Fixing police brutality

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krogoth
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby krogoth » Mon May 11, 2015 3:40 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:The powers that private detectives and security guards, from what I understand are actually severely limited, in fact they are just ordinary civilians like anyone else. They aren't police and don't have any special authority to effect arrest. The effect they have is mostly from an illusion of authority and bluff. ("Lets rob that bank instead of this one because it has fewer security guards", as an example.) At least, I am pretty sure how that works, but be mistaken on a few of the details.

This is fairly accurate in my experience, where I work we have security, but they aren't really there more to dispense badges, make sure the fire doors are secured and make sure no one looks suss, I suppose on that last one at least. There are funny weaknesses with what they are protecting but I can't talk about that. In any event they are told to call the police and act like a civilian most of the time.
R3sistance - I don't care at all for the ignorance spreading done by many and to the best of my abilities I try to correct this as much as I can, but I know and understand that even I can not be completely honest, truthful and factual all of the time.

Autolykos
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Autolykos » Mon May 11, 2015 12:16 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:why does a policeman need greater latitude here than anyone else?
If I use violence on someone as a result of my misunderstanding, well...yes, that puts me in a bad place in a trial. And it SHOULD. Same for police.

While I do agree that police is currently afforded way too much leniency in this regard, they probably still need a little more than the average Joe. Precisely because Joe's last resort is (and should be) to call the police, except for acute self-defense. Police, on the other hand, is the last resort.
In an ambiguous situation, Joe is expected to defer judgment and call the police, and nobody will hold it against him if he does nothing else. The police is expected to go with the least bad expected outcome, and is responsible for the results of their inaction as well.
Security guards and private investigators are a lot closer to average Joe in this regard. Their employers usually don't expect them to actually get into fights, and they won't (in most cases) get fired for not doing so. Above all, it is never part of their job to initiate violence.

Tyndmyr
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon May 11, 2015 2:51 pm UTC

Autolykos wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:why does a policeman need greater latitude here than anyone else?
If I use violence on someone as a result of my misunderstanding, well...yes, that puts me in a bad place in a trial. And it SHOULD. Same for police.

While I do agree that police is currently afforded way too much leniency in this regard, they probably still need a little more than the average Joe. Precisely because Joe's last resort is (and should be) to call the police, except for acute self-defense. Police, on the other hand, is the last resort.
In an ambiguous situation, Joe is expected to defer judgment and call the police, and nobody will hold it against him if he does nothing else. The police is expected to go with the least bad expected outcome, and is responsible for the results of their inaction as well.
Security guards and private investigators are a lot closer to average Joe in this regard. Their employers usually don't expect them to actually get into fights, and they won't (in most cases) get fired for not doing so. Above all, it is never part of their job to initiate violence.


Police being responsible for the results of inaction...not at all guaranteed, I'm afraid. There have been court cases that have found the police have no duty to help you. So...that seems...broken.

Citizen's arrest rules still exist, and though they are not commonly used now, used to be essentially standard.

morriswalters
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby morriswalters » Mon May 11, 2015 3:26 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:There have been court cases that have found the police have no duty to help you. So...that seems...broken.
I don't know that it's broken. They can't help everyone even if it were mandated. They can't be everywhere at once. And making them liable makes the entity behind them liable. Government can't and shouldn't be responsible in detail for your safety. The greater value is to make the environment for everyone safer. Which is their purpose.

leady
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby leady » Mon May 11, 2015 3:59 pm UTC

To widen it out, that specific supreme court case is US only. In most countries whilst not mandated to aid / intervene, there is an expectation with officer sanctions that drives intervention. Still, that said there are examples in the UK were police have let children drown because of "elf and safety". In my benign dictatorship such officers would find themselves with a long swim themselves.....

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Zamfir
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Zamfir » Mon May 11, 2015 5:38 pm UTC

In the life guard, they always stressed that you should not risk your life to save drowning people. A surprisingly high number of people die in rescue attempts, given how rare such situations are.

There is a good underlying logic: rescuing a drowning person is almost always harder than you estimate. Distances are longer, currents stronger, water colder than it seems from the side. And drowning people are a serious burden. They can panic and pull under even a strong swimmer in calm water. Also, drowning can go fast. Once someone is struggling to stay breathing, they are likely gone before you reach them.

So if you are not completely sure that you will make it to victim and back, then you are likely to fail. The victim will drown anyway, and very possibly you as well. Or the original victim is swept to a lucky safe spot, but the rescuers dies. This happens.

Seriously, the best bets are throwing a line, a floating object, or you are in a boat already. To have a shot at swimming to the rescue, the victim has to be distressed but not yet actually drowning, and the water has to be pretty calm.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon May 11, 2015 6:49 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:There have been court cases that have found the police have no duty to help you. So...that seems...broken.
I don't know that it's broken. They can't help everyone even if it were mandated. They can't be everywhere at once. And making them liable makes the entity behind them liable. Government can't and shouldn't be responsible in detail for your safety. The greater value is to make the environment for everyone safer. Which is their purpose.


But if we're going with that, the "they're responsible for inaction" argument breaks down a bit as a justification to give them increased powers.

Now, we're not talking about police even having a level of responsibility on par with lifeguards. Folks mostly understand that lifeguards do what they can, but can't fix everything. Likewise, police. Nobody demands perfect outcomes all the time. But, is the police department liable even if they clearly are able, but just don't care? The answer is, in the US, mostly no.

morriswalters
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby morriswalters » Mon May 11, 2015 8:08 pm UTC

You didn't give them anything, the government you elected did. Who, oddly enough, will get sued if you make them try to protect everyone directly. Because they can't. Every life they save directly is a bonus. If they can get there when you call, hooray for you.

Autolykos
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Autolykos » Wed May 13, 2015 10:14 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:But, is the police department liable even if they clearly are able, but just don't care? The answer is, in the US, mostly no.

Probably true in practice. Which is a large part of why I agree with you on drastically cutting down their rights to match their actual responsibility.
We only seem to differ in how much additional responsibility (and the rights necessary to fulfill them) police officers should have compared to everyone else (which, for me, is "some, but less than now" and for you seems to be "none").

BattleMoose
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby BattleMoose » Wed May 13, 2015 12:02 pm UTC

At some point criminal negligence will (or something similar) or should come into the picture. Well out of my depth in this perhaps others know more.

Tyndmyr
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 13, 2015 7:39 pm UTC

Autolykos wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:But, is the police department liable even if they clearly are able, but just don't care? The answer is, in the US, mostly no.

Probably true in practice. Which is a large part of why I agree with you on drastically cutting down their rights to match their actual responsibility.
We only seem to differ in how much additional responsibility (and the rights necessary to fulfill them) police officers should have compared to everyone else (which, for me, is "some, but less than now" and for you seems to be "none").


Well, I see it as a minimization exercise in getting as close to none as possible. It may not be possible to hit exactly none, but that's the ideal goal if you can arrange it.

So, really, we're pretty close on this.

leady
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby leady » Wed May 13, 2015 7:58 pm UTC

Before you have a love in :) you need to agree on the laws police need to enforce too. You can't apply near stateless principles in a highly statist legal framework

On the saving people thing, yes its an on the spot risk assessment thing, but i do expect my emergency services (the paid ones at least) to actually take risks, particularly if the only risk is to themselves. I'm not talking about being mandated to jump into maelstroms, but in the UK health & safety is used as a cover for a lot of cowardice (imo naturally)

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 13, 2015 9:20 pm UTC

leady wrote:Before you have a love in :) you need to agree on the laws police need to enforce too. You can't apply near stateless principles in a highly statist legal framework

On the saving people thing, yes its an on the spot risk assessment thing, but i do expect my emergency services (the paid ones at least) to actually take risks, particularly if the only risk is to themselves. I'm not talking about being mandated to jump into maelstroms, but in the UK health & safety is used as a cover for a lot of cowardice (imo naturally)


Well, naturally, I'm for minimization of laws as well. If a law doesn't have a solid justification of net benefit, at a minimum, it should not exist. And hell, some of those are still subjective. Some stuff has stuck around for quite a good bit of time based mostly on inertia, not really on data suggesting it actually does anything. Killing a bunch of those laws is a start. Minimizing trivial laws where the enforcement causes more conflict than the law prevents is also a good policy. In general, most folks are going to agree on basic anti-violence laws and so forth as necessary, but the more you have one group trying to impose their goals on others that are generally not widely accepted, the more conflict you'll have. In short, police/law should exist to protect folks. Not as a cudgel to change society into what you want.

And yes, that happens in the US, too. Police shootings are almost always accompanied by the danger the policeman felt he was in, etc. Even if it's not a very plausible tale. I suppose it's a fairly obvious excuse, but I agree, it shouldn't be given the credence it seems to get.

mcd001
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby mcd001 » Fri May 29, 2015 2:28 pm UTC

Looks like we've found a fix for police brutality:

Baltimore gets bloodier as arrests drop post-Freddie Gray

jewish_scientist
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby jewish_scientist » Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:16 am UTC

I have not read many of the post here, but I had an idea. A common idea is to put video cameras on cops' uniforms, but I do not think that will work though.
It is easy to 'accidentally' cover the lens with your jacket, or make the camera was face the wrong way. I think a better idea would be to use 2 microphones. It is much very difficult to 'accidentally' prevent sound from entering a microphone, and the fact that there is two helps. That is not the main reason I think that there should be two though.

Microphones pick up sound regardless of direction the sound is coming from; which can be a problem when you are trying to locate the source of a sound. However, two microphones could work together to find the direction that sound came from. If the sound was loader for the right microphone than the left, then we know the sound came from the right. It is a little like how two eyes are needed for depth perception.

If a team was told to analyze video retrieved from a cop's camera, I think the audio data would actually be more informative than the visual data. No matter how you attach it, a camera is going to move a lot when an officer runs. A microphone would record a lot of noise from the officer's cloths, but that can be filtered out. If something is not in a frame, there is nothing you can do to learn about it.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. There is one other point I have to say about this plan however. It is not going to work. No matter what happens, no matter what incentives you make, a bad cop is going to do bad things. The only solution is to make sure that people who would become corrupt or brutal or become corrupted or brutal are never hired. When I find a way to measure a person's character and morals, I will let the people here know. Until then, the best we can do is give recruits a very intense psychological exam and good theory to officers who need it.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jun 03, 2015 4:42 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:I have not read many of the post here, but I had an idea. A common idea is to put video cameras on cops' uniforms, but I do not think that will work though.


It's been tried in a few areas, and I believe current data shows it does work, fairly dramatically.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. There is one other point I have to say about this plan however. It is not going to work. No matter what happens, no matter what incentives you make, a bad cop is going to do bad things. The only solution is to make sure that people who would become corrupt or brutal or become corrupted or brutal are never hired. When I find a way to measure a person's character and morals, I will let the people here know. Until then, the best we can do is give recruits a very intense psychological exam and good theory to officers who need it.


Incentives are incentives. Yes, bad people will exist regardless. But, bad people are not entirely unable to change or immune to fear. They wish to avoid being caught and the penalties thereof. Of course, for that to be valid, both being caught and being penalized once caught must be actual threats.

There is no such thing as perfect "bad person" test. We will ALWAYS need ongoing assessment and action to penalize people who act badly once in authority.

elasto
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby elasto » Thu Jun 04, 2015 12:55 pm UTC

People do behave better when they believe they are being watched. I know it's not quite the same effect scientifically (posters of eyes vs cameras) but there is this study:

A group of scientists at Newcastle University, headed by Melissa Bateson and Daniel Nettle of the Center for Behavior and Evolution, conducted a field experiment demonstrating that merely hanging up posters of staring human eyes is enough to significantly change people’s behavior.

Over the course of 32 days, the scientists spent many hours recording customer’s “littering behavior” in their university’s main cafeteria, counting the number of people that cleaned up after themselves after they had finished their meals.

In their study, the researchers determined the effect of the eyes on individual behavior by controlling for several conditions (e.g. posters with a corresponding verbal text, without any text, male versus female faces, posters of something unrelated like flowers, etc).

The posters were hung at eye-level and every day the location of each poster was randomly determined.

The researchers found that during periods when the posters of eyes, instead of flowers, overlooked the diners, twice as many people cleaned up after themselves


Human beings are deeply social animals, and small things can make a big difference to behaviour. In particular, raising the perceived chance of getting caught has a much bigger effect than raising the perceived punishment.

You might be able to explain away your camera getting covered up once, but not repeatedly. And all officers' cameras simultaneously and repeatedly becoming covered would be even more suspicious.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby jewish_scientist » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:23 pm UTC

I did not mean to say that incentives are useless. They will reduce the amount of bad behaviors and increase the amount of good behaviors. My point is that no incentive will reduce the rate of bad behavior to 0%. If a person is going good only because they fear punishment, then they will do bad behaviors as soon as they believe they can get away with it. For example, a officer my not care that they are being video taped because they know that they will not be punished (citation: Rodney King case). I would definitely vote for a bill that required cops in my area to wear microphones and/or cameras; but I would remember that police brutality will still happen.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:20 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:I did not mean to say that incentives are useless. They will reduce the amount of bad behaviors and increase the amount of good behaviors. My point is that no incentive will reduce the rate of bad behavior to 0%.


So? Is there a system that does?

If a person is going good only because they fear punishment, then they will do bad behaviors as soon as they believe they can get away with it. For example, a officer my not care that they are being video taped because they know that they will not be punished (citation: Rodney King case). I would definitely vote for a bill that required cops in my area to wear microphones and/or cameras; but I would remember that police brutality will still happen.


I believe all participants so far have been willing to entertain ideas of additional measures, including promoting police punishment when caught.

But in practice, no degree of punishment is very effective unless you're first good at catching violators. We could institute an immediate death penalty for officer over-reactions or something equally draconian, but I wouldn't expect it to be very good or helpful(perhaps even negatively so) on it's own.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby roflwaffle » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:57 pm UTC

Police brutality is a tough issue. Body cams help, but on the individual level, there are many laws that allow police to legally use disproportionate force. For example, an officer in MO who has probable cause to believe that an individual has committed or attempted to commit a felony, or may inflict serious physical injury on others, is justified in using deadly force.

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2014/11/24/why ... -doctrine/

In addition, while lower federal courts do consider the availability of alternative methods of subduing a suspect in specific cases, this does not extend to whether a department should integrate alternative methods.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_v._Connor

If police departments avoid designing/implementing alternative methods for subduing a suspect and the state has laws that allow legal use of disproportionate force, this usually results in immunity from police brutality claims in all but the most egregious situations.

Legal requirements for police departments to implement alternative methods of subduing suspects and changing laws about us to force to match up with the general rule for self defense (or defense of others) in the US would allow many of the current cases to be successfully prosecuted and would hopefully result in a substantial reduction in excessive use of force by LEOs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-defe ... _States%29

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Lazar
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Lazar » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:33 pm UTC

For a while I've been trying to keep a tally of recent police abuse stories, excepting the really well publicized ones that most people have heard of. Here's the current iteration of it:

Spoiler:
Police conduct a SWAT raid on an innocent family; their stun grenade lands in an infant's crib, causing it severe injuries. None of the officers faced charges, and local government refused to cover the family's medical expenses, which amounted to roughly $1 million.

An officer shoots and kills a sleeping 7-year-old girl in a similar botched raid. Charges against him were dismissed.

An officer fatally shoots an unarmed man in the face during a marijuana raid.

An officer shoots a non-aggressive mentally ill man.

An officer shoots and kills an unarmed naked man.

An officer shoots and kills an unarmed man lying on the ground. She's been charged with homicide.

Police shoot 103 rounds at two innocent women in a residential neighborhood, though they manage not to kill them. A civilian review board finds that the officers "violated policy". Later, prosecutors decline to file charges.

During the same manhunt, police shoot and severely injure an innocent man.

Two Albuquerque police officers face first-degree murder charges after killing a mentally ill homeless man.

The Justice Department finds that Albuquerque police have engaged in unconstitutional use of deadly force, killing 23 people over 4 years.

An Albuquerque police officer shoots a fellow undercover officer nine times at point-blank range during a drug bust; he faces no charges.

An officer shoots and kills an innocent man in the stairwell of an apartment building. Later, the officer is convicted of manslaughter.

According to a lawsuit, police arrest and assault a woman in retaliation for having filed a complaint. The charges which they filed against her were dismissed.

An officer shoots and kills an unarmed teenage driver. The officer claims that the teen was driving toward him, even though he shot him through the driver's side window.

A deputy kills an unarmed black woman with AR-15 fire three seconds after she opens the door; a judge finds him not guilty.

Police shoot two innocent men, killing one; they face no charges.

Police shoot and kill a suspect who appears to have surrendered and put his hands in the air.

Police fire nine shots into a house containing an innocent family, in a case of mistaken address.

Police destroy an innocent man's house with explosives while trying to capture a shoplifting suspect.

Two officers severely beat an unarmed, mentally ill homeless man, who then falls into a coma and dies.

Two officers face charges for hitting a man with their car, beating him and falsely claiming that he assaulted them.

An officer punches a woman who is sitting, handcuffed, in the back of his car, giving her a concussion and a broken eye socket.

Three teenagers knock on an officer's door by mistake, then leave in a car; the officer shoots at them, and they are later arrested.

According to a lawsuit, police taser a girl three times while she's suffering a grand mal seizure; they also taser and arrest her mother.

A SWAT team raids the wrong apartment, looking for a suspect who had already been arrested, and holds an innocent family at gunpoint.

A startled officer shoots a non-threatening pregnant woman in the face. Later, the district attorney criticizes police for failing to arrest that same officer for drunk driving.

Police severely beat and taser an innocent man during a traffic stop. Later, the arresting officer's claim that the man possessed cocaine is found to be false, and the officer is charged with assault.

An officer hits a compliant motorcyclist with his car, then waves his gun at him and kicks him in the chest, breaking his collarbone. Although a jury awards the man $180,000, the officer receives no punishment and is promoted. The officer admits that the man was compliant, but claims that he had to kick him because he "already had the muscles fired" in his leg.

When that same officer was accused by one of his colleagues of conducting an illegal search, the Oregon State Police had the accuser arrested and fabricated evidence against him, by their own admission.

An NYPD officer is arrested for framing a man for assault.

Three officers are found guilty of making false charges against an innocent man.

The city of Cleveland uses dirty tactics to deny compensation to victims of police abuse.

Police severely beat a man who they mistake for a suspect, resulting in paralysis.

Police beat, taser and arrest an innocent deaf man.

Police beat a man in diabetic shock.

Police allegedly beat and taser a man who's having a seizure.

Police beat and mace a delivery man seemingly without reason.

Police taser and arrest a school cleaning lady, mistaking her for a burglar.

Police taser a restrained mentally ill woman four times, killing her.

Police beat an unconscious man who was ejected from a car crash.

An officer remains on duty after driving drunk and killing two people.

Numerous people are paralyzed or killed by "rough rides" in Baltimore police vans.

An officer beats a non-threatening, non-English-speaking man and slams him to the ground, partially paralyzing him. Later, the officer is acquitted of assault.

An officer kicks a compliant, surrendering suspect in the head, breaking his jaw and knocking him unconscious.

Police arrest an innocent man, beat him and charge him with "property damage" for bleeding on their uniforms.

The state revives previously dropped charges against a man after he announces his intent to sue police for brutality.

Police arrest an innocent pregnant woman and wrestle her to the ground because she refused to tell them her name.

An officer with a long history of citizen complaints beats and tasers an unarmed man and appears to plant drugs on him.

Two officers beat a compliant suspect and claim he resisted arrest; prosecutors later decline to pursue charges against him.

An officer is charged with sexual assault after subjecting two women to a baseless and unhygienic roadside cavity search.

Drug-obsessed police subject a man to repeated cavity searches, X-rays and a colonoscopy, which find nothing; he's later billed thousands of dollars for these procedures, which were non-consensual.

An officer gropes his colleague's 9-year-old daughter and appears to engage in grooming behavior; a judge clears him of sexual assault and orders him to attend counseling.

An officer sues the estate of a man he shot and killed. In the same incident, the officer also shot and killed an innocent bystander.

An officer kills a woman while driving 30 mph above the speed limit without his lights or siren on. He's been charged with a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum of only 1 year in jail.

An officer kills two teenagers, and severely injures two others, while driving 36 mph above the speed limit on a dark highway despite not being on a call. He's been cleared of charges.

Chicago police unions fight to suppress and destroy records of citizen complaints, claiming that their release would result in "public humiliation and loss of prestige in their employment".

After reporting a criminal beating by his colleagues, an exemplary Baltimore police officer is harassed by his department and forced to resign; other major departments refuse to hire him.

The Washington Post details a nationwide culture of "professional courtesy" which requires police to ignore offenses, such as reckless and drunk driving, committed by fellow officers, and that those who fail to comply are targeted by systematic harassment campaigns.

Police rush an unarmed, innocent man while wearing plain clothes, then shoot him dead when he tries to drive away. The officer who shot him was not certified to make arrests or carry a gun. The victim's widow is awarded $2.3 million in damages.

According to a lawsuit, an innocent woman is arrested, put in involuntary psychiatric confinement for eight days, and billed thousands of dollars for it.

Police allow their dog to maul a man lying on the ground, who later dies; they then try to seize the phone of a person who was recording them.

A non-aggressive man suffers a severe medical episode while in jail; police storm his cell in riot gear and fail to call an ambulance before he dies.

A deputy slams an innocent man against a concrete wall; as the result of his injuries, the victim is severely disabled and eventually dies. The deputy faces no charges.

As a suspected drunk driver climbs out of a car wreck, an officer shoots him in the neck without provocation, and then fails to report the shooting or call for medical aid. The officer faces no charges. Later, the victim dies of his injuries.

A deputy runs a stop sign and slams into a woman's car, causing her severe neck injuries. The deputy lies about his actions, and the woman is immediately arrested for drunk driving – a false charge which prosecutors finally dismiss 10 months later.

Undercover officers allegedly beat an innocent man unconscious, then order witnesses to delete their videos. The police charge him with several offenses relating to his arrest, all of which are dismissed by a jury.

Plainclothes NYPD officers nearly hit a black mail carrier with their car; then, when he yells at them, they arrest and handcuff him.

A man in jail for minor traffic violations almost dies after police prevent paramedics from taking him to the hospital.

Deputies taser a mentally ill man restrained in a chair, who then dies; two deputies are charged with manslaughter.

NYPD officers break a basketball player's leg while arresting him; he's later acquitted of all charges filed against him.

An off-duty officer approaches a driver menacingly without identifying himself, then threatens to shoot him.

According to a lawsuit, an officer hits and kills a motorcyclist while making an illegal U-turn.

A police dog mauls the face of a non-aggressive man who has his hands in the air.

An officer stops to ask a woman for directions, then shoots her dog.

An officer lures a dog toward him and then shoots it.

An NYPD officer shoots a woman's dog, seemingly for no reason.

An officer shoots a family's dog in their yard.

An officer shoots a stray cat.

An officer goes to the wrong address and shoots a family dog.

An officer goes to the wrong address and shoots a man's service dog.

An officer shoots an innocent family's dog, which was on a leash in their yard.

An officer with previous use-of-force complaints shoots a 5-month-old puppy.

An officer shoots an innocent family's dog, weighing 26 pounds, in their back yard.

Police deliver drugs to an innocent family, then raid them and shoot their two dogs.

Police raid an innocent man's home, shoot him, kill his dog, and accidentally shoot one of their own officers.

According to a lawsuit, police conduct a SWAT raid on a family over a utility code violation and shoot their dog.

A deputy enters a family's property while they're away, shoots their dog (leaving it for dead), and notifies them by placing a note on the door.

An officer responding to a medical call attempts to shoot a family dog, but hits a 4-year-old girl instead; he then leaves the scene without helping anyone.

An officer attempts to shoot a dog but hits a woman instead, killing her. He faces no charges.

A woman is denied medical attention while giving birth in jail. Her baby later dies.

A woman in jail is denied medical attention and dies.

A woman in jail is denied medical attention and dies.

A man in jail over an unpaid parking ticket is denied medication and dies.

A school police officer bodyslams a 12-year-old girl.

An autistic 11-year-old is convicted of felony assault for resisting arrest at school.

An officer grabs a non-threatening 14-year-old by the throat and throws him to the ground.

An innocent man almost dies after being forgotten in a jail cell for 5 days without food or water.

An officer sprays pepper spray at a passing group of motorcyclists on the highway.

Former LA County undersheriff Paul Tanaka is found guilty of conspiracy and obstruction of justice relating to a federal investigation of abuse in the county jail system. "In all, 10 members of the department have now been convicted or pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme to interfere with the federal inquiry, while several others have been convicted for abusing inmates."

"Scientists claim New York police forced them to fake DNA tests to convict more suspects."

The NYPD is accused of destroying evidence that it issued bogus summonses as part of a quota system.

A jury awards $15 million to an NYPD officer after he is beaten and falsely arrested by his fellow officers.

Adrian Schoolcraft, the Serpico of our time, records wrongdoing in the NYPD and is placed in involuntary psychiatric confinement in retaliation.

Seriously, read all of those. It's fucking lunacy in this country. And this is by no means comprehensive – I just add stories as I happen to see them, and I've left out a few where the facts seemed a little uncertain.
Last edited by Lazar on Sat Apr 09, 2016 3:06 am UTC, edited 38 times in total.
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Tyndmyr
Posts: 10119
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 13, 2015 3:27 pm UTC

roflwaffle wrote:Police brutality is a tough issue. Body cams help, but on the individual level, there are many laws that allow police to legally use disproportionate force. For example, an officer in MO who has probable cause to believe that an individual has committed or attempted to commit a felony, or may inflict serious physical injury on others, is justified in using deadly force.


I'm entirely okay with lethal force to stop someone intent on causing serious bodily harm.

However, many of the cases we've talked about fall well short of that bar by any reasonable standard. I'm also concerned that, apparently "probable cause that a felony has been committed" is seen as universal justification for deadly force.

Plenty of felonies are not particularly violent. I'm reasonably okay with using force to bring in a murderer, even lethal force if need be, but I'm rather less okay with it for non-violent crimes.

admiral_bacon
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Joined: Mon Feb 15, 2016 3:30 am UTC
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby admiral_bacon » Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:35 pm UTC

I've only skim read a section of this thread, so forgive me if this has already been raised as a point elsewhere

It seems a large part of the problem in the USA is the culture around the police force. While oversight measures (such as body cams that have already been discussed here) are absolutely helpful, these do little to change the culture of brutality among police. Cops are, ultimately, human beings; they wouldn't be committing morally bankrupt acts like they are if they didn't feel the community they lived in would absolve them of any guilt.

From what I gather, based on some of the language used by cops in these (frankly disturbing) videos and personal accounts of brutality, the police feel like they are a persecuted group. They feel that their role requires them to risk their life every day, and that the public, rather than thanking them, actively hates them.

It seems to me that an essential element of reducing police brutality would be introducing the police force to the idea that yes, they are a persecuted group. Depending on their role, they will likely be harmed, or possibly die, in the line of duty. They will do all this because the society they protect, including the criminals in that society, is worth the cost. Replace this idea that people become cops to be Action Heroes (which seems to be quite prevalent, at least from the minimal amounts I've seen over there) with the far more accurate idea that cops are, to an extent, going to suffer on behalf of (and at the hands of) the society they protect.

It would be necessary to change the publics perception of the police force, but I'll leave those ideas for another time
[edit] as background, I live in Australia and have some politically-minded friends in the 'states.

leady
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby leady » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:54 am UTC

On the perspective that the public hates them, that's not really reality reality, but it is the on the ground reality :)

Basically the police interact with 2 groups of people, victims and perps - both have valid grievances with the police and in a lot of cases both come from the same social groups.

Maybe cops need to be cycled into positive positions a couple of times of year to offset the unrelenting negativity

ijuin
Posts: 799
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby ijuin » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:10 pm UTC

Police are hated precisely because they are perceived as perpetuating unwarranted violence against the public, especially in cases where the person assaulted was not acting violently. The more that the person-on-the-street believes that a cop would assault them, the more they will believe that cops are their enemy.

leady
Posts: 1592
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:28 pm UTC

Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby leady » Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:16 am UTC

cops aren't hated generally, they are "hated" by the smallish groups that both have some grievance and are heavily heavily propagandised to make those grievances seem more important than things that really effect their lives. But this of course is a side issue to police brutality.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10119
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:47 pm UTC

Hate is a strong word.

I don't hate cops. But I don't trust them, either. They don't necessarily have my best interests in mind, and they sometimes go badly off the rails. So, a bit of distrust seems healthy. Avoidance, where possible.

ijuin
Posts: 799
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:02 pm UTC

Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby ijuin » Sat Apr 09, 2016 8:43 am UTC

"Hatred" may indeed be an overly strong term, but I was responding to the earlier posts that described police as believing that the public hates them.

Anyway, it's a vicious cycle--police perpetrate excessive violence upon non-violent suspects, and that increases the public perception that Police are prone to violence. Once this reaches a critical mass, the general public perception of police will reflect a fear that anyone suspected of any offense (e.g. acting non-lucid in public and thus being suspected of possessing illegal drugs whether true or not) will be subject to violence at the officers' whims.


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