Police officer pulls gun on man recording him, and is placed on leave. #fixthepolice

What your motivation for calling 911? Did you witness an emergency or crime?

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Unusual and unknown car in my neighborhood, with people I don’t recognize behaving oddly, and a gun in the backseat? Yes, that’s an emergency in my book. Given the response, SDSO agreed with me.

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I would say you’re tilting at windmills, but you’re probably more or less upright and there are probably no windmills in sight so it would probably confuse you.

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Of course they did, it’s free money for them. They actually make more from non-existent problems then they do real ones. And meanwhile it re-enforces the harassment of people who aren’t engaged in anything unlawful. LEOs jobs are simply to enforce laws (and/or serve papers, for sheriffs) - not to look for trouble or babysit frightened people.

So you go from having one car of people you don’t know with guns in the neighborhood, to having 8-9 cars full of people you don’t know with guns in the neighborhood - and paying for the service. You probably greatly increased the probability of people coming to harm.

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I feel like it’s a distinct possibility that the only reason this guy is still alive is that he didn’t take his hand out of his pocket.

Uh-huh mm-hmm:

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In most US states (possibly all, I’m not sure), if you are on your own property and a stranger rolls up and points a gun at you, you are perfectly within the law to use deadly force on said stranger. What happens if cell phone guy is armed in this situation?

The trick is that a person acting on behalf of the municipality is not legally a person, they are an “officer” - a proxy of the city. But it is not as straightforward as this. Can it be demonstrated that they were engaged in actual municipal business? (they will always say “yes”) And does the resident have any reliable evidence that they are really an officer, on town business? The resident would have case for their defense with these factors, but it would certainly not be easy.

As an example, I had a cop in Boston threaten to kill me because I confronted him over a traffic accident I saw him cause. When I went to his precinct to file a complaint against him, they refused to take my complaint saying that I must have been mistaken, because A Police Officer would never possibly do that! So were they factually disavowing that the guy was really a cop? Yes, they more or less did! Does that mean that I’d be within my rights to kill him if he threatened me again? Yes, it arguably might! Would the PD just let it go? Hell no! They would almost certainly change their story in an instant. They were running their mouths to take a little heat off, betting that I was not going to act upon it.

I could give other examples. I worked on the streets in the Boston/Cambridge area for years, so had many encounters with police. A few of the respectful, but mostly not. How I handle them is to cooperate, but make everything symmetrical. IE I have a high burden of proof for them. I demand proof of their indentities, to talk to their supervisor, to document who their dispatcher is, demand proof of whose car and sidearm they have, etc. I am completely cooperating - on the condition that I can verify that they are actually officers, engaged in legitimate activity. They get hot about this. I have had cops threaten me with jail and death over it. If they stop me, we will be there for hours. I will not let them leave unless they prove that they are legit.

You cannot afford to be the slightest bit intimidated. It is like confronting a wolf or mountain lion, if they sense fear, they will attack you. But you need to be polite also! My demeanor is that of grave concern, like I caught a little kid getting into trouble. And don’t even think about standing up to them like that if you were actually in the wrong about something.

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Thank goodness he didn’t take his hand out of his pocket - there was that recent case where a cop told a guy to take his hand out of his pocket, but when the guy complied, the cop shot him dead. (Always do what the cops tell you, right?)

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Does Marvel know you’re here, Drax?

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" the woman reached into the back and pulled a jacket over something on the back seat. As I walked past, I could see the stock of a long gun in the back seat under the jacket."

You’re right, that’s not suspicious. /s

EDITED to add /s

While it’s striking, it’s also comparing two different numbers. There’s roughly 57 million people in England and Wales. There’s roughly 320 million people in America. While there’s still a stark difference, it’s disingenuous to do an absolute value comparison between two countries with vastly different numbers of people.

It’s supporting a good case. It’s just using a bad metric for comparison. There’s a reason statisticians and scientists use normalized data.

In my state, it’s very illegal to have a loaded weapon within the passenger cabin of a vehicle unless otherwise exempted due to disability or being a cop. Firearms must be secured when stored in a vehicle, which means either locked in the trunk, or locked in the glovebox. Gun racks aren’t a legal alternative to properly securing your firearm.

So yes, it’s quite possible that @RatMan could have just witnessed a crime, if it were just private citizens.

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Sounds weasel-word-ish to me. More specifically, what did you (or RatMan) suspect them of? I think there is a huge difference between a person deciding that caution might be warranted in dealing with somebody, and suspecting them of an actual crime. The former puts the responsibility upon the observer, while the latter places it with those observed. There doesn’t seem to be any real justification for assuming they were going to do anything unlawful, apart from an immediate emotional reaction.

If you don’t like what people are doing, then it would be more responsible to change the laws accordingly, rather than using law enforcement people to subject others to what you would prefer to see. I hate it when citizens pull this, and I hate it when police pull this. People need to actually read the laws rather than assume that they know what people should and/or shouldn’t be doing. Otherwise it’s merely bullying people into conformity.

Not unlike the slate article linked here yesterday that I cannot find now: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2015/08/baltimore_ex_cop_discusses_police_violence_toward_young_black_men.html
The main problem which gets people killed is fear. Citizens see something that they fear, so they call fearful cops, and then people often die. And just like how cops justify their shooting of people out of vague fear when nothing was actually happening, there are apparently larger groups of the public who similarly justify their actions.

So if I see someone with a hidden gun in their car on my street, the appropriate response is to write to my congressman, rather than asking the police to investigate?

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If you witness people doing something unlawful, sure, call police. But if you witness people doing something which isn’t illegal, it’s really not their problem. Then, if you don’t like it and want to complain, your congressbeing might be the best option.

What seems to be lost on many people is that if you call police simply because somebody has a gun, and for no other reason, that you might be endangering someone who is otherwise minding their own business. And maybe engaging in a bit of hypocrisy, since the police who respond are going to bring guns as well.

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The difference in population is about a factor of five.

The difference in citizens killed by police in a given time period is…?

If anything, normalising the data makes the situation look even worse.

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I don’t disagree. I just have a very low tolerance for putting two numbers that measure different things next to each other as a comparison when they’re not measuring the same thing.

It’d be like sticking the number of calories for a whole cow next to the number of calories in a small cup of dirt, then winking and saying “which one is better”?

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BTW, if you were wondering:

http://www.lifebygeek.com/2012/11/03/how-much-energy-is-in-a-cow/

And I have no idea how much energy is in a cup of dirt…

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Yeah, off the top of my head I would have ballparked a beef steer to be a few hundred thousand kcal. I know a human adult is in the range of… I forget now, I want to say 60,000 kcal, and while a steer isn’t ten times the mass of a human, it’s definitely several times the mass of a human.

Cup-o-dirt? No idea. There’s plenty of energy there for bacteria and plants, but both of those require extra reagents for digestion and probably varies wildly between different kinds of dirt/soil. I’d expect rich forest humus soil would be the most nutritious. But probably unprocessed there’d be little to no caloric value for a human if eaten, seeing as its organic components are dominated by stuff like cellulose and lignin.


ETA: according to this paper: http://cedarcreek.umn.edu/biblio/fulltext/Ecology%20Vol%2048%201967%20Gorham.pdf there’s roughly 5.04 kcal/g in woodland humus (dried weight), which is likely completely indigestible to a human.

Why is it that stories that start with “Civilian pulls gun on person with camera” usually end with “…civilian is now in jail facing charges” but stories start with “Police officer pulls gun on person with camera” usually end with “…police officer is now on leave”?

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