Riots in the USA - just an excuse to let off energy? (1 Viewer)

ColinEssex

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We notice on TV news that there are some riots in several US cities. The excuse given is retaliation for a black man dying in police custody, the old stock excuse that goes back to the 1960's.
Are these riots just an opportunity to set fire to Burger King or KFC and looting? One opinion on TV is that it is a vehicle for venting anger at the pandemic restrictions and maybe losing their job. In other words, nothing to do with this black bloke.
i notice that the rioters are not observing social distancing, but we also read it's not being observed anyway in the USA as its incursion of human rights!
The general opinion here is that it's the normal USA riots that flare up every so often and has done for decades. Once the rioters need sleep, it'll die down and be forgotten.
Col
 

The_Doc_Man

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Col, I think that the energy being let off is anger that despite protests, despite review boards, despite lawsuits, despite decades of complaints about the problem, black people still are incarcerated at a higher rate per capita than other ethnicities. They are still twice as likely to die as the result of police action as other ethnic subdivisions. Their anger is that despite begging for treatment that is not different from the way other ethnics are treated, they appear to be targeted any time a cop decides to get brutal.

The George Floyd case was simple. The guy was being arrested for the crime of having used counterfeit money, which is a non-violent "property" crime. I don't know what led up to the final result, which was that an officer kept his knee on Mr. Floyd's neck for 8 minutes in a position that impaired his breathing and the circulation around his carotid artery. He died from that. The videos that have surfaced credibly show that M.r Floyd was not fighting once he was down and handcuffed. He was heard to plead for his life because his breathing was impaired. Three other cops didn't ask the officer who was kneeling on Mr. Floyd to let him up and take him into the police car.

The officer in question, a fellow whose last name was Chauvin, was fired and has been arrested for 3rd degree murder. I read the article on what that means in Minnesota. Other jurisdictions might call it involuntary homicide or negligent homicide. However, the nationwide anger, probably fueled by frustration over corona virus isolation, has focused on three recent deaths of black people under questionable circumstances. I won't try to repeat all of the cases here. I will merely say that Mr. Floyd's case was the spark that lit up a serious conflagration.

In New Orleans, we have a black mayor and a black police superintendent. They emphasize to all of the officers that they should intervene when "one of their own" gets a little heavy-handed. They have training and internal reviews. Just recently they formally reprimanded a particular task force's members then dissolved the task force and reassigned those members because of their actions. I'm not going to say that kind of incident could not happen here, but we are perhaps on a path to at least reducing the frequency of occurrence.
 
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Officer Chauvin promoted the stereotype of white officers targeting young black males.

The rioters promoted the stereotype of young black males.

Neither is fully accurate, they are stereotypes we all live with.
 
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ColinEssex

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If black people are incarcerated at a higher per capita rate, maybe they commit more crimes than other ethnic groups. Just because more are arrested, that does not necessarily mean being targeted by police. They probably are, but you can view it from another angle.
Col
 

Steve R.

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If black people are incarcerated at a higher per capita rate, maybe they commit more crimes than other ethnic groups. Just because more are arrested, that does not necessarily mean being targeted by police. They probably are, but you can view it from another angle.
Unfortunately, the validity of your statement is considered sacrilege. Any attempt to discuss what you state is immediately shut-down. The only allowed analysis is that they are victims not responsible for their own behavior.
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Furthermore, the rioters are essentially destroying their own communities. We end-up in a situation of circular logic. Those rioting in many cases claim they are the victims of poverty, unemployment, and police brutality. Yet by burning down their communities they are creating poverty, unemployment, and police brutality. Why would businesses return, to provide jobs and economic incentives, if the people in those communities destroy the businesses? (Many of these businesses are local and owned by locals who really wont have the resources to re-build. Especially after COVID-19)
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Rep. Ilhan Omar: Protesters feeling 'terrorized' by National Guard troops, 'militarized police'
Rep. Ilhan Omar, whose Minneapolis district is ground zero for the weekend’s riots, said Sunday that protesters felt “terrorized” by National Guard troops called in to stop the violence, looting and arson.
Unfortunately, Ms. Omar, like many political leaders in the US, seem to consider the use of force to stop looting and rioting as excessive. Furthermore, Ms Omar fails to consider that these people have the free will not to riot. Rioting is there choice, yet Ms Omar does not condemn their free will actions.

In 2015 the Mayor of Baltimore, MD stated: "
we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well,". Of course she also made the gratuitous statement: ""I've made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech,"". Free speech should mean peaceful protest, not the destruction of property.
 
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The_Doc_Man

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Col, you are not wrong to ask that question, but there is so much blame to go around that it just isn't a "black and white" thing (pun not intended ... this time). The question is always going to be "nurture vs. nature" whether we like it or not.

Officer Derek Chauvin's actions represented an excessive and dangerous application of force against Mr. Floyd. The three officers who were there and did nothing to slow him down have been dismissed from the force. Officer Chauvin was also dismissed but was arrested. Clearly, SOMEONE felt there was a problem there. But the frustration has boiled over more than once. We had the Watts riots (suburban Los Angeles). We had the Selma incidents (small-town Alabama). We have had riots in Detroit and even once in Boston. The USA is not being very effective in helping its own citizens here.

I have some limited understand both sides of the issue but have no claim on true expertise.

From the white viewpoint, it seems that nothing we can do to help blacks is good enough - whether we are talking about "Project Head Start" or "Affirmative Action" or any of the other race-sensitive methods to bring blacks out of poverty and into mainstream America. Our tax money does not seem to be well-spent because our return on investment isn't paying dividends. Before anyone chastises me for using a business metaphor, sometimes the investment is in people through education. And in that sense, we see limited gains for extensive costs.

The blacks, on the other hand, want to get economically and socially to where they see white folks, but so many of them want it now because they have been waiting for something to happen. Too many promises have been given - and not kept - by liberals who throw tons of money at the problem, but due to loose oversight, that money doesn't get where it will do the most good. The blacks have no respect for police because to them, the police are their enemies. Based on the number of black people killed in custody, it is hard to NOT see it that way. So the blacks see it as a system that has given up on them and they wonder why they shouldn't give up on the system.

The answer is going to have lie somewhere in the middle but knowing the answer doesn't mean I know how to get there from here. Blacks need to take the initiative to push their kids to get better schooling and a better appreciation for how things work when you stay inside the lines of "traditional" schooling, whether via colleges or trade schools. Whites have to swallow the frustration and continue to try to support these efforts. BOTH sides need to meet somewhere in the middle. I can see it as a goal, but I can't see the path to get there.
 

ColinEssex

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I remember the Selma riots ?1968 ish. I think that was the first time I saw such goings on, on TV. I didn't understand the reasons, but I thought the police were a little over zealous.
I think if anyone can come up with a solution, they will be made a Saint.

Col
 
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CNN keeps pounding the point that white supremacist are involved. I've tried for 3 days to find evidence of this. CNN doesn't provide any pictures and I can't find any when i freeze frame on random looters.

Maybe others have seen the white supremacist elements.

Edit: this is a new claim.
More of Susan Rice speculating on CNN that Russia is fueling US protests: "I would not be surprised to learn that they have fomented some of these extremists on both sides using social media. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they are funding it in some way, shape, or form."
 
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Steve R.

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In listening to the news this morning, some thoughts emerged.
  1. Those rioting and looting have no respect for the rule-of-law or any valid concern over the meaning of Floyd's death. They are simply opportunists using Floyd's death as a callus excuse to steal. That is not showing the type of respect necessary to end racism in the US. They are dishonoring what happened to Floyd.
  2. An owner of one of the stores that was looted and destroyed by the rioters was interviewed. Fundamentally, why would that person "support" the supposed goals of the protesters to end racism, when that person was victim of a "racist" attack by those supposedly "protesting" to end racism. As people see this type of story repeated over and over again, some will begin to dismiss the calls to end racism as being simply "hot air" without substance. Moreover, if you yourself become an unfortunate victim, why would you have any sympathy or support it. If this "hot air" perception gains traction, the calls to end racism will begin to fall on deaf ears and loose public support. What happened to Floyd will simply become another forgotten footnote.
  3. If the black community asserts that they want to end racism, they need to demand that destroying local business is a no-no. Unabated destroying of local businesses will mean continued unemployment and poverty. The black community insists that they need opportunities to grow their communities to provide jobs and end poverty. Why would they deserve "opportunities", such as a new Target, if it is to be vandalized? So why do they tolerate actions which sabotage those opportunities?
 
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kevlray

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Unfortunately even in our community protesting got out of hand. A couple of protesters were confronting a vehicle in the roadway (not sure why), but then the driver hit two of the protesters with their vehicle (fortunately neither one of was seriousness injured). The driver has not been found yet. From what I saw, all the parties were at fault.
 

Isaac

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I should make a confession. When a group of violent looters surround a vehicle with a terrified person inside, and the person inside the vehicle ooomphs-forward just a tad, knocking someone down, I have to confess feeling some bit of sympathy for the driver's situation, and not really minding at all that he drove at someone and knocked them down. I am probably a horrible person for that.

These riots were triggered from the Floyd incident, but I definitely agree with everyone else - there are PLENTY of people who seem to just want a new TV or even just a case of beer. They're like..I'm getting me a 12 pack for free and going back home. Or not. It is ridiculous.
Here in Phoenix, there was a lot of destruction of property both downtown and in the Scottsdale mall type areas. What was interesting was most of the people in involved in the craziness were not even black. (In all fairness we don't have many blacks here). They were just too-excited young white people seeming to enjoy firecrackers, broken glass, and hopping back and forth like idiots.

No question that the police are absolute saints AT LEAST in moments when they are standing there, stock-still, facing projectiles being thrown at their heads. Anyone knowingly doing that to a police officer who is just standing there ought to be thoroughly rubber bulleted or tased as many times as it takes, and that's being nice. Of course, what happened to George Floyd is sick, and horrifying. Like I think AB said, there is just no stereotype that fits all.

I think the stories in all of this..all the way from beginning to current..that turn my stomach the most and make me almost nauseous with upset, are the reports of store owners, a woman somewhere who was pleading with looters to stop destroying her store, and got the crap beat out of her in front of her husband who could only watch with horror.

Mob mentalities seldom lead anywhere good.
 
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What was interesting was most of the people in involved in the craziness were not even black. (In all fairness we don't have many blacks here). They were just too-excited young white people seeming to enjoy firecrackers, broken glass, and hopping back and forth like idiots.
Ah that must be the white supremacist I keep hearing about, okay so they are all in Phoenix good to know! jk 🤣
 

Pat Hartman

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@Doc,
I question your statistics in #2. Can you please post your references.

In my opinion, the people marching in the protest become culpable for the looting and other damage when they don't attempt to stop it or immediately leave the area. If the peaceful protesters would simply walk away, the police would be much more inclined to stop the looting even in the Socialist Republic of Minnesota. Once the looting and destruction start, the protest is over and now we're having a riot. Just go home!!!! Get out of danger and don't stand around gawking. Leave the rioters exposed so the police have a clean shot at them.

Please notice that the majority of the looted cities (if not all) are managed by Democrat administrations.

I really wish the police would track down the piles of bricks deliveries so we can know who is paying for the weapons used for destruction. There has been lots of talk about the riots in many places being orchestrated and funded by outsiders. Start with who paid for the weapons.

Why does Twitter feel the need to erroneously "fact" check the President but they have no problem with riots being organized by their software?

Anyone arrested in a riot who is not a local resident should be charged with terrorism. They didn't show up to protest. They showed up to destroy and loot.

The first couple of days the looters were peeing in their own beds which is as stupid as it gets but the last couple of days, now that they know the police are impotent, they are sacking the good stores where the merchandise is better. Why steal a $300 TV from Target when you can steal a $5,000 purse or $1,000 pair of sneakers or phone?

It is heartbreaking to listen to interviews of residents and shop owners of neighborhoods that were destroyed by the looters while the police just looked on. Can you imagine a poor shop owner who spent his life building a business to support his family and serve his community only to have it sacked and burned to the ground in a "race" riot? Exactly what point does that make? What about the elderly people who now have no local shopping? Who is going to shop for them when the buses don't run in their neighborhood? Why would Target or a chain drugstore or the Dollar Store ever go back to that original neighborhood? That neighborhood is essentially dead for decades. Who benefited from that? It makes me angry enough that I would be quite OK with shooting looters on sight.

The cop who killed the man needs to be charged with murder (which seems to have happened) but the other officers on the scene who stood by and didn't stop it should be charged as accessories to murder. Just because they didn't commit the underlying crime doesn't mean they are not responsible for the death since they could have intervened to stop the abuse. I realize that police departments are "old boys" clubs and you're not supposed to tattle on your coworkers but they didn't need to tattle, they needed to do the right thing and stop the abuse.
 

Steve R.

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An underrated story, which @Pat Hartman, is alluding to and which I have also been trying express; what about the riot victims?
It seems that their pain and suffering is being overlooked. What is also distressing is that those who claim to support the (valid non-violent) protests don't seem concerned at all about those instigating the violence. One would think that the leaders supporting an end to racism and (alleged) police brutality would be very concerned. I previoulsy wrote:
Fundamentally, why would that person "support" the supposed goals of the protesters to end racism, when that person was victim of a "racist" attack by those supposedly "protesting" to end racism. As people see this type of story repeated over and over again, some will begin to dismiss the calls to end racism as being simply "hot air" without substance. Moreover, if you yourself become an unfortunate victim, why would you have any sympathy or support it. If this "hot air" perception gains traction, the calls to end racism will begin to fall on deaf ears and loose public support. What happened to Floyd will simply become another forgotten footnote/
I will extend this thought a bit further by going on to say that the victims of the riots may well begin to see the police as "friends" and may well begin to dismiss any assertions that the police are "bad". In fact, they may well want "brutal" police action to protect them from the thuggery of the violent protesters who have no concern for their welfare and who may well kill them. Public Safety is the job of the police. Those who wish to end racism need to realize that their approach, in many ways, is hurting the minority communities. The very people they claim to want to be helping.
 

The_Doc_Man

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Pat, here is part of it:


The number of black deaths vs. white deaths is about 50% i.e. focusing only on two statistics, black and white cop-shooting deaths, the ratio would be 2:1 white vs. black deaths, in relative numbers. That is the ratio that we see.


The population balance of the USA is such that whites vs. blacks are about 6:1 (72%/12%) - so in relative terms, we SHOULD see a 6:1 ratio of white to black deaths - but we see 2:1. This means that per capita, black shooting deaths from police are 3 times higher than white deaths. I apologize for my original error, in which I said they were only twice as likely. The better number is 3 times as likely. You might or might not question my sources, but I wasn't plucking the numbers out of thin air.

Was there any other statistic I stated in #2 that you question?

FWIW, I actually agree with a lot of your points. Looters should be held culpable for property damage and theft. With a group that size, though, there isn't a combination of jails in the city that can hold them all pending arraignment. The cops would have a full-scale shooting riot on their hands in that case. Then the calls for justice would have to be faced with the grim reality that anarchy and civilized justice don't usually coexist.

I have to laugh, though, because so many signs say really stupid things like "De-fund the police." OK, that works just fine. When there aren't enough cops around to protect the city from normal crime loads, what you have is a return to the days of the wild west. Days when you threaten someone with a gun, other people nearby are also carrying legally concealed weapons. So your perp, who "din do nuffin' wrong" gets killed because there weren't enough cops or jails to keep him off the street before the bystanders finished the job and saved taxpayer money. Defunding the police means that after a settling period, you start getting vigilante justice. The crowds that wanted justice will get it in ways they don't want. Because the justice in that kind of uncontrolled anarchy is the law of the jungle.

I am saddened by the other, almost inevitable result of these riots. Not only have they just killed economic recovery in a lot of disadvantaged neighborhoods; but that close, angry, loud, sweaty mob will probably cause a COVID-19 spike about 10 more days from now. And because of the higher percentage of blacks with heart, liver, lung, and other diseases related to poor life style, they are at higher risk to catch the deadly form of corona virus. The one that leaves behind no prisoners.

Milwaukee's future just got a lot dimmer.
 

Pat Hartman

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The complaint of the rioters is white on black police brutality which can't be determined from that source. The rioters make it sound like a daily event taking place all over the country when in fact, it is mostly larger cities and poor neighborhoods and if the victim is brandishing a weapon, he was asking for it so we should probably be talking about unarmed victims only. I think that brings us down to a total of 19 deaths last year. But even with that small number, black victims vs white is disproportionally high and of that number I don't have the break down of the race of the cop vs the race of the victim which is really important since we don't seem to care at all about white victims and we don't care about black victims if the cop that killed them was also black. We only care about the victim if the cop was white and the victim was black. Any other configuration and we can't make it into racism because blacks can't be racist.

I believe the biggest problem is lack of respect for the police which is made much worse by sensationalizing only certain types of incidents. For some reason people don't riot if a black cop kills an unarmed white man. Isn't that racist? Oh, I forgot, blacks can't be racist. Which brings me back to a good friend and bridge partner of mine who was very upset some years ago because her favorite niece wanted to marry a white boy. She wasn't upset because she thought society wouldn't accept them and she was worried about the children, she just thought the races shouldn't intermarry, period.

We need to raise our children to show respect for the law. If stopped by an officer, be polite and comply. Don't make the officer perceive you as a threat. If the officer doesn't perceive you as a threat he is unlikely to shoot you. Of course, there is simply no accounting for what happened to George. I wonder what the officer will give as a reason for keeping him pinned the way he did. I also wonder what the other officers will have to say about why they didn't intervene.
 

The_Doc_Man

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Granted (regarding police brutality proportions), but I addressed the narrower question of death-by-cop.

I am not denying that a cause-and-effect situation might occur. It might well be that the ratio correlates to a higher frequency of blacks resisting arrest violently and carrying a weapon (legally or not). I can't research that one so easily. But regardless of any underlying correlations, the ratio is there.

I agree that there has been a loss of respect for the police but again, what is the origin? If it is based on excessive violence, is that loss of respect justified? In engineering we would call this situation a feedback loop. The trick is to break the loop.
 

Isaac

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Interestingly, although this thread was pegged as a "USA"-thing, I'm seeing news of marches all over the world. Seems London is in on it too now. And a number of other countries.
 

Pat Hartman

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Some people will never miss an opportunity to riot and get a new TV or air Jordans.

Technically death-by-cop is when someone wants to commit suicide but they can't bring themselves to do it and so they attack a cop and he will kill them in self defense. A cop killing someone is always unfortunate but doesn't cause this type of riot. It is unarmed person death-by-cop which causes the uproar and as I said, given the uproar caused only when it happens to a black person, you would think it happened daily in every metropolitan area, that black men are not safe just walking down the street in their own neighborhood minding their own business. And that is far from the truth but that is what the race baiters push.

Here is a website with 2019 numbers that lets you filter by certain criteria but you still can't get to the stat that represents what caused the race riots.

It opens with a field of 1004 gray boxes. when you filter down to unarmed victims, you get 30 and filter again by race and you get 20 white and 10 black but you can't get information on the race of the officer, just the victim.

I can't find anything with better statistics but I'll keep looking.
 

The_Doc_Man

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On a non-statistical note, the three officers who were with Officer Derek Chauvin are now being charged with "aiding and abetting" which has some jail time. Officer Chauvin is now being charged with 2nd degree murder, a stronger charge than before. Still not "premeditated with malice aforethought" but getting into serious jail time.
 

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