Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

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Iulus Cofield
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat May 05, 2012 4:15 am UTC

Diadem wrote:But really are an anomaly in many ways, when you compare them to other rich, first-world countries. Their justice system often resembles a third world country more than a first world one. Idem for their social security system, their medical system, their democratic system, their treatment of minorities, the list goes on.


Are you referring to the common law based justice system? I hadn't realized Continental European law, I mean, er uh, civil law was so superior.

Nor was I aware that socialism was objectively the best socioeconomic system, despite the large number of European countries with historically high unemployment.

I wouldn't fault you for being unaware that the US spends more on healthcare as a percent of GDP and thus more total money than any other country in the world and that a third of all Americans are covered by Medicare and Medicaid, Federal programs. As a kicker, emergency care is also apparently covered for the uninsured. I can't seem to find it at the moment, but I read a long article in the last year describing how US healthcare is actually objectively better (objective by virtue of a number of quantitative values such as wait times, time spent with doctor, mortality rate, etc) than European countries, with the major caveat that those wedged between Medicaid eligible and the upper-middle class largely being left in the cold. My apologies, I am not always very good at remembering the right keywords to conjure an article on the Google.

It's funny that you call Europe democratic, since I've always considered proportional electoral systems to be the least democratic form of a republic. Individual voter power is considerably reduced when you can't even control which individuals will be theoretically representing you. Are referendums are regular occurrence in Europe? We don't have them nationally in the US, but they're quite common at the state level. I'm from Oregon where we usually have at least six issues up put up for referendum annually at the statewide level and dozens at the local level.

It may be hard to see from way across the ocean, but racism in the US is largely a social problem, not a legal one. Where it crosses into the government, it is a matter of racists having government jobs, not official policy. But in Europe, it gets enshrined in the law. There's also a lot less freedom of speech and freedom of religion in Europe. Arizona, of course, has gotten a lot of attention for their insane policies, but I would remind you that they're a national embarrassment. And I shouldn't gloss over the persecution of homosexuals and the reproductive rights of women; I like to think those are the birth pains of the coming time when the Republicans who are so very good at staying in office in spite of laughably low approval ratings finally die, either metaphorically in their careers or literally of old age. Of course, I won't get into the historical persecution of minority groups in Europe and America. History is hideously racist everywhere you go.

Maybe I am being too hard on you. Maybe I misread your snark as an assertion that America is still a backwards, rustic nation of barbarians awkwardly holding forks. Maybe you were just saying that the US and Europe are different in a number of ways and the old meaning of First World has become outdated, I would certainly agree with that. I wouldn't group the US with the countries traditionally called the Third World or the Second World for that matter. In a lot of ways, it would be more useful to redivide the world by the old linguistic supergroups, the Anglophone World (plus Japan), the Francophone World, the Hispanophone World, the Arabophone, the Germanic, the Slavic, the Austro/Polynesian, the Sinitic, the Turkic, the Afro-Asiatic.

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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby CorruptUser » Sat May 05, 2012 5:01 am UTC

Eyat wrote:
Diadem wrote:
Panonadin wrote:
Diadem wrote:I know the USA is not a first world country, but even third world nations generally manage toilets to put in their jails.


Not to derail, but what?

It was a joke of sorts. The kind of joke that's wrapped in snark.

The thing is, it's not entirely untrue. The US is certainly rich enough to be considered a first-world country. But really are an anomaly in many ways, when you compare them to other rich, first-world countries. Their justice system often resembles a third world country more than a first world one. Idem for their social security system, their medical system, their democratic system, their treatment of minorities, the list goes on.

This sort of thing is a good example. Putting someone in jail for absolutely nothing and then forgetting him for 5 days, that really could not happen in any European country, or any of the other countries that are considered 'the west'. And if it did happen, you could bet there'd be a huge outcry.


You should perhaps be careful about painting with too broad a brush. Just because the vast majority of the news you get is negative doesn't mean that the US is some third world Junta. You are from the Netherlands (or so I gather from your profile) if you are hearing about it its because there is an outcry. A HUGE mistake was made people are going to lose their jobs and the government is going to write this guy a huge check. All better? Not really. Will this happen again? Hopefully not. But to extrapolate to the rest of american society is simply unsupported. Especially with your vague comparisons to "other first world countries". Bonus points for trying treatment of minorities since both France and the UK (arguably two of the closest comparisons to the US) had race riots in their capitols in recent years. Kudos.


Also, don't forget about how France still treats Roma (Gypsies) as criminals. Or how Switzerland didn't let women vote until 1977. Or how Switzerland was sterilizing rape victims until the 80s. Or how Italy's garbage disposal is more or less run by the mafia, so it dumps in the Gulf of Aden, causing the Somali Piracy problem. Or how France still has colonies. Or that the Swiss banned construction of mosques.

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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Nordic Einar » Sat May 05, 2012 10:16 am UTC

Or, y'know, Sweden sterilizing trans* folks. Which is, y'know, a thing as of 2012.

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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby CorruptUser » Sat May 05, 2012 4:28 pm UTC

Ok, I'd like the link to that. Not that I doubt you, but so I can quote it for the future; I can produce a link for anything on my list if you guys want.

Also, does anyone know how brutal the French prison system is? I've heard they still have the Napoleonic code, and prisons there make most of the US's prison look friendly, but I don't exactly know for sure.

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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Nordic Einar » Sat May 05, 2012 6:45 pm UTC

I'm feeling unfairly cheeky today, so apologies, but: let me google that for you.

First link ;P

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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby jestingrabbit » Mon May 07, 2012 8:57 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Also, does anyone know how brutal the French prison system is?
I'm pretty sure that when people get killed in them its because someone broke the law, not because someone's upholding it.

Can we agree that all of our countries have stuff to be ashamed of and get on with trying to change it instead of engaging in this pointless nationalistic bullshit?
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Zamfir » Mon May 07, 2012 9:03 am UTC

jestingrabbit wrote:Can we agree that all of our countries have stuff to be ashamed of and get on with trying to change it instead of engaging in this pointless nationalistic bullshit?

This

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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby CorruptUser » Mon May 07, 2012 12:49 pm UTC

Yes, I'll agree to that. I just don't like it when my country gets singled out while other countries get a free pass...

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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Zamfir » Mon May 07, 2012 12:52 pm UTC

And that's what everyone thinks, and that's why you get a mess.

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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby iChef » Mon May 07, 2012 6:51 pm UTC

This sort of neglect isn't rare in the drug enforcement community. As soon as someone in the US is identified as a drug suspect they lose all their rights. In my hometown someone in a very similar situation was shot. He was at a drug (marijuana) dealers house when it was raided and an officer wasn't practicing good gun safety and shot this 19 year old kid in the chest when he got up to see who was running around outside they hadn't even knocked on the door yet.

In my own situation I was caught with drugs. When I was brought back to the police station they asked me some questions when I was alone with an officer he asked me if I wanted to go to jail that day, of course I said no. He then asked how much money I had in the bank. Long story short for 500 dollars in cash I never got brought to the jail. Drug enforcement is the main reason the police and a large part of the population are antagonistic toward each other. I know quite a few otherwise reasonable people who have argued it's not ethically wrong to shoot at enforcement agents, and they have the firearms to back that up. A change in drug laws could really turn this country around.
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Belial » Mon May 07, 2012 7:00 pm UTC

iChef wrote:I know quite a few otherwise reasonable people who have argued it's not ethically wrong to shoot at enforcement agents


Well, I mean, they *did* declare it a war.
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Panonadin » Mon May 07, 2012 7:51 pm UTC

iChef wrote:In my own situation I was caught with drugs. When I was brought back to the police station they asked me some questions when I was alone with an officer he asked me if I wanted to go to jail that day, of course I said no. He then asked how much money I had in the bank. Long story short for 500 dollars in cash I never got brought to the jail. .


Now I know this is corruption, and I guess it could lead too a whole mess of other problems but if I did drugs of any kind (I don't) I would be very happy that this was offered to me.
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Роберт » Mon May 07, 2012 7:55 pm UTC

Panonadin wrote:
iChef wrote:In my own situation I was caught with drugs. When I was brought back to the police station they asked me some questions when I was alone with an officer he asked me if I wanted to go to jail that day, of course I said no. He then asked how much money I had in the bank. Long story short for 500 dollars in cash I never got brought to the jail. .


Now I know this is corruption, and I guess it could lead too a whole mess of other problems but if I did drugs of any kind (I don't) I would be very happy that this was offered to me.

What I hate about corruption like this is how hard it would be to break it.

Let's say iChef was given the offer in plain, straightforward terms. He was secretly recording the conversation.
Let's say the local wiretapping laws are lenient enough that the recording would be admissible evidence in court.

What are the chances that this corruption gets brought to light, legally? Very very low. And so the corrupt people pad their pockets, fat, evil, and happy.
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Panonadin » Mon May 07, 2012 8:18 pm UTC

Although a solution would be simple (of course not "simple" but an alternative is possible)

For charges like his/others if a MANDATORY jail sentence is not called for, but one could be applied. Legally offer the offender an option to "Pay a fine right now and handle it in court later rather than go to jail and wait for your court date". The state would make money 2 fold, not as many people in jail and income form the fines + reduction in corruption of this type?

I know it's short sighted and details would have to be hammered out but it's possible.
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Griffin » Mon May 07, 2012 8:24 pm UTC

Panodin, that's basically a get out of jail free card for wealthy kids, though, while unfairly discriminating against the poor.

On the other hand... how is what you are proposing different from bail, exactly? Except for the fact that you don't get your money back later?

Because I'll be honest, that proposal seems seriously messed up, since you are by definition punishing people who may not be guilty either way. If you're willing to let them out until the trial with no bail, just let them out.
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Belial » Mon May 07, 2012 9:57 pm UTC

Profiting off of incarcerating criminals is always, always, always a bad plan.
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby iChef » Mon May 07, 2012 10:00 pm UTC

Yeah I paid up but to explain they had already threatened to take possession of my truck (which due to the laws any property of a drug offender can legally be taken by the state even if you turn out to be innocent at trail once you are accused they only need to say "it may have been bought with drug money, used to transport any amount of drugs" and that property belongs to the department). So it was either 1) lose my truck that was worth far more than 500 and go to jail which realistically I would have been out in 24-48 hours on bond or 2) get in the officers unmarked car have him take me to a bank and get him $500 in cash (no check no money order it had to be cash, that's how I was sure I was paying a bride. Really if they hadn't threatened to take my truck I would have holed up for 24 hours and most likely got a PR bond (bond for $0), it was my first time getting caught.

Another word of advice from someone who used to make a habit of doing less than legal and probably stupid things never become an informant, NEVER. The second time I got a visit from drug enforcement I figured out who informed on me. They always tell you when you get arrested if you inform then you will get a lesser/reduced charge. Well a few months down the road while I was on pre-trial probation who do I see walk in the office, Mr. Informant. I found out later that because he didn't get a lawyer he got more of a punishment than I did even though I did a more severe crime. Moral of the story NEVER trust drug enforcement, if you are an offender or just a regular citizen. These guys are basically a government organized armed gang.

I feel for this poor guy who got locked up. After he sues, every agent involved should be arrested for violating his civil rights. What they did was torture, worse than water boarding, leaving someone cuffed alone with no facilities is horrible. Even the Khamer Rouge gave their prisoners water.
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Роберт » Mon May 07, 2012 10:07 pm UTC

iChef wrote:Yeah I paid up but to explain they had already threatened to take possession of my truck
There's really not that much of a need to explain. They have control and power, a measly $500 bucks to get them to play nice could easily be worth it to you.

The problem is with the set-up. How do you fix corruption like that? I can't imagine things would have gone all that well for you had you refused the bribe, let alone reported it.
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Griffin » Mon May 07, 2012 10:10 pm UTC

Well, for one, you don't give them the power to indiscriminately take your stuff with little to no oversight simply to offset department expenses.

Since it is currently legal for them to take your stuff, sell it, and give you nothing in return EVEN IF you are found completely and totally innocent.

A whole lot of the components of due process have been quietly dropped when drugs are concerned. Putting them back would be a great first step.
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Роберт » Mon May 07, 2012 10:13 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:Well, for one, you don't give them the power to indiscriminately take your stuff with little to no oversight simply to offset department expenses.

Since it is currently legal for them to take your stuff, sell it, and give you nothing in return EVEN IF you are found completely and totally innocent.

A whole lot of the components of due process have been quietly dropped when drugs are concerned. Putting them back would be a great first step.

I guess that's an obvious step. But it still won't fix the inherent problem, it will just give them a bit less leverage.

It seems like always monitoring on-duty police would be helpful. Going to the bank with a suspect certainly should be raising some red flags.
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Iulus Cofield » Mon May 07, 2012 10:23 pm UTC

iChef wrote:Yeah I paid up but to explain they had already threatened to take possession of my truck (which due to the laws any property of a drug offender can legally be taken by the state even if you turn out to be innocent at trail once you are accused they only need to say "it may have been bought with drug money, used to transport any amount of drugs" and that property belongs to the department). So it was either 1) lose my truck that was worth far more than 500 and go to jail which realistically I would have been out in 24-48 hours on bond or 2) get in the officers unmarked car have him take me to a bank and get him $500 in cash (no check no money order it had to be cash, that's how I was sure I was paying a bride. Really if they hadn't threatened to take my truck I would have holed up for 24 hours and most likely got a PR bond (bond for $0), it was my first time getting caught.


Did you ask the bank teller to record the serial numbers of the bills you were given?

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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Panonadin » Mon May 07, 2012 10:43 pm UTC

To adjust without editing my post. I guess I just described the bail system without the need to go to jail first.

So throw my entire idea out the window. It's bail.

Could they perhaps make it so X crime = X up front punishment with the courts to decide at a later date what the rest of the punishment will be. That way you don't have the option to be put in jail or not. That seems as though it could be monitored/enforced better. Right now it seems like the arresting officers/deparment have too much leeway(sp?) in the decision of what happens immediately after arrest.

I guess in that case it would just come down to "I'm going to arrest you for this and it's mandatory I take you to jail, or pay me 500$ and I wont take you in" but at least it would close an avenue for corruption.

OT: Does anyone have any follow up on this story, google news search for me only has links to the original news report.
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Belial » Mon May 07, 2012 10:49 pm UTC

Panonadin wrote:Could they perhaps make it so X crime = X up front punishment with the courts to decide at a later date what the rest of the punishment will be.


If you want to give cops even more leverage to harass the innocent, sure. Right now, they already do a version of this: the process of being booked in, kept overnight, and released is extremely costly and onerous for many people (missed work, missed life), and so cops know that they can totally ruin someone's month without charging them with a single damn thing. They use this to their advantage.
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby iChef » Mon May 07, 2012 10:53 pm UTC

No, I was 19, not trying to go to jail and honestly in way over my head. I was in the first year of college working full time on top and selling fairly small amounts of pot because I didn't have any loans or scholarships and was living in an apartment by myself. I really didn't want to try anything funny to these armed men who, if they chose to, could take everything I owned and lock me up. I got a fair shake but that charge shook any faith I had in the police much more than my second more serious charge which was done pretty much by the book, but by then I was older and knew how to game the system.

With any system you still need to be processed. There really isn't anything wrong with the current bail system. Most of the time if you get bail you are out in 24 hours if you can get someone to post/have the money on you/get a PR bond. Usually if you are in that sort of a time you are in holding and never get put into population. Which isn't too bad. Really as far as comfort goes the general rule is best to worst Prison>Processing cells>General population>Drunk Tank>Solitary.
There is some variation in that.

Arresting officers have a huge influence on what happens to you even after the day of the arrest. They are at your court dates and testify or at least submit a written statement saying if you resisted/cooperated with them, what they found what you said to them.

If you want a story about not very clean dealings that worked in my favor here's the story of my second charge. About 5 years after the first I had (stupidly) started selling drugs again, this time much more than just pot. I was informed on and raided. The initial charges were 7 felonies and 3 misdemeanors. Luckily I was working at a local country club that was very popular in the law enforcement community as it turned out both the arresting officers, the judge and my defense attorney were all members of the club. I had a meeting with one of the board of directors of the club I was on good terms with, he was an older guy who liked me and was very understanding, over a round of golf with the arresting officers, judge my lawyer and the director It was decided that I could plead guilty to 2 out of the seven felonies and one of the other charges, so 3 charges instead of ten. It was also decided that I was needed at the club so instead of jail I should just do 60 days of work release, where I lived in a building in the jail complex but not in the jail and could go to work everyday. I happily paid my lawyer his fee and made everyone involved a very nice dinner at the club after one of the golf outings and everyone was happy.


Possibly contriversial story spoilered don't want to offend anyone who has been seriously harassed

Spoiler:
Not trying to write a novel but I was also able to get extra privileges in work release in exchange for a little sexual harassment. There were people at the front desk who would search you when you came back from work to make sure you didn't have drugs, weapons ect.. on you. Well one was an older woman who seemed to take a liking to me. When she search me she felt me up quite a bit once and I said something to her. She said I should feel flattered. I turned this to my advantage. As scummy and slightly degrading as it was If she was working I could smuggle in anything I wanted because if I let her feel me up and didn't say anything she wouldn't really search anywhere that didn't interest her if you know what I mean. I was able to smuggle in drugs and food to the people who were trustees (guys that were in our building but didn't have jobs so they couldn't leave) and to other people in my wing. Drugs and outside food were worth a small fortune in work release I was able to make a couple thousand dollars smuggling that basically offset most of my fines in exchange for letting an old lady grab me.


Not very many people would get that kind of treatment, it still kinda sucks that even a small amount of influence or the ability to make a judge and his family a nice meal can effect justice so much. I mean I am very glad I was able to pull strings but someone who couldn't would have got severely punished for what I feel are very unjust drug laws.
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby Роберт » Tue May 08, 2012 2:47 pm UTC

iChef wrote:Not very many people would get that kind of treatment, it still kinda sucks that even a small amount of influence or the ability to make a judge and his family a nice meal can effect justice so much. I mean I am very glad I was able to pull strings but someone who couldn't would have got severely punished for what I feel are very unjust drug laws.

Which reminds me: you all have heard about how significantly the timing of a hearing has on the leniency of a judge, right?

It doesn't really compare to the gross failure of the justice system mentioned in the OP, or even the ones described by iChef, but a lot falls on a judges discretion and a judges discretion is highly affected by decision fatigue and lunch.
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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby morriswalters » Tue May 08, 2012 10:48 pm UTC

I'm trying to understand the expectations of people. I felt sorry for the guy who got forgot. It's bizarre but not really that surprising. That's a training problem, and correctable. Getting popped for possession and sale is the cost of doing business, as is any money it costs. I've smoked and sold and it's the risk you take. That a Policeman might want his palmed greased is not altogether that shocking. He sees a lot of cash and if you have the idea that the Police are not human then you are woefully naive. Do you think that he wants money any less than you do? The wonder is is that it isn't more common. I started quitting when the guns came out and it got really scary. Everybody wants a shot at the money, sigh.

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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby iamspen » Wed May 09, 2012 1:12 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:I'm trying to understand the expectations of people. I felt sorry for the guy who got forgot. It's bizarre but not really that surprising. That's a training problem, and correctable. Getting popped for possession and sale is the cost of doing business, as is any money it costs. I've smoked and sold and it's the risk you take. That a Policeman might want his palmed greased is not altogether that shocking. He sees a lot of cash and if you have the idea that the Police are not human then you are woefully naive. Do you think that he wants money any less than you do? The wonder is is that it isn't more common. I started quitting when the guns came out and it got really scary. Everybody wants a shot at the money, sigh.


You're right. We should accept that people who haven't committed any serious violations and have yet to be charged should almost starve to death in a windowless cell. We should accept that cops could be dirty, and not even think about dissuading those types of activities.

...are you really that much of a nihilist? And, if so, why do you bother interacting with others, even in the faceless world of the tubes?

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Re: Student left in cell 4 days recalls hallucinations

Postby iChef » Wed May 09, 2012 4:37 am UTC

That's the thing, it's not like 500 dollars is big money. Taking that small of a bribe makes it seems like that is an everyday thing. The guy makes more than that every week. I would understand your logic morris if it was thousands of dollars, but the willingness to subvert justice for a few days pay I feel shows a very big problem under the surface.

Also forgetting someone in handcuffs in a cell is not just a training problem. That young man's life was in their hands. He didn't have much more time before he probably would have died in there. I don't know if you have ever been locked up but even being in a regular cell is pretty bad. Being in a holding cell for more than 24 hours where you have to sleep on a concrete floor with 7 other people in a 12' by 6' room can be tough. People have to do that every day all over this country. Anytime anybody takes another human being prisoner they have certain responsibilities. I don't care if it is police or military. Even setting aside his rights as a citizen, he has basic human rights. Water and a minimal amount of food at least. Even captured soldiers can be seen by the Red Cross in any civilized nation. Police need to be held to a higher standard than most citizens because they have more power than most citizens. I don't hate the police for enforcing the laws they enforce it is their job, I blame legislators for that. I do blame the police for the manner in which they enforce these laws such as the case in this topic and the several examples I have given.
Those whom God loves, he must make beautiful, and a beautiful character must, in some way, suffer.
-Tailsteak author of the Webcomics 1/0 and Leftover Soup


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