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[Police brutality] American injustice, yet again.


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The reason why we know he had a criminal record is because he was convicted and served his time.  He was already punished for said offenses, and had shot a video talking about the difficulties of navigating the parole system while trying to be a responsible father and partner and how it felt like a trap at times. The minute they began to arrest him he realized that he could be sent back to prison and everything he had worked for undone.  

 

One of the bullets fired by the officer went into an occupied vehicle in the parking lot area.  

 

Let's let a jury decide whether or not the officer's conduct was justifiable or reckless and unnecessary.  

Shooting victims don't need to be angels or even have blameless conduct for us to be concerned about how the police conducted themselves in the encounter.  It's a red herring.  The timing of when the shots were fired will matter a great deal--were the shots fired at the same time the suspect fired the taser, or seconds later?  Once the taser was discharged and missed, the suspect was not in any sense a lethal threat to the officer.  The danger had passed.  And the suspect was running away with his back to the officer.  It's not clear from the publicly available video precisely when the shots were fired, but it appears to be seconds AFTER the taser is discharged.  

 

 

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I'm not going to try to get into an argument on this.  I'm just going to state things as I see them.  It will be kinda long.  I am a defense attorney and was a public defender for nearly a decade.  So

I'm glad we have a police viewpoint in here.  One of the scoutmasters in our troop is a long time cop, and he has the best stories.  He's also apologetic for the bad apples and "bad shoots" that we us

My point is that it shouldn't matter if the boys in blue are chatting up Beelzebub out for a Sunday stroll; the actions of the person being questioned/stopped are what ought to matter. Putting that as

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3 hours ago, Ragitsu said:

 

This tactic of yours - the second time I've seen you use it, by the way - isn't subtle, isn't helpful and isn't relevant.

 

It is relevant if the officers are aware of the record (and they likely were) and have to evaluate the threat to the family if the violent Rayshard Brooks escapes the scene and might be headed home (then or later) in a dangerous state of mind.

 

Unlike self-defenders police have to consider the threat to the community as well when making their shoot / don't shoot decisions.

 

As I've previously mentioned these factors lead to an unarmed fleeing suspect (white guy in this case) getting shot in the back as he fled a murder scene.  The police were about to lose him in the chase and shot him in the back as they feared he represented a danger to the public.

 

And fair enough.  I might have overreacted to the characterization that cops go around shooting sleeping black citizens in the back which was complete garbage.

 

 

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37 minutes ago, megaplayboy said:

The reason why we know he had a criminal record is because he was convicted and served his time.  He was already punished for said offenses, and had shot a video talking about the difficulties of navigating the parole system while trying to be a responsible father and partner and how it felt like a trap at times. The minute they began to arrest him he realized that he could be sent back to prison and everything he had worked for undone.  

 

One of the bullets fired by the officer went into an occupied vehicle in the parking lot area.  

 

Let's let a jury decide whether or not the officer's conduct was justifiable or reckless and unnecessary.  

Shooting victims don't need to be angels or even have blameless conduct for us to be concerned about how the police conducted themselves in the encounter.  It's a red herring.  The timing of when the shots were fired will matter a great deal--were the shots fired at the same time the suspect fired the taser, or seconds later?  Once the taser was discharged and missed, the suspect was not in any sense a lethal threat to the officer.  The danger had passed.  And the suspect was running away with his back to the officer.  It's not clear from the publicly available video precisely when the shots were fired, but it appears to be seconds AFTER the taser is discharged.  

 

 

 

I believe one of the videos I posted earlier clocks it at roughly 1.1 to 1.2 seconds after the taser shot which is right on the threshold of the react-act gap where you start an action and haven't responded to new information yet.  There are some factors in there such as he had just gotten punched in the face which can definitely affect your reaction time / thinking for a minute if it's a solid connection.  The other factor is we don't know if the cop was aware - in the heat of battle - whether that taser had been fired twice or only once and was still an active threat.  Losing track of how many shots you have left or the suspect has left in the midst of a fight like that is incredibly easy.

 

And I couldn't agree with you more on a couple of points:

1- Let's let a jury decide whether or not the officer's conduct was justifiable or reckless and unnecessary. - 100% agree.  Due process would be nice these days instead of trial by public outrage.

2- America's criminal justice system is a disgusting death spiral.  Once time and probation are served I feel like the criminal record should be hidden from anyone but the police.  It should not stop you from getting a job for the rest of your life virtually forcing you to commit crime to survive.

 

I think cases like this distract from the very notable ones like George Floyd's where you have about 99% agreement from the public on the fact that it was definitely in the murder to manslaughter range.  Get momentum on cases like that and keep pushing for police reform.  The whole system could use a big overhaul.  I'm a big fan of the Norwegian system.

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52 minutes ago, ScottishFox said:

 

It is relevant if the officers are aware of the record (and they likely were) and have to evaluate the threat to the family if the violent Rayshard Brooks escapes the scene and might be headed home (then or later) in a dangerous state of mind.

 

Unlike self-defenders police have to consider the threat to the community as well when making their shoot / don't shoot decisions.

 

As I've previously mentioned these factors lead to an unarmed fleeing suspect (white guy in this case) getting shot in the back as he fled a murder scene.  The police were about to lose him in the chase and shot him in the back as they feared he represented a danger to the public.

 

And fair enough.  I might have overreacted to the characterization that cops go around shooting sleeping black citizens in the back which was complete garbage.

 

 

 

My point is that it shouldn't matter if the boys in blue are chatting up Beelzebub out for a Sunday stroll; the actions of the person being questioned/stopped are what ought to matter. Putting that aside, the assumption that police are one-hundred percent acquainted with the history of everyone they interact with colors public opinion in favor of actions that might have been unnecessary. This pervasive post-hoc rationalization of "Well, y'know, he did so-and-so in the past, so maybe his death wasn't all that bad and maybe the tactics used weren't so egregious." is pretty damn disquieting. I do not like the direction our zeitgeist is heading in when notions such as those are normalized.

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2 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

As I've previously mentioned these factors lead to an unarmed fleeing suspect (white guy in this case) getting shot in the back as he fled a murder scene.  The police were about to lose him in the chase and shot him in the back as they feared he represented a danger to the public.

 

I'm not really seeing this one as falling under fleeing felon doctrine.

 

The question will be whether the timing between the Taser discharge that missed and the officers shots lines up with a reactionary gap, or whether the officer should have had enough time to reassess the threat as now non-lethal knowing the Taser was fully discharged. A Taser without a cartridge will hurt like hell on contact, but it can't cause incapacitation.

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4 hours ago, Pattern Ghost said:

 

I'm not really seeing this one as falling under fleeing felon doctrine.

 

The question will be whether the timing between the Taser discharge that missed and the officers shots lines up with a reactionary gap, or whether the officer should have had enough time to reassess the threat as now non-lethal knowing the Taser was fully discharged. A Taser without a cartridge will hurt like hell on contact, but it can't cause incapacitation.

 

One of the videos I linked early suggested there were three or more forcible felonies in the scuffle with the police.  He punches one cop in the face, causes another to fall on his head and get concussed, steals a taser by force (which the analyst said was a felony) and then fired it at the cop when he was fleeing.  I would think the fleeing felon doctrine would apply.

 

I think you make a good point if the officer knew for sure the taser had been fired twice and was now incapable of incapacitation.

 

However, that same cop had just been punched in the face and involved in a pretty rough grounds scuffle.  That's a pretty rough standard to hold someone to that they have to be able to count shots in the middle of a melee.

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7 hours ago, Ragitsu said:

This pervasive post-hoc rationalization of "Well, y'know, he did so-and-so in the past, so maybe his death wasn't all that bad and maybe the tactics used weren't so egregious." is pretty damn disquieting. I do not like the direction our zeitgeist is heading in when notions such as those are normalized.

 

I agree with you there.  One core value of (or at least it's supposed to be) is that all lives are of equal value.  Our justice system needs to operate under this principle.  And I think we're all painfully aware that the system works differently for different classes of individuals (high ranking politicians and wealthy celebrities vs. John Q. Public).

 

My point, perhaps insufficiently articulated, was that his criminal past would have been looked up by the police during the stop and may have affected their decision making in whether or not its safe to let him flee.

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4 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

I would think the fleeing felon doctrine would apply.

 

None of that makes the fleeing felon doctrine apply, IMO. The officer would have to reasonably believe that the subject represented an ongoing threat if they let him escape. In this case, the subject's behavior only involved extracting himself from the arrest.

 

As far as the severity of the injuries goes: The officer's lack of hands on training is the issue. Their approach to cuffing him was crap. If Georgia's police academy is teaching officers to cuff the way they did, which was unsafe (you can tell from the injuries), then I'll eat my keyboard. Their hand to hand skills once the scuffle started were also crap. They got themselves injured by not following normal protocols in initiating the arrest, and by being poor fighters. Being bad at your job isn't an indication of the subject's intent.

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4 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

However, that same cop had just been punched in the face and involved in a pretty rough grounds scuffle.  That's a pretty rough standard to hold someone to that they have to be able to count shots in the middle of a melee.

 

I think you're right that this is going to come up as a mitigating factor, and it should be taken into consideration.

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1 hour ago, Pattern Ghost said:

The officer's lack of hands on training is the issue. Their approach to cuffing him was crap. If Georgia's police academy is teaching officers to cuff the way they did, which was unsafe (you can tell from the injuries), then I'll eat my keyboard. Their hand to hand skills once the scuffle started were also crap. They got themselves injured by not following normal protocols in initiating the arrest, and by being poor fighters.

 

We're in complete agreement on their deficit in empty handed skills.  I'm always surprised when police officers aren't gym regulars with a reasonable level of grappling skill.  In a profession where you're very likely to get into fights and your objective is to take suspects into custody while inflicting the minimal damage possible - grappling skills are very important.

 

And they could have used one of these: 

 

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The following is a link to where you can freely download a PDF of a very recently released study by the University of Chicago Law School of police forces in the twenty largest cities of the United States: Deadly Discretion: The Failure of Police Use of Force Policies to Meet Fundamental International Human Rights Law and Standards

 

Leaving out the appendices, which are transcriptions of the official policies for each of these jurisdictions, the report is not a long read, and is clear and direct.

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On 6/22/2020 at 12:00 PM, ScottishFox said:

 

I believe one of the videos I posted earlier clocks it at roughly 1.1 to 1.2 seconds after the taser shot which is right on the threshold of the react-act gap where you start an action and haven't responded to new information yet.  There are some factors in there such as he had just gotten punched in the face which can definitely affect your reaction time / thinking for a minute if it's a solid connection.  The other factor is we don't know if the cop was aware - in the heat of battle - whether that taser had been fired twice or only once and was still an active threat.  Losing track of how many shots you have left or the suspect has left in the midst of a fight like that is incredibly easy.

 

And I couldn't agree with you more on a couple of points:

1- Let's let a jury decide whether or not the officer's conduct was justifiable or reckless and unnecessary. - 100% agree.  Due process would be nice these days instead of trial by public outrage.

2- America's criminal justice system is a disgusting death spiral.  Once time and probation are served I feel like the criminal record should be hidden from anyone but the police.  It should not stop you from getting a job for the rest of your life virtually forcing you to commit crime to survive.

 

I think cases like this distract from the very notable ones like George Floyd's where you have about 99% agreement from the public on the fact that it was definitely in the murder to manslaughter range.  Get momentum on cases like that and keep pushing for police reform.  The whole system could use a big overhaul.  I'm a big fan of the Norwegian system.

2 with exceptions. Probably shouldn't the child molester back in the school system. 

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8 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

The following is a link to where you can freely download a PDF of a very recently released study by the University of Chicago Law School of police forces in the twenty largest cities of the United States: Deadly Discretion: The Failure of Police Use of Force Policies to Meet Fundamental International Human Rights Law and Standards

 

There are some good suggestions in there, and a little bit of stupid. Of course, the thing is rife with misplaced modifiers, so maybe the stupid bit is just poor writing.

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Man, this story just keeps getting sadder.  I'm gutted for the kids.

 

Rayshard Brooks girlfriend (not his wife) arrested for the arson of the Wendy's.  She turned herself in after an arrest warrant was issued.

 

https://nypost.com/2020/06/23/accused-wendys-arsonist-natalie-white-was-rayshard-brooks-girlfriend-lawyer/

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41% with 0 complaints, 41% with 1-3 complaints, 8% with 4 or 5, and 9% with 6 or more complaints.  

 

But even the ones with a double digit number of complaints get defended ferociously by both the unions and rank and file LEOs, and they'll even walk off the job if one of them is fired or criminally charged.  

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On 6/18/2020 at 7:14 PM, Lord Liaden said:

Massey, I do thank you for your input on this subject. It's enormously helpful to hear first-hand experience of how the system functions, and the practical issues you've seen that influence the outcomes we've all been concerned about. I think a number of your suggestions sound very reasonable and helpful, and I will remember what you brought up for any future discussions of the subject I get into. :hail:

 

However, I would like to underline another factor I believe is fueling the intensity of these protests, one that it's hard to relate to unless you have some personal experience of it -- the effect of manifestations of systemic bias in the police, and in the broader white society, toward black people. The automatic suspicion with which black people are treated by white police, the driving pullovers, the questioning, the demands for identification, from no other apparent cause than being black. The stigmatization, the offensive manner with which they're approached, the many ways a double standard is demonstrated. Black people of every socio-economic class relate stories of being treated that way, time after time, all their lives.

 

As I've mentioned elsewhere on these forums, I grew up in a time and place where I, even as a white male, experienced a small taste of what that's like, so I think I respond to remarks like those with more sympathy (as distinct from empathy) than most of my ethnicity. I grasp the effect of constantly being told or shown, in some big but many more subtle ways, that you're different, what you are makes you less, you deserve however you're treated, you're never going to be accepted no matter what you do. It's like the Chinese water torture, constantly drip, drip, dripping on your head, wearing you down, undercutting your self-esteem, filling you with anger and resentment and frustration, making it hard to hope for something better, provoking fear whenever you have to deal with authority. It makes you want to either give up, or explode. In the current situation the effects of that attitude are like piled-up dry kindling that were just waiting for a spark.

 

Thank you.  I'm way late in responding to things here.  Real life intervened in the last week and I haven't been able to take the time to respond fully to anybody.

 

I've heard the stories of being harassed by the cops simply for being black.  However that's really outside any of my expertise.  If nobody gets arrested, no police report is created, and it never goes to a courtroom.  Cops can hassle people all day long without leaving any sort of paper trail.  I understand that it can happen, but we don't really have any sort of way to measure it.  Neither white people nor black people really know what the other group is experiencing.  If a cop is a jerk, a white person walks away thinking "what a jerk", while a black person walks away thinking "what a racist".  But without any real numbers there's no way to quantify it.

 

The best solution that I can come up with is for black people to be ready with the cameras.  You can buy a dash cam for your own vehicle for about 50 bucks.  I think a nonprofit group devoted to supplying dash cams to low income people would be a good idea.  Maybe set up a website where you could upload the videos of your encounters with the cops, and have volunteers screen each video.  Collect the data, then file a federal lawsuit.  The problem with relying on cop dash cams is that it's easy for them to park their car at an angle so the dash cam doesn't show anything.  "I looked over my shoulder and saw him change lanes without signaling.  Then I turned around and initiated a traffic stop."  You gotta have your own video for something like this.  Fortunately it's getting pretty cheap to do that.

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On 6/18/2020 at 7:29 PM, Ragitsu said:

 

I think you are underestimating just how bad the optics are on a statement like this; for a police officer in an administrative role or a politician, publicly announcing this (even with all the other concessions you made later on) is almost assuredly career suicide. Furthermore, even if the chances of being wrongfully killed are statistically small, you're going to see the most disproportionately affected populations keep their guard up and advocate avoidance (yes, even to the potential detriment of their safety). That is the nature of the beast you must - no, we must - grapple with.

 

 

I'm not really talking about optics here though.  You can phrase something in a more presentable way.  I'm not trying to do that here.  I'm not a politician, so I don't have to worry about that here. :)

 

If we could reduce abuses by police officers by half, then that's a fantastic improvement and we should do it.  The standard should never be "is this perfect?" because we'll never reach it.  

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On 6/19/2020 at 5:17 PM, Old Man said:

 

Brilliant post, sir, but I wanted to address this one point.  The problem isn't that mistakes happen, or that one person is an asshole.  The problem is that in too many PDs, the asshole is protected by the system and even encouraged to continue his asshole ways.  His fellow officers will plant evidence on the victim, lie about what happened, cover up the asshole's crimes, and go after anyone who records or blows the whistle on the asshole.  The prosecutors will deliberately fumble the case against the asshole, if charges are even brought.  The police union will write protections for the asshole into the union contract.  And now everyone in the PD is a bad cop, save the occasional Serpicos who are tolerated at best and doomed to termination or death at worst.

 

In the last two weeks we've seen one PD stage a "blue flu" to protest the arrest of a cop who shot a taser-armed drunk in the back, and we've seen another PD division resign in protest after one of their number was disciplined for shoving an old man and inflicting a TBI.  This is not a one-person-is-an-asshole problem.

 

I'm not saying that it's just the occasional a-hole.  I know there are larger problems than that.

 

That particular point was about some numbers that another poster had thrown around a page or two back in the thread (I forget who exactly).  They said that of the unarmed people who got shot in one year, only like 3 of them weren't either running away or attacking the cop or whatever.  And someone else responded with a "that's 3 too many" or something like that.  I'm merely saying that if we get "bad" shootings down to single digit numbers across the entire nation, then it's Miller Time.

 

A friend of mine is an ex-cop.  He told me that he used to carry a "throw down gun" that he could place at the scene if he ever needed to shoot somebody.  Apparently it was a quite common practice, a lot of officers did it.  This was back in the 80s, and I'm sure it still happens today.  He also told me that this one time he arrested a guy (white dude), and as he's driving him to jail the dude starts threatening his family.  "When I get out of here I'm gonna rape your wife..."  He pulled over his patrol car, got out, opened the back door, and stuck his gun to the guy's head and told him how easy it would be to make him go away forever.  After he had made his feelings clear to the man, he dragged him out of the back seat and beat the ever-living shit out of him with his night stick.  Apparently it went on for a while.  Then he pushed the guy back into the car and drove him the rest of the way to jail.  He wrote down the guy resisted arrest and none of the other cops said a word.

 

Was that a good thing to do?  No.  But I understand why he did it.  And I understand why the other cops looked the other way.  The Thin Blue Line is a real problem, but it didn't spring into existence for no reason.  Pretending that we can just make it go away doesn't do us any good.

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2 hours ago, massey said:

 The standard should never be "is this perfect?" because we'll never reach it.  

 

The "Is it perfect? No." or "Nothing is perfect." angle is one of the easiest and worst argumentative tactics a person can use. We aim high (perhaps to impossible heights) because we know falling short then is preferable to falling short with a mediocre goal in mind.

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Just now, Ragitsu said:

 

The "Is it perfect? No." or "Nothing is perfect." angle is one of the easiest and worst argumentative tactics a person can use. We aim high (perhaps to impossible heights) because we know falling short then is better than falling short with a mediocre goal in mind.

 

Or you aim impossibly high and fail utterly, accomplishing nothing, instead of trying something that's actually achievable.

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8 minutes ago, massey said:

 

Or you aim impossibly high and fail utterly, accomplishing nothing, instead of trying something that's actually achievable.

 

I'm sorry your experiences have jaded you so. You'll probably call or think me naive. I just don't see the value in enabling people with the power to ruin or end a life to act in ways that step outside the boundaries of their authority because they "know better" or because they happen to be in a legal gang.

 

P.S. "Death" and not "shooting"; afford the action the term that gives it the most weight.

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