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The thing is the fucking cop knew what he was about to do was stupid. I always assumed they were just walking around with a void inside of their skulls like a robot on sleep mode that switched to instant kill directive as soon as someone looked at them sideways but no this guy seems to actually have had half a clue for half a second. Deputy David Crawford of the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office in Florida was attempting to handcuff a motorcyclist they had tackled at a gas station and things weren't going as easy for him as he probably wanted. He also really wanted to taze the guy but something in the deep recesses of his half-formed pig brain made him stop and think for a second and go "Kill the pump. Kill the pump. Gas."
Despite having said that he then tells the guy "You’re gonna get tased again dude" as they're wrestling there in a puddle of gas from the overturned bike and so he grabs the taser and fires it and he and the suspect are immediately consumed by a fireball. The cop starts rolling around with his legs ablaze and the rider Jean Barreto is screaming and running around in a panic exactly like you would imagine a person would do if they were engulfed in gasoline flames. Then and this is kind of surprising another cop actually does something smart he goes into his trunk and gets the fire extinguisher and puts the fire out. Seconds after that he starts screaming at the horrifically burned guy about whether or not he has any weapons on him his skin probably peeling off by now.
This happened in February but we're just seeing the footage. Weirdly the cop is actually getting into a modicum of trouble. For now. He's been placed on paid leave and will face a misdemeanor charge of culpable negligence.
According to the cops Barreto the burned man is alleged to have been riding his motorcycle around the area like an asshole running lights and so on with a number of other guys on motorcycles. Who knows if he actually personally did anything to warrant be arrested but I can assure you whatever he might have done he certainly didn't deserve being burned half to death on the spot by one of the dumbest fucks in Florida.
His lawyer said in a Facebook post that he had sustained third degree burns on 75% of his body.
“He is without skin on most of his body, his skin having been burned off," the lawyer said. “He undergoes procedures that require his dead skin to be routinely peeled off of his body. He is wrapped and unwrapped in gauze daily, bleeding profusely as he doesn’t have the requisite amount of skin to contain his body fluids.”
That last part is one of the more frightening things I've ever heard. Jesus fucking Christ.
A lot of times I have to watch videos of police violence that I write about on here over and over to make sure I'm accurately describing what I saw but I could only do this one a couple times.
They're still charging the burned man with crimes just to be clear.
"Barreto faces charges of fleeing and eluding law enforcement, reckless driving, resisting arrest without violence and a felony charge for popping three wheelies on his motorcycle, according to the charging documents," the Washington Post reported.
Sorry I don't even really feel like being sarcastic and wise-assed about this one. The lengths we let these cops go to to kill us. Yes this one cop seems to be in a little bit of trouble but is there any doubt after the media around the incident dies down that some goat fucking judge with worms spilling out of his eyes won't let him off?
A few days ago in this paid-only Hell World interview with our legal guy Charles Star I referenced an earlier piece he wrote for us about the case of a man in Texas who was threatening to set himself on fire during a mental health crisis. The cops tased him in that instance too thereby setting him on fire.
They were given qualified immunity for doing so.
You might think hm no way they're going to be able to rule that a cop had no reason to know that firing a taser at a gas pump was going to start a fire even though he explicitly admitted as much on camera but you would be vastly underestimating how evil judges are and how evil cops are and how evil this entire country is.
Here's another example of what I'm talking about coming from the Supreme Court.
Won't someone think of the poor jury's feelings!
What's happening here is the Supreme Court is stripping us of our constitutional rights which is basically the main thing they do now. The case in question Shinn v. Martinez Ramirez is about two men who have been condemned to be killed by the state in Arizona despite having demonstrated that they were provided with ineffective and downright negligent counsel.
The catch is they complained at the wrong time in the eyes of the law. Sorry too late we already went through the whole thing and there's no turning back the state said. Sucks that we're gonna kill you but this isn't about justice it's about the process.
One of the men Barry Jones is almost certainly innocent. Who gives a shit said the state of Arizona and now also the Supreme Court.
"Innocence isn't enough" the Arizona attorney general's office argued.
As Slate notes "four federal judges on two different courts concluded there was a reasonable probability that Barry Jones did not commit the crime for which he was sentenced to death after a trial where the state denied him his Sixth Amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel."
"Today, the Supreme Court essentially told the state that it can go ahead and execute him anyway."
What was it I was saying the other day about wishing that Hell were real?
I have long been under the impression that we operated under the whole "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer" theory but I should have known better to think something like that. To think something good. What a stupid fucking thing to believe.
I keep thinking about the cop treating the guy they just burned alive like he was still a dangerous criminal they needed to take down. Like the cop had turned on Arrest Mode and there was no off switch available. We see this type of thing all the time with cops. How they can never ever back down once they've decided they want to fuck with you even if they might have an inkling they're wrong.
Something about this Supreme Court decision feels similar to me but I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it's just that once the law has gotten you in its teeth it's never going to let go.
Worse than that though. Like an animal that has taken a bite out of something and it's not sure it even likes the taste of it or if it should be eating it in the first place but there's no spitting it out now it's already chewed up and half-swallowed. The process has begun.
And the very state of having been swallowed retroactively becomes the justification for doing it in the first place. You may not have deserved this to start but once we decided you deserved this you always deserved it.
In any case the law isn't real. What it can do to you is real yes but the law itself is fake. A fucked up Czech guy even wrote a bunch of stories about it a hundred years ago.
Roger Angell one of the great baseball writers of our time has died. One of the great writers period. He was also Donald Barthelme's editor which as you probably know is very exciting for me to think about.
He was very old but nonetheless. He was so old this piece of his about being old that I go back to from time to time is itself old.
It's a lot. Reading the piece I mean but also everything. Gut punch after gut punch and us still standing.
Here in my tenth decade, I can testify that the downside of great age is the room it provides for rotten news. Living long means enough already. When Harry died, Carol and I couldn’t stop weeping; we sat in the bathroom with his retrieved body on a mat between us, the light-brown patches on his back and the near-black of his ears still darkened by the rain, and passed a Kleenex box back and forth between us. Not all the tears were for him. Two months earlier, a beautiful daughter of mine, my oldest child, had ended her life, and the oceanic force and mystery of that event had not left full space for tears. Now we could cry without reserve, weep together for Harry and Callie and ourselves. Harry cut us loose.
A few notes about age is my aim here, but a little more about loss is inevitable. “Most of the people my age is dead. You could look it up” was the way Casey Stengel put it. He was seventy-five at the time, and contemporary social scientists might prefer Casey’s line delivered at eighty-five now, for accuracy, but the point remains. We geezers carry about a bulging directory of dead husbands or wives, children, parents, lovers, brothers and sisters, dentists and shrinks, office sidekicks, summer neighbors, classmates, and bosses, all once entirely familiar to us and seen as part of the safe landscape of the day. It’s no wonder we’re a bit bent. The surprise, for me, is that the accruing weight of these departures doesn’t bury us, and that even the pain of an almost unbearable loss gives way quite quickly to something more distant but still stubbornly gleaming. The dead have departed, but gestures and glances and tones of voice of theirs, even scraps of clothing—that pale-yellow Saks scarf—reappear unexpectedly, along with accompanying touches of sweetness or irritation.
What I’ve come to count on is the white-coated attendant of memory, silently here again to deliver dabs from the laboratory dish of me. In the days before Carol died, twenty months ago, she lay semiconscious in bed at home, alternating periods of faint or imperceptible breathing with deep, shuddering catch-up breaths. Then, in a delicate gesture, she would run the pointed tip of her tongue lightly around the upper curve of her teeth. She repeated this pattern again and again. I’ve forgotten, perhaps mercifully, much of what happened in that last week and the weeks after, but this recurs.
Carol is around still, but less reliably. For almost a year, I would wake up from another late-afternoon mini-nap in the same living-room chair, and, in the instants before clarity, would sense her sitting in her own chair, just opposite. Not a ghost but a presence, alive as before and in the same instant gone again. This happened often, and I almost came to count on it, knowing that it wouldn’t last. Then it stopped.
Thanks for reading. See you soon.
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