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View Diary: 'I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me' (584 comments)

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  •  We can't afford this kind of policing. (18+ / 0-)

    You see, cops can tell you what they think they need to do to get the job done.

    Trouble is, they're running headlong into the Constitution.  It's up to us, as citizens, taxpayers...ahem...VOTERS to stand up for the Constitution.

    Every bullet shot by a cop in the line of duty has a cost and the cop needs to pay part of it.  What I mean by that is that the cop needs to be accountable for every shot fired.  The police force needs to account for every bullet.  The police chief needs to be able to explain what happened to the community.  Every time.  

    If not, a price must be paid.  Badges taken away.  Officials fired.  People put in jail.

    Otherwise, there is no cost to the cop for undermining someone's Constitutional rights.  That cost gets passed onto the community in the form of riots, mistrust, lack of cooperation in helping cops solve crimes.

    See, the police can't enforce the law without cooperation from the community.   Sure, they can shoot people here and there, but try solving a real crime spree...serial killer or rapist....without community cooperation.  Can't be done.  Eventually, no one wants to live or do business there and that costs all of us money.

    We can't afford this.

    •  Unfortunately, you don't have to understand (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dconrad, Visceral, metal prophet

      any of that to be a cop. And their training tells them to establish dominance instantly or escalate to force if they don't. That training ultimately comes from the US military doctrine of overwhelming force.

      We have brought the wars home.

      American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

      by atana on Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 11:30:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, that was my line...! (0+ / 0-)

        In another post about this mess. Yes, we have brought the wars home. We hired ex-military men to run our police departments, ex-military men to train the police, and ex-military men to be the police. The doctrine of overwhelming force as programmed into the heads of all these men (and women too) is precisely why Ferguson, Missouri is in flames.

        Our Constitution requires that our military should not be used to control American citizens, yet the military and the police are virtually indistinguishable. The problem may be two-fold: too many trained killers from the military in our police departments and a military that is forced to fight wars it cannot possibly win.

        Imagine being a veteran of the war in Iraq, seeing your buddies killed, having to watch the Iraqis constantly for threats and then coming home to get a job as a cop. Yeah, they know we can't fight back because we're not armed with IED's, RPG's, and AK-47's.

        No, I'm not making excuses for those overgrown juveniles playing war and toting the same damned weapons they used in Iraq. I'm just pointing out that they cannot think of us, the citizens, as anything but the enemy. They've all been trained completely wrong for urban peacekeeping and it's costing us lives and resources in ways that will scar all of us for life, including those idiots in riot gear.

        •  Fail (0+ / 0-)

          MichelleRose, you totally undermine your whole statement with one incorrect and totally false claim.

          You said, "No, I'm not making excuses for those overgrown juveniles playing war and toting the same damned weapons they used in Iraq."

          Those "overgrown juveniles" do not carry the same weapons as used in Iraq no matter how much they look like one. The military uses rifles with fully automatic capabilities, citizens in this nation only carry semi-automatic weapons (unless they pay a huge amount of dollars and submit to ATF background checks, reporting, etc.) for the privilege. Yes they look the same, but they function VERY DIFFERENTLY!

          My suggestion is to educate yourself before sounding foolish.

    •  Cops are first focused on one thing: Control (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fixerguy

      I mean these comments as an attempt to understand not as any apology for abuse of force by cops. And I'll say up front:  based on the evidence so far from eye witnesses, there's no doubt in my mind that Darren Wilson should be arrested and prosecuted, probably for  2nd degree murder.

      Cops are taught to establish control over the situation they enter. They are taught that their own safety depends on it. Anything that gives them the impression of not having control of the situation is treated as a threat. And they are supposed to neutralize threats.

      So communication for cops is first about establishing control;  verbal commands are their first way to do it. If they do not get compliance then they consider the behavior, even if just verbal, a threat.

      Belligerently issued commands are an affront to a person's dignity. That's a first blur of the line between gaining control and abusing authority.

      If a white cop who is not part of the neighborhood issues a command to an African American citizen then even if the command is just authoritative, not particularly belligerent, then the citizen may well feel abused. This is a very good reason the community policing programs, recruiting police from the community, is a good model in terms of establishing the basic respect necessary for "field stops" to benefit the community. The cop will be able to establish control and then perhaps even effectively exchange words with whomever is detained; even to the point of providing the information needed for the citizen to file a complaint.

      In a warped relationship of police to community there is little chance that a detained citizen will get an opportunity to represent himself but will remain a "person of interest" or "suspect" and entirely perceived through the skewed filter of a fundamental threat that can't be neutralized, only hyper-vigilantly controlled. Even if the "field stop" ultimately does not include any reason for arrest, the cop may release the detained person but they will not reach any positive resolution; the sense of threat persists for the cop and the sense of being hassled persists for the particular person and for everybody in the community to whom the person tells the story.

      The LA cop in the story we're talking about is commenting about a context in which the relationship between police and community is warped.

      Why cops don't get prosecuted for excessive force is that even a slim basis for being seen as neutralizing a threat in the situation gives them a big benefit of doubt.

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