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Tags media criticism , police incidents , police issues , police misconduct charges

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Old 19th October 2021, 02:01 PM   #1
SuburbanTurkey
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Copaganda/Torturing the English language whenever a cop kills someone

AP style guide:

Quote:
“Avoid the vague ‘officer-involved’ for shootings and other cases involving police. Be specific about what happened. If police use the term, ask: How was the officer or officers involved? Who did the shooting? If the information is not available or not provided, spell that out.”

A fine tradition of American journalism is to absolutely abuse the human language when writing about how a cop caused someone's death. Seems like a fine place to collect them:

How many times do you have to read this to figure out what happened:

Originally Posted by ABC Action News (Tampa)
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the trooper entered the path of the motorcyclist which led him to crash into the cruiser and become ejected. Troopers said the motorcyclist then fell into the road and was hit by a semi.
https://twitter.com/abcactionnews/st...02594418008064

Last edited by SuburbanTurkey; 19th October 2021 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 19th October 2021, 02:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
AP style guide:




A fine tradition of American journalism is to absolutely abuse the human language when writing about how a cop caused someone's death. Seems like a fine place to collect them:

How many times do you have to read this to figure out what happened:



https://twitter.com/abcactionnews/st...02594418008064
I'm sure it won't be difficult for them to find a way to charge the driver of the semi with vehicular homicide.
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Old 19th October 2021, 02:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
AP style guide:

A fine tradition of American journalism is to absolutely abuse the human language when writing about how a cop caused someone's death. Seems like a fine place to collect them:

How many times do you have to read this to figure out what happened:

https://twitter.com/abcactionnews/st...02594418008064

There's nothing wrong with the style guide. It basically says "Tell what happened; don't rely on police terminology." But that can't prevent plain bad writing.

It sounds like the sentence could be re-written something like this:
Quote:
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a motorcyclist struck a police cruiser when the cruiser crossed the path of the motorcycle. The motorcyclist was thrown into the road and struck by a semi.
Does that cover it?
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Old 19th October 2021, 02:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
I'm sure it won't be difficult for them to find a way to charge the driver of the semi with vehicular homicide.
The carrier has already booked an seven figure liability. And their insurer is thinking about dropping them.
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Old 19th October 2021, 02:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
The carrier has already booked an seven figure liability. And their insurer is thinking about dropping them.
Right, because no matter whose fault it really is, if you have money, a jury will give a chunk of it to a plaintiff.
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Old 19th October 2021, 03:22 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
I'm sure it won't be difficult for them to find a way to charge the driver of the semi with vehicular homicide.
Flying without landing permit.
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Old 19th October 2021, 03:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
A fine tradition of American journalism is to absolutely abuse the human language when writing about how a cop caused someone's death. Seems like a fine place to collect them:
It has a name: the past exonerative tense.

https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/...iguous-grammar
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Old 19th October 2021, 04:17 PM   #8
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A typical one from one of our more creative policemen from some time back: "The suspect threw his head on my boot with great force. About six or seven times."
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Old 19th October 2021, 04:18 PM   #9
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Some of you might work out exactly what this video will be before you open it

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Old 19th October 2021, 04:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
A typical one from one of our more creative policemen from some time back: "The suspect threw his head on my boot with great force. About six or seven times."
Was his name Jasper Carrot?

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Last edited by smartcooky; 19th October 2021 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 19th October 2021, 04:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Was his name Jasper Carrot?

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Nope. The policeman one I think was from the Depression era. Looks like Carrot picked up that list from someone in a pub. They are almost traditional yarns, and have been around a VERY long time.
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Old 19th October 2021, 04:43 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
AP style guide:




A fine tradition of American journalism is to absolutely abuse the human language when writing about how a cop caused someone's death. Seems like a fine place to collect them:

How many times do you have to read this to figure out what happened:



https://twitter.com/abcactionnews/st...02594418008064
Without checking the link, the sentence seems to be stating that the Trooper was not in the "cruiser" when entering the path of the motorcycle. Is that accurate?

If the Trooper was in the car when entering the path of the motorcycle, it would have been more illustrative to state that "The Troopers "cruiser" entered the path of the motorcycle, no?
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Old 19th October 2021, 05:31 PM   #13
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"Brave Trooper violently assaulted from behind by thug biker, who then vandalized a nearby semi's grill."
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Old 19th October 2021, 06:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Avoid the vague ‘officer-involved’ for shootings and other cases involving police. Be specific about what happened. If police use the term, ask: How was the officer or officers involved? Who did the shooting? If the information is not available or not provided, spell that out.”
Is this really controversial suggestion? Give me a break.
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Old 19th October 2021, 06:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
Is this really controversial suggestion? Give me a break.
Considering the frequency in which journalists parrot cop press release language in their own publications, it's obviously still a problem.
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Old 19th October 2021, 09:36 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
It has a name: the past exonerative tense.

https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/...iguous-grammar
That's actually pretty clever, well worth a minute to read.
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Old 20th October 2021, 03:18 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Beelzebuddy View Post
It has a name: the past exonerative tense.

https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/...iguous-grammar
That's an excellent article.
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Old 20th October 2021, 07:17 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
That's an excellent article.
It is indeed, and it's clear the dog did not run fast enough.
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Old 20th October 2021, 09:48 AM   #19
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Oh, give the police a break. People who look like they're about to become violent are everywhere, and the officers need a free hand to protect the rest of us from them.
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Old 20th October 2021, 09:53 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Oh, give the police a break. People who look like they're about to become violent are everywhere, and the officers need a free hand to protect the rest of us from them.
ITYM 'Officer involvement in anticipation and prevention of future criminal acts requires a broad mandate on the part of the Department, as well as the support and understanding of the general public. '

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Old 20th October 2021, 11:05 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Oh, give the police a break. People who look like they're about to become violent are everywhere, and the officers need a free hand to protect the rest of us them from them us.
FTFY
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Old 20th October 2021, 12:14 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
Oh, give the police a break. People who look like they're about to become violent are everywhere, and the officers need a free hand to protect the rest of us from them.
Yeah, yeah! Shoot on sight! Right?
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Old 20th October 2021, 03:47 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
There's nothing wrong with the style guide. It basically says "Tell what happened; don't rely on police terminology." But that can't prevent plain bad writing.



It sounds like the sentence could be re-written something like this:





Does that cover it?
How about... "Police develop Pit Maneuver technique for two wheel vehicles."
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Old 20th October 2021, 06:58 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
Yeah, yeah! Shoot on sight! Right?

Well, not shoot, but grab and beat up and drag away is fine. Provided that...

Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
The cops didn't grab this guy because he engaged in wrongthink, they grabbed him because it seemed like he was about to start a fight.
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Old 3rd November 2021, 02:38 AM   #25
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Quote:
Source: CPD Officer Hit in Chest After Gun Discharges During Argument With Wife
https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/loca...-wife/2668909/

Guns just be going off on their own during vague "arguments".
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Old 3rd November 2021, 02:45 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/loca...-wife/2668909/

Guns just be going off on their own during vague "arguments".

I bet he seemed like he was about to start a fight.
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Old 3rd November 2021, 02:58 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/loca...-wife/2668909/

Guns just be going off on their own during vague "arguments".
Was this a question of 'This is my rifle, this is my gun'? Because this is what I hear in my mind, if I read the title of the report.
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Old 3rd November 2021, 03:01 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/loca...-wife/2668909/

Guns just be going off on their own during vague "arguments".
How exactly, I wonder, does making the gun the actor in this sentence construction square with "Guns don't kill people, people kill people"?

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Old 3rd November 2021, 06:33 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/loca...-wife/2668909/

Guns just be going off on their own during vague "arguments".
Hey loud language is well know to make firearms just go off.
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Old 4th November 2021, 06:47 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Hey loud language is well know to make firearms just go off.
Guns can sometimes be startled by unexpected loud noises or movements and attack because they are frightened.
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Old 4th November 2021, 09:10 PM   #31
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Bah, nm.
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Old 13th January 2022, 11:44 AM   #32
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Quote:
Major Media Outlets Can’t Stop Describing Police Violence As ‘Officer-Involved’ Incidents
Following the murder of George Floyd, The Associated Press issued guidance that reporters should not describe instances where police shot someone with neutral language. It didn't work.

...

Usage of the phrase declined in 2020, but following Floyd’s murder — and, two months later, the new AP guidance — it began to climb back up in 2021. In August of last year, “officer-involved” appeared 56 times, and was used at least once in 8% of all articles about police violence in that month. This represents a return to the rates in the mid-2000s, after usage of “officer-involved” had begun to significantly increase.
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/polic...b0a26702885448
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Old 18th January 2022, 09:14 AM   #33
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Local news keeping open the possibility that the dogs were killed by an unidentified shooter on the grassy knoll.

Quote:
Caught On Video: Miami-Dade Police Officer Discharges Weapon; Dog Shot, Killed
https://miami.cbslocal.com/2022/01/1...g-in-dead-dog/
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Old 18th January 2022, 10:43 AM   #34
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Is "dog shot" a term like "360 no scope"?
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Old 18th January 2022, 06:30 PM   #35
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I'm waiting for " Another idiot wearing a badge murdered someone today."
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Old 18th January 2022, 06:59 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Considering the frequency in which journalists parrot cop press release language in their own publications, it's obviously still a problem.
Which is all they have to go on. Perhaps you would prefer the reporter got a little creative?

The motorcyclist was riding along at a reasonable and prudent speed when a cop, no doubt assuming the motorcyclist was Black, swerved intentionally into his lane, murdering him in cold blood.
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Old 18th January 2022, 07:15 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Which is all they have to go on. Perhaps you would prefer the reporter got a little creative?

The motorcyclist was riding along at a reasonable and prudent speed when a cop, no doubt assuming the motorcyclist was Black, swerved intentionally into his lane, murdering him in cold blood.
Yes, if only there was some alternative that has already been clearly stated in this thread, readily apparent to anyone arguing in good faith.
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Old 18th January 2022, 07:30 PM   #38
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I think the problem here is that somewhere along the line, an editorial decision has been made that it is better to equivocate in the initial reporting of an incident than to retract a definitive statement that was wrong. That's why you see the word "alleged" so often. Editors go to great lengths to avoid saying "this person did a thing" because even if they do have to print a retraction, people will remember the incorrect statement, not the subsequent retraction.
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Old 19th January 2022, 12:59 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
because even if they do have to print a retraction, people will remember the incorrect statement, not the subsequent retraction.
Sometimes I get the impression certain media relies on this when they print their "news".
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Old 19th January 2022, 08:16 AM   #40
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I think in the US at least the use of "alleged" is common because in criminal cases a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and even in the most obvious cases pre-conviction is at least bad form.

This is separate from the issue of passive voices and the like. You can still say something like "the cop is alleged to have pumped seventeen bullets into the motorist" without saying a motorist underwent bullet trauma or something.
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