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View Diary: What Do You Do When No One With Power Will Stand Up For You? How Do You Go On? (71 comments)

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  •  Well, first of all, you give up the notion (12+ / 0-)

    that public servants have power. The people have the power. However, people power is properly dispersed. Which is as it should. Power should only be assembled in times of great need. How many negligent deaths will it take before the citizens of Oakland realize they have to take concerted action and hire public servants instead of "leaders"?
    That's a very hard lesson to learn because leaders are so convenient to task, to blame and to castigate for a follower's mistake.
    The officer shot a person because that person was not  compliant and ran away. If the officer had been taught that compliance was his to exact, then his training was bad. The OPD should be directed to insure that their subordinates model respect for and to the citizenry. The officer himself can be sued for negligence, even if the Department did not reprimand him. The problem police departments face, in addition to wanting to preserve conditional immunity for the officers so they won't be penalized for acting as they were taught, is that the interrogation of an officer to which that officer consents whenever he becomes employed can actually be used against the offficer in a court of law because it wasn't technically coerced. That sort of creates a double-jeopardy situation for cops who obviously make mistakes. Should they claim the right to remain silent? If an officer is driven by general animus for people who scare him by not following his directives, that's not a personal invective sufficient to define an intentional crime -- no more than a prosecutor's ambition leading him to take advantage so his absolute immunity and falsify evidence to gain a conviction and a life sentence for an innocent person can be called a crime. Negligently inflicting injury is not generally considered a crime. Perhaps it should be. Perhaps Bush the Younger sending bombers over Iraq to kill hundreds of thousands of inoffensive people because their leader would not obey the U.N. nor let the U.S. set up military bases should be considered a crime, but it's not. Collateral damage is not considered a crime. Negligence is not considered a crime. Perhaps it should be. But, if incaution were considered a crime and everyone were more cautious, would we be better off? How would we distinguish between lazy do-nothingness and caution?
    Every year over thirty thousand people (one every fifteen minutes), most of them presumably in the prime of life, are killed in vehicular "accidents" because of somebody's negligence. Why is there less outrage when humans are mangled by cars? Because cars aren't designed to kill and guns are? If we don't want people killed by guns, let's prohibit the manufacture and sale of them.
    If we outfit the police with guns, they are going to shoot. The time to address the tools police use is at budget time and at the ballot box. Run some candidates dedicated to disarming the cops. They probably won't get elected, but at least the role of peace officers will be discussed.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:38:12 AM PDT

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