Random Thoughts Again

sameoldlama
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby sameoldlama » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:15 am

I posted about this shooting previously - it occurred less than ten miles from the house I grew up in. The guy had simply received a traffic citation and the officers were returning to the car when he started arguing with them - his behavior led them to do the field sobriety check which is where that video picks ups. One of the troopers who was wounded was actually clinically dead on way to hospital. All because this guy didn't have the sense to say "whew, I'm high but I am getting away with just a traffic ticket, man did I just get lucky" - nope he had to initiate a verbal and then physical confrontation and polish off by trying to kill two cops.

There was a more recent police shooting near Dorney Park in Allentown for which the officer has been charged. A guy was at park with family and goes disappears without telling them where he is going. He ends up on a four lane road next to park with no shirt, no shoes trying to beat up passing cars - and by that I mean punching cars including busting out someone's window (guy has a history of drug related offenses so the guess is K2 or meth is going to show up in toxicology reports). Officer responds and naturally this guy isn't complying with any commands - officer draws his weapon and guy just goes right towards him and officer shoots him (guy died).

I feel bad for the guy but I don't know what you do as a cop - you've got a clearly out of control person, non-compliant and at the time he was the only officer on the scene. There's no way you want to physically engage the guy as that put the officer at risk and if the guy gets his gun the cop is as good as dead and so are some citizens possibly. He could have possibly tried a taser but to use a taser you still need some level of proximity and you still need to physically subdue the person. Not sure if he could have done anything to buy time until back up arrived but that could have put citizens at risk while this guy raged into traffic.

It's easy to Monday morning quarterback these things - I can't imagine being a cop these days with the level of disrespect for authority and fault out lunatics that are out there now. You couldn't print enough money for me to sign up to be a cop in a major urban area.

I'm not saying these guys are all perfect and should always get benefit of the doubt but there needs to be a measure of just how difficult that job is at times.
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Blue&White
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:34 pm

I'm not saying these guys are all perfect and should always get benefit of the doubt but there needs to be a measure of just how difficult that job is at times.

I agree. Completely. There needs to be a reasonableness standard and it needs to account for how dangerous and unpredictable some people are. I'm not familiar with the incident out by Dorney Park but if it happened as you describe I'd have a tough time voting to convict that cop if I was on the jury. But, I am absolutely ok with the cop being charged. He shot an unarmed man. There needs to be a process for that. In that case, it may be that he gets acquitted and that is the right call. Like I said, I'm not familiar with it but take your word on the facts.

What I object to is the idea that the police should always get the benefit of the doubt. For example, there was an incident last week in Tennessee where a cop shot a guy running away in the back. The facts are, near as I understand, as follows: cop sees a guy driving erradictly (not sure how and his family is calling BS on that). Guy manages to elude cop. Cop goes looking for him and finds the car and sees the guy who must have just exited the car. So, he tells the guy to stop. The guy runs. Cop sees him running and sees him holding something in his hand the cop thinks is a gun. So, he stops, takes aim, and shoots the guy in the back, killing him. Turns out, the deceased was carrying a gun. So, seems like a clean shoot, right? I'm not so sure.

There are a few problems with that case. First, the police were not able to really explain what he did that they were after him. They said he was running but what lawful reason was there to even detain the guy? Maybe that has since been cleared up (I've been on vacation and not really following this). Second, in the state of Tennesse it's lawful to own a gun and open carry with it. Having a gun out in the open is not, per the laws of that state, suspicious or grounds for stopping someone, much less shooting them. And yet the guy is dead. He was running away, no one could really articulate why he was even being chased, and he was shot in the back. Maybe he was a criminal, i have no idea. But, there didn't seem to be any great interest by the police in even investigating.

There are far too many shootings by the police where the cirumstances make you go "WTF"? And, the majority of those involve people of color. Not all, obviously. The Australian woman who was murdered by that cop out in Minneapolis was white, but the result is exactly the same. They wouldn't even pursue charges.

The police unions and the cops themselves always claim these shooting are obviously justified because cops have been shot and killed in the past and it's not fair to ask them to take chances. The problem is that you have a situtation where the cops are rarely held accountable, usually only if there is indisputable video evidence (and not even always then) and maybe ordinary people - and epecially black people - figure their only chance to survive an encounter with the cops is to shoot first. Not holding the cops accountable probably makes their jobs more dangerous, not less.

The example GMay brought up here is pretty egregious and the cops got lucky they lived. But, that is not a defense to a lot of what has happened. There have been too many people, mostly black people, who were unarmed who ended up dead after an encounter with the cops. And it really feels like very little is being done about that.
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Shore Lion
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Shore Lion » Mon Aug 13, 2018 2:49 pm

I think body cams and other recordings are helping prove that the police are not always above board. We all know that's never been the case but until there was video actually proving it they almost always walked. Even when they literally murdered people. I'm glad that more can be exposed. But at the same time, what is it with our society that refuses to even LISTEN to the police when they tell you to do something? Look at that mouthy girl on the beach in Jersey earlier this summer. If she would have just listened to the officer and done what he said she wouldn't have gotten taken down. I mean, if people are just flat out ignoring you what are you supposed to do? We can't have a society where people don't listen to authority. If you've been wronged sort it out later, put up a fight and you just might die. I'm in no way absolving those cops who clearly shoot someone in the back, punch a guy repeatedly in the head who is already in handcuffs etc. But to just not listen is not going to go well for you usually. And it's hard to have a ton of sympathy in those cases. I have no answers for any of this but I can assuredly say I don't want to be a police officer.

I have a friend who was a police officer. He quit after going to yet another scene of violence in the community and despite there being numerous witnesses no one said a word. That was enough of it for him. He got out because he didn't want to die for a community that didn't give a crap apparently. It weighs on officers a lot. He told me once that "he didn't know too many happy cops". I thought about all those that I knew and realized he was right. No thanks.

Blue&White
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:21 pm

I have a friend who was a police officer. He quit after going to yet another scene of violence in the community and despite there being numerous witnesses no one said a word. That was enough of it for him. He got out because he didn't want to die for a community that didn't give a crap apparently. It weighs on officers a lot. He told me once that "he didn't know too many happy cops". I thought about all those that I knew and realized he was right. No thanks.

I think that cuts both ways. I am far from any kind of expert on effective law enforcement techniques. But, what I read is that police forces that have taken officers out of the cars and put them walking a beat have had a lot of success in establishing better links with the community and getting people to come forward. The logic is having cops walking around and talking to people make them more a part of the community and helps establish trust. I think too often both the cops and the community - especially inner city minority communities - see the relationship as "us vs. them". Policies like "Broken Windows", where you basically arrest people for every trivial thing, may work to reduce the crime rates on some superficial levels, but it really creates a lot of animosity. And, I think we've seen the results of that the past decade or so.

It's a complex issue and it is far greater than just the police. Poverty and shortages of opportunities in these communities create crime. Crime requires a police response. And so the cycle goes. The cops are not in a position to resolve the root causes of a lot of the problems the communities face. Very often they are just there to clean up the mess. And, that can be an ugly, and at times a very dangerous, job.
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Blue&White
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:16 pm

The Florida Parking Lot Vigilante has been charged with manslaughter.
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PSUgrower
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby PSUgrower » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:33 pm

Blue&White wrote:First, I understood exactly what your original point was, and it's not what you just said. Second, the police are not trained, or at least are not supposed to be trained, to be militaristic. They are not supposed to be a branch of the military and certainly should not be acting like one.

We will completely disagree here. The police force is militaristic in nature. If you do not listen to their commands you will pay a price. That sounds pretty militaristic to me. You lost me on this one

tempe
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby tempe » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:58 pm

grower I think is hit the point of disagreement is right on. But what you seem to state as fact - "The police force is militaristic in nature" - is the point (the stasis) of disagreement and not a simple statement of fact. I do not believe that the police are meant to be "militaristic" and that fact they are evolving in that direction is of great concern. Protect and Serve? no? That does not ring of militaristic. Are you implying that the standard pedestrian cower to the police? That there is - at no point - any justification to presume you have a right to act like you have rights? I still remember a poor drunk guy here in Mesa that was in his hotel room drinking and had a really hard time understanding what was being asked of him - on all fours - and shot dead when he tried to pull up is shorts - whoops forgot you told me not to do that... trained? to do what? kill? You are right - we have very different ideas of what a police officer is. It makes me sad to think you he see as you state.

Add to all that - I think that the police job attracts less than stellar people. Does one even need a BA/BA? I don't think so. I for one believe that college education has a massive impact on human development in many facets. I really don't think police are such great human beings. I have known a few from the gym and as an educator - I really don't like a single cop I have met. They are know-it-alls and yet they no nothing. For so called "trained" personnel, they sure to make a lot of mistakes. Furthermore, for me, if an error in judgement is going to be made - it should be made in favor of the civilian - not the cop. Their "fraternal" order dictates that they cover and lie for each other - and on and on. I think poorly of the police and would never trust one - ever.

I think bit of research would show that the police were never meant to be a military organization - they are more mob-like.

Blue&White
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:39 am

I'm withe first part of tempe's response - the police are not a militiristic entity. Or, at leat they should not be. Perhaps in modern times they need to be, somewhat, given that the threats they deal with are far beyond what was originall envisioned. But, their interactions with people on a day-to-day basis should not be where they are barking orders and shooting at people who don't listen or jump high enough. And, we are getting too much of that. That is not what the relationship is supposed to be. They are not a branch of the military and were never intended to be as such.

As for the rest of your views, tempe, we all have our opinions. I've known a handful of cops in my life. Some were ok, and some were total douchebags. As for the educational requirements, it depends. In NJ most cops have a college education. NJ state troopers usually have advanced degrees. I went to law school with a guy who was a local cop who went to law school to become a state trooper. I suspect the requirements vary by state. I suspect, generally, the more education you require the better the caliber of applicants you get. But, that comes at a cost that not every location can afford.
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psu_dad
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby psu_dad » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:52 am

I'm not sure why/how taking Western Civ and Psych 101 is going to ensure that a person will keep their composure when making an arrest and not over-react. I went to college. So what. If I thought there was any chance that someone resisting arrest was going to try to harm/kill me, I'd have the club out in two seconds (if not my gun).

That's one of many reasons I'm not a cop. I watch Cops occasionally. I see the type of people cops have to deal with day after day after day. I wouldn't do it for all the whiskey in Ireland.
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Blue&White
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Re: Random Thoughts Again

Postby Blue&White » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:29 am

The argument is the more education you have, the more aware you are likely to be of other perspectives. That's not going to be true of all people and obviously if you are in a situation where someone is firing a gun at you or is trying to wrestle yours away from you it's unlikey you are going to ponder, or care, about what Plato may think about this situation. But, I do think there is something to having someone with an education vs. someone who just got out of high school and now has a gun and a badge and is no the job. This may be my own prejudice but I think someone who graduated highschool and became a cop is more likely to be the guy with the chip on his shoulder.
Alex Cora sucks. Mickey Callaway sucks. Baseball sucks. Everything and everyone just sucks. Is it football season yet?