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Gone In 41 Seconds — Police Quick to Kill Korean Artist
Feb 24, 2008
LA HABRA, Calif. — On the afternoon of December 31, 2007, two police officers encountered Michael Cho in the parking lot of a liquor store in La Habra, a small, generally quiet city in Orange County, California. It didn’t take long for the meeting to go bad. After less than a minute the officers unleashed a barrage of bullets on the 25-year-old artist, ending his life - and setting off an ongoing cascade of protests across Southern California’s Korean American community.Computerized police logs obtained by New America Media suggest the officers quickly turned to deadly force when they confronted Cho, whom they suspected of vandalism. According to the Computer Automated Transcript documenting the incident, at 2:04 p.m. the cops contacted their dispatcher to say they’d located Cho. “Out with the subject near the liquor store,” the transcript reads. Just 41 seconds later they radioed dispatch again, this time saying they’d shot the suspect and now needed paramedics to attend to him. “Shot fired, Suspect down, Medics requested,” reads the transcript. In the aftermath of the killing, Cho’s family has publicly condemned the department, saying the officers rushed to shoot Cho, rather than using less lethal tools like pepper spray or Taser stun guns to subdue him.
“The police killed my son like a dog,” Cho’s mother, Honglan Cho, recently told the La Habra City Council. According to Shelly Lynn Kaufman, an attorney for the Cho family, the fusillade of bullets left ten holes in his body.
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when most people watch football they want to watch a close, competitive game. I don’t want that. I want clown college. TY for a wonderful day, raiders and niners.
This properly conveys how people talked in the 90’s.
i only know one person that prefers time over stock in smash bros and he’s also the worst person i know
Andre Vitchek: Andrew, as the former head of Reuters in Iraq, you are perhaps now comparing how the Middle East has been covered, to the coverage of events in this part of the world - Southeast Asia. Could you talk about the similarities and differences?
Andrew MacGregor Marshall: I left Reuters in quite controversial circumstances, back in 2011, because I had obtained a lot of documents, leaked US documents that shed light on the monarchy and its role in Thailand’s history. And these documents are illegal in Thailand, because you are not allowed to tell the truth about the monarchy’s role.
To me as a journalist, it’s our duty to tell the truth. And if we have to break the local laws to do so, we have to do that. And if we are not willing to do it, we at least have to say in our stories that we can’t tell the full truth, because local laws prevent us. So I became really uneasy with Reuters’ coverage and the whole mainstream media’s coverage of Thailand and that’s why I left.
And this was a process that had begun, I think, in Iraq. Because almost from the start in Iraq, Reuters and all foreign journalists could see it was a catastrophe; it was an ill-thought out intervention; there was massive corruption, massive incompetence, and this fact is now so widely recognized… I don’t think it is now even up for debate that the US and British-led intervention in Iraq was a disaster.
We had lost six staff during my time there… They were killed; five of them killed by the US military, allegedly by mistake, and one killed at a checkpoint by a sectarian death squad.
I started to think: we’d sacrificed so much to be there and my Iraqi staff especially, had sacrificed so much… and in the end, when I looked back, had we really helped any understanding of what happened? I don’t think we did. Every day we’d focus on the latest car bombing and the number of dead… and the number of dead became almost incomprehensible; you’d have 80 dead in car bombings in one day, you’d have 50 headless corpses dumped in the street in Baghdad… So it was a constant stream of horror that was making our headlines…
But I don’t think that readers can really understand that kind of coverage. Certainly me, now, even though I know what a car bomb looks like, and I know what mass killing looks like, because I’ve seen it; when I read about Syria, for example, I find it very hard to process this information: it’s just blood and gore, without the context. And I came to believe that what we’d done in Iraq had been fairly useless, because we covered the day-to-day bloodshed and killing, but we failed to give the proper context that would allow readers to understand what was going on. It was almost like bloodthirsty entertainment. It makes headlines, but I don’t think mainstream media coverage of these conflicts really produces understanding. In fact I say it does the opposite, it prevents understanding. There is a focus on blood and gore and there is no attempt to really explain what the geopolitical forces behind it are.
AV: Is there a self-censorship?
AM: Absolutely! I mean, in Thailand, which is now my main area of expertise, there is clearly self-censorship, because there is a law, the lèse-majesté law that forbids discussion of the monarchy.
But more subtly, when I was covering Iraq, I used to get stories all the time, of US troops involved in rapes and theft… I also had three of my own staff who were tortured and sexually abused by US troops, prior to Abu-Ghraib. I was stunned when I heard about the sexual abuse…
AV: Men or women?
AM: Men. But this was actually a systematic policy, I think. It has been well documented by now. The US narrative that Abu-Ghraib was just a few bad people, who did things that were not allowed, is ridiculous. We have seen Guantanamo, Abu-Ghraib and Bagram, and many other US detention centers. We have seen torture, and sexual torture became normalized. But when I was trying to report any story like this for Reuters, my editors would demand enormous evidence. I had to jump over innumerable hurdles to prove that my staff had been tortured. And I knew these men very well and I knew they were telling me the truth.
But if we wanted to report on atrocities by a militant group in Baqubah or Fallujah, we would just write “that it had been reported,” and there would be no attempt to ask us to prove what happened, because it was just assumed that this is what the militants do – they do bad things, and the Westerners do good things. So the standard of proof was totally different. It was done in a subtle way. We were never told to lie, and we were genuinely always trying to tell the truth. But looking back I can see we were coming from very constrained cultural lands, for we looked at things with a certain mindset and we failed to understand that most Iraqis and indeed most of the people in the Middle East and around the world, they don’t look at the world from a Western or US-centric mindset.
I wanna go back to japan so bad so so bad