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Hyperviolent Supercops Assassinate With Impunity / Michael Gould-Wartofsky


This bloody harvest of police violence is justified in legal terms by a doctrine called “qualified immunity.” Which basically translates into a kind of impunity for police killing. Because in order to convict a police officer in an unlawful death or criminal suit, you have to somehow prove … the burden of proof is on the prosecution or on the people bringing the lawsuit to show that the police believed they were violating the civil rights and the basic liberties of the individual … that’s a ridiculous burden of proof … that’s the threshold that has to be met in order for an officer to be convicted. So while these murder charges were somewhat exceptional and rather extraordinary, they often don’t stick, for that reason. And it’s unlikely that they’re going to stick in this case either. There’s a basic underlying impunity in America for those who wear the uniform and engage in extrajudicial assassination, let’s call it what it is. This is a police unit operating as a death squad.

Writer, ethnographer, and human-rights activist Michael Gould-Wartofsky is on to talk about his TomDispatch article, "Welcome to the Predator State: Where the Scorpions on the Corner Just Might Kill You," which about the killing of Tyre Nichols by a Memphis police unit called SCORPION.

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Michael Gould-Wartofsky

Michael Gould-Wartofsky is a writer and PhD Fellow in Sociology at New York University.


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