# Should Police Departments Be Given More Money?

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8 minutes ago, paulsutton said:

The police here in the UK try and diffuse situations,  very rarely do the police open fire and kill people,   a very low percentage of UK police carry Guns. Those that do are specialist units.  Police carry  Tazers .  I think most have access to CS gas (or is it pepper spray).

Yes, in less dangerous situations. I specifically mentioned 'armed police'. If they are present and there is a risk to life, they will take out those people out if they do not quickly comply. That's policy, as far as I'm aware because they have to make split-second decisions. The protection of the general public is paramount.

Edited by StringJunky

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On 8/11/2020 at 5:54 AM, iNow said:

Perhaps a better, more situationally relevant question is: Have we given police too much authority to serve without either check or balance as judge, jury, and executioner? Have we abandoned our constitutional right to due process under the law in favor of quick conclusion at the receiving end of a standard issue field pistol in the hands of an underpaid, undertrained representative of the state?

In the UK we have what was called the IPCC independent police complaints committee it is their job to look in to situations if a police officer opens fire it can be referred to the IPCC or the police can refer the matter so it is investigated and the facts gained as to why.

Even with the Westminster bridge attack last year,  it was the people that held down the terrorist and the police shot him dead,  he had already stabbed two people to death.   I think the police referred themselves.

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2 minutes ago, paulsutton said:

In the UK we have what was called the IPCC independent police complaints committee it is their job to look in to situations if a police officer opens fire it can be referred to the IPCC or the police can refer the matter so it is investigated and the facts gained as to why.

Even with the Westminster bridge attack last year,  it was the people that held down the terrorist and the police shot him dead,  he had already stabbed two people to death.   I think the police referred themselves.

They can also bring in officers from outside a force to review the events.

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1 minute ago, StringJunky said:

Yes, in less dangerous situations. I specifically mentioned 'armed police'. If they are present and there is a risk to life, they will take out those people out. That's policy, as far as I'm aware because they have to make split-second decisions. The protection of the general public is paramount.

Indeed as with the case in the Westminster bridge attack, which I have mentioned elsewhere in this thread.  I am guessing your from the UK, I watched Dom (Dom Littlewood) Does America this morning, ( 18/8/2020 ) he was working with the Texas police department,  they carry spray, taxers and guns of course, but go in to every situation as if it is hostile, even a routine car stop,   and they expect to be shot at and maybe killed.

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5 minutes ago, paulsutton said:

Indeed as with the case in the Westminster bridge attack, which I have mentioned elsewhere in this thread.  I am guessing your from the UK, I watched Dom (Dom Littlewood) Does America this morning, ( 18/8/2020 ) he was working with the Texas police department,  they carry spray, taxers and guns of course, but go in to every situation as if it is hostile, even a routine car stop,   and they expect to be shot at and maybe killed.

Yes, the outcome of a lot of US police interventions seems predestined to come to a violent conclusion.

Edited by StringJunky
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6 minutes ago, paulsutton said:

In the UK we have what was called the IPCC independent police complaints committee it is their job to look in to situations if a police officer opens fire it can be referred to the IPCC or the police can refer the matter so it is investigated and the facts gained as to why.

Even with the Westminster bridge attack last year,  it was the people that held down the terrorist and the police shot him dead,  he had already stabbed two people to death.   I think the police referred themselves.

It does seem in a lot of cases these people are 'known' to the police which does raise the question of how well the Channel /prevent programme is funded, or maybe more to the point how well partner agencies are funded.   Anyone referred has to give consent but also can be referred to say youth services (if under 18) to provide more positive activities, of course funding for which has been cut right back.   I sort of understand the process from undergoing the online awareness training for prevent and channel processes.

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18 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

and there is a risk to life,

I think that is an important distinction. From what I have seen armed police in the UK usually engage in situations which go beyond situations where deadly force by police are considered justified in the US. There appears a large gap between what is considered a threat in the UK vs in NA.

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1 minute ago, StringJunky said:

Yes, the outcome of a lot of US police interventions seems predestined to come to a violent conclusion.

It could be that is because as civilians you expect if you get pulled over you will be met by an officer with gun drawn or at least one of them can open fire at a seconds notice,  hence you show hands at all times.  so the situation is tense from the start,  where as here, and watching police programs where they pull people over the situation is a lot less confrontational.

On the other hand look at what has happened here with PC harper being dragged for over a mile by 3 people in a stolen car, only for them to be charged with manslaughter, what is worse they got what was it <10 years and they thought it was funny when arrested and were smirking

I am no expert but quite how 3 people in a car,  didn't notice what was happening to the police officer is most disturbing and makes me wonder how someone came to the conclusion.

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1 minute ago, CharonY said:

I think that is an important distinction. From what I have seen armed police in the UK usually engage in situations which go beyond situations where deadly force by police are considered justified in the US. There appears a large gap between what is considered a threat in the UK vs in NA.

This is the problem with routine arming of officers, they can become complacent/lazy and fall back on their weapons in all stop situations. I also think it alienates the public on a general level,, rendering them more inaccessible and less personable in routine situations.

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Just now, StringJunky said:

This is the problem with routine arming of officers, they can become complacent/lazy and fall back on their weapons in all stop situations. I also think it alienates the public on a general level,, rendering them more inaccessible and less personable in routine situations.

There are also structural differences- there was a prominent case in the US when a police officer tried to talk down an suicidal person who was carrying a gun (but without ammunition). Other officers ultimately shot the man but the office who tried to de-escalate was branded a coward and ultimately terminated.

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1 minute ago, CharonY said:

There are also structural differences- there was a prominent case in the US when a police officer tried to talk down an suicidal person who was carrying a gun (but without ammunition). Other officers ultimately shot the man but the office who tried to de-escalate was branded a coward and ultimately terminated.

I think it goes, as mentioned here many times, that there are serious, systemic-societal issues there, which sets the US police forces up to where they are today.

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18 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

I think it goes, as mentioned here many times, that there are serious, systemic-societal issues there, which sets the US police forces up to where they are today.

So what are some solutions to this?,   it seems change is needed on both sides.

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I'll reiterate the need for the elimination of qualified immunity. The police union is extremely strong and has negotiated for officer protections that have become extremely detrimental to fair and equal justice in the US. It's made harder that police forces are controlled locally at the state level and very few (if any) federal level regulations and guidelines exist.

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• 7 months later...
Posted (edited)

Much of the discussion above reminded us how police in America face higher levels of danger due to how many guns there are in America. It’s a fair point, but even when considered misses the mark a bit about which citizens are getting gunned down by law enforcement.

The below chart was summarized by Axios based on the database of information available here:  https://link.axios.com/click/23513096.12/aHR0cHM6Ly9tYXBwaW5ncG9saWNldmlvbGVuY2Uub3JnLz91dG1fc291cmNlPW5ld3NsZXR0ZXImdXRtX21lZGl1bT1lbWFpbCZ1dG1fY2FtcGFpZ249c2VuZHRvX2xvY2FsbmV3c2xldHRlcnRlc3Qmc3RyZWFtPXRvcA/600a1412c7007c4fabd64e23B19af298e

As you can see, ~60% of police killings involved a response to non-violent issues. That’s a problem we can improve, even if that just means we encourage police sometimes let non-violent offenders go free and attempt to follow-up with them at a later time... that there’s no need for 100% control and compliance 100% of the time when responding to nonviolent issues.

Edited by iNow
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Seems appropriate to re-start this thread after the latest shooting of Daunte Wright outside Minneapolis.
By all accounts it seems like a tragic mistake ( manslaughter ? ) where the officer intended to draw her taser but pulled her gun instead and fatally shot D Wright.

And as always, I'm going to post an alternative viewpoint to get discussion started.
Relatives of D Wright have said "She was supposed to serve and protect", and not shoot people, is the implication.
I find it funny how everyone is always aware of other's responsibilities, such as the police's responsibility to 'serve and protect', yet they dismiss their own responsibilities as law abiding citizens.
Why did D wright have an expired license sticker? Why did he have an outstanding warrant? Why did he resist arrest and tried to leave ? Why don't the relatives comment about those responsibilities ?( Rhetorical, I know they are grief-stricken )
Granted, none of these are reasons for killing a man, but they started the unfortunate chain of events which resulted in his death.
I count at least three ways D Wright could have avoided his shooting.
I only count one way she could have avoided shooting him.

By all accounts ( so far ) K Potter ( the shooter ) seems like a reputable well-trained officer ( well maybe a little rusty on weapon selection ), so it will be interesting to see if all the people who argue for rehabilitation in the thread about leniency for teenage criminals, want the 'book' thrown at K Potter as revenge, and to set an example ( The protesters certainly do ).

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23 minutes ago, MigL said:

Why did D wright have an expired license sticker? Why did he have an outstanding warrant? Why did he resist arrest and tried to leave ?

First, I appreciate your viewpoint. You're kind and authentic in the way you share it, and you always argue in good faith. Thank you for that. It matters.

Second, my viewpoint doesn't necessarily disagree with the items you highlight. He should have renewed his license sticker. He should have addressed the warrant, or avoided whatever behavior led to it in the first place. He also shouldn't have tried leave. All points are valid. I'd be a ridiculous fool to argue with them.

Where I come down, however, is that none of those things should result in a death penalty result. So what if he tried to leave? Let him. He didn't have a weapon. You have his license plate number and address. Send someone to his house later to issue the citation.

As far as I'm concerned, he shouldn't even have been asked to exit his car. Nothing in this exchange warranted a veteran officer feeling the need to pull a weapon of any sort, not even the taser. Nothing in this exchange would've been the same had he been white.

I say this all recognizing my own privilege and acknowledging how hard it is for me to put myself into the shoes of a black citizen interacting with law enforcement in a country with a long history racism, implicit or otherwise.

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7 minutes ago, iNow said:

Where I come down, however, is that none of those things should result in a death penalty result. So what if he tried to leave? Let him. He didn't have a weapon. You have his license plate number and address. Send someone to his house later to issue the citation.

As far as I'm concerned, he shouldn't even have been asked to exit his car. Nothing in this exchange warranted a veteran officer feeling the need to pull a weapon of any sort, not even the taser. Nothing in this exchange would've been the same had he been white.

I agree; it all comes down to an inability to de-escalate, which indicates lack of training.  Everything is needlessly framed as a life or death situation.

Yet another case in point: Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario, who was pulled over in Virginia recently.  Immediate escalation by the officers for no good reason.

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25 minutes ago, iNow said:

First, I appreciate your viewpoint. You're kind and authentic in the way you share it, and you always argue in good faith. Thank you for that. It matters.

Second, my viewpoint doesn't necessarily disagree with the items you highlight. He should have renewed his license sticker. He should have addressed the warrant, or avoided whatever behavior led to it in the first place. He also shouldn't have tried leave. All points are valid. I'd be a ridiculous fool to argue with them.

Where I come down, however, is that none of those things should result in a death penalty result. So what if he tried to leave? Let him. He didn't have a weapon. You have his license plate number and address. Send someone to his house later to issue the citation.

As far as I'm concerned, he shouldn't even have been asked to exit his car. Nothing in this exchange warranted a veteran officer feeling the need to pull a weapon of any sort, not even the taser. Nothing in this exchange would've been the same had he been white.

I say this all recognizing my own privilege and acknowledging how hard it is for me to put myself into the shoes of a black citizen interacting with law enforcement in a country with a long history racism, implicit or otherwise.

Yes, I agree in full too.

As always an individual case doesn't buy us much. Either the officer or the driver could have been completely in the right or completely in the wrong. Knowing exactly who was responsible for what doesn't get us any closer to solving the problem.

We already have enough overall data to tell us that both the officers and the black people they are encountering have reason to believe that ANY encounter could turn out bad for them and thus both are prone to making bad decisions.

It seems clear that something has to change and IMO the biggest change must come from the police. We pay them to protect us, not harm us. They need to figure out a way to protect us without hurting so many people.

There is something wrong with our system when our citizens fear for their safety simply because they have an encounter with the people who are there to protect us and provide order.

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2 hours ago, MigL said:

Seems appropriate to re-start this thread after the latest shooting of Daunte Wright outside Minneapolis.
By all accounts it seems like a tragic mistake ( manslaughter ? ) where the officer intended to draw her taser but pulled her gun instead and fatally shot D Wright.

And as always, I'm going to post an alternative viewpoint to get discussion started.
Relatives of D Wright have said "She was supposed to serve and protect", and not shoot people, is the implication.
I find it funny how everyone is always aware of other's responsibilities, such as the police's responsibility to 'serve and protect', yet they dismiss their own responsibilities as law abiding citizens.
Why did D wright have an expired license sticker? Why did he have an outstanding warrant? Why did he resist arrest and tried to leave ? Why don't the relatives comment about those responsibilities ?( Rhetorical, I know they are grief-stricken )
Granted, none of these are reasons for killing a man, but they started the unfortunate chain of events which resulted in his death.
I count at least three ways D Wright could have avoided his shooting.
I only count one way she could have avoided shooting him.

By all accounts ( so far ) K Potter ( the shooter ) seems like a reputable well-trained officer ( well maybe a little rusty on weapon selection ), so it will be interesting to see if all the people who argue for rehabilitation in the thread about leniency for teenage criminals, want the 'book' thrown at K Potter as revenge, and to set an example ( The protesters certainly do ).

In addition to what iNow said, I think much of it is also couched in a, I want to say North American way of thinking which I found very different from the view and actions of police in most parts of Western Europe. With that I mean is that non-compliance with police commands has to inevitably result in an escalation of events. But again, that is not the case elsewhere.

German law for example does not count fleeing from the police as violent form of resistance against the police. In one case a fleeing driver winged a police officer and it was ruled as an accident rather than a violent action (the reasoning was that the deed had to be aimed directly at the victim rather than an incidental injury). As such, a German police officer would not at any point during traffic control aim their weapons (of whatever kind) at a driver during a regular stop.

To provide some more context, in Germany in 2016 weapons were drawn 52 times against people, resulting in a total of 11 deaths and 28 injuries. This is for a police force of at that time 270k officers. In Canada, by contrast has roughly a police force of 70k officers and had a similar number of shooting incidences per year (roughly 60). However, they tend to be far deadlier, the last number for Canada I saw was that 34 out of 55 police shootings resulted in death. In the US, the numbers are, as we all know, far worse.

It starts with training which tends to be much longer in Europe and the attitude toward encounters. But perhaps also relevant is a kind of warrior mentality at play in which officers are trained to spot danger in every moment of their interaction and basically flip a switch from casual to deadly encounter. This causes a very stressful situation with the risk of the switch being flipped while not necessary.

To me that sounds very different to what I have heard from German police officers, where they are trained to evaluate a situation and then only escalate if the situation becomes life threatening. I.e. proportionality of the response is a key element, where not having a license or number plate would likely lead to violence or even death. There is also a huge emphasis on de-escalation. Another important difference is that there is no qualified immunity or similar mechanism in Germany (not sure about Canada) despite having a strong police union. Though I should, there is a discussion in Germany regarding police violence and racism but most involve non-lethal events.

As a whole it seems to me that in the NA system (and especially USA) there is a big onus on the civilian to do make not mistakes to minimize the risk of a potential harmful police encounter, whereas in Germany it is more seen as the responsibility of the police to keep things peacefully. There also seems to be also a cultural gap in that regard. Most Canadian and US-American colleagues kind of understand or even assume that non-compliance is likely to lead to harm and/or death whereas (Western) Europeans tend to focus on the initial event (e.g. non-violent vs violent transgressions).

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1 hour ago, CharonY said:

In addition to what iNow said, I think much of it is also couched in a, I want to say North American way of thinking which I found very different from the view and actions of police in most parts of Western Europe. With that I mean is that non-compliance with police commands has to inevitably result in an escalation of events. But again, that is not the case elsewhere.

I read a good Vox article that points out how a relationship between Hollywood and various police departments basically allowed the police in the US to frame themselves ALWAYS as the protagonists. TV shows and movies hire police consultants who've been able to edit scripts they didn't feel reflected true procedure, so what we think we know about cops has been shaped by cops ever since Jack Webb and Dragnet. Prior to that, the police struggled with an image of corruption and buffoonery.

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Posted (edited)

This incident was in no way comparable with the G Floyd incident.
G Floyd was killed while he was in custidy; D Wright was attempting to flee arrest, on a no- show warrant ( $100000 bail ) of having taken about$800 from someone at gun-point, because he didn't want o go to jail. NOT because he feared for his life.
The officer, K Potter may have been stupid in drawing the wrong weapon, but because this is now so political, she will probably get more jail time than the two girls who nonchalantly killed the Uber Eats driver a few weeks back.

This is not justice when we totally disregard the responsibility of the 'victim' in the incident. It is simply political appeasement of the mob.

edit ( took me a while to come up with this 'angle' )

Edited by MigL
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When we look only at the specific circumstances of individual situations, we sometimes miss the decades long trends they feed. When we focus on individual trees, we sometimes forget they exist in a much larger forest.

This isn’t happening to white people, and that’s not because white people are less violent or committing fewer crimes.

This isn’t happening in our military or in our fire departments or even in our libraries and grocery stores. This is happening with our police. Regularly. Recurrently. Ridiculously.

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39 minutes ago, MigL said:

This is not justice when we totally disregard the responsibility of the 'victim' in the incident. It is simply political appeasement of the mob.

I must have missed something. When did we "totally disregard the responsibility of the 'victim'"?

Shouldn't we let the justice system play out first before we accuse them of doing a shoddy job?

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36 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Shouldn't we let the justice system play out first before we accuse them of doing a shoddy job?

Perhaps more apropos: Shouldn't we ensure due process for every one of our citizens before we allow agents of the state to put them to death?

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1 hour ago, MigL said:

G Floyd was killed while he was in custidy; D Wright was attempting to flee arrest, on a no- show warrant ( $100000 bail ) of having taken about$800 from someone at gun-point, because he didn't want o go to jail. NOT because he feared for his life.
The officer, K Potter may have been stupid in drawing the wrong weapon

Eh, if we want to go into details here, the warrant was not wanted for the robbery charges:

Quote

Rather, on Dec. 4, 2019, authorities indeed filed paperwork to issue a warrant for his arrest for the alleged robbery in Osseo. But, about two days later, law enforcement fulfilled that warrant; they arrested Wright and his friend. Wright quickly posted bond, as outlined via the documentation displayed below, and agreed to follow the court’s orders so he could leave jail.[...]

Then, the following summer, officers with the neighboring Minneapolis Police Department cited Wright for carrying a pistol without a permit and trying to evade their directions (both misdemeanor offenses), the records showed. Here’s the probable-cause statement written by police outlining their case against Wright: [...]

Because those alleged infractions violated the terms of his jail release mentioned above (and his probation officer said he stopped checking in, per the documents), Wright was detained again and released on bond in September 2020.

Then, just weeks before his death, Wright did not show up for his first court appearance on April 2 to discuss his alleged offenses in Minneapolis. It was unknown why Wright missed the court hearing.

In response to that absence, a judge issued another order for his arrest, and that was the active warrant (displayed below) when Brooklyn Center police ran his name through their background software moments before killing him.

Now this was a minor point, but social media have been blowing characterizing him as violent robber fleeing from the law, which is a bit of an exaggeration. It is also unclear why he did not appear in court we do not know whether he intention was to actually evade arrest.

As iNow mentioned, this is also something regularly happens especially when black men are killed is to find culpability in the subject. The big issue here is that certain sources, such as Fox seemingly are not beyond putting out conjecture as facts (or even pure lies) in order to justify their fate. This is of course on the heels of now released video where a black army officer was pepper-sprayed whilst facing overly aggressive police officers and so on. The issue is that taken together these individual incidences paint an overall picture that is not really pretty.

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