TWO things: first, it does not take a week to convene a Special Blue Ribbon Panel, and it does not take a month to determine that iconic torture video, I'm sorry, tactical application of enhanced crowd control technique above represents something intolerable, both in a legal and a moral sense. Take Doughnut Boy's S&M getup away from him and he's going straight to the slam for aggravated assault. Period.
Two cops suspended. It should have gone up the chain of command, and immediately; you're the chancellor of a university, the chief of campus police works for you. When you saw that video, Ms Katehi, it's heads, not your eyes, which should have rolled. There are only two possibilities here; this is not the action of a peaceable law enforcement officer unable to exit because he's surrounded. Either this was a rogue act, in which case you might want to know how a sadist wound up on your police force, and why his superior on the scene did nothing whatsoever to stop it; or it's a demonstration of a systematic failure taking place on a college campus.
Sorry-assed excuses don't cut it. Why were these thugs out there in riot gear to begin with? In New York, or Oakland, there's a least a cover story for that. Why on a sunny fall afternoon at UC Davis? This was not a response to a threat, at least not to an immediate threat on campus. This was a response to an issue, and that response was a colossal rat-fuck. And the people of California deserve to know why it happened, and why you set it in motion.
Second, we have to ask ourselves whether the measured response
A half-century ago, many parents told their children to ask a cop for help in case of trouble. With police forces now defining their role as more military than civilian, viewing citizens with suspicion and often treating them with hostility, that has changed. Saying the wrong thing to a cop, asking for a warrant before a search, throwing a snowball at an unmarked cop car, legally taking a picture of an official building, questioning a Capitol police officer about why a public area has been closed can lead to threats of arrest, or worse. But on university campuses, the police are often seen as they generally once were: your friend.
or the full-on Greenwald
Although excessive police force has long been a reflexive response to American political protests, two developments in the post-9/11 world have exacerbated this. The first is that the U.S. Government — in the name of Terrorism — has aggressively para-militarized the nation’s domestic police forces by lavishing them with countless military-style weapons and other war-like technologies, training them in war-zone military tactics, and generally imposing a war mentality on them. Arming domestic police forces with para-military weaponry will ensure their systematic use even in the absence of a Terrorist attack on U.S. soil; they will simply find other, increasingly permissive uses for those weapons. Responding to peaceful protests and other expressions of growing citizenry unrest with brute force is a direct by-product of what we’ve allowed to be done to America’s domestic police forces in the name of the War on Terror (and, before that, in the name of the War on Drugs).
The second exacerbating development is more subtle but more important: the authoritarian mentality that has been nourished in the name of Terrorism. It’s a very small step to go from supporting the abuse of defenseless detainees (including one’s fellow citizens) to supporting the pepper-spraying and tasering of non-violent political protesters. It’s an even smaller step to go from supporting the power of the President to imprison or kill anyone he wants (including one’s fellow citizens and even their teenaged children) with no transparency, checks or due process to supporting the power of the police and the authorities who command them to punish with force anyone who commits the “crime” of non-compliance. At the root of all of those views is the classic authoritarian mindset: reflexive support for authority, contempt for those who challenge them, and a blind faith in their unilateral, unchecked decisions regarding who is Bad and deserves state-issued punishment.
makes the most political sense. For many of us who were paying attention at the time it is the fabricated narrative of "The Sixties"--how we went, for example, from the historical record of the Pentagon Papers to the facile morality tales of Dirty Hippies spitting on our returning heroes, or how, in the mind of that great social observer, Andrew Sullivan, we went from correcting, in some part, four centuries of ugly racial history to the equal outrage of four years of some white kids losing out on scholarships to less qualified applicants whose parents could not read because it was illegal to teach them--it's this happy horseshit land where racism and brutality have been banished, except for a few bad apples, or where Mistakes Have Been Made, which is at the heart of the problem. Why on earth does the chancellor of a University of California campus buy into that narrative? Why does Michael Fucking Bloomberg, for that matter? Why does a half-African, former community organizer in the White House remain silent? How, really, can anyone with a modicum of power not understand? Who do we have to fuck--or fuck up--to get some answers?