Watching police impose an excessive curfew on 10 million people (LA county) and then round up hundreds of peaceful protesters last night was sickening.
These people expressing their first amendment right to assemble should have been protected not persecuted. Police are out of control.
I mean, I’m decently well off and spend most of time in pretty well off areas, but if the cops are combative in well off areas, you know it’s just so much more awful in other areas.
Seeing the Minneapolis council members say the police regularly directly retaliate against them if they don’t offer full unwavering support  shows we have a very very big problem on our hands. And Im seeing similar messaging from mayors and council members from towns all across the country. I’ve always known they were abusive and needed to be dealt with, but this may even be much worse than I ever would have thought. Between officers placing their union leader’s orders as a higher priority than actual appointed police chiefs and then these pleas from the council members, Im not yet sure how we should address this.
and another council member simply affirming that it’s true.
We could start by banning police unions. Make individual officers accountable for their own behavior. Fully transparent data collection on everything they do. Turn some of our fancy machining learning technology loose on that data to identify the bad seeds and weed them out.
How about a separate agency that is accountable to citizens who has the power and mandate to police the police? Not just another department of the existing police, but someone accountable to the governor, or the citizens directly.
At some level I would expect that good cops want this accountability as much as the general public does. Is it really true that cops are predominantly bad? I sincerely hope that is not true.
Isn't it better to expect police officers to provide an actual benefit to society, and construct laws from that point of view?
And I’m absolutely not discounting your thoughts, those need to be done as well.
What a fucking mess.
But this is a work slowdown.
"We should have less policing."
"Okay, here's less policing."
Isn't it the point of "defund the police" that fewer incidents get a police response?
The Constitution provides a right to peaceful assembly. It does not provide a right to violence and looting. During the day people who wanted were and are generally able to march and peacefully express their views.
Case in point the video above showing hundreds of police officers surrounding peaceful protesters. I am offended by the massive waste of resources.
Case in point news helicopters not filming looting (as they would rather do) . The only thing left to film that night was the true protest. Made so so clear in the video above. The abuse of power if you can't see it you're blind.
This proves the curfew was ordered under false pretenses. And demonstrates a complete lack of judgement and common sense by law enforcement.
They can't exactly institute a curfew after things get out of control. And they have gotten out of control across the country in the previous nights.
No one wants the world you're asking for:
Looting and violence are already illegal. Catching the peaceful right to assembly, and arresting otherwise law abiding citizens, as collateral damage does not make those people trust the system more, who were already civilly disobeying the curfew order.
Someone will fight the citation on constitutional grounds. Did the ends justify the means? Could the police and national guard handle looting and rioting without curfew? If peaceful protesters are out at night causing cover and distraction for looting and rioting, is the only answer curfew?
Buddy, what do you think the revolutionary war was?
Looters, rioters, and arsonists would have a stronger arguments if their attacks were targeted, and not against small businesses and local grocery stores. Vandalizing Gucci and Dior sends a very different message than destroying single location restaurants.
Comparisons of this to the Boston Tea Party omit that it was an extremely targeted attack that allegedly self policed against collateral damage to other businesses.
"The People should never rise, without doing something to be remembered—something notable And striking." - John Adams
What is willfully ignorant is pretending violent protest does not (also) achieve results, or that violence can never be justified without "undermining" peaceful protest. Both are legitimate.
> We've all seen the videos.
Yeah, of cops murdering people for decades. You want craven? It's anyone who capes for anything the cops are doing now, including any negative discussion of looters.
Fuck the police. Once we're done with that, we can talk about your broken window.
It used to be more common, but most places switched to appointment by the mayor or city council or city manager. Now it is mostly just a handful of scattered cities in a few states, with the exception of Louisiana where I believe they are still mostly elected.
1. Abolish qualified immunity
2. Require police for carry malpractice insurance
3. Use pay incentives to get a better breed of police officer
4. Incentivize community policing
5. Make "Brady lists" public record
6. Abolish cities' sweetheart deals with police unions
7. Require de-escalation in Use of Force policies alongside public, transparent training on de-escalation
8. End "tail-light policing" entirely
9. Mandate a separation between the crime response units and investigative units in a department
10. Automatic special prosecutors for all police brutality incidents
11. More frequent USDOJ intervention
12. Expand data collection and mandatory reporting on use-of-force incidents (and other police activity generally)
13. Enact statutory protections to restore the 4th / 5th / 6th / 8th Amendments
14. Scale back, or eliminate entirely, "contempt of cop" statutes
15. Stronger sentencing for police misconduct offenses
Curtail QI _and_ civil asset forfeiture, and we will have set the stage for real policing reform.
I think we can go for defunding in the major metros (which also have the more powerful police departments in absolute terms), and then go after the smaller jurisdiction police (with more relative power) with/after fixed laws.
Also, if the police are curtailed in the urban areas, and Covid fear lowers the rent, poor persons of color can "vote with their feet" and move from Fergusons to Saint Louises. Not the best solution, but I can't imagine a friendly supreme court too soon so this is better than nothing.
The right has defunded programs they couldn't abolish for years. It's a tried and proven strategy.
It's like energy in physics. You can worry about all the (perhaps more fundamental) mechanical, chemical, etc. interactions, or you can trust the conservation of energy and not fret over the details.
The abstraction works pretty well. Use it.
I suppose in this case we see the money going to programs that would, y'know, maybe at least help some people - assuming it doesn't get pitched directly into middle-class tax cuts, which seems more likely to me in any large city. But I don't see exactly how budget reduction would have any noticable impact on militarization.
After the multi-month long shutdown for COVID (and the very questionable justification for pushing 40 million healthy people out of their jobs) I think a several day curfew to limit widespread rioting and looting is both relatively minor and highly targeted by comparison.
But even if you disagree with the curfew, it’s not the police that imposed it.
I'm against the curfews, but where was everyone defending the right of people to protest the covid-19 lock-downs? I'm against a curfew in principle
> Police are out of control.
No they are not.
I think the problem is ultimately deeper than police culture and/or lack of checks and balances. The problem is simply that police, by the very nature of their job, must be violent. There is simply no other way to deal with the level of desperation a society like the US causes. They live and work every day in a milieu of all the worst, most desperate behaviours capitalism has to offer. Untreated mental illness, drug problems, dysfunction of every kind - all articulated in a completely insane legal system that seems almost purposely designed to consume vast numbers of people and vast quantities of money while doing nothing but harm.
So when people get upset with police for their brutality, it's easy to understand why they are outraged - it is simply impossible to do their job without violence.
When people point at German police, or UK police, and say, they're not so bad - what they're really pointing at is a different job. German police kill people, or turn out to have connections to far-right groups, or beat people at protests - but ultimately, the average german is less desperate, less well armed, and simply less dangerous than the average person an american police officer must work with. That's simple statistics. That American police have built a culture around violence (the 'warrior' thing) is a pretty obvious result of the fact that they are caught in this bind, where violence is necessary for the society to stay in its current state, but where they are constantly castigated for its use.
I think you need to distinguish between force and violence. I expect the police to occasionally need to use force to do their job, but I never want them to use violence. What we have been seeing during the past few days is totally out-of-control violence conducted by the police on non-violent people.
I know the federal dollars are larger, but the disconnect is just astounding.
What got me involved in local politics was when the local county board asked a group of us to write a grant for federal and state dollars to fund a rural transportation program. This would be curb to curb service, at a very low rate. Turns out we were the only county classified as 'rural' in our state that did not have this grant.
They brought us in 2 months before the deadline, after 5 years and 10 months of doing nothing with the grant but sitting on it and not publicizing it. They were confused why we couldn't put together a multiple-hundred page research document in two months.
I was confused why they seemed so slapdash with this process. Until I realized one of the board members' brother and sister owned the only 'taxi' service that served areas outside of the 'city'.
What a mess.
Surprise surprise, the councilmember, and her husband, are both realtors with a personal interest in keeping the housing market tight. And of course, no recusals when it comes to discussing policies or issues that she would benefit from as a realtor.
The number of conflicts of interest at the municipal level is crazy, to the point of being depressing sometimes.
A few years ago the golf course owners finally decided to sell. The mayor of the city (a real estate developer) decided that the city did not want to buy that land...and then bought the land for himself in a private transaction.
It's small town politics at its absolute finest.
Crucially, this means that a lot of these issues can be addressed without navigating party politics. There are plenty of cities and states that are controlled top to bottom by one party (they exist for both parties). So either party should be able to more or less unilaterally pass these changes.
IMO if you're not talking about fixing this at municipal and state levels you're more interested in party politics than fixing it.
Anything that focuses energy at the local level is a huge step. Both parties will be caught with their pants down. Issues are concrete and visceral, and do not require a high education to understand. It is by far the best way to fix the governance of this country.
Local issues have a history of been deemed non-partisan, which means the everyday conservatism of single family zoning, hyper local funding of everything, etc. could rot out the culture completely by stealth post-WWII even before the more well-known rise in policing and decline in social services began the 70s and 80s.
Not to knock your point. Political activism needs to be local, but there is a reason there is so much focus on the president. I don't think it is unwarranted.
As the chart shows, reducing a city's police spending from 53.8% to 5.72%.
I mean... I'm actually shocked to hear that policing is a majority of the budget. That seems wild. Surely a twentieth of the budget is more in line with legitimate needs to fight crime?
If I was running a company and didn't show the cost spent on salaries or office space it might look like we were spending a ton of money on coffee.
(I am in favor of reducing militarization of police - just offended as a statistician!)
So, when I say school budget from LA is 4x the police budget, that is just covering the 21% and 12% part of this graph. Doubling the LA school budget would only increase the total school budget about ~33%
Again - if I was in charge I probably would lower police budgets and raise school budgets - but I think those sharing the slices without being informed are doing a disservice.
I would love to be corrected on some of these issues, but in general looking at just discretionary funds from a city and ignoring all other funds will lead you to some wild conclusions.
It's hard to make comparisons like this because obligations and reporting methodology can vary wildly.
i'm not suggesting we shouldn't help the disadvantaged, but that it's inefficiently misallocated under education, masking the severity of those issues in some cases.
Additionally, while Los Angeles in particular could increase its budget for homeless shelters and a few particular resources, I don't see it as the city's job in particular to cover all social problems that can be better handled at a state or national level. Police everywhere are largely funded locally so again it is a bit comparing apples to oranges.
I think top level city concerns are police, fire, and community services (libraries, parks, etc.). Lowering police spending to under 10% seems a bit low.
Note that in California, school budgets are separate from the main city budget.
You could probably cut some funding from the police but it doesn’t seem like a huge misallocation.
I know how affluent much of Mountain View is, but surely there are some that are struggling.
It's not a solvable problem by a single city, even if you believe in cash transfers/UBI.
> you'd only have enough money for $10k/yr for 5,000 individuals
5,000 out of the 80,000 total individuals seems to be a sizable number, no? Even 2,500 seems like a lot when your population is so small. Nobody claimed the problem is solvable by a single city, but it seems like you could easily make a difference at the margin.
> lots of people from neighboring cities would want to move there to claim the subsidy.
You could have some process that gives preference to existing residents of a certain period of time, I doubt many poor people living in the area would move to a city and live there for a certain time just for a chance to get a rent subsidy.
This problem of "people moving here to claim benefits" is both generally overstated and pretty easily solved by a number of cities.
In addition to people moving in, you have people paying high taxes who will move out to neighboring cities without this tax. I don't want to pay a 5% wealth transfer tax.
This idea is based on some sort of pseudo-socialist view of the world, except implemented at the worst possible level (municipal). Cities deal with keeping crime down, building roads, etc. They're not here to implement a socialist wealth transfer program.
Maybe they should redirect more of their budget to investigating violent crime. What's the evidence for your conclusion?
You should talk to some of the people advocating these policies. They mean what they say, which is the police budget should be zero. While I'm sure some thoughtful activists exist, and some referenced in the article seem to be, it's going to become impossible to control the fringe who just want "more".
Police institutions today are a manifestation of the fragility of the white ego when confronted with black people with ambitions. They will ignore black folks who stay "in their place", i.e., don't leave their neighborhoods so white people don't see them. It is when black people attempt to assert socioeconomic mobility that the white folks quickly mobilize.
One of the impetuses for Brown v. Board of Education was that white administrators shut down the entire public school system so that "equality" was achieved in that both white and black students couldn't access public schools. Following vehement outcries from both black and white parents, they started handing out tax-funded vouchers to the white families only to attend private schools, which is how the charter school phenomenon became such a big idea. Betsy DeVos and her family are perpetuating this essentially segregationist system today, with tokenized and very public displays of "see it's not a racist system because sometimes black children win the lottery too!"
As we still operate in this society I had a kneejerk reaction and feel almost obligated to add a "not all white people" clause, which only reinforces the points made above.
Here are resources for the people who are reacting to the language I'm using:
Dr. Robin DiAngelo, who literally wrote the book on white fragility https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45ey4jgoxeU
Prof. Carol Anderson on the closely-related concept of white rage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBYUET24K1c
1. Universal Aid and Crisis Management
2. The Built Environment
3. Reimagined Community Safety
…and one category which covers an actual budget item:
4. Law Enforcement
I should add that in order to take this survey, you had to decide to click through a web page that says "We demand that the Mayor and City Council prioritize care NOT cops", which... may have skewed the results somewhat.
Then they used those ranking to arbitrarily move numbers around. They decided to skip over some important things like, I don't know, having a fire department, or how they're going to pay for the pensions of those thousands of now-unemployed police officers.
I hated the cops when I was a kid. I saw friends get stuck with hundreds if not thousands of dollars in fines for pot. But those laws have started to change, and that's more important as far as rights and equality go.
Police shootings have been going down, and most police departments want body cameras because, in the past few years, they've shown how many police shootings were entirely justified (a lot of criminals, both black and white, and really dumb).
I no longer hate the police today. I even know a few and talk to them and really, I think more police should be encourage to just do stuff in their community and get to know people.
This current era is an interesting situation, because the police do not have the actual manpower to defend all affected areas. It's being covered in a political blanket and doused with a healthy dose of propaganda and outrage, and that really should not dictate practical policy.
Even if it does increase crime, I would prefer to pay after the guy beats me up or shoots me, rather than pay his salary and pension as well
This is perhaps a fixable problem - there are areas where the police are generally more trusted - but it's a problem nonetheless and you see police departments themselves own up to it when complaining about things that jeopardize their relationship with minority communities (like CBP/ICE pretending to be local PD)
You go to both minority and non-minority neighbourhoods all over Chicago and there are signs say "We call the police." I'm pretty shocked at the anti-police rhetoric here in Chicago personally, considering all the PR efforts they put in and how involved a lot of police are in the community.
- Homan Square interrogation facility revealed where CPD detained suspects without access to a phone or lawyer
- Laquan McDonald murder and subsequent charging and conviction of Jason Van Dyke, only after dash cam footage provoked a public outcry
- CPD Superintendent ousted after being found asleep (possibly drunk?) in his running car at a stop sign.
- FOP (CPD Union) elects new president who is on administrative leave(!) and is one of the most frequently disciplined officers in CPD. Also has history of making public comments defamatory towards minorities / low income.
- State's Attorney vacates ~100 drug convictions based on false evidence from disgraced ex-CPD Sergeant Ronald Watts
- Damning DOJ report that lead to a consent decree
These are just things I can recall off the top of my head. They do not have a particularly good reputation.
> According to data analyzed by watchdog organization Better Government Association, two-thirds of the 70 people killed by Chicago police from 2010 to 2014 were African American.
> “We’re the epicenter of police crimes and torture,” said Frank Chapman, executive director of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and a longtime Chicago activist. “We have one of the largest police forces in the nation and their record in terms of the African American community is despicable.”
> A 2017 Justice Department report investigating the Chicago Police Department found officers used force almost 10 times more often with black suspects than with white suspects.
Some of this is properly shocking.
> The city has paid out over $662 million in settlements for police misconduct cases since 2004, according to The Associated Press. It includes payouts to victims of Jon Burge, a police commander who, along with a group of subordinate detectives, tortured dozens of African American suspects from 1972 to 1991. Many times, the tactics, including near-suffocation by plastic bags, shocks by cattle prods and beatings by flashlights, were used to elicit false confessions.
EDIT: Downvotes don't change the fact that you didn't read the article. Nobody is advocating for 'the purge'. Read the article or stop replying to my comment.
EDIT 2: If you're too lazy to read this article (it's dense, I get it), here are some others:
Step back for a second. Some of these cities that are currently being ravaged by riots in the US are being run by left/liberal democrats. In places like Chicago/Detroit, they've been run by black democrats for years!
It is about class. They are well off minorities in power who are using the system to keep themselves in power, just like their non-minority counterparts. They are part of the problem. What if this is less about race and more about class (and yes, systemic racism is likely leading to more black people being kept in that lower class, but that's actually a slightly different issue).
In a period of extreme civil unrest, do we really need less security? Disbanding the police didn't work in Iraq. It turned things to chaos.
How about just more police, with less guns, less expensive vehicles, and get rid of all private prisons?
> How about just more police, with less guns, less expensive vehicles, and get rid of all private prisons?
How about we disarm all street cops (think 'parking enforcement officer'), end the war on drugs, and spend our money on things that actually help: healthcare for all, housing for all, public transportation, and social programs.
> Disbanding the police didn't work in Iraq.
I'm not familiar, could you share a link? I'm not sure that I understand the parallel, especially if you're thinking of the Iraqi Republican Guard ("elite troops of the Iraqi army directly reporting to Saddam Hussein" ).
Community self-defense is absolutely necessary, and I'm not taking the position that acts like murder should be shrugged off. No amount of healthcare and housing and social programs will completely eradicate anti-social behavior, and at the end of the day we need to maintain public safety.
My point, which has been echoed by the various links that I've shared (and the article (which you're commenting on (which you should read!))), is that the vast majority of public safety problems don't need to be solved by the police. Quoting an article, because explaining this repeatedly is getting exhausting:
> Part of our misunderstanding about the nature of policing is we keep imagining that we can turn police into social workers. That we can make them nice, friendly community outreach workers. But police are violence workers. That's what distinguishes them from all other government functions. ... They have the legal capacity to use violence in situations where the average citizen would be arrested.
> So when we turn a problem over to the police to manage, there will be violence, because those are ultimately the tools that they are most equipped to utilize: handcuffs, threats, guns, arrests. That's what really is at the root of policing. So if we don't want violence, we should try to figure out how to not get the police involved.
People experiencing mental health crises don't need cops, they need social workers. Someone with a broken tail light doesn't need a cop, they need someone who can quickly and safely replace their tail light.
There are a small number of situations where public safety might require violence, but police officers are over-armed and under-qualified for the vast majority of calls they show up to. Last year the most common 911 call in my city was for an "unwanted person" , which I understand to mean 'experiencing homelessness', where cops really can't do anything to help. I'm optimistic that our communities would be better served by less-armed and more-qualified professionals who can use tools other than violence.
I was basing my question on the part of your comment where you suggested:
"How about we disarm all street cops"
I am generally in agreement that many first line encounters between cops and civilians could be better served by social workers, EMS, etc. but was curious about the idea of unarmed police in the US and how that might play out, especially in situations where the civilian is armed (which is not always known by dispatch nor the cops themselves, until it's too late).
Nitpick: Cops are civilians too. Every time the cops show up, the community has to deal with an "armed civilian".
> situations where the civilian is armed (which is not always known by dispatch nor the cops themselves, until it's too late)
Cops aren't the only government employees that interface with the [potentially armed] public though. Parking enforcement officers don't have guns, and it doesn't seem to me that they're regularly ambushed. I've found three cases where this has happened, although I'm sure there are others:
- Campus parking officer stabbed my school janitor (https://nypost.com/2018/06/29/campus-parking-officer-stabbed...)
- Ex-Federal Protective Service cop gets intoxicated and shoots at parking enforcement (https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/shots-fired-at-park...)
- "Man with AK-47 approaches parking officer during argument about tickets" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDJ4OsYXul0)
Anyway, yes, there are lots of people with guns, and that means that they may act erratically (to neighbors and government employees).
Showing up with guns and threatening them with violence makes many people behave more erratically, not less, and my hope would be that we don't have to worry about "what if that guy has a gun" because 'maintaining public safety' means replacing their broken headlight rather than giving them a ticket and a court date and demanding to search their vehicle while you're at it.
Quoting an open letter  that's uncontroversial in 'defund the police' circles:
> Black communities are living in persistent fear of being killed by state authorities like police, immigration agents or even white vigilantes who are emboldened by state actors. According to the Urban Institute, in 1977, state and local governments spent $60 billion on police and corrections . In 2017, they spent $194 billion. A 220 percent increase. Despite continued profiling, harassment, terror and killing of Black communities, local and federal decision-makers continue to invest in the police, which leaves Black people vulnerable and our communities no safer.
>Where could that money go? It could go towards building healthy communities, to the health of our elders and children,to neighborhood infrastructure, to education, to childcare, to support a vibrant Black future. The possibilities are endless.
>We join in solidarity with the freedom fighters in Minneapolis, Louisville, and across the United States. And we call for the end to police terror.
>JOIN US IN DEMANDING YOUR LOCAL OFFICIALS TAKE THE PLEDGE TO:
> 1. Vote no on all increases to police budgets
> 2. Vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets
> 3. Vote yes to increase spending on Health care, education and community programs that keep us safe.
Nobody wants a situation where law enforcement magically disappears at midnight and we devolve into 'the purge'. We want to take the money spent on violence and spend it on solving problems instead of criminalizing symptoms. There's a nice Q&A by the author of The End of Policing  if you want to a more casual overview, although the ebook  is currently free.
City of Orlando spends 31.6% of its budget on police. Oakland spent 41 percent of the city's general fund on policing in Fiscal Year 2017. Chicago spent nearly 39 percent, Minneapolis almost 36 percent, Houston 35 percent.
These figures seem remarkably high compared to other spending.
Then when Houston made budget cuts recently, they disproportionately cut firefighter pensions even though they were mostly responsible and funded, but I guess it looked like a stash of cash to the city. Keep in mind firefighters had previously made pay raise sacrifices to ensure their pension benefits continued. So they wanted the pay raises back since the pensions got cut, and they got laid off (and also some raise was given).
So the budget is huge because the scope of their organization is huge. They are a band-aid for a myriad of political failures.
One of the big ideas of the "defund" movement isn't to pocket the money but direct those funding streams into other places. For example, instead of having police tackle homelessness, why shouldn't some of that budget go to affordable housing?
Country -> defence, welfare.
State -> Education, roads, public transport
County (council) -> parks, local infrastructure, approvals (for building).
Same with taxes, where the federal government is the only body allowed to apply most taxes (like income tax), which they then pass through to the states. In Australia, the Federal government raises the money, and the states spend it.
Without having any idea how the US system works, what are the budgetary responsibilities of the City of Orlando vs the state of Florida vs the federal government of the USA? It seems weird to an Australian that the police are funded at such a low level. Is that in addition to state spending? Is there no state spending on police?
Without knowing what the budgetary responsibilities are, I have no idea how to contextualise "31.6% of its budget", and I wonder if many Americans could either, as knowledge of this level of government funding arcana would be, well I'd think pretty rare.
You won't even have consistent definitions for boundaries. In other parts of the country, you won't find much in the way of towns/cities and the county is a very important government function. In Massachusetts every bit of land belongs to a town and "counties" are really only there to define court districts, nothing more.
NY is a really weird nesting doll of bureaucracy. You'll have state > counties > cities/towns > villages. All with their own leadership, boundaries, tax structure, etc. Speaking as a Bostonian, New York looks insane ;)
I know this is potentially a case of correlation doesn't equal causation, but if your goal is to argue against police budgets, these aren't the numbers to use.
> The real-dollar cost per crime reported has gone up more than 5x.
Yes, but that's a terrible way to look at something. You're not trying to reduce the cost per crime reported; you're trying to reduce the crime reported itself. That's going to take more money to accomplish, so the cost per crime going up is a good thing. It means you're getting good value for money.
EDIT: Doing some simple math, the cost per crime today is way less than the cost per crime back in 1993, according to your numbers. Drastically less.
(for the record, I don't know enough about this whole situation to have an informed opinion; my gut feeling is reducing the funding of your peacekeeping force by drastic amounts in a short time frame during a time of unrest is perhaps not wise)
"For example, the Bureau of Census reports that the average price of a new home in January 2000 was $194,800.4 According to the inflation calculator, that price in January 2020 should be $297,705.3 The same report places the average sale price for January 2020 at $402,400, more than 35% higher when accounting for inflation alone."
incidentally, the covid response (lockdowns, fear-driven justifications, selective enforcement) and the protest response (needless curfews, calling in the national guard, selective protection) has really revealed LA mayor garcetti's weakness as a leader, someone who runs to use of force at the slightest provocation. with such authoritarian tendencies, he needs to exit stage left.
Even a temporary measure to bring them to heel and forcing them to recognize who is really in charge could be useful for relations.
The police have a trump card. There really are bad people. And force is required to stop them. In protest, they can just slow walk all calls and say this is due to the budget being cut. If crime rises in the cities, people are going to blame the city leadership. Remember that a lot of the “tough on crime” emphasis of the 90’s came because of rising crime in the 70’s and 80’s. People hate chaos.
We can do the same by at least offering better programs for people arrested for meth/opioids. More free treatment. If they fail out, fine, go back to the jail route, but give people a chance to at least try and choose.
The police do take a lot of money, but we're also seeing more money go to teachers/schools, working-class city workers (garbage, sewer, public works). That's not always a bad thing, but if you break down the numbers, you can often find corruption everywhere (like a school district superintendent taking like a $300k income).
I think the focus on police is the wrong policy choice right now. That's not the core issue. It's everything else.
We don't accept a rapist or fraudster blaming society for the damage they do to get the sex or money they want and we should certainly hold actual authorities to higher standards instead of lower ones. The system being messed up does not negate their own moral agency and deriliction from it. To acquit them is even worse than even "just following orders" but an utterly insane "it is unfair that I am being judged by the intentions and outcomes of my actions taken on my own initiative".
There are many other ways to get a paycheck that don't involve, well, all that we keep seeing on the news.
I will open by saying that putting life on the line is part of their job description ( not unlike firefighters ) and they get appropriate social credit for that. In other words, it is literally their job. It is what they signed up for.
But let's say I agree completely. How much would be enough?
Oddly, I am kinda ok with it as a test run, but:
1. Where do you propose to get the money from?
2. How would you offset that cost ( I doubt you are proposing we keep the same amount of officers at that salary )?
And here is a thing, for a 500k I expect a stellar, pristine cop and none of that bad apple crap.
Edit: Afterthought, I am not sure you really want to get rid of video games now.
2. With more taxes.
At the very least we could add an additional 500k/year into police training... thereby increase the value of our current officers by x amount and tack that onto the end of their current salary. What I am getting at is that the logic of de funding them is literally the opposite of what we need.
I was honestly hoping something a little more detailed so you will need to excuse me for relying on publicly available data. I am focusing on IL, because some that data was already pulled by other posters and it happens to be my state.
Share of taxpayer debt in IL as of 2014 was $28,600. It did not decrease since then, but we will use it for calculations. As you can imagine, that starting point is not exactly conducive to suggesting tax increase of any kind without some details regarding where exactly those funds are coming from.
Now, CPD funding in 2018 was $1,600,000,000.00. In 2018 CPD had 13,500 employees. Median salary for officers in IL is $75,720 ( and higher in Chicago, but we will run with it ). Based on that employee cost was $1,022,220,000.00
You are proposing starting salary of $300,000 with a difference from 2018 median of $224,280 resulting in almost tripling employee CPD cost to $3,027,780,000.00
That number adds $1123.91 per resident using 2019 Chicago population of 2,693,976 ( sourced from wiki ) or $2,698.77 per tax payer ( I could not find good info on net payer vs net taker, but maybe that would needlessly complicate it ).
So your proposal puts the tax payer further in the hole with share of tax payer debt in IL rising to $31,298.77
Again, not an easy sell, but maybe there is a greater good to be gained. So what does the tax payer get out of this deal? It is an honest question for you. Be as specific as you can.
Now onto your larger point, that "logic of defunding them is literally the opposite of what we need." How so? Please elaborate. I have cops in my family so I am definitely not unbiased. But I am looking at where we are and cutting the police force down to size is almost exactly what we need right now.
edit: almost to tripling; it was a little off
It was an amusing interaction to watch because:
* The drunk fellow was much larger than the conductor but she didn't even seem fazed and was pretty much telling him that if he wasn't going to produce a ticket (I don't know if this was one of those buy-in-the-train trains) he was going to have to get off.
* He was being all up in her face but when the cops got up they just walked up to him and tapped him on the shoulder
* They did have to restrain him but it was all rather civilized
I can't help but think that considering everything he'd be tackled to the ground where I live now. It was sort of like a movie to watch these two guys dressed like you'd see street punks in a movie suddenly turn out to be transport police.
Naturally it's one incident and I don't know what use of force is like in Switzerland or Sweden in general.
They train by playing this, but with guns.
Making the police's only community contacts be with criminals means that they subconsciously absorb social norms from criminals and I think that's on display right now. We need to purse community policing even at the cost of decreased efficiency. We can't get rid of the police and the US's current system is obviously not working.
If the goal is a smaller amount of police related violence, something as vague as "de-escalation training" training is the wrong way to get there. If you want less police related violence, focus on minimizing public interaction with police.
> Countries like Britain show that good policing is a possibility so we should be working towards reforms that make that possible.
Just because we call our thing "police" and they call their thing "policy" doesn't mean there is a direct path of reform from one to the other.
The situation in the US is very different from other rich nations---former widespread slavery, more guns, fewer social services. All this in forms the culture of the institution in the US as much anything it has in common with other rich countries.
Defunding and simultaneously reinvesting in this areas addresses exactly these underlying conditions---the Police are forced to do less and other agencies are empowered to do more. Then, and only then, can the US police be expected to act like their Western European counterparts.
I guess I’m just saying maybe defunding the police will make them feel attacked unjustly which may spiral to worse depths.
It doesn't mean "Reduce funding down to a much smaller level in order to ensure the police fulfil only essential functions, while raising health, social and housing spending"
I'm not sure which word would be a better choice, maybe there is none. But the literal meaning of defund suggests the proposal is to eliminate the police.
This isn't some radical new definition. Beyond the dictionary, here's American political precedent. The Republicans attempted to eliminate funding for Obamacare by "defunding" it.
I think you’d really need one word.
Police need to be paid better so we can attract better police who will take their duties and responsibilities seriously.
Some small evidence is this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_and_dependen.... We seem to be in the middle of the pack of developed democracies
Certainly the extreme version of this can't be true. We need a police force of some kind.
See https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/What-Is-the-Average-Po... for some loose numbers, you can find similar numbers in many other places. "Several cities in California have average police officer salaries above $100,000, including the highest in the San Jose area"
It's possible paying "more" would improve the quality of police officers but how much more do we need to pay for them to stop shooting people in the eye with less-lethal rounds that aren't meant to be fired directly at people or from ranges less than 10m?
Police budgets keep going up and somehow the violence hasn't stopped. What's the price threshold that fixes it? LAPD was looking at another big boost to funding this year after multiple funding increases over the last decade.
In Seattle, I was cycling to a friend's house. I didn't remember exactly where he lived, but I got half way there, pulled out my phone and ... the charging cable had not been in right. It died. I asked a guy at a 7/11 if I could borrow his charging cable for 2 min. He asked where my friends where, and then told me to put my bike in his truck and he'd give me a ride.
Dude was a Seattle Police Captain. Normal guy. Talked about how he shouldn't have bought a house; too much work and it was a money sink. He pointed it out to me on my way to my friend's. Just a little side unit.
My friend, who is a Defence Attorney, said, "You're not suppose to start off the weekend in a cop car." I didn't! It was his personal truck! .. also my friend was super surprised he lived in Seattle; probably cause he had lived there a long time. Most Seattle cops cannot afford to live anywhere near the city or the districts they patrol.
I am a minority, if that matters.
I agree that this is a bad thing, but most people in general cannot afford to live near where they work in Seattle because Seattle has severe cost of living issues. This is not unique to police officers.
There are other big cities where most of the police officers live outside of town.
I'm okay with, in general, saying all public servants should be better compensated so they can live close to work. Suggesting that only cops deserve this for some reason (not firefighters? ambulance drivers?) is weird especially when it's proposed as a solution to police violence.
FWIW my first tech job was also in Seattle and I earned less than both you and that police officer for the 3 years I was there. Had to live an hour outside of the city to afford rent!
Defunding local police is easy, but there is no way to meaningfully take that money and meaningfully apply it to social purposes.
People saying this live in secure, peaceful suburbs( obviously).
how would slashing funding for police help. I don't follow this chain of logic at all. People here in south side chicago die of gun violence not of police harassment. General concensus here has been that city doesn't have enough budget to grapple with gun violence that kills thousands of people here. Now all of sudden its that they have too much budget. How can both be true.
But. There is a big but here. The very human tendency is to forever increase a budget. I am virtually certain there is a lot of fat to be cut.
edit: here's a pretty lengthy academic article on the matter, see page 1803. https://digitalcommons.law.seattleu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?...
If common people couldn't buy assault firearms like ice cream, probably no. This widespread small penis complex is making NRA and their supporters rich at the expense of everyone else by pushing an escalation that turns into a wonderful excuse for police militarization.
I'm not from the US, but following closely both for interest and because there's a creeping desire to import this in some EU countries as well (guess from which political side...), and police over here is already violent enough even with no tanks and minimal racism involved.
 Chicago has just about the same amount of coastline as SF - from Mussel Rock Park all the way around to Brisbane is almost exactly the same distance as the Indiana state line to Evanston.
Edit: To be clear, this isn't a good reason to go out and buy a gun. We already know that the help isn't coming, which is why the police should focus on real crimes.
I think you could argue that the cause of violence is the massive imbalance in power between the people involved. Ideally the risk of actual consequence might dissuade police from acting thoughtlessly.
Edit: specifically referring to the violence at protests, not broader violence issues. It’s worth remembering that Americans have a first amendment right to protest peacefully.
Look at what happens anywhere there is a police vacuum. Be it Somalia, Mexico, Paris Suburbs, South African townships.
And that's barely scratching the surface. The number of higher order consequences of defunding the police are mind-boggling. Insurance costs will obviously skyrocket for one, if policies even continue to be offered at all. Seeing a market opportunity, organized criminals will certainly step up their classic protection rackets. The wealthy will have to spend slightly more on private security, but obviously that doesn't really bother them. And of course if all that money is instead sent to minority communities, well I guarantee there will be some kind of struggle over who gets control of it.
We've already hamstrung our justice system due to calls from activists. For example, the city regularly releases criminals instead of sentencing them, which resulted in infuriating situations, like a man with 74 prior convictions including 15 assaults being released, only to then throw hot coffee at a toddler (https://komonews.com/news/project-seattle/no-felony-charges-...). Reducing policing simply further removes disincentives for crime, beyond what we've done already, and will remove all the good we get from policing as well.
The calls for "community programs" also seem incredibly vague and wasteful, and are unlikely to provide any substitute for the societal safety that comes from enforcing laws. Instead, I suggest we focus on more nuanced and precise actions - like banning or altering training around carotid artery holds, like banning no-knock raids, like having always-on body cams, like revisiting qualified immunity (https://fee.org/articles/to-curtail-police-impunity-rep-just...), etc.
In evaluating whether there is sufficient evidence to support a felony charge, we are ethically bound to apply the facts of a particular case to the law as established by the legislature. This is regardless of the history of a particular defendant or the outrageousness of the conduct.
In order to elevate an assault against a child from a gross misdemeanor to a felony, there must be some level of bodily harm to the victim. The details of this law are specified here: https://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9A.36.140
Throwing coffee on a child is horrible and abusive behavior. Due to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) patrol’s response we were able to answer the questions we needed to determine the appropriate charges in this case. We learned from the police report that the child, thankfully, did not appear to have been injured in any way and we were told that the child received no medical treatment. In other words, the facts of this particular case didn’t support this being a felony. That said, we were able to refer the case to Seattle Municipal Court to ensure the offender was kept in custody.
According to the laws in place, no matter how many police there were or how well funded they were, the man, by law, should have been released in that particular circumstance. If that's unacceptable, then the laws should change, but as it stands this event was the justice system working as designed.
You can upgrade to second degree for "or (ii) causing the child physical pain or agony that is equivalent to that produced by torture."
I think you can make the argument that pouring near boiling water on a toddler counts as that.
You could also make the argument in the other direction, so this isn't as cut and dry a case of the prosecution being clearly at fault.
Additionally, this is a legal document, and there could be a strict definition of "torture" or for how one determines "pain or agony equivalent to" that doesn't make intuitive sense, but applies in the legal context (as I understand things as a non-lawyer, it's not that uncommon for words to mean surprising things in legal documents, which is a big part of why lawyers are valuable, they know how to currently interpret words that would mean something very different in conversational English)
Do you have more information on this that would eliminate that ambiguity?
> and there could be a strict definition of "torture" or for how one determines "pain or agony equivalent to" that doesn't make intuitive sense, but applies in the legal context (as I understand things as a non-lawyer
Those are called "matters of fact" (in contrast to matters of law) which is what you need a jury for. The question of "did he cause pain or agony" would be the core question the jury would be answering.
Ie. the presence of police in fact seems to increase crime.
It was under an autocratic fist. Speak against Saddam and go to jail .. but it was safe.
They created a civil war where the only thing that nearly everyone agreed with was that the Americans should leave.
That combined with turning away the local current military leadership that was volunteering to help, made it spiral way worse that it needed to.