Police misbehavior thread

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Ginger
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Ginger » Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:39 am UTC

Two cases of police misconduct: When they were searching me for weapons they literally grabbed my hair and shook me like a rag doll in a public room. They said it was to control suspects. Then when some guy just called and said some mysterious person that didn't exist was threatening him with a gun the cops came to a mental health recovery facility WITH THEIR GUNS DRAWN.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Coyne » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:18 am UTC

sardia wrote:You can't charge A with murder because (at least I hope it works this way) you're not supposed to assume police are murderbots. A gets charged with false police report, and the cop gets charged with one of the murder charges. I'm guessing the cop wanted to save everybody the trouble of due process, and gave out the death penalty right then.


I think any reasonable person would know (should know) that there was a risk of someone being shot as a result of a swatting. (Especially given previous events.) That makes the call reckless, and since someone died as a result of that recklessness, it would seem to me to qualify to be manslaughter.

Even if the police were charged, I think it would still apply.
In all fairness...

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby New User » Mon Jan 01, 2018 8:10 am UTC

Looks like they've made an arrest of a suspect who they say called in the swat team. News reports say he made false 911 call, saying there was a hostage situation with an armed and dangerous suspect. In this case, I don't consider the police to have misbehaved. The reports say that, when they arrived at the scene, the man at the home (not the prankster who called the police) had his hands up but then reached for his waistband. The police shot him dead. It's terrible that this kind of thing happens, but I don't think blaming the police is a proper response. I wouldn't say they shot him "in cold blood" (quoting rivulatus) since they were responding to what they believed to be a highly volatile situation with an armed suspect.

http://abc7.com/la-man-arrested-in-connection-to-fatal-kansas-swatting-incident/2840369/
https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/30/574789231/police-arrest-suspect-in-fatal-swatting-prank

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:04 am UTC

New User wrote:The reports say that, when they arrived at the scene, the man at the home (not the prankster who called the police) had his hands up but then reached for his waistband.
If all it takes for me to get someone killed is to call the police on them -- claim they have a gun and it's a hostage situation -- and then for the person I called them on to make one false move -- then we have a serious fucking problem. How is it that the rest of the world's police forces manage to navigate these situations without murdering unarmed suspects? Do the laws of physics just warp around the United States?

Look, maybe the problem here isn't just that someone used SWAT as a murder weapon. Maybe the problem is *also* that SWAT can be used as a murder weapon. Maybe the prevalence of SWAT, its deployment in response to the slightest provocation, and its very existence as a policing tool is the actual problem.

I'm sure this guy's going to get punished severely. I'm also sure the police who murdered an innocent person will blame it all on him. Much easier than confronting the reality: A militarized force with assault rifles and body armor barged into a house on the basis of one fucking phone call and then shot an unarmed man dead the moment he responded with anything less than instant and absolute compliance.

I mean hell, he probably was compliant. When it comes to excuses, "he was reaching for something" is the equivalent of "the dog ate my homework".

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby New User » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:35 am UTC

I agree. That's what I meant by saying it's terrible that this kind of thing happens. Other countries don't have gun violence everywhere like the United States. The laws are warped in the United States because guns are everywhere, and the police and everybody else has to be extremely cautious due to that ever present threat. That's why the police force is militarized and hyper-vigilant. You're right in that this situation is a result of that militarization and hyper-vigilance, but I don't think we should blame the police officers who are out there doing their best to protect everyone.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:43 am UTC

New User wrote:I agree. That's what I meant by saying it's terrible that this kind of thing happens. Other countries don't have gun violence everywhere like the United States. The laws are warped in the United States because guns are everywhere, and the police and everybody else has to be extremely cautious due to that ever present threat. That's why the police force is militarized and hyper-vigilant. You're right in that this situation is a result of that militarization and hyper-vigilance, but I don't think we should blame the police officers who are out there doing their best to protect everyone.
Oh, pardon; I thought you were saying otherwise -- though I'm confused as to who we should blame if not the police officers. I mean, there's plenty of blame to go around -- a media that uses hyperbole to escalate a non-existent war between 'criminals' and 'law-enforcement' -- a political atmosphere that treats any and all criminal activity with the severity of committing war-crimes -- a culture of police training that treats cities as demilitarized zones, and officers as soldiers rather than civil servants...

...but at the end of the day, the problem is that police are shooting unarmed people. There's a lot of reasons why that's happening, but you can't get around the fact that when we boil it all down, what's going on is a cop is pointing a gun at an unarmed person and pulling the trigger -- again, and again, and again, and again, and again...

Whether this is because of social pressures -- bad training -- cultural indoctrination -- I don't know. But I do know that this problem would go away if police would just stop pulling the trigger.

At the very least, I think every officer who shoots an unarmed person ought to be prosecuted. Maybe there's a few fringe cases where it's an understandable, tragic mistake -- but we're being told that's the case 99 out of 100 times. I'm not buying it.

Start sending police to jail until they figure out how to stop.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby New User » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:12 am UTC

It's certainly a dreary cultural situation. Just now I am seeing a headline of an armed man in Colorado who ambushed and killed one police officer and two civilians. I doubt police are shooting unarmed civilians any more than can be expected in the situations they find themselves in. It just seems to you that it happens too much because you hear about it so much. If this SWAT response was for a real incident, if that single phone call was genuine and the police responded to a hostage situation and killed the armed psychopath and rescued his family, then we wouldn't be here talking about it. We probably wouldn't even have heard about it. I have no data to back this up, but I'm certain that police forces around the United States respond daily to dangerous situations based on one single phone call, and they successfully defuse the situation and protect the public. Sometimes they have to use their guns to protect themselves and other people. Sometimes they have to kill. They have to make split-second decisions based on rigorous training. They have to be vigilant at all times, lest they end up like those officers in Colorado. They have an extremely stressful job that I don't envy. Sometimes they make mistakes, since they are humans. Sometimes the situation has a dreadful ending, even though they followed their established protocols and made the best decisions available based on the information they had available. I don't think it's good that officers kill unarmed people, certainly not. It's truly awful. But I can't imagine it any other way, based on the level of violence in the US. Sure, there are some stories of police officers who clearly abuse their authority, and stories of coverups, and other types of misbehavior. I just don't think this swatting incident looks like misbehavior. It looks like a tragic result of this dreary cultural situation we live in.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Ginger » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:53 am UTC

I think the poster (LOL I originally said "Poser" but changed it out of pure respect) above is an unrepentant police apologist. Police have always-always been mean to me, they interrogate you harshly with threats and then shake you like a rag doll by the hair when they search you. Police are brutal and aggressive and they're trained to be that way. To treat every criminal as a dire threat to their lives. I think they should go directly to jail every time they use their guns unnecessarily too. None of the apologist garbage about how we can Do Nothing to change their training OR society. Just mourn like starstruck idiots when they unnecessarily pull their guns and shoot to kill AGAIN.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:07 am UTC

New User wrote:I doubt police are shooting unarmed civilians any more than can be expected in the situations they find themselves in.
In 2015, the number of felonious deaths of police officers was 41. The number of people shot and killed by police was, by current estimates, approximately 1000. The number of people just flat-out killed by police (via any means) is significantly higher, but we'll focus on police shootings for now.

So, stop and think about those numbers for a second: In 2015, for every officer killed, 25 civilians were shot and killed.

That is not a 'dreary cultural situation'. That is wanton slaughter.

The problem is that their training emphasizes the aspects you describe: Constant vigilance against an enemy that doesn't exist. The vast majority of people -- criminals included -- don't want to shoot at police. Police treat them all as if they do. This is why an unarmed man is gunned down the moment he makes the slightest false move. This is why, in 2015 alone, 1000 people were gunned down.

I don't even care that the majority of those people might have been armed. There is no way you're going to get me to believe that 1000 people needed to be shot and killed to maintain peace and civility -- that these were all situations where lethal force was the only reasonable option. Especially
given the ridiculously low number of felonious police fatalities -- a number that has been steadily decreasing ever since we started recording it, by the way.
New User wrote:They have an extremely stressful job that I don't envy.
That is absolutely true, and I also don't envy them. And yet, somehow, via a strange alchemical process we have yet to understand, emergency response personnel (EMTs, etc) manage to deal with these stressful situations every day without 1) murdering, or 2) being murdered.

Either we're training our EMTs to be wizards or we're training our police to be violent.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby New User » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:40 am UTC

You counted how many felonious police deaths occurred, but how many felonious police deaths were prevented? How many didn't occur because the police did their job properly? If the number of police fatalities has been decreasing, doesn't that tell us that police procedures are working to reduce police deaths? Again, if this call had been real, and the police shot down a psycho who was reaching for a weapon, lives could have been saved, and we probably wouldn't even be able to count how many, nor would we even be here talking about it.

How many felonious civilian deaths could have been prevented if police responded properly and in time?

You're making out as if police are card-carrying villains, quick to shoot unarmed people and laugh about it and high-five each other after the fact. As I said, there is no doubt that police misbehavior happens. I just don't think it's quite as widespread as you think it is. Also, I know police shoot unarmed people, and that's terribly tragic. But I think, in many cases, as in this swatting case we are discussing, it isn't a case of police gunning down an unarmed man "in cold blood", it's a case of police following procedure in the situation they found themselves in, making a life-or-death decision based on the information they had. Whoever pulled the trigger that day has to live with that for the rest of their life, knowing that they killed an innocent man because some punk abused the system and prank called 911. And that's what this situation stems from, abuse of the law enforcement system. Calling law enforcement officers cold-blooded killers and accusing them of wanton slaughter isn't helping.

As for EMTs who deal with violent situations all the time, don't EMTs typically go into violent situations after the police arrive and declare the situation safe? I could be wrong about this.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:20 pm UTC

New User wrote:You counted how many felonious police deaths occurred, but how many felonious police deaths were prevented? How many didn't occur because the police did their job properly? If the number of police fatalities has been decreasing, doesn't that tell us that police procedures are working to reduce police deaths? Again, if this call had been real, and the police shot down a psycho who was reaching for a weapon, lives could have been saved, and we probably wouldn't even be able to count how many, nor would we even be here talking about it.

How many felonious civilian deaths could have been prevented if police responded properly and in time?
I don't know -- but I refuse to believe that a thousand deaths per year is just the unavoidable price we must pay to maintain law and order. Particularly given how this number conflicts with the number of police deaths per year. We have two possible narratives, then:

  • Police officers are performing a grim but necessary service, shooting and killing a thousand people every year because the alternative is much, much worse. This results in a few tragedies, but ultimately, the result serves the greater good.
  • Police officers are conditioned early on to escalate situations rather than de-escalate them -- provided with military equipment which further reinforces the notion that they're at war with a criminal underclass -- and trained to treat every situation as an immediate threat to their life, resulting in an overwhelming abundance of firepower in response to even the most trivial of threats.

I mean, the first bullet point is the plot from Judge Dredd. I'm not even exaggerating, here; add in something about 'Mega-Cities' and you've got yourself a movie.
New User wrote:You're making out as if police are card-carrying villains, quick to shoot unarmed people and laugh about it and high-five each other after the fact.
No, I'm making it out as if police perceive themselves as a group struggling against a perceived threat of dangerous "psychopaths" armed with guns. This threat is reinforced by a media that treats every police death as a tragedy and every criminal death as an inevitability; a culture that enshrines police as heroes struggling against waves of violent criminality that would devour us all given the chance. It's given more credibility by our decision to supply these officers with military-grade equipment, and by political rhetoric that emphasizes the need for increased 'law and order' despite the fact that violent crime has been -- and continues to be -- decreasing. Even as poverty remains on the rise.

I don't think police 'high-five' each other after each person they shoot. I think they see it the way you do: What they're doing is terrible, but necessary. A few bad cops exist, but the majority are good. Sometimes, an unfortunate innocent person gets shot as a result of bad information -- tragic, but an unavoidable consequence of people abusing the system.

I think that they -- like you -- are wrong. They're killing people because they've been trained to perceive every situation as a threat, and further trained to treat non-compliance as threatening behavior. They aren't trained to de-escalate -- only to escalate.
New User wrote: As I said, there is no doubt that police misbehavior happens. I just don't think it's quite as widespread as you think it is. Also, I know police shoot unarmed people, and that's terribly tragic. But I think, in many cases, as in this swatting case we are discussing, it isn't a case of police gunning down an unarmed man "in cold blood", it's a case of police following procedure in the situation they found themselves in, making a life-or-death decision based on the information they had. Whoever pulled the trigger that day has to live with that for the rest of their life, knowing that they killed an innocent man because some punk abused the system and prank called 911. And that's what this situation stems from, abuse of the law enforcement system. Calling law enforcement officers cold-blooded killers and accusing them of wanton slaughter isn't helping.
'Cold-blooded' isn't a word I'd use. I'm also sure the person who shot this man will struggle with that for the rest of their life.

Just as I'm sure that the families of those 1000 people who were shot and killed by police in 2015 will also struggle with that for the rest of their lives.
New User wrote:As for EMTs who deal with violent situations all the time, don't EMTs typically go into violent situations after the police arrive and declare the situation safe? I could be wrong about this.
If you call for an ambulance, the EMTs don't wait for police to go in and determine whether there's a threat present.

I'm sure there's a procedure for protecting EMTs from situations where there's a known threat -- but I can assure you that EMTs walk into dangerous situations just as often as police do.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby natraj » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:48 pm UTC

yeah, no, there are many, many, many people who deal with dangerous situations involving unknown/unstable/erratic people as often or more than the police do and we don't expect & encourage them to murder the people they interact with. i have been an emt -- i don't work actively as one anymore, but i still provide medical care in a lot of volatile situations where people (either my patients or bystanders) are actively threatening me & those around me, and somehow manage to do so without aggressing at anyone. i still have MANY friends in the emergency medical field -- in fact i have just now been talking to my best friend (who is a paramedic) helping him decompress from his new year's eve shift, which is always a tumultuous horror for people in ems. he had a chaos of a night and was threatened with attack multiple times, once by an armed drunk person (with a knife) and once by an angry sober person (with a gun) and GUESS WHAT, he gave all his patients care without once even CONSIDERING killing any of them. in fact he and nobody else in ems i know has even once tried to kill any of our patients.

(if a call comes in that there is an actively violent circumstance like, that people have been injured in an active stabbing/shootout, sometimes police will get sent to secure the scene first. tbh we often hate this because police make everything worse and often lead to more patients for us like a call about a person in emotional crisis who has harmed literally nobody and then the police SHOOT THEM -- this has happened lots of times -- but that's tangential to newusers incorrect line of thinking -- more relevant is that there are many, many, many circumstances where calls come in that don't have a lot of information or aren't explicitly violent but turn out to be once we are there and somehow! we still! deal with them! sans murder!)

anyway i also know lots of people -- social workers who work with kids in abusive situations, people doing crisis intervention in domestic violence situations, Many People -- who go into extremely volatile and dangerous situations regularly with no expectation of a) police accompaniment or b) committing violence on their often violent clientele. somehow it's exclusively police that we excuse for this rather than expecting to learn some basic deescalation skills.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby New User » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:14 pm UTC

I agree that this is an issue that is with the whole policing system. This discussion started because I said I don't think the police officers responding to that swatting incident misbehaved, and that's still my opinion. The situation would have ended much better if the system was different, but those officers responding behaved appropriately within the situation they found themselves. If they were trained to deescalate, or to not shoot until they were certain the suspect was armed, or if the response was simply not to send a fully armed SWAT unit, or whatever else we can say "if" to, then it could have ended differently. But in this case, I think everyone involved is a victim of that hyper-vigilant, militarized system of policing that exists. I also think that the extreme prevalence of personal firearms and the violence associated with that is a major root of that whole problem. Accusing police officers of cold-blooded murder, accusing them of wanton slaughter, and saying they should be in jail for their actions doesn't help. Sending police officers to jail until they figure out how to stop killing won't reduce crime, it'll just discourage police officers from doing their jobs. Policies need to change, leadership doctrine needs to change, and gun control needs to be increased. Look at what's been going in Baltimore recently. This is what happens when police are being told not to be brutal, but at the same time they aren't being given any alternative. So it looks like they just backed off and reduced patrols in some high-crime neighborhoods, and predictably, the crime rate skyrocketed. I'm not saying the police should go in there and shoot every suspicious character they see, I'm just saying that if they do, it's not necessarily misbehavior on the part of the responding officer. It's a problem with the system the responding officers are in.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby natraj » Mon Jan 01, 2018 3:30 pm UTC

i mean it can literally be both. the system suck and the cops are still murderers. there is no disconnect there. just because you are working in a flawed system doesn't mean that you as an individual person should go around murdering people.

the culture in ems, to be clear, is not markedly better than the culture (as far as i'm aware) in police departments. people are racist, classist, terrible, demean patients regularly, often view patients in really awful terrible ways and go into situations with practically condescending viewpoints. the gross things you hear people say "joking" about poor/black/chemically altered/belligerent/etc patients is pretty atrocious! but like? at the end of the day they are still human beings and you have to make a choice whether to treat an interaction like an adversary or like you are dealing with a human being.

cops frequently make the wrong choice. the system sets them up to make it, i agree.

i can hate the system and hate the murderous cops who buy into it. living in a terrible system in a terrible society doesn't excuse you from the terrible choices you make. each and every one of those cops made that choice. from the moment they chose to become a cop right up until the moment they chose to kill.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:03 pm UTC

New User wrote:The situation would have ended much better if the system was different, but those officers responding behaved appropriately within the situation they found themselves. If they were trained to deescalate, or to not shoot until they were certain the suspect was armed, or if the response was simply not to send a fully armed SWAT unit, or whatever else we can say "if" to, then it could have ended differently. But in this case, I think everyone involved is a victim of that hyper-vigilant, militarized system of policing that exists.
natraj wrote:cops frequently make the wrong choice. the system sets them up to make it, i agree.

i can hate the system and hate the murderous cops who buy into it. living in a terrible system in a terrible society doesn't excuse you from the terrible choices you make. each and every one of those cops made that choice. from the moment they chose to become a cop right up until the moment they chose to kill.
Yeah -- I agree that the system sucks, and police are taught to escalate; I agree that they're immersed in a toxic cultural paradigm that teaches them to shoot first and ask questions later.

But if SWAT bursts into somebody's house and shoots an unarmed man, it's not appropriate to talk about how 'everyone' here is a victim of this hyper-vigilant militarized murder machine. I mean, one person was shot and killed; another person chose to shoot him. Saying they're both victims of this paradigm strikes me as just shrugging our shoulders and going 'oh well, it's nobody's fault I guess; society is to blame!'.

We have a person who decided to become a member of SWAT, who entered a home -- equipped with superior numbers, body-armor, and fire-power -- who pointed a gun at an unarmed man, and who then fired and killed this man at the slightest provocation. I understand that, to this person, each of those choices made sense; I understand that each choice was the result of a system that taught them to make those choices. I disagree strongly that this somehow makes any of those choices okay, or that this in any way exonerates them from murdering someone. I also disagree just as strongly that they have in any way been victimized in a manner similar to the man who is now lying dead on the floor.

I mean, do you feel the same way about violent criminals? A lot of them are caught up in toxic cultural paradigms, too; a lot of them have been taught violence as a way of life. If a violent criminal murders someone, are they just as much a victim as the person they've killed?
New User wrote:Accusing police officers of cold-blooded murder, accusing them of wanton slaughter, and saying they should be in jail for their actions doesn't help. Sending police officers to jail until they figure out how to stop killing won't reduce crime, it'll just discourage police officers from doing their jobs.
I mean, you keep throwing up 'cold-blooded' like it's relevant, but only one person used that term, and I'm telling you that it's not relevant. I don't think police shoot people 'in cold blood'; I think they shoot them in the heat of the moment, because they feel threatened by the slightest provocation.

Also, maybe we need to discourage police from doing their jobs? Just a little? Insomuch that you seem to agree that part of a police's current job -- as taught by policy, leadership, and training -- involves murdering people at the slightest provocation. If that's a police officer's job, then, yes, I would love for them to do less of their job.
New User wrote:I'm not saying the police should go in there and shoot every suspicious character they see, I'm just saying that if they do, it's not necessarily misbehavior on the part of the responding officer. It's a problem with the system the responding officers are in.
I don't know how to respond to this. Even if police officers went around shooting every suspicious character they saw, they would not necessarily be guilty of misbehavior -- just victims of the system? Why are police not necessarily to blame for what they do, but criminals are?

If the system told police officers to throw everyone off a bridge, would they do it? And if so, would we still blame the system and not the cops who are throwing people off of a bridge?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby New User » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:35 pm UTC

No I don't, and I think you're taking what I say and stretching it into a hyperbole. Of course the officer has not suffered as much as the dead man, or his family. But this isn't a black-and-white situation where there is one victim only. Nobody is a victor, everybody suffers, we are all victims of this tragedy. And I would say that it is indeed a problem with society, and I don't put all the blame on the responding officer because I have seen no indication that they did anything outside what police doctrine expects them to do. When I imagine myself in that situation, I'm not sure I would perform that duty any differently. You're right in that someone had to voluntarily put himself into that situation by volunteering to join the police force, which is something I wouldn't do in the first place, so imagining myself in that situation doesn't really make so much sense. But I also don't imagine most police officers decided, "I wish I could have a job where I could murder people and get away with it. I know! I'll be a police officer! The SWAT kind, with all the heavy weapons and such," or, "Oh boy, a response call for an armed suspect! Maybe I'll get to kill someone today!" Instead, I think it's likely that most police officers volunteer because they want to help people and reduce crime, and someone who volunteers for an extra hazardous duty like SWAT does so because they think they have the skills or talent to be able to perform that specialized duty. When a police officer has to respond to an emergency call, and the dispatcher tells them that the suspect is armed and willing to use their weapon (as in this case, it was reported that the victim was a killer who had already killed his father and doused his home in gasoline and was holding his family at gunpoint), I think a likely mindset for a responding officer is, "Here is a situation where I have to use all my skills and my training to protect the public. I have to remain alert to protect the lives of my fellow officers and eliminate the threat" Of course, in this case, the public wasn't protected, but I don't think that is necessarily because of misbehavior on the part of the responding officers. They are trained to escalate force until the opposing force submits, and deescalation isn't taught at all. As I said earlier in this thread, when I was in the US Army, I hadn't even heard of deescalation. I think police have probably heard of it, but I also think that the responding SWAT team in this case had other protocols in mind when dealing with an armed suspect who had already killed one victim. They are trained to escalate the use of force until the opposing party submits. Is it a shame that it was based on a single phone call? Of course. Is it the responding officer's misbehavior that made that happen? No. It's a problem with the system, that we live in a such a violent society that one fake phone call that abuses the system can result in such a tragic result. I don't think police should shoot unarmed people. I don't think anyone should shoot anyone, ever. I'm also saying that it's not as simple as throwing police in jail for killing, when I think many of them are doing what they can in the situations they find themselves in. I don't think it should be a police officer's job to shoot someone, but that is what they're being trained to do. Part of their job is to respond to 911 calls, and sometimes they find themselves in tense situations, and unfortunately sometimes that results in them using their weapons. At the moment an officer has to use a weapon, they probably feel they are doing what is appropriate for the situation at hand, based on their education, training, and doctrine. To me, that isn't police misbehavior.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:52 pm UTC

New User wrote:No I don't, and I think you're taking what I say and stretching it into a hyperbole. Of course the officer has not suffered as much as the dead man, or his family. But this isn't a black-and-white situation where there is one victim only. Nobody is a victor, everybody suffers, we are all victims of this tragedy. And I would say that it is indeed a problem with society, and I don't put all the blame on the responding officer because I have seen no indication that they did anything outside what police doctrine expects them to do. When I imagine myself in that situation, I'm not sure I would perform that duty any differently. You're right in that someone had to voluntarily put himself into that situation by volunteering to join the police force, which is something I wouldn't do in the first place, so imagining myself in that situation doesn't really make so much sense. But I also don't imagine most police officers decided, "I wish I could have a job where I could murder people and get away with it. I know! I'll be a police officer! The SWAT kind, with all the heavy weapons and such," or, "Oh boy, a response call for an armed suspect! Maybe I'll get to kill someone today!" Instead, I think it's likely that most police officers volunteer because they want to help people and reduce crime, and someone who volunteers for an extra hazardous duty like SWAT does so because they think they have the skills or talent to be able to perform that specialized duty. When a police officer has to respond to an emergency call, and the dispatcher tells them that the suspect is armed and willing to use their weapon (as in this case, it was reported that the victim was a killer who had already killed his father and doused his home in gasoline and was holding his family at gunpoint), I think a likely mindset for a responding officer is, "Here is a situation where I have to use all my skills and my training to protect the public. I have to remain alert to protect the lives of my fellow officers and eliminate the threat" Of course, in this case, the public wasn't protected, but I don't think that is necessarily because of misbehavior on the part of the responding officers. They are trained to escalate force until the opposing force submits, and deescalation isn't taught at all. As I said earlier in this thread, when I was in the US Army, I hadn't even heard of deescalation. I think police have probably heard of it, but I also think that the responding SWAT team in this case had other protocols in mind when dealing with an armed suspect who had already killed one victim. They are trained to escalate the use of force until the opposing party submits. Is it a shame that it was based on a single phone call? Of course. Is it the responding officer's misbehavior that made that happen? No. It's a problem with the system, that we live in a such a violent society that one fake phone call that abuses the system can result in such a tragic result. I don't think police should shoot unarmed people. I don't think anyone should shoot anyone, ever. I'm also saying that it's not as simple as throwing police in jail for killing, when I think many of them are doing what they can in the situations they find themselves in. I don't think it should be a police officer's job to shoot someone, but that is what they're being trained to do. Part of their job is to respond to 911 calls, and sometimes they find themselves in tense situations, and unfortunately sometimes that results in them using their weapons. At the moment an officer has to use a weapon, they probably feel they are doing what is appropriate for the situation at hand, based on their education, training, and doctrine. To me, that isn't police misbehavior.

You put out a lot of claims, have you ever read any studies on police misbehavior? Ex How few rotten apples there are, if this is an 1 off event, what typically happens when an officer does something wrong etc etc.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:56 pm UTC

New User wrote:But I also don't imagine most police officers decided, "I wish I could have a job where I could murder people and get away with it. I know! I'll be a police officer! The SWAT kind, with all the heavy weapons and such," or, "Oh boy, a response call for an armed suspect! Maybe I'll get to kill someone today!"
...do you honestly think that that's what any of us think?
New User wrote:Instead, I think it's likely that most police officers volunteer because they want to help people and reduce crime, and someone who volunteers for an extra hazardous duty like SWAT does so because they think they have the skills or talent to be able to perform that specialized duty. When a police officer has to respond to an emergency call, and the dispatcher tells them that the suspect is armed and willing to use their weapon (as in this case, it was reported that the victim was a killer who had already killed his father and doused his home in gasoline and was holding his family at gunpoint), I think a likely mindset for a responding officer is, "Here is a situation where I have to use all my skills and my training to protect the public. I have to remain alert to protect the lives of my fellow officers and eliminate the threat"
Yes. Of course these things are all true. We've said that these things are all true. Why do you think anyone disagrees with this? Who's posts have you been reading?
New User wrote:Of course, in this case, the public wasn't protected, but I don't think that is necessarily because of misbehavior on the part of the responding officers. They are trained to escalate force until the opposing force submits, and deescalation isn't taught at all.
This is where we're disagreeing. Even if you are trained to commit unnecessary acts of violence, that does not excuse your unnecessary acts of violence.

We would not excuse a violent criminal shooting and killing a man at the slightest provocation on account of being trained to shoot first and ask questions later. So, why should we excuse police officers for the same thing?
New User wrote:Is it a shame that it was based on a single phone call? Of course. Is it the responding officer's misbehavior that made that happen? No.
It might not be their 'misbehavior', but it certainly is their behavior. I'm struggling to understand where you're coming from, here: It sounds like you genuinely don't think we should hold police accountable for violence when that violence is reflective of their training.

And if that's what you're saying, my example with the bridge bit isn't hyperbole at all -- it's just a natural extension of your position. If you believe that we can't blame police for doing terrible things if the system trained them to do those terrible things, then how is it wrong for police to murder everyone they meet if the system trained them to murder everyone they meet?

Police are not helpless children held hostage by a system that turns them into killers. They are adults capable of exerting their own agency. I don't care if they've been trained from day one to shoot first and ask questions later; if they can't understand how that's wrong, they don't belong in a uniform.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby New User » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:13 pm UTC

sardia wrote:You put out a lot of claims, have you ever read any studies on police misbehavior? Ex How few rotten apples there are, if this is an 1 off event, what typically happens when an officer does something wrong etc etc.
Nope. Can you point me to something useful? I've heard of corruption, of course, but I've never seen anything to make me believe that the majority of cops are corrupt. I know there are coverups, I'm sure there are some immoral police officers who feel no remorse for killing, I know some take bribes, I've heard of officers planting evidence, and providing false testimony to protect one another. That's what I consider police misbehavior. I don't see any evidence that this kind of thing is happening in this swatting case.
The Great Hippo wrote:Police are not helpless children held hostage by a system that turns them into killers. They are adults capable of exerting their own agency. I don't care if they've been trained from day one to shoot first and ask questions later; if they can't understand how that's wrong, they don't belong in a uniform.
Fair enough, I suppose I won't disagree with that. I also can't say what should have been done differently, in this case. Anything I can think of devolves into an endless chain of "what ifs", and I can only conjecture on what could have been. So maybe where we disagree is where you call this an "unnecessary" act of violence, when I think it's easy for us to see that in hindsight, and I think it would be difficult for a responding officer to see that when the situation was unfolding. What do you think police should have done differently, specifically?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:45 pm UTC

New User wrote:Nope. Can you point me to something useful? I've heard of corruption, of course, but I've never seen anything to make me believe that the majority of cops are corrupt. I know there are coverups, I'm sure there are some immoral police officers who feel no remorse for killing, I know some take bribes, I've heard of officers planting evidence, and providing false testimony to protect one another. That's what I consider police misbehavior. I don't see any evidence that this kind of thing is happening in this swatting case.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/04/opin ... stice.html
The collective bargaining agreements between the police unions and the city have essentially turned the code of silence into official policy. ” This absurdly slow process is a direct outgrowth of collective bargaining agreements that actually encourage officers to lie. The agreements bar investigators from questioning officers within the first 24 hours after a shooting, giving them time to coordinate their accounts. They micromanage investigations, limiting what interrogators can do. Beyond that, if an officer lies during an investigation, he or she cannot be charged with making a false statement unless the investigator presents the officer with a new set of allegations that specifically address the lie.
There is a systemic coverup of bad apples in the police ranks. Remember when the Catholic church move around pedophiles whenever they get caught? The police union is doing the same thing here.
This is what we would call, willful ignorance. It's easier for clean cops to look the other way by saying "those cops" are bad apples, instead of taking the problem head on. That's because if any individual police officer challenges the system, they get denied promotions, jobs, and pensions.

So what's going to happen here is that the police union is going to protect the officer who shot someone. Regardless of any evidence. Notice the standard "he was reaching for his waist". They use that line most of the time, because it's an automatic get out of jail card. It's one thing to say there's a few bad apples, but it's quite another to coverup even those few bad apples in order to protect the reputation of all cops.

If you had a rulebreaker (say a dirty cop who is rougher than usual, or skirts the rules on evidence on guilty gangbangers) it's easy to see how they can act freely in an environment where they aren't held to account because they know the union is on their side.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:54 pm UTC

New User wrote:Fair enough, I suppose I won't disagree with that. I also can't say what should have been done differently, in this case. Anything I can think of devolves into an endless chain of "what ifs", and I can only conjecture on what could have been. So maybe where we disagree is where you call this an "unnecessary" act of violence, when I think it's easy for us to see that in hindsight, and I think it would be difficult for a responding officer to see that when the situation was unfolding. What do you think police should have done differently, specifically?
1) Don't send SWAT. Send a pair of uniformed officers to figure out what's going on. Have them make a phone-call to the house, or knock on the door. If you've been told someone's being held at gun-point, there's probably a reason; maybe they have demands? Talk to them. Heck, this sounds like a hostage situation; isn't that precisely what hostage negotiators are for?

2) Okay, you don't want to do any recon first. You want to send SWAT immediately. Fine: Why do you need to barge in, though? Just have SWAT knock on the front door. It sounds ludicrous, but come on -- you're a para-military police force in body-armor with assault rifles. What are you afraid of?

3) Fine, you want to barge in without knocking. Okay, whatever. Just keep in mind, everyone inside is going to be scared shitless when you tear the door down and start screaming, so expect them to react appropriately. If you see someone making movements that could be seen as threatening, don't immediately open fire. Instead, insist that they remain still. 9999 times out of 10000, people aren't going to respond to a para-military force exploding in on them with shotguns and assault rifles by pulling out their piece and dying in a blaze of glory. Yes, there is that 1 out of 10000 chance -- but that is very slight, and also why you're wearing body-armor. Accept the extraordinarily tiny possibility that your decision to not shoot immediately might end up with you getting killed.

To that final point: Just as we don't expect cab drivers to swerve into a crowd of people the moment they think a truck might hit them, we shouldn't expect police officers to open fire the moment they feel threatened. Yes, there's some non-zero chance that this behavior will save an officer's life. There is an extraordinarily higher chance that doing so will end up just getting someone else needlessly killed. The risk of being murdered by a violent "psychopath" exists for every profession that deals with the consequences of violence; we only give police a pass for murdering every person they think might be violent.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ucim » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:11 pm UTC

There is a premise that we have decided to live by: "innocent until proven guilty". Yes, this only specifically applies in court cases, but it derives from something more universal: "It is better that 100 guilty men go free than one innnocent be put to death".

1: Do we as a society really believe that?

2: There's a situation, police are called in. Is the alleged perp to be considered "innocent"? Is this alleged perp one of the people we as a society want to protect?

3: Police are people we pay to put themselves at risk for our protection. Think about what that means. Something happens, and the choice they have to make is to either put themselves in danger, or to harm somebody else instead.

4: To the "it depends", consider the case where police are in full armor and armed to the teeth while the alleged perp isn't in anything more than shorts.

What do we want to happen?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:29 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:The number of people shot and killed by police was, by current estimates, approximately 1000. The number of people just flat-out killed by police (via any means) is significantly higher, but we'll focus on police shootings for now.


Even looking at the database from the Washington post a lot of those ~1000 seem quite justified. Clearly I didn't go through all 1000, but what number would be acceptable here? I mean the first one under "Attack in progress" says "When officers arrived, they saw Perez inside the residence stabbing a woman." A number of others were "exchanging gunfire".

I mean both those situations would result in police officers in most other nations also shooting the perpetrators. I guess the question is, why is it so much more prevalent in the USA? Is it linked to the actual violent crime rate? Some quick googling compared to Canada does seem to show the homicide rate being a fair bit higher (~3x). In terms of police killings I don't have any good numbers for Canada though I saw an estimate of ~25 per year. Even if we assume 10x population and we correlate the 3x the murder rate into police killings it still doesn't really even out. So what other factors are there in play here?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby orthogon » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:36 pm UTC

It doesn't help that the a priori probability of a person being armed is so high in the US. In the UK it's far less likely, and therefore our cops are less likely to conclude that a suspect is reaching for a weapon as opposed to scratching his arse. Of course, the cops don't have guns either, so most of the time they can't shoot even if they do judge themselves to be in mortal danger. However, when some evidence (like a reported sighting of a gun) increases the probability, our police get jumpy too, and are quite likely to end up shooting an unarmed person. This happened a couple of times in recent years and caused a massive public backlash, even when, iirc, the dead guy was almost certainly a drug-dealing gangster who probably ditched the gun moments before the confrontation. (I'll dig out some links when I'm at a proper computer).

Basically the situation is dire. Imagine having to use, in your daily work, a machine that had a significant chance per use of exploding and killing the operator; it would do this with about a second's warning, and the warning would be that one of two similar lights would come on. The explosion could be averted by taking some action, e.g. pressing a button. It's horrifically unacceptable without adding in some huge cost to pressing the button in error (dismissal, imprisonment, or at the least a lifetime of nightmares and soul searching). And the reality is worse still, since there are many confounding factors making the judgement harder.

This for me is the biggest issue with trolley problems. The problem as posed is nice and clean, but in practice the person on the bridge could never be sure, and certainly not in the split second available, what the true situation is. Maybe the trolley will come to a halt; maybe the victims will see it in time; is the fat man heavy enough to stop the trolley anyway? We're putting police officers in the role of professional real-messy-world trolley problem solvers. It's not a massive surprise that they get it wrong sometimes.

ETA: tl;dr: the guns are the problem.
Last edited by orthogon on Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:38 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:38 pm UTC

Chen wrote:Even looking at the database from the Washington post a lot of those ~1000 seem quite justified. Clearly I didn't go through all 1000, but what number would be acceptable here? I mean the first one under "Attack in progress" says "When officers arrived, they saw Perez inside the residence stabbing a woman." A number of others were "exchanging gunfire".
I don't know what number would be acceptable; I do know that 1000 is not acceptable. I also know that the information we have about these incidents is largely provided to us by the police themselves -- which, given what we've already learned about their inability to self-report, makes all of it highly suspect.
Chen wrote:I mean both those situations would result in police officers in most other nations also shooting the perpetrators. I guess the question is, why is it so much more prevalent in the USA? Is it linked to the actual violent crime rate? Some quick googling compared to Canada does seem to show the homicide rate being a fair bit higher (~3x). In terms of police killings I don't have any good numbers for Canada though I saw an estimate of ~25 per year. Even if we assume 10x population and we correlate the 3x the murder rate into police killings it still doesn't really even out. So what other factors are there in play here?
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Canada doesn't typically equip their officers with tanks and assault rifles?

Like, why is "we have militarized our police force and trained them to escalate, responding to non-compliance with violence" not a reasonable answer? We have two possibilities here: Either police are largely navigating these situations intelligently and deploying the appropriate level of violence to end them as non-violently as possible, or police aren't doing this.

A rate of 41 dead officers to 1000 dead civilians tells us that police are either unimaginably good at protecting themselves or unimaginably terrible at determining when they should deploy lethal violence. Which seems more likely?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:23 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:I don't know what number would be acceptable; I do know that 1000 is not acceptable. I also know that the information we have about these incidents is largely provided to us by the police themselves -- which, given what we've already learned about their inability to self-report, makes all of it highly suspect.


I'll grant it on the questionable ones like "reached for a firearm" or "made a threatening gesture". The ones where shots were actually exchanged or someone was stabbing another person (the two examples I gave) seem a bit easier to corroborate. My point was out of that 1000 there are clearly a number that are reasonably justified.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Canada doesn't typically equip their officers with tanks and assault rifles?


I'm not sure the relevance here since it doesn't appear that the vast majority of these police killings involve assault rifles and tanks anyways.

Like, why is "we have militarized our police force and trained them to escalate, responding to non-compliance with violence" not a reasonable answer? We have two possibilities here: Either police are largely navigating these situations intelligently and deploying the appropriate level of violence to end them as non-violently as possible, or police aren't doing this.


Perhaps not the militarized part (to the same degree) but "responding to non-compliance with violence" is pretty common among police here too, at least when looking at the news. It just seems, in the aggregate that there ends up being far less overall.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:45 pm UTC

Chen wrote:I'll grant it on the questionable ones like "reached for a firearm" or "made a threatening gesture". The ones where shots were actually exchanged or someone was stabbing another person (the two examples I gave) seem a bit easier to corroborate. My point was out of that 1000 there are clearly a number that are reasonably justified.
Whatever that magical number is, I'm willing to bet money it's absurdly low -- particularly given how contentious these rates are in other countries where they don't even break single digits.

I mean, for fuck's sake -- Iceland's police force apologized when they had their first police killing. And this was with a guy armed with a shotgun who was firing on police officers. I get that it was an anomaly -- Iceland has a ridiculously low rate of violent crime. The point is the response: Grief counseling for the officers. An apology to the man's family. An investigation to ensure there was no possible alternative, and officers did everything they could to end the situation peacefully.

A police officer's job is not to kill people to save lives. A police officer's job is to save lives -- period. If a thousand people are dying at the end of a police officer's gun, something is going horribly wrong.
Chen wrote:I'm not sure the relevance here since it doesn't appear that the vast majority of these police killings involve assault rifles and tanks anyways.
You don't see how equipping your police force with tanks and assault rifles indicates a culture of militarization? And how a culture of militarization would be one reason for the application of overwhelming force?
Chen wrote:Perhaps not the militarized part (to the same degree) but "responding to non-compliance with violence" is pretty common among police here too, at least when looking at the news. It just seems, in the aggregate that there ends up being far less overall.
I don't know where 'here' is, but presuming it's Canada -- the number of police killings have, as far as I know, never exceeded double digits. I'm certain police brutality is a problem everywhere. The USA just has way more of it than most.

We also have the highest incarceration rate. Again, there are two explanations: Either we have the most dangerous criminals in the world -- or we just insist on behaving like we do. Which seems more likely?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:38 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:We also have the highest incarceration rate. Again, there are two explanations: Either we have the most dangerous criminals in the world -- or we just insist on behaving like we do. Which seems more likely?


The latter is more what I was looking at. That's not purely a police issue. There's clearly some sort of cultural problem there. If people want to be tough on crime, clearly the politicians will pander to being tough on crime and pass laws as such. Police will follow that mentality then as well. So is that the underlying issue? Is the US to vengeance obsessed when it comes to crime?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:51 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:We also have the highest incarceration rate. Again, there are two explanations: Either we have the most dangerous criminals in the world -- or we just insist on behaving like we do. Which seems more likely?


The latter is more what I was looking at. That's not purely a police issue. There's clearly some sort of cultural problem there. If people want to be tough on crime, clearly the politicians will pander to being tough on crime and pass laws as such. Police will follow that mentality then as well. So is that the underlying issue? Is the US to vengeance obsessed when it comes to crime?

No, but they are fearful. You scare some soccer moms about how them thugs are gonna get em and their kids, and the voters will demand every politician draw & quarter every minority in sight. It's an easy platform for a politician to take. Now say you're a neutral politician, and your rival just called you out for being soft on crime because you didn't demand criminals to be brutalized? Now you're going to lose, so you have to be tough on crime too. It's all a big con, to take advantage of fearful people. Now why are people all afraid? Maybe it's the media they're consuming, or maybe people have no agency. Take a look at Fox News, or the NRA emails, they're all about looking out for strangers who might get you.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:37 pm UTC

Chen wrote:So is that the underlying issue? Is the US to vengeance obsessed when it comes to crime?
Here's an interesting question I like to ask people: If we discovered that -- through some magical, inexplicable mechanism -- paying someone a dollar once they had committed a violent murder would somehow ensure they would never commit another violent crime, would you be okay with a system that paid out a dollar to all violent criminals -- then let them go?

The answer I most often encounter is some variation of the following: No, absolutely not, are you crazy, we have to punish criminals.

What I'm getting at is that the answer is yes: America is obsessed with punishment and vengeance against those who have committed a crime.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:55 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Here's an interesting question I like to ask people: If we discovered that -- through some magical, inexplicable mechanism -- paying someone a dollar once they had committed a violent murder would somehow ensure they would never commit another violent crime, would you be okay with a system that paid out a dollar to all violent criminals -- then let them go?
I don't disagree with you, but that is a horrible example. A perverse incentive as it were. A setup to encourage murder. And we don't seem to need to be encouraged.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby natraj » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:58 pm UTC

you have a really skewed view of most people if you think that paying people a dollar would encourage murder. i don't think i know a single human being who would murder someone for a dollar if they were not already going to be doing a murder. despite what americans have been weirdly conditioned to believe, people don't generally go around murdering just because they enjoy it. most people have a strong disincentive to violent crime solely because most people don't actually want to do violence to others.

people who would commit murder for a dollar would probably commit those murders anyway. but if it helps, you can take away the dollar incentive and replace it with, like, "give them a rock". "press a button". whatever. the point is americans positively want to punish crime and refuse solutions to crime that don't include punishment, even if they work. even in completely hypothetical situations when they're 100% guaranteed to work, but also in the real world.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ObsessoMom » Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:05 pm UTC

Meh, not really helpful comment deleted.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:27 am UTC

natraj wrote:you have a really skewed view of most people if you think that paying people a dollar would encourage murder.
Not punishing murder would encourage murder, the dollar is a smokescreen. I have a pretty grim view of humanity as individuals. Certainly a lot of people move through their lives and never hurt anyone. But given the right set of circumstances people can do things that are pretty gruesome. However, if you choose to believe that I have a twisted point of view, you are welcome to that POV. I wouldn't dispute the possibility.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby elasto » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:47 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:Not punishing murder would encourage murder, the dollar is a smokescreen.

That's not the logical end-point of this thought experiment to my mind: If paying murderers a dollar and forgiving them their past would magically ensure they never murdered again, then it would almost certainly work even better on those who had not committed a murder yet.

So the scenario would collapse to: "Would you pay everyone a dollar and forgive them their past if it stopped all future violent crime?"

On the one hand, that's some pretty absurdist head-in-the-cloud-hippy-BS thinking - obviously there are recidivist individuals who'd do nothing but take advantage of such a society, like wolves among sheep - but on the other hand some of the Scandinavian countries operate almost such a system and virtually prove its validity: They operate a strong social safety system for all (give everyone a dollar) and prison is so 'cushy' it makes right-wingers virtually throw up. But it works: Violent crime and repeat crime is way way down in such societies compared to the UK or US.

I think that is a core difference between the two sets of thinking: One set obsesses over the past: Punishing past transgressions; And one thinks mainly about the future: Preventing future transgressions. The friction point is what to do when the two motivations conflict? Which is the greater desire? And in the puritanical countries like the US and, to an extent, the UK, many can't see beyond their bloodlust. Whereas in the pragmatic, cool-headed countries like Norway, the desire to heal overwhelms.

I know which kind of society I would prefer to be a part of.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Peaceful Whale » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:05 am UTC

I agree with elasto, or I hope so.
I think we should focus more on helping/healing criminals instead of punishing them.

Spoiled for being my own thoughts, and are not meant to cause discontent.

Spoiler:
We have police becuase of people who make us need police. Becuase of the situations they often find themselves it is very “easy” to make a mistake. One that may cost lives. Sure there are things that we could to to probably decrease these incidents, however there is a reason for why things are the way things are. And maybe everything is not as bad as it seems.

However this thread is devoted to the bad stuff, so most posts will focuse on that.
My meta for future reference
Spoiler:
cemper93 wrote:Your meta appears to be "just writes whatever is on his mind and doesn't remember what happened more than five hours ago"

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CorruptUser
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:06 am UTC

natraj wrote:i don't think i know a single human being who would murder someone for a dollar if they were not already going to be doing a murder.


But you increase the amount a bit, and you will find people who would. In most sting operations, the amount offered to would-be hitmen is in the $5-10k range, and in most cases the hitman isn't "highly trained professional ex-marine" but "busboy desperate for cash". In other countries, it's probably much less.

That you don't know such people doesn't mean they don't exist. A few years ago, a homeless guy in NYC pushed a woman under a subway train so that he could go to prison permanently, which to me says that maybe we should be treating the homeless a bit better.
Last edited by CorruptUser on Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:11 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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natraj
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby natraj » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:08 am UTC

yes, cool, change what we were talking about and my statement now doesn't apply, good job!
You want to know the future, love? Then wait:
I'll answer your impatient questions. Still --
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The cards and stars that tumble as they will.

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ucim
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ucim » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:44 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Here's an interesting question I like to ask people: If we discovered that -- through some magical, inexplicable mechanism -- paying someone a dollar once they had committed a violent murder would somehow ensure they would never commit another violent crime, would you be okay with a system that paid out a dollar to all violent criminals -- then let them go?
What are the side effects? Could you give this "dollar" to everyone and get the same result (no violent crimes at all)? Didn't the Reavers do that?

It's not sufficient to be good, one must be good for the right reasons.

CorruptUser wrote:A few years ago, a homeless guy in NYC pushed a woman under a subway train so that he could go to prison permanently
natraj wrote:yes, cool, change what we were talking about and my statement now doesn't apply, good job!
Actually, this sounds like somebody who actually murdered for a dollar, so it directly relates to your statement. Yeah, it's not "one dollar", it's "room and board", but close enough to show that ridiculing the idea isn't completely justified.

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natraj
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby natraj » Tue Jan 02, 2018 3:50 am UTC

... no, it's not?? at all? can a dollar buy you room and board? i've been homeless, yo, i know how desperate people get. i have friends who have committed crimes (not murder tho) specifically so that they would go to jail and not spend winter on the streets. i am well aware that desperate people will do things up to and including murder to get out of desperate situations.

what i said, still, was

i don't think i know a single human being who would murder someone for a dollar if they were not already going to be doing a murder

both "for a dollar" and "if they were not already going to be murdering" are highly relevant there but like okay y'all can radically change the situations and pretend it's the same s'cool
You want to know the future, love? Then wait:
I'll answer your impatient questions. Still --
They'll call it chance, or luck, or call it Fate,
The cards and stars that tumble as they will.

pronouns: they or he


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