Another Shooting-in-the-Back

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In the wake of the Scott Walker murder by Michael Slager many CopSuckers (police apologetics) have claimed that such incident was an isolated one. Well, that should make this story from September 2013 hard to explain. According to the original story posted by Arizona’s ABC 15:

Exclusively-obtained dash-cam video shows Dontrell Stephens, 20, talking on a cell phone while riding his bike on a Friday morning in September 2013.


He can be seen turning onto Norma Elaine Road near Haverhill Road and Okeechobee Boulevard as Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office deputy Adams Lin trails him.


Moments later, Stephens realizes he’s being followed.  He pulls over, gets off his bike with a cell phone in his right hand and walks toward the deputy.  For approximately four seconds Stephens is out of frame only to be seen again when being shot four times.


Stephens, who is black and has a criminal record for possessing cocaine, is seen running from the bullets then dropping to the ground.


Stephens was armed with nothing but a cell phone.


The video, exclusively obtained by ABC15 sister station WPTV News Channel 5 and The Palm Beach Post as part of a joint investigation into police shootings, was released as part of a federal wrongful death lawsuit filed against PBSO.


A short time later, an admittedly shaken Deputy Lin is heard talking to another deputy.


“He starts backing away,” Lin explains. “I said, ‘Get on the ground, get on the ground.”


Then, the other deputy is heard saying, “I got your back man.  I got your back.  Hey, you hear me?”


Deputy Lin responds, “Yeah, I know.”


That day, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw went on TV to defend the shooting.


“Stop what you’re doing and comply with us,” he told reporters.  “There’s nothing in the rules of engagement that says we have to put our lives in jeopardy to wait to find out what this is to get killed.”


Lin was cleared to return to work four days later.  Months later, investigators from the State Attorney’s Office and PBSO ruled the shooting justified.


Dontrell Stephens

This incident took place in September of 2013 and we’re just now seeing this footage. Once again making the case for filming the police at all times because obtaining their footage is extremely difficult, especially when officers have done wrong. Had Dontrell Stevens had someone filming this incident maybe this officer would be facing murder charges too. Instead, you get to see how the police apparatus helps to protect their own. Not only do court records and media reports quote additional officers on scene as stating, “I’ve got your back” but the Sheriff himself backed the actions of his officer saying, “There’s nothing in the rules of engagement that says we have to put our lives in jeopardy to wait to find out what this is to get killed.”

Now Dontrell is paralyzed from the waist down simply because he’s a victim of the war on drugs, past cocain possessions were the cause of the officers attention though no drugs or weapons were found on his possession this day, and officers today have a shoot first and ask questions later mentally. Which is easy to have when an entire police force and justice system is at your back to help clear you from the charges.

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  1. Finding Morality in Animals

    Where does human morality come from?

    In ‘The Bonobo and the Atheist’, renowned primatologist Frans de Waal argues that moral behavior in humans is not predicated on religion. Drawing from extensive research on animals—primarily bonobos and chimpanzees, our nearest primate relatives—as well as research on fossil records of early hominids, he shows how evidence of moral sentiments, like empathy and altruism, predate the advent of religion by millennia and co-evolved in non-human primates as well as in humans.

    De Waal makes his case for animal morality by citing scientific studies demonstrating animal benevolence. In one experiment, researchers show that a chimp, if given the choice, would rather share food rewards with another chimp than keep it all for himself—as long as he knows that the other chimp actually receives the reward.

    In another experiment with rats, researchers find that if a rat is given the choice between two containers—one holding chocolate and one holding a trapped rat who appears to be suffering—the rat will try to help the suffering rat first before seeking the chocolate. Experiments like these show that animals make moral choices and that their behavior cannot be explained through natural selection alone.

    “Mammals have what I call an ‘altruistic impulse’ in that they respond to signs of distress in others and feel an urge to improve their situation,” writes de Waal. “To recognize the need of others, and react appropriately, is really not the same as a preprogrammed tendency to sacrifice oneself for the genetic good.”

    De Waal also engages readers with stories of individual primates who have demonstrated a capacity for kindness, generosity, and gratitude. For example, Georgia, a chimp at the Yerkes National Primate Research Station, expresses gratitude to deWaal by greeting him with quick panting noises, “which is about the kindest sounds a chimp can make,” after he helps reunite her with her troop following a long separation.

    In another instance a bonobo named Makali is kindly consoled by fellow bonobos following a rival attack. These examples of animal empathy may be contingent on the presence of mirror neurons in the animals’ brains—the same neurons found in human brains that are implicated in emotional resonance—which help the animals understand how another is feeling.
    Since altruism, empathy, and gratitude all underpin moral behavior, finding them in our fellow mammals suggests that they run deep in our brain biology and did not come about because of moral reasoning or religion.

    In fact, probably the opposite is true—religion developed because of our innate capacities for caring. But, while some scientists might use this information as ammunition to hurl against religion, DeWaal does not. Instead, he writes disparagingly about strident atheists who rail against the existence of God, making enemies of the religious while doing little to promote humanistic values.

    “Humanity cannot and will not change on a dime, and it’s also not as if religion is an alien influence,” he writes. “It is very much our own creation, part of who are, fully intertwined with our respective cultures. We had better get along with it and learn from it, even if our goal is ultimately to set out on a new course.”

    Virginia Morell takes a slightly different, but related tack in her new book, ‘Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures.’ Morell, a science writer, traveled around the world to meet with scientists studying animals in their social environments and found that many of these researchers have evidence that their subjects can think and feel much the way humans can.

    In the first chapter we learn of Nigel Franks, a scientist who studies ant colonies. By looking at the behavior of individual ants (whom he painstakingly labeled with tiny dots), he has found they don’t rely on pheromones alone to communicate, but can teach other ants by example and demonstrate amazing patience with their students.

    We also learn that rats engage in play like puppies do, and that they make a noise that resembles laughter—albeit, laughter that is not audible to human ears without special listening devices.

    “Their joyful chirps were ricocheting all around us, but we couldn’t hear a bit of it,” writes Morell. “If there was a moment that encapsulated all that we don’t know or miss about animals, for me, this surely was it.”

    Her point, well taken, is that in our attempts to study our animal brethren and avoid anthropomorphizing them we sometimes miss their very real similarities to us. According to the scientists Morell interviews, birds are capable of complex communication, elephants have long memories and strong social networks, and dolphins will act altruistically.

    These scientists are convinced that many higher order cognitive abilities are not limited to humans, and that we only need look a bit further to discover them in animals.

    Since evolutionary pressures push brain development, Morell argues, it makes sense that maybe humans are not alone in developing social and cooperative brains. “If animals—even those whose lineages parted ways long ago—face similar cognitive demands, they are apt to evolve similar cognitive abilities,” writes Morell. “There aren’t ‘lower’ or ‘higher’ species.”

    We humans like to think we are supremely evolved. But even if some of our capabilities are advanced, that doesn’t mean the animals around us aren’t also evolving, writes Morrel. The more studies confirming animal intelligence and feeling, the more evidence there is for supporting a dichotomy rather than hierarchy of evolution—a finding that de Waal also supports, at least in relationship to mammals.

    The consequence of books like these is that we may need to re-think our place in the animal kingdom and show a little more humility. Perhaps, if the lessons of these books are taken to heart, we will be inspired to be more considerate of animal needs and protective toward our shared natural world.

  2. ‘Gitana’ – Shakira.

    Nunca usé un antifaz. Voy de paso. Por este mundo fugaz.
    No pretendo parar. Dime quién camina. Cuando se puede volar.
    Mi destino es andar. Mis recuerdos. Son una estela en el mar.
    Lo que tengo, lo doy. Digo lo que pienso. Tómame como soy. Y va liviano. Mi corazón gitano. Que solo entiende de latir. A contramano. No intentes amarrarme. Ni dominarme. Yo soy quien elige. Como equivocarme.
    Aprovéchame. que si llegué ayer. Me puedo ir mañana. Que soy gitana. Que soy gitana. Sigo siendo aprendiz. En cada beso. Y con cada cicatriz.
    Algo pude entender. De tanto que tropiezo. Ya sé como caer.
    Y va liviano. Mi corazón gitano. Que solo entiende de latir. A contramano. No intentes amarrarme. Ni dominarme. Yo soy quien elige. Como equivocarme.
    Vamos y vemos. Que la vida es un goce. Es normal que le temas. A lo que no conoces. Tómame y vamos. Quiero verte volar. Si vine ayer. Aprovecha hoy. Que me voy mañana. Que soy gitana.


    The Power Of A Smile -2Pac

    The power of a gun can kill
    and the power of Fire can Burn
    The power of wind can chill
    and the power of the mind can learn
    The power of anger can rage
    inside until it tears u apart
    But the Power of a Smile
    especially yours can heal a frozen Heart

    The Rose That Grew from Concrete – 2Pac

    Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack
    in the concrete
    Proving nature’s laws wrong it learned 2 walk
    without having feet
    Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams
    it learned 2 breathe fresh air
    Long live the rose that grew from concrete
    when no one else even cared!

  4. Sensei Aishitemasu
    Baltimore protesters doing what you’re too AFRAID to do,
    remember this: every single freedom and liberty that you enjoy was begat through riots, protests, and violence. Every. Single. One. ‘A riot is the language of the unheard.’ ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. #StopDemonizingRiots #Revolution #Baltimore2015

    Population by Race in Baltimore Maryland (2010)
    Race Population % of Total
    African American 395,781 63%
    White 183,830 29%
    Asian 14,548 2%
    Two or More Races 12,955 2%
    Other 11,303 4%
    Sensei Aishitemasu

    Photographer beaten by heroes in Baltimore

    • Tor, I was reading about the riots this morning and thought to myself(Self, why ain’t we all rioting? We done lost our right to lawfully assemble so anything we don in mass or in concert with more than 2 other people is now an unlawful assembly.)

      I though the chart was fairly racist although not completely. The LS riots were the reaction of a group of people intentionally made powerless and intentionally(by our own duplicitous govt…….yes…..that’s you Congress, you lying filthy lucre seeking POS)given just enough to grow without financial bounds. I don’t defend that sort of thing but I can understand it.

      But my first thoughts really were WTF are we not all rioting, not targeting businesses but the very entities who use deadly weapons to make sure we toe the line, stay in our safe little houses(or ghettos) and shut the fuck up? We should be taking every police station, every military base and every other bunch of bureaucrats and hired killers to task for enforcing our right to not lawfully assemble, a right recently taken officially from us. We need to raze that big white dome on CH and all the secret underground chambers for the controllers when major SHTF. After all, the govt. SHOULD represent the people instead of being a tyrannical oppressor. We should have done it long ago…….but we’re way too complacent. So, we go along to get along. We didn’t stand up for the blacks when they were murdering them on sight, we didn’t stand up for the (fill in the blank)when they murdered them on sight and now we’re standing here with a rock and nothing but rubber heels when they come for us……just sayin…..

      • We all have room for improvement. And need all kinds of further deprogramming. The chimpout poster was the highest ranked image matching the word “chimpout” so I stoically included it.
        – – –

        Here’s the best write-up of the Baltimore Riots I’ve come across:

        Orioles Executive Vice President John Angelos:

        “Speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela, and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept.

        Further, it is critical that in any democracy investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.

        That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

        The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, an ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importance of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards.

        We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ball game irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.”

        John Angelos – Baltimore Orioles Exec VP

        • Wow, Mr. Angelos nailed it! Maybe there’s hope for the future after all if a member of the executive class recognizes what’s happening in the USSA and isn’t afraid to say so. Let’s see if this is a turning point or just an anomaly that will result in his being shunned by his peers.

          • Mike,
            I have to agree one hundred percent, John hits the nail squarely upon the head with a single well planned strike. I bet he doesn’t keep his job long though eh?

            David Ward
            Memphis, Tennessee


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