“Last year, in total, British police officers actually fired their weapons three times. The number of people fatally shot was zero. In 2012 the figure was just one. Even after adjusting for the smaller size of Britain’s population, British citizens are around 100 times less likely to be shot by a police officer than Americans. Between 2010 and 2014 the police force of one small American city, Albuquerque in New Mexico, shot and killed 23 civilians; seven times more than the number of Brits killed by all of England and Wales’s 43 forces during the same period.
The explanation for this gap is simple. In Britain, guns are rare. Only specialist firearms officers carry them; and criminals rarely have access to them. The last time a British police officer was killed by a firearm on duty was in 2012, in a brutal case in Manchester. The annual number of murders by shooting is typically less than 50. Police shootings are enormously controversial. The shooting of Mark Duggan, a known gangster, which in 2011 started riots across London, led to a fiercely debated inquest. Last month, a police officer was charged with murder over a shooting in 2005. The reputation of the Metropolitan Police’s armed officers is still barely recovering from the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent Brazilian, in the wake of the 7/7 terrorist bombings in London.
In America, by contrast, it is hardly surprising that cops resort to their weapons more frequently. In 2013, 30 cops were shot and killed—just a fraction of the 9,000 or so murders using guns that happen each year. Add to that a hyper-militarised police culture and a deep history of racial strife and you have the reason why so many civilians are shot by police officers. Unless America can either reduce its colossal gun ownership rates or fix its deep social problems, shootings of civilians by police—justified or not—seem sure to continue.”—Armed police: Trigger happy | The Economist (via kenyatta)
Yesterday I got a call from my sister Cheeraz Gormon in St. Louis who was standing with poet Elizabeth Vega. They wanted me to know that a few women had created, on lawns, in the streets, healing stations, a place where the youth could come and scream and cry and be held and heard in love. Mighty work. — Dream Hampton
this made me cry.
This week has affected me so deeply. Footage of refugees begging to be taken in helicopters of medical supplies, innocence lost in countless ways (I’m so sorry we failed you, Mike Brown), feeling hopeless as I watch a town turn into the Stanford Prison Experiment, and, still, the death of a great and kind soul who brought so much joy and light to our world.
There were at least two versions of the encounter that led to a police officer fatally shooting an unarmed Ferguson teenager on Saturday: one from a young man named Dorian Johnson who told reporters he had been walking with the victim, Michael Brown, and the second from St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar.
The versions agree on some basic facts: The officer approached the teens, who were walking in the street, there was an altercation in or near the car, and the officer fired several shots at the unarmed Brown, who was then several yards away, killing him.
In Johnson’s version, the officer reached out of the car to grab Brown by the throat. In Belmar’s version, which cited his department’s investigation, Brown reached into the car to attack the officer, and struggled to grab his weapon.
Hi! We are headed to Prague for two days on Thursday/Friday. We've been there once before and this time, we are taking my 18-year-old cousin and her friend who are visiting us here in Munich. Your love for Prague is apparent. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :)
This is wonderful! Go to Club Lucerna any night after 10. Just…trust me. Take the metro out to the Vyšehrad. Buy tickets for the tram to the top of Petrin Hill and then amble your way to Strahov Monastery to have a beer with a side of the best views in town. If you’re looking for an afternoon pick me up, definitely visit Cafe Savoy. Get one of everything. U Fleku has the best beer in the world—to me, anyways. Try svíčková out in the suburbs (take the metro to Dejvicka and walk a block to get the cheapest, most delicious traditional czech food in Prague at Pod Loubim— http://m.podloubim.webnode.cz)
Utilize the street cars to get around. Too easy and convenient. (No need to buy tickets—but you didn’t hear that from me) take the metro (but do buy tickets for the metro).
Have so much fun! Remember, you can get around every single tourist in Prague by simply taking one street out from the main areas.
“It is reported that Maya Angelou has likened racial microaggressions or petty humiliations to “small murders,” in contrast to the blatant forms of oppressions called “grand executions,” in which the lethal nature of biased acts is obvious (Greene, 2000). Microaggressions have the lifelong insidious effects of silencing, invalidating, and humiliating the identity and/or voices of those who are oppressed. Although their lethality is less obvious, they nevertheless grind down and wear out the victims.
Studies reveal that a lifetime of microaggressions takes a major toll on the psychological functioning of marginalized groups in our society (Constantine & Sue, 2007; Crocker & Major, 1989; Herek, Gillis, & Cogan, 2009; Lyness & Thompson, 2000; National Academies, 2006; Pierce, 1978, 1988, 1995; Salvatore & Shelton, 2007; Solórzano et al., 2000; Steele, Spencer, & Aronson, 2002; Symanski, 2009). When speaking about the Black experience, for example, microaggressions have been described as “offensive mechanisms used against blacks”; they are “often innocuous,” but the “cumulative weight of their never-ending burden” may result in “diminished mortality, augmented morbidity, and flattened confidence” (Pierce, Carew, Pierce-Gonzalez, & Willis, 1978).”—Derald Wing Sue, Microaggressions in Everyday Life (via wretchedoftheearth)