Use of force

Serious discussions on politics, religion, and the like.

Re: Use of force

Postby Deepbluediver » Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:59 pm

Let me ask another question to anyone who wants to respond- if the cops had used a tazer on Eric Garner, which is totally A-OK by department policy (AFAIK), but he had died as a result (http://electronicvillage.blogspot.com/2 ... tates.html) would your reaction have been the same?
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Re: Use of force

Postby crayzz » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:35 pm

Except nothing the cop did is against the law- the law against assaulting someone is superseded by the law that allows cops to use physical force to subdue a non-cooperative subject.


I can't believe this actually needs to be said.

I don't fucking care. I don't care if what the cops did was legal. Legality does not establish what is right, moral, ethical, or acceptable. A great many awful things have been legal: cops being allowed to beat up and/or kill non-violent suspects for saying "Don't touch me" is just another.
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Re: Use of force

Postby Deepbluediver » Thu Dec 11, 2014 8:45 am

crayzz wrote:I don't fucking care. I don't care if what the cops did was legal. Legality does not establish what is right, moral, ethical, or acceptable. A great many awful things have been legal: cops being allowed to beat up and/or kill non-violent suspects for saying "Don't touch me" is just another.

Yes, but we have a legal system based on laws, not "doing whatever you feel is right" (that's vigilantism).
It's been discussed how morality and legality are completely different concepts, and how cops are totally allowed to do things that are immoral in the capacity of doing their job.

So, in your ideal system, which apparently ignores intent and focuses ONLY on the final outcome, what methods can cops use to arrest an uncooperative suspect which guarantees that absolutely no harm comes to them?


Also, I'm still waiting for the list of countries that you think do policing better than the U.S., so I can do some more research on this subject on my own. I'm starting to get the feeling I'm the only one who wants to explore ways to prevent this from happening in the future as opposed to merely being on a hunt for vengeance.
You can change the law, like I said, but that won't let you go back and punish people for doing things that where legal at the time they did them.
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Re: Use of force

Postby Nepene » Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:03 pm

Deepbluediver wrote:And when that doesn't work?


What if it does? I'm not moving past this. Why can't we actually try voluntarily talking people into things first? It's not like your strategy has a 100% success rate. What if choking the person to death after a brief chat causes a media storm?

If you're going to ignore what I say, again, little point in me saying it. If you ask me for how to deal with it, I say that, and you just ignore it and repeat your arguments you're clearly not listening. I might as well have suggested a dance off, you expressed no signs you had heard my actual words.

The police do not have unlimited manpower and resources, and every time they have to call additional cops or take longer to resolve an issue it prevents them from responding to another. How many crimes are the police supposed to let you commit before they stop letting you walk away?


So you're no longer claiming that if the police ever retreat they will instantly lose all authority?

I'm happy to move onto your new, completely different argument if you concede your prior one was inaccurate.

Also, in the end, they basically did exactly what you describe which is have 6 guys dogpile on him.


Nay, remember I actually suggested that dance offs be used to resolve all disputes. Orrr.

You can talk.

Because it's a totally pointless argument to have- either the cops have already decided they have a good reason, or they are acting outside the boundaries of the law and I agree with you.


Or they, as happened here, can harass a person till they get frustrated and then arrest them legally for resisting arrest.

The police have fairly broad authority, which you obviously support. There is a lot of middle ground between a good reason and being outside the boundaries of the law. There's here "We got in his face till he put his hands up to defend himself and then arrested him for resisting arrest."

Temporarily going still does not indicate you won't change your mind or resist more later, especially when you have shown no inclination to do so prior to being physically restrained.


By that standard I can't see any way to ever surrender- you can always change your mind later.

And if I have to subdue someone my natural impulse is to do so in a manner that creates the least risk for myself.


That's an extremely murderous approach.

Except nothing the cop did is against the law- the law against assaulting someone is superseded by the law that allows cops to use physical force to subdue a non-cooperative subject.
Police and law enforcement have certain privileges to do things that would be illegal if a citizen did them, because those things are a requirement of their job.


That is the subject of this debate, the police's right to murder people with impunity.

And you can punish someone for something that used to be legal. You can punish someone for any reason at all. In the US you have things against it. Still, various subtler punishments could be enacted, though those in power have no desire to do so. The obvious consequence is that people want to take justice into their own hands, since the police are repeatedly murdering black people with zero consequences.
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Re: Use of force

Postby Deepbluediver » Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:41 pm

Nepene wrote:
Deepbluediver wrote:And when that doesn't work?


What if it does? I'm not moving past this. Why can't we actually try voluntarily talking people into things first? It's not like your strategy has a 100% success rate. What if choking the person to death after a brief chat causes a media storm?

If you're going to ignore what I say, again, little point in me saying it. If you ask me for how to deal with it, I say that, and you just ignore it and repeat your arguments you're clearly not listening. I might as well have suggested a dance off, you expressed no signs you had heard my actual words.

I'm not ignoring you- I fully support the police trying to talk someone into surrendering peaceably first, which they DO!
Here's the video. The police move in to arrest Eric Garner at 1:17 in the tape. What are they doing before then? What where they doing before the tape started rolling? Talking! There's a skip in the video at 1:16 where apparently there was so much talking going on that they edited it out to get to the action.

I'm wondering why you refuse to provide an answer for what to do when that tactic fails- probably because you don't have any good ideas.

So you're no longer claiming that if the police ever retreat they will instantly lose all authority?

The police do occasionally TEMPORARILY break off police action, but AFAIK only if the situation would become more dangerous for bystanders, such as breaking off a high-speed pursuit.
And yes, when you back down, it emboldens your enemies.

But what exactly are you expecting to happen here? The police walk away, everyone else walks away...and then what? When it repeates itself the next day do we just ignore that too? Are you under the impression that people will commit fewer crimes if the police stop enforcing the law?

Nay, remember I actually suggested that dance offs be used to resolve all disputes. Orrr.

You can talk.

Yup, they tried that, didn't work.
What's next?

Or they, as happened here, can harass a person till they get frustrated and then arrest them legally for resisting arrest.

Sorry, if someone was committing a crime and the police try to stop him, that's not harassment.

The police have fairly broad authority, which you obviously support. There is a lot of middle ground between a good reason and being outside the boundaries of the law. There's here "We got in his face till he put his hands up to defend himself and then arrested him for resisting arrest."

No, they where trying to arrest him for illegally selling cigarettes, try to at least get your facts straight.
If you think that's a bad law, then complain about the politicians who made it, not the police.

By that standard I can't see any way to ever surrender- you can always change your mind later.

Yes, you can, which is why a situation is never not dangerous for the police- however if you show a willingness to cooperate before things degenerate to the point of a physical struggle (which it will always come to when someone refuses to give up) then you earn a lot more leniency.

And if I have to subdue someone my natural impulse is to do so in a manner that creates the least risk for myself.

That's an extremely murderous approach.

Right, which is why the police DON'T do things like that- they try to use as little force as reasonably possibly.
They didn't shoot him or tazer him or beat him, all of which would have been excessive.

The fact that you can't name anything else for them to try other than just talking indicates to me how little force they where really employing.

That is the subject of this debate, the police's right to murder people with impunity.

They don't have a right to murder people with impunity- however if someone dies during the course of the police performing their legal duties, then we give them more leeway than a citizen who is not obligated to enforce the law.

And you can punish someone for something that used to be legal.

You should read up on this.

You can punish someone for any reason at all.

Didn't you just spend 18 posts telling me the police aren't allowed to do anything they want?
If this is the position you're gonna take, then what's the difference in punishing cops we don't like vs cops punishing people they don't like?

Still, various subtler punishments could be enacted, though those in power have no desire to do so.

Wait, hang on, what's this? It almost seems like you're suggesting that people in a position of power act outside the boundaries of the law to promote their own agenda.
Do you even realize how hypocritical you're sounding?

The obvious consequence is that people want to take justice into their own hands

Yeah, the people who burned down all those buildings in Ferguson really showed them.
Or the 6,000+ black-on-black murders every year, I bet most of those where totally just.

Tell me, do you have any data that would indicate that police-shootings are on the rise? That police are being more violent than they used to be? I'm pretty sure I saw a chart that showed violent crime was on the decline in the united states, and shockingly, when people commit fewer crimes, the police have less reason to come around you neighborhood and *sigh* "harass" them.

The key to solving this problem in the long term is education and economic development, not riots and trials.

since the police are repeatedly murdering black people with zero consequences.

Hey did you hear about the black cop who killed a white guy and got away with it? No? Funny thing, that.

Or how about all those times that the police didn't get away with it? Gosh, do you feel like we're getting something of a biased story here?
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Re: Use of force

Postby crayzz » Thu Dec 11, 2014 9:51 pm

The grand jury apparently disagrees with you.


You mean that process that is notoriously incompetent and is being fed information from deliberately shoddy investigations?

It's unfortunate the word "literally" has been diluted as a common emphasizer, because it takes away some of the impact when I say that I would literally trust a 5 year old's opinion over a grand jury's.

Exactly how long did the cop have Eric Garner in a chokehold? I've been put in one before and as evidenced by the fact that I'm sitting here, typing this, they are survivable.


So are bullets to the head. "Survivable" is not the acceptable thresh hold for force used against non violent suspects, especially suspects who, at least according to you, were historically non violent.

Yes, but we have a legal system based on laws, not "doing whatever you feel is right" (that's vigilantism).


A) That's not what that word means; B) Your strawman is cute, yet dismissed.

(The tautology of arguing for "a legal system based on laws" is funny, too.)

So, in your ideal system, which apparently ignores intent and focuses ONLY on the final outcome...


That's 2 strawmen, and this one is especially bizarre since I've already considered intent.

...what methods can cops use to arrest an uncooperative suspect which guarantees that absolutely no harm comes to them?


1) When you go to take someone down, don't choke them just because you can.

2) Even if you do decide to choke them, stop once they've been taken down.

3) Even ignoring the first 2, don't continue to sit on the suspects back when the suspect is already subdued and is repeatedly bringing attention to the fact that they can't breath.

4) At the very least, get off of him and allow him to breath sometime before he dies.

I'm starting to get the feeling I'm the only one who wants to explore ways to prevent this from happening in the future as opposed to merely being on a hunt for vengeance.


Hat trick; well done.

Sorry, if someone was committing a crime and the police try to stop him, that's not harassment.


In what way is it impossible to harass suspected criminals? To continually bother, pester, or annoy: that stuff doesn't becomes impossible when one is a cop and the other is a suspect. If one does actually intend on being peaceable, such behaviour works at cross purposes.

Hey did you hear about the black cop who killed a white guy and got away with it? No? Funny thing, that.


Yes. Multiple times.

(Citing a large and fairly popular news [I use the term loosely in case of WND] source to complain about how people aren't hearing about it is self defeating.)

Or how about all those times that the police didn't get away with it? Gosh, do you feel like we're getting something of a biased story here?


Not really:

"Between 2002 and 2004, civilians filed 10,149 complaints of excessive force, illegal searches, racial abuse, sexual abuse, and false arrests. We limited the disciplinary data set to those five categories, because they encompass the most serious forms of civilian abuse and correspond to the types of abuse endured by Diane. Only 19 of the 10,149 complaints led to a suspension of a week or more."

"We found that standard CPD police abuse investigations violate virtually every canon of professional investigation.

These are not hypothetical or aberrational practices. These are CPD’s standard procedures when it comes to investigating police misconduct. In more than 85% of the CPD police abuse investigations analyzed, the accused officer was never even interviewed. In many of the remaining 15% of the investigations, the Department determined that the complaint was “not sustained” without ever requesting any information from any of the officers on the scene.
"


As useful as specific incidences might be, actual statistics on how the police behave (with n = 10000 no less) outweighs specific instances by a wide margin. I don't think anyone denies that the police do, occasionally, receive consequences for problematic behaviour. It's nowhere near even semi-consistent, however.
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Re: Use of force

Postby Nepene » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:32 am

Deepbluediver wrote:I'm not ignoring you- I fully support the police trying to talk someone into surrendering peaceably first, which they DO!
Here's the video. The police move in to arrest Eric Garner at 1:17 in the tape. What are they doing before then? What where they doing before the tape started rolling? Talking! There's a skip in the video at 1:16 where apparently there was so much talking going on that they edited it out to get to the action.


Let me quote my earlier words.

So as I noted, you don't really intend to address what I say, so is there much point in me saying what better procedure is? I didn't say they should talk to him about something related, I said they should specifically inform him before they touch him so that he has a chance to assume an appropriate position.


You've, thus far, refused to address the idea of informing people before you touch them, trying to achieve appropriate voluntary consent.

I'm wondering why you refuse to provide an answer for what to do when that tactic fails- probably because you don't have any good ideas.


Or because I've repeatedly stated I wanted to do something, and you've shown no sign you actually heard my words. I don't see any point. You might just say "What if that doesn't work, shouldn't we just choke people to death just in case".

The police do occasionally TEMPORARILY break off police action, but AFAIK only if the situation would become more dangerous for bystanders, such as breaking off a high-speed pursuit.
And yes, when you back down, it emboldens your enemies.


... their enemies? Civilians selling fake cigarettes are the enemy? Non violent civilians shouldn't be called enemies, and shouldn't be treated as such, emboldening them isn't a problem. Civilians should feel free to have self esteem and be bold.

But what exactly are you expecting to happen here? The police walk away, everyone else walks away...and then what? When it repeates itself the next day do we just ignore that too? Are you under the impression that people will commit fewer crimes if the police stop enforcing the law?


I don't think we have any clear evidence that a crime was actually committed here- they didn't actually show he had cigarettes or had done anything wrong. When the evidence is uncertain you gather more evidence- you question the locals, do searches if necessary, try to prove that a crime actually occurred.

Your whole narrative seems to be that stopped once ever then the police will no longer be able to do their jobs. If they don't do anything in one case they can still do something in another case when there's clearer evidence. If they enforce the laws when there's not clear evidence of a crime then they are going to be using force on a lot of innocents. There should be a strong need to ensure adequate evidence before they use force. That will make any force seem more justified, reduce the need for force, and likely lessen their workload due to less pointless conflicts.

Sorry, if someone was committing a crime and the police try to stop him, that's not harassment.


They didn't actually have clear evidence of a crime.

Right, which is why the police DON'T do things like that- they try to use as little force as reasonably possibly.
They didn't shoot him or tazer him or beat him, all of which would have been excessive.


They choked him to death. It clearly wasn't minimal force.

The fact that you can't name anything else for them to try other than just talking indicates to me how little force they where really employing.


You still have not addressed the benefits of talking. I'll continue to address your post when you show you are actually aware of things I have said.
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Re: Use of force

Postby Deepbluediver » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:55 am

crayzz wrote:You mean that process that is notoriously incompetent and is being fed information from deliberately shoddy investigations?

What, then, do we use as our standard for indicting or bringing to trial a police officer? If we treat them like everyone else, it doesn't seem to work out, because apparently prosecutors, judges, and the public alike don't like to indict cops. If we're treating them differently, then what standards do we judge them by and who does the judging?

It almost seems as if there's been some unspoken agreement among the populous that they would rather have violent cops than violent criminals. There's have been numerous protests over this sort of thing lately, as I'm sure you are aware. I've seen many of them in person, since I live in the city where some of this took place. If you put any 12 or 20 of those protesters in a grand jury (or a regular jury) it seems impossible that they wouldn't manage to indict or even convict.
And yet when this stuff actually comes to a court of law, many more times than not, it doesn't come to pass.

So are bullets to the head. "Survivable" is not the acceptable thresh hold for force used against non violent suspects, especially suspects who, at least according to you, were historically non violent.

"Survivability" isn't the standard, it's (AFAIK) what a reasonable person might have done in that same situation, or what an average person might have been expected to survive.
I wouldn't expect someone to survive getting shot in the head. There where at least 87 other chokehold complaintsagainst the NYPD in 2014 so far. Clearly they didn't all result in death.

A) That's not what that word means; B) Your strawman is cute, yet dismissed.
(The tautology of arguing for "a legal system based on laws" is funny, too.)

I'm sorry for not expressing what I meant better.

You where the one who raised the idea that legal and moral or ethical are not the same thing, but when it comes to punishment a court can only rule on what is illegal. If their boss decides that they grossly violated department policy then they might be suspended or demoted or fired, but those aren't things that a court can order, AFAIK.

I'm starting to get the feeling I'm the only one who wants to explore ways to prevent this from happening in the future as opposed to merely being on a hunt for vengeance.

Hat trick; well done.

I'm sorry for resorting to hyperbole, but I was getting frustrated that some very specific questions I asked weren't being answered.
For example, all the way back in post #11 (I think) you mentioned that other countries manage to police their populous without killing them. I've asked you at least twice what countries those are, so I can research their methodology, and I'm still waiting for a reply.

In what way is it impossible to harass suspected criminals? To continually bother, pester, or annoy: that stuff doesn't becomes impossible when one is a cop and the other is a suspect. If one does actually intend on being peaceable, such behavior works at cross purposes.

It's not impossible to harass a suspected criminal, but Nepene seemed to think that the cops where harassing Eric Garner.
I am of the opinion that attempting to arrest someone does not normally constitute harassment.

Citing a large and fairly popular news [I use the term loosely in case of WND] source to complain about how people aren't hearing about it is self defeating.

I merely didn't want to make this about race- most cops are white (so are most lawyers and politicians, AFAIK), and from the statistics I've seen african-americans commit more violent crimes per-capita than other groups. It stands to reason that these two factions would come into conflict. Nor are whites the least likely to end up dead at the hand of the police- I believe that award goes to Asians, though this report lumps them in with other minority categories.
It seems like there are much better arguments that you can make other than "cops are racist".

"[i]Between 2002 and 2004, civilians filed 10,149 complaints of excessive force, illegal searches, racial abuse, sexual abuse, and false arrests. We limited the disciplinary data set to those five categories, because they encompass the most serious forms of civilian abuse and correspond to the types of abuse endured by Diane. Only 19 of the 10,149 complaints led to a suspension of a week or more."
*snip*

As useful as specific incidences might be, actual statistics on how the police behave (with n = 10000 no less) outweighs specific instances by a wide margin. I don't think anyone denies that the police do, occasionally, receive consequences for problematic behaviour. It's nowhere near even semi-consistent, however.

Neither is every complaint legitimate though, which is part of the reason that I agree we need better tracking for these records and probably an entire differently system to investigate and potentially try and convict cops.
New York has a Civilian Complaint Review Board, which found half of all chokehold complaints to be unsubstantiated, and many more to be "neither fully proven nor disproved". Source
In fact, this "independent city agency" found only around 2% to be substantiated.

Is there any evidence that shows the police use of force is on the rise? Or that complaints against police are going up? I'm not saying this to imply that there isn't, I'm actually interested in hearing if you've found anything that I haven't, yet.

Nepene wrote:You've, thus far, refused to address the idea of informing people before you touch them, trying to achieve appropriate voluntary consent.
...
You still have not addressed the benefits of talking. I'll continue to address your post when you show you are actually aware of things I have said.

I really don't know how else to reply to this- I highlighted my agreement with you last time in supersized letters; I don't know how you could possibly have missed it.

The video, which we've both seen, shows the cops talking with (or at least listening to) Eric Garner for more than a full minute before it cuts out and then comes back to record the actual arrest. Clearly there are things that occur that we don't see. Also, if you go back and watch the video, you can hear the police speaking to Eric Garner as they attempt to handcuff him. I'm having trouble making out what they are saying, but there is clearly dialogue going on there.

So, I'll ask again. If the cops says "we're going to arrest you now, ok?" and the suspect responds "no!" what is step 2 in your grand master plan?

... their enemies? Civilians selling fake cigarettes are the enemy? Non violent civilians shouldn't be called enemies, and shouldn't be treated as such, emboldening them isn't a problem. Civilians should feel free to have self esteem and be bold.

I was speaking generally- with regards to arrest, I'll refer to them however you want: subject, person, target, suspect, etc.
And no, I don't think you should encourage people to be uncooperative with the police (and apparently some people agree with me)- I believe that everyone should be encouraged to obey the police and work WITH them to avoid a physical confrontation.
The odds of a situation ending well for you if you don't cooperate with the police are tiny compared to the outcome if you do.

And why are you claiming that the cigarettes where fake?

I don't think we have any clear evidence that a crime was actually committed here- they didn't actually show he had cigarettes or had done anything wrong. When the evidence is uncertain you gather more evidence- you question the locals, do searches if necessary, try to prove that a crime actually occurred.
...
They didn't actually have clear evidence of a crime.

How do you know that? Where you there? Didn't you admit just a few lines up that he was selling something?
The shopkeepers where the people who called the police to the scene in the first place. Combined with the fact that much of Garner's prior arrest record was for illegally selling cigarettes.

You make it sound as it the cops rolled up in there patrol car, jumped out, and immediately tackled Eric Garner. Other than the alleged chokehold, I've seen nothing to indicate that the police didn't follow proper procedure.

They choked him to death. It clearly wasn't minimal force.

Minimal force is zero, I would think, but since Eric Garner didn't want to cooperate with police, that wasn't an option.
I believe that the cops believed that it was a reasonable amount of force for use against a large, uncooperative suspect who has a long arrest record, including charges for assault.
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Re: Use of force

Postby luislsacc » Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:43 pm

Well, this whole discussion has gotten off-topic, which is too bad because I was hoping to see a resolution to the whole "does an armed person do a "fail" by using a weapon against an unarmed opponent?" question.

DBD, I'm not saying this because I disagree with your point ( heck, if I had to choose between one side and the other, I'd choose yours), nor to make it seem bad, but in your posts you seem to be using the word "where" in place of the word "were". I'm sure you know the differences, and you still got your point across, but I felt like pointing it out.

As far as police procedures go, between straddling them on a chain or giving them some space, I'm on the side of giving them some space. Outside of cases where cops are genuinely terrible/ clueless people, cases of use of force tend to be geared towards decreasing the danger a crazed individual may pose to the police or others, and resolving the situation as quickly as possible. If the cops ask you politely to go with them and you refuse to do it, they're very well entitled to make you go with them, The police exists to deal with people who won't comply with the law, and their given the discretion to use force because they're the governmental organ equiped to use it (at a civilian level, the army isn't generally called in to make arrests) - congressmen aren't going to come out and toss people in jail. In Garner's case, from what I've seen from the video, they should've probably tased him, It might have been even worse for him with his health conditions, but as far as minimizing danger goes, it'd probably be the best choice. Of course, given his size, they might have been afraid he'd resist the procedure, but I think only after then should they have bum-rushed him.

As far as his crimes, as long as they caught him in the act or have an arrest warrant, they're obligated to make an arrest, police deciding who does go or not to jail is the opposite of what we want.

As far as use of force in my country goes, we do have less police violence ( even percentage-wise), but a lot of it will come down to the disposition and cultural background of the people - the portuguese people are a lot calmer than the american (I've been to about a dozen large protests, nobody began looting, being violent or antagonizing the police in even one of these). So... education?
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Re: Use of force

Postby Deepbluediver » Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:41 pm

luislsacc wrote:Well, this whole discussion has gotten off-topic, which is too bad because I was hoping to see a resolution to the whole "does an armed person do a "fail" by using a weapon against an unarmed opponent?" question.

You can blame me for that- although my first post was mostly on target, I brought up Eric Garner and things rapidly went sideways from there.

If you'd like to try and get back on topic, what is your stance on it?
Tailsteak thinks that someone with a gun should never shoot someone without one (I'm simplifying here for the sake of brevity) whereas I disagree and think that that is to high a standard.

in your posts you seem to be using the word "where" in place of the word "were".

I can manage there and their and your and you're, but where and were always trip me up.
If anyone has some good tips, I'd be glad of the advice.
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