The Turning of the Narrative

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Oscar Gordon

A Navy Turbine Tech who learned to spin wrenches on old cars, Oscar has since been trained as an Engineer & Software Developer & now writes tools for other engineers. When not in his shop or at work, he can be found spending time with his family, gardening, hiking, kayaking, gaming, or whatever strikes his fancy & fits in the budget.

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253 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak
    Ignored
    says:

    That is some epic bullshittery in that last para from the LEO defenders. Like people can’t see the flamingly obvious different contexts. Cops have non lethal ( well mostly) methods of restraining or convincing people to calm down like pepper spray and tasers. They get trained on them and everything.

    Cops joking about using a bit of extra force when they are pissed is as normal as anything if you have ever spent time with cops.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
      Ignored
      says:

      Cops joking about using a bit of extra force when they are pissed is as normal as anything if you have ever spent time with cops.

      I don’t understand if this was a “boys will be boys” explanation or a withering criticism of cop culture.Report

      • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        I have felt a very similar ambiguity when listening to cops speaking. Are they joking, or being serious? It’s a job where some black humor might well be appropriate, kind of like in the operating room.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Doctor Jay
          Ignored
          says:

          I’ve been friends/acquaintances with cops in a past life. Wanna hear a joke one of them told me?

          So there’s this guy driving, he gets to a stop sign and totally Californias the stop. Cop sees him and pulls him over. “Sir, do you know why I pulled you over?” “No idea.” “You ran the stop sign back there.” “I slowed down!” “Kindly step out of the car, sir.”

          And the cop takes out his nightstick! WHAM! WHAM! WHAM WHAM WHAM! WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM!

          And the cop asks “Do you want me to slow down? Or do you want me to stop?”Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Really? I am famous for apologizing for cop brutality so that is fair. A lot of cop culture is toxic shit: punisher stickers, blue line flags are just the most recent outward manifestation.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to greginak
          Ignored
          says:

          I didn’t see it as “apologizing for cop brutality” but “arguing against someone who says that the government should do less than what it does”.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            Oh it’s the hammer the ideology thing. Got it.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
            Ignored
            says:

            “The government” peacefully tolerates white men with guns rushing into the Legislature to demand that restaurants be reopened.

            “The government” kills black men who have no weapons or pose any threat.

            Something tells me the operative word here isn’t “government”.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              If getting the cops to stop killing unarmed people isn’t on the table, I’m down with loosening restrictions on purchasing weapons.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The cops aren’t killing unarmed people.
                They are killing unarmed black people.

                This is a critical distinction.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                (From Oscar’s link)

                African Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white people. … roughly 1-in-1,000 black boys and men will be killed by police in their lifetime. For white boys and men, the rate is 39 out of 100,000.

                Unfortunately those kind of stats are making no adjustment for number of police encounters and so forth. We also have…

                violent crime rates and the racial demographics of a given location are better indicators for determining a police killing victim’s race.

                …Many people ask whether black or white citizens are more likely to be shot and why. If you live in a county that has a lot of white people committing crimes, white people are more likely to be shot. If you live in a county that has a lot of black people committing crimes, black people are more likely to be shot.

                (A combo of Oscar’s link and…)
                https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2019/the-truth-behind-racial-disparities-in-fatal-police-shootings/

                That’s a great link, that researcher did a deep dive on every police shooting since 2015. Mostly he was trying to see if the race of the cop had much effect, but just getting details on every shooting and putting them into one spot is useful.

                Other things which are in there:

                “The vast majority—between 90 percent and 95 percent—of the civilians shot by officers were actively attacking police or other citizens when they were shot”…

                Nearly 50% of all fatal shootings involving white civilians were because of mental health; it also accounted for nearly 20% of black civilians and 30% of Hispanics. Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Statistics alone can’t accurately explain the reality.

                Consider the Central Park incident, and imagine if there was no video.

                It very likely would have become a statistic of “Violent Black Man subdued, shot by police.”

                In almost all police encounters with civilians, it is the police who frame and shape the story of who did what.

                It isn’t that statistics are useless. Its that they need to be matched by people’s eyewitness stories and other data before we can make accurate claims about history.Report

              • Avatar Swami in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Thanks for being a rare source of sanity and rationality on this topic, Dark. I especially appreciate the actual empirical data rather than the collection of biased anecdotes so many are offering up (looking at you guys, Chip and Phillip).

                My take on the issue is that the media thrives on presenting anecdotes which support the racist cop meme. People like Phillip and Chip thrive on the BS which supports their priors. The data clearly reveals that by and large the use of deadly force is proportionate to the rate of violent crime. Unfortunately, a subsegment of the pop making up less than 5% of the nation commits half of all violent crime, and thus has disproportionate numbers of run ins with the cops. This supplies an endless amount of incidents which can explode.

                I am certainly not suggesting cops never abuse their authority (they do). Or cover up for their fraternity (again, guilty), but this issue is about police accountability, not race, and those shifting it to race — including the media — should take the lions share of the blame for rioting. People are just too ignorant to understand statistics And instead just thrive on biased, cherry-picked anecdotes that support their own hate-based take on the world.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Swami
                Ignored
                says:

                You know that history, the stuff you read in books as the Official Record Of What Happened, is largely comprised of the same anecdotes that you deride as BS.

                No historian would ever accept mere statistics unless they were supported by personal recollections, anecdotes, and stories.

                Because statistics are no more reliable than the people who gather the data and massage it into its final form.

                Not to mention the absurdity of “The police told me that 93.76 % of police shootings are justified!”Report

              • Avatar Swami in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                From the study…

                “A persistent point of debate in studying police use of force concerns how to calculate racial disparities. Racial disparities in fatal shootings have traditionally been tested by asking whether officers fatally shoot a racial group more than some benchmark, such as that group’s population proportion in the United States. Disparity is assumed when the rate of fatal shootings deviates from this benchmark. For example, 26% of civilians killed by police shootings in 2015 were Black, even though Black civilians comprise only 12% of the US population. According to this 12% benchmark, more Black civilians are fatally shot than we would expect, indicating disparity. News organizations and researchers using this method find robust evidence of anti-Black disparity in fatal shootings.

                However, using population as a benchmark makes the strong assumption that White and Black civilians have equal exposure to situations that result in FOIS. If there are racial differences in exposure to these situations, calculations of racial disparity based on population benchmarks will be misleading. Researchers have attempted to avoid this issue by using race-specific violent crime as a benchmark, as the majority of FOIS involve armed civilians. When violent crime is used as a benchmark, anti-Black disparities in FOIS disappear or even reverse.”

                If you want to find fault in this study, then please have at it. Everything I have read ever on the topic is that when you adjust for rates of violent crime, that racial disparity in police caused deaths disappears. Anecdotes don’t change this. Anyone can supply biased anecdotes which “prove” an exception to a rule. But these just reveal the dishonesty of the biased source and the gullibility of the audience.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Swami
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, the quickest way to rectify the racial disparity would be to put MAGA hats on the shooting victims so they’re no longer black.

                Trust Joe Biden. He’s got the solutions.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Swami
                Ignored
                says:

                You guys keep circling back to this same spectacular claim, that the reality of the world is wildly at odds with the testimony of millions of people.

                So you are telling us that millions of people who all testify to first or second hand experience with police brutality are simply wrong? A bunch of liars?

                How can you explain all this?

                And your reliance on statistics is even more bizarre considering the Central Park incident.

                Had there been no video, and had this man ended up being shot or beaten, it would have been logged into the statistics as “violent black man subdued by police” and supported by a hysterical 911 call.

                So this incident would be part of your statistic you so confidently put forward, when the reality showed nothing of the kind.
                Not to mention we have ample cases of police lying on the stand, falsifying records and otherwise manipulating data.

                No study is any more reliable than its raw data, and we know for certainty that the raw data of police departments is highly suspect.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                No study is any more reliable than its raw data, and we know for certainty that the raw data of police departments is highly suspect.

                We’re generally pretty good at counting corpses.

                The claim is if you just look at “uncontroversial” murders/crimes/etc, black on black or white on white, we get extremely different numbers.

                Take those numbers and use them (rather than percentage of population) to see if the police are creating corpses out of THAT proportion, and it looks like they’re not.

                considering the Central Park incident.

                Antidote is not data.

                If you say lottery tickets are a bad investment and I reply with the name of a 9 digit winner, we’re both correct.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                So events like this, where white people unjustly accuse black people, are a freakish Powerball type event?

                And this freakish event just happened to be caught on camera?

                And all the others that circulate, those are also freakish Powerball events?

                And somehow, all the other events like this that happen to white people, just somehow are missed by cameras, or not posted online?

                This doesn’t strike you as a preposterous claim?Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Hrm…. So white people haven’t posted all kinds of crazy encounters on the Interwebtubes? Maybe these just don’t land in your feeds due to some type of selection bias, and maybe they never make news because they don’t fit a narrative that’s being pushed.

                If you go by much of the available media, almost all shootings are either cops killing black unarmed black children or white supremacists with machine guns slaughtering random people in a public square.

                These are actually so unusual as to be statistically insignificant.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                This doesn’t strike you as a preposterous claim?

                Our alternatives are:
                1) The Data is Wrong.

                And not just in that 95% justified claim, drop that to 80% and we’re not even close to even matching the lottery. Drop it to 0% and we’re only starting to get there. There need to be LOTS and LOTS of corpses that are somehow not being counted in the data.

                Moving one death from the justified to the unjustified column isn’t even close to enough because moving ALL of them from the justified to unjustified wouldn’t be enough.

                2) Antidote is not data, and is not representational.

                I.e. these types of events are seriously overrepresented in your news feed. The cases that you can name represent a significant percentage of the total cases and you know of them because they’re so unusual.

                If you want to claim your antidotes are the common experience, then you need to also find mass graves filled with people who are being killed by the police without anyone knowing they’re gone, or even that they’ve existed… or you need to point to a different way to hide this.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                History IS anecdotes.

                Seriously, talk to any historian or social scientist and they will tell you that any history is partly statistical analysis, combined with personal reminiscences, diaries, letters, and stories that people tell of their experiences.

                And no historian will accept a variance between data and stories without a valid explanation.

                Because stories ARE data, every bit as valid as measurements.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                And no historian will accept a variance between data and stories without a valid explanation. Because stories ARE data, every bit as valid as measurements.

                Stories are opinions. They have all the problems of eyewitness testimony combined with data selection (i.e. “which stories do we value”).

                Even if everyone in the US lines up and agrees that blacks are being killed by the police disproportionately, they’re wrong if counting corpses doesn’t back that up… which it doesn’t.

                A “valid explanation” can simply be “the story is widely believed but wrong”. Facts are stubborn things.

                To expand on that and point out limitations; since I’m just counting corpses, it’s possible the narrative is correct for everything but death. It’s also possible your “millions and millions” is what is thought to be happening but isn’t really. People see what they’re looking for and believe what they want to.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                You realize that a police report is, quite literally, just a story, a story that the officer makes up.

                Even when he gets the facts right, its still just his personal eyewitness account of what happened.

                “I saw the suspect reach towards his pocket” is just an opinion, and no more reliable than the other eyewitnesses who said he didn’t.

                But one of these opinions becomes the Official Record- a “justified shooting” instead of a murder.

                It isn’t a matter of counting corpses; Its a matter of counting how many of those corpses were killed justly, versus unjustly.

                And again, the claim that millions and millions of eyewitness accounts over decades are just people seeing what they think is happening but isn’t, is itself a preposterous story that demands evidence.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                You realize that a police report is, quite literally, just a story, a story that the officer makes up.

                So what? A dead body has more weight to it. Adjust for things outside the police’s influence (or reporting), and there is no problem.

                We don’t have enough dead bodies for what you’re trying to prove to exist at any meaningful level.

                If we do assume all police killings are unjustified, then we have the problem that adjusted for the murder rate, the police kill blacks either less often or at the same rate as whites.

                Even if we want to make the breathtaking assumption that adjusting for the murder rate is inappropriate, we have roughly as many mass shootings as we have police killings, we have FAR more suicides than police killings to the point where suicide-by-cop needs to be a serious problem with this data, we have the war on drugs, and we have issues with mental illness.

                It’s very difficult to see how there’s room in these numbers for death-by-racism at levels higher than single digits, just because the total number of deaths is so low and the expected number of deaths is so high.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t why the number of shootings is even relevant here.

                The number of unjustified shootings is the point.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I don’t why the number of shootings is even relevant here.

                Number of shootings should give us an idea of the scale of the problem.

                The number of unjustified shootings is the point.

                You’ve been arguing for a racial motive (or effect) on those numbers. If that were true, then we’d have more dead bodies, especially black ones.

                What seems to be going on is we have a certain level of incompetence/brutality in the police force which occasionally gets people killed. The rate at which people die seems to be proportional with the number of interactions with the police force… however if the victim is black, then it’s publicized as racism and if he’s white then it’s not.

                It’s a problem, for all the opinions, it doesn’t seem to be a racial problem… and the scale of this is probably in the dozens of people per year.

                On a side note, pulling in “decades” of stories is problematic because the police forces seem to have reduced their fatality rates numbers pretty recently. That has had no effect on the media’s reporting because they focus on the single worse cases, and something is always the worst.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                ” If that were true, then we’d have more dead bodies, especially black ones”

                That doesn’t logically follow. Even at the height of Jim Crow, only a small number of black men were lynched.

                You’re trying to extract motive from numbers, and that won’t work.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                That doesn’t logically follow. Even at the height of Jim Crow, only a small number of black men were lynched.

                On its worst year lynching was 230 (161 blacks). For perspective we have years now when the total number of blacks killed by the police is less than a hundred. So yes, those numbers would show up in our numbers.

                You’re trying to extract motive from numbers, and that won’t work.

                If you use the number of dead whites as the baseline, then the number of dead blacks is the same or less after we adjust for percentage of population and number of encounters with the police.

                It’s certainly possible to say its racism every time a black is killed unjustly… but what do you do with the dead whites then? Is that a good description for this data?Report

              • Avatar Swami in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                There is actually a term for the phenomenon, but I can’t think of it right now. When something is commonplace it is often ignored as it is taken for granted. But as something becomes extremely rare, it becomes news and it is highlighted 24/7 by a hundred media outlets. The net effect is that many things become seen as bigger problems by the average person when they are rare than when they were common, after all, nowadays it is on the news, and it never was before.

                There is no surplus of black deaths by cops relative to white deaths, and no anecdotes to the contrary will make it so. Police killings are proportional to violent crime stats by race and according to violent interactions with the cops.

                But an unarmed black kid getting killed by a cop is really, really big news. Turn on the news today if you disagree. It will sell millions of views, and is thus fodder for the above effect.

                Racist cops and guys in pointy white sheets and kids getting sick from CV19 and cute girls being kidnapped makes for great news. But the mistake you and Phillip are making is you are trying to judge the likelihood of something based upon its prominence on TV.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Swami
                Ignored
                says:

                No, you haven’t even begun to explain the wild disparity between the millions of eyewitness testimony and your statistics.

                Millions of white people report that police are generally fair, and mistreatment is rare.

                Millions of black people report that police are unfair, and mistreatment is commonplace.

                Remember, these aren’t millions of black people saying they saw stuff on the internet;

                These are millions of people saying it happened personally to them or someone they know.

                Millions and millions of people, across all demographic groups and regions, and across decades, all tell the same story of abuse and mistreatment.

                So are all these millions of black people lying about what happened to them? And they all coordinate their stories to say the same thing?

                Decade after decade?

                You haven’t even begun to put forward a theory for how this could be happening.Report

              • Avatar Swami in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                You are just making up an argument by repeating the words “millions and millions.”

                Here are two of the best sources which attempt to actually evaluate police contact and violence rates rates For blacks vs whites.

                https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1948550618775108

                https://necpluribusimpar.net/reality-police-violence-us/

                And here is a briefer summary of the above.

                https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/09/police-violence-against-black-men-rare-heres-what-data-actually-say/

                The author of the last two uses the analogy of disparities between violent interactions between cops and men vs women. The disparity is huge, but nobody tries to spin this as sexism among cops against men. It is easily and obviously explained as differences in criminality and how people interact when being confronted by police.

                I am not suggesting the police never abuse force, nor am I even suggesting that there are no racist cops anywhere. I am suggesting that the disparity in violence and death rates is explained by the huge disparity in criminal activity.

                These riots are the type of outcome which is likely to happen as a result of the propaganda which the media and people like you are concocting. I sincerely hope this isn’t your conscious intent, but it is going to be the net effect of abusing statistics and pushing a dishonest framing narrative.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Is the goal parity?

                I would prefer the parity that comes from how cops deal with armed people, myself.

                You?Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                If only they’d drop their judge jury and executioner rate to 13% black we could just drop the issue entirely.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                If the cops treated everyone they way they treat those guys in Michigan, yes, parity would be lovely.

                But remember, the dis-parity exists at every level of how the police interact with black and white people.
                How they decide to pull over; who they decide to cite; who they decide to search; who they decide to escalate with; who is arraigned, or sentenced.

                At every interaction, how the government treats you depends highly on what race and class you belong to.

                Its almost fair to say that we have multiple governments- One type of restrained and limited government that handles people like Mike Flynn and Roger Stone , another indifferent but fundamentally fair government that handles people like Chip, then yet another brutal and oppressive government that handles people like George Floyd.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Personally, I think that we should have restrained and limited government.Report

              • Avatar Truth in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You didn’t see cops breaking things up and arresting the gun-toting white supremacists at the reopen rallies for the same reason you never see Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus in the same place at the same moment.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Truth
                Ignored
                says:

                Hey, Truth. Have you been lurking here for a while?

                Do you remember a poster called “M.A.”?Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I was having the same thought this AM Jaybird.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        Jaybird, I don’t think this is the right post for you to do the thing that you usually do.

        “I don’t understand if this was a “boys will be boys” explanation or a withering criticism of cop culture.”

        I think it’s both? Explaining something isn’t excusing it.Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to greginak
      Ignored
      says:

      Cops have non lethal ( well mostly) methods of restraining or convincing people to calm down like pepper spray and tasers

      Or handcuffs.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    They fired the officers… will there be charges against the officers? Like, 2nd or 3rd degree murder for the guy with his knee on his neck and accessory charges for the other three?

    Is this going to be another QI situation?

    (Ugh, the union’s going to get these guys their jobs back, isn’t it?)Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      (Ugh, the union’s going to get these guys their jobs back, isn’t it?)

      Two of the fired cops (Lane and Kueng) never appear on camera although wiki claims they “helped restrain” him.

      A third (Thao) apparently stood nearby and observed.

      From wiki, it’s likely that Chauvin (the one applying force) was in charge. He’s a 19-year vet of that police force (years more than Thao, the other two are unknown). Chauvin has also been the shooter in three officer-involved shootings, one fatal.

      At this point it’s a WAG on whether they get their jobs back (although for Chauvin I’d hope that’s unlikely), but there’s room for Lane’s and Kueng’s dismissal to be more virtue signalling than process.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      “the union’s going to get these guys their jobs back, isn’t it?”

      Given how this has gone so far I think they’ll negotiate down to “dismissed from the force, nothing on the permanent record but not allowed to claim years of service”. They can still get a job as a cop somewhere else but they’ll be starting with zero years of service, which matters for figuring when they can retire and how much of a pension they’ll get when they do. A meaningful punishment, to them, but not one that means anything to anyone who isn’t a cop.Report

  3. Avatar Doctor Jay
    Ignored
    says:

    Carotid restriction, in any form, is deadly force. It usually does not result in death, though, and that’s probably why people can take it for granted. In fact, we practice various forms of carotid restriction in our dojo, on each other.

    Certain health conditions can make them a lot more dangerous, though. Because I have had a heart attack and show some plaque on my carotid, I tap very early and often on these techniques, and sometimes skip receiving them altogether.

    I am aware of situations where a “sleeper hold” (which is a carotid restriction) has been placed on an ED person, and things worked out well. But the person applying it was an EMT, not a police officer, and it wasn’t done with any sort of embedded hostility. I’m not sure I would emulate that though.

    Because carotid restriction is deadly force. You could call this “something coming out of California”, because I’m from CA. However, I know lots of people all over the country who endorse this.Report

  4. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    As with the past 3,497 cases like this, we need to keep stressing that:

    1. This was not an isolated case, but a continuation of a pattern;
    2. The pattern of police violence is disproportionately inflicted upon minority groups;
    3. A large percentage of Americans are accepting of the pattern.Report

    • Avatar Zac Black in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Also, probably worth noting that all three of things are true of the planet at large, not just America. This is a *humanity* problem. And it’s always *been* a problem. It’s just that we can see it now.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      This was not an isolated case, but a continuation of a pattern

      This really is an isolated case. In the vast majority of cases in which people are killed by police, the officer makes a split-second decision under conditions of limited information and real or perceived danger. This case is unusual in that the suspect was killed by force sustained over a period of several minutes, made totally unnecessary by the fact that he was already handcuffed. The result is the same, but in terms of moral culpability, there’s a world of difference.

      The pattern of police violence is disproportionately inflicted upon minority groups;

      Disproportionate to what? As I explained to you not too long ago, in great detail and with reference to a the relevant statistics, this does not appear to be the case with lethal force. I’m less sure about sub-lethal force, as I don’t know if there are good statistics on this topic.

      Again, the news is not the real world. The stories you are shown are stories selected for novelty, for sensationalism, or to promote a specific narrative, not because they provide a representative view of the world.Report

      • Avatar Philip H in reply to Brandon Berg
        Ignored
        says:

        Eric Garner.
        Alton Sterling.
        William Green.
        Oscar Grant.
        Chavis Carter.
        Jamar Clark (also in Minneapolis)
        Freddie Grey.
        Jonathan Tubby (Native American in Green Bay)

        All handcuffed men of color – meaning they were restrained and in control of officers. All killed by police because they were allegedly “uncooperative” or threatening officers. All unarmed. And that’s just what I could find in 3 minutes on Google. This is a national pattern. Yes, some were shot. All received unnecessary applications of lethal force.

        Your lived reality is not the lived reality of black and brown men in this country. Every time a black man steps out the door to run an errand, jog or get gas, he has to contend with this reality. Get over your self.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          In a typical year we have about 300 people killed by the police in all situations.

          90-95% of them will be in the process of killing or trying to kill people, about a third will be mentally ill. (10% of 300 is 30, 5% of 300 is 15).

          For perspective, in a typical year we have…

          30-50 people die from dog attacks.
          51 people die from lightning.
          1,600 people win the lottery.

          Me being able to look up the names of everyone who has one 100+ million dollars in the lottery doesn’t make it “a reality”.Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Dark Matter
            Ignored
            says:

            one => wonReport

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
            Ignored
            says:

            First, why do you accept that “90-95% of them will be in the process of killing or trying to kill people”?
            Who told you that, and what makes you think this source was reliable?

            Second, if your argument is that the number of outrageous police misconduct isn’t unevenly distributed among black people then logically we should be seeing a lot more viral videos of white people being similarly treated.

            Yet we aren’t. How do you explain this discrepancy between your theory and the evidence in front of us?

            Third, how to explain that Central Park woman’s taunt that she was going to tell the 911 operator that a “black man was threatening” her?
            If your theory is true, this shouldn’t happen because it wouldn’t hold any force or effect.

            How do you explain this?

            You keep advancing a theory that is contradicted by evidence.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              First, why do you accept that “90-95% of them will be in the process of killing or trying to kill people”?
              Who told you that, and what makes you think this source was reliable?

              That 90-95% was a quote, I put a link up showing exactly where I got it, i.e. that multi-year study with a deep dive on every case.

              If you don’t like my numbers, by all means put some up yourself. However, even if you claim 80%, you’re still suggesting “killed by dog attack” level numbers, and aren’t in “lottery winner” level numbers territory.

              For that matter even if everyone killed by the police is an innocent, we’re still not in lottery winner territory. Common events are not in the news, winning the lottery is not a common event. However winning the lottery is about five times more common than being killed by the police, and if that 90% number is right then it’s 50-100 times as common as being killed by the police without actively trying to kill people yourself.

              if your argument is that the number of outrageous police misconduct isn’t unevenly distributed among black people then logically we should be seeing a lot more viral videos of white people being similarly treated.

              Hardly. This doesn’t match the desired narrative so it doesn’t get picked up. Just from counting corpses and making no adjustment for anything, whites are killed by the police three times as often as blacks. How many videos do we have of that happening in the news?

              You keep advancing a theory that is contradicted by evidence.

              I am pointing out that the desired narrative isn’t well supported by the numbers.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                If it’s so low, which I agree in the greater scheme of things it is, why the allergy to accountability? Why the allergy to it for law enforcement across the board? They serve the citizenry, not vice-versa.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                why the allergy to accountability? Why the allergy to it for law enforcement across the board?

                If you mean my allergy, then I’m not. I’m good with charging this guy with murder just based on what we have in front of us.

                If you mean “law enforcement in general”, then we’re looking a combo of insiders working the system and police unions creating that system.

                Your typical murderer isn’t…
                1) Being investigated by his friends and coworkers.
                2) Tried by people who have a STRONG interest in maintaining good long term relations with those same friends and coworkers
                3) An expert in how the system actually works.
                4) Well represented at every point in the process.
                5) Well represented by politically powerful interests who are helping him personally.

                Our system of justice is designed to let the guilty off occasionally to protect the abuse of the innocent. That’s a problem occasionally, but it’s always going to be a problem when dealing with the police who run the system, know it’s imperfections, and can take advantage of them.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                “…it doesn’t get picked up.”

                This is a spectacular claim!

                Walk us through how this happens. Start with the fact that there are an equal number of videos of white people being mistreated by the police, then explain how it is that they don’t go viral.

                Is there some conspiracy at work? Or is it that a video of a white person being suffocated by a cop is just not interesting to anyone?

                Virtually every black person has a story to tell of mistreatment by police; Either they themselves, or a friend or family member.
                How many people here at OT have a story like that? How many white people have a story like that?

                You need to come up with some plausible theory to explain the yawning gap between your narrative and everyone else’s.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                They are widespread with people who follow the issue. I submit that most progressives are not among them.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Care to back that up with a link or three?Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                Happy to be proven wrong but I rarely see progressive outrage about this when there isn’t a racial angle. My FB feed and the news were not flooding with posts and coverage about Daniel Schaefer or Justine Ruszczyk or Robert Saylor to name a few. When it doesn’t fit anyone’s narrative it quickly disappears.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                But this is another spectacular claim.

                Like, do most white people, or everyone here at OT have personal or secondhand experience with police brutality- stuff like being stopped and frisked at random, tased, pepper sprayed, beaten without cause?

                And white people, including the commenters here at OT are all just stoically shrugging off our experiences with police brutality like hey no big deal?

                Really?Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                A. Where did I say anything about ‘white people’?

                B. Where did I say anything about the relevance of personal experience with the police?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Your comment got me thinking about Radley Balko, which reminded me of this slightly off-thread but very interesting tweet from a couple days ago:

                Just saw this fascinating 2017 Pew poll while researching a column. Percentage of respondents who think the US has done enough to achieve racial equality:

                White cops: 92%
                White public: 57%
                Black cops: 29%
                Black public: 12%

                Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                That is interesting and I’d be even more interested in seeing what he was looking at. That said my contention remains that personal racial attitudes are a real but only very limited driver of the deaths and other law enforcement abuse minorities disproportionately receive.Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                Then maybe you need to look around more. Ms. Ruszcyk’s murder was widely discussed in progressive circles a yet another example of bad police training. The “swatting” that got Mr. Schaefer killed has been roundly condemned as well, since it is the poster child for police brutality since it occurs with little regard for the safety of those around the response.

                And I found all those cases on Google form both local and national news sources of the time. so they were covered.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                I have never heard of those people before, and I’m pretty online.

                OTOH, in the past week I’ve seen three videos of white people harassing/calling the cops on black people (Fed Ex driver, gym users, birdwatcher) and one video of a cop murdering a black guy.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Philip H
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s a shifted goal post.
                In the news is not the same thing as an important issue in progressive politics. A subsection of the broader policing problem, that being ‘unarmed black person shot without justification’ is an important issue, but the bigger policy problems of which those are the increasingly visible outliers is not.

                You really have to go to the libertarian (Radley Balko for example) or leftist world to understand why it’s happening and get real ideas for doing something about it.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                You need to come up with some plausible theory to explain the yawning gap between your narrative and everyone else’s.

                You’re asking why my data doesn’t agree with your anecdotes.

                The simple answer is anecdote is not data.Report

  5. Avatar veronica d
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m certainly not an expert on “chokeholds.” However, I suppose my BJJ blue belt gives me a bit more knowledge than your average person — at least on the mechanics of applying the various moves.

    (I claim literally zero formal knowledge of the medical risks, except to say I’ve been choked out a couple times and now I’m a freaky leftwing transsexual who does math for fun, so apply at your own risk.)

    (I once knew a long time Judo guy who would express his charming humility by saying, “But I’m just an old wrestler who’s been choked out too many times.” I liked that guy. He was the sort whose humility was a natural expression of gentle confidence.)

    Anyway, people get choked out in sports fighting. It’s considered a suboptimal result. The person being choked is supposed to tap out before it happens, but it does happen. I guess in theory it could cause brain damage, if held too long, but it practice it doesn’t seem to. You don’t hold the choke after the person goes limp. Anyway, I’ll let doctors figure that out. They know more than I do.

    I can see clearly how chokeholds could be very useful for security people and law enforcement. If someone simply can’t be restrained, choking them out will definitely stop them. Perhaps tasers are better. I don’t know. Myself, I think I’d rather be choked out than tased — provided the person choking knows what they’re doing. I don’t want a crushed larynx. It takes a certain level of skill to do it correctly. A mistake can injure the chokee. (Note, I’ve never been tased. I have been choked out. The former just looks awful.)

    Anyway, as Oscar points out, putting your knee on someone’s neck is not a legit way to choke someone. In a sports fight, the referee would certainly step in and stop it. It’s risky. You simply can’t control your knee in that situation. Moreover, you don’t have the target sufficiently controlled to be sure you won’t injure the larynx. It’s bullshit.

    Clearly talking about “chokeholds” in this context is trying to change the subject away from the deeply irresponsible, and in fact murderous behavior by the police. They have training. If they cannot apply their training correctly, they shouldn’t be cops. Moreover, if they go outside of their training, and do things like putting their knee on a subject’s neck until they die — well they’re murderers and nothing more.

    Fuck the police. (But not really, ewww.)Report

    • Avatar Doctor Jay in reply to veronica d
      Ignored
      says:

      There’s a huge selection bias in the population of people who go to the dojo or competition and expose themselves to the possibility of getting choked out. Plucking a random person out of the population and putting a carotid restriction on them can have unexpected results. These results are unlikely even in the general population.

      At the same time, IF you continue to apply the choke even after they lose consciousness, this could result in brain damage or death. Nobody in wrestling/BJJ does this, because they are engaged in sport, not Mortal Kombat.Report

      • Avatar veronica d in reply to Doctor Jay
        Ignored
        says:

        Agreed.

        Note, it would be pretty easy to convince me that cops should apply choke holds. However, we’d have to compare the risks to tasers and pepper spray, etcetera.

        I don’t know enough to have an opinion.

        Note, I feel like the technical discussions of various restraint methods is quite difference from a discussion of police culture and culpability. Cops are given significant power. They use it to kill with impunity. I’m not sure it matters which tool they use to do this.Report

  6. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Trump tells police not to worry about injuring suspects during arrests
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/07/28/trump-tells-police-not-to-worry-about-injuring-suspects-during-arrests/

    Message received.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      That was a WaPo Friday hot take. A Tuesday hot take would’ve been “Trump tried to defuse last week’s outrageous statement by now advocating for less use of force – by letting murder suspects get into the back of a patrol car without an officer forcing their head down, like they were a slave being forced to bow down before their white masters.” They offer daily spin.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to George Turner
        Ignored
        says:

        Compare the squealing when it is a rich white man:

        “A SWAT team, searching the house, scaring his wife, scaring his dogs—it was completely unnecessary,” Stone’s attorney said. “A telephone call would have done the job, and he would have appeared. Mr. Stone has nothing to hide.”

        The arrest operation drew scrutiny on social media—even from President Trump, who said “Border Coyotes, Drug Dealers and Human Traffickers are treated better…”

        To the tough guy talk when it is a poor brown person:
        “When you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over?” Trump said, miming the physical motion of an officer shielding a suspect’s head to keep it from bumping against the squad car.

        “Like, don’t hit their head, and they just killed somebody — don’t hit their head,” Trump continued. “I said, you can take the hand away, okay?”Report

  7. Avatar Stillwater
    Ignored
    says:

    “When cops tell you to get down off the car hood, you should do it.”

    “Hey, he should have known better than to resist arrest.”

    “He was no angel, had some priors, hung with a rough crowd.”

    “Look, he had a bad heart, dirty fingernails, and early stage lymphoreniosis. He was teetering on the edge of death anyway. Cops didn’t kill him. His bad heart did.”

    All of the above – and more! – will show up in the comment section at this very site.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Stillwater
      Ignored
      says:

      (looks)

      (looks)

      well, not yet, but here’s hoping? I think?Report

      • Avatar KenB in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        Well he was technically accurate — all those statements did in fact show up in the comments section at this site, right there in his comment.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to KenB
          Ignored
          says:

          lol

          Here’s a two-fer for ya from only only two months ago: resisting arrest and bad health killed him, not the cops!

          Stillwater: Eg., putting a choke-hold on a guy selling loosies.

          Dark Matter: It was the resisting arrest part which got him killed, that and being in such poor health that any force used would kill him.

          Of course, I could go on…Report

          • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
            Ignored
            says:

            Change the underlying facts and I change my opinion.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Dark Matter
              Ignored
              says:

              Accordingly, if the evidence shows Floyd had an upper respiratory condition you’ll conclude that the cops didn’t use excessive force.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                No, only that Floyd might not have died. The force was still excessive, because there was no reason for it, though applied to someone else it might not have been fatal.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                If you’re going to try to argue both sides of this use someone else as your strawman.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Dark has a bit of a point only if you look at the issue in the narrowest way possible, that being unjustified but lawful killings by police. Those specific events are statistically very unusual and there are millions of interactions every day, including with minorities where no one dies or has their rights violated. However when you look at it as the inevitable outcome of confrontational militarized policing, elimination of police accountability, hollowing out the 4th Amendment it looks a lot different.

                Frankly it’s amazing we have so few events where a death is involved when you consider the sea of abusive and illiberal action from which they arise, very little of which percolates beyond the local crime blotter if its covered at all.Report

  8. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    Why do I get the feeling thew cops will return to their jobs, with backpay?Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    One thing that I’ve not seen… were the police wearing body cameras?
    If so, were they on?Report

  10. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    The riots have started. What’s interesting isn’t that Target got looted (these things happen).

    It’s that the 3rd Precinct Police Station is being… what’s the term? “Kinetically protested”.

    Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Clearly the engineers haven’t gotten involved,or siege engines would be present.Report

    • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Good for them. I hope they lay siege to that place.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Slade the Leveller
        Ignored
        says:

        Sure, but I wish the opportunistic protest parasites (they aren’t protesters, or at least not primarily protesters) weren’t sacking businesses and liquor stores all over the metro area. Talk about damaging the message (but let’s not kid ourselves, the people vandalizing stores don’t give a damn about the message, they just want free stuff).Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to North
          Ignored
          says:

          Talk about damaging the message

          In fairness, TPTB never hear that message anyway, which is why there’s rioting.Report

          • Avatar veronica d in reply to Stillwater
            Ignored
            says:

            I seem to recall that MLK had something to say about riots.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater in reply to veronica d
              Ignored
              says:

              And?Report

            • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to veronica d
              Ignored
              says:

              MLK might have said that “a riot is the language of the unheard” but he was also very apprehensive about them and believed they can cause more problems than they solve.

              I’m not even sure if he is entirely right. There have been plenty of riots where the powerful and the heard rioted against the powerless and the silent. Tulsa and Wilmington in the United States, the recent Hindu riots against Muslims in India, and all the pogroms against Jews across the world.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to LeeEsq
                Ignored
                says:

                Rosewood.

                Also burning down the economic infrastructure of your own community seems unlikely to create jobs/wealth/money/opportunity and much more likely to destroy those things.

                Looking up the aftermath of the Detroit riots… that seems to have been exactly the case.

                To be fair the Detroit riot made things better (i.e. less repressive) in other parts of the state, but in Detroit itself the message was “don’t create jobs here”.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s definitely counter-productive. The only building where I think destruction was justified was the precinct.Report

              • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                The stores targeted are also more likely to be minority owned even if they aren’t African-American owned in particular. Like the stores owned by Korean-Americans during the LA Riots.Report

          • Avatar North in reply to Stillwater
            Ignored
            says:

            Yeah, to be clear this is nowhere near the protests. It’s just goons, about half to more than half of them white, going and busting into liquor stores while they can get away with it.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      They should call the Bundy family for advice.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        Please don’t see me as necessarily criticizing the protesters.

        See me as expressing surprise that the bull is going after the matador rather than trying to get the cape.Report

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          I understood. I was just building off that. We’ll see if they’re met with the same calls for understanding and whatnot as our righteously aggrieved favorite family.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            I’m not sure it maps 1:1.

            Had they occupied the police station and said “this is our police station now!”, it’d probably map pretty well.

            I’m pretty sure that I could imagine writing an essay explaining why doing that sort of thing was good, actually, and how we needed more of it in every city.

            I’m not sure I can imagine writing such an essay about this.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Kazzy
        Ignored
        says:

        They should call the Bundy family for advice.

        yeah maybe they shouldReport

        • Avatar Kazzy in reply to DensityDuck
          Ignored
          says:

          Did you read your own link?

          The first two paragraphs:
          Robert LaVoy Finicum (January 27, 1961 – January 26, 2016) was an American spokesman for the militia group Citizens for Constitutional Freedom, who seized and occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in the State of Oregon, United States, on January 2, 2016.

          On January 26, 2016, law enforcement officers attempted to arrest Finicum and other occupation leaders while they were traveling on a remote highway away from the occupation site. After fleeing the officers, Finicum was stopped by a roadblock, where he challenged officers to shoot him. He was shot and killed by state troopers while moving his hands toward his pocket, where officers later found a loaded weapon.[7][8]

          That actually undersells the point a little bit because it doesn’t make clear that the “occupation” started on Jan 2nd but did not end until February.

          So… we have a guy who helped contribute to an armed occupation of a government building, fled from police, challenged them to shoot him, and gave strong indication he was preparing to use an armed weapon against them.

          If these folks want to occupy that police station for 40-some days, I do suppose he’d be helpful in helping them understand how to do that.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Kazzy
            Ignored
            says:

            Then I guess I’m not sure what your snarking about the Bundy family was supposed to mean, because you rolled it out like the whole world was on their side and they walked with no consequences, and you picked the same thing out of the story that I did (which was that their whole thing ended with the cops shooting one of the protestors) and that somehow means…the Bundy family won?

            Or maybe you’re arguing that the cops are in the right to use deadly force as a response to provocation? (Which I don’t think, and I don’t think you do either, but maybe you do so long as it’s the right sort of provokers?)Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    The importance of ubiquitous cameras:

    Report

  12. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    I imagine that events will transpire in such a way that we’ll be talking about Qualified Immunity soon.

    Here’s one of the last times we discussed Qualified Immunity.Report

  13. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    And here’s a development that I think is very interesting. (I’m not pointing out the commentary of the tweet itself, I’m pointing out the picture/text it’s commenting upon.)

    Report

  14. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Juaquin Castro just said something awesome.

    I hope we hear from him again.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Lots of Democrats in positions of power are asking their fellow Ds to do what they themselves did not in fact do when they had the chance. DeBlasio and Klobuchar come immediately to mind. I’m curious how many more will walk that plank.Report

  15. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    My absolute favorite pieces of narratives are the ones that get tweeted by “both sides” as examples of things. Something that one person can look at and say “THIS IS AWFUL!” and other can look at and say “WE NEED MORE OF THIS!”

    “Scissors”, I think, is what I’ve seen them called before.

    Seriously, I’ve seen several people who were “on the left” tweet this as an example of bad stuff. And several people “on the right” tweet it as an example of aweseom sauce.

    (For the record, the tobacco shop remains standing this morning. Buildings on the next block over, so the twitters tell me, are smoking ruins.)Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      A: “I support the protestors and private property owners but not the rioters and I let my guns speak for me.”

      B: “Really? I support the protestors *and* the rioters, especially the destruction of the cop shop. But I also support your 2A right to protect private property.”

      C: “Hey, I support your 2A rights, for sure, but I’m not down with these protestors. The cops didn’t do anything wrong. I’m with the rioters, though. Burn this shit down.”

      A to B: “Wait. You support my right to defend private property owners but you also support the rioters? WTF? I mean, I support your right to support who ever you want to, but that one has me scratching my chin.”

      B to A: “I support peace, brother. And freedom. Everyone’s free to do what they want, and I support that. All perspectives are equal.”

      C: “Yeah!”Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      what’s interesting is seeing people tweet this out with “oh, you care enough about protestors damaging some property to use guns to stop them, but you don’t use your guns to stop the cops killing people?”

      like A) you honestly think these dudes are OK with the cops killing people

      and B) you honestly would be OK with dudes saying “hey cops, we disagree with your law-enforcement activity” and using the threat of armed violence to make them stop, because when that has happened in the recent past liberals were very much not OK with itReport

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      My brother’s block was protected during the Freddie Gray riots by the Palestinians who run the corner liquor store (and their legally owned firearms). Amazing how reality upends ideology, or pissea everyone off depending on how you look at it.Report

  16. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    The important thing is how white people will react to these riots.

    After some riots like the 1992 LA riots after the Rodney King verdict, the city reacted with a lot of positive measures like police reform and community investment. Some were followed through, others were quietly dropped after the heat died down.

    But other times the white community reacts by doubling down on the police violence that created the riots in the first place. More police patrols, disinvestment, and more willingness of white juries to accept police version of events.

    The point being, ball is in the court of white people and whether we are willing to listen honestly to what black people are telling us and change the way police interact with them.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      It’s the people of Minnesota who are the problem. They’re all Scandis, and they’ve had a looting culture long before they sacked Lindisfarne in 793 AD or Paris in 845 and 855. Looting and violence are all they know, and they’re not a bit ashamed of it. Heck, Minnesota’s football team is named “The Vikings”. We converted them to Christianity, which helped some, but we have to realize that their pagan blood lust still lurks right under the surface.Report

  17. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    The CW says that Klobuchar is out.

    Report

  18. Avatar Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    One of the reasons I didn’t focus on the racial angle is that honestly I don’t think it’s going to do much good. If you agree with the idea that police are extra hard on people with dark skin, then I don’t have to do any work to get you on my side. If, however, you aren’t sold on that idea, nothing I say is going to make a difference*.

    So I stick to the more generalized issues. Qualified immunity, police culture, and, in this case, how quickly the supporters of the Blue Line rush in to shift the narrative. Taking the story from an obvious abuse of force to impose extra-judicial punishment for ‘contempt of cop’, to one of, ‘if police can’t use force in the manner they prefer, their lives are in danger!’.

    This patterns plays out EVERY SINGLE TIME the police face heat for use of force. And I think it is imperative that those of us who find such use of force unacceptable push back against those trying to steer the narrative.

    This isn’t about a noble officer defending himself from an armed, violent felon.

    This isn’t about an officer using a choke hold in a questionable way.

    This isn’t about a white officer abusing a black suspect.

    It’s about a cop grinding his knee into the neck of a defenseless man until he died, for no justifiable reason, because he is pretty damn sure he won’t face the full consequences of that action (because he hasn’t in the past).

    *One way I’ve seen such racial disparity data discussed is to examine call-outs and patrol patterns. How many call-outs do police get to minority neighborhoods compared with how much time is spent patrolling those neighborhoods.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      What’s really gauling though is that this isn’t the first time this guy has been in trouble. From what I’ve read he has 3 questionable shootings with no discipline. You can take the racial aspect out of the discussion and ask why someone with this kind of record is still permitted to work in law enforcement. It’s a complete subversion of the public trust.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to InMD
        Ignored
        says:

        If you want to see one of the times we’ve discussed Police Unions, you can do so here.Report

        • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          That was an interesting thread/discussion. My favorite part was when Chip said he hasn’t seen any evidence that cop unions cause are correlated with corruption and so on, and when I posted this:

          – We then analyze the impact of collective bargaining rights, using police departments, which were unaffected by Williams, as a control group for sheriffs’ offices. Our results imply that collective bargaining rights led to about a 45% increase in violent incidents. We also find some evidence suggesting that collective bargaining rights led to decreased racial and ethnic diversity among new officer hires.

          he said he couldn’t comment until he evaluated the study’s methodology.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater
            Ignored
            says:

            Seems like a good study to me. Police unions are a problem. What seems lost in all these discussions is all the other things that are also a problem that will need to be fixed. Cause PU’s are only one issue that will have marginal affect if there areen’t changes with: DA’s, giving citizens more direct and powerful oversight of cops, re training cops, more reformist police chiefs and changing the views of the super duper cop supporters.

            How we fix PU’s is a good question. The closest real world example i’ve seen is the Scott Walker treatment in Wisc. It started as going after public employee unions but quickly got down to just teachers and janitors and thanking the cops for their service.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater
            Ignored
            says:

            That’s not what I said.
            I said I have no way of independently assessing the study and I still don’t. Because, y’know, I’m not a sociologist and don’t have the expertise to dig into the weeds of the study.
            And I doubt anyone else here does either.
            So I could just as easily post a link and say “This study by Professor Smart E. Pantz says the first study is bogus” and no one here would have any way to refute it.

            But look, if you want to say that the strength of police unions gives a tremendous boost to the legal defense of police officers, sure that’s a valid point.

            So if someone wants to restrict police unions to just bargaining over pay and conditions, I wouldn’t have much problem with that.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              Would you say you regularly use this level of skepticism or is it a level of skepticism you only bring out on occasion?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you seem to think it means. There’s a very big difference between “I don’t know,” “you don’t know,” and “nobody knows.”
                The word you may be looking for is “modesty” or “humility,” which no modest or humble person can, consistently, lay claim to.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Beg pard.

                Allow me to rephrase.

                “Chip, would you say that you regularly use this level of modesty and humility or is it a level of modesty and humility that you only bring out on occasion?”Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                And how would a modest or humble person answer that? Maybe “That’s not for me to say.”Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Maybe something like “I read it and I googled Dhammika Dharmapala, Richard H. McAdams, and John Rappaport and saw their credentials. Then I googled the University of Chicago Law School and saw the phrase “It is consistently ranked among the top law schools in the world” and that was enough for me to say “okay, that has overcome my modesty and humility and now I am going to read this paper as if it were written by experts who know what they’re doing.”

                I mean, assuming that one’s legitimately frustrated by one’s own lack of knowledge in an area and willing to outsource it to others but not, like, willy-nilly.

                The way I make a distinction between “honest skepticism” and “weaponized skepticism” is that “honest skepticism” can be overcome.

                (There’s also whether skepticism is used strategically but that’s another couple of paragraphs. Let’s just say that it’s not limited to whether it can be overcome, but that’s one of the *BIG* flags.)Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                “And how would a modest or humble person answer that? Maybe “That’s not for me to say.””

                it’s hecka funny seeing the people who get Really Angry at Climate Denialism flip to “well I’m not an expert so I can’t really speak to the accuracy or veracity of this particular analysisReport

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                also funny to go back through the archives and find that your whole New Know-Nothing Attitude started when you said “libertarians, huh, they’re just a bunch of anarchist dorks who don’t understand reality” and when Jaybird replied “Eric Garner is what law-enforcement looks like” your response was to angrily declare that you were never going to have an opinion about anything ever again.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                My level of skepticism is raised when a study seems counterintuitive or fails to have some explanatory logic;
                E.g. “New Study Confirms- Chocolate Makes You Lose Weight!!”

                In this case the claim was that somehow police unions increase violence or something like that. As if there is some magic sauce in collective bargaining that turns people racist.

                There wasn’t a line of clear logic presented, and it wasn’t in line with some larger body of understanding.
                It was just presented raw, as if the sheer appeal to authority would be persuasive.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                And FWIW, the longer I comment and argue with people online, the more my skepticism of appeals to studies and online statistics has grown.

                You can see it in my comments to Dark and Swami about their reliance on statistics as the definitive measure of reality.

                I’m not rejecting data and studies; Its just that they can only be one part of how we perceive the world and explain human behavior.
                When they seem wildly out of sync with other data or perceptions or have a logic that is opaque then I think skepticism is warranted.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                As someone who was raised as Young Earth Creationist, I totally dig what you’re saying.

                Out of curiosity, does your new understanding give you sympathy for Global Climate Change skeptics that you didn’t used to have?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Lets apply the Chip Criteria:

                A single counterintuitive study;
                Mysterious logic;
                At odds with the main body of knowledge;

                Manmade climate change is supported by thousands of studies and conclusions by the vast majority of climate scientists. The logic is clear and understandable and is in line with the main body of scientific knowledge.

                By contrast, the claims of deniers are exactly the sort of cherry picked factoids and appeals to authority that should rightly spark skepticism- e.g. “Dr. Smart E Pantz proves that there are more polar bears today than ten years ago!”

                You of all people should remember that conspiracy theorists and creationists are the foremost proponents of Appeal To Authority, except they are careful to vet which authority they appeal to.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                So now we just have to ask whether Dhammika Dharmapala, Richard H. McAdams, and John Rappaport and the University of Chicago Law School are more like Dr. Smart E Pantz or like the Climate Scientists.

                When you did your research and googled these guys in an effort to overcome your skepticism, what conclusions did you reach about them?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You can take the boy out of Creationism, but can’t take the Creationism out of the boy.

                “I can speak with authority about this academic study because I spent a few minutes Googling the subject” is the very essence of Creationist thinking.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not asking you to speak with authority, Chip.

                I’m more trying to act like my old biology teachers. Just look at the credentials of the people who did this study. Then look at the study. Then come to your own conclusions.

                I’ll ask again: When you did your research and googled these guys in an effort to overcome your skepticism, what conclusions did you reach about them?

                (But, for the record, “I’M NOT EVEN GOING TO LOOK AT THAT EVIDENCE!” is a play I’m familiar with too. Do you think that “I’M NOT EVEN GOING TO READ IT!” is a Creationist move or a Science move?)Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I actually read the paper back when. Dharmapala’s principal expertise is in taxation, so my best guess is that he was brought in to do the math, which I am about as unable to critique as two criminal law professors at a law school as eminent as my own. Nothing obviously wrong with it and the rather modest conclusion — an incremental change averaging about one incident per sheriff’s department every five years where unionization exists — doesn’t violate common sense. It’s an interesting study, but just one, which takes a somewhat different approach from others. As someone who had represented academics for decades and has some idea how the game is played, I know better than to jump on the first study that says what I want to hear. Its authors may be eminent and its methodology may not be obviously wrong, but it’s one study. In the secular research game, we don’t hunt for proof texts. Or can I just quote Paul Krugman to you on any question of economics?Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                In the secular research game, we don’t hunt for proof texts.

                Very well put!Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                The original issue was “I’m not seeing any evidence of X”

                We then found a paper with evidence of X.

                I’m not sure how to deal with issues of whether there is evidence of X without looking for whether someone has researched whether X exists.

                Please advise.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                You actually read the paper. You actually googled the guys. You actually looked and saw that the law school is as eminent as your own.

                Do you see the difference between someone who actually reads the paper after doing this sort of thing and someone who doesn’t even do that?

                The question is not “should you believe the paper?”

                It’s “is the modesty/humility overcomable?”

                You read it and you saw that they did, in fact, find something and it’s not obviously the case that they screwed something up.

                Do you see the difference between doing the research and reaching that conclusion and not doing that, saying you won’t do that, and finding it absurd that you’re being asked to do that?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                My “research” consisted of reading a paper I am technically incompetent to critique and learning that its conclusions, whether sound or not, were quite modest and not inconsistent with common sense. Given my general confidence in the peer review system, I would have expected as much even without reading the paper. It would have been just as reasonable for me not to read it and to assume it was, as it turned out to be, just another study that wasn’t obviously wrong, since that’s what most such studies are. I had nothing better to do with my time, which is mine to waste, but I don’t think that puts me in any way ahead of someone who, knowing the likely result, doesn’t bother.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                So if someone wanted evidence of a phenomenon and I presented a paper similar to the we gave, would that count as me giving evidence of the phenomenon?

                If it would not, what *WOULD* count as me giving evidence of the phenomenon?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                If YOU presented such a paper, it would not be evidence of whatever your paper was supposed to be saying. Unless it was in the wheelhouse of whatever your expertise is. If what you’re asking is whether your saying, “here is a paper by someone else, who, unlike me, knows what he’s doing that says X” is evidence of X, that is certainly evidence that someone who knows what he’s doing thinks X. It may even be some evidence of X itself, but not much until others who know what they are doing have weighed in.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                So what should we do if someone says “I have not seen any evidence of X” on any given topic of conversation in which no one is a documented expert?

                Is googling “is there evidence of X?” and finding a paper written by experts at the Chicago School of Law something that fits within acceptable parameters?

                And if it’s not, what would be?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                We’ve seen this move from you before, Jaybird. If that’s all you were trying to say, you wouldn’t have bothered to say it.
                As for what “we” should do, you do what you like. Others will do likewise.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                What I was *TRYING* to do was argue that Police Unions helped maintain toxicity.

                Then Chip pointed out that he’s seen no evidence that Police Unions help maintain toxicity.

                So we googled a paper that indicated that, yeah, well… there does seem to be evidence that Police Unions help maintain toxicity above and beyond the anecdata that anybody can find if they google “Police Unions Defend” and press the search button.

                And then now we’re defending whether or not it’s appropriate to point to papers published by the Chicago School of Law in response to requests for evidence.

                And, apparently, *I* am the one engaging in rhetorical tricks by pointing out that the level of skepticism displayed seems to be insurmountable.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Sounds about right.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                But I still don’t know what is the appropriate response to someone who says that they haven’t seen evidence of a thing.

                I had thought that light googling and linking to a Wikipedia page or two (and maybe one or two of the sites that Wikipedia links to) would be a good starting point. Maybe not a good *ENDING* point… but a good starting point.

                In the absence of that, what is the best response to someone asking for evidence of a particular phenomenon?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I can’t dispute what you say you don’t know, however unlikely it sounds. It may be, however, that what you say you don’t know is not the important thing you don’t know. All I can suggest in that case is that you go back and re-read what people actually said — hint, it’s not what you seem to think — and see whether saying: “I found a paper” is responsive to what they said.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, this is why I’m asking.

                If giving a paper that shows the existence of X in response to someone saying that they’ve not seen evidence of X is not a proper response, I don’t know what a proper response to someone saying that they haven’t seen the existence of X would be.

                And I’m asking you what a proper response would be, given that my response was not sufficient.

                Because if someone linked to, say, an article in Reason, I could see saying “REASON! HA! They’re biased!”, okay… well, let’s see if someone else links to something… hey, the article in Reason linked to CBS news… and CBS news linked to a government report… maybe I should link to the government report…

                And then the response is “is that the report that Reason linked to? HA!”, then we’re in a bad place.

                Even if laughing at Reason by itself might be okay.

                So I’m in a place where, in response to someone saying that they’ve not seen evidence of X, giving them a paper from a trio of distinguished professors from a distinguished school writing about the existence of X does not meet the standard of providing evidence of X.

                And I’d like to know what in the hell would, if that would not.

                (And we’re reaching the point where I’m noticing that you keep changing the question away from answering the question “if not this, what would?” to the topic of me, personally.)Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So I’m in a place where, in response to someone saying that they’ve not seen evidence of X, giving them a paper from a trio of distinguished professors from a distinguished school writing about the existence of X does not meet the standard of providing evidence of X.

                Take that up with someone who’s saying that. I’m not, and, as I read him, neither is Chip — but he can speak for himself. And then re-read what you think you’re responding to.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, if that’s not what’s being said, I guess I’ll continue to go forward with that sort of thing without issue.

                I’ll worry about what was being said if I run into it again, I guess.

                (As for Chip, he seems to be on board with limiting the powers of Police Unions to help toxicity fester in Police Departments so… I’m good.)Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                What’s the logic of how collective bargaining over pay and vacations (which you support) helps maintain toxicity?

                I’m looking for a explanation of how you get from one to the other.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                What’s the logic of how collective bargaining over pay and vacations (which you support) helps maintain toxicity?

                Chip, you’ve already conceded that the power of the union, both in terms of politics as well as legal-defense, creates incentives which run counter to good policing. Here, I’ll cut and paste it for you:

                But look, if you want to say that the strength of police unions gives a tremendous boost to the legal defense of police officers, sure that’s a valid point.

                Presumably, since you agree with the assertion, you understand the logic in play.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                OK, so we are all in agreement, that police unions should be limited to bargaining over pay and benefits.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not sure we’re in agreement on that.

                Seems to me what we agree on is that using union power to protect employees who should be fired and barred from rehire is bad.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Well if the union was not able to represent an officer at a disciplinary hearing, that would solve the problem, no?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure, but why would a union agree to that restriction?

                I mean, you could legislate it, but it’d have to be across the board and union members (and folks like you 🙂 would go f***ing nuts about government overreach and CB rights and all that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Heck, I’m an enthusiastic supporter of limiting support to pay, vacation, sick time, retirement, etc.

                But even including paying for representation for cops at disciplinary hearings, just adding a wee bit of fear that has the cops say stuff like “you know what? We can’t pay for the lawyer for *THIS*…” on the most egregious cases would be a step in the right direction.

                Maybe there are cases that are disciplinary in nature where the cop would benefit from additional training rather than surrendering badge/gun.

                Sure. And that guy getting representation at the hearing is appropriate.

                It’s just that when a cop says something like “I didn’t know that I wasn’t allowed to (egregious example)” that my Irish gets up.

                If (egregious examples) went away, that would solve 80% of my problems. 70%.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Any step in that direction is an improvement.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Just to to let you know where I’m coming from, I suggest taking police discipline out of the hands of the Police Department entirely, and having all such actions handled by a Civilian Review Board with the power to fire cops and turn them over to the DA for criminal probes.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                That’s an interesting idea. I like it.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You are asking me to do some research then draw conclusions on the credentials of the authors of an academic study in a field in which I have no expertise?
                Oh, and this research and resulting conclusion would come about after a few minutes of Googling?

                This doesn’t sound silly to you?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                It probably doesn’t, and you may have hit on the reasons.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, let’s go back to what originally happened.

                You said that you have not seen any evidence of a thing. Here’s a copy and paste of what you said:

                “I just am not seeing any evidence that unionization has any affect one way or the other.”

                And so we dug up a paper that provides evidence that unionization has any affect one way or the other.

                You then said that you weren’t able to assess the study yourself.

                So I’m asking what it would take for us to get you to look at evidence of our proposition.

                (For the record, the tide is going to turn on police unions in the next few months. The new and improved progressive position on the cops is going to be that they need to be reformed from the ground up and that includes police unions. You may want to get on board now. It’ll make it easier to argue that nobody is arguing that police unions don’t need to be reformed. The left has always supported that. It’s the right wingers who are ‘thin blue line’ types.)Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                What it would take, is for you to present an argument with a line of logic that we can all understand.

                First of all, what exactly is your argument?
                Because what has become clear is that “police unions” covers a couple separate things:
                1. Collective bargaining over pay and working conditions;
                2. Criminal defense of accused officers;

                Which of these things do you want to argue against, and why?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Believe it or not, we got into that here.

                One of the things I said, multiple times, was:
                “If police unions were merely arguing for more pay, more vacation, more sick time, they’d be easy to defend. Heck, only libertarian cranks would oppose them.”

                My argument was that the system we have is one that has 50%+1 coverage on all sides. The right defends the “thin blue line” crap, the left defends police unions even when police unions defend toxic members of their organization (we linked to a number of particularly egregious examples of the unions doing this in the threads).

                You can click on the link and boggle at some of the things that were considered controversial.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, if you want to strip police unions of the ability to defend their officers in criminal cases, I could probably agree with that.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Problem is, the unions don’t defend offices in criminal cases. At most, they might help pay the lawyers who do it as a union benefit. (Those lawyers usually have an ongoing relationship with the police union as a source of referrals.) And sometimes, when they’re not flush enough to do that or that isn’t a standard union benefit, they organize fundraising dinners and the like. I remember some people being under the impression in previous threads that the police unions routinely provided the defense in civil cases against cops, rather than municipal lawyers (whether on staff, like the NYC Corporation Counsel, or, as in many smaller towns, well-connected private lawyers on retainer) or state AG’s. Now it’s possible that some unions provide for back-up representation if the employing government agency declines to defend or pay for outside counsel, but I don’t know of any such set-up.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Which of these things do you want to argue against, and why?

                “I will only agree with your premise if I also agree with your conclusion!”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Why not just take the study at face value *given* the credentials of the paper’s authors?

                Consider the flip side. You seem to be suggesting that your views of that paper will take shape only when other trusted commenters – other experts in the field – weigh in on it. But aren’t you now in a big ole epistemic circle where the only people you trust to evaluate this paper hold the same priors you do, the very same priors which incline you to reject that paper’s conclusions in the first place?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Because there are other studies with other eminent authors, that come out differently. And that’s the normal thing in research. As I asked above, can I just quote Paul Krugman on any question of economics? And if I do, will you take it at face value given that he has a Nobel Prize (yes, I know, it’s not THE Nobel Prize)? You shouldn’t.
                In just about any field, one study doesn’t mean much no matter how eminent the authors. Doesn’t mean you should reject it out of hand. But the temptation to grab the first study that says what you want to hear is very strong. The prudent thing to do is wait for other experts to weigh in. Do you really think differently?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Because there are other studies with other eminent authors, that come out differently.

                Could you link to a couple?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                I would be interested in reading these studies too.Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                The original paper reviews the existing literature. Most papers do that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Out of curiosity, do you think “The original paper reviews the existing literature. Most papers do that.”, and nothing more, should be sufficient for us to see that the point has been addressed?Report

              • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not interested in whether you think “the point,” whatever you think it is, has been addressed. I don’t give homework assignments and I don’t take them. Police unions are your hobbyhorse, not mine. You can do whatever research you like, and report what you find to anyone you think will be interested.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
                Ignored
                says:

                Cool.

                I just thought that last part had a handful of parts that were in dispute.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      It sounds like you’ve given up on convincing Elena Balan, the lone hypothetical adult on the Internet who would respond with “Oh? You say race might place a factor in something? I’ve never heard this, so please tell me more!” Of course Elena just moved here from a small Romanian farming village, but as she’s the only possible target audience for most of these racial arguments, she must feel pretty special. 🙂

      *** Hit’s Elena’s Facebook page and drops:

      “This “Uncle George” passed a bad $20, so of course the police are justified in acting like the Mexican army apprehending El Chapo Guzman while taking automatic weapons fire from three sides. That’s how we do it here.”Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Oscar Gordon
      Ignored
      says:

      One issue with tying this to a racial angle, rightly or wrongly, is that racism has become a red/blue polarized issue. And while I might think this is a racial motivated action, others might think of Jussie Smollet and other racial hoaxes. And then we are right down that rabbit hole.

      It is much better to find an area that hasn’t been so polarized, so we can start to make some headway on issues like this. Get people on board through the idea of cops abusing their powers, violating rights and so on, and it might just have a greater effect. But if you start making it an “our team/your team” thing, it is dead in the water.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to Aaron David
        Ignored
        says:

        The only answer is a consistent, principled adherence to due process and respectful treatment of all citizens, no excuses, end of story, and serious consequences for government agents who fail to live up to it.

        The problem is that the teams all have someone they think doesn’t deserve that and as soon as you’ve conceded it for one person or group you’ve done it for everyone. Then you’re right down that rabbit hole rationalizing why some are deserving and others aren’t.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          I’ll sign on to this 100%.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to InMD
          Ignored
          says:

          Yep.

          Police use more force with minorities not because of capital ‘R’acism, but because dark skinned minorities are least likely to file complaints that have a hope in hell of leading to a payout/discipline. The system is very much stacked against them. So cops who want to get their violence on know where they can hunt.

          And,of course, popular entertainment perpetuates the tolerance of such things by making sure that the hero cops only ever get violent with obvious bad guys, and cops who get violent with the innocent (even dark skinned innocents) get in big trouble.Report

  19. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s like jury nullification, but before you even get to the grand jury part.

    Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      This demonstrates how structural injustice is always perpetuated by individuals making choices.

      This prosecutor has the power to prosecute, or not. He isn’t constrained by capitalism, or union rules, or government bureaucracy or any of the other mechanisms that people offer up.

      There isn’t some One Weird Trick or legal procedure that would compel him to prosecute, without seriously warping the entire system and creating even more injustice.

      But this person and his choices ARE the result of a culture that produced his biases, and reinforce them. He circulates among family and friends and a community that agree with him and inculcated his values.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        You have to read between the lines of his statement.

        “You think the rioting and outrage is bad now? Well hold my beer!”

        Is keeping a knee on a helpless person’s neck till they’re brain dead at least negligent homicide? Apparently not. So those holding out hope for “failure to perform legal duty”, involuntary manslaughter, voluntary manslaughter, or homicide can go riot in the streets.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      The amazing part about this, and I’m being dead serious here, is that leaving the obvious criminality of the cop’s actions aside, this prosecutor* is willing to trade many more days of riots and destruction of private property and all that *not* doing the right thing entails, to protect his personal, career-dependant relationship with cops.

      *he’s not unique. In fact, prosecutors covering for bad cops is apparently a Minnesota tradition, one that can lead to a seat in the US Senate.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        It’s nuts. You’d think that something as simple as a “of course we’ll do *EVERYTHING* in our power to make sure that justice is served!”

        Then put him in front of a grand jury and bring out every parking ticket the dead guy has ever received in front of them and explain “Qualified Immunity” to them and see what happens.

        But he’s not even willing to play the charade.Report

        • Avatar CJColucci in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Qualified immunity is not an issue for a jury, grand or petit, and it is usually error to submit it to the jury. (Not to be confused with submitting to the jury disputed factual questions relevant to qualified immunity. The judge then takes the jury’s answers and decides, based on the facts as the jury found them, whether qualified immunity applies.) Often, however, it is harmless error because the jury gets it right, so the sloppy practice continues.Report

      • Avatar Jesse in reply to Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        It’s more like, the vast swathe of white people are OK w/ largely non-white areas of Minneapolis being damage, for the long term goal for cops being able to be violent toward non-white people.Report

  20. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    And apparently the two knew each other:

    This is weird. Weirder and weirder.Report

  21. Avatar Stillwater
    Ignored
    says:

    400 Years of Anger’: Minneapolis Police Station Set Ablaze During Protest

    Protesters demanding action over the death of 46-year-old George Floyd took over the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct late Thursday and set the building ablaze.

    The takeover appeared to mark a turning point in the protests that kicked into a new gear nationwide Thursday, as a bumbling press conference by confused prosecutors risked inviting further rage and violence.

    Violence-inviting bumbling confusion about sums it up.Report

  22. Avatar greginak
    Ignored
    says:

    FFS 2020 is managing to suck and blow in every way possible. The tin pot authoritarian bs from on high can’t even crack a medal position this week.Report

  23. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    The President called for shooting looters.

    Police are arresting journalists: https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2020/05/29/minneapolis-protests-omar-jimenez-arrested-newday-vpx.cnn

    Good times, America!Report

    • Avatar Damon in reply to Kazzy
      Ignored
      says:

      You think it’s a better idea to tell the cops to stand back and let the looting and arson go on until it eventually stops? I know people that lived in Baltimore when the cops were told just that.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Damon
        Ignored
        says:

        If only there were options between “Do nothing” and “Shooting.” Hell, that might have helped us avoid all this!Report

        • Avatar Truth in reply to Kazzy
          Ignored
          says:

          I can’t qwhite figure out what happened here. Why didn’t the police treat THESE peaceful protesters like they did the armed white-supremacist “reopen” crowds, instead of coming in with riot gear and blindly firing rubber bullets and tear gas trying to start a riot so they could justify some brutality? It feels almost like they felt a kinship with the armed-to-the-kills white supremacists threatening violence, but no such kinship towards nonwhite citizens…Report

  24. Avatar Truth
    Ignored
    says:

    Video evidence seems to be showing that those starting the fires and initially breaking windows were agents-provocateur and even members of the police in some over-the-top disguises. I wonder when this site will report on and discuss that part accurately.Report

  25. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    The medical examiner has made his preliminary findings.

    Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I love that last bit, “any potential intoxicants.” If only there was someone who could do a blood test to find out!Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        I’m sure that a blood test *WAS* done and came up negative.

        Because if the blood test came up positive, that would have been reported.

        “While it’s true that he may have died, he *DID* have traces of THC in his system.”
        “Is Medical Marijuana legal in Minnesota?”
        “No further questions.”Report

  26. Avatar Rufus F.
    Ignored
    says:

    I assume I’m not the only one to think of child-molesting priests whenever this topic comes up.

    Because the people who grumble that Catholic priests are all a bunch of child molesters are *obviously* priest bashers and I have Catholic friends who will argue that it’s only a very rare few molesting priests who are being used by the anti-religious media to smear the whole institution. And above all, we have to protect the institution.

    And, you know, they’re not exactly wrong. There probably are a very small number of bad priests. The problem is, historically, when a priest would turn out to be a child molester, the institution would put them in another church, instead of in jail. Large institutions tend to circle the wagons before they purge the “bad apples.”

    I had an uncle who was a lifelong cop and he was no angel. He definitely had no time for the “ACAB” crowd, understandably. But was also, if I’m going to be honest, mildly racist. But you know who really pissed him off? Cops on a power trip. Because even if he didn’t have to deal with them, he had to deal with them, you know?Report

  1. May 28, 2020

    […] Rioting has broken out among protests in Minneapolis over the police killing of George Floyd. […]Report

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