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A collection of videos of police brutality (thishastostopnow.com)
421 points by h3cate 36 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 380 comments

> https://twitter.com/mollypshe/status/1266934680273727491

I clicked this. It contains a apparently completely baseless claim that a masked looter is an "undercover cop". The claim also has been denied by the St. Paul police department.

Is it your intention to discredit claims of police brutality by repeating apparently false ones?

> I clicked this. It contains a apparently completely baseless claim that a masked looter is an "undercover cop". The claim also has been denied by the St. Paul police department.

That is only one of the reports in that lengthy tweet thread. And it's not baseless, here is the evidence for it: https://twitter.com/dyllyp/status/1266166402521522176

Here's the tweet where the St. Paul police department denied it: https://twitter.com/sppdmn/status/1266202225677910022

Posted 2.5 hours after the original claim - fast investigation for the police to clear themselves of all wrongdoing.

> Is it your intention to discredit claims of police brutality by repeating apparently false ones?


> And it's not baseless, here is the evidence for it

Thanks-- I didn't find that from the original link. But I don't really think it supports your argument.

It's pretty hard to identify a person from just the eyes, but to the extent that shows anything it seems to contradict the claim to me: the face on the left appears to me to have a much more prominent brow ridge compared to the face on the right-- like a shelf above his eyes on the left, while the right dips in near the nose.

As far as the officer's ex-wife saying 'that's my mask' -- the thread shows a bunch of other pictures of protesters with the same mask.

This also explains how they could investigate the claim quickly-- they only needed to identify the location of a single officer.

It seems entirely possible for the department to verify the whereabouts of one of their officers in 2.5 hours, especially if malicious lies which will put him in danger are spreading.

This just in, serial arsonist denies ever committing arson!

Ah yes, cops telling you that they didn't do it.

At first I said to myself "he didn't do it, he isn't a cop..." and then I started to think about the source of the information.

I'm not taking sides here. I don't know if he did it or not. I just like to question all sources at this point. Just because they say they didn't do it, doesn't mean they didn't do it.

I'd totally buy you argument if there was evidence of it being a cop to begin with. But there isn't, as far as I'm able to determine.

I'm not arguing he was a cop or not.

I'm saying that cops telling you he didn't do it, seems like a questionable source to base your opinion on.

My opinion was based on the claim being apparently baseless. Someone saying "are you a cop?" to a masked person does not make them likely to be a cop-- in fact, it demonstrates that the cop-ness of this person wasn't readily apparent to the people who were actually there.

That they denied it is just additional (weak, sure) evidence.

I didn't check all of them, but the ones about "Police slashing tires", are just someone saying "It was police".

They should not be included in your list. You know as well as I do that people are going to lie about it. It does no one any good to include things like that.

This post was number one on HN. Now it’s nowhere to be found on HN’s pages unless you search for it. I happen to remember the posters handle and was able to dig up the post. The post is not even flagged back so am curious why did it disappear?

Users flagged it. That's usually the reason.

Not sure why it was flagged but I use hn.algolia.com and it was one of the top links.

I upvoted it. The police are making the situation worse and people need to know they are no longer the police who are their to protect them but the police who are abusing their power and worse than terrorists.

This issue is way more important than SpaceX launch.

It could mean we don’t have the next black Astronaut, or the next minority space engineer, or the next minority Elon Musk. Because a minor police encounter would have led to their death.

There's no question that it's more important. Of course it is more important than basically everything on HN's front page. To avoid any tedious objections about SpaceX or something like that, I'll just note that HN had a front-page story yesterday about whether the French adopted vinaigrette from the Italians. There's nothing important about that topic at all. It's a caricature of unimportance.

People sometimes feel like if a story isn't on HN's front page, that we, or the community, feel like it's unimportant. That's not it at all. Rather, importance is not the quality that organizes HN. If it were, HN would not exist. An entirely different website, or no website, would exist in its place.

The organizing principle of HN is intellectual curiosity, as everyone knows who's read the site guidelines [1] or heard me going on about it. Everything we do here derives from that [2]. In the case of a thread like this one, the question I have as a moderator (not as a human being or a citizen) is whether the community, in its particular manifestation in this thread, is able to have a thoughtful conversation in which curiosity is present, or whether it is not. We sometimes turn off user flags if the answer is yes, but not if the answer is no.

That doesn't necessarily have to do with the story itself being on-topic or off-topic for HN. A story like this one (the killing of George Floyd, the protests, the riots, and related topics like police violence) is much too big to be called on-topic or off-topic. It depends on the particular submission and the particular thread. HN has had several major threads related to this story and I'm sure it will have more.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

[2] https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=true&que...

Makes sense. Dang, thanks for the explanation. You do a tremendous job as a monderator keeping HN true to its ambitions.

Yeah, people forget that not literally every website needs to be an activist forum.

Far from it. The internet should be the inclusive society that we seem to be unable to attain in the real world.

I agree with that and wrote something similar in a little essay about HN recently. The challenge is how to get there. I don't think we can flamewar our way to peace on the internet.

Haha wow I wouldn't of expected that from hn! It's bought me time to fix the site so I don't mind too much but this only reinforces my belief in the need for the site. It's too easy for information to be hidden on the web

Try: https://news.ycombinator.com/active

It's number 1 there right now. I typically use the /active site instead of the homepage as I mostly come here for the discussion sections anyway.

The https://news.ycombinator.com/lists page is generally a great resource for HN.

there's a scale to a submission being flagged (depending on the number of flags relative to other activity on the post), and they affect ranking before the "[flagged]" mark appears - I assume that's what happened. You can email the mods and ask if they'll remove the ranking penalty through the contact link in the footer.

It's been flagged to oblivion so as not to pierce HN's tender bubble.

Should have mentioned which JS framework was used to build the site so the post would stay on the front page.

Haha sadly, there's no JS. I would load vue though if that meant they wouldn't bury the thread..

Does every website need to be an activist website? Seems redundant.

Even better, it should have been implemented in rust. HN’s rust fixation (I get it, I like rust, but...) and aversion to anything involving society would have been held in perfect balance.

Exactly. HN caring more about wanting government to force Apple to allow side loading than police misconduct shows why you basically need rioting to make people pay attention.

A football player kneeling peacefully as a stand against police misconduct and being called a son of a bitch by the President doesn’t get a peep from HN. People start rioting gets attention.

alas I have no solution, just a workaround use https://hckrnews.com/

Remember a few years ago it came out that Apple filed a patent to disable cameras in a localised area. Speculation was so that law enforcement could disable cameras during protests and riots. In the next few days/weeks, watch if people start saying that they're in these hot zones and their camera phones stop working

Imagine being asked by your boss to implement such a thing and actually doing it. How spineless and unethical would you have to be to even consider following such an order.

They'd probably take the Volkswagen strategy:

Team A builds a feature that detects when the device is in a localized area. (This already exists)

Team B builds a feature that disables the camera. (I could see this being a parental control)

Both features are reasonable by themselves. It's when they are combined that they become an issue. The trick is that Teams A and B don't know of each other's existence.

There are also countless people who’d gladly knowingly sign up to implement such a feature. No need to try some roundabout way when all you need to do is feel out the political leanings of a couple guys in the office then recruit them for a secret project.

Someone would have to add their integrations though. The features won't be joined magically together.

There are enough qualified amoral mercenary devs out there who would be willing to do it - and keep quiet about it.

I'm sure they can find at least one willing asshole.

TIL the expression "the Volkswagen strategy" and I love it.

Thanks, I'll be using that.

If it was a choice between following the order and being out of a job? Not very, particularly since your sacrifice would almost certainly be in vain.

Then the person in question is 'spineless and unethical' and shares a responsibility for the results of their labour. 'Just following orders' does not absolve them from their responsibilities to their community. That their sacrifice might be in vain is a separate issue that should be, in my opinion, addressed by making education in ethics a mandatory part of the curriculum of all engineering degrees.

Depends on how valuable you are. I know people at Google who transferred internally fairly painlessly (i.e. the abridged loop) when they told their skip-levels they were uncomfortable with their work.

Almost anything can have legitamate reasons. You can kill someone with a hammer, doesn't make it unethical to make a hammer. I don't know why you woukd have a reason to turn off a camera. What I'm saying is, it doesn't necessarily mean the programmers are unethical or evil.

How would you go about implementing the feature so that it passes inspection but completely fails in the field? It's like a high stakes game of TDD-golf.

I imagine tools like this would most likely come out of military companies such as Lockheed and Raytheon. Surprised to hear it coming out of Apple

imagine being able to turn your boss over to authorities and trusting that you wouldn't be retaliated against.

What would you turn them in for? To whom would you report them? Would you quit or continue working at that place? Abuse of authority? Moral or ethical code violations? Those sound more like in-house problems with in-house HR and legal team solutions, which usually favor the bosses over the whistleblowing workers.

You're assuming the speculation is the actual intent. What if it was something more benign, like allowing it to turn off cameras in a nuclear power plant or secure facilities or something like that.

About as spineless and unethical as every other human being.

You know how we have some people worth billions and simultaneously people literally digging through garbage for food?

That's not an accident, it's a constant built into this species, unless we start doing some eugenics, preventing idiots from breeding, which'll take far longer than your lifetime to come into effect.

You interested in attempting to improve this species your whole life, getting nothing but shit for it and dying without seeing any fruits of your labor? I'm not and neither is anyone else who's not a fundamentalist idiot.

So yes, spineless and unethical is everyday reality. If you don't want to deal with it, go into academia or get a high paying job. Once you spend some time around people who know how to behave themselves, you'll be the one asking for a police state to protect you from the masses upsetting your privileged existence. Funny how that works :)

What do you think America and Europe are, but military states preventing the rest of the world from invading their cushy way of life? How awful right? Let's open all borders and have freedom for everyone. Right, alright then.

Are you actually arguing for eugenics?


I see did not get that from you original comment but please enlighten me on how demanding ethical behaviour from software engineers leads to a eugenics program.

The level of idiocy required to believe that 'demanding ethical behaviour from software engineers' is at all a reasonable request, enables other idiotic ideas, such as 'demand ethical behaviour of all people' because why stop at software engineers, which naturally leads to eugenics if you believe some people are born with unethical tendencies that can't be corrected past birth, due to genetics.

Now I understand that you don't think demanding ethical behaviour is an idiotic idea.

What you don't know is that this idiotic idea has been rebutted a billion times already.

We have an entire branch of philosophy dedicated to it, called moral philosophy.

Let me save you some time:

Go ahead and define ethical. Define how you plan to demand. Explain how you make sure those enforcing the 'demanding' themselves don't become unethical and how you make sure you don't end up in a worse spot than where you started by attempting to demand something you can't even define or even if you could, you could never get everyone to agree with your definition because gasp, people thinks differently.

Here's a last kicker for you - suppose in your fairyland that cannot be, you did demand ethical behaviour and people listened, you know, because you're a violent dictator because nobody would listen otherwise. Another country goes ahead and does the unethical, gets ahead of your little ethical country, comes and crushes you, enslaves your ethical people and puts your head on a stick. How do you propose to win a zero-sum game of power if acting ethically dooms you to losing, or are you ok with going extinct in your noble ethical fashion? Good luck convincing the rest of your little ethical country to live ethically in fear of getting pillaged, raped and enslaved by the neighbours, in the name of ethics.

Please stop posting flamewar comments to HN. This is emphatically not what this site is for, and it destroys what it is for.


Good point. My apologies.


Wow really? Sounds like something that could be abused... But I know I seen some posts before talking about someone wanted to have a way to disable phones during concerts due to copyright concerns... But seems like with some things it starts out with one goal and then keeps getting expanded and expanded a little bit at a time.

This is the number one reason I can come off as inflexible in terms of sanctioning remote control or backdooring of user device features, or the implementation of anti-features.

Once you accept something controversial can be done be highly in situation X, the fact you allow it in situation X eventually gets used as a point that it should be allowed in situation Y, where Y was the controversial thing in the first place.

100%. Everybody should be treated equally.

Do you think the police would just like, abuse their power? Surely not.

I think that’s be rather hard to do without contentious enabling legislation. It was more likely intended for company issued phones, to stop employees taking photos in the office (some offices still ban camera phones).

Legislation? You don't need legislation during a declared emergency.

You don't need legislation to do anyway, you just go ahead and do it using whatever means at your disposal. The legal repercussions come later, if at ll.

Without legislation, how do you force Apple to deploy a change to everyone’s phone? That’s presumably what it would take.

If you're actually trying to fix a problem, there are better ways to go about it.

Why not try to build evidence to determine the reality of the situation? There is nothing honest or good about building a one-sided repository that serves only to confirm political dogma.

What if a fair judgement of the evidence shows that black police officers treat black people no better than white police officers? What if white police officers treat black people better than black police officers on average?

Of course, I'm sure someone biased enough can invent an explanation for any contrary evidence. But the of the situation might be very different from the current propaganda.

Regardless of the policing data, the root cause is unarguably a fundamentally economic problem.

Poverty is synonymous with violence. Policing is synonymous with violence.

By turning a class problem (rich people stealing/rigging the system) into a racial issue (white people are bad and should feel bad) you're doing the bidding of the rich people that want to prevent revolutionary economic reform.

Edit: Flagged in 60 seconds. There is no way this comment violates the HN guidelines. If you disagree, just downvote, don't abuse the flagging system.

Thanks for your feedback. With the help from some people here the site has been updated with more info about each case including what has/hasn't been done in each situation.

Going forward, no video will be uploaded without first gathering this information and verifying the context of the video. Please say if you feel there is still information that needs to be added that can help.

Aren't you trying to act as a courtroom, though? The main issue I have with your site is that your fundamental premise involves a presumption of guilt. You declare this behavior "brutality" (which implies a forgone conclusion of injustice and the misuse of force) before a fair system of investigation, testimony, factual analysis, and so on, can be performed.

I'm not saying these videos aren't showing an injustice and a misuse of force, I'm saying that making a fair conclusion is complicated and should be done by a complex process that you can't hope to do yourself. And if you simply aggregate videos of police using force and label them all as brutality, frankly you are abandoning the ideal of justice in the pursuit of it.

Your site should present these videos as acts that warrant investigation, not as a wall of shame for (assumed) guilty/bad cops (even though many of them are guilty/bad).

There is deep, systemic injustice in our society, and there are murders and brutalities taking place all too often, and this does demand action and attention. I applaud action to that effect and I honor that you are motivated by the pursuit of justice. But you need to recognize that it is a challenging task that requires a measure of elevated ethical discipline in order not to backfire or undermine itself. The principle of "innocent until proven guilty" is a core precept of a good justice system, but not one that your approach seems to embrace.

Here's a pretty good list I've been seeing passed around Reddit with ~20 incidents of police brutalizing peaceful protestors in the last couple days:


The list is growing by the hour.

Cops in America need to learn very quickly that their power comes only from the consent of the people they police, or they will be made to understand that fact.

I wish that were true, but the complete history of policing in America suggests that the police there exist primarily to protect the land and facilities of the ownership class, and have never had nor needed any consent of those outside of the gentry.

The more recent history suggests that the people who wish to deter or educate the cops are significantly outgunned, and the brutality will continue until such time that those trying to change the status quo will give up, as they stand no chance of victory in the physical battle this has become.

See also: Hong Kong

I frequently wonder if these police would be so eager for a fight with sticks if some fraction of the protesters were carrying the same rifles as their opponents. In theory, that is legal there, and I hope more people take the peaceful, rights-based approach that the Black Panthers did.

> The more recent history suggests that the people who wish to deter or educate the cops are significantly outgunned

Then these young people (in the U.S.) should stop fighting for gun control when it only works against them in times such as these. Can you imagine how these protesters would be treated if most of them were carrying a rifle?

Could the police roll out tanks in response? Sure, but I do not believe the U.S. politicians would be willing to start all out war between police and civilians.

I don't condone the looting and destruction of property. Having said that the curfews in place are a form of suppression/muzzling the peaceful protesters.

The police have for too long had unchecked power in the U.S. I've always been taught to be respectful and have been treated in kind in my interactions with police (but I am white.) If a cop is having a bad day or he's just a bully, that should not keep bystanders from helping a victim of police brutality with the threat of "assaulting a police officer."

Could the police roll out tanks in response? Sure, but I do not believe the U.S. politicians would be willing to start all out war between police and civilians.

Have you read about what happened during the Civil Rights Movement? How many MAGAs would even blink if police started killing Black people?

More recently MOVE was bombed and no politicians thought twice.


> How many MAGAs would even blink if police started killing Black people?

Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Fox News hosts, and even Rush Limbaugh have all spoken out against the murder of George Floyd.

> “I hope these cops are dealt with good and hard,” Limbaugh said. “I’ve seen the video like everybody else, and it makes me so mad I can’t see straight.”


> "it was clearly police brutality and it was not conduct we expect of any officer," Cruz said.


Where was all of these statements when Kaepernick was trying to bring issues about police misconduct to the forefront peacefully? He was calling the him a “son of a bitch”.

You noticed he never called White guys storming into state capital with guns “thugs”. Even after they basically forced the government to shut down out of fear.

Out of irrational fear. Those armed white guys didn't beat anyone up, throw rocks at police, loot anything, or burn anything. If Democrats have an irrational fear of "rednecks", they need to work on that.

Whereas these "thugs" today doing all of the above aren't protestors, in fact I've heard many protestors speak out against them too, and they seem to include quite a lot of young white leftists just looking to cause trouble.

The remark you're referring to was specifically about looters, so I think it's a bit dishonest to compare that to a group of peaceful protestors.

So you really think Black guys marching on the state capital and yelling at police would have gotten the same response?

If the government wasn’t afraid of the white protestors, why did they postponed re-opening? They specifically said that they didn’t reopen out of fear.

You noticed he never called the policemen “thugs” has he ever called a white criminal a thug or a “son of a bitch” like he called a football player peacefully protesting?

> If the government wasn’t afraid of the white protestors, why did they postponed re-opening? They specifically said that they didn’t reopen out of fear.

I don't remember all the details, but weren't the protestors calling for reopening? If the government postponed, they did so despite the protestors, not because of them.

> has he ever called a white criminal a thug

Many of the looters right now are white, so they'd be included in the group of criminals he recently called thugs.

> or a “son of a bitch” like he called a football player peacefully protesting?

Kaepernick got the same treatment as Trump's white Republican competitors in the 2016 primary. Trump is an asshole and he's never nice to people he disagrees with, regardless of race.

The Michigan state government (legislature) postponed reopening out of fear of the armed protestors. What was the purpose of them showing up with guns if not to intimidate. But these are some more “very fine people”.

And once again you're taking remarks out of context and ignoring the half of the story that doesn't fit your preexisting beliefs.

Here are some other remarks Trump made along with "very fine people":

> we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence. It has no place in America.

> The driver of the car is a murderer. And what he did was a horrible, horrible, inexcusable thing.

> I think the driver of the car is a disgrace to himself, his family, and this country.


What does that have to do with the armed Michigan protestors who stormed the state capital.

Excuse me, the armed Michigan protestors who stormed the state capital were “very good people”.


And again you're using language dishonestly. They didn't "storm" anything. They had every right to be there, protesting peacefully, and it's legal to carry guns at the Michigan state capital.

I don't know if they were "very good people", but I haven't heard any reason to think otherwise.

And your own source makes it clear that the government wasn't intimidated by these peaceful protests:

> lawmakers were meeting to debate an end to the emergency order... Despite the pressure, Whitmer extended the order, which was due to expire at the end of Thursday.

Who were they protecting themselves against by coming in with guns? Why else did they do it if not to intimidate?

Do you think 20 or 30 armed Black men could have gotten away with this?


This conversation has gone too deep, deeper than Hacker News can handle, so we should probably wrap it up.

I'll just say that if 20 armed black men couldn't get away with protesting in Michigan, that says something very bad about the Democrats who run the state.

You act as if I think Democrats are holy saints with respect to equality.

But those policemen probably weren’t wearing Black Lives Matter under their uniforms.....

You started off with a clearly partisan comment, so I've been acting as if you were partisan.

The idea that the situation would be improved by the protesters being able to shoot police is... Questionable.

The better solution is unarmed police: billions of people live in localities where most police they encounter don't have guns and may not be even authorized to make physical contact in the case of a conflict. The idea that all police must carry guns and must be ready to use violence "to protect us" is one of those assumptions you assume must be universal until you somehow find out that it very particular to certain locations.

The protestors being able to shoot police is the situation now, presently, and has been for a long while. Many, many people have firearms in America.

Police are not generally being shot at.

The situation you describe is not a violent one.

What I think would be a better situation is a much higher percentage of visibly armed protestors. You didn’t see police beating and attacking any of the armed protests last month, and there’s a reason for that that extends beyond their being mostly white people.

People like to condemn the previous protests for being armed, and for protesting for something that was dumb (reopening businesses during a pandemic), but the armed part will become more and more important for any meaningful protest in America, as we have now learned that if you aren’t, the police will just come and attack you with sticks or gas or cars or the threat of their own rifles.

People shouldn’t carry guns to shoot them, they should carry them to indicate to everyone around them that nobody wants a fight, which is generally the same reason police do.

Criminals don’t attack cops in groups because criminals know that if they do, 20 cops have weapons that will be used against them in seconds.

I would love to be able to say: “cops don’t attack protestors because cops know that if they do, 20 protestors have weapons that will be used against them in seconds”.

I wouldn’t go that far. The US has so many guns it would be suicide for police not to have them.

How would it be suicide? I walk around plenty of places in the US, many with lots of guns, and don't particularly worry about getting killed.

It's only dangerous when you work under the assumption that the primary role of police is getting into altercations with people or doing things that require the potential for the immediate deployment of violence. The vast majority of police work doesn't require that.

Some small proportion of police should be armed so they can be called in for the exceptional case, but that's not necessary for most cops. The potential cost and messiness of any kind of use of physical force (armed or not) is usually far higher than the cost of what it's intended to remedy.

Just as the police have so many guns it would be suicide for the oppressed classes not to have them. (Just as we have seen.)

The police in America are extremely well-armed, far better than the general public in most places. It poses a real danger, as we have seen playing out over the last few years.

When you can walk into a supermarket and buy a machine gun off the shelf, I would agree with you. If you take the guns off everybody though, this changes completely. All of a sudden you don't need a lethal weapon and instead can start carrying none lethal weapons. That's a whole different debate though

A “War on Guns” won’t take the guns from everyone. The “War on Guns” will target minorities just like every other “War on $x”.

See the “War on Drugs” in the “inner city” and “Treat Drugs like a Disease” when it affects “rural America”.

> Can you imagine how these protesters would be treated if most of them were carrying a rifle?

There are 2 outcomes here:

1) You get shot immediately by the police, chaos ensues but at the end of the day you're still dead.

2) You shoot them, harm/kill them and if their colleagues don't shoot you back there's still more than enough proof out there to bring you a lifetime of legal troubles, especially considering "self defense" laws don't apply when it's against police.

In both cases, you're either dead or in the shit and nothing gets fixed. The US already proved that they couldn't give a shit about police brutality (otherwise we wouldn't have these protests to begin with) so more civilian kills on the leaderboard is just a drop in the bucket at this point.

There are more than 2 possible outcomes. The possibility of equal or greater force against you makes you think twice about escalating the situation.

> Can you imagine how these protesters would be treated if most of them were carrying a rifle?

Branded as a terrorist organization so that use of extreme and possibly military force could be justified?

That’s happening anyway now.

Obviously the best thing to do is avoid fighting. However, if you’re going to be in a fight, it’s better to be armed than unarmed, if for no other reason than to encourage your opponent not to force a fight.

Just because it's painful doesn't mean it's hopeless.

Protests now, and when you get home, call, email, and write letters to every person that conceivably has authority over how the police act. Don't relent. They did arrest the murderer, after all.

That's the part I personally cannot wrap my head around with all of this. These people are the people they are paid to protect. The people who live in their own communities. Yet they are carrying out these acts like they're in a foreign country.

I noticed personally that people who are attracted to power are also attracted to being a cop.

In my own school there was a bully who used to bully smaller kids together with his friend. Notice that he always needed his friend, and always needed the kid to be smaller.

Years later I saw him in cop uniform. My first reaction was WTF, but on second thought it made perfect sense.

I feel like with bullying it is partly playing up to the crown (in this case the other person they were doing it with). Kids are mean and it sucks but hopefully as he grew older he also matured.

Part of the problem is they usually don’t live in the communities with the people they police, they live outside the city in affluent white suburbs. Residency requirements are easily circumvented.

Yeah I can see how that could be a problem. Maybe it should be enforced that at least one officer in every pair should live in the community they're policing? It's not for me however to decide on rules/solutions

> Yet they are carrying out these acts like they're in a foreign country.

Which would make this better how exactly?

It’s not better.

Foreign operations are carried out by a military, who define an enemy and set objectives to destroy them.

Policing is different. It’s a domestic affair where the objectives are to protect citizens and improve public safety.

It gets very dangerous when police begin operating like the military, define the citizens they’re suppose to protect as “the enemy”, and then set objectives to destroy them.

Thank you, you took the words in my head

I did not take that as implying its somehow any better. I took it as a cultural separation that allows for an excuse to forgo morality in inflicting harsh threatments. (easier to bash someone's head in when they aren't your nextdoor neighbour).

Stop assuming the worst of others as the default. Unless of course you're doing it in bad faith.

Thank you, you're right. I would assume being in a war zone requires a completely different mindset to being a cop. One has a job of protecting and serving whilst the other has a job of completing the mission at all costs. To me, those two things require completely different mindsets.

Sorry I should of been clearer. I didn't mean that would be better, more so that I would expect an army in a foreign country to be in a different mindset to police. A war zone is an extremely high stress environment full of people you do not know. You must see everybody as somebody that potentially wants to kill you. When you are policing in the town you live in, you know the local community. These are not people who you should feel threatened by until they prove otherwise. Still not the clearest answer I know sorry.

Because people generally care about their local community much stronger than a place they have no ties to?


Tangentially related: anybody have links for good op-sec guides for creating a site that might make dangerous people pissed off?

Host it here: https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/ (This is assuming that you are not doing anything illegal.)

Make it static.

Be able to deploy quickly to a new host if need be.

> This is assuming that you are not doing anything illegal.

Unfortunately, you are rarely the one who decides what is legal and what is not. I remember Edward Snowden mentioning this in some AMA on Reddit as one of the reasons why for a society it's a bad idea to strive for zero crime rates: After all, this most likely means that it's impossible to commit a crime and, thus, rebel against or, if need be, even overthrow the system.

> This is assuming that you are not doing anything illegal

I have only good intentions. Doing something illegal could be shifting rapidly. Trump intends to make antifa a terrorist organization (of which I have zero affiliation and conflicted feelings about). I believe that action is but a taste of what is to come.

I have only good things to say about their service and pricing. They are very privacy and free speech focused. They will cooperate with law enforcement agencies when served warrants/subpoenas, but otherwise will protect you and your privacy very doggedly.

How about [This Page Is Anonymous](https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20220048)?

Anonymous-site-as-a-service must be a thing.

If you can rely on audience being quite technical, IPFS is a pretty good, very censorship-resistant approach. There are some IPFS bridges that make viewing content easier.

If IPFS is out of the question, I'd look for hosting services that talk openly about being censorship-resistant. Won't give any links, but there are a couple, even if slightly shady looking.

I'm fascinated by IPFS (and plan on using it elsewhere) but I my desire is to have as wide exposure as possible.

Twitter seems to be doing a good job.

Maybe you don't create a site, but resurface the content on different social media.

Yeah, that is true. The problem is that twitter is also a firehose of effluent. It would be nice to have curated content and dialog too.

The other angle is memes. I think that bumper sticker politics is more relevant today than when it was on actual bumpers.

Depends on the dangerous people you're talking about I suppose

From random pizza-gate types, then up through the power hierarchy to the very top of a handful of world superpowers.

An effort perhaps quixotic at best, it's worth thinking about. We are at a tipping point in civilization and I don't want to complicit that going the wrong way.

Exactly. IIRC alphabet agencies operate many tor exit nodes.

Among a plethora of other tricks. To be able to evade state-level actors would be the ultimate goal. That may likely be impossible but it would be nice to explore if it could be done.

I have no intention of becoming an "enemy of the state", but I also never imagined I'd be living in this dystopian timeline.

Easiest way to track somebody on tor is to follow them through their bounces.

Leaders in black protests have been killed off by white power supremacists over the years. The creator of this site risks the same.

Yelp! Hopefully it doesn't come to that. I've not created a "We need to stop the KKK" and blasted their faces on the internet... yet.

There is no indication this website is a racial thing. It looks like the op is gathering any videos of police brutality.

I’m not the one you need to convince.


needs a better interface, but it's my fav candidate for immediate backup if it were necessary.

i think datprotocol.org looks promising for folks who are interested in rehosting the data

I've shared this before and do so here:

I recently found out about an app from the ACLU specifically for recording//reporting (abusive) police activities.

The app itself, at least the California version, has a section regarding one's rights and safety whilst filming police.



I have found an excellent resource [1] for data-driven policy that has been shown to reduce racism and abuse in police departments. I have written all of my local leaders who are up for election where they stand on each one of their ten points.

All of the requests on their website seem reasonable and it was really illuminating doing research on my local police force and seeing how few of them they've enacted.

[1] https://www.joincampaignzero.org/

Thank you, I will go through them later tonight.

Thank you. I will go through and add tonight.

To document with videos is valuable, but I think the site should provide as much context as possible, what I would wish for, show:

  * Date of incident
  * Short description of context
  * Primary source, or at least, where the video was found
  * Media coverage of incident
  * Updates on convictions/official investigations into the incident
  * Official statements / responses
  * linked videos (videos of the same incident, but with other view-angle)
Otherwise it will just be a collection of outrage, if you don't give real data to put things into context.

edit: formatting

Brilliant, thank you for this. I will work on getting all of these added to the site ASAP.

This site is terrible. It is a zero-effort collection of videos around one theme. And by turning these videos into copy-pasta without promoting the original sources of the video they are obscuring the and making it more difficult to fix police brutality.

A much better website would have contact information on it. And it would cite the original people that took the videos. And they could have asked those original people basic facts, such as the exact location and time of the recording.

Found it.

Here is what quality reporting looks like


Yes, people. Sometimes reporting takes effort, and professionals can do a better job than inexperienced people.

Thanks for the feedback. Thanks to people that saw this post the site has been updated to list a lot more information however I concede that it is still not perfect and there is still more information to collect.

Please let me know if you feel there is more information that could be added to help improve the site.

This has been tried. See http://copwatch.com/

It would be cool to have a top ten worst police jurisdictions for brutality

I like to think that this isn't a whole jurisdiction problem and more an individual one.

Statistics about racial profiling and systemic problems with hiding police misconduct shows something different.

I wish the site contained more than just the video recordings and presented further information like time & date / location / background story / names / official police report / related news reports etc.

Right now I could simply dress up as police officer and stage such a video. I'm not at all saying this is happening, I'm just saying it'd be possible to do that. With fake news as well claims of things being fake news being very common these days, we should all be a bit more careful and thorough.

Hi, thanks for the feedback. Some people that saw this post offered their help last night and as a result the site has been updated to contain much more information (there couldn't be any less let's face it) about each video.

If you still think there's more information that could be added please say and I will make sure it is listed with each video

The site relies on that lack of contrasting data and authentication (at least, objectively it can be argued).

Hi, I certainly don't want this to be the case and as such the site has been updated with a lot more information about each video. Still this may not be enough so if you think there is anything else that can be added please say and I will ensure that the website is updated.

I know this is hard for some people to accept, but the police deal with the worst dregs of society every day so you don't have to. They get pissed on, stabbed, punched in the face, shot, and killed working for less than 1/4 of the pay of many software developers do. We bitch about JavaScript vs Golang while they have to wonder if the next person they pull over for a speeding ticket is going to pull a gun on them. They have no binary way of knowing who means them harm and who doesn't. It's an extremely delicate judgment call made in split seconds that often means the difference between life and death. In the meantime, how many murdered people's family members have you had to console in the past few weeks? How many rape victims have you had to listen from? How many dead bodies have you scraped off the pavement? How many suicides have you investigated? Nobody is in favor of excess force being applied to people, but I cannot support the over-the-top rhetoric about the by and large good people that work in the police force either.

I know this is hard for some people to accept, but the police in a free and democratic society are ultimately accountable to the citizenry yet some police behave as if they are only accountable to themselves. They shoot, club, pepper spray and choke people and yet only start to face justice for these actions as a result of a literal uprising.

Everyone accepts that the police have a hard job to do, yet the system has grown to shield bad officers from justice and reduce public accountability. This is a system driven by institutionalized racism.

Good thing those good people in the police force are doing everything they can to rat out the bad ones and restore their reputation. Oops.

I'm 100% with you on this. I see it as the worst job in the world. Everybody is against you and all you are trying to do is keep people safe. I do not think that it is acceptable however to shoot somebody that is on the ground with multiple people on top of them.

> It's an extremely delicate judgment call made in split seconds that often means the difference between life and death

How come cops in many other countries are so much better at making these judgement calls than in the US?

Are they? I prefer to ignore value comparisons not based on numbers.

German cops fired 85 bullets _total_ in 2011. Florida cops shot almost 200 bullets into a UPS truck, killing a hostage and bystander in 2019.

There were 2174 incidents of murder/manslaughter in Germany that year... given that context, "85 bullets _total_" sounds like a massive orgy of violence on the part of German LEOs. There were 6 times that many murders in the US that same year, manslaughter not included.

It's just one stat but the number of killings by law enforcement in the US is by far the highest in the first world.


The gap with other first world countries is absolutely enormous.

Yes they are. Ask anyone living in the UK, for a good comparison.

Cops here are very well trained in de-escalation. Something American police probably never heard about.

> It's an extremely delicate judgment call made in split seconds that often means the difference between life and death.

Like kneeling on someone's neck for minutes. Yeah. I hope you dropped this: /s

I think also compiling a list of video and photos of the good police who are joining, supporting police - or protestors who are keeping police safe in certain circumstances - to counterbalance the abuse by reminding people of the humanity.

Edit to add for examples:


















And some abuse..






Compilation video - https://www.reddit.com/r/WayOfTheBern/comments/gtvcup/share_...






.... and on and on and on... There will be 1000s to 10,000s of events to catalogue.

Yeah, though you could also make a list of how long "good" police remained silent on brutality from their brothers in blue

Perfect, meet good. The two of you shouldn't be enemies.

This is great evidence for sending along to your local police chiefs and mayors. I've been harassing the shit out of my local leaders - look at this evidence. Those cities and towns had almost no rioting, no looting, no violence. All because the cops didn't turn up with spartan armor and kick the shit out of peaceful protesters.

It really is that easy.

I seriously doubt that the black blocs that have gathered have been triggered by the police outfits.

Why don't you go see for yourself, if you're so skeptical that hundreds of videos from yesterday don't convince you? Some celebrity in new york's twitter is literally a minute to minute play by play of protests in NY - even there, all was peaceful, then the cops show up.

People were gathering, peacefully, until the cops show up. The evidence is linked all around you. But like I said - go see for yourself, head to your city hall's protests today.

I'm 100% behind this. I saw a sheriff in Flint talking to and marching with protestors and it warmed my heart. I will look into this ASAP

> think also compiling a list of video and photos of the good police who are joining, supporting police

I think this is really important in any scenario like this where it feels like "us vs them".

Outrage shines a light, but that is merely step one. If people really want change they need to imagine what it feels like to be someone in the other "group", and remember it's not comprised 100% assholes. Those other non-assholes need to know they are supported and appreciated - knowing that makes a huge difference to how likely they are to police themselves and lead by example.

The Guardian tried this with “The Counted”: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/series/counted-us-police...

The Counted is not necessarily police brutality as much as listing everyone killed by police in the US, along with a brief description. The Counted totally fascinates me. I like to close my eyes and pick some square at random and read the story there, which is always a brief tragedy, but not necessarily what I would call police brutality. Many surprises there, including a surprising number of cases involving machetes.

Ha. I have a similar type of domain name in my shopping cart...

I have another angle for this, which is we have to clearly identify a path where legitimate policing can occur, but aims to end police misconduct systematically.

Both legitimate and excessively violent policing happens right now. And unfortunately, excessively violent policing isn't being punished appropriately.

The officer charged with murdering George Floyd has been charged with police brutality 12 times, and let off with "no discipline" every time [0].

If officers who used excessive force aren't punished, they are taught that their actions were acceptable. I'd like to see calls for punishment in the case of Derek Chauvin, as well as for any use of excessive violence. I think convicting Derek Chauvin for murder would set a new standard for police conduct that could prevent similar acts of excessive violence from happening in the future.

[0] https://www.reddit.com/r/LPOTL/comments/gsespz/derek_chauvin...

I'm interested to hear more of your ideas around this

  * Require police to be self-insured, backed by their pension plan
  * Refactor qualified immunity for police work (no more carte blanche)
  * Legalize all drugs (tax and regulate, treat abuse as a medical issue)
  * Legalize and (and regulate the hell out of it) sex work
  * National LEO database to prevent bad cops from moving one county over
  * National guidelines and certification of police behavior
    (a Geneva convention of sorts). No excuses of ignorance of the law
That's a quick brain dump on it. Just doing the pension thing would be a game changer and is not an insurmountable goal.

Personally I agree with all of those points however I know there is a lot of passion on both sides of the argument for most of those points. Hopefully one day soon we will start to see meaningful change

Gotta start somewhere :-).

The goal would be to properly frame it and promote it.

Thank you for this! Your site might be a good place to signal-boost potential solutions to the problem of police brutality as well. I stumbled across a Twitter thread earlier which has some interesting ideas: https://mobile.twitter.com/samswey/status/118065570127173222...

Thank you for that. I will read through this at some point tonight.

The websites not loading, I assume because it’s #1 on HN right now. If you want help with server costs maybe setup a fund me/patron?

There are people I would much rather that money go to than me. I will upgrade the server now though

I think the issue is that the video files are being hosted on the server so that greatly increases the load that's being consumed for each pageview.

If you host the videos on something like youtube or dailymotion and then embed them it will take the load off your server. Just keep the originals in case they get taken down so you can switch to a different service. Hope this helps! Feel free to PM me if you need assistance.

Some options here: https://kinsta.com/blog/video-hosting/

For sure. If there's any other kind of help you need, though, you should mention it. I'm sure there are a lot that would be happy to help. I think a lot of us are looking for an outlet for our (highly overlapping but not super widely available) skillset to contribute how we can.

Just created a discord here: https://discord.gg/5w2nz8. Happy to get peoples help and expertise on there

If this is your site, I'm willing to help make it scale. My email address is in my profile.

Good addendum (which causes to donate to) after the site is back up and running!

If you need devs please let the community know. There are probably a fair number of people here that would like to help.

I've created a discord: https://discord.gg/5w2nz8. Right now it's making sure the server doesn't keep dropping off!

Hug of death

Nail on the head

"Police are by in large good people. The vast majority of them know not to kill black people."

"United Airlines pilots are by in large good people. The vast majority of them know not to crash the plane."

The vast majority also do not drag people off their planes for not being white...

Police (1%) can never succeed without the support of Civilians (99%) https://archive.vn/D3mWZ

The brutality in those videos goes beyond what I thought possible. Driving through crowds, beating little girls, trampling on a protester with your horse... speechless.

I thank the internet for making me aware of this.

It's really harrowing to see these things happening. I know that they go on around the world but it's always been easier to ignore but I feel like as citizens of a now connected world we can't let this brutality continue.

The site seems to be down. Will it do historical abuse as well?

I think traffic might of killed it. I will upgrade the server it's running on tonight. In answer to your question, all videos on there will stay there for the rest of time. We cannot let this happen now but we certainly can't let it be forgotten either.

DevOps SRE, how can I help?

Please join this discord: https://discord.gg/9nA34c

Static site this please!

Done and live, hopefully it will be a little more stable now.

How does the validation of the stories work ? I hope it will not end up as the next place to fuel unnecessary violence like in Toronto.

Currently, I'm having to watch the videos and verify them personally. Not the way I want to spend my evenings but sadly something I feel I have to do.

Is there anyway we can help? Also can we donate for server costs?

You can help by reviewing videos (something I have really not enjoyed doing) or by contributing code. Discord link: https://discord.gg/5w2nz8. As for donating I would point you here - https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

Do you need help? Is there anyway we can help?

You are a hero.

I'm just a guy sat in his bedroom. The real heros are the ones that are demanding for equality, keeping their emotions in check regardless of the unjust that they have suffered.

FWIW I'm happy to donate to you, or if you find a way to pay someone to do the sorting I'm happy to chip in for that as well.

Me too

Can you elaborate on what happened in Toronto?

The police were accused of pushing a girl Regis Korchinski-Paquet off a balcony to her death. It didn't end up being true, but this hasn't defused the protests.

Why was this post flagged? @Dang?

Edit: earlier this post linked to a data visualisation project, not a collection of videos.

As always, you have to ask, compared to what? Are the majority of police actions brutality, or only a miniscule fraction? This is the crucial question, and a site like this provides no insight at all. (or so I imagine, since site is down)

If you want to fan the flames, though, add a section for protesters savagely kicking unconscious victims in the head.

To document single incidents of brutality has value. The documentation of one single act of police brutality has value. As the police has a monopoly on the legal use of violence they have to be held accountable.

This is like saying building a registry/counting murders has no value and brings no insight.

And this has nothing todo with condoning violence of protesters, which is just as wrong as police brutality. The issue is, that police never seems to be held accountable for excessive use of force.

It confirms existence, but we already knew that.

The officer in question has been fired, arrested, and charged. That would seem to contradict the "never held accountable".

Sadly this was one case. There are many others across the globe that happen and nobody is ever held accountable

It's pedantic, but we do that here: it's certainly not the case that nobody is ever held accountable, at least when speaking of criminal behavior by the police. If you want people to listen, speak carefully.

Some police acts enrage me, for sure. Really. At the same time, the rioter behavior we've seen in the last three days might be worse than the sum total of all of that. And I know that the police have to deal with this shit day in and day out. It's an impossible job, and yet we cannot survive without them.

Maybe someday we can have AI robot policemen instead, programmed to very careful protocols. I'm cautiously optimistic.

Yeah sorry I think my grammar wasn't perfect there. What I meant was there are a lot of other cases of police brutality in which nobody is help accountable in that individual case.

I agree with you completely that the rioter behaviour is appalling. I feel like I have seen just as bad as the things on this site from rioters and it deeply saddens me. I am confident however that those rioters that do stoop to the ultimate lows including attacking store owners will be punished to the full extent of the law.

You're misidentifying what the core problem is with police brutality: it's not just about relative frequency, it's about how the justice system responds to it.

As a society we give police a monopoly on civilian violence, it is only reasonable to expect the holders of that power to be held to the highest possible standards.

But the justice system signals the exact opposite, by systematially protecting even the worst cops from the consequences of their actions. This, I believe, lies at the core of the people's rage. I for one think that rage is justified.

I agree that the situation should continue to be improved. I doubt that websites like this will help. Riots will definitely not help. The cause of righteousness has been set back a generation in a few days.

Don't put words in my mouth. I never implied in any way that I think the situation is improving. I'm not sure what part of my post you're actually agreeing with.

I cannot see any downsides to systematically documenting instances of police brutality and demanding justice for each instance. It seems entirely just to me.

My bad. I think the situation should continue to be improved, as it surely has in the last couple of generations. You're welcome to think otherwise, of course.

I've looked around a little bit and I simply cannot find any evidence that police violence is on the decline. A cursory look at a graph of police killings over the last few years shows, if anything, a slight increase (https://www.vox.com/2020/5/31/21276004/4-charts-anger-police... - first graph).

I can only speculate about what your exact argument is: I'm guessing that what you're saying is that, surely, today's police are behaving better than the police in, say, the civil rights movement era (I couldn't find any data on that but I'm willing to accept that much for the sake of argument). And I think you infer from that that police violence is downward trending and that therefore, we should just let matters run their course: any upset to the delicate improvement might plunge us in the other direction.

But your inference is incorrect. You're looking at a function over time, see that this function was (probably) higher at some point in the past than it is now, and conclude from that that the function is still trending downwards. Essentially your argument seems to be based on the entirely unjustified assumption that the function has to be monotonically decreasing.

But if you don't assume monotonicity (and you really shouldn't), then function values in the far past don't give you any information about the derivative of the function at t=now. And the derivative at t=now seems to be (ever so slightly) positive, not negative as you imply. In which case, evidently, things are not improving on their own.

It seems likely that many people who were not previously racist have become racist after witnessing these riots. I keep asking people the question -- if all racism was cured, if it no longer existed, and all police behaved 100% innocently, except 1 white cop who kills 1 black man -- what is the proper response? Burning down cities? Concluding systemic racism?

Your question boils down to "in a hypothetical world where there is no systemic racism, would you complain about systemic racism?" The obvious answer is "no", but I'm not sure what information you hope to get from asking the question.

You make the question uninteresting by its assumptions. You pose a hypothetical situation - a white cop killing a black man - which might be interpreted as a case of systemic racism, depending on the context of the killing. But then you impose the axiom that the hypothetical world in which the situation takes place is not racist. So the situation could not have been a symptom of systemic racism, by your definition, and any query about whether it was racist has only one answer, which directly follows from your given axiom.

So I'm left confused at why you pose the question.

If somebody takes a life for an unjust reason they should be punished however the law defines the punishment. Whether you're police or not, nobody is above the law.

Just so I understand, how are the 2 related? You seem to suggest that the "protesters savagely kicking unconscious victims in the head" are criminals. I agree, they likely are. By those terms then all of the police officers kicking downed protesters are criminals as well. Why are their fellow officers not arresting them on the spot?

There is a very large difference between random protesters committing violent acts and government sanctioned organizations with the legal right to shoot and kill implementing a wide spread program of violence and brutality. If you cannot see the difference, then you are not looking. If an officer observes another officer committing a crime and does not intervene then that officer is corrupt. At each of these police brutality incidents there are often a number of officers observing and not intervening.

When the system designed to enforce the law routinely breaks it without punishment then the system is broken and needs to be rebuilt.

> At each of these police brutality incidents there are often a number of officers observing and not intervening.

Sadly, judging by the videos that's an overwhelming majority of the police force

For starters, the rioters are already breaking the law at the point of police contact, and they know that they are. Secondly, the officers are typically in a dangerous situation, and have more pressing concerns.

If you find yourself in a riot, leave. Common sense and common decency, no?

So because the rioters are breaking the law it gives the police carte blanche to do the same? Amazing how cops in other western countries are able to enforce the law without killing thousands of citizens every year but ours cant.

Sorry the cops have more pressing concerns than obeying the law? Then they should not be police officers. A whole lot of cops seem to have a whole lot of other pressing concerns standing around watching George Floyd get murdered. A whole lot of cops seem to have a whole lot of other pressing concerns standing around watching Rodney King get beaten. There are hundreds of incidents of whole lot of cops seem to have a whole lot of other pressing concerns standing around watching their fellow officers assault prone or unresisting civilians.

Just so I understand, if you spent your whole life getting treated as a second class citizen and peaceful protest did not work, and voting did not work, and nothing changed, could you not see yourself getting a little tired of living a lesser life? Now imagine having kids and having to watch them live the same lesser life.

No, it does not. A policeman acting like one of these rioters--kicking an unconscious person in the head--should be charged with attempted murder. And in my opinion, never breathe free air again.

> if you spent your whole life getting treated as a second class citizen and peaceful protest did not work, and voting did not work, and nothing changed, could you not see yourself getting a little tired of living a lesser life?

That describes me pretty well. Nonetheless, I obey the law. And I certainly don't beat people, especially when they're unconscious.

Except that never happens. The accountability part. Police act up over and over and face no meaningful consequences, hence the rioting.

There's no question in the ability of the police to abuse the civilian population, we see it every day. Punch a police and see what happens, and then if they punch you again watch what happens.

While I suspect the percentage of overall police actions that are brutal, unethical, or harmful are tiny it is still a subject that demands a far greater degree of transparency. The subject identifies several challenges:

* police are falsely accused of bad behavior frequently, which can make it much harder to identify the actual extreme few bad apples which need to be identified and removed

* all accused are innocent until proven guilty regardless of their profession or who they are. You don’t want police accused of horrible conduct policing but at the same time they need a process of defense, as does everybody

Honestly, much of this problem could be addressed by mandating body cams. I have known police officers who live by their body cams to ensure everyone is honest. Until that happens what would you suggest to change the current situation?

I agree that all police should have body cams always, for the protection of all. I'm not aware of anyone that objects to this, though probably there are some.

Furthermore, incidents like this have really made me reconsider my objections to the panopticon. These days, I think we'd be better off if there were cameras everywhere always, broadcasting instantaneously for public capture.

> I agree that all police should have body cams always, for the protection of all. I'm not aware of anyone that objects to this, though probably there are some.

The Movement for Black Lives objects to body cams: https://m4bl.org/policy-platforms/end-the-war-on-black-peopl...

Wow. I have no idea what to say to that.

police are falsely accused of bad behavior frequently, which can make it much harder to identify the actual extreme few bad apples which need to be identified and removed

If the problem isn’t systemic then how do you explain the various studies showing that minorities are disproportionately “stopped and frisked”?

Without knowing whether minorities also commit crimes at a disproportionate rate, this isn't very meaningful.

The entire idea of “stop and frisk” is that the police have no idea whether they a are committing crimes or not beforehand. But if you stop more minorities than Whites in proportion to the population. even if the same number of crimes are being committed. Blacks will still be convicted more.

More evidence that Whites are less likely to get tickets for the same offense.


Hmm--that doesn't match my impression. Rather, police would presumably stop and frisk people they pattern-matched as up to no good. (Popular niceties notwithstanding, police generally know the score.) If some group is committing a disproportionate number of crimes, it's entirely reasonable that they'd be stopped more.

I want my police to skillfully work on the crime problem, not carefully spend equal minutes on each demographic group.

And now you wonder why there are riots. Because people excuse police harassing people because of the color of there skin.

Why not make the people really safe and reinstate Jim Crow and laws against interracial marriage?

I’m sure you wouldn’t feel the same way if you were constantly stopped because of the color of your skin. But we should just accept it.

This also explains why minority owned startups get a lot less VC funding than people who “pattern match” with Zuckerberg.

And you wonder why there are riots...

Btw, they were wrong.


But it turns out that the New York Daily News was wrong about its forecasts, which the media outlet’s editorial board wrote in an op-ed Monday that it was “delighted” to admit. Instead of bedlam up in Brooklyn and hell up in Harlem, as the paper had warned would happen as a result of scaling back “stop and frisk,” the opposite happened: “Post stop-and-frisk, the facts are clear,” wrote the editorial board Monday. “New York is safer while friction between the NYPD and the city’s minority communities has eased.

I don’t know anything about those studies so I won’t form any opinion of them.

That looks like New York specific stuff. As I have never been there my knowledge and interest of those conditions is absent.

So I looked it up for my state: https://www.superlawyers.com/texas/article/stop-and-frisk-in...

Here it seems to be related almost entirely to traffic stops. I suspect, but don’t know, that racial identity would play a lesser role in that case because an officer wouldn’t likely known a driver’s race until the vehicle is already pulled over. To play devils advocate though I am white and had law enforcement ask to search my vehicle several times in my youth.

Really? You don’t think that police could look in a window and tell? We aren’t talking about anecdotes. We have statistics.

And these are the types of excuses White people make to justify and to gloss over problems.

Here are similar statistics for Florida.


And GA.


But you really think racial profiling only happens in one state.

You were talking about stop and frisk opposed to racial profiling more specifically. So I looked that up and it looks like Texas has already achieved transparency on that matter: https://www.tcole.texas.gov/content/racial-profiling-reports

Transparency is the only way to root out actual and suspected corruption. It’s not a cure but a required prerequisite.

Sadly stop and frisk is something that cannot be done un-subjectively. Again like with most debates there are good arguments on both sides. It however comes down to where you draw your conclusion. It's a thin line that has to be carefully toed and when everybody has different ideas on what powers others should or should not have against them it is usually hard for all sides to agree

It seems to be a lot easier for people to think it’s okay as long as it doesn’t affect people that look like them. It’s like the tired “few bad apples” line.

Many of the same people on HN want government involvement because their favorite app can’t be side loaded on an iOS device (a few apps) but excuse police brutality. How many submissions have been flagged on issues regarding police brutality on HN while submissions about an app that Apple wouldn’t allow make the front page?

It shows you where people’s priorities lie.

The problem is the lack of other police officers immediately arresting an officer they just saw abusing people.

Is there an okay percentage of brutality by police?

When a failure in the system happens, it needs to be magnified, studied, dissected, and the system must evolve to make sure it doesn't happen again. This is how we have safer nuclear plants, airplanes, etc. And in human systems too: coal miners and people on oil rigs have adopted new protocols to help their workers be more safe. The police is not immune. One act of brutality must be documented, post-mortemed, debugged, and mitigated.

Failures of the system should very much be analyzed and corrected. This site doesn't appear to have that goal.

Isn't documenting the failures the important first steps? When people seem to deny that these failures exist, deny their frequency, deny how horrific some of those failures are, etc.

I would like this site to ultimately aid with that end goal. A website however cannot send somebody to jail for a crime that they have committed. It can however hold information and inform people about crimes that may of been committed.

> savagely kicking unconscious victims in the head.

You're talking about this oft-shared video, I imagine:


Yea, wow, those protesters really did a number on that guy. Obviously he was just defending his shop from Thugs, right?

Oh wait... no. He was a crazy person running at protesters with a sword:


And look at that, those Thugs, after protecting themselves from him, then took on the role of First Responder, and started treating him:


The first link is one of the two I saw today, yes. There's really nothing that convince me that these people are not evil. (The second was in Portland, I think.)

The second link doesn't seem to have any video. But head-kicking beyond the point of unconsciousness is not how I would defend myself from a crazy person (if that's even a factual take).

The third link is hard to interpret, but until someone analyzes it, I assume that the people assisting the guy are not the same ones that were committing wanton savagery. But bless them, in any case.

I turned to my wife after seeing the first video and remarked, "These guys just gave the fall election to Trump.". If you're old enough to remember Nixon, you'll take the reference.

I'm not old enough, but I am aware that history hasn't been kind to Nixon :)

The reference is that he never would have been elected in the first place except for violent protests.

> As always, you have to ask, compared to what?

What would you even compare instances of police brutality against? Is there some kind of threshold under which you think police brutality is okay? Should there be a rule that each police force gets one free brutalising a year? Or is it just that if their actions are only a little bit of brutality, just a pinch, that they should get away with it?

No one has to ask what to compare it to, because in this circumstance it's a stupid question that distracts from the immediate reality of the situation: Anything adequately described as police brutality that goes uninvestigated & unpunished is unacceptable.

As a programmer, I accept that I'll make mistakes from time to time. Excoriating me for doing so would not help.

The bad apples should be removed. Riots and mayhem work against that goal.

That doesn't answer a single one of my questions, doesn't expand upon your original point, and doesn't bear on the situation in the slightest. Unless you're implying that your job as a programmer and the job of a police officer are similar in consequences when you "make a mistake".

But as to the second part of your comment, the bad apples should be removed, but are not. So what do you do about it? Put videos of the internet maybe so it's more public?

Maybe you also go out and protest about it. Maybe that causes more videos to show up. Who knows.

I don't commit crimes. And I certainly don't commit aggravated assault on helpless people. Do people even need to be told not to do that?

Pithy answer: Apparently police do, otherwise the US wouldn't have so many deaths in custody or complaints of police brutality.

Less pithy answer: The protests, and the videos, are not examples of regular crimes or regular criminals. They're about criminal actions by police, two circles in a venn diagram that should never be crossed without black & yellow stripes and giant red "WARNING" text. It needs highlighting due to how much of an exceptional circumstance it should be.

Yes, normal people commit crimes and yes, those people should be punished harshly for them, but those normal people are not people put in positions of power over others by the state, which is why you don't see quite so many protests against them. (You do see protests about them, though: Zimmerman wasn't exactly seen in a positive light, for example.)

Asking "but what about regular Joe Criminal" in the face of protests about police is like a poor diversionary tactic. It's essentially just whataboutism.

> whataboutism

This is the second time I've heard this word this week (the first had to do with bicycle laws). As far as I can tell, the point seems to be to shame the target into turning off their brain. Hope this obnoxious neologism dies out soon. It's certainly a showstopper for rational conversation.


The problem, here, is not the word whataboutism, nor is that word a showstopper for rational conversation. The point is not to shame the target in any way. The point is to bring the conversation back to the original point: Instead of "but what about..", talk to the actual point.

Which, so far, you've absolutely refused to do. At no point have you addressed the original point you tried to make, that there is some need to compare police brutality to something else.

So, let me walk back the comment on 'whataboutism' and instead of using the shorthand ask you why should we give any consideration to the question "what about other criminals' while discussing police brutality?

It appears that you're unwilling to stand honestly behind your own statements, nor willing to engage with the substance of the statements others have made, but rather would prefer to be evasive.

I would absolutely love to be proven wrong, here, but sadly fully expect not to be.

I agree. Another commenter had a good idea of adding WHY a video is on the site which I will add tonight. I'm happy to implement any other ideas that you might have.

PS. site should be back up

Compared to what? Are the vast majority of airline pilot actions intentional crashes, or only a miniscule fraction?

Agree. I wish this stayed on reddit and Twitter. I hate seeing this kind of hot topic stuff here.

Technology has to intersect with society at some point. A guy who works for Google made some posts on Facebook and Egypt joined the Arab Spring. I can’t think of a better board than HN to discuss the changing implications of technology platforms.

I saw a live broadcast on one of the 24-hour live cable news channels last night. Everyone had their phones out recording everything from every angle. The technology is becoming ubiquitous. Bodycams and their video recordings can be misused or edited. So too can field recordings by protesters and agents saboteur.

More recordings means more checksums against tampering, deletion, and improper framing of real-world events.

I agree with you. We as a people have eyes that cannot lie and remember everything. We are no longer in a time when things can be lied about or twisted. It's time that we started using that power to make the world a fairer place

Whilst I would usually agree I feel like the technology community as a whole can do a lot in the fight against injustice in this world. I understand your sentiment though and will not post again.

I tend to not overanalyze an individual post or comment I make relative to how HN votes on it, except when I get downvotes. I try to see how I could have had the wrong tone; HN has a very narrow sense of acceptable, topical humor, for instance. Certain topics or sources of information are not correctly framed; marketing pages of a new startup on a Show HN are less likely to make FP than a novel technical writeup from the engineering or development team.

Just read the HN rules and comments dang makes when he moderates and you’ll see that HN is actually one of the most accepting online communities around if you can internalize the reason HN exists and what differentiates it from other discussion sites online.

Yeah, I find it hard to resist taking the bait, but this is utterly irrelevant to HN's topics.

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