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Tags Hawaii issues , police issues , police misconduct charges , prostitution issues

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Old 29th March 2014, 08:27 AM   #41
The Norseman
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Originally Posted by squealpiggy View Post
A new associate meets an illicit supplier of a product, as a gesture of trust and goodwill the supplier gives a free sample to the new associate. Refusal will elicit suspicion.

Sometimes the product is drugs, sometimes it's sex. Never is it murder. Think of the consequences of committing a murder, not from the point of view of society or of the victim, but from the point of view of the "drugpin".

Dead body on the floor that needs to be disposed of, witnesses that may be other girls working for him or other associates that suddenly realise they might be next, the stakes are massively increased and there is no gain, there's a loss. A freeby with a hooker or a quick snort of product is a negligible cost to the boss here. The death of a girl who is a source of income and is probably an investment already made (especially if they have been trafficked from another country) is not only a major risk, she's also a colossal waste of money. That's without even accounting for the fact that not all criminals, even hardened ones, ever engage in murder.

The headline in the topic is very misleading, and this appears to be deliberate. The topic header implies that the cops are allowed to have sex with a prostitute and then arrest her, getting a freebie and a bust at the same time. What the article suggests is that an officer engaging in unethical behaviour in the process of an investigation is permissible in this particular case.

Sex with a prostitute in the process of gathering evidence against that prostitute would very clearly be unethical. But sex once with a prostitute as part of an investigation that would ultimately free ten women from a lifetime of forced sex certainly changes the balance.

How I feel about it depends on how successful these operations are.
How many drug overlords have been arrested lately? Tried? Convicted? How many of these overlords' organizations are successfully infiltrated by undercover cops and then exposed? I don't generally keep up with these things, but the last one I remember was John Gotti. I'd think that capture and arrest of a criminal overlord would be breaking news (War on Some Drugs and all that).

I will always decry "the ends justify the means" and consider it illegal and immoral. But at least show that there is some modicum of success in this War On Some Drugs And Other Crimes.
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Old 29th March 2014, 08:40 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
I will always decry "the ends justify the means" and consider it illegal and immoral.
I've never understood this. When have you ever made any sacrifice, trade-off, or investment, except as a means to an end? When have you ever employed any means at all, without believing they were justified by the end you sought?

If the ends don't justify the means, then what does justify the means?

Police work is a means to an end. Are you really saying there is no possible end that justifies the means of police work? That you will always decry all police work as illegal and immoral? A police officer pulls you over and cites you for speeding. What's the end there? Is the means illegal and immoral?

Somehow I doubt this is what you really believe. I think that, in order to be coherent, you will have to consider the question on a case by case basis: Does this specific end justify this specific means? And maybe even, does this specific means find no justification in any conceivable end?

As a general rule, "the ends never justify the means" is absurd to the point of insanity.

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But at least show that there is some modicum of success in this War On Some Drugs And Other Crimes.
Says the guy who's just tried to make it absolutely clear he will never accept any argument along such lines.
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Old 29th March 2014, 09:50 AM   #43
The Norseman
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I've never understood this. When have you ever made any sacrifice, trade-off, or investment, except as a means to an end? When have you ever employed any means at all, without believing they were justified by the end you sought?

If the ends don't justify the means, then what does justify the means?
With all honesty -- good question. I'll take some time and think on it.


Quote:
Police work is a means to an end. Are you really saying there is no possible end that justifies the means of police work? That you will always decry all police work as illegal and immoral? A police officer pulls you over and cites you for speeding. What's the end there? Is the means illegal and immoral?
I did not say anything about all police work. Let's confine the statements in relation to this thread, okay? Maybe you could rephrase your questions and I'll do my best to answer.


Quote:
Somehow I doubt this is what you really believe. I think that, in order to be coherent, you will have to consider the question on a case by case basis: Does this specific end justify this specific means? And maybe even, does this specific means find no justification in any conceivable end?
You may be right, but in this specific instance, I do not believe that allowing police to break the law and in all probability, violate a woman through unwanted sexual contact, to be worthwhile. Is that a more accurate statement?


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As a general rule, "the ends never justify the means" is absurd to the point of insanity.
Please. Let's not engage in too much hyperbole. It's distracting and unnecessary to make your point.


Quote:
Says the guy who's just tried to make it absolutely clear he will never accept any argument along such lines.
I may think it illegal and immoral, but do you? Would you not want evidence that undercover officers who engage in sex are actually bringing in the drug/crime overlord? Isn't that what the whole point is in letting police engage in otherwise illegal acts?

Besides, generally I'm quite reasonable. Give some evidence that drug/crime overlords are being arrested due to the actions of police and I could very likely change my mind. Maybe I too can come to the conclusions that you are asking about in this post.
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Old 29th March 2014, 12:27 PM   #44
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If this exemption is really necessary in order to allow the police to perform their duties, the Hawai'ian police should be able to point to other places in the country that have similar exemptions in place.

Are there any?
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Old 29th March 2014, 03:06 PM   #45
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Question

Originally Posted by colander View Post
If this exemption is really necessary in order to allow the police to perform their duties, the Hawai'ian police should be able to point to other places in the country that have similar exemptions in place.

Are there any?
One thing I know for sure is that appeals to popularity are a dime a dozen.
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Old 29th March 2014, 03:39 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
One thing I know for sure is that appeals to popularity are a dime a dozen.
"Appeal to popularity"? Dude, we're not arguing about what the best Jonas Brothers album is. We're trying to decide whether or not to grant an unusual set of easily abusable special privileges to law enforcement personnel. As we don't tend to want to think of our country as a police state, we generally try to err on the side of discretion when it comes to giving those out. A law enforcement organization that wants to buck standard practice by giving license to potentially unethical activities should have to provide very, very compelling reasons why they should be permitted to do so.

I don't think there's anything fallacious about saying that if every other precinct in the country manages to do their jobs without being legally allowed to have sex with prostitutes, there probably isn't anything special about Hawai'i that means the police there need an exemption.

Last edited by colander; 29th March 2014 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 30th March 2014, 06:51 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
How many drug overlords have been arrested lately? Tried? Convicted? How many of these overlords' organizations are successfully infiltrated by undercover cops and then exposed? I don't generally keep up with these things, but the last one I remember was John Gotti. I'd think that capture and arrest of a criminal overlord would be breaking news (War on Some Drugs and all that).

I will always decry "the ends justify the means" and consider it illegal and immoral. But at least show that there is some modicum of success in this War On Some Drugs And Other Crimes.
Well this discussion is specifically on the subject of prostitution and with particular regard to human trafficking, not drugs. The answer with regards to drugs is blanket legalisation and taxing of the product, with the understanding that tax revenues go directly to addiction counselling and drug education and healthcare. Having said that if an undercover officer is attempting to infiltrate a criminal gang (for reasons unrelated to drugs) and they are offered illicit substances which are commonplace among the criminal fraternity a refusal to partake may be noted. In that respect the analogy is valid.

In this case the people being targeted are gangs who engage in essentially slavery. They kidnap or otherwise coerce women into selling sex from which they would profit. I don't know how successful these officers are in Hawaii hence I was unable to gauge my feelings on the subject. I certainly feel that if an officer was instrumental in closing down a prostitution gang and this released a handful of women from a lifetime of sexual slavery then he could certainly use these results to defend his actions if in the course of the investigation he was to have had sex with one of them.

I think rather than a blanket permission slip for having sex with prostitutes the question is whether or not having sex with a prostitute in the course of an investigation is a justifiable act. It's always going to be unethical, but it may be justifiable if the end is great enough, and I would always always expect that any such officer would have to justify his actions on demand.
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Old 31st March 2014, 05:26 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by squealpiggy View Post
Well this discussion is specifically on the subject of prostitution and with particular regard to human trafficking, not drugs. The answer with regards to drugs is blanket legalisation and taxing of the product, with the understanding that tax revenues go directly to addiction counselling and drug education and healthcare.
Yes, you're right; that's my bad as I didn't read closely enough.


Quote:
Having said that if an undercover officer is attempting to infiltrate a criminal gang (for reasons unrelated to drugs) and they are offered illicit substances which are commonplace among the criminal fraternity a refusal to partake may be noted. In that respect the analogy is valid.
The biggest difference for me is that if one is taking drugs to help establish a cover identity, at least the only person being potentially harmed is the one taking the drug. With human trafficking or prostitution rings, the harm may very well involve another, innocent, party.


Quote:
In this case the people being targeted are gangs who engage in essentially slavery. They kidnap or otherwise coerce women into selling sex from which they would profit. I don't know how successful these officers are in Hawaii hence I was unable to gauge my feelings on the subject. I certainly feel that if an officer was instrumental in closing down a prostitution gang and this released a handful of women from a lifetime of sexual slavery then he could certainly use these results to defend his actions if in the course of the investigation he was to have had sex with one of them.

I think rather than a blanket permission slip for having sex with prostitutes the question is whether or not having sex with a prostitute in the course of an investigation is a justifiable act. It's always going to be unethical, but it may be justifiable if the end is great enough, and I would always always expect that any such officer would have to justify his actions on demand.
I think that's a reasonable thing to demand of our police.
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Old 31st March 2014, 10:19 AM   #49
squealpiggy
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
Yes, you're right; that's my bad as I didn't read closely enough.

The biggest difference for me is that if one is taking drugs to help establish a cover identity, at least the only person being potentially harmed is the one taking the drug. With human trafficking or prostitution rings, the harm may very well involve another, innocent, party.

I think that's a reasonable thing to demand of our police.
A lot of policing, especially the shadowy world of undercover detectives, relies on the officers being the lesser of two evils. The trick is balancing the scales so that they evil they are trying to prevent is sufficiently greater than the evil they must commit in doing so.

Again without knowing what the success rate is and how commonplace officers having sex with prostitutes is it's impossible really to have a firm opinion for or against.
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Old 1st April 2014, 04:25 PM   #50
The Norseman
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Originally Posted by squealpiggy View Post
A lot of policing, especially the shadowy world of undercover detectives, relies on the officers being the lesser of two evils. The trick is balancing the scales so that they evil they are trying to prevent is sufficiently greater than the evil they must commit in doing so.

Again without knowing what the success rate is and how commonplace officers having sex with prostitutes is it's impossible really to have a firm opinion for or against.
That's where I disagree to a point: I can have a tentative opinion against due to the reasons I stated above. There doesn't seem to be an easy way to tell if the cop having sex with a prostitute is really doing any good, unless the kingpins and top bosses are actually, you know, arrested and brought to trial. It is my belief that cops generally have any true success with the lowest hanging fruit because it's relatively fast. Some amazing undercover busts have had the officers under cover for years before they've been trusted with any incriminating evidence.

Anyway, this type of legislation fails on two points: one, that if it's legal for undercover cops to have sex with prostitutes, the bad guys will quickly find out and it is no longer a good litmus test to see if a guy is a cop or not. Two, if it's illegal for undercover cops to have sex with prostitutes, I fail to see why the cop wouldn't just do it anyway -- after all, it would blow his cover. In that case, the having sex with a prostitute would not be a good litmus test to see if a guy is a cop or not. If the latter is the case, there would be no prosecution of the undercover cop if it's found out he had sex with a prostitute anyway.

Either way, it's a useless test and so therefore, for the sake of morality and to at least pay a little bit of respect toward potential prostitute victims, there should be a law against it.
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Old 2nd April 2014, 05:36 AM   #51
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Why the blue hell are there still vice squads in the West in 2014?
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