July 11, 2020, 09:18:36 AM

Author Topic: Politics and other ailments of the real world  (Read 337702 times)

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3570 on: June 16, 2020, 04:03:55 AM »
I want to add a bit of nuance to the poverty-causes-crime rebuttal. Poverty is a major cause but not the only cause. Poverty is the most important cause and the one we can do most about.

That said, "poverty" means much more than "not enough money." It means the whole cascade of conditions that follow in the wake of insufficient funds, which is one reason why simply giving more money to the poor doesn't "fix the problem."

And that having been said, it's worth noting that the phrase "the poor are always with us" is a line that goes back two thousand years. It's also worth noting that the phrase already has "us" and "them" built right in. Which is another way of saying this is not an easy fix. It's more like a permanent project.

One of the benefits of recognizing institutionalized racism is that it leads in part to removing barriers. If poverty is hard to fix, at least we can work on ending the built-in handicapping based on race. At least ensure our fellow citizens all are working on a field more level than it is now.

And one of those institutional, systemic barriers is how police departments operate. It's a thing we can change.

I agree, but Dickens' was more succinct in The Christmas Carol:

"They were a boy and girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.

“Spirit! are they yours?” Scrooge could say no more.

“They are Man's,” said the Spirit, looking down upon them. “And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree; but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased."
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Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3571 on: June 18, 2020, 12:28:26 PM »
Well Atlanta is about to find out how it gets on without its police force. Nothing official yet but it looks like over 70% of precincts have walked after the DA's press conference and announcement that he will be prosecuting both officers involved for a combined13 felonies in regard to the Rayshard Brooks shooting.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation who investigate police shootings who have an ongoing investigation were unaware of this and say they will continue their investigation and provide the DA with their conclusions upon which the DA is supposed to make his case if appropriate.

FWITW the situation is horrible, but the shooting looks legal under American law.

@The Gem Cutter I was doubtful of your assessment 6 months ago now I am not sure it goes far enough.

Offline Magnus Hedén

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3572 on: June 18, 2020, 12:51:35 PM »
If the shooting was justified, their names will be cleared, yes? (I know nothing about the specifics of this case, so I'm speaking generally.) What are these police officers afraid of? They'd rather quit their jobs than face the idea that they'll be held accountable for their actions? Police shouldn't be exempt from accountability. On the contrary, they should face double the scrutiny because of the powers they hold.

Now, I imagine the police have internal ways of dealing with shootings that precede criminal prosecution, but those are clearly utterly fucking broken. Cops in the US have been murdering people in cold blood, safe in the knowledge that a cop can shoot an innocent, unarmed, sleeping person in their own home -- and not even lose their job (this and equally absurd things have happened; look up reports on some of the hundreds of hashtag names being passed around).

So yeah, maybe they're going overboard with this particular case. But something has to give, and that means holding cops accountable for when they shoot and kill people, even if every case doesn't end in a prison sentence; the cops clearly don't give a shit about the consequences for the people they shoot and their loved ones -- perhaps they'll care if they know there are consequences for themselves.
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Offline Peat

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3573 on: June 18, 2020, 02:23:24 PM »
I'm generally pro-police but really, yeah, if they can't cope with that sort of scrutiny and criticism, then they should be gone anyway. And honestly my main worry is how many of them are just going to go right off and join groups like the Proud Boys or whoever. Assuming they haven't already.
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Offline Skip

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3574 on: June 18, 2020, 04:35:26 PM »
All they did was call in sick. Which means they have left the streets without their protection--a protection which they repeatedly and loudly claim is so very important that civilian society cannot dare tamper with it--and are enjoying a paid day off.

You're right, Peat. They are defending not themselves but an institution that covers and protects them. They cannot let the light of day shine in there because of what they know will be revealed.

Good riddance to them. Start again with new people and new rules.
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Offline Peat

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3575 on: June 18, 2020, 05:32:42 PM »
On a different slant - here's the tale of a town using its own currency to survive Covid.

Honestly, I'd like to see more of this. Too much money in this world flows into coffers away from the communities where it's spent.
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Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3576 on: June 19, 2020, 01:59:18 PM »
Quote
If the shooting was justified, their names will be cleared, yes? (I know nothing about the specifics of this case, so I'm speaking generally.) What are these police officers afraid of? They'd rather quit their jobs than face the idea that they'll be held accountable for their actions? Police shouldn't be exempt from accountability. On the contrary, they should face double the scrutiny because of the powers they hold.

Yeah because when a political appointment like the DA decides to ignore due process you're sure of a fair trial. I mean deciding to prosecute before receiving the evidence from the people tasked to supply it must be unbiased right, maybe doing away with the trial and moving straight to sentencing would be appropriate? You can have the society you ask for but you won't like it. I think I will stick with the rule of law.

Rayshard Brooks fell asleep in a drive thru line and officers woke him up and asked him to move, and he fell asleep again, so they got him to move again and performed a sobriety test which he failed and when they tried to cuff him he ran and fought both officers taking a taser from one of them which he shot at the police. An officer returned fire killing him.

The reason he ran over nothing was he was either on parole or probation (reports unclear) and presumably didn't want to go back to prison on a violation. Like many police shootings it escalated from a very minor charge and would have been unlikely to have happened in Europe. America has different laws and different issues.

Offline xiagan

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Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3577 on: June 19, 2020, 03:25:05 PM »


"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Peat

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3578 on: June 19, 2020, 03:42:05 PM »
Scrubbed, possible overreaction, really not happy with the promotion of prejudice as long as it's against the right people.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 03:54:52 PM by Peat »
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Offline Skip

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3579 on: June 19, 2020, 03:46:35 PM »
>An officer returned fire killing him.
This is a valid statement only if the officer shot a taser back at him. Otherwise, it's just gunning a guy down.

I'm with the post made by xiagan. My daughter taught for several years in a school with difficult, violent young people. It was the same dynamic. The way you deal with a dangerous situation is by remaining calm, knowing how to use restraing techniques (which emphatically do not include choking the student), and most importantly being answerable to others for what you do. Not to other teachers, mind, but to review by outsiders.

Yes, it's a pain in the neck. Yes, it's stressful and even dangerous.

Defund the police is a needlessly extreme and silly slogan. My proposal is, demilitarize the police. No more hiring vets. Maybe require three or five years of social work. No more keeping the profits from seized goods. No more buying military-grade equipment. And have citizen review boards instead of Internal Affairs. Make cops answerable to the communities they serve. The only immunity would be for cop whistleblowers.

That'd be a start.


Offline Peat

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3580 on: June 19, 2020, 04:02:04 PM »
On Rostum's point -

We don't know what evidence the DA has. We don't know whether the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is going slow, we don't know their record. So I don't know how fair it is to cast doubt on the bias levels. It's quite possible the DA is the less biased one here.

And in any case, they'll still go in front of judge and jury and can make their case. If the DA is acting without sufficient evidence, it'll come out.

But - even if these points are wrong - even if this is a complete stitch up - for them to reach straight for the protest button at this stage of events, and to cease doing what they assure us (and I generally believe) is an incredibly important job, over just facing charges, is still grossly inappropriate and a betrayal of their duty. If they're not capable of putting the job first then yeah, they shouldn't be there.
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Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3581 on: June 19, 2020, 04:26:11 PM »
The opinion of a social worker comes without any bias at all? In this country the likelihood would be they are left of centre to far left. Empathy is not deemed an alt right trait. After all 'not all cops' is a truer statement than 'all cops' but now its become a matter of faith not critical thought at this point. If you assume all cops are corrupt murderers how is that different and acceptable from all men/women/blacks/Asians....Or are cops allowed to be dehumanized without offence?

I doubt many of you are aware that the most likely person to die by a service weapon is its owner. The statistical likelihood of a police officer discharging a firearm in the line of duty is once every 10 years.
26 American police have died by gunshot to date this year 25 by vehicles 8 of whom were run over at least 4 deliberately.

While the narrative is police are murdering black people and everywhere people are getting behind this if you look at the stats this is less true than it was in 2000. About half the number of police shootings and a tiny fraction of the deaths in custody but it is far easier to demonize the police. I still maintain that America is mad and the level of shootings is insane. A bad day in the USA sees more death by police than a year in Europe.

Read up on what BLM actually want and believe in see if you are still comfortable getting behind them. Abolition of the nuclear family may be a sticking point for a few. Then lets talk about their silence on the huge number of black on black killings in America and how those lives are ignored by BLM. My thought is they have fanned racial tensions as much as any right wing group in America.

Now think about policing Chicago where 20 young black men get shot to death in a bad day and for not very much money at all you are expected  to put on a uniform and ensure there is some semblance of law and order

For those who think defunding the police in a nation with lots of guns and little social conscience is a good idea. Please explain why? My thought is the first thing to go would be the training budget.

Any deaths by police anywhere are a tragedy and may be a travesty of societies expectations. They must however by judged by the laws of that nation and police held to account by the same laws they are there to enforced, not by social media. The three hundred or so hours of police shooting I watched were horrific but nearly all ruled legal when I looked into case law and escalation my view was changed from this is crazy and why do the police get away with it. To this is crazy but legal within US law. That doesn't make it right or any more sane.

A few names for you to look up David Dorn, David Underwood, Joseph Hutchinson and Tony Timpa where are the riots  protests for them?

@Skip

Quote
An officer returned fire killing him.
This is a valid statement only if the officer shot a taser back at him. Otherwise, it's just gunning a guy down.

Absolutely against police training within the USA police escalate use of force. Go for a cop with a knife he will shoot you. That would also be legal and true for civilians in most states.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2020, 05:17:57 PM by Rostum »

Offline cupiscent

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3582 on: June 20, 2020, 12:52:19 AM »
I doubt many of you are aware that the most likely person to die by a service weapon is its owner. The statistical likelihood of a police officer discharging a firearm in the line of duty is once every 10 years.
26 American police have died by gunshot to date this year 25 by vehicles 8 of whom were run over at least 4 deliberately.

Not sure what you mean with all this, but I just went and did a quick google and I got: "1,034 people have been shot and killed by police in the past year" (in America - and that link is a fascinating rundown on the statistics over the past five years). It would seem to me that a lot more other people are being killed by service weapons than cops. And yes, probably a number of those shootings were legitimately "justified" (not just "legal") but my view is that every single death should be subject to scrutiny to ensure that better results weren't possible - even if it's about improving training, procedures, philosophies rather than punishment for anyone involved.

"Defund the police" is not a position of having no law-enforcement in society. It is about turning away from the existing model to ones that actually work in creating safer communities for everyone.

At present, most US police departments have very little training, and most of that seems to be in defending themselves. They are the worst possible people to be called to, say, an incident of mental health breakdown, or indeed any situation that doesn't require force, because all they know how to do is restrain and arrest. I have seen stories where people who told their therapist they were contemplating self-harm were reported to the police - because no other channels exist - and then had to try to avoid getting arrested or shot on top of coping with their (previously non-violent) suicidal episode by themselves.

"Defund the police" is about shifting to a model where other channels do exist, or at least where "police" means people who are also trained to deal appropriately with the situations that they are called to. Where they have training in de-escalation and crisis management, where they have priorities beyond "get home alive", where they have other resources to call upon and the support within the organisation to make use of them as needed. Where "success" isn't measured in number of arrests. Where people don't hesitate to call the police, because that might just make things worse.

I think in the US it needs to be broader than just that sort of change. As Rostum says, the US has some big problems in its laws and overall structures. But saying "the problem is too big" gets nothing done, and there must be change because when the cops go to work heavily armed and afraid - and they certainly seem to be afraid of black folk - then it's just trouble waiting to happen. It's dehumanising to everyone involved, making corpses and murderers out of people who should be able to live better lives.

But this need for change has existed for a long time, and except for isolated pockets, it has not been happening. The US seems to only respond to significant (and usually economic) pressure, so honestly, I don't see what recourse there is except going out and shouting and refusing to be complicit and, yes possibly, breaking stuff.

Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3583 on: June 20, 2020, 02:05:31 PM »
Quote
Not sure what you mean with all this, but I just went and did a quick google and I got: "1,034 people have been shot and killed by police in the past year" (in America - and that link is a fascinating rundown on the statistics over the past five years). It would seem to me that a lot more other people are being killed by service weapons than cops. And yes, probably a number of those shootings were legitimately "justified" (not just "legal") but my view is that every single death should be subject to scrutiny to ensure that better results weren't possible - even if it's about improving training, procedures, philosophies rather than punishment for anyone involved.

The Link is dead to me but it is the database tracking police shootings/involved deaths this has only existed for 5 years and is actually part of the improvement I was talking about. I find it horrific that nobody was looking at this nationally until 2015.

So for a 300+  million population there were about 700,000 police in the USA + 300,000 civilians in police support roles in 2018 I suspect less now. Legal means they were legitimately justified. The officer was literally within the law. When there is a police shooting or when a police officer draws their gun there is an investigation. Of those 1034 killings and about 3000 shootings the police will have been found to act appropriately and legally in over 98%. Unlike in Europe and I guess Australia where officers make a controlled shot as a last resort American police escalate force and are trained to shoot until the suspect is on the ground and no longer moving.

The Police in most states need to pass a basic training course and do a refresher every 6 months  plus receive training in new technology and techniques as they are developed and sign off on anything that becomes prohibited such as chokeholds in a lot of states. There is of course the two years as a probationary officer (same as the UK) where they are mentored by a senior officer and undergo physical, phycological and stress testing by professionals before they qualify. There are a lot of dishonest actors on the training issue and Facebook is not the best source of information. I do not believe they are as well-trained as UK police but are in a different environment policing different laws and turnover is much higher in America.

Now America has guns and drugs and poor mental healthcare and is largely dysfunctional as a society and now there is a near universal call to defund/disband the police. May I ask who you want on hand to protect your kids during the next school shooting or when 'peaceful protesters' are prepared to kill you to loot your shop?

I watch the CHAZ with interest and wonder if the first death in this new nation will be from dysentery or Raz Simones armed goons executing the undesirables. I guess it's more likely an accidental discharge from the poorly disciplined and incompetent but if this is a microcosm of America without police then cool you get warlords!

I suspect a lot of decent officers have and will quit and when the police are defunded whichever private security contractor steps in will be infinitely worse, Blackwater maybe they did a bang up job in Iraq I am sure they will do fine in Minnesota.

Offline Skip

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #3584 on: June 20, 2020, 04:47:25 PM »
It has been said countless times (it's been said on this very thread), but it bears saying again: few are saying eliminate all police forces. The vast majority supporting the slogan "defund the police" are saying something more than mere reform is needed because reforms have been tried for over a century to no effect. If anything, the problem is getting worse.

So, one radical action is to dissolve the current police force, go through a new hiring process and create a *new* police force that will operate under an ethic not based on military-style us-vs-them mentality. I'll reiterate my earlier suggestions: stop buying military grade weaponry, don't hire military veterans, institute civilian review at least of accusations of police violence. There are plenty more reforms that are being suggested.

Leave aside the omg who will protect your children line. It's based on a false premise.