Regressive Left blames Israel for American police shooting blacks

Yes, the source of this article, Legal Insurrection, seems to be largely a right-wing site, but who else calls out the Regressive Left these days? Check the facts rather than dismissing them based on the source.

William Jacobson, a professor at Cornell Law School, has new piece on the site (he’s its main author, I think): “New campus blood libel: Israel responsible for U.S. police shootings of blacks.” It’s based on a weird new form of “anti-intersectionality,” in which Israel (ergo Jews) are held responsible for the killing of blacks by American police because some American police chiefs go to Israel to be trained. The argument (see below) implies that these chiefs then go back to America and somehow train their beat cops in techniques of torture and killing used to target blacks.

This is palpable nonsense. As Jacobson notes, some US police chiefs and detectives (by no means thousands of them!) go to Israel every year, and they’re trained in anti-terrorism techniques and crowd control, something that actually might be useful to know in the U.S. And I don’t see blacks as particularly prone to terrorism, so the connection between this training and the murder of blacks by U.S. police—which does happen, though I’m not convinced of endemic racism in most U.S. police departments—is pure fantasy. Seriously, is this training meant to oppress black people?

Here’s some of the training they receive:

In 2002, Los Angeles Police Department detective Ralph Morten visited Israel to recieve training and advice on preparing security arrangements for large public gatherings.  From lessons learned on his trip, Det. Morten prepared a new Homicide Bomber Prevention Protocol and was better able to secure the Academy Awards presentation.

In January 2003, thirty-three senior U.S. law enforcement officials – from Washington, Chicago, Kansas City, Boston and Philadelphia – traveled to Israel to attend a meeting on “Law Enforcement in the Era of Global Terror.”  The workshops helped build skills in identifying terrorist cells, enlisting public support for the fight against terrorism and coping with the aftermath of a terrorist attack.

“We went to the country that’s been dealing with the issue for 30 years,” Boston Police Commissioner Paul F. Evans said. “The police are the front line in the battle against terrorism. We were there to learn from them – their response, their efforts to deter it. They touched all the bases.”

“I think it’s invaluable,” said Washington, DC Police Chief Charles Ramsey about the instruction he received in Israel. “They have so much more experience in dealing with this than we do in the United States.”

If you’re going to blame that training on the cases in which cops have unjustly murdered blacks, you have to make a better connection than that!

Jacobson’s piece, which has links so you can check his assertions, gives several examples of this tortured and false connection between Israel and police murder. Here’s a tw**t but the notorious loon C. J. W*rl*m*an, who is apparently still making a living from anti-Semitism and apologetics for Islam, blames Israel for the death of Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge (Louisiana) police:

Second, the organization “Jewish Voice for Peace”(JVP), a left-wing organization that is basically anti-Israel, has a new project, launched at a conference in Chicago, that targets these exchange programs, saying this;

We introduce our campaign: Deadly Exchange: Ending US-Israel Police Exchanges, Reclaiming Safety One of the most dangerous places where the far-right regimes of Trump and Netanyahu converge are in exchange programs that bring together police, ICE, border patrol, and FBI from the US with soldiers, police, and border agents from Israel. In these programs, worst practices are shared to promote and extend discriminatory and repressive policing in both countries including extrajudicial executions, shoot-to-kill policies, police murders, racial profiling, massive spying and surveillance, deportation and detention, and attacks on human rights defenders.

The Forward reports on a JVP meeting in Chicago:

Over the weekend’s discussions and workshops, JVP members tried to figure out what they, personally, could do to support the Palestinian cause from their American base. Deadly Exchange, one of JVP’s newest projects, will target the exchange programs between American police forces and the IDF where they two groups, in the words of JVP deputy director Stefanie Fox, share “worst practices.”

“They practice torture, surveillance and spying,” she said, “which is all brought to bear against Palestinians and people of color.”

Finally, as Jacobson reports, the student government of the University of Wisconsin’s flagship campus at Madison passed a divestment resolution (during Passover, so that Jewish students wouldn’t come) which said this:

That last sentence, in particular, is completely unsupported by evidence.

Here we see an attempt to use the Black Lives Matter movement (a movement that has some worthy motivations) to demonize Israel, thus linking two Leftist sentiments. It’s a pity, because Jews have been among the strongest supporters of civil rights in America. It’s also a shame that these Leftists overlook the fact that Palestine’s laws are anti-woman, anti-Jewish, and anti-atheist, and the practices are anti-gay. If any state is an apartheid state, it’s Palestine. But I’ll say it again: because Muslims (and not Jews) are considered People of Color, these regressive traits are ignored when Israel is demonized.

78 Comments

  1. Posted May 12, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    My thinking is generally a bit left of centre as far as politics go, so I for one am glad this article specified that these idiotic views were those of the “regressive” left, rather than painting all left-thinking people with the same brush. Thank you for that.

  2. Randy schenck
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    One of the most obviously stupid attempts to attach something to another that makes no sense and is pure antisemitism. If they want to blame something for the killings of blacks by police or by citizens, blame the NRA.

    • nicky
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

      Yes Randy, excellent point. If most of your ‘suspects’ are likely to be unarmed, there is less incentive to be triggerhappy.
      I think it would not be difficult to show that in countries with stricter gun laws there are less police shootings (by as well as of).

  3. Posted May 12, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Ridiculous. Btw, I don’t think you should make the equation Israel = Jews any more than Muslims = Islamic terrorists. I know lots of Jews who criticize the actions of the government of that country. Living in a foreign land, I am sensitive to people who claim Americans are imperialists. Not all of us are. I guess it’s a labeling problem.

    • Posted May 12, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      The actions of practically every government are criticized both by its citizens and by other nationals. However, Israel is the only country for which criticism of the government in a second jumps to the conclusion that the country and most of its inhabitants have no right to exist. To me, the equation Israel = Jews should be made, because Israel is the only country where Jews have a chance for long-term survival.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      Exactly what struck me.

      I was going to say:

      “… demonize Israel, thus linking two Leftist sentiments. It’s a pity, because Jews have been among the strongest supporters of civil rights in America.”

      Hold it. That’s implicitly suggesting that those (left-wing?) Jews active in the Civil Rights movement would approve the current Israeli government’s actions. I think many of them would be strongly anti the more authoritarian aspects of that.

      cr

      • Posted May 19, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        No, those Jews support Israel and Zionism and recognize when BDS and other movements are specifically designed as antisemitism masquerading illegitimately as some sort of political statement against a government. There is a growing body of research supporting this.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted May 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          So, ‘no true Jew’ would see anything wrong with Zionism or illegal settlements or anything the Israeli government does? The dissenters who get reported on in Haaretz etc are traitors?

          Pity, I think my latent antisemitism*, which surfaces any time Netanyahu etc do something particularly obnoxious, just cranked up a notch, since I can no longer remind myself of the Jewish activists to restrain it.

          (*Or it might just be anti-Zionism, but you’re saying that’s the same thing.)

          cr

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted May 19, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

          I should add of course that ‘antisemitism’ is a very convenient slur to use against anyone who finds the Israeli government’s actions objectionable.

          And I don’t see that you can speak for all Jews on the left anyway.

          cr

          • Posted May 20, 2017 at 4:54 am | Permalink

            And yet, you, yourself, did exactly that. That is why I, a Jew for whom you cannot speak, spoke.

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted May 20, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

              Obviously I can’t speak for you. But I doubt that your credentials to speak for all left-wing Jews are any better than mine.

              No true Scotsman fallacy and all that.

              cr

              • Posted May 20, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

                Doubt all you like. You’re welcome to be wrong.

  4. Malgorzata
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    sub.

    • Posted May 19, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Me, too. Commented twice and forgot to click the box both times.

  5. Dire Lobo
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    “the murder of blacks by U.S. police—which does happen, though I’m not convinced of endemic racism in most U.S. police departments—is pure fantasy. Seriously, is this training meant to oppress black people?”

    I don’t see how you can not be convinced of endemic racism in US police departments. How many examples in how many states/regions do you need to see to realize this is indeed nationwide.

    Second, I think you are attacking a straw man here. I agree, the training for US police in Israel is not intended to be used to oppress black people. We agree. But I don’t think that is what is being claimed – the possibility that this training could be used for purposes other than what was intended should be a given. Whether that has actually happened, I cannot say for sure, but it does not seem so farfetched to me that corrupt, racist police officers sent to Israel to learn new tricks could mis-use and mis-apply those “tools” to the detriment of innocent people, African-American or otherwise.

    I think that is the claim – misuse of training. But of course, that only makes sense if you first accept the assumption that racism in US Police departments is in fact endemic, so I conclude your erroneous beliefs about police racism are preventing you from seeing the possibility that this is not a bunch of BS.

    • Dire Lobo
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      “organization “Jewish Voice for Peace”(JVP), a left-wing…”

      Let me try to add – the comments from this group are absurd. I give them no credence – clearly there are people making this type of crazy claim, which goes beyond mis-use of training. But, claims aside, I still believe there is potential for mis-use of this training, but I do agree, some of these far-left organizations are seeing bogeymen where none exist.

    • Posted May 12, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Anecdotes are not data. Showing some shootings of black men (and I agree that some of those were murder) is not the same as saying there’s endemic racism in police departments. You have to show that the entire police force is riddled with racism AND that those men were shot because they were black, and the officers doing so were infected with departmental racism). You haven’t done that. So don’t go calling my conclusion—which was “I am not convinced of this”, not “it doesn’t exist”–a failure to accept what you find prima facie true.

      • Craw
        Posted May 12, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        “The plural of anecdote is data” — Thomas Wolfinger.
        No, the plural of anecdote is confirmation bias.

      • Posted May 12, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

        But for a question like this, you cannot rely merely on statistical data. I will try to make this clear by a historical example:

        During the first world war, the eugenics advocates in the US used a convoluted form of intelligence testing (originally developed by a French psychologist for a radically different purpose) to assess the mental capability of the enlisted. The result was that many African-American volunteers were barred from assuming combat roles (hence going up in the ranks) and were mostly assigned labor units in the army. Even African-American women who volunteered as nurses were rejected based on those tests.

        And we know the eugenics movement did not stop there. Based on the same fraudulent testing, the US government limited immigration from east and south Europe in 1924 so those low-IQ immigrants wouldn’t bring the US intelligence down!

        Does this mean that people who served in the US army in the first (and maybe second) world war were racists because they had black servants and black laborers digging trenches for them? Does this mean American bureaucrats who administered the tests which led to so many immigrants deprived of their rights were necessarily racists?

        Of course not! But looking at “number of racists” does not give the whole picture either. Political and sociological sciences are entangled with history and there is no escape from some amount of anecdotal and historical analysis in addressing their concerns.

        I am not saying anything about whether endemic racism exists the police force in today’s America or not. I am just saying that a purely data driven approach will probably be more misleading than enlightening for this kind of question.

        • Posted May 13, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          But for a question like this, you cannot rely merely on statistical data.

          Please illuminate us as to which sorts of questions are exempt from evidence-based reasoning.

          • Posted May 13, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

            Where did I say some sciences are exempt from reason?

            Take a look at the main claim of the referenced article here : “Regressive left” “blames” Israel for police shooting of “blacks”.

            Don’t you think this is an entirely anecdotal claim and is based on subjective definitions of the quoted terms? After all, how are you going to measure “regressive left’s” amount of blame for police shooting of a specific ethnic group in a specific society?

            I have provided a historical example to make my point more clear. Did you read it?

          • Posted May 13, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

            Also, the very piece you have quoted clearly says “statistical data”. I am not sure why you read it as “evidence-based reasoning”.

            Statistical inference is only one form of reasoning (with its own shortcomings and problems) and there is no mention of “evidence” whatsoever in the quoted part.

      • Anshul
        Posted May 15, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        Numerous US department of justice investigations have shown there is endemic racism in many police departments.

    • Posted May 12, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      I cannot say for sure, but it does not seem so farfetched to me that [INSERT ANY OLD RANDOM BASELESS CONJECTURE HERE]

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      You undercut your own argument here. You acknowledge that training in Israel isn’t specifically designed to be used against Blacks, and that the only problem is that it could be used by individual police who are already racist in that way.

      Such police will always use any tactics they learn to further personal agendas, wherever those tactics come from. The majority of police aren’t racist, and all police (and the public they serve) shouldn’t miss out on the best training because some might misuse it.

      There does not have to be institutional racism for racist police to exist, though of course it makes it easier. There are thousands of police departments all across the country and in your country recruitment and training are not consistently good. Yes, there are departments where racism is endemic but it doesn’t appear to be a majority and it’s a problem that’s being addressed where it exists.

      It is ridiculous of idiots like CJ Werleman to claim that issues of racism in the US police are somehow the fault of training in tactics against terrorism and terrorists by Israeli experts. The Israelis didn’t cause the root problem – that racism still exists.

      The link could only be made by someone who was prejudiced against Jews.

      • Craw
        Posted May 12, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        There’s also a form of selection effect. Police interactions occur more in poor areas, so more bad ones occur there too, and there are proportionally more poor blacks. That can give you lopsided statistics with no racism at all. Treating policing problems just as race problems will not help.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted May 12, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          Excellent point.

        • Posted May 13, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

          In a town like Ferguson, MO, most of the perps cops encounter will be black. It’s not just human nature, but innate, actuarial animal behavior, to extrapolate that most of the blacks you’ll encounter will be perps. A false assumption, but not racist in intent.

    • Paul S
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      “endemic racism in most U.S. police departments”
      I know several police officers, men, women, black, white and from what I know of them they are no more or less racist than the communities they’re from.
      I don’t discount that racists police exist or that they’ve unjustly shot innocent, often minority people. To get to endemic proportions I think you’re going to have to have many more examples of the 750,00 sworn officers in the US committing acts of racial violence before you can can say endemic racism.
      Racism exists, yes, but a large majority, I’d need to see the numbers.

      • Paul S
        Posted May 12, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        That’s 750,000.

    • BJ
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      “Examples” mean nothing. Look at the figures. The number of black people killed by police each year is less than half those of white people, and directly proportionate to the amount of crime committed by the community (in 2015, the black population made up 24% of crimes committed and 26% of police shootings).

      The problem is you rely on “examples” you see in the media, rather than doing an actual analysis of the facts at large. Not to mention that sometimes even those few examples we get every years turn out to be complete fabrications (e.g. Michael Brown).

      • mikeyc
        Posted May 12, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        “in 2015, the black population made up 24% of crimes committed and 26% of police shootings”

        Not questioning the numbers, but police shootings are sometimes of people who have NOT committed any crimes or are just being stopped and questioned. A recent study showed that blacks in the Oakland CA area are stopped for any reason more frequently than whites (by over 2 to 1, IIANM). Just interacting with police can get you killed. I’m not apportioning blame – it’s a statistical certainty.

        Are black people more likely to be killed when they interact with the police? If there was systemic racism, I should think so. Your numbers can’t address it. But I don’t think those figures are available – in fact I don’t know how such a study could actually be done (how in the world would one enumerate the number of people who interacted with the police but WEREN’T killed?)

        • BJ
          Posted May 12, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          You’re right, I don’t know how one would conduct such a study. All I can do is make what I think is the most valid determination from the information we have available. I think the data available says that the US does not suffer from systemic racism throughout its police force.

          • mikeyc
            Posted May 12, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            Over all I agree – there isn’t any convincing data there is systemic racism, but neither can it be ruled out. My response was meant to illustrate how intractable such a question is. Racism is a state of mind, making it very difficult to capture in statistics about shootings.

            • BJ
              Posted May 12, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

              Of course. But surely if it was systemic and/or we lived in a “white supremacist state,” then those numbers would not look anything close to what they look like.

  6. Posted May 12, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Legal*Insurrection is highly trustworthy regarding facts and legal analysis. Their editorializing is annoying.

  7. Phil
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    A great example of what happens when an academic applies reason absent of faith and morals.

  8. Posted May 12, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Whatever one might think of the homophobic and nasty Palestinian governments, their people are *still* under military occupation, suffering from collective punishment, etc. But that’s also a distraction: there’s a very real question about international collaboration here. Suppose the US police forces worked to learn counterterrorism from, say, China. What would one say then? If the answer is, ok, do it, then at least consistency is in play. If the answer is: no, then one has to analyze why the difference – which may be real, but it cannot be assumed. I for one would have concern if Canadian Border Services for example was doing too much with their US counterparts.

    • Jeremy Tarone
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      United States trains other countries police and armed forces for anti-terrorism all over the world.
      American border services and DEA agents have been en-placed on Canadian soil. DEA agents work in many different countries.

      Training between countries, in police, fire departments and even the military has been happening for a long time.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted May 12, 2017 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        If you’re holding a hammer, then everything you see looks like a nail.

        And if you ‘train’ (indoctrinate?) police to believe that anyone they see is a potential suicide bomber, that’s going to influence their attitude and behaviour towards the people they encounter and golly gosh, it’s going to influence the peoples’ reaction to police.

        This is why I’d shudder to see any of our (NZ) Police being trained either in Israel or the USA or China for that matter. And one of several reasons why I will never visit the USA. I’d probably get shot for standing with my hands in the air and refusing to lie face down in the dirt. Or for committing terrorist sarcasm.

        cr

        • BJ
          Posted May 12, 2017 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

          There are less than 1,000 deaths by police shooting in the US most years. Last year was 951, 2015 987. I think you are severely overestimating your risk here.

          • jay
            Posted May 13, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

            ” I think you are severely overestimating your risk here.”

            Agreed, and most of those were active armed confrontations.

            additionally concerns about Israeli police are also misplaced. Despite frequent provocations (terrorist attacks etc) Israeli police are extremely disciplined and usually capture, not kill, the vicious terrorist attackers. You’d be in FAR more danger in the Palestinian controlled areas (especially if they know you’re an atheist)

            • BJ
              Posted May 13, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

              Oh yes. No matter who I was (except a terrorist holding an RPG), I would much rather be standing in front of an Israeli soldier or police officer than someone from Hamas.

              • infiniteimprobabilit
                Posted May 14, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

                But I thought Hamas were ‘terrorists’. So what you’re saying is, Israeli police are not as bad as terrorists. That is some recommendation…

                But not really relevant to the point.

                cr

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted May 14, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

            It might be lower still in Britain (police shootings per year: 0 to 5) or NZ (29 in the last 65 years to 2015).

            Admittedly there’s a disparity in the populations but even so…

            cr

        • Jeremy Tarone
          Posted May 13, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          There is a difference between “believing everyone you see is a suicide bomber”, and doing assessments of people for signs of possible trouble.

          “…it’s going to influence the peoples’ reaction to police.”

          Reactions by civilians and authorities will change when they are under constant threat of terrorist attacks, suicide bombings, rocket attacks and shootings.
          There is more than one side to the story.

          It’s reasonable for police in a country with a long and bloody history of terrorist attacks including suicide bombings to assess those they see for potential trouble.
          That’s the job of police, not just to direct traffic after the bomb goes off.

          New Zealand police shot a puppy that got loose at an airport because the puppy was delaying traffic.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted May 13, 2017 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

            It was a security dog, not a puppy. The police shot it at the request of airport security (it may seem surprising to you but in this country airport security don’t go around rodded up themselves) after it had evaded all attempts to catch it or entice it for three hours.

            If I was in one of the planes delayed I would have had it shot after half an hour.

            This is all irrelevant anyway.

            The point is that we in New Zealand do NOT have a constant threat of terrorism or shoot-outs, and to train the police to act as if there is will just poison the well and make confrontations more likely, not less, to occur.

            cr

    • BJ
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      Maybe if they’d be willing to agree to a two-state solution instead of sticking to their “all Jews must be killed and Israel wiped off the map” position, things would be going better?

      And their not under “occupation.” Israel is not an occupying force within Palestine. It sometimes goes in and conducts raids, but it does not occupy Palestine (unless you’re one of those people who considers all of Israel to actually be Palestine).

      • Posted May 12, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        + 1

      • jahbbg
        Posted May 13, 2017 at 6:50 am | Permalink

        exactly

      • Posted May 13, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Correct. The Fatah-led Palestinian state agreed to participate in the two-state Road Map. Its entity status is equivalent to that of the Irish Free State of 1921.

        Hamas disliked this and, after being allowed to gain control of Gaza, in effect seceded from the Palestinian state. Gaza is currently blockaded by Israel, and justly so under international law.

        However much one may dislike current Israeli policy or tactics, nobody is ‘occupied’.

        • BJ
          Posted May 13, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          Well, parts of Palestine are indeed occupied by people with weapons who terrorize the citizenry; it’s just that those people happen to be Hamas or related terrorist organizations, not Israeli military.

  9. jay
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    We have video of he Sterling incident.

    1) police arrived because he had ALREADY threatened a citizen with a gun.

    2) He was a convicted felon who could not legally own or carry a gun. The officers may have know this (or not) as he was apparently a regular fixture by that store.. and could be locally well known.

    3) He REPEATEDLY refused to put his hands on the car. He continued to struggle (probably because he knew he was in deep trouble)

    4) On the ground, he continued to struggle. He was shot when the gun became visible. When an armed agitated person continues to struggle and attempt to get at a weapon, police (for their own protection and bystanders) are required tp take whatever action is necessary. Some police shootings (numerically quite small, and occur with whites as well) are questionable , but he is no poster child for that situation.

    Interestingly I read an explanation by an undercover cop about what they do if accidently stopped by police. They keep their hands in plain sight, they calmly explain who they are, and allow themselves to be searched and identified.

    Sterling brought this upon himself.

    • John Conoboy
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      I watched the Sterling video based on my 22 years as a law enforcement officer, and I can say that it is impossible to make any definitive conclusions solely on the video. That is why police do investigations on such incidents. There was a report of someone who “matched” Sterling’s description threatening someone with a gun. Did that happen? Was it Sterling? That needs further investigation. There is no evidence of what the officers knew or did not know about who he was or if he could legally carry a gun. You can’t tell from the video if he was attempting to get a weapon. I can go on with more analysis, but to conclude that it was Sterling’s “fault” and the officers are not at “fault” is not warranted.

      • jay
        Posted May 13, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        I agreed they did not know if he had the gun.

        My point was, had he reacted properly, he would not have been shot. He actively fought with police and refused reasonable orders.

        On at least one video, the shot occurs AFTER someone screams ‘there’s a gun’.

        He was NOT shot for selling bootleg CDs, he was NOT shot for being black.

  10. Tom
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Most of the policemen I read about involved in controversial deaths seem to be uniformed officers, does anybody have the statistics for such incidents involving detective officers?
    And has anybody made a comparison?

  11. Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    This made me so angry, I couldn’t finish reading.

    Blaming Israel = Jews for the racist behavior of certain policemen in US police departments because some of them received training in Israel could equally be directed against the US military for disposing of outdated military weaponry by giving it to police departments thereby upping the extreme force ante on domestic ground.

    Having lived in metropolitan areas in Southern and Northern California, Oregon and Washington, I have seen firsthand the racism of certain members of police forces. However, I object to tarring all policemen as a racists due to the comparatively few policemen among them who obviously are racist. It would be as nonsensical as President Trump’s statements about all those criminal drug trafficer and rapist Hispanic immigrants we need a fence to keep out (By the way, how deep down is that fence gonna go? Tunnels are dug now and can be even when the fence is in place. Or they could just go around.)

    Also, black men are not the only victims. Black women and people of other hues are also.

  12. Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Which would any of these critics prefer — to be arrested in Israel as a suspected terrorist; or to be arrested in Gaza for drug use? (Only one of these carries a death sentence.)

    • Posted May 15, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      That’s missing the point, unfortunately, as I have tried to suggest. One does not get off the hook from doing something bad just because some other guy is doing something worse. (If that’s indeed the case, which we can just ignore for the time being.)

      Let’s put it another way: which police forces would you want to train the US ones: Norway’s or China’s? New Zealand or Saudi Arabia?

      All of those are more or less US allies, except for China, admittedly, but I think my “loading of the deck” suggests that there are differences. Are they real enough to make Israel a concern? Well, maybe, but I’d suggest addressing that. Does this make Israel *responsible* for American police racism (if there is such a thing, which is also irrelevant). Of course not. Could it make it *worse*? Perhaps, depending on what is done. Perhaps not, of course – but it has to be evaluated, not just asserted as impossible.

  13. BJ
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    The best part about the regressive left’s constant harassment of Jews on campus (I experienced it myself) and outright antisemitism overall is that Jews have always been an oppressed minority wherever they go, and continue to be. In the US, Jews continue to have more hate crimes committed against them as a percentage of the population than any other group. They get demonized and have conspiracy theories about them spread by the left (and the right). We even have leftist professors spreading the gospel of Jew-hatred and conspiracy theories (look no further than the infamous Joy Karega).

    Regarding the BLM movement, the number of black people killed by police each year, when compared to the number of white people, is directly proportional to population and percentage of criminal activity. The only reason we think there’s an epidemic of police officers shooting innocent black people is because the media has taken a handful of examples each year (some of them ending up not even being true in the first place, like Michael Brown’s), and sensationalizing them to create a narrative.

  14. John Conoboy
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I agree that trying to link training that some police get in Israel to US racism is absurd. First of all, relatively few officers go to Israel to be trained. And, my observation based on 22 years in law enforcement is that racism is a real problem in the field and this leads to many of the police shootings of blacks.

    I think there are two other factors that play into the current situation of excess force by police. One is the militarization of the police. They are getting training and adopting tactics used by the military. The other is the “officer safety” movement that began in the 1970s. It was based on a large number of preventable police deaths and injuries and making officers more aware of what they do wrong and how to avoid it. This was a good development, but like many things it can be overdone and it tended to make officers paranoid and overly suspicious in encounters with the public and even with suspects.

    Sometimes the training is not done with complete context involved. For example, you are taught that a person with a knife who is 20 feet away can run at you and stab you before you can draw your gun. That is demonstrated, usually in the gym, when a physically fit training officer with a rubber knife runs at you and by golly gets to you before you can get your gun out. But, you are not taught that an overweight, homeless, mentally-ill, illegal camper standing on rough terrain with rocks and cactus can’t match that feat. This is one factor leading to a bad shooting here in Albuquerque.

    Finally, you may notice that there are stock phrases the police use in shootings. If someone has a knife, they always are reported to have “lunged” at the officers. If the officers have someone pinned down on the ground, as the case of Eric Garner, the police yell loudly “stop resisting.” The officer who had Garner in a choke hold might have wanted to consider that if you are cutting off someone’s breathing, they are going to struggle.

    • Posted May 12, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      To me, what happened to John Haygood, a 10-yr-old autistic boy, was crazy. Police officers were called to arrest him for some months-old alleged offense. They not only did it but used handcuffs and kept the child overnight in custody. Is there a law that every detainee must be handcuffed? Is there any age limit below which you cannot handcuff and jail the child?

      • John Conoboy
        Posted May 12, 2017 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

        If you arrest someone, you should handcuff them, and always with the handcuffs behind the back. I some cases you might use handcuffs on someone you are just detaining, but not arresting. But it is unconscionable to treat children’s school behaviour problems as a police matter. Police may be needed to protect a school, but they should not be called to deal with problem students except in the most extreme circumstances. I don’t understand at all how we can consider someone as young as 10 or even younger as anything other than a troubled child who needs some type of counseling or mental health intervention. Treating children as criminals is insane.

        • BJ
          Posted May 13, 2017 at 6:12 am | Permalink

          I remember reading in Reason last year about a boy in the US somewhere (I believe he was in third grade) who had the school call the cops on him because he gave an unwanted huge or kiss to a girl in his class, and was thus considered to have committed “sexual assault.”

          I think this type of stuff comes from a few places: zero tolerance policies in schools, the overreach of terms like “sexual assault” and “violence,” and the desire of school administrators to cover their asses in the current oversensitive environment.

  15. Posted May 13, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    It’s Antisemitism, a new form of blaming the Jew for anything wrong in the world.
    This kind of racism is yet another example of some elements in the left abandoning core liberal values.

    • BJ
      Posted May 13, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      The extreme left has always hated Jews, which certainly puts the lie to their whole “we care about and fight for oppressed people” BS (look no further than nearly every single far left revolution that’s happened in a country with a significant number of Jews. Hell, a good portion of my ancestors were killed by the Bolsheviks). It’s just another example of the horseshoe theory in action. They’re just like the far right: segregation, Jew hatred, separation of cultures, authoritarianism, etc.

  16. Posted May 14, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    I agree. This training has nothing to do with cops shooting unarmed people. There’s no connection.

    As far as the extreme left “hating Jews”, i find this statement to be incorrect. Although the far left often criticizes Israel and its government and policies, i don’t see any genuine antisemitism. In fact, the extreme left has embraced a Jew (Bernie) for President of the U.S. in 2016…something the extreme right would NEVER do.

    I find these gross generalizations to be mostly harmful. They enable the worst elements of a group (be it religious, political or social) to define the majority. This is one of the factors that helped enable the election of Trump. The mutual alienation of Clinton and Sanders supporters caused the factionalization of the Democratic party.
    …and it continues. As long as Liberals feud, Republicans will win.

    I think instead of nit-picking each other Liberals need to unite behind what they agree on instead of finding ever more reasons for division. Republicans know how to do this….and they’re winning.

    • BJ
      Posted May 14, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      I’ve experienced the extreme left’s hated of Jews firsthand when I went to college. You’ll find it on many college campuses today, from the student union saying a certain person shouldn’t be allowed to write for the school newspaper because, as a Jew, they have a “Jewish agenda” and will therefore use their pulpit to push this nefarious “agenda,” to professors teaching conspiracy theories about Jews like Joy Karega was doing at Oberlin.

    • Posted May 14, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      “I find these gross generalizations to be mostly harmful.”

      But that’s the whole point! The recipe works like this:

      1- Find grossest, most ludicrous, most stupid position someone has professed on the opposite camp. Here, it is blatantly stupid to link the training of a few officers in Israel to a shooting carried out by another officer in the US. You do not even need to think to see how stupid it is.

      2- Generalize and pretend this is the norm in the other camp. Use “the left”, or “regressive left” profusely to imply that this is an endemic problem in the other side’s ideology, i.e. “leftism” induces believing in such nonsense.

      3- While you are at it and if you feel the reader is impressed enough, try to score a few points for the home team. For example, by bringing up statistics about black criminality or immigrant IQ or whatever racist nonsense circulating these days.

      3- Wait for the Internet God to do its job!

      • BJ
        Posted May 14, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        We use the term “regressive left” to expressly leave out the rest of the left. I don’t understand what you’re suggesting. Should we not report on it? Should we not tell the truth about the fact that it’s endemic to the regressive, extreme wing of the left, and try to do something about it? Because anywhere hateful, bigoted, dividing, destructive ideology crops up, it should be brought into the sunlight and discussed. Would you be saying the same things if we were talking about the antisemitism endemic to the alt-right.

        • Posted May 14, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          Well, I am not trying to suggest what should be reported on this blog or any other blog. I am not against reporting this nonsense or calling it out. I was merely doing a “reporting” of my own about a trend I am seeing here and there. Maybe I am wrong. But when I see an intellectual fruit this low, it always raises a red flag for me.

          And I always try to define my terms as precisely as possible. I really don’t have a clear idea about what “alt-right” is. So yes, when I see an article attacking the right based on a position attributed to the “alt-right”, I tend to approach it with extreme caution.

          Here, Legal Insurrection could have addressed the question that what is the purpose of Israeli-style anti-terrorism training for an American police officer operating in a radically different environment. Now this is a legitimate question that can be debated (as it has been on this blog).

          By claiming that the “regressive left” says police officers shoot blacks because they are trained in Israel, no real discussion can be ensued. No one in their right mind can even begin to accept that. So what remains is left-bashing according to the recipe I posted in the previous comment!

          • BJ
            Posted May 14, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

            How is it left-bashing if it’s a bunch of leftists like myself and the very blogger who owns this site and writes the articles making a particular point of leaving out most of the left?

            • Posted May 14, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

              Sorry, but like I said I like my terms precisely defined. Leaving out “most of the left” is not enough for me and honestly, I do not care about the leftist ideology that much (define left btw!) It is intellectual honesty and rigor that I value not tenets of this or that leftist ideology.

            • Posted May 14, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

              And note that I claimed that Legal Insurrection has generalized and misused its terms not WEIT.


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