Legal Issues

by Tim Cushing


Filed Under:
de-escalation, police, policing



De-Escalation Works, But US Law Enforcement Hasn't Show Much Interest In Trying It

from the shoot-first,-answer-questions-72-hours-later... dept

Deescalation isn't something most police officers want to talk about -- especially those who allow their unions to do all their talking for them. But shootings by police have achieved critical mass, forcing the issue to be confronted by law enforcement officials. There are no national guidelines for force deployment. Local law enforcement agencies don't have much in the way of best practices or standards, pretty much allowing officers to decide how much force is necessary on their own, relative to the amount of "reasonable fear" officers can later credibly swear to in court.

Cities and police departments may be forced to confront this sooner, rather than later, if for no other reason than to limit the bleeding -- both literally and metaphorically. Civil rights lawsuits are filed daily and settlement amounts continue to escalate. Officers in the US kill ~1,000 people per year, with that number being completely untethered from the "safety" of the job -- at least as compared to violent crime rates and/or officers being killed in the line of duty. Generally speaking, there's less crime in America than there has been for decades, but cops are "fearing for their safety" like it's 30 years ago.

Over the past several days, police station CCTV video of a Bangkok police officer disarming a knife-wielding man has gone viral. Instead of greeting a threat with violence, Officer Anirut Malee greeted the potential attack with words… and neutralized the threat completely with a hug.

For this act of bravery, Officer Malee was given an award by Thailand's national police chief. And he's become the unofficial poster boy for deescalation. Every situation is unique, some will argue, and what worked here won't work for every person wielding a weapon. This is true, but in the US almost every situation involving a mentally disturbed person carrying a weapon is handled the same way: with a deployment of force, most of it deadly. So, arguments about nuance are worthless in a law enforcement climate where officers are allowed to calm their nerves by firing guns.

And the situation above really isn't that unique. A recent controversial killing involved mental distress and wielded knife. Only this one happened in Seattle, and ended in the shooting death of a pregnant woman.

It's not as though the officers went into the situation unprepared. They were responding to Charleena Lyle's call to report a burglary. Audio recordings of the officers included discussions about her mental health issues and previous police interactions. And the seemingly-inevitable shooting was preceded by cops telling Lyle they weren't going to shoot her. This shooting took place under a DOJ consent decree meant to curb the use of excessive force by Seattle officers. It doesn't necessarily indicate the decree isn't working, but it definitely doesn't suggest the Seattle PD is approaching these sorts of situations with deescalation in mind.

It's almost impossible to imagine a US law enforcement officer approaching a situation like that confronting Officer Malee without a weapon drawn and a whole lot of shouting. There's very little reason for officers to change their approach -- not with courts continually deferring to assertions of fear by police officers and cops who do deescalate situations being fired for supposedly endangering other officers.

But the problem isn't just going to go away. Cities and PDs need to address this now, if for nothing other than purely mercenary reasons. It costs money to defend lawsuits and more money to pay settlements. Even if officials don't really care whether the police maintain a healthy relationship with the communities they serve, they can't keep asking taxpayers to pay for the sins of government employees -- not when there appears to be little effort made by these employees to improve the level of their service.


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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 12:38pm

    The world needs more love. If people just thought "there is another human on the other side" at every interaction and acted accordingly we would have less deaths, less hunger, less racism, less everything bad. And we'd probably vote more welfare governments in instead of the usual crony stuff we have. If you can feel empathy you can put yourself in the shoes of the other person and it's very easy to list what we don't want to happen with ourselves.

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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 1:54pm

    But if they don't keep the narrative rolling that it is super dangerous, we won't keep letting them play army men.

    Society thinks the answer is more weapons, because they operate from fear. They fear trying to have people talked down might let someone dangerous hurt a bystander busily filming it for internet fame.

    We have to keep fearing everything & accept the outcome of people killed to keep us safe. We dare not question the police, DA's, courts when they decline to hold them accountable because we want this system to work this way.... until it targets us.

    We might feel something is wrong when someone who was clearly in mental distress & cuffed is beaten to death... but we are okay with nothing happening to the officers in the end.

    We are a society of if its not happening to me, its not a problem & anyone complaining must be a bad person. We need to get out of the personal bubbles we live in and walk a mile in someone elses shoes. Just because the officer gave your child a polite wave, doesn't mean he won't roll up on another child and in under 12 seconds decide killing him is the only option.

    Officer murdered someone & needed to be comforted having murdered an innocent man. No charges filed. They fired him from the force because he lied on his application. Killing someone, perfectly acceptable... but don't fib about your job history.

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    • icon
      ThaumaTechnician (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 4:54am

      Re:

      Culling from Wikipedia:

      By far the worst year in Canada, 2014 (the year that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau attacked Parliament), 21 people were killed by Canadian police officers. One officer was charged with manslaughter and discharging a weapon inappropriately. One of the people killed was the result of a traffic accident.

      Contrast that with the USA, where the average number of people killed by police officers, 369, is nearly double the rate of Canada's worst year. The same year, 2014, 630 people were killed by police officers - three times the rate of Canada's worst year.

      Number of police officers killed in the line of duty? USA, the average from 1990-2010 was 164 per year. Canada? According to StatsCan, 3.5 per year.

      It's a pretty safe bet that there's no way in heck that American police forces will ever go to Canada or to Thailand to learn how they do it, how they de-escalate, how they engage the community, how they manage to not kill so many people and not get killed.

      It's a particularly American kind of stoopid, refusing to learn from what others have figured out. a long time ago.

      /rinse and repeat for incarceration, medicare, going metric.

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      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 19 Jul 2017 @ 5:23am

        Re: Re:

        If you think you're the best of the best of the best because 'Murica, why would you bother to learn from those socialist foreign folks?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2017 @ 8:42am

        Re: Re:

        Apples to oranges. What are the crime rates between the US and Canada? What is the murder rate between US and Canada.

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        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 20 Jul 2017 @ 2:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's not the point; in America you're safer with the damn burglars, etc., than with the trigger-happy cops. Since the rest of the world doesn't think of guns as metal guardians that solve all problems, this is less likely to happen elsewhere.

          The crimes, in these cases, are committed by cops who are too damn scared to do their jobs without shooting All The Things!

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 20 Jul 2017 @ 10:04am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            As the people on the South Side of Chicago if they are safer with the gang members or with police?

            Over the 4th of July weekend, 104 people were shot, none of them by police.

            I get it, other countries don't have a gun culture. We do, live with it, that isn't changing.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 21 Jul 2017 @ 12:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Over the 4th of July weekend, 104 people were shot, none of them by police."

              How many were innocents, and how many were gang members who decided to settle scores with each other on a day they knew they'd all be on the streets?

              I get your point, but I think for the purposes of the conversation we can discount gang violence. The actual conversation is about people dying because American cops can't keep the situation away from unnecessary violent responses, and that doesn't change just because you can find outlying situations where they're not involved.

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        • icon
          ThaumaTechnician (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 8:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Jeebus farking cripes!

          1) How do you think that the murder rates got to be that way, eh?

          2) ..and my point: Maybe, just maybe, the US is doing it wrong and could learn from other countries who are doing it right. But, from what I've seen, it's taking as a point of pride in the 'States to be uninformed and stupid.

          Sheesh.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 2:01pm

    There's another police shooting case that occurred here in Minnesota last night - it's still very much ongoing with not a lot of detail yet.

    http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-police-officer-who-shot-killed-woman-identified/434975623 /

    Preliminary reports is that a woman called 911 to report suspicious noises in the alley behind her house. She went out to meet the police when they came to investigate and the officer in the passenger seat apparently reached across the driver and fatally shot her from within the squad car. Both officer's body cameras were turned off and there were no direct witnesses other than the two officers. No other weapons were involved.

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    • icon
      Hugh Jasohl (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 2:14pm

      Re:

      The lack of word from the police about it right now means that they are desperately digging through all resources to find a justification for the shooting.

      If the roles were reversed, the shooters picture would be plastered on the news and she would have been convicted in the court of public opinion already.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 4:21pm

        Re: Re:

        She is also an Australian citizen and the press here is painting the US police as dangerous,uncontrolled lunatics. Bad press for the US. We are seeing more and more here that it is not worth ever going to the US.

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        • icon
          JoeCool (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 5:05pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Paint, nothing! They ARE dangerous, uncontrolled lunatics! The "good" cops are scarce, and mostly hide in the background while the lunatic run wild, gunning down anyone and everyone.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 12:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, unless something comes out to the contrary, it seems that the main mistake she made was to try dealing with cops in the US in the same way that she would deal with them in Australia. She simply asked for help with a situation and thought she was going to have a conversation with someone who arrived on the scene to ascertain a problem and help a concerned member of the public, not go out itching to shoot the first thing that moved.

          If no news to the contrary comes out, then the Aussie press isn't wrong.

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          • identicon
            David, 18 Jul 2017 @ 2:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Well, Australia's principal citizenship is recruited from descendants of criminals. They are more likely to view a weapon as a necessary evil to be used only in emergencies and as a last escalation rather than a universal savior. And, well, the principal citizenship of the U.S. is recruited from people thrown out of Europe because of their views about universal salvation. As part of their calling, they went on to massacre and corral the natives in order to feel safer about stealing their country.

            Now does that remind you of anything?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 7:36pm

      Re:

      Here's another link from the Australian side of things:

      http://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/husbandtobe-utterly-devastate-over-minneapolis-pol ice-shooting-of-australian-justine-damond/news-story/b0514b5dc1f6c8d7e790222f5d409d77

      Apparently it was 30 seconds from 'call out' to 'shot at'. If the report is accurate, I commend the police for getting there at the speed of light. But what the heck happened that prompted an officer to shoot this woman after half a minute? We may never know, because the body cameras and car camera were turned off.

      She was a white female in pyjamas, so the police can't claim she was a gangsta thug acting threateningly. She was Australian, and Australia is not known as a terrorist hotspot. Lacking their usual excuses, how will the police respond to this? It's practically caused an international incident. Australia is not a backwater country no-one cares about; this can't be swept under the carpet.

      Perhaps this senseless death will be the turning point for reform.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 10:02am

        Re: Re:

        Jessica Damond, shot by a Somali immigrant cop. Affirmative action in action?

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 19 Jul 2017 @ 12:23am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What about all the other incidents that haven't involved immigrant cops, or even black cops? Do you have a deflection away from those, or are you just happy about this one because it gives your racist ass an excuse to ignore another murder by cop?

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  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 2:12pm

    When you choose to be a cop because you need an outlet for your authoritarianism, i don't suspect anything will change your behavior much. But a real discussion and some training and maybe laws will help those who aren't authoritarian type to have more power in some departments

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    • icon
      Hugh Jasohl (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 2:15pm

      Re:

      In others words, bullies who become cops, are now armed bullies legally able to shoot those who disagree with them.

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      • icon
        orbitalinsertion (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 5:12pm

        Re: Re:

        And defended when they do. And drag down with them most of the ones who didn't start out bad. They get to find out how the system works like everyone else who didn't see or believe it before: The hard way.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 2:52pm

    To be fair

    This officer had about a 6 inch height advantage and the frail guy was probably 50 lb less than the police officer. Even when the cop sits down, he's still taller than the man with a knife. The invader couldn't have been less intimidating if he was a 13 yr old girl with a knife.

    I give the officer full kudos for how he handled it. I just think a cop that panics when faced with a 23 yr old man who is bigger and stronger than him might think this situation to be an unfair comparison.

    (To be clear - I am not saying that cops are justified in being rougher with larger citizens. I'm just saying that it's probably more challenging for an officer to remain calm when faced with someone more physically intimidating.)

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 3:28pm

      Re: To be fair

      Proper training for police work includes being able to command a room. Good example is the beginning of Top Gun :)

      There are situations where an officer can end up in a rapidly escalating situation with someone who is more physically dominant than they are, but in most cases that means that the officer's basic training has already failed them (or they failed to get proper basic training). Because the first thing to do in most situations is to make yourself seen and known as the authority in charge, and then get the others at the scene talking. The majority of people have an intense desire to be heard, and will choose speaking over violence, assuming they have the option for violence after the fact if needed.

      However, people are beginning to see police as violent threats, which changes this dynamic. If you see an officer arrive on the scene with gun drawn and eyes roving to figure out who to target, you're more likely to try and preserve your life and risk court later than to sit down and talk with someone who might shoot you at any moment with impunity.

      Basically, it's a two way street, and the only way police officers will be able to de-escalate reliably is if they leave that option open for all parties.

      Some officers will get injured. But that's the job they chose; the people they interact with did NOT choose that job, and shouldn't be expected to know how to properly de-escalate the police.

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      • icon
        DB (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 5:06pm

        Re: Re: To be fair

        I don't know why you refer to that as "proper training".

        "Taking command of the situation" before you know the situation is likely to lead to conflict.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 1:55am

          Re: Re: Re: To be fair

          There is a huge difference between politely but firmly taking control of a situation, and very aggressively shouting orders at people while expecting instant compliance.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 3:08am

          Re: Re: Re: To be fair

          It's more a concept of making yourself the target of the aggressor's antagonism and presenting yourself as a source of conflict resolution. You can't resolve a situation unless you're in command of it, so you (the de-escalator) have to be the one in charge.

          Apparently you're thinking of "being in charge" in the terms the US police bully-boys are, which obviously doesn't seem like it would help, but there's a lot more to taking control of the situation than you're considering. It's a deep and varied discipline though, even if the current US use of the term is particularly narrow and unhelpful.

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    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 5:14pm

      Re: To be fair

      Yes, every situation is unique. Which is why the one-size-fits-all response of threatening, brutalizing and/or murdering them isn't the answer.

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  • icon
    Ryunosuke (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 3:04pm

    Meanwhile, in Minneapolis... Police shoot an Aussie foreign national for no other reason than ... because? Body cams were turned off, no dash cams, nothing but the passenger officer shooting across the driver and into the victim....

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    • identicon
      David, 17 Jul 2017 @ 10:08pm

      Re:

      Sounds like they should have taken a blood sample for drug testing.

      Of course nothing like that will have happened. Well, probably for the victim rather than the shooter.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:04am

        Re: Re:

        It is entirely possible that steroid abuse is a major contributor to police violence, but yeah, they will not test for that.

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  • icon
    stderric (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 3:13pm

    Even if officials don't really care whether the police maintain a healthy relationship with the communities they serve, they can't keep asking taxpayers to pay for the sins of government employees

    Why do I not feel entirely confident that relying on the 'free market' will be a raging success?

    I know it seems to be one of the last solutions we're left with, but I can imagine an awful lot of authoritarian voters opting for 'law & order' policies and candidates that promise expanded civil forfeiture to pay the bills.

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    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 19 Jul 2017 @ 5:28am

      Re:

      I know it seems to be one of the last solutions we're left with, but I can imagine an awful lot of authoritarian voters opting for 'law & order' policies and candidates that promise expanded civil forfeiture to pay the bills.

      Somebody needs to explain to the authoritarians what "Law and order" actually means. Hint: it's not "Shoot All The Things!" It's amazing how anti-authoritarian these people become when they become the target of civil forfeiture, which in and of itself is a violation of the Fourth Amendment.

      For the umpteenth time, due process is not an impediment to justice. If only we could persuade the oxymoronic "Law-and-order" types of this. Sheesh!

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  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 17 Jul 2017 @ 3:25pm

    Where’s The Hollywood Movie?

    Shoot, explode, destroy. That’s what works in the movies (and is usually consequence-free as well), that’s where US law enforcement takes its operating manual from.

    Where is there a Hollywood movie that ends with someone not getting shot?

    Patrick McGoohan was right to spurn a nomination for the role of James Bond.

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    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 19 Jul 2017 @ 7:13am

      Re: Where’s The Hollywood Movie?

      I used to LOVE TJ Hooker. He was a decent cop who, in one scene, threw himself on top of a suspect to protect him from an explosion. That's what I tend to think cops ought to be like: decent people who treat suspects like human beings.

      What the hell happened? Was that image of a cop always fiction?

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      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 19 Jul 2017 @ 3:53pm

        Re: What the hell happened? Was that image of a cop always fiction?

        I like to think there are real people like that. But in the market of big-budget action movies, it just doesn’t sell as well as barrages of bullets, explosions and general mayhem.

        And those barrages of bullets, explosions and general mayhem have their effect, consciously or otherwise, on the audience, which includes not just regular stiffs, but also law enforcement, lawmakers and general people with power in society.

        Who says propaganda doesn’t work? And the best kind of propaganda is when you don’t realize it’s propaganda.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 3:42pm

    I don't know the solution, but...

    If we have settlements paid from police union funds I bet suggestions would come rolling in.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 5:42am

      Re: I don't know the solution, but...

      This is where the lawsuits should be directed rather than the city. This might change things, but of course suing the city leads to a bigger payout from the taxpayers.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 3:45pm

    Total and complete violation of the 21-foot rule! Noob should be fired!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 3:51pm

    Have LEOs become

    Life Extinction Officers?

    Lethal Excess.......?

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  • icon
    JoeCool (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 5:16pm

    Sure they can

    Even if officials don't really care whether the police maintain a healthy relationship with the communities they serve, they can't keep asking taxpayers to pay for the sins of government employees

    As long as there are tax payers, and as long as they're allowed to, they'll just keep passing the bill along. It won't change until they have to pay it off PERSONALLY.

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  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 5:33pm

    Now THAT'S fear

    Generally speaking, there's less crime in America than there has been for decades, but cops are "fearing for their safety" like it's 30 years ago.

    No, not really. They are fearing for their life more like they're living in Grand Theft Auto, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and the society of Judge Dredd... all rolled into one.

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  • icon
    Mike C. (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 5:50pm

    While tragic, Minnesota was not really a case about escalation...

    ...however, in Massachusetts, they apparently feel it's appropriate to send a dozen units and the regional SWAT team for someone who is suicidal... but no counselors.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/his-parents-said-he-just-needed-to-sleep-a-swat-team- came-instead/ar-BBEsOJB

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 6:26am

      Re: While tragic, Minnesota was not really a case about escalation...

      Mike C, the article states that counselors as well as the SWAT team responded.

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    • icon
      Coyne Tibbets (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 4:29pm

      Re: While tragic, Minnesota was not really a case about escalation...

      No, the case is about absence of de-escalation.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 6:12pm

    If this had been in the US...

    instead of being "given an award" for an "act of bravery", he would likely have been subject to "disciplinary action" for being too "cowardly" to kill someone at the first opportunity.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 6:31pm

    Reasonable Fear

    "...national guidelines for force deployment..."

    Sauce for the goose...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 7:11pm

    and here i thought andy griffith was dead. he's just moved to thailand, that's all.

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  • icon
    Groaker (profile), 17 Jul 2017 @ 8:33pm

    In 1968 a draftee had a right to fear for his life, with an anticipated death rate of the order of 75 times upon the death rate of a policeman. Yet individuals could not claim that they were being placed in fear of their lives to avoid conscription. If they did so, they were rewarded with five years in a Federal Prison, and a felony record for life.

    OTOH, a policeman who claims being placed in fear for his life, kills an innocent who is perhaps in possession of a book , pen or has his hands in the air, the murderer is rewarded with a commendation and likely a promotion.

    It is time for the police to be reminded that they have voluntarily signed up to be protectors for the population. And should they have to place their lives at risk to meet their oath, that was the agreement they freely made -- unlike the draftee.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Jul 2017 @ 10:16pm

    dock pay

    If a police officer makes a report and there is no body camera footage immediate suspension and half pay till a determination from board of inquiry. If board clears officer return to duty restoration of pay, if an offiçer actions result in him being sued by public the employer does not indemnify the officer if there is no body çamera footage. And is liable to be sued by the employer trying to make up for lost money from employer compensating public

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 5:56am

    The US is plagued with a lack of respect. We see it on the streets with aggressive driving, and the roads can become dangerous. We see it in our schools, and now everyone speaks of how we need to improve our results, that schools are not preparing people for the future. We see it in politics, and look at the mess we are in.

    In many areas, that lack of respect also guides how people respond and react to police. Police shootings/beatings/etc. are a response to this lack of respect. Respect the law and the police and you will not have a problem with the police.

    You may blame the police by saying that people feel hatred towards the police because of how the police treat them. The inverse could also be true, police treat people the way they do because of how people disrespect the law and the police.

    The US didn't elect Trump because everything was going along well, and we really need to recognize that we need to make significant changes to our society before it is too late.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 6:20am

      Re:

      Yes and if your wife respected you, you wouldent have to beat her. So stop trying to blame you, we get it. The bitch deserved a black eye, all walking around eating crackers like she owned the fucking place.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 6:21am

      Re:

      ...because when you think of respect, you think about the bloviating cheeto who's boasted about sexual assault and happily mocks everyone from POWs to the disabled.

      Are you actually this stupid?

      Also, consider that other countries don't seem to be having the same problem, especially with people being outright murdered for daring to disobey. Countries which routinely train their police to de-escalate situations before they need a violent response.

      Is it more likely that you have neanderthal thugs in uniforms who should be more capable of defusing situations without resorting to violence, or that those kids just need some manners taught to them by a man with the emotional communication skills of a small child?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 6:29am

        Re: Re:

        As teachers in some areas how they feel about the kids they teach today. No, it isn't just cops, and it isn't just Neanderthal thugs.

        You need to realize that things need to change, or are YOU just that stupid. Of course, keep on keeping on, that is what got Trump in office. You want more of that?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 6:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So, you can't justify the idiotic suggestion that Trump is the one capable of teaching respect, you just have to deflect. Nor can you accept that maybe both sides are responsible in some ways. No, we have to hope that the education system that's currently being gutted by Trump's appointees will fix the issue in a generation or two rather than teach the cops how to stop escalating situations to violence.

          Got it.

          That's OK, I'll be over here, safe in a country where I can interact with cops without fear of being shot because one of them can't handle dealing with the general public.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 6:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Paul, I didn't insinuate that Trump is the one to fix the problem, I stated that he is a result of the problem.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:04am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Not clearly. The implication I read was that because of the lack of respect that's why Trump was elected to fix it.

              You might wish to be more clear, especially when coming up with such a ridiculous assertion as "it's all about lack of respect" when talking about police brutality without at least addressing the hideous abuses of power that are also happening.

              I do also notice that you're ignoring every other point raised. Typical.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 6:41am

          'Physician, heal thyself!'

          Always funny when people shoot their own arguments in the foot like that. Calling someone stupid while at the same time claiming that people need to show more respect to those around them. Yeah, that's sure to make people take you serious.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 6:49am

            Re: 'Physician, heal thyself!'

            Well, he does seem to think that the most openly disrespectful man in the world, both to foreign dignitaries and his own citizens, is the man to teach everyone respect. Maybe he specialises in such bipolar arguments.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 6:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Of course, keep on keeping on, that is what got Trump in office. You want more of that?

          Given how much Trump and the Republican controlled congress has delivered on so far, I wouldn't break your arm patting yourself on the back quite yet.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 11:48am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The kind of respect you show, it's a wonder those cops you love so much haven't put twenty or thirty rounds into you.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Groaker (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 6:24am

      Re:

      The police took an oath to protect and serve, and to preserve the Constitution. No matter what the behavior, unless there is a real threat to life and limb, there is no justification for beatings and shootings. There is no justification for hiding or destroying evidence.

      There is not just a lack of respect on the part of the public, but fear. As an elderly white upper class male, I am more afraid of the police than I am of criminals. During a recent interaction with a state trooper, I was clearly not armed. The matter was over a strayed farm animal (an emu) of significant monetary value. It was not in sight at the time. The cop kept his hand within two inches of his side arm. At all times I was polite to this man, but he was rather verbally obnoxious to me without cause or reason.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:09am

      Re:

      None of what you described has anything to do with respect.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:20am

        Re: Re:

        There's also the fact that respect is earned, not taken. You can't beat, shoot or tase it out of people because they don't comply fast enough, no matter how much you feel you were disrespected to begin with.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Bullshit. Look at the recent Berkley riot. The police didn't respond at all upon instructions from school leadership. The place burned, people were attacked.

          Had nothing to do with the police but with the people that were not respecting the law.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So, because you can cherry pick one incident, that means that the police are freed from all their failings, they have never unjustifiably shot, beat or otherwise used violent force without provocation? OK, you're just stupid, you're intellectually dishonest.

            I'm not going to cherry pick and say that incidents like Justine Damond and Philando Castille mean that everyone who has ever suffered at the hands of police was an innocent snowflake. But, I'm not a disingenuous prick.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 9:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              How many police interactions result in violence?

              You may not cherry pick, but close.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 9:27am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "How many police interactions result in violence?"

                More than in other first world nations, by capita. Whether this is due to your police being militarised thugs who treat citizens as the enemy or because your civilians are disrespectful is the discussion at hand. Logic and reason would suggest a mix of the two, with the former being a larger issue, quicker to fix and a probably cause of the latter.

                Someone interested in honest debate would have accepted that my examples mean that there are some problems on both sides, and accepted that trying to name an exceptional event as something indicative of a common issue was somewhere between a lie and a deliberate attempt to derail the issue at hand.

                But, you've now completely abandoned your attempt to pretend to be interested in a discussion and started your usual retreat when called out as a fool. Go be that elsewhere, please, the adults are trying to discuss things.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 9:39am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Funny that in an article about de-escalation you immediately and continually escalate things.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 11:50am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Funny how you blather about respect, but show none to your fellow commenters.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 12:03pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I know, Paul is quite rude.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 2:53pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        There you go disrespecting other commenters again. By the way, what was your original point again?

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          PaulT (profile), 19 Jul 2017 @ 12:27am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          I believe it was "those pesky kids should stop making the police beat and murder them by not bowing down to their authority no matter what rights are being violated at the time".

                          Strangely, he stopped defending that as soon as he found an excuse to talk about something else.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 19 Jul 2017 @ 12:19am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Funny that you've taken your usual tack, and when your assertions are called out as the threadbare attempts at deflection that they usually are, you've skipped past pretending to have a conversation and gone straight to trying to attack the person.

                    At least your attempt here is a little gentler and less whiny than normal. But, you really have given up trying to defend either your comments or the police you seemed to take so much issue with being criticised to begin with.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 Jul 2017 @ 11:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Can you show me how respect solves any of the pet peeves you have listed?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 18 Jul 2017 @ 3:21pm

      Re: The US is plagued with a lack of respect.

      Really? I thought the prevalence of guns was supposed to strongly encourage people to show respect and politeness for one another.

      There goes another gun myth blown...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 19 Jul 2017 @ 12:32am

        Re: Re: The US is plagued with a lack of respect.

        I think it says a lot about the person when they say things like that. If you say "an armed society is a polite society" and can't understand that an unarmed society is also often polite, then what you're saying is that you need the threat of lethal force to be a polite person (or have others be polite to you). I don't want to be around that person - either you can't be a decent person if you don't think you'll face punishment for being otherwise, or you can't get people to be nice to you without threatening them. You can't be a decent human being in either case.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2017 @ 6:22am

          Re: Re: Re: The US is plagued with a lack of respect.

          The idea of an armed society being polite doesn't mean what you think it means, or isn't how it actually works.

          If I am on the subway on my way to work, thugs tend to not mess with people if they think they are carrying a gun. It has nothing to do with how I act, but how others act.

          And Paul, you carry on an argument with AC's and assume that they are all the same person. That isn't too bright.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 19 Jul 2017 @ 6:38am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The US is plagued with a lack of respect.

            "If I am on the subway on my way to work, thugs tend to not mess with people if they think they are carrying a gun. It has nothing to do with how I act, but how others act."

            Hence the part of my comment where I addressed that. I know I sure as hell wouldn't want to be part of a society where carrying the ability to kill people is the only way for people to act civil towards me, but I don't live in one. I would also question my own perception if I am being acted toward so badly that I would need to act to force people to act in a civil manner toward me. What's the saying? If you see one asshole today, he's an asshole, if you see them all the time maybe you're the asshole?

            I'll keep the society where I don't need a gun to stop meeting assholes, since I don't run into them on the street all that often, thanks. Your opinion may differ, but I will always be suspicious of someone who thinks that people can only be civil toward others if they face deadly force in response. Ditto religious types - if you think that the fear of eternal damnation is the only think making you act as a moral person, I don't want to be around you.

            "And Paul, you carry on an argument with AC's and assume that they are all the same person. That isn't too bright."

            Until you provide a way to differentiate between you, I have to go on cues like writing style, pet obsessions, etc. I may get it wrong occasionally (for which I will always apologised if offered proof), but the dishonest types who regularly lie can be spotted despite trying to hide. If that offends you, you know what to do.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2017 @ 7:52am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The US is plagued with a lack of respect.

              Guess you have never been on a NY City Subway there Paul.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 20 Jul 2017 @ 12:22am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The US is plagued with a lack of respect.

                Actually, I have. Didn't feel like I needed any kind of weapon. Are you so much of an asshole you have to keep yourself armed against peoples' reactions to you?

                Apart from showing off how wrong your random assumptions are about me, did you have anything to say?

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 19 Jul 2017 @ 5:32am

      Re: Respect

      AC @ 18 Jul 2017 @ 5:56am, the word you're looking for is "Empathy."

      Add it to your vocabulary and learn and understand what it means. You may find that if you can encourage enough of your friends and neighbours to join you in the practice of empathy, people will be more respectful to each other because they care about each other.

      You're welcome.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2017 @ 4:59pm

      Re:

      I've read the to and froing about respect and the salient point is that the police as an "authority" as the ones that destroy any respect that may be nascent in the general population.

      You have, in your own backyard of NYC, an example of a man (a citizen, not an "authority figure") who could and would walk into the middle of gang wars and bring about peace and cessation. They trusted him enough to listen, to de-escalate, to put down their weapons and talk. A man who could do what the police were afraid to do.

      It behooves the police (and any "authority") to respect those over whom they have "authority" first and foremost. If they show that they can be trusted and that they will protect those over whom they have "authority" then respect will be built.

      The other side of this coin is that the "law" in place must be just and applied equally to all (including those who administer the "law") for it to be respected. Just because something is the "law" doesn't make it right or just. This argument has already been brought up in other articles on this site.

      An unfortunate feature of US jurisprudence is that there is a segregation of how the "law" applies to the general v=citizen and how it applies to those in "authority". In effect, the "authority" gets a pass (get out of jail free card) where the general citizen will be thrown in prison and the keys thrown away for doing the same actions for exactly the same reasons.

      This kind of thing will cause the general citizenry to "disrespect" the "law" and the "authorities" real quick.

      To make your claims that it is NOT the fault of the "authorities" and only the fault of the citizenry for the problems is hiding your head in the sand.

      Go and study that incredible work of Wisdom called the bible and you will see that when a people are ruled by those who are corrupt, then that people is corrupt, when they are ruled by those who are righteous then the people become righteous.

      Today, our governments and attendant law enforcement (of every kind) are corrupt and so the people suffer and become corrupt. It doesn't matter if there are some who are not corrupt, if the majority of those who are in charge are corrupt (which they are), then corruption will flow throughout society.

      A good parallel is to look at Rome and what happened within its society in the first and second centuries AD. Similar types are happening now in many places of the world. We are going to hell in a handcart, in sports car, in a big bus, in a fats train, in a fast plane and a big ship.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2017 @ 6:19pm

      Re:

      I've read the to and froing about respect and the salient point is that the police as an "authority" as the ones that destroy any respect that may be nascent in the general population.

      You have, in your own backyard of NYC, an example of a man (a citizen, not an "authority figure") who could and would walk into the middle of gang wars and bring about peace and cessation. They trusted him enough to listen, to de-escalate, to put down their weapons and talk. A man who could do what the police were afraid to do.

      It behooves the police (and any "authority") to respect those over whom they have "authority" first and foremost. If they show that they can be trusted and that they will protect those over whom they have "authority" then respect will be built.

      The other side of this coin is that the "law" in place must be just and applied equally to all (including those who administer the "law") for it to be respected. Just because something is the "law" doesn't make it right or just. This argument has already been brought up in other articles on this site.

      An unfortunate feature of US jurisprudence is that there is a segregation of how the "law" applies to the general v=citizen and how it applies to those in "authority". In effect, the "authority" gets a pass (get out of jail free card) where the general citizen will be thrown in prison and the keys thrown away for doing the same actions for exactly the same reasons.

      This kind of thing will cause the general citizenry to "disrespect" the "law" and the "authorities" real quick.

      To make your claims that it is NOT the fault of the "authorities" and only the fault of the citizenry for the problems is hiding your head in the sand.

      Go and study that incredible work of Wisdom called the bible and you will see that when a people are ruled by those who are corrupt, then that people is corrupt, when they are ruled by those who are righteous then the people become righteous.

      Today, our governments and attendant law enforcement (of every kind) are corrupt and so the people suffer and become corrupt. It doesn't matter if there are some who are not corrupt, if the majority of those who are in charge are corrupt (which they are), then corruption will flow throughout society.

      A good parallel is to look at Rome and what happened within its society in the first and second centuries AD. Similar types are happening now in many places of the world. We are going to hell in a handcart, in sports car, in a big bus, in a fats train, in a fast plane and a big ship.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mat (profile), 18 Jul 2017 @ 7:44am

    Hah!

    "they can't keep asking taxpayers to pay for the sins of government employees"

    Sure they can, as long as the other person running against them is equally willing to do so!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Jul 2017 @ 11:37am

    One last comment about a lack of respect. It is not limited to the general public or the cops. Our own government lacks respect for its own laws. The NSA and FBI continually violate the Constitution. Activist judges are not respecting the laws. States violate federal laws, town councils ignore state laws.

    The NSA illegally collects private information? Who cares? The FBI violates the Constitution? Who cares. Sanctuary Cities ignore federal laws? Who cares? Cops beat on and murder citizens? Who cares? Make pot legal in a state and ignore federal law? Who cares?

    It is endemic throughout our country, it is all caused by a lack of respect. We reap what we sow, and I think it is all related. We do what we want, screw the rules as long as I get mine.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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