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Old 09-26-2017, 02:29 PM
Jake Bullet - Traffic Control! Jake Bullet - Traffic Control! is offline
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Some Thoughts on the NFL Protests & BLM

I've been thinking about the NFL anthem protests and I can't get over the fact that, however well intentioned they might be, they're not actually really doing very much. Indeed, given the reactions of various people on my Facebook and Twitter feeds, they're actively making things worse. Anyway, I had a bunch of free time today so I decided, mostly out of idle curiosity, to see if there was anything more concrete these players could do instead. So I decided to roughly estimate how many of these fabulously wealthy NFL players would need to donate 1 month’s salary in order to buy every 18-45 year old black man a personal body camera.

It’s not a hugely unreasonable request. A man is expected to spend (at least!) one month’s salary on a wedding ring, and when you take the 50% divorce rate into account, they might well have to do that two or three times. If they can give up a month’s salary for a diamond ring, surely they can give up a month’s salary to save black lives.

The salaries of NFL players range widely, but the average annual salary of an NFL player is $2 million dollars. That means the average monthly salary is $166,660.00. Including backup players, there are 53 players in an NFL team and 32 teams in the league.

$166,000.00 x 53 x 32 = $282,655,360.00. That’s how much money would be raised if every NFL player donated one month’s salary to...well, let’s call it the ‘Black Man Body Camera Fund’ (or BMBCF, for short). If the BMBCF was a registered charity, the donations would be tax free so every penny of that $282,655,360.00 would go towards buying body cameras for black men aged 18-45.

How many body cameras would that buy? Well, you want the cameras to be reliable, but you also want a good deal so you need to find a body camera that’s both reliable and reasonably cheap. A quick Amazon search revealed lots of potentially good cameras, but the one which I think strikes the best balance between reliability and affordability is the ‘Veho VCC-003-MUVI-BLK MUVI’ which is priced at $40.69 - Let’s call it an even $40 to make the math easier. How many $40 dollar body cameras can you buy for $282,655,360.00?

Answer: Seven million, sixty six thousand, three hundred and eighty four.

However, we mustn’t forget that $40.00 is the marked up retail price. Because this will be a charitable endeavour, these cameras would obviously be given away at cost. What this means is that, in practise, the BMBCF would most likely pay quite a bit less than $40.00 per body cam. If we redo the sum assuming a mere $5.00 discount per unit, the BMBCF would be able to buy 8, 075,867 body cams for black American men between the ages of 18 and 45. This number increases even further if the BMBCF were given a bulk purchase discount, though I couldn’t guess at what that would be so I’ve not factored it in.

But why focus on this particular demographic in the first place? Well, the answer is that, of all black people in America, the vast majority who are actually shot by the cops are men between the ages of 18 and 45. For example, in 2016, two hundred and sixty six black people were killed by the police. Of those 266, only 13 were women. Of the remaining 253, only 6 were under the age of 18 and only 29 were over the age of 45. That means 218 of the 266 black people shot by cops in 2016 (or 82%), were men between the ages of 18 and 45, so it makes sense to focus on that demographic.

So would 8,075,867 body cams be enough? Well, there are 21.5 million black men in America. Of those 21.5 million, 33.5% are under 18 as per the 2005 census (I know it's a little dated, but it was the most recent one I could find that gave clear(ish) figures, and I don't imagine the demographics have changed too much), and 6.5% are over 65. That means there are 12.9 million black men in America between the ages of 18 and 65.

Here’s where we run into a slight problem. We’re only looking at body cams for the 18-45 age group, not 18-65. The census data for the under 18, 18-65 and 65+ age groups is very exact. However, for some reason the data for the age group 45-65 is laid out in a shitty bar chart which only gives rough percentages. I did my best to work out how many black American men there were between 45 and 65 and, far as I can tell, it’s roughly 12%. I could be off a couple of percent in either direction, but let’s go with 12% for now. That’s 2,580,000. Take that away as well and the approximate number of black American men between 18-45 is 10,320,000.

So, let’s bring this to a conclusion. If every NFL player donated a mere one month’s salary to a fund to buy body cams for those black Americans most at risk of being shot by the cops, they would be able to buy cameras for just over 80% of them. That percentage would rise considerably if the NFL players donated one month’s worth of sponsorship money as well. For instance, Peyton Manning earned 12 million in endorsements last year. An extra million would buy nearly 30,000 more body cameras, and that’s just one month’s endorsement money from one player.

Now, you may be asking yourself “Why should they bother?. The real problem is the cops, and the system which protects them.” You might also ask “Why is it the responsibility of black men to protect themselves from the cops? They shouldn’t have to do that.” Both of those things are true. Unfortunately, systems are slow to change and while they’re changing, the number of black men shot by the cops is only going to go up. If those black men most at risk of being shot by the cops had body cameras of their own, they’d be able to watch the cops, and the cops would be forced to be a bit less trigger happy when dealing with young black men.

Bottom line is that if young black men between the ages of 18 and 45 had body cameras, they would be much less likely to be shot by cops. Rightly or wrongly, when NFL players kneel for the National Anthem, the only thing they seem to actually achieve is pissing off a bunch of people who just want to watch football. They don’t actually save any lives, and they’re not even raising awareness because everyone is already aware of this issue anyway. In practise, they’re basically doing fuck all. Can anyone, anywhere, point to a single life saved by these protests?

By donating 1 month’s salary & 1 month’s endorsement money, these players could actually do something that made a real difference. Even the lowliest NFL player makes an easy six figures a year. They’re already absurdly rich. It’s not like 1 month’s salary is going to break them. It’s a small price to pay for helping empower young black men to protect themselves and feel safer.

Also, as a bonus, I reckon it'll really piss off Trump

Just a thought.

Anyway, I guess the debate is:

a). Is this a good idea in theory?
b). If so, would it be a workable idea in practise?
c). Given how it's within the means of these players to take real action to help fix the problem, to what extent do they bear a moral responsibility to do more than just kneel for the national anthem?

Sources: http://tinyurl.com/guvq3pw - Database of people killed by police, maintained by The Guardian newspaper.

http://tinyurl.com/y72h5zdh - 2005 census.

http://tinyurl.com/yd64fxfq - Black male stats from blackdemographics.com

Last edited by Jake Bullet - Traffic Control!; 09-26-2017 at 02:31 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-26-2017, 02:39 PM
Zetetic Skeptic Zetetic Skeptic is offline
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There isn't enough infrastructure to accomplish something like this, even if you got them all of the players to buy into it. I think in reality, a large percentage of them would be taken and sold, and not ever used for the intended purpose.

I think it would also be rejected by many simply because a lot of young men (of all colors) are engaged in criminal activities they certainly wouldn't want a camera to capture, as well as some people's inherent big brother mentality and fears of monitoring.
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Old 09-26-2017, 02:49 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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If NFL players really wanted to personally invest in protesting for change, they should go on strike. Shut down football, and you'll get a lot of attention. Not sure it would work, but I think it would have a much greater chance of success than what is starting to look more like virtue signaling than anything else. The problem is, there are thousand of police departments in the US, and you have affect change in most of them in order to make real progress. It would be much easier for change to occur if the police force was centralized, but that, of course, has its own problems.

N.B. I'm all for these guys doing whatever they choose to do. Take the knee during the anthem is fine. I just don't see it having much affect other than now everyone is arguing about the protest itself rather than the issue.
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:00 PM
Snarky_Kong Snarky_Kong is online now
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Calling something virtue signaling is a great way to dismiss legitimate grievances as attention whoring.
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:07 PM
Channing Idaho Banks Channing Idaho Banks is offline
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I think it's a great idea. Someone is going to have to pay for the cloud, too, because those cameras will have a habit of disappearing.
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:23 PM
SpoilerVirgin SpoilerVirgin is offline
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Originally Posted by Jake Bullet - Traffic Control! View Post
a). Is this a good idea in theory?
No, it's a terrible idea in theory or in practice. It is essentially another form of victim blaming. Young black men are being shot by the police, therefore it's up to the young black men to create a solution. It's the equivalent of rape prevention by telling young women not to wear short dresses.

I am not opposed to the idea that NFL players could use their wealth to try to combat the problem they are protesting. Players like Colin Kaepernick and basketball player Iman Shumpert have already pledged to donate to organizations trying to improve the situation. But putting the responsibility on the young black men is the wrong answer.
  #7  
Old 09-26-2017, 03:25 PM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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I think the hard part is going to be persuading the black men to turn the cameras on before engaging in the sort of behavior during which they get shot.

How about if the NFL players kick in to get cameras for the police instead? I feel more comfortable making "turn the camera on" a condition of employment than as a condition of being black and 18-45. And you wouldn't need nearly as many cameras.

Regards,
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:30 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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the sort of behavior during which they get shot.
You mean existing?

Quote:
How about if the NFL players kick in to get cameras for the police instead?
No need. The departments that have done it have found they more than pay for themselves in reduced legal costs caused by the bad cops.
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:39 PM
XT XT is offline
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No need. The departments that have done it have found they more than pay for themselves in reduced legal costs caused by the bad cops.
Do you have a cite for this? It hasn't been my experience. Mind, I think it's a good thing (of course, being in IT probably biases me a bit ), but the departments in my state that have implemented this aren't all that convinced thus far that the large costs and effort has been worth it.

The OPs money wouldn't pay for actual camera systems that could or would be used in police departments or acceptable...you'd need a lot more money to pay for that. But if we were really trying to fix this issue and were willing to spend billions to ensure justice in the few hundred deaths a year that are questionable I think it would definitely be better to put the cameras on the cops (and on their cars) than on civilians.
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Old 09-26-2017, 03:41 PM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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You mean existing?
No, more like committing crimes, threatening the police or others, things like that. You could check for yourself, if you like.

Regards,
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  #11  
Old 09-26-2017, 03:43 PM
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a). Is this a good idea in theory?
No.
  #12  
Old 09-26-2017, 04:42 PM
Velocity Velocity is offline
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The problem is that the cameras would be worn too seldomly. This is like devices meant to prevent parents from leaving kids in hot cars. The chances of it happening are less than 1% on any given day to a particular person; they'd think it's not worth the hassle of wearing it.
  #13  
Old 09-26-2017, 04:55 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Calling something virtue signaling is a great way to dismiss legitimate grievances as attention whoring.
It can be, but it needn't be. Additionally, I'm not using "virtue signaling" as synonymous with "attention whoring". I don't think the former necessarily implies the latter.

In the case we are considering, I think the actions being taken are so far removed from the actual problem that is being called out that the folks participating are deluding themselves if they think their protest is going to lead to any change. As I said, the discussion is all about the nature of the protest, not the problem that is being protested.
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Old 09-26-2017, 05:12 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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In the case we are considering, I think the actions being taken are so far removed from the actual problem that is being called out that the folks participating are deluding themselves if they think their protest is going to lead to any change. As I said, the discussion is all about the nature of the protest, not the problem that is being protested.
Seems to me Colin Kaepernick was legitimately protesting.

The latest fuss with all the kneeling across the league was more a "fuck you" to Trump than it was about protesting police violence against black men and it worked in that regard.
  #15  
Old 09-26-2017, 05:20 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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Obviously it's not a good solution to try and bug all black people 24/7 for numerous relatively obvious reasons.

I do agree that if the players really wanted to do something about this, they would be well-served by either throwing money at it. And the obvious thing to do would be to put cameras on the cops and their equipment. Of course there are two steps that need to be taken for that to work:
1) Make it strongly against the rules to remove or disable the cameras.
2) Fix the system so that we can enforce laws or regulations of any kind on police officers.

Point 2 will be tricky to pull off. But if we can, cameras for all of them! And honestly, I can't imagine why any honest cop would mind.
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Old 09-26-2017, 05:29 PM
monstro monstro is online now
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We have a hard enough time recognizing injustice even when it is clearly shown in police body cam videos. Let's work on fixing that problem first, then we can talk about whether equipping civilians with body cams is worth it.
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Old 09-26-2017, 05:52 PM
bobot bobot is offline
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Originally Posted by Jake Bullet - Traffic Control! View Post
I've been thinking about the NFL anthem protests and I can't get over the fact that, however well intentioned they might be, they're not actually really doing very much....
Their purpose is to direct attention to an issue that could have otherwise been easy to ignore, to make it less comfortable to ignore. The protests have been monumentally successful in that regard.

Last edited by bobot; 09-26-2017 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:01 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Seems to me Colin Kaepernick was legitimately protesting.
Yes. I wasn't talking about him, but some of the folks who are recently getting in on the action.

Quote:
The latest fuss with all the kneeling across the league was more a "fuck you" to Trump than it was about protesting police violence against black men and it worked in that regard.
Yea, that, too. Trump has, in his bumbling way, made this all about him like everything else he touches. Ugh...
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:19 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
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I think the OP owes a monthís salary toward this silly idea as much as anyone in the NFL.

Civil rights is an issue that everyone must solve; not simply pass the buck to someone else.
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:25 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is offline
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Yes. I wasn't talking about him, but some of the folks who are recently getting in on the action.
And who are those people?
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:33 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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And who are those people?
High school kids are now getting in on the action. Now, this is purely MHO, so feel free to disagree.
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:37 PM
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Police or other government misconduct is a big problem but it's far from the biggest problems.
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:39 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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Police or other government misconduct is a big problem but it's far from the biggest problems.
The biggest problem, of course, is that I can't get a date. Until this is solved all other problems are comparatively inconsequential and can be utterly dismissed.
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:16 PM
bobot bobot is offline
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Police or other government misconduct is a big problem but it's far from the biggest problems.
Awesome. So people want to work on this, but dammit, it just isn't the biggest thing. Cool. So what are we working on instead?
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:32 PM
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Awesome. So people want to work on this, but dammit, it just isn't the biggest thing. Cool. So what are we working on instead?
Maybe something to make sure white people generally can continue to be comfortable in their privilege and obliviousness? I'm pretty sure that would get the octopus seal of approval.
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Old 09-26-2017, 08:51 PM
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Maybe something to make sure white people generally can continue to be comfortable in their privilege and obliviousness? I'm pretty sure that would get the octopus seal of approval.
Knock it off. The Pit is where personal shots go.

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  #27  
Old 09-27-2017, 01:42 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Originally Posted by Jake Bullet - Traffic Control!
I've been thinking about the NFL anthem protests and I can't get over the fact that, however well intentioned they might be, they're not actually really doing very much. Indeed, given the reactions of various people on my Facebook and Twitter feeds, they're actively making things worse
...is what is *always* said when people fight for civil rights causes. If only they weren't being so damn uppity, and let their cause go back to being background noise, then maybe we'd decide to start listening to them.

Then separately we have the practical issue of every black man between 18-45 (why you picked that age range I don't know) having to have a camera with them at all times, and recording at all times (after all, if you're very suddenly apprehended by police, are you going to risk reaching into your pocket for the ON switch?)

Finally, and most importantly we already have footage of police brutality and shootings. People increasingly carry cameras in the form of cellphones (perhaps you've heard of them)? The protests are not about spreading the message that such events happen, but trying to make it clear that's it's wrong that they happen and perhaps the officers involved should not always be cleared of any wrongdoing and there should be improved officer training.

Last edited by Mijin; 09-27-2017 at 01:45 AM.
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Old 09-27-2017, 02:15 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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(why you picked that age range I don't know)
OK, I got this wrong: you included a justification for this age range. Not a good one IMO (it's somewhat arbitrary to say below this level of risk you shouldn't care any more about the risk) but it's there, so I got that part wrong.

Last edited by Mijin; 09-27-2017 at 02:15 AM.
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:22 AM
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No, more like committing crimes, threatening the police or others, things like that. You could check for yourself, if you like.

Regards,
Shodan
I will make a deal with you: I acknowledge that, yes, in a fair number of cases, there are circumstances in which the victims could have behaved differently and perhaps the outcomes might also have been different. But I think even you would agree that there are instances where black people have been killed quite literally for no valid reason at all -- Philado Castle comes to mind.

Law enforcement in this country has had a history of imposing a racially unjust order upon black Americans, and yet we're supposed to just expect black Americans to trust them and the system they are upholding. The law says they must cooperate -- we get that. But the fact remains, the law inequitably targets black people for prosecution of crimes, and as such the system discriminates against blacks before they have even been arrested by disproportionately policing black communities in the first place. Blacks are policed more than whites. They are trusted less by the police who enforce the law. They are trusted less by the prosecutors and judges who execute the law. And they are trusted less by the majority of jurors who decide guilt or innocence in a court of law. And this is true regardless of whether they are suspects being tried by the system or victims of white perpetrators.

Last edited by asahi; 09-27-2017 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:36 AM
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Per the Washington Post database the police killed an unarmed black man 16 times in 2016. Spending 282 million dollars to prevent 16 deaths a year is nuts.
For that same price you could buy bed nets, or vaccines and save thousands of lives
This makes as much sense as buying every man in America a lightning rod hat, a huge expense to prevent a incredibly small risk.
  #31  
Old 09-27-2017, 10:48 AM
Okrahoma Okrahoma is offline
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Also, as a bonus, I reckon it'll really piss off Trump
1. Why in the world would blacks wearing body cameras piss off Trump?

2. If it is $40 per person, I am sure the big majority of the intended recipients could afford to buy one themselves.

Last edited by Okrahoma; 09-27-2017 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:57 AM
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Besides the fact that everything pisses off Trump?

And if virtue signaling is so bad, then why does anyone stand for the anthem? That's just virtue signaling, too.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:09 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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No, more like committing crimes, threatening the police or others, things like that.
No, more like existing, like Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, or Terence Crutcher, just to name a few. You could check for yourself, if you like.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:15 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Do you have a cite for this? It hasn't been my experience.
I'm glad you don't have that experience, but many do.

Anyway, cite, cite, cite, for just a few Google hits.
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Old 09-27-2017, 12:03 PM
puddleglum puddleglum is offline
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No, more like existing, like Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, or Terence Crutcher, just to name a few. You could check for yourself, if you like.
I did check for myself and found that black people are no more likely to be shot or injured in an arrest.
In realistic simulations police were three times less likely to shoot black suspects.
Police in houston are 24% less likely to shoot black suspects.
A breakdown of NYC police shootings shows that while whites are much less likely to shoot at police they are much more likely to be shot at and much more likely to be hit when fired at.
  #36  
Old 09-27-2017, 12:05 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Other data says 3 times the rate.
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Old 09-28-2017, 08:31 AM
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I did check for myself and found that black people are no more likely to be shot or injured in an arrest.
In realistic simulations police were three times less likely to shoot black suspects.
Police in houston are 24% less likely to shoot black suspects.
A breakdown of NYC police shootings shows that while whites are much less likely to shoot at police they are much more likely to be shot at and much more likely to be hit when fired at.
That isn't what your sources say at all. You're misreading the graph (which to be fair, is a poor choice of visual representation for the data it shows). The graph shows that in NYC whites are much less likely to be shot at or hit.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:50 AM
puddleglum puddleglum is offline
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That isn't what your sources say at all. You're misreading the graph (which to be fair, is a poor choice of visual representation for the data it shows). The graph shows that in NYC whites are much less likely to be shot at or hit.
It says that in NYC whites are 5% of firearms arrestees, 3% of shooting suspects, 0% of people who shot at cops, 12% of people fired on by police, and 20% of people hit by police gunfire.
The disconnect is that they are 35% of the population. However, that not the population sampled. The population being sampled is people being arrested. Since black people in NYC make up 68% of the people to be arrested for firearms they are underrepresented at being shot at with only 50% of the people shot at.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:05 PM
Shodan Shodan is online now
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I will make a deal with you: I acknowledge that, yes, in a fair number of cases, there are circumstances in which the victims could have behaved differently and perhaps the outcomes might also have been different. But I think even you would agree that there are instances where black people have been killed quite literally for no valid reason at all...
Sure - so long as "a fair number of cases" means "the huge majority of times", we add 'by not committing crimes" after 'behaved differently', and "and there exists very little evidence for racism besides a general accusation that it must have been for that" at the end.

Then go on to add 'and when police are charged with crimes, it has to be done under the same standard of evidence, includes the presumption of innocence, defendant has the right to counsel, and whatever changes are suggested to the process will apply to everyone, not just police."

Then include no money down, free financing for the first year, and staple on a beak of your own choice.

Regards,
Shodan

PS - beautiful plumage!
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:58 PM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Sure - so long as "a fair number of cases" means "the huge majority of times", we add 'by not committing crimes" after 'behaved differently', and "and there exists very little evidence for racism besides a general accusation that it must have been for that" at the end.
Well firstly, if the number of cases of wrongdoing is small, and those cases where the video evidence seems damning are not the tip of the iceberg, then that's good. Let's do our utmost to get the number down to zero.

For the second point about race, for me personally I don't care so much if it's a race issue; if cops are trigger-happy sometimes, or sadistic, and innocent people are getting hurt or killed then that's a problem to be addressed regardless.

But I'm glad that race is being discussed as we have a government now, and right wing media, that is as brazenly racist as it's been for at least a generation.
  #41  
Old 09-29-2017, 03:49 AM
nelliebly nelliebly is offline
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The cost of video storage is going to be many times higher than the cost of the body cams themselves, as police departments across the country are already finding. Who pays for that? https://www.computerworld.com/articl...skyrocket.html

Also, has there been some outcry for body cams from this segment of the population? Otherwise, the idea of telling a segment of the adult population: "We've decided what's best for you. Here." seems kind of patronizing and paternalistic.
  #42  
Old 09-29-2017, 04:11 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Yes, and I'm going to repeat myself as it seems my point above got missed:

Most people already have video cameras with them at all times (cellphones) and that's why we already have footage of police brutality. Police brutality / unlawful killings are not bigfoot; it's not something we can seriously dispute happens at least some of the time.

If the OP wants to handwave legitimate protests, how about say the NFL players should work part-time as bodyguards for black men, otherwise they's be hypocrites.
  #43  
Old 09-29-2017, 07:50 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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That isn't enough - people with cell phones don't often start recording videos until well into the encounter, and then it's often at a distance or at a bad angle. Police body cams suffer none of those deficiencies.

But you're certainly right that they prove these things happen with some frequency, and probably much more frequently than we have proof of.
  #44  
Old 09-29-2017, 09:57 AM
Mijin Mijin is offline
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Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
That isn't enough - people with cell phones don't often start recording videos until well into the encounter, and then it's often at a distance or at a bad angle. Police body cams suffer none of those deficiencies.
Police bodycams, right, but in the OP's suggestion it's every black man carrying one of these cameras. And for me, imagining not only that, but all of these cameras are ON all of the time, and positioned correctly for filming, is a credulity stretch too far.

That's why I likened it to the absurdity of NFL players operating as free bodyguards during their downtime (though this of course more feasible).

Last edited by Mijin; 09-29-2017 at 09:57 AM.
  #45  
Old 10-11-2017, 10:38 AM
Jake Bullet - Traffic Control! Jake Bullet - Traffic Control! is offline
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Sorry for leaving the thread so long. Been busy. Anyway, it seems my idea hasn't gone over too well, but I think there are some ways to improve it. First of all, just to respond to some people:

Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenMan

I think the OP owes a monthís salary toward this silly idea as much as anyone in the NFL.

Civil rights is an issue that everyone must solve; not simply pass the buck to someone else.
For what it's worth, I'd gladly donate a month's salary if I thought the money would go toward a scheme that would fix the problem. I wouldn't even think twice about it. Of course, a month of my salary wouldn't make any difference to anything, but if everyone else was doing it I'd be thrilled to chip in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Channing Idaho Banks
I think it's a great idea. Someone is going to have to pay for the cloud, too, because those cameras will have a habit of disappearing.
That's actually a very good point. I hadn't considered cloud storage costs. Anyone got any idea how much that would cost?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoiler Virgin
No, it's a terrible idea in theory or in practice. It is essentially another form of victim blaming. Young black men are being shot by the police, therefore it's up to the young black men to create a solution. It's the equivalent of rape prevention by telling young women not to wear short dresses.
I addressed this in my OP. I completely agree that young black men shouldn't have to take measures to protect themselves from racist cops. Unfortunately, they do. That's just the fact of the matter. What we're talking about is a social ill. Laying the blame (rightly) with racist cops and the system which protects them is just a diagnosis, and a diagnosis without treatment is useless. And there are only two ways to treat a social ill caused by a corrupt system. The first is to change it from within, the second is to change it from without. The NFL players are trying to change it from within. The point of the protest is to put pressure on the people inside the system so that they'll change it. The problem with this method is that it's slow. Michael Brown died over three years ago. What's really changed? Some cops have started wearing body cameras which have a peculiar habit of malfunctioning at inopportune times. What else? Anything?

What I'm talking about, is changing the system from without. The advantage of this is that it's much faster. If I could wave a magic wand and give every black man a body camera today, the mindset of every racist cop in America will have changed by tomorrow morning. They'd still be racists, of course, but they'd be less likely to act violently on that racism, and that's really the only thing that counts. (Just to clarify, I'm well aware most cops aren't racist, I'm just talking about the few who are.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoiler Virgin
But putting the responsibility on the young black men is the wrong answer.
I just don't see it as putting the responsibility on them. I see it as giving them an opportunity (which, obviously, they are free to refuse) to take advantage of an extra means of protecting themselves free of charge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan
I think the hard part is going to be persuading the black men to turn the cameras on before engaging in the sort of behavior during which they get shot.
The harm caused by wrongful police shootings isn't just limited to the black men who get killed. Every time someone like Walter Scott or Philando Castile is murdered by a cop it has a measurably harmful effect on all black Americans. I know black people who've never so much as returned a library book late, but they're fucking terrified of the cops. One advantage of offering free body cameras is that it'll help law abiding black folks feel less threatened by the police, because the police will know they're being watched and, if shit does go bad, they won't be able to hide behind the thin blue line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monstro
We have a hard enough time recognizing injustice even when it is clearly shown in police body cam videos. Let's work on fixing that problem first, then we can talk about whether equipping civilians with body cams is worth it.
I agree with the sentiment, but in practise that's a much, much harder problem to fix. Far better to just force the system to change by empowering the people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobot
Their purpose is to direct attention to an issue that could have otherwise been easy to ignore, to make it less comfortable to ignore. The protests have been monumentally successful in that regard.
I disagree. I think these protests are, if anything, damaging to the players' cause. That's not to say I disagree with the players' motivations. I'm just talking about the practical effects. I follow a lot of people on Facebook and Twitter and my feeds have been inundated with people saying stuff like "I work sixty hours a week at a job I hate to support my bitch ex-wife and ungrateful children and now, when I go to the bar to watch football, one of the few genuine pleasures I have left, what do I get? Fucking politics! Politics from a bunch of superstar athletes with mansions and Ferraris and more money than God. Well, fuck them."

And let's not kid ourselves that they're actually raising awareness. The entire country has been talking about this issue since the Ferguson riots. When it comes to the problem of racist cops shooting young black men, we've been at maximum awareness for years. And you can only raise awareness for so long before people get sick of the sound of your voice.

Bottom line, from where I'm sitting, the thing the protests have been most successful in raising is resentment. We don't need more celebrities raising awareness. We need concrete measures that will make a measurable differencequickly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mijin
...is what is *always* said when people fight for civil rights causes. If only they weren't being so damnuppity, and let their cause go back to being background noise, then maybe we'd decide to start listening to them.
Thatís true, but itís also true that some protests really are counterproductive, and those protests need to be called out. I happen to believe the NFL protest falls into that category. Many disagree, and thatís fine. But a recent Reuters poll found that 72% of Americans think the protests are unpatriotic. White people only make up around 76% of the US population, so statistically that 72% must - even if we assume for the sake of argument that 95% of white people oppose the protests, which we know ainít so - also include quite a few people of colour, who youíd think (generally speaking, of course) would be inclined to be supportive of any anti-racist, equal rights protest. For the sake of fairness, it should also be noted that the vast majority of Americans also think the players have the right to protest. Itís just they donít like how theyíre protesting.

Since the vast majority of Americans think the protest is unpatriotic, I think the protestors should reconsider their tactics. What percentage of Americans do you think would consider a mass body camera scheme unpatriotic? Iím biased, of course, but I think the number would be close to zero. Indeed, I reckon most people would respect the players for putting their money where their mouths are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mijin
Finally, and most importantlywe already havefootage of police brutality and shootings. People increasingly carry cameras in the form of cellphones (perhaps you've heard of them)? The protests are not about spreading the message that such eventshappen, but trying to make it clear that's it'swrongthat they happen and perhaps the officers involved should not always be cleared of any wrongdoing and there should be improved officer training.
I agree 100% about the officer training. The problem is that changing mindsets takes a very, very long time. If at risk black men started wearing body cams then things would change much more quickly.

Also, itís not good enough that people carry cell phones with them. Take the Walter Scott case, for example. It was only dumb luck that his murder was caught on camera. If there hadnít been a kid with a phone on that particular street at that particular moment, the cop would have almost certainly gotten away with it. If the cop knew Scott might be wearing a body cam which uploaded directly to the cloud, he would probably have approached the entire interaction differently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mijin
OK, I got this wrong: you included a justification for this age range. Not a good one IMO (it's somewhat arbitrary to say belowthislevel of risk you shouldn't care any more about the risk) but it's there, so I got that part wrong.
I agree that itís somewhat arbitrary, but I needed a cut-off point. Thereís no point giving toddlers and housebound octogenarians body cams. I just figured focussing on the most at risk group gave the best cost to benefit ratio.


Quote:
Originally Posted by puddleglum
Per the Washington Post database the police killed an unarmed black man 16 times in 2016. Spending 282 million dollars to prevent 16 deaths a year is nuts.
Is it, though? Letís assume a best case scenario in which body cams put an end to police shootings of unarmed black men. The average age of a black American man is 30. The average life expectancy is 69 and 4 months (so letís say 70). An actuarial study by economists at Stanford University estimated that the cost of one year of human life was $129,000.00.

129,000 x 40 x 16 = 82,560,000.

Now letís say a well maintained body camera lasts about 3 years. That means the dollar value of human life years saved over that period is $247,680,000.00, which is obviously less than the initial expenditure, but not by a huge amount. And when you take into account the incalculable value of improved race relations that would inevitably result from a sharp drop in police shootings of unarmed black men, Iíd consider it a pretty wise investment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Okrahoma
1. Why in the world would blacks wearing body cameras piss off Trump?
Well, aside from the fact that pretty much everything pisses off Trump, he'd have a much harder time using a mass body cam scheme as a political wedge issue. This would go double if the scheme was funded by the very NFL players he's spent the last two weeks attacking on Twitter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Okrahoma
2. If it is $40 per person, I am sure the big majority of the intended recipients could afford to buy one themselves.
This is a very good point, and it's one which actually strengthens my argument. My calculations were based on buying every black man in America between 18 and 45 a body cam. Of those people, many simply won't want one, and others will, as you rightly point out, just buy one themselves. That means the money raised would go much further and the residual could be put toward cloud storage costs for the people who do want a free one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mijin
If the OP wants to handwave legitimate protests, how about say the NFL players should work part-time as bodyguards for black men, otherwise they's be hypocrites.
I don't think that's fair. I'm not accusing the players of hypocrisy. I'm just saying that I don't think their protest is very effective, and it's easily within their means to set up a mass body cam scheme which (in my opinion) would actually accomplish their goals far more quickly. It's about getting them what they want. My scheme would be faster and, I imagine, much more popular with regular people than what they're actually doing. Even if the gesture ends up being purely symbolic it would probably have a beneficial effect on race relations, especially since most of the players who would end up donating would be white.
  #46  
Old 10-11-2017, 11:52 AM
DragonAsh DragonAsh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
I did check for myself and found that black people are no more likely to be shot or injured in an arrest.
The data is for 'legal interventions' - so illegal interventions wouldn't be counted. So a police officer shooting an innocent, unarmed black man wouldn't be in the data set. Also note that "percentage breakdown by race computed from pooled 2005, 2008 and 2011 PPCS surveys due to small case counts".


Quote:
Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
In realistic simulations police were three times less likely to shoot black suspects.
This study screams observer effect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
Police in houston are 24% less likely to shoot black suspects.
The study relied on reports filled out by the police officers themselves and relied on police departments willing to share those reports. Self-selection bias.

Quote:
Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
The population being sampled is people being arrested. Since black people in NYC make up 68% of the people to be arrested for firearms they are underrepresented at being shot at with only 50% of the people shot at.
Why do you limit the graph to only people arrested? That's not what the graph is showing. The graph is looking at those targeted as criminal shooting suspects, firearm arrestees and those fired upon or struck by police gunfire. Blacks make up barely 20% of the population yet account for almost 70% of firearm arrestees and those targeted as criminal shooting suspects, and 40-50% of those fired upon or struck by police gunfire. That's the key point.
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  #47  
Old 10-11-2017, 02:27 PM
Damuri Ajashi Damuri Ajashi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DragonAsh View Post
This study screams observer effect.
Sounds like you agree that cameras have good effects.

What do you think of the fact that blacks are twice as likely to be shot by police and three times as likely to be poor. Is the police brutality class based more than color based? Do poor white men get shot as frequently as poor black men?
  #48  
Old 10-11-2017, 03:14 PM
purplehearingaid purplehearingaid is offline
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Wearing a body camera is not going to keep a police from shooting you ! Once you're dead the police can remove the body camera and destroy it and say they never found a camera on the body .
  #49  
Old 10-11-2017, 03:31 PM
Jake Bullet - Traffic Control! Jake Bullet - Traffic Control! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehearingaid View Post
Wearing a body camera is not going to keep a police from shooting you ! Once you're dead the police can remove the body camera and destroy it and say they never found a camera on the body .
That is a valid concern. However, if it were possible to upload data to the Cloud, that would negate this risk. Even if such a thing wasn't possible, if a cop is wearing a body camera (and I believe in most states it's mandatory now), it would, more likely than not, show the victim wearing his. The cop have to disable his own body cam as well. It'd be tough enough for the cop to explain away the lack of footage from his own camera, but if the victim was known by his friends and family to have a camera as well, and if that were to also disappear...well, it wouldn't look good for the cop, and it'd be even harder for the system to protect him.

Is it 100% foolproof? Probably not. But then again, nothing is. Better training, and better screening of recruits to exclude those with a racial bias is a very good idea, but it certainly wouldn't be 100% foolproof either. That's no reason not to try. Furthermore, when a cop shoots an unarmed black man, it's virtually always an act of impulse. If cops were to go into such situations knowing in advance that the people they're dealing with might well be wearing body cameras, it should (and, I believe, almost always would) change how they approach the entire situation. That in turn, would force them to moderate their behaviour because, after all, they're not going into the situation planning to shoot anyone.

Last edited by Jake Bullet - Traffic Control!; 10-11-2017 at 03:33 PM.
  #50  
Old 10-11-2017, 06:12 PM
DragonAsh DragonAsh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi View Post
Sounds like you agree that cameras have good effects.
Not even close to the same thing.
I do think all cops should wear body cameras that are always on and can't be erased for accountability purposes - but as we've seen, in far too many real-life cases, cops can kill unarmed people for no reason and not be held accountable.
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Last edited by DragonAsh; 10-11-2017 at 06:14 PM.
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