Use of force

Serious discussions on politics, religion, and the like.

Re: Use of force

Postby crayzz » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:59 am

He definitely did NOT surrender- the reason the cops had to force the cuffs on him was because he resisted arrest. Maybe they should have gotten him medical attention sooner, but from what I read they had EMTs on the scene, too.

Eric Garner fought back and it triggered an asthma attack or whatever. It's tragic that he died, but it was entirely a situation of his own making.


You know what I find absolutely bizarre about this particular case? Eric Garner did not get violent at any point. His resisting arrest lasted about 4 seconds before the police got violent and put him in a choke hold. If the police don't have the patience to last a minute with a non violent person whose "resisting arrest" amounted to saying "don't touch me" and taking a step back, those are awful police officers.

According to this page there have been 108 deaths of cops this year: http://www.odmp.org/search/year
This page on trash collectors say they average 90 deaths annually: http://waste360.com/mag/waste_garbage_collection_rated
This page says that since the 1990, coal mining deaths in the U.S. have dropped to less than 50 annually: http://www.aei.org/publication/chart-of ... 1900-2013/


I seriously do not understand why anyone would even bother trying to pass off non-normalized data as telling.

There are about 120 000 police officers in the US: about 0.9 deaths per thousand officers. Coal mining is actually better, according to your source (0.16 deaths per thousand, though I suspect they're including more workers than they should; wikipedia only reports 83 000 miners, while your source reports 120 000). Trash collectors? According to your own source, 90 deaths per 100 000, or 0.9 deaths per thousand, the same as police officers, and actually way behind fishing (1.78 deaths per 1000) and logging (1.56 deaths per thousand), again per your own source.

More telling, to me, are the ways police officers die in duty: take out deaths that don't have anything to do with criminals, and you're left with 0.53 deaths per thousand. Most of that is from gunfire.

Finally, cops are not "allowed to kill people" any more than a citizen is.


Really? Because the consistent refusal to even investigate seems like blatantly turning a blind eye, to me. I don't care much what cops are officially allowed to get away with. What they actually get away with is ridiculous abuses of power without much if any oversight. This isn't really in question, either: when the police throw grenades at infants; shoot non violent homeless people in the back; put people in fatal chokeholds for saying "don't touch me"; beat up young men then charge them with property damage for bleeding on their uniforms; and nothing is done about it via official channels, we have a god damned problem.

Are there any recent situations in which police shot someone in the back while they where fleeing?


Yes. Though, fairness, I guess he wasn't really fleeing. He turned his back and took maybe 2 steps before he was shot multiple times.

How many more innocent cops would die if they aren't allowed to fight back? And how many "innocent" people die from cops being overly aggressive right now?


I like the presumption of innocence in one case, but not the other.

In either case, less police would die if they toned down their violence, at least going by countries with much stricter standards for police behaviour. It's almost like not having a hair trigger for violence results in less violence.

(There are reasons why police aren't supposed to be escalating: their own safety is one of them.)
crayzz
 
Posts: 925
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:34 am

Re: Use of force

Postby Deepbluediver » Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:16 am

crayzz wrote:You know what I find absolutely bizarre about this particular case? Eric Garner did not get violent at any point. His resisting arrest lasted about 4 seconds before the police got violent and put him in a choke hold. If the police don't have the patience to last a minute with a non violent person whose "resisting arrest" amounted to saying "don't touch me" and taking a step back, those are awful police officers.

In the video you link, Eric Garner is talking with police for over a minute telling them that he won't let them arrest him, before an edit (at 1:16) where the video was cut and there is obviously additional time missing. So your assertion that the police "don't have the patience to last a minute" seems just flat out wrong. And I'm not an expert on arrests, but again from the video at no point does it seem like Eric Garner gives up and begins cooperating- it takes 4-6 people to force him into handcuffs.
Also, he had allegedly broken the law, and had a long history of arrests. He was in fact out on bail for a prior arrest. Hardly as if the police where harassing him just for gits and shiggles.

So, let me ask- what would you have done in this situation?

According to this page there have been 108 deaths of cops this year: http://www.odmp.org/search/year
This page on trash collectors say they average 90 deaths annually: http://waste360.com/mag/waste_garbage_collection_rated
This page says that since the 1990, coal mining deaths in the U.S. have dropped to less than 50 annually: http://www.aei.org/publication/chart-of ... 1900-2013/

I seriously do not understand why anyone would even bother trying to pass off non-normalized data as telling.

Well, you didn't provide any data, so this is what I came up with. Mostly because I found your assertion that "cops don't have a dangerous job" to be flat-out ridiculous.

More telling, to me, are the ways police officers die in duty: take out deaths that don't have anything to do with criminals, and you're left with 0.53 deaths per thousand. Most of that is from gunfire.

How did you arrive at the number? (or what do you mean when you say "take out the deaths that don't have anything to do with criminals?"?) I'm honestly asking just because I want to make sure we're on the same page.

Finally, cops are not "allowed to kill people" any more than a citizen is.
Really? Because the consistent refusal to even investigate seems like blatantly turning a blind eye, to me.

The grand juries in both the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases heard huge amounts of testimony and reviewed as much evidence as they could get their hands on, AFAIK; they lasted for weeks. What more do you want them to do?

Are there any recent situations in which police shot someone in the back while they where fleeing?
Yes.
Though, fairness, I guess he wasn't really fleeing. He turned his back and took maybe 2 steps before he was shot multiple times. [/quote]
Also in fairness, he was still holding knives as well: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Boyd_shooting

I like the presumption of innocence in one case, but not the other.

Yes, remember what I said about giving cops the benefit of the doubt?
Also, in all 3 of the cases we've discussed so far (Garner, Brown, and Boyd), all 3 suspects where in the process of committing criminal acts.

In either case, less police would die if they toned down their violence, at least going by countries with much stricter standards for police behaviour. It's almost like not having a hair trigger for violence results in less violence.

(There are reasons why police aren't supposed to be escalating: their own safety is one of them.)

I understand that in most situations the instinct of a violent attack is to fight back, and so EXPECTING someone to not resist arrest might be strange, but in most cases it seems like the police gave the suspects a chance to cooperate and they didn't take it. What is your standard for how long you ask someone nicely to obey the law before you force them to obey the law?
Are there any situations where someone resisted arrest or didn't cooperate with police and benefited from it?

I don't care much what cops are officially allowed to get away with. What they actually get away with is ridiculous abuses of power without much if any oversight. This isn't really in question, either: when the police throw grenades at infants; shoot non violent homeless people in the back; put people in fatal chokeholds for saying "don't touch me"; beat up young men then charge them with property damage for bleeding on their uniforms; and nothing is done about it via official channels, we have a god damned problem.

I support investigating fully all instances of excessive force, even by an outside group to avoid accusations of bias. But then you also have to respect the decisions of that process and not act under the assumptions that police ALWAYS use excessive force.

According to the description of the incident I think you are referring to (http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2 ... drug-raid/) the police claim they didn't know there was a baby in the house. Even assuming I believe them, I don't know if that excuses the behavior anyway- you can charge people with accidental injuries after all. I have mixed feelings about this, but it seems a stretch to think that the officer would intentionally drop a flashbang in a child's crib.

With James Boyd, I probably would agree that the force employed seemed excessive, especially if they had non-lethal means available. But keep in mind that they had spent several hours negotiating with him first and he refused to drop his weapons. He might not have attacked anyone yet, but he also wasn't exactly being nice and friendly either.

My understanding of the the reason they did not indict the cops who arrested Eric Garner was that the officers could not have reasonably known that the procedures would lead to his death. They didn't strangle him to death- he died of a heart attack.

For the final case you mentioned (this one, I think: http://www.policestateusa.com/2014/henry-davis/), this is the one I consider most troubling- it would appear that the police where entirely in the wrong, and it seems odd to me that a judge would dismiss it. I hope it get's appealed.


I don't hold that cops are ALWAYS justified in using any amount of force to bring down a suspect, but I also don't support blanket statements like cops are NEVER justified in shooting someone unless that person is firing at them first. I believe it needs to be investigated on a case-by-case basis.
Cops are charged and even convicted of using excessive force: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-po ... on-charges
If you believe that they get away with to much, perhaps you would like to suggest some new regulations or standards for what should be acceptable in a given situation and we can discuss that as well.
Deepbluediver
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:50 pm

Re: Use of force

Postby Deepbluediver » Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:59 am

If you find yourself sitting in the "cops don't need guns unless their suspect has one" camp, then here's something to read that might enhance your perspective on the situation: http://nypost.com/2014/12/09/reason-to- ... an-arrest/
Deepbluediver
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:50 pm

Re: Use of force

Postby crayzz » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:12 pm

In the video you link, Eric Garner is talking with police for over a minute telling them that he won't let them arrest him, before an edit (at 1:16) where the video was cut there is obviously additional time missing. So your assertion that the police "don't have the patience to last a minute" seems just flat out wrong. And I'm not an expert on arrests, but again from the video at no point does it seem like Eric Garner gives up and begins cooperating- it takes 4-6 people to force him into handcuffs.


At 1:16, the police begin to actually try to arrest him. At 1:21, the officer behind him begins to choke him. So I was wrong in my estimation: they lasted 5 seconds, not 4, but they came nowhere near a minute. They didn't have the patience to last a minute. That's clear. Yes, they talk to him for some time before hand, but the police decided to escalate a non-violent situation into a violent one for no reason. Garner had not become violent. Garner gave no indication of becoming violent.

Well, you didn't provide any data, so this is what I came up with. Mostly because I found your assertion that "cops don't have a dangerous job" to be flat-out ridiculous.


I worked with your data, and showed that your comparisons were off base. I made no assertion about the danger of police officer employment.

Also in fairness, he was still holding knives as well:


You realize that was in the video I showed you, yes?

Yet the fact remains that 3 police officers a) shot a man in the back, b) shot his lying body with a bean bag rifle (why didn't they use that one first) and then c) let a dog attack him while he was still on the ground.

The grand juries in both the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases heard huge amounts of testimony and reviewed as much evidence as they could get their hands on, AFAIK; they lasted for weeks. What more do you want them to do?


Well, for one thing, I'd like them properly instructed: "But the prosecutors told Darren Wilson's grand jury that was exactly what they were supposed to do — to "try to figure out what really happened," as one of McCulloch's assistants said during the grand jury hearings."

"Instead, as late as November 11 — nearly three months into the grand-jury process — St. Louis County prosecutors told grand jurors that they didn't know whether probable cause was the standard for evaluating Wilson's defense, or whether there was a standard more favorable to Wilson, like proving beyond a reasonable doubt that he hadn't had a reasonable belief of threat. (Jurors were told on November 21, the penultimate day of hearings, that probable cause was in fact the standard.) And their final instructions were muddied with phrases like "we have to prove a negative.""

"...it's commonplace for prosecutors to ask grand jurors to ignore the media if possible. Instead of doing this, — and even though McCulloch believed, as he said on Monday, that the media was spreading misinformation about the case — his team encouraged grand jurors to do outside research and share it with the rest of the jury."

What is your standard for how long you ask someone nicely to obey the law before you force them to obey the law?


I'm fine with the decision to arrest Garner. I'm not fine with the blatantly unnecessary level of force used. There was nothing between talking and choking him to death, despite outnumber him by a large margin. That's a problem.

They didn't strangle him to death- he died of a heart attack.


The coroner feels differently: "The city medical examiner has ruled the death of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old father whose death in police custody sparked national outrage, a homicide, saying a chokehold killed him.
The medical examiner said compression of the neck and chest, along with Garner's positioning on the ground while being restrained by police during the July 17 stop on Staten Island, caused his death.
"
crayzz
 
Posts: 925
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:34 am

Re: Use of force

Postby Deepbluediver » Tue Dec 09, 2014 12:33 pm

crayzz wrote:At 1:16, the police begin to actually try to arrest him. At 1:21, the officer behind him begins to choke him. So I was wrong in my estimation: they lasted 5 seconds, not 4, but they came nowhere near a minute. They didn't have the patience to last a minute. That's clear. Yes, they talk to him for some time before hand, but the police decided to escalate a non-violent situation into a violent one for no reason. Garner had not become violent. Garner gave no indication of becoming violent.

Ok, lets go at this another way. If you want to arrest someone who doesn't want to be arrested, how would YOU, personally, go about it in a nonviolent manner?

I worked with your data, and showed that your comparisons were off base. I made no assertion about the danger of police officer employment.

Sorry, it wasn't you who said that, it was Nepene:
Nepene wrote:Cops don't have an especially dangerous job- roofers, refuse collectors, farmers, miners all have more dangerous jobs and they aren't given a right to kill. Cops can tolerate a little danger subduing people.


Yet the fact remains that 3 police officers a) shot a man in the back, b) shot his lying body with a bean bag rifle (why didn't they use that one first) and then c) let a dog attack him while he was still on the ground.

I don't know why they didn't try the beanbags first. Shooting him is not what I would call justified force. I agree with you that this is the kind of instance that requires a very thorough investigation, and possibly charges filed.
But you also shouldn't downplay the possible risk. It's equally accurate so say that a non-cooperative, mentally unstable individual refused to drop his weapons despite repeated commands to do so by police...until they employed force.


Then why didn't you say that the first time instead of claiming that there was "a consistent refusal to even investigate"? And in that case then, you should blame the prosecutor, not the police.
I've already said that I support a third-party group (i.e. not the police department or Law-enforcement agent in question) to do the investigation.

I'm fine with the decision to arrest Garner. I'm not fine with the blatantly unnecessary level of force used. There was nothing between talking and choking him to death, despite outnumber him by a large margin. That's a problem.

Ok, but that's just one case- I was asking for a more general standard we can give to cops BEFORE an incident happens.

They didn't strangle him to death- he died of a heart attack.

The coroner feels differently: "The city medical examiner has ruled the death of Eric Garner, the 43-year-old father whose death in police custody sparked national outrage, a homicide, saying a chokehold killed him.
The medical examiner said compression of the neck and chest, along with Garner's positioning on the ground while being restrained by police during the July 17 stop on Staten Island, caused his death.
"

Ok, fair enough- if I want people to respect a grand jury I have to respect the analysis of the coroner.
Do you agree with the grand juries decision to not indict the policeman? Why or why not?
Deepbluediver
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:50 pm

Re: Use of force

Postby crayzz » Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:08 pm

If you want to arrest someone who doesn't want to be arrested, how would YOU, personally, go about it in a nonviolent manner?


How about literally any method of restraint that has no fatal risk attached to it? They had 5 people: it was entirely feasible. How about force proportional to the actual resistance being given?

I am also wary of being demanded to give an alternative: I'm not a carpenter, but I know damn well that there is not supposed to be a hole in the roof and a wall missing. I can point to a dozen homes within my sight that are built better, and I can name a dozen countries with better records on both police and criminal deaths. That better can be done is without question, at this point.

Then why didn't you say that the first time instead of claiming that there was "a consistent refusal to even investigate"?


Because as far as I'm concerned, a prosecutor punting the decision on whether to investigate to another party, and then deliberately misinforming that party as to the nature of their decision, is little more than a refusal to investigate. I mean, really, the prosecutor did not highlight the inconsistencies in the defendant's various descriptions of what happened. That's clear refusal as far as I'm concerned.

Ok, but that's just one case- I was asking for a more general standard we can give to cops BEFORE an incident happens.


Is it just one case? I'd lowball the police killings at about 300 per year (per wikipedia), but the numbers get staggeringly high. Worse is that nothing is being done about it: "As Mint Press News previously reported, a report released earlier this year found that of the 439 cases of police misconduct that then had been brought before the Minneapolis’s year-old misconduct review board, not one of the police officers involved has been disciplined." Out of 439 cases, I would expect some to go forward from sheer luck. That none go forward at all is a pretty clear indication of systemic bias. We have 12 year olds being shot for having an unmarked BB gun. From the popehat link above, the police have shot hostages, bystanders, a guy just hanging out in his apartment armed with a wallet, and a unarmed teen fleeing into his own apartment. The level of incompetence (at best) in which police regularly engage is astounding.
crayzz
 
Posts: 925
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:34 am

Re: Use of force

Postby Deepbluediver » Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:53 pm

crayzz wrote:How about literally any method of restraint that has no fatal risk attached to it? They had 5 people: it was entirely feasible. How about force proportional to the actual resistance being given?

There's probably very few actions that have absolutely "no fatal risk" attached to them under any circumstances. People have been killed with tazers, but those are part of a cops standard equipment.
How are we determining proportional force, then? It appeared as if Eric Garner was taller and heavier than any of the cops who where trying to arrest. Do we simply keep everyone standing by until we get one cop who's the exact same size to wrestle Mr. Garner to the ground all by himself?

In case you missed it before, here is an article describing just how quickly a non-violent situation can turn deadly: http://nypost.com/2014/12/09/reason-to- ... an-arrest/

I am also wary of being demanded to give an alternative: I'm not a carpenter, but I know damn well that there is not supposed to be a hole in the roof and a wall missing. I can point to a dozen homes within my sight that are built better, and I can name a dozen countries with better records on both police and criminal deaths. That better can be done is without question, at this point.

Likewise, I'm wary of comparing apples to oranges in terms of telling cops how to do their job. What works in one situation may be entirely useless in another.
I also don't like when I hear (not necessarily all from you, but in general) someone saying a cop did it wrong when they can't provide any better alternatives. You might not like the way something played out, but until you can come up with a detailed alternative solution, it might have been the best choice we had.

It's easy to say, after the fact, "this could have gone better". It's much harder to work out an effective way to get there.

Ok, but that's just one case- I was asking for a more general standard we can give to cops BEFORE an incident happens.

Is it just one case?

I think we've gotten kind of off-point here. My original question was basically: if a cop wants to arrest someone, and they reply "not gonna happen", then how do you go about arresting them in a way that doesn't escalate the violence and has no risk of an injurious outcome for everyone involved?

I'd lowball the police killings at about 300 per year (per wikipedia), but the numbers get staggeringly high.

If you're interested in that kind of thing here is another website with some analysis that puts it at roughly 1,000 per year: http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/anot ... homicides/

But out of those figures, it's harder to determine what percentage might have been justifiable. There's roughly 11,000 gun-related deaths in the united states every year (not including suicides) which to me suggests that there is no shortage of violent people that the police have to deal with.
With rare exceptions though, I haven't seen much evidence the the police like or want violent confrontations any more then most citizens do.

As several of those articles point out, hard data is often difficult to come by since we apparently don't track reports of deadly-force well (or at all). That's something I could definitely get behind changing.
Here's an article with some statistics- you can make of them what you will: http://journalistsresource.org/studies/ ... tatistics#

Here is a sample paragraph-
It [the Justice Department] found that in 2008, among people who had contact with police, “an estimated 1.4% had force used or threatened against them during their most recent contact, which was not statistically different from the percentages in 2002 (1.5%) and 2005 (1.6%).” In terms of the volume of citizen complaints, the Justice Department also found that there were 26,556 complaints lodged in 2002; this translates to “33 complaints per agency and 6.6 complaints per 100 full-time sworn officers.” However, “overall rates were higher among large municipal police departments, with 45 complaints per agency, and 9.5 complaints per 100 full-time sworn officers.” In 2011, about 62.9 million people had contact with the police. - See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/studies/ ... DugAV.dpuf


The level of incompetence (at best) in which police regularly engage is astounding.

And yet, the rate of violent crime in America continues to drop anyway: http://marcisischo.com/2013/04/17/the-r ... for-years/
Seems like someone is doing something right.
Deepbluediver
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:50 pm

Re: Use of force

Postby crayzz » Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:41 pm

There's probably very few actions that have absolutely "no fatal risk" attached to them under any circumstances.


There are great deal many that sit far below "choking someone while sitting on their chest."

It appeared as if Eric Garner was taller and heavier than any of the cops who where trying to arrest. Do we simply keep everyone standing by until we get one cop who's the exact same size to wrestle Mr. Garner to the ground all by himself?


They had him heavily outnumbered. There's no reason to wait for 1 big guy: they had 4 or 5 trained men right there. There was no reason to choke him to death.

In case you missed it before, here is an article describing just how quickly a non-violent situation can turn deadly: http://nypost.com/2014/12/09/reason-to- ... an-arrest/


Yes, I read it. I'm very much unconvinced. It presents marginal situations and uses that to justify pre-emptive, fatal violence. You don't get to choke a man to death on the off chance he might become violent.

I also don't like when I hear (not necessarily all from you, but in general) someone saying a cop did it wrong when they can't provide any better alternatives.


Don't escalate violence. Don't point guns at unarmed and non violent civilians. Don't choke a man to the ground because he said "don't touch me" and took a step back. Don't through a grenade into a bedroom window. Don't fire on a 12 year old because he doesn't immediately put his BB gun down. Don't shoot a homeless guy in the back after blinding him because he turns his back to you. Don't shoot a teen for running into his own home.

Do you really think those police had no alternative but to choke him? But to throw a grenade into the bedroom? But to shoot that 12 year old? But to shoot that homeless person? But to shoot that teen? Is that the position you want to defend? That this officer had no reasonable alternative but to but to break this woman's eyesocket after she'd already been handcuffed? That this officer really had no alternative but to slam a 15 year old girl into the wall and then the floor for kicking her shoe at him? This officer was probably in mortal danger if he didn't hit this already handcuffed man with a baton. In fairness, in the the last 2 cases something meaningful was actually done.

Don't escalate violence.
crayzz
 
Posts: 925
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:34 am

Re: Use of force

Postby Nepene » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:31 pm

Deepbluediver wrote:He definitely did NOT surrender- the reason the cops had to force the cuffs on him was because he resisted arrest. Maybe they should have gotten him medical attention sooner, but from what I read they had EMTs on the scene, too.


They didn't have to do anything. As noted, they forced him into submission with an against policy chokehold when he was standing around doing nothing. Then he lay there slowly dying and surrendered.

Eric Garner did not cooperate with police and eventually died of a heart attack, in an ambulance on the way to hospital. It's tragic that he died, but it was entirely a situation of his own making. And while the hold used might have been against police regulations, there was no state law against it (aka not illegal).
Which is why the grand-jury declined to indict either of the cops involved.


This is the sort of attitude that kills people. If you aren't perfectly respectful to police, or even if you are and they fuck up then people like you don't care and will fully support them murdering a person for very poor reasons.

They might as well have pushed him to his knees in the streets and executed him by gunshoot. What he did was no excuse to murder him.

There are options other than shooting to kill. Cops don't have an especially dangerous job- roofers, refuse collectors, farmers, miners all have more dangerous jobs and they aren't given a right to kill. Cops can tolerate a little danger subduing people.


Gravity, trash, farm equipment, and heavy rocks aren't sentient and trying to kill people, break laws, or flee from workers.


So?

According to this page there have been 108 deaths of cops this year: http://www.odmp.org/search/year
This page on trash collectors say they average 90 deaths annually: http://waste360.com/mag/waste_garbage_collection_rated
This page says that since the 1990, coal mining deaths in the U.S. have dropped to less than 50 annually: http://www.aei.org/publication/chart-of ... 1900-2013/

http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2011/03/01 ... rous-jobs/

25.2 per 100,000 deaths for refuse collection.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12 ... -across-us

Overall, the statistics indicate that, despite its dangerous image, police work isn't among the most hazardous jobs in the U.S. The death totals work out to about 1.56 per every 100,000 sworn federal, state and local officers across the country — less than half the rate of 3.5 per 100,000 for U.S. workers in all jobs in 2011, the last year for which complete figures were available from the


So about 15 times the death rate.

And some cops have far more dangerous jobs than others. I've talked to police who have never fired their gun in the field. But they are all willing and able to if it becomes necessary.


It's a bit like a person with a gun creeping through dark alleys hoping someone gives them a chance to show off their self defence training.

Finally, cops are not "allowed to kill people" any more than a citizen is. Cops are allowed to defend themselves, just as we are, with the main difference being that we give them a greater benefit of doubt if they are forced to shoot someone in the line of duty. We also say that cops are allowed to use force that a citizen would not be permitted to use to defend themselves because cops are going beyond that in their JOB as law-enforcement agents.


So basically, they can kill someone and if they do anything, like being slightly offensive or be the subject of a mistake, the cop will get away with it.

I, too, would prefer that cops didn't have to kill, but who exactly are we talking about that is non-violent? Eric garner resisted arrest, but the police never tried to do anything more than handcuff him. They didn't taze him or pepper-spray him or beat him with a nightclub or anything.


Choke holds are violent.

Michael Brown attacked a cop; definitely not non-violent.


Debatable, and not examined at all in an appropriate legal setting.

And letting criminals flee is literally not an option- cops don't have a choice (or aren't supposed to pick and choose) when and where they enforce the law.


There is no law that you have to shoot someone in the back or chase after them if they flee. The police have discretion.

How many more innocent cops would die if they aren't allowed to fight back? And how many "innocent" people die from cops being overly aggressive right now? If your argument is that not arming cops with guns would provide a net-gain in innocent lives saved, I need some numbers.
It seems like the best thing that people could to to avoid becoming tragic statistics is NOT FIGHT WITH THE POLICE.


Probably less, escalating violence tends to cause fights.

A lot, as noted.

Standing around is apparently fighting the police.

Finally, I worry that the more you pacify cops, the bolder criminals or potential criminals will get. How many crimes are NOT committed because someone thinks to themselves "this isn't worth the risk of getting into a violent conflict with the police?" I'm not sure, but I'm really reluctant to significantly shift the dynamic in favor of lawbreakers.


What if they think "the police are violent scumbags, I really need to step up my game to compete."
Nepene
 
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:38 pm

Re: Use of force

Postby Deepbluediver » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:45 pm

crayzz wrote:They had him heavily outnumbered. There's no reason to wait for 1 big guy: they had 4 or 5 trained men right there. There was no reason to choke him to death.

Two things here- have you ever wrestled with someone? Or fought with someone? The amount of damage that one person can do to another with their bare hands in an incredibly short amount of time is staggering. Particularly someone of Eric Garner's size. It doesn't not surprise me that when the officers moved in to subdue him and he continued to resist they subdued him as rapidly as possible.

And second, you keep referring to Eric Garner as "choked to death". AFAIK, the police officer had no intention of killing Eric Garner and no reason to think that his actions would do so- that's basically the decision that the grand jury handed down.
Here is a description of what homicide means in that context "It’s one of five categories medical examiners use to label causes of death and it indicates that “someone’s intentional actions led to the death of another person,” says Gregory G. Davis, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners. The other four labels are suicide, accident, natural, and undetermined, Davis says.
So in a medical examiner’s report “homicide” just means one person intentionally did something that led to the death of someone else. It doesn’t mean the death was intentional and it doesn’t mean it was a crime."
source

So while the outcome was tragic, I haven't seen any evidence that the cop was trying to kill Eric Garner, or had significant reason to believe it caused his death.

Yes, I read it. I'm very much unconvinced. It presents marginal situations and uses that to justify preemptive, fatal violence. You don't get to choke a man to death on the off chance he might become violent.

Actually, what it says is-
It is ironic that, in both the incident involving my son and the one involving Eric Garner, had a police officer drawn his weapon, the chances are, no further violence would have occurred.


Don't fire on a 12 year old because he doesn't immediately put his BB gun down.

In the pictures I saw, the "BB gun" looked highly realistic- how is a a cop supposed to know the difference? Are you suggesting that the police wait to fire until someone starts shooting at them first?
That's a very reactive philosophy of law enforcement, instead of preventative.

Don't shoot a teen for running into his own home.

You're gonna have to provide me with a link for that, but my first though is- if they didn't know it was his house, how did they know he wasn't going to grab a hostage, and if they DID know it was his house, how did they know he wasn't going to grab a weapon?

Don't shoot a homeless guy in the back after blinding him because he turns his back to you.

I already said I agree that this appears to be a case of excessive force.

Do you really think those police had no alternative but to choke him?

Of course not. They could have just shot him straight away. Or they could have tazered him, and maybe that would have cause a heart attack instead.
Having options is not the same as having GOOD options.

Eric Garner had been arrested peaceably dozens of times before. How come this time he fought back? Why was his choice to resist arrest any less of a factor in his death than the officers choice of tactics to subdue him?

But to throw a grenade into the bedroom?

A flashbang, technically. It's not designed to kill, and even going off right next to a child's face it merely injured them.
And it's the preferable option to tossing in a real grenade or walking into the middle of a firefight.

From what I understand about police training tactics, in any dangerous situation they are taught to take their own safety into account first. Obviously this standard is not absolute, but what is the alternative? Exactly how much risk do police officers have to accept before they are allowed to respond with a certain amount of force?

But to shoot that 12 year old? But to shoot that homeless person? But to shoot that teen? Is that the position you want to defend? That this officer had no reasonable alternative but to but to break this woman's eyesocket after she'd already been handcuffed? That this officer really had no alternative but to slam a 15 year old girl into the wall and then the floor for kicking her shoe at him? This officer was probably in mortal danger if he didn't hit this already handcuffed man with a baton. In fairness, in the the last 2 cases something meaningful was actually done.

As you've pointed out- police do not have a blank check to commit whatever acts of violence they want. Nor do I support cases where they are obviously excessive in their response.
However I do think there are many times when they ARE justified in using force and potentially deadly force, in the enforcement of the law and the protection of themselves and the populous.

Don't escalate violence.

I could just as easily say "Don't argue with the police or resist arrest either". How come more people don't do that?
Waiting for the suspect to always make the first move, essentially, puts control of the situation in their hands.

And if you want to judge someone's actions, then you need to do so through the understanding that evenapparently safe situations can turn deadly in an instant, that suspects can and do turn violent faster than the police can react, and that age is not a limiting factor on the ability do kill.
Deepbluediver
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:50 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Serious Business

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

cron