Author Topic: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?  (Read 3113 times)

Wexler

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #50 on: June 05, 2018, 01:16:58 PM »


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 it's the just world fallacy in action.  It's really hard for some people to accept that shitty things happen to innocent people, so they work overtime to 1. figure out how the innocent person deserved it and/or 2. argue that the shitty thing isn't that bad.  Point 2 is harder when someone is shot to death, so point 1 it is.

iris lily

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #51 on: June 05, 2018, 01:31:15 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.
Well, in EvenStevens favor, he may be trying to find the common ground for us all. That is always a good way to start sincere discussions.

Samuel

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #52 on: June 05, 2018, 01:40:07 PM »
There is necessarily a different standard for law enforcement. Police officers have the legal right, and sometimes a legal obligation, to employ limited physical violence and potentially lethal force as a part of their jobs. These life or death decisions typically must be made quickly and under intense stress. Given that we're talking about human beings (half of whom are below average on whatever measure we look at, lets remember) they are not all going to be perfect decisions. And technology can now show us, graphically, what a tragically bad decision looks and sounds like.

But it's usually not a crime for a human being to make a good faith mistake at their job. Even if it results in a horrific tragedy. Unless there is evidence of bad faith or a criminal level of recklessness charges are often not called for. Doesn't mean the person should continue to be a police officer, which addressed in a separate process.

Evidence of bad faith or criminal recklessness? Prosecute, absolutely. Nobody disputes that. But go too far down the path of criminalizing honest mistakes and you won't be able to get competent people to be police officers anymore, which I doubt will help the situation.

iris lily

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #53 on: June 05, 2018, 01:47:27 PM »
There is necessarily a different standard for law enforcement. Police officers have the legal right, and sometimes a legal obligation, to employ limited physical violence and potentially lethal force as a part of their jobs. These life or death decisions typically must be made quickly and under intense stress. Given that we're talking about human beings (half of whom are below average on whatever measure we look at, lets remember) they are not all going to be perfect decisions. And technology can now show us, graphically, what a tragically bad decision looks and sounds like.

But it's usually not a crime for a human being to make a good faith mistake at their job. Even if it results in a horrific tragedy. Unless there is evidence of bad faith or a criminal level of recklessness charges are often not called for. Doesn't mean the person should continue to be a police officer, which addressed in a separate process.

Evidence of bad faith or criminal recklessness? Prosecute, absolutely. Nobody disputes that. But go too far down the path of criminalizing honest mistakes and you won't be able to get competent people to be police officers anymore, which I doubt will help the situation.
Nicely said, thanks!

Cromacster

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #54 on: June 05, 2018, 01:56:34 PM »
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.

CCW permit classes can be hit or miss.  The first one I took was from my friends father.  He was great and very informative (if in MN I can give referrals).  I learned alot from him and have had interesting discussions with him since.  After I let my renewal lapse I took it again from my local gun shop.....pencil whip doesn't even do it enough justice.  Made me realize what a joke the ccw classes can be.

The Philando case was really terrible (less than a mile from my house), especially when he seemed to be doing the right thing.  I remember being on the fence from just seeing his girlfriends video.  When they finally released the dash cam footage it was horrifying.  I really don't know how get got off and hope he will never be an officer again.  I didn't know the particular officer, but I got to know a few from their patrolling of my neighborhood.  I am still mixed on my cities decision to change police forces (we are a small city and contract police enforcement with nearby cities).  So far it seems ok, but it's lacking the community feel we used to have with the police.

Kris

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #55 on: June 05, 2018, 02:09:24 PM »
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.

CCW permit classes can be hit or miss.  The first one I took was from my friends father.  He was great and very informative (if in MN I can give referrals).  I learned alot from him and have had interesting discussions with him since.  After I let my renewal lapse I took it again from my local gun shop.....pencil whip doesn't even do it enough justice.  Made me realize what a joke the ccw classes can be.

The Philando case was really terrible (less than a mile from my house), especially when he seemed to be doing the right thing.  I remember being on the fence from just seeing his girlfriends video.  When they finally released the dash cam footage it was horrifying.  I really don't know how get got off and hope he will never be an officer again.  I didn't know the particular officer, but I got to know a few from their patrolling of my neighborhood.  I am still mixed on my cities decision to change police forces (we are a small city and contract police enforcement with nearby cities).  So far it seems ok, but it's lacking the community feel we used to have with the police.

I actually thought the guy I took my CCW training from was good. But his advice on that particular point seemed, as I said, very influenced by his own opinions and personal experience -- i.e., that he was someone who felt very confident that if he handed his CCW permit to an officer, that officer would look at him as a "good guy with a gun" and that the possession of a CCW permit would actually be a mark in his favor.

And I think it's very easy to see how that might not be the experience or situation for someone who was not in his same demographic.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #56 on: June 05, 2018, 04:36:18 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?

I don't know. I'm not omnipotent. Walking around the streets of America, many of the people you'll pass will be armed. That's a fact. Upon meeting a stranger I have no way of knowing a priori whether they happen to be armed or not. I don't have a right to shoot someone just because I'm scared that they might be reaching for a weapon. I don't think the police should have that right either.

We pay officers well to assume a certain level of risk. For all that's made of how dangerous policing is, I count 15 jobs deadlier than policing in these 2016 statistics. The deadliest job (logging) is nearly ten times as likely to kill you than policing is. Garbage collectors are more than twice as likely to die on the job as police officers are. I think there's room to change our laws to create an expectation that police officers should never shoot a suspect before actually seeing them brandish a weapon. Right now, officer safety is placed on too high of a pedestal. Citizens, primarily black ones, are paying for this policy with their lives.

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #57 on: June 05, 2018, 04:54:07 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?

No. Law enforcement officer here, and I can tell you that one of the first - and most important - things they teach us when we start handling firearms is you don't shoot blind. You don't shoot through doors, floors, or ceilings. You don't shoot at cars. You don't fire warning shots. You don't discharge your weapon unless you KNOW where the bullet is going to go, period.

px4shooter

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #58 on: June 05, 2018, 08:02:15 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.

Trayvon Martin was unarmed. Good killing. Not a cop, but a prime case.

Michael Brown in Ferguson was another unarmed person that was rightfully shot. Obama spreaded the hatred and lies and chose to hold back facts, while the city was destroyed and burned.

Unarmed does not equal not being dangerous. They both were a threat and both made the conscious decision to engage in their criminal behavior.

There are bad ones out there, but the "unarmed black man" is a terrible choice, as there are acceptable times to kill an unarmed person.


Paul der Krake

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #59 on: June 05, 2018, 08:21:08 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.
(emphasis mine)

Isn't that exactly what happened in that instance? There was a very high stakes trial, and 12 jurors decided there wasn't enough evidence of wrong doing to convict.

When there is little evidence one way or the other, you can't possibly turn the verdict without placing an incredible burden of proof on the defense instead of the prosecution.

EvenSteven

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #60 on: June 05, 2018, 08:37:40 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.

Trayvon Martin was unarmed. Good killing. Not a cop, but a prime case.

Michael Brown in Ferguson was another unarmed person that was rightfully shot. Obama spreaded the hatred and lies and chose to hold back facts, while the city was destroyed and burned.

Unarmed does not equal not being dangerous. They both were a threat and both made the conscious decision to engage in their criminal behavior.

There are bad ones out there, but the "unarmed black man" is a terrible choice, as there are acceptable times to kill an unarmed person.

Gross.

EvenSteven

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #61 on: June 05, 2018, 08:43:49 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.
(emphasis mine)

Isn't that exactly what happened in that instance? There was a very high stakes trial, and 12 jurors decided there wasn't enough evidence of wrong doing to convict.

When there is little evidence one way or the other, you can't possibly turn the verdict without placing an incredible burden of proof on the defense instead of the prosecution.

It wasn't really a case of evidence one way or the other, it was that the jury believed that the police officer was scared. That is all it takes to make the shooting and killing of people by the police "justified." If a police officer is afraid of you, they can kill you. Instead of seeing this as evidence that everything is a-ok, I see it as evidence that our standards in police shootings are seriously F'd up.

It saddens me that people can watch the video of Philando being murdered in his car in front of his family and think there is nothing wrong with it. Or that they cannot tell if there is anything wrong with it or not.

Wexler

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #62 on: June 05, 2018, 09:00:45 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.

Trayvon Martin was unarmed. Good killing. Not a cop, but a prime case.

Michael Brown in Ferguson was another unarmed person that was rightfully shot. Obama spreaded the hatred and lies and chose to hold back facts, while the city was destroyed and burned.

Unarmed does not equal not being dangerous. They both were a threat and both made the conscious decision to engage in their criminal behavior.

There are bad ones out there, but the "unarmed black man" is a terrible choice, as there are acceptable times to kill an unarmed person.

Gross.

I know I will regret this, but here goes:

Why does George Zimmerman get to follow someone around with a gun and he's the victim?  Didn't Trayvon Martin get to defend himself?  Why didn't he get to stand his ground?  Why was that a (deargodcanmyopinionofhumanitysinklower) "good" killing?  If some crazy person starts following me and I defend myself (note: debatable, since we only have the testimony of the guy who lived that Trayvon even did), why is the instigator in the right and it's justifiable that I am dead?  Why is the person who was stalked by a stranger with a gun suddenly responsible for behaving perfectly in a stressful situation (penalty for not getting it right: death! and a million hot takes by people who think your death is "good"), but the guy walking around with a gun who IGNORES police telling him to back off gets to do everything wrong?  What if Trayvon had been Tracey, a white girl?  Would you have had the same take on this being a "good" death?  Could Tracey have thrown a punch to defend herself?

I don't even understand how someone can just straight up murder someone they think is suspicious for no reason and become a conservative poster child.  George Zimmerman wasn't a cop!  But shooting a black teenager is a-ok if you think he's suspicious, follow him with a gun, pick a fight with him, and then claim you were standing your ground.  I wish Trayvon had gotten to stand his ground, too.  Ugh.  You know when people say our culture is too polarized? I just don't know where to begin finding common ground with someone who thinks the murder of Trayvon Martin is a "good killing"  How is defending yourself AGAINST A STRANGER WITH A GUN ENGAGING IN CRIMINAL ACTIVITY?  You know who was engaging in criminal activity that night?  The asshole threatening people with a gun.  Or do I just not understand anything anymore? Is up down?



seattlecyclone

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #63 on: June 05, 2018, 09:44:39 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.
(emphasis mine)

Isn't that exactly what happened in that instance? There was a very high stakes trial, and 12 jurors decided there wasn't enough evidence of wrong doing to convict.

When there is little evidence one way or the other, you can't possibly turn the verdict without placing an incredible burden of proof on the defense instead of the prosecution.

It wasn't really a case of evidence one way or the other, it was that the jury believed that the police officer was scared. That is all it takes to make the shooting and killing of people by the police "justified." If a police officer is afraid of you, they can kill you. Instead of seeing this as evidence that everything is a-ok, I see it as evidence that our standards in police shootings are seriously F'd up.

It saddens me that people can watch the video of Philando being murdered in his car in front of his family and think there is nothing wrong with it. Or that they cannot tell if there is anything wrong with it or not.

Right. Not only is there no evidence that Castile was actually reaching for a weapon, but whether he was or not doesn't even matter. The legal standard really just rests on the officer's state of mind. If the officer can convincingly say they were afraid he might have been reaching for a weapon, the killing is not criminal. I reject that standard.

bacchi

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #64 on: June 05, 2018, 09:54:14 PM »
It wasn't really a case of evidence one way or the other, it was that the jury believed that the police officer was scared. That is all it takes to make the shooting and killing of people by the police "justified." If a police officer is afraid of you, they can kill you. Instead of seeing this as evidence that everything is a-ok, I see it as evidence that our standards in police shootings are seriously F'd up.

It saddens me that people can watch the video of Philando being murdered in his car in front of his family and think there is nothing wrong with it. Or that they cannot tell if there is anything wrong with it or not.

Right. Not only is there no evidence that Castile was actually reaching for a weapon, but whether he was or not doesn't even matter. The legal standard really just rests on the officer's state of mind. If the officer can convincingly say they were afraid he might have been reaching for a weapon, the killing is not criminal. I reject that standard.

What should the charge be?

This isn't like the Walter Scott case, where the officer shot a fleeing suspect and then planted a taser. If we accept that the officer was genuinely afraid for his life, how do we deal with that? Murder? Manslaughter? Loss of job/career and loss of pension?


px4shooter

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #65 on: June 05, 2018, 10:22:17 PM »
I know I will regret this, but here goes:

Why does George Zimmerman get to follow someone around with a gun and he's the victim?  Didn't Trayvon Martin get to defend himself?  Why didn't he get to stand his ground?  Why was that a (deargodcanmyopinionofhumanitysinklower) "good" killing?  If some crazy person starts following me and I defend myself (note: debatable, since we only have the testimony of the guy who lived that Trayvon even did), why is the instigator in the right and it's justifiable that I am dead?  Why is the person who was stalked by a stranger with a gun suddenly responsible for behaving perfectly in a stressful situation (penalty for not getting it right: death! and a million hot takes by people who think your death is "good"), but the guy walking around with a gun who IGNORES police telling him to back off gets to do everything wrong?  What if Trayvon had been Tracey, a white girl?  Would you have had the same take on this being a "good" death?  Could Tracey have thrown a punch to defend herself?

I don't even understand how someone can just straight up murder someone they think is suspicious for no reason and become a conservative poster child.  George Zimmerman wasn't a cop!  But shooting a black teenager is a-ok if you think he's suspicious, follow him with a gun, pick a fight with him, and then claim you were standing your ground.  I wish Trayvon had gotten to stand his ground, too.  Ugh.  You know when people say our culture is too polarized? I just don't know where to begin finding common ground with someone who thinks the murder of Trayvon Martin is a "good killing"  How is defending yourself AGAINST A STRANGER WITH A GUN ENGAGING IN CRIMINAL ACTIVITY?  You know who was engaging in criminal activity that night?  The asshole threatening people with a gun.  Or do I just not understand anything anymore? Is up down?

First, his gun wasn't out. He was armed and that was it. It was concealed in his waist. Trayvon sure fit the description of kids breaking into homes in the neighborhood. Was it him? Who knows, but he did have a checkered criminal history.

George had a legal right to follow. He was a resident. He was calling the cops. A person following you, while talking to the police, does not give you the right to attack them, beat them, and mount them.

The jury heard the story and felt he was legally justified. Trayvon wanted to play the tough guy role and lost. That type of attack can easily cause substantial injury or death. Should he have let the beating occur? It is much different than the Ferguson case too, where the gentle giant robber wanted to take on an officer.

Morally and legally are different guidelines. So is the civil liability side. The Castile shooting is a payday for the family. Yes, Castile did match perfectly to the wanted armed robber. Yes he was armed. Yes, I agree the cop acted incorrectly. BUT the jury heard ALL the facts and decided there wasn't enough for a criminal charge.

bacchi

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #66 on: June 05, 2018, 10:47:08 PM »
First, his gun wasn't out. He was armed and that was it. It was concealed in his waist.

Is that from an eyewitness report? Or is that from the defendant?

Quote
Trayvon sure fit the description of kids breaking into homes in the neighborhood. Was it him? Who knows, but he did have a checkered criminal history.

What description? George never said anything about a description to the dispatch. He said "We've had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there's a real suspicious guy." He also said, "these assholes, they always get away."*

Quote
George had a legal right to follow. He was a resident. He was calling the cops.

Trayvon was also a resident or at least a guest of a resident. He had a right to be there as well. Was Trayvon's crime "Walking While Black"?


Quote
A person following you, while talking to the police, does not give you the right to attack them, beat them, and mount them.

Is that from an eyewitness account? Why wasn't Trayvon using self-defense? He was attacked by an aggressive wannabe cop who ignored the dispatch request to not follow the "suspect."



* Just a few weeks earlier, George waited for the police in a previous situation and the suspect, Burgess, got away before the police arrived. It stands to reason that George wasn't waiting around this time and decided to take the matter into his hands.

Burgess was arrested and charged shortly after he avoided police so while George didn't see the capture, the recent burglaries were solved.

DarkandStormy

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #67 on: June 06, 2018, 08:34:50 AM »
Right. Not only is there no evidence that Castile was actually reaching for a weapon, but whether he was or not doesn't even matter. The legal standard really just rests on the officer's state of mind. If the officer can convincingly say they were afraid he might have been reaching for a weapon, the killing is not criminal. I reject that standard.

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.

What you (and many others) are asking is for the Supreme Court to overturn or supersede Graham v. Connor to set a different legal precedent for law enforcement.

Chris22

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #68 on: June 06, 2018, 09:34:44 AM »
One thing that troubles me is that it seems as though we lump "cop on black male shootings" all into one category and ignore the definite nuance between them.  And it affects both sides.  The BLM folks end up trying to defend the indefensible, and the Blue Lives Matter folks yell and scream about the justified cases and ignore the egregiously offensive ones.

I'm not sure why reasonable people can't agree that (assuming reports are correct) Michael Brown reaching into a cop car after apparently committing a strong arm robbery, and witnesses lying defending him, was probably a good shoot, and Eric Garner being choked for selling cigarettes and Philandro Castile being shot after informing the cop and telling him he's getting his license are blatantly terrible acts of police abuse. 

It's not like you have to go all in on one side or the other, but it sure seems that way. 

TrudgingAlong

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #69 on: June 06, 2018, 10:27:04 AM »
One thing that troubles me is that it seems as though we lump "cop on black male shootings" all into one category and ignore the definite nuance between them.  And it affects both sides.  The BLM folks end up trying to defend the indefensible, and the Blue Lives Matter folks yell and scream about the justified cases and ignore the egregiously offensive ones.

I'm not sure why reasonable people can't agree that (assuming reports are correct) Michael Brown reaching into a cop car after apparently committing a strong arm robbery, and witnesses lying defending him, was probably a good shoot, and Eric Garner being choked for selling cigarettes and Philandro Castile being shot after informing the cop and telling him he's getting his license are blatantly terrible acts of police abuse. 

It's not like you have to go all in on one side or the other, but it sure seems that way.

I totally agree with this. The inability of people to recognize and, more importantly, VALUE a moderate point of view seems to be dying in America. Just look at the guy we are stuck with as president.... it’s really shocking to me to hear people, especially the gun crowd, defend the cop after watching the dash cam of Philando’s killing. I can understand not coming to Michael Brown’s defense.

TrudgingAlong

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #70 on: June 06, 2018, 10:29:57 AM »
Right. Not only is there no evidence that Castile was actually reaching for a weapon, but whether he was or not doesn't even matter. The legal standard really just rests on the officer's state of mind. If the officer can convincingly say they were afraid he might have been reaching for a weapon, the killing is not criminal. I reject that standard.

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.

What you (and many others) are asking is for the Supreme Court to overturn or supersede Graham v. Connor to set a different legal precedent for law enforcement.

I believe this is exactly what needs to change. Not every court judgement is right. This one is pretty bad.

For the record, I also don’t think throwing every cop who overreacts into jail is the answer, either. They should definitely NOT be police officers anymore, though. I despise how they all work to protect the wrongdoer, turning off body cams, turning on fellow officers who speak up, working to get their stories “straight”, etc. If you or I did any of that, we’d be in serious trouble if it was found out.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2018, 09:48:18 PM by TrudgingAlong »

GuitarStv

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #71 on: June 06, 2018, 10:53:05 AM »
It's also often true that police are treated rather differently by prosecution than your average person would be.  These lawyers often have to work with the police force on a regular basis, and pissing them off can seriously impact their future in their profession.

iris lily

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #72 on: June 06, 2018, 01:59:02 PM »
One thing that troubles me is that it seems as though we lump "cop on black male shootings" all into one category and ignore the definite nuance between them.  And it affects both sides.  The BLM folks end up trying to defend the indefensible, and the Blue Lives Matter folks yell and scream about the justified cases and ignore the egregiously offensive ones.

I'm not sure why reasonable people can't agree that (assuming reports are correct) Michael Brown reaching into a cop car after apparently committing a strong arm robbery, and witnesses lying defending him, was probably a good shoot, and Eric Garner being choked for selling cigarettes and Philandro Castile being shot after informing the cop and telling him he's getting his license are blatantly terrible acts of police abuse. 

It's not like you have to go all in on one side or the other, but it sure seems that way.

Yeah, good post. Yep.

Wexler

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #73 on: June 07, 2018, 09:35:43 AM »
One thing that troubles me is that it seems as though we lump "cop on black male shootings" all into one category and ignore the definite nuance between them.  And it affects both sides.  The BLM folks end up trying to defend the indefensible, and the Blue Lives Matter folks yell and scream about the justified cases and ignore the egregiously offensive ones.

I'm not sure why reasonable people can't agree that (assuming reports are correct) Michael Brown reaching into a cop car after apparently committing a strong arm robbery, and witnesses lying defending him, was probably a good shoot, and Eric Garner being choked for selling cigarettes and Philandro Castile being shot after informing the cop and telling him he's getting his license are blatantly terrible acts of police abuse. 

It's not like you have to go all in on one side or the other, but it sure seems that way.

Yeah, good post. Yep.

This sentiment seems to me to be incomplete.  It criticizes the BLM movement for being too inclusive in its outrage, but it does not adequately criticize the vast legions of people who just shrug when confronted with the Philandro Castiles of the world.   To me, this comes across as indifference because they know that police brutality won't affect them.  If you think that Philandro Castile is an abuse of power, what's the solution?  If the issue isn't important to you, why is that?  If you are an NRA member, why haven't you contacted them to protest their silence on this?

Taking comfort in "both sides do it" allows some people to feel like they aren't obligated to take a stand. But the side to be on is on the side of the innocent.  If police shot an innocent man, that's not OK just because you don't like BLM.  Philandro Castile doesn't carry collective guilt for the actions of BLM, and cops don't get a shoot a man for free card because football players take a knee during the anthem.  You say that you consider the details of each case.  But then what?  What do you do with that information?



Jrr85

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #74 on: June 11, 2018, 02:04:12 PM »
One thing that troubles me is that it seems as though we lump "cop on black male shootings" all into one category and ignore the definite nuance between them.  And it affects both sides.  The BLM folks end up trying to defend the indefensible, and the Blue Lives Matter folks yell and scream about the justified cases and ignore the egregiously offensive ones.

I'm not sure why reasonable people can't agree that (assuming reports are correct) Michael Brown reaching into a cop car after apparently committing a strong arm robbery, and witnesses lying defending him, was probably a good shoot, and Eric Garner being choked for selling cigarettes and Philandro Castile being shot after informing the cop and telling him he's getting his license are blatantly terrible acts of police abuse. 

It's not like you have to go all in on one side or the other, but it sure seems that way.

Yeah, good post. Yep.

This sentiment seems to me to be incomplete.  It criticizes the BLM movement for being too inclusive in its outrage,

It's not that BLM is too inclusive in its outrage.  It is that BLM is not discerning in their outrage.  They make people think there's not a problem with police accountability, because if you are not paying attention to the issue, and you see people rioting over the Michael Brown situation, one pretty logical conclusion is that there must not be a problem if this is the example that gets blown up. 



but it does not adequately criticize the vast legions of people who just shrug when confronted with the Philandro Castiles of the world.   To me, this comes across as indifference because they know that police brutality won't affect them.  If you think that Philandro Castile is an abuse of power, what's the solution?  If the issue isn't important to you, why is that?  If you are an NRA member, why haven't you contacted them to protest their silence on this?

Taking comfort in "both sides do it" allows some people to feel like they aren't obligated to take a stand. But the side to be on is on the side of the innocent.  If police shot an innocent man, that's not OK just because you don't like BLM.  Philandro Castile doesn't carry collective guilt for the actions of BLM, and cops don't get a shoot a man for free card because football players take a knee during the anthem.  You say that you consider the details of each case.  But then what?  What do you do with that information?

What do you expect people to do with the information?  It's not clear what should be done.  Some of the worst shootings seem to clearly be the result of an officer that has no business being a police officer.  The Philando Castile and Daniel Shaver incidents are good examples.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/12/08/graphic-video-shows-daniel-shaver-sobbing-and-begging-officer-for-his-life-before-2016-shooting/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.97df731fc551

I don't know how you address that.  I do suspect that ruining the life of police officers involved in likely good shootings (such as the officer in the Michael Brown case) and even officers that are involved in shootings that are bad but a result of a good faith mistake don't improve the quality of candidates.  I assume better training and also screening would help, but I'm not sure if police departments know how to do that effectively and if they do, whether economics let them.  Cops where I live get pretty meager pay.  Less than teachers but without a teachers schedule.  I have no clue how they fill the jobs at all and would assume they don't get to be very selective.

Even if you are able to weed out the people that just don't have the mental/psychological disposition to be cops, I don't think that helps the situations where cops behave badly because there is not effective accountability.  I'm not sure how much of that even flows over into bad shootings; it's seems possible that most of that bad behavior just results in bogus contempt of cop citations and undue force and disrespect, but not deadly violence.  But I think that probably drives more of the negative perception of cops, particularly in poorer communities, than actual bad shootings.  I think body cams help there?  And I think rolling back qualified immunity would be helpful?  But I don't think it's an easy answer (or one without tradeoffs) like some people like to think. 



accolay

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Re: Police shootings-when are cops held accountable?
« Reply #75 on: June 23, 2018, 08:29:04 AM »
Some thoughts.....
Not sure it will make anyone feel better but there are over one million police officers working in the United States. That means like any profession some will be horrible, some will be great. And they have guns. Unsure why, if I were a cop, I wouldn't want a camera on all the time while on duty.

Was it weird that after Philando Castile was shot and killed that I thought "Thank God the Officer wasn't a white guy" and the same for the Justine Damond shooting "whew! shot by a black cop."

I'm not sure about how much I'll read into the Jamar Clark shootiing.The only people it seems who really know what happened were Jamar and the two officers. There are a lot of things people think they saw or said they saw, but I don't think we know what really happened.

But... considering the use of force ladder, I wonder how these Officers are always turning it up to 11? Also would ad that almost none of the cops that work here live in the city they protect and serve. And even if they did, they probably wouldn't live in North Minneapolis.