But I know from friends that those same police officers become totally different people when in a different environment (particularly uptown and in poorer Brooklyn neighborhoods) and especially when dealing with people of color. There is bullying, there is haughtiness, and there is often a complete lack of respect.
Video cameras can change that. The knowledge that any citizen can file a complaint about an unnecessarily hostile interaction means that police officers will begin to act the way they are supposed to, as the only members of our community to whom we grant a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force.
I also believe that video cameras will have a positive impact on police, increasing the respect they receive from the community and their self-respect, and enabling them to prove that they are often in the right around contested confrontations.
We were pulled out of the car, his car was searched without consent and I was searched without consent. I got into an argument with the cop because they violated our rights and the Sergeant kept on going on and on about how an unsignaled left turn is probable cause. Fuck that shit, we weren't doing anything wrong and are far from looking like drug dealers or gang bangers. What were we doing before the stop? Boss stopped by a bank, then we got in the car, stopped a few blocks away at a cell phone store where I bought something, I got back in the car and we got pulled over on the first turn.
I for one can't wait for police to have body cameras, because then it stops being your word against the cops. And that changes everything, it gives leeway for people that want to fight these kind of daily infringements on our rights.
How many dash cam videos have you seen of Russian cops asking for bribes? Not that many I bet. How many have you seen of someone trying to pull off an insurance scam? More than a few.
It isn't because police aren't asking for bribes - it's because people are probably afraid to publicize the bad things the police do, whereas they are okay publicizing the bad things a random poor scammer/druggie does.
In a post on Animal, Russian ex-pat and journalist Marina Galperina offers
a few reasons, which boil down to dangerous driving conditions and the
unreliability of Russian traffic police.
The sheer size of the country, combined with lax — and often corrupt —
law enforcement, and a legal system that rarely favors first-hand accounts
of traffic collisions has made dash cams all but a requirement for motorists.
The Russian Highway Patrol is known throughout their land for brutality, corruption,
extortion and making an income on bribes. Dash-cams won’t protect you from being
extorted for cash, because your ass shouldn’t have been speeding. It will however
keep you safer from drunks in uniform, false accusations and unreasonable bribe
Motorists use these dash cams as a tool to help fight their corner
against Russia's notoriously corrupt traffic police as well as
against scammers trying to extort money out of drivers.
Dozorov recounts one incident involving an inspector, which occurred
months ago when police officers stopped his car. "He'd accused me of
going through a red light," Dozorov says. "It was enough for me to say: 'I'm
not going to argue. Let's have a look at the dash cam.' At that point the
inspector said he’d probably made a mistake. He didn't even bother looking.
He said sorry and left."
 I threw it in a trash can on the corner, officer pulled up 10 feet later, said it was beer, found a beer can in the trash.. Refused to look at the bodega security footage from the place 5 blocks up where I had just bought it)
Fortunately, my friend contested it in court and won because the police are supposed to show you the evidence if you ask for it.
Its a net gain for everyone.
Ok, so he was only a "little" bit selfishly endangering everyone else on the road.
Your friend is an asshole, and the cop is doing me a favour by doing whatever he can to your friend. Good on him.
Actually, society has made clear exactly the opposite. Speeding is the classic example of illegal but not abhorrent behavior.
Society also thinks it can safely multitask, and is good at being on a cell phone and driving at the same time.
It is wrong about that too, but it still makes the behavior not abhorrent :)
At the same time, the same Society seems happy to excoriate anyone who causes a problem (death, accident, whatever) while doing either of the above. Go figure.
You can get a ticket for being 1km/h above the limit but you only get (permanent record) points in Flensburg if you're 21km/h above the limit within city limits. I guess everybody is fine if drivers go above the limit up to 20km/h. It seems to me the speed limit in Germany are always set with that buffer (10%) in mind.
Congress designated a national speed limit of 55 mph in the 70s to conserve energy. Now many states are looking to raise it (several have already).
So, no, his friend isn't "an asshole". He was merely approaching the speed he should be driving.
The US has far too many laws. Many exist to simply ensure a consistent stream of income and people for the growing police/court/incarceration complex and their public employee unions. The laws are enforced inequitably - on some portions of the population far more than others (what happened to "EQUAL JUSTICE"?) We could remove 80% of them tomorrow and see no change.
Plus, this notion leads to a servant mindset. Why should "arguing with a police officer" be a "surefire way to get arrested" (and worse, tasered, beaten up, etc).
Arguing should be totally normal and accepted -- and it is that way in most western countries -- cops don't just bark orders and except mindless obedience "or else". Of course I'm talking about plain arguing (as in talking, proposing arguments, etc, related to what they tell you). Not swearing, or fighting them (which could justifiable get you arrested).
Heck, even the "don't try to get out of the car when you are stopped by a traffic cop or you'll get shot" is a complete BS, that only happens in the US.
No cop in Germany, Sweden, Holland, Britain, Italy etc would even think to shot you for getting out of your car to check why you were stopped. That's what they do at bank robbers in hot pursuit, not traffic offenders...
Neither would most cops in the U.S. The cops in my town (Wilmington, DE) might, but then again the murder rate here is 30-40 times higher than in Munich and above that of such safe places as Kingston, Jamaica.
As a side note: consider that having very little money saved is like operating without a safety net when you get into a car accident or something gets stolen or breaks or whatnot. Similarly when you cannot afford to lose any time, I think you'll react much more badly to being arrested etc. and cops don't care about that.
Not every cop is a lawyer and you stand to gain from asserting your rights while recording yourself on a voice recorder. There are so many different ones you can buy, or use the car's dashcam, or both.
Germany, Sweden etc also have very low rates of gun ownership by civilians. If USA insists on gun ownership, then these are the consequences.
Disclosure: I am a white male living in NYC and I have never been even close to arrested for anything.
No, they wouldn't. That would be putting civilians at risk. I don't know about the UK, but for the rest of the mentioned countries it wouldn't happen unless there is anything else to it.
"No, officer, I do not consent to a search of my vehicle.", said repeatedly, makes it much more clear in court later that the search, which may have been conducted without reasonable suspicion, was also done without consent, and thus the evidence is inadmissible. You're still probably going to jail if they find a suitcase of contraband while searching the car, but jail > conviction.
I live in Manhattan as well, and I used to think this would help.
But then Eric Garner happened. The video evidence there was about as clear as you can get, and still it was amazing how apologetic the responses I saw from both NYPD and other LEOs in other jurisdictions (e.g. /r/ProtectAndServe).
And look at Ferguson. We have no shortage of evidence of the atrocities that have been committed there. The problem isn't just pictorial evidence. The problem is actually turning that evidence into action.
 Note that this particular thread was later linked from /r/Bad_Cop_No_Donut so the current state is not representative of what it was when it was initially posted - previously, the comments defending the NYPD had far more support (votes-wise), and many of the comments defending Garner are from readers of the latter subreddit.
No amount of tech will change the fact that if LEOs treat themselves like a gang and the courts side with them through complicit inaction, the only recourse for the people is potentially violent pushback.
The only way to win is to plaster the media with enough doubt-proof examples of misconduct to convince the silent majority that there's a problem. Cameras are an important first step along that path. They aren't the last step, but they are the first step.
Next comes journalism, advocacy, leaking of "lost" footage, campaigning to put restrictions on police testimony in the absence of "lost" footage, penalties for policemen caught breaking the law (perhaps another cycle of journalism and advocacy before this happens), and (eventually) policemen everywhere learning to abandon the slew of shady practices that have crept into their routine.
Now what might work is a slow burn PR effort that will take years. This mean footage of police abuses being pushed to the front. Sharing footage of police killing pets (dogs) without reason. Sharing them abusing their power. Upvoting stories about police violence.
Most importantly, these stories have to involve middle class and higher non-minorities. Those voters, still, as a majority hold the opinion that "police is here to protect us". They have to be exposed to the other side of that message for a while to change their opinion. They can only hold up so long but after seeing innocent children burned by flashbang grenades in no-knock raids. Peaceful family dogs shot in their own yard in front of the children by cop who mistakenly went to the wrong house and so on.
"Violent pushback" is not going to help though, it would almost certainly make things worse by making the police's hardline tactics look justified ("look at what we're fighting against!"). It would cause the general population to side (even more) with the police, and would probably result in the police doubling down rather than backing off.
As a start, the politicians need to actually hold the police department accountable, and stop deferring to them by default. [I rather liked Bloomberg as a mayor, but the way he seemed to always defer to Ray Kelly and let the latter get away with anything he wanted (which was inevitably horrid) was downright disgusting.]
Wouldn't the Michael Brown situation be far clearer if there was a video of the actual shooting? How far away was he? Was he backing up? How did a shot get fired in the police car? Side h actually touch the officer? Etc etc etc. If the facts were indisputable it would be a different conversation.
So yeah while its nice that cops will have to wear them there needs to be sufficient protection from extending what they are used for.
I don't want to live in a world where every cop I walk by, see or don't see, records me.
This sort of tracking can and is already be done manually in relatively small areas using CCTV footage (airports, malls, hotels), but expect to see it become "a thing" for entire cities. "Quantity has a quality all its own."
"The chief of Dubai Police Dhahi Khalfan Tamim said that there are 648 hours of video films in which the 27 suspected persons are appearing."
I'm not a big fan of surveillance, but it seems to me that being able to retroactively follow individuals throughout the city could be a good tradeoff if it means the police can never again send an innocent person to prison by planting drugs on him after arresting him for something he didn't even do.
The problem is having a huge pile of incomplete evidence makes it easier to make up violations and get them to stick.
Illegitimate prosecutions are built on confirmation bias. The amount of false positive evidence against you is proportional to the amount of surveillance you're under. More government cameras only produce more false positive evidence against you. Meanwhile government cameras can't really help you because your public defender doesn't have the resources to look through the footage and regardless any strong evidence of your innocence will have been the victim of a camera malfunction which "isn't suspicious" because it "happens all the time."
The better solution is for citizens to carry cameras and to have strong laws protecting the right of citizens to record the police. That way the footage can't "disappear" as easily and the recordings are decentralized so you aren't making it easier to fabricate an illegitimate prosecution out of the biased selection of false positives from big data.
http://library.queensu.ca/ojs/index.php/surveillance-and-soc... (Norway, replicated in the UK a couple of years ago, but I can't find it offhand)
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13600869855469#.V... (More meta piece on it)
CCTV hasn't exactly been the panacea that it was made out to be. In fact, councils and private companies have gone ahead with CCTV systems despite the fact that the cost/benefit is dubious at best, and a pretext for reducing staff numbers in a significant number of cases.
tl;dr - Not the end of the world, but not great either, and has paved the way for a number of subsequent surveillance modes.
> There are countless examples of CCTV abuse in the UK
That feels quite a long way from "countless examples".
(That article kind of misses the point of RIPA - councils always did that kind of snooping, but now they're required to work so a standard and are somewhat accountable.)
People doing any of those things are absolute assholes and I'm really thankful councils are using CCTV to try to catch them.
Bodycams can help protect all of us from the cops.
> NYPD is far from a force of racist assholes
i don't think the first statement adds any sort of confirmation to the second (i.e. you literally can tell nothing about how racist nypd are based solely on your interactions with them).
I'm inclined to believe that gender and race have little to do with the dealings of a power-hungry organization, and even more inclined to believe that personal (anecdotal) race/age/gender has even less to do with understanding the power-grab that's going on between military groups and the rapidly growing 'paramilitary' that people seem to believe various PDs are growing into.
There is much, much more data as well. It's rather frightening that it has taken this long for us to do anything about it.
I meant to illuminate the fact that a person of the same race and creed can have vastly different (anecdotal) experiences.
The link you provided shows me two things : Ethnic groups are the chunk of victims (I know this, and it's terrible), and the numbers are rising.
I want my focus to be on that second point. Police are acting out of bounds in recent history. The racial problem is not new. I don't condone it, and it's terrible, but the times' are changing, and police are a problem now for everyone regardless of the racial split. The percentages may stay somewhat static, but check out the difference illustrated by that link in sheer numbers over time! Yes, ethnic groups are disproportionately targeted, but yes, everyone is being targeted for these searches with greater frequency now.
How do you people manage to have so many interactions with the police? I'm 29, white, living in San Francisco for five years, grew up in London. I have literally never even spoke to a police officer in my entire life.
Live in a place that is considered high crime by the surrounding communities. Be a different color/religion/orientation/gender than the police officer nearest you. Be financially distraught.
Be poor, and have no where to live.
Live flashy within the law. Drive a fast looking car. Paint it red. Put some loud (but entirely legal) exhaust system on it. Lower it to the limits of legality, and put some big chrome wheels on it.
Be empathetic and understanding towards criminals and the reasons they became labeled as such. That's the best way to meet a police officer, probably.
I've never said something this honest to another individual on hacker news before : I envy you who can avoid the police. I'm not familiar with London, but it's miraculous here in the states.
The problem with US police almost everywhere is that they have been corrupted, both by big corporations and the war on drugs.
I'm not sure if it's possible to clean house, since the judiciary is likely similarly corrupt and police and judiciary support each other.
Will there be a PRESUMPTION that the civilian is telling the truth if there is no video? Will officers ACTUALLY be disciplined for not having recorded an incident?
Also, it sounds like from reading this story, that should someone contest the events in a police report, officers will get to go back, review the video and get to change their story depending on how damaging the video is...
I was sitting in a hotel once (I wasn't staying there), and some thug-gy teens came in asking if they could use the phone to make the call. They were denied the privilege so they came to me to ask if I could let them use their phone. I let them use the phone under the condition that I hold it and put it on speaker. No one picked up so I went to the hotel staff and asked them if they could let them use their phone. To my surprise, the staff started to apologize to me and said they'd called security.
Point of the story is that almost everyone is prejudiced against thug-looking-people and it's often misattributed to racism.
I don't think I follow you here. I think that most folks concerned about racism in these situations would say that race is a big factor in how folks define "thug looking". (I'd be willing to bet that for a whole lot of people, there's a range of intermediate dress/appearance/behavior where they'd say a white person was not "thug looking" but an equivalent-looking black person was not.)
It's very dangerous to give the police complete control over video evidence, which is why I feel body cameras are a misguided attempt at sousveillance. Instead, we should be setting up public live streams in public areas, and controlling the recordings ourselves.
It's important to make the video available to the public but I believe it should only be made available with a court order. Otherwise, people will start to fear calling the police for help because their personal problems will be streaming live to the world.
This is the same problem. There isn't going to be a court order when you're attempting to prosecute the police.
> Otherwise, people will start to fear calling the police for help because their personal problems will be streaming live to the world.
If people are going to fear calling the police, it's because they murder people and their pets and then prosecute them for their drugs. I fear calling the police because of their brutality and lack of accountability, so I think this is still an upgrade.
It's possible these reports are mis-representing the situation in some way, so I would love to see how this squares with your claim.
Stream them public is a nice idea - but I think we can safely assume that will never happen.
(1) Adrian Schoolcraft secretly recorded his NYPD bretheren who were manipulating crime stats for illegal arrests. 20mins but fascinating
There is precedent for courts to dismiss cases due to technicalities in police conduct or how evidence was gathered. It seems reasonable for courts (or lawmakers) to establish that lack of video invalidates an arrest.
Closed circuit transmission to a third-party who assumes liability for missing archives would suffice.
Presumably they would be paid to record and archive from the LEO feeds, with an expectation of storage durability and availability. That would be their primary incentive.
Part of the problem is technical, lapel cameras don't have infinite battery and they don't have a wireless connection. That means that the cop has to remember to turn it on and off and he has to upload the video. Both provide the street cops with opportunities to not make video available.
Your public streaming idea isn't really that easy technically. Each cop would have to carry a smartphone with a large battery pack to pull it off.
Then there's the endless footdragging when you try to request the video which provide police management and district attorneys with ways to not make the the video available unless you're really persistent and have a lot of time.
Case in point: girlfriend was in a taqueria in the Upper Haight neighborhood of SF, and witnessed the following. A cop was sitting at a table. A guy walked in, stood in line to pick up a takeout order. He started staring at the cop. Now, the Haight has more than its fair share of weirdos, so a person staring at a cop is nothing new. But the cop decided to take offense at that. Started verbally harassing the guy. Took him outside, threatened to arrest him. All this time, the guy is saying: but I didn't do nothing, man! At one stage, the guy put his hands in his pocket, trying to pull out some ID; and the cop's hand immediately went to his gun, threatening "you don't want to be doing that!". Luckily, the guy took his hand out quickly. After harassing the guy, the cop shoved him and walked away.
GF witnessed the whole thing, and went out to talk to the cop as he was walking away. He just laughed at her, saying "get out of my way" and kept walking.
There were other witnesses too; but it still is basically their word against the cop's, and the SFPD refuses to do anything about it. Had there been a camera[#] on the cop, they would be singing a different tune.
[#] I told her: next time, _video_ the damn thing!
The problem is the following -- those "good" cops doing their job protect the bad cops. The whole "blue code of silence" thing. Those are not good cops doing their job. The are bad cops. If anyone has not spoken out when a colleague has been abusing their power, they have become a bad cop.
One can argue this is just human behaviour -- us vs them. That maybe true but when police have so much more power vs regular citizens, that kind of behaviour is amplified and exaggerated many times over.
To put it another way. A corrupt shoe salesman can only be that dangerous. A corrupt cop can do a lot of damage to a lot of people.
So that is the reason I have essentially stopped saying "oh just a few bad ones, the rest are good and law abiding". I think I moved to the default that all are corrupt and either engage in abuse or cover up of abuse unless I am presented with evidence otherwise.
I sure hope you appreciate the irony of this sentence.
One witness against a cop doesn't count for much, but 2? How about 3? How many individual eye witness complaints do you think it would take to get them to take the incident seriously? How many witnesses were there that day?
Not everyone there will complain but if you don't either then you're part of the problem instead of the solution.
1) Less false complaints are filed against cops
2) Cities don't get sued because cops behave better
3) No one gets unlawfully harassed by a cop ever again.
On the other hand, I've seen criminals interacting with cops in person. They do not have an easy job.
Wouldn't that be a positive for the police as well? If a suspect is belligerent, the presence of a camera would help to prove that.
While you'll still have criminals that don't care, there are plenty that do, especially when they know that it's no longer just their word vs the police officer.
The worst part of the current state in America is this creation of an other.
You do at least realize you're a racist, right?
That paired with the attitude that criminals are essentially no different than most people that post here is how I drew that conclusion. Barring extremes like members of organized crime, violent gangs, cartels, etc. of course. Even still, broad strokes don't apply to those organizations but you could definitely make the case that the affiliated develop a more uniquely "criminal" mindset. Keyword being DEVELOP.
Criminality is not inherent, sorry if this makes you uncomfortable.
Besides, cameras on squad cars don't prevent racial profiling on the road. I've never been told "you were driving while black, so lets see if you have something illegal in your car."
Instead, I hear: "it didnt look like you were wearing your seatbelt..." or "you were following the car ahead of you too closely..." or "I need to check your window tint" (and i dont even have tinted windows!)
I feel like body cams are just another obstacle for abusive police to maneuver around.
Also, the officers should be punished and/or lose credibility in a trial if it's known that the camera was turned off by them during the time they were supposed to use it - like say when confronting a suspect or whatever. Obviously, going to the restroom or other such events should not be punishable.
"Forgetting" to turn on the camera before engaging a citizen/suspect should be punishable. Turning on the camera and keeping it on during the interaction should be as necessary as police officers ID-ing themselves.
Do they ID themselves generally? I've mostly seen them not do this when it was requested.
What do you expect to happen when someone gets harassed? Who is he going to call? The police station?
Civilian: "Hello, Mr.Officer, one of your colleagues were being mean to me and didn't let me get on the bus today without questioning everything about me."
Officer: "I apologize for any inconvenience he may of caused you sir, we'll look into it."
Officer to colleague: "So....Did we decide on Mexican for lunch? Or Sushi?"
Just about everything it records is in the context of "member of the public knowingly interacting with a police officer", not "member of the public going about their everyday life" (which is much more ripe for abuse, and rather less likely to benefit the public in any way).
Those aren't just cameras, they are networked to a facial recognition database (thanks facebook), which is cross referenced with criminal records and commercial profiles built from your every online purchase, gmail and facebook post.
This is what you can expect after the police get this as socially accepted
1. Facial recognition and additional suspicion of anyone walking down the street with a criminal record.
2. During an encounter with a officer micro facial expressions, speech patterns, eye movement and heart rate will be analyzed at high speed by AI to assess reasonable suspicion, to detect deception and emotional state and to direct the line of questioning in real time. The kind of technology the Gestapo could only dream of.
3. Body language of everyone in view will be analyzed for suspicion as they pass by.
4. These AIs will analyze anything you say in real time for factual accuracy against a huge database of personal information (half of which comes from your phone) and for context based on your commercial profile.
The implications here are that these databases represent a power shift and will redline demographics and make living in society with a record far more unpleasant than it is now. You can get a felony for forgetting your bus ticket. This effects everyone.
Right now, police dogs are our "Fourth Amendment experts." Cops routinely allege that the dog "hit" on a person or vehicle, and courts uphold the notion that this is alone is sufficient cause for detainment and a search. Just wait until police are equipped with "scientific biometric sensors." If your eye so much as twitches or your voice cracks or your heart beat is not "steady," that will be sufficient. Science, don't you know!
In other words, there will be absolutely no more Fourth Amendment.
It's a small program and will go nowhere. These Cops are
harassing Anyone they feel might be Homeless. They are ticketing for jaywalking, sitting on side walks, sleeping.
(They are trying to make there life so miserable they will
be forced to move on to another town--basically). It's hard
to watch them(SRPD) swarm around a suspected Homeless person
--take their picture, frisk them, make them empty out all pockets, put their hands on their Crotch, etc.) It looks like something out of Germany in the 30's.
That said: I can't protect them, but I have the resources to
protect myself--kind of. I bought two Dash Cams off Amazon
for less than $16.00 each. I bought two because they are
cheap and I wanted a spare. I have this Cam on whenever
I go out. I don't get pulled over because I drive an older car, or happen to be out after 10 p.m. anymore? I only wish I had this cheap form of protection when I was younger!
Basically, you need to protect yourself. The price of Dash
Cams is so low, there's no excuse not to have one on your vechicle? Look at the purchase just as vechicle maintence.
There's no need to buy anything fancy.
I never understood even the mindet of this. What can possibly be the point?
Healthcare workers are often accused of mistreating patients, too. For example, I know someone who works with many elderly patients who often get confused and make accusations of mistreatment. Many of her coworkers have been benched until cleared by investigation.
Like police officers, they can be viewed as being authority figures. Perhaps they will begin wearing these soon, too?
But more seriously, does anyone know anything about these systems? I'd be concerned about them getting shut off (accidentally or not), and about ensuring that the recordings made are retained for a reasonable period of time (however long that is). Are there off the shelf solutions for this?
It's all stored securely in the cloud, so what could go wrong (asks Jennifer Lawrence)?
However, I seem to be the only one who sees the irony in complaining about the NSA recording everything we do, and simultaneously giving large amounts of recording equipment to other parts of various levels of government.
How do we ensure that these cameras aren't turned against us, also?
Who watches the watchers?
The NSA can surveil everyone in mediums the average person considers to be a private venue. Whatever I'm doing on a police chest cam is something they were able to see with their eyes already.
I hope you realize that does that one thing you question.
Also, police encounters are generally in the public, where you shouldn't expect privacy in the first place. You can't ask for the right to film officers, then complain if they film you.
Besides, most likely you're on camera anyway. So smile :)
Sure you can. For example, it's commonly argued that there's a public interest in how police officers carry out their public duties. It's also commonly argued that the legal power differential (see: monopoly on use of force) between police and civilians justifies different restrictions on the police than on civilians.
I actually agree that there's no problem with the police filming in public, but your argument is crazy.
Being under a camera all day isn't something that correlates with being a cop. No matter how much you want it to be.
If you say "Hey cop, I'm going to film you all day. No, you can't film me back", that singles out the cop from the civlians.
I don't know about you, but I wish my police felt more like civilians than paramilitary.
Edit: Claiming "it's happening anyway, so just accept it" is the wrong way to approach this. Why shouldn't we try to make things better?
Also the problem these cameras are trying to solve is police brutality/abuse. Surveillance is not what caused that problem in the first place.
My opinion: It's more helpful than hurtful. The benefits far outweigh the cost. But that's a discussion for another day.
And then a video footage would surface that proves police misconduct.
Of course there are liars that try to get police into trouble or just hate them.
Hopefully this body camera idea will be a good thing.
So mostly useless, they are there to show what the cop wants to show.
There are only two major models of cameras in use, both have these features.
Just like with many police car cameras, all of the sudden they "malfunction" when something shady has happened.
This is interesting because Taser has sold to almost every police department in the US, and so is well positioned to make these cameras standard equipment.
On a personal level, and especially for people who aren't closet statists, sure it's tragic. But, on a national level, there are few places on Earth that deserve it more.