Experts in autocracies have pointed out that it is, unfortunately, easy to slip into normalizing the tyrant, hence it is important to hang on to outrage. These incidents which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them will, I hope, help with that. Even though there are many more which I can’t include. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as “unceasing,” “grudging,” and “vengeful destruction.”
You may remember from last August a small protest in a little place called Charlottesville, VA. And that a car ran into a group of unarmed peaceful protesters, injuring 19, and killing one – Heather Heyer. You may even remember that a comment made on Facebook about a news story at the time went viral because it was so ugly.
“Hahahaha love this, maybe people shouldn’t block roads,” Conrad Lariviere commented on a news story noting “one dead, 19 injured.”
If so, you’ll be happy to know that Officer Lariviere has been fired from the Springfield (MA) Police Department.
“It was determined that Officer Lariviere impaired the operation of the Springfield Police Department or its employees and discredited the department,’ Commissioner [John] Barbieri explained.
The mayor of Springfield agreed. “I stand by and agree with Commissioner Barbieri’s decision to fire Officer Conrad Lariviere over his insensitive and uncalled for Facebook remarks,” Mayor Domenic Sarno stated.
But you’ll likely be less happy when you hear that the police union wants him reinstated. And one City Councilor agrees with the union. The union statement includes “His point was that such disorderly behavior has serious consequences, and both sides of the dispute bore responsible for the disruptions,” which sounds to me sort of like “His point was that no matter how peaceful you are, if someone doesn’t agree with you, it’s open season on you.”
The City Councilor has a different viewpoint. His beef is that there is another office on the force who deserves to be fired even more, but hasn’t. And, actually, he is right. The problem is, with this other officer, the city’s hands are tied. The union contract includes what is essentially a 90-day statute of limitations, and this officer’s misdeeds were not discovered within that time period. So the Department is forbidden by the contract from taking action, other than suspending him for 60 days and demoting him to the records department.
Alecto, what I think is that, when the union contract comes up for renewal (which I hope is soon), the Department needs a tougher and better negotiator. And smarter. Better able to foresee contingencies.
Mohammed Suleiman is a six-year-old boy who carries Down syndrome 21. He is sufficiently developmentally disabled that he is not able to speak. Yet, a substitute teacher called the police and filed a report that the child is a terrorist, because he kept repeating the words “Allah” and “boom boom boom.”
If you listen to the video on the site, you may also gather the teacher said the child “sexually harassed” her. Right.
The Police Department is no longer investigating the matter of the report. I personally would have thought that filing a false police report was a crime and that they ought to be gathering information to charge the teacher, but I do realize that some things are challenging to get legal evidence for.
Child Protective Services are also still investigating I hope that means they are investigating the teacher, who is obviously so dangerous she should not be around any children ever, and not the child’s family. But one never knows.
Megaera, if no one is investigating the teacher, maybe you can. And, if they are, maybe you can help.
There are two other incidents I want to give some attention to without a lot of detail. The first – which comes with a strong TRIGGER WARNING – is that of the little girl, aged 10 years, who was bullied to the point that she hanged herself. A few more details are available, but some are also missing. It happened in Colorado, in Aurora, and her name was Ashawnty Davis and she was adorable.
The second incident – well here’s the title: Alt-righter insists his ‘Pepe the Frog’ hot sauce isn’t racist — it’s meant to mock people with autism. And, you know, that’s exactly what he said.
“So it was originally intended to be a chicken-tendie sauce, like, you know, ‘These autistic kids go crazy about chicken tendies.’ So it’s a spicy tendie sauce. But it’s actually a very tasty hot sauce.”
Matt Furie’s attorneys have sent this dude a cease and desist order, which he intends to ignore, because “He never trademarked it.” No, you jerk, he didn’t need to trademark it, because he HOLDS THE COPYRIGHT. And he has the books to prove it. He’s not required to register the copyright in order to hold it (although registering it give one a few additional rights, so he probably did.)
Tisiphone, in between dealing with bullies, I realize it’s going to be somewhere between difficult and impossible to get some sense into this dude. But maybe you can make him cease and desist.
Late update: Sarah Sims charges DROPPED.
The Furies and I will be back.
Cross posted to Care2 HERE.