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Angry Red Meals, Sunset Magazine, 1980

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Angry Red Meals, Sunset Magazine, 1980

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synapsecracklepop
12 hours ago
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slow clap
Atlanta
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Does Fear of Black Men Satisfy the “Objective Reasonableness” Standard?

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crutcher-helo-2Another video. Another police shooting. Another Black person’s body dead on an American road.

Every person is innocent until proven guilty.

That is true for Betty Shelby, the police officer who shot and killed Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma on September 16, 2016.

“What did Terence Crutcher do to justify a death sentence?”

It also should have been true for Terence Crutcher.

So what did Crutcher do to justify a death sentence?

Legally, we have to ask two questions. What did Crutcher do to cause Shelby to fire her weapon at him? And according to established legal precedent, was Shelby’s shooting justified?

We do not know enough information to answer those questions. An investigation needs to uncover what Shelby, or the other police officers, told Crutcher, and what Crutcher did, during the moments before Shelby fired her weapon.

Enough of these killings have happened to unarmed Black people that citizens can and should begin to ask more serious questions about circumstances that justify police officers using deadly force against citizens.

The case that set the standard on when police officers are justified in using excessive force is Graham v. Connor. In the 1989 Graham decision the Supreme Court held that a standard of “objective reasonableness” determined if a police officer’s actions while making an arrest, issuing a search and seizure warrant, or making a stop, violated a citizen’s fourth amendment rights. The summary of the Court’s ruling explains,

The Fourth Amendment ‘reasonableness’ inquiry is whether the officers’ actions are ‘objectively reasonable’ in light of the facts and circumstances confronting them, without regard to their underlying intent or motivation. The ‘reasonableness’ of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, and its calculus must embody an allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second decisions about the amount of force necessary in a particular situation.

So, how can the shooting and death of Terence Crutcher stand up to legal scrutiny according to the “objective reasonableness” standard set in Graham?

Terence Crutcher, right, was fatally shot by Officer Betty Shelby, left.

Terence Crutcher, right, was fatally shot by Officer Betty Shelby, left.

Exceptions to Fourth Amendment protections against search and seizure, in this case excessive use of force in an arrest, have to satisfactorily apply “objective reasonableness” to at least three criteria: (1) did the arresting officers already have the apprehended person subdued by other means; (2) was the apprehended person attempting to flee; (3) were there exigent circumstances that required force beyond that which an objectively reasonable police officer would need to apply in that situation. Perhaps most important in understanding the Graham decision: the “objective reasonableness” standard does not take into consideration intent or motive. As Chief Justice Rhenquist said in the Supreme Court’s ruling, “objective reasonableness,”  also cannot consider, “the 20/20 vision of hindsight.” It has to deal with the facts of the situation. It has to ask if an officer’s use of force was objectively reasonable in any and all such situations.

In short, would another, objectively reasonable officer, in the exact same situation do the exact same thing?

Based on video evidence, before Officer Shelby shot Terence Crutcher – or simultaneously as she shot him – Crutcher had already been shot with a taser gun by one of the officers on the scene.

The video makes clear that Crutcher was walking back to his car.

His hands look raised.

“That looks like a bad dude, too,” said one police officer who observed the scene unfold live. “He could be on something.”

The video shows at least four officers on the scene. Early details from the investigation indicate the officers claiming that Crutcher attempted to reach into his car before Shelby shot him. The video’s footage is inconclusive on that issue.

Whether or not, or how, these officers will answer for Crutcher’s death hinges on application of the holding in Graham.

Did Officer Shelby have reasonably objective grounds for applying additional, deadly force according to the criteria through which investigators use the Graham holding to determine justified uses of force: was the suspect already subdued; was the suspect attempting to flee; did exigent circumstances demand excessive force?

That third criterion – exigent circumstances – is the one where arresting officers literally get away with murder. A police officer can claim fear for his safety, or the safety of his fellow officers, or other citizens. This claim usually passes scrutiny when an officer is alone. In this case, Officer Shelby was surrounded by several other officers.

So this situation begs the question: on what objectively reasonable grounds did the officer require using deadly force to subdue Terence Crutcher? What made Crutcher a “bad dude?” Did his size, color and sex factor into that assessment? Does a Black male, walking towards a car, with hands raised, engaged by four trained police officers cause a level of fear that warrants deadly force? Are these objectively reasonable conditions to justify a death penalty?

This is a question that concerns the entire nation.

If widespread violation of a fundamental Constitutional right (the Fourth amendment) continuously occurs to citizens, this issue is bigger than either the personal experiences of law enforcement officers, or individual citizens.

The Fourth Amendment exists to protect everyone.

If violations of it result in wrongful deaths, it is incumbent on all citizens to know when, where, how, and why that happens, and what we can do to fix it.

If allowances for excessive force according to the Graham holding are applied in discriminatory fashions – if these allowances apply when arresting officers consistently use excessive force on people from certain races, colors, regions, or economic classes, but not on others – than those practices may violate the Fourteenth amendment, and possibly the Civil Rights Act.

Objectively reasonable fears for an officer’s safety exist.

But such a standard cannot become shields to protect against murder or brutality or coercion.

That is not a nation ruled by law and order.

It is a nation ruled by fear-driven deadly force.

And that is not a nation in which anyone should live.

This article originally appeared on Common Dreams.


Brian Purnell is Associate Professor of Africana Studies and History at Bowdoin College. He is the author of Fighting Jim Crow in the County of Kings: The Congress of Racial Equality in Brooklyn (University Press of Kentucky, 2013), which won the New York State Historical Association’s Dixon Ryan Fox Manuscript Prize. His research, writing, and teaching areas generally fall within the broad field of African American history with specific concentrations in urban history, oral history, civil rights and black power movement history, and modern United States history. He is writing an African American history of New York City since 1626 and an oral history-driven narrative of the Brooklyn-based activist-educator, Jitu Weuis.

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synapsecracklepop
3 days ago
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I am so grateful there are people out there who can articulate pieces like this, when all I can do is gasp, shriek, howl, hurt.
Atlanta
acdha
3 days ago
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Washington, DC
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Sweet Lips (larger)

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Sweet Lips (larger)

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synapsecracklepop
4 days ago
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False. What about Cumming, Georgia?!
Atlanta
dreadhead
4 days ago
How is there a town named "rough & ready"?!
adamcole
3 days ago
SUGAR TIT?!
synapsecracklepop
3 days ago
Gotta feed those babies somehow!
dreadhead
2 days ago
is there a high diabetes rate there?
adamcole
2 days ago
I can only assume it's like some bird species or something. PLEASE LET IT BE A BIRD SPECIES.
synapsecracklepop
2 days ago
I had to break down and google it. Wikipedia says: "Sugar Tit received its name when the men spent so long socializing at the local general store, their wives complained they took to the store like a baby to a sugar tit."
adamcole
2 days ago
Goddamn that is AMAZING.
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Report: Feeling Bad Right Now Most Reliable Predictor Of Feeling...

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Report: Feeling Bad Right Now Most Reliable Predictor Of Feeling Bad Forever

STANFORD, CA—Saying their findings were consistent across all ages and demographic groups, psychologists at Stanford University released a groundbreaking report this week confirming that feeling bad right now is an extremely accurate predictor of feeling bad forever.

The report, which draws its conclusions from a longitudinal study of 500 participants conducted over the course of 30 years, found a nearly perfect correlation between experiencing sadness, anger, loneliness, and despair at the current moment and then continuing to experience those exact same emotions for the rest of one’s life no matter what.

“Based on our findings, we can state with a high level of certainty that anyone who feels miserable at the present time will, from this moment onward, always feel miserable,” said the report’s co-author Danielle Bowman, adding that researchers observed zero cases in which a subject’s feelings of sorrow or hopelessness ever went away in the short or long term. “For example, if, at the moment, you are desperately lonely and depressed, the evidence overwhelmingly suggests you will still feel that way when you wake up tomorrow, the day after that, a month from now, in five years, and indeed, every single waking second until you die.”

“There were, however, several instances in which people’s emotional states did eventually change,” Bowman continued. “In roughly 31 percent of cases, people began to feel much worse over the years.”

According to the study, individuals who currently struggle with feelings of worthlessness and believe there is no way anyone could ever really love them have a 99.8 percent chance of maintaining that state of mind for the remainder of their natural lives. Similarly, the results indicated a state of anguish will be permanent for 99.6 percent of those suffering from a sense that their life is headed in the wrong direction and there is nothing they can do to stop it.

The study, which began with clinical trials and field observations in 1986, also concluded that anyone who at any point became anxious or melancholy never again experienced happiness in any form, regardless of any changes in their exercise habits, diet, psychological or pharmacological treatments, relationship status, or employment situation.

In addition, the report’s authors recommended that if you feel bad at present, you should simply save yourself further trouble by abandoning any hope of things ever getting better.

Greg Hudson, a participant in the study who said he hasn’t felt a pleasant or even neutral emotion since the 1990s, told reporters he agreed with the researchers’ recommendation.

“About 20 years ago, I was going through a hard time both at work and at home, putting in too many hours and having difficulty getting along with my boss while at the same time dealing with some marital stress,” said Hudson, a visibly weary man now in his fifties. “Just waking up and getting out of bed every day was like torture. That was in 1997, and I can honestly say that today, after all these years, I feel every bit as awful as I did back then. At no point has anything changed. Ever.”

The study also found strong evidence to suggest that feelings of pure joy can be expected to dissipate completely within one to two seconds after they first appear.

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synapsecracklepop
4 days ago
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My confirmation bias game is strong.
Atlanta
Technicalleigh
4 days ago
Huh. When did The Onion stop being satire?
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Yes, It Is Possible To Get Your Flu Shot Too Soon

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The start of flu season is still weeks or months away, but you can get a flu shot now at many pharmacies. "It's a way to get people into the store story to buy other things," things, says Tom Charland, an analyst who tracks the walk-in clinic industry.

Darron Cummings/AP

The pitches from pharmacy chains started in August: Come in and get your flu shot.

Convenience is touted. So are incentives. CVS offers a 20 percent-off 20-percent-off shopping pass for everyone who gets a shot, while Walgreens donates toward international vaccination efforts.

The start of flu season is still weeks, if not months, away. Yet marketing of the vaccine has become an almost year-round effort that starts when the shots become available in August and is hyped as long as the supply lasts — often into April or May.

Not that long ago, most flu-shot campaigns started as the leaves began to turn in October. But two things have stretched the flu-shot season: the decade-long increase in the number of drugstores that have a retail medical clinic inside, and state laws that allow pharmacists to give vaccinations.

Drugstores have figured out how "to deliver medical services in an on-demand way," says Tom Charland, founder and CEO of Merchant Medicine, which tracks the walk-in clinic industry. The approach appeals to customers, particularly millennials, and turns out to be good business.

"It's a way to get people into the store to buy other things," Charland says.

But some doctors warn that the marketing may be overtaking medical wisdom, since it's unclear how long the immunity imparted by the vaccine lasts, particularly in older people.

Federal health officials say it's better to get the shot whenever you can. An early flu shot is better than no flu shot at all. But the science is mixed when it comes to how long you'll get optimal protection from a flu shot promoted and given during the waning days of summer; the typical flu season peaks in midwinter mid-winter or beyond. Immunologists and public health officials are divided on how patients should respond to such offers.

"If you're over 65, don't get the flu vaccine in September. Or August. It's a marketing scheme," says Laura Haynes, an immunologist at the University of Connecticut Center on Aging.

A combination of factors makes it more difficult for the immune systems of people older than age 65 to respond to the vaccination, she says, and the protective effect may also wear off faster than it does in young people.

So, when is the best time to vaccinate?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises physicians that it's safe to make flu shots available to all age groups whenever the vaccine becomes available, each year. While "delaying vaccination might permit greater immunity later in the season," the CDC notes, citing evidence from a 2013 study, that "deferral could result in missed opportunities to vaccinate."

How long will the immunity last?

"The data are very mixed," says Dr. John J. Treanor, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Rochester medical school. Some studies suggest vaccines lose some protectiveness during the course of a single flu season. Flu activity generally starts in the fall, but peaks in January or February and can run into the spring.

"So some might worry that if [they] got vaccinated very early and flu didn't show up until very late, it might not work as well," he says. But other studies show "you still have protection from the shot you got last year," Treanor adds, "if it's a year when the strains didn't change."

In any given flu season, the effectiveness of immunization varies, partly dependent on how well the vaccine matches the strain of flu virus that's predominant that year. In the overall population, the CDC says studies show a vaccine can reduce the risk of flu by about 50 to 60 percent when the vaccine is well-matched. well matched.

It's especially important to vaccinate children, to help keep parents and grandparents healthy, as well as the kids themselves, doctors say. While most people who get the flu recover, it is a serious disease responsible for many deaths each year, particularly among older adults and young children.

The intensity of illness provoked by each influenza strain can vary, too; U.S. deaths associated with the flu have ranged from about 3,300 a year to 49,000 in the past 31 seasons.

To develop vaccines, manufacturers and scientists study what's circulating in the Southern Hemisphere during its winter flu season — June, July and August. Then, based on that evidence, they forecast what flu strains might be circulating in the U.S. the following November, December and January, and incorporate that information into flu vaccines that are generally ready by late July.

For the upcoming season, the vaccines will include three or four strains — including two influenza A strains, an H1N1 and an H3N2, as well as one or two B strains, according to the CDC. The federal health officials recommend that everyone older than 6 months gets get vaccinated, unless they have a health condition that would prevent it.

The vaccines can't give a person the flu because the virus is killed before it's used in the shot. This year, the nasal vaccine — a squirt of liquid that includes a live attenuated virus — is not recommended for use, as studies showed it was not effective during several of the past flu seasons.

So, talk to your doctor, and weigh your options for re the timing of that flu shot. "The ideal time is between Halloween and Thanksgiving," says Haynes, who specializes in the immunity of older people. "If you can't wait, and the only chance is to get it in September, then go ahead and get it. It's best to get it early rather than not at all."

Kaiser Health News is a service of the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation. Neither one is affiliated with the health insurer Kaiser Permanente. Follow Julie Appleby on Twitter: @Julie_appleby.

Copyright 2016 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.
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synapsecracklepop
9 days ago
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Asking in case anybody knows, because my various drs have been unhelpful:
I need to get a flu shot.
My next rituxan dose is in late October.
Should I get the flu shot before or after the Rituxan?

Seems like there should be a simple answer to this but neither my ms-specialist neuro, asthma dr, nor gp has any recommendation. Last year, I ended up not getting the vaccine at all d/t rituxan induction shaking up October -- but then I felt like I was holding my breath until tax season, esp with two preschool disease vectors bringing home every other viral menace for six straight months.

Any insight or opinions welcome.
Atlanta
satadru
6 days ago
Rituximab appears to deplete B cells, which are what hold the infection memory that vaccinations create... so the vaccine might not do you any good at all. :( http://www.jwatch.org/oh201201100000005/2012/01/10/rituximab-blocks-influenza-vaccine-response
synapsecracklepop
4 days ago
Thanks for chiming in. That's pretty much the consensus my pubmed searching turned up, too. I feel kind of guilty for asking everyone around me to get THEIR flu vaccines to protect ME -- even though that's basically the point. :/
satadru
2 days ago
Herd immunity protects everybody. Ask away. Education and putting faces to statistics probably helps get the message across better.
Technicalleigh
9 days ago
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SF Bay area, CA (formerly ATL)
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constablewrites: rainbowrowell: teacupdream: vandigo: bitch-jerk-assbutt-teamfreewill: one-lastm...

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constablewrites:

rainbowrowell:

teacupdream:

vandigo:

bitch-jerk-assbutt-teamfreewill:

one-lastmiracle:

intangible-rice:

When I was 17 my appendix ruptured because I thought I was just having period cramps and didn’t go to the hospital so don’t tell me PMS symptoms are no big deal

this actually happened to me during my math final and i didn’t think anything of it and when i was later admitted to the hospital my math prof was asking me ‘you didn’t have to take the final! why didn’t you tell me it hurt?!?!’ and i told him i’ve had cramps worse.

he gave me 100

This is actually an extremely common occurrence simply because in sex ed they don’t teach you how to tell the difference between menstrual cramps and other more serious pains. The way to tell the difference between cramps and appendicitis is that while menstrual cramps are generalized toward the middle of the stomach below the belly button, pain from a swollen or burst appendix will start in the middle of the stomach and relocate to only the lower right side, even lower than menstrual cramps, and is a very localized pain. It also comes on extremely suddenly and will worsen over time or when you make a sudden movement, like a cough or a sneeze.

Basically, if you’re feeling any sort of pain, even if it’s menstrual cramps, don’t hesitate to tell the school nurse or a parent, or if you’re out of school and home even make a doctor’s appointment. Chances are if your cramps are that bad there’s something they can do to improve that as well.

I am boosting the shit out of that reply, because I am twenty-fucking-five years old and did not know how to tell the two pains apart

Adding another diagnostic tool! This is something we use in the ER called the rebound test. Basically, appendicitis and cramps react differently to certain things. If you’re still not sure if you have cramps or appendicitis, take two fingers and press them into your abdomen where the pain is (try repeating this on the lower right quadrant of the abdomen just to be sure.)

When you press in firmly, it will probably hurt. Here’s the test: LET GO. Does it get better or get worse? Appendicitis will immediately hurt worse when you let go. Cramps will not. Go to the ER if the rebound test makes it worse!

THE REBOUND TEST IS REALLY IMPORTANT.

My husband got sent home from the ER with a rupturing appendix. When he came back and was rushed into surgery, the surgeon was super angry – “Why didn’t anyone do the rebound test?!”

Signal boosting the fuck out of this. I had a friend whose appendix ruptured because she thought it was bad cramps. And now I’m eternally paranoid that when I get bad cramps (because they don’t happen often but when they do oh god) it’s really my appendix. But there’s a way to tell.

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synapsecracklepop
9 days ago
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My appendix inflamed and nearly ruptured when I was 6. I'd broken bones and stuff before that, so it didn't hurt /worse/ but it hurt /different/ like nothing I'd ever felt so I knew it was serious even at 6. Until I turned 13 and got my first period (and the first of decades of horrific cramps) and I was like, "but they took my appendix and fed it to a medical incinerator?! but I think I'm dying maybe??" The pain was amazingly similar, as was the fever and nausea. So who the fuck knows. Periods suck.
Atlanta
RedSonja
8 days ago
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Technicalleigh
9 days ago
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SF Bay area, CA (formerly ATL)
bibliogrrl
9 days ago
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Chicago!
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1 public comment
Courtney
8 days ago
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As someone who, at 35, is going through a lot of weird cramps due to mending old pelvic/tailbone injuries, the rebound test is supremely reassuring.
Portland, OR
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