Police misbehavior thread

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:57 pm UTC

Just in case anyone cares, the time elapsed from the time Brown is in the convenience store to the second officer arriving on the scene and Brown dead or dying in the street was 13 minutes according to the BBC. 11:51 to 12:04.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:19 pm UTC

Iz, Wilson's testimony is that he did call for backup.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Coyne » Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:22 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:For one thing, it is extremely easy to get an indictment if you actually have a prosecutor interested in indicting anyone (99.99% or more).

Do you have a source for this that doesn't conflate federal with state grand juries?


It's an interesting question.

I spent some time digging in Google; half an hour or so. It seems there is zero interest in recording success rates at the state level. I was able to find one document which conceded that sometimes defendants waive grand jury proceedings and sometimes don't and that's about it. The document didn't bother to mention indictment rates, even though it counted the cases going to the grand jury. In the end, it's hardly worth a link for this argument, but here you go: United States Attorneys’ Annual Statistical Report (PDF).

Personally, I think that the lack of interest in recording means the grand jury is so proforma at the state level that it is regarded as a waste of time to count statistics. If you want to know why, you might read IF IT'S NOT A RUNAWAY, IT'S NOT A REAL GRAND JURY.

Anyway, if you really want that info, I think it's FOIA time. So I guess we're stuck with the federal statistics.

But since the state grand jury operations appear to be clones of the federal operations, I would expect them to have the same stats within -1% or so...i.e., 99%, or 99-in-100.Do we really think state prosecutors would accept any less?
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:30 am UTC

I don't see why there's any basis for assuming that the state and federal statistics would be the same. Where I've seen lawyers discuss this, the general assumption is that they should not be the same: that for whatever reasons (my uninformed guess is that these include different resources and different crimes under state and federal jurisdictions) federal prosecutors have the luxury of only going to a grand jury when they already have a slam-dunk case. (So there are significant factors in play besides the procedure itself.) And lawyers with experience as prosecutors who got no true bills far more often than once every 10,000 cases.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:31 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Iz, Wilson's testimony is that he did call for backup.
Ah, you're right.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cass ... -testimony

From the article:

Obviously, questions can be raised about the accuracy of this account, which Wilson prepared in conjunction with his defense attorney. But even assuming it’s true, what stands out is that once the second shot had been fired and Brown had started to run, he no longer represented a deadly threat to the officer or to anybody else. He was a large, bleeding, unarmed man running down the street in an attempt to get away. Wilson, who chased after Brown, was the one with the deadly weapon.


I'm still an enormous fan of the 'like a demon' comment and how 'fearful for his life' Wilson was, given the horrendous beating he received.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:46 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Iz, Wilson's testimony is that he did call for backup.
Ah, you're right.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cass ... -testimony

From the article:

Obviously, questions can be raised about the accuracy of this account, which Wilson prepared in conjunction with his defense attorney. But even assuming it’s true, what stands out is that once the second shot had been fired and Brown had started to run, he no longer represented a deadly threat to the officer or to anybody else. He was a large, bleeding, unarmed man running down the street in an attempt to get away. Wilson, who chased after Brown, was the one with the deadly weapon.


I'm still an enormous fan of the 'like a demon' comment and how 'fearful for his life' Wilson was, given the horrendous beating he received.

Because it's important to state those things or else the officer can't claim to have been acting reasonably. If he had stated, "i shot him because he beat me up and nobody beats up Mr. Wilson" that wouldn't have gone over as well.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:49 am UTC

Of course given the pictures, it clearly remains the case that nobody beats up Mr. Wilson...
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:46 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Of course given the pictures, it clearly remains the case that nobody beats up Mr. Wilson...

It's not what happened, it's what you can prove.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby leady » Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:09 am UTC

ah still going with the racist psycho cop goes mental and guns down Brown in a a rage in broad daylight in the middle of a black neighbourhood version of events - screw that razor thing, chuck in a whole heap of more unknowable leaps like that the cop was part of a secret murder squad like in that dirty harry film.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:02 pm UTC

leady wrote:ah still going with the racist psycho cop goes mental and guns down Brown in a a rage in broad daylight in the middle of a black neighbourhood version of events - screw that razor thing, chuck in a whole heap of more unknowable leaps like that the cop was part of a secret murder squad like in that dirty harry film.

razor thing?

As a serious thought exercise, are you capable of entertaining the notion that a cop made a mistake? I've notice you tend to rely on hyperbole to make your points here; have you considered that he screwed up, made an honest mistake due to getting in over his head or being racist, and now realizes it went too far?

I'm not being glib, but I've noticed people seem to demand allegiance to one camp or the other. You can hold that Wilson screwed up without wanting to burn him at the stake. You can hold that Brown robbed the store and shoved a shopkeep and even that he scuffled with Wilson without thinking him getting shot was reasonable.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby leady » Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:50 pm UTC

I'm always hyberbolic as a direct counter to the opposite side - make absurd claims and i'm going to reflect them back in the worst light possible :) I'm not one of those silly people that believes that a good compromise is between the centrist and extreme positions.


Sure he may have made a mistake, but you have to show where and how such a mistake occurred and the evidence for it. This debate isn't "cop overreacts to 6'4" 290lbs man making a sudden move towards him under legitimate chase", as per this thread its "racist cop murders black suspect without justification". The problem you are always going to hit though is that "overreacts" and "reacts as trained" are pretty much indistinguishable. Both leave the same evidence and eye witnesses... well lets say the brain is so good at re-writing itself even before dealing with outright liars as to be near useless.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Trebla » Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:14 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:razor thing?

As a serious thought exercise, are you capable of entertaining the notion that a cop made a mistake? I've notice you tend to rely on hyperbole to make your points here; have you considered that he screwed up, made an honest mistake due to getting in over his head or being racist, and now realizes it went too far?

I'm not being glib, but I've noticed people seem to demand allegiance to one camp or the other. You can hold that Wilson screwed up without wanting to burn him at the stake. You can hold that Brown robbed the store and shoved a shopkeep and even that he scuffled with Wilson without thinking him getting shot was reasonable.


Occam's Razor, I would assume. Accepting Wilson's testimony requires the fewest unsupported assumptions (or assumptions counter-indicated by physical evidence)?

I think everyone accepts he made a mistake. He could have done things differently that wouldn't have ended with this situation. Those are the stories we're not talking about. Was following him out of the car a mistake? Probably. Were the final two shots (assuming we accept that the fatal shot(s) were the final two) a mistake? Almost certainly. Should he have provided medical attention immediately (assuming it was possible)? That's almost 100% certain.

The question is if the mistakes were reasonable? Are the fixable? Was he negligent enough to call the mistakes criminal?

As to the Grand Jury failing to indict and all the calls about the grand jury being a farce... it's probably just that it was a farce. People involved at the time had a clear picture that there were no reasonable charges to bring, so they didn't. In face of public outcry, it had to be done, but nobody involved in the case thought there were even grounds for the Grand Jury, let alone an indictment. So yeah, those people are probably right, it was a show to appease the upset.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:15 pm UTC

leady wrote:I'm always hyberbolic as a direct counter to the opposite side - make absurd claims and i'm going to reflect them back in the worst light possible :) I'm not one of those silly people that believes that a good compromise is between the centrist and extreme positions.


Sure he may have made a mistake, but you have to show where and how such a mistake occurred and the evidence for it. This debate isn't "cop overreacts to 6'4" 290lbs man making a sudden move towards him under legitimate chase", as per this thread its "racist cop murders black suspect without justification". The problem you are always going to hit though is that "overreacts" and "reacts as trained" are pretty much indistinguishable. Both leave the same evidence and eye witnesses... well lets say the brain is so good at re-writing itself even before dealing with outright liars as to be near useless.

The mistake starts with see a big black guy I better yell at him from my car. Its a mistake cops routinely make just like you are making right now.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:42 pm UTC

leady wrote:I'm always hyberbolic as a direct counter to the opposite side - make absurd claims and i'm going to reflect them back in the worst light possible :) I'm not one of those silly people that believes that a good compromise is between the centrist and extreme positions.


Sure he may have made a mistake, but you have to show where and how such a mistake occurred and the evidence for it. This debate isn't "cop overreacts to 6'4" 290lbs man making a sudden move towards him under legitimate chase", as per this thread its "racist cop murders black suspect without justification". The problem you are always going to hit though is that "overreacts" and "reacts as trained" are pretty much indistinguishable. Both leave the same evidence and eye witnesses... well lets say the brain is so good at re-writing itself even before dealing with outright liars as to be near useless.
This is exactly the problem with the pitfall of assuming you're centrist. You aren't. You're making fairly polarizing statements in an effort to justify something, and people are bringing up contrary evidence, and you are pointing to it as being polarizing. No one is saying Wilson is a racist who went around looking for black people to lynch because he can't wait to be promoted to Grand Wizard Poobah KKK whateverwhatever, what people *ARE* saying is the assumption that a black kid is going to be aggressive, or that all black people are the perpetrators who robbed a store, is racist.

Part of talking about racism is addressing the more insidious forms of it. Yes, we've mostly kind of eliminated the KKK lynch mob style of racism in America, but we haven't eliminated more subtle forms, such as cops more frequently stopping black people, or cops more frequently shooting black people.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:48 pm UTC

Trebla wrote:As to the Grand Jury failing to indict and all the calls about the grand jury being a farce... it's probably just that it was a farce. People involved at the time had a clear picture that there were no reasonable charges to bring, so they didn't. In face of public outcry, it had to be done, but nobody involved in the case thought there were even grounds for the Grand Jury, let alone an indictment. So yeah, those people are probably right, it was a show to appease the upset.


What exactly is the point of a Grand Jury? From what I've been reading they're usually criticized in the opposite direction, in that they usually result in indictments. I'm not clear why there's this mini pre-trial where only one side, the prosecution, gets to basically be involved. Especially if the prosecution can, in general, just lay charges without a grand jury.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:03 pm UTC

The problem is that everyone lives in an echo chamber. 'Centrist' tends to mean 'center of what most of my acquaintances think'. So if you hang around people whose opinions range from 'racism is a myth by fearmongers' to 'racism is a minor issue', you will think 'racism is incredibly rare' is the 'centrist' viewpoint. Likewise one the 'racism is everywhere' side. Academia tries to limit the echo chamber effect with larger sample sizes (ie, diversity) and so forth, but depending upon the department it'll creep in in various amounts. Especially if you hang around only one or two departments.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Trebla » Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:09 pm UTC

Chen wrote:What exactly is the point of a Grand Jury? From what I've been reading they're usually criticized in the opposite direction, in that they usually result in indictments. I'm not clear why there's this mini pre-trial where only one side, the prosecution, gets to basically be involved. Especially if the prosecution can, in general, just lay charges without a grand jury.


The internet tells me (and this may vary by jurisdiction) that a grand jury must indict before a person can be charged with a felony. Just an extra safeguards to protect people from senseless prosecution, maybe?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby leady » Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:17 pm UTC

yeah I wouldn't describe myself as centrist in any respect - i'm pretty sure i'm overtly in the all isms are massively overblown camp

if the discussion was "based on the known facts, is it possible the cop make and mistake and if so could it be legally proven" we could have a discussion, but one that would come to the conclusion of the grand jury I think for the same reasons, i.e. that its impossible to prove a state of mind and the evidence supports the cops testimony. Then we could both agree that head cams would be a good things and then debate on what would be reasonable given hard head cam evidence (& I think we would fundamentally disagree a lot here too).

sardia wrote:The mistake starts with see a big black guy I better yell at him from my car. Its a mistake cops routinely make just like you are making right now.


This I have to take issue with though. It is absolutely the cops jobs to police behaviour for fecksake. One might almost describe it as the sole purpose of their job.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:25 pm UTC

leady wrote:if the discussion was "based on the known facts, is it possible the cop make and mistake and if so could it be legally proven" we could have a discussion, but one that would come to the conclusion of the grand jury I think for the same reasons, i.e. that its impossible to prove a state of mind and the evidence supports the cops testimony. Then we could both agree that head cams would be a good things and then debate on what would be reasonable given hard head cam evidence (& I think we would fundamentally disagree a lot here too).
Respectfully, I call bullshit right here. I've watched in the last half a dozen or so pages as gmalivuk has repeatedly linked sources, evidence, to you, about why various claims made by Wilson or yourself don't hold up, and seen you ignore them whole cloth.

This has largely been a discussion about facts, and you have largely failed to uphold that as a standard of dialog.

Chen wrote:What exactly is the point of a Grand Jury? From what I've been reading they're usually criticized in the opposite direction, in that they usually result in indictments. I'm not clear why there's this mini pre-trial where only one side, the prosecution, gets to basically be involved. Especially if the prosecution can, in general, just lay charges without a grand jury.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:05 pm UTC

leady wrote:yeah I wouldn't describe myself as centrist in any respect - i'm pretty sure i'm overtly in the all isms are massively overblown camp

if the discussion was "based on the known facts, is it possible the cop make and mistake and if so could it be legally proven" we could have a discussion, but one that would come to the conclusion of the grand jury I think for the same reasons, i.e. that its impossible to prove a state of mind and the evidence supports the cops testimony. Then we could both agree that head cams would be a good things and then debate on what would be reasonable given hard head cam evidence (& I think we would fundamentally disagree a lot here too).
As a specific it's difficult to prove because the data is lacking. Any single case will always be ambiguous. Memory is too weak a tool. But the idea of institutional racism existing has at least some validity. And the idea that police are trigger happy also has some support. Police have resisted making reporting mandatory for these type of events which could imply that they think they are above the law. And police have become a paramilitary force. Heavily armed and increasingly aggressive. So even if this case is exactly as Wilson depicts it, the trust that police need to operate in our communities is being eroded because they are opaque.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:18 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
leady wrote:ah still going with the racist psycho cop goes mental and guns down Brown in a a rage in broad daylight in the middle of a black neighbourhood version of events - screw that razor thing, chuck in a whole heap of more unknowable leaps like that the cop was part of a secret murder squad like in that dirty harry film.

razor thing?

As a serious thought exercise, are you capable of entertaining the notion that a cop made a mistake? I've notice you tend to rely on hyperbole to make your points here; have you considered that he screwed up, made an honest mistake due to getting in over his head or being racist, and now realizes it went too far?

I'm not being glib, but I've noticed people seem to demand allegiance to one camp or the other. You can hold that Wilson screwed up without wanting to burn him at the stake. You can hold that Brown robbed the store and shoved a shopkeep and even that he scuffled with Wilson without thinking him getting shot was reasonable.


Honest mistake seems a reasonable possibility. Certainly, the department made mistakes in the aftermath, and not filing the report after the fact is at least a mistake. Unfortunately, differentiating mistakes from ill intent is sometimes difficult.

Izawwlgood wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Following a fleeing shot person seems essential. Leaving a shot person to die seems...not at all like what the police should be doing. Even if they shot them. Shot people deserve prompt medical attention, and suspects should be taken into custody, even if it is dangerous to the officer. That's...kind of what cops are for.
Eh, I disagree. First order of business after an altercation should be calling for backup. Second order should be calmly following or tracking the subject to ensure no further harm to civilians. Third order should be securing the subject for the arrest.

Order of priorities of safety here should be 1 ) public, 2 ) officer, 3 ) subject. Cops should not be able to fire wildly when they feel they're at risk if it's going to harm bystanders.


I agree with the priorities as listed, but in this particular instance, bystanders were not harmed by accidental fire. In addition, stopping to call for backup as an "always do this first" step seems like it would make it significantly easier for suspects to escape, which potentially impacts #1. While I'm all for better accuracy, it just doesn't seem relevant here.

Tyndmyr wrote:Demonically terrifying is, I think we can all agree, inflation for the benefit of the courtroom. Hyperbole, to emphasize the danger or whatever. I do not think this can reasonably be taken seriously.
And doesn't that worry you?


God no. I fully expect the police officer to claim that he shot because he was in danger, and to represent that danger as severe as plausible. See also, people describing self defense shoots, etc. Nobody sane is going to face a potential murder charge and say "well, I thought, screw it, ima kill him". Certainly one can expect that lawyers, etc would advise emphasizing danger and such.

The question is if the evidence justifies the impression of fear.

Tyndmyr wrote:I believe the distance between them was much shorter? 25ish feet, I believe? Where is the 120 feet from?
Chen wrote:25 ft is the distance between the first blood spatter and the body. This first spatter is presumably from the first of two bursts of shots that he fired after the car altercation. Looking at the NY Times map this occurred ~150 ft away from the car (i.e., he chased him for about 150 ft before shooting). All the shell casings are pretty clusterd in a ~10-20ft area it seems (all around the body). So the shooting itself happened at fairly close range from what we can see. There was no over 100 ft shooting going on here.

Right, sorry; Wilson pursued for ~150 ft, which means there's ample time to A ) call for backup, or B ) secure a taser. Presumably Brown turned, and from a distance of about 10-25 ft, Wilson shot him dead.

I guess my danger sense is crap, but if someone was standing 10-25 ft away from me with a gunshot wound, I wouldn't call them a 'terrifying threat'.


150 feet isn't extremely far to run. However, it is difficult to do all of those things at once. Calling for backup and securing a taser would likely mean letting the suspect escape. If this were adopted as a matter of policy, there would no doubt be a significant number of cases in which undesirable outcomes occur due to slow police response(already a problem in many dangerous situations). Trying to determine policy based on this incident alone is going to be flawed.

Doctrine says that if you're being charged at that range, you shoot. 10-25 feet can be closed in a very short time. I suggest you research the Tuller drill, which is designed specifically to demonstrate how dangerous a determined attacker is at close range to an armed individual.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:26 pm UTC

What tyndmyr and leady are implying is its better to catch a hundred innocent lives lest you let a single guilty man escape. That is not how our justice system should work especially if this mostly applies to mi orities.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:30 pm UTC

sardia wrote:What tyndmyr and leady are implying is its better to catch a hundred innocent lives lest you let a single guilty man escape. That is not how our justice system should work especially if this mostly applies to mi orities.


That is not what I am implying at all.

I am implying that policy is meant to provide the best outcome across many incidents. ALL policies will fail some time, and judging them by a single incident is a crap way to pick them.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:32 pm UTC

Are you in favor of updating policies to address racial discrimination in our police officers then?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:38 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Are you in favor of updating policies to address racial discrimination in our police officers then?


Sure, knock yourself out. I have explicitly been saying that systemic racial discrimination is a problem.

However, trying to claim that "following suspects before calling in for backup" is an inherently bad policy because of racism or what not doesn't seem supported thus far in the thread.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:10 pm UTC

That's gonna get tricky fast if we can't question police procedures like this one. The studies show cops feel in danger more often around minorities than comparedvto white people and pick them up more often. If we can't punish individual and can't question procedures then we aren't left with much room for change.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby HungryHobo » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:13 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:The problem is that everyone lives in an echo chamber. 'Centrist' tends to mean 'center of what most of my acquaintances think'.

CorruptUser wrote: Academia tries to limit the echo chamber effect with larger sample sizes (ie, diversity) and so forth, but depending upon the department it'll creep in in various amounts. Especially if you hang around only one or two departments.


the first part is very true but Academia isn't immune, Academia tends to be very blue.

You know the classic experiments where name is varied between male/female white/black? Someone repeated it for party affiliation.

Iyengar and Westwood also decided to do the resume test for parties. They asked subjects to decide which of several candidates should get a scholarship (subjects were told this was a genuine decision for the university the researchers were affiliated with). Some resumes had photos of black people, others of white people. And some students listed their experience in Young Democrats of America, others in Young Republicans of America.

Once again, discrimination on the basis of party was much stronger than discrimination on the basis of race. The size of the race effect for white people was only 56-44 (and in the reverse of the expected direction); the size of the party effect was about 80-20 for Democrats and 69-31 for Republicans.


This has the unfortunate side effect that things which are politically unpopular with the blue tribe can be harder in academia.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:25 pm UTC

sardia wrote:That's gonna get tricky fast if we can't question police procedures like this one. The studies show cops feel in danger more often around minorities than comparedvto white people and pick them up more often. If we can't punish individual and can't question procedures then we aren't left with much room for change.


What procedure would you question here? The one regarding backup? I mean he said he called for backup, would it be preferable if he waited until backup arrived to try and pursue someone who is fleeing? Should that be general policy?

I'm not clear you'll find many procedures that are going to help deal with general racism. Odds are they already have policies on paper that are not followed (don't racially profile, don't discriminate based on race etc). I'm also not sure how this would relate to this particular case. Wilson feeling more worried or more threatened by a black person than a white person is not something you can deal with via procedure.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby KrytenKoro » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:03 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
sardia wrote:That's gonna get tricky fast if we can't question police procedures like this one. The studies show cops feel in danger more often around minorities than comparedvto white people and pick them up more often. If we can't punish individual and can't question procedures then we aren't left with much room for change.


What procedure would you question here? The one regarding backup? I mean he said he called for backup, would it be preferable if he waited until backup arrived to try and pursue someone who is fleeing? Should that be general policy?

I'm not clear you'll find many procedures that are going to help deal with general racism. Odds are they already have policies on paper that are not followed (don't racially profile, don't discriminate based on race etc). I'm also not sure how this would relate to this particular case. Wilson feeling more worried or more threatened by a black person than a white person is not something you can deal with via procedure.

You could, you know, fire him and choose not to hire those like him for being uncorrectably incompetent at his fundamental job requirement of impartial, lawful application of the law.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:16 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
leady wrote:if the discussion was "based on the known facts, is it possible the cop make and mistake and if so could it be legally proven" we could have a discussion, but one that would come to the conclusion of the grand jury I think for the same reasons, i.e. that its impossible to prove a state of mind and the evidence supports the cops testimony. Then we could both agree that head cams would be a good things and then debate on what would be reasonable given hard head cam evidence (& I think we would fundamentally disagree a lot here too).
Respectfully, I call bullshit right here. I've watched in the last half a dozen or so pages as gmalivuk has repeatedly linked sources, evidence, to you, about why various claims made by Wilson or yourself don't hold up, and seen you ignore them whole cloth.
Yeah, I decided a bit ago that since leady is so obviously uninterested in reading or addressing what I bring up, I'm not going to bother reading or responding to him either.

Trebla wrote:Occam's Razor, I would assume. Accepting Wilson's testimony requires the fewest unsupported assumptions (or assumptions counter-indicated by physical evidence)?

Which is not the case, as I've already been over with the altercation at the car. There are a number of more implausible assumptions we have to make to believe Wilson's version of what happened there than we do to believe Dorian Johnson's account.

As to the Grand Jury failing to indict and all the calls about the grand jury being a farce... it's probably just that it was a farce. People involved at the time had a clear picture that there were no reasonable charges to bring, so they didn't.
Wilson shot at a wounded, unarmed, fleeing man. Are you saying even excessive force or improper discharge of a firearm or the like would be "unreasonable" charges to bring?
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:31 pm UTC

KrytenKoro wrote:You could, you know, fire him and choose not to hire those like him for being uncorrectably incompetent at his fundamental job requirement of impartial, lawful application of the law.


Firstly I don't see how firing him is a procedure change, nor do I see justification in doing so for him being a racist or the like, from any of the evidence we've seen. Institutional racism almost certainly played a role in this situation. I'm not sure how you go about punishing someone for that though. If he did indeed feel more threatened by Brown because he was black, how would we determine that? He certainly didn't say that. Hell it might even just be subconcious.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:40 pm UTC

Why not enact harsher consequences all round for killing people?

Something like, any killing of an unarmed person results in unpaid suspension pending an investigation, and the investigation has to be a real evidence-based process (and ideally run by someone other than the killer cop's own department). Even homicides ruled justified could carry a penalty if they were caused by firearms when the cop could have used a taser. Any mysterious absence of usable body- or dashcam evidence results in some kind of penalty. (Though honestly I could see cops wanting to make sure their recording equipment worked if it could help clear their name in cases of justified homicide.)

Yes, cops should be allowed to defend themselves and in their line of work are more likely to need deadly force to do so than an average person. But if my killing someone in self-defense results in a thorough investigation to make sure deadly force was really necessary, cops ought to be held to at least *some* more accountable standard when they kill people.
Last edited by gmalivuk on Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:43 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:40 pm UTC

The first step would be to ditch the body armor. Get out of the car and treat them like they treat white people.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:43 pm UTC

sardia wrote:That's gonna get tricky fast if we can't question police procedures like this one. The studies show cops feel in danger more often around minorities than comparedvto white people and pick them up more often. If we can't punish individual and can't question procedures then we aren't left with much room for change.


You can certainly question them. I merely claimed that support was lacking for such a connection thus far.

I am afraid that I still do not see how changes to pursuit rules will fix an unequal stop rate. We certainly can discuss pursuit rules, but...what improvements do you hope to see, and how do you propose a change will result in them?

gmalivuk wrote:
As to the Grand Jury failing to indict and all the calls about the grand jury being a farce... it's probably just that it was a farce. People involved at the time had a clear picture that there were no reasonable charges to bring, so they didn't.
Wilson shot at a wounded, unarmed, fleeing man. Are you saying even excessive force or improper discharge of a firearm or the like would be "unreasonable" charges to bring?


As noted, the fleeing seems somewhat unsupported. He fled at one point, but he was not shot while he was fleeing, so far as the evidence shows. Neither being unarmed or being wounded precludes a good shoot if a credible threat is being presented.

For indiction, the question at hand is "was a credible threat warranting shooting presented"? It appears they decided that it likely was. I have not yet read the entirety of the mammoth transcript, but what I saw so far seemed pretty reasonable.

Granted, I also don't feel that we should just expect indictments to be successful. Seems to rather defeat the purpose of having them at all.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:01 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:As noted, the fleeing seems somewhat unsupported. He fled at one point, but he was not shot while he was fleeing, so far as the evidence shows.
The evidence apart from the 11 witnesses who said he was running away from Darren Wilson when fired upon, you mean?

(You'll note that I never said he was shot while fleeing, but that he was shot at. That Wilson failed to hit him doesn't magically legalize it.)
Last edited by gmalivuk on Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:02 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:02 pm UTC

In addition to the community outreach I stated earlier, I would separate the internale investigators from the cops and the unions.
Then use statistical analysis to find the departments that have statistically abnormal arrests with minorities and start firing people. Does he brag about how many wetbacks he caught? Fire him. Did he curse out a protesters? Fire him. The cops are gonna scream about how unfair it is and how your family is endangered unless you give cops free reign to brutalize the criminals. Ignore them, if you really trusted the cops you wouldn't have bought all those guns.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:10 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:As noted, the fleeing seems somewhat unsupported. He fled at one point, but he was not shot while he was fleeing, so far as the evidence shows.
The evidence apart from the 11 witnesses who said he was running away from Darren Wilson when fired upon, you mean?

(You'll note that I never said he was shot while fleeing, but that he was shot at. That Wilson failed to hit him doesn't magically legalize it.)


I put significantly stronger weight on physical evidence than eyewitness evidence, especially when the eyewitness evidence seems plagued with contradictions and other issues of veracity.

Perhaps he turned to flee while firing was ongoing, and bullets were indeed fired in that period. It's quite plausible. There's a certain delay between taking in information and acting on it, especially if fear/panic is a factor. Surely, he cannot have been constantly firing for the entire encounter, so he did stop firing for the pursuit, yes? That's the only reasonable interpretation from physical evidence. Such a situation could easily result in someone seeing a shot go off as the suspect starts to flee, yet not be in any way a result of an improper decision, due to human limitations.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:15 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Why not enact harsher consequences all round for killing people?

Something like, any killing of an unarmed person results in unpaid suspension pending an investigation, and the investigation has to be a real evidence-based process (and ideally run by someone other than the killer cop's own department). Even homicides ruled justified could carry a penalty if they were caused by firearms when the cop could have used a taser. Any mysterious absence of usable body- or dashcam evidence results in some kind of penalty. (Though honestly I could see cops wanting to make sure their recording equipment worked if it could help clear their name in cases of justified homicide.)

Yes, cops should be allowed to defend themselves and in their line of work are more likely to need deadly force to do so than an average person. But if my killing someone in self-defense results in a thorough investigation to make sure deadly force was really necessary, cops ought to be held to at least *some* more accountable standard when they kill people.


Police being investigated as thoroughly as non-police when it comes to self-defense (or defense of others) is certainly a must. Clearly dash/body cameras would be a huge boon too. I'm not convinced a flat monetary penalty (the unpaid leave) regardless of whether its justified or not is ok though. Imagine a case similar to this one where the evidence was a bit more concrete but still went to a Grand Jury. Seems like it'd be a bit long to deprive someone of their salary, especially if it turns out in the end the person was justified in the killing. Some sort of fixed penalty for having killed someone (regardless of justification or not) might work out better. It would likely get police to think twice before resorting to their guns.

gmalivuk wrote:The evidence apart from the 11 witnesses who said he was running away from Darren Wilson when fired upon, you mean?

(You'll note that I never said he was shot while fleeing, but that he was shot at. That Wilson failed to hit him doesn't magically legalize it.)


The shell casings make this seem unlikely though. All the shell casings are in roughly the same area (aside the two from the stuggle in the car) and thats the same area Brown's body/bloodstains are. The shots all hit Brown from the front and the shots were in rapid succession in two bursts (at least so I recall reading from multiple witnesses). So even if the first shot of the burst was while he was fleeing, Brown would have had to stop and turn around very quickly to still get hit by the first burst (first bloodstain) and then moved 25 ft towards Wilson before being killed by the second burst. There is no evidence of say a single shot or two before the two bursts that would have caused Brown to stop running and turn around, letting him get hit by the first burst, move and die to the second one.

Now of course, this relies on the witnesses testimony of hearing only two sets of shots rather than any other stray ones. It matches Wilson's testimony, but he'd likely heard those reports too, so there's nothing to say he didn't modify his story to match that.
Last edited by Chen on Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:27 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:22 pm UTC

Chen wrote:Police being investigated as thoroughly as non-police when it comes to self-defense (or defense of others) is certainly a must. Clearly dash/body cameras would be a huge boon too. I'm not convinced a flat monetary penalty (the unpaid leave) regardless of whether its justified or not is ok though. Imagine a case similar to this one where the evidence was a bit more concrete but still went to a Grand Jury. Seems like it'd be a bit long to deprive someone of their salary, especially if it turns out in the end the person was justified in the killing.
So reimburse some portion of it if the ruling is that it was justified.

I'm sorry for caring less about whether a cop gets months of paid vacation than I do about the fact that he killed a person.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Dec 02, 2014 8:37 pm UTC

I think we'll agree on most of that. It'd never go over with the police union though. Id prefer a "no shots" bonus or something of the like. Make police pay a fortune per bullet and to paraphrase Chris Rock 'people will assume the guy did something that made that guy want to put $40,000 in his ass!".

Better yet; make the bonus by department, eg, $2k for no shots by officer, $3k for entire group. "What, Jenkins shot a guy and I lose my $3k Christmas bonus? Jenkins, fuck you. Fuck you with the bladed dildo from Se7en!".


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