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When Defending Cops Becomes Impossible


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#61 Josh

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 1042 AM

I wouldn't condemn cops as a whole as in any group of people, there are always jackasses.   Wasn't there but it seems like the cop was in the wrong here.
 
One thing I think should change is police departments shouldn't get to investigate their own shootings.  There should probably be a state-level agency that does it.  No military unit that has an aircraft mishap investigates it themselves; outsiders come and do it to get a more objective look.  
 
Also, I don't think police should use military ranks nor military rank insignia.  I think in some cases that stimulates the us-versus-them mentality.  
 
At any rate, the vast majority of police are normal, decent people trying to do a very difficult job while being under-resourced and under-trained (we expect them to be social workers and ombudsman too).


My one counter argument to the most of the police are good people theme is that when it comes to reporting or disciplining other police, most cops will be dishonest. Which is somewhat understandable considering the pressure they are under. But it has to be realized that while there is a minority of bad apples in most departments, the behavior of the department in general down to the partner level often allows loose cannons to continue to work, even when they haven't numerous civilian complaints against them. In some departments the civil lawsuits cost millions yet the officers involved never are fired.

I agree some other agency at the state level should be involved in investigations.

Edited by Josh, 11 December 2017 - 1046 AM.

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#62 glenn239

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 1054 AM

Police should required, every year, to identify the five fellow officers in their department they believe are the most likely to act with inappropriate aggression.  Compile the lists, see who gets the most votes.  I'd be willing to bet over half of the firecrackers could be weaned out by that measure alone.


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#63 DB

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 1136 AM

I know a couple of Met police officers.

They speak of people who aren't police officers as "civvies", which both identifies with a military-ish and a tribal mindset.

Whilst they are both intelligent chaps, their almost continuous exposure to the dregs of society, where they can talk to someone as a victim one day and as a suspect the next, leads them to see almost everyone they meet in a work context as a criminal.
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#64 Skywalkre

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 1732 PM

 

My comments in bold.  


(4) policing is not an especially high status job, so people who are insecure are going to suffer from some sort of status anxiety.You don't get into this job to get rich.  But that being said, I get paid ok.  
 

 

In regards to both points.

 

First, while becoming a LEO in the US certainly doesn't make one rich it does make one financially set.  Across the country on average a police officer makes ~20% more than their fellow Americans.  Given how that curve is laid out (fat on the low side and thin on the high) that puts them well above most Americans.  Rich?  No, but pretty well off.  On top of that government employees tend to have great benefits and a pension.  The latter has all but disappeared from civilian life.  In short - if you become a police officer on average in this country you are far better off than your fellow Americans financially.

 

Second, as far as the status of the job my observations have been it depends where one falls on the socioeconomic spectrum.  The lower you are or if you grew up on the low end you tend to view cops negatively.  If you're on the high end or grew up in an area in the high end you tend to view cops favorably.


Edited by Skywalkre, 11 December 2017 - 1734 PM.

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#65 rmgill

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 1818 PM

Police should required, every year, to identify the five fellow officers in their department they believe are the most likely to act with inappropriate aggression.  Compile the lists, see who gets the most votes.  I'd be willing to bet over half of the firecrackers could be weaned out by that measure alone.

That leads to witch hunts if there's a presumption that of course there are at least 5 that need to be reported. 

That's the same sort of nonsensical reporting metrics that you get from ticket counts as proof that cops are doing their jobs NOT of clearing actual cases or reductions in crime or what not. 

From my interaction (first hand, in the courts and through political advocacy) with good and bad departments, the KEY factor I've been able to determine for how well a department is run is how does the leadership deal with problems and how much of a good or bad example to they themselves set. This extends to the rules and policies placed by Mayors and City Councilmen (or equivalents) as well as police chiefs and such. 


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#66 NickM

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 1848 PM

 

Police should required, every year, to identify the five fellow officers in their department they believe are the most likely to act with inappropriate aggression.  Compile the lists, see who gets the most votes.  I'd be willing to bet over half of the firecrackers could be weaned out by that measure alone.

That leads to witch hunts if there's a presumption that of course there are at least 5 that need to be reported. 

That's the same sort of nonsensical reporting metrics that you get from ticket counts as proof that cops are doing their jobs NOT of clearing actual cases or reductions in crime or what not. 

From my interaction (first hand, in the courts and through political advocacy) with good and bad departments, the KEY factor I've been able to determine for how well a department is run is how does the leadership deal with problems and how much of a good or bad example to they themselves set. This extends to the rules and policies placed by Mayors and City Councilmen (or equivalents) as well as police chiefs and such. 

 

And we gotta be careful 'bout that cuz you can never tell when the Mayor or the Chiefie or the DA has an agenda or an axe to grind.


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#67 rmgill

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 1854 PM

And who are they going to grind that axe upon? 

Look at what we get out of Baltimore. Police, schools, government in general. 


Edited by rmgill, 11 December 2017 - 1854 PM.

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#68 Jeff

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 1953 PM

 

 

My comments in bold.  


(4) policing is not an especially high status job, so people who are insecure are going to suffer from some sort of status anxiety.You don't get into this job to get rich.  But that being said, I get paid ok.  
 

 

In regards to both points.

 

First, while becoming a LEO in the US certainly doesn't make one rich it does make one financially set.  Across the country on average a police officer makes ~20% more than their fellow Americans.  Given how that curve is laid out (fat on the low side and thin on the high) that puts them well above most Americans.  Rich?  No, but pretty well off.  On top of that government employees tend to have great benefits and a pension.  The latter has all but disappeared from civilian life.  In short - if you become a police officer on average in this country you are far better off than your fellow Americans financially.

 

Second, as far as the status of the job my observations have been it depends where one falls on the socioeconomic spectrum.  The lower you are or if you grew up on the low end you tend to view cops negatively.  If you're on the high end or grew up in an area in the high end you tend to view cops favorably.

 

My beef with police retirement/pensions is we are told that they need to retire on gold plated benefits because the job is so stressful that they are burned out after 20 years, but most then go on to another department or aspect of LE and do another 10-20 years and double dip. If it's so damned horrible, why do they jump right back in for another go? If you want the goodies after 20 years because you're fried on LE then you shouldn't be able to jump right back in for a two-fer. Get a job delivering meals on wheels or selling cars or some such.


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#69 Skywalkre

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 2101 PM

 

 

 

My comments in bold.  


(4) policing is not an especially high status job, so people who are insecure are going to suffer from some sort of status anxiety.You don't get into this job to get rich.  But that being said, I get paid ok.  
 

 

In regards to both points.

 

First, while becoming a LEO in the US certainly doesn't make one rich it does make one financially set.  Across the country on average a police officer makes ~20% more than their fellow Americans.  Given how that curve is laid out (fat on the low side and thin on the high) that puts them well above most Americans.  Rich?  No, but pretty well off.  On top of that government employees tend to have great benefits and a pension.  The latter has all but disappeared from civilian life.  In short - if you become a police officer on average in this country you are far better off than your fellow Americans financially.

 

Second, as far as the status of the job my observations have been it depends where one falls on the socioeconomic spectrum.  The lower you are or if you grew up on the low end you tend to view cops negatively.  If you're on the high end or grew up in an area in the high end you tend to view cops favorably.

 

My beef with police retirement/pensions is we are told that they need to retire on gold plated benefits because the job is so stressful that they are burned out after 20 years, but most then go on to another department or aspect of LE and do another 10-20 years and double dip. If it's so damned horrible, why do they jump right back in for another go? If you want the goodies after 20 years because you're fried on LE then you shouldn't be able to jump right back in for a two-fer. Get a job delivering meals on wheels or selling cars or some such.

 

There are lots of issues with those pensions. 

 

Here locally for a few years we had an ongoing issue with government/police pensions.  It was described that the police union effectively negotiated with themselves when writing the contract.  As such some of the rules were easily abused such as officers saving up their vacation, getting it paid out right before retirement, and then their lifetime pension would be based off that final, gamed paycheck. 

 

In some places in the country the pensions are unsustainable but protected by state constitutions.  Any effort to get that protection stripped or the pensions renegotiated is met with the usual "but our job is so dangerous and stressful/why are you soft on crime/etc." propaganda.  The issue is serious enough in the eyes of some economists that they feel it could have a significant negative impact on local economies if not addressed.  Shock, surprise, if your government has unrealistic obligations to retirees that trumps basic services... yeah, that would be bad.

 

Honestly at this point I don't even see why they should get a pension (and this goes for all government employees).  They're already making more than the majority of people they serve.  Renegotiate the contracts so taxpayers pay out less for a matching 401(k) like the rest of us get, if we're lucky, and have these folks manage their own retirement.  They still come out on top compared to us whereas currently they come out leagues ahead of the rest of us.  Would also eliminate the issue you brought up.


Edited by Skywalkre, 11 December 2017 - 2102 PM.

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#70 Josh

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 2354 PM

I'm glad we're talking about pensions, because I get the impression a lot of officers in the generation X age bracket don't understand is largely unique to government service, and that their particular job is the most pensioned of all. Basically the majority of the people I know have no retirement plan at all, except for the professionals I know in tech who have 401Ks. No one I know, not a single individual, has or will receive a pension except perhaps for a Combat Engineer that I think is about to finish his active service.
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#71 Murph

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 0706 AM

My retirement plan is the county plan and it really is not that great.  It is ok, but at 20 you don't get enough to live on, at 25 you can live, but not well, you need 30+ years to live close to where you were when you were working.  I re-watched the video again, and that Sgt should be demoted his commands sucked, and did they have Tasers?  


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#72 Jeff

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 0725 AM

My retirement plan is the county plan and it really is not that great.  It is ok, but at 20 you don't get enough to live on, at 25 you can live, but not well, you need 30+ years to live close to where you were when you were working.  I re-watched the video again, and that Sgt should be demoted his commands sucked, and did they have Tasers?  

Welcome to the world the rest of us live in. Being able to do 20 years and retire is a ridiculous concept. Most people are lucky to retire at full retirement age of 67 after 45 or 50 years of working. Being able to do it at even 30 is pretty darn nice. One could easily retire at 55 and never look back. That's not sustainable. Our state tried to pass a law that said any health issue for first responders, blood pressure, cancer, cardiac would be assumed to be work related. It was close to passing when the towns finally made it clear that that would bankrupt them. It was a sop to the unions for votes. I used to work out of the local DOT building when I was in state government. Even the workers who fancied themselves conservatives(few and far between) became rabid if the discussion trended towards their ability to retire in their mid fifties and how the private sector had nothing remotely like that.


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#73 glenn239

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 0943 AM

Rmgill From my interaction (first hand, in the courts and through political advocacy) with good and bad departments, the KEY factor I've been able to determine for how well a department is run is how does the leadership deal with problems and how much of a good or bad example to they themselves set.

 

 

 

I think you’re right for most situations, but what I’m seeing on a big slice of these police killing videos is the officer that inappropriately goes from conversation to lethal force, sometimes in seconds.   That’s not a management or leadership issue.  It’s a basic mental unfitness for the job issue.  Weed these guys out from the front line with better testing.  Robotic AI is needed too.  In this case if the team had a robot that could have advanced and cuffed the man, the shooting would not have occurred.  Robotic AI is also useful in that the cowboys need that one guy on the team that they cannot reach, intimidate, influence or corrupt in any manner. 


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#74 rmgill

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 1226 PM

One of the aspects of leadership and how they treat the men is how they continually train them (or not) to deal with issues. 


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#75 glenn239

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 0938 AM

It's a training issue for most officers, but not all.  There is a minority of individuals that no level of training will ever be enough to reliably influence their behavior.  These individuals need to be identified by testing and removed from front line service.  The testing would need to identify individuals who gets too hysterical, afraid, or angry, too quickly.  Train the 95%, weed out the 5%. 


Edited by glenn239, 13 December 2017 - 0938 AM.

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#76 DKTanker

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 1644 PM

It's a training issue for most officers, but not all.  There is a minority of individuals that no level of training will ever be enough to reliably influence their behavior.  These individuals need to be identified by testing and removed from front line service.  The testing would need to identify individuals who gets too hysterical, afraid, or angry, too quickly.  Train the 95%, weed out the 5%. 

It's a training issue all right, but I think you have it backward.  I think the killers are doing exactly what they've been trained to do and their behavior, in the eyes of their trainers and peers, has been suitably modified.  The outliers aren't the ones that shoot to kill with little provocation, the outliers are the ones that stupidly have "You're Fucked" etched on to their weapon.  Moreover, let's not forget that the Blue Line remained silent while this killer was found not guilty.


Edited by DKTanker, 13 December 2017 - 1645 PM.

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#77 Murph

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 2151 PM

I think part of the silence, is we don't know what evidence was presented to the jury, and there is a certain reluctance on the part of law enforcement to second guess juries.  Having spoken to many juries after a trial, they all focus on something different than I would consider important.  Plus there is the extreme lack of media focus on this case, and media hysteria calling attention to it.  A lot of guys just want to keep their heads down, and avoid any BLM/SJW arrows coming our way.  I think, based only on the video, that the Sgt giving the commands was wrong, and the officer was wrong.  Training is important, but also decisions in many cases (not this one) have mere seconds to make a decision.  Our last shooting lasted 11 seconds from the time the deputy pulled into the driveway, till it was over and the knife wielding attacker was down.  One deputy never got out of his Tahoe before it was over.  You hear the family screaming "He's got a knife, watch out!", and then you see the kid charging the deputy with knife raised.  We later learned it was "suicide by cop" and the kid had it planned.  

 

 

It's a training issue for most officers, but not all.  There is a minority of individuals that no level of training will ever be enough to reliably influence their behavior.  These individuals need to be identified by testing and removed from front line service.  The testing would need to identify individuals who gets too hysterical, afraid, or angry, too quickly.  Train the 95%, weed out the 5%. 

It's a training issue all right, but I think you have it backward.  I think the killers are doing exactly what they've been trained to do and their behavior, in the eyes of their trainers and peers, has been suitably modified.  The outliers aren't the ones that shoot to kill with little provocation, the outliers are the ones that stupidly have "You're Fucked" etched on to their weapon.  Moreover, let's not forget that the Blue Line remained silent while this killer was found not guilty.

 


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#78 R011

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 2216 PM

 

I think part of the silence, is we don't know what evidence was presented to the jury, and there is a certain reluctance on the part of law enforcement to second guess juries.  Having spoken to many juries after a trial, they all focus on something different than I would consider important.  Plus there is the extreme lack of media focus on this case, and media hysteria calling attention to it.  A lot of guys just want to keep their heads down, and avoid any BLM/SJW arrows coming our way.  I think, based only on the video, that the Sgt giving the commands was wrong, and the officer was wrong.  Training is important, but also decisions in many cases (not this one) have mere seconds to make a decision.  Our last shooting lasted 11 seconds from the time the deputy pulled into the driveway, till it was over and the knife wielding attacker was down.  One deputy never got out of his Tahoe before it was over.  You hear the family screaming "He's got a knife, watch out!", and then you see the kid charging the deputy with knife raised.  We later learned it was "suicide by cop" and the kid had it planned. 

 

 

It would be nice if there were realistic non lethal alternatives n cases like that.  Phasers with stun settings are a bit thin on the ground in this century, though.


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#79 toysoldier

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Posted 13 December 2017 - 2307 PM

Some kind of equipment that could really tell if the suspect is carrying an actual gun, would come handy too.
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#80 Mike Steele

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Posted 14 December 2017 - 1000 AM

Some kind of equipment that could really tell if the suspect is carrying an actual gun, would come handy too.

 

Tri Corders are pretty versatile....


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