It's Time To Start Dismantling One Of The Nation's Oldest Racist Institutions: Law Enforcement

from the Blue-Line-flags-are-pretty-much-Confederate-flags-tbh dept

For as long as cops have been poorly-behaved, people have talked about defunding the police. This talk has gotten louder in recent years and almost deafening in recent weeks as protests over police brutality erupted around the nation in the wake of the George Floyd killing.

But what does it mean to defund the police? In most cases, it doesn’t mean getting rid of police departments. It means taking some of the millions spent on providing subpar law enforcement and spreading it around to social services and healthcare professionals to steer people trained to react with violence away from people who would be better served with social service safety nets or interventions by people trained to handle mental health crises.

Those opposed to defunding police departments (that’s most police officials and officers) say it can’t be done without ushering in a criminal apocalypse. Police departments demand an inordinate amount of most cities’ budgets but law enforcement officials refuse to agree money should be steered away from them even as cities prepare to redirect some calls cops normally handle to other city services.

Cops believe they’re the “thin blue line” between order and chaos. They believe they’re the only thing standing between good people and criminals. But that’s just something they say to make themselves feel better about the babysitting and clerical work that consumes most of their working hours. Josie Duffy Rice’s excellent article about the long racist history of American law enforcement brings the receipts. What’s standing between us and supposed chaos is barely anything at all.

New Orleans has the fourth highest murder rate in the nation but clears only 35 percent of homicide cases. In 2018, the city’s police cleared only 2 percent of all rapes. The country at large isn’t much better. Last year, the Washington Post launched an investigation into murder clearance rates in 50 cities over the course of 10 years. The results were bracing. “Despite a nationwide drop in violence to historic lows,” the Post reported, “34 of the 50 cities have a lower homicide arrest rate than a decade ago.” In St. Louis, during the period the Post studied, it calculated that 54 percent of all homicides resulted in no arrest. In Baltimore, during the period it studied, the Post calculated that only 35 percent of all homicides resulted in an arrest. In Chicago the rate was 26 percent. The “line” isn’t just thin and blue—it’s porous and arbitrary.

What was a handy way to keep slaves (and then former slaves) in line evolved into the law enforcement community we have today. We may no longer send out police officers to round up slaves but we do allow a bunch of racist garbage data to decide where they should focus their efforts. Predictive policing is impossible to differentiate from the low-tech policing of yesteryear. In both cases, enforcement efforts focus on poor residents and minorities.

And, like employees everywhere in every business, far too many cops look for the path of least resistance. Meaningful busts that actually reduce criminal activity are the exception. Low-level BS busts are better. They kill time, look busy, and turn citizens into junk content for the justice system. Clickbait churn but for human beings.

It’s the sort of thing that led to Charleston resident Henry Earl becoming a late night talk show punchline and the subject of nationwide ridicule. Earl was arrested more than 1,500 times — almost always for public intoxication. Every two or three days, cops would pick up Earl and toss him in jail for three to five days. This happened over and over again for fifty years. And for what? What was the societal net gain of arresting the same man 1,500 times for a low-level violation? Well, it kept the cops paid and they got to look like they were doing something to earn their paychecks.

This is how the “thin blue line” actually operates. And it bears no resemblance to the lofty statements they make in defense of their own profession. Most police work is busywork. But in this nation, the busywork tends to negatively affect certain people the most. This is the fact cops and law enforcement officials can’t admit to themselves:

It would be at least honest if we said that enduring arbitrary harassing, beating, tasing, and strangulation by the state was the price of being “associated with reduction in violent crime relative to control areas.” That we don’t say this, and that we only imply it for certain classes of people, exposes the assumptions built into American policing. It’s those assumptions that, on the one hand, allow Henry Earl to be arrested more than a thousand times, and on the other offer a sporting chance for anyone who’d like to try their hand at murder or rape.

Given the history and the current state of policing, it makes sense to start stripping law enforcement down to its basic components and rebuild it to serve the public, rather than its own interests.

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Comments on “It's Time To Start Dismantling One Of The Nation's Oldest Racist Institutions: Law Enforcement”

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That One Guy (profile) says:

'We prevented a fire!' 'You caused a bigger one.'

If police want to play the ‘the only thing keeping crime down is us’ narrative then it’s only fair to factor in their behavior as well.

Strip out any ‘qualified immunity’ and the protection of a badge and factor in exactly how much crime would they be committing if their actions would be seen and treated as if done by anyone without a badge, and then compare that to other forms of crime that they actually prevented/found and I suspect that for far too many departments(read: more than zero) getting rid of them would result in a very real net reduction of crimes.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Those opposed to defunding police departments (that’s most police officials and officers) say it can’t be done without ushering in a criminal apocalypse.

While doing nothing will lead to more and more violent protests; in part fuelled by the counter protests.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

"…contributing to the mess there also may be some provocateurs inciting violence."

A few extreme right-wing groups in the FBI’s "domestic terrorist" folder have already been tracked by the feds as provocateurs planning to sneak into black lives matter protests with firebombs, making the protest look violent – in the hope it will get the police to open fire wildly.

Ironically the violent response of the police to even peaceful protests may largely have discouraged the white supremacists from acting, because the common denominator of the KKK and neo-nazi organizations is that they are too cowardly by far to risk confronting a superior force.

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John Snape says:

Every two or three days, cops would pick up Earl and toss him in jail for three to five days. This happened over and over again for fifty years. And for what?

It reads more like they were trying to keep him safe. Maybe there wasn’t a place to keep him that was less expensive?

As to the rest of it:

Of course, defund means remove all funding, just like declaw means remove all the claws and dehumidify means remove all the humidity in the air. To say otherwise is NEWSPEAK.

Until the hard left stops trying to disarm law abiding citizens so they can protect themselves against violent criminals, we send the police to apprehend those who prey on innocents. And if you think social workers and doctors and nurses are going to start responding to bank robberies, home invasions, and mass shooters, you’re going to be surprised when they refuse.

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nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Of course, defund means remove all funding, just like declaw means remove all the claws and dehumidify means remove all the humidity in the air.

Your comment is so far off I’m not certain you’re serious but just in case. None of those is correct. "Defund the police" doesn’t mean remove all funding. Declawing a cat is often done only on the front claws (and BTW should not ever be done). Zero percent humidity is almost impossible, and certainly is not what an ordinary dehumidifier is capable of.

Until the hard left stops trying to disarm law abiding citizens

Not many people are interested in doing this.

we send the police to apprehend those who prey on innocents.

Which they are really bad at.

And if you think social workers and doctors and nurses are going to start responding to bank robberies, home invasions, and mass shooters

What a wonderful straw man. You have completely misunderstood how this is intended to work. I hope not intentionally. I would like to see you find a serious proposal to have social workers respond to bank robberies.

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Anonymous Coward says:

accountability

" it makes sense to start stripping law enforcement down to its basic components and rebuild it to serve the public "

… the most basic rebuilding component is simply to hold all LEO’s accountable to very same laws imposed on all other Americans.

No immunity, no special treatment if suspected of criminal or civil infractions.
No sweetheart treatment by government investigators, prosecutors, and judges.

No power of arrest without a judicial warrant, unless the LEO directly observes the crime. No immunity for false arrests.

Police must de-militarize and obey same firearms laws as imposed on other citizens.

Sharply reduced pay & benefits, more equivalent to U.S. miltary service ranks.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

You’ve been spending this entire thread getting angry because people are blaming cops. I don’t need to make things up. Making things up would imply I had to sink to your level, which would require enough effort to give myself a hernia.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Ah, quibbling into semantics of what counts as "angry words", because clearly only specific vocabulary triggers could possibly give a suggestion of emotive outlook.

Take a look at your own post history on this thread alone. It’s been little more than a needle-jumping record player bellowing "not the cops fault, not the cops fault" like a prayer. It’s like I’m watching Chris Crocker begging the world to leave Britney alone all over again. And goodness knows why, when someone points out you don’t want cops to be blamed, you start bitching about anonymous comments like one of them pissed in your oatmeal.

But here, have an angry word from you, literally in this article:

Fuck off. Don’t tell me what I can try to do.

Like damn, if you’re going to lie, at least keep track of your own rants.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 accountability

Last I checked police aren’t ordered to murder random people by the courts or anyone else, they choose to do so and therefore are responsible. That cowardly and/or corrupt judges might give them reason to think that they’ll get away with it does not change the fact that police are the ones choosing to perform certain actions.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11 accountabili

No one ordered the judges to give police the vast unaccountabilties either.

Which has fuck all to do with police choosing to assault and/or murder people.

I’ll remember your excuses next time I try to explain that all those dead Iraqis/Afghanis/etc are GW Bush’s fault and also see if your reasoning works with all the people blaming this on Trump.

Flawed comparison, when a president orders the military to engage in activities unlike police they actually are being told to do something, though even then individual soldiers still shoulder a portion of the blame for what they do and how they do it, and while Trump certainly shares some of the blame due to his response that still wouldn’t exonerate the police involved.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:13 acco

Only if ‘on the spot execution’ counts as ‘upholding the law’, and last I checked only a very few crimes have that as a potential penalty and to even reach that point requires going to court and finding the accused guilty, so nice try but no, cops murdering people does not count as ‘upholding the law’.

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seedeevee (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Re:

The Courts laugh at your impotence and unwillingness to accept that they have given cops the green light to uphold the law in whatever manner they seem fit. And they have deemed it fit to call most killing by cops – not murder – but justifiable homicide or some other weasely worded get-out-of-jail-free card.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:15

The legal system gives cops the leeway they need to use lethal force. But the courts don’t force the cops to use lethal force. Cops make that decision for themselves. Stop trying to blame judges and juries and lawyers for the decisions of, say, the three cops who killed Breonna Taylor.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17

Those cops would not have killed Tayllor if

…they hadn’t shot her. They made the decision to shoot her. Whether they felt the courts would back them up is ultimately irrelevant. No judge, jury, bailiff, attorney, or other officer of the court forced the cops to shoot Breonna Taylor. They made the decision to do it; that reflects on them. The justice system refusing to punish them for their actions reflects on the system.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:19

It is entirely relavant that someone thinks they can get away with killing someone before they do it.

That’s only relevant if they planned to kill someone in the first place. I doubt the cops planned to kill Breonna Taylor as part of a botched no-knock raid, but they killed her all the same.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:19 Re:

"It is entirely relavant that someone thinks they can get away with killing someone before they do it. "

Every serial killer thinks this, yes. As, apparently, quite a lot of policemen.

Are you by now trying to argue that serial killers need to be exculpated because of their belief that they can get away with murder?

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:15 Re:

The courts have also indirectly given you the right to slam your hand in a door and/or repeatedly punch yourself in the balls by not explicitly saying that you can’t, but ‘you have the ability to do X’ does not mean you must do it as you have no other choice, and if you really want to continue to argue otherwise, well, get swinging.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14

Don’t forget that even if someone is convicted of a capital offense such as first-degree murder, they don’t get the death penalty as an automatic sentence. And the courts still provide plenty of avenues for appealing a death penalty sentence before the penalty is ultimately carried out.

The cops offer no such buffer between life and a death sentence. If they kill you, even if you didn’t commit any other crime besides “pissing off the cops”, you don’t get any appeals. Because you’re dead.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:16

If every cop was the same exact person your assumption might be true.

What I said doesn’t rely at all on that assumption. If a cop shoots you dead even if you’ve committed no crime, you don’t get to appeal their “verdict” because you’re dead. Whether the cop was a racist or a dangerously violent individual or neither of those things would be irrelevant to the fact that they shot you dead.

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seedeevee (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:17 Re:

You said "the cops".

That would be every cop.

Obviously, you would have different cops do different things.

Not every cop wants to or is even going to try to kill you. Your phrasing -"The cops offer no such buffer between life and a death sentece" – your paranoid words makes it appear that every cop is going to kill you.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:18

your paranoid words makes it appear that every cop is going to kill you

No, it doesn’t.

A person convicted of a capital offense and sentenced to death often waits years between the time they enter jail to wait for their execution and their execution. They have the oppotunity to appeal their sentence (or even prove they’re not guilty, should they actually be not guilty). Even when the time comes for them to die, they still have one last opportunity to escape that sentence by virtue of a pardon/sentence commutation. The state has to wait a long time before it can kill someone via the death penalty.

A person killed by a cop doesn’t get that benefit. They get a funeral. Whether the cop wanted to kill me out of bloodlust or whether they felt they had no other choice is irrelevant. The death sentence carried out by a cop has no appeals. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and every other name that’s become a hashtag like theirs have can’t appeal their carried-out-by-cops death sentences — because they’re already dead.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:18 Re:

"your paranoid words makes it appear that every cop is going to kill you."

It may be a surprise, but there are many people of color that are both not paranoid and at the same time are afraid of the cops. Some have said they are more afraid of the cops than they are of the street gangs.

When all you see is unwarranted violence, what might a person be wary of?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9

Ah, but it does. You claim that “change will only come from the top”, and trickle-down economic theory posits that “the top” — i.e., the wealthiest people — will “change” the fortunes of the less wealthy by investing their money back into society in ways that benefit everyone. This is why you see conservatives push for (and often enact) tax breaks for the wealthy: They believe — mistakenly, might I add — that “change will only come from the top”, when literally nothing in the history of economics has ever proven that true. (Hell, look at Jeff Bezos: He’s the richest gold-hoarding motherfucker on the planet, yet somehow he can’t afford to pay his lowest-wage workers a liveable full-time wage.) Change can come from the top; that isn’t impossible. But it’s incredibly improbable. It also ignores how practically every major political movement started at the grassroots with average citizens getting shit done — or do you believe the Civil Rights Movement was only the signing of the Civil Rights Act into law and MLK marching into Selma was just a happy coincidence?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:11

Yeah, and how’s that been working out for the United States since, oh, January 2017?

Changing the top won’t do shit if they won’t change the systems beneath them for the benefit of everyone else. That’s my entire fucking point with bringing up “trickle down” theory: Jeff Bezos is the richest motherfucker in the world, but if he were replaced at Amazon tomorrow, the chances of his replacement giving a shit about paying a living wage to low-level workers won’t be very high.

The same goes for politicians: The chances that they’re going to change systems like policing and social services for the benefit of everyone most affected by those services is low as hell. It could happen; hell, we have to keep hoping that it will. But the most likely method of change will come from the bottom up — from average citizens protesting and pushing for change until they can’t be ignored and won’t be silenced. It’s how Black people ultimately made the U.S. government recognize their civil rights, and it’s how gay people ultimately won the right to marry each other. Bottom-up work gets shit done. Waiting for the top to save you does not.

Are you waiting for a savior, or are you trying to save yourself?

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re:

"Change from the top also means CHANGE THE TOP."

We have seen change at the top multiple times and what good has come of it? Perhaps the change was insufficient. Regardless, change at the bottom will happen and with less resistance from the benevolent overlords. Change at the top? Well, do not hold your breath.

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Rocky says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re:

We have seen change at the top multiple times and what good has come of it?

Change at the top usually means business as usual. Change at the bottom may in some instances mean revolution. Regardless, change at the top or bottom seldom benefits the peons unless the change is propagated through all the layers in between.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Re:

"Good example is the legalization of weed…"

Because at some point someone just had to sit up and realize anyone defending a draconian penalty ban on a plant with less evidence of harmfulness arrayed against it than common tobacco wasn’t the greatest plan in the playbook.

That said weed is, take it or leave it, a complete non-issue when it comes to the real screws applied by the top of US society to the bottom of US society. If you were born in a certain kind of US ghetto the concept of "upwards mobility" is as far away as that of a peasant getting handed a knighthood in medieval times.

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seedeevee (profile) says:

Cushing With Another Bad Take

Cops have always been around to keep the poors in line.

And slavery was not "foundational" to the American experience. Stop pretending that slavery was not happening – propagated by wealthy people of every race – throughout the World.

You race-baiting jounalmalists just see another opportunity to misuse racial issues when class issues would be more appropriate.

But, thanks again Tim! You wrote another article without mentioning Russia!

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

slavery was not "foundational" to the American experience

Then explain why the colonies that became the United States instituted slavery, kept it around when the colonies became the United States, and didn’t abolish it until the Civil War (well after the country and its economy had been established). Also explain why several of the Founding Fathers enslaved Black people (and that includes Thomas “I repeatedly raped and impregnated one of the women I enslaved starting when she 14 and I was in my 40s” Jefferson).

You race-baiting jounalmalists

race baiting (verb; always unhyphenated)

  1. (derogatory) Dismissal of any criticism of racist policies/racial discrimination as an act that needlessly incites racial tension where none supposedly exists.

    Example: I thought you wrote a good article until I saw the race baiting section.

  2. Making an association between a person or people of a certain racial/ethnic group and someone of the same race/ethnicity who has a low public reputation to smear all people of that race/ethnicity.

    Example: Donald Trump engaged in race baiting when he described Mexicans as “rapists” during his presidential campaign.

race-baiting (adjective; always hyphenated)

  1. (derogatory) Descriptor for a person whose criticism of racist policies/racial discrimination needlessly incites racial tension where none supposedly exists.

    Example: Black people who keep talking about racism are nothing but race-baiting assholes.

  2. Descriptor for a person who engages in race baiting.

    Example: Donald Trump has been a race-baiting asshole ever since he began his presidential campaign.

This has been your language lesson of the day.

misuse racial issues when class issues would be more appropriate

Yes, class issues are the broader issue. But if you think racial issues are solved because “racism ended” because “we elected a Black guy as president” or whatever, you’re deluding yourself (and are most likely a racist yourself).

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4

people are trying to be angry about slights to their ancestors

No, they’re not. They’re trying to be (justifiably) angry about slights to people living right now that happen because slights to their ancestors became ingrained in the sociopolitical and cultural systems of the country — slavery lead to the slave patrols that led to modern policing, for example. The racism of the past is the “well, that’s just how it is” of today. And if you think racism and the racist systems it spawned (e.g., redlining) are dead…well, in the words of pro wrestler Wade Barrett, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6

Slave patrols did not lead to modern policing.

In the United States, slave patrols did lead to modern policing. Were they the only thing that did so? Nope. But if you believe slave patrols didn’t influence the direction of policing within the U.S. (especially in the South), you are dangerously misinformed.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

People who want to commit crimes will naturally want to get rid of the cops.

Or — and this might come as a shock to you, so you may want to sit down before reading further — people who think the cops aren’t the best people to handle every type of emergency want to defund police departments so the money can go to other services that are better suited to handle different kinds of emergencies and situations. Besides, most police departments don’t need the military gear that they use their vast budgets to buy.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Not a surprise

"People who want to commit crimes will naturally want to get rid of the cops."

The cops want to get rid of the cops?
Ohhhh – the bad cops want to get rid of the good cops, that’s got to be it.

"Hence the left’s overwhelming support for doing so."
Nothing to deduce here, you are joking?

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Cowardly Lion says:

Re: Not a surprise

"Hence the left’s overwhelming support for doing so."

And…right there is where you lost the argument. The left? Left? Biden? Really? Harris? Really?

I’m European. I think it’s fair to say I’m better informed about how shitty US politics is than you.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Not a surprise

"People who want to commit crimes will naturally want to get rid of the cops. "

So how does that explain why honest people want to be rid of cops as well right now?

"Hence the left’s overwhelming support for doing so."

So you don’t actually know what a "criminal" is, other than "someone who doesn’t agree with you"?

Thank you for making it abundantly clear what sort of person has the back of the police here.

Anonymous Coward says:

" … clears only 35 percent of homicide cases … only 2 percent of all rapes … lower homicide arrest rate than a decade ago … 54 percent of all homicides resulted in no arrest … 35 percent of all homicides resulted in an arrest … Chicago the rate was 26 percent."

How is taking money from police departments and giving it to social services going to improve these stats?

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

Yes, that’s what I said — countries run under the political system known as democracy (“democratic countries”) and also guarantee healthcare to the citizens (typically by way of taxes paid by all people, including the wealthy). That you think I meant “Democratic” with an uppercase “d” instead of “democratic” with a lowercase “d” is a personal problem, and it’s sure as shit not mine.

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seedeevee (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Yes, your imagination leads you to make very poor decisions as to what you think other people are thinking.

The question that was asked of you was "Where has that worked?".

You limited your answer to "Democratic countries" and that leads me to belive that that was your answer.

Why did YOU leave out every other country in the World? Plenty of non-Democratic countries have low crime, social services, good and free health care.

Seems like you share a litle bit of that xenophobia that Cushing has . . . .

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5

Why did YOU leave out every other country in the World?

The United States is a democratic republic, so I limited any direct comparison to countries run under a similar governmental structure. I’m well aware of other countries running under different structures and offering healthcare as a right to all citizens exist. How about you list the authoritarian ones?

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"So, only in "Democratic countries" you say . . . ."

If by that you mean "everywhere else" then yes. You are that one nation which lives in the 20th century who consistently pay more and get less of every infrastructure, have murder rates resembling the death toll in war-torn hellholes in the middle east or africa, have murder by police rates higher than the normal murder rates of a few dozen other nations…
…and yet you keep trying to defend a police corps so lethal it’s arguable you’d be better off paying the Mob to keep the peace.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Where has that worked?"

Every industrialized country in the world?

US crime statistics are…horrifying…to us europeans. In order to find anywhere where social inequality, poverty and crime are at US levels we have to go very deep into the pile of third world hellholes.

You realize that you are the only nation in the world where;

— a rise in GDP doesn’t cause a rise in average life expectancy?
— Where police killings are higher than the actual murder rates in much of the G20?
— Crime rates in general and murder specifically is higher per capita than in any of the G20 and most nations outside of it?
— You barely land in parity on poverty per capita levels due to the US redefining the international standard of poverty?
— The average level of education is below standard of every G20 member?

It would be unthinkable for shit like Flint to happen anywhere in Europe – and yet you’ve got 3000 communities with equally shoddy water infrastructure. The list goes on unending.

And yet half of the US still thinks it’s top dog in everything and wonder why the rest of the world won’t agree.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I think you’d be surprised how much you don’t really know about EU statistics. Homocides are undoubtedly higher in the US, but in a significant number of statistics the way the US collects data is way more comprehensive than the EU and makes the US look way worse than it actually is.

For example, if you look up food-borne illnesses, like salmonella, you’ll see the US looks like a wasteland of disease compared to the US. But the US reports food-related illness by looking at confirmed cases, cases that are suspected, and an estimate of people who got sick based on reasonable expectations of known cases. Most of the EU just reports on 100% confirmed cases and nothing else. So you’ll see the US will report like 10,000 cases per year where the EU will report like 5 per year. The EU will say this person in the hospital was definitely sick and that’s one case. The US will say that is one case, the four other family members who came in with an upset stomache but not checked because it wasn’t severe were cases, and the 500 other people who ate the same sort of food in the area were likely cases as well.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"I think you’d be surprised how much you don’t really know about EU statistics."

Unless they changed how they do testing radically since I was in university I think I’m aware of the differences.

"…in a significant number of statistics the way the US collects data is way more comprehensive than the EU and makes the US look way worse than it actually is."

That’s not quite true – well, not at all true when it concerns the topics I’ve been pointing to, none of which were about pandemic data. If it were I’m afraid the discrepancy would be wider by far, given that the US covid catastrophy from start to finish amply describes the state of US disease diagnostics situation. Admittedly it wasn’t quite as bad before Trump axed most of the CDC pandemic team.

To begin with a lot of US health statistics are guesswork because of piss-poor census data and baseline health conditions.
Said data tends to be worse by far in communities heavily impacted by the type of condition investigated so if anything the issue is that US surveys try to find the real situation by extrapolating out of existing data sets – which often come from the more affluent households to begin with. In other words the US data on health/disease errs on the conservative estimate rather than in excess.

"Most of the EU just reports on 100% confirmed cases and nothing else."

Because in the EU there’s mandatory testing on products and livestock which in the US would have the farmers and dairy industry alike up in arms screaming "Totalitarianism!". When you can rely on every batch of food to have been tested there’s much less need to be paranoid in later steps.

"So you’ll see the US will report like 10,000 cases per year where the EU will report like 5 per year."

…not quite as wide a difference, but there is a notable discrepancy in the real numbers. One which US and EU researchers have agreed, exists.

But that’s about your specific example – salmonella/contaminated food – and has jack-all to do with ANY of the topics I brought to the table, above.

So my prior statement still stands;

"In order to find anywhere where social inequality, poverty and crime are at US levels we have to go very deep into the pile of third world hellholes."

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Pixelation says:

Re: Re:

"…only 35 percent of all homicides resulted in an arrest. In Chicago the rate was 26 percent."

The problem is, the people don’t trust the police to protect them after they give statements. The police have earned the disdain. Sure, there are some good cops, but too many bad ones.

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anon says:

First thing

Take away everything larger than a .22 calibre including all rifles, trucks, apcs, and everything they purchased from the feds. If they need backup, keep a swat team, they’re actually usefull when they aren’t used first, or even second; they’re a last resort.

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nasch (profile) says:

Re: First thing

Take away everything larger than a .22 calibre

Overly simplistic. The M4A1 uses a 5.7mm round which I think is generally considered equivalent to .22 caliber even though it’s .224 inches. The muzzle velocity makes it a pretty nasty weapon. You would probably be better off getting shot by a .45 handgun.

I like your other suggestions though.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Guns and why we have them

Even when we take away the right of the proletariat in a society to have weapons that could threaten government-controlled units (e.g. police and military) we still have plenty of uses for guns in facing the wilds of the United States (or any natural zone on earth), .22 calibers will be useful for little more than hunting small(er) rodents and annoying larger ones.

The NATO .223 is ubiquitous these days, but is a horrible bastion of bureaucratic war science, and our reliance of it does a disservice to our soldiers on the field.

Here in the states we have no respect for our infantry riflemen. We don’t want them using their general-issue Armalite AR descendant rifles, rather we want them to get to their position and deploy into .50 caliber machine-gun teams.

It started in Vietnam. Some think tanks worked out that emplaced machine guns do most of the heavy lifting, and decided our squads should act more like mobile artillery, useless while they move and deploy, but strong while in position.

The ten-man squad had one machine gun team, and the riflemen carried the M14 Battle Rifle. The US had resisted the notion of assault rifles in favor of high-powered battle rifles. Partially because the extra kind of ammunition was (and remains) a logistic nightmare, but really because when we Americans kill the enemy, we want to put a neat hole through them we can look through. The M14 fires a .308 high power cartrige, which kills the enemy dead pretty well.

But then…

Squads were reconfigured with three HMGs and soldiers were issued the M16 instead. Most soldiers on the ground regard the lighter, plinkier rifle as a glorified sidearm. Few infantrymen actually liked the change.

Since then, our solders have gotten in the habit of keeping handy a clip of AK ammo. The common practice is to abandon the issued weapon and pick up an AK-47, even if it’s a cheap knockoff of the Soviet Union issue.

Our elites save their pennies and buy their own damn rifle.

All the AR-15 style civilian weapons so popular on the homefront are only good for narrow spreads in the comfort of a shooting range, and its from its ubiquity in that biome that it is the weapon of choice for rampage gunmen. They’re okay for massacres, I guess, but they suck for neutralizing the enemy. (They wound enemy fine, but then some fight back.) They also suck for stopping game in its tracks so you don’t have to chase it for ten miles as it bleeds out.

If we’re not going to take the Second Amendment seriously then we might as well ban all guns and only license guns for specific uses (hunting, keeping vermin at bay, etc.) and then we need to provide auxiliary protection to the people for when the fascist police state becomes a fascist police state.

If we are going to take the second amendment seriously, then there should be no (zero) restrictions on weapons, including artillery, nukes or whatever else is developed for governments (most of which won’t fall into civilian hands because they’re useless for anything a civilian might want to do.) We have to assume that civilians can be responsible with handling weapons like we assume they are capable of driving cars, managing finances, voting and participating in public epidemic damage-control measures. It also means they are policed by consent.

It also means looking at other ways to stop rampage killers from rampage killing. It means facing some uncomfortable truths about human society. We might not be ready to do that.

One or the other. This half-assed bullshit is half-assed bullshit.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Guns and why we have them

The common practice is to abandon the issued weapon and pick up an AK-47, even if it’s a cheap knockoff of the Soviet Union issue. Our elites save their pennies and buy their own d*** rifle.

I would be interested to see references for those.

https://www.quora.com/Are-soldiers-allowed-to-use-their-own-weapons-or-the-enemys-weapons

https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/can-the-us-military-use-their-own-guns-or-rifles.475996/

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Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Guns and why we have them

My primary source are the vets I talked to in psychiatric settings, and there is a lot of language discussing the difference between what a trooper is supposed to do according to protocol, and what pragmatic choices he makes on the field.

As for friendly fire, if someone is shooting at you because you’re making the sound of an enemy weapon, then you’re positioned too close to a friendly unit to not be informed, which means the chain of command has failed. It happens anyway, but it’s not supposed to.

As for blood, sand, etc. gumming up the inner workings, this is the magic of the AK-47, which is astoundingly reliable even when on the field. The M16 gets dirty super easily (though while clean is quieter and more precise than the AK). The point is, any soldier can pick up an AK, collect dirty cartridges and magazines from the field and use them with little servicing.

The USMC recon units (who were commonly sent on behind-enemy-lines special missions, much like SEAL or ARS) were supposed to load out from the unit armory, but if a given marine wanted to buy his own weapon and kit it out, no-one would complain so long as he passed muster during routine testing. Many did.

I’ve heard rumors that SEAL and ARS will usually obtain for their servicefolk any weapon, component or exciting piece of gear they ask for, but this is from people who received unused gear second-hand (under dubious conditions). As I’ve never asked an actual SEAL, I don’t know.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Guns and why we have them

"If we are going to take the second amendment seriously, then there should be no (zero) restrictions on weapons, including artillery, nukes or whatever else is developed for governments (most of which won’t fall into civilian hands because they’re useless for anything a civilian might want to do.)"

Or go with the "militia" interpretation. Every municipality or township gets to form a militia all their own and arm it according to their means.
That said the second amendment is utterly meaningless today. The disparity between a .50 cal Barrett (more or less the top end of what a citizen has the fiscal power to purchase) and an A-10 with a full loadout is way, way above what lies between a single musket and a cannon regiment.

Arming the entire citizenry against the government today only means the heavy gunners get to play in what is euphemistically known as a "target-rich environment".

The only actual argument which remains for the gun rights movement is that in a society where every violent nutcase can be counted on to be armed you’re much better off being armed yourself. That one is harder to shake.

"It also means looking at other ways to stop rampage killers from rampage killing. It means facing some uncomfortable truths about human society. We might not be ready to do that."

This is the point where I usually invite people to look at the prevalence of mental health care and social services. Plenty of european nations have arms on par with or exceeding the guns per capita index of the US yet with FAR lower gun violence rates than the US. Switzerland, for instance, or Sweden.

Rampage killings are, in the end, caused by people who feel they have nothing left to lose and with that in mind start looking for suitable water towers to tote a rifle up to for a final round of high-altitude plinking.

Deal with the reason they feel they have nothing left to lose and rampage killings will recede to blue-moon rarity levels once more. It’s really that simple.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Stupid fucks scream about defunding the police until they are being attacked by someone else and then it’s "hello, police, I need help".

As usual, Tim Cushing gets it wrong. These protesters want the entire criminal justice system eliminated because "my feelings are hurt" and "we want to be able to rape and pillage and loot and murder" without the fear of being arrested and thrown in jail.

Nowhere does Tim Cushing mention that every black person (except the children) who have been shot and killed were in the commissioning of a crime and being chased by police.

Soon, people are going to start saying "enough is enough" and they are going to start giving these protesters a taste of their own medicine. They are all about "defund the police" until they are the ones being attacked. Then, it’s "where are the police".

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

"These protesters want the entire criminal justice system eliminated because "my feelings are hurt" and "we want to be able to rape and pillage and loot and murder" without the fear of being arrested and thrown in jail."

Really? Where did you get this polling data?
I thought that most protesting was due to the murdering of innocent people, mostly of color, by the cops.

More lies

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

More White people are killed by other White people than by Black people. (The vast majority of all crime is intraracial.) I don’t see you trotting out the “White-on-White crime” argument, but I bet you’d be all over my ass with the “Black-on-Black crime” argument if I gave you an opening.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3

So you agree that more white people are killed by the police than any other race?

Let’s say I agree. So what? White people haven’t been historically oppressed by the government of the United States, including the justice system. The system doesn’t give a fuck about Black lives; until it does, every killing of an unarmed Black person by the police is going to catch all of the shit.

Also, I’d like to ask how many of those White people were killed while unarmed as compared to the number of Black peoplewho were killed while unarmed, since you seem so eager to slap statistics into this argument.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

"There are way the hell more white folks. Still the majority, they are."

Not for too long, looking at the demographic data – and needless to say this has the KKK and the various US white supremacist group clutching their pearls and fumbling for a suitable couch to faint in, probably with a loudly squawked "Oh, Lawd!"

There’s a reason the cross-burning swastika-toting confederate hillbillies are all in hysterics. It’s finally sunk in that the US isn’t a land of the White any longer.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Pearl-Cluching White Pride

This is still something that I don’t really get. Last I checked, in Europe, Germans are still not too fond of Slavs and Russians. French are still not too fond of Germans. Brits are still not too fond of French. English, Welsh, Irish and Scots are still not at all thrilled with each other.

In my childhood suburb of La Cañada in Los Angeles County, the population was as white as Wonder Bread, and yet it still segregated. Since everyone was the same pasty, delineations were among social classes and churches. Curiously, the more aligned churches were to each other, the more they disregarded each other. The East-Side Reformed Evangelical Presbyterian Church had no problem with the Roman Catholics or the Jewish temple or the Pentecostals, but were ready to go full crusade on the West-Side Reformed Evangelical Presbyterian Church

So long as we want the benefits of large societies, we’re going to feel like we’re in a pluralist cosmopolitan of weirdos we don’t like. And we can get used to it.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Pearl-Cluching White Pride

"This is still something that I don’t really get. Last I checked, in Europe, Germans are still not too fond of Slavs and Russians. French are still not too fond of Germans. Brits are still not too fond of French. English, Welsh, Irish and Scots are still not at all thrilled with each other."

Because it’s a different brand of prejudice in europe. Danes in general aren’t too fond of Swedes. Swedes make fun of Norwegians. The prejudice shows primarily as regards culture and language. But no one assumes that someone is going to be different, deep down, just because of the culture they were raised in and the language they speak. Neither your culture or your language usually bear inherent values of other people.

The problem is when you include skin color and religion.
When it comes to skin color it’s the legacy of eugenic pseudoscience which emerges to make the claim that your ethnic genetics put you somewhere on a scale of inherent worth.

And with religion the assumption is that the interpretation and faith you follow is the truth and everyone following another interpretation is at best a dangerous heretic who imperils the soul of all around by merely existing.

In other words, the Russian living in germany becomes known as that eccentric not-german whose worth to society will be determined by his general behavior. The bigotry he meets will be on the line of relatively mild-mannered jokes and ridicule.

The black man living in the southern US threatens, on the other hand, threatens to taint the white community with his very existence, according to the bigots. The bigotry he meets may be a knee to the throat administered by a police officer who grew up "knowing" that black people were inherently bad.

Two religious people of different denominations who can not find common ground will consider one another actively harmful for having – and spreading – a different opinion on what the Invisible Grandpappy demands of his Chosen Ones.

It’s the same in the US, really, as it is in europe. Italians and Irish get a few snide comments in some communities but you aren’t likely to react all that much in general.
The main difference is that in the US no one has ever made a consistent, government-backed effort to eliminate racism.

Instead much of US history has been covered up to the point that to many of the racists of today black people are an ungrateful lot who have had a few bad turns since Franklin freed them from slavery – because when it comes to racial hatred the history books have been so doctored it makes Soviet and Chinese history revisionism look tame.

Hell, the US southern boys who still believe in the confederacy are completely ignorant about their own history except the vague idea that "it was a simpler time for more honest men practicing southern hospitality and honor".

And then someone tells them the truth of their ancestors and naturally they utterly reject it.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

That more white people are killed by cops than black people is fact. Not in dispute. The ratio is about 2:1.

The piece you’re missing is that the ratio between whites and blacks is nowhere close to 2:1, close to 6:1. Simple math says a black person is 3 times more likely to be killed by a cop than a white person.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"So you agree that more white people are killed by the police than any other race?"

That’s a weird way to interpret "twice as many black people killed than white people killed, per capita".

Because if a black man is twice as likely to die at the hands of police than a white person then you have a problem with systemic racism.

Not that you’d care for the facts, given your previously oft stated views on black people, seedeevee.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Nowhere does Tim Cushing mention that every black person (except the children) who have been shot and killed were in the commissioning of a crime and being chased by police.

Running away does not endanger lives, and so shooting them is murder. Standing in your own house is not threatening, pointing out that you have a license to carry is not threatening, being in a house that is raided by a swat team, who have the wrong address… so all those shot were running away from a crime scene, but were rather victims of trigger happy cops.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

When a police officer orders you to stop, you stop. Keep running, and you deserve to be shot. I bet you’re the kind of person who thinks its murder if a guy rapes a woman, kills her, and runs from police. Tell us that when someone rapes your wife or daughter or sister. Bet you change your tune.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Running never makes someone deserve to be shot. That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard in my life. Running means you fear that you might get hurt or killed by an overly aggressive cop. By saying that they deserve to be shot for not following the commands of the officer, you are saying that officer now is God and anything they command that is not obeyed, means death. You are not judge, jury, and executioner. If you think otherwise, you need to check into a mental institution. If your local law enforcement says that is okay, they also need to be removed from society, one way or another.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

"Are you saying that no one runs from the cops because they don’t want to go to jail?"

In this the by now VERY hypothetical "land of the free", is there any indication that a man not convicted of a crime shall be shot while not presenting a clear and present danger?.

I’d ask you to think very carefully before responding if I thought you and yours gave a tinkers damn about that piece of paper you call a constitution.

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That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Nowhere does Tim Cushing mention that every black person (except the children) who have been shot and killed were in the commissioning of a crime and being chased by police.

It takes a special kind of person to try to defend police murdering people by arguing that committing a crime and then running away justifies summary on the spot execution, but you do you I guess.

As for the rest of that garbage, I’ll just tell you what I told the person above, clean up your mess after making your strawman.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2

And yet, those killings are far less proportionate to the killings of Black people in re: total population of those demographics. If the cops kill 50 White people and 25 Black people, but the city they police is populated by 5,000 White people and 250 Black people…well, I think even you can figure out percentages.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re: I can nix this argument with two names.

every black person (except the children) who have been shot and killed were in the commissioning of a crime and being chased by police

What crime was Breonna Taylor committing when the police stormed into her home with a no-knock warrant and shot her in her bed? What crime was John Crawford III committing when the police stopped him inside a Walmart and shot him dead?

I want you to remember something: Most crimes are not capital offenses. So unless you want to say that “not coöperating with police”, “holding a toy gun”, “lying in the bed of a house that the police raided”, “selling open cigarettes on a street corner”, and basically any other crime (real or imagined) committed by an unarmed Black person who was killed by the police are all crimes that should be met with the punishment of death and cops should have the unchallenged right to kill people for committing any of those crimes…you might want to walk your argument back to wherever you picked it up from, leave it there, and rethink all your shit.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: I can nix this argument with two names.

"What makes you think a crime has to be being committed for the cops to be involved?"

Perhaps it was this:
"Nowhere does Tim Cushing mention that every black person (except the children) who have been shot and killed were in the commissioning of a crime and being chased by police."

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: I can nix this argument with two names.

"What makes you think a crime has to be being committed for the cops to be involved?"

So your point is that even when the police gun down people not suspected of being criminals or presenting a clear and present danger it’s justified?

That’s not much of an argument either.

By those arguments I’m within my rights to gun you down like a dog if you so much as breathe in a way which has me thinking you’re about to go for a gun, or flip the switch on that hypothetical suicide belt of yours.

Suspicion is not conviction and the only fair merit for use of lethal force is the presence of actual danger. Or murder is suddenly legalized for all in practice.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: I can nix this argument with two names.

"What crime was Sandy Guardiola committing when the cops forced their way in…"

Not Being White.

Or at least that’s the real reason "seedeevee" and "restless94110" and their assorted sock puppets keep bringing broken logic, bad math, outright lies and "Thar cummin’ fer ahr wimmin!" rhetoric in a desperate attempt to exculpate the US police force.

A police force which stands unique in the rest of the G20 for being one which kills more people than actual criminals do in much of the rest of the world.

When your police force kills a thousand times(!) more people than any other police force in the western world it simply isn’t explainable with rational means.

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Nicola Lane (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"we want to be able to rape and pillage and loot and murder" without the fear of being arrested and thrown in jail.

So lets look at how likely you are to be caught for these crimes

" … clears only 35 percent of homicide cases … only 2 percent of all rapes … lower homicide arrest rate than a decade ago … 54 percent of all homicides resulted in no arrest … 35 percent of all homicides resulted in an arrest … Chicago the rate was 26 percent."

It looks like the current system is really good for letting you "rape and pillage and loot and murder without the fear of being arrested and thrown in jail." and also really good for killing unarmed black people. Lets also not forget the guy who kept getting arrested for "being at work" and the guy who got a colonoscopy (and the bill for it!) for "standing funny".

What the current system seems lousy at is Protecting and Serving.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

"Nowhere does Tim Cushing mention that every black person (except the children) who have been shot and killed were in the commissioning of a crime and being chased by police."

Of course you have data in support of your claim, don’t you.
Said data will of course explain away the murder of Botham Jean, what was the crime being committed here, I forget, but I’m sure you will dream up something.

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Cowardly Lion says:

Re: Re:

"Stupid fucks scream blah blah shitty argument blah blah blah".

"As usual, Tim Cushing blah blah made up stuff blah blah"

"Nowhere does Tim Cushing blah blah blah lies blah more lies"

"Soon, people are going to blah blah same shitty argument as line 1 blah blah"

Wanker.

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Anonymous Coward says:

"Defund The Police" is a political slogan not a policy proposal. A serious policy proposal would be specific and actionable with measurable and achievable goals.

  1. Legalize drugs
  2. Legalize prostitution
  3. Release all non-violent drug offenders
  4. Expunge records of all non-violent drug offenders
  5. Redirect funding to health care services
  6. Hire more police
  7. Improve police training
  8. Increase violent crime arrest and conviction rates
  9. Eliminate prison for non-violent crimes

Once violent crime arrest and conviction rates are 90%+ then we can talk about other options. Hope and defunding the police are not viable criminal justice strategies.

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Brent B says:

Tim Cushing

You have got to be the most ignorant, narrow minded person to think you are so much better than an entire institution such as "Law Enforcement"!
You have no clue what is in every Policeman’s mind and heart. I can see a little bit of what is in your’s by just the headline. You think we should do away with Police, but when the thugs filling Big City streets come for you, you might think twice. Or will you?
I hope your wishes regarding the Police are shoved to the ash bin of History as soon as possible, but I’m afraid too many others also think like you do, and the rest of us will have to pay for it for some time to come!!!

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Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Michael Hobbes: Homicide in the United States

It July 2020, Michael Hobbes did a rundown on homicide on the podcast You’re Wrong About. He gets into the nitty of what clearing a homicide incident looks like, the differences between the 1960s and now, and why our clearing rate is much lower now (it’s complicated).

It also explains some of the notions behind defunding (or even abolishing) the police. For instance, because we have domestic violence shelters, victims have somewhere to go before they get killed. And because more women are employed and have their own incomes they have the option of separating from their partners before the relationship becomes violent.

It’s a short ep, only an hour, but a worthwhile listen IMO.

There’s a Stitcher site for the episode and an Apple Podcasts site. I’m not affiliated with the podcast. I just like it.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

Kyle Rittenhouse shot multiple people, and the police did not arrest him.

Hell, one video shows someone believed to be Rittenhouse not only going up to the cops with his hands raised in surrender, but being waved through the “blue wall” by those same cops, which allowed him to leave the city and cross state lines.

Also, remember that Dylann Roof — who murdered nine people inside a historically Black church — was taken into custody peacefully by the cops, who also gave him food from Burger King while he was in custody.

Individual cops may or may not be racist. But the system of policing is racist to the fucking core.

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Glenn says:

Get rid of laws whose sole purpose is to control what people are "allowed" to do with their own lives and their own bodies. Get rid of people in law enforcement who believe they are above the law. Get rid of a system that presumes the only reason you aren’t in prison is because it just hasn’t been discovered yet what crimes you’ve committed. Get rid of prison systems that are really nothing more than higher education for every kind of crime, esp. the violent type. Actually punish those who commit acts of violence against others. That said, most of the people in prison don’t belong in prison; the ones that do belong in the ground.

Make everyone accountable for the things they do.

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Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

the ones that do [belong in prison] belong in the ground

Lots of people probably thought something similar about the Central Park Five. (One person in particular took out a newspaper ad to say as much.) Their legal representation proved them not guilty of the crime for which they were convicted, and soon after, they were all released from prison.

The taking of a life can’t be undone. This is a small reason why courts impose life sentences: If a person is possibly innocent of the crime for which they were convicted, no matter how small that possibility is, the courts being able to set them free even after they’ve spent years in prison is far preferable to the courts being able to do nothing because that innocent person is buried in a potter’s field.

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This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

(One person in particular took out a newspaper ad to say as much.)

Not only that, but he still thinks they’re guilty, even after their exoneration.

"They admitted they were guilty," Trump said this week in a statement to CNN’s Miguel Marquez. "The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty…" source

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restless94110 (profile) says:

Floyd

Floyd was not killed, but instead died of a fentanyl plus meth overdose. So, saying he was killed is just a lie.

Blacks commit violent crimes at 8 times the rate as any other race, so the cops rely on their experiences on the street in approaching people of any race.

Blacks also often resist arrest, refuse to comply. Very very very often. We’ve seen this with every recent famous instance of fatal or near fatal encounters with police. Thus it has nothing whatsoever to do with police brutality.

Defunding the police is suicidal. The simplest and best way to end almost all of this nonsense would be to legalize the use and sale of all drugs. Completely. The police would then be freed up to pursue violent crimes. This would also end the no knock warrants, so no more deaths there either.

With drugs legalized, less arrests, thus less prisons, thus less need for police personnel. Also less possibility for sentencing disparities.

There also should be programs taught in high school to all on how to behave in encounters with the police. There is an excellent YouTube video done 10 years ago narrated by a famous black criminal attorney in Baltimore that explains in interesting and intricate detail how to act in 3 situations: your house, your car, on the street. It uses actors both black and white, and also takes questions from those in the auditorium where the documentary is being filmed.

Educating people especially young black men, would make a huge difference. Spreading hysterical nonsense, like Floyd was killed, just makes it worse.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Floyd

Spreading hysterical nonsense, like Floyd was killed, just makes it worse.

Ignoring two autopsies, which blame compression of the neck for Floyds death, and spreading lies about a a drug overdose makes you part of the problem that is causing the current protests.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Floyd

Floyd was not killed, but instead died of a fentanyl plus meth overdose. So, saying he was killed is just a lie.

You’ve said this probably half a dozen times. And every time people point out that you are wrong. Two separate autopsies proved that the cops killed him. Some idiots are MISREADING one of the autopsies which explicitly says the cops killed him, to say that he died from a drug overdose.

Why do you keep repeating this when it has been debunked DIRECTLY TO YOU multiple times.

Why it’s almost as if you serve no purpose other than to spew disinformation.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Floyd

"Why it’s almost as if you serve no purpose other than to spew disinformation."

Looking at the comment history of "restless94110" you quickly find that he only ever posts in order to parrot a long-debunked white supremacy narrative.

His account pretty clearly only serves the primary purpose of spewing disinformation, when it isn’t outright working hard at implying the moral inferiority of people with dark skin.

Anonymous Coward says:

It means taking some of the millions spent on providing subpar law enforcement and spreading it around to social services and healthcare professionals to steer people trained to react with violence away from people who would be better served with social service safety nets or interventions by people trained to handle mental health crises.

So what you’re saying is that we should be giving more power to people like Jeanetta Childress?

Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

So what you’re saying is

otherwording (or in-other-wordsing) — noun

  1. Summarizing a point of argument in a way that distorts the point into saying something it does not and attributes the false interpretation to the person who raised the original point.
  2. A blatant attempt to make winning an argument easier for someone who is out of their depth in said argument.

Example: You will often find the phrases “in other words” or “so you’re saying” at the beginning of an instance of otherwording.

See also: strawman; your post

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Complain about strawmen all you want, it doesn’t change the problem with his thinking. The fact of the matter is that he’s saying that we should fix things by taking money away from the police and giving it to social services and healthcare professionals. One example of a social service is Child Protective Services, which in general aims to prevent children from being abused. And in his very next article he provides an example of an abusive CPS worker, namely Jeanetta Childress.

Which is rather a problem as his proposal for decreasing funding for the police and increasing funding for social services contains no explanation of how to avoid that funding going to abusive people like Childress. Or as I sardonically put it "So what you’re saying is that we should be giving more power to people like Jeanetta Childress?"

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

According to one of the comments in that other post, one of the reasons that the CPS is that way is due to a lack of funding. So it’s not unreasonable to propose that giving CPS more money might result in an overall improvement in the situation.

You should also consider that your argument is just as applicable in reverse. "So what you’re saying is that we should be giving more power to people like Derek Chauvin?" — And you should also consider that while what Childress did was completely inexcusable, at least her victims are still alive.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Yes, and that very comment you link to says:

Throwing money at them alone won’t fix the issues rampant with the KY CPS. Actually fixing those issues would also require a hard look at the organization and a willingness to do what was needed to reform it from both the citizenry and politicians alike.

So it effectively makes the opposite point to what you suggest. That simply throwing more money at them like Tim is suggesting here won’t fix the problem.

Furthermore one of the responses to it says in part:

It sounds very weird to me that they just de-fund an organization that doesn’t work and makes it harder for it to do anything about it.

That, and indeed the whole comment can largely apply to police departments and the suggestion to defund them. The problem is not that the police have too much money. Taking money away will not innately fix anything, it’ll just make it harder for police to do the jobs that people want to them to do. Which is part of why people are so skeptical of talk about "defunding" the police.

You should also consider that your argument is just as applicable in reverse. "So what you’re saying is that we should be giving more power to people like Derek Chauvin?"

I’m just pointing out that there’s a glaring problem with Tim’s reasoning when he says that money needs to be taken from the police and given to social services, when his very next article is on a very serious problem with social one of those social services. His line of thinking clearly isn’t thought through if he says diverting funding from the police to social services will fix everything, if he’s ignoring that social services aren’t without their systemic issues and bad apples spoiling the bunch.

And you should also consider that while what Childress did was completely inexcusable, at least her victims are still alive.

They’re likely traumatized for life, but yes they are alive. That’s more because the situation of one women and small children being coerced by a sheriff and a social worker is not one very likely to result in shooting someone. It’s not because the potential for harm wasn’t there because Childress was a social worker. She brought a sheriff along as muscle and if the woman’s husband had been home standing up to the social worker and her muscle, or if the woman herself had gotten overly threatening in defense of her children then someone might have gotten hurt.

Which is kind of a key point. A lot of situations where cops are involved, they’re involved because force may be needed to restrain or stop someone. The guy walking down a main road at 10 pm with his pants down carrying a gym back and – when stopped for the public indecency – claiming the gym bag has a bomb in it may just be mentally ill and the bag containing nothing by clothing. However whether he’s talked down by the cops or by social workers, he’s probably going to need to be tackled at some point, and you’re probably going to need someone on hand with a gun in case it turns out the bag does contain a bomb or guns. There are many other such situations where even if we give the job to social workers instead of police, the need for protection from potential harm will still be there.

Which goes back to the Childress case. She’d brought a sheriff along as protection and extra official enforcement. A scenario of defunded police will likely eventually lead to the social workers to demand to be armed if they cannot call upon police in a scenario where they thought they’d need the protection. Which would put potential for greater tragedy right back on the table.

Which is why I called Tim out for blindly saying ‘defund the police and fund social services’ while seemingly pretending that the various social services can’t have their own problems, or won’t develop the same problems if duties currently handled by the police are transferred over to them.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

You keep saying things like "simply", "alone" as if the idea is to divert money and then hope that somehow that alone will solve everything. It isn’t. You haven’t even looked into what people mean by "defund the police" have you? It’s a three word protest slogan, not a comprehensive policy proposal. Go read up on some ideas people have on how to reform police, including allocation of funding, and come back and criticize those, rather than these men of straw that you have constructed. If it’s not worth your time to do that, then I suggest you just stop commenting on matters you have not learned about.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Which is rather a problem as his proposal for decreasing funding for the police and increasing funding for social services contains no explanation of how to avoid that funding going to abusive people like Childress.

Perhaps you mistook a generalized suggestion for how to proceed for a specific budgeting, hiring, training and reform plan for every county and municipality in the United States. If it were the latter and failed to account for situations such as Childress, you would have a point.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Considering his willingness to generalize all police departments everywhere in the US as racist and in need of dismantling or destruction regardless of track record or composition, I’m pretty comfortable in assuming his suggestion is aimed at effectively every county and municipality in the US. If he intended otherwise, he’s welcome to write better articles that clarify his stance and demonstrate he understands the nuances.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Stop with the money. Yes, taking money and power and a lot of employees from the police will, in fact, help start fixing things. Other agencies need fixing, too, and most of them do not enjoy the level of funding police always do. (Also, they can’t just seize shit from random citizens and add it to their coffers.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

And stopping the money will fix things how exactly? What problems are a matter of "too much money"? Are those the only problems? Because I don’t think a cop kneeling on a man’s neck until he’s dead is a "too much funding" problem. Faulty training, faulty department policies, and a reckless disregard for the life of a criminal yeah. But I’m skeptical as to how less funding for any of those would have prevented the crime the police committed.

Stuff like the random seizures? Sure, that can be dissuaded to an extent by keeping them from getting any money from the seizures. But that’s more a matter of structuring the law to prevent corruption, not a matter of cities needing to give less money to the police to begin with.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"One example of a social service is Child Protective Services, which in general aims to prevent children from being abused. And in his very next article he provides an example of an abusive CPS worker, namely Jeanetta Childress. "

It would be nice if various social services had the manpower and resources required to make an in-depth careful analysis of every case rather than just an impossible workload and a required KPI of handling five cases to completion every hour of the day or some similar irrational demand…
…and yet it’s often the case that social services produce very bad outcomes simply because they’re short-staffed and underfunded.

And of course because there’s no resources to spare at all to discover and prevent bad actors in social services.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Option B)

The time for fixing the police through reformation, whether from the top or the bottom, through training, through accountability, is past. That opportunity is gone. We’ve been able to track police brutality as a nationwide problem for more than a century. We’ve been able to track systemic racism by law enforcement and the justice system for more than a century. We’ve made all theses suggestions before to no discernible effect.

These are circumstances are engraved in US history. They are not in dispute.

We also know that police-involved violence is a problem. Even though it’s been only popular to track police-involved shootings (which some news agencies now do) since 2014 and non-profits have been tracking them for (considerably) longer, the FBI has been mandated by congress to track them all since the 1970s, and has refused to do so (interestingly without punity). Police departments don’t even diligently file reports on officer-involved shootings, on injury and death, and outside organizations have to track them through coroner reports, obituaries and news reports.

We’ve tried multiple times during this last century to improve matters, and failed every time. We are beyond trying to affect the system we have.

We have two options:

Option a) Dismantle the entire justice system.

~ This includes the DoJ including the hierarchy of attorneys has proven to be just as corrupt, just as racist (feel free to look at the recent LWT on Juries).

~ This includes the courts, in which judges routinely dismiss Blackstone’s ratio and are happy to funnel warm bodies into our privatized penal system. (especially warm bodies of color, but low-income warm bodies work fine)

~ This includes the penal system, facilities of which are nothing short of gulags and labor camps the likes of which offend our conservative sensibilities and how dare we compare our lovely American establishments to them, but the COVID-19 epidemic sweeping through our detainees and inmates have stripped off the facades.

~ This includes our courts of appeals. The political maneuvers to capture the Supreme Court of the United States with Federalist Society agents has demonstrated the corruption at the top isn’t even discreet anymore. Our government by the people is lampooned by the federal system every day.

All that needs to be torn down. Or…

Option b) Wait for public rage to get insurmountable, at which point we’ll accelerate the gunning down of people in the streets and the razing of police precincts and establishment structures to a national state of emergency (which won’t mean much. We’re already sending federal goons to stomp their jackboots on faces forever). We’ll watch / participate as a quarter of our population massacres / gets massacred by another quarter of our population. And considering the current regime is unable to govern fairly, it is also unable to stop the violence, except by killing them all (which it might decide needs to be done, say through an extermination program). We’ll probably have to go through a military dictatorship or five before coming to a society in which guerilla fighters are not routinely firebombing government facilities. It’ll take decades. Maybe a century or two.

Right now, the latter option is the option being chosen by the people and government of the United States. It’s the default option. Police are still killing people and brutalizing protests. They may they succeed in silencing the protests for now, but they’ll keep killing, and we’ll keep watching as it’s revealed that even the organized tracking methods above aren’t catching all the police involved murders. It’s worse than we think, and the unrest will continue to be fueled. Eventually it will turn into organized terrorism.

I don’t think it’ll be a stand up war, but it’ll be like the Axis Occupation of Serbia in which fires, bombs and death are in the news today, and everyone knows someone who recently perished.

We’re heading right into Option b) It may be inevitable, since rich powerful people like being rich and powerful and having a security contingent to keep the peons in their place. If we get too far in dismantling the current law enforcement, they will likely shoot first.

It’ll be messy.

None of us here will have a say over what the end result is. We may get to watch as several radical intermediary regimes rise to power to take control, only to have law enforcement keep shooting people and SWATTING houses and the guerillas keep retaliating. But those regimes will have profound nuclear capacity, which might make the rest of the world nervous. In the cold war, cool heads prevailed, but it’s not a gamble I’d want to raise again, especially as the US economy tanks and our rich and powerful start feeling expansionist.

And during all this time (which could take well over a century) we’ll continue to poison the global ecology advancing towards a state where the human species can no longer be sustained. If you don’t think nature’s hammers are not falling now, wait for 2035 or 2050, and by then the fascist police state problem of the US may have long become moot.

So yeah, all these votes for small change: elect new directors or vote! or train more or add more accountability are votes for Option b) We’ve been proposing all these small change ideas for over a century now, and all that time the police have been murdering people and covering up for it when covering up for it was easier.

Now, the people have internet and phone cameras and can make sure the whole world knows the horrors of interacting with US law enforcement. How they’re getting murdered in the streets by establishment.

Doing anything less than abolishing the current system for a new one is going to default to Option b) above. A vote for reform is a vote for letting police officers murder innocent civilians and SWAT houses until we’re neck deep in civil war, blood and fire.

But feel free to pretend otherwise.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Option B)

I wish I could call you an alarmist, I truly do…

…but every time a spate of race riots has erupted since around 1968 the same pattern has happened;

1) Black people riot after a long period of naked and obvious harassment.

2) Sympathizers and humanitarians make a lot of noise.

3) Politicians decide it pays to make the right noises of restrained sympathy and promise change.

4) A few long-needed bills go on the table, are diluted to the point of irrelevance and hammered through to loud acclaim.

5) Politicians all declare Racism Is Dead, Mission Accomplished with nothing actually changing.

6) After years of continued harassment and abuse, black people riot again, and with far less reason to trust the politicians making the same noises as they did ten or twenty years ago with nothing changing.

Every time there’s been some final straw breaking the camel’s back. Rosa Parks, Rodney King, Michael Brown and George Floyd were just the final cup of water needed for the dam to give way. And the floodwaters stand higher each time, and hit peak capacity in a shorter period of time.

I don’t think there are many repeats remaining before it’s too late by far to back away from Option b), even if the body politic suddenly all came together over it.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Things are the same for blacks

Do you think enough has happened since 1950? I don’t.

We can’t even tell if fewer are getting gunned down by police or fewer blacks per capita are in jail, since the justice system willfully failed to maintain accurate records.

So even though we all use the same drinking fountain, we don’t really.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Option B)

"You think things are the same for blacks in America as they were in 1950? I don’t."

General standards of living have skyrocketed since then, for everyone. Everyone in general is way, way better off than they were in the US 1950.

Yet looking at the demographics the disparity between black people and white people when it comes to economy, treatment, social worth, credit rating, upwards mobility etc…you think that gap’s closed?

I don’t.

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