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!
What happened after the video that showed Castile bleeding inside a car went black? Rick Mathwig says recent reports don't line up with reality. Mathwig is the police chief in Roseville, Minnesota. His officers weren't the ones who pulled over Castile or fired the fatal gunshots. But they responded to the scene in Falcon Heights after a St. Anthony police officer opened fire on Castile. In an interview with CNN, Mathwig made several points: • Officers started administering CPR three minutes after arriving at the scene, trying to save Castile's life, Mathwig says. "It hurt me ... to hear the governor of Minnesota saying that Mr. Castile did not receive CPR," he says. • Diamond Reynolds, Castile's fiancée who recorded the shooting aftermath in a Facebook Live video, wasn't detained by police all night, Mathwig says. The police chief says she was held for about two hours in what's called a "soft interview room" because it also contains toys, books and blankets. • Mathwig says investigators did what they could to help Reynolds and her 4-year-old daughter. Before dropping her off at home, Mathwig says an officer gave the child a teddy bear.
Rob Duke's insight:
We need to be doing a better job ourselves of managing these scenes. Someone needs to be responsible: For instance, the 4th officer into the scene should be setting up video and the corporal should be gathering info for the PIO officer (press liaison). The sergeant is needed for scene management and the Lieutenant is handling things like whether there are other calls holding, that the admin is being notified, etc.
That way these questions would be answered quickly.
That’s because, at its most extreme, vasoconstriction affects the brain, too. “As the blood drains from the face, blood drains from the forebrain, and there’s no rational thought,” Grossman explains. “I call that ‘condition black.’ And at condition black, the midbrain is in charge, and you’ll do what you’ve been trained to do — no more, no less. You will do what you’ve been programmed to do — no more, no less.”
Thus, if a soldier reaches condition black and lacks adequate training, there’s a good chance he or she will freeze up. A well-trained soldier, on the other hand, will likely take action to neutralize the threat. “Given a clear and present danger, with today’s training almost everyone will shoot,” Grossman says.
In an exchange of gunfire that left him seriously wounded, Marquez hit one suspect in the leg, and another of his .45-caliber bullets made a “one in a billion” shot, according to a letter Orman wrote to Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader and Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz.
That round traveled up the barrel of the attacker’s gun, colliding with a cartridge in the chamber and rendering the .40-caliber pistol inoperable, the letter said.
Rob Duke's insight:
Robin Hood could do it with an arrow (and I've seen that a few times on the bow range), but I've never heard of it being done with a gun.
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.
Widespread evidence shows that these tests routinely produce false positives. Why are police departments and prosecutors across the country still using them?
Rob Duke's insight:
Nice theory, but these tests aren't done until after the arrest and at the station. Carrying around white powder or brown tar in tinfoil isn't normal and is probable cause for the arrest. So, the $2 test isn't "sending innocent people to jail"....There has to be enough substance left to send to the lab and most people aren't still in custody while the lab is doing its thing....
“Where people are recording, which they are constitutionally allowed to do and have either gotten arrested or have gotten their property damaged, have had trumped up summonses,” he told WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb.
The bill would prohibit officers from interfering with or intimidating people from recording police activity. However, Williams also highlighted the need for respectful relations with law enforcement.
“We want to make painstakingly clear that this does not give anyone the permission to interfere with police activity,” he said.
Rob Duke's insight:
Working cops don't like the idea of someone moving around them on their scene recording them. It adds another element and we're already criticized for any mistakes we make. We have the radio, computer, suspect, victim, suspect's vehicle (where there might be other suspects or evidence). Plus, we must worry that someone outside the scene will arrive to interfere. Then add one or more people who have a "right" to record? That will make chaos. I'd be tempted to throw up my hands and say: "call me back when you want to be reasonable". That's like telling your two favorite teams (you name the sport) that they just have to deal with a ball from another court rolling into the game from time to time. It's an appropriate comparison. We've all played in the busy gym where games were played on adjacent courts. That's reasonable because the games are informal and the outcomes aren't important. But, no one would play professionally under those conditions. Similarly, while we all use our phones to snapchat, etc., which makes it seem routine, but it requires finding the right angles, holding the device in the right place, making sure the light is right, etc. which means we move around, and that's the problem in a crime scene or during an incident. I shouldn't be asked to add one more element of danger (but I often am asked); the courts hold me liable for those who I have detained (because I have a duty of care over them); and, I may even have a duty of care over bystanders who get in the cross-fire if an incident erupts in gunfire.
We'll see where this goes, but I can't see how it will work without seriously disrupting police investigations (and someday you'll read a story about an officer who was killed while distracted by someone recording his/her while working).
SHEBOYGAN COUNTY, Wis. -- A female police officer was attacked on the job in Wisconsin, and the suspect is accused of saying police officers deserve to be killed. It all began with a fender bender near the corner of 6th and Superior in Sheboygan. "She was the one hit.
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