originally posted by: carewemust
a reply to: Bedlam
Why are police so afraid of the public that they "spin themselves up" as you call it?
People react according to their personal tendencies, training, and experience.
LEOs are trained these days to expect that every stop is some sort of heavily armed terrorist, and that their lives are more valuable than any
citizen, it's "us against them", and that if they kill you, their buddies will cover it up, right or wrong.
So, it's sort of a no-lose situation to plug you for reasons no sane person could put forward as rational. So you get "I feared for my life" and "I
wanted to go home at the end of my shift" as mantras they chant. And as sauce, there's Graham v Connor, which states if there is any, and I mean ANY
way an officer can stretch his 'perception' to possibly have been that the "perp" was reaching for a weapon, or thinking about hitting him, or just
about damned near anything, the jury will be instructed to acquit. So if you're stopped, one cop comes to the window and the other one hits your car
and yells 'boo' and you jump, and cop #1 kills you, it's going to be acquittal. This is the precedent you hear when cops instantly whup out "you can't
use 20/20 hindsight!", that's the one they mean. Graham v Connor was a travesty of injustice. Because the only gating factor is what the cop says. And
you can, of course, bet the cop isn't going to say "I #ed up and shot when I shouldn't have", it's going to be "I feared for my life when he burped,
because...I thought it was a gun going off" or the like. And that's all it takes in US jurisprudence.
In order to get this sort of thing 'on the books' you will occasionally see cops step in front of moving cars briefly, or back into people so that the
person comes into contact with them and the like. If you've wondered why they do that, it's Graham. Suddenly, all bets are off and you can just blow
the guy away with impunity.
Another issue with Graham is that even if the cop is 'clean', you are at the mercy of that particular cop's judgement, forever. No matter how many
really stupid bad calls he makes, they're all gold. And they're all washed as white as snow by Graham, which doesn't specify that really stupid
perceptions are not valid. The only test for validity is whether another cop says he might have done the same, and buddy, you can pony up any number
of cops to agree to ANYTHING another cop does.
There's no provision for the jury to say 'you might say you would, but damn, that was stupidity or viciousness to a level we don't forgive - sentenced
to 20 years in prison no parole', because precedent was set in 1989, and 'we can't use 20/20 hindsight'. Which is bull#. If you made a truly stupid
decision, you should be liable for it. If you perceived stupidly, and someone was hurt or killed by your incompetence, you should pay. But no, GvC
So, you have two groups that really rely on this, cherries, and bad cops. The bad cops, of course, will have learned the things we were taught - you
can get people to do stupid things by telling them to, then you can shoot with impunity. One example being - a person who's not really doing anything
will act mystified when you scream at them. They have no mens rea. So if they're carrying a BB gun and you yell 'freeze!', they will turn around to
see who you are yelling at. Instantly, GvC springs in to cover you murdering them - after all, that MIGHT have been a real gun and they were "swinging
it towards you". Even if you've recently been writing about how you'd like to shoot someone with a BB gun and you know just how to get them to do
this. And then try to erase it when you get caught. It's a free out, because your buddy on scene says 'I would have done that too!' and the defense
attorney says "you can't go by 20/20 hindsight!" and off you skip.
Cherries, on the other hand, get explosive bursts of adrenaline they haven't learned how to control yet, and overreact. Like this probably was. The
guy likely DID ask for ID, then panicked and fired when the guy complied. Out comes the GvC fairy, and he gets off scotfree, of course.