"Are we breeding a police culture of “additional victims?”

jarrod

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well, as i said, i think the two problems are connected. but nobody seems to want to address that.

jf
 

sgtmac_46

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or the other possibility is that you & i have different definitions of justifiable. as a cop, you have lost the perspective of a civilian. you look at these clips & wonder why the dumbass perp doesn't quit "resisting", which in most of these videos looks an awful lot like laying still on the ground. as a non-cop, i see people who look scared & are afraid to go with the people who are screaming at them, punching them, sticking a gun in their face, etc. maybe that second clip wasn't excessive force by the legal definition, i don't know. i do know that if two people were holding me down, one of them kneeling on my throat (aren't chokehold illegal for LEOs?) my instincts wouldn't exactly be screaming "comply". it's a simple matter of escalation of force; we want people to be aware of it with potential attackers but then fully comply with other people because they have a badge. i know most cops are decent folks, but my instincts would have a really hard time not reading some of those cops as a legitimate threat.

now, out of those 4 clips/articles i posted, you claimed that one is not legitimate brutality. so far your assertion that "95% of the cases of perceived brutality are legitimate uses for force" isn't really holding up. or is it okay to dump people out of wheelchairs or gang rape them? keep in mind these are only instances caught on video. i kinda doubt that cops get caught the first time they abuse someone.

jf
I base my opinion based on the standard of objective reasonableness, my knowledge of standards of use of force, and years of court case law.....you obviously base yours on how it makes you feel watching it.
 

sgtmac_46

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i think it was more than was needed. he popped him once when he was face down with his hands behind his back. i personally couldn't hit someone who was laying on the ground not trying to hurt me. maybe these cops just need better training in compliance-holds.

jf
Are you are aware that he was armed with a pen and was trying to stab the other officer, even while laying on the ground? That they were trying to force the pen out of his hand?
 

sgtmac_46

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But you can't protect or serve the public if you haven't made reasonable steps to protect yourself. And your teammates.
You take those precautions before hand. When the moment of truth comes, though, and the choice becomes personal safety or saving the lives of others, personal safety comes second. If you can achieve both goals, then that's obviously the choice you should make. It's a hierarchy of decisions......and the safety of others comes first.
 

sgtmac_46

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PS- nobody is saying that excessive force doesn't happen. The girl throwing her shoes is one example. I feel sorry for the other officer who I hear was a trainee...
And who obviously was damn uncomfortable with the situation, and did nothing wrong for his own part.
 

sgtmac_46

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to whoever gave me the anonymous negative rep for this comment; i wasn't being passive aggressive, for your info. too bad that dissenting opinions make you angry, & that you don't have the courage to publicly state your opinions.

i was apologizing for my part in veering of topic, pure & simple.

jf
It wasn't me......i'll disagree with you in the forum with my name attached to it, for the record. ;)
 

sgtmac_46

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your little buddy. since it's against the rules to be unpleasant, he sniped you instead.
Who's his little buddy? If you're referring to me, let me make it clear that if I want to make someone look like a jackass, i'll do it with my name attached to it. I don't have a passive aggressive bone in my body.
 

exile

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Folks, things are getting a bit too personalized here. If you've been on MT for any length of time, you'll notice that a point comes in certain threads when the personalities/deficiencies/whatever of other members of the thread becomes the main topic, rather than the OP or anything even close to it. It's easy to get tangled up in the wrangling, but the thread really needs to (i) cool down a lot and (ii) get back to the OP topic.

If anyone thinks there are certain matters germane to the OP topic that might not seem so at first glance, fine: a coherent argument to that effect will always be welcome. But the OP has to remain the center of the conversation, or major (and very unpleasant) topic drift is going to result. Just a word to the wise, eh? :)
 

sgtmac_46

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pathetic restraint skills is more like it.

can't think of anything better to do then jab the guy in the face?

perceptually, the striking of the face is really something that people find objectionable, on the visceral level. it is something that is widely known to not only hurt, but also considered to be embarassing. so if you see a cop hitting the face of a young girl or old man, it is going to hit a nerve. and in general, striking is more evocative than restraints of various kinds, when it comes to emotive responses.

'Looking bad' and being objectively unreasonable are two entirely different things. I didn't about how the video 'looked' I asked if it were police brutality. It was a trick question to determine whether you would go based solely on a knee-jerk emotional response of a snippet of video, or would actually research the totality of the case. There is a legal term......'Totality of the Circumstances'.......and easier word would be 'Context'.

In the case of the girl, the actions were not justified by the totality of the circumstances........in the instance of the gentleman on the ground, however.....

.........get the FULL story on the homeless guy.....first of all....

6'2", 250. He had a warrant for felony assault on a police officer, stemming from an attack where he struck a deputy over the head with the deputy's flashlight.

You'll also notice, if you find the complete video on AP.....visible for a short few moments at the beginning of the video is the badge of an officer, which he RIPPED off the officers chest in the struggle preceding the video beginning, and in his LEFT is one of the officers pens (A WEAPON!).

That would indicate a PERFECTLY JUSTIFIED AND RIGHTEOUS use of force in striking the suspect in the face! And that force IMMEDIATELY ended once the suspect was finally handcuffed.

Trying to stab an officer with his own pen is justification for punches to the face to remove that deadly instrument from your hand and place you in to custody.

Another video that starts at the end of a longer incident, and is further edited to make the suspect look like the victim, and the police merely violent thugs beating on him for no reason.....which is not REMOTELY what happened here!




Now, we get Monday morning quarter backs telling us they could have done it better.......and perhaps they could.......how many times have you guys wrested a sharp object from a 6'2 250 pound man intent on running you through with it? In short, is your statement on 'Control tactics' based on REAL world experience, or forum room theory and dojo play? ;)
 

sgtmac_46

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Brutality isn't the norm, but aggression often is. I can't walk down the street past an officer 90% of the time without getting aggressive looks and a stare down even if I smile and say hello. Is this suppose to make me feel safe? I'm actually a fan and a proponent of law enforcement, but there are lines that get crossed fairly regularly. I've known a few cops and I would say all of them are good people and good cops, but they never acknowledge openly or present a willingness to deal with innapropriate behavior and/or brutality. I don't want to undermine or discourage the men and women who put themselves out there everyday to protect me and everyone else, I want to support and encourage them, but in return is it really to much to ask that we have some openess and honestly about the lines that do get crossed and what can be done about it? Is it too much to ask that our officers start making an effort to end the culture that at times protects and defends those officers that do transgress the bounds of their jobs? I would hope not.
That openness and honesty points both ways........meaning the public also has to be open and honest with itself about the REALITY that legitimate force isn't ever pretty, even when it's necessary, and whether they want the police arresting violent criminals, or just existing as some sort of social workers with a badge.

I guess the answer to that last question depends on whether you're driving down the road commenting on how the police 'look'......or whether you've just called them to come deal with the armed home invaders that are currently climbing your staircase. The idea that you can be all things to all people at all times......that you can look like a cuddly, friendly social worker, and still deal effectively with violent gang members, is a bit unreasonable........so some honesty about personal expectations should be in order.
 

sgtmac_46

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Anybody have anything to say about the OP?

Yes, it is my firm belief that there are folks walking the street, or sitting in prison, who should be dead right now, and would be had an officer not hesitated in following his training and his departments use of force policies.

In short, there are some folks who should be getting shot, that officers are risking their own lives and the lives of the public, by hesitation......which has, by prevented those folks from being shot.........by shear luck, sometimes that hesitation results in nobody dying.........other times, that hesitation results in officers and/or the public dying instead!



In short, we have a bunch of cops who are

1) Afraid of liability to the point that they are frozen in fear when they should be acting.
and/or
2) They don't completely understand use of force law, caselaw and department policy enough to know when they are justified in using force, so they pick a level they know they are safe at, which is often LOWER than they should be using.


The irony of that kind of thinking is that it THESE officers, who use too little force, too late, that get themselves killed, get other officers and citizens killed, and actually result in MORE suspects needing to be killed.

The aggressive application of low-level force PREVENTS the need to escalate to higher levels of force.......even if it makes the shrinking violets in video land queezy.

What officers need to REALIZE is that, even though it can 'look bad', this isn't American Idol (yet!).......the viewers at home don't get to convict you......you STILL have a system of checks and balances to explain your actions in, and they generally side with an officers legitimate use of force, even when it's UGLY use of force, because the system has ways of preventing knee-jerk reactions.
 
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Archangel M

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Something I come across in these discussions (it may have even popped up here) is the "cops just expect you do do what they say..." line. Implying that "brutality" stems from officers thinking that they can just tell people what to do and beat them if they refuse.

Well, if you are being arrested...yeah, we do expect you to "do as you are told". If you don't "do what we tell you" you are resisting arrest which is against the law. This isn't an option..you don't have a choice. I will ask you to comply, tell you to comply then make you comply (unless your actions demand me to go directly to MAKE).
 

blindsage

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That openness and honesty points both ways........meaning the public also has to be open and honest with itself about the REALITY that legitimate force isn't ever pretty, even when it's necessary, and whether they want the police arresting violent criminals, or just existing as some sort of social workers with a badge.

I guess the answer to that last question depends on whether you're driving down the road commenting on how the police 'look'......or whether you've just called them to come deal with the armed home invaders that are currently climbing your staircase. The idea that you can be all things to all people at all times......that you can look like a cuddly, friendly social worker, and still deal effectively with violent gang members, is a bit unreasonable........so some honesty about personal expectations should be in order.

I absolutely agree that it goes both ways. I can't speak for all of the public, but I do recognize the reality (to the best of my non-professional ability) of police work. It's frequently ugly and violent by definition.

My issue with walking down the street has to do with building relationships with the community, whether you agree with that or not I can't help, but I believe that law enforcement should engage the community, not just patrol it, though this is more of a top down cultural issue than an individual officer one. I'm not lookin for officers to be social workers, but personally I have seen plenty of evidence that dealing with violent gangs is made easier when officers have relationships with the community. I also expect that when something violent actually goes down that they are going to have to do there jobs on that end, I have no illusions about that. It's not about being all things to all people. It's about "to protect and serve".

I also agree that the vast majority of society has contradictory and ignorant expectations of police officers which creates a lot of difficulty. But at the same time this doesn't excuse behavior that crosses the line from dealing with violent criminals to harrassing people with no evidence but profiling, or crossing the line with the use of force. I'm positive there are plenty of incidents of officers wrongly accused of brutality because of a misunderstanding of the situation by bystanders and other lay people, but I also know of numerous circumstances in which officers harrass and harm people with very little or no provocation, and never see any consequences from their partners, their departments, or the legal system. I want to and do support and defend law enforcement, but law enforcement can't just blame the public for ignorance (which is often legitimate) and not be honest about the transgressions that go on. Saying that it goes both ways only works if you're making an effort to do your part.
 

Archangel M

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Accusing "The Police" of overlooking brutality is implying that we have some sort of national police force. I cant answer for what a PD half the nation away does. And expecting me to bear some sort of responsibility for the actions of some cops I have no association with (or influence the way their PD handles them) is unfair. Police service is "locally served" if your local dept has "issues then do something about it.

Most people enjoy complaining and pointing fingers rather than acting. If I had a nickle for every "those dirty cops did this to me..." story where the teller did zippo about it..well Id be on a beach somewhere.

This isnt aimed at the last poster. I tend to generalize on these topics vs pointing fingers at individuals.
 

blindsage

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Accusing "The Police" of overlooking brutality is implying that we have some sort of national police force. I cant answer for what a PD half the nation away does. And expecting me to bear some sort of responsibility for the actions of some cops I have no association with (or influence the way their PD handles them) is unfair. Police service is "locally served" if your local dept has "issues then do something about it.

Most people enjoy complaining and pointing fingers rather than acting. If I had a nickle for every "those dirty cops did this to me..." story where the teller did zippo about it..well Id be on a beach somewhere.

This isnt aimed at the last poster. I tend to generalize on these topics vs pointing fingers at individuals.

How would you suggest people act on this issue? I'm asking honestly.

It also seems like much of what you are complaining about it terms of use of force comes from pressure from the public. Which seems to contradict what you said about acting on it. You think people should act when they see a problem, but seem frustrated when they do.
 

jks9199

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First, on the issue of use of force & working cops knowing and understanding case law... Too many agencies have policies that aren't clear, and are seldom re-explained as they change. Even fewer officers pay attention to case law unless they're beat over the head with it...

So you've got officers on the streets, working by what they were taught in the academy -- but these issues change all the time. They've received the last 3 versions of their GOs, maybe even signed for 'em -- but barely read them, and nobody's discussed it with them.

Something I come across in these discussions (it may have even popped up here) is the "cops just expect you do do what they say..." line. Implying that "brutality" stems from officers thinking that they can just tell people what to do and beat them if they refuse.

Well, if you are being arrested...yeah, we do expect you to "do as you are told". If you don't "do what we tell you" you are resisting arrest which is against the law. This isn't an option..you don't have a choice. I will ask you to comply, tell you to comply then make you comply (unless your actions demand me to go directly to MAKE).

Exactly; the best way to guarantee a decent outcome of a police encounter is to go with the program. You can file a complaint with the department, the local government, the state attorney general, or even the FBI afterwards if you feel a need -- or (if you must) go to the press. Just make sure everything is really what you think it is...

But don't try to argue it on the street or at the jail. That's just not going to end well...

And I'm not saying that the cops are always right! There are cops out there who have all the tact and sublety of a water buffallo on speed. There are even people with badges who are screwed up enough to think that there's nothing wrong with beating someone for daring to question them... or less. But your odds of coming out of things happy at the time go way, way up if you choose the right time to complain.

Accusing "The Police" of overlooking brutality is implying that we have some sort of national police force. I cant answer for what a PD half the nation away does. And expecting me to bear some sort of responsibility for the actions of some cops I have no association with (or influence the way their PD handles them) is unfair. Police service is "locally served" if your local dept has "issues then do something about it.

Most people enjoy complaining and pointing fingers rather than acting. If I had a nickle for every "those dirty cops did this to me..." story where the teller did zippo about it..well Id be on a beach somewhere.

This isnt aimed at the last poster. I tend to generalize on these topics vs pointing fingers at individuals.

There are at least 3 or 4 officers responding here. NONE of us work for the same agency, as far as I know. You might note that our answers aren't exactly the same... Now multiply that by the 50000 or so different agencies in the US with law enforcement authority.
 

Archangel M

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How would you suggest people act on this issue? I'm asking honestly.

It also seems like much of what you are complaining about it terms of use of force comes from pressure from the public. Which seems to contradict what you said about acting on it. You think people should act when they see a problem, but seem frustrated when they do.

Well...yeah..I'm a cop. I do get frustrated when people who don't know what it is they are looking at start leveling unfounded accusations. That doesn't mean that we don't think people shouldn't file a complaint when they think something is wrong. That is how departments find out when something really IS wrong. Look, nobody who has force used against them thinks the cops had the right to do so. You can chase an armed felon and wrestle him over a knife and he will file a complaint that he was "abused". In my dept we entertain them all. Peppered in amongst the BS may be the true cases of abuse. They ALL get investigated and many are dismissed as unfounded. Others are founded and the punishment varies. But as JKS said none of here work together and our experiences and opinions will vary as much as civillians perception of the "police". I cant answer...and refuse to take responsibility for what the police in your area do or dont do.

While there are "bad cops" out there, nobody says there isnt, its a two way street. WE cant let the bad apples slide and YOU shouldnt be making judgements based solely on media representation, word of mouth or youtube videos.
 

Archangel M

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And I'm not saying that the cops are always right! There are cops out there who have all the tact and sublety of a water buffallo on speed. There are even people with badges who are screwed up enough to think that there's nothing wrong with beating someone for daring to question them... or less. But your odds of coming out of things happy at the time go way, way up if you choose the right time to complain.

Exactly. It seems to be a recurring theme in these sorts of threads that "we" (cops) have blinders on when it comes to this stuff. I dont know how to express the facts of the job when it comes to "officer types" and the dynamics of dealing with them. I have seen many officers terminated for misbehavior...no "thin blue line" here. And I have seen MANY MORE investigated over situations where either the complainant outright lied or had justified force used against them. Of course they are out running their mouths about how we all "close ranks" behind our cops....again that's MY AGENCY. I don't know how anybody elses operates.
 

redantstyle

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Who's his little buddy? If you're referring to me, let me make it clear that if I want to make someone look like a jackass, i'll do it with my name attached to it. I don't have a passive aggressive bone in my body.

cant imagine why you are directing this towards me.

jarrod said he got an anonymous neg rep.

and for the record, if i thought it was you (how in the hell would i know?), then i would call you out directly.

since everyone is being so open...

regards,

J Michael Barr
 
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