Calling something a war is often an exercise in hyperbole. The Greek philosopher Aeschylus once said “In war, truth is the first casualty.” This has extended to the naming of wars “police actions” or calling them “operations” with names like “Restore Freedom” and “Inherent Resolve.” To cut through the Public Relations fog, one could define war as the late Jesse Helms defined pornography, “I know it when I see it.” One sees war in terms of casualties, and when using casualties for a lens to describe what American policing is doing the American public, one clearly sees a war.
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Rodney King was the first break in the dam. The beating that sparked the rebellion in 1992 was not new. What was new was video cameras. Now everybody could see the unrestrained violence against the defenseless that America calls “law enforcement.” Consumer electronics have advanced. There are cameras in every phone. Video has now recorded the recent deaths Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. It did not record the less nationally known case of Henry Green V here in Columbus.
On July 14 a forum on police community relations was held at the New Birth Christian Ministries on Refugee Road. The turnout, which included City Council Staffers and off duty police was less than half the size of recent local protests against police murder. There was a panel discussion which included a Westerville police department representative, City Council President Zach Klein, three representatives of the Columbus Police Department and Civil Rights Attorney Sean Walton.
The military has been using drones in a lethal capacity for over a decade. The current administration has decided to increase the use of drones, and the number of civilian casualties overseas has increased. Drones have been used for the extrajudicial execution of American citizens overseas without trial. Senator Feinstein profits directly from the drone war.
Jamison Edgerley is in Grant Hospital on the seventh floor. He has had multiple surgeries in the last week. Most of his large intestine has been removed. Police bullets have also shattered his hand, utterly destroying bone and nerves. He may loose complete use of it. He is there because of a volley of police gunfire that struck him through a privacy fence on the night of July 4.
A rally by a white supremacist group known as the Traditionalist Workers Party for “free expression” in Sacremento turned violent as the group, along with their allies the Golden State Skinheads clashed with counter protestors at the State's Capitol Building and the surrounding grounds. Tear gas, mace, sticks and knives were used in combat by multiple sides in the melee.
Henry Green was murdered by police in his own neighborhood on June 6. He was shot without warning by plainclothes police who were there as part of a summer program that is alternately called a “Community” policing program or a “Summer Safety” program. Only the Columbus Police Department is investigating his murder. As his family, along with community organizers from his neighborhood press the city leaders for some real initiative towards justice those leaders have further entrenched themselves and their programs.
On June 6th Henry Green was a block from his home in Linden with a friend. Henry Green was 23 and a law abiding citizen with a conceal carry permit. He was armed. Two men rolled up in an SUV jumped out and shot and killed him. They only said “Stop! Stop! Stop!” and then fired before Henry Green could react. They were later identified as police in plainclothes.
I own firearms. I'm a leftist. Not a #feelthebern leftist. Bernie is too far to the right for me. Because of my politics, men have come to my home to kill me. This has happened more than once. When it did happen the only things that saved my life, and the lives of my roommates, were training and the physical possession of effective tools.
Its that special time of the year when people do the holiday-family thing: food, gifts, reunion, togetherness, movies. Its also a special time of a generation when my family can introduce its youngest member, my cousin, to the magic of the ultimate myth: Star Wars. I saw Star Wars in the theaters as a small child. It was magic. I was so anxious to pass that magic to my young cousin 38 and change years later.