Matt Tinoco: LAPD Honors 25 Officers For Not Using Deadly Force

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Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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24 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Torn between wanting to comment something like “DO YOU WANT A FREAKING COOKIE?” and something like “baby steps, baby steps”.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird says:

      I really thought this was a clickhole/onion article title when it first popped up in my twitter feed.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird says:

      Incentives matter. Besides, we should recognize courage that doesn’t involve anyone dying & does involve cool heads.

      I’m more disturbed by the reaction of the union.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Jaybird says:

      See it more as positive reinforcement. Rewarding behavior you want repeated is just as important as punishing behavior you do not like. By honoring police officer’s for using non-deadly force, the LAPD is sending a strong signal to other LAPD officers.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to LeeEsq says:

        That’s kind of how I see it. “This is behavior that we honor, behavior that we want all officers to emulate.” So of course it’s going to be what the cops are supposed to do.

        I get where the PPL is coming from — having the award at all suggests that there is a problem. Except, there is a problem. Solving the problem requires admitting that the problem exists. Seems to me that Chief Beck has moved beyond that to a further step in the process, which is what @leeesq points out: rewarding officers who, placed in the moment, find ways to solve the public safety problem without using deadly force.Report

        • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Burt Likko says:

          And these type of reward and honor ceremonies tend to be very important to people who enter the police and military. This makes rewarding things like non-fatal force a very effective way to make your point.Report

        • When MLB issued new uniform rules for balls and strikes, the umpires’ union got very offended, because it implied that they were being called inconsistently. (Which got a huge horselaugh, because everyone knows that they are.)Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

          “That’s kind of how I see it. “This is behavior that we honor, behavior that we want all officers to emulate.” So of course it’s going to be what the cops are supposed to do.”

          Only not. If it’s what you’re supposed to do, medals aren’t warranted. They’re being celebrated precislely because their efforts are considered exceptional. Think about that word: exception, that which is not the norm.

          Now, maybe this gets us closer to that being the norm. But it certainly does NOT say that this is currently the norm.Report

          • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Kazzy says:

            “Exceptional.”

            There’s a similar word. “Exemplary.” As in “Sets an example.”Report

            • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

              That’s fair.

              I guess my point is that there isn’t yet consensus that this is in fact the behavior cops should emulate.

              As evidenced by the union response.

              Again, this may get us closer to the behavior being celebrated here being the expectation. But I think these awards make clear that it is not *yet* the expectation.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Kazzy says:

            “If it’s what you’re supposed to do, medals aren’t warranted.”

            What the cops are supposed to do is obey the law, follow procedure, and do what is absolutely necessary to protect the public from danger.

            What we have established, through precedent and through decades of legalism, is that shootin’ the shit out of anyone who looks threatening meets all of those requirements.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird says:

      I have a problem with, “Do you want a cookie?” responses, because they not only seem to assume should the police be taking some risks to resolve dangerous confrontations without violence (where I totally agree), they assume that there’s a strong consensus on that point, both among the police and among the general public (where I don’t).

      It also means that the LAPD gets a good way to show off improvements if it does improve, and if the police act in a way that deserve trust, it’s for the best that the public trusts them.Report

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