Police misbehavior thread

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folkhero
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby folkhero » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:54 am UTC

engr wrote:I used to live in Russia during 1990's which weren't exactly the most crime-free time (to put it mildly). One of the reasons the public (or, at least, part of the public) really distrusted police was because it was not enforcing drug laws well enough and drugs became a huge problem after the collapse of the USSR. The common sentiment was "these bastard cops know who sells drugs and don't do anything".

Relevant

engr wrote:
In the States we have significant evidence about various things that our police are doing wrong.


Because everything police does falls under scrutiny, whether on or off-duty. A crime, once committed by a police officer, even off-duty, is going to be all over the news. This will create the perception of police misbehavior being more common than it is. This is similar to how nuclear energy is feared by the public because a nuclear accident which killed no one will be all over the news because "Gee Willikers it's nyukelar!!!" while numerous deadly accidents at coal mines are like "meh, whatever".
I knew a police officer who was accused of beating his girlfriend, while off-duty (his story was that she was drunk and was taking a swing at him, so he physically restrained her); she called cops, they arrested him; charges got dropped, but he was still fired, and an organization he was a member of, while off-duty, was basically disbanded. If he wasn't a cop, how much coverage would that story get?
If misconduct by, say, engineers was covered as well as police misconduct, people would be fucking terrified of us.

So you argue that our evidence is flawed because it is anecdotal, and your argument comes in the form of an anecdote?
To all law enforcement entities, this is not an admission of guilt...

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Enokh » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:52 pm UTC

folkhero wrote:So you argue that our evidence is flawed because it is anecdotal, and your argument comes in the form of an anecdote?


No, his argument came in the form of him stating that police conduct (on and off duty) is watching much more closely, and then tied that to the way our media functions, and then tied that to the public's perception. After this, he presented an anecdote. The anecdote was directly related (and an example of) his argument, but as it was not presented in the opposite order (i.e. This anecdote occurred, thus the following argument is valid) his argument did NOT come from the anecdote.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Zcorp » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:02 am UTC

engr wrote:
Zcorp wrote: Much of that involves enforcing laws that are wrong and hurt the public such as our traffic laws (especially our fatally low speed limits) and drug laws.


I used to live in Russia during 1990's which weren't exactly the most crime-free time (to put it mildly). One of the reasons the public (or, at least, part of the public) really distrusted police was because it was not enforcing drug laws well enough and drugs became a huge problem after the collapse of the USSR. The common sentiment was "these bastard cops know who sells drugs and don't do anything". If the cops in the US will stop enforcing dug laws, then they will be despised by anti-drug crowd, and for a good reason.

???
The suggestion wasn't that we should eliminate all drug laws, I don't think we have progressed far enough for that quite yet, maybe some day. Did you think I meant we should eliminate all traffic laws as well?

Much like our traffic laws, they don't result in creating a safer society. We should be changing them to make laws that actually help us instead of hurt us such as this.


Regardless what you think about drugs, refusing to perform your job duties because you personally disagree with them is wrong. You don't enlist in the military and then say "you know what, I'm refusing to be deployed at **** because this war is unjust". You don't become a judge and then refuse to wed an interracial couple because you personally believe that interracial marriage is morally wrong. You don't get hired in an abortion clinic and then refuse to perform your job duties because you are pro-life. You don't become a park ranger and then refuse to shoot deer to control their population because you are pro-animal rights.
Do what's in your job description or quit.

Right...the job description is suppose to be to protect and serve society, keep peace and reduce harm. Instead they are creating significant harm to our society.

However a more accurate description of what they do is enforce corrupt and bad laws that harm society and result in brutal violence and death of the people they are supposed to be protecting and trying to keep at peace.


Because everything police does falls under scrutiny, whether on or off-duty. A crime, once committed by a police officer, even off-duty, is going to be all over the news. This will create the perception of police misbehavior being more common than it is. This is similar to how nuclear energy is feared by the public because a nuclear accident which killed no one will be all over the news because "Gee Willikers it's nyukelar!!!" while numerous deadly accidents at coal mines are like "meh, whatever".
I knew a police officer who was accused of beating his girlfriend, while off-duty (his story was that she was drunk and was taking a swing at him, so he physically restrained her); she called cops, they arrested him; charges got dropped, but he was still fired, and an organization he was a member of, while off-duty, was basically disbanded. If he wasn't a cop, how much coverage would that story get?
If misconduct by, say, engineers was covered as well as police misconduct, people would be fucking terrified of us.


We don't empower engineers to hold and fire deadly weapons to keep the peace. We don't give them a whole new class of laws in which they live under, like we do with cops. With the greater amount of power that we trust cops with over average citizens we sure as fuck had better hold them to higher standards and that requires greater scrutiny.

Regardless of the perception of the frequency of police misbehavior the reality is that much of what cops do (like enforce our fatally low speed limits, that we know are fatally low, and traffic accidents are the highest cause of death in our society for people below 50 and very young children) harm society in significant ways.

We should expect better of people that we empower with a different laws than citizens. We should have great scrutiny of their behavior and make sure what they are doing is actually improving our society.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:23 am UTC

Would you mind spoilering some info on the idea of "fatally low" speed limits? It's off topic but I am (and perhaps others are) interested.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Dauric » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:33 am UTC

Zcorp wrote:Regardless of the perception of the frequency of police misbehavior the reality is that much of what cops do (like enforce our fatally low speed limits, that we know are fatally low, and traffic accidents are the highest cause of death in our society for people below 50 and very young children) harm society in significant ways.

We should expect better of people that we empower with a different laws than citizens. We should have great scrutiny of their behavior and make sure what they are doing is actually improving our society.


If your problem is with speed limits or other laws that the police enforce your problem is with congress, not with the police. If you're going to have a fit at least point it in the right direction.

If anything not picking and choosing what laws they enforce would be a higher standard to hold them to. It's not the job of the police departments to determine what laws are valid and which aren't. The police are there to enforce the laws enacted by the legislature and upheld by the judiciary. They have to put aside their own personal judgement about a law and enforce the laws they're told to.

Now I'm not saying all is well and good in the land of law enforcement, but bitching about police enforcing laws in a proper manner is at best perverse. If police were routinely beating the shit out of any and every driver that went over the speed limit and then shooting then in the kneecaps than sure I'd be with you on the abuse of power angle, but that's not the argument you're making. You're going on a tear at the police for doing their jobs correctly because you have a problem with the actions of a completely different governing body who's actions result in the rules that the police are supposed to be enforcing.

Here's the thing: We do not want the police picking and choosing where and when to enforce the law. They're not elected, it becomes an end run around the democratic process to allow a paramilitary group to selectively ignore the elected officials representing the people.

Note: I'm not saying all is well and good about selective enforcement by the police either, though I attribute at least some of that to a legislative culture (both politicians and the public screaming for more laws out of outrage rather than sensible analysis) that enacts unenforceable laws, which forces police to effectively turn a blind eye to petty crimes that they can't effectively do anything about short of a massive Orewllian police-state, which in turn gives rise to the precedent of allowing police departments to in effect selectively enforce laws.

Again though that's not your argument.

You're bitching about police doing their jobs correctly enforcing a law they're supposed to enforce as enacted by congress.

So watch where you're pointing that outrage, someone could lose an eye.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Iulus Cofield » Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:43 am UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:Would you mind spoilering some info on the idea of "fatally low" speed limits? It's off topic but I am (and perhaps others are) interested.


I am also curious about this.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Zcorp » Thu Aug 02, 2012 4:32 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:
Princess Marzipan wrote:Would you mind spoilering some info on the idea of "fatally low" speed limits? It's off topic but I am (and perhaps others are) interested.


I am also curious about this.

Spoiler:
Consistently we have found that if we set speed limits to about the 85th percentile of traffic flow (85% of people go this fast or slower on a road naturally) we have less fatalities. The United States consistently sets limits lower than this, which I'm sure many of you can observe as in your local areas where average drivers in the states go 5-10 MPH above the post speed limits. This results in speed differences, a significant factor in the frequency and severity of accidents, as some drivers want to stay at or under the speed limit for various reasons (like avoiding speeding tickets).

I live in LA where the traffic on the freeways consistently goes 10-15 MPH over the posted limit (and average 10 over on surface streets), however if a cop decides to pull you over for going 10-15 over it is a ~$350 dollar ticket. Due this hefty fine (or various other reasons) many people decide to drive the limit, especially if they have recently received a ticket, creating significant differences in speed. Leading to more crashes and more severe crashes. If the speed limits where actually set at the speed according to the traffic flow of the vast majority of people we would have safer roads, probably less speeding tickets though.



Dauric wrote:If your problem is with speed limits or other laws that the police enforce your problem is with congress, not with the police. If you're going to have a fit at least point it in the right direction.
A fit? Now now we can be polite. I'm not throwing a fit nor bitching. I talking about aspects of why the common person in America has little trust in their police force. They have very good reasons. Most of the average citizens interactions with officers are due to terrible laws they are enforcing and that pretty much everyone in America is breaking some law making talking to police dangerous. Not to mention that the average citizen loses in court to officers if it is their word vs the cops. This video is a bit of propaganday but the sentiment is generally true. Unless you know the officer talking to police is dangerous. That's a terrible relationship to have with our officers both for us and them.

We were talking about general citizens trust in police. It is largely a problem with our laws but the face of those laws are the police. For the average individual when they are forced to interact with the reality of these bad laws they are doing so in regards to the police, and some times judges. This greatly hurts the trust the public has in their peace keeping officers.

If anything not picking and choosing what laws they enforce would be a higher standard to hold them to. It's not the job of the police departments to determine what laws are valid and which aren't. The police are there to enforce the laws enacted by the legislature and upheld by the judiciary. They have to put aside their own personal judgement about a law and enforce the laws they're told to.
It should be the job of the police to understand their job and raise awareness about the reality of the situation. We see significant campaigns for the dangers of driving and drinking or talking on a phone (despite that many laws are being passed that allow for 'hands free' phoning despite that there is no credible evidence to state that making it hands free solves any problems at all). We should see driving awareness campaigns about speed limit changes, traffic engineering and the greatest way of reducing accidents using a turn signal. But we don't.

Also police frequently pick and choose which laws the enforce, they also set policy's for how to enforce those laws. No law, at least that I'm aware of, requires speed traps and rarely to people get tickets or warnings for not using a turn signal.

Here's the thing: We do not want the police picking and choosing where and when to enforce the law. They're not elected, it becomes an end run around the democratic process to allow a paramilitary group to selectively ignore the elected officials representing the people.
But we do want police raising awareness about the effects of laws, we want them to engage us in dialogue about what works and what doesn't and express to us why they are doing things. They don't. We can't be an informed populace when the experts in a field don't engage us in discussion. We can't have an informed populace when the 'experts' in the field don't display understanding of the effects of the laws they enforce, and even less so when they aren't openly outraged at laws that actively go against their role in society. We can't trust these experts when the laws they enforce actually harm our society instead of helping it. Refer to previous parts of the discussion on why this trust is important.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Dauric » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:19 am UTC

I don't know that "police" in general are the ones that should be doing the PR work. 1) they're not statisticians. 2) they're not PR consultants. 3) they've got other things to do, like enforce laws on the books. Frankly if someone's been pulled over for speeding I heavily doubt they're interested in considering a dialogue about the nature of the laws on the books and which congrressthing they should write to get the speeding limits changed.

I don't argue that there needs to be more accessible information about the effects of legislation like traffic laws and hands free devices, however law enforcement as a whole and the FBI in particular already does quite a lot of data collection and publishing about crime, traffic incidents, etc. etc. etc. the output of those studies are publicly available, many are on the internet. The problem with them is that they're dry reading and generally inaccessible from a layman's standpoint. They're also not sexy from a media standpoint, which is actually the bigger problem.

The thing is that police already do a lot of community outreach, but it's limited in large part by the accessibility of the audience. It's relatively simple for police to do community outreach at the school level, the audience is captive and the gateway (IE: the school districts) are receptive. Workplaces are not so receptive to redirecting man-hours from productive tasks to having a police speaker some in to talk about the effects of speed laws or hands free devices.

So it should be in the media right? Well it is, in the late-late night timeslots between infomercials that local police departments can afford on their PR budgets. Again, PR isn't what the police are there to do, and the budget for PR comes out after everything else like bulletproof vests and K9 unit training.

Ultimately the police, as 'experts' in those discussions where they are experts (again, the majority of law enforcement officers are not statisticians, they can provide a lot of anecdotes but you have to know what you're doing to properly provide data on trends), need to be called to testify in another venue, one that has the media resources to get to a wider audience than LocalCity PD.

In a way such a venue exists in the multiple C-SPAN channels, but the audience for C-SPAN is at best 'limied', and watching C-SPAN is a popular barometer for cultural/social isolation.

So really the grand upshot is that even if you could get the police departments to have a greater PR presence through some mechanism that they do not already possess (such as a dedicated statewide/mult-state/nationwide police PR agency), there's still a significant barrier in getting enough of the audience to listen to make the expenditure worthwhile.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Zcorp » Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:56 am UTC

Dauric wrote:I don't know that "police" in general are the ones that should be doing the PR work. 1) they're not statisticians. 2) they're not PR consultants. 3) they've got other things to do, like enforce laws on the books. Frankly if someone's been pulled over for speeding I heavily doubt they're interested in considering a dialogue about the nature of the laws on the books and which congrressthing they should write to get the speeding limits changed.
You seem to be under a misconception that police only means troopers on the ground. LA PD has multiple offices devoted to PR and if you are a police commissioner who doesn't understand stats you shouldn't be in that position (and to bitch just a bit about this the Police Commissioner of LA makes $350k, not that is isn't worth paying such a value just that this isn't a low paying job). You also shouldn't be in that position if your troopers don't know the stats of their job. You can't honestly believe that police, even the troopers, shouldn't know the effectiveness of their job, that's just flat out absurd.

So it should be in the media right? Well it is, in the late-late night timeslots between infomercials that local police departments can afford on their PR budgets. Again, PR isn't what the police are there to do, and the budget for PR comes out after everything else like bulletproof vests and K9 unit training.
Again I'll point you to the click it or ticket campaign, various campaigns about drinking and driving or anti-cell phone laws/positions.

You've yet to actually provide a single reasonable argument, you are coming across as an apologist. The police are failing in our country to create a trustworthy relationship with the populace. Are you saying they are just to busy and to poor to care about this? Are you saying that there isn't a problem in a country with the highest incarceration rate per capita in the world? That we shouldn't be leading the world (hell screw leading at this point, we should just be copying effective practices) in trying out and using effective practices to make our society a better place?

The reality of the situation is that our (USA's) police are bad, and do things that harm our society and make it less safe (relative to other countries law enforcement). Not entirely sure how you can make an argument this isn't their job and it isn't within their power to change their enforcement policies. It is.

They can also control their training, which is pretty poor if we can't expect the average trooper (who makes over $100k in LA, again not saying its not worth it just saying we should expect well trained troopers) to understand the statistics of their effectiveness.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Dauric » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:25 am UTC

You're putting the entire reform process on the police, and I rather suspect that even if you got what you're asking for you'd be woefully disappointed by the results.

Local city police have to enforce laws from the city, state and federal legislatures. Any police department that makes a policy of not enforcing large swaths of those laws, or not prosecuting those who's cases fall under those laws either has to show some compelling reason that they're not enforcing those laws (such as a budget/manpower shortfall) or risk being reorganized by state or federal authorities such that the new leadership -will- enforce those laws. I further note that an executive branch at whatever government level should be limited in it's ability to override the legislative branch as it concentrates too much power in the paramilitary organizations supposed to be beholden to the people.

Let me reiterate: The ability to refuse to enforce laws at-will is power that would further corrupt the police agencies that already have problems with corrupt power-tripping assholes. Many, nay even the vast majority of officers may be more than capable of making proper judgement calls about where and when to enforce the laws of the land, however the ability to selectively choose where and when to enforce laws is not something that should be granted to police agencies without a minimum of oversight from an outside organization like a community ombudsman or a committee of the city or state legislature.

I'm not saying that the police are hunky dory everything's fine with them. what I am saying is...

The reality of the situation is that our (USA's) police are bad, and do things that harm our society and make it less safe (relative to other countries law enforcement).


... is -at best- myopic about the problem. The largest factor in incarceration, the "War On Drugs", while supported by federal agency heads that built their careers on that policy is something that can only be adequately repealed at the federal level by an act of congress. States are enacting their own legalized marijuana laws (like in Colorado, where I live) are working with city and county police to de-emphasize marijuana arrests, handing out warnings instead of arresting people with minimal amounts etc.*, but they're still beholden to federal laws and if the FBI shows up, or the incident involves a military officer (I live near numerous military bases) then it's the federal "War on Drugs" policy that takes precedence.

*And note: this is police working in conjunction with state and local legislatures, they're not unilaterally changing their enforcement policies. They're changing enforcement policies in response to voter enacted legislation.

Again, my point is you've focused on a single tree (...our police are bad...) in a veritable forest of problems with our legal system, many of which cause problems at the police level who's origins extend to decisions made at the state, federal, or even at the level of the political parties as they decide on their policy platforms.

Should police do more to educate the public? Sure, but that's the tip of the iceberg. We need news media wiling to spend the time actually discussing issues rather than Paris Hilton's undergarments or spend time in their news programs plugging their upcoming entertainment offerings. Of course celebrity undergarments attract more eyeballs than a discussion about functional traffic law issues which makes it difficult to get people's attention for those functional issues. also bad economic times make people less willing to discuss "real issues" as it were, escapism often gets it's high points in economic downturns.

And to reiterate -yet again-, focusing entirely on actions at the police level isn't going to change many of the problems that harm police reputations at the local level, like the federal "War on Drugs" policy, or a media environment that isn't conducive to the process of pubic debate. The issues at the police level are part of a greater whole of a broken legal system and blowing all your efforts on a single aspect of the greater problem still leaves the rest of the problems in place.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Zcorp » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:53 am UTC

Dauric wrote:You're putting the entire reform process on the police, and I rather suspect that even if you got what you're asking for you'd be woefully disappointed by the results.

Sigh stop being dense.

Please show me where I put the entire reform process on the police?

We are talking about police misbehavior not talking about every problem that the system has. The truth of the matter is that our police aren't helping our problems they are making them worse. I've not once faulted them for creating the system nor have I stated ever they are the only problem with the system. In fact I've mentioned educating the populace, implying that the populace are a large part of the problem, and our laws being bad and that's not even getting into the judicial process (which I lightly touched on with the video link above) or the prison system.

I have however pointed out where our police are failing to improve it and are actually making it worse through continuing to use destructive enforcement policy.

The largest factor in incarceration, the "War On Drugs", while supported by federal agency heads that built their careers on that policy is something that can only be adequately repealed at the federal level by an act of congress. States are enacting their own legalized marijuana laws (like in Colorado, where I live) are working with city and county police to de-emphasize marijuana arrests, handing out warnings instead of arresting people with minimal amounts etc.*, but they're still beholden to federal laws and if the FBI shows up, or the incident involves a military officer (I live near numerous military bases) then it's the federal "War on Drugs" policy that takes precedence.

Yes, and it seems it will take states or even city enforcement to change how they are doing it because we are doing it wrong now. Changing it federally is hard, not suggesting that changing locally is easier, just that the problems are different. Federal changes often require significant examples of wanting the change in public on smaller levels. With the exception of what passes as national defense.

If we had Commissioners implementing policy's that worked and stood by them and had to either be fired to stop their policy's we might get some where. Something akin to the link posted of hamsterdam in the Wire. People have to make a stand, the system isn't gunna change itself.

I grew up in CO, and it is was really unfortunate to hear that there were local officers holding people for smoking pot (after it was legalized) and waiting for a person with jurisdiction to charge them because the local couldn't (or at least that is my understanding of numerous occurences). This is a prime example of the police actively fighting reform. When what they should be doing is promoting it, because what we are doing now is a catastrophic failure.

Again, my point is you've focused on a single tree (...our police are bad...) in a veritable forest of problems with our legal system, many of which cause problems at the police level who's origins extend to decisions made at the state, federal, or even at the level of the political parties as they decide on their policy platforms.
Yup, I have. Because well the title of the thread is 'police misbehavior' however you are welcome to scour through everything I've written and find anywhere that i've said they are the only problem, in fact I'm sure you will see that I've mentioned it is not entirely their fault. That doesn't mean they can't be working to improve it, and they haven't shown that they are. They are also the only ones that can most easily change how we enforce, as well they do the enforcing. Until then, pay attention to context?

Instead of having an veritable forest of problems that includes our police being bad we could have a veritable forest of problems where the police are actively trying to be part of the solution. I know I'd prefer the latter, how about you?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Роберт » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:32 pm UTC

http://arnade.tumblr.com/post/288342720 ... unts-point

A banker who takes pictures of drug addicts, sex workers, the homeless, and other people for his tumblr shares an anecdote about how cops are petty hypocrites.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Belial » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:53 pm UTC

engr wrote:
Lucrece wrote:I've seen shows where it wasn't uncommon for police to comment that they hoped the perps learned from jail time to stop breaking laws. Because congregating with violent offenders who prey on each other and the guards/prison wardens don't give a fuck is such a magnificent way to turn out functional human beings post-prison.


While recidivism rates are high, many criminals do stop after serving their terms. Not to say that prison system is great, but operand conditioning can work miracles. If nothing else, at least the bad guys will not hurt the general public while in prison, and that's the sentiment I heard more often ("I know I will see him again, but at least I put him off the street for a couple months").


You're massively confused as to what operant conditioning is.

Dauric wrote:You're putting the entire reform process on the police, and I rather suspect that even if you got what you're asking for you'd be woefully disappointed by the results.


I'd settle for police organizations not resisting reform as hard as they can.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Princess Marzipan » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:06 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:http://arnade.tumblr.com/post/28834272034/how-to-get-a-ticket-if-white-in-hunts-point

A banker who takes pictures of drug addicts, sex workers, the homeless, and other people for his tumblr shares an anecdote about how cops are petty hypocrites.
Wow. That is absolutely absurd, and an example of blatant abuse of power / selective enforcement. Those cops aren't helping anybody, they're getting paychecks for being bullies.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby engr » Fri Aug 17, 2012 11:44 pm UTC

Belial wrote:You're massively confused as to what operant conditioning is.


Prison is a classic example of positive punishment (I guess you can see it as a negative punishment as you take away criminal's freedom) in hopes that he will modify his behavior and stop committing crimes. How is that not operant conditioning? (Whether it works well or not is a different story.)
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Zcorp » Sat Aug 18, 2012 12:37 am UTC

engr wrote:
Belial wrote:You're massively confused as to what operant conditioning is.


Prison is a classic example of positive punishment (I guess you can see it as a negative punishment as you take away criminal's freedom) in hopes that he will modify his behavior and stop committing crimes. How is that not operant conditioning? (Whether it works well or not is a different story.)

Its really not at all. Besides that the process that ends up with someone in prison is incredibly complex behaviorally and has thousands of discrete stimulus; the most accurate term would negative punishment. As primarily what prison is supposed to do is remove freedom.

The unfortunate reality about a lot of our prisons is that the punishments often end up being positive in that the threat or real violence of other inmates or guards is a added adverse stimulus. But this isn't what prison is supposed to be and if our guards and reformers were competent it wouldn't be.

That said good behaviorists avoid using positive punishment as much as possible as it is the least effective way within operant conditioning to change behavior.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Mad Mike » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:47 am UTC

Роберт wrote:http://arnade.tumblr.com/post/28834272034/how-to-get-a-ticket-if-white-in-hunts-point

A banker who takes pictures of drug addicts, sex workers, the homeless, and other people for his tumblr shares an anecdote about how cops are petty hypocrites.


This is why I never drive in Detroit if at all possible. It's a known issue that skinny white kids like myself are acceptable targets for ridiculous tickets (among other issues from the other side of the law). The police are already corrupt enough in the area, but my demographic is often specifically targeted - rather than the local young black population, who, fitting to the stereotypes, are often committing the actual crimes.

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Coyne
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Coyne » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:44 pm UTC

Metaphysician wrote:This is in direct violation of the United States Constitution and should be outlawed specifically by the federal government under its authority to regulate inter-state commerce. Or the practice should be brought before SCOTUS so they can tear it a new one... although they did recently rule that cops can strip search anybody taken into custody with no reason or charges filed so they may not be the most reliable people to be making such decisions.


Well, no it isn't; at least not as apparently interpreted by SCOTUS. The Court has never ruled precisely on this issue, but it ruled on something related that appears to make the precedents, and its thinking, transparent.

It begins unfortunately with the concept of contraband: Things that are illegal to possess for various reasons. SCOTUS has a long history of supporting confiscation of contraband. From the view of the Court, there is no property interest in contraband, because you can't claim as property something that was never legal for you to own in the first place. This is an exception to the Fourth Amendment.

(I can't locate some of the earlier decisions, but I'm pretty sure this goes all the way back to the 1790-1810 period; the earliest SCOTUS decisions. And, unfortunately, I think the contraband exception is necessary. Consider a terrorist who claims the truck and the bomb inside are his property: Are we required to let him keep it on the basis of his asserted property right?)

The Court touched tangentially on the money issue in another ruling I read (not ruling on it directly). My extension of the gist of that decision was that sufficient amounts of money (which SCOTUS did not define) are probable cause for intent to commit a crime. Instruments of a crime can be declared contraband; and if money is going to be used to commit a crime, then it is an instrument of the crime. Therefore, if someone is in possession of "sufficient amounts" of money, that money can be defined as contraband by the state, and being so defined, confiscated.

The problem is that SCOTUS has provided no guidance at all as to what amount can be defined as "sufficient" or "excessive"; or if there are any circumstances where the presence of cash would not constitute probable cause. If, for example, I'm carrying the church collection to the bank, can that be confiscated? SCOTUS says nothing on that.

This leads to a situation where the police become judge, jury, and executioner, with no really meaningful review. Amounts as small as $50 (in one case I heard of) have been confiscated under forfeiture. Worse, once confiscated, it is up to the citizen to prove that there was no criminal intent, which is almost impossible, even with respect to a church collection.

So, unless and until SCOTUS actually applies a different theory to cash, don't carry large amounts of cash. Given what is happening in Europe now (with the declaration of large cash transactions as explicitly illegal) such review is, frankly, not likely ever to occur. Governments want cash to be traceable.
In all fairness...

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Nordic Einar » Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:23 am UTC

Mad Mike wrote:
Роберт wrote:http://arnade.tumblr.com/post/28834272034/how-to-get-a-ticket-if-white-in-hunts-point

A banker who takes pictures of drug addicts, sex workers, the homeless, and other people for his tumblr shares an anecdote about how cops are petty hypocrites.


This is why I never drive in Detroit if at all possible. It's a known issue that skinny white kids like myself are acceptable targets for ridiculous tickets (among other issues from the other side of the law). The police are already corrupt enough in the area, but my demographic is often specifically targeted - rather than the local young black population, who, fitting to the stereotypes, are often committing the actual crimes.


Hey guys, check it out - exactly the kind of ridiculously privileged bullshit we've all come to expect from suburban white kids from Michigan.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Mad Mike » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:32 am UTC

Nordic Einar wrote:
Mad Mike wrote:
Роберт wrote:http://arnade.tumblr.com/post/28834272034/how-to-get-a-ticket-if-white-in-hunts-point

A banker who takes pictures of drug addicts, sex workers, the homeless, and other people for his tumblr shares an anecdote about how cops are petty hypocrites.


This is why I never drive in Detroit if at all possible. It's a known issue that skinny white kids like myself are acceptable targets for ridiculous tickets (among other issues from the other side of the law). The police are already corrupt enough in the area, but my demographic is often specifically targeted - rather than the local young black population, who, fitting to the stereotypes, are often committing the actual crimes.


Hey guys, check it out - exactly the kind of ridiculously privileged bullshit we've all come to expect from suburban white kids from Michigan.

*rolls eyes* I literally can't think of a way to respond to that in a civilized manner, so I'm just going to try to ignore it. If you took offense to my anecdote, I apologize, but it's just that, my experience growing up in that area.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:43 am UTC

Your experience as a young white male with all the privilege (and therefore privilege-blindness) thus entailed, yes, just that.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Nordic Einar » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:01 am UTC

Funny, because it directly contradicts my experience as a young white male growing up in Detroit and all the interactions with the police therein. But sure thing kid - the police are just so MEAN to you. I'm sure my trans friends of color and the youth I went to high school with are so glad they haven't been cursed with suburban whiteness and the horrific and oppressive police abuse directed at us whiteys.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:33 pm UTC

To clarify the frustration you're seeing, Mike, no one's denying your claim that you've been treated unfairly by the police. That's kind of a thing that they do, far too frequently. But when you say
Mad Mike wrote:[...] my demographic is often specifically targeted - rather than the local young black population, who, fitting to the stereotypes, are often committing the actual crimes.
, you're engaging in the very prejudices and stereotypes that lead to armies of police bullying entire communities.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Mad Mike » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:36 pm UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:To clarify the frustration you're seeing, Mike, no one's denying your claim that you've been treated unfairly by the police. That's kind of a thing that they do, far too frequently. But when you say
Mad Mike wrote:[...] my demographic is often specifically targeted - rather than the local young black population, who, fitting to the stereotypes, are often committing the actual crimes.
, you're engaging in the very prejudices and stereotypes that lead to armies of police bullying entire communities.

Fair enough, although I certainly don't intend to come off that way.
EDIT: Perhaps I worded that badly.... I was referring to myself and my friends' experience, and the "fitting to the stereotypes" was less directed at the entire group so much as it was the small part if it I have the pleasure of encountering in my own community, i.e., the idiots at my high school. :|

Rereading that post, I look like an idiot.....

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Nordic Einar » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:37 am UTC

I'd also suggest you contemplate whether you were targeted by the police for being white, as opposed to being young (or just being Not Police) and if you still come to the conclusion that you were targeted for being white to contemplate whether that minor inconvenience is even remotely comparable to the horrific amount of shit people of color in this country deal with.

Because it really fucking sucks to be a person of color in the United States, and it really fucking sucks to be a PoC in Michigan.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Princess Marzipan » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:12 am UTC

Mad Mike wrote:Rereading that post, I look like an idiot.....
We all do from time to time. Not too many people are able to admit it, though, so you've got more of a chance than most at preventing similar mistakes in the future.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Роберт » Mon Aug 20, 2012 2:16 pm UTC

Yes, I think we can all agree - having to deal with corrupt cops who want to stir up trouble is terrible, and it's great when you can avoid them.

Let's ignore the portion of the comment about white vs black because Mad Mike admitted it was a pretty idiotic looking post. My favorite anecdote? White kids actively doing a drug deal vs black kid with a basketball? The cops ignore the white kids and stare down the black kid hard! I'm sure it varies but statistically it looks like black youth are targeted more than white youth.

It'd be nice if the police weren't really targeting anyone and instead just did their jobs. And I'm certain there are quite a few cops who do just that. But there's clearly a lot of room for improvement in a lot of police forces.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Thesh » Wed Oct 17, 2012 5:44 pm UTC

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/1 ... 73787.html

I didn't realize Blind Fury was that popular in the UK.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Nordic Einar » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:28 am UTC

The proliferation of tasers is, in my mind, one of the worst things to have ever happened to police forces :/

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Green9090 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:50 am UTC

Thesh wrote:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/17/colin-farmer-blind-man-tasered-police-lancashire-samurai-sword_n_1973787.html

I didn't realize Blind Fury was that popular in the UK.


Oh my fucking god. I love how there's no talk of the cop responsible for using the taser losing his job or facing jail time. You can't just use a potentially deadly weapon on someone after barely glancing at them; being a cop shouldn't change that.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Dauric » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:58 am UTC

Green9090 wrote:
Thesh wrote:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/17/colin-farmer-blind-man-tasered-police-lancashire-samurai-sword_n_1973787.html

I didn't realize Blind Fury was that popular in the UK.


Oh my fucking god. I love how there's no talk of the cop responsible for using the taser losing his job or facing jail time. You can't just use a potentially deadly weapon on someone after barely glancing at them; being a cop shouldn't change that.


I think the first point of failure was that the officer couldn't tell the difference between a katana and a blind man's cane, even if we take the unlikely assumption that the man in question was twirling it around sword-like or something. Officer Dipshit needs to attend Threat Evaluation 101 before he's back on the street again.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Jonesthe Spy » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:31 am UTC

Then there's this: http://www.salon.com/2012/10/15/nypd_be ... ch_center/

The NYPD beat up a homeless man in Brooklyn last week as he resisted arrest for sleeping in a synagogue outreach center, where he had permission to stay...Surveillance video obtained by local news site CrownHeights.info shows two officers brutally beating a shoeless and shirtless man, Ehud Halevi, who insisted he had permission to be in the center for troubled youth...

“[Halevi] was also pepper sprayed during the arrest, [and] was charged with assaulting a police officer, trespassing, resisting arrest and harassment. He’s currently out on bail and faces up to five years in prison for assaulting an officer.” The NYPD have yet to issue comment.


The very unpleasant video is viewable at the linked article, for the strong of stomach.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Princess Marzipan » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:08 am UTC

I need to stop reading this thread. It's quite depressing.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:32 am UTC

The most depressing thing is that there will be no justice had. As he didn't show absolute obedience upon being awakened while intoxicated, too many people will say he deserved it.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby addams » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:43 am UTC

I have first hand experence with thid topic. Too much first hand experence.

1. I was arrested. The arresting offecer was rough. He taunted me and pushed me around. Z
I am all white and professional. I kept my mouth shut. He wad
S an under efucated tweerp. He made a big show if walking me handcuffed down the street of my middle class neighborhood. Not required. Yet. The punishment often begins before charges are thought up.

Thank God Ploice are human animals. Over and over I saw treatment of others that I was spared, because of my apparent social status. It wad so awlful to see people roughed up, talked to in ways that are not allowed by any professional. I was spared some of thr worse POlice attepention because I can keep my mouth shut and the caste system is alive and well. TZ way others were treated was guilt producing and frightening.

2. It is hard to type on this thing. TYPOS ARE NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE TO FIX.

O.K. This is the smart forum. Right?


The patroit act edited the US laws. The 1st, 4th and 5th are gone.
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Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby addams » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:03 am UTC

DOUBLE POST
Iam limitef by the hardware.

Has anyone else read The Patroit Act? We can discuss the constitution the way we can descuss any quaint and out dated document. It is lovley poetry. The act is functional law. The US constitution was attacked by enemies from within. Poor little old document.

With TheAct in place My first and fourth were violated, legally.

Agreat deal more was done; To me and to others. This hardware will not allow me to bitch about it much.


Iam no longer shy. I will name names, give dates and locations. It will not help.

Opps.

HEY! ON
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.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Nordic Einar » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:43 am UTC


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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Nylonathatep » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:00 pm UTC

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/10/18 ... rai-sword/

Blind man Tasered after police mistake his white cane for a samurai sword

Officers were responding to “a number of reports that a man was walking through Chorley armed with a samurai sword,” when they confronted Colin Farmer, who was on his way to meet friends in a pub last Friday, in the northern English town.

When Farmer, 61, did not respond to their calls to stop, one of the officers used his taser stun gun, which delivers a 50,000 volt shock.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby addams » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:42 am UTC

How can we tell misbehavior?

I saw a Police car with lights on stopped by another car. A mans legs were sticking out visable to cars passing on the roadway.

My first thought was,"aaww. Nice. He's working on the car."

A second look shower his feet were in the face down position.

IT IS WET AND COLD HERE!!


Is that getting down on the ground required for everyone these days?

A Police that does that should be required to fill out the report while kneeling in wet gravel.

Are we really that dangerous? I don't think we are. I think some guys get extra job satisfaction.
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.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby addams » Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:08 am UTC

!What is, really, going on out there?

Today at the laundry I spoke to three young men. The Alpha did most of the talking.
He was all excited and happy. I listened to him talking. Then, I had some questions.

He and the others? They are traveling in a late model SUV.

What are they doing?
They are actors in a show like COPS?

They looked the part. The Alpha said the Police were part of the show. The REAL Police.

When I asked questions the Alpha guy got mean.

Was he,just, a lier at a laundry, no where USA?

If true,then strange.
The Police watch Police shows.
Is it common knowledge for Police? Do they know 'the bad guys are actors?
Or;
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.


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