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-   -   The behaviour of US police officers (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=323251)

Nessie 25th September 2017 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeG (Post 12007540)
Respectfully (and thanks for the informative post), can you ever think of any circumstances in which police investigating police will A/ be just, and B/ be seen to be just by the populace?

Not in Scotland where PIRC is full of ex-cops and solicitors whose decisions are often unfathomable. The only way to challenge their decisions is a very expensive legal review, so they know they can sit back and enjoy immunity from their actions.

CORed 25th September 2017 01:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PhantomWolf (Post 12006748)
Shootings in the US are investigated by their Internal Affairs Bureau. For smaller sheriff units and the like that don't have an IAB, police shootings are generally investigated by the State Police.

Some localities in the US have independant civilian boards that investigate shootings.

Skeptic Tank 25th September 2017 08:06 PM

I've seen police all around the U.S. and every time I've been in a very white area, the police are pleasant and professional.

It's when they're asked to police concentrations of blacks and to a lesser extent Mestizos, that they tend to change into exactly what that challenge requires them to be.

3point14 26th September 2017 12:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skeptic Tank (Post 12008168)
I've seen police all around the U.S. and every time I've been in a very white area, the police are pleasant and professional.

It's when they're asked to police concentrations of blacks and to a lesser extent Mestizos, that they tend to change into exactly what that challenge requires them to be.


I'm sure we'll all give this piece of arse about face thinking the consideration and rumination it deserves.

quadraginta 26th September 2017 05:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 3point14 (Post 12008292)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Skeptic Tank (Post 12008168)
I've seen police all around the U.S. and every time I've been in a very white area, the police are pleasant and professional.

It's when they're asked to police concentrations of blacks and to a lesser extent Mestizos, that they tend to change into exactly what that challenge requires them to be.


I'm sure we'll all give this piece of arse about face thinking the consideration and rumination it deserves.


Justine Damond would probably point out that her experience with the police has been been somewhat less ideal than ST's.

If she could, that is.

Bikewer 26th September 2017 06:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeG (Post 12007540)
Respectfully (and thanks for the informative post), can you ever think of any circumstances in which police investigating police will A/ be just, and B/ be seen to be just by the populace?

Consider the current Shockley case. Back when it happened, it was obvious that the departmental investigation had found problems. The initial investigation found some “grand jury matters”.
This all occurred as the STLPD was changing chiefs. The case was referred to the prosecutors for “review”. The Federal Justice folks passed on the case; they could not find any reason to prosecute either criminally or from a civil-rights standpoint.

At that point, the case was in limbo. No doubt concerned citizens were upset that the case was in the hands of prosecutors but nothing seemed to be happening. I would hazard that to the average joe on the street, the department would appear to have been passing the buck...

However, the case did actually go to trial. This is a common complaint of activists; that police officers don’t “face justice”. Well, Shockley did. A full-bore, formal trial for Murder in the First Degree. And he was acquitted.

To my way of thinking, the activist folks got exactly what they wanted, but not the result they desired. Unfortunately, sometimes guilty people skate, sometimes the prosecution simply fails to make a case (the general consensus here), or the evidence is such that the accused must be acquitted.
We (the police) are well aware of this and sometimes we make perfectly righteous arrests of very bad people who are tried and not convicted, or cases thrown out before ever they go to trial.

kmortis 26th September 2017 08:56 AM

Mod WarningGeneral 2nd Amendment discussions are off topic for this thread. There are plenty of other threads in which to have that discussion. Please take it there.
Posted By:kmortis

ponderingturtle 26th September 2017 09:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bikewer (Post 12008530)
However, the case did actually go to trial. This is a common complaint of activists; that police officers don’t “face justice”. Well, Shockley did. A full-bore, formal trial for Murder in the First Degree. And he was acquitted.

At least when they kill people in jail they can be sure that they will get away with it. Or am I supposed to honestly believe that the sheriffs in Milwaukee will get charged for simply having fun and killing someone over days through dehydration?

Belz... 26th September 2017 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skeptic Tank (Post 12008168)
I've seen police all around the U.S. and every time I've been in a very white area, the police are pleasant and professional.

It's when they're asked to police concentrations of blacks and to a lesser extent Mestizos, that they tend to change into exactly what that challenge requires them to be.

So they're either strongly biased against these minorities or, I suppose, the minorities are so dangerous and difficult to handle that the cops have no choice but to be more violent towards them.


Gee, I wonder which of these two options you're going for.

Skeptic Tank 26th September 2017 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Argumemnon (Post 12008814)
So they're either strongly biased against these minorities or, I suppose, the minorities are so dangerous and difficult to handle that the cops have no choice but to be more violent towards them.


Gee, I wonder which of these two options you're going for.

Both, with a strong lean toward the second one.

I think they're reacting to the reality of how these groups are and then eventually the cops who are exposed to that reality long enough take on the strong bias you're referring to.

It's a strong bias rooted firmly in reality, and therefore nothing I'd worry about eliminating (other than by trying to reach a situation where white police only have to police white citizens)

But, sadly, sometimes that bias does end up negatively impacting blacks and Mestizos who aren't deserving of that sort of treatment. Generally, the bias is going to shut off pretty fast if the cop encounters a black or Mestizo who is polite, well dressed, obeying the law in all but the most minor ways... etc. Very rarely though, and I mean VERY rarely - there will be a white cop who has let the bias get so out of hand that he would even be a huge jerk to a black or Mestizo person who is fully non-deserving of it. Honestly though, cops like that are probably the power-trip types who treat white citizens that way too (assuming they're in a position to encounter any) and it's just sort of the bias flavoring and amplifying that pre-existing trait.

3point14 26th September 2017 10:25 AM

Why do I get the feeling that the definition of 'deserving' is rather mutable.

For that matter, why do I now feel a little sick.

Ranb 26th September 2017 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Skeptic Tank (Post 12008933)
Generally, the bias is going to shut off pretty fast if the cop encounters a black or Mestizo who is polite, well dressed, obeying the law in all but the most minor ways... etc.

The problem with racist cops is that all those blacks and etc are guilty of something in their short little minds. Hence the term "driving (or walking, talking, breathing) while black".

Ranb

Upchurch 26th September 2017 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bikewer (Post 12008530)
However, the case did actually go to trial. This is a common complaint of activists; that police officers don’t “face justice”. Well, Shockley did. A full-bore, formal trial for Murder in the First Degree. And he was acquitted.

To my way of thinking, the activist folks got exactly what they wanted, but not the result they desired. Unfortunately, sometimes guilty people skate, sometimes the prosecution simply fails to make a case (the general consensus here), or the evidence is such that the accused must be acquitted.

Except, I'm not sure either thing occurred. The "activist" concern is that the justice system is corrupt. Local judicial review of local police, on whom prosecutors and judges rely, have an inherent conflict of interest. This is compounded by Stockley's waiving his right to a jury trial, taking the risk of review by citizens outside the local justice system and putting it in the hands of a single judge within that system, and the the judge's sometimes bizarre, sometimes straight-up racist verdict.

A trial happened. A verdict was reached. But did the people get what they wanted? Did the officer face justice? We're meant to take the word of the system that is evaluating itself that everything is fine. Again. I question, at the very least, the validity of the claim that justice is being served.

Darth Rotor 26th September 2017 09:02 PM

Uppie, old friend, why do you assume a cop is guilty until proven innocent? Are cops not our fellow citizens? Does due process not apply to our officers as well?

Quote:

But did the people get what they wanted?
Nice. Appeal to emotion, appeal to lynch mob mentality. No, that's not how we do it when we do it right.

ponderingturtle 27th September 2017 03:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Rotor (Post 12009498)
Uppie, old friend, why do you assume a cop is guilty until proven innocent? Are cops not our fellow citizens? Does due process not apply to our officers as well?

Because they will not have to face justice either way? Laughing at prisoners while cutting off their water and letting them die of dehydration is not something that anyone should think is automatically a crime after all. Just give out a wrongful death payment and pretend no one did anything wrong, SOP for the police.

At least you clearly must agree with the judicial system that finding out a black man has a legally carried gun is a good reason to fear for your life. That is just basic american values.

Upchurch 27th September 2017 03:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Rotor (Post 12009498)
Uppie, old friend, why do you assume a cop is guilty until proven innocent? Are cops not our fellow citizens? Does due process not apply to our officers as well?


Nice. Appeal to emotion, appeal to lynch mob mentality. No, that's not how we do it when we do it right.

Slow down. I'm questioning Bikewer's claim, not appealing to emotion. It is a valid question whether or not a system can accurately and objectively evaluate itself or whether these types of cases should be judged by an outside third party. See the DOJ report on Ferguson, our county neighbor, for an acute example.

And I'm not assuming that any particular cop is guilty. I'm questioning that they always seem to be innocent, in St. Louis anyway. None of the claims of abuse are true, ever? On the rare occasion where a St. Louis cop is removed for racial profiling and is reported by fellow cops, he is shortly reinstated.

As I pointed out, there is, at the very least, an inherent conflict of interest when prosecutors and judges take the LEOs, that they depend on a daily basis, to court. That's a fair statement, right? If so, how much confidence can we have that justice is being served?

Upchurch 27th September 2017 09:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Upchurch (Post 12009684)
It is a valid question whether or not a system can accurately and objectively evaluate itself or whether these types of cases should be judged by an outside third party.

I've been making an honest attempt to find a situation where the local St. Louis justice department managed to try and convict a local LEO. What I found was a case where a St. Louis police detective who beat a handcuffed white suspect while in custody was convicted and sentenced to prison. However, he was convicted in a federal, not local, court and there were, allegedly two local prosecutors and an intern attempting to help him cover up the crime as well as allegations that other LEOs threatened the suspect if he talked about the beating.

This is my point and what I think is the "activist" concern.

ponderingturtle 27th September 2017 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Upchurch (Post 12009995)
I've been making an honest attempt to find a situation where the local St. Louis justice department managed to try and convict a local LEO. What I found was a case where a St. Louis police detective who beat a handcuffed white suspect while in custody was convicted and sentenced to prison.

Only of you think doing that was a bad thing. Still kind of shocking that he actually managed to get convicted.

Upchurch 27th September 2017 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ponderingturtle (Post 12010022)
Only of you think doing that was a bad thing. Still kind of shocking that he actually managed to get convicted.

Again, I think it happened only because the case was tried by an independent third-party. If I were a cynic, I'd also attribute it to the victim being a white male.

ponderingturtle 27th September 2017 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Upchurch (Post 12010029)
Again, I think it happened only because the case was tried by an independent third-party. If I were a cynic, I'd also attribute it to the victim being a white male.

At least none of his coworkers took serious issue with that kind of behavior. That would be crazy.

quadraginta 27th September 2017 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Upchurch (Post 12009684)
<snip>

And I'm not assuming that any particular cop is guilty. I'm questioning that they always seem to be innocent, in St. Louis anyway. None of the claims of abuse are true, ever? On the rare occasion where a St. Louis cop is removed for racial profiling and is reported by fellow cops, he is shortly reinstated.

<snip>


So much for good cops. Dare to speak out, even through channels, and your career is derailed.

And people wonder why there's a problem.

ponderingturtle 27th September 2017 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by quadraginta (Post 12010128)
So much for good cops. Dare to speak out, even through channels, and your career is derailed.

And people wonder why there's a problem.

And here is the thing, like there are actual good cops I am sure there are actual good departments, it is just trying to figure out what percentage of the departments are really good vs typical.

Darth Rotor 27th September 2017 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Upchurch (Post 12009684)
I'm questioning that they always seem to be innocent, in St. Louis anyway. ?

Uppie, you used to be a skeptic. (I get that you are close to the Ferguson case). You only know what you read in the papers. For your own enlightenment, why don't you do a modest search on the number of officers who have in fact been charged in cases of not treating the public well? Some have even been convicted. Try to look at the whole pizza, not just one slice.

Getting charged is a first step. As we saw in the Simi Valley case, there is still due process. (Read the Constitution, it's all in there).
And after due process didn't appease the emotions of (some people) what happened there? A riot.
Is that what you want?
That's where your post was heading, but I doubt that's what your heart wants.
If the courts don't say what your emotions are telling you, then what?
Quote:

As I pointed out, there is, at the very least, an inherent conflict of interest when prosecutors and judges take the LEOs, that they depend on a daily basis, to court. That's a fair statement, right? If so, how much confidence can we have that justice is being served?
I suggest that you take that attitude down to your local PD and let them know that you don't trust them. Then head over to the DA, and tell them. Then head over to the court house and tell the judges you don't trust them either.
That nice broad brush you are painting with is leaving streaks all over the wall.
Now, Uppie, if the Judges and Prosecutors are not to be the officers of the Court, who is? A Nice Local Lynch Mob? We had that kind of crap in Texas a century ago and I am glad we no longer do.
FFS, man, that's who we have: Judges and Prosecutors.
We pay their salaries with our taxes.
All of us. There isn't anyone else.

Nessie 28th September 2017 01:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Rotor (Post 12006415)
Simply another thread filled with Nessie's irrational paranoia about firearms, with a fig leaf being a whinge about cops. LL's response suffices for mine.

......

My perfectly reasonable response to that comment has been removed from this thread.

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...php?p=12007108

Suffice it to say I am not paranoid about guns, Darth Rotor is wrong.

Upchurch 28th September 2017 03:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Rotor (Post 12010814)
Uppie, you used to be a skeptic. (I get that you are close to the Ferguson case). You only know what you read in the papers. For your own enlightenment, why don't you do a modest search on the number of officers who have in fact been charged in cases of not treating the public well? Some have even been convicted. Try to look at the whole pizza, not just one slice.

What? Did you not read my last few posts at all? That is precisely what I did.

First, you accused me of appeal to emotion and now, you're throwing ad homs, strawman, and moving goal posts? Get your own house in order.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Rotor (Post 12010814)
And after due process didn't appease the emotions of (some people) what happened there? A riot.
Is that what you want?

Did I say I wanted that? No.

And riots are not the inevitable result of protests of the a corrupt justice system. That is both ridiculous and, I might point out, a slippery slope fallacy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Rotor (Post 12010814)
That's where your post was heading, but I doubt that's what your heart wants.
If the courts don't say what your emotions are telling you, then what?
I suggest that you take that attitude down to your local PD and let them know that you don't trust them. Then head over to the DA, and tell them. Then head over to the court house and tell the judges you don't trust them either.
That nice broad brush you are painting with is leaving streaks all over the wall.
Now, Uppie, if the Judges and Prosecutors are not to be the officers of the Court, who is? A Nice Local Lynch Mob? We had that kind of crap in Texas a century ago and I am glad we no longer do.
FFS, man, that's who we have: Judges and Prosecutors.
We pay their salaries with our taxes.
All of us. There isn't anyone else.

Talk about appeals to emotion. You doth protest too much, methinks.

Listen to what I'm actually saying rather than beating up strawman arguments and appealing to authority. The St. Louis justice system has a flaw that allows for corruption and works against self-correction. Namely, in cases of abuse by police, the local judicial system has an inherent conflict of interest when prosecuting and judging.

I can't prove the negative that St. Louis cops are never convicted, but I can and did search to disprove that claim. I couldn't. The case I did find was handled at the federal level, not the local level, and uncovered local prosecutors covering up the detective's abuse.

ponderingturtle 28th September 2017 04:06 AM

As we all know justice is best done in secret out of prying eyes.

"Over the past two years, the NYCLU sent Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests to 23 police departments around the state seeking information about their policies and practices. We asked for basic information about issues that are important to people who come into contact with police—and to everyone—including the use of force, stops and detentions, complaints about alleged misconduct, racial profiling, and the use of surveillance technologies.

We got back, well, a lot of red tape."

https://www.nyclu.org/en/news/police...n-secret-clubs

Upchurch 28th September 2017 07:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Upchurch (Post 12009684)
It is a valid question whether or not a system can accurately and objectively evaluate itself or whether these types of cases should be judged by an outside third party.

I am, apparently, not the only one who sees the flaw in self-enforcement:

Krewson, O'Toole call for independent investigation into police response to protests

Krewson = Mayor
O'Toole = Interim Police Chief


eta, second source: STL mayor, police chief call for independent investigation into police response to protests

Darth Rotor 29th September 2017 05:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Upchurch (Post 12011022)
What?

Real simple, my friend. This thread is about more than your local problem. Your projection doesn't sell your point, and I do not disbelieve that where you live there are people who cover up wrongdoing.
(Happens where I live too, in freaking spades, even though I don't live in some exalted and precious large city like St Louis).

Read the title of the thread if you want to understand my response. Or, don't.

I read your posts. I think that if you go back and read my response that I acknowledge that your are very close to the Ferguson case. Seems to have blinded you . (An understandable response, I suppose, given that it's a frustrating thing and you live close by). You wanna play skeptic? Park the emotion.

jimbob 30th September 2017 03:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Rotor (Post 12013108)
Real simple, my friend. This thread is about more than your local problem. Your projection doesn't sell your point, and I do not disbelieve that where you live there are people who cover up wrongdoing.
(Happens where I live too, in freaking spades, even though I don't live in some exalted and precious large city like St Louis).

Read the title of the thread if you want to understand my response. Or, don't.

I read your posts. I think that if you go back and read my response that I acknowledge that your are very close to the Ferguson case. Seems to have blinded you . (An understandable response, I suppose, given that it's a frustrating thing and you live close by). You wanna play skeptic? Park the emotion.

I don't understand how that negates what Upchurch stated.

Justice has to be impartial and to be seen to be impartial. Internal investigations are not independent, and are unsuited for serious potential wrongdoing because they fail to be seen to be independent.


I also don't see why you think that Upchurch *should* look at the wider picture. As Dave Rogers said, there is no acceptable level of wrongful shootings. Similarly there should be no acceptable levels of bent police forces or police officers.

The situation in St Louis certainly fails on the "being seen to be impartial" front.

That on its own is sufficient to say that the system is not working. Especially as Ferguson's statistics for vehicle stops were not unusual (in fact they were slightly better than the whole state of Missouri) but still individual cases were unjustified when investigated by the DoJ.

Homan Square was another situation that shows the system is not working. As does the report into Baltimore Police Department.

We can't say how large the problem is because we haven't looked, and we haven't got the centralised statistics analysed, but we can see sufficient cases to show that there is a systemic problem. At the very least - oversight has failed in the cases I have mentioned, and at a departmental level.

MikeG 30th September 2017 03:52 AM

You're not qualified to comment on this JB. Darth Rotor says so. Only Americans can, and then, it seems, only if they are within set (but undefined) geographical parameters (too close is a problem now, it seems, as well as too far away).

Upchurch 30th September 2017 05:57 AM

I don't understand what is happening. I'm providing a counter argument to something was said in this thread, providing sources and evidence to support my position. Darth Rotor is responding like I'm an emotional, hysterical mess without actually refuting to anything actually said.

What am I missing here?

jimbob 30th September 2017 06:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Upchurch (Post 12013472)
I don't understand what is happening. I'm providing a counter argument to something was said in this thread, providing sources and evidence to support my position. Darth Rotor is responding like I'm an emotional, hysterical mess without actually refuting to anything actually said.

What am I missing here?

That makes three of us by my count - you, me, and Mike G at least

GlennB 30th September 2017 06:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimbob (Post 12013488)
That makes three of us by my count - you, me, and Mike G at least

Make it four. It leaves me in a difficult place to discuss anything, what with being 2000 miles from my homeland and not a citizen of my country of residence.

Can I discuss Mars missions, or at least until the Martians tell me to mind my own business? :D

Dave Rogers 30th September 2017 07:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Upchurch (Post 12013472)
What am I missing here?

Projection. I think DR's the one reacting emotionally. And so he should, it's an emotive subject; but I think he's having a problem acknowledging that.

Dave

Darth Rotor 30th September 2017 11:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Upchurch (Post 12013472)
What am I missing here?

What you are missing is two things:
1. The US isn't St Louis, nor is it East Saint Louis. It's a whole lot bigger than that.
2. Projecting upon all cops in the US your frustrations with St Louis/Ferguson is, IMO, an argument from emotion. I understand you feeling strongly about what happened there: it's local, and that which is local tends to touch us deeply.

Now answer me this: who besides the currently sitting judges and DA are you asking to sort this out? That's who is in the job, just like in my county.
We just got rid of a DA in the past election -- he's been in office 4 years, is a Democrat, and I voted for him because I believed he'd do a good job and was a whole lot better of a choice than his opponent -- because he was found not to be up to the job. (This is one of the benefits of certain posts being elective). Let's say that a lot of us in this county were very disappointed.
Now we have a new one.
Hopefully, he'll do a better job. But if he doesn't, then in a couple of years our county gets to try again.

I am wondering at whether or not you view police officers as people, or as some objective force for injustice. From your posts, it is unclear.

Quote:

As I pointed out, there is, at the very least, an inherent conflict of interest when prosecutors and judges take the LEOs, that they depend on a daily basis, to court. That's a fair statement, right? If so, how much confidence can we have that justice is being served?
Cold hard facts for you, Uppie. The DoJ hasn't the budget to come to every county in the US and do as you demand. Just out of curiosity, why did you leave your state government out of this? Did you forget a layer of government and Law Enforcement?

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimbobandDaveRogersintwopartharmony
there is no acceptable level of wrongful shootings.

Bull. Cops are people, and people screw up. It sucks but its true. All that can mitigate that is training, good leadership, and professionalization. (The same is true in aviation).
I do not accept your absurd notion that zero defects is a realistic standard. You can argue about what "rate" or "percentage" one can live with, or that a society accept as the bounds of human error. To demand zero defects in a human endeavor? That's not rational.

Upchurch 30th September 2017 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Rotor (Post 12013787)
What you are missing is two things:
1. The US isn't St Louis, nor is it East Saint Louis. It's a whole lot bigger than that.
2. Projecting upon all cops in the US your frustrations with St Louis/Ferguson is, IMO, an argument from emotion. I understand you feeling strongly about what happened there: it's local, and that which is local tends to touch us deeply.

Okay:
  1. I never said it was. I was responding to a post that misunderstood, in my opinion, the motivations behind protesters. Yes, the US is bigger than St. Louis, but neither is St. Louis atypical either. I have no idea why you brought East St. Louis into it.
  2. I have been nothing but logical in this thread. I have made no appeal to emotion. If you think otherwise, I encourage you to outline it specifically as I did to you when you starting painting a picture of lynch mobs and anarchy.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Rotor (Post 12013787)
Now answer me this: who besides the currently sitting judges and DA are you asking to sort this out? That's who is in the job, just like in my county.

Okay, I've only answered several times in this thread already, but why not again?

I'm asking that this be sorted out by an independent third party. In the past, we've had an example of the federal courts successfully prosecuting local LEOs for abuse. In the current handling of protestors, the mayor and police chief are calling for an independent counsel. As I said, the problem isn't judges and DAs. It's the judges and DAs who have a conflict of interest in trying the cops they work with.

I bolded the part you apparently keep missing every time I say it.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Rotor (Post 12013787)
I am wondering at whether or not you view police officers as people, or as some objective force for injustice. From your posts, it is unclear.

Now, this is an appeal to emotion.

I do view them as people. I do not view them as an objective force for justice, because they are people, capable of mistakes and biases. I do not believe that a highly coupled judicial and law enforcement systems can reliably self-correct itself.

Do you?

jimbob 30th September 2017 12:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Rotor (Post 12013787)
What you are missing is two things:
1. The US isn't St Louis, nor is it East Saint Louis. It's a whole lot bigger than that.
2. Projecting upon all cops in the US your frustrations with St Louis/Ferguson is, IMO, an argument from emotion. I understand you feeling strongly about what happened there: it's local, and that which is local tends to touch us deeply.

Now answer me this: who besides the currently sitting judges and DA are you asking to sort this out? That's who is in the job, just like in my county.
We just got rid of a DA in the past election -- he's been in office 4 years, is a Democrat, and I voted for him because I believed he'd do a good job and was a whole lot better of a choice than his opponent -- because he was found not to be up to the job. (This is one of the benefits of certain posts being elective). Let's say that a lot of us in this county were very disappointed.
Now we have a new one.
Hopefully, he'll do a better job. But if he doesn't, then in a couple of years our county gets to try again.

I am wondering at whether or not you view police officers as people, or as some objective force for injustice. From your posts, it is unclear.

Cold hard facts for you, Uppie. The DoJ hasn't the budget to come to every county in the US and do as you demand. Just out of curiosity, why did you leave your state government out of this? Did you forget a layer of government and Law Enforcement?


Bull. Cops are people, and people screw up. It sucks but its true. All that can mitigate that is training, good leadership, and professionalization. (The same is true in aviation).
I do not accept your absurd notion that zero defects is a realistic standard. You can argue about what "rate" or "percentage" one can live with, or that a society accept as the bounds of human error. To demand zero defects in a human endeavor? That's not rational.

All this can be true and also be irrelevant to the question as to whether the current system is fundamentally flawed and allows corrupt police forces to exist - despite local campaigners highlighting malpractices... until some particularly newsworthy event causes an external investigation.


That tells me that the system isn't working. In as much as it works, it relies on the goodwill and professionalism of the police officers - most of whom are indeed trying to do a good job.

Personally, I don't regard that as adequate, especially as the problem with too many too-small police forces is well known.

ETA: And the issue of lack of statistics on use of force, or racial biases let alone the collection of statistics that can be compared.

Nessie 1st October 2017 01:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Rotor (Post 12013787)
......

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimbobandDaveRogersintwopartharmony
there is no acceptable level of wrongful shootings.

Bull. Cops are people, and people screw up. It sucks but its true. All that can mitigate that is training, good leadership, and professionalization. (The same is true in aviation).
I do not accept your absurd notion that zero defects is a realistic standard. You can argue about what "rate" or "percentage" one can live with, or that a society accept as the bounds of human error. To demand zero defects in a human endeavor? That's not rational.

What was said is that all wrongful shootings are wrong, which is the correct attitude. To be accepting of wrongful shootings is wrong and those who have that attitude are begin absurd.

As for zero defects being a reasonable standard, it is reasonable to set as a target that there are no wrongful shootings by the police. That standard is set and being achieved by police forces all over Europe.

The reason why you do not want no wrongful shootings as a target is because the USA is overwhelmed by the size of the task and cannot face having to admit it is highly unlikely it will be achieved.

jimbob 1st October 2017 02:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nessie (Post 12014308)
What was said is that all wrongful shootings are wrong, which is the correct attitude. To be accepting of wrongful shootings is wrong and those who have that attitude are begin absurd.

As for zero defects being a reasonable standard, it is reasonable to set as a target that there are no wrongful shootings by the police. That standard is set and being achieved by police forces all over Europe.

The reason why you do not want no wrongful shootings as a target is because the USA is overwhelmed by the size of the task and cannot face having to admit it is highly unlikely it will be achieved.

Yes, it is something to aim for. I can't see why it has to be fundamentally different from any other workplace health and safety issue - in the UK, police forces have been prosecuted under the Health and Safety at Work act for causing wrongful (accidental) deaths of individuals.

Most police forces in the UK don't wrongfully shoot anyone in any given year

Workplace safety improved in the UK when the approach changed from thinking that accidents were inevitable, to looking at the causes of accidents and near miss incidents and working out what went wrong in each case, so that the specific failings could be addressed. Of course, for this, you need to collect data and do something with it. So again, the first thing that needs to be done in the US is to quantify the problem. That should be a federal-level set of statistics on all police shootings, broken down by police force, and compared for demographics. As well as this, arrest statistics and stop and search data should be collected and analysed at the federal level to allow poorly-performing police forces to be highlighted and errors to be addressed.

There is indeed going to be a level of wrongful shootings, but until we analyse to see what went wrong in any individual case, and rectify that, we won't be able to reduce them - except by good fortune.



At the moment there seems to be an attitude that because there is no reliable centralised data on wrongful (or even justified) police shootings, there isn't a problem and that anyway, it's probably a small number which is a price worth paying, and that there is nothing to do about it.


ETA: In other words, whilst there is going to be a rate of wrongful shootings, any individual incident could have been prevented, and if the problems that allowed that incident to take place are fixed, the same problem couldn't happen again.

Upchurch 1st October 2017 07:29 AM

I just realized I missed a bit:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Rotor (Post 12013787)
Cold hard facts for you, Uppie. The DoJ hasn't the budget to come to every county in the US and do as you demand. Just out of curiosity, why did you leave your state government out of this? Did you forget a layer of government and Law Enforcement?

I never demanded that the DOJ try every police abuse case, only that it be an outside third party. That could be a state court, as long as it is not local. It could be a Kansas City court, just as long as it isn't people who work and rely on each other on a daily basis.

There were three reasons I brought up the federal case:
  1. It shows that legitimate police abuse does happen in St. Louis.
  2. The local prosecutors not only wouldn't charged the detective, they helped cover it up.
  3. An independent third party can successfully bring bad cops to justice where local justice systems cannot, supporting my overall thesis.

The unintended fourth reason was that I could find no other incidences of St. Louis cops facing justice within the St. Louis court system. Now, it is entirely possible that the federal case was the only genuine case of police abuse in the last ...oh, 10 years or so and it just so happened that the one case was tried outside the city court system. That, however, doesn't seem very likely.

I notice you avoided answering my question.


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