View Single Post
Old 11-16-2014, 04:13 AM
Measure for Measure's Avatar
Measure for Measure is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 14,165
Originally Posted by Kyrie Eleison View Post
I might be alone in this, but I'm not sure that you really did. My current impression is that you are arguing that the police ought to be allowed to continue historical practices that you acknowledge are illegal until the result of changing those practices can be studied. Is this an accurate summary of your position? If not, we might be fussing over nothing.
Hm, ok that's a reasonable interpretation, but actually no.

In practice this is something that will grind its way through the courts. The police will be hauled up for crimes committed while on videotape, and plead not guilty on the basis of imagined furtive movements or other aspects not showing up clearly on tape. Juries will try to work out whether the prosecutor's case clears the reasonable doubt bar. The underlying and longstanding pattern of police practice will be muddied.

I say a research program will help clarify matters. Perhaps it would point a way towards procedures that prevent the streets from becoming a cop shooting gallery (or rather show that such fears are overblown). Perhaps it would monetize the sort of delays inherent with getting a warrant for searches during routine traffic stops.

Or maybe it would just provide me with some basis for mouthing off on the internet. I'm simply reluctant to comment on fourth amendment automotive issues without a better grasp on the topic. Sure a lot of this stuff is blatantly unconstitutional. But I've followed human rights abuses for long enough to be a little jaded about police bullying and slaps to the face. This kid lost his teeth. I once witnessed a police beating in the Czech Republic train station: the cops appeared bored.

TLDR: In practice research would occur simultaneously with a drawn out process encompassing many court cases. Heck, this isn't rocket science: it might involve merely digging into existing statistics or arranging a few candid and anonymous interviews with former cops. The NYT does a number of investigations of this scope each month. One might even look into this for the sake of history.

Post 10,000. Not my greatest thread.