Texas Mounted Officers Apologize For ‘Poor Judgment’ After Leading Man Behind Horse By Leash

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The Galveston Police Department issued an official apology for any “unnecessary embarrassment” caused by the incident.

The Galveston Police Department issued an apology on Monday evening after an image was circulated on social media showing two mounted officers, both white, leading a handcuffed black man behind their horses, attached by what looked like a rope or leash.

Adrienne Bell, a Democratic candidate running for Congress in Texas’ 14th District, posted the image to Facebook, saying the scene had invoked “anger, disgust and questions from the community.”

In a press release posted on Facebook Monday, the police department identified the suspect as Donald Neely. He was arrested for trespassing on Saturday, and a transportation unit was not immediately available at the time of the arrest so the officers escorted him to the Mounted Patrol Unit staging area in this manner.

The department acknowledged that the incident may have been “unnecessarily” embarrassing for Neely and apologized for the poor judgment of mounted officers P. Brosch and A. Smith. 

“We understand the negative perception of this action and believe it is most appropriate to cease the use of this technique. The Police Chief has taken immediate action to suspend this technique of transportation during arrests,” the release stated.

The release also sought to clarify that Neely was not detained by a rope tied to his hands, but a “line clipped to the handcuffs.”

People on social media expressed disgust at the incident, calling it dehumanizing, unacceptable and reprehensible.

Obama calls for gun control: 'We are not helpless' to stop attacks

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Former President Barack Obama called for stricter gun control laws in a Monday statement after two mass shootings over the weekend left more than 30 people dead in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

“We are not helpless here,” Obama said in a statement posted on Twitter. “And until all of us stand up and insist on holding public officials accountable for changing our gun laws, these tragedies will keep happening.”

Obama said the El Paso shooting followed a “dangerous trend” of violence motivated by racist ideologies. He compared white supremacist websites to terrorist groups like ISIS and called on law enforcement and internet platforms to reduce the influence of hate groups.

The El Paso shooting is being investigated as a possible hate crime after an anti-immigrant “manifesto” posted online was connected to the alleged gunman. Posts on 8chan, an online messaging board used by right-wing extremists, have also been connected to the alleged gunman. Law enforcement officials said on Saturday that the suspect told them he wanted to shoot as many Mexicans as possible.

Obama also called on Americans to “soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments.” He didn’t specify which leaders he was talking about. President Trump is known for anti-immigrant rhetoric, repeatedly referring to a migrant caravan at the U.S.-Mexico border as an “invasion.”

Obama noted that hateful rhetoric and language that demonizes others isn’t new but has been at the “root of most human tragedy.”

“It has no place in our politics and our public life,” he wrote. “And it’s time for the overwhelming majority of Americans of goodwill, of every race and faith and political party, to say as much — clearly and unequivocally.”

Obama has said that his inability to strengthen gun laws was the “biggest frustration” of his presidency. He was often moved to tears when he addressed the country after a mass shooting. In 2017, he said the “toughest day” of his tenure was when he met with the families of the victims of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012.

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El Paso Terrorism Suspect’s Alleged Manifesto Highlights Eco-Fascism’s Revival

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The racist rant inveighs against environmental destruction and calls for mass killings to make the American “way of life” more “sustainable.” It’s not unique.

A manifesto posted online shortly before Saturday’s massacre at a Walmart in El Paso that the suspected shooter may have written blamed immigrants for hastening the environmental destruction of the United States and proposed genocide as a pathway to ecological sustainability.

Filled with white nationalist diatribes against “race-mixing” and the “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” the manifesto highlights far-right extremists’ budding revival of eco-fascism.

Titled “The Inconvenient Truth,” an allusion to Al Gore’s landmark climate change documentary, the ranting four-page document appeared on the extremist forum 8chan shortly before the shooting. Authorities have yet to confirm whether Patrick Crusius, the 21-year-old Dallas-area white man arrested in connection with the shooting that left at least 20 dead, is the author.

“The environment is getting worse by the year,” the manifesto reads. “Most of y’all are just too stubborn to change your lifestyle. So the next logical step is to decrease the number of people in America using resources. If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable.” 

HuffPost reviewed the document but, with consideration to the ethical concerns of broadcasting what might be a notoriety-seeking killer’s messaging, is not publishing a link to it. 

The manifesto explicitly cites the 74-page message posted online by the gunman charged with killing 51 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March. That alleged shooter, Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old white Australian, thrice described himself as an “eco-fascist” motivated to repel waves of migrants fleeing climate change-ravaged regions of the world. 

For years now, denial served as the extreme right’s de facto position on climate change. That is starting to change. 

Just look, as Dissent magazine did in May, at this spring’s European elections. Following the European Green Party’s historic gains, the far-right Alternative for Germany’s youth wing in Berlin urged party leaders to abandon the “difficult to understand statement that mankind does not influence the climate,” an issue that moves “more people than we thought.” 

Law enforcement officials block a road early Sunday morning at the scene of a mass shooting that occurred Saturday at a shopp
Law enforcement officials block a road early Sunday morning at the scene of a mass shooting that occurred Saturday at a shopping complex in El Paso.

In France, the far-right National Rally already took the message to heart. The party, led by Marine Le Pen, vowed to remake Europe as “the world’s first ecological civilization” with a climate platform rooted in nationalism. Le Pen railed against “nomadic” people who “do not care about the environment” as “they have no homeland,” harkening to the Nazis’ “blood and soil” slogan that, as The Guardian put it, described a belief in a mystical connection between race and a particular territory. Under that logic, “borders are the environment’s greatest ally,” as a National Rally party spokesman said in April.

In the United States, 70% of Americans recognize the climate is warming, and 57% understand humans’ emissions are the cause, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication polling shows. Republicans, long the only major political party in the developed world to outright reject climate science, are inching away from denialism but have yet to rally around a popular policy proposal. 

“Someday Republicans are going to have to come up with some proposals that are responsive to these issues and, frankly, be more reasonable and more thoughtful,” Scott Jennings, a Republican consultant and a former campaign adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), told The New York Times last week. 

More than 65 million people are displaced worldwide right now, marking ― depending on how you count it ― the highest number of refugees in history. Climate change is forecast to inflame the crisis. Catastrophic weather forced 24 million people to flee home per year since 2008, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, the Swiss-based international organization. By 2050, that number could hit anywhere from 140 million to 300 million to 1 billion. Drought, rising seas and violent storms could compel upward of 143 million people to leave sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America alone by the middle of the century, the World Bank estimated last year. 

If we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can become more sustainable.From a manifesto possibly written by the suspected El Paso gunman

Slashing global greenhouse gases and increasing aid to help poor countries close to the equator adapt is the obvious way to change that trajectory. The Green New Deal framework left-wing climate activists put forward late last year gained international popularity in part because its promise of good-paying jobs and meaningful work as a vehicle for wealth redistribution and ecological stability offers a powerful antidote to the toxic elixir of far-right prescriptions to social unrest. 

But as planet-heating emissions continue surging and scientists’ projections grow more dire, eco-fascism is experiencing a revival in a subculture of far-right extremism online. It comes amid a rekindled interest in Ted Kaczynski, the convicted terrorist known as the Unabomber. 

Kaczynski ― like his newfound online fandom, who often distinguish themselves with pine-tree emoji on social media ― subscribes to “lifeboat ethics.” The term, coined in the 1970s by the neoconservative ecologist Garrett Hardin, denotes the idea that “traditional humanitarian views of the ‘guilt-ridden,’ ‘conscience-stricken’ liberal” threatens the balance of nature. The belief traces its lineage back to 18th-century English philosopher Thomas Malthus, who theorized that population growth would eclipse the availability of resources to meet basic human needs without moral restraint or widespread disease, famine or war to thin the herd.  

In September 2017, the white nationalist magazine American Renaissance asked its readers a question: “What does it mean for whites if climate change is real?” The bombastic essay wondered whether the “population explosion in the global south combined with climate change” demonstrated “the single greatest external threat to Western civilization” ― even “more serious than Islamic terrorism or Hispanic illegal immigration.” 

“If continued global change makes the poor, non-white parts of the world even more unpleasant to live in than they are now, it will certainly drive more non-whites north,” Jared Taylor, the publication’s editor and an influential white nationalist, wrote in an email to the magazine Jewish Currents. “I make no apology for ... urging white nations to muster the will to guard their borders and maintain white majorities.”

Two years later, white, male gunmen appear to be heeding his call. 

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