Fixing police brutality

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Qaanol
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Qaanol » Sat May 02, 2015 1:06 am UTC

Eomund wrote:I am not from USA so maybe my view isn't accurate. But I see the Police Shooting Problem (or whatever it should be called) as just a result of the gun culture.

I presume that you also view the problem of police tazing people as just a result of electricity culture?
Of police smashing people with batons as just a result of stick culture?
Of police punching people as just a result of knuckle culture?
Of police slamming people’s heads into the ground as just a result of pavement culture?
Of police pepper-spraying protesters in the face as just a result of capsacin culture?
Of police driving aggressively with the intent of injuring the handcuffed and not-seatbelted arrestees in the backs of their metal-lined vans as just a result of automobile culture?
Of police denying medical treatment to people in jail as just a result of…um…something?

The problem is not with the implement that police use to inflict violence, it is with the fact that police are committing unnecessary violence in the first place, and not being punished for it.
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby morriswalters » Sat May 02, 2015 1:59 am UTC

The fact that people get shot is a direct outcome of a culture where guns and the right to bear them is an almost Religious response. Had the cop not been armed then Ferguson wouldn't have happened. And if Americans didn't, in aggregate, possess 300 million guns of various types we could reasonably disarm the police. That the justice system is fucked up is a fact. But if guns weren't part of the equation then deaths would fall.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Eomund » Sat May 02, 2015 2:13 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:
Eomund wrote:I am not from USA so maybe my view isn't accurate. But I see the Police Shooting Problem (or whatever it should be called) as just a result of the gun culture.

I presume that you also view the problem of police tazing people as just a result of electricity culture?
Of police smashing people with batons as just a result of stick culture?
Of police punching people as just a result of knuckle culture?
Of police slamming people’s heads into the ground as just a result of pavement culture?
Of police pepper-spraying protesters in the face as just a result of capsacin culture?
Of police driving aggressively with the intent of injuring the handcuffed and not-seatbelted arrestees in the backs of their metal-lined vans as just a result of automobile culture?
Of police denying medical treatment to people in jail as just a result of…um…something?

The problem is not with the implement that police use to inflict violence, it is with the fact that police are committing unnecessary violence in the first place, and not being punished for it.


Maybe I am just seeing the headlines but from what I can tell those are a lot less widespread than the police using excessive violence on someone because "they thought he had a gun."

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Lazar » Sat May 02, 2015 2:23 am UTC

Check out the stories I linked: most of them don't involve guns. My impression is that while shooting deaths are a problem, things like beatings, taserings, false arrests and trumped up resisting charges are more common.
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Qaanol » Sat May 02, 2015 4:17 am UTC

Eomund wrote:Maybe I am just seeing the headlines but from what I can tell those are a lot less widespread than the police using excessive violence on someone because "they thought he had a gun."

What we actually observe is that police officers who have committed acts of violence almost alway say afterward they thought the victim posed an imminent threat (if they even say anything). Body cameras would make it possible to evaluate whether a reasonable person would actually think that.
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Autolykos » Sat May 02, 2015 4:19 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:What we actually observe is that police officers who have committed acts of violence almost alway say afterward they thought the victim posed an imminent threat (if they even say anything). Body cameras would make it possible to evaluate whether a reasonable person would actually think that.
Body cameras don't record brain farts. They could always just claim that they thought there was a gun-shaped bulge under the suspect's clothing, and the suspect moved in a strange way. You're also unlikely to ever see the whole story on these tapes. Experience from my country is that when police has to carry cameras, they tend to face the wrong way, or are "accidentally" covered by something, or out of batteries/memory as soon as something happens that could potentially incriminate the wearer. By sheer incredible coincidence, this often happens with every single camera the team is carrying.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Alexius » Sat May 02, 2015 10:14 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:The fact that people get shot is a direct outcome of a culture where guns and the right to bear them is an almost Religious response. Had the cop not been armed then Ferguson wouldn't have happened. And if Americans didn't, in aggregate, possess 300 million guns of various types we could reasonably disarm the police. That the justice system is fucked up is a fact. But if guns weren't part of the equation then deaths would fall.


But there are countries with routinely-armed police where the police manage to shoot many fewer people- such as Germany, where the police fired only 85 bullets at people in an entire year (injuring 15 suspects and killing 6).

And many of the police shootings in the US were not in situations where the officer believed that the suspect was armed (Michael Brown or Oscar Grant)- plus, of course, all the people whom the police kill without shooting them (Eric Garner or Freddie Gray).

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby morriswalters » Sun May 03, 2015 1:50 am UTC

Check the gun laws of Germany. Also check how the police are organized and trained. Of the 120 or so counties in Kentucky, Jefferson, the one I live in has at least eight or nine police departments that I know of. Each independent of the other and each with their own budgets and oversight. Each having different levels of training and professionalism. All of them carrying guns. But my point was narrow. Fewer guns means fewer shootings. Not fewer instances of brutality. Or people being killed by some other means.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Qaanol » Sun May 03, 2015 3:42 pm UTC

Here’s a thought, inspired by natraj’s recent post in the Police misbehavior thread:

Several people are together, and one of them breaks the law. Let’s say this one person commits a felony. Maybe they steal something, or violently attack someone. In any case, everyone in the group sees this one person commit a serious crime.

Now one of the people steps up to another and says, “I am arresting you for that crime.” Everyone else in the group joins in, surrounding the second person and saying, “We are arresting you for that crime.”

The one person in the middle says, “No, I am arresting all of you for that crime, which you are all accomplices to.”

There may be other witnesses, and there may be physical evidence which can objectively determine who committed the crime, but there may not. That can come up in a trial, if there is one.

The one person in the middle is a police officer.

What ought to happen?
Who ought to get arrested?
Does it matter how many people are in the outer group?
In other words, under what circumstances should civilians be able to arrest a police officer whom they agree just committed a felony?
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby jewish_scientist » Mon May 04, 2015 2:00 pm UTC

The very first thing we need to do is acknowledge that stopping police brutality is not going to fix the American judicial system. Public prosecutes and defendants are so over worked that they put programmers to shame. 90% of all criminal cases end with the defendant confessing. Police offices are so under funded that they cannot afford basic office supplies. The sequester (which was stupid by every definition of the word) required non-essential employes, such as FBI agents and police officers, to work with the promise that they will get paid in the future. I want you (pl.) to realize that police brutality is one of the dozens of problems facing the judicial system. We need to fix it and many other things in order to fix the J. system.

People raised many good points against body cameras. The one that I think has the most legal and moral standing is the invasion of privacy. I have a solution. The officers wear audio recorders. Practically, any information we can deduce from audio records we can deduce from visual records. Think about it, what are the chances that a camera is facing the right way throughout a struggle involving the officer who is wearing the camera. The audio recording is much more telling. The privacy issues are avoided because the recording cannot detect sounds from far away the same way a camera can. I think that requiring police uniforms have a recorder build into them is an action that will have great effects and can be implemented soon.

Ultimately, as long as there are police officers of bad character there will be police officers who will abuse their power. The simplest solution would be to make sure that only people of good moral character can be police officers. You may ask, 'How can we determine who has good moral character?' I have no idea. However you try to do this, it will be difficult to implement and many take a decade or two before effects become statistically significant. This is the only was to ensure that police officers will not abuse their power; give power only to people who will not abuse powers given to them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BattleMoose wrote:And i totally agree with the point that we shouldnt have body cameras on cops because then we might have to see cops do awful things. Seeing cops do awful things is ofcourse worse than experiencing cops do awful things to you....


[horrible bad words]
It is worse be seeing an innocent minor being shot to death than being an innocent minor who has been shot to death! It is worse to see someone being framed for murder by the police officer who actually committed the murder than being the person being framed for murder by the police officer who actually committed the murder! It is worse to watch someone be beaten and tortured until they confess than to be beaten and tortured until you confess!

In short, what you are saying is that whether or not horrible things are happening is irrelevant to you, so long as you don't know about the horrible things that could be happening. That philosophy, of intentional ignorance so as to excuse oneself from action, moral responsibility, and pain felt by seeing another human being suffer reminds me of something else.

http://libraries.ucsd.edu/speccoll/dspo ... 0429cs.jpg
Last edited by jewish_scientist on Mon May 04, 2015 3:37 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby BattleMoose » Mon May 04, 2015 2:03 pm UTC

Spoiler:
jewish_scientist wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:And i totally agree with the point that we shouldnt have body cameras on cops because then we might have to see cops do awful things. Seeing cops do awful things is ofcourse worse than experiencing cops do awful things to you....


[horrible bad words]
It is worse be seeing an innocent minor being shot to death than being an innocent minor who has been shot to death! It is worse to see someone being framed for murder by the police officer who actually committed the murder than being the person being framed for murder by the police officer who actually committed the murder! It is worse to watch someone be beaten and tortured until they confess than to be beaten and tortured until you confess!

In short, what you are saying is that whether or not horrible things are happening is irrelevant to you, so long as you don't know about the horrible things that could be happening. That philosophy, of intentional ignorance so as to excuse oneself from action, moral responsibility, and pain felt by seeing another human being suffer reminds me of something.

http://libraries.ucsd.edu/speccoll/dspo ... 0429cs.jpg


Sorry to say but you fell victim to some very obvious sarcasm there.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby morriswalters » Mon May 04, 2015 2:44 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:In other words, under what circumstances should civilians be able to arrest a police officer whom they agree just committed a felony?
None. And you should be able to see why.

jewish_scientist wrote:People raised many good points against body cameras.
The problem isn't that cameras are bad or good, the problem lies in doing things without understanding exactly what it is you wish to do. And then the ramifications of doing so.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Qaanol » Mon May 04, 2015 4:48 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Qaanol wrote:In other words, under what circumstances should civilians be able to arrest a police officer whom they agree just committed a felony?
None. And you should be able to see why.

I emphatically do not see why.

Having a class of people who can only be arrested by other people in the same class strikes me as a textbook example of “wrong”. Of inequality. Of a recipe for injustice, for corruption, for abuse of power.

It undermines the core tenet of “equal protection under the law”.
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby morriswalters » Mon May 04, 2015 6:48 pm UTC

Policing isn't a peer relationship. Police exist to enforce compliance with the law. If we grant policing powers we have to explicitly assume that those powers will be used in ways that will impact the innocent. Because you can't, in the majority of cases, know the facts with any level of certainty. And because of that we give guidance on when to act, but since we know mistakes will be made, we protect them from personal liability and transfer that liability to the state(civil liability). To do this we make a default presumption that they act in good faith. And then we give to them the ability to demand that people comply when they act within the boundaries of the power that we have granted them.

This doesn't mean that they can act illegally. But the legality of their actions can't be questioned in the field. If they demand that you comply, then you must comply. How do you reconcile what it is that you want against the power that we have granted them? The grant of the ability to force you to comply can't be revoked in the field. But that grant doesn't release them from their own obligation to follow the law like you and me. But it does mean that when they act in their official function they their ability to enforce compliance supersedes your right to arrest as a citizen..

Can and does this lead to abuse? Yes. The police are human and that means that everything that can be true of people in general can be true of the police. Is there a better way? I don't know. But without the ability to enforce compliance you end up with a state of anarchy. Every man or women acting in their own interest. This is how I see it.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby jewish_scientist » Mon May 04, 2015 7:37 pm UTC

Forcing compliance in one case does not mean that they can force compliance in every case. If the police demand that you let them search your house even though they do not have a warrant, then you have every right to not comply. I think that if they try to physically force their way in, you can cause them bodily harm in order to protect your property and privacy.

When police officers are following to the state's laws and protocols, then they are not personally responsible for what happens. If it can be shown that the police did not follow protocol, then they are personally responsible. In the former, you sue the state; in the latter, you sue the person or people who did the actions. I am 90% sure that this is how it works in America.


Battlemoose, perhaps you fell for my obvious sarcasm to your sarcasm. Don't feel embarrassed, few people can grasp the alluring fruit of meta sarcasm.

Or I was being an idiot. OR...

Maybe I am just a figment of your imagination. which you project onto your computer screen to help you communicate with your subconscious. Remember: the box is buried half way between the sign and the burnt tree. Make sure you bring the doll. If that does not mean anything to you, then I am probably just an idiot.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Qaanol » Mon May 04, 2015 11:34 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Policing isn't a peer relationship.

With my proposed “We are all police” society, it effectively is. And even in our existing society with your own standards, the policing of police is exactly a peer relationship.

morriswalters wrote:Police exist to enforce compliance with the law.

Shall I add this to the list of “Things that people in this thread think police should do” that I posted earlier?

morriswalters wrote:If we grant policing powers we have to explicitly assume that those powers will be used in ways that will impact the innocent.

“…and therefore we should structure the system in a way that when police attempt to abuse their powers, other people have a way to stop them.”

Right? That’s what you’re going to say next, right?

morriswalters wrote:Because you can't, in the majority of cases, know the facts with any level of certainty.

The inspiration for my post was a situation where a large number of people directly witnessed a small number of police officers savagely beat a non-threatening person for being out past curfew, to the point that the victim had to be wheeled off in a stretcher, when they could easily have made a simple arrest.

It does not take “certainty” to know, as you personally witness this happening, that the beating is wrong, that it is illegal, that it should stop, and that the attackers should be put on trial and imprisoned.

At the moment that a police officer breaks the law, they are no longer “enforcing compliance with the law”, because they are not enforcing their own compliance. They are just a person in a costume breaking the law, and they should not be given carte blanche to continue.

morriswalters wrote:And because of that we give guidance on when to act, but since we know mistakes will be made, we protect them from personal liability and transfer that liability to the state(civil liability). To do this we make a default presumption that they act in good faith. And then we give to them the ability to demand that people comply when they act within the boundaries of the power that we have granted them.

The fact that we currently do these things, has approximately zero bearing on whether we should do these things.

Two wrong emphatically do not make a right. If a police officer breaks the law while enforcing the law, then another law has been broken—by the officer—and that needs to be punished. If someone cannot enforce the law without breaking the law, then they cannot enforce the law at all.

morriswalters wrote:This doesn't mean that they can act illegally. But the legality of their actions can't be questioned in the field. If they demand that you comply, then you must comply.

Are you saying that when a police officer gives an illegal order, that you think it should a crime for a civilian to disobey that illegal order?

I am strongly tempted to make a visceral analogy where a police officer stops you, personally, and demands that you perform an action which you consider despicable, inexcusable, morally wrong, debasing, humiliating, and likely to haunt your nightmares for the rest of your life, while you know with certainty that forcing someone to perform this action is definitely a major felony.

Are you saying it should be a crime for you to refuse that obviously illegal demand?

morriswalters wrote:How do you reconcile what it is that you want against the power that we have granted them? The grant of the ability to force you to comply can't be revoked in the field. But that grant doesn't release them from their own obligation to follow the law like you and me. But it does mean that when they act in their official function they their ability to enforce compliance supersedes your right to arrest as a citizen..

I reconcile it by requiring a warrant for any special powers to be invoked.

morriswalters wrote:Can and does this lead to abuse? Yes. The police are human and that means that everything that can be true of people in general can be true of the police. Is there a better way? I don't know. But without the ability to enforce compliance you end up with a state of anarchy. Every man or women acting in their own interest. This is how I see it.

The search for a better way is the subject of this thread.
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby morriswalters » Tue May 05, 2015 1:08 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:With my proposed “We are all police” society, it effectively is. And even in our existing society with your own standards, the policing of police is exactly a peer relationship.
It invites chaos, because it provides no clear lines of authority.
Qaanol wrote:Shall I add this to the list of “Things that people in this thread think police should do” that I posted earlier?
If you wish. But it is the primary thing that they do and everything else follows from that.
Qaanol wrote:“…and therefore we should structure the system in a way that when police attempt to abuse their powers, other people have a way to stop them.”
How would that work? Who judges when the police exceed the mandate?
Qaanol wrote:The inspiration for my post was a situation where a large number of people directly witnessed a small number of police officers savagely beat a non-threatening person for being out past curfew, to the point that the victim had to be wheeled off in a stretcher, when they could easily have made a simple arrest.
I believe that you witnessed it as you said you did. What did you do about it? Did you file a complaint or use any of the avenues available to you currently to obtain justice? Not did it work, but did you try? If it happened as you related it it was excessive. Now tell me what you would have done if you were able to exercise the authority you desire? Could you have arrested the officer. And assuming you tried how would you have done so? Think about the times that you have seen this happen in front of you. Would you be prepared to use violence to enforce the law as you see it. How will you act differently from him assuming he chooses not to comply? And since you are acting as citizen can you bear the liability you would acquire if a court found you acted wrongly?
Qaanol wrote:Are you saying it should be a crime for you to refuse that obviously illegal demand?
I stated that you had to comply within the limits of the power that we grant them.
Qaanol wrote:I reconcile it by requiring a warrant for any special powers to be invoked.
He has no special power other than the power to enforce compliance within the law. He can't enter your house without a warrant for instance, except under well defined circumstances. Neither can he arrest you without cause. He can stop and detain you and he might be able to pat you down. Separate what the police are supposed to do under the law as it is versus their behavior in some cases.
Qaanol wrote:The search for a better way is the subject of this thread.
Would you like a list. Better training, cameras, and the creation of some type of prosecutorial alternative specifically for police. But there is no perfect solution. The New York Times had an article on some procedural changes some departments are making just in training. One was a no chase rule where no hazard existed to the public. As well as another rule forbidding chases through yards and down alleys.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Qaanol » Tue May 05, 2015 1:44 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Qaanol wrote:With my proposed “We are all police” society, it effectively is. And even in our existing society with your own standards, the policing of police is exactly a peer relationship.
It invites chaos, because it provides no clear lines of authority.

Citation needed. It seems pretty obvious to me that “Everyone around you has the power to arrest you if you break the law” will strictly increase lawfulness.

morriswalters wrote:But it is the primary thing that they do and everything else follows from that.

Are you merely stating your own personal opinion about what police currently do, or do you have thoughts about what the role of police ought to be?

morriswalters wrote:
Qaanol wrote:“…and therefore we should structure the system in a way that when police attempt to abuse their powers, other people have a way to stop them.”
How would that work? Who judges when the police exceed the mandate?

A judge. After someone has arrested the officers.

morriswalters wrote:I believe that you witnessed it as you said you did. What did you do about it? Did you file a complaint or use any of the avenues available to you currently to obtain justice? Not did it work, but did you try? If it happened as you related it it was excessive. Now tell me what you would have done if you were able to exercise the authority you desire? Could you have arrested the officer. And assuming you tried how would you have done so? Think about the times that you have seen this happen in front of you. Would you be prepared to use violence to enforce the law as you see it. How will you act differently from him assuming he chooses not to comply? And since you are acting as citizen can you bear the liability you would acquire if a court found you acted wrongly?

First, as I mentioned when I described the hypothetical, it was inspired by a situation that somebody else related, not my own experience.

Second, the point is that if the police don’t have a warrant to arrest a specific person, then I think they should only be able to do things that any other civilian could do.

Thus, if we want police to have the power to make spur-of-the-moment arrests, then civilians should have exactly the same power with exactly the same rules.

Whatever the punishment is for making an invalid arrest without a warrant, that should apply equally to police and civilians.

Whatever the punishment for assaulting someone during an arrest, that should apply equally to police and civilians.

Whatever the standard for judging whether an arrest was valid and whether excessive force was used, that should apply equally to police and civilians.

The principle of “self-defense” in most jurisdictions also applies to “defense of others”. So if I see one person assaulting another, then whatever the level of force that “self-defense” allows me to use in stopping that assault, should be allowed no matter who is doing the assaulting, no matter what costume they are wearing.

morriswalters wrote:
Qaanol wrote:Are you saying it should be a crime for you to refuse that obviously illegal demand?
I stated that you had to comply within the limits of the power that we grant them.

So you acknowledge that it can in fact be right and good and legal to refuse to comply with an order given by a police officer?

morriswalters wrote:
Qaanol wrote:I reconcile it by requiring a warrant for any special powers to be invoked.
He has no special power other than the power to enforce compliance within the law.1 He can't enter your house without a warrant for instance, except under well defined circumstances.2 Neither can he arrest you without cause.3 He can stop and detain you and he might be able to pat you down.4 Separate what the police are supposed to do under the law as it is versus their behavior in some cases.5

1. And when a police officer does use the power of their position to issue an illegal order, to infringe a civilian’s basic rights, to physically injure someone, what would you have be the immediate recourse to prevent the rights from being violated and the injuries from being inflicted?

2. And when a police officer does enter your house without a warrant, and kills your dog, why should you treat them any differently than anyone else who invades your home and opens fire?

3. And when a police officer does arrest you, and the officer smashes your face into the pavement during the arrest, and the officer falsely claims you resisted arrest, what ought to happen?

4. And when a police officer claims there is cause to stop you and detain you and pat you down, but presents no evidence for it, and the officer has no warrant to search nor arrest you, why should this be different from any other stranger doing the same thing?

5. That is exactly what I am trying to do. In particular, the question at hand is what to do in the “some cases” where a police officer abuses their position of authority. Simply saying “they shouldn’t do that” ignores the issue and doesn’t provide any guidance on what the rest of us should do when it inevitably happens.

morriswalters wrote:Better training, cameras, and the creation of some type of prosecutorial alternative specifically for police. But there is no perfect solution. The New York Times had an article on some procedural changes some departments are making just in training. One was a no chase rule where no hazard existed to the public. As well as another rule forbidding chases through yards and down alleys.

Now we’re getting somewhere!

What do you think about changing the role of police, so they focus exclusively on investigating crimes, and carrying out search and arrest warrants?
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby morriswalters » Tue May 05, 2015 9:47 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:Citation needed. It seems pretty obvious to me that “Everyone around you has the power to arrest you if you break the law” will strictly increase lawfulness.
No. It is obvious. Consider the case for a traffic ticket. 100 million cops each with his own idea about traffic stops. It makes me smile. You, me and our fellow citizens aren't trained, don't want to do it and aren't organized to follow through with everything that needs to be done. And you can exercise that freedom today if you are willing to pay the price.
Qaanol wrote:Are you merely stating your own personal opinion about what police currently do, or do you have thoughts about what the role of police ought to be?
Police enforce the law and everything that goes along with that. Have you an alternate?
Qaanol wrote:The principle of “self-defense” in most jurisdictions also applies to “defense of others”. So if I see one person assaulting another, then whatever the level of force that “self-defense” allows me to use in stopping that assault, should be allowed no matter who is doing the assaulting, no matter what costume they are wearing.
You already have that power. What you don't have is the shield of liability for when you screw up and make a mistake, which you will.
Qaanol wrote:So you acknowledge that it can in fact be right and good and legal to refuse to comply with an order given by a police officer?
Certainly. But be cautious. There are a fairly narrow set of circumstances that would cause me to disobey, and in the course of my life I haven't had to do so yet.

As to the rest. points 1 through 5. You go to court and argue your case. You don't find justice in the streets. You find it in court. When the police abuse their authority there are limits to what you can do in the immediate sense. I'm lucky. I'm white. By default that means that I won't face what a black male may face when he walks down the street. And I'm not competent to suggest what he should do.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby krogoth » Tue May 05, 2015 11:51 am UTC

Would passing all violation calls though a second party help? I know it's still not perfect, but using a second person on call to assist the officer, a team leader seems wrong because you always have the same persons connecting and then you get excessive trust/lying for each other. I feel like the sort of, officer has an incident call button, that connects him randomly to a support agent, maybe from another group, the support agent gets video and audio of the scene, and can relay an opinion to the officer. This perfects nothing, but every ground officer knows he is being watched in action, and hopefully calms his head, and maybe see's things he couldn't before. It prevents editing of video after as you have someone who saw and heard the events.

You could record bio signs of the cop on scene but I'm not sure how accurate they would be to his emotional state to say if he is reacting proportionally.
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby ucim » Tue May 05, 2015 2:42 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:Citation needed. It seems pretty obvious to me that “Everyone around you has the power to arrest you if you break the law” will strictly increase lawfulness.
They have permission, maybe, but power comes from the barrel of a gun. To successfully arrest a police officer you need a bigger gun. But then who can arrest you? And (my understanding is that) British Bobbies, while they don't carry a gun, are backed up by those that do, and the bad guys know it.

In every immediate situation, there will be a winner of the power struggle. The point of police is to have this winner be consistent and accountable (to longer-term power struggles such as elections and trials). Inviting everyone to become ad-hoc police will likely make neighbors wary of each other, which is the first step to dismantling society.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue May 05, 2015 4:55 pm UTC

Autolykos wrote:
Qaanol wrote:What we actually observe is that police officers who have committed acts of violence almost alway say afterward they thought the victim posed an imminent threat (if they even say anything). Body cameras would make it possible to evaluate whether a reasonable person would actually think that.
Body cameras don't record brain farts. They could always just claim that they thought there was a gun-shaped bulge under the suspect's clothing, and the suspect moved in a strange way. You're also unlikely to ever see the whole story on these tapes. Experience from my country is that when police has to carry cameras, they tend to face the wrong way, or are "accidentally" covered by something, or out of batteries/memory as soon as something happens that could potentially incriminate the wearer. By sheer incredible coincidence, this often happens with every single camera the team is carrying.


I'm not overly fond of "brain fart" as a legit excuse for violence.

ucim wrote:
Qaanol wrote:Citation needed. It seems pretty obvious to me that “Everyone around you has the power to arrest you if you break the law” will strictly increase lawfulness.
They have permission, maybe, but power comes from the barrel of a gun. To successfully arrest a police officer you need a bigger gun. But then who can arrest you? And (my understanding is that) British Bobbies, while they don't carry a gun, are backed up by those that do, and the bad guys know it.

In every immediate situation, there will be a winner of the power struggle. The point of police is to have this winner be consistent and accountable (to longer-term power struggles such as elections and trials). Inviting everyone to become ad-hoc police will likely make neighbors wary of each other, which is the first step to dismantling society.

Jose


Well, police *do* solve all social tension, because nobody is wary of them. :roll:

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby morriswalters » Wed May 06, 2015 1:00 am UTC

krogoth wrote:Would passing all violation calls though a second party help? I know it's still not perfect, but using a second person on call to assist the officer, a team leader seems wrong because you always have the same persons connecting and then you get excessive trust/lying for each other. I feel like the sort of, officer has an incident call button, that connects him randomly to a support agent, maybe from another group, the support agent gets video and audio of the scene, and can relay an opinion to the officer. This perfects nothing, but every ground officer knows he is being watched in action, and hopefully calms his head, and maybe see's things he couldn't before. It prevents editing of video after as you have someone who saw and heard the events.

You could record bio signs of the cop on scene but I'm not sure how accurate they would be to his emotional state to say if he is reacting proportionally.
Training is the key I believe. Training helps people make good choices. If a cop is brutal and unwilling to change or use correct procedure, then he needs to be fired. But when a cop is on the streets he needs to act, there may not be time to consult anyone. However acting can be as simple as letting the perp go. Some crimes aren't worth a chase. Training helps clarify when that type of action is better than a chase. When you train you create something akin to muscle memory, you don't have to make cognitively expensive choices.Train to the behavior you want to see from cops. It would have stopped Baltimore. Even following the guidelines in place on seatbelting people in the van might have saved Gray. Cameras are icing on the cake. Some studies I have looked at say that encounters between cops and civilians go smoother when everybody knows the eye is open.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Cradarc » Wed May 06, 2015 4:25 am UTC

Here's an article that suggests better training is not the solution to the bias problem.
Out in the field, an officer doesn't always have a lot of time to make decisions. It's those instinctive choices that usually lead to tragic endings. Training always occurs in an environment when a person is mentally prepared to make the choice.
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby krogoth » Wed May 06, 2015 10:41 am UTC

Hmm, it is hard, but if it's not training then it's a cultural problem? The way they live their time off? That really makes things hard, you can't isolate them away in a fake culture. But letting people know it's cultures fault? Now that will be a testy situation.
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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby BattleMoose » Wed May 06, 2015 11:14 am UTC

If the USA cannot train competent police officers from American civilians, perhaps its time to import some police officers from foreign countries which have a track record of being less, murdery.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Autolykos » Wed May 06, 2015 11:56 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I'm not overly fond of "brain fart" as a legit excuse for violence.
It doesn't excuse everything, of course (maybe not even anything). But there should be some discretion between honest mistakes made in the heat of the moment and police beating up innocents because they can. Like, the former is bound to happen in a job that involves putting humans in stressful situations and should (arguably) not immediately end a career and send the offender to prison, while the latter most definitely should.
And I'd argue that this distinction is way more important than the objective fact of whether the officer used violence, but does not show up on video feeds. At least not clearly enough to prevent a trial based on that evidence from being a total crapshoot.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby morriswalters » Wed May 06, 2015 12:12 pm UTC

krogoth wrote:Hmm, it is hard, but if it's not training then it's a cultural problem? The way they live their time off? That really makes things hard, you can't isolate them away in a fake culture. But letting people know it's cultures fault? Now that will be a testy situation.
You can train them to not be drawn into situations where the bias takes control. But in any case you start by going after the low hanging fruit, and fixing problems that are fixable.
BattleMoose wrote:If the USA cannot train competent police officers from American civilians, perhaps its time to import some police officers from foreign countries which have a track record of being less, murdery.
Do you know of a country which has a couple of hundred thousand cops to give? The US has over 12,000 police departments. And about 461,000 sworn officers.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby leady » Wed May 06, 2015 12:25 pm UTC

I'm all for a stab at anarcho-cap policing, so long as all the implications are followed :)

But to highlight the issue, say a cop sees me with a big stash of blood covered cash, which I hide. Then he attempts the arrest and uses subduing force because I resist (knowing that I'm guilty as hell) whilst screaming "help help". That's even before you start the arguments over which crimes that the police can initiate force for, which if nothing else is simple at the moment (i.e. all of them from Jaywalking upwards)

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby LaserGuy » Wed May 06, 2015 3:48 pm UTC

leady wrote:I'm all for a stab at anarcho-cap policing, so long as all the implications are followed :)

But to highlight the issue, say a cop sees me with a big stash of blood covered cash, which I hide. Then he attempts the arrest and uses subduing force because I resist (knowing that I'm guilty as hell) whilst screaming "help help". That's even before you start the arguments over which crimes that the police can initiate force for, which if nothing else is simple at the moment (i.e. all of them from Jaywalking upwards)


Carrying cash, blood-covered or not, is not an arrestable offense.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 06, 2015 4:28 pm UTC

Autolykos wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I'm not overly fond of "brain fart" as a legit excuse for violence.
It doesn't excuse everything, of course (maybe not even anything). But there should be some discretion between honest mistakes made in the heat of the moment and police beating up innocents because they can. Like, the former is bound to happen in a job that involves putting humans in stressful situations and should (arguably) not immediately end a career and send the offender to prison, while the latter most definitely should.
And I'd argue that this distinction is way more important than the objective fact of whether the officer used violence, but does not show up on video feeds. At least not clearly enough to prevent a trial based on that evidence from being a total crapshoot.


Should it be any different than what the average citizen gets in terms of understanding for errors? Sure, edge cases happen, and judges and courtrooms exist to sort those out, but 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.

LaserGuy wrote:
leady wrote:I'm all for a stab at anarcho-cap policing, so long as all the implications are followed :)

But to highlight the issue, say a cop sees me with a big stash of blood covered cash, which I hide. Then he attempts the arrest and uses subduing force because I resist (knowing that I'm guilty as hell) whilst screaming "help help". That's even before you start the arguments over which crimes that the police can initiate force for, which if nothing else is simple at the moment (i.e. all of them from Jaywalking upwards)


Carrying cash, blood-covered or not, is not an arrestable offense.


It might well hold up as probable cause. But yes, he should start out using words, not force. And "guilty" is not really the right word here. Guilty of what? You should have some idea of what crime the person is guilty of, not just start with the arrest.

In general, I would advocate strongly reducing trivial crimes as part of this. After all, if the issue is that people are essentially always breaking the law, so force is justified basically constantly...that seems a broken system, regardless of if it results in arbitrary citizen enforcement or arbitrary police enforcement.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby morriswalters » Wed May 06, 2015 5:37 pm UTC

Force is being used the minute the cop asks Leady to stop. The rest is about who knows what and when they know it. Leady knows he's guilty, the cop sees the bloody cash and thinks Leady might have committed a crime. The crowd sees Leady after he's hidden the cash.

In terms of police being given special rights. The police are a surrogate. They act for the state. The state is responsible for them and their actions, in terms of liability. The cop is subject to the same law as everyone else. The problem is connecting the dots and the bias that presumes that the cops are the good guys. When it lands in front of the jury it becomes a dog and pony show where it is about subjective observations of whatever facts exist, mixed with a beauty contest between the victim and the cop.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby BattleMoose » Thu May 07, 2015 2:33 am UTC

LaserGuy wrote:Carrying cash, blood-covered or not, is not an arrestable offense.


But surely its probable cause. The mandate from the police to forcibly arrest should only be undertaken if Leady, politely refused to be searched and/or then refused arrest.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu May 07, 2015 2:20 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Force is being used the minute the cop asks Leady to stop.


Nah. Asking isn't force.

Yes, there are paths by which it can escalate to force, but talking, itself, is not force. For instance, someone asking you a question would clearly not be a justified reason for self defense.

You escalate to force only when you believe that danger, etc exists and non-forceful options do not reasonably exist. Now, we probably can't get rid of force initiation entirely...but we could dial it WAY back via systemic changes.

For instance, no knock raids as part of the war on drugs. That's absolutely a force-first response. One that has risen in popularity extremely dramatically. Why is it necessary?

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby morriswalters » Thu May 07, 2015 2:33 pm UTC

Asking is a polite way of saying it. If he thinks he has a reason to stop you at all, you are obligated to stop. It isn't optional. I suppose you could call it the duress of law. It is at his discretion, not yours.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu May 07, 2015 2:43 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Asking is a polite way of saying it. If he thinks he has a reason to stop you at all, you are obligated to stop. It isn't optional. I suppose you could call it the duress of law. It is at his discretion, not yours.


All actions are at the discretion of the individual taking them.

And the existance of an obligation is not the same as force, in the violent sense. If he has a reasonable suspicion, investigating is fine. But an investigation need not involve force. And you CAN decline to talk to police, and there are limits on their ability to detain you. Limits that could be further restricted, really.

For instance, I'm not an overly big fan of broad use of rounding people up for 24 hrs or so, and then releasing them without charging them. Some level of bring them in, decide not to charge them is fine, but when it's used to people you have no intention of charging whatsoever, for other purposes, that's sketchy.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby leady » Thu May 07, 2015 2:56 pm UTC

Still though as soon as you visibly commit a crime or generate probable cause, any resistance on the part of the suspect leads to police violence escalation. Even a simple ticket will escalate to violence if unpaid, its just slower (well if you have assets anyway)

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby morriswalters » Thu May 07, 2015 6:16 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:And the existance of an obligation is not the same as force, in the violent sense.
If not then why stop?

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri May 08, 2015 5:14 pm UTC

leady wrote:Still though as soon as you visibly commit a crime or generate probable cause, any resistance on the part of the suspect leads to police violence escalation. Even a simple ticket will escalate to violence if unpaid, its just slower (well if you have assets anyway)


It does, under the current system, sort of. And I'm not altogether happy with that.

We have generally gotten past debtor's prisons for private parties, and they are looked on as an outmoded error. It'd be nice for the government to catch up.

Now, with more serious events, such as "cop saw lots of blood, has reasonable suspicion of violence", it's a little different. But...it shouldn't be a different standard than if anyone else decided to ask why you've got lots and lots of blood about on your piles of money.

We may need slightly different rules for gathering evidence and what not, but why is violence so necessary for police work? Private detectives, security guards, etc manage to maintain relevance without enjoying the wide latitude for violence the police receive.

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Re: Fixing police brutality

Postby BattleMoose » Mon May 11, 2015 2:00 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:We may need slightly different rules for gathering evidence and what not, but why is violence so necessary for police work? Private detectives, security guards, etc manage to maintain relevance without enjoying the wide latitude for violence the police receive.


Because when someone doesn't not want to be arrested (assuming just cause) or searched, then the appropriate response is to forcibly arrest. This does require a level of force/violence. (Although we all know the police have often gone far too far)

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.


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