Karen Garner was 73 years old when police threw her to the ground, broke her arm, and dislocated her shoulder while arresting her for stealing $13.88 from Wal-Mart.

The city will pay her $3 million. Let's talk about accountability.

My latest @reason: reason.com/2021/09/08/pol…
First things first: Let us acknowledge how absolutely absurd it is that a 73-year-old—who has dementia—needed to be violently arrested & assaulted because she stole $13.88 worth of merchandise.

It's not about safety.
Former Officer Austin Hopp repeatedly pushed Garner's contorted left arm—which was handcuffed—above her head as she screamed.

He then joked about it with his colleagues, which @cjciaramella wrote about here. "I love it," he said.

Do you feel safer?
Does the city's $3 million settlement constitute meaningful accountability? The sum will come completely from taxpayer dollars & former Officer Hopp will not have to weather a civil court trial.

But he is facing criminal charges, which is remarkable. reason.com/2021/09/08/pol…
This happened in Loveland, Colorado. Ironically, Colorado passed a bill eliminating qualified immunity a day before Karen Garner's brutal arrest & assault.

Stories like these show why such reform is...necessary.

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More from @billybinion

9 Aug
I wrote about that viral video of a cop supposedly overdosing by touching fentanyl—a medically impossible feat—& the perils of media regurgitating state claims without scrutiny.

Recycling a police press release is not journalism.

My latest @reason: reason.com/2021/08/09/san…
Media outlets—local, national, & international—jumped all over this video, released by @SDSheriff.

A sampling of headlines from @CNN, @Newsweek, @sacbee_news, & @Independent
What most every publication left out: You cannot overdose on fentanyl by touching it.

What about airborne transmission? It takes 200 minutes for unmasked workers who produce fentanyl to register a dose of 100 mcg, which is still not an overdose.
Read 9 tweets
4 Aug
This is an absolute horror story. These 3 Missouri men are serving life sentences for separate crimes that the government concedes they *did not commit*.

It still won't release them from prison.

My latest @reason: reason.com/2021/08/04/kev…
Christopher Dunn was convicted of murder in 1991 based on the testimony of two kids. They later recanted & said the state coerced their testimony.

Last fall, a federal judge ruled Dunn is innocent. He's still behind bars.
...thanks to a Missouri Supreme Court precedent, which says that only death row inmates can make such claims of innocence in court proceedings.

In other words, had Dunn been sentenced to die for the crime he didn't commit, he would now be a free man.
Read 7 tweets
3 Aug
In a sane country, you'd be able to sue cops who violate your rights. A local legislature in NY wants to make sure that cops can sue you—potentially violating your rights in the process.

That's rich. Let's talk about accountability.🧵

My latest @reason: reason.com/2021/08/03/nas…
Nassau County legislators passed a bill allowing cops to sue people for a list of things, including "harassment," which would merit damages & an additional penalty of up to $50,000.

You have a right to criticize the state. That includes cops. Sorry.
This isn't the first bill of its kind. Just last week, I wrote about a FL bill that would criminalize "indirect harassment" against cops if someone gets closer than 30 feet—effectively making it illegal to film them.

Cops should not be beyond reproach.
Read 7 tweets
31 Jul
This bill would let cops sue protesters for *harassment*. And yet these same people say the public shouldn’t be able to sue cops who steal, destroy property, shoot children, & set people on fire. See the problem?
Read 5 tweets
30 Jul
This is a wild story & a crash course in the powers police can so easily abuse: from the drug war, to surveillance, to botched warrants, to no-knock raids.

Texas cops raided the wrong home. They kept searching anyway.

My latest @reason: reason.com/2021/07/30/qua…
Police got a warrant to raid Lucil Basco's home for drugs based on a confidential informant who told them the residence had meth.

She did not, in fact, have meth, but the police failed to do a basic investigation.
They *did* surveil her thoroughly, however.

Officers conducted a traffic stop where "they searched her vehicle and learned that she is a nurse." And they watched her home where she lives with her small child. reason.com/2021/07/30/qua…
Read 9 tweets
28 Jun
A suicidal man burned to death after cops shot him with Tasers, knowing he was covered in gas. A court says that’s a reasonable use of force.

This is one of the most shocking cases I’ve covered. Let’s talk about accountability. 🧵

My latest @reason:
Gabriel Olivas was having a mental health crisis when police came to help. They knew he was doused in gas—and one warned that tasing him would set him on fire.

The other cops did it anyway. He was burned alive, & his family’s home burned along with him.
Here’s where it gets rich. The 5th Circuit said the officers didn’t violate Olivas’ rights—when they set him & the home ablaze—because he posed a threat.

But the fire that endangered others was set in motion *because* of the cops…not in spite of them.
Read 9 tweets

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