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Old 11-15-2014, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Measure for Measure View Post
I'd like to delineate various sorts of wrongdoing by law enforcement.

1. Wrongdoing that is illegal and purely self interested, eg graft.

2. Systemic and institutional wrongdoing that may or may not be legal. eg Speed traps. eg Excessive court fees combined with excessive warrants issued for minor offenses. Systemic and predatory behavior. eg Many years ago Jim Crow.

3. Idiosyncratic wrongdoing by a cop who is out of uniform.

4. Idiosyncratic wrongdoing by a cop misusing his authority. Much like #1.

5. SIOP: Standard Illegal Operating Procedure.

I'm advocating a carve-out for number 5. Some of those practices should be curbed: maybe all should be. But when police practice goes back 100 years, I'm leary of upturning apple carts without reflection.

Let's work through one example.

If you resist arrest in NYC, you get pummeled. The idea is that a cop on the beat represents all cops, and they don't want to undermine each other's collective authority. They don't want to play cat and mouse. They want to convey the idea that resisting arrest will bring swift and certain punishment. That said, such punishment shouldn't be excessive: if a cop punches a perp more than once, the other cops should pull him back. That's part of the training.

Ok, let's say somebody flees from the cops for 10 minutes, then at the end of the chase they just escort him to the nearest police station. Would that be so bad?

A: I have no idea. Seriously. I also don't know what happens when the underworld loses respect for the local constabulary. But this must have happened somewhere. So there should be a way of researching this. Most policy decisions are below the radar of the mass media, whether at the national or local level. Same for most research. True, the big decisions are subject to coverage. But there are thousands of smaller ones that receive little attention.

Also, it would be tricky for even a wacko pundit to make the sort of argument I'm making. More likely, they would just deny the reality underlying 150 years of policing.
Oh sure. For all I know the research could be a literature review. Or maybe a survey of cops. Or even an expert panel of detectives. Probably. Methinks it's better to game these things out in advance though.

Another example might be the routine search of automobiles without warrants. What if this practice was curbed?

This is something that could be figured out. Compare the total numbers of autos searched with and without warrants. Take the autos searched without warrants and calculate
a) the percentage of times an arrest occurred,
b) a breakdown of those arrests by seriousness. In other words if they all involve small quantities of drugs... well then we have the basis for some cost/benefit analysis.

Giving up lots of small drug busts for even heroin seems like a reasonable price for buttressing the 4th amendment. But amounts of 1 kilo or more might give me pause.
This would fit quite nicely in either the "Stupid Republican Idea of the Day" or "Stupid Liberal Idea of the Day" threads depending upon who it was attributed to.

Seriously, this is one of the most fucked up things I've ever seen posted.