Meanwhile, In Oakland | Hit Coffee


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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105 Responses

  1. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    The case for firing all the police officers and prosecutors in the United States and starting from the start gets stronger everyday.Report

    • Avatar notme in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Will you join this new police force or just whine about the current situation?Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

        Remember, folks, unless you’re ready to take over the job, you have no right to criticize the people you’re paying to do the job. Medical malpractice? Are *you* going to man up and do your own heart surgery? I didn’t think so. So sit down and take your medicine.Report

        • Avatar notme in reply to Troublesome Frog says:

          I hear all the time from libruls about how bad cops are but never hear from them that they or anyone should become cops themselves in order to change things.Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to notme says:

            Fortunately, you’re not the type of person to complain about anybody doing any job that you don’t do yourself, right?

            If I were to look through, say, the past few days of your posts here, I wouldn’t see you criticizing anybody whose job you haven’t stepped up and offered to take over, right?

            Just to be completely clear on the ground rules: Unless you yourself are doing a job or have done that job in the past, you must offer no criticism at all. Is that it?Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Maybe we shouldn’t disarm the populace quite yet.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

      Dude! You should cancel your trip, call up your militia buddies in California, work up an attack plan and take over the Oakland PD! I mean, what are all you second amendment solutionists waiting for????Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

        Nah. That’d involve getting up.

        Easier to just say “these are the only people who ought to own guns” and trust the system to keep people like this out of power if it comes to that.

        The system worked here, for example.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

          Nah. That’d involve getting up.

          Yeah, between work, social responsibilities, relaxation and having fun, its hard to find time to nourish that Tree of Liberty …Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

            Come on Still….paranoid beliefs are only silly and mockable when they are held by college students afraid of the KKK. You know liberals types. Paranoid Alex Jones types are righteous and tough and have real fears.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak says:

              greginCO (heh),

              I very clearly remember multiple posts and threads arguing that mockery was a useful and important – even necessary! – tool in the advance of rational decision-making and cultural progress. When you hear a person say something ludicrous, mock them! Mock the Islamic Fundamentalists! Mock the homophobes! Mock liberals!

              Mock the Gun Nuts!

              Oops. Can’t mock them! In three of the last four threads (I think, it feels like it anyway…) I’ve been chastised for mocking people’s expressed views on the politics of guns in America. So maybe I was wrong to think the mockery actually has a useful role to play in any of this…

              Yet, I can’t escape the belief that some arguments and views are so beyond the pale that the only response is to mock them on their own terms.

              And thank Gawd Alex Jones never sleeps. He allows all the other 2A solutionists to get on with their lives, keep playing golf or shooting down trees, until the time is ripe.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

              If I told you that we had a police force that was engaging in systematic rapes and it would take a suicide note to bring some of that corruption to light, would that be a paranoid belief?

              Asking for a friend.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                If the worry was about the legitimacy of paranoid beliefs, why did your friend bring up second amendment solutions, Jaybird?

                Asking for your friend.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                I did already apologize for bringing up an orthogonal topic but I would say that in any given gun control debate, an often unstated premise is that only the authorities ought to have guns. (It’s not always held, of course… some people are okay with hunting rifles and others are okay with home defense weapons.)

                When we very recently have a gun control debate like that, it’s always illuminating to see exactly what the authorities that we think ought be the only armed ones are like, when left to their own devices.

                It brings some form of clarity, I think, to say that the choice is between “everybody being armed” and “only these authorities should be armed”.

                Though a rejoinder asking if I would have shot one of them is insightful, my point is more whether they should be allowed guns and I shouldn’t or whether they should be allowed guns and I should be allowed them too.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                You did apologize, so I’m sorry for hammering on it.

                Yet, I can’t help but think that in the next thread you’ll bring up the exact same issue….Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                I actually hadn’t brought up the whole “these are the only people who ought to be armed” yet in the gun control thread.

                I suppose I would have gotten by without bringing it up at all except, well, the whole 3 police chiefs in 10 days thing.

                How much of an outlier do you think this police department is?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                Maybe we shouldn’t disarm the populace quite yet.

                Yeah, that.

                Your other point is well taken. The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun (cops!) is a good guy with a gun.

                Yeah, I’ve heard that before too. Seems to me that doesn’t really advance the debate any further than fantasies about Second Amendment solutions nourishing the Tree of Liberty.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                Speaking of fantasies, where does “discussing what laws we want passed without addressing how corrupt the people enforcing these laws happen to be” fall on the scale?

                Is it more fantastic than watering the tree of liberty, less fantastic, or somewhere on the same level?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                Oh, so NOW you want to talk about the issue Will’s post addressed!

                Better late than never, as I always say!Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                No, not yet.

                I was asking a question about the fantasy of gun control without discussing institutional corruption.

                How fantastic is it?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

                Irrelevant. Unless you think Oakland cops raping a child is a GUN issue…

                More generally, irrelevant, too. Except for the occasional Waco/David Koresh incident. And if people want to use that as a PARADIGM of gummint’s interaction with the citizenry …. well, I don’t even know how to begin that deconstruction.

                Adding: yes, I do, of course. Not that it would persuade the folks inclined to believe it. Some of them right here at this site, seems to me.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

                It’s more that I think that enforcement of gun laws is a place where guns and law enforcement happen to overlap.

                I also think that to think otherwise is to live in a fantasy.

                But who am I to judge? I used to be a libertarian.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

                Most people on the gun control side would love if the United States could have a police force that is mainly just armed with batons like the police in the United Kingdom. We are also skeptical about the idea of an armed populace being anything close to being a useful check on tyrannical government for reasons that should be obvious. Trained armies tend to beat untrained militias a lot and have better access to real serious fire power.

                You also have to consider America’s legacy of racism. A decent plurality of the most fervent believers in the right to bear arms would find the idea of armed people of color resisting police to be more about invalid insurrection than a legitimate opposition to government tyranny. They would side with the cops. What you proposed would not go down well.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to LeeEsq says:

                This comment is just plain blind to history. There are numerous examples of black people exercising their second amendment rights to protect themselves from racist vigilantes and violent crime when the authorities couldn’t be counted on to do so. The fact that there are a lot of conservatives out there who support gun rights but also believe that the way law enforcement is currently undertaken in poor, minority communities is justified is not an argument for curtailing rights. I mean, where do you think the hammer will really fall with the creation of new criminal laws related to firearms? I’m pretty sure it won’t be on those who the armed agents of the state already treat with kid gloves for fear that they might one day demand greater accountability.

                Now I agree that a lot of the stuff coming from certain political corners about resisting the government is fantastical hogwash and any government will always have a substantial advantage in arms and the means to do violence. However there’s nothing liberal about pretending that providing the government as it currently exists with a monopoly on arms would be an unmitigated good. Jaybird’s point as I understand it is perfectly reasonable in this context. It’s not about some bullshit ultra-right fantasy where a bunch of Clint Eastwoods defeat a corrupt government with AR-15s and glocks. It’s about whether or not you want everyone forced to rely on institutions that protect people like these officers to maintain order, and whether or not it’s reasonable to believe they can be trusted to use their power in a manner that is fair and just for everyone.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to InMD says:

                Disarming the people is pretty far out there. In fact its like never going to happen so it seems like Alex Jones level stuff. Whether people have guns or not seems separate from cleaning up the cops. The cops will always have more guns and gov backing so personal self-defense( which i’m fine with) isn’t relevant.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to greginak says:

                I hadn’t heard of Alex Jones before but I just looked him up. I do not in any way subscribe to those types of conspiracy theories. That said I don’t think the two issues are unrelated. We could list numerous factors that have gotten us where we are with the police. The biggest ones in my opinion have been legal (chipping away at the 4th Amendment in the name of fighting the drug war, LEO bill of rights, qualified immunity, deferential judges, etc.) but there are also a lot of cultural attitudes in play.

                I think many progressives are quick to identify the dominant conservative narrative of the police as Jack Bauer or other fictional characters, bravely crossing the lines for the greater good as the silliness that it is. What I think urbane, middle class progressives (the types most interested in more gun laws) fail to identify is their own weird cultural view of law enforcement. It’s one where the police act as a sort of separate species of citizen, doing the type of dirty work and handling moral quandaries about use of force that they would never do themselves, but which they absolutely rely on. Both views in my mind are equally pernicious and have helped get us to a place where the police are corrupt at a systemic level, regardless of how many good cops are out there.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to InMD says:

                Between this & what @morat20 has said, the cause is well defined.

                The problem is how a population cuts out the rot without leaving itself vulnerable to chaos. Wasn’t there an Eastern Euro country that did this recently & found itself surprised by how little crime occurred during the transition? So maybe the problem isn’t how to not be vulnerable, but how to convince the population that they aren’t as vulnerable as they imagine.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

                Georgia the country. Not exactly Eastern European and not even European in the geographic sense.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to LeeEsq says:

                Former Soviet Republic, then.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

      All of the stuff detailed there could have been avoided if only the people of Oakland were better armed.Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

      If only Tamir Rice had been armed…Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    What happens behind the blue wall….Report

  4. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Without getting into orthogonal issues (I apologize, entirely my fault), this does seem to indicate a fairly corrupt system.

    It took a murder/suicide to bring this corruption to light.
    If you wrote an episode of Law and Order: SVU and it had this plot, we’d roll our eyes at how far-fetched it was.

    But here we are.

    The rot would have to be pretty damned deep for it to have reached this point.

    How did it come to this?Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

      Did Law and Order ever implicate the police and prosecutors as a whole?Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

      Sadly, comments on this story are only available to registered law enforcement professionals.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

      I suspect this had lots of fathers (the thin blue line, up-arming cops as soldiers, the war on drugs, tough on crime politicians, the big 90s crime spike…)

      But a lot of this stuff is stuff that’s been around even longer, but we’re just now seeing thanks to everyone having a camera. Heck, a lot of is stuff we encouraged. To be blunt, we’ve always (as a society) encouraged cops to…enforce conformity and social rules. It’s more obvious in the south — a town near me didn’t get rid of their quite official rule that blacks weren’t welcome after sundown — until the 70s. And there are towns in Texas still where the cops will make darn sure that uppity blacks don’t stay where they’re not wanted.

      Punching hippies, enforcing Jim Crow, and otherwise beating down the “wrong sorts”?

      That’s not new. We, as a society, molded cops that way for decades. It was just out of sight. This isn’t some new failing in the police.

      This is the police we wanted. The rough ride that killed someone? That was the policing we wanted for decades and decades. The wrong sort learned his place, didn’t he? The cops were enforcers of the social norms, brutally and out of sight, and that’s how we liked it.

      That’s changing fast (because, you know, it’s not out of sight for one). But policing culture is…lagging way behind. They’re not adjusting to the new rules.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Morat20 says:

        Morat, I agree that there are some racial/”crime” oriented actions that were winked at or tolerated or even encouraged, but I don’t think “we” wanted a police force that was engaging in child rape and sexual exploitation and then covering it up at the institutional (Blue Wall) level. Let alone having elected officials with the power to act on their knowledge of these practices refrain from doing so.Report

        • Avatar Will H. in reply to Stillwater says:

          I don’t think “we” wanted a police force that was engaging in child rape and sexual exploitation and then covering it up at the institutional (Blue Wall) level. Let alone having elected officials with the power to act on their knowledge of these practices refrain from doing so.

          Simply not true.
          It wasn’t until Millbrook v United States (i.e., March 2013) that it became unlawful for a federal law enforcement officer to commit forcible rape on the clock.
          But the feds are still in the political model of policing.

          Consider the bungled grand jury in the Michael Brown shooting.
          It should have been a rubber stamp, like any other grand jury proceeding, except for the ulterior motives of the prosecutor.

          Protecting and preserving any manner of wrongful conduct or criminality among governmental employees at the state and local levels is among teh chief concerns of the federal courts.
          About two things can change that:
          1) As statutory provision barring dismissal of claims other than on the merits in Sec. 1983 litigation, and/or
          2) A wholesale rescission of judicial immunity at the executive level with the appointment of a special prosecutor tasked with incarcerating 120 (or thereabouts) federal judges.

          The federal bench is by far a greater threat to the rights and liberties of Americans than any terrorist organization is, or could ever be.
          And we should dedicate just as much in resources to protecting ourselves from that grave and substantial threat.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Will H. says:

            Will H,

            Rather than get into a debate about the institutional structures which permit and protect cops from those types of actions, I’ll focus on what I thought Morat’s point was: the “we” wanted cops to be able to do exactly what they’re accused of doing in the Oakland case. Namely, raping kids.

            As I said, I agree with Morat that “we” moreorless encouraged cops to engage in (what we view now as) pretty heinous acts against black folk. But – as I said – “we” – as a society – never encouraged cops to engage in child rape.

            Perhaps that distinction isn’t as clear cut as I initially thought, tho.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

              I think what “we” did was make it known through a million different interactions that police were untouchable and above reproach and could get away with nearly anything.

              Because “we” are terrified, desperate to be made safe. “We” are haunted by images of hordes of zombies and thugs breaking down our door, of carjackings, muggings, societal collapse and disorder.

              In this state of primal fear and fight or flight instinct, how surprising can it be that a lifeboat mentality takes over, and if a few unimportant people suffer, its worth the price.

              Its never the daughter of a megachurch pastor who is sexually abused, it isn’t a prominent businessman who is pulled over and curbstomped, it isn’t the right sort of people who pay the penalty for all this fearmongeringReport

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I look at it a little differently. While it may be true that “we” are terrified and want a third party Enforcer to ensure our safety, a whole bunch of other “we’s” have been trying to dissipate the unilateral power and protections of the Guardians and institute measures by which they are actually Guarded.

                “We’re” still working on that, but things are better now than they were before. Seems to me.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater says:

                Who are you talking about?
                The ACLU or something?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                All the folks who reject that cops have the unilateral authority to do whatever they want. 🙂

                Adding: I mean, presumably, YOU aren’t one of the people so engulfed in FEAR that you cut loose cops to do whatever it takes….Report

              • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Stillwater says:

                Those people trying to stop the cops? Hippies to be punched.

                At least in the South, we baked this into the cake as far back as the Civil War. We enshrined it into official custom with Jim Crow.

                That was part of policing. Clubbing it into the minds of the wrong sort that they weren’t welcome. They needed to change or leave.Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                There is a lot of that going on, but that’s not the whole of it.

                Sure, with the shooting in Orlando, the one thing everybody forgot to mention was how safe the TSA and airport security are keeping us these days.
                Thank God all those counter-terrorism measures paid off.

                Studies have shown that police families suffer domestic violence at rates 40% higher than the general population.
                Studies have shown that roughly 60% of all testimony given by law enforcement officers on the witness stand are materially false.

                Seriously, if that’s the sort of thing the good guys do, then we need to revise our conceptualization of The Good.

                My point was more along the lines that there is not one thing more hated in a District Court of the United States than an American citizen claiming to have some manner of right.
                Any murderer, embezzler, panderer, or thief is held in high esteem in such a place, provided that one is a governmental employee.

                Now, it was the idea of providing pensions to persons in open violation of the law which re-instituted the prosecutions of the people involved in the disappearances in Argentina in the 1980’s. Their government felt it was wrong to pay people who killed other citizens in violation of the law, even if those people were local law enforcement officials.
                The United States has no such conscience.Report

          • Avatar Francis in reply to Will H. says:

            wait, what? On what grounds have 120 judges committed crimes so severe that they should not only be impeached but incarcerated as well?

            As the last 10 years have shown anyone who’s paying attention, the real issue in this country is the degree to which shameful conduct among those in power (wall street / tamir rice / many others) is perfectly legal.Report

            • Avatar Will H. in reply to Francis says:

              Ever heard of the Breyer Report?

              What about the G-88 resolution against the United States for the acts of its courts?Report

              • Avatar Francis in reply to Will H. says:

                No, neither. What do they have to say?Report

              • Avatar Will H. in reply to Francis says:

                @francis :
                Generally, the Breyer Commission (chaired by Justice Stephen Breyer) studied how the new rules (i.e., since 1980) covering judicial misconduct are far worse than the old rules.

                And the G-77 issued a statement sanctioning the United States due to the actions of the U.S. District Courts.

                That is, both domestically and internationally, substantial groups have noted serious problems with the federal courts.

                And seriously, legal realism was discredited a long time ago.
                Not a hard thing to do at all.
                We did that as a classroom exercise two semesters ago.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Stillwater says:

          You’re looking too narrowly. We wanted an abusive police force, as long as that abuse was directed at the “right” people. (Or the wrong ones). We wanted them to operate outside the law, in the dark, making sure that society was..properly upheld.

          That mind-set is infectious. That mind-set leads to places like this.

          You tell police they can and should operate outside the law, as long as they do so to the right people and for the right reasons and….mission creep sets in.

          Call it the moral or legal Overton window.

          I suspect these guys raping children represents something of an outlier, even by abusive police standards. But the thing is — society is the one that initially told them they could act outside the law, that they wouldn’t be held accountable. As long as they kept it to the right places, the right people, and out of the light.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird says:


      I suspect we got this far because of a variety of reasons.

      1. Do you know the old cliche about how in some neighborhoods you either grow up to be a cop or a criminal? I suspect that there is a certain kind of personality that is attracted to being a police officer because it allows them to use force legally.

      2. Privilege and racism. My apartment was burgled when I first moved to SF. The police were perfectly civil and nice to me. Very professional. Maybe these cops were some of the good guys. Maybe they were capable of being nice to me but were also embroiled in the racist text scandal as well because I am a middle-class educated person. No one wants to face that their dad or uncle might be a racist and corrupt cop.

      3. People seem to think that crime is rampant and unstoppable even though the statistics say crime is going down and the United States is safer than ever. The way to reduce police brutality and mass incarceration is by making fewer things crimes and reducing sentences for violent criminals. What is the acceptable level of crime and risk? How much safety should people give up for liberty? I support the legalization of sex work and recreational drugs but I suspect that sex work legalization is always going to be a contentious issue that divides people. The left has people strongly for and strongly against the legalization of sex work.

      4. The police in my experience also tend to be very insular as an institution. Lots of people who become cops had dads, uncles, mothers, aunts, brothers, sisters, etc. who were cops.

      5. The police have a way of hazing people into accepting corruption. I remember listening to a TAL story where a former Chicago PD said that cops were given the worst and most violent beats until they learned to look the other way when they saw corruption.

      6. We let the police police themselves for too long.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

      Law & Order wouldn’t tackle corruption this systemic, (neither would The Wire – Blue Bloods might though, oddly enough), but it’s not that far off from the overarching plot of The Shield. (Which was mostly ripped from the Ramparts scandal, iirc)Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

      How did it come to this?

      Why do you hate the police?
      Don’t you understand how hard their job is?
      Who would you call at 3 AM when a thug is raping your wife?
      Don’t tar the entire force of heroes in blue, just over a few bad apples.

      I’m probably leaving something out.Report

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Here are some more details on the Oakland PD problems with some hopeful solutions:

    1. Besides this story, there is a racist and sexist e-mail/texting scandal.

    2. There is a sex scandal with a sex worker who said she had sex with dozens of East Bay police officers from Oakland to Richmond to Livermore (Livermore is a small town and home to the Lawrence-Livermore Labs and some wineries). She did this when she was underage for some of the time and allegedly received tips from the johns about raids and stings.

    3. The Mayor of Oakland has placed the police under civilian control.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      The police weren’t under civilian control?Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to LeeEsq says:


        The US never officially adopted Peel’s “civilians in uniforms” standard. I suspect our police always saw them as being apart from the populace and the Police Chiefs always came from the ranks.Report

        • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          I don’t think they always did – look at how the media portrayal of the street-level cop has evolved over time. Even in the 80s, Ice-T ridiculed the idea of friendly cops getting your cat out of a tree (because that’s not the dominant interaction in South Central), but the fact that it was still a cliche means something. Martin Milner and Kent McChord in “Adam-12” were indistinguishable from the firemen in “Emergency” – could producers still keep up that conceit today?

          I think a good case can be made that the shift in mindset has come as the job changed from “walking the beat in the part of the city where you live, keeping order among people who you recognize and who recognize you” to “being dispatched via radio to a crime in progress and driving a car to a part of the city where you’re anonymous, and with the responsibility of arresting someone before you leave”. Or, it’s a lot harder to hide behind the blue wall from the guys who drink in the same bar you do.

          So “Adam-12” would be the transition period – and, in fact, they were pretty much the last of the breed on your TV. Another half generation, and it would be “Miami Vice”.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to El Muneco says:

            I think your right about what caused the change in mindset. It wasn’t like there weren’t problems when cops walked the beat but at least it gave cops and citizens the ability to interact in cases that weren’t always in response to a call. When your on radio dispatch, your only interacting with people in response to an emergency call and this tends to color your perceptions of citizens.

            Radio call dispatch was invented by the LAPD as a way to deal with the sprawling and car oriented nature of Los Angeles. SWAT teams were another Los Angeles invention. Basically car dependency seems to be a source of police problems.Report

            • Avatar scott the mediocre in reply to LeeEsq says:

              The separation of police, particularly regarding discipline, from the rest of the city govt in LA was at least sold as anticorruption measure, particularly after the especially corrupt mayor Frank Shaw (1933-1938; according to Le Wik Shaw was the first US major city mayor to be successfully recalled).

              I’ve read anecdotes from people who moved to LA from Eastern cities during the Forties and Fifties being struck by how little police corruption there was (the anecdotes I remember are from Chicago and Baltimore, which might or might not have had notably more corrupt police than NYC, Philly, Boston, etc. ).

              Radio dispatch (and airborne police ops too) were instituted in early Thirties (two way radio not till the very late Thirties), as a way to reduce response time. It’s not clear to me that the effective* population density of LA at the time was all that much lower than e.g. Chicago.

              The (in)famous chief William Parker (1950-1966) of “the thin blue line” did indeed make quite a point of separating the police from the civilians: he had something of a fetish for “professionalizing” the police, and he thought

              1) The technological fixes allowed a much lower cop/citizen ratio than any other large US city of the time; that lower headcount in turn made it possible to pay the LA cops higher PPP-adjusted salaries than comparison cities. Higher salary in turn would lead to more professionalism which would, in theory at least, mean less corruption (plus professionalism appears to have been a terminal goal for him, not just an instrumental one).

              2) Isolating the police from the population would (in his mind) lead to less corruption, ceteris paribus.

              *The raw population density of Chicago as of the 1930 Census was nearly 6X that of LA, but the majority of LA’s land (e.g. the San Fernando valley) was almost completely undeveloped at the time, which does not appear to have been the case for Chicago. By “effective population density” I mean something like 1/(mean distance between people)^2.

              On the other hand, a much greater fraction of Chicago’s population might have been concentrated: I can’t find any historical population density maps.Report

          • Avatar Will H. in reply to El Muneco says:

            The four dominant models of policing in the United States, in chronological order:
            The political model
            The professional model
            The community policing model
            The intelligence-led policing model

            Adam-12 was the professional model.
            The community policing model started around 1970.
            The intelligence-led policing model began around 2000.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to El Muneco says:

            El M,

            Personally, I think the shift* occurred as a result of the violence inflicted on black communities during the late 60s race riots on up thru Rodney King. Rodney, seems to me, was a game changer: to pilfer from Roger Waters, “he got beat up on TV.”

            *I’m not sure what shift you’re talking about, so maybe the rest of this comment is off-track. But is seems to me there’s really no distinction between the way cops were portrayed during Andy of Mayberry days and how they’re portrayed now: (generally) righteous agents who’s dominant motive is to preserve law and order for the greater good of society completely disregarding (generally!) human frailties like, for example, that cops will rape children and institutionally cover up the crime.

            Shorter: contemporary media presents law enforcement in the following way: Cops! They’re a force for Good!Report

            • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Stillwater says:


              There used to be rules about police and firefighters living in the community that they policed. So NYPD needed to live in NYC. This changed in the 1960s or 70sReport

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                Not at the federal level. I really oughta re-search this stuff, but the big shift is conventionally attributed to Bush I (or sometime back then). Not only his three strikes policy, but the implementation of a logic that beat cops couldn’t be impartial (so roll with patrol cars…), and (in one sense) the militarization of the police force. The best cops are gonna be people who aren’t connected to the community. Are effectively outsiders who’s views aren’t “contaminated” by irrational allegiances to place.

                We saw the fallout of that here in CO during the 90s and early oughts. The prevailing view was that cops need to be imported from some other region. So’s to not succumb to bias….

                Adding: point being, the decision to eliminate beat cops and go with a more “objective” and “impersonal” police force was consciously intended.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

                And adding to that: I’m not criticizing folks for thinking that an “impartial, disconnected” police force would be better. That was a legitimate issue. Seems to me it’s one of those things where we look at the outcome and make decisions about best practices going forward.

                The problem, if I had to identify one, is with cops and cop culture. And breaking the union seems like a necessary part of dismantling that perfidious institutional structure.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

                So NYPD needed to live in NYC. This changed in the 1960s or 70s

                Not coincidently, the period of white flight from the urban centers.

                I don’t think it is discussed enough, how deeply embedded the myth of urban areas being dystopian hellholes is, in the consciousness of the average suburbanite.

                This myth colors our entire discourse on guns and policy, overlapping with race and class to warp our decisions.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                The suburban drive began in NYC area after World War II. We were actually something of a ground zero, except we kept commuter rail going rather than going to full car mode. Los Angeles incubated the residential sprawling suburb and New York perfected deurbanization.

                Cops and fireman remained in the city longer because they had to. Lindsay relaxed this rule because of negotiations with the police and fireman’s unions.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          What I meant was that the Oakland police weren’t under the control of democratically elected politicians?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Willard: “Son, do you know who’s in command here?”

        Roach: “Ain’t you?”


        “The policeman is not here to create disorder. The policeman is here to preserve disorder.”

        Seems like there was NO control here.Report