Apparently Camden, NJ did a version of this in 2013 with a fair amount of success: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-04/how-camde...
That's not necessarily a bad thing! A big problem with existing departments is decades of corruption, poor leadership, and entrenched policies. Tearing the department down and rebuilding it from scratch—even if you end up with a similar size as before—gives you the opportunity to remove the excesses/abuse. You can also do things like hiring more specialized positions and firing all the bad officers (because if the department is gone, the union can't protect them).
This is underappreciated. It's hard to seriously change organizations in less than a decade when employees have long tenures.
Opinions and behaviors are only truly malleable at the beginning of careers, and later change is fighting against the inertia of old timers' "Let me tell you how it's done."
Which isn't only negative. Esprit de corps is what holds together people doing tough jobs for long careers.
But if you want to say "No more of that. Now we're doing this" then a rebuild isn't a bad idea.
A simple first step would be to maintain a national level open registry of fired cops and bad behavior reports. At minimum, if a cop gets fired, then he can't go to the next county and get a job
This is the kind of baby steps solution that is completely not the answer even if it's part of a solution for one of the problems. This is systemic and with strong opposing forces (current police officers and their unions, as one example), you can't believe that a database of bad cops would be enough if they aren't even being fired for the abuses being committed right now, if there is already a system of protecting bad police officers why do you believe that they simply wouldn't fire or prosecute even less abuses to avoid a harsher punishment?
I've not researched enough to delineate a step-by-step process of dissolution of the police but there are enough parallels in history and similar experiences to be studied.
The little I've read about seem to include that previous police officers can re-apply but would need to go through the new revamped hiring process. Such hiring process would be defined by citizens' organisations, experts, human rights organisations and so on. There is enough scientific knowledge in that, there are enough police services in the world that use them, it's a matter of shaking the status quo and removing the old roots that US policing stems from.
This can't be achieved by steps if the roots of it are deeply rotten, you gotta understand that.
All cops nationally would be required to have a license from this organization in order to do some "reserved acts", like arresting someone, using force, firing a taser, etc. Any complaint about cops would be evaluated by this organization, and could result in the suspension / revocation of their license. There would be a strong emphasis on deontology, and the organization's explicit mission would be to protect the public.
This would probably have a similar effect overall to what you're describing, but it'd be more of a whitelist than a blacklist.
Let's not pretend we didn't just see 57 police officers resign from a volunteer position because two of their own were caught on camera pushing a 75-year old man to the ground and held accountable because "just following orders".
And if they didn't carry guns nor drive unmarked cars. Police should be seen and they should be seen interacting positively with the community, not patrolling in a gradient of (un)identifiable vehicles.
Unfortunately, there are now so many care workers that many people with issues are getting fed up with all the people that come to their house for all kinds of help (think a care worker for finance, one for mental issues,one for physical issues,one to help the person get back to work, one for the kids etc. etc.)
So if there will be a shift from 'police as is', to more like a care worker system, this would be something to consider.
But other than that, it seems to work well. The police is considered your friend. They pretty know each of the people that have issues or who ever committed crime.
They continue to offer help to them,but will make sure they also get off the streets when they become a potential threat.
There continues to be a lot of criticism from certain groups within our country that wants the police act tougher, but I think the majority of people are happy with how the police does it's job here.
I'm fairly happy with Dutch police. They're visible and approachable. They're not perfect; there was a case in the 1990s where they cracked down unreasonably hard on a peaceful student protest. And in that case, it turned out that many of those cops were indeed looking forward to a fight, which is a dangerous and harmful attitude. Those instances are fairly rare, though.
I was thinking more of this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIwrdriLiZc
(It's surprisingly hard to find anything online about events before 2004. This was all over the news at the time, but now it looks like it never happened. My quality newspaper lacks proper archive functionality for searching more than a year ago. Search engines and Youtube have never heard of this, frequently returning 0 results.)
This is a tangent, there also seems to be way, way less paperwork in routine police work in the Netherlands than in America.
How would you ask a police officer to react to a criminal brandishing or firing a gun in public or at him?
How would you ask detectives to work cases against gang leaders if they cannot conceal their identity?
Either police officers need to be trained as social workers and mental health professionals, or part of their work needs to be taken over by those that have that training.
> And if they didn't carry guns nor drive unmarked cars.
Every country has unmarked cop cars in use alongside high visibility marked cars. Every country has armed officers in addition to unarmed officers.
Given the US has liberal gun laws, how would that even work? It's shortsighted & reactionary unless you want people who are already in dangerous situations to be lambs led to the slaughter because you'd like to think you live in a unicorn reality.
... from Latin politia "civil administration," from Greek polis "city"
I couldn't agree more. I think there's an appropriate ratio of police/population, though I don't think I'm even remotely qualified to speak on that subject. But when I think about the "police/prosecutorial/prison-industrial complex", I can't help but hope that the only real path to a long-term solution is actually giving a shit and genuinely wanting to help people get better, vs "justice".
Assault, battery, theft, etc., by a police officer is inherently worse than that by an ordinary citizen. They have abused the immense power, privilege, and trust of their position and there should commensurate consequences.
There needs to be a neutral third party to assess risk, because all of the current stakeholders are biased (executive government, judicial government, community organizers, police unions).
I have a slightly different take on this, and to be clear, seeing that video was absolutely shocking and made me feel nauseous and even light-headed.
The officers were part of a unit that was specially trained by FEMA to do exactly what they did;
> "The unit’s training is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA’s, Field Force Operations course. It’s a three-day training which covers skills including baton-holding positions, mass-arrest procedures, and riot-control formations, according to the website." 
Suspending the officers is deflecting the blame from where it really lies. The state (politicians) deployed that team to do exactly what they did, and knew or should have known that people would be hurt as a result of those tactics.
I guess you could imagine some sort of active riot scenarios where people are under attack by a mob, and where those tactics are specifically necessary to essentially rescue hostages..., but the situation they were actually deployed into was not remotely that from what I understand.
I think of it this way. When we look back at Tienanmen Square, do we blame the person driving the one tank at the front of the column, or do acknowledge that every driver in every tank was not strong enough to refuse to follow those orders, but ultimately the leaders of the regime are to blame.
That's why I think making the story about the officers is actually missing the point, and further blaming the other 57 officers who resigned doubly-so. The officers are resigning because they are being hung out to dry to take the blame for the leader's mistakes. I was hoping to see the "57 officers resign" story used to pivot the blame onto the police and political leadership rather than reinforcing the notion that the blame is just on bad actors / bad apples.
There are systemic issues with the system, and this is a perfect example of where officers are being trained to act in exactly the wrong way, and then being deployed inappropriately. These weren't rogue officers. The criminal case to charge is not so much assault by an individual officer, but reckless endangerment by the people who made the decision to deploy an aggressive riot control team out into the general populace.
 - https://cdp.dhs.gov/find-training/course/PER-200
Both. It's the whole "just following orders" thing. It's not an excuse. You (the officers) know for a fact that it's wrong to push a 75-year old man down to the ground like they did. You don't need anybody to tell you that, and no training manual is going to tell you that it's ok or not ok to do so.
The 57 officers resigning, good. They aren't quality police officers that we need on a police force. It doesn't matter what training tells you - and if they can't see that, then good riddance. There are plenty of people out there who can make fine police officers.
Disbanding and replacing a PD eliminates the old police union contracts.
Those lopsided contracts are at the root of the impunity and violence we've seen over the past week.
Many cities have made extraordinary contractual concessions, including:
- Secrecy clauses. Officer Bob might have 31 excessive force complaints against him, but the city is contractually forbidden from making that information public, or in some cases even retaining the records after X months.
- Arbitration for firing. Those clauses can be shockingly strong. The Philadelphia PD fired an officer for having Nazi tattoos. They were forced to reinstate him after arbitration. https://twitter.com/dburbach/status/1269638494466514955
Those clauses and more often add up to police that are effectively unfireable and therefore not under meaningful civilian control. Witness the head of a NYC police union taunting the mayor and openly flaunting the Right to Know Act / announcing that officers will be covering up their badge numbers.
Camden got a start fresh with no pre-existing police contract. For many cities, that's potentially worth a lot.
I'm a paramedic. If I harmed a patient once (let along 31 times), my card would get revoked and that would be that. A cop, meanwhile, is likely to face no consequences at all, and in the absolute "worst" case scenario, they would just get a job in the next town over.
You're conflating allegations of harm vs harmed. Given your position is just assisting the person and not enforcing the law(which the person does not want the cop to do against them), you are magnitudes less likely to have allegations made against you.
Allegations aren't an objective historical fact. They can and are used to spite.
Apples and oranges.
> Officer Bob might have 31 excessive force complaints against him
A complaint is an allegation. It's not a confirmed incidence of bad behaviour.
Using Chauvin as example (17 complaints), From WAPO:
> A summary of the complaints against Chauvin posted by the department offers no information on why they were filed, and police declined to comment on the nature of the cases. Sixteen of the complaints were closed without discipline. The remaining complaint resulted in two letters of reprimand against Chauvin, according to the summary.
2. Police are some of our best paid public servants.
If you fire tons of bad cops and you want good cops, you're going to have to hire them.
Poor people hurt the most, while rich and upper middle class likely never has to call the police
No one is saying stop solving crimes. Minneapolis may disband their police department, and get out of the union contract. But they aren't going to stop solving crimes. The lack of crimes being solved currently is explicitly mentioned as a reason for disbanding current police department, and looking for smarter solutions.
So, you end up with stupid posturing shit, like having two units sit in their cars with lights flashing, stationary, in one mostly-empty parking lot a night, like SCPD does by the Chili's on El Camino near Lawrence.
There is so much about America that is worth preserving. One easy example right off the top of my head is the law and culture that enables people to peacefully demonstrate like they are today. Even discussing the idea of doing this in many countries could get you killed - or worse! That's another amazing thing (again, just off the top of my head), in America the worst punishment we have is death, and even that is outlawed in many places. The idea of an internment camp is not even considered.
Freedom of expression is one of those things that I'd prefer to keep, but we can see that it is stronger on paper than in practice. In practice, if you gather in the capital city to bring your grievances to the government, unidentifiable mercenaries will gas you. And if you are a journalist reporting in front of your local police station some cop will shoot you in the head with "non-lethal" rubber ball, leaving you without eyes, or teeth.
It is the institutions of American that need to be dismantled, because are an implementation that doesn't reflect the founding ideals of our country.
What's the point in calling them 'human rights' if they only apply to Americans. The US Bill of Rights does not make any reference to citizenship or legal immigration status in the 6th or 8th amendments (which seem particularly relevant). Not to mention you still need due process to prove the person does not have legal immigration status in the first place.
There isn't really any ambiguity here, unless the law specifically targets citizens or people with a valid legal immigration status the law protects illegal immigrants as well.
I'm not very well versed in US law but it's my understanding you can't shoot a man down in the street for jaywalking because he's a criminal and thus not protected by the law.
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
The word 'comment' doesn't appear in your comment, but that's still what it is.
You should read up on who's in these camps. Most are asylum seekers. Applying for asylum is legally recognized under the Geneva Convention. Hell, I just watched a documentary where an asylum seeker was asked to come to the Tijuana/SD border for his asylum interview, thrown into detention ICE, and then transferred from one center to another before finally being deported a year later. He was imprisoned for asking for asylum, not being in the US illegally.
Applying for asylum is legally recognized under the Geneva Convention
People on HN thrown "Geneva Convention!" (sic) around like it's a magic amulet. There are multiple conventions with multiple articles, and the USA isn't even a signatory to all of them. When people argue random Geneva Conventions nexus for some element of policy without stating a specific Convention and Article, assume that they're bullshitting you. It's like a lazy Support rep saying, "it's in the manual... somewhere."
The tile is What Happened to a Dream Deferred. During the QandA the director told us how she had to get involved because the subject that applied for asylum was arrested at the interview. Then moved through many detention camps. This is done so their immigration lawyers can't find them and represent them during the hearings. I found this to be really shocking.
Do you have a citation on that? I don't think that's true. ICE detains a lot of people here legally, including citizens.
Regardless, ICE should be obeying international laws for human rights, which they are not.
It seems to me that ICE is meant to intimidate entire groups of people regardless of their citizenship or legal status.
You also missed Trump musing on the idea of Muslim internment camps, so "not even considered" is a long bow. We might also include "kids in cages" while we're at it.
There are plenty other worse countries, but this seems like a rather low standard for a victory lap ("Freer than China! Less repressive than Belarus!").
If you compare that right to any other country in the West, it doesn't look so peaceful and free.
"Scores of videos in the last week show police brutally beating regular citizens who have assembled peacefully."
Those are two different groups of people.
I would suggest living in a third or second world country without outside support. I had your same mindset, and did that for a few years. I could not wait to come back.
East Berlin used to be second World, but many of my American friends moved there because they were tired sick of being harassed by their own country brutality and would never go back.
Even many African countries are safer than the US if you are black.
On the other side, one of the most annoying kind of tourist you can find in my city, which is Rome in Italy, are Americans.
They lack the basic notions about "respecting others cultures and habits"
There's a lot to learn and improve by looking at how other countries solve their problems.
This was also the topic of Michael Moore's Where To Invade Next. Instead of taking other countries' oil, the US should take other countries' ideas, and Moore had a couple of suggestions for interesting ideas from other countries, like school lunches from France, prison system from Norway, etc.
For example, municipal government and school boards. Yes they can go bad. But as the protestors in Minneapolis are showing, the city is extremely responsive because it is local.
If there was a similar protest in Birmingham (UK), I can’t imagine the city disbanding the police department under any circumstances.
It might result in parliament taking action. But the idea of independent municipal government is very lacking.
Municipal governments in England are very much subordinate to Parliament.
There’s a reason Blair was so pathetically and stupidly pro-American. America actually has a lot to offer.
I'm proud of my America, even if it does have warts (some of them ugly.) I have confidence we'll get better in the future.
And I guess I could say the same about every country in Africa. NOTHING WORTH PRESERVING. Oh look suddenly people have their eyes bulging out.
It’s possible the PD will be rebuilt in a nicer form, but that’s not guaranteed.
It’s just as likely the PD will be absorbed into the County Sheriff.
Is the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office better?
They're very highly compensated too.
Probably, at least in the case of the specific precinct that killed George Floyd.
> One officer kicked a handcuffed suspect in the face, leaving his jaw in pieces. Officers beat and pistol-whipped a suspect in a parking lot on suspicion of low-level drug charges. Others harassed residents of a south Minneapolis housing project as they headed to work, and allowed prostitution suspects to touch their genitals for several minutes before arresting them in vice stings.
> These and more substantiated incidents, detailed in court records and police reports, help explain a saying often used by fellow cops to describe the style of policing practiced in the Third: There’s the way that the Minneapolis Police Department does things, and then there’s the way they do it “in Threes.”
I'll be very interested in how this works out for them and how similar the new solution ends up being to the old one. I suspect it won't be as different as many commenters are suggesting.
Have they released any details about how they expect the new solution to be different?
> He led the city’s high-profile pivot to community policing from 2013 until last year and oversaw what turned out to be a steep decline in crime. Homicides in Camden reached 67 in 2012; the figure for 2019 was 25.
I'm not familiar with Camden or the reforms, so maybe there are other metrics by which things have improved. However, "top 0.2% of American cities in terms of per capita crime rate" is an awfully condemning statistic.
That's significant improvement. Waiting until you can "solve crime" seems unproductive.
Also, "Most software at Google gets rewritten every few years." https://arxiv.org/pdf/1702.01715.pdf
That's hardly point in favor, given Google's "reputation" for long-term support and stability, and the sheer amount of engineers that they can throw at literally every problem.
There's a consensus against pointless rewrites, but that's different.
Fascinating parenthetical. Sounds like they dissolved the city PD organization and expanded the county PD. I don't know what Minneapolis plans here.
Yep, sure seems like a success story....
> Homicides in Camden reached 67 in 2012; the figure for 2019 was 25.
yes, I would call almost a 2/3rds reduction in homicides a success
Corruption came back, but in the meantime, a lot of operation efficiency was lost.
Swapping out a police department is much like swapping out a dev team - you are losing a LOT of tribal knowledge, and you have few guarantees that the new dev team won't make their own, potentially different, mistakes. They also lack experience in the domain.
How? Is Minneapolis also disbanding it's entire civil beaurcracy? Is Minneapolis also blacklisting the current police from other jobs? Are they letting the current police take home any equipment they currently have access to?
Your Ukraine comparison is slightly better, but "corruption came back" doesn't address whether the move was beneficial or not. Nobody expects the result of disbanding the police to be a perfect racism free police force.
The removal of one public official is nothing like the deBaath party decision. Acting like there is a possibility this situation mirrors Iraq is ridiculous.
I argued at the time the the "corporate death penalty" was the only appropriate remedy for the Equifax breach: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_dissolution
Over free pitchers of beer the undergrads are regaled with tales of hazing and wild parties...giving them the template to start shit all over again.
Additionally, "lack of institutional control" often means someone loses their career because of something done by someone else that took great pains to hide their malfeasance.
This leads me to think that there are some objective metrics by which a police department's performance can be measured. For a department to have 1,700 untested rape kits (vs. nearly 2500 rapes reported in 2019) seems outrageous, even if it represents a low percentage of total reported. Why wouldn't a police department ensure that every reported rape with evidence collected is properly followed up? They say many or all of these kits were misplaced, which simply leads to more questions about procedures, policies, and internal discipline.
It seems that a standardized approach to department evaluation and oversight is needed. Corporations employ internal accounting personnel, external auditing personnel, and then submit to audits by the IRS. If there were a similar approach to oversight for police departments, with data made transparent as it is for public companies, perhaps most those 1,700 women would have justice.
Go investigate this for yourself if you don't believe me, but there are good and difficult reasons why very few rape cases go to prosecution. It's not a US problem or a Minneapolis problem, the same things are found throughout the world.
Core problem: a huge number of rape allegations are false compared to other crimes. It all starts from there. In anonymous interviews police will normally claim about 50% are false. There have been academic studies that reach similar numbers. There are also a lot of rather motivated studies that try to claim it's much lower, but when you dig into the methodology there are usually big problems and it's clear they've started with a pre-determined conclusion.
So how can a PD end up with 1,700 untested rape kits? Easy. A woman walks in and claims she's been raped. The police administer a kit. They also do a bit of investigation, probe her testimony a bit. She changes her story and renounces the claim. This happens all the time, it's an extremely frequent way for these cases to end. There are even pie chart breakdowns in some of these studies for the top reasons for renouncing an allegation, for example, it's often a tactic used as part of a fight, when the couple make up she goes and admits it wasn't true. Or the claims fall apart under investigation and she admits she was lying.
So the police shelve the kit. It's not worth sending it off to the lab when the claimant already did something that ensures no successful prosecution will ever occur. At the same time it's evidence so they don't destroy it.
One day someone finds the big pile of untested rape kits and goes crazy. OMG evidence of institutional sexism at the police, how can this be justified. Some police manager looks at the data for the reasons and decides "the kits are untested because we think 1,700 women lied to us" isn't going to go down well and doesn't want to start that argument, because a whole lot of very angry people, wrongly and delusionally, believe women never lie about rape. So they come out with this nonsense about them being "misplaced" and hope it'll blow over.
Low rape clearance rates are mentioned in the article as evidence of poor performance at this PD, but it's a bit vague as to what they mean. What you see though is that this particular crime has very low clearance and prosecution rates globally. When people drilled into loss rates at different parts of the case pipeline, they found there are no easy answers and no ways to change things beyond the obvious one of relaxing standards of proof to make it easier to put men in jail.
The city budget funds the police, which funds the union, and they donate their money to the attorney general, mayor, and city council members. Often when they don't get the budget they demand, police will openly retaliate against local businesses and residents who did not support their budget.
Police unions are the modern day mob, and they are the reason why reform hasn't budged in this country for decades.
This is a totally uncalled for generalization. That aside, most of the items you've listed work against the policies that police abolitionists are fighting for. Here's a good explanation: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/59ead8f9692ebee25b72f...
The police use body cameras for real-time facial recognition of the policed . It 100% has, and explicitly is, a negative effect. It was a right of center “reform” on the police that did nothing but further expand the power (and future of abuse of power) of our policing institutions.
this doesn't improve safety it causes a feedback loop where the person targeted will struggle to move to a normal life.
What attitude is that exactly? Some semblance of a code of ethics? I think you are drastically underplaying the "random con" of a realtime facial recognition surveillance network of body and CCTV cameras.
People have to be confronted with the use cases of the technology they build prior to building it. Ignorance, naivety, and a post-hoc "I didn't know it would be use as such" is just ethical negligence.
As others have said, once you lose institutional control, and the mayor and the police chief have both effective said that they have lost this, than small reform don't matter.
Plus Minneapolis PD has a strong reputation as one of the most corruption in the nation.
TL;DR When a cop is fired there are several safety nets that can reinstate them. If I remember right, the union reinstates ~45% of fired officers. Neither the Chief nor the mayor have the LEGAL power to even fire bad actors in the police department. They literally cannot do anything about the problem within the law.
This does not mean that other things should not also be done.
I beleive getting rid of / modifing the police unions would be beneficial. Fixing the whole qualified immunity issue would also be good. But I also think police need representatives to protect them from false accusations or from being railroaded. Maybe that is from a union or maybe its from something else.
If you actually think body cams help, ask yourself why Derek Chauvin felt comfortable murdering George Floyd in broad daylight while being filmed.
How do you think what's happening will differ from what you're suggesting?
- What happens when an officer fails the pysch eval? Are they fired?
- Who oversees the corruption reporting? How do you know they are not corrupt too? They surely can't be part of the police dept.
- Reduce/eliminate drug penalties: The problem is racism where drugs are often used as the excuse. Why is there no racism training in your list? Or de-escalation training?
> Unfortunately, the greater group of protesters is incapable of understanding nuanced policy or democratic change.
This is extremely rude and invalidating of large efforts put forward by the protesters to look at all options, think outside the box, and make real change. Some protesters have even been re-writing the police and city budgets themselves to see how things might turn out.
If an officer's bodycam is turned off and there is a confrontation, the officer should be assumed guilty in any dispute. It should be the officer's responsibility to ensure their bodycam works, just as it is the officer's responsibility to ensure their gun works.
I think bodycams themselves are fantastic tools—but like most technology, they cannot by themselves fix a human problem.
From a legal perspective, I think a cop without a body cam should be given the exact same rights as a private citizen, including around the use of force. The right to use force comes with responsibilities, like having a body camera.
And when standing in court as a private citizen, a body cam which just happened to get turned off at the exact time of the incident should be viewed with extreme suspicion. Not proof in itself, but a very serious black mark.
I would expect affirmative defenses to be fairly common in trials involving police; there's typically not a lot of argument around whether an officer assaulted/killed someone, just over whether the use of force was authorized.
That being said, I would be more in favor of changing jury instructions to indicate that the lack of body cam footage can be seen as an incriminating factor. Not that it 100% means that they are guilty, but that it can be considered suspicious circumstantial evidence. Much in the same way that you cannot be compelled to self-incriminate, but that juries are allowed to interpret invoking the 5th amendment as incriminating.
They made a low-effort post of ill-advised, out-of-touch suggestions and ended with lobbing direct insults at huge swaths of people.
1. End qualified immunity
2. Curtail the power of police unions
3. We need fewer laws
I don't think I could agree harder with this. It sounds like the "disband the police" movement is an elaborate implementation of #2. Now we just need #1 and #3.
If a situation warrants firearms, it should at least warrant a radio call to the station for armed backup.
I think we need people trained in non-violent intervention who can offer long-term solutions to the problems these people are experiencing. Why not just replace a patrolman with a social worker who can call the actual police should the situation escalate?
Twitter has been the greatest tool to expose the news industry and journalists for what they are. Propagandists and political activists with an agenda.
That said, I agree with those recommendations. I'll add one more. Police departments should almost exclusively hire from the communities they "serve" and/or require police officers to live in the community that they "serve".
Statistics I've read suggest that US cities have been getting progressively safer over the past generation. It's interesting to wonder if our generation of safety has allowed us to forget that "order" and "justice" are not intrinsic qualities of humanity (nor any other animal group). Looking forward to seeing how Minneapolis will go about delivering consistent justice with no bad actors enforcing it. Will also be interesting to see which types of law breakers emerge as the winner from decimation of their traditional adversary.
– G. Michael Hopf
Weak is not always bad. I don’t want “supposedly strong men” being so trigger happy , their happy dropping nukes on civilian because they couldn’t let go of their “strong” ego.
I did not come up with the phrasing of the quote. That being said, I'm fairly certain you are taking "weak" and "strong" more literally than the quotee intended.
Statistically, the chances the police in Minneapolis were going to catch someone who committed a crime against you are low. Using the 2011-2013 data from the FBI's crime report  (not cherry picked, it was the first available I could find, would love more up to date data), about 36% of murders were cleared. Property crimes are far worse, about 13%. So for murder, there is a 1 in 3 chance you got caught. For property crimes, roughly 1 in 8.
That's not a huge rate of getting criminals off the street. I don't know how criminals perceive the risk/benefit of those odds, and whether the drop will have a substantial impact.
My wild ass guess is that it won't shift the crime rate by an order of magnitude. I would be surprised if it doubled. I would expect the murder rate to stay nearly constant, and for property crimes to increase 30-50%. Broadly speaking, I would expect the number of people committing crimes to stay close to the same (maybe a slight increase), but the number of crimes per criminal to go up. There's still a finite limit to the number of houses you can rob in a day, though. Your chances of getting caught before were 1 in 8, even if there is no police, it only has a few percent to drop before we start hitting the bottom in the form of the percentage of burglars shot by homeowners.
Not sure what you specifically mean by petty theft, but maybe the answer is to just not steal. People need to accept personal responsibility for their actions.
"Righteousness" has a way of blinding people to the abusiveness of their actions.
"Let me invent some moral principle to be violated, and when violated, permits me to abuse another however I wish."
911 call -> Dispatch unarmed City employee, typically a social worker, who specializes in the relevant situation, population or neighborhood.
Goal is to assist the individuals involved, to be compassionate instead of punitive, to get to the root cause of the issue.
There is still some kind of armed security backup for the social worker’s protection in situations that do escalate.
The violent US model of presuming crime is about "saving innocents" is dramatically at odds with the US's exceptional mental health crisis -- which forms the basis of most of its community policing issues.
The lack of universal healthcare around mental health is a catastrophe. It's remarkable how tolerant US society is to overwhelming amounts of untreated mental health problems.
Yes, "saving innocents" is the whole point of policing.
Part of the context of that has to be a pretty systemic UK-wide issue affecting public institutions where child-abuse was ignored. It's not clear that heavy-handed policing, in that context, would lead to a different result. It certainly wouldn't in many high profile cases, where police had been strongly encouraged to ignore the issue.
For the UK, class is the defining structural issue, not race. Journalists and the police have typically protected and respected the upper-middle.
That's interacting here with a police oversight in an usual way
As we have seen, more than a few of them work in law enforcement.
Shootings are a very real and somewhat regular occurrence in the US. Here in Germany, it's literally not an issue people worry about. When was the last time you saw a gun anywhere in Germany? The majority of Germans would probably say in the holster of a policeman or possibly someone they know is a registered hunter.
Indubitably, the crazy amount of guns coupled with a tendency to romanticize them leads to policemen being more on edge and willing to pull the trigger -- because worst case, you have an armed loon in front of you that might just shoot first. The initially suggested idea of sending an unarmed civil service guy to de-escalate some situation sounds great in theory, but honestly I wouldn't want to be the guy trying to talk sense into an armed loon.
The fact that the above poster estimates there to be a thousand rightful shootings for every wrong one should really warrant the question of why there are a thousand shootings in the first place. That is not the norm.
There was a shooting in February https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanau_shootings. Germany is also in the top 25 per capita for civilian gun ownership http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/fileadmin/docs/T-Briefing-Pap...
Perhaps consider reading "how to lie with statistics".
55 of those were against unarmed people, and a further 29 were against people with toy weapons. So 84 of those were undeniably wrong.
334 shootings were against people fleeing the scene of a crime (by foot, car or other). I can't see any way that shooting someone fleeing the scene of a crime is not a wrong shooting. Perhaps legally, it is allowed, but I find that hard to morally justify.
200 of those shootings were people with mental illness, and I would question whether the police approach of shouting commands and waving guns exacerbated the situation. I will concede, though, that being mentally ill doesn't automatically make it a wrong shooting.
173 of those shootings were against people with knives. I would frankly expect police to have better solutions than shooting someone with a knife. Again, I can't say how many they could have resolved peacefully because I'm not going to read all the reports, but that seems high.
This is all to say, I think 100 rightful shootings per wrong shooting is high. Even if we only count unarmed or toy weapons as unjustified shootings, it's far closer to 10 rightful shootings per wrong shooting.
> 55 of those were against unarmed people, and a further 29 were against people with toy weapons. So 84 of those were undeniably wrong.
What makes you believe that these were all undeniably wrong? Are you operating under some sort of Wild West moral code where you can't shoot an unarmed person? Reality is not a movie. If somebody twice your size is choking you to death, would you pray for a gun to stop them with, or say "he doesn't have a weapon so I'm not allowed to shoot him because reasons, guess I'll just die then"? I'm baffled that people continue to repeat this nonsensical thinking constantly.
People who have toy weapons and are shot by police are frequently shot because they did a very convincing job of making the toy look like a functional firearm and handling it as if it is real and they intend to shoot the officer with it. Could be suicide-by-cop or being stupid and assuming the cops will back off if they act scary enough, hard to say. Many imitation firearms are difficult to tell apart from the real thing even up close and calm in good lighting. If somebody is acting like they want to kill you and pulling what looks like a gun, you would be foolish to second-guess whether it is real, and you will be too slow and will likely be shot if it is real if you take the time to wonder.
Some of the people who are completely unarmed are also shot for similar reasons. Someone may not actually have a gun, but if, on a traffic stop, they stop suddenly in an unexpected place, dash out of the car while staying low and moving towards cover while trying to pull something out of your pants, you would be foolish to assume they don't have a gun.
Many situations similar to these can be and are de-escalated by skilled officers. Sadly, some situations are just hopeless, and some officers are not as skilled or patient as they could be.
Note also the reverse: If shooting someone who is unarmed is always wrong, no matter what they were doing at the time, is shooting someone who is armed always right? The police do encounter many armed individuals, and often manage to resolve the situation without shooting them. The situation and what the suspect is doing is what matters for justification, not what they are armed with.
> 334 shootings were against people fleeing the scene of a crime (by foot, car or other). I can't see any way that shooting someone fleeing the scene of a crime is not a wrong shooting. Perhaps legally, it is allowed, but I find that hard to morally justify.
Usually the legal standard is something like the police can only fire a gun at a "fleeing felon" if they can justify that his continuing to be at-large is a serious danger to the community. Sounds all right to me. I haven't reviewed all of those cases, but I'd bet that most of them are a lot more justified than you are imagining.
> 200 of those shootings were people with mental illness, and I would question whether the police approach of shouting commands and waving guns exacerbated the situation. I will concede, though, that being mentally ill doesn't automatically make it a wrong shooting.
Yup. I'm not a mental illness expert. Maybe some more cases could be successfully talked down by somebody with more skill. A lot of cases already are though, but they don't make it into these numbers. It would be nice if we could help everybody with mental illnesses in a better way, but unfortunately, some of them are just completely off the deep end, doing terrible things, and can only be stopped with lethal force.
> 173 of those shootings were against people with knives. I would frankly expect police to have better solutions than shooting someone with a knife. Again, I can't say how many they could have resolved peacefully because I'm not going to read all the reports, but that seems high.
You would expect wrong. I think you better watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Upxfo_jBrDE There's a bunch more that show the same idea.
It's been tested a great many times that an attacker with a knife can close roughly 21' of distance and still stab a defender with a holstered handgun before the defender can draw and fire at the attacker. Note that the linked video considers the defense a "success" if the defender is able to get a round off at the attacker before getting hit with the knife, but guns are not death rays, and an attacker who has been shot, even multiple times, can still stab you to death before they have to stop or slow down.
> This is all to say, I think 100 rightful shootings per wrong shooting is high. Even if we only count unarmed or toy weapons as unjustified shootings, it's far closer to 10 rightful shootings per wrong shooting.
100 or higher is likely to be closer to reality for any reasonable definition of justified. Unless you do silly things like make blanket assumptions that any shooting of an unarmed person is unjustified.
I'm particularly worried that if this was voted on prematurely - before they were ready to deploy their new solution - that there might be some retaliation from the existing PD until the decision takes effect.
I'm also worried that "comminity-lead" implies a more political law enforcement organization. After all, sometimes what is "right" is not what is "popular" and I would hope that an officer is more concerned with the former.
I'm from Minneapolis. This was necessary because the MPD has been out of control for a long time, but I too am curious what the actual plans for replacement are, or if this is just a restructuring.
Why is this so relevant now? We all see technology making advancements that are beginning to eliminate the need of human labor, a development that is majorly significant for those who subscribe to these theories. Recently, Andrew Yang's campaign focused on this merely factual development, bringing the idea to the forefront as a national discussion (this was extremely prescient and needed). Anarchists and communists start from this observation and conclude that eventually mankind's needs will be met without man himself exerting any labor.
In this view, once technology ensures all of mankind's material needs are satisfied, man will be left to engage in leisure and the creation and enjoyment of culture, art and literature, in a final utopian mode of life called "Full Communism". In this final state, the theorists envision no nations, no borders, no private property, no needed labor, and no "tyranny" of any man over another. That is, the goal of this final state is that no one individual will have any authority over another individual: here no man is a king and every man is a king. This is their conception of "freedom" and thus anything apart from this is "tyranny".
The theory is rooted in idealism, refusing to settle for the world as it is, but insisting on the world as it, in their view, could or should be. Subscribers to these theories adopt almost these exact words for themselves as a badge of honor or rallying cry. The practical problem with all of this is the inconvenient fact that, no matter the year and no matter the environment, man collectively refuses to act as they imagine he does. There remains perpetually some variable the theory cannot account for.
The theoretical problem with all this is an incorrect conception of authority. Nature abhors a vacuum; it happens to be likewise with authority. Eliminating the police does not eliminate authority. Because man seeks power, there is always someone who will take charge; the only question is whether those not in power have any right to recourse. Without an organisation that has a monopoly on the legitimate employment of violence (ie, the police), whichever group (in their terminology: "affinity group") is the most violent is the de facto authority. The theorists involved see nothing about the current system distinct from Hobbes' suggestion regarding pre-society, "In the state of nature profit is the measure of right". They think we are in that state of nature and the status quo forces have just happened to have, as a gang, clawed their way to the top. Believing the current system is nothing more than the outworking of an arbitrary thrashing-about, meant to impose arbitrary will, they see nothing wrong with eliminating it and beginning an even more scrappy and perpetually incomplete process.
By centralizing the police force, USA might end up might an entire state police force supporting a leader with autocratic tendencies, like what is currently happening in India.
Degree of police centralisation is similar between India and Australia. India does have city police departments, but they form part of and are subordinate to the state police, rather than being independent agencies like in the US–as such, the state governments exert more control over them than local governments. And Australian state police forces have local divisions too (Police Districts, Area Commands, etc).
Rather than India's police corruption problems being due to police centralisation, I think they are likely due to India's broader corruption problems, whose causes are much more complicated than anything merely to do with the organisation of its police services.
All other portions of government have cross-checks to stop people breaking the law. The police don't, and cover for one another.
There needs to be an organization that has clear and direct incentive to prosecute abuses by the police, that doesn't have a century+ long tradition of violence, selective enforcement, racism, and murder.
(Inspectors General exist for for every federal agency)
There also has to be new crimes of negligence for things like 'body cam turned off' or 'records suddenly missing' and so on.
(Also, separately from the LECC, there is also an Inspector of the LECC, whose job is to investigate misconduct by the LECC themselves.)
We even have a saying “counties are merely agents of the state.”
This is a Midwestern thing. The south has strong, independent counties.
The moral is that States, counties, and municipalities aren’t just “levels.”
In my state, there really is no state government above the county level (outside the state Capitol that is.)
There is an exception for law enforcement: we have state troopers and state department of investigation.
Neither are a substitute for local police.
This is very, very rare.
More frequently, we have county Sheriffs, not police. And their duties are quite distinct; only recently have they come to resemble police.
Shrievalty is more concerned with the functioning of the courts: sometimes holding suspects before trial (and maintaining jail facilites), ensuring the security and order of the court, protecting jury members from violent coercion, capturing fugitives, etc.
Patrolling and "preventative" enforcement is not a traditional role for the Sheriff.
For example, Polk County Sheriff (Florida) seems to be busy arresting people for DUI – https://tampa.cbslocal.com/2020/06/06/sheriff-grady-judd-54-...
Sacramento County Sheriff's (Calfornia) has a homicide bureau – https://www.sacsheriff.com/Pages/Organization/CID/Homicide.a...
Erie County Sheriff (New York) has a drug squad which regularly carries out undercover buy operations – https://www2.erie.gov/sheriff/index.php?q=narcotics-unit
Washington County Sheriff (Oregon) has a traffic safety unit – https://www.co.washington.or.us/Sheriff/FightingCrime/Patrol...
Many US counties have unincorporated areas, in which county sheriffs have full police patrol responsibilities. Often, that authority also extends to incorporated areas (villages/towns/smaller cities) which are too small to have their own police departments and rely on the county for all policing functions.
But I think that the distinction is still important as we talk about abolishing police.
Police, as an institution, are very new. Much newer than Sheriffs.
Is that historically accurate? Pretty much, yes. The modern concept of a police force only began in the 19th century, and at first they only existed in larger cities.
As separate police forces were established, Sheriffs began to perform less policing functions, and yield more of that jurisdiction to the newly established police forces. But, in many rural parts of the US, county sheriffs are the only local law enforcement, performing all police functions, and the same was true 150 years ago. The innovation of separate police forces never arrived in underpopulated rural areas.
So I think the history is the opposite of what you think–sheriffs performing general policing functions actually used to be more common than it is now.
> But if you want to say "No more of that. Now we're doing this" then a rebuild isn't a bad idea.
I just hope they have the foresight to put concrete measures that will deter Police from going back to the way things were, Andrew Yang proposed a bonus that departments gets pulled on the entire department if they get complaints of police abuse, therefore giving other officers the incentive to not put up with the 'blue shield' BS narrative that leads to corruption and violence.
I don't think its over until thus applies to the entire US police departments. I have not participated in these demonstrations, but I will play my part, too.
He says no to the abolition of the PD, not defunding.
Some more references:
Many (most?) of its current responsibilities and funding can be given to social workers, traffic wardens, and other people not armed with guns, but that doesn't obviate the need for officers of the government to enforce the law. Laws can change and become less strict, but we will always need some form of police.
The goal of disbanding the police is so that you can rebuild it from the ground up. It does not mean 'no police ever', it means clearing out the weeds by the roots so that they don't choke the new trees you're trying to plant.
But how would that work in practice? What happens in the interim? Does another PD take over temporarily? Are any members of the old police force allowed to re-join the new one? What happens to cases currently under investigation?
I saw a comment that said that Camden, NJ disbanded its PD and the county PD expanded into the city, so I guess that's one option.
In Canada, if a city's police service is disbanded, I think the provincial police service (if there is one) or federal police will automatically take over. In Ontario, that would be the Ontario Provincial Police, but most of the country is policed by the federal RCMP (Canada has a single criminal code).
Sorry to be cynical, just the experience of a police officer in a place where social services are funded far, far better than the US - police don't want to deal with mental health all the time, but being the agency of last resort makes it very easy to abdicate responsibility to.
I read the article and Twitter threads. They don't explain it.
It's a mistake to assume that police abolition means pacifism. It's also a mistake to assume the use of violence means policing.
That change was on the back of a much larger, much broader set of changes brought in as a result of Good Friday Agreement in 98:
> Issues relating to sovereignty, civil and cultural rights, decommissioning of weapons, demilitarisation, justice and policing were central to the agreement.
> A model for this is the PSNI in Northern Ireland
> Seems to be working given that there’s been 19 years of peace over there.