Yet Again

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More gut-wrenching cellphone video of sociopaths in uniform and power, this time in Salinas, CA where five "law enforcement" officers beat senseless with batons a mentally ill man who was screaming, running into traffic, and may or may not have been attacking his mother, who had called aforementioned "law enforcement" for help. Police say Jose Velasco, 28, was reaching for their Tasers and generally non-compliant. Take that for what it's worth.

With what is now mounting, stomach-churning, almost daily evidence of a nationwide police force virtually out of control, it's instructive to revisit an infamous 1971 psych experiment at Stanford University wherein two groups of students were randomly chosen to act out, over two weeks, being the powerful - prison guards - and the powerless - prisoners. It was stopped early when the "guards" quickly took on all the most vicious attributes of their role, helped along by uniforms, badges, sunglasses and an accompanying sense of unchecked power. The alarming results - indicating that, to some extent, humans are hard-wired to abuse given the environmental opportunity to do so - were cited most recently during the Abu Ghraib horrors.

More recently, Gitmo, Ferguson, Cleveland, Chicago, Baltimore ad nauseum tend to confirm those findings. For now, police officials in Salinas are said to be reviewing the Velasco beating "to see if it was justified." In the words of passerby Richard Boxing, who filmed it, "Really?"

Below, video of the Stanford experiment in action, and of the state-sanctioned violence in Salinas. Warning: disturbing.

From Boxing's video

 

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