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July 7, 2013 8:26 AM   Subscribe

Why Did You Shoot Me? I was reading a book. - A look at America's warrior cops.
posted by empath (143 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
Crap. I just came here to post this.

I swear, the police are out of control. I've said that here more than a few times. I look at it more as past as the general degradation of American society. They feel small, so they whale on us.
posted by nevercalm at 8:31 AM on July 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Please don't read the comments on the salon website
Godwin wins again
posted by etherist at 8:34 AM on July 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


This video of a DUI checkpoint has been making the rounds the past couple of days.

The best part is the cop saying "The kid is totally innocent" while ransacking the car in an illegal search.

Those checkpoints are 78 different colors of BS, but what you gonna do ? The law in many towns in WI require you to obey any lawful order from a police officer in the course of their duties.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:38 AM on July 7, 2013 [14 favorites]


Balko is senior writer and investigative reporter for The Huffington Post.[2] Previously, he was a senior editor at Reason magazine, and a policy analyst for the Cato Institute, specializing in vice and civil liberties issues.
Sometimes the solution is worse than the problem...
posted by ennui.bz at 8:38 AM on July 7, 2013


Do you have an actual point to make, ennui.bz?
posted by empath at 8:40 AM on July 7, 2013 [22 favorites]


The militarization of the police force seems like the obvious endpoint to decades of anti-crime rhetoric, which is more often than not anti-criminal rhetoric, a convenient way to label whole sectors of society as "criminal" or "potentially criminal" as cover for the usual biases.

You notice none of these accounts tell of tanks being driven through the foyers of the Kenneth Lays or Bernie Madoffs. Not that that should ever be done, but it's pretty clearly the lower-middle class, the poor, and minorities who are "potential criminals" every time out.

Sometimes the solution is worse than the problem...

Because clearly, if we agree with the author that this is a problem, we must therefore agree with the author on everything else including his reactionary brand of libertarianism? Surely we're better than that.
posted by kewb at 8:47 AM on July 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


Do you have an actual point to make, ennui.bz?

the writer is a libertarian activist with a political agenda which is encompasses a lot of terrible policy ideas. he sees the growing militarization of the police as a wedge issue to peal off the civil liberties focused left but rest assured, he's not going to write a propaganda piece about the war against the right to organize labor in the US because only some civil liberties are important.

But the idea of a bunch of profit-worshipping internet entrepreneurs convinced that "the man" is out to get them is pretty funny.

Because clearly, if we agree with the author that this is a problem, we must therefore agree with the author on everything else including his reactionary brand of libertarianism? Surely we're better than that.

but maybe, someday, you might vote for a reactionary libertarian just because this single-issue seemed important enough to ignore everything else. the number of people on the left who say nice things about Ron and Rand is amazing, given how evil their actual politics are.
posted by ennui.bz at 8:50 AM on July 7, 2013 [23 favorites]


I don't understand how not wanting the police to burst into your house and kill you with impunity can be a partisan issue. Is there anyone who really supports this and if so do they believe it can't happen to them? All these stories have given me such an old constant fear that someone, police or no, is about to burst into my house that I never lie around without clothes on.
posted by bleep at 8:55 AM on July 7, 2013 [13 favorites]


The number of people on the left who say nice things about Obama and Clinton is amazing, given how evil their actual politics is as well. The topic of this thread is too interesting to be turned into another chance for liberal Mefis to bitch about Libertarians. We already did that in the DOMA thread.
posted by riruro at 8:57 AM on July 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


ennui.bz: "but maybe, someday, you might vote for a reactionary libertarian just because this single-issue seemed important enough to ignore everything else. "

Looking at it from the outside, this sort of thinking seems to be at the core of America's polarized politics - ie, the message is less important than the mouth that speaks it. Stay on message! Don't show weakness to the other team! Don't ever admit that they might be right about absolutely anything ever!
posted by vanar sena at 8:57 AM on July 7, 2013 [52 favorites]


The writer is a libertarian activist with a political agenda which is encompasses a lot of terrible policy ideas.

As far as I know, Balko has ONLY written on this single issue and rarely makes any other political statements -- how do you know what his political agenda is?
posted by empath at 8:58 AM on July 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


If voting for a libertarian would actually end these policies, it'd be worth it.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:59 AM on July 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't understand how not wanting the police to burst into your house and kill you with impunity can be a partisan issue.

Quite. Is there something wrong with common ground?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:00 AM on July 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


[Let's skip a general libertarianism derail, please.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:00 AM on July 7, 2013 [15 favorites]


Looking at it from the outside, this sort of thinking seems to be at the core of America's polarized politics - ie, the message is less important than the mouth that speaks it. Stay on message! Don't show weakness to the other team! Don't ever admit that they might be right about absolutely anything ever!

Look what happened to liberal dem voters in the UK. They thought they were voting for civil liberties and election reform, but instead got the Torypocalypse.

What Rand Paul would do to the US would be disastrous.

As far as I know, Balko has ONLY written on this single issue and rarely makes any other political statements -- how do you know what his political agenda is?

Come on. He works for the fucking Koch-owned Cato Institute.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:01 AM on July 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


the writer is a libertarian activist with a political agenda which is encompasses a lot of terrible policy ideas.

Maybe he should have written something about how people’s political divisiveness and clannishness is one of the main reasons this and other evil crap is allowed to happen. Somewhere toward the end, for people who read the whole article.
posted by bongo_x at 9:03 AM on July 7, 2013 [24 favorites]


Just out of curiosity, I did a reverse image search on the photo of the star-troopers used in the article..... Evidently they are Tampa police and the photo was taken at the RNC in 2012. I'm wondering what that has to do with getting shot while running a gambling operation.
posted by HuronBob at 9:06 AM on July 7, 2013


Please don't read the comments on the salon website
Godwin wins again


I have a question, and it's not a derail i think. When can you point out tactics and behaviors of a government that do resemble that un-named past one in an effort to hopefully turn it around to a better way? Is just saying "Goodwin's Law" a way to make those who are pointing that out seem like cooks? Shouldn't we be more concerned about abuses of power and worrying trends than worrying about some made up goodwin's law? It may never be a one to one fit, but let's not pretend this isn't troubling because it does resemble other out of control groups.
posted by usagizero at 9:06 AM on July 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


At the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, police conducted peremptory raids on the homes of protesters before the convention had even started. Police broke into the homes of people known to be activist rabble-rousers before they had any evidence of any actual crime. Journalists who inquired about the legitimacy of the raids and arrests made during the convention were also arrested. In all, 672 people were put in handcuffs. The arrest of Democracy Now journalist Amy Goodman was captured on a widely viewed video. She was charged with “conspiracy to riot.” That charge against Goodman was later dropped. So were the charges against most of the others arrested. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported the following February that charges were dropped or dismissed for 442 of the 672 people arrested.

As I've mentioned on here before, a number of my friends were arrested and beaten in 2008. Several were held on the ground at gunpoint after the police burst in to the protest organizing space. Police badly beat theater-goers outside a hipster/avant-garde/left-leaning theater space, surrounded the space and attempted to, essentially, break in - it was pretty terrifying by the accounts of people who were there. One of my friends was part of a mass arrest of a peaceful wing of a demonstration - the cops had everyone sit down and put their hands over their heads and said they'd shoot anyone who moved. Legal observers were arrested out of hand. One was heavily pepper-sprayed and held for 24 hours without being able to wash off the spray. Other friends were arrested on false terrorism charges that it took three years to beat. Still others had books, computers and papers confiscated - and it took four years to get them back.

But the most terrifying thing that happened, as far as I was concerned, was this: a kid I know slightly was arrested during some form of peaceful hippie protest, thrown in a cell, taunted with homophobic slurs, and then beaten unconscious while he was cuffed - the cops hit his head against the concrete until he passed out. This happened to someone I know. We are all lucky that he didn't die. He could have died in there.

The cops were mostly not city cops - they were from small towns and suburbs, and they had it in for us, they were a bunch of right-wingers who hated the city and dissent and queer people and weirdos. The media coverage was shit.

Funnily enough, I accidentally observed the only "violent" mini-protest that happened - I was cutting through downtown to meet up with some hippie friends for their dancing-and-chanting protest. It was maybe fifty or sixty black-clad kids. Some mini-dumpsters got pulled into the street and a couple of trash cans got knocked over. I heard later that some bank windows got broken. I overheard people in the group - this dangerous, black-clad group - debating whether it was appropriate to create damage by pulling mini-dumpsters into this otherwise empty carless side-street.

So, this was the "violent" protest. Where were the cops? No cops a-tall, friends. The cops were too busy beating up the hippies and raiding organizers. I personally suspect that the cops were busy with precisely the people who would not hit back, and that all the rando suburban cops didn't want to tangle with anyone actually dangerous, at least not without a bunch of tear gas.
posted by Frowner at 9:07 AM on July 7, 2013 [77 favorites]


Just out of curiosity, I did a reverse image search on the photo of the star-troopers used in the article..... Evidently they are Tampa police and the photo was taken at the RNC in 2012. I'm wondering what that has to do with getting shot while running a gambling operation.

You could try reading the article.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:08 AM on July 7, 2013 [17 favorites]


I'm wondering what that has to do with getting shot while running a gambling operation.

They probably felt like they needed an image, did a search, and either ignored copyright or paid for it from the source. I've had photos i've taken used in the oddest of places that were even less connected. (one example, a rabbit in a financial article)
posted by usagizero at 9:08 AM on July 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Somewhere toward the end, for people who read the whole article.

So, this is the last thing I'm going to "contribute" to this thread. But if you read the whole article you can see one of the problems with his politics. He starts to rope in the "2nd Amendment" activists as being victims of state repression. Now, regardless of whether they have been "victims", the core of the NRA's appeal is the idea that dangerous criminals (AKA black people) are going to invade your home and you have to be armed to defend yourself. Which is exactly the mentality to whom SWAT teams were sold: dangerous gangs (AKA black and brown people) taking over the streets with UZIs. We have to be armed to defend ourselves.

How do you argue against SWAT teams to people convinced that armed black and hispanic criminals are out of control in the streets?
posted by ennui.bz at 9:09 AM on July 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


Looking at the lead photo, I would call these guys Star Wars stormtroopers if the masks were opaque. So close.
posted by saber_taylor at 9:09 AM on July 7, 2013


Absolutely, usagizero. Too many internauts blather about 'Godwin's Law' to shut down valid discussion.
posted by Rash at 9:10 AM on July 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


This, from the same guy who wrote "Government goons murder puppies".
posted by HuronBob at 9:12 AM on July 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


How do you argue against SWAT teams to people convinced that armed black and hispanic criminals are out of control in the streets?

Um, like this author does in this article, maybe? Isn't that your whole problem with it?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:12 AM on July 7, 2013 [10 favorites]


And in at least one state SWAT believes they can set up operation in your house if need be.

I spend a lot of time on photographyisnotacrime.com and I have to say that the respect for the police I have grown up with is highly diminished.

This is supposed to be America. I'm too much of a libertarian to care about almost everything these assholes consider a crime, so I especially get pissed off when I see these thugs arresting, roughing up, or shootings some guy's dog for doing legal activities.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:14 AM on July 7, 2013 [10 favorites]


This, from the same guy who wrote "Government goons murder puppies".

Do YOU have a point?
posted by kenko at 9:15 AM on July 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's always been this way for some people. But now the police state is affecting people who thought they were higher up in the social heirarchy, and *now* it's suddenly a problem.

Spy on the black panthers, MLK, dirty hippies, etc, and it's all good. Kick in the doors and shoot a drug dealer, Great! Have DHS and La Migra abuse the wrong kind of immigrants and people think they deserve a medal.

But "suddenly" the targets are now the right kind of people and it's some huge deal. An awful lot of people are suddenly realizing they are worth a lot less to "the system" than they thought they were.
posted by jclarkin at 9:17 AM on July 7, 2013 [23 favorites]


This, from the same guy who wrote "Government goons murder puppies".

HuronBob, seriously, if you can't be bothered to read the fucking article, I'm telling mom.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:17 AM on July 7, 2013 [10 favorites]


People who don't read the article, you're missing an amazing section in the middle about Shaq. Please control yourselves for ten minutes and read the thing you think you're insightfully commenting on, but actually aren't.
posted by michaelh at 9:20 AM on July 7, 2013 [13 favorites]


I generally think of cops as the guys who made all my years growing up absolutely miserable, except now with guns and handcuffs and nightsticks and the power to disappear me. Which, you know, awesome.
posted by nevercalm at 9:20 AM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Perhaps the best insight into the mentality the police brought to the DNC protests could be found on the T-shirts the Denver police union had printed up for the event. The shirts showed a menacing cop holding a baton. The caption: DNC 2008: WE GET UP EARLY, TO BEAT THE CROWDS. Police were spotted wearing similar shirts at the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago. At the 1996 DNC convention in Chicago, cops were seen wearing shirts that read: WE KICKED YOUR FATHER’S ASS IN 1968 . . . WAIT ’TIL YOU SEE WHAT WE DO TO YOU!

(speechless)
posted by porn in the woods at 9:33 AM on July 7, 2013 [34 favorites]


Looks like Metafilter has a bigger problem with libertarians that America has with cops. Priorities, people!

>So, this was the "violent" protest. Where were the cops? No cops a-tall, friends. The cops were too busy beating up the hippies and raiding organizers. I personally suspect that the cops were busy with precisely the people who would not hit back, and that all the rando suburban cops didn't want to tangle with anyone actually dangerous, at least not without a bunch of tear gas.

Damn, this sounds exactly like some 2nd Amendment nuts I actually know. Wake up, Sheeple!1!1! ;)

>And in at least one state SWAT believes they can set up operation in your house if need be.

At last, some love for the lonely 3rd Amendment!
posted by 2N2222 at 9:35 AM on July 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Those checkpoints are 78 different colors of BS, but what you gonna do ?

every single time the police ask for more money, you vote against it. duh!
posted by sexyrobot at 9:35 AM on July 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Can't forget that the police may not be constitutional.
posted by bswinburn at 9:39 AM on July 7, 2013


By all appearances, these raids were drug sweeps. Shop owners told the Sentinel that police asked them where they were hiding illegal drugs and weapons. But in the end, thirty-four of the thirty-seven arrests were for “barbering without a license,” a misdemeanor for which only three people have ever served jail time in Florida.
The most disturbing aspect of the Orlando raids was that police didn’t even attempt to obtain a legal search warrant. They didn’t need to, because they conducted the raids in conjunction with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Despite the guns and handcuffs, under Florida law these were licensure inspections, not criminal searches, so no warrants were necessary.


A terrifying read. The security state is our Leviathan, for sure.
posted by absalom at 10:00 AM on July 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


At the 1996 DNC convention in Chicago, cops were seen wearing shirts that read: WE KICKED YOUR FATHER’S ASS IN 1968 . . . WAIT ’TIL YOU SEE WHAT WE DO TO YOU!

I have one! A friend saw one in the window of the (iirc) uniform supply store that originated the design and, once he'd finished goggling in disbelief then then laughing until he couldn't breathe bought a few to give away. The next day the story hit the media and they were gone in a flash.
posted by mwhybark at 10:24 AM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


kewb: "You notice none of these accounts tell of tanks being driven through the foyers of the Kenneth Lays or Bernie Madoffs. Not that that should ever be don"

I beg to disagree.
posted by symbioid at 10:26 AM on July 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


I fortunately didn't have the same RNC experiences that frowner discussed in detail upthread. I generally avoided the entire mess but, as a resident of St Paul I will tell you this: hearing concussions from tear gas grenades and flash bangs less than a mile from where I was sitting in my apartment, watching the coverage on national news, has a chilling effect. To this day I still stay the hell away from both St Paul and Minneapolis PD even though I'm not exactly the sort to be doing anything objectively wrong -- the managing of the 08 RNC proved that being innocent really isn't a defense against police overreaction and brutality.

The St Paul Fire Dept, though? Those guys are fucking awesome.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:27 AM on July 7, 2013


I'm glad porn in the woods reposted that section of the story. I actually completely misread it the first time; I thought those shirts were worn by protesters mocking the police, not actually worn by the police! Wow!
posted by limeonaire at 10:27 AM on July 7, 2013


Hmm - the "illegal drugs" dog and the claim that the cops can direct them to "sniff and detect" a false positive...

I wonder is there a way we could take statistics of actual usage of the dogs with false positives and see if it shows up that false positives are within the error of actual positives such that drug seeking dogs are no better than random chance? (This only works, of course, if you can find a whole shit ton of pigs abusing their authority, which may or may not be the case, which is why we need to see the stats, of course, then you get the question: how do you prove this? If they're self-reporting statistics...)
posted by symbioid at 10:30 AM on July 7, 2013


This, from the same guy who wrote "Government goons murder puppies"

Are you just quibbling over the use of the word puppies? Because they shoot dogs all the time.
posted by empath at 10:30 AM on July 7, 2013 [9 favorites]


empath Are you just quibbling over the use of the word puppies? Because they shoot dogs all the time.

And if you read the whole article the cops do, in fact, shoot a puppy.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:32 AM on July 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


empath: "This, from the same guy who wrote "Government goons murder puppies"

Are you just quibbling over the use of the word puppies? Because they shoot dogs all the time .
"

A few years back in Missouri a cold blooded murder of a corgi (and yes, I'll call it a fucking murder, it isn't fucking self-defense. If anybody else did this they would get charged with animal cruelty at the very least, but because they're cops they get away with it).
posted by symbioid at 10:36 AM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Here is what the police will do:

Whatever they want, whenever they want, however they want to. They are tiny gods, moving among us, deciding who gets shot today and who merely gets hauled away. Any attempt to assert your rights will result in you either being arrested (because you HAVE done something illegal, know it or not) or even worse -- being flagged in the system for continued harassment. The police hate a smart ass.

And here's the thing -- you think there are rules. There aren't. The police will lie to you, they will beat you up, they will gas you, they will restrain you, they will hit in places where the bruises don't show, and then they will lie about it on the stand.

Assuming you actually have the gumption to bring a case to trial. So much easier and cheaper to just plead out. Because taking a case to trial just ties up everyone's time -- the judge resents you, the prosecutor resents you, your attorney resents you: why not just plead out, you're only going to make them angrier.

My attorney said that to me.

He was right, but I'd rather do jail time than the newfangled Orwellian nightmare that is "court diversion" wherein they set a series of increasingly elaborate bureaucratic hurdles in your path and threaten you with jail at each one. Fuck that, I'll just do the time up front.

I live in what is by any metric is one of the more murderous cities in a nation known for murder and I am not scared of gangs. Gangs have rules. Gangs have codes. I'm scared of COPS.

I have been beaten up, seriously on the ground bleeding in a fetal position, three times in my life. Once by a gang of street thugs in a New York City park. And twice by the police.

I have had guns pulled on me three times. Once by a scared kid in a parking lot who fled before trying to rob me. And twice by police SWAT teams searching my house.

The police have made their point to me quite clearly.

I am terrified of them.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:36 AM on July 7, 2013 [96 favorites]


But in the end, thirty-four of the thirty-seven arrests were for “barbering without a license,” a misdemeanor for which only three people have ever served jail time in Florida.

This sort of gets back to all those people who chant "If you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear". The stack of obscure, but active, laws in any given state is pretty damned deep. You probably are in violation something. And law enforcement, generally, is not ignorant of the handiest of the obscure laws with which to bring down the grief if needed.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:42 AM on July 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Heads-up to my fellow people who can't read about animal cruelty: A section of the article is devoted to police shootings of pets.

To put it in the gentlest possible terms, I do not trust law enforcement officers of any kind. I feel a sense of hyperaware mistrust whenever they are around. I am well-versed the types of harassment and abuse they are comfortable dishing out with when they think no one else is around, not to mention when they're trying to show off how tough they are in a vain attempt to get people to respect their authority (see: casually pepper spray everything cop). As such, I tend to ravenously devour articles on this topic; I was mostly right there with him, despite flinching at the "colleague at the Cato Institute" aside... until the end.

He takes a hard turn into right-wing crackpot territory by closing the article with a lengthy screed accusing Rachel Maddow of all but openly celebrating the ATF raid in Waco, and indeed the ATF in general -- unless they're cracking down on "suspected undocumented immigrants and Occupy protesters." He uses progressives' supposed love of the ATF as the prime example of partisan bickering that distracts us from the real matter at hand.
posted by divined by radio at 10:47 AM on July 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


(FWIW, Balko does dive into Kochian smear-the-left at the end of the article, wherein he cites "Rachel Maddow’s idea of supporting government force simply because you don’t like the factions opposing it," so anyone who wants to point and namecall can go right ahead and do so.)
posted by mwhybark at 10:48 AM on July 7, 2013


(on preview, what divined by radio said)
posted by mwhybark at 10:49 AM on July 7, 2013


HuronBob: "Just out of curiosity, I did a reverse image search on the photo of the star-troopers used in the article..... Evidently they are Tampa police and the photo was taken at the RNC in 2012. I'm wondering what that has to do with getting shot while running a gambling operation."

I'm sure the dead victim is worrying about whether they were wearing riot gear or just your plain old SWAT body armor, or even your everyday police uniform, yes I'm sure that's the first thing on somebody's mind.

Isn't it actually MORE threatening when it's people who aren't geared up for war? I mean, this actually works against the narrative (and maybe that's your complaint?)... The narrative is that it was just a detective pretending to be his friend, and backstabbing him by entrapment and then the rest of the pigs show up and one kills him. He wasn't facing down a row of cops all prepared for a protest. He goes out to expect to see a friend and meets betrayal. And he's not thinking of getting shot, these are regular professional police, after all, certainly not a bunch of thugs looking to beat a bunch of hippies.

And yet. BLAM.

He's dead.

Doesn't matter the uniform, the pigs are your enemy.
posted by symbioid at 10:49 AM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


This sort of gets back to all those people who chant "If you aren't doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear".

Or if you don't run for office, and don't blow the whistle on corruption.
posted by empath at 10:53 AM on July 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Agreed, BitterOldPunk. My personal experience had led me to the conclusion that there probably is not a safe way to interact with cops. Once they have you in their sights, you're probably boned.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:54 AM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Heads-up to my fellow people who can't read about animal cruelty: A section of the article is devoted to police shootings of pets.

But on the plus side, they do -- with the help of Hollywood kick-man and spray-on hair enthusiast Steven Seagal -- drive a tank through the house of someone suspected of cockfighting, so it all evens out.

(Although they do kill all the chickens. And his dog.)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:54 AM on July 7, 2013


Heads-up to my fellow people who can't read about animal cruelty: A section of the article is devoted to police shootings of pets.

Much of the rest of the article is about shooting people.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:16 AM on July 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


kewb: "You notice none of these accounts tell of tanks being driven through the foyers of the Kenneth Lays or Bernie Madoffs. Not that that should ever be don"

I beg to disagree.


Wait, you disagree that it's inappropriate to use paramilitary tactics against people accused of (not even convicted of) nonviolent crimes? On what basis? It seems like this is exactly what Balko is talking about--people who stop caring about abuse because the victims are "dirty hippies," or "religious nuts," or whatever I don't like.

As a related point, here is the arrest of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez a couple of weeks ago. If police can handle the arrest of a man accused of orchestrating a murder, possibly to cover up another double murder, in this way, I think we can do without SWAT teams to handle securities fraud, gambling, weed, and cockfighting.
posted by dsfan at 11:18 AM on July 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


Much of the rest of the article is about shooting people.

Yes, but the title of the article and the post itself make that clear. People who are reading it are therefore assumed to be aware that there will be discussion of people getting shot. There is nothing in the title of the article or of this post that mentions animals getting shot. Animals getting shot can be upsetting to people. Therefore a single sentence mention of it in a calm, factual comment should be in no way offensive.
posted by elizardbits at 11:20 AM on July 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


People who don't read the article, you're missing an amazing section in the middle about Shaq.

The incident is described in greater detail here: "Faulty IP address data leads to Shaq attack on innocent family".
posted by compartment at 11:39 AM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think that police are okay. Maybe not paramilitary stuff. But, you know, good at fighting crime. Beats not having police or just having the army.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:44 AM on July 7, 2013


"Take the shot, Shaq! Take the shot!"
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:47 AM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you think the police are OK it might be because you've never seen a cop lie on the stand while he's under oath. Or read police reports where the police make insane claims about things they could see in the dark, or things they heard people said, or things that they smelled for heaven's sake. If you could do a search for "the smell of burnt marijuana" in your local police reports, you'd find these exact words repeated everywhere right before something about a search that yielded everything on God's green earth except any weed at all.

These guys are nice sometimes because they choose to be. The thing is, they also choose to be cruel, petty, and violent. And they do it all the time, and unless they murder someone (and usually not even then) no one holds them responsible. An on-duty cop could kill your dog and digitally rape your daughter, and in most cases you couldn't even get a foot into the courthouse to sue him.
posted by 1adam12 at 11:54 AM on July 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


digitally rape your daughter

WHAT does this mean??
posted by FJT at 12:00 PM on July 7, 2013


To put it another way: what would you replace the police with? There's a difference between "police officers do bad things" and "the police are all evil and should be destroyed." I'm not defending the paramilitarization of the police, and certainly not the use of maximum force to take care of petty crimes. But it would be nice to see the thread have more in it than just "all police are terrible and will always be terrible and the police are the worst" which is kind of where it seems to be right now.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:02 PM on July 7, 2013


FGT: The "digital" in "digitally rape" refers to fingers, not 1s and 0s. So sexual assault via finger penetration.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:06 PM on July 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


But it would be nice to see the thread have more in it than just "all police are terrible and will always be terrible and the police are the worst" which is kind of where it seems to be right now.

Okay. A couple ways to demilitarize the police is to restrict what equipment budgets can be spend on and to limit or eliminate revenue generation from asset seizures. The first could be used to stop buying ridiculous gear and the second would take away motivation to use asset seizures to fund said gear.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:07 PM on July 7, 2013 [18 favorites]


But it would be nice to see the thread have more in it than just "all police are terrible and will always be terrible and the police are the worst" which is kind of where it seems to be right now.

Don't forget to install fully empowered citizens review boards. There's a reason that Bloomberg doesn't want them. Or Joe Arpaio, for that matter. Put the power back in the citizenry's hands.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 12:12 PM on July 7, 2013 [15 favorites]


Lisa: Mom, I know your intentions are good but aren't the police the protective force that maintains the status quo for the wealthy elite? Don't you think we ought to attack the roots of social problems instead of jamming people into overcrowded prisons?

Marge: Look Lisa, it's McGriff, the Crime Dog! Hey, Lisa, help me bite crime, ruff, ruff!
posted by FJT at 12:12 PM on July 7, 2013 [21 favorites]


We could start by recruiting police officers out of schools of social work rather than out of the military. Perhaps, just perhaps, an organization with an educational background in serving the community would be less likely to act like an occupying military than an organization with a professional and educational background in, you know, being an occupying military. Ratcheting down the overall tone of violence in the United States would be a good start as well. That's going to be a bit of a trick though.

Either that or require all active duty officers to watch at least one episode of Flashpoint on a daily basis.
posted by stet at 12:15 PM on July 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


I should have been a bit more direct, evidently.

My two comments, about the photo and the puppy were intended to communicate the following....

1. The use of an unrelated photo of stormtroopers to convey how the police have become a military entity: opinion pieces with scary photos that are from a year old article about something else tend to get discredited in my mind. If your photo isn't true to the story, why should I believe your words?

2. The puppy article: This individual seems to specialize in articles critical of the police, this history leads me to be careful to read his thoughts with an awareness of that perspective.

That's all... I never said I agreed or disagreed with the author, I just pointed these items out for discussion.

In the future, if I continue to comment, I'll attempt to be clearer as to my intentions.
posted by HuronBob at 12:22 PM on July 7, 2013


OK, constructive suggestions.

End the Wars on Nouns.

Repeal asset forfeiture laws.

Triple the number of police officers and halve the number of police cars. Put cops back on the street in every neighborhood, actually walking beats, actually embedded in their communities.

Require every on-duty officer to wear recording equipment that streams live to a public website.

Stop the criminalization of poverty.

Ban private companies from running correctional facilities.

That'd be a start.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:25 PM on July 7, 2013 [71 favorites]


stet wrote: "We could start by recruiting police officers out of schools of social work rather than out of the military."

Mao sent the intellectuals to work on the farms. After some time, he conceded and brought them back, in one of the intervals of the continuous revolution. And finally, he must have conceded that the two dialectical mountains from the Chinese folk tale, were being born by the angels in the story after all, not the Chinese people who put a statue of Confucius in sight of his tomb.

Now I'm not saying that I don't approve of your idea. The non-Constitutionality of Cops link above went into highly footnoted detail that I didn't read before skipping to the conclusion which offered no alternative. So some thought is better than none, at least in my opinion. But the last time I had a cop pull me over, I had a book, Kissinger's On China with no cover, that could be visibly mistaken for a Libel and I wasn't voluble. He didn't ding me for the fake excuse he made up and let me go. He actually pulled me over since I had slightly tailgated him. Of course, this is nothing on the scale of the well-written article that kicked off this thread, and that I wish I had the ability to write myself.
posted by saber_taylor at 12:27 PM on July 7, 2013


WHAT does this mean??

Put fingers into an orifice of your daughter. In other words, sexual assault in the guise of law enforcement.

If you want to go down another rabbit hole, look up the issues of things like rape in custody.
posted by Phalene at 12:28 PM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]



What do I think should be done about cops?

1) Cops should not, by default, carry guns on duty.

2) At the very least cops should have to wear cameras and have the on all the time they are on duty. These records should be publicly available. Cops who want to testify to things when the cameras "malfunction" conveniently should have a burden of proof against them. Multiple, convenient for the cops, "malfunctions" should be a firing offense.

3) Cops should have some skin in the game for their wrong doing. They should be personally liable for their violations of citizens' rights. Cops should have to buy malpractice insurance for their actions. If they can't afford the premiums because of their own prior bad actions, time to find another job.

I bet we'd have much better police pretty damn quick.
posted by bswinburn at 12:30 PM on July 7, 2013 [20 favorites]


1) The police are a functionary of a capitalist state, and as such their main function is to protect the property and lives of the rich from those who have less.

2) The police act as functionaries on the "War on Drugs" and being that the majority of people in prison now are in prison for some drug offense, this means that they are acting more as soldiers in this war, not as civilian police officers.

3) The SWAT-Teamification (militarization of police) is not somehow unrelated to the aforementioned system.

4) The aforementioned system conveniently ends up locking up way more people of underprivileged and oppressed communities than it has ever locked up of those who are well off.

5) This is not a coincidence.

Without some form of revolution, the police always will act as functionaries of a capitalist state and always will be on the side of the ruling class against the working class.

Individuals police may or may not be a problem. I have had plenty of run-ins with fine, nice police, I have also had the scare of my life from a police officer who was ready to taze me for daring to pull over in a spot that was safe and out of the way instead of stopping right then and there in a busy thoroughfare.

A bit of a community-based anecdote that's recently been going on:


In Madison, WI, recently there has been a big to do about an officer that killed an innocent young man who stumbled into the wrong house. Everyone that knew him said he was the kindest person they knew. The details of the story are very sketchy. The officer has a history of repeated misuse and abuse of authority. Time and again, after threats of lawsuits over this act, and the claim that "guns before tasers" is official policy of the department and many other more issues coming to light, the Police Chief has finally, FINALLY, said that the officer needs to go.

Was it because he shot at a car in a parking garage? Was it this killing of a young man? Was it his brutal beating of a man in a bar so vicious that the bartender who called the police initially called 911 to report the beating? No.

All that is absofuckingperfectlutley D-A-N-D-Y to the Po-Po as long as there's no threat to their safety or that of the well-to-do.

So why would this Chief then say the officer need to step down?

Because in chats, this same officer whose conduct was *clearly* aggressive, said racist and sexist things, and, my guess, the real sin, is saying that he felt like one day "going postal" on dispatch. You could say it was the only way they could try to cover their ass after hemming and hawing and protecting the thin blue line, and that they did a good thing.

I would argue that they did the very very very minimally "right" thing after a long long period of obfuscation, lies and deceit (go read up on the history leading up to all this if you care to learn more and be outraged), when the lives of one of their own were potentially at risk (going postal on fellow officers and dispatchers). There is no reprimand (I guess having your name smeared all over the papers is "enough"), there is no, as far as I can tell, attempt at rehabilitating this guy. Ultimately, THAT is what the community needs. Rehabilitation of the offender. Attempts to redress the grievances.

It has nothing to do with protecting the citizens, and this incident (along with the aforementioned one with the appearance of getting ready to taze me with absolutely NO threat on my part and every sign of acquiescence (shaking out of fear from the mere aggressive stance of the officer who had his hand on his hip ready to draw what I think and hope to god was a taser, though judging from our current police force... it may have been a gun, which is even scarier to think about)), has led me to realize when people say "don't call the police" they really really mean it.

Funny thing - a couple years ago I actually DID call the police after an altercation with my neighbor and it was that same officer who is now resigning. It terrifies me to think that his skittish behavior (which I thought odd, but I figured "understandable" since I reported a confrontation and he doesn't know the full story going into the situation) could have been a prelude to a much more violent outcome either upon me (misunderstanding what was going on when he was heading into the situation) or the guy who I reported (who, while I despised his attitude and threat against me, did not wish any personal harm, but merely a warning from the police).
---------------------------------------

They are enforcers of a class system founded upon certain ideologies in this country, whether they know it or not (though shirts that proclaim they want to beat up protesters is a good sign that at least some of them know where the bread is buttered), and whether anyone else wants to admit it to themselves or not. There are "good cops" and "bad cops". I don't deny that there are cops who want to do the right thing, but the system as a whole is designed not for that, but to serve the elite interests of the property owning class against the working class and poor and underprivileged classes.
posted by symbioid at 12:30 PM on July 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


In 2012 a California police officer shot and killed a boxer puppy and pregnant chihuahua, claiming the boxer had threatened him. The chihuahua, he said, got caught in the crossfire.

This is a use of "crossfire" I'm not familiar with -- unless the puppy was packing heat.

It's easy to see why people are more-easily upset when they hear about dogs being killed by the police. Most of us have been conditioned to believe that someone being targeted by cops is likely a "bad guy", whereas such an idea is obviously absurd when the target has four legs and likes to lick his balls.
posted by Slothrup at 12:32 PM on July 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


dsfan: "kewb: "You notice none of these accounts tell of tanks being driven through the foyers of the Kenneth Lays or Bernie Madoffs. Not that that should ever be don"

I beg to disagree.


Wait, you disagree that it's inappropriate to use paramilitary tactics against people accused of (not even convicted of) nonviolent crimes? On what basis? It seems like this is exactly what Balko is talking about--people who stop caring about abuse because the victims are "dirty hippies," or "religious nuts," or whatever I don't like.

-------
I'm a Communist, not a Libertarian.

posted by symbioid at 12:34 PM on July 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


1. The use of an unrelated photo of stormtroopers to convey how the police have become a military entity: opinion pieces with scary photos that are from a year old article about something else tend to get discredited in my mind. 

Wait, so an article discussing at length (amongst other topics) abuses of militarised police at political conventions is discredited because someone* accompanied it with a photo showing militarised police from a political convention?

*who may well not be the author, particularly since this is an excerpt of a book and not something custom written.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:38 PM on July 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


Wait, you disagree that it's inappropriate to use paramilitary tactics against people accused of (not even convicted of) nonviolent crimes?

You've managed to get the exact opposite intention of my comment; I'm saying that no one should have a tank driven through their home, but when and where that *does* happen, it's telling who that *does* happen to and who that *doesn't* happen to.
posted by kewb at 12:40 PM on July 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm about the least likely person to have an adverse encounter with the police: petite white upper-middle-class American-born female in her late 30s. My stepdad was a cop and another relative is a judge. And I still wonder if any of this could happen to me. I've participated in liberal protests, I've signed my name to a number of liberal petitions, I've donated to Occupy, I've had friends more radical than me. The concept "if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear" is meaningless when the concept of "wrong" keeps changing.
posted by desjardins at 12:41 PM on July 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


The police are a functionary of a capitalist state, and as such their main function is to protect the property and lives of the rich from those who have less.

As opposed to Communist states, where the police just protect the powerful from the not so powerful?
posted by FJT at 12:41 PM on July 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Going To Maine: "To put it another way: what would you replace the police with? There's a difference between "police officers do bad things" and "the police are all evil and should be destroyed." I'm not defending the paramilitarization of the police, and certainly not the use of maximum force to take care of petty crimes. But it would be nice to see the thread have more in it than just "all police are terrible and will always be terrible and the police are the worst" which is kind of where it seems to be right now."

There's also a difference between saying "all police are terrible and will always be terrible and the police are the worst" and between saying that our police, a most necessary part of our civilization who count many fine women and men among their ranks and perform countless goods, are nevertheless rampant with bullies and goons, currently empowered to a degree that endangers our civil liberties, and in general, are a terrifying group to have turn their attention onto you.

It isn't necessary to be against the police or policing in general to find the current status of police action in the United States to be worrisome and in desperate need of reform.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:49 PM on July 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


Being that I've commented too much in this thread already, I only want to reply to you FJT once and let other people have their say.

Being a Communist doesn't mean that one has to believe that what the countries ruled by the Communist Parties were correct in all their actions. It also means understanding that it IS a class war in effect, and that there is a cultural hegemony and mindset that the populace as a whole has after 200+ years of indoctrination by bourgeois educational institutions and political systems. This hegemony has to be overturned not by "free speech" because "free speech" is co-opted by Capital. There are many Communists who do not share this view. They will be the kind who say that the Soviet Union was a "degenerated worker's state" or a "State Capitalist Bureaucracy" or some such thing. In fact, I'd argue that most Communists in the United States at this time are of the latter, not of my viewpoint. In my opinion, Communists must always be criticizing their own views, but also analyzing the system as a whole, and this means both capitalist and communist systems. And it means working towards creating a system whereby the State is no longer necessary (the end goal of all Communists, those like me and those who have more libertarian influenced ends). I suppose I should take my "libertarian-socialist" description off my profile page these days. There are no easy answers, and if I could I would prefer a bloodless revolution of ideas over any sort of physical bloody violence. The thought of an actual revolution or civil war terrifies me. There's a million things that could be said, but as I said, I'd rather not dominate (and sidetrack this convo), I just wanted to present why I think that using force in a revolutionary context is necessary to combat the bourgeois hegemony of thought and power.
posted by symbioid at 12:52 PM on July 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Haven't read the article yet, but the photo at the top is the cover of Balko's new book on police militarization. So it wasn't just picked at random.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:54 PM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


This individual seems to specialize in articles critical of the police, this history leads me to be careful to read his thoughts with an awareness of that perspective.

Yes, covering police violence and malfeasance is basically his job. I think it is okay for one person in the world to make his living doing that.
posted by empath at 12:56 PM on July 7, 2013 [8 favorites]


If you want to go down another rabbit hole, look up the issues of things like rape in custody.


Or prison rape.

You arrest people for non-violent crimes (or even no crime at all), give them basically no hope of ever getting another job, rape them, force them to work for free, probably infect them with one or more STD's, give them no education or support while in or out of prison, then dump them out onto the streets after their sentence is done, saying their debt to society is paid.

Honestly, we should be talking about when society's debt to them should be paid. Our criminal justice system is an atrocity. It's basically slavery under another name.
posted by empath at 1:00 PM on July 7, 2013 [11 favorites]


omg I've traded memails with a communist! I'm definitely on a list now!

Anyway, even if the vast majority individual police are good people, there are structural problems that contribute to abuse. The Stanford Prison Experiment should make this pretty obvious. We (as a society) have given the police more and more power and tools to exert that power, and... surprise! They're using it, and not necessarily in the way that we'd like. Disbanding the police is not the answer; we need to address the structural issues and provide more checks on police power.

(I also wonder if there's a recursive effect in the militarization of police: even-tempered people who might have become cops are turned off by it, and more power-hungry people are attracted to police careers, thus fueling even more abuses of power.)
posted by desjardins at 1:00 PM on July 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


If it makes you feel better, desjardins - I wasn't a Communist when we memailed before :)
posted by symbioid at 1:03 PM on July 7, 2013


I wonder is there a way we could take statistics of actual usage of the dogs with false positives and see if it shows up that false positives are within the error of actual positives such that drug seeking dogs are no better than random chance?

The dogs are quite capable - mythbusters has done a couple episodes on that.

I don't think its the dogs making the false positives, but the handler instead. But what can you do - the Supreme court has already said that handler mismanagement is the same as a warrant.

In Madison, WI, recently there has been a big to do about an officer that killed an innocent young man who stumbled into the wrong house. Everyone that knew him said he was the kindest person they knew. The details of the story are very sketchy. The officer has a history of repeated misuse and abuse of authority.

This happened not very far from my house, and I've followed it closely. I'm also, for reasons I won't go into here, familiar with Officer Heimsness's work.

Far be it for me to defend that douchebag cop - The undisputed facts of the case make it a good shoot.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:03 PM on July 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Our criminal justice system is an atrocity. It's basically slavery under another name.

It's not even under another name. cf the 13th amendment: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
posted by desjardins at 1:03 PM on July 7, 2013


...burst into a home in SWAT gear with guns drawn and treat poker players like a bunch of high-level drug dealers,” an attorney representing poker players told a local newspaper. “Using the taxpayers’ resources for such useless Gestapo-like tactics is more of a crime than is playing of the game.”

What bullshit. The Gestapo never did this....
posted by thelonius at 1:04 PM on July 7, 2013


I just wanted to present why I think that using force in a revolutionary context is necessary to combat the bourgeois hegemony of thought and power.

I think revolution is too romanticisized or too "sexy". There's a messy reality of it that even goes beyond the possibility of civil war and violence. Forcing rapid change is rarely predictable, and it's naive to think one's own side will come out the victor (or even exist) in the end. It strikes me as the political equivalent of reckless gambling. But, thats probably the Confucian side of me speaking.
posted by FJT at 1:27 PM on July 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


The law in many towns in WI require you to obey any lawful order from a police officer in the course of their duties.

Is that in compliance with the Wisconsin State Constitution?

hurf durf what can be done

How about the ability for citizens to directly file complaints with the Grand Jury? The Rule of Law Radio podcast/radio show goes into that and has an affiliate in Madison WI for the above WI law commentator. Those of you who don't want to hear something from "libertarians" and Statists might as well take a pass on that podcast.


Oh, and for those of you who feel video taping the police is a good idea:
But the head of the police union, Jeff Roorda, who is also a Missouri state representative, fully agreed with her decision not to view the video because he believes videos should only be used to protect police, not hold them accountable.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:36 PM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


saber_taylor: "Mao sent the intellectuals to work on the farms. After some time, he conceded and brought them back, in one of the intervals of the continuous revolution. "

I think you misunderstand my point. My argument is that training in social work is *more* relevant to police work than most military training. Our law enforcement would be improved were it undertaken with a more compassionate, empathetic, and community-oriented approach. To continue your analogy, we already have the intellectuals working on the farms. It's time to bring them back home.

As an intellectual who runs a farm, I feel uniquely qualified to comment on this.
posted by stet at 1:40 PM on July 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


(I suppose I said I was done, but I think you bring up a good point, so...)
While I think there's a lot to dislike and distrust about the founding fathers of the US, Thomas Jefferson said a very very insightful thing in the Declaration of Independence...

...all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

So - I don't think we're going to see any violent uprising in the US anytime soon, and I don't think that a revolution in the US is desirable at this point for a variety of reasons. I tend more towards Third-Worldism, that is to say, the revolutions will come from the more impoverished sectors of the planet. The 1st world workers are part of the Labor Aristocracy and we have enough Breads and Circuses to keep us going for a while. We might vote for this or that lying politician and we may whine about the police, but things would have to get way way way worse before people rose up, and as you say "it's rarely predictable". IMO, if a civil war broke out in the US today the far-right would be taking the lead, which, of course, is utterly repulsive to someone on the left like me. So I make do with the lesser evil. Some of my comrades would disagree with me on that, but there's not much else one can do in our society.

That said, my initial point was more along the lines of "after a revolutionary 'war' has finished and political control has been established (assuming, here, Communist success in such a war)" that the revolution isn't over, and that it moves beyond saying "ok, we won, now it's done" and that there unfortunately will end up being some forms of suppression of the previous ruling class. As I said, there is plenty to criticize previous incarnations at attempts of socialism-as-path-to-communism.

So in the end, I agree with most others in this thread who are giving specific propositions for reform. I don't think they will at succeed all or necessarily even most of the goals, but they might temper some of the most egregious excesses,
and ultimately that is the best we can hope for short of an actual *successful* revolution (or, say, the state being so starved of money it has to release inmates, as in California during the economic crisis)...
posted by symbioid at 1:43 PM on July 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Anyway, even if the vast majority individual police are good people, there are structural problems that contribute to abuse.

Randy Kelton of ROL disagrees with his ex-Deputy Sherrif co-host Eddie Craig on the %age of good cop/bad cop.

But the institutions close ranks and work to protect their own, as almost all institutions do.

The Grand Jury process accessible by the 'common man' would allow the outside 'common citizen' who serves on the Grand Jury to investigate into a charge of misconduct brought before them by a citizen and thus allow outside forces be brought to bear on the 'blue wall of silence'.

Of course, such a thing would require active citizen participation and perhaps that is too much to ask of Americans. California I believe has an open way for citizens to get to the Grand Jury and I don'[t believe it is any better in CA than elsewhere.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:44 PM on July 7, 2013


More background on the video that Pogo_Fuzzybutt posted at the top of this page. Kinda big-L Libertarian axe-grindy.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 2:01 PM on July 7, 2013


My apologies to dsfan for responding so aggressively; I missed symbioid's response and therefore misunderstood dsfan's comment entirely.

The Grand Jury process accessible by the 'common man' would allow the outside 'common citizen' who serves on the Grand Jury to investigate into a charge of misconduct brought before them by a citizen and thus allow outside forces be brought to bear on the 'blue wall of silence'.

the idea of "Citizens' Grand Juries" has been hijacked pretty comprehensively by the party/government system. I don't share some people's paranoia about democracy-as-ochlocracy, but I tend to think that populist democrats or anarchists do poorly by their own ideas when they so directly and literally assume the trappings of the state juridical apparatus.

An ad-hoc system of "common man" grand juries seems likely to become a hierarchy, a multiplication and extension of state power rather than a remedy to the abuse of existing state power. Say such a jury indicts a police officer; who shall try the officer, and in cases of guilt, who shall hold, penalize, rehabilitate, or ensure the deauthorization of the guilty party? The power to indict ends up linked to a power of enforcement somewhere long the line.
posted by kewb at 2:01 PM on July 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Does anyone actually know of any hard data that suggests police shootings, shots fired, citizens assaulted etc. is increasing over the last 10-20 years. I took about 20 minutes to look for generally reliable data. Since most data is city based all I found is that in the major metropolitan area at which I looked the number of persons shot and shots fired has steadily decreased over the years. The increase in community policing, training and higher educational levels for police is used to partially explain that actual shots fired is steadily decreasing. There are many many many anecdotes and stories--50 shots fired, 137 shots fired, innocent teenagers killed, etc. One would expect shots fired to increase given changing demographics, weapon availability etc. So, what are the facts and not the stories.
posted by rmhsinc at 2:09 PM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


> People who are reading it are therefore assumed to be aware that there will be discussion of people getting shot. There is nothing in the title of the article or of this post that mentions animals getting shot. Animals getting shot can be upsetting to people. Therefore a single sentence mention of it in a calm, factual comment should be in no way offensive.

I wasn't offended by it, but I will say that a person's priorities are out of whack if they go into an article about people getting shot and the outrage and sympathy doesn't come along until they get to the part about pets being shot. I also think it's a bit of an unneeded warning. When writing about atrocity i should be a given ha's here's going to be unpleasant elements to the story.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:09 PM on July 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Just out of curiosity, I did a reverse image search on the photo of the star-troopers used in the article..... Evidently they are Tampa police and the photo was taken at the RNC in 2012. I'm wondering what that has to do with getting shot while running a gambling operation.

The photograph was taken by Jenna Pope, a (mostly friend-of-a-) friend of mine who became a social media activist and photographer during the Walker/Wisconsin protests, and has since moved to New York, been a part of Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Sandy, gone to the RNC, recently went to Istanbul, and is now planning a trip to "Moral Mondays" in North Carolina.

They probably felt like they needed an image, did a search, and either ignored copyright or paid for it from the source.

The photograph was not chosen by Salon for this excerpt, specifically, but because it was chosen as the cover of Balko's book. I certainly think it is an appropriate illustration for a book titled Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces.

I have no idea whether she was paid specifically, but I can easily assume it would have been part of whatever licensing for the excerpt Salon had from the publisher. If you must know, I can message her.
posted by dhartung at 2:27 PM on July 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


I wasn't offended by it, but I will say that a person's priorities are out of whack if they go into an article about people getting shot and the outrage and sympathy doesn't come along until they get to the part about pets being shot. I also think it's a bit of an unneeded warning. When writing about atrocity i should be a given ha's here's going to be unpleasant elements to the story.

Since you're referring to my comment, I'd appreciate it if you could point out the part where I prioritize police violence against pets over police violence against citizens, or admit that I didn't feel outrage or sympathy "until they [got] to the part about pets being shot." I've actually experienced police brutality, and it's certainly enraging, but I'm especially incoherent when it comes to writing about things that are highly charged and personal, so I didn't bring it up. Sorry?

Admittedly, I had to skip a large section of the article because of Reasons, and it's unfortunate that you don't share my opinion regarding their validity, but I figured a blase, one-sentence statement would be worthwhile because there's a whole FPP about a website made for people who feel much the same way. The "people who are uniquely affected by descriptions or visual representations of violence bestowed upon animals are heartless" derail has been done.

People who read news stories about "atrocity" don't tend to go in expecting that every conceivable iteration of atrocity will be addressed, let alone presume that every story about human violence is all but certain to include non-human violence, but your concern about the perceived inappropriateness of my reaction is duly noted.
posted by divined by radio at 3:24 PM on July 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


Interestingly, he points out that people get more upset about stories of cops killing pets than even cops killing children.

" Even the children who died are sometimes dismissed with guilt by association. But when he mentions that the ATF agents killed the Davidians’ dogs, Lynch tells me, people become visibly angry. I have found the same thing to be true in my reporting on drug raids."

He also consistently proposes remedies for reducing 'puppycide'; training on animal interactions; recognizing aggressive vs happy/nonthreatoning animals. In response to community outrage, some police departments are now doing this. When jumps to my mind when discussing puppycide is that when children torture/kill harmless animals that is taken as an indicator of being a potential sociopath.

It makes me sad that discussing this problem leads to partisan bickering (and it seems that 'libertarian' is the lefts version of the 'communist' accusation that the right used to employ).

There are plenty of potential solutions that will help address this problem (many mentioned upthread) that don't require a revolution (I'm personally baffled why people think that a new regime would employ police/soldiers that don't engage in problematic practices).
posted by el io at 3:35 PM on July 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I chuckled when I saw your mention of the TV program "Flashpoint," stet.

I've often thought that you can tell it's a Canadian production because the episodes are an hour long.

If the same show were made in the USA, every week the fictional SWAT-team protagonists would just show up and immediately shoot everyone, so episodes would last maybe 5 or 10 minutes each. More time for commercials!
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 3:55 PM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


there are up to 250, 000 cop-shoots-dog cases each year (from TFA)

...She recalled reading a two-line filler in the papers... about how all the dogs in a certain Russian city had been summarily shot... that little article was a premonition of things to come. The first years following the Russian invasion could not yet be characterized as a reign of terror. Because practically no one in the entire nation agreed with the occupation regime, the Russians had to ferret out the few exceptions and push them into power. But where could they look? All faith in Communism and love for Russia was dead. So they sought people who wished to get back at life for something, people with revenge on the brain. They had to focus, cultivate and maintain those people's aggressiveness, give them a temporary substitute to practise on. The substitute they lit on was animals...the major drive was directed against dogs... only after a year did the accumulated malice (which until then had been vented, for the sake of training, on animals) find its true goal: people. People started being removed from their jobs, arrested, put on trial. At last the animals could breathe freely. Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Over the last few years, public surveillance has increased. So have incidences of violence against civillians by the state and fearmongering. So have violent, militarized films. State control and interference of civillian life has increased and protection of rights has decreased. Social concessions like same-sex marriage are made while major civil concerns are buried or are part of major public scandal that outrages the public. Prisoners and potential, whose labour is available to the state, are beimg made basically at a whim. There's recently been a severe financial crisis from which the world has not recovered.

Do you guys see what's coming, what's being prepped for? GTFO while you can because my bet is that in America (and maybe Canada, I'm not sure) sometime in the next couple of years, We Are Really going to be fucked.
posted by windykites at 4:21 PM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


the idea of "Citizens' Grand Juries" has been hijacked pretty comprehensively by the party/government system.

Whoa.

There is a difference between the Grand Jury that citizens are members of and that any citizen can draft a complaint to VS the "Citizens' Grand Juries" as the term used in the whole 'patriot' community.

Let me say that again.

There is a difference between the Grand Jury called into existence by the State and has the power of the State behind in and can summon witnesses along with conduct discovery that citizens are members of and that any citizen can draft a complaint to and have it be given a fair hearing at VS the "Citizens' Grand Juries" as the term used in the whole 'patriot' community.

The 1st could be a fix that can be applied within the framework of today. The 2nd is no more than people singing songs and caring signs mostly saying 'hurrah for our side'
posted by rough ashlar at 5:00 PM on July 7, 2013


You're predicting some kind of civil war in the US in the next two years?
posted by fleacircus at 5:03 PM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe not two, but sometime within the next decade I think it's a distinct possibility.

I also think that it's a distinct possibility that the population is being groomed for a larger-than-civil-scale war.
posted by windykites at 5:25 PM on July 7, 2013


I generally agree with the sentiment that cops are out of control (except when it comes to white people, wealthy people, connected people etc, of course) but man, that whole internet freak-out over the cop in Hawthorne, CA shooting a Rottweiler was dumb. Look, you wouldn't own a breed like that if you weren't trying to be a tough guy. Same for pit bulls. If he had a shot a Golden Retreiver I would be fully sympathetic. But a Rott is essentially an assault canine. I'm sick of seeing how popular pit bulls are nowadays. People don't get them because they think that it will be a good breed for the environment they'll be living in, for their temperament, or for any reasons like that. People just get them because "hey bitches I'm tough, y'all better watch out". Then the little monster bites their 3 year-old's head off and they're like "oh my god how could this happen".
posted by MattMangels at 5:42 PM on July 7, 2013


Regarding this portion of the article:
In one widely circulated video from the [2009 Pittsburgh G20] summit, several police officers dressed entirely in camouflage emerged from an unmarked car, apprehended a young backpack-toting protester, stuffed him into the car, then drove off. It evoked the sort of “disappearance” you might envision happening in a Latin American country headed by a junta, or one of the countries of the Soviet bloc. Matt Drudge linked to the video with a headline describing the officers in it as members of the military. They weren’t, though it’s certainly easy to understand how someone might make that mistake.

It's hard to say, but it's probably that Balko is referring to the incident captured at 35 seconds in in this video. If so, he's being slightly deceptive. This abduction wasn't by either the police or the military, but rather a group of veterans who wanted to give people an idea of what it was like on the streets of Iraq. You can take my statement with a grain of salt, since I can provide no link to the group (possibly Iraq Veterans Against The War), but this is what I was told at a pre-protest event being run by one of the Yes Men. This doesn't address other overreach by police during the summit, but is a particularly frustrating and pervasive meme.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:50 PM on July 7, 2013


Dude, plenty of people just love the breeds. Pittys and Rotties can make excellent pets, I'm the least tough person ever and I would have a pitty for sure, they're really friendly. Well trained Rotties are not badass evil monster dogs, but they will make people think twice before jumping you or breaking in, which is a totally legit reason to have a dog. Don't hate on the breed man!
posted by windykites at 6:36 PM on July 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


I generally agree with the sentiment that cops are out of control (except when it comes to white people, wealthy people, connected people etc, of course) but man, that whole internet freak-out over the cop in Hawthorne, CA shooting a Rottweiler was dumb.

I agree with you, but not for the reasons you state.

That dude should not have been walking that dog there. He had a history of antagonizing cops, though. He should have done a better job of securing his dog in the car.

To the cops credit, they did try to get control of the dog. You can see one of them grab for the leash once or twice - only to have the dog lunge at him. Maybe the dog was being playful, but I can't imagine taking a chance with a 100+ pound dog.

It's really unfortunate what happened. Watching that dog get shot was absolutely heartbreaking. But it was that idiot owner's fault.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 6:45 PM on July 7, 2013


Pittys and Rotties can make excellent pets,

To the cops credit, they did try to get control of the dog. You can see one of them grab for the leash once or twice - only to have the dog lunge at him. Maybe the dog was being playful, but I can't imagine taking a chance with a 100+ pound dog.

"Rotties" are more then willing to be an excellent pet if you are part of the pack they are in.

The cops - they were not part of the pack the dog was. And the breed reacted the way the breed does. (unless hungry and then they can be bribed. Only time I've had success with a "rottie" with no owner around.)
posted by rough ashlar at 7:16 PM on July 7, 2013


Well, anecdotally, no, I think rotties can be just lovely, very well behaved dogs if they're trained that way, that's been my experience with 'em. There's nothing inherently wrong w/ any breed (well except maybe those cane corsos, but I've never even seen one of those.)

We have 2 dogs living at the house, one 100+ lb black lab and one 70 lb probably golden/shepherd mix. Couple of the people-friendliest dogs you've ever seen, but they might bark or growl at someone coming up the stairs to the porch, though that's all they would do. I live in fear that a cop will ever show up here while the dogs are out and just straight-up murder 'em, I'm super glad to read that Austin cops get training but still.
posted by hap_hazard at 7:37 PM on July 7, 2013


Shit like this is why my dream home has 18″ steel-reinforced concrete walls, steel security doors and shutters, and a fortified entry. God Bless America.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:22 PM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


From the article:

"The most volatile night of the convention featured one incident in which Jefferson County, Colorado, deputies unknowingly clashed with and then pepper-sprayed undercover Denver cops posing as violent protesters. The city later paid out $200,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that a Denver SWAT team was making indiscriminate arrests, rounding up protesters and bystanders alike."

If don't laugh, I'd be crying.
posted by ShawnStruck at 9:30 PM on July 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


SWAT was developed originally to counter left-wing protest and activist groups. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWAT#History
posted by blankdawn at 11:12 PM on July 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


windykites: "Do you guys see what's coming, what's being prepped for? GTFO while you can because my bet is that in America (and maybe Canada, I'm not sure) sometime in the next couple of years, We Are Really going to be fucked."

Well, your reasoned and trenchant commentary has certainly convinced me. Especially the well-thought-through argument you're making, without resorting to cheap hyperbole or Wagnerian theatricality.
posted by scrump at 1:18 AM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


scrump: windykites does present some actual arguments - you could consider addressing them rather than just tossing off a few insults...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:37 AM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Denver police added that it was fairly common to take sports stars on drug raids."

what

WHAT

oh wait i get it ok guys, this is a television pilot, and we're all in it like a big ass Truman Show, because that context would make the other stuff about celebrities doing drug raids seem reasonable. otherwise this is really happening, and that one snippet of indirectly quoted information where someone's talking about how it's nothing at all, fairly common really for sports stars and other wealthy tourists to go outside their element to conquer the untamed frontiers and hunt down wild animals in their natural environment, then to return safely to their gated communities- to go on safari.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:58 AM on July 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Over the last few years, public surveillance has increased.

This is to be expected - surveillance will increase in any state where the technology to surveil becomes available. This is because states love to know stuff about the citizens. There is no backspace key for this and it is something civilians are going to have to accept, adjust to and work around.

So have incidences of violence against civillians by the state and fearmongering.

This may also be an increase in reports of violence against civilians by the state. Fifty years ago in the UK (and I assume in most other Western states) you would have had no recourse whatsoever if a police offer struck you. The fact that we can now do so without (too much) fear of retribution is a positive step surely?

Also, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, but you are actually fearmongering within this comment.

So have violent, militarized films.

Summer blockbusters? Action movies? Not quite sure what you mean here. Can you be more specific? What is it about violent and militarized media that makes war more likely? Are these not reflections of existing combat operations around the world rather than precursors of future conflict?

State control and interference of civillian life has increased and protection of rights has decreased.

In some respects, yes, particularly relating to women's sexual rights. Whilst this is terrible it doesn't have any real law enforcement effect (at least for now...) Are there any particular issues you are concerned with here? Which state interference is it that you feel will result in war?

Social concessions like same-sex marriage are made while major civil concerns are buried or are part of major public scandal that outrages the public.

Positive social concessions like ensuring everyone has the same rights are beneficial to society as a whole in my opinion. Increased surveillance (one civil concern plucked out of the air as it's the issue du jour) as noted above is beneficial to the state and therefore, unless directly challenged by a large and well-funded group with political access, will increase in a technologically mature society. Was there a specific civil concern or public scandal that you feel will lead to war?

Prisoners and potential, whose labour is available to the state, are beimg made basically at a whim.

There is still a fairly decent system of laws on place. No matter how bad you feel this is there is not, nor have there been, large numbers simply dragged off the streets and put to work in some form of modern slavery. The bar for criminality is set exceptionally low, I'll agree with you there but this appears otherwise to be simple hyberbole.

There's recently been a severe financial crisis from which the world has not recovered.

This may be a regular cycle based on restrictive vs lax financial enforcement. Again, barring a war against rich vs poor I am not sure what the implication is here? I suspect that the rich will win as the government will do it's best to prevent the violent redistribution of financial and physical assets and thus any "poor riots" will be stomped on heavily.

Do you guys see what's coming, what's being prepped for? GTFO while you can because my bet is that in America (and maybe Canada, I'm not sure) sometime in the next couple of years, We Are Really going to be fucked.

I don't think this is very likely at all. No matter how bad stuff gets, so long as you can go to breakfast for $3.99 and eat all you want and the gas prices don't get too high I imagine the USA will soldier on for quite some time. I certainly don't want to be proved wrong but the chances of war on US soil* are slim to none in my estimation. Nothing stated here gives any indication that this will be the case.

*I am assuming this is what you suggest is going to happen, it's not entirely clear who the war will be with otherwise. Apologies for picking your comment to answer, but Lupus did refer to it as needing addressing.
posted by longbaugh at 6:35 AM on July 8, 2013


GTFO while you can

Where are we supposed to go?
posted by desjardins at 7:22 AM on July 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Where to go? Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia? Guyana didn't work out too well for Jim Jones, so... I'd probably not go there.

I keep thinking I ought to learn Spanish. I took French in High School, instead, and I'm Rusty. Stupid move on my part.

If shit hits the fan, I think S. America is probably the place to be in terms of standing up against US Hegemony, currently, and the "21st Century Socialism" is an attempt to work towards a more democratic system, while still understanding the complexities required to combat Capitalism.

If the Naxalites ever succeeded or the Communist Party of the Philippines did, I'd say move there. Plus I love listening to Tagalog whenever I see it on TV, but that's neither here nor there when it comes to politics.

I hate when people say "love it or leave it". As if it's that easy. Things are going to have to get really really really bad in the US before things go to shit (again: not that we should actually look forward to such a thing, I know too many people who would be utterly fucked without the support of the current system, which is of course, why people are hesitant). A good chunk of Americans are too brainwashed to do anything but believe life is SUPPOSED to be a struggle all the fucking time.
posted by symbioid at 7:43 AM on July 8, 2013


What Cop Shirts Tell Us About Police Culture
posted by Eideteker at 7:56 AM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wish I knew, desjardins.
Longbaugh, please don't apologise. I hope that you're right and that I'm wrong.

I'm on my phone and my last few posts have been rife with typos, but I will try to respond.

What I'm talking about are patterns that I have been noticing and how they seem similar to patterns described by people who lived through conflict in other times.

1)eating all you want for $3.99 and gas prices-
Unsustainable. Massive destruction of local crops d/t ongoing, unpredictable disaster weather caused by global climate change, plus the availability of fossil fuels steadily decreasing, means that local food will be unstable and imports will continue to grow more expensive. Plus other countries having their own struggles will become less willing to export, driving the cost even higher.

2)financial crises: people want stability, security and someone to blame. They also want something simple and concrete to focus on. economic downtimes often preceed large conflict. There may or may not be a causal relationship- I don't know- I just have noticed this. I don't know if the poor world fight against the rich or for them.

3)prisoners-
Fair enough, it could totally be hyperbole. I don't know enough and I hope it is. But I do know that a framework seems to be developing whereby creating new prisoners will become even easier than it has been in the past and that resisting this will be just shy of impossible considering how much firepower- literal and figurative- seems to be becoming the norm for police. Maybe it's just that I am exposed to so many articles about thos stuff and I think there's more of a trend than there really is- I certainly haven't looked up any statistics.


4) was there a specific concern you feel will lead to war
No. Not yet. I don't expect it to work that way. I believe the stated reasons for war are rarely the actual reasons that the powerful wish to participate in war, and I believe that the gay marriage issue, while real and relevant to actual human beings, is a distraction from all the freedoms and protections that are being taken away. However, I do believe there are many government behaviours that could have become much larger scandals than they did if we weren't distracted- we talk about a variety of questionable actions taken by those in power, and we see articles on the blue, quite frequently- and there seems to be a commonality where, as with thes unacceptable police behaviours discussed in the FPP, there are few consequences.

5) which state interference do you believe will result in war?
I think that the process of slowly undermining the rights of a variety of at-risk groups, publicly and continuously, creates a climate where we are both angry and hopeless, a climate of learned helplessness where we are accustomed to abuses, and this will make it easier to introduce further oppressions to the populace or to redirect the peoples' anger, violently, to an outside party.

6)films- this is a thing. Again, I'm on my phone, but I'll dig up an article or two for you later.

7) fearmongering- I'm sorry if I am fearmongering. I, personally, am afraid and my concerns are sincere. I am also prone to anxiety and disaster thinking. So maybe- probably- I'm way off and things will be fine, and I will look really dumb and we can all laugh. I'm not trying to be a jerk or all "wake up sheeple" or anything like that. I'm just scared.
posted by windykites at 8:12 AM on July 8, 2013


"Animals getting shot can be upsetting to people."

1. You should be upset. That's the point. Anger is the energy to change.
2. Humans are, strictly speaking, animals. Though I suppose see what Slothrup said about "bad guys." I still question people who lack empathy for fellow humans. Yeah, people can be assholes (though so can pets), but make sure you're not buying into the narrative.
posted by Eideteker at 8:29 AM on July 8, 2013


Eideteker: "What Cop Shirts Tell Us About Police Culture"

Hey - we got progress, at least the "You raise em, we cage em" shirt wasn't a black child! Or they're just smart enough to at least cover their asses in that regards.
posted by symbioid at 8:29 AM on July 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cop or Soldier.

Shit like this is why my dream home has 18″ steel-reinforced concrete walls, steel security doors and shutters, and a fortified entry. God Bless America.

How is this going to help you from Steven Seagal's tanks?
posted by cjorgensen at 8:48 AM on July 8, 2013


Symbiod, have you been to Latin America? It has its charms, but it's poor, violent and the police and military are either helpless against drug cartels or violent and corrupt, a d moreover, would be easily manipulated by a United States that decides to go back to its bad old ways.
posted by empath at 11:24 AM on July 8, 2013


Plus they have big bugs.
posted by desjardins at 1:20 PM on July 8, 2013


Guyana didn't work out too well for Jim Jones
I thought it let him do anything he damn well pleased, including total implosion when a USCongressman and some American investigators came to town. No doubt that he did it ALL to himself and his people, unlike that dude outside Waco.
posted by evilmidnightbomberwhatbombsatmidnight at 2:13 PM on July 8, 2013


[One comment deleted; as always, metacommentary does not go here, it goes on MetaTalk or if you want to talk to the mods about a comment of yours, please use the contact form. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:19 PM on July 8, 2013


Cop or Soldier.

That quiz is easy. If they look like G.I. Joe, soldier; if they look like COBRA!, cop.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:34 PM on July 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


cjorgensen: “How is this going to help you from Steven Seagal's tanks?”
Well… if the're going to use armor or artillery on me then I guess it won't. Although upon further review, maybe 18″ steel-reinforced concrete isn't really enough. One shaped charge will provide a crawl hole in seconds in addition to the shock value. So I guess I'd need to wrap citadel walls with earthwork ramparts and put the whole thing inside a moat and glacis.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:51 PM on July 8, 2013


He also consistently proposes remedies for reducing 'puppycide'

Balko has been writing about puppycide for a long time.
posted by homunculus at 6:42 PM on July 9, 2013


http://12160.info/video/trigger-happy-cop-kills-unarmed-man-holding-baby-scottsdale-az?xg_source=activity

At what point do the police defenders find a line that is crossable?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:01 PM on July 12, 2013


Oh for the love of everything. "Firearms were found in the home" justifies killing the guy in the street outside? Sometimes I hate my profession.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:28 PM on July 12, 2013


Scottscale settled for $4.5M and the cop -- who had six career shootings, large when you consider most will go their entire careers without a weapons discharge -- retired on disability.
posted by dhartung at 4:36 AM on July 13, 2013


the cop -- who had six career shootings, large when you consider most will go their entire careers without a weapons discharge -- retired on disability.

Of course he did.
posted by empath at 5:55 AM on July 13, 2013


Radley Balko: “Once a town gets a SWAT team you want to use it”. America's police are beginning to look like an army, and the author says there's very little we can do about it
posted by homunculus at 2:37 PM on July 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Of course he did.

Don't look up his pension unless you want to sputter wordlessly.
posted by dhartung at 12:09 AM on July 14, 2013


US Marshal Upset That Couple His Police Gang Terrorized Went to the Press
posted by homunculus at 12:58 PM on July 21, 2013


Zero Tolerance Policies Put Students In The Hands Of Bad Cops
posted by homunculus at 9:54 AM on July 28, 2013


Former Cops Speak Out About Police Militarization
posted by homunculus at 5:05 PM on August 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


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