Presidential Commission On Law Enforcement Says Pretty Much Everyone But Cops Are To Blame For The Shitty State Of American Policing

from the building-relationships-through-[re-reads-report]-blaming-taxpayers dept

[Note: this is one of what will probably be several posts covering the Commission's 332-page report. There's a lot to cover in here and one post simply isn't enough to cover everything in it. Stay tuned.]

President Trump took office and immediately declared war on Americans. The only good people are government people. And the best people of all are law enforcement people, who were immediately elevated above those they served by the new leader of our nation.

One of the fundamental rights of every American is to live in a safe community. A Trump Administration will empower our law enforcement officers to do their jobs and keep our streets free of crime and violence. The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration. President Trump will honor our men and women in uniform and will support their mission of protecting the public. The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it.

First, there is no right to "live in a safe community." Second, Trump failed to end the "dangerous anti-police atmosphere." The "atmosphere" isn't wrong, as cops proved again and again. It's deserved. And it needs more than presidential proclamation to turn it around.

Four exceedingly long years have passed. Trump is a few weeks away from exiting the office he was incapable of running. But one final shot is being delivered by his Justice Department -- the culmination of months of research and years of pro-cop agitation.

The Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice has released its report -- one mandated by a 2019 Executive Order. In it, Trump ordered the Commission (now missing its chief rabble rouser, recently-resigned AG Bill Barr) to conduct a "modern study of the state of American policing." The report is supposed to give America guidance on fighting crime and addressing multiple law enforcement issues. Perhaps more importantly, the report is supposed to "promote the rule of law," a term Trump has used repeatedly during his tenure, but only when the rules and laws aren't being applied to him.

The report [PDF] lists the issues the Commission attempted to address. It leads off with presumably the most important issue: the perceived screwing of law enforcement agencies by all and sundry.

Respect for the Rule of Law and Law Enforcement focused on the trend of diminished respect for law enforcement and the laws they enforce. The group specifically evaluated how under-enforcement of the criminal law in certain jurisdictions affects public safety, public perception of law enforcement and the laws it enforces, police resources and morale, and the rule of law. The group also evaluated how to increase respect for law enforcement and how a lack of respect for law enforcement impacts public safety and the rule of law.

"Diminished respect." This should have forced the Commission to examine why respect has been diminished. Instead, the Commission focuses on non-cops and non-issues. There's definitely a problem here. It just isn't what the Commission thinks it is.

The report says it's not the protests, it's the riots -- ignoring the fact that there was plenty of needless escalation by law enforcement during the policing of these protests. Being angry about police violence apparently threatens public safety, folks.

This new public safety dynamic—while hopefully temporary—is exacerbated by the confluent civil unrest events and protests against law enforcement that continue to unfold in the aftermath of several high-profile use-of-force incidents. In particular, on May 25, 2020, the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, sparked protests in cities and towns across the nation, which were sometimes overtaken by those intent on exploiting the situation for their own means. Law enforcement is sworn to uphold the constitutionally protected activities of those whose only intent is to exercise their legitimate right to protest, yet radical elements that bring violence and property destruction further strain law enforcement resources.

Fortunately, the Commission isn't as short-sighted as the man directing its efforts. There's a balance to be struck. But the lack of respect for law enforcement can't be laid at the feet of the policed. Respect is something earned, not something assumed. And law enforcement has done little to ensure its respect is earned. That's not how the Commission sees it, though.

Disrespect for law enforcement, unfortunately, readily becomes a disrespect for the law itself, which threatens the social order. Following the killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, which transpired during the work of this Commission, the civil protests against alleged police abuses were accompanied by significant lawlessness and increases in crime across many jurisdictions, and are a timely reminder of the importance that citizens have collective trust in their law enforcement to protect and serve their communities. The Commission’s review of law enforcement, therefore, rests on the foundational principle that law enforcement officers are the primary guarantors of communal safety. As such, government policies and programs should foremost promote public trust in law enforcement, but also deter abuses by police that undermine that trust.

While it's nice to see the Commission recognize law enforcement has played a role in its current disrespect quandary, these agencies have had years to fix endemic problems. But instead of fixing it, they've chosen to ignore, if not actually condone, officer misconduct. This problem didn't develop overnight. The current protests are the end result of years of indifference. The report recommends positive changes…

To that end, the Commission has recommended jurisdictions enhance officer training on using force and develop special procedures for investigating and prosecuting officer-involved shootings which promote accountability, transparency, impartiality, and due process.

… before stating that it's non-cop Americans who are really the problem:

Ultimately, however, the first and greatest reason for the use of force by police remains that individuals do not respect or comply with the lawful commands of law enforcement officers.

Resisting abuses of power is unamerican. Take your beating and hire a lawyer, says the Commission.

The criminal justice system affords many avenues for citizens to challenge the actions of police officers―it does not allow them to do so through physically resisting officers, nor does it allow law enforcement officers to surrender their duties to public safety whenever a subject resists. Because law enforcement has a duty to secure compliance by force, and because individuals have a legal right to challenge law enforcement force in subsequent proceedings, the Commission asserts that the primary prevention of unwarranted force by law enforcement is for citizens to “Comply, Then Complain.”

That's right, citizens: do what the Commission says. It's the only way cop business can be conducted as usual. Take the abuse and deal with the criminal charges.

The report ignores the reality of the situation. Most (97% [!!]) criminal charges result in plea deals, not an adjudication of the charges on their merits. Legal fees and settlements from misconduct lawsuits are paid by taxpayers. And that's only if the touted "avenue" actually pays off. In most cases, litigants are left with nothing, having paid for a lawsuit only to see it dead-ended by qualified immunity, a shield officers wield successfully in far too many lawsuits.

The report then goes further, absolving officers of almost any responsibility for their actions.

The police did not create and cannot resolve the social conditions that stimulate crime. They did not start and cannot stop the convulsive social changes that are taking place in America. They do not enact the laws that they are required to enforce, nor do they dispose of the criminals they arrest. The police are only one part of the criminal justice system; the criminal justice system is only one part of the government; and the government is only one part of society.

Helpfully, the report says cops can't do it all and suggests increased funding for social and mental health services. It also recommends some revamps of the criminal justice system, including greater transparency around plea deals, use of treatment courts and/or reentry services for certain crimes, and a better bail system that doesn't punish people just for being poor.

But the report doesn't suggest shifting funds away from law enforcement agencies to accomplish this. Instead, it suggests anything that meddles with the discretion of law enforcement officers will lead to greater disrespect and higher crime rates. The report goes on the attack against prosecutors who've decided to stop prosecuting some low-level crimes and suggests any politician who criticizes law enforcement is doing it solely to score political points.

Then it offers up a proactive Nuremberg defense of police officers: they shouldn't be treated with disrespect just because they're following orders.

Police officers may be the first and primary contact between the criminal justice system and the community, but they should not suffer the brunt of all social discontent simply because they are the agents of a system that the public primarily encounters.

It is therefore important to emphasize that law enforcement officers have an important but limited responsibility to execute the law, and that criticism towards officers should be accordingly limited to how they discharge that responsibility.

Completely failing to read the room, the Commission bemoans the fate of poor, poor ICE, which has been unfairly maligned just for enforcing the law.

Recent events in the arena of immigration law exemplify the detriment to law enforcement that occurs when executive non-enforcement violates the separation of powers. In or around 2017, after a change of presidential administration resulted in increased enforcement of immigration laws, critics of those laws attacked and vilified federal immigration law enforcement officials―the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)―for simply enforcing the laws they were sworn to uphold. The misdirected hostility towards ICE stemmed from the fallacy that it was the executive branch, not the United States Congress, that determined what laws to enforce.

It's not that this part of the report is all bad. But it serves mostly to exonerate cops and encourage them (and prosecutors) to leverage low-level crime as a way to control communities And it does this even as it calls for law enforcement agencies to focus on the most dangerous criminals and the most violent crimes -- the ones that harm communities the most.

The report says prosecutors shouldn't be allowed to exercise blanket discretion, deeming small-time possession and non-violent crimes unworthy of their attention or resources. It says qualified immunity should remain intact, despite its contribution to the same misconduct and excessive force the Commission says cops should strive to address.

Unfortunately, even when the report is good, it's still pretty bad. The Commission calls for building relationships with communities, but quotes Houston PD chief Art Acevedo, who is best known these days for allowing corrupt, lying cops to run wild, culminating in the killing of two Houston residents during a no-knock raid predicated on the statements of a nonexistent informant.

The Commission says law enforcement agencies should make public their internal guidelines for use of force and their investigative processes for officers accused of deploying excessive force. It calls for states to pass legislation demanding independent investigations of misconduct and excessive force deployment in cases that result in death or injury.

But in the end, the Commission's suggestions imply it's the public that's to blame for failing to educate itself , rather than the law enforcement agencies that have been anything but open and transparent since their inception.

Law enforcement agencies should prioritize community outreach and developing and maintaining strong, positive relationships with various segments of the community, while providing knowledge of and appreciation for the daily responsibilities of law enforcement.

The whole thing is skewed towards placing the burden of meeting cops in the middle on the general public. The report seems to assume (based on facts not in evidence) that cops have been engaged in good faith outreach efforts for years, only to see these efforts derailed by political opportunists and "progressive" prosecutors.

The fact is that cops have cultivated an "us vs. them" mindset for years. And now that they're reaping what they've spent years sowing, they're looking around for anything that serves the narrative they prefer. The targets are the same ones listed in the Commission's report: activists, politicians, community leaders, and reformers -- anyone that threatens their status quo. The Commission says some of the status quo must change if things are going to get better. But every suggestion for change is coupled with blame (direct and implied) for the people who act as their oversight or pay their salaries.

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Filed Under: donald trump, law enforcement, police, presidential commission on law enforcement


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 10:53am

    Still in the denial stage I see

    Because nothing is going to restore trust and respect towards cops more than a government report exonerating them of all blame past, present and future and telling the public that if they have a problem with the police that's entirely on them.

    Hey assholes, if the public doesn't respect you maybe it's because you have shown time and time again that you aren't worthy of respect, and if they don't respect the laws that might have something to do with the open contempt and flaunting of the law by police up to and including outright assault and murder only for them to be cleared by the very legal system that you are telling people to depend on to address grievances against police, because why should the public respect the laws if those tasked with upholding it don't?

    Ultimately what goons like this want is not respect it's servile obedience to authority. If they truly wanted to restore respect and trust with the communities around them there are a slew of ways to do that, but as is very clear at this point that's not the goal, and instead they just want people to stop getting uppity and thinking that the laws apply to everyone and/or that police might ever be in the wrong.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2020 @ 11:34am

      Re: Still in the denial stage I see

      Although, I agree wholeheartedly with the above, I have to point out that the commission is technically correct for one reason: The people keep electing a bunch of enablers to power.

      All of the watching in the world won't stop the shit from hitting the fan. Eternal vigilance requires that people actually remove politicians who act against the public interest. When the people fail regularly and repeatedly on this essential task, democracy fails. That is what has happened here.

      inb4 "But rigged elections / gerrymandering / citizens united / etc." I say again: Eternal vigilance requires that people actually remove politicians who act against the public interest. Yes, that also means holding them accountable when they corrupt the very systems that can remove them. The public has allowed a lot of crap over the years, and the difficulty in fixing the problem now reflects this. As they say, "freedom isn't free." It has a price and that price goes up the more that the public abdicates their responsibility.

      Don't expect everyone else to do your dirty work for you. The public allowed the police to get this bad. The public continues to allow their behavior to go unpunished. The public continues to elect politicians that shield the police from responsibility, and that constantly raise their funding while giving them used military gear. The public continues to fall for the "tough on crime" propaganda that is the goto argument against anyone who would suggest reigning in the police or the justice system as a whole. The public continues to allow for-profit prisons to bribe their politicians. Etc.

      The underlying problem is the public. Because the public has long since given up on controlling their leaders.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2020 @ 12:30pm

        Re: Re: Still in the denial stage I see

        "The underlying problem is the public. Because the public has long since given up on controlling their leaders."

        Tell that to the disenfranchised.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2020 @ 4:08pm

          Re: Re: Re: Still in the denial stage I see

          And this here is why tripe like "only you can be responsible" is such a toxic, poisonous, insidious belief. Because it not only makes you responsible for things that lie out of your control, it gives others a blank check to make you responsible for their shit too.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 12:39pm

        Eternal vigilance requires that people actually remove politicians who act against the public interest.

        Which, in some places, is nigh-impossible because of voter suppression, gerrymandering, and a majority of active voters being okay with tyrants and fascism so long as their “enemies” get hurt worse in the ensuing tyranny. So let’s not act like people aren’t trying to get better lawmakers into office — instead, let’s be realistic about how, in some places in the U.S., those people don’t have the power to make those replacements.

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

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 2:35pm

          The point of violence

          The whole point of a functional democracy is to provide an alternative to violence for creating sociopolitical change.

          According to some of our framers (Jefferson and Madison come to mind) it is an obligation of the people to eject tyrants who obstruct the democratic system, and to do it by force.

          (Also, to not do so and to not react quickly is to allow tyranny to entrench.)

          So, I'm still curious what alternatives the people have as the US aristocracy has captures more and more of the establishment and no longer has to pretend it serves the public.

          Are we going to shamble down the gently-sloping road towards neofeudalism? I can't imagine that being a happy place for the 99.9% of us who aren't absurdly rich.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2020 @ 2:49pm

          Re:

          Good luck removing a bad politician. Where I live I either get a politician running unopposed or having to choose between "crap" and "shit".

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2020 @ 11:21am

          Re:

          So let’s not act like people aren’t trying to get better lawmakers into office

          "Do. There is no try."

          You can cry and whine about trying all you want, but the public will still suffer until success is achieved.

          let’s be realistic about how, in some places in the U.S., those people don’t have the power to make those replacements.

          A.K.A. Accept defeat, and allow the monsters to make everyone suffer.

          But OK, let's be realistic. How much longer are you going to justify the suffering? When is enough, enough? If the mechanisms you champion keep failing you, what are you willing to do next?

          Someone is going to have to do the dirty work eventually. Are you willing to do it? Or are you just making excuses to avoid culpability?

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2020 @ 12:11pm

            Re: Re:holdup

            I thought I read the 2020 election had the largest turnout in the history of the nation, but you think no one has done anything?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2020 @ 1:23pm

        Re: Re: Still in the denial stage I see

        I mean, you can more or less say "the underlying problem is the public" regarding just about anything other than an asteroid strike - but it isn't exactly constructive and doesn't illuminate much.

        Don't expect everyone else to do your dirty work for you.

        Doesn't that equally describe gesturing vaguely at "the public" and saying they gotta get their act together?

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

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 2:55pm

          Getting their act together

          When the public gets its act together by forming a coalition, it's dismissed as a special interest.

          And when they do it without forming a coalition, it's dismissed as a riot

          Though when saboteurs burned down precincts, that seemed to get some attention. Maybe terrorism works after all.

          All these decades I was being called a coastal elite I didn't realize it was done in the spirit of a racist slur.

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

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 11:01pm

        Re: Re: Still in the denial stage I see

        "inb4 "But rigged elections / gerrymandering / citizens united / etc." I say again: Eternal vigilance requires that people actually remove politicians who act against the public interest."

        Wait, so you admit that the system is set up to prevent people from having their voice heard in elections, but still blame them for not getting the results they want?

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 29 Dec 2020 @ 11:32am

          Re: Re: Re: Still in the denial stage I see

          Wait, so you admit that the system is set up to prevent people from having their voice heard in elections, but still blame them for not getting the results they want?

          Wait, so you admit that they didn't uphold the integrity of the electoral process, but still excuse their expectation of a just government?

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

          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 29 Dec 2020 @ 12:09pm

            "They should have acted sooner!"

            Wait, so you admit that they didn't uphold the integrity of the electoral process, but still excuse their expectation of a just government?

            Are you suggesting we should have wheeled out the 12-pounders and shelled congress at first sign of corruption and disenfranchisement?

            Welcome aboard! There's donuts in the mess. Orientation begins at 0600. Remember to keep your powder dry.

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

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 29 Dec 2020 @ 11:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Still in the denial stage I see

            "Wait, so you admit that they didn't uphold the integrity of the electoral process, but still excuse their expectation of a just government?"

            Who's "they"? If was talking about the people who were disenfranchised from voting, who you gleefully admitted were disenfranchised. How are they able to uphold the integrity of a process they have been blocked from participating in?

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 29 Dec 2020 @ 7:58am

      Re: Still in the denial stage I see

      It's hard to gauge Trump's progress in the Kubler-Ross model, given his perpetual state of denial and anger.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2020 @ 11:29am

    "The group specifically evaluated how under-enforcement of the criminal law in certain jurisdictions affects public safety, public perception of law enforcement and the laws it enforces, police resources and morale, and the rule of law"

    They seem to have overlooked the detrimental affects of no-enforcement of the law when law enforcement officers violate it.

    In addition, they seem to have overlooked the detrimental affects of selective enforcement of the law.

    All this demanding of respect where none is given is a recurring theme. What they want is subservience. They will never get respect with attitudes like that.

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

  • icon
    Thad (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 11:37am

    This is the Trump Administration. Finding someone else to blame is about 90% of the job. (The other 10% consists of self-enrichment, racism, and golfing.)

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 11:58am

    Started out great,

    Then you went for the throat.

    You were talking constitutions, and rights and The comments For/of the people.
    Went to the courts and arrest, and Justice and the laws. Then RIGHT AT THE COPS, and the Cops being WRONG?

    Why not lead in with cops arresting for Small things, WHICH is what they do, until they get SWAT out there.

    Talk about HOW board as hell cops are, while watching POLICE TV(love cable and all the police shows) and that they dont get to use their GUNS as much as those on TV.

    THEN go for the throat.

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

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 12:03pm

      Re: Started out great,

      "They do not enact the laws that they are required to enforce, nor do they dispose of the criminals they arrest."

      Great comment, but alittle lite on the Foundation. WHAT LAWS? You started with, and only mentioned, The constitution. which is very basic, and simple. and 99% of Federal laws are for ???(which is a very large conundrum). The Laws they enforce tend to be STATE, because the state is supposed to follow the constitution, but the Other Fed laws is a BIG debate. And comes with a BIG question of Why arent the cops In those Corps arresting people? Or is that the Fed Job?

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 29 Dec 2020 @ 12:16pm

        Enforce laws

        I thought the job of our officers was to hunt untermenschen. They say something about drugs and gun! and MY GOD IT'S COMING RIGHT FOR US. And 💥bang!💥bang!💥bang!💥bang!💥bang!💥.

        Then they leave the guy there to bleed out while they stand around and ponder what they'd just done.

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

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 12:12pm

      Re: Started out great,

      "A military cannot function without discipline. As long a what the soldier is being ordered to do is lawful, they are required to do it under penalty of the uniform code "

      "the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)―for simply enforcing the laws they were sworn to uphold. The misdirected hostility towards ICE stemmed from the fallacy that it was the executive branch, not the United States Congress, that determined what laws to enforce."

      So, Who told them to be Idiots? And they Followed the idiots suggestions/comments/changes to BASIC COMMON SENSE?? Blaming the Congress?
      SOME ONE WROTE A BILL telling ICE to separate Children from their PARENTS?
      I would Love to see that bill.

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 29 Dec 2020 @ 12:21pm

        ICE

        ICE wasn't told (outside the White House) to round up undocumented immigrants who committed no violent crimes and stuff them into overcrowded rooms so that disease could spread (including COVID-19).

        But then ICE wasn't told by anyone except the record labels to go bag Kim Dotcom.

        And I'm pretty sure ICE wasn't told by anyone except Apple to raid and shut down repair shops in Florida that serviced Apple devices without being a Genius Bar.

        ICE has had a lot of strange bedfellows.

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

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 12:21pm

      Re: Started out great,

      "It calls for states to pass legislation demanding independent investigations of misconduct and excessive force deployment in cases that result in death or injury. "

      Here is the problem.
      THEY ALREADY DO. but it costs money. Where do you complain?(anyone got that list of contact agencies and Which one does what?), FOIA? anyone heard about that? and how well it works with the police?
      Camera? what camera? Oh! that camera! the batteries fell out.
      The recording of what? by whom, on what day? time? NOPE NOT HERE.
      The Cop did what? can we see the tape? No tape, ok, then the complaint has Nothing to base this on.

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

  • identicon
    Michael, 28 Dec 2020 @ 12:19pm

    No ability to think critically

    Republicans claim to want Small Government, while also believing that the police and military should have carte blanch to act in any way they choose without fear of repercussions.

    This is yet another example of how Republicans are dumb as rocks. All of them.

    /real life conservative

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2020 @ 12:33pm

      Re: No ability to think critically

      "Republicans claim to want Small Government"

      Only when they are not in control. Watch how all of a sudden the debt will be of major concern now that Biden will be in the white house.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 12:41pm

        And who was it that created the Department of Homeland Security, crafted the PATRIOT Act, and otherwise expanded domestic surveillance to unheard-of levels — all of which expanded the role of the federal government in our daily lives?

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

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 12:43pm

        Re: Re: No ability to think critically

        And Biden wont be able to get anything done, cause the repubs wont let it pass to balance the budget.

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 12:34pm

      Small government

      The only way to get small government is to have small societies, say, breaking every county and municipal region into districts of less than one thousand.

      And then build one-hundred-foot walls between all of them.

      In the US, small government has always just been a way to cut out social services in favor of military and security services. And since Reagan, US conservatism has been in favor of only expanding the military.

      Curiously not to enhance services in the DVA or to roll out proper armor* for our GIs. We like invisible tanks, laser planes and elite squads of ninjas.

      • Heck, we're still issuing them Armalite-based assault rifles, which are a joke compared to the AKs, and despite multiple efforts to modernize our infantry.

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 12:35pm

        Markup failure

        Pretend the bullet point is an asterisk. I should have used daggers.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2020 @ 1:37pm

          Re: Markup failure

          Pretend the bullet point is an asterisk. I should have used daggers.

          That's a common mistake, though usually it is the other way around: bringing daggers to a gun fight.

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

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 29 Dec 2020 @ 9:02am

        Re: Small government

        we're still issuing them Armalite-based assault rifles, which are a joke compared to the AKs

        Where did you hear that?

        https://www.foxnews.com/tech/m4-vs-ak-47-is-u-s-army-outgunned-in-afghanistan

        https://www.gloc ktalk.com/threads/ak-v-m4-thoughts-from-guys-who-have-real-world-experience.1575939/

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

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 29 Dec 2020 @ 1:38pm

          AR vs. AK

          To be fair, yes, my understanding is based on anecdotes from vets many who found it's performance wanting if it got dirty, if it was used for a short time without maintenance, if it got water in the works. Sand also seems to cause it to jam quickly

          Also some of the stories are from people who swapped out from the M14 after their squad was reconfigured with three machine gun fire teams, instead of one. USMC riflemen miss the oak stock and the nice hole you can see through an enemy when you shoot them. Instead they got to carry someone else's .50 caliber ammo.

          What I understand, the Armalite is a dream for enthusiasts. You take it off your hearth-rack at home, drive it to the shooting range and spends some hours making easy bullseyes.

          But if you walk it through the jungle for a couple of hours and it will fuck you. Stand on duty in a windy desert and you'll spend your first hour on relief cleaning grit out of your rifle.

          The AK fires when full of mud. The M14 comes apart in four clean parts. It can be serviced in the dark by a trained infantry trooper. The M16, not so much.

          I'm sure there are enthusiasts who love, love love the AR-15 Style. The NRA certainly does. But there's a reason countless troopers, both US Army and USMC will carry an AK47 mag with them when they're stationed somewhere they're likely to encounter something to stick it in.

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

          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 29 Dec 2020 @ 1:44pm

            I should add...

            After the reconfig, brass argued the M-16 was a second level of sidearm and should only be used once the situation already went to shit. Fire teams should be covered by other fire teams while they're deploying or re-ploying.

            Three guesses as to how often it worked out the way brass said it would. The first two don't count.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 12:22pm

    Rumsfeld's Law

    It's an appropriate moment for Rumsfeld's law again!

    You build a society with the people you have, not the people you wish you had.

    Corollary:

    Blaming the cats for failure to be herded is only admitting defeat.

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

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 12:46pm

      Re: Rumsfeld's Law

      I would still like to fix corp laws and the stock exchange. MAKE them work again, FOR THE NATION.

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

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 2:38pm

        Fixing corporate law

        Sure. Except that business coalitions have completely captured the agencies that are supposed to regulate them.

        That is government failure (as in failure of the government to stay effective).

        And to re-regulate we'll also have to find ways to prevent re-capture.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 12:52pm

    I find it disconcerting

    That so many have forgotten WHY/for what the police forces are/were for.
    Im sorry that we DONT educate them Much on anything except to shoot a gun at a person running away. We dont teach them to Think OUT of the box, Just that the Gun WILL solve the problem.
    For all the money spent on Local police, its amazing we hardly see RIOT suits being used by Swat or Entry into homes. It should be some of the best protection we have, and all I see is Vests.

    WE rig them up to use Camera's, to help the cities and towns from complaints, then they dont work? THAT should be against the law, but ISNT?

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 2:49pm

      Why we have a police department

      The police department is the guard contingent, to protect the aristocracy from rioting / revolting serfs once they realize peonage is for chumps.

      It's always been that way. Law enforcement is what was said aloud to justify it. But as we are seeing in the federal Senate, laws get passed not to serve the people but to secure the elite in their place.

      I think the rise of camera footage of law enforcement acting like middle-ages yeomen (lightly-trained undisciplined conscripts, usually full of themselves for having been issued a spear) is introducing new fractures into the facade.

      This is why we want to abolish law enforcement (and possibly the whole justice system) to replace it with systems that rise from serving the public rather than hunters of escaped slaves, and thief-takers commissioned to get lifted wares back.

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

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 29 Dec 2020 @ 1:53am

        Re: Why we have a police department

        Oh!
        A new way to describe Slavery??

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

        • icon
          Uriel-238 (profile), 29 Dec 2020 @ 12:02pm

          Words for slavery.

          No. An old way to describe slavery.

          It's a curious thing to me that we admit the US kept the institution of slavery where Europe had largely abolished it, yet they still had peonage. England still had centuries-refined rules to preserve their stratified society. It still does.

          This isn't to say the US wasn't wrong to abolish slaves. (This came up in a recent You're Wrong About -- I think the one on the Electoral College) The abolitionists at the constitutional convention hoped slavery would continue to dwindle, but the cotton gin made slave plantations super-profitable, and so with the industry, slavery boomed in the US.

          We might be in love with Civilization. And we can see Humanitarianism is a real sweetheart who warms our soul. But Capitalism fucks like a porn star and is a wild beast in bed. And we can't help but keep going back.

          (Hence, Jim Crow, child labor, the truck system, immigrant labor abuse, strikebusting, supply-side economics... anything to let the rich keep their vaults of lucre.)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2020 @ 1:22pm

    Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, Police Protection...

    and are a timely reminder of the importance that citizens have collective trust in their law enforcement to protect and serve their communities.

    ... even though said law enforcement groups have no legal requirement to protect or serve their communities.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2020 @ 8:08pm

      Re: Tooth Fairy, Santa Clause, Police Protection...

      And very frequently actively avoid doing so even when directly witnessing the crime happen right in front of their own eyes. So what the fuck are they for? What is their purpose if not to serve and protect the citizens paying their salaries?

      If their purpose is not to protect and serve their employers, why in the hell should we continue to employ them?

      I'm all in if we're offered an alternative service that will:

      1. Know and be responsible for knowing the laws they are tasked to enforce
      2. Have no greater protection in court than any other citizen
      3. Be required to wear body cameras, turned on and in operating condition, at all times while on duty in public
      4. Be held to account at regular reviews of their reports, bodycam footage, etc. by an independent board of the citizens, none of which may serve on the review board for more than 1 year and all of which are selected (at the selectee's option) by the jury duty selection system until a full board is appointed.
      5. Employ personnel for handling situations that do not require a thug with a gun
      6. Require rigorous training for each and every facet of their job they are expected and allowed to perform, no less than 2 full years
      7. Not even carry firearms most of the time
      8. Treat all forms of offensive weaponry, "non-lethal" and otherwise, as weapons not to be used against the public except in the most extreme circumstances and only where justification can be elucidated
      9. Be required to fully elucidate said justification every single time a weapon of any kind is employed
      10. This list could go on forever...

      The above is where our money should be spent. Not on these lawless terrorists in full military gear who treat the public that pays them as the enemy.

      In their current form, ACAB. Fuck the police.

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

  • icon
    tom (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 6:37pm

    Most Policing is local, the US Federal Government has very little real authority here. If you don't like how your local police are behaving, pay attention to those City council and mayor elections. That is where reform can be done. Sheriffs often have a high degree of control over how their departments operate, another one of those elections that is often off cycle. Even school board elections are important in this. They have a lot of control over the School Resource Officer/Security Officer contracts. Depending on your state, many of these elections may be 'non-partisan', where party affiliation isn't listed on the ballot and doesn't limit who can file to run.

    Most of these elections are off cycle from the high turnout Federal election dates and often have very low turnouts. A precinct that had a thousand voters for the 2020 General Election may have fewer then a hundred for a mayor or city council election. An organized group of a hundred like minded people may well be able to unseat an unsuspecting incumbent.

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

  • identicon
    Kenneth Jordan, 28 Dec 2020 @ 7:13pm

    The World is a mirror

    I heard a saying once that has guided me well in my life and I think that it might serve the various police forces around this country, and the Trump administration as well.

    "If you go about your day and run into an asshole, such is life. If you go about your day and everyone you run into is an asshole, then chances are, you're the asshole."

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

  • icon
    cattress (profile), 28 Dec 2020 @ 11:55pm

    Abolish police unions

    Cracks me up, Republicans and conservatives hate unions; and police forces that formed in the North came from capitalist paying for private security specifically to break up unionization efforts and worker protests. (As opposed to the South, where police forces started out recapturing escaped slaves. Ultimately, all police enforcement was deployed as a means to protect the rich from the poor, which was made up of the people of color, the people not born in the US, in particular those from predominantly Catholic nations.)
    And yet, not a word about eliminating police unions, who render every suggested improvement, including "comply now, complain later", utterly useless. Transparency, civilian review boards, better training do nothing when police unions negotiate all the exceptions of transparency under dubious protecting the investigation claims, have rights that either give no power to civil (or any other kind of disciplinary mechanism) or have multiple routes to overturn their decisions; and if the government sets training requirements, unions ensure they are not funded and then cry about officers making 80k a year being asked to pay for ongoing training like what is required of most other professionals to maintain their licenses; or that the training comes from a group of the union's choosing, which just enriches friends and retirees, and not only fail to teach de-escalation tactics, they harden their belief that as cops they are heroes risking life and death every moment of the day. Or they do like that scumbag union leader in Minneapolis, and fund precisely the kind of dangerous training that cops were prohibited from taking because of how it promoted them to act violently.
    Police unions are dangerous, and there is good reason for state and local officials to fear trying to reign them in. And tasking prosecutors, even ones from different districts with holding cops accountable, when they depend on the officers to do their jobs is unrealistic. The federal government is supposed to protect civil rights, to enforce The Constitution. Things like the DEA and ATF are unnecessary enforcement divisions that don't need special treatment from how these duties would be run under the umbrella of the FBI. Take most of that funding to expand civil rights enforcement, and empower this department to investigate police (as well as all forms of detention) on all levels. To ensure that they are not obstructed from investigation and enforcement, which should follow a similar model to the military that includes a judge or tribunal adjudication, states must not be permitted to recognize police unions or allow them to bargain collectively or individually for people who are supposed to be representing the government, just like the military.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous, 5 Jan 2021 @ 5:53am

    Another SHITTY ARTICLE BY TIM CUSHING

    ANOTHER ARTICLE THAT NOBODY WAS INTERVIEWED TO ACTUALLY REACH THE CONCLUSION. INSTEAD LINKS TO ARTICLES AND BLABS ABOUT HOW IT'S THE POLICE AND NOT THE CORRUPT MAYORS AND GOVERNORS OF THOSE STATES AND SHITTY TERROR GROUPS LIKE BLM AND ANTIFA EXPLOITING LOCKDOWNS TO DESTROY, BURN, LOOT, ASSAULT, AND MURDER.

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

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 5 Jan 2021 @ 12:01pm

      Wow. All caps and everything.

      All caps, calling BLM and Antifa terror groups (even though neither has engaged in terrorism but have both been victims of it) and asserting derision without evidence.

      This is gotta be a sarcastic comment, right?

      Right?

      Right?

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

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 5 Jan 2021 @ 12:22pm

        Re: Wow. All caps and everything.

        This is gotta be a sarcastic comment, right?

        Of all the people to exhibit unwarranted optimism, I wouldn't have picked you.

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


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