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Police Militarization / Use of Force

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Maybe you should switch news things, because none of what you wrote there is anywhere even remotely near the truth.

Not only is there video of the guy robbing a store shorty before being killed, there are a dozen witnesses confirming the cop's claim that he was attacked and forced to shoot in self defense.

What specifically are they doing that is wrong?

Neither of us showed outside sources so neither of us has any evidence of any truth at all.

One, it isn't robbing as much as it was maybe shoplifting. It's doubtful he even did THAT, he probably paid...

Okay, dozens of witnesses. I haven't thoroughly investigated yet, so show me some sources if you say this is so. Then, we have to establish that these witness reliability.

What the cops have done wrong: the original shooting was shooting a kid to death rather than to disable, inability to control the situation which grows worse due to their mishandling (quelling violence by shooting rubber bullets might not be lethal, but it makes the situation worse and clearly doesn't get the desired effect), see Kate's link regarding the shut down McDonalds, controlling media (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/08/18/police-in-ferguson-arrest-and-threaten-more-journalists/) by arresting journalists and not for being with rioters. Plus we know THAT tear gas was used, but I hear little except assumptions why.

My point is that this is NOT a proper response on EITHER side and a cavalier respect for rights for both. I mean, is ANY action proper as long as lethal force isn't used? I'm thinking of proper action as what first and foremost stops the rioting. It is possible to protect people and property without throwing tear gas around and firing rubber bullets.

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So the biggest tragedy, as far as you're concerned, is that some of the rioters got bruises from rubber bullets? Not the dozens of looted and burnt stores or injured cops?

You're grateful that the people who killed Haroon Jahan, Shahzad Ali and Abdul Musavir for trying to protect their stores, during the UK looting spree, were never exposed to rubber bullets or tear gas?

You're grateful that Police weren't aggressive enough to stop rioters from murdering 68 yo Richard Mannington Bowes for trying to put out a fire they set?

You're grateful that cops weren't allowed to use all means necessary to help this kid from being savagely assaulted:

You're grateful that 186 police officers were injured, because they never had the means to retaliate against armed assailants?

You're grateful that 48,000 businesses have suffered financial losses totaling hundreds of millions of pounds, but none of the looters were bruised by rubber bullets or brought to tears by noxious gases while they were causing that damage?

Out of curiosity, where were you during the riots? Have you gone about your life as normal, expecting the Police to protect you, or did you realize that they wouldn't be able to, so you should hide at home until the "youths" riot themselves out?

 

See that Youtube video you posted and murders you quote? Stuff like that happens at a greater rate in America than in the UK. The important thing is that the two thieves are behind bars - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-17232636 That is how you do policing and justice. No guns needed by the police. Let alone military equipment.

 

During the London riots in 2011 I was angry. I even called for more to be done by the police. But you know what scares me more than rioters? Police with military equipment. The army on the streets should be a last resort. Normal riot gear combined with mass arrests and overnight court sessions were what stopped the London riots. No ridiculous military weapons needed.

 

How can you not see the danger presented by militarised civilian law enforcers?

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One, it isn't robbing as much as it was maybe shoplifting. It's doubtful he even did THAT, he probably paid...

You have the truncated video here. Whatever site you got it from is obviously not reliable. The full video shows that he used force on the shop-keeper, which would qualify it as "robbery in the 3rd degree" in most states. If his buddy was helping, it might even reach "robbery in the 2nd degree". In theory, most states would impose a 1-year sentence for this (his age etc. might have let him off with something lighter). Edited by softwareNerd

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I haven't thoroughly investigated yet, so show me some sources

No. It's not my job to spoon feed you information, I'm content to correct you when you post lies others spoon fed you. You should figure out what the reliable sources are, and how to distinguish between facts and propaganda, by yourself.

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See that Youtube video you posted and murders you quote? Stuff like that happens at a greater rate in America than in the UK. The important thing is that the two thieves are behind bars - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-17232636 That is how you do policing and justice. No guns needed by the police. Let alone military equipment.

 

During the London riots in 2011 I was angry. I even called for more to be done by the police. But you know what scares me more than rioters? Police with military equipment. The army on the streets should be a last resort. Normal riot gear combined with mass arrests and overnight court sessions were what stopped the London riots. No ridiculous military weapons needed.

 

How can you not see the danger presented by militarised civilian law enforcers?

The only danger I see is the widespread use of logical fallacies in public debate on the issue. I've already explained why defining riot gear you find excessive as "militarised" is begging the question. You should address the point that it's not really excessive, instead of endlessly repeating the same fallacy.

You should also address the other objection I raised, in response to you erroneously comparing a night-time curfew in residential areas and commercial districts during riots (a valid measure to protect the shops which are left undefended as hard working owners and employees close up for the night) coupled with a strong response to looting and rioting, to a Police State.

When even rubber bullets and tear gas are not enough to stop the rioting, that's not excessive. The slightly more aggressive and competent policing in Ferguson has done a far better job at preventing the injury and death of law abiding citizens, and at least prevented the rioters from invading private homes (by allowing the Police to clear the streets and be able to quickly respond to 911 calls in residential areas), all of which went on unchecked during the England riots. But it wasn't enough to prevent the widespread looting of businesses, especially early on. For that, an even quicker and more determined use of the "militarized" (read: effective, decisive, imposing, competent - all things people who hate the Police to begin with would hate for them to be) tactics would've been necessary.

Edited by Nicky

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So you get your news an commentary from Putin's channel! What a joke. Look at the video again, objectively, and come to your own, non-KGB conclusions.

 

Bad source I agree, but the video footage stands on its own merits.

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The only danger I see is the widespread use of logical fallacies in public debate on the issue. I've already explained why defining riot gear you find excessive as "militarised" is begging the question. You should address the point that it's not really excessive, instead of endlessly repeating the same fallacy.

 

This feels like a language deconstruction exercise. Militarised is militarised. To give you a visual representation:

 

police-militarized1.jpg

 

 

Here is a video of the kind of looting in the English riots that was going on where I lived: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14474393

 

They were 15 years olds mostly, and note that the police did not target journalists. Note also that their riot gear is somewhere between the two extremes shown in the photo above.

Edited by Kate87

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No. It's not my job to spoon feed you information, I'm content to correct you when you post lies others spoon fed you. You should figure out what the reliable sources are, and how to distinguish between facts and propaganda, by yourself.

This is a discussion board, meaning the point is to also exchange information. If you are satisfied that you "won", fine, but I am saying that if you have better information, show it to me! I'm not a news junky or a big follower of news. I'm acknowledging that you know more than me about the facts here. If you say I should figure out what reliable sources are, tell me what these sources are.

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police-militarized1.jpg

When the Police started needing protective gear, because they were no longer allowed to just open fire on any group of people they felt had it coming to them. If you threw a rock (let alone bottles of urine or molotov cocktails) at one of those smiling fellas on the left there, you would've been shot dead and that would've been that.

Before helmets, kevlar, and tear gas, cops used to use live rounds, lead pipes and the threat of beating people within an inch of their lives back at the station, as measures of crowd control. In a riot like this, the death toll would be in the dozens or hundreds, instead of the zero we're luckily still at as of this morning.

The saddest thing is, this meme you posted is very popular, especially among Libertarians. Whenever I see it, all I can do is wince at the abject ignorance of history the people who perpetuate it must suffer from.

Edited by Nicky

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This is a discussion board, meaning the point is to also exchange information.

What exactly do you bring to this exchange, if you don't bother informing yourself before you post?

From my perspective, the exchange consists of a few of us posting facts about the case, you posting obvious falsehoods, and Kate making the same exact post she always makes: guns are bad.

If you say I should figure out what reliable sources are, tell me what these sources are.

There are two active threads on this topic, with a lot of facts and links to facts mostly in the other one (because this one was hijacked by Kate midway through).

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What exactly do you bring to this exchange, if you don't bother informing yourself before you post?

From my perspective, the exchange consists of a few of us posting facts about the case, you posting obvious falsehoods, and Kate making the same exact post she always makes: guns are bad.

There are two active threads on this topic, with a lot of facts and links to facts mostly in the other one (because this one was hijacked by Kate midway through).

 

That's not fair, I added the gun point because it was relevant, my main point is regarding police militarisation as per the thread title. Rereading some of my posts above I think I exaggerated on America being broken by the way. I don't in fact think its that bad yet.

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This isn't directed at anyone specific but I find it truly bizarre that one could see the clashes going on and side with the violent mob which is generally made up of people who subscribe to a completely bankrupt culture that idolizes ignorance and thuggery. Goes to show how deep the libertarian hatred of government runs in some folks.

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I waded into this debate on facebook with someone who actually tried to defend the looting. I'd like to weigh in here but someone organized a local screening of Citizen Koch. I'll check back here after I wash myself. Before I go I'll just say that I was initially very suspicious of the officer, but I now believe he probably acted correctly. Regardless, we could have avoided a riot if he had a lapel camera.

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 Regardless, we could have avoided a riot if he had a lapel camera.

I agree. One of the lessons police forces should take from this is to adopt lapel cameras. Nothing in this particular case and the aftermath would have been different if cops were less "militarized". In contrast, a lapel camera could have added important evidence.

 

In addition, I think states should adopt a process and a structure where someone in a slightly 'third-party" relationship was in charge of any investigation where a cop kills or severely injures someone. Perhaps this would be the state police, or some such organization. 

 

Of course, the biggest issue here is the alienation of the community. it is this alienation that makes them feel they're going to be shafted. Ideally, welfare should be reduced, the government should get out of forcing people into lousy schools, and drugs should be legalized. However, finally it is up to people who follow leaders like Sharpton and Jesse  Jackson, to abandon their alienation and decide to make their lives a success, regardless of any remnant discrimination they might face today.

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My neighborhood association "fun night" saw a few emergency service vehicles parked for display. The dive team and fire truck were neat. The armadillo was creepy, but I guess that's the point. They roll it out in problem neighborhoods and leave it there to be conspicuous and to let everyone know that they're being watched. The thing that creeped me out wasn't the cameras, but what appeared to be an armored swiveling gun mount on the top. No gun was mounted, but a couple of guys with tools and a little time to kill could fix that. I understand in some places over equipped police are tearing up the pavement with hardened vehicles that are inappropriate for continual urban use. Ultimately, whether or not I'm creeped out is irrelevant. These are jurisdictional/fiscal decisions, and the training that goes with such equipment is far more important. Firing tear gas at Al-Jazeera is a poor decision.

Longer video of Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson robbing Ferguson Market and Liquor can be seen here, starting at about 1:50. Many people say that it was base character assassination for the police to have released this video. But I can think of two reasons to do so. One is that it clearly establishes Michael Brown's willingness to openly commit criminal acts. Proof of this willingness lends credibility to Darren Wilson's (the cop's) story that he was charged by Brown. The theory that ties these two events together posits that Brown thought that the criminal justice system was too overcrowded to lock him up for a significant length of time. Another explanation (my own conjecture) is that Brown didn't want to go to college and was hoping he could get the criminal justice system to do what a simple withdrawal notice could do (he obviously wasn't a smart guy). The second reason to release the video may be that the local cops started to feel the pressure of Eric Holder's justice department. They feared Holder would try to railroad Wilson both legally and publicly, and they wanted to get the video out before it was squelched. Normally I wouldn't want the cops airing the evidence of an investigation. But these types of crimes are pounced on by political opportunists to foment division for political gain, Holder specifically, so it may be justified. It's a sad state of affairs. 

There were two autopsies. The county examiner believes that all bullets entered from the front. That doesn't mean the cop didn't start to shoot when Brown had his back to him, but it does dispel Dorian Johnson's claim that Brown was hit while facing away and only turned around once he was hit. On the other hand, the family's investigator believes one of the bullets entered the front of the forearm just below the elbow. Which could corroborate Johnson's claim, or indicate that Brown had his arms up in surrender. It's also a part of the body that gets exposed when running forward, so it doesn't really definitively help one way or the other. The family's investigator believes that, because two bullets entered near the top of Browns head, he may have been on his knees in surrender with the cop above him, execution style. Or (again, my own conjecture), he could have been falling forward. A third autopsy ordered by Holder is pending or hasn't been released. None of these would have been necessary if Wilson had a lapel camera and microphone. They save money and time, people!

Eyewitness accounts are conflicting. Reporters erroneously reported (presumably based on witness accounts) that Brown was gunned down from behind. That is not the case, according to both autopsies. Nevertheless, some witnesses still claim Brown was surrendering. Dorian Johnson claims that the shooting was precipitated by a struggle in which Darren Wilson tried to slam Brown with the door of his truck, later reaching through the truck window to grab Brown by the neck and pull him into the truck (through the window, on top of him!? Not very believable). Johnson claims it was during this struggle when Brown was first shot. Wilson's story as recounted by a family friend (the cops later confirmed that this is indeed Wilson's story) claims that when Wilson tried to get out of the vehicle the door was pushed back on him and Brown punched him through the window. The gun went off during this struggle as Brown tried to wrest control of Wilson's gun. Medical reports confirm an orbital blowout fracture of Wilson's eye socket. Police claim that more than a dozen witnesses corroborate Wilson's story. Many are critical that the police haven't released their names, or that the witnesses haven't come forward publicly. But considering the danger level in Ferguson, I would regard it as recklessly irresponsible to release the names of those witnesses. At least one such witness was unwittingly caught on camera recounting Wilson's version of events in the minutes that followed the shooting.

Based on this, it appears to me that Wilson acted correctly. At the very least, rioting surely isn't justified. While the police were out there firing tear gas at reporters, businesses were left undefended. At least, the police didn't defend them. Kate will be excited to learn that businesses that took up arms on their own behalf did just fine without killing anyone.

Edited by FeatherFall
Added a link to Jonshon's version of events, corrected grammar and spelling.

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At least 8 people I grew up with were at sometime officers. I can tell you that the amount of evidence that would be against officers from having lapel cameras on is at least even with the amount for them. I personally wish that it was required because I know how corrupt they can be. An honest officer would only benefit from having his every encounter recorded.

This is not to say that I think police shouldn't have good hardware to meet the challenges they face. A question is, at what point does the situation become a national guard issue? If the threat requires certain tools that are usually for "military" applications, where is that line and does meeting that level of threat mean the guard should be involved anyway?

If this has been addressed, can someone point me to the post?

Edit: I agree with Nicky in #2 on what is excluded (missiles, tanks, grenades etc.) and with Aleph1 in #3 on the tactics being the most important issue.

Edited by Plasmatic

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This isn't directed at anyone specific but I find it truly bizarre that one could see the clashes going on and side with the violent mob which is generally made up of people who subscribe to a completely bankrupt culture that idolizes ignorance and thuggery. Goes to show how deep the libertarian hatred of government runs in some folks.

 

 

Based on this, it appears to me that Wilson acted correctly. At the very least, rioting surely isn't justified. While the police were out there firing tear gas at reporters, businesses were left undefended. At least, the police didn't defend them. Kate will be excited to learn that businesses that took up arms on their own behalf did just fine without killing anyone.

 

Of course the rioting isn't justified. I've not heard anyone here say it is.

 

And those people defending their businesses with rifles? They are morons. The use of force is monopolised by the state in a free society. Those guys should buy insurance, sit it out at home, and plan the relocation of their business out of the area.

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Kate, nobody here justified it, but you might recall that I mentioned encountering one such person elsewhere. Plus, the looters themselves may believe it.

I'm surprised to hear you call those guys morons. They are the only people who don't have to sweep up glass and restock their shelves. They are the only people who won't have to suspend revenue-generating business activities in the mean time. Or fight with their insurance companies over the payout. Sounds like they're the smartest business owners in the area. Courageous, too.

You're mistaken about the role of government in a free society. It isn't to monopolize force, but rather to monopolize retaliatory force and the initiation of force. Defensive force can rarely be delegated to an agent; if the government were to try to do that it would have to plant armed guards for every citizen, which is an impossibility. Defensive force will always remain a valid response to the initiation of force.

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Firing tear gas at Al-Jazeera is a poor decision.

There was a curfew, and it was being violated. If they only enforced the curfew against the local black population, and treated white outsiders differently, that would've been branded racist (and it would've been, in some sense: a curfew is a curfew, just because you have a camera doesn't mean you're above it).

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The use of force is monopolised by the state in a free society.

Says who? The Second Amendment is based in the principle that it's not. Objectivism is also very clear on the point that people have the right to self defense. Even in the most progressive European countries, people have that right. Even the most anti-gun countries issue special gun licenses to private security and privileged individuals with political connections.

I'm literally aware of no political belief system, or country, in which the use of force is monopolized by the state.

Edited by Nicky

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We delegate our use of defensive force to the police. I agree if its the heat of the moment, i.e. someone attacks you on the street, then you have to do it yourself.

 

But generally its smarter for the police to do it. And if they aren't doing it because they're overwhelmed, then you have insurance.Why defend a business that is located in a crappy area? Relocate the business with the insurance monies. Don't risk injuring yourself.

Edited by Kate87

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We delegate our use of defensive force to the police.

Says who? The Second Amendment is based in the principle that it's not. Objectivism is also very clear on the point that people have the right to self defense. Even in the most progressive European countries, people have that right. Even the most anti-gun countries issue special gun licenses to private security and privileged individuals with political connections.

I'm literally aware of no political belief system, or country, in which the use of force is monopolized by the state delegated to the Police.

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Kate, if the police are overwhelmed, you're in an emergency. Nevertheless, in America the police are never held responsible for failing to protect you. I'd be surprised to hear it is different where you are, but I'm willing to look at contrary evidence if you provide it.

Nicky, Al-Jazeera could have been dealt with differently. Tear gas was an unnecessary escalation in my opinion. They could have saved the canister for use in an actual riot zone, like in front of those businesses that were burned down.

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