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Pull Up Your Pants

Or we’re going to electrocute you to death, sans the chair. That’s what happened to Ervin Leon Edwards in November 2013. He was taken to jail in Baton Rouge because (I’m not making this up) his pants were too saggy, and therefore didn’t comply with bright red Louisiana’s small government pant regulations.

I’m going to sidetrack for a moment to state something that should be fairly obvious. When you pass a law telling people how to wear their clothes, you cannot call yourself a "small government" republican. It appears there’s nothing small about a any government run by republicans. Over and over again, these red states have laws designed to regulate not business (that would be a bridge too far), but you and personal choices that you may want to make.

When you pass a law making saggy pants illegal, your only goal is to create anther reason to harass black people. Let’s not pretend this law was anything more than that.

Back to Ervin. Police were called to a gas station where he and his girlfriend were having a verbal fight. The fight was over by the time the cops got there but Ervin’s pants were past the legal sagging limit, so in the interest of protecting the public, he had to be taken to jail. Can you guess how this ends? If your guess was that it ends with the corpse of Ervin Leon Edwards, you would be correct.

Let’s start with that the cops said happened. According Officer Dustin McMullan, he tased Ervin for five seconds in order to subdue him when he (Ervin) got combative. Five seconds is one cycle for that particular taser. The cop claims that he holstered the taser after that five second burst because it had no effect on Ervin. After he put the taser away, the cop said that he helped other officers use “empty hand control techniques” to remove the restraints from Edwards’ ankles and hands before leaving the cell. They also said that a deputy went in to check on Ervin at some point and found him breathing and moving his arms.

So let’s watch the video that was finally released yesterday to see how much of that was actually true:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EhGG3JvtwGs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

So you can see that there are six cops in the room. Seems to me like a six to one ratio of force would make the use of a taser completely unnecessary, but that’s just me. Maybe all six of these cops have very low testosterone levels and sperm counts. They need all the tools they can get their hands on in order to subdue anything bigger than a kitten, because they’re barely men at all.

Just to explain what you’re seeing in the video, Officer Dustin McTase A Lot is the cop directly under the really big one who’s standing up, so you can’t see everything he does. At the :32 mark in the video, you can see all of the cops (but especially the one closest to the door) jolt backward. That’s when the taser was first turned on Ervin. At :34 you can actually see it because the big cop steps back. That taser stays on Ervin’s body until :47 where the sadistic cop lifts it for a split second while he gets his balance so that he can really dig the thing into Ervin from a more steady angle. That motherfucker kept that taser in place until the 1:25 mark in the video. Everyone is leaving the room, Ervin isn’t moving at all, and that piece of fucking shit cop is still tasing the (at that point) body while the other cops are pulling the corpse’s pants off. Can you tell that I’m enraged? Three minutes later, you see someone looking into the room. I guess this is when they checked in on him and found him breathing and moving his arms? Two minutes after that, someone else looks into the room. Five minutes after that someone can finally be fucked to enter the room, with no seeming sense of urgency, and solely for the purpose of kicking the body’s foot. I guess this is some new fangled form of CPR that I haven’t yet heard of.

Remember how I told you that this happened in November, 2013? You must be wondering (as I was) why we’re just now seeing the video. The incident was investigated by internal affairs and lo and behold! They found no wrongdoing. Quelle surprise! We’re seeing the video because of a wrongful death civil suit filed by Ervin’s family.

Every article I’ve read on this says that the cops fucked up by not checking in on him and administering any CPR or making any effort to save his life (or make sure that he still had one). So that relentless tasing thing, that’s just swell. I guess that it falls within the parameters of this book we keep hearing that everything is being done by. If pumping 50,000 volts of electricity into a human for nearly a full minute isn’t considered totally shitting on the book, the book needs to be radically edited. So according to police procedure, the misconduct didn’t start until the moment the tasing ended and everyone left the room. By "according to police procedure", I mean not according to internal investigations, who found that everything was done by the book, and there’s nothing to see here.

Ervin’s cause of death is officially "undetermined", a result of “acute cocaine and phencyclidine (PCP) intoxication in association with restraint by law enforcement”. So naturally, we’re starting to get some of the same victim blaming bullshit we got with Eric Garner. He was a drug addled fatty who would be alive today if he’d put down the drugs and the donuts years ago. Or maybe he could have kept doing the drugs and eating the fried chicken, just as long as he kept his pants over the legal limit?

So now the DOJ and the FBI both have the files on this case, although there’s no confirmation that they’re investigating. If past if prologue, here’s how this is going to unfold. The family will receive a big settlement from the city. It won’t go to trial, they will just throw as much money at it as they have to, in order to avoid a trial. Think about it, how many police brutality trials do we hear about, relative to video of police brutality instances we see? The taxpayers of Baton Rouge will have to pay that money, as well as the salaries and pensions of every cop who was in that room, since none of them will ever face any consequences for what they did. The best case scenario is that he sadistic taser-happy piece of crap will be taken off the streets or (not likely) fired (with his full pension intact).

The incentive structure is not set up to produce good cops or promote good behavior by cops. There are seldom any consequences for bad behavior. If there aren’t going to be any consequences, why would these guys ever stop? That piece of shit that killed Eric Garner had three previous complaints of brutality or impropriety brought against him. Two of which had been settled before he killed Eric Garner. Every time he got away with humiliating or assaulting a black man, his sadist wings grew and he let his shitty cop freak flag fly until he finally murdered someone. And he still has his job.

So to recap;

Saggy pants = jail because that’s the only way to get the criminal element off the streets.

Murdering cop = no jail, keep your job, retire with a full pension because the criminal element on the streets is something the community should pay for and value, as long as it’s wearing a uniform.

I don’t see how we’re not encouraging more of this behavior when over and over again, we see communities paying to be brutalized by their police forces.     

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