Police misbehavior thread

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:03 pm UTC

natraj wrote:honestly i think it is sickening and horrendous that we don't, by default, already have a different burden of proof for cops than we do for the general public. we endow the cops with greater power, why on EARTH shouldn't greater examination of how they are using that power come with that automatically?

Why does "greater examination" equate with a lower burden of proof? It seems rather like it should mean a more routine use of special prosecutors, more investigations by the DoJ, and the like. When you change the burden of proof, on the other hand, you aren't examining anything more; you're just letting a lesser examination pass as good-enough.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:10 pm UTC

Take your example.
sardia wrote:Why does it matter what law the officer used to pulled you over? If you had a broken taillight or a warrant due to child support, escalation can happen.
It doesn't matter where the chain is broken. In the case of a broken headlight perhaps an automated response that doesn't result in a stop. In the case of a child support violation take the money before he gets it. Don't give him a chance to be in violation. However that isn't the point. The point is breaking the chain. It isn't that you can stop all escalations, it is that you can reduce the number of possibilities for escalations to occur. There is no solution that stops killings from occurring assuming that Police are armed. And once killings happen you are in the position of having to make a judgement about the event. I'm all about punishing evil doers. I'm more about not having to decide who they are. That invites judgements where someone will end up thinking, rightly or wrongly, that justice wasn't served.
Diemo wrote:In this quote leady is claiming that the primary reason for these situations is the crappy laws which trigger the escalation to violence.
I gathered that you interpreted it that way. I interpret it as thus.

1. The law exists.
2. The Police imperative is to enforce the law.
3. Someone is breaking the law.
4 Someone gets killed while the police act to their imperative.

What triggers the chain? I suggest that if the law didn't exist that that the killing wouldn't happen. We'll assume the New York case. The chain in that case is long and complex. Any one element in the chain could have changed the outcome prior to the point where death was the certain outcome. The city could have not been enamored with the concept of broken window policing. The man who died could have chosen not to resist. The police could have chosen not to use a choke hold. Better training might have led to an earlier recognition on what was happening. But the event was triggered by the existence of the law. No law and the event never occurs.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Diemo » Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:08 pm UTC

leady wrote:I hate to break it to you but the entire purpose of the police is to escalate to force compliance to social rules, you can quibble at the pace and means at certain points but not the end state.


That is not the purpose of the police. The purpose of the police is to keep people safe and to uphold the law. Nowhere does it say that the purpose of the police is to escalate a situation.

Over the course of their job, a policeman will have situations escalate on them. However, their job should involve keeping this escalation to a minimum. In the cases discussed here they clearly did not keep the escalation at a minimum.

leady wrote:You can argue that to an extent some cops would still manufacture reasons to shake things up, but its pretty apparent that without the almost certain arrest and imprisonment of that last victims due to his inability to pay child support, then he doesn't run, fight the cop, run off again then get shot 8 times in the back.

For that specific victim, yes. But we are not talking about an isolated incident. And if it had not been that victim then I am sure it would have been another victim, arrested and killed due to another type of petty crime.

leady wrote:Its the nature of police action to leverage minor wrong doing to trap greater offences, rightly or wrongly


And you can't see the problems inherent with this view? It should not be the nature of the police to trap people. It should be the nature of the police to keep people safe.
(Now, how to do this is another kettle of fish entirely)

@morriswalters:
I disagree with how you are laying out your chain of events. The chain as you lay it out implicitely assumes that the police have not done anything wrong. Unless you can admit that the police are at fault here, then the societal issue will never be dealt with. This is because the base cause of the death is the policemen using the wrong amount of force.

I am also not talking about a single event. I can see a series of events (people of colour being killed by police) and am looking to solve the underlying issue that is causing these events. It is easy to say that in [specific case] if [specific thing] happened then [specific result] would not have occured. It is also useless. It is impossible to go back to that event and change things, the only thing that we can change is the causes of the event. And I think that by saying that the law caused the event you are actively undermining any effort to stop the societal reason behind these events, as you are directing attention away from the minor issue and tying up resources that could be better used.

Now, your claim is that the cause of the death is the law. In fact, your claim is that the cause is due to the victims breaking petty laws, and your solution is to remove these laws. So let us examine the first claim, that the cause of the deaths is the victims breaking petty laws.

Here is a list of people of colour who have been killed by the police between 1999 and 2014. Lets see how many of them had broken the law. Out of the first 13, I count two people who broke the law for sure, 3 people who may have broken the law, and 7 people who didn't break the law (I am leaving out the person killed by the security guards). I think this means that your claim that they are shot for breaking the law is bullshit.

My claim is that the police unnecessarily escalated the situation, leading to the deaths. As all 13 of these cases were unarmed, I think that it is pretty clear that a gun was not required in any case. I have not looked deeply into any of these cases, and will accept that for one or two of them a gun might have been needed, but there are far far too many cases for them all to have required lethal force.

Also, those 13 were all in 2014, which is a shockingly high number of unarmed people killed by the police in America in one year.

Spoiler:
Rumain Brisbane (maybe?)
Tamir Rice (no)
Akai Gurley (no)
Kajieme Powell (maybe)
Ezell Ford (maybe)
Dante Parker (yes - resisting arrest)
Micheal Browne (no)
John Crawford III (no)
Tyree Woodson (no - in the police department, police claim he shot himself, left out of statistics)
Eric Garner (yes)
Victor White III (no)
Yvitte Smith (no - this could be a maybe, but from the article it appears that she was shot for opening the front door)
McKenzie Cochran (unknown) - Didn't get killed by police but by security guards. Article didn't say what the struggle was about.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:41 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
natraj wrote:honestly i think it is sickening and horrendous that we don't, by default, already have a different burden of proof for cops than we do for the general public. we endow the cops with greater power, why on EARTH shouldn't greater examination of how they are using that power come with that automatically?

Why does "greater examination" equate with a lower burden of proof? It seems rather like it should mean a more routine use of special prosecutors, more investigations by the DoJ, and the like. When you change the burden of proof, on the other hand, you aren't examining anything more; you're just letting a lesser examination pass as good-enough.
I feel like you and natraj are not talking about the same side's burden of proof, and/or you're not being consistent about whether a "change" is a raising or lowering of the burden.

A good start would be holding cops to the same standard in criminal proceedings (where currently they're given far more benefit of the doubt than civilians), and holding them to a higher standard when it comes to dismissal proceedings. As in, they would only have to show a reasonable doubt of guilt to stay out of jail, like the rest of us, and in a criminal trial would be innocent until proven guilty, like the rest of us. But to stay on the police force, they'd have to show more than a reasonable doubt. Or to flip it around, send them to jail if guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but dismiss them from the force if there's a preponderance of evidence.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:46 pm UTC

Diemo wrote:Now, your claim is that the cause of the death is the law. In fact, your claim is that the cause is due to the victims breaking petty laws, and your solution is to remove these laws. So let us examine the first claim, that the cause of the deaths is the victims breaking petty laws.
No. My claim is that the the chain of events triggered by the law puts police in the position where they can kill in the first place. Why they kill is important only after the fact that they have killed. I don't want to pass judgement over a dead body. I don't want a dead body at all.

I'm not interested in debating if the act of climbing a mountain results in you falling off a cliff. If you don't climb you can't fall. That states the obvious. If you fall it means that you started to climb.

That the fact that the victim could have broken the link in the chain in the Eric Gardner case doesn't place the blame on him. It is a simple statement of fact. His isn't the only link that mattered.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Diemo » Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:49 pm UTC

By focusing on the fact that the law is a link, you are implicitly taking away the consideration that the cops were at fault. So please stop.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:57 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:I feel like you and natraj are not talking about the same side's burden of proof, and/or you're not being consistent about whether a "change" is a raising or lowering of the burden.

Yes, that's right; I misinterpreted natraj's post.

gmalivuk wrote:A good start would be holding cops to the same standard in criminal proceedings (where currently they're given far more benefit of the doubt than civilians), and holding them to a higher standard when it comes to dismissal proceedings. As in, they would only have to show a reasonable doubt of guilt to stay out of jail, like the rest of us, and in a criminal trial would be innocent until proven guilty, like the rest of us. But to stay on the police force, they'd have to show more than a reasonable doubt. Or to flip it around, send them to jail if guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but dismiss them from the force if there's a preponderance of evidence.

That all sounds right.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:01 pm UTC

In most of these cases, the specific law used to justify the homicide could be replaced without loss of generality with another law, because the problem is police escalation of force.

Also, it's ridiculous to claim that "crappy laws" are the problem when in most of these cases, the actual law in question isn't a crappy one. No one has been murdered because they worked on a Sunday or because they had more than three dildos in their house or any of the other stupid prudish laws that are on the books in some places. And laws like "don't walk down the middle of the street" and "you can't sell cigarettes without the cigarette tax" are actually not bad laws to have. They're just really shitty laws to murder people over.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:24 pm UTC

leady wrote:I hate to break it to you but the entire purpose of the police is to escalate to force compliance to social rules, you can quibble at the pace and means at certain points but not the end state.


Bullshit. Of course you can quibble about the end state.

The UK manages without arming its ordinary cops (and so makes most of these situations pretty much impossible without much wider and more overt systematic abuse) and, last time I checked, I wasn't living in a lawless wasteland.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:26 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:In most of these cases, the specific law used to justify the homicide could be replaced without loss of generality with another law, because the problem is police escalation of force.

Also, it's ridiculous to claim that "crappy laws" are the problem when in most of these cases, the actual law in question isn't a crappy one. No one has been murdered because they worked on a Sunday or because they had more than three dildos in their house or any of the other stupid prudish laws that are on the books in some places. And laws like "don't walk down the middle of the street" and "you can't sell cigarettes without the cigarette tax" are actually not bad laws to have. They're just really shitty laws to murder people over.


The cigarette tax is, indeed, a bad law, IMO, but I suspect that full agreement on which laws are bad is unlikely, and a full discussion on this topic is over-broad. However, it's a fair point that the price of laws including violence is often breezed over when they are considered, and good or bad, this is not duly considered.

It certainly isn't the only problem, I agree. Some of these calls are perfectly legit by any standards, and the cop just goes nuts. But still, bad laws are part of this. Hell, laws against drugs are a huge reason for swat raids, so every time a swat team kicks in the wrong door, shoots the dog, shoots the family, breaks all the things, then leaves is kind of an effect of that. Getting the wrong address is on the cops, sure, and the escalation is also kind of ridiculous...but the situation is overtly set up by the anti-drug laws, and thus just keeps happening again and again.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby leady » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:43 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
Bullshit. Of course you can quibble about the end state.

The UK manages without arming its ordinary cops (and so makes most of these situations pretty much impossible without much wider and more overt systematic abuse) and, last time I checked, I wasn't living in a lawless wasteland.


I get it now, some people seem to be under the delusion that the primary purpose of the police is some fluffy social outreach function. It is not.

The police are the state sanctioned enforcers of the law that are duty bound under statute to use violence to force conformity. They may do other things to obfuscate this somewhat.

The UK is no different, you tell the police to "go away this is my house and i will resist intrusion" and you get 15 armed police stomping through your daffodils in 25 minutes or less. The fatality rate under these scenarios in the uk is hardly stirling either.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Grop » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:53 pm UTC

But then in the UK people don't seem to die because some cop thought that maybe they will tell them that if talked to. Which is all the kind of thing ridiculous escalation is about. I would even say that if you are telling that kind of thing to the police, you are the one escalating things.
Last edited by Grop on Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:58 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:54 pm UTC

Has the distinction been made between 'criminal' and 'civil' law? Because the tobacco tax laws and the child-payments laws are not criminal laws, they're civil laws.

"The difference between civil law and criminal law turns on the difference between two different objects which law seeks to pursue - redress or punishment. The object of civil law is the redress of wrongs by compelling compensation or restitution: the wrongdoer is not punished; he only suffers so much harm as is necessary to make good the wrong he has done. The person who has suffered gets a definite benefit from the law, or at least he avoids a loss. On the other hand, in the case of crimes, the main object of the law is to punish the wrongdoer; to give him and others a strong inducement not to commit same or similar crimes, to reform him if possible and perhaps to satisfy the public sense that wrongdoing ought to meet with retribution.”


I haven't seen any lawyers shooting anyone while serving them notices of summon.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:58 pm UTC

Grop wrote:But then in the UK people don't seem to die because some cop thought that maybe they will tell them that if talked to.


UK has police brutality too. Even killings. Granted, you're a wee bit smaller than us, so you might not have us on numbers, but hey, even a quick google brought up a wild variety of stuff. I grabbed the first one I saw with a nice wiki link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Ian_Tomlinson

Naturally, the cop who beat him to death was not charged. Not exactly ancient history either.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:05 pm UTC

Mighty Jalapeno wrote:I haven't seen any lawyers shooting anyone while serving them notices of summon.
On the other hand people have been shot trying to serve them
gmalivuk wrote:In most of these cases, the specific law used to justify the homicide could be replaced without loss of generality with another law, because the problem is police escalation of force.

Also, it's ridiculous to claim that "crappy laws" are the problem when in most of these cases, the actual law in question isn't a crappy one. No one has been murdered because they worked on a Sunday or because they had more than three dildos in their house or any of the other stupid prudish laws that are on the books in some places. And laws like "don't walk down the middle of the street" and "you can't sell cigarettes without the cigarette tax" are actually not bad laws to have. They're just really shitty laws to murder people over.
Do you think? And I haven't said anything different. I never said that the laws were to blame. I said that they started the chain of events that let bad policing matter. There are multiple links and they all interact to take you to a point where nobody implicitly intended to go.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby addams » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:32 pm UTC

All Right!
Now we are getting somewhere!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peelian_Principles

Not quite as funny as the Peter Principles, but Workable!

To make any part of that Work would take some Work!
The role of Citizen must be mastered by a few more.

The Police are real Jerks, sometimes.
It is a part of the individual's Civic Identity, The Department Polishes.

Nations that Require each and every individual to Wear a Uniform and Serve their Nation and The World
are Stronger and more Respectable Nations.

Do we need another Study to show the quality of civic standards has dropped in the thoughts, words and actions of our people?

Yes,. Mandatory Military Service.
Yes. Both Men and Women.

That might help us with our little problem, a little.
We, the US, needs help from The World Community.

Did we ever get our UN Dues paid up?
Are we still part of The Club?

We may need those guys.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:37 pm UTC

leady wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:
Bullshit. Of course you can quibble about the end state.

The UK manages without arming its ordinary cops (and so makes most of these situations pretty much impossible without much wider and more overt systematic abuse) and, last time I checked, I wasn't living in a lawless wasteland.


I get it now, some people seem to be under the delusion that the primary purpose of the police is some fluffy social outreach function. It is not.

The police are the state sanctioned enforcers of the law that are duty bound under statute to use violence to force conformity. They may do other things to obfuscate this somewhat.

The UK is no different, you tell the police to "go away this is my house and i will resist intrusion" and you get 15 armed police stomping through your daffodils in 25 minutes or less. The fatality rate under these scenarios in the uk is hardly stirling either.


In the UK a cop is unable to shoot someone they pull over for traffic infractions. This can happen in the US. That is a difference in end points.

Like I said in my original post, civilians getting murdered by cops is (to all intents and purposes) impossible without much wider and overt systematic abuse. In the UK, you need the force to be willing to actively participate in the abuse; in the US, they just need to be willing to turn a blind eye.

The point is, you don't seem to understand how people's perception of how the police should function and what is acceptable varies. In the UK, the general understanding is that police should always use the bare minimum of force necessary (which is why we don't give our cops guns and why we tend to get a bigger outcry when a civilian is killed) and that they should accept the extra risk that puts them in. In the US on the other hand, you have a widespread idea that cops should be able to take whatever actions are necessary to avoid that risk to themselves. That's a difference in what end states are considered acceptable; something you claim not to believe is possible.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:59 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
leady wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:
Bullshit. Of course you can quibble about the end state.

The UK manages without arming its ordinary cops (and so makes most of these situations pretty much impossible without much wider and more overt systematic abuse) and, last time I checked, I wasn't living in a lawless wasteland.


I get it now, some people seem to be under the delusion that the primary purpose of the police is some fluffy social outreach function. It is not.

The police are the state sanctioned enforcers of the law that are duty bound under statute to use violence to force conformity. They may do other things to obfuscate this somewhat.

The UK is no different, you tell the police to "go away this is my house and i will resist intrusion" and you get 15 armed police stomping through your daffodils in 25 minutes or less. The fatality rate under these scenarios in the uk is hardly stirling either.


In the UK a cop is unable to shoot someone they pull over for traffic infractions. This can happen in the US. That is a difference in end points.

Like I said in my original post, civilians getting murdered by cops is (to all intents and purposes) impossible without much wider and overt systematic abuse. In the UK, you need the force to be willing to actively participate in the abuse; in the US, they just need to be willing to turn a blind eye.

The point is, you don't seem to understand how people's perception of how the police should function and what is acceptable varies. In the UK, the general understanding is that police should always use the bare minimum of force necessary (which is why we don't give our cops guns and why we tend to get a bigger outcry when a civilian is killed) and that they should accept the extra risk that puts them in. In the US on the other hand, you have a widespread idea that cops should be able to take whatever actions are necessary to avoid that risk to themselves. That's a difference in what end states are considered acceptable; something you claim not to believe is possible.


The one I just listed, he didn't have a gun either. Clubbed 'im to death. I mean, I guess the cops arm got more tired...I guess that's a win? At any rate, that doesn't make murder impossible.

Also, minimum response is standard police training in the US. It may not actually be practiced in the brutality cases, but...that's why we call it brutality. It's that because it's totally not seen as justified. And there is significant outcry over these killings, it's kind of a growing and at least somewhat bipartisan issue. And shit, a lot of these unjustified killings have basically nothing to do with self defense actions. Some of these, there is clearly no reasonable risk being presented. It's not a matter of overreaction to real risk. It's a matter of straight up violence to no risk.

I know you're fond of making things into gun control/self defense debates, but...police brutality isn't just about that. It's also about tasering a restrained person over and over until they die. There's no gun there. No self defense. Just brutality.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:12 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
Like I said in my original post, civilians getting murdered by cops is (to all intents and purposes) impossible without much wider and overt systematic abuse. In the UK, you need the force to be willing to actively participate in the abuse; in the US, they just need to be willing to turn a blind eye.


The bolded (which you quoted) should provide some insight.

Ian Tomlinson died in an area with a great many cops (due to the nearby protests), more than one of which participated in his murder. Regardless, the fact that we don't give our cops "lethal" weapons makes it significantly less common for us to have instances like this even if we do have a similar proportion of crappy cops.

My argument isn't that our cops are better; just that leady was speaking total bullshit when they said that what end states were considered acceptable is immutable. The fact we (in the UK) do things differently suggests that we are very much unhappy with end states the US treats as an acceptable loss; that is that countries can consider different end states unacceptable.

I am in no way fond of turning things into gun control debates. I posted in the gun control thread for one period over a year ago; that hardly constitutes a proclivity for derailing things in that direction. Not only that, but at no point in this discussion have I made any reference to gun control. Only that the fact we arm our cops differently over here suggests that we have a different idea of an acceptable outcome and an acceptable risk to police officers than across the pond.

Edit: I've just searched through my posts and there have been a total of 9 posts where I've mentioned gun control (including this one). Of those, a third were in the gun control thread. Of the others, 4 were in the Isla Vista shooting thread, 1 is here and the other was in thatcher thread in response to someone saying gun control was "batshit insane" by pointing out that some people might disagree with that. All of those comments were in line with the discussion in the thread and relevant. The most recent one them was almost a year ago in the Isla Vista thread. Characterising this as a tendancy to derail topics onto gun control is flat out false and you should fuck right off with that kind of bullshit.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:23 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:
Like I said in my original post, civilians getting murdered by cops is (to all intents and purposes) impossible without much wider and overt systematic abuse. In the UK, you need the force to be willing to actively participate in the abuse; in the US, they just need to be willing to turn a blind eye.


The bolded (which you quoted) should provide some insight.

Ian Tomlinson died in an area with a great many cops (due to the nearby protests), more than one of which participated in his murder. Regardless, the fact that we don't give our cops "lethal" weapons makes it significantly less common for us to have instances like this even if we do have a similar proportion of crappy cops.


Do you have data to back up the significantly less common claim? Police brutality seems particularly hard to get good data on, because...the police have a wee bit of motivation to skew that.

I mean, I'm not even sure that police brutality in the US is up. I don't think it is. I think it's always been here, and it's getting more publicity and such now. A lot of these things are fairly old problems. Power and brutality have kind of a long history.

My argument isn't that our cops are better; just that leady was speaking total bullshit when they said that what end states were considered acceptable is immutable. The fact we (in the UK) do things differently suggests that we are very much unhappy with end states the US treats as an acceptable loss; that is that countries can consider different end states unacceptable.

I am in no way fond of turning things into gun control debates. I posted in the gun control thread for one period over a year ago; that hardly constitutes a proclivity for derailing things in that direction. Not only that, but at no point in this discussion have I made any reference to gun control. Only that the fact we arm our cops differently over here suggests that we have a different idea of an acceptable outcome and an acceptable risk to police officers than across the pond.


Apologies, then, I may have confused you for another poster.

Arming your police differently doesn't necessarily mean you want different things, but that you have different ideas about what leads to those things. Or different cultural forces/history.

Hell, there was the whole troubles in Ireland thing. Not even just police, but also military I believe. We've also had our issues, but they're a little different.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:30 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:
Like I said in my original post, civilians getting murdered by cops is (to all intents and purposes) impossible without much wider and overt systematic abuse. In the UK, you need the force to be willing to actively participate in the abuse; in the US, they just need to be willing to turn a blind eye.


The bolded (which you quoted) should provide some insight.

Ian Tomlinson died in an area with a great many cops (due to the nearby protests), more than one of which participated in his murder. Regardless, the fact that we don't give our cops "lethal" weapons makes it significantly less common for us to have instances like this even if we do have a similar proportion of crappy cops.


Do you have data to back up the significantly less common claim? Police brutality seems particularly hard to get good data on, because...the police have a wee bit of motivation to skew that.
Data to back up the claim that police killing civilians is significantly less common in the UK than the US?

Given that most such deaths in the US are caused by guns, do you have any data to suggest anything close to parity? Because absent such data, I would think the starting assumption ought to be that police homicides are indeed significantly less common in the UK than the US.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:38 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Data to back up the claim that police killing civilians is significantly less common in the UK than the US?

Given that most such deaths in the US are caused by guns, do you have any data to suggest anything close to parity? Because absent such data, I would think the starting assumption ought to be that police homicides are indeed significantly less common in the UK than the US.


So, instead of data, we're starting with an assumption, and treating all homicides as brutality/improper homicides, then?

No, that doesn't seem very reasonable. Even the most staunch advocate of stopping police brutality is going to admit that in some cases, police are not the ones to blame. The ratio of when the police are genuinely to blame vs when they are not would be a much more reasonable metric, albeit significantly less convenient than your assumption.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:40 pm UTC

In 2013/14 the IPCC recorded a total of 130 deaths during or following police contact in England and Wales of which 12 were road traffic fatalities, 11 were deaths in or following custody, 68 were apparent suicides following custody and there were 39 other deaths. There were no fatal shootings recorded.

Scaling that up by population, if the US had people die during or following contact with the police at the same rate, you'd expect 743 deaths in total. Wikipedia lists 593 killings by law enforcement officers in 2014 (but only 320 in 2013).

Those numbers may not look too good for the UK, but when you consider that those are only those killings directly due to cops in the US rather than killings they start looking more favourable. In fact, of the 130 deaths listed by the IPCC and looking at the definitions of their categories, only 50 are of the type that might be counted on the wikipedia list. That brings the upper bound on the expected number of killings by cops (assuming all 50 that might be counted are) down to 285; well below the US rate.

Tyndmyr wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:Apologies, then, I may have confused you for another poster.


That's ok, I'm sorry I got so annoyed about it.

Tyndmyr wrote:Arming your police differently doesn't necessarily mean you want different things, but that you have different ideas about what leads to those things. Or different cultural forces/history.


Oh sure. Everyone wants the same things out of their cops. They want them to keep the streets safe and enforce the law. Everyone agrees on that. Arming your cops differently does indicate that people have different ideas of what are appropriate methods of doing that.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:45 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:So, instead of data, we're starting with an assumption, and treating all homicides as brutality/improper homicides, then?
No, we are not starting with any such assumption. Where do you even get that leap from?
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Dauric » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:08 pm UTC

Is the question really about relative national deaths, or about incidents of excessive force?

As has been pointed out police are equipped differently 'across the pond', abuse of authority may be less lethal, but if I may indulge in a bit of morbidity, the guy who's been killed doesn't have mortal worries any longer, unlike someone who survives who will be facing medical expenses, inability to work, recovery and physical therapy, psychological trauma, etc.

My point being that while 'death counts' fit a certain dramatic impulse, they are not the be-all and end-all of end results of power abuse.

The problem (IMO), isn't what officers are armed with, its that they are invested with authority over other peopke, and human beibgs as a whole don't have a good grasp on handling that well.

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Also it would be useful to consider the relative threat environment that officers face. The UK has generally more restrictive gun laws than the U.S., even if the cultural environment allowed for U.S. LEOs to be armed the same as their U.K. counterparts, would that present an untenable tactical situation for officers doing their job correctly?
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:25 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:So, instead of data, we're starting with an assumption, and treating all homicides as brutality/improper homicides, then?
No, we are not starting with any such assumption. Where do you even get that leap from?


You, right here...
gmalivuk wrote:the starting assumption ought to be


You state assumption, and state "police killing civilians" instead of the currently discussed unjustified brutality subset of that.

I'm not making a leap, I'm reading what you typed.

eSOANEM wrote:In 2013/14 the IPCC recorded a total of 130 deaths during or following police contact in England and Wales of which 12 were road traffic fatalities, 11 were deaths in or following custody, 68 were apparent suicides following custody and there were 39 other deaths. There were no fatal shootings recorded.

Scaling that up by population, if the US had people die during or following contact with the police at the same rate, you'd expect 743 deaths in total. Wikipedia lists 593 killings by law enforcement officers in 2014 (but only 320 in 2013).

Those numbers may not look too good for the UK, but when you consider that those are only those killings directly due to cops in the US rather than killings they start looking more favourable. In fact, of the 130 deaths listed by the IPCC and looking at the definitions of their categories, only 50 are of the type that might be counted on the wikipedia list. That brings the upper bound on the expected number of killings by cops (assuming all 50 that might be counted are) down to 285; well below the US rate.


Yeah, those are much, much broader than the sorts of killing we're looking at. I feel safe saying that the majority of both likely don't fall under the misbehavior, and it's hard to tell what percentage of each really fits into excessive force.

Also, wiki lists are rarely exaustive, so I'm not sure that's a sufficient list for the US deaths. It's helpful, but possibly incomplete. The FBI does maintain a list, but that's in the 300ish neighborhood/yr, and, frustratingly, also likely incomplete.

Dauric wrote:Also it would be useful to consider the relative threat environment that officers face. The UK has generally more restrictive gun laws than the U.S., even if the cultural environment allowed for U.S. LEOs to be armed the same as their U.K. counterparts, would that present an untenable tactical situation for officers doing their job correctly?


As for risk, I imagine we'd want to compare officer deaths. This is, fortunately, much better documented, and officer deaths(as covered earlier in the thread), are not particularly high, with a great many quite commonplace activities ranking higher. Additionally, the bigass killer was automobile accidents, which seems not very related to firearms or brutality, so I don't see a very good justification at all for the police in terms of threat. If you genuinely wished to reduce police deaths, it seems much more productive to focus on making them wear seat belts and not talk on cell phones while driving(for which they often enjoy special legal protection) than to engage in militarization.

That doesn't mean we need to completely disarm them or anything. There's a time and a place for firearms...but from a statistics point of view, the old "policing is a dangerous job" bit doesn't really seem to hold up. The observed risks don't seem to justify the behavior.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:30 pm UTC

My point was, and always has been, that the UK and US have different standards for what is an acceptable outcome of an encounter with the police. The weapons and powers we reserve from our cops and the lower rates of killings (I am assuming) caused by this are indicative of our different standards. Notably that the UK is willing to accept a higher risk to the cop in exchange for a lower risk to the civilian.

If the UK and USA consider different end states acceptable then the point I was calling out as bullshit is, in fact, bullshit.

That is, and has always been (during this dip into this thread at least), my sole point of contention.

Tyndmyr wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:So, instead of data, we're starting with an assumption, and treating all homicides as brutality/improper homicides, then?
No, we are not starting with any such assumption. Where do you even get that leap from?


You, right here...
gmalivuk wrote:the starting assumption ought to be


You state assumption, and state "police killing civilians" instead of the currently discussed unjustified brutality subset of that.

I'm not making a leap, I'm reading what you typed.

eSOANEM wrote:In 2013/14 the IPCC recorded a total of 130 deaths during or following police contact in England and Wales of which 12 were road traffic fatalities, 11 were deaths in or following custody, 68 were apparent suicides following custody and there were 39 other deaths. There were no fatal shootings recorded.

Scaling that up by population, if the US had people die during or following contact with the police at the same rate, you'd expect 743 deaths in total. Wikipedia lists 593 killings by law enforcement officers in 2014 (but only 320 in 2013).

Those numbers may not look too good for the UK, but when you consider that those are only those killings directly due to cops in the US rather than killings they start looking more favourable. In fact, of the 130 deaths listed by the IPCC and looking at the definitions of their categories, only 50 are of the type that might be counted on the wikipedia list. That brings the upper bound on the expected number of killings by cops (assuming all 50 that might be counted are) down to 285; well below the US rate.


Yeah, those are much, much broader than the sorts of killing we're looking at. I feel safe saying that the majority of both likely don't fall under the misbehavior, and it's hard to tell what percentage of each really fits into excessive force.

Also, wiki lists are rarely exaustive, so I'm not sure that's a sufficient list for the US deaths. It's helpful, but possibly incomplete. The FBI does maintain a list, but that's in the 300ish neighborhood/yr, and, frustratingly, also likely incomplete.


I'm not claiming the UK has better cops than the US or that we have lower rates of abuse. I'm claiming that we have structures in place to reduce the number of deaths at their hands than in the US because we consider different outcomes acceptable. I have given some of those structures and I have shown that we have a lower rate of deaths at the hands of cops. The proportion of those that are abusive is irrelevant to the point I've been making.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:39 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:My point was, and always has been, that the UK and US have different standards for what is an acceptable outcome of an encounter with the police. The weapons and powers we reserve from our cops and the lower rates of killings (I am assuming) caused by this are indicative of our different standards. Notably that the UK is willing to accept a higher risk to the cop in exchange for a lower risk to the civilian.

If the UK and USA consider different end states acceptable then the point I was calling out as bullshit is, in fact, bullshit.

That is, and has always been (during this dip into this thread at least), my sole point of contention.


I do not think that police brutality stems from officer risk at all. It's a false tradeoff. You're contending that the UK accepts a higher degree of risk for it's police. Well, does that bear out? Do UK police officers die very frequently? I did some quick googles, and...it didn't seem like it. http://www.policememorial.org.uk/index.php?page=annual-roll-of-honour

Looks like...3 for 2014. Car accident, car accident, heart attack.

I don't see any real tradeoff being made here.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:47 pm UTC

I was assuming there was a trade off and it seems that was wrong and we don't seem to have our cops at significantly higher risk.

Nonetheless, giving cops guns would lower that (small) risk further but would increase the risk to civilians to nearer that of it in the US. We clearly do not consider that an acceptable outcome because, as a country, are vehemently opposed to arming cops (do you remember the outrage when somewhere in scotland announced its firearms cops would carry their weapons on duty even when not acting in their capacity as firearms officers?)
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:52 pm UTC

eSOANEM wrote:I was assuming there was a trade off and it seems that was wrong and we don't seem to have our cops at significantly higher risk.

Nonetheless, giving cops guns would lower that (small) risk further but would increase the risk to civilians to nearer that of it in the US. We clearly do not consider that an acceptable outcome because, as a country, are vehemently opposed to arming cops (do you remember the outrage when somewhere in scotland announced its firearms cops would carry their weapons on duty even when not acting in their capacity as firearms officers?)


You're making a lot of assumptions about risk.

I mean...did the scotland thing turn out to result in any measurable increase/decrease in outcomes? Did a bunch of people die as a result or something? Or did it end up just as pretty much unrelated to police brutality?

This is like trying to solve school bullying by removing underwear to prevent wedgies.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:02 pm UTC

I'll repeat, my claim is, and always has been, that the general population of the UK considers different outcomes acceptable than that of the US. That only depends on people's perceptions of risk. For some things, actual risk and rates may be useful heuristics for that; for others, public outcry may be a better indicator.

The US public as a whole's reaction to most of the deaths in this thread being so different from that of the UK when the police kill someone here (even in cases such as Ralph Moat where he'd just been on a shooting spree) makes it pretty clear that the two countries have different views on what outcomes are acceptable and in what cases.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:54 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:So, instead of data, we're starting with an assumption, and treating all homicides as brutality/improper homicides, then?
No, we are not starting with any such assumption. Where do you even get that leap from?


You, right here...
gmalivuk wrote:the starting assumption ought to be


You state assumption, and state "police killing civilians" instead of the currently discussed unjustified brutality subset of that.

I'm not making a leap, I'm reading what you typed.
No, you're most definitely making a leap. I explicitly asked if you were talking about data for police killing civilians, so the fact that you lept to assume I meant something other than what I typed was a leap on your part, not miscommunication on mine.

(I asked because it was previously ambiguous. "Instances like this" could be police brutality, it could be police brutality leading to death, it could be police homicide, it could be unjustified police homicide, it could be police bludgeoning people to death. Before I care to look for data, I like to check what data is even being asked for.)
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby icanus » Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:44 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:I'll repeat, my claim is, and always has been, that the general population of the UK considers different outcomes acceptable than that of the US.

It's not just the general population - the public is pretty evenly split on routinely arming police (47% for, 48% against,last surveys I saw), whereas the police themselves are overwhelmingly (82%) against it. The general consensus among british police appears to be that being armed would make their jobs harder and more dangerous.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:55 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:The US public as a whole's reaction to most of the deaths in this thread being so different from that of the UK when the police kill someone here (even in cases such as Ralph Moat where he'd just been on a shooting spree) makes it pretty clear that the two countries have different views on what outcomes are acceptable and in what cases.
How true, how true. Which is why I have pretty much given up on US cop shows. Look at what is popular with the general public. I watch more British crime drama than US crime drama. I love the fact that they never end in a blaze of gunfire. It's almost soothing.

However police killings and police brutality comprise police misbehavior. We don't have any data on either worth having which is part of the problem. And there is no central police authority. My own city has 1280 authorized police officers, beholding to no one, except themselves and County Government. Repeat that a thousand or so times or whatever numbers might exist for cities big enough to want them across the US. Within the county there are at least three other departments of unknown size. And those are the ones I know about. Every one with a gun. Not counting Sheriffs, Constables, oh and the thousands of citizens who carry concealed guns and who have have permits. And the other thousands who carry anyway. Lets see? Oh yeah, the State Police. And that doesn't count the other Federal Agencies, ATF, FBI, and other that I'm sure I missed. So yeah, The UK looks at it differently. Well, carry on.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby leady » Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:48 am UTC

eSOANEM wrote:My point was, and always has been, that the UK and US have different standards for what is an acceptable outcome of an encounter with the police. The weapons and powers we reserve from our cops and the lower rates of killings (I am assuming) caused by this are indicative of our different standards. Notably that the UK is willing to accept a higher risk to the cop in exchange for a lower risk to the civilian.

I'm not claiming the UK has better cops than the US or that we have lower rates of abuse. I'm claiming that we have structures in place to reduce the number of deaths at their hands than in the US because we consider different outcomes acceptable. I have given some of those structures and I have shown that we have a lower rate of deaths at the hands of cops. The proportion of those that are abusive is irrelevant to the point I've been making.


That doesn't hold up to much scrutiny though. The English police don't have guns and we live on an island meaning that the police are always at a better starting point. However they still apply a broadly equivalent extreme level of force to a scenario. The UK police will happily do a garner (generating a goodly amount of those death in custodies). It you are reported as armed & dangerous I don't think your outcome chances are any better than the states, probably worse (I won't stand over it, but all UK armed sieges seem to end with dead suspects). Some times they shoot Brazilians in the head, some times they shoot armed criminals in the head and start national riots

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:00 am UTC

icanus wrote:
eSOANEM wrote:I'll repeat, my claim is, and always has been, that the general population of the UK considers different outcomes acceptable than that of the US.

It's not just the general population - the public is pretty evenly split on routinely arming police (47% for, 48% against,last surveys I saw), whereas the police themselves are overwhelmingly (82%) against it. The general consensus among british police appears to be that being armed would make their jobs harder and more dangerous.


That survey, by framing the question in the context of steps taken to counter terrorism is kind of leading.

leady wrote:
That doesn't hold up to much scrutiny though. The English police don't have guns and we live on an island meaning that the police are always at a better starting point. However they still apply a broadly equivalent extreme level of force to a scenario. The UK police will happily do a garner (generating a goodly amount of those death in custodies). It you are reported as armed & dangerous I don't think your outcome chances are any better than the states, probably worse (I won't stand over it, but all UK armed sieges seem to end with dead suspects). Some times they shoot Brazilians in the head, some times they shoot armed criminals in the head and start national riots


I'm not sure what you mean by "do a garner".

The police do have a better starting point; but, seeing as almost all the killings in this thread aren't suspects fleeing across state lines, the fact we're on an island is completely irrelevant.

Your last point is pure supposition without even indirect evidence. The relative difficulty for a civilian to arm themselves to the extent where a siege becomes viable introduces a sampling bias towards people who won't let themselves be taken alive. There's also the fact that the same can be said of the states; almost all the armed sieges I hear of from across the pond seem to result in dead suspects.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Paul in Saudi » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:09 pm UTC

I see the fellow that shot that guy in Tulsa has appeared on the Today Show to explain himself. He did very well.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ivnja » Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:33 pm UTC

Lee County deputy fired after ignoring 911 call...to continue to eat lunch with other deputies. Acknowledged the call twice, took almost half an hour before telling another deputy to go respond. In the 53 minutes before help arrived, the woman who had called 911 died (heart attack). The deputy was not on his official lunch break.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:25 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:No, you're most definitely making a leap. I explicitly asked if you were talking about data for police killing civilians, so the fact that you lept to assume I meant something other than what I typed was a leap on your part, not miscommunication on mine.

(I asked because it was previously ambiguous. "Instances like this" could be police brutality, it could be police brutality leading to death, it could be police homicide, it could be unjustified police homicide, it could be police bludgeoning people to death. Before I care to look for data, I like to check what data is even being asked for.)


Don't see how it was ambiguous, but okay, we'll move on. In any case, assumptions don't seem to be necessary or helpful.

leady wrote:That doesn't hold up to much scrutiny though. The English police don't have guns and we live on an island meaning that the police are always at a better starting point. However they still apply a broadly equivalent extreme level of force to a scenario. The UK police will happily do a garner (generating a goodly amount of those death in custodies). It you are reported as armed & dangerous I don't think your outcome chances are any better than the states, probably worse (I won't stand over it, but all UK armed sieges seem to end with dead suspects). Some times they shoot Brazilians in the head, some times they shoot armed criminals in the head and start national riots


It isn't just the US and England, either. Police seem to have broadly similar issues in most countries. Sure, nothing's 100% identical, but the role has significant power attached to it, as well as generally a certain implicit or explicit latitude for violence beyond what the average person is given. That degree of power seems like it inherently is open to abuse. I think some other structure is needed on a basic level.

ivnja wrote:Lee County deputy fired after ignoring 911 call...to continue to eat lunch with other deputies. Acknowledged the call twice, took almost half an hour before telling another deputy to go respond. In the 53 minutes before help arrived, the woman who had called 911 died (heart attack). The deputy was not on his official lunch break.


Just fired, you say. No other disiplinary action...

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:31 pm UTC

ivnja wrote:Lee County deputy fired after ignoring 911 call...to continue to eat lunch with other deputies. Acknowledged the call twice, took almost half an hour before telling another deputy to go respond. In the 53 minutes before help arrived, the woman who had called 911 died (heart attack). The deputy was not on his official lunch break.

Thanks to your avatar, I'm imaging you playing the "ba-dum psshh" drum roll at the end of that.


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