of these Black suspects in their custody, a sad state of affairs indeed. Naturally, this has raised two elephant-in-the-room questions among members of the public; (1) What else do police lie about? and (2) Is lying in police reports more prevalent than we think?

The latest incident involving Ronald Greene, where Louisiana State Patrol officers put out outright lies in their police report about the circumstances of Greene’s death, will certainly lead any reasonable person to conclude that lying in police reports, is probably more prevalent than the public wishes to admit. Think about that, Louisiana State Patrol officers had video footage of the event, yet continued lying to the public for two years. The truth about the incident only came out after a reporter dug into the story, forcing the release of the video footage. There is nothing to suggest that Louisiana State Patrol officers would have ultimately done the right thing, and told the public the truth about Ronald Greene’s death, absent the dogged journalism by this reporter. This just goes to show the very crucial part good journalism plays in not only the fight for police reform, but also good governance generally.

Yours Truly has raised this “good journalism” issue before, with mainstream media taboo topics like “targeted individuals” and “gangstalking”. For those of you not familiar with these terms(not sure what rock you live under), there are growing complaints from individuals in the United States, believing to have been watchlisted, claiming that they are often the targets of abuse by various U.S. law enforcement agencies. Among the most common abuses cited by these people is “organized stalking” or “gangstalking”, conduct if proven to be true, would constitute torture(violation of Geneva Conventions). Despite the seriousness of these allegations, the mainstream media has chosen to totally ignore them, choosing instead to characterize people who make such claims as paranoid nutjobs, or dismissing them as “conspiracy theorists”.

With the rising epidemic of lying in police reports about the circumstances of minorities dying in police custody, one has to wonder whether time has come for the mainstream media to lift it’s embargo on discussing targeted individuals, gangstalking, and many other taboo topics related to law enforcement. Given what we know now about police departments’ propensity to lie to cover up their injustices, can the mainstream media justify it’s embargo on discussing targeted individuals, gangstalking et al, any longer? What if targeted individuals have been telling the truth all along?

Bottom line folks, the number one lesson from George Floyd to Ronald Greene, is that there is an urgent need for policing reform in this country, and legislative fixes like the proposed George Floyd Justice In Policing Act will go a long way in achieving these desired reforms. True policing reform however, will only be achieved and sustained, if we have accompanying “media reform”, meaning, going back to our good old fashioned investigative journalism days, and ditching the present “access journalism”. Simply put, the media must go back to posing tough questions to law enforcement/government officials instead of always seeking ways to be liked by them for the sake of “access”.

Yours Truly has been consistent on the importance of good journalism, and so should you.

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Sean Hannity Busted For Lying About “Spontaneous” Presidents Day Crowd For Trump In Florida

On the 02/16/2021 edition of her show CNN Newsroom, host Brianna Keilar masterfully deconstructed the lie perpetrated by Sean Hannity and his friends at Fox News, that a “spontaneous” crowd came out to greet former President Trump in Florida on Presidents Day. Hannity and his friends at Fox News, were of course attempting to use the “spontaneous” crowd lie to perpetuate this perception that Trump is still very popular among the base, and should continue as leader of the GOP.

Sean Hannity said on Presidents Day, “A few hours ago, spontaneously, thousands of people in Palm Beach, lined up in support of the former president as his motorcade travelled through Florida. I have a question [Senators] Mitch McConnell, John Thune, how come you’ve never had this kind of enthusiasm at any of your events?” Hannity then went on to interview Trump’s son Donald Trump, Jr asking him, “Looking at your dad coming back from golf, did you see thousands of people out of nowhere? Nobody organized it that I can see, and certainly nobody associated with your father that I know of, do you?” Trump, Jr responded, “No. This is totally organic and again, it just shows that the American people are with Donald Trump.” The full CNN segment is available here but the relevant Hannity clip is below.

Turns out per Brianna Keilar, there was nothing spontaneous about the crowd that turned out to greet former President Trump on Presidents Day, and importantly, Sean Hannity knew this while he was lying on his show. Brianna Keilar then went on to demonstrate how these flagrant lies by Hannity and his pals at Fox News are not only harming our democracy, but also literally tearing families apart. She gave the heartbreaking example of Rep Adam Kinzinger, who is now considered to be in the “devil’s army” by some members of his family, who have confessed to believing the words of Hannity and company religiously. This means others in the mainstream media must follow Brianna Keilar’s lead and confront the flagrant lies emanating from Hannity and his friends at Fox News.

Bottom line folks, after the unfortunate events of the January 6th DC insurrection, which was primarily based on lies spread on Fox News and other right wing media outlets, we can no longer let the network self-police itself. It is very important for the public to call out the flagrant lies coming out of Fox News and other right wing media outlets, as Brianna Keilar routinely does. Simply put, we must not allow the lies emanating from Fox News and other right wing media outlets to go unchallenged. As a matter of fact, it is high time we started chronicling and keeping track of who is saying what on these right wing channels so that when another Jan 6th-like incident happens, we know exactly who to pin the blame on. Good stuff Brianna Keilar, as always.

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Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick Wants To Limit Mail Voting To Voters Over 65 Because Covid-19 Mostly Kills Them

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick(R)

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick appeared on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom show and parroted the falsehood currently being spread by President Trump that mail-in ballots are prone to massive voter fraud. Lt. Gov Patrick argued that because CDC data has established that it is people over 65 who are mostly losing their lives due to covid-19 , only Texas voters over 65 should be allowed to vote by mail. As shocking as this sounds, Lt Gov Patrick is literally telling Texas voters under 65 not to worry about contracting covid-19 at the polling places because even if they do, it will not kill them–it only kills people over 65. This is sadly, the kind of reasoning you get from a guy who’s second-in-command to the Texas Governorship.

Lt. Gov Patrick said when asked about voters’ valid fears of covid-19, “I want to go back to what the CDC said. 80% of people who have died from the virus [covid-19] are over 65. Anyone over 65 in America can vote safely from home. That’s already the law virtually everywhere–some states have all mail-in ballots on the west coast. So anyone 65 who is really vulnerable can vote from home. This idea that we want to give you a disability claim because ‘I’m afraid to go vote’ if you are under 65 is laughable. You have more chance of being in a serious auto accident if you are under 65 on the way to vote, than you do from catching the virus and dying from it by voting.”

One of the biggest flaws in Lt Gov Patrick’s reasoning (it’s actually totally flawed), is this idea that covid-19 affects one’s life only if it kills you. A leading pulmonologist Dr Andrew Martin, told Heathline, a medical journal that, “Patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), seen often in severe COVID-19 illness, sometimes develop permanent lung damage or fibrosis as well.” So voters of color who are especially vulnerable to covid-19, have a valid reason to fear contracting covid-19 because even if it does not kill them, there’s a good chance it will leave them with long-term medical problems. It is not unreasonable, or “laughable” as Lt Gov Patrick put it, for them to opt for mail-in voting.

Lt Gov Patrick also pointed out in the same Fox News segment that some states in the west coast already conduct all their elections by mail. Notably, he didn’t point to any reports of widespread voter fraud in elections conducted by the said west coast states.

Another eye-catching moment in Lt Gov Patrick’s interview was his unprompted revelation that he knew of ways someone can easily steal votes to swing a close election. This was an eye-catching revelation because Texas voters to this day, have a lot of questions as to how Senator Ted Cruz narrowly defeated his Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke in the 2018 elections.

Lt. Gov Patrick told host Ed Henry, “We [Texas] have so many elections that are so close…….you can swing the balance easily Ed. I can give you ten scenarios but I won’t because I don’t want to give anyone ideas how you can easily steal thousands of votes…” Actually Lt Gov Patrick, Texans would like to find out what you know about easily stealing thousands of votes.

Bottom line folks as we’ve seen numerous times before, Republicans in Texas and elsewhere, will do everything in their power to get as few people as possible to vote. Republicans nationwide have come to terms with the fact they are increasingly becoming a regional party, totally out of step with mainstream American political thought. Lt Gov Patrick’s desperate attempts to stop voting by mail has nothing to do with voter fraud and everything to do with voter suppression–ensuring as few Texans as possible vote in November. It is truly a sad way to “win” an election, but that’s exactly where we are with Trump’s GOP.

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