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Author Topic:   Police Shootings
Percy
Member
Posts: 18842
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 1 of 277 (830479)
03-31-2018 9:45 AM


Recent events have pushed me over the top and changed my mind:

  • The recent shooting death of Stephon Clark at the hands of Sacromento police.

  • The recent decision that there will be no prosecutions in the shooting death two years ago of Alton Sterling at the hands of Baton Rouge police. One police officer has been fired, and they're being sued of course.

  • And I'll throw in the shooting death of 12-year old Tamir Rice back in 2014 by Cleveland police in a park. Cleveland settled for $6 million, here's the video:

If police think their lives are threatened they have the right to shoot you to death. It almost never happens that authorities rule the police were wrong and reckless in believing their lives were threatened. Day or night, but especially at night if you're carrying anything that glints (like a cellphone - white cellphones might be safer than black - AbE: OMG, Stephon Clark's cellphone was white - so much for the misidentification as a gun being due to the glint off a shiny black surface) then police will think their lives are threatened, shoot you to death, and suffer no penalty. Often the municipalities are sued and settle for large sums, but this is no remedy for death. Not shooting people to death is the remedy.

One thing seems clear: If you're carrying a cellphone and are ordered by a police officer, "Put the gun down," you likely would not do anything. You would be confused. If you raised your hand to show you had no gun you would be shot. Police need to improve how they determine when they're threatened.

I think many times the police are placed in untenable situations having to make rapid fire decisions based on incomplete information, but just the same, it is wrong that there are people in our midst whose mission is to serve and protect but who have the right to shoot us with impunity. Maybe knowing that they'll be held personally accountable will force both top-down and bottom-up change to the way police are trained. Taking their guns away would also go a long way toward preventing deaths and confrontations.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : AbE.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by xongsmith, posted 03-31-2018 1:35 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply
 Message 3 by NoNukes, posted 03-31-2018 3:08 PM Percy has responded
 Message 63 by Hyroglyphx, posted 06-21-2018 2:22 AM Percy has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18842
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 4 of 277 (830503)
03-31-2018 4:29 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by NoNukes
03-31-2018 3:08 PM


NoNukes writes:

One thing seems clear: If you're carrying a cellphone and are ordered by a police officer, "Put the gun down," you likely would not do anything.

Are you kidding me? If I hear that, I'm going face down it the dirt and I'm making snow angels. "Please put your knee in my back officer"

Yeah, maybe that's best. I'd definitely be confused. I would not recall this discussion and think, "Oh, he thinks my cellphone is a gun, I'll put it down." I would think, "Someone's got a gun? Who? Where? Do I need to take cover?
What, he's talking to me? What gun? Etc..."

Life is so precious that many states and countries refuse to take it away even from criminals who have committed the most heinous acts. In those states here in the US that do have capital punishment it takes years for the legal process to run through the appeals that attempt to guarantee a mistake is not made. Yet police who are only human and who make mistakes can take life away in an instant and almost never face true accountability.

But it's not 100% dismal. This Newsweek article says there were "an average of 390 justifiable homicides by police each year" from 2000 to 2014, while this CNN article says, "Between 2005 and April 2017, 80 officers had been arrested on murder or manslaughter charges for on-duty shootings." Only 35% were convicted, which would be 28, with the remaining being pending or not convicted.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by NoNukes, posted 03-31-2018 3:08 PM NoNukes has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Modulous, posted 03-31-2018 10:27 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18842
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 7 of 277 (830580)
04-03-2018 12:56 PM


Supreme Court Makes it Easier for Police to Shoot with Impunity
Yesterday the Supreme Court ruled against a plaintiff who charged a policer officer with using excessive force for shooting her four times, arguing that the police officer in question had the qualified immunity from excessive force lawsuits that is normally granted police officers under the right circumstances. The ruling (ANDREW KISELA v. AMY HUGHES) describes those circumstances:

quote:
In Graham v. Connor, 490 U. S. 386, 396 (1989), the Court held that the question whether an officer has used excessive force “requires careful attention to the facts and circumstances of each particular case, including the severity of the crime at issue, whether the suspect poses an immediate threat to the safety of the officers or others, and whether he is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.”

But officers were only called to the scene to check on someone's welfare, not because of suspicion of a crime. As the police officers arrived Any Hughes emerged from the house holding a knife by her side, then walked down the driveway to stand about six feet away from her roommate. Writing in dissent for both herself and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote:

quote:
Officer Andrew Kisela shot Amy Hughes while she was speaking with her roommate, Sharon Chadwick, outside of their home. The record, properly construed at this stage, shows that at the time of the shooting: Hughes stood stationary about six feet away from Chadwick, appeared “composed and content,” Appellant’s Excerpts of Record 109 (Record), and held a kitchen knife down at her side with the blade facing away from Chadwick. Hughes was nowhere near the officers, had committed no illegal act, was suspected of no crime, and did not raise the knife in the direction of Chadwick or anyone else. Faced with these facts, the two other responding officers held their fire, and one testified that he “wanted to continue trying verbal command[s] and see if that would work.” Id., at 120. But not Kisela. He thought it necessary to use deadly force, and so, without giving a warning that he would open fire, he shot Hughes four times, leaving her seriously injured.

If this account of Kisela’s conduct sounds unreasonable, that is because it was. And yet, the Court today insulates that conduct from liability under the doctrine of qualified immunity, holding that Kisela violated no “clearly established” law. See ante, at 5–6. I disagree. Viewing the facts in the light most favorable to Hughes, as the Court must at summary judgment, a jury could find that Kisela violated Hughes’ clearly established Fourth Amendment rights by needlessly resorting to lethal force. In holding otherwise, the Court misapprehends the facts and misapplies the law, effectively treating qualified immunity as anabsolute shield. I therefore respectfully dissent.


What does this mean? Do not be suffering from a mental condition or be mentally ill or drunk or drugged or confused or slow when confronted with a police officer, because they can shoot you without consequence.

--Percy


    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18842
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 10 of 277 (830688)
04-05-2018 7:06 AM


Oh, Gee, It's Happened Again, What a Surprise
I ended my last post with the sentence, "Do not be suffering from a mental condition or be mentally ill or drunk or drugged or confused or slow when confronted with a police officer, because they can shoot you without consequence." Prophetic or what? Well, no, because it was inevitable, but yesterday saw another needless fatal police shooting of a mentally ill person: NYPD cops shoot, kill bipolar black man waving metal pipe

The cops thought it was a gun, so they fired 10 shots and killed Saheed Vassell, a 34-year old Jamaica-born welder and father.

To their credit, the number of police shootings in New York City has declined year over year for a couple decades. There were 147 police shootings in 1996, 59 in 2005, 37 in 2016, and around 25 in 2017 (source). This is good news, but the police can't take much credit because shootings in general are down in New York City, not just police shootings.

I just read the Vital Signs column of the November issue of Discover magazine last night. It was about a man brought into a psychiatric hospital because he'd been found running naked down the center of the street in the middle of the night. Testing and investigating revealed no drugs, no schizophrenia, no bipolar. More testing revealed a misbehaving parathyroid gland. Removal (I think we have four, so removal of one is okay) returned the patient to normal.

What if instead of running naked down the middle of the street this man had begun threateningly waving around some object that at night police couldn't identify. If they felt threatened they'd shoot him. That's their solution. They can't take up safe positions and observe - they have to shoot.

Add to this that guns have become more lethal. The bullets are more deadly, and the guns can be fired faster. That's why shootings more and more often involve a fusillade of bullets, 10 in this case, 20 for Stephon Clark in Sacramento. Visit a bullets website and you'll see they tout stopping power and describe their ability to penetrate deeply while causing maximum damage. That's why shootings have such a high kill rate. If it seems to anyone that guns have become more and more lethal over the years, that's because it's true.

--Percy


Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by NoNukes, posted 04-05-2018 2:30 PM Percy has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18842
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 12 of 277 (830819)
04-07-2018 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by NoNukes
04-05-2018 2:30 PM


Re: Oh, Gee, It's Happened Again, What a Surprise
NoNukes writes:

Percy writes:

This is good news, but the police can't take much credit because shootings in general are down in New York City, not just police shootings.


Please explain your logic here. While police may not be responsible for who others shoot, the police certainly have some input into who they (the police) shoot.

The New York City Police represent a tiny subpopulation of New York City. As such they are subject to the same social/environmental forces as the city as a whole. Probably the factors for the crime drop are multifaceted, but certainly a major factor for the decline in police shootings must be that the general decline in shootings and of crime in general means that the police must less often find themselves facing situations where lethal force must be considered.

I think the way reactions to police misshootings have recently become more strident is due to three factors that contribute to diminished tolerance for police misadventures in general:

  • Increased prevalence of images and videos means the police have been caught in misrepresentations and outright lies more and more often.
  • It has become increasingly apparent just how disproportionately and unfairly police attention is focused on minorities.
  • Decreased crime makes police misadventures stand out from the background more and become more attention-grabbing.

As crime rates declined across the country over the past three decades police departments tended to take credit, especially in the early years of this trend, but that wasn't it. It wasn't increased incarceration, either. We don't really know why crime declined, though there are plenty of theories. A couple decent articles are The Many Causes of America’s Decline in Crime and What Caused the Great Crime Decline in the U.S.?, both from The Atlantic, but there's lots of articles out there, just do a Google search.

My own theory about the dominant factor for the crime drop has always been demographics: The post WWII baby boom generation moved completely out of the crime-committing age range during the 1990's.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by NoNukes, posted 04-05-2018 2:30 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by NoNukes, posted 04-25-2018 10:23 AM Percy has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18842
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 13 of 277 (831790)
04-24-2018 5:19 PM


A Thought on the Toronto Van Rampage
About Alek Minassian's Toronto van rampage that yesterday killed 10 and injured 15 the New York Times reports:

quote:
The driver then stopped the van on a sidewalk and engaged in a tense standoff with the police, claiming to be armed and daring officers to shoot him in the head, before surrendering.

I think that had this happened in a United States city that Mr. Minassian would have been shot 20 times.

--Percy


Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Percy, posted 04-24-2018 6:19 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18842
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 14 of 277 (831793)
04-24-2018 6:19 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Percy
04-24-2018 5:19 PM


Re: A Thought on the Toronto Van Rampage
Percy writes:

I think that had this happened in a United States city that Mr. Minassian would have been shot 20 times.

Turns out I wasn't the first to have this thought. From today's Washington Post: How do you capture a mass-killer suspect without firing a shot? Ask Toronto police.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Percy, posted 04-24-2018 5:19 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Tangle, posted 04-25-2018 3:59 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply
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Percy
Member
Posts: 18842
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 25 of 277 (831935)
04-27-2018 6:49 PM


Desmond Marrow is Lucky He Wasn't Shot
In a confrontation with two white males Desmond Marrow, a black former football player at the University of Toledo with short stints in the NFL and CFL, was wrestled to the ground by responding police officers who had been told he had a gun, which turned out to be a cell phone in his back pocket. He was handcuffed, then slammed into the back of an SUV and wrestled to the ground where he was choked and complained he couldn't breath. He claims he never resisted. There's a graphic video where he is never shown resisting, but the full incident isn't captured. This YouTube version repeats the incident three times for some reason:

Said Marrow's attorney, “We are working to determine why the (officers) resorted to this level of violence with a man who was already handcuffed and complying with orders. We are also investigating why the (officers) lied and included false information on their report.”

Marrow claims he was the victim of a hate crime, but he was charged with making terroristic threats and obstruction, both felonies, and reckless driving and aggressive driving, both misdemeanors. The terroristic threats charge was later dropped, and the rest of the case is with the DA who will decide whether to present the case to a grand jury.

The best account of what happened from the police point of view comes from Video shows Georgia police slamming ex-NFL player to the ground:

quote:
There is no video that shows what led up to the arrests and no video that shows what happened afterwards.

But according to a redacted police report dated Dec. 2, 2017, prior to the arrest Marrow was driving on Jonesboro Road over I-75 when someone in another car threw a cup of coffee at his car. That's when Marrow reportedly started chasing after the car to a nearby shopping center.

An officer happened to witness Marrow driving aggressively and followed the car.

According to the police report, when the officer got there, Marrow and "several others" were in the parking lot. The officer asked if anyone had thrown any punches, and was told no. Police say Marrow was agitated and using profanity. And according to the report "a witness came to the area and said that he had heard Marrow say to another party in the dispute that he would shoot them."

Officers asked Marrow if he had a gun, and he told them no. They patted him down and found no weapon, but because of the alleged threats against others' lives, officers told Marrow they were going to arrest him. At that point, officers said Marrow refused to cooperate, and the struggle between he and the officers began.


Why do I believe the attorney's account that the officer's lied? Because of all the times officers have been caught lying when they attempt to justify their unjustifiable actions by making up just the kind of stuff they know would justify the actions they took. And they're not even able to be original. It's always, "He resisted, witnesses (always white witnesses when the perp is black) said he made threats, we thought he had a gun." Can't they ever think of something new?

One of the officers has been put on administrative leave, so obviously the department realizes something ain't right.

I do believe that Mr Marrow is guilty of losing his temper when the white men verbally taunted him and threw hot coffee in his car, and that he is guilty of following the white men to a white shopping mall.

Here's another account: Video shows former NFL player's violent arrest after he said police mistook a phone for a gun

--Percy


    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18842
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 28 of 277 (831966)
04-28-2018 9:06 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by NoNukes
04-25-2018 10:23 AM


Re: Oh, Gee, It's Happened Again, What a Surprise
NoNukes writes:

I disagree.

No you don't. Let me explain.

Police don't commit more crimes because of the same social pressures that cause criminals to do so. Being hungry or addicted may prompt robberies, thefts, etc., but those things are not why police shoot people.

I agree with this, but I was actually saying something different. When I said that police "are subject to the same social/environmental forces as the city as a whole" I didn't mean they experienced those forces in the same way. I meant it in the way described by the sentence that followed: "Certainly a major factor for the decline in police shootings must be that the general decline in shootings and of crime in general means that the police must less often find themselves facing situations where lethal force must be considered." So when you say:

If you want to argue that police were in fewer life and death situations, and made fewer bad decisions, I might buy that.

Yes, that's basically what I said.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by NoNukes, posted 04-25-2018 10:23 AM NoNukes has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18842
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 47 of 277 (832788)
05-10-2018 10:52 AM
Reply to: Message 31 by Rrhain
04-30-2018 11:01 PM


Re: A Thought on the Toronto Van Rampage
Rrhain writes:

How about the time you banned me for a post I hadn't made. You remember...the time when the entire board blew up because you (and Percy, for that matter) couldn't bother to read the threads they were moderating. And then punished the people who brought it to your attention.

Just for the record, Mod wasn't involved. Whatever the specific events, whatever other moderator actions may have occurred around the same time, the board dustup was all me. All I recall now is that the trigger was when someone laid into AdminPD (PurpleDawn) for patiently explaining for the nth time what she saw as the thread's problems and what direction she'd prefer the thread to take. There had been increasing abuse of moderators, and I had become increasingly concerned that we had too many moderators, so I suspended (permanently, I think) some people and reduced the moderator roles. Many people were so upset that they requested they also be suspended (I honored their requests) and many just left. The upset was so great that most everyone still remembers it.

Your specific involvement, if any, I don't recall.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by Rrhain, posted 04-30-2018 11:01 PM Rrhain has responded

Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 18842
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 54 of 277 (832813)
05-11-2018 11:51 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Rrhain
05-10-2018 9:50 PM


Re: A Thought on the Toronto Van Rampage
Rrhain writes:

But, that isn't the point of this thread. If you want to continue this elsewhere, just tell me where.

Right, this isn't the topic of this thread. I was just trying to briefly provide a little information, not divert this thread off-topic.

I did notice later that you're already discussing this in another thread. I'm always in favor of resolving differences, but judging from your post here that I'm responding to and your posts to Mod in the other thread, you seem to carry grudges for a long time, have a big emotional stake in your own narrative, and exhibit hostility toward anyone who disagrees with you, so no thanks, I don't want to continue this.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Rrhain, posted 05-10-2018 9:50 PM Rrhain has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18842
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 59 of 277 (832835)
05-12-2018 7:59 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Rrhain
05-10-2018 9:50 PM


Re: A Thought on the Toronto Van Rampage
I became curious and looked in on the Did Mod cause the collapse of evcforum? thread. When you referred to "the time when the entire board blew up" I assumed you were talking about Jan/Feb 2008 (see Changes at EvC Forum). Apparently you were referring to something that happened around July 2007. I have no recollection.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Rrhain, posted 05-10-2018 9:50 PM Rrhain has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18842
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


(1)
Message 60 of 277 (833490)
05-21-2018 8:38 PM


Supreme Court Wrong on Second Amendment
In 2008 the Supreme Court disconnected the right to bear arms from service in a militia, ruling that there was a right to own guns for any lawful purpose. One of the arguments for the majority, written by Antonin Scalia, related to the phrase bear arms:

quote:
At the time of the founding, as now, to "bear" meant to "carry." In numerous instances, "bear arms" was unambiguously used to refer to the carrying of weapons outside of an organized militia.

But Scalia was wrong, as explained in detail in Antonin Scalia was wrong about the meaning of ‘bear arms’. In new databases for the period, such uses of the term "are not just rare — they’re almost nonexistent."

There were, of course, other arguments in the ruling, but the definition of bear arms seems fundamental. If Scalia were correct that it was used primarily outside a military context, then his reasoning to separate "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State" from "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" would make sense. But he had his facts backwards and so his argument does not hold water. The term bear arms was used in military contexts in the 18th century, and the right of the people described in the Second Amendment was specific to militias.

Since government militias are non-existent today, there can be no constitutional right of the people to keep and bear arms.

--Percy


    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18842
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 64 of 277 (835310)
06-21-2018 9:51 AM
Reply to: Message 63 by Hyroglyphx
06-21-2018 2:22 AM


Hyroglyphx writes:

There would be daily assassinations.

The murder of law enforcement officers would decrease, and the profile or character of those murders would change as officers became less likely to place themselves in confrontational situations.

Guns usually, though not always, increase the danger in any situation. For this reason, getting rid of guns will usually, but not always, make everyone safer. Eliminating guns will cause a huge drop in the firearm death rate.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Hyroglyphx, posted 06-21-2018 2:22 AM Hyroglyphx has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by Hyroglyphx, posted 06-21-2018 5:28 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18842
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 65 of 277 (835312)
06-21-2018 10:00 AM


Police Murder 17-Year-Old
As long as I'm posting to this thread, may as well mention this recent event: Unarmed 17-Year-Old Fatally Shot as He Ran From East Pittsburgh Police

Quote from woman at the scene: “Why are they shooting?” the woman recording the video says. “All they did was run and they’re shooting at them!”

Link to Facebook video: Murder Video

Take away most officer's guns, no murder. Only officers in special units should have guns.

--Percy


Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by caffeine, posted 06-21-2018 12:59 PM Percy has acknowledged this reply

    
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