From the FBI's Use-of-Force data collection site:
> Is it mandatory for law enforcement agencies to contribute to this data collection?
> The FBI has no legal authority to mandate reporting of any data to the UCR Program. The FBI is working closely with the major law enforcement agency organizations and the CJIS APB, which is composed of local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners, to obtain broad support and forge commitments from these members to report this critical information. National support is garnered through working partnerships with national law enforcement agencies as well. The National Use-of-Force Data Collection and community participation to report data will likely continue to evolve.
All data collected at the Federal level is voluntary, that's just unacceptable.
There is a billion dollar lobby that goes up to bat whenever law enforcement gets bad press, or legislation they don't like gets proposed.
While I'm in favor of unionization, I do not support organizations that represent the strong arm of the state's desire to operate opaquely and without oversight from the people they're policing.
Policing is a unique role with incredibly perverse incentives, and it has special powers and protections granted to officers by the state that no other workers are granted. When an officer abuses their power, not only do their coworkers protect them, but the system that is supposed to provide checks and balances turns a blind eye to the abuse, and fights against justice every step of the way.
It is clear that this role, and the special status it incurs, is vastly different than other roles for government workers.
I'm not sure what is confusing about having a slightly nuanced view on unionization, especially when I gave my reasoning in both the post you're replying to and this post itself.
Wouldn't that be great if violent cops were assigned to create Public Safety materials all day that went straight into the bin? They can't be fired so their job is to do something completely worthless until they quit.
Do you have to leave them in front of kids teaching students until they're convicted?
What if that takes months? Or never actually happens? But the teacher has crossed the line inappropriately enough times that no parent wants their kid in the same room with him?
In the most positive light, a union might protect a genuinely good teacher being unfairly accused or targeted for political reasons from being put out of work. But sometimes following the processes for ensuring that can be so unreasonable to work through on a practical level that it's easier to just keep them employed but away from students until it gets resolved or they quit.
There's a famous PDF that gets shared when this comes up (although it's geared toward an incompetent teacher):
It’s also entirely possible that even without the unions, the school boards don’t want to get rid of bad teachers simply because they’re already, and chronically, understaffed.
Yes, it's not tech-level pay. But it's not exactly "abysmal" either.
Given the amount of education, time and their own resources they're expected to put in to do their jobs, I wouldn't categorize them as "good", and would say generalizing their compensation as poor would be accurate given those points.
I'm not saying having, say, a teachers' union is a bad thing. I just feel like it should be redundant.
Of course, the police are a special case even within the realm of public sector unions, because they're the ones enforcing the law anyway. It's one step removed from having a union of congresspeople, which really WOULD be completely redundant. What are they going to do? Petition themselves?
There are other ways to handle public sector unions. For example, in Canada the military is not part of a union but their pay is tied to other public sector employees who are unionized. This makes sense since you don't want the military going on strike. When the union employees go on strike to get better pay and benefits the military also gets the same increases. You could do something similar in the US by tying police salaries and benefits to another public sector group like teachers or nurses. I have the feeling that this would be extremely unpopular with the police.
The reason it's strange is because if the government is a democracy (representative or direct), there should already be a mechanism for collective bargaining.
The fact that this is often insufficient strikes me as a pretty strong indictment of our systems of government.
Let's consider teachers as an example. The top search result in Google tells me that 2% of the population of the US are teachers. With collective bargaining they can do work to rule, go on strike, and other job actions to pressure the government to improve working conditions. With voting they don't have a large enough voting block to push through candidates that will improve their working conditions. They would somehow need to convince over 48% of the population, assuming no gerrymandering, to also vote for the candidate that they want. That seems like a big thing to ask just to ensure an annual cost of living increase.
And given the limited number of candidates and the frequency with which our elections come down to a few percent, they certainly wouldn't have to sway 48% of the population to influence how elected representatives treat them.
You're not considering wedge issues? What if the candidate that would improve your working conditions also has a stance on an issue that you are strongly opposed to? For example, do you vote for the candidate who will give you a small raise but also disagrees with you on abortion? What if all of the candidates feel like siding with you would alienate more people than your voting bloc would bring?
> You're not considering wedge issues?
Maybe our systems of government shouldn't have this weakness. This is what I was talking about when I mentioned the "strong indictment".
Based on your last comment I think our disagreement is less about what makes a democracy and more about what constitutes collective bargaining. I don't see a difference between the examples you cited and a worker at a private company telling their neighbours to boycott the company until working conditions improve. Both of these are individual actions and unless they're organized at a larger scale the word "collective" doesn't really apply to either of them.
Examples of things other than direct voting include campaign contributions, talking to the media, going door to door. In the case of teachers, you could talk directly to parents during meetings.
There are all kinds of ways to influence elections that go well beyond simply casting your vote.
And yet, nobody considers that to be sufficient to deny workers their right to organize.
Board positions can be lifetime appointments.
With a corporation, you need to buy a controlling interest of shares. With the "voting as collective bargaining" approach for public sector employees, you have a chance once in a while (depends where you live, but 4-5 years in most places) to try and convince a plurality of the overall population that the concerns of your profession outweigh the many, many other considerations people have in choosing who they vote for.
Either way, both options are not realistically achievable by nearly any union (ironically, I could see police as one exception - "tough on crime" policies, which are usually favourable to police unions, tend to be popular among voters, at least up until June 2020).
What’s unique here? Isn’t the whole point of all strikes that the employer doesn’t want the employees to go on strike?
Edit: just to be clear, I don't mean to imply that teachers aren't important, just that the immediate consequences of them all missing work is less severe than some other occupations.
It's also important to consider that when you're talking about the military who dies matters more than how many people die. How many civilian drone strike casualties would it take to get the same attention that Benghazi got?
What mechanism does the US military have to force people to work in the event that the whole military is on strike? Are they going to charge the entire military if they go on strike? Everybody walks down into the brig and the last man in locks the door behind them?
A group of young adults gets drafted into the Army. They're told to show up at base Foo on some date for boot camp. They go to base Foo and cross the picket line to enter the base. All of the instructors are on strike so there is no one to teach them. They can't get uniforms and equipment because the quartermaster is also on strike. They head to the mess hall to get some food but the cooks are on strike. It's getting late and they want to sleep. The barracks for trainees is locked up and no one is around with the key because they're on strike.
Now you've got a group of tired, hungry people, who didn't want to be there in the first place, who have no training or equipment. How does this help?
National Guard are mobilized all the time during crisis such as Katrina or the ongoing covinavirus pandemic.
US military was the single largest contributor to the response effort to the 2010 Haiti earthquake 
They were also heavily involved in the relief operation in response to the 2015 Nepal earthquake 
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Unified_Response
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Sahayogi_Haat
The thing is, the courts often grant Due Process protections to government employees on the theory that a government employer taking actions against an employee isn't too far removed from the government taking actions against any random citizen. At a minimum, the government almost always must follow some sort of reviewable investigatory procedure. Compared to at-will employment, the burden (however de minimis in an absolute sense) is much greater. The need for checks against malicious government managers is significantly reduced.
The upshot is that unions aren't as necessary in the case of government employees. The downshot is that even if you prevented unionization, the government would still have problems firing problematic employees. The issue is never that they can't be fired (union or not), but whether it's worth the hassle, which has a cost in terms of time & money.
Unionized workers make more than their non-union peers, and have significantly better benefits.
You can see a huge difference in pay and benefits with union and non-union construction workers and welders. One group is paid a living wage with benefits, and has options for retirement, and the other group makes barely more than minimum wage, has poor benefits if they're even classified as employees and not contractors, and they're on their own when it comes to retirement.
Similarly, white collar unionized workers make more than their non-union counterparts, too. They have higher pay, better benefits, and more paid time off.
This is a joke statement right? There is no state in the history of the world that attempts to do this.
You're not alone. George Meany, the first president of the AFL-CIO was opposed to the very idea of public sector unions. As was FDR. And virtually all union leaders through the mid-1950s.
I don't understand why anyone would think that the rank and file public employees are the same entity/interests as the elected officials or upper level management. You might as well say the employees who own a little company stock or get options at any random company don't need a union because they can vote their shares. Working conditions, due process, etc. always matter, in the face of management having an incentive to find shortcuts and such.
Public sector unions are really not the government negotiating with itself any more than a private company. Any time you have management answering to different interests than the workers, a conflict of interest exists so a union has an obvious purpose. If actual unions are bad or corrupt, that's not the same as an issue in the abstract.
Like all things in life, nothing is cut and dry. It's not wrong to both support unions, and call for the reduction in power of police unions.
Public sector unions "bosses" are the people and politicians, so even though these are "private" unions, their alignment is to protect the political class first, cops (members) second, people third. By focusing on politic over people (bad looking cops = lost mayor, DA political race) their primary interested is not public transparency (where the money comes from, leading to lack of consumer alignment on service rendered b/c cops are serving political interests more than they should).
In a private union, the first people they are protecting are their membership (lot could be said here about how that works in practice), but their transparency problem isn't regarding factory deaths or issues at the work place because that is precisely what they are created to bring awareness to. If Ford's cars are killing people, the union actually wants to bring that up since it can hurt employment opportunities for future members.
> Collective bargaining evens out the power imbalances between workers and their employers. It doesn't really matter if the employer is the government or a private company. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make about collective bargaining and democracy since the two are unrelated.
There are other ways to handle public sector unions. For example, in Canada the military is not part of a union but their pay is tied to other public sector employees who are unionized. This makes sense since you don't want the military going on strike. When the union employees go on strike to get better pay and benefits the military also gets the same increases. You could do something similar in the US by tying police salaries and benefits to another public sector group like teachers or nurses. I have the feeling that this would be extremely unpopular with the police
The two are kind of distinct.
You do want to read carefully, because Charter schools are often mixed by 'online' and 'brick and mortar'. When you aggregate these two, Charter schools as a group tend to match or underperform traditional public schools. But this is primarily because online charter schools do substantially worse. When you disaggregate the brick-and-mortar charters, they usually overperform traditional public schools, though not totally uniformly. And these studies do try to do matched control of students, to account for that selection effect.
I checked out the first case study and it looks like you are correct that the brick and mortar charter schools significantly outperform the online ones. However, at least in that study, the brick and mortar charters slightly outperformed public schools in reading but underperformed in math. However, I don't believe these differences were statistically significant. While there probably are some states where charter schools outperform they seem to only perform the same as public schools in South Carolina. To me this doesn't add much weight to the argument that unions lead to worse teaching outcomes. I will also say that I'm not an expert, my cursory reading of one report doesn't change that fact, and I'm definitely open to changing my opinion on this in the future but I don't have the time or interest to read all of the reports in the link.
On the surface it's not obvious that this is attributable to the union. But if you dig in a little bit to what actually differentiates charter schools, the main thing is the absence of the teacher's union. At least, to my understanding, from operating in the space a little bit, and from people I know that operate more deeply in it than I did.
That's not the public position of charter schools. Charter schools are based on the idea that more flexibility will give better results, that has nothing to do with unions. The flexibility comes largely from not being pushed around by the school board and subject to testing and limits. Unions are willing to be flexible with education structure
The fact that most charter schools insist on no unions is what drives much of the opposition which sees them as a bad faith stalking horses for people who want to destroy union power. If charter schools were universally unionized there would be much less opposition!
Compare with magnet schools which are unionized. (But still have to deal with school board oversight)
> Over time, as people figure out what works and what doesn't, I would expect to see them continue to widen the gap between themselves and traditional public schools.
I don't see the evidence for this. Studies show Charter schools perform no better then regular public schools. Some places that have really crappy public schools may try to turn to more charter schools on the chance that on average they might be better but I'd say reforming the regular school system would work better (even though it might be harder)
I agree that it's not the message they transmit. And i'm basically relying on my own personal experience and relationships for guidance here, so I don't necessarily expect you to be convinced. I'm just telling you what i've heard, and what my understanding is.
> I don't see the evidence for this. Studies show Charter schools perform no better then regular public schools. Some places that have really crappy public schools may try to turn to more charter schools on the chance that on average they might be better but I'd say reforming the regular school system would work better (even though it might be harder)
Read the studies I linked earlier in the thread. They do not perform the same.
Be sure to read it carefully, and disaggregate the online charter schools from the brick and mortar.
I also took a look at the 2019 Washington (my state) press release with the following bullet point:
o School level findings identified several charter schools with significantly positive impacts, as much as 165
and 189 more days of learning in reading and math, respectively, compared to the learning they would have
realized in traditional public schools. Conversely, some charters significantly underperformed their local
school options by as much as 106 and 83 fewer days of learning in reading and math, respectively
I'm not saying that charter schools aren't useful, what I am willing to say is that charter schools provide a good solution to a particular problem that has more to do school quality being tied to local tax revenue than unions.
People very much care about accountability when it comes to law enforcement, because compared to regular employees in most fields they have very direct and outsized power over society. And police aren't exactly underpaid either.
To drive this point home, the median salary before overtime and bonuses is $105,106/year for cops, and with overtime, cops can earn over $250,000/year.
The median salary for software engineers in the same state is 10% lower than the $105k police salary before overtime and bonuses.
The entire point of unions is to empower the oppressed. But the police have over and over demonstrated that they are not the oppressed, they are the oppressors.
Both would fall under the aegis of "collective bargaining", but the social aims of the two couldn't be more different: the maintenance of a stratified class system vs the dismantling of same.
(We also used to have a paramilitary organization with close ties to a police force that went around murdering dissidents, but we disbanded the Royal Ulster Constabulary. And, surprisingly, the full tanks and snipers in the streets civil war wasn't quite as deadly as 80s Detroit)
The Federation represents officers up to Chief Inspector, the Association of Police Superintendents represents more senior officers, but below Chief Officer rank.
ACPO is for Chief Police Officers and is quite different. You should not conflate that as serving the same purpose at the Federation of AsPS.
Police union endorsements have a lot of sway.
There isn't really a specific indicator that the unions are the problem with the police, and it's quite possible our focus on them is putting the cart before the horse.
Teachers are covered by QI just as much as cops, and there is much less past precedent on use of force by teachers. Since QI works on the principle of “the absence of precedent covering similar actors in similar circumstances and ruling it unlawful means you can't be held liable”, they probably are more able to do that covered by QI.
OTOH, they have less practical opportunity to apply force.
1 is that there are extremely few cases of QI for teachers, QI is used primarily by police officers
2 is that the unions don't back teachers that come up on QI charges. They don't run clinics on how to use QI to jutify harming someone or other clinics like Killology.
To the extent that's true, it's because people don't sue teachers personally as a way of getting some largely symbolic measure of justice for things that are actually crimes but where public prosecutors won't prosecute, because teachers don't benefit from the same working relationship with prosecutors that police have.
> 2 is that the unions don't back teachers that come up on QI charges
There are no such things as QI charges, and unions do, in fact, back teachers sued for discretionary acts, the space where QI applies. Which is why education groups have raised concerns about the pressure to end QI.
2. Your first rebuttal point reinforces my point, in practice there are very few cases that result in QI being used w.r.t. teachers.
3. I think most of us can agree that QI shouldn't apply to teachers or officers or any other State actor and is legal non-sense created by junk judicial interpretation.
Are they? I think it's hard to answer that question precisely, since qualified immunity is not a law that has been passed but a collection of judicial interpretations. Wikipedia says that it applies to 'government officials', and, even if one takes Wikipedia as definitive, it's not clear to me that that should apply to schoolteachers. The only real way to test whether qualified immunity applies to teachers would be to have it be used in a court case. Has it been?
The modern interpretation of QI, while all the current news coverage comes from police officers, comes from a case in which White House advisors in the Nixon Administration were being sued over their involvement in a defense contracting dispute, and applies to government employees exercising any discretionary functions, categorically.
> The only real way to test whether qualified immunity applies to teachers would be to have it be used in a court case. Has it been?
Yes. An extensive discussion relevant to public education, with some case citations, is here: https://mobile.edweek.org/c.jsp?cid=25919821&bcid=25919821&r...
Or at least massive opportunity cost and stunting or misdirection.
Teachers and police should be both way better paid and we should demand a lot more from both. These shouldn't be jobs you just get because they are easy(ish) to qualify for and have retirement and you can't ever get fired. We really need some of our best people in both.
And, factually, yes, it is pretty easy to become a teacher. Thanks for your opinion to the contrary though, I'll consider it.
Somehow, police unions are able to avoid having similar accountability.
Government workers negotiate with capital; they don't negotiate with private capital, but state capital is still capital.
Our need for accountability and oversight over jobs that involve the ability to use deadly force outweighs their need for collective bargaining power. The greater good, at least presently, is served by being able to scrutinize police conduct with less interference.
I don't think police unions created this problem, but I think they are helping perpetuate it.
(a) are first-responders whose central job is public safety,
(b) are regularly sent into situations where their life and safety is on the line (6 have been shot to death in the past two months), and
(c) regularly face violent and hateful prejudice as an identity, just for putting on the uniform,
it's hard to justify that they don't deserve advocacy from a group of people with shared experiences.
It doesn't mean that unions should always get their way or that unions should be officially recognized, but police can and should exercise their rights to collectively bargain and strike if necessary.
(b) You grossly overstate the danger of being a police officer. According to the Department of Labor, being a police officer is not in the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the US. It is, in fact, slightly more dangerous than being an electrician, and significantly safer than driving a cab. (https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfar0020.pdf)
(c) I think you are being hyperbolic. The intense criticism they are facing today is earned. Not because all, or even most officers are bad, but because they consistently protect the ones that are, and aggressively defend the worst among them.
They can have advocacy, but their ability to collectively bargain with us (our government is us) and constantly circle the wagons and protect their own is net harmful to our society.
And yet, the same people arguing for abolishment of police also want to expand the government beyond anything it’s ever done. They give no thought to the unintended consequences instead crying “but think of the children”. I see I’m getting down voted heavily, so clearly my ideas aren’t valued here, but it’s kinda mind blowing that so many people here can hold these hypocritical ideas in their head at the same time.
What is "this" that covers universal healthcare, police, schools, environmental regulations, food safety, workplace safety etc?
Many people believe that there are parts of social life which are too important to entrust to privately-controlled, peofit-driven hands. The only alternative in our society is to entrust them to local, state or federal government. The reason why is that, unlike private entities, we the people actually have some amount of control over the government.
Now, when we see parts of government consistently escape any kind of control, like police or intelligence agencies, then we start demanding something to be done about it. If police unions are part of the problem, as it seems they are, then those also need to change, or be removed. Schools are not in any way near the same level of out-of-control as police have been shown to be.
That being said, I'd also like to point out that "abolish the police" isn't saying "remove police entirely." It is saying that police, in their current state, should not exist. It's saying that police not be the ones who handle someone having a psychotic episode, and that part of the money going towards police should fund trained healthcare professionals instead. That police shouldn't be handling the homelessness problem, and we could redirect some of their funding to create public housing instead of throwing them in jail over and over. We shouldn't have police handle truant students, and arresting them certainly shouldn't be the only option available if they continue to do so.
It comes down to the fact that police forces and unions have too much power. And of course that leads into the larger discussion of the fact that police can say "we thought this person was committing a crime" and steal everything in your car with almost no recourse to get it back. That police have incentives to make any given arrest at the end of their shift to accrue overtime, and that most police organizations have no limits on the amount they can accrue. That police forces are getting increasingly militarized even as violent crime is going down worldwide. Or that they can shoot and kill almost anyone and say "well I felt that my life was in danger" and that's the end of the discussion. And that if in the unlikely event they are fired, they still keep their pension and can be hired a precinct over with no repercussion. That there are no means for reasonable oversight of these organization to make sure they are acting in the public's best interest. That police unions actively fight to keep all of these policies in place instead of working to build trust in their organizations so that we don't have these problems in the first place.
It's not a discussion of "I only want the parts of the government that I like to have funding," it's an objective look at an arm of the government that has far more power than it should by pushing every existing law and statute to the limit while everyone looks the other way, and an objective view at what society-benefiting services we could fund (that would reduce the need for police in the first place) if we chose to fund them instead of massive police forces. If we had an education system where you had one teacher the entirety of your career, who had no oversight on the curriculum they taught, could assign grades at random based on how they liked each student, that was unable to be terminated, and if they did lost absolutely nothing, you can bet that we'd be here protesting that as well.
If their track record wasn't abysmal when it comes to abuse of power, I would be less likely to see a problem with police unions. However, that isn't the case, hence my opinion on the matter.
Some of the notable quotes include:
* Starting roughly in the late '50s, Rob says, state governments began allowing police officers to collectively bargain - in other words, to join unions. This is where we found a really remarkable and really horrible result....after officers gained access to collective bargaining rights ... there was a substantial increase in killings of civilians ...about 60 to 70 per year ... killed by the police in an era historically where there are a lot fewer police shootings. So that's a humongous increase.
* One possible reason why police unions might want more ways to protect officers from being prosecuted is the safety of the officers. If an officer is worried about being prosecuted, then that officer might hesitate to shoot in a dangerous situation. [but the number of] Officers killed in the line of duty .... doesn't change after bargaining rights are granted.
* ...someone who lives in the U.S. was almost 60x as likely to be killed by police as someone in the United Kingdom. ...A black American... is about 3x as likely to be killed by police as a white person.
I have seen a video where four cops randomly shot a man with a tazer. That man had no intention of escaping. The excessive use of police force served no purpose. It didn't make the job safer.
In Chicago, the police union has attempted to destroy complaint records and uses an arbitration clause to minimize impact of discipline and to keep information about sustained misconduct complaints under wraps, including other police departments considering hiring an officer (https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/il-grievances).
(Full disclosure, I'm a co-author of the OP linked article and the article about CPD grievances.)
Most people are murdered by someone they know, so we're looking at a pretty small slice of all murders.
And that stat is for homicides, not murder. So it includes people lawfully killed.
I would imagine that's part of the point.
Unfortunately, it is common for those with power to see the data as a stick they can be beaten with rather than as a tool to do better.
Of course, an example of the negative potential also comes to mind: recently we got proof of extreme gerrymandering done using racial data. Obviously that isn't to suggest that data shouldn't exist, but more to underline your last point: fundamentally it can only be beneficial if people come to it in good faith.
Last I checked they were happily singing out about the data because legal gun owners shoot statistically nobody and military style arms kill statistically nobody compared to career criminals with boring old handguns (who mostly kill each other because they can't rely on the courts to mediate their disputes).
Fundamentally trying to insulate data collection from those with invested with the status-quo (in all situations) would be sensible.
Why couldn’t there be an SEC-type entity that requires periodic public filings from police departments or hospitals?
I doubt it. People have crunched the data that we do have and found that it doesn't support the popular narrative - and been fired from their jobs just for crunching the numbers.
What term would you prefer? One that does not presume innocence?
> The deputy’s gun fired one shot, missing the dog and hitting the child.
> The suspect was struck several times by the officer's duty weapon.
Sometimes the voice switches mid-tweet when the subject does:
> Minneapolis: A photographer was shot in the eye.
> Washington, D.C.: Protesters struck a journalist with his own microphone.
> Louisville: A reporter was hit by a pepper ball on live television by an officer who appeared to be aiming at her.
"A photographer was shot" (cop), "A reporter was hit" (cop), but "Protesters struck".
2 weeks later camera footage comes out showing Person C driving over Person A, getting out of the car and running, and Person B moving over to sit in the drives seat.
I don’t understand the point about presuming innocence. These are cases where it has been determined that a police officer has shot someone. Not cases where somebody was shot whilst police were nearby and we don’t know who did it, which would be “police involved shootings”.
Although I don't read clearly that the police were the ones that pulled the trigger. And "police involved shootings" doesn't say anything other than there was a shooting and an officer was involved. So the media does dance around the details.
Maybe it's cop-speak, maybe it's liability protection, maybe it's to get the readers to be curious on the details or a combination of all. I don't know.
"Officer was shot" or "officer-initiated shooting" is more clear.
(Full disclosure, I'm a co-author of the article linked here.)
> The fact that voters fail to hold their lower-level governments to account does not mean that all power (and failure) should be centralized.
So they have the power to do it, but they definitely have the power not to do it at all.
Generally most policies are good or bad regardless of where you live. If a policy is good it should be wnavted nationwide so to benifit all citizens.
More specifically this has to do with government oversight. When local and state government overstep and violate people's rights and act in an authoritarian fashion the federal government should step in and fix things
> There is no article in the constitution which mandates (or permits) federal supervision of state powers (such as the police power).
You're incorrect. The Supreme Court has found that federal supervision of police powers is constitutional so it is. As it should be.
> The fact that voters fail to hold their lower-level governments to account does not mean that all power (and failure) should be centralized.
The fact that voters fail hold their lower-level governments to account and in fact may be unable or don't wish to is an incredibly powerful argument for the need of a centralized solution. The same now as during the civil rights era
The United States Constitution guarantees a certain minimum level of civil rights. Each state’s Constitution may set forth a higher, but not lower, bar for civil rights. (California, for example, cannot amend the state Constitution to allow slavery or to prevent people with orange hair from voting. Well they could but the Federal Government would step in to stop the amendment from being enforced...)
Who is responsible for enforcing the Constitution? The Federal and State governments. So when a State government is the entity violating the Constitution the Federal government is responsible. It happens all the time and in myriad ways.
The executive branch (President, DOJ, various Federal agencies like the EEOC, etc.) can intervene if enforcement is at issue - usually with a lawsuit (for example, when a state violates voting rights) and rarely with force (like when states refused to carry out school desegregation following Brown v. Board of Education and Brown II). Likewise when the Federal government is infringing civil rights States Attorneys General will bring suit against the Federal Government just the same.
Congress, as the legislative branch, can also pass laws under the authority of the Commerce Clause to articulate a minimum national standard for specific civil rights like housing, employment, and education. I can’t post an advertisement for a job opening with the qualification “WHITE WOMEN ONLY” and the State of New York can’t either. States must abide the same way you or I are bound to follow federal law and the consequence of non-compliance is the same: the Department of Justice will come knocking to enforce the Civil Rights Act.
Finally, the Judicial Branch has oversight of state judiciary enforcement of civil rights. If Massachusetts arrests me without cause and a Massachusetts judge sentences me to prison without a trial I can appeal to a federal court that would then order Massachusetts to charge me or release me as the Constitution requires.
Our entire system is intended to allow the Federal and State Governments and the people to seek assistance and oversight to ensure the rights we are guaranteed are not infringed.
Edit: The DOJ Civil Rights Division uses the word “enforce” right on their homepage: https://www.justice.gov/crt
I would argue that the death knell for the state's rights reading of the Constitution was the Civil War. It's fairly clear that the development of the government post-war, especially illustrated by the punishments levied against the southern states, created a national government rather than a federation of allied parties.
I would argue that incorporation was the beginning of the death knell of states' rights, followed by the dramatic expansion of the administrative state in the early 1900s.
The fact that they needed to supervise them because not enough was being done to change the cops behavior is a strong argument that the federal government should be doing it
> I would argue that incorporation was the beginning of the death knell of states' rights
People have rights. States which are government do not have rights. The idea of states rights is a ridiculous one that was frequently used to try to justify lack of federal oversight and the "right" to oppress people's rights.
As for incorporation it's one of the best actions the supreme court has taken. As a libertarian you should be happy the court said that states can no longer violate people's constitutional rights
This is run by the Seattle PD. It's quite detailed. It uses Tableau for visualizations. You can see a lot there.
And ironically, there seemed to be more protests directed against the Seattle PD than other departments. So I'm not sure that this dashboard of data actually matters to protestors.
The best part of the idea is that cops would be forced to justify the reasonableness of their supposed reasonable use of force, and they would be held to the standard of "reasonable" that the public decides, not themselves. And it is not a trial, it is merely a screening for a trial to see if it passes the bar for criminal action.
IANAL, but I'm pretty sure that's not how the Fifth Amendment works. Wikipedia notes the Fifth Amendment right to remain silent is broad enough to apply even in civil proceedings, and mentions an example of it being used in grand jury testimony: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fifth_Amendment_to_the_United_...
There's never been more desire for this data.
Update: Just to make clear I don't disagree that more data is good and that we should work to make all crime and police data available, but I don't think the FBI should be able to have absolute authority over local PDs.
However in the United States Constitution the 10th Amendment states that all powers not explicitly delegated to the federal government are reserved to the states. Thus establishing the principle of the separation of powers between the federal and state governments as integral to American law.
Thus according to the constitution the role of the federal government is not that of an oversight body. I am anxious however to learn more on the subject if you can provide additional evidence that legally the role of the US Federal government is to act as an oversight body for the states.
EDIT: A lot of the replies have been informative, and well reasoned and there is a very compelling case from a legal perspective for the idea of the Federal government has the ability to compel local PDs in this respect. My hats off to the replies, very informative. I still don't know if the FBI would be the best appendage for doing something like this, but I do find the responses informative.
> No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. [ ... ] The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
That gives ground for the US government to oversee the states, at least in matters of judicial and policing oversight.
The Federal government has the power to apply consent decrees to specific police departments when those departments are found to have used force excessively, per the 1994 Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act. This essentially opens police departments up to lawsuits if they exhibit a pattern of bad behavior. In fact, this law explicitly requires DOJ to issue an annual report on "the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers", although they haven’t.
Even if they don't have a legal right to do oversight, they can simply say you comply with this or you don't get federal money.
And when certain states broke off from the union and for a century continued to oppress the civil liberties of a race, the feds stepped in.
There is evidence of widespread abuse of police power and lack of accountability. There could be a Constitutional argument made about equal protection regarding a federal mandate on police oversight.
This may come as a surprise to you, but that would be unconstitutional. The constitution limits what the federal government can do, and thus, there is no provision for what you're proposing. Unless of course, you mean an amendment, and that ipso facto requires approval of 3/4 of the states.
>"We looked into this and confirmed with our IT Department that API was a tool that was previously available at one point, but has been discontinued / turned off. The API Access site is stagnant and not being monitored and should have been pulled down once the tool was no longer publicly accessible, and as a result, requests for access were not being reviewed.”
The best translation I can come up with seems to be "The API used to exist, but was turned off because it was turned off".
More people should be doing this stuff.
It's almost as if they've been institutionalized to think they're better than everyone else.
Defund the police and use the money for mental health and human services.
Local police service data should be randomly audited by the feds and independent third parties.
That doesn't address the cancer of gang violence and other violence that police need to deal with constantly.
"Mental health and human services" will not address these problems. Most people committing crime had an opportunity to go to school and participate in legal society. They choose not to.
The future of America is that of a lawless gangland like Mexico if the police are "defunded".
> The future of America is that of a lawless gangland like Mexico if the police are "defunded".
Gang violence in the US has been declining for more than 2 decades, even as the population grows and US police case closure rates are far below 50%. Police don't have as much effectiveness or as good of a reputation with innocent civilians in gang territory as I imagine you think. Also, a significant portion of the US already has and carries guns, so it's not like gang violence would just expand boundless even if there were no police.
The true test of open data is when people use its information to criticize public officials and it doesn't disappear.
But who watches the watchers?
I think police departments and government can do better. Removing data implies a lack of transparency. Transparency and being seen to be improving at "doing the right thing" should be core targets right now.
This isn’t just about police either. I should be able to look up a lot more. Open democracies, informed voters, right? Regular, yearly/monthly data dumps should be commonplace.
How else are modern democracies meant to function? Lobby groups? How 20th century!
Simply stated, it's that it's the hardest sell in the world to expect a company to expend money and resources to act against its own interests, and applied to governmental organizations like the police, no appointed official is going to stomach spending money making themselves look bad.
More broadly stated, you can't solve accountability problems by asking people to step up and be more accountable. The only way is to impose rules from above.
And even that won't work if there's actual bad faith involved. Police depts issuing rules on body camera usage will find that the cameras just don't work when they'd make individual officers look bad.
I'm sure CPD had the best of intentions when it created its API. But as soon as a journo ran an article using it to make them look bad, regardless of how right it was, means their access was going to get revoked. Nobody forced them to put out an API, and it just became a political liability. Of course it's going to go away.
> But as soon as a journo ran an article using it to make them look bad, regardless of how right it was, means their access was going to get revoked.
No. This is specific (but not exclusive) to their culture.
If NASA has this toxic culture, we would lose more than 50% of all rocket payloads and astronauts. Programmers who have this mentality are defensive about their code (as if any criticism of their code is an attack on their ego) never grow and quickly turn the culture around them very negative.
Source: I worked closely with CPD and to some extent the mayor's office for two years.
In attempt to make the title more neutral it seems like it made it more biased in favor of what seems like a corrupt police department.
Internally and among colleagues? They're howling with laughter at the hypocrisy of cops who love the idea of "if you're doing nothing wrong, there's nothing to hide."
The rampant lies and misrepresentations about police will only cause more crime, deaths and lawlessness as police choose to retire and decent people who may have been considering becoming police will decide to not subject themselves to the constant and unjustified abuse meted out by the public and politicians which police have to endure.
As for your assertion that "rampant lies and misrepresentations" caused the decline of the police profession, the idiom isn't "criticism of the apple barrel spoils the whole bunch." The police do damage to their own reputation by not removing the "bad apples," moreso than anybody who critices the police.
Chicago Police Department arrest API shutdown is its own kind of ‘cover up’
It's literally impossible for anybody to ever not. There's no such thing as a blank slate human who's capable of conversing.
Edit for response: To be clear, I don't think makotech222 argued their point well. But expecting people to enter a conversation without any outside ideas influencing their mindset is patently absurd.
These are pretty sensational claims, do you have hard statistically relevant evidence for this?
Do you mean they make them up? I'm really not following here.
I'm honestly not sure if you're right or not. I often can't tell anymore.
EDIT: Wow, this post was downvoted the very moment I posted it (<1s). Good work HN.
EDIT 2: retracted claim that the parent was lying as opposed to the more charitable interpretation of their error.
Edit: You also added "as opposed to the more charitable interpretation of their error", which is very passive aggressive and elitist.
If you are claiming that the police are in fact, "a force which exists to terrorize working class people in order to force them to work for minimum wage" then I think the burden of proof is on you.
This is like saying that just because the DPRK has "democratic" in the name, it must be a democratic nation.
"They are a force which exists to terrorize working class people in order to force them to work for minimum wage. They are an investment by the ruling class which allows them to maintain their profits on marginalized workers."
Is just over the top absurdist. It's easily debunked by asking someone making above minimal wage "are you being forced to work by the police?" Will they bust down your door and address you for failure to accept employment at minimum wage?
Or will the police fine you and jail you?
I don't agree with your reading of the original argument, but if you want to take it extremely literally, the police do actually force you to work, assuming you do not have money or relations to support yourself without working. And of course, the prison system will literally force you to work if you get that far. Of course, they are doing this through their enforcement of local, state, or federal laws, not by their own mandate, but they are still the ones ultimately doing these actions.
Of course, there are much more faitfhful readings of the original argument that have more nuanced responses.
I'm not sure what you're trying to get at. Our society is based on trade. They also have charities and shelters to help those who don't have it.
In every major US city I’ve been to you can do this.
They can't? The government is arresting these people for speaking? If so we have a 1st amendment violation.
Private corporations? That's an issue between the person and the corporation. We don't have rights protecting speech there and protecting that agreement [staying employeed]. However, the private insitution do not have the right to imprison someone over speech they do not like.
> may not have the information to be able to understand their situation fully
Are you talking about the education about this? The federal system has a minimum amount of education guaranteed per person. Typically most of the economy is run by people who have the education and skills. As an individual you do have the right to congregate with others and speak with each others about situations. Creating a union is legal. (Although that's an annoyingly controversial practice)
> To claim that just because you ask someone "are you being oppressed" and they say "no", that they are therefore not being oppressed seems naive at best.
That is your judgment and evaluation of the situation. Why should we believe this guy Latty on the internet about a third party's situation?
Step-aside and let them be your hero! /s