Washington Post article on police shootings

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by VulchR, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #1
    There have been a lot of threads about police shootings in this forum. The Washington Post has a very interesting article about it (link here). Rather than cherry-picking odd facts here and there for debate, the story should and considered as a whole.

    The first thing I take from it is that is seem ridiculous that a newspaper has to do this research. I would like to see Congress pass a law requiring all police shootings to be reported to the Department of Justice so that at least we know the scale of the problem.

    The second thing I take from this article is that the US police really do not seem to know how to de-escalate encounters with the mentally ill.
     
  2. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #2
    Everyone should read that article. As to your point about the mentally ill, here is one item from the article:

    This happens all the time. I have posted on this previously many times. The fact is, if I were in a situation with a mentally ill family member, I would do everything in my power to avoid calling the police unless I lived in a city with "specially trained" mental-illness units. And, even then, I would still try to avoid it. IMHO, every single police officer should have training to deal with the mentally ill.
     
  3. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    #3
    what makes you think police will be able to handle what the family members can't? when it comes to family matters, DON'T call the cops, EVER, unless things are really out of hand.
     
  4. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    #4
    The police are always going to be violent in the states whilst the threat of guns exists there, it means they're always on edge..... Couple that with militarisation of the police, and inherent racism, and its just a recipe for disaster.

    But it does seem quite profoundly lacking in knowledge on dealing with mental illness...... Thats one thing I do think UK police handle quite well.
     
  5. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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  6. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Its perfectly rational..... a lot more rational than running around crying "CONSTITUSHHHHUUUURRRRNNN" every 10 seconds or so.
     
  7. zin macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Do you believe guns play no role? Guns are very prevalent in the U.S. and this may explain the "trigger-happy" paranoia that American police officers experience. Do you honestly believe American police officers would behave no differently if they knew there was a good chance no guns are going to be involved in the next call they're responding to?

    Is that one of the prices to pay for American freedom?
     
  8. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    #8
    neat fallacy.

    we have rights here, like it or not.
     
  9. zin macrumors 6502

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    #9
    That isn't the question I asked. How is it a fallacy? Hypothetical, maybe, but a fallacy? o_O
     
  10. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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    #10
    YOU are under the assumption that no guns will be involved, we have 300 million of them or so, will they magically disappear?
     
  11. Breaking Good macrumors 6502a

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    #11

    What I take away from the article is that the issue of officer involved shootings is a complicated one.

    Beyond that, there is very little to discern because the article provides no context. For example, the article says that 92 out of 385 individuals shot and killed were identified as having mental issues, yet it says nothing about how many of those individuals were armed.

    I don't see how you can draw the conclusion that police do not seem to know how to de-escalate encounters with mentally ill without knowing this information or not knowing how many encounters police had with mentally ill individuals over the same period of time.

    What you basically want to do is have someone who is coming in after the two minute warning has sounded and your down my three touchdowns with the (US version) football on your own one yard line and win the game for you.

    If you really want to something about the police shooting mentally ill people in the U.S., money would be better spent on expanding mental health treatment rather than on training police to better deal with mentally ill individuals.

    The old, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" type of thing.

    As for the other shootings, quit letting the press pull a snow job on the people. The issue is police shootings, it is that under the Presidential Administration, economic opportunities for minorities have stagnated and in many cases, such as Baltimore, gotten worse. Yet no one wants to focus on this because it would be an embarrassment to the President.

    If you want to solve the issue of police brutality in Baltimore, don't send the Department of Justice, send the Department of Education to fix the school system and the Department of Commerce to fix the job situation.
     
  12. zin macrumors 6502

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    #12
    No I'm not. I haven't made any assumptions at all. You are bringing in an entirely different subject. I simply asked if you believed guns play no role in police behaviour. You still haven't answered.

    Do you believe the prevalence of guns in the U.S. plays any role in how police expect encounters to go? Do you believe the prevalence of guns in the U.S. instils a constant feeling of paranoia or increased vigilance in police officers when responding to calls, leading to heightened adrenaline that perhaps could result in more trigger-happy behaviour?

    I certainly do.
     
  13. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

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    #13
    Are you suggesting that the police are innocent here, and the reason for all these fatal shootings is that the police feel helpless and scared?

    If so, then how do you explain the cops killing people who are clearly unarmed?

    I think it has far more to do with the fact that less than 1% of the fatal shootings actually resulted in criminal charges for the officers.
     
  14. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    #14
    ;):D
     
  15. VulchR thread starter macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    #15
    Agreed.

    Well either their are hordes of mentally ill people in the US or the police there do not know how to de-escalate. UK police do not kill mentally ill people at anything like the rate that US police officers do. Moreover, I have seen videos of police shootings of mentally ill people and the police in the UK would have never reacted that way. The UK police are patient and talk people down. The US police seem to have adopted a very odd attitude - if you don't obey them (even if you cannot due to illness or disability) you are presumed guilty of being a risk. Contrast some of the videos of US police shooting to the UK police's reaction to the dimwits that beheaded a soldier in London: the suspects were shot but only to disable and then they were given prompt medical help. The patience the UK police show with difficult people is something the US police might learn from...

    If only the treatments were successful for seriously mentally ill people. I am not sure that there is much we can do about preventing some mental disorders, but in any case surely the US has enough money to treat the mentally and train its police force properly. The two are not mutually incompatible.

    I agree with much of what you say, but nonetheless mentally ill people occur in all societies, rich or poor. In addition to social deprivation there is also the issue of how US police behave toward the people they serve and protect. Admittedly, there is also an issue about how people treat the police, for I know in general the police are doing a difficult job with very little appreciation.
     
  16. Huntn, Jun 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2015

    Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #16
    Separately,from the article- how some police forces from other countries have higher success rates apprehending and managing disobedience without shooting citizens.

    This is completely unacceptable but lethal force now seems to be the norm for disobedient victims (term use because that's what they are, victims of police excess):
     
  17. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #17
    It's not about guns. It's about power. The poor, minorities, and mentally ill are completely powerless in the face of state sanctioned violence.

    Police have the power of the state and corrupt politicians on their side, which pretty much ensures they can kill people on camera all over youtube largely without any consequences.

    Turn over all police shootings to the DOJ and community based civilian review boards, with increased civil liabilities and civilians being murdered by cops will decrease.



     
  18. zin macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Absolutely not. But you don't think that it plays a substantial part?

    "Clearly unarmed" to me and you may not be the same to a police officer who was involved in the situation. For instance, the guy who was shot listening to his headphones reaching into his pants to turn off his music so he could hear the officers may have looked like he was reaching for a gun to the officers involved. The mindset evaluating a situation is going to very different to the officer involved and to us, who are reading or watching the situation comfortably in our seats at home.

    I think this also plays a substantial part. The legalities of it I don't think fully explain it. I get the feeling that there is a culture in U.S. police departments of defending officers even in cases of clear misconduct. Many situations resulted in mere suspensions, often with pay, for cases where the officer clearly messed up. Here in the UK, a police force would be more likely to abandon and publicly condemn any officer acting with clear misconduct. That kind of response from U.S. police departments is very rare.
     
  19. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #19
    Interesting how this topic shows up, and yes, I'm sorry to say, but the use of guns on both sides of the equation does escalate the situation, which increases the chances that someone gets hurt (doesn't matter if it is LEOs, suspect, or innocent bystander; someone would get hurt).

    However, this popped up on NPR's Weekend Edition: Sunday, and thought it was a good practice to try to implement.

    http://www.npr.org/2015/06/07/412633564/procedural-justice-taking-the-ego-out-of-policing

    No transcript available for the article YET, but it is worth taking the 6 minutes to listen to. Perhaps more of this is needed with our LEOs, as it falls more under the 'protect and serve' moniker from which they 'adhere' themselves.

    BL.
     
  20. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Of course power comes into play, but you'd be naive to think guns weren't a factor, certainly in parts of the US, if not all.
     
  21. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #21
    I guess that would explain why so many of the more public instances of police violence are against people that have no guns, no chance to access guns, and were hurt or killed by cops despite there being overwhelming cop number superiority and disparity of force.
     
  22. sim667 macrumors 65816

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    #22
    If the population was pretty much guaranteed to be unarmed then the justification for weapons in hands of police would also become negligible.
     
  23. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #23
    In delusional fantasy land perhaps, but for one the state is never going to disarm their thralls, and for two the issue of the powerful and powerless is still in place so killing with complete impunity with absolutely no cause for pause would be an frightening reality in the world you describe.
     
  24. unlinked macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Granted I wasn't out much today apart from picking up some groceries but I didn't notice much killing with complete impunity.
     

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