Author Topic: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?  (Read 2480 times)

Johnez

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Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« on: June 01, 2018, 04:25:15 PM »
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/my-heart-just-dropped-4-verdict-shocks-family-man-killed-n879026

Quote
Newman and his partner, Deputy Edward Lopez, responded to Hill's Fort Pierce home on Jan. 14, 2014 after someone from a school across the street called to complain of loud music, police have said. The deputies knocked, and Hill, 30, on disability leave from a Coca-Cola warehouse, pulled open the garage door. Seeing the officers, he started to close the door — and pulled out a gun, police said. Newman opened fire, his bullets piercing the door. Hill was found dead inside with an unloaded gun in his back pocket.

This flabbergasted me. It seems every time something like this happens, the excuses flow and the force stands behind their brother. I find this unacceptable. A cop should be held to a higher standard. Shooting into cars full of Innocents, shooting into houses blindly, shooting at mentally ill people (even if they are holding a damn knife), shooting at swatting victims, shooting at unarmed black people should be trained AGAINST. Starbucks decided to take a whole day to train against discriminating against black people, I'm disappointed that all a police force can muster up is regret when these things happen. What say you?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 04:30:36 PM by Johnez »

DreamFIRE

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2018, 05:39:09 PM »

When found guilty of any wrongdoing, they pay the price.

MDM

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2018, 08:19:02 PM »
Probably worth distinguishing what the jury did from what the officer did.

From the none-of-us-were-there-so-we-can-only-speculate-based-on-the-article perspective, what the officer did was not unreasonable.  What the jury did seems ridiculous.


px4shooter

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2018, 11:32:12 PM »
Civil liability is there. Look at some of the outlandish prosecutions. Baltimore and Freddy Grey is a prime example. The two cops with the heavy guy selling cds while illegally carrying a gun too.

Juries hear the case and make the decision. Doo we remove the jury option from these cases? Or do we rely on the justice system?

Nothing is perfect. OJ is a prime example of how to openly murder two people and get away with it.

TrudgingAlong

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2018, 12:28:12 AM »
The bar for cop responsibility is so high, yes, they can get away with murder in the most egregious of cases. All they need to do is pull out the “I feared for my life” card. Oh, and proclaim thier body cameras mysteriously stopped working. Or not even that, since some pretty horrifying stuff has been caught on camera and they still get off. I’m not black, but no way will I call a cop on someone unless I’m EXTREMELY sure it’s an actual crime. I don’t want to end up feeling responsible if the person ends up dead. The Philando Castile murder really destroyed my faith in cops and our “justice” system.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 02:14:40 PM by TrudgingAlong »

BlueMR2

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2018, 05:24:15 PM »
Probably worth distinguishing what the jury did from what the officer did.

Judges and juries are both generating such ridiculous decisions these days that I *almost* wish for the days of no cameras and cops taking people on special "elevator rides" to come back...

seattlecyclone

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2018, 08:25:42 PM »
Yeah, the system is messed up. I see so many officer-involved killings where I would expect to be charged with a felony if I performed the same actions, but the cop maybe loses his job. This is not right. Police need to be held to a higher standard than the rest of the public, not a lower one.
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Roland of Gilead

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2018, 08:29:46 PM »
On the flip side though our system of justice lets out too many violent repeat offenders, so the streets are that much more dangerous for cops.

Almost every case of a robbery or rape and you read the prior history of the accused and it is a rap sheet two pages long.

If we were a lot tougher on crime, cops might not need to be so trigger happy.

Johnez

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2018, 09:24:50 PM »
As a cop, those are the challenges to face. The guy behind the garage door had nothing to do with rapists and gang bangers. He was a warehouse worker. I suppose if he was in the "right" neighborhood things would have been different. But should they be? If there weren't so many people in jail for choosing to do the wrong drugs, perhaps they'd have more room for rapists and gang bangers. Get tough on real crime, let people choose their poison and live their life.

To add to your point, it's not just the criminals, it's also the guns. You are right in that cops have lots to fear. There was a  swatting victim shot dead when he reached for his waist. How sad that picking a wedgie could be confused for grabbing a non-existent gun, but that is the reality-there are a shit load of guns here.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2018, 06:31:05 AM »
Yep and the cop has about 1 or 2 seconds to process the information and determine if the suspect is reaching for a cell phone, water pistol, or a 9mm.

Not a job I would want.

GuitarStv

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2018, 12:12:50 PM »
I really respect the difficult job that police officers have.  They are in tough, often dangerous situations and have to make split decisions that impact the lives of those around them.  I'm willing to give most police the benefit of the doubt for that reason.  This is also why I hold police to a higher standard.  A reckless, corrupt, or discriminatory police officer is in a position to do far more damage than a civilian of similar persuasion and thus must be held accountable when lines are crossed.  As a police officer, reporting on a dirty or bad cop is often a bad career move.  You will likely face long lasting repercussions for doing the right thing.  This creates a dangerous precedent of protecting the guilty that really tarnishes all the good that officers do every day.

TLDR - Most police do a great job.  When an officer is bad however, the system is slanted towards protecting him or her.


DarkandStormy

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2018, 01:11:28 PM »
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-21/justine-damond-minneapolis-officer-charged-in-shooting/9569918

Can't qwhite figure out what's different about several other high profile cases of police shootings recently.
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DarkandStormy

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2018, 01:24:34 PM »
Rightly or wrongly, Graham v. Connor set the legal standard for "reasonable police officer."  That is, the jury looks at what a "reasonable police officer" would do if in the same situation.  They are instructed to ignore any known biases, any improper conduct that occurred before (e.g. not identifying as police or not obtaining a warrant), only if a "reasonable police officer" would have acted in the same manner as the one (or ones) in question.

https://www.oyez.org/cases/1988/87-6571

Until we hold police officers to have the facts right (e.g. that's a cell phone not a loaded hand gun), they will continue to use force very freely as the law says they can legally do so in order to "protect themselves" from perceived deadly harm.  It doesn't matter if they were actually facing deadly harm, just if they (and a "reasonable officer) perceive it that way.

Almost no officers ever face criminal prosecution, let alone a conviction, for shooting civilians.  The numbers are extremely low.

Quote
One researcher reported that there are about 1,000 police shootings each year in the United States.

Between 2005 and April 2017, 80 officers had been arrested on murder or manslaughter charges for on-duty shootings. During that 12-year span, 35% were convicted, while the rest were pending or not convicted, according to work by Philip Stinson, an associate professor of criminal justice at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Via - https://www.cnn.com/2017/05/18/us/police-involved-shooting-cases/index.html
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TexasRunner

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2018, 01:27:47 PM »
When found guilty of any wrongdoing, they pay the price.

This.

I'm failing to see what Christopher Newman did incorrectly when a guy pulled a gun on him...?
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DarkandStormy

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2018, 01:29:29 PM »
When found guilty of any wrongdoing, they pay the price.

This.

I'm failing to see what Christopher Newman did incorrectly when a guy pulled a gun on him...?

If he pulled a gun, how did it end up in his back pocket?
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TexasRunner

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2018, 01:31:03 PM »
When found guilty of any wrongdoing, they pay the price.

This.

I'm failing to see what Christopher Newman did incorrectly when a guy pulled a gun on him...?

If he pulled a gun, how did it end up in his back pocket?

He put it back after getting shot while the door was closed (fell the rest of the way).  That seems pretty simple...
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Dabnasty

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2018, 01:34:04 PM »
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-21/justine-damond-minneapolis-officer-charged-in-shooting/9569918

Can't qwhite figure out what's different about several other high profile cases of police shootings recently.

I assume you're implying the fact that it was a white woman and a Somali cop is why he was convicted, but it sounds like there's more going on than that. This article says he quickly turned himself in and he fired from inside the car. Sounds pretty clear that he flinched and made a mistake. He knew it was wrong and so did everyone else.

Now since there was no footage of what happened he could have lied, assuming his partner would go along with it and his chances of getting away with it probably would have been lower than if it was a black man who was shot or if he was a white officer, but those assumptions really have nothing to do with this case. Racism almost certainly plays a role in whether or not an officer is convicted of a crime but I don't think this is a good example.

EvenSteven

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2018, 01:39:14 PM »
Quote
I'm failing to see what Christopher Newman did incorrectly when a guy pulled a gun on him...?

Good question. Is it normal operating procedure for police to fire their weapon several times through closed doors?

GuitarStv

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2018, 01:47:57 PM »
Soo . . . yet another case of more guns in the US making everything safer?

I mean, either the unloaded gun caused heightened tensions between the police and the guy and got him shot  . . .  or it provided a convenient excuse for the police to escape prosecution for their actions.

Either way, yet another example of the benefits of privately owning a gun.

DarkandStormy

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2018, 01:50:45 PM »
When found guilty of any wrongdoing, they pay the price.

This.

I'm failing to see what Christopher Newman did incorrectly when a guy pulled a gun on him...?

If he pulled a gun, how did it end up in his back pocket?

He put it back after getting shot while the door was closed (fell the rest of the way).  That seems pretty simple...

LOL.  Yes, everyone who's been hit twice in the stomach and once in the head has the ability to then stash away their gun in their back pocket.  SO SIMPLE.
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DarkandStormy

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2018, 01:53:29 PM »
Soo . . . yet another case of more guns in the US making everything safer?

I mean, either the unloaded gun caused heightened tensions between the police and the guy and got him shot  . . .  or it provided a convenient excuse for the police to escape prosecution for their actions.

Either way, yet another example of the benefits of privately owning a gun.

This is actually a good point.  Was Hill a law abiding citizen by owning a gun?  The call was for a noise complaint, not some violent crime.  He's in his own garage.  The price...his life.
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Johnez

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2018, 01:57:46 PM »
When found guilty of any wrongdoing, they pay the price.

This.

I'm failing to see what Christopher Newman did incorrectly when a guy pulled a gun on him...?

If he pulled a gun, how did it end up in his back pocket?

He put it back after getting shot while the door was closed (fell the rest of the way).  That seems pretty simple...

I'm pretty sure putting the gun back would be the last thing on his mind after getting shot.

TrudgingAlong

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2018, 05:50:32 PM »
Soo . . . yet another case of more guns in the US making everything safer?

I mean, either the unloaded gun caused heightened tensions between the police and the guy and got him shot  . . .  or it provided a convenient excuse for the police to escape prosecution for their actions.

Either way, yet another example of the benefits of privately owning a gun.

This is actually a good point.  Was Hill a law abiding citizen by owning a gun?  The call was for a noise complaint, not some violent crime.  He's in his own garage.  The price...his life.

Yes! My FIL was complaining to me about cops pulling over gun owners for traffic stops once. Despite my feelings on cops lately, I couldn’t really take his side. I mean, owning a gun makes you more dangerous to a cop. I can’t really argue with that.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2018, 06:09:17 PM »
Soo . . . yet another case of more guns in the US making everything safer?

I mean, either the unloaded gun caused heightened tensions between the police and the guy and got him shot  . . .  or it provided a convenient excuse for the police to escape prosecution for their actions.

Either way, yet another example of the benefits of privately owning a gun.

This is actually a good point.  Was Hill a law abiding citizen by owning a gun?  The call was for a noise complaint, not some violent crime.  He's in his own garage.  The price...his life.

Yes! My FIL was complaining to me about cops pulling over gun owners for traffic stops once. Despite my feelings on cops lately, I couldn’t really take his side. I mean, owning a gun makes you more dangerous to a cop. I can’t really argue with that.

Having a gun isn't the problem, waving it at a cop is.  Be smart.

DarkandStormy

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2018, 06:17:35 PM »
Soo . . . yet another case of more guns in the US making everything safer?

I mean, either the unloaded gun caused heightened tensions between the police and the guy and got him shot  . . .  or it provided a convenient excuse for the police to escape prosecution for their actions.

Either way, yet another example of the benefits of privately owning a gun.

This is actually a good point.  Was Hill a law abiding citizen by owning a gun?  The call was for a noise complaint, not some violent crime.  He's in his own garage.  The price...his life.

Yes! My FIL was complaining to me about cops pulling over gun owners for traffic stops once. Despite my feelings on cops lately, I couldn’t really take his side. I mean, owning a gun makes you more dangerous to a cop. I can’t really argue with that.

Having a gun isn't the problem, waving it at a cop is.  Be smart.

It was in his back pocket.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 07:22:19 AM by DarkandStormy »
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GuitarStv

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2018, 06:41:50 PM »
Soo . . . yet another case of more guns in the US making everything safer?

I mean, either the unloaded gun caused heightened tensions between the police and the guy and got him shot  . . .  or it provided a convenient excuse for the police to escape prosecution for their actions.

Either way, yet another example of the benefits of privately owning a gun.

This is actually a good point.  Was Hill a law abiding citizen by owning a gun?  The call was for a noise complaint, not some violent crime.  He's in his own garage.  The price...his life.

Yes! My FIL was complaining to me about cops pulling over gun owners for traffic stops once. Despite my feelings on cops lately, I couldn’t really take his side. I mean, owning a gun makes you more dangerous to a cop. I can’t really argue with that.

Having a gun isn't the problem, waving it at a cop is.  Be smart.

You mean . . . like Philando Castile?  Who was on police dash cam telling the officer that he had a gun, and that he wasn't pulling it out shortly before being shot to death while reaching for his driver's license?  (Incidentally, the officer in this case was also acquitted.)

PKFFW

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2018, 07:49:26 PM »
Having a gun isn't the problem, waving it at a cop is.  Be smart.
The problem with the "be smart, do what the cop tells you and you wont get hurt" logic is the multitude of examples in which the logic fails and the person ends up seriously wounded or dead even while doing exactly as instructed.

DreamFIRE

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2018, 08:33:33 PM »
Soo . . . yet another case of more guns in the US making everything safer?

I mean, either the unloaded gun caused heightened tensions between the police and the guy and got him shot  . . .  or it provided a convenient excuse for the police to escape prosecution for their actions.

Either way, yet another example of the benefits of privately owning a gun.

This is actually a good point.  Was Hill a law abiding citizen by owning a gun?  The call was for a noise complaint, not some violent crime.  He's in his own garage.  The price...his life.

Yes! My FIL was complaining to me about cops pulling over gun owners for traffic stops once. Despite my feelings on cops lately, I couldn’t really take his side. I mean, owning a gun makes you more dangerous to a cop. I can’t really argue with that.

Having a gun isn't the problem, waving it at a cop is.  Be smart.

You mean . . . like Philando Castile?  Who was on police dash cam telling the officer that he had a gun, and that he wasn't pulling it out shortly before being shot to death while reaching for his driver's license?  (Incidentally, the officer in this case was also acquitted.)

I don't have time to review the case, but I thought the cop thought he was reaching for a gun.  That's not exactly waving a gun, but you don't want to give a cop any reason to think you might be reaching for any weapon.  That's part of being smart.  Are there exceptions?  Yes.

https://www.cnn.com/2017/07/17/us/minneapolis-woman-killed-by-police/index.html

TrudgingAlong

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2018, 08:56:35 PM »
Philando declared his weapon, and was given confusing directions. It didn’t matter, though, because as soon as he said he had a weapon (in a VERY nonthreatening manner), one of the cops stayed very chill and the other went apeshit alert. Seconds later, he was dead by the cop who was freaking out. The other one wasn’t alarmed until his partner started pumping bullets into the car. WATCH THE VIDEO.

Johnez

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2018, 12:04:13 AM »
Quote from: DreamFIRE


I don't have time to review the case, but I thought the cop thought he was reaching for a gun.  That's not exactly waving a gun, but you don't want to give a cop any reason to think you might be reaching for any weapon.  That's part of being smart.  Are there exceptions?  Yes.

https://www.cnn.com/2017/07/17/us/minneapolis-woman-killed-by-police/index.html

Not much to review. This guy's mistake was declaring he was armed. The cop's mistake was bullshitting the psychiatric evaluation before getting hired.

https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000005176538/dash-camera-shows-moment-philando-castile-is-killed.html



EvenSteven

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2018, 07:27:21 AM »
It seems like such a simple and uncontroversial position, "Police should not be shooting and killing unarmed black men."

But there always people who are there to explain why the police are in the right when they go around killing people.

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2018, 08:57:46 AM »
Not much to review. This guy's mistake was declaring he was armed.

Unfortunately in my state it's a legal requirement to declare when armed whenever being stopped for a law enforcement action.  Besides the fact that it triggers sketchy cops, the very definition of being stopped is vague enough to cause interesting legal issues.

On paper you'd think that declaring if your armed would help smooth the process and makes things easier for law enforcement.  In practice though it seems to have the opposite effect.  It's near the top of my current list of laws I want to see changed in my state...

TrudgingAlong

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2018, 09:02:12 AM »
This has me curious. Concealed carriers have to go through some training to get the permit, correct? What are they told to do when confronted with a cop? I would have thought declare the weapon because they’ll re@CT badly if they just happen upon it, but I suppose (especially if you’re black) you may be fucked either way.

iris lily

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2018, 09:05:47 AM »
It seems like such a simple and uncontroversial position, "Police should not be shooting and killing unarmed black men."

But there always people who are there to explain why the police are in the right when they go around killing people.

Yes, those of us here in the middle of cops-killing-black-men country do actually pay attention to the details of each case.  Those details can be argued, and even by non-fringe opinionated people, but I think it is important that facts of each case be examined.

If I am to assume from your overly broad summary that all cops should be immediately incarcerated for life, for killing a man of any color (or perhaps you DO mean only black men.) then you are not someone I want in my zip code determining matters of legallity through the voting booth.

Iris
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« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 10:56:39 AM by iris lily »

EvenSteven

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #35 on: June 05, 2018, 09:16:32 AM »
Quote
If I am to assume from your overly broad summary that all cops should be immediately incarcerated for life, for killing a man of any color (or perhaps you DO mean only black men.) then you are not someone I want in my zip code determining matters of legallity through the voting booth.

This is exactly what I am talking about. The simple and unambiguous statement, "Police shouldn't be killing unarmed black men," is interpreted to mean, "All cops should be immediately incarcerated for life."

I am not sure where the disconnect lies. It is very similar to my experience with Black Lives Matter. When I first heard about it, I thought it was so silly and ridiculous. Of course black lives matter, why is does that even need to be said? But then I saw the reaction to it, where the very concept of black lives being important elicited such outrage from so many people.

It is not anti-police to hold the opinion that they shouldn't be out there killing people because they are holding a God damn cell phone.


Kris

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #36 on: June 05, 2018, 10:05:47 AM »
This has me curious. Concealed carriers have to go through some training to get the permit, correct? What are they told to do when confronted with a cop? I would have thought declare the weapon because they’ll re@CT badly if they just happen upon it, but I suppose (especially if you’re black) you may be fucked either way.

They teach you what the law is for your state.

Beyond that, what they'll say is probably highly dependent upon the instructor. Which means it's highly dependent on the instructor's experience/opinion.

Anecdotally, all of the instructors I have ever seen have been older white males. I have no idea what the demographics of CCW instructors are in the country, but I would imagine that white males are a majority.

In my case, when I took my CCW training, the instructor told us what the law is: in our state, you are not required to tell an officer you are armed. But then he said, in his experience, what he would advise would be to not say anything about it one way or another, but to take out your CCW permit and give it to the officer along with your license. His reasoning was that this tells the officer you are a trained and licensed gun owner (a "good guy with a gun") and that you might possibly have a gun on you, but maybe not. And it gives the officer a heads up that he might want to ask for that information (you are required to tell an officer the truth about whether you are carrying if they explicitly ask you in my state).

All that said, if this is what Philando Castile had done (relevant example because he lived in my state, worked a block away from where I live, and his killing happened in my state), I see no reason to think that things would not have gone the exact same way: Castile hands his CCW permit to the cop, the cop asks him if he's carrying, Castile says yes, the cop freaks out, and from that point on, everything is the same.

« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 10:07:32 AM by Kris »
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Wexler

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2018, 11:01:39 AM »
It seems like such a simple and uncontroversial position, "Police should not be shooting and killing unarmed black men."

But there always people who are there to explain why the police are in the right when they go around killing people.

Yes, those of us here in the middle of cops-killing-black-men country do actually pay attention to the details of each case.  Those details can be argued, and even by non-fringe opinionated people, but t it is important that facts of each case be examined.

If I am to assume from your overly broad summary that all cops should be immediately incarcerated for life, for killing a man of any color (or perhaps you DO mean only black men.) then you are not someone I want in my zip code determining matters of legallity through the voting booth.

Iris
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Iris-you just criticized another poster for being to general and not examining the details of each case before forming an opinion (good point), and then undid it with sweeping generalizations that misrepresented what that poster was saying. You said "you are not someone I want in my zip code"  for a reason that you just made up and that they never said! That poster didn't say jack about sending all cops to jail for life. Something about a log in an eye...

Is there any case that you've read about where you thought the cop was at fault?  Tamir Rice? the guy in his own garage?  Philandro Castile?  You say it's important to look at the details, and people gave you details.  Again: none of those people said all cops who kill someone should go to jail for life.  How about losing their jobs at the very least?  If an officer can't stop for 10 seconds after arriving at a scene to confer with fellow officers and assess the scene before riddling the body of a 12 year old with bullets, maybe he's not cut out to be a shitty cop and then suck my tax dollars dry in benefits after clocking in an incompetent 20 years on the job. I bet that stripping pensions away, while not delivering justice, might get some cops to change their behavior. 

seattlecyclone

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #38 on: June 05, 2018, 11:48:55 AM »
If I am to assume from your overly broad summary that all cops should be immediately incarcerated for life, for killing a man of any color (or perhaps you DO mean only black men.) then you are not someone I want in my zip code determining matters of legallity through the voting booth.

Nobody said the "incarcerated for life" bit and you know it.

What I would like to see is cops held exactly as accountable for their actions as you or I would be if we did the same thing.

If I walked up to someone's car, pulled a gun on them, and shot them dead, odds are I would end up convicted of a homicide. Maybe if I had good evidence that the person was actually reaching for a gun I could get off, but I'd still have to argue it to a jury. And if it turned out the guy wasn't holding a gun at all? Not a chance.

Most cops who do the same thing never even see the inside of a courtroom. Actual convictions are vanishingly rare. If you don't believe that's a problem I don't want you living in my county voting in the election for local prosecutor.
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iris lily

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #39 on: June 05, 2018, 12:03:41 PM »
It seems like such a simple and uncontroversial position, "Police should not be shooting and killing unarmed black men."

But there always people who are there to explain why the police are in the right when they go around killing people.

Yes, those of us here in the middle of cops-killing-black-men country do actually pay attention to the details of each case.  Those details can be argued, and even by non-fringe opinionated people, but t it is important that facts of each case be examined.

If I am to assume from your overly broad summary that all cops should be immediately incarcerated for life, for killing a man of any color (or perhaps you DO mean only black men.) then you are not someone I want in my zip code determining matters of legallity through the voting booth.

Iris
The mean streets of St. Louis

Iris-you just criticized another poster for being to general and not examining the details of each case before forming an opinion (good point), and then undid it with sweeping generalizations that misrepresented what that poster was saying.. 1.   You said "you are not someone I want in my zip code"  for a reason that you just made up and that they never said! That poster didn't say jack about sending all cops to jail for life. Something about a log in an eye...

2. Is there any case that you've read about where you thought the cop was at fault?    Tamir Rice? the guy in his own garage?  Philandro Castile?  You say it's important to look at the details, and people gave you details.  3.Again: none of those people said all cops who kill someone should go to jail for life.  How about losing their jobs at the very least? If an officer can't stop for 10 seconds after arriving at a scene to confer with fellow officers and assess the scene before riddling the body of a 12 year old with bullets, maybe he's not cut out to be a shitty cop and then suck my tax dollars dry in benefits after clocking in an incompetent 20 years on the job. I bet that stripping pensions away, while not delivering justice, might get some cops to change their behavior.

Point by point:

 1. I did say “ If I am to assume...” since
I do not know what the poster expects for consequences in cop shooting cases, emphasis on “if”

2. Yes, several cases upon reading the  first headline news stories show some pretty drastic poor actions on the part of policemen and their degree of fault seems pretty high. I cant remember which cases are those. Some of these shootings in recent years are more egregious in police behavior than in others.

3. “none of these people” refers to who? Posters on this thread?
Anyway, it doesn't matter.

Thr sentiment “police should not be shooting and killing unarmed black men” is not as simple as the poster would like it to be. For the sake of argument I will agree with the statement in sentiment, but in practical application it is not universally true.

If you or anyone here cannot think of even one situation where a policeman “should not” shoot an unarmed man, then you dont have enough imagination to understand threats of violence.

As an aside, I do not understand EvenStevens reference to a cell phone, or umm, a “godamned” cell phone.

« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 12:08:03 PM by iris lily »

DarkandStormy

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #40 on: June 05, 2018, 12:08:41 PM »
As an aside, O do not u derstand EvenStevens reference to a phone, or umm, a “godamned” phone.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/30/us/stephon-clark-independent-autopsy.html

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In body camera video, an officer is heard shouting the word “gun” repeatedly and opening fire almost immediately. No weapon was found on Mr. Clark’s body; the only object found was his cellphone.
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iris lily

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #41 on: June 05, 2018, 12:20:28 PM »
If I am to assume from your overly broad summary that all cops should be immediately incarcerated for life, for killing a man of any color (or perhaps you DO mean only black men.) then you are not someone I want in my zip code determining matters of legallity through the voting booth.

Nobody said the "incarcerated for life" bit and you know it.

What I would like to see is cops held exactly as accountable for their actions as you or I would be if we did the same thing.

If I walked up to someone's car, pulled a gun on them, and shot them dead, odds are I would end up convicted of a homicide. Maybe if I had good evidence that the person was actually reaching for a gun I could get off, but I'd still have to argue it to a jury. And if it turned out the guy wasn't holding a gun at all? Not a chance.

Most cops who do the same thing never even see the inside of a courtroom. Actual convictions are vanishingly rare. If you don't believe that's a problem I don't want you living in my county voting in the election for local prosecutor.


  But how do you know the guy isnt reaching dor a gun to shoot you? Regardless if “you” are a private citizen or a policemen. Serious question, what gives you that omnipotent knowledge?

Related but not on point:
Just last week I stopped to talk to a perennial protestor who stations himself by the death place of  Vonderritt Myers, one of our city’s young felons shot by a policemen.

The protestor argued bullet casings with me, the spray pattern, the lack of casings, all forensic “facts.” This is not a set of favts I can counter because I didnt look at that set of forensic info. doesnt mean I am wrong. doesnt mean protestor is wrong. Reasonable people can disagree on a vig emotional case like this. But I would like to see the Black Lives Matter protestors taking up more, oh, deserving victims.

The felon Vonderritt Myers owned a gun and there is You Tube footage of him playing around with it.

Obviously this protestor believes the cop genned up evidence to protect himself. I think that is possible, although I also think he shot Myers in good faith that Myers was a threat. These two ideas are compatible.




« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 12:22:28 PM by iris lily »

Jrr85

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #42 on: June 05, 2018, 12:27:01 PM »
Quote
If I am to assume from your overly broad summary that all cops should be immediately incarcerated for life, for killing a man of any color (or perhaps you DO mean only black men.) then you are not someone I want in my zip code determining matters of legallity through the voting booth.

This is exactly what I am talking about. The simple and unambiguous statement, "Police shouldn't be killing unarmed black men," is interpreted to mean, "All cops should be immediately incarcerated for life."

I am not sure where the disconnect lies. It is very similar to my experience with Black Lives Matter. When I first heard about it, I thought it was so silly and ridiculous. Of course black lives matter, why is does that even need to be said? But then I saw the reaction to it, where the very concept of black lives being important elicited such outrage from so many people.

It is not anti-police to hold the opinion that they shouldn't be out there killing people because they are holding a God damn cell phone.

I think the problem is it's such a stupid statement that people feel compelled to read into it.  Of course police shouldn't be killing unarmed people on a regular basis.  To make the statement, and to make it about black men, invites people to try to figure out what you are saying out of an assumption that you are trying to say something other than the obvious. 

 


EvenSteven

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #43 on: June 05, 2018, 12:39:13 PM »
Quote
I did say “ If I am to assume...” since

Sure, but do you think "all cops should be immediately incarcerated for life, for killing a man of any color" is a reasonable interpretation of "Police should not be shooting and killing unarmed black men?"

Quote
Thr sentiment “police should not be shooting and killing unarmed black men” is not as simple as the poster would like it to be. For the sake of argument I will agree with the statement in sentiment, but in practical application it is not universally true.

If you or anyone here cannot think of even one situation where a policeman “should not” shoot an unarmed man, then you dont have enough imagination to understand threats of violence.

I think part of the problem is too much imagination thinking up threats of violence. It is what is used as a rationale for killing people who are not posing a danger to anyone, like Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Justine Damond, and countless others. I believe most of the police involved in these shootings genuinely feel threatened, but that feeling of being threatened and the use of force is highly dependent on race. Admitting that we have a problem with an over use of deadly force and racist policing is the first step in making it better.

PoutineLover

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #44 on: June 05, 2018, 12:44:06 PM »
I agree that cops should be held to a higher standard than regular citizens when it comes to killing people. They are trained, they carry weapons as part of their job, and they should exercise extreme caution and discretion when using them against the people they are sworn to serve and protect. They should be required to learn how to de-escalate situations and use force only when there is an imminent and actual threat to their lives. They should also be charged with a crime when they kill someone, rather than getting off scot free after taking someone's life. If they had just cause, that will come out in court and they will be acquitted.
Cops are not above the law.
Cops work for the people, and cannot be allowed to kill with impunity. 
I don't believe in the death penalty, and it doesn't apply in my country, but even if it did, cops are not judge, jury, and executioner. They don't have the right to decide if someone lives or dies, especially for crimes that would never have warranted the death penalty. They can't just claim self defense when they were not being attacked, when no weapon was used, or when the victim was running away from them.
None of that even has to include mention of race, but since black men disproportionately bear the brunt of police brutality, it also becomes a question of racism and measures should be taken to ensure that the law and it's application are unbiased.
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iris lily

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #45 on: June 05, 2018, 12:44:16 PM »
Quote
I did say “ If I am to assume...” since

Sure, but do you think "all cops should be immediately incarcerated for life, for killing a man of any color" is a reasonable interpretation of "Police should not be shooting and killing unarmed black men?"

Quote
Thr sentiment “police should not be shooting and killing unarmed black men” is not as simple as the poster would like it to be. For the sake of argument I will agree with the statement in sentiment, but in practical application it is not universally true.

If you or anyone here cannot think of even one situation where a policeman “should not” shoot an unarmed man, then you dont have enough imagination to understand threats of violence.

I think part of the problem is too much imagination thinking up threats of violence. It is what is used as a rationale for killing people who are not posing a danger to anyone, like Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Justine Damond, and countless others. I believe most of the police involved in these shootings genuinely feel threatened, but that feeling of being threatened and the use of force is highly dependent on race. Admitting that we have a problem with an over use of deadly force and racist policing is the first step in making it better.

Ok, tell me what consequences you want to see for “ police who shoot and kill unarmed black men.”

Or perhaps consequences arent part of this discussion as you see it,  and if so, mention why.

Dabnasty

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #46 on: June 05, 2018, 12:52:11 PM »
It seems like such a simple and uncontroversial position, "Police should not be shooting and killing unarmed black men."

But there always people who are there to explain why the police are in the right when they go around killing people.

Maybe we should just ignore comments like this and stick to a reasonable discussion? Anytime someone starts with something along the lines of "it's so simple", it's probably not.

iris lily's response to this was a little ridiculous but it was responding in kind.

Not trying to be a jerk EvenSteven, but this comment really got the conversation off track. I believe every controversial case thus far involved an armed victim and I can certainly see a plausible case where the police shoot an unarmed person. The details are very important and as civilians with limited access to forensic evidence, we really shouldn't be too confident in our conclusions.

On the other hand, there are cases where the officer looks more than a little guilty, like the one that started this thread. There are some who will argue past the point of reason. They are willing to give the officer every benefit of the doubt like suggesting that he put the gun back in his pocket after being shot. Maybe they didn't know he was shot 3 times and once in the head, but still.

I think part of the problem is too much imagination thinking up threats of violence. It is what is used as a rationale for killing people who are not posing a danger to anyone, like Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Stephon Clark, Justine Damond, and countless others. I believe most of the police involved in these shootings genuinely feel threatened, but that feeling of being threatened and the use of force is highly dependent on race. Admitting that we have a problem with an over use of deadly force and racist policing is the first step in making it better.

This I can work with. Cops are honestly more afraid of people that look a certain way. That's not fair to the people they end up shooting and something should be done about it.

galliver

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #47 on: June 05, 2018, 12:52:51 PM »
Re: everyone who mentioned "bad cops". Have you heard of implicit bias and the role it may play in these shootings? https://perception.org/research/implicit-bias/

In a nutshell: none of us exists in a vacuum, we are surrounded by society. Sometimes, biases creep into our subconscious from this society. Biases like "black men are (more) dangerous (than white men)." It does not make a person racist, at least not in the way we'd normally think of it; they may well consciously espouse egalitarian ideas. However, when faced with a black man during a traffic stop, at night, reaching into his pocket, it is the unconscious mind that can be dominant in decision-making, with tragic results.

The good news about this is, there is evidence that the *effects* of such implicit biases can be eliminated by awareness and procedures and training! This is a systematic problem that can be systematically *solved*. Introducing gun handling procedures/habits that add just a few seconds to the officers' timeline can allow them to engage the conscious brain and avoid the tragedies (and would not significantly endanger the officers in the face of actual threats). This does not, of course, affect the situations where an officer really should not have been hired (I believe in the Tamir Rice case the offending officer was previously fired from a different department for psychological issues). Or if the officer is otherwise unstable (dealing with personal or professional issues and not receiving adequate support/treatment), or openly racist, etc.

Basically, while there are certainly "bad cops" out there, they aren't the only ones that become killers. Appropriate training on/against implicit bias can prevent "good cops" from becoming killers, and avert a number of tragedies. However, taking the "bad cop" phenomenon seriously and rooting out and blacklisting unacceptable behaviors and personalities is also important (would more funding/better compensation help attract better candidates? I'm not familiar enough to know.)

EvenSteven

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #48 on: June 05, 2018, 12:54:57 PM »
Quote
Ok, tell me what consequences you want to see for “ police who shoot and kill unarmed black men.”

I would like to see Mohamed Noor convicted and in prison.
I would like to see Jeronimo Yanez convicted and in prison.
I would like to see the officers who killed Stephon Clark convicted and in prison.

There exist justified shootings where police officers are defending themselves or others.

But most of all I want the police to stop shooting and killing people. The best outcome isn't to send police to jail. The best outcome if for police to stop killing so many people.

Wexler

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #49 on: June 05, 2018, 01:12:39 PM »
If I am to assume from your overly broad summary that all cops should be immediately incarcerated for life, for killing a man of any color (or perhaps you DO mean only black men.) then you are not someone I want in my zip code determining matters of legallity through the voting booth.

Nobody said the "incarcerated for life" bit and you know it.

What I would like to see is cops held exactly as accountable for their actions as you or I would be if we did the same thing.

If I walked up to someone's car, pulled a gun on them, and shot them dead, odds are I would end up convicted of a homicide. Maybe if I had good evidence that the person was actually reaching for a gun I could get off, but I'd still have to argue it to a jury. And if it turned out the guy wasn't holding a gun at all? Not a chance.

Most cops who do the same thing never even see the inside of a courtroom. Actual convictions are vanishingly rare. If you don't believe that's a problem I don't want you living in my county voting in the election for local prosecutor.


  But how do you know the guy isnt reaching dor a gun to shoot you? Regardless if “you” are a private citizen or a policemen. Serious question, what gives you that omnipotent knowledge?

Related but not on point:
Just last week I stopped to talk to a perennial protestor who stations himself by the death place of  Vonderritt Myers, one of our city’s young felons shot by a policemen.

The protestor argued bullet casings with me, the spray pattern, the lack of casings, all forensic “facts.” This is not a set of favts I can counter because I didnt look at that set of forensic info. doesnt mean I am wrong. doesnt mean protestor is wrong. Reasonable people can disagree on a vig emotional case like this. But I would like to see the Black Lives Matter protestors taking up more, oh, deserving victims.

The felon Vonderritt Myers owned a gun and there is You Tube footage of him playing around with it.

Obviously this protestor believes the cop genned up evidence to protect himself. I think that is possible, although I also think he shot Myers in good faith that Myers was a threat. These two ideas are compatible.

How do we know that anyone isn't reaching for a gun at any time?  Looking for your keys in your purse OR reaching for gun.  Who can say-we are not omnipotent.   Reaching into your pocket for gum OR reaching for a gun?  This is an unknowable situation, like Schroedinger's gun.  Seems legit that a cop can kill you.  How is he to know? Doesn't this start to seem ridiculous? 

I've proposed a specific punishment: start with jobs and pensions.  If you create liability for the department and you are found to be at fault, you are gone and can't be rehired in the next town over or any other government agency.   I would like to see people go to jail, particularly in cases where evidence is falsified after the fact.