The Libertarian Case that Riots are Good, Achtually

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Kristin Devine

Kristin is a geek, a libertarian, and a domestic goddess. She lives in a wildlife refuge in rural Washington state with too many children and way too many animals and works with women around the world as a fertility counselor. There's also a blog which most people would very much disapprove of https://atomicfeminist.com/

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129 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    I’m not seeing a ton of liberals wanting the riots. I see a lot of liberals who see the riots as inevitable as the dawn in the face of a culture of ‘peace officers’ who would rather be ‘warriors’ who desperately want a war to fight. Or ‘protectors’ who are pushed to generate revenue and arrest stats, rather than just being allowed to help people without putting someone in the pokey.

    And that is the problem. I hear your plea that we need the system to have legitimacy for civilization to work, but a necessary condition for that legitimacy is that when the people declare the system in need of reform, the system is not allowed to fight back. Argue it’s case, sure, but not actually fight. Police are not allowed to beat people up just because there is a riot happening. They aren’t allowed to target protest leadership for arrest and prosecution on trumped up charges.

    But they do, and those actions de-legitimize the Leviathan. The very people you want in place are taking action to undermine themselves, because they have lost sight of, or perhaps never had an understanding* of, their true role in this.

    * I often wonder how much social and political theory Police Academies teach to new officers. Perhaps this is why other countries have Academies that take a year or more to complete.Report

  2. Avatar PhiliP H
    Ignored
    says:

    well written piece. Much truth that even you and I – far apart as we are – can agree on.

    You however fell into the trap that too many on the right do of conflating protest and violence. And thus you insist on loud denunciations of violence, ignore them when they occur, berate those pointing out that the violent types are the hooligans you speak of, and refuse to acknowledge that the left – what’s left of us – are as agitated as we are because the rule of law has failed to protect so many of the marginalized. We have so few options left to us, but kneeling at football games was too disruptive apparently.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck
      Ignored
      says:

      “You however fell into the trap that too many on the right do of conflating protest and violence. ”

      Really? How?

      It shouldn’t be too hard to find and quote actual examples, so that we can discuss your interpretation of them. You’ve got a whole comment box and you can post as often as you want! Go for it! Explain to this Konservative Karen exactly where and how she’s wrong. You’re an enlightened intellectual, it should be simple.Report

    • Avatar Dark Matter
      Ignored
      says:

      I don’t want the violence “denunciated”. I want the non-violent recording the violent and handing those recordings over to the authorities.

      the trap that too many on the right do of conflating protest and violence.

      When the city burns, the signs business people try to use to protect themselves say things like “black owned”.

      The bulk of protesters are not violent.
      The bulk of protest is not violent.
      The bulk of the violence is from the protesters.

      All of those statements can be true at the same time and as far as I can tell they are.Report

      • Avatar Philip H
        Ignored
        says:

        that third statement isn’t though. lots and lots of arrests point to people agitating and taking advantage who aren’t actual protestors.

        And cities are not burning. Some rioting and some looting and some burning is occurring with some protests. But cities are not burning. Not like the race riots in the late 1960’s – which still scar many urban areas. Not by a logn shot.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter
          Ignored
          says:

          lots and lots of arrests point to people agitating and taking advantage who aren’t actual protestors.

          No True Scotsman would do this.

          And yet buildings still burn, apparently in response to unjust shootings.Report

      • Avatar James K
        Ignored
        says:

        I don’t want the violence “denunciated”. I want the non-violent recording the violent and handing those recordings over to the authorities.

        If only police had cultivated a culture of mutual trust and respect with the communities they police then that might happen but that’s not how most US police forces seem to operate.

        One of the things that gets drilled into you in the New Zealand government is that it’s not enough to act within your legal powers, you also have to act in a way that enhances and preserves the public’s trust in the government. Because the government needs the public’s trust to be able to do its job properly.Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter
          Ignored
          says:

          If only police had cultivated a culture of mutual trust and respect with the communities they police then that might happen but that’s not how most US police forces seem to operate.

          Translation: We’re going to engage in violence and it’s your fault. Whoops, I meant those guys over there who aren’t with us are going to engage in violence and we totally disapprove of it. We won’t stop them because… because… because we trust them and we don’t you.

          “Trust” doesn’t enter into it here. The “for real” protesters could just as easily put these videos up on you-tube to showcase that there’s a difference between them and the people starting fires.

          However, that assumes there’s a difference between them and the people engaging in violence, and as far as I can tell, there isn’t. That’s why we can have a random Blue politician try to video random non-violent protesters and get beaten up.Report

          • Avatar James K
            Ignored
            says:

            So your position is that all of the protests about police misbehaviour and unaccountability is purely in bad faith? That a bunch of people just woke up one day and decided to burn their own cities down for no reason?Report

            • Avatar Swami
              Ignored
              says:

              Not speaking for DM, but the energy in the protests isn’t about “police accountability.” If it was, I would join them in peaceful protest.

              The zeitgeist is about a narrative broadcast 24/7 from every conventional and leftists news source In the US that police are systemically racist and that to them “black lives do not matter.”

              This is giving cover to burn down and vandalize cities, as politicians are afraid to stand up against this BS narrative.Report

            • Avatar Dark Matter
              Ignored
              says:

              The protests happen because people are upset.
              The riots happen because people are upset.

              The line between protester and rioter isn’t as solid as various people are trying to claim… and everyone is behaving as though that were the case.

              So the protests are in good faith, but the claims that the violence is totally separate ranges between wishful thinking and bad faith.

              So your position is that all of the protests about police misbehaviour and unaccountability is purely in bad faith?

              Straw man much?Report

              • Avatar James K
                Ignored
                says:

                Simply trying to ascertain your position.

                I’ll be honest, the illegal violence of the protesters, while a bad thing, concerns me far less than the illegal violence of the police.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                …the illegal violence of the protesters, while a bad thing, concerns me far less than the illegal violence of the police.

                As far as I can tell, illegal police violence is trending down and responsibility is trending up. The police seem to be killing blacks at rates below that at which they kill whites after we adjust for things we should adjust for.

                We can and should have some reforms, but it seems unrealistic to insist a billion encounter human system never result in situations that can’t be cherry picked by people who want to see racism.

                That implies the riots will continue until we crush them in ways that seem undemocratic.Report

              • Avatar Swami
                Ignored
                says:

                Which “illegal” police violence is that, James?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Obviously there is no illegal violence committed by the police! Just ask them, they’ll tell you! They ought to know, since it’s their job to investigate and determine if they’ve committed any illegal violence!Report

              • Avatar Swami
                Ignored
                says:

                I typed this while James was responding, thus he did not see this comment, nor did I see his response until after I submitted it. That said, I will let the comment ride as it does address his points below.

                The recent riots occurred for these four unfortunate deaths or injuries. Which illegal police violence is are we concerned with on each case?

                Blake?
                Floyd?
                Prude?
                Taylor?

                Seems that the problems are more with “legal” police actions and procedures which some of us (including me) disagree with. Please feel free to disagree with examples though. I am no legal expert.

                I will say that I view BOTH the riots and the police actions as abuses of authority and the rule of law. The police actions for obvious reasons. The riots because local law enforcement is responsible to maintain order and protect people and property. The mayors of places like Seattle and Portland have abdicated that role, and thus taken a giant dump on the rule of law.

                Looting, arson and physical violence are NOT OK because the mayor (who is partially responsible for holding the cops accountable) wishes to pretend they sympathize with the cause for political gain.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Blake – AFAICT, nothing illegal was done by the police. That one was solely due to our normal piss poor police training.

                Floyd – If an EMT did what Chauvin did, he’d be up on charges without the need for a riot to force the issue. It’s depraved indifference at best to restrain a person and not then pay careful attention to their condition.

                Prude – Same as Floyd.

                Taylor – Lied on the warrant. Simple as that. The PO said no suspicious packages were delivered at that address, but the police claimed on the warrant application that suspicious packages were being delivered there.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                RE: Floyd
                The autopsies are pretty damning. Timeline too for that matter. Unless there’s evidence backing up the idea of OD (possible but not on wiki) I’d call it some flavor of manslaughter/murder.

                RE: Prude
                The cops had 2 EMTs right there helping them deal with Prude and the timeline is much shorter. The autopsy is also less damning, i.e. says all the drugs he was on contributed. Prude was also more clearly insane and aggressive than Floyd.

                Given how far over the line Floyd’s guys were, I’m not sure if “less damning” actually means anything (not as far over the line can still be over the line), but we may only be hearing about Prude because the case is similar to Floyd.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Pretty sure we heard about Prude because of Floyd (Prude was March, Floyd was May).

                EMTs & Police: My understanding is that EMTs are always subordinate to the police on scene, so while EMTs may have been on hand, AFAIK, police are not obligated to listen to anything the EMTs say. Personally, I think this is bass ackwards and changing that would go a long way towards eliminating a class of death by responding police (that of people in medical crisis not responding to police orders and getting dead because of it).Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                I haven’t watched the video but the wiki doesn’t suggest that the police were ignoring the EMT’s advice.

                (that of people in medical crisis not responding to police orders and getting dead because of it).

                From the wiki, Prude bounced back and forth between following orders and resisting arrest. He was also naked, screaming, insisting that he be arrested and a cop give him his gun.

                They had to hood him, he threw up, and stopped breathing. The cops realized he was in distress 3 minutes and 10 seconds after he was restrained and had the EMTs step in. The time between him going into distress and them figuring it out might have been less than a minute.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Those hoods are a loose fine mesh. You can see through them quite easily. Even if you vomit in them, I doubt you would be in serious trouble.

                From USA Today:
                In the case of Prude, officers applied force for several minutes to his head and back as he lay on the pavement. He lost consciousness after officers cut off his breathing. Prude was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead on March 30 after being removed from life support.

                In her autopsy report on Prude, Monroe County Medical Examiner Dr. Nadia Granger made no mention of the spit hood. She ruled Prude’s death a homicide caused by “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.”

                The hoods do evoke images of hooded prisoners, or lynchings, etc., so I think that is why it’s getting attention, but there is no indication the hood had anything to do with Prude’s death.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                If the report stopped there then it’d be just “the cops did it” (like with Lloyd).

                The medical examiner’s autopsy report ruled Prude’s death a homicide as a result of “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint”.[12][13] The report found contributing factors included “excited delirium and acute intoxication by phencyclidine, or PCP”. (wiki)

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excited_delirium#CauseReport

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Contributory, but not primary.

                Basically, if your suspect is acting wonky, DO NOT apply weight to the head, neck, or chest unless you are a trained medical professional and are actively monitoring vitals.

                Or, hey, don’t do it even if they are acting normal.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                “Do Not” isn’t enough. What we need is “this risk free technique is what you do when he’s resisting arrest”.

                Now I’m not an expert in the use of force so maybe something like that exists.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David
                Ignored
                says:

                One of the problems with all of this is that there is no such thing as a risk-free technique when it comes to any physical altercation.

                None.

                Tazers have risks, chokeholds have risks, putting a knee on someone has risks, and so on. Each and every time we think we have a non-violent solution, and we teach the police to use said solutions, there is a 100% chance that at some point, it is going to come back to bite someone in the ass; the person we want to be restrained, the police trained to use the method, the city who invested in the training, and so on.

                Because there are no risk-free methods.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Agreed, everything has risk, which is why you have to look at the entirety of the situation.

                Hypothetically, you have a guy whose acting odd. You make contact, decide he needs to be restrained for everyone’s protection, and put the cuffs on him and sit him down. End of physical force until either the EMTs take over, or it’s time to get in the car.

                If, however, the guy (because he’s having a medical crisis of some sort) is non-compliant, and the cop(s) have a bit of a rodeo getting the cuffs on, they decide to enact some non-judicial punishment by sitting on the guy, which aggravates the crisis and kills him, then we have a problem.

                Because the cops should not be enacting non-judicial punishment just because someone was non-compliant.

                Floyd sure struck me as NJP.
                Prude is probably NJP.
                McClain looks like NJP.
                Linden looks like NJP.
                Vidal (back from 2014) was NJP*.
                Thomas (from 2011) was NJP.*

                Once the cuffs are on, it needs to be hands off unless you are performing 1st aid or getting them into a vehicle, and even then, it needs to be the minimum needed to achieve the goal. Cops don’t get to take out their anger on people. This is the rule, even for total a*holes getting the cuffs put on. You aren’t allowed to slam the monster’s head into the car frame while saying “Watch your head, sir!”, you sure as hell aren’t allowed to abuse people in medical crisis.

                *Those two really stand out in my memory.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                If, however, the guy (because he’s having a medical crisis of some sort) is non-compliant, and the cop(s) have a bit of a rodeo getting the cuffs on, they decide to enact some non-judicial punishment by sitting on the guy, which aggravates the crisis and kills him, then we have a problem.

                My impression is the issue is less punishment for the sins of the past as it is an effort to make things easier going forward.

                Once the cuffs are on, it needs to be hands off unless you are performing 1st aid or getting them into a vehicle, and even then, it needs to be the minimum needed to achieve the goal.

                From what I remember of the video, the cops were unable to get Floyd into the car, that was why they were sitting on him.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                “…going forward.”

                Doesn’t matter, not their job to rough people up for whatever justification floats their boat.

                “…why they were sitting on him.”

                Which is exactly what I said they shouldn’t do. You got three grown men there, if three men can not frog march a handcuffed man into a car, and that man’s name is not Bruce Banner, then that is a piss ass excuse.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Which is exactly what I said they shouldn’t do. You got three grown men there, if three men can not frog march a handcuffed man into a car, and that man’s name is not Bruce Banner, then that is a piss ass excuse.

                This brings us back to “what risk free-way can they use to force compliance (or eliminate the need for compliance)”?

                I should probably add to that “on someone bigger and stronger than you are” and/or “who is flipping out”.

                My impression watching the video is the issue was cars aren’t designed for this and they needed a car with an opening where they could just pick him up and drop him in.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                They have those. It’s called an ambulance.

                The key here is once the guy is cuffed, you are hands off. There was no legitimate need to put a knee of Floyd or Prude.

                Call for medical transport, when the ambulance arrives, officers help the EMTs load the guy up on the gurney and get him to the hospital for eval.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                They have those. It’s called an ambulance. Call for medical transport, when the ambulance arrives, officers help the EMTs load the guy up on the gurney and get him to the hospital for eval.

                The good news is this would work, and it’d just be a policy decision to change.

                The bad news is ambulance rides are not cheap (something like $1k) but having the cop sit on the guy until he cooperates is free.

                Now if refusing to get into the car earns you a trip in an ambulance then we should expect criminals to change their behavior and the police to come under a lot of budget/political pressure to not do this.

                Given how rare it is for people to die from this, the overall price tag per life saved will be very high.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                If our hypothetical guy is truly having a health crisis, he needs the ambulance ride, one way or another.

                If he’s not having a crisis, and is just being an ass and faking it, he gets a $1K bill from the city for wasting everyone’s time, and since it’s related to a LE activity, make it one of those fees you can’t just dodge. Cops can even use it as leverage.

                “Hey, buddy, get in the car. If I have to call an ambulance to take you into custody, you’ll get a $1K bill that you can’t wiggle out of.

                Problem solves itself.

                Regardless, there is no reason a cop should have to literally sit on a guy once they are cuffed. And if the keep getting up to run away, get some ankle chains. Or put them face down and sit on their legs. Putting body weight on the primary airway and/or blood flow to the brain is not an exact science, and should be avoided as much as possible.

                One other thing about a lot of this is less about race, or violence itself, but how casually, and callously, the police employ violence. And cell phone and body cam footage really brings it to the fore of the public consciousness. It’s not that we don’t want police to use violence, it’s that we want the police to not want to use violence. We want them to feel bad about having to use violence.

                Of course, that smacks right into the reality that we demand police deal with so much crap that they are going to get numb to it all. I mentioned once before that I don’t think Patrolman should be a career path. It should be more like a stint in the military or the reserves, where either you go career and become a detective in a few years (and you aren’t on the streets as much anymore), or you rotate out and go do something else for a few years to decompress.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                “Hey, buddy, get in the car. If I have to call an ambulance to take you into custody, you’ll get a $1K bill that you can’t wiggle out of.

                I thought this was a great idea for a couple of hours. Now I think there will be problems.

                The Supremes may disagree with charging someone fees for their own arrest.

                Lloyd swore up and down that he was fine and not resisting arrest. Either he can refuse the ambulance, which means we’re back to making him get in the car, or he can’t. If he can’t refuse then potentially abusive cops can drop a $1k “fee” on someone by just calling an ambulance for them.

                A lot of the people who the cops are going to be doing this for will be poor and black. This is an extremely expensive service which we’re forcing on them.

                Now if the city pays for it… we need to convince voters that it’s worth a million dollars to give 1000 ambulance rides and MAYBE save a life. That’s assuming the cops kill someone every 0.1% of the time in this situation and it’s likely they do a lot better than that.

                If they’re killing 1 out of 10k, then we’re asking the city to pay $10 million a life. And that life will be a junkie resisting arrest.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                The Supremes may disagree with charging someone fees for their own arrest.”

                Not actually sure about that, but let’s say that they are. Then the question is, was the person given the option to submit to the arrest via the squad car?

                Note that if he was not in a state of mind where he could legally consent to something, then the ambulance is warranted regardless.

                Either he can refuse the ambulance, which means we’re back to making him get in the car, or he can’t. If he can’t refuse then potentially abusive cops can drop a $1k “fee” on someone by just calling an ambulance for them.

                First off, bit of perfect being the enemy of the good here.

                Second, my unrelenting criticisms of modern policing aside, once the police decide to take you into custody [1], you need to go and let the lawyers hash it out. You get two options, you get in the car, or you get strapped to a gurney and potentially suffer the cost of the Ambo ride [2].

                Third, this is what body cams are for. You make sure you record yourself clearly giving the person the option to get in the car, or an ambo will be called and they may be liable for the cost if no medical condition is determined.

                Overall, though, we have to be clear regarding what we are trying to accomplish here. We want to avoid having police sit on a persons head/neck/chest who have already been restrained (cuffed) just because. If you need to sit on them to get the cuffs on, fine. But once cuffed, you pick them up and put them somewhere they can’t cause trouble and where they won’t be hurt (don’t leave them on searing hot pavement, etc.).

                So what is the justification for applying significant pressure on any portion of the primary airway AFTER they cuffs are on? How can we approach that differently.

                And I get your point regarding the scale of the problem, but we still don’t want people to die just because they interact with the police, just like we don’t want them to die during routine medical procedures. So when they die, we should look at why and if there is anything that can be done to avoid it in the future. Delegating arrests where the person is in a medical crisis to medical professionals, and demanding that the police step back to a support role once EMTs are on scene [3].

                [1] I’m honestly OK with this, I just want the police to be very judicious with doing so, and to pay a penalty if they do it capriciously.

                [2] If you are truly suffering a medical crisis, then insurance, or other programs will probably help, plus the cost of the ride will probably be a modest portion of the final medical bill.

                [3] Actual EMTs who are functioning as EMTs, not on-duty cops with EMT training. Too easy for a person to fall back to their current primary role.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                First off, bit of perfect being the enemy of the good here.

                We’re trying to squeeze out a very small percentage of a very large situation. We’re also dealing with multiple sets of bad &/or irrational actors. I’m looking for reasons this wouldn’t be an improvement.

                I think it works on paper well enough we should try it in a city or three and see what happens. We should especially see how expensive it actually is.

                we still don’t want people to die just because they interact with the police, just like we don’t want them to die during routine medical procedures.

                People die during routine medical procedures at much higher rates than the police have. We just don’t have riots when that happens.

                Big picture I think you’ve answered all my questions and your ideas are great. However, I am not sure if society is willing to pay this much. Insisting that “this is unacceptable” won’t make an expensive solution more popular than pensions.

                Budget choices is part of this situation. We don’t train our police to the same degree as our soldiers because we don’t want to pay them to train for a third(?) of the time.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                People die during routine medical procedures at much higher rates than the police have.

                Good point! Why don’t we have riots?

                1) The risk is explained before hand.
                2) When a person dies on the table, nobody starts a PR campaign talking about how brave the doctor was and how the patient didn’t really deserve to live.
                3) Many hospitals now take the time to sincerely apologize to the families and explain what went wrong, and accept responsibility for any medical errors. Because doing so helps avoid the next item.
                4) There is a well trod way to seek compensation for damages due to negligence or incompetence.

                Oftentimes, the police are their own worst enemy.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                The root difference is we don’t typically insist the doctor be tried for murder.

                If we’re going to insist that someone wear a black hat then the cops are going to try to make sure it’s not them. Everything else follows from that issue.

                As far as I can tell, their culture for how to deal with this come from the idea of “accident any cop could make” or “it could be me”.

                Claiming that “they are their own worst enemy” only works if there are better alternatives.

                After you shoot down someone like a dog, I’m not sure what you do to make it better short of jail time of the person pulling the trigger.

                Mike Brown of Ferguson’s relatives are STILL convinced that their child was murdered and the cop should be put in jail. Trying to explain to them that he deserved it is a non-starter even if it’s true.

                This is in the context of an unlimited amount of resources being used to establish facts and ergo establish what justice should look like.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                Mike Brown of Ferguson’s relatives are STILL convinced that their child was murdered and the cop should be put in jail. Trying to explain to them that he deserved it is a non-starter even if it’s true.

                I don’t think that talking about whether the decedent in a police shooting deserved it is very productive, given that it’s a much stricter standard than what we should be using to determine whether the shot was a crime. If you point an unloaded gun at police officers and don’t drop it when they tell you to, you don’t deserve to die, but we still shouldn’t prosecute a police officer who didn’t know the gun was unloaded for shooting in that situation.

                It’s okay to say that the decedent didn’t deserve to die, but nevertheless acted in such a manner that the police officer had good reason to believe that the least bad option was to shoot. The culpability of the decedent is irrelevant on account of him being dead—all that really matters now is the culpability of the officer(s) involved.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
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                says:

                The culpability of the decedent is irrelevant on account of him being dead—all that really matters now is the culpability of the officer(s) involved.

                Unfortunately, the best way for the officer to not be charged with murder is to try to increase the culpability of the dead guy. This strongly incentivizes a shit throwing contest where each team doesn’t trust the other.

                Now we could move to a truth and reconciliation model. We handle it as a failure of the system, try to learn from what happened, and move forward. The police are allowed to testify on their own behavior and given a pass from the criminal justice system if it’s truthful.

                This might reduce the number of police we sent to prison, but that number is already close to zero.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                The police are allowed to testify on their own behavior and given a pass from the criminal justice system if it’s truthful.

                This is the kicker. It’s a truth that needs to be established by other objective facts as determined by an investigator who is not interested in a predetermined outcome, i.e. a given department can not be allowed to investigate it’s own officers.

                Each state should establish a civilian review board that investigates such things, one with no ties to any LEA it reviews. And give it the ability to pull all evidence from a given case, and the power to suspend (without pay) and possibly revoke the credentials* of any officer who obstructs or otherwise refuses to cooperate with the investigator.

                That said, we can’t give a pass just for truth. What if we have something like the cop in Texas? From what it sounds like, he killed a man for not listening to him. There has to be a line, or we are basically telling police that they can kill anyone and as long as they testify truthfully, the worst we can do to them is pull their badge. Here ya go, here is your badge and gun, and it comes with one free murder as long as you tell the truth and are OK with being a normal citizen again.

                I mean, I’m fine with a truth and reconciliation model for the ‘well shite, I screwed up**’, but even a doctor who exhibits gross negligence or callous disregard for life will find himself facing criminal charges. You show up for heart surgery high as a kite and that isn’t just going to be a review board and a ‘tsk tsk’.

                *We really need to stop acting as if any given person has a ‘right’ to be a cop. It’s a power and thus a privilege. We’ve allowed the Unions to paint it as a right for far too long.

                **Assuming the police actually try to find problems and make changes, and don’t just say ‘aw shucks’ and keep on keeping on. This is why settlements should, at least in part, come out of the pension or ‘widows and orphans’ funds.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Relatives are convinced because almost every police investigation looks like a good ole boy whitewash.

                Police have destroyed their own credibility time and time again. Stop pretending that this is somebody else’s fault. Look at the Tommy Le shooting from King County, WA. The department said it was a good shoot. Except the kid who was charging them with a knife was actually holding a pen and walking away from them (was shot in the back).

                Now maybe your desire for a T&R model down thread will help that, but something like this has to, at the very least, result in the pulling of credentials. Even if we look at that and say, “Hey, he made a mistake, let’s not send him to prison.”, he needs to not be a cop anymore, he clearly can’t be trusted to make good decisions under even moderate stress. And since, as you say, we aren’t willing to put cops through the kind of training we do the military, we need to filter the ones who can’t handle it naturally out of the force as soon as they are identified.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Here ya go, here is your badge and gun, and it comes with one free murder as long as you tell the truth and are OK with being a normal citizen again.

                I expect being listed as a self-described murderer on wiki will cause problems.

                And I readily admit that this isn’t perfect justice, however I’d rather have “one free murder and now a civilian” than “[x] free murders and stay a cop” which is what we have now.

                even a doctor who exhibits gross negligence or callous disregard for life will find himself facing criminal charges

                Presumably if you’re a Prosecutor who thinks he can make a case without T&R, then there’s an off button somewhere.

                This is why settlements should, at least in part, come out of the pension or ‘widows and orphans’ funds.

                Similarly, we could have all deficit spending come out of Social Security. I don’t think that’s realistic, nor do I think when we drill that down to a city it’s likely to be fair or legal. Pensions (unlike SS) are a contract. If we’re having a contract between A & B be ripped up because of actions of C where neither A nor B knew or approved of those actions, then I’m not sure how that works.

                Relatives are convinced because almost every police investigation looks like a good ole boy whitewash.

                We had Obama and a Black FBI head run this investigation and it didn’t make a difference. That is just the tip of a very large mountain of evidence.

                If Obama and Holder (and, later, Bell) can’t create a trustworthy investigation because of all the history, race baiting, and “blood libel”, then we’re past the point where just getting rid of whitewashing is going to be enough.

                Further the advantage of T&R is we’d presumably have the backing of the police and their allies and not have to deal with anti-reform efforts like going against the law of gravity.

                something like this has to, at the very least, result in the pulling of credentials.

                Agreed. Note big parts of T&R is making everything public, so if someone is claiming to be a dangerous utter incompetent then one hopes no one will hire them and no insurance company will back them as a cop.

                Further “immunity” is earned. If you go up there and are caught lying about what happened, then you’re worse off. Better still, this should be doing a lot to dismantle the blue wall of silence.

                we need to filter the ones who can’t handle it naturally out of the force as soon as they are identified.

                Also agreed. And that is also a big part and purpose of this.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                The medical examiner was largely wrong, but what you have to realize is that medical examiners are like anyone else who needs work. If business is slow, they can write up a report citing the police for murder, cause a bunch of riots and unrest that’ll get a whole bunch of people killed, and bang, lots more business for the medical examiner!Report

              • Avatar Swami
                Ignored
                says:

                OK, we agree that Blake was legal but procedurally suspect (to say the least.) Hopefully it will lead to improved procedures going forward.

                The USA Today reports that Chauvin’s knee hold was “allowed in Minneapolis” at the time it occurred, and has since been (appropriately) prohibited. Thus I don’t think it was illegal, nor do I think Chauvin will be convicted by a jury. I could be wrong though.

                On the Prude case, I am not even sure what the cops did wrong. He certainly didn’t die due to “illegal police violence.” The man was a mess, even worse than Floyd.

                On the Taylor case, everything I have read is that they had a legal warrant, but that as a result of this case no Knock warrants have since been prohibited.

                I don’t see the pattern of “illegal police violence”. I see a pattern of “piss poor” police procedures that endanger lives needlessly and that need to change and already are being changed. Peaceful protests have helped drive this change. Looting and riots haven’t done anything positive at all, except drive division into America and undermine the rule of law.Report

              • Avatar James K
                Ignored
                says:

                Your police routinely break into people’s houses, fire weapons unprovoked and beat people (sometimes to death) where it was definitely unnecessary to do so.

                If these were the actions of a dystopian government’s stormtroopers the writing would be considered heavy-handed. And while people given power will inevitably misuse it at some rate, the fact those that do are not punished meaningfully will utterly destroy people’s faith in the police.Report

              • Avatar InMD
                Ignored
                says:

                As Oscar said I think your only mistake is the statement that what they do is illegal. On the contrary…Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Rule of Law yoReport

              • Avatar Swami
                Ignored
                says:

                James,

                Can you please let us know the source of the empirical study which shows that cops in the US “routinely” break into people’s houses? I am not aware that they routinely do this without either cause or a warrant. Are you? Please do supply us with comparisons to other countries with similar crime rates. Or is your data anecdotal based upon your media consumption?

                I am also not aware that they routinely fire weapons or beat people for no reason. Certainly this was not the case in any of the four riot-inducing cases the media has broadcast endlessly. Was it?

                I certainly agree we should reconsider some police practices and improve accountability for abuse. Again, though, I am not aware that the US is any better or worse in this regard than any place else with similar crime rates. Nor am I aware of any studies which reveal that the abuses have gotten worse compared to other decades. What has changed is the social media filters on reality.

                It is up to a jury to determine if a crime has occurred in any of these high profile cases. They should not be tried in the media. And it is certainly not acceptable for people to riot, assault and burn down innocent businesses prior to the trial or as a way to attempt to override a jury.

                You do not seem to realize that people are rioting NOT because of what the police are doing or not doing. They are rioting because the leftist media is inciting them and providing cover to do so by gaslighting us into believing that our cops are racist murderers.

                Please try to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.Report

  3. Avatar CJColucci
    Ignored
    says:

    Is the mis-spelling of “actually,” which I’ve now seen enough to know it’s deliberate and not a typo, some internet meme I didn’t get the memo on?Report

  4. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    It is unfortunate that American mythology celebrates revolutionary violence, because it allows everyone smashing a window or shooting a cop to imagine himself a latter day Patriot, making a stand for Liberty in the face of Leviathan.

    And as many have pointed out, lawless violence is a game that anyone can play. But as has also been pointed out, demanding that people respect the law are absurd if the structure of the law is unjust.

    So we as citizens are given a dilemma of how to resolve our desire for order, with a recognition that sometimes lawless violence is in fact the right solution.

    For me, the key to resolving this is to grasp that our perspective is limited and entirely different than others. I don’t experience the same legal system as someone else, and the level of justice I get from the system is very different than the level of justice they get.
    While I live in a free and liberal state, its possible that someone only a block away experiences a state that is brutal and unjust.Report

    • Avatar Swami
      Ignored
      says:

      “While I live in a free and liberal state, its possible that someone only a block away experiences a state that is brutal and unjust.”

      And it is also possible that we can gaslight everyone to believe that the state is unjust and racist by using biased selection to highlight every example of police conflict with black males while burying every example (twice as common) of conflicts with white males.

      We don’t need to argue this any more, but some of us are pretty sure that the police are LESS racist and that the justice system is MORE just now than any time in the history of our nation, and that what is different is that the left and their media outlets are peddling this BS narrative for political and monetary gain. We are a long way from perfect(always the case), but the Riots are over a propagandized version of reality which is being spoon-fed to us in our daily news feed.

      This doesn’t end well. To fix a problem, we must first understand and frame it properly (police accountability).Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        You’re arguing that you see reality of Black American lives clearly, but tens of millions of them have a false view of their own lives?Report

        • Avatar Pinky
          Ignored
          says:

          It’s possible for a culture to get messed up, right? I mean, they all are messed up at least a little. Some problems are easier to spot from the inside, but sometimes it’s easier to spot them from the outside. Possibly the worst thing that can happen to a culture is getting the idea that some outside force is oppressing them. I don’t know how much black-produced media you’ve consumed, but it’s single-minded. That can’t be good. And let’s be honest here, you probably think that most Southern whites vote in lockstep against their best interest, so why can’t it be true of most members of the African-American culture?Report

        • Avatar Dark Matter
          Ignored
          says:

          The BULK of people have a “false view” of various risks. That’s a basic human thing and why the gov mandates seat-belts and tries to oppose smoking. It’s why people are scared of spiders (body-count: 6.6 a year) but not driving (body-count: 30+ thousand).

          Social activists are claiming that the police are committing genocide on the black community. They’re laughably wrong about the math. Even if they’re acting in good faith, they’re still laughably wrong.Report

          • Avatar Brandon Berg
            Ignored
            says:

            Let’s call this what it is: The central premise of the BLM movement—that white people are committing genocide against black people—is a blood libel. BLM activists and the media are committing a blood libel.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels
              Ignored
              says:

              Today’s winner of the Victimhood Grievance Award.Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg
                Ignored
                says:

                I get that you don’t have the critical thinking skills to argue the substance of the point, but this is not the next best thing. Alleging a genocide that is actually happening is pretty much the dictionary definition of a blood libel. It’s not a question of victimhood—it’s an objective fact that this is a blood libel.

                You’re not Jaybird, and you’re not Mike Schilling. These snarky one-liners of yours are virtually never either insightful or funny.Report

        • Avatar Swami
          Ignored
          says:

          Chip,

          Millions of people, of many races, are protesting their view of a narrative indoctrinated into them by people just like you.

          Yes, I believe the narrative is in effect propaganda. I have already explained why, with statistics, multiple times. You argue back that anecdotes prove otherwise. I argue that anecdotes prove nothing In a nation of 300M if biased, and prove statistically that they are indeed biased and also supply the explanation for who benefits by the bias. We don’t need to re-argue these again.Report

        • Avatar Brandon Berg
          Ignored
          says:

          You’re arguing that you see reality of Black American lives clearly, but tens of millions of them have a false view of their own lives?

          You have a crucial misconception about how black people form their views on police shootings. Police shootings are far too rare for the vaunted “lived experience” to be a major factor here. Police fatally shoot about 250 black people per year, or about one out of 180,000. If the average black American has 180 close acquaintances, only about 1 in 15 will have a close acquaintance killed by police in his or her lifetime. For white people it would be about 1 in 40.

          Black people are getting their misinformation on this topic from the same sources as you: Social media and/or hack journalists. The only people who are even close to being reasonably well-informed on the topic are those of us who are actually looking at the big-picture statistics, instead of piecing together a fantasy narrative based on cherry-picked anecdotes.Report

  5. Avatar Aaron David
    Ignored
    says:

    I think this is a very good piece, Kristin. So good I am going to push back on something;

    What libertarians want violence?

    Surely you can provide some quotes or tweets showing this? Because, I gotta be honest, I am not seeing a want for some sort of war. Meeting immediate violence with proportional violence? Sure. But not riots. Not murders. Not war.

    But, we have seen leftists calling for violence:

    Report

  6. Avatar Swami
    Ignored
    says:

    This is my question too, Aaron. I am to date unaware of this radical libertarian wing which supports looting, arson and pillaging. Seems to me as logically consistent as a group of meat eating vegetarians. Some examples from Kristin or someone else would be appreciated.Report

  7. Avatar Brandon Berg
    Ignored
    says:

    We, the people, at least not those of us living in the year 2020, never granted the government power to kneel on a guy’s throat till he died.

    FYI, if you’re alluding to the George Floyd case, that didn’t actually happen. Chauvin kneeled on the back of Floyd’s neck, a bit to the side. Floyd was on the ground face-down with his head turned to the side. This is an important difference, because jamming your knee into a person’s trachea for several minutes is pretty much guaranteed to kill him, while the position Floyd was in was much less dangerous.

    I can’t find it now, but I remember seeing a video of two men from one of the former Yugoslav countries demonstrating this hold. The bigger guy, easily two hundred pounds, put literally all his weight with one knee on the back of the smaller guy’s neck, using only one hand against a wall to stabilize himself, and the guy on the bottom was able to continue breathing and talking. This simply is not an inherently deadly hold. This may or may not have contributed to Floyd’s death, but it’s unlikely to have killed a healthy, sober person.Report

    • Avatar George Turner
      Ignored
      says:

      In weightlifting, the back of the neck is a rest position for the barbell. You can order pads on Amazon to make the hundred or so pounds of weight sit there more comfortably.

      Eating your entire supply of fentanyl to destroy the evidence, on the other hand, is not recommended. You can seem Floyd do that on the body cam footage, with the bag in his mouth as he’s sitting in his vehicle.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg
        Ignored
        says:

        That’s not quite the same, though. Even in a high-bar squat, the bar is at the top of the thoracic spine, not on the neck, and the weight is pushing downwards, parallel to the spine, rather than into the neck. The force is applied to a different part of the body, in a completely different direction.Report

  8. Avatar Stillwater
    Ignored
    says:

    “Americans don’t like police states.”

    Well, everywhere except *here* anyway. We have the highest incarceration rate in the world.Report

    • Avatar Swami
      Ignored
      says:

      I prefer a high incarceration rate to a high crime rate, if forced to choose between the two. Indeed, the choice isn’t even close.

      And is a high incarceration rate synonymous with “police state”?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater
        Ignored
        says:

        The land of the free has the highest incarceration rate in the world, Swami. Some myths are on the line here.*

        *One is that Americans don’t like police states.Report

        • Avatar Swami
          Ignored
          says:

          Is a “police state” synonymous with a high incarceration rate?

          Would YOU prefer to live in a state with more rape, murder and looting and fewer criminals in the pokey?

          Is a person more or less free in a state with rampant crime and insecure property?Report

          • Avatar Stillwater
            Ignored
            says:

            So, the US is cursed with more rapists and murders than *every other country* on the planet?

            To echo Trump., we, as a society, have bad genes bro. Our people are defective….

            We’re not the land of the free, we’re the home of the sociopathically depraved.Report

            • Avatar Swami
              Ignored
              says:

              So, to answer for you, no the definition of police state does not revolve around incarceration rates. It usually involves “a nation in which the police, especially a secret police, summarily suppresses any social, economic, or political act that conflicts with governmental policy.”

              There are many of us who would rather live in a society with minimal crime, even if this results in more incarceration of habitual criminals. You may disagree, but I am sure you can understand and empathize with our priorities.

              The US has murder rates which are an order of magnitude lower than the worst places in the world. South America and Africa have much higher murder rates than the US. The US does have much higher murder rates than most of Asia or Europe. Not sure how productive it will be to delve into why under this OP.

              But to loop back to the original comment. No, Americans do not like to live under police states. And no, incarceration rates don’t disprove this in any way.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                “So, to answer for you, ”

                This is perfect.Report

              • Avatar Swami
                Ignored
                says:

                No, “perfect” would have been YOU answering what a police state is. You, however, chose to keep changing the subject and hoping an inconvenient definition didn’t crop up.

                You are the one who suggested that incarceration rates imply a police state. When pushed back you then switch the argument to places with high incarceration rates can’t be considered free. When pushed back on this you shift to some nonsense about the US being the hotbed of rape and murder.

                There are quite a few people on this site who have started to think that a valid argument is the same thing as a sarcastic tweet.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve seen this before, Swami. You’ve already decided what constitutes “good policy” and work outwards from there to justify your presumptions. But the bare fact remains that the US isn’t the land of the free, Swami. It’s the land of the highest incarceration rate in the world.

                I’m only here to invite you to consider why that might be.

                Add: OK, that’s not entirely true. I’m also here to blast you for the 100% pure, undiluted bullshit you very frequently spew. .Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                lol. We all, including Kristen, use terms with their conventional meaning. But then – THEN! – you don’t like that usage so you challenge the definition as I – *I* – am using the word in an unusual way.

                I expect this stuff from Catholics and ideologies, to be honest. This sense that our *normal language* is a constitutive part of a conspiracy orchestrated by nefarious forces to undermine American values and all that other bullshit.

                But look, to play it fair because you’re the one all agitated about what I mean when I use a *word*, why don’t you define it so that it excludes what you don’t want it to include. And then, because I’m the type of person who I am, I’ll just suggest we create another word which means the same thing as I intend, and we can actually discuss the criminal justice system instead of parsing semants.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Any moderators out there who can help?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve written two replies to Swami and neither of them has shown up in commenrts.Report

        • Avatar George Turner
          Ignored
          says:

          3% of the population demographic commits over 50% of the homicides, but we don’t want to talk about that.Report

          • Avatar Swami
            Ignored
            says:

            And one third of police abuses/mixups get 100% of the media attention.

            We are seeing the gaslighting of America.

            This doesn’t end well, as Kristin keeps trying to remind.Report

            • Avatar Stillwater
              Ignored
              says:

              “And one third of police abuses/mixups get 100% of the media attention.”

              Seems to me that if 1/3 of all cop interactions are so FUBAR that they deserve media scrutiny the whole system needs to be torn down.

              See how easy it is to play this game?

              Adding: all I can figure is that you’re on a Cop pension, Swami, or the son of a cop family. Your reflexive defense of cop behavior, and CJ behavior in general, doesn’t make any sense to me coming from an ordinary citizen. In fact, it’s counter ordinary citizen.Report

              • Avatar greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                “Why doesn’t the news report when cops arrest criminals and nothing goes wrong!!!!!”
                Umm they do, it’s in the paper everyday day. Like every single day i read in my local paper about a suspect being arrested. And then they have the temerity to also report when the cops F up.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                There are approximately 43,279,681 shop windows in America.
                But somehow, the 0.001% that get broken in protests somehow get all the coverage.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Also, how many days in a row did Rick Moranis *NOT* get punched?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                “Also, how many days in a row did Rick Moranis *NOT* get punched?”

                Look, I get it. But In your effort to blast Chip you’re reinfocring the argument that the important metric is the times the cops *didn’t* abuse their authority.

                I mean, I’m symp[athetic bro. Beating Chip holds a lot of psychological weight for you, enough that flipping on a principled restraint of police abuse seems worth it. But consider this: if you did that you wouldn’t be able to claim the high principled ground you like to dominate.I know you like it up there in the rarified air. Be careful!Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Actually I thought he was playing along in the “Silly Statistical” game, like “Most planes land safely” sort of thing.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Nah. Jaybird is like Trump in that his views are always cynical and his words are loose enough for plausible deniability. Given him rope and he’ll try to hang you.

                I’m sure he loves his wife and kids…Report

              • Avatar Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Eh, it’s more that I was running with the whole “93% of Protests were Peaceful” thing.

                Having 93% of cops be good cops is *NOT* a particularly good stat.

                Now, it does allow a good deal of hope… hey! We only have to fire/replace 7% of cops!

                But pointing out that 93% of the cops are good is not the winning argument that cop-supporters think it is.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                “Rick Moranis went 23, 582 days without being punched. Therefore, liberals shouldn’t punch Richard Spencer until at least the 30,000 day mark..”Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Heck, I didn’t even get to use the “out of billions of encounters with police in the USSR only a tiny percentage resulted in death.”Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Don’t waste that one on Jaybird. Use it on Swami.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Heck, I didn’t even get to use the “out of billions of encounters with police in the USSR only a tiny percentage resulted in death.”

                You say that like it supports your argument. What problems are you claiming that the US has to the same degree as the USSR?

                Or is the USSR just a stand in because comparing the gov to Nazi Germany would be too obvious and you don’t have anything other than the accusation?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Its my longstanding point that even in the USSR there was a very large group of people whose lives were comfortable and pleasant, and who supported the government.

                And these people made arguments very much like yours and Swamis, that the dissidents and horror stories that the Westerners loved so much were just isolated atypical cases, not at all representative of the truth.

                And they weren’t lying, they were just speaking from a parochial viewpoint.

                For a contemporary version, look at the op-ed in the NYT from that Chinese official supporting the restoration of law and order in Hong Kong.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                And these people made arguments very much like yours and Swamis, that the dissidents and horror stories that the Westerners loved so much were just isolated atypical cases, not at all representative of the truth.

                If we count corpses, the USSR killed many tens of millions of it’s own citizens (and that’s just the tip of it’s iceberg of repression).

                Elevating 13 dead a year into the USSR’s vast ocean of blood is great rhetoric but terrible math.

                We get to call these deaths to “isolate atypical cases” because bees and lightning are each killing FAR more people.

                We can point to every lightning death or bee death and say, correctly, it would have been trivial to prevent it. Ending them ALL would require societal investments and structural changes that aren’t going to happen.

                It’s not clear to me that we even know how to end all lightning strikes and bee sting deaths because it’d require no-mistakes and collective action.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Look around the world right now at all the regimes we consider to be authoritarian.
                China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela. Or any of the minor 3rd World regimes that don’t even make the news.

                Where are the death camps, the killing fields, the massive piles of corpses?

                There aren’t any. If you took a stroll down Beijing or Moscow or Havana, what would you see?

                Normal people living pleasant ordinary lives, and most of whom strongly support the regime.

                If you interviewed them, what would the people living there say?

                Wouldn’t it sound a lot like our conversation, where one person talks about Putin’s murder of opponents, while another person talks about how this is overblown and more people die of bee stings than Putin.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Wouldn’t it sound a lot like our conversation, where one person talks about Putin’s murder of opponents, while another person talks about how this is overblown and more people die of bee stings than Putin.

                Very true. It’s possible to raise the bar for what “ethical” means to the point where the US can’t pass it. We should expect that if 13 deaths a year makes you unethical then all 4 of your examples have long since failed.

                Of course, adjust things for population and it’s possible that there are NO ethical countries after you raise the bar that high.

                Fundamentally you’re claiming 13 deaths a year is such a problem that society needs to be restructured.

                There are a ton of good ideas floating around on this forum on what that restructuring would look like… however I’m not sure that they’d be enough if any black death caught on video is enough to make us a racist country.

                I’m also concerned that the people who tried CHOP (our real world example of reform) expected it to be an improvement.

                The numbers we’re looking at are tiny. That means that we’re already doing a pretty good job, and there’s a lot of room to make things worse (i.e. CHOP). For example criminals kill something like 1000x as many innocent people as the police, so any reforms which make that even 1% worse would grossly outweigh any potential gains.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, you’re trying to use math, but the Mathematical Association of America has now come out and admitted that math is inherently racist.

                So we’ve had 13 unarmed blacks killed by police, and over 700 people murdered as a result of the protests and new limitations placed on policing. A person might claim that 731 is a larger number than 13, but that’s because such a person is racist.

                We’ve long since crossed the point at which a person graduating from welding school will have better logical reasoning skills and higher mathematical abilities than someone graduating from an elite university.

                Civilization is hard to maintain, and the woke brigades simply aren’t going to be capable of it.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Adjusted for population, which state kills more of its people, the US or Communist China?

                Do you think this sort of statistical comparison provides an accurate picture of the relative quality of life in each country?Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Well that’s a complex calculation, as each Chinese massacre would need to be adjusted for the population at that time. At the low end you’d have 4.5 million killed from 1949 to 1965, and 136,000 killed from 1966 to 1975. Adjusting for the current populations, at 1,000 people per year it’s going to take the US a thousand years just to catch up, assuming China magically stopped with all the massacres, executions, concentration camps, and organ harvesting.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                Adjusted for population, which state kills more of its people, the US or Communist China?

                In China that number would mean “executed by the state” and apparently the police never kill anyone; Even suicide mass-murder terrorists who die in combat with the police aren’t killed. We can either use that to support the idea of the perfect communist utopia or we can think they don’t release those numbers.

                Now the numbers that do get out should make us wonder if they’re engaging in genocide (and I mean the real exterminate-a-people genocide and not the overblown rhetoric which gets us to start fires).

                According to the NYPost, in one year alone China sterilized 20 million women.
                China is also supposed to be in the process of sterilizing a third of all Uyghur women.

                CNN claims China has put 2 million Uyghurs in mass detention centers (Uyghur population: Roughly 10 million).

                This looks a lot like a slow motion exterminate-an-ethnic-minority genocide. It should also put into perspective the Left’s claims of “mass imprisonment” and “13 people is genocide”.

                https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/21/asia/xinjiang-china-response-sterilization-intl-hnk/index.html

                This is a real example for your “for some people it sucks” argument. Pick a random Uyghur and you’re also running a strong chance of detainment and sterilisation. The math doesn’t support that for the US.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Rounding up people into camps and sterilizing women against their will…

                No way can any sane person defend that.Report

              • Avatar Swami
                Ignored
                says:

                Your fake quote reveals that you did not get the point. The point is not that the media highlights the mistakes, that would be appropriate. The point is that they are gaslighting us by focusing 100% of the attention on mistakes or questionable confrontations involving blacks and then implying that these prove murderous racism.

                Did that help?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                “The point is that they are gaslighting us by focusing 100% of the attention on mistakes”

                So we need a more *celebartory* media which focuses on those instances when cops *don’t* kill unarmed people they view as threats?

                Chirstamighty dude. Media doesn’t work that way. You’re irredeemable.Report

              • Avatar greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                How does exactly does “100% of the attention” work? By my calculations it isn’t over 72% of the attention. Or more seriously, that’s nonsense. There are many incidents that don’t make the news and there is plenty of cop friendly news coverage.

                (eye roll) gaslighting. Yet another word or phrase in modern usage that is overused at best or meaningless at word. Throw it on the fire with virtue signalling and burn them. Yes burn the phrases.

                People already believe their is a significant problem with how cops treat people in general and POC specifically. Blaming the media is a handy distraction tactic. But that is all it is, an attempt at distracting.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                People already believe their is a significant problem with how cops treat people in general and POC specifically. Blaming the media is a handy distraction tactic. But that is all it is, an attempt at distracting.

                The cops kill a hair less than a thousand people a year.
                Something like 30% of those are black (link below says it’s more like 20% but unknown is a catagory).
                In those numbers we have the WoD, suicide by cop, mental illness (about a third), high on drugs, shear criminal stupidity, and police incompetence.

                Adjusted for number of police encounters, and this seems to be less than the number of whites killed.

                I get the emotional impact of the media broadcasting Floyd’s death, but I struggle to see room for racism in those numbers.

                Dying at the hands of the police is already less likely than winning a lottery. Innocent and dying at the hands of the police is like winning a BIG lottery. That we know the name of the person who died doesn’t change that.

                I think it’s entirely appropriate to point out that the media’s show is seriously misrepresenting the frequency and likelihood of this. The emotional impact and cherry picked “proof” doesn’t change the math of this.

                https://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/

                On a side note killed while unarmed and black is something like 13 (not percent, just 13). We have more than 3 times as many people killed by lightning strikes.

                https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2020/06/23/fact-check-how-many-unarmed-black-men-did-police-kill-2019/5322455002/Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Yes, but doesn’t lightning mostly kill white males on the golf course? If they’re not a protected victim class, nobody cares.

                In any event, the number of innocent unarmed blacks getting killed by police should be on par, after demographic adjustment, with the number being killed annually by hornets, wasps, and bees, which from 2000 to 2017 killed 1,109 Americans.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter
                Ignored
                says:

                If “Unarmed” + Black is 13, then 18 years of that would be 234, so death by insect would be 5x higher.

                Much worse, “Unarmed” doesn’t mean “innocent”. We’ve done a couple of deep dives on shootings where that was the case. Mike Brown of Ferguson is the stand out example.

                These are tiny numbers. If the media went on for days on the racist attacks of bees on blacks and cherry picked every death as genocide, we’d see very similar coverage. More presumably because they’d have more to work with.Report

              • Avatar Slade the Leveller
                Ignored
                says:

                Much worse, “Unarmed” doesn’t mean “innocent”.

                Have we abolished the presumption of innocence now?Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s a tactical question. If you’re trying to run over a cop, you are technically unarmed yet using lethal force. If you’re a Wookie who’s about to rip a cops arms off, you are also technically unarmed. If you point a realistic looking prop-gun at a cop, you are technically unarmed. If you’ve got a cop down and are strangling him or about to break his neck, you are technically still unarmed.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Then it’s not a question of innocence, but of immediate threat.

                Unarmed does not mean guilty, but it also doesn’t mean harmless.Report

              • Avatar Swami
                Ignored
                says:

                This entire thread is kind of funny. As I have tried to write several times my point has absolutely NOTHING to do with the media focusing on mistakes. I already said focusing on mistakes and abuses is what the media does and probably should do. Cops make mistakes and we should hold them accountable. I will join THAT peaceful protest any day.

                My point is that it is extremely biased to focus only on the one third of mistakes where a black person is involved while ignoring the two thirds where others-than -blacks were involved and then spinning the narrative as one of murderous, blatant, anti-black racism. The media is not presenting a narrative of police abuse, they are creating a fictional narrative of out-of-control racism.

                If the media wanted to peddle a story of the police despising fat people, all they would have to do is replay any video of abuse when it happens to occur to a chubby person, while suppressing all videos that don’t fit this narrative. . We could then get a radical political group started called Fat People Matter, and we could get popular chefs and famous sumo wrestlers coming out and decrying how it is open season on the “big boned.”

                DM, BB, George and I have all supplied the statistics (repeatedly) that reveal how you are being gaslighted. Some of you just like embracing the lie.Report

              • Avatar George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                City Journal just published a very good article on the overall subject. <a href=Learning from Breonna Taylor, which is filled with stats, numbers, and perspective. For example:

                A database of lawsuits filed against the NYPD, maintained by the Legal Aid Society, shows that between January 2015 and June 2018, just 74 (3 percent) of 2,387 suits were resolved in favor of the defendants. More than 830 (35 percent) of those cases were settled. And an empirical analysis of cases filed against police found that qualified immunity was invoked to defeat just 38 (3.9 percent) of 979 cases in which the defense could be raised.

                It goes on to discuss some good ideas on changes qualified immunity, but infrequency of its current use would indicate that it’s really not a significant element of anything that’s happening, and any reform wouldn’t really change very much on the ground.Report

  9. Avatar Oscar Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    @Dark Matter
    Down here, in reply to this.

    Regarding telling the truth, I’ve mentioned these before, it’s called a Garrity Statement (IIRC), so such a thing already exists, it just doesn’t include any meaningful penalty for people who are not fit to be officers. Which gets us back to where do we draw the line on when we pull credentials versus internal punishment. Right now, pulling credentials is nearly impossible almost every where, so that is one of those first things that need doing.

    As for a DA making the case without the T&R, I’m fine with that, but the DA has to be someone who has no relationship to the police, like a special prosecutor (maybe, I’m not clear on the rules for something like that).

    Which gets to the larger point where I think we agree, everything is just too cozy and ingratiated. As much as I despise cop unions, I think our first steps need to be pulling the investigations out of the hands of any LEA and having a statewide OPR* that can not be bound to any LEA or union agreements doing the work. When the OPR shows up, there is no Union rights or protections to hide behind. You make your Garrity statements, and if you are caught lying, your immunity evaporates and the OPR may recommend you for charges. If you are telling the truth, and the OPR decides your conduct was gross negligence or callous disregard (etc.), your credentials are pulled, and the Union can go pound sand**. Get in the way of OPR, and you can enjoy a month or more of unpaid vacation.

    *Office of Professional Responsibility

    **Back to my “Being a cop is not a right”. I know Saul thinks police work is a great way to get people into the middle class, but being a cop is not like being a public school teacher or a government office worker, and we absolutely should stop acting as if it is.Report

  10. Avatar Dark Matter
    Ignored
    says:

    everything is just too cozy and ingratiated. As much as I despise cop unions, I think our first steps need to be pulling the investigations out of the hands of any LEA and having a statewide OPR* that can not be bound to any LEA or union agreements doing the work. When the OPR shows up, there is no Union rights or protections to hide behind.

    I agree what you’re describing is how it should be done. However, I don’t think it can be done without first outlawing unions. I also think if it were somehow done without outlawing unions, in a few years, after this issue isn’t in the public eye, they’ll undo it.

    T&R seems like it’d be more accepted and thus more stable. Now the big political problem with T&R is no one is suggesting it and no one wants it. We have groups that want to arrest and try the police, dismantle the police, turn them into social workers, create some collectivist utopia, and/or leave the cops unaccountable. T&R might come out of this as a compromise.Report

  11. Avatar George Turner
    Ignored
    says:

    By the way, the Louisville Metro PD released everything related to the Breonna Taylor case, including an unbelievably large number of crime scene photos. Each spent cartridge got photographed at least twice, along with all the recovered bullets. Every hole, every trajectory. As for the files, heck, those even had the home phone numbers of every officer who was there.Report

  1. October 22, 2020

    […] matter how attractive it may seem, is not really a viable option here. And unlike many of those who seem to be rooting for civil war, I am firmly in the no war camp, because as a history buff I’ve learned that war is not healthy […]Report

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