Cas Stark

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About Cas Stark

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  1. It's bizarre. And this isn't the only case where you have the police literally saying some form of 'don't worry, we're not going to shoot you....' but the person gets shot anyway. The same thing happened with the mentally ill woman in Washington. They told her not to worry....but she gets shot anyway. I wonder if they need a sub group of cops who are specially and intensively trained in dealing with the mentally ill? And then only those guys would go out for calls involving a person who is exhibiting signs of mental illness? It seems that even when there is a stated intention by police to not see the situation escalates anyway.
  2. I totally agree. Higher standards. Longer training. Longer probationary period. Different training. No more cops patrolling alone either. Partner known good cops with proven ability to defuse situations with younger cops. The crazy military reactions are not because they are bad people, but because their training teaches them to react this way, and there is probably a good number of people who don't have the personality/nerve to be police. I don't see how anyone can watch that Minnesota shooting and think that officer was properly trained, and didn't simply completely lose it and panic. This doesn't make him a bad person, but a person who shouldn't be a police officer, or at best who needed MUCH MUCH more training. And also, we as a society have to decide where we want the line to fall, right now it falls hard on law and order and crime prevention, if we want it to fall somewhere else, where police are less pro active, then the training should reflect that. Crime rates may reflect it as well, it's really an unknown. There are individual cities that have had good results from changing their training focus.
  3. If the gun wasn't planted, there really wasn't any case....which is probably why the Obama DOJ didn't bring charges and why it was several years before a new DA brought charges. I tend to agree w/the judge here...I don't see based on the video, that he did plant a gun, and I believe his partner had yelled "gun" at the chicken place. I can see the prosecution's rationale, although it's pretty flimsey, and what it really makes me wonder is how flimsey are the cases and the theories against regular people, not cops, not people who have a union and their colleagues to back them up. This is really my worry. If the DA will bring a bad case against an cop, then bad cases against civilians must be everywhere, all around.
  4. When police can be sued, then "unnecessary level of violence" is something that would be decided by a judge or a jury, that would be the point of law at issue. It's also somewhat in the eye of the beholder, as we see from these existing criminal cases where people see the exact same video and come to diametrically opposite conclusions. We already have a ton of frivolous lawsuits in this country. I just think this is opening a pandora's box it's one of those ideas that "sounds good" but in practice it would be a nightmare for everyone, police, court system, taxpayers, even the plaintiffs, because then they would need lawyers, unless we're going to provide those at the taxpayer expense too.
  5. Sure, it would technically be easy to implement. But, if you are a public employee, and you can be personally sued by the public, what is your motivation to engage in any interaction? What kind of ripple effect is there when I can sue the DMV staffer for verbal abuse? or negligence? or whatever comes into my head? For police, then if they break up a fight on the street as a cop, they can be sued. If they mistakenly think you're a suspect, you can sue them. Then they have to hire a lawyer or the taxpayers will pay for their lawyer [$ better spent elsewhere] and they fight it in court. So, what is the motivation to break up a fight, attempt to find a suspect or engage with the public at all and not simply drive on by or stay at the station? What about the firefighters? They come to your house and grandma doesn't get out. Now you can sue them, individually, same thing, they all have to get lawyers, fight it in court. Maybe they stop trying to save people at all. It's a terrible solution for a problem that can be much more successfully treated by improving police training, since this is really about police, and no other public employees, including the rules that they operate under from their own departments. ETA...and it's all well and good to say that police should continue to do pro active police work even without immunity and that not having immunity would cause them to perform "better"....but human nature responds to incentives, and being open to personal civil suits would be a huge incentive to act in a way that would minimize vulnerability to lawsuits, which would mean minimizing pro active police work, and as I said it would take huge resources that are better spent elsewhere. There is also a fair chance that a police force that minimizes it's contact with street criminals is going to cause a rise in street crime and that will affect the residents of these areas more than anyone else.
  6. I thought you were talking about removing the limited liability, which would open public employees up to civil lawsuits. Criminal behavior can and is already prosecuted. The fact that LE rarely get convicted is more a function of the grey area in which they function, although you may disagree, and less about the need for changes to the law. If we want police to stop shooting people then we need to change the rules of engagement and change the way police are currently trained and probably also raise the requirements to be a cop.
  7. Yes, but they're against the city or the department not the individual. If a person knew they were at risk of being financially ruined as the result of a lawsuit, how or why would they even engage the public in a confrontational incident? The U.S. is already full of frivolous lawsuits opening the door to every police officer, firefighter, or other public official being personally sued while on the job is simply not workable. The incentives would then be to never engage no matter what.
  8. Life sucks and then you die.
  9. I don't think that is realistic. As I said, it would result in millions of lawsuits and then who would want such a job, that puts them at risk of financial ruin any time they get into a conflict with a member of the public that turns violent or results in some type of injury?
  10. I actually have read what the visiting fellows program is, and it's not a single speech. Although it's not a semester long, those are the resident fellows. Each semester the Institute of Politics invites a select number of prominent political practitioners to Harvard serve as Visiting Fellows for a shorter period of time than a full academic semester of a resident fellowship. The Visiting Fellows program brings distinguished veterans of public life for a short, yet comprehensive stay; often a week. The program is designed to provide maximum contact with the University community, particularly undergraduate students. Each fellowship is individually tailored to the background of the visiting fellow, as well as his/her calendar availability. The experience is compact and the schedule is more intense than a resident fellowship. A Visiting Fellow can expect to participate in at least three events daily. The Fellow often will lead at least one 90-minute study group during the week-long visit. Study groups offer the guest the opportunity to share his/her views and experiences in a meaningful way with students. Most events are with students (both undergraduate and graduate) and occasionally meetings are arranged with faculty from the Kennedy School and throughout Harvard. Events are typically off-the-record discussions with a relatively small group of around 30 students. Like most Fellows’ events at the IOP, these discussions do not require much if any preparation. They are discussion based and the conversation is driven by the questions posed by the audience and the views and anecdotes presented by the Visiting Fellow. Additionally, Fellows have the opportunity to audit one or two Harvard courses based on availability. As with the Resident Fellows program, Visiting Fellows are assigned undergraduate students who serve as his/her guide and support team over the course of the week. Known as “liaisons,” these students assist the Fellow in navigating schedules, preparing for presentations and counseling the fellow on the audience expectations and goals. Visiting Fellows are provided a private office with a computer and phone for their use. There is a small staff to assist the Fellow during their stay. Visiting Fellows are provided a modest stipend.
  11. A speech isn't the same thing as a semester long professional position. Harvard made Manning an offer for a professional position, as a fellow, and then changed their mind. That is bad form on their part but nothing to do with Manning's free speech. Manning doesn't have a right to a position at Harvard and not getting that position is no infringement on speech or association. And as far as I can see the CIA didn't try to control anything. One long time fellow resigned his position at Harvard and the other cancelled his speech there. Now, that could be seen as a message to Harvard that if they wanted a fruitful relationship with the security/defense world they should reconsider Manning's offer...but it still isn't about speech but employment. Established in 1966, the Fellows Program is a cornerstone of Institute life and the only program of its kind at Harvard University or anywhere else. An IOP Fellowship offers the rare opportunity for professionals in politics and public service to spend a semester at Harvard sharing their experiences with students and exploring important public issues with a distinguished group of their peers. With a strong emphasis on student-Fellow interaction, Fellows lead a not-for-credit study group, participate in Institute activities, and engage in informal interchange with students and faculty.
  12. I'm not sure how it would work if there wasn't qualified immunity, there would be literally millions of lawsuits if any individual acting under color of law could be held personally responsible for their actions and didn't have immunity. It would be unworkable.
  13. I can't tell if this is a joke. I hope so. Or, if every American has a right to be designated a Harvard Fellow, I want my turn too.
  14. I'm not sure how Chelsea Manning's free speech has been harmed? Is there something in the First Amendment that gives one a right to be a Harvard Fellow? No one has stopped Manning from speaking, indeed, the tweets about the Harvard kerfluffle somewhat validate the idea that Manning was a poor choice in the first place.
  15. It was I think legitimately up in the air if Manning could have come back, and his skills did decline, if he had stayed w/the Colts he would never have gotten the same kind of protection he got at Broncos. But, yeah, I think Irsay is 2nd worst.