Author Topic: Defund the police  (Read 2981 times)

Crunch

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Defund the police
« on: June 08, 2020, 10:06:16 AM »
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Days after Floyd, who is black, died after a white officer knelt on his neck, Black Lives Matter announced a “call for a national defunding of police,” and notable Democratic voices as well as celebrities have echoed the sentiment.

Since then:

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Minneapolis’ left-leaning City Council members on Sunday announced a veto-proof push to disband the Minneapolis police department, ramping up a major conflict inside the city following the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Sunday pledged to cut funding for the New York Police Department and reallocate it to youth and social services as calls for reforming law enforcement agencies grow in response to the death of George Floyd.

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has angered an L.A. police union representing nearly 10,000 people after Garcetti referred to police officers as "killers" while pledging to remove $150 million from the city police's budget in the coming year

Who's on board with this? I mean, seriously, what could possibly go wrong? I fully support the cities and/or states above in their efforts. We'll see what their justice system looks like.

rightleft22

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2020, 10:18:40 AM »
It depends on what 'Defund the police' means as I've heard the idea explained in a few ways, from flat out reducing policing to implementing new methods of law enforcement.

I like the idea of using specialized services to deal with mental issue and family violence calls but see this more of a hybrid policing service. I believe this is being tried in some communities.
 
Flat out reducing police funding without first coming up with a plan seems foolish to me.

 

yossarian22c

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2020, 10:37:14 AM »
It depends on what 'Defund the police' means as I've heard the idea explained in a few ways, from flat out reducing policing to implementing new methods of law enforcement.

I like the idea of using specialized services to deal with mental issue and family violence calls but see this more of a hybrid policing service. I believe this is being tried in some communities.
 
Flat out reducing police funding without first coming up with a plan seems foolish to me.

 

Agree. Unless "defund the police" refers to reducing their budgets for purchasing armored vehicles and other items that militarize the police I think the end result of defunding isn't likely to be a positive result.

ScottF

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2020, 10:51:27 AM »
It won't be surprising to see official responses that are as vague as the demand itself. I agree that in those cities where rioters were essentially unopposed, it doesn't make sense to invest in equipment designed to control those kinds of situations, so "defunding" there shouldn't make any kind of material impact.

Crunch

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2020, 11:03:26 AM »
It depends on what 'Defund the police' means as I've heard the idea explained in a few ways, from flat out reducing policing to implementing new methods of law enforcement.

I like the idea of using specialized services to deal with mental issue and family violence calls but see this more of a hybrid policing service. I believe this is being tried in some communities.
 
Flat out reducing police funding without first coming up with a plan seems foolish to me.

It's insane. But we've been treated with a never-ending stream of imagery over the last week or so that was designed specifically to delegitimize police and paint them as thugs with badges and guns. We're seeing people insist on defunding so you can see what's in it.

If the Minneapolis city council really does disband the police, as they claim they want to do, it's going to be apocalyptic.

Fenring

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2020, 11:05:48 AM »
If the Minneapolis city council really does disband the police, as they claim they want to do, it's going to be apocalyptic.

Wow, you really think it will mark the end of the universe and all of creation?

Crunch

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2020, 11:24:43 AM »
If the Minneapolis city council really does disband the police, as they claim they want to do, it's going to be apocalyptic.

Wow, you really think it will mark the end of the universe and all of creation?

Yeah, that's exactly what I said. End of the universe and all of creation. I even used those exact words, didn't I? Jesus, smh.

Wayward Son

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2020, 11:28:00 AM »
John Oliver had a good segment last night talking about police reform and the need for it.  (Caution: strong language at times.)  He defined defunding the police as firing all of a city's policemen and having them re-apply for their jobs.  That way you could review each officer's record all at once.

Seemed like a reasonable idea to me if there is a strongly suspected institutional problem with a force.

He also points out that in instances where the police have gone on strike, those cities have no burned.  So an apocalypse is unlikely.

Crunch

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2020, 11:28:57 AM »
Sally Kohn lays it all out:

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It took me a while to come around to police and prison abolition. But I kept listening and learning, to groups like Critical Resistance and INCITE! and leaders like @osopepatrisse and @charlenecarruthers and so many more… and I came to really understand what I wish I’d been taught sooner, how the history of policing and the carceral system in the United States is inexorably bound up with the history of slavery and the oppression of Black bodies and Black lives. ⁣

When we talk about institutional racism, the institution of policing and the police state in general is at the core. Eradicating structural racism means eradicating the systems that have predicated and propped up racism for centuries and still today.⁣

And to my fellow white friends who still wrestle with this, think about the fact that YOU live a fairly police-free existence already. So what are the police for? Presumably to protect you from some implicitly (or explicitly) racialized other. Why do “they” have to be policed so that “we” can be safe? Spend time unpacking that question for yourself and your own biases and assumptions, which have also been inexorably shaped by racist policing practices, philosophy and history. ⁣

A set of policing “reforms" has been circulating, but as Critical Resistance notes, reforms merely “improve policing’s war on us.”

Police are racist, policing is a racist structure that only serves to oppress minorities. Reform is not the answer, it's gotta go.

Good luck with that.


ScottF

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2020, 11:32:07 AM »
If the Minneapolis city council really does disband the police, as they claim they want to do, it's going to be apocalyptic.

Wow, you really think it will mark the end of the universe and all of creation?

Google apocalyptic covid. The media has changed the definition of the word so it seems fair game to follow suit.

Fenring

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2020, 11:38:36 AM »
If the Minneapolis city council really does disband the police, as they claim they want to do, it's going to be apocalyptic.

Wow, you really think it will mark the end of the universe and all of creation?

Yeah, that's exactly what I said. End of the universe and all of creation. I even used those exact words, didn't I?

I believe so! That's what an apocalypse is. Even though they did happen on Buffy a few times a year...

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Jesus, smh.

According to the NT the apocalypse does relate to Jesus, true, no need to smack your head :)

rightleft22

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2020, 11:51:20 AM »
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It's insane. But we've been treated with a never-ending stream of imagery over the last week or so that was designed specifically to delegitimize police and paint them as thugs with badges and guns. We're seeing people insist on defunding so you can see what's in it.

You could say the samething about he coverage of the looting  to 'specifically' deligitimize the protesters (the reality is that media focuses on violence for ratings) 

Sadly their was not a shortage of the number of images of the police being overly aggressive (IMO) during the protests. The police must take some responsibility for how they are being viewed.
And I get how easily it is to let the adrenaline get the best of you, and if feeling attached wanting to push back hard, however controlling ones emotions is part of the job and if they can't do that they should not be in the job.

A new kind of police is required. One in which the officers have better access to services that allow them to find better coping skills with all the stuff they have to deal with. The age of 'real men' don't talk about or deal with their experiences is over

« Last Edit: June 08, 2020, 12:01:27 PM by rightleft22 »

ScottF

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2020, 12:05:41 PM »
I don't think a "new kind of police" does much.

Ultimately I don't think there's a 'fix" for something that's inherent in humans. Of the millions of police interactions every year, a tiny percentage have bad outcomes. Similarly, a tiny percentage of cops are bad humans. Lucky for us, those outliers can now be captured on a phone and set on repeat.

I'm all for trying to vet out bad cops or ideally not recruit them in the first place, but if our expectation is something resembling airline safety stats, we're in for a disappointment. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be in continuous improvement mode - that should be the status quo.

msquared

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2020, 12:38:26 PM »
I think the idea within the Police community of the Blue Wall of Silence needs to go. If the good cops had gotten rid of the bad cops, and been recognized as that being a good thing, many of these things might not have happened. But when the Brotherhood discourages good cops coming forward and reporting on the bad cops, it makes them all complicit.

rightleft22

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2020, 12:51:11 PM »
I don't think a "new kind of police" does much.

Ultimately I don't think there's a 'fix" for something that's inherent in humans. Of the millions of police interactions every year, a tiny percentage have bad outcomes. Similarly, a tiny percentage of cops are bad humans. Lucky for us, those outliers can now be captured on a phone and set on repeat.

I'm all for trying to vet out bad cops or ideally not recruit them in the first place, but if our expectation is something resembling airline safety stats, we're in for a disappointment. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be in continuous improvement mode - that should be the status quo.

I'm going to disagree with the idea that their is no fix. Many other nations have police forces that are held to a higher standard and function much better then the 'how its always been' forces.
I'm also not sure what qualifies as 'bad outcomes'. I might argue over-policing a segment of the population a 'bad outcome' and or most likely to increase the possibility of a 'bad out come' = death or injury. That I think can be addressed (fixed). Michael Gladwell book strangers makes a good argument why a new policing theory has lead to 'over policing' is due to a flawed understanding and practice of that theory. 

Holding police accountable and vetting them out those that can't control them-self of the service would also I think be viewed as a fix to the current system. With today's laws and police unions it is really difficult to hold police accountable.

That said the police services of the 1960 don't look anything like the service today so we should note that change does happen. However the jobs still attracts far to many 'Alpha' types so maybe that should change as well.

Kasandra

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2020, 02:07:33 PM »
I wasn't planning to jump in when I saw the title of this thread, but reading the posts, any thread where Crunch tries to engage in his unique style automatically takes on an ironic and humorous edge.

I don't like the word defund, as it implies nothing from something.  I do think there should be uniform national standards of conduct for police, just as there are for every other uniformed and trained profession.  They can keep their guns and militarized vehicles, as long as they know when and how they are allowed to use them and their actions are subject to regular review.

There should be an "academy" (not like Police Academy) where officers become qualified to wear the badge and go through a series of graded levels commensurate with salary and responsibilities.  All street officers should be heavily trained in unarmed encounter management.  If you think that leaves them vulnerable because suspects don't have to give up their weapons and play "fair", that's a problem with how society manages guns.  There are more guns than people in this country, so stronger and more stringent gun laws should be developed, as well.

That's a start, not the end, but this is (so far) just a discussion.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2020, 02:15:40 PM by Kasandra »

DonaldD

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2020, 02:18:10 PM »
So... a police officer was suspended, after he was caught on tape pushing a 75 year old man, causing him to fall and hit his head.  Another officer was also suspended over the same incident.

This triggered the remaining 57 members of that 'special' squad to resign immediately over the suspensions (not from the force, they resigned from the squad.)

Let's think about that - the simple act of suspending officers involved in an incident that caused severe harm to a citizen was enough for those officers, as a group, to remove their services from the force.  Of course, this did not happen in a vacuum, and I get that the police are feeling victimized and put upon; but suspending officers who were caught on tape causing physical harm to a single old man who posed no threat to the dozens of armed police marching together down the street... it certainly speaks to a particular attitude that is clearly pretty widespread throughout that particular police force.

Crunch

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2020, 02:28:17 PM »
I think the idea within the Police community of the Blue Wall of Silence needs to go. If the good cops had gotten rid of the bad cops, and been recognized as that being a good thing, many of these things might not have happened. But when the Brotherhood discourages good cops coming forward and reporting on the bad cops, it makes them all complicit.

Public unions are the primary culprit on this. The Police unions protect their members at all costs - just like any other union.

msquared

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2020, 02:41:57 PM »
As you are fond of saying Bulls***.   The unions may also be complicit, but if cops came forward and reported other cops doing illegal and corrupt things, we would not have the back lash that is going on now.

 I think the unions, as well as the upper management many times, are more interested in keeping a clean public image. However, I think it is how the Brotherhood sees themselves as above the law that is the issue.  It is the culture.  To paraphrase, who watches the watchman?

DonaldD

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2020, 02:48:33 PM »
Blue Wall <> police unions

Fenring

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2020, 02:58:42 PM »
As you are fond of saying Bulls***.   The unions may also be complicit, but if cops came forward and reported other cops doing illegal and corrupt things, we would not have the back lash that is going on now.

 I think the unions, as well as the upper management many times, are more interested in keeping a clean public image. However, I think it is how the Brotherhood sees themselves as above the law that is the issue.  It is the culture.  To paraphrase, who watches the watchman?

To be fair, I have heard there is severe backlash to rat on other cops. Maybe physical dangers, even. It's not as simple as "if only they would do the decent thing", because I'm sure there are some decent cops out there and for some reason even they don't come out in droves denouncing terrible acts. So something is stopping them, and it's not enough to say they all think they're above the law. Collectively, maybe so, but individually, you'll avoid doing a thing if there is a big loss to be sustained for doing so; a significant threat goes a long way to silence people, but there are also other factors.

msquared

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2020, 03:04:06 PM »
You mean like the Mob?  Why would good cops make a backlash?  I don't think they would. I think only bad cops would, just the type you want to get rid of.

Fenring

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #22 on: June 08, 2020, 03:10:10 PM »
You mean like the Mob?  Why would good cops make a backlash?  I don't think they would. I think only bad cops would, just the type you want to get rid of.

I don't think a few gang-like peers on a lateral level could muster enough of a threat to silence good people. I think it comes from higher up, maybe the chiefs or captains, and in turn they might not well have the guts to do that unless they felt backed up from higher up than them. I think it's the chain of control that keeps all of this in line, which includes the prosecutors, likely mayors, or even state-level politicians if they have a particular interest in having policing done a certain way that suits their platform. Part of this also includes the weapon/vehicle sales and the outsourcing of training, so there is a pure economic connection. As I said, I think there are many factors, only one of which is the group-cohesion "we don't like rats" element. If it was only that it would have little weight.

msquared

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2020, 03:14:51 PM »
I agree that the upper management has a stake in keeping the image "clean" which can lead to accepting the Code.  However, I feel the code actually starts with the officers on the street. The fact that many of the upper management come up from the street helps them accept the Code.

Fenring

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2020, 03:26:35 PM »
I agree that the upper management has a stake in keeping the image "clean" which can lead to accepting the Code.  However, I feel the code actually starts with the officers on the street. The fact that many of the upper management come up from the street helps them accept the Code.

If the mayors and state senators didn't like it those thugs would be out on their asses, union or no union. What happens at the bottom almost always can be traced right to the top, generally speaking.

DonaldD

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2020, 03:35:12 PM »
I agree that the upper management has a stake in keeping the image "clean" which can lead to accepting the Code.  However, I feel the code actually starts with the officers on the street. The fact that many of the upper management come up from the street helps them accept the Code.

If the mayors and state senators didn't like it those thugs would be out on their asses, union or no union. What happens at the bottom almost always can be traced right to the top, generally speaking.
I find this ... simplistic. 

Fenring

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2020, 03:50:11 PM »
If the mayors and state senators didn't like it those thugs would be out on their asses, union or no union. What happens at the bottom almost always can be traced right to the top, generally speaking.
I find this ... simplistic.
[/quote]

Naturally you can't govern without a power base, so it's not just as simple as "the boss told us to shape up so I guess we gotta." The high-ups may be willing to tolerate fiefdom politics at lower levels if it gets them what they want. So at minimum it's a price they're willing to pay to do business. At best it suits their agenda fine. But I doubt it could go on under the noses of higher-ups if they didn't at least tacitly support it. You think the cops could get away with this stuff it the DA's would lock them up for it? And who do the DA's report to? It's really not that complicated.

DonaldD

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2020, 03:56:10 PM »
Any number of politicians and heads of police forces have come to power with the goal of cleaning up the force.  And they all eventually 'fail'.  There will always be a struggle between the human nature of the rank and file to protect each other at the expense of those outside their in-group, and any policies to clean out the corruption.  Human nature doesn't just disappear.  But the desire to fight corruption will always wane when the cost of the corruption seems small (and it always will seem small once the forces of anti-corruption have 'won'.)

Crunch

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2020, 04:31:15 PM »
As you are fond of saying Bulls***.   The unions may also be complicit, but if cops came forward and reported other cops doing illegal and corrupt things, we would not have the back lash that is going on now.

 I think the unions, as well as the upper management many times, are more interested in keeping a clean public image. However, I think it is how the Brotherhood sees themselves as above the law that is the issue.  It is the culture.  To paraphrase, who watches the watchman?

Well, we can look back before all this and see it. Vox, Dec 2014, "Why police unions protect the worst cops":
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Thomas Nolan, a criminologist at Merrimack College of Massachusetts who previously served as a police union official, said this is standard practice for unions.

"I think police unions are always going to default to the position that the officers are blameless in instances where they use deadly force," Nolan said. "Even though internally unions and union officials might express reservations among themselves, at least publicly the position is always going to be that the officer feared for his life or feared for the life of another person and that his use of deadly force was entirely warranted. That's textbook."

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Unions are required under the duty of fair representation covered by the National Labor Relations Act and state laws to give the best possible protections, including legal aid and support in job negotiations, to all their members.

"It's our legal responsibility to represent our members," said James Pasco, legislative director of the union Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). "That's our job."

The issue with unions' loud and clear defense of all their members, critics say, is they take it too far — and it's helped build a culture in which police feel they can get away with nearly anything.

Unions play a big role in protecting cops after such shootings, Nolan of Merrimack College said, by paying for officers' legal representation, which can make police much more confident that they'll avoid criminal charges or a conviction. "The better representation you have," he said, "the more likely you are to at least mitigate your legal exposure."

Police unions, in acts that go beyond their legally required duties, also leverage the public's high regard for law enforcement to impede policy changes. Unions have aggressively lobbied against prison sentencing reform and reducing police militarization. And they've been some of the most vocal critics and skeptics of police-worn body cameras that would record officers in the line of duty.

But if you want a more "mainstream" take on it, Reuters, Jan 2017:
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Reuters examined police union contracts across the country and found a pattern of protections afforded officers: Many contracts erase disciplinary records or allow police to forfeit sick leave for suspensions

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The episode is a telling snapshot of the power police unions flex across the United States, using political might to cement contracts that often provide a shield of protection to officers accused of misdeeds and erect barriers to residents complaining of abuse.

How's it happen?
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• A majority of the contracts call for departments to erase disciplinary records, some after just six months, making it difficult to fire officers with a history of abuses. In 18 cities, suspensions are erased in three years or less. In Anchorage, Alaska, suspensions, demotions and disciplinary transfers are removed after two years.

• Nearly half of the contracts allow officers accused of misconduct to access the entire investigative file – including witness statements, GPS readouts, photos, videos and notes from the internal investigation – before being interrogated.

• Twenty cities, including San Antonio, allow officers accused of misconduct to forfeit sick leave or holiday and vacation time rather than serve suspensions.

• Eighteen cities require an officer’s written consent before the department publicly releases documents involving prior discipline or internal investigations.

• Contracts in 17 cities set time limits for citizens to file complaints about police officers – some as short as 30 days. Nine cities restrict anonymous complaints from being investigated.

Blaming cops alone is not going to work when their unions are probably the single biggest force protecting the bad cops. They have solid contracts with the cities and politicians, the power to collectively bargain is a pretty big deal.

EDIT TO ADD: In case interested, here's the link to the Reuters investigation. It's pretty comprehensive.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2020, 04:36:10 PM by Crunch »

TheDeamon

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2020, 04:34:42 PM »
You mean like the Mob?  Why would good cops make a backlash?  I don't think they would. I think only bad cops would, just the type you want to get rid of.

I don't think a few gang-like peers on a lateral level could muster enough of a threat to silence good people. I think it comes from higher up, maybe the chiefs or captains, and in turn they might not well have the guts to do that unless they felt backed up from higher up than them. I think it's the chain of control that keeps all of this in line, which includes the prosecutors, likely mayors, or even state-level politicians if they have a particular interest in having policing done a certain way that suits their platform. Part of this also includes the weapon/vehicle sales and the outsourcing of training, so there is a pure economic connection. As I said, I think there are many factors, only one of which is the group-cohesion "we don't like rats" element. If it was only that it would have little weight.

A little of Cloumn A a little of Column B.

Group cohesion is "knowing the other guy has your back" and "screwing someone out of their career" might as well be a knife in the back.

Further compounding this for larger police forces is the "internal politics" side of things. That police captain you're about to report the misconduct to may very well have been partnered with the officer you're reporting for several years, and they're good friends.

Or the Captain is good friends with the officer who trained the police officer you're reporting for misconduct, and the trainer is backing his trainee, and word "got out" about you being "the rat" by way of the Captain speaking to the trainer.

You're basically playing the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon, only you're not actually dealing with Kevin Bacon, you're dealing with "Who is good friends with the Police Captain, and do they relate to ____?"

Throwing the political class into it further muddies the waters if that officer, or one of that officers "close friends" has "a political patron" who will back them up.

Fenring

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2020, 04:46:39 PM »
Agreed, TheDeamon, there are many factors, some of them even legitimate, such as the real need to team cohesion. But to you and DonaldD, recall I was responding to a post that was arguing that it probably wasn't mainly unions and that it was officers thinking they're above the law that's probably the root cause. My post was less to argue any simple answer, but to say that there's no way these things are localized in individual precincts with no positive feedback from varied sources. There's no way a precinct goes rogue if the state and municipal levels want to crack down on it.

Crunch

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2020, 04:49:20 PM »
They have contracts that tell them just how much crackdown they can and cannot do.

msquared

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2020, 05:29:22 PM »
Crunch,

You did notice I agreed that unions were part of the problem. So I did not disagree with that part.  My disagreement is with how much they are part of the problem.

They only get involved once an officer is accused/arrested for a crime? What percent of illegal activities do you think get that far? With the Code of Silence?  5%?  10%.

Most of the problems happen well before the union gets involved.  The 75 y/o protester who got pushed to the ground and cracked his head.  The police report said he "tripped and fell".  Video shows otherwise. And one of the officers tries to stop and help him and is stopped by another officer.  That is the code of silence I am talking about.  That is the main problem.

Crunch

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2020, 06:48:37 PM »
How many get past the code of silence? 5%, 10%? I dunno, I guess if we’re gonna make up stats you might as well make up anything about this. I’m gonna say ... 75% ... no wait,  85%. Because, why not?

Fenring

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2020, 07:20:40 PM »
Most of the problems happen well before the union gets involved.  The 75 y/o protester who got pushed to the ground and cracked his head.  The police report said he "tripped and fell".  Video shows otherwise. And one of the officers tries to stop and help him and is stopped by another officer.  That is the code of silence I am talking about.  That is the main problem.

I have no disagreement at all this this is a prevalent symptom. But my point is that the most blatant visual phenomena usually take our focus away from root causes. Yes, the police think they're above it all and lie routinely. My point is that them feeling they can do this isn't the end of the story. Why could soldiers in Iraq 2.0 torture and commit acts that are deplorable? Well you could argue that soldiers can get up to no good, and that's true, it's human nature. But you can't have that discussion without asking where the CO's were during all this, and did it perhaps go further up the chain of command. I do not believe soldiers could possibly do those things if there would definitely be dire consequences to it, no matter how much camaraderie they have, and likewise I do not believe beat cops could possibly get away with this stuff without serious cover. We are not disagreeing about the egregious and obvious behavior at the bottom.

DonaldD

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2020, 07:59:59 PM »
There are reasons why this idea of 'the blue wall' is so widespread, and even crosses borders - and it is not that there is a conspiracy of COs, mayors and governors across the world (or just across the USA, if you prefer) who see a benefit in having the rank and file protect each other and threaten those that get out of line.

Where are the COs and mayors and governors?  They are not in the room when one of the officers puts in the boot, or plants evidence, or coerces sexual acts, or shoots a suspect in self defense.  Who're you going to believe, anyway?  The crack head who resisted arrest?  Or the family man whose partners back him up?

Seriati

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2020, 11:21:54 AM »
Wow, so much to unpack on this thread.  I'd like to start with a link to a study, it's a recent study (2017) that targeted perception of the police in poor communities.  https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/88476/how_do_people_in_high-crime_view_the_police.pdf  It's especially interesting because it was conducted in 6 cities, one of which just happened to be Minneapolis.

I found myself reflecting, over the last few days, on the question of what it would mean to defund the police, and why anyone would think it's a good idea.  The police are supposed to be there to protect "your" community and to keep "you" safe, but what if your perception of the police was that they are not to protect your community but rather to protect other communities from your community?  Or that they are not there to keep you safe, but to keep others safe from you?  Would you call the secret police if you were having a problem?  Would you call the secret police in on a domestic dispute knowing that they may kill or disappear your partner?  Sometimes sure, but maybe not as much as you might if they were really there to help you resolve the situation without that level of danger.  What would you do if you called them to investigate a suspicious sound outside your house, and they shot the neighbor's kid without so much as asking him a question about what he was doing?

Whether it's real or not, policing can't work if a community doubts that the police are there to help them.  To that effect there are some massively disturbing points in that study.  Very few people in those communities believe the police are fair or that they act free from personal bias.  Officers coming in with heavily handed and arbitrary decisions that they refuse to explain that harm people they are supposed to be protecting are antithetical to the work they are supposed to be doing.  You can't protect a community by "abusing it for it's own good."

But the solutions can't be worse than the problem.  That survey also shows that even people in those communities have a lot of positive beliefs about how policing should work and its necessity.  This gap is exactly why people in those communities feel their voices have been ignored.

Sally Kohn lays it all out:

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It took me a while to come around to police and prison abolition. But I kept listening and learning, to groups like Critical Resistance and INCITE! and leaders like @osopepatrisse and @charlenecarruthers and so many more… and I came to really understand what I wish I’d been taught sooner, how the history of policing and the carceral system in the United States is inexorably bound up with the history of slavery and the oppression of Black bodies and Black lives.

⁣This is what happens when some studies something in isolation and through a specific lense, they over generalize and start to see everything through that lense.  Policing is a phenomena that exists across time and culture, it exists in diverse and non-diverse cultures.  It's NOT based on the history of slavery and oppression. 

The issue is that police work is supposed to be about community norms.  In theocracies that leads to morality police imposing strictly or loosely religious rules (and if you went straight to Islam in your head you're being too narrow, religious norms have been imposed worldwide with the force of law inside communities, including in the US in all religions). 

In the US it's supposed to be about secular principals agreed by the community at large.  But we have corrupted that process.  We have so many nonsensical laws on the books that virtually no one respects them all, we can't we don't have agreement on them, not even large minorities agree on some of them.  There's so many arbitrary rules imposed by those who believe in their own moral superiority (and this mantle used to be heavily from those on the right and is now heavily from those on the left).   Pretty much, if the police want to arrest someone they can ALWAYS find a technicality.  Against that background, how could one not think they are using their bias to decide who to arrest and who not to arrest.

As a final point, the author demonstrates a principal that I wish others would take more seriously.  Propaganda works.  Calls to listen can add value, when you get information on other's perspectives and learn new facts that you didn't know your own decisions can be better.  Calls to shut up and listen, on the other hand are not designed to add value, they are designed to force compliance.  Solutions require that everyone listen, not just the aggrieved, cause the aggrieved are often ignoring in their rage very legitimate issues that need to be addressed.

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And to my fellow white friends who still wrestle with this, think about the fact that YOU live a fairly police-free existence already. So what are the police for? Presumably to protect you from some implicitly (or explicitly) racialized other. Why do “they” have to be policed so that “we” can be safe?

Police are not private security.  They are not a security force for white people.  They are not there to protect us from a "racialized other" they are there to enforce the laws that the community has imposed.  If they are doing that ineffectively it is proper to find out why and demand they stop.  If the laws are stupid, then it calls for the much harder job, instead of blaming the police for enforcing the laws a society stupidly allowed to come into force ask yourself why you voted for the politicians that put them into place?

If you support a politician that criminalizes plastic straws - for example (jail time for non-compliance) - you are supporting someone who is willing to impose incredibly harsh consequences in support of minor goals.  Imagine what they have done with the laws that don't make headlines.

If you are on the left and think you are above this frey, that you're so woke and it's the right that is the problem, that it's Donald Trump's racism that did this, then you have to really wake up.  Ask yourself why the politicians that you've elected that manage everyone of those Blue city police forces, and in many cases have for decades have put the laws that are sitting on the necks of your black communities in place.  Republicans didn't do that, they never had any power to do that.  Wealthy liberal blue communities did that, and are still doing it.  Posting a black square on facebook and not holding your own politicians accountable is not "doing something."

DonaldD

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #37 on: June 09, 2020, 11:27:38 AM »
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policing is a phenomena that exists across time and culture, it exists in diverse and non-diverse cultures.  It's NOT based on the history of slavery and oppression. 
You missed the context.  Kohn said that the history of policing in the United States is inexorably bound up with the history of slavery and the oppression of Black bodies and Black lives.  She also said "bound up with" not "based on" as you paraphrased.  Those two misses on your part completely change the point she was making.

Seriati

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #38 on: June 09, 2020, 11:45:00 AM »
Ultimately I don't think there's a 'fix" for something that's inherent in humans. Of the millions of police interactions every year, a tiny percentage have bad outcomes. Similarly, a tiny percentage of cops are bad humans. Lucky for us, those outliers can now be captured on a phone and set on repeat.

I'm not sure that any of that is true.  I think a surprisingly high percentage to of interactions with police have bad outcomes, just not fatal outcomes.  If George Floyd hadn't died would it have gotten attention that an officer used that much force unnecessarily?  There's virtually no reason he should have been in custody at all in this situation.  That was a bad outcome.

Talking back to an officer will get you a bad outcome.  Refusing to agree with them when they violate your constitutional rights will get you a bad outcome.  Being black is often enough to generate a bad outcome when you are minding your own business.

I think it's a bad outcome anytime citizens come away from a police interaction believing that the officers involved were acting on bias or personal opinion, were unduly threatening or authoritarian or were not there to protect the people they are interacting with. 

As to the number of "bad" cops?  What does that even mean.  Do you know many cops?  I know a few and they are uniformly defensive, gruff,  edgy and untrusting.  Why is that?  Just selection bias based on who I know?  I think its something more, it's an "us" versus "them" mentality that's been conditioned into them.  It's almost like a Judge Dredd idea "I am the law." 

It's not enough to rely on cell phones to catch them after an atrocity.  Departments need to take a serious look at themselves.  If they are there to protect communities they can not allow officers that don't respect that mission or worse abuse it to stay on the force.

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I'm all for trying to vet out bad cops or ideally not recruit them in the first place, but if our expectation is something resembling airline safety stats, we're in for a disappointment. That doesn't mean we shouldn't be in continuous improvement mode - that should be the status quo.

I was reading the other day about a woman that filed a sexual assault compliant against an officer, and had the internal affairs officers try to blackmail her into dropping the claim.  I don't think we need to draw a parallel to airline safety stats, maybe just to the idea that baggage handlers shouldn't be putting bombs on the planes.

Seriati

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #39 on: June 09, 2020, 11:59:13 AM »
So... a police officer was suspended, after he was caught on tape pushing a 75 year old man, causing him to fall and hit his head.  Another officer was also suspended over the same incident.

This triggered the remaining 57 members of that 'special' squad to resign immediately over the suspensions (not from the force, they resigned from the squad.)

Let's think about that - the simple act of suspending officers involved in an incident that caused severe harm to a citizen was enough for those officers, as a group, to remove their services from the force.  Of course, this did not happen in a vacuum, and I get that the police are feeling victimized and put upon; but suspending officers who were caught on tape causing physical harm to a single old man who posed no threat to the dozens of armed police marching together down the street... it certainly speaks to a particular attitude that is clearly pretty widespread throughout that particular police force.

I saw the video, and apparently I have more questions than you do.  It looked to me like the officers were charged with clearing the streets.  I read that this was the time when curfew went into effect.  It looks to me like the tactic involved is to clear everyone forward of the moving police line.  It seems to me that this is a tactic that has to be allowed.  Public order requires that the police be able to establish, maintain and move perimeters and that that they be entitled to enforce curfews.

To that effect, the old man has to move forward, he should have returned home, but in any event he is not entitled to maintain his space in that circumstance.  Now the police should have arrested him instead of pushing him.  The way they've used this tactic historically has been to be a violent moving wall triggering a mob to panic, flee and disperse.  That's heavy handed.  The alternative would be what?  To zip tie, arrest and leave a pile of hogtied protestors behind themselves.  Is that what should occur?

Resolve for me how the police enforce the law, without causing the harm.  I agree beating the crowd and old men into submission is unacceptable, but I think you have to agree that non-compliance and preventing the police from clearing the street is also unacceptable.  So what's the solution? 

A couple other points, I don't think you correctly interpreted what happened on the officer "stopping to help" and not being allowed.  The officers in the line did not stop, but the officer following the line did stop and call it in.  That was a situation where different officers had different tasks.

I also find it ridiculously troubling that once again you have a dozen or more officers witness a situation and the "police report" makes a false claim.  The man did not trip.  If the violence is justifiable then the police officers would include it in the report.  The fact of the falsification says everything you need to know about how commonly and easily they lie on those reports.  Every time police use violence the suspect was "resisting arrest" and every time that they can't find any wrongful conduct the suspect was "loitering" or "disturbing the police" or "refused law directions".   I get qualified immunity, but maybe falsification of a report in this manner should automatically result in felony charges.

Finally, on the resignations, its the sensible thing to do.  Officers are literally risking their lives to be on those lines.  Right now any grey area is going to be interpretted against them.  It's a risk to life and a risk to honor and career.  You can't have it both ways, either they have to have some lattitude (and we have to agree on how much is too much) or they can't do the job and the consequences have to be accepted.

Seriati

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2020, 12:02:25 PM »
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policing is a phenomena that exists across time and culture, it exists in diverse and non-diverse cultures.  It's NOT based on the history of slavery and oppression. 
You missed the context.  Kohn said that the history of policing in the United States is inexorably bound up with the history of slavery and the oppression of Black bodies and Black lives.  She also said "bound up with" not "based on" as you paraphrased.  Those two misses on your part completely change the point she was making.

I did not miss the context. I dispute that the context is as relevant as the author is asseting.  Policing in the US has far far more in common with policing in other countries, other times and other places than its has differences.  It's counter factual to believe it's bound up with oppression of blacks (and I've read some of her sources that counter factually assert it was based upon runaway slave recovery forces). 

The author's pretense goes beyond useful insight to cluttering any possible solutions.

DonaldD

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2020, 12:06:13 PM »
So then you quoted her to deliberately mischaracterize what she wrote?  OK.

DonaldD

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2020, 12:07:27 PM »
How Camden defunded police: Bloomberg

Seriati

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2020, 12:22:34 PM »
So then you quoted her to deliberately mischaracterize what she wrote?  OK.

There's nothing about what I wrote that mischaracterizes the author.  It's impossible to read her passage without coming to a conclusion that some elements of policing and imprisonment are based on racism and the history of slavery.  The author's choice of "bound up" is not in fact limiting on that conclusion.  Why do you always waste time on non-substance?

TheDrake

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2020, 12:54:45 PM »
The WHO is screwing up! Defund the WHO!
Public schools are screwing up! Defund the public schools!
California is screwing up! Defund California!
The police are screwing up! Well you can't do that.

Seriati

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2020, 01:05:49 PM »
Don't think I ever expressed support for defunding WHO.  I would like to see better accountability from all UN agencies.

I don't support "defunding" public schools.  I do support school choice, which is not the same thing, and breaking teacher's unions (I support breaking all public employee unions, teachers, police and otherwise).  I think it's fascinating that we have a thread arguing about police unions protecting bad cops, when we've had arguments about teachers unions making it impossible to fire bad teachers for years.

Not sure what "defunding" Californina even means.  CA is a sovereign entity that collects it's own taxes.  The Federal Government should be collecting taxes for the limited purposes that the Federal government is charged with under the Constitution, not to redistribute to states amounts that they should be collecting directly.

I'm actually on the fence about defunding the police.  Don't get me wrong the policy as advocated by the screaming voices on the left is nonsensical and dangerous, but the question itself has merit.  Is funding the police the most effective way to achieve the goals we are trying to achieve?  If transferring a portion of those funds to another service generates a bigger gain in the goals of compliance with law it's a good thing.  If we'd have to spend $3 billion on support for every $1 billion we pull from the police its not a good thing.  It's going to require serious minds really working collaboratively, and unfortunately we're not in a place where collaboration is accepted, it's totally a you're with us or against us game.

TheDrake

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2020, 01:09:54 PM »
     
Trump Threatens to Defund California If It Officially Becomes an Immigrant Sanctuary


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"If we have to, we'll defund," Trump said in an interview with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly before the Super Bowl. "We give tremendous amounts of money to California, California in many ways is out of control, as you know."

Guess you'd have to ask Trump what he meant by that.

TheDrake

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #47 on: June 09, 2020, 01:12:46 PM »
Personally, I'm not sure defunding is the right answer at all. I'd prefer earmarking. Like stipulating how much can be spent on militarized gear like armored vehicles and tactical gear. And more on training.

Seriati

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #48 on: June 09, 2020, 01:13:01 PM »
Not really.  I have to ask you what you meant by it.  Did you have a point?  Pointing to Trump is not a point.

TheDrake

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Re: Defund the police
« Reply #49 on: June 09, 2020, 01:17:26 PM »
My point is that Trump and Trumpians constantly want to take money away from the organizations that they believe are not doing a good job. As if having less money will help them do better.

Here's defunding education, it is not the school choice you advocate.

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