A Buzzfeed News Investigation
March 5, 2018 10:29 PM   Subscribe

 
The "Outside your bubble" thingy at the end of the story is an interesting touch. But I guess some poor sap has to curate the comments to create that one?
posted by Harald74 at 11:17 PM on March 5 [1 favorite]


Some people tie this into 2nd amendment rights, which (as a European) I usually find odd, but now it crossed the line into "seriously detached from reality".

First of all, good luck pulling a gun on police that trample your rights. Your life expectancy just dropped to minutes or even seconds.

Second, when do you even bring out a gun? Officer gives false testimony against you? Are you going to whip out your pistol and shoot them in the face? Police giving your downstairs neighbours a hard time but not using proper procedure? Are you going to barge down the stairs, AR-15 on your shoulder?
posted by Harald74 at 11:27 PM on March 5 [15 favorites]


Some people tie this into 2nd amendment rights, which...

...was never anything but a childish fantasy.
posted by klanawa at 11:35 PM on March 5 [21 favorites]


I wish I could say this report was surprising, but it's not. Family violence is 2-4 times higher in the law enforcement community than in the general population, and police officers convicted of these crimes are unlikely to lose their jobs and are exempted from federal laws covering DV and gun purchases. The sad facts are these: while there are plenty of police who see their work as a vital community service, a significant percentage of police are attracted to the profession because they'd like to hurt people under the color of law.
posted by xyzzy at 11:38 PM on March 5 [41 favorites]


The NYPD has been beating, torturing, framing, and killing people for as long as I can remember and brazenly getting away with it. My solutions and negations start at disbanding the whole thing and rethinking what are police even for.
posted by The Whelk at 12:02 AM on March 6 [39 favorites]


I don't understand why some of these offenses are even handled internally. Sure, they're disciplinary offenses, but many of them are actual crimes and could be prosecuted. What's going on here, from a legal perspective?
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:54 AM on March 6 [7 favorites]


Cops are actually arrested and convicted of crimes, but only half get fired. There was a study performed for the DOJ on this topic recently.

According to the study's authors, one glaring oversight they uncovered it that police officers do not generally undergo continual criminal background checks once they join the force. So, if a cop is arrested in a jurisdiction he does not work in, it's not that difficult to evade detection by a commanding officer. Nor do any of their contracts require mandatory disclosure if they are arrested or convicted of a crime.

Prosecutors have complained for years that IAB is useless and that the police unions give other unions a bad name when it comes to covering up for their members.
posted by xyzzy at 1:09 AM on March 6 [11 favorites]


The person who leaked these files literally risked their lives in doing so. In my mind they placed themselves in greater danger than Snowden. They are a hero.
posted by el io at 1:30 AM on March 6 [31 favorites]


I was recently at the Whitney in New York City, and they are running an exhibition called "An Incomplete History of Protest" where one topic was Abuse of Power and one installation that struck me was Carl Pope's piece entitled Some of the Greatest Hits of the New York City Police Department: A Celebration of Meritorious Achievement in the Community:

"The inscriptions, which include the names of the people who were killed or brutalized as well as the officers who committed the acts, were written by the artist. Pope purchased the trophies from businesses that make them specifically for law-enforcement use, thus overlaying the histories of both police violence and the trophy industry."

A bit on the nose, but show me the lie.
posted by like_neon at 3:54 AM on March 6 [6 favorites]




like_neon, I assume the lie is that the awards weren't given as awards-- they were purchased for the art installation.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 7:13 AM on March 6


The NYPD is a disgrace to my city and an impediment to justice. It should be immediately disbanded. If every cop were replaced by literally an orangutang on meth, the crime rate would still go down and New Yorkers would be safer.
posted by Jon_Evil at 7:18 AM on March 6 [1 favorite]


My mom's time working as a radiologist at Grady Hospital in Atlanta (many years ago) left her with the firm impression that about the only difference between the police and the people they brought in was the uniform on their backs. They saw a looooot of people that had, y'know, "tripped" on the curb. And whatnot. It left her with a lot of residual anger on behalf of all the people who'd been beaten to shit.
posted by telepanda at 7:23 AM on March 6 [6 favorites]


Mark Fraunfelder's comment on this on Boing Boing, which I've used a variant of myself:

When I get called for jury duty, I remember stories like this, and I tell the judge that I don't believe police testimony.
posted by ryanshepard at 7:56 AM on March 6 [8 favorites]


I don't understand why some of these offenses are even handled internally. Sure, they're disciplinary offenses, but many of them are actual crimes and could be prosecuted. What's going on here, from a legal perspective?

Laws don't apply to cops.

It's a problem.
posted by Artw at 8:21 AM on March 6 [6 favorites]


When I get called for jury duty, I remember stories like this, and I tell the judge that I don't believe police testimony.

And then you get bounced for someone who will accept such testimony uncritically. If you don't literally believe you are so biased that you won't believe any word out of a cop's mouth, as opposed to using your general judgment and experience as a member of the community in choosing how much weight, if any, to give to any individual cop's testimony, you are not doing the right thing.
posted by praemunire at 9:13 AM on March 6 [15 favorites]


One of the problems with keeping these sorts of files internally, is that if you are ever charged with a crime, you can't cross examine the police officer's credibility. A lawyer friend of mine was talking about one of those rare cases where the cop was just sentenced to time in prison for an unjust killing. They were able to impeach his testimony only because he'd had several prior internal investigations, but no convictions. The lawyer was saying that in NYC this wouldn't even have been possible because prosecutors are not given access to these records. These are considered personnel records and are thus private. I wish I could find the post, but he'd even killed a guy prior, but it was ruled as justified when that dude's wife came forward as a domestic abuse victim and declared the cop a hero.

We need police reform decades ago.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:16 AM on March 6 [4 favorites]


And then you get bounced for someone who will accept such testimony uncritically.

Not if the defense attorney is doing their job, no. The prosecutor may be able to get rid of some of the people skeptical of the police, but around here, it would be challenging to knock them all off. Chock it up to decades of violent, racist, unaccountable policing.

Also, I've sat on a drug trial jury where cops gave testimony directly contradicted by the evidence available to us, and where where I'm nearly certain a detective lied under oath. I said as much to the judge in another trial, and that I do not trust the police, and still ended up being seated.
posted by ryanshepard at 11:48 AM on March 6 [2 favorites]


slight tangent but.. hooray for good journalism!! it still exists. it fucking matters. the next time someone on the fringe right (or left...) takes a dump on mainstream media, just remember this: the website that does those 'world's most expensive burger' comparison videos is about to publish a secret list of corrupt cops. chew on that one.
posted by wibari at 5:17 PM on March 6 [7 favorites]


Some people tie this into 2nd amendment rights, which...

The better argument along these lines is that gun laws can become just another pretext for cops to hassle minorities. Of course that's also just an argument for a broader but less individually punitive approach to gun control.
posted by atoxyl at 9:30 PM on March 6


the next time someone on the fringe right (or left...) takes a dump on mainstream media [...]

I would argue that BuzzFeed doesn't exactly qualify as mainstream media. Additionally, I would suggest that it's only through a nearly complete abdication by news that sites of listicles of the 'world's most expensive burger' are able to compete.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:49 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]


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