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Git Repo of Police Brutality During the 2020 George Floyd Protests (github.com)
475 points by Glench 10 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 229 comments





If you think there's missing context, submit a pull request with a link?

Here in philly, police insisted they tear gassed protestors because they were in imminent danger. Two weeks later, they failed to find any evidence to support that, despite many camera angles. Finally issued an apology. Turns out the other side of the story was actually the same as the protestors' side; they just didn't want to admit it.


Missing context implies that their failure to provide it was an oversight. There was not even an attempt at providing context here, because doing so would be unpopular.

With cops wearing body cams, that evidence should be abundant. Its absence is telling.

Collecting evidence is pretty much job #1 for the police. Without that, they can't establish guilt of the accused.

When dozens of cops were involved in a beatdown and not a single one can produce a shred of evidence, we assume that the protesters were innocent.


> Collecting evidence is pretty much job #1 for the police.

Excellent point. If denial / lack of evidence is the SoP for any Police Department, what are they even doing? Defense Lawyers would barely have to work for their pay.


It's just called "spoliation of evidence." The evidence is contrary to police claims, so they are destroying it. It's fine. We the people have backups for them now. No hiding it now.

I was referring to the lack of mention of data on violent acts committed by protestors.

The number of comments in here that ask for additional/richer data and are being flagged is supremely concerning.

I understand that this is a hot issue with very polarized sides, but in what kinds of circumstances is having more data bad, except to intentionally support bias?

Please understand that my question is only to understand why, in the context of accumulating data, is trying to obtain more/better data NOT a good thing?

I do not wish to debate what is already being said in the many comments already, so if it helps to change the context of the data in question in order to discuss, that sounds like a good idea to me.


I think context is good and we should be wary of videos that have been edited to remove critical information.

However, there is such a large corpus of evidence against the police in these protests, I have to wonder if the people asking for more context are doing so in good faith, or rather to argue for the innocence of the police. Having been personally on the receiving end of police violence during these protests, it bothers me that anyone could look at this wealth of videos and see anything other than a clear pattern of institutional violence being wielded against those who are in opposition to just such violence.


One thing that comes to my mind (note: I do not support this view) but I am trying to put myself into the opposite party's shoes:

- Listing videos of police brutality during protests without also listing videos of protestors brutally attacking the police perhaps creates a dissonance to the counter party?

I think there have been a few incidents were cops were attacked but they are far and few between, but listing those would help clear the accussation of hypocrisy.

Furthermore, I personally think that we should separate police brutality videos in normal civic life (before the protests began) to gather evidence of systemic violence vs. the enraged/emotionally outraged protests that both sides were not willing to concede. I categorize them as different.


I really doubt there's more than a handful of instances in which protesters use violence against the police in a context that's not self-defense.

The constant request for more and more "context" is textbook Sealioning [1]. When faced with an overwhelming video evidence of misconduct, the only viable way to deny it is to endlessly seek out some kind of magical exculpatory "missing context". That's pretty the only way misconduct-deniers can sow doubt at this point. It's bad faith argument and disheartening to see here on HN.

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sealioning


Unless it's true. Look at any court case for example. If you only heard one side you'd think that side was obviously right.

Your argument is the essence of "sea-lioning" itself. There is indisputably a tremendously large dataset of unassailable evidence (video, cross-referenced personal accounts, audio), things we consider meeting our "beyond a reasonable doubt" in the court of law. And, yet, here you are, saying "maybe we don't have all the facts." At what point are you simply wrong? Never?

While it's true that there is tremendous data of many events of police overreach--corroborated by many sources--certainly not all events in this data set are corroborated. How many? We can't know without enriched data.

Given that this is a resource for events of police brutality, it should be no surprise that contributors are likely to be biased to report events favorable to the assertion of brutality. The general premise asked, "what wrong thing was done to you/your people?" which is likely to result in emotionally biased response. If it was a dataset of reports of interactions between two different ant colonies, for example, the general bias is likely to be significantly lower.

If the goal is to understand the relationship between a population and their police, then obtaining data from both sides would be ideal. Of course, that's not what this data set is, which is why some people are raising concern of bias. As a data set, it's use is limited to support one aggrieved side. This is not much different from training ML models on, say, only Caucasian faces: it may work if the intent is to recognize or generate Caucasian faces, but it is by no means general purpose. As such, it seems reasonable to question the fitness and intent of this data set.

No data set is perfect, and we'll never have "all the facts." But I don't think upholding inherently-prone-to-bias data as "good enough" is a reasonable response to questions about its bias. We cannot achieve perfection, but that doesn't justify denial of bias in the data.

On the matter of "sea-lioning", I've never heard the term before, and I'm not sure if I've ever been exposed to this type of trolling because to recognize it would require me to be able to read minds. However, I understand the forum guidelines charge us to assume the best interpretation of any comment, so I am disinclined to assume that people here asking for more data are trolling. The essence of claiming "sea-lioning" appears, at least at face value, to be an alternative to saying "I don't have to explain myself to you" while maintaining the illusion of taking the high road.

People have brought up the very reasonable concern that the data is extremely prone to bias, and those people are being silenced. It seems this is because it's not a popular idea to challenge the aggrieved party, not because the data is somehow unbiased and they're asking for something unreasonable. This seems unusual for an otherwise truth-seeking community.

Perhaps I am wrong, and I recognize everyone has their own bias and not everyone always acts in good faith. I have just come to expect more from this community than what I've seen in these comments. It seems good faith is not assumed in many cases among these many conversations.


If people want more data, why don't they go get it themselves? Then they could supply it to the rest of us here and tell us what they learned.

The people who built this Github repo voluntarily spent their own time and effort to do so. The people here on HN who think the repo is incomplete can do exactly the same thing if they want to--put in some effort--and thereby address the concerns that they themselves raised.

I generally object to comments here that demand more info, more citations, or complain there might be something missing. How about: do your own work.

"Self-starters teaching themselves what they need to know" is an idea that finds powerful agreement here on HN when it comes to developing software. Somehow, though, on other topics, there sometimes appears a group of commenters who seem more inclined to sit back, complain, and demand answers from everyone else.

I will say that it has occurred to me that demands for more data might not always be in good faith. It has occurred to me that such open-ended questioning might be a convenient way to undermine conclusions that contradict personal beliefs--while avoiding direct conflict over the substance.


> ...in the context of accumulating data, is trying to obtain more/better data NOT a good thing?

Depends if ALL data is collected or ONLY data that supports certain viewpoints.


Here's a thought I've had recently: it might be worthwhile to have a page, perhaps linked to from the topic's comment page, that shows all flagged comments for said topic. People would not be able to reply to these comments, but everyone would be able to read them. I'm not sure if it has any merit or not, but it's just an idea.

You can see them if you turn on showdead, BTW.

Oh, thanks very much!

You're welcome, glad to help!

Well organized and useful resource.

Edit: Oh nice, there are backups of videos as well, and there's even an ipfs source.


Resubmitted as per this comment from a moderator: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23401418

thanks for getting this out there

There is a similar site for the spanish violence against the catalan referendum of 2017: https://spanishpolice.github.io/

In that case, unfortunately, the videos are only stored on youtube and twitter, so you cannot backup them easily just by cloning the repo.


I really worry about videos being lost, almost feels like someone should do an archive every so often and put it up as torrents that many people can help backup. Just a thought


These contributors should partner with https://raheem.ai which is trying to make it easier and less intimidating to report instances of police misconduct.

As a person that makes decisions based on data, rather than emotions, it would be interesting to see a comparison of the volume of such incidents on both sides. Is there a similar repo of the looting and violence committed by protesters? I think that would give a more accurate picture of all of this. We would then know if the police brutality incidents paled in comparison to violence/looting by the public, or vice versa.

> Is there a similar repo of the looting and violence committed by protesters?

Does it matter? They're being investigated and prosecuted regardless[1], because they're criminals. We expect police to behave better than criminals.

Society is always going to have some crime, and we will continue to investigate and prosecute it. But there should be zero tolerance for crimes by cops. Otherwise we can't trust them, and everyone becomes less safe.

1. https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/18/21295301/philadelphia-pro...


Does it matter?

Where crimes, such as burglary and assault, are being committed, police will generally be called upon to act. A subset of those responses will involve police violence. One would hope that such police violence only occurs in self defense, but we know that to not always be the case. So yes, the two things are mathematically correlated. One drives the other. It would be interesting to be able to tell what the incidence rate is, rather than just seeing a group of cherry-picked incidents designed with the sole intent of satisfying the public's appetite for a specific narrative.


It’s one thing to say “given there will be crime, and some criminals are violent, cops may have to be violent sometimes to stop criminals”. That’s a pretty bloodless analysis.

Let’s get to the fun part: “if cops perceive someone to be a criminal, how violent will we allow them to be, relative to how violent the perceived criminal is?”

In the case of the cops assaulting that vigil for Elijah McClain (it was a peaceful gathering with people listening to a couple violin players) I’d argue that the cops were perpetrating violence at a level about 100x relative to the people they were trying to police (even if you consider that folks may have been “yelling mean things” at them).

Personally, I would consider 1.1x acceptable, maybe 1.5x in some situations. And so every time I see cops blowing through that threshold and being even 5x or 10x more violent than the people they’re policing, I perceive that as a massive injustice, I think those cops should get fired, and I get pretty angry.


Serious question: do you think that police officers should have to accept themselves to getting hurt as part of their job? Meaning, that it's actually an expectation the public has of police officers that they will get hurt if someone is fighting with them. To me, that seems like the inevitable consequence of not quickly taking control using decisive force. That's the issue I think exists with 1:1.1 response. It doesn't stop the unlawful behavior. No?

We can talk about that when they get down to like, 3x to 5x force.

Right now we are seeing video after video of cops tear gassing civilians for throwing empty water bottles at them, running over civilians using SUVs for "refusing to disperse" and knocking out old folks who are going "Hey man, what if this is a bad idea though?".

The ratio right now is so high, the kinds of conversations you may want to have aren't even relevant.


You seem to be misconstruing people's condemnation of the police use of force. The condemnation is due to the police not responding with force appropriately.

My interpretation is that the majority of people are simply responding to the trend of police responding with extreme violence more and more readily in situations which absolutely do not require it.


Yes, obviously? Of course they are going to get hurt doing their job. A lot of their job involves performing odd manuevers in traffic, for example. Do you have a suggestion for how to do policework without police officers ever having to accept the possibility of getting hurt?

Much of the evidence we're seeing has absolutely nothing to do with "getting hurt as part of their job". At the most extreme, there are cases of bean bags and rubber bullets fired at people filming the police from inside their own homes though closed windows.

I would say that "quickly taking control using decisive force" is part of the problem, this approach is often escalating problems instead of deescalating them.

I see what you mean.

So if you find that the ratio R of protestor violence PV over police brutality PB is over 1 or some other arbitrary constant you think we should just allow police brutality?

This is the most insidious justification of police brutality I’ve ever seen, here or elsewhere, even if it’s unintentional. It takes a position that police brutality and rioting/looting are two sides of the same coin and that we can (or should) only address whichever one is worse by some numeric calculation.

Who cares what the RATIO of cop violence vs protestor violence?

Do you know why we don’t need the “other side “of this? It’s because the police already do this on the other side. They are free to make arrests using their own evidence, including their own eyewitness, their own body cameras, their own dash cameras, and any CCTV they get access to. Some even use these videos!

Police are arresting protestors like crazy, thousands in the last month alone.

You know who else is documenting all the violence and looting caused by protesters? Every news outlet, it’s the only protest related content they bother to show because it’s the only part of the protest that’s interesting to watch for most people.

The purpose of this database is to collect and display evidence so that violent police can be arrested and charged. Violent protestors are usually arrested immediately, many are picked up later at home and a small handful of organizers are assassinated in the years following (see Ferguson)

We don’t need any help stopping protestor violence, we need help stopping police violence.


One difference being that the public does not, to my knowledge, pay six figure pensions to protestors (If they do, I might consider a change of career).

And, if caught, protestors are being held legally accountable (as well they should), while police officers, even after egregious misconduct, often get reinstated:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/police-in-misconduct-cases...


> it would be interesting to see a comparison of the volume of such incidents on both sides

This "both sides" framing is irrational. If criminals perform a number of bank robberies does that mean police officers should be allowed to perform a similar number of bank robberies? Of course not, that would be absurd and missing the whole point of a police force.


People here won't have it. They want to believe the Mainstream media narrative, and it hurts their feels too much to consider there might be another side to this whole mess. Of course they will blame police once crime rates multiplies in all the democratic-run cities. It's blind loyalty, dogma, a secular religion.

> both sides

On one side you have police brutalizing journalists and shooting people in the face. On the other side you have not people getting brutalized by the police. Fair and balanced, I'm sure. Or do you think that shooting people in the face is the appropriate police response to property damage?


Is this repo limited to police violence against journalists? I didn't pick up on that if it is.

> Is this repo limited to police violence against journalists?

No, but it does _include_ it. Is it your opinion that only journalists should not be shot in the face? What are your feelings re: knees on necks for 8 minutes and 46 seconds with hands in pockets looking around like nothing's wrong even though the guy with the neck went completely unresponsive minutes before the knee moved? Maybe we should ask how many police necks George Floyd put his knee on.


I don't think any human, regardless of who they are, should be committing violence against any other human. You, and whoever else is downvoting this, are acting is if my comment is pro-police. It is not. It is pro-data.

How can any reasonably intelligent person be against fact-based decision making?


No, it's just enlightened centrism. Where one put two things that shouldn't be compared against each other, and then dismiss the core issue by saying "see, both sides are just as bad".

The middle-ground between two arbitrary positions is the truth. For example the optimal society is in the middle of fascism and monarchy...NOT!

No, you are saying that until you see other data that refutes this repo you will refuse to make a decision either way.

Every link in that repo needs to also be archived as a video file into that repo, to protect against link rot.

how can this amount of video footage be backed up?

Is it really that much?

Is there a torrent going?

I think at the very least the title should be Git Repo of Alleged Police Brutality During the 2020 George Floyd Protests.

Like another commenter downthread, I spent some time looking through incident reports in my own State, and found some of them to either be simply unsubstantiated claims, or videos of police reasonably appearing to be doing the very dangerous job of managing a riot.

There are valid concerns of the validity and objectivity of many of these alleged incident reports. By commingling the few truly reprehensible actions with objectively necessary riot control, the site loses its objectivity and fairness, and does harm to its intended goal. In Reddit parlance, it becomes a circle jerk.

I think the fundamental problem with many of these incidents is that the provocation of rioting has been used, not in all cases but certainly in many, to incite a police response which is then filmed and condemned as if unprovoked or unnecessary.

The vast majority of police are heroes. And every community depends on their police to provide a mission critical service. The ability of police to provide this service in cities like Minneapolis and NYC has been dramatically curtailed by a violent political uprising which has damaged billions of dollars of property and driven homicide rates up nearly 100% year over year.

IMO the fatal flaw in the response to protests against police is to send police to stand in front of them and take the abuse. You don’t put protesters and counter-protests next to each other to face off. It seems to me particularly unfair and indignant to have black police officers on the line being screamed at by white protesters about Black Lives Matter, to stand silently while they are verbally denigrated and abused for doing their job, which can lawfully include using force to disperse a riot. If the target of a large protest is the police themselves, the National Guard should be called in to provide crowd control and defend life and property if needed. This has the double benefit of not providing a standing target for the protesters ire, and not creating a self-fulfilling prophecy / feedback loop of aggression.


> The vast majority of police are heroes.

Define "hero". As has been noted many, many times across HN these past few weeks, "police officer" isn't even among the top 15 most dangerous professions in America. And even then police aren't legally required to do their job[1]. Most police are never called upon to do anything heroic, so we can't say if they are heroes or not.

This type of blind veneration for police is weird and unhealthy. If you tell a child, or even an adult, they are great and perfect just for who they are, they're going to turn out spoiled rotten. Why do you think this is any different?

Police are regular people. Some good, some bad, but mostly mixed. The systems they work in allow the bad police to get away with horrific crimes and punish the good police who try to do anything about it.

1. https://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/28/politics/justices-rule-po...


USA Today says that policing is the 18th most dangerous job in the US.

What makes police injuries and deaths notable from other occupations is that “The most common cause of workplace fatalities among police officers is direct violence from other people”.

It is not just a risky job in general, it is a risky job due to people that would intentionally do them harm, done in service of their community. Everyone is a regular person, but that is why people generally regard police as heroic.

In fact, police are expected to act heroically when the situation calls for it. The Parkland officer who didn’t enter the school during the shooting, caught on tape remaining outside while shots were fired, was rightly condemned as not fit for duty.

[1] - https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/01/08/most-dangero...


> The Parkland officer who didn’t enter the school during the shooting...was rightly condemned as not fit for duty.

But then got his job and pension back with the full backing of his union[1][2]. This is what I mean by the system propping up bad cops. If the "vast majority" of cops are heroes, why are they supporting someone who has demonstrated a distinct lack of heroism? Isn't he making the rest of them look bad? Don't they care?

1. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/05/15/fac...

2. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/art...


He also got back pay, with back overtime.

Yeah, I never said I was pro-union, but there was certainly widespread condemnation of that officer’s response.

So basically no real consequences.

I'm sympathetic to people losing their nerve. It's a human reaction and can happen to anyone. But no way should he be allowed to keep his job after he's shown how unfit for it he is.

And the fact that the other cops didn't raise a peep over it tells me that most cops are in fact not heroes. Heroes do the right thing even when it's hard, you see. That's not an insult. I would like a society where policing doesn't have to be heroic. It's just a statement of fact.


Yes, but in a free society, their job is necessarily difficult and dangerous. In a free society, when a peaceful protest starts to look like some folks may become violent, the response is not supposed to be “welp, time to respond with overwhelming force - I feel possibly threatened.” Now, if you think the police should be compensated accordingly, that’s a different argument, and I may well agree with that argument. But “gee, they have a hard gig” simply doesn’t excuse the responses that we’ve seen over and over and over again. Additionally, these are the responses we’re seeing to what are overwhelmingly a bunch of middle-class white twenty-somethings. Recall that the real issue here is how police in the US deal with people of color, which by any metric is a freaking nightmare.

I'd love to see where they got their data. Everything I've seen is that they're most likely to be killed in a self inflicted car accident.

It depends how you break up the stats. The total number of officers feloniously killed is a little higher than the number of accidental deaths for recent years, but motor vehicle crashes is typically the largest single category. https://ucr.fbi.gov/leoka/2019/home

Fwiw 18 is greater than 15...

Did the chicken or the egg come first?

Were cops the helpless victims of wanton violence before they started brutalizing poor and minority neighborhoods?

Or, has police work gotten more dangerous as police are continually escalating against their desperate communities whom have little left to lose except their lives? Are police fit for duty in America when my barber took a longer training course than an average cop? As the first of first responders police should be competent to deal with any situation. This repo and tens of thousands of incidents going back decades prove, beyond the shadow of adoubt, that police are, on average, incapable of doing what's required of them.


I think your claims are exaggerated beyond reality, but;

1) Police have dangerous jobs, particularly in the inner city, but by no means are they helpless victims of wanton violence.

2) Police do not brutalize poor and minority neighborhoods. Although the overall trend is that violent crime is going down, these neighborhoods have become significantly less safe and less lawful in just a few weeks of reduced police presence, based on recent crime statistics, particularly shootings and murders, but even simple lawlessness like a 4000% increase in fireworks complaints.

3) Police work has generally gotten safer over the last few decades, for example measured in annual officer deaths which peaked near 300 in the 70s and now hovers around 150. [1]

4) Desperate communities which have little left to lose except their lives — I think this is hyperbolic even to describe inner cities where dozens die every weekend from civilian violence, e.g. Chicago’s bloodiest weekend last week where 85 were shot, 24 fatally. These communities by majority polling support greater police presence and funding, not less.

5) I’d say police academy training is fundamentally different than, for example, trade school apprenticeship. The apprenticeship system essentially has you working the job but under some level of supervision, until you get your license at which point you can work independently. The apprenticeship phase is similar to the supervision that officers receive every day in their squad. The key different is officers have a structured rank and rigid reporting structure, you can’t get a police license and then open up your own police shop. The overall police force performs the same function as the apprenticeship framework in trade crafts. Unlike a licensed electrician/plumber/barber, the officer never gets the opportunity to strike off on their own, but it is true that they enter the force as a low-ranking peon with fewer hours of upfront training than the barber who after their 1,000 hours can open their own unsupervised shop.

[1] - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_law_enforcement_offi...


>I think your claims are exaggerated beyond reality,

I'll fight for your right to believe whatever you want. Even when I disagree strongly.

>1) Police have dangerous jobs, particularly in the inner city, but by no means are they helpless victims of wanton violence.

Great. Then what do you call police, who've taken off their body cameras, badges, and name plates: blinding, maiming, and ruthlessly battering people, unprovoked, on camera? If they'd kept their body cameras we could have a much more enlightened discussion.

>2) Police do not brutalize poor and minority neighborhoods. Although the overall trend is that violent crime is going down, these neighborhoods have become significantly less safe and less lawful in just a few weeks of reduced police presence, based on recent crime statistics, particularly shootings and murders, but even simple lawlessness like a 4000% increase in fireworks complaints.

The whole point of a protest is to signal to those being protested against that they are not untouchable. That their lives are not as safe as they'd believe. Burning down precincts is a way of saying we'd rather no police then the thugs masquerading as police in this city. Those statistics are meaningless. The protectors of society have gotten drunk with power and hate. This is the price we all must bear on the path to righting these wrongs. The sooner we all do what it takes to reach compromise the less we will all suffer.

>3) Police work has generally gotten safer over the last few decades, for example measured in annual officer deaths which peaked near 300 in the 70s and now hovers around 150. [1]

So, can we find a way to keep people safe from the police?

>4) Desperate communities which have little left to lose except their lives — I think this is hyperbolic even to describe inner cities where dozens die every weekend from civilian violence, e.g. Chicago’s bloodiest weekend last week where 85 were shot, 24 fatally. These communities by majority polling support greater police presence and funding, not less.

When a community burns down a precinct or creates autonomous zones they are challenging the most basic structures of our society and daring those protested against to show their true colors. How many cops need to get fired for posting horrendous, racist, genocidal, rants publicly before we accept that police nationwide are not fit for duty?

>5) I’d say police academy training is fundamentally different than, for example, trade school apprenticeship. The apprenticeship system essentially has you working the job but under some level of supervision, until you get your license at which point you can work independently. The apprenticeship phase is similar to the supervision that officers receive every day in their squad. The key different is officers have a structured rank and rigid reporting structure, you can’t get a police license and then open up your own police shop. The overall police force performs the same function as the apprenticeship framework in trade crafts. Unlike a licensed electrician/plumber/barber, the officer never gets the opportunity to strike off on their own, but it is true that they enter the force as a low-ranking peon with fewer hours of upfront training than the barber who after their 1,000 hours can open their own unsupervised shop.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jemimamcevoy/2020/06/04/two-off...

Ironic, no?


Since when is hero defined as "the person who does the most dangerous profession"?

Also, there is a world of difference between professions where accidents are common, and a profession where humans may be actively trying to kill you.

A hero might be a person who knowingly risks life and limb for the safety and wellbeing of others. Even more heroic when those others are strangers (ie it is more heroic to rescue a stranger's child from a house fire than it is to rescue your own child from a house fire). Even more heroic than that is when you do it day in and day out(ie it is more heroic to be a firefigher, saving strangers every day, than it is to save a stranger once).

So, if that is a reasonable analysis of heroism, some police can definitely be heroic. I'm not sure about the percentages though. I'm sure some police got into the profession because they wanted to be a big man with a gun. Others did it because they want to help the community they live in.


A commonly accepted definition of hero is "performing a duty and/or serving others, even at great danger to oneself, often for little or no reward". So "how dangerous is the job?" seems relevant to me.

> there is a world of difference between professions where accidents are common, and a profession where humans may be actively trying to kill you.

A large fraction of police deaths on the job are traffic accidents.


> So "how dangerous is the job?" seems relevant to me.

How does the comparative danger of fields change how dangerous something is? If someone said "Shaq is really tall", would a reasonable response be "No he isn't. Yao Ming is taller"?

> A large fraction of police deaths on the job are traffic accidents.

Yes, that is one way cops die. But this seems decidedly different contextually than the dangers faced by, say, pizza delivery drivers, who also frequently die in car accidents. Presumably, police officers die in car accidents because they are rushing to the scene of a crime or to a place where someone needs help. Pizza delivery drivers die in car accidents commonly because they are rushing to improve the tip they might get, or to be able to deliver more pizzas and get more tips.


> If someone said "Shaq is really tall", would a reasonable response be "No he isn't. Yao Ming is taller"?

If Shaq and Yao played on the same team and Shaq alone started demanding special accommodations due to his height (like extra-large showers or something) that were prohibitively expensive, and refused to play until he got his way, that would be a perfectly valid response. Sound crazy? It's still saner than some people seriously defending cops breaking the law because their job is dangerous. Give me a break.


I don't know who argued that cops should be able to break the law because of their job but it wasn't me.

Your comment does not directly contradict anything GP says yet your tone makes it seems like it does. If you are not sure what the percentages are your argument adds nothing to the conversation and in facts misleads readers into thinking that a significant amount of police can be considered heroes.

Your GP says "Define 'hero'", and I tried to show behavior which may make someone heroic.

When the entire force quit (their duties, not quitting taking a salary) over their coworkers being charged for pushing a elderly man onto the pavement and walking away as he bleeds out of his ears unconscious, then it's 59/59 cops who aren't heroes.

When reporting police misconduct internally is met with being charged with filing a false report and being kicked off the force, or being committed to an institution until you can talk to someone you trust who can leak a recording to the press, yes it is the vast majority police upholding this system that are not heroes.

When in my city, the only cop to be reprimanded was the one stupid enough to instagram post "let's start a riot", but not the others attacking press and attacking peaceful bystanders, sending the institutional message that brutality is OK but you have to keep your mask on wrt to social media, yes the represent a system of institutional oppression.


When cops get to purge their own disciplinary records and keeping their misconduct secret; they don't get to be called 'heroes'.

They are a tool of social control only interested in the perception of truth, trust and transparency. Pushing whatever narrative serves their interests.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investiga...


The "vast majority of police" turn a blind eye to crimes their coworkers commmit.

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


I appreciate the link to the Wikipedia article, but I don't see anything about statistics indicating a majority. Did I miss something in my perusing of the article?

Edit: I was able to pull this citation from a previous discussion regarding police and perjury:

Myron W. Orfield, Jr., Deterrence, Perjury, and the Heater Factor, supra note 13, at 83:

> Respondents, including prosecutors, estimate that police commit perjury between 20% and 50% of the time they testify on Fourth Amendment issues.

It should also be noted that many of these respondents did not consider lying at a suppression hearing perjury, infra text accompanying note 47, which would have the effect of artificially deflating these percentages.


This is one of those cases where absence of evidence is evidence, to some extent. We do know that police brutality and abuse of power happens regularly, because it gets recorded and prosecuted. But when you look at those prosecutions, the initial evidence rarely comes from other police officers, even though the offending actions are committed around them. If most cops are good cops, you'd expect most such prosecutions to be due to the perpetrators being reported by their colleagues.

We can also look at what happens to cops who do become whistleblowers - it does happen, after all. Off the top of my head, I can't think of any case that ended well for the whistleblower long-term - best case, they get cold shoulder and silent treatment until they resign; and worst case is something like this:

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

Note, by the way, that in this story, it was basically the entire precinct involved one way or the other to gang up on the whistleblower, including his entire management chain. And if you believe Adrian, then manager involvement went all the way up to NYPD Commissioner. I think at that point, it's not unreasonable to assume that in NYPD, at least, on the balance of probabilities (i.e. more likely than not), "the vast majority of police turn a blind eye" is correct, just based on this one case.


If a majority of police are in fact suppressing evidence of wrongdoing, then it would be difficult to prove, because statistics that rely on police reporting are going to be rather suspect.

It's possible the police forces are a body of people who have a strong us-vs-them culture. On the one hand it probably helps them execute their sometimes dangerous job, on the other hand it bleeds into symptoms like the blue wall of silence.

Imagine looking at the cacrceral state and saying “you know what, this is a great response to a hard problem”.

> The vast majority of police are heroes.

Citation very much needed.


You could submit a PR. And if you're commenting here instead because you know the change would not be accepted, well, there's your answer.

edit: Downvote away, but the fact that you can't simply correct the record might be a clue that the distinction between police brutality and "necessary riot control" is not as objective as you suppose it to be.


Just a reminder that none of this is factual or evidence. It COULD be, but just because somebody writes something doesn't make it true.

You are not given any of the context of what happened in these situations. If there's video the video starts when the conflict is already full swing, you're not seeing anything that led up to the situation.

You can read "Police showed up and fired tear gas and agitated the crowd and caused violence", but you're not told WHY they fired tear gas. You're not given the context as to what happened.

Not only are you not given the context, but you're only given one side of the story. I'm sure if you asked the police what happened, their story would be completely different. But you're only being allowed to get the story from one side, and that side is insanely politically motivated to exaggerate, and do everything they can to make the police look bad, because it strengths their political positions.


> Not only are you not given the context, but you're only given one side of the story. I'm sure if you asked the police what happened, their story would be completely different. But you're only being allowed to get the story from one side, and that side is insanely politically motivated to exaggerate, and do everything they can to make the police look bad, because it strengths their political positions.

Is that... is that not exactly, precisely, what we should be expecting from the police side as well? I think that's the entire point, isn't it? At best, their credibility has been called into question. At worst, their credibility has been drug out into the street and kneeled on until it expired.


I would expect no less from police, however, these days some "news" seems to be taking select information with no context, or out of context, and then using it to push a certain narrative. I think the point being that we should seek the truth (maybe the wrong word here..) no matter what the source.

I recall reading that some localities have already made changes to their body camera recording rules which rule video footage inadmissible if it has been edited to remove context.

I don't buy it. It is unlikely that the rules of evidence are being changed. I could always be wrong, though. Got a source?

Sorry, I was a little unclear in that post and probably made it sound more legal (as in, courtroom) than I intended. What I meant is that some police departments have announced that they will not allow edited or out-of-context footage from body cams by police officers facing administrative action. You're right in that courtroom rules of evidence are not subject to such decrees.

> You can read "Police showed up and fired tear gas and agitated the crowd and caused violence", but you're not told WHY they fired tear gas. You're not given the context as to what happened.

Police have body cameras and vehicle cameras that can provide much of the rest of the context. The public doesn't have access to that video and the police don't release it save when it reinforces their narrative.

If the police were blameless here, they have lots of tools to clear their name.


In the current environment, I’m not so sure. I was really negative on the St. Louis couple that pulled guns on protesters... until I learned the “peaceful” protesters were on private property and had already destroyed an iron gate and were threatening to burn down their house. None of those latter facts were easily available until I dug deeper into the story. The New York Times story that shows up when I Google mentions none of these facts, most importantly that the protesters, more accurately a rioting mob, were on private property.

So what does this leave us with? A story designed to inflame. Complicating matters more is that the couple were actually big donators to BLM and the DNC, which adds more layers to the narrative, but of course this isn’t mentioned and we are meant to assume they are Trump voters (even though that doesn’t make a difference legally, it makes a difference narratively)

EDIT: and the happy-go-lucky censors downvote into oblivion, proving my point.


A significant number of the "facts" you're citing are under dispute.

There's significant documentary evidence of the incident on video, starting ~27:50: https://www.facebook.com/derk.brown.5/videos/154551737227670...

There's also some dispute about the legal disposition of the property on which protesters may have been protesting, but at worst it appears to be a private street. Just because it is a private property doesn't mean it was their private property, to defend with threats of lethal violence. Being a member of the HOA and paying your dues doesn't give legal title to treat property as your own.


That protesters "had already destroyed an iron gate" and "were threatening to burn down their house" are both uncorroborated claims by the person who pointed the gun. Which is fine, but here's another person giving their own testimony that the gate was not destroyed at that point:

https://www.facebook.com/kim.mason.716/posts/102190071407824...

And then, of course, that gate isn't destroyed in any of the videos from the scene. There are photos showing a destroyed gate - which looks identical - so it clearly was destroyed at some point. But the relevant question is whether that already happened before the confrontation, and it doesn't look like it did.

As for the guy's claim that he is a BLM supporter - you can judge the veracity of that for yourself, based on this:

https://www.fec.gov/data/receipts/individual-contributions/?...

(and then, perhaps, derive a heuristic to judge his other claims)


If your narrative is correct, then the couple almost certainly would have been served better by documenting the violence and destruction themselves rather than coming off like armed idiots.

i'm not sure that a video camera offers the same line of defense as a firearm when you feel your life is in danger. after all, the incident was a straight up gun standoff with weapons on both sides.

[citation required]

I’ve seen no evidence of guns from the protestors, just the racist Karen and Ken.


The incident involved the armed woman walking towards the crowd while pointing her handgun at them. It's clearer in some recordings made from a different angle, e.g.:

https://twitter.com/averyrisch/status/1277398535973949440

So no, not a "standoff". Such behavior is certainly sufficient grounds to dismiss any claims of self-defense - lethal force is justified in self-defense when a reasonable person would perceive a threat of imminent death or significant bodily harm; but if you believe something to be a source of such a grave threat, why would you run at it?


If they feared for their life they wouldn't have acted so relaxed and would have been inside the house, not swinging around outside.

>If the police were blameless here, they have lots of tools to clear their name.

Is it true though? I saw police actions that looked bad on video, but having been on the scene earlier that day I knew the context that cast it in a very different light. And yet no counter-evidence was published. They did not clear their name, despite being in the right (or much more right than the video shown).


> Is it true though

Yes, they do have a lot of tools to clear their name. We've seen quite a few occasions where various departments have provided body-cam or dash cam footage showing that force was indeed justified. Generally speaking when they have provided that footage, it's muted the reactions to specific events.

> I saw police actions that looked bad on video

You'd have to ask the respective agencies why they haven't shared any body-cam footage which might exonerate them.


Can you give context to what you saw?

This incident: https://www.reddit.com/r/Seattle/comments/gwa2ub/seattle_pol...

Witness accounts: https://www.reddit.com/r/Seattle/comments/gwa2ub/seattle_pol...

I was there earlier and I saw a scared resident trying to drive home through that gate. A protester right next to me made a snide remark about the "expensive" car and proposed blocking the gate. The gate was not blocked that time, but given the video they did it later for some other vehicle.

Two things I conclude from this:

1. The police do not necessarily publish exculpating evidence for their own actions.

2. You wouldn't know what happened if you were not there.

This latter point I cannot emphasize enough - I was there often and last Thursday I realized that one can make/edit enough material to support any point of view.


I mean, I don't see why they're moving the barricades into the protesters when they could move them to the side to let the van through, and explain what they're doing rather than just arresting people out of nowhere.

Their actions police here are openly antagonistic, even with the context you've given.


You just identified exactly what OP was asking for: context.

I can't hear what the police are saying to the protesters, can you?

That's context.

The police actions appear mildly questionable, I'll give you that. But we lack context to understand what happened here.

The problem here is that both sides are defensive of themselves. This is precisely why understanding context and nuance is important, because each is incentivized to favor their own viewpoint.


Mildly questionable and actively stupid. They have a multi lane road and force the one lane with seated protestors open. I am not sure that there is any context that could explain that choice unless the police is actually prohibited from routing traffic around an obstacle.

Excuse me for not being clear.

Context which justifies the police's actions.


I agree that short videos can be misleading. But I think it's wrong to say that we're only allowed to get one side of the story, because some media outlets are focusing heavily on riot/looting/destruction of property (and essentially not covering the protests when they are completely peaceful).

Another point is that protesters feel the police should not be using these amounts of force at all.

I think what this boils down to is that it is evidence of use of force. If this was a courtroom, it would be up to to the defence/prosecution to argue each side, and provide whatever missing context would affect the judge/jurors decision.

Like anything in the 'court of public opinion', it doesn't work like that. Police departments (and city/local governments) are free to put out statements defending their actions as well.

Ideally, the person(s) maintaining this repository would respond to extra gathered evidence/context and remove any links where the context determines something else is happening. That would further strengthen their arguements, as it removes arguments of "well that one doesn't was `justified`, so maybe they all are".

But in general, I have to say that any individual has no responsibility to provide 'both sides' of the argument. The police almost always say their use of force is justified, so they're not the unbiased party either.


>You are not given any of the context of what happened in these situations. If there's video the video starts when the conflict is already full swing, you're not seeing anything that led up to the situation.

If only there was some sort of recording device that we can put on police officers, and either they can be trusted not to "accidentally" turn it off when an incident occurs or is always-on.


They had an always on policy and the ACLU sued them because people were afraid that they might be using them for surveillance.

Again, sometimes context is important before making assumptions. People will tend to immediately fill in the blanks to fit what they want to be true. And unfortunately more often than not, when receiving new information, they won’t retract anything or reconsider their position.


I checked my local city, some of the incidents are true, others lack evidence, others seem to lack a brutality component all together (such as firing a pepper all at the ground in front of someone breaking the law.

No doubt we have a problem, this is a great start to a collection, but we may want to consider filtering for truth or at least incidents with credible evidence


>No doubt we have a problem, this is a great start to a collection, but we may want to consider filtering for truth or at least incidents with credible evidence

Yeah, that's the job of the justice system. However, they have been failing to do their jobs properly for decades. If they could be trusted to investigate themselves we wouldn't need this list.


Before we filter for truth lets train our police force to be less violent because that breads more violence on the other end and we all loose except for the powerheads in charge as well as the real gangsters. Police have no right to be violent, they do get a paycheck for fsake, and they have the law on their side as well.

I will respect all cops when they earn it. So far I respect only those I interacted with and were well behaved, polite, etc


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What tartoran posted was fine. There's no rule against profanity on HN and it isn't necessarily disrespectful.

Currently, and historically as far as I know, part of a police officer's job is to hurt people, when certain conditions present themselves. Every day police officers respond to DV assaults that are in progress. Oftentimes the perpetrator fights the police.

Any time an arrestee is not fully cooperative with the police taking them into custody, the arrest is not going to be pleasant to watch. Someone is having their freedoms taken from them by force. I don't see an alternative, though.

Here is a scenario:

A person just committed a carjacking using a gun. It happens every day. (There are more than 30,000 carjackings a year in the US, and a bit less than half involved a firearm.)

What non- or less-violent action do you suggest a better trained police officer would take to bring the offender into custody?

Let's say the carjacker didn't have a gun, but instead had beat the driver up. The police spot them, and they run. What next?

Serious question. I have never heard what I consider to be a practical answer to how policing could work in the United States without use of significant force.


I have yet to see a credible explanation for the vast disparity in police violence between the USA and literally every other first world country. Let's take Germany, for example. How is it possible that US police kill more people in half a year than German police have killed since 1952?

There are thousands of practical answers to your question. If you haven't found any of them practical, you're not trying.


That doesn't explain why police violence happens against unarmed and vulnerable people.

Violence against unarmed and vulnerable people is just safer for the police.

"...what I consider to be a practical answer..."

Do you have a practical answer for policing without using significant force?


Any rich part of town is policed without any use of significant force.

No. That's why I asked the question.

I guess people don't like hearing / learning that there are falsehoods and unsubstantiated claims in the data set.

Do you know of any data sets that don't have bad data?

Or maybe down votes because this is not the comment I thought I attached this too... hmm, let me see if I can at least fix that


Is the opposite not true on every single police report? Only one sided and often that one sided report is shown to be completely unreliable once cell phone video is provided by witnesses. The police report for Breonna Taylor listed no injuries.

Google will display pages of results of police lying about what occurred during violent arrests only to be proven wrong by cell phone footage.

Your comment appears as if you may be 'politically motivated to exaggerate'.


> Is the opposite not true on every single police report?

How can you tell? Unless you are politically motivated to exaggerate, then all we really know is that there have been some high profile instances where police reports have been falsified. But I don't know how we can reliably expand that to all police reports.

Fundamentally, police officers are sworn, and so their word carries more weight than a non-sworn citizen. This is sensible, but it ought to come with strings attached. Lying, for example, should reliably results in a perjury charge.


Of course every police report is one sided, it represents the police officers description of what happened. Its one sided by its very nature. I am not saying they are all false, merely that they are all one sided.

“The cops are always right, have never done wrong, never provoked, have no ego and never powertrip.”

I wish we lived in that world. Truth is cops are as fallible as any other human being and for that reason they should either have less power or be at all times in check to ensure they don’t abuse it.


:%s/ or/ and/g

At least in my city, for the protests I attended, this is about the right level of context. The ordering went

1) Peaceful protest

2) Police decide that they need to use extreme amounts of force to break up the peaceful protest

3) Unsavory elements use the cover of the ensuing chaos to loot/burn/tag/etc.


In the Swedish BLM protests it was:

1) Peaceful protest

2) Unsavory elements started throwing things at the police

3) The police didn't respond with violence even though clearly attacked and provoked

We have problems with race profiling and other issues but I think the big focus on de-escalation in police training helps a lot to avoid the situation we see in the US.


In the German BLM protests it was:

1) Peaceful protest

2) Police declares protest is over, but people stay.

3) The police respond with violence


Wonder if it's "just property" when it's your own.

I mean, yeah, it's a common thread in the US legal system as well, that property theft/damage doesn't give you the right to commit violent actions.

Even in castle doctrine states, it's only that their unwelcome presence on your property is an implied threat of violence, not that you're legally allowed to commit violence to protect property. That's why booby traps are universally illegal in the US.

So yes, compared to violence and particularly police brutality, it is "just property". Legally.


Was there a dispersal order given before physical attempts to break up the protest? (I am not opining about its propriety (if it existed); just asking if it happened.)

In some cases, but not in others.

We had a problem with the police doing drivebys and firing indiscriminately at crowds as police would drive off.


I'd like to hear the backstory behind these videos then.

https://youtu.be/8kCrTvlcgD4?t=57 https://youtu.be/-BGyTi-KdKc?t=33

I think its pretty weird that you justify police violence that is permanently disabling people. I'm sure serial killers and mafia bosses can come up with good reasons why they kill people and if you were in their shoes you would act in exactly the same way but why on earth would accept their behavior? Just because you know why someone did something doesn't mean that the thing they did is okay.

If you think I'm cherry picking. I've seen dozens of videos like these since June where the police was intentionally trying to cause more damage than necessary. At least 4 headshots with rubber projectiles like the video I linked. One of the victims was a man in a wheelchair or a girl going shopping unaware of the riots. Cops standing 2m away throw burning CS gas canisters in your face. At least two elderly men pushed to the ground and one of them bleeding from his ear (most likely skull damage). Sure the man got a bit too close but once he was helplessly lying on the ground the police just walked away as if nothing happened instead of calling an ambulance. There are too many examples to list and I'm sure lots of them didn't even get recorded so we will never know how many there are.


You may need to re-read his post, he was definitely not justifying anything. It’s surprising that a place like HN tolerates such blatant fallacies. This isn’t how empirical data or statistics works.

"The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command." -George Orwell

Less snidely, it seems like these cries for 'we need more context!' stretch further and further into absurdity. The example of police assaulting the old man give us all of the context we need, but people attempt to justify it by taking victim blaming behavior to the extreme.

The police have all the tools they need to dispel these stories. Conveniently, they seem to turn them off when the story doesn't go in their favor. And even with context, none of it justifies the police's behavior.


Good point, the police already have avenues to tell their side (the news) and this resource provides the rest of the story. Like all pieces of information, it's good to understand the biases at play before accepting anything as fact.

Entirely aside from the point that the levels of action in many cases are totally unjustified regardless of the context.

When the forces involved go past the point of reason and start being violent for their own sake, it's time to impose restraint from outside.


> Just a reminder that none of this is factual or evidence. It COULD be, but just because somebody writes something doesn't make it true.

You’re essentially describing eyewitness testimony, right? It should be at least as credible in the court of public opinion as it is in a court of law.


> You are not given any of the context of what happened in these situations...You can read "Police showed up and fired tear gas and agitated the crowd and caused violence", but you're not told WHY they fired tear gas. You're not given the context as to what happened.

Oh, it's you again. I remember you from the previous thread where you said similar things in the face of piles of evidence. Hi. Here's a post. Not for you, because you don't read or respond to evidence in good faith, but maybe for someone else...

Here are two full-length filled-with-context videos of the police fucking up a crowd of people in Seattle without provocation.

First is an aerial view of Seattle PD spraying, bombing, and gassing a crowd of peaceful protesters with zero provocation. It starts with one cop trying to steal (theft) a protester's pink umbrella (destroying their private property in the process. whoops, I wonder who will pay for that?) and then the cops next to him start pepper spraying the crowd that was literally just standing still chanting. Then they shoot explosives into the crowd. Then they shoot gas.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Seattle/comments/gv0ru3/this_is_the...

Not sure what you saw? You saw a cop attempt to rob a protester resulting in the destruction of their private property. Then you saw a person trying to hold onto their property as they're pulled over the fence because a cop just assaulted them. Then you saw the police immediately start spraying and bombing and gassing, with the flimsiest excuse, an entire crowd of people for the horrendous crime of peaceful assembly.

Second is the same scene up close and personal. The action begins at 26:30 where the person filming explains how to recognize that the police planned to initiate violence from the start.

https://www.facebook.com/omarisal/videos/10220021035848747/?...

Again, this isn't for you, because you don't faithfully read responses or watch the videos. But who knows, maybe someone else does.


[flagged]


Why would a list of police brutality incidents contain information about property crime?

Because often the way these things escalate is police are called because protesters are burning and looting...

This is my point: The presentation of this list inherently absolves one-side from any misdeeds.


The protestors burning and looting are not sanctioned by the state and funded by taxpayers. We already have laws for punishing them. The whole point of this repo is pointing out that the police are held to a completely different set of standards, and are almost always let off the hook.

It doesn't matter how much burning and looting happened, the police still cannot engage in indiscriminate brutality.


> Because often the way these things escalate is police are called because protesters are burning and looting

I'm sure that might be the case sometimes, but from the multitude of videos I've seen over the past month or so, it's the police that are doing the escalating - preventing people from their lawful right to protest peacefully, storming into peaceful park protests and dragging people out at random, indiscriminately spraying groups of protestors with pepper spray, shooting numerous people in the chest and face with rubber bullets and lead bean-bags (which should only ever be used at legs), shooting people in the head at point-blank range with flash-bang grenades, firing at several journalists and bystanders, drive-by shootings of bystanders and houses, harassing laywers and others that have called them out, a lot of police obscuring their badge numbers and disabling their bodycams ...

Seriously, the sheer quantity of video evidence is absolutely astounding - and it can only be the tip of the iceberg.


That's not been my experience. The police have been the first to escalate in Denver. Then the resulting chaos gives cover for unsavory elements to start tagging/burning/looting.

That would belong in a git repo of property crimes caused by protestors. It’s an entirely different data set.

Please explain why you think property is the same importance as human lives being destroyed by people who were sworn to protect them.

I won't go as far as equating property to human lives, but do remember the vast majority of businesses looted or burned were small, already hurting from Covid-19, and a large number of them black owned. Sure, these people's business owners weren't killed, but everything they worked for during their life is pretty much ruined.

This is something that's repeated very often on news media with zero citations to the datasets from which they derive their conclusions.

Would be interested to see your sources because folks like myself are highly skeptical about unsubstantiated claims, especially when they serve ulterior interests. In this case, small business rhetoric supports mostly the large businesses that want to suppress wages and avoid workplace protection regulations.[1]

[1] https://citationsneeded.libsyn.com/episode-111-how-small-bus...


Do you have data supporting the claim that most looted businesses were small?

[flagged]


"Communist Street gangs" -- are there such things in the US?

if only

[flagged]


Well my city and state has police destroying journalists' equipment, indiscriminately doing drivebys, and exploding a bystander's eye with a rubber bullet not shot according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

So confident in your statement you made a new account. Would you care to link some of the incidents that feel are not even close to police brutality? You could also make a PR to remove those.

[flagged]


> a man's age does not give him license to block police who have given orders to disperse

Giving orders to disperse to does not give police a license to physically assault civilians without provocation.

> if the man had been 20 years younger his stumble would not have resulted in a fall

Is this supposed to be exculpatory? If I throw peanuts on someone with a peanut allergy, is "they would have been fine had they not been allergic" an acceptable defense?


[flagged]


> Do you expect police to just stand around and wait until people feel like following lawful orders?

If he was breaking the law, why did they assault him rather than arresting him?

Also, how do we know the orders were lawful?

> If you have a peanut allergy you shouldn't be hanging around in peanut factories looking for trouble (as the old guy was on video laughing earlier that day)

How is it relevant that he was laughing earlier?

The point is that it's incumbent on the police to determine the appropriate amount of force to use, not on civilians to retreat based on a worst–case scenario of what the police can do to them. They exist to serve us, not the other way around.


> Do you expect police to just stand around and wait until people feel like following lawful orders?

Yes? If they're incapable of enforcing their orders without hurting people they should not be trying to enforce them.

It's bloody alien seeing Americans arguing over this sort of thing as if there's a context that makes hurting the people you're sworn to protect okay. The rest of the world seems to understand what the point of police is.


Well, one point is that police here aren't in fact sworn to protect members of the populace. The case law in federal court is that the police don't owe any individual a specific duty to protect them, and that "protect and serve" is a toothless slogan with no basis in law.

> Do you expect police to just stand around and wait until people feel like following lawful orders?

I expect them to not shove the elderly onto concrete and then walk away as blood flows out of their ears.

That's not a high bar.


Stipendium peccati mors est, eh? For a nation I love dearly for its stated stance on liberty, there is quite the undercurrent of authoritarianism here.

...lawful orders...

This is a null category. Free people don't take orders from their employees.


In this day and age, it's a wise move to make a new account and protect your identity. Nobody wants their live destroyed ("canceled") for a comment. That's what it has become, and it will only get worse.

It's a git repository which accepts pull requests to crowdsource information. If you've got some ideas to improve it, then do so.

This repository is not junk.


[flagged]


There's a certain irony of accusing a crowdsourced repository of being junk because it's crowdsourced, with an anonymous account created seven minutes ago.

What, you think because it's crowdsourced it isn't liable to bias? You think they're going to accept a PR which attempts to remove multiple incidents, for any reason?

You could always test this hypothesis of yours. Go, dig through the hours of footage of cops purposefully shooting journalists in the eyes, of them running protestors over, and of them confining protestors in corners only to repeatedly tear gas them.

I bet you might even find one that isn't brutality. So report it and see what happens.


Because it is open, the crowd will be able to look over pull requests and judge the reasoning/evidence put forth by the pull request to remove an incident as well as the reasons provided by maintainer for the PR's approval/rejection.

We both know that's not going to happen. Just looks at the comments here; every comment that doesn't show unquestioning support is either flagged or grayed out. Police should be be held accountable, but this is just outrage bait.

I saw at least one listing that was a link to a deleted tweet.

Feel free to prove yourself wrong by creating a pull request removing or marking that entry.

Or go through any of the other entries to find one that clearly demonstrates no wrongdoing. Write up a clear, concise, impartial explanation. I'm sure it will be given appropriate consideration.


> Police should be be held accountable, but this is just outrage bait.

This is a good thing. You should be outraged. Emotions are okay to have and express.


Can you share which city and state that is? For my own state (NY) all of the ones I looked at are legit.

Do they accept pull requests?

Which is your city and state?

[flagged]


You know they aren't being creepy, you made a claim, the only way to verify that is to look at the incidents you mention. Though you give no details do that is difficult, therefore the veracity of your claims cannot be considered, which is convenient... for you anyway.

You made an account to make vague and unsubstantiated accusations of "an agenda," then call protestors "communist street gangs"?

Can you please provide actual reference material to back up either the "agenda" claims or the communism stuff?


[flagged]


Why be concerned about your throwaway minutes-old profile with only comments in this one thread? It sounds more like you're afraid that your claim might get challenged.

> Why be concerned about your throwaway minutes-old profile with only comments in this one thread?

Not the parent, but that's a weird question. A throwaway account is used precisely because you don't want your main account (and your irl identity) to be associated with something that might get you in trouble.

Giving out information that can massively shrink the number of accounts that may be your real account is counter-productive in that regard.


What possible attack vector is possible using just a city and throwaway account name? The accounts obviously a troll based on the attacks against other users when their claim is questioned.

The city alone will massively reduce the possibilities. As soon as you add any other information (political leanings, for example, as they're easy to guess), you can shrink it even more.

They may still be a troll, I'm just saying that being surprised that somebody doesn't want to divulge information when they've found it necessary to create a throwaway account is strange.


I'm not responding to this comment, just pointing out for anyone reading, that this person knows very well that he and his buddies won't be waiting with a "challenge" for anyone who attempts to publicly criticize BLM or the movement, but instead with a likely doxxing and unpersonning.

I didn't look at your profile. Maybe you're new to Hacker News, but new accounts show up highlighted in green. I merely read the two comments you posted here. I did look at the repo, for three cities with which I'm familiar, and couldn't reconstruct the claims you're making.

You needn't post examples from your city. If this database is as flawed as you claim you should be able to find examples that are not traceable to your information.


A BLM leader has openly admitted to being "trained marxists". [0] [1]

[0] https://nypost.com/2020/06/25/blm-co-founder-describes-herse...

[1] https://youtu.be/HgEUbSzOTZ8?t=52

All of this from a Google search.


What, exactly, does that have to do with an entirely separate repo showcasing police brutality?

I'm having trouble understanding your line of argument unless you're claiming conspiracy and that this repo is in fact being ran by secret marxists. Or that all of the protesters are actually marxists. Which is insanity.


I've seen those before. So a basically unknown neo-marxist group gloms onto a grassroots movement. So what? Are you daft enough to think they speak for them now?

And, ffs, what does on earth does "trained marxist" even mean? I repeat my question: is it like a "trained capitalist"? If not, why not?


And what is your problem with that?

That proves that there is a hidden agenda within the black lives matter organisation.

What organization?

If they openly state their desires, that is the opposite of being hidden.

The point is, people should know that they are supporting an organisation that has Marxist leaders.

Which one? Who trained them? Why? Where was this 'open admission'? What is their intended outcome?

A BLM /leader/, plus the claims the organization itself makes.

Yet, when I have provided recent evidence [0] in one of the comments, it gets gaslighted and flagged. Says it all really.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=23694041


What do you think "trained marxist" means, in practice?

Seriously, because Associate Professor in Community Organizing doesn't sound nearly as scary, does it?


Do you think capitalism is racist?

[flagged]


Crimes committed by civilians are not the same as crimes committed by agents of the state.

Also plenty of crime databases already exist so I can only assume you aren't actually asking a question but instead making a snide comment.


> would be allowed to stay up?

that seems to gp's question. not the one you answered about existence of said data somewhere.

If someone just aggregated and filter by criteria gp suggested and created a site with that data, Then it won't be allowed to stay up, is my guess.


I really dont understand this comment and this attitude? Being a police officer is a job, one can choose to change it at any time, it is not even comparable to a race, gender, etc. If your same comment was written about software engineers or plumbers, would it not seem a bit odd? I don't understand the putting a job on a pedestal, especially a job where someone is given the power to violently assault and kill people and get away with it.

The parent post may be hinting at selective censorship by the platforms, which is their right as a private org. There's a lot of angst around that on both sides in America.

Parent post used bad language if this is their reason for posting. Otherwise it's just antagonistic and unwelcome


>> selective censorship by the platforms, which is their right as a private org

So, just because they are not government they are allowed to lie and manipulate? Because "selective censorship" is just this: manipulation.


Censorship / removing fake news & propaganda is an unsolved problem. We are just starting to have this conversation. No need to imply that all cases are out of malice

Another name for "selective censorship" is "asserting one's property rights". Do you not care about property rights?

Gonna need terabytes.

I'm not sure if you are serious but even millions of events recorded in text would not take up too much space. Bioinformatics datasets that run into the millions of lines still only require a few gigabytes, and they are often compressed into tarballs which can halve their size.

Moore's law is on the side of the protesters here, this information can spread easily because it does not require much bandwidth (without video) for anyone to `git pull remote` this whole repository.

I hope that helps explain why some people have downvoted you without explanation (for the record, I did not).


Las Vegas: - the police shot a man. - a man shot the police.

neither incident appear in this data set.


Now all we need is a similar repo for the looting and memorial vandalism.

Wouldn't that be a job for the police? Their job is (lest we forget it) to prevent crime and enforce the law.

Sure but they are not in a public git repo and I think the public has the right to see the full story. The police are the easiest target right now but those people who take advantage on the riots to loot are kind of left out of sight.


The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I will watch this repository, but I think it will be another showman piece which will join the many other repositories that are forgotten about and left to go stale on Github.

Why? Well if you look at some of the contributors, they all have new accounts generated around June, and some have a history of creating fad'ish repositories, probably to massage their ego online.

This repository has some good content but also a lot of "weak" to "non-existent" examples.


Ultimately there is enough evidence to make a decision already--the case of police brutality is nothing as invisible or insidious as something like the sexual assault or harassment revealed by the #MeToo movement. I am not sure this repository accomplishes anything, especially as reports do not seem to be well vetted, but it would be nice if cleaned up to have a list of examples.

So the implication is what - people created this to get stars on GitHub? I expect it's more likely people just used GitHub because it's an easy way to compile and host content. As for the new accounts, it makes sense that the audience of potential contributors to this would be larger than the audience of people who already have a GitHub account.

The problem here is that police are not infallible but everyone wants them to be. If there is violence in humanity you would be naive to think police would be exempted from it. That is why I don't like coverage like this: why not also catalog some of the good things police do? That wouldn't further your point, so why would you do it?

The police don't acknowledge that these were mistake[1][2][3]. They think this is the system working. They act in bad faith and so please don't run around grant them good faith in arguments.

We want the systems that enable this brutality changed.

This is like saying "Facebook does some good things so let's ignore the systematic problems it causes" or "Facebook is staffed by people so we have to accept an amount of them stalking their exes with internal tools"

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/05/us/buffalo-police-shove-p... "Fifty-seven officers resigned from the department’s Emergency Response Team in solidarity with the two who were suspended." [2] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8436929/Atlanta-cop... [3] https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/13/us/why-police-rally-around-ea...


Why not go find me three links to instances where the police did acknowledge their mistakes?

I searched google for "police acknowledgement mistake" and several variations. The closest I could find was people calling for the police to acknowledge their mistakes. I can't find the police doing it themselves.

thanks for the due dilligence

edit: https://www.google.com/search?q=%22police%20admit%20to%22

170,000 results


I think a better link is probably: https://www.google.com/search?q=%22police+admit+to%22&tbs=qd...

Though it doesn't give a number of results explicitly there are still several pages of results (though they'd need to be deduped)


If you look at these things and see the inevitable result of fallible humans, not the willful abuse of power, I'd argue you're not really paying attention.

This speaks to me, but I'm not 100% persuaded yet.

From what I saw on Twitter, most of the videos alleging police using force without reason were misleading, and leaving out all the footage preceding police action. In cases where others uploaded longer videos or different angles, it was clear that protesters were acting illegally, or ignoring clear verbal warnings, or refusing lawful orders to disperse, and so on. By leaving those crucial additional bits out, activists were generating outrage online where none was deserved. The same applies here, and I encourage people to take resources like this with a grain of salt.

I don't like this US attitude where people think that once police has given an order to do something you have to comply immediately or you can be shot or run over no matter the situation. I just saw a video where protesters were crowding a police and suddenly the car sped up and ran over people because the cops felt "threatened". Thats just not OK.

This is key. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that unarmed protestors are being very aggressive towards police, even ignoring orders to disperse or follow curfew. Perhaps they are even verbally threatening police!

Should this give police authority to use violent force to retaliate? (E.g. pepper spray, rubber bullets, fists, etc)

In my opinion, no. I realize that legally, police are protected in these scenarios. Hell, most folks understand that. That’s what people are protesting for: they want the legal system to change.

As a society, I think we morally accept using force in self defense (for example, using pepper spray on an assaulter). We accept it even if someone’s life isn’t actually in danger. Should we accept the same from police? I doubt it. We should hold the protectors of the law to higher standards than common citizens, right? I myself might not fully understand the law and will be acting on my emotional response if I use force in self defense. But police officers should have the training to understand much better when lives are actually in danger. They should have techniques to handle situations like this without violence.

These videos show that whether or not the police were acting out of self defense or within the boundaries of the law, they are still using serious force on unarmed citizens. This is not ok whether or not the citizens are in the right.

The root of the problem is the police force. Even if people are acting in a aggressive, rebellious way against police, they are doing so because of decades of improper use of police force. If we want to change the situation, people must feel safe around police. It’s not just “were police legally right,” it’s “do people feel safe in their own communities.” Clearly not, and we must make changes to help people feel safe. To aid with that, police should be much less powerful, since abuse stems from power.

We should all get behind these changes because police brutality is dangerous to everyone, and especially dangerous to minority communities.


For all of the arguments I've seen from people claiming we need to be free from government tyranny, that small government is good and that we should defend ourselves from corruption, all of that seems to go out the window when the discussion changes from government to police. Suddenly the state deciding to execute people is perfectly acceptable, destroying property is fine (they were probably criminals anyways) and locking people up without due process should be expected if you question authority.

"Lawful orders to disperse" is there such a thing? You don't hear about "lawful orders to stop speaking" or "lawful orders to stop practicing a religion " And just because a" clear verbal warming " was issued, doesn't mean it had to be followed, nor does it mean excessive force woukd be used. While I agree that some instances of "peaceful protestors" aren't actually peacful, many are. And in some of the cases where the protestors aren't peaceful, the show off force is exessive.

When your protest becomes a riot, yes, it is lawful to order dispersal. You have a right to expression, not a right to ransack other people's property (public and private), if you commit the latter in the guise of the former, then you are in the wrong.

And what if the police attack a peaceful protest and create the cover for others to ransack?

As I saw with my own eyes occurring.


That too is criminal, it's not a one or the other thing, nor does one justify the other.

> "Lawful orders to disperse" is there such a thing?

Yes there is such a thing in Seattle. See https://library.municode.com/wa/seattle/codes/municipal_code...


That doesn't explain why people receive permanent disabilities for non compliance. By non compliance I don't mean threatening the life of the police officer by the way I literally mean standing somewhere without moving.



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