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Tags police incidents , police issues , police misconduct charges , Seattle incidents , Seattle issues

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Old 29th January 2015, 09:04 AM   #1
deadrose
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Seattle Police, Protecting & Serving

Yesterday was not a great day to be the public face of Seattle PD.

First, this dashcam video from last summer was released
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An elderly black man was arrested & held overnight. The arresting officer said he was swinging his golf club at her and at signs. He was using it as a cane. Camera footage didn't back her up, but he was still out a cane, even after the sentencing was voided. Until yesterday the only outcome was that someone talked to her about it. Turns out she's one of the officers who tried to file a suit against the department, saying that the DOJ use-of-force agreement was restricting their ability to do their jobs, and has a history of posting racist screeds on Facebook.

More can be found here http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/arc...le-while-black

While the brass were figuring out how to respond to that, a video from last week's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day march was also put up on Youtube
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which appears to show a single officer losing her cool and hosing down everyone in the vicinity with pepper spray, including a high school teacher who had just stepped off the stage after a speech. He was talking on his phone with his wife when he was sprayed in the face for no visible reason. Nor did there appear to be any reason for the pepper spray to be used at all.

I almost feel sorry for the new Chief of Police at times like this.
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Old 29th January 2015, 09:08 AM   #2
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It's taken me a while but I now have a handle on how these thing happen. I think.

They all make absolute sense if one considers that the first duty of a LEO is to come to no harm. The safety of the officer is paramount and all other considerations fall far behind this.
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Old 29th January 2015, 09:16 AM   #3
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I'd like to this opportunity to point out that in both these instances of extreme police stupidity, both officers were female.

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Old 29th January 2015, 09:32 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
It's taken me a while but I now have a handle on how these thing happen. I think.

They all make absolute sense if one considers that the first duto of a LEO is to come to no harm. The safety of the officer is paramount and all other considerations fall far behind this.
Blah. It's much easier to snark, than to admit that police officers should accept no unnecessary risks, and then tackle the difficult problems of studying ideal and actual police procedures, and making an informed contribution to the debate over the best way to implement and train the best possible procedures.

I know it's easier, because I'm doing it too.
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Old 29th January 2015, 09:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Blah. It's much easier to snark, than to admit that police officers should accept no unnecessary risks, and then tackle the difficult problems of studying ideal and actual police procedures, and making an informed contribution to the debate over the best way to implement and train the best possible procedures.

I know it's easier, because I'm doing it too.

The bolded is where the wriggle room is...
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Old 29th January 2015, 09:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
It's taken me a while but I now have a handle on how these thing happen. I think.

They all make absolute sense if one considers that the first duty of a LEO is to come to no harm. The safety of the officer is paramount and all other considerations fall far behind this.
I don't know how tongue-in-cheek this is, but... yeah.

I think we can all sympathize with the perils of being a cop. In can be dangerous and situations can escalate to deadly levels quickly. But, in spite of society seeming to become less violent (violent crime rates are generally trending down), I get the impression that many LEOs are becoming more worried about their safety in their jobs.

I've heard a few interviews lately where the LEO talking expressed this fear. The latest being a story about a new smart phone app that lets drivers tag real time traffic conditions, and one of the things they can tag is a cop. The LEO being interviewed said it was a bad thing because people are "hunting cops" these days - referencing the murder of two NYPD officers several weeks ago. His organization was asking the app developer to remove this feature.

If you feel like you're being hunted, you're more inclined to strike first, removing the potential threat. But, why would cops feel more hunted now, when violent crime rates are dropping?
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Old 29th January 2015, 09:48 AM   #7
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Here in TO a police spokesman (he was a man) when asked, "How about you just don't hire racists," responded that one the things they were now doing was checking an applicant's on-line social site postings! *

Score a plus for the Internet?


=====
*
I thought I saw this in the Toronto Star but can't seem to retrieve it now.
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Old 29th January 2015, 10:35 AM   #8
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Is that the same chick in both videos?
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Old 29th January 2015, 11:08 AM   #9
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I live about 30 miles from Seattle and work in Bremerton which is just across Puget Sound. Going to Seattle or reading about it is like visiting another country at times.

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Old 29th January 2015, 11:13 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
I think we can all sympathize with the perils of being a cop. In can be dangerous and situations can escalate to deadly levels quickly.
It's not as dangerous as you'd think. It's not even in the top ten most dangerous professions.

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Old 29th January 2015, 11:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
It's not as dangerous as you'd think. It's not even in the top ten most dangerous professions.
I don't doubt it. But, the perception is there. At our team lunchbreak today I asked who would, for the same pay, be a cop and why or why not. Six of the nine said no, and cited fears of 1:1 confrontations with dangerous criminals.

Of course, we're talking SW programmers here, so there is that. But, I doubt this is a point of view unique to white collar workers.
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Old 29th January 2015, 11:33 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
I don't doubt it. But, the perception is there. At our team lunchbreak today I asked who would, for the same pay, be a cop and why or why not. Six of the nine said no, and cited fears of 1:1 confrontations with dangerous criminals.

Of course, we're talking SW programmers here, so there is that. But, I doubt this is a point of view unique to white collar workers.
No offense, but I think you would get the same response if you asked them if they would take the same pay to be a lifeguard.
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Old 29th January 2015, 11:41 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
No offense, but I think you would get the same response if you asked them if they would take the same pay to be a lifeguard.
I, for one, would take a small pay cut to be a full time lifeguard.
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Old 29th January 2015, 11:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
I don't know how tongue-in-cheek this is, but... yeah.
It's moderately tongue in cheek but, I think, a decent piece of speculation.

All of the fatal police involved incidents in the USA, good shoots and otherwise, make perfect sense if the object of the exercise is to protect the officer from harm above all other considerations.
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Old 29th January 2015, 01:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
Is that the same chick in both videos?
I'm inclined to think not, the second officer seems to be shorter & smaller than Ms. Whitlatch.
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Old 29th January 2015, 01:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
I, for one, would take a small pay cut to be a full time lifeguard.
Are you a software programmer?
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Old 29th January 2015, 02:06 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Are you a software programmer?
Worse than that, I am manager of same. Even more qualified to be a lifeguard!
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Old 29th January 2015, 05:14 PM   #18
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Wasn't there a video out not too long ago of a Seattle (male) cop punching a woman in the face multiple times as well?

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There it is. It wasn't multiple times, and she had it coming so it's not really that bad. I was wrong.
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Old 29th January 2015, 08:20 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
It's taken me a while but I now have a handle on how these thing happen. I think.

They all make absolute sense if one considers that the first duty of a LEO is to come to no harm. The safety of the officer is paramount and all other considerations fall far behind this.

They can't protect others if they can't protect themselves.

I wrote the above with some snark, but I also think it's not unreasonable. Unfortunately, it seems that a number of officers seem to think that harming innocent people is an acceptable means to that end.
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Old 29th January 2015, 08:29 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
I, for one, would take a small pay cut to be a full time lifeguard.
Hey was this you?

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Old 29th January 2015, 08:53 PM   #21
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More embarrassing video for Seattle:

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Old 29th January 2015, 08:57 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by deadrose View Post
While the brass were figuring out how to respond to that, a video from last week's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day march was also put up on Youtube
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which appears to show a single officer losing her cool and hosing down everyone in the vicinity with pepper spray, including a high school teacher who had just stepped off the stage after a speech. He was talking on his phone with his wife when he was sprayed in the face for no visible reason. Nor did there appear to be any reason for the pepper spray to be used at all.
It's funny how these YouTube videos never seem to show what led up to an incident. I wonder why?
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Old 29th January 2015, 10:53 PM   #23
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Let's assume every single cop does a crappy thing thread is perfectly legit.

The number of officers who do their job well and without incident would fill an entire forum worth of threads if people were inclined to talk about police success as much as failure. But as is human nature we are trying to paint this as a police problem, when it is simply a human problem.

People in all jobs can and do suck at them, cops simply have greater media presence, and it is easier for a layman to pass judgment on them versus, a surgeon.
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Old 30th January 2015, 12:48 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
Let's assume every single cop does a crappy thing thread is perfectly legit.

The number of officers who do their job well and without incident would fill an entire forum worth of threads if people were inclined to talk about police success as much as failure. But as is human nature we are trying to paint this as a police problem, when it is simply a human problem.

People in all jobs can and do suck at them, cops simply have greater media presence, and it is easier for a layman to pass judgment on them versus, a surgeon.
The legal implications of challenging a surgeon are also probably less profound IMO.
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Old 30th January 2015, 01:22 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
Let's assume every single cop does a crappy thing thread is perfectly legit.

The number of officers who do their job well and without incident would fill an entire forum worth of threads if people were inclined to talk about police success as much as failure. But as is human nature we are trying to paint this as a police problem, when it is simply a human problem.

People in all jobs can and do suck at them, cops simply have greater media presence, and it is easier for a layman to pass judgment on them versus, a surgeon.

Are you saying that because the majority of policemen behave well then those that don't should get a pass from criticism?
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Old 30th January 2015, 02:04 AM   #26
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I'm sorry but I think it's absolutely laughable to have 5 foot tall female police officers.

Part of the job is being able to engage physically with suspects, most of whom are male.

No serious police force should be fielding overweight males or females full stop, IMO.

Are there a few females out there who can do the job physically and otherwise? Yea. There are always exceptions to any rule. The problem is that once you abandon the sensible "police officers out on the street must be male" rule we used to have, you will never successfully keep it restricted to only those few females who can actually meet the requirements. Once that door is opened, inevitably it allows for (and will result in) people saying "why aren't there more female officers? You have to work to get these numbers up!" and then the standards are relaxed, and relaxed, and relaxed.

Consider me sexist all you want, I don't think there should be female soldiers, police, or firefighters. I just think that reflects the biological realities of our species.
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Old 30th January 2015, 04:15 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Tank View Post
I'm sorry but I think it's absolutely laughable to have 5 foot tall female police officers.

Part of the job is being able to engage physically with suspects, most of whom are male.

No serious police force should be fielding overweight males or females full stop, IMO.

Are there a few females out there who can do the job physically and otherwise? Yea. There are always exceptions to any rule. The problem is that once you abandon the sensible "police officers out on the street must be male" rule we used to have, you will never successfully keep it restricted to only those few females who can actually meet the requirements. Once that door is opened, inevitably it allows for (and will result in) people saying "why aren't there more female officers? You have to work to get these numbers up!" and then the standards are relaxed, and relaxed, and relaxed.

Consider me sexist all you want, I don't think there should be female soldiers, police, or firefighters. I just think that reflects the biological realities of our species.


I would disagree. I could understand an argument that said "These are the tests, if you can pass them you can apply" and let those that can pass, regardless of gender, go on and apply for police/fire etc. and there being no 'lesser' tests for ladies. I don't see how you could deny them access to those jobs based solely on gender (rather than ability) and not be considered deeply sexist.
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Old 30th January 2015, 05:18 AM   #28
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Another bad cop thread? Seriously? And this is all you could come up with?

Bad cop pickings must be a mite slim at the moment. Perhaps if you waited a few days...who knows. Some cop somewhere might do something really bad. I mean, it's bound to happen sooner or later. Have some patience.

BTW, aren't there any bad European cops? I want to read about some bad European cops. But not Russians. It's a given that they're all bad.
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Old 30th January 2015, 06:53 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
Let's assume every single cop does a crappy thing thread is perfectly legit.

The number of officers who do their job well and without incident would fill an entire forum worth of threads if people were inclined to talk about police success as much as failure. But as is human nature we are trying to paint this as a police problem, when it is simply a human problem.

People in all jobs can and do suck at them, cops simply have greater media presence, and it is easier for a layman to pass judgment on them versus, a surgeon.
In many jobs bad employees are kept on for whatever reason, though usually this is a mistake (generally, the error is an implicit goal of having many underpaid unproductive workers instead of fewer well-paid productive ones, but that is a topic for another thread). For police that shouldn't happen, especially for those who just have the wrong temperament. My parents once witnessed a cop in a Seattle park calm down a ranting homeless woman who threatened and shouted obscenities at him for several minutes (they didn't see what she did to attract his attention initially). He remained calm and friendly the whole time. That cop should be given a raise or promoted, the ones who would just taze or pepper spray the woman and take her in should be demoted or fired.
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Old 30th January 2015, 06:55 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I would disagree. I could understand an argument that said "These are the tests, if you can pass them you can apply" and let those that can pass, regardless of gender, go on and apply for police/fire etc. and there being no 'lesser' tests for ladies. I don't see how you could deny them access to those jobs based solely on gender (rather than ability) and not be considered deeply sexist.
Some police departments have height requirements for men that would eliminate 99% of women from consideration if applied equally.
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Old 30th January 2015, 06:57 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
Worse than that, I am manager of same. Even more qualified to be a lifeguard!
Oh. Experience as a baby sitter then. Ought to be a good thing for cops.
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Old 30th January 2015, 07:01 AM   #32
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A few years ago I read that women cops are hugely better at quieting down domestic disputes, which are the most common events for violence.

Hmm, somebody must have some figures for rates of brutality complaints by sex of cop.
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Old 30th January 2015, 07:05 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Modified View Post
In many jobs bad employees are kept on for whatever reason, though usually this is a mistake (generally, the error is an implicit goal of having many underpaid unproductive workers instead of fewer well-paid productive ones, but that is a topic for another thread). For police that shouldn't happen, especially for those who just have the wrong temperament. My parents once witnessed a cop in a Seattle park calm down a ranting homeless woman who threatened and shouted obscenities at him for several minutes (they didn't see what she did to attract his attention initially). He remained calm and friendly the whole time. That cop should be given a raise or promoted, the ones who would just taze or pepper spray the woman and take her in should be demoted or fired.
I think we should draft cops. Because anybody that wants to be one probably has reason not to be permitted to be one.
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Old 30th January 2015, 07:37 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
I think we should draft cops. Because anybody that wants to be one probably has reason not to be permitted to be one.
Maybe this sound snarky to some, but it's actually not a ridiculous idea. We draft jurors, after all. Some countries seem to work fine with a period of mandatory service for everybody when young, and it would provide a way of learning some skills and making some money for a lot of poor people. Trouble is that it's nearly always military service, which makes people think in terms of enemies and killing them.

This would have the auxiliary benefit of training people in firearms use and conflict resolution, which would probably reduce crime. There would probably still have to be career detectives and SWAT teams, but most citizens, properly trained, would be just fine for community policing.

It'll never happen, though, because the purpose of the entrenched police system is not to reduce crime or catch criminals or make the streets safer or protect citizens or anything like that. It's to bully people and generate a permanent underclass. So the last thing that they would want to do is allow the little people or townies to participate. The rules of copdom are as follows:

1) Everyone is guilty of everything all the time, except

a) Cops are never guilty of anything at any time, and

b) Auxiliary professionals, such as nurses, physicians, EMTs, or even barroom owners who hire off-duty cops etc. are never guilty of anything while on duty but are guilty of everything while off duty.

The purpose of a cop is to get 'em, and it doesn't matter much who they are. It is occasionally embarrassing when a cop harasses or beats up an off-duty cop, but that happens seldom. Black people are good for harassing and beating up, not necessarily because of particular racism (though racism is often present), but because you can see that they are black at a distance, and so a cop can tell that they are relatively safe to harass and beat up without repercussions. It was probably much more difficult to be a cop in the old days before the black diaspora after World War II, when a lot of Southern black people were helped by military service and got to live away from the plantation.

The diaspora never really got to the Pacific Northwest, though, unfortunately for cops. There's a shortage of black people in general, let along black people so poor that they cannot afford a good attorney. This has unfortunately also caused some of the very white people who live there to put questions of race out of their minds and others to ascribe to white supremacist ideas much stronger than anything that remains as a significant force in the South.

An old guy walking around with a cane seems like a safe target, because if he had money, he probably would be taking a cab or something. Who's going to care? At worst there will be some demonstrations. Preferably some riots, as it makes black people safer as targets for cop brutality, which is of course why so many on-duty cops have been caught inciting riots and even setting fires. More crime is better for cops; it gives them something to do.
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Old 30th January 2015, 08:08 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
I think we should draft cops. Because anybody that wants to be one probably has reason not to be permitted to be one.
This. So many times this.

Policemen and politicians. Anyone who acutqally wants the job should, on no account, be allowed to have it.
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Old 30th January 2015, 08:48 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Policemen and politicians. Anyone who acutqally wants the job should, on no account, be allowed to have it.
I'd disagree with that. There is a certain mindset necessary for these jobs (and for politicians, a certain level of drug and alcohol abuse). The problem is that the type of person attracted to police work can seem like the type of person suited to it, at least at first, without a in-depth evaluation that is rarely ever done. Better screening of police would certainly be a good step to changing police culture.

One of the biggest problems with changing police culture is changing the factors that drive it. Institutionalized racism and classism, irrationality and superstition, excessive risk-aversion, and the bunker mentality. All of these things are endemic in American culture (and to a lesser extent, other European and Anglosphere cultures); so given the stresses of the job, it's no coincidence that they often come to the fore in police work.

The other problem is the glorification of police by certain segments of the culture (part of the "law and order" culture); and the rush to dismiss incidents of abuse of power as statistically insignificant anomalies, when in fact they are a widespread systemic problem manifesting in many forms, ranging from the common and petty, to the rare and lethal. It's this mentality more than anything else that has stymied or weakened efforts to enact reforms and improve accountability.
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Old 30th January 2015, 09:04 AM   #37
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All cops, all over the globe will use any tactic possible to put you at odds with the law, irrespective of how you come to be interacting with them. You should avoid contact even if your life is in imminent danger. More so if they armed.

Unfortunately they are the least trustworthy individuals of any occupation, in any society, on the planet.

At least you know a robbers gonna rob you and a guy with a knife is gonna stab you. With a cop you only know he/she's going to put you at odds with the law but you don't know what the repercussion will be when they succeed.
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Old 30th January 2015, 09:37 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
It's funny how these YouTube videos never seem to show what led up to an incident. I wonder why?
She's really got a couple of problems here regardless of what lead up to this. The first rule of crowd control is self control. She's has clearly lost her command presence. Here tone is closer to a petulant child than an officer commissioned to uphold the law. I'd be curious to know if she asked people to give them some space before she started yelling.

The device she used was not appropriate for the circumstances. The "party can" of mace as we liked to call it is not useful when there are casual bystanders. The guy on the phone is not threatening and should not have been sprayed. I don't know what the rest of the crowd was doing but she has an obligation to no spray people who aren't a threat. There are smaller units that shoot a tight stream at an individual that would have been more appropriate.
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Old 30th January 2015, 09:51 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
I, for one, would take a small pay cut to be a full time lifeguard.
Me too, assuming of course, that all the bikini-clad women I encounter are as hot as they were on Baywatch.
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Old 30th January 2015, 09:57 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
Me too, assuming of course, that all the bikini-clad women I encounter are as hot as they were on Baywatch.
Meh, I wouldn't mind if it were a nude beach at a retirement home. Its still the beach and I'm spending most of my time lounging and watching the water and may occasionally pouring hot water on sting ray stings.
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