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The General Police Brutality Thread

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Cheetah, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    Well, like the old saying goes, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.

    From the above-linked NY Times article:

    "in 2011, [Chicago PD officer Jerome Finnigan] admitted to robbing criminal suspects while serving in an elite police unit and ordering a hit on a fellow police officer he thought intended to turn him in. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison. “My bosses knew what I was doing out there, and it went on and on,” he said in court when he pleaded guilty. “And this wasn’t the exception to the rule. This was the rule.”"

    It isn't just a few bad apples, and it isn't just Chicago. So yeah, much disgust.
     
  2. useless

    useless Social Justice Rogue

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    [Citation Needed]
     
  3. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    Again and again, we see that entire metropolitan police departments are corrupt, violent, and contemptuous of Constitutionally-protected civil rights. Here's an article published by Bloomberg last Spring, "A 'Pattern or Practice' of Violence in America." The phrase "pattern or practice" is in quotes because it's a legal term used by the U.S. Dept of Justice in its investigations of entire law enforcement departments. The article cites 67 such investigations over 20 years.

    Lately, New Orleans, Albuquerque, Cleveland, Ferguson, and Baltimore have been found to have a "pattern or practice" of civil rights violations, excessive use of force, and other infractions. I shouldn't be too surprised to see Chicago getting a full Justice Dept investigation soon.
     
  4. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    Incidentally, I think the investigation of LAPD mentioned in the article actually preceded the infamous Rampart Division CRASH Unit scandal, but I'm not positive of the timeline. iirc, it was Rampart Division that inspired Kurt Sutter to write the television series "The Shield" back in the early '00s, and it's been said that Michael Chiklis' Vic Mackey was actually a mild version of the real-life cops.
     
  5. Samson

    Samson Deity

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    This is a particularly apropriate use of the "phobe" suffix. I am afraid of police. I have had enough negative interactions with them that seeing one elicits negative emotions. It may well be only a subset who would do me harm, but the subset is large enough to make me frightened of all of them. This is not a good thing.
     
  6. chijohnaok

    chijohnaok King

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    Here is a link to a relevant article regarding "How Chicago tried to cover up a police execution".

    In reading the linked article and some additional articles that were linked within it it sounds as if the Chicago Police Department (CPD) intentionally tried to cover this up. It also sounds as if Mayor Emanuel is doing his best to spin this as an incident of "one rogue cop gone bad". It sounds to me as if the CPD has problems that go beyond "one rogue cop gone bad". It also seems to me as if this minimization/spin control by the mayor is dishonest.

    If you look back at the way things were handled in the shooting of Walter Scott in South Carolina, the treatment of the way things were handled in that incident, and the way they were handled in the Chicago incident, the difference is night and day.

    South Carolina:
    The shooting occurred on April 4, 2015.
    The police officer was arrested on April 7 and charged with murder.
    The police officer was fired on April 8.
    On June 8, a grand jury indicted Slager on a charge of murder.


    The shooting of Laquan McDonald happened in October 2014.
    The City of Chicago and CPD stonewalled this thing for 13 months.
    It appears that they delayed until they had no other choice but to release the video, and they knew that as soon as that happened, they had no other choice but to file charges against the police officer.

    Why did Chicago handle it this way?
    I don't know.
    Perhaps Chicago Mayor Emanuel hasn't had enought time to clean up the lingering corruption from Chicago's last Republican mayor?


    I'm not saying that every, or even most Chicago police officers are bad, but there is a problem and the CPD has done a poor job at trying to address it.
     
  7. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    And I could say the exact same thing about certain religious groups.

    Its called sarcasm.
     
  8. bhavv

    bhavv Glorious World Dictator

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    So feel free to use your democratic rights and start or join protests about police brutality. Change isn't going to happen if nothing is done about it.
     
  9. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Maybe make it policeophobes, at least, for euphonic purposes :)

    Alternatively go the usual route of using the greek terms, thus making it astynomophobia etc (asty= city center/proper, nomos=rule).
     
  10. chijohnaok

    chijohnaok King

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    Why did it take over a year for the Chicago Police Department to release the video in the Laquan McDonald incident?

    Here is the answer:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...ld-emanuel-kass-met-1126-20151125-column.html
     
  11. Berzerker

    Berzerker Deity

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    well well, wouldn't surprise me one bit
     
  12. Colonel

    Colonel Sandbox

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    I see the cop bashing thread is still running strong. I swear the "cops are the devil" crowd won't be happy until we have no cops on the street at all. I'm about say screw it, lets just have a town by town vote on whether or not to have a Police Department in that town. I'd get a good laugh after about a month of no cops in some of these areas as their property values plummeted and crime rates skyrocketed.
     
  13. chijohnaok

    chijohnaok King

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    The University of Chicago decided to cancel classes today because of the following threat that was posted online:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...of-chicago-gun-threat-met-20151130-story.html

    Jabari R. Dean, 21, was charged with transmitting a threat in interstate commerce.

    Is this incident the equivalent of the CPD officer who shot Laquan McDonald?
    No, of course not.

    Do his actions somehow further the cause of those fighting police brutality?
    No, I don't see how it could.

    I don't see how threatening a mass shooting results in anything positive for the 15,000 students and more than 14,000 employees at the school.
     
  14. Glassfan

    Glassfan Mostly harmless

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    I believe in the "few bad apples" theory. Some humans are naturally defective, possessing moderate to severe personality disorder. A few priests/teachers who abuse their students. A few husbands who beat their wives. A few trolls on the net.

    A few cops abuse their power. How many? Certainly not all. I've personally never experienced a rude or abusive cop - then again I'm a white male who gives the police the respect they're due.

    The exposure of the few bad apples certainly has something to do with modern media, especially personal recording devices and the Internet. The Rodney King beating was a wake-up call. Events that have always been hidden and only experienced by a few bystanders are now routinely recorded and broadcasted for the whole world to see.

    I suppose that when a harmless person (most of us) is abusive, it's mostly harmless abuse - rudeness, tax cheating, trolling. But when a more powerful person is bad - a cop, a soldier, a dictator - it can obviously have more lethal consequences.

    One can hope, that in a Democracy with a free press, that revelations of police abuse will gradually lead to reform. Locally, the Cleveland Police Department has been under a Consent Decree with the US Department of Justice after investigations of shootings exposed in the media. Reforms in the larger departments ought to have a trickle down effect to suburban forces by example.

    Naturally, you can't change human nature. But future reforms may include greater scrutiny of police applicants for personality dysfunction, as well as a more serious discipline regime - including termination and prosecution - for cops who are caught abusing their power.
     
  15. PhroX

    PhroX Emperor

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    Even if the "few bad apples" idea is true, there is still the huge problem that so many other members of the police are willing to defend those bad apples even if they wouldn't commit the crimes themselves. Until that issue is addressed, simply punishing those who abuse their power won't make a significant impact.
     
  16. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    That's the common counter-claim against protests of police violence, "We/they don't all behave that way." I don't think the important claim - if it's a claim anyone is actually making - is that "All cops are bad", so the counter-claim always strikes me as a misdirect intended to derail the conversation. That's why I typically don't respond to it. You post was more interesting to me, though, because the very example you cite seems to undermine the "bad apples" theory especially when taken together with the other Justice Department "pattern or practice" investigations, of which there have now been several (including two investigations of Cleveland*, a decade apart, which shows us not just a pattern of violence and Civil Rights violations, but an entrenched pattern that we may simply call a culture).

    A couple of other useful links on the subject of Cleveland:

    The Washington Post, December 5, 2014: "The DOJ’s jaw-dropping report about the Cleveland Police Department"
    And the actual December 2014 report by the U.S. Dept. of Justice and the U.S. Attorney's Office for Ohio, in pdf form.

    So it's abundantly clear in this report that it isn't just a few bad apples, at least not in Cleveland (or, from their similar investigations, in Los Angeles, or Albuquerque, or Baltimore, or Ferguson, or... yadda, yadda, yadda...). The systems and protocols and standards and institution is a colossal failure at its essential raison d'etre: Upholding the law and protecting the citizenry.


    * From the letter to the Mayor of Cleveland enclosed as part of the above-linked pdf:

    "The need for sustainable reform is highlighted by the fact that just over a decade ago the Department of Justice completed its first investigation of the Cleveland Division of Police. That investigation raised concerns and resulted in recommendations that are starkly similar to the findings in this letter. The voluntary reforms undertaken at that time did not create the systems of accountability necessary to ensure a longterm remedy to these issues."
     
  17. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

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    If you want cops to turn in other cops regularly when they feel they've overstepped then you need a robust system in place to protect and possibly relocate your cops that choose rule of law over their coworkers in visible ways. They do have a job that can be dangerous. It's difficult to alienate people you need to be able to rely on. Dangerous, sometimes, even.
     
  18. Glassfan

    Glassfan Mostly harmless

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    So the question is what percentage?

    If a high percentage of police were abusive, things would be bad for everyone, since, for instance, black cops would be shooting white people in newsworthy numbers. "Patterns of abuse" paints with a broad brush - everyone shares blame, even good cops.
     
  19. EgonSpengler

    EgonSpengler Deity

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    Yes, no question. There's a cop on trial, I forget where, for theft or something, and one of the charges against him is plotting to harm (or kill?) a fellow officer who he thought was going to turn him in. Departments need to have methods for ensuring ongoing accountability, civilian review boards and whatnot, and for ensuring that the officers who don't commit crimes are supported, whether they're the minority or not. That same guy also claims that his superiors knew what he was doing, and did nothing to stop him. Obviously he could be lying, but it's certainly a plausible claim.

    Yes, patterns of abuse is broad, and the well-intentioned officers (I don't like the term "good" here) are both part of the problem and key to the solution(s). I think that's at least one of the points to these efforts at exposing misbehavior.

    For example, after the video surfaced this past Summer of 3 or 4 California cops beating a suspect who was trying to surrender, the other officers who stood by and watched without intervening were disciplined I think the second group of officers were disciplined. Suspended, or something, not charged with an actual crime. On the other hand, the Texas officer who (again, caught on video) assaulted a teenaged girl and drew his sidearm on two other kids, all the result of a rowdy pool party, was very poorly served by his own department, and probably by the standards of policing at large. iirc, earlier that same day, he had responded to one suicide attempt and another, successful, suicide. I'm not sure he should have been on duty by the events of the pool party.
     
  20. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

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    Departments aren't big enough to handle the issue on their own. You need state or federal level programs. Whistle blowers, or rats, or whatever are cops. That's what they know how to do that's probably what they want to do. They will sometimes need to be relocated and other departments are going to have to take them. Either that, or doing the right thing is going to still wind up with the sort of cops you want collecting unemployment while switching career fields or trying to move. Which again is what we seem to say we don't want.
     

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