Fuck Tha Police (or not).

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Vash
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Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Vash » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:22 pm UTC

How do we fix the police? Do the police need fixing?

There is obvious misconduct in numerous situations. Almost anyone has seen it on the news or heard of it from a friend, if been at the receiving end of a little bit of it (or more than a little bit of it). Many crimes are never investigated. People are arrested, detained, beaten, and/or killed, having committed no crimes. Racism is systematic. Harassment is too common and too poorly judged. Dealings with rape are a complete fiasco. Peaceful protests are broken up needlessly, infringing on freedom.

On the other side of things, in what ways are the police justified? For one, they are the only public service (at least that I know of) that provides investigation, enforcement, and protection. The police also maintain order. In terms of actions that appear unjust, is decision making truly different for police officers? Does the danger of the job warrant paranoia?

I was thinking that one thing that could improve the police dramatically is to make their purpose less muddled. If they are muscle, let them be muscle. Investigation should be a separate public service (in particular, crimes could be reported to the investigative service). Enforcement and maintenance of order are also contradictory with protection in many cases, I think. I am not sure how you could have two separate forces for that without some kind of fighting. Perhaps the conflicts could be resolved by some kind of judicial decisions in individual cases? (However, what kind of effect would that have on the judicial system?) I imagine there are lots of potential fixes as well. This is only one issue to think about.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Praevalere » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:07 am UTC

I believe the greatest prevention of crime the police are responsible for is simply existing as a known deterrent for social conscience.
Your morality might tell you its wrong to hit someone else, but when they really piss you off the only thing (hopefully) stopping you is the knowledge that there will be serious repercussions.
As for their actual physical contribution? The implications of being unable to be an omniscient omnipotent protecting and serving force is irrelevant, people still commit crimes knowing they might get caught. Taking that risk is inherent in recidivism. Its up to society's moral code and individual lifestyle circumstances that ultimately will predict criminal behaviour.
Cut it off at the head. Completely ostracize the demographics most responsible by taking away consumerism. I would prefer administered products instead of a free market if it meant 90% reduction in crime.
As for violent crimes, captives to emotion that we are its almost unfair to judge someone against the backdrop of democracy when parliament has the cold and clinical view of humans born with inherent good and a matching value system to the governments justice system until your in an argument with your neighbour and can't help but clean his clock. Personally I detest violence as the lowest form of cognitive behaviour (if you can call it that) but its unavoidable lest we employ thought control/police. What was that film where they could predict criminal behaviour and attempt to prevent it? Some crap like that

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:17 am UTC

First things first, you need to understand who is in charge of who.

You've got national law enforcement, such as ATF and FBI. You've got State Troopers, and finally county police. Generally speaking, county policemen have major issues, but they also have the least amount of funds. Counties with huge crime problems lose businesses, losing tax revenue, losing the money needed for county police officers. This means the quality of Police drops for that county / city.

At the end of the day, the quality of the police force always comes down to simple matters:
1. Personnel -- You need a strong police chief, who enforces high standards for all of the officers he/she is in charge of. In my county, the Police Chief is an elected official. (In other counties, the Police Chief is appointed by the Mayor, or County Council). A strong leader can only build and improve a police force however, so the county's citizens need to elect a quality Chief (or choose a good Mayor who can select a good Chief for them).

From there, there's an issue of quality and quantity. You can go on a hiring spree, and get more men in uniform. However, this decreases the quality of police officers. You can have a more rigorous selection process (ex: All police officers in my county have at least an Associate's Degree + police specific training after they're hired. In addition, you need 20/20 vision and pass various strength tests. Running, pushups. There are mental tests, like a Polygraph, Psych Exam, etc. etc.). The problem with high standards is that you won't get as many police officers hired, and that is somewhat of a problem in my county. Here... more Police Officers are retiring than there are policemen getting hired. So our police force is shrinking.

Basically, ease the hiring standards, and you'll get more assholes in the police force. Strengthen the hiring standards, and you potentially won't have enough police officers to adequately protect the citizens. True, the mental exams and polygraph exams may not be completely effective (IIRC, Polygraph exams are a waste of time and money), but the general concept is there. Stronger requirements generally make higher-quality police officers. Weaker requirements will have lower-quality police officers (who'd abuse their powers more).

2. Money -- People need to get paid as well. Police Officers with college degrees demand more money, (because they can just go find a job somewhere else. Especially if they're a good, hardworking, well-educated person). Police require equipment, etc. etc. This is a bit simpler, more money, the better the police can perform... but only to a point. Finding good, quality police officers is the real hard job.

--------------------------------

Aside from that, there isn't much you can do. Sure, we've got say, the FBI and ATF who's sole job is to be those "investigators" that you talk about in your post... but the power of the FBI is far scarier IMO than many of the powers a typical policeman has. (Ex: http://www.infowars.com/fbi-has-spy-pro ... ll-phones/ ).

And as far as Personnel and Money is concerned... the FBI is a national agency. They have the power to recruit around the entire country, and have a budget of $8 Billion+ dollars. Its the President's job to appoint the FBI Director (with approval of Congress), who eventually choose the heads of the agency.

So really, choosing a better President, as well as more intelligent Congressmen will lead to a better FBI Director.

-----------------------

Specific abuses of police officers can be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by the legal system. Congress writes laws that detail what the FBI can do. At the State and County levels, the Governors and Mayors have a similar responsibility to appoint good individuals to power.
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Qaanol » Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:54 am UTC

You know how they have video cameras in police cruisers? How about video cameras on police uniforms, like the hat/helmet or maybe on the lapel? Microphones too. That way whenever police are on-duty, their actions are being recorded. Make it policy that the recordings must be kept for…let’s say at least a week before they can be erased, and they must be made available in the event of a claim of police misconduct.

Obviously there are monetary costs to this, and there would be provisos on releasing information that compromises investigations in progress. But too, if a police department claims a particular recording must be kept confidential, a judge would still be able to view it in order to determine whether it is material to a complaint against the police, in which case the judge could allow its use.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby lutzj » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:26 am UTC

Qaanol wrote:You know how they have video cameras in police cruisers? How about video cameras on police uniforms, like the hat/helmet or maybe on the lapel? Microphones too. That way whenever police are on-duty, their actions are being recorded. Make it policy that the recordings must be kept for…let’s say at least a week before they can be erased, and they must be made available in the event of a claim of police misconduct.


The only issues I can see are 1) that would be costly, although this sort of thing is getting cheaper and more convenient and 2) more importantly, allowing the public to see what police officers had been doing at request would probably be a bad idea, with crime scene data being rather sensitive an all. Releasing it to internal affairs organizations and courts in the event of indictment could definitely be a good move.
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby elasto » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:54 am UTC

Further to that, it should be explicitly legal for a member of the public to video record a police officer (or any public worker) while they are performing their duties in public. ie. it should be illegal for a police officer to interfere with a member of the public for the sole purpose of preventing a third-party video recording taking place.

(There are numerous examples of police being camera-shy to a worrisome degree - the latest of which perhaps is this)

One counterbalance to 'power corrupts' is to increase the independent oversight - and you can't get more independent than any random member of the public being authorised and empowered to create a permanent visual record of any public servant's actions.

Everyone else in society has to accept there is no such thing as privacy while in public - that their actions can and will be recorded at all times - and it simply has to be drilled into every police officer that that principle is no less applicable to them. Simply the fact that it may happen to them at any time should increase the quality of their work and dissuade them from acting in counterproductive or corrupt ways.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:13 am UTC

While video is a good idea (and everyone has a camera in their pocket today. Even the crappiest cell phones have cameras...)

There's a number of things you can do even without a camera, although I'm not entirely sure how much of it is specific to my state. If the Police pulled up in a car, there is a license tag. Write down the tag and file a formal complaint. You can also request the officer's identification, write that down and also file a formal complaint.

The camera can be a double-edge sword, because it may piss off an unruly officer off even more. While you have the right to film the officer, that doesn't change the fact that the police officer probably is larger and stronger than you. The formal complaint route can be done after-the-fact, and the officer can't do anything to stop you from filing the complaint. Of course, camera footage probably would help your case against the officer.
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Praevalere » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:43 am UTC

lutzj wrote:
Qaanol wrote: ... in the event of indictment could definitely be a good move.


sorry :D call me pedantic but I lol'd

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Aaeriele » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:37 am UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:There's a number of things you can do even without a camera, although I'm not entirely sure how much of it is specific to my state. If the Police pulled up in a car, there is a license tag. Write down the tag and file a formal complaint. You can also request the officer's identification, write that down and also file a formal complaint.


There's a reason why police officers have badge numbers.
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Soralin » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:08 am UTC

lutzj wrote:
Qaanol wrote:You know how they have video cameras in police cruisers? How about video cameras on police uniforms, like the hat/helmet or maybe on the lapel? Microphones too. That way whenever police are on-duty, their actions are being recorded. Make it policy that the recordings must be kept for…let’s say at least a week before they can be erased, and they must be made available in the event of a claim of police misconduct.


The only issues I can see are 1) that would be costly, although this sort of thing is getting cheaper and more convenient and 2) more importantly, allowing the public to see what police officers had been doing at request would probably be a bad idea, with crime scene data being rather sensitive an all. Releasing it to internal affairs organizations and courts in the event of indictment could definitely be a good move.

I've thought about this before, and it doesn't seem like it would be that expensive. I mean, most standard definition TV programs that you can download are typically encoded at around 500Mb/hour, and do that with very little noticeable loss of quality or artifacting. So using that as a standard, 40 hours/week * 52 weeks/year (possibly some time off or overtime or something there, but whatever), gives about 1Tb/year/officer. Now, you can get a 2TB external hard drive for under $100, so even if you recorded everything, and stored it forever, it would still cost less than $50/officer/year (probably a bit more for other things, like computers, and maybe an extra staff person to store and retrieve records, and physical space to put old drives), and that would come down more over time as storage gets even cheaper. There would also be the cost of the cameras, the previous is just data storage costs.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Sockmonkey » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:39 am UTC

The thing is, people tend to forget that cops have badge numbers in a tense situation but they do remember that a cell phone has a camera since they tend to play around with them at other times and thus are more familliar with that than with takng down badge numbers. The camera also provides proof of your claims of misconduct.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby elasto » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:58 am UTC

You say the cop acted like an asshole, the cop says you acted like an asshole. Who is going to be believed?

Video evidence >> An uncorroborated complaint. That's why cops should not be allowed to prevent recording without cause.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jun 24, 2011 1:22 pm UTC

elasto wrote:You say the cop acted like an asshole, the cop says you acted like an asshole. Who is going to be believed?


You file a formal complaint against the cop. The cop said you acted like an asshole.
Two weeks later, another guy files a formal complaint against the cop. The cop also claims that guy was an asshole.
A day later, another guy files a formal complaint against the cop...

At this point, the cop needs to find a better excuse.


Sockmonkey wrote:The thing is, people tend to forget that cops have badge numbers in a tense situation but they do remember that a cell phone has a camera since they tend to play around with them at other times and thus are more familliar with that than with takng down badge numbers. The camera also provides proof of your claims of misconduct.


And that is why I'm telling you right now. Remember the badge number. Remember the cop's license plate. Request for identification. You may not always have a cell phone on you, and you should know what to do in that kind of situation.

Even then, you need to film the right stuff. Clearly get the form of ID for the cop (phone cameras are kinda crappy, you may not be able to get a solid ID on the guy if you film randomly).
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:09 pm UTC

Soralin wrote:I've thought about this before, and it doesn't seem like it would be that expensive. I mean, most standard definition TV programs that you can download are typically encoded at around 500Mb/hour, and do that with very little noticeable loss of quality or artifacting. So using that as a standard, 40 hours/week * 52 weeks/year (possibly some time off or overtime or something there, but whatever), gives about 1Tb/year/officer. Now, you can get a 2TB external hard drive for under $100, so even if you recorded everything, and stored it forever, it would still cost less than $50/officer/year (probably a bit more for other things, like computers, and maybe an extra staff person to store and retrieve records, and physical space to put old drives), and that would come down more over time as storage gets even cheaper. There would also be the cost of the cameras, the previous is just data storage costs.


Cheaper than that. The $100 per 2TB external drive is what you pay, not someone who is buying 10,000 of them will pay. Especially if there are "tax incentives" for making a sale. Plus, as demand goes up, technology improves at an even faster rate.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby elasto » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:04 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
elasto wrote:You say the cop acted like an asshole, the cop says you acted like an asshole. Who is going to be believed?


You file a formal complaint against the cop. The cop said you acted like an asshole.
Two weeks later, another guy files a formal complaint against the cop. The cop also claims that guy was an asshole.
A day later, another guy files a formal complaint against the cop...

At this point, the cop needs to find a better excuse.

A lot of rapes go unreported and you think most people are going to file a complaint against a cop when it's just their word against his? Especially if they are already a convicted felon? When it's nothing more than that the officer was overly aggressive or disrespectful? They will believe the complaint will simply get tossed in the bin whether that's true or not; the police looking after their own - circling the wagons and all that.

I fail to see how this is better than encouraging as many people as possible to record police officers at work in public and mandating that the officer cannot interfere with anyone recording them.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Glass Fractal » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:27 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:
elasto wrote:You say the cop acted like an asshole, the cop says you acted like an asshole. Who is going to be believed?


You file a formal complaint against the cop. The cop said you acted like an asshole.
Two weeks later, another guy files a formal complaint against the cop. The cop also claims that guy was an asshole.
A day later, another guy files a formal complaint against the cop...

At this point, the cop needs to find a better excuse.

A lot of rapes go unreported and you think most people are going to file a complaint against a cop when it's just their word against his? Especially if they are already a convicted felon? When it's nothing more than that the officer was overly aggressive or disrespectful? They will believe the complaint will simply get tossed in the bin whether that's true or not; the police looking after their own - circling the wagons and all that.

I fail to see how this is better than encouraging as many people as possible to record police officers at work in public and mandating that the officer cannot interfere with anyone recording them.


Can't they file a class action suit against him or something?

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:51 pm UTC

A lot of rapes go unreported and you think most people are going to file a complaint against a cop when it's just their word against his? Especially if they are already a convicted felon? When it's nothing more than that the officer was overly aggressive or disrespectful? They will believe the complaint will simply get tossed in the bin whether that's true or not; the police looking after their own - circling the wagons and all that.


I expect nothing. I'm giving advice. There are options available even if you don't have a camera.

elasto wrote:I fail to see how this is better than encouraging as many people as possible to record police officers at work in public and mandating that the officer cannot interfere with anyone recording them.


I don't see where the debate is... The concepts are not mutually exclusive. If you do have a camera, you need to get more than a blurry shot of the officer. Getting a clear shot of the officer's badge and license plate would go a long way in defending your case against the officer.
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby elasto » Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:15 am UTC

Well, this thread is about how we can improve the performance and behaviour of the police. Some states have gone so far as to make it criminal offence to record a police officer in public. I think if we want to improve standards the law needs to go the other way and make it an offence for a police officer to prevent recording without just cause.

Noone is suggesting the option of filing a complaint should be taken away, but, for those that have had a whole series of bad experiences with cops, or simply have never had faith in the cops to begin with, it should be expected that they will have no faith in the complaints process either. After all, they will think people must have complained before and nothing's changed, so why should they bother? They might even believe making a complaint will merely put a target on their head.

For such people especially, recording the officer acting like an asshole and then putting the video on Youtube and/or handing it over to the media should be an option open to them since it's quite easy to have faith that will get results. And even those who would have faith in the complaints process, publishing the video alongside an official complaint is still more likely to get better results quicker.

Oh, and it should be noted that a consequence of such a law (disallowing an officer from preventing recording without just cause) would almost certainly be all officers getting their own always-on cams. After all, there's bound to be cases of "Ok so that video looks really bad - but if only you saw what happened the 10 minutes leading up to that it would put my actions totally in context". Good cops (who presumably outnumber bad cops) will want the whole story to be seen.

So that's win-win all round, since these always-on cams will catch additional cases that otherwise would slip through the net.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Sero » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:50 pm UTC

This is a minor thing, but, I think it would also be good if police were actually required to obey traffic laws when not responding to emergencies. Or else actually codifying an exception for them to allow them to exceed speed limits due to their additional driving training or something. It just bothers me to see a police car going twenty or thirty miles above the speed limit without lights or sirens going. I'm not saying there aren't situations where they are legitimately responding to an emergency and yet can't have even their lights going, but I would be STUNNED if that was common enough to explain my experiences.

It's a little thing, but I do feel that if you let little ethical violations slide, big ones will follow.
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby elasto » Sun Jun 26, 2011 8:41 pm UTC

Sero wrote:This is a minor thing, but, I think it would also be good if police were actually required to obey traffic laws when not responding to emergencies. Or else actually codifying an exception for them to allow them to exceed speed limits due to their additional driving training or something. It just bothers me to see a police car going twenty or thirty miles above the speed limit without lights or sirens going. I'm not saying there aren't situations where they are legitimately responding to an emergency and yet can't have even their lights going, but I would be STUNNED if that was common enough to explain my experiences.

It's a little thing, but I do feel that if you let little ethical violations slide, big ones will follow.

I doubt one cop car would stop another for speeding (professional courtesy and all that) but, in the UK at least, if a cop gets caught speeding by an automatic speed camera without their lights going they are in serious trouble.

Oh, and back on this point:

KnightExemplar wrote:You file a formal complaint against the cop. The cop said you acted like an asshole.
Two weeks later, another guy files a formal complaint against the cop. The cop also claims that guy was an asshole.
A day later, another guy files a formal complaint against the cop...

At this point, the cop needs to find a better excuse.

Here's a demonstration, if it were needed, that marking yourself out by 'crossing' the police - by making complaints or otherwise - is potentially an unwise thing (unless you're lucky enough to have the media following your case).

Rochester police use selective enforcement of parking laws to harass attendees at a meeting in support of Emily Good

BoingBoing wrote:A followup on Emily Good, the woman who was arrested for video-recording a police stop from her front yard: during a neighborhood meeting in support of Ms Good, Rochester Police came out with a ruler and measured the parking-distance of the attendees' cars. Cars that were more than 12 inches from the curb (even by half an inch) were ticketed. Needless to say, the 12 inch ordinance isn't normally enforced with this kind of vigor.

There needs to be a 180 degree culture change whereby the police learn to welcome oversight of them by the public instead of being threatened by it and arresting people who record them - and an explicit law would help hammer home that message. Good luck on that happening any time soon though!

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:29 pm UTC

Giving Tickets out to people you don't like is kinda weak actually, especially if you can only give tickets out to the people who technically did break the law. We're not talking about arrests here, but probably a ~$70 ticket or something. Annoying yes, but if I were fighting for a cause, it'd hardly deter me.

I'm sure there are better examples of where Police screw up the system. (ie: The case where they arrested the lady for filming them). But handing out parking tickets more strictly to people you don't like... thats hardly a cause for concern IMO. Its indicitive that the police of that county are childish and immature, but if thats the best that they can do, I'm not to worried about it.
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby elasto » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:46 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Giving Tickets out to people you don't like is kinda weak actually, especially if you can only give tickets out to the people who technically did break the law. We're not talking about arrests here, but probably a ~$70 ticket or something. Annoying yes, but if I were fighting for a cause, it'd hardly deter me.

I'm sure there are better examples of where Police screw up the system. (ie: The case where they arrested the lady for filming them). But handing out parking tickets more strictly to people you don't like... thats hardly a cause for concern IMO. Its indicitive that the police of that county are childish and immature, but if thats the best that they can do, I'm not to worried about it.

I agree, but it goes to the mindset prevalent, doesn't it, which ties back into the opening post.

If everyone were as determined to fight police abuses as you purport to be, there wouldn't be an issue. But because people frequently do get intimidated by the police targetting them for arrest and harassment, without the media ever getting to know about it, the public need help in fighting back.

I've made my point that the police should willingly submit to being recorded, though, and I don't need to keep repeating myself. The thread can move on to different suggestions for how their performance can be improved.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Princess Marzipan » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:38 am UTC

A very good point made in one of the links above: The parking enforcement thing is an example of a system of laws so complex and specific that it's not feasible for your average person to know and comply with all of them. Meaning, everyone's a criminal. Selective enforcement allows officers to not arrest most people, until or unless the law broken is grievous, currently politically relevant, or if it's a law the officer wants to cite as an *excuse* to arrest you.

On a different note, I actually had a long conversation with a friend of mine about the thread topic over the weekend, with neither of us being aware of this thread or the Emily Good travesty. Full video and audio recordings of police actions was something we both also though is going to be necessary. But there was another idea I didn't see mentioned: make truth from police officers part of due process. If an officer lies to a citizen in the course of seeking a conviction, the case is thrown out. This will lead initially to a lot of thrown out cases, but eventually people will realize: oh, hey. We can trust cops now! At least as far as anything they say straight out. Anyone who's read Wheel of Time knows that an inability to lie isn't actually very detrimental to one's ability to mislead.
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Sanjuricus » Mon Jun 27, 2011 2:15 pm UTC

Speaking as Johnny Foreigner here so please forgive me if my view is skewed by distance and culture!!!
Seems to me that a good portion of US Police Officers (a small minority but in the context of public perception a VERY significant one) have forgotten that they are there to serve the public interest and to enforce the rule of law.
Maybe this is a symptom of the underlying gun culture in many American demographics taking its toll on the "humanity" of the cops....maybe it's something else. Maybe this kind of thing has gone unniticed by the media for decades and only in this new internet age has it come to light. I don't pretend to know the answer to this but I do know that the more often shit like the Emily Good case or the girl that was rugby tackled comes to light the less faith people are going to have in the force that is supposed to protect them.
I think it may also be worth stating I frickin love cops. They do a shitty job for what I understand to be fairly average pay (in the UK at least)and for the most part, they seem to do it quite well and with good humour. :)
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:12 pm UTC

I don't know about gun culture, but it's been a truism that a lot of people who apply for law enforcement jobs tend to skew towards the psychopath end of the spectrum. They're not psychopaths but they will score higher on psychopath traits. I was talking about this with a prison warden, she was saying that messed up stuff happens because there are people who apply for those types of jobs mainly for the power trip.

And then because the jobs are so tough, and you see so much terrible stuff, and you get shit all the time, so the "good" cops burn out, retire, or quit, which leaves the assholes in charge.
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Sanjuricus
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Sanjuricus » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:23 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:I don't know about gun culture, but it's been a truism that a lot of people who apply for law enforcement jobs tend to skew towards the psychopath end of the spectrum. They're not psychopaths but they will score higher on psychopath traits. I was talking about this with a prison warden, she was saying that messed up stuff happens because there are people who apply for those types of jobs mainly for the power trip.

And then because the jobs are so tough, and you see so much terrible stuff, and you get shit all the time, so the "good" cops burn out, retire, or quit, which leaves the assholes in charge.

Interesting. :)

Also, I think perhaps my use of gun culture could do with elaboration! I mean gun culture from the point of view of living in a country where citizens don't have any right to bear arms..."a no gun culture" so to speak, compared to how we kind of see the US: You can buy a gun in Walmart FFS!!!! A cop never really knows for sure if a citizen is packing heat or just pleased to see them!!! I'm talking gun culture in a much broader sense, not pistol packing home boys or latinos or whatever stereotype you wanna pick. :)
Mostly kind of almost...ish.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Thesh » Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:39 pm UTC

I don't think you can ever prevent douchebaggery in a position of power, but I wonder if having a single US Police Department as opposed to all sorts of state and local police departments would at least reduce it. The way it is now, if you have a small sheriffs department with a douchebag as sheriff, the deputies can get away with being douchebags as well (See: First Blood). If it is one centralized police department, there is at least someone to answer to.

We should also start a National Organization for the Prevention of Douchebaggery (NOPD) to watch the police.
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby omgryebread » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:41 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:I don't think you can ever prevent douchebaggery in a position of power, but I wonder if having a single US Police Department as opposed to all sorts of state and local police departments would at least reduce it. The way it is now, if you have a small sheriffs department with a douchebag as sheriff, the deputies can get away with being douchebags as well (See: First Blood). If it is one centralized police department, there is at least someone to answer to.

We should also start a National Organization for the Prevention of Douchebaggery (NOPD) to watch the police.
I'm always for centralizing power, but ohgod the backlash from this in the US would be enormous.
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Thesh » Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:43 pm UTC

"You know, Nazi Germany had a centralized police force."
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby KestrelLowing » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:11 pm UTC

omgryebread wrote:
Thesh wrote:I don't think you can ever prevent douchebaggery in a position of power, but I wonder if having a single US Police Department as opposed to all sorts of state and local police departments would at least reduce it. The way it is now, if you have a small sheriffs department with a douchebag as sheriff, the deputies can get away with being douchebags as well (See: First Blood). If it is one centralized police department, there is at least someone to answer to.

We should also start a National Organization for the Prevention of Douchebaggery (NOPD) to watch the police.
I'm always for centralizing power, but ohgod the backlash from this in the US would be enormous.


But the problem with centralizing anything is more and more bureaucracy. It's inevitable with a large organization. This tends to lead to the ability to hide in the ranks (not as good of cops not getting fired), lessens the power that individuals have (which may be a positive or a negative), and often will create a method of standardization that isn't always beneficial (what works in one department/city may not work in another).

So, I really don't think centralization is any sort of sliver bullet. If done well, it may help, but how many times have you seen the government do something efficiently and practically? It's always politics and bureaucracy.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Thesh » Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:16 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:But the problem with centralizing anything is more and more bureaucracy.


Bureaucracy is not necessarily bad. There are examples of bad bureaucracy, but most of the time it makes things run smoother and cheaper overall. I can't actually think of any examples in recent years of anything the US government moved from local to federal control. Any police department with more than a few employees is already bureaucratic. The question is do you want one large bureaucracy or thousands of small ones?

KestrelLowing wrote:but how many times have you seen the government do something efficiently and practically? It's always politics and bureaucracy.


Quite a few, actually. We only tend to notice the things they do wrong.
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Arrian » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:03 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:The way it is now, if you have a small sheriffs department with a douchebag as sheriff, the deputies can get away with being douchebags as well (See: First Blood). If it is one centralized police department, there is at least someone to answer to.


Well, yeah, the way it is now we can certainly get some Sheriff Joe Arpaios, but are they really worse than the TSA, or Department of Education commandos? Police power is police power and can be abused. At least with local jackholes, you can move out of their jurisdiction. Not so much with a national bureaucracy.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Thesh » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:36 pm UTC

It's not the organization that's the problem, it's the people. Centralization doesn't change the people, but it does add oversight and help reduce the more severe abuses of power.
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:11 am UTC

Thesh wrote:
KestrelLowing wrote:But the problem with centralizing anything is more and more bureaucracy.


Bureaucracy is not necessarily bad. There are examples of bad bureaucracy, but most of the time it makes things run smoother and cheaper overall. I can't actually think of any examples in recent years of anything the US government moved from local to federal control. Any police department with more than a few employees is already bureaucratic. The question is do you want one large bureaucracy or thousands of small ones?


You've already forgotten the Health Care Reform Bill? One simple example that I think everyone agreed needed to get done: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patient-Ce ... _Institute

Simple problem: Doctors want to know which drugs (or medical devices) are most effective for their patients.

1. Research that was sponsored by drug companies seem to focus on drugs made by that company. (Selfish bastards)
2. Research sponsored by insurance companies portray the cheapest solutions, not necessarily the most effective. (Insurance companies lower the cost of health-care at the expense of overall quality of care around the country)
3. No one else is rich enough to sponsor research. (University researchers get their money from either #1 or #2)

Solution: Create a new agency, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Its headed by the government (not drug companies or insurance companies), and they'll focus on paying researchers to discover the "most effective" treatments and procedures. Its a job that no one can do, because the free market is inherently selfish. And the government is rich enough to pay for this.

-------------------------

Going back to a police example, the Modern FBI was created to confront dangerous gangs at the federal level. Individual state police forces were not good enough to confront the likes of John Dillinger, Machine Gun Kelly and even the KKK. Its not a recent example, but clearly, individual states were not good enough to police these larger problems.

KestrelLowing wrote:but how many times have you seen the government do something efficiently and practically? It's always politics and bureaucracy.


Quite a few, actually. We only tend to notice the things they do wrong.


Well, its hard to do anything practically and efficiently. But the Federal Government typically does things more efficiently and practically than 50 individual states doing it... each slightly differently from the next.

I'm not saying government is efficient. Just when there are truly national problems going on, then its better to centralize the bureaucracy to the Federal Government.


Arrian wrote:
Thesh wrote:The way it is now, if you have a small sheriffs department with a douchebag as sheriff, the deputies can get away with being douchebags as well (See: First Blood). If it is one centralized police department, there is at least someone to answer to.


Well, yeah, the way it is now we can certainly get some Sheriff Joe Arpaios, but are they really worse than the TSA, or Department of Education commandos? Police power is police power and can be abused. At least with local jackholes, you can move out of their jurisdiction. Not so much with a national bureaucracy.


At least with National jackholes, you have some power to actually vote them out of office. Local Jackholes can screw up neighboring counties / states, and those neighbors have absolutely no power to prevent those jackholes from ruining them.
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Arrian » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:43 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:At least with National jackholes, you have some power to actually vote them out of office. Local Jackholes can screw up neighboring counties / states, and those neighbors have absolutely no power to prevent those jackholes from ruining them.


Really? Cause I see a lot of anger but no real course of action about the TSA. In fact, every time they do something egregious, they have a national spokesman in DC explaining how it's all policy and they're just doing their jobs, not any kind of assessment of whether strip searching toddlers or dying great grandmothers is actually effective.

But Sheriffs are directly elected and city police chiefs are either directly elected or appointed by a mayor who is elected only by those in your city. So you have two options with local police problems: Elect someone else, or move across the county or city lines. Heads of national bureaucracies are appointed by the president, but the local guys who would do the same things as local police or sheriffs would get appointed through a bureaucratic process. The nationally elected President wouldn't have much, if any power, over a jerk abusing his position in, say, rural Arkansas. (See the debacle over Bush firing US Attorneys General.)

As for the states and cities not having enough resources to fight the prohibition era gangs? Those days are long since past, that was a different world where the government was so small we would hardly recognize it. Today, state, even city, governments are plenty large enough to deal with pretty much anything criminals can throw at them. The NYC police budget was $3.7 Billion in 2007. (See page 3.) Per the BLS inflation calculator, That comes to $299.2 million in 1930 dollars. That's 2.5% of the entire _federal_ budget in 1930 and equal to the total _federal_ spending on police in 1930.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby nitePhyyre » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:02 pm UTC

Arrian wrote:Today, state, even city, governments are plenty large enough to deal with pretty much anything criminals can throw at them.
So how does a massive state police force handle criminals who cross state lines?
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Azrael » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:20 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
Arrian wrote:Today, state, even city, governments are plenty large enough to deal with pretty much anything criminals can throw at them.
So how does a massive state police force handle criminals who cross state lines?

Ever see any of the Smokey and the Bandit movies?

... poorly. Very, very poorly.

Mutual aid scenarios certainly can work, although unless you hand cases over (which [wrongfully] assumes you know where the criminal is) then the jurisdictional issues seen today become significantly worse. Some good hideaway states could have cops from 50 other states stomping all over their state -- and each others' toes.

Furthermore, budgetary negotiations involved in mutual aid could be rather complex. The entire system could tend towards inefficiencies unless the understanding is that visiting officers are completely autonomous (i.e. don't need local escort) or require things like offices, jail cells and court appearances.

Notice how Europe has Interpol? That's a pretty good indication that state-dependent police organizations without national-level operating abilities and organization wouldn't cut it.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Arrian » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:31 pm UTC

nitePhyyre wrote:
Arrian wrote:Today, state, even city, governments are plenty large enough to deal with pretty much anything criminals can throw at them.
So how does a massive state police force handle criminals who cross state lines?


Never said there wasn't room for a federal police force. This is exactly what they're good for. My argument is that there is no reason to replace the current system of local police forces with a single federal bureaucracy.

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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Thesh » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:59 pm UTC

Arrian wrote:Never said there wasn't room for a federal police force. This is exactly what they're good for.


So, you are advocating adding another organization to fight over jurisdiction? Haven't you seen Super Troopers? We already have the city police fighting with the state troopers.

Arrian wrote:My argument is that there is no reason to replace the current system of local police forces with a single federal bureaucracy.


On top of the jurisdictional bullshit, tons of reasons. Cost, for one. One large organization is cheaper to run than thousands of small organizations. The second reason is that the small police departments are the ones most likely to be corrupt; a large nationwide organization is subject to a lot more scrutiny. Also, city income is not always proportional to crime rate (in fact, common sense says that a poor town will have a lot more crime than a rich town of equal size). Having everything at a national level allows funds to be directed to where it is necessary.

Also see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_City_ ... lice_Chief

And another reason why it should be a single centralized police force:
http://www.cfra.org/ruralmonitor/2010/0 ... e-services

I fail to think of a single reason why a lot of smaller police departments are better than one large one.
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Re: Fuck Tha Police (or not).

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:11 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Cost, for one. One large organization is cheaper to run than thousands of small organizations.

Out of curiosity, do you have a citation for that. I can't imagine that is universally true.
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