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  • Recent Incidents of Police Violence Against Citizens

    Let's remember to take discussion down to Off Topic...

    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.p...39652459402959

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski

    One of the most dismaying things about seeing the official response to protests against police violence, a response that all too often translates to “just obey the law and you won’t find yourself in a position where you’ll get hurt” is that this ignores what laws are actually for, why they are necessary to any civilized society, and why the lawlessness is on the other side of this issue as much as the one they insist is the problem.

    To explain.

    There was a time, not that long ago, when those in authority – royalty, the landed wealthy, aristocrats and their carefully selected officials – could pick up anyone and incarcerate them for as long as they desired without recourse to trial, charges, or reasonable cause. They could do whatever they liked to the citizenry, who were expected to simply bear those actions, and who had no recourse against them. No penalties were assessed for cruelty, murder, or other savageries.

    When revolutions against that status quo erupted in France, North America and elsewhere, those tasked with designing new constitutions knew that these emerging nations had to be governments of laws, and that these laws were not simply for the purpose of punishing the guilty, but – and this is the part too often neglected in the current discourse – they were about protecting the innocent and restricting the over-reach of the state.

    To wit:

    Before the government could arrest anyone for anything, it first had to determine what was, in fact, illegal. They not only had to decide it, they had to codify it, in writing, so everyone could see it and nobody could be ambushed by a law springing up at the last moment or after the fact just for someone’s convenience. If it wasn’t codified as illegal…it wasn’t illegal.
    If someone was arrested, the state would have to publically announce which of these laws was violated, by whom, and how. It would only have a limited time in which to do this, and they would have to actually prove that these laws were broken. It couldn’t just be their word against the accused. They would have to present evidence that was compelling and beyond a reasonable doubt, and there would be strict limitations regulating how that evidence could be gathered, and what could be legally introduced.

    To make the process even more difficult, the state would have to make its case to members of the accused’s own community. After all that, if the state finally prevailed in this process, the penalties would also have to be publicly codified and specified before anyone was ever brought to trial.

    These birthing governments chose to handcuff themselves, to make it more difficult, not simpler, to arrest its citizens. It was a remarkable achievement, potentially the most remarkable in human history. Such power had never been given away before.

    That’s what it means to be a government based on laws…not just the prosecution of the guilty, but the protection of the innocent.

    In recent months, we have seen a radical upswing in innocent or unarmed citizens gunned down, tasered, submitted to lethal chokeholds and beatings, generally without any kind of recourse or penalty against those responsible. This is a return to the kind of savagery associated with the abuses committed by aristocracy. It is clear and unambiguous evidence of a rogue police force no longer answerable to their community, but only to the state, whose orders trump the rights of its citizens.

    It is, in short, the very sort of lawlessness that officials are accusing the protestors of facilitating.

    “Just obey the law,” they say.

    But the protests are not about lawlessness…if anything, they are about enforcing the rule of law, the principle that the innocent can go about their lives without fear of assault or abuse, and that citizens cannot simply be murdered without recourse, principles that were at the very core of the desire to found this country as a nation of laws.

    The protests are not about dismantling the laws, but rather seeing them respected as they were originally meant to be respected, applied as they were meant to be applied, not just against civilians, but against abuses by the state.

    If those charged with *enforcing* the laws do not themselves *abide* by the laws, the system crumbles.

    And that is what these protests are about.
    Somebody said that there's nothing anybody can do 'but whine'.

    Originally posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
    That's the other danger of militarizing the police. Local officers from the community are answerable to that community; an invading army with tanks and assault rifles and APVs and immunity from prosecution is answerable only to itself.
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

  • #2
    Two thoughts. Has there been a sudden upsurge in police assaults on the public, or is real-time internet reporting and all the commentary that goes with it making it seem worse that it really is….. I’m not American, but shootings and riots are things I remember reading about happening in the past, and via Hollywood the idea of rogue, vigilante or corrupt cops is nothing new.

    The second revolves around the fallout from 9/11. As I understand it there’s been a whole raft of legislation designed to prevent it from happening again….. The war of Terrorism. People are asked to be more vigilant and generally everyone over there are getting wound up so tight that things are bound to snap.

    I noticed a video doing the rounds a little while ago where an armed police officer was asked to remove a parent unhappy about some decisions by the school board at a PTA meeting…. On the surface it looked a terribly abhorrent overreaction…. And was being held up as an example of the police state in overdrive…… But, why was there a police presence at a PTA meeting in the first place……! He was asked to remove the parent (and clearly didn’t want to) by members of the board. The reason why they asked was because the parent was clearly annoyed about the issue he raised and appeared to becoming irritated. Sadly, in America that could result in a shooting incident, so he was handcuffed and escorted out.

    I think looking at the causes (some of which are ingrained in US society and heightened since 9/11) is what you should be doing as a society, rather than having two groups with opposing views shouting at each other and trying to manipulate situations to support their particular viewpoints.

    Comment


    • #3
      Suffice to say that there have been a number of police-caused fatalities where it appears that excessive force was used and yet Grand Juries (those who decide if a crime has been committed OR should go to trial) are coming back with an answer of 'no charges will be pressed'.

      There's no indication that the 'war on terrorism' has any bearing on it. More to the point seems to be that police forces, even quite small ones have military equipment and seem rather too willing to employ it.

      Police being present in schools are more a result of school shootings like Columbine.

      Alas, it's the 'fashion' these days to have opposing factions shouting. If nothing else, let's hope that many police forces will train officers to try less lethal methods of subduing suspects/offenders before reaching for their gun. There's something wrong when a citizen (yes, mentally ill, yes, wielding the officer's own baton) is shot *twelve* times and yet the grand jury says that level of force was justified.

      Jan
      "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

      Comment


      • #4
        My lack of love for law enforcement is well documented. A really easy fallacy to fall into here is to characterize all of these recent events as police vs. citizens. The Ferguson incident should be viewed as a justified kill because a person was being attacked and they defended themselves. As someone who carries a loaded weapon daily, I would not have hesitated in drawing and shooting to kill in that scenario. The Garner incident was WRONG. While he did indeed say no to the cops, there was no need for them to attack him the way they did. The only thing I can think of when I see that video is "That could be me."

        When you look at the root cause of the Garner incident, it's big government. A law against selling "loosies" caused the situation. In fact, the entire need for police (which, in the roles they are playing now, are new relative to history) all goes back to the bureaucratic, big-government laws that created the world we live in today.
        Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

        Comment


        • #5
          The question is - in every case, not just these - being attacked *how*? Police are supposed to be trained in subduing suspects and drawing their weapon should never be the first response in my opinion. I'm really perfectly okay if officers get banged up to an extent rather than risking taking a life. They'll heal. The suspects won't get over being dead any time soon, as Mr. Garibaldi might say.

          Jan
          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

          Comment


          • #6
            There was no other decision I would have made in the Ferguson case, cop or not. Again, every situation is different. Some situations are survival and some are unwarranted aggression.

            The long-term solution is to phase out police departments. Unfortunately, as a society we are probably over the tipping point.
            Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Dr Maturin View Post
              The Garner incident was WRONG. While he did indeed say no to the cops, there was no need for them to attack him the way they did. The only thing I can think of when I see that video is "That could be me."
              What was wrong about it, DM? I'm just asking, not trying to provoke a defensive response.

              Are you refering to the tax laws or law enforcement's potential ablity to enforce them?

              Could it be you because you like to break the law and then when caught resist arrest?
              "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
              "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

              "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."

              Comment


              • #8
                I understand that he said "No, no." or some such and we all saw him backing up. But tackling him and choking him? I don't want armed, black-clad, official people doing that to citizens. He didn't charge them like Brown did.
                Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                Comment


                • #9
                  He died from a heart attack from having heart disease, as per forensic evidence. Doubtless, the stress of being arrested didn't help his bad heart, especially when he had to be restrained, that may have been the most physical exertion he had done in a very long time and been too much for his heart. I don't see how a man dying from advanced cardiac disease turns into police violence against citizens.
                  "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
                  "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

                  "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It doesn't matter if he lived or died. They overreacted. It was a stunning display of excessive force.

                    But once again, Western society has become so dependent upon law enforcement that we have long since passed the point of no return.
                    Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This incident is appalling
                      http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2...child-hospital

                      Esentialy the mother of a 7 year old child, suffering from cerbal palsy who has been ill since birth, refused to leave a hospital room when asked to by staf, staff called police and male officer elected to assualt her. "I kicked her int he face I was wearing a boot but it was a light boot so that was OK".

                      and "I considered using CS gas or a baton but decided that was not appropriate" gee, with a seriously ill child in the room you elected not to use poison gas, how nice of you.

                      Also several of his fellow officers testified for the prosecution, still no punishment the possibility of "an internal review" which will, most likely, result in at worst, a 1 month suspension on full pay.

                      It beggers belief, it truly does.
                      Alan
                      "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "

                      Comment

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