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Author Topic: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice  (Read 270568 times)

Something Evil

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Re: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2014, 05:37:55 am »

Meh... it's just a few bad apples </sarcasm>
The way it works is that there's an awful lot of bad cops, with an awful lot of good ones mixed in. The bad ones can do more than the good ones, and people always remember the bad ones because that's how peoples minds work. It's like customers. If a person gets good customer service, they'll tell one or two of their friends. They get bad customer service, they'll tell all their friends to avoid that place.

Excellently well-made point.
Most objectively beneficial police activity is nearly invisible to the wider public: apprehending and discouraging petty crime, investigating public and domestic disturbances, directing traffic and providing road safety etc, because these are the norm; these fit the institution's attributions.
When, however, something like this happens it's widely circulated because not only is it an act of violence, but an act of violence perpetrated by those on whom the very responsibility of preventing them lies. Conversely, police forces are then tempted to suppress the spread of the story, because it damages the image of the entire institution and undermines public trust, something that police are reliant upon in conducting their activity.

One alternative to minimizing this is making less lethal weaponry the baseline. For instance, the FN-made compressed air gel round rifles in use for a while (that still managed to get a kid killed in a protest by an unlucky round going through his eye), or the (unfortunately currently absurdly bulky and short-ranged) microwave pulse weapons a company was fiddling with a couple years ago.

This would reduce cases of "I wanted to stop him, not pop him." which are the unfortunate gray area with nothing clear-cut. Was it a hate crime? Was it excessive force and a bad call?

Admittedly, it still wouldn't stop actual violent crimes committed by police, like, say, the killing of Kelly Thomas, but without the gray area of non-deliberate inappropriate use of force cases a lot of the negative press would not be there, possibly making police forces also have more faith in the public and press.
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wobbly

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Re: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2014, 05:44:35 am »

Meh... it's just a few bad apples </sarcasm>
The way it works is that there's an awful lot of bad cops, with an awful lot of good ones mixed in. The bad ones can do more than the good ones, and people always remember the bad ones because that's how peoples minds work. It's like customers. If a person gets good customer service, they'll tell one or two of their friends. They get bad customer service, they'll tell all their friends to avoid that place.

I'm just going to point out that it isn't as simple as good & bad cops. I've lived in bad neighborhoods & good neighborhoods, the exact same police force treats you very differently depending on the area( & problems within) you live in.

Edit: For clarification, I lived in a boarding house where a lot of the tenants were x-cons. I had many dealings with the police while I was there. At best they were professional but slightly hostile (understandable under the circumstances). At worst I coped open hostility, police not turning up to calls (a call about someone vandalizing a car) , lying about not turning up to calls (I was standing out the front - they defiantly didn't turn up), being made to feel the guilty party when checking up why they hadn't turned up... When I moved to a different house in the same area( & same police department) my encounters with police were generally much more friendly.  They were helpful, friendly, very easy going & willing to overlook minor infractures (unregistered car parked on the road). It was a fairly major contrast in general attitude/treatment. In 1 case I was scum by association, the other I was a good person causing no trouble.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 06:12:12 am by wobbly »
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Phmcw

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Re: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2014, 07:24:10 am »

The police isn't a person whose morality you can judge, it's a system for which you are ultimately resonsible. The persons composing it will come from the population pool of your nation and the electorate is utlimately responsible for the filtering policies of the applicant.

The problem isn't to know if policemen are good or bad, but what is done to discourage bad behavior and filter out unwanted traits.
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Re: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2014, 08:21:59 am »

They need more training, and less paramilitary bullshit. In many cases they use far more force than the actual military is authorized to use to break up protests, and that is absolutely unacceptable in an allegedly free country.

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Darvi

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Re: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2014, 08:28:22 am »

Full disclosure, I thought this thread was about policing abuse.
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Morrigi

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Re: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2014, 08:31:54 am »

Full disclosure, I thought this thread was about policing abuse.
Well, policing police abuse.
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Darvi

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Re: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2014, 08:38:50 am »

Could we have Police police police Police police?

Police now stopped being a word for me.
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Fniff

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Re: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2014, 08:57:07 am »

But would the Buffalo buffalo buffalo Police police?

SalmonGod

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Re: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2014, 10:38:41 am »

Excellently well-made point.
Most objectively beneficial police activity is nearly invisible to the wider public: apprehending and discouraging petty crime, investigating public and domestic disturbances, directing traffic and providing road safety etc, because these are the norm; these fit the institution's attributions.
When, however, something like this happens it's widely circulated because not only is it an act of violence, but an act of violence perpetrated by those on whom the very responsibility of preventing them lies. Conversely, police forces are then tempted to suppress the spread of the story, because it damages the image of the entire institution and undermines public trust, something that police are reliant upon in conducting their activity.

One alternative to minimizing this is making less lethal weaponry the baseline. For instance, the FN-made compressed air gel round rifles in use for a while (that still managed to get a kid killed in a protest by an unlucky round going through his eye), or the (unfortunately currently absurdly bulky and short-ranged) microwave pulse weapons a company was fiddling with a couple years ago.

This would reduce cases of "I wanted to stop him, not pop him." which are the unfortunate gray area with nothing clear-cut. Was it a hate crime? Was it excessive force and a bad call?

Admittedly, it still wouldn't stop actual violent crimes committed by police, like, say, the killing of Kelly Thomas, but without the gray area of non-deliberate inappropriate use of force cases a lot of the negative press would not be there, possibly making police forces also have more faith in the public and press.

It's a point made in every single discussion of this topic I've ever seen.  And trust me, I understand the nature of confirmation bias.  It's exactly the same as when my manager at work will walk by my desk 10 times, and they'll ask me "How come I never see you working?" because two of those times I was talking with my co-worker.  I'm very well aware of it.

BUT in the case of police, there is much more to it than this.  It's not a problem of isolated incidents.  It's a problem with the institution allowing and even encouraging those isolated incidents.  It's the way all those supposed good cops will actively, unanimously defend the behavior of the bad ones.  It's the way police officers are almost never convicted of crimes, even when the evidence against them is overwhelming.  It's the way even good cops can do horrible and stupid things by just following their protocol, such as applying the use of force continuum by the letter against a peaceful but non-compliant person can easily result in that person's serious injury or death.  It's the way many police training and policy manuals actually have disgusting or illegal strategies formally declared in them, such as denying emergency medical treatment to people seriously wounded by police in hopes that they'll die and be less trouble in the aftermath or the use of illegal surveillance or agent provocateurs against protesters.  It's the way police are literally trained to think about their daily interactions with people the same way a soldier thinks about their actions on a battlefield, and to put their safety before anyone else's when doing so.  It's the way police are so often riddled with conflicts of interest that make them the direct enemy of the people they're supposed to serve, such as the way wealthy entities will often make large donations to cities before a protest event directed at them, meant to cover the legal costs associated with mass violation of rights.  Or the way many laws and enforcement strategies are meant to maximize profit for the police department and/or privatized prisons, to the detriment of social order and prosperity.  It's the way there is even legal precedent now declaring that the police have no duty to protect citizens.

It's a broad spectrum of problems that have nothing to do with how many bad cops there are vs good ones.  That doesn't even matter.  All this stuff is the result of deep-rooted problems with the culture, strategy, and even purpose of the institution of U.S. law enforcement.  It's waaaay beyond the realm of a few bad cops making all the others look bad, and the way we think about and discuss this problem needs to move past that over-simplification of it.  I intentionally drew out that common argument so we could move past it early on in this thread.
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scriver

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Re: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2014, 10:59:34 am »

#thisdoesnthappeninrussia

It doesn't happen in the rest of "the West" either.
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GlyphGryph

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Re: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2014, 11:01:54 am »

Meh... it's just a few bad apples </sarcasm>
The way it works is that there's an awful lot of bad cops, with an awful lot of good ones mixed in. The bad ones can do more than the good ones, and people always remember the bad ones because that's how peoples minds work. It's like customers. If a person gets good customer service, they'll tell one or two of their friends. They get bad customer service, they'll tell all their friends to avoid that place.

Excellently well-made point.
Most objectively beneficial police activity is nearly invisible to the wider public: apprehending and discouraging petty crime, investigating public and domestic disturbances, directing traffic and providing road safety etc, because these are the norm; these fit the institution's attributions.
When, however, something like this happens it's widely circulated because not only is it an act of violence, but an act of violence perpetrated by those on whom the very responsibility of preventing them lies.
Actually, no, it's a pretty shit point. Good cops can't exist in departments that have too many bad cops. It's impossible. They either become criminals themselves, start protecting criminals, or leave the police force. There is a reason for the saying about bad apples - the department either has the choice of forcing bad cops out, or becoming 100% bad cops (with some worse than others). Most departments make the second choice, not the first one (there are some good departments in the US, and I don't mean to say there are, but it's not a case of an awful lot of good cops mixed in with an awful lot of bad cops, it's a case of bad departments corrupting every police officer that works with them and good departments forcing out their bad cops as soon as they are identified).

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Conversely, police forces are then tempted to suppress the spread of the story, because it damages the image of the entire institution and undermines public trust, something that police are reliant upon in conducting their activity.
Their suppression damages their image and undermines public trust more than anything else they could do. If they really cared about their image, why wouldn't they just get rid of the bad cops? No, I'm not buying this - it doesn't make any sense. The police know what they need top do to maintain their image, and some police forces do it (which is why we don't hear about them). They also know what they need to do to prevent incidents like the police abuse listed here from happening, and some police forces do it, which is doubly why we don't hear about them.

The police forces where incidents like this happen are the ones that don't give a shit if things like this happen, because the most important thing is protecting police officers, not protecting the public. In light of that, their behavior - planting drugs, covering things up, destroying evidence, refusing to prosecture their own - makes perfect sense, a lot more sense than "trying to protect their image in the public mind".

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If you want to be efficient, you have to unite peoples. Racism is used to divide Americain, from an external point of view that much is clear.
First a quick review of the cases in the first post show that whites are far from immune from police violence.
Second, racism is hard to prove, and it's pretty obvious that given the over-criminalisation of black youth in America, policemen will be instinctively more cautious around them.But if you replace the problem about abuse of power by the police, you'll get support from peoples that would not feel concerned about the racism problem and keep the support from liberals.
If you really want people to stop talking about racism, why the fuck are you the one who keeps bringing it up?
Also, why should black people support the movement to stop police from abusing white people? Because if discussions of race aren't brought up, that's basically the most they can hope for, since that's what happens, well... every single time.

But fine, whatever, stop talking about race, since you're the one driving that discussion and shitting up the thread with it.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 11:04:54 am by GlyphGryph »
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GlyphGryph

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Re: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2014, 11:04:01 am »

In terms of new stuff:
Turns out the department in charge of prosecuting Wilson is also the one that's been running his fundraisers, including the gofundme campaign.

Conflict of interest much?

To move the conversations forward, what needs to be done to improve policing in the US
I can think of a few things:
1. Reduce financial incentives to be sloppy, break the law, and abuse people. Getting rid of civil asset forfeiture and allowing civil suits to be filed directly against those involved in crimes (rather than the city itself) would be big leaps on this front.
2. Stop the drug war, and stop involving local PDs in the imaginary "war on terror". The federal government keeps starting wars and then making cops their frontline soldiers. Isn't it any wonder that they start acting like they're fighting a hostile populace when that's exactly the situation they keep getting told they are in?
3. Get rid of private prisons. These guys are probably the number one corrupter of any attempts to implement good laws. These are the organizations that have actual contracts with states that require those states to provide them with enough prisoners every year. They support some of the worst, most racist, most stupid legislation that exists, and they employ seemingly everyone that screws up so badly in the police force they get kicked out, insuring that even the worst police officer has nothing to fair - a private prison will insure he loses nothing. To say nothing of the completely independent abuses these prisons commit constantly.
4. Start training our police officers. There's one thing all of the worst departments have in common, and that's incredibly lax training standards. You'll see a bunch of people argue about how police should behave, (MUST EMPTY CLIP AT CENTER OF MASS!!!!! NO WARNING SHOTS!!!! USE OF FORCE CONTINUUM!!!) and almost all of them are based on and only make sense in the context of the idea that police have zero fucking knowledge about what they hell they are doing, can't effectively use their weapons, have no situational awareness and will immediately flip out in a stressful situation. Police need lots more training with their weapons, they need lots more training for de-escalation best practices, they need lots more training in situational awareness. They need to be able to cope with the stress of and efficiently handle the situations they encounter, and be given more options than "kill everybody" for resolving problems.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 11:14:33 am by GlyphGryph »
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penguinofhonor

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Re: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2014, 11:21:29 am »

Do you have a source for that? I tried to look one up but I couldn't find one.
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GlyphGryph

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Re: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2014, 11:27:24 am »

http://www.thewire.com/national/2014/08/a-non-profit-run-by-a-missouri-police-union-is-now-fundraising-for-darren-wilson/379023/#disqus_thread

The names of the people involved aren't exactly hidden, nor are their roles in the local department. Honestly, it's to be expected, but blah.

The police department in Glendale, another St Louis suburb, announced the suspension of Matthew Pappert, the latest police officer from the St Louis area in three days to be suspended for questionable conduct amid the Ferguson protests.

"I'm sick of these protesters. You are a burden on society and a blight on the community," wrote Mr Pappert in one of at least five posts that were posted to Facebook.

"These protesters should have been put down like a rabid dog the first night," he added.

In a reference to the Boston Marathon bombing, he also wrote: "Where is a Muslim with a backpack when you need them?"
« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 11:42:02 am by GlyphGryph »
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Helgoland

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Re: The Abusive Policing Thread: Beyond Brown, No Justice
« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2014, 02:24:25 pm »

PTW.

Does someone know how the police is structured in the Western European countries? Compare&contrast could yield some interesting insights, especially re:racial problems. (There's Algerians in France, Turks in Germany, Russians in Latvia... We have plenty of racism, but it differs in some key aspects.)
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