WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Thursday, April 09, 2015

THE CIVIL WAR ISN'T OVER .....


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

APPOMATTOX .......................

When you wake up this morning, look at your watch, and when you eventually see the hands of the clock strike one pm, think back 150 years and ask yourself this question:  Which side would you have been on?  At One PM, on April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee, walked into the home of Wilmer McLean, in Appomattox, Virginia, and surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the Civil War.

To think that our grand experiment of a democracy might have failed, well, those are some heavy thoughts.  We talk about American Exceptionalism today, but 150 years ago, our country was coming apart at the seams, and but for the strength and vision and leadership of a great President, Abraham Lincoln, that experiment may have failed.

The "Civil War" ended, the experiment didn't fail - but are we still fighting that war?

President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 and by its words, it proclaimed the freedom of slaves in the ten states that were still in rebellion.  The Union won the war, the slaves were freed, but would it be fair to say that, 150 years later, some people still haven't gotten the news?

There is a connection between yesterday's post and today's - and it has to do with how some in our society view the black man in the year 2015.  Yesterday it was the video of Walter Scott being shot in the back by Officer Michael Slager.  Today we were introduced to the video of a mentally ill Lavall Hall, walking aimlessly down the street in his underwear, with a broomstick in his hand, as he is shot multiple times by a Miami Gardens Police Officer.  Lavall's mother had called the police for help.  They knew the history of Lavall Hall.  On the video, the mother can be heard begging the officers, "please don't hurt my child".

Here is the video released by the Hall's family lawyer:



Over the span of the last few months we have read about, and sometimes seen, video of black men, unarmed black men, being shot and many times killed, by white police officers.
 
Back in 2007, ColorLines and the Chicago Reporter investigated fatal police shootings in 10 major cities, and found that there were a disproportionately high number of African Americans among police shooting victims in every city, particularly in New York, San Diego, and Las Vegas.
 
ProPublica reported that "Young black males in recent years were at a far greater risk of being shot dead by police than their white counterparts – 21 times greater i, according to an analysis of federally collected data on fatal police shootings.  The 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012 captured in the federal data show that blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police."

The Atlantic's headline in today's lead story is telling: "The Civil War Isn't Over".  In the article, they recognize the end of the Civil War as happening 150 years ago today, but they go on to state that: "The questions at the heart of the war, though, still occupy the nation, which has never truly gotten over that conflict. The great issues of the war were not resolved on that April morning at Appomattox. In this sense, not only is the Civil War not over; it can still be lost."

Our Declaration of Independence may have been founded on the proposition that all men are created equal, but as Lincoln reminded us four score and seven years later, "the nation founded in a revolution against monarchy had to fight a second revolution against itself in order to determine whether the “proposition” of “equality” had a future in any republic."

The Atlantic piece closes on this note:  "Wars end loudly and in ruins, and sometimes on silent, beautiful spring landscapes such as the surrender field at Appomattox; but history keeps happening. Making “men equal on earth in the sight of other men,  ....., is a long-term proposition, and for that matter, a definition of the meaning of America."

On April 9, 1865, the Civil War ended.  Five days later, Lincoln was shot dead at Ford's Theatre.  Will Lincoln's dream of equality for all men ever come true?

Which side are you on ....................

CAPTAIN OUT .......
Captain4Justice@gmail.com


25 comments:

Anonymous said...

the only question I have is when will the Marlins ever get a decent catcher?

Anonymous said...


At first, I, African American, close in age to the victim, tremble with rage trying to stop the tears, and then...I just go numb. This is the new lynching. The hunt is seemingly innocuous. The prey responds, not always thinking clearly. The trap is set so our reaction becomes the excuse for the pounce. Snared, life force drained, the carcass is discarded, eventually forgotten, as dust in the wind.

If this doesn't change things... I won't even finish that sentence.

It won't change a thing.

It's as if our Black communities are in a perpetual war zone where minor violations provide a pretext for the utmost subjugation.

From the new debtor prisons, to stop-and-frisk, to execution style police actions escalating from petty offenses, it's maddening that outrage does not become channeled as sustained revolt in this country.

Numb to it all, we (I include myself in this "we") continue our lives, trying to convince ourselves that nothing is happening that requires the bloodletting by police of citizens to be shared more equitably by those who are not Black and/or heavily policed.

What will move us? And when? When we need the hashtag WhiteLivesMatter?

Surely, nothing but a revolution (however you want to define it) will change things.

"By any means necessary," was never just a slogan. It's how Black folk have always had to lead our lives. It's a war out there, even at a traffic stop.

Anonymous said...

From your post yesterday,

This is sickening and disturbing. My heart goes out to this man's family and friends. The unhurried, calm manner of the officer throughout the ordeal gives the impression that he is experienced in manipulating a crime scene (at the very least) or killing in cold blood (at the worst). The officer knew exactly what he was doing, no question. Evidence like this video is indicative not only of the extreme lack of justice many people of color face in our country, but the systematic brutality of police officers towards innocent people (regardless of color

Anonymous said...

There is a direct line from slave holders, then segregationists, then the current intransigent conservative southerners who oppose any affirmative action and voting rights legislation, and support voter suppression legislation such as voter id laws and reductions of voting days. As a former resident of the South, there still exists a certain segment of the population who openly long for the days of the antebellum South.

Anonymous said...


As a police officer I agree that the shooting in South Carolina is an unjustified shooting and the officer should be charged. I will always back a good fellow officer up but when you're a bad officer and were wrong, that's all on you. He had no right to shoot him. His warrant was for child support. Even if it was for murder he still wasn't justified. If the man had a gun in his hand then it's a different story. Not all cops are bad. It's just that the bad ones get the most attention and ruin the reputation for the good ones. This shouldn't be a white black issue. It should be a bad cop issue. Doesnt matter if the cop was white or black or the victim was white, black, purple or pink. It's wrong either way. I hate that the media makes everything a racial issue

Anonymous said...

What is "America" and what are "Americans?"

Are they people who chose to believe in a set of greater ideals - that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights? People who chose to reject the hatreds and strife of the old world, seeking opportunity and freedom in the new, where they might be judged solely on their merit, and not by caste, class, race, or religion?

Or is it some invented fantasy of an ethnic group that loosely defines itself solely in opposition to the Other; that randomly lays claim to traditions, languages, and parts of other cultures with neither rhyme nor reason, whose borders have been ever shifting with perhaps the sole goal of maintaining its majority status, including some of those it once vilified, be they German, Catholic, Irish, Italian, Slavic, or others? An "ethnicity" that did not even exist more than two or three centuries ago, whose pseudo-scientific basis has long ago been resoundingly disproven?

I know which one I'd chose to live in.

Anonymous said...

There are wars and battles from long, long, long ago that still resonate today. Its no surprise that our own great war continues to have an impact. That is why war is a Big Deal, sometimes the consequences are permanent.

Old Golf Guy said...

Hi Rumpole. Retired from law in Miami. At the Masters, as always and if you don't mind I will post some comments. I'm going to be following Rory and Mickelson and I will tell you in all my 73 years I have never heard the sound the ball makes coming off of Rory's driver. Its as pure a sound as I have ever heard a golf club make hitting a ball. I cant post from the course because the rules here are I can't bring my phone in.

I will post some memories of Ol Tom O'Reilly who played as a amateur here in the 60's and took criminal court appointments as well. O'Reilly told me he made about 8-10 grand a year in law, and about a 100 hustling golf in the winter "season" months we used to have here in Miami. I personally caddied for him on the Beach when he took Jackie Gleeson for 10 grand and afterwards the great one took us to the bar, we had some drinks and one of his assistants came up and paid off Tom in cash and Gleeson still insisted on picking up the tab. Those were the days I tell you. Life was easy and grand and fun,

Anonymous said...

the most disturbing aspect of this shooting is the fact that but for the video, in all likelihood this rogue cop would have been cleared by virtue of his lie that he feared for his life and the broken tail light violator had taken his stun gun. The proof is in the pudding -- the stun gun was next to the body. But, alas, his lie was exposed.

Anonymous said...

The deceased probably had a stolen mercedes. If not how can he have an expensive car, and not even pay child support for numerous kids born from many different mothers? If u flee from police do not complain about the consequenses.

Anonymous said...

DIXIE will never fortget or give into the yankees.

Anonymous said...

To 7:58. If it isn't a racial issue then why is it always white male cops shooting or choking black people? Coincidence? I will point this out to show I am not unfair. The black cop who showed up afterwards to lie on his reports and cover up a cold blooded murderer deserves to lose his job and spend some time in the penitentiary as well. I think that most cops are good people or at least would not behave in such a cowardly manner but this video argues loudly against me. This man acted like the department and his fellow officers would abide his crime and be enthusiastic accessories to the coverup. Name me one instance where a cop has turned in his fellow officer for this type of behavior? This video is an indictment of much more than just a murdering coward.

Anonymous said...


Rumpole:

It's the second week of April. Is there anything more beautiful that the drive down Magnolia Lane, the azaleas, Rae's Creek, Hogan's Bridge, and Augusta National Golf Club, at this time of year?

And how fricking good is 21 year old Jordan Spieth!

Anonymous said...

1:49 is proof positive that a rascist lawless attitude has permeated the enforcement community. Too many commentators believe that the law doesn't apply to them and that is acceptable to kill Americans for minor violations.

Anonymous said...

Guys, getting shot by cops is the least of our problems. I think reality TV is a far more severe issue.

We are all going nowhere fast.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


So, Officer Slager's lawyer quit on him yesterday. The lawyer hired by Slager on Saturday, the day of the shooting, withdrew from the case as soon as he saw the video. Then he gave an interview to The Daily Beast, and while he didn't reveal any statements his client made, the answers to some of the questions, do leave one wondering how long this attorney has been a lawyer.

Bloomberg slammed the lawyer; for withdrawing from the case and for granting an interview to the press.

Here is their take:

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-04-09/officer-michael-slager-deserves-a-better-lawyer

Cap Out ...

the trialmaster said...

Still thinking about the Hall of Fame. clearly Jerry Kogan maybe Max Kogan, and certainly Ed Carhardt.

Green Jacket watcher said...


In 1965, the great Bobby Jones, watching the Golden Bear at the Masters, said of Nicklaus:

"Nicklaus played a game of which I am not familiar."

In 1997, Nicklaus made similar comments about Tiger.

In 2015, it's Tiger saying that about the newest uberstar Jordan Spieth. Through 34 holes today, he stands -14, one ahead of the 36 hole record.


Anonymous said...

Next Question: have they checked the brake lights on that mercedes?

Betcha $20 they're just fine...

Anonymous said...

If you are a pussy and shoot traffic violators in the back do not complain about the consequences. I see the defendant Slager has been placed in isolation, probably because without a gun and a badge to hide behind he is exposed as what he is.

Old Golf Guy said...

I'm loving the show Jordan speeth is putting on.

Anonymous said...

Speeth is like a young kenny without the Bentley coup and Bahamas vakay home. Dude rolls in style.

Anonymous said...

Miami Herald reports that SAO in Broward is tossing cases made by racist cops in Ft. Lauderdale; reviewing other cases, as is PD Finkelstein, for racist taint.

Broweird all you like. I can't imagine Carlos or Rundle engaged in rooting out racist prosecutions.

Anonymous said...

Question: What the hell is going on with the second cop on the scene seconds after the shooting? Shooter waltzes up and drops the Taser, practically in second cop's face. Second cop doesn't act like it's anything unusual. Second cop is African-American.

Anonymous said...

That's because Carlos only care about how many depositions you take, not the results.