I'm very curious to hear the full story behind this one.
On a separate note - I used to work in Chelsea. Two or three days of the week, as I was leaving the subway, I would see NYPD questioning and/or frisking a young, black man or women. I saw this happen for months, and never once was the person being questioned/frisked white, east Asian, or any other race.
Oh, and by the way:
> The main I didn’t file any kind of report or move forward at all was that I don’t have badge numbers.
NEVER ask a police officer for his/her badge number. Look for it and try to memorize if you want, but don't let them know you're trying to learn it. I know someone who ended up doing ~18 months in prison for doing exactly this. (The official charge was "obstruction of justice" and/or "resisting arrest", but that's basically all he actually did. Once it's clear to the cops that you're looking to report them, they'll do everything in their power to punish and discredit you).
 Affluent, primarily white, gentrified (former) gayborhood, for those unfamiliar with NYC.
 This is not the same as the NYPD standing by the tables asking people to let them look through their bags (which you can refuse, by the way!)
 And possibly even things not in their power
Cops are supposed to cite drivers for license plate covers and I see them out in NY the time--how can we expect them to enforce the display of their own numbers?
The only part of the uniform that police can't easily modify is the badge, which is also the part that unambiguously proves that they are police when necessary. (Not that most citizens would know how to authenticate the badge of their local police, much less those of all the federal LEAs ).
The headband of a uniform cap would also work well in addition to a name tape.
There should also be a requirement that police identify themselves by name/number verbally in interactions when it is practicable to do so; e.g. "You are under arrest, I'm Officer Johnson badge #3898390 of the NYPD, ..." Coupled with audio and video recording devices, it helps create a record.
"I want x to be subtle in the way that a shotgun to the face is subtle" i.e. not subtle at all.
I can believe that this is good advice.
But I also have to mention that "get the officer's badge number" has been the generic advise given to people protesting/aiming-to-stop police misbehavior. And back twenty years ago, it might have been good advice (for all I know).
But here we have the quandary of every legal action people to resist the system within the system.
The poor people who passively take the punishment meted out to them have learned over a long, painful period that standing out and resisting gets them problems. And the cops learn ways to teach them this if behavior X becomes a serious impediment to their standard way of operating.
I know for serious charges, where the courts feel a need to keep the "plea bargaining" racket going, pleading not guilty is an invitation to an absurdly disproportionate sentence. It may be that people could actually get a chance at fairness if many began to plead not guilty (as the article suggests) but it seems likely the courts would begin "kicking butt and naming names" if such behavior slowed it down and that pleading guilty might become a similar invitation to abuse that asking an officer for his badge number seems to be now.
Which is a long way to say we need systemic reform that individual protest isn't enough to get.
(Also, what was going through their heads when they said this - not that we'll ever know, of course).
A perfect use for google-glass.
EDIT: here's the full story: http://p1x3l.com/article/121/cowboy-america/
My friend who was drinking went there without paying and they told him he could spend the afternoon in a "session" with other people and not pay the 25. He did it, it was mostly people sharing their experiences about how they got there.
One guy got into an argument with a cop so the cop convoked him for peeing in the street, another one had a restaurant and his table was too far on the sidewalk... stuff like that.
I'm assuming I was not charged with anything after the stop-and-frisk because they figured out I was probably a lot more trouble for them than I was worth. In this case, appearances were deceiving...what I was wearing at that time, due to the weather, screamed "punk kid/hipster" far more than the "Privileged Accountant who passes for White" clothing I had on underneath.
I believe everyone who's saying a person of color or otherwise underprivileged person would have had a much different outcome is 100% correct.
For the record: I believe his advice is terrible for any person of lower socio economic background and especially for a person of colour. The number 1 rule when interacting with police should be you have no rights. Only when you're safely away from that policemen are your rights returned. Countless victims of police brutality can attest to that.
As a former Los Angeles sheriff's deputy who agrees with the majority of sentiments in this thread, I can confidently say that your broad statement is nonsense. Everyone, not just upper middle class whites, should know and assert their rights in police encounters.
The sad fact of the matter is that a very large number of police officers are simply bullies in uniform. Asserting your rights to them, or acting "uppity," will only get you in trouble.
What you won't see (or will see very, very rarely) is a cop losing his job and standing trial for assault if they wrongfully use physical force on a civilian. They can always get away with "well, I thought he was carrying a weapon" or other such flimsy excuses. Combined with the fact that cops always look after their own, it becomes very difficult to successfully and meaningfully persecute a cop for abusing their authority.
I'd like to believe the world works the way you think it does, experience has taught me otherwise.
I think the correct phrase for this situation is, "you can beat the charge, but you can't beat the ride."
Police get all ornery when there's any kind of perceived challenge to their authority.
Perhaps it's resentment of the widening income gap between 20-30 somethings in the tech industry and those in the service industry?
Another HN article referenced a Bay Area police officer making a remark about being a "wannabe billionaire."
Maybe. Because of the billionaire big winner image, people outside the industry see techies as very well off.
In fact, cops make a lot more on average -- benefits included -- than techies or programmers or engineers. In big American cities, cops are paid similar total compensation to doctors. The usual breakdown is 125k or so salary plus gold plated health care, various fancy bonuses and discounts and a pension plan that's worth more actuarially than all of the salary. Totals above $400k are not uncommon.
NYPD, as mentioned in op, is considered much more stingy than suburban NY departments so the cops in question may not be making quite that much.
Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median is 55k.
Since you said NY is stingy, I tried other big cities. Here's a list of Chicago PD salaries.
The only people on that list with a salary of 125k are ranked captain and above.
Here's the LAPD salary schedule.
Not even close to averaging 125k
Houston PD http://www.texastribune.org/library/data/government-employee...
Again, much lower than what you're talking about.
If cops in the 4 biggest cities in America aren't making that much, who is?
Also, retirement with nearly full pay at age 50 is common.
That is significantly higher than the per-capita income in Menlo Park:
Could you provide a source on those figures? I would be interested to learn about it.
In the US, state, counties, city and other local governments are struggling with their budgets. A police force with $400k in compensation per officer is way out of wack, and no way that tax payers would go for it.
At that level of compensation, that puts police officers in the wealthiest 1% of Americans.
I know here in Seattle (and the richer suburbs of Bellevue, Redmond, etc), it's a common complaint that police officers can't afford to live in the communities they protect.
Had it been a slightly warmer day, this incident would have likely never occurred.
That being said, I think what's happening on the left coast is the widening income gap coupled with a context switch that the cops are still catching up to. There are a lot of kids who bleed entitlement, some of whom are quite wealthy and some of whom are dirt poor.
If someone like that is getting fucked with by the biggest gang in NYC, you know there's a problem.
The police are there to preserve disorder, but they have lost sight of this. Now, there are two types of cops; the protect and serve kind, and the us against them kind. Sadly, the latter seems to be taking over. I'm afraid this doesn't end well. The nightmare scenario is some kid walking up to a cop on the 4th of July and asking for baseball cards with a toy in his hand that is mistaken for a gun.
The real question here is what are we going to do about it?
Other places have too few (Oakland PD should be at least 2x and really 5x what it has). The fundamental problem is poor places have less budget and also higher need for policing.
Various transit agencies, universities, etc. should probably not operate their own substandard police forces, but use non-sworn security and have a decent working relationship with the local PD.
EDIT: ~4 officers per 10k would also be lower than essentially any other country in the world(2).
Now what I'm also curious about - would you expect high population density to increase or decrease the number of police needed per capita? Off hand, I would be inclined to think lower population density would need higher police per capita, but here it seems to be the reverse (possibly reflecting the coffers rather than the needs, though).
You have the somewhat obvious want of a visible police officer ranging an area to deter criminal activity such as shoplifting/vandalism/mugging.
But you also want the police in an area to deal with domestic dispute type crimes which you'd expect to increase at least linearly with density, possibly more so as the closer you are to your neighbors the more you may see them and the more their behavior may impact you. Which may mean that you need several more cops to respond to concurrent incidents even if the average rate of incidents is lower than what a single cop could deal with.
That's without getting in to any other issues such as bureaucracy needs/wants of larger departments. Or the odds of more dense areas being more culturally diverse/allowing higher differentials in income against distance.
So after that I think it would be quite hard to judge what would be required.
Move slowly, make your body language indicate that you are not wanting a fight, speak clearly and ask the other person to also speak clearly, and be ready to bolt if the opportunity arises.
American cops must be dealt with using de-escalation techniques.
It's especially tough because their only training is to escalate further at any provocation.
If the number already exists, you get the existing profile, if it doesn't, a new profile is created, from which you can upvote or downvote the officer, add a name or picture, and write a review. Other users can upvote or downvote reviews as well.
The other part of the app would be a top 10 list of the best officers in NYC, and a top 10 worst officers.
I'm pretty alright at Android, but know nothing about iOS. We'd need a really great and simple design. The whole backend could be done with Parse.
Avoid contact with the Police at all costs, otherwise you are going to have a bad time.
Justice means nothing, quotas mean everything.
i would also offer that due to the fact you're a successful guy, you have probably not had police interactions in, say, east new york. police attitudes and behavior are highly variable based on where they work. if you're in a shitty neighborhood, you will have much worse interactions with cops no matter your race. in nice neighborhoods, cops are nice.
Beat cops aren't just supposed to write traffic citations. They're supposed to get a litany of these "pink ticket"s, which account for all the quality of life violations that the Broken Window theory goes after.
Exactly. That goes for all police. Their only job duty is to make arrests. Only. It is a fallacy to think that the police are there to help. They're not even required to help by law and have no duty to do so. Once this fact is realized by someone, not interacting with police and other smart actions start to make complete sense. It's just too bad that children are wrongfully taught otherwise. It's one thing that parents can be squarely blamed for, as they usually believe the lies themselves.
(Regarding the park incident.. to be fair, most parks in the city close at 1AM. I've seen people asked to leave, but I've never seen anyone get a summons. I usually try to get an extra lap around Prospect Park in as it's closing, and haven't had any problems, but I do keep an eye on the time.)
I found this odd though:
Shaking the phone stops the filming.
That seems like a bad idea given that police brutality might cause the film to stop when you most need it to be filming.
The one really positive thing I could see coming out of google glass is a shift of power from the police force to the citizens.
The general advice there is to start recording immediately, keep your mouth shut, and use a save-to-the-cloud video app like Bambuser so the fuzz can't erase your footage.
And keep a dummy SD card between the battery and the back cover for this purpose. It is also useful for generic SD card duty anyway, and costs like $5.
If they seize and search your property without warrant or reasonable suspicion that you used it to commit a crime, and commit spoliation of evidence by deleting video or images from it, they can be held accountable later. If you give it up voluntarily without them even asking, you are not helping anybody.
in chicago, i have never received anything from a police officer besides disrespect and questionable tickets.
i am very excited for the next 20 years since i predict we will see the end of human policing and instead have robotic law enforcement.
I plead not guilty because I was TOLD by the Police Officer that the ticket would get thrown out. I assumed this meant that the officer would not appear were I to appeal it, and when the officer appeals it gets thrown out.
What I didn't know is that the "ACD" option--Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal--was not offered to be at my arraignment. The first magistrate I saw wanted my $25, and didn't say a thing about throwing the ticket out. Not knowing my rights at the time (i.e. the ACD option), I plead Not Guilty.
Turns out the officer did appear and I was offered ACD. Had I continued with the trial, I would have made a point of the officer's statement saying that "this ticket would get thrown out as long as you appeared".
> In the nearly six hours I spent in court on two separate dates, I saw around a hundred people plead guilty and pay fines for a variety of different petty offenses
This is plea-bargaining in action, and related to:
Q: “How many citations have you written since you saw my client?”
A: “Maybe 40 or 50. We’re required to write 10 citations a month.”
Then again; “Off-Topic: Most stories about politics, or crime, […]”
The piece itself was well written and relatively apolitical and non-threatening.
The "tech" aspect is the "fsck the police" part -- I think Nick is going to go into some ways to use technology to 1) help the police do what they should be doing, better 2) help the police not do what they shouldn't be doing 3) help users/clients/customers/victims of the police. And so should other HN people. Video recording seems like the lowest hanging fruit -- figuring out how to do that both safely and reliably is a good problem to solve. If I were GoPro, I'd donate $25mm or so to developing best practices for this, and then make another $5b selling GoPro-Police cameras over the next decade.
That being said, there's absolutely no reason that cops should not have a camera on them at all times. It's more for their benefit than ours.
As far as technologies that reliably work, the stop-and-frisk app is actually quite good, but requires practice like anything else.
I'd also be all for photographing cops out of habit. I stopped short of recommending that...but, hell, there's plenty of fodder here for a good month's worth of posts.
True. This would be a major positive change to our system.
> It's more for their benefit than ours.
False. Everything is already all the cops' way. They have nowhere to go but down. Their court testimony is legally privileged over yours (this really galls me in the face of the idea that "all are equal before the law"). They don't like being filmed because it hurts them. In this case, what we have is a case of "good for us because it's bad for the cops".
If you get arrested the lawyer can download the last photos.