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The Sad State of Policing This Nation

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posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 06:33 AM
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Let me say first off, that I know this thread will insight argument and disagreement. I appreciate that aspect and I hope it happens. What I am not aiming for is incessant noise about how I am wrong without some sort of candor to back it up.

Police are a good thing. They protect us, they offer us safe roads, safe homes, and the ability to call them when we need their help. They are (for the most part) people who don't abuse their power and work their job to better society and put food on their families' plates.

However, since moving out to Phoenix, I have been an observer of a different kind of law. This law involves people being ridiculed, wrongly accused, and even being harassed by their protectors.. And I've only been here for 2 months.

So my theory is this.. The underclassed, undereducated, and under-cultured population of America is being targeted to enforce law. Why? Because they have a grudge against the people who gave them the **** end of the stick earlier in life.

I grew up on a farm in what could be called a "white trash" area. I was lucky enough to have parents who taught me common sense and openmindedness. Most of the people were born from the same threads of life and the officers treated us as equals. If we messed up, they came down on us.. If we were good, we never saw them.

So it brings me to my case.. In Phoenix, and other areas, you don't have a choice. You are assumed to be guilty of something. I work late nights and often get pulled over for just driving at an off hour. I obviously have no alcohol on my breath, I have no record, and I am completely free of any prior charges. And yet I am still abused by a person who wants very badly for me to be guilty of something. They are simply awful to those who they are meant to protect. By the way, I've never gotten a citation.

So my main point is, I have found that in many cities, police rule without question. In PHX, many ads are placed for new officers (we have over 3200). You don't need experience, just the enthusiasm to make money. The people targeted are usually young, recent highschool graduates. There are few officers who aren't white (which is odd based on the population).

We are being protected by the product of low-income, underprivileged families who hate those who have succeeded. Just Google Sheriff Arpaio. He has killed and got away with it. He runs an inhumane tent prison in the middle of the desert in 115 degree heat. He continues to rule this area.

They are like a gang, IMHO. I live in a nice area away from all the partying of Phoenix and I couldn't cross a bridge tonight because six police cruisers found it necessary to stop 1 car. In Philly, it would have taken a serial killer to elicit 6 cars.

Sorry, I rant..

Bottom line is: I thing the people who monitor our streets are a bunch of uneducated, mindless children who will do anything to impress daddy. This does not apply to most areas, I would say most assuredly in Phoenix and Portland, OR.

So it is not a problem with the police.. it is a problem with the precincts aiming at the poor kids who want to get back at society for being successful.




posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 07:04 AM
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Crikey, what area of Phoenix do you live in? I've been here two years, driving around at all hours in my white-trash, two-tone, primer gray Plymouth Voyager and only been pulled over once - when I had a light out on my license plate.

Not to say that things don't happen, I have seen it take six cop cars and who knows how many cops to arrest one person at a traffic stop. That's a bit odd.

I don't mean to disparage you SC, I'm no friend of the law enforcement community but in my limited experience I've had no problems - knock on wood!

I do have an acquaintance who just passed a inital test to become a cop. He thinks he can help.

He's disillusioned, to say the least. Also not too bright - just what we need.

As for Sheriff Joe, he's a doink. Tent city is a joke yet people support it.

I can only hope I don't have any problems with the police. I am not a criminal so I should hope not but that means little in this day and age.



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 07:11 AM
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Greetings from Mesa.

My job involves rotating shifts, which means that I've done a fair amount of commuting at 03:30. I've also got a habit of hitting IHOP, Denny's or some other healthy eatery for a quick snack in the early 0-dark-thirty time frame. I've been here four years, and have yet to have any problems with the police in Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, or Scottsdale, or with Sheriff Arpaio's crew.

I'm not saying that to in some way deny your story, just to point out that your experience isn't universal. I have had dealings with the police while out here (two stolen vehicles, a couple of friends in vehicle accidents, and a couple of calls for people who simply could not find the volume knob or off switch on their stereo systems), and I've found them to be decent folks, for the most part, if overworked. They've been courteous, professional, and fairly quick to respond. That's not to say that there aren't bad ones out there...in any subset of a population, once it reaches a certain size, you'll find a certain number of 'bad apples'. I'm not excusing them, simply pointing out that their existence is inevitable.

Gentleman Joe is a character, and I think he occasionally goes a bit far...but I've seen worse in Sheriffs. I do find it amusing that 'Tent City' was laid out and built to military specifications...so, what's acceptable to soldiers as field housing is 'inhumane' for a criminal. That says something, either about how we treat our criminals, or how we treat our military....I'm not sure which.

Back on topic.
I"m not trying to deny your story, nor am I attempting to deny that there are bad cops out there. With those disclaimers in place, are you certain that you aren't doing something to attract the undue attention of the police? "Driving at an off hour" isn't something they'd normally take note of, given that there's traffic 24/7/365 out here.



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 07:15 AM
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reply to post by SantaClaus
 


I used to live in Phoenix. I do think that Sheriff Joe is insane. He loves to set up sting operations that use thousands of hours of man power, only to be thrown out of court because one of his officers actually participates in what the sting was set up for. From what I recall, there was an undercover operation that was targeting prostitution that cost millions of dollars of tax payer money, and was thrown out of court, because one of the officers got a little to involved in the undercover role of a John.

With that said, I was always under the impression in Phoenix, that the police go looking for petty criminals, rather than work on cases that involve real criminals. Unless a murder involves some sort of high profile person, or there is a lot of public outcry, nothing seems to come of it.

There were a couple of times that I had to call the police on a neighbor who would sit outside and yell obscenities at people, and about 8 officers would show up for it.

Now as for them being an uneducated group of people bent on revenge because of their upbringing, I don't know, but I would say if they do as ordered by Sheriff Joe, there is the problem!



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 07:23 AM
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Yeah that sheriff is a ego-maniac.

I can't comment much more about Phoenix however my husband and I were noting just this weekend how the police vehicles in our area are converting to much lower profile lights on the tops of their cars as well as utilizing more non-traditional vehicles. It is much more difficult to tell if an officer is traveling behind or in front of you. Additionally they often go to great and, sometimes absurd, lengths to hide and wait for speeders who happen by.

It makes me wonder - Are they still charged to protect and serve, as many an old motto states? If so, it would seem that their purpose would be better served by being more obvious, thusly preventing some crime.

Or, as is my concern, are they more intent on "catching" people in some sort of power-tripping cat and mouse game?



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 07:27 AM
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I suppose I should add that I have out of state tags. But I have a perfect driving record and I honestly try to be a clinical driver (my new car makes me stay in the right lane at all times).

Arpaio is a monster and should be treated as such. I have a good friend who had the privilege of inhabiting the tent camp and she couldn't even so much as walk out at night to pee without someone stopping her to send her back to her bed. Sorry, but for a DUI, you shouldn't have to piss your own pants before you get to a toilet. Sorry but this is a lady, and a very good person, with a good son. For her to be treated like that for having 3 beers and driving home is a travesty. Yes, she should be punished, but she has served 6 days and will get 4 more.

All I'm saying is that the fact that tent prisons exist is absurd. For the overflow to get that out of hand is a scary prospect. This is an amateur concentration camp for God's sake!



posted on Mar, 24 2008 @ 07:42 AM
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reply to post by SantaClaus
 


Do they still have the signs up on the highway that read "Drive hammered, get nailed?"

Be carfule not to get a DUI in Arizona. My son had a girlfriend who was pulled over 3 doors from home, who got a DUI. She was 21 years old, and this was her first offense (hopefully last).

She got 3 days in tent city for it.

They don't mess around with drunk drivers in the state.



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 05:28 AM
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Cops, being one of societies 'pillars" are not normal people. They are people with a ridiculous amount of power given to them out out of trust.

Should they violate that trust, the most severe penalty should be imposed... as economically as possible.

They were selected for their job under the pretense that they would commit no crime, so when they do break the law, we as a society should be outraged and merciless.

Criminals who DID NOT take an oath to uphold and defend our lives should be treated no different than they are today. Justly.



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 05:45 AM
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All police officers who violate their oath or out constitution should be punished immediately. No exceptions, no whining, no "ratemycop" just the most efficient/just punishment possible. . Make it into law please, and you'll get my vote.

This will serve as an example to all the crooked cops that we now have.

The power we give these people is ridiculous and when they abuse it, they should face a punishment that assures that they will never abuse anyone again.

Got a problem with the new policy, just don't enlist in the police "forces"

There will be plenty of positions for good honest cops, once such a policy is instituted.

I am sick of treating victims of police abuse, I remove on average, 3 sets of taser prongs every months... for the past four goddamn years. Not to mention the cases of hemorrhaging I encounter when "the force" brings in one of their victims to be treated before 'processing"

I would like to note that police officers are placing a major strain on the health care system be abusing so many of their charges. I am obligated to treat their victims upon arrival, giving them priority over patients already waiting.... It breaks my heart.

It breaks my heart when I am called to testify in Police abuse case that I was involved in, and I do it more and more often as of late. It has gotten to the point where I give my interns permission to stop working and act as a witness whenever the "force' brings in another lump of battered and broken human life. I have face harassment for this. Police harassment. Criminal Police Harassment for helping PEOPLE! MY JOB IS TO HELP PEOPLE!

They say not all cops are bad, and I believe them. I know the good ones.
Who do you think stopped the police harassment? Good Cops did...

But chances are you'll never meet one just walking down the street, as a good cop will not stop you for just walking down the street.



P.S. Take there damn cars away, half of them anyways. In a car a cop cannot hear a woman being raped, cannot smell the orphanage burning, cannot hear the old man being robbed, and certainly cannot interact with the community in any way as they are in a car all day.... They are also less likely to chase you down and beat you/persecute you if they have to RUN after you.



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 06:05 AM
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reply to post by doctormcauley
 


Thank you for sharing your story. You see a side to this that the average citizen does not.

When you are patching these "victims," do you get the story about why or what caused them to be treated the way they were?

What comes to mind when you described what you did, is that people who have been arrested are already presumed to be guilty of a crime even before a trial.

While I can understand that seeing a person treated in the fashion for a traffic offense could be disturbing, I wonder what percentage of people you see are dangerous criminals, like rapists or murderers?

What sorts of stories are you hearing in cases like you described?

Thanks



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 06:39 AM
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As I have said before on ATS - It is my first hand experience that cops, lawyers and criminals differ only by degree. In general, though there are obvious exceptions, they are ego-maniacal socio-paths. The common denominator is that they enjoy exercising control over other people. Consciously or sub-consciously they view themselves as superior.



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 08:42 AM
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reply to post by kosmicjack
 
I agree with your assessment, the cops around here, do love the power they have, and in my opinion, abuse it every chance they get. The laws here forbid, "quotas" but you'll never get me to believe they take the "no quota" law seriously.

An officer in a town in a neighboring county was recently fired, because they have a mandate to interact with two citizens per day. The police chief stated that this isn't quotas, but what else could it be? Anyway, the fired cop was giving warnings to people whom, didn't exist, or were stopped for no reason, except to fulfill the quota, that officially doesn't exist.

I have no idea when the laws here were changed, but the cops can now sit, on the side of the road, with no lights on, to try to catch speeders. It used to be that, they had to at least have their marker lights on. No more, I have seen cops behind my house sitting in a left turn lane, only to pull people over directly behind my house.

Many would say, don't speed, and you won't have problems, but if they have a quota to meet, they could say, "I clocked you at 43 mph" When in fact, the person stopped was indeed not speeding, Whom is a judge going to believe? Certainly not the person falsely accused of speeding. Cities are looking for more money, this is a perfect way to find it.



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 09:39 AM
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Quite a mixed opinion on the police in this thread. As a Brit, our police do things differently... maybe you would like you state run by our law system.

Prison overcrowding: No tent cities, we just let the prisoners out early. If the jails are full, we give suspended jail time, community service, a small fine or complete discharge. Judges have been order on occasion to not send people to jail if they can help it.

Speeding: Your not going to get clocked by an officer sat in a traffic car, instead you will get caught by either:

a) Gatso speed camera's. These are radar activitated, supposedly sited in "accident blackspots" (lies), and will happily go off just a few mph above the limit, regardless of the road conditions. The first you know of it is the double flash from the camera, then the automatic inclusion of points on your licence, followed by a fine through the post. Once people know the location of the camera's, they just slowed down before hand, then speed back up out once out of the detection range.

b) Mobile speed cameras. These are sited in vans, and can be seen parked up in lay bys or on overpasses. No flash from the camera, just automatic points and a fine. The vans are visible from a distance, but by then they've already clocked you.

c) SPECs average speed camera's. Found on busy motorways and dual carrigways, these record your number plate as you enter the zone, and time how long it takes you to exit. Your average speed is calculated and then if your over the limit, theres points on your licence followed by a fine in the post. The ANPR technology only works on front numberplates, so motorbikes can do what they want in those zones


All of these camera's are controlled by a local "Safety Camera Partenership", not the police. Most people see them as another way to get money from the public.

So if you really do want to swap policing styles, I'll happily accept. The tent city you'd have to put up here wouldn't be as comfortable weather wise, but I think it would give our criminals something to think about before they commit a crime. UK prisons have been described by prisoners to be like holiday camps. 3 hot meals a day, TVs/Playstations/Hifi's if requested, festive celebrations etc...

On the plus side, our police do work hard, however they are hampered by government quota's, red tape, paperwork and many other niggling bits and pieces which keep them off the streets for most of the day.

Just remember, if you think your police are just there to get you, and abuse their powers, what would life be like without the police?? I'm sure you wouldn't like it much.



posted on Mar, 25 2008 @ 10:04 AM
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I have heard this thrice:

"We have concluded that the officer(s) reacted accordingly to the perceived threat posed by the deceased. Furthermore, although Mr Doe has been found to be a person other than that identified by the arrest warrant/not been charged with any crime and we feel that it would be unjust to punish our Dedicated Law enforcement Officials for following standard operating procedure in response to the perceived threat posed by Mr. Doe."

I have heard this "excuse" to cover up three D.O.A at my hospital.
It is a common one and extremely frightening as there is no oversight, and documentation is always minimal/biased in these internally-conducted investigations.

The point is that Justice is absent in the majority of these incidents... not cases, incidents. It is as though "Law Enforcers" are held to a much lower Standard of justice than the plebeians who are subjects to their varied interpretations of the law.

That said...

I have confirmed and documented the time of death in two of these cases ( or should I say 'incidents?') and witnessed confirmation on the other. Both cases were innocent victims of "The Force." No officers were punished in any of the incidents. Investigations were internally done as per usual.

God, help us all.



posted on Mar, 26 2008 @ 11:24 AM
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reply to post by SantaClaus
 


Nice post SantaClaus!

That sounds pretty crap actually. In Australia, especially New South Wales & Queensland, the police tend to pick on out of state plates too, namely Victoria. Perhaps getting them changed would be advisable!

I guess the important thing to remember is they are just confused public servants. Sometimes they need to be reminded that they are servants of the law as opposed to being above the law.

When I was younger, a police car pulled up on the pavement beside me in broad daylight and put on their siren because I had a Mohawk. To all passers by, they made me look like a common criminal!

They got out their little book and pen and asked for my name, to which I replied, "No, not unless you have a charge", (we can do that here). I then asked them for their names and badge numbers which by law they had to write down for us (hehehe). Then one of them said to me, "if ever your in trouble and you call the Police, pray to god it isn't me and my partner here". Talk about sour grapes! LOL!

InfraRedman Out!



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