Some departments are becoming better at dealing with explosive situations. Even smaller outfits, like Florida’s Palm Beach Gardens force, with just 100 officers, are spending money to improve the way police go about their jobs. A 10,000-square-foot tactical training centre, opening in the autumn, will teach officers to use words, not force, to defuse dangerous moments. In a classic example of the method, in November a man brandishing a knife in Camden, New Jersey was arrested without incident. Police followed him at a distance, encouraging him to drop the knife.
Camden was once one of America’s most dangerous cities. Crime there has reached record lows—homicides fell by 52% between 2012 and 2015—largely because of community policing. Handcuffs and firearms are now considered tools of last resort. As Camden’s police chief remarked not long ago, “Nothing builds trust like human contact.”
A George Washington University law professor has filed disbarment charges against Marilyn Mosby for her corrupt prosecution of six Baltimore cops in the death of career criminal, Freddie Gray. There have now been 3 trials and Mosby hasn’t come close to winning one yet and has even been excoriated for withholding exculpatory evidence. The list of charges against Mosby are as follows: that she did not have probable cause to believe that there was sufficient admissible evidence to support a conviction of the officers; that she made public statements regarding the case which were false; that she improperly withheld evidence from the defense that was exculpatory; that she continued to prosecute cases after the judge assigned to hear the cases found insufficient evidence to support a conviction; that she engaged in conduct that was dishonest, fraudulent, deceitful and which misrepresented the facts in the case. The complaint filed with the Maryland Bar Counsel calls Mosby “a runaway prosecutor” and alleges she violated ethics rules, claiming she never had probable cause to charge six officers in the death of Freddie Gray.
Rob Duke's insight:
The last time I remember a prosecutor being disbarred was in the Duke Lacrosse case (Mike Nifong).
Late in his career Selye came to distinguish between “eustress”, or the good stress caused by positive experiences, such as falling in love, and distress, the bad sort. Other scientists extended the original physics metaphor: just as many materials can withstand stress until a certain point, it was thought that humans could cope with stress if it did not become too severe. Indeed, the idea took hold that moderate stress might be a good thing. In 1979 Peter Nixon, a consultant at Charing Cross Hospital in London, described a “human function curve”: a moderate amount of stress, such as a deadline or race, was now understood as not just harmless, but beneficial. But above a certain threshold humans, like metal bars, would break.
Now a new body of research is challenging that notion. Some scientists posit that what matters is not just the level of stress, or even its type, but how it is thought about. The same stress, perceived differently, can trigger different physical responses, with differing consequences in turn for both performance and health.
Recognising that stress can be beneficial seems to help in two main ways. People who have a more positive view of stress are more likely to behave in a constructive way: a study by Alia Crum of Stanford University’s Mind and Body Lab and others found that students who believed stress enhances performance were more likely to ask for detailed feedback after an uncomfortable public-speaking exercise. And seeing stressors as challenges rather than threats invites physiological responses that improve thinking and cause less physical wear and tear.
Humans can respond to stress in several different ways. The best-known is the “fight or flight” response, which evolved as a response to sudden danger. The heart rate increases; the veins constrict to limit the bleeding that might follow a brawl and send more blood to the muscles; and the brain focuses on the big picture, with details blurred.
In less extreme situations, the body and brain should react somewhat differently. When people perceive they are being challenged rather than threatened, the heart still beats faster and adrenalin still surges, but the brain is sharper and the body releases a different mix of stress hormones, which aid in recovery and learning. The blood vessels remain more open and the immune system reacts differently, too. Sometimes, though, the wrong response is triggered, and people sitting exams, giving a speech or pitching a business plan react as if to a sudden threat, with negative consequences for both their performance and their long-term health.
Ms Crum believes that attitudes and beliefs shape the physical response to stress. In 2013 she subjected student volunteers to fake job interviews. Beforehand, they were shown one of two videos. The first extolled the way stress can improve performance and forge social connections; the second emphasised its dangers. In the fake interviews, the participants were subjected to biting criticism. When Ms Crum took saliva samples at the end of the study, she found that those who watched the upbeat video had released more DHEA, a hormone associated with brain growth.
In an earlier study Ms Crum and Shawn Achor, the author of “The Happiness Advantage”, visited UBS, an investment bank, at the height of the financial crisis in 2008. They split around 400 bankers into three groups. The first watched a video that reinforced notions of stress as toxic, the second watched one highlighting that stress could enhance performance and the third watched no clip at all. A week later the second group reported greater focus, higher engagement and fewer health problems than before; the other two groups reported no changes.
Other scientists have shown that recognising the benefits of stress can cause measurable improvements in performance. In one experiment Jeremy Jamieson, a psychology professor at the University of Rochester, gathered college students preparing for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), an entrance test for postgraduate courses. He collected saliva from each of the students to measure their baseline stress response and divided them into two groups. One group was told that stress during practice exams was natural and can boost performance; the other got no such pep talk. The students who received the mindset intervention went on to score higher on a GRE practice test than those who did not. When Mr Jamieson collected their saliva after the exam, it suggested his intervention had not soothed their nerves: they were at least as stressed as those in the control group. A few months later the students reported their scores on the real GRE exam: those who had been taught to see stress as positive still scored better.
“Google images of stress and you’ll see a guy with his head on fire. We’ve internalised that idea,” says Mr Achor. He instead compares stress to going to the gym. You only get stronger if you push yourself beyond what feels easy, but afterwards you need to recover. The analogy suggests that stress at work may be performance-enhancing, but should be followed by rest, whether that means not checking e-mails on weekends, taking more holiday or going for a stroll in the middle of the day.
The well-tempered mind Kelly McGonigal, a psychologist at Stanford University and the author of “The Upside of Stress”, helps people rethink stress by telling them that it is what we feel when something we care about is at stake. She asks them to make two lists: of things that stress them; and of things that matter to them. “People realise that if they eliminated all stress their lives would not have much meaning,” she says. “We need to give up the fantasy that you can have everything you want without stress.”
By changing how their bodies process stress and how they behave, such reframing may help people live healthier lives. In 2012 a group of scientists in America looked back at the 1998 National Health Interview Survey, which included questions about how much stress the 30,000 participants had experienced in the previous year, and whether they believed stress harmed their health. Next, they pored over mortality records to find out which respondents had died. They found that those who both reported high stress and believed it was harming their health had a 43% higher risk of premature death. Those who reported high stress but did not believe it was hurting them were less likely to die early than those who reported little stress.
The study shows correlation, not causation. But since much stress is unavoidable, working out how to harness it may be wiser than fruitless attempts to banish it.
Rob Duke's insight:
This article has a good message for those in the justice field. We stress about what we care about and life wouldn't have much meaning if we eliminated all stress. As Xenophon said back in the 4th century b.c. "It's better to live 1 day as a lion than 100 years as a lamb".
DOVER — Prosecutors and defense lawyers are evaluating how the use of police body cameras will impact the state’s criminal justice system. Delaware State Police are now in a pilot program to test the technology and seven police departments now wear cameras — Smyrna, Ocean View, Middletown, New Castle County, Bethany Beach, Delaware State University …
Black Americans are more than twice as likely as white Americans to be killed by police officers.1 Researchers agree that racism almost certainly plays a role in that disparity. But “racism” is too broad an explanation to reveal much about the more immediate causes or to point to a way to reduce police killings of black people like the recent ones in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota.
Researchers who have studied the issue say that racism manifests itself in different ways, requiring a range of solutions. If the disparity arises because bias among police officers makes them more likely to fire guns at black people than at white people who pose equal threats, for example, then the answer could lie in hiring, training and firing: test recruits for bias, train officers to not exercise bias and fire officers who demonstrate bias.
Rob Duke's insight:
Nate Silver and the folks at 538 make a big deal about using Bayesian statistics because it introduces some of the intuitiveness of the human brain and the way humans can quite quickly estimate the likeliness that something will happen based upon their previous experience. It's ironic that they can't recognize that wisdom in policing. While it may be that cops are trained to be too pessimistic (even paranoid), it's also true (at least in my career) that a lot of people are willing to hurt you if you let your guard down. We train officers not to let their guard down; and, out of millions of citizen contacts, it ends up that only .0003% end in a shooting--most, incidentally, that are found to be within the law--in other words, most shootings are justified.
Having said that, the law can shift if we don't work very hard to make sure that our shootings are justified. Mark my words if the law shifts in favor of the "bad guys", as public opinion has done in the past year, then more cops will die and that will have it's own political impact (we're starting to see some of that now having lost 9 cops in two weeks).
The officer behind the shooting, who has been placed on administrative leave, issued a statement through the police chief Thursday. “I took this job to save lives and help people,” the statement said. “I did what I had to do in a split second to accomplish that and hate to hear others paint me as something I am not.”
Rivera said Kinsey “did everything right” during the encounter with police.
“This wasn’t a mistake in the sense that the officer shot the wrong guy or he thought that Kinsey was the bad guy,” Rivera said. “This was a mistake in the sense that he knew or felt that Mr. Kinsey was a victim and was about to lose his life. And rather than sit there and watch nothing, he intended to stop the white male and accidentally shot Mr. Kinsey.”
“He thought Mr. Kinsey was about to be killed,” Rivera later added.
What shocked Mr Fryer was when he looked in detail at reports of police shootings. He got two separate research teams to read, code and analyse over 1,300 shootings between 2000 and 2015 in ten police departments, including Houston and Los Angeles. To his surprise, he found that blacks were no more likely to be shot before attacking an officer than non-blacks. This was apparent both in the raw data, and once the characteristics of the suspect and the context of the encounter were accounted for.
Mr Fryer dug deeper into the data. He combed through 6,000 incident reports from Houston, including all the shootings, incidents involving Tasers and a sample in which lethal force could have justifiably been used but was not. What he found was even more startling: black suspects appear less likely to be shot than non-black ones, fatally or otherwise.
These findings need caveats. Houston is one city; there are no equally detailed data for the rest of the country (though findings in the other districts seem to support the conclusions). The city voluntarily submitted its reports; it may have been confident of its lack of bias. Critics of Mr Fryer’s work have pointed out that his paper does not address any bias in an officer’s decision to stop a black person in the first place—a common criticism of stop and frisk. Mr Fryer acknowledges that blacks are more likely to be stopped, but adds that his findings are consistent with other types of encounter between police and civilians.
In explaining why racial bias is present in all cases except shootings Mr Fryer suggests that it may reflect how officers are rarely punished for relatively minor acts of discrimination. When he shadowed cops on patrol, Mr Fryer was told repeatedly that “firing a weapon is a life-changing event”—and not only for the victim. Although activists argue that too many officers get off lightly when they harm civilians, cops find it hard to escape any scrutiny after discharging their weapon. More transparency and accountability are therefore needed, even when police encounter members of the public.
For racial discrimination by police is socially corrosive. Mr Fryer suggests that if blacks take their experience with police as evidence of wider bias, it can lead to a belief that the whole world is also against them. They may invest less in education if they think employers are biased too. It is more than 50 years since Martin Luther King spoke of blacks being “staggered by the winds of police brutality”. Those winds are still blowing.
“After discussing the situation with the artist and the community, a decision was agreed upon by all involved that M.I.A. will no longer headline Afropunk LONDON,” the festival said in a statement released on Instagram Friday. “A key part of the Afropunk ethos has always been educating one another, breaking down boundaries and sparking conversation about race, gender, religion, sex, culture, and everything that makes life worth living,” the statement continued. “This exchange has meant receiving wisdom, as well as imparting it in the most respectful way possible.” In an April interview with London-based Evening Standard, M.I.A. incited backlash following her response to Beyoncé’s politically charged Super Bowl performance.
“It’s interesting that in America the problem you’re allowed to talk about is ‘Black Lives Matter,'” the British rapper said. “Is Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar going to say ‘Muslim Lives Matter’? Or ‘Syrian Lives Matter’? Or ‘this kid in Pakistan matters’?” “That’s a more interesting question,” she added. “And you cannot ask it on a song that’s on Apple, you cannot ask it on an American TV program, you cannot create that tag on Twitter, Michelle Obama is not going to hump you back.” The rapper later took to Twitter to clarify her comments following heavy backlash over her comments.
Rob Duke's insight:
Cops feel this way also: is BLM an issue? Sure. But is it the recurrent headline that it's made into? Or is it a Moral Panic? See Cohen's work on Moral Panics and their social uses. Is the Moral Panic the most efficient way to create social change? That's another interesting question.
KSHB reports social media threat against police and firefighters is making the rounds in the metro area.
The post calls on the Crips and Bloods gangs to shed some blood.
Word of the non-specific threat came after KCK Police Captain Dave Melton’s murder Tuesday and at a time when fatal shootings of police officers are a national concern.
On Thursday, both the KCMO and KCK Fire Departments received notice of this threat along with other area fire departments in the Heart of America Metro Fire Chiefs Council. That organization’s headquarters are in Olathe.
The threat reads in part, “As you fight, remember that the fireman and the police are on the same side. Don’t be fooled!”
“We are calling on the gangs across the nation! Attack everything in blue except the mailman, unless he is carrying more than mail!”
“It’s time for the Crips and Blood to shed some blood.”
POLICE credit cards have been inappropriately used to pay for breakfasts, morning teas, dinners, office furniture — and even parking fines.
Rob Duke's insight:
Yeah, there's a fine line to walk here. One the one hand, your men and women have to eat and like Napoleon observed: "An army marches on its stomach"....So, I strongly believe that it's the agencies responsibility to feed officers who are tied to a duty assignment (e.g. homicide, parade, etc.). Having said that, if you use that card on things like food or restaurants, be prepared to defend the use because it's too easy to paint that use as "personal use". I much prefer to pay out of pocket and submit receipts for anything you think might be "borderline".
Five Dallas police officers killed, three Baton Rouge police officers killed, two bailiffs killed in a courthouse, a Milwaukee officer shot several times while sitting in a patrol car, numerous other officers wounded in these shootings; and countless other officers attacked and injured on a nightly basis in incidents not deemed “newsworthy.” And these are just the events of the past week.
Some recent shootings of black men indeed seemed avoidable, according to some members of a panel of experts assembled by The Washington Post to analyze the shootings captured on video. One common mistake, the panel said: Police failed to employ standard tactics intended to de-escalate the encounters and take suspects safely into custody.
However, the experts also identified instances in which the officers were potentially seconds away from injury, although they may have appeared safe to the untrained eye. Understanding these nuances, the experts said, could help guide society to appropriate reforms and improve relations between police and the communities they serve.
"Sometimes everything you need to know is in the video, like the incident in South Carolina last year, where the officer shot [Walter Scott] in the back," said David Klinger, a criminologist with the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
"That was heinous. But a lot of times, there is a backstory we don't know about. And the public doesn't have the training that an officer has. There are cues and aspects to the encounter [the public] may have missed, even if there is a video."
For years, police investigators, the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service desperately worked to find the stolen money and the evidence needed to charge Archie Cabello and his family. But it wasn’t until Vincent Cabello came forward to police that authorities finally got their break.
"We are currently in the process of reviewing the Commission’s findings and will respond accordingly," the statement reads. "The corrective action ordered by the Commission is an alleged attempt to remedy a lack of due process afforded to candidates. The Commission's issuance of this Order without affording the Department an opportunity to respond and address the entirety of the information obtained and relied upon by the Commission deprived the Department of its due process in this matter. It is unfortunate that the organization charged with guarding against political considerations, favoritism and bias in governmental employment decisions showed obvious bias towards the Boston Police department at today’s hearing."
Rob Duke's insight:
Departments often attract the same type of recruits that the department employs already. Thus, it can difficult to change the dynamics and demographics. I think that is the issue brought out by the CSC. Some recruits should be cops (see the Raphael Perez case in LAPD's history where they looked the other way with a candidate's gang history and that later resulted in a major scandal for the department), but departments make a mistake when they are over-broad in the standards they enforce.
The White House will revisit a 2015 ban on police forces getting riot gear, armored vehicles and other military-grade equipment from the U.S. armed forces, two police organization directors told Reuters on Thursday.
Cleveland police arrested 18 protesters on Wednesday after scuffling with demonstrators who tried to set an American flag on fire near the crowded entrance to the arena where Republicans made Donald Trump their presidential nominee, officials said.
Then they insult black people and say "nothing to see here"! White folk are taught to deny, lie, and disregard the feels of all other human beings, and what they have done to black people would make Hitler blush!
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.