Ser Scot A Ellison

Reforming police, the Blue Wall of Silence

271 posts in this topic

17 hours ago, James Arryn said:

Do you realize that comments like 'activists have managed to split the nation along racial lines' is equivalent to saying that without activism racism would have little effect? Similarly if you follow up by bemoaning the lack of genuine interest in change, you're saying interest is largely feigned or absent. I mean, do you mean to say these things? Do you really think this way? Are you one of those people who thinks racism is either mostly in the rear view mirror, or that reverse racism is just as bad/somehow evens things out on some bizarre scorecard

Yes, I mean to say these things. Perhaps I am not doing a good job of expressing myself, but, as far as I can tell, the problem is on your side: you are misunderstanding me, either deliberately or because you lack the requisite mastery of the English language. For example, there is simply no way "'activists have managed to split the nation along racial lines' is equivalent to saying that without activism racism would have little effect." The two statements have practically nothing in common -- they don't mean the same thing even after you took my words from their context and there is no plausible situation under which they would equivalent. I will try to elaborate on what I said, although I suspect you will not understand me in any case.

If you put the line about a split along racial lines back in its sentence, I was obviously speaking about their strategy regarding violence perpetrated by police. They chose to focus on the fact that on a per capita basis, the police kill more African-Americans than they do people of other races. This galvanizes the African-Americans, but it allows supporters of the status quo to focus on the facts that in absolute terms, far more white people are killed by police and on a per capita basis, African-Americans commit far more crimes than white people. Combined with their poor choice of publicized examples (see Commodore's post above), this leads to a debate over whether the police are racist or merely reacting to an existing scenario and the issue of violence by police is not addressed.

Compare this to, say, the original civil rights movement -- starting with the name. It was much more obvious whose rights were in question (i.e. there weren't more white people impacted in absolute terms), but they quite deliberately did not call it the black rights movement. Likewise, they did not choose random examples, but instead carefully selected them to make it crystal clear that the problem is with the system and not the individual. The intent was to convince a majority of white people (who were by any measure more racist back then than they are today) that the situation is untenable and must be fixed.

Regarding the genuine interest in change, if you again put the phrase back into its sentence, you'll notice that there were two properties lacking (the second being competence). There are two types of activists. The first, older and more established type (i.e. Sharpton, Jackson, etc.) are extremely unlikely to be genuinely interested in change as they reap substantial profits from the status quo. The second type (the newer BLM leaders) are not like that -- they are genuinely angry, but anger is all they have and at the moment they are not even the only genuinely angry group in the country. It might be that their rage alone will eventually force some change, but rage without competence (see the issues with strategy above) generally doesn't do much beyond some random destruction.

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Id say stop making so many nonviolent things be illegal.

Also tone down on the juicy racism aspect of it. Its like it's not bad that police abuse people, that's cool. It's only bad because they do it to one race more than others.

It's not a victory to have all races be abused by police at the exact same rate, unless that rate is zero.

 

And STOP DECLARING WAR on every little thing and every idea that gives a bad feeling, it doesn't work.

Edited by DunderMifflin

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This article in Slate shows that we need to move beyond focus on only reforming the culture of LEOs, and need to re-focus efforts with the goal of reforming the entire criminal justice system (the article is in reference to the scandals which implicated two of Massachusetts' forensic drug labs, which could have negatively affected as many as 42,000 defendants and the refusal of prosecutors to assist in notifying these defendants of their right to new hearings). 

It's beyond absurd that the state's highest court has ruled that each of these defendants have the right to have their cases reheard, but has no power to compel prosecutors to assist in rectifying this miscarriage of justice. Indeed, the article references estimates that it would take 48 years to hear each of these cases individually given the state's existing public defender infrastructure. And yet, prosecutors in Massachusetts are refusing to assist in notifying these defendants of their rights, or are even actively impeding this process.

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Gallup released a new poll recently showing that respect for police has increased dramatically over the past year:

Quote

 

Three in four Americans (76%) say they have "a great deal" of respect for the police in their area, up 12 percentage points from last year. In addition to the large majority of Americans expressing "a great deal" of respect for their local police, 17% say they have "some" respect while 7% say they have "hardly any."

Gallup has asked this question nine times since 1965. The percentage who say they respect the police is significantly higher now than in any measurement taken since the 1990s and is just one point below the high of 77% recorded in 1967. Solid majorities of Americans have said they respect their local law enforcement in all polls conducted since 1965.

 

With the results split by race, the non-whites started off at a lower level, but the increase was nearly the same for them as for whites:

Quote

 

The increase in shootings of police coincided with high-profile incidents of law enforcement officials shooting and killing unarmed black men. Despite the flaring of racial tensions after these incidents, respect for local police has increased among both whites and nonwhites.

Four in five whites (80%) say they have a great deal of respect for police in their area, up 11 points from last year. Meanwhile, two in three nonwhites (67%) report having the same level of respect, an increase of 14 points from last year.

 

They've also split the data by age, by political party, by settlement size, etc. and the number of those with a great deal of respect has increased across the board. There's not a single group among which the fraction with a great deal of respect is less than two thirds. I thought that was pretty surprising given recent events.

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4 hours ago, Altherion said:

Gallup released a new poll recently showing that respect for police has increased dramatically over the past year:

With the results split by race, the non-whites started off at a lower level, but the increase was nearly the same for them as for whites:

They've also split the data by age, by political party, by settlement size, etc. and the number of those with a great deal of respect has increased across the board. There's not a single group among which the fraction with a great deal of respect is less than two thirds. I thought that was pretty surprising given recent events.

You're surprised? Do you mind if I ask a personal question? Did you live in the US during the Iraq/WMD search? Americans always circle the wagons and support authority after an initial embarrassment, especially when that embarrassment becomes global and Americans feel mocked/criticized by other nations/peoples. The rights or wrongs don't matter; Dubya's approval ratings soared while international support for the invasion plummeted. Freedom Fries, etc.

Same happened after the immediate wave of shock re: Abu Ghraib...support actually rose. This is what Americans do. It's a kind of 'we can criticize 'Merica, but if anyone else does, rally round, man!'

Eventually it sinks after the Fuck Yeah! period wears off, and support declines, but honestly this is not surprising. Especially when, according to what I've read, most or at least many Americans still somehow believe that criticism of police violence also impugns the troops. 

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Yes, I was here during the lead up to the war in Iraq and during the war itself. What is surprising in the police situation is the consistency of support. The support for the Iraq war was high, but it was not this consistent across various groups. For example, the Democrats were split almost evenly while the Republicans overwhelmingly supported it. In the current situation, the level of respect is high even among non-whites (although I suppose part of that may be the effect of lumping all of them together).

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15 hours ago, Altherion said:

Gallup released a new poll recently showing that respect for police has increased dramatically over the past year:

With the results split by race, the non-whites started off at a lower level, but the increase was nearly the same for them as for whites:

They've also split the data by age, by political party, by settlement size, etc. and the number of those with a great deal of respect has increased across the board. There's not a single group among which the fraction with a great deal of respect is less than two thirds. I thought that was pretty surprising given recent events.

I'd be curious how the study was conducted.  I'd think any study still using landlines for phone polling is going to come up a lot more heavily in support or police than it eould have 15 or 25 years ago.  Not saying they are doing this, just spit balling here.

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I have a four point solution that goes a long way.

1.  Constitutional Amendment:  The 5th Amendment does not apply to government employees (at any level) over actions taken in the course of their duties.
2. Constitutional Amendment:  The public has an absolute right to record police activity, surreptitiously or otherwise
3. Rule of Evidence:  The defense has a right to exclude from the discovery process the existence of video recordings
4.  Law:  Minimum sentence for willfully providing false testimony for the purposes of concealing police misconduct, 25 years

The cops then have to tell their story never knowing if evidence of what actually happened exists.

It creates a bit of a procedural clusterf**k when it comes to trials, in that they may have to be put on hold while the prosecution validates and analyzes videographic evidence.  But it is that very uncertainty that compels accurate testimony and denies the police the opportunity to fit their story to the video.  Minor discrepancies are still minor, and nobody expects recollection to be 100% accurate, but will officers continue to be willing to cover for their dirty brethren if the possibility of being caught includes spending 25 years away from their families?  I think not.

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I agree with Ser Scot, getting rid of the civil forfeiture laws, or radically changing them, is a must.  Ending the drug war would be a great start as well.  No 2 issues are more related to police behaving poorly IMO, even if it's  a trickle down effect..get rid of both of these things, forfeit and drug war, I think there would be a large change in police attitude right there.  I say this as the son of a 35 year officer, the x husband of an officer, plus I worked as a private security contractor for 10 years, an area similar to law enforcement, only with even more violence and corruption and on a global scale.

There is  a great case happening in Calgary here right now.  An officer was charged yesterday for kidnapping, break and enter, and other things.  He was essentially a stalker, and had been stalking a Calgary women, and trying to push her boyfriend out of the picture, and went too far.  So, maybe there is hope here, although I've seen this sort of thing at least 3 times with women I've known and 2 of those times involved the same officer.  He's still on the job too here, despite many complaints about his behavior.

Bronn Stone - nicely done, agree with all 4 points.

http://globalnews.ca/news/3068046/calgary-police-officer-charged-with-kidnapping-break-and-enter/

Edited by SerHaHa

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Also stop corporations and companies from using prison labor.

 

Edited by DunderMifflin

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Yes, but the prison problem will take care of itself if the drug war is ended.  Privatized prisons, on the stock market no less...how that is legal is beyond me.  Most of the people in prison in the USA are disenfranchised minorities for ridiculous and non violent drug crimes.  Every single one of them should be free IMO, and a complete decriminalization of drugs would be a good start in police reform as well. 

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6 minutes ago, The Great Unwashed said:

For fuck's sake. Judge declares mistrial in Michael Slager's trial for executing Walter Scott.

I know Judge Newman.  It was a hung jury, he had no choice.   There was a solo holdout.

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison

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one dumbass juror doesn't say anything about our system, other than it requires unanimity for a verdict

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3 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I know Judge Newman.  It was a hung jury, he had no choice.   There was a solo holdout.

I realize his hands were tied, I'm just frustrated that any rational person could see that as anything but murder, and how monumental a task criminal justice reform will actually be.

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In the current situation, the level of respect is high even among non-whites (although I suppose part of that may be the effect of lumping all of them together).

 

I think that this may be a major point. I would not find it very surprising that Asians have a very high regard for the police or the same for some subsets of Hispanics. I would like to see a breakdown that showed African-American views seperate from other minorities. It would also be interesting to see a breakdown on how different Hispanic groups view the matter. 

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"I realize his hands were tied, I'm just frustrated that any rational person could see that as anything but murder, and how monumental a task criminal justice reform will actually be. "

 

The actions of a single jury or even juries in general should be seperated from the general discussion of criminal justice reform. We can do a lot by decriminalizing certain things or changing the requirement for minimum sentences. There will always be rogue juries. Question is the juror in this case any worse then the jury that refused to convict O.J. Simpson for the murder of his ex-wife and Mr. Goldman?

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On 9/30/2016 at 8:04 AM, DunderMifflin said:

Id say stop making so many nonviolent things be illegal.

Also tone down on the juicy racism aspect of it. Its like it's not bad that police abuse people, that's cool. It's only bad because they do it to one race more than others.

It's not a victory to have all races be abused by police at the exact same rate, unless that rate is zero.

 

And STOP DECLARING WAR on every little thing and every idea that gives a bad feeling, it doesn't work.

Such as what? Theft? Breaking and Entering? Those can be non-violent but still a criminal act. Should DUI be de-criminalized if no one gets plowed over by a drunk driver? And as far race goes, you are more likely to be shot by a police officer if you are white than black. Enough with the fake race agenda.

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