commenter-thread

After this week?
I'd flip a coin.

Seriously.

What I find interesting about this stretched-to-the-absurd defense of the officers, is what it suggests about criminal defense in general.

In this incident we have cell phone videos from a couple of different angles all showing 10 minutes or so of clear video and audio. We have dozens of witnesses all testifying to the same facts. We have everything but a book entitled "Choking Suspects And Me, It Is My Bag Baby".

And yet...here we have people insisting that what we saw doesn't tell the story, and we can't possibly determine guilt.

If this is true here, wouldn't that be true generally? Like, for every single person accused of a crime, how can we possibly determine them guilty, when there is no video, no crowd of witnesses?

What if we granted every accused criminal the degree of presumption of guilt we are applying here?

So, kneeling on a seizing patient's neck who complains of breathing trouble...not a recommended treatment then?

And where in first aid handbooks would I find kneeling on his neck as a treatment for seizure and breathing difficulty?

"This guy was seizing and having trouble breathing. So instead of calling an EMT, I put him on the ground face down and then knelt on his neck for 8 minutes."

"Why didn't you throw him in the water and see if he floated?"

"Well, that's just silly. He didn't show any signs of witchcraft."

In downtown the neighborhoods have created Business Improvement Districts (BID) and each BID has a team of uniformed safety officers who ride around on bikes and perofrm low level conflict resolution, like removing belligerent transients from stores, or checking in on homeless people and calling EMTs if they need medical attention, or just acting as general eyes and ears on the street which by itself reduces crime.

Most street crime is really just the low level petty stuff- shoplifting, drunken scuffles and loud but verbal fights. The sort of stuff Broken Windows talks about, but rarely demands a fully armed response.

It seems like there is a real opportunity to have an intermediary level of law enforcement which doesn't come armed with body armor and helmets.

Maybe a letter writing campaign would be helpful.

President Donald J. Trump
1600 Black Lives Matter Avenue
Washington DC 20500

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/bowser-black-lives-matter-street/2020/06/05/eb44ff4a-a733-11ea-bb20-ebf0921f3bbd_story.html

This is why we need to attack this on multiple fronts.
Not just the legal mechanisms like QI or civilian review boards but also the broader culture that valorizes the militaristic policing model, and a culture that views minorities and the poor as hostiles who must be suppressed.

Its also tied to public support.

Like how police commissions themselves are intended to oversee the department yet are invariably staffed with people who turn a blind eye to misconduct.

Or how elected police chiefs could in theory be used to provide oversight, but the candidate who is most enthusiastic about getting "tough on crime" wins.

I'm hoping that in future elections, promises to "get tough on police brutality" will be the winning slogan.

Related:
"A public Zoom call hosted by the Los Angeles Police Commission to discuss the George Floyd protests didn’t go well for the department. In a session that lasted nearly nine hours, caller after caller harshly criticized the LAPD’s response to the protests and demanded that LAPD Chief Michel Moore resign."
https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/lapd-public-zoom-call-over-230543136.html

I've seen versions of this critique before, where a CRB is just a thin veneer applied over the basic structure of self-policing in the department.

Disciplinary procedures need to be removed entirely from the police department and handed to an outside agency that can terminate them.

Internal Affairs- Las Vegas: The Rat Pack!