Law Enforcement Reform Thread (formerly Defund the Police) (1 Viewer)

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So I got busy the other day with the intention to revisit this topic and answer some of the responses put forward but I realized the thread was deleted. But, I felt we had good dialogue happening before I left so I wanted to restart the topic to get the conversation going again. We started some dialogue about it on the liberal board but I feel this topic transcends party lines so I'm making a MCB thread. Post #2, or my next post, is the post I made on the liberal board when asked to elaborate how I felt.
 
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Let me be clear, it is not my intent to dissuade discussion about messaging. How we message, how we market ideas, can be essential for moving ideas into reality. I agree that "Defund the Police" on some levels is problematic. And I'm open to discussion on reframing that with persons who are open to discussion on what defund the police means. What I'm not interested in is entertaining discussion about "messaging" with the Meghan McCains of the electorate. Let me explain. In advance, sorry for the ET Canada clip, the commentary is obviously biased, but it is one of the few clips of the exchange that has portions of each important context of the conversation. Just bypass the commentary and skip to Harris and McCain talking.


McCain asks Kamala to explain "Defund the Police" to her because she is having a hard time knowing what is meant by that. Senator Harris, for nearly 7 minutes (in the video, they edited out some of her response, it was nearly 7 minutes) goes into an in-depth explanation of what "defund the police" means to her. This is the exchange after the explanation:

McCain: Senator I hear you loud and clear and I don't think that there is any rational American right now that doesn't think that we need to take a cold hard look at reforming our police. But, there was a video that went viral over the weekend of the Mayor of Minneapolis being yelled at saying, "Yes or no question. Are you for defunding the police?" So, I'm going to ask the same question the protestors asked of him, "Are you for defunding the police?"

Harris: How are YOU defining "defund the police?"

McCain: Well, I'm not for anything remotely for that so I would ask the protestors the same thing. But, I would assume, I assume, and again this is new to me, I would assume it is removing police, and as Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said, bringing in a whole new way of governing and law and order into a community. And my understanding, again this is something that has just come into my understanding recently, is that you would not have police officers, like this Minneapolis city councilwoman said that I would be a place of privilege if someone broke into my home and I wanted to call the police.

Harris: So, again, we need to reimagine how we are achieving public safety in America....


McCain represents the portion of the white electorate, to me, that doesn’t WANT to understand defund the police, regardless of how it is framed. She received an intelligent, clarifying, eloquent and concise explanation on one person's ideology of what defund the police means and her response to that is to say, "well to me its removing all police officers and those protestors told Jacob to go home because they don't want police (you know they burned down a station, wink wink) plus that councilwoman said I'm privileged and I don’t get police for home invasions and most of all....ILHAN OMAR!

This isn't about "the base" or "the 30%" either. McCain isn't a Trump supporter. This is the portion of White America that is so invested, so comfortable, so oblivious to the harms of the status quo that they are afraid or callously indifferent to make any changes because they perceive equality as "something gained, something lost" and in this case, it is the privilege of police being non-factors in their lives, except for traffic violations, which represents minor inconvenience of their time. Messaging and marketing and reframing is lost on them because they weaponize the messaging to remain ignorant so, ultimately, nothing changes.

So, you may say, FTP, that is precisely why we have to tighten up the message. We clarify the ideology for those willing and we eliminate the ammunition for the unwilling. And that is true. But, to that, I would ask this question: How much time and energy do we devote to that part of the mission, that part of the conversation, that part of our resources, in the face of how urgent this issue needs to be fixed? Would that time, energy and resources be better served actually making changes than explaining them? Before you answer, let me better explain how urgent this crisis is.

So this tweet is the first of a thread that I would encourage every American to read. I will link the tweet but I'm going to make a summary of a thread so I can get to my point. So, here's the tweet but before you read the thread, or after you read the thread, make sure you come back and finish reading my post.


So for you lazy bums (LOL), DeForest recounts what he calls "the coolest night of comedy." They are in New York, at a comedy club, and Chappelle pops in. They ask if he wants to go on and he agrees and he closes the show. Chappelle asks the crowd for headlines to riff on. No material,, off the dome comedy. They toss one out; he tells a joke about it. Now, this evening is a few days after the grand jury decided not to indict the officer that killed Eric Garner. So, tensions in New York are high. Definitely was some protesting and rioting happening at the time. So, 20 minutes into the set, someone shouts "police brutality." Chappelle says "you really wanna fo this? Ok." So Chappelle starts talking about Eric Garner and how watching him murdered has made him scared for his kids. He said, "I thought body cams would help, but what good is video evidence if yall don't care?" To which a white female in the crowd yells "Life's hard; sorry bout it!" Chappelle asks her "What did you say?" and she repeats it.

So, Chappelle starts educating the crowd on the history of black people and the police. He talks about slave patrols, Rodney King, Watts, Emmett Till, Black Wall Street, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Then he talked about John Crawford III. If you don’t remember, John Crawford III was the black man in Walmart who was looking at a BB gun for sale. He decides to buy it and continues carrying it while he continues to shop. Someone calls the police on him, the cop comes into Walmart and with warning, no command to put his hands up, shoots and kills John Crawford III. Video below.


So, then Chappelle starts telling a story about how he gets pulled over by a police officer in rural Ohio, where we all know he lives. This is before the Crawford shooting but right after Ferguson, so the public climate is tense. Dave says "I may be white on paper. But I'm still black so I'm nervous." Chappelle says "the cop approaches and he can tell I’m nervous. I have both my hands on the wheel and I say ‘officer my license and registration is in the glove box. I’m going to reach for them now. I’m promise not armed’ I could tell the officer was offended that I was nervous. He said I know who you are Dave Chappelle’ & I said ‘so why do you need my license and registration?’” He lets Chappelle go with a warning. That officer who let him go? The same officer you just saw in the surveillance video that gunned John Crawford III down, no questions asked.

Chappelle then starts talking about his South African friend. He said “I asked him what it was like in South Africa right before apartheid ended and he said it was chaos in the streets. There were riots & car bombs etc, but the amount of people caring hit critical mass and there was nothing they could do to stop it. The people had momentum and apartheid ended. Critical mass. That’s what we have to hit. Once enough of you care, there will be nothing they can do to stop the change”

Sound familiar? I said on SR on the EE that America is at a crossroads but the crossroads will be what White America makes of it. You see, we both watched George Floyd's murder and we both watched in horror. But our horror came from very different reasons. Your horror came from watching a black man be lynched, something I imagine you never thought you would witness in 2020. We've all seen the pictures of "strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees" but to watch it? That had to be frightening and horrific for you. For me, my horror is how easily I can be George Floyd. That is the dilemma that White America has to reconcile.

There is a desperate, sense of urgency that is required to fix this crisis but it is one you have no sense of. How can you empathize with something that doesn't affect your life? You have the luxury of time. Time to discuss things like messaging and framing. Things that are important. But, understand that each second, each minute, each hour, each day that we spend talking about the issue is another second, another minute, another hour and another day I have to spend living with the status quo. Each time I wake up, I have to hope and pray, today is not the day, that through no fault of my own, today is not the day that law enforcement is thrust into my life and the officer I have to deal with doesn't decide to take my life. Because my friends, I'm not Dave Chappelle, so I don't get the benefit of the doubt. I'm the next pending hashtag. #georgefloyd #ahmaudarbery #breonnataylor #trayvonnartin #firsttimeposter

Messaging and framing is important. But, the question becomes how much time do we spend framing the issue correctly as opposed to just implementing the issue. Or more aptly, how much time do YOU spend? There is chaos and rioting in the street and we have hit critical mass. Enough of you, white people, care and the momentum is on your side to do something about it. This is now firmly your issue. "Once you become aware, you become responsible." Or, as Dave told that young lady that came back to apologize, "you're ok. That’s all we can ask. Know better, do better. I want to thank YOU for hearing me and listening. That’s your role. And now you know. Now you’re part of that critical mass we talked about and next time you hear a friend say some ignorant shirt like you said, it’s your job to correct them and share with them what you learned tonight. THEN, you’re no longer part of the problem, you’re part of the solution.”

Know better yall, yes! Messaging, framing, marketing. Sell that shirt. Get people on board. Critique the messaging, critique the ideology, clarify the issue. But, DO BETTER. For God's sake, do better. I don’t know what the proper ratio is. I don't. It is a lot to manage and juggle. It is a hard job y'all have. We have unprecedented momentum and it will be up to y'all, white America, to decide how much time gets spent framing the issue, knowing whom to spend time framing the issue with and for whom and time spent doing; actually accomplishing something. But when you get frustrated, when it gets hard, remember you could be me. A black man waiting, hoping this shirt gets changed and praying I'm alive to see it.

All of y'all are a part of the solution now. And I'm extremely grateful for that. Black people, man, contrary to popular belief, we are some loving, forgiving and patient people bro. We really are. Like Dave hugging that chick, letting her know it's okay, I wish I could do the same for all of y'all. Just really convey how much I appreciate people caring enough to even talk about this shirt. So, I get it. But when we log off, man, unfortunately, we don't get to log off and live in the same world. And, at times, as necessary as it is, it can get infuriating watching people who have the power to affect real change, argue over how that change gets labeled. I'm at white America's mercy on this and I can only hope that it now means enough to enough of you to make a difference. If y'all say framing is how we get there, ima ride with you. But, understand the sense of urgency for me. But, now you know, right? Know better, do better. Whatever it takes. Avengers, assemble.
 

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I didn’t want to be the first person to follow that fantastic post, but I reckon someone has to.

It seemed, to me at least, there was a pretty good consensus that “defund the police” may not be the best branding, but the underlying cause has merit.

Police officers have to wear too many hats. It’s not fair to any profession to have to do that, more so in one where you are potentially putting your life on the line.

So, more to FTP’s post, how much time do you spend on renaming “defund police” to “move police budgets around to better serve the community” as opposed to pushing forward ideas people seem to support? Would it even matter? We are years down the line from “global warming”, yet you have deniers still using what was also a poorly chosen description.

Let’s fix this:
it can get infuriating watching people who have the power to affect real change, argue over how that change gets labeled.
Let’s work for positive change.
 

Farb

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I agree. Its bad messaging if that is how you view the meaning of defund the police but it is actually fairly accurate for those that are protesting. CHAZ released their demands and they explained in detail what defund the police mean to them:

https://www.theblaze.com/news/chaz-list-crazy-demands-seattle

The Seattle Police Department and attached court system are beyond reform. We do not request reform, we demand abolition. We demand that the Seattle Council and the Mayor defund and abolish the Seattle Police Department and the attached Criminal Justice Apparatus. This means 100% of funding, including existing pensions for Seattle Police. At an equal level of priority we also demand that the city disallow the operations of ICE in the city of Seattle.

I stand by my initial stance that if you want/demand Americans follow/support your stance, you need to be clear. If you are discussing reshaping, reimaging, refunding a central pillar of our society, you need to be very clear in your messaging. Otherwise, just expect most Americans to roll their eyes and get back to their lives.
 

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Farb, what sort of changes would you support? I've heard some great ideas over the last few days about police reform.

For example, I really like the idea of reallocating resources to address mental health issues and drug addiction, and that our over-reliance on law enforcement on those issues is a product of us being too lazy to come up with a solution whose complexity matches the complexity of the problem. I really like many of the ideas that are specific to reforming police behavior, including elimination of qualified immunity, better training to reshape how police officers understand their role in public safety, increasing transparency and accountability, practice investigations to identify shortcomings of our existing departments, etc..

Have you looked at the Justice in Policing Act? I am sure there are some areas for compromise and improvement, but it seemed to me like it was something a lot of people would get on board with. I am curious to know how conservative leaning posters feel about the particulars of it. We seem to have reached a tipping point in the public's willingness to consider major overhaul, and I view that as a good thing.
 
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I stand by my initial stance that if you want/demand Americans follow/support your stance, you need to be clear. If you are discussing reshaping, reimaging, refunding a central pillar of our society, you need to be very clear in your messaging.
So, essentially, your criteria for participation, buy-in and support is unrealistic because, as I've tried to explain before, defund the police is going to look and be different from city to city, county to county and state to state. If your support is contingent on clearly defind parameters for "the cause", that really becomes an impossibility because each municipality has different needs and will require different resolutions. My hope would be that persons recognize, first, reform is needed and then, instead of waiting for a game plan to be presented to them that they can stamp yes or no on, which allows our biases to heavily influence judgement, be an active participant in the resolution, because you already agree reform is needed, by openly stating and/or suggesting initiatives that you could get behind or things that you don't want to support while keeping an open mind about each thing. But, if the requirement is that someone present to you a clear vision on what "defund the police" means on a macro level for you then to decide if reform is needed or worth supporting, then frankly, you strike me as someone who isn't likely to participate even if you get what you want.

Otherwise, just expect most Americans to roll their eyes and get back to their lives.
For me, this sentiment portrays why I can make that last statement above. It really exemplifies my post. My participation in the American experience, my life, rests on persons who have the privilege to "roll their eyes and get back to their lives" on this issue. It just doesn't affect you like it does me. And for some, their support is contingent on being convinced that changes are a worthwhile endeavor to disrupt the status quo. My life weighted against your privilege and American history is clear which of those, time and again, wins out.
 

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I agree. Its bad messaging if that is how you view the meaning of defund the police but it is actually fairly accurate for those that are protesting. CHAZ released their demands and they explained in detail what defund the police mean to them:

https://www.theblaze.com/news/chaz-list-crazy-demands-seattle

The Seattle Police Department and attached court system are beyond reform. We do not request reform, we demand abolition. We demand that the Seattle Council and the Mayor defund and abolish the Seattle Police Department and the attached Criminal Justice Apparatus. This means 100% of funding, including existing pensions for Seattle Police. At an equal level of priority we also demand that the city disallow the operations of ICE in the city of Seattle.

I stand by my initial stance that if you want/demand Americans follow/support your stance, you need to be clear. If you are discussing reshaping, reimaging, refunding a central pillar of our society, you need to be very clear in your messaging. Otherwise, just expect most Americans to roll their eyes and get back to their lives.
If you're paying even a little bit of attention, this isn't some centrally organized idea/notion that is cohesive and directed. It's very clear it encompasses a range of ideas. For some people/groups, that means totally dismanteling the police and judicial apparitus as you noted. That feeling is mostly on the fringe of the idea/concept that most people have of it and probably isn't supported by the majority of people calling for defunding the police (I think that's pretty obvious unless you're intentionally being obtuse like the white house.)

So instead of continuing on the premises that defunding the police only means complete abolition of the police (to where this conversation never gets to a productive stage and stays mired an rhetoric), what types of reforms and reallocation of police/city funding would you support? Can we remove responsibilities for policing to focus their mission and stop having them respond to all community needs? Would we be better served by police having a smaller/more involved footprint in our communities and not just one of pure law and order at the end of a gun? Do you believe there are police departments around the country that are so corrupted that we need to completely dismantle them and reconstitute them with new leaderships and missions? Etc.

What would you like to see happen and do you see yourself as part of the solution? Or do you think all of this is hogwash that is trying to placate liberal loons?
 

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I hope cities implement a variety of plans on police reform. I am leery of the federal government taking the lead on the issue.
Let us see what Minneapolis does, for example. Perhaps they hit on some things that really work, while - as an example, Philly tries something different where some things work, some things are horrible, etc.

On more specific things - I do like the idea of having different resources deal with mental health, deal with homeless issues, perhaps even deal with certain domestic situations, etc. People trained in that specific area. But that obviously requires resources, perhaps more than can be diverted from police forces themselves.
 

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Farb, what sort of changes would you support? I've heard some great ideas over the last few days about police reform.

For example, I really like the idea of reallocating resources to address mental health issues and drug addiction, and that our over-reliance on law enforcement on those issues is a product of us being too lazy to come up with a solution whose complexity matches the complexity of the problem. I really like many of the ideas that are specific to reforming police behavior, including elimination of qualified immunity, better training to reshape how police officers understand their role in public safety, increasing transparency and accountability, practice investigations to identify shortcomings of our existing departments, etc..

Have you looked at the Justice in Policing Act? I am sure there are some areas for compromise and improvement, but it seemed to me like it was something a lot of people would get on board with. I am curious to know how conservative leaning posters feel about the particulars of it. We seem to have reached a tipping point in the public's willingness to consider major overhaul, and I view that as a good thing.
Yes. I can get behind every thing you just listed. I will also say that probably 99% of the police would be behind those changes especially in regard to mental health calls/checks. Changes are needed and have been needed for sometime and the vast majority of Americans are behind that.

I am just saying it doesn't do the goal of police reform any good when the movement is shouting one thing but then it really means something completely different. You are asking Americans to assume a pretty radical idea in their mind when someone yells "defund the police" where if someone yelled "Re imagine Policing" or something that actually reflects the movement, a lot more people will look and listen with an open mind. You catch more flies with honey.
 
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I do like the idea of having different resources deal with mental health, deal with homeless issues, perhaps even deal with certain domestic situations, etc.
This is one area that I think we put law enforcement in an impossible position. They just are not equipped to handle these situations.

So, Jim, in your opinion, would resources be better spent letting Healthcare professionals handle these situations or would it benefit to have specialized officers who are trained to handle these situations while, in conjuction, also trained on the law enforcement aspect of the job.

For instance, in a domestic violence situation, where a firearm could be involved, I don't know if I want healthcare officials approaching that environment with no "use of force" capability. Or, is the answer to have LEOs present but working under the command of Healthcare and allow the on-site command?
 

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This is one area that I think we put law enforcement in an impossible position. They just are not equipped to handle these situations.

So, Jim, in your opinion, would resources be better spent letting Healthcare professionals handle these situations or would it benefit to have specialized officers who are trained to handle these situations while, in conjuction, also trained on the law enforcement aspect of the job.

For instance, in a domestic violence situation, where a firearm could be involved, I don't know if I want healthcare officials approaching that environment with no "use of force" capability. Or, is the answer to have LEOs present but working under the command of Healthcare and allow the on-site command?
I do not know. Its a good question.

I will say this - I think escalation is a two-way street. So, when you put an armed officer in a situation the situation is immediately escalated by his/her mere presence.
At the same time, you obviously want to protect anyone and everyone at the scene.

It might be fairy-tale thinking - but I do wonder that if having fewer armed officers around can sort of "soften" the consciousness of society in general. Thinking that way makes me want to avoid having armed officers if at all possible. But I certainly understand why people would say that is impossible.
 
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I am just saying it doesn't do the goal of police reform any good when the movement is shouting one thing but then it really means something completely different. You are asking Americans to assume a pretty radical idea in their mind when someone yells "defund the police" where if someone yelled "Re imagine Policing" or something that actually reflects the movement, a lot more people will look and listen with an open mind. You catch more flies with honey.
I hear what you are saying Farb, and, on some levels I agree. Defund...it is problematic. I have to concede that. However, I, firstly, believe we need to be more patient and understanding with communities right now, particularly communities of color, and allow them to vent and, yes, make demands right now, even ones that don't seem realistic or things we can't support. We can't let that kneecap the movement. I mean can we really blame Minneapolians for not wanting law enforcement in their community right now? Especially black Minneapolians?

We can't let demands in the heat of the moment be the reason we don't support a cause that we all know is necessary. Again, that strikes me as someone looking for a reason to not participate. The "get more flies with honey" is a point taken but let's be honest, if police reform could have been sold to white America and passed by tightening up the message, would we still be seeing black men lynched in our streets in 2020? There is a reluctance in White America to fix this and i think it goes deeper than the messaging of the issue.
 

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It might be fairy-tale thinking - but I do wonder that if having fewer armed officers around can sort of "soften" the consciousness of society in general. Thinking that way makes me want to avoid having armed officers if at all possible. But I certainly understand why people would say that is impossible.
Aren't the officers in England unarmed, or am I making that up? It's a potential model if so.
 

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Aren't the officers in England unarmed, or am I making that up? It's a potential model if so.
They are for most part, but so is the population, for the most part, that they serve. I personally think if you send unarmed police into some of the more violent crime ridden areas then it will be open season on them.
Most first responders (FD, Paramedics) won't enter some areas without the police protecting their back. Maybe have armed police/security partners with the mental health responders. This will require more of a budget but that ship has sailed.
 

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I hear what you are saying Farb, and, on some levels I agree. Defund...it is problematic. I have to concede that. However, I, firstly, believe we need to be more patient and understanding with communities right now, particularly communities of color, and allow them to vent and, yes, make demands right now, even ones that don't seem realistic or things we can't support. We can't let that kneecap the movement. I mean can we really blame Minneapolians for not wanting law enforcement in their community right now? Especially black Minneapolians?

We can't let demands in the heat of the moment be the reason we don't support a cause that we all know is necessary. Again, that strikes me as someone looking for a reason to not participate. The "get more flies with honey" is a point taken but let's be honest, if police reform could have been sold to white America and passed by tightening up the message, would we still be seeing black men lynched in our streets in 2020? There is a reluctance in White America to fix this and i think it goes deeper than the messaging of the issue.
I get what you are saying but in my opinion if you want the movement to advance and allow those communities to figure out what will work best and not be kneecapped then the messaging has to improve. Thats my main point. I am not debating the goal or the justification of the movement. As I said, most of America are behind the movement in the spirit it was intended.
At some point, the movement will need to decide if they want to accomplish actual lasting change or make a catchy point. Aligning with groups like Antifa really distorts that message and like it or not, turns off a large part of the American population, rightly or wrongly.
 

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I think you have to have some 'out there' views for real change to occur. Those views that seem extreme at the time are what sometimes tilts the moral arc toward justice years down the road.

If some of you remember how even Black Lives Matters was perceived 10 years ago, it's shockingly more accepted today -- especially after the George Floyd murder. This group was spoken of like they were terrorists. Plenty of media outlets still talk about BLM like that today. That reflects poorly on white America.

We live in our relative comforts for the most part and change is only accepted and made mainstream when we get comfortable with it.

Isn't it terrible that it takes our fellow human beings being slaughtered for change to occur? Cities are finally making it illegal for cops to use chokeholds and teargas. Why does it take police killing and maiming people all over the country time and again, to the point that the legislative bodies can't ignore it, to do something?

Back to 'defund the police'. I think that when American police receive these necessary funds but schools and housing programs are cut year after year, it's a blatant sign of pretty sickening racial inequality. Overwhelmingly lower income and minority communities are targeted year after year for these 'cuts'. I think the message is that no, we won't prioritize law enforcement over community anymore. At least that is what it means to me. We need sweeping changes to police departments. Racial sensitivity training has failed. We need to take it to the next level, and that may include requiring community oversight committees or something similar in which the community has more power to decide who does and who does not stay employed on the force. No more of this sweeping stuff under the rug nonsense. No more fraternal police union cronyism.

So in that vein, I don't think that the 'defund the police' idea is harmful. I think it is necessary to normalize the reality that police departments in America, as much respect as I think most have for what they go through, need reform. I will always respect officers who do their job the right way, but when people ask point blank questions like 'do you support law enforcement', i'll always answer 'it depends'. It depends on which officers we are talking about and if they're truly abiding by their duty to protect and serve. It's just as silly a question as 'do you support humans?'. I support and appreciate the good ones. So it depends.
 

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So I was told that I didn’t understand the defund the police movement. This is in Seattle and there have been similar signs in Chicago and New York.


1592007547923.jpeg
 

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