Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

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Anondson
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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby Anondson » July 13th, 2016, 8:41 pm

Broken tail lights enforcement is unproven as a safety scheme. Broken tail lights is not even in the same level of violation as speeding or red light running. At. All.

I'm very uncomfortable with extremely low level violations like this used as a pretext for more. This is very much at the core of what is making this bubble into rage, the tail lights are used to harass innocent people who live in neighborhoods with higher crime rates. Speeding, running lights, is actually dangerous... tail lights out is so far down the danger scale I can't see them as even the same category.

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Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby Anondson » July 14th, 2016, 7:42 am

Washington Post blogger, Ridley Balko, on how to count justified/unjustified, necessary/unnecessary police shootings.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the ... egitimate/

Notes that even with video the shooting of Philando will likely be counted as justified because of the presence of the gun. Lots of other troubling examples that were (or could be) counted as justified because only the officer's report itself is used to determine it... even when it's falsified.

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby amiller92 » July 14th, 2016, 8:23 am

Mdcastle wrote:So how many cops get murked by people they pull over for busted taillights
Almost none. There are numbers available on this.

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby amiller92 » July 14th, 2016, 8:28 am

acs wrote:They are a way to get suspicious individuals
You mean "suspicious." Not objectively, reasonably suspicious, just whoever an individual officer subjectively believes is suspicious. Which is disproportionately people of color, especially black.
Whether or not that saves lives is another matter we can debate.
No we can't. Of course it does not. The added danger because of pulled over vehicle alone may be enough to tip the scales toward no.

And then there's the sometimes explicit acknowledgment that these types of stops are revenue-generating.

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby acs » July 14th, 2016, 8:48 am

Don't be ridiculous. It's not at all possible for police to catch criminals only by catching them in the act. There are thousands of cases where somebody was pulled over for something minor but the proverbial body in the trunk was found during the stop. Getting those people behind bars is saving lives in my book. Does that mean we should be disproportionately pulling over blacks? Of course not, whites commit crimes too. But if you're trying to say the relatively scarce sample of traffic stops that end up this way somehow kills more people than the criminals they take off the streets, I don't think the numbers will be in your favor.

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby Anondson » July 14th, 2016, 9:13 am

You're not aware of the number of innocents being hit up in the sweep because you're not in those groups most looked at, but you are saying it's worth it for all of them to get rounded up and shaken down.

Seeing possibly over-the-top shakedown of low status people (poor and/or minority) bothers me a lot.

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby acs » July 14th, 2016, 9:21 am

No, I'm not saying that at all.
acs wrote:Does that mean we should be disproportionately pulling over blacks? Of course not, whites commit crimes too.
I am saying I think police should have the ability to pull over suspicious individuals due to the reasons I said above, but I don't agree with many cops' current definition of suspicious because it is heavily slanted against black males.

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby EOst » July 14th, 2016, 9:30 am

acs wrote:There are thousands of cases where somebody was pulled over for something minor but the proverbial body in the trunk was found during the stop. Getting those people behind bars is saving lives in my book.
I'm pretty sure we'd catch a lot of crimes if police randomly raided houses with a minor code violations, too. Still not right.

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby Anondson » July 14th, 2016, 12:06 pm

What's interesting is I thought I read that a city tried to get police escort of meter readers and in order to get a look at evidence inside homes on the pretext of safety of the readers. Courts shut that down.

If we want equipment malfunctions on cars to be enforced, we should have a special branch like we have just for parking enforcement, maybe we extend parking cops to car equipment failures? It's all they do, we don't have parking cops checking parking violations for drug possession or outstanding warrants.

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby amiller92 » July 14th, 2016, 1:39 pm

acs wrote:Don't be ridiculous. It's not at all possible for police to catch criminals only by catching them in the act.
Almost no one is caught in the act. Nonetheless, people are actually prosecuted for crimes.

For some reason, we've decided that driving is giving the state permission to randomly check on you. I suspect there's some history there - slave patrols - that underpins that attitude that we generally don't think about.
Getting those people behind bars is saving lives in my book.
That's absurd. People are often arrested during traffic stops for something other than what they were stopped for. The vast majority of times, it's for an outstanding warrant, typically resulting from a failure to appear or pay a fine. No lives are saved by arresting someone too poor or otherwise incapable of navigating the court system.

The bulk of the rest of those arrested at pretextual traffic stops have to be for simple drug possession. No lives are saved by perpetuating our failed drug policy. Heck, they're probably endangered.

The proverbial body in the trunk has to be statistically insignificant. Like, I'm sure it's happened, but it has to be exceedingly rare. Let's stipulate that it's happened 10 times in American history (I'd actually be surprised if it's that many). Let's even stipulate that each of the people arrested with a body in the trunk would have killed again. How many fatal crashes have involved vehicles stopped at a traffic stop? Gotta be more, right?
But if you're trying to say the relatively scarce sample of traffic stops that end up this way somehow kills more people than the criminals they take off the streets, I don't think the numbers will be in your favor.
Again, "criminals."

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby WHS » July 14th, 2016, 3:34 pm

Anondson wrote:Broken tail lights enforcement is unproven as a safety scheme. Broken tail lights is not even in the same level of violation as speeding or red light running. At. All.

I'm very uncomfortable with extremely low level violations like this used as a pretext for more. This is very much at the core of what is making this bubble into rage, the tail lights are used to harass innocent people who live in neighborhoods with higher crime rates. Speeding, running lights, is actually dangerous... tail lights out is so far down the danger scale I can't see them as even the same category.
I don't think you can really make this distinction. It's pretty easy to pretextually stop someone for going 3 over the speed limit, too. An inherent tension here is that zealous enforcement of relatively minor traffic violations might be useful in some ways but also provides potential avenues for abuse and harassment. The same goes for all sorts of minor quality-of-life violations off the road as well. We can recognize the harms of current practices while also understanding here's not a single "correct" level of policing that will be satisfactory in every situation.

With that said, pretextual stops of any sort make me pretty uncomfortable.

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby Tiller » July 14th, 2016, 5:55 pm

I know the situations aren't perfectly analogous, but our soldiers in active war zones have a higher burden to meet before using force against [non American citizens] than our police forces have for using force against American civilians here at home. While our police forces aren't quite as well armed as our military (thought that's been changing), our civilians aren't anywhere near as well armed as insurgents overseas.

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby Anondson » July 15th, 2016, 3:08 pm

"'What Mr. Castile symbolizes for a lot of us working in public defense is that driving offenses are typically just crimes of poverty,' says Erik Sandvick, a public defender in Ramsey County, which includes St. Paul and its suburbs."

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/ ... t=20160715

The cycle of paying fine after fine after fine for the "net widening" is truly perverse and cruel.

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby Nick » July 15th, 2016, 3:11 pm


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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby Silophant » July 19th, 2016, 7:32 am

Bob Kroll is no longer allowed to wear his uniform while being an embarrassment to the city.

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby Mdcastle » July 19th, 2016, 10:31 pm

Anondson wrote:What's interesting is I thought I read that a city tried to get police escort of meter readers and in order to get a look at evidence inside homes on the pretext of safety of the readers. Courts shut that down.

If we want equipment malfunctions on cars to be enforced, we should have a special branch like we have just for parking enforcement, maybe we extend parking cops to car equipment failures? It's all they do, we don't have parking cops checking parking violations for drug possession or outstanding warrants.
Probably because when you spot an illegally parked car you have no idea who actually drove it there or when they might be coming back. You can write an infraction to a vehicle, but you can't run a warrant check on an empty seat.

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Anondson
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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby Anondson » July 21st, 2016, 6:17 pm

On the widespread practice of "Investigatory vehicle stop",
This practice is the investigatory vehicle stop, the vehicular equivalent of the stop-and-frisk. And like stop-and-frisk, this practice overwhelmingly targets blacks and Latinos and minority communities.
http://washingtonmonthly.com/2016/07/21 ... nY.twitter

A pretty excellent breakdown on how an investigatory stop differs from a normal one.

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby mulad » July 23rd, 2016, 11:46 am

Here's a good opinion piece which reminded me about sliding-scale fines based on income, which would be a good way to reduce the incentive for police to target poor communities:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... or-wealthy

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby Mdcastle » July 28th, 2016, 8:17 am

Traffic fines indexed to income sounds like a good idea to me. Someone making $200,000 a year probably doesn't care how many tickets they get until it starts to affect their driving privilege.

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Re: Black Lives Matter, The Police, etc.

Postby Chef » July 28th, 2016, 11:33 am

Anondson wrote:What's interesting is I thought I read that a city tried to get police escort of meter readers and in order to get a look at evidence inside homes on the pretext of safety of the readers. Courts shut that down.

If we want equipment malfunctions on cars to be enforced, we should have a special branch like we have just for parking enforcement, maybe we extend parking cops to car equipment failures? It's all they do, we don't have parking cops checking parking violations for drug possession or outstanding warrants.
St Paul used to do this with their rental property inspections. In the 90s I lived in a building that got inspected every year, the cops always came along. The pretext was that inspectors were being harassed in high crime areas and needed police protection. In theory the landlord was supposed to notify you of the upcoming inspection but mine never did.


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