I think ascribing malice to all police is a mistake.
3/4ths of the Internal affairs complaints brought against police are from other police.
And those are generally not handled well.
tl;dr Good cops can’t even police the bad ones. How can we?
So we can be more discerning. And stop alienating what is OUR police force. Not the governments. That shit is local and made by and for citizens, and responds to protest and pressure. The decisions about police actions are made within miles of peoples homes, not 2000 miles away.
And… if you look at procedures for escalation of force for police, the policies say shoot non-compliant people.
Bad cops? Bad policys? I say bad weaponry. We ALL need a way to subdue a target at range without loss of life. Its a big fucking need.
If we had that… we could stop talking about when cops can shoot people, and start talking about policing without fatalities.
I want policing without fatalities. Don’t you?
I think they would prefer the term “life-challenged”, dead is just so offensive…
Along with the developmentally disabled, the deaf, etc. Police demand/expect certain kinds of responses, and for those unable to give that response, getting shot becomes a likely outcome.
Obvious it is both, but not universally. The poor training is pretty consistent, though.
You give cops tasers and they end up torturing people with them, using them in inappropriate situations and killing people. And they still shoot people when it’s not necessary. The rate at which US cops shoot people is unmatched in the first world, and the fact that they get, in some instances, one-tenth the training that other police forces do is a big part of that. When training revolves around guns, that’s what they’re going to use to solve problems, even when it’s not a remotely appropriate, much less ideal, solution. (if you then systematically fail to hold police accountable for misuse of guns, that just reinforces the problem.) The fact is, police frequently shoot people when no use of any sort of weaponry was needed at all.
I read a story on that in the media last year which was interesting. I seem to recall people from India, for example, didn’t have the same kind of rage voices in their heads as people get more often in the West.
Of course, the same article pointed out (which I had also read elsewhere) that the incidence of auditory hallucination as an acute thing (not chronic) was actually pretty high in the general population. People just don’t mention it to others for fear of sounding crazy.
I’ve seen police take down folks who were struggling with mental issues with tasers.
I felt very strange about the entire thing. Bad. I knew the guy. He was a harmless old veteran of the navy. But he also kept calling this Senator about some thing he had to do to save his son… so he wasn’t too in touch with reality.
I asked why they didn’t just grab him. Its about communicable diseases now, apparently. Bodily fluids kill.
So… yes. Tasers are used by cops to torture people, and not for policing… But I’d rather they be doing that than shooting and killing people.
Another advantage? Not missing your targets and killing innocent bystanders.
So terrified the wrong cop in the wrong place is going to hurt my little brother one day. He’s already been picked up by the cops several times while having an episode, but so far they’ve always decided to bring him to the hospital.
I’m sure it helped that at least one or two of those times the call was made by someone who was concerned for him more than afraid of him.
His diagnosis is schizoaffective bipolar. He’s going through an incredibly bad patch right now.
I believe that is the same study I heard about.
I can recollect a few cases where the police started off tasering someone who was mentally ill, then shot them.
Do you think that represents all of them?
Guns don’t kill people, bodily fluids do.
Oh, good, something else police are pants-wettingly frightened of. Where’s that list?
Just like gun-violence statistics, that information would somehow endanger our freedoms
Edited for technical correctness.
Yep. It also places people of low means in a class of untouchables. You look weird. I bet you have hep.
pew pew 'Murica.
but mostly… a populist uprising.
There are 50 cops per 10,000 civilians is the ratio of police to population in the most policed American Cities. 700,000 total law enforcement personnel, vs 7,000,000 people incarcerated or on parole.
They fear the day they lose control, get overwhelmed. They see that blue line as very thin… however they define it. Its why cops are cops… most are to be the good guys. Some of them realize there’s no justice… just us, once they’ve been in for awhile and go rogue, more or less… Some are there for power, and thrive in a permissive environment. Where they can murder people and get away with it.
ALL of them know that they will lose in a 10:1 fight… and all of them know that there’s 0 hope of suppressing even the most benign and peaceful civil disobedience if there’s 2000 disobedient people to every officer.
That’s when the military gets called in. And then… the military leave. And all the angry people who just got hammered… they’re looking at the police now.
This is actually quite shocking… but the view from inside the Police forces are VERY different than the ones we have. They don’t have a voice, and never have. They aren’t allowed to speak to the population about their experiences. They are the people who get called when the WORST things happen in our society, and clean it up.
Jaded doesn’t begin to cover it. I spoke to many during the second gulf war protests. Police from many different areas. They will… eventually open up. It takes a while. They get the 1000 yard stare… tell you about people stomping their kids to death, and they have to show up. Telling you about the domestic murders and misery… and how very shitty and ethically compromising it is to be a cop. They live their lives in a very fucked up lawless grey zone.
Oh… and they’re afraid of having to kill someone some day. Many realize how deeply their humanity is at stake.
I think its because it dawns on them all they are there to protect property from people. Not to protect people.
And… I worked for a former officer. He had a plaque on his wall from running into a burning building and saving a few kids. The firemen wouldn’t go in. It was unsafe.
They couldn’t decide if they were going to reward or punish him for going against procedure. The news caught wind of it. He was made a public hero, and not a private cautionary tale.
Those are the other cop stories…
No, really, we have a <a href=“https://bbs.boingboing.net/t/list-of-things-that-frighten-police/75690/10"target=”_blank">list.
There’s a middle ground between it representing all cases and it representing just one. Much of that range is called “Far too many of them”.
I estimate 75% of police are competent, follow the spirit and letter of the law, and are an asset to their communities overall.
25% are bad enough to belong off the force or in prison. That’s plenty to fucking hate cops for!
But it’s short-sighted. Hating cops means not finding opportunities to make them better.
I know there’s a wedge issue in there. And I want to not just pour endless scorn on cops… But shame them into being better, and have a plan for how. And give the hypothetical good police the tools to join the fight against bad police.