In July I shared a story of an incident in which my city’s police stormed a man’s house looking for drugs in the middle of the night and executed his two (understandably startled) dogs. One of the dogs was shot to death while fleeing in fear, and as I noted then, this isn’t an isolated incident. Just a few years ago, the Saint Paul Police killed another family dog…and forced handcuffed children to sit next to its bleeding corpse. The kicker? The raid wasn’t even in the right house!
Now, a new report has surfaced of SPPD brutality. This time, a young father named Chris Lollie was arrested while waiting to pick up his kids from school. The charges were “Trespassing, Disorderly Conduct, and Obstructing Legal Process,” and police claimed he refused to leave an area reserved for employees of the bank building he was in. However, not only were there no signs indicating that the location was private, but Lollie wasn’t even in the bank proper; he was in the skyway.
(For those who aren’t familiar with the skyway system, it’s a thing we have in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and some other Minnesota cities. Basically, it gets hella cold here in the winter, so they built enclosed sidewalks, or skyways, one or two stories up. In the downtown areas, the skyways form a whole second network of pedestrian roads, and once you get inside your office building—or whichever building is closest to your parking garage or bus stop or whatever—you can use them to move from building to building to get around the whole downtown area. It’s an easy way to go to lunch or meetings without having the snot in your nostrils freeze. I mention all that to say: Skyways are public spaces. You do not have to be an employee in the buildings they connect to use them. Lollie was not trespassing.)
Fortunately, Lollie had the presence of mind to capture his interaction with the SPPD on film. Here’s a transcript I’ve made of the first few seconds:
Lollie: So what’s your business with me right now?
Officer: I want to find out who you are, and what the problem was back there…
Lollie: There is no problem—that’s the thing.
Officer: So, talk to me, let me know, and you can be on your way.
Lollie: Let you know…why do I have to let you know who I am? Who I am isn’t the problem.
Officer: Because that’s what police do when they get called.
Lollie: Well, I know my rights, first off. Secondly, I don’t have to let you know who I am if I haven’t broken any laws. Like I told him, I’m going to New Horizons [School] to pick up my kids at 10 o’clock. I was sitting there for ten minutes…
As the officer brushes aside his explanation and continues to illegally demand he identify himself, Lollie cuts to the chase: “The problem is I’m black. That’s the problem. No, it really is, because I didn’t do anything wrong.”
Next, Lollie and the female officer he’s been walking and talking with meet a male officer. When Lollie politely asks the officer not to touch or obstruct him, because he has to go get his kids, the man immediately responds, “Well, you’re going to go to jail then.”
As the police initiate the arrest process—telling him to put his hand behind his back or “otherwise things are going to get ugly"—the camera visuals go black. Lollie continues to be heard pleading, still polite even while he’s assaulted, that he be allowed to go meet his children.
Next, they tase him.
If that’s not enough to convince you that this is gross police misconduct, seriously, take five minutes and watch the video. The calmness of his tone alone should make it obvious that there is no possible argument that the situation merited this kind of police action:
After multiple witnesses verified Lollie’s version of events, prosecutors dropped all charges against him. One woman who is also not an employee at the bank the skyway links noted that she regularly sits during her lunch break exactly where Lollie was sitting, but she has never been harassed by police. However, the SPPD continue to defend their actions.
At The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf points out how simple it would have been for police to resolve this situation without violence and an arrest had they cared to do so:
His story about getting his kids wasn’t merely plausible, given the man’s age and the fact that there was a school right there–it was a story the female police officer shown at the beginning of the video or the male officer shown later could easily confirm.
Lollie is also absolutely correct that no law required him to show an ID to police officers. As Flex Your Rights explains, “Police can never compel you to identify yourself without reasonable suspicion to believe you’re involved in illegal activity,” and while 24 states have passed “stop and identify” statutes “requiring citizens to reveal their identity when officers have reasonable suspicion to believe criminal activity may be taking place,” Minnesota isn’t one of those states.
The female officer shown in the beginning of the video could easily have de-escalated the encounter by saying, “You’re right, sir, you have every right to refuse to show me identification, and if you’re just picking up your kids I’m so sorry to have bothered you. If you don’t mind, I just want to walk with you to confirm that your story checks out so I can inform the 911 caller of their error. That way we can make sure this never happens again when you’re just here to pick up your kids.”
Or she could’ve said, “Sir, I totally see why this is confusing–a lot of people would think so. Let me try to explain. That totally looks like a public seating area, but it’s actually private. Don’t you think they should have a sign saying so? Calling me may seem like an overreaction, but technically they can ask you to leave. You’re walking away now, so there’s actually no problem as long as you’re not going to go back. Are you? Okay, then we have no problem, have a wonderful day.”
As Lollie is carried away post-tasing, he can be heard challenging the officers’ “legal” assault: "Who are you? You don’t rule me. I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t hurt anybody. I didn’t touch anybody."
If only the SPPD could honestly say the same.
That video that was being passed around yesterday
my heart is heavy
But are you paying attention to what’s going on??? My heart is so heavy….. so heavy…
An attorney for the family of John Crawford III, the man fatally shot by police in an Ohio Walmart store, says surveillance video contradicts the police department’s version of events. Officers say Crawford refused to drop the pellet gun he was holding, but the video allegedly shows them gunning him down “on sight.”
Crawford, 22, was shopping at the Beavercreek, Ohio store on Aug. 5 whenpolice responded to another customer’s report that Crawford was carrying an AR-15 rifle. He was actually holding a pellet air rifle he had just picked up from a shelf in the store’s toy department.
Attorney Michael Wright says he viewed surveillance video that shows Crawford was facing away from the cops and talking to his girlfriend on the phone when police spotted him, and didn’t have the toy gun raised. Hetold WDTN Crawford probably didn’t see or hear the officers before he was shot.
"John was doing nothing wrong in Walmart, nothing more, nothing less than shopping,"Wright said, according to Reuters.
#johncrawford #rip #justice #dontshoot
This is what an apartheid looks like.
i remember until i was ten, i spelt ‘satin’ like ‘satan’ and i went to a christian school and they called my parents because i wrote ‘satan is soft like a bunny’ and they wanted the priest to talk to me
Satan is glad you appreciate the effort.
Satan uses Garnier Fructis to lock in moisture.
I JUST LOST MY SHIT
I HGAVE TOE SAVE TEhe priNCESS
PeanutButterGamer did a hilarious video about hacks for Windwaker. I don’t like to see comedy uncredited.
This is a summary of college only using two pictures; expensive as hell.
That’s my Sociology “book”. In fact what it is is a piece of paper with codes written on it to allow me to access an electronic version of a book. I was told by my professor that I could not buy any other paperback version, or use another code, so I was left with no option other than buying a piece of paper for over $200. Best part about all this is my professor wrote the books; there’s something hilariously sadistic about that. So I pretty much doled out $200 for a current edition of an online textbook that is no different than an older, paperback edition of the same book for $5; yeah, I checked. My mistake for listening to my professor.
This is why we download.
Spreading this shit like nutella because goddamn textbooks are so expensive.
not necessarily art related but as someone who couldn’t afford their textbooks this semester this is a godsend
REBLOGGING because after a little digging, I found my $200 textbook for free in PDF form.
friendly reminder that this exists since I know we’re all going back to college soon
Will reblog every time I see it.
For everyone about to return to school
Being good to each other is so important, guys.
I guess that settles that argument
Just let this sink in for a bit. #ferguson
What fucks me up about the Darren Wilson fundraiser is that he hasn’t been charged with a crime. He doesn’t have to hire a lawyer. He’s on paid leave, so he’s not losing wages. This is not covering his expenses, because he…
"Looting? I thought these were supposed to be nonviolent protests"
I know it’s incredible! People are literally coming out of the woodwork to comment on this photoset to focus on the looting headline with “well yes it is nice they were helping people hit with the tear gas, but stealing is still wrong uwu” as if they’re back to kindergarten morality.
Like everyone who’s gone to boot camp I’ve been tear gassed. They put about 50+ of you in a gas chamber and toss it in. You have to stay there until your rank is allowed to exit. Before that though, you have to say your name, rank, and social security number. You then exit and file into ranks (again) outside and are not allowed at any point to rinse your face or eyes for the entire day.
That right there? Easily the worst part of boot camp. My eyes were literally swollen shut. I was blinded for a good 30 minutes and my chest hurt for days.
I have zero problem and not and ounce of judgement for people raiding a mcdonalds that can easily afford to repair damage for ANYTHING to help ease the shittiness that is being tear gassed. Esp because every one of us in boot were medically sound to deal with tear gas. Children, asthmatics, people prone to panic and anxiety attacks, the elderly as sooo many more are NOT going to handle tear gas well at ALL.
Or that smoke the police use either.
It’s easy to sit there and judge someone from the safety of your home and say things like “it’s just tear gas” or “it can’t be that bad”.
Fuck you. As someone who HAS been gassed, you need to stfu.
I remember all the preparation they did to get us ready for the gas chamber in boot camp. We were taught how to handle ourselves, how to control our breathing, not to touch anything, how to avoid the worst of the gas. But it still didn’t matter. I remember taking in that first breath and feeling like I had just been kicked in the chest. I remember a few guys in my platoon falling down and vomiting. We knew the gas wasn’t as bad on the floor but we were the fifth platoon through and the vomit kept us from bending over more than absolutely necessary. I remember a few guys, guys in peak health training to be infantrymen, breaking ranks and running for the door only to be dragged back in kicking and screaming until they said name, rank and serial. They were expecting it, trained for it, bragging about how it wouldn’t bother them.
I remember standing there with all of the mucus from my nasal cavity on the front of my ACUs and thinking to myself “This is the nonviolent option?”
Covered head to toe and my skin still itching I looked down at the silver wedding band hanging next to my dog tags and realized that the gas had eaten little pits into its surface.
I stood there and thought of all the news reports I had seen over the years. The uprisings and revolutionaries being gassed, the crowds running from men in masks.
That’s the moment I got it, staring at my ruined wedding band, that’s the moment I realized terrorism isn’t about bombs or who is using them. It’s about controlling people through fear. It’s about removing their ability to act reasonably, to make them seem like the monsters. Terrorism is about triggering people to fight or flight then blaming them for not being rational. It’s about power. Remove someone’s power to act with reason, and you remove their humanity.
My god this commentary is perfect. Also a reminder that it turned out this “looting” was not that at all, the police bust that window with a bullet and the staff were gracious enough to hand milk out it seems, the protestors did not break in but even if they did just look at what they were trying to do with that milk, look at what they went through. The immense endurance that’s been shown by the people of Ferguson in the face of all this is incredible.