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Stop-and-Frisk in Public Housing - New York Times

Stop-and-Frisk in Public Housing - New York Times | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
BET Stop-and-Frisk in Public Housing New York Times Judge Shira Scheindlin of Federal District Court in Manhattan made the right decision last week when she granted class-action status to a lawsuit brought by public housing residents and visitors...
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Kristi Gray's comment, September 12, 2013 5:27 PM
Not only is this a stop and frisk issue, but it is also a race issue. The article pointed out that black and Hispanic residents of the Housing Authority were having major problems and them and their guests couldn't go freely in or out of their homes. The officers were abusing what stop and frisk should be used for.
Rob Duke's comment, September 12, 2013 6:04 PM
What if a deviant sub-culture exists there that says gang membership, drive by shootings, and drug trade is o.k., then should surrounding neighborhoods be penalized by one group that tolerates this behavior? Playing devil's advocate here.
Rob Duke's comment, September 12, 2013 6:04 PM
What if a deviant sub-culture exists there that says gang membership, drive by shootings, and drug trade is o.k., then should surrounding neighborhoods be penalized by one group that tolerates this behavior? Playing devil's advocate here.
Police Problems and Policy
Examining the possibilities of abuse of power without the constraint of New Public Administration.
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Will the Supreme Court Rein in Civil Forfeiture?

Will the Supreme Court Rein in Civil Forfeiture? | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
In the beginning, the Bill of Rights only constrained federal power over Americans. States were largely left to their own devices when protecting their own citizens’ liberties. After the Civil War, Reconstruction’s overhaul of the founding charter also rewrote the balance of power in favor of federal protections. The Supreme Court has spent the last century using the Fourteenth Amendment to apply the Bill of Rights to the states, amendment by amendment and clause by clause.

That process, known as selective incorporation, is now almost complete. The most recent advance came in 2010, when the Supreme Court ruled in McDonald v. Chicago that the Second Amendment right to bear arms also applied to the states. Justice Samuel Alito noted in his majority opinion that the court had yet to weigh in on incorporating only two portions of the Bill of Rights: the Third Amendment’s ban on peacetime quartering of troops in private homes, and the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of excessive fines.


The court has never heard a Third Amendment case. But the Excessive Fines Clause is ripe for consideration in the age of mass incarceration. Impoverished Americans often lack the resources to pay off the fines and fees that can come from even a casual brush with the criminal-justice system. In a cruel twist, the inability to pay these costs can result in jail time itself. Keeping oneself out of trouble is also no guarantee of immunity: A 2014 Washington Post investigation, for example, found that police in multiple states use “highway interdiction” to target thousands of motorists for seizures of cash and property.

Perhaps the most infamous case is that of Ferguson, Missouri, where the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown led to mass protests and a federal investigation. A Justice Department report in 2015 uncovered enthusiastic and systemic abuses of power by the city’s municipal officials, who had effectively converted the city government into a collection agency that targeted black residents for plunder to fill budgetary gaps.

“The City’s emphasis on revenue generation has a profound effect on [the Ferguson Police Department]’s approach to law enforcement,” the DOJ report found. “Partly as a consequence of City and FPD priorities, many officers appear to see some residents, especially those who live in Ferguson’s predominantly African-American neighborhoods, less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue.”

Civil-asset forfeiture, though still common, has come under increasing scrutiny across the political spectrum. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s push last year to revive the practice at the federal level drew harsh rebukes from the ACLU and congressional Republicans alike. Justice Clarence Thomas set off a signal flare of sorts last April suggesting he had doubts about the practice’s constitutionality.

The Indiana case revolves around different legal questions that the ones Thomas was asking last year, but the underlying injustices are the same. Taking up the issue would give the justices a chance to set new limits on excessive fines and forfeitures for cash-hungry counties and cities. For Timbs and thousands of other Americans, that intervention would be a welcome relief.
Rob Duke's insight:

Asset forfeiture alters the institutional incentives and disincentives of both the criminals and the cops.  While it may be a form of deterrence, too often police departments focus their enforcement efforts on those activities likely to produce forfeiture.  This is bad for governance because it creates the impression that the police enforce the law differently depending on what's in it for them.

I think there should be a form of asset forfeiture, but I think it should be controlled by the prosecutor with all proceeds going to some other funding beneficiary (e.g. courts, schools, or the general fund).  This would keep the deterrent effect (if any) for criminals without the risk of cops becoming modern day Sheriff's of Nottingham.

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2 black men arrested at Starbucks get an apology from police

2 black men arrested at Starbucks get an apology from police | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
On Thursday, they also got an apology from Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, a black man who at first staunchly defended his officers' handling of the incident.

"I should have said the officers acted within the scope of the law, and not that they didn't do anything wrong," Ross said. "Words are very important."

At a news conference, a somber Ross said he "failed miserably" in addressing the arrests. He said that the issue of race is not lost on him and that he shouldn't be the person making things worse. "Shame on me if, in any way, I've done that," he said.

He also said the police department did not have a policy for dealing for such situations but does now, and it will be released soon.
Rob Duke's insight:

Many states require officers to accept a private-person arrest.  In other words, the officer's discretion is limited.  See Pennsylvania's code: 

Chapter 91. Detainers and Extradition - Title 42 - PA General Assembly

  • Isn't failure to enforce the law or failure to follow policy a form of corruption?
  • So, is there really a time when officers are allowed to disregard the law?
  • Usually we call this discretion, but discretion has been under fire for a while now and more and more policies and laws take discretion away from officers.

I draw on a study by Nas, Price and Weber, economists who suggest that failure to follow the law is acceptable under three conditions:

1. when enforcement will result in a clear injustice; and/or

2. when the group upon whom the enforcement negative impacts will most likely fall, have some legitimate interest that is not being heard because they do not have access to the levers of power for some reason.  This can be due to a lack of power or a lack of knowledge; and/or

3. social norms have moved more quickly than has the law (see cannabis policy as the most glaring example of this).

 

I think this economic tool list is appropriate for policing and recommend that we consider empowering officers not to use discretion whenever they want, nor when it benefits the officer, but when one (or more) of these findings can be made.  I have called this "beneficial corruption" (b/c), but when I've shopped an article with this nomenclature, reviewers and editors have balked at endorsing any kind of "corruption".  I've been trying out the idea of "beneficial discretion", but still don't like it as well was b/c.

 

Nas, Tevfik, Albert C. Price, Charles T. Weber, A Policy Oriented Theory of Corruption, The American Political Science Review, Mar. 1986.

 

Imagine if officers had been empowered to use discretion in this case...even when a private party demanded an arrest.

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Trump Wants To Protect Police, But The Government Is Missing A Big Problem: Suicides

Trump Wants To Protect Police, But The Government Is Missing A Big Problem: Suicides | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Leaders of law enforcement organizations agree that if blue lives matter, so do police suicides. “There aren’t hard and fast stats, but we believe there’s at least one suicide every day in law enforcement,” said Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police, an organization of law enforcement officers with more than 330,000 members.

Third-party groups that collect statistics on police suicides don’t have numbers that are quite as extreme, but they do estimate that more than a hundred officers a year die by suicide. The Badge of Life and Blue H.E.L.P., nonprofits that advocate for programs and education that address police trauma and stress, reported 140 and 154 police suicides, respectively, in 2017.
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Ted Wheeler Describes Conflict Between Mayor, Police Commissioner Roles . News | OPB

Ted Wheeler Describes Conflict Between Mayor, Police Commissioner Roles . News | OPB | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, the sole possessor of bureau assignment powers on City Council, said Portland doesn’t have a governance system where the mayor is in a position to hold a police commissioner accountable.
Wheeler, who is mayor and the Portland Police Bureau commissioner, said there are conflicts between his two jobs.

“With the officer involved shooting, people are out in front of my office with signs saying, ‘Why aren’t you speaking out on this? Why aren’t you telling us more?,’” Wheeler said, speaking at the second of two state of the city addresses Friday.

“And the answer is: I’m the police commissioner and I have an obligation to the integrity of those investigations as well as setting the vision for the city, so sometimes there is that conflict.”

In the Q&A formatted address, Wheeler offered an alternative to Portland’s commissioner structure of government: “anything but,” he said. 

They were the mayor’s first unprepared remarks related to the Saturday shooting that left 48-year-old John Elifritz dead. Details about events leading up to the shooting show Elifritz appeared to exhibit suicidal tendencies before being shot at by seven Portland police officers and one Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

Wheeler said in his role as mayor and police commissioner, he has found himself in “awkward situations” because he has to speak simultaneously about police operations and a future vision for the bureau.

“And sometimes those things can be in conflict,” Wheeler said.

Portland’s mayor has the power to appoint whomever they want to city commissions, including the police commissioner position.

In 2010, former-Mayor Sam Adams pulled Commissioner Dan Saltzman from his job as police commissioner.

According to the city, Portland has the last remaining commission form of government among large cities in the United States. 

Wheeler also used his state of the city address to defend questions about accountability at the police bureau because of the Elifritz shooting.

“There is accountability,” Wheeler said. “There are now two investigations, plus a grand jury will be assembled. Yet already this week it’s been suggested that I be shot, my life has been threatened, my family has been threatened, I have been protested.”

He said he hopes people will wait for all the facts in the case to surface before they jump to conclusions about it.

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Developing Smarter, Safer, More Successful Law Enforcement Officers

Developing Smarter, Safer, More Successful Law Enforcement Officers | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Little Rock police have released video and audio recordings that detail the moments before an officer fatally shot a 28-year-old man as he sped toward a brick wall last fall.

The recordings reveal new information in the October death of James Hartsfield, who was shot by Little Rock officer Brittany Gunn before the 2004 Mercedes-Benz he was driving smashed through a brick wall outside the Prospect Building at 1501 N. University Ave.

Police said Gunn was working off-duty in the early hours of Oct. 7 when she encountered Hartsfield, who appeared to be drinking an alcoholic beverage while driving. According to the department, Hartsfield refused to follow Gunn’s orders, struggled with officers and then sped forward with Gunn still inside the car.

Dashboard camera video shows the struggle before the shooting and the immediate aftermath of the car crash.
Rob Duke's insight:

When you look up in the dictionary: "E-ticket ride" this is what should come up.

 

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Tape shows CA sheriff saying it's 'better financially' to kill suspects than to 'cripple' them

Tape shows CA sheriff saying it's 'better financially' to kill suspects than to 'cripple' them | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A 12-year-old video showing a sheriff discussing the cost of inmate and suspect deaths has sparked controversy in Kern County, where he is facing re-election.
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LA district attorney supports CA DOJ investigation into police shootings | abc7.com

LA district attorney supports CA DOJ investigation into police shootings | abc7.com | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey commended Sacramento's police chief for asking state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to conduct a separate investigation into the SPD fatal shooting of Stephon Clark, and said she would welcome such an investigation here.
Rob Duke's insight:

This is what we do in Alaska.  So, you have 3 investigations going simultaneously: 1. the criminal investigation; 2. the civil investigation conducted by I.A. or other internal investigators; and, 3. the Dept. of Law/Attorney General Designee.

 

One of our graduates, wrote a thesis suggesting another model, which I like, which would be a completely independent investigation by a unit staffed by retired judges, their clerks and investigators.  I prefer this model because it would insulate better from politics, not that I don't trust the AG, but I could see an argument that the AG is still part of the "law enforcement" community, whereas retired judges would be above that criticism.

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This is beyond an officer safety issue. Will the BOS listen or will they dismiss us again? | San Francisco Police Officers Association

This is beyond an officer safety issue. Will the BOS listen or will they dismiss us again? | San Francisco Police Officers Association | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Rob Duke's insight:
A County Manager's position is probably...cars with only 100,000 miles that are trashed?  Maybe we should focus on taking better care of the equipment.

I'm not even saying that's right, but I bet that is some of what is going on.
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Ideal Conceal .380 cell phone shaped handgun

Ideal Conceal .380 cell phone shaped handgun | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Striking the waves of social media this month, a company by the name of Ideal Conceal, has released on its social media platforms a concept for a .380 caliber, double barrel, foldable, cellphone shaped handgun. Essentially this is a derringer in the shape of a smart phone. The design folds down, much like this concealable …

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Rob Duke's insight:
I don't know if it was light enough for the Sacramento Sheriff's Deputies to have seen the iPhone--I think it was enough that the perpetrator had his arms out in a weaver stance as if he had a gun, but the uproar about him only having a phone in his hand is hardly comfort for officers who come across all manner of belt buckle and wallet guns.  Not to mention guns that are actually constructed to look like iPhones.
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City's deal with ACLU, Black Lives Matter changes political calculus for police reform - Chicago Tribune

City's deal with ACLU, Black Lives Matter changes political calculus for police reform - Chicago Tribune | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
n Tuesday, with public attention fixed on a primary election, attorneys filed a document in federal court detailing an agreement few had anticipated — Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration had signed off on allowing groups including Black Lives Matter Chicago to consult on and seek to enforce a court agreement that will govern reforms in the troubled Chicago Police Department.

That was an about-face for an administration that previously had argued to dismiss litigation from those same groups seeking change in the police force. The city instead has been hammering out a court-backed slate of changes — known as a consent decree — with the office of Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who also sued the city to force change.

Now, the activists and advocacy groups will share influence in the process with city and state officials. Some of those activist groups take positions unlikely to appeal to the local political elite; Black Lives Matter Chicago, for example, advocates for de-funding the police and criminally prosecuting Emanuel, among others, in the alleged “cover-ups of the murders” of people by police.

While the news may have come as a surprise, the benefits of the deal to each party are clear — as are the risks the participants would have faced without the agreement.

For the city, the deal means that groups including the NAACP and ACLU of Illinois, and their army of lawyers, will suspend their lawsuits and join the negotiating process. If those lawsuits had continued, they might have dragged on through the 2019 mayoral election. Emanuel is seeking a third term and could face challengers who might seek to capitalize on some voters’ dissatisfaction with the police.

For the activists and advocacy groups, the agreement gives them influence they might not have won through their lawsuits. Their litigation could have failed, preventing them from forcing change in an agency that the U.S. Department of Justice found to be prone to misconduct and excessive force, often against minorities

The agreement, however, comes with political risks of its own, and it was immediately unpopular with some in law enforcement. A statement from Chicago Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham said the agreement would “go nowhere” without the support of rank-and-file cops. The FOP is in contract negotiations with the city, and Graham said police would “never give up (their) collective bargaining rights.”

Second City Cop, a blog catering to law enforcement, derided the agreement as a plan to “give terrorists a seat at the table.”

In a statement, Law Department spokesman Bill McCaffrey said the city “entered into these agreements to provide a formal process for these groups to share input and have productive conversations regarding the consent decree negotiations.”

“The agreements also suspend the ongoing litigation in the two pending cases and allow us to instead focus our time and resources on finalizing the consent decree with the Illinois attorney general and reforming the Chicago Police Department,” he wrote.

McCaffrey said the city had “offered the same process” to the police unions, though no similar arrangements had been reached.

FOP spokesman Martin Preib did not respond to a request for further comment beyond Graham’s statement.

The “memorandum of agreement” filed Tuesday codifies a deal between Madigan’s office, city officials and the plaintiffs from the two lawsuits, which include well-known organizations such as the ACLU of Illinois and Chicago Urban League, along with lesser known groups. Those groups had filed lawsuits complaining of police brutality and unfair treatment of African-Americans, Latinos and the mentally ill and disabled.

It was unclear why the court filing was made on primary election day, though releasing important information while the media and public are distracted is a common tactic among local political officials hoping to bury news. The agreement was announced in a press release from the ACLU of Illinois.

The agreement holds that the activists and advocacy groups will explain their grievances to representatives from the city and attorney general’s office and make proposals for the consent decree, and attorneys from the parties will meet to discuss the proposals and negotiate over them. Once a consent decree is written, the plaintiffs will get to see the document and give feedback.

The implementation of a consent decree is typically overseen by an appointed monitor, and the agreement holds that the yet-to-be-selected monitor who presides over Chicago’s consent decree will meet quarterly with the plaintiffs apart from the city and attorney general’s office.

The city and attorney general’s office also agreed not to contest the plaintiffs’ standing to seek court enforcement of the decree if the city fails to comply with it.

The plaintiffs, meanwhile, agreed to stay their lawsuits. One of the lawsuits includes the allegations of several individual plaintiffs, and their claims seeking money damages will not be stayed.

Sheila Bedi, a Northwestern University Law School professor and attorney who helped lead one of the lawsuits, said the agreement gives the activist groups real influence over changes to the Police Department.

“We can use the power of the federal court to try to ensure that the consent decree is really robust,” she said.

The agreement is the latest consequence of the political controversy sparked in late 2015 by the court-mandated release of video of white police Officer Jason Van Dyke shooting black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times. The video touched off street protests fueled by long-standing complaints about the police, particularly among African-Americans and Latinos, and Emanuel weathered calls for his resignation.

Emanuel at first resisted the idea of a Justice Department investigation but reversed himself as it gained momentum among other political officials. The resulting investigation wrapped up in January 2017 with a report describing a broken Police Department in which poorly trained cops have engaged in brutality and misconduct with little to fear from either their supervisors or a largely toothless disciplinary system.

In the last days of an Obama administration that often sought to enforce reform in local police agencies, Emanuel supported a court-enforced consent decree to govern changes in Chicago. But he backed off after the Trump administration came into office and expressed opposition to consent decrees. Emanuel said he could bring meaningful reform to the department through an out-of-court agreement with the Trump administration involving a monitor.

Then, in August 2017, Madigan sued the city to force a consent decree, and Emanuel said he would negotiate toward one. Black Lives Matter Chicago and other groups had sued months before to force changes in the department; the ACLU of Illinois and other organizations sued in October 2017 to force reforms in the way police deal with the mentally ill and disabled.

The Emanuel administration started working with the attorney general’s office while moving for the dismissal of the other lawsuits. Judges had not ruled on those motions before Tuesday’s agreement.

The agreement holds that if the consent decree is not filed by Sept. 1 or entered by a judge by New Year’s Day 2019, the plaintiffs can move to lift the stays on their lawsuits. Those deadlines have extra meaning, given that Madigan is not seeking another term and will leave office in January 2019.

Many cities have been through the process of court-enforced police reform, but the new agreement in Chicago is unusual in that community groups and advocacy organizations are having their role formally recognized in a court document before the consent decree is finalized, said Christy Lopez, a former Justice Department lawyer who helped lead the investigations in Chicago and other cities.

Still, community groups and activists were involved with the reform cycles in other cities, said Lopez, who described the negotiation process between politically disparate parties as both difficult and rewarding.

“It’s very challenging, and there are reasons they haven’t come together in the past,” she said. “What you have to do, obviously, is find the areas in which they can agree, and really focus on those.”
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Developing Smarter, Safer, More Successful Law Enforcement Officers

Developing Smarter, Safer, More Successful Law Enforcement Officers | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
From NPR.org:  Sacramento police officers shot and killed 22-year-old Stephon Clark, a father of two who was unarmed, in the backyard of his grandparents’ home on Sunday night. “The only thing that I heard was pow, pow, pow, pow, and I got to the ground,” Sequita Thompson, Clark’s grandmother, told The Sacramento Bee. “I opened that curtain …
Rob Duke's insight:
The clearest video yet is the heat camera (the Flir) from the chopper (it's about halfway down on this page).
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Sacramento police release Stephon Clark shooting footage | The Sacramento Bee

Sacramento police release Stephon Clark shooting footage | The Sacramento Bee | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The Sacramento Police Department has released body cam, dash cam and helicopter footage of the Stephon Clark shooting where officers fatally shot the unarmed black man who was holding his cellphone in his grandparents' backyard.
Rob Duke's insight:
Well the body cam is out.  You decide: justified or not?
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Menlo Park Police: 47% Less Crime with Community Policing

Menlo Park Police: 47% Less Crime with Community Policing | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Menlo Park, California, Police Chief Robert Jonsen discussed how community policing strategies reduced violent crime and improved community relations.
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Two deputies shot, killed in apparent ambush at restaurant in Florida - abcactionnews.com WFTS-TV

Two deputies shot, killed in apparent ambush at restaurant in Florida - abcactionnews.com WFTS-TV | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it

TRENTON, Fla. — Two deputies in Trenton, Florida were killed in the line of duty on Thursday.

Around 3 p.m., two Gilchrist County Deputy Sheriffs were eating inside  Ace China restaurant in downtown Trenton, when a man walked up to the window and shot them through the window, from outside the establishment.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, when fellow deputies responded to the scene, they found the shooter deceased outside the business and Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 30, and Deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25, deceased inside. The suspect has not been identified at this time.

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Police brutality? Feds find less than 1 in a million fatalities

Police brutality? Feds find less than 1 in a million fatalities | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A federally-funded study into police brutality found that in over 1 million police calls, the “use of force” occurred in just 1 of 1,167 cases, or 0.086 percent.

The key finding: less than one in a million cases led to a fatality.

The review conducted with the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center studied 1.04 million calls from three police departments over two years and found 893 cases in which suspects were subjected to force.
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The wide gap between police who fear for their lives and members of the public who fear police

The wide gap between police who fear for their lives and members of the public who fear police | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
After the Stephon Clark killing, there's a huge difference of experience between police who say they must make split-second decisions, and some minorities who allege constant mistreatment by the police.
Rob Duke's insight:

PAJ Waddington argues persuasively that Sir Robert Peel calls for the formation of the London Metropolitan Police in 1829 because he sensed a shift in the inclusive definition of "we" to include the workers.  Throughout history, those included in the "we" had more rights than those in the "them" definition.  We're even allow to wage "war" on "them".  By shifting the "police" power away from the army and creating a new uniformed, respected civilian force with relatively few powers, Waddington argues, Peel's evolution of the socioeconomic institutions prevented further protests like what the French had already experienced in 1789, because there was no need--the "we" designation had already been awarded to the workers.

Gordon Tullock, a Nobel Laureate economist, argued that the English Civil War, which eventually led to an offer of the throne to William & Mary under certain conditions (acceptance of the English Bill of Rights, repeal of the Seditious Act, etc.) was the precursor to the Industrial Revolution.  The idea here is that prior to the adoption of these institutions, anyone with the monarch's ear could put the proverbial thumb on the scales of justice and suppress and persecute.  By extending rights and giving people the right to talk about persecution, England had found a way to govern more fairly and the result was innovation and economic expansion. I argue that this was the causation that Peel responded to in 1829. 

I'd also point out that the last 30 years has been another dramatic change in the economy.  It's difficult to see what's happening while one is in the time (much easier to have 20:20 hindsight), but it appears that we are again experiencing a shift in the definition of the inclusive "we".  The causes are murky, but the rise of apps to help people engage in a sharing economy (craigslist) and messaging (insert any of 1000 aps here) has made it easier to engage in the underground economy without as many of the spillover effects as we experienced in the past.  We now have less of a perception of an Al Capone run network and more of a "everyone in the ghetto has a hustle" understanding of crime.  I'd say there's more of a recognition of the human tragedy of it all.  This, in turn, has made the metaphors of the "war on drugs" and the "war on terror" to be outdated and bordering on unacceptable to even those who we have traditionally extended the inclusive "we".  To those standing outside, in the ghetto, in the poor neighborhoods, in public housing, etc., they now see these metaphors as repugnant.  Furthermore, they now resent the police and no longer accept them as a necessary presence.

So where does that leave us? I think it calls for a dramatic change in the way we manage social control in neighborhoods.  I suspect that no one in my generation has that answer since we're too close to the old way of doing things, but I'll throw some darts at the dart board blindly, here's some things we can consider:

  1. A shift to harm reduction on drug policy (see Portugal where the street user is treated while the trafficker is still treated as a criminal)
  2. Focus on reforming prosecution so that we rely on RJ and not on plea bargains to manage case load, instead:
  3. Use more Restorative Justice in schools and our justice system
  4. Move cops away from a soldier/warrior metaphor to a "standing judge" or mediator model
  5. Have mediator cops organized and become the career path that one takes to administration and leadership.  One would start as a non-sworn CSO in order to learn to operate without a gun.  Then step up to community policing officer or problem oriented policing using data-driven methods to identify those at highest risk of both offending and being victimized.  These would be more like the old days before 9/11, so an officer would be armed, but only with handguns. 
  6. These officers would promote through detectives, sergeants, management, and executive roles and would have defined levels of education required at each level to include AA degrees for patrol, BA's for sergeants, MA's for managers, and professional doctorates for executives.
  7. Still have SWAT-type response teams, but these would be the response teams that were highly trained and would respond from special units.  These officers would not patrol, but would engage in investigations related to trafficking of all kinds.
  8. Reorganize our oversight of use of force to include units of retired judges/magistrates with their own investigators to perform parallel and independent investigations of all police killings.
  9. Create overlapping police jurisdictions so that no one unit or type of police could become dominant.  In the same metro area, we would expect to see state agencies, counties, large cities, and dozens of small agencies.  Overlapping police jurisdictions would inject a dose of competition in what was otherwise a public monopoly.

Those are my 2 cents.  We've so far always had the ability to identify when it was time for planned change.  My hope is that we're not too late.

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Police chiefs blast Weber-McCarty use of force bill AB 931 | The Sacramento Bee

Police chiefs blast Weber-McCarty use of force bill AB 931 | The Sacramento Bee | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
California police leaders on Monday sharply criticized lawmakers for blindsiding them last week with a proposal to change the circumstances under which officers can legally kill a suspect.

For three decades, law enforcement has generally followed a standard established by U.S. Supreme Court cases where lethal force is acceptable if a “reasonable” officer in similar circumstances would have acted the same way.

Assembly Bill 931 would tighten the state standard for police use of deadly force from "reasonable" to “necessary,” meaning when there are no alternatives for the officer to consider.

“We find ourselves dumbfounded that legislation of this magnitude was introduced without consulting law enforcement stakeholders,” California Police Chiefs Association President David Swing said at a press conference.
Rob Duke's insight:

The problem with political theater is that while the legislature understands that this bill isn't meant to be passed as drafted, but to just start a conversation; often the general public won't make that distinction and we'll start having even greater misunderstandings with our communities.

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London Mayor Unveils Stop-And-Frisk Police To Enforce New Knife Ban

London Mayor Unveils Stop-And-Frisk Police To Enforce New Knife Ban | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
In the immediate aftermath of London, England murder rate hitting historic levels, Mayor Sadiq Khan announced a new plan to completely ban knives, according to The Daily Wire.

Claiming that there’s “no reason” for citizens to own a knife, Khan is also introducing new stop-and-frisk measures to ensure citizens are completely disarmed.

Khan claims the new “knife control” policies will keep “weapons of war” away from citizens who may engage in violence or try to harm others.
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University of Chicago Students Protest After Student Shot by Police - Campus Safety

University of Chicago Students Protest After Student Shot by Police - Campus Safety | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it

University of Chicago students and faculty rallied on Thursday afternoon to protest actions by campus police and the availability of mental health services after a student allegedly suffering from a mental health crisis was shot as he approached an officer with a metal pipe.

Three officers from the University Police Department and two officers from the Chicago Police Department responded to calls of a burglary at approximately 10:12 p.m. Tuesday in the 5300 block of South Kimbark Avenue. A witness said 21-year-old Charles Thomas, a fourth-year student at the school, was yelling and smashing vehicles and apartment windows, reports ABC 7.

Body camera and police vehicle footage released Wednesday show Thomas wearing a mask, yellow gloves and wielding a metal pipe. An image of Thomas during the encounter is shown in the article.

A university police officer can be heard telling Thomas to drop the weapon as he continued to walk towards the officer, who is seen backing up.

Thomas then allegedly charged the officer, who fired one round, striking Thomas in the shoulder. Thomas was later taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to be treated for the gunshot wound and a broken shoulder blade.

Student Suffered Mental Health Crisis, Parents Say
Thomas’ parents, Kathy and Wendell Thomas, say their son may have been in the midst of a mental crisis at the time of the incident.

“The voice he was using when he was yelling, I’ve never heard him use that voice. It was like it was coming from another place,” says Kathy Thomas.

Thomas’ parents say their son recently sought counseling from the university and was referred to services off-campus.

Kathy Thomas says she has been treated for bipolar disorder for decades and has been closely monitoring her son for symptoms.

Rob Duke's insight:

This is a false narrative.  It's not the cops have too much power (at least not solely), but it's also about the way we've decided to deal with our mentally ill.

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California eyes lethal force law after shootings by police EarthLink - U.S. News

California eyes lethal force law after shootings by police EarthLink - U.S. News | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Several state lawmakers and the family of a 22-year-old unarmed black man fatally shot by police are proposing Tuesday that California become the first state to significantly restrict when officers can open fire.

The proposed legislation would change the current "reasonable force" rule to a "necessary force" standard.

That means officers would be allowed to shoot only if "there were no other reasonable alternatives to the use of deadly force" to prevent imminent serious injury or death, said American Civil Liberties Union legislative advocate Lizzie Buchen, whose organization is among the groups behind the bill.


The goal is to encourage officers to try to defuse confrontations or use less-lethal weapons, said Terry Schanz, a spokesman for Assemblyman Kevin McCarty of Sacramento. McCarty is co-authoring the bill with fellow Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber of San Diego.

Leslie McGill, executive director of the California Police Chiefs Association, and Cory Salzillo, a lobbyist for the California State Sheriffs' Association, said they hadn't seen the proposed bill and couldn't comment.

The proposal comes after two Sacramento police officers chased Stephon Clark, who was suspected of breaking into cars, into his grandparents' backyard. They say they shot at him because they thought he had a gun, but investigators found only a cellphone.

California's current standard, set in law and by court decisions, means it is rare for police officers to be charged following a shooting and rarer still for them to be convicted. Frequently it's because of the doctrine of reasonable fear: If prosecutors or jurors believe that officers have a reason to fear for their safety, they can use force up to and including lethal force.

That standard "gives very broad discretion for using deadly force," said Buchen. "It doesn't mean there has to have been a threat. If a reasonable officer could have perceived a threat and responded with deadly force, then it's legal."

The proposed standard could require officers to delay confronting a suspect they fear may be armed until backup arrives, for instance, or to give explicit verbal warnings that the suspect will be killed unless he or she drops the weapon, she said. Officers might also have to first engage in de-escalation techniques or try non-lethal weapons if possible before shooting.

The proposed bill would also make it clear that the use of deadly force wouldn't be justified if the officer's gross negligence contributed to making the force "necessary." It would open officers who don't follow the stricter rules to discipline or firing, or sometimes to criminal charges.
Rob Duke's insight:
I don't see a problem with disclosing use of force records and other allegations of improper behavior (e.g. on duty sexual assault). 

I don't see how the new standard of only "necessary" force will ever work out to anything other than "reasonable" force. I think that's what the court concluded after 3 years of Tennessee v. Garner (1986) and why they adopted an objective reasonableness standard with Graham v. Connor (1989). It was too difficult to know when a due process standard was violated because use of force rarely escalates by regular steps. Cases tend to be the milk-toast handled with hands, sticks, mace or escalate in a flash to deadly force. Take the FLIR video in this case. The suspect has his hands extended in what I can only describe as a shooter's stance. It's unfortunate that he was only holding his iPhone, but what would officers have done differently if they had only been allowed to use necessary force. I think the court is still going to have to get in the officers' minds and ascertain what would another "reasonable" officer have done in this situation. Let's explore the options: 

1. use a baton or mace or taser; 
2. flee back the way they came; 
3. tackle him; 
4. shoot him. 

#1 and #3 both have the same problem: if he's holding a gun, one or more officers are dead before they reach him. 
#2 runs the real risk that they can't get back to the safety of the next corner before the suspect closes the distance and, then, if he's holding a gun, the officers have lost the "cover"/"concealment" of the corner of the house. It seems unreasonable to ask officers to make a choice between some safety and abandoning that safety. 
#4 again seems to be the only real solution, though it sometimes ends in tragedy.
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Troopers release more details on fatal shooting of suspect | Alaska News | newsminer.com

Troopers release more details on fatal shooting of suspect | Alaska News | newsminer.com | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
The name of the officer involved in the shooting, Sgt. Daniel Cox, a 20-year Department of Public Safety veteran, was not released until Tuesday, which is in accordance with agency policy.

The department said Yakunin on Saturday afternoon had contacted a woman in violation of felony probation conditions. Trooper Luke Kumfer responded and at 7 p.m. reached a home in Nikolaevsk.

Authorities said Yakunin refused to cooperate and "become extremely threatening" toward the officer. Kumfer used his radio to call for assistance, fired his stun gun at Yakunin and followed that with pepper spray.

Troopers said Yakunin knocked Kumfer off the home's porch, injuring the officer. Yakunin then assaulted the injured trooper lying on the ground for about 20 minutes, troopers said. They did not indicate how they knew the assault lasted 20 minutes.

The release from troopers made no mention of possible weapons Yakunin used or whether other people were at the home.

When Cox arrived at the home he shot Yakunin, troopers said. Yakunin was pronounced dead at the scene.

Troopers released no information about any conversation between Cox and Yakunin before the shooting, or whether Kumfer lost consciousness during the assault.

Kumfer by Tuesday night had been released from hospital care but was still recovering from injuries.

"For his privacy, we are not releasing details of his injuries," said trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters by email.

The state medical examiner conducted an autopsy on Yakunin's body, Peters said, but it could take up to two months to receive results.

Peters said troopers routinely respond to incidents alone. Asked if Yakunin's history of violence should have prompted more troopers to respond initially, Peters said that if there was a perceived risk, the situation is reviewed to determine an appropriate way to respond.

Troopers have refused to answer other questions about the incident, citing an ongoing department investigation, including whether troopers were wearing body cameras.

The Department of Law's Office of Special Prosecutions and Appeals investigates whether deadly force is justified by officers. The Department of Public Safety reviews the case to determine if an officer using deadly force followed department policy.

Nikolaevsk, according to the state community data base, was founded as a community of Russian Old Believers whose ancestors settled in Woodburn, Oregon, after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 forced them out of Russia.
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U.S. Attorney General Sessions Announces Launch of New Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center

U.S. Attorney General Sessions Announces Launch of New Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
Attorney General Jeff Sessions today announced the launch of the Collaborative Reform Initiative Technical Assistance Center (CRI-TAC) during the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Division Midyear Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The CRI-TAC brings together a coalition of the United States’ top public safety organizations under the leadership of the IACP to provide tailored…
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Off-duty SWAT officer becomes an instant celebrity after responding to chase while wearing plaid shorts

Off-duty SWAT officer becomes an instant celebrity after responding to chase while wearing plaid shorts | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
A Texas police officer responding to a high speed chase is getting a lot of attention after he was spotted wearing body armor and plaid shorts.
Rob Duke's insight:
Never to be lived down around that police station---ever!  At least they weren't parachute pants.
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Stephon Clark shooting: Sacramento police release body camera video showing death - The

Stephon Clark shooting: Sacramento police release body camera video showing death - The | Police Problems and Policy | Scoop.it
"I told the officers, ‘You guys are murderers,'” Stephan Clark's grandmother said after Clark was shot and killed by Sacramento police.
Rob Duke's insight:
This video is a trifle better, but not much....
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Video: Officers yelled 'gun' before shooting unarmed man

Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.
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