Police misbehavior thread

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:04 am UTC

There isn't a whole lot of news. Too many reporters chasing too few stories. Wait for dawn and then filter. Every event at the moment will be attributed to looters. Even if they aren't. Morning will provide clarity.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:22 am UTC

rath358 wrote:Is there a "good" place to get live-ish coverage of events that isn't as problematic as the mainstream coverage that is being criticized here? I am very interested in the situation, but don't really know how to access it.


Well, you really should be aware of mainstream coverage nonetheless.

I haven't seen anyone criticize the Baltimore Sun yet. The other sites had a conservative slant IIRC. But I've heard of the Baltimore Sun before, so I figure its a reputable news source. http://live.baltimoresun.com/Event/Late ... _Baltimore
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:36 am UTC

The Baltimore sun is horribly left biased. But, they're local, so there's that. Straight factual reporting is a little different from political opinion pieces, and slightly different considerations dominate. For instance, Fox was doing a bang up job today, because they were selecting footage well(even though essentially all mainstream folks have access to the same heli feeds), so you got a good survey of both sides and many locations while CNN was still focused on only showing the cops lined up. They're good at reporting on actual events, but they're rubbish at anything political.

So, watch the mainstream stuff, just bear in mind that as the news stops being new, and they start scrambling for filler, the old biases will come to the fore.

Edit: As an aside, I wonder if anyone's tested Stand Your Ground laws in such a case when the police are the ones initiating in public. I mean, that'd be a brutal trial, but...at least in theory, it *should* work, right?
Last edited by Tyndmyr on Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:40 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:37 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Ferguson riots got crazy after the grand jury proceeding.
Yeah, that'll happen when the KKK shows up and starts burning down churches.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:25 am UTC

I've had to unfriend another couple people tonight, over re-posts and re-blogs and re-comments from things with names like "Patriot Nation" and "True America", calling for black people to stop doing things that make the police kill them.

I know a lot of assholes.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby BattleMoose » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:10 am UTC

Its almost like people don't like it when people die in police custody. Its been happening for decades? Grievances aren't being addressed. It really shouldn't come as a surprise that things are getting violent, from Ferguson to this and then more.

Looting and arson are just things that happen when the police are unable to enforce the law. People.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Angua » Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:59 am UTC

rath358 wrote:Is there a "good" place to get live-ish coverage of events that isn't as problematic as the mainstream coverage that is being criticized here? I am very interested in the situation, but don't really know how to access it.

Someone on my facebook feed recommended Al Jazeera?
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:14 am UTC

BattleMoose wrote:Its almost like people don't like it when people die in police custody. Its been happening for decades? Grievances aren't being addressed. It really shouldn't come as a surprise that things are getting violent, from Ferguson to this and then more.

Looting and arson are just things that happen when the police are unable to enforce the law. People.
Looting and arson happen when people stop thinking and the lizard takes over. I understand the anger, but in and of itself it won't change anything.
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Tyndmyr wrote:Edit: As an aside, I wonder if anyone's tested Stand Your Ground laws in such a case when the police are the ones initiating in public. I mean, that'd be a brutal trial, but...at least in theory, it *should* work, right?
Are you serious?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby rath358 » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:37 pm UTC

Thanks for the tips, everyone. Will try to keep a mix of those open tonight.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:24 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Edit: As an aside, I wonder if anyone's tested Stand Your Ground laws in such a case when the police are the ones initiating in public. I mean, that'd be a brutal trial, but...at least in theory, it *should* work, right?


Does "Stand Your Ground" even exist in Maryland? http://www.hlntv.com/article/2012/04/18 ... ground-law

I don't think so. Part of the reason why the Zimmerman Trial was so strange was that the majority of Americans don't live in a "Stand your Ground" states. So seeing Florida's insane interpretation of the 2nd Amendment on the national stage was intriguing. It looks like Maryland has a "castle doctrine", which is basically a limited "Stand your Ground within your home". But Florida's "Stand your Ground" law is unusual in that it even applies when you're in public.

Castle Doctrine makes sense, because once you are cornered in your home you don't have anywhere else to retreat to. Still, I'm unsure of how a shootout against say... a SWAT team would work out. You have to kinda survive / win the fight and THEN claim castle doctrine. Which seems unlikely.

---------------

EDIT: It seems like when this sort of thing happens in Baltimore however, the defendants are able to sue the Police department and win.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryla ... tml#page=1

Relatives of Dondi Johnson Sr., who was left a paraplegic after a 2005 police van ride, won a $7.4 million verdict against police officers. A year earlier, Jeffrey Alston was awarded $39 million by a jury after he became paralyzed from the neck down as the result of a van ride. Others have also received payouts after filing lawsuits.


Christine Abbott, a 27-year-old assistant librarian at the Johns Hopkins University, is suing city officers in federal court, alleging that she got such a ride in 2012. According to the suit, officers cuffed Abbott's hands behind her back, threw her into a police van, left her unbuckled and "maniacally drove" her to the Northern District police station, "tossing [her] around the interior of the police van."

"They were braking really short so that I would slam against the wall, and they were taking really wide, fast turns," Abbott said in an interview that mirrored allegations in her lawsuit. "I couldn't brace myself. I was terrified."


Murder is definitely not what happened if this is the case. It is clearly reckless, unsanctioned behavior however. So I'm thinking its a case for reckless manslaughter. The city of Baltimore seems to have a sense of justice with these cases however, if there are plenty of cases where the individuals sued the government and won (although there doesn't seem to be any action against the officers who specifically drove the van).

"Rough Rides" seem like a unique behavior in Baltimore. I haven't heard of it before. It looks like the Baltimore City Police Vans are being used in a manner unfitting for their purpose. Perhaps the appropriate response to this crisis is to ban the vans that are the cause of these rough rides. Or... perhaps there aren't any "rough rides" going on. Maybe the Police Vans are just horrible ways to transport arrested guys, and make it easy to accidentally injure those in transport.

Whether it were an accident or on purpose, it looks like Baltimore City has been already transitioning off the vans. But that process didn't happen soon enough, so Freddie Gray was one of the last people to get a "rough ride".

That that in mind, this is definitely the direction they're going to go when it comes to investigating the crime. It seems very likely to me that this event is a very unfortunate accident. The worst you can seriously expect to charge against the officer who was driving is reckless manslaughter for failing to buckle Mr. Gray properly into the back of the van. This is definitely not like your typical police brutality cases seen elsewhere in the country (where there was a chokehold (NYC) or the shooting at Ferguson). These other cases you could reasonably expect a murder trial. But with the facts as they are in the Baltimore case, I'm not seeing it.

So... Accidental Killing or Reckless Manslaughter charge, but no higher against the officers on May 1st. They probably won't find that worth pursuing either. Officers possibly get disciplined behind the scenes but not enough to quench the anger in the public. So riots get worse at that point.
Last edited by KnightExemplar on Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:31 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:31 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Edit: As an aside, I wonder if anyone's tested Stand Your Ground laws in such a case when the police are the ones initiating in public. I mean, that'd be a brutal trial, but...at least in theory, it *should* work, right?
Are you serious?


Yes, yes, I realize that in practice, the justice system is absurdly skewed in favor of the police, but...on a logical level, it shouldn't matter who is assaulting you, it *should* apply.

KnightExemplar wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Edit: As an aside, I wonder if anyone's tested Stand Your Ground laws in such a case when the police are the ones initiating in public. I mean, that'd be a brutal trial, but...at least in theory, it *should* work, right?


Does "Stand Your Ground" even exist in Maryland? http://www.hlntv.com/article/2012/04/18 ... ground-law

I don't think so. Part of the reason why the Zimmerman Trial was so strange was that the majority of Americans don't live in a "Stand your Ground" states. So seeing Florida's insane interpretation of the 2nd Amendment on the national stage was intriguing. It looks like Maryland has a "castle doctrine", which is basically a limited "Stand your Ground within your home". But Florida's "Stand your Ground" law is unusual in that it even applies when you're in public.

Castle Doctrine makes sense, because once you are cornered in your home you don't have anywhere else to retreat to. Still, I'm unsure of how a shootout against say... a SWAT team would work out. You have to kinda survive / win the fight and THEN claim castle doctrine. Which seems unlikely.


Explicit SYG laws work effectively everywhere. 23 states have those. Some more have judicial precedent for a de facto version of the same thing. So, the "outside your home" thing isn't actually very unusual. But you're right, MD isn't really among them. We're among the 18 "duty to retreat" states where it doesn't apply. And you would be ESPECIALLY expected to retreat from cops. More of just a musing than something that practically applies to this situation.

KnightExemplar wrote:"Rough Rides" seem like a unique behavior in Baltimore. I haven't heard of it before. It looks like the Baltimore City Police Vans are being used in a manner unfitting for their purpose. Perhaps the appropriate response to this crisis is to ban the vans that are the cause of these rough rides.

It looks like Baltimore City is already under the process of transitioning off the vans. But that process didn't happen soon enough, so Freddie Gray was one of the last people to get a "rough ride".


Oh, the vans are back for now. Tons of 'em were driving into Baltimore yesterday. My guess is preparing for mass arrests or whatever.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:40 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:"Rough Rides" seem like a unique behavior in Baltimore. I haven't heard of it before. It looks like the Baltimore City Police Vans are being used in a manner unfitting for their purpose. Perhaps the appropriate response to this crisis is to ban the vans that are the cause of these rough rides.

It looks like Baltimore City is already under the process of transitioning off the vans. But that process didn't happen soon enough, so Freddie Gray was one of the last people to get a "rough ride".


Oh, the vans are back for now. Tons of 'em were driving into Baltimore yesterday. My guess is preparing for mass arrests or whatever.


Oh yeah. The article only notes that Baltimore ordered ~160 cars. If the transport vans were really prevalent across the city, then there's no way they could transition off of them in just a few months. But it seems like the Baltimore Police force is already aware of the issues that the police vans are causing. New Cars for 3000+ officers are expensive though, so even if they expedite the process it will take a long time to transition off those vans.

But the article from last year was already noting safety concerns with the vans. So the Baltimore Police are definitely aware of the "rough ride" issue. Its just a shame that they didn't transition off in time for Freddie Gray.

Ultimately, I think properly charging the six officers who arrested Freddie Gray is going to be a tough case, if its coming from this "rough ride" perspective.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Mambrino » Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:47 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Murder is definitely not what happened if this is the case. It is clearly reckless, unsanctioned behavior however. So I'm thinking its a case for reckless manslaughter. The city of Baltimore seems to have a sense of justice with these cases however, if there are plenty of cases where the individuals sued the government and won (although there doesn't seem to be any action against the officers who specifically drove the van).

"Rough Rides" seem like a unique behavior in Baltimore. I haven't heard of it before. It looks like the Baltimore City Police Vans are being used in a manner unfitting for their purpose. Perhaps the appropriate response to this crisis is to ban the vans that are the cause of these rough rides. Or... perhaps there aren't any "rough rides" going on. Maybe the Police Vans are just horrible ways to transport arrested guys, and make it easy to accidentally injure those in transport.

Whether it were an accident or on purpose, it looks like Baltimore City has been already transitioning off the vans. But that process didn't happen soon enough, so Freddie Gray was one of the last people to get a "rough ride".

That that in mind, this is definitely the direction they're going to go when it comes to investigating the crime. It seems very likely to me that this event is a very unfortunate accident. The worst you can seriously expect to charge against the officer who was driving is reckless manslaughter for failing to buckle Mr. Gray properly into the back of the van. This is definitely not like your typical police brutality cases seen elsewhere in the country (where there was a chokehold (NYC) or the shooting at Ferguson). These other cases you could reasonably expect a murder trial. But with the facts as they are in the Baltimore case, I'm not seeing it.

So... Accidental Killing or Reckless Manslaughter charge, but no higher against the officers on May 1st. They probably won't find that worth pursuing either. Officers possibly get disciplined behind the scenes but not enough to quench the anger in the public. So riots get worse at that point.


officer who was driving


I haven't been following this case very keenly until it (or rather, the riots) made international news, so I might've missed some details, but isn't there also a claim that Gray sustained some initial injuries (the famed video?) before the ride, and ride (intentionally rough or not) didn't exactly help?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tirian » Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:53 pm UTC

Let's review:

Christine Abbott, a 27-year-old assistant librarian at the Johns Hopkins University, is suing city officers in federal court, alleging that she got such a ride in 2012. According to the suit, officers cuffed Abbott's hands behind her back, threw her into a police van, left her unbuckled and "maniacally drove" her to the Northern District police station, "tossing [her] around the interior of the police van."

"They were braking really short so that I would slam against the wall, and they were taking really wide, fast turns," Abbott said in an interview that mirrored allegations in her lawsuit. "I couldn't brace myself. I was terrified."


It's not the vans that are causing the injuries, no more than we can prevent Eric Garner's death by buying the NYC police a bunch of new batons. The problem is the psychopathic shitstains that are driving the vans. And the bigger problem is the police department and union that are fully aware of the problem and not insisting that their officers follow buckling in protocol and driving in a manner that doesn't inflict physical and psychological torture on the person in custody.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:56 pm UTC

Mambrino wrote:I haven't been following this case very keenly until it (or rather, the riots) made international news, so I might've missed some details, but isn't there also a claim that Gray sustained some initial injuries (the famed video?) before the ride, and ride (intentionally rough or not) didn't exactly help?


These details won't really officially come out until after the investigation is complete on May 1st.

Gray was definitely tackled in the original cell phone video, and asked for his inhaler before going into the van. But considering that the cause of death was a partially severed spinal cord... the minor injuries involved in the initial video were not the issue. Something funky happened during the ride.

People get tazed and tackled by police all the time with arrests and get out fine. I don't think that was the issue.

Tirian wrote:Let's review:

Christine Abbott, a 27-year-old assistant librarian at the Johns Hopkins University, is suing city officers in federal court, alleging that she got such a ride in 2012. According to the suit, officers cuffed Abbott's hands behind her back, threw her into a police van, left her unbuckled and "maniacally drove" her to the Northern District police station, "tossing [her] around the interior of the police van."

"They were braking really short so that I would slam against the wall, and they were taking really wide, fast turns," Abbott said in an interview that mirrored allegations in her lawsuit. "I couldn't brace myself. I was terrified."


It's not the vans that are causing the injuries, no more than we can prevent Eric Garner's death by buying the NYC police a bunch of new batons. The problem is the psychopathic shitstains that are driving the vans. And the bigger problem is the police department and union that are fully aware of the problem and not insisting that their officers follow buckling in protocol and driving in a manner that doesn't inflict physical and psychological torture on the person in custody.


Baltimore Police has made it clear that the officers involved did not follow proper buckling protocol.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/police-r ... ddie-gray/
LUKE BROADWATER: Well, a rough ride is an unsanctioned technique. It’s actually illegal. You’re not supposed to do it. It violates department policy.


Luke Broadwater is from the Baltimore Sun. So he's not an official police officer. But if it really is an illegal technique, then maybe they can get the officers in on that. I guess this is closest to the "chokehold" death in NYC a few months ago, with an officer using an illegal technique and then accidentally killing someone with it.

EDIT: Here's the official word of Baltimore Police.

"We know he was not buckled in the transportation wagon as he should have been. There's no excuse for that, period," Batts said. "We know our police employees failed to give him medical attention in a timely manner multiple times."


Anthony Batts is the Police Commissioner. So he's the man in charge.

Here's the Mayor's Words.

Asked if Gray's possible "rough ride" is a one-off, she said: "It's clearly not a one-off. The reason we have the policy around seat belts in the police vans is because of an incident that happened previously."


--------------
All I can see from the FoP (Police Union) is calls for "proper procedure" to be followed with regard to the rights of the six officers. Also something about the officers having the right to remain silent. FoP have also been critical of Anthony Batt's words against the officers, but that's their job. They're the Police Union so I'd expect them to always be on the side of the individual officers.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Apr 28, 2015 3:34 pm UTC

Mambrino wrote:
officer who was driving


I haven't been following this case very keenly until it (or rather, the riots) made international news, so I might've missed some details, but isn't there also a claim that Gray sustained some initial injuries (the famed video?) before the ride, and ride (intentionally rough or not) didn't exactly help?


Perhaps. He did request medical attention repeatedly over the course of the trip, though he did not receive any. Including an inhaler. So, he may have had difficulty breathing. But a severed spine seems fairly drastic, and it seems unlikely that such an injury was received beforehand, especially given that they opted to stop the van to shackle his legs, and then to grab another prisoner(who was seperated from him by a barrier). Someone with a severed spine probably isn't going to be overly mobile. Based on that, I have to conclude that happened in custody. There's just no other reasonable explanation.

Tirian wrote:It's not the vans that are causing the injuries, no more than we can prevent Eric Garner's death by buying the NYC police a bunch of new batons. The problem is the psychopathic shitstains that are driving the vans. And the bigger problem is the police department and union that are fully aware of the problem and not insisting that their officers follow buckling in protocol and driving in a manner that doesn't inflict physical and psychological torture on the person in custody.


Agreed. The van is just a handy tool for aggression. Remove the van, and there will be other ways to mistreat folks in custody. If the attitude and motives don't change, tool substitution is mostly pointless.

In other statements that probably didn't help, we have this gem from the Baltimore mayor, speaking about officer responses, "we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well".

Wider context, per CBS news, since many are only quoting the shorter bite:
Spoiler:
“I made it very clear that I work with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech,” Rawlings-Blake said. “It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate.”

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:59 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Yes, yes, I realize that in practice, the justice system is absurdly skewed in favor of the police, but...on a logical level, it shouldn't matter who is assaulting you, it *should* apply.
That this even comes up is somewhat of a surprise to me. Police are paid to do exactly that, assault people and kill them. It sounds ugly when said that way, but isn't it true? They are paid to kick down doors. They are paid to stop people on the street and ask them to comply. They are paid to go to your house when you assault your significant other and pull you off. We give them guns and pepper spray and tasers. We let them train snipers. Have I missed anything? And because we do that, we choose to have a higher bar for what we choose to prosecute them for. Isn't the question how we investigate and hold them accountable for their actions?
Mambrino wrote:I haven't been following this case very keenly until it (or rather, the riots) made international news, so I might've missed some details, but isn't there also a claim that Gray sustained some initial injuries (the famed video?) before the ride, and ride (intentionally rough or not) didn't exactly help?
It is not unreasonable to assume that there was an ulterior motive for not buckling him in since there it was a known tactic which had caused problems before. And cost the city money. Currently the status is unknown. He ended up dead, that is what is known. And it is on the Baltimore Police. They had custody.
Tyndmyr wrote:“Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on,(by doing the first we caused the second) we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”
I realize that that John Q Average can't read that, certainly CNN can't, but I would expect better here.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:39 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Yes, yes, I realize that in practice, the justice system is absurdly skewed in favor of the police, but...on a logical level, it shouldn't matter who is assaulting you, it *should* apply.
That this even comes up is somewhat of a surprise to me. Police are paid to do exactly that, assault people and kill them. It sounds ugly when said that way, but isn't it true? They are paid to kick down doors. They are paid to stop people on the street and ask them to comply. They are paid to go to your house when you assault your significant other and pull you off. We give them guns and pepper spray and tasers. We let them train snipers. Have I missed anything? And because we do that, we choose to have a higher bar for what we choose to prosecute them for. Isn't the question how we investigate and hold them accountable for their actions?


That...isn't the goal. Those things are all, at best, side effects on the way to acheiving the goals police exist for. At worst, they're the result of police escalating beyond their proper scope.

Killing people should *never* be a goal of the police. It should be at most an unfortunate consequence of stopping someone. And when police go to far, there *should* be such a thing as justified self defense against overreaches.

Mambrino wrote:I haven't been following this case very keenly until it (or rather, the riots) made international news, so I might've missed some details, but isn't there also a claim that Gray sustained some initial injuries (the famed video?) before the ride, and ride (intentionally rough or not) didn't exactly help?
It is not unreasonable to assume that there was an ulterior motive for not buckling him in since there it was a known tactic which had caused problems before. And cost the city money. Currently the status is unknown. He ended up dead, that is what is known. And it is on the Baltimore Police. They had custody.


Yeah. Intentional or not, it's on them either way. And...the situation doesn't look good for the police. At *best* they were incredibly apathetic to the well being of someone in their custody, resulting in death. That's pretty ugly for a best case.

Tyndmyr wrote:“Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on,(by doing the first we caused the second) we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”
I realize that that John Q Average can't read that, certainly CNN can't, but I would expect better here.


I am perfectly aware that the full quote adds important context, which is why I included it. I'm aware that she didn't *mean* to imply that destruction was a-ok, it's just a very unfortunate quote. Personally, I think the whole relying on the supposed freedom/safety dichotomy whenever one of those things is failed is a cop-out. But it's not so ugly as the short quote alone implies.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Angua » Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:51 pm UTC

Even if it was just from the ride in the van, spine damaging injuries should not be considered anything other than investigation worthy. There should be no way someone gets spine damage from being in a van unless they're in an accident, even if they aren't buckled in (I don't know about you, but I've spent time in cars and vans unbuckled, and I came nowhere near spinal damage, because the person driving was driving normally).

For heavens' sakes even if nothing else police officers are going to spend more time in that van than anyone else - if it was just a risk then they should be violently protesting that. The fact that they aren't protesting the fact that someone reportedly got spinal damage from a ride in a van is pretty damning, in my opinion. I'm not sure how this could be construed as anything other than intentional.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:19 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:That...isn't the goal. Those things are all, at best, side effects on the way to acheiving the goals police exist for. At worst, they're the result of police escalating beyond their proper scope.

Killing people should *never* be a goal of the police. It should be at most an unfortunate consequence of stopping someone. And when police go to far, there *should* be such a thing as justified self defense against overreaches.
Call it what you want. When you give them the authority to act with violence you choose for them to do exactly that. When the police have to use a gun it is only a matter of luck if the subject who gets shot at doesn't die. And it isn't always going to be clear if it is indeed an overreach. If they are guilty of a crime then you have to punish them like anyone else. The problem lies in defining overreach. And that is why the standard has to be different. What you do have to do is clear the ground. Make the prosecution purely adversarial. Separate the person who prosecutes from the person who has to work with the police on a day to day basis. As a matter of course when a shooting or act of violence is involved it needs to be looked at by someone other than those involved. There are other issues that involve the lack of national standards and record keeping that also have to be addressed.
Tyndmyr wrote:I am perfectly aware that the full quote adds important context, which is why I included it. I'm aware that she didn't *mean* to imply that destruction was a-ok, it's just a very unfortunate quote. Personally, I think the whole relying on the supposed freedom/safety dichotomy whenever one of those things is failed is a cop-out. But it's not so ugly as the short quote alone implies.
The statement is ambiguous. She needs not to speak extemporaneously without having control of the message. This is why politicians have keepers to monitor and correct. She can't afford ambiguity. I'm sorry if it came off as personal, I have watched those fools at CNN too much.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:34 pm UTC

rath358 wrote:Is there a "good" place to get live-ish coverage of events that isn't as problematic as the mainstream coverage that is being criticized here? I am very interested in the situation, but don't really know how to access it.
There are also lists people have put together of Twitter users who are there on the ground.

This one was put together by the tumblr user MJ criticized me for linking to earlier.

This one was put together by an LA Times reporter.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby natraj » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:38 pm UTC

so in creepy update news, the city is now under curfew (being out at all between 2200-500 is arrestable) which has been widely reported but less widely reported is that the terms of the curfew also include it being arrestable to participate in ANY march/rally/demonstration at ANY time.

of course, this isn't stopping anyone protesting, but i suspect it will mean a whole lot more completely unjustified arrests.

(i have had several friends arrested with literally the only charge being "resisting arrest". but, you know, no other charges that would justify the arrest in the first place. also many bruises and other injuries. explain that away, police apologists.)
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:40 pm UTC

Angua wrote:Even if it was just from the ride in the van, spine damaging injuries should not be considered anything other than investigation worthy. There should be no way someone gets spine damage from being in a van unless they're in an accident, even if they aren't buckled in (I don't know about you, but I've spent time in cars and vans unbuckled, and I came nowhere near spinal damage, because the person driving was driving normally).

For heavens' sakes even if nothing else police officers are going to spend more time in that van than anyone else - if it was just a risk then they should be violently protesting that. The fact that they aren't protesting the fact that someone reportedly got spinal damage from a ride in a van is pretty damning, in my opinion. I'm not sure how this could be construed as anything other than intentional.


Well if it's the type of van I'm picturing with a single bench on each side, I can see not having a seatbelt while having your hands shackled behind your back could lead to some injury from even moderately quickly taking a curve or braking. I mean I've seen people fall off the old bus seats that were setup like that when the bus took a curve too fast. Granted those were usually elderly people, but they also didn't have their hands shackled.

Now then, to get to the almost severed spinal column that I've seen mentioned in reports does seem like it would take some excessively rough maneuvering of the van barring a very unlucky fall. One would imagine the other person they picked up and put in the back with Grey would be a good witness as to what was going on (or at least Grey's state) during that end part of the trip.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:42 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:That...isn't the goal. Those things are all, at best, side effects on the way to acheiving the goals police exist for. At worst, they're the result of police escalating beyond their proper scope.

Killing people should *never* be a goal of the police. It should be at most an unfortunate consequence of stopping someone. And when police go to far, there *should* be such a thing as justified self defense against overreaches.
Call it what you want. When you give them the authority to act with violence you choose for them to do exactly that. When the police have to use a gun it is only a matter of luck if the subject who gets shot at doesn't die. And it isn't always going to be clear if it is indeed an overreach. If they are guilty of a crime then you have to punish them like anyone else. The problem lies in defining overreach. And that is why the standard has to be different. What you do have to do is clear the ground. Make the prosecution purely adversarial. Separate the person who prosecutes from the person who has to work with the police on a day to day basis. As a matter of course when a shooting or act of violence is involved it needs to be looked at by someone other than those involved. There are other issues that involve the lack of national standards and record keeping that also have to be addressed.


I don't think it has to be that. And yes, there is overlap between stopping someone and killing them...but the goal should clearly be the former. In many of the instances discussed in this thread, stopping is not of significant concern, and yet violence is still occuring. That's very clear overreach.

Yes, some edge cases will likely always exist about just what is appropriate, but a lot of these are well beyond edge case level. And the courtroom is where the edge cases get hashed out. Disagreement will always exist about appropriateness, to some extent...but a lot of these are way, way past any reasonable level of controversy.

Prosecuting them after the fact is the de facto system now. It is...not great. First, how are people going to know/collect evidence in most cases? The police are simply uniquely positioned in this regard to get away with abuses. Yes, we can talk about a "higher standard", and punish the crap out of one or two that get caught, but...that doesn't actually work. It's like the death penalty. Shitty detection rate and overreactions in punishment don't balance out. We need to reliably catch them. And then reliably prosecute them. And/or have ways to prevent it from occuring in the first place.

Seperating prosecution of police will...probably not work. At least, not if you're committed to "treat them the same as everyone else". A prosecutor is a prosecutor, normally. So, you kind of get one or the other. Stuff like cameras are nice, because they increase the chances of evidence being incidentally gathered, so they directly impact detection rates up front. But...treating cops as special, including explicit exceptions in law, seriously needs to be minimized. Giving them special rights is very, very dangerous.

Tyndmyr wrote:I am perfectly aware that the full quote adds important context, which is why I included it. I'm aware that she didn't *mean* to imply that destruction was a-ok, it's just a very unfortunate quote. Personally, I think the whole relying on the supposed freedom/safety dichotomy whenever one of those things is failed is a cop-out. But it's not so ugly as the short quote alone implies.
The statement is ambiguous. She needs not to speak extemporaneously without having control of the message. This is why politicians have keepers to monitor and correct. She can't afford ambiguity. I'm sorry if it came off as personal, I have watched those fools at CNN too much.


Entirely fair, I've watched them misrepresent it...several times now. Chasing drama, rather than fact. Which probably means things are better today than last night, if they're re-hashing stuff and looking to overstate things. So, I guess that's some comfort, at least.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:20 pm UTC

natraj wrote:so in creepy update news, the city is now under curfew (being out at all between 2200-500 is arrestable) which has been widely reported but less widely reported is that the terms of the curfew also include it being arrestable to participate in ANY march/rally/demonstration at ANY time.
Can you cite that with some kind of link?
Tyndmyr wrote:Giving them special rights is very, very dangerous.
Tell me another way to make it work. Edge cases or not every incident would turn into a legal case.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:24 pm UTC

natraj wrote:so in creepy update news, the city is now under curfew (being out at all between 2200-500 is arrestable) which has been widely reported but less widely reported is that the terms of the curfew also include it being arrestable to participate in ANY march/rally/demonstration at ANY time.


I've heard otherwise. Do you have a link? Or is this just a bad rumor getting spread around?

EDIT: Here's the official curfew from the Mayor: http://mayor.baltimorecity.gov/news/pre ... oday-10-pm. It doesn't say anything about marches / rallies.

According to the news, there are continuing protests in the streets today. But nothing violent.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby natraj » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:37 pm UTC

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-WXbZt ... _api&pli=1

i don't have a news link since like i said it's not being reported on. that's a copy of the emergency orders though, you can read the prohibited conduct there.

no engaging in marches/assemblies/demonstrations at any hour. (without a permit, but do you want to guess how many of those they're issuing?)
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:54 pm UTC

At the moment there is a protest happening if CNN(so shoot me) video is to be believed. My default position is that it won't be enforced unless there is a reason to. If you want to see it otherwise, ok.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:08 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
natraj wrote:so in creepy update news, the city is now under curfew (being out at all between 2200-500 is arrestable) which has been widely reported but less widely reported is that the terms of the curfew also include it being arrestable to participate in ANY march/rally/demonstration at ANY time.
Can you cite that with some kind of link?


The curfew bit is being announced everywhere here. Enforced shutdowns of businesses in some regions happened yesterday. Not sure about the participation thing. Haven't heard announcements there, and certainly some demonstrations are happening without mass arresting. But generic "resisting arrest" charges don't seem to stretch believability. That's pretty common in these cases, announcement or not, as cops are...twitchy. They're not arresting everyone, clearly, but hundreds of arrests have happened.

There's something like 500 guardsmen deployed along the waterfront(ie, where the expensive tourist buildings are).

Also, I've noticed in the coverage several different protesters wearing gas masks. One of these is the lad caught on video slicing the firetruck hose while they were putting out the CVS, for instance. Strikes me as a touch odd. I would assume gas mask ownership would be pretty rare.

Tyndmyr wrote:Giving them special rights is very, very dangerous.
Tell me another way to make it work. Edge cases or not every incident would turn into a legal case.


Every time a cop has to resort to violence SHOULD turn into a legal case.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby natraj » Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:18 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:At the moment there is a protest happening if CNN(so shoot me) video is to be believed. My default position is that it won't be enforced unless there is a reason to. If you want to see it otherwise, ok.


you'll notice how immediately after i originally mentioned the law i ALSO said it isn't stopping anyone protesting. you have a very convenient selective reading of my posts. you asked for a citation on the curfew ordinance and i gave one.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:36 pm UTC

I forgot to say thank you.
Tyndmyr wrote:Every time a cop has to resort to violence SHOULD turn into a legal case.
Why? Two gunman walk out of a bank in LA start a gun battle with police. Should we go to court to see if the police acted with appropriate force? Even assuming you could get people to do the job with those limitations you are still left with the people who are making the decisions in bed with the police. And the same juries would let them off.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:42 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:I forgot to say thank you.
Tyndmyr wrote:Every time a cop has to resort to violence SHOULD turn into a legal case.
Why? Two gunman walk out of a bank in LA start a gun battle with police. Should we go to court to see if the police acted with appropriate force? Even assuming you could get people to do the job with those limitations you are still left with the people who are making the decisions in bed with the police. And the same juries would let them off.


Why not? Is the number of people killed or beaten by police so great that this represents an unmanageable burden? SHOULD the number be so great?

Yes, some cases will be quickly handled because the evidence is overwelming. That's fine. You get that with random citizens, too. Guy gets charged despite evidence being solidly in his favor. But...you still have the framework of a court case in case it's not so simple as it appears. I'm open to dismissals based on the same options available to citizens(note that I am also against the current plea bargain churn), but having to legally justify violence seems...kind of necessary.

Yes, maybe you won't be able to kick down as many doors under such a system. That is fine.

And no...this won't fix juries. It shouldn't. It merely gives juries a chance at actually being relevant to begin with.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:48 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
morriswalters wrote:I forgot to say thank you.
Tyndmyr wrote:Every time a cop has to resort to violence SHOULD turn into a legal case.
Why? Two gunman walk out of a bank in LA start a gun battle with police. Should we go to court to see if the police acted with appropriate force? Even assuming you could get people to do the job with those limitations you are still left with the people who are making the decisions in bed with the police. And the same juries would let them off.


Why not? Is the number of people killed or beaten by police so great that this represents an unmanageable burden? SHOULD the number be so great?

Yes, some cases will be quickly handled because the evidence is overwelming. That's fine. You get that with random citizens, too. Guy gets charged despite evidence being solidly in his favor. But...you still have the framework of a court case in case it's not so simple as it appears. I'm open to dismissals based on the same options available to citizens(note that I am also against the current plea bargain churn), but having to legally justify violence seems...kind of necessary.

Yes, maybe you won't be able to kick down as many doors under such a system. That is fine.

And no...this won't fix juries. It shouldn't. It merely gives juries a chance at actually being relevant to begin with.

I agree with Tyndmyr here. If you don't check everything, the abusive cops will try to hide behind the legitimate actions of others.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby TaintedDeity » Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:14 pm UTC

And hey, gives the cops an incentive to leave their body cams on.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:31 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Why not? Is the number of people killed or beaten by police so great that this represents an unmanageable burden? SHOULD the number be so great?
You've subtly shifted the goal posts. Here's your first again.
Tyndmyr wrote:Every time a cop has to resort to violence SHOULD turn into a legal case.
It doesn't matter what you really mean, the point is that if you do it this way, then every time any violence is used, the cop will end up defending himself. Maybe cams would help that or maybe not. In terms of how great a burden is it? You tell me. Show me some reliable statistics. However it isn't hard to see the prosecutors are so overloaded now that they plea more than they try. And since the police are acting for the local authority I can see that as a taxpayer I will pay the cost. The cop is doing what he is doing because we hired him to do it.
sardia wrote:I agree with Tyndmyr here. If you don't check everything, the abusive cops will try to hide behind the legitimate actions of others.
I have no doubt. And they will close ranks, which I'll admit isn't a new thing. The question you are really asking is how do we keep them from hiding? One possible short term solution I'm surprised the present generation hasn't offered is a smart gun that can self report when it has been unholstered and/or fired while recording the location. Cams in cars should give a 360 view of the area around the car. That is a really cheap way to start. National Standards for police behavior are another thing. But justice in the US costs money. Congress can't get shit done currently, and they aren't friendly to new taxes to support this.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:40 am UTC

Every time there's litigation taxpayers foot the bill as it is. I'd rather pay to try cops than pay for the bullets they use to murder unarmed civilians.

And maybe it would be hard to define "violence" or automatically go to court every time any violence whatsoever happened, but at least every time someone dies in police custody.

Sure, that's still over 1000 per year, but one consequence of automatically going to court might be to greatly lower that number. (Several countries have a lower total intentional homicide rate than the US rate of people killed by cop, so I'm sure we could do better.)
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby natraj » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:07 am UTC

update: completely peaceful demonstration, the cops have broken out the riot gear and an lrad and are kettling us.

and no, morriswalters, before you ask, i don't have a citation, i am currently standing in the middle of the street with a bunch of riot cops surrounding people for the crime of chanting w/o a permit
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Carlington » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:17 am UTC

I definitely agree with Tyndmyr and gmalivuk here. morriswalters, I don't think you believe that police should never face trial for their use of violence. (I really hope you don't believe that). That means police should face trial at least some of the time. So, then, which cases should face trial? Cases where there has clearly been wrongdoing? Clear to whom? Who decides what's clear enough? Even if we satisfactorily answer those questions, then what's the point of a trial? We already know the act was wrong - so just jump right to punishment.
Much better, I think, to make police actually justify their use of "justifiable force" - it's justifiable, so this shouldn't be difficult. After time, once precedent has been established, this justification can even be as simple as "This case mirrors the events of case XYZ, Vinewood PD vs. The State of Pacifica, based on this precedent we argue that the use of force was justified and proportionate." and you're done.

In other news, issuing a warrant to an unarmed man in his home requires the use of lethal force


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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:37 am UTC

@Gmalivuk
It could be greater than that, how would we know? But for convenience I'll accept that number. I could live with taking them to court every time someone dies in custody.
natraj wrote:update: completely peaceful demonstration, the cops have broken out the riot gear and an lrad and are kettling us.

and no, morriswalters, before you ask, i don't have a citation, i am currently standing in the middle of the street with a bunch of riot cops surrounding people for the crime of chanting w/o a permit
CNN has your back, if that makes you feel any better. Did you think those reinforcements were there for show. But you have to do what your conscience dictates. Good luck and be safe. At 10 when the curfew starts it will be interesting to see how it goes. I'll hope for the best. I'd just as soon not see a repeat of last night. And nobody has died to this point.
Carlington wrote:morriswalters, I don't think you believe that police should never face trial for their use of violence.
I'm not going to be polite. Crap. However I am of the mind to fix the problem in a way that works rather than use feelgood solutions that don't. If it were up to me I would remove handguns out of the equation and change the rules of engagement so that you don't chase people who rabbit, without some kind of reason. You can imagine how popular that makes me in some circles. But given that there are around 350 million guns at large in the US it isn't going to happen. Anyway we'll see what the morning brings.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:49 am UTC

Carlington wrote:I definitely agree with Tyndmyr and gmalivuk here. morriswalters, I don't think you believe that police should never face trial for their use of violence. (I really hope you don't believe that). That means police should face trial at least some of the time. So, then, which cases should face trial? Cases where there has clearly been wrongdoing? Clear to whom? Who decides what's clear enough?

Generally a prosecutor decides. You are probably worried about whether prosecutors will zealously pursue cases against police officers, but it's not clear to me why an automatic trial would solve that problem. Prosecutors also get accused of deliberately throwing trials. (Not as often, since usually they can just decline to prosecute if they don't want to convict someone.)

Anyway, a couple other things I came across. This is a video of police officers throwing rocks at protesters. Obviously, nothing can justify this. And this article seemed relevant to some of the earlier discussion in this thread about "what the police are for."
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