Man the cops are pretty bad. Have you heard about this? Here's a bunch of reminders anyway.
When LAPD officer Houston Tipping died back in May the department described it as an accident during a training exercise. Tipping was engaged in a grappling scenario with another officer when he "fell to the floor and suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury," as chief Michel Moore explained at the time. The LA Coroner's Office also ruled it an accident likening his death to one in the boxing ring or on the football field. An internal LAPD inquiry finished this week came to the same conclusion.
But Bradley Gage an attorney who has filed a wrongful death claim on behalf of Tipping’s family has long had questions about the extent of Tipping's injuries such as a laceration on his head and three fractured ribs and a perforated liver. The police contend those came from efforts to save his life once he was in distress. Even if that's true I'm not sure performing aggressive CPR on a man with an apparent spinal injury is wise but what do I know.
Many on social media speculated after hearing the news months ago that something about this story stunk. How do you accidentally beat someone to death during a training exercise?
"Who was he about to testify against?" was another common refrain.
It was a training exercise but perhaps there was a different sort of lesson being taught about how to be a police officer.
Gage and Tipping's family now believe that the five year veteran was purposefully beaten to death by his fellow officers at least one of whom had a good motive to want him dead or at the very least scared shitless.
Earlier this week Gage explained the reasoning in a press conference.
"In July of 2021 four police officers were involved in the sexual assault of a woman in the Los Angeles area," Gage said.
A report was taken by officer Tipping he said. It detailed how the four officers violently raped the woman.
"She knew the names of those officers because they were in uniform and they had their name tags on."
One of the names of the officers being investigated for the rape seems to correlate with one of the officers present at the time of Tipping's death Gage said.
“We have a witness that claimed that this occurred. We have documents that claim this occurred. And we also know from his family that officer Tipping, after spending a few years happy at LAPD, following these events, was searching for a job outside of the LAPD. [They say] he did not say why, but he clearly was distraught over something.”
The LAPD says there is no video of Tipping's death available which is a claim that Gage and the family do not believe.
Now it's certainly possible that this was a freak accident. But given the way claims made by police in their own defense are often reported in the media verbatim with little scrutiny I thought it important to in fairness also relay claims made by the victim's lawyer as well. Both are parties to a dispute here but we usually consider one of them to be de facto trustworthy and the other to be de facto biased.
Chief Moore eulogized Tipping on Twitter shortly after his death.
"May God Welcome him home & comfort his family, friends & partners. Our work continues in a profession that at times calls for a cost that is so very high. Blessed are the Peacemakers."
"This is why there are no good apples" people have been posting in reaction to the story. "They either get killed or chased out of the profession."
You may recall this Hell World from last year about how this sometimes works.
In July of 2020 Javier Esqueda shared with media a video of his fellow police officers abusing a Black man named Eric Lurry who was handcuffed at the time and in medical distress. The cops slapped him and put a baton in his mouth and took him to the police station instead of a hospital despite having every reason to believe that he was suffering from a drug overdose. Lurry would die a few hours later.
None of the cops in question including one who turned off the audio on his camera after another slapped Lurry and called him a bitch were given anything more than a slap on the wrist in terms of punishment. For his disloyalty to the gang Esqueda however is now facing numerous charges and up to twenty years in prison for a series a bullshit violations the gang collaborators in the local prosecutors office cooked up to make him look bad and take the focus off their own illegal behavior. Mainly they say that Esqueda improperly accessed the video footage of the beating in question.
On top of that members of his cop union (as a reminder cop unions should not be considered a part of any type of labor movement as their goals are antithetical to those of workers) just voted to expel him.
If you’re wondering if the letter written by the union explaining their vote was histrionic baby shit yes of course it was.
“The Executive Board finds cause that you engaged in conduct that is detrimental to the orderly operation of the Association, and your conduct is deemed so reprehensible that removal from membership is appropriate,” it read in part.
So reprehensible he needs to be cast out.
You may also have heard this story about how the NYPD handles "rats" of their own.
Here's another update on a case of "officer involved" violence I covered in here earlier.
To recap briefly: Back in 2016 a Georgia man named David Powell heard what he thought was a burglar outside his home. He got his gun and went outside to look around. A cop lurking in the dark shot him dead without warning or identifying themselves.
Powell wasn't wanted for or accused of anything he was just murdered for nothing. A colossal fuck up. The cops had been sent to the wrong address by dispatch in the first place.
The cops who killed him were – you guessed it – granted qualified immunity by the 11th Circuit.
The court found no similar enough previous case law that stipulated that Henry County, Georgia police sergeant Patrick Snook was legally required to identify himself before shooting sixty three year old William David Powell to death on his own property in June of 2016.
“[W]as it clearly established that under the circumstances of this case the Constitution required Snook to warn David Powell before shooting him?” the court asked.
No it was not they answered.
“When David Powell started to raise his pistol while facing in Officer Snook’s direction, Snook had the authority to use deadly force,” they decided.
As I’ve written in here before numerous times while covering other qualified immunity cases there’s almost nothing the police can do to harm us that can’t be reasoned after the fact into a justification for why they were right to do it.
Anway the point of bringing back up was this:
In the case of Powell's killing the police in Georgia were at least responding to a report of domestic violence in the dark of night. Far too often however they engage in late night raids of a suspect's home for no reason other than it probably seems cooler to them to kick in doors after midnight when they get to be the spooky boogeyman.
That kind of decision in a recent case in Florida cost a cop his life.
Earlier this week cops in Polk County were serving a warrant on a woman who had failed to appear at a court hearing for a possession of meth charge. This was not El Chapo to be clear this was some middle aged lady addicted to meth hanging out in a shitty apartment with some other addicts. Why they didn't simply arrest her the normal way in the day time when she went to the bus or the store or whatever is unclear but instead they went into the apartment after 2 am and found the woman with what they claim was a realistic looking bb gun. They say she picked up the gun and so they unloaded on her killing one of their own cops who was standing outside in the process.
The woman is now being charged with second degree murder for the killing of deputy Blane Lane with bullets she did not fire.
“It is my belief at this stage of the investigation, she clearly and unequivocally put us into a gunfight with her and/or a suicide by cop,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
“It’s our goal to see that she’s incarcerated for the rest of her natural life,” Judd said.
Fucking "felony murder" laws man I swear to god.
Here's another interesting update on a very Hell World subject via AL.com. A bite mark expert has admitted his whole field is bullshit.
“I no longer believe, as I did at the time of trial, that there is a valid scientific basis for concluding that the injury found on the skin of the victim in this case, assuming that the injury is in fact teeth marks, could be ‘matched’ or otherwise connected to a specific individual, such as Mr. McCrory,” [Dr. Richard] Souviron wrote.
McCrory’s attorney, Mark Loudon-Brown of the Southern Center for Human Rights, laid out the problems with the state’s case.
“To my knowledge, it is the only case in Alabama where there’s a conviction that stands based on bite mark evidence,” Loudon-Brown said.
The judge didn't buy it of course.
But it wasn’t enough to sway Covington County Circuit Judge Lex Short. More than 10 months after the hearing, the judge dismissed the challenge, effectively sending it to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals.
Forensic dentistry like a lot of supposed scientific reasoning we use to convict people to life in prison or death is and always was made up.
From a Hell World last year there was a case of a man in Mississippi whose conviction based on dental astrology was actually overturned.
Eddie Lee Howard of Mississippi spent over twenty five years in prison and was waiting most of that time to be executed. He was convicted of the killing of an old woman named Georgia Kemp in 1992 who was stabbed to death and perhaps raped and the way they got him was they brought in a dentist named Dr. Michael West who used ultraviolet light to match what may or may not have been bite marks on the body to Howard’s teeth. There was little other evidence and DNA found on the murder weapon did not belong to him.
Last year his conviction was at long last overturned by the Mississippi Supreme Court and he was released. Last week the case was dismissed.
“The reality is, there was never any evidence against Eddie Lee Howard,” his lawyer Chris Fabricant of the Innocence Project said according to the New York Times. “It’s astonishing.”
Since his conviction bite mark evidence has been largely discredited — another one of the many pseudo-scientific dog shit techniques prosecutors bring in so-called experts like West to trick juries with to help put people in cages.
“At least twenty six people in the United States have been wrongfully convicted as a result of bite-mark evidence, according to the Innocence Project,” as the Times notes.
“Dr. West became the first person to be suspended from the ABFO, and by 2006 he was forced to resign from the American Board of Forensic Pathology,” the Innocence Project wrote last year in arguing for Howard’s innocence among others. “Still, that same year, in response to an appeal, the Mississippi Supreme Court wrote of Dr. West’s testimony in Howard’s case: ‘Just because Dr. West has been wrong a lot, does not mean, without something more, that he was wrong here.’”
And that’s the rigorous standard by which we send people to their death in this country. Some fucking dentist comes in and bullshits for a while in front of a jury and then a judge goes welp that’s good enough for me this person deserves to die. If we're going to destroy people's lives on made up shit like this we might as well send in a chiropractor to see how the defendant's back pops for signs of guilt buried deep within the lumbar.
Well that all fucking sucked to read about it have to know. On the way out here's something a bit lighter. From a review of Maggie Haberman's new book in the Washington Post by Sean Wilentz who apparently is a whole ass professor at Princeton and an author.
Naturally that piece of writing reminded me to go back looking for some of my favorites from the Worst Ledes of All Time including this absolute gem from CNN:
The Daily Mail:
And this one – Jesus Christ – from The Toronto Star:
Holy shit new Alvvays is finally out. It's... good as hell. Please enjoy.