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  #101  
Old 10-13-2014, 02:22 PM
you with the face you with the face is online now
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Here's a more than meets the eye story:

Ohio Cops Threatens to Take Couple's Baby Away During a Traffic Stop

After watching this tape, I was actually prepared to give the cop the benefit of the doubt, even though their actions seemed unnecessary, intrusive, specious, and confrontational. But even with all of that, I reasoned that if the guy really looked like someone they were actively hunting for, then it makes sense they would need him to hand over his ID and remove himself from the car for possible detainment. And since I'm not an expert in Ohio law, I don't know if asking a passenger's ID is out of bounds during a traffic stop.

But it appears as if the cop all along knew who the passenger was and also knew there were no actionable warrants for him. So what becomes obvious is that the passenger was 100% right. The cop just wanted to harrass and intimidate him and his GF. He and his other buddies went fishing for probable cause until they successfully wore him down and got him to exit the vehicle.

This was nothing but a power trip. Amazing.
  #102  
Old 10-13-2014, 02:32 PM
Son of a Rich Son of a Rich is offline
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They'll deem his merchandise to be drug paraphernalia just like a wad of bills can be deemed drug money. They'll take everything he's got, and the onus will be upon him to prove innocence.
  #103  
Old 10-13-2014, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Son of a Rich View Post
They'll deem his merchandise to be drug paraphernalia just like a wad of bills can be deemed drug money. They'll take everything he's got, and the onus will be upon him to prove innocence.
I think they did exactly that.
  #104  
Old 10-13-2014, 04:47 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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The cops in my city (Laurel, MD) have started wearing lapel cameras in the last year. Heard a report on the news that since then, they've seen a 60% drop in complaints. I posted about my own bad brush with a Laurel PD officer a few weeks ago. There is little chance that shit would have happened if she knew she was being recorded, but if it did happen, I would feel that much more empowered to file a complaint because I would feel secure in the knowledge the tape would back me up. Currently all kinds of messed up interactions probably occur that never get reported because people assume the system will always take the word of a cop over theirs.
No doubt that's true, at least in part.

Another part being that unjustified complaints are less likely to be filed if the complainant knows that an objective record of the encounter exists that can be used to disprove false accusations of police misconduct.

So, perhaps the police cleaned up their act, and perhaps the public stopped filing wrong-headed complaints because they knew it wouldn't get them anywhere. Or a combination of both.

Regards,
Shodan
  #105  
Old 10-13-2014, 04:49 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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5 ways to start fixing things:

1) Repeal all civil forfeiture laws

2) Ban "no-knock" warrants entirely

3) Require all cops to wear cameras. If the camera isn't recording at all times, they are immediately terminated.

4) Take away all military hardware from every police force in the country.

5) Revise and simply the procedures for suing police for abuse of power/harassment/arbitrary violation of civil rights, and give the new rules massive teeth, starting with immediate dismissal and a lifetime ban from acting in any enforcement capacity, public or private, a lifetime ban on possession of any firearm, and fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then nail every one of them to the wall.

Cameras work because they keep both sides semi-honest.
  #106  
Old 10-13-2014, 04:52 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is online now
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
No doubt that's true, at least in part.

Another part being that unjustified complaints are less likely to be filed if the complainant knows that an objective record of the encounter exists that can be used to disprove false accusations of police misconduct.

So, perhaps the police cleaned up their act, and perhaps the public stopped filing wrong-headed complaints because they knew it wouldn't get them anywhere. Or a combination of both.

Regards,
Shodan
This sounds good either way. It's probably a combination.
  #107  
Old 10-13-2014, 04:58 PM
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Another part being that unjustified complaints are less likely to be filed if the complainant knows that an objective record of the encounter exists that can be used to disprove false accusations of police misconduct.
I seriously doubt this. Most people understand that cops protect their own and will almost always will side with an officer's side of the story in the absence of hard evidence like broken ribs. For every spurious complaint filed by a loud-mouthed malcontent there are probably 100 legitimate complaints that go unreported because people's trust in the LE system is so low.

If anything, I think cameras are empowering people to resist cops in ways they would've been too afraid to do so before. The scene between the head-shop owner and the narcotics officers that I cited earlier probably would've turned out differently in a cameraless world.

Last edited by you with the face; 10-13-2014 at 04:58 PM.
  #108  
Old 10-13-2014, 05:04 PM
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I will say, though, that while I doubt citizen complaints are going down for the reason that Shodan points out, awareness of being filmed could very well cause citizens to control their behaviors and reign in their urge to escalate confrontations with the police too. So yes, body-cams would be a win win this way.
  #109  
Old 10-13-2014, 05:17 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Originally Posted by silenus View Post
5 ways to start fixing things:

1) Repeal all civil forfeiture laws

2) Ban "no-knock" warrants entirely

3) Require all cops to wear cameras. If the camera isn't recording at all times, they are immediately terminated.

4) Take away all military hardware from every police force in the country.

5) Revise and simply the procedures for suing police for abuse of power/harassment/arbitrary violation of civil rights, and give the new rules massive teeth, starting with immediate dismissal and a lifetime ban from acting in any enforcement capacity, public or private, a lifetime ban on possession of any firearm, and fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then nail every one of them to the wall.

Cameras work because they keep both sides semi-honest.
6) For a variety of reasons, enough with the drug war already.
  #110  
Old 10-13-2014, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silenus View Post
5 ways to start fixing things:

1) Repeal all civil forfeiture laws

2) Ban "no-knock" warrants entirely

3) Require all cops to wear cameras. If the camera isn't recording at all times, they are immediately terminated.

4) Take away all military hardware from every police force in the country.

5) Revise and simply the procedures for suing police for abuse of power/harassment/arbitrary violation of civil rights, and give the new rules massive teeth, starting with immediate dismissal and a lifetime ban from acting in any enforcement capacity, public or private, a lifetime ban on possession of any firearm, and fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Then nail every one of them to the wall.

Cameras work because they keep both sides semi-honest.
I agree with this, except for #4 and 5 based on details.

I'd also agree with #6 from Marley.
  #111  
Old 10-14-2014, 08:26 AM
Onomatopoeia Onomatopoeia is offline
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Arizona cop threatens to shoot Hispanic man at traffic stop.

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Originally Posted by HuffPo
In the video, the officer who approaches Sánchez speaks English at first, then switches to Spanish after Sánchez identifies himself. The officer asks Sánchez if he has any guns in the car. Sánchez replies that he had only work tools.

The officer asks him to put his hands on the steering wheel and keep them where he can see them.

“If you do anything, I’ll kill you right here,” the officer says as Sánchez hands over his driver’s license. Though Sánchez tells the officer he is recording the incident, the cop repeats the threat: "If you move, I'll shoot you. You understand?"
Arizona. Why am I not surprised?
  #112  
Old 10-14-2014, 08:37 AM
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I hope this idea doesn't offend anyone, but I'm wondering if some of this trigger-happy cop stuff isn't due to a surge in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans going into law enforcement. The siege mentality that characterizes so many of these interactions makes me think of habits possibly engrained in combat. I hope someone is looking at this.
  #113  
Old 10-14-2014, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
I hope this idea doesn't offend anyone, but I'm wondering if some of this trigger-happy cop stuff isn't due to a surge in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans going into law enforcement. The siege mentality that characterizes so many of these interactions makes me think of habits possibly engrained in combat. I hope someone is looking at this.

I'm pretty convinced it's because of that dude in the white house.
  #114  
Old 10-14-2014, 12:10 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
For every spurious complaint filed by a loud-mouthed malcontent there are probably 100 legitimate complaints that go unreported because people's trust in the LE system is so low.
Then one would expect that with cameras the number of complaints to go up, not down, since the one spurious complaint would disappear but be offset by 100 new complaints that can now be substantiated.

Of course the premise of this thread is largely a product of confirmation bias and selective attention - the dashcam videos showing police behaving according to policy never make it onto the Internet.

And assholes are always going to complain about being arrested. One advantage of objective evidence is to point out bullshit, and there is at least as much or more coming from the arrestees as the arresters.

It's often "he was walking down the street minding his own business when the racist pigs shot him in the back!!!" and somehow it doesn't get mentioned that "walking down the street" means "jaywalking and blocking traffic with stolen goods in his hand" and "minding his own business" means robbing stores and assaulting clerks and "shot him in the back" means "shot him in the front after he assaulted a police officer and tried to grab his gun".

Regards,
Shodan
  #115  
Old 10-14-2014, 12:13 PM
Son of a Rich Son of a Rich is offline
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I'm pretty convinced it's because of that dude in the white house.
Of course it's Obama's fault. What isn't?
  #116  
Old 10-14-2014, 12:23 PM
Son of a Rich Son of a Rich is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
the dashcam videos showing police behaving according to policy never make it onto the Internet.
Why would they? Cops often behave appropriately, that doesn't mean the cops that don't shouldn't be called on their actions. Bad cops have been acting with impunity for far too long.
  #117  
Old 10-14-2014, 02:13 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Why would they? Cops often behave appropriately, that doesn't mean the cops that don't shouldn't be called on their actions.
Nobody claimed that bad cops shouldn't be called on it.

The problem comes from believing that fifty cases out of a million or so establish any kind of a meaningful pattern. Especially since about half of them are bullshit where anti-cop bigots with a racial chip on their shoulder screech "Brutality!" every time a cop subdues a subject with anything more severe than "Pretty please with cream and sugar".

Regards,
Shodan
  #118  
Old 10-14-2014, 02:19 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is online now
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The problem comes from believing that fifty cases out of a million or so establish any kind of a meaningful pattern.
Young black males being killed by police at a rate significantly disproportionate from their statistical involvement in violent crime sounds like such a "meaningful pattern".
  #119  
Old 10-14-2014, 02:43 PM
Son of a Rich Son of a Rich is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post

The problem comes from believing that fifty cases out of a million or so establish any kind of a meaningful pattern. Especially since about half of them are bullshit where anti-cop bigots with a racial chip on their shoulder screech "Brutality!" every time a cop subdues a subject with anything more severe than "Pretty please with cream and sugar".

Regards,
Shodan
I'm afraid to ask, but where are those stats coming from?
  #120  
Old 10-14-2014, 03:00 PM
Miller Miller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by you with the face View Post
I hope this idea doesn't offend anyone, but I'm wondering if some of this trigger-happy cop stuff isn't due to a surge in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans going into law enforcement. The siege mentality that characterizes so many of these interactions makes me think of habits possibly engrained in combat. I hope someone is looking at this.
I was wondering earlier today if a significant amount of people involved in training law enforcement are coming out of the military.
  #121  
Old 10-14-2014, 03:12 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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All of the above, and more. When cops are trained by the military and equipped by the military, they will tend to think of military solutions to problems that require policing, not soldiering.
  #122  
Old 10-14-2014, 03:25 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Young black males being killed by police at a rate significantly disproportionate from their statistical involvement in violent crime sounds like such a "meaningful pattern".
Not if you know anything about the effect that small changes have on rare events.

Regards,
Shodan

Last edited by Shodan; 10-14-2014 at 03:25 PM.
  #123  
Old 10-14-2014, 03:29 PM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is online now
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Not if you know anything about the effect that small changes have on rare events.
These "small changes", which probably include things like some cops being extra twitchy around black people, and extra-likely to draw weapons and pull the trigger, are precisely the problem.
  #124  
Old 10-14-2014, 03:45 PM
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I was wondering earlier today if a significant amount of people involved in training law enforcement are coming out of the military.
Yes. Of course, they are all Caucasian.
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  #125  
Old 10-15-2014, 01:50 PM
Hooleehootoo Hooleehootoo is offline
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Originally Posted by silenus View Post
5 ways to start fixing things:

1) Repeal all civil forfeiture laws

2) Ban "no-knock" warrants entirely

3) Require all cops to wear cameras. If the camera isn't recording at all times, they are immediately terminated.
.... and some other good suggestions.

Here is mine: Require officers to give people they are detaining a little Miranda-type speech similar to when they get arrested. It seems that Daniele Watts, De Shawn Currie, and Jamal Jones might all have been confused about what was happening to them. As I understand it, in all 3 cases the police were making what amounts to a Terry stop, briefly detaining them on reasonable suspicion.

"Under the standard of reasonable suspicion you are being briefly detained so that we can investigate. You have the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, but you must identify yourself. The US Supreme court has ruled in Maryland v. Wilson that you must briefly exit your vehicle...." That may not be the correct case to mention, but you get the idea. Tell people they are not being arrested, but detained. Tell them it will be brief. Quote some case authority for putting restraint on them. (While I'm looking for innovation here, why not develop some other type of restraint that is more comfortable and less ominous than handcuffs?) Tell the person what the pertinent state law or case law says about how they must identify themselves.

If the police say something that is obviously formulaic I think it would allay some suspicion in the person stopped that they are being treated arbitrarily.

One line that I have been dying to put into one of these cop threads is that "you should not have to have a semester of Criminal Law, a semester of Constitutional Law and a seminar on the 4th Amendment just to Drive While Black in America!". Instead of requiring it of every citizen, make the cops tell you about Terry, Wilson, Hiibel, Arizona v. Johnson, or whatever.
  #126  
Old 10-15-2014, 03:41 PM
Steophan Steophan is offline
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Require officers to give people they are detaining a little Miranda-type speech similar to when they get arrested.
The police aren't required to give the Miranda warning (or anything else) at arrest. Miranda concerns interrogation, not arrest. The police don't owe you an immediate explanation of their actions.
  #127  
Old 10-15-2014, 04:28 PM
FXMastermind FXMastermind is offline
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The police don't owe you an immediate explanation of their actions.
If they are violating your rights, they actually do.
  #128  
Old 10-15-2014, 04:31 PM
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Shodan, I guess you blew right past "Miranda-like" with emphasis on the "-like".

At any rate, unless and until there's a court case making such a protocol the law of the land as it were (advisable protocol if you want to avoid issues later), the matter is left to the discretion/policy of a given law enforcement unit, and such protocol changes tend to be based purely on political or financial motivators (lawsuit losses or civil rights investigations).

True, a Miranda warning is not required merely because one has been arrested (another persistent myth/bit of misinformation thanks to television). But then also a persistent myth is the notion that police always issue one when they should. It's not on the top of the to-do list except when video'ing the interaction before commencement of questioning.

Cops not being on average any more bright than any other person, it will take a good long while to sink in that prudence and operating by the book is best if for no other reason than that they must presume their actions are being recorded and by a means that they won't be able to foil or make disappear.
  #129  
Old 10-15-2014, 06:29 PM
Steophan Steophan is offline
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Shodan
Nope.
  #130  
Old 10-15-2014, 06:31 PM
Steophan Steophan is offline
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If they are violating your rights, they actually do.
If they're violating your rights, there are bigger issues at play that whether they tell you what they're doing. The point is, the police may well have information that you don't which justifies their actions. They are under no obligation to share that with you, they probably have better things to do. Like their actual job.
  #131  
Old 10-15-2014, 06:33 PM
FXMastermind FXMastermind is offline
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Like their actual job.
Which of course doesn't include protecting my rights, my liberty or my freedom.
  #132  
Old 10-15-2014, 06:42 PM
Steophan Steophan is offline
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Which of course doesn't include protecting my rights, my liberty or my freedom.
No, that's exactly what their job involves. Which is why it is so mind-boggling how many people want to make it so difficult for them to do it.
  #133  
Old 10-15-2014, 06:44 PM
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Shodan, Stophan, Steophan ... sorry I got that mixed up. (It's a shame the board doesn't have a feature to reply to particular folks, though; the "quote" feature doesn't work so well for me.)
  #134  
Old 10-15-2014, 06:48 PM
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"No, that's exactly what their job involves."

It's *supposed* to, yes, with a priority in public safety and whatever their specific role is (there are some cops who do nothing other than traffic-related stuff their entire careers). As a routine, depending where you are and who you are, however, protecting and serving the citizen isn't at the tippy-top of their to-do list.

"Which is why it is so mind-boggling how many people want to make it so difficult for them to do it."

You're free to perceive it that way, of course, and I agree that some schmucks do just that (in your average traffic stop, for instance, trotting out the whine without the cheese "don't you have anything better to do?!", etc., etc.).
  #135  
Old 10-15-2014, 10:47 PM
El_Kabong El_Kabong is offline
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In no way minimizing anything mentioned here, at least we (in the US) don't have deal with this sort of thing on a daily basis.

(More than 50 students killed outright or 'disappeared' by police in in the Mexican state of Guerrero, in a dispute that began with a demand for more fertilizer for poor farmers in the area.)
  #136  
Old 10-16-2014, 09:46 AM
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NYPD spends nearly $100 million (you read that right) per year on civil rights violation lawsuit settlements.

You got to think that 1) cameras would cut that number buy at least 80%, and 2) NYPD is full of cops that need to be jailed.

Last edited by silenus; 10-16-2014 at 09:46 AM.
  #137  
Old 10-16-2014, 09:51 AM
Steophan Steophan is offline
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2) NYPD is full of cops that need to be jailed.
How does that follow? That someone is civilly liable doesn't imply that they are criminally guilty.
  #138  
Old 10-16-2014, 11:14 AM
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While i believe that body cameras would, in fact, be very cost effective for precisely this reason, it is worth noting that we have to be a little careful using those raw figures in a conversation like this one.

The number of payouts ($428 million) over five years, does not reflect only cases where police have committed some sort of misconduct. The list contains every payout where the NYPD was named as a defendant in the lawsuit, even when police conduct was not an issue. For example, the largest payout on the list ($11.5 million) was for a case where a person was left paralyzed after a tree branch fell on him in Central Park.

Still a significant percentage of the cases (including some cases with seven-figure payouts) related to police behavior, including bad arrests, injuries inflicted, rights violations, etc. And there are recent payouts that did not even make the list because the cases began before the 2009 cutoff, like an $18-million payout going all the way back to the despicable way the cops handled the RNC protests in 2004.

If the use of body cameras reduces the number of payouts by even 10%, they will probably pay for themselves, without even taking into account the salutary effects of a better-behaved police force.
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How does that follow? That someone is civilly liable doesn't imply that they are criminally guilty.
How about we amend it, then, to "NYPD is full of cops that need to be out of a job."

Last edited by mhendo; 10-16-2014 at 11:15 AM.
  #139  
Old 10-16-2014, 11:25 AM
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How about we amend it, then, to "NYPD is full of cops that need to be out of a job."
Yes, that's far more appropriate. Although if I were being extremely precise, I'd say it had a significant minority that needed to be out of a job. And whilst I wouldn't necessarily say that every single cop that uses too much force needs to be instantly sacked, some of the ones mentioned in that article really need to be, the ones who have a pattern of excessive force.

Body cameras seem to be the best current solution, and whilst they won't necessarily mean that everyone agrees what level of force is acceptable, it means that everyone will have a much better idea of what level of force is, in fact, being used.
  #140  
Old 10-16-2014, 11:38 AM
silenus silenus is online now
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Originally Posted by Steophan View Post
Yes, that's far more appropriate. Although if I were being extremely precise, I'd say it had a significant minority that needed to be out of a job. And whilst I wouldn't necessarily say that every single cop that uses too much force needs to be instantly sacked, some of the ones mentioned in that article really need to be, the ones who have a pattern of excessive force.

Body cameras seem to be the best current solution, and whilst they won't necessarily mean that everyone agrees what level of force is acceptable, it means that everyone will have a much better idea of what level of force is, in fact, being used.
a. I agree with the above. I mis-spoke about jail in a fit of pique. Mea culpa. But sacked they should be.

b. I also agree about cameras, for the reasons Steophan lists. Video at least gives everybody a semi-agreed upon starting point in any discussion about use of force. As I've mentioned here and elsewhere, the experiment in Rialto, CA seems to be rather conclusive that cameras drastically reduce complaints (decreased over 80%). It seems cameras keep both sides more honest in their dealing with each other.

Last edited by silenus; 10-16-2014 at 11:38 AM.
  #141  
Old 10-16-2014, 12:54 PM
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It seems cameras keep both sides more honest in their dealing with each other.
An unbiased witness always makes things go a little bit better. Something about being accountable.
  #142  
Old 10-19-2014, 08:22 PM
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If a few of these lawsuits are successful, maybe we'll see a change.

Personally, I think that got got away lightly. He should have been fired, then held financially responsible for the lawsuit.
  #143  
Old 10-20-2014, 11:41 AM
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Can't be held responsible for something that was just filed and has yet to be won. (I'd like to think the lawsuit includes the officer and not just the PD as a defendant.* The officer won't be entitled to civil immunity for wilful/malicious actions. That is, If the kid wins; however, well, Georgia ... and not merely dependent on a given favorable jury outcome but also the finer points of the law and an inevitable appellate marathon.

* If it doesn't, the teenager has a very bad lawyer and might want to save his tears for that instead of the rest.
  #144  
Old 10-20-2014, 02:19 PM
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Video: America's year of police violence

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slate...f_footage.html
  #145  
Old 10-20-2014, 02:38 PM
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To be sure, it's only mid-October, and I think best to keep in mind that not all police violence is caught on video. (Prudent to account for what's caught on video but never makes it to the youtube, etc. A well-placed threat or two coupled with a device destroyed = certain problems solved. (Most people understand what legal mayhem can ensue if they don't go along to get along. Thankfully, some people are either too stubborn or dumb to think about the myriad of unintended consequences.)
  #147  
Old 10-24-2014, 10:37 AM
RTFirefly RTFirefly is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
The first step to changing anything (unless you can afford to hire big-shot lobbyists) is raising the public's awareness that there's something wrong that needs changing.

No, the video cameras won't fix things by themselves, but without them, you don't get to Step 1.
  #148  
Old 11-06-2014, 10:39 AM
iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is online now
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The NYPD officers who beat a Brooklyn teen after he surrendered are being charged with assault.
  #149  
Old 11-06-2014, 11:47 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
The NYPD officers who beat a Brooklyn teen after he surrendered are being charged with assault.
New York cops must be the best in the world, because they so rarely misbehave:
Quote:
The last time city police officers were prosecuted for brutality was in 2008, according to the New York Daily News, when three officers were charged with forcing a baton into a man's anus during an arrest. A jury acquitted the officers.
  #150  
Old 11-06-2014, 01:48 PM
BigAppleBucky BigAppleBucky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallen View Post
. . . as a practical matter, most humans are pretty bad shots even under controlled calm conditions, let alone in a high-stress spur of the moment situation. . . . Another random one that comes to mine are the two cops that shot nine innocent bystanders in NYC a couple of years ago.
There may have been only a couple of missed shots since at least some of the injuries were from ricochets.

- Happened in front of the Empire State Building. Cops were entirely correct in shooting a murderer who was also trying to kill them. In the crowded conditions of 5th Avenue and 34th Street, a miss probably would hit a vehicle, a brick or stone building, or a person, if not all three.

I believe none of the innocents injured receive life threatening wounds.

And then there was the Sean Bell shooting. Four cops shot 100 times into a car. They were all standing within (probably less than) 30 feet of the vehicle, yet 50 of the shots missed the auto entirely. One of the strays hit the LIRR railroad station a half mile away.
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