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Old 08-12-2014, 12:40 PM   #51
cuervo72
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Originally Posted by JonInMiddleGA View Post
And if that "civilian" attacks the cop?

Gets very gray really quick when that happens. No, wait, it doesn't.

See, I'd repunctuate that as:

And if that civilian "attacks" the cop?


Cops are human. They are flawed, they may act on emotion. Some are probably biased or racist. Some aren't the best and brightest.

So without proper training and supervision, they're going to fuck up. Sometimes, they are going to abuse power. When they do, they are going to fit the story to cover their own asses.

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After his death, officers told supervisors that they did not think excess force was used and initially blamed Garner's death on a heart attack before the film went viral.

Without that film, we would have gotten the same story here. It was the perp's fault he's dead, not the cops. They were just protecting themselves. He was resisting arrest and/or violent.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:43 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by cuervo72 View Post
See, I'd repunctuate that as:

And if that civilian "attacks" the cop?

It's probably nothing more than a simple question:
which do you trust more, police or random civilian

Given what I think of the average civilian my answer is quite consistent with my overall beliefs.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:50 PM   #53
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Oh, by no means are all civilians pristine. But cops aren't either. They come from that same civilian pool, it's not as if they come from some magically ordained pot of superior individuals. Some officers will join the force because they wish to serve and protect. Some will join because it's a job and has a decent pension. Some will join because it gives them power and the ability to lord it over others. No different from anyone else.

Are some cops trustworthy? Absolutely. Most of them, probably. All of them? Hell no. No different from the random civilian.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:51 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by JonInMiddleGA View Post
It's probably nothing more than a simple question:
which do you trust more, police or random civilian

Given what I think of the average civilian my answer is quite consistent with my overall beliefs.

I'm curious, what makes the average cop more trustworthy than the average civilian in your eyes?
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:53 PM   #55
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Because in general there's a vetting process that goes into becoming a cop, there's also a general sense of duty and civic responsibility that goes into wanting to be a cop.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:56 PM   #56
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Because in general there's a vetting process that goes into becoming a cop, there's also a general sense of duty and civic responsibility that goes into wanting to be a cop.

Yeah it has nothing to do with them being incapable of finding employment in lucrative fields.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:56 PM   #57
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Because in general there's a vetting process that goes into becoming a cop, there's also a general sense of duty and civic responsibility that goes into wanting to be a cop.

AHHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

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Old 08-12-2014, 01:01 PM   #58
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I'm curious, what makes the average cop more trustworthy than the average civilian in your eyes?

More ... "vetted" might be a decent word for what I'm trying to say.

They've had more training, been more closely observed, been subjected to more evaluation, been subjected to more scrutiny, etc & so on. They've had more opportunities to have their shortcomings identified & dealt with than the random (and I do mean random, literally pick one from amongst 318.6m) person.

Secondary to that I suppose is anecdotal experience. Lord knows, between my somewhat misspent youth & years of dealing with law enforcement first hand as a broadcast journalist it's not as though I don't have some first hand knowledge. I've most definitely seen the bad along with the good -- from rural to metro to suburban -- but on average if you pick one person with a badge at random vs one person vs the non-badge population at random & put them in law enforcement Situation X I believe the odds of the officer acting properly are significantly higher than the civilian.

edit to add: just ftr, Suicane posted while I was composing, I had not seen his word choice when I made mine.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:03 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by JonInMiddleGA View Post
It's probably nothing more than a simple question:
which do you trust more, police or random civilian

Given what I think of the average civilian my answer is quite consistent with my overall beliefs.


I think all of our views on this are jaded by our regional experiences.

In my hometown, for example. I'd trust the average street walker in the worst neighborhood before I'd trust most LEO.

I'm trying to organize my thought into a coherent post, and as horrible as this analogy is Im going to use a numerical representation on "quality of person" as flawed as that is.

Around here in the civilian pop ulation we have 1-100s just like everywhere.
In a worse, more crime inflicted neighborhood the average probably skews into the 30s...with a few 100's and a lot of 0's.

On our police force we probably have a range on 35-50...its a rural area, very economically depressed. I think starting deputies are still under $25k/yr...you only go into Law Enforcement if you literally cant do anything else.

So if I encounter a "thug" in a bad neighborhood. He may be a 0 but he may also be a 100. When I encounter a cop I know AT BEST (again around here) he is a 50 and more likely to be worse.

All that is said with family and high school friends who are those cops. Its just damn old small town politics. Arrests, seizures then the seizure auction is poorly advertised and the cop who arrested youis now driving your old car he paid $1 for.

Obviously I dont live in St Louis, so that is different.

However I also think that as a cop you probably tend to observe behavior patterns. The fact that a large % of a community would devolve into the looting we see, probably means they encounter this behavior daily for weeks , months and years on end. So when they engage a situation they bring those expctations and prejudices to the party. That probably causes them to react overly aggressive.

Not saying its right, just saying human nature being what it is it likely happens.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:05 PM   #60
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Yeah it has nothing to do with them being incapable of finding employment in lucrative fields.

I'm sure for some it does. So what?
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:07 PM   #61
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I've trained police officers (edit: not on tactics, on legal stuff), have been to a few academy graduation ceremonies, and have worked with many officers in all kinds of contexts. The bulk of them are really inspiring. It's not an easy job and there's a lot of turnover, a lot who can't make it through the first few years. They all make mistakes at some point, and I've seen many agonize over those and too harshly question themselves. Of course it's also a job where royally fucking up can have huge stakes. Which they all are well aware of. Training is critical but you can't guarantee perfect performance in all situations or even perfect vetting.

Everything being equal, taking a random police officer and a random citizen, I would trust the officer more for all the reasons mentioned. But where there's an situation involving an officer action that looks fishy or questionable, that officer is no longer "random", so the equation can change in a hurry.

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Old 08-12-2014, 01:17 PM   #62
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I've trained police officers, have been to a few academy graduation ceremonies, and have worked with many officers in all kinds of contexts. The bulk of them are really inspiring. It's not an easy job and there's a lot of turnover, a lot who can't make it through the first few years. They all make mistakes at some point, and I've seen many agonize over those and too harshly question themselves. Of course it's also a job where royally fucking up can have huge stakes. Which they all are well aware of. Training is critical but you can't guarantee perfect performance in all situations or even perfect vetting.

Everything being equal, taking a random police officer and a random citizen, I would trust the officer more for all the reasons mentioned. But where there's an situation involving an officer that looks fishy or questionable, that officer is no longer "random", so the equation can change in a hurry.

Molson, I'd generally agree with you. I worked with a lot of law enforcement personnel over 7 years and the majority were pretty good guys.

The problem is that the "Thin Blue Line" is really a "Thick Brick Wall" and as such when something is done that is bad nothing happens. The whole system is corrupt in their rush to protect police offers from any criticism and repercussions from their actions. That's not much different than any other big bureaucracy, but it makes a difference when those actions take place at the barrel of a gun.

Combine that with the increasing militarization of the police forces and it becomes a critical problem. The mentality is often "shoot now and we'll sort it out later", knowing that there's little chance of any disciplinary action later. That's why we see almost on a daily basis some evidence of police brutality.

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Old 08-12-2014, 01:21 PM   #63
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I'm sure for some it does. So what?

You're trying to make them out to be some honorable citizens who sacrifice to perform a civic duty for the greater good. That "sense of duty and civic responsibility" you talk about seems to go away awfully quick when one of their own does something wrong. It seems to disappear into a vast void when it comes to firing one of their own (which is almost impossible to do). Or reporting crime statistics accurately. And see the kind of response you get if you want to file a complaint against an officer.

Then again I live in a city that dishes out hundreds of millions in lawsuits to people and blatantly lies about the crime stats. Maybe they just haven't heard about that duty and civic responsibility part.

Now I'm sure most are good people. Just as I'm sure most of any profession are good people. But I also realize most are in this because it's the best opportunity available and beats digging ditches.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:38 PM   #64
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Molson, I'd generally agree with you. I worked with a lot of law enforcement personnel over 7 years and the majority were pretty good guys.

The problem is that the "Thin Blue Line" is really a "Thick Brick Wall" and as such when something is done that is bad nothing happens. The whole system is corrupt in their rush to protect police offers from any criticism and repercussions from their actions. That's not much different than any other big bureaucracy, but it makes a difference when those actions take place at the barrel of a gun.

Combine that with the increasing militarization of the police forces and it becomes a critical problem. The mentality is often "shoot now and we'll sort it out later", knowing that there's little chance of any disciplinary action later. That's why we see almost on a daily basis some evidence of police brutality.

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I think there is definitely a disconnect between the reality and how a lot of agencies express these things to the public. Many officers are fired, many are disciplined, many at lectured in front of their peers, some go to prison, and there's always tension between police chiefs and DOC staffs that want to fire bad veteran officers but are told by lawyers that they can't yet.

A lot of agencies are terrible at communicating this general distaste for bad policing to the public. (And there's definitely terrible agencies out there too with bad cultures, but I don't think that's the norm). Maybe there's a defensiveness when you have so many people who are incredibly over-cynical about everything police do. Sometimes there's policies about what they can say publicly. I think there's some misunderstandings about the law sometimes too, or there's grey areas where many in the public see it as a slam-dunk-cop-is-evil deal.

And I don't think a lot of individual officers really consciously think "what the fuck, I'll shoot this guy, nothing will happen to me." Statistically, I'm sure there's psychopaths like that out there in any profession (and cops are the ones who actually can act on it in the course of their jobs), but for most of them, it's a terrible and stressful thing.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:39 PM   #65
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There's usually a reason that certain communities distrust law enforcement. It's rare something like this happening in a majority white community, but, these incidences seem to happen with a frequency that seems 'peculiar' at best in minority communities. Maybe it's the way the media reports these things, I don't know. Kind of like once a cute white girl goes missing, it's national news, but, when a minority girl goes missing, it barely gets a mention by the media, if at all.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:47 PM   #66
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What difference does that make? Does it make their lawlessness any less criminal or wrong because the business they are destroying isn't a Mom and Pop shop?

I don't care one way or another.

My position is there is an underlying cause to this kind of behavior that dates back to the past and it begins and ends with people having some investment in the places they live.

Of course, if you take the National Review position on it, we can just call them all lawless savages, shoot them all and call it a day.

I have some strong opinions on the reactions, as well as some of the other things going on, but those issues don't negate the origins of why places like this exist in the first place.

All of these issues are about policies that predated the actions. Failing to talk about structural policy will leave us spinning our wheels until we recognize that all of this stuff was crafted deliberately and leads to the powder keg we're seeing now.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:51 PM   #67
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I don't care one way or another.

My position is there is an underlying cause to this kind of behavior that dates back to the past and it begins and ends with people having some investment in the places they live.

Of course, if you take the National Review position on it, we can just call them all lawless savages, shoot them all and call it a day.

I have some strong opinions on the reactions, as well as some of the other things going on, but those issues don't negate the origins of why places like this exist in the first place.

All of these issues are about policies that predated the actions. Failing to talk about structural policy will leave us spinning our wheels until we recognize that all of this stuff was crafted deliberately and leads to the powder keg we're seeing now.

I guess I just don't see how people would fail to have a connection to the grocery stores, pharmacies, coffee shops, etc that they shop at everyday because they have a known brand on the outside vs "Tim Smith's Pharmacy".
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:53 PM   #68
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There's usually a reason that certain communities distrust law enforcement. It's rare something like this happening in a majority white community, but, these incidences seem to happen with a frequency that seems 'peculiar' at best in minority communities. Maybe it's the way the media reports these things, I don't know. Kind of like once a cute white girl goes missing, it's national news, but, when a minority girl goes missing, it barely gets a mention by the media, if at all.

There's more police activity generally in poorer communities where there's more crime. And that activity can breed hostility towards police and you can see how it can become a vicious cycle. In a town without a lot of police activity, there's fewer bad incidents, less distrust, it's more likely a citizen will show submissive deference to authority. And it's easier for the bad cop to operate in a community with so much real hostility and physical resistance directed towards officers, a bad cop will stand out much more quickly in malibu or whatever. In a lot of suburban areas the main thing going on police-wise is DUIs and domestic violence. It's a totally different dynamic of interaction from places where there's more street patrols.

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Old 08-12-2014, 01:54 PM   #69
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I think there is definitely a disconnect between the reality and how a lot of agencies express these things to the public. Many officers are fired, many are disciplined, many at lectured in front of their peers, some go to prison, and there's always tension between police chiefs and DOC staffs that want to fire bad veteran officers but are told by lawyers that they can't yet.

I don't know where you're getting the "many officers are fired" part but the number is incredibly low. I used to do statistical work for pension systems and the number of officers who are fired compared to the private sector is minuscule. There were major cities like DC that would go years without an officer over the age of 40 being fired.

To put it into perspective, teachers were fired at 3-4 times the rate police officers were. And we all know how hard it is to fire a teacher.
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:00 PM   #70
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I don't know where you're getting the "many officers are fired" part but the number is incredibly low. I used to do statistical work for pension systems and the number of officers who are fired compared to the private sector is minuscule. There were major cities like DC that would go years without an officer over the age of 40 being fired.

To put it into perspective, teachers were fired at 3-4 times the rate police officers were. And we all know how hard it is to fire a teacher.

It is very hard to fire veteran officers, but much easier in most places to let them go in the first years. I wish more lawyers weren't so cautious about the advice they give regarding that. But my point was that the administration and the wardens want these people gone. I've been in these meetings. I've worked in an agency that represents the state and counties when they try to fire police officers. It's not this scenario where an officer does a bad thing and everyone is high-fiving each other and making jokes about how much power they all have. It causes a lot of angst and I wish the agencies were bolder about communicating that.

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Old 08-12-2014, 02:00 PM   #71
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There's usually a reason that certain communities distrust law enforcement.

There sure is.

Like the incredibly high rate of convicted felons in certain communities.

The general population rate is approaching 10%.
The rate among black males is around 25%.

People hate getting caught.
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:02 PM   #72
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I don't know where you're getting the "many officers are fired" part but the number is incredibly low. I used to do statistical work for pension systems and the number of officers who are fired compared to the private sector is minuscule. There were major cities like DC that would go years without an officer over the age of 40 being fired.

To put it into perspective, teachers were fired at 3-4 times the rate police officers were. And we all know how hard it is to fire a teacher.

And of those fired I wonder how many get reinstated. Like the cop who kindly handed Jeffrey Dahmer one of his victims.
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:02 PM   #73
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I guess I just don't see how people would fail to have a connection to the grocery stores, pharmacies, coffee shops, etc that they shop at everyday because they have a known brand on the outside vs "Tim Smith's Pharmacy".

I'm not explaining it well enough, but I doubt I could explain it on a message board anyway.
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:06 PM   #74
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There's more police activity generally in poorer communities where there's more crime. And that activity can breed hostility towards police and you can see how it can become a vicious cycle. In a town without a lot of police activity, there's fewer bad incidents, less distrust, it's more likely a citizen will show submissive deference to authority. And it's easier for the bad cop to operate in a community with so much real hostility and physical resistance directed towards officers, a bad cop will stand out much more quickly in malibu or whatever. In a lot of suburban areas the main thing going on police-wise is DUIs and domestic violence. It's a totally different dynamic of interaction from places where there's more street patrols.

There's also "leaders" in those communities that like to stoke the flames because it's good for their brand/business. There's a reason Al Sharpton is on a flight out to Ferguson and not Chicago despite the fact more black youths will be shot here in the next 24 hours.
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:07 PM   #75
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It is very hard to fire veteran officers, but much easier in most places to let them go in the first years. I wish more lawyers weren't so cautious about the advice they give regarding that. But my point was that the administration and the wardens want these people gone. I've been in these meetings. I've worked in an agency that represents the state and counties when they try to fire police officers. It's not this scenario where an officer does a bad thing and everyone is high-fiving each other and making jokes about how much power they all have. It causes a lot of angst and I wish the agencies were bolder about communicating that.

Just saying that even among the young officers, the rate is miniscule compared to the private sector. They are not firing the bad cops as much as they should.
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:15 PM   #76
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And of those fired I wonder how many get reinstated. Like the cop who kindly handed Jeffrey Dahmer one of his victims.

Right, so they were fired for sucking and the union and the courts put them back. Any police leadership (like the ones that fired those guys), and the lawyers that represent the state, would completely agree with you that that sucks. Which I think goes against the cops-as-a-collective-evil narrative.

It's also interesting that the lesson to take from that case from a police perspective is that police shouldn't be too cautious. They should extend a Terry stop if they believe have reasonable suspicion to, even if they get closer to that line of an unreasonable seizure. I know people aren't going to believe this, but I think many officers and most young officers are way too cautious when it comes to the 4th Amendment. They're afraid of suppression hearings, they're afraid of defense attorneys and cross-examinations, they're afraid of having their job performance being picked apart, they often leave evidence on the table. The incidents we hear about are such a tiny minority of police interactions.

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Old 08-12-2014, 02:31 PM   #77
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Just saying that even among the young officers, the rate is miniscule compared to the private sector. They are not firing the bad cops as much as they should.

I'm pretty pro-firing generally so I'd agree. I just don't think its the culture that keeps that from happening. And I think there's probably not as many truly bad, dangerous cops as others think there are, but that can vary a lot by agency.

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Old 08-12-2014, 02:56 PM   #78
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It is also a bullshit move not to release the officers name by now. They've had plenty of time to put safety measures in place.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:55 PM   #79
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Latest local rumor is that cop was jumped in his car and beaten (apperently he looks really messed up) and his gun was grabbed at. Threw kid from car, threw car into reverse and kid came charging at car. All on video. Like I said it all rumor but if true I can't wait to hear continued justification for the burned down gas station.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:56 PM   #80
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Kind of perplexing why the police wouldn't get in front of this if true but I have heard this same story in a couple of different circles.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:02 PM   #81
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Kind of perplexing why the police wouldn't get in front of this if true but I have heard this same story in a couple of different circles.

Likely to due rules or even simple realism about what you release prior to an investigation being completed.

They could have all this on video (they do not, I'm saying could have had) and it wouldn't matter to a large portion of the protestors.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:14 PM   #82
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I'm pretty pro-firing generally so I'd agree. I just don't think its the culture that keeps that from happening. And I think there's probably not as many truly bad, dangerous cops as others think there are, but that can vary a lot by agency.

I don't know what the problem is exactly, I just think more should be fired. Police force should be culling the bottom 5% of their department every year.

It's stuff like this that bother me.

Police Officers Who Shot at Two Innocent Women 103 Times Won't Be Fired - Yahoo News

Even if you believe it was a terrible accident, the officers are not competent enough to hold that position. We should have higher standards but instead every incident has excuses. You wouldn't find excuses like this at most private businesses, why do we accept it in something like police work?
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:20 PM   #83
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Likely to due rules or even simple realism about what you release prior to an investigation being completed.

They could have all this on video (they do not, I'm saying could have had) and it wouldn't matter to a large portion of the protestors.

Police departments are well versed in leaking information that benefits themselves and if something in the investigation would make them look better, you bet it'd be out there. We have justifiable shootings by police all the time in Chicago and they never handle it in this manner.

I'm trying to keep an open mind here but the way that department has handled things so far is sketchy at the least.
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Old 08-12-2014, 04:27 PM   #84
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I'm not explaining it well enough, but I doubt I could explain it on a message board anyway.

Maybe it can't be explained. Putting us down doesn't help, either.

We have our equivalents in Suburbia. Every time they announce a new Starbucks, inevitably you hear about the demise of the local diner or coffee house. Ten years ago, Borders was killing the local book store.

What I don't understand is the violence. Tell me what justifies theft or violence against a stranger who did absolutely nothing to you.

We're all carpetbaggers. Every single one of us. There isn't a person in America who can trace his or her roots back to the first Americans who left traces of some sort of community thousands of years ago in what's called Poverty Point, Louisiana.
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:17 PM   #85
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Police departments are well versed in leaking information that benefits themselves and if something in the investigation would make them look better, you bet it'd be out there. We have justifiable shootings by police all the time in Chicago and they never handle it in this manner.

I'm trying to keep an open mind here but the way that department has handled things so far is sketchy at the least.

You've got the feds breathing down your neck, a delusional percentage of population that won't believe anything other than "oh the poor 'victim' " b.s. ... I wouldn't have much to say either, especially if the feds have said "not a word".
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:03 PM   #86
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You've got the feds breathing down your neck, a delusional percentage of population that won't believe anything other than "oh the poor 'victim' " b.s. ... I wouldn't have much to say either, especially if the feds have said "not a word".

I would if my town was being burned down and my officers were being put in danger. If they had overwhelming evidence, they'd have released it by now. They aren't that stupid.
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:12 PM   #87
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I would if my town was being burned down and my officers were being put in danger. ... They aren't that stupid.

I believe you grossly overestimate a lot of the population.
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Old 08-12-2014, 06:32 PM   #88
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I would if my town was being burned down and my officers were being put in danger. If they had overwhelming evidence, they'd have released it by now. They aren't that stupid.

There is a similar situation about 25 miles from where I live. A 22 year old kid was killed in a Walmart because he had a BB gun. The controversy is really about whether or not the kid was just carrying it or if he was wheeling it around in a threatening manner. The gun was one from that Walmart. Officers shot and killed him saying he refused to put it down upon orders to do so. Family says he was on the phone talking to family and didn't hear. Witnesses are a mixed bag. This happened almost a week ago and there's been no video released or discussed yet despite all kinds of pleas to do so.
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:53 PM   #89
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"oh the poor 'victim' " b.s.

See, this is it right here though. We have no information, but on the surface "unarmed 18yo shot at distance multiple times" doesn't look good. We have a dead black man/boy and little other information - but the first inclination for many is to side against the black kid and call the suggestion that he might be a victim (again - the dead one here) b.s.

Either that's a misguided trust in authority, or it's racism.
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:12 PM   #90
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Life is fairly simple. Don't attack a cop and go for his gun...
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:28 PM   #91
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Life is fairly simple. Don't attack a cop and go for his gun...

Even if that's what happened, does it mean the cop is OK to shoot him to death as he's running away?

If someone broke into my house and attacked me, I managed to get free, get my gun, chase them out of the house and down the street then shot them to death, what would happen to me?
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:33 PM   #92
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Well, if it's Florida...
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:03 PM   #93
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Even if that's what happened, does it mean the cop is OK to shoot him to death as he's running away?

If someone broke into my house and attacked me, I managed to get free, get my gun, chase them out of the house and down the street then shot them to death, what would happen to me?

Darwinism FTW
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:09 PM   #94
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Darwinism FTW

I guess it's like a debate on religion in that, if you're OK with the idea of a cop making that call, I don't know that we're going to find the middleground to have much of a discussion.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:24 PM   #95
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Good article, though I'm sure some of you will be quick and eager to rip holes in it: America Is Not For Black People.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:25 PM   #96
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Hmm, maybe Google Glass wouldn't be such a bad thing after all...
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:32 PM   #97
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Are we really the land of the free?
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:36 PM   #98
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Good article, though I'm sure some of you will be quick and eager to rip holes in it:

Didn't even have to get past the first paragraph to see the bias in that article.

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Old 08-12-2014, 09:44 PM   #99
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Good article, though I'm sure some of you will be quick and eager to rip holes in it: America Is Not For Black People.

No holes but I did a search for 'Chicago' and nothing came up.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:54 PM   #100
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Are we really the land of the free?

I'll see your picture taken out of context and raise you with...

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