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If you see the cops, start recording (theverge.com)
275 points by Tomte 31 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 256 comments



> But before action was taken by city leaders, Buffalo police lied about the incident. In an initial statement, the department said that a person was arrested "during a skirmish with other protesters," and that "during that skirmish involving protesters, one person was injured when he tripped and fell." The video clearly refutes the statement, showing that there was no skirmish around the elderly man, and that the officers pushed him to the ground for no justifiable reason.

The Buffalo incident offers a vivid example of why police records should be considered unreliable. Where are the "good cops" among the 20 or so in the video who had the opportunity to speak up, but in practice chose to maintain the blue wall of silence?


They resigned in protest at being held accountable: https://twitter.com/DaveGreber4/status/1268977512320819203?s...


> I’m told the entire @BPDAlerts Emergency Response Team has resigned from the team, a total of 57 officers, as a show of support for the officers who are suspended without pay after shoving Martin Gugino, 75. They are still employed, but no longer on ERT

They "resigned" but are still employed? It's not a resignation if you keep getting a paycheque.


It's like announcing you're quitting your job but all you've done is leave a project's agile squad.


It’s kind of like the “virtual walkouts” that tech employees due.


A little off topic, but I wonder if we've reached the point where only some trivially tiny proportion of people who aren't poor can reasonably walk away from their employment. Yes, in an ideal world, people would stand up for an issue no matter what it cost them. But right now in America 2020, unless you're already poor, maybe it's just really difficult to take that type of a stand? Probably why, across the political spectrum, we see so much "pseudo-resigning" and "virtual walk outs" at the moment.


https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/01/technology/facebook-emplo...

> Many of the employees, who said they refused to work in order to show their support for demonstrators across the country, added an automated message to their digital profiles and email responses saying that they were out of the office in a show of protest.

I'm pretty sure Facebook's "virtual walk-out" was virtual because they were all working from home. They still stopped working, en mass, for the day. They still risked being fired, and they still negatively impacted the company's productivity.

They just didn't actually walk out of the office because they never physically went to the office in the first place.


They only resigned from the task force, because their union would no longer pay the legal fees related to the protests.

"The union representing Buffalo police officers told its rank and file members Friday that the union would no longer pay for legal fees to defend police officers related to the protests which began Saturday in downtown Buffalo and have continued on and off, according to one source. The union is upset with the treatment of the two officers who were suspended Thursday."

https://buffalonews.com/2020/06/05/57-members-of-buffalo-pol...


They can do that? Defense of people having legal trouble while doing their job is the central purpose of a union!

The police union should be ordered to pay all legal fees related to excessive force incidents until they are bankrupt. Police unions have been amongst the biggest enablers of police violence in recent times.


Would anyone do differently in their shoes? It sounds like they volunteered for a task force, and would be facing individual liability with no assistance from their union if sued for any work resulting from staying on the task force.

If you volunteered to program the Foo system at your job, and your company announced that you would be individually liable for any losses anyone suffered for your further work on Foo system, would you keep volunteering to program Foo or would you look to work on other projects?


On the other hand, if I assaulted or murdered someone at work I wouldn't expect them to cover for me.

Really the issue is one of process. Was shoving the guy to the ground and leaving him there a normal procedure for dealing with the alleged offense? If so, it's the department's fault and the superiors are negligent. If not, they failed to follow process and caused a death, so they should be individually liable for assault charges.


Any person of conscience wants 0 (or at least less, moving towards 0) police brutality. I also think most people would avoid taking a job where they could be judged and imprisoned for a close-call mistake (that the jury believes was) made months or years earlier in a tense, dangerous situation, with no support to defend themselves. Many incidents aren't clear cut - the clear cut ones pull at our heartstrings because they are so egregious.


Let's be honest here.

There are no "close-call mistakes" in the situations which have caused outrage. The problem is that the officers involved have excessive support to defend themselves.

If changing that causes some people to "avoid taking a job", good. The public has an interest in them not being in that job.


>There are no "close-call mistakes" in the situations which have caused outrage

I agree with you on that! As I said, "the clear cut ones pull at our heartstrings because they are so egregious."

The problem as I see it is that it's hard to tailor a bright-line policy that creates increased personal liability for police for their clear abuses of power and brutality, that doesn't also create increased personal liability for their close-call, reasonable mistakes. Some of the "5 demands" I have been seeing seem like reasonable starts [0]; none that I have seen focus on increased personal liability.

>If changing that causes some people to "avoid taking a job", good.

I would guess that you and I have drastically different estimations of how large an exodus from policing the wrong kind of policy change could cause. We need police reform, but we also need police.[1]

[0]For example, https://i.redd.it/e5ka53eb5k251.png

[1]See, for example, https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23410144 "Montreal once had a 16 hour police strike, creating a natural experiment in what happens without police..."


It is impossible to draw a "bright-line" for anything, anytime, anywhere. This is, in fact, why the legal system employs things like juries, standards of evidence, standards of care, and the "reasonable man". And they do pretty well in most cases in handling "reasonable mistakes".

The point here is that none of those are allowed to operate: the police are extended extensive immunity for criminal actions by the structure of the system, as well as immunity from individual civil liability for those actions.

All government officials should be free from nuisance liability suits for their job-related activities. But if a majority of police require immunity from the consequences of criminal activity, you are going to end up with much more than three million dollars of damage.


>On the other hand, if I assaulted or murdered someone at work I wouldn't expect them to cover for me.

Future allegations may or may not be true. Even officers who follow all procedures want legal defense against false or questionable accusations.


"It sounds like they volunteered for a task force, and would be facing individual liability with no assistance from their union if sued for any work resulting from staying on the task force."

Qualified immunity means they effectively have zero liability. In the few cases of extreme incompetence, it's taxpayers that foot the bill. Those police have no liability, beyond being responsible for fulfilling their job in a reasonable, professional way.

What the union is talking about is legal bills fighting the city (if the members are penalized in any way). And these are members that "volunteered" for a special pay role, not because they are benevolent.

Speaking of which, the union, as so many of them do, has the doublespeak terminology "benevolent" in its name (Buffalo Police Benevolent Association), yet the primary purpose of police unions is to ensure that bad cops keep their jobs, and to fight any and all measures that obtain even the slightest measure of accountability.


No one "volunteered", it's overtime pay


Police unions are the #1 problem with the implementation of policing. They aren't even a union in any traditional sense, and have virtually no affinity with other unions. It's more like a protection racket.


That tweet says they only resigned from the Emergency Response Team. They're still employed.


Rarely does a problem solve itself so quickly and effectively.


they're still in police and getting paid, they just left the team


Yeah, too good to be true I guess.


Just a few bad apples /s


There is parallel with pilots and airplane crashes. There is a tendency for airlines to put the blame on a pilot in case of a crash, this disincentives pilots from speaking the truth. Unfortunately the 'anti cop' sentiment would have the same effect.

Imgaine how hard it is for us to admit a mistake at work which brings the website down but here someone's life is at stake.

What happens if a cop makes a mistake and causes grave injury to someone. What would be his incentive to admit mistake and possibly spend rest of his life in prison.


One of the key things the airline industry did to fix this was record everything. Same on the railways. Cockpit voice recorders on planes, Forward Facing CCTV on trains (there's only one driver usually so recording what they say is unlikely to present useful evidence).

When you tell investigators "A fucking bear was on the track!" the investigators don't believe you. Far more likely you screwed up and have made up this excuse about a bear.

When your train has FFCCTV you know the investigators are going to check it and they are going to see the bear. This country doesn't even have bears - what the actual fuck!

And that pays dividends because now staff have every reason to expect investigators will believe them if they tell the truth, and it means investigators spend less time second guessing human recollection of events which means more time to deal with the actual events of the incident.


recording helps but its not always enough though. most recent example

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/may/23/boeing-737-...


> What happens if a cop makes a mistake and causes grave injury to someone. What would be his incentive to admit mistake and possibly spend rest of his life in prison.

i've said it before but here it is again, a workable system for police accountability:

there are tangible ways that laws could be setup and practices adhered to that would make cops more accountable and, while maybe the same level of racist in some parts, help ensure that they get held accountable more often than not.

mandatory body cams rolling at all times unless they are in a bathroom.

turning off or a malfunctioning camera during the act of a police brutality event immediately pierces the qualified immunity defense and they are tried as citizens.

have an outside investigative body that has zero ties to the police department investigate any reports of abuse.

have another outside investigative body that has zero ties to the police department randomly sampling police stop footage to see if there are any instances of impropriety.

I am sure this list is non-exhaustive but it's a start. also, while we are here, fix the issue of civil asset forfeiture. the clear "we get to take your money because it looks suspicious and then keep it for the police department" is a huge conflict of interest.

> There is a tendency for airlines to put the blame on a pilot in case of a crash, this disincentives pilots from speaking the truth.

the other side to this is that the airlines have every single input and the conversation that lead up to the crash along with the meticulous analysis of the wreckage and records of maintenance... the cops investigate themselves and find themselves not guilty of any crimes.


I'm a pilot. This isn't remotely a fair comparison. There are lots of very complex and nuanced situations in aviation that require judgment calls. People are going to get it wrong sometimes. We're human.

That's a far cry from this situation. There is no "judgment call" here: don't violently shove elderly people to the ground for no reason. If you accidentally do, help them up. If you pass by an elderly person lying on the ground and bleeding, check on them.

There's no "mistake" here.


> There's no "mistake" here.

I wasn't talking about this specific case though, not sure how you inferred that from my comment that shoving old man was a mistake .

I was talking about a hypothetical case where it was indeed a mistake.


I guess I was confused since you commented on this story without mentioning this hypothetical future mistake, bemoaning the fact that "anti-cop sentiment" might prevent officers from admitting their "mistakes" in the future.


Great, well in this case, this cop acted violently and aggressively towards a senior citizen, who was killed through that cop's action. Not murder, but definitely manslaughter. If you did that to someone, that's what you would be going to jail for, and rightly so.


Not at all excusing what happened, but was he actually killed? I thought he was taken to a hospital and recovered?


I apologise, I initially read that he had been killed, later followed up on the article and they had posted a correction that he "easily could have been killed". You are correct!


Stable but in serious condition. He can hopefully recover, but the next hours will be decisive. Can still suffer a clot and damages in brain could be permanent.

The policemen attitude in the video is revolting


How about we talk about real, actual documented cases of abuses, and then coverups by police instead of veering off into hypotheticals?


When police willfully break rules, there's a very high likelihood that they'll harm an individual, because the police officers' job is (frequently) about use of force against individuals. When pilots willfully break rules, there's a very marginally increased likelihood that they'll cause an aviation accident or incident, because the pilots' job is about safe aviation.

If you're a passenger on a plane whose pilot is doing something unsafe, you'll probably never know, which is different from if you're a victim of abuse by police (because you'll directly experience the consequences individually directed to you). Nonetheless, the pilot's unsafe behavior also has a real potential to harm you, just in a way that doesn't feel intentional or personal, and in a way that's almost always invisible except in case of an after-the-fact investigation.

There are lots of ways that the analogy breaks down, but I see one where I disagree with you: policing does also have "lots of very complex and nuanced situations [...] that require judgment calls" alongside the situations that are best described as willful abuse and crime.


policing does also have "lots of very complex and nuanced situations [...] that require judgment calls

I completely agree, and I didn't mean to imply otherwise. I just meant to point out that this situation was not one of them.


It's not a fair comparison. Pilots don't have to deal day in and day out with the sort of hostility and abuse we're seeing here. It's a godawful, thankless job, and I admire those who do it anyway.


The area of flight safety provides some interesting practices to think about.

You might like some of the mission and stated thinking behind ASAP and ASRS, and that there's interest in encouraging pilots and crew to speak up about mistakes and other safety-related observations, so that everyone can learn and benefit:

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

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

Also related is FOQA:

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

I don't know enough about law enforcement to say whether and how any of these practices might be helpful to adapt to different and complicated challenges there.

Regarding admitting a mistake in software development/operations work that brings the site down, it helps to have a culture of trust that everyone can admit making mistakes. In that culture, you'll probably still feel sick and humbled by the mistake, but the first priority is for the team to solve the immediate problem. After that, everyone wants to understand the mistake, to try to learn and avoid problems like that in the future. The professional move is to be upfront with all pertinent information; the unprofessional move would be to attempt to hide information, misdirect efforts understanding the cause, etc. The professional move by everyone else is to expect and respect that professionalism, and to act in the same forthright spirit.


There's an old saying in investigating plane crashes: "When the pilot dies, it's pilot error; when the pilot survives, it's equipment malfunction."


Maybe there should be a law enforcement equivalent of

https://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/

which is something that the aviation regulators created in response to some of the dynamics you mentioned.

(I don't know how ASRS authenticates that people making reports are really pilots or aircrew.)


That seems like a reasonable, constructive suggestion. There certainly are structural factors and incentives which make it difficult for a police officer to actually be a "good cop" when it matters.

But self-regulation hasn't worked and isn't likely to work, precisely because those structural factors are so formidable. So instead, we turn to outside auditing in the form of cell phone video — as advocated by this article.


Somehow professionals under the constant threat of malpractice lawsuits and criminal/civil liability are able to operate and flourish in their industries just fine.


So, we should have the cops take out liability insurance and pay damages?

That actually sounds like a pretty good idea, honestly.


"So, we should have the cops take out liability insurance and pay damages?"

No, they should get proper training and be held to professional standards.


Are you ready to double the pay of police? If you wanted to go through a lot of training and be held to high standards, you'd probably look for a more lucrative gig than being a cop


Not only am I willing to double it (or more), I'm willing to drastically reduce their duties. We ask far too much of police officers in the US, we need to respect their wellbeing and start addressing root causes of issues.

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RtnQ2GqBeg

[2]: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/06/killing-of-george-fl...

[3]: https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2020/06/03/457251670...


Very true. Especially the petty drug arrests they have to do are poisoning relationships between cops and citizens.


I 100% agree with this. When you criminalize behavior that is very common, you very naturally create conflict


> Are you ready to double the pay of police?

Yes, absolutely! Raise police pay, along spending money on police training. Then hold those officers to high standards. This is absolutely the way forward.

This certainly entails raising taxes, which makes better policing difficult to implement when one of the two major political parties is religiously opposed to taxation.


Cops are often the highest paid employees on municipal and state governments' payrolls. For example, in NJ, the median pay for a cop is $105k[1] before factoring in overtime, benefits or bonuses.

It's a lucrative gig. In NYC, the NYPD runs commercials advertising full benefits, competitive compensation and only having to work for 20 years before being able to retire with a pension.

[1] https://www.nj.com/news/2017/05/how_much_is_the_median_cop_s...


If that’s what’s needed to attract reasonable people into the police then so be it. If we aren’t willing to pay for proper training and supervision then we have the police force we deserve.


Being a police officer is a very high paying job for someone without an education. With overtime, the average pay in many departments is over $100k. For people without an education, who get a massive amount of job perks. The problem is that the job has too much power, which attracts violent, power hungry individuals. Take away their power, and you'll have a police force that desires to make their community a better place.


So we don’t even need to to pay more. Just better management, training and accountability.


I agree with this! I have a hard time wanting to pay the police force more, because it not only attracts those who are overachievers, it attracts people who see it as the easiest way to make the most money. Why get an engineering degree or a business degree when I can just be a cop, carry a cool gun, and not have to pay speeding tickets? I think accountability is the single most needed thing; qualified immunity corrupts those qualified by it's protection.


Forcing them to take out liability insurance is how you incentivize them to get proper training and instill professional standards.


I work in medical devices. I don’t have to take liability insurance to do my job. I get training on FDA regulations and if I don’t follow them I get warned or fired. We also have internal and external audits with Independent auditors that have the power to demand changes or shut us down. The whole company culture is about doing things the right way and this is coming from the top. As far as I can tell all this is missing in US police or if there are auditors they are toothless or corrupt.


We can do both, just like we do for doctors, for example.


Doctors routinely lie in malpractice cases. It is really common.


For medicine, that probably co tributes a lot to the expense of healthcare in the US


IANAL, but the law takes this into account by requiring mens rea to be convicted of many crimes [0]... for example, 1st degree murder. If it's an accident, it's not 1st degree murder because intent must be proven. At best, an accident might result in some lesser charge that carries less time in prison. So I doubt your scenario (a mistake results in life in prison) would ever occur.

0. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mens_rea


I’d like to read examples of pilots being disincentived from speaking up. On the contrary I always had the impression that, while not perfect, aviation had a very successful approach on recording, learning from and subsequently avoiding human and technical errors.


What kind of mistake? Shoving a person that did not show any signs of violence towards the officer? Did you ever shove a person by accident?

Even if the older guy used language this could have been resolved without the need to escalate the conflict. Using violent force against somebody that does not seem to be posing a threat is a serious problem if your sole job is to keep peace.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/police


The solution is guilty pleas.


Also, does anyone remember Chicago's black site?

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/24/chicago-poli...

Where are the good men and women, and what is the sum of their good acts in the grand scheme of things?


There is one "almost good cop" who tried to check the man when he was lying on the ground, but quickly one of his colleague pulled him by the vest to tell him they don't do this kind of thing.

Unfortunately he didn't have to courage to stand up for his first feeling.


Do we know that's what he was going to do? It looked to me like the officer could have been going to check on the elderly man who he just knocked down, or he could have been about to follow that up with more violence. Neither would surprise me.


If you watch more closely you'll see that this "almost good cop" shoved Gugino very hard, and is probably the reason he fell. This officer was holding his baton in both hands, and pushed both arms forward quickly just as the officer that "pulled him by the vest" braced him from behind for a very forceful shove. This happened at the exact same time the foreground officer straight-armed Gugino.

That combination would probably knock most people off their feet.


One issue I have found is that people, even educated people who are otherwise paying attention (including the news media and such) seem to drop this skepticism entirely when it comes to statements made by feds.

It’s as if they believe that local PD is some unprofessional good old boys or something, but the FBI, those are the professional ones.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Make sure your skepticism of police statements (including those regurgitated verbatim on the news) extends to feds as well. They have a decades-long history of the exact same damage.

Beware anything put in a sworn statement or affidavit by feds, or provided by federal informants or federal undercovers. You’d be astounded how much of it simply isn’t true.


Cops may ask you not to record and even threaten you with arrest for recording. Do not be intimidated; it is your right to record without obstructing.

If you find yourself in a situation where you might be detained and thereby unable to control interactions with your device, on iPhone you can disable TouchID and FaceID by holding one of the volume buttons and the sleep/wake button simultaneously for a few seconds. This will require you to enter your passcode the next time you want to unlock iPhone. Anyone have similar instructions for Android?


> Do not be intimidated; it is your right to record without obstructing.

Be very careful taking this advice. If you weren't already aware, the past week should make it crystal clear that police have absolutely no problem arresting or assaulting you for exercising your rights.


Rights exist insofar as they are enforced. Otherwise what’s the difference between rights and a nice idea?


The ACLU confirms what you say:

https://twitter.com/ACLU/status/1268588997829410816

"When you are lawfully present in any public space, you have the right to photograph anything in plain view, including federal buildings and the police."

"Police may not confiscate or demand to view your photographs or video without a warrant, nor may they delete data under any circumstances. Visual records are fully protected, but some states have tried to regulate the audio portion of videos under wiretapping laws."


One of the main points of the article is that the law is not being respected by those tasked with upholding the law:

> Everyone in the United States — citizen or resident — has a constitutional right to record police who are performing their public duties. The police don’t have the right to stop you as long as you’re not disrupting their business, and they aren’t allowed to confiscate your phone or camera just because you were recording them. This is the consistent opinion of federal courts and the Supreme Court, which affirmed in 2014 (in a 9-0 decision) that cops need a warrant if they want to seize and search your cellphone.

> Of course, the nationwide protests are about the police ignoring civil rights. Indeed, the videos we’ve seen in the past week show widespread police lawlessness, with officers arbitrarily violating the rights of peaceful demonstrators in lawful assemblies.


Also make sure you have iCloud enabled so you can access the video later if your device is damaged or lost.


I think for non-Apple users Periscope allows to automatically stream and record an event right? No need to "finish" recording as it directly streams and saves it to their servers. Is that correct?


On Android you can configure it to automatically upload everything to Google Photos


On most Android phones after 3 fails the fingerprint is disabled. So touch it 3 times with your pinky or any finger that you didn't registered and that will do the trick.


> Cops may ask you not to record and even threaten you with arrest for recording. Do not be intimidated; it is your right to record without obstructing.

Better advice is to read the situation. Cops can make, and have made, people's lives very difficult, whether through legal harassment, false charges or bodily harm, and it is your word against a cop's when you go before a judge.


Not with video, though.


Phones can be confiscated or destroyed. Even if your video survives, it better have a clear shot of a crime and a clean chain of custody, because it's you versus a billion dollar union's team of lawyers.


>smashes your phone, then assaults you


I carry my insta 360 with me but dont' wear it. People can start wearing gopro if the want to record without being conspicuous.


I think I'll go buy gopro stock before their inevitable pivot to making inconspicuous body cams for people to wear every day.


yup, & perhaps Google Glass was merely a bit ahead of it's time and not quite the right product-market fit...

any one of these still need to automatically stream to a secure location


You can also press the power button five times rapidly and it goes into emergency mode. It makes a loud sound and calls 911 automatically after three seconds if you don't hit cancel. It also locks out FaceID.

So if you're under eminent attack this might be a better option. It's all configurable in setting though, so test it before you go protest.


All you have to hold is the power button to disable Touch ID. Adding the volume button does nothing additional on my iPhone 8.


You have to do power + volume down to get to that screen if you have a phone with no Touch ID (iPhone X and above). Just confirmed on mine.


It should work on iPhone 8. Perhaps you need to upgrade your iOS?

Pressing both should go into a mode where you can swipe to call emergency services or show your medical id if you have the feature.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208076


If told to stop recording, I'd be tempted to reply, "Sir, I am recording for your protection."

Note well: I have not actually tried this. IANAL, and this is not legal advice. Your mileage may vary.


Why? What do you hope to achieve other than to possibly inflame the situation? I can't possibly believe that you think the cop is going to think "gee, that's a good point citizen, please carry on".


It forces the cop to either admit that he's a bad guy (or at least crossing the line), or else to not cross the line. It makes it so he can't try to pretend to me that he's squeaky clean while actually doing dirty stuff.


I don't think you're modeling the cop very well. They're not going to be in a state to reason or debate with you, and the statement "for your protection" if not paid close attention to sounds vaguely like a threat.


If you say that, they might claim they took it as a threat and were scared for their lives and shot you.


I feel that way about body cameras. If the cops camera is not working then nothing he says should be taken at face value


Hold down the power button for newer Android builds and press "Lockdown".


I believe this might need to be enabled somewhere in the settings.


Correct. Go into settings, search for "lockdown" and enable. On my Pixel 3 XL, I can then hold down the power button and while holding it a menu comes up that includes the option to shut it down, reboot, lockdown, or emergency.


Correct; thanks to your advice and GP's, I found this under Settings->Lock screen->Secure lock settings->Show Lockdown option.


I think half of the police force should be 'armed' with nothing more than cameras.

Arrests are not necessary in the vast majority of situations police are called for, and recording technology is far superior to verbal testimony for serving our courts


Cops carry guns because the situation can always get out of hand. Violent criminals still exist in society.

EDIT: the ignorant people claiming average police officer does not deal with violent criminals have obviously never worked as a first responder. They deal with rape, suicide, murder, assault, domestic abuse, robbery, every week unless they're some small town cop in a gilded neighborhood.

The cops in St. Louis, Chicago, Baltimore, NYC, etc, see it every single day.

I hear a lot of suggestions by people have have never done the job. People making spurious claims about what police do and don't deal with on a daily basis.

I would never support female cops without firearms, for example. A grown man can easily overpower any woman, period. Especially when they are tweaked out on drugs.

Cops carry a gun because they have less than 6 seconds to respond to deadly situations that can save lives.


In what percentage of police dispatches do they arrive on scene while an armed suspect is still there? I would guess it's significantly lower than 50%

Sure, send armed cops to handle situations that force is likely to needed. But cops don't need guns to take down police reports. Rape victims don't need armed officers to take down police reports. Property crime victims don't need armed officers to take down police reports. Officers do not need to be armed to write speeding tickets or DUIs.

The primary role of police is observation, recording of facts and interacting with the community. 90+% of the time they spend serving society do not require force.

We could spend much less on police and have better trained cops when force is actually needed by not even considering arming the half of cops who respond to situations where force is unnecessary. The unarmed cops can cost less because they don't need firearms training and job would be less mentally taxing so they could be paid less: then, they can call in armed cops for the minority of situations where force is necessary.

Only give guns to the best cops: the bar to become a cop is way too low to continue arming all of them. I'd love to see a tiered system where cops have to be continually tested and trained to prove they should be entrusted with various levels of force: ex. Camera -> Authorization to use force in arrests -> Pepper Spray -> Stun Gun -> Firearms


Unless you can tell me ahead of time which police reports are going to end in violence, I suggest you reconsider your thinking. Sometimes something as innocent as a speeding ticket turns into a shooting.

Watch some episodes of actual police incidents. Drunk people can be armed. Domestically abused people can live in dangerous neighborhoods with gangs present. Sorry, a camera is not going to defend you from the Latin Kings.

Violent criminals do not care about your unicorn ideals. If they sense police are nerfed, they will fill that power vacuum with gang violence and drive out the police.

You tell me why Ciudad Juarez is one of the most dangerous cities in the world but El Paso, directly across the U.S.-Mexico border is relatively safe. That's policing.


> Watch some episodes of actual police incidents.

It sounds like your perspective is formed form viewing the TV show "Cops". This is not representative of reality.

106 police officers died while on duty in 2018 (of all causes, not just violence from public - 55 officers were feloniously killed while 51 died accidentally). 986 citizens were fatally shot by police in the same year.

Situations where police are able to survive only because they were able to quickdraw and shoot a criminal first like some sort of cowboy are vanishingly rare and possibly purely fantasy. Is trading the lives of a few hundred citizens worth saving the 0-2 cops in these rare situations per year?

Call in the cavalry when needed, but most cops do not need to be armed all the time.


"It sounds like your perspective is formed form viewing the TV show "Cops". This is not representative of reality."

That's a poor and unnecessary assumption. Just in the last handful of years there has been a proliferation of good quality bodycam footage that gives unprecedented insight into police encounters. It would be more charitable to ask where the commenter's perspective is coming from.

"Situations where police are able to survive only because they were able to quickdraw and shoot a criminal first like some sort of cowboy are vanishingly rare and possibly purely fantasy."

It sounds like you may be the one who needs some experience watching body cam footage and reading about incidents. Just off the top, here is a quick refutation of your "fantasy" statement (and there are many more like it):

https://www.bitchute.com/video/obyWX8Wojk6l/


No, I come from a family of first responders. Paramedics, firefighters and cops.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/12/27/police-deaths...

144 died in 2018. 96 already in 2020 and we're not half done.

https://www.odmp.org/search/year

986 citizens, of which 47 were un-armed. Twisting stats to feed your narrative won't change reality.

They're only vanishingly rare in the least dangerous neighborhoods, which incidentally need less policing than the most dangerous ones such as St. Louis, Memphis, and Baltimore.

Yes, armed people threatening innocent lives deserve to be shot and killed. You can't wait for the cavalry when someone is armed and dangerous. If you're police you are the cavalry.


> 986 citizens, of which 47 were un-armed. Twisting stats to feed your narrative won't change reality.

This argument baffles me. Do the Second and Fifth Amendments not exist? Possessing a firearm is not grounds for summary execution.


Come on, don't twist the facts. We can do better than that.

Today I received an email from Coursera advocating for a black transgender man who was "executed". Or, as it turned out, he killed a person and then pointed a gun at the police. Before that, he also posted his intentions on Facebook. Is that your hero?

Second amendment allows you to carry a weapon. You will be shot immediately when you point a gun at the police. Both statements are true and are not going to change. They do not contradict each other.

Which part of that do you disagree with?


You think that in every single one of the 939 remaining cases in which the victims were armed, they were using their weapons to threaten the police? I find it far more likely that in many of those cases, officers were unwilling to accept the risk that ostensibly comes with the job and simply opened fire when they realized the victim was armed. We know this happens; see for example Philando Castile.

By black trans man, I assume you’re referring to Tony McDade. The only account of his killing so far has come from the police themselves, who avoid accountability like the plague, so let’s begin by taking that with a massive shaker of salt.

But even if their account is true, the ideal outcome would have been for him to be arrested alive. Why is it too much to ask police to attempt to deescalate the situation before resorting to lethal force?


> You tell me why Ciudad Juarez is one of the most dangerous cities in the world but El Paso, directly across the U.S.-Mexico border is relatively safe. That's policing.

Lol, it's not because police are engaging in shoot-outs with the cartel. It's because we have a judicial system that will not stop going after you, and that is all done non-violently.


Mexico has a judicial system, too.


One that is very susceptible to bribery and threats. If you threaten a judge in the US, you're in for a world of hurt.


If you see some of my earlier responses. I’m definitely not pro-police and I don’t trust the “justice” system at all when it comes to minorities.

But, not even I would send cops out without guns with the prevalence of guns in America.


Plenty of departments in other countries do not carry guns and do their jobs just fine.


Don't bring a knife to a gun fight. The US is saturated with firearms so it would be foolish for the police not to carry. In the UK the situation used to be different and to a certain extent still is, the police used to be unarmed (are they still?). It should be noted however that the number of knife crimes there is high - people tend to use the weapons at hand. This has led to a call for a ban on pointy kitchen knives, as if that would change much (if anything).


"Saturated" is a poor description. Police definitely need guns available, but do they need them on their hip all the time? They often have shotguns in their cars because, sure, sometimes it's important. But they don't patrol with a shotgun in their hands. Guns aren't so prevalent as to need that.


Of course they need them on their person, having a gun in the trunk of the car does exactly nothing when confronted with a situation where having a gun can be the difference between life and death - that is some victim's life or that of the police officer. Do they always need to have them on their person? Probably not but there is a certain symbolic value in having armed police spread around society. The value here is that those who are intent on committing crimes can never assume that they will be safe from harm, no matter whether they are. The police is the long arm of the law whether you like it or not, the job can involve violent confrontations. It is a good thing to have police officers train in non-violent means of defusing situations and such is nearly always preferred over the violent alternative but the fact remains that sometimes violence is the only alternative - other than giving up and letting someone who is more violent take over.

In Sweden - where I live - there is a specific class of police called 'dialogpolis' (dialogue police). Their task is to use non-violent means to try to defuse situations, especially those around demonstrations and political manifestations. They are unarmed and wear civilian clothes but are recognisable by their yellow vests with the word 'dialogpolis' on the back. This part of the police corps was started after rioters and looters left large parts of the centre of Gothenburg in shambles in 2001 [1]. Dialogue police can only function in the presence of 'monologue police', i.e. the regular, uniformed and armed type. They are the carrot to the normal police's stick. The jury is still out on the effectiveness of this type of policing and they're often mentioned in a derogative way, partly due to the fact that they often seem to go too far in their attempts to ingratiate themselves with criminal gangs - grilling sausages and playing football does not seem to keep the gangs from committing violence.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EU_Summit_2001


> Do they always need to have them on their person? Probably not but there is a certain symbolic value in having armed police spread around society.

I’d argue the opposite. There’s negative symbolic value.


This is an argument activists have made for years in favor of gun control. The prevalence of guns in US society has made us objectively far less safe.


There are two things to this:

Compare the rate of gun-related crime in a country like Switzerland (where guns are readily available and many people have been trained to use them) with that in Germany (where guns are as rare as hens teeth among the non-criminal contingent of the population) and you'll notice that Switzerland does not suffer unduly under a wave of gun crime. Why not? What is it in Swiss society which makes it possible for people to have access to firearms, the training to use them yet the wherewithal to know when not to use them? Germany and Switzerland are neighbours, they mostly speak the same language, they're both affluent countries. What would Germany look like were firearms as widely spread as they are in Switzerland? Now compare the Swiss data to those in the USA and a clear difference shows. What is the difference between Swiss and American society which can explain this difference? Is it affluence? Switzerland is a rich country but so is the USA. Is it the fact that the difference between rich and less affluent is bigger in the USA than it is in Switzerland? Is it the amount of cultural diversity? The USA is a diverse country, Switzerland is largely homogeneous. Is is the overarching culture? Is it the difference in trust level? Switzerland is a high-trust country, the USA is not.

The other part on the gun control question is the age-old adage that in countries where guns are outlawed only outlaws have guns. They're not exactly hard to come by after all. It seems to work in a country like Japan but it probably takes Japanese culture as well as the physical lack of firearms on the island nation to pull this off.


Oh, yeah I think these comparisons actually are interesting. I'm not aware of any good studies about the root causes of gun violence in the US, but I'd be interested in reading them. My totally unsubstantiated guess would be that we have higher rates of mental illness, inequality, drug/alcohol abuse (which are mental/physical illnesses but important to call out separately) and access to firearms than almost every other western society.

> The other part on the gun control question is the age-old adage that in countries where guns are outlawed only outlaws have guns. They're not exactly hard to come by after all.

That's true, and it's also true that guns aren't the only horrible weapon you can use against someone. But that accepts the premise that a lot of gun violence is one person using a gun maliciously against another. While that does happen, in the US most gun deaths are either suicides or accidents.

And besides, while I'm sure it's not a problem for connected criminal enterprises to get guns, I'm confident we can create a system that would foil a kid amassing weapons for a school shooting. Degrees matter.


According to this, 25% of privately owned firearms are due to previous or active military service. Switzerland also has compulsory military service and you can't carry in public.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/switzerlan...


Isn’t most crime caused by poverty? I would suspect that a country that both has a functioning government and a reliable social safety net wouldn’t have as much crime as one that doesn’t.


Take a look at Sweden for an example of a country where poverty is more or less absent due to a wide social safety net while crime is on the rise. It is not poverty which causes gangs to go out and rob teenagers of their expensive branded jackets, iPhones and sneakers. Some turn to crime to get luxury items, some do it to dominate others (Denmark has created a specific category of 'dominance crime' for this phenomenon), some do it to gain street cred etc.


The number of defensive instances of gun use are at least equal to the number of criminal use (some studies say it dwarfs it but that's been questioned). If defensive is even 1 greater than offensive, wouldn't guns have made us net safer?

Edit: After thinking about it a bit more I can see how the average outcome is deadlier with guns regardless of who "wins"


Yeah, the situation isn't what most people would expect. Most gun deaths in the US are suicides and accidents. It's relatively rare that there's an actual gunfight.


I was once reading budgets for the NHS, and I had no idea why there was a line item for glass injuries. Apparently, smashing the bottom of a beer bottle and stabbing someone in the stomach is a popular activity in the UK.


That's not evidence that it could be done in the US.


Indeed. It might be evidence that there are simply way too many guns in the wild in the US; and that statistically, the likelihood of violent conflict is therefore higher in the US than in other countries.


Overall violent crime is not much higher in the US versus other developed nations. Various prominent cities in Europe have serious violent crime problems for example, such as London and Amsterdam. The Netherlands has a higher rate of crime than the US does, and their violence is a lot less lethal. The US rate of lethal violence is higher than its peers and the very easy access to guns is the problem:

https://www.vox.com/2015/8/27/9217163/america-guns-europe


Guns won't go away in the US during our lifetime though no matter what laws are passed or how people feel. It's too deeply embedded.


> the likelihood of violent conflict using a firearm is therefore higher

Violent conflict exists everywhere.


It's not proof but it is evidence


not that it's really an argument for or against but if you try to tell cops that they can't carry guns, they'll all just carry their own personal guns.


Plenty of departments in other countries do routinely carry guns, including in Italy, Spain, France and Germany. The first time I ever saw a submachine gun was at a train station in Germany, it was shocking to see cops walking around as routine so heavily armed like it was no big deal, despite an obvious lack of threat anywhere.

You have to solve both sides of the gun equation for a disarm to work in the US, because violent criminals have very easy access to guns here. If you remove guns from the cops without doing so on the otherside, you're going to unleash hell.


Specialist cops with machine guns were deployed at train stations and airports in case of a major terrorist attack after a couple of them took place across Europe, not to deal with "regular" crime, so the situation is very different.


Amsterdam, Schiphol airport, 1998. I did not see any more until after 2001.


If the system worked then you could argue that cops have a reasonable right to be armed. But the system is not working, and 10x people without guns are killed by cops, than are cops killed. Plus whenever a cop is actually killed, the entire system has their back, and justice is almost always served.

This is not the case for people without guns who are killed by cops. It's an acceptable loss that a few more cops are killed because we don't arm every single one of them, if it means that a lot more innocent people aren't killed by cops with an itchy trigger finger.

Sorry, cops. They've had decades of chances, and this past weekend proves that cops can't control themselves even when they're being called out by the thousands who are recording their behavior for all to see. So now they will have to earn the right to carry lethal weaponry.


Can you provide a citation for the 10x number? A quick search shows more like 0.4x, which is quite different.


From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_law_enforcement_office...:

> According to the FBI, which publishes the data in the Uniform Crime Reports, from 1980–2018, an average of 85 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed per year. Those killed in accidents in the line of duty are not included in that number.

From https://www.theroot.com/here-s-how-many-people-police-killed...:

> In all, there were 1,112 non-suicide-related deaths at the hands of police in 2019


How much of our police force deals with legitimate violent crime?

The vast majority of police do not need guns.

edit:

> hey deal with rape, suicide, murder, assault, domestic abuse, robbery, every week unless they're some small town cop in a gilded neighborhood.

Can you back this up? Statistics I've seen do not support your claim, and put violent crimes under 5% of police investigations.


How do you know before hand if a domestic violence case does not escalate out of hand? How would you access the danger or lack there of in a particular situation before walking into it?


Let's go with this. Every domestic violence case may turn violent - and, again just for the sake of argument, we'll assume that this requires the use of deadly force by the police, so we arm them with deadly weapons.

If those cases are extremely rare, and stats I've seen show they are, there is still no need for the weapon in the other cases. We can go ahead and disarm the other officers, and have a small portion maintain arms for potentially violent cases in your given scenario

Of course, I'd argue that you don't need deadly force even to deal with the majority of potentially violent crimes, but that's a separate matter.


This is like a turkey problem -- every day is a jolly day until thanksgiving comes, once a year.


DV cases are rare? On what planet? Police deal with DV cases continually.


Relatively rare.


If violent crimes are 4% of police investigations, then it still only requires 25 investigations per week for the parent sentence to be true.


How many interactions do police have in a week? If the number is 20 or more then 5% becomes a common occurrence.


OK? That doesn't matter. If the vast majority of crimes are not violent, it's not really important what the absolute numbers are. It could be 1,000 or 10, the point is that the majority of responders don't need deadly weapons.


95% is not “the vast majority”.

To put 5% in more extreme terms: would you play Russian roulette with a 20 chamber revolver and one bullet?

Each interaction for police is like pulling the trigger in that hypothetical game of Russian roulette. This is why the absolute numbers are actually very important.


Again, this is not absolute numbers. With the number 95% we can say that 95% of the time they do not need to bring a deadly weapon. It doesn't matter if that's still every day, it means 95% of the time it is not necessary.


> With the number 95% we can say that 95% of the time they do not need to bring a deadly weapon.

Well, no. 5% of interactions is frequent, especially for police. They need to be prepared for violent situations. That's a pretty core part of the job.

We can talk about deadly weapons being unnecessary for dealing with violent situations but your quoted numbers just don't support the conclusion you seem to be drawing.


if 95% doesn't qualify as "the vast majority" of anything then the phrase has no usefulness.


Would you use a hosting provider with 95% uptime? That’s 72 minutes of downtime per day. Would you describe them as being up "the vast majority" of the time?


According to 538, police interactions have been trending safer in urban areas but rural and suburban areas are becoming more dangerous. It may be the small town cop who is most dangerous, but the big city cop who is most visible.


> I would never support female cops without firearms, for example. A grown man can easily overpower any woman, period. Especially when they are tweaked out on drugs.

Uhhhhh, damn dude. Words kinda fail me here. As a male Marine, with several years practice in BJJ, I find your comment either offensive, or just plain stupid. I've had my ass kicked many, many times by female Marines. I had several MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Art Program) trainers who were female. For that job, you are required to win at full contact hand to hand combat with people bigger and stronger than you. Your comment is sexist for one, and ignorant for another. I have a few female friends who've read your comment, and would like to have a friendly roll with you, if you are game.


Cops typically carry guns, tasers, a knife, pepper spray, and a baton. Cops in patrol cars also have additional gear in the trunk. Maybe people react poorly to heavily-armed people trying to intimidate them? If we focus only on downside risk then eventually all scenarios require Robocop.


So should we carry guns for when cops get out of hand, and start acting like criminals? Your statement seems to suggest that the lives of cops are worth more than the lives of everyone else...


> suicide

Is this supposed to be a violent crime now? Cops should not even deal with the police.


> Cops should not even deal with the police.

Sorry, I meant that this should not be something that the police deals with.


They take a job to protect the community. That would seem they are accepting the danger that comes with the job, but for the low low price of a gun they are passing that danger on to you! Yay!

Right now, cops are legal bullies that we have to suffer under.


Bombs exist in society too. Should every officer be trained in defusing a bomb and walk around in a blast suit? No, because that's ridiculous and an uncommon situation. Just like the vast majority of police encounters don't require lethal weapons.


I like that idea.

It will cost more but what if we pair cops with non cop observers or participants? Like someone trained to talk with people and asses rather than just bust heads. Maybe it could even be volunteer sign a waiver and be a community observer? Or jury duty style even.

Then, if head busting is actually needed (and sadly occasionally it is, please don't be naive) the head buster is on hand. But it should be much rarer.

Something like balance of power in government to prevent one party from doing whatever it wants. That is what seems to be what is missing in police work. It's all one sided and few checks and balances.


Maybe you are using 'head busting' metaphorically, but no one needs to have their head actually busted, unless what they need is to be dead. In which case, the cop needs to kill them, with their bodycam on, so the inquest can be clean and proper (which is another issue entirely, sadly).

This idea that beating people is acceptable law enforcement procedure is ludicrous and part of the problem.


Yes metaphorically. I should have been more clear.

"Use of force" would be a more appropriate term.


They don't even need to be paired. The majority of police could be unarmed and armed cops are only dispatched for calls where necessity of force seems likely or when unarmed cops call for armed backup.

Considering how much is spent on weapons training, this would likely be a net cost reduction. "Camera cops" could probably be paid less because they would have less risk of being in violent situations, don't have mental anguish of making life or death decisions daily, and less animosity from the community.


How about a body cam system that automatically switches to RECORD whenever a weapon or tool is removed from the belt, and cannot be switched back to STANDBY until everything is back in its place?


Important to consider privacy around record retention, but I'd love if cops badges were like taxicabs: they are only on duty and supported by the force of law when the light is on and recording is in progress. Ideally, there would be 3+ cameras on the cops body to get a more complete perspective of situations.

Needs systems to limit access to any footage that is not concerning a criminal complaint, but existing cryptographic technology can make it so only the courts have access to the encryption keys if implemented with the right process and key management systems.


I like the reference to a camera as a weapon. It should be used with some discretion, especially by police.


It only takes one violent engagement for life to end. As long as #2A is there, you have to give cops firearms to protect themselves.


Semi off topic, but one thing that really bugs me about the dialogue around police is when people (especially authority figures) call non-police “civilians”. I get that you need a word for it, but “civilians” is a particularly poor choice.

The police ARE civilians. They are not military, nor are they subject to military justice or discipline, and their training and function in society is (whether they like it or not) entirely different. They are members of the community, not an occupying army.

This might seem like pedantry but it’s not: using the word civilian for non-police takes the militarization of the police as an unquestioned assumption.


Strongly agree. This is just one example of how police culture is toxic and likely un-fixable without dramatic changes to the entire concept of policing.


I haven't had a run in with the police in a long time. Based on a lot of the video footage I have been seeing revolving around these riots I would say the problem of police brutality is exceptionally larger than I was giving it credit for being not just a few weeks ago. I hold out hope that the majority of officers aren't like those I have seen in the media (left and right) committing acts of unprovoked, and unnecessary violence, but I am starting to loose some confidence in my conviction.

I have to be honest, I am not sure what the solution is here. On the whole, I think they need better training, but what that would look like.. I am afraid to say that topic is over my head.


I disagree with record; you should STREAM. Get it off the device so it can't be conveniently destroyed and deleted.


Stream, but remember anyone can send a DMCA take down request for the evidence, and big companies have law enforcement liaisons who would be more than happy to remove content at the behest of LE. Some platforms will remove any violent content uploaded by users, so with some rules lawyering from LE posing as another user, it can be taken down.


Would the government even have standing to file a DMCA takedown for anything? Anything the government creates is in the public domain meaning there’s no copyright to infringe.


They don't, but the assumption is that platforms will rubberstamp any LE request.


Any suggestions for such a setup?


ACLU has an app specifically for that, which uploads videos to them automatically.



Thanks for the recommendation! Didn't know about this.


Facebook live is an obvious example


Periscope I think as well.


A helpful resource for apps for recording: https://www.aclu.org/issues/criminal-law-reform/reforming-po...


Anyone have any good suggestions for android recorders? Preferably something which will start uploading somewhere (dropbox? A server of my choice via ssh?) ASAP


If you install the Dropbox app there's a setting that let's you autosync your DCIM folder with the cloud, beware the data cost if doing so outside of wifi. Also, you may not want this setting on 24/7 or one day you'll be shocked to see what Dropbox saved on your behalf.


SyncThing is a great alternative that syncs between your phone and any computer you install it on (instead of some company's servers).


Would there be demand for an app that streams low-bandwidth video to a ftp server or similar?


Let me install an ssh key and do it via sftp and I at least would buy it


OneDrive will sync your photos/videos - in my experience even deleted ones will get uploaded as long as there's a data connection.


Google photos has backup and sync too.


I haven't had a run-in with the police since I was in my twenties, but I think just for fun - I'm going to get a bodycam, a dashcam and a bunch of security cameras for my property.

You never know when they might come in handy.

Anyone have any general advice for building them yourself with a Pi or Arduino?


Don't build a dashcam yourself. Building batteries that don't fail in the heat of a car parked in the sun is a hard problem, as is the automatic saving when a crash occurs. Buy a dashcam with a proven reliable battery or capacitor.


There's a Pi distro just for this: https://github.com/ccrisan/motioneyeos

I recommend buying commercial IP cameras for outdoors.


My neighbor has some internet enabled ones.

He uses ifttt and their motion detection feature to text him when the cameras sense changes when he'e not in his home (well when his phone isn't at home anyway..).


I almost always wear a shirt with a pocket so I can record without it being obvious.


My layperson understanding is that there might be legal implications of the "without it being obvious" part. For example, I don't know whether that could be a problem in Massachusetts:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_call_recording_laws#...


That's for audio, not video. If you don't record the audio it wouldn't apply. If you do you shouldn't hide it to be safe.


I do not live in a 2 party consent state. I’m in Detroit, and thankfully I’ve never seen anything bad. But I have had some awful encounters pre cell phone video


"Why are you worried about surveillance if you have nothing to hide?"


You are probably being downvoted because of the oft-repeated argument in favor of surveillance of citizens by some form of authority.

However it's interesting how flipping that argument around would cause all sorts of discomfort by the very people who advocated it in the other direction. (Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that was in fact the point you were making.)


That was exactly my point. This is what people should tell the police in this situation. It didn't get across.


-Don't Talk to the Police-

Regent Law Professor James Duane gives us startling reasons why we should always exercise our 5th Amendment rights when questioned by government officials.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-7o9xYp7eE

http://www.olddominionbarassociation.com/Resources/Documents...


Does anyone know how a post with 200 comments and 230 upvotes published just 2 hours ago ends up on the 4th page?


Flags.


The NY ACLU app "stop and frisk" is now absent from the Play store. Any ideas?

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.nyclu.stop...


[flagged]


You should. They get harassed enough that, if you start recording an antifa protest, you'll probably catch a badly-behaved cop on camera.


[flagged]


> There is not very much standing between order and chaos, and after seeing much chaos, I choose order.

The problem is that the police are causing most of the chaos.

Looting has largely stopped in NYC, and all of the protests to which I've been have been entirely peaceful. But police still start beating and arresting people indiscriminately as soon as curfew starts — in some cases, even boxing protestors in so they can't leave before curfew. Most cops I see have their badge numbers covered. They are arresting people to whom curfew doesn't apply (such as delivery workers) and in places that curfew doesn't apply (such as people's own front stoops). They are threatening to take reporters' press badges for covering the assaults.


I respectfully disagree. I think the looters/insurgents are causing the chaos.


On the off chance you aren't just trolling: watch the video attached to the story this thread is about. Or watch a hundred similar videos.

There are looters/rioters. But there are countless videos showing police attacking peaceful protesters. These are people protesting police violence and the police are responding with violence. Do you think that will lead to more or less chaos?

Sometimes the violence bubbles up from the bottom, like in this case (but notice the signs of systemic problems: (1) cops stop and correct the behavior of the one cop whose first impulse is compassion, (2) The police release an official statement to exonerate the cops involved which the video prove is a lie. The problem in Buffalo isn't limited to one or two cops.)

Sometimes the violence comes from the top down, like in DC when cops were apparently ordered to violently clear peaceful protestors and bystanders from a public park and church yard (including the pastor of the church!), apparently for a brief, cringy photo-op.

Top to bottom, the problem is that cops believe they are above the law, morality, or even just basic decency.

I wish we could say "cops are on the side of order." That's their job, and the whole reason police exist. The huge problem here is that they so often are not.


Have you been out in any of these protests? I have. I'm not just repeating media coverage — I'm telling you what I've seen with my own two eyes, and what people whom I personally know have experienced.


Yes I have. Right in the thick of it. I've seen a lot of destruction at the hands of some very bad people.


There is ample public video evidence, available practically in real-time, that disproves this point. I think a slight effort on your part to look at the evidence would dissuade you.

There has been looting, but to imply that protestors are "causing chaos" is a dishonest comparison given all evidence publicly available.


footnipple never said that protesters are "causing chaos", there is a difference between looters and protesters, and there is A LOT of evidence online of looters taking advantage of the protesting.


When you take in the context that footnipple was replying to, my read is that they were implying a logical connection between the police arresting non-violent protestors and the looting / "insurgen[cy]" that is occurring.

Of course we can't really say either of us is right or wrong, because their statement inherently relied on bystanders inferring most of the meaning from context.

edit: footnipple replied in additional contexts that they've seen "a lot of destruction at the hands of some very bad people" when asked if they'd been in the protests, so I feel a little more confident that my read of the context was correct.


If there's even still looting in NYC, there's not much of it. Every single protest I've been to has been peaceful. The unprovoked assaults by the NYPD on those breaking curfew this entire week have happened during peaceful protests.


> If there's even still looting in NYC, there's not much of it.

Please, you need to look beyond NYC.

The riots/looting has been happening across the US. I agree that there have been peaceful protesting, but you cannot deny that there have been riots and looting across the US.

Some black businesses have also been affected by this.

There is no justification for it.


Well, how well did the peaceful protest and Kaepernick kneeling work out in affecting change and getting noticed? Companies that wouldn’t go near BLM with a ten foot pole are actively supporting it.

I have White friends who were mostly silent before but are now actively publicly supporting racial justice causes. I’m not saying they were anti Black justice causes before they just weren’t aware of how bad it was. It didn’t hit them viscerally, their only Black friends were the few high income households that lived in their neighborhoods and in their social circles.

Just like I was never as an adult against LGBTQ rights. I just didn’t care either way. It just wasn’t on my radar until a few years ago.


I'm not claiming there is no looting anywhere. But why should we expect that other police departments treat peaceful protestors any less violently? Do you think the NYPD is just especially sadistic?


Do you have an examples of looting or rioting that was not a direct response to police brutality? There may be some examples, but every example I can think of in my lifetime was in direct response to illegal, violent acts by the police.

Maybe some fringe elements of the Iraq war protests are an exception.


Insurgents? Really? I think bigfoot is causing the chaos.


Not sure about Bigfoot, but yes, this is a fairly well funded and organized insurgency. Most definitely.


OK, let's nail this down. Who are the insurgents, and what is their goal?


I'm not sure what internet you've been on these last few days but it's a different one to the one I've been on.


You're welcome to think that, but the facts disagree. See all the video for proof :)


Or you could, you know, protest police brutality and misconduct and support police reform. Respect the reality that police are public servants, accountable to us, whose job is to keep us safe, and who have been endowed with great powers to do that job. The second they stop doing that job, they become incredibly dangerous because of those powers.

I've always been amazed at the law and order, respect my rights, follow the Constitution types seem to have so much trust and demand so little accountability from the single greatest threat to those rights, the police.


How do you support police reform? The majority of the people aren’t affected by police misconduct. It mostly affects minorities. If a politician goes against the police, not only will they be seen as “weak on crime”, they piss off a quasi-military force that is known to harass and threaten politicians who go against them. A large part of the population see the police as their protection against those “thugs” in the inner city.


Ok but it's a pretty hard job and mistakes are unavoidable just like with any job.

I'm pretty fine here, when I make a code mistake I can fix it, and I'm paid so much more than a cop.

I suppose that would be a good reason for me to bitch about cops in general right ?

At least, that's what it seems when I read comments on hn the last days.


The problem is that cops (and prosecutors and judges) protect each other from accountability. If you saw your co-worker hit a pedestrian because they made a mistake driving would you lie for your co-worker and say that the pedestrian jumped out in front of the car? I hope not. Likewise, if you saw your co-worker intentionally hit someone with their car would you lie to protect them? If you did, that would make both of you bad, even though you never hit anyone with your car. That's what people are protesting: the fact that police can brutalize people without consequence.


Because it's a hard job that doesn't pay well we should expect mediocrity? And mediocre is probably a good outcome, considering that bad policing often ends in death. Being president or a member of Congress is a hard job, yet we expect, rightfully so, a damn good job done, or we find someone else. Sure we should pay them better, and I suspect salary increases would be plentiful if you took them out of the military equipment fund they all seem to have.

The police unquestionably have a hard job, and are granted immense powers to do it. We all know what comes with great power. But if the single group of people endowed with the authority to deny you your rights is not held to the highest of standards, can anyone be surprised that so many are having their rights, and even their lives, taken from them?


What makes you think we should expect mediocrity ? Just because a few cases here and there make the front page of tabloids ?

How exactly do you plan to absolutely eliminate any mistake from policing ?

You know, what we explain to antivaxx people, is that the benefits largely outweight the inconvenience, that's just basic pragmatism.


No one expects perfection. Obviously. No one said anything about no mistakes. You pulled that out of nowhere. The issue is accountability for those mistakes. Of which there is not enough. Hence the current protests. What incentive do police have when they investigate themselves and there are no consequences, or slaps on the wrists, transfers to other departments, etc? You would at least get fired for repeatedly shipping buggy code and showing no desire to change it. Except in the case of the police, it would be like your boss investigating the bugs, agreeing with you that they are not in fact bugs, and saying good job, you did what you were supposed to.

No other job functions this way. Why do we let the profession with the power to use deadly force function this way?


Seems extremely disingenuous to label it as "...a few cases here and there make the front page of tabloids..."


I'm kind of unsure of your point here. If you make a coding mistake, you fix it, and you move on. Presumably, that mistake didn't kill anyone.

Kneeling on someone's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds is not a mistake. Shooting someone in their own home after you serve a no-knock warrant is not a mistake. Shoving an old man to the ground and walking past his bleeding body is not a mistake. Even if the officer didn't intend to kill someone, someone is now dead.

If we trust police with the authority over life and death (and really, I don't think we should), we should at least hold them to the highest and strictest standards of conduct.


Look at it this way, what would you think of a development team that shipped bugs to production and had...no code reviews...no unit tests...no bug tracking system?

And every time they shipped a bug someone died?

You might be inclined to improve the process, right?

I won't belabor the analogy. Campaign Zero has a great summary of the policy changes that can help: https://www.joincampaignzero.org/solutions


Why do so many people need to be so extreme? Zero is impossible.

If you want to make the development argument, then you should know that bugs are unavoidable. Even from the best developers in the world. No amount of code reviews, tests, or processes will change that.

Can you reduce? Of course. By a really large amount? Probably. But "zero" is an impossible goal. The statement "We can live in a world where the police don't kill people" just makes you look dumb and naive.

8cantwait.org at least has a realistic number backed by studies.


Norway manage it: https://www.businessinsider.com/norway-america-police-killin...

Zero is the only reasonable target. Every death should be treated as a process and policy failure. Every death should lead to an improvement.

It will be a long way to get there, but as JFK said, we do these things not because they are easy.


A country with minimal diversity that's less than 2% the population of the US. A country whose largest city has an extremely lower population density than US cities (10x less than NYC, 7x less than LA). You can't just cherry pick data and think it's applicable.


Stop. Think. You're making a "perfect is the enemy of the good" argument which ultimately supports police brutality and systemic racism.

(I'll also point out that 8cantwait.org is a Campaign Zero project. Thank you for linking it.)


Do you truly think that there are zero cases where a police officer firing a gun is justified?


My dude, that ain’t even remotely why people are out in the streets. You’re sitting on the sidelines confused why everyone is shouting.


I have no idea what you're saying with this comment.

I said that we should take actions that have been shown to improve the situation. 8canwait.org goes over many of them, and I'm sure there are lots of other actions we can take as well.

Zero is impossible without a perfect populous. It is the enemy of 8canwait (and I know, it was created by people who think zero is possible).

Someone saying "zero is possible" makes it seem like they don't understand the situation enough to have a real conversation about it.


Explicit in your original question "Why do so many people need to be so extreme?" is the presumption that standing against police brutality is an extreme position to have. It preserves the status quo. It preserves a world where literal Nazis are accepted as "very fine people".

To answer your question directly, to address systemic racism in America we need to shift the Overton window of discourse. That _requires_ dissemination of values and ideas which many consider radical or unthinkable.

Beyond that, to say someone is dumb and naive because they don't think cops should be allowed to kill people is callous and ignorant when you consider blacks are three times more likely to be killed by police than whites. [https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/]

"Zero is impossible" is implicitly saying, "Cops should be allowed to kill people." Easy to say when it's not your community in the crosshairs.


These are not "mistakes". The police are unwilling to disambiguate between peaceful protesters and looters. I live in NYC, where looting has largely stopped and every single protest I've been to has been peaceful — yet police begin indiscriminately assaulting protesters as soon as curfew ends, and threatening reporters who dare document it.


Similarly, if you find the actions of the drug cartels reprehensible, you should join them and change them from within. /s


Yeah, because false equivalence is not a thing. Police are funded by the public for the public.


If you find actions of criminals, you should join them and change them from within, or join the police and fight them.

What's the difference exactly ?


Thin Blue Line is a myth. A symptom of people who have fallen victim to mean world syndrome.


Ha! If you're anywhere near Chicago, I might be able to get you on a ride along when things quiet down. It'll change you...


Chicago is a big city. Maybe some neighborhoods require heavily armed police for many calls. Maybe other neighborhoods do not. Try to use some imagination here. Police officers keep beating and killing unarmed citizens. We need solutions not excuses.


Sweet! Can you get me signed photos from the Skullcap Crew?!

tehjoker 31 days ago [flagged]

Thank you for the advice footnipple. Soon I will be able to beat innocent protestors and minorities with impunity like a god fearing American. Definitely, the police force is a place where an individual can make a difference and is not an institutional force so ferocious that even the mayors are afraid of them.


Please don't take HN threads further into flamewar, regardless of how strongly you dislike or disagree with what someone else said. That comment being heavily downvoted is an indication that a lot of community members don't agree with it, but they didn't then proceed to break the site guidelines.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

Edit: it looks like you've been using this site primarily for political battle. We ban accounts that do that, because it destroys what HN is supposed to be for. Some political overlap [1] is inevitable and fine, as long as people stick to the guidelines, but when an account switches into the mode of primarily [2] doing political argument here, rather than curious conversation, we ban it. We have to, because fulfilling the mandate of this place requires that it not burn itself to a crisp [3].

[1] https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&qu...

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

[3] https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&qu...


The OP came from theverge. You might as well post things from politico or the thehill and tell people the same thing. Being disingenuous part of the mandate, or is that just the moderators?


Afraid I'm not following you here.




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