Police violence & protest links

This visualization documents cases of police brutality or misconduct during the nationwide protests following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. This is not comprehensive — these are only a few hundred cases Tweeted by individuals and compiled by Greg Doucette.”

Showing Up For Racial Justice, “part of a multi-racial movement is to undermine white support for white supremacy and to help build a racially-just society.”

#8CantWait: “Data proves that together these eight policies can decrease police violence by 72%.” Look up your city, find out which ones it’s missing, call your reps. It’s a project by Campaign Zero, an organization led by black activists that’s been analyzing police departments and pushing for data-driven reform since 2015.

March 2016: “Americans are afraid of many threats to their lives – serial killers, crazed gunmen, gang bangers, and above all terrorists – but these threats are surprisingly unlikely. Approximately three-quarters of all homicide victims in America are killed by someone they know. And the real threat from strangers is quite different from what most fear: one-third of all Americans killed by strangers are killed by police.

And before diving into all the heavier articles from this month, here’s a light one:

June 2: “Eight Viacom networks went off the air for eight minutes and 46 seconds on Monday night in a tribute to George Floyd […] Nickelodeon took a more kid-friendly approach to the social justice campaign, using an orange background (the network’s signature shade) with the message: “Nickelodeon is going off the air for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in support of justice, equality, and human rights.”” (I keep seeing people summarize this as if Nick aired the horror-movie version. Nope, the kids’ network aired a perfectly-appropriate kid-safe alternative.)

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Music recs: Roxette, Sarah Brightman, Savage Garden

Been a while since I’ve done a roundup of musical recommendations. But, listen, music makes us braver, so it seemed like a fair time to jump back in.

Roxette: Swedish ’80s power pop/rock. Heartfelt female vocals, from sugary pop to resounding ’80s power ballads. (Roxette playlist.)

Sarah Brightman: Classical soprano. I feel like most of her recordings are from multilingual opera or musicals (she was married to Andrew Lloyd Webber for a while), but I’m mostly here for her crossover into operatic pop. Her live shows are about the spectacle — lush costumes, weird sets, elaborate light effects — as much as the songs. (Sarah Brightman playlist.)

Savage Garden: Australian ’90s soft rock. They went from “bonkers heights of mainstream popularity” to “nobody even brings them up anymore,” which, I get it, they’re not exactly groundbreaking or innovative, just warm and sweet in a comfortingly consistent way. But they did use their platform to release a pro-queer-polyamory song, and let me remind you this was in the ’90s, so give them a little credit. (Savage Garden playlist.)

Monday roundup, 6/8 (lots & lots of webcomics)

Leif & Thorn
Just Say Yes (art | Leif/Thorn | worksafe)

Same Shirt (art | Zoa, Lee, Huvrye, Yin | worksafe)

Flaky Pastry
Flaky Rainbow (art | Morgaine, Zintiel/Nitrine, Marelle, Lumi/Arlen | worksafe)

Hugo and Vern/Kill 6 Billion Demons
Dateable Demons (art | Hugo/Vern, Alyson/Cio, White Chain | worksafe)

Lovespells/Mage and Demon Queen
Knights and Mages (art | Leora, Esther/Maria, Malori/Vel | worksafe)

The Night Belongs To Us/Skin Horse
Critter Couples (art | Artie, Tip, Unity/Sweetheart, Hank/Ava | worksafe)

This Week in Leif & Thorn:
Kale gets pulled away in a secret back-room confrontation…

Adding to the justice blogroll

Since 2013, I’ve been adding to the “Justice for…” list of links in the sidebar of this blog.

A set of names, one article per person — almost entirely black people who were killed by police, some people who were severely injured by police, some who were killed by other incidents of reckless violence. All of which got brushed off by a legal system that didn’t think their lives mattered. (Sometimes it came back later and got around to giving them justice. Usually not.)

It’s not comprehensive, and doesn’t try to be. It’s just the ones that I, personally, have read about, and want to be able to remember.

As of starting this post, it has 75 entries. (The sidebar only shows a random subset at a time — you have to refresh for more.)

Here’s some new additions.

In February 1999, Diallo was returning to his building when four officers, dressed in plain clothes as part of the Street Crime Unit, approached him and fired 41 shots, hitting him 19 times. The officers said they thought he had a gun, which later turned out to be his wallet, and that he fit the “general description” of a serial rapist.” A civil suit was filed, and settled, but it looks like there were no criminal charges, ever. Justice for Amadou Diallo.

2012: “I must call the NYPD to task for the rapid public release of information regarding this victim, which may have taken place before notification of the shooting to her family. They should show greater care in the handling of a sensitive inquiry in its early stages, or at the least provide equity to the balance of facts being released; the record of the shooter, who reportedly has a number of outstanding civil rights complaints himself and carries an unfavorable reputation in the community, should be treated with the same level of consideration as the record of the deceased.” Justice for Shantel Davis.

2016: “Danner discussed the need for more mental health training for police officers and described a deadly scenario with a cop that foreshadowed her final moments alive. ‘We are all aware of the all too frequent news stories about the mentally ill who come up against law enforcement instead of mental health professionals and end up dead,’ she wrote.” Justice for Deborah Danner.

2019 (fallout of a 2016 shooting): “A jury found a gunshot fired by Ofc. Royce Ruby that killed Gaines and injured her then 5-year-old son, Kodi Gaines, was not reasonable. Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Mickey Norman dismissed the family’s claim, writing in an opinion that Ruby was entitled to qualified immunity.” Justice for Korryn Gaines. And for Kodi Gaines.

2019: “‘He absolutely knew that Taser could not be fired again without her changing the cartridge,’ Turner’s family’s attorney, Ben Crump, told Houston Public Media. ‘And he did not have to use deadly force while she was laying on her back.’” Justice for Pamela Turner.

May 21: “The FBI has opened an investigation into the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, an EMT who was killed after officers forced their way inside her home.” Justice for Breonna Taylor.

June 1: “He fed the police and didn’t charge them nothing. My son was a good son. All he did on that barbecue corner is try to make a dollar for himself and his family. And they come along and they killed my son.” Justice for David McAtee.

June 4: “Justin Howell, a 20-year-old political science student at Texas State, was critically injured after being shot with a bean bag round by a police officer during a protest in Austin on May 31. Howell is currently hospitalized and in critical condition after suffering a fractured skull as well as brain damage.” Justice for Justin Howell.

June 5 (update on an April death): “[British Transport Police] said “there was insufficient evidence to support a prosecution based upon the allegation that the man spat deliberately on [railway worker] Mrs Mujinga or said that he had the virus’.” Meanwhile, people who spit on cops get jailed, even when the officers don’t die of COVID-19 a few weeks later. Justice for Belly Mujinga.

On the limits of White Listening

This is a long story and the beginning is probably going to sound trivial, but it has a relevant point, so bear with me.

To set the stage:

Back when I started college, my school gave its incoming freshmen a bunch of onboarding activities and presentations. One of them was “trying to give all our new white students, many from super-white areas, a quick shot of appreciation for the experiences of all the non-white students who have to share a campus with them.”

So we all piled into an auditorium, and a series of older students got up on stage, sat on a stool in a narrow spotlight, and gave little monologues about some of the everyday struggles they went through as young POC. There was a mic in the center aisle of the audience, so when each person was done talking, we were invited to line up and ask questions about anything we hadn’t understood.

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