Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Dukes of Hazzard

So the first messages you get from Waylon Jennings’ theme song are also the most essential: Bo and Luke were “good ol’ boys” and not kissing cousins but they were boys who were also “fightin’ the system.” They were traditionalists, but they were also rebels. The Duke boys weren’t political, but they were at least small-c conservative–they stood for old ways and ancient traditions.   The cousins' primary mode of transportation is an orange 1969 Dodge Charger that the boys affectionately refer to as the "General Lee"  pained with a charming Confederate flag theme naturally.  On their journey the family is tormented by corrupt Hazzard County Commissioner Jefferson Davis Hogg, widely known as "Boss Hogg"), and his willing but dimwitted henchman, Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane.  It seems so charming now doesn't it or it doesn't?

I live in Tennessee where I have seen many vehicles and many stickers, flags and other accoutrements that identify and horrify anyone having the tragedy of being behind them at a stop line.  In other words I see many Hogg's and the like on my daily travels. 

Do I loathe living here. No, I am bored here. I have things that I like and could do anywhere and when I realized that my dental reconstruction was going to push a year into more of an 18 month process I reconciled that quite easily.  I see the finish line and I will get there and in all honesty I am bored, exhausted talking, working and thinking about the public schools and working in them. If I had a part time gig doing something such as working in a hotel and meeting travelers I might be "happier" but that is not an option with a schedule that needs flexibility.

So to make it work to coin a Tim Gunn phrase I rent cars I try to plan things to do that can keep me sane and that too sometimes backfires but laughing helps.  Watching our local news is usually sufficient.  The freaks that run for office or are in office boggle the mind with their stupidity.  We are gunning up for a Governor race and I am inundated with ads that profess family and god as their qualifications. And today a Legislator is working towards bill to have "IN GOD WE TRUST" prominently displayed in all public schools throughout the state.  The phrase - Separation of Church and State is another anomaly here, like hospitality.

And then I read this and went yeah.. Three Billboards anyone?   Because that is the only way anyone would know of this. Again if I want a laugh I watch our local news stations as this is not a story they would cover as Law Enforcement is sacrosanct.

Tennessee sheriff taped saying 'I love this shit' after ordering suspect's killing

Oddie Shoupe is being sued for excessive force after telling deputies to shoot unarmed Michael Dial rather than risk damage to police cars

Jamiles Lartey
UK Guardian
Tue 6 Feb 2018 1

A Tennessee sheriff is being sued for using excessive force after he was recorded boasting he had told officers to shoot a man rather than risk damaging police cars by ramming him off the road.

“They said ‘we’re ramming him,’” Sheriff Oddie Shoupe of White County said on tape in the aftermath of the killing of suspect Michael Dial. “I said, ‘Don’t ram him, shoot him.’ Fuck that shit. Ain’t gonna tear up my cars.”

Shoupe arrived on the scene shortly after police had shot Dial at the conclusion of a low-speed chase, clearly upset he had missed the excitement.

“I love this shit,” Shoupe said, apparently unaware that his comments were being picked up by another deputy’s body-worn camera. “God, I tell you what, I thrive on it.

“If they don’t think I’ll give the damn order to kill that motherfucker they’re full of shit,” he added, laughing. “Take him out. I’m here on the damn wrong end of the county,” he said.

Shoupe’s comments have prompted a federal lawsuit from Dial’s widow, Robyn Dial, alleging the use of excessive force against her late husband, who was unarmed.

“It was not only inappropriate but also unconscionable for Defendant Shoupe to give the order to use deadly force,” the filing states, calling his decision proof of a “malicious and sadistic mindset”. The suit also names the county, the city of Sparta and the two officers who fired their weapons.

“The comments as seen on the video are extremely disturbing. I’m not sure how anybody can thrive on the taking of a life, let alone somebody in law enforcement,” Dial’s attorney David Weissman told the Guardian.

Police had initially attempted to pull Dial over in April last year for driving on a suspended licence. He drove away, but the fact that he was driving a 40-odd-year-old pickup truck with a fully loaded trailer severely restricted his speed.

DeKalb County deputies, who began the pursuit before White County deputies took over, told investigators it was “more like a funeral procession” than a highway chase, with speeds topping out around 50mph.

Deputies tried using a PIT (Pursuit Intervention Technique) maneuver to slow Dial’s car, a common police tactic involving a police car nudging another vehicle to turn it sideways.

But Shoupe radioed officers to tell them to stop attempting to do that, instead ordering them to shoot the driver.

When a deputy had successfully nudged Dial off the road, Reserve Deputy Adam West, who was in pursuit in his own personal vehicle, fired three shots as the vehicle went down into a ditch. Dial died of a gunshot wound to the head.

In June, the county district attorney declared the shooting justified.

Dial told Tennessee’s News Channel 5 that she believed her husband had tried to drive away from the police because he was scared, and said she could not make sense of the order to shoot. “I feel with every part of me that’s exactly what they wanted to do was kill him.”

The sheriff’s office declined to comment to the Guardian.

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