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ACLU Launches Nationwide Investigation of Police Militarization

ACLU Launches Nationwide Investigation of Police Militarization | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has launched a nationwide campaign to assess police militarization in the United States.
Rob Duke's insight:

There's an argument out there that we've left the community policing era behind and have entered a militarization era--what do you think?

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K MJ's comment, March 7, 2013 8:29 PM
I find it interesting; while I adore their attempts to make SWAT organizations open to the public (especially the information-digging on how many people are hurt in raids and types of weapons used), it's obvious they aren't doing this in the most polite manner. The ACLU admits that SWAT organizations were cooperative in the 90s, but after being criticized time after time they've closed their doors to just handing over information. There needs to be benefits for their cooperation, and it's as if the ACLU expects these organizations to just sit back and take a beating. The key phrase was "I suspect that once they force the police agencies to cooperate…"I wonder if such organization types receive positive incentive for cooperating/transparency, or if it's just expected that they hand over the goods. If there is no such incentive, then of course they would rather protect their reputations instead of doing the right thing. There is no way to force cooperation…but there are plenty of ways to win them over.
As for the militarization theory; there's good argument for it. I don't necessarily see it day to day or believe that the media represents a fair overlook, so it's hard to really believe that it exists. It may just be an excuse by the UCLA, something witnessed primarily by the victims of these SWAT break-ins (drug dealers, suspected terrorist, etc.), or mostly seen in largely populated areas. I see more of the community model.
Rob Duke's comment, March 8, 2013 12:59 AM
KMJ--I agree the ACLU has a great incentive to make it seem that they are taking the fight to SWAT, but it seems like there's much more to be gained by finding mutual interests and identify ways to make the system better. The police have legitimate interests in finding ways to dislodge criminals from barricade situations, but the ACLU has a legitimate interest in reducing accidents and excessive force. Isn't it feasible that there would be systems to identify and put in place that can satisfy both interests?
Brandon Barnes's comment, March 17, 2013 6:41 PM
Using these "military tactics and military weapons" don't seem to be a problem to me. Though I would say that SWAT has to do things completely different then the military because they're having completely different priorities in the raids, and from different SWAT activities I've seen on the news they use a lot of equipment then the military would ever use. In short I think they deserve their own category of SWAT tactics and equipment, but these tactics and equipment are not the problem at all. These should be the tactics used when needed for violent situations or where there is some chance of things becoming a violent situation. What seems to be needed is a lot more discretion in when and where the SWAT is used. For example there should really never be a mistaken house in a situation where a warrant has been served, SWAT should never raid a mistaken persons house as in the wrong address and when it does happen someone should be held accountable for the mistake. As in someone should be taken off of the SWAT team permanently and in cases where trauma is caused, like in the case of the mayors dogs being shot their should probably be at least one or two officers getting kicked off the force because if SWAT is allowed to take action on crappy information repeatedly and innocent people become the victims a change is in order. When it is an appropriate call on using SWAT it is very important for SWAT to have the proper equipment and training and I don't think there should be many restrictions on the weapons the police force has in the arsenal.

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Police Problems and Policy
Examining the possibilities of abuse of power without the constraint of New Public Administration.
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Deadly LAPD shooting of homeless man is caught on video

Deadly LAPD shooting of homeless man is caught on video | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
In a dramatic confrontation caught on video, Los Angeles police shot and killed a homeless man in the heart of downtown's bustling skid row Sunday.
Rob Duke's insight:

Click through for the video (link is below the pic).  It's not graphic, but there's a lot going on, so it's difficult to see what happens and why he was shot.

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New Jersey police officer hospitalized after being struck, dragged by car

A New Jersey police officer was struck by a car and dragged for more than 30 feet early Saturday, then thrown into a parked car when the vehicle's driver swerved in a bid to escape, police said.
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That's why cops shoot people who are driving towards them....or others.

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Police Officers in Mississippi Town Are Now Required to Take 2 hour Spanish Class

Police Officers in Mississippi Town Are Now Required to Take 2 hour Spanish Class | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it

 

By Cindy Rodriguez

 

“The purpose of this program is for our officers to learn basic commands,” said Jackson Police Department Police Chief Lee Vance,.

 

“We’re not looking to make anybody fluent,” Vance added.


According to Fox News Latino, the two-hour Spanish class is designed for those who have no prior knowledge of the language and is mandatory for all officers.


A super helpful skill that will come in handy if an officer encounters a Spanish native speaker from anything to a traffic violation to more serious matters.


Latinos have been drawn to Mississippi the past few decades because of the state’s burgeoning chicken processing industry, according to Fox News Latino. Jackson, the state’s capital and its largest city, has a population of about 200,000 – roughly 2 percent of whom are Latino, according to the latest U.S. Census data.

 

- Click through for more -

 


Via Community Village Sites
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Great idea...2 hours isn't much, though...

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A Prison, Infamous for Bloodshed, Faces a Reckoning as Guards Go on Trial

A Prison, Infamous for Bloodshed, Faces a Reckoning as Guards Go on Trial | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Three corrections officers at the prison in western New York face gang-related assault charges after an inmate was brutally beaten.
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Puerto Rico, USA - You've probably never heard of America's worst police force

Puerto Rico, USA - You've probably never heard of America's worst police force | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Puerto Rico's police department has a long record of shootings, corruption, and impunity. Is that about to change?

Via Randy L. Dixon Rivera
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Randy L. Dixon Rivera's curator insight, February 28, 11:09 AM

I do know a lot about PRPDs deadly corruption as the ‪#‎FBI‬ & ‪#‎USDOJ‬ well knows.  It's devastating for the many countless victims of PRPDs corruption as well as PR's judicial corruption too.

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Here's What Happened When Detroit Youth Got Real With Police

Here's What Happened When Detroit Youth Got Real With Police | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
As activists across the country question police tactics and the number of black men and boys killed by cops, a group in Detroit is hoping conversations with officers can begin to heal the mistrust some youth have toward authorities.

More than 50 t...

Via Darcy Delaproser, Jocelyn Stoller
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Fresno Business Partners Accuse Police Officers of Stealing Money

Nearly a dozen Fresno police officers are at the center of a lawsuit, accused of unlawfully seizing thousands of dollars from two Fresno business men. One of the former officers recently admitted taking part in other shady business.
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New report on failing War on Drugs by Health Poverty Action

New report on failing War on Drugs by Health Poverty Action | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it

Health Poverty Action has launched a report calling for the global development sector to rethink its approach to the failing War on Drugs.

Entitled ‘Casualties of War: How the War on Drugs is harming the world’s poorest’, the report emphasises how drugs policy is very much a development issue.

Since the mid-twentieth century, global drug policy has been dominated by strict prohibition, which tries to force people to stop possessing, using and producing drugs by making them illegal.

This approach, which has come to be known as the ‘War on Drugs’, has not only failed to achieve its goals – it is fuelling poverty, undermining health, and failing some of the poorest and most marginalised communities worldwide.

 


Via Julian, Jocelyn Stoller
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Julian's curator insight, February 26, 6:25 PM

Good to see a broad cross section of people recognising the damage and devastation caused by the drug wars: Reform is coming.

17 years ago I argued:

‘The more you prohibit drugs and push them underground, the more conducive the economic and social environment for a lucrative illegal drug trade ...It is difficult to understand how waging ‘war on drugs’ can continue to be justified ...Sooner or later an influential western nation will have to lead the way in a radical rethink of international and national drug policy ...Sooner rather than later, the government must address decriminalisation ...authorities have effectively been waging war against their own socially excluded communities...drug users will continue to be forced into criminal activity, ...a continued policy of prohibition will lead to more dangerous and hostile environments. The illegal drug industry will thrive and becoming increasingly more established and organisationally more business-like.’ (p220-222)

 Buchanan, J. & Young L (1998) ‘Failing to Grasp the Nettle: UK Drug Policy’ Probation Journal Vol. 45 No. 4
 

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Proposal Would Require Special Prosecutor in Police Related Deaths | News Radio 1200 WOAI

Proposal Would Require Special Prosecutor in Police Related Deaths | News Radio 1200 WOAI | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Prosecutor could not be from the same city as the police involved
Rob Duke's insight:

This is a bad idea; but not for the reasons you might think I'd make:

 

1. Prosecutors are closely associated with the police and may lack legitimacy in the community; and

2. Prosecutors are elected or appointed, often with an expectation of limited tenure and hopes of advancing to higher office.

 

Given this, prosecutors are not the best choice.  Instead, I'd advocate Seattle's idea of appointing special judges (often retired) to investigate officer involved homicides.  It would not be difficult to advance this idea to include all serious allegations of corruption and use of force.

 

See also the French model of investigative judges (IJ) that accompany the police in all major investigations.  The inquisitorial approach of that system may be advantageous for this area of law.  If the IJ was charged with finding truth (to the greatest extent possible) first and foremost, then you might see great buy-in by both the community and the police.....

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Police stun elderly man in Florida: Are cops overusing Tasers? (+video)

Police stun elderly man in Florida: Are cops overusing Tasers? (+video) | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A Florida police officer uses a stun gun on an elderly man in Key West, who appears to be surrendering with his hands up. Miami's three major police departments have used Tasers on more than 3,000 people since 2007. Some 11 men have died after being stunned
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Fruitland Park police chief who dealt with KKK allegations resigns

FRUITLAND PARK — In the latest turn for a department that has been beset by turmoil in recent years, police Chief Terry Isaacs resigned Tuesday after being placed on administrative leave a day earlier.
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Pot is 114 Times Safer Than Booze, Says Study

Pot is 114 Times Safer Than Booze, Says Study | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
New research finds pot is the safest among recreational drugs by far.

Via Jocelyn Stoller
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Private police carry guns and make arrests, and their ranks are swelling

Private police carry guns and make arrests, and their ranks are swelling | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Michael Youlen stopped a driver in a Manassas, Virginia, apartment complex on a recent night and wrote the man a ticket for driving on a suspended license. With a badge on his chest and a gun on his hip, Youlen gave the driver a stern warning to stay off the road.
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Shocking Prison Officer undercover footage: “Let them slash their wrists”

Shocking Prison Officer undercover footage: “Let them slash their wrists” | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
An undercover investigation has revealed a shocking culture of racism, sexism and threats of violence in Britain’s most notorious detention centre. Footage recorded in Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre reveals that desperate prisoners threw themselves down a staircase in apparent attempts to commit suicide. In one of the most shocking incidents uncovered by the investigation…

Via Darcy Delaproser
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Watch Black Men From Age 5 To 50 Respond To The Word “Police”

Watch Black Men From Age 5 To 50 Respond To The Word “Police” | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Some of the answers might surprise you. Some of them, sadly, will not.
 
This post originally appeared at BuzzFeed.

Via Jocelyn Stoller
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Video Emerges as Alabama Cop Is Arrested for Paralyzing 57-Year-Old Indian Man | VICE News

Video Emerges as Alabama Cop Is Arrested for Paralyzing 57-Year-Old Indian Man | VICE News | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Madison police chief said the officer's actions were against department standards and recommended his termination.
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How can a goalkeeper save a penalty?

A QUARTER of the 2014 World Cup games in the knockout stage have been decided by a shootout. With only a split second to react, the keeper has a few ways to increase...
Rob Duke's insight:

Substitute cop for goalkeeper and it's about the same thing in shooting incidents.  Training, luck, and instinct: whoever jumps first and guesses right wins: survival and the political fallout.

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Police Officer Turn Whistleblower

NCLEO is an acronym for the National Coalition of Law Enforcement Officers. This organization is a group of ex-law enforcement officers turn whistleblowers. They reported abuses they observed in their police departments and have since gone public with the information. Recently the members of NCLEO went to Washington to speak to congress about police brutality. Tonight Alex Salazar one of NCLEO's members will be our guest, he will tell us about his experience as a police officer and why he decided to become a whistleblower.

Via Darcy Delaproser
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Debtors prisons are illegal in America. Missouri locked me up in one anyway | Nicole Bolden

Debtors prisons are illegal in America. Missouri locked me up in one anyway | Nicole Bolden | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
I didn’t have the money to fix my car, let alone pay fines from unpaid traffic tickets. The state held me in prison until it got the money out of my mother

Via Darcy Delaproser
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D.C. police chief signs ‘special order’ for officers on legalized marijuana

D.C. police chief signs ‘special order’ for officers on legalized marijuana | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Officers can no longer arrest people holding 2 ounces or less of marijuana as of 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
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You Have to Be Fast to Be Seen as a Great Leader

You Have to Be Fast to Be Seen as a Great Leader | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Being effective is not enough.
Rob Duke's insight:

1. They trust;

2. They make vision clear;

3. They demonstrate courage;

4. They assemble a world-class team;

5. They set stretch goals that reinforce the need for speed.

 

This is good advice for law enforcement leaders, too.

 

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To shoot or not to shoot? Researchers test how police react to danger

To shoot or not to shoot? Researchers test how police react to danger | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
It was in the wee hours of the morning of Jan. 3 when Lou Golson, an Albuquerque, New Mexico, police officer, approached an SUV he had...
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Ban on Government License Plate Cameras Nears in Montana - Hit & Run : Reason.com

Ban on Government License Plate Cameras Nears in Montana - Hit & Run : Reason.com | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Big Sky Country, now with less creepiness.
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