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Tags police issues , Seattle issues

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Old 30th May 2014, 09:46 PM   #41
Noztradamus
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Originally Posted by BStrong View Post
Common misconception dating back to the civil rights era that southern LEA's were somehow an aberration in their treatment of citizens - lots of northern LEA's were quick with the hoses and dogs too.
"The policeman isn't there to create disorder; the policeman is there to preserve disorder."
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Old 31st May 2014, 08:13 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Actually, it is. The Constitution protects citizens from abuses by the government. But an employer can fire you for pretty much any reason that isn't prohibited by law. You publicly disparage the employer or its products? You're out.
They are people who have rights, too, including not having to fund their detractors.

Quote:
You engage in off-duty political activities that the employer doesn't like? Buh-bye.
I've seen many cases where the company got their ass handed to them doing exactly this. As long as you are not engaged in activities touting yourself as a representative of the company (which steps on the toes of the first point) they cannot do this.


Quote:
You conceal information about yourself that the employer thinks it should know? So long.
Such as prison and arrest records?
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Old 31st May 2014, 03:01 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
.....
I've seen many cases where the company got their ass handed to them doing exactly this. As long as you are not engaged in activities touting yourself as a representative of the company (which steps on the toes of the first point) they cannot do this.
I think it depends on the state and the circumstances. I doubt that a mainstream employer would have much trouble firing somebody who was known to be active in say, the Ku Klux Klan or some other hate group, no matter how well he did his job. And you don't have to "tout" yourself to be known in the community as a company employee. An employer can expect anyone who has a job dealing with the public not to do anything that the company would consider embarrassing or hurtful.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanada...get-you-fired/
http://molawyersmedia.com/2012/05/01...get-you-fired/

And of course, Donald Sterling had the whole world drop on his head because of private remarks he made to one other person.

Originally Posted by Beerina View Post
Such as prison and arrest records?
Sure, and previous employers, immigration status, license suspensions or revocations, civil suits, bankruptcies, sex offender registration etc. There are some things the employer can't ask you about (like marital status) or hold against you (like bankruptcy), but if you lied about or concealed matters that the employer is legitimately entitled to know, he can certainly boot you out.

Last edited by Bob001; 31st May 2014 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 31st May 2014, 04:01 PM   #44
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So I skimmed the complaint, and wow. Just wow. It was filed pro se (without a lawyer), and boy does it show. What a mess. I've read pro se complaints suing the CIA for planting chips in brains that were less of a mess than this one. A violation of the Second Amendment? To quote Wolfgang Pauli, that isn't even wrong.
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Old 31st May 2014, 06:31 PM   #45
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Funnily, they supposedly have a lawyer, probably through their union. The lawyer's told the media that the officers are "afraid for their lives".

I'm sure that's what their victims say too, at least the ones that aren't dead.

Last edited by deadrose; 31st May 2014 at 06:32 PM. Reason: Dept. of redundant redundancy
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Old 31st May 2014, 06:40 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
A whole lot of Seattle Police officers have filed a civil rights complaint with the city. Apparently, they are upset that their right to beat suspects and shoot civilians is being taken away. This is the police department that, just a couple years ago, the Department of Justice officially found was the most violent and corrupt in the nation.

http://mynorthwest.com/11/2532174/Se...inst-city-feds

Excerpt:


Bloody ridiculous, considering how out of control the department has been.
The french police in Algeria used to put prisoners in a metal bathtub wired with electricity. It made them sing like canaries.
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Old 31st May 2014, 07:01 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by deadrose View Post
Funnily, they supposedly have a lawyer, probably through their union. The lawyer's told the media that the officers are "afraid for their lives".

I'm sure that's what their victims say too, at least the ones that aren't dead.
Just so there's no confusion, the complaint itself was definitely filed pro se, so they must have retained the lawyer since they filed it.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 07:19 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
However... All that stuff is expensive and many departments across the country simply do not participate for reasons of cost or simply of a departmental or governmental "culture" that doesn't feel the need.
We have seen departments with a culture of abuses, as in the large-scale scandals involving the LAPD not too long ago.
When you begin to see abuses going on generally, you suspect there is a serious problem with the culture of the department, it's hiring and training practices, and it's general attitude towards citizen complaints and lawsuits and the like.
Seattle PD is one of the highest-paid departments in the nation; despite constantly whinging about not having enough funding, and doing things like shutting down their gang unit due to "lack of funding and lack of necessity" at a time when gang violence is increasing. So it's clearly not the expense.

There is definitely a culture of violence, corruption, and elitism in the Seattle PD; which is fed by a similar culture in the city government. People simply expect that kind of corruption within the city and county, it's been established for so long.

The PD has long had an adversarial relationship with the community; and tend to treat everyone as criminals regardless of their status. Especially minorities (there was a high-profile incident a number of years ago that involved officers assaulting a Seattle city councilman for DWB).

As bad as a particular police department's culture may be, it cannot exist ina vacuum. Attempts to address and remedy this culture has met with a huge wall of denial and stonewalling; not just from the PD, but from the Seattle government as well. The city government has proven to be the biggest obstacle to reforms. Not surprising, since the PD is often their tool to control what they see as undesirables. This was best exemplified by the WTO "riots", which were nothing of the sort until the police started harassing and assaulting the protesters. The entire scene was remarkably peaceful, a handful of imported anarchists and local gangsta thugs notwithstanding, until the city decided the protesters were too inconvenient, and instructed the PD to flush them out of downtown with tear gas. The police cordons forced the gassed protesters to flee into a residential district; and then proceeded to assault the local residents, including firing tear gas grenades through windows into their homes. All with the blessing, or at least blind eyes, of the city government. There was no real fallout for the PD from the abuses committed, the city simply declared that the protesters were at fault and insulated the department from any serious repercussions.

The PD is also regularly used by the city to appease local businesses by "cleaning up" unsightly and inconvenient homeless people who are "disrupting business" and presenting a less than pleasant face to tourists. Cleaning up generally consisting of rousting them all out and forcing them into a different, lower-economic-zone part of the city.

It's going to take some radical reforms in the Seattle city government before serious reforms can be applied to the police department here.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 10:03 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Bikewer View Post
However, I've been in police work for a long time, since '68, and I can comment on the generally-changing attitudes in regards to "use of force" issues.
What does it take to get a cop fired or put in jail?

Seems like the only punishment the news ever reports is a suspension while there's an investigation.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 12:09 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
A whole lot of Seattle Police officers have filed a civil rights complaint with the city. Apparently, they are upset that their right to beat suspects and shoot civilians is being taken away. This is the police department that, just a couple years ago, the Department of Justice officially found was the most violent and corrupt in the nation.

http://mynorthwest.com/11/2532174/Se...inst-city-feds

Excerpt:


Bloody ridiculous, considering how out of control the department has been.
And police get upset and don't understand why civillians won't help cops when they are on the recieving end of a beating.

Philly Transit Police Chief Surprised Witnesses did not call 911 to Report Cop getting Beat up
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Old 2nd June 2014, 05:00 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
The point of the restrictions is to prevent overreaction, like using unnecessary deadly force.
Not according to the complaint where the point of the new policies seems to be to restrict the officers to underreact in all situations. That should allow the use of necessary deadly force, e.g. given a suspect who is an active danger to others.

Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
The
The officers' complaint is that they are required to "underreact" until a point is reached where they have "no choice" but to overreact.
That is what I have been saying!
It is a valid complaint. They have the obligation at all times under the new restrictions to react at a level less than that of the suspect. So it is not until the suspect begins using deadly force that they are entitled to use deadly force. By that time it is too late - people are injured or dead. And as I said this is an extreme example.

A less extreme example: A police officer comes across a suspect waving a knife around in a public area. Would the new policies constrain the officer to tackle the suspect with a baton rather than drawing heir weapon? The language I have seen suggests so. That places the officer at a higher risk than before. That in turn places the public at a higher risk.

Usually police officers are allowed to use a level of force in apprehending suspects that is appropriate to the situation. Another aspect of the complaint is that the judgment of what is appropriate is taken away from the officers by edict rather then being a part of the training.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 05:39 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
Not according to the complaint where the point of the new policies seems to be to restrict the officers to underreact in all situations. That should allow the use of necessary deadly force, e.g. given a suspect who is an active danger to others.


That is what I have been saying!
It is a valid complaint. They have the obligation at all times under the new restrictions to react at a level less than that of the suspect. So it is not until the suspect begins using deadly force that they are entitled to use deadly force. By that time it is too late - people are injured or dead. And as I said this is an extreme example.

A less extreme example: A police officer comes across a suspect waving a knife around in a public area. Would the new policies constrain the officer to tackle the suspect with a baton rather than drawing heir weapon? The language I have seen suggests so. That places the officer at a higher risk than before. That in turn places the public at a higher risk.

Usually police officers are allowed to use a level of force in apprehending suspects that is appropriate to the situation. Another aspect of the complaint is that the judgment of what is appropriate is taken away from the officers by edict rather then being a part of the training.
They still have the authority to use appropriate force, and there is still no question that it is appropriate to draw a firearm when responding to an unstable person waving a deadly weapon around. Any cop who claims that these guidelines even arguably require him to attack the knife-wielder with a baton is completely full of ****.

The problem is that too many in the police department seem to think that "appropriate" means whatever they say it means, and that they are entitled not to be second-guessed. Yes, overly vague guidelines are bad for everyone, and perhaps some clarifications are needed. But these guidelines would not have been imposed if Seattle police were already for the most part using no more force than was appropriate.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 09:38 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Freddy View Post
They still have the authority to use appropriate force,
Not according to the new policy as described in the complaint (admittedly a biased source) - they have to use less force than they are presented with. That may or may not be appropriate.
And that may mean "it is appropriate to draw a firearm when responding to an unstable person waving a deadly weapon around" (I assume you mean a less deadly weapon than a gun) or not.

The current Seattle police policy has 8.000 – Use-of-Force Core Principles Effective Date: 1/1/2014. This does look more reasonable than the complaint asserts, e.g. the last bit of the introduction:
Quote:
Officers who violate those values by using objectively unreasonable force degrade the confidence of the community, violate the rights of individuals upon whom unreasonable force is used, and may expose the Department and fellow officers to legal and physical hazards.

Conversely, officers who fail to use timely and adequate force when it is necessary fail in their duty to act as public guardians and may endanger themselves, the community and fellow officers.

Last edited by Reality Check; 2nd June 2014 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 09:50 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
Seattle PD is one of the highest-paid departments in the nation; despite constantly whinging about not having enough funding, and doing things like shutting down their gang unit due to "lack of funding and lack of necessity" at a time when gang violence is increasing. So it's clearly not the expense.

I took at look at the FBI's UCR database for the Seattle police department. It has stats covering the 1985-2012 time period. Below is a list of the peak rate recorded during this period, as well as the rate recorded in 2012. All rate figures are per 100,000 population.

Violent crime: 1,507.0 (1990); 597.6 (2012)
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter: 12.8 (1994); 3.7 (2012)
Forcible rate: 94.0 (1987); 19.0 (2012)
Robbery: 598.5 (1987); 226.7 (2012)
Aggravated assault: 881.5 (1990); 348.2 (2012)
Property crime: 13,316.7 (1987); 5,093.8 (2012)
Burglary: 3,489.7 (1987); 1,040.6 (2012)
Larceny/theft: 8,815.5 (1987); 3,485.9 (2012)
Motor vehicle theft: 1,651.0 (2005); 567.3 (2012)

Those are some deep reductions in the rates of crimes. So where is this great danger to the public that requires this right some of the police are requesting?
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Old 2nd June 2014, 10:06 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
Not according to the new policy as described in the complaint (admittedly a biased source) - they have to use less force than they are presented with. That may or may not be appropriate.
And that may mean "it is appropriate to draw a firearm when responding to an unstable person waving a deadly weapon around" (I assume you mean a less deadly weapon than a gun) or not.

The current Seattle police policy has 8.000 – Use-of-Force Core Principles Effective Date: 1/1/2014. This does look more reasonable than the complaint asserts, e.g. the last bit of the introduction:
Use of appropriate force is legitimate by definition. The dispute is over what is appropriate, and over how use-of-force incidents will be judged after the fact. It does sound like the guidelines could be more clear, and if so that's a valid gripe (though not a constitutional violation).
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Last edited by Freddy; 2nd June 2014 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 10:33 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Freddy View Post
The dispute is over what is appropriate, and over how use-of-force incidents will be judged after the fact.
Not quite how I read the complaint - the dispute is over whether the new policies endanger officers, suspects or the public and so contravene their constitutional rights.
Whether the policies are clear or not is a factor in the conditional part of that dispute.

Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
The "how use-of-force incidents will be judged after the fact" seems quite clearly stated in 8.300-Use-of-Force Reporting & Investigation

Last edited by Reality Check; 2nd June 2014 at 10:35 PM.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 10:51 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Those are some deep reductions in the rates of crimes. So where is this great danger to the public that requires this right some of the police are requesting?
Actually someone (not me!) could argue that the overuse of force by the Seattle force was the cause of those "deep reductions" . Of course it is really something like better training, etc.

There is as far as I can see no "great danger" to the public mentioned in the complaint about the rights of officers, suspects and the public. There is a mention of increased danger to them due to the new policies.
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Old 3rd June 2014, 12:01 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Cainkane1 View Post
The french police in Algeria used to put prisoners in a metal bathtub wired with electricity. It made them sing like canaries.
Actually the "gegene" was also used directly on prisoner private parts apparently.
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Old 3rd June 2014, 12:56 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
There is as far as I can see no "great danger" to the public mentioned in the complaint about the rights of officers, suspects and the public. There is a mention of increased danger to them due to the new policies.

Well, seeing as the rates of crime have dropped considerably, this would seem to indicate there are fewer criminals. If there are fewer criminals, then how would police (or the public for that matter) be under greater threat?
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Old 3rd June 2014, 01:26 PM   #60
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Because they have to justify all the fancy toys they're buying with Homeland Security money?
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Old 3rd June 2014, 05:33 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Well, seeing as the rates of crime have dropped considerably, this would seem to indicate there are fewer criminals. If there are fewer criminals, then how would police (or the public for that matter) be under greater threat?
Could you cite your source for the "rates of crime have dropped considerably" under the new policies?

Seeing as the rates of crime have dropped considerably from the peak in the1990's to 2012, this would seem to indicate many factors such as fewer criminals, changes in the economy, better security, better policing, etc.

The complaint is that police, suspects and the public (according to the opinion of ~10% of the police department) are under greater threat under the new policies.
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Old 3rd June 2014, 11:18 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
Could you cite your source for the "rates of crime have dropped considerably" under the new policies?

Are you suggesting that it was the Seattle police's old use of force policies that were responsible for the drop in the crime rate there? If so, then you would have to explain what the causes were in all the other many, many locales where crime fell just like it did in Seattle. The drop in crime as recorded in the FBI UCR for Seattle was replicated all across the United States in the same basic time period.
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Old 4th June 2014, 07:26 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
But they are generally? Outside of business? So, the constitution doesn't apply between an employer and and employee? Which is what I was speculating on in the first place?

Or...

Are you saying that constitutional rights are only in force when considering a relationship between the private citizens and the government?
It may (or may not, I don't know) seem strange to a non-American, but the US Constitution generally protects the citizen from the government, not the citizen from other citizens.

Of course, we do have laws that are not specifically enumerated in the constitution, and depending on who you talk to you may get the opinion that these laws do not confer "rights". Some of those laws provide protections to employees.

I have formed the impression that we have fewer legal protections for our employees than is common in most other western nations. I'm fine with that, generally. IMO, a private business should have very wide latitude in selection and retention of employees, so long as the selection/retention decision does not depend on ahndful of prohibited practices. We might be a little unballanced in favor of the employer (who is also a citizen, and the only one with anything at risk), but that circumstance is significantly better than the one in, say, France......where it is unnecessarily difficult to terminate an employee.


As for the subject of the thread:

Police are potentially dangerous to the public, always. Police officers do dangerous, difficult work, always. Striking a balance between protecting the police and protecting the rights of the public is achievable. It is not an either/or equation, but if it were, then protecting the individual rights of the public is more important than protecting the safety of the police.

Abuse of the public by a member of law enforcement should carry a very heavy penalty. The potential for abuse is great....and abuse happens every day. I am more likely to get into a confrontation with a cop that throws his weight around than with virtually any other citizen. Police Departments have bullies, and that is a terrible thing. That Police Departments are also full of good people doing a difficult job well doesn't really make the situation any better.
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Old 4th June 2014, 02:11 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Corsair 115 View Post
Are you suggesting that it was the Seattle police's old use of force policies that were responsible for the drop in the crime rate there?
Read what I wrote:
Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
Actually someone (not me!) could argue that the overuse of force by the Seattle force was the cause of those "deep reductions" . Of course it is really something like better training, etc.
(emphasis added)

What I am stating is that you made a vague, unsupported assertion, Corsair 115. That means that you need to clarify it and/or provide support, thus:
Originally Posted by Reality Check View Post
Could you cite your source for the "rates of crime have dropped considerably" under the new policies?
Of course the new policies had no effect on the rates of crime before they existed (pre-2014) .
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