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Today In “Dick Move, Cops”

It’s actually more than a dick move in one case because a girl with bipolar disorder is shot to death after her family asks police for help.

When Melissa Boarts of Montgomery, Alabama left home after threatening to commit suicide on Sunday, April 3, her parents called 911 hoping that someone would intervene to keep her from harming herself. To their horror, Auburn Police Department instead gunned her down.

Boarts suffered from bipolar disorder and was experiencing acute depression. She had scheduled an appointment for May to seek more effective medication for her disorder. Her parents, Terry and Michael Boarts, had come to her house on Sunday to pick up Melissa’s two-year-old daughter, Skylar, for their weekly outing. Boarts suddenly drove off, threatening to slit her wrists with a pocket knife.

When Melissa stopped at a rest area on Interstate 85, the family panicked, fearing that she would carry out her threats to cut her wrists. Realizing that traffic would prevent them from reaching her quickly, they called 911.

“We were thinking they could get her help,” Terry Boarts told the Montgomery Advertiser. She explained to the dispatcher that Melissa was bipolar and was threatening self-harm.

When the Boarts finally caught up to their daughter, a helicopter hovered overhead, and fourteen police cruisers surrounded her car. They were unable to see what was going on; the dispatcher told them simply that Melissa’s car had stopped. They sat at the scene for hours, assuming that her car had left the road and hit a tree. Finally, Michael Boarts asked for information from a police sergeant who was leaving the scene. “All I know,” the sergeant replied, “is that there is one female casualty.”

Are the Alabama police that bored that they have to respond to a suicide call with an army? What a fucking tragedy. Beyond tragedy. An atrocity.

Meanwhile, a school officer body slams a 12 year old:

San Antonio Independent School District Officer Joshua Kehm was captured on video brutally body-slamming a 12-year-old girl who attends Rhodes Middle School. 

…the kids in the hallway had been anticipating a fight between her and another girl.

“I was going up to her to tell her let’s go somewhere else so we could talk but that’s when the cop thought I was going at her,” Janissa says.

Police violence must be stopped. If you can’t bring a 12 year old to heel with anything other than a suplex, you’re in the wrong line of work.




Right Under Our Noses

Regular lurkers on this site know that I have a problem with solitary confinement in America’s prisons. I don’t care what you’ve done-no one deserves to be locked in a small box 23 hours a day. It’s not penitence. It’s torture, and we think it’s OK because of justice and our lust for vengeance. It’s fucking medieval and it should be stopped. My God, kill a person outright-spare him the insanity that life in solitary brings. Someday it will be recognized as cruel by the courts, but I’m guessing we are a ways from that.

But there’s new unconstitutional shit happening. Ever heard of Homan Square? Me neither:

The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman published a scathing account of Homan Square in Chicago on Tuesday, detailing a ‘black site’ in which Guantanamo-esque interrogation techniques are used to question suspected criminals.

“What used to happen at Homan Square is that prior to a year ago, if you get arrested and you get brought down anywhere in any district, you would not pop up in the city computer as being arrested until they processed the police report, which could take anywhere from an hour to 15 hours. If they “arrested” you, then they have to report it. But if they don’t “arrest you,” nefarious things could happen and they could interrogate you without a lawyer. And they would move you around from district to district. So [for example] if the family shows up or the lawyer shows up and they say you aren’t here but you are, they’ve denied you access. But if they say you’re at [district] 17, then move you to 15, and then 12, they can question you without counsel. At Homan Square they don’t process paperwork about your arrest. You’re just gone. No one knows.

99 percent of the people from this site are involved in some form of street crime: gang activities, drugs—urban violent crime. That’s what makes the site even worse. It takes Guantanamo-style tactics on urban street criminals and shreds the Bill of Rights. Isolation, deprivation of food, other outside contact. It’s meant to be a lot of touchless torture. So they’re not touching you, which in the human-rights field is more powerful and scary because it doesn’t leave marks but leaves huge internal wounds. Most of the time, people aren’t physically abused. They’re cut off from society, not allowed phone calls, not fed as much. These are just tactics that are more sophisticated in urban-policing tactics.”

So torture tactics, rendition and the denial of habeas corpus have reached the street level. It should surprise no one, given that cops now have access to military accoutrements-why not go all the way?

We are a police state in all but name. This is probably not news.

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