Monday, February 8, 2016

Assessing a Threat (Part 3)

     "You are entitled to your own opinions but not your own set of facts"- Daniel Patrick Moynihan

     As we saw after part 2 there are many ways that folks choose to "interpret" history in which they were not a part of; both written word and "reported" actions.  Though taken to task by some folks I still haven't received an answer to my question at the end of that article so I will assume no one wants to offer one.  The Greensboro Police Department has come under siege the past two years with some in the community even voicing the opinion that the department is not only corrupt but has been inherently so for years.  Nelson Johnson has been at the forefront of such rhetoric for almost 50 of those years.  Now those in the community, both minions of Johnson and those who are not, are beating the drum though they offer no specific details of such corruption.  Oh they point to specific incidents from time to time and usually follow with complaints about lack of transparency and certain personnel privacy laws they tend to not like when it doesn't protect them.  It's difficult to comprehend how you can complain about a lack of details yet come to the conclusion that corruption exists.  We live in a society that preaches not to judge before knowing the whole story (i.e. stereotype) yet those that espouse that position seem to have a bit of a double standard when addressing police issues.  These same folks demand apologies yet offer none when it is determined that their jumping to a conclusion is proven wrong.  Even worse, they will still refer to these incidents long after the wrong is uncovered; "Greensboro, Ferguson...Ferguson, Greensboro".
     Our City Council is not speaking up on behalf of their police department.  Why?  Is it votes?  Shouldn't be; with only 11.5% bothering to vote they seem to have a lock on each election.  Or is it that 11.5% that they are catering to?  Greensboro has been and always will be a "blue" town.  But this goes beyond Democrat/Republican or Conservative/Liberal.  Reverend Johnson seems to spend quite a bit of time in the Council offices these days and can be seen participating in photo ops quite frequently.  There is no doubt to any city employee that he wields quite a bit of influence on the Council at the moment, having the "ear" and even the "fear" of at least four councilpersons, the Mayor and especially the city manager.  The anti-police drum beats loudly in Greensboro with virtually no defense from our elected officials and zero support from the city manager's office.  But why?  Why would the council in general and the city manager in particular give such leeway to a person whose history in Greensboro is so notorious and allow their department to be bashed in such general terms?  Why does the police department not get to be judged on a case by case basis instead of being targeted in general?  Are we to believe that each and every Greensboro Police Officer starts their tour of duty each day with an agenda to see how many black folks they can target?  Even more far fetched, that such a conspiracy can be kept a secret to the extent that the public would come to a common sense conclusion that every officer in the department actually takes up for each other?  How could we possibly identify, locate and hire such blindly devoted people?
     The answer is the police department doesn't.  Officers that work in the street do not blindly trust supervisors and certainly not internal affairs.  Currently, morale is low at GPD and the feeling among street level officers and detectives is that the city manager and city council does not support them.  With other departments in our state enhancing benefits as our city reduces and takes them it is only a matter of time before recruiting efforts take a hit.  Officers barely vested or not vested at all are already looking.  No one remotely familiar with our police department or law enforcement in general with any common sense is going to believe that a department wide conspiracy of that magnitude exists or could possibly exist.
     Yet, nothing from the Mayor, the manager or council in defense OR support.  Does police work need fine tuning for the times?  Absolutely; the profession is and has always been ever evolving.  Corrupt?  That would involve proof that officers are allowed to stay employed when they are proven to consciously and intentionally commit criminal acts against citizens, and that every officer in the department is willfully covering up.  According to some this has gone on in Greensboro and around the country for years yet no one has ever presented anything but their opinion based on at best partial information or their own set of facts.  So why does council let this go on?
     Well, it certainly stays in the news and it sure beats talking about actual facts.  Facts such as Greensboro leading the state's 5 largest cities in unemployment.  Or that Greensboro has the highest percentage of citizen dependency on food stamps in the state.  It's sure better than pointing out that Greensboro is second only to Durham in the percentage of our citizens living at or below the poverty line and that percentage is over 20%.  How about that even though we brag about property taxes not going up the past several years that we still have the highest property taxes in the state while not counting rising water and parking rates.
     Maybe bashing the police helps take our minds and attention away from the continued push to build what was originally supposed to be a privately funded performing arts center?  Though we used the facility in Durham to promote this venture we now seem to ignore the fact that the Durham facility is not doing well and is not the downtown panacea we were led to believe it was; yet we still plan on forging ahead.  How about the continued development of high priced housing downtown or the continued development of areas such as Glenwood that instead of renovating existing "affordable" housing (which we determined during the recent election was a desperate need) is actually eliminating it pushing lower wage earning residents away from the area?  Wonder who will get a neighborhood grocery store first; east Greensboro or your new downtown residents who have more than ample transportation to any store in the city.
     Perhaps bashing the police will keep residents from inquiring as to how this new and improved downtown that has by our politicians account increased in tax value (a selling point during the election) but how one particular section managed to depreciate 66% since 2012 allowing a "blind bid" to somehow win out for a couple hundred thousand dollars less than the new appraised value?  Isn't it at least "suspicious" that a developer that contributed to every single council persons campaign with the exception of Mike Barber's managed to correctly bid on such a bargain with the Manager's office only explanation of why the property is being sold at all is "we're not in the landlord business"?
     Yes, they scream and tout transparency and accountability for the police which none of the officers or administrators is opposed to within the law.  Yet when it is asked that we require the same transparency of non-profit organizations that we supply tax payer dollars to annually, the council balks.  How many of our city council persons are involved directly or indirectly with non-profit organizations?
     Projects worthy of investigation such as "Aquaponics" that could provide food and jobs to a lesser skilled work force are looked at for local support only if they can be manipulated by local developers.  Thankfully they did not get their greedy hands on that one.  Projects such as the very risky "megasite" trumpeted as job producers do not address infrastructure problems regarding public transportation that would help our citizens that need the opportunities the most.  Self back patting over businesses such as Honda Jet provide no solutions for those in need of employment locally.  A plan to hold back tax payer dollars funding on an airport project until Winston and High Point commit as originally planned is now being pushed forward and $2.5 million dollars committed without those assurances based on the council's Economic Committee chairman's recommendation.  That particular councilman is 27 years old, has a degree in Political Science and at last report works for Home Depot.  That resume doesn't exactly provide community confidence when committing millions of dollars of tax payers money, especially under the assumption "if we go ahead and commit they will certainly follow".  That might work, it might not but it begs the question "just what is it that holds Winston and High Point to that commitment"?
     I served the citizens of Greensboro for 29 years as a Greensboro Police Officer and I make no apologies for coming to their defense.  I know police officers aren't perfect and I certainly wasn't.  However I never pre-planned to confront or "get" any citizen on any call and certainly never based any enforcement action on race or gender.  Has it ever happened; probably.  One time is too many and usually results in that officer being unemployed if the complaint is sustained.  It certainly puts them under a microscope if it's not and will raise huge red flags if similar complaints become a trend.  Is it rampant in law enforcement in general and Greensboro in particular; absolutely not.
     What it is though is a topic that appeals to certain opportunistic antagonists in our city that control or strongly influence the city's most active voter constituency.  It conveniently supplies a ready made smokescreen to other council ventures and follies, the progressive kind that have continuously in our country's history killed cities.  Area high school graduates are leaving for college never to return.  Local college graduates aren't staying in Greensboro anymore.  There are no jobs, just new bars and restaurants.  The population is becoming more and more indigent leading to a shrinking tax base.  Instead of voter anger we have voter apathy with opinions that there is no hope for change.  The extremists have infiltrated our city government and they are protecting incompetent city supervisors, in particular our city manager, and they are all too willing to let our Police Department take the fall and provide cover for their continued bad fiscal decisions.  The sad part is that even if the only hope to affect change in our current direction occurs (council redistricting) it could very well be too late.
     Perception is reality for most of the public and to a large extent is controlled nationally by the media.  Locally, very few bother to watch or read beyond media headlines anymore.  They do not trust the story to be accurate or objective or without a particular political slant.  88.5% of Greensboro's registered voters have already thrown in the towel.  The threat is real and if the citizens of Greensboro do not wake up soon and address it....well, ever hear of Detroit?


post script:
  
The comment referencing the Durham Performing Arts Center "not doing well" is in error.  The financial records published by the City of Durham show that the center has made a profit the past two years.  After rereading the articles that I used to make that statement, I have decided that they seem to be more subjective than I first interpreted.  My "opinion" is that Greensboro has more pressing needs than a performing arts center at the moment, and that we do not have some of the advantages that Durham has in drawing patrons to their venue.   
                                  
     

30 comments:

  1. Boy, you sound like one of them thar socialists caring about poor people and all. The cure for the massive wealth inequality that plagues society is radical socialism. We need to stop letting lazy moocher millionaires be a drain on the system by forcing them to pay an appropriate tax rate. We need to re instate tariffs on imports and get way tougher on corporate welfare cheaters who take in billions in tax subsidies and send jobs overseas and pay workers poverty wages. We need a livable minimum wage. We need to make it a crime to rip off a worker out of wages, safety protections and benefits.

    Police are in a unique position; they don't make enough money to benefit from the system they chose to be enforcers for. So you are oppressing citizens AND being oppressed yourself by that same low wage system.

    What we have now is a plutocracy, a system run by the few, to benefit the few at the expense of the many. The rich have a free pass.

    People cite detroit as a "failure of democratic politics" instead of blaming the auto industry for giving the workers the shaft ny leaving town like deadbeats and leaving half the city unemployed.

    We need worldwide government and police (like the UN), we need a global currency and worldwide worker safety and health standards (Unions galore), if the rules are the same all over then there is no incentive for a company to skip town.

    All the above can be achieved by removing money from politics, overturning citizens united and start sending corporate criminals to jail. A wall st guy steals or commits a crime, his company pays the fine and nobody goes to jail, a poor street person robs someone to keep the electricity on and gets sent up the river for a decade.

    In the meanwhile we have the largest prison population in human history (thanks to the treasonous, predatory and racist "war on drugs") We have the highest death by police rate than any other country too, although some people have NO problem with this (like ridgill). Every police statistic that there is which is divided by race PROVES blacks are targeted by police and arrested at higher rates.


    The reason for all this is that our prison system is the replacement for those jim crow laws, it's there to keep the (mainly black) peasants in line. The reason felons are illegally prevented from owning guns is because rich white people are scared of a black revolution (which we DESPERATELY NEED).

    When a cop gets sued the city needs to collect that money from the cop, sorta like restitution. Make it expensive to violate someone's rights and cops learn very quickly. Like if your friends had kept their pie holes shut and not illegally arrested people for filming them.

    We actually agree on the performing arts center being a taxpayer funded playground for the rich.

    As far as "bashing" the police goes, when we have a department that lets one cop investigate another with NO public oversight and no details of that alleged investigation made public, that is a breeding ground for corruption. When we hide the on camera murder of a mentally ill woman by a coward with a badge (Tim Bloch)it raises all kinds of red flags. You say internal affairs "would be tougher" on dirty cops than a citizen review board, I call bullshit on that one. If that had been the case, internal affairs would have mopped up tim bloch and hung him out for the lynching he deserves. Instead police hide the video and say "trust us". If your department is so corruption free why the opposition to transparency??

    The personnel laws need to change to allow transparency "within the law" but guess who worked to stop change to those laws, police and police unions fought like hell to oppose state bill 193 and our cowardly city leaders (as you call them) buckled under police pressure to keep all their dirt a secret.

    Meanwhile
    since the feds refuse to label white supremacists as terrorists
    DEATH TO THE KLAN

    Up next: the case for ridgill being a racist based on his OWN WORDS.

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  2. The case for ridgill supporting white supremacy:

    1, his self proclaimed hero is Bill O'Reilly, just google the term "bill o'reilly racist" and you will literally see tens of thousands of results of instances of Bill O racism. Hint: when every black civil rights group in existence has called you a racist then you are a racist. When you idolise the views and opinions of said racist YOU are a racist too.

    2. His concern for the reputation of the KKK especially in regards to their role in the Nov 3. 1979 conspracy with neo nazi's and the GPD. Why the hell would ANYONE care about the reputation of terrorists like the KKK.

    3. His refusal to label the KKK/Nazi's/white supremacists in general as terror groups and demand that DOJ?FBI/Homeland security handle them as such. All one has to do is look at the actions of Glenn Miller Frazier (who was there on Nov 3, 1979) to see the danger to the public from white supremacists is a real danger to the lives of those around them. I suppose when he shot up that jewish community center, that was a shootout too???

    Ask any black person the KKK IS a terrorist group. According to racists only muslims can be considered terrorist.

    4. Ridgills constant whining about "catering to extremists" who happen to be almost exclusively black. Any time white supremacy by police or government officials is made public, ridgill is whining about "the race card".

    5. his total refusal to label ANY police action against black people to be an act of racism, it's like he pretends that racism doesn't exist in policing. Like when Devon and Rufus Scales were attacked by the GPD for "blocking traffic" when there was NO traffic to block, then the cops changed their story and said the cop who attacked them WAS the traffic they blocked and he was "on his way to an emergency" Turns out there was no emergency. Just because a white cop doesn't use the N-Word when beating a black guy it doesn't mean that it's not racist.

    6. Denial of GPD racism, when TWO national news outlets reported on the racial bias displayed by police in greensboro, ridgill goes on full defense mode, doing everything he can to discredit the archives. He even pretends that broken taillights are a major safety concern and armageddon is upon us because we no longer pull these people over.

    7. The ONE AND ONLY GPD cop Ridgill has ever publically criticized is Henson, who is black, says "he's on the wrong side"

    The case AGAINST ridgill being a racist

    1. him and his cop buddies say he's not racist.

    DEATH TO THE KLAN and all their supporters.

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  3. All of that is repetitive and as usual you continue to prove my points. But I will not let you tell blatant lies. Ive never identified extremists as black. Ive also never referred to any officer in my blog by name except Capt Canady and Officer Cole. I have never discussed Asst Chief Hinson in any blog. Both of those items are blatant LIES. The rest of your drivel is either wrong or embellished. Go back and read the opening line; it applies to you. Everything you just accused me of any reader with any level of intelligence can refer to this blog and dispute. Done with you for this week. Thanks for reading Brian. Admit it; reading my blog is the high point of your week.

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  4. Correction. I have mentioned Chief Scott by name as well. Your precious Scales brothers were cut a huge break by the officer yet the city manager caved in anyway. You really need to get your facts straight.... Oh wait, thats right. You are a self proclaimed communist extremist. Facts dont matter to you.
    I'll try to get the next blog out a little quicker next week. You get way too rhetorically constipated if you dont get your "rants" on time

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  5. I use your rants as toilet paper. They are figuratively and literally interchangeable

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  6. That would make sense as full of it as you are. ;)
    See you next week Brian.

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  7. It's so hard to wade through all these comments from all your "loyal fans" You should be on TV................................ so you can be canceled due to extremely low ratings.

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  8. Marc wrote: "Though we used the facility in Durham to promote this venture we now seem to ignore the fact that the Durham facility is not doing well"

    By what measure? It made a profit of $2.3M in 2014 and $3.7M in 2015.

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    Replies
    1. I love your fact checking and tenacity, but how do you fact check someone who lies 90% of the time.

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    2. Author, I followed up this morning and reread the articles I used for that statement. I believe I may be in error on that one. I checked the financial reports (which I probably should have done first) and they do show the profit numbers you list. After checking the articles again I believe they are a little more "subjective" than I originally thought. My contention is that Greensboro has more pressing needs at the moment and also that Durham has some advantages that Greensboro does not in sustaining such a facility.

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  9. Thanks Marc. Greensboro really is a tale of two cities and it's not about east and west. It's about fact and fiction.

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    Replies
    1. Like ridgills fictional "shootout" lie. Or his refusal to admit to GPD racism???

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  10. Thanks Marc. Greensboro really is a tale of two cities and it's not about east and west. It's about fact and fiction.

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    1. Since some insist on creating a fictional shootout scenario, let's REALLY go artistic. Here is Nov 3 1979 as how it SHOULD have happened

      The fine patriots of the communist workers party hated redneck racists so much that they held a death to the klan rally, only they actually came prepared for a shootout this time.

      They brought a full arsenal of automatic weapons (M-16's, AK47's and such) and as soon as the KKK arrived the CWP fired thousands of rounds killing ALL of the KKK/Nazi's who were present. The communists then secured a master copy of the KKK and Nazi's ENTIRE member list, and paid each of those fuckers a bit of a "visit" with the help of smith and wesson and ELIMINATED the entire organization from existence.

      Frazier Glenn Miller was literally decapitated by the sheer number of bullets that hit him, he was shot 342 times, the body looked like a giant pile of fresh hamburger. thus preventing his 2014 terroristic murder spree at a jewish community center (was that a "shootout" too marc??)

      Yup, it was a massacre, we wiped out those racists before their accomplices on the GPD facilitated their escape by escorting the KKK safely out of town. The massacre was so one sided and profound only redneck racists were killed and NONE of the fine patriotic members of the CWP even received a scratch.

      So, if you are going to tell fictional tales of a shootout liven it up a bit and give the reader some characters to identify with and root for. We could call the main shooter protagonist in the story "Nelson, the anti racist".

      Then greensboro could hold a huge dance every year literally on top of the graves of the KKK racists who bit the dust that day.

      That's the way it SHOULD have gone down, see isn't that much better for the reader than some lie like the ridgill/KKK shootout scenario when the KKK murdered all those people and not one of the KKK got what was coming to them because the racist KKK "felt threatened".

      Since Marc Ridgill or anyone in the FBI or homeland security REFUSES to declare the KKK/Nazi's to be terrorists (only muslims can be terrorists in the world of racists) and involve the feds for a PROPER Waco Branch Davidian style (Burn baby burn) raid on all KKK meeting houses in america (DURING the meeting) we are forced to eliminate racists ourselves.

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    2. Since you keep bringing it up and since you still wont answer the question in that article, let me ask you another one. It is well documented that the "march" that day was supposed to begin at 12 noon. The on site police supervisor could not locate Johnson at 11:30 as agreed to and the CWP members claimed they did not know where he was. When the "march" was started 37 minutes early, who notified the Klan of the early start? And if the CWP didnt EXPECT the Klan to come, why would they be armed with guns in violation of their parade permit? If they did expect the Klan to show and felt the need to arm themselves, why would they consistently tell the police to stay away and that they didnt want the police there?

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    3. I don't know why they were insufficiently armed to exterminate the KKK

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    4. Thats all you got eh? What I figured.

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    5. I could care less what YOU present as "fact". I have seen your version of things that I witnessed, that you did not, to know you are as trustworthy and ethical as a used car salesman with a heroin problem.

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    6. Oh crap, now I am getting hate mail from used car salesmen they are complaining about me soiling their reputation by associating with the likes of you.

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    7. Good. Ask them my questions. Maybe they will answer them.

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    8. Quid pro quo
      You have refused to answer enough of my questions that I have no regard for your questions

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    9. Brian Ive answered your questions but just not the way you want. But you havent answered mine. Youre afraid to because the answers are obvious and my questions are direct. Hard to spin arent they?

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    10. like you spinning this "shootout" bullshit.

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    11. When two opposing sides exchange gun fire aiming at each other and both came prepared to do so it is a gun fight. Shootout if you prefer. Both sides exchanged threats for months. Both sides fired lots of shots.

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    12. keep lying about the insufficient number of weapons possessed by the communists.

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  11. Hey Marc, count me as a loyal fan.

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    Replies
    1. wow add 2 more and you could fill up a small car..............

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  12. Celebrating the death of a destructive old bigot. Ding dong, the witch is dead......................

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/02/how-scalias-death-will-change-everything.html

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  13. Go Beyonce`Go. Black Panthers all the way.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/miami-police-union-boycott-beyonce-concert-april-article-1.2536439?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%20v1.1%20-%20control%20group%202016-02-19&utm_term=DailyNewsletter%20-%20Horizon%20Control%20Smart%20List


    DEATH TO THE KLAN

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