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Source: (consider it) Thread: How to show respect without veneration
Bullfrog.

Prophetic Amphibian
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I have a weird feeling.

So, apparently a police commander was shot and killed downtown earlier today. That's a shame. Story doesn't seem too detailed yet. Suspect is apparently in custody.

I kind of want to share it on facebook out of compassion for another human being dying in another senseless and stupid fashion. It's a shame and folks sometimes might think it's just about the cops. And maybe it is, because I wouldn't have seen a specific report of this if it hadn't been a ranking cop and if the shooting hadn't happened downtown. But at any rate guy got killed in "the line of duty" and that sucks for everyone involved.

At the same time, I really hate the way these situations get politicized. I hate that it quickly devolves into a conflict between idolatry and anti-idolatry, or the various ways that officers get politicized. I'm not even sure I owe the guy any particular respect apart from any other civil servant with a tough job.

Not to mention that a lot of folks like to generally sneer at Chicago because, like every city in the world, we have a greater-than-zero crime rate.

So I figured I'd post this here for the sake of starting a conversation to see what plays out.

Here's a link to a news report.

--------------------
Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

Posts: 7522 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
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Police officers are necessary and respecting the work they do is important to maintaining a civilised society.
That is not the problem. The problem is that the police want deference, automatic trust and immunity to the laws they are there to enforce.
This is especially true in America.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
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My feeling is that public employees generally get a bad rap in the United States. I emphasise feeling.

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Human

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LutheranChik
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Here in small- town, flyover America, it’s often considered almost treasonous to criticize the police. Oh, sure The Usual Suspects will grumble about ticket- happy traffic cops or about their own misdemeanors, but to criticize some systemic problem within law enforcement is not taken well by the populace at large. There’s a sense here that the police are keeping the dark (take that any way you wish) forces of urban chaos at bay, and that they should do so by any means necessary.

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

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Rossweisse

High Church Valkyrie
# 2349

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quote:
Originally posted by Bullfrog.:
...So, apparently a police commander was shot and killed downtown earlier today. ...

And not just downtown, but in the Thompson Center. (The State of Illinois office building)

I understand some of the hostility toward police officers in certain historically mistreated communities, but I would hope that a murder like this one would not engender any of that. Or has our society slid so far?

[Edited to add info on location for non-Chicagoans.]

[ 13. February 2018, 23:57: Message edited by: Rossweisse ]

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I'm not dead yet.

Posts: 15078 | From: Valhalla | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Nick Tamen

Ship's Wayfaring Fool
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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
My feeling is that public employees generally get a bad rap in the United States. I emphasise feeling.

I think there’s a lot of truth to this. I also think there’s a lot of truth to what lilBuddha and LutheranChik said. (And their observation is equally if not more true of the military.)

And I think what they observe is, at least in part, a reaction to what you observe. And vice versa.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Gramps49
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Here is a detailed description of what went down. From Chicago Tribune.

As I understand it, the murder rate in Chicago has actually gone down because of a concerted effort by the police to connect with the community.

They have a program that identifies young people most likely at risk to be killed by other young people and go to the person and offer a number of social services designed to keep the person safe.

As the article about this commander says he worked to have coffees in the neighborhoods he worked in.

Another program I am aware of is some police officers will take on grade school chess clubs on a regular basis--and often lose--as a way of connecting with the kids.

He is leaving a community that will be grieving for some time. I just hope the police force will continue to connect with the community. I would think this would be what the commander wanted.

Posts: 2190 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged
Rossweisse

High Church Valkyrie
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Yes, Chicago has made huge strides in recent years. I hope this doesn't lead anyone to turn their back on the process.

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I'm not dead yet.

Posts: 15078 | From: Valhalla | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
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What you describe, Gramps, is a rarity in America, IME.
There, much more than in the UK, the police are not part of the community in any meaningful sense.
Another issue with American police is training. It is massively inconsistent in the US and fairly poor overall. Especially compared to UK standards.*
American police are very aggressive and are poor in reacting to challenge, even if it is not physical.
They are very poor in reducing tensions.


*This is not to say UK police do not have issues, they do. Just not as bad as America.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Gramps49
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lilBudha

May I suggest you might want to look at how the Chicago Police Department has made significant changes in the last few years.

You might begin here

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Gramps49
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Another example of an American police force reforming itself.
Posts: 2190 | From: Pullman WA | Registered: Apr 2011  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
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With all due respect and all kudos to those departments beginning the effort, they do not represent American police as a whole and the process of reform is a lengthy one.
I think my comments stand at this time.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 17602 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Police officers are necessary and respecting the work they do is important to maintaining a civilised society.
That is not the problem. The problem is that the police want deference, automatic trust and immunity to the laws they are there to enforce.
This is especially true in America.

It's true in the UK too. They seem to have become arrogant and self satisfied , as well as distant from those they're supposed to look after.
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Enoch
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Wouldn't this happen less frequently if the public couldn't buy and bear arms freely, and the police did not need to be armed or to swagger round on the assumption that anyone they need to interact with is likely to draw a gun on them?

Or is that irrelevant?

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7599 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
What you describe, Gramps, is a rarity in America, IME.

What is your experience with American police? How do you know it’s a rarity?

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
With all due respect and all kudos to those departments beginning the effort, they do not represent American police as a whole and the process of reform is a lengthy one.
I think my comments stand at this time.

With all due respect, I think your comments are generalizations large enough to be unhelpful in understanding any actual situations. There are a wide variety of police cultures and police-community cultures here.

I’m not for a second denying there are problems in many, many places, especially in some urban areas and especially with regard to minority groups. But comments such as these seem to me to be based as much on preconceptions as on what’s actually going on in police departments and communities across the country.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
With all due respect and all kudos to those departments beginning the effort

and a reminder is in order that the Chicago PD starts from a fairly low base, historically they've been a locus of abuse of power of which this is only the most recent example:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/24/chicago-police-detain-americans-black-site

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
What you describe, Gramps, is a rarity in America, IME.

What is your experience with American police? How do you know it’s a rarity?
I've direct experience of the training academies in several, major US cities and a few small ones. (as well as more than one branch of the US and UK military) I see how those directly compare to UK training. As well as some experience with professional police and military forces from other countries.

quote:

With all due respect, I think your comments are generalizations large enough to be unhelpful in understanding any actual situations.

There are a wide variety of police cultures and police-community cultures here.

Yes and no. The yes is obvious, because of the lack of a comprehensive national standard, training varies. The no may well be less apparent. The variation is not as random as one might think. Large cities/policing agencies have large budgets and more efficient use of those funds due to economy of scale. So they have a more advanced training regimen than smaller cities can afford to. It doesn't get better with less resource, so small agencies will be worse. There will be exceptions, but that is what they will remain: exceptions. US officers are trained in the tactical use of weapons, but not the psychological use. The training for de-escalation is massively inadequate.
That the efforts in Chicago and Dallas are newsworthy should tell one something.

There is a massive psychological effect of merely being armed, as well.

One hears of the Napoleon complex in regards to small men. Research indicates the opposite is true. Larger men will react more poorly to being challenged. Why? The assumption and acclimatisation of power. Police in America typically assume and expect a role of power. This is enculturated in America. A gun accentuates this.

My statements are not intended a pond war or an exultation of UK police, let it be noted.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Rossweisse

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
...That the efforts in Chicago and Dallas are newsworthy should tell one something. ...

Oh, they do. But the Chicago PD has come a long way. When my family first moved to the area, my parents were told to keep a $20 bill clipped to their driver's licenses, in case they were stopped. That's no longer the case (and not just because of inflation). Things have improved.

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I'm not dead yet.

Posts: 15078 | From: Valhalla | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Rossweisse:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
...That the efforts in Chicago and Dallas are newsworthy should tell one something. ...

Oh, they do. But the Chicago PD has come a long way. When my family first moved to the area, my parents were told to keep a $20 bill clipped to their driver's licenses, in case they were stopped. That's no longer the case (and not just because of inflation). Things have improved.
Corruption, though, is an entirely problem than the ones that I am addressing. The entire police force could be incorruptible and still suffer those.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 17602 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I've direct experience of the training academies in several, major US cities and a few small ones. (as well as more than one branch of the US and UK military) I see how those directly compare to UK training. As well as some experience with professional police and military forces from other countries.

Fair enough. Apologies if I jumped to unwarranted conclusions, though perhaps it’s not totally off-base to wonder what familiarity someone who doesn’t live here has with how things are here.

quote:
That the the efforts in Chicago and Dallas are newsworthy should tell one something.
Yes, but . . . .

One has to ask why they’re newsworthy. It is indeed partly because of significant problems that were there. But it’s also partly because what happens in major cities is going to deemed newsworthy by the media generally, and may or may not give some sense of what the situation is like outside major cities. There is a divide there.

quote:
Police in America typically assume and expect a role of power. This is enculturated in America. A gun accentuates this.
Agreed.

quote:
My statements are not intended a pond war or an exultation of UK police, let it be noted.
So noted.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
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Reading this thread makes me realize how unusual and maybe untypical the experience of one UK police force is; in Northern Ireland.

Even while knowing that 'British' police weren't armed like the cops in America, we grew up knowing our guys in Ulster were armed and bullet-proof-vested to the teeth, and going around in heavy-duty tank-like landrovers. But then we knew our little patch of earth was inhabited by terrorists who kept closing down schools with hoax-calls and planting incendiary devices all over the place, and killing people etc.

I honestly can't recall a general feeling amongst us that the answer to Ulster's problems was to arm the population, however. You know, just in case someone ended up on the doorstep to do a murder or a knee-capping. Murder was sometimes random, but usually targetted. Guns were dangerous, and used by dangerous people, whichever side they were on.

And although sending the army over was clearly not the solution it was intended to be, an armed police force seemed to me, growing up, a natural response to the violence. Loathed and loved in pretty equal measure at times.

It's true, though. You didn't muck about with the police too much. They got the backchat about 'why don't you look for some real terrorists' when they did security checks on the roads. But I don't think too many rational people complained that loudly, or you could end up getting your car stripped. You just don't argue with the guy with the gun; number one proverb from my youth!

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Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

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Bullfrog.

Prophetic Amphibian
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quote:
Originally posted by Rossweisse:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
...That the efforts in Chicago and Dallas are newsworthy should tell one something. ...

Oh, they do. But the Chicago PD has come a long way. When my family first moved to the area, my parents were told to keep a $20 bill clipped to their driver's licenses, in case they were stopped. That's no longer the case (and not just because of inflation). Things have improved.
That's...a start... [Paranoid]

--------------------
Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

Posts: 7522 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Bullfrog.

Prophetic Amphibian
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Far as civil servants, it's my impression that in America it depends a lot on your politics. Some folks regard civil servants pretty highly, sometimes with some wariness about the police. Some folks think civil servants are a waste of their tax dollars but have an attitude toward police (and soldiers) that borders on veneration.

And other options a well. It's a big place.

As an urban resident who grew up in a small town, I do get LutheranChik's comment about police officers being the ones holding back the "urban [read: poor black] chaos" and [as the bracketed remark makes obvious] I don't hold a very high view of that prejudice. There are assholes and jerks everywhere. Cities have more of them, but cities also have more of everything else.

I think I can accept that the cops have made some improvements, but...there's still a long way to go.

And all of this is piled on top of what is otherwise the tragic death of a civil servant. [Tear] [Mad] [Help]

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Some say that man is the root of all evil
Others say God's a drunkard for pain
Me, I believe that the Garden of Eden
Was burned to make way for a train. --Josh Ritter, Harrisburg

Posts: 7522 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Rossweisse

High Church Valkyrie
# 2349

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quote:
Originally posted by Bullfrog.:
...I think I can accept that the cops have made some improvements, but...there's still a long way to go. ...

No argument there.

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I'm not dead yet.

Posts: 15078 | From: Valhalla | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged


 
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