LA MESA OFFICER'S 'HEART DROPPED' AFTER SHOOTING LESLIE FURCRON; HE'S FAULTED IN NEWLY RELEASED REPORT

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By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  Arrow points to La Mesa police Detective Eric Knudson before he withdrew behind a wall and shot Leslie Furcron with a beanbag shell. LMPD photo

March 19, 2021 (La Mesa) - Eric Knudson, the La Mesa police officer cleared by county and local authorities in his beanbag shooting of Leslie Furcron last May at a George Floyd protest, returned to work last week, but remains under a cloud.

He faces a lawsuit from Furcron, 59, who suffered partial blindness at the La Mesa police station protest. And a newly released internal report faults Knudson, 42, for lacking proper training in less-lethal firearms and using an unfamiliar weapon.

 
“Detective Eric Knudson returned to his regular assignment as a detective on March 9, 2021,” Lt. Matt Nicholass said Thursday.
 
On Wednesday, the city released a 323-page report on the Furcron shooting — including previously confidential materials, two interviews with Knudson and a 14-page report by use-of-force expert R.K. Miller, a retired Huntington Beach police lieutenant.
 
Among the revelations: Knudson told investigators that his “heart dropped” and he was “in a state of shock a little bit afterwards” when he heard someone may have been hit in the face. “His objective had been to ‘stop the threat’ and he was aiming for the ‘lower torso area.'”
 
Miller, president of National Training Concepts, concluded that Knudson’s use of force was legally justified under California law and “reasonable” amid current law enforcement standards.
 
He saluted Knudson and others for “professionalism” as they faced a hail of rocks and other objects being thrown at them and the extreme stress involved as they protected a dispatch center in the police station.
 
Photo, right:  La Mesa Police Department slide showing Eric Knudson’s credentials, including being a “racial profiling instructor.”
 
“The restraint by all officers reveals their level of self-control and proper decision making during this very challenging event,” Miller wrote.
 
But Knudson received “at best” only limited training regarding deploying less lethal munitions at long distances, he said. And his “less lethal shotgun” wasn’t an LMPD firearm.
 
“Instead, it was a San Diego Sheriff’s Office weapon,” Miller wrote. “While the two shotguns are similar, there are differences in the way they are marked as less lethal weapons. More importantly, the sight radius (distance between front and rear sights) and the type of sights on the two shotguns are different.”
 
Knudson also failed to inspect the weapon he was handed, and may have used the wrong kind of round, Miller said.
 
In an interview, Knudson showed Miller how he wore his gas mask and helmet.
 
“Having seen his demonstration, I question whether or not he could establish and maintain a stable sight picture while wearing this equipment,” Miller wrote. “It is my opinion that at times, Det. Knudson may only have been able to focus on the shotgun’s front sight without viewing through the rear sight.”
 
Photo, left:  Eric Knudson, who returned to work last week, has been with the La Mesa Police Department 12 years. LMPD image
 
The result might have been a trajectory that led the bean bag round hitting higher than its intended target — Furcron’s midsection.
 
“This is especially relevant,” Miller said. “Knudson told me that the first time he used the mask and helmet in combination with a less lethal shotgun was on the night in question.”
 
Miller also revealed that the 12-gauge shotgun Knudson used that Saturday night has been lost.
 
“The SOSO shotgun’s chain of custody both before and after its use is a serious matter,” Miller wrote. “We know that Det. Knudson was given the shotgun by [La Mesa police Detective Michael] Butcher,” who in turn got the shotgun from a sheriff’s deputy.
 
What happened to the shotgun after Knudson turned it over to Officer James Sampugnaro is unresolved, he said.
 
“In essence, this incident became an Officer Involved Shooting event when cries that [Furcron] had been ‘killed’ and ‘You shot her in the face’ were heard,” he said. “The SOSO shotgun should have been isolated as evidence.”
 
Asked about the missing weapon, a sheriff’s spokeswoman told Times of San Diego: “We don’t have information on this investigation. Please refer to the lead investigating agency.”
 
Nicholass of LMPD said: “The investigation never determined what exact beanbag shotgun was used during the incident.”
 
The LMPD report also shared more information on Knudson’s background, including the fact he had been an instructor in “principled policing, racial profiling.”
 
Asked for details on what Knudson knew about the issue, Nicholass said: “Detective Knudson taught racial profiling to other LMPD personnel.”
 
That might include Matt Dages, the fired La Mesa police officer whose arrest of 23-year-old Amaurie Johnson three days before the La Mesa incident made the city police station Ground Zero for San Diego protests.
 
On June 17, 2020, Knudson was interviewed by La Mesa police Detective Ryan Gremillion, Lt. Greg Runge and others including defense attorney Edward Southcott. On Sept. 17, Knudson was quizzed by Runge and consultant Miller.
 
“There was a lot more of protestors than there were of, uh, officers and, and deputy,” Knudson is quoted as telling them. “Um, I remember thinking about how vulnerable, uh, it felt with the recent, I think it was either the night before that there was a shooting at one of the protests were two, uh, officers were hit and one, um, died.”
 

He said incoming objects — including a water bottle that “exploded” when it hit his knee but caused no injury — was “pretty continuous.”

“Uh, it seemed like every time after, uh, gas was deployed to push the crowd back that we would get the larger amount of those, uh, objects being thrown at us, rocks being thrown at our direction,” he said.
 
At first, Knudson used a launcher to shoot pepper balls.
 
“I had it for a very brief amount of time, but in that amount of time I saw, uh, black male wearing, uh, a shirt with, like, a Nike emblem on the shoulders or sleeves and, uh, he had two rocks in his hands. I yelled at him to drop the rocks, ’cause he was about maybe 20 to 25 feet in front on the other side of the retaining wall — so I yelled out to drop it. He didn’t drop it, so I deployed probably about four rounds of pepper ball in his direction, none of which hit him.”
 
Knudson also said he used his “less-lethal” beanbag shotgun before he hit Furcron.
 
Photo, right:  Leslie Furcron, a 59-year-old grandmother who was wounded during protest, is suing Eric Knudson and the city. Photo by Chris Stone
 
“I saw a white male subject going down and grabbing, uh, one of the gas canisters that had been thrown by the deputies and, uh, and we had seen those being picked up and thrown back towards the direction of the deputies many times so I, at one point, deployed, uh, one beanbag round towards the direction of where that subject was at. It did not hit him and he ran off,” the interview transcript said.
 
In a summary of the La Mesa police findings, Lt. Runge said Knudson’s normal assignment is with the Investigations Division — assigned to probe adult sex crimes and financial crimes.
 
“Detectives, although assigned to a plainclothes investigative assignment, receive all of the same Continuing Professional Training and are required to successfully pass all of the same qualifications (Firearms, Defensive Tactics, Emergency Vehicle Operations, CPR/ First Aid) as any other sworn police officer at the La Mesa Police Department,” Runge said.
 
On Dec. 8, attorney Dante Pride sued Knudson and the City of La Mesa on Furcron’s behalf, and reported that she “still suffers, among other things, neurological symptoms, permanent facial scarring, and loss of vision in that eye. Doctors have told her that she may never regain her sight.”
 
The suit alleges civil rights violations, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress — and demands unspecified general, special and punitive damages.
 
On Jan. 28, the city and Knudson answered the complaint.
 
Among its responses, wrote defense attorney Heather E. Paradis:
 
  • Defendants allege that if any damages were sustained by Plaintiff, the damages were proximately caused by the acts and/or omission of others over whom these answering Defendants exercises no control and for whose acts these answering Defendants are not responsible.
  • Any loss or damages sustained by Plaintiff were in whole or in part due to the acts or omission by Plaintiff, and Plaintiff’s award, if any, should be reduced by her proportional share of negligence, fault, recklessness, or unlawful conduct.
  • Defendants alleges that the acts complained of by Plaintiff were provoked by Plaintiff’s unlawful and wrongful conduct, and the force and/or physical contact, if any, used was not excessive or unreasonable under the circumstances.
  • Defendants were acting on a good faith and reasonable belief that the acts complained of occurred within the scope of the defendant officer’s official duties and they had no knowledge that the alleged wrongful acts, if any, were illegal and/or unconstitutional nor were said alleged wrongful acts, if any, clearly a violation of Plaintiff’s rights at the time they were committed.
 
Besides the May 30 investigation — which included videos, still photographs and a Facebook Live video streamed by Furcron herself — La Mesa police have posted internal reports of about a dozen other police shooting incidents going back to 1999.
 
Senate Bill 1421, the state law mandating release of certain police investigations, took effect in 2019.
 
Christine McMillen, LMPD police services manager, said the department has been working since fall 2018 to identify what cases it had and preparing them for public release.
 
“They were released to the requestors using CDs or media flash drives,” she said Thursday. “I received a few more requests for these materials for the 2019 and 2020 calendar years, and we made a departmental decision to post all of the SB 1421 records on our website in the interest of transparency, greater ease of getting the records to the requestor, and to ease the burden of continually compiling the records on staff.”

Comments

@ Michael Alena

So, once again you throw out HuffPost, Washington Post as liberal papers; but ignore what I wrote about actually refuting individual articles that are written by respected authors and link to valid papers. It doesn't matter who published them if they are well-written and documented. So, thank you for ignoring what I wrote. OK, so anything I cite that you disagree with is "liberal" and, thus, not true, so why do you think what you cite is true? What do you base your acceptance of such articles? Or, anything is true that you choose to believe. Where I checked all the links of articles I cited to verify what they were based on, what did you do?

And thank you for writing: "lied about everything from the usefulness of masks." I guess you have expertise in infectious diseases, have checked out the numerous research papers on use of masks, etc. And actually I don't watch MSNBC, don't even own a TV, so don't have cable TV; but do own almost 4,000 books on many topics and have probably 50,000 documents in files on my computer, perhaps even more.

As I wrote, I've lived in five different countries, different parts of U.S., spent two years aboard U.S. Naval ships in Western Pacific, etc. experienced numerous cultures, known people of all races, religions, etc.

And so you don't like the Southern Poverty Law Center, doesn't surprise me. What does surprise me is that you weren't in Washington on January 6 or were you?

And you write: "What absolutely amazes me is that you cite liberals/liberal publications/studies/etc. and think other should buy what you are selling. It's people like you, and the fools who believe you, who kept us locked up while Democrats conducted widespread voter fraud." Again, what do you base your calling everything I cite as liberal? Simply that you disagree with what they say, so, basically you know you are right, based on the websites you choose to believe and the papers you choose to believe; but you can't develop your position, just cite others.

As for widespread voter fraud, what planet are you on? Every judge that Trump appointed rejected the cases of voter fraud. Actually, there was a type of voter fraud. Greg Palast, an award winning journalist, documented that Georgia denied voter registration to almost 70,000 U.S. citizens who were, can you guess, Black. And, after Florida voters overwhelmingly voted that excons should have the right to vote, the Florida Republican legislature required them first to pay all fines, going against the will of voters, including a majority of Republicans. And, think about it, does anyone lose the right to vote if they haven't yet paid a parking ticket, a moving violation? And when groups tried to pay the fines in Florida, they found extremely difficult to even get them, messed up bookkeeping, so even thought there were groups willing to pay, they couldn't find out the amounts, so over 200,000 voters who the overwhelming majority of Floridans gave the vote, didn't vote. And here in San Diego, among other things, there were around 25 official drop boxes. In Texas, one drop box per county, so, making it more difficult for some to vote. I just walked a few blocks and dropped in box guarded by two people. So, yep, there was voter fraud; but it was carried out by Republicans.

I'm sure you believe that Triump worked wonders on the economy and our trade deficit with China; but according to official government statistics, Trump's first three years added the same number of jobs as Obama's last three years and prior to the pandemic, our trade deficit with China was reduced by a whopping one percent, not what liberal publications write; but official government statisitcs. And our trade deficit with China reach record highs under Trump during the current pandemic. And President George Bush established a number of huge National Emergecny Stockpiiles, huge warehouses with millions of N95 masks, other pesonal protection equipment, ventilators, antivirals, antibiotics, portable beds, and tents for temporary hospitals, to be prepared for a pandemic; but when Obama tried to renew, Republican Senate blocked, so no stockpile and when Trump took office he was advised to restock; but ignored. Anyone who understands the nightmare of first few months of pandemic in U.S. would understand how the Republicans and Trump let the American people down. And on and on it goes.

So, please, just one thing, explain what you base you dismissal of masks on??? And my support of masks has nothing to do with conservative or liberal; but simply 50 years of education and experience in epidemiology (study of infectious diseases, how they spread, etc.) and public health. And I have around 100 journal articles and documents on masks, etc. And I've read ALL of them. Since January I've probably read 1,000 articles/documents on current pandemic and reviewed coronaviruses in general.

By the way, I was a volunteer in the Moderna COVID vaccine trials. Got first shot beginning of September and 2nd beginning of October. Was fairly sure I got placebo. In january, after vaccine approved, they unblinded us. I was right and received first shot in January and 2nd in February, Since then every four weeks I donate plasma to be used by COVID hospitalized patients. Though in my mid 70s I have been whole blood donor over 40 years. And before I volunteered I found and read dozen articles on mRNA vaccines, how constructed, how tested, etc. and reviewed chapters on mRNA in several genetic books and molecular biology books that I own and had read previously. Donating blood is just one of the things I've done to contribute to my fellow man. I also phoned several Food Banks, offering to volunteer and await their call.

In addition, to keep out of mischief and be helpful, I am proof-reading and editing next edition of an undergraduate microbiology book for a colleague, not charging for it. So, I actually understand microbes, infections, etc. What do you base your opinions of the current pandemic on???

 

 

 

@ 8East

You keep writing: "constant use of liberal propaganda sources." Yep, Federal government sources, e.g., United States Sentencing Commission, Office of the Director of National Intelligence. For you, anything you disagree with is "liberal".  And you ignore that other papers I used linked to other government sources.

So, I was wrong using "obscure blogger" as I'd NEVER heard about him and despite what you think, actually I didn't know anything about him, not even his race. I simply reacted to the one paper you linked to.  It wasn't until I did further searches that I learned who he was. As for: "calling Michael Alena a racist for rightfully calling BLM what is actually is!" It is a legitimate reaction to years of brutality by police against blacks. You really are a sick individual that despite overwhelming evidence you reject this. I guess you think KKK lynchings were just a myth or a good thing???

And you ignore that the paper you referred to that attacked David Van Zandt was written by someone with NO credibility.

And you and Michael Alena have made it absolutely clear that you have contempt for black human beings when you both clearly stated they got what they deserved, when you made it clear that police can be judge, jury, and executioners. I guess then you think the police who shot the local woman climbing thru a broken window in the Congress did the right thing? After all, she was breaking the law. Actually, maybe all those forcing their way into the Capitol should have been shot or, maybe, because they were white you have a different set of standards?

Have you ever once even considered what it would be like to be born black? Nope.

I bet you didn't even read my comment discussing Conservatives and Liberals. 

It is a waste of time exchanging comments with someone like you, someone incapable of critical thinking, someone who projects his own hate and bias on to others. Someone who hides his identity.

Do you devote much time to reading? 

So, do you believe climate change a hoax? Maybe that vaccines do more harm than good? How about masks and physical distancing? Maybe you think evolution is a hoax as well? Do you believe in QAnon? 

 

@ 8East The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Wow! I should have delved deeper. You cite a piece by John O’Sullivan of website Climate Change Dispatch: “‘Media Bias/Fact Check’ Site Served With Cease And Desist, Gets Fact-Checked,” which attacks David Van Zandt.

Well, I read Climate Change Dispatch’s About page:

“Global warming alarmists (those who believe man is wholly or largely responsible for any fluctuation in the planet’s overall surface temperature) have embraced climate change as a religion and not as a scientific endeavor for answers. Our goal is not to change your mind, but to share with you all the studies and papers that consistently contradict the theory of CO2-driven global warming.”

While I’m not a climatologist, I’ve been following climate change for over 30 years, including having read probably a dozen books, 100s of articles, and papers, and watched numerous documentaries, including series “Years of Living Dangerously”. I won’t bother defending climate change. The literal overwhelming majority of world scientists, over 95%, agree, not by consensus; but data.

And who is John O’Sullivan. Well, according to one website DeSmog (note they include a number of linked references): O’Sullivan’s “Credentials heavily contested. No reliable source available.”

“John O'Sullivan is a UK-based climate denialist blogger, writer, and the sole active director of Principia Scientific International (//www.desmogblog.com/principiascienti! c-international) — a membership group promoting fringe views on climate change science and the role of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. O'Sullivan, a former school teacher, claims the greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide is unproven and that human-caused climate change is a “fraud.”

“John O'Sullivan has not written any peer-reviewed scienti!c papers on climate change.”
And WOW: “O'Sullivan once claimed to have written articles in two high pro!le publications, but investigations by Gareth Renowden (http://hot-topic.co.nz/so-many-lies-and-theliar-who-tells-them/) and Andrew Skolnick found that this was in fact the work of another individual, also named John O’Sullivan.” Wow! He claims papers written by someone else.

DeSmog John O’Sullivan. Available at: https://www.desmogblog.com/john-o-sullivan

So, I’ll have to do some more research on David Van Zandt; but so far, what John O’Sullivan claims is the pot calling the kettle black.

And I was wrong about David Van Zandt being dean of Northwestern Law School. Such an unusual name; but found: MBFC was founded by Dave Van Zandt in 2015.  Over the last 30 years, he has focused on personal research on media bias and the role of media in politics.  Dave is a registered Non-Affiliated voter who values evidence-based reporting. For the record, he also is not the President of the New School, which is a different Dave Van Zandt.”

MediaBiasFactCheck About page lists a number of contributors, none who seem to have science backgrounds; but page doesn’t link to the three listed as “research.”

Just to make clear, you cited a paper by a climate change denier with no discernable credentials or published papers.

@ 8East

You write: “I always get a good laugh when you liberals try and use liberal propaganda self proclaimed "Fact Checking" sites to back up your biased opinions. Dave Van Zandt is no exception, he's a proven liar and a fraud. Media Bias/Fact Check’ Site Served With Cease And Desist, Gets Fact-Checked As for your service.”

First, you claimed I was a racist because of my critic of Wayne Dupree  because he is black. How ridiculous. So, if I disagree with a journalist who is Jewish, does that make me an anti-semite? If I disagree with a journalist who is Catholic, am I anti-Catholic? There are many black journalists who I agree with. Your taking one case and accusing me just shows how low and irrational you can get.

As for the “Media Bias/Fact Check’ Site Served With Cease And Desist, Gets Fact-Checked" on Dave Van Zandt, again you ignore my overall discussion and think you win by picking and choosing one statement by me. Whether Van Zandt is biased or not doesn’t change the fact that accusing me of racism because I disagree with one black journalist is just absurd, plus, I cited several articles that contradict the paper you cited, by Sophie O’Hara (2021 Mar 20). Defiant Members of Military Ask Why Violent BLM Protest Weren’t Treated Like “Insurrection” at Wayne Dupree’s blog.

So, not a single reference, not to who the “defiant members” were, nor the statistics she cites. Wow! And this is what you base your opinion on. Yikes!

As for the “Media Bias/Fact Check’ Site Served With Cease And Desist, Gets Fact-Checked", I can’t find out how legal action turned out; but, until then, I’ll accept that Media Bias/Fact Check is NOT a valid website, though Dave Van Zandt is Dean of Northwestern Law School, knowing law and science not the same thing. So, one point for you. Too bad you can’t just stick to facts; but accuse people of racism and reject other articles without any basis (see my comment 8East and Michael Alena Lack Critical Thinking Skills AND Conservative vs Liberal)

Don't hate the player,

hate the game! I'm just using your rules! You whine about others dismissing your references due to the constant use of liberal propaganda sources, yet you did the exact same thing regarding the reference to Wanye Dupree. You even went so far as to label him "some obscure blogger" Wayne's got over 700,000 followers on Fakebook and a half million Twitter followers, hardly "obscure" by any standards. You're also complaining about being labeled a racist for your attacks and defamation of Wayne, clearly because he's not white like all of your sources, yet you did the exact same thing right here on this page by calling Michael Alena a racist for rightfully calling BLM what is actually is! So no, you can't have your cake and eat it too, get used to it. Matthew 7:5

8East and Michael Alena Lack Critical Thinking Skills

Rejecting an article based on where it is published is just plain wrong and foolish. When I was a teenager I bought copies of Playboy. Yep, I was young and unaware of how it objectified women. But I didn’t just look at the Centerfolds, I read the short stories and interviews. Short stories by award-winning authors and well-done interviews with a range of people, authors, politicians, scientists, etc. In a previous comment I made it clear that the Heritage Foundation is a very right-wing biased organization; but, all the same, I often read their reports for one of two reasons: 1. just to see what they are up to, the positions they take, and 2. as the old saying goes, “even a broken clock gets the time right twice daily”, so possible one of their reports will make valid points. The world is complex and different approaches notice sometimes things missed by others.

So 8East outright rejected one of my references because it was in HuffPost; yet, the author Saki Knafo has written for the New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, Publishers Weekly, and the Atlantic. And the article I referred to gives references to, among others, US Bureau of Justice statistics, and Human Rights Watch.

Saki Knafo (2013 Sep 18). When It Comes To Illegal Drug Use, White America Does The Crime, Black America Gets The Time. HUFFPOST. Available at: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/racial-disparity-drug-use_n_3941346

Michael Alena outright rejects one of my references because it was in Time Magazine.
The author, Sanya Mansoor, is a graduate of Columbia University School of Journalism, considered often the number 1 school of journalism in the nation. He has worked at the Miami Herald, Center for Public Integrity, Dallas Morning News, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Innocence Project, etc. Time Magazine won Magazine of the Year Award in 2012 and was nominated in 2019. Mansoors article cites statistics from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.

Sanya Mansoor (2020 Sep 5). 93% of Black Lives Matter Protests Have Been Peaceful, New Report Finds. TIME magazine. https://time.com/5886348/report-peaceful-protests/

From Wikipedia Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project: “ACLED material is regularly used to inform journalism, academic research, and public discourse on conflict, and to support the work of practitioners and policymakers. Scholars, students, and academic researchers commonly use ACLED data in their work on protest and political violence,[15] including those from institutions like Bowdoin College, Brown University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Kings College London, the London School of Economics, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Oxford University, Stanford University, and the University of Pennsylvania, among others.
ACLED data are also routinely used and referenced by development practitioners, humanitarian agencies, and policymakers, including the World Bank, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), UN OCHA, UNICEF, OHCHR, UN country offices, European Union agencies,
and a variety of government ministries around the world, as well as charities and human rights organizations.
Think tanks such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Carter Center, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institution, and the Africa Center for Strategic Studies regularly utilize ACLED data for research and to inform policy recommendations.”

So, both articles written by accomplished journalists and both cite government reports and respected think tank reports.

It is obvious reading comments by 8East and Michael Alena that they lack critical thinking skills. Unfortunately, they represent a large subsection of the American populace. Democracy, when it works, is based on the informed consent of the governed. Informed consent requires several things:

1) Availability of information. Unfortunately, often not the case. The Freedom of Information Act is sometimes difficult to use and what is often received is highly redacted. While some things for national security must be confidential, a high percentage of withheld or redacted info is not necessary for national security. And, if some remember, our California Public Utility Commission secretly met with gas and electric companies in Poland. In addition, the information available is often false, e.g., social media, journalists whose claims contradict official government statistics, etc

2) Knowledge of basic science, how scientists think (surveys have found up to 70% of Americans don’t understand the basics. Science doesn’t prove things. Proof is a logical concept. Science runs research that results in probabilities. Science does further research. The cumulation of probabilities from several studies allow scientists to make decisions. Many Americans, e.g., antivaccinationists, want “proof”. Knowledge of critical thinking, e.g., looking at a paper, how it develops its argument, how well documented/referenced it is. Knowing how to search for a subject matter and looking at various positions. All this takes time and effort; but without it, decisions are made that actually can backfire.

3) As the Delphic Oracle said in Ancient Greece: “Know Thy Self.” While not possible to completely know ones self, an effort should be made to challenge ones beliefs and positions. Simply, why do I believe this? Did I actually base my belief/opinion on substantial research or is it something I subconsciously picked up and was reinforced? If so, maybe it isn’t the best position, etc.

We are flooded with 30 second soundbites. No other so-called democracy comes close to the amounts of money spent on our elections. Why? Simple. If people don’t understand science, don’t practice critical thinking, don’t take time and effort, they are swayed by 30 second soundbites, often subconsciously. Also, watching nomination conventions, etc. people cry with joy, etc. Many Americans don’t seem to be trying to elect a decent human being to represent them; but really are looking for some sort of messiah and if their candidate gets elected and fails them, two choices, either ignore, refusal to admit they had been wrong, or, perhaps, move to another messiah.

So, we have 8East and Michael Alena.

@ Michael Aleena

Thanks, again proof you are incapable of actually delving into a subject. So, you don't like one of the articles I listed from Time Magazine. So what? I listed a dozen articles and, by the way, try to refute the Time Magazine article with legitimate references. Over the past years I've been writing articles refuting claims by antivaccinationists. Some of my articles have as many as 150 references, mainly peer-reviewed journal articles and some documents, e.g., National Library of Medicine. Antivaccinationists response is often to dislike one of them or, if my paper is 5,000 words or so, to find one sentence, take it out of context, and attack.

When I was in 10th grade we were assigned to write a 1,000 word term paper with at least 10 references and half had to be from original sources, not encyclopedias. Could be from quotes from books or journal articles. I don't know what type of educstion you received; but at an early age I learned to develop arguments based on multiple sources. And as undergraduate, several courses required writing papers, basically, comparing and contrasting opposite positions, e.g., Republican and Democrat positions of Medicare, Social Security, etc. So I also learned to carefully look at different points of view. So, it isn't my doctorate but my high school and early college education that I rely on for dealing with various subjects.

You and 8East basically talk about different realities. Well, yep. Mine is planet Earth, year 2021, United States; but I did enjoy Star Trek and its sequels and Stargate and its sequels, so, yep, I'm sure somewhere there is a parallel universe where your version of reality exists; but mine, maybe not perfect as I am not a deity but a mortal, based on over 50 years of reading and observing is much more anchored in this reality than yours.

By the way, I have also lived in five different nations, including Canada (2 years), Sweden (almost 10 years), Japan (8 months), Phillipines (6 months), Israel (6 months) and, before lockdown, went to local YMCA for 5 years that had people from at least 36 different languages, from Africa, Middle East, etc and we often drank coffee after workout and sometimes even went to lunch. I would be more than happy to have the vast majority of them as neighbors. And, though born and raised in San Diego, I've lived in Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Galveston, Dallas, and Honolulu.

Conservative vs Liberal

This is my own take on difference.

CONSERVATIVE - to conserve, not change. Conservatives protect/defend what is. Historically, in UK they fought against improving job safety and wages for working class, same in U.S. In UK, those born into nobility considered themselves superior and fought against any changes. UK and other nations had Kings who were low intelligence; but still considered superior. In U.S. whites want to maintain status quo that benefits them. Wealthy individuals want to pay little taxes, even if their wealth is based on lving in United States with its educataional systems, infrastructure, and research, mainly paid for by taxes. Conservatives don't question who they are or whether they really deserve it, just defend it. And Conservatives care only about themselves and family and friends.

LIBERALS - question everything. At least I do. I was fortunate to be born to a lower middle class family living close to maternal grandparents who showered me with love. I had a friend as undergraduate who came from a wealthy family. Because he refused to attend his father's alma mater, he was cut-off and worked his way fhrough college. My family, because my younger brother was special needs kid, couldn't help me with college and I lied when they offered to send me money that I knew they didn't have; but they supported everything I chose to do, even if it worried them. For instance, after college graduation I got ticket on chartered flight to Europe and hitchhiked around for almost 3 months. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I had same intelligence, same interests; but was born black to a poor family. 

At age 8 joined downtown YMCA which had a few minorities. I played with them and was invited to barbecues/etc at their homes. I saw the difference how they lived and the part of town they lived in. My parents drove me there and picked me up. In high school I read John Howard Griffin's book "Black Like Me" about a white journalist who with chemicals and sunlamp darkened his skin and rode Greyhound buses through south. His life was threatened, etc. I had nightmares what it would be like to wake up, same person but with skin dark. Also, though, of course, I try to do OK, I recognize that I am part of a community, a society. People of all races fought and died in WWII to protect this nation. People of all races built this nation. A great book is: Ronald Takaki's "A Different Mirror" on history of America thru ethnic groups. And my reading of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam tells me that I need to see to it that others get adequate health care, housing, food, etc. And as Jesus said: Judge Not, Lest Ye Shall Be Judged. So, if someone is in poverty, I can't possibly know if they are just lazy or, from everything I've read, they were born into a racist society, poor prenatal care, poor post natal care, dangerous neighborhood, poor schools, and often, especially if male, harrassment by police. Since I've known a number of minotiries, good people, I assume, unless proved otherwise, that the vast majority are good people, want an education, good workers, etc., so, based on numerous studies, it isn't there fault.

I do not gain any advantage by questioning and admitting the above. On the contrary, if we went back to women of all colors and minority men not having any laws helping them, it would benefit me materially; but I'd have to live with a bad conscience.

In the 1950s I was taught we couldn't trust communists as they always broke their word. Then I learned that the United State broke every single treaty it ever made with native Americans. and on and on it goes. Not fun to learn ones own nation guilty of many things we were taught about other nations.

@ Michael Aleena

Below is a list of articles on Black economics, police treatment of Blacks, White terrorism vs Black/antifa terrorism. And since you referred to a study by the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank that supports Big Tobacco, denies climate change, and has made outrageous claims on voter fraud, so, extremely biased Conservative, a couple of references.

White Violence vs Black Violence/Antifa in U.S.

Lois Beckett (2020 Jul 27). Anti-fascists linked to zero murders in the US in 25 years. The Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/27/us-rightwing-extremists-at...

Jack Dutton (2021 Jan 14). U.S. Police Three Times More Likely to Use Force Against Left-Wing Protesters, Data Shows. Newsweek. Available at: https://www.newsweek.com/police-three-times-more-likely-force-against-le...

Jenny Gross (2021 Jan 20). Far-Right Groups Are Behind Most U.S. Terrorist Attacks, Report Finds. New York Times. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/24/us/domestic-terrorist-groups.html

Seth G. Jones (2018 Nov). The Rise of Far-Right Extremism in the United States. Center for Strategic & International Studies. Available at: https://www.csis.org/analysis/rise-far-right-extremism-united-states

“Enduring DVE motivations pertaining to biases against minority populations”
Office of the Director of National Intelligence (2021 Mar 1). Domestic Violent Extremism Poses Heightened Threat in 2021. Available at: https://www.intelligence.gov/assets/documents/702%20Documents/declassifi...

Tom Kertscher (2021 Feb 10). Fact-checking claim about deaths, damage from Black Lives Matter protests. Austin American-Statesman. Note the number of references at bottom of article. Available at: https://www.statesman.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/08/10/fact-...

Saki Knafo (2013 Sep 18). When It Comes To Illegal Drug Use, White America Does The Crime, Black America Gets The Time. HUFFPOST. Available at: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/racial-disparity-drug-use_n_3941346

Heather Long and Andrew Van Dam (2020 Jun 4). The black-white economic divide is as wide as it was in 1968. The Washington Post. Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/04/economic-divide-black...

Sanya Mansoor (2020 Sep 5). 93% of Black Lives Matter Protests Have Been Peaceful, New Report Finds. TIME magazine. https://time.com/5886348/report-peaceful-protests/

Alex Nowrawsteh (2017 Aug 21). Which Ideology Has Inspired The Most Murders In Terrorist Attacks On U.S. Soil? Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2017/08/21/which-ideology-has-insp...

Bethania Palma (2017 Aug 17). Are ‘Antifa’ and the Alt-Right Equally Violent? Violence has been ratcheting up on all sides during white supremacist rallies in recent months — but "antifa" is not planning the rallies, and statistically poses a lesser danger. SNOPES. Available at: https://www.snopes.com/news/2017/08/17/are-antifa-and-the-alt-right-equa...

United States Sentencing Commission (2017 Nov). Demographic Differences in Sentencing: An Update to the Booker Report. Available at: https://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/research-and-publications/r...

The Heritage Foundation

From Wikipedia Heritage Foundation:

“The Heritage Foundation rejects the scientific consensus on climate change.[69][70] The Heritage Foundation is one of many climate change denial organizations that have been funded by ExxonMobil.”

“The Heritage Foundation has promoted false claims of voter fraud. Hans von Spakovsky who heads the Election Law Reform Initiative at the Heritage Foundation has played an influential role in making alarmism about voter fraud mainstream in the Republican Party, despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud. His work, which claims voting fraud is rampant, has been discredited.

From Source Watch (Available at: https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Heritage_Foundation#Ties_to_the_To... ):

“A 2019 report by The Guardian states: "the Heritage Foundation has historical and current ties to the tobacco industry." Heritage has taken positions favorable to the industry, such as opposition to raising tobacco taxes and regulations on vaping. In 2018, a Heritage scholar testified to the FDA in a manner favorable to the industries interests. Altria is a financial supporter of the Heritage Foundation.”

@ Michael Alena

Wow! Really credible source. How about:

Tom Kertscher (2021 Feb 10). Fact-checking claim about deaths, damage from Black Lives Matter protests. Austin American-Statesman. Note the number of references at bottom of article. Available at: 

https://www.statesman.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/08/10/fact-...

So, not weeping, just laughing at your choice of sources. There is a difference between you, others, and I. First and foremost, it doesn't advantage me in any way, shape, or form to take my position. I am middle class white; but I learned at an early age to question everything, including reading both sides. As an example, I have read Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Milton Friedman, and F.A. Haykek, conservative economists, the last founder of libertarian economics and I have also read Karl Marx, John Meynard Keynes, John Kenneth Galbraith, etc leftist economists. Same with history, etc. I am NOT afraid to challenge who I am and how I got here. I am not afraid to question the narrative myths I've been raised on. Though I'm not a happy camper learning unpleasant truths about my nation, etc. I accept it. So, instead of finding some obscure blogger, why not actually try to learn something?

By the way, just curious, do you believe QAnon??? 

 

 

Ahhh, I get it now.

All of your references above are old white men, it all makes sense now. You're dismissive of Wayne Dupree because he's African American, probably because he's a veteran too. We all know draft dodgers hate veterans, it all makes sense now. Clearly you're the racist.

@ 8East You Need to Get Back on Your Meds

You write: "All of your references above are old white men, it all makes sense now. You're dismissive of Wayne Dupree because he's African American, probably because he's a veteran too. We all know draft dodgers hate veterans, it all makes sense now. Clearly you're the racist."

According to MediaBiasFactCheck: "Overall, we rate WayneDupree.com Questionable based on extreme right-wing bias, use of poor sources, promotion of propaganda, and conspiracy theories as well as three failed fact checks." Read their entire review at: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/waynedupree-com/

As for: "We all know draft dodgers hate veterans." I was in Army ROTC my Freshman and Sophomore years of college, got straight As and highest mark in rifle target practice. Commanding officer recommended me for ROTC scholarshiip; but I didn't get it, so needed to work more hours to pay tuition, etc, so left ROTC (1st two years of college lived at home; but last two went away). While in Grad school was called in for draft physical. Failed due to lateral strabismus with 15 degree exotropria, quite simply my two eyes don't focus. Didn't affect my shooting ability; but was rejected. Between 1975 and 1977 spent two years aboard U.S. Naval ships in Western Pacific as civilian instructor. After draft ended to get recruits military offered college level courses even at sea, so I taught undergraduate courses, usually 6 - 8 weeks. So, not only wasn't I a draft dodger; but actually was in officer training and was rejected for my eyes; but still spent two yeara aboard U.S. Naval ships. During 1950s my dad worked at Locker Club downtown San Diego. At that time sailors had to wear their uniforms when leaving ship, so they rented lockers with civies. Locker Clubs had steam baths, tailors, snack bars, etc. My dad used to invite sailors to our home for weekend barbecues, so I grew up playing with sailors. And my dad had lots of friends who served in World War II. He had studied at Curtis-Wright Aeronatics Academy in Chicago, so right after Pearl Harbor he was sent to Naval Air Station Pearl Harbor to supervise fighter plane mechanic crew.

As for claiming I'm a racist. You are nuts. My surgeon for several operations for enlarged prostate is Black and a great doctor and nice person.. I may need surgery again and wouldn't go to anyone else. His assistaant was a Sikh. One of the anesthesiologists was from the People's Republic of China and nurses were from Phiilipines and hispanic.

I joined the downtown Young Men's Christian Association when I was 8 years old and my father dropped my off on way to work every Saturday. I learned to swim, played volleyball, basketball, learned to make lanyards, and they showed films. There were black kids and hispanic kids, so besides some black sailors my dad invited for barbecues, we all played together. I then was a camper at YMCA Camp Marston, again when minorities. It doesn't make me a racist because I disagree with one political commentator who happens to be black.

As for "All of your references above are old white men, it all makes sense now." Really, you know for sure that they are all OLD WHITE MEN??? I think you may be delusional.

You really need help.

 

Oh the irony.

I always get a good laugh when you liberals try and use liberal propaganda self proclaimed "Fact Checking" sites to back up your biased opinions. Dave Van Zandt is no exception, he's a proven liar and a fraud. Media Bias/Fact Check’ Site Served With Cease And Desist, Gets Fact-Checked As for your service, sounds a lot like "Bone Spurs" to me. Additionally, you write "I grew up playing with sailors"...you shouldn't write that.

@ 8East

So, you don't like HUFFPOST; but you missed that I also gave US Sentencing Commission, which basically said the same thing.

And I doubt you took the time to read the article on black economic history, etc.

So, thanks for proving my point, that you are incapable of actually entering into a dialogue based on actually reading what others say, just stick to your fantasy world.

@ 8East

Yep, our realities do differ; but my aren't based on liberal OpEds (actually I try to read OpEds by both liberals and conservative); but lots of reading of government reports, reports by respected university scholars, etc. What do you base your "reality" on?

Economic and Criminal Justice Discrimination

Some "light" reading for anyone actually interested in reality (note I could give lots more, just Google the titles):

Heather Long and Andrew Van Dam (2020 Jun 4). The black-white economic divide is as wide as it was in 1968. The Washington Post.

Saki Knafo (2013 Sep 18). When It Comes To Illegal Drug Use, White America Does The Crime, Black America Gets The Time. HUFFPOST. 

United States Sentencing Commission. Demographic Differences in Sentencing.

 

Reality?

Your reality (and I can't emphasize "your" enough), is made up of Op-eds from other like minded liberals. Your reality is not my reality, why is that so difficult for you liberals to understand? And using HUFFPOST as an example of reality is comical at best.

@ 8East

You write: "she had ill intentions." Since when are intentions a crime? Officer Knudson stated quite clearly that she was yellling and he thought she threw a rock. 

You write: "Leslie Furcron would not have been shot had she not participated in the La Mesa riot and been one of the many rioters assaulting police officers by throwing objects at them with intent to do harm."

Even the police report clearly stated the majority of demonstrators were non-violent. Screaming is NOT rioting and she was NOT assaulting any police officer nor throwing objects at them. Again, officer Knudson said he "thought" she threw a rock; but it was an empty coke can. And firing at someone's chest in dim light means he could easily have missed her chest, which he did, and even hit an innocent bystander.

I realize that you don't believe in our justice system, at least when it concerns Afro-Americans; but yelling is NOT a criminal offence and police are NOT supposed to be judge, jury, and executioner.

I really wonder what your response would be if it were White right-wingers demonstrating?

As for George Floyd getting into the police car, yep, he wasn't armed, mildly resisted, well, that certainly deserves the death penalty. Nowhere are police supposted to place their knee on someone's neck for almost 10 minutes, while the person chokes and says he can't breath. There were several police officers who could easily have subdued Floyd if he violently resisted, which he didn't. Obviously you have a basic contempt for human life and contempt for the rule of law.

@ Michael Alena & santeecitizen

The unarmed Californian was part of a mob, many armed to the teeth, who committed, at the least, criminal trespass; however, with yelled threats of harm to several of our Representatives. She was coming thru a broken window, obviously not a peaceful entry. However, "she didn't get what she deserved." She clearly was breaking the law; even states with death penalty don't have it for criminal trespass. However, given the circumstances, that is, mayhem, officers being attacked, even if the specfic one who fired wasn't just then, I, for one, regret her death; but, unless you believe in the death penalty for criminal tresspassing, which you apparently do, she didn't deserve dying.

And I wonder what you would say if it had been black lives matter who stormed the Congress?

This nation has a long history of treating whites and blacks differently. Despite the only difference at birth is melanin, a skin pigment. If given the same prenatal care, postnatal care, safe home, decent food, safe neighborhood, same treatment by police, same educational opportunities, black would be NO different from whites, representing the entire range of what people are capable of.

In high school I read a book by John Howard Griffin (1962). Black Like Me. About a white journalist who took chemicals, spent time under a sunlamp, etc. then travelled by Greyhound Bus throught the South. His life was threatened, etc. Everyone should read the book, discover how being the exact same person you are; but waking up one day with black skin and how you would be treated differently, violently differently.

Also, in early colonial times, there was little racisim. In 1676 Nathaniel Bacon led a revolt against the 1% in Virginia. His followers were white indentured servants, often treated like shit, and black slaves. The revolt was eventually put down and the white elite learned they had to separate blacks from whites, so they wouldn't unite again. I won't go into the details; but a good start is: Audrey Smedley (2007) The History of the Idea of Race . . . And Why It Matters. American Anthropological Association. [just Google the title, free downloadable pdf]

An excellent book is Ronald Takaki (2008).  A Different Mirror. Available on Amazon, inexpensive paperback, and public library.

The 1% today continue to use the same strategy, divide and conquer. While the working and middle class incomes have almost stagnated as the Stock Market soares, Corporate profits increase, and multi millionnaires and billionaires make more and more, our bought and paid for Congress, mainly Republicans, direct our attention at minorities and immigrants.

@ Michael Alena

Joseph Gambardell (2021 Mar 10). Capitol Protesters Were Armed With Variety of Weapons. FackCheck.org

"Conservative social media posts misleadingly claim the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was not an “armed” insurrection, citing FBI testimony that no guns were seized from suspects that day. But 23 people have been charged with having deadly or dangerous weapons during the assault — including a loaded handgun found on a man arrested on Capitol grounds . . .Social media posts claiming that protesters were not armed also do not address the issue of other weapons used by assailants at the Capitol — or the seizure of guns from supporters before and after the riot.

In legal terms, “armed” means being in possession of any weapon, not just a firearm. While there are laws that specifically address firearms, weapons can include virtually any object used to threaten or cause harm.

According to a database compiled by NPR, of the people charged with violent offenses, including assault on police officers, 15 were armed with deadly or dangerous weapons during the riot at the Capitol."

You write: "Blacks, and every other race, are just as capable and just as successful as any other WHEN THEY WANT TO BE!" You ignore that many get poor prenatal care and postnatal care, that many live in dangerous poor neighborhoods, that overwhelming evidence finds young black males harrassed often by police, and black area schools often poorly funded.

You write: "OK, press blacks to honor the nuclear family (especially the father), convince black parents that they need to pressure their children to get good educations, drop the hammer hard on black drug dealers and gang members."

There are numerous studies that black men are devoted parents; but studies also find that, though, for instance, white suburbanites use drugs as much or more than blacks, that overwhelmingly blacks are arrested and imprisoned. It is difficult to be a good parent when in prison.

You write: "Stop trying to blame everyone else in the world for your own problems (though I know that is what liberals do)." "My own problems?" I am White, have a PhD, many years ago received a three year NIH post-doctoral research fellowship. Are you NUTS! However, I have studied many subjects, including numerous reports on reasons for blacks having problems. I'll bet you are unaware or deny that often blacks are last to be hired and first to be let go during an economic downturn.

And the research on police mistreatment of blacks is overwhelming.

You live in your own fantasy world thst allows you to justify anything. 

You write: "I looked back and saw NO instance during the year of riots throughout the nation of you saying ANYTHING about Antifa/BLM burning businesses, attacking police and committing murder."

First, it was a small group of Antifa/BLM who burned buildings and numerous reports have made it clear that in many instances the police overreacted by targeting as well the vast majority who were peacefully demonstrating. Yep, I haven't written comments on this, partly because I didn't notice an article on East County Magazine dealing with it (I don't check ECM every day). But, historically and today, police have been and continue to be far more brutal against minorities.

However, if one subtracts all minority run-ins with police, the U.S. still comes out, on a per capita basis, with the most brutal police force compared to many other Western Technologically Advanced Democracies. We are a brutal nation. Almost every day we have one mass murder, e.g., three or more. We have attacks on blacks, orientals, hispanics, gays, etc. 

Basically, i doubt you have really devoted a lot of time and energy into studying the issues, just easier to rationalize what you choose to believe. And given your negative focus on blacks, clearly you are a racist.

 

@ 8East

You write: "she got what she deserved." For yelling and throwing down a coke can?  I wonder what your reaction would be if it had been a demonstration of whtes? I guess you don't believe in the American legal system, just the police should be judge, jury, and executioners? Besides, the officer, Eric Kudson claims he only fired because he "thought" she was throwing rocks and he was aiming at her chest; but the visibility was poor and as explained above, he wasn't properly trained with the shotgun. So, even if she had been throwing rocks, it was NOT the intention to blind her and with poor visibility, it was poor judgment on the part of Knudson to fire at her. What if he had hit some bystander, not even part of the demonstration; but simply walking by?

In any case, the 1st Amendment doesn't specify that free speech can't include shouting; but, obviously, you don't believe in our Constitution nor our system of justice. I'll bet if you were on jury for Officer Chauvin, you would vote "not guilty" after all, he was simply being judge, jury, and executioner for the terrible crime of passing a counterfeit $20, that is, if George Floyd was even aware of it. And, no, at the time, he was unaware of any previous convictions of George Floyd. And even then we have a system of justice, not police being judge, jury, and executioners!

And even the La Mesa police department's review clearly indicated that the police were ill-prepared for such demonstrations and may have overreacted. And we have seen over and over how police react to black demonstrators as opposed to white.

I stand by my statement, Doc.

Clearly you didn’t see any of the video of her on her way to that riot, she had ill intentions and was only there to be part of the mayhem and perhaps get a free TV. Actually, I’m sure you probably did see it, but rather chose to overlook that fact. That’s the problem with you liberals, when someone gets hurt while coming a crime, you want to blame everyone except the criminal. You write “For yelling and throwing down a coke can” BS! You sound like her attorney, she was throwing things at the police and that was no protest, it was a riot in which officers were injured and buildings were burned. As for George Floyd, he was a criminal, a thug, his extensive police record shows exactly that. The simple facts in both these case are 1. Leslie Furcron would not have been shot had she not participated in the La Mesa riot and been one of the many rioters assaulting police officers by throwing objects at them with intent to do harm. 2. George Floyd would be alive today had he obeyed the lawful commands of officer Chauvin and simply got into the police car. You can try and spin it anyway you want, try and make it about racism which is always your default goto, but logical the facts don’t support your logic.

Frivolous lawsuit

The only person responsible for Leslie Furcron being injured, is Leslie Furcron. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Eyewitness accounts and her own video footage show that she was not there for a "peaceful protest" she was there to incite violence and got what she deserved. If there was any justice in the world today, she'd be in jail.