GEORGE “Last Straw” FLOYD OC Protest Thread!


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1

Well, it took burning down one police station in Minneapolis (the 3rd precinct), but they’ve finally charged Officer Derek Chauvin for 3rd-degree murder and manslaughter. There were three other cops who helped Chauvin murder Floyd. How many Minneapolis police stations are left?

Right now Minnesota Prosecutor Mike Freeman is speaking defensively about how QUICKLY (4 days) this cop was charged and arrested.  The Mayor’s been saying for a couple of days that if you or I, or he, had murdered someone on public video the way Chauvin did, we would have been arrested immediately.  But Minnesota prosecutors say they had to look at a LOT of evidence before acting.

It woulda been nice if George Floyd had a fraction of that amount of time to determine whether he should have been arrested and killed for trying to pass a counterfeit $20.  I did the same thing once years ago, by accident.  The bank had given me a counterfeit, the store wouldn’t take it, I went back to the bank and complained, they apologized and gave me a new, good bill.  Nobody called the police on me, and I’m still alive.  But then I don’t look like George Floyd.

2

Guess what our OC Sheriff Department decided was a good idea yesterday?  Right in the middle of the worldwide outrage over the Floyd murder and so many others?  They raised up one of those “thin blue line” flags, right underneath Old Glory, on the same rope even.

This flag, which symbolizes supporting our police officers NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO, is already, I’ve always thought, a gross disfigurement of the US flag, obscuring it with an actually-kinda-fat “thin blue line” that celebrates the mutually protective bond of secrecy between cops. 

To raise it NOW is obviously a statement of our Sheriff’s solidarity with Floyd’s murderers. 

One OCSD defender responded no, this has nothing to do with George Floyd, it’s part of an annual “Peace Officers’ Memorial and Candlelight Vigil”  planned for May 28.

NICE TRY.  The annual Peace Officers’ Memorial Day was already on MAY 15.  They did this on purpose.

[Hat-tip Benjamin Vasquez.]

Oh, and never forget to thank Lou Correa and Tom Daly for giving us Sheriff Don Barnes.

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Update Friday night –
they postponed the “vigil” and took down the flag.
(See Francesca comment below.)  Good.
But as far as we can tell they didn’t have this “vigil” planned or announced till Wednesday, the 27th,
so it’s hard to imagine an innocent intention.

3

A good friend texted me last night: “You know all this George Floyd stuff kind of pisses me off.  I remember you and a bunch of advocates raising hell about Vincent Valenzuela and nobody gave a shit.  And the Valenzuela video is just as bad as the Floyd video, the news media and everyone else did not give a shit.” 

Well, it’s true that there have been thousands of police killings here and everywhere that more people should have “given a shit” about.  But the first obvious difference is that we saw the Floyd killing right away, because people were thankfully FILMING THE POLICE;  while it took two years for us to be allowed to see the police video of the Valenzuela killing… and one thing that happens from the delay, by design, is that people say, “Oh how horrible, that happened two years ago, thank God that doesn’t happen any more.”

But hey – maybe spring 2020 is also different from other times because of the virus, maybe right now with “all of us in the same storm,” Americans are starting to see folks of other colors as not so different from them after all?  I’m probably wrong…

That reminds me, even HERE at the OJ Blog, we have been hearing about Anaheim police killings years after they happen, and we just this week learned about another apparently unjustifiable one in 2018, making SWAT Team Officer Nick “Buckshot” Bennalack’s FOURTH fatal shooting (three of them questionable or worse.)  Now we have to update our list AGAIN:

APD Fatalities in the 2010’s.

4-time killer APD SWAT team Officer Nick Bennalack. Calls himself “Buckshot,” we call him “Backshot.”

Apologies to the friends and families of those killed by the APD in the decade BEFORE 2010 – Caesar Cruz, Julian Alexander, Joe Whitehouse, Adolfo Sanchez, Barry King, Justin Hertl, Brian Drummond and so many more – we had to draw the line somewhere.

4

Yesterday my wife Donna Acevedo-Nelson wrote:

“Listening to the statement from the Minneapolis Chief of Police made my innards feel knotted. He talked about trauma and needing to heal in the community. He said people will be out helping with that.

“It made me think about when my own son, Joey Acevedo, was executed while handcuffed by an Anaheim police officer. That was the day after another young man, Manuel Diaz, was executed by another Anaheim killer cop. Within days there was an outpouring of “trauma healers.” From Rusty Kennedy & the Human Relations to other non profits. From the politicians and their photo-op peace vigils. The “TONE SETTERS.”

“How can anyone expect peace when no one is ever held accountable for these murders? And the cops keep on killing. I am angry. I have nothing against love and peace and kindness. But that shit doesnt stop the murders. There was a time when I had conflicting feelings about riots. Not anymore. It seems like the only time Anaheim officials were afraid of the people is when we had protests here that got too close to the moneymaking Disneyland.

“The only peace that ever happens is when we stop making noise. Kind of like when George Floyd took his last breath. The cop that killed him looked at peace.”

5 Update Sat. morning

You ever have this frustration like I have, when you can tell you’re the only person who correctly heard the guy on TV, and the host and other guests didn’t?  NAACP’s Ben Jealous was talking about the problem of provocateurs (some of them cops, some of them anarchists) and said that when protesters see someone starting fires, breaking things, trying to hurt people, they should take their protest elsewhere so order can be restored.  Then he had to get off to do something else.  Alex Witt apparently thought he said the POLICE should leave, and politely disagreed; and the other guests went along with her mishearing.  But Ben’s advice was good.  Although I’d like to get some of these provocateurs on video, and maybe even overpower them if possible.  Again some are cops being paid to do this, and some are “anarchists” who just love chaos.

ANYWAY there are at least three other protests planned in Orange County this weekend, besides the one we’re going to at Kelly’s Corner at 4.  First, in Orange at 1pm.  I wish they’d have named some of our local victims instead of the ones famous from recent TV… but there wouldn’t have been enough room.  Oh yeah, “Orange Plaza Square Park” is the official name for what everybody else calls the ORANGE CIRCLE.  That’s kinda lame, calling a circle a square.

Next, in Santa Ana, at 4pm (we’ll be at Kelly’s Corner.)  Nothing scary here except the word “Revolution” which sounds like Bernie Sanders now.  Don’t forget your hand-held snacks!

Now THIS one looks like trouble, and many of us think it’s organized by police to trap “troublemakers.”  Really, “bring homies?”  “HEY!  YOU TWO aren’t supposed to be together.  Get over here!”  Skip this one:

And tomorrow in Huntington Beach at noon.  Well, that should be interesting – especially with that name, “Black Lives Matter.”  My old home town is full of obnoxious morons who purposely refuse to understand the meaning of that sentence, “Black lives matter.”  All they can come back with is, “What?  Does that mean WHITE LIVES DON’T MATTER???  Racists!  And what about Yellow and Red Lives?  And especially BLUE LIVES!!!  Don’t Police MATTER any more????”

Remember last time people tried to have a protest in honor of police victims in HB?  Chris Epting and his son showed up.  Oh well, he seems to be keeping a lower profile lately, maybe it’ll be okay…

 


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.