Monday, December 8, 2014
Week of 12/08/2014
Kangaroo Court Injustice
There is nothing more infuriating to this commentator than to see injustice prevail.
Remember the end of the original “Robocop” movie? (Spoiler alert if you never saw it.) Our cybernetic hero won. He defeated all of the bad guys that originally killed him. He destroyed the “prototype” police unit that was sent to stop him. And then he burst into the boardroom of the big corporation, confronted the corporate executive that ordered it all, and not only convinced the CEO to fire him, but then was able to kill the “Big Bad Boss” to save the day. Justice prevailed.
Then they did “Robocop 2”. And how did that end? Well, the cybernetic hero was able to somehow end a police strike, shut down a drug cartel, and eventually take down both the “successor” police unit that was supposed to replace him and the psychopath leader that tried to kill him. But now the “Big Bad Boss” responsible for it all doesn’t get their just desert. Because now the “Big Bad Boss” isn’t just a power-mad executive… now it’s a whole board of executives. And they all get to ride off into the sunset in their stretch limousine. Justice did not prevail in that instance. But we were told to simply accept that.
This is why the sequel left this viewer with a bitter feeling; because justice was not served by the end of the movie. The real perpetrators of the misery were free to keep committing crimes against civilization.
Fast-forward to today.
America is still reeling from two decisions made just a few weeks apart that prove there is no justice in this country.
The first was in Fergusson, when a grand jury refused to indict a white police officer for killing an unarmed black man in the middle of the street. The initial news of the killing caused riots and nationwide protests and exposed the scary reality that the idea of the “Jackbooted Thug” is no longer just a metaphor, but a real one driving military vehicles courtesy of the Pentagon.
The grand jury’s “no true bill” decision sparked even more riots and protests across the nation, and what surprised me was that the power in power gave a half-assed thought about this kind of reaction. Seriously, people-in-power, did you actually expect the African-American community to simply accept the decision like the good little peons you treat us all as?
And, really, we all should have known this specific decision was coming, because the longer the grand jury process dragged on, the more likely they were trying to make the whole thing go away. Justice delayed is justice denied. Then came the “rumors” prior to that decision being made that the officer in question was going to be retired. That’s another sign. And then the coup-de-gras that he had just gotten married just within days of the decision should have been a screaming red flag that he was going to get away with his actions.
Then came the script. The newspaper editorials regurgitated the script that declared the officer being “vindicated” and “cleared” when that was not the case at all. That’s not even how the grand jury system works! But the truth is irrelevant. Facts are immaterial. It’s the god-dammed almighty Orwellian script that matters, doesn’t it? All hail the almighty government and the status quo it protects. Bow down and give praise.
I have my doubts about some of the events as the officer in question described them. The idea of a big guy somehow making his way through the window of a patrol vehicle to wrestle for an officer’s gun located on the far side of the officer’s body – assuming it was holstered at the time – is logistically questionable. And I know this because I’m a big guy and I’ve owned and driven a police vehicle (albeit a “retired” one).
But then comes the second decision, this time challenging even common sense.
A New York City grand jury refused to bring charges against a white police officer for killing an unarmed black male. But this time it wasn’t by a gun. This time he was strangled by the officer, who came up behind him and put him in an apparent chokehold. This is a move that the NYPD supposedly outlawed their officers using back in 1993!
What made this particular decision even more disgusting was that this killing was done on video! There was actual video footage from start to finish of the officer putting the chokehold on the unarmed large male, forcing him to the ground, and keeping the chokehold on him even when he was trying to get out that he could not breathe.
This is evidence that you’re not supposed to be able to beat! No amount of fiction is supposed to trump video.
And yet somehow the grand jury was able to ignore what they saw and allowed the officer to get away with murder. Not only that, but they turned around and indicted the man who videotaped the whole thing! Talk about shooting the messenger! This is the kind of retaliation you would expect from third world warlord, not from one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world!
Now it would be painfully easy to say that this was simply a matter of race. Both instances involved white officers and black victims. But I suspect there’s more than just race behind these gross abuses of power and a systemic refusal to bring justice.
Remember the case I mentioned during the whole Ferguson fiasco of the Habersham County Deputies that lobbed a flash-bang grenade into a baby crib and severely scarred and burned the 19-month-old boy inside? This past October, that county’s grand jury also refused to bring one single criminal charge against the officers involved. They recklessly lobbed an explosive device into a baby crib, permanently scarred an infant, and saddled the parents with millions of dollars of medical costs, and not one single person will be held to account for it!
Let’s get brutally honest here… what we are facing is not a matter of race. It is a matter of local governments operating like third world juntas – complete with taxpayer-funded military vehicles and military weapons – and using the grand jury system like a reverse Kangaroo Court to whitewash the criminal activities committed by their own.
The grand jury is not some alternative court system. It is a tool of the prosecutor. In other words, it is a tool of the government. It is supposed to be used to gauge how strong the prosecutor’s case would be, and to give the pretense that whatever case the prosecutor makes is not “personal”. But it is the prosecutor’s show from start to finish. They decide what evidence the grand jury gets to consider. They set the parameters for the grand jury. And in over 99% of the time, the prosecutor gets the indictment that they want. It is the reason why there is the old saying that a grand jury could indict a ham sandwich.
So to have three separate grand juries from three different parts of the country issue “no true bills” involving gross abuses of government power that left people dead or maimed should be a statistical impossibility… unless they were designed to further aid and abet the criminal actions.
Failure to indict is not the same as an acquittal in an actual court of law. It is not a vindication. It is a sign of incompetence by the prosecutor. If they can’t get what they want in a rigged procedure designed to rubber-stamp their intentions, then it is because they did not want it in the first place.
Damned be the editors and talking heads that further try to aid and abet these criminal agents of the government that pretend to “educate” the masses that are already angry by these decisions. Damned be the overpaid personalities that scream bloody murder when professional athletes show silent and peaceful support for those protesting the aiding and abetting of these criminal acts. Not only do they all fail American civics, they fail American history! America itself would not have existed if not for people standing up against the gross abuses of government.
Even worse is that people expect the federal government to somehow step up and do what the local governments refused to do. This is the same federal government and the same prosecutors that aided and abetted the biggest criminals in this country, the “Too Big to Fail” banks! Do you honestly expect Attorney General Eric Holder, who brokered sweetheart deals for banking criminals, to suddenly channel the ghost of Robert Kennedy? Keep dreaming.
No, justice was not served in Fergusson or in New York City or in Habersham County. Injustice rules the day. And injustice will continue to rule the day as long as those in power refuse to do the right thing and are not held to account for their actions. Be mad about that! Be angry! But more importantly, use that rage to hold those accountable, because it is clear that the system will refuse to on its own.