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Source: (consider it) Thread: Dear American police
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is not blaming British people who died from Luftwaffe bombing to say Britain helped foster the conditions in which WWII occurred.

Yeah, but try writing that with "they" like you did originally and see what happens. "They" died. "They" helped foster the conditions in which WWII occurred. Reads rather differently, doesn't it?

What I mean by collective reform is that the police as a whole need to be reformed. That's a use of "they" I'll accept. I'll accept the collective responsibility of police to make the situation better.

What I won't accept is you throwing around collective "they" when talking about the death of very specific individual police officers in the same breath as talking about how "they" created the environment. Why? Because it's a bloody dangerous equating of two things that are not equal. A systemic cause is not equable with a consequence for an individual.

If I did that with specific black victims of police shootings you'd be outraged. We spend plenty of time being outraged when people equate the specific actions of specific Muslims with the beliefs of a billion people.

I've been over this theme of blurring the lines between the individual and the system any number of times before. I didn't expect to be going over it again in quite this context, but here we are. Police mistreatment of black people in America is systemic. But the system didn't die today. Individual police officers did.

Conceptually, what you said isn't a million miles away from Westboro Baptist saying that the reason a soldier died is because America accepts homosexuality. America "created the environment" for the soldier's death, or for whatever other misfortune they attribute to America's behaviour. You're not as loony as they are, but you still did the same thing, of linking a systemic-level issue with an individual outcome in a way that is at best bloody insensitive.

[ 08. July 2016, 16:55: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Callan
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# 525

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quote:
Originally posted by Pearl B4 Swine:
Good enough, Callan. Thank you. I listen to too many Old Time Radio detective and crime shows.

In a mad world anyone who asks: "was it really necessary to blow him up?" is one of the good guys, IMO.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Pigwidgeon

Ship's Owl
# 10192

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
I don't find anything odd in pulling over someone with a broken tail light. It's standard to address the officer as sir and it's standard for the officer to ask the driver to produce his license and registration. What's not standard is shooting him when he reaches for them.

I don't think anyone is questioning the pulling over or the request for license and registration. But a broken tail light is hardly a capital offense with the police acting as judge, jury, and executioner.

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

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Doublethink.
Ship's Foolwise Unperson
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It turns out there may have been just one shooter at the Dallas demo, a military veteran.

[ 08. July 2016, 17:49: Message edited by: Doublethink. ]

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
I don't know. My (white) son has been pulled over at different times for broken taillight, broken windshield wiper, and loud muffler.

The police will often use such a thing as an excuse in hopes to find outstanding warrants or probable cause for an arrest. They have done for every group, but it is much more likely to happen if one is not white.
The problem with American police goes beyond racism, but people of colour are disproportionately targeted.
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It is not blaming British people who died from Luftwaffe bombing to say Britain helped foster the conditions in which WWII occurred.

Yeah, but try writing that with "they" like you did originally and see what happens. "They" died. "They" helped foster the conditions in which WWII occurred. Reads rather differently, doesn't it?
I posted in extreme anger and didn't take the time to write as effectively as possible.
I've since clarified what I meant and admitted I could have been more clear in the beginning, so get the fuck over it.
quote:

What I mean by collective reform is that the police as a whole need to be reformed.

OK, that is reasonable and not what I though you meant. See what can happen if you ask for clarification rather than assume? Eliminates a lot of acrimony.

You compare me to Westboro? If you pay that little attention to what I post, why the fuck do you care how any of my words read?

[ 08. July 2016, 17:52: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
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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romanlion
editorial comment
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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
It's standard to address the officer as sir and it's standard for the officer to ask the driver to produce his license and registration. What's not standard is shooting him when he reaches for them.

We know that he informed the cop that he had a weapon, and the cop clearly implores that he told him not to reach, to get his hands off of it.

Basic concealed carry training teaches you that when dealing with cops while carrying the number one priority is allowing the officer to secure your weapon. That is an inherently dangerous situation, and there is plenty of time to produce your ID after meeting firearm safety priorities.

His girlfriend actually says that he told the officer he had a gun and was reaching for his wallet. That is exactly the wrong combination of behaviors in that situation.

It was a tragic circumstance, and unfortunately has contributed to an even larger tragedy.

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"You can't get rich in politics unless you're a crook" - Harry S. Truman

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Penny S
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
I heard someone on the radio claiming that the American police do not shoot more black people than whites, but the black people are shot at a greater rate than white people. He said it twice. I didn't understand it either time.

This could mean one of two things.

1. Say for purposes of demonstration that 80% of the population is white and 20% is black. Say that cops shoot 100 people a year, but 70 of them are white and 30 are black. They shoot more white people, but the ratio of blacks to whites shot is greater than the ratio of blacks to whites in the population.

2. Given the same national demographic, suppose they interact with 80 white people and 20 black people every day. Of those, they shoot the white person 10% of the time, but the black person 25% of the time. Then they are shooting more white people than black (8 to 5), but the rate at which they shoot black people is clearly higher.

Thank you for the explanation - I think 2 fits. But the speaker was implying that the claims of black people being disproportionately shot was wrong. Your explanation would support it.

Meanwhile, I am now looking back to the one time I have been stopped (not the time I was already stopped, which was a very civilised affair) and redrawing it in the light of what people have been taught in the States.

Two female teachers, late twenties, school catchment area. I was driving my friend home from a visit for tea. As is quite usual over here, I did not have my documents with me. In fact, all I had was my keys, no bag, nothing. We passed a petrol station where a police car was parked and the officers appeared to be eating chips (I processed this information later, which it became significant.) Round the corner, flashing lights behind, so I drew to a stop, trying to remember whether it was advised to get out of the car or not. I decided to remain seated, and wound down the window. One of the little lads came up, while the other looked around at the lights and the tyres. "Is anything wrong, officer?" "We needed to check if the vehicle is stolen." "I can assure you it hasn't been reported stolen, as it is mine." "Can you prove your identity." I explained the situation.
By this time it was apparent that the two officers hadn't the slightest idea what to do next. I offered to drive to the station to discuss the matter there. This was not acceptable. I offered to go to one of the houses with children's toys in the garden to be identified by parents. (By this time I was getting silly.) They insisted that I needed to show them something to prove my identity. (This was not true.)
In the end, my colleague showed them her credit card from her bag, and they took no notes about it, but let us go. I think I should have gone straight to the station afterwards and discussed the issue there. I think they thought we were younger, and had some non-official ideas in mind.
But what would have happened if we were male, black and in the States I shudder to think.

The 'sir' thing wouldn't fit with the British idea that the police are our servants, but drawn from among us, and therefore equals. We use 'sir' to superiors. I'm going to have to discuss this with my ex-police neighbour. Of course, an armed force does change the dynamics somewhat. Not sure how I would approach one of the armed ones around London.

[ 08. July 2016, 18:44: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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jbohn
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quote:
Originally posted by romanlion:
the cop clearly implores that he told him not to reach, to get his hands off of it.

Yes - we hear the cop screaming/crying/carrying on for his microphone. This is known in the field, I am told, as covering one's ass. We also hear his colleagues coming to console him ("You'll get through this") - leaving a man bleeding to death in the car.

Unfortunately, SAPD doesn't have body cameras, so we'll never get the full, start-to-finish video of the stop that would be most useful.

quote:

Basic concealed carry training teaches you that when dealing with cops while carrying the number one priority is allowing the officer to secure your weapon. That is an inherently dangerous situation, and there is plenty of time to produce your ID after meeting firearm safety priorities

His girlfriend actually says that he told the officer he had a gun and was reaching for his wallet. That is exactly the wrong combination of behaviors in that situation..

Unless of course one has been, within seconds, been told by a scared man pointing a gun at oneself to both produce one's paperwork and keep one's hands in the air. I don't recall that portion of my carry training from any of the classes I've taken. I'll look for it in my renewal course.

[Nitpick - MN doesn't have "concealed" carry - carry permits here are valid whether the firearm is concealed or not.]

Again I ask, have you ever had a scared cop pointing a gun at you?

quote:

It was a tragic circumstance, and unfortunately has contributed to an even larger tragedy.

Finally, something I can agree with.

That said, it was a tragic circumstance brought on by a police officer making a questionable traffic stop (photos from the scene seem to indicate two working taillights), and doing so with the mindset that the people in the car are an existential threat to him. That's the mindset that needs changing in this country. There is no "war on cops". Not even with the tragedy in Dallas. Many (most?) cops go through a whole career without even unholstering their weapon, let alone killing someone. Especially in a pretty white, relatively middle-class suburb such as Falcon Heights, MN or Saint Anthony, MN.

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We are punished by our sins, not for them.
--Elbert Hubbard

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
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We use "sir" in the US to show respect. It doesn't necessarily indicate hierarchy; people in authority such as cops use it to address random members of the public and homeless people. Not necessarily in tones of respect, of course, but it gives them a mode of address to use that is generally accepted and closes off one avenue of accusations of disrespect.
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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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That's right. It's not hierarchical at all, at least when you're speaking to a stranger or mere acquaintance. I'd address anyone from my grad school professor to a drunk man in a gutter using the term. It's polite and intended to prevent or defuse hostility.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Nick Tamen

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# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by Penny S:
The 'sir' thing wouldn't fit with the British idea that the police are our servants, but drawn from among us, and therefore equals. We use 'sir' to superiors.

There are probably pond (and on this side of the pond, regional) differences at play here. But over here, there can also be cultural differences at play.

As a child in the American South in the 1960s, I was taught to address all adults as "sir" or "ma'am." That included parents and grandparents, teachers, the grocer, the mail man, the lunch room lady, etc. I was also taught that upon becoming an adult, I should still address all other adults as "sir" or "ma'am" unless we were friends.

And to be clear, addressing someone as "sir" or "ma'am" meant that when answering the person in question, you answered "yes sir/yes ma'am" or "no sir/no ma'am" instead of just "yes" or "no." ("Yeah wasn't even remotely an option.) Or you used phrases such as "excuse me, ma'am." You didn't pepper everything you said with "sir" or "ma'am."

Many a Southerner will tell you that the moment at which they first felt old came in their 20s, the first time someone said "yes sir" or "no ma'am" to them.

But like I said, there are cultural layers. I remember coming home from school one day and expressing a little confusion that one of my teachers, a black women, had said "please don't call me ma'am." My mother explained to 12-year-old me how "sir" and "ma'am" could carry heavy connotations of servitude for blacks, especially when talking to a white person. (I've learned over the years that this is a common but far from universal feeling among black Southerners.) She also reminded me that since the purpose of using "sir" or "ma'am" was to be polite and respectful, it would be very impolite and disrespectful to call someone "ma'am" if I knew she did not like to be called that.

Then there are authority figures. We were all taught to be respectful to police offices. But I've known many black parents who have drummed into their kids heads that they must use "sir" or "ma'am" when talking to a police officer, that they could not afford to do anything that suggested any lack of respect.

Like I said, there can be layers at play here, but generally speaking, calling someone "sir" or "ma'am" doesn't necessarily suggest superiority.

/Tangent

ETA: Cross-posted with RuthW and Lamb Chopped, who managed to be much more concise than I did.

[ 08. July 2016, 19:42: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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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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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
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Sir & Ma'am: Adding onto Nick's explanation.

I was raised in that neither North nor South state, West Virginia and taught to say Sir or Ma'am to adults, but the North doesn't inforce it with the same emphasis as the South. When I worked for awhile in Georgia, I was often told "You Yankees don't teach your children manners," based almost solely on the fact that they don't pepper their speech with enough of those words. Meanwhile the teens in the South seemed rather surly to me with the forced ma'am from kids who knew my name. In the North we're usually taught to use the person's name if we know it. So, I would never have said, "No, Sir" to my friends father, rather than, "No, Mr. Wilson." With police it is preferable to say, "Yes, Officer Jones," "No Officer Jones."

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Penny S
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I'm finding all this discussion really interesting and helpful.

There was the tone of voice with which she said 'sir' in the recording, as well. It jarred to my ears. And the jar was the need she felt to use the word in the way she used it, pleading. Which clearly was a result of the appalling situation she found herself in, but no-one should need to speak to a police officer that way.

It's a pity the police had to blow the shooter up - it would be really helpful to find out what drives these people, so that the precursor stages could be avoided. I wonder if he had PTSD from his time in Afghanistan.

[ 08. July 2016, 21:14: Message edited by: Penny S ]

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Doublethink.
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"Had to" ? I wonder what else you could put on a robot, smoke bombs, tear gas, tazer, tranquilliser dart ...

[ 08. July 2016, 21:22: Message edited by: Doublethink. ]

--------------------
All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
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They're talking about that on MSNBC right now to a law enforcement expert who says the swat team had negotiators trying their best for the better part of an hour, and the shooter's anger just seemed to be escalating. The fear was that he would be killing more people.
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Crœsos
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There have been examples of police using robots to deliver tear gas or other chemical agent to force suspects to surrender. That usually involved a confined space like an apartment, not a relatively open one like a parking garage.

My question is whether the Dallas Police routinely stock weaponized explosives, if not the where did they get it, and what are their rules for using explosive weapons against suspects?

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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lilBuddha
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They would have the explosives and robots for bomb disposal.
It would not surprise me to learn they had practiced this scenario, though likely in response to terrorists.

--------------------
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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mousethief

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I'm wondering, was the existence of the robot part of the negotiations? "Give yourself up or we're going to take you out with a bomb-carrying robot." That could have potentially ended the situation without killing the suspect.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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mousethief

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Leading one to wonder, if it is NOT the case, whether bringing the suspect out alive even figured into the cops' calculations. Which is to say, do Black Lives Matter to them?

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Leading one to wonder, if it is NOT the case, whether bringing the suspect out alive even figured into the cops' calculations. Which is to say, do Black Lives Matter to them?

I can't say if Black Lives matter to them, but if the MSNBC report Twilight cites is accurate, the fact that swat team negotiators tried to talk him out for over an hour would certainly seem that bringing him out alive was part of their calculations, even though 5 of their own had already been killed.

I think the question of whether tear-gas or other non-lethal methods might have been used at that point is a good one. At the same time, though, I think the implication that the cops didn't care to capture him alive is, at the very least, premature at this point.

We have a huge problem with policing in the US, that must be addressed-- and soon. The events of this week demonstrate most clearly that the problem cuts both ways, with victims on both sides of the badge.

[ 09. July 2016, 00:10: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
I can't say if Black Lives matter to them, but if the MSNBC report Twilight cites is accurate, the fact that swat team negotiators tried to talk him out for over an hour would certainly seem that bringing him out alive was part of their calculations, even though 5 of their own had already been killed.

I just want to know if they did EVERYTHING in their power to bring him out alive, including saying they could take him out remotely, or did they say, "Oh fuck it, just kill him"? One hour is far from the longest one of these negotiation situations has played out.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:

We have a huge problem with policing in the US, that must be addressed-- and soon. The events of this week demonstrate most clearly that the problem cuts both ways, with victims on both sides of the badge.

History doesn't hold much promise.

[ 09. July 2016, 00:33: Message edited by: lilBuddha ]

--------------------
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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cliffdweller
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No, it sure as h**l doesn't, especially when it comes to Americans and our guns.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Josephine

Orthodox Belle
# 3899

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
We have a huge problem with policing in the US, that must be addressed-- and soon. The events of this week demonstrate most clearly that the problem cuts both ways, with victims on both sides of the badge.

The Boston PD and, I'm told, some others (maybe Philadelphia?) are working hard to replace automatic use of force with restraint and de-escalation, and it's making a difference.

We need more of that, and sooner. But it's a start.

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I've written a book! Catherine's Pascha: A celebration of Easter in the Orthodox Church. It's a lovely book for children. Take a look!

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lilBuddha
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A major problem in the US is a lack of uniform standards and training. Individual municipalities changing is good, but will not solve the problem unless most do it.
And training needs to be constant. Years on the job are a poor way to gain training when mistakes cost lives.

--------------------
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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AmyBo
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quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
I don't find anything odd in pulling over someone with a broken tail light. It's standard to address the officer as sir and it's standard for the officer to ask the driver to produce his license and registration. What's not standard is shooting him when he reaches for them.

I don't think anyone is questioning the pulling over or the request for license and registration. But a broken tail light is hardly a capital offense with the police acting as judge, jury, and executioner.
It wasn't even about the tail light. The police scanner audio was placed online here: http://www.kare11.com/news/police-scanner-audio-1/267042738

Philando Castile was killed for being black.

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Belle Ringer
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# 13379

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
A major problem in the US is a lack of uniform standards and training.

And the militarization of the ways cops deal with people. Unnecessary violence is common, people tazered multiple times after obeying instructions to lie on the ground, people who are weaponless calmly asking why they are being questioned body slammed and injured "for officer safety" when there is no way the officer could really think he was in personal danger.

Power unchecked gets bolder. Police power has been essentially unchecked and growing bolder for years. I've got elderly white friends with personal horror stories.

Its cultural somehow. Mother Jones has a recent article of the abusiveness of prison guards. Beyond inhumane. article written by a guy who was a prisonner for a year in Iran, says USA prisons are worse!

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ExclamationMark
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# 14715

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
A major problem in the US is a lack of uniform standards and training. Individual municipalities changing is good, but will not solve the problem unless most do it.
And training needs to be constant. Years on the job are a poor way to gain training when mistakes cost lives.

The training appears to major along the lines if it's black and moves shoot it. A refinement of this excludes the words "and moves." I wonder whether the wearing of a "uniform" alongside the very real dangers of the role prompts a form of aggression greater than the norm. Then there are the fruitcakes who apply just for the violence ...

From the other side of the Atlantic we have to accept that we have problems too. A recent series of investigations and enquiries revealed whole scale corruption in the UK Police Force meaning that public confidence in them is at the lowest ebb ever.

I've personally observed the Police winding up other people. I'm not sure to what end but can hazard a guess or two. It's no coincidence for example that street arrests late at night is on the decrease -- Street Pastors are great and do a lot of good work.

I'm not alone in coming to the conclusion that one (unplanned) element of their impact is that their are independent witnesses to activities that, in the past, would bring heavy handed policing just for a bit of fun. If the Police got the worst of it, there was always the cells

My own interaction with the Police tends to support the wider cynicism. I've found them rude, aggressive and prone not to believe anything you say. Whenever I am stopped or spoken to (and I hasten to add that I don't have any criminal or road convictions of any kind), I tend to switch my mobile on to record the conversation. They don't like it but can never prove that there's a law against it.

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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What about a truth and reconciliation commission? Might it be a step in the right direction?

That's an article from Yes! magazine, by a Black woman who's a longtime activist. (NOTE: I think this was reposted from a couple of years ago, despite the date, because of the dates of the comments.) There's mention of some previous T&RCs in the US.

--------------------
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Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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Dear American people:

Please stop shooting each other.

Thank you.

The police are just people. It seems very clear that allowing anyone at all to have guns means that some people are going to use them wrongly. The police just have more situations where this is liable to happen.

In truth, I don't think the US police are any worse than any other. I don't think the US people are any worse. The problem is they have access to very lethal weapons, and an expectation and normalisation of using them.

--------------------
Blog
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take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:

In truth, I don't think the US police are any worse than any other. I don't think the US people are any worse. The problem is they have access to very lethal weapons, and an expectation and normalisation of using them.

Absolutely right. It keeps coming back to that. As wrong as the police were in these two most recent incidents, if the victims hadn't had guns in their pockets they would be alive now. That's not victim blaming that's just a fact. They didn't deserve to die because they were carrying guns but that's what happened because the police saw GUN! and panicked.


This woman didn't mean to kill her daughters in the midst of a depression induced rage, but the gun was so handy.

This man didn't mean to kill his son, but he had a gun in his hand when he went to pull a shell out of his shirt.

The more guns we have around the more gun deaths will happen and we'll keep blaming every other thing but the guns.

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Belle Ringer
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# 13379

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quote:
Originally posted by AmyBo:
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
I don't think anyone is questioning the pulling over or the request for license and registration.

It wasn't even about the tail light. The police scanner audio was placed online here: http://www.kare11.com/news/police-scanner-audio-1/267042738

Philando Castile was killed for being black.

The linked article says the woman was taken into custody. That is very common when someone films an officer being abusive - police retaliate. The filmer lands in jail on some pretext, is soon released but for months or years after that keeps getting (falsely) charged with one crime after another.

I was surprised they didn't seize her camera and "accidentally" destroy or delete the images until I read she was streaming it to facebook, not just recording to post later.

Recording a police officer doing damage takes guts.

I just read of a new device that will remotely prevent other people's cameras from working. Don't know if such a thing is on the market yet.
Here's one article on the subject.

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Belle Ringer:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
A major problem in the US is a lack of uniform standards and training.

And the militarization of the ways cops deal with people. Unnecessary violence is common, people tazered multiple times after obeying instructions to lie on the ground, people who are weaponless calmly asking why they are being questioned body slammed and injured "for officer safety" when there is no way the officer could really think he was in personal danger.[/URL]
Yes. I was thinking about this this morning. My husband-- not the snappiest of dressers-- is off for a job interview. I gave him the standard advice: "dress for the job you want." That advice is given not just so the interviewer will see you as someone who will fill that role well, but also so that YOU will see yourself that way and present yourself in the interview in confidently in that role.

20 years ago, police wore uniforms and carried simple revolvers that presented them as public servants. They walked a neighborhood beat where they got to know the families of the community, where they were greeted by small children who felt safe knowing that "Officer Bob" was on the job (at least in middle-class white suburbs). That influenced the way the community viewed the police but also I think viewed the way police viewed themselves-- as members of a community who were there to "serve and protect".

But in the last 20 years, we've had an explicit "broken window" policing strategy. We've had 15 years of right-wing fear-mongering ("there's a terrorist around every corner-- and they all have dark skin"). And we've started outfitting our police with military weaponry. We are outfitting them for a particular job-- but not the job of a community member there to "serve and protect" but the outfit of a soldier at war. That's gotta influence them on a subconscious level. When you are walking into every routine traffic stop not as a community servant but as a warrior you're going to see every person on the other side of the badge not as a neighbor but as the enemy and as a potential threat.

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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20 years ago cops were not walking beats where I live. My whole 53-year-old life I've never lived anywhere where cops did anything but drive around.
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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
20 years ago cops were not walking beats where I live. My whole 53-year-old life I've never lived anywhere where cops did anything but drive around.

Well, true. I was probably writing more from folklore than reality. And there's evidence that race-based police brutality is not some new thing (Rodney King, anyone?) but simply more easily seen now due to cell phone cameras.

But I still think the militarization thing is a factor as well, even if it's only exasperating something that has always been there. And it appears to be an accurate description of the different ways that white communities relate to their police force vs. black communities.

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Nick Tamen

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# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
20 years ago cops were not walking beats where I live. My whole 53-year-old life I've never lived anywhere where cops did anything but drive around.

Same here—well, except I have lived where police sometimes ride horses. But police walking beats, or everyday people knowing local police officers by name, is not something I've ever experienced in my 50+ years.

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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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Pigwidgeon

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I grew up in a fairly small town. The police did use cars, but we knew them and they knew us -- the daughter of the Police Chief was a classmate of mine; two officers shared my school bus route (one week one of them would drive the bus while the other was on duty with the police and the next week they reversed positions, possibly the one driving the bus was on duty at night). Also, since we lived in a lily white town -- no Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Jews, etc. -- there were no racial tensions. (But I do feel it was my loss not knowing a more diverse group of people as a child.)

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Don't keep calm. Go change the world.

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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"I'm a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing" (Vox). Good article. NOTE: some disturbing stories.

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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I read that. Very powerful.

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
I read that. Very powerful.

heartbreaking.
[Votive]

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
A major problem in the US is a lack of uniform standards and training.

Yeah, and you know what? I've read 3 separate articles in the last day all saying that Dallas is considered to have some of the best training and standards in the country. The number of police shootings dropping every year. The number of complaints about excessive police force dropping every year. A police chief who sacked a police officer for misconduct and openly praised the officer who reported it.

Which makes Micah Johnson a colossal idiot as well as a murderer. Attacking people who are genuinely trying to be part of the solution.

--------------------
Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
A major problem in the US is a lack of uniform standards and training.

Yeah, and you know what? I've read 3 separate articles in the last day all saying that Dallas is considered to have some of the best training and standards in the country. The number of police shootings dropping every year. The number of complaints about excessive police force dropping every year. A police chief who sacked a police officer for misconduct and openly praised the officer who reported it.

Which makes Micah Johnson a colossal idiot as well as a murderer. Attacking people who are genuinely trying to be part of the solution.

Because of the way they are reported and recorded, statistics on police shootings are difficult. However, even accepting this as accurate doesn't change the reality that black people are disproportionately targeted, incarcerated and shot. It does not change that police officers appear to be acquitted of crimes that civilians are likely to go to prison for. It does not change that many police organisations, especially unions, operate with the mantra of "police can do no wrong".
Johnson's actions were counter-productive to solving policing problems. His reported words, though, reference the shootings by police in the US, not Dallas. So Dallas' progress is irrelevant to his apparent motive.

An article in The Atlantic supports your conclusion that the Dallas police are making progress. I would point out though, that 6 years of progress doesn't erase decades of malfeasance.
And that the changes have received resistance from police unions and officers themselves, enforcing the point that change needs to be broader than any one city.

--------------------
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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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Which makes Micah Johnson a colossal idiot as well as a murderer. Attacking people who are genuinely trying to be part of the solution.

I say he's another crazy young man with a gun who felt impotent and decided to try to take some kind of power. Usually they're white, but obviously not always. It's not like guys like him stop and think coherently about the people they're choosing to kill.
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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
A major problem in the US is a lack of uniform standards and training.

Yeah, and you know what? I've read 3 separate articles in the last day all saying that Dallas is considered to have some of the best training and standards in the country. The number of police shootings dropping every year. The number of complaints about excessive police force dropping every year. A police chief who sacked a police officer for misconduct and openly praised the officer who reported it.

Which makes Micah Johnson a colossal idiot as well as a murderer. Attacking people who are genuinely trying to be part of the solution.

Because of the way they are reported and recorded, statistics on police shootings are difficult. However, even accepting this as accurate doesn't change the reality that black people are disproportionately targeted, incarcerated and shot. It does not change that police officers appear to be acquitted of crimes that civilians are likely to go to prison for. It does not change that many police organisations, especially unions, operate with the mantra of "police can do no wrong".
Johnson's actions were counter-productive to solving policing problems. His reported words, though, reference the shootings by police in the US, not Dallas. So Dallas' progress is irrelevant to his apparent motive.

An article in The Atlantic supports your conclusion that the Dallas police are making progress. I would point out though, that 6 years of progress doesn't erase decades of malfeasance.
And that the changes have received resistance from police unions and officers themselves, enforcing the point that change needs to be broader than any one city.

Well fuck you too.

Seriously, what a way to throw excrement in someone's face.

It doesn't change those things. Well then, fuck, why bother putting any effort into reducing those things? Dallas police might as well sit back, relax and go for the record.

Words cannot quite express the disgust I feel for you in this moment, so I won't say any more.

--------------------
Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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lilBuddha
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orfeo,

You are reading what you want into what I am saying.
I did not say Dallas' efforts are worthless, but that they are not going to solve the problem by themselves.
In theory, change could happen city by city, and each city which makes the effort is laudable. But in practice this isn't likely to happen fast enough.
The US needs national standards to comprehensively address the problems. The US needs a paradigm shift in police-public relations.

--------------------
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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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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Sorry David O. Brown. It doesn't matter that you've greatly increased the amount of training your officers require. It doesn't matter that you've made the number of adverse police incidents in your jurisdiction plummet. It doesn't matter that your approach was described as a "model" for better policing in America well before your officers were gunned down this week. Apparently nothing's changed.

Well, except for the fact that a considerable number of members of the Dallas community are still alive. But it seems you could have saved yourself all that effort. You've not made a difference.

Sorry about that.

--------------------
Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
orfeo,
I did not say Dallas' efforts are worthless, but that they are not going to solve the problem by themselves.

Well then, you must really think I'm some kind of colossal moron if you apparently believe you have to point out to me that an improvement in Dallas doesn't miraculously transform the entire nation.

--------------------
Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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It's ironic, really. The last couple of days on Facebook I've been seeing and successfully sharing stuff about how the statement "All Lives Matter", while technically true, is an incredibly unhelpful response to "Black Lives Matter" that minimises and trivialises the impact of policing on blacks in America.

And yet your response to "Dallas Is Better" is to minimise the importance of that by insisting on a general observation that, while technically true, seeks to minimise and trivialise the importance of the betterment of policing in Dallas.

--------------------
Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Golden Key
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# 1468

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
The US needs national standards to comprehensively address the problems. The US needs a paradigm shift in police-public relations.

That would probably need to involve both the president and Congress cooperating, which (currently) is very unlikely, unless the Christmas Carol ghosts do their work on every member of Congress. There'd be a lot of shouting about states' rights. And probably a Supreme Court case or three. That's before even considering the police unions.

And, as Justice Ginsberg (aka the Notorious RBG! [Smile] ) recently pointed out, the next president will probably have a chance to fill several Supreme slots, presumably because they're getting ready to retire. So the next pres can "stack the court" with like-minded people. If, all goodness forbid, Trump is elected...
[Paranoid]

--------------------
Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?"--Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon"
--"I'm not giving up--and neither should you." --SNL

Posts: 17647 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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A paradigmatic shift in our notions of what the police are supposed to be doing sounds like a great idea. I'm not sold on the idea of national standards, though. National standards haven't done much for our educational system.
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