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Upsetment
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Cop Expert: Why Sandra Bland's Arrest Was Legal But Not Good Policing

Cop Expert: Why Sandra Bland's Arrest Was Legal But Not Good Policing | Upsetment | Scoop.it
As the video of Sandra Bland’s arrest makes its way into homes and offices around the country, people are aghast that the failure to use a turn signal led to a woman’s arrest and, ultimately, her death by what officials have identified as suicide. People want to know if the officer’s actions—asking that Bland put out her cigarette and demanding that she step out of her car—were legal. But that’s the wrong question. Instead, we should be asking whether it was good policing.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The question that next requires addressing is, "Would the mistakes made by the officer have occurred were Ms. Bland white?" Clearly, the officer was going through the motions of respect but not really providing it. He was following the law, but he was not according the woman the presumption of worth that underlies that law.

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Witnesses to New Jersey Shooting Say Police Failed to Stop Fellow Officer From Firing at Wife

Witnesses to New Jersey Shooting Say Police Failed to Stop Fellow Officer From Firing at Wife | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A Neptune Township, New Jersey police officer named Phillip Seidle allegedly shot and killed his estranged wife in the presence of their seven-year-old daughter on Wednesday—and reports say that other law enforcement agents on the scene took no action to stop Seidle from firing shots at the victim in their presence,...
Kenneth Weene's insight:


There is something so wrong with the police actions in this incident that one can only wonder if any of the cops on the scene should be allowed to continue in law enforcement. It highlights one of the real issues in police work. Of course, we want cops to care about one another and support one another, but not at the expense of what is right, not at the expense of law and order, and not at the expense of innocent victims.

 

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Tamir Rice's Friend Warned Him to Be Careful With Pellet Gun Before Police Shooting

Tamir Rice's Friend Warned Him to Be Careful With Pellet Gun Before Police Shooting | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The gun looked real, the friend said
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The biggest problem for me in this story is the time frame. The officer says he told the boy to drop the gun twice before firing, but there is only a 2 second gap between the police car skidding to a stop and the weapon being fired. I doubt that the rookie officer had any criminal intent in shooting this boy. I doubt he had racial animus, but of course I don't know his heart. What I do think is he had insufficient training for dealing with a loaded situation. There is no question that the boy was doing something stupid and the kind of thing that would certainly bring police response, and the kind of thing most of us—if we are honest—would probably have done when we were kids given the opportunity. The problem is that the police responder was not ready for or up to the challenge. 

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Man Threatens Suicide, Police Kill Him

Man Threatens Suicide, Police Kill Him | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Justin Way was in bed with a knife. His girlfriend called a non-emergency number to try to get him into a hospital. Minutes later, cops shot him dead.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is becoming clear that  calling the cops for assistance is no longer such a good idea. "Serve and protect" has too often been replaced by "Stand your ground and kill the sucker".  I wonder how many police officers and retired police will be horrified by this story. Do note where the blood was, on the mattress, not on the walls or floor.

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Community remembers slain Fulton County police officer

Community remembers slain Fulton County police officer | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Police continue to investigate what sparked a shooting in south Fulton County that killed veteran officer.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

A fine police officer is dead, lost to the senseless violence of a man who should not have had guns in his possession, a man who had repeated issues with anger, violence, and guns, a man who suffered from PTSD from military service, and a man whose guns should have been confiscated. But the NRA says guns don't kill people so everybody should be allowed to have guns. To me that's like saying that since cars don't cause accidents every drunk should be allowed to drive. Let's protect our good police by taking away the weapons of those people who should not have them.

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After peaceful start, protest of Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore turns violent

After peaceful start, protest of Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore turns violent | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Fans at an Orioles game were briefly asked to remain inside the stadium after a protest over a police-custody death left six unoccupied police cars damaged.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I thought this an important point in the article. "

Also rejecting the disruptive acts was Gray’s sister, Fredericka.

'My family wants to say: Can y’all please, please stop the violence? Freddie Gray would not want that,' she said at a news conference. 'Freddie’s father and mother don’t want no violence. Violence does not get justice.'” It is a sad fact of life in American cities that there are always going to be a small number who will push every demonstration towards violence. Kudos to the police department of Baltimore, which tried to avoid a confrontation, and to the thousands of peaceful demonstrators. Meanwhile, there is way too much police use of violence against relatively minor targets like Freddie Gray.

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Watch: U.S. Marshal Crushes Camera

Watch: U.S. Marshal Crushes Camera | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Torn from woman's hands.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

We must make sure that the police at all levels are open to the scrutiny of the public. Hopefully, this U.S. marshal will soon be looking for new employment or at the very least will be assigned to a desk.

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Police Killing of Unarmed Georgia Man Leaves Another Town in Disbelief

Police Killing of Unarmed Georgia Man Leaves Another Town in Disbelief | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Anthony Hill, a 27-year-old Air Force veteran who was naked and unarmed, had written on social media about race and mental illness.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Mentally ill or sane—lives matter. Black, Hispanic, Asian, or White—lives matter. Too often calling 911 has become not a way to protect lives but a way to take them. Too often minor policing has become not a way to serve but to attack. I do not know how this tragedy got so far out of hand, but I do know that once again we see the failure of police training. I do not know how this man's mental health so deteriorated, but I do know that the goal of protecting lives has been replaced by a police mindset of fear and paranoia.

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Cop Doesn't Understand How Law Works, Arrests Guy Who Does For Something Totally Legal

Cop Doesn't Understand How Law Works, Arrests Guy Who Does For Something Totally Legal | Upsetment | Scoop.it
You'd think not breaking the law was not illegal. And yet here we are.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The real problem is that the cop once aware that the musician was not breaking the law couldn't back down because the crowd took sides. My guess is he would have walked away if they hadn't cheered. It is sad that in his effort to save face, this officer walked into a trap. Clearly, once it was established that the musician was not breaking the law any arrest was going to be thrown out. Because there is a public record of the cop reading the law and knowing it, his behavior becomes suspect and personal, which may lead to punitive action against him and a cause of action by the musician against both the individual officer and the force. If I were the judge, I would probably order the cop be taken into custody and order the DA to prepare charges, and all the time I'd feel as badly for that officer as I do for the musician.

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At Home and at Work, Black Police Officers Are on Defensive

At Home and at Work, Black Police Officers Are on Defensive | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Life for black officers, many say, has long been a delicate balancing act between fellow blacks and their police station houses.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I have a few simple suggestions. Why not have a separate board to evaluate police shootings of civilians, not one from the police department or local government or even from the community in which the shooting occurs, but rather a dedicated committee at a federal level, but appointed by the governors. In effect fifty people from fifty states to look at these instances and with a separate staff to collect evidence. Second, why not affording a range of disciplinary steps in such cases instead of the all-or-none approach currently in place. Body cameras should be universal and their use mandatory. When the officer in Baltimore didn't wear his the other day, that should itself be evidence against him; it was a conscious decision to not be held accountable. And fourth, special scrutiny for those forces in which there has not been appropriate effort to make sure the police are representative of the community. While the Ferguson police can't force more blacks to join the force, the numbers do suggest a lack of real effort.

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WATCH: Protester Confronts Fox Station That Deceptively Edited 'Kill A Cop' Chant

WATCH: Protester Confronts Fox Station That Deceptively Edited 'Kill A Cop' Chant | Upsetment | Scoop.it
A Baltimore Fox affiliate apologized Monday night for a report it ran over the weekend that deceptively edited protestors to look like they were chanting "kill a cop."
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is what I would have said were I the  lady being interviewed: "My guess is there are very few who would want to kill cops. Even among protestors against police violence, we respect the great majority of cops who are dedicated to serving and protecting all of us. But bringing killer cops to justice doesn't make your newsroom cut. So why not edit the words? Why not change the meaning of what people are saying? It will feed your rabid listeners, the ones who really do want violence. You see, it is stations like yours that want violence because that makes exciting news. Shame on you for trying to tell me that it was an accident. The only accident here is that you are being called on it."

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Supreme Court Rules Traffic Stop OK Despite Misunderstanding Of Law

Supreme Court Rules Traffic Stop OK Despite Misunderstanding Of Law | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The court has upheld a cocaine conviction that began when police stopped a car with just one brake light, even though state law in North Carolina requires only one brake lamp.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

It is time for the courts to take a serious look at the word reasonable when applied to the police. Too many reasonable causes for suspicions, searches, and simple violations of privacy.

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Police union: Protesters cheered when car hit officers

Police union: Protesters cheered when car hit officers | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Students walked out of class Wednesday to protest the Ferguson grand jury decision.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Why is this on USA Today? That is the real question. At worst a small group, certainly not a significant one, most likely not even part of the actual demonstration, behaved horribly. BUT that is what the media leads with. How about all those young people standing up for what is right? How about the police department of a major city helping to protect that protest. That isn't the news? Well to me it is. Shame on the way this station reported the story. Shame on U.S.A. Today for it's presentation. Could we have responsible media?

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Report: Police Department In Massachusetts Gave Higher Points To Candidates Who Pledged Not To Arrest Fellow Officers For DUI

Report: Police Department In Massachusetts Gave Higher Points To Candidates Who Pledged Not To Arrest Fellow Officers For DUI | Upsetment | Scoop.it
There is an interesting story out of Massachusetts where an official at the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission found that the Methuen Police Department admitted that job applicants were given h...
Kenneth Weene's insight:

There are many honest and decent police officers, but it is stories like this one that make us all question the wisdom of putting people into such positions of authority. Hopefully, the city of Methuen will find a way to rid themselves of this problem.

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What A Police Expert Calls The Most Ignored Cause Of Cop Violence

What A Police Expert Calls The Most Ignored Cause Of Cop Violence | Upsetment | Scoop.it
What led to McKinney, Texas, Police Corporal Eric Casebolt’s unnecessarily aggressive approach to breaking up a crowd of predominantly black teens at a pool party last week? As I wrote previously, police training that emphasizes a Warrior mentality likely contributed, and implicit racial bias may also have played a role. But there was perhaps another factor, one that’s too often overlooked: stress.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is a strong argument for understanding individual police officers and the stress they experience. Unfortunately, it is also an indictment of "cop culture" and police administration that cops don't better understand stress and that departments don't require time to de-stress after an officer has dealt with something like a suicide or in this guy's case supposedly two suicides. Of course, properly counseling and supporting officers would mean hiring more and hiring mental health professionals to work with police. It would mean investing in our communities' safety and service. OOOPS, are we talking taxes? Do we mean government? Sadly, the anti-tax and anti-government except to make war mentality of the American people is a threat to us all.

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Baltimore Police Union Says Criminals are Emboldened

Baltimore Police Union Says Criminals are Emboldened | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Officers are concerned about potential charges over use of force
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What is really saying is the the Baltimore police officers are afraid to do their job because they might be indicted for their wrongful acts. That suggests that they need some new cops in Baltimore, ones who are trained to do their job without resorting to bullying tactics and excessive force. Without realizing it, this union rep has basically admitted that his colleagues are not prepared to do the job properly. Consider how few police are ever indicted for excessive force or even the death of a suspect in custody. Consider how even fewer are convicted. It isn't like police aren't given latitude; it is that some police forces have given up doing the job properly.

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Cleveland officer acquitted in killing of unarmed pair amid barrage of gunfire

Cleveland officer acquitted in killing of unarmed pair amid barrage of gunfire | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Michael Brelo fired repeatedly on Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams after their car’s backfire was mistaken for gunshots in 2012. In the wake of the ruling, the Justice Department said it would review the case.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The real crime is that we as a nation provide such poor care and supervision for our mentally ill and marginal citizens. These two "victims" were in need of care and supervision, but that is not and should not be the job of the police. Once the mindset of stopping them as potential gun-toting gangsters set in, the police could no more help themselves than could the two sad people in the car. It is time for us to ask how we can help the least among us with compassion, understanding, and effectiveness. It is not time to blame police officers for responding as they are trained to do. Of course, we also have to ask ourselves why Black Americans feel so threatened by the police and address the racism that definitely exists; but IMHO not every police reaction is based on race.

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Police morale can wait: How the Baltimore riots should reshape Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s agenda

Police morale can wait: How the Baltimore riots should reshape Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s agenda | Upsetment | Scoop.it
As the chaos in Baltimore has shown, it's far too soon to shift our attention to the grievances of cops
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This article is right on target. In Baltimore and elsewhere the morale of the police must be balanced with the rights and needs of the people, especially the poor and those who are otherwise unheard. Of course there must be law and order, but that means behind the blue line as well as in front of it. Sadly, the police of Baltimore have a long record of abuse. Which leads us to another question, can the federal government effectively step in to find that balance or should it be a local or perhaps a state issue? In all honesty, I think it must be local and state first and the federal government should only step in under the most egregious situations. What the feds can do is stop selling military and militarizing weapons to local police; they can stop making believe that police science is perfect so there is room for juries and investigators to have doubts when appropriate, and they can work more assiduously to protect and encourage investigative journalism. Remember that our "First Amendment Rights" are way more effective and important than our "Second Amendment Remedies".

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At Supreme Court, Eric Holder’s Justice Dept. Routinely Backs Officers’ Use of Force

At Supreme Court, Eric Holder’s Justice Dept. Routinely Backs Officers’ Use of Force | Upsetment | Scoop.it
At the Supreme Court, the attorney general’s office consistently backs officers accused of abuse, even as it pursues civil rights investigations against several local police departments.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Mr. Holder as Attorney General and the Department of Justice have to find the best path through two often contradictory considerations, the civil rights of individuals and the right to "qualified immunity" for peace officers using force. In each actual instance, the question must be did the officer(s) in question have a reasonable knowledge that the threat to them and to others was passed or quite simply non-existent. We, reading about the far-too-frequent instances of unnecessary violence are reading about them after the fact, but what was it reasonable for the officer on the scene to think? On the other hand, and here's the biggie, was the officer's thinking incorrect because of bias or the lack of proper training? If the officer or a department has bias or inadequate training, then, INMH, no "qualified immunity" exists.

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Marana police video shows cruiser ram crime spree suspect

Marana police video shows cruiser ram crime spree suspect | Upsetment | Scoop.it
In the video, an apparent gunshot is heard. Later, police are seen following the suspect as he walks down a street.Finally, an officer drives his cruiser onto the sidewalk and rams the suspect.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Sometimes what looks like police violence is actually an appropriate response. The guy had a stolen gun, had fired it at least once, and probably would have either shot himself or hurt somebody else. Kudos to a cop who thought fast and took an effective action that may have left the suspect hurt but alive.

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Police secretly spy on phones with cell-tower simulators

Police secretly spy on phones with cell-tower simulators | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The devices grab data from all nearby phone users — suspects and innocents alike.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

While law enforcement may protest that there is need for such sophisticate tools, those devices in fact make us all inmates for their observation and control. And what is the justification? A failed war on drugs? A misdirected War on Terror? Meanwhile the real thieves armed with fancy lawyers, tax loopholes, and off-shore bank accounts are looting the country.

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New police radars can 'see' inside homes

New police radars can 'see' inside homes | Upsetment | Scoop.it
At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have quietly equipped their officers with handheld radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of suspects' homes to see where
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is America becoming a police state? If it is, why are we as voters allowing it? What can we do to suppress both police overreach and the growth of criminal enterprise? Assuredly, giving up our right to privacy should not be the price for security.

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The Monsters Who Screamed for Dead Cops

The Monsters Who Screamed for Dead Cops | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Evidence from photos, video, social-media posts and interviews suggests it was a single group, desperate to ‘turn up the anger’ at otherwise-peaceful protests.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

I trust this is a small group and is surely made up from despicable people. I hope there are no undercover police (city, state, or federal) involved in this as there have been in many such hate movements. For my part, much as I oppose police violence, especially when there is a strong racial component, I recognize that the vast majority of police are good men and women trying to earn an honest living by protecting and serving the rest of us. When I have contact with cops, I make it a point to let them know they are appreciated. I think knowing that might give them as individuals the moral strength and sense of purpose that will help them deal with situations in a proper and professional manner.

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Why Police Unions Are Lashing Out Against Cop Critics Like Never Before

Why Police Unions Are Lashing Out Against Cop Critics Like Never Before | Upsetment | Scoop.it
As the backlash continues against police violence in the aftermath of multiple African-Americans being killed by officers, one wrinkle in the ongoing debate has been the aggressive reaction of law enforcement itself to the public criticism and protest.

Among the recent examples, a New York City police union has urged members to ban Mayor Bill de Blasio from their funerals if they die in the line of duty, saying it would be "an insult to that officer’s memory and sacrifice" after the mayor's han
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The police may be lashing back, but does that mean they have forgotten they are public servants? Of course they have as have most civil service employees. It is time for a serious rethinking of the laws that protect such jobs, including teachers, police,  bureaucrats, even firemen. No form or part of government should be outside the purview of the voters, of the citizenry.

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The shocking truth about law enforcement’s most self-serving myth

The shocking truth about law enforcement’s most self-serving myth | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The reason it's so hard to prosecute cops who use deadly force is the same reason minorities are so often targeted
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Do decisions by law enforcement actually get made in a split second? Not if they are programed to think in particular ways. This is an important contribution to the discussion of police and race.

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