The problem with American policing has nothing to do with guns, or training, or approach. The problem is how the attitude of "good cops" exacerbate bad policing.
People are people. I'm sure police forces in the UK get roughly the same proportion of dickheads as US police. People who mostly just signed up to beat the **** out of people and get away with it. In the UK, when someone like that finally steps over the line and kills someone, what happens? Probably some kind of inquiry, demerits all up and down the line, jail time and such, right?
In the US, here's what happens all too often: not a damned thing. From the officer's buddies just so happening to look the other way, to evidence being mishandled, to dash cams and body cams being turned off at that exact moment, to police chiefs who put them on paid suspension
pending an "investigation" that lasts as long as it takes for media interest to die down, to friendly judges and prosecutors stacking friendly juries, nothing ever happens to hold these bad cops accountable. Actual jail time is an incredible rarity. And even if such an individual accrues enough of a history to get fired from one precinct, the next town over would be glad to have him because he has years of experience being a cop and somehow the violence never gets mentioned.
All of that is not the fault of the bad cops, but the "good cops" who aid and abet them. That
is the problem. Almost all cops like to think of themselves as good cops, but would they cover for a buddy who "got a little out of hand?" Then **** them, they're just as crooked and they need to deal with that.
There's more to talk about, like the culture of fear that US police foster in their ranks, but fix the outright corruption first and then we'll see about institutional issues.
Originally Posted by Nessie
I don't think so. I don't have the numbers, no one does, but my hunch is it's gotten a lot better in recent years. Cops are finally being held accountable for their actions, albeit in a public way via youtube, so we're just hearing about it more. "Cop shoots a black kid" wouldn't even have made the local news a few decades ago.