Controversial encounters between law-enforcement and civilians - the omnibus thread #2

The first thread was locked due to post-count limits.

I think that a thread about interactions between civilians and the police in 2020 is at least as relevant and necessary as it was when I started the first one back in 2014, so here’s the new thread

There was something in the other thread about police officers being given the go-ahead to conceal their name and badge numbers while they were on duty. Particularly when they were doing crowd control, so that nobody could identify them.

And this was some sort of official pronouncement.

It seems to me that if officers were to do this, then they cease to become officers of the law, and simply turn into an armed gang. It boggles the mind to think that ANYone in a responsible position would approve of this.

This was happening in Portland.

Apparently, they were allowed to conceal their name tags, because there was some concern that individual officers were, or would be, doxxed. That is, they worried that exposing their names would allow people to track down their places of residence, their families, etc.

The police chief apparently allowed them to cover the name tags, and instead write their city employee numbers over the top. Theoretically, this would allow officers to be identified for the purpose of complaints and other accountability issues, without directly revealing their identities to the public at large.

I still think it’s bullshit, but if it worked properly and if the officers put the correct number on their uniform, they could at least still be identified and held accountable for any inappropriate use of force.

Sounds like the Portland police are then simply armed city employees.

Might as well put the accounting department into the fray. Arm them and tell them to go to it.

When police used facial recognition software to go after peaceful protestors nobody bats an eye. When someone reads their name tag, cops freak out.

Yeah, there does seem to be a significant double-standard here.

Especially since, if the cops behave themselves and don’t violate the protesters’ constitutional rights, no-one would have any cause to target any individual cop anyway. It seems to me that any cop concerned about his or her name getting into criminal hands had to face that possibility every time they arrested or dealt with a member of the public anyway, well before these protests began.

This seems like little more than a desire for lack of accountability. I wonder if there was anyone checking, before they went on the street, that they wrote their actual, correct employee ID number on their tags.

Accountability hits the nail right on the head.

They’re our employees, damn it – I pay for them and I want to know EXACTLY what they’re doing at all times, just like management at my employer can go back and listen to any phone call anyone at my company makes, read any email that went to or from a company address, etc.

Gee, ya think?

Don’t know if it was in the old thread but a Twitter account by T. Greg Doucette has been collecting videos of police abuses over the past couple of weeks.
Doucette Twitter

At least these cops got fired, but I think this accidentally recorded incident shows what police as an instiution are like. They might just be ‘three bad apples’, but they felt confident enough to hold this conversation on th job.

And if anyone thinks that those are the only three cops in the whole department who think and act like that, I’ve got some Florida swampland you might be interested in.

That’s some seriously disturbing shit right there, that is.

If anyone wants to read the narrative from the city’s report about those Wilmington cops, I’ve uploaded it to my Google Drive.

Yes, he normally does not speak this way…just when he thinks non-racists cannot hear him and lets his guard down.

Piner, meanwhile, said the tape was “embarrassing” and suggested concerns for his family’s safety had led him to a “breaking point.”

The irony here is stunning.

How long before their union files an appeal whining about the first amendment or some procedural crap?

Completely ignoring the fact that the first only ensures freedom of speech, not freedom from consequences of speech.

…here are three sheriffs beating up a black man. The District Attorney dropped all charges after watching the video, then immediately released the video. The union claimed releasing the video was an attempt to “pollute the jury.” The union claimed the strikes were “calculated” because they didn’t rear their arms all the way up even though the video shows them rearing their arms all the way up. They claimed he made a grab for a deputy’s gun and made several attempts to “grab it from the holster.” We don’t see any of that.

This was “Pain Compliance” the union said. “Our job just doesn’t look good on video” the union said.

The last couple of months have forced me to reassess everything I’ve ever thought about the police in America. I knew things were bad. I had no idea that things were this bad. The unions are literally the mob, running protection rackets, defending the indefensible. The police are rioting. I remember reading threads here about PBA Courtesy Cards and people here defended them. Or how working “security” whilst in uniform was perfectly normal.

But there is nothing normal about any of this. I’ve been brainwashed by decades of US TV that make the cops out to be the “good guys.” But the truth is much more complicated than that. I had always given police (in America) that benefit of the doubt. They don’t get that from me any more.

In this June 5, 2020 episode of the Planet Money podcast, they explain how research shows that police unions lead to far more violence and deaths, compared to comparable cities which haven’t unionized.

Planet Money: Police Unions And Police Violence

One thing that can really change your mind is to look at police responses to George Floyd - there are a TON of cops willing to say that the actual method of restraint is bad and that the murderers should be prosecuted for that, but virtually none that question the rest of the situation. Why did they need to take him out of the squad car and restrain him on the ground in the first place? The vast majority of cops seem to have zero problem with taking someone who is cuffed and in custody out of a cop car and applying violent restraint methods to them ‘just because’, as long as the pain inflicted isn’t likely to lead to death.

The police going out to gas, beat, and pepper spray peaceful protestors in a frenzy of violence hasn’t helped their case either, obviously.

Seems to me that the problem for US law enforcement is the inherent reliance on threat and use of force - little or no concentration on consultation. When you train people to use force you first have to instill in them the idea of threat and mission accomplishment. This is classic military training, for peacekeeping duties soldiers often have to undergo conditioning to undo this kind of training. What you have is a militarised police force, not merely in equipment but also in training, values and attitudes - the detention at any cost and the mission are all important. Except there is a lack of evaluation about what the mission should entail - its all just act now and think later - take the next hill, climb over the next ridge don’t stop until you complete and tell those higher up what you think they want to hear. The more force they apply, the less consent they get from the population - the more that difficult situations will arise.

The DA in Wilmington has decided not to file any charges against the racist cops.