Police Problems and Policy
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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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Who wants to be a cop? Job applications plummet at most U.S. police departments

Who wants to be a cop? Job applications plummet at most U.S. police departments | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Chuck Wexler talks to police chiefs frequently, as head of the Police Executive Research Forum think tank in Washington. Recently, he asked a roomful of chiefs to raise their hands if they wanted their children to follow them into a law enforcement career. Not one hand went up, he said.

Across the country, interest in becoming a police officer is down dramatically. In Nashville, Tennessee, job applications dropped from 4,700 in 2010 to 1,900 last year. In Seattle, Washington, applications have declined by nearly 50 percent, in a department where the starting salary is $79,000. Even the FBI saw a sharp drop, from 21,000 applications per year to 13,000 last year, before a new marketing campaign brought an upswing.

And retaining officers once they've joined is getting harder too. In a PERF survey of nearly 400 police departments about voluntary resignations, 29 percent of those who left their police job voluntarily had been on the force less than a year, and another 40 percent had been on the job less than five years. At a PERF gathering of police chiefs and commanders from across the country in Washington Tuesday, many attributed their declining numbers to a diminished perception of police in the years after the shooting and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and an increase in public and media scrutiny of police made possible by technology and social media.
Rob Duke's insight:

It's funny, cops joke to their kids: "be a firefighter.", but not one of us would trade....go figure.  It's like asking Superman if he'd rather be Batman: no way.  <yeah, I'm expecting flack over that one><It was either that cartoon or one about firefighters staging while cops make sure the scene is safe....:P>

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Fairbanks police officer resigns after facing theft charges | Alaska News | newsminer.com

Fairbanks police officer resigns after facing theft charges | Alaska News | newsminer.com | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
FAIRBANKS - A former Fairbanks police officer has been charged with fourth-degree theft and official misconduct for allegedly stealing $120 out of a wallet that had been turned over to
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Friendly Fire Killed Sheriff's Sergeant At Thousand Oaks, Calif., Shooting Scene : NPR

Friendly Fire Killed Sheriff's Sergeant At Thousand Oaks, Calif., Shooting Scene : NPR | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Sgt. Ron Helus was struck by five bullets from the suspect's weapon. But it was a sixth shot, fired by another law enforcement officer, that proved fatal.
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No charges for Philadelphia police officer after fatal shooting in Tacony; new video released | 6abc.com

A Philadelphia police officer will not be charged following a fatal shooting in the Tacony section of the city this past summer.
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Burglar stuck in chimney, calls police

Burglar stuck in chimney, calls police | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A burglar who got stuck in a chimney north of Melbourne overnight had to call police for help.
Rob Duke's insight:

Just for fun....

"Is that you, Santie Claus?"

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Cops put on leave over ‘racist’ Christmas tree decorations

Cops put on leave over ‘racist’ Christmas tree decorations | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Two Minnesota cops were placed on paid leave Friday after a photo of a Christmas display with “racist” ornaments outside a precinct surfaced on social media.

The tree, displayed outside the Fourth Precinct of the Minneapolis Police Department, was littered with police tape, an empty can of Steel Reserve malt liquor, a cup from Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, bags of Takis chips and packs of Newport cigarettes, CBS reported.

Black Lives Matter Twin Cities posted the photo online last week and it quickly spurred outrage from members of the black community as well as local officials.

“These pieces of trash were deliberately chosen to represent how certain officers feel about the community they serve: that black people are a stereotype to be mocked and the lives of those they serve may as well be reduced to trash in the gutter,” said City Councilman Phillipe Cunningham.
Rob Duke's insight:

Not cool.

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Catherine Sample's comment, December 9, 10:21 PM
It's hard to believe that in this day and age and the current microscope on racism in policing that officers still believe they're invincible. It just goes to show that we are far from the end of this issue and there is so much more work to be done.
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Video shows deputies returning fire on teen who reportedly fired pellet gun at them

Video shows deputies returning fire on teen who reportedly fired pellet gun at them | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Police said they learned the teenager's gun was powered by carbon-dioxide canisters after the shooting.
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Supreme Court Considers a Thorny Question of Free Speech and Police Power

Supreme Court Considers a Thorny Question of Free Speech and Police Power | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The Supreme Court considered on Monday whether to allow lawsuits claiming abuse of police power in retaliation for exercising free speech rights. The case concerned a claim for retaliatory arrest at a festival in a remote part of Alaska, but several justices seemed to have an array of controversies in mind.

“You can think of it,” Justice Elena Kagan said, “as a case where an individual police officer, you know, decides to arrest for jaywalking somebody wearing a ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirt or, alternatively, a ‘Make America Great Again’ cap.”

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Some courts have said the existence of probable cause for the arrest — the person was, after all, jaywalking — is always enough to bar lawsuits claiming retaliation in violation of the First Amendment. Others have allowed juries to decide whether the officers involved intended to suppress protected speech.

The Supreme Court has been struggling to find a line separating two kinds of arrests, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said, noting that “there are a range of cases.”

At one extreme, he said, were people arrested after mouthing off to the police in heated and confusing settings.On the other, were serious abuses. “A journalist has written something critical of the police department,” he said. Some time later, that hypothetical journalist, he said, was arrested for exceeding the speed limit by five miles per hour.

Justice Alito suggested that the Supreme Court would have a difficult time fashioning a standard that would bar the first kind of suit but allow the second one.

“Which of these unattractive rules should we adopt?” he asked.

The case argued Monday arose from an encounter at the Arctic Man ski and snowmobile event in the remote Hoodoo Mountains of interior Alaska. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. suggested that the setting alone should give officers some leeway.

“You’ve got 10,000 mostly drunk people in the middle of nowhere and you’ve got eight police officers,” he said.

The plaintiff, Russell P. Bartlett, was arrested after yelling at police officers and refusing to answer questions. Afterward, Mr. Bartlett said, one officer told him, “Bet you wish you would have talked to me now.”

He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, but prosecutors dropped the charges, saying it was too expensive to pursue them given the distances involved. Mr. Bartlett sued, saying he had been arrested for exercising his First Amendment rights.

Justice Alito suggested that Mr. Bartlett’s statements were not especially worthy of protection.

“Did your client say anything that was of social importance?” Justice Alito asked Zane D. Wilson, a lawyer for Mr. Bartlett. “He’s not protesting some social issue or making some important point. He’s involved in a personal dispute with a police officer.

Mr. Wilson disagreed. “The right to criticize a police officer,” he said, is “one of the distinguishing features between a police state and a free country.”
Rob Duke's insight:

There is a long history of these events going sideways when people think they can be lawless, so I think there's a compelling government interest in these situations to be "zero-tolerance".  The first time I recall this problem was during Spring Break at Huntington Beach, then HBPD got serious and the rowdies left, only to pop up at Lake Havasu...in a few years, same problem: riot.

Same thing with burning man when a few people were camping out in tents when some maniac was tooling across the lakebed at night without headlights and creamed through their camp--the next year, they got law & order.

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Death row inmate sues Texas parole board for having too many ex-law enforcement members

Death row inmate sues Texas parole board for having too many ex-law enforcement members | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A 'Texas 7' escapee scheduled for execution filed a lawsuit this week alleging that there are too many men and too many former law enforcement officials on the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. 
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Ex-Dallas Officer Charged With Murder Of Unarmed Black Neighbor : NPR

Ex-Dallas Officer Charged With Murder Of Unarmed Black Neighbor : NPR | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The former white Dallas police officer who allegedly shot and killed her unarmed black neighbor in his apartment before saying she had entered it by mistake was indicted on a murder charge by a grand jury Friday.

Four-year police veteran Amber Guyger, 30, was originally charged with manslaughter three days after the Sept. 6, slaying of Botham Shem Jean, 26, a native of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia and Dallas accountant.

As NPR reported on the aftermath of the controversial killing,

"An affidavit for an arrest warrant says the officer found the door ajar at what she thought was her own apartment. It says it was dark inside, she saw the silhouette of a man, and she gave him orders that he didn't follow. She told investigators she thought the man was a burglar.

"An attorney for the family disputed that version of events, according to WFAA TV. Lee Merritt said he talked with two witnesses who said they heard knocking at a door and a woman they believed to be the officer saying, 'Let me in.' He also said Jean had placed a red mat at his door to differentiate his apartment from the others...

"The killing sparked shock in the community — and speculation about whether Guyger's explanation should be taken at face value. And then there's the element of race: Guyger is white; Jean was black."
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Bernard K. Aoto's comment, December 7, 9:09 AM
This is one of those rare cases of a bad apple in the department. Looking into the witness testimony and other evidence surrounding the case it was clear that the officer might not be telling the whole truth. I understand that this is still a being deliberated in court so we will see what evidence is brought forward and how the jury swings. Just wanted to point out thought that although the media has kind of presented this incident as some sort of race issue, I don't think that race had any sort of impact on the events as described.
Catherine Sample's comment, December 9, 10:33 PM
Interesting to see how this case is progressing! Glad to see she is being charged with murder. Not so glad to see the way this article is pushing race as the prime motivator.
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FBI Announces the Official Launch of the National Use-Of-Force Data Collection — FBI

FBI Announces the Official Launch of the National Use-Of-Force Data Collection — FBI | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The FBI is pleased to announce the official launch of the National Use-of-Force Data Collection will take place on January 1, 2019. The National Use-of-Force Data Collection, the first of its kind, is an addition to the national data collections in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.

Law enforcement officers across the country face complex and dangerous policing environments that may result in the use of force. To date, there has been no mechanism for collecting nationwide statistics related to use-of-force incidents. While some law enforcement agencies and states have proactively developed their own use-of-force data collections for use at both the local and state level, there has yet to be a consistent, aggregated view of such data from a national perspective.

At the request of major law enforcement organizations, the FBI established the National Use-of-Force Data Collection in an effort to promote more informed conversations regarding law enforcement use of force in the United States. The goal of the collection is not to provide insight into specific use-of-force incidents, but instead to offer a comprehensive view of the circumstances, subjects, and officers involved in such incidents nationwide.
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Bernard K. Aoto's comment, December 7, 9:03 AM
I believe this is a great step in the right direction. I also know that this is something that not all departments should follow completely. However, at least the is some sort of standard put in place that kind of presents the general guidelines to the use of force. We'll see what kind of impact this will have on these incidents of police shootings.
Catherine Sample's comment, December 9, 10:35 PM
As with any use of technology, there will be good and bad from it. This is a great idea and something I feel is necessary and important. It will not be perfect, as to err is to be human, departments will not all do as they should, but this is a step in the right direction.
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Police ‘saw young black man with a gun’ and shot him, father says after Galleria police killing

Police ‘saw young black man with a gun’ and shot him, father says after Galleria police killing | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
At emotional press conference the family of E.J. Bradford. Jr. demands release of all video and an apology from Hoover city officials.
Rob Duke's insight:

Apparently, the young man was with the gunman, though the relationship is unclear at this point.

It's a tragedy no matter what the circumstances.

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Where Cop Cars Double as Ambulances for Shooting Victims

Where Cop Cars Double as Ambulances for Shooting Victims | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Philly police often race gunshot victims to the hospital rather than wait for EMTs. Experts in trauma and policing say more cities should consider it.
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Catherine Sample's comment, December 9, 10:37 PM
A very interesting article! I appreciate the officers' ambition and dedication to the lives of those they protect. (Also a heck of a lot cheaper than an ambulance ride!!)
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Who wants to be a police officer? Job applications plummet at most U.S. departments. - The

Who wants to be a police officer? Job applications plummet at most U.S. departments. - The | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Perceptions of police after Ferguson, a healthy economy and diversity problems contribute to sharply declining interest in policing careers.
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7 controversial new rules N.J. cops must follow when they interact with immigrants

7 controversial new rules N.J. cops must follow when they interact with immigrants | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The new rules create a "state-sanctioned haven" for unauthorized immigrants, ICE officials say.
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Baltimore firefighter under investigation after commenting on Facebook image urging violence against police - Baltimore Sun

Baltimore firefighter under investigation after commenting on Facebook image urging violence against police - Baltimore Sun | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Screenshots show firefighter Jamal Brown commented on an image that appears to urge violence against police. The image shows two black men pointing guns at a white police officer’s head. Text on the photo says, “Does it Have to come to This to make Them Stop Murdering and Terrorizing Us?”
Rob Duke's insight:

Cat in tree jokes=funny

Donut jokes=also funny

This....not funny

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DeLand police officer fired after video shows 'unreasonable'...

DeLand police officer fired after video shows 'unreasonable'... | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Mulero was previously disciplined in January for driving at more than 90 MPH to assist another officer during a traffic stop, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal. He and another officer were both suspended for 40 hours without pay. Sgt. Grant Faustich was demoted to the rank of police officer for approving the pursuit.
Rob Duke's insight:

I hope he was fired for a "host" of behavior reasons that stacked up to "too much" or "not responding to training", because if that video is "it", then that's a pretty pathetic reason for termination.

If you can't make a crazy guy (who's in the street yelling at cars) sit down, then you have outlawed police officers.  I can't safely talk to this guy unless I pat down for weapons and then contain him (sitting) so that he can't do something unpredictable (like run off or run into traffic).

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What Jeff Sessions’s final act in office means for policing in America

What Jeff Sessions’s final act in office means for policing in America | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
On his way out the door after being fired by President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions did one last thing to seal his legacy at the Justice Department: he issued a memo . His primary target? Consent decrees, which aim to bring oversight to local police departments with historical patterns of discriminatory policing and improper use of force. The memo outlined policies that would make it far more difficult for the federal government to use these decrees.
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Incumbent Jim McDonnell Concedes to Challenger Alex Villanueva in L.A. County Sheriff’s Race

Incumbent Jim McDonnell Concedes to Challenger Alex Villanueva in L.A. County Sheriff’s Race | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Incumbent Jim McDonnell on Monday conceded to challenger Alex Villanueva in the race to become the next Los Angeles County sheriff.

Villanueva, a retired sheriff's lieutenant, is the first candidate to unseat a living L.A. County sheriff in over 100 years, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"Today, I contacted Alex Villanueva to offer my best wishes for his administration as the 33rd elected Sheriff of Los Angeles County," McDonnell said in a statement issued through the Sheriff's Department. "We are in the process of arranging an orderly transition and a series of briefings to assist the new administration and it is my hope that the Sheriff-elect will come to his new position with an open-mind."
Rob Duke's insight:

This was not surprising.  While the former Sheriff was convicted of obstructing justice, the sheriff's office is seen as professional by its citizens.  None-the-less this sheriff was seen as "going after" deputies.  Morale suffered and the deputies weren't shy about expressing their lack of confidence in the sheriff.  The people listened.

This illustrates that idea about the warrior culture...it takes different management techniques.

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C.A. Upholds Officer’s Suspension for ‘Ethnic’ Remark Relating to Race

On Oct. 11, 2012, Goines saw a stranded driver on the side of Sunset Boulevard, near Westwood. With the driver, who was African-American, was a white man, Christian Kemmerling.

Goines, an African American, stopped to investigate, and noticed a nearby tow truck which he knew to be owned by a bandit tow truck company.

(Bandit tow truckers patrol for stranded motorists and stop to offer their services in violation of state law; they are generally in league with a particular mechanic or body shop, to which they will tow the mark’s damaged vehicle.)

After sending the bandit tow trucker on his way, the officer turned to Kemmerling, whom he suspected of being the trucker’s capper, an agent who searches for potential marks.

Kemmerling denied the accusation, explaining to Goines that he had been driving and stopped to let the stranded driver use his phone to call his own insurance company. According to Kemmerling, the officer used profanity and asked:

“In what world do you believe I believe a White man would stop for a Black man to help him?”
Rob Duke's insight:

Geez! 10-days suspension for this...?  

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Arrive Alive: Police Must Reduce Single-Vehicle Crashes on Patrol - Patrol - POLICE Magazine

Arrive Alive: Police Must Reduce Single-Vehicle Crashes on Patrol - Patrol - POLICE Magazine | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Too many officers are driving themselves into their graves—turning their cars into their coffins—in single-vehicle crashes. According to ODMP, there were 34 such preventable duty deaths in a three-year span from 2016 to the present. It's impossible to know how many officers were seriously injured but survived single-vehicle crashes during that time period. Something must be done.
Rob Duke's insight:

Just because we can drive fast, doesn't mean we always should...more cops killed every year like this than in felonious assaults....

Straight line fast....7,8,9 braking...slow through the corners...accelerate out of the corner....repeat.

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Catherine Sample's comment, December 9, 10:24 PM
I didn't even realize that this was an issue in policing! Such senseless loss of life. Safety first, always!
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Not guilty: Jury acquits Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz of involuntary manslaughter | Local news | tucson.com

Not guilty: Jury acquits Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz of involuntary manslaughter | Local news | tucson.com | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Agent Lonnie Swartz is acquitted in the 2012 cross-border shooting death of a Mexican teen.
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Catherine Sample's comment, December 9, 10:29 PM
People who fire their guns sixteen times at unarmed teenagers should not be allowed to have guns. Period.
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Jury Clears LAPD Officer in Shooting Death of Teen

A federal jury on Monday cleared a Los Angeles Police Department officer of unlawful deadly force claims for the 2016 shooting death of 14-year-old Jesse Romero.

The eight-member jury deliberated through Monday morning and returned a verdict in the late afternoon, finding that officer Eden Medina did not violate Romero’s 4th Amendment and 14th Amendment rights when he shot and killed him. Medina was also cleared of excessive force and wrongful death claims.

Medina, and his partner, officer Alejandro Higareda, said in sworn statements that they believed Romero had a gun because he was clutching his waistband as he glanced back at them while they chased him down Cesar Chavez Avenue on Aug. 9, 2016 in Boyle Heights.

After turning a corner, Romero tossed the gun over a tall fence, causing it to hit the concrete with an impact that caused the gun to fire a single round, according to court filings.

Four seconds after Medina turned the corner, already on alert because of the gunshot, he fired two rounds at Romero, killing him.
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If You Drive in Los Angeles, Palantir and LAPD Are Watching

If You Drive in Los Angeles, Palantir and LAPD Are Watching | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The analysis was made possible by software provided by Palantir, Peter Thiel’s shadowy intelligence startup. The LAPD was one of Palantir’s first local law enforcement customers, after it had cut its teeth on Pentagon, CIA, and NSA contracts. Since signing with Palantir in 2009, the LAPD has spent more than $20 million on its software and hardware. Documents obtained through a public-records request suggest at least $5.8 million of that went to ALPR technologies.

Hundreds of Requests a Day
The LAPD has never divulged how many ALPR searches it conducts. But an email obtained by WIRED through the public record request says its police officers tapped the system 200 to 300 times a day in 2016. Los Angeles County sheriffs performed a similar number of searches through Palantir, according to the email. Police in Long Beach, the city south of LA, made an additional 30 searches a day. Together, the three departments make hundreds of thousands of searches a year.

It’s hard to put that number in perspective, because there are few statistics on police use of license plate readers. However, Peter Bibring, director of police practices for the American Civil Liberties Union of California, considers the total “enormous.” He says it shows that it is now standard practice for officers to use ALPR “as a surveillance tool” even when “officers have no reason to believe a driver was involved in any criminal activity.”

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