Speaking purely as a member here. For this topic, I've put my mod hat away.
When discussing a topic as inflammatory as this one, wouldn't it be wiser to follow both sides of the story? Not just the wild rantings of a website
that has nothing positive to say about the police?
Surely some LEO's abuse their office. There's little doubt of that. I've seen it, up close and personal. I, after a bit of effort, got the guy
There are any number of ways to fix the problem of police abusing their powers...
Most metropolitan areas have committees that do nothing but watch the police. City councils hate to be embarrased by the public commenting on these
issues, and will usually attempt to do something about it. Then there is, of course, the ballot box. The politicians won't, or can't, curb the
activities? Remove 'em from office and put some in who will. If they don't? Rinse, and repeat.
If the locals won't? You go the the state police, and the attorney general of your state. Or you go as far as necessary to make the changes.
But that's too much work for most, apparently. Including the idiots on this "copwatch.org", or whatever the site calls itself.
It's oh so much easier to take a story, one side of it, and twist it and turn it inside out, and imply that all cops are like this, and that this
tragic event somehow implies that we're living in a totalitarian "POLICE STATE"...
Really? Really? Y'all need to start drinkin' the decaf.
If the cops are off the mark, the fault lies not just with them, but with the people who allowed them to believe they can get away with it.
That, my reactionary friends, would be us.
As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.
right, to be fair we must admit that not all facts are present and without any evidence really we cant say we have any proof of misconduct or
otherwise inappropriate reactions from the PO. That said we are talking about what is the sun behind our thumbs. We may not be in a totalitarian state
but the reality is that it is looking like it more and more. The ranks are being filled for the LE agencies now numbering in the thousands without
really making police officers as we know them.
What a cop was pre-9/11 is something entirely different than what the police are becoming. It is a little naive to say that all we have to do is go to
a complaint department. Sometimes that can get you in trouble if you are dumb or lack proper social skills. It is not really encouraged either.
I used to go sometimes to city hall meetings and have talked to people in some of these committees. I once told them that the people in my area were
being targeted by a new army of meter maids and that considering the times and the average house hold budget for the area, if they could send some of
them else where.
She said no because they need the money. I said yes but their purpose is to enforce the law, not gather funds for other budgets.
It creates extra tension in an area that needed to work on community relations. The police had allot of under cover people in the area. Drugs, money
laundering, ect. The community doesn't really help at all the way it could. No trust. They see them as the proverbial tax collector from the bible. Or
the hired muscle. This is all about mentality, perceived and implied. The challenges either side face originate with who decides how to solve them.
So basically the guy at the end of the complaint department decides based on the needs of these very same committee members and their agenda which
might just be limited to a balanced budget or anti edible garden laws. They just try to look good enough to stay right where they are. Making the
right people happy so they don't complain, while ignoring the rest who do complain and punish those of them that insist. This does translate to the
streets by the sort of people it attracts and rewards. In uniform and not.
here is an interesting article from ´07
Police brutality cases on rise since 9/11
By Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY 12/18/2007
WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors are targeting a rising number of law enforcement officers for alleged brutality, Justice Department statistics
show. The heightened prosecutions come as the nation's largest police union fears that agencies are dropping standards to fill thousands of vacancies
and "scrimping" on training.
Cases in which police, prison guards and other law enforcement authorities have used excessive force or other tactics to violate victims' civil rights
have increased 25% (281 vs. 224) from fiscal years 2001 to 2007 over the previous seven years, the department says.
During the same period, the department says it won 53% more convictions (391 vs. 256). Some cases result in multiple convictions.
solution...?... I honestly don't know. I do know that if you stop what you are doing while messing up, you mess up less. When you realize why you fail
you can start again in the right direction. What they are doing is counter productive and shows linear thought. They need to roll back some of this
absolutely unnecessary policy regarding prisoner treatment and threat assessment. It is actually creating its own problems.
There is no need to go around tasering people and macing them instead of building communication skills. Regardless of what ever dribble people want to
push, the general population is not backwards and dumb, We are constantly lied to and sometimes put into frenzies when it comes to jail or fines,
true. We are not how ever raging mad men who need electro shock for every altercation or a little smack here and there to correct our sass. You might
want to talk to people and be on WILLING speaking terms. People tend to see things, know things, and can do things that are in Law Enforcements
interests in general.
Police need public support to do their job. Which is why I understand why some may defend them blindly or at least honestly. I just think you do them
a disservice by not being honest when it might put in question their actions or mentality. Really, yes really, It is getting out of hand and can only
lead to one logical end. That must be averted or a endless cycle will begin that no one will benefit from.
Originally posted by MrWendal
You realize how many times we hear that line of nonsense only for it to be proven later that there was something nefarious going on?
So instead of waiting for all the info to come out you would rather just assume something nefarious is going on with the police? Do you not see the
hypocrisy in that line of thought? Its the very issue people accuse the police of doing, assuming something nefarious is going on and reaching a
conclusion before they have all the facts.
Originally posted by MrWendal
How many different stories came out explaining away the death of Kelly Thomas before the video leaked?
I am going to put some info out there so people can take it how they want. Hopefully it will allow people to at leeast get a basic understanding of
the why question. It does not mean you have to agree with it / like it. The post is lengthy so I can cover as much info as possible.
The point I try to make in the threads along these lines is to encourage people to move beyond the anger portion. People believe there are major
issues with law enforcement and the manner they operate and something should be done. I agree, which begs the question - How?
In order to fix something a person must figure out what the actual cause is. In Law Enforcement a large chunk revolves around the law and supreme
court rulings. People have a tendency to blame the officer when in fact the officer is operating within the confines of the law. The issue is the law
(yes their are idiot cops out there that fall outside all conventional norms).
You guys seem to ignore the fundamentals when it comes to law enforcement. What occurs in Fullerton California is not the same in El Paso Texas is not
the same in New York City is no the same in Tippecanoe, Indiana.
However, using your example I should point out that in addition to the officers involved being sued as well as terminated, 3 members of the city
council were also removed from office by the people. So yes, since police are humans they are prone to making mistakes and by the very nature of their
job a mistake can result in the loss of a persons life. What you are missing is the fact that the officers were held accountible as opposed to being
protected because they are law enforcement. Police do not surrender their constitutional protections nor do they have reduced protections under the
law, including when it comes to the presumption of Innocence.
The laws vary from state to state and are further defined through court action in those states. As an example in my state law enforcement can conduct
DWI checkpoints under certain criteria where other states dont allow it at all. Add in the federal apeals level and you further have rulings that
origionated from one state now affecting all states in the appelate district.
Before people accuse me of being an apologist again some food for thought and some legal lingo people should familiarize themselves with if for no
other reason that it can help understand the box law enforcement operates in. You dont have to agree with it but it is still present.
Totality of circumstances -
A test used to determine whether certain constitutional rights of a defendant have been violated.
Using this incident (or the Zimmerman incident / California gun garage sale incident) as an example. If you look at the shooting, you have members of
law enforcement discharging their firearms into an occupied vehicle. Without taking anything else into context you have a violation of the law as well
as the drivers civil rights. Shooting an individual who is driving away cannot be justified. This is the part people tend to fixate
Now, if you take the entire set of circumstances, from the deputies arriving, to the number of people present, the fact the deputies never made it to
the vehicle in question, had no idea who was in the car, had no idea their age or their status (drunk / sober / drugs / etc), had the car leaving an
area where people were detained, supposedly driving at / hitting officers with his vehicle and not stopping, even after being shot, changes the
situation. Looking at all of the facts / circumstances present, the shooting can move from being a violation into being justified.
Whether or not the actions of the deputies are lawful is not up to law enforcement to determine and people dont seem to understand that. Anytime an
officer takes and action / makes a decision they are responsibie for explaining why as well as justification for it - Totality of circumstances..
In Zimmermans incident people are concentrating solely on the shooting itself while ignoring the lead up as well as the information Zimmerman had when
it all started (the gang info and how they dress, thefts in the area, etc). While each phase of that incident, when taken alone, portrays Zimmerman
actions as being illegal. However when all of the info is put together it tells a different story where the ends can justify the means.
When an incident occurs that involves use of force The Supreme Court has established guidelines for the review of those actions. Since people involved
do not have the benefit of 20/20 hindisght or clairvoyance the standard set is what did the officer perceive at the moment force was used. The courts
have held (local up to SCOTUS) that law enforcement is forced with making split second decision where hesitation can result in their death / death of
3rd parties. The option of interviewing / investigating before making a decision is not always going to be possible.
The end result of that can be disasterous for both the officers and any person involved. The most recent SCOTUS ruling (civil / criminal) I am
familiar with on this topic was ruled on in 2004 in -
The case deals with qualified immunity for law enforcement and further refined how use of force is reviewed in the legal realm. Here is a link to an
overview of the
case itself so people dont have to wade through the legal language in the decision.
2 questions were established by the court to determine accountability - SAUCIER V. KATZ
In analyzing whether an officer is entitled to qualified immunity, a court undertakes a two-step process.
* - Does the officer’s conduct violate the constitution?
* - Was the right so clearly established that a reasonable police officer would know that his or her conduct violated the right?
When it comes to a persons ability to use force the laws are present yet non specific. Its against the law to take another persons life however its
not against the law to take a person life when acting in self defense / defense of others.
Mental exercise - try to set aside any bias / personal views.
* - You are a police officer and you are dispatched to a physical domestic. Upon arrival you make your way to the front door and ring / knock. When
the door opens you find yourself face to face with a person pointing a gun at you. You have a split second decision to make - do you:
* - stand there and run the risk of being shot and killed?
* - draw your duty weapon and shoot?
While it appears to be simple its anything but.
Factors to consider -
* - It turns out the person pointing the gun at you is in fact the victim. Before your arrival it turns out one of the parties involved fled the
scene. The victim thought you were the other party returning to continue the fight.
* - It turns out that prior to your arrival the husband shot and killed his wife and is waiting to kill the responding officers.
* - It turns out that a person called 911 and made a false report because they thought it would be funny to play a practical joke on one of their
etc etc etc...
The factors above are only determined / known to the officers after the the decision to shoot / no shoot. Hence the reason the
Supreme Court ruled in the manner they did.
Back to the thread topic - Based on the info I provided above.
If you responded to a similar situation like the op's article and found yourself face to face with a vehicle that is not only coming at you it also
hits / clips you and then drives off.
Could you honestly say you would not have the thought to shoot at the individual / vehicle? Keep in mind you dont have the the information contained
in the op article. Keep in mind that you were just assaulted. Keep in mind the driver just demonstrated they have no regard for anyone but themselves
which creates a very real public safety issue.
In this case the incident occured and nothing can change that. Wheather or not the deputies actions were valid or justified or legal and lawful will
be based on the totality of circumstances. Law enforcement is not black and white nor is it a field with absolute rights and wrongs.
From the perspective of a police officer it should be noted that decisions regarding any use of force involves three important aspects.
*- First, how serious was the offense suspected?
* - Second, did the suspect pose a threat to an officer of some third party who was present at the scene?
* - Finally, was the individual actively resisting or attempting to evade arrest by flight?
edit on 26-7-2012 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)
edit on 26-7-2012 by Xcathdra because: (no
I get it, the police are working for the lawyers! Duh, no wonder they go on rampages and what not , so that hey can get big kickbacks from the money
the lawyers make! It all makes sense now why the police go around beating, raping and murdering in their off time or on duty!
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