Police Brutality: The Metaphysics of Violence, Kifon Emile, M.A.

“. . . the face presents itself, and demands justice.”

Emmanuel Levinas: Totality and Infinity, 294.

Human existence oscillates between rights and privilege brought to equilibrium through the auspices of the law. It is a right because it is natural; derived from the basic principle that animates life. It is a privilege because it is transcendental; resulting from that which man cannot completely [be]hold, apprehend nor grasp.

The right to exist emanates from its privilege which is transcendental. Because all humans benefit from the latter, it becomes a right by virtue of our indebtedness to the same transcendence which bestowed it upon us. In this light, the encounter with the other is usually either an encounter with one’s own other self or another transcendental manifestation of self [humanity] which commands reverence. Respect, therefore, is not a choice that humans offer another, it is a due that is paid to that transcendence seen in each person which reminds us of our own human[ity]ess. Or as the ethical philosopher, Emmanuel Levinas puts it: “The face opens the primordial discourse whose first word is an obligation.” (Totality and Infinity 201) Another expression for this obligation is the obligation to respect others because the face [other]  is a natural epiphany of relation “ . . . the face speaks to me and thereby invites me to a relation . . .” (ibid. 198).

The equality of all humans is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1945, in these terms: “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” A better formulation appeared 126 years prior in the form of the declaration of independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These edits underpin the supreme value of life which must not be transgressed in any way. In fact, the values of life, liberty, and happiness must be promoted, defended by all means possible. And for this reason, the institution of government [republic] is created to promote the well-being of everyone, as the aforementioned declaration specifies: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

A government, therefore, is instituted primarily for one reason: protect and promote the rights of the individual. In order to accomplish such task, it creates the police, a civil force unit, the protect citizens who are either in harm’s way or in danger from people of the underworld. As a living expression of the law, it reconciles natural rights and transcendental privileges.

Nonetheless, those entrusted with the duty to serve and protect have been the cause of pain for a fair number of persons: about 632 civilian deaths in 2014, 845 deaths in 2015, 183 in 2016. These deaths have often been an issue of concern for most citizens who question the use of force in the defense or elimination of life. While courts have often adjudicated in favor of police officers almost all the time, the public had remained skeptical in most cases and the gap of mistrust has progressively widened between the two.

At the heart of police, violence is the negation of existence, the refusal to acknowledge this basic principle of equality, transcendence, and respect. It is violence borne out of the desire to deny the other’s right to live, to be free, to be happy; the basic right to have a face and consequently be doomed to perpetual silence. It is denial because it confiscates rights [sef-defense?] to oneself while the others’ rights become a privilege resulting from the tolerance of the former. Here, humanity has been betrayed: “we belong to humanity, but humanity doesn’t belong to us.” This is not a structural violence per se, it is a metaphysical violence, arrogance, and brutality where absolute rights become discretionary for those who have stripped them from having a face, a say, a life. Such victims are humans only to the extent to which their human/state counterparts permit, or they’d have to purchase their way up to humanity through a perpetual surrender of will and free-will, which in most cases does not guarantee safety and the obligation of respect.  The conjugation of this brutality is always packaged in a subtle form historically known to mask its outright spitefulness.

The Criminalization of Tolerance

The criminalization of the concept of tolerance seems to originate from the definition both from dictionaries as well as from popular usage. The Cambridge dictionary defines it as a “:…willingness to accept behavior and beliefs that are different from your own even if you disagree or disapprove of them.” Even though this statement surmises reasonably the idea of tolerance, it insinuates some incoherence which should be outlined.

Firstly, it is based on the assumption that people have jurisdiction to agree or disagree with the behavior and beliefs of others even when the latter is not their children, spouse, student or a relation of necessary dependence. The idea of agreeing and disagreeing with others is part of social etiquette and not a duty that some people have to exercise on others.

Secondly, even when the possibility of evaluating or agreeing with the behaviors and beliefs of others, it is always based on the individual’s perspective instead of what is objective or what the law prescribes. In this sense, tolerance becomes another form of abuse of common sense and disregard of the law. For example, if the law requires citizens of every race and ethnic group to sit in a bus, then your acceptance of the way another person sits is not a sign of tolerance since the law already permitted it. A further permission [agreeing] from another person only shows respite for the law which commands everyone. Lastly, society is so diverse and complex that our desire to agree or disagree with their beliefs and behavior is only vain and vile.

Therefore, “tolerance is not the permission that we give to others to exercise their rightful freedom. It is the acceptance that the exercise of the rightful freedom of others is not a privilege of our permission.” (UWC 197). By refusing to claim any jurisdiction of judgment and by admitting the complexity of society which is beyond our sway of wishes, we begin to reach an understanding of tolerance.

The use of violence, often without the exhaustion of all means of communication demonstrate no sign of tolerance: victims are deprived of speaking, having a voice, being different, acting and thinking different. And when thinking/acting differently goes on safely, it becomes not a victory for the rule of law but for the cop for glorifies himself for being nothing more than what he ought to be. Or are we missing the point?

The Suspension of Protocol

Respect is not an option of life, it is the nature of life, in its social sense. Evolutionarily, it is the survival of the fittest. In the social setting, norms, taboos, and laws necessarily guide human actions, so too is the police force. These norms become incorporated into the daily lives of humans thereby becoming a form of etiquette or protocol.

The interaction of police and civilians is a normal interaction as are all others with the exception that one party is a representative of the State, at least formally. But for some reason, they assume the right to suspend protocol during interactions when they find it convenient. In numerous circumstances when the use of force is questionable, any individual would agree that there had always been possibilities of dialogue. But regrettably, within seconds of interactions, some officers judge it fit to pull the trigger knowing that a citizen’s life would be endangered. Argument: self-defense. The use of force for self-defense is mainly justified against necessary, proportional aggression. Running from a cop, pulling an ID or talking disrespectfully to a cop does not necessarily threaten his life.

In numerous circumstances when the use of force is questionable, any individual would agree that there had always been possibilities of dialogue. But regrettably, within seconds of interactions, some officers judge it fit to pull the trigger knowing that a citizen’s life would be endangered. Argument: self-defense. The use of force for self-defense is mainly justified against necessary, proportional aggression. Running from a cop, pulling an ID or talking disrespectfully to a cop does not necessarily threaten his life.

Suspension of protocol or the refusal to communicate indirectly means putting another’s life on suspension till the cop decide his fate. That transitory life, always in suspension through such interactions reflects neglect of the other’s existence. For, no person’s existence should be suspended or threatened by a wall of protocol for the simple reason that every person has a right to exist, differently, weirdly, strangely, angrily. But let it exist. The role of the police of to follow protocol and help others follow, but in no circumstance, risk their lives for not doing exactly so.

The Instrumentalization of Legality

From the old legal model: guilty until found innocent, society went onto innocent until proven guilty in modern societies. The process of law requires that only those found guilty shall be sanctioned through restitutive and punitive measures. As for the latter, the death penalty is reserved mainly for offenses which have caused evident and permanent harm to individuals on a great scale.

Nonetheless, people still die and suffer casualties of various sorts without being charged with any offense simply because of a [subjective] perception construed not necessarily through the instant interaction but through years and decades of criminal construction of prototypes of danger.

But the greatest danger is when the law is instrumentalized to serve only itself and its board members. The use of violence becomes legal at all times while the possibility to defend – declare your innocence becomes a privilege, which some will never have. This abuse of the law, under the pretext of strengthening the – rule of – law, kills the law as well as its citizens who are the very first beneficiary. From a liberal perspective, the laws are made to protect the people while from a Republican perspective, it is made to protect the State. Semantic jargon once more. Res publica, currently transcribed as the republic mainly refers to the stronghold of the public, the people.

And when social uproar questions such use of force, through the force indictment of a given cop, almost all the time the cop is found not guilty. Throughout the United States, these courts have remained consistent in its defense of cops who kills its citizens. This is a real danger to the citizenry.

Brutalization of Civility

Civility has not always been civil. Or, civility is not always civilized. Brutality evidently emerges to strip it from every significant progress, making it digress into primitive brutality cosmetically termed the legitimate use of force or what we may rightfully call the brutalization of civility.

Civilizations are often built on what is not civilized: war, enslavement, and exploitation. These uncivilized models have been incorporated into modern State as legitimate violence. But the line between legitimate and illegitimate is always difficult to establish. For most people, once the State is involved, it becomes acceptable. Gordon was a runaway slave in 1983 from Mississippi made famous by the scares on his back which he received as punishment from his masters.

The heinous nature of slavery could be seen in one picture and this was legitimate violence to the slave owners. Even though the image of his scares was used to make a propaganda against the slavery, it is easily forgotten that current police brutality inscribes into this same logic of violence where lives are lost. Yet, no propaganda is made to end such violence. On the contrary, those who advocate for respect and limited use of deadly force are being attacked and despised.

Gordon was publicly beaten to send a message to all the slaves on how they should be obedient. So too, police brutality, using some as scapegoats, is a form of sending a signal to the public to be law abiding.

But the enforcement of civility through utter brutality and use of ultimate force only destroys the very foundation of peace and a civilized society. And the main reason why such destruction delays peace is because of the victims are for the most part the subordinate ones and are already despised by the society they helped to build over the centuries.

If human life/existence is worth it, then it is worth it even when it is weird, silent, angry, non-compliant, different. Let it be life unless there are evident and convincing facts that life is in imminent danger. However, this seems to be far from reach, as of now, because the business of insecurity is really profitable.

Commercialization of Insecurity

The story of all societies is always that of ‘us’ against ‘them’, a ‘fabricated right’ against an ‘unconfirmed wrong’, the ‘abiding and understanding us’ against the ‘lawless and ignorant’ they etc. In this pattern, natural fault lines occur which, even the unity of the State find it hard to bridge: ethnic fault lines, color, income, accent, language, and religion etc. Safety is sought by staying within one’s natural boundaries or succumb to other’s arbitrary schemes of elimination.

Between each group lies suspicion which creates insecurity, often exploited by public actors as a marketing tool to buy power, influence, sell more arms and make more laws in favor of a given interest group.

State officials function with the same mindsets and work hard sometimes to enforce these boundaries. The encounter with others is always based on suspicion, thereby breaking the principle of people being innocent before being found guilty. Such suspicions increase when the other is different: color, accent, weird actions. These alone are enough for an officer to pull the trigger, claim self-defense and be backed by his judges. In fact, the only threat that he faced was the fact that he was out of his comfort zone, meeting someone who is not like him, doesn’t talk and act like him, or his kind. For that reason, he is suspicious and a threat to life.

This state of affairs is profitable for society as well as its board members who enjoy status quo privileges, dread dialogue, and unity. The demagogy on unity is usually a façade to make a good name while putting in no effort to make change happen.

It is understandable to teach humans how to love and respect animals, plants, and other gadgets. But if humans have to be taught over thousands of years on how to respect fellow humans or for hundreds of years in a civilized society, then it appears someone is being played.

The Rule of Violence: or The Economy of Violence

Police brutality in America has always been addressed in many ways. To some, citizens must learn how to obey cops literally while to others, cops must limit the use of force and there must be some changes in laws. All these options are reasonable but they do not address the main issue of the crises: a despise for human life, of the other’s existence.

The glorification of the use of violence in the American society goes as far back as the origin of the nation. Our historical origin is known to sanctify violence used against other races. It would be naïve to believe that such a history is over. Police brutality is only part of the relics of a shameful past which refuse to completely shed and shred its old skin – racism.

And until this history of shame is addressed, seeing the other as a necessary life and not a transitory lingering figure whose existence depends on his ability to be perfect by the law, then we would have to argue for many more decades, if not centuries.

 

PURIFICATION BY FIRE, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

Devil

Caucasian and some African American police officers react to African Americans from their subconscious minds not their conscious minds. Why black police officers react in that way calls for a far more complex analysis. So, I will focus on why Caucasian police officers react in that way in this article.

All across America citizens are trying to find solutions to the epidemic of excessive force used by white police officers on unarmed black men and children. For example, between 2010 and 2012, Police shot 1.47 per million whites as compared to 31.17 per million blacks in the age range 15-19.

To address the disproportionate shooting of blacks one of the proposals is that more training on the proper use of force be given to all police officers and that they be required to wear small video cameras.  But, in my opinion, no amount of extra training can solve the problem of police use of excessive force against black males. As far as the video cameras are concerned, their use depends upon local police procedural changes not upon Federal legislation. That is primarily because states’ rights preempt federal control of local and county law enforcement under the 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So, I am very skeptical about police change. Why? Let me try to explain. First, Darren Wilson.

Darren Wilson’s reaction to Michael Brown was a subconscious reaction not a conscious reaction. His subconscious reaction does not mean that he didn’t know what he was doing, nor does it mean that he didn’t intend to murder Michael Brown. He did know and he did intend to kill. This is not the same as an unconscious act of murder for which there is no possible intent.

What it means is…that which triggered Wilson’s reaction was faster than the conscious control his training is meant to have over his fears.  What is in Darren Wilson’s subconscious mind made him able to rationalize an irrational impulse filtered through his conscious mind.

He could justify his act of murder by the Supreme Court holding in Tennessee v. Garner (1985) and by his white supremacist religion that what he did was morally right even though he reacted automatically like a programmed robot.

The text of the transcript says it all. Darren Wilson described Michael Brown as a ‘Demon’. That description of Michael Brow in the transcript of the Grand Jury hearing is evidence of exactly why Wilson murdered Michael Brown.  It is evidence because it is a picture of how he views black men in general.

The idea of ‘demonic’ Black people is an old ancient belief in white culture. That belief was internalized into Wilson’s subconscious mind as a child as is the case with all white children. It is part of their white supremacist religious catechism. Demonic and the color black are made synonymous throughout their white supremacists’ religious scriptures. Those scriptures are poured into their subconscious minds like water into their bellies.

As children they are made to feel extremely uncomfortable even touching what is black. Of course it works on some more than others. But even those with a higher I.Q. are not less likely to be brain washed than the whites with a low I.Q.

Wilson’s anxieties or fears were associated with his instinctual urge for ‘self-preservation’. That urge was kindled when he saw Michael Brown. To a lesser degree those same feelings of fear and impending death are kindled whenever he sees or encounters a black male or even sees the picture of a black male. Imagine how disturbed Darren Wilson would feel if he were to walk into his church and see a picture of Jesus as a black man.

The imagery of what is demonic is black and the color ‘black’ is defined as demonic in his subconscious mind; that is what made Wilson shoot his weapon at least 11 times at Michael Brown. His public service role is but a mask.

In the transcript, Wilson described himself as a 5 year old child. This is important to note. The description of himself as a 5 year old child is the picture of innocence which he cleverly used on media to evoke in all white people a feeling of the kind of helplessness a child would feel in the grip of danger.  It was a clever use of the media to dig into the subconscious of millions of white Americans’ empathy.

Wilson’s subconscious connection with all others like him was that of ‘good white’ versus ‘evil black’.  There is historical evidence in literature and the film industry to prove the subconscious connection which all Caucasians have with one another in much of Western Civilization.

Watch the movie: Birth of a Nation. In it there is a scene of a black man foaming at the mouth in pursuit of a young white girl.  The girl reaches the ledge of a cliff. Unable to run away, she decides to commit suicide. The subconscious response in association with anxiety and the urge to ‘self-preservation’ is turned upside down to make the viewers conclude subconsciously that death is better than being touched by a black man. Wilson was acting out what was put into him subconsciously; he was taught to hate black men.

But there is even more media evidence of the subconscious unity which white Americans like Wilson have in their fear of Black men. Look at the book: The Scarlet Letter. Don’t watch the movie because what I will cite to you has been deleted from all the movies made on that book.

Look at chapter 16: ‘A Forrest Walk’; in it the writer uses the imagery ‘evil is black’, ‘black is evil’. The story describes a scene in which a little girl is told that the forest is haunted by a big black Man. The black man carries a huge book held together with metal clamps. What this Black man does is lure white girls to sign their names in the book he carries with their own blood. Thereafter, the black man puts a taint of character on them by the symbol of a color, scarlet.  The black man in that scene is described as the devil or at least a demon.

When Daren Wilson murdered Michael Brown he was reacting to images and anxieties tied together in his subconscious mind. It is the unseen subconscious mind which ties all white people together more or less to white supremacy in the United States. That is why no matter where you go most white people react to black people the same way. It is almost as if they act as one organism. You’d think they know each other, but you know that they don’t. It is a very creepy experience to have of them.

Now, let’s examine another creepy moment of white supremacy; the Eric Garner murder. If you look at the second video shoot of the incident taken from within a store directly in front his body, you will see Eric Garner’s dead body. What you will not see is any attempt by the police officers to give CPR despite the fact that all of them are trained to do so in emergencies and despite the fact that he cried out 11 times that he could not breathe. Why?

Even when the ambulance arrives you will see the EMT or Emergency Medical Technician check on his pulse but not give to him any CPR. You will see Officer Pantaleo smile and wave to the camera. You will see how the police officers callously dropped his body on the gurney. How they let his leg drop off the gurney. How they pulled his t-shirt up to expose his body. Why?

When police officer Daniel Pantaleo jumped Eric Garner from behind with a choke hold he heard Mr. Garner cry out : I can’t breathe’ 11 times. But he tightened the choke hold around Mr. Garner neck. Why?

What happened is that Daniel Pantaleo was reacting to his subconscious mind not his conscious mind just as did Daren Wilson. All of his police training was not strong enough to overcome his loathing and hatred for Black men. And each of those officers and EMTs around him, including the black female and male officers, were subconsciously connected by their hatred and loathing of Mr. Garner. Not one of them intervened to loosen his grip on an unarmed man crying out ‘I can’t breathe’.

In Cleveland, Ohio, Tamir Rice, a 12 year old boy, was shot twice by police officer Timothy Loehmann within seconds of the police arrival. The boy had a toy gun which had been reported to the 911 dispatcher.  After the shooting, the police officer first called the Police officer’s union attorney and then afterward called the EMT ambulance.  He described the 12 year old as 20 years old. Why?

Loehmann was reacting to all the subconscious garbage in his mind. Subconsciously, there are no black male children; in his subconscious mind there are only dangerous black men. That is so because in Loehmann’s subconscious mind ‘black is evil’ and ‘evil is a threat’, and all threats must be killed. Combined with his general incompetence what he did to that boy was inevitable.  No amount of police training would have prevented Loehmann from murdering or harming Tamir Rice.

There is no cure, nor any treatment for the problem we face. What appears to you publicly as conscious and conscientious police officers who are performing their jobs within the limits of the law and their training is not what you should really be paying attention to. Their subconscious mind dominates their behavior and police officers are hired on a hidden criteria measured against the content of their subconscious mind. Police departments do not hire empathetic persons they want people with low empathy and moderate levels of cruelty measured in their personalities.

Their professional training is not and never has been stronger than their subconscious urge to kill African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Latino Americans. Their conscious unity under law is weaker than their subconscious unity to kill black people. Therefore, more black men will die.

Yes, we are governed and policed by psychopaths who have been given a license to kill.  But I want to tell you something.

We will not hide in our homes; we will not avoid the enjoyment of the society that we have helped to build and which we pay for. We will bring our children out into the sunlight and claim to the world that we are God’s creatures. And we are not going to wear out our shoes walking and marching to get you to understand that.

 

 

Suing The Police In Federal Court, by Wayne Johnson, Attorney at Law, Oakland, California

Suing The Police, by Wayne Johnson (2)Wayne Johnson, Attorney at Law

                                                        Foreword

Maybe you have a close relative who was injured or killed by the police. Maybe you have been the victim of excessive police force. Maybe you, or a family member have been arrested, searched, or merely detained for no apparent reason, and you would like to consider your options.

This book is written by Wayne Johnson, who some consider an expert in excessive force. He is a civil rights attorney in Oakland, California, a city where you may have as much to fear from the police as you may from an extremely violent criminal, particularly if you are a man of color.
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All people of color should consider reading this book, whether you intend to work in law enforcement or just intend to live in a society where you may be targeted with racial profiling. This is true despite the fact that your city may have a Black Police Officer’s Association and may have had more than one Black police chief. An encounter with the police may cost you your reputation… or your life.   ……………

Suing The Police In Federal Court

Too often you may face a rogue police officer or maybe even a gang of them. You may be a victim of improperly trained police who believe an unnecessary punch, kick, wrist lock, baton, pepper spray, bean bag round, canine attack, is a way to control a situation or simply to command respect.

What many people do not realize is that when it is not necessary for the police to use force, any force they use against you can be unreasonable or excessive. The critical question is not to determine when force is necessary, what the appropriate degree of force is, and when you may sue the officers or municipalities for exceeding the appropriate degree.

You may not resist even an unlawful arrest; however, you may use reasonable force to ward off an attack of unreasonable force, but do not count on it. If you run from the police or fight back, you may end up seriously injured or dead, even if you have a right to defend yourself. 

Disclaimer 

Nothing in this book is designed to assist you in representing any person, or entity, other that yourself. In fact, it is unlawful for a layperson to represent anyone, except himself in court. This means you may not represent family members, estates, businesses in which others own interests or shares, unless you are an attorney licensed in the state where the incident took place. If the incident took place in California you must be a licensed California attorney to assist others in California. Business and Professions Code §6126 prohibits the unauthorized practice of law. The unauthorized practice of law can be a misdemeanor or a felony.

This book is designed to assist you in pursuing your rights against a municipality. That includes a city, a county, a district, or transit authorities.

This book is not designed to assist you in filling claims against any federal or state agencies. Federal claims are pursued under the federal tort claims statue and/or under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents, 403 U.S. 388 (1971).

The procedures for suing state police, including the California highway patrol, are similar, but the differences are significant. You should not rely upon this book to assist you.

You should also not rely upon this book for assistance I suing the county or state for injuries received while a pretrial detainee or a convict.

Pre-trial  detainees need to use the Fourteenth Amendment. See Neely v. Feinstein, 50 F.3d 1502, 1508  (9th Cir. 1995)  (“[0]ur Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence has never required officials to have a subjective awareness of the risk of harm in order to be deemed ‘deliberately indifferent.’”); Redman v. Country of San Diego, 942 F.2d 1435,1443 (9th Cir. 1991) (en banc) (holding that “deliberate indifference is the level of culpability that pretrial detainees must establish for a violation of their personal security interests under the fourteenth amendment.”).

Convicted persons need to use the Eighth Amendment strict standard. The Eighth Amendment requires a showing that the force was used “maliciously ad sadistically to cause harm” Helling v. Mckinney, 509 U.S. 25 (1993); Whitley v. Albers, 475 U.S. 312 (1986) (deliberate indifference means “malicious, sadistic, or wanton intent to harm” rather than good faith effort to restore order).  To the extent that the plaintiff must prove a due process or cruel and unusual punishment violation, the immunity defense would be inappropriate, Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294 ,111 S. Ct. 2321 (1991), Hudson v McMillian, 503 U.S. 1, 112 S.Ct. 995 (1992).

In Farmer v. Brennan, 511 U.S. 825, 114 S.Ct. 1970 , 1976- 77 (1994) the court discusses prisoner safety from other prisoners. See Hearns v. Terhune, 413 F.3d 1036, 1040 (9th Cir.2005).

With regard to medical treatment after  a conviction, the Supreme Court has stated that “deliberate indifference” to serious medical needs of prisoners constitutes the “unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain” and amounted to “cruel and unusual punishment,” prohibited by the 8th Amendment. See Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U. S. 97, 104, 97 S.Ct. 285 (1976). Under this standard, the plaintiff must prove both an objective and a subjective component. Hudson v. McMillan, 503 U.S 1 (1992); McGuckin v. Smith, 974 F.2d 1050, 1059 (9th Cir. 1992).

It is rare; however, negligence is sometimes sufficient to meet the standard. A pattern of “repeated examples of negligent acts” by prison officials may constitute deliberate indifference. Ramos v. Lamm, 639 F.2d 559 (10th Cir. 1980).

Finally, the law is frequently changed ad reinterpreted by the courts. You should re-read and research all the statutes and cases for accuracy and updates before attempting to apply them.

States claims are sometimes pursued under the state tort claims statue or sometimes completely barred by the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Eleventh Amendment to the United States constitution provides as follows: “The Judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by Citizens of another State, or by Citizens or Subjects of any Foreign State.” There is a filling fee for filling a state claim, against the State of California. See Form VCGCB- GC- 002 (Rev. 8/04).

It is also possible to sue an individual who is employed by a state; however if you are relying on Title 42 U.S.C  § 1983 , you will have to allege the individual  was working in his individual capacity while he or she violated your United States Constitutional rights.

This book does not emphasize strategies for suing individuals or states. If you are planning to sue a state or the federal government, it is best you consult another treatise.

Filling lawsuits against the police can be confusing because of over lapping state and federal laws.  For certain state law claims you must first lodge a claim pursuant to the Gov’t Code. That is not required for federal claims.

If you would like to purchase this book that includes forms and examples, please contact Wayne Johnson, at johnsonlawfirm007@sbcglobal.net.  The book price is affordable.  It is only $14.95, plus shipping and handling.

MURDER ON THE YARD by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

Four police officers were murdered and one wounded in Oakland in 2009 in broad daylight; a three year old child was gunned down in August 2011; a father was beaten to death in front of his son in broad daylight; in 2007, journalist Chauncey Bailey was murdered in broad daylight; more children were shot in 2012; and the number of shootings and homicide continue to rise in the city of Oakland, 131 for the year 2012.  As of December 2012, the murder rate constituted a 42% percent increase over 2010.  And over 37 years has an average of 109 murders per year.
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In Oakland, the vast majority of homicide victims and perpetrators are African American. Citizens wonder: why?  The answer is not so obvious; but there is an answer. There is a reason. It is not primarily because of guns.  It is because a slow cultural transplantation has taken place in the city of Oakland, California and in other urban areas throughout the nation where African Americans live. One culture has been taken from prison and transplanted onto cities such as Oakland while it is displacing traditional culture in the communities at large.

The African American culture is not the same culture today that emerged from the post civil war slave plantation culture. That culture was driven by freed men and women who envisioned hope in their future.  Rather, this other culture is a culture of parolees who are never set free from their bondage to punishment and who thus never have their hope in a future rekindled.

Their culture is a prison yard culture. It is that prison yard culture they participate in; it is not a vital culture.  Parolees live devitalized and dependent lives because they are prescribed the role of social burden and they know it.  They feel it every day and night.  It is painful to them.

The prison yard culture is a transplanted culture having many collateral effects on many individuals in many communities because of an increasing incarceration rate over the past thirty-seven years.  There are many examples. Oakland, California, is one where for more than 37 years layer upon layer and generation after generation of parolees have been compelled to live impoverished lives concentrated in small pockets of the city without the full enjoyment of the bill of rights.

That thesis is predicated on the fact that the state parolee population of Alameda County was approximately 3,462 on any given day in 2005 add to that the number of Federal, state Youth Authority parolees, and Alameda County jail probationers over the same period of time and we multiply that number by thirty five (years) we arrive at an approximate figure of 121,170. There are approximately 400,000 people who live in Oakland.  In 2005 there were 1,508 on parole.  Do the math.

What we are dealing with is the likelihood that about twenty percent of Oakland’s population has been incarcerated or in jail at some time over the past thirty-five years. In some areas of the city that percent is even higher.  We are also faced with the horrific fact that over 30 percent of the Oakland population has suffered a murdered relative or friend.  Such deep and pervasive sorrow sours the very core of interpersonal relations in the city.  Oakland is made up of thousands of depressed individuals.  For that reason a pall hangs over the city as thick as smog as hundreds of processions carrying the dead flow through its streets every year and there is no indication that it will subside within any reasonable time.

All institutions are feeling the stress of the prison yard culture; poor families cannot carry the burden it puts upon them. Even Congress has been tinkering with a ‘Second Chance Act’ because the widespread discrimination of ex-felons is shoring up the prison yard culture and causing it to burst all social levees such as prisons, jails, parole, and probation departments.  AB 109 signed into law on April 5th 2011 will increase the rate of cultural disintegration in Oakland because the county jail ‘levees’ will not hold for long because over 90% of the persons incarcerated return to society, eventually.

It is causing a facial change in the communities, too, as more armed guards make constitutionally free communities take on the visage of controlled environments like prison. Citizens are more likely than ever before to look up and see armed guards in traditionally safe zones like schools, hospitals, supermarkets, and restaurants.  They too are beginning to feel the paradox of their ‘guarded liberty’. They are beginning to feel occupied.  They are beginning to apply the concept of a ‘dead zone’ to their neighborhoods.

Moreover, such environments incubate the prison yard culture mind-set because it is that environment which submerges their constitutional freedoms to the demands of police necessity.  It has turned police officers into jailers; it has turned their oath of service and protection to community into a visceral obsessive compulsion to control everyone. Their fear of wrongdoers is now greater than the fear wrongdoers have of them. We should not be surprised; such is the guard-convict syndrome. It too has become a characteristic of the transplanted culture. It now is a permanent characteristic of those who live in neighborhoods throughout Oakland.

The police, surrounded by a community of mistrusted parolees, cease to trust ‘the public’ because that public is often predominantly the offspring of the prison yard cultural mindset.  So, they cease to serve the ‘public’ because they do not recognize it as a community of freedmen and women. That community has become indistinguishable from the mass of marginalized parolees.   The police community then becomes an island unto itself as socially marginalized as the parolees and equally mistrusted and dangerous to the citizens they serve.  For example, on August 13, 2011, a homeless man raised a stick in the presence of an Oakland police officer.  That man was shot dead.  It’s happening everywhere; sometimes phrased as ‘stand your ground’; ‘he was wearing a hood’; ‘he was sagging’. All are but a pretext to murder; a justification, usually to murder African American youth who are presumed to be of the more than 25% who have been incarcerated.

Here is exactly where the prison yard culture thrives because it feeds on repressive environments where freedom is sacrificed in the name of punishment.  It is a culture not of disclosure but of criminal conspiracy and solicitation.  It is an environment in which the yard is divided into antagonistic forces. Each submerged in their conspiracies to denigrate the other.  This avalanche cannot be stopped soon.

The tipping point was reached years ago.  As a consequence, traditional cultures such as that in the African American community, already supported by weak infrastructures such as the family most of which have been ripped to shreds, are being displaced by values which originate in the prison yard culture.  The African American culture is no longer a traditional culture.  It is a cultural hybrid of contradictory and contrary value tendencies. It is gangster rap and church choir with a macabre blend of lyrics and rhythm set to high pitch sirens of police cars and ambulances.  Old Icons have fallen.  They do not resonate with youth.

African American culture is no longer traditional because traditional icons no longer inspire hope and because it can no longer effectively regenerate its values through its offspring.  It cannot pass on a vision of the future-its future, because it does not claim a vision of itself.  It cannot see itself in the future.

The prison yard culture is more efficient and effective in transmitting its values to successive generations because its icons are simple and tied to the visceral impulse of its children.  Guns, the snitch principle, baptism in prison as its rite of passage to its form of manhood, and its public vision through mass media give to it a commanding voice. ‘Sagging’ is in, everywhere. The children sign up on visiting day at the prison; they adapt to it. They have a passion for the lifestyle it engenders.

So another culture has taken root. It is denied to the peril of every citizen. It is the product of irrational social forces which have raged in the African American community for over forty years.  In its wake, families, schools, churches, and governments have been laid economically and morally wasted.

Its seed, found in the dark hollows of prison, have found a fertile place to germinate and to grow undisturbed for two generations in historically dysfunctional prison cultures.

The same prison yard culture spreads its germinated seeds far and wide to every city. It has given rise to anti-culture. But what is anti-culture?  It is nihilism.  That means ‘the end’ because it is the negation of all that traditional culture has stood for and now feebly stands for as it is locked in the corner of the ring being beaten to death.  It is not social change but the negation of any social change at all because it allows for no vital social functioning.

It is the inversion of traditional culture.  It is ‘not being culture’ which consist of anti-values, that is, to be neither moral nor immoral but rather ‘not to value’ at all.  It is ‘not to work’ as the value to be exchanged for value; that is to take from others and give nothing in return.  It is ‘not respect for life’ but to drive the devaluation of life to utter nothingness. It is death.

The prison yard culture has its ritual.  Its ritual of human devaluation is murder.  Only the act of murder accomplishes the nothingness at the heart of its own being; its being is passé. That is because nothingness is the mirror image of the dead soul without the possibility for life.

Their dead souls have neither hope in the King dream nor in the democratic vision. They do not foresee a prosperous economic future for themselves either; it is the utter suspension of all anticipation and imaginative free-flow.  It is ‘not being’; it is nothingness which drives them.  This is what an increasing number of socially disabled parolees feel every officially damned day and night. Their epitaph is: ‘I don’t give a fuck’.  And if you ever meet one enraged you had better believe it because they mean just that.  That is why the city is dysfunctional.

Intelligent people in government especially the demographic statisticians could foresee the prospect of our current predicament forty years ago.  They could see it in the numbers as clearly as we can see the glaciers on Greenland melting in real time. Yet, it happened. It happened because those politicians and corporate interests sought short term political and monetary gain rather than heed the long term warnings of social disaster. Now, it is a disaster.

Psychologists have long ago established that there is a correlation between frustration and aggression.  So, we should not be surprised at the thirty year consistency of the murder rate in Oakland and other major cities.  If public policy aims to protect the public health, safety, welfare, and morals, then those in charge of public policy formulation and implementation have been and are at least incompetent in their positions and at most complicit in the furtherance of the prison yard culture and thus acts of murder.  In either case they should be recalled from office and they should be recalled from office by the public right now.

 

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