May 7, 2008

"No justice. No peace."

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Passing under my Brooklyn Law School office window: a march protesting the acquittal of the police detectives in the Sean Bell shooting. The protesters chanted "No justice. No peace." They also chanted the numbers 1 through 50 — for the 50 bullets shot in the incident. This photo — taken through window glass with an iPhone — shows the entire group in the Brooklyn march, which was 1 of 6 marches in NYC today.

58 comments:

George said...

"Several witnesses testified that they heard talk of guns in an argument between Mr. Bell and a stranger, Fabio Coicou, outside Kalua, an argument, the defense claimed, that was fueled by bravado and Mr. Bell’s intoxicated state. Defense lawyers pointed their fingers at [Mr. Bell's friend] Mr. Guzman, who, they said, in shouting for Mr. Bell to drive away when Detective Isnora approached, may have instigated his death....

Justice Cooperman...Describing the evidence...said it was reasonable for the detectives to fear that someone in the crowd that night carried a gun. He added that many of the prosecution’s witnesses, including Mr. Bell’s friends and the two wounded victims, were simply not believable. “At times, the testimony of those witnesses just didn’t make sense,” the judge said."

Diana said...

Eh well, it's their right, innit?

I'm in Manhattan. Nary a peep.

I think the day of Al Sharpton has come and gone.

Balfegor said...

Passing under my Brooklyn Law School office window: a march protesting the acquittal of the police detectives in the Sean Bell shooting. The protesters chanted "No justice. No peace."

What kind of sloppy sloganeering is that?! It doesn't even rhyme! And where, I ask, are the long black buses, the menacing blackshirts with their balaclavas and their hoodies, the banners, the drumbeats, and the Oom-pah Oom-pah band? Have these people learned nothing from the long and illustrious history of street protest? They don't even have a crappy paper-mache puppet. How can you hope to persuade onlookers without a crappy paper-mache puppet?

sugardwayne said...

Pretty pathetic turnout. Looks like about a hundred people. Embarrassing for Sharpton, et. al.

chuck b. said...

They counted out 1 through 50 in a chant? Was it rhythmic?

Revenant said...

Two questions:

(1): What the hell is the point of protesting a jury verdict? You can't change it.

(2): Is anyone else bothered by the "no justice, no peace" chant? I realize it is so cliched that it is nearly meaningless, but underneath the words is the threat of violence if the protesters aren't satisfied.

Ann Althouse said...

No jury. It was a bench trial.

Revenant said...

I hadn't realized it was a bench trial. Does that actually give the protesters any way to overturn the verdict, though? I wouldn't think it did.

SteveR said...

I kind of felt the same way about Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, as I'm sure most of the crowd you photographed did.

P. Rich said...

Bell was a convicted criminal. The "club" had a history of drug and prostitution activities. Someone drove a car into a policeman prior to the shooting. An undercover agent inside the club had reason to believe one or more persons involved was armed. The number of shots is irrelevant. Sharpton is a race-mongering sleazoid from the planet Zorn.

Move along.

Revenant said...

The "club" had a history of drug and prostitution activities.

Is there a club in America that *doesn't* have a history of drug activities?

JohnAnnArbor said...

(2): Is anyone else bothered by the "no justice, no peace" chant? I realize it is so cliched that it is nearly meaningless, but underneath the words is the threat of violence if the protesters aren't satisfied.

It bothers me. Because they don't mean "justice" in the abstract. They mean "justice" in the sense "we want our side to win."

chickenlittle said...

"No Justice, No Peace"

That's the cloud OJ still lives under, and had a jury trial!

Methadras said...

chuck b. said...

They counted out 1 through 50 in a chant? Was it rhythmic?


Maybe they did it like the Count on Sesame Street.

The Count: 1 bullet, ah ah ah. 2, 2 bullets, ah ah ah. 3, 3 bullets, ah ah ah [thunder and then lightning]

Methadras said...

Why Sharpton has any prominence at all is beyond me. After the Brawley incident, he should have packed up his Duke Elington hair-cut fat ass and moved as far away as possible. When I lived in New York and I saw his fat ass around town, I reminded him of that whenever I could get within earshot. He heard me and others, and he knew, but he just didn't care. That's why he is incredulous and has no credibility.

vbspurs said...

They need a lesson from Code Pink on protest chanting.

BTW, you know the test to see if you lean Left or Right?

If you can listen to the first few 23 seconds of that video, and not cringe, you're a liberal.

Cheers,
Victoria

rhhardin said...

It's the black anger industry, which has always worked only as entertainment.

Look what buffoons the blacks have a leaders, has always been the story line.

The media like it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I guess I would have some more sympathy if maybe one of these 'no justice no peace' protests was actually over a person who wasn't a criminal scumbag.

I seriously have to question why anyone would even contemplate being a cop today considering you essentially deal with the worst society has to offer and are second guessed and criticized by people who wouldn't last 15 minutes on the job.

I actually thought about going into law enforcement after college but my father who was a cop for 20+ years said don't bother:

"You'd be better off being a janitor. The pay is better, its safer and people actually appreciate you when you clean shit off the floor."

Larry said...

"If you can listen to the first few 23 seconds of that video, and not cringe, you're a liberal."

How about laughing out loud? Dingbats!

William said...

I think it is reasonable to assume that the cop (a black man) who fired the first shot had some cause to feel that he was in mortal danger. Why is this black man more culpable than the black man in LI who shot the white teen-ager? He was sentenced to, I think, three years. Sharpton is also protesting that man's punishment.....Also, one can confidently predict that between now and November there will be several racially divisive cases. When, if ever, will Sharpton or Jackson demand that Obama take a stand on one of these cases. Obama lives in a different dimension than Sharpton, but his friendship with his pastor gives one pause. I would be interested to hear what he has to say about such cases.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If you can listen to the first few 23 seconds of that video, and not cringe, you're a liberal.

If Osama was alive, he'd probably see that video and ask: "How in the name of Allah the Merciful are we losing to these people?"

I bet not a one of them has been laid in 20 years too.

Balfegor said...

Is there a club in America that *doesn't* have a history of drug activities?

Well, the New York Athletic Club has always seemed very respectable to me. Properly stodgy, in fact -- when New York was going through blackouts, my cousin ended up staying there, thanks to a great-uncle who happened to be a member, and they gave her the hairy eyeball because she was wearing jeans. And the Cosmos Club here in DC seems almost as stodgy -- very elderly members. My alma mater sometimes holds the annual admitted students reception for the DC area there, and there are always doddering old men in suits or blazers and repp ties accidentally wandering in. Hard to imagine them getting high on drugs. A tendency to that kind of thing is supposed to be filtered out when they're reviewing you for membership, I understand.

vbspurs said...

Larry and Hoosier, normally I wouldn't associate with Imperialist Establishment Patriachs like you so obviously are, which goes double if you're honkeys, but I can't help it. Your Old Spice does things to me. Rrr.

And also, I wanted to share that my mother once nailed the description of these Code Pinko types.

"They look like they're Manson Family rejects"

Cheers,
Victoria

R. Ford said...

Justice would be for the NY PD to go on strike, and leave the protesters to the mercy of the thugs and gangs. Perhaps after one or two of these dumbasses has a near-death experience from a drunk attempting to run them over ( as Bell tried to do to Detective Isnora ) they would better appreciate the job the cops do.

Trooper York said...

"Is there a club in America that *doesn't* have a history of drug activities?"

Of course the Mickey Mouse club...what Britney Spears...oh never mind.

Revenant said...

Justice would be for the NY PD to go on strike, and leave the protesters to the mercy of the thugs and gangs.

I'm inclined to suspect the protesters ARE "the thugs and gangs". An awful lot of the Bell entourage were crack dealers, and while things might be different in Queens those guys aren't usually freelance.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

In the JAG Corps, we referred to a bench trial as a 'slow guilty plea.'

P. Rich said...

Is there a club in America that *doesn't* have a history of drug activities?

Not many are under ongoing criminal investigation, as this club was. That's why there was an undercover cop there in the first place. And let us not forget the prostitution. Altogether a swell place for a little pre-wedding get-together by some career scum.

Kirby Olson said...

I wish you'd stay in Brooklyn, as Madison is such a PC backwater.

I feel there are real events there, and that history is being made.

Whereas Madison is from the 80s.

How can you stand to go back?

Trooper York said...

Well I hate to throw a little water on this hate fest since it makes everyone feel so good to say that Rev Al is an asshole, but there are a few things you should know. This crew of cops was a bunch of arrogant assholes that had previously pulled a lot of bad shit on some Irish bars on the Westside. They were cowboys and they were a little out of control. Now in my younger days I have been in clubs with a similar ambiance and there is generally a cloud of menace over the whole proceedings. The girls have their boyfriends/managers/pimps hanging around and there is a pretty good bet that there are several guns on the premises unless they searched you and checked the guns at the door as they used to do in the Foxy Den on Third Avenue. So you can pretty much always feel that someone has a gun and that stuff could go wrong real fast. Usually it’s a cop or correction officer or a court officer who pulls his piece and starts acting out. That’s why they closed the best strip club in Brooklyn, the Wildfire in the St. George hotel because a cop shot someone at the bar. The supervisor of this detail was a pussy who hid under the dash board and the shots started flying and this whole episode was a failure of supervision. He hung his guys out to dry because he wasn’t doing his job. The situation went bad and a tragedy ensued. The verdict seemed justified due to the circumstances even though the number of shots seemed excessive. But you really can’t say that unless you have been in that situation and walked in their shoes. The first cop to shoot was black, it wasn’t a racial thing, it was a fear and adrenaline thing. On the other hand the family and the community are certainly allowed to exercise their first amendment rights to protest. Trust me, I am no Al Sharpton fan and I think most if not all of what he does is ludicrous bullshit, but in America we have to let people express their opinions and anger and sorrow. Cut them some slack guys, they are real people too.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Larry and Hoosier, normally I wouldn't associate with Imperialist Establishment Patriachs like you so obviously are, which goes double if you're honkeys, but I can't help it. Your Old Spice does things to me. Rrr.

I use Irish Spring too so I'd be double trouble.

Oh and I prefer the term cracker over honkey. Honkey is so 1970s.

Trooper York said...

On a more serious note, I heard on the news that Castro might finally be gone tonight. This nightmare that has blighted the Western Hemisphere and caused so much pain and suffering to so many people will finally be over. Let us pray to God that he is finally gone.

This is American Idol.

Eli Blake said...

They do have a point however. It only seems when the suspect is African-American that the police fire that many shots.

Last Friday at 9:00 PM, on I-17 northbound near the county line between Coconino and Yavapai county, police pulled over a suspect in a stolen vehicle, and he got out of the vehicle with a gun, firing at them. They shot him five times (and he was resuscitated after initially being pronounced dead at the scene.) He was white, had a gun, used it and was shot five times (and the print edition of the paper suggested that all or nearly all of the shots the police fired at him hit him.) That's 10% of how many shots were fired at the unarmed men in the Bell case. A link to the online article is here.

It's a fact that white suspects are rarely shot that many times by police, but they seem to have no problem with emptying every weapon they have at black men, whether there is a reason to or not.

Either that, or Arizona cops are better shots than New York cops, so they don't need to fire as many shots. But I don't believe that, I believe that the race of the victim has to do with why in New York they have to shoot so many times-- remember Amadou Diallou?

Trooper York said...

Eli, some of those police officers shooting at the Club Kahula were black. Fear does strange things to you. I knew a kid from the neighborhood who was driving a hot car on the BQE and was pulled over got in a beef and was shot dead with four shots. By a black officer. He was a guinea. He didn't have a gun. He's just as dead dude.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I believe that the race of the victim has to do with why in New York they have to shoot so many times

I believe the level of crime has more to do with it than race. I'll venture a pretty safe guess that AZ cops don't see half the crime NY cops do on a daily basis. As Trooper said, fear does strange things.

Or maybe you're right and race does have something to do with it considering that African American males tend to commit more crimes including violent crimes than other races.

David said...

Uh, it was a lot of shots, to be sure, but it's probably not a good idea to accelerate your car into a policeman after he has identified himself and then try to ram another car. I think I would have squeezed off a few under that circumstance, as did the African American police officer who fired the most bullets. The Darwin Awards had the good taste not to pick up on this one, but surely running over a cop would qualify as a foolish act.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

there's an easy screen for this: any action which involves the racist Al Sharpton has no standing. The man is a piece of sh*t. His day, I think, is lone gone. good riddance to trash.

Revenant said...

They do have a point however. It only seems when the suspect is African-American that the police fire that many shots.

It seems like most of the people who do crazy stuff around cops are black. That's probably why they get shot more often.

Revenant said...

Either that, or Arizona cops are better shots than New York cops, so they don't need to fire as many shots.

Another, more likely explanation is that the Arizona suspect was on foot, wheras Bell was in a car and trying to run them over. It is easy to tell when a person on foot is out of commission -- they fall down and stop moving. It is much harder to tell the status of a person in a moving car.

ricpic said...

Wen Obama be king all de truble stop.

Palladian said...

The people I saw protesting near the 59th Street Bridge were mostly white; they mostly looked like the standard college-age professional grievancers that always populate protests.

There was some Jewish American Princess type in a Columbia sweatshirt yelling something about "justice for the Black Man" and a middle aged black woman who was walking near me looked over and said "Oh go back to your condo, white girl". Amusing.

Oh, and I also saw several people, including a 10-ish year old kid, wearing my "favorite" shirt. Seriously, when I see this shirt I want to slap someone. Preferably the parent who bought it for the little kid. What a repulsive, self-destructive lesson to teach a child. I suppose there's no stopping our quick descent into tribalism. The future seems ugly.

Beth said...

they mostly looked like the standard college-age professional grievancers that always populate protests.

Palladian, I think we call them "trustafarians." They're fixtures in New Orleans, especially after the storm, hanging out in the 9th Ward with their fake dreads and slapping up ridiculous graffiti and signs and generally setting back whatever causes they're agitating for just by being obnoxious, overdramatic and smelly. They're not here to gut houses or help in the neighborhood restoration efforts. They're all about organizing and activating. I find them incredibly condescending.

The thing I hate most about them is that if there is a real issue to be debated and negotiated, they obscure it with their tactics.

ricpic said...

The only great achievements have been tribal achievements. Shakespeare was the highest, fullest expression of the Anglo-Saxon tribe when that tribe was in the ascendant. When there was an American tribe, when that tribe was brimming with confidence, it produced the glorious burst of achievement, roughly from the 1920's through the 1950's, which included the classic American musical; the golden age of Hollywood; Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Wolfe; Edward Hopper and Charles Burchfield; Aaron Copeland; Satchmo. There is nothing wrong with tribalism. And in fact, contrary to the current idiocy that passes for wisdom, there is everything right about it.

Revenant said...

"Trustafarians" is a good word. I used to call them "protestozoa" in college, after the way they drift around without displaying any intelligence. Then I realized nobody was ever going to get that joke and stopped.

I find it hard to believe that protesters accomplish anything positive. I don't know that they ever did, for that matter; there's some pretty good evidence that the anti-war protests of the 60s strengthened public support for the war. But even if they used to, today its like the boy who cried wolf -- no matter what happens, the usual suspects show up to chant and wave signs.

Community college fees up by fifty cents? Signs and chanting. Not enough money for your favorite government program? Signs and chanting. Confessed mass murderer on death row? Signs and chanting. Egregious abuses of government power threatening our society? Signs and chanting... but by that point, who's still paying attention?

Palladian said...

"There is nothing wrong with tribalism. And in fact, contrary to the current idiocy that passes for wisdom, there is everything right about it."

You're a lunatic.

"The thing I hate most about them is that if there is a real issue to be debated and negotiated, they obscure it with their tactics."

And their presence tends to make me less likely to be sympathetic to their cause. It's funny because they are the type that rail against "globalism" but they've basically created a global protest industry, complete with brand identity, marketing, public relations (ha) and the like. They're the Walmart of public protest and just as "authentic".

Anyway, I don't like street protests of any kind; I am extraordinarily wary of the "wisdom" of crowds. The human animal is often most barbarous and least rational in groups.

I like the term "slacktivists".

Steven said...

If there's no peace, then the correct response is martial law; order the crowd to disperse immediately or be fired upon.

Oh, wait, that's right, they don't expect us to take what they say seriously. Which makes you wonder why they are bothering to say anything . . . .

vbspurs said...

there's some pretty good evidence that the anti-war protests of the 60s strengthened public support for the war.

That's because Americans don't do "shrill".

You saw that in action during the Reverend Wright saga. The louder, angrier, more bitter, and more out of control do people act, the worse it is.

America ain't France. Our public discourse isn't centered around marches, banners, and chanting.

When we get angry, we email, send letters, faxes, and put up a stink that way. Occasionally, a boycot or two will be formed.

If it worked for moms boycotting Seven-Eleven until they hid the Playboys from view, it can work for anything.

Cheers,
Victoria

Revenant said...

Which makes you wonder why they are bothering to say anything

Money? Sharpton's gotten very, very wealthy doing this sort of thing.

Eli Blake said...

there's some pretty good evidence that the anti-war protests of the 60s strengthened public support for the war.

That ranks right up there with 'truthers' or people who claim that Roosevelt started the depression for absurdity.

When the Gulf of Tonkin resolution was passed in 1964 support for action in Vietnam was almost unanimous. By the time we got out in 1973 it was very, very low. Even Nixon could see that he couldn't win and had to negotiate a way out.

I guess the next thing you will tell me is that the Civil War was caused by the North wanting to have slaves too so they could compete with the South industrially.

Get your head out of your a**.

Revenant said...

That ranks right up there with 'truthers' or people who claim that Roosevelt started the depression for absurdity.

Or people who claim the Taliban is stronger now than it was in 2000?

By the time we got out in 1973 it was very, very low.

Duh. That doesn't contradict what I said. Saying that the protesters strengthened the war doesn't imply that the war was popular -- just that support was stronger than it would have been in the absence of protesters.

One of the big obstacles normal Americans faced in shifting from supporting the war to opposing it was the fact that the public face of the anti-war movement was fronted by people who openly hated America and its troops and supported the North Vietnamese -- Abbie Hoffman, Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden, John Kerry, et al. The fact that the antiwar movement was led by a motley assortment of Communists and scumbags made it hard for normal people to accept the idea that the war might actually be a bad idea.

Had the protesters simply shut the fuck up, the public would have turned against the war a lot faster.

Fen said...

There is nothing wrong with tribalism. And in fact, contrary to the current idiocy that passes for wisdom, there is everything right about it.

Current "Idiotic" Wisdom: tribalism -> provincialism -> racism.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If it worked for moms boycotting Seven-Eleven until they hid the Playboys from view, it can work for anything.

I still won't forgive them for that either. No more catching a glimpse of eye candy when I order a slushy.

Prudes

;-)

MadisonMan said...

So am I the only one who changes Peace to Peas in that chant? No Justice! No Peas!

Simon Kenton said...

Elizabeth, Revenant -

In Boulder, where it is sometimes cold, we call them "Downvestites."

Eli -

There is nowhere the statement that these cops actually hit the perp 50 times. Eastern cops tend to be very bad shots; they lack the traditions and interest and opportunity for daily practice. Western cops tend to be slightly better, though normally even they do not win against civilians at the regional combat match level. These people lost their S&W .38s almost 30 years ago, in favor of Glocks; 19 - 33 shots vs 6. Now the operation of a Glock (the "safety" is a forward protrusion from the front of the trigger) produces lots of accidental discharges among the police each year; generally about 150, many of which go through the thigh headed down. Glocks also encourage the belief that fire power has relevance to anything. Of course shooting hell out of the landscape does nothing effective to dissuade a perp. (Precision fire does./*) But, you HAVE all those shells; might as well sluice 'em out especially if you are panicked. All cops are trained that once they decide to fire, they fire until the threat is stopped. Depending on the angles involved, the velocities, and the bullet construction, there's no guarantee that a pistol bullet is going to get into the passenger compartment of a modern car. And given the momentum (cars have thousands of times more momentum than bullets; do the math), the perp could be long gone while the threat continued.

___
/* We had a highway patrolman who fired his .357 twice in his professional life, each time after being shot at during a stop. Each perp was shot between the eyes. This was a great help to all the other highway patrolmen; they could leverage his rep for years. Incidentally, cliche or not, his eyes were constantly alert, and a very cold pale blue.

Beth said...

The fact that the antiwar movement was led by a motley assortment of Communists and scumbags made it hard for normal people to accept the idea that the war might actually be a bad idea.

The "movement" was broader than that, and besides, people didn't need a movement to tell them how to think. They had the daily body count on the evening news, and with a draft as opposed to a volunteer military, the connection to each family was more personal. No one needed Jane Fonda to do a risk-benefit analysis for them when it was their own son with his draft number coming up.

Revenant said...

The "movement" was broader than that

The opposition to the Civil Rights Act was broader than Bull Connor and George Wallace, but their sort were still the public face of the movement. Once the college deferment ended and the middle class actually had something to worry about, sure, the anti-war movement broadened. But even then, the public face of the anti-war movement wasn't an attractive one to middle America.

Revenant said...

Sorry, one more thing:

We both touched on this, but I just wanted to underline it: the real thing that turned people against the war was (a) the threat of having their loved ones sent off to war and (b) the constant negative imagery on TV. Those were powerful motivations to turn against the war.

But neither one was derived from the protests. I doubt there was a single person in America who saw some 20-year-old waving a "stop the war" sign and said "gosh, he's right! We SHOULD stop the war!". But there were a lot of people who saw how the protesters treated American soldiers and became more resistant to being identified with the protesters.