Police misbehavior thread

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Pfhorrest » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:38 am UTC

Thesh wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:Although, to Thesh et al, my fellow libertarian socialists: you do still want there to be someone who will stand up to some asshole who keeps, say, stealing the toothbrushes of people he doesn't like, and refuses to be reasoned with, and tries to fight anyone who tries to stop him, don't you? Obviously you want to prevent that from happening first if you can, and to peacefully dissuade him from further assholery if not, but if he really presses it and won't stop, eventually someone should make him, right? Not by just shooting him off the bat, of course, but some force may eventually be warranted?


In a society built around positive reciprocity and social ownership, status seeking becomes about not what you can aquire, but how much you can benefit those around you, which gets people into positive habits. It usually takes mental effort to deviate from norms and people imitate the people around them, so reducing violence as a response reduces capacity for violence. Most antisocial behaviors can be corrected by withdrawal of positive reciprocity or mediation - restorative justice puts the victim and offender together to come to a mutually agreeable resolution. If mediation doesn't work, take their shit or break something of theirs. If things are really bad, maybe there is a mental health issue; some people might need medication, therapy, or a care person. Worst case scenario, you can publicly shame or ostracize them.

I only support violence in the most extreme circumstances.

That all sounds like it falls under the pervue of "prevent" or "peacefully dissuade", which I agree are the right first steps, but I'm asking about if those steps fail.

In general, when you talk about your ideal society, it seems to always be describing a world where that kind of society has been dominant for a long time and most people have been raised with its ideals normalized, and you seem to be describing how such an established society would deal with individuals beginning to stray from its peaceful ways. And for what that's worth I don't have a lot of disagreement with anything you say in that respect. But what's a more interesting and pressing question to me, and I expect a lot of other people, is what happens at the interface of that kind of society and what we have today.

Imagine you have somehow established somewhere a small and young enclave of people living that way, but they're surrounded by what we have today, in all of its varieties as found around the world. When the broken people who have been raised in our broken systems take their broken behavior into your better society, how does that society respond? That's the kind of question people are asking, so telling them how those problems wouldn't arise in a better society doesn't help, because we want to know what happens when the problems from today's society spill over the non-borders of the better one.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gd1 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:48 am UTC

ucim wrote:
gd1 wrote:From my required business law intro class a while back (paraphrased):
The purpose of the law is to reduce/limit revenge.
Is this referring to "the law" (as a whole) or to a specific law under discussion. If the former, it still makes sense, as absent state law, people take the law into their own hands. That's usually considered a Bad Thing. Settling/de-escalating a situation is well and good but doesn't always happen.

Jose


I believe it was referring to the law as a whole. I think the words "take law into own hands" or similar may also have been mentioned, but it was a while ago.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Thesh » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:57 am UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Thesh wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:Although, to Thesh et al, my fellow libertarian socialists: you do still want there to be someone who will stand up to some asshole who keeps, say, stealing the toothbrushes of people he doesn't like, and refuses to be reasoned with, and tries to fight anyone who tries to stop him, don't you? Obviously you want to prevent that from happening first if you can, and to peacefully dissuade him from further assholery if not, but if he really presses it and won't stop, eventually someone should make him, right? Not by just shooting him off the bat, of course, but some force may eventually be warranted?


In a society built around positive reciprocity and social ownership, status seeking becomes about not what you can aquire, but how much you can benefit those around you, which gets people into positive habits. It usually takes mental effort to deviate from norms and people imitate the people around them, so reducing violence as a response reduces capacity for violence. Most antisocial behaviors can be corrected by withdrawal of positive reciprocity or mediation - restorative justice puts the victim and offender together to come to a mutually agreeable resolution. If mediation doesn't work, take their shit or break something of theirs. If things are really bad, maybe there is a mental health issue; some people might need medication, therapy, or a care person. Worst case scenario, you can publicly shame or ostracize them.

I only support violence in the most extreme circumstances.

That all sounds like it falls under the pervue of "prevent" or "peacefully dissuade", which I agree are the right first steps, but I'm asking about if those steps fail.

In general, when you talk about your ideal society, it seems to always be describing a world where that kind of society has been dominant for a long time and most people have been raised with its ideals normalized, and you seem to be describing how such an established society would deal with individuals beginning to stray from its peaceful ways. And for what that's worth I don't have a lot of disagreement with anything you say in that respect. But what's a more interesting and pressing question to me, and I expect a lot of other people, is what happens at the interface of that kind of society and what we have today.

Imagine you have somehow established somewhere a small and young enclave of people living that way, but they're surrounded by what we have today, in all of its varieties as found around the world. When the broken people who have been raised in our broken systems take their broken behavior into your better society, how does that society respond? That's the kind of question people are asking, so telling them how those problems wouldn't arise in a better society doesn't help, because we want to know what happens when the problems from today's society spill over the non-borders of the better one.


Community self defense is the transitional system I support. So here's the thing, our society functions most of the time without violence. And it is shit. People are hostile, relationships are terrible. People are constantly struggling to get by, and yet there are large parts of the world where there is little to no violence.

Chimpanzee societies are much less capable than human societies; they don't have the benefit of good communication and education, and yet they are still typically mostly free of violence until they experience resource shortages. This is true within most social species. The same is true for human nature. We were capable of raising and teaching children without authoritarian structures just like lions are capable of raising their children the same way.

So the point isn't that there will be no bad behavior, it's to recognize that in the absence of police and property, behavior will be better today. People just need to keep working at it. People are capable of moving to other countries with completely different cultures, and adapting. As more people adapt, you can dedicate more energy to helping the people who can't.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby natraj » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:17 am UTC

people also want to cling really hard to this idea that there is some overwhelming amount of violence such that the problem is pervasive and unsolveable without a huge amount of investment in equally violent countermeasures, when that is just... blatantly counter to p much every measure we take that investigates violence.

we have the ability, right now, to pretty much overnight solve the problem of the vast majority of the violence in our society, we just choose not to to it. every time it is looked into, we find that giving people access to basic life necessities such that they are not living in fear of deprivation, giving people access to education, to healthcare, to mental health care, to shelter and food etc -- if people had their needs met, which we right now today have the ability to do and simply elect not to because, again, we prioritize property over human life -- this would cut down a huge number of Violent Crimes.

it's also found that violence interruption programs that focus on violence as a public health problem (such as the NEAR act in my city, dc, if you want to look into an example) rather than looking to deal with it punitively have better impact at actually reducing violence and recidivism but, again, this is not where we currently choose to focus our money and efforts, instead focusing on a carceral approach to crime that does not actually help in lowering violent crime rates.

there is a lot we could be doing in transition from the shitty society we have now to a better one, but we just. most often aren't! because people throw up their hands and say well, people will always be violent so why bother doing anything to change the system we have. yes, it's true, some people will always be violent, but not nearly so many as people want to pretend in order to justify a violent and broken system, and we could be approaching the ones who are in a much more holistic way.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:32 am UTC

ucim wrote:Yes. And not "function" (purpose) but "method" (tool). The difference is very important - it points to what the fix needs to be, and the wrong fix would be Very Bad.
I actually meant function in the programming sense (a function in a program is a "tool" with an output. Heck, some functions are literally called methods!).

I also disagree that the fix looks all that different -- see my conversation with Thesh. The steps we'd take to responsibly "abolish" the police versus responsibly "reform" it look remarkably similar for quite a while. And that's the funny thing: If we reform the police so thoroughly that violence all but disappears, but police are still necessary to maintain the peace? People calling for abolishment won't have a leg to stand on. But? If reformation leads to a point where we can clearly just get rid of the police and be fine? Abolishment is now a really good idea (and hey, we've done all the prep work for it!).

Either way, there's no reason people who want to "abolish" police and people who want to "reform" police can't agree on what should be done right now. Not unless you're kinda pedantic and subscribe to a very narrow and unhelpful interpretation of what these words mean (*coughcoughrelevantcough*).
ucim wrote:...which was not even related to the point I was making (which relates to the purpose of police, and whether or not we should have them in the first place).
I think you're doing that thing again. The phrase you're quoting starts with the phrase "sixty page thesis". That's your clue that I'm not speaking literally -- you didn't actually write a sixty page thesis in this thread, and you should be able to 'guess' that I know that. It then follows that when I say that this "sixty page thesis" is trying to prove that "police are physiologically capable of doing things besides arrests", I am still not speaking literally. I am exaggerating for effect.
ucim wrote:Yes, I'll own up to that. Words are important. Words mean things. Word choice can inflame emotions, short circuit rational thought, and polarize a nation. Word choices, especially after requests for clarification, are the window into the thought behind the statement. Bad word choices can generate support for totally inappropriate solutions for misidentified problems.
Is this you actually owning up to something, or is it just you complaining about how everyone else doesn't take words as seriously as you do? Because it sounds like it's just you complaining that everyone else doesn't take words as seriously as you do.

If this is self-directed (you're saying this to remind yourself, and not just directing it to everyone else), then okay -- cool! But it kind of sounds like you're saying "Yes, I'll own up to how much y'all suck at words". Rather than, y'know. Acknowledging your own pattern of behavior.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ucim » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:05 pm UTC

natraj wrote:please show me the repeated answers that make this claim.
Start here and read through the next several posts. Granted, it's in the Trump thread; my bad for misremembering which one it was in. But Trump's repeated calls for police violence make it kin to this thread, and the topic is pretty much exactly what we're discussing.

There are other examples, but I'm not going to create a concordance for you. This one should be enough to make my point.

Thesh wrote:...Chimpanzee societies are much less capable than human societies; they don't have the benefit of good communication and education, and yet they are still typically mostly free of violence until they experience resource shortages. This is true within most social species. The same is true for human nature.
They are also much smaller. When society is small enough that you are constantly running into the same people again and again, self-policing works pretty well. Pretty much any member of society is comfortable calling foul on any other member of that society; they know each other. However, as societies get larger, more perps and victims will be strangers to observers, who will be wary of confronting a possibly dangerous stranger, and there is much less in it for them. Most animal societies are not global. But most people are part of global society. This is an important difference.

The Great Hippo wrote:I actually meant function in the programming sense
I would not have picked that up. (In fact, I didn't pick that up.)

The Great Hippo wrote:The steps we'd take to responsibly "abolish" the police versus responsibly "reform" it look remarkably similar for quite a while.
Maybe...depending on what is meant by "responsibly", which (like every other political argument) will be different for anybody who has different ideas of what should be done in the first place. ACA needs to be adjusted and improved. Or it needs to be totally abolished. Or it needs to be repealed and replaced. I don't think that even the initial steps are the same, but each group thinks they are doing it responsibly.

The Great Hippo wrote:Is this you actually owning up to something, or is it just you complaining about how everyone else doesn't take words as seriously as you do?
I am claiming that I do that thing, but not that it is a bad thing. Exaggerating for amusing delivery is ok, but exaggerating to enflame, and thus changing the message (and the dialog) on an important issue, is not. It's like calling liberals "baby killers". It pretty much puts an end to nuanced discussion.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby natraj » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:45 pm UTC

thanks, i have read through those replies and not a single one makes the claim that you have said they do. i have to agree with hippo that you just have a very concerted pattern of being wilfully oblivious to / aggressively misinterpreting people's words, and arguing against things that people are not saying whatsoever.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Thesh » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:59 pm UTC

ucim wrote:They are also much smaller. When society is small enough that you are constantly running into the same people again and again, self-policing works pretty well. Pretty much any member of society is comfortable calling foul on any other member of that society; they know each other. However, as societies get larger, more perps and victims will be strangers to observers, who will be wary of confronting a possibly dangerous stranger, and there is much less in it for them. Most animal societies are not global. But most people are part of global society. This is an important difference.


So therefore we should isolate ourselves into the smallest units of organization functionally possible, and use the law to resolve all of our conflicts so that we can live as a giant society where people barely know each other?

Can I propose a two step process:

1) Identify the causes of problems
2) Look for solutions

This is necessary for you to have understanding. You won't do it, because you are not interested in solving problems, so your thought is incapable of coming to any conclusion but "Whelp, we should throw our hands up in the air and accept the superiority of the elites". So why are you here? Why do you care so fucking much that other people want change, to the point where people can't have a conversation without you vomiting your unregulated train of thoughts?
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ucim » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:17 pm UTC

The claim: That question ["is this just hyperbole?"] has been asked, repeatedly. Sometimes by me, sometimes by others. The answer is usually some form of "yes, I mean literally, the only purpose of the police is to ruin people's lives".

One example:

Thesh: "That said, ACAB is absolutely true in America (it's impossible to be a good cop if you enforce our laws and send people to our prisons)."

ucim: "Is this not also hyperbole? Or do you actually literally mean that there doesn't exist even one police officer in the entire country that is not a Bad Cop?"

natraj: "there are zero cops in the entirety of america that are Good Cops. every single cop is terrible."

Thesh: "I mean it literally. There is not a single one. If you send someone to prison, you participate in slavery and torture."

Seems pretty close to me.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Thesh » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:24 pm UTC

natraj wrote:
ucim wrote:That question has been asked, repeatedly. Sometimes by me, sometimes by others. The answer is usually some form of "yes, I mean literally, the only purpose of the police is to ruin people's lives".


please show me the repeated answers that make this claim.



Just quoting to remind us what this is in response to.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby natraj » Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:42 pm UTC

ucim, your clam was that people here have repeatedly said that the only purpose of the police is to ruin people's lives. this statement came in the very specific context of a discussion (quoted below in case you have forgotten the context) about whether or not people here think that the only function of the police is to arrest people. in the context of this discussion you made the claim that yes, in fact, you have asked the specific question as to whether or not people do in fact think that the only function of the police is to arrest people and yes, in fact people do answer literally, that is the only purpose of the police [to arrest people/to ruin lives].

ucim wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:I'm sorry, but you've got to be pretty willfully oblivious to argue for this long without ever stopping once to say, "maybe this person doesn't *literally* think the only function of police is to arrest people.
That question has been asked, repeatedly. Sometimes by me, sometimes by others. The answer is usually some form of "yes, I mean literally, the only purpose of the police is to ruin people's lives". (After all, this is a thread about police ruining people's lives.)


nothing in those replies suggests that any of us think that the only function of the police is to arrest people or to ruin lives. what has been stated is that when the police send someone to prison, it ruins lives. what has been stated is that every police officer participates in a system that ruins lives. this is not the same thing as saying that the only thing a police officer does is ruin lives, which is the explicit claim you said we had stated. i'm sorry that you have such an incapability of understanding this fact. a police officer can do many other things with their day, but this does not erase the fact that they also do things, in the regular ordinary course of their job, intentionally, and as ordered by their duty, that ruin lives. this doesn't mean that this is the only duty of a police officer, but it does mean that it is a near statistical likelihood for every police officer during the course of their life. it is not the only function of a police officer to do things such as arrest, mete out fines, etc, but it is a regular and ordinary function of the police, and it also ruins lives. police officers may do other things as well, but that's kind of irrelevant to the point!

if we had a job for police officers that was solely and only stuff like "mediation" "playing basketball with troubled teens" "talking down suicidal people from ledges" whatever bullshit people want to point to that is non-harmful applications of police officers that could also be done -- and is currently done -- by other people who are not police officers, we wouldn't have a problem with them. also, we're all aware that sometimes police officers do those things. we've always been aware, and nobody has ever said otherwise. you made the claim that we believe and have stated police officers' sole function is arrest, and that is a blatant lie and not even contained in the posts you linked to.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Sableagle » Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:58 pm UTC

natraj wrote:the point is that the system itself is ... people's entire lives can be ruined over something like a busted taillight or a minor arrest for a crime they are in fact innocent of.

and a cop who chooses to put people first and ignore the laws is not "a good cop" they're just being a decent human being in violation of their directive as a cop, just like these people in this story chose to be decent human beings in violation of their jobs as police.

natraj wrote:in our current system, there is no possible way to enforce our laws without either purposeful or incidental brutality, because the system itself is racist and slanted to fuck over poor people and minorities.

natraj wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:The US puts more people in prison per capita than any other country. Being a police officer in the US means your job is to put people in prison. In other words, your job is to ruin people's lives. This is a systemic problem.
the job of police is to utilize force in order to uphold the law. our laws protect property above human life and in fact are often specifically structured to harm people who are poor and otherwise disenfranchised.

a police officer who does not do this might be a "good person" but they are not a "good cop", they are failing in the duty of cops to uphold the law.

natraj wrote:
ucim wrote:That question has been asked, repeatedly. Sometimes by me, sometimes by others. The answer is usually some form of "yes, I mean literally, the only purpose of the police is to ruin people's lives".


please show me the repeated answers that make this claim.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Thesh » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:01 pm UTC

You realize those don't make the point you quoted, right?
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Grop » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:45 pm UTC

Apparently this thread features much mass per volume.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:15 pm UTC

ucim, for someone who is very literal-minded, you seem to apply that quality very selectively -- not when it comes to your own statements. Like natraj, I don't see the thing you're talking about.

No one's said police literally exist only to ruin people's lives. Only that (American) police participate in a system that ruins lives, and that you can't be a police officer without contributing to and supporting this system. Saying "police ruin lives" is not the same thing as "police exist only to ruin lives". For, example, if I say the former, I can still permit that a police officer can do good things; just that, in the current system, you can't be a police officer that doesn't contribute to ruining lives -- because (as even you admit!) the system is deeply broken, and ruins countless lives.

Sabereagle, you said you're over forty, right? Could you try acting a bit more like it? Trying to play "gotcha" while posting various pictures I presume you found on Google image search is not contributing anything to the discussion. At the very least, could you start putting the images in spoilers?

(The bit where you posted a list of reforms you think would help was good; more posts like that would be helpful. For example, I'm curious about the Scottish system you mentioned! Also, could you turn your "moral indignance" setting back a few notches? You're presumably not an American, and not directly experiencing having American police trying to kill you and/or your friends at this very moment. Try and consider that some of the people you're lecturing here *have* experienced that, and how that might make your posts look to them.)
Grop wrote:Apparently this thread features much mass per volume.
Well, I mean. It IS the police misbehavior thread.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gd1 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:38 pm UTC

Grop wrote:Apparently this thread features much mass per volume.


Critical mass will be achieved at 9001 posts. Though I'm not sure if this thread or the Trump one will get there first.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:56 am UTC

Sableagle wrote:some irrelevant bullshit

Whether you chose to ignore Natraj's entire clarification post before you decided to add that reply, or it took you over an hour to make it and you ignored said post when it popped up as a warning message that there were new replies

Either way you were just trolling so fucking stop.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:14 pm UTC

ucim wrote:Some oblivious but possibly not trolling bullshit.

If natraj's post is too long for you to get all the way through, consider this illustrative example:

If a hangman's job also includes putting flowers on the graves of the condemned, then his job isn't only killing people, but he's still an executioner.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby natraj » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:37 pm UTC

i don't know if this has been posted yet but here is a story about a woman who died during an arrest and the police say she killed herself. with a gunshot to the mouth. while handcuffed, with her hands behind her back. conveniently the body cam the officer was wearing at the time just happened to be offline at the time so no, there's no footage to verify this, we will just have to take their word for it.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Angua » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:46 pm UTC

You missed the part where while handcuffed with her hands behind her back she managed to get back into the car to get the gun out before shooting herself through the mouth.

Definitely sounds legit. Certainly those police were extremely lucky that she didn't decide to shoot them with the gun that they clearly didn't secure.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:08 pm UTC

And it happened to a girl that looks like she'd make the news for 3 months for going missing in Aruba. Surprised we didn't see this sooner.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby solune » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:41 pm UTC

Fox News wrote:A medical examiner confirmed on Thursday that Wilson died of a suicide


I'm gonna assume that Fox News is full of crap and that Virginia medical examiners don't actually profess to know who was holding the gun or what state of mind they where in, just by looking at the body.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Thesh » Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:00 pm UTC

Medical examiners trace the path of the bullet through the body to determine where it was fired from, so it's their job to make this kind of ruling. That said, it wouldn't be the first time a medical examiner has covered up for police.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:17 pm UTC

natraj wrote:police officers job is not to protect people, despite the propaganda, it has literally been ruled in court that this is not the purpose of the police
The NY times headline is an exaggeration, and your description is an exaggeration of that exaggeration.

That case didn't address "the purpose" of police; it didn't even address "duty" in the common sense (doing your job is generally not a legal duty); it also did not address the general duty of the police. The case addresses which actions are police legally compelled to take in specific circumstances to provide specific protective actions.

A reasonable person can disagree with the case; they can also agree with the ruling for the particular circumstance and find the precedent troubling. However nobody is actually saying anything to contradict "The police should protect people." The relevant legal questions are all "if/how/when should the police and/or police department be punished for sucking at their job of protecting people?"
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The Great Hippo wrote:Either way, there's no reason people who want to "abolish" police and people who want to "reform" police can't agree on what should be done right now.
It kind of seems like the entire difference is what should be done tomorrow.

Should US police organizations continue to exist tomorrow? Is it a more effective path to form new institutions from scratch or to make (possibly drastic) changes to the current organizations?

Or are you just saying that the abolition people will all agree that reform is better than status quo?
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:32 pm UTC

Most likely scenario, imho, was they shot at the boyfriend, when they really had no reason to. Ended up using the girl as a backstop. Rather than somehow blame the boyfriend for the girl's murder or something, they blamed the girl directly. Anyone have a more likely scenario? Because anything else is a straight up execution.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:03 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:It kind of seems like the entire difference is what should be done tomorrow.

Should US police organizations continue to exist tomorrow? Is it a more effective path to form new institutions from scratch or to make (possibly drastic) changes to the current organizations?

Or are you just saying that the abolition people will all agree that reform is better than status quo?
C'mon. This is not the abolitionist position; it is a caricature of the abolitionist position. No reasonably intelligent person thinks it's a good idea to dismiss the country's entire police force tomorrow. Every reasonably intelligent abolitionist understands that the path to abolishment involves a process, not an "event".

And I'm pointing out that this process has a lot of overlap with what more moderate reformists would like to see happen (decentralized police, less police power, less guns, less violence, more focus on de-escalation, stop arresting everyone for everything).
Quizatzhaderac wrote:That case didn't address "the purpose" of police; it didn't even address "duty" in the common sense (doing your job is generally not a legal duty); it also did not address the general duty of the police. The case addresses which actions are police legally compelled to take in specific circumstances to provide specific protective actions.
Here you go! Relevant bit:
By becoming a police officer, an individual does not give up his right to the protection of these general principles. A police officer does not “assume any greater obligation to others individually. The only additional duty undertaken by accepting employment as a police officer is the duty owed to the public at large.”

Following these general principles, “California courts have found no duty of care and have denied liability ‘for injuries caused by the failure of police personnel to respond to requests for assistance, the failure to investigate properly, or the failure to investigate at all, where the police had not induced reliance on a promise, express or implied, that they would provide protection.’”
While a police officer's oath states they have a duty to serve and protect, this is legally interpreted to mean 'public welfare', not individuals. Police take on no additional legal duties to protect others (despite having a host of unique legal rights in regards to the law and the use of violence!).

This is admittedly a complicated subject (as the linked page demonstrates); there are situations where it is arguably very good that an officer is able to exercise their discretion in regards to their duty to protect individuals. But compare this to firefighters or EMT, who often have mission statements which establish a (sometimes even legally enforceable!) duty to protect and save individuals.
Last edited by The Great Hippo on Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:20 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:12 am UTC

Off topic from a few days ago...
elasto wrote:So firefighters in the US can get off scot-free letting people burn alive in a fire simply because they haven't paid their taxes? There'd be no legal comeback at all?


No.
Spoiler:
South Fulton, TN is not a wealthy town, and Obion County is not a wealthy county. In order for residents outside of South Fulton to be covered by the South Fulton Fire Department and/or the eight rural fire districts in the surrounding area (before you start approaching Union City), at the time of the 2010 fire, you had to pay a $75 annual fee. Without the fee, the rural fire districts would not be able to operate, nor would the South Fulton Fire Department be able to cover South Fulton, much less the rural areas surrounding it.

The family who had their house burn had not paid the fee.

Nor had they paid the fee three years prior when the Fire Department did put out their fire, with no humans in harm's way.

South Fulton and the connected rural fire districts, as of 2012, have amended it - $75 annual fee OR $3,500 on call fee.

The reason there isn't enough money is pretty simple - the only way for programs like the rural fire districts to operate is with Federal Subsidies. Federal subsidies began dropping in 2010.

I honestly don't know how I feel about that situation. On the one hand, you're already there, put out the fire. On the other hand - pay the fucking fee it's $75 goddamn dollars Jesus Christ you've already had a fire, what is wrong with you?


The Great Hippo wrote:While a police officer's oath states they have a duty to serve and protect, this is largely interpreted to mean 'public welfare', not individuals.


Reminder - To Protect And Serve is the Los Angeles Police Motto. While many other police departments have adopted it, it is in no way a part of a National Oath and should not be assumed to be the policy of any other Police Department. The closest thing to a national oath (which isn't used everywhere, just many places) is

"On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, my community, and the agency I serve."
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:19 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Reminder - To Protect And Serve is the Los Angeles Police Motto. While many other police departments have adopted it, it is in no way a part of a National Oath and should not be assumed to be the policy of any other Police Department.
Oh, right. California. I forgot.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Mar 26, 2019 12:50 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
natraj wrote:police officers job is not to protect people, despite the propaganda, it has literally been ruled in court that this is not the purpose of the police
The NY times headline is an exaggeration, and your description is an exaggeration of that exaggeration.

It's really not that much of an exaggeration and that's far from the only time a court has made a similar decision about the duty to protect.

It's also a frequent argument from police themselves even when it doesn't reach federal court, which tells us a lot about how police departments operate even if those cases haven't all been decided by the judiciary.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby natraj » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:40 am UTC

yeah it's not as though similar decisions have been made repeatedly (that last one establishes that the state has no obligation to provide services -- including those of the police -- to any of us whatsoever excepting those who are in a "special relationship" with the state eg. in some form of custody.) i mean but what about say police who have been hired for a particular and specific purpose like... let's say you put them in charge of i don't know a vulnerable population like idk... schoolchildren? what's a good argument for that that's made a lot, i don't know, maybe that school resource officers will be on site to protect the child... oh shit wait what's that? they also have no obligation to do that at all? even though parents DO have a legal obligation to put kids in school so kids might in fact be said to be in that kind of special custodial relationship with the school? damn this is starting to sound really messed up.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:23 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:C'mon. This is not the abolitionist position; it is a caricature of the abolitionist position. No reasonably intelligent person thinks it's a good idea to dismiss the country's entire police force tomorrow.
Okay, fine I'm willing to accept that people who say "abolition" don't mean that. But I'm legitimately perplexed as to why they'd say "abolish", and have no idea if/how their views would differ from someone saying "reform." In my view, "caramelize" would be a better word choice as there is less temptation to take it literally in this context.

-EDIT: It occurred to me you might be objecting to only the "tomorrow" part as an exaggeration, which is fair. But when people say "abolish" are positing a discontinuity ever (including after reasonable preparation)? Because if so, I'd say the first steps are still where the main difference is as the first steps in an abolish scenario would be to begin forming the replacement organizations and gradually reduce the operations of the old organizations, without long term attempts to improve the old organizations.
While a police officer's oath states they have a duty to serve and protect, this is legally interpreted to mean 'public welfare', not individuals.
Again, we're switching between definitions of "duty" inappropriately. The officer's oath addresses vocational duty, and it is not legally interpreted at all. If it were to be interpreted in inform on legal duty, circumstances and intent would need to be considered for it to be compatible with due process, the eight amendment, and thirteenth amendment.
gmalivuk wrote:It's really not that much of an exaggeration and that's far from the only time a court has made a similar decision about the duty to protect.
The exaggerations are (understandable, but unreasonable) switching of legal duty to vocational duty and the (reasonable) switching vocational duty with raison d'etre.
natraj wrote:yeah it's not as though similar decisions have been made repeatedly (that last one establishes that the state has no obligation to provide services -- including those of the police
Are you saying one of these three things?
  1. The government agency should be civically liable for failing to provide it's designated service properly, generally without specific consideration of circumstances.
  2. The government agent should be civically liable for failing to execute their job function properly, generally without specific consideration of circumstances or intent.
  3. The government agent should be criminally liable for failing to execute their job function properly, generally without specific consideration of circumstances or intent.

If you are not, you are not disagreeing with the courts that there is not a general legal duty, you're just interpreting these with the wrong definition of "duty".

If you do agree with one of those three things, fine, but the absence of punishment for failure to achieve goals is not the same as those goals not existing.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:31 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:Okay, fine I'm willing to accept that people who say "abolition" don't mean that. But I'm legitimately perplexed as to why they'd say "abolish", and have no idea if/how their views would differ from someone saying "reform." In my view, "caramelize" would be a better word choice as there is less temptation to take it literally in this context.

-EDIT: It occurred to me you might be objecting to only the "tomorrow" part as an exaggeration, which is fair. But when people say "abolish" are positing a discontinuity ever (including after reasonable preparation)? Because if so, I'd say the first steps are still where the main difference is as the first steps in an abolish scenario would be to begin forming the replacement organizations and gradually reduce the operations of the old organizations, without long term attempts to improve the old organizations.
Quizatzhaderac, why do you think the first step must be forming a replacement organization? Why can't the first step be dramatically reducing the power and authority of police? How does that not serve the immediate interests of both reformists and abolitionists? There are plenty of things police do that we all want to stop, not replace (we don't need an organization that runs around murdering hundreds of people, for example; we also don't need an organization driving around our cities in tanks).

An abolitionist can be for reform so long as reform serves their goal. Heck, they can even support reforms that don't really serve their goal, but don't hurt it, either! There's no reason we can't all support measures that save lives.
Quizatzhaderac wrote:Again, we're switching between definitions of "duty" inappropriately. The officer's oath addresses vocational duty, and it is not legally interpreted at all. If it were to be interpreted in inform on legal duty, circumstances and intent would need to be considered for it to be compatible with due process, the eight amendment, and thirteenth amendment.
No, we're just talking about the duty to act. This is a thing that already exists (both Vermont and Minnesota have Duty to Act laws, and such laws may exist on a local level, applying to firefighters and/or EMT. It can even be part of a legally binding contract these services have with a community!).

For example, can an ambulance refuse to transport a person in need of immediate care? It depends on what ambulance and where. There *is* a legal duty to act in some places, and under certain circumstances. Again, compare this to police officers, who have absolutely no duty to act (beyond whatever laws affect them as ordinary citizens of the USA).

Again, just to emphasize: legal "Duty to Act" *is* a thing. People are not making this up or confusing vocational duty with legal duty. It's hotly debated and discussed. There is, in fact, an intersection between your vocational duties and your legal duties. I think this might just be a subject you're not very familiar with?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:13 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Quizatzhaderac, why do you think the first step must be forming a replacement organization?
The word "abolish" is being used. That means to end the institution, not replace it, and (usually) to actively prevent it from being replaced. To maintain the current institutions but change them (either moderately or radically) is "reform". If someone says "abolish" as a contrast to "reform" I take that to mean some institution actually ending; otherwise there is no contrast, or at least no contrast as I can see connected to the word choice.

Nobody has really been saying (except maybe Thresh) that they don't want anything police-like, just not the institutions we actually have, so I would assume that reform people want to convert policebad into policegood. For people who want to abolish I'll assume they still believe policenone < policebad < policegood. so they'd want policegood ready to go before abolishing policebad. This might take some time, or involve some stages, so some short term changes reforms to policegood may be worthwhile, but long term improvements to policebad would be wasteful, as they will not exist in the long term.
No, we're just talking about the duty to act.
You (perhaps) are, but Natraj said "police officers job is not to protect people" and justified that with court cases dealing with legal duty to act. The context of thier post was clearly discussing the larger function of police in society.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby natraj » Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:20 pm UTC

fine, then, police have no duty to perform their job, is that better? in the context of a society where we empower the police to literally murder without consequence and claim its because they have the special burden of keeping us all safe, i do in fact think it's a problem that we do not hold them to any standard of care with regards to the people whose lives they can take with impunity.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:17 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:Quizatzhaderac, why do you think the first step must be forming a replacement organization?
The word "abolish" is being used. That means to end the institution, not replace it, and (usually) to actively prevent it from being replaced.
Nothing about "abolish" precludes replacing a bad institution with a good institution after it's been abolished. And nothing about abolition requires that complete abolition be the first step. People who want to abolish something are generally not going to oppose steps that greatly reduce the thing they want to abolish.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:36 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:The word "abolish" is being used. That means to end the institution, not replace it, and (usually) to actively prevent it from being replaced.
I'm confused. You previously said this:
Quizatzhaderac wrote:Because if so, I'd say the first steps are still where the main difference is as the first steps in an abolish scenario would be to begin forming the replacement organizations and gradually reduce the operations of the old organizations, without long term attempts to improve the old organizations.
--wherein you clarify that abolitionists would want institutions to replace the police. Now you're saying that they don't want a replacement?

I suspect you're treating 'abolish' and 'reform' as binary values. There's a continuum we can talk about, and that's why I think abolitionists and reformers can find middle-ground. If it helps, think about the Ship of Theseus. At a given point of reformation, an organization has been so thoroughly altered that you can genuinely say its original form has been functionally 'abolished'.

All I'm saying that abolitionists and reformers can work together, as their interests (reducing the authority of police, their monopoly on force, and their centralized power structure) often align. If all you're saying is that there's a point where these interests won't align, I tentatively agree; I don't think we're even close to that point, though.
Quizatzhaderac wrote:You (perhaps) are, but Natraj said "police officers job is not to protect people" and justified that with court cases dealing with legal duty to act. The context of thier post was clearly discussing the larger function of police in society.
natraj already answered this point, but I want to add to his answer:
natraj wrote:fine, then, police have no duty to perform their job, is that better? in the context of a society where we empower the police to literally murder without consequence and claim its because they have the special burden of keeping us all safe, i do in fact think it's a problem that we do not hold them to any standard of care with regards to the people whose lives they can take with impunity.
"Duty to Act" doesn't always apply to firefighters and EMT (it depends on the precinct), so here's a better example: EMTALA requires hospitals to provide emergency care to individuals without regard to their financial status. Failing to provide this care (perform their duty) means they can be (and should be) held legally liable for not doing their job.

And yet this possibility does not appear to apply whatsoever to police. Despite the fact that they are invested with powers that go far beyond what any other profession in our country is afforded, they are under no obligation to protect you (nevermind even an obligation to enforce the law!). This is... kind of alarming? Particularly when you consider just how many people police kill every year (often with complete impunity).

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Mar 27, 2019 2:52 pm UTC

So, like, what would you call the (crudely written) idea of

The current understanding of Police and Police Departments must be completely removed and eradicated as the power structure and reasoning is too deeply seated in what's essentially a 1200s understanding of English Feudalism and protection of The Crown and, as such, cannot escape the power imbalances associated with it in addition to being asked to do far too much for one department to handle, even when split in to sub-offices [beat cops, detectives, etc] such that the whole thing needs to be replaced with something unrecognizable and nearly impossible to translate from the current Police structure as new structures would be created.
?

Would it not make sense to distill that sentiment to "Abolish Police" as... the goal really is to remove Police as they currently exist and replace them with something else entirely, something completely unrecognizable as Law Enforcement even though the same situations would be covered, just by different groups with different backgrounds?
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:11 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Nothing about "abolish" precludes replacing a bad institution with a good institution after it's been abolished.
That's a reasonable statement, but it obviously implies not replacing it with exactly the same institution. Since people are only talking about ending the police as we know it; I'll grant that basically every one is discussing a replacement institution if they're discussing an abolishment of an institution.
And nothing about abolition requires that complete abolition be the first step.
I did say that (with my "tomorrow" phrasing), and I walked it back in the edit to the same post, and I apologize for communicating badly. To clarify, I'm just saying that abolition requires ending something as one of the steps, at any time, after any amount of preparation, in any amount of gradualism.

My argument about the first steps still stands, because however much preparation you take, preparation will take the form of replacement.
The Great Hippo wrote:I'm confused. You previously said this ...wherein you clarify that abolitionists would want institutions to replace the police. Now you're saying that they don't want a replacement?
Okay, sorry, I did get a little convoluted. I was interpreting "abolish" as a hyperbole, specifically taking "abolish the police" to mean "abolish the policeas we know them , replace them with policeas they ought to be, and never again have policeas we know them"
I suspect you're treating 'abolish' and 'reform' as binary values.
What I am assuming, is that there is a real distinction. By real distinction I mean that reasonable changes to language won't make the positions the same, and that a detailed observer who doesn't understand the language will see concrete difference between the two positions.

If one person want to change an organization until they no longer recognize it as the original organization, and another person wants those exact same changes but will see the describe the organization as continuing, then there is no real difference in those positions.

If the positions are not distinct, or you just used a bad word choice to describe them, then I admit I've just been wasting out time.
At a given point of reformation, an organization has been so thoroughly altered that you can genuinely say its original form has been functionally 'abolished'
Objects are abolished, not aspects of objects. When a object's properties change (even completely) it is transformed; for example straw is transformed to gold, even though those are entirely different things. Again, I'm assuming different word choice is being used to actually indicate some difference; we could go into mereology and debate what it means to end an institution, but I'll tend to assume there is some difference when people explicitly say there's a difference.
"Duty to Act" .....
Again, non-sequitur. I was responding to Natraj's 3/21 actual statements, not Natraj's 3/26 intentions.
natraj wrote:i do in fact think it's a problem that we do not hold them to any standard of care with regards to the people whose lives they can take with impunity.
I'll agree with this.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:37 pm UTC

So like that would happen if I call the reformed " police"in the following scenarios:
1. Dude is acting unhinged, so I clutch my pearls and call the cops.
2. 911 gets a call that there's a man with a gun at a house and says he's already started killing hostages.
3. I got robbed so I call the cops.
4. I'm speeding.
5. I'm speeding with a large amount of cash and cops see evidence of drugs.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby freezeblade » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:08 am UTC

Well, almost anything is better than the current state of affairs for these. Here's what happens currently where I live (Answered for Oakland, CA.)

1. Dude is acting unhinged, so I clutch my pearls and call the cops.
Unless they are acting violently, there's no reason to call. People die from police response because of this currently, and if you make this sort of call in most Oakland neighborhoods, then you are the problem, not them.
2. 911 gets a call that there's a man with a gun at a house and says he's already started killing hostages.
This is the only real in-crisis in the whole list. This is pretty much the only case that I'm ok with the current state of militarized responses.
3. I got robbed so I call the cops.
Currently, if no one was injured, they wouldn't even send an officer. They will have you fill out a form online and may get back to you in a week.
4. I'm speeding.
Obviously you get a punitive ticket, the problem is that this can morph into a permutation of the below situation, if the cop doesn't like how you look.
5. I'm speeding with a large amount of cash and cops see evidence of drugs.
"Evidence of drugs" is a well known excuse the police use to search/seize property/cash of someone they don't like who they pull over. The "evidence" most of the time is a fabricated "It smells like drugs in your car." I'll let you guess which people get this sort of treatment most often.
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