Monday, May 23, 2011

Unsolicited Bit of Advice: Movements Grow

Two weekends ago:

About 90 demonstrators gathered Saturday at Pittsburgh police headquarters to repeat demands that... (P-G, Ryan Brown)

This last weekend:

The second of three planned weekend protests seeking “Justice for Jordan Miles” was held Saturday at the Strip District building housing the city’s Office of Municipal Investigations.

About 90 protesters decried OMI’s probe... (P-G, Michael A. Fuoco)

That's not going to do it.

Inside with some element of surprise, possibly -- but not outside and not with advance notice. Outside and anticipated, one will require at least 250. The next and final "emergency protest" of the trilogy is Saturday the 28th at 1:00, outside the Courthouse on Grant St. We should soon see whether or not this is an issue that is going to continue to produce consternation.


  1. The City's response to this matter has been disappointing. Council, the Mayor and Zappala would all rather sweep this under the rug and hope it goes away.

    But what has been less noticed is the complacency of those activists who are pushing for reform! No effort was made to push this as an election issue and the result is that the most lunatic and marginalized member of council, Burgess, is the only one who will touch it.

    Further still, the excessive force that was clear in the Jordan Miles case is part of a broader pattern of troubling behavior. We saw excessive force during the G20 - that also failed to be investigated. We saw an overreaction to a press release mocking the FOP - again no investigation. We have seen some action taken against those who commit perjury - but the individual and not the culture is the only thing examined. Finally we seem to have a real growing problem with use of force by off-duty officers. Off-duty police have harassed and beaten people for things as trivial as being cut-off in traffic - there is no room for this on a professional police force!

    I would like to see the mayor fulfill his promise of releasing the OMI investigation report. I would like to see anyone on Council speak publicly about this issue and what desirable policy should be going forward. The fact is that by handing the issue to the courts to decide, the City effectively narrows the scope of the question they are willing to consider. Instead of asking what policy would be the best for us to have, they ask only that the existing policy be legal. The result is that federal judges and lawyers decide (AGAIN!) what Pittsburgh's police policies will be and the people of this city are denied a debate on how they should be policed. A sonic cannon may be legal - but no one ever got to ask whether getting one (or four) was a good idea! Similarly, a policy allowing the kind of beating seen in the Miles case may be legal - but that doesn't mean it is good policy. And that is a question that no one in city government seems willing to engage with. Shame on them for ignoring the issue for so long!

  2. Anon 2:06 said -

    "No effort was made to push this as an election issue..."

    It's not too late -- if that even would be a helpful tactic. I suppose I grant that possibility in theory. I was thinking more along the lines of door knocking.

    "I would like to see the mayor fulfill his promise of releasing the OMI investigation report. I would like to see anyone on Council speak publicly about this issue and what desirable policy should be going forward."

    Those sound like reasonable requests.

  3. I'm sorry to have to ask, but whose photo is that at the top of the post? Thanks, Vannevar.

  4. Vannevar - His name was Saul D. Alinsky. He was described by Playboy magazine in 1972 as "one of the great American leaders of the nonsocialist left."

  5. You're not supposed to actually read the articles.

  6. I was surprised to see the the Feds had decided to not prosecute...and I believe that the kid got a bad deal on all fronts...lets remember this is the same fed justice dept. that saw no problems with the New Black Panthers at the polls in Phillie...any sense in eithe rof these seems that for Jordan this matter is over..and anonymous 206PM is right, it is not good policy !!

    Alinsky is a non socialist that's great spin

  7. @justice4jordan - While rich10e has an issue with the "New Black Panthers" in Philadelphia, he now qualifies as an ally. You dig?

    rich10e - Thank you for the compliment on the spin, but credit belongs to Playboy (link leads to article reproduction by Native Forest Council).

  8. oh yeah agreed Hef got it first!!

  9. D'oh! I've got Rules for Radicals on my shelf to be read, excellent connection. Thanks, Vannevar