[WSMDiscuss] The US is aflame : Toxic Culture' of Police Departments Decried After 57 Buffalo Officers Resign in Support of Two in Unit Who Attacked Elderly Man

Jai Sen jai.sen at cacim.net
Sat Jun 6 01:45:52 CEST 2020

Friday, June 5, 2020

Viruses in movement…, Resistance in movement…, Democracy in movement…, The US in movement…

[The US is aflame, the people of the US are afire, but pushback has started and there’s no point pretending that the struggle is going to be a pushover.  Here, and to ‘balance' the picture I have perhaps given with earlier posts, one example of brutality not just on the street but in terms of where the police’s loyalty lies : To each other, and to protecting their right to violence.  Because, as speakers at the webinar I watched last night said (‘Bill Fletcher Jr. & August Nimtz Jr. – and Johanna Fernandez - on Threats to Democracy’ and democracy in construction’, for the recording, check out http://encuentro5.org/ <http://encuentro5.org/>), the police in the US are specifically trained to be violent (as opposed the police in Cuba, as August Nimtz Jr pointed out, who are trained – he said - to work with the people with communities…).  Given that this is embedded in their DNA, and in that of their union, and when you have a president who believes in this and fans these flames, it’s going to be a long hard, fight to change things… :

 <>Published on
Friday, June 05, 2020
Common Dreams <https://www.commondreams.org/>
'Toxic Culture' of Police Departments Decried After 57 Buffalo Officers Resign in Support of Two in Unit Who Attacked Elderly Man

"So is 57 officers resigning at once just a few bad apples?"

Eoin Higgins, staff writer <https://www.commondreams.org/author/eoin-higgins-staff-writer>
https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/06/05/toxic-culture-police-departments-decried-after-57-buffalo-officers-resign-support?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email <https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/06/05/toxic-culture-police-departments-decried-after-57-buffalo-officers-resign-support?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=AO&utm_campaign=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email>

Police officers in Buffalo, New York walk by the motionless body of 75-year-old Martin Gugino as he bleeds from his ear after being attack attacked by officers during a protest on June 5, 2020. (Photo: Screengrab/WBFO)

Fifty-seven officers in the Buffalo Police Department's Emergency Response Team resigned Friday from their positions on the unit in support of two of their colleagues who were suspended for shoving an elderly man onto the ground during a protest Thursday, putting him in the hospital.

"The cops who are resigning over this are proving they shouldn't have been on the force in the first place," tweeted CounterPunch editor Jeffrey St. Clair. "I hope many more of them resign. And soon."

The Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, the department's AFL-CIO-affiliated union, claimed in a statement announcing the mass resignation that the two officers caught on camera shoving <https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/06/05/jayapal-condemns-autocratic-frenzy-police-after-video-shows-cops-shoving-elderly-man> 75-year-old Martin Gugino to the ground with no provocation were only following orders.

It's unclear what orders led to the unprovoked assault, after which Gugino lay motionless on the ground, blood pouring out of his ear. 

"This is an example of officers doing exactly what they're supposed to," union president John Evans told <https://www.investigativepost.org/2020/06/05/police-unit-resigns-in-protest/> the Investigative Post Friday.

Gugino, who is undergoing chemotherapy, is in serious but stable condition at a local hospital.

According to <https://apnews.com/daa7e1f7a5bc67d08c4f99433badf444> the Associated Press:

Gugino is a veteran peace activist involved with the Western New York Peace Center and Latin American Solidarity Committee, said Vicki Ross, the center's executive director. His Twitter timeline includes tweets and retweets supportive of progressive causes and critical of police. One tweet from Wednesday read: "The cops should not have clubs. And should not be in riot gear. The National Guard should arrest the police."

The officers will remain on the force, making their resignations in effect a refusal to perform "aspects of the job you don't want to do right now (in solidarity with incredible unprovoked violence) while keeping your full paycheck," said <https://twitter.com/jonbernhardt/status/1268981266399014913> writer Nathan Bernhardt.

Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.), who introduced a bill to strip police of qualified immunity, which protects them from prosecution, tweeted <https://twitter.com/justinamash/status/1268991721205108736> that the resignations were "disgraceful."

"There's a toxic culture inside many police departments," said Amash.

The ongoing protests and demonstrations over police brutality sparked by last week's killing of unarmed black man George Floyd by four Minneapolis police officers are set to continue through the weekend, with massive crowds expected on Saturday and Sunday in cities and towns around the country. 

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Jai Sen

Independent researcher, editor; Senior Fellow at the School of International Development and Globalisation Studies at the University of Ottawa

jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net>
Now based in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325) and in Ottawa, Canada, on unceded and unsurrendered Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900) 

CURRENT / RECENT publications :

Jai Sen, ed, 2018a – The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance. Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
Jai Sen, ed, 2018b – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ? (Indian edition). New Delhi : AuthorsUpfront, in collaboration with OpenWord and PM Press.  Hard copy available at MOM1AmazonIN <https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387280101/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522884070&sr=8-2&keywords=movements+of+movements+jai+sen>, MOM1Flipkart <https://www.flipkart.com/the-movements-of-movements/p/itmf3zg7h79ecpgj?pid=9789387280106&lid=LSTBOK9789387280106NBA1CH&marketplace=FLIPKART&srno=s_1_1&otracker=search&fm=SEARCH&iid=ff35b702-e6a8-4423-b014-16c84f6f0092.9789387280106.SEARCH&ppt=Search%20Page>, and MOM1AUpFront <http://www.authorsupfront.com/movements.htm>
Jai Sen, ed, 2017 – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?.  New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press.  Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
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