Police misbehavior thread

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

Moderators: Zamfir, Hawknc, Moderators General, Prelates

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:28 pm UTC

Coyne wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:The history of the word informs it's current usage, which is inherently criminal in nature.


That is a very shallow view of how people use words. For counter examples, consider these: "horse" (heroin); or "crank" (amphetamines); "dispatch" (assassination); "ghost" (more mundane murder); "poke" (sex)....I could go on for hours.

Not a single one of these words, in its slang/euphemistic usage, has anything but a tangential association with its historical meaning. Show me any dictionary, from even 1850, that shows the word "poke" defined as slang for sex, for example.


I am aware of multiple definitions being a normal thing. Or that some words do drift very far from historical definitions. But this is a definition in remarkably common current use that hasn't drifted far in a very long while indeed. It seems strange to simply assume that the mere presence of the word MUST mean the speaker is racist.

Presented earlier in the thread was the example of the biker shooting at Waco, and we can present a simple test: Search for "thugs waco biker fight", prioritizing for the word "thugs". On the first page, I see:

  • (colorlines.com, social justice) No Thugs at Scene of Biker Gang 'Rumble'; leftist, querying absence of the word
  • (nola.com, comment) Texas police shot bikers during Waco gang brawl that left 9 ...; a news story that does not contain the word except in comments
  • (qz.com, counter) Rushing to call the Waco biker gang members “thugs” is not ...; argues that the bikers should not be called thugs because the word is overused
  • (bizpacreview.com, from tweet) Texas biker clash leaves 9 dead: 'Police shoot at white ...; mentions tweets
  • (N Y Times, editorial) Of Bikers and Thugs; discusses the absence of the word thugs in relation
  • (Twitchy.com, news) violence erupts as biker gang 'thugs' - Twitchy; does actually use the word that way (in the title), but mostly discussing the fact no one uses it, based on tweets to that effect, note it is not mainstream news
  • (TexasMonthly, news) On #WacoThugs, Biker Gangs, and White-on-White Crime ...; Disscuses the incident, but the text contains only a reference to the #WacoThugs tag, and reports several of those
  • (MSNBC, aside) Waco shooting: The history behind the biker brawl; appears only in the "Progressive State of Mind" and other discussion sections
  • (The Nightly Show on Comedy Central, commentary) Larry Wilmore: 'Let Me Be the First' to Call Waco Biker Gang ...; editorial talks about how they should be called thugs
  • (National Review, news) A Gunfight, Not a Riot: What Happened in Waco | National ...; discusses it only in a mis-titled section "Related Why the Left Won't Call Rioters 'Thugs'?" in which the Review reports how the left inquires why the word "thugs" is not used...

Ten links; not a single news agency or conservative site that uses the word "thugs" to describe the bikers involved in that gunfight as part of their writing, in any context labeling the bikers. Which is odd, since per your "historical argument" above, "thug" is absolutely a word that could be used to describe them. And, mostly, the entries involve people asking, "Why wasn't/isn't the word used?"


As I mentioned, the liberal hand-waving has vastly swamped the normal use of the word in recent times. But discussion of the word is different. One shouldn't confuse the meta-discussion with the normal use itself.

You have stuff like Fox News calling out the bikers explicitly as thugs, and last I checked, Fox was 'murrican, conservative, and *sigh* a news site. http://video.foxnews.com/v/424351286800 ... 3512868001

But that's also informed by the meta-discussion. To avoid having your data contaminated by the argument over the word itself, you kind of have to look at events before it suddenly became a political hot potato.

But useless without a comparison. Let's try "Thug Trayvon Martin" (and remember, the only thing remotely "criminal" they found in Trayvon's history was a school suspension):


And, yknow, the incident involved punching Zimmerman in the head. Assault, per the court.

The fact that some articles labeled Zimmerman as the thug is what you would expect to find, because there was some dispute over who was the aggressor, and it would be entirely normal to characterize the aggressor as a thug.

Your argument that, "The history of the word informs it's current usage," is irrelevant in the face of its demonstrated use now; that historic meaning might be tangential, but that's all.


Nonsense. It's used to refer to white folks all the time. And folks of other colors, because life ain't just black and white. I've given a few examples already. The use by conservatives in reference to the federal government since Waco is particularly notable.

Yes, it's true that the media engages in more hand-wringing when reporting on certain topics. This is far, far broader than the use of a single term. It's probably most notable when looking at kidnapping. There seems to be one helluva bias towards reporting on white girls.

KnightExemplar wrote:I honestly don't know of any "white" gangs. I guess the Mafia? Or the Irish Mob? But I don't really have any experience with either them (I think they're active in a different area of the country??). Have the Mafia or Mob done anything recently? And if so, has the media called them out as thugs?


"russian thug" as a search term should get you a ton of usage, as apparently that's the white-criminal steriotype of the hour. Irish or Italian in other eras, sure.

JudeMorrigan
Posts: 1264
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:26 pm UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby JudeMorrigan » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:28 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:It may or may not have come more into the public awareness in the last year, but this is not a new thing. See, for example, Limbaugh's "jokingly" stating that the NBA should rename itself the Thug Basketball Association back in 2004.


But you see, no one seemed to get annoyed at the use of the word "Thug" in that instance.

Wait? What? No. He even explicitly stated that he knew he'd probably get called racist for his statements.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:41 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:It may or may not have come more into the public awareness in the last year, but this is not a new thing. See, for example, Limbaugh's "jokingly" stating that the NBA should rename itself the Thug Basketball Association back in 2004.


But you see, no one seemed to get annoyed at the use of the word "Thug" in that instance.

Wait? What? No. He even explicitly stated that he knew he'd probably get called racist for his statements.


Yeah, that's more of "Limbaugh's an asshole". It's perjorative in the sense of calling someone violent and criminal. 2004, now, etc. If you're using an insult with the implication of it applying to a certain race, you're being racist. Regardless of term. I don't think that was a commonly accepted thing to do, Limbaugh is just a giant troll for attention.

Trebla
Posts: 387
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:51 pm UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Trebla » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:20 pm UTC

Unrelated to its current use... the term (probably? I can't back this up with peer-reviewed research) rose to popularity in no small part thanks to Tupac Shakur and his glorification of Thug Life. At the time (and this is fuzzy memories of high school), it was a term of "respect," particularly amongst youth (black and otherwise). It carried all the positives and none of the negatives.

This does draw parallel to MANY other terms for underprivileged classes that were positive terms and became negative terms as people used them negatively (the term "retarded" comes immediately to mind as the preferred term until the past few decades when it came to be seen as a pejorative). And even if the vast majority of people use the term "thug" with no racial motivation, it only takes a handful to taint it for everyone else and turn it into a slur.

User avatar
Coyne
Posts: 1100
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:07 am UTC
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Coyne » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:50 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:But you see, no one seemed to get annoyed at the use of the word "Thug" in that instance. The politics of "Thug" is more recent, and I can't seem to find any public disdain of the word before the Baltimore Councilman criticized Obama during the 2015 Baltimore Riots.

As far as I'm concerned, "Thug" is a word you call a gang-member. Bloods and Crips are predominantly African-American Gangs. It is what it is. MS13 IIRC is Latino / Hispanic / Mexican or something (sorry my Gang knowledge isn't too good). The only gangs I'm personally familiar with are Bloods, Crips and MS-13. (You don't really "choose" your drug dealers at your local high school yo. I just know my local gangs... at least from years ago when I was in High School...)


The usage under discussion is more recent. As noted by @TheAmazingRando, it is the Trayvon Martin case that first brought it to my attention. (Especially since I live about 12 miles from where it happened.)

That case is also an exemplar for another reason: Use of the word in Martin's case was absolutely unwarranted. The only evidence of wrongdoing presented by those who argued he was a thug boiled down to these points: (1) he wore a hoodie; (2) he was 6'2" and huge, which was untrue as he was actually 5'11" and rather skinny; (3) he was suspended from school on the grounds of possession of marijuana--like, who doesn't possess marijuanathese days. On the other side, the points actually relevant to the application of the term thug were: (1) He had no criminal record, even as a juvenile; (2) he carried no gun; (3) he was not known to associate with any gang.

How do you take those points and come up with "thug"? And not just as speculation, but as a determined, loudly shouted, smear?


KnightExemplar wrote:I honestly don't know of any "white" gangs. I guess the Mafia? Or the Irish Mob? But I don't really have any experience with either them (I think they're active in a different area of the country??). Have the Mafia or Mob done anything recently? And if so, has the media called them out as thugs?


Wikipedia - List of gangs in the United States - White/other

And a search for "thug mafia" produces only two news hits in the first five pages of Google links...both in foreign newspapers. So evidently, the mafia are not called thugs in this country. Salon offers an interesting reference to "Amish Mafia" / "Amish Thugs", though...which seems like total lunacy.

KnightExemplar wrote:IMO, the issue is that the Bloods and the Crips were trying to demonstrate that they were peaceful during the Baltimore riots. So when the President / Mayor called the rioters "Thugs", the Bloods and Crips got annoyed. The Bloods / Crips members then turned it into a racial issue... which is understandable if you think about the politics involved. But really, it isn't a racial issue. Its a PR issue. Bloods and Crips don't exactly have a good relationship with the media. It will take longer than just one peaceful protest (that was associated with rioting, looting, and arson) if they want to change their public image. And that's still assuming that we can take the Blood leaders and Crips leaders at their word and assume that their members were fully peaceful during the Baltimore riots. (Knowing your typical Gang-member lackey, they have issues following orders. Even if Bloods / Crips leaders were trying to stage a peaceful protest, I'd bet you the lower ranking members would have looted the stores on their own volition anyway).


The concern isn't about that: It is about immediate and unwarranted (without evidence, in many cases) application of the word to people or groups who are black, while the term seems to be avoided with respect to whites. Perhaps a better way to put that is: The term is unacceptable for anyone who is not black. (During my searches, I noted an interesting charge by officer Blow, that this is due to the use of "thug" by rappers. Seems like reaching, though. CNN’s ex-cop defends not calling white bikers ‘thugs': ‘This thing started with the black community’)

The Bloods and the Crips might have raised a pretense of peacefulness, but many of their past activities have established that the term "thugs" applies to both gangs. So fine, use it. But then we have a gang of bikers--a confirmed gang of bikers--who stage what amounts to a gang war shootout...and all the media avoids the use of the word. So blatantly that, where it is brought up at all, it is in the form of, "Why is no one using this word?" And there's the officer who defends the practice...

I can't even find a case of an officer involved shooting of a white man that uses the word thug, but I have no problem with black men: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Christopher Dorner, Michael Brown, 12-year-old Tamir Rice, and John Crawford III; just for a short list. All described almost instantly--especially in conservative news--as thugs or wannabe thugs. That might have been warranted in the case of Garner or Dorner, but how do we arrive at that for Martin, Brown and Rice? Even Renisha McBride, the girl who was shot on the front porch while seeking help, was described as "involved in the 'drugging and thugging' culture" and as a "thug-ette low-life".

I don't have a problem with the word, I have a problem with how some people are using it.
In all fairness...

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:50 pm UTC

Coyne wrote:That case is also an exemplar for another reason: Use of the word in Martin's case was absolutely unwarranted. The only evidence of wrongdoing presented by those who argued he was a thug boiled down to these points: (1) he wore a hoodie; (2) he was 6'2" and huge, which was untrue as he was actually 5'11" and rather skinny; (3) he was suspended from school on the grounds of possession of marijuana--like, who doesn't possess marijuanathese days. On the other side, the points actually relevant to the application of the term thug were: (1) He had no criminal record, even as a juvenile; (2) he carried no gun; (3) he was not known to associate with any gang.

How do you take those points and come up with "thug"? And not just as speculation, but as a determined, loudly shouted, smear?


Uh, no. None of that. It was primarily because of the alleged assault on Zimmerman. Yknow, that bit that was sort of central to the actual court case.

As for the certainty, well, certainty is very easy for people to come by when accusing others. That's not even weird.

And a search for "thug mafia" produces only two news hits in the first five pages of Google links...both in foreign newspapers. So evidently, the mafia are not called thugs in this country. Salon offers an interesting reference to "Amish Mafia" / "Amish Thugs", though...which seems like total lunacy.


Mafia are kind of glorified, etc nowadays. Seen as gentlemen crooks, as opposed to thugs, which is more of a street crime thing. One doesn't call someone who steals millions via fraud a thug. Or a thief, probably. You call him "sir". But someone steals a hundred bucks from a register, terms like thief or thug are used.

Probably because the former is kind of distant to most folks lives.

The Bloods and the Crips might have raised a pretense of peacefulness, but many of their past activities have established that the term "thugs" applies to both gangs. So fine, use it. But then we have a gang of bikers--a confirmed gang of bikers--who stage what amounts to a gang war shootout...and all the media avoids the use of the word. So blatantly that, where it is brought up at all, it is in the form of, "Why is no one using this word?" And there's the officer who defends the practice...


The bikers are thugs. I've already posted a link to them being called that on this very page. By Fox news. The "Why is no one using this word" is all the reactionary stuff that's coming up simply because this is the current moral panic.

I can't even find a case of an officer involved shooting of a white man that uses the word thug, but I have no problem with black men: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Christopher Dorner, Michael Brown, 12-year-old Tamir Rice, and John Crawford III; just for a short list. All described almost instantly--especially in conservative news--as thugs or wannabe thugs. That might have been warranted in the case of Garner or Dorner, but how do we arrive at that for Martin, Brown and Rice? Even Renisha McBride, the girl who was shot on the front porch while seeking help, was described as "involved in the 'drugging and thugging' culture" and as a "thug-ette low-life".

I don't have a problem with the word, I have a problem with how some people are using it.


Yes, some sources ARE much more liable to jump to the defense of police. Or to maybe blame victims over-fast if they're of one color. We already know this. This isn't at all limited to the use of this word, though.

As an aside, "Thug-ette" just seems wierd. Like, that's not a real word. I don't think the word needs to be gendered, or that thug-ette is even a word that seems use. See also, Ronda Rousey being referred to as a "thug" not a "thugette".

User avatar
Angua
Don't call her Delphine.
Posts: 5927
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:42 pm UTC
Location: UK/[St. Kitts and] Nevis Occasionally, I migrate to the US for a bit

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Angua » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:13 pm UTC

I'd say the mafia and mob would definitely count as a gang. I mean, it's kind of typical of the problem that we've got a different word for the black/latino equivalent.
Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10192
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby addams » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:00 pm UTC

Is 'Asshole' still a color blind description of the behavior of the individual or is it reserved for whites only?

Just asking.
I want to get my pejoratives right.

Gee.
Until this discussion, I thought 'Thug' was the word for a 'Bully' that had graduated to physical violence.
A 'Thug' was a person, usually male, that was the aggressor; Often forming groups.

Black Booted or Jack Booted?
It's hard to keep up.

Huh? Seems to be Jack.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackboot
For added confusion, most Jack Boots are also Black Boots.

Many US Police, in my mind, are 'Thugs' and are not to be trusted.
Some of them are back some are other colors.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

Trebla
Posts: 387
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:51 pm UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Trebla » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:00 pm UTC

Angua wrote:I'd say the mafia and mob would definitely count as a gang. I mean, it's kind of typical of the problem that we've got a different word for the black/latino equivalent.


Isn't the "Mafia" the name of a specific gang (which eventually came to be a generic term for any "organized crime gang")? Similar to how the Crips and Bloods are names of specific gangs? What's the different word for the black/latino equivalent?

User avatar
Angua
Don't call her Delphine.
Posts: 5927
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:42 pm UTC
Location: UK/[St. Kitts and] Nevis Occasionally, I migrate to the US for a bit

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Angua » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:14 pm UTC

Gang.

You still get things described as 'x nationality mafia' where x is often a european thing. I've never heard of a black gang being described as anything other than a gang, and I too can't think of any other 'gangs' that are predominantly white.
Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

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

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby leady » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:11 pm UTC

Latinos also have cartels :)

User avatar
Diadem
Posts: 5654
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:03 am UTC
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Diadem » Tue Jun 16, 2015 10:49 pm UTC

I don't think mafia and gang are the same thing. To my ears at least, mafia implies a highly organized underground organization with very strong ties to the above ground world, in the form of legitimate business owners paying 'protection money', police / politicians who are on their payroll and large legal businesses to launder money or give an air of legitimacy to operations.

Basically a mafia is what you get if a gang reaches a certain power level and status. Mafias often behave like states in the state, even to the point of handing out welfare.
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
- Bernard Woolley in Yes, Prime Minister

User avatar
TheAmazingRando
Posts: 2308
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:58 am UTC
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby TheAmazingRando » Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:33 am UTC

Maybe I've just watched The Wire too many times but I associate that stuff with gangs as well once they get big enough.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:09 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Basically a mafia is what you get if a gang reaches a certain power level and status. Mafias often behave like states in the state, even to the point of handing out welfare.
Might be a cultural thing then - I associate the term 'mafia', 'yakuza', and 'cartel' to be roughly the same. They are indications of criminal status and respectability.

Naturally, no matter how large or organized the Bloods or the Crips or Latin Kings get, they will never be afforded the same category of respect at least the mafia or yakuza are afforded. Cartels in Mexico are at least as influential as the mafia or the yazuka (was or where), but 'El Padrino' would not have been nearly as successful.

The above is, in full disclosure, an opinion. Culturally, there are of course many films or wannabee 'cartel gangsters', but The Wire is a very different sort of story than The Godfather.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10192
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby addams » Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:52 am UTC

Angua wrote:Gang.

You still get things described as 'x nationality mafia' where x is often a european thing. I've never heard of a black gang being described as anything other than a gang, and I too can't think of any other 'gangs' that are predominantly white.

Motorcycle Gangs.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

User avatar
Coyne
Posts: 1100
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:07 am UTC
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Coyne » Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:34 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Uh, no. None of that. It was primarily because of the alleged assault on Zimmerman. Yknow, that bit that was sort of central to the actual court case.


You mean, the assault that Zimmerman alleged: there was no other source. So who made Zimmerman the authoritative source, so that his word would be taken explicitly from the beginning. And why does the same thing happen over and over?

Tyndmyr wrote:As an aside, "Thug-ette" just seems wierd. Like, that's not a real word. I don't think the word needs to be gendered, or that thug-ette is even a word that seems use. See also, Ronda Rousey being referred to as a "thug" not a "thugette".


I suppose some people are discomfited by presumed gender of the word in statements such as, "Renisha McBride was a thug," or, "...the thug Renisha McBride."
In all fairness...

User avatar
Diadem
Posts: 5654
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:03 am UTC
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Diadem » Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:45 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Diadem wrote:Basically a mafia is what you get if a gang reaches a certain power level and status. Mafias often behave like states in the state, even to the point of handing out welfare.
Might be a cultural thing then - I associate the term 'mafia', 'yakuza', and 'cartel' to be roughly the same. They are indications of criminal status and respectability.

I'd say yes for mafia and yakuza. Yakuza is just the Japanese word for mafia. But cartel is something else again. A cartel is a group of businesses coming together to make agreements about prices or market or whatever. A drug cartel is thus a group of criminals making agreements about drug prices and who controls sales in which city, etc. Same for other types of cartels.

Again, that's all how I'd use the word, and I could be entirely wrong. But I'd say that comparing gangs / mafia to cartels a cartel has a much narrower focus in range of activities, and much less strong ties between members.
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
- Bernard Woolley in Yes, Prime Minister

User avatar
Angua
Don't call her Delphine.
Posts: 5927
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:42 pm UTC
Location: UK/[St. Kitts and] Nevis Occasionally, I migrate to the US for a bit

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Angua » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:01 am UTC

Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
GNU Terry Pratchett

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

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby leady » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:58 am UTC

I think there is a conceptual difference between the different categories which is dictated by the power of their upper echelons and their current and historic criminal actions.

"gangs" are largely made up of street soldiers performing largely street level dealing and other activities
"mafias" are largely protection and racketeering operation at least historically, with a strong feudal like structure
"cartels" are production and distribution monopolies

hence the usages e.g. The Italian mob will use Irish gangs for muscle etc

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:17 pm UTC

Coyne wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Uh, no. None of that. It was primarily because of the alleged assault on Zimmerman. Yknow, that bit that was sort of central to the actual court case.


You mean, the assault that Zimmerman alleged: there was no other source. So who made Zimmerman the authoritative source, so that his word would be taken explicitly from the beginning. And why does the same thing happen over and over?


Physical evidence and some witness account corroborated this account.

Look, I'm all for calling out police where it's fair, but...this really isn't that. Zimmerman wasn't a cop, for one. So, it's sort of a different situation entirely.

Tyndmyr wrote:As an aside, "Thug-ette" just seems wierd. Like, that's not a real word. I don't think the word needs to be gendered, or that thug-ette is even a word that seems use. See also, Ronda Rousey being referred to as a "thug" not a "thugette".


I suppose some people are discomfited by presumed gender of the word in statements such as, "Renisha McBride was a thug," or, "...the thug Renisha McBride."


Violent terms often have something of a male gender because of well, demographic tendencies. But I don't think that's something that really needs to be the case. The meaning conveyed is clear and accurate without making a female-specific term, I think.

Agreed that there are differences in connotation for gangs, mafia, cartels, etc. "Diamond cartel" is a fairly normal way to refer to debeers, etc, for instance, whereas gang is not at all a substitute for that.

User avatar
Izawwlgood
WINNING
Posts: 18686
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:55 pm UTC
Location: There may be lovelier lovelies...

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:23 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:I'd say yes for mafia and yakuza. Yakuza is just the Japanese word for mafia. But cartel is something else again. A cartel is a group of businesses coming together to make agreements about prices or market or whatever. A drug cartel is thus a group of criminals making agreements about drug prices and who controls sales in which city, etc. Same for other types of cartels.

Again, that's all how I'd use the word, and I could be entirely wrong. But I'd say that comparing gangs / mafia to cartels a cartel has a much narrower focus in range of activities, and much less strong ties between members.
And I think this is cultural differences showing - The Italian Mafia, the Russian Mafia, the Irish Mob, the Japanese Yakuza, the Chinese Triads, Mexican Cartels, and the various black or hispanic 'gangs' (Bloods, Crips, LA Kings, etc) are all basically the same in my mind, different only in history, location, and size. They're organized crime organizations that get up to pretty similar habits - illicit trafficking, utilization of violence, etc.

The difference is, I'd say, is the way the media portrays them, and to repeat myself, my opinion is that white organized crime is somewhat idealized/idolized maybe even respected and admired, while the darker the skin of the other organized crime families/organizations, the less you see that. There's some wiggle there - for example, Mexican cartels are often portrayed in Hollywood quite similarly as the Italian Mafia is, headed by older, distinguished, respectable gentlemen. But as I said, the Wire is a very different 'crime family' story than The Godfather.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 11443
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:34 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Diadem wrote:I'd say yes for mafia and yakuza. Yakuza is just the Japanese word for mafia. But cartel is something else again. A cartel is a group of businesses coming together to make agreements about prices or market or whatever. A drug cartel is thus a group of criminals making agreements about drug prices and who controls sales in which city, etc. Same for other types of cartels.

Again, that's all how I'd use the word, and I could be entirely wrong. But I'd say that comparing gangs / mafia to cartels a cartel has a much narrower focus in range of activities, and much less strong ties between members.
And I think this is cultural differences showing - The Italian Mafia, the Russian Mafia, the Irish Mob, the Japanese Yakuza, the Chinese Triads, Mexican Cartels, and the various black or hispanic 'gangs' (Bloods, Crips, LA Kings, etc) are all basically the same in my mind, different only in history, location, and size. They're organized crime organizations that get up to pretty similar habits - illicit trafficking, utilization of violence, etc.

The difference is, I'd say, is the way the media portrays them, and to repeat myself, my opinion is that white organized crime is somewhat idealized/idolized maybe even respected and admired, while the darker the skin of the other organized crime families/organizations, the less you see that. There's some wiggle there - for example, Mexican cartels are often portrayed in Hollywood quite similarly as the Italian Mafia is, headed by older, distinguished, respectable gentlemen. But as I said, the Wire is a very different 'crime family' story than The Godfather.


It definitely is. It's also easier to romanticize the past. Bootleggers in prohibition? Sure, I'll watch movies portraying them as awesome. In historical fact, they probably had their fair share of violence, terribleness, etc, but that's quite removed from my life.

Breaking Bad is probably an exception here, but that's maybe not so much glorification. It's a pretty horrifying look at contemorary crime, really.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26727
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:17 pm UTC

No, Zimmerman isn't a cop. But he is nevertheless a criminal thug, as he has demonstrated with every arrest he's had since murdering Martin.

But we're supposed to take his word that Martin assaulted him unprovoked?
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10485
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:09 pm UTC

He was a "whacker"; the guys that look in the mirror and see Mr Fire-cop SEAL, esquire. The kind of person you don't want on the force, because Hollywood lied to you and the action movie heroes would end up causing more harm than good. There's a REASON the police chief wants you to play by the book, and it's not because he's playing CYA. But criminal thug? No, that's not what he is.

The whole thing was screwed up. The best case scenario within reason was that Zimmers harassed Martin, Martin runs away, Zimmers chases Martin but can't find him, and way back to the truck Martin comes back, Martin starts throwing punches, Zimmers is on ground, Zimmers shoots Martin. That's the best within reason. The whole point of ACTUAL cops with shiny badges is so that people know that the guy chasing them is a cop not a mugger. In that case, Zimmers was guilty of at least reckless endangerment; had Martin shot Zimmers during the initial chase he would have been justified in claiming self defense (but unlikely to get off, because fuck Florida). Zimmers probably committed 2nd degree murder, but not beyond a reasonable doubt. But the prosecution screwed up.

Afterwards he apparently kept getting in fights with his girlfriend only for the charges to constantly be dropped. Anyone know the story behind that sort of thing? I mean what does that usually mean.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26727
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:50 pm UTC

It means he's an abusive fuckhead. What do you think it means?
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10485
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:10 pm UTC

A guy has a girlfriend that has called the cops on him several times including one time where he "threatened her" with a gun that wasn't there, but then refuses to press charges. What does that usually say about the situation? It's possible that SHE is the abusive fuckhead, but it could be they both are. You have to wonder why neither of them broke up.

dg61
Posts: 285
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:30 am UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby dg61 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:33 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:It means he's an abusive fuckhead. What do you think it means?


He's an abusive fuckwad taking advantage of cultural pressures against leaving relationships and who probably has friends on the squad covering for him? And as it is abuse/DV is notoriously hard to prosecute.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26727
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:50 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:A guy has a girlfriend that has called the cops on him several times including one time where he "threatened her" with a gun that wasn't there, but then refuses to press charges. What does that usually say about the situation? It's possible that SHE is the abusive fuckhead, but it could be they both are. You have to wonder why neither of them broke up.

dg61 wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:It means he's an abusive fuckhead. What do you think it means?


He's an abusive fuckwad taking advantage of cultural pressures against leaving relationships and who probably has friends on the squad covering for him? And as it is abuse/DV is notoriously hard to prosecute.


No, I don't have to wonder why neither of them broke up. Abusive relationships continue past the first time the cops are called all the time, and it doesn't mean there's actually no abuse or that the victim is really the abusive one, as much as abusers often try to spin it that way.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

morriswalters
Posts: 7073
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:27 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:But we're supposed to take his word that Martin assaulted him unprovoked?
The body is buried and Zimmerman is out of reach. It doesn't matter what anybody thinks about that. However abusive dickhead doesn't seem to be over the top. He knows how to feed the journalistic beast.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26727
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:42 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:But we're supposed to take his word that Martin assaulted him unprovoked?
The body is buried and Zimmerman is out of reach. It doesn't matter what anybody thinks about that.
What?

It doesn't matter what anybody thinks about something unless they can directly affect that precise thing?
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

Cradarc
Posts: 455
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2014 11:30 pm UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Cradarc » Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:59 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:It doesn't matter what anybody thinks about something unless they can directly affect that precise thing?

I think the point is the trial is over. Zimmerman can no longer be trialed for the Martin incident simply because you disagree with verdict. If you can't provide crucial evidence/testimony that was ignored in the trial, it just sounds like you're pissed about the verdict.

Also, I like how this thread has gone from a discussion about fixing police brutality into people lamenting about racism and how horrible law enforcement officers are. Because getting your anger affirmed by people online is really helpful to resolving social issues.
This is a block of text that can be added to posts you make. There is a 300 character limit.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26727
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:15 am UTC

Cradarc wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:It doesn't matter what anybody thinks about something unless they can directly affect that precise thing?

I think the point is the trial is over. Zimmerman can no longer be trialed for the Martin incident simply because you disagree with verdict. If you can't provide crucial evidence/testimony that was ignored in the trial, it just sounds like you're pissed about the verdict.

Also, I like how this thread has gone from a discussion about fixing police brutality into people lamenting about racism and how horrible law enforcement officers are. Because getting your anger affirmed by people online is really helpful to resolving social issues.
Says the person who's posted like a dozen SB threads to ask the same boring useless ethical dilemmas.

Yes, I am pissed about the Zimmerman verdict, but there's no "just" about it. The man got away with murder and that pisses me off. Whether or not you agree that Zimmerman in particular should have been convicted, I've got to believe even you aren't happy with the idea of people getting away with murder, are you?
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 10485
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:35 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Cradarc wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:It doesn't matter what anybody thinks about something unless they can directly affect that precise thing?

I think the point is the trial is over. Zimmerman can no longer be trialed for the Martin incident simply because you disagree with verdict. If you can't provide crucial evidence/testimony that was ignored in the trial, it just sounds like you're pissed about the verdict.

Also, I like how this thread has gone from a discussion about fixing police brutality into people lamenting about racism and how horrible law enforcement officers are. Because getting your anger affirmed by people online is really helpful to resolving social issues.
Says the person who's posted like a dozen SB threads to ask the same boring useless ethical dilemmas.

Yes, I am pissed about the Zimmerman verdict, but there's no "just" about it. The man got away with murder and that pisses me off. Whether or not you agree that Zimmerman in particular should have been convicted, I've got to believe even you aren't happy with the idea of people getting away with murder, are you?


No, but neither am I happy with innocent people not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt going to jail. 9 times out of 10, in the Martin/Zimmerman case it would turn out that Zimmerman had murdered Martin, and 1 time out of 10 it was self defense. But if you honestly believe that it's better to let 99 criminals go free than jail 1 innocent person, that means that when someone has a 90% chance of being not guilty you'd rather let him go free.

User avatar
TheAmazingRando
Posts: 2308
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:58 am UTC
Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby TheAmazingRando » Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:44 am UTC

Cradarc wrote:If you can't provide crucial evidence/testimony that was ignored in the trial, it just sounds like you're pissed about the verdict.


Yes, and? Disagreeing with verdicts you find unjust in a state with a bullshit justice system is a totally reasonable thing to do. I'm not calling for the cops to knock down his door but I'll go on the record saying he's a shithead who probably got away with murder because his racist power tripping got him into trouble.

My opinions and frustrations aren't governed by the standard of proof necessary for incarceration. Reasonable doubt is a good thing for government intervention but it doesn't necessarily mean justice was served or that I should feel satisfied by the result.

For an extreme example, imagine you witnessed a family member being killed but your testimony isn't sufficient to get the perpetrator convicted. You aren't gonna feel good about the result even if you know it was legally defensible. The law is more stringent than opinion essentially by definition, but that doesn't invalidate opinion.

User avatar
Lazar
Landed Gentry
Posts: 2151
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:49 pm UTC
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Lazar » Thu Jun 18, 2015 3:09 am UTC

For convenience sake I've been updating this post with recent stories of police abuse as I encounter them, but I'd really like to point out this one, about how an exemplary young Baltimore cop was hounded by his colleagues to the point of resignation – and even denied employment by other urban police departments – after reporting a criminal beating by two fellow officers. It's by no means the most brutal case I've come across, but I can't think of another story that so totally demolishes the idea of a basically good force unduly tarnished by a few bad apples. It's a bad branch, it's a bad tree, it's a bad orchard. Truly good cops – those willing to stand up for human decency and see their careers wrecked because of it – seem to be truly rare in this country, and it's disgusting.
Exit the vampires' castle.

icanus
Posts: 478
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:19 pm UTC
Location: in England now abed

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby icanus » Thu Jun 18, 2015 4:03 am UTC

Lazar wrote:I can't think of another story that so totally demolishes the idea of a basically good force unduly tarnished by a few bad apples. It's a bad branch, it's a bad tree, it's a bad orchard.

The thing about the bad apple analogy that people always seem to miss is that actual rotten apples give off a vapour that accellerates the decay of other apples and actively turns them bad too. It's a really good analogy for police forces if you remember that part.

User avatar
addams
Posts: 10192
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Oregon Coast: 97444

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby addams » Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:34 am UTC

icanus wrote:
Lazar wrote:I can't think of another story that so totally demolishes the idea of a basically good force unduly tarnished by a few bad apples. It's a bad branch, it's a bad tree, it's a bad orchard.

The thing about the bad apple analogy that people always seem to miss is that actual rotten apples give off a vapour that accellerates the decay of other apples and actively turns them bad too. It's a really good analogy for police forces if you remember that part.

I think, Lazar was making the point the barrel is full of rotten apples.
In that environment, a good apple is quickly destroyed.

Good apples exist.
If they survive long, the become very careful apples.
Most rot to conform. Some rot slower than others.

I know there are good individuals.
I know there are good departments.
The good are a rare and delightful discovery.

I've had interactions with what seemed to be good guys doing their jobs well.
Even for me, that has become a somewhat rare event. Not to be counted on.

When they act and react like raging Assholes.
No one is surprised.

Frightened. Yes.
Surprised. No.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

morriswalters
Posts: 7073
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:34 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
morriswalters wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:But we're supposed to take his word that Martin assaulted him unprovoked?
The body is buried and Zimmerman is out of reach. It doesn't matter what anybody thinks about that.
What?

It doesn't matter what anybody thinks about something unless they can directly affect that precise thing?
Not in terms of changing the outcome. All you have is your opinion of what happened. If he had been a cop it might be additional evidence showing that policing is currently broken. He probably got away with murder. His current activities support your assertion of dickheadedness. And that is about it to anything meaningful.

If you want an example of what I mean, a man where I lived killed a young women after sexually torturing her. His accomplice gave him up. The jury chose to acquit. The judge was so ashamed that he apologized to the woman's family. Later during a renovation at his former home photographs were found that showed the whole sickening mess. He was tried for lying to a Grand Jury. Confessed during that trial to the murder. Served his time for lying to the Grand Jury and was released after serving his sentence. He served no time for the murder and died at home after a fall at the ripe old age of 70. That is what I mean by no difference. However you are free to do as you wish, I was merely editorializing.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26727
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:06 pm UTC

I'm well aware that nothing I do can change the past, but talking about how people fucked up in the past can inform what people do in the future, which is pretty much the entire point of this entire thread.

Or was your problem that people sometimes get "emotional" about past events?
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

morriswalters
Posts: 7073
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:37 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:I'm well aware that nothing I do can change the past, but talking about how people fucked up in the past can inform what people do in the future, which is pretty much the entire point of this entire thread.

Or was your problem that people sometimes get "emotional" about past events?
I don't have a "problem" with it, I simply noted the lack of utility, and stated an opinion. And it has little or nothing to do with this thread, he wasn't a cop. Wannabees don't count.


Return to “News & Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: iamspen and 13 guests