Friday, March 28, 2014

no one who's spent time in courts believes trials are about truth



Vice |  Last week, I sketched an evidentiary hearing for a woman named Cecily McMillan.

Two years ago, I'd seen Cecily convulse in handcuffs as the police shut down an Occupy Wall Street protest. Cecily was an organizer. A plain-clothes cop had grabbed her breast from behind, hard enough to leave a bruise shaped like his handprint. Instinctively, she elbowed him. Most women would do the same if a man grabbed them from behind.

The cops beat Cecily till they broke her ribs. As she had a seizure on the pavement, the crowd screamed for the police to call 911. The police just watched.

Two years later, Cecily is charged with assaulting an officer. She faces seven years in prison.

In that fake-wood courtroom in lower Manhattan, the judge told Cecily's lawyer the fact that her arresting officer had beaten up other people was not relevant to her case. His records would be sealed. Afterward, addressing her supporters, Cecily tried to hide the tremor in her voice.

Courtrooms are a violent theater. The violence happens off-scene: in Rikers Island where a homeless man recently baked to death; in the shackles and beatings and the years far from everything you love. But the courtroom itself is the performative space, the stage where the best story triumphs, and where all parties, except (usually) the defendant, are just playing parts

18 comments:

Tom said...

Why do we want a war in Europe? Can somebody remind me?

Vic78 said...

You could say the same about Ariana Huffington, Andrew Sullivan, David Brooks, and Chris Matthews. They've all had recent reinventions now that conservatives are a little embarrassing to be associated with.

CNu said...

I thought it was because the neocons have their sights set on war with Iran, beginning in Syria, and Putin is acting as a broker for diplomatic solutions to differences with both Syria and Iran. Since we're in deeply discredited Frum land, I'm going to comfortably suggest this as the raison d'etre for posturing against Russia.

Neocons and those they've conned are presumably the ONLY folk who want anything to do with continuing down this path.

Tom said...

Ok, except either Obama is a neocon, or I'm confused about who's in charge.

CNu said...

Obama has deviated rather dramatically from the neocon vision, being on the Brookings/Brezhinski script for the Great Game. The neocons like Frum, V. Nuland(wife of neocon Robert Kagan) et al, are doing their level best to gin up political heat to push him closer to their agenda.

Tom said...

But Obama is setting up a war in Europe. I was not starry-eyed when I voted for him, but I'll admit I would not have expected him to push for a war in Europe. As you just pointed out in another thread, those fuckers are *dangerous.* Euro, Russia, Japan, China, these are folks you want focusing on peaceful activities.

CNu said...

Where do you get that Obama is setting up a war in Europe? Bankster sanctions on Putins cabal of 33 patrons and cronies, coupled with ostracism from the G7 does not a shooting war make, does it?

Vic78 said...

Who's spending money on the Atlantic? None of this shit Frum's saying is making sense. Any International Relations professor would've been a better hire than Frum. Why would anyone that voted for Obama listen to Frum? Americans have rejected the Neocon vision after the last fuckup, so who is Frum fooling? The white wing told him to get somewhere with his bullshit. The only liberals that think Frum's worth anyone's time are on tv. George Carlin told us about the club a long time ago.

makheru bradley said...

Johannes Mehserle, the murderer of Oscar Grant served less time in jail than either Michael Vick or Plaxico Burress and Angelo Corey wants to Dr. Marissa Alexander to be sentenced to 60 years for firing a warning shot at her abusive husband. And they call this justice in America.

http://www.triplemurder.com/

CNu said...

What the Hon.Bro.Preznit.Double-0 said about Russia today:
"He may be entirely misreading the West," Obama said in an interview from Rome with CBS' Scott Pelley. "He's certainly misreading American foreign policy. We have no interest in encircling Russia and we have no interest in Ukraine beyond letting the Ukrainian people make their own decisions about their own lives."
Obama's interview came amid reports that Russia has built up nearly 50,000 troops along the Russia-Ukraine border, who are in position for possible operations.

CNu said...

lol, even the nutty white wing gave him his pink slip....,

CNu said...

um.., not the core of the story by any means Bro. Makheru, but what exactly is Marissa Alexander a Dr. of? Dealing with Rico Gray and his five baby mamas, all of whom he "puts his hands on" I'm a little confused about the lucidity in play here. Thanks.

Tom said...

I guess you're pulling my leg.

CNu said...

I thought you were pulling my leg. Where I'm at on this. Obama genuinely doesn't want any more war on his watch, and, would much prefer to pursue diplomatic solutions to the Iran, Syria, Ukrainian situations. Others, conveniently represented for discussion's sake by David Frum from an idiosyncratic podium at The Atlantic, say very different.



Where are you at on this?

Tom said...

I think Obama's rolling the dice.

Vic78 said...

What about the shit Kobe's dealing with now? We only have a small clip from an interview and he got jumped on pretty hard. The small quote seems like he was taking a nuanced big picture position. "Black folks need to be a little smarter about jumping into shit." Nevermind the lawyers screening out people that seemed a little too pro Trayvon due to online activity. They jumped on Kobe before reading the whole interview. I believe someone from the New Yorker was running a little game and a lot of people fell for it.

What does the last paragraph have to do with this post? If you don't have influencia or whatever that rich drunk driving kid had, know the game is rigged against you. And have some kind of plan for dealing with it. Nobody should protest without some strategy and structure. Is she even being helped with her legal fees?

CNu said...

Thank you for shaking me out of my kayfabe induced stupor man. I've got too many plates spinning on sticks right now, and flat out lost the configuration tables that record the indisputable fact that world wars are architected by and for the "benefit" of banksters.

To artificially segregate/separate the surface machinations of diplomatic overtures and non-military sanctions from the underlying motives for what's visible - is inexcusably naive. I got about 10 hours of sleep last night and must have really, really needed it.

Uglyblackjohn said...

Man... I just had the family of a friend call me early one morning to make a few calls on behalf of their son. 'Do you know who I am' is not something one says to an arresting officer - it got him into more trouble. By the end of the day the A.D.A., judges constable and others had swept the problem under the rug. Being that this past election cycle every candidate we (through the club) supported won - favors were owed by many. Was it fair or just? No, but the judicial system rarely is.

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