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Police Problems and Policy
Examining the possibilities of abuse of power without the constraint of New Public Administration.
Curated by Rob Duke
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Django Unchained Actress Accosted by LAPD After Kissing White Husband

Django Unchained Actress Accosted by LAPD After Kissing White Husband | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Danièle Watts, an African-American actress who played Coco in Django Unchained and appears as Martin Lawrence's daughter on FX's Partners, says she was handcuffed and detained on Thursday by police in Los Angeles who suspected she was a prostitute.
Rob Duke's insight:

Here's one of those paradoxes that I talked about in the Black Board posts.  Citizen's call and we want to make them happy.  In this case, another citizen's rights were arguably infringed upon to do so...what do you think?  If one citizen thinks another is suspicious and they call us; and we arrive and think "hmm, this might be racist b.s." should we just move on?

Tonya Metteer Howell's comment, September 18, 2014 3:22 AM
I absolutely agree with Angie that gathering facts is imperative for police actions. That being said, some situations are hurried and quick thinking needs to be applied. With this entire situation, the fact that someone else asked the two of these people to cease their questionable behaviors for the sake of others, yet they did not comply, depicts to me a personality of selfishness and immaturity. People have rights, yes, but those rights should allow others' rights to remain protected. Obviously, in this situation, the social order was disrupted and citizens felt a need to defer to police. The fact that the race card was attempted to be used should not be applicable to the situation because the call was concerning lewd conduct, of which she was certainly guilty. People can justify there actions whether they have substantive evidence or not. This particular situation warranted police intervention and the violations had nothing to do with skin color.
Clay Faris's comment, September 18, 2014 3:55 PM
I'll use another example that we run into fairly regularly here in Alaska. The ubiquitous "man with a gun" call. I'll stipulate the situation isn't quite the same, but I believe it's close enough to make the point. Cops get a call about a "man with a gun" who is "scaring" people. Cops respond and contact the man who is simply walking down the street. He's not threatening anyone, not brandishing the weapon, he's just minding his own business and exercising his 2nd Amendment rights. At that point do I, as a police officer, even have the right to identify the man? He is engaging in zero criminal behavior, so on what grounds can he be detained? A "suspicion" isn't enough. A citizen who is freaked out because the man has a gun isn't enough. It's not illegal in Alaska for the man to carry a gun. Does that mean the cops just go away? No......we need to determine these things before moving on, but it's a very fine line and a difficult one to walk at times, particularly if the man is unwilling (with good reason imho) to identify himself. I'm not familiar with LAPD procedures, or California law in particular, so I cannot speak to whether or not an officer can demand ID during suspicious circumstances when it is quickly determined that no criminal behavior has taken place. In this particular case it seems the police were justified in detaining the parties involved, because there was concern of a criminal activity taking place.
Amanda McColley's comment, September 21, 2014 4:02 PM
Seeing stuff like this is upsetting at first glance but after hearing things like she wouldn't provide her name then yeah you can definitely understand why she was at least detained. While it is upsetting to see or think that police overreacted in this situation, I've heard of other situations where right away the individuals contacted automatically jump to things like they are being stereotyped based on age, race, gender or even social status. Since she is "famous" she was probably not wanting to attach the situation to her name, but she should be wise enough to know to cooperate when contacted by police especially if she did nothing wrong. I like what Clay said too about seeing a guy with a gun in Alaska. Since it's something some of us are not used to seeing people wearing guns so it can make someone feel uncomfortable. Sure it''s legal in Alaska, but you never know if the person who carries the gun is sane either so I guess it's good that people care enough to call the police just to be safe but at the same time there are plenty of overreactions too.
Rescooped by Rob Duke from Geography Education

Remembering the Real Violence in Ferguson

Remembering the Real Violence in Ferguson | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it

"Violence has a geography and for this reason, geography lies at the center of discussions of violence. Within the United States a myriad of taken for granted assumptions about identity, place, power, and memory undergird the nation’s psyche.  These normative interpretations intersect with a particular kind of geographic formulation that places persons of color in general, but black men most specifically, at the center of the violent structures of the nation."

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 10, 2014 12:36 PM

This isn't merely commentary about social upheaval or some musing about the social inequities (I think we've all read a ton of those articles).  This is a geographic analysis that discusses the interactions, interconnections and implications of a social and spatial conflict between citizens and the institutions of the state.  Ferguson, MO is undoubtedly a lightning rod today and some might prefer to avoid discussing it in a classroom setting; I find that as long as we put analysis before ideology, issues such as these show students the relevance and importance of geographic principles to their lives. 

Tags: race, class, gender, place, poverty, socioeconomic.

Rob Duke's comment, September 19, 2014 12:58 AM
Seth, yes, couldn't agree more. I think this is a great example where our fields can be complementary in theory and the tools we use.
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When Dude-Bro Pranksters Punk the Police

When Dude-Bro Pranksters Punk the Police | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Florida teens with fake beer experience two different approaches to law enforcement.
Rob Duke's insight:

In my world view, either law enforcement approach is fine.  If these guys had been drinking, then they needed the attitude adjustment.  If not, they asked for this kind of detention.  On the other hand, who among us has not pulled a stupid prank and the second cop knows how to defuse the situation so that it's not nearly as much fun; nor as funny to these guys as the first cops reaction.

P.s. Don't wear your hair long and, if you must have long hair, don't put it in a pony tail, because a bad guy can throw you around by it.  You wonder why cops wear their hair high and dry--so it can't be used against them in a fight.  The only cops that wear long hair that I know of are the Sikhs in India and, then only for religious reasons.  To avoid this situation, they have a complicated wrap that takes an hour each morning to assemble. It's a pain, but you gotta take the time to braid it and put it up on a tight bun if you don't want it to be used against you.

Rob Duke's comment, September 13, 2014 3:47 PM
I don't prohibit my cops from using profanity if it'll save a life. Telling someone to drop the f*&(ing gun is better than shooting them, but I have to agree with the author. This cop thinks she's getting street cred with these kids, but she's obviously not. A wise partner taught me this back in about 1991 when I was working SMASH. I was doing a pretty good impression of how this office acts in the video and my SMASH partner asks me afterwards: "do you find that this approach that you have works?" He then explained that the local cops where he grew up in Mexico used profanity and were impolite; in contrast the Federales never used profanity and were polite and respectful--this demanded reciprocal respect. It made sense, and, as I tried it, I found I had better success dealing with young men. Then, several months later, we got in a knock down--drag out gang fight and I heard this older cop tell a guy: "don't mistake my politeness for weakness, because I will kick your ass up and down this street if I have to". Later, as were were leaving the call, I asked him: "do you find that this approach that you have works?" He just chuckled and said: "sometimes you have to get their attention".
Rob Duke's comment, September 19, 2014 12:59 AM
Past tense: sometimes I lapse into present tense when talking about this stuff.
Rescooped by Rob Duke from up2-21

Torture: The Use of Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons | Center for Constitutional Rights

Torture: The Use of Solitary Confinement in U.S. Prisons | Center for Constitutional Rights | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it

Via Concerned Citizen, up2-21
Brittney Ward's comment, September 15, 2014 2:30 AM
Solitary confinement has always been a part of our prison system. The SHU (security housing unit) exists in many prison systems and is used to detain troubled inmates. The conditions of solitary confinement alone I don't see as cruel and unusual. I think the grey area here is time frame. Leaving someone in solitary for undermined amount of time could have psychological affects on that person.
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Both sides of marijuana battle meet at forum in Fairbanks

Both sides of marijuana battle meet at forum in Fairbanks | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Note: Professor Kelly Drew's name was incorrectly listed in a prior version of the story. It has been since updated.
Heather Wiinikka's comment, September 18, 2014 1:11 PM
I understand all of your responses and opinions but i do not think it should be legalized just like i do not think alcohol should be legal. Legalizing marijuana is gonna put more drivers under the influence driving our roads creating more accidents, injuries and deaths. More and more people make more editable treats with marijuana and kids are not going to know any better and that can be very harmful to a child. I think it is stupid. Everyone is saying it will boost the economy is that more important than loosing loved ones because we have user's driving wile intoxicated just like with drinking i think it is all dumb. Sorry if i offend any of you but this is my opinion.
Rob Duke's comment, September 19, 2014 12:31 AM
Heather: I worry about these externalities also, but fall back to Aristotle's advice not to pass laws that violate "natural law". It seems that there's something about prohibiting people from eating or drinking something on its face that violates natural law (otherwise violations wouldn't be so widespread). Now that doesn't mean that we should regulate the time, place and manner of consumption; nor that we shouldn't shame and educate like we do now with smoking and drinking. I just think there's something perverse about a person's/society's need to defy consumption prohibitions. See John Stuart Mill "On Liberty" for a full discussion of this issue as I (mostly) view it.
Rob Duke's comment, September 19, 2014 12:37 AM
am not a full Mill "libertarian" because I temper his philosophy with that of John Rawls and Amartya Sen in that I think we need some Big Ideas, but a pragmatic approach where we try to "search for reasonableness and human dignity" on a daily basis (see my mentor Chester Newland at USC for more on this). (Sen calls this the contrast from Eastern philosophy of the "Nyaya" and the "Niti"). Take my JUST 300x class in Wintermester and we spend 10 days dissecting moral philosophy for the justice field as ably as I can explain it from a pracademic's humble viewpoint.
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City Council To Vote On Body Cameras For Anaheim Police - CBS Los Angeles

City Council To Vote On Body Cameras For Anaheim Police - CBS Los Angeles | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Small video cameras could soon be mounted on the uniform of every police officer in Anaheim following a City Council vote set for Tuesday evening.
Clay Faris's comment, September 11, 2014 6:12 PM
The good thing about the higher end bodycams is that they come with (ugh) proprietary software that prevents tampering, altering, or deleting files by the end users (officers). The bad thing about them is that they come with proprietary software that ultimately requires a dedicated computer/server to hold all of the information.
Rachael Toy's comment, September 11, 2014 9:11 PM
Like the article said, I think this is a great idea. People need to trust in the police again and this is a great way to do it. This way both police officers and citizens will be protected from false allegations and mistreatment. It is a great way to have extra prove or evidence in situations that aren’t so clear. It may also catch some more crime, I don’t know. But if it is something that can be purchased and well maintained, there shouldn’t be a reason to not have them. I think it is a win-win situation for everyone. Hopefully this will be approved and then tested in the years to come to see how affected it is and how people feel about them. I think my only concerns would be the cost of purchasing and maintaining them as well as the integrity of using them. I don’t know what all the rules are but would you have to be notified that the officer has a camera for privacy reasons or is that something that doesn’t have to be disclosed. Unfortunately, as much good as something is someone will always find a way to use it for bad.
Ricky Osborne's comment, September 15, 2014 2:21 AM
99 percent of police officers do their job well and in a way that would gain public approval. The 1 percent of officers that do not ruin such public approval from occurring in a wide scale manner. Incidents where an officer over steps or mismanages a situation seem to be occurring at a higher rate than in the past due to video evidence. Smart phones and portable cameras are more widely available today that they were in the past. Due to this, police officers have been put under the surveillance of the public when carrying out their duties. These body cameras will help gain the trust of the public once again. As I stated before, 99 percent of officers do their job well. These body cameras will help show that on a widescale.
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Research: We’re Too Busy to Follow the Rules

Research: We’re Too Busy to Follow the Rules | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
When work is demanding, it’s the little (but really important) things that suffer.
Rob Duke's insight:

Citrus Heights PD near Sacramento give officers a sabbatical....

Brandon Jensen's comment, September 10, 2014 7:37 PM
I can understand people getting tired from a long shift and how that could have an effect on them skipping the smaller stuff but in their profession it seems off to have them skip that step. When hygiene is a major part of your actual job, I wouldn't agree with the statement made, "We're too busy to follow the rules" that seems pretty contradictory to their job! Of course there could be other factors as well, maybe some of the people were just really busy and they forget but I would think that in all their training and education they would just get used to it.
Rachael Toy's comment, September 11, 2014 11:10 PM
This is pretty scary to put numbers to how many times the little steps are skipped when you are in a hurry or over exhausted. It isn’t an excuse but I can completely understand their point of view. I think that this occurs in many professions like hospitals and police stations or court rooms. I can assume it could even be found in jobs like fast food or the post office. It makes you wonder how many things have gone wrong because people skip a step due to over work or fatigue. I think things should be put into place that help people gather themselves like the article states taking naps, walks or a 10 minutes break. But also triple enforce the importance of smaller simpler tasks that can’t be skipped even when busy because of their importance.
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The Rise of the SWAT Team in American Policing

SWAT teams, created to quell unrest in Los Angeles in the 1960s, are the principal beneficiaries of heavy-duty military equipment from the federal government.
Rob Duke's comment, September 11, 2014 3:20 AM
In planning, the law demands that certain conditions are met in terms of health and safety. This requires (a) finding(s) based upon articulated facts. Perhaps this is what we need, like a night service warrant where we need a separate affidavit signed by a judge to justify the use a SWAT type methods to serve warrants. Developing emergencies like the Hollywood bank robbery would not need these findings due to the exigency represented.
Rachael Toy's comment, September 11, 2014 9:34 PM
This article kind of makes me cringe. The first thing I think of when I hear police going military is that something bad is about to happen as it has in history many times. I am very against this approach. First off, police are supposed to be about community. About connecting and protecting the community they are a part of. I want police to be approachable, friendly, and someone I can trust when I am in need. Obviously they need to be tough and have access to tools that will help then bust down on some pretty bad criminals but there is a point where it is taking too far. SWAT teams are very important and I agree we need them, but like the article stated, the mentality of the military is much more detrimental than that of the police (or it should be). So if a matter is that big, why not call in the National Guard, isn’t that part of their job; to defend the community as well. We aren’t doing something right if our society is so out of control that we need police to have military grade tools to protect us. Plus our Constitution gives us the right to defend ourselves. How can one defend themselves against a military style force? I don’t think that this should be what our police are all about. This gives off too much fear and not enough legitimacy to our officers.
Angie Crow's comment, September 16, 2014 2:03 PM
If a police forces first response to a drug bust or gang activity is to send in the SWAT team first then there is a serious problem. Police officers are supposed to be peacekeepers, they are supposed to keep our streets safe and free of violence, not portray it. It sends a wrong message to the public when SWAT team needs to get involved in a crime that could have been handled without them. I think that it is important for the SWAT team to be heavily armored. I don't see anything wrong with them carrying military guns since it can take a while for them to respond. It is important to be prepared in case of an emergency. I do however, see a problem with the quick approach to use them. In the article, it stated that a 19 month old child was injured because of the SWAT team. I am sure there are a lot more injuries that have occurred that we may not know about. It is important that police officers remember what there main duty is, which is safety.
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San Jose Police Sgt. Scott Castruita Responds to Oakland Firefighter Allegations of Oakland Police Misconduct

San Jose Police Sgt. Scott Castruita Responds to Oakland Firefighter Allegations of Oakland Police Misconduct | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
San Jose Police Sgt. Scott Castruita Responds to Oakland Firefighter Allegations of Oakland Police Misconduct
Rob Duke's insight:

Body cameras: every cop should be wearing them.  I worry about the storage capacity issues and cost, but it's clear that they will save many officers from false complaints.


Be sure to scroll down and watch the full video.

Rachael Toy's comment, September 6, 2014 3:00 AM
I am glad that this officer was wearing a camera because it could have possible saved his job, his reputation, and a lot of more press on racial discrimination that as a society we don’t need. First I am so disappointed that we are so stuck on racial discrimination. I know it still exist but seriously, this guy needed to claim that in this situation. Second, it is still hard for me to believe that we have come to a point in our society that cops need to be wearing cameras everywhere they go. We are all human and we all make mistakes and that needs to be remembered. Cops are no different than me and you, they will also make mistakes and do things wrong. At the same time though, cops wearing cameras could help both cops and peoples from false everything. If cameras are worn then cops who are bad and use excessive force can be punished as well as situations as this one that when the cop actually did good, will not be punished. It seems like anymore everyone has got to watch their own back.
Rodney Ebersole's comment, September 6, 2014 4:22 PM
This officer seemed to be doing exactly as he had been trained, it was unfortunate that the kids were frightened in the process but as the article pointed out, the kids should never had been in there in the first place. The retired officer was correct in the thought that the kids seeing their dad killed or hurt was definitely worse that an officer speaking harshly to them. I think the cameras on all officers is a very real need and should be required, it safe guards against wrong complaints and it is a personal check and balance for the officer as they can go back and see exactly what they said. I thought most police vehicles have cameras on the front of them to also aid in this, but a body camera makes it even better. If costs are of concern then an audio device should at least be used. This body camera really didn't show what happened due to bad quality, but the voices made it very clear what was happening and proved there were no racial issues or wrongdoing.
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Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The voice of Interior Alaska since 1903
Billy Homestead's comment, September 12, 2014 3:09 PM
The idea of mounting cameras on officer to make sure they are showing integrity and following policy seems demeaning. Police officers have taken a oath to serve and protect their community. There is a legitimate power and trust by the community officers must uphold. We here again and again of officer who hurt this image law enforcement officers are proud and believe in.
Billy Homestead's comment, September 12, 2014 3:18 PM
Continued... Mounting cameras on officer would still be a concern for most officers who shown integrity and follow policy. This information would be examined in court cases and juries would decide the officers fate. Most individuals in our communities have no idea of the crime and dangers around them in their daily live, living in a bubble, so to speak. If your never directly influenced by this environment, should you really be in a position to determine the level of force used, or why the suspect was arrested in such a aggressive manner?
Rob Duke's comment, September 13, 2014 4:07 PM
The old saying is that cops must decide in 10 seconds (or tenths of seconds) what everyone else gets to sit around and debate for the next 10 years. That's so true, but don't you think the body camera genie is out of the bottle (and, to quote Taylor Swift, "never ever ever" going back)?
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How cops can help citizens better understand police use of force

How cops can help citizens better understand police use of force | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Picture the following hypothetical scenario: A chief at a press conference states, “Ladies and gentlemen I have gathered you here today, because police use of force cases are routinely mishandled by journalists and community leaders. It is my belief that journalists and community
Kimberly Maddigan's comment, September 10, 2014 12:33 AM
This was a good article to read, especially with all the negativity surrounding the use of force lately. There have been a number of cases where people have brought race into the issue, and that police officers are only using force on certain races, and that the use of force isn't justified. However, this article makes a good point. If ALL people were courteous, compliant, and cooperative, then officers would not have to use force. Unfortunately, that is not the case; there is always going to be someone that doesn't abide by these rules, and an officer will have to use force on them. Often times, society tends to blame the police officers, when in reality it is the offender's fault. The police officers are the victims here, not the offender. I'm not saying that ALL 'use of force' cases are like this, because there are times when law enforcement is using their authority in an unethical way. But, many times it is most likely the offender who isn't cooperating.
Melia Markell's comment, September 10, 2014 3:30 AM
I agree with this article when it discussed that if people were courteous, compliant, and cooperative that there wouldn't be a need for police force. However, a good portion of the rest of the article I did not agree with. Officers often will have a suspicion and then find a reason to pull you over (at least that's a main point of discussion from different articles and topics I've discussed in other policing classes), such as waiting until you don't stop long enough at a stop sign, or don't use your blinker for the proper length before turning. I do believe that this is often a reason that people being pulled over aren't courteous or want to comply; because they know that they were targeted due to a suspicion and then stopped for a different reason; at that point though, the officer may question or detain the person based on their earlier suspicion, again falling back on the fact that they pulled them over for failing to completely stop at a stop sign. I do think that our society and the media need to stop blaming officers for things like excessive force when some of the fault falls back on the citizens, but I do think that officers need to also need to hold themselves accountable for their actions that may be leading to citizen dissatisfaction.
Karmen Louise Tobin's curator insight, September 11, 2014 7:26 PM

I think this would be good actually. Police officers are often viewed a certain way because of the media and our perception that is influenced from this media. Communication is everything and I wonder if there was this sort of communication from the Chief of Police if this would help citizens understand "police use of force" directly.

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Teens Create "Five O" App to Report Police Brutality, Rate Officers - Hit & Run : Reason.com

Teens Create "Five O" App to Report Police Brutality, Rate Officers - Hit & Run : Reason.com | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
As more information comes out surrounding the death of Michael Brown during an encounter with police, it fuels more speculation. The failure of the Ferguson
Christopher Smith's comment, September 10, 2014 3:54 PM
This is amazing and will be a powerful tool that we'll be able to use in the future. We are already seeing something like this in universities where Professors are rated. Now this app will hold the actions of police officers accountable and give them a rating. This will provide so much information to the public about which officers are cool and which are not. The cool ones that work with the community get better cooperation.
Zach Bohan's comment, September 12, 2014 1:03 AM
After cases that cause racial panic such as those that involve Michael Brown and George Zimmerman, it is interesting to see that minorities are so scared and worried that they are being targeted by officers. It is a good thing to be able to report injustice as a common civilian and this app will make it easier for accountability to be more common. Hopefully, if this catches fire and is adopted by more people of every skin color, everyone can help play a part in creating a friendlier atmosphere between the average officer and the average citizen.
Rob Duke's comment, September 13, 2014 4:22 PM
These can be great tools, but It's important to remember that people do lie about cops. In my experience, complaints are inevitable if you're doing your job; and, I tried to keep that in mind whenever I reviewed them. In order to keep some perspective, I worked patrol in uniform at least once per month. I also never wore insignia to identify me as Chief. If you looked carefully at my badge, you could tell, but otherwise, I looked like everyone else. I became Chief at 30, too, so I didn't look much older than the other guys (at the end of my career I did). What I found is that about every six months, someone would call or come in to report me. They usually reported my misconduct to me and didn't recognize me from the few nights before (uniforms focus people's attention so that they don't remember particular officers so much as the uniform). I had the benefit of having been at the scene with the complainant, and there were times that people just didn't like the fact that they had been called out for something, but in a surprising number of cases, people fabricated elaborate tales of abuse. When I told these folks that we'd have to get a chief from another agency to investigate, as per my usual policy, they'd ask why and I'd tell them because it would be a conflict for me to investigate a complaint on myself, you never heard so much stammering as they tried to amend their stories of what had happened. Several times they apologized, but mostly they took the complaint forms and never came back. I think we'll have to be careful with how we respond to these aps and maybe should get out in front and contract with some independent company to put them in place and monitor them for us. I'd like to see daily reports and have an inter-agency system of reviewing the complaints.
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New York Cops Know People Have a Right to Record Them; They Just Don't Care - Hit & Run : Reason.com

New York Cops Know People Have a Right to Record Them; They Just Don't Care - Hit & Run : Reason.com | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Two weeks ago the NYPD sent officers a memo reminding them that "members of the public are legally allowed to record police interactions." In fact, "intentional
Rob Duke's insight:

Time, place, and manner.  Aristotle advised: "Never pass a law that violates the natural law".  This is good advice for cops and for the people that want to record them.  For the cops I'd advise that you can't stop a tidal wave: Camera phones are not going away so you may as well figure out how to live with them and the people who want to record you doing your job.  For the people who want to record cops, my advice is recognize that there's some natural law that cops are never going to abandon no matter what the courts or the law says.  These are: 1. Don't make it harder for me to protect you.  When you want to get in my scene and record me, you're in my way and I can't protect you.  See I'm not angry at you for recording me, I'm exhibiting the same level of anger as if you were standing on a riverbank testing to see if the flood had undermined the wall enough for you to fall in!  Don't put yourself in a dangerous situation, because I'm the one who will probably get killed rescuing your foolish self!  2. Don't make it easier for the bad guy to get away or to kill me.  I know you know him and think he's not a bad guy, but I can't read minds and I don't know that (plus, I'm a pessimist and have seen too many formerly "good" and "rational" people turn psycho).  When you get in between me and the suspect, hostages get taken; or, I can no longer see what they're doing with their hands (abracadabra a weapon appears); and, don't think being behind me helps either, because now you've divided my attention.  Oh, now you're out in front?  Great, if this goes bad, I can't shoot at the bad guys because you're in my cross fire....

Do you see why I don't like you standing around in my scene?  It has little to do with recording.  

When these conditions don't exist and it's just the cops being pissy about recording, my advice is still to the cops to grin and bear it, but otherwise, I think they have a point.  Both should use some judgement and make each others' lives easier.

Rodney Ebersole's comment, September 6, 2014 10:51 PM
As if cops don't already have a hard time getting the public to stick up for them, cops like this perpetuate the thought of cops are little gods who can do what they like without consequence. The police men in this article should have been held accountable for "making an example" of the public standing up to them. Police officers like this give a very bad name to the law enforcement field and until the rules are changed so they are held accountable, I wonder if they will continue with practices like this. I agree with Mr. Duke in the fact that videotaping a cop isn't an ideal situation to begin with and the public can definitely make a situation much worse because they get in the way. This scenario seemed to be more though about the cops getting upset they were videotaped at all and not that the public was in their way. I'm not a police officer so I can see why they wouldn't want the public in their way. Even if these police men felt the public was in their way, they didn't need to handcuff, strip search and charge him unless he really was being disorderly. This article could have been skewed in support of the man and not shown the whole story, but stories like this definitely do not put law enforcement in a good light.
Clay Faris's comment, September 11, 2014 6:03 PM
I realize it isn't always practical or even advisable, but depending on the circumstances I've had very good luck briefly explaining exactly what Rob said during his statement. I'll tell folks they are absolutely allowed to record me and ask them to go stand across the street or somewhere nearby where they are out of the line of fire & not impeding the investigation. You do have to smooth some feathers sometimes, and sometimes the situation dictates you're unable to do this, but it's another tool in the tool box. Imagine having a reasoned, logical conversation with the lookie-loos!
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Homeland Security Today: New York City Adopts RFID Tags to Track First Responders

Homeland Security Today: New York City Adopts RFID Tags to Track First Responders | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Homeland Security Today is the leading source for independent news and analysis on homeland security affairs
Rob Duke's insight:

Can these be hacked?

Ricky Osborne's comment, September 15, 2014 2:26 AM
These RFID tags that will be attached to first responders is a great idea. The tragic event of September 11, 2001 showed that a new system needed to be in placed in order to ensure the safety of first responders. Many lost their lives trying the save others from the devastation of that days events. These RFID chips will aid in that quest as each first responders location will be tracked through a computer system. If they themselves are need of aid, they will be able to be tracked and their location found in an effective manner. The implementation of this new technology show that “the rules of the game” can change for the better.
Shelly DeWilde's comment, September 15, 2014 3:20 AM
I don't believe that the RFID trackers can be hacked because it has a base that sends out a specific code to the tags within a certain perimeter, I think of my bluetooth stereos however the base has discretion on who it lets in. I think that this idea is great in fast paced dangerous jobs that require that everyone be accounted for. I hear that they want to use this technology on the people in grade schools like staff and students, I think that idea will create a lot of debate.
Rob Duke's comment, September 15, 2014 3:22 AM
Thanks for the additional info...
Rescooped by Rob Duke from Criminal Justice in America

Albuquerque Police Chief Says Dept is “Stuck” with Officers Who “Shouldn’t be on the Force.”

In a shockingly honest and refreshing interview with USA Today, Albuquerque Police Chief Eden stated, "I believe there are people on the force who shouldn't be on the force,'' and admitted that they may be stuck with those dangerous officers; thanks to police unions making discipline for past actions extremely difficult. Since 2009, the Albuquerque…

Via Randy L. Dixon Rivera
Rob Duke's insight:

Oof, that's gonna be a great quote when they get sued for "failure to supervise"....

Clay Faris's comment, September 18, 2014 3:46 PM
I don't envy the position of the APD chief one bit. This department has a long history of trouble within its ranks. That said, it seems more that a little disingenuous of the Chief to blame the union for preventing discipline over past actions. Wouldn't that course of action amount to an "ex post facto" (after the fact) punishment? If something wasn't wrong when the officers engaged in it, then retroactively punishing them for it could open the department up for an entire world of due process lawsuits. They need to play the hand they've been dealt moving forward and begin the process of weeding out the bad apples.
Melia Markell's comment, September 25, 2014 2:47 AM
I think it is extremely hard for a police chief to swallow his pride and basically say that his police force is inadequate and that they aren't doing a good job as this not only reflects on to those individual police officers, but also on to the chief and any other superior positions. I also think that this article shows a lesser known side to the media - one that defends actually quotes the DOJ stating that something is going wrong in the system that is set in place to help people. Most people think police and members of the DOJ get free rides and don't have to take responsibility for their actions and this article shows that's not 100% true; that police officers and members of the DOJ can also be punished and investigated when complaints or misconduct is noticed.
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Calling the shots

Calling the shots | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
IF A gun fires and nobody reports it, does it make a sound? Some police forces are finding out. On September 3rd the Urban Institute, a think-tank, produced a report...
Rob Duke's comment, September 15, 2014 3:51 AM
Salinas P.D. had a real problem with gun shots over New Years and one year had an innocent person hit. After putting this system in and advertising the heck out of it, they substantially cut down on random firing into the air activity. I don't know if they still have it in operation.
Rob Duke's comment, September 15, 2014 1:44 PM
There's also been a little work in Afghanistan that uses a Bayes statistic model to track insurgent activity and then predict that more activity will likely occur (like ripples from a pool). What they seem to be finding is that the increased activity can be contained with increased patrols and the hearts-and-minds work that goes hand in hand with nation building. I found the same tactics worked in policing high gang/crime areas. If intel suggested that a dispute was brewing, police action could often cool things long enough to turn potential homicides into less serious reprisals. I haven't figured out this theory yet, nor how to test it, but these gunshot monitors might be one tool to use in testing a dispute resolution model to reducing gang violence. If it was used to inform where we focus our intelligence efforts and then, hearts-and-minds activities (e.g. after-school programs, athletics, etc.).
Angie Crow's comment, September 16, 2014 1:47 PM
I think that this is definitely an interesting article. I personally had no idea that only 1 out of 5 gunshots are reported. It is scary to think that this is going on around me and I am not even aware of it. I can definitely see why parents are afraid for their children's safety. Although, I had never put much thought in to this idea before, I don't see how it can be a reliable tool in the court system. As stated in the article only 7% of what is picked up by the microphones is true. It would be hard to convict someone based off of these microphones. They may have potential to being a good idea, it is more important that we are investing in our police force more than the microphones. The article stated that many police forces don't have the necessary tools and money to look in to the majority of the gunshots and when they do they are going after someone that may or may not exist. I think that it may be scary to know that this occurs but only place our resources where it is most vital.
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Former Wichita Police Chief Williams was on credibility-issues list, documents show

Former Wichita Police Chief Williams was on credibility-issues list, documents show | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Norman Williams – until Friday the chief of the state’s largest police department – was on a list of Wichita police personnel who could have credibility issues should they be called to testify in criminal cases, according to information the city has released.
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Rescooped by Rob Duke from Criminal Justice in America

Feds Donate Thousands of Bayonets to Local Police

Feds Donate Thousands of Bayonets to Local Police | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The recent political crisis in Ferguson, MO put a national spotlight on police militarization. For years, the Department of Defense has been sending military ha

Via Randy L. Dixon Rivera
Rob Duke's insight:

The K-Bar knife was designed to be the equivalent of that foldy shovel or swiss army knife.  It's the belt knife and it can mount as a bayonet.  To say that the army donated a bunch of bayonets is misleading, but that's what we get for over-using our military equipment and training.

Clay Faris's comment, September 11, 2014 5:46 PM
Rob, agreed. The headline is quite misleading. However the larger issue of the police having military equipment (MRAPS, Bearcats, ceramic plate carriers, etc) and military training/tactics is very real. The militarization of the police in the US should concern everyone. Wonder if we should thank Daryl Gates for starting all of this? Haha!
Andrew Marso's comment, September 14, 2014 2:51 AM
I agree with you, Clay. This militarization is quite concerning. We forbid the military from acting within our country then turn the police into the military. The part I found very disturbing about this article, however, was the "what if scenarios." If this is the excuse for militarization there is no end.
Rob Duke's comment, September 14, 2014 12:37 PM
Clay: No doubt, it's been abused. When we have the equipment and training, it's hard not to use it. Having said that, one of my brothers is alive today because of an MRAP. He was ambushed and pinned down by an angel dust hyped up cartel member with a fully auto AR-15. My brother had just a curb to protect him and his .40 Glock. The entry team arrived minutes later with an MRAP and drove up over the curb covering my brother while other officers engaged the bad guy. This was L.A., but this sort of thing happens all over now. We lost 3 or 4 officers to ambushes in the last 24 hours in the heartland, as well as, in cities. This is the second paradox that I talk about in Black Board: even condemned prisoners get last requests--officers are always going to feel justified in the idea that they will do what it takes to go home at the end of watch. How do we withhold that power (and appropriate tools)?
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Report details pros, cons of Placer County justice system | Auburn Journal

Report details pros, cons of Placer County justice system | Auburn Journal | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Local auburn news. Latest Current News. Breaking News, Local newspaper's online edition with news, classifieds, and editorials.
Rob Duke's insight:

AB 109 is the realignment response to the 3-judge Federal panel that required the release of some 50,000 prisoners.

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A retired cop's shocking life of drugs and crime

A retired cop's shocking life of drugs and crime | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A retired police commander kept a stunning secret for more than two decades: Before joining the NYPD, he peddled crack, tried to murder a fellow drug dealer and was close pals with a notorious cop ...
Kimberly Maddigan's comment, September 9, 2014 11:30 PM
This article is crazy. I cannot believe that this retired police officer got away with the crimes he has committed. It is even more shocking to me, that he was able to become a police officer based on his prior record. Why weren't these offenses caught? More importantly, why was he still able to become a police officer? It's scary that this guy was a person who we as a society would trust to protect us. He was walking around armed, and he had shot two people! I don't think this was a person who 'made mistakes in their past' and realized it was wrong and tried to become good. If that was the case, he would not have been friends with a 'notorious cop killer,' nor would he bragging about his past. It's a shame that he cannot be punished for his crimes, and shame that he was honorably discharged and now a retired police commander.
Niki Wilson's comment, September 10, 2014 6:59 PM
I think the most terrifying part about this article is that if all of this is true, his fellow officers didn't even notice. How can you hide an entire dark side of yourself from people you see everyday? Not only is he violating his oath to serve and protect but he also violated the unspoken promise of trust you hold with your coworkers. As a police officer his duty was not only to take care of the public but also the other officers.
Elizabeth Sheppard's comment, September 11, 2014 1:18 AM
This article and the comments the retired officer made about about the past, not the present. It is not saying he did any illegal activity while as an officer of the law. The article mentions he is trying to hype up his yet to be released book, and that is more than likely whats behind the stories. Perhaps his life experience gave him a better understanding of the individuals he dealt with, and how to know BS when he sees it. I don't condone anything he has done in the past, but its obvious his actions as an officer he tried to better himself and educate others. Is the actions as a 17 year old going to be the same as an adult? No, but this is kind of like when a person receives a felony on their record, do you never higher them and cast them out of society, or do you give them a chance to prove worth? Honesty is the best policy, but all it would have given him is a closed door not to prove himself.
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Woodland city manager: Police dept. didn't request bayonets

Woodland city manager: Police dept. didn't request bayonets | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A Woodland city official said Saturday that the city's police department didn't receive more than a dozen military bayonets, despite a report that was recently released by the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.
Brandon Jensen's comment, September 10, 2014 7:50 PM
I could see this as a fluke, I mean who would really use a bayonet these days, let alone 15 of them. I thought the woman in the video clip had a good point, why do they need all these items, I don't really see an immediate reason for them to stock pile all this equipment for a situation that may never even happen.
Rob Duke's comment, September 11, 2014 1:34 AM
I used this same program (at the closed McClelland AFB). For everything you submitted a request for, you were denied 9 times out of 10. Given this, you tended to put in for things that you didn't really need with the idea that you wouldn't get it anyway; or, like RADAR on mash, you might be able to trade it to your neighbor police department for something you could use. In my experience, it was a mostly worthless program and after a couple visits, I gave up trying to get equipment. I suspected that bigger agencies had better luck (maybe if you visited all the time, etc.).
Rescooped by Rob Duke from Criminal Justice in America

Gun Maker Blocked from Processing Credit Card Sales — and Guess Which Obama Policy Its Blaming for It

Gun Maker Blocked from Processing Credit Card Sales — and Guess Which Obama Policy Its Blaming for It | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A Oregon-based gun maker said Thursday that it has been blocked from processing credit card transactions by its long-standing credit card company, and believes it is the latest victim of the Obama administration's "Operation Choke Point." The Obama administration has said Choke Point lets the Departments of Justice...

Via Randy L. Dixon Rivera
Niki Wilson's comment, September 10, 2014 8:15 PM
I agree with the statement that this sounds more like strong arming than law enforcement. If there is no evidence of illegal activity the government has no right to force the banks to be uncooperative with this man's or anyone's business for that matter. Taking away his ability to charge credit cards is definitely infringing on his rights as an American business owner.
Rob Duke's comment, September 11, 2014 1:44 AM
Restricting access to ammo is another way to accomplish this policy of gun control....
Karmen Louise Tobin's curator insight, September 11, 2014 7:10 PM

I'm curious to when the "Operation Choke Point" began with the Obama administration. Is this also another sneaky loop hole that Obama is finding a way to honor the United States Constitution? Is Obama going to be impeached? Why is this taking so long to remove someone that isn't honoring our country? I don't get it! Karmen Tobin


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The Color of Justice - The New Yorker

The Color of Justice - The New Yorker | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A new report finds that whites support tougher criminal laws at least partly because they overestimate black and Hispanic crime rates.
Elizabeth Sheppard's comment, September 11, 2014 1:52 AM
Racism will always exist,and will always be refueled by any act that is deemed racist by a party. What happen between the officer and the youth that was shot is unfortunate and the only real people who know what happen are the ones who where there. Media will always misconstrue the facts,even more so I believe in todays media where ethics seems to go out the window. I dislike every time I hear about that particular story that the races of the party involved are always mentioned. How about paying attention to the hundreds of kids getting killed in Chicago? Oh wait thats not white vs black so that doesn't matter. Its frustrating to read these stories, of course my perspective is from an upbringing of white middle class, but I believe in the punishment fitting the crime, not on the basis of what race the person is. “Until we acknowledge that the white majority’s often inaccurate association of crime and race contributes to the inhumane policies we maintain, we will not be able to make good on the promise of equal treatment that is essential to the legitimacy of any criminal-justice system”. I disagree with this statement in the article, it is not the racism of only once race that can affect the legitimacy of the criminal-justice system, all races can be at times guilty of this unfair action. I believe some polices need to be changed for sure, but its not just as simple as black and white.
Billy Homestead's comment, September 12, 2014 3:37 PM
Why are we still using the race card to establish severity of laws in our justice system? I currently work in the criminal justice field and I will find that most of the individuals arrest are white people not black! I believe race should have nothing to do with the decisions we make in our justice system, and frankly seems like a very nonintellectual theory. In the community I live and work in I see a lot of crime motivated by drugs. I believe that there must be strict and severe consequences associated with drug related crimes due to their negative affects on the community. In Alaska our main offenders seem to be Caucasians, ative Americans, and Pacfic Islanders. Geography plays a large role in this distinction.
Billy Homestead's comment, September 12, 2014 3:39 PM
Continued..This is why there cannot be a correlation with law making and racial connections.
Rescooped by Rob Duke from Alternative Dispute Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice

Are Police More Damned Trouble Than They're Worth? - Reason.com

Are Police More Damned Trouble Than They're Worth? - Reason.com | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Modern police forces have become little more than a new set of predators from which the public needs protection.
Rob Duke's insight:

My great-grandfather was a cop and the stories I heard tell me that things never change much on the street (25 years later when I was a cop).  There are predators who see the rest of us as prey; and, the cops are, for most people, the only protection from these guys and the criminal organizations that they form.  The system is such, and has always been such, that if you follow every procedure, rule, policy and law, you would engage in enforcement paralysis.  As Kissinger once remarked, he rather naively thought it would be easy to advise a President.  What he found was that all the easy questions were answered out in the field in Wichita or Columbus and that the only questions that reached the President were the "damned if you do" types of problems.  Cops are faced with this same problem and the policy manuals don't help much in these situations, so it's all judgement calls.  Like Alexander, especially under fire, cops often cut the Gordian Knot, and, that is why I say, it's always been and always will be the same in that cops on the line between civilization and savagery are going to be warriors.  What we may be lamenting is the loss of a basic adherence to principles that uphold truth and human dignity before anything else.  Cops seem to have traded these values for security and justice, which are inferior versions of truth and human dignity.  Why has this substitution taken place?  For one, the courts have followed a due process, equal protection path for obvious reasons given America's race relations history.  But, frankly, it goes back to the Kissinger Paradox that I mentioned above, and the organizational tendency to think we can build a Weberian "iron cage" around every decision and social problem (recall that Max Weber worried that bureaucracy was ultimately too impersonal and would come to be an iron cage).  So, to the extent possible, I advocate throwing out the iron cage and the police "proverbs" that support the ideas of security and justice and create some new proverbs that uplift the values of truth and human dignity.  For more on this go to our webpage at uaf.edu/justice and read my working paper "The Proverbs of Police Administration".  Oh, and let me know what you think...

Rodney Ebersole's comment, September 6, 2014 10:31 PM
Interesting article that show what policemen have to deal with, but calling cops predators because they don't inform the public of their tactics seem wrong and crazy to me. I compare this to war times and the media telling us all what the military is going to do next. Why do we inform our enemies of our next move? Just as in the police arena, they can't tell the public everything or the public will simply avoid that action. However, telling the public about the cell phone trackers could benefit the police as more people may avoid cell phone use if they know they can be tracked at any time. Ultimately the police should do what is in the best interest of the public and for their safety, I can only imagine how hard it is to follow the rules, while making the best judgment call, while looking out for the victim, yourself and the police institution.
Mr. Duke, I read your paper and found your findings very important for modern police forces. The traditional guidelines do give way to confusion and possible contradiction for the police officer.
Karmen Louise Tobin's curator insight, September 11, 2014 7:51 PM

Rob I will read your working paper for sure! :) Truth, values, and human dignity should be our core. It's neat to hear your perspective because you were a police officer. What would we be like if societies didn't have the deterrence of Police Officers? Just knowing that there is a 911 number we can call if we need help or there could be police anywhere or around any corner is a psychological deterrence. I believe having Police gives society the accountability even before we make a choice to break the law. I know that people are good and people are bad so to speak. There are amazing Police that hold these truths, values, as well as their human dignity but I also know that are those who do not. I believe it is good to be aware but not to become closed off to where all we see is bad and not see the good in people also.


Maria Hejl's comment, September 15, 2014 2:42 AM
I found this article interesting. It's kind of like a trade off. We have a police force who protects us and deters people from committing crimes but then we have to deal with those who are corrupt within the policing system. Where would we be as a community without police officers to keep the peace. Thinking of the policing institutions and how they operate reminds me of the military and how they operate. Being a former service member you deal with those who are exemplary Soldiers and lead by example and are everything we stand for in the military and then you have those who corrupt the system. If we decided to shut down or disband the military based on those who are corrupt or put a bad stain on the force, where would we as a country be without a force to defend us. The same could be said about the police force but defending our communities at home. There is both good and bad in every organization.
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Police Officer: 'if you don’t want to get shot...just do what I tell you.' - Hit & Run : Reason.com

Police Officer: 'if you don’t want to get shot...just do what I tell you.' - Hit & Run : Reason.com | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
"If you don't want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground," warns Officer Sunil Dutta of the Los Angeles Police
Rob Duke's insight:

As I mentioned elsewhere on this blog, I think this statement is poorly worded, and even more poorly reported.

Dutta is trying to show the paradox of policing and how cops assert that everyone should "go along with the program" and file complaints afterwards.  That's fine, but the folks that complain feel, and are often correct, that they don't have the power to change illegal behavior by following his advice.  We allowed "Jim Crow" to exist for a very long time when this was the norm that most of America bought into....no change will occur by "going along".

Rodney Ebersole's comment, September 7, 2014 12:36 AM
I agree that this article does seem slanted toward being disapproving of the police wanting people to listen to them and not cause more problems. A cop has a very demanding and dangerous job and anyone who gets belligerent and rude with no just reason is just making the cop’s job harder. I appreciate this policeman's opinion that people can be done with the cop’s dealings with them if they just go along with the check or inspection and let the cop move on. If an individual is doing something suspicious than a cop has every right to check on them and see what the situation is. Too often I see people initiate a confrontation over something menial. If a cop pulls you over for speeding, why do you think it's okay to be mad at them, you were speeding! I don't envy a cop and the constant testing of their authority.