All of these extra costs associated with overtime etc because of these riots and looting are a direct result of employing shitty cops and completely avoidable. The costs should be taken directly from the pension funds of cops as far as I’m concerned, cities should not bear the costs of overtime because of riots caused by cops killing people.
If we had a critical mass of good cops, we likely would need less overtime overall because the relationship would be better between law enforcement and citizens, especially minorities.
If the person suing "dies in a random armed robbery, so sad", are you going to put maximum effort into investigating their murder?
If you see your coworker destroying evidence of misconduct, do you look the other way because reporting it costs everyone in the department money?
Alternatively, you could require insurance, similar to medical malpractice insurance, that pays out for law enforcement malfeasance. If you’re uninsurable due to your actions (egregious and/or chronic), you’re no longer a cop. The cost to your colleagues (premiums) also goes up because of your behavior.
This takes the financial burden off taxpayers, but still uses economic incentives to encourage the behavior we expect from public servants.
It puts a strong incentive on those to take responsibility for their coworkers. To cultivate a culture of integrity, through interactions, through hiring and firing, through setting an example for those you lead. Cops love to talk about having each other's backs; let's see them put those words into action where it counts.
Premiums could be priced in such a way that it takes into account your personal record, to incentivise your own behaviour; your local/metro PD's record, to incentivise them policing each other; and the state's record in an attempt to address systemic and cultural issues.
Your body cam "malfunctioned"? Congratulations, you just increased the insurance premiums for yourself and all your colleagues.
The idea that policing is inherently dangerous is most useful to police when negotiating the next contract.
Tell me why the Mexican Mafia has no teeth. Enlighten me. Tell me why the Aryan Brotherhood is less dangerous than Kubernetes
It’s not ever worth discussing with y’all, seriously. The privilege here is so insane, you’ve obviously never been anywhere near a ghetto
So we should compensate cops the equivalent salary of a software developer, to create incentives for a career change, and then we can train former cops as software developers. We might end up with more bugs in software, but at least there will not be any police abuse any more.
(Newport Beach Police Department recruiting video, from 2008)
And the problem is just the salary and QI? I don't think so.
Law enforcement is already a sweet gig.
He kept getting freebies and discounts on his after work shopping trips and he didn't realise why until he caught his reflection in his mirror and realised his police lanyard was showing, people thought he was a cop!
He also on more than one occassion got pulled over for breath tests and/or speeding only to get flagged on when they saw his lanyard. He reckons he would have looked like a sergeant(? Can't remember exactly) due to his suit and the car he had and the cops wouldn't have wanted to piss off a superior.
Anyway, anyone with half a brain can see that logging risks are accidental and not due to combat and violent confrontation
Unless these are LOTR ents of course
Let's say you get hurt falling off a tree. You wont suffer violence.
You ever been in a fight? Ever? This is a real question. Answer it please.
Police need to remember they serve us, and by taking the job, they have vowed to put their lives on the line for people. We have no need for cowards who fear for their life and just shoot every possible threat.
Carrying a gun as a police officer is a privilege because of all the power and authority that comes with it.
Basically I think it would be good if we could separate cops into two classes, armed and unarmed. And to earn the privilege to carry a gun, they need to prove themselves to prioritize deescalation first and foremost. They need to live up to the badge, actually working to serve and protect, not be a coward who needs to pull out a gun to handle an unarmed civilian.
> More than crime, modern police forces in the United States emerged as a response to "disorder." What constitutes social and public order depends largely on who is defining those terms, and in the cities of 19th century America they were defined by the mercantile interests, who through taxes and political influence supported the development of bureaucratic policing institutions. These economic interests had a greater interest in social control than crime control. 
Why do we pay for police with our taxes if they aren't obligated to protect anyone?
Paying more doesn't guarantee 'higher quality' but it sure helps.
(Are there any attorneys on HN familiar with, for instance, the rights to privacy of the deceased? I'm pretty sure they don't have any.)
I think it's best just to file a civil suit rather than trying to set up a system that the Supremes could very well deem unconstitutional.
What might work is for municipalities to write into police labor agreements that XX% share of any civil judgement precipitated by your actions will be borne by you alone. You're still jointly and separately liable, but the municipality would be able to go after the officer in a separate action.
Something along those lines would accomplish the same thing without bringing constitutional questions into it.
American cops already seem to murder with impunity, it’s hard to see how more accountability could possibly make them worse.
Doubling the total compensation there would mean about 50% of those people would be making 500k+/year. I don't think they're as underpaid as you think they are. Most of those people on that list already make more than me as a non-FAANG Software Engineer in the region.
Meanwhile fast food employees on minimum wage get fired for much, much, much, much less.
I think the problem lays elsewhere.
Those salaries are also in line with the average salary.
Which is very very good in US, compared to the rest of the World.
For comparison, in Italy a policeman earns on average 60% of the lowest salary you posted.
it is supposed to be a working class job, with good men doing it, not a "professional highly paid killer's job".
p.s.: 50% of Americans earn less, 30% earn much less, than that.
So yeah, it's good, especially for being one of the worst police force in the western World.
Victims of police shootings in US 2019: 1.004
Victims of police shootings in Europe 2019: 60 (including Switzerland, that's never been EU - zero kills - and UK which is not in EU anymore - 3 kills -). But let's round it to one hundred, still an order of magnitude less, in the face of a comparable population size.
If I was the US government I would expect a better job from them, before paying them more.
To be even more precise:
Total Line of Duty Deaths 2019: 147
Including 24 9/11 related cancer, 22 automobile crashes and 19 heart attacks.
Only 48 died because of a gunfire, so for every cop who died in a gunfire, they killed 21 people.
It looks scary to me, I don't know what do you think about it.
I consider the police in my country (Italy) to be quite brutal, but we had only 5 officers killed in 2019 and 3 people shot dead by the police.
I am opposed to punitive justice vis-a-vis restorative and rehabilitative but this is the system we are in.
A police officer who steals or murders is offending the community on multiple fronts.
USA Today publishing something like this does a bit to assuage my fears! For the non-American HN audience, USA Today is the anodyne newspaper you get for free at a business hotel chain with your crappy refrigerated muffin or yogurt and instant coffee. It’s about as intentionally bland and inoffensive to everyone newspaper as still exists.
If the message there is this, we might pull it off and meaningfully address something instead of wanking about protestors like we usually do.
Indeed the perception of "mainstream" seems to have shifted away from the messaging the administration wants to present in lots of forums like this.
Note how even within the police brutality issue, HN is focusing on organisational incentives for police recruiting and conduct instead of the more mainstream race angle. HN believes in well-designed systems of incentives. The (ideal of the) free market with appropriate minimal regulations is the dream, which usually sides HN with small-c conservatives on economic issues and even makes HN look reactionary from time to time.
Of course, as you say, the administration is anathema to any group of intellectuals. And I'm sure previous administrations would have spun their cases to be more appealing to HN and similar forums. But I don't think the basic position of HN on police brutality is particularly new or surprising.
Disclaimer: Obviously HN is many people who have many opinions which I wrote as a single entity for convenience.
But the "reactionary" crowd is still here -- looking at their patterns of posting on , it looks almost tailored to get the story flagged (accounts got banned, but that page only lasted on the front page for a few good minutes). The truth of the matter is that folks are uncomfortable discussing race, because our community has internalized a lot racism. Discussing our society's painfully visible race inequity is "flamebait" because racists gonna show up and drag the conversation down.
You'd think reforms to qualified immunity--which everyone from the ACLU to Heritage to Cato agrees on--would be on the fast track to legislation, at least in left-leaning states. There is no reason a state like California, where politicians habitually genuflect to social justice, couldn't pass legislation to create causes of action against police officers that aren't subject to the federal constitution's qualified immunity doctrine. None at all. Instead, for some reason the debate is now about whether rioting and property destruction is an acceptable response to police brutality--an extreme position that is not going to carry the day with anyone but a tiny minority.
In fact when this gets polled, police rank and file are absolutely behind their "bad apple" compatriots. There is deep mistrust of public oversight within the law enforcement community as a whole, and that doesn't have to do with their labor organization.
And the idea that people can just join the police force with good intentions is fatally flawed. The police is a hierarchical organization with a culture that is characterized by its top down command structure. In order to have any influence at all, you have to be at the top...and by the time you get to the top, you're assimilated into the culture. It is self perpetuating.
Absent of firing all the police and starting over from scratch (an option I'm oddly not opposed to), I think the only way we can accomplish this is with strong carrots and even stronger sticks. Taking away qualified immunity is just the first step.
We have laws that punish doctors and lawyers and even commercial truck drivers more harshly when they commit crimes that directly relate to their jobs, under the premise that they know better and should be held to a higher standard. No such laws exist for police, but they should.
I think most importantly though is that we need to protect those who break ranks for good reasons. Retaliation, in any way, shape, or form, by police officers for enforcing the law against another police officer, should be a Class A felony with sentencing in the double digits. And we shouldn't just stop there. Good cops that enforce the law against bad cops deserve our protection, much like how we go out of our way to protect witnesses and whistle-blowers.
And not only that, but there should never be investigations into criminal misconduct by a police officer by other police officers of the same jurisdiction. Once it crosses the line from department policy violation to criminal violation, that investigation should be handed over to a superceding jurisdiction, and any local jurisdiction on the matter should be voided.
I honestly think this might be the only true solution. We have to have police. But right now we have such an entrenched, caustic, tribal, "swamp" of a culture that I don't see how it could possibly be changed without first draining it completely.
Now... it’s actually kind of appealing.
In the end politics needs to have the courage to address the underfunding and also address the training and management situation. They don't want to do either because it may cost money so the bad situation just keeps going. Reminds me of the healthcare situation where even the most blatant problems go unaddressed because it's more important to do partisan fighting instead of addressing issues. I think it's well understood that the drug laws are damaging so it would be a good start to clean them up.
Now, if SCOTUS's QI theory is based on the text of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 then certainly the legislature could change/update/replace the statute with something worded differently.
But it isn't clear that their decision is based on that (or any other) statute at all. Some interpretations of Harlow vs Fitzgerald seem to point more to the idea that SCOTUS decided that this immunity was derived from other aspects of the totality of the constitution, USC and precedent. Others see it more the way you suggest, which is that SCOTUS concluded that QI existed based on specific statutory language.
Apparently, we don't have to wait that long to find out, since they will be reconsidering it starting tomorrow.
We need a constitutional amendment.
If SCOTUS writes an opinion on a law like DMCA and then the legislature repeals the DMCA, it doesn’t much matter how SCOTUS interprets it because it’s not a law anymore.
I wouldn't consider that indicative of the ease of passing an amendment. Perhaps you do. It appears to require an increasingly-hard-to-get combination of (1) widespread agreement that a problem requiring an amendment exists and (2) widespread agreement on what the nature of the amendment should be.
They should have to pay settlements personally.
Perhaps police aren't charged criminally when they should be, but that doesn't seem to be because of qualified immunity.
Suing over murder is not a great recourse, anyway. You still lost your loved one, and the individual you sue probably can't pay you much.
But qualified immunity prevents those who care to take recourse from acting to take recourse. That's the issue. The police virtually never bring criminal charges against their own.
> and the individual you sue probably can't pay you much
I'm sure the police department can. They sure can afford military-grade gear.
If a cop murders someone, we need a way to get them into prison, not a way to sue them (or sue the taxpayers).
More bodycams, more dash cams. Maybe every arrest video should be reviewed by an independent organization even without a complaint. Usually bad behavior starts with little things, and its easier to correct before it escalates.
I would like to support changing some of the things about our society that contribute to overreach by police but it is hard to know where to begin
If a citizen really wanted change, voting, running for office, looting, and peaceful protests with prayer sticks aren't the answer. There is no reforming a system that has no mechanism for reforming pervasive corruption within and above it! Therefore and unfortunately, the rich have left us with no other answer other than focused, strategic rebellion, and overthrow of their greedy, vampiric apartheid that too many people are blind to because it benefits them. Queue predictable pearl-clutchers and naysayers
The current abuses are horrible. But cops fearful of their own shadow is not a better outcome for society.
Demand action from politicians to change those laws (e.g. remove qualified immunity, etc). While protesting is important, engaging with your representatives and VOTING is very important too.