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Cities & Towns > Trouble in Different Places

Trouble in Different Places

My friend M is still in Cali, Colombia, where there are ongoing protests against the new tax that people there can hardly afford, where the average monthly income a few years ago used to be only $200 or so. (I don't actually understand how people get by, because food prices there are lower than ours, but not THAT much lower. I know multiple generations of families live together...) Police there have been firing indiscriminately into the crowds and have killed altogether about 12-15 people, I think, if you take in all areas. It’s the 3rd biggest city in the country, and was considered the safest to live in.

The grocery stores are running out of food, as I was shown in photos.The city is on lockdown. One of the reasons M urged me to start growing vegetables at home is that he’s facing this actual need himself. I’m just glad he had a lot of supplies laid in due to Covid already. I’m watching the news closely. I don’t want to hear him tell me he has to run to an embassy for safety.

The current president likes to use the police pretty harshly to quell protests and riots. The country has its own George Floyd movement; they’ve endured many incidents of police killings, and last year brought what are called the Javier Ordonez protests, named for a man who was killed by being tasered 20 times by the police.

While the biggest problem talked about in the U.S. is the racist element of police brutality, and this of course is justified, I also wish a more general issue of allover brutality were attended to with urgency. The thin little confused woman who had her arm broken and shoulder dislocated, then left in a cell for over 2 hours while the cops laughed about the video of her arrest just flattened me.

These weren’t racial incidents, but mental health ones. This incident — and the one of the big stocky hispanic man who did absolutely nothing but loiter and got killed for it — affects me because they were both confused people, the lady had dementia and the man some other mental problem. And they were brutalized. I’ve spent too many years caring for tiny little elderly women just like that, fragile people, and I loved the work, I miss it although it was so hard. It makes me horribly angry at those police who hurt her, and the ones who killed that man. They were so defenseless.

posted on May 8, 2021 8:54 AM ()


Yes, it was last fall. The lawsuit against the city was just recently filed/made public, right on the heels of the verdict in the George Floyd murder trial, so although I don't think there was a timing strategy to do with getting maximum nationwide attention, it certainly fit in.

One of the interesting things is the police/city upper management say the lawsuit filed all these months later was the first notice they had that she was injured during the arrest. There was some report the arresting officers were supposed to fill out about an arrest that involved extra force (they mention it in the video), but I haven't heard if they filed that report.
comment by traveltales on May 11, 2021 6:51 PM ()
And the young cops just resigned last week - months and months after the incident.
reply by traveltales on May 11, 2021 6:52 PM ()
We could end up with those South American problems if the likes of the Orange Traitor every gets elected, but it least we're safe for a few years now.
While it's true that black lives matter it's also true that not everyone assaulted by the police are black. There are thousands of videos available but nothing gets made of it. And the people4 who don't know of these videos believe in supporting the "justice" system. There was a stupid local ceremony where cops patted themselves on the back for five years of service and ten years of service etc. The video was on fb and I asked in the comments if Covid doctors and nurses get this kind of celebration also, but nobody would touch my question.
comment by jjoohhnn on May 10, 2021 10:29 AM ()
One of the other things Cali is dealing with is a gas shortage, people sleeping in their cars in line for it. Like in N. Carolina, only for a different reason.
reply by drmaus on May 12, 2021 6:28 PM ()
The involved police officers were 'allowed to resign' and the city has formed a 'restore citizen trust' taskforce. Upper management in the police department claims they didn't know she was injured until the lawsuit was filed, several months after the incident.

According to that infamous recording of the young cops gloating about 'the pop' when the frail older lady's shoulder was dislocated or maybe when her arm was broken, there was a mechanism for them to report the incident. I'm watching to see if they did report it that way.
comment by traveltales on May 10, 2021 5:25 AM ()
Just realized this happened last year. I'd gotten confused by the warm weather and green grass in the video. Maybe now, with public reaction to the circulation of the clips, something more than a task force will happen, I hope. The video is so damning.
reply by drmaus on May 10, 2021 1:19 PM ()
It is clear to me that the police should have psychological testing as well as a degree in criminal justice before they are hired. The rule of
law has been flouted for four years and it has set a horrible example
for these low, nasty and brutal in the police force.
comment by elderjane on May 9, 2021 5:08 AM ()
I'm going to be looking for news of what happens to those police in the little lady case. They were looking to hurt someone.
reply by drmaus on May 9, 2021 5:42 AM ()
Mental illness is still a 'secret' conversation in the USA--police departments NEED qualified people to deal with those with mental problems instead of 'force'!!
comment by greatmartin on May 8, 2021 10:57 AM ()
yes, the police should be half replaced with social services people.
reply by drmaus on May 9, 2021 5:41 AM ()
The little confused woman incident was in my nearby town where I do all my grocery shopping. It has me wondering whether I should pull over within sight of any police stop and try to figure out what's going on, not turn a blind eye. But who would I call if I thought something was wrong? 911 in hopes that additional cops might have a calming effect on the ones who seem to be out of line?
comment by traveltales on May 8, 2021 10:37 AM ()
I don't know who to call either, except a local news channel. I just hope if they are watched by the public, they will start to act differently. It is not always safe to record them, either, since sometimes police come over and harass you for that. So upsetting.
reply by drmaus on May 9, 2021 5:40 AM ()

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