Why Cops Can’t Handle the Truth
By Dennis Loo (11/25/14)
Many years ago when a group of political activists (dubbed in the press the “Mao Zedong Defendants”) were arrested and put on trial for allegedly attacking a large group of police officers, I sat in the courtroom in Honolulu State Court on the defendants’ bench and listened with fascination at the parade of cops telling their version of the events of that day of our arrests.
I was fascinated by it because the cops’ accounts were a) all entirely consistent with each other, with not a single detail in any degree at variance or in contradiction to the others’ details (multiple eyewitness testimony is never entirely consistent when they're trying to tell the truth given the vagaries of individuals' observations and memories), and b) very vivid descriptions of how powerful my comrades were, two-thirds of them Asian females no taller than 5’ 1” tall and less than 100 pounds a piece, since according to these officers of the law, the officers had all been victims of a brutal assault by these Amazons.
To underscore how powerful and fierce my female activists must have been, the cops were to a man, at least 6' tall and weighed no less than 200 pounds a piece. It must be the intense study sessions of revolutionary science that my fellow activists spent so much time on because they had behemoth-like powers against these poor, defenseless officers of the law.
Tofu and veggies must beat coffee and donuts.
In my own case, the officer who had been the victim of my “assault” upon him or my “interfering with government process” or my refusal “to disperse” when ordered to do so told the prosecuting attorney during his testimony that even though he was over 6’ 4” tall and looked like he could bench press 280 pounds, that he was “in terrible shape” right then compared to when he has in fact been in reasonable shape.
I was struck by his unique self-assessment of what constitutes being in “good shape.”
After the first officer arrived on the scene of the arrests and grabbed the wrist of one of our comrades in order to take her into custody for the crime of peacefully handing out political flyers in a low income housing project, and as we told him to let her go, a slew of cop cars arrived and the next thing I knew, this very tall cop strode towards me, stuck out his right hand and in a straight arm motion, squeezed my neck tightly till I began to have trouble breathing. My fellow activists yelled at him to “let him go!” The next few instants went by in a blur and the next thing I knew I was on my knees with someone holding my arm behind my back in a submission hold. “Do you give?” the voice behind me demanded. I assessed my situation and submitted and was then handcuffed and put into a paddy wagon.
When the chief arresting officer took the stand he testified that he was jumped and beaten by a frenzied group of activists. Our attorneys asked him how he could have been bested by a small group of primarily Asian-American females who he outweighed by over a hundred pounds. All he could do was repeat his story about how he had been overwhelmed by angry and very strong radicals.
On the second or third day of our trial someone who was a long-time employee of my father came to court with her husband to watch the trial unfold and to support me. While we were preparing to enter the courtroom and I was talking to them I noticed one police officer who must have been preparing to testify openly staring at us intensely and with a worried look on his face. I realized why in a flash. My father’s assistant’s husband was a former police officer and the other officer must have recognized him. For all the world the look on his face said: “He’s going to tell him how we all concocted our stories.”
The jury eventually decided, after a tumultuous trial, that with two very minor exceptions, that we had not after all collectively lost our minds and become beasts towards the much bigger and armed cops, attacking them without provocation or reason. The jury did not buy the cops’ fabrication.
The grand jury in the Darren Wilson matter, on the other hand, never heard any examination of Darren Wilson’s self-serving and extensive testimony about why he shot Michael Brown to death. The prosecutor never recommended an indictment to the grand jury, and grand juries almost always give prosecutors what they ask for, and he never questioned Wilson's version of events, thereby letting Wilson's account stand uncontested.
“At this point it looked like he was almost bulking up to run through the shots, like it was making him mad that I’m shooting at him.
“And the face that he had was looking straight through me, like I wasn’t even there, I wasn’t even anything in his way.”
Remarkable, Wilson’s surprised that the teenager who he is shooting to death is mad at him for shooting him to death as Brown is trying to surrender, with his hands up in a surrender posture.
Here is what the autopsy report says:
“There is a gunshot entrance wound of the vertex of the scalp. There is a gunshot entrance wound of the central forehead. There is a gunshot exit wound of the right jaw. There is a gunshot entrance wound of the upper right chest. There is a gunshot entrance wound of the lateral right chest. There is a gunshot exit wound of the upper dorsal right arm. There is a gunshot entrance wound of the dorsal right forearm. There is a gunshot exit wound of the medial ventral right forearm. There is a tangential (graze) gunshot wound of the right bicep. There is a tangential (graze) gunshot wound near the ventral surface of the right thumb. There is a gunshot related defect present near the right eyebrow that measures 4.0 x 2.0 cm. There is a gunshot related defect present near the right eyelid that measures 3.0 x 1.0 cm. There is an abrasion … “
This site aims to accomplish two related goals. First, it complements Dennis Loo's book Globalization and the Demolition of Society so that people reading the book can get more deeply into it. (See navigation bar above, labeled "GDS Book Annotations"). We believe that his book is a landmark, providing a solid foundation for politics of a new path. Taking such a path is critical to humanity and the planet's future. As his book's dust jacket states:
[F]ree market fundamentalism - also known as neoliberalism - makes us not more secure or prosperous: it tears the social fabric and undermines security, leading inevitably to disasters on the individual, regional, and global levels.
Neoliberalism is based on the mantra that market forces should run everything. It aims to eliminate job and income security, the social safety net (including welfare and other social guarantees), unions, pensions, public services, and the governmental regulation of corporations. It consequently undermines the basis for people to voluntarily cooperate with authority as almost everyone is increasingly left by themselves to face gargantuan private interests, with governmental and corporate authority ever more indifferent to the public’s welfare.
Those in charge of our collective fates in government and business personify a heartless system based on profit and plunder. They have been relentlessly instituting profoundly immoral and unjust policies even while they insist that they are doing the opposite. We, on the other hand, stand for and are fighting for a radically different system and set of values than this.
Second, in order to get at the truth and because the ways in which humanity's historic striving for understanding and its capacity to wonder and imagine are very rich and diverse, we seek to reflect that richness and diversity on our site. See "About Us" on navigation bar. We intend to be engaging and compelling, as the best investigative journalism and art are, and relentlessly scientific, rigorous, and direct, as those who cherish the truth are. We believe that we can be both accessible and sophisticated. As Loo lays out in his book,
Defeating the empire is not something that occurs only on the literal battlefield. It is also something that is determined throughout the continuum of battles over many issues, including: ideas; philosophy; forms of organization and leadership in economy, politics, and other realms; ways of arguing; ways of responding to and respecting empirical data; interest in truth as opposed to expedience; how people and the environment should be treated; the nature of relations among people (e.g., between women and men, different races and ethnicities, rich and poor countries, etc.); ways of responding to criticism and ideas that are not your own; ways of handling one’s own errors and those of others; and more, all the way up through how warfare is carried out. The contrast between the methods and goals of the neoliberals and those of us who seek an entirely different world is stark. (Globalization and the Demolition of Society, Pp. 326-7)