We need to compare notes by everyone, every family who has lost a loved one at hands of police in America telling it now

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is for the kids. And the elders. Matter of fact the whole damn barrio.

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Georgia restores gun rights to ex-cop who attempted to rape a woman with his gun

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Philadelphia Earns Millions By Seizing Cash And Homes From People Never Charged With A Crime via

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Victim reflects on police beating: “That’s when I expected to be shot.” reports:

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A woman working full time at will earn $14,500 annually-$4,000 below poverty line for mom w/ 2 kids.

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Over 10,000 streets in Britain now have an average property price of more than £1 million

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All police forces sign up to Best Use of scheme ensuring powers are used more effectively and openly

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BREAKING: An investigation has found evidence of “appalling” abuse of at least 1,400 children in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, over 16 years.

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Big news to share: Our latest annual count shows fewer than 50K homeless veterans in America—a 33% drop since 2010.

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Edward Baptist traces American management practices back to slavery in his new book, ‘The Half Has Never Been Told.’

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CNN: New audio reveals 10 shots fired at Michael Brown. Cluster of 6… A pause… And then 4 more

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2 of 3 Americans say police don’t do a good job in force, fairness, accountability, poll finds

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The daily racism of Ferguson, as reported on by . “They’re like cockroaches.”

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Police union, some union members upset that teachers & other unions join protest for Eric Garner, dead from chokehold

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Young black man shoots himself in chest while hands cuffed behind him (in back of police car)

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Making tshirts about don’t shoot and police brutality in America doesn’t really help – still thinking

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‘We’re Like Animals To Them': An American City’s Daily Racism

 http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/residents-of-ferguson-struggle-with-daily-racism-a-987986.html

The article is right about it – we are all like animals to police in America. The thing most people don’t know is that it is true race is one reason, but poverty and being poor counts as an excuse for police to brutalize individuals and groups too. There have been shootings of unarmed people and police brutality against Americans who were mentally ill, disabled, poor, black, Latino, women, single women of all races trying to raise their children alone making them both impoverished and considered mentally ill too by the system as a result, elderly, gay and lesbian, those dressed differently, those wrongfully arrested by police when looking for someone else, and anyone who simply is not an accepted middle or upper class member of the community.

Police are harassing Americans and brutalizing them based on

  • economic status,
  • by way of how they are dressed,
  • based upon age of car,
  • difference from the “norm as seen on some tv sitcom”,
  • not from here,
  • from the poor side of town,
  • turned in to police for acting weird or saying things or doing things family members don’t like,
  • having ownership of things that family members want to take from an elderly family member without other legal right to do so,
  • for not paying child support adequately even after loss of a job,
  • for having the butt of a marijuana cigarette in the yard or driveway,
  • for having two trash pails in the house instead of one,
  • for not having a home that looks like a magazine picture with everything matching inside,
  • for not having $40 cash on person,
  • for having over $200 cash on person,
  • for not having prescription drugs in the original container but instead in a daily pill reminder box,
  • for not having ID that matches the exact name on a social security card or in county records even if it is maiden name and now married,
  • for not having the current address on everything to match – including on the bank card and drivers license even if you moved recently,
  • for jaywalking,
  • for asking what you are being charged with or what you did wrong, and
  • for not having the good sense to let officers come into your house without asking them why.

People in America have been shot for reasons that no longer make sense, if they ever did. Police commonly stop people who are walking on the sidewalk in towns and suburbs across America, who are doing nothing out of the ordinary except that they don’t own a car and therefore are not using a car to get around as everyone else does. Unarmed and sober, not doing anything but walking and it still doesn’t matter to police who have the right to harass, arrest without cause, drum up as many misdemeanors for the same charge as they can get their computers to offer as possibilities, and shoot, tase, beat or kill that person while doing that harassment to them if the police officer overreacts at any moment in it.

Those are all grounds for shooting someone in America according to the reality that over the last twenty years, they’ve been doing it for those reasons, tasing people for those reasons, making arrests on those reasons, toting people off to locked mental wards without a phone call or attorney or any rights whatsoever nor any recourse, and generally holding people against their will for longer periods of time in jails and other institutions without rights for simply no reason at all beyond poverty, not crime.

People think police have to knock before coming in their house – but they don’t. Citizens believe police must have cause or a warrant before doing anything to a person, but that hasn’t been the case for so many years it is obscene – about 1970 onwards. And police are not supposed to use deadly force unless they feel their safety is threatened but they walk into every situation with the idea they are threatened before even getting there. Along with the fact that police are not randomly screened for psychological stability, for whether they have a habit of bullying or domestic violence, for drug use, for alcoholism, and are not getting training on community policing but rather training for a war zone while being led to believe they are policing in urban war zones where it is nothing but “us and them”. Everyone looks like an animal to police in America except maybe those they grew up with or know personally – maybe – or members of the immediate families of town council members – maybe.

Yes race is part of it. But long gone are the days in America when anyone could say that police brutality is happening only because of race. Now it is an oppression intended to destroy and eliminate communities of the poor, the disabled, the mentally disadvantaged, the emotionally disordered, the faces and skins of people of various races, the elderly and aging, the single women with children, the homeless, the different, the diverse, the fellow human beings whose sexual orientation differs from tradition, the various religious differences, the unarmed who haven’t the time or knowledge to get all their ID to match at any given time, and those whose skills have not been rewarded with massive incomes that would’ve been available to them at any other time in our history. That’s the groups of people police have been wrongfully arresting, harassing, wrongfully shooting, tasing to death, beating, brutalizing and generally making every effort to oppress and make life even more difficult for. So, the question is – why?

- cricketdiane

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2 of 3 Americans say police don’t do a good job in force, fairness, accountability, poll finds

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Special Needs Students were forced by California school to dig in trash for what reasonable purpose?

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A California high school apologized for making special needs students dig through the trash for cans and bottles to earn money.

“I personally apologize to any students who may have been humiliated,” said Elliott Duchon, superintendent of Jurupa Unified School District. “Our teachers care very much about the students they teach.”

That statement is a LIE and I can prove it -

Instead of makers space to learn how to invent, problem solve & make money from it, instead of online skill sets, biz incubator – that school had students dig through trash to get what amounts to filthy, unhealthy, humiliating and dangerous activity for pennies while not giving them the skills to make a living to provide for their own needs.

Let me tell you a thing or two about special needs people, including students and adults in the communities of America. We are not less than you. We are not less than others. In fact, because of our unique perspective, we bring to the table things you could not begin to imagine. Many of us are solution oriented thinkers because we have to be just to survive through daily living.

We’ve seen the worst of humanity in the most brutal and obscene ways AND had to deal with it for you to be meeting us today at all. That is true of a 3-yr old with special needs to every adult and student of any age in between with “special needs” for whatever reasons. We are not less than you.

When programs are made for us, we deal with the worst of it – not the best – because of prejudice, limited short-term thinking of those who are providers, social outcast status in the caste system of America that shouldn’t exist here and all of our other problems every moment on top of it. There is so much that would be needed to even begin to have a level playing field that to make it harder for us is nothing short of cruel.

When I read of a high school having special needs students rake through trash to get cans and bottles to turn in for money, it does not tell me there is a healthy respect for fellow human beings underlying those decisions. It does tell me that a couple things would have to be true for that to have been considered at all.

A California high school apologizes for making special needs students dig through trash.

A so-called functional skills program tailored for students with learning disabilities included a lesson on rummaging through garbage for recyclables that can be exchanged for money. Parents of students at Patriot High School in Jurupa Valley, Calif., were outraged that teachers would make their children do that when they could have been learning real-life skills.

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On top of not serving the students, money given to fund the programs was wasted by giving them another lesson on being “less than” without any opportunities in America to do anything beyond that.

It also means the people in the school, including administrators who allowed the class to be used that way – didn’t know these things either -

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The World’s 12 Highest-Paid DJs

Calvin Harris is once again EDM’s Cash King, pulling in $66 million over the past 12 months. The top ten earners on our list racked up a staggering $268 million this year, 11% more than the $241 million haul of last year’s top ten. Read on to see the full list.

That came from this article -

The World’s Highest Paid DJs: Electronic Cash Kings 2014

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Why weren’t those skill sets being explored – obviously capacity for that, obviously money to be made with that, obviously healthy self esteem goes with it. But, no.

And the decision-makers in that school didn’t know this one about crowd-funding which they could have shown those students how to do -

Crowdcube sets World Record raising £1.2 million in 16 minutes

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Disgraceful: Half of all Americans killed by police every year are mentally ill

And it is no wonder – as special needs people and students – despite millions of dollars being spent on programs to “help” us – there are none of them offering opportunities for independent living skills and financial income producing skill sets such as those available through makers spaces, business incubators, coding, app development with teams of people who could work together with us to make those, inventing solutions and crowd sourcing them as startups, citizen science opportunities to invent and innovate in a larger world – none of it.

Then in the community, to be treated as something less than a dog with no real income potential, shunned, misunderstood, brutalized by police and community members and often, by family as well. But this is America and every one of us know it at the same time and every one of us, special needs or not – know when such a deep wrongness is happening like these – that it IS wrong.

And none of us know how to make it better which is why the programs for special needs students and adults were put into place in the first place and funded to help make up the difference and change our life skills into a more equitable level playing field in our lives. But, prejudice simply won’t allow that view even while taking those funds, being paid to serve us, using the money intended to serve us to do no more than provide jobs and nice homes to those working in them, few of which have special needs at all.

Why didn’t those school officials and teachers give these opportunities to their students to understand life skills about money -

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The Makers Trend in America and around the world -

Maker Pro Newsletter – 04-13-14

Showing vast array of makers space information including prototype building, crowdfunding, new products being created by makers and makers groups.

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Shutting down now, but a successful pre-incubator / commercial business accelerator program in Edinburgh –

Edinburgh Pre-Incubator Scheme (Epis) which will halt next month after Scottish Enterprise withdrew its funding.

Aside from Pufferfish, which makes spherical displays, other notable successes from Epis include, Burdica Biomed, which earlier this year signed a distribution deal with Chinese giant Sinopharm, and waste water manager H2Ology.

Entrepreneurs who are currently using Epis – which provides mentoring, academic partnerships and workspace

http://www.scotsman.com/business/funding-cut-shuts-down-succesful-start-up-service-edinburgh-pre-incubator-scheme-1-1368069

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So instead of taking the valuable perspectives, problem-solving skills and life experiences of students and adults with special needs to apply them into incubators, app development, team business building, team innovation creation, makers spaces, incubators, business accelerator or pre-incubator programs, 3-d printing and prototyping, or online business skill building – they had them digging through trash and filth for pennies. There is nothing right about the thinking that would do that and call it, giving them life skills.

- cricketdiane

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Quirky – create a product idea, submit it and they build it, offer it online and share the revenue from it with the creator.

Zazzle and CafePress – allow products to hold the artworks, sayings, words, designs and ideas of the creator, then shares the proceeds from sales of those products.

InnoCentive – offers problems that need solving – innovations that are needed by businesses, industries and government agencies across US – solutions get money.

Android and iPhone encourage app development and offer tools.

Coding opportunities for learning are available for free online whether a person does better with a video or written materials, webinar, or podcast – or interactive.

Accelerators, incubators and pre-incubators are online, around the world and throughout the US in nearly every community large and small for inventing / making a business.

Crowdfunding through Kickstarter, IndieGogo, GoFundMe and others with various specialties can fund a project including table-sized interactive monitors for teamwork.

Makers Spaces, Makers Faires, Kinetica and Hack-a-thons are hacking everything from Ikea furniture to joining for weekend prototype building / problem solving incubators.

Design a fabric, design clothing to be offered for sale for a portion of the proceeds from sales have been shown on international news shows – haven’t checked those yet.

Pinterest, social networking and blogging allow personal expression, exploration, how to, and design / invention / innovation / inspiration that can’t be beat even at a library.

Deviantart and many other sites online offer print on demand services that share proceeds from the sale of prints and canvases of any possibility of art & drawing.

Video can be made with revenue sharing – including to offer how to and information rich videos, sharing funny stories and musical talent, creating original animations, etc far beyond the prat fall humiliations some might force special needs students to do. And, blogging with a video channel on YouTube or Livestream channel on Livestream and others – about a focused subject matter can offer enough money that some are making six figures out of them from Mommy Blogs to Makeup and Fashion Blogs written by young women. It is simply a different way of thinking about those with special needs, of what we can do, and of what could be available to us, and of what we are worth to the society in which we will live for the duration of our lives or be killed by it’s vagaries.

it is a problem – it speaks to the unveiled prejudice all of us are metting everyday with people not knowing there is another way and forcing those unable to stop them with further abuses to their self-esteem.

It shows nothing but that and didn’t show them what could be done.

- cricketdiane

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On NHK news – In Japan there is a mall with an area for children with small suites set up like different kinds of businesses manned with adults as they would work there and the children try being employees along side them in small groups to understand what it is like in those jobs. They have fast food restaurant style, emergency aid type, retail and others in this and groups of children come try them as a neat, wonderful thing to do. Why can’t we do that in America? Why is it so hard to consider people in context including those of us with special needs on top of everything else? Why is that so hard?

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littleBits: DIY Electronics For Prototyping and Learning

littlebits.cc/

by littleBits TVlittleBits puts the power of electronics in the hands of everyone. Make your own electronic creations with no soldering, wiring, or programming required.

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Lumilor Labs lights up things – from motorcycles to art / sculptures / city art -
Darkside Scientific provides training to individuals and businesses in the LumiLor™ application process and mentor them to successful certification.  Our LumiLor Labs Training Center in Medina, OH is the only application and materials handling training and certification center.
Lulu Books, Create Space allows publication of books, picture books, paperbacks and hard copy along with eBooks for free AND shares revenues with the author / creator -

CreateSpace: Self Publishing and Free Distribution for

https://www.createspace.com/

CreateSpace provides free tools to help you self-publish and distribute your books, DVDs, CDs, video downloads and MP3s on-demand on Amazon.com and ..

Makers Spaces can be found throughout the country – this is how MIT does it -

MITERS

miters.mit.edu/

Originally founded as a club to give MIT students free and open access to computers, … creative haven and build-anything-you-want, if-you-break-it-fix-it space.

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SketchUp: Home

www.sketchup.com/

SketchUp

SketchUp is 3D modeling software that’s easy to learn and incredibly fun to use. Download SketchUp today for free and get started drawing in 3D.

Download SketchUp

You’re about to download SketchUp. Step 1: Let’s choose …

Shapeways – Design, buy, and sell products with 3D Printing

www.shapeways.com/

Shapeways

Design, Prototype, Buy and Sell custom products at Shapeways; The world’s largest online 3D Printing Service, Community and Marketplace.

WIX.com: Free Website Builder | Create a Free Website

www.wix.com/

Wix.com

Create a free website with Wix.com. Customize with Wix‘ free website builder, no coding skills needed. Choose a design, begin customizing and be online today!

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Don’t tell me what this school did was in any way right. It wasn’t. – cricketdiane

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There’s no time to waste. In five weeks you will begin to build a founding team, validate an idea and get out a working prototype. Ideally, the end of Founder Labs is the start of a new venture with a great team and a validated idea.
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Education Report Card for New York proves not even half of students get it – US education must do better

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I am rather antagonized by some things. I don’t know why Americans and New Yorkers particularly accept teaching skills and knowledge to students not barely reaching 50% of their students with any real comprehension and learning of those things.

More students in NYC and across the state are meeting proficiency levels in ELA & Math.

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In Taiwan 97% of adults in their population have college degrees, we can’t even get 50% of our students to understand the concepts and information from the school years before they would ever get to college and few are getting into our colleges. But they have to participate in a global marketplace against many, many nationals whose education was superior to ours and comprehensiveness within those knowledge bases far greater.

Employment, building a business require skills we aren’t even giving our students. Real life skills in modern living, parenting, budgeting, employment, balance, surviving in a modern world and a global one at that, are not being given to our adult populations but neither are they being conveyed to our younger populations either.

Schools are failing to convey the knowledge they are in the businesses of getting our students to learn, understand and know how to use. How could this not be a problem worthy of fixing at a far more rapid pace than anything being done so far anywhere in America?

Yes, that is aggravating to me.

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And it is aggravating to see how many Americans care little for news and world events, even those in their own backyards. It is hard to imagine that people think that is none of their business and not worthy of their time and thinking. Let alone, that most seem to not consider these things in the manner of what solutions could be brought to bear on them, what knowledge could be added to the table that might help, what other things we know should be or could be part of the discussion, and how could we, as individuals be of some help in these situations? Americans seem to not care to do any of that – neither with their immediate communities, nor in some greater context in the bigger world. It is still common for people to express how these things are simply a bother and not really any of their business anyway. It is damn ridiculous.

- cricketdiane

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Police armed to the hilt and can’t or won’t protect women from being murdered in their own homes by abusive mates and family members – US POLICE FAIL

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It is as much a failure of police in the US when women are killed by abusers in their own home and police failed to protect them despite being given many opportunities to do so – as when police brutalize and waste taxpayer resources harassing people for piddling nonsense that shouldn’t have mattered.

Women are murdered by men at a rate of 1 every 12 days in SC while the state does little. reports:

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Till Death Do Us Part – 2014

http://www.postandcourier.com/tilldeath/

More than 300 women were shot, stabbed, strangled, beaten, bludgeoned or burned to death over the past decade by men in South Carolina, dying at a rate of one every 12 days while the state does little to stem the carnage from domestic abuse.

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For all the militarization of our police, armies of police and law enforcement, justice services, judges and prosecutors in layer upon layer of multiple agencies, jurisdictions and specialties in every county, city, town, township, parish, borough, state and region across the United States, it means nothing to protecting women from abuse and violent crime at the hands of those in their own homes and families. It is a national tragedy.

Where constant police services monitor our every move, traffic cams feed into hugely expensive well-equipped rooms served 24-hours a day by teams specializing in watching vast arrays of monitors for crime, increasing over-reaction by police to misdemeanors and traffic infractions, women are murdered in their own homes where the real war zone is occurring every single day in America.

But when she goes to get that help from police, what happens? Nearly nothing. What happens to stop the violence before it continues to escalate to horrific torturous murders of those women known to being abused by their men? Nothing or she is victimized further by police and the judicial system which incarcerates her as well or sends her to be medicated by the psychiatric industry into compliance with anything her abuser does, wrong or not.

That police protective order available to some women some of the time through courts when they will issue it, nearly always results in getting the woman and sometimes her children as well, killed by the abuser because police refuse to enforce it, even where she calls or others call for her.

The statistics are staggering. The personal stories horrifying. This isn’t supposed to be America. It isn’t supposed to be more likely for a woman to be beaten, tortured and killed by someone she knows than by a stranger who is criminal and intent on causing harm. And, this is a known fact by police departments, sheriff departments, justice systems and courts. Yet over and over again they fail our women by both their choices and their biases about the worth of our women and their children. Police don’t pursue the safety of women whose abusers are nearby and known. They fail to take women seriously when there is still time to do something. And there continues to fail to be any real services to help her and children to get out, get on their feet and re-establish their lives in safety elsewhere free of the abusive perpetrator.

Now that it is at epidemic proportions, the cost to our society is clear. If one black man being killed every 28 days is a nightmare, then certainly a woman being killed every 12 days in this state and even more commonly in others is worthy of the same outrage.

- cricketdiane

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The Disingenuous America That Lied and Lied and Lied and Lied To Us About the American Dream

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I watched in my lifetime as my nation turned against me and others like me, calling us the very reason America is failing or has failed at every turn people had to say it. Instead of calling the brutal dictators of the world, the bad guy, they were feted and treated to the best and finest at the tables of Washington from the White House to the festivities of business leaders in America. They were given hundreds of billions of dollars in cash on top of military equipment at our expense and every kind of social service for people, education resource and business building grants supposedly available but not – to American people.

At the same time, our nation’s leaders turned to us – to me, to other women who were and are single mothers, and divorced women, and the disabled, the elderly, the poor like me along with minorities from various races including black and Latino, calling us the bane of mankind and accused us of causing the downfall of America. The richest of all in my nation made it clear in every opportunity with the press that the real problems of America were caused by me and people like me even as they took from our cities, states and counties every single small business grant and incentive their armies of accountants could find. While my life and the communities where I could live became more and more depleted of resources to help, these same powerful decision-makers took even the most charitable organizations from churches to social organizations that were intended to help the community and diverted those resources to think tanks and powerful conservative lobbies and political activities. Then they cut services, funding, opportunities and resources available to help the poorest of the poor which included me and my children and my community and the America where I was supposed to pursue opportunity and my dreams of an American life.

All the while, I was supposed to believe that an American dream was available to me and to my children if only we worked hard enough, smart enough, passionately and responsibly enough, if only I believed it enough, if only I was a good enough person who worked hard at it – if only. But that wasn’t the truth of it, and from what the people in black communities tell me, it would have never been the truth of it in America either for it had not been for many generations of their families. At every turn that a job could be found and worked, it would pay enough to barely make it worthwhile, but the costs of everything else that money should buy continued to move farther out of reach from childcare to housing to owning a car to paying the light bill to buying foods worth having that wouldn’t leave the body sickened, obese and whatever other unhealthy condition. Although, to be honest it hardly matters as much as that might seem considering only a few places are available to live that can be afforded at that level of income anyway and most of those are either with other people who are dangerous or the house and area surrounding it are dangerous because of crime or dangerous because of pollution, mold, mildew, asbestos, lead and chromium something or other.

And, try as any of us might, as our nation fell more and more into economic blight rather than financial prosperity taking our lifetimes out of the opportunities we needed along with cheating our nation out of those innovations and successes we might have offered as individuals and groups – we were the ones that were blamed. No one wanted to hear what the poor had to say about anything. There has been this idea prevalent during my adult years that with money there was an unspoken “truth” that a person must be right and without money, a person was therefore either not right or “wrong” or “bullshit” or basically worthless along with anything they might bring to the table. It has yielded the wholesale theft of time, ideas, efforts, work, hopes, dreams, self-esteem, decency and has excused not showing decency for others as a basic way of doing things among many groups of people throughout American society. In practice, it meant people could consider it okay for their teenage sons to beat to death a homeless person or a father of two that was coming home from work simply because he was Latino. It was the de-valuing of women because their husbands had left them or divorced them. It was the de-valuing of anyone who couldn’t get a job or whose job let them go even if it was because the business decision was to downsize or layoff while their profits were low.

Honestly, I don’t think the profits of businesses ever were low until 2008 maybe anyway. But it became an excuse for dropping well-trained good people from payrolls every time the business needed their paperwork look good to investors or banks or the press or Wall Street or to shareholders. It didn’t matter what that did to the community. It didn’t matter in my lifetime, what those businesses were doing to people’s lives doing that either. Later I discovered that businesses in America weren’t living off their own money during all this time regardless, they were borrowing to cover their overhead including the payroll and not using the sales coming in the door to do those things.

It also became apparent when the markets went to hell in 2007 and 2008, that most of the large employers had been putting money into portfolios that included toxic instruments with large payouts if they ever came due, which happened more often than just in those years and what businesses had been doing was to borrow every time that happened until they couldn’t.

And the reason this is important to me is because at the same time nearly every business in America was playing and profiting by using money that didn’t belong to them to do it, I and others like me were told that we weren’t worthy of having any money invested in anything we might make a business of, while the same people were using someone else’s $50,000 to make bets. Poor women, single mothers, disabled people and certainly blacks and other minorities were told things like, why would anyone invest in what you’re trying to do when you don’t have collateral in a house to put up against it? And we were told some even more obscene things like the money talks, bullshit walks thing, which meant if a person didn’t have the money, they didn’t have right to be doing it and nobody else should be helping them do it either. It was a Catch 22 in the worst of ways.

In fact, it took me a lot of years to finally realize there was a double standard at work that I could exactly nail down in it. One day it occurred to me that if a person my parents knew, didn’t have a job, had never had a job, was never going to have a job, didn’t produce anything of value at all or ever help anybody at home or otherwise, but was rich – it meant they were a person of value in my parents’ and their friends’ estimation. There was almost a tape recording that came spilling out at me about why money isn’t what is used to determine a person’s value but how the person described was a good person regardless and whether or not they had ever had a hand in earning the money entitled to them.

And, I said but they don’t have a job, neither do they contribute in a positive way to anything and neither are they making a living in any other way nor ever likely will. And it genuinely didn’t matter to people, including my parents and their friends in making the judgment of worth and value of that person’s life and of them as a human being. But, that isn’t what they tell me about me or others about their worth and value when the person doesn’t have a job, isn’t making a living, but doesn’t have money from some inheritance that wasn’t even earned. That is the double standard. And then apparently, the rest builds upon it from there with this excuse and that one for treating us as less than or second and third class citizens in a nation supposedly free of the constraints of the caste system, and equal in opportunity, justice, rights and freedoms. But, it isn’t.

What shocked me most about that was to see the genuine admiration that my parents each conveyed to that person (which I didn’t give a name from among many who would certainly fit with unearned riches, it wasn’t like I was speaking of some specific celebrity they may have admired for some other reason). When I said they may have gotten in trouble for doing drugs though too, my mother piped up and said, “well people like that with a lot of money have troubles and stresses we don’t understand.” How could even drug use be excused provided that the person is basically rich already and doesn’t have to work in order to have the money needed to survive but if anyone else does it, there’s a bad person who had every chance and no excuse for doing such a thing and on and on and on. That was when I knew, hard work and being as good a person as possible meant absolutely nothing in the estimation of worth and value that many families, communities, leaders, churches, pundits, academics, friends, mental health professionals, teachings, political policies and even my parents have been using in America.

Unfortunately I didn’t know that. Or maybe I had known it at one time and realized that it didn’t make any sense to me, so I tried to ignore it or fight against it unsuccessfully. But what it really means in this country for people trying to work their way into a better standard of living or a better life in general is that the deck is stacked against it unfairly. It means that the first crime in America is not being a murderer but to be impoverished and poor, without money and without means. And sometimes, I feel like the only real sin in America is to be born a woman, but people who are black tell me that its to have been born with black skin rather than white and elderly women have told me the only sin in America is to be old, no matter what good things you’ve done with the rest of your life – it is just being old. How is that possible?

It is possible because we’ve been being treated as second class citizens in a nation of wealth and prosperity while the nation we get to enjoy is kept closer to looking like 3rd World America than it should. It is possible that each of us for reasons specific to us have been conned into believing that we deserve it for one reason or another, whether it is because of the color of our skin or our financial status or lack thereof, because of our aging or youth, because of our gender or sexual orientation, religious affiliation or lack thereof, our differences, our diversity and our very specialness. It is possible that those things were a lie as an excusable reason to treat us deplorably, to remove opportunities from us or exclude us from access to them, to use police to harass and oppress us, to tell us our lives and contributions are worthless because we are those things.

 

Worst of all while blaming me and the rest of Americans having economic difficulties for all of the nation’s troubles, leaders in the United States were gifting hundreds of billions of our taxpayer dollars to the most heinous, horrific abominations of the human race that have ever lived. Yes, they did things with the money. They made their toilets out of solid gold while my life and my community lay in a wasteland. Then our leaders gave hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to cover losses for banks and brokerages on Wall Street that didn’t even have the credit score of the worst of us and neither had any collateral, because of what they had done illegally, immorally and unethically with everybody else’s money entrusted to their care. But, yes they did something handy with that money. They backed truffle farming and a video game that allows a person to piss on a urinal to move the cursor around and win the game.

What would I have done with that money? Would my designs and inventions and innovations have been brought to fruition and success in the world? I don’t know, but I couldn’t have done anything worse with it than they did and they knew what they were doing. I couldn’t have rotted, destroyed, tortured and killed as many people as they did, nor would I have found that to be acceptable nor satisfying – but apparently that was acceptable to those in the United States making the decisions about who was to be worshiped and who was to be vilified. Single women raising their children to be vilified while Noriega, Gaddafi, Mubarak, Hussein and countless others like them were treated to the finest of everything at the White House and the keys to our US Treasury for dessert to take anything and everything they might want.

- cricketdiane

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It is called, economic oppression and exclusion that America gave me to work with as an adult. What did you get?

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Don’t read this – I’m apparently learning to write again – it is about police brutality and policing in America

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When I was growing up (I’m 56), there were terrible stories coming from other parts of the world, particularly from Russia about things their police would do to people. My grandaddy was a police officer, my uncle was a police officer and because it was the midst of the Cold War, everyone talked about those things. But it wasn’t that way here in America and it could never be that way here in America. But it is. It really is.

As an adult, I’ve experienced those brutalities at the hands of police that acted more like some dictator’s private armies than police officers. I’ve seen them act the same way to others, heard the stories of other women, other people with disabilities and brain injuries, from other people with epilepsy and mental difficulties, from other families whose members had the same experiences as well as seeing case after case by the thousands over the years on the news, in newspapers, in books and now online.

I didn’t go looking for these stories, they jumped out at me because of the wrongness with it compared to what I was taught about the country that is supposed to be the protector of human rights and the guarantor of citizens’ civil rights. I didn’t go looking for those experiences with police either and they weren’t a result of my having been some dangerous criminal. It didn’t have to be because of that. In fact, my research shows that people who do crimes, even the most heinous are more protected in their rights as a result of police wanting to insure the case against them goes forward. That isn’t true when it is someone like me who, by virtue of a lower social class, by disability, poverty, race or gender, is treated commonly with harassment, bullying, endangerment, abuse, brutality and wrongful treatment in every way by police.

In many years of being an adult in America, I can honestly say there have been maybe three law enforcement officers that I’ve ever met who were not like this out of thousands I’ve known and met for various reasons over the years since I was about 14. And that excludes the two in my family, but does include three officers in law enforcement who were decent but were not typical uniformed officers since they worked in other capacities as detectives and specialties. But, three people out of thousands with only those handful I interacted with that were good and decent, not engaged in adrenalin junkie, trigger happy beatings of people, didn’t man-handle and brutalize people like me, and did use the common sense one would expect. The rest of those thousands I’ve met were a human nightmare to the lives of others.

It was as if I had awakened into an America of Soviet KGB tactics or Gestapo days in Nazi run Germany but there was the American flag and everybody said everything was alright. And yet, it wasn’t. I knew it wasn’t. Those experiences couldn’t be right that I was having when police got anywhere near any situation and that others were experiencing too from what I could read about it and the news commonly was telling about it. Yet, those are the facts. They aren’t just mine. They aren’t some delusion about the United States in my adult lifetime. They are facts.

Maybe because my grandaddy was a policeman back when people could call a police officer – “a policeman” – maybe I noticed when Southern police departments struck out at others in their community to “keep them in their place” contrary to the legal demands against racism and for equality under the law. Maybe I noticed more because my family comes from the South, but I wasn’t raised there. But it wasn’t just the South where police were behaving that way. Something changed in how police did things and how they thought about the people in their communities they were supposed to be protecting and serving.

In California where we lived, police would sit near intersections waiting for a car’s hood to dip as it went across to hand out tickets for not yielding the right of way or going too fast through it or for a left-turning car having to slow down yet every intersection had two dips in them for water to drain away during rains. They caught a lot of people that way, gave out a lot of tickets and people became angrier and angrier with them. Each opportunity, when police in California would hand out that ticket, they would try to add as many things as they could to up the ante received by the city from it. Reminded me of the Georgia and Florida, Carolinas and Alabama kangaroo courts and speed traps that the FBI had to come into those towns and counties in order to put to an end.

And, we all watched as the Watts’ riots happened and Kent State and Trenton, NJ where in every case, the people had become the targeted enemy police had defined with intent to kill with little cause or no cause for it and using lethal force even when for a cause but not necessary in the situation. The entire nation watched horrified at those things and some changes seemed to be made and then they weren’t because that infection of brutality from police seem to spread into communities rather than during specific well-publicized events where they could get in trouble for it.

I read the other day on a website timeline about the drug wars and policing in US, that in 1970 the law was changed requiring police to knock first. At some point, the law was changed about needing some reasonable probable cause too, but it could have been undone piecemeal where effectively the laws requiring probable cause meant none was required anymore. None of it stopped the drugs nor the drug trade, but the police war on drugs pumped billions of dollars into equipment and gave entire armies of very psychotic personality-types of people good jobs and nice houses. There are now massive industries built upon the revenues from it, including prisons as businesses and too many others to name here or just about anywhere.

Somewhere in the midst of this government effort to gain control of the country and then to fight the drug wars, police became more like a well equipped hate force running rampant on the streets of America. Again in California, the Highway Patrol was so involved in harassing people and endangering people, brutalizing citizens in the process that for a while people would see their patrol cars coming, let them come up to the car and just shoot the officers and drive off. People were sick and tired of it. I watched people outraged that everything in their day and in their life had to be stopped by some police action on them over a ticket given for the least excuse as if police had a quota to meet. Then if the person came out of it alive, often having their car impounded, many times arrested because officers didn’t like something they said, and having to spend their hard earned money to pay bail, fines, spend time going to deal with it, destroying their household budget, sometimes costing their job too, and too often costing people their lives or ending up with them in the hospital.

And believe it or not, then it got worse. From the Watts’ riots onward in this country, the police, law enforcement, sheriff’s departments, drug enforcement agents eventually too, IRS agents, and drug interdiction agents among others, had no accountability. When something they did was wrong and obviously wrong to nearly any person across the entire public spectrum, they still wouldn’t be found accountable. Attorneys for cities, counties and the state which were funded by taxpayers, and their union lawyers, pr firms and lobbyists would come into the situation. And, regardless of how heinous a thing the officers did, they would be found innocent or exonerated or never taken to trial or never taken to grand jury to decide. (Although that never seemed to matter, grand juries would give the officer more than the benefit of the doubt, sometimes doing mentally and morally twisted backflips to give police the free rein to do as they might think is necessary – so would find them not guilty of any wrongdoing no matter what evidence was shown for it.)

As a result of the effective removal of any real checks and balances on abuses of power by police, across the nation policing became more commonly abusive, often underhanded tactics were used, violations of people’s rights fairly rampant and common, sneaky ways of covering what they had done amongst records they were supposed to keep was business as usual and people knew it was wrong but allowed it to go on. Often during the years of the drug wars in America, police would not go after those they knew were heavily involved in it because of the dangers but would turn to others in the community including those most vulnerable and use highly dangerous and often military style weapons, tactics and brutality on them.

This is the America where I’ve spent my adult life. After growing up middle class, all of my adult life has been spent in poverty, so I can honestly say that rights, freedoms, justice, Constitutional guarantees, civil rights and liberties, even the most basic human rights of people – including those in “protected” classes under the ADA and other laws to protect minorities and women – are not extended to all and not extended to all equally in America. I’ve seen it. I’ve experienced it. People I know have experienced it and we are still experiencing it today in 2014. For every one of us, there is a reason that police consider us differently than those they “must” treat morally, ethically, decently, humanely, reasonably, legally and Constitutionally.

- cricketdiane

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Armed officers in Ferguson were afraid for their own safety last night but is that fear an excuse for every brutality too?

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Aside from my last post, I’ve been trying to think of ways to help, art or paintings that could describe what is happening in America, especially those things that were brought to the forefront by the senseless shooting of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri. After saying on a tweet, that painting just isn’t enough to describe the feelings and thoughts I have about this, a new wonderful friend on twitter said to write about it, to convey it through writing and I said I would do it.

And, I will but it is harder than I thought it would be. My mind reels with anger that my world is like this, that another person was young and shot by police despite being unarmed, that my beliefs in the principles and rights afforded by my nation are no more than a lie. And, even though I knew that in a way – I just couldn’t bear to believe it so my experiences with being denied rights, violations of my rights and freedoms, being brutalized and hurt by police wrongfully, being excluded from any real economic opportunity throughout years upon years upon years, it was easier to believe that had to all be me than the other.

It is certainly some of both but until now, although in the back of my mind I kept thinking maybe there was something very wrong happening in the United States, it was easier to blame myself than to consider the reality of what that is which is so wrong in my country.

When, a few days ago, I heard of what happened to Michael Brown, there was a hurt that I couldn’t describe, that I couldn’t put my words to express, but so deep and expansive even though I didn’t understand it. When other police incidents have happened, taking away the lives of those who were wrongfully killed, wrongfully bullied by police, wrongfully treated, abused by police, shot to death by them, I’ve felt the same thing but turned away from the feeling rather than trying to understand it. The thought, “Why?” with its greatest depth of horror was all I could touch of it.

This isn’t that I don’t know, I do but don’t want to. I can feel it because I’ve seen it and experienced it. What I can’t seem to do is know what catchy slogan or artsy painting could possibly describe it. Those just don’t do the describing of it with any effectiveness for me. There is something else in it that those things fail to describe. The essence is something human, and something spiritual that is not human within me that says, about Michael Brown’s death and too many others like it – there is a profound wrongness about it that is as much my fault as it is every other person alive today in America.

But there’s more to it than that for me. When a wrong happens which so completely betrays and cheats the trust we give to police, and similar authority figures, it is somehow more horrific, exponentially deeper in its wrongness. And when it happened to me, those feelings of horror as that trust was broken simply won’t be sorted out. What did Michael Brown feel those last moments as his every dream was taken away with his very life by someone charged with protecting human decency, human life and every part of the community? What did he know, did he know what I know about the contempt for his life coming from the man whose bullets were ripping through him when he meant to do no more than follow along through his day as any other day?

There is something vile about police officers showing such contempt for people’s lives, and that police show such disgust for the communities they are there to serve and keep safe. There is a trauma I felt when it happened to me at the hands of police that moves between horror and disbelief – did that young man feel that too with his last view of his neighborhood around him? No safety, no help, no help coming, no one coming to make it right, no one to say its wrong to do this and stop police from doing it, no one standing up and saying that it isn’t right, no one believing that the person they’ve done it to is worth anything or ever would have been anyway and no one to say that is wrong.

But this is America. But this is America.

- cricketdiane

&*&

If I could write a letter to George Washington to ask him what to do right now – what I would say -

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Dear General Washington -

We’ve come to a point in the history of our nation when our people’s lives have been pulled apart, (literally rent asunder), by poverty and oppression as our feet stand in this nation for which so many have paid so dear a price.

Freedom, equality and the democracy of opportunity have long been denied in our great nation to all but a few. Our voices are rarely heard by those who claim to hold the seats to represent us in the Halls of Congress. Justice for all has been so far away from so many for so long that most cannot muster the belief to even consider it possible in America anymore.

How would we not be consumed by this, both as individuals and as a nation to honor the founding principles of our Constitution for all, even today in the midst of this failure of our national interests?

Diane C Phillips, United States Citizen at the dawn of the 21st Century.

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Trying to see how many people were killed by police wrongfully this last week – it’s impossible to know for all 50 states

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Not represented here but certainly the reason for this list was the wrongful and illegal police shooting of Michael Brown a week ago in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis .

Local police involved in 400 killings per year – USA Today

About 750 agencies contribute to the database [of police killing civilians or police arrest-based deaths DOJ data from 2003 - 2009], a fraction of the 17,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States.

It also says -

Citing data gathered by the Bureau of Justices Statistics in 2008, the IACP said less than 2% of the 40 million people who had contact with police reported the use of force or threatened use of force.

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MY NOTE -

What is 2% of 40 million people? Isn’t that 400,000 which is 1% x 2 which would be 800,000 people? First, 40 million people having contact with police in 2008 seems extraordinary and yet lower than it probably is. Second, 800,000 reports of use of force or threat of force in a single year which were serious enough for the person to go to the trouble of filing a complaint that would be recorded is significant but likely lower than the real numbers as well.

- cricketdiane

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Aug 12, 2015

The results of a preliminary ballistics report show that police in the city of Stockton fired the 10 bullets that struck Misty Holt-Singh, 41, [bank burglary hostage] and all her wounds likely came during a final burst of gunfire, Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said at a news conference.

California police chief says bank robbery hostage was killed by officers’ gunfire

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Aug 15, 2014

repeating a Reuters story, this entry describes police shooting of a woman in San Jose who had called police saying she had a Uzi (assault weapon) and intended to kill her family. She was shot with a cordless drill in her hand outside the home by police.

POLICE KILL WOMAN HOLDING A CORDLESS DRILL

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Aug 5, 2014

Police Refuse To Release Walmart Footage of Officer Killing Unarmed African-American Holding Toy Gun

Ohio – Beavercreek Police shot and killed John Crawford III as he was on the phone with the mother of his child in the Walmart as he held a toy gun in a section of the store away from where locked cases of guns are sold.

Lawyers for his family have been refused access to video footage from inside the store.

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Aug 3, 2014 event

Man Killed by Deputy in Oakland Was Unarmed, Lawyer Says

A man, [Jacorey Calhoun, 23] shot and killed by an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy in East Oakland didn’t have a gun and was fleeing when he was shot in the head, an attorney for the dead man’s family said Tuesday.

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Aug 12, 2014

Police Fatally Shoot Man in South L.A.; Family Members Say He Was Lying Down When Shot

Family members said Tuesday that a 25-year-old man, [Ezell Ford] was complying with police orders when he was fatally shot by LAPD officers in the Florence neighborhood South Los Angeles.

**

Aug 15, 2014 event

Mother of woman shot by Phoenix officer questions tactics

Michelle Cusseaux, 50, was shot at her apartment at Clarendon and 55th avenues after she threatened a police offer and three other officers with a hammer, authorities said. The officers said they were serving a court order to transport the woman to an in-patient mental-health facility at the request of her mother when the woman met them at the door with a hammer.

Kevina Devereaux, Cusseaux’s niece, said her aunt was only ever a threat to herself.

“They had different accounts (of what happened),” she said. “She raised the hammer outside the door. But (they) actually came inside her house and shot her.”

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Phoenix police shoot, kill woman during mental-health call

A Phoenix police sergeant shot and killed a 50-year-old woman while trying to serve a mental-health order at a west-side apartment Thursday afternoon, officials said.

As police were opening the security door to her unit, Cusseaux was opening her front door with a claw hammer raised above her head, Thompson said.

He said police were within an arm’s length of Cusseaux and, feeling threatened, a patrol sergeant fired one shot from his gun, striking her in the chest. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

**

Thompson said the Phoenix Police Department serves an average of 10 mental-health orders each day and that they are some of the most challenging and potentially dangerous tasks for officers.

Phoenix Police Shoot Kill Woman During Mental Health Call

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Graphic: The numbers on Los Angeles’ officer-involved shootings

2000 – 2010 (far below reality for some reason) in graphics

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Critics: Police equipped like armies going too far

It provides assault weapons and other surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies across the country.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said his committee will review the program to determine if the Defense Department surplus is being used as intended.

The program began in 1990 as a way to help states and local agencies fight drug-related crime. It was expanded in the mid-1990s.

“Congress established this program out of real concern that local law enforcement agencies were literally outgunned by drug criminals,” Levin said in a statement Friday. “We intended this equipment to keep police officers and their communities safe from heavily armed drug gangs and terrorist incidents.”

It also says -

The 1033 program is just one of several federal programs that provide military-style equipment to local police. The Homeland Security Department offers grants for armored vehicles and other equipment, while the Justice Department provides grants for rubber bullets, tear gas and other equipment used to control crowds.

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Aug 15, 2014

Exactly How Often Do Police Shoot Unarmed Black Men?

Often, the police officers do not get convicted or sentenced. Delores Jones-Brown, a law professor and director of the Center on Race, Crime, and Statistics at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, has identified dozens of black men and women who have died at the hands of police going back as far as 1994. She notes that while these incidents happen regularly, it often takes a high-profile case, such as Brown’s, to bring other recent incidents to national attention.

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Just had to add this one – even though it isn’t a police involved shooting – it is partly a result of American men deciding they need a gun of their own, just in case -

June 18, 2014

Georgia man accidentally shoots his own penis while trying to holster gun

Oh yes he did. And, apparently at least five other men in America have done shot their thing since 2010 – those are probably only the ones that admitted to it though.

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