> To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
People keep asking "how do we fix policing in America?!" Maybe start by following common sense guidelines written in 1829 that still apply today.
The Peelian principles are akin to a "Policing Constitution." The closer you get to its ideals the higher quality your policing is, and by that standard US policing even outside of "abuse" falls well short.
So, if you wanted to fully implement a more just form of policing in the United States, you would have to somehow overcome this deeply entrenched racist thinking. Yet unfair policing also drives racism, because it tends to perpetuate among white society an image of minority communities as hotbeds of chaos barely kept in check by a "thin blue wall". So, the result is a vicious circle.
End the war on drugs and a large chunk of crime magically disappears.
Obviously this doesn't address poverty from other systematic discrimination but it does remove a key driver for criminal activity.
As an aside, even with decriminalized drug usage/possession there would still be laws against illegal manufacturing, distribution and tax avoidance.
> A number of writers have alleged that the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was involved in cocaine trafficking during the 1980s. ... The subject remains controversial.
- - - -
> something else criminal would take its place.
A. Like what?
B. Drugs are only criminal because we make laws. Theft, killing, etc.. are wrong but doing drugs is just stupid.
Like what? Burglary? Insider trading? I'm not backhanding you here; I genuinely can't come up with any reasonably criminal activity that would blossom into that vacuum.
Sure the Mob didn't magically disappear overnight, but it began a decline they never recovered from. Replacing that revenue stream isn't as easy as "just" finding another racket, there is a lot of difficulty hidden in that "just".
I'm not saying we shouldn't legalize drugs; I'm just saying any such policy change should also include some help for individuals to move away from that life or they'll more-or-less be forced into other illegal activities.
In a way it kills two birds with one stone, 1. Eliminates the criminal element, 2. Offers a financial incentive towards legitimizing their enterprise.
In another it might reward people who may have done a lot of bad things, and puts them in a legitimized position of power over people they may have been terrorizing for decades.
If the last forty years of Southern Strategy has taught us anything it’s that you must seize every inch (portion) of ground you can.
Having, using, and selling drugs. The first two should be considered personal liberties, and the commerce should be taxed/regulated but not criminalized.
Spoiler alert, it's a tiny fraction.
Theft and assault should still be crimes. Usage should not be criminalized. Trafficking should be replaced with regulated commerce.
Long ago and far away I once had a friend who was a speed addict. (Amphetmines) I liked the guy but he wasn't allowed in my house because he would steal shit to sell to buy speed.
So, on the one hand you're not quite wrong. On the other hand, we could have just given him some speed. It's actually pretty cheap.
The real problem is whatever happened in his life to make him an addict. Cops and jail do not help with that.
(There'a a nice ending to this one: eventually he got clean and has been stable for years now.)
And whether the number of thefts and assaults they engage in is all that significant.
Finally, I'm pretty sure moral compass has little to do with whether addicts engage in theft and assault.
This makes it sound as though the relative prevalence of (especially violent) crime in American minority communities as compared to white communities exists only in the white imagination. Like it's some really simple problem but for those dastardly racist whites. I'm sure that's not what you mean (it's certainly an uncharitable interpretation), so I want to disambiguate.
Of course it's much more complicated than that--there's a lot of variety in violent crime levels across different racial and ethnic communities. There are a lot of (both racist and non-racist) theories for explaining this (genes, variations in socioeconomic status, etc), but it's not just a figment of the white imagination.
One such popular and generally credible theory (or rather, set of theories) suggest that the American policing model indirectly causes violent crime in minority communities. This is probably what you're suggesting (or if your post is a motte and bailey argument, then this theory is the motte). It's a genuinely interesting line of inquiry, so we should talk about it plainly and dispense with the ambiguous language suggestive of some racist plot (and for those who do favor "racist plot" theories, then I would rather we talk about those unambiguously as well).
But that's exactly what has been going on, from slavery to the KKK to the "redlining" of cities...
Hell man, ask the Indians! This whole nation is "some racist plot".
In general, US race debates would be a lot more productive if we were clearer about whether we are talking about a historical injustice or an ongoing injustice--even otherwise good communicators fail to articulate clearly here, and it gives the vibe that they're afraid that their position, articulated clearly, can't stand on its own. I don't think they have as much to fear as they seem to do, and as long as these debates are floundering in ambiguity these real social problems will persist.
Furthermore there are also emergent properties of our policing strategy that lead to problems as well.
FWIW I have no fear that my "position", as you put it, in the "race debates" can stand on its own.
I mean, think about it:
> the relative prevalence of (especially violent) crime in American minority communities as compared to white communities
That obviously has something to do with the fact that a lot of folks living in "American minority communities" can't call the cops for help, eh?
I don’t know. Seems plausible, as do many other theories such as the high incarceration rates of adult males leads a leadership/fatherhood void, lack of career opportunities, ratio of negative to positive role models, the types of behaviors that are glorified, etc. I would be terribly surprised if it came down to a single trite explanation (such as yours) as opposed to a complex interplay of all of the above and many more. Social scientists don’t even profess to understand, but you seem very confident, so please, take the floor.
The public in the country need to organize to change the law and enforce them
America isn’t losing standing in the world because of Trump
It’s losing standing in the world because it does nothing to sustain a protest against him
The US military is the largest polluter in the world
It’s effecting all of us
Putin is getting the upper hand by highlighting to the world how vain and unorganized Americans are, despite all the pretense and pomp
Here they go bloviating at their screens like usual for America
Meanwhile, truly exceptional masses in Hong Kong protest a vile tyrant
Americans have found it difficult to protest a sentient Cheeto in terms of relative intelligence
The nation of exceptional people full of grit look like muppets. Deeply controlled by their luxury lifestyle and indoctrination against self agency. “Be better by buying X.” With money and emotional acquiescence of agency to the habit. Now make buying into our managed system your goal for life
Who wants to determine life for themselves? May as well have a company get us to design, implement, build, and then charge us for our gadgets so they can keep control of the value store that is finance
The gadgets, you see, are a means to an end. To keep you screaming at the gadget not the old git Americans seem to believe is going to spank them for not going to work at scale
Traditional values is alive and well in America. The language of religion has faded. But obedience to a hierarchy demanding fealty to imagery emotional objects at scale is very much alive
Look at people that are concerned about going back to work but they may have no choice
It’s cowardice to think that’s the only option. Stay home, don’t login except for essential biz
Oh no, not only would we have to give up salons, but our iPhones and cloud apps for a bit? Too much!
This same kind of language has transformed the system output as well: instead of “penitentiary” (where you reflect on your crime and perhaps resolve to be better” or “correctional” facilities we just have a “department of prisons”. That’s been a longer shift.
The process has become the focus rather than the end result much less the broader good.
I have a suspicion that we could take a long step back toward serving the public if all police officers were required to become EMT/EMR certified and had some kind of duty to act in cases of basic life support.
I don't doubt that there are logistical hurdles and very complicated rules of engagement vs. standards of care but I (an EMR in California) think these could be overcome - especially in smaller and/or rural locales.
Police departments, unions, etc., have gone to court in these cases and _successfully_ argued that they have _no obligation_ to protect _or_ serve. It's just fluff.
The other major influence was the slave patrol. This is why there is such a strong overlap between the membership rosters of the KKK and police departments.
As policing expanded, and the institutions intermingled, the former was corrupted by the latter.
It is impossible to uphold #7 in an organization that implicitly divides "the public" into "citizens to be protected", "citizens to be ignored", and "savages".
The only way we can get there from here is to completely dissolve municipal police departments, and rebuild them from scratch, without re-hiring anyone that has ever served as a cop, training them specifically to be wardens of the whole community, rather than employ the "everyone is trying to kill you" videos that they show the young cop-cadets to make them twitchy and paranoid whenever anyone has a non-visible hand or is within 7 yards of them.
I don't think that the police should have the impunity they do in the US; but don't delude yourself about Sir Robert Peel.
Stop training them like they're going to war and train them to "server and protect" instead.
The National Guard can come in if they're needed. Police don't need to handle that.
It makes me think of Star Trek (the OG stuff where the crew has their shit together, not the newer Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer-in-Space styff.)
Maybe you need to replace your supreme court judges?
They are in their majority clearly beyond the age at which mental faculties start to suffer.
Common sense tells me that you can't expect a bench of octagenarians to normally function as the top legal institute of a country. It is not a sacred cow beyond all reason and doubt, and its judges are not the 9 holy sages.
Why can't your put some effort, and replace them?
If anyone is interested in American history: Before we had our modern police departments, our earliest systems of law enforcement were actually slave patrols and organizations called Indian Constables. These institutions are rooted in controlling the behaviors of minorities. If you know your history, you know that slavery and colonization never really ended. The 13th amendment, world-leading prison labor system, and border camps are part of this living legacy.
You can read more here:
I'm not in a position to do the research at the moment, but I'd suggest that African-Americans have very clearly and for a very long time suffered state control for financial exploitation, and they are not the only ones, but simply the largest and most visibly egregiously maltreated minority.
Look at property values in areas with high levels of police violence. It's a chicken omelette in a way, but your definition of fascism does seem to fit the situation for this and other US subpopulations.
That's exactly the primary purpose of the police. The police serves capital and the state (which also serves capital) in order to exploit and control the people.
It's my own preferred definition (Eco's definition), the essay itself is very short, highly recommend it. No mention of state or corporation.
You are thinking of fascist corporatism , indeed a much more pointed critique of the USA's political practice than traditional fascism. But also, "traditional fascism" goes only back as far as Fascist Italy, which practiced corporatism, so perhaps all fascism is corporatist.
Still, why call it "land of the free" then? "Land of the most rapists and murderers per capita (or close)" or "Broken society" sounds more apt!
But I'm pretty sure the BS "marijuana laws" and other such incarceration reasons that wouldn't even exist in Germany, are a big part (at least until recently, not sure today) of the disparity.
Germany is around 70 per 100000.
You were saying?
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics , among all state-level prisoners, 14.3% of them are in for murder, and 13.1% are in for rape. That's 27.4% for the combination, or about 350,000 inmates. 106 per 100,000.
If you add in Federal prisoners, the inmate count goes to ~370,000, or about 112/100k
 https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p18.pdf (PDF, see table 13, page 21.)
Whenever I visit America I'm astonished at how outrageous and uncivil some people behave. They really do want to press their freedom against the rights of others.
Carrying guns is the best example - it's an obvious 'freedom' that massively complicated policing and everything else.
Police in the US are rightly very afraid when pulling over someone for something petty like speeding because that person could be upset and have a gun. Where I'm from cops are not afraid because nobody has guns.
The woman who defied 'stay at home orders' - how do you deal with that as a cop? She just wants to cut hair to make money to stay alive, but you have to arrest her, which could lead to a confrontation with her and her 'supporters with guns'.
An ideology of 'land of the free' will necessarily have excessive conflict at the margins where said freedoms interdict with the ostensible freedoms of others and you have law enforcement in the middle trying to sort it out in sometimes ambiguous situations.
this sort of begs the question of why direct, in-person confrontation is even necessary for petty offenses. there's always a risk that such an interaction could go south, whether or not guns are involved. to write a ticket, all the cop has to do is record the measured speed and identify the vehicle and driver. with the tools available in 2020, they should be able to do this without stopping the person to ask for their license and registration. save the confrontations and arrests for when the person clearly poses an imminent threat to those around them.
What tools would those be? Specifically how do you positively identify the driver without checking their ID?
This is a question of basic civic virtue, not laws, policy or operating procedure.
More recently see the White people who fully armed marched on the capital in Michigan, yelled at police and they did nothing.
They aren't actually scared. Publicly, they might talk about how stressful their jobs are etc. etc., but speak privately with one who is comfortable with you and you'll discover they are not scared in the slightest. They know everyone has their back and that they aren't really in any danger.
That just means we're legally afforded more individual liberties than most (if not all) other countries.
There's some variance, but there's also a large amount of variance in laws between states within the USA.
And, to the extent that citizens of other "western" nations enjoy legal rights typical of republican democracies, it's because the US set the trend in the 18th century. At that time, the concept of a creedal nation obtaining its legitimacy from a governing document, in it providing checks & balances to limit the power of government, along with a bill of rights that guarantee broad protection of rights pertaining to speech, bearing arms, impartial trial, privacy (searches and seizures) — was truly unique to the US. That it is now commonplace in the West is a testament to one of America's many lasting contributions to the world.
Since I know that someone is going to reply “like what?!?” here’s an example I recently learned about: it wasn’t until 1963 that public defenders were widely available as a result of a supreme court ruling. So equal protection under the law was clearly not available before 1963. We all know the rich Can afford better defense to this day, but can you call it justice if you don’t even get a lawyer?
Contemporary example: drive west from el paso for an hour or so, today. Well, not today, but when it’s safe to travel. The border patrol checkpoint along i-10 will check your papers if you’re visibly latinx. Freedom!
1) the US has unique protections of individual liberties (free speech, associations, arms)
2) the US has systematic repression of certain minorities, especially among the police (the vast majority of which is illegal and just inadequately prosecuted)
> Since I know that someone is going to reply “like what?!?” here’s an example I recently learned about: it wasn’t until 1963 that public defenders were widely available as a result of a supreme court ruling. So equal protection under the law was clearly not available before 1963. We all know the rich Can afford better defense to this day, but can you call it justice if you don’t even get a lawyer?
Right, at the risk of diving into a rabbit-hole of negative vs positive freedoms — the US was never ever the land of positive freedom. It has always been the land of negative freedom, and uniquely so. You can dislike the implications of that all you want, but it doesn't change the fact that the US truly is the land of negative freedom — and that's not a normative statement.
No country on the planet is absolutely free. The US just happens to be the most negatively free country.
I would classify a public defender as a mitigation of an impingement on negative freedom rather than a bona fide positive freedom. There are surely other countries where you have less of a chance of being harmed by the courts, because they compensate for their general infringement of freedom by giving you better protections to defend yourself from it.
> The US just happens to be the most negatively free country.
The US has some of the most draconian copyright laws in the world. Are those outweighed by something else, or should we dispense with this notion of "most" ?
Yes, and for most people in America, this is unquestionably the case.
> I would classify a public defender as a mitigation of an impingement on negative freedom rather than a bona fide positive freedom. There are surely other countries where you have less of a chance of being harmed by the courts, because they compensate for their general infringement of freedom by giving you better protections to defend yourself from it.
It's debatable that the US public defender system somehow mitigates this impingement less effectively than any other Western country, indeed most western countries have similar public defender systems.
For the sake of argument, even if we were to accept that premise...the majority of Americans spend far more of their lives exercising the uniquely strong negative liberties extended to them than interfacing with the one aspect of American life in which a globally uniform impingement of negative rights is allegedly mitigated the least.
> The US has some of the most draconian copyright laws in the world. Are those outweighed by something else, or should we dispense with this notion of "most" ?
The US's copyright laws are on par with those in most of the Western world. All EU countries are signatories of the Berne Convention, and the copyright length in the US is the same as it is in France, Singapore, Switzerland, South Korea, Italy, UK, Australia, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark...
Maybe you should start questioning it. AFAICT, people in other developed countries enjoy comparable day to day freedoms.
> It's debatable that the US public defender system somehow mitigates this impingement less effectively than any other Western country
The original argument you engaged with was about a complete lack of public defenders in the past.
> The US's copyright laws are on par with those in most of the Western world
Empirically this is not true - eg most VPN providers prohibit torrenting on US exit nodes. And international copyright infringement inducers (eg Kim Dotcom) aren't prosecuted strongly in their own countries, but rather extradited to the US.
Overall, this refrain of "freedom" is actually blinding and counterproductive. And this doesn't change when it's limited to "negative freedom". Unquestioning assertions of "We're #1" erode our rights - detailed critiques preserve them.
Heck, for a while people weren't even allowed to ...drink alcohol...
I’d say that Congress should pass a law to wind back qualified immunity, but I fear they’d just make it worse.
The difference is things like gay marriage are a lot more visible.
In other words, I think the only ways to get rid of qualified immunity are (1) to get SCOTUS to overrule their own quite recent precedent or (2) pass a constitutional amendment.
"...nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws".
If the law is interpreted as granting qualified immunity to police officers under certain circumstances then it should apply to anyone else who meets those same criteria. To carve out criteria that only applies to cops should run afoul of the 14th amendment.
So, it does apply to anyone who meets the same criteria: anyone who is a government employee carrying out their job functions.
The problem comes into play with lethal force, and how transparently thin the excuses tend to be. Qualified Immunity defenses hinge on there being a specific law and precedence that the cops must have known about before doing something illegal, a gross perversion of the principle that “ignorance of the law is no defense”. This leads to clearly unjust situations where cops get away with killing citizens or destroying their property, because there wasn’t sufficiently narrow case law to overcome qualified immunity.
1) You need specific case law to overcome QI
2) Little to no case law exists because of QI
Some of the QI cases are egergious like Corbitt vs. Vickers 
Allegation: Suspect wanders into yard where six children are playing. Coffee County, Ga. police order everyone to ground, press guns against the children’s backs. One officer shoots twice at nonthreatening dog. He misses but does hit a 10-year-old, who was lying face down an arm’s length from the officer. Excessive force? Eleventh Circuit (over a dissent): Qualified immunity. No prior cases telling officers not to unintentionally shoot innocent bystanders. (Nor does this decision establish such a precedent.)  (IJ has a clear agenda, but their description is pretty factual)
I am anti-QI, by the way. Not just the current QI reading, but essentially all QI defenses.
Basically I’d love to see QI reserved for low-discretion and non-lethal cases. So QI for a county clerk implementing the law as written, you should sue the state over that, but no QI for police officers who might shoot a citizen. The level of discretion and the consequences for each action should be a factor in whether or not QI applies, IMHO.
It’s just not clear to me how that could be accomplished in the current legal framework.
If the State takes money from you, maybe QI applies to that, because if the State is in the wrong it can make you whole.
But if the State's agents take your life, or if they take your freedom, the State cannot make you whole. Maybe, then, QI immunity should not apply. These actions are irreversible and do irreparable harm.
Further, I think the "knowledge" aspect needs to be dialed way back. Way way back. It shouldn't be sufficient for the state agent to not know about a law. For QI the State should need to show that its legal argument would have a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits.
Courts already think about irreparable harm and likelihood of success on the merits when they grant things like a TRO. I think QI could be workable if it applied on similar grounds as a TRO. It's a test courts are familiar with, and it's almost certainly enough to prevent nuisance lawsuits against individuals reasonably discharging their duties.
Even believing that government power must be carefully and scrupulously limited, I would hesitate to put a police officer into a mindset where they're adopting the obligations to enforce society's laws but where we force them out somewhat naked in terms of support from that society.
A clear example is the common “split second decisions” scenario. No one is complaining about shoutouts with drug dealers. They’re complaining about a kid getting shot by a cop repeatedly trying (and failing) to kill the tied down family dog. They’re complaining about correctional officers leaving people in a room with their own feces for a week. Those are not split-second decisions, yet they got QI. Using that trope is exactly like using child abuse as an excuse to curtail privacy and other liberties: it’s a ploy to paint opponents as morally reprehensible, because who could support that?
In fairness, some version of QI is, in my opinion, necessary; we’ve just gone way too far towards no consequences for egregious behavior.
In terms of danger by the numbers, while commercial fishing is about 10x more dangerous than police work, police work is about 10x more dangerous than office work in terms of workplace fatality rate.
Also, cops make far fewer split second decisions than they talk about. Being a cop is far less dangerous than being a garbage truck driver, and far more cops die from medical issues and car crashes than violent encounters. Pregnant women have a much higher risk of being murdered than a cop does.
QI also applies to the cop you tells you that you can't be recording and takes your cell-phone to prevent you from filming something that you have every right to be filming.
In fact, there are many _other_ protections for an OIS than just QI.
It is effectively impossible to legislate every aspect of society. One solution is to empower the judiciary to create/discover law.
I am not making a qualitative judgment here, merely observing that this is not an instance of malfeasance or overreach in any way.
As a firefighter/medic this is sometimes uncomfortable, depending on the setting, but I persist.
I would like it if this pushback, in language, would grow and I encourage everyone to make these corrections.
EDIT: to be clear, I am encouraging a distinction between civilians (like you, or I, or police officers) and the military who are governed by their own code of justice and held to a different standard of law and order.
And today I learn rsync is a fellow fire/medic.
I entirely agree too. I work with several police departments and let's just say that there is a wide spectrum of attitudes and perspectives.
One local department had two excited delirium deaths in custody a few years back, leading to a coordinated LE/EMS significant training program on recognition and response as a medical emergency, not a criminal one, despite the fact that many of the hallmarks of excited delirium are "antisocial" and lead to a LE response (hyperthermia, leading to people naked in public), glass (reflections) attraction (leading to breaking windows, etc.), keening (animal noises, "he's crazy!"), bruxism (grinding of teeth, taken to the extreme, gnawing on things/people).
Every other department in the County was onboard. Excited to learn. Sure, help prevent deaths in custody and lawsuits! "Compassionate policing"! Win, win.
Not the department involved. They wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. "We will continue with our SOPs".
It was like an episode of The Office where I believe there was a sexual harrassment issue, and everyone has to take training, except Michael, who believes he doesn't need it. Until he's taken aside and told "Actually, this is because _you_ messed up. We just didn't want to single you out and make an example of you".
In practice, police consistently abuse power with little consequence. If doubtful, review what happens with most of the cases when ethnic minorities are killed, harassed, and abused by cops over the past several decades. [ the perpetrators getting a slap on the wrist ]
A cop can shoot and kill you, say they were "afraid for their life" and walk away.
Warning, disturbing content:
(See: https://youtu.be/n1pJe_Tcdeg and many other deaths).
Police can steal your possessions under the umbrella of https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_forfeiture_in_the_Unit... with minimal recourse.
I like to believe you when you say police are civilians, but let's call a spade a spade. They sure act above the law civilians have to follow (hint: because they are.)
> EDIT: to be clear, I am encouraging a distinction between civilians (like you, or I, or police officers) and the military who are governed by their own code of justice and held to a different standard of law and order.
The police are held to a different standard of law and order. Do you truly believe otherwise in the United States of America?
It's not supposed to be us against them - there is no them.
Well the police certainly aren't (or shouldn't be) military, if that's what you mean. But there certainly should be a distinction made between the police and a random guy with a gun who thinks the black dude that just jogged by is the thief they've been looking for.
To give a specific example, I had a kid trapped once in a situation that I became worried could be a tragedy if they weren't freed pretty quickly. In pretty short order, I decided to call the fire department for help, and I quickly had six experienced guys with lots of equipment to help. But, the solution ended up involving using a rather large, nasty-looking circular saw within a few inches of the kid's head. That in itself could easily have turned out far worse, as blades can break, hands can slip, etc.
Sometimes there are no great answers. As techies, we're used to the idea that we can take our time and usually try again if our first attempt goes wrong. Those professionals, though, often operate under time pressure and get only one chance to get it right. I wouldn't want that responsibility, myself.
I'm very sorry for your loss.
It's pretty clear that policing in the US is broken.
You could do that without the weird scrolling stuff, but I thought it worked well here. I will resort to reader mode if it gets annoying.
I do worry a little bit about archival challenges, however. Not sure that we'll be able to replicate the full experience as browsers continue to evolve and change.
For those who don't like it, a normal article is just a keyboard shortcut away...
This case was gratuitous, I agree. But sometimes the animations can be extremely helpful in weaving in complicated data into a narrative. Think graphs that highlight the relevant lines, etc.
I don't want to jump to defend the cops, but you bring up a point that jibes with my suspicion. Just look at that opening sentence to the article. Don't you suspect understatement there? Hospital staff deal all the time with patients who are upset because they're having trouble breathing, which is what I'm guessing someone who comes in sick from a week with pneumonia might exhibit. I'm quite sure calling the cops isn't their go-to protocol. So, if it came to their wanting to give him an injection "to calm him," I think responsible journalism would have tried to get a better picture of exactly what an "un-calm" Mr. Leija was like. I doubt he looked like he did in the first 7 seconds of that video.
That said, I am of a mind to believe that cops escalate too often, when they could deescalate if they tried. The bottom line is, if you ask me, there is more to this story.
You'd be entirely wrong. The major hospital in my state capital, where I work as a paramedic for the EMS system, 400 beds, a 5 unit secure mental area in the ED, serving a population of 200,000...
... has 4 security officers 24/7.
"Tiny Madill, OK" has a population of 3,000. The "hospital" is a glorified urgent care (https://www.alliancehealthdurant.com/alliancehealth-madill). If they have 24/7 security, and that's a big if, as I've delivered patients to and from similar hospitals in the outreaches of our county and surrounds, there would be most likely 1 person.
And in those cases, absolutely calling LE is the go to. Hell, even my hospital described above does, when someone proves problematic, violent.
> That said, I am of a mind to believe that cops escalate too often, when they could deescalate if they tried.
Very true. I train new EMTs and de-escalation is a big part of their patient/ scene communication training. I repeatedly see LE on calls I am on undoing whatever de-escalation my partner and I have done.
This is exactly what I'm getting at, unless I'm misunderstanding you. "To calm him" is a euphemism, is what I'm saying. I specifically described it as suspected understatement. So, thank you. I'm even more sure now that I'm entirely right.
I am not advocating for this. I think LE has near zero role to play in these scenarios except for the _very limited_ "poses an imminent danger to self or others".
But in a town of three thousand people, I guarantee that when a behavioral crisis escalates at the local "hospital" (I couldn't even find how many beds it has, likely under 10), for better or worse, the police are being called.
An unarmed resisting person will generally be tackled and restrained without pointing a gun at them even if one is "present" - there are quite strict procedures against escalation that seem to be missing or ignored in USA.
More fun is toss a flash grenade into the hospital room, rush in with shields and body armor after beating a hole through the wall with a battering ram, throw the guy on the floor and shout "Stop Resisting" while beating the heck out of him and shocking him with tasers, burn down 2 adjacent hospital rooms, terrify the staff, shoot the bing machine because it is causing you to fear for your life, then find out it was the other hospital on the other side of town and have a high speed chase over to that hospital running red lights and causing three fatal accidents along the way, repeat the whole process with no consequences whatsoever then high five each other and recount the salient details all the way back to the station.
"Brash no-nonsense cop and his partner buck the system to bring down the bad guys! Preferably in body bags. Starring Michael K. Williams as hospital bad guy #1. Available on Showtime starting February 23'rd"
In the UK, the criminals ~never have a gun (and less crime occurs), so it makes sense that the police wouldn't need guns either.
In the US, normal citizens are often legally armed, and criminals are very often illegally armed.
It would make no sense to tell an officer "you can't carry a gun" when both average citizens and the criminals have guns. While the UK undoubtedly has a fine model for itself, it can't be extrapolated to a country where gun ownership is so common.
It's a fairly common occurrence in the US for the highway patrol to pull over a driver for speeding, the driver has a firearm, the police issue a speeding citation and everyone goes on their way.
How does that require the police to be armed? Do you think it likely that typical motorists would be willing to shoot a police officer in order to avoid a traffic citation? Or that the infinitesimal minority crazy enough to do that are going to be deterred if the police are armed as well?
Ordinary police officers don't need firearms because ordinary police officers are not especially likely to have anyone try to shoot at them.
The situation is different if they're executing a warrant on a meth lab, but exceptional situations are exceptional and routine situations are not.
Likewise, I wouldn't issue police equipment based on the extremely common case where a policeman doesn't need a vest nor a gun all day and, in fact, on the majority of days doesn't even need their set of handcuffs.
Or to put it another way, aren't you arguing that all civilians should carry firearms as well? After all, there could be a mugger, or a rapist, or a grizzly bear. Better to have it and not need it, right?
Meanwhile, cops are murdering people with impunity at a rate of about 10x the former.
"Police" is a subculture of anti-society though and behavior and for some reason we keep giving them guns.
I don't like it; but it's not helpful to shout blame. Have to understand where we are, to drive any change.
I don't think this thread demonstrates anti-police thought in general. I think it demonstrates anti-police abuse of power/double standards/hypocrisy and other undesirable issues. It's certainly not littered with people chanting "ACAB!".
I was struck recently, when I saw The Gentlemen (a film about marijuana empires in the UK). Even the crime lords were very averse to carrying guns because it was so illegal. People here always counter with "but the criminals will find ways to get them anyway", but I don't think that's a valid argument.
Anyway, it lines up with the statistics: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44053904
> In England and Wales in 2016-17, there were 31 fatal shootings - or one for every 1.9 million people.
> In the US, in contrast, there were 11,000 murders or manslaughters involving a firearm or one death for every 30,000 people.
I think most people don't care whether they are going to be killed by a gun or by some other means.
The current system teaches them to be terrified, criminal psychopaths with no understanding of human beings or deescalation. Giving them a gun is not protection, it's culpable negligence.
The people we are letting become cops in America are the exact people who should a) never be handed a weapon and b) never be given authority.
I'm all for fewer guns in general, but is it really feasible that cops don't have guns when everyone else has them?
Many officers armed with the expectation they might need to actually shoot somebody, not just act as a deterrent have Glocks, because a pistol is the right tool for this job, and they may have also been trained to use a military-style shotgun. But that's about as far as it goes.
If the bad guys have a rocket launcher, in the UK the expectation is that this is now a problem for the Army, not some nutjob with a badge who thinks Judge Dredd is a role model rather than a satire.
Also, the lack of cooperation in poorer neighborhoods is largely due to respect for, or fear of, the criminals.
There's a lot more layers here - this 'shift' would require tons of slain officers, a lack of respect for the law, so on and so forth.
While I agree officers should do their best to serve the community, disarming them in dangerous areas isn't necessary to accomplish it.
In the US, every second person has a gun, and think they 'have the right to shoot people' for a host of arbitrary reasons.
Meaning the cops pretty much have to have guns in the US.
Similarly, I think the issue of police aggression is 90% about culture and not about constitutional issues.
However, they do not remove the fundamental power structure that makes these laws possible. Changing the power structure requires collective action, that is the meaning of a revolution and a revolutionary.
The recent rent strikes in Houston were organized entirely online. The internet allows us to organize nearly instantly across the entire planet, but we need people in the street to make change a reality.
However, based off what I see in the media, a lot of these promises are not true for oppressed groups or for people in certain areas. Like the use of excessive force by police officers. It seems like this all comes back to fundamental issues in the way some Americans think (that certain people are better than others).
My question is, is there a way to correct these fundamental issues such as racism (or more generally ignorance)?
The portuguese-american community that I grew up in mostly consisted of people who fled the fascist authoritarianism of Antonio Salazar, with the promise of freedom and prosperity. They found the prosperity just fine, but lived here long enough to see America become even more authoritarian than the Portugal that they fled. It is interesting to me that many of them are leaving the prosperity behind to return to Portugal, as it is now more free than we are.
"[FBI] policies have been crafted to take into account the active presence of domestic extremists in U.S. police departments."
"White supremacists and other domestic extremists maintain an active presence in U.S. police departments and other law enforcement agencies."
Workers unifying across social divisions is the greatest threat to oppressing the people. It is the most powerful method we have of gaining material freedom and our most basic human dignities, regardless of ethnic identity.
Some of our most deeply exploited white citizens are convinced that they have it better than others while they experience collapsing infrastructure, life on government benefits, prescription epidemics, growing government overreach, and erosion of their working rights. They also make up the heart of white supremacists and domestic extremists, while more fortunate liberal territories are convinced to despise and separate themselves from their fellow workers.
In short, our nation is divided by hatred and the result is a populace that is easier to control, oppress, and economically exploit. Overcoming this hatred and unifying is the key to securing our future and basic liberties from corporate and government authoritarianism.
Our white working citizens need to realize that all workers are unified in our exploitation for basic human necessities. That is a practical way that we can overcome the hatred that is dividing us and facilitating the destruction of our liberties.
The overwhelming majority of interactions with police for any race are benign. You've been manipulated by a race baiting media.
Someone survives playing Russian Roulette the overwhelming majority of the time too. 5 out of 6 times, nothing bad happens at all. 1 out of 6 times, you die. Is that also not something you would consider a "life threatening situation?"
It's actually an interesting question. At what point does the risk of dying in a situation make it "life threatening"? I believe something like 1 in 291 police interactions end up with someone in the hospital or dead.
More importantly, how many of those hospitalizations/deaths are justified? You realize that police are typically responding to crimes and dealing with criminals who tend to be a little more violent than the average person, right?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a bootlicker by any means, and I acknowledge there are serious policing problems in the US. But seriously questioning whether you're going to survive a traffic stop if you act reasonably is irrational paranoia.
Which translates to: at any given interaction with the police, there's a non-zero chance that it come be a life threatening situation
You > The overwhelming majority...
Which also implies some non-zero chance...
So I'm confused as to how to OP's situation is hysteria by the "race baiting media"
Please keep this off of HN, thanks
My point is that this is excessive, and partly a result of the eagerness that the media to latch onto and sensationalize stories of blacks being killed by police.
It is relevant to the discussion.
Edit: all of this particularly when negative interactions are going to very heavily skew towards people who are combative and/or noncompliant. This is total paranoia.
But also in multiple times a year with people who are non combative and compliant.
What is the acceptable loss rate _you_ are willing to accept on others behalf?
Obviously in the ideal case it would be 0 but that's not realistic and, again, the current rate is far lower than the original poster implied. That's my entire argument. A couple times a year in the news does not justify worrying about being killed during a traffic stop or some other typical, mundane interaction.
Let's follow your logic. You claim that police abuse of power is exceedingly rare. In that case, to earn the public trust, and to punish the few rare cases that police do abuse their power, shouldn't the people be as free as possible to pursue justice in those cases?
If police abuse is rare, that argues for even more strict laws against police abuse, less legal protection, and more empowerment of the citizenry to address those few rare cases.
I made no such claim. I said that being hurt or killed by an officer is an unlikely occurance for a typical person. That's all I'm arguing and there shouldn't be anything controversial about it.
Fascism is a disease that slowly infects its host. We should remember how America fought so bravely against German fascism. My mother's family came to America to escape the fascist authoritarianism of that nation, and I can't see myself moving to Germany.
We should more accurately remember that it was the express policy of the United States to rehabilitate and support former fascists in postwar Europe, Southeast Asia, and in Latin America. The US opposed German nationalist imperialism (quite late into that campaign), but never meaningfully fascism as such. During the Red Scare, several people were even investigated and blacklisted for being "prematurely antifascist."
German nationalist imperialism is Nationalsozialistiche Deutsche Abeiterpartei, the namesake of the Nazi Party. The immigration of my own family is a product of German fascism.
Don't think the SC is deaf to the issue, the amount of money from Police and Sheriff unions defending QI is immense so when cases do land in courts the expertise in representation is lopsided on top of courts favoring police in most actions.
Also make sure not to forget, QI isn't just about cops. It also shields other government employees who cause harm to people or their property
They used a stun gun, not a gun.
If the cops had let the strong, mentally confused guy go on doing whatever he wanted, it could have ended badly in any of a million other ways. Lose/lose
And the highest number of killings by police (per capita) by far.
<< Chocked by 9/11, they decided to implicitly discard the Habeas Corpus by installing the Patriot Act and officially autorize torture. A temporary measure that never got revoked.
Then, they went to war on the other side on the globe, spending a trillion of dollars, against the UN vote, lying about WMD.
Meanwhile, they setup mass surveillance of their own people, and ruthlessly attacked the ones speaking against it.
They elected Bush twice, and Trump, reinforcing every day anti-intellectualism, fear, agressivity and violence as part of the country culture. The medias, including news outlets and tv shows, followed since this is what brought the biggest audience.
Injustice rose. While the poor had a hard time even getting decent health treatment or diet and the black community compose most inmate population, milked by a privatized social system, the powerful are exonerated from accountability: rogue cops are not condamned, the Panama papers lead to nowhere, Esptein died in prison, brankrupt giants are bailed out with peoople's money and Trump was never impeached, staying the center of attention.
Finally, the covid-19 outbreak stuck the country in recession, rendering tens of millions of people incapable of producing revenue, tanking the oil price, and elevating social tensions. >>
Since the US peace keepers seems to have a licence to kill, this is not going to end well.
I'm glad I'm in Europe watching the show from afar. You have all my compassion.
A pneumonia patient walking through a hospital where people are recovering from strokes and heart attacks.
Wrestling with a police officer on a busy highway.
You can close down municipalities or live in places where there are no police. Then other people kill you for acting like a jerk. Beaten to death by the nurses or blasted apart by oncoming traffic.
So much better.
On the other hand, if an Amazon engineer checks in a bug and AWS goes down and a hospital loses its medical records and people die, we hold Amazon liable, not the engineer.
Deaths at the hands of police are always horrible but an important message that is not broadcast clearly enough in every community is... NEVER RESIST ARREST!
Never! When a police officer instructs you to do something just do it. If you disagree with the order there is a mechanism to voice that disagreement called the court.
If you defy a police directive they will use rapidly escalating force to make you comply that can endanger your life.
This used to be pretty well understood and I think we need better public communication about this. We also need to make sure the courts are more accomodating to underprivileged communities because if people don't believe the courts are fair then disputes are going to get settled in the street with violence.
EDIT: On the other side I believe if a police officer contributes to the death of someone in the line of duty they need to surrender their badge, even if they played by the rules. If the other person loses their life you should at least lose your job. That kind of incentive might discourage some of the cowboy culture on their side that's not helping here.
Except unlike people in other professions, when police get scared, angry, and make mistakes, other people die. In other sectors, where courts, politicians and the public haven't been brain-washed by the never-ending chorus of 'officer safety', people with that kind of power are held to a commensurate level of accountability. That's the central issue, which you're attempting to side-step.
> Deaths at the hands of police are always horrible but an important message that is not broadcast clearly enough in every community is... NEVER RESIST ARREST!
Aside from a clear victim-blaming bias, even casual observation rules this out as a panacea. Far from it.
Fair point, hence the edit.
(The case discussed in the article was of someone delusional while in the final stages of pneumonia.)
During the decade I lived in the States, I often wonder if I would be the next random guy to fall victim to cops. (That, and random mass shootings. Things totally out of my control.) Simply not a fear I ever had to deal with everywhere else I’ve lived or traveled.
As a matter of conscious and principal though, passively resisting arrest should never lead to your execution. Acknowledging it’s not the case and thereby personally making sure to comply with the police does not make it “right” for this to be the norm.
Now I live in a much better country and I no longer have to fear the police. Quite a change.
There is no way why this has to be the way it is. If you are afraid of the police, it is the police's fault. Time to start arresting them and cleaning up.
It had never occurred to me that the people can win and detain the police, not the other way around.
This is why the police departments in America parade around in armored vehicles and use absurdly overpowered weapons for regular duty. The intent is to keep everyone thinking that the police are incomprehensibly overpowering and could never be approached in a direct conflict. The reality is that it wouldn't take much to wrest back control and they know it. The 2nd amendment is your best friend if you are an American. You should NEVER have to use it, but it's like your copy of the police having an M1A1 tank at the local precinct.
Just like you have to worry that the SWAT team might arbitrarily come into your house and end your life, they should have to worry that maybe one day everyone in town is going to get tired of their shit and band together to put an end to it all.
> Police are people and they can get scared, angry, and make mistakes.
> When a police officer instructs you to do something just do it.
What if the police instructs you to do something illegal?
What if the police sexually assaults you? 
> If you disagree with the order there is a mechanism to voice that disagreement called the court.
When (not if) the police illegally seizes your property, it's OK for you to spend the next few years in the court system to get that property back to be able to return to normal life, right? 
> they will use rapidly escalating force to make you comply that can endanger your life
> This used to be pretty well understood
> I think we need better public communication about this.
> We also need to make sure the courts are more accomodating to underprivileged communities because if people don't believe the courts are fair then disputes are going to get settled in the street with violence