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Lifesaving advice from a black woman held at gunpoint by police (theundefeated.com)
147 points by nafizh 70 days ago | hide | past | web | 95 comments | favorite



The most alarming thing about this story, apart from the suspected racism, is the sheer amount of confirmation bias on display from someone who is quite prepared to shoot you.

She offered corroborating evidence from the get go, and even the 911 dispatcher confirms her story, yet the officer is too busy waving his piece around to get off his power trip.

I'd be mad too. Some element of this volatile combo of deadly weapons and unprofessional police behavior has to change. Preferably both.


We need to have a set of cops who are clearly marked, wired with a body camera, and who don't carry weaponry. Put them in blaze orange or something so criminals can see them coming and run away. You should have to go through this period for some number of years until you get to carry a gun.

Most cops go their whole lives without firing their gun--adding an extra gun rarely makes a situation better. While TV and movies like to portray heroic feats of gunplay, in reality, 90+% of the bullets go errant in situations where a gun was actually useful and required.


I don't think the gun is the issue here - I carry a gun, regularly, and I've never felt the need to draw it and point it at someone who might be stealing something.

Police in the US are generally seen as adversarial, while police in the UK are generally seen as mostly helpful. In my estimation, the problem in the US is one of culture. Police here are looking for a reason to charge you with a crime, not trying to keep you out of trouble. It's "us versus them" on both sides.


The issue that the police in UK fire their guns a few orders of magnitude less might have something to do with it. It makes no sense to dive into statistics as to encounters and guilt and race and what not. Police in US is seen as adversial because they tend to shoot people and that's the core problem. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/uk-police-sho...


Police in the US also get shot at magnitudes higher than the UK. Something something about everyone having guns.


> I carry a gun, regularly, and I've never felt the need to draw it and point it at someone who might be stealing something.

And yet you wrote in another comment that had you been the son-in-law, you would've brought your rifle to go talk to the person at the car. Why? In your scenario, you already called 911, what's the point of brandishing the weapon if you're not prepared to shoot someone for possibly stealing a car?


> In your scenario, you already called 911, what's the point of brandishing the weapon if you're not prepared to shoot someone for possibly stealing a car?

It's not unreasonable to expect that someone willing to steal a car might also be willing to harm you to do so.


In a country where gun ownership for private citizens is difficult in practice, that's somewhat unreasonable to expect.

Also, if someone feels like the expected penalties for stealing a car and wounding/killing someone are close enough that they should be prepared to kill someone while stealing the car if needed, that speaks to a failure of the justice system: either the penalty for causing physical harm should be much higher, or the penalty for stealing a car should be much lower.


For anyone who thinks this is a silly idea, this a pretty close description of the average UK police officer.


This was flagged away, but I vouched it back; I think it's interesting to hear a story which almost ended in tragedy, just like it's useful to hear about software bugs which almost resulted in data loss or security vulnerabilities.


In fact the almost case is more valuable because the survivor in this case was doing absolutely nothing wrong and lived to tell the tale.


"Absolutely nothing wrong" is a little bit overstating it.

She wasn't doing anything illegal, sure, but it was a bit reckless to arrange the transfer so that the buyer was expected to go alone, onto someone's driveway, to replace the license plates and drive off with the car without talking to the resident or owner.

Imagine if you sold your Magic cards to someone and told them, "oh, they're in my bedroom at 123 Elm Street -- just jimmy open the window and fish 'em out. If anyone asks, just give them this handwritten note."

Or, "Cool, just pick up the keys from under my office desk. Walk past security, just ignore them if they stop you, and fish them out of the cabinet. Pick the lock if you have to."

No. Bad idea. You look like a thief doing that.

Could they have handled the situation better? Definitely. But it's a bit much to act outraged that anyone would misinterpret her actions.


She wasn't doing anything illegal, sure, but it was a bit reckless

Only in a world where random folks from the neighbourhood might come out and point a gun at you instead of simply asking a few logical questions and looking at proffered supporting documentation.

But it's a bit much to act outraged that anyone would misinterpret her actions.

Who's outraged at her actions being misinterpreted?

The outrage is at the fact that a panicky cop saw something they thought was suspicious and reacted by immediately pointing their gun at someone (something any good gun owner knows you never do unless you plan to shoot), creating a potentially life threatening situation, and the person on the other end of it was forced to defuse it.


> Only in a world where random folks from the neighbourhood might come out and point a gun at you instead of simply asking a few logical questions and looking at proffered supporting documentation.

Not random folks - a family member.

For what it's worth, I likely would have also come out and challenged someone who behaved the same way she did. I would likely have done so with a rifle in my hands and having already called the police. What I would absolutely not have done was point said weapon at her - that's called "assault".

The issue isn't that she was challenged, or even that the guy was armed. The issue is that the guy though that it was appropriate to point a firearm at her, which both constitutes a threat of deadly force and greatly increases the chance of an accidental shooting. Then, after it was all over with, the person that assaulted her was not charged with a crime.

The bottom line here is that police officers are allowed to use threats of deadly force in situations where it is wholly inappropriate, are trained to do so, and are protected by their departments (at their victims' expense no less) in the exceptional case where they are actually charged with a crime.


>Who's outraged at her actions being misinterpreted?

Anyone characterizing her behavior as doing "absolutely nothing wrong".

You can both believe that the son-in-law and officer overreacted without believing the buyer somehow did everything exactly right. It's not either/or.

>The outrage is at the fact that a panicky cop saw something they thought was suspicious ...

Yes, people are outraged at that too, but they also blur that with the more dubious claim that "she did nothing wrong". I think that's pushing it. Again, not "either/or".


Yes, people are outraged at that too, but they also blur that with the more dubious claim that "she did nothing wrong".

Let's just admit it: if she were white, it wouldn't have turned out this way

She arranged the sale.

She had the seller's info.

She had the keys.

She had the paperwork.

Only problem is, she 1) is black, and 2) looked like a guy.

Could this situation have been handled differently? Sure. But I struggle to lay more than a small piece of the blame on her. I'd just as soon blame the mother-in-law for not telling her cowboy son that she'd sold the car.


That is certainly much less "reckless" than pointing a gun at someone. IIRC, the first rule of firearms is to only point them at something you intend to kill.

If the assailant were spending several months in jail for assault and kidnapping, you might have a point. But failing that, let's concentrate on the more egregious breach of peace first.


She's probably lucky she started putting the license plates on. Imagine if she tried to immediately drive it away. It's very easy to imagine the officer shooting at her with the intent to kill.

That's crazy.

C-R-A-Z-Y.


Thanks for vouching.

I often read HN through the HackerNews Robot on Telegram and more than once I see interesting stories that seems to have been flagged off the site even if they were upvoted a lot.


This article makes a lot of claims about innocent black people being gunned down by police, but is there any actual evidence of this happening disproportionately to white people? Last year I trawled the 2015 Washington Post police shooting dataset and couldn't find any evidence, and a couple months later a black Harvard economist released a paper saying he couldn't find any evidence in the data he looked at. Between that and all of the bad reporting around the Michael Brown shooting, I'm beginning to believe that the only disparity is in media coverage... This story and its interest don't depend on this (in)accuracy, but it's such a common talking point and it doesn't seem to be substantiated.

In particular, I was expecting a lot more drama from a story of a black woman "surviving" an encounter with police. Here's a similar story about a white man in San Fran: https://medium.com/indian-thoughts/good-samaritan-backfire-9.... This sort of stuff makes me think that race is perhaps a red herring, and that the quality of police (or police training) simply vary a lot in our country.


I understand the issue is the loose definition of "innocent" - if you take it to mean someone shot by police who is absolutely innocent of any charge - or if you define it as someone who was doing something criminal or suspect but the situation did not initially warrant their shooting. Hence the emphasis on deescalation training.

Consider a hypothetical: two separate scenarios of kids shoplifting, one white the other black: the white kid gets called out by an officer, is pursued and apprehended without arms drawn, the police officer writes-up a citation and the kid spends the night in jail as a warning before being released. A black kid does the same thing, but the officer decides to draw their sidearm and orders them to freeze - the kid turns around to look and is immediately shot by the officer (search online for "shot for turning around police"). The officer can (at present, justifiably) say they feared for their life because they thought they were about to be charged or expected their target to draw their own firearm. Or take the same scenario but both kids do actually fight back somehow - I believe the average white police officer would still be more hesitant to use lethal force against a white assailant than a black one.

I won't deny the usual statistics ("blacks commit more crimes per-capita", etc) but don't think that's where I believe the problem is. I'm not content with the sentiment that "black lives matter" - I'd much rather it be "criminals' lives matter" (I'm aware of the straightforward racist implication - that's why I dare not say it too loudly).


Yeah, I was purposefully vague about "innocent" because I don't know what the most interesting, precise definition would be. I agree with you that comparing results to crimes is important in assessing the role race plays in these encounters.

> I believe the average white police officer would still be more hesitant to use lethal force against a white assailant than a black one.

I thought I heard about studies into this, but I can't seem to dig them up. I'll edit or reply again if/when I find them.

> I won't deny the usual statistics ("blacks commit more crimes per-capita", etc) but don't think that's where I believe the problem is. I'm not content with the sentiment that "black lives matter" - I'd much rather it be "criminals' lives matter"

If the discriminant is criminal behavior and not race, then (by definition), the issue isn't one of race (at least not in any meaningful way). It would be good to identify if this is the case or not, so we can focus our national debate on how to appropriately deal with crime and not on racism.


This is not what the statistic or the study the OP pointed says.

The study is clear in its conclusions: in the hypothetical situation you just presented it is the white kid that has the higher probability of getting shot/killed by the police.

In a nutshell what the study based on the data says is: After you get stop by the police, you are more likely to get shot/killed if you are white than if you are black.


You didn't research very hard.

From the Washington Post[0]:

> White people make up roughly 62 percent of the U.S. population but only about 49 percent of those who are killed by police officers. African Americans, however, account for 24 percent of those fatally shot and killed by the police despite being just 13 percent of the U.S. population. As The Post noted in a new analysis published last week, that means black Americans are 2.5 times as likely as white Americans to be shot and killed by police officers.

If you look at fatal police shootings so far this year[1], the numbers are the same.

You should provide a link to the Harvard study you mentioned.

Here[2] is one from Yale which someone once touted to me, which supports your claims. But they only used data from a limited number of police departments in Houston, TX. I'm not sure why anyone would look at that and not the national numbers. In the paper, of their own methods they say, "In essence, this is equivalent to analyzing labor market discrimination on a set of firms willing to supply a researcher with their Human Resources data!".

There are many places to find this information online. It is a fact: black people are shot and killed more often by police than white people.

[0] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/07/1...

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/police-shoo...

[2] https://law.yale.edu/system/files/area/workshop/leo/leo16_fr...


> You didn't research very hard. From the Washington Post:

Actually, that very quote was what inspired my research. I wanted to know if the quote was misleading in favor of one narrative, so I filtered out cases where the suspect was armed and otherwise viably threatening.

Here's the link to the harvard study: http://www.nber.org/papers/w22399

> It is a fact: black people are shot and killed more often by police than white people.

I don't dispute that. I'm skeptical that black people are unjustifiably shot more frequently than white people, or at least with the frequency the media would have me believe.


Then in that case, I suppose it all depends on who is doing the justification. Nearly every police shooting in America is "justified" — be it by a police review board, a prosecutor, a grand jury, or a trial jury.


I agree, and unfortunately I don't have a good idea about how to audit the entire justice system. My gut says it's unlikely that an entire diverse industry is prejudiced against one particular racial group, and that thousands of laypeople are in on it. Hopefully we can get better data if it doesn't already exist.


>My gut says it's unlikely that an entire diverse industry is prejudiced against one particular racial group, and that thousands of laypeople are in on it.

Is that a general statement? Because the 20th century would like a word.

If we really managed to eliminate institutional racism in the justice system, we should probably try and work out the date that occurred, and make it a national holiday.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institutional_racism


You think it unlikely that there is a systemic bias? Bearing in mind that systemic bias isn't usually the result of an overt plan or even hidden conspiracy but instead the simple average of the bias of all the parts of the system.


Something like that. I guess I don't think bias is as responsible or pervasive as we're lead to believe. Frequently when we look at a disparity, I find myself thinking "Why didn't they check if X, Y, or Z were responsible instead of bias?". One example is the gender wage gap; we now know that women make less than men because they elect into different careers, because they have different priorities. Different groups have different distributions of any given behavior, and not all behaviors have the same outcome. This is all just a hunch, so I won't defend it too much; it just seems more plausible to me than the current "everyone is subconsciously biased against one racial group" theory.


I sort of see what you're getting at, but considering there's been a clear systemic bias against women and black people in our very recent past, and considering that it took a lot of effort (even a civil war, sort of, in the case of black people) to reduce these biases, I find it entirely reasonable to assume that they're still there, to a degree, and that we'll have to expend quite a bit of effort to reduce them further.


Those were conscious biases though. Most people in our society try very hard to avoid even unconscious bias, often by being consciously biased against minority groups (this might range from small acts of kindness toward a minority group to nonprofits that serve minority groups to corporate inclusivity policies to government programs and affirmative action policies). Given all that, I have a hard time believing bias plays a large role in explaining disparities.


>White people make up roughly 62 percent of the U.S. population but only about 49 percent of those who are killed by police officers. African Americans, however, account for 24 percent of those fatally shot and killed by the police despite being just 13 percent of the U.S. population.

Which is meaningless, since black people commit more serious crimes than white people.

If you break it down by people suspected of having committed a felony, you're actually more likely to be shot as a white guy.


> black people commit more serious crimes than white people.

Convicted? Yes. Arrested? Sure. Commit? I don't know, maybe, but I bet if you factored in economic status there'd be a lot of evening out; i.e. poor people commit more serious crimes, black people are disproportionately poor, therefore more black people commit more serious crimes.


Commit, yes. For serious crimes like murder and A & B there's a victim.

The causes are irrelevant from the standpoint of police officers. Cops have to deal with the situation in which they find themselves.


That's assuming there's an officer involved at all. I also didn't have a specific definition of "serious crimes" in mind, whether it would only include violent crimes or also non-violent ones like burglary or fraud (of significant value).


By "serious" I meant violent. The statistics line up for non-violent crimes, too, but cops don't get amped up when they arrest shoplifters, and I thought I would preempt the whole "but cops don't arrest white people for drugs" line of argument.


Okay. I return to my earlier point, "black people commit more serious crimes" suggests there's a genetic or cultural explanation while economic status is likely more relevant; i.e. poor people commit more serious crimes.


I don't understand the relationships between SES, culture, and crime, but I'm baffled that we pretend that veneration of gang life in inner city communities can't possibly factor into the equation even in a small way. To head off the stupid "white people listen to rap too!" false equivalence, crime worship can't be reduced to music selection, it's (by definition of "worship") a way of life. I guess I don't think we should rule out a cultural cause; it's not like we need to say "every black person worships criminals" or "no white people worship criminals"--if culture plays a role, I hope we can be mature enough to recognize that it's not a binary proposition, and can engage it earnestly and compassionately.


>I return to my earlier point, "black people commit more serious crimes" suggests there's a genetic or cultural explanation...

Does it? Not that I can see, particularly in response to the assertion black people are shot disproportionately by police.


As I understand it, there's no real question about whether or not black Americans commit more crime than other races (the data are all consistent, including that collected from victims and witnesses), but SES alone doesn't explain the gap IIRC. I suspect it has to do with the relative concentration of poverty, but that's just a hunch and I doubt it's all down to one simple factor anyway.


That's not the right comparison, statistically. You'd want to compare the number of police encounters vs the number of police encounters that result in death, broken down by race. The statistic that you quoted would skew if one race has less encounters with police than the other group (which if I recall is the case here. I think NYT and WSJ both ran articles several months ago about this.)

Not that this changes the rough idea here which is that someone changing a license plate on a car shouldn't have a gun pointed at her and have to depend more on her de-escalation skills than the officer's.


I believe The Guardian also ran a project to count people murdered by law enforcement because there are no strict requirements to record this across the country:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/...


I think that was the same impetus as the WashPo dataset. I do wish the United States made it mandatory for agencies to submit their data to the FBI. I also wish Eric Holder's Justice Dept didn't withhold offender race data from the NCVS. Interestingly, the FBI's Unified Crime Report seems to cover about 50% of police-involved shootings, making it a pretty good sample (and the UCR is generally consistent with the NCVS which is a survey of victims). Leaving data collection up to the media is sketchy, notably because the media are more likely to report officer race if the suspect is black and even more so if the officer is white.


Obligatory: "Murdered" != Killed.


Even if you believe that, the two core points of the experience stand:

> My behavior is how everyone should act in those situations: comply, survive and complain later.

> I don’t have de-escalation training. I’m the one being held at gunpoint. I’m the one thinking my life could end if he panics. Yet, I’m the one who must remain calm. The legal system is asking untrained civilians to de-escalate panicky cops.


He acknowledges that in his comment

> The story and its interest doesn't hinge on this (in)accuracy ...


I agree that the media coverage on this issue is pretty much garbage. The vast majority of cases, even those where the person killed was not committing the crime of which they were suspected, are much more complicated than "they were black." This belief puts me at odds with many (perhaps all) in the "racial justice" movement.

All of that said, there is a core of truth here that I believe should not be overlooked, and that's that dark-skinned people are treated differently than light-skinned people. There is a great deal of scientific literature that supports this belief - generally speaking, people of all races view others with darker skin to be stronger, more aggressive, less innocent, and often older than they really are.


Maybe, but I'm skeptical. The data often point in both directions, and the literature often fails to look at obvious alternative explanations (prejudice is the null hypothesis). Besides, the field of sociology is politically homogeneous; I don't know how much their political ideologues contribute to confirmation bias, but I suspect the literature would look different if this weren't the case.


Does it particularly matter? Even if the majority of the panic is due to the media fanning the flames of racism for profit (and I think it is), it still effects the victim's state of mind.

It doesn't matter if the victim's narrative was that she was likely to get shot because she is black, but yet the reality is that cops are equal opportunity murderers. Either way, the victim is ultimately panicked because they're being assaulted with a deadly weapon.


I was very clear that the story doesn't depend on this. Why are you confused?


I'm not confused and it seems we're close to being in violent agreement. But I'm pointing out that where one puts the emphasis is important.

If OP has fallen into the narrative that she is especially at risk being black [0], then there is a fine line between trying to extract her from that possibly nonconstructive narrative and shouting down her entire story. This is the general problem with the identity politics tarpit - if one objects too hard at a certain collectivist narrative (in this case, racism), then they are easily pigeonholed into being the "other" in that narrative, fueling the unproductive fire.

[0] Which given the location, is likely true regardless of the overriding distribution.


Good point, well said, and I apologize for my misunderstanding.


Last year I trolled the 2015 Washington Post police shooting dataset

In case this wasn't a simple typo, just FYI: It's "trawled".


They're synonymous, but I edited my comment because I can't unsee the modern meaning of "troll". Thanks for that. ;)


They're largely interchangeable in this context:http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2015/05/trolling-trawling...


Here's the test. Reverse the situation. Off-duty cop is buying a car and random good neighbor black person sees all the same "suspicious behaviors" and begins an armed confrontation with the person they believe to be stealing a car. Suddenly pointing a gun at a "suspicious person" is no longer "lawful and proper" behavior. At a minimum, the civilian goes to jail for being reckless.


Sorry, but that is not a good comparison. I would assume that off-duty cops (rightly) have more authority when it comes to these types of situations.


I would assume that off-duty cops (rightly) have more authority when it comes to these types of situations.

And yet, when they make a mistake, they aren't held to a higher standard, despite we, as citizens, granting that authority to them.


No. Police are necessarily involved in more risky encounters than laypeople. They have manyfold the opportunities to make a mistake than laypeople. Training offsets some of that risk, but not all of it.


No. Police are necessarily involved in more risky encounters than laypeople. They have manyfold the opportunities to make a mistake than laypeople.

That's illogical.

There are myriad professions where trust is delegated to the person in that profession, and consequences to go with it. A doctor doesn't get a free pass if they kill someone due to incompetence when performing a surgery just because they do it more often. Heck, engineers are held liable if their work results in injury or death.

Yet, with law enforcement, the opposite is often true, even when the facts clearly demonstrate fault on the part of the police. You couple that with the "thin blue line" culture that results in police circling the wagons whenever one of their own screws up, and it's no wonder that trust in the police has eroded. The perception is that there's simply no consequences to police misconduct. And in many cases, that perception unfortunately matches reality.


> A doctor doesn't get a free pass if they kill someone due to incompetence when performing a surgery just because they do it more often.

I very much doubt this is true. There is a risk factor built into going into surgery and an understanding that "complications happen" and people are are negatively affected. If we put surgeons in jail for making mistakes due to incompetence, we would have zero surgeons.

I'm very curious what your definition of competence is in both these scenarios...


No, the error is yours, I think. We trust experts like police and surgeons to do certain dangerous tasks because their expertise offsets much of the risk; however, they're still more likely to make a mistake since they have to roll the dice more frequently. If the probability of a layperson wrongly killing someone is 20% per police-like-encounter, and the probability of a trained police officer killing someone is 1%, who has the greater odds of killing someone? The layperson who rolls the dice one time or the police officer who roles the dice a couple times a year (or a couple times a week in some places)?

> A doctor doesn't get a free pass if they kill someone due to incompetence when performing a surgery just because they do it more often.

So you have data that police are being acquitted of shootings (when a jury finds that the shooting occurred due to incompetence) at a higher rate than surgeons? Or are you using different standards for "incompetence" (for surgeons, presumably the result of an investigation, but for police it's the opinion of the first pundit you heard?). Mind you, none of this has any bearing on comparing police shootings with civilian shootings, which was the topic of your original point...


We trust experts like police and surgeons to do certain dangerous tasks because their expertise offsets much of the risk; however, they're still more likely to make a mistake since they have to roll the dice more frequently.

And therefore the consequences should be significantly lessened for them relative to an untrained civilian?

The approach you advocate will result in the perverse incentive that a cop is better off always pulling a gun in any situation, as the lack of consequences means the incentive is to always minimize personal risk in an encounter in the short term, as there's no risk as a result of a mistake in the long term.

It's perverse.

In effect you place the power of life in death in the hands of a trusted individual, and then create a situation where they're incentivized to use it, especially in situations where even a whiff of short-term personal risk is perceived (like, say, in an encounter with a person in a minority where racial biases may come into play).


You're confusing a reasonable standard of proof with complete impunity.


And you're assuming a reasonable standard of proof is applied. I'm not willing to make that assumption. This case is yet another example of why.


I'm not assuming a reasonable standard of proof is applied, only that the standard for proof in police shootings should account for the fact that they're far more likely than civilians to be involved in escalated situations.


How is property worth pointing a gun at someone over? It's a car. Cars can be replaced.


It is true that you can replace your car, but, if something is stolen, you rarely get the full value back. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, getting a car stolen is a matter of life and death.

However, the real problem was pulling a gun FIRST instead of hollering across the road or from a porch. A street punk would normally run--somebody legitimate will respond.

This idiot cop is actually lucky she wasn't a true violent criminal who had a hidden lookout. Getting that close with a drawn gun if there was a hidden lookout would have gotten him shot.


It may be just a car to you, but I have a valuable sports car, and if I caught someone attempting to steal it I wouldn't hesitate to point a gun. Not for a moment. Would the intent be to kill? Of course not. It'd be to deter.

Edit for the downvotes: it's not just a car to me, and it's not just about the monetary value. It has sentimental value and I wouldn't be able to replace it easily. I don't see what's so controversial about attempting to protect one's property. That said I did find this story disturbing and I'm not trying to imply that the woman did anything wrong. I was simply replying to the point above.


There's no such thing as pointing a firearm to "deter." One of the basic tenets of firearm training is that you never point it at anything you don't intend to shoot. And, when shooting, always go for a center mass shot. "Winging" someone is neither practical nor probable.


Of course there is, but yes, I accept the lethal outcome.


If you mean murder, don't say 'deter' and then wonder why you're getting downvoted.


Murder is unlawful and premeditated.


I'd guess the downvotes are the simple implication that your car is worth a human life.

deter? The very first thing I was taught with a gun, was not to point it at anything you didn't intend to shoot. Any time you introduce a lethal instrument to a dispute you've put a lethal conclusion on the table.


Now that's a culture thing. I've always been taught never to pull a gun unless you are ready to shoot someone. That's why I don't have one.


I guess many people just don't understand how any possession can justify the murder of another human. I'm one of those people. I have a wide variety of friends with ideas that I personally find reprehensible or that I disagree with strongly, but I have to admit that this is something I find very difficult to wrap my head around, much as I try.

Downvoting you for it isn't my style, but I can understand why others would.


How is stealing property worth being shot with a gun? There's no need to steal.


Seems like a strawman to me.

This article is about a man who misinterprets a car purchase and pulls a gun to "protect" property, which was not his and was not being stolen.

If someone pulls a gun to "defend their property", they better be really damned sure it is their property and the property was being stolen (not a {leinholder, repoman, undercover police officer, deaf person, autistic person, etc}). The risk of making the wrong decision may not be high, but the impact of the wrong decision is.


> How is property worth pointing a gun at someone over?

Worth it or not, it's legal in some states and in some circumstances. I'm not sure about TN, where this occurred.

> It's a car. Cars can be replaced.

That car was purchased with money, which presumably was obtained through labor. Your labor, once expended, cannot be reclaimed. The moral argument can be made that theft of property is equivalent to theft of a portion of one's life.


> The moral argument can be made that theft of property is equivalent to theft of a portion of one's life.

That's bullshit but even by that logic, killing the thief would not be a proportional response.

Plus most cars are insured to cover theft and since it was in the driveway, it possibly could have been covered by homeowner's insurance.


What about dogs? Is your dog worth pointing a gun at someone over?



This articles bothers me

Both the individual's story and her message here

I am glad it is here to bring further attention to these issues and even how this specific event happened to this woman

Both the encounter and how the police later handled the 'investigation' are both disgusting and why serious reform is anything but a top priority for officers and politicians is completely revolting to me

But I wish the author was more clear on what she meant in saying 'prevent the next philando castile'

Was she going to prevent it by filing the complaint and removing that officer from the street or was she insisting she would help prevent more philandos by educating others in saying:

> My behavior is how everyone should act in those situations: comply, survive and complain later.

Because Castile did comply and was still murdered

This clip discusses how the definition of 'comply' changes with each high profile murder

https://youtu.be/aufMdURbitU

Trevor Noah and the writers of the daily show have been discussing the issues in a way that I think has been highlighting some of the problems very clearly, and with great respect and composure

This clip calls out the silence from a leading voice defending law abiding citizens' rights to carry firearms, especially in regard to doing so without fear of being murdered by the police for carrying a firearm

https://youtu.be/0IJSSBMLz6g?t=250s

And this video showcases the newly released dashcam footage of the philando murder

https://youtu.be/wqgz7kRGVxg

We need to talk about these issues but insinuating blame on the victim is the wrong way to do it

I hope the article was actually focused on the prevention method of filing complaints but I wish that was more clear

So please, until this is solved, comply like Castile did and if you live to tell your side of the encounter then please report these offenders


Thank you, this was an interesting read.

On the tangent of arbitrary and unneeded flagging, there seems to be quite a great deal of it lately... it's not improving the site.

After I got off work, I tried to find a story that I'd noticed earlier and wanted to comment on, but it was completely gone from not just the front page but everywhere. A completely benign, tech-related story. Makes no sense:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14745430


We detached this comment from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14748443 and marked it off-topic.


Given that that same submitter submitted at least six copies of essentially the same press release within minutes of each other, I'm not surprised if several received many flags for duplication. Click "Past" on that link to see what I mean.


Okay... but I imagine dupes happen a lot when companies make an announcement. Doesn't mean we should bury all instances of a story. The one I noticed had 19 votes at the time I read it, and this was the one I'd planned to comment on.

Isn't there a "merge" feature or something similar you can do to prevent squelching of a topic entirely? Let the site readers be the collective mechanism that votes or ignores something.


I also had to vouch it back, there appears to be a concerted effort to flag this.


The data don't suggest this. Users flagging the post might be weighing the likelihood of an informative, substantive discussion against a flame-fest. The latter isn't just distracting, it can cause actual harm, and flagging is a self-protective tool for the community. When moderators notice threads like these, we can turn the flags off (at least temporarily) to see how the thread shapes up.

We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14748443 and marked it off-topic.


I too just vouched it back (after seeing this comment so we didn't click vouch simultaneously).

If you're flagging this story, perhaps you could leave a comment here about why?

Edit: And while posting this comment it got reflagged/revouched again...


This seems like a long-standing country-specific societal problem to me:

> Off-Topic: Most stories about politics, or crime, or sports, unless they're evidence of some interesting new phenomenon.


That's a fair argument.

I'd argue it's a new phenomenon in that this is the first time (I've seen anyways) people resigning themselves to simply giving advice on how to de-escelate the situation as a non-cop. But I can see how that seems like a stretch.


I vouched it back after you. And now it's flagged again...

Weirdly it's completely gone from the front page (and all subsequent pages). I assume that's not normal for flags? It was at #4 only a moment ago, and it was flagged then...

edit: and now it's back, on page 2 this time. The invisible hand of moderation?


I hope it's only being flagged because it's not directly related to technology. Any other reason would make me quite sad.




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