The bad blood between NYPD cops and Mayor de Blasio became an air war Friday.
Rob Duke's insight:
Something symbolic needs to be done, but it may be too far gone. My guess is that de Blasio could go to the roll calls and have a "Road to Damascus" moment of seeing the light. He'd have to follow up with real support of the cops, but he could turn this into a triumph to become the one who leads the way to finding a solution to the problem of preserving the peace, without alienating a segment of society.
Surveillance video from officer-involved shooting in Berkeley, Missouri. This video shows the suspect pointing a gun at the officer. More information on the ...
Rob Duke's insight:
1. the guy's gate appears to be unsteady.
2. first thing you do, control the situation: pat down, get identification, run for warrants; it's hard to second guess, but it looks like the victim is not under control and is able to walk back up to the officer and pull the gun.
3. this appeared to be a routine non-emergency call so the officer doesn't activate his camera--this is going to be a problem with body cameras, too.
Julius Caesar, Michelangelo, William Shakespeare, Adam Smith, and Abraham Lincoln lived in cities and never drove an automobile. They didn’t need one, or thought to need one. And you wouldn’t need one either if we could arrange our lives such that you can get where you need to go without a car.
As the Los Angeles Police Department prepares to outfit its force with body cameras during interactions with the public, civil rights groups are concerned over the idea that footage won’t be made public outside of court proceedings.
Bill de Blasio called for calm and unity among angry New Yorkers after the shootings of two NYPD officers.
Rob Duke's insight:
de Blasio is an astute political player and this is a shrewd symbolic move, but it remains to be seen if it will be enough to win back the NYPD. Sometimes that isn't necessary, see Calvin Coolidge and his breaking of the police/fire strikes....http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1348.html
Coolidge famously said: "There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time."
Mayor Bill de Blasio, trying to stanch the bitter fallout from the slayings of two policemen, called Monday for an end to angry rhetoric and protests alleging police brutality as all sides work to “knit our city together.”
Liberal Chick presents her latest musings from the dictionary of liberal logic. Apparently cops shouldn't fear for their life if a teen points a gun at them.
Rob Duke's insight:
Pedestrians also no longer need to dodge taxis; nurses don't need to wear rubber gloves? But, seriously, she may have a point hidden in the hyperbole: Currently, police training emphasizes that safety is first "I'm going home at the end of my shift". Should we instead emphasize tactics and cover so that you're sure before engaging a threat?............................................................................Now after having let that sink in......I think you do have to consider natural law. Do we attempt to control an officer's heartbeat? Of course not, the part of the brain that controls our threat response (fear, fight or flight), the Amygdala, is a primitive organ left over from a time when humans weren't at the top of the food chain--think of it like a vestigial tail that is now just a stub, but was once very useful in maintaining balance high up in the trees. When a threat is perceive in this organ, watch out! The world slows down and your reactions speed up! In two shootings, my gun was in my hand and I was firing before I could have articulated a threat. All vision, and memory that I have of these events now, had been blurred with the only clear vision being the threat. In both of these events (and dozens of others where I did not fire my weapon), my body response was three moves ahead of where I could actually formulate thought. In one case, I simultaneously called out my location on my radio, fired at the man who was firing at me, sought cover by running around to the passenger side of my car. I have one brief memory of slipping in gravel and making the palm of my left hand into hamburger as I caught my fall, did something of a break-dancer move to keep on my feet; and, then time jumped to the next memory of being at the front hood of my car covering the suspect who was down. I don't remember hearing the police chopper beating its way towards me, nor did I hear gunshots or remember seeing muzzle flashes (but witnesses described these things in detail). I worked a suburb of Los Angeles early in my career, so I had dozens of "close calls" where I did not fire my weapon, too. In two cases, a suspect pulled something from his waistband and began to whip around towards me. I did not fire. In one case, the suspect was disgarding a stolen cel phone; and, in the other, the suspect held a gun, but tossed it in a micro-second before I surmise that I would have fired (he held a child in his arms also, so I can't be sure that another primitive part of my brain may have been restraining the Amygdala in order to protect a child--the suspect had shot the mother in the face a short time earlier and was fleeing with the kidnapped child).
I can't explain the difference in the how I responded. It wasn't wisdom, nor experience, and I don't think it was luck. I think it was something primordial, something barely explained. Think of it as the earlier "lizard man" that, unbeknownst to most of us, still lives in the back hind stem of our brains. I believe we all have this, but only those who have gone to battle or been confronted with an ancient threat have had to acknowledge this reality. A few years ago, I was at a West Coast zoo that had a cougar enclosure that allowed visitors to view the big cat through a piece of thick plexiglass (you know the type used by Sea World, "shamu-type glass"). This cat had worn a worry path all around the perimeter of his enclosure include right next to the glass. The cat paced all day long, and about every 20 times going past the glass, he suddenly lunged at the glass, stopping just short of the actual glass. Darn thing got me with his sick practical joke: I jumped back, screamed like child, before I got a handle on myself, looked sheepishly around, and then hurried away. But, I was curious, so I wandered back and sure enough the cat did this every five minutes or so and people of all ages reacted as I had. I saw a couple miracle cures where wheelchair bound people scrambled to escape. I saw children tossed about as parents reacted instinctively to throw the children away and, I guess take the animals attack on their own backs. It was enlightening to say the least.
So, to circle back and make a point, I'm not sure that we're talking about fear. So, I think the author may be unfairly and unwisely calling for something that none of us are capable of truly giving.
As the Alaska Legislature begins audits of 18 major state agencies, it has encountered difficulty with the first agency to be examined, the Department of Corrections, which failed to identify programs to auditors that could help cut 10 percent of its operating budget.
Rob Duke's insight:
Hmmm....hard to see how you can't trim just 10% without closing down a facility. I can understand why the legislature might feel DOC is unresponsive.
In Washington state earlier this month, an appeals court threw out a murder conviction based on shoddy work by the defense. But the court also took the prosecutor to task for something even stranger: a bad PowerPoint presentation.
The Solutions Institute. Expert help for activists.
Rob Duke's insight:
Not a bad start:
The author suggests:
To the individual citizen= get involved, go to board meetings, and make your voice heard.
To the administrator=reach out to interest holders and strive to create dialogue.
To the individual officer=lead the move back to Community Policing from the bottom of the hierarchy. Engage the citizens on your own beat.
I'd just add that both officers and admin must also work to create capacity within their communities to get involved. Often these communities don't know how to engage the system, are afraid of the system, don't know how to overcome the hundreds of small barriers of which we are often unaware.
Forensic psychologist Michael Welner told CNN on Tuesday that two New York City police officers were murdered over the weekend because the social justice movement emboldens advocates with an “entitlement to violence.” Welner, who prosecutors claim...
It's too bad we can't just have a dialogue. A week ago, there was a moral panic over cops' tactics vis á vis minority communities and now there's an attempt to create a moral panic over the tragic shooting of officers.
There are legitimate issues to be discussed on both sides. Something's happened in the last decade or so. Even police departments that embrace community policing have been criticized for covering the "iron fist" with a "velvet glove" (see Barlow and Barlow, A Political Economy of Community Policing in Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategy & Management, 1999). In addition, as a result of the terror attacks of 9/11, Federal funding has emphasized Homeland Security at the expense of Community Policing and this has exacerbated the slide away from Community Policing. On the other side, there's been a steady decrease in crime that law enforcement likes to think is correlated with the use of COMPstat evidence-based policing that pinpoints crime hotspots and targets law enforcement towards these areas [NYPD has notoriously used tactics like "stop and frisk" and Zero Tolerance because commanders and troops were held responsible for crime in their areas. In sharp contrast, the West Coast tends to reward Community Policing supported by a a rival computing system created by the ESRI (ESRI beta tested, incidentally, at my old department in Redlands, Ca). ESRI systems tend to be built with a bias toward using data to inform the public and seek its help in solving crime and identifying solutions to social problems. The point here is that one person;s treasure is another's garbage. COMPstat's vision has generated significant community distress while the ESRI, and West Coast Community Policing tends to enjoy popular support--not that the West Coast is universally loved, nor that the East Coast doesn't "do" Community Polcing.] It is by no means clear that this correlation is causation, but the law enforcement community refuses to believe that there's something else at work (e.g. the Donahue-Levitt Hypothesis concerning abortion legalization, the impacts of lead on violence, etc.). In addition, cops working the street perceive that life on the street is getting more dangerous (perversely as crime trends downward); they have as little as a few seconds to decide if a person is a friend or foe; they don't think their use of force is unreasonable (even when in hindsight tragic situations seem avoidable); and, they feel under siege with demands for officers' prosecution (or worse).
As long as we define the dialogue as a dichotomy: either 1. cops are racists; or 2. thugs and criminals just don't want to be policed, then we can't begin to discuss issues such as, whether the social and economic structure lacks the capacity to deliver fair outcomes for all those who deserve success by the fruits of their labor (see Robert K. Merton's Strain theory for more on this idea, but the short version is that there's not enough "American Dream" to go around for all those that follow the rules, but we value this end so highly (and don't seem to really punish those that cheat a little) that some "innovate" with crime (e.g. exploiting black and grey markets). These segments of society also have stratification where a few big guys are usually insulated from violence and arrest, while their "soldiers" do all the work, take all the risk and only occasionally reap the rewards (See Sudhir Venkatesh's work on the "underground economy"). The Chicago School of Sociology would further suggest that these segments of society develop "deviant subcultures" that accept (and maybe even lift up values wholly or partially tolerant of crime). Another issue not yet accessible in this discussion is whether there's a way to exercise "hard" power that is rarely used, but is bolstered significantly by a "soft" power that is shared by many stakeholders (see Jeffrey Pfeffer on power; and, Joseph Nye for a discussion of hard vs. soft power, note neither of these authors write in the Justice field). Similarly, we don't yet talk about the recurrent issues in policing related to the use of power. Are there elements of power that seem inevitably to lead to abuse? (see William Ker Muir's discussion on the many paradoxes inherent to the use of power). Finally, (at least on my list) is the dichotomy between the street cop's belief that they just follow orders [Indeed, if you want to change the system, they may be supportive of your ideas, but CANNOT act unless the political overseers act within a rule of law to change the system)]; with the idea that "beneficial" corruption (see Nas, Price, and Weber, A Policy-Oriented Theory of Corruption in the American Political Science Review, 1986) allows officials to ignore policy and the law in cases where micro or macro injustices occurs (see also Amartya Sen's discussion on "niti" and "nyaya" that mirrors this idea of legitimate justice interest in correcting little injustices wherever you find them). The New Public Administration advocated by Dwight Waldo, H. George Fredrickson, and my mentor, Chester Newland (to name just three, though iconic, authors) also advocates a "search for reasonableness" and "human dignity", in other words giving "equity" equal stature with "efficiency, effectiveness and economy". These aren't easy issues: Do we really want officials to be able to choose which laws to enforce? It doesn't take much imagination to see a slide back into "Jim Crow" or something else equally biased. Even if implemented fairly, perhaps with a system that demands a report with certain findings to be produced before a rule or law is ignored or bent, do we have any right to derail issues that are ripe for court review? In other words, would it have been more right for a cop to arrest Rosa Parks, or to have refused to have made that arrest? If our 1955 officer had been capable of refusing to arrest Ms. Parks, would we have been deprived of the changes brought on by the Civil Rights Movement that followed? My own personal guess is that officers and officials could make little (niti) corrections where they find them and not significantly derail the underground dialectic of changing social norms, but that's just one man's opinion and I'm sympathetic to the idea that it might not be my right to "play God".
That's about as succinct as I think I can be in illustrating what I think would be a more beneficial dialogue on the issues of police use of force. I hope we can move past the idea of scapegoating through moral panics of any variety--these only benefit rent-seekers that would hijack political systems for their own benefit rather than create opportunities for interest-holders to identify conjunctive interests that may point to mutually beneficial solutions.
A few weeks ago I wrote an article about sexual harassment. I was struck by a comment by one of my male friends after reading it: “I’ve never really thought about this kind of thing before, but I’ve been asking my women friends, and every single one of them has stories. One even kinda has a stalker, and I had no idea. It’s like this whole other world exists that I knew nothing about.”Technically, he and I live in the same world. We shop at the same grocery stores. We take the same subways. We wa