John Oliver Says What Needs To Be Said About Why Defunding The Police Is The Right Thing Right Now

from the watch-this dept

We've posted a bunch of times when John Oliver has said pretty much exactly what we've been saying here at Techdirt, but he always does it much better, more pointedly, and (much, much) funnier than we do. The latest is no exception. It was all about the systemic racism that has created, enabled and encouraged so much police brutality, especially against black communities. Just watch it:

It goes over a ton of things that we've written about in the past, and some stuff we haven't. It talks about the history of policing -- much of which was literally designed as a racist tool to keep black communities down. It covers the ridiculous "drug wars" from the 1970s and 1980s, that we now know were designed explicitly as a tool to target black Americans by Richard Nixon. It mentions the debunked concept of "broken windows policing," that (again) was used specifically to target black Americans by police. Oh, and also the unconstitutional stop and frisk policies used by the NYPD and elsewhere which (stop me if you've heard this one before...) were used by police to target black Americans.

It goes on to talk about how politicians across the political spectrum focused on putting more and more money into police departments, while cutting and slashing all other social services, leaving the police to deal with the fallout. So, when we don't have services for the mentally ill... it falls to the police (who too often step in and shoot the mentally ill rather than help them). We've turned drug addiction from a medical problem (for which many people cannot get medical help) into a criminal problem (again inserting the police).

Then he discusses the insane police militarization that we've been highlighting here for the better part of a decade. The whole setup of a militarized police has never made sense, in part because it literally sets up two things you don't want if you want reasonable policing: (1) the attitude that your town or city is "at war," and (2) the view that the public is "the enemy." Both of these are the exact opposite of what effective policing would be. From there, it covers how police training reinforces these concepts, and has literally nothing to do with protecting the public, but often more to do with making the police feel good about themselves.

There's also a good discussion of just how evil police unions are, and how they seem to focus on protecting the ability of cops to violate everyone's rights with impunity. And that, of course, brings us right to one of the biggest travesties around: the concept of qualified immunity, which is about as close to a literal "get out of jail free" card as there is from almost all police misbehavior. Oliver then goes on to talk about how the federal government could step in, but (especially under this administration) usually chooses to look the other way.

All of this brings Oliver around to the discussion that gained prominence last week about "defunding the police." On social media, I've seen a bunch of people push back on this idea as somehow a bridge too far, but they're wrong, and Oliver makes the point quite clearly why. The issue is not a "few bad cops." It's not that police need better training. The problem is that the entire system is built to reinforce its own problems. Put more simply: the problem right now is not that the system needs reform, it's that it's working as intended. The entire concept of policing in America is broken. And you don't fix that with reform. You need radical change from top to bottom.

And that's what the "defund the police" movement is about. It's about a total rethink of what "policing" means. And, that can include wiping out entire police departments and starting from scratch with a new approach. Oliver mentions Camden, New Jersey, which did exactly that. In 2013 it shut down its police department and started again from scratch. And the results are pretty stunning (though, even there, there are arguments that they could have gone much further and been even more successful).

As Oliver highlights for people who really need to hear it: defunding the police doesn't mean ending any kind of law enforcement. It means completely rethinking the entire structure of terrible policing we've built up over decades (while simultaneously wiping away the other various safety nets and infrastructure that support people in need putting more of that work onto police shoulders, who are ill-equipped, at best, to handle it).

So, please, if you think "defunding" the police, or some of our posts from the last few weeks are going "too far," please watch Oliver. Or watch some of the many other smart people who have been speaking out about this for years.

The problem is not a few bad cops. The problem is the system itself. The system is working as intended, and that is the problem.

Filed Under: black lives matter, defund the police, john oliver, police brutality, police unions, protests, systemic racism


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  • icon
    aerinai (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 1:41pm

    I was a skeptic...

    I won't lie, the first time I heard the phrase I thought "defunding police" was a 'bridge too far' until I actually educated myself on it and learned what the proposals were. I personally don't like the name, I think it is needlessly divisive title, but honestly, the policies behind the name do make sense:

    Quit sending a police officer to a person who is suicidal... send a counselor.

    Don't send a police officer to take care of a stray dog... send Animal Control.

    Dedicate a division to traffic enforcement that is not apart of the police department (remember, not just pulling people over, but wrecks, traffic light outages, blocked intersections, etc)

    The list can go on and on and on and on. This would be better for literally everyone... except the police unions which will spin this any which way they can as an 'attack on the police', even if the police would benefit from being pulled in 30 different directions, being overworked, and understaffed.

    The police have become polite society's handy man... they do everything and don't do all of it well. Defund the police for their sake as well as ours.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2020 @ 1:55pm

      Re: I was a skeptic...

      Part of that defunding includes stripping them of their military hardware and I'd go a step further to removing firearms of any kind from the majority of officers. Still in favor?

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

      • icon
        aerinai (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 2:31pm

        Re: Re: I was a skeptic...

        I think we are saying the same thing, but differently.

        I'm in favor of right-sizing the police force -- equipment included. Why should a police department require an MRAP that they can conjure up a use case once a decade? The maintenance costs alone makes no sense.

        Regardless of restructuring, violent crime doesn't just magically go away. There will be times it is needed, and you need officers trained and ready. But in this post-right sizing, most of the jobs will be completely removed from police jurisdiction. I'd assume the unarmed staff would already be in other departments -- mental health, animal control, basic security, community liaison, etc. etc. etc.

        I'd imagine that police (armed) escorts would be required in some cases where they are there as a 'backup' for the other civil servant (mental health crisis involving a gun, etc).

        But again... all these details can be worked out; We aren't going to solve this on a message board. But I think de-escalating the divisive rhetoric around this concept would give it a better chance of getting some traction.

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      • icon
        Wyrm (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 2:37pm

        Re: Re: I was a skeptic...

        Not speaking for aerinai above, but I'm definitely in favor of these two points.

        Stripping police of military hardware is a definite plus.
        Stop making police think and behave themselves like military personnel waging a war against the public.
        And also, stop having the military off load perfectly functional equipment on the police, only to turn back to Congress for budget to replace them. This would save a lot of tax money when we stop giving the army an excuse to fund the military-industrial business.

        As for getting guns in general off the hands of most policemen, that's a good point too. Give them reason to rethink themselves as peace keepers, not troopers. Train them to deescalate situations and find peaceful outcomes to calls. Only keep special intervention teams armed for dangerous situations. Why are there even SWATs when every single cop in the US behaves like one?
        Make cop be part of the community instead of act like zookeepers for dangerous species. People are not animals. Despite how cops are currently trained, the people they interact with are neither prey or dangerous wild carnivores on the hunt.

        90% of situations can be solved without guns. Certain countries don't even arm their cops for routine operations, save for something like a baton and a pepper spray. Firearms are only seen as needed in the US because of both racism and too many guns every where. With the paradox/hypocrisy that everyone is entitled to have a gun, but a black man with a gun is directly seen as a threat, not as a man who exercises his right. (Even worse when he doesn't even have a gun.)

        Added bonus, the Karens out there wouldn't have an incentive to call the cops on every black man that shattered their vision of a white haven for bigots.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 1:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: I was a skeptic...

          Or they could be like SF cops, so overstretched that when Karens call, they just ignore their BS. You basically have to have a knife sticking out of your back here before the cops will give you the time of day.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 1:09am

        Re: Re: I was a skeptic...

        Yes, of course, guns are rarely the answer?

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    • icon
      Upstream (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 5:52am

      Re: I was a skeptic...

      they do everything and don't do any of it well.

      ftfy

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 1:03pm

      Re: I was a skeptic...

      Using the verb "defunding" was a PR mistake. How about "demilitarizing" instead?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 2:23pm

        Re: Re: I was a skeptic...

        Or to use the phrase this and other authors use: Redefine the Police. Rethink Policing works too. While “defund” feels good, few will pay attention and just think, “That’s crazy, it’s stupid to get rid of police”.

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

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 3:02pm

          "That’s crazy, it’s stupid to get rid of police"

          Yeah, we thought that in 2014. We thought that in 1968.

          We have a lot of footage to show people who still think that.

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 3:10pm

        PR mistake

        I think the correct term is abolishment.

        Biden's nomination has sent a very clear message that the current government isn't going to be able to pass any adequate reform. Even body-cams are turned off right before the truncheons come out. The reform bill the democrats have proposed after their ceremonial knee is too little too late, and neither Trump nor Biden would sign it.

        Attempts to persist and reform the current system will cause one pertinent result: more people will die at law-enforcement hands. We'll end up right here again, and burning down more police stations and department stores. And we'll have more time during which no-one did fuck all to stop the killing.

        Doing less than what is necessary right now is risking human lives. If anyone else dies in a police-involved incident, that will be a preventable loss of life that falls back on the administrations.

        So...abolish the whole justice system now, or abolish the whole government later. Those are our options.

        ...actually there's a third, and that's declare all dissenters non-persons and intern them. We know the direction that story goes, and we already some who've voiced they would be glad to have it to go there.

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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 2:14pm

    Things to do list

    I like the idea of dissolving police departments, then rehiring those that deserve it (anyone with any use of force issues or other complaints ineligible). Two caveats though, none of the upper echelons should be eligible for rehire (they allowed the problems to continue if they didn't actually instigate the problems) and the union contracts should be dissolved at the same time with a ban on future contracts.

    We probably shouldn't dissolve all police departments at the same time, but I fear how the decision of what order to do so in will be made, and by whom. And I go along with aerinai's idea of separating out those areas of policing where it makes sense (traffic, animal control, mental health counselors, etc.), funded by fewer regular police.

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

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 2:21pm

      Re: Things to do list

      Oh, I should add that new hires should be under an employment at will contract even in right to work states with failure to follow laws or rules or policy subject to immediate, irrevocable dismissal, and loss of license to operate in any law enforcement capacity, including security guard.

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      • icon
        Thad (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 2:49pm

        Re: Re: Things to do list

        "Right to work" in the context of "right-to-work states" doesn't actually mean people have the right to work; it means workers can't be required to join labor unions. It's one of those Orwellian things that largely means the opposite of what it says.

        I'm generally pro-union and opposed to right-to-work laws -- but police unions are a big exception. They're dedicated to protecting violent criminals from facing consequences for their actions and I'd very much like to see that power taken away from them.

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    • identicon
      Agammamon, 8 Jun 2020 @ 3:49pm

      Re: Things to do list

      None of the echelons should be available for rehire. The guys on the ground are as much of a problem as the higher ups. Scrap them all. Where they don't take part they turn a blind eye.

      But you still run into a problem of needing to staff that force and where do you find the people with the experience to manage it? From other police forces. Where they've been doing the same shit.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 3:58pm

        Re: Re: Things to do list

        This is precisely the experience one does not want running the system. Experience like this, as with politics, is generally a downside except for thise with the experience and their buddies, coopting the system.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2020 @ 2:19pm

    Police unions 90% of the problem

    People who work for the government should not be allowed to have unions that promote their rights over the people who they are supposed to serve. If we banned police unions and enforced outside regulation over the police, all of these problems would go away.

    Qualified immunity is a good idea for a doctor who did his best yet still lost the patient in surgery. It is a horrible idea for someone who can shoot me if I don't say the right thing. Our military doesn't get it and they have a job 1 thousand times as tough as the police.

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

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 2:26pm

      Re: Police unions 90% of the problem

      Remember that qualified immunity is about civil action, not criminal. The bigger issue is that the behavior of prosecutors and courts often leave civil action as the only recourse, and while that action should not be precluded, it is much worse that the criminal process fails many too many times.

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

  • icon
    Chris-Mouse (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 2:21pm

    Just watch it:

    I'd love to watch it, but it seems the video is geoblocked to anyone outside the USA

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  • identicon
    Chris Brand, 8 Jun 2020 @ 2:29pm

    "The uploader has not made this video available in your country"

    <sigh>

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  • icon
    aerinai (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 2:38pm

    Another Idea... Police Licensing

    Something I heard on the radio; Basically, like a lawyer or a pilot, you train and license police officers. Once you are licensed, you can be a police officer. However... you can have that license revoked. If you lose your license by screwing up (falsifying information, killing a civilian, use of force, etc) you are no longer eligible to regain that license. Assuming an independent agency was monitoring this, you'd have them make the call to take the politics and unions out of it. If the board says you aren't fit, you'd be blacklisted from the industry for life.

    NOTE: This is NOT enough to solve the entire problem, but that would solve the problem of officers just going to another department when they screw up at one and are fired. Seems like a common sense approach.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2020 @ 7:05pm

      Re: Another Idea... Police Licensing

      That would solve a large part of the problem. If cops know they can lose their job forever if they act like the violent bigoted assholes they are then they will likely behave better. I'm sure some will get better at making sure their victims can't prove anything. But right now they do whatever they want and know they're 95% or more likely to get away with it.

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  • identicon
    Glenn, 8 Jun 2020 @ 2:48pm

    De-fund and, frankly, disarm while you're at it. The cops have only brought it on themselves. We also need fewer laws that do little more than turn peaceful citizens into criminals for simply trying to live their own lives as they see fit.

    We also need every citizen to vote in every election or we'll just keep winding up with politicians who see it as their job to only represent the backers who gave them the most money to get them into office (and screw everyone else). We need to make the entire voting process easier for people to fit into their daily lives, as opposed to having to go out of their way and wait all day in long lines. Otherwise we'll continue to get things like a Trump in the White House.

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 2:53pm

      Re:

      We also need every citizen to vote in every election or we'll just keep winding up with politicians who see it as their job to only represent the backers who gave them the most money to get them into office (and screw everyone else). We need to make the entire voting process easier for people to fit into their daily lives, as opposed to having to go out of their way and wait all day in long lines. Otherwise we'll continue to get things like a Trump in the White House.

      Absolutely. I favor automatic voter registration with mail-in ballot access as the default option (though there should still be some polls available for people who don't have permanent addresses, people with disabilities that prevent them from filling out a paper ballot, etc.).

      My understanding is that in Australia, voting is compulsory and you have to pay a fine if you don't do it -- and, as a result, turnout is nearly 100%. It hasn't solved all their problems; they've got a Trump-like leader of their own. Democracy is messy, but I'd much rather see the problems that arise from near-100% turnout than the ones that arise from just-over-50% turnout.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 3:23pm

        Re: Re:

        My understanding is that in Australia, voting is compulsory and you have to pay a fine if you don't do it -- and, as a result, turnout is nearly 100%.

        I would be fine with compulsory voting only if there was a 'none of the above' option and a system to deal with what happens should that one take the majority, as otherwise you could easily get situations like we currently have where people aren't voting for who they do want they are voting against who they don't, except even worse.

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        • icon
          Thad (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 3:57pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I would be fine with compulsory voting only if there was a 'none of the above' option

          Well certainly you can't force people to actually fill out the ballot. That would conflict with it being a secret ballot.

          and a system to deal with what happens should that one take the majority, as otherwise you could easily get situations like we currently have where people aren't voting for who they do want they are voting against who they don't, except even worse.

          What we need is to stop electing people based on first-past-the-post. There are other systems -- runoffs, ranked-choice voting, etc. -- that ensure a candidate must have a majority in other to win office. The trouble is that to implement that for president, we'd need to amend the Constitution (and while we're at it, presumably get rid of the electoral college).

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2020 @ 4:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            There are other systems -- runoffs, ranked-choice voting, etc. -- that ensure a candidate must have a majority in other to win office.

            That does not avoid the problem of voting for the least worse option. A none of the above, or reopen nominations, is also required, which requires new candidates, and none of the rejected ones can re-stand for that election, because they have been rejected by the electorate.

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 10:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Well certainly you can't force people to actually fill out the ballot. That would conflict with it being a secret ballot.

            If voting is to be mandatory and there are to be fines for not doing so then you would need to have some way of checking whether or not someone actually voted, even if that didn't include a way to know how they voted.

            What we need is to stop electing people based on first-past-the-post. There are other systems -- runoffs, ranked-choice voting, etc. -- that ensure a candidate must have a majority in other to win office.

            Having a better voting system would certainly help, but as the AC above noted unless you really tweaked it you'd still have the potential of candidates getting elected not because people actually want them but because they don't like the alternatives, which was my point with the 'none of the above' option. If someone really is supposed to represent the public and have the power to do so then they really do need to represent the public, not merely be a 'least bad option'.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 1:21am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "If voting is to be mandatory and there are to be fines for not doing so then you would need to have some way of checking whether or not someone actually voted, even if that didn't include a way to know how they voted."

              Easy enough. You got to the voting booth, register your name, get the little envelope, grab your ballot of choice, will in the name or leave it blank. Hand in the envelope where they can see through the little window that there is a ballot of some kind in the envelope. Done.

              What you need to ensure is that the blank votes are also counted because that brings the message that none of the parties managed to produce a credible candidate for the X percent who voted blank. That in itself tells the parties there's X percent swing voters out there up for grabs, if their next candidate is more credible.

              Here in Sweden the news regularly uses the amount of votes for Donald Duck and Volvo as lithmus indicator of how healthy the incumbent parties are. It gets results.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 4:05pm

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

                This, or just having the option to vote "no", full stop. If there is a lot of "no", the party or parties have to field someone or something else.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 4:47pm

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

                Unfortunately, a blank ballot would be prone to fraud. How do you know those counting the votes are trustworthy? I think a very clear "None of the Above" or "I do not support these options" sends a clearer message and can't be altered like a blank ballot could.

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                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Jun 2020 @ 4:13am

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

                  "How do you know those counting the votes are trustworthy?"

                  That's why you always have free access for citizens to observe the ballots being counted. Generally speaking if you have the ability to write something on a blank ballot you might just as well switch that ballot out. This isn't rocket science - and it's worked in europe for hundreds of years without our democracies and republics spontaneously toppling due to massive voter fraud.

                  I like the swedish solution. Everyone who can't take either presented option just customarily votes for Donald Duck or Volvo. In the EU we have at least one PM representing the "Donald Duck"-party who just spends their term being a constant reminder to the other parties that "Guys, you dun goofed".

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2020 @ 10:27pm

        Re: Re:

        In australia it is compulsory to turn up to a polling booth an get you r ballot paper. If you don't there is a fine. You can do what you like with the ballot paper without consequence fill in your preferences or burn it in the polling area. You'll probably get some infraction for burning it but you wont get fined for not voting. There's also mail in ballots and pre polling depending on circumstances.

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

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    icon
    tz1 (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 3:20pm

    To quote Oliver earlier, "Do It!"!

    https://money.cnn.com/2016/11/07/media/john-oliver-donald-trump-election/index.html I couldn't think of any way Trump could win all 50 states, but I didn't expect the Hillary archipelago ( https://vividmaps.com/trumpland-and-clinton-archipelago/ ) would create "The Purge" in their areas, but not only for a few hours. It can go nationwide. I'm in a small town where flyover country flys over and ignores (literally, I've seen "the first state to..." no, we are, but don't tell them). I leave my truck unlocked. Lost wallets are turned over to the police, so if they go we can have a municipal lost and found. That said, while we have "Officer Friendly" (and officer unfriendly will soon have to find another state to oppress), I agree with Oliver. The DEMOCRAT Identity politics game supports the police union blue gang as merely another they pander to and perhaps the Apex predator. Does the south side of Chicago - 30 deaths this weekend - think the police are needed? This is a very specific problem (I've been complaining about, perhaps longer than you've been alive). Blue PRIVILEGE. Paranoia training so they are in fear of their life during their whole shift so it's justified to shoot anyone https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/02/us/training-officers-to-shoot-first-and-he-will-answer-questions- later.html You will hate what I say next but I don't see that Chauvin is guilty of anything except doing exactly what he was trained to do. But that emphasizes the point of this article. The system that taught Chauvin to use neck restraints, as "less than lethal force", not unlike tasers that also can cause heart attacks. https://www.policeone.com/defensive-tactics/articles/4-reasons-every-cop-should-be-train ed-in-lateral-vascular-neck-restraint-q5Ic6fvDg9hyMSvG/ Apparently the same neck restraint was used over 200 times by the Minneapolis police and over 40 times resulted in unconsciousness, but no deaths before Floyd (who was fragile, but not visibly so). So if they go back to shooting people instead of the "less than lethal"? Yes, defund and dissolve THAT police department. The difference 50 years ago and before and small towns is that the police are your neighbors. I know them; they know me. Anything will make the local paper (someone going off the main road into the irrigation channel does). We used to have neighborhood cops. We need to return to community, not the anonymous city. Then we can have community policing. Or perhaps the 2nd amendment has an application.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 1:22am

      Re: To quote Oliver earlier, "Do It!"!

      Punctuation is a thing. So are paragraphs. If you can't express your opinion in a readable format then perhaps find ways to condense the message to a far smaller wordwall.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 4:13am

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    • icon
      Celyxise (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 12:27pm

      Re: To quote Oliver earlier, "Do It!"!

      I'm not entirely sure but I think you are mostly agreeing with the article? The idea is to get police in cities to act like your town, part of the community instead of at war with it. And I agree with you that the training is a large part of the training, that's why the system need to be changed. Your town sounds great and I don't see how any proposed change would affect your police force.

      I would like to comment on one part of your post:

      The DEMOCRAT Identity politics game supports the police union blue gang as merely another they pander to and perhaps the Apex predator. Does the south side of Chicago - 30 deaths this weekend - think the police are needed?

      Once again I'm not sure, but this sounds like you are under the misunderstanding that some are calling for police to be abolished completely. Literally no one is calling for that. Defunding the police is just a way to communicate the need to move funding away from the impossible goal of training one group of people to respond to every possible scenario in a city and into many well funded specialist groups to hand the many jobs police are unfairly forced to currently handle.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 4:09pm

        Re: Re: To quote Oliver earlier, "Do It!"!

        No, they just think we are all Democrats or defend anything Democrat-attached. They also think Democrats are mostly on the further left, and support things like police reform or identity politics.

        It is to laugh.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 3:29pm

    If you can't Do the job then you don't Keep the job

    If you are paid to do a particular job and you not only fail to do so but you fail in a way that makes things worse than if you weren't around at all then giving you the boot makes perfect sense, and if entire departments are so corrupted that they fall into that category then it seems entirely reasonable to purge those departments.

    It would be one thing if it really was 'just a few bad apples', a few firings and reform to prevent the problem would likely fix that issue, but when a problem reaches systemic corruption levels then the fix is by necessity going to be more extreme and wide-reaching as a result if anything is going to be accomplished.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 1:30am

      Re: If you can't Do the job then you don't Keep the job

      "It would be one thing if it really was 'just a few bad apples', a few firings and reform to prevent the problem would likely fix that issue..."

      The entire apple metaphor is so broken it hurts. When the barrel itself is full of shit the actual state of the apples tossed into it no longer matters much.

      "A few bad apples" is what british airlines had to deal with when a few of their pilots violated 24 hour rules and showed up at the plane drunk as lords.
      If the british airlines were run by US police unions those pilots would not only still be employed - but have a portable bar in the cockpit and an ejector seat which would fire the pilot to safety if the plane ever suffered catastrophic malfunction. Another ejector seat in the toilets, without a parachute, which the pilot could operate for shit'z'n'giggles...ö
      ...And the guy exposing the drunk pilots or questioning why random brown-skinned passengers were routinely fired out of airplane toilets would be publicly lambasted as being "hostile to aviation".

      You don't get a handle on just how fscked up this situation is until you compare it to...anything else, really. Even within the US the police have a form of prosecutorial immunity which makes the shady branches of the US military envious.

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      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 3:44am

        Re: Re: If you can't Do the job then you don't Keep the job

        You don't get a handle on just how fscked up this situation is until you compare it to...anything else, really. Even within the US the police have a form of prosecutorial immunity which makes the shady branches of the US military envious.

        Indeed, take the same situation and apply it in any other field and the 'few bad apples' thing is exposed as horrifically flawed, an argument that might be tried once but would most certainly not be tried twice after it was rightly and roundly mocked and derided the first time.

        'Yeah we have a few chefs that like to slip needles and/or arsenic in the meals of 'undesirables' resulting in a steady stream of hospitalizations and deaths, and yes the system we have in place makes it effectively impossible to punish them in any way, but hey, they're only a small fraction of chefs so what's the big problem?'

        I cannot for the life of me think of any other profession where someone would even try to argue that random assaults and murders by members of that profession should be seen as an acceptable price of the job, something that the public will just have to deal with and where any attempt to punish those involved or apply rules to deal with what are claimed to be the ever so rare exceptions are fought tooth and nail. Even the military, people who are heavily armed under the understanding that they are going to be in situations where they might actually need that level of hardware are held to standards higher than that.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 7:55am

          Re: Re: Re: If you can't Do the job then you don't Keep the job

          "I cannot for the life of me think of any other profession where someone would even try to argue that random assaults and murders by members of that profession should be seen as an acceptable price of the job, something that the public will just have to deal with and where any attempt to punish those involved or apply rules to deal with what are claimed to be the ever so rare exceptions are fought tooth and nail."

          Not legal professions at least. I mean it's an expected addition to your CV if your employer is El Chapo.

          That, I think, is the problem. A US county or municipality is not El Chapo, and hopefully not in the same line of business. So why they allow thugs to exist on their payroll which would have even El Chapo going "Eh, you need to cool down a bit, hombre" is beyond me.

          And yet to americans this is either normal (which is fscked up beyond belief) or worse, ignored.

          That a whole lot of mildly benevolent middle-class white people are sitting up and going "Oh my God" right now - as they did during Ferguson, Rodney King...all the way back to 1968...is the real source of despair.

          I have no problem understanding why a lot of black people feel there's no hope. Even the white people who aren't themselves racist are often so blind to to racism it beggars belief. It's as if there was a religious injunction of some sort.

          "Yea, and thou shalt turn thine eyes the other way lest thou seest the officer of thy law laying a brutal beatdown on thine brown friend and neighbor. And if thou seest this thous shalt not unsee it. Therefore turneth thou on thine next series and turn thou up the volume that thou art not mightily disturbed by the wailing and the gnashing of teeth."

          Must be the 11th commandment.

          Either way it means every damn time it turns out that yes, racism exists and yes, it's your neighborhood police officer, your broker and your boss doing it...and the next generation goes "It can't be! Our children go to school together. They've always been so polite!" - while completely missing the point.

          I think a whole lot of americans really don't want to know about racism because that'd mean they'd have to face the fact that their nephew, boss or neighbor is, in reality, a genuine bastard.
          Just not to them, which makes it a bit hard to make with the accusations. White privilege making it a LOT harder for the actual victims to get redress or even acknowledgment.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2020 @ 3:44pm

    I have not yet heard an item that should be on the get rid of list, maybe I just missed it.

    Asset Forfeiture - this needs to go as do all conflicts of interest

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  • identicon
    Agammamon, 8 Jun 2020 @ 3:45pm

    Defund the police - fine. I'm a libertarian, and I'm all for that.

    But what replaces it?

    A new, different police department built from the ground up? De-Baathification didn't work in Iraq.

    Private police? That comes with its own set of issues.

    Or will it be a muddle where there is both no police and any attempts by the population to organize to defend themselves (ie, vigilantism) will be interfered with by a government afraid to lose power? A government who's policies lead to the issues with these police departments in the first place.

    I mean, let's get to root causes - defund the government that makes tyrannical police departments possible.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2020 @ 7:07pm

      Re:

      Guess how we know you didn't bother to watch the video or even read any of the comments that came before yours?

      "Defund the police" doesn't mean "shut down the police". Educate yourself.

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

      • identicon
        Agammamon, 8 Jun 2020 @ 7:47pm

        Re: Re:

        It doesn't mean 'defund the police' to John Oliver. He's got some decent ideas there.

        The Minneapolis government hasn't weighed in on what they think it means and they stuff their government has been putting out suggests they don't know what their own idea really contains.

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  • identicon
    Agammamon, 8 Jun 2020 @ 3:51pm

    One thing I've been thinking about for police forces is bonding of individual officers in the same way that, say, a contractor needs bonding.

    Can't get the cash to cover a bond then you go to a bonding agency and pay a fee to get them to cover you.

    Can't get a bonding agency to cover that bond for a price you can afford - its because you have a history of requiring too many payouts. Time for you to find another line of work.

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    • identicon
      Agammamon, 8 Jun 2020 @ 7:52pm

      Re:

      In any case, couple more things.

      1. you can take money away without taking away responsibilities. Meaning that the cops have less money to do what is required of them. Meaning more asset forfeiture and more discarding of core police duties in pursuit of revenue-making actions.

      Less training, less tolerance, more violence and theft by the police.

      1. It takes time to set up the organizations that will take on any duties you remove from police jurisdiction. If you just cut the budget today, you immediately put your police force in the situation I outlined above until you can get the structures in place to handle the shifting of those duties.

      Dealing with suicidal people still needs to continue - what do you do in the interim between when you've cut the police budgets and they cut back on training and before you have sufficient counselors up and running?

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2020 @ 8:26pm

        Re: Re:

        PRAIRIE FIRE
        THE POLITICS OF REVOLUTIONARY ANTI-IMPERIALISM POLITICAL STATEMENT OF THE WEATHER by Communications Co. UNDER GROUND and brought to you by
        Techdirt - the BURN IT DOWN web site

        All rights reserved

        The publisher's copyright is not intended to discourage the use of material from this book for political debate and study. It is intended to prevent false and distorted reproduction and profiteering. Aside from those limits, people are free to utilize the material.

        This edition is a copy of the original which was Printed Underground
        In the US For The People of other countries, including the future OMerica (Obama America)

        FundObama. Defund Police. Defund the Government. Fund BLM Obama BLM. Say it with me.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2020 @ 8:49pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'll say it with you. Shiva Ayyadurai didn't invent email, Fran Drescher dumped his ass, and he wasted money trying to bully Elizabeth Warren and other people who refused to suck his cock on demand.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 1:36am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So as usual, Baghdad Bob, you see fit to fill a whole post with nothing but random word salads and a "But Obama!"?

          I think we've all realized by now that you've turned "the black man in the oval office" into your personal fetisch...but let me be the umpteenth one to tell you that your obsession with black politicians isn't healthy.

          Obama isn't in office anymore. Hasn't been for a while. And some time down the road when you're in the old folks home suddenly shouting "But Obama" still won't win you the bingo.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 4:30pm

        Re: Re:

        This isn't a new idea, you know, despite Minnesota pols trying to muddle through it. Some people and organization have been thinking and working on this for years.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2020 @ 3:55pm

    Defund the Government

    Police abuses are merely a more obvious symptom of inherent government abuses. The essence of government is coercion -- and thus all governments fundamenatly rely upon police/military as enforcers for the dictates of government officials.

    There are only two basic ways to organize human activity -- by voluntary cooperation or by force.
    Most governments are initially established on the 'Force' model -- but even the most democratic and peaceful governments eventually degenerate into the coercive tyrannical model.

    America is very close to police-state status. But most citizens are deluded by the constant political theater of campaigns/elections -- into falsely believing that the general public somehow actually controls the behemoth government structures and personnel.

    " The problem is not a few bad cops. The problem is the system itself. The system {Government} is working as intended, and that is the problem. "

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  • identicon
    That Guy, 8 Jun 2020 @ 4:01pm

    Police One

    The Police One website, owners operators, moderators, and members should be declared a terrorist organization.

    Hunt down those people and jail them in Gitmo. They call for a police state, police/government before people. This is exactly backwards to our constitution and bill of rights, thus they are calling for the overthrow of currently enacted US government. Thus terrorist.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2020 @ 4:44pm

    defunding the police doesn't mean ending any kind of law enforcement

    Yes it does. If you wanted to reform and fix the police, you'd be saying "reform the police". By saying "defund the police" you're saying that you want to do to the police what Congress did to the Office of Technology Assessment and make them effectively cease to exist. If you want people to believe that isn't want, the first thing you need to do is stop saying you want to defund the police.

    Even if we take you at your word that you don't want to abolish law enforcement with as little foresight as Congress abolishing the OTA, calling it "defund the police" is misleading. The money spent on police won't suddenly be freed up or not spent like saying "defund" implies. You'll be spending the same amount or more on your new police, which will certainly still be called "the police".

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    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 4:56pm

      Re:

      Defund the police could mean removing money spent on military hardware, either to acquire or maintain. Defund the police could mean not paying for any training that doesn't emphasize deescalation as a first step. Defund the police could mean reducing the force by the size of their swat and/or anti-terror and/or any squad that is specifically trained to confront mobs or has snipers.

      Defund the police could mean a lot of things, and if you watched the video, or read the article you would have an inkling from the mention of the Camden NJ police department that was disbanded and reconstituted or the NYC police department work slow down that didn't create an increase in crime and that changing the staff or size doesn't mean no more police.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2020 @ 5:29pm

        Re: Re:

        If it's suppose to mean those things, then say what you mean, rather than a slogan that means you want to abolish the police.

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

        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 5:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's your interpretation. I bet that if you asked each of those with defund the police signs out on the protests you would get a different answer.

          The real problem is coming up with a cohesive methodology for correcting the systemic problems and then, once that is agreed upon, finding a way to do it, and then actually doing it. Are you going to be a contributor or a dissembler?

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

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            identicon
            Barrack Obama, 8 Jun 2020 @ 7:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes, a cohesive methodology, that's the ticket. Let me lay out my vision for you - a New America. I spent 8 years with Bill Ayers when I was president. I loved him, he loved me, we talked a lot about how to destroy America. And we made a plan. It's unfolding now. Bill invented the justification for the chaos, you can read it for yourself in Prairie Fire. It's perfect. Systemic Racism, oppressive police, white supremacists, the whole 9 yards. The only difference between now and then is that now many governors and police chiefs and other authorities are black. Doesn't matter. They oppress black people the same way white people oppress black people. It's systemtic. Chaos. Rioting. Murder. Looting. Underfunded Police. It's all to build a new America. These highly charged dangerous situations are PERFECT for us, just ask Bill. From now on, it's Black People that will put Choke Holds on White People. That's fair. And it's good for me. Guess what? I will be PRESIDENT of the New America FOREVER! Because I'M BLACK. And I'm CLEAN and PRESENTABLE, not like those other blacks. just ask Joe. He knows. America for ME! America for BLACKS! Not America - OMerica! Obama-Merica! (boy, does my wife have a fat ass - jealous?)

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 1:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Let me lay out my vision for you..."

              Ah, the one where an unusually dumb and obsessed racist keeps squawking "But Obama" because he still has PTSD over a black man becoming president?

              In case you hadn't realized it, the only message people are reading in your comments are ; "This guy's a fscking bona fide white supremacist who just can't stop whining about how the Black Man is out to destroy White America by, apparently, demanding equality"

              Stormfront kicked you out for being too obnoxious for even them, didn't they. That's why you keep being shouty around here where all you get is a flag.
              Well, racists do tend to be less tolerant than we liberals. Guess that's why we have to suffer their rejects sitting in the corner and shitting themselves at random.
              Burden of being civilized, i guess.

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            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 4:11am

              Hamilton, this is sad, even for you.

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

          • identicon
            Agammamon, 8 Jun 2020 @ 7:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes. That's called 'reform'.

            'Defund' means to remove from them access to money. Some or all of it.

            Meaning that they can't do as much as they could do before. That's fine - I'm all for cutting budgets. But at the same time you need to look at what they do and set priorities too and figure out who is going to do those things the police can no longer afford to do if you still want them done.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 5:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          As they are? Yes, abolishment. Then we can start over with qualified humans and a proper division of labor which might actually accomplish serving and protecting and all that good stuff. You defund what is unnecessary and harmful, and fund different things which work. Police can be left to do a more resticted set of police things, seperated from SWAT and detectives, and other specialized departments for public mental health issues, traffic enforcement, etc.

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      • identicon
        Agammamon, 8 Jun 2020 @ 7:57pm

        Re: Re:

        Sounds like what you're saying is that 'defund the police' really means 'actually have OVERSIGHT of the police and stop letting them run riot'.

        Which certainly could be done without defunding them.

        Especially since basically every department across the country tops off their budget with civil asset forfeiture and (at least in some areas) brings in a not insignificant amount of money to the city budget through fines issued.

        Meaning some cities are going to put themselves in a bind when the cops stop prioritizing revenue generation and start sitting on their arses.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 4:10am

          We can enact meaningful oversight without defunding, yes. But doing both can inspire a broader change in police culture. Cops who want better funding should act better to get it.

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

          • identicon
            Agammamon, 9 Jun 2020 @ 11:30am

            Re:

            It absolutely can.

            But its become obvious that 'defund the police' means nothing - everyone seems to think it means something different.

            And the people pushing this - the city governments - won't clarify what they mean by it.

            I see a lot of good ideas about how to restructure police departments and their duties under the 'defund the police' banner - but they're all coming from people without any power to defund the police. What's coming from the people who nominally control the police is . . . 'calling the police when your home is broken into “comes from a place of privilege,'.

            OK, fair enough - that doesn't answer the question though. What does Lisa Bender mean when she says 'defund the police'?

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    • icon
      BernardoVerda (profile), 8 Jun 2020 @ 5:46pm

      Re:

      If you have to explain to ordinary people (the ones you're trying to persuade) what your simple little three-word slogan actually means -- because you're simultaneously trying to change the commonly-used, immediately understood, self-evident and accepted plain meaning of the words you're using -- you're doing it wrong.

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

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2020 @ 6:13pm

    Racism must END NOW

    Any opposition to racism? The spirit of resistance inside the US was
    rekindled by Black people. The power and strategy of the civil rights
    movement, SNCC, Malcolm X, and the Black Panther Party affected all other
    rebellion. They created a form of struggle "called direct action; awoke a
    common identity, history and dignity for Black people as a colonized and
    oppressed people within the US; drew out and revealed the enemy through a
    series of just and undeniable demands such as the vote, equal education, the
    right to self-defense, and an end to Jim Crow. The police, the troops, the
    sheriffs, the mass arrests and assassinations were the official response. The
    Black movement was pushed forward into a revolutionary movement for
    political power, open rebellion and confrontation with the racism of white
    people and the racism of institutions and the racism of you and the racism
    of me and the racism of my neighbor and the racism of your neighbor and
    friends and dogs and cats and weather and even the racism of breathing and
    eating and coughing and sneezing and EVEN MORE AND MORE RACISM!

    How boring you idiots are. This is Obama/Ayers racism. Find a new one.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 1:46am

      Re: Racism must END NOW

      Oh, yeah. Trying to make resistance against racism be...racist. Against white people.

      And...you forgot to add the part where you holler, hysterically, that they're "comin' for our wimmin!" in falsetto. That one's important, you know. Add it right to the end, right next to your summary conclusion of "But Obama!".

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 11:03am

        Re: Re: Racism must END NOW

        Trying to make resistance against racism be...racist. Against white people.

        Sadly, that's was a trending argument on Twitter in Canada this morning.

        A little bit of history:

        The provinces of Ontario and Quebec were once the colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada (respectively), and were owned by the English and the French (respectively).

        France lost Lower Canada to the English in the Seven Years' War. A bunch of people speaking the French language, with French culture and loyalties were not exactly treated well under the British, and so there were multiple rebellions, for some fairly good reasons.

        There has been hostility between what became the Province of Quebec and the rest of Canada ever since, waxing and waning. Largely, though, Quebec is about as powerful as they've ever been within Canada: of the recent (since 1968) Prime Ministers of Canada, we've had exactly one (Stephen Harper) who was [i]not[/i] either a native French speaker or raised bilingual, and who served in the office for more than a year.

        Which it's kind of shocking that this was published today in the Journal de Montréal. It literally calls French-speaking Québecois the "white negroes of Canada."

        What is this in response to?

        It's directly in response to criticism that public servants are not allowed to wear religious symbols, thanks to Bill 21, which disproportionately affects practicing Muslim women wearing hijab or niqab, and Sikh men wearing turbans.

        So, this piece is literally claiming that the francophone Québecois are being discriminated against... because Québec is "not embracing multiculturalism." Because they're inflicting hardship against certain religions (which happen to predominantly have people with darker skin as their members) but not others.

        This guy is trying to argue that resisting racism is being racist against French-speaking white people.

        The mind boggles.

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Jun 2020 @ 4:40am

          Re: Re: Re: Racism must END NOW

          "This guy is trying to argue that resisting racism is being racist against French-speaking white people. The mind boggles."

          Sadly not exactly new, nor uncommon. Bear in mind that for a privileged part of the population losing the privilege is seen as oppression.

          White supremacists, for instance, know damn well white privilege is a thing. They may be telling everyone, even themselves, otherwise, but deep down they know. That's why every suggestion of racial equality sends them into paroxysms of squawking hysteria.

          The Quebecois trying to preserve Quebec as a primarily french-speaking white city - or even just the french-speaking part - see their loss of the ability to preserve that state as outright oppression.

          "It's an outrage" sayeth the bigot, "that in MY ON COUNTRY I shall have to ask before taking, suffer a black/english-speaking fellow to look me squarely in the eye. That the godless heathen may move in next door and be my NEIGHBOR...".

          Anyone remember the old signs in 1968 with brokers, banks and other institutions all saying "White People Welcome"? THOSE are the people currently outraged -again. Trump's pre-president career where he outright ordered the people running his buildings to accept no black people as tenants. The way he made a joke out of describing black people as "inherently lazy" and "untrustworthy with money"?

          This sort of mindset is only defensible with the words "I am biased against <insert ethnic minority>". And the racists at least know that today that is not received well. That's why they keep trying to feed everyone twisted irrelevant and/or infactual bullshit whenever they try to make their point.

          Hell, just read Baghdad Bob's/Hamilton's little AC comment above. Hell, read ANY of them. It's a desperate diatribe of irrelevant bull about how the black lives matter-movement will result in fscking Armageddon.

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  • identicon
    Daydream, 8 Jun 2020 @ 6:22pm

    It's blocked in Australia too...so I did a little searching and found a copy on Dailymotion instead.

    Question, though; what's up with the 'racist christmas tree'? Why is it such a big deal to decorate a christmas tree with drugs and junk food? Are people in fear for their lives after seeing this crassly-decorated tree? How can it possibly be so bad that the only thing that can be done is banish those who created it?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2020 @ 7:12pm

      Re:

      In a country with such a long history of ingrained racism, any little exposure of racism -- literally anything -- will trigger a firestorm. Particularly right now while so may are taking to the streets to protest racism and police brutality. Racism is a zero-tolerance subject for most Americans.

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

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        identicon
        Barrack Obama, 8 Jun 2020 @ 9:59pm

        Ingrained Racism

        RIght, Comerade, you are Right. ingrained racism! I can fix that, I have a plan! Here's how it's going to work: First, we will defund the police. Everybody already agrees on that. And THEN, Intel, Pepsi, Nike and other like minded revolutionaries will fund BLM (already happening). And THEN BLM will come to your neighborhood and ask for Support for their anti-White-Supremacy movement. With the investments from Intel and others, we have already purchased all the sanitation equipment (garbage trucks) in the US. Now, to support BLM, simply have them pick up your garbage. Simple. If you want to leave some donations to BLM in return for extra protection now that the police are gone, that's fine, just mark them with a big $ and keep them very clean. We don't want to HAVE to BEAT you to SUBMISSION, we don't want to BURN YOUR RESIDENCE, so just contribute generously, please. Badged BLM members will come for an in-person interview (usually groups of 20 or more) soon, please be ready with your donations and thank you for supporting BLM! In fact, since we usually come about 3AM, maybe it would be better for you to just leave them outside. Omerica! It's our Future! BLM OBAMA BLM!! Say it with me!

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 1:47am

          Re: Ingrained Racism

          And yet another "But Obama!"

          Baghdad Bob, think you could squeeze in another few of those? I almost got the bingo card filled.

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

  • identicon
    Fentex, 8 Jun 2020 @ 6:36pm

    Robert Peel explained how policing should be done two hundred years ago.

    His ideas are sound and proven.

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

  • identicon
    Unwoke, 8 Jun 2020 @ 11:46pm

    Seriously?

    Just asking...what possible advantage is there in spending inordinate amounts of resources in order to shut down one race or another in today's world. OF course, the old divide and conqueor is always a favorite of those with the means to manipulate the masses, but this may be accomplished via a variety of means and divisions. What is the benefit of pushing down blacks or any other race without some desired outcome for which other, much better means of obtaining the goal are available? Seems more likely a tool to fool and control.

    Think about it....what is the desired end really? I'm not talking about small cults of racists (Neo-Nazis, etc.), but rather mainstream class stuff.

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2020 @ 11:52pm

      Re: Seriously?

      Remember the Indians?

      From the Shawnee arose a great American Indian leader, Tecumtha
      (Panther -Lying-in-Wait, aka Mike Masnick). He rallied the nations, travelling from Canada
      (Iroquois land, that's Tim) to Missouri (Osage territory 1 * to Florida (Seminole nation also pronounced Seamen Nation, cause they're all gay down there).
      He argued for unified resistance, denounced alcohol, and with the help
      of his brother, called for revival of Indian culture and ways. He saw the
      moment as a strategic one: "a last chance such as will never occur again for
      us Indians of North America to form ourselves into one great combination."
      Tecumtha allied with the British in the War of 1812, starting off by
      capturing Detroit. The British betrayed Tecumtha, who died fighting a year
      later. Then Masnick organized Techdirt, and here we are!

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 2:03am

      Re: Seriously?

      "Think about it....what is the desired end really? I'm not talking about small cults of racists (Neo-Nazis, etc.), but rather mainstream class stuff."

      Essentially, in the US, those small cults are the end of it.

      Voter participation in the US is low. Real low. Even in the presidential elections we're looking at 60% turnout - in a good year. Michael Moore managed to have a ficus plant win the popular election for governor in a state - and if it hadn't been disqualified by the establishment on a technicality that state might, by now, be governed by an actual plant.

      When voter participation is that low the extremists, who invariably vote will carry the elections on every level. That means the elected officials are more likely to end up being crackpots and ideologists of one brand or another. Rinse and repeat for a few generations and you end up with a significant proportion of the establishment in certain states and on the federal level being people like Steve King and Trump, who simply know not to speak their true opinions in public.

      That's from the top level. Now consider, from the bottom level, how a flawed police training vetting procedure can produce a police corps where racism is inherently a part of the culture.

      Spice it up with inflammatory political stunts like continually telling the police they're in a war zone and arming them to the point where you'd think they were about to be given orders to storm the beaches at Normandie. Black people being inherently "criminal" makes great vote collection material for politicians catering to the sizeable crowd of avidly voting racists.

      Leave this horrible mess to stew for a while through one brutality-inspired race riot after the other and what you end up with is the same situation which US politicians had right after the civil war when even the "liberal" ones claimed that "thank god they had the means to suppress the negro because otherwise white people couldn't walk among them".

      By now there's a very solid fear among the closet racist crowd - never explicitly spoken - that giving black people equal power will end badly for a lot of white people. Exploited by a lot of political opportunists making entire careers almost exclusively out of the hatred one portion of the citizenry has for the other. They certainly gain from fanning these flames and encourage that mode of thought.

      The nation as a whole loses. Big. The people who discovered hatemongering's a great career enhancer? They win.

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

  • identicon
    ryuugami, 8 Jun 2020 @ 11:46pm

    John Oliver [...] always does it [...] (much, much) funnier than we do

    But you have us, the commenters... and assure our performance by providing the "Rate as Funny" button!

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

  • icon
    Peter (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 2:40am

    How did we get there in the first place?

    John Oliver showed a couple of speeches by President Clinton, promising "to make us safer" by employing 100.000 more police.

    The approach was copied to explode the budget of the NSA (to now $ 10 bn) - "to make us safer". To start a couple of wars - "to make us safer". To explode the Pentagon budget - now heading towards an unimaginable $1 Trillion! While we are actually reducing the number of wars we are fighting ... - "to make us safer".

    For each of these, there are two crucial assumptions: That first, we are not safe (enough) right now. And that second, spending money on police/surveillance/wars/the Pentagon will actually make use safer. Ever increasing - more money, more safety.

    Why are these assumptions never challenged? Someone put up a - rather sarcastic, nonetheless true - comment that 9/11 killed fewer people than the flu in just one year. Yet, if we compare the money spent to prevent another 9/11 with the money spent to fight diseases, one does wonder what we are trying to achieve with our war on crime, drugs and terror.

    And one wonders if and how we actually check that whatever we do to "make us safer" actually does make us safer ...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 5:30pm

      Re: How did we get there in the first place?

      Because some things only ratchet one way until they break. The only reorieve is when they aren't ratcheting. The "do something" crowd likes ratcheting, and doing "something" usually involves the first bad idea they have, plus whatever interested powers can lobby in to make it worse.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 9:36am

    I was honestly a bit disappointed in this episode, as John Oliver and his team blatantly ignored the reasonable "other side" argument in favor of the sensationalism and sly insults.

    "Defund the police", which means don't actually defund the police but whatever, requires someone to pay for the services you stand up. And few people want to do that. Those people who feel safe right now, that John calls out, want to keep feeling safe. And they aren't going to feel that so much when you remove a police office and replace them with a unarmed counselor. And those people pay the bills. They'd rather have a cop chase off a homeless person until they're out of sight than pay for a more expensive but humane solution.

    And if you ever hope to get those people onside you have to speak to their concerns, which are real and valid. If you care about about the looting, vandalism, and destruction of property more than you do the protests, that doesn't mean you are a bad person and should fuck off. Hell, you could still care more about fixing police violence than the destruction and still fall into Oliver's category of "fuck off" because maybe you think the protests aren't effective (which, historically, they aren't).

    If none of this is getting through to you think of another institutional racism issue, education. What is effective and works is well known in fixing education, and it's investment/money. And that money has to come from the "good" school districts going to the "bad" school districts. Which means in order to address that problem the people who pay the bills, those in "good" school districts either need to be willing to pay a lot more than they currently are or to shift money from their own school district to another. Which means they need to actively work against their kids having the best education they can possibly get.

    You're going to instant see that and probably think it's bullshit, but that is the reality. When you call people racists for not doing more to stop institutional racism in education or when you say the equivalent of "if you care more about looting and police brutality against black peopel" in the field of education, you're telling people they're bad people for caring about their kids and their future. That they need to intentionally give up some chance for a greater potential in their kids lives. Because that is what stuff like white privilege is, even if people don't recognize it. And it doesn't help when people hold up examples of white privilege being bad without considering the underlying meaning.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 10:49am

      Re:

      As I see it, the situation is approaching the point where the advantaged can give up a little to improve the lot of the disadvantaged, or risk losing it all in a revolution. Note, most revolutions are enabled by a class of people losing all hope, and thinking that they can die quietly, or die fighting for their rights.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Jun 2020 @ 4:52am

      Re:

      " And those people pay the bills. They'd rather have a cop chase off a homeless person until they're out of sight than pay for a more expensive but humane solution."

      You realize that's part of the problem, right there?

      Here's the thing. if you keep a dog which bites people, who pays the damages? You do. Or someone eventually takes away your dog. Now you're effectively saying "But what if those people REALLY want to keep their dog"?

      And the answer doesn't change. If they keep a dog which bites people, then they pay for it and/or lose the dog.

      There are no "two sides" arguments which you can invoke which do not explicitly mean that the guy owning the dog should get to keep his dog even when it bites other people. That means your argument becomes irrelevant.

      "When you call people racists for not doing more to stop institutional racism in education or when you say the equivalent of "if you care more about looting and police brutality against black peopel" in the field of education, you're telling people they're bad people for caring about their kids and their future."

      They are. They insist the dog must remain despite the fact that it bites people simply because they do not give a shit about the people getting bitten.
      This makes them bad people, yes. It's why every german after world war 2 was considered horrible by default for an entire generation. If you accept the suffering of other people at the hands of your own employees as the price paid for your own people being better off then you are very bad indeed.

      "And it doesn't help when people hold up examples of white privilege being bad without considering the underlying meaning."

      The underlying meaning being that you accept that your dog keeps biting other people and defend its behavior simply because you don't want to risk losing the dog.

      What you describe isn't even white privilege anymore. It's something far, far worse.

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Jun 2020 @ 5:05am

        Re: Re:

        Let me add a little more;

        "You're going to instant see that and probably think it's bullshit..."

        Because it is. You are effectively arguing that the british landowners and merchants had every reason to expect the american colonists to fall in line and continue getting with the program. You are delivering the debate held by the british crown against the colonists demanding "No taxation without representation".

        So yes, your argument is bullshit from start to end. But I'll give you the benefit of doubt and assume you simply weren't thinking.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2020 @ 8:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You reduced a real issue to a dog analogy and casually threw out a historical reference that you say is relevant but actually has nothing to do with the situation and then accuse me of not thinking it through? Okay, whatever.

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

          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 11 Jun 2020 @ 5:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "You reduced a real issue to a dog analogy"

            Because that's what the real issue boils down to. You yourself argued that the people not personally involved Do not really give a rat's ass about the policeman who murders other people.

            That's not the "other" side. That's just called being a German in 1939 and turning a very persistently blind eye to the fact that your "law enforcement" regularly works over your neighbor.
            In fact the only argument that the comparison doesn't fit would be that the americans silently accepting the blatant overreach of the police have no expectation that they themselves will be subjected to brutality just for making their voices heard.

            "...and then accuse me of not thinking it through?"

            How the fsck do we interpret THIS as a well thought out argument?

            "They'd rather have a cop chase off a homeless person until they're out of sight than pay for a more expensive but humane solution. And if you ever hope to get those people onside you have to speak to their concerns, which are real and valid."

            I hate to break this to you but a number of assumptions you use to build your case are flawed. In a civilized society, paying for the cop who behaves inhumanely is not a valid option any more than paying Vinnie the knife to deal with disturbances would be.

            Once you get into your skull that law enforcement officers aren't supposed to be thugs for hire to begin with, ready and willing to one-sidedly protect the "honest white folk" in the better neighborhoods of town THEN you can start building an argument which might fly.

            But as long as you cling to the assumption that the "cop as hired thug" concept is a valid concern your whole argument collapses like a house of cards.

            So, once again, there are no "both sides" you could reasonably choose from. You've got one side which insists on equality and, you know, the bill of rights stuff. And the other side which says "I got MY rights. Screw you". One of these sides is right. The other extremely wrong.

            That wrong side is the status quo you went the distance to defend. And that you don't see how incredibly fscked up that is means the problem gets even deeper.

            The dog logic applies. The police are, by extension, only the employees of society. It's the watchdog. Your argument is that we should just accept that it occasionally kills black people rather than get rid of it because the upstanding white citizens the dog likes would miss it.

            That's defending racism. By turning the "upstanding white citizens" into human shields for the rabid dog no less.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    restless94110 (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 9:45am

    Olver

    You have "interesting" beliefs. Like, an Englishman could know what it's like to live in a black ghetto. Or that any discussion on blacks and police would NOT have to prominently mention out of control black violent crime. Or that there is something called systemic racism without stating specifically what that is (and also including all the affirmative action programs and other givebacks to POC in your specifics).

    Yep, very interesting to come to a belief system based on the above.

    I wish you guys would stick to software, cable/phone monopolies, FCC, copyright and patent and leave the rest alone, because everything you write on other topics is complete fallacy.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 10:32am

      Re: Olver

      everything you write on other topics is complete fallacy.

      ...projects the career troll with the post consisting of 100% strawmen...

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 5:36pm

        Re: Re: Olver

        You're negotiating with a chucklefuck who literally thinks the government is out to poison him with flu vaccines. Apparently the government is kosher when it comes to killing blacks but preventing the spread of disease, fuck that noise...

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

  • icon
    DNY (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 10:10am

    If the police really want to be like the military...

    While the militarization of police has indeed been a very bad thing, I think it should be pointed out that there are some aspects of the U.S. military's procedures, culture and relationship with the public, which if copied by police would improve policing in America:

    There would be fewer unjustified police shootings if our police had rules-of-engagement as restrictive as those we give our soldiers in counter-insurgency theaters. The moreso if consequences for killing a non-combatant (read innocent civilian in the police context) by breaching those rules-of-engagement was a severe for police as it is in the military.

    Police would be more wary of misconduct if being discharged from a police force for cause was regarded as a blot comparable to dishonorable discharge and followed you in your employment history the way a dishonorable discharge from the military does.

    Generally, having a prisoner die while in one's custody is a prima facia basis for court-martial proceedings in the military because killing POWs is a war crime. Something analogous for the police would be a good thing.

    Our military has an intolerance of racism that does not seem to be paralleled in all police departments. (Yes, it was a long process and is not yet perfect, but the top brass got with it as soon as Truman ordered them to integrate the services and it's worked fairly well).
    Police departments should learn how this was accomplished an imitate it.

    All of our military has civilians at the top of its chain of command which besides setting policy is able to overrule even operational decisions. Police departments should be the same.

    There are, of course, lots of other reforms that should be undertaken (abolishing or severely restricting qualified immunity, requiring a criminal conviction as an underlying basis for civil forfeiture, requirements for the use of body cameras during all interactions with the public (leaving aside undercover operations) possibly with the invalidation of arrests not captured on camera, training in how to deal with mentally ill suspects,. . .) that don't involve emulating the military. It just is striking how the cops have imitated the worst aspects of the military and none of the best.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 10:34am

    Suddenly the second amendment become infinitely more important

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2020 @ 11:20am

    Who should decide this issue?

    So, the Minneapolis city council made a "veto proof majority" decision to disband the police. How many people are on that council? NINE. How many people live in Minneapolis? Around 430 THOUSAND. That decision will have a major impact on ALL of the citizens of the city. When the citizens elected those city council members, do you think any of them thought that such an important issue might come up for a vote? I highly doubt it.

    I think that vote by the city council highlights an even bigger issue than the funding of the police. It has more to do with how government institutions work today. Is de-funding the police REALLY what the majority of citizens in the city want? Are the council members listening to a highly vocal minority or the majority? How do the council members KNOW that this is something the majority want? Did they ask? I never heard of them polling the voters. Given something of this importance, shouldn't it be put to a VOTE? And not just city wide, shouldn't it be put to a VOTE on a precinct by precinct basis?

    As an earlier person remarked, maybe the larger solution is to de-fund the government. I am increasingly coming to the idea that smaller governments work better than larger ones. They seem to be more answerable to the citizens they serve. As they get larger, governments take on a life of their own and who they serve is seems more prone to corruption and powerful interests. The citizens are seen as servants to the government, not the other way around. Case in point, do you honestly think the majority of the US taxpayers WANT to fund all of these never ending wars our politicians have started? Did anyone bother to ask us to vote specifically on the issue? Nope and they I doubt they ever will.

    More issues need to be brought to a referendum and vote, particularly at the national level. The results should then be taken as law so that politicians can't ignore results they don't like. Politicians need to be held more accountable to the people. Referendums and finance reforms (which sets a low maximum from voters, not corporations to force wider popular support) would go a long way in that direction. Let's give the power back to the people. They are the ones who want change to happen. Let's look at why the government isn't delivering.

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

    • icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 2:06pm

      Re: Who should decide this issue?

      Hi is this your first time in a representative democracy with the freedom of public assembly? Because this is how a lot of important things happen.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 10 Jun 2020 @ 5:24am

      Re: Who should decide this issue?

      "So, the Minneapolis city council made a "veto proof majority" decision to disband the police. How many people are on that council? NINE. How many people live in Minneapolis? Around 430 THOUSAND."

      More than the guys who decided to hold their tea party in Boston harbor and declare independence, then. Or the ones writing up the Bill of Rights.

      But you're missing the point. The aforementioned scrap of paper - the Bill of Rights - enumerates the unalienable rights EVERY citizen has.

      The police department as a whole has proven not only to contain a lot of members who routinely deny those rights to a sizeable portion of the citizenry, but also to protect and defend their bad cops against ANY attempt to investigate and control them.

      You could argue that the vote is nothing more than a recognition that the police department has failed - catastrophically - in their duties. Any other sector - private or government - would have been dissolved long ago.

      "Let's look at why the government isn't delivering."

      That one's easy. Republics in Europe where the average voter turnout is a lot higher and the division of votes often more directly impacting office election than in the US, and where gerrymandering isn't a national competitive event each term do not have these issues to anywhere near the same degree.

      Your government isn't delivering because at every level of elections too many americans simply do not give a fsck.
      And the incumbent parties in power both work very hard to make sure the votes have little effect - gerrymandering, shenanigans in the electoral college, disenfranchisement of large parts of the population, difficulty to register to vote, difficulties to get to the ballot booth to start with...etc.

      Now add systematic racism and it's slightly-less-obvious-but-equally-inbred cousin, White privilege to that mess and it isn't hard to understand WHY there are regular riots in the street.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Jun 2020 @ 1:22pm

    We need to abolish the entire justice system

    It's not just law enforcement, but also the courts who have a long history of siding with law enforcement even despite facts to the contrary, and a network of prosecutors that are measured by convictions, id est, not cases fairly adjudicated.

    Hence we have private prisons full of warm bodies, with a large unknown number of them who are wholly innocent but got shoved into a hostile institution that cares only about filling those cells.

    Defunding the police can only be the beginning, and just as law enforcement is unlikely to walk away without a fight (a literal fight, as in with shooting and bullets and death) the courts are not going to be restructured with out them throwing their pawns and bishops at us as well.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    johndis peckeroliver, 9 Jun 2020 @ 4:07pm

    video not available in my country

    thats right its only for secret fucking idiot propoganda without scrutiny by rest of world

    yup he says exactly what he is scared to rest of world
    NOTHING

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


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