More Police Brutality


Christopher Carr

Christopher Carr does stuff and writes about stuff.

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28 Responses

  1. Avatar Brett says:

    The behavior in the video appears misaligned with the Henderson Police “Purpose and Values:”

    Our Vision:

    To make Henderson the safest city in the country by providing premier police services through innovation and partnerships with our community.

    Our Purpose

    The purpose of the Henderson Police Department is to enhance the quality of life by working in partnership with the public within the framework of the U.S. Constitution to enforce the laws, preserve the peace, and provide a safe community.

    Our values:


    • We commit to keeping the public trust by holding ourselves accountable to the highest standard of ethical behavior.


    • We commit with pride to being a member of this department and serving the community with distinction.


    • We commit to all citizens and each other to carry out our responsibilities with courtesy, compassion and respect.


    • We commit to excellence with a focus on innovation, service, and leadership.


    • We are devoted to our work, committed to our community and dedicated to the service of others.


  2. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    I’m all “wow, that sucks, but I guess I could kind of–”

    then it’s 0:45 and the guy just rolls up and puts the boot in, and I’m like…”oh, yeah, no.”Report

  3. Avatar Morat20 says:

    There are several sorts of people drawn to being cops.

    One type is, sadly, the bullying sort looking for power over their fellow man.Report

    • Avatar sidereal says:

      Which other sorts of people are represented in the video?  Did Henderson just get unlucky and end up with only the bad sort?Report

  4. Avatar Matthew N says:

    Wow. Why pull a gun on him as well? Talk about over-killReport

  5. Avatar James K says:

    I have a serious question for the Americans here:

    At what point do you decide your government is as bad or worse than the one you seceded from?  And should you do so, what happens next?Report

    • Avatar Michael Drew says:

      At a much higher level of grievousness because… it’s ours. At the time we rebelled, we had developed a sense of ourselves as Americans separate from the English, and, though the king was accepted as the sovereign up until independence  was declared, the sense that we were being ruled by a foreign power was rising among people in the colonies. If we do so, we’ll seek to reconstitute the government using the same kind of precess we used to constitute it.  We don’t try to overthrow it because… it’s here, and the problem of projecting power across an ocean when you have a tradition of not keeping standing armies on your own land – the basic problem the king faced in trying to suppress revolution in the colonies -is not one our government would face. (At some point the government here will fall or collapse, but the process leading to that will be gradual in the extreme, and rebellion will only be the proximate cause toppling an already weak edifice; rebellion against the overreach of a still-strong central government would be futile, and people understand that.) It’s also worth noting that even in an America under a reconstituted federal government   (whether arrived at by civil process or revolution), local police forces will still exercise violence against the population, sometimes if not often to completely unjustifiable degrees or in situations which do not call for it.Report

      • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

        And what if I said I feel more kinship with an average person in the UK than with one of these folks?

        Standing armies?  Had one for years, and increasingly it’s on our streets, which is precisely where the British put it back in the day.Report

        • Avatar Michael Drew says:

          What if you did?

          I thought that was the point I was making. We not only have these local police forces, but the actual, you know, standing Army, plus the state guards, which would use all the force needed to put down rebellion.Report

          • Avatar Michael Drew says:

            …I was taking James’ question to be one asking about a collective conclusion to that effect, since obviously among our 300 million, some must clearly believe that.  Since we can only answer that individually despite the question beings to our views of what constitutes collective opinion on the matter, I hazarded an answer.  That doesn’t affect your ability to offer your own view on the question.

            If James’ question was about when each of us, individually concludes that, then i misread him.  I thought he was asking when the country collectively concludes that and begins to contemplate action pursuant to the conclusion. My answer individually would be that it probably (maybe obviously) already is worse in terms of sheer damage done without justification, but that that doesn’t mean much because this kind of grievousness had a lot less to do with our (their) decision to rebel than the other issues I mentioned, and other formal questions about the relationship of the governed to the government in that rather particular set of political circumstances that obtained here at that time.  That revolution had more to do with reigning political institutions and their increasing inefficacy for the emerging social and geographic facts over which they reigned than it did with particular acts of grievously unjust violence (like the one  above) perpetrated by a government that, were it not engaging in such tyranny, would likely have retained the loyalty of the governed and maintained effective governance.  So the actual history of the question James puts here (How does this compare to what provoked the American revolution?)is not really very comparable to to situation he wants us to compare it to.  The reasons for that rebellion were largely of a different nature entirely.Report

            • Avatar James K says:

              I was thinking about the collective decision.  And your answer makes sense to me.  If there is a revolt in your country it will be at a point where your governments have becomes so fiscally weakened that they cannot meaningfully deploy force against the rebels.

              Mind you, the revolt might come in the form of a call for a constitutional convention.  Still, I don’t think it’s likely any time soon.Report

          • Avatar Michael Drew says:

            …But you’re the historian; I just read and listen to stuff about this. How wrong am I? (Honestly.)Report

            • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

              As to the history, I think you’re basically right. It wasn’t simply the brutality or even just the idea of taxation.  The emphasis was distinctly on the “without representation” bit, and all that went with it.  Taxes in the colonies were among the very lowest in the entire world, even after the increases that prompted revolutionary outrage.Report

          • Avatar Jason Kuznicki says:

            I thought the point you were making was that, while this is worse than the English colonial era, gosh darn it, these people are ours, and so we give them a pass.  Because they’re more like us.

            I was denying that premise, and suggesting that even a foreigner is more like me than one of these people.

            Still, though, I don’t see a rebellion on the horizon.  No one wants to go down in history as among the people who wrecked what Jefferson, Washington, and Madison built.

            At some point we’ll have to invoke the ship of Theseus.  I don’t think we’re there yet.Report

            • Avatar Michael Drew says:

              Not because they’re like us, but because we did constitute this government. (The comparison to the Revolution really has to be a question about when we would rebel against the federal government, or else it really makes no sense).  I just think that leads people to be far less inclined to feel that the only or best option is to rebel against it, rather thinking that it’s in our our power to reform it (whether it actually is or not), should we feel execised enough about something – in a way colonials never felt the remotest possibility existed to reform the monarch governing them from a faraway island.

              Of course, it’s worth noting that people really aren’t all that exercised about police brutality, so it’s all even more theoretical than it would be if people were really angry about it, though not in a rebellious mode, which I’m saying they basically wouldn’t be under any scenario where that is really the main grievance.  This is not to say people won’t ever be exercised enough to seek to really reform police practices, but it is to say they won’t ever rebel over it, and since neither did they rebel over them in the 1770s, or really anything else much like them at all, it’s a pretty inapt analogy.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew says:

                I mean, obviously people are angry, but by the numbers it’s just not among Americans’ primary concerns…Report

              • Avatar BSK says:

                Some people are angry.  Unfortunately, some are quite the opposite and think everyone who ends up on the wrong side of a billy club (or bullet) had it coming, one way or another.  And a vast majority are unaware and/or indifferent.Report

            • Avatar Christopher Carr says:

              I had to look up the ship of Theseus. I’ve heard the same (or slightly different) paradox described in several different ways. One related version is at what point in time does a “pile” of something cease to be a “pile” when I’m taking away its objects one at a time.

              I was talking with my daughters about belly buttons the other day (it is a frequent topic of discussion) and my older daughter asked whether monkeys have belly buttons. I had to look it up, but it turns out that – yes – all placental mammals have belly buttons. So, which animal had the first belly button? Did the belly button suddenly spring upon the world? Did it materialize from thin air? Was there a proto-belly button?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird says:

                I’m sure that when the first amoeba split into two, there was the tiniest pucker where they broke off. Or a bubble, I suppose. If it was an outie.Report

              • Avatar James Hanley says:

                It’s an old question in certain circles: “Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?”Report

              • Avatar BSK says:

                It is like one of those 20-question-style riddles… “Two centuries old bodies are found frozen in ice.  The explorer takes one long look at them and immediately declares, ‘I know exactly who they are.’  Who were they and how did he know?”  Ask the right questions and you’ll learn they had no belly buttons and therefore were Adam and Eve.Report

            • Avatar James K says:

              Still, though, I don’t see a rebellion on the horizon.  No one wants to go down in history as among the people who wrecked what Jefferson, Washington, and Madison built.

              I think you’re right, even if it’s people like those cops in the video that are really wrecking what Jefferson, Washington and Madison built.Report

        • Avatar Matty says:

          If memory serves one of the drivers for creating a regular police force in Britain is that after things like the Peterloo massacre it was felt troops could no longer be trusted with keeping public order.Report

      • Avatar Christopher Carr says:

        I’m not as concerned about us overthrowing the government as I am about the government overthrowing us.Report

    • Avatar Artor says:

      Many of us have reached that conclusion long ago, but we’re a bit concerned with how our country deals with civil unrest. There’s plenty of examples of it worldwide, and we really, REALLY don’t want that in our own streets. This can’t go on forever though…Report

  6. Avatar bobvious says:

    Go big, or go home!

    We put a man on the moon 42 years ago. Is there no way to weed out the psychopaths?Report