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Thread: Guardians vs. Warriors

  1. #46
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    I see. Well, the rest of us can continue to have the discussion without you. Keep the cut and paste coming though, its been useful to make counterpoints and to address some of the legitimate issues at hand.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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  3. #47
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    Point to ponder: a police slowdown? Wait - if police violence is the problem, and so systemic, and that violence is only way police interact with the community, and specifically communities of color, and this is true all across the US and not just certain cities - why does anyone call the police in the first place?

    One of Todd's previous examples offered a black officer putting part of the issue back on the community itself (which was an excellent point) - young men in the street making a ruckus? Too loudly playing a game? The elders no longer take care of that...

    People call the cops to come and stop the young men and move them along. No, wait - they call them to come and needlessly and without cause harass them and as we now know, shoot them without provocation.

    So, the conclusion we can draw is that the community still somehow calls the police on their young men who are but acting rowdy - though they know full well the police are only going to harass these men for no reason and then, given the slightest opportunity, abuse them or kill them....
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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  5. #48
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    A recent and close by example of why LE is concerned about showing hands, and things coming out in the hands during arrests (and that Tasers do not always work as advertised):

    http://www.odmp.org/officer/22739-se...jason-goodding



    Seaside Police Department, Oregon


    Sergeant

    Jason Goodding
    Seaside Police Department, Oregon

    End of Watch: Friday, February 5, 2016




    Bio & Incident Details

    Age: 39

    Tour: 13 years

    Badge # Not available


    Cause: Gunfire

    Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

    Offender: Shot and killed


    Sergeant Jason Goodding was shot and killed as he and another officer attempted to serve a warrant on a subject on the 300 block of Broadway Street at approximately 9:30 pm.

    They observed the subject walking along the street and recognized him as having an active felony warrant. The subject resisted arrest and was tasered. However, he was still able to shoot Sergeant Goodding three times. Another officer on scene was able to return fire and killed the subject.

    Sergeant Goodding had served with the Seaside Police Department for 13 years. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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  7. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Lambert View Post
    This article ponders what the alternative should be.
    Todd,

    I have looked at it twice and I do not see how the linked article provides the alternative, and I also do not see how it even addresses Kit's question about "What should officers do when an extremely disturbed person charges them with a bat? With a knife? With a gun? With a realistic firearm indistinguishable in a flash instant from a real gun? " The article is focused on a critique of the "broken windows" theory of policing and a larger systemic view. Maybe I am misunderstanding and you are not presenting it as a response to Kit's question. That is the way that it comes across to me, however. I actually do not see much if any "alternatives" to anything in the article. It presents critiques, pure and simple, in my reading.

    Unfortunately there seems to be a lot of people talking passed each other and a profound disconnect going on in in the broader discourse taking place in American culture right now. It appears to me that questions like Kit's, regarding how the street-level officer should conduct her or himself, and about how street-level policing should be conducted, are either being wholly ignored, met with completely unrealistic and ignorant suggestions (such as officers loading their service weapons with a blank round in the chamber), or deflected with large systemic critiques which, however true, offer nothing to the officer who has to respond for a call to service on today's nightshift. The officer responding to that call did not personally decide upon the course of American history and social inequity, likely did not determine the policies of their department, but still must respond to that call for service. On the "other end" of the "debate" I see hardening cynicism and digging in of heels amongst a number of the professionals who go out and do the job. Despite the stereotypes, most of the LEOs that I know are ethical and professional individuals. Most of them became cops because of altruistic motives. I would like to see some constructive dialogue.
    Al Heinemann
    www.shofukan.ca

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  9. #50
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    Allan- its anecdata.


    So lets take the discussion a different direction. These pieces are from the same Lil Wayne album (I Am Not a Human Being II) and I think add yet another perspective; one that the activists can't (WON't) provide - but is very much the reality.

    Personally, I really like the dude's music and feel he is an artist, and probably speaks for a lot of people. But a brief perusal reveals what is perhaps an unbridgeable gulf.

    Warning, these are pretty tame for him, but may be a bit rough for some folks here to take.

    The first is a commentary on the current state of things:

    God Bless Amerika

    Lyrics

    Uh, my mind's filled with mine fields
    The ashes fall, the wine spills
    The world stops, drops and rolls
    It's Judgment Day or a fire drill
    Yea, I pour out my heart, have a drink
    They say the drunk never lie, they ain't never lyin yea
    My country tis of thee,
    Sweet land of kill 'em all and let em die

    God bless Amerika
    This so godless Amerika
    Heard tomorrow ain't promised today
    The end of time is like a hour away
    Damn, military minded, lost and can't find it
    The stars on the flag are never shining
    Uh, I saw a butterfly in hell today
    Will I die or go to jail today?
    'Cause I live by the sword and die by the sword
    Heard police was looking for me, I'mma hide by abroad
    Shootin stars in my pocket, bitch sit on my rocket
    I'm wired off a socket, but still shockin
    Everybody wanna tell me what I need
    You can play a role in my life but not the lead
    If there's food for thought then I'm guilty of greed
    Mama said take what you want, I took heed yea

    My little breed, yea

    Back to life, back to reality
    Been eating my girl and she's so sweet, got cavities
    Granted we do it for vanity not humanity
    But what's appealing to me is under banana trees, love
    I go so hard, I tried to pay homage but I was overcharged
    Ain't that a bitch?
    I'm just a nut tryna bust a nut in the nut shell
    Used to say fuck the police, now I say fuck jail
    Same shit, different air freshner
    I don't play boy, I ain't Hugh Hefner
    Tryna be a step ahead, but a few feet behind
    Two fingers to my head, pop! Peace of mind
    I be in the cloud, cloud number 9
    And I just fucked the clock and let it come to time
    It's a cold world, I put on a mink
    There's a chain of commands, I'm the missing link

    God bless Amerika
    This so godless Amerika
    I heard tomorrow ain't promised today
    And I'm smoking on them flowers, catch the bouquet

    Here we live by the sword and die by the sword
    The police is looking for me, I'mma hide by abroad
    Shootin' stars in my pocket, bitch sit on my rocket
    I'm wired off a socket, but still shockin'
    Everybody wanna tell me what I need
    You can play a role in my life but not the lead
    I saw a butterfly in hell today
    Will I die or go to jail today?


    But earlier on the record we have Gunwalk - WARNING -these are original lyrics which I will not change, the slur included is not my language but is very much the vernacular of a community. I think it actually speaks to a larger mindset/world view that is in contra-distinction to the warrior mindset (the "military minded" of the above piece)..

    Mods feel free to edit if you feel it is offensive, but it loses power and meaning when so censored...

    Gunwalk

    Lyrics

    I'm strapped up, nigga fuck a gun law
    See me walking with a limp, that's my gun walk
    I don't do no arguin', I let the gun talk
    I'm strapped up, nigga fuck a gun law
    See me walking with a limp, that's my gun walk
    I don't do no arguin', I let the gun talk
    And it's no talkin' back when my gun talk
    See me walking with a limp, that's my gun walk
    That's my gun walk, nigga that's my gun walk
    See me walking with a limp, that's my gun walk
    That's my gun walk, nigga that's my gun walk

    Uh, fuck that nigga, ho ass nigga
    Leave that nigga with a toe tag nigga
    Barrel so long, you can pole dance, nigga
    Run up in ya house, where the dope at nigga
    Murder she wrote on a notepad nigga
    Light that nigga up, smoke that nigga
    Stomp that nigga, roast that nigga
    I walk around with this shotgun
    And this bitch bigger than me nigga
    Don't open up yo fuckin' mouth
    Cause I'll pull the trigger like teeth nigga
    Shoot 'em up, then leave nigga
    I smell summer's eve nigga
    We shoot first, it's better
    To give than receive nigga

    I'm strapped up, nigga fuck a gun law
    See me walking with a limp, that's my gun walk
    I don't do no arguin', I let the gun talk
    I'm strapped up, nigga fuck a gun law
    See me walking with a limp, that's my gun walk
    I don't do no arguin', I let the gun talk
    And it's no talkin' back when my gun talk

    Keep that ho shit over there
    And we don't shoot in the air
    I can't fuck with these niggas
    Man these niggas gummy bears
    Hair trigger on the gun
    I pull that muthafucka hair
    It's like man you can't trust nobody
    I don't even have a trust fund
    Don't buck, nigga, don't stunt, nigga
    Don't duck, nigga, cause I duck hunt
    Bitch rock with me, that Glock with me
    That chopper with me, obviously
    I'mma empty this muthafucka
    That's fifty shots, approximately
    Now fuck with me, get fucked over
    Emergency room, rushed over
    Hollow tips, in the clip
    My gun loaded, yours sober
    I pull yo cord like a lawn mower
    Fall back or I'm goin' forward
    I see you got yo gun drawn
    I send you back to the drawin' board

    See me walking with a limp, that's my gun walk
    That's my gun walk, nigga that's my gun walk
    See me walking with a limp, that's my gun walk (no talk back)
    That's my gun walk, nigga that's my gun walk (when I cock back)

    Walkin' round this muhfukka limpin'
    'Cause the nose on the pistol 'bout as long as Scotty Pippen's
    On the molly and I'm twisted, throw ya body with the fishes
    Double back around that corner and I'm bodying the witness
    Uh, Real niggas don't talk much, do drive by's and walk ups
    Lame rappers that talk much get a broke jaw, star struck
    I don't fuck with the lame niggas, I got good aim nigga
    Pop a pill, pop you, my nick name is Pain Killer
    I'm still that same nigga, East side I rep that
    Pussy niggas better get right or where I see you, you get left at
    Use the rifle as my crutch, that's my gun walk
    Or we can hold a conversation, let the guns talk
    Gudda!

    I'm strapped up, nigga fuck a gun law
    See me walking with a limp, that's my gun walk
    I don't do no arguin', I let the gun talk
    And its no talkin' back when it go off (You speechless)
    I'm strapped up, nigga fuck a gun law
    See me walking with a limp, that's my gun walk
    I don't do no arguin', I let the gun talk
    (When I cock back!)

    See me walking with a limp, that's my gun walk
    That's my gun walk, nigga that's my gun walk
    See me walking with a limp, that's my gun walk
    That's my gun walk, nigga that's my gun walk


    How do we reconcile all these ideas?

    Waiting for an answer....those who have the most influence on the latter point of view do so very little to address it, or what it is saying about a community it speaks to, and for, for so many decades.

    Once again excuse the language, but please look past it to what is says, and what it says about a mindset and way of life.
    Last edited by Hissho; 10th February 2016 at 05:27.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Police chiefs consider dramatic reforms to officer tactics, training to prevent so many shootings
    Roughly 200 of the nation’s most prominent police chiefs, Justice Department and White House officials, and police training experts convened in Washington on Friday to discuss policy proposals which, if implemented broadly, would amount to the most drastic police reform in decades.

    During the forum, titled “Taking Policing to a Higher Standard” and held in the seventh-floor meeting rooms of the Newseum, top officials from many of the nation’s largest police departments were urged to implement new training and departmental policies that supporters believe could lead to a decrease in the number of fatal shootings by officers each year — a topic near the top of the national consciousness in the 18 months since the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

    “This is a defining moment for us in policing,” Charles Ramsey, the recently-retired commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department, told the room. Ramsey, also a former D.C. police chief, was one of several prominent policing officials who said departments must act proactively to change their use-of-force policies instead of waiting for one of their officers to be involved in a controversial shooting.

    Privately, several of those in attendance remarked that the shift in attitude of top police officials toward reform seems a direct result of the protests in Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago and elsewhere and the resulting increase in media scrutiny of police use of force.

    “We need to raise the bar for all police departments,” said Chuck Wexler, who runs the Police Executive Research Forum, a policing policy think-tank that organized the gathering...
    The Washington Post
    Nullius in verba

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    The day will come that we will have social order. The cultural and social requirements for democracy to function are actually quite advanced. We are beginning to lack the discipline to function as a democractic republic.

    Nothing under the sun is new. This has all been seen before. The day is coming when the Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago will be stopped. The French Revolution was started by a bunch of news media guys and lawyers also, men like Marat and Robespierre. Napolean as a young officer had already seen the Tuileries and a big chunk of Paris burned. In October 1795 it was about to happen again. The establishment asked him to stop it. He said ARE YOU SURE. They told him to do what he must. He gave the mobs a whiff of grapeshot and they made him an emperor. This is not a police problem. This has happened in Paris, Rome, Athens .... now it is our turn. It is the waning signs of the death of democracy. The police in the country by in large are fine caring individuals but the day is coming where that will not be the case. Blaming the police is the tail wagging the dog. Mommy's and daddy's need to relearn how to raise their babies and the Oligrachy must stop committing economic treason on its citizens or the complete militarizing of the police will have to happen.
    Last edited by CEB; 16th February 2016 at 17:39.
    Ed Boyd

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    See Allan, I told ya!

    Another view on the adminstrative issues that lead to suspensions, and warrants, and people running from or fighting police:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/my-husban...190633282.html

    My Husband Went to the Store and Never Came Home, Deserting His Two Kids


    I saw my ex-husband in court last week. It was the first time I had seen him in longer than I could remember; the exact date lost in an 8-inch-thick legal file of court proceedings that is currently lying on my desk. In fact, I could count on one hand the number of times I have seen him since I started that file four years ago.

    Up until just a few days ago, I literally could not find my ex-husband.

    But before he disappeared four years ago, I was a married, stay-at-home mom of a 3-year-old daughter and 7-month-old son. Then overnight my world turned upside down when my husband said he was going to the store and simply never returned.

    STORY: ‘I Am a Welfare Mom and I Can Tell You: It’s a Nightmare Come True’

    Not only was my marriage over, but he left me with two very young children in a position where I was unable to instantaneously support us.

    Quitting his job and leaving his work vehicle (his only car) in the parking lot of his employer, he turned off his phone, moved out of town, and became untraceable. His actions were not just an exaggerated statement that he no longer wanted our marriage, but it was a heartbreaking declaration that he also no longer wanted our kids.

    STORY: What I Said When My Daughter Asked Why My Dad Had Left

    And I’ve heard it all; the judgments that people love to throw my way. “Didn’t you see this coming,” and “what did you do to make him leave?” Or “this is why you never should not have been a stay-at-home mom without your own career,” and my favorite, “you had kids with him, you did this to yourself.”

    Except that really, none of that matters. The fact is that I had two children, in a marriage where my husband made it abundantly clear that he wanted me to get pregnant, and then half of the people that it took to create those kids walked away.

    Thankfully, one half stayed.

    STORY: How a Mom on Welfare Handles Christmas

    Despite our circumstances, I still want what’s best for my kids, so I wasted no time in trying to pull a life together for the remaining three of us. Unlike their father, I couldn’t ignore the kids’ heartache, and the last thing I wanted to do was add to their suffering with unmet necessities and hunger, which was at times a reality for us.

    So thank goodness the kid’s father was legally required to financially provide for us by paying spousal support and child support!

    Except how do you get money from someone that you can’t find?

    You can’t. I didn’t.

    Emergency motions were filed, temporary support orders were put in place, but at the end of the day all I had was a piece of paper stating that I should be getting money that I had no idea how to actually obtain. I was thrust face first into the reality that real life isn’t like TV, where the court system will hunt your ex down and make him pay, and kind hearted detectives are so worried about your children that they will put in overtime to track down your child’s deadbeat father and throw him in jail with the rest of the nation’s criminals.

    No, I learned that real life is aggravatingly slow, exceedingly clerical, and unbelievably flooded with many parents who are in the same situation as mine.

    Unfortunately, I’m no special snowflake. In the U.S., only 42 percent of custodial parents (the parent with physical custody of their children) are paid the full amount of child support that they are owed, leaving more than $21 billion in unpaid support that is owed to single parents like me. When you look at those astronomical amounts that our court systems are trying to deal with, it’s easy to understand why many single parents just become another number on a list and a file on a desk.

    Throughout the entirety of my divorce process, my ex showed up to only one court date. It was the day he signed over all of our material possessions to me, saying he wanted absolutely nothing from his old life. When the judge asked him if he wanted visitation with his kids, he added insult to injury by stating that “those kids just aren’t worth my time.”

    The judge divorced us.

    The judge did however, order my now ex-husband — who was claiming that he was unemployed and could not pay support — to begin what was called a “job diary.” My ex was supposed to apply for two jobs a day, make a record of it, and bring the record to my attorney’s office on a regular basis in order to prove that he was attempting to financially support his unwanted, but still very much existing, children.

    It didn’t surprise me though when he walked out of court that day and failed to ever show up to my attorney’s office with his job diary.

    A year and a half after he left us, I still had not received even as much as a quarter from my ex-husband. On the phone with the child support office while pleading my case, I heard my caseworker sigh as she explained “you’re just going to have to think of this as a long term savings account. At some point he will be old enough to collect social security, and at that point the state will garnish his payments and send them to you.”

    I was not OK with that.

    It wasn’t even money that I was after per say, but rather the necessities that the money could buy. My ex left me in a bad situation and getting out of it has proven to be financially difficult. We live below the poverty line, and I need things for the kids now, but Target won’t take an “I owe you” and collect my payment in 16 years.

    The caseworker’s answer was not good enough for me, but unfortunately there wasn’t much I could do about it. As far as I knew, my ex was working under the table somewhere. When the child support department checked his social security number, it reflected no activity that would trace him to a job, an apartment rental, a car payment, or even a credit card. Months dragged on as I watched notices being sent to my house stating that the child support department had suspended his hunting and fishing license, as well as his firearm ownership card. I got a letter stating that if he didn’t start paying, they would suspend his driver’s license. Eventually a letter came that they had suspended his driver’s license.

    But none of that mattered to me, because what I needed was money and I didn’t have the luxury of waiting. And the irony of it all is that in order to get money, you need money. Slapping down the last of the money I had from selling many of my possessions, I paid my attorney to take my case back to court again in the hopes that I could speed along the process.

    We went to court, a warrant was issued for my ex’s arrest, and then the waiting process began for someone to stumble across him, or for the police to randomly pull him over. A process that did nothing except shatter any stigmas I believed of how easy it is to have your ex thrown in jail for nonpayment of child support.

    The jail was ready for him, but not if they couldn’t find him, and with real crime on the police dockets, my ex wasn’t anyone that they were actually looking for.

    Months later I found out that he was working a part time job across town. Why his social security number hadn’t been flagged in the system, I don’t know, but when I called the police begging them to go pick him up, I was told that they didn’t have time. After calling every day for a week, I broke down into tears, and thankfully, the cop who had answered my call related to the struggling parent I was, and saw me as more than just a file on her desk.

    My ex was picked up that afternoon, taken to jail, and mere hours later he bailed out with the entire amount of his back due support. He had the money all along, he just didn’t want any of it to go to his children.

    Unfortunately, he didn’t change his ways, and did not continue to keep current on his support obligations. When the amount he owed our family once again reached a staggering amount, I took him back to court again. Having been served at his place of employment, he did show up to court, only to threaten “if you throw me in jail, I’ll get fired, and then you won’t get any money out of me,” which was it was enough to cause my attorney to remind me of how the law works. The law will send parents to jail for nonpayment, and their only way to get out before serving up to 12 months in some states is to pay the full amount of what they owe.

    Looking at my ex and heeding my attorney’s words that my ex probably would lose his job, and might not get another one, I begrudgingly signed an agreement that would allow him to repay the debts he owed over the course of the next five years, via a garnishment from his paycheck.

    I left the courthouse that day fuming: “I can’t believe that I just let him finance his kids.”

    I didn’t like it, but I had made the best decision that I could in a situation with no great answer, and it turned out to be the wrong one. My ex quit his job, there was no support to be garnished, and he fell off the grid again.

    I’ve gone to multiple court dates since then to try and get what my children are owed, but my ex never shows up and I leave with pieces of paper that just add to the clutter on an overwhelmed caseworker’s desk.

    But then last week my ex surprised me and showed up to a court date for his continued nonpayment. Our case is set for hearing next month, but that doesn’t mean that I will be getting child support, or that I ever will.

    With the largest percentage of our population’s poverty-stricken families comprised of single parents owed unpaid child support who can’t seem to catch up enough to get ahead, I fear that I may be stuck in this cycle forever. I want to give up, to stop chasing him down, but I have kids who need more than what I can provide them alone. I don’t like living below the poverty line, and I didn’t get into this situation by myself, but the burden of fixing it falls solely on me. My kids and I deserve better than what my ex is doing to us, but as I’ve come to learn, our situation is not something I can easily change.

    “Just get child support” people say.

    If only they knew.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    The Washington Post article has much good info (continued):

    Accurate national statistics on fatal police shootings were unavailable until last year when The Washington Post launched a database to track them, documenting 987 fatal shootings by on-duty officers in 2015.

    Wexler presented The Post’s findings to the gathering of officials and said that even after removing all shootings in which the person killed had a gun, there were still hundreds of preventable fatal shootings last year.

    We can impact about 300 of those,” he said.

    The goal of reform, organizers said, should be to address the large number of shootings that are “lawful but awful” in that they do not amount to a crime but that they spark community outrage and could have been prevented.

    Among reforms discussed at length were retraining all officers in deescalation tactics and abandoning training that teaches the “21-foot-rule” — a turn of phrase taught to nearly all current U.S. police officers that is often interpreted by officers to mean they are justified in shooting any suspect with a knife or edged weapon who comes within 21 feet of them.

    “It almost gets to the point that officers are thinking ‘my safety is more important than the safety of anyone else’s’ ….,” said Tom Manger, chief of police in Montgomery County, Md. “We’ve got to change the culture of American policing. … Our goal should be to have everyone go home safely at the end of the day.

    How any department handles an officer-involved shooting or other use of force incident varies depending on the department’s policies, local union contracts and state laws.

    In an attempt to address the lack of national standards governing police use of force, Wexler proposed to the chiefs 30 “guiding principles” — which include prioritizing the preservation of human life, adopting deescalation as a formal agency policy, quickly releasing information about any use of force incident, and training officers that it is their duty to intervene to prevent another officer from using excessive force.

    It’s important for us to recognize the gap that exists between what is acceptable in community standards of use of force … and what is acceptable under the law,” said Scott Thomson, chief of the Camden County Police Department in New Jersey.

    Currently, almost all fatal police shootings, especially those during which the person killed has a weapon, are ruled legally justified, based in part on the 1989 Supreme Court decision that established the “objectively reasonable” standard. It excuses an officer who perceives a threat that any other objectionably reasonable officer would perceive, even if the shooting itself violates policies or protocols or the threat turns out to not exist.

    There is a real mismatch between what community standards are, what the community expects, what they think the law should be, versus what the training and the law allows for,” said Vanita Gupta, Department of Justice’s assistant attorney general for civil rights. Gupta said a national conversation about police objective reasonableness was potentially “revolutionary.

    One provision that drew significant discussion and push-back among the chiefs was a policy guideline calling for all police use of force to meet a proportionality standard, which called for officers to consider how the general public might view any use of force in determining whether it is appropriate.

    Several of the chiefs noted that they anticipate, or have already seen, significant resistance from their officers and local police unions to an attempt to change policies or to hold officers more accountable. Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn, who said that officers need to be disciplined more consistently for violating policing policy, recalled the anger he provoked with his decision to fire the police officer who shot and killed Dontre Hamilton, a mentally ill man who was asleep on a park bench.

    While the shooting was not criminal, Flynn said, the actions of former officer Christopher Manney violated department protocol.

    “I made a decision to fire him and announced it at a press conference in which I still defended his use of deadly force at that instant,” Flynn said. “As you can imagine, that decision wasn’t meant to please anybody, and succeeded.”

    “I had the Coalition for Justice demand my firing, and the police union vote no confidence,” Flynn said, prompting a round of laughter. “And I like to think at that moment I kind of brought the police and community together.”

    Others questioned whether departments should train their officers that they are accountable for their behavior above and beyond the “objective reasonableness” standard. Instead, some of the chiefs said, through retraining, the culture of policing could up the standard for what would be deemed “objectionably reasonable.”

    I’m totally in agreement that police don’t know how to retreat in the United States and that we kill too many people. There are things that we can do … to reduce the death toll,” said Ed Davis, the former Boston police commissioner. “However, when we get to this point where we start to say that we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard, it’s great rhetoric but … it’s difficult for an agency to say ‘even though the Supreme Court said this, we’re gonna say that.’ ”

    The group watched a number of videos — taken by bystanders and body cameras — of police shootings that occurred in 2015, as well as other videos of police behavior that went viral, such as the video of an officer breaking up a pool party of teenagers in McKinney, Tex.

    “I’m surprised you haven’t shown my video yet,” said Daniel Oates, the police chief in Miami Beach, where in December officers killed an alleged bank robber wielding a straight-edge razor in a shooting caught on camera.

    Moments later, the chiefs were dissecting the video of the Miami Beach shooting, during which officers surround the man, 51-year-old David Winesett. One officer gets close enough to deploy a stun gun and as he does, another officer opens fire.

    “I’ve learned that South Florida doesn’t have the longer, less lethal weapons,” Oates said, adding that he wishes one of the officers responding to the man had had a gun that could fire less lethal ammunition, such as a beanbag. “I’m kicking myself. I had been there 18 months and I hadn’t inquired into it. In my last agency we used less lethal shotguns very effectively.”

    They also watched videos from Scotland and Northern Ireland, where police kill very few people despite often facing violent threats — in part, the chiefs said, because their officers are trained to back away from potential threats and retreat if necessary.

    In America, police officers do not have an obligation to retreat,” noted William McManus, chief of the San Antonio Police Department. “That is problematic.”

    Other chiefs noted that they were initially skeptical of some of the proposed reforms, only to later see their merits after some of the changes were implemented.

    Among the suggestions were that departments implement a policy that prohibits officers from shooting into a moving vehicle — a step taken by the New York Police Department in 1972 that drastically cut down on the department’s number of fatal shootings.

    The Denver Police Department has had several fatal shootings involving people in cars in recent years, including the death of 17-year-old Jessie Hernandez. That prompted Wexler to call the Denver police chief and recommend he research the NYPD’s policy.

    “I’m saying ‘that’s kind of stupid’… is what I said to myself … but at the same time I realized that we needed to do something different,” said R.C. White, Denver’s police chief.

    After researching the departmental policies of other police units, White chose to craft a new policy banning officers from shooting into a moving vehicle and providing his officers with more training in how to get out of the way of a suspect in a vehicle.

    “We ended up changing our policy,” White said.
    Nullius in verba

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    Agh! Lost a detailed post. This article is all over the place -- some good some poor. Beanbag shotguns? Methinks someone doesn't know why they went out of favor in the first place. I can understand that from a member of the public, but not from a chief.

    “It’s important for us to recognize the gap that exists between what is acceptable in community standards of use of force … and what is acceptable under the law,” said Scott Thomson, chief of the Camden County Police Department in New Jersey.

    Currently, almost all fatal police shootings, especially those during which the person killed has a weapon, are ruled legally justified, based in part on the 1989 Supreme Court decision that established the “objectively reasonable” standard. It excuses an officer who perceives a threat that any other objectionably (sic) reasonable officer would perceive, even if the shooting itself violates policies or protocols or the threat turns out to not exist.

    “There is a real mismatch between what community standards are, what the community expects, what they think the law should be, versus what the training and the law allows for,” said Vanita Gupta, Department of Justice’s assistant attorney general for civil rights. Gupta said a national conversation about police objective reasonableness was potentially “revolutionary.”
    This is very true.

    What remains to be seen is how it will be revolutionary. I linked to psychologist Matthew Sharps Processing Under Pressure on one of these threads, it has some relevance in terms of what studies show is a mental bias toward big picture "how we would like things to be," and lack detail or nuance oriented understanding ("how things really are) of the topic, and with a wildly subjective variance between how test subjects acted under lethal force stimulus and how they felt police should act under the same stimulus, to include essentially expecting police to be mind readers, and to give subjects far more of a chance to act violently, while not having the same requirement for themselves.

    Once again, logically and critically, and gulf with emotion that will be difficult to bridge.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Here's one example of efforts being made to bridge that gap.

    Creating guardians, calming warriors
    A new style of training for police recruits emphasizes techniques to better de-escalate conflict situations

    The police recruits arrived in pairs in the woods outside Seattle. For days, they had been calming their minds through meditation and documenting life’s beauty in daily journals. Mindful and centered, they now faced a test: a mentally ill man covered in feces and mumbling to a rubber chicken.

    The feces was actually oatmeal and chocolate pudding, the man was another recruit, and the goal of this mock training exercise was to peacefully bring him into custody. The first recruits approached gingerly, trying to engage the man in conversation. When that failed, they moved in and wrestled him to the ground.

    “We needed to find a way to help him. He obviously had a screw loose,” said Aaron Scott, a cadet from Bellevue, Wash. Scott briefly considered using his baton, he said. “But I thought that might be too much.”

    For the past three years, every police recruit in the state has undergone this style of training at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, where officials are determined to produce “guardians of democracy” who serve and protect instead of “warriors” who conquer and control.

    Gone is the military-boot-camp atmosphere. Gone are the field exercises focused on using fists and weapons to batter suspects into submission. Gone, too, is a classroom poster that once warned recruits that “officers killed in the line of duty use less force than their peers.”

    “If your overarching identity is ‘I’m a warrior,’ then you will approach every situation like you must conquer and win,” said Sue Rahr, the commission’s executive director. “You may have a conflict where it is necessary for an officer to puff up and quickly take control. But in most situations, it’s better if officers know how to de-escalate, calm things down, slow down the action.”

    Training is at the heart of the national debate over police use of force. So far this year, police have shot and killed more than 900 people, according to a Washington Post database tracking such shootings — more than twice the number recorded in any previous year by federal officials. Anti-brutality activists and some law enforcement leaders argue that if police were better trained to de-escalate conflict, some of those people might still be alive.

    Rahr, the former sheriff of King County, is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on this type of training. In April, the Harvard Kennedy School published a report she co-wrote, “From Warriors to Guardians: Recommitting American Police Culture to Democratic Ideals,” which warns that too many academies are training police officers to go to “war with the people we are sworn to protect and serve.”

    The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, of which Rahr is a member, has embraced many of these principles. In August, the Police Executive Research Forum, a law enforcement think tank, followed suit.

    “The goal of the guardian officer is to avoid causing unnecessary indignity,” said Seth Stoughton, a law professor at the University of South Carolina and a former police officer in Tallahassee. “Officers who treat people humanely, who show them respect, who explain their actions, can improve the perceptions of officers, or their department, even when they are arresting someone.”

    Not everyone is on board. Some accuse Rahr of promoting a “hug-a-thug” mentality that risks getting officers killed. About 20 percent of Rahr’s staff quit or was fired in the first year after rebelling against her reforms. Even today, Rahr estimates that two-thirds of the state’s 285 local police chiefs are either skeptical of her training philosophy or “think this is just dangerous.”

    Alexis Artwohl, a former police psychologist and consultant to the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, would not comment on Rahr’s work but is skeptical of some guardian-style training. Artwohl has co-written a book on deadly force whose promotional blurb begins: “In a cop’s world it’s kill or be killed.”

    Artwohl compares police work to defensive driving, which is about “expecting something bad is going to happen. It’s not about dealing with normal traffic flow.”

    “We should go out there and expect something bad will happen and watch for it,” she said. “If we are not paying attention, we could die.”

    Samuel Walker, a national expert on police training, said the two approaches have long been present in American policing. But the debate over which should dominate has intensified in the past year, since protests erupted over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.

    “There is war going on for the soul of policing in America,” Walker said. “The outcome is uncertain.”
    Nullius in verba

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    Yes that is what started this entire thread- I'm wondering whether you are actually even involved in this discussion, or simply Pasting your participation in.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    Mods I just lost two lengthy posts when my log in timed out - normally not an issue as I log back in and the post updates....not sure the issue.

    At any rate it dealt with the facile narrative this story, as with so many others, purports as reality. The incident described is exactly what happens the vast, vast majority of the time. Most cops, in fact, would not have used force at all, and the baton would never have been considered in that circumstance. The reported, and Todd I guess, can't really be faulted for not grasping this. They have a pre-determined confirmation bias.

    But the ambitious police politicians should know better.
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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    This is better - it is not a biased screed, and actually refers to the law, at least, which promotes a better understanding. The piece has a few of its own misunderstandings - of the "don't know what you don't know" kind, but it is an attempt to be balanced, which is not seen in so many of the other pieces.

    I totally agree that officers should help write use of force standards - it is actually this very thing that happens in almost every LE agency out there.


    Police officers should help write, not shun, new use-of-force standards

    By The Times Editorial Board•Contact Reporter

    February 16, 2016, 5:00 AM


    Should it be OK for a police officer to shoot at an unarmed suspect who is running away? How about at a moving car? Or at a suspect who poses a danger only to himself?

    Questions like these go to the heart of the nationwide debate over policing and the use of force. They are also at the core of a controversial 30-point plan for revising standards for police encounters with suspects and others.

    “Standards ... rise over time with innovations in police training and tactics.


    The Jan. 29 report from an organization of law enforcement leaders called the Police Executive Research Forum has rattled a lot of cages in the police world because it calls for a standard of conduct higher than that purportedly set by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark case of Graham vs. Connor.

    “The reasonableness of a particular use of force must be judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene,” the court wrote in Graham, “rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.”


    By this standard, an officer should not be disciplined or otherwise held to answer for acting the way any other reasonable officer would have acted in the same situation, faced with rapidly evolving circumstances, often with the lives of bystanders and the officer on the line, having to make split-second decisions. Many officers embrace that ruling: Don't judge us, they argue, if you have never walked in our shoes, do the work that we do and face the same dangers we face daily.

    And it's a fair point, to an extent. A police officer cannot always know that the fleeing suspect or that the driver of the moving car is unarmed, or that the unhinged suspect won't hurt anyone else. When officers can be subjected to discipline for doing what any other reasonable officer would do in the same situation, they may well choose simply not to engage a suspect at all — the so-called Ferguson effect. And then, of course, they might subject themselves to criticism for allowing the suspect, who just might turn out to be armed and dangerous after all, to hurt bystanders. How can police protect and serve under those circumstances? And how can police departments, review panels and courts hold officers to a more restrictive standard than the one set forth by the Supreme Court?

    But that argument is based on a misunderstanding of Graham, both by officers who criticize the proposed PERF principles and those who have recommended them. Nothing in the court's decision creates a standard of police conduct forever and for all time, or prevents today's standard for “reasonableness” to be higher tomorrow.

    To the contrary, the court's decision contemplates standards that rise over time with innovations in police training and tactics.

    The PERF principles should be seen as a serious attempt to elevate what is deemed “reasonable” police conduct in any given situation. Few officers in 1989, the year of the Graham decision, would have seen it as a normal part of police duties to de-escalate tense encounters with suspects. Nor would all officers today, but many would, and over time de-escalation should be expected to become a standard part of a reasonable officer's conduct.

    Of course, the final verdict on which de-escalation strategies are deemed sound and which should be considered reckless will come only after years of experimentation and identification of best practices.

    To brush aside any effort to change standards of reasonableness nationwide is to artificially depress standards everywhere. The court did not require reasonableness of an officer's conduct to be judged by the lowest common denominator.

    And as training and tactics are upgraded in one department, they ought to become part of the reasonableness standard that is expected in other departments.

    It is incumbent upon officers to engage meaningfully in the discussion of raising standards and not merely reject the 30 PERF principles — most of which, after all, sound quite reasonable: The sanctity of human life should be at the heart of everything a police agency does; officers should intervene to prevent other officers from using excessive force; officers should promptly render first aid.

    Police officers do work that most of the rest of society would have difficulty understanding. Their perspective on the proper use of force is essential. Let's hope they take part in the discussion.

    Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion
    Kit Leblanc

    In Harm's Way

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