Last year, in total, British police officers actually fired their weapons three times. The number of people fatally shot was zero. In 2012 the figure was just one. Even after adjusting for the smaller size of Britain’s population, British citizens are around 100 times less likely to be shot by a police officer than Americans. Between 2010 and 2014 the police force of one small American city, Albuquerque in New Mexico, shot and killed 23 civilians; seven times more than the number of Brits killed by all of England and Wales’s 43 forces during the same period.Armed police: Trigger happy | The Economist (via kenyatta)
The explanation for this gap is simple. In Britain, guns are rare. Only specialist firearms officers carry them; and criminals rarely have access to them. The last time a British police officer was killed by a firearm on duty was in 2012, in a brutal case in Manchester. The annual number of murders by shooting is typically less than 50. Police shootings are enormously controversial. The shooting of Mark Duggan, a known gangster, which in 2011 started riots across London, led to a fiercely debated inquest. Last month, a police officer was charged with murder over a shooting in 2005. The reputation of the Metropolitan Police’s armed officers is still barely recovering from the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent Brazilian, in the wake of the 7/7 terrorist bombings in London.
In America, by contrast, it is hardly surprising that cops resort to their weapons more frequently. In 2013, 30 cops were shot and killed—just a fraction of the 9,000 or so murders using guns that happen each year. Add to that a hyper-militarised police culture and a deep history of racial strife and you have the reason why so many civilians are shot by police officers. Unless America can either reduce its colossal gun ownership rates or fix its deep social problems, shootings of civilians by police—justified or not—seem sure to continue.
“[T]he existence of anesthesia and its availability were two very different issues. The technology collided with cultural assumptions about women and pain. Sentimentalists had long celebrated the pain of childbirth as a prerequisite to the development of maternal instincts. One mid-century New York obstetrician concluded, “The very suffering which a woman undergoes in labor is one of the strongest elements in the love she bears for her offspring.” Others believed that pain developed a better character. Samuel Gregory of the Boston Female Medical College rejected anesthetics because “this suffering one’s self to avoid a trifling pain is a mark of prudence or courage.” Augustus Gardner, a New York City gynecologist, argued in 1872 that the blessings of pain “are not limited to the mere physical strengthening of other facilities… this baptism of pain and privation has regenerated the individual’s whole nature… by the chastening made but a little lower than the angels.” Some prescriptions for female pain bordered on sadism. In 1850 Benjamin Hill, a Boston surgeon, tried to get breast cancer patients to accept cauterizations of their tumors without anesthetics: “I have not unfrequently had patients, after submitting, perhaps for an hour, to this ‘burning alive,’ without flinching or groaning, open their mouths for the first time, after I had got through, to express their fears that the operation had been not carried far enough, because they had felt it so much less than I had given them reason to expect.” Hill went on to extol the virtues of “pain as moral medication”.'But even surgeons prepared to use anesthesia could be burdened by a host of prejudices. Most Americans believed that older women were not as subject to pain as younger women because time had diminished their sensitivities. Poor women were considered oblivious to pain. “Country women,” argued Dr. William Dewees in 1806, “are more obnoxious to it [pain], than those of the cities.” J. Marion Sims, the father of American gynecology, regularly performed experimental operations on slave women because “white women are too sensitive to pain.” The London Medical and Chirugical Review claimed in 1817 that “negresses will bear cutting with nearly, if not quite, as much impugnty as dogs and rabbits.” Surgeons often limited anesthesia to well-to-do white women who “needed” to be protected from pain. It was not until the 1890s that most surgeons became willing to use anesthesia on every patient.”
— - Bathsheba’s Breast: Women, Cancer and History, by James S. Olson, Chapter Three: William Stewart Halsted and the Radical Mastectomy, pg. 54-55
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
Tonight in Ferguson, Mo. Even CNN is calling out police brutality.
We are watching history unfold. Do not stand down. Spread the word.
No justice, no peace.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Ferguson, MO and Police Militarization
Glen Coe (by CitizenFresh)
September 20, 2009: Ferguson Police DepartmentThe officers got the wrong man, but charged him anyway—with getting his blood on their uniforms. How the Ferguson PD ran the town where Michael Brown was gunned down.Police in Ferguson, Missouri, once charged a man with destruction of property for bleeding on their uniforms while four of them allegedly beat him.“On and/or about the 20th day of Sept. 20, 2009 at or near 222 S. Florissant within the corporate limits of Ferguson, Missouri, the above named defendant did then and there unlawfully commit the offense of ‘property damage’ to wit did transfer blood to the uniform,” reads the charge sheet.The address is the headquarters of the Ferguson Police Department, where a 52-year-old welder named Henry Davis was taken in the predawn hours on that date. He had been arrested for an outstanding warrant that proved to actually be for another man of the same surname, but a different middle name and Social Security number.“I said, ‘I told you guys it wasn’t me,’” Davis later testified.He recalled the booking officer saying, “We have a problem.”“I told the police officers there that I didn’t do nothing, ‘Why is you guys doing this to me?’” Davis testified. “They said, ‘OK, just lay on the ground and put your hands behind your back.’”Davis said he complied and that a female officer straddled and then handcuffed him. Two other officers crowded into the cell.“They started hitting me,” he testified. “I was getting hit and I just covered up.”“He ran in and kicked me in the head,” Davis recalled. “I almost passed out at that point… Paramedics came… They said it was too much blood, I had to go to the hospital.”A patrol car took the bleeding Davis to a nearby emergency room. He refused treatment, demanding somebody first take his picture.“I wanted a witness and proof of what they done to me,” Davis said.He was driven back to the jail, where he was held for several days before he posted $1,500 bond on four counts of “property damage.” Police Officer John Beaird had signed complaints swearing on pain of perjury that Davis had bled on his uniform and those of three fellow officer“ After Mr. Davis was detained, did you have any blood on you?” asked Davis’ lawyer, James Schottel.“No, sir,” Beaird replied.Schottel showed Beaird a copy of the “property damage” complaint.“Is that your signature as complainant?” the lawyer asked.“It is, sir,” the cop said.“And what do you allege that Mr. Davis did unlawfully in this one?” the lawyer asked.“Transferred blood to my uniform while Davis was resisting,” the cop said.“And didn’t I ask you earlier in this deposition if Mr. Davis got blood on your uniform?”“You did, sir.”“And didn’t you respond no?”“Correct. I did.”
(From what I understand, the police thought they heard a gunshot and started throwing tear gas into the crowd. Correct me if I’m wrong)