Police Powers

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Qaanol
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Police Powers

Postby Qaanol » Sat May 18, 2013 6:05 pm UTC

What, if any, powers do you believe on-duty police officers should have beyond those of a civilian?

I want to restrict this to situations where the officer does not have a warrant from a judge (when there is a warrant, it becomes a question of judicial power, not police power.)

The big question is, “Are there any situations where police, without a warrant, should have the power to do something that, if a civilian did exactly the same thing in the same situation, the civilian would be guilty of a crime?”

If so, what do you think the limits should be on police actions without a warrant?

If not, what role do you think police should have outside of executing warrants?
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Nem
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Re: Police Powers

Postby Nem » Sat May 18, 2013 7:46 pm UTC

I think that the police should have some powers that civilians don't. However, I think that those powers are small in number. The police have the ability to hold someone safely, and in an environment where it's unlikely that they'll be abused and under certain set terms of confinement in line with the law. I can't arrest you and stick you in my basement because I don't have that sort of facility. Similarly I don't have the ability to keep certain types of forensic evidence secure. Breaking traffic laws - the police have specially marked vehicles, special training, special insurance.

I suppose none of those things in principle depends on the person doing them being a policeman. But unless someone is a policeman I don't see that they'll ever have the prerequisites to implement those sorts of powers in an even vaguely responsible way.

juststrange
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Re: Police Powers

Postby juststrange » Sat May 18, 2013 8:39 pm UTC

I dont know that I follow this question. Officers observing folks breaking the law, or who have reason to believe the law is being violated, arrest them, collect evidence, and facilitate the judicial process. This precludes running to get a warrant everytime someone does something illegal in view of the police.

In the United States, for instance, in every state (except NC) citizens can make a citizen's arrest, if the observe a felony crime. For lesser crimes this varies state to state. Police have a job, and they are trained for that job, the nuances of it, the best way to do it, and for the most part do it well. Yes, sometimes police do bad things, theres a whole threat for that, and I think it seems more prevalent than it is because of the access to media we have today, I'd wager 98% of police encounters are on the level (I've been stopped by the police somewhere between 8 and 15 times and everytime I've deserved it and there hasn't been a problem). Because of this extra training, education, and the liability, I am willing to grant police more powers that Joe Citizen for the same reason I don't want the Psychiatrist in line infront of me at McDonalds to jump the counter and start working the fryer - he doesn't have the skillset, at a minimum he's going to screw it up, and at worst get hurt. The consequences go up exponentially when your job is deal with drunk/violent/criminal/high types of people.

morriswalters
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Re: Police Powers

Postby morriswalters » Sat May 18, 2013 9:01 pm UTC

I might be wrong but I think that Police either off duty or on always have the same powers. They don't surrender their police powers at the end of shift. They may be required to carry their service weapon and their badge.

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Re: Police Powers

Postby Tyndmyr » Sat May 18, 2013 10:56 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:What, if any, powers do you believe on-duty police officers should have beyond those of a civilian?

I want to restrict this to situations where the officer does not have a warrant from a judge (when there is a warrant, it becomes a question of judicial power, not police power.)

The big question is, “Are there any situations where police, without a warrant, should have the power to do something that, if a civilian did exactly the same thing in the same situation, the civilian would be guilty of a crime?”

If so, what do you think the limits should be on police actions without a warrant?

If not, what role do you think police should have outside of executing warrants?


Powers? None. The police are the public and the public are the police. The police are merely members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

On such principles was the very concept of the ethical police force founded. Prior to this, police were mostly just manifestations of local power. Now, this does not mean that they should only serve warrants. Even you or I could legally conduct an arrest if we witnessed someone committing, say, a felony or a burglary. There is no reason to claim that the police would lack this, or any other power of the citizenry.

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Re: Police Powers

Postby morriswalters » Sun May 19, 2013 2:00 am UTC

If you believe that you should be very careful. There are limitations on their power but in all practical ways it is much greater than yours.

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bouer
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Re: Police Powers

Postby bouer » Sun May 19, 2013 12:16 pm UTC

Power to carry a gun in public.
Power to break traffic laws.

These are pretty much necessary to due there job.

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Qaanol
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Re: Police Powers

Postby Qaanol » Sun May 19, 2013 2:36 pm UTC

Nem wrote:I think that the police should have some powers that civilians don't. However, I think that those powers are small in number. The police have the ability to hold someone safely, and in an environment where it's unlikely that they'll be abused and under certain set terms of confinement in line with the law. I can't arrest you and stick you in my basement because I don't have that sort of facility. Similarly I don't have the ability to keep certain types of forensic evidence secure.

To make sure I understand correctly, are you saying that civilians should, or should not, have the power to arrest and detain someone they see commit a crime? Does that depend on whether the civilian has the proper sort of facility?

Or perhaps you are saying citizens should be able to perform an arrest, but must turn over the detained suspect to the police at the first opportunity?

Nem wrote:Breaking traffic laws - the police have specially marked vehicles, special training, special insurance.

Are you saying police officers should have the authority to disregard all traffic laws, at any time they choose?

Or are there only certain time-critical circumstances in which the police may break traffic laws?

Notably, firetrucks and ambulances have extremely time-sensitive work, where seconds count and a minute could be the difference between life and death.

What types of police activities do you think should allow officers to ignore traffic laws? How common are such situations?

Nem wrote:I suppose none of those things in principle depends on the person doing them being a policeman. But unless someone is a policeman I don't see that they'll ever have the prerequisites to implement those sorts of powers in an even vaguely responsible way.

I am not quite sure I understand your position. Are you saying police and civilians should have the same rights and powers, but that in certain situations police should be assumed “right” and only punished if there is clear evidence of malfeasance, whereas a civilian doing the same thing in the same circumstance should be assumed “irresponsible” unless they can prove otherwise?

Tyndmyr wrote:Powers? None. The police are the public and the public are the police. The police are merely members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

Do I understand correctly that you believe a police officer (who is not currently executing a warrant) should have exactly the same rights, powers, and authority as a civilian, and that there are no situations where the officer should be able to do something that would be a crime for a civilian to do?

bouer wrote:Power to carry a gun in public.

It sounds like you are saying you think it should be a crime for a civilian to carry a gun in public. Is that correct?

(I do not want this thread to go off-topic to gun control, I am just asking to clarify.)

bouer wrote:Power to break traffic laws.

I’ll pose the same questions to you that I asked Nem about this above.

What situations are sufficient to allow a police officer to ignore traffic laws?

In exactly the same situation, if a civilian drove in exactly the same manner, should that be a crime?
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Re: Police Powers

Postby Nem » Sun May 19, 2013 3:01 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:To make sure I understand correctly, are you saying that civilians should, or should not, have the power to arrest and detain someone they see commit a crime? Does that depend on whether the civilian has the proper sort of facility?

Or perhaps you are saying citizens should be able to perform an arrest, but must turn over the detained suspect to the police at the first opportunity?


Citizens should, I think, have the ability to arrest someone. But they should not, as the police do, have the right to detain them for any great length of time. They should have to be turned over to a competent authority at the first opportunity.

Qaanol wrote:Are you saying police officers should have the authority to disregard all traffic laws, at any time they choose?

Or are there only certain time-critical circumstances in which the police may break traffic laws?


The latter.

Qaanol wrote:Notably, firetrucks and ambulances have extremely time-sensitive work, where seconds count and a minute could be the difference between life and death.


I understand you to be asking should everyone be able to do it or just the police. I'm sure you can come up with other things where people perhaps should be let off of doing it if they've a sufficiently good reason, sufficiently good skills, sufficient equipment. Hell just getting onto the motorway sometimes you have to break the law because someone does something stupid - the law's not really an exact fit. There doubtless are edge cases. But they'll be few in number and the cases where the police - or, yes, the other services - ought to be doing it seem much greater in number.

Qaanol wrote:What types of police activities do you think should allow officers to ignore traffic laws? How common are such situations?


It's difficult to say really. You can't just disregard safe driving whenever you want to chase someone, but equally it's often possible to go through a red light or break the speed limit quite safely. It's not a matter of absolutes - it's more like, how badly should you be able to break the law? How much risk should you be allowed to introduce to the situation in order to catch someone who's done X or respond to a situation where Y has happened in a timely manner?

Strictly speaking, I think traffic laws are just a heuristic for good driving and as your skill goes up and your cars get better it makes less and less sense to be judging someone's actions on the basis of whether they broke the law or not in binary terms. For most people those cases are going to be much rare than the police and they'd be introducing dramatically more risk into the situation than a policeman would if they were doing the same thing - so as a decent rule of thumb we just say that people don't have those sorts of powers. I think you'd really have to reach into the realm of the incredibly improbable to come up with situations where a civilian should be chasing someone down the motorway at 100mph rather than just calling the police and letting them do it.

Qaanol wrote:I am not quite sure I understand your position. Are you saying police and civilians should have the same rights and powers, but that in certain situations police should be assumed “right” and only punished if there is clear evidence of malfeasance, whereas a civilian doing the same thing in the same circumstance should be assumed “irresponsible” unless they can prove otherwise?


I'm saying that the police operate within a structure that helps to ensure that those powers will be exercised in a responsible way, whereas the civilian doesn't. And that unless you operate within that framework you probably shouldn't be doing the things.

That's not quite the same as assuming that the policeman is right - I mean they do mess up, hence insurance - but I admit it's similar.

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Re: Police Powers

Postby addams » Sun May 19, 2013 5:42 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:What, if any, powers do you believe on-duty police officers should have beyond those of a civilian?

I want to restrict this to situations where the officer does not have a warrant from a judge (when there is a warrant, it becomes a question of judicial power, not police power.)

The big question is, “Are there any situations where police, without a warrant, should have the power to do something that, if a civilian did exactly the same thing in the same situation, the civilian would be guilty of a crime?”

If so, what do you think the limits should be on police actions without a warrant?

If not, what role do you think police should have outside of executing warrants?


These are Good questions.
I have met what I think are Good Police People.
Mostly Men.

They were each and every one; Charming.
So fricking Charming. To me they were.

One was funny. They could all be funny.
He was young and silly, sometimes.

Back to Your Questions.
I can say what I saw when I thought I was looking at Good Police People.

Charm. They were so Charming they could Charm the birds out of the trees.
Each in his or her own special way.

Power? Yes. Each had power. Both while on duty and while off duty.
One of their most powerful tools was Charm. They most likely used that weapon while off duty, too.

Do those Men and Women have protocols that allow them to behave in ways that would be illegal for Civilians?
I did not see those people do things that would be illegal for regular men and women.

Could they? Most were not armed.
It's true. They have cell phones and other fancy stuff.
Maybe, each and every one was armed.

The Good Guys did not shoot me.
The Good Guys did not terrorize me with their weapons.
The Good Guys did not hit nor push nor say nasty things.

-ech. I liked them. I saw some Showing Off.
Both The Bad Guys and The Good Guys.

I have seen performance art done by Police.
Twice inside the US performed by what Looked like Police.
Once outside the US performed by what Looked like Police.

Outside:
Spoiler:
I was with a small group of people.
We were in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is a Huge city.
It is famous for its Nightlife.

We were looking at it at Night.
We were walking on a cobblestone street.

I had seen two police women on Horseback earlier.
I was not surprised when I heard Hoofs on stone.

The people I was with were City people.
I heard one of the Horses giving its rider a hard time.

You know how it is, sometimes.
The rider wants one thing; The stupid horse wants something else.

That sound was close enough for me to worry about.
I felt responsible for the people I was with.

I directed my little group out of harm way and where we could see.
I like watching a good rider.

That horse was not out of control at all!
The Police were showing off and enforcing Law all at the same time.

That horse stopped a bicyclist. That street was for foot traffic, Only!
The Police were enforcing The Law and entertaining The Masses.
(i was one of The Masses and I was entertained and impressed.)

That woman was performing a learned Skill.
That horse was performing a learned Skill.

The Poor Bicyclist. He had not practiced.
The Man looked stunded and frightened and Well.....
He may have been 'In' on the performance.

I have seem Police on horseback before.
A horse is an imposing animal to people that have never seen one 'in the flesh' before.

The horses need to practice.
It was so Great to see and expert rider and a well trained horse working together.
The Poor Bicyclist. I wonder what He remembers.

The smell of the horse?
I like the way horse smells.
Horses usually have sweet breath.
Horse sweat is a thick but not a heavy smell.
I like it.

I think those women were armed.
I am not sure. I was watching the horse and the Poor Bicyclist.
That man had a look on his face that said.
"Is this a Dream? If I am asleep, this is a Nightmare."
so, funny.

Kind of mean behavior for Police.
The Bicyclist was a young man.
He will get over it.

The regular civilians can not do what those women were doing.
If the regular person did that, I would be illegal.


Two Times Inside The US.
At the very least Two times.
Do you want me to bore you with the stories?
Performance Art.

Spoiler:
One time they blew up a car outside of my house.
I know it sounds unlikely. It is true, anyway.

The story on That one was so....., jeeze.
It Was Performance Art!

One scene is branded into my Memory from That Night.
Beautiful young men dressed in The Blue Uniform;
Holding that black club thing they have with two hands walking back and forth like Guards.

The car burnt four wounds into the street.
The street was repaired in, just, a few days.

I was watching the News papers for a Report of some kind.
I marked the date on a calendar. Oct. 26?
It was a long time ago. 2006? 2007?

That's funny I may have the day correct.
I would have to give some thought to the Year.

It was a difficult time for me.
That night one of the Uniformed Police was taunting me.
So, stupid.

They had someone Down in the Yard across the street from My House.
He was Yelling. Not screaming but Hollering.

The Uniformed Police Man said to me directly, "Arn't you going to Help him?" "Don't you hear him?"

I said, "Yes. I hear him. I have never heard a seriously injured person make that much noise before. Where is the Ambulance?"

I think he was laughing when he walked away from me.
He was not laughing with me. He was laughing at me.

oh. The Other Time?
There were a few Peace Rallies in Eugene, Oregon.
I attened. I was a little tiny bit like Security.

I placed myself between The People and the Police Station.
What?! Did They import Police People?!

The Police Station was directly across the street from the Public Space used for The Rally free speech area.
That was a long time ago, too. 2003? 2004? How far back was That?

Yes. I seem to have a moment branded into my Memory.
I was standing on The sidewalk. Looking across the Street. There were what looked like a great many Police People.
They were on motorcycles. They were on Foot. Both. Some of each.

I think I saw Shields. Do they have an underground parking structure?
I remember it because, It was like something in a Movie or on The News.

Not to me. Not in my country.
But; It was happening to me. It was my country.

One fifteen year old boy was arrested for not moving when police told him to move.
He was a child and he had a bunch of Children with him.
He was The Oldest in That Criminal Ring. They were doing Something. He wanted to be Edgy.
So; He got a bunch of kids to go outside the Permitted area and disrupt traffic, or Something.

Fifteen year old boys are not Famous for being Level Headed.

The Police revved their engines and I watched.
I sometimes listened to The Speakers.

Free Speech is so Weird.
They had some prearranged speakers.

I like it out on the edge of the crowd.
When I was young I liked it near the Stage.
I was stupid as a child, too.

The Police did not do much.
We were a boring crowd.

They looked at us. I looked at them.
Was anyone else looking at them?

Yes. I was talking to Strangers.
One man said, "That looks like 'over kill' to me."
I laughed, a little.

How Many are They?
How Many are Us?

We outnumbered them.
They were better armed.
We would not have had a chance if That Crowd of Police People
got The Order.

I thought they looked like men that Wanted to get The Order.
Maybe they were pretending to look like that to intimidate The People.

Peace. Someone was talking Peace.
There was some Laughter.

While The Directions were being Read.

A young Woman was at the Microphone.
She said, "WE Have a Permit!"
"We have a Right to be here."

The Permit says we have to Leave at 10:00pm.

Someone said.
"We are The Early to Bed and Early to Rise."

Someone said,
"We don't Want to protest after 10pm anyway. Nanner."

The crowd would laugh. It was funny.
Most of us were not the Wild and Wooly types.

ech-Public events bring out many different kinds of People.
There were even some of those Motor cycle People.

It was a Security Thing. Some of those Motor cycles had to be left outside the Protest Area.
Most did. People were dressed in many different kinds of Outfits.

Some had come to see and be seen.
I saw The Police. The Police saw me.

I was invited. It was public. Anyone could come.
I did not get arrested That Evening.

I got arrested later.
The Police came to My House.


It is nice when the Police are Charming.
Because, even in my own home I was not safe.

A creepy Man wearing The Blue uniform came into my home and was offended when I got up and walked out of The Room.

He arrested me. He came to arrest me.
He wanted to Hassle me for a while, first.

I wanted to do something else.
It was My house. Good guests don't act like that.

He frightened me and I had no respect for him.
So; He arrested me. For What? Crap. Who knows?
A crime against Humanity?

What power 'Should' Police have?
What power 'Do' they have?

I write the world's longest Posts.
I have not been arrested in a Long Time.
I don't miss it.

Do The Police have The Right to shoot me?
Yes. Should they? Well? Sure.
The Good Police shot me with a Camera.

The Good Police warned me and were fair natured about it.
I smiled as best I could, under the circumstances.

Spoiler:
I left my House. I had to leave it.
I was not safe.

The Locals Had arranged for me to have a little Rally outside my house.
The Chant was, "Go Back to California!"

I thought it was funny at the time.
Several years later it had lost its funny.

I decided on My Own to Go Back to California.
I am not from California. I had been there.

I had lived there. So, I went there.

I took many of my favorite things.
I had, just, arrived when the Earthquake hit Japan.

I had been up most of the night.
Ill at ease and I drove a rig with a trailer Most of The Night.

I got in at 3am and went to sleep as soon as I could.
I woke up at 7 am to the sound of a Man in a Blue Uniform banging on the front door.

I could see through the door. The top half of the door was glass.
When I saw The Uniform I thought, "Oh, no. Here we go, again."

I opened the door. What good would it do to Not Open the Door?
He did not come to arrest nor to threaten nor to hassle me.

He said "Tsunami."
I left the door Open. I turned and walked quickly away from him.
I yelled so that he could hear me. "How Long Do We Have?"

He yelled, "Ten Minutes."

Ten minutes is a long time in Tsunami Zones.

I looked at my watch. I was getting into The Car in less than 2 minutes.
I was still packed. I put on a coat, picked up my bag and my computer and walked out.

The Police in That Town did not Hassle me.
He had a Good Reason to be banging on my door.


What Rights should Police have when On Duty?
The Right to Kill?

oh, I don't know. What do you think?
I think it is better to Kill than to Torture.

We have been over this. Over and Over, again.
Better to Kill than to Torture.

Better to Not Kill than to Kill.
Better to Help than Not Kill.
It is an endless loop.

Better to Prevent Need than to Provide Care.
But; Sometime Care is Required.

Blame is not required for what I like to do.
Do you Blame The Police?

I don't. Maybe I do.
The Police are Tools.

It is not the Instrument so much as the musician.
The Police have special tools at work.
Should they? Yes.

The most special tools they have are each other.
That and The Good Guys are Charming.

A death inflicted by a Charming Person results in a Death that is every bit as Dead as the death inflicted by a Torturer.
Somehow. On a level that is difficult to prove. There seems to be a difference. To The Victims.

What can The Police do?
Once a person is In Custody, The Police are the 500 pound Gorilla.
A five hundred Pound Gorilla does Anything it wants to do.

I live my life in Fear. I don't want to. But; I do.
I do what I can. I take a Hot bath and listen to soothing music.
I might take something for anxiety.

Being afraid of The Police has become a damn bad Habit.

I was not afraid of what i think are The Good Guys.
Not perfect Guys but Good Guys.

Some are so young. They have to start somewhere.
We do need Police. We will always need Police.

In civilized nations:
Police are Helpful. Police are Brave. Police are Gentle. (It takes great strength to be gentle.)
There is a list of The Boy Scout Oath for Police People. It provides a framework.

What is the Motto of Your Police? Do Police have a Motto? in This world.
What is it? dear god.

I read an Oath and Motto of a division of the Military Police.
It was framed and a part of my Daughters Belongings.

See? That is part of Why people don't talk to me.
I talk too much and I don't want to talk about it and I do want to talk about it.

I don't know what happened. It was Not a comedy of errors.
For some people, most people, what I write does not appear on the screen at all.
For others What I write is behind a Spoiler. (Thank God for small favors.)
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

morriswalters
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Re: Police Powers

Postby morriswalters » Sun May 19, 2013 9:34 pm UTC

Police have the power they have because we gave it to them. To do the things that most of us don't wish to do. They enforce traffic law because we want them to and ignore traffic law because almost everyone does. They act in common to do things that most people are not trained to do. We may act. They must act. They are just like the people they represent, some are vain and foolish or perhaps even criminal. And others have to break up fights, deal with the belligerent, get shot up, and truly care about the people they try to protect. I could go on and on, but what would be the point?

BattleMoose
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Re: Police Powers

Postby BattleMoose » Mon May 20, 2013 12:18 am UTC

Assuming arresting applies similarly to police and civilians and I think it should although I am sure it varies.

Police should be able to detain an individual without charge for a period not exceeding 24 hours.
This is needed to establish whether in fact a crime was actually committed or if the detained individual should in fact be charged or if someone just needs to be removed from their current environment, very drunk or high on drugs.

Civilians should not have this power and once making an arrest should immediately contact the police to arrange for a transfer.

This is required for the protection of the detainee which requires a level of responsibility on the detainers part and most civilians won't have the infrastructure to reasonably detain someone. As an example once detained a person should:
* Be safe
* Have access to medical care
* Have access to food and water
* Have access to a toilet

I absolutely would not trust a civilian to assume these responsibilities but the Police do it pretty damn well (well in first world countries anyway).

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Re: Police Powers

Postby GonzoMcFonzo » Mon May 20, 2013 12:45 am UTC

juststrange wrote:Yes, sometimes police do bad things, theres a whole threat for that, and I think it seems more prevalent than it is because of the access to media we have today, I'd wager 98% of police encounters are on the level (I've been stopped by the police somewhere between 8 and 15 times and everytime I've deserved it and there hasn't been a problem).
Are you a white middle class adult? I only ask because the only people I've ever encountered who believed what you said there were in that demographic. I've never been arrested or charged with a crime (beyond a couple of admittedly justified trafffic tickets), but I've been stopped or detained by police plenty of times. Usually for such crimes as "walking around at night" or walling out of a store without making a purchase, or wearing a hoodie in warm weather. I don't want to derail this thread, but it's worth noting that much of the (law abiding) general public do not trust LEOs as implicitly as you seem to.
JayDee wrote:"What is the difference between erotic and kinky? Erotic is using a feather. Kinky is using the whole Dinosaur."

BattleMoose
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Re: Police Powers

Postby BattleMoose » Mon May 20, 2013 1:43 am UTC

GonzoMcFonzo wrote:
juststrange wrote:Yes, sometimes police do bad things, theres a whole threat for that, and I think it seems more prevalent than it is because of the access to media we have today, I'd wager 98% of police encounters are on the level (I've been stopped by the police somewhere between 8 and 15 times and everytime I've deserved it and there hasn't been a problem).
Are you a white middle class adult? I only ask because the only people I've ever encountered who believed what you said there were in that demographic. I've never been arrested or charged with a crime (beyond a couple of admittedly justified trafffic tickets), but I've been stopped or detained by police plenty of times. Usually for such crimes as "walking around at night" or walling out of a store without making a purchase, or wearing a hoodie in warm weather. I don't want to derail this thread, but it's worth noting that much of the (law abiding) general public do not trust LEOs as implicitly as you seem to.


By detained do you mean?, Keep (someone) in official custody, typically for questioning about a crime or in politically sensitive situations.

I have been stopped by police, once. Was just walking along. But to be fair within the context I was suspicious and have no problem with being stopped. And I appreciate it was a token experience. If I was being constantly stopped because I was black, I would have a serious issue with that. And it is an important issue. And the response should be better training and profiling techniques.

Police stopping suspicious people and having a bit of a chat, taking a few minutes of their time is very reasonable and should be within their authority.

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Re: Police Powers

Postby morriswalters » Mon May 20, 2013 12:59 pm UTC

I suspect he means stopped and frisked, questioned and generally hassled. I spent much of my youth looking over my shoulder for blue lights. Having said that he may overestimates the amount of distrust the general public feels. Of course this varies in the US by race. And some people draw attention. I had a friend who spent a lot of time bent over the hood of a police car while they tried to decide if they were going to try to arrest him for something, anything.

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Re: Police Powers

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon May 20, 2013 9:54 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:If you believe that you should be very careful. There are limitations on their power but in all practical ways it is much greater than yours.


Well, you're talking "is", I'm talking "ought". Yes, police powers have drifted in the direction of special privelege. This is incredibly dangerous, and prone to abuse.

Qaanol wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Powers? None. The police are the public and the public are the police. The police are merely members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

Do I understand correctly that you believe a police officer (who is not currently executing a warrant) should have exactly the same rights, powers, and authority as a civilian, and that there are no situations where the officer should be able to do something that would be a crime for a civilian to do?


Precisely. Defenses like the lesser of evils apply to both. If you need to speed to get someone to the hospital to save their life...by all means, do so, regardless of if you are a cop or a citizen. If you need to stop someone who is obviously committing a crime, do so with the least possible force.

Yes, cops will probably need to do such things more often, because it's their job. However, they should not have special legal powers. Sure, they may have better gear and support than the average citizen has...but legally speaking, they should not be special, save only for rules identifying them as police. They should not have automatic legal immunity for their actions, nor should they have an automatic presumption of truth. Definitely no laws that prevent them being recorded or the like.

Long term "detaining someone without arresting them" should not be a thing for either police or citizens. The old 24 hour rule, which allowed processing, may well be in need of updating. Police or not, it's prone to abuse. Now, honest mistakes happen, and sometimes the wrong person is stopped or the like, but any pattern of police holding individuals when they don't have reasonable suspicion of a crime should be treated like a crime. In either the case of the police or a citizen arresting someone, they should be transferred to the state department in charge of maintaining jails/prisons as soon as practically possible.

morriswalters wrote:Police have the power they have because we gave it to them. To do the things that most of us don't wish to do. They enforce traffic law because we want them to and ignore traffic law because almost everyone does.


We ain't a direct democracy, so this doesn't completely hold. They enforce traffic law mostly because traffic law makes giant piles of money for the government, and the government directs law enforcement activities. There does not actually seem to be great enthusiasm on the part of the general public for speed cameras and the like, but there damned sure is on the part of governments who want the money they bring in.

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Re: Police Powers

Postby morriswalters » Mon May 20, 2013 10:27 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Well, you're talking "is", I'm talking "ought". Yes, police powers have drifted in the direction of special privelege. This is incredibly dangerous, and prone to abuse.
It always is dangerous to give others powers. And ought has nothing to do with it. It is even more dangerous for the public at large to have those powers. Police are limited in numbers. No matter how powerful they may be, there are limits to how much power they can exercise. You may trust the public at large, I don't. But as you will.

Tyndmyr wrote:We ain't a direct democracy, so this doesn't completely hold. They enforce traffic law mostly because traffic law makes giant piles of money for the government, and the government directs law enforcement activities. There does not actually seem to be great enthusiasm on the part of the general public for speed cameras and the like, but there damned sure is on the part of governments who want the money they bring in.
The public in general would like to do what ever the hell they please. And the police aren't really interested in wasting their time keeping you, me or someone else from killing themselves or others, they have fantasies about fighting crime. But also like you and me, they work for a living. So they do what they are told. I'm sure speeders don't like cameras. But police aren't responsible for the cameras. So that is not a police issue.

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Re: Police Powers

Postby GonzoMcFonzo » Mon May 20, 2013 11:47 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:I suspect he means stopped and frisked, questioned and generally hassled. I spent much of my youth looking over my shoulder for blue lights. Having said that he may overestimates the amount of distrust the general public feels. Of course this varies in the US by race. And some people draw attention. I had a friend who spent a lot of time bent over the hood of a police car while they tried to decide if they were going to try to arrest him for something, anything.
I mean stopped, frisked, questioned, told to sit on the curb while others are questioned, and generally not allowed to go about my business. Sometimes I'd have property confiscated, like a perfectly legal pocket knife, or a pipe that had never seen anything but tobacco. Maybe detained is the wrong word. Maybe I should just say harassed? Mostly, I wish I had been more aware of my rights and willing to argue for them when I was younger.

All that said, I still think that upwards of 98% of police are good, upstanding individuals deserving of our trust and respect, who genuinely have the public interest at heart. The problem is that the <2% seem to make more than their share of stops, and each interaction they have with the public does a disproportionate amount of damage to the reputation of law enforcement as a whole. The bigger problem is that many departments have developed an "us against them" attitude when presented with this misbehavior, ensuring that these deviant individuals don't face the full consequences of their actions. Again, just look at the police misbehavior thread.

To come back to the point of this thread, I don't think there are any powers police should have beyond those of a normal citizen. In fact, I think there are a number or rights and expectations a normal person has that should not apply to police. They should never be allowed to hide their face or obscure their identity when on duty. Being public servants, they should have no expectation of privacy when on duty; the types of anti-wiretapping laws that make it illegal to record an individual without their knowledge should not apply to on-duty LEOs. It should be a crime on par with evidence tampering to delete or alter information on a civilian's computer or electronic device, or to coerce an individual into granting them access to such devices. In general, I feel that the badge and uniform are extremely effective tools for intimidation if the person wearing them decides to use them that way, and the law should account for this.

Police stopping suspicious people and having a bit of a chat, taking a few minutes of their time is very reasonable and should be within their authority. wrote:Police stopping suspicious people and having a bit of a chat, taking a few minutes of their time is very reasonable and should be within their authority.
It absolutely should not. I'm not saying they should be disallowed from asking someone to have a chat, but the person in question should always retain the right to simply say no and walk away. Technically, that is the case in most parts of the US, but the stop and frisk statistics out of NYC are proof that if they have the authority (implied or actual) to compel a person to stop and be questioned, there is large potential for that to become a point of abuse.
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Re: Police Powers

Postby BattleMoose » Tue May 21, 2013 2:10 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Long term "detaining someone without arresting them" should not be a thing for either police or citizens. The old 24 hour rule, which allowed processing, may well be in need of updating. Police or not, it's prone to abuse. Now, honest mistakes happen, and sometimes the wrong person is stopped or the like, but any pattern of police holding individuals when they don't have reasonable suspicion of a crime should be treated like a crime.


I'm not sure what you mean by long term.

Pretty much everywhere, after making a citizens arrest, the citizen is required by law to transfer that position to a legally mandated authority to detain such an individual.

If there is no authority which is legally mandated to detain someone, then effectively after an arrest is made, they have to be immediately released. Which would be pretty useless.

Or they have to be charged immediately after or during an arrest. And then be detained on whatever laws govern the detaining of persons charged. The amount of extra paperwork this would involve would just be silly and everyone arrested ever would have to be charged and very many infractions aren't actually charged. And then questioning could only happen after someone has actually been charged which is really putting the cart before the horse.

In either the case of the police or a citizen arresting someone, they should be transferred to the state department in charge of maintaining jails/prisons as soon as practically possible.


Jails and prisons and the authority and laws that govern detaining jails and prisons, I am pretty certain only related to individuals who have been charged or convicted of crimes. You also really really really don't want some young teenager who got appallingly drunk, committed some minor infractions and generally causing a nuisance to be transferred to a PRISON! Much better let him cool off in a jail cell for a few hours until he can be released and he might not even be charged!

Functionally by removing the right of police to detain individuals after arrest, without charge, takes away their ability to question the individual and would require them to be charged immediately. Its completely nonsensical.

You really need to have a good think about how the process works should work, from arrest to trial and what actually should be lawful after an arrest has been made.

And you also really need to have a good think about the negative consequences of completely taking away the right of police to detain without charge. Think of the young teenager who just got arrested for causing some minor mischief and HAS TO BE SENT TO A PRISON!

Police stopping suspicious people and having a bit of a chat, taking a few minutes of their time is very reasonable and should be within their authority.

It absolutely should not. I'm not saying they should be disallowed from asking someone to have a chat, but the person in question should always retain the right to simply say no and walk away. Technically, that is the case in most parts of the US, but the stop and frisk statistics out of NYC are proof that if they have the authority (implied or actual) to compel a person to stop and be questioned, there is large potential for that to become a point of abuse.


Sometimes very suspicious people look suspicious because they are suspicious and are actually about to commit a crime of some sort. One time I saw a suspicious person loitering where no one should loiter, I crossed the street to avoid him, he followed me and mugged me. This was bad for me. I really think a little chat could have prevented this outcome.

Technically, that is the case in most parts of the US, but the stop and frisk statistics out of NYC are proof that if they have the authority (implied or actual) to compel a person to stop and be questioned, there is large potential for that to become a point of abuse.


Pretty much everywhere in the world (except the US) the police can be sued for things like wrongful arrest and generally abusing their authority. The correct response is not to take away their authority but to take away their immunity of abusing the authority they have. This I understand is a problem that is generally specific to the US.

Police harassment is a real thing and there are laws to protect people from police harassment just about everywhere. If you were harassed, speak to a lawyer and sue them.

It really feels like you guys are really complaining that the police act outside of their authority which is not legal and they can be sued for it. And that this is your fundamental issue, rather than the fact that the police actually have some authority.

Definitely no laws that prevent them being recorded or the like.


They don't. Unfortunately a lot of police don't know that. This is more of a problem relating to the huge amount of recording devices that people carry with them and not a lot of people actually knowing the laws around filming people.

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Re: Police Powers

Postby GonzoMcFonzo » Tue May 21, 2013 4:02 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Sometimes very suspicious people look suspicious because they are suspicious and are actually about to commit a crime of some sort. One time I saw a suspicious person loitering where no one should loiter, I crossed the street to avoid him, he followed me and mugged me. This was bad for me. I really think a little chat could have prevented this outcome.
I think the simple presence of an officer or squad car could have prevented that. If the suspicious person isn't carrying anything illegal, then the only difference between a stop-and-frisk and the type of interaction I'm talking about is 10-20min wasted time for both the officer and individual. In both cases, they'll simply walk away, but probably not try to assault anyone in that immediate area.
I am sorry to hear that, either way. Getting mugged has to be one of the worst experiences in the world.

BattleMoose wrote:Pretty much everywhere in the world (except the US) the police can be sued for things like wrongful arrest and generally abusing their authority. The correct response is not to take away their authority but to take away their immunity of abusing the authority they have. This I understand is a problem that is generally specific to the US.

Police harassment is a real thing and there are laws to protect people from police harassment just about everywhere. If you were harassed, speak to a lawyer and sue them.

It really feels like you guys are really complaining that the police act outside of their authority which is not legal and they can be sued for it. And that this is your fundamental issue, rather than the fact that the police actually have some authority.
The sad truth is that ability to sue is simply beyond the practical means of many citizens, which is why I feel it is insufficient remedy. Unless a group like the ACLU or a lawyer willing to work pro-bono step in, most of the people who are most vulnerable to this type of abuse in the first place have little recourse. Even if they technically don't have immunity to the consequences of abusing their authority, they know that many victims simply can't afford fight back. That's why I suggested there should be criminal penalties for these types of abuses, and stronger protections for members of the public who want to record them.


BattleMoose wrote:
Definitely no laws that prevent them being recorded or the like.


They don't. Unfortunately a lot of police don't know that. This is more of a problem relating to the huge amount of recording devices that people carry with them and not a lot of people actually knowing the laws around filming people.
Actually, It varies wildly from place to place. Photography Is Not A Crime collects stories and footage of "camera shy" police, and in some cases civilians have been prosecuted for recording police abuses, using laws like the wiretapping one I mentioned earlier. That's why I suggested that these laws should explicitly not apply to on-duty police, and that there should be tough, criminal penalties for trying to avoid or suppress public recording of police interactions. If it's a criminal offense, you don't have to sue, you just have to get the D.A. to prosecute, and a great way to do that is to record the abuses and release the footage for the world to see.
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Re: Police Powers

Postby BattleMoose » Tue May 21, 2013 4:23 am UTC

GonzoMcFonzo wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:Sometimes very suspicious people look suspicious because they are suspicious and are actually about to commit a crime of some sort. One time I saw a suspicious person loitering where no one should loiter, I crossed the street to avoid him, he followed me and mugged me. This was bad for me. I really think a little chat could have prevented this outcome.
I think the simple presence of an officer or squad car could have prevented that. If the suspicious person isn't carrying anything illegal, then the only difference between a stop-and-frisk and the type of interaction I'm talking about is 10-20min wasted time for both the officer and individual. In both cases, they'll simply walk away, but probably not try to assault anyone in that immediate area.


I am not actually sure what type of interaction you are talking about or the type of interaction that you think, could legally happen?

I am sorry to hear that, either way. Getting mugged has to be one of the worst experiences in the world.


While I appreciate the sympathy, In South Africa, mugging is pretty damn common place. Comparatively I've been lucky and done very well.

BattleMoose wrote:Pretty much everywhere in the world (except the US) the police can be sued for things like wrongful arrest and generally abusing their authority. The correct response is not to take away their authority but to take away their immunity of abusing the authority they have. This I understand is a problem that is generally specific to the US.

Police harassment is a real thing and there are laws to protect people from police harassment just about everywhere. If you were harassed, speak to a lawyer and sue them.

It really feels like you guys are really complaining that the police act outside of their authority which is not legal and they can be sued for it. And that this is your fundamental issue, rather than the fact that the police actually have some authority.


The sad truth is that ability to sue is simply beyond the practical means of many citizens, which is why I feel it is insufficient remedy. Unless a group like the ACLU or a lawyer willing to work pro-bono step in, most of the people who are most vulnerable to this type of abuse in the first place have little recourse. Even if they technically don't have immunity to the consequences of abusing their authority, they know that many victims simply can't afford fight back. That's why I suggested there should be criminal penalties for these types of abuses, and stronger protections for members of the public who want to record them.


Okay, I do agree with you here. But we are no longer talking about what powers the police should have, but how do we handle individual cops who act outside the authority that they do have. Which is a very very different topic.

BattleMoose wrote:
Definitely no laws that prevent them being recorded or the like.

They don't. Unfortunately a lot of police don't know that. This is more of a problem relating to the huge amount of recording devices that people carry with them and not a lot of people actually knowing the laws around filming people.


Actually, It varies wildly from place to place. Photography Is Not A Crime collects stories and footage of "camera shy" police, and in some cases civilians have been prosecuted for recording police abuses, using laws like the wiretapping one I mentioned earlier. That's why I suggested that these laws should explicitly not apply to on-duty police, and that there should be tough, criminal penalties for trying to avoid or suppress public recording of police interactions. If it's a criminal offense, you don't have to sue, you just have to get the D.A. to prosecute, and a great way to do that is to record the abuses and release the footage for the world to see.


Its in the title of the website. Photography isn't a crime. Also, when it comes to discussing any law, jurisdiction matters and you haven't actually specified a specific jurisdiction so I cannot respond specifically. Wiretapping laws as best as I understand it (relating to California) relates to the forbidding of recording confidential conversations and applies equally to citizens AND police. The police do not benefit preferentially from this law. And it does not outlaw the recording of police going about their business and performing the duties.

Again you are complaining about police acting outside their authority and not on what powers they should have.

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Re: Police Powers

Postby mathmannix » Tue May 21, 2013 12:17 pm UTC

Both police and government (all governments - or at least ones that are allowed to exist for any reasonable amount of time) have their powers derived from the people. We want governments to use our tax money in a pool to build roads, provide military defense, and possibly execute dangerous criminals. We want police to do their jobs of protecting the vast majority of us from the small minority among us that look to their own interests with little to no regard for others around them.

Police do and should have special powers. One of these is not merely to carry a weapon in public, but to use it for reasons other than self-defense. Another of these is to speed or run red lights (while still exercising caution) in order to do their jobs as quickly and efficiently as possible. Another is to interrogate those they apprehend in order to try and prevent a serious crime.

All of these special powers can be (and, of course, sometimes are) abused. But as long as the net effect of allowing all police officers these powers is an overwhelmingly positive one, the powers will be (and should be) granted to law enforcement.
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Re: Police Powers

Postby addams » Tue May 21, 2013 4:40 pm UTC

Do you ever want to Talk to 'them'?

I have. Have you?
I want to talk to them in Person.

Not with 'them' behind a uniform and me behind bars.

I have. Some of my best friends were Police People.
We laughed a time or two.

When I said, "The prisoners deserve the care and concern we give Animals."
She Disagreed. It started a conversation that never ended.


Spoiler:
Because, The Bitch at the desk stuck her Nose in. It was between me and Angie Not That Bitch at The Desk.
Who the fuck is she and How did she get so much Power?

I was talking to Angie. We never talk, anymore.

I still think we can give the Men and Women in Jails and Prisons the care and concern we were giving Dogs.
They have branched out to cats. I was wondering about Branching out to Human.

The Dog shelter was a Public thing. Now it is a Private thing.
The Cat shelter is now part of the Private thing that is the Dog Shelter.

The people that own the Dog shelter are the same people that Ran the dog shelter when it was Public.
It gets complicated. I thought they were my friends. Well; We didn't do very much aways from Work.

It was so good to see Catherine and Angie. I liked them both.
Who are all the Other people? (shrug.)

When we knew each other, before. Catherine and Angie were also police.
Angie Hates it when People touch her. I would laugh and tell her, "Touching is Part of The Job."

She would get all Uppity and say, "I'll bring them to You."
In my favorite world Angie and I can go get them, Together.

She can maintain a safe scene and I deal with The People.
One at a Time and with Back Up! See, Angie?

What did we laugh about the last time I had a Quality Moment with Angie?
"There are times when The Best Man in the Room is a Woman."

It's funny and it is Not All That Funny. It has been this way Forever.
Men have Power. They are all Puffed up. Well; David Brock Smith is a puffed up Guy.
Have you seen him? Have you talked to him? Have you listened to him do his Public Job?
ech. I have. If there is Nothing I can do. Why watch? ech.

He is Politically Powerful. I don't know anything about Politics.
Does Politics get meaner and meaner and meaner; Until the whole thing Pops Into a different Reality?
Then it all begins to make sense, again?

This thread is about Police Powers.
Angie wanted to stop being a Police. Why?
It was not the danger. She was Sick of People.

It was boring, sometimes. Angie is an Outside girl.
She surfs and she hikes and she is busy, busy, busy.
Hanging out in the Court Room was a slice of Hell for her.

She works outside doing Construction. She makes more money and she likes it.
Maybe. It her Uncle's company. She may have taken an indoor job.
I haven't seen her for a while. maybe, she's dead.

No one would tell me. I am not on her need to know list.
I am not in her Telephone. I would know her on sight. Period.

What does that have to do with Police Powers?
Nothing. Who would Angie Shoot?

Who Knows the mind of Angie?
She is not afraid of Dogs.
Not much.


I want to Talk to the Police as People not as Tools.
Of course, I want to talk about Their Job.

If a person does not want to talk about Their Job then they are in the Wrong Job. Right?

We do need more Government. We need Government to watch Government.
We need Government to watch Private. We need Private to watch Government.

Everyobody watching each other. Not to find fault, but to give encouragement.
We are All working for The Same Goal? Maybe, "No."

Some of us want Peace. Some of us want War.
I want to pull with the Peace people.
Where are they? Boring? Dead?
Dead is Boring.

That is what Feynman said.
"Dying twice is boring."
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Police Powers

Postby Nem » Tue May 21, 2013 10:05 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:By detained do you mean?, Keep (someone) in official custody, typically for questioning about a crime or in politically sensitive situations.

I have been stopped by police, once. Was just walking along. But to be fair within the context I was suspicious and have no problem with being stopped. And I appreciate it was a token experience. If I was being constantly stopped because I was black, I would have a serious issue with that. And it is an important issue. And the response should be better training and profiling techniques.

Police stopping suspicious people and having a bit of a chat, taking a few minutes of their time is very reasonable and should be within their authority.


Better training's not going to do jack if the guy's a racist. There's got to be a system in place that, reliably, sends cops to jail for the rest of their lives if they abuse their power. It's not a small crime. It can be very poisonous to a society to have even a couple of crooked cops out to get a subculture within it - those cops are going to be the people they see representing the police to them most of the time.

Man's got to keep his house in order, and sometimes that means you've got to take mad dogs out back and talk to them about rabbits. This has to be something that people know that if you abuse it, you won't just lose the power, you'll lose the rest of your life.

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Re: Police Powers

Postby BattleMoose » Tue May 21, 2013 10:41 pm UTC

Nem wrote: There's got to be a system in place that, reliably, sends cops to jail for the rest of their lives if they abuse their power. It's not a small crime.


People are jerks. This is generally a universal truth and applies to all people. We do need laws and rules to force the jerks act appropriately. When there aren't consequences for being a jerk, people act like a jerk more often.

I am going to go out on a limb here and presume that by far the most acts of police abuse/harassment go unreported.

If a cop is abusing his power, sue, lay charges, whatever is appropriate. Bring some consequences to that guy and its not only him thats going to take notice but all the other cops that act like jerks too.

Considering just how much hate there is here for cop abuse, and people are going to complain about not having money to sue, crowd source. Post a story and you might actually get the funds you need to sue. People do sue and lay charges on cops and they do win, this isn't a fantasy.

This thread really has become, people complaining about cop abuse. If you want to do that, theres a lovely thread in news/articles about cops misbehaving.

The question posted by the OP however is:

What, if any, powers do you believe on-duty police officers should have beyond those of a civilian?

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Re: Police Powers

Postby Akamai » Wed May 22, 2013 3:32 am UTC

What powers should a police officer have?

All of them.
Spoiler:
Image

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Re: Police Powers

Postby addams » Sat May 25, 2013 4:26 pm UTC

Akamai wrote:What powers should a police officer have?

All of them.
Spoiler:
Image


A Police Officer should have The Power of His or Her Education and Training.
That is what we each have.

What kind of Education and Training do The Police have?

They will not talk to me. Will 'they' talk to you?
Well; If I have business with 'them', then 'they' will talk to me.

Jeeze. Out of Uniform I can't tell Who is Who.
Can You?

Spoiler:
I had a guy in regular civilian clothes walk into a room and say, "You are under arrest."
I believed him.

He did not show me ID. He did not throw me on The Ground.
He did not search me. He was nice about it.

He said I was under arrest; I behaved as if I were both under arrest and not under arrest.
Not much difference when dealing with a Good Cop.

Of course, What I want to do with The Day has absolutely nothing to do with what we are going to do.
Pretty good company. Not great.

(shrug.) I was under arrest.
I was a lower form of Life.

When The Universe turns to Lemonade;
Thank God for a thirst for Lemonade.

It was so hard for me.
I have great compassion for others.

I had some stuff in my head.
I got to keep my head.

Who likes being in a Cell, alone? I don't.
Who likes being in a Cell with a Large Agitated Male Human? He did give me something to think about.

He was pacing. He seemed to be vaguely aware that I was in The Room.
He wore Tennis Shoes. He wore Jogging Pants.

I kept my eyes down, most of the time.
He was White. We were both trapped.
Inside a Cell. I was only in that cell an hour or two.

I had a watch. I was not counting the minutes.
There was a language barrier. Thank God?

Yes. Police Powers are interesting to me.
Humans! We are so Human.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: Police Powers

Postby The Geoff » Sun Jun 02, 2013 6:08 pm UTC

Given this is fairly US-centric, here's my view from the UK:

Civilians have many of the same powers as the police, a citizen's arrest for a serious crime is legally pretty much identical for example, and we can use reasonable physical force in defending ourselves, others or property, including using weapons in extreme circumstances (yes, we do have privately held firearms in the UK, it's just much rarer and almost exclusively sporting rifles and shotguns). Yes, you'll probably have to go to court if you seriously injure somebody, but if you stayed within the law in the opinion of judge/jury then you can be acquitted.

As for traffic laws, the police generally have freedom to exceed them, again, "within reason". If a civilian does 100mph it's normally an automatic ban, but in, eg, a medical emergency a court may acquit them. The court is far more likely to do so if the civilian has an advanced driving qualification for example, which is much the same as basic police driving instruction - the police are trained to the level they are because the law recognises this as appropriate training for somebody who has to drive a bit quicker than the law allows.

So the police, as civilians-who-happen-to-hold-a-particular-job, hold exactly the same basic powers, they're just far more informed and trained in exercising them. In some ways they have to be even more careful than civilians - our equivalent of Miranda rights basically exists to protect evidence collection, it's not actually part of the arrest, which could be as simple as "I'm arresting you".

I'm arresting you on suspicion of criminal damage. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in court.


It's a flip on the one used a couple of decades ago:

I'm arresting you on suspicion of criminal damage. You do not have to say anything, but anything you do say may be used in evidence against you.


On top of this, you've got extra powers. Police officers can arrest for more minor crimes, some choose to become firearms specialists, high speed drivers, dog handlers etc. Now when it comes to these extra powers I find it difficult to argue that civilians should just have them as a matter of course, the police go through extensive training for a very good reason.

I think we've got the balance about right in the UK. Yes, there are plenty of cases of officers overstepping powers or using them inappropriately, it happens, but there are also increasing checks in place. As for enforcing warrants, well that's one of the prime jobs of the police, they're court servants, if you have a problem with the warrant then you have to approach the courts and/or government for a change in the law.

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Cleverbeans
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Re: Police Powers

Postby Cleverbeans » Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:06 pm UTC

Having a history of mental illness it's very important to me that police have the power to restrain and transport me against my will to a hospital.
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." - Abraham Lincoln

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Qaanol
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Re: Police Powers

Postby Qaanol » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:19 pm UTC

Cleverbeans wrote:Having a history of mental illness it's very important to me that police have the power to restrain and transport me against my will to a hospital.

In what circumstances should they be allowed to exercise that power?

If, in the same situation, no police are present, should civilians be allowed to do the same thing?
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Cleverbeans
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Re: Police Powers

Postby Cleverbeans » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:10 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:In what circumstances should they be allowed to exercise that power?


When I am a physical danger to myself or others. I have an advanced directive in place for my friends and family to know some of the warning signs and that it's escalated to the point of requiring intervention.

If, in the same situation, no police are present, should civilians be allowed to do the same thing?


No, not only would they be in serious danger they would require specialized equipment and training to deal with my compromised state without anyone getting hurt. A good example might be if they put me in the car I would try to strangle them while they're driving, not possible in a police car.
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." - Abraham Lincoln


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