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Tue Jun 9, 2020, 09:27 PM

A thought/proposal on policing reform in the U.S...

I have been thinking about this issue over the years but never at the depth of consideration needed until the last few months.

I have had the good fortune in my life of visiting Europe, South America and the USA during my life and multiple Asian countries.

A brief list...England, Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Italy, USA, Jamaica, Antigua, St. Thomas, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Japan, Korea, the Phillipines...

If there's an island in the Pacific Ocean with a runway on it I'm pretty certain I've stopped off there too at some point to refuel...

My travels primarily took place during the 60s, 70s and 80s.

I was variously a tourist, a business traveler, a football fan or on active duty in the Naval Service.

During those 30-40 years I had numerous opportunities to interact with law enforcement...either by choice or by circumstance...

Policing in san Francisco is different to policing in Sunnyvale, California.

Policing in London is different to policing in Brighton or Leeds or Manchester.

Policing in Paris is different to policing in Le Mans.

Policing in Japan is different to policing in Antigua.


BUT....there are basic tenets of policing that should be universal whether you live in Dallas, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Phoenix or Omaha.

Whether the policing is done in a major city or a small town in America we as citizens are entitled to a basic understanding... that the expectation will be the same of law enforcement and the citizenry equally..

As a citizen I should be able to expect to be treated with the same respect in Boise as in Biloxi...regardless of skin tone, religious beliefs etc...

I am submitting here that although Missippi and Vermont are very different, there are some basic commonalities


So...

I propose the idea that every individual hired and charged with a law enforcement role in the USA be required to attend a "boot camp"...

The idea would be to that every applicant for a law enforcement position would first have to attend an exhaustive "boot camp" that would be designed to assess the participants' ability to behave in a socially appropriate manner.

The applicant for a role as a sherriff on Tulsa County or A beat officer in Boston would have to pay their own way and graduate with a standard....

Only then would they be admitted to a local Police Academy...

Finally, all law enforcement should be su ejected to audit/ review. ( I'm a 40 year union guy so I dont say this lightly....law enforcement should be allow to unionize..."

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Reply A thought/proposal on policing reform in the U.S... (Original post)
bluecollar2 Jun 9 OP
The Velveteen Ocelot Jun 9 #1
Skittles Jun 9 #2
The Velveteen Ocelot Jun 9 #3
Skittles Jun 9 #4
The Velveteen Ocelot Jun 9 #5
Skittles Jun 9 #6
The Velveteen Ocelot Jun 9 #11
Skittles Jun 9 #13
Mariana Jun 9 #21
Skittles Jun 9 #23
bluecollar2 Jun 9 #7
Skittles Jun 9 #8
bluecollar2 Jun 9 #9
Skittles Jun 9 #10
bluecollar2 Jun 9 #14
Skittles Jun 9 #15
bluecollar2 Jun 9 #17
Skittles Jun 9 #24
The Velveteen Ocelot Jun 9 #12
bluecollar2 Jun 9 #18
soothsayer Jun 10 #26
ecstatic Jun 9 #20
soothsayer Jun 10 #27
bluecollar2 Jun 10 #28
soothsayer Jun 9 #16
bluecollar2 Jun 9 #19
ecstatic Jun 9 #22
The Velveteen Ocelot Jun 9 #25

Response to bluecollar2 (Original post)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 09:41 PM

1. It's possible to arrest people without kneeling on their necks.

Here, a couple of officers deal with an aggressive drunk who is trying to kick them. They actually manage to get him to detox without hurting him. However, this wasn't in the U.S.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 10:37 PM

2. plenty of American cops manage to arrest people without hurting or kiling them them

even difficult folk

seriously

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Response to Skittles (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 10:38 PM

3. True, but it seems like mostly the white ones.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 10:43 PM

4. believe it or not

plenty of POC (heck, with profiling, too many) are arrested without hurting or killing them, proving it CAN be done......culture needs to be changed to get rid of LEO thugs who are prone to irrational behavior

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Response to Skittles (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 10:49 PM

5. It can be done, which makes me angry that so often it isn't.

As a long-time resident of Minneapolis and having been acquainted with some MPD officers awhile back, I became too aware of what their attitude was (and still is). They liked violently restraining suspects, and bragged about it. I have never had any problems with the police myself but they kind of scare me anyhow. The culture is horrible and I agree 100% with the city council's plan to take the MPD apart and build it back up completely restructured and asshole-free.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 10:54 PM

6. I briefly lived in Minnesota but it was very rural

(my grandparents lived there).......didn't really see the kind of stuff I am reading about now; very disappointing because I thought of Minnesota as a very unique state

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Response to Skittles (Reply #6)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:09 PM

11. The paradoxical thing about Minneapolis is that

although it's often voted one of the best places to live (good schools, lots of parks and lakes, plenty of good jobs, generally high standard of living, etc.), and it is politically quite liberal (we elected Keith Ellison and Ilhan Omar, among others), the racial disparities for ordinary African Americans are serious and pretty bad. I suspect this might have started decades ago in the bad old days of redlining, and even after that became illegal, the segregation of the black neighborhoods became institutionalized and the police department became a racist cesspool, but we white liberals were so proud of what we regarded as our wokeness that we failed to notice. I hope this is a wakeup call.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #11)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:12 PM

13. I hear ya

I grew up as a GI brat and lived for a while in Iowa and Minnesota after my dad retired from the military....I remember being very surprised how WHITE it was. In the military it was much more diverse and I knew POC whose dads were the same rank as mine so there wasn't the all too common economic or neighborhood divide.

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Response to Skittles (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:33 PM

21. Of course they don't always hurt or kill people.

They only hurt and kill people when they think they'll get away with it. There are rules. They're not supposed to hurt or kill someone without justification. If the suspect doesn't provide said justification, and the cops can't manufacture an excuse, and can't successfully lie about it, they usually won't hurt or kill that suspect.

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Response to Mariana (Reply #21)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:42 PM

23. I doubt thugs put that much thinking into it

that cop has no doubt been out of control for some time; the culture needs to change to make it harder for such people to become cops and easier to get rid of them if they still manage to get in

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Response to bluecollar2 (Original post)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 10:55 PM

7. The responses to this thread prove we will never be able to get it right...

😣

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Response to bluecollar2 (Reply #7)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 10:56 PM

8. what do you mean

pointing out that not all cops are killers is wrong?

I absolutely do not deny there certainly are problems but there are some departments that get it right.

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Response to Skittles (Reply #8)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:02 PM

9. No worries Skittles...

You've been on this board as long as I have...

Hell we have a lot in common....

Was just disappointed in the reactions to my OP

All I was saying is we should have a "bootcamp" to separate the wheat from the chaff....you and went through it...

The responses so far don't get it....

My fault...I guess...

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Response to bluecollar2 (Reply #9)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:06 PM

10. ahhhh I was responding to TVO

I did like your post but am unsure what kind of training cops currently go through. Am curious if you think a college degree should be a requirement too.

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Response to Skittles (Reply #10)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:14 PM

14. Not sure a college degree is required for basic entry

Set it up so the accountability works like when you and I were in the service...

Everyone who wants to be a cop, sherriff, federal agent, LEO....goes through an 8 to 12 week course, at their own expense or on scholarship...that is designed to find out and ensure that graduates are worthy of representing the law....

Hell....


You, I, and thousands of others were held to that standard...

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Response to bluecollar2 (Reply #14)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:17 PM

15. yeah I went through miltary bootcamp

I guess I just think that anyone who carries a weapon and can arrest people really REALLY much more training than just a few weeks.

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Response to Skittles (Reply #15)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:26 PM

17. Dont disagree...

Put everyone through 12 werks of some kind of basic training...

Get the white kid from Idaho bunking with the black kid from detroit...like we went through....

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Response to bluecollar2 (Reply #17)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:43 PM

24. heh

I still remember the black city girls I was in Basic with - I very much admired them, they weren't at ALL intimidated by the drill sergeants

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Response to bluecollar2 (Reply #9)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:10 PM

12. All police academies do psychological testing. I don't know what it consists of,

but it doesn't seem to be working. A better explanation might be found here: https://medium.com/OfcrACab/confessions-of-a-former-bastard-cop-bb14d17bc759

While every cop’s individual biases come into play, it’s the profession itself that is toxic, and it starts from day 1 of training. Every police academy is different but all of them share certain features: taught by old cops, run like a paramilitary bootcamp, strong emphasis on protecting yourself more than anyone else. The majority of my time in the academy was spent doing aggressive physical training and watching video after video after video of police officers being murdered on duty.

I want to highlight this: nearly everyone coming into law enforcement is bombarded with dash cam footage of police officers being ambushed and killed. Over and over and over. Colorless VHS mortality plays, cops screaming for help over their radios, their bodies going limp as a pair of tail lights speed away into a grainy black horizon. In my case, with commentary from an old racist cop who used to brag about assaulting Black Panthers.
To understand why all cops are bastards, you need to understand one of the things almost every training officer told me when it came to using force: “I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.”

Meaning, “I’ll take my chances in court rather than risk getting hurt”. We’re able to think that way because police unions are extremely overpowered and because of the generous concept of Qualified Immunity, a legal theory which says a cop generally can’t be held personally liable for mistakes they make doing their job in an official capacity.
When you look at the actions of the officers who killed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, or Freddie Gray, remember that they, like me, were trained to recite “I’d rather be judged by 12” as a mantra. Even if Mistakes Were Made™, the city (meaning the taxpayers, meaning you) pays the settlement, not the officer.

Once police training has - through repetition, indoctrination, and violent spectacle - promised officers that everyone in the world is out to kill them, the next lesson is that your partners are the only people protecting you. Occasionally, this is even true: I’ve had encounters turn on me rapidly to the point I legitimately thought I was going to die, only to have other officers come and turn the tables.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #12)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:28 PM

18. My proposal would exclude

Local departments from making the first call..

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #12)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 06:56 AM

26. They should use the Hogan

That thing will nail it. You can’t fool it the way wanna be cops do with today’s tests, apparently.

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Response to bluecollar2 (Reply #7)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:32 PM

20. I know the feeling. I shared my ideas the other day

and I assume most DUers found it too radical or something. I like your idea though. Emotional intelligence, mental stability, and just being a good person--those are all qualities that you can't go wrong with. Sure mistakes will happen, but can we at least start out with decent people doing the job??

My thread on the topic: https://www.democraticunderground.com/100213563530

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 07:00 AM

27. Cop burnout is another thing to address

Since cops see mostly the underbelly of humanity and man’s cruelty to man on a daily basis, they grow jaded. Soon, citizens start to look like problems to them instead of people.

Might have to do something that addresses that.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 10, 2020, 08:54 AM

28. I think the problem is extensive enough

Thay we can only really discuss it in very general terms.

Biden is going to have to recommend. And congress is going to have to approve a blue-panel independent commission to look into and recommend a plan to reform law enforcement practices and procedures....

One thing is for sute... the for- profit prison industry is not going to be happy...

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Response to bluecollar2 (Original post)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:23 PM

16. Step 1: decide what role you want police to play

What are they there for? What’s in their remit?

Are they designed to bring in money through tickets and fines? Fill for-profit private prisons? Fight crime? Keep the peace? Does their mission extend to fighting terror? Etc. And what are the measures of success?

Step 2: find places around the country and around the world who do that well — and in the civil manner we’re going for — and see what structures and practices we can replicate and that would work in our culture

Step 3: Lots of communication and training, reorienting the public and police to the new relationship we’re going for, as everyone will need to participate in the change to make it happen

Step 4: implement and measure outcomes; adjust as needed

Well something like that. But step 1 is super important: defining what we want and need

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Response to soothsayer (Reply #16)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:30 PM

19. Good points. N/t


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Response to soothsayer (Reply #16)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:35 PM

22. Such an important point.

The entire scope of police work needs to change. There are a lot of tasks that should NOT require an armed officer. Armed officers should only be used in a narrow set of circumstances. The vast majority of Americans, I feel, are not violent criminals.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #22)

Tue Jun 9, 2020, 11:59 PM

25. The way things are now, the police have respond to just about any kind of problem

because there's nobody else assigned to do it. You call 911 because somebody is having a mental health crisis in the middle of the night and they need a psychologist, but they send a cop because there are no psychologists. Or the neighbors are having an annoyingly loud party late at night in violation of an ordinance and when you complain they send a cop with a gun because there's nobody else to talk the neighbors into dialing down the noise. The neighbor's dog is barking all night and they send a cop because animal control doesn't handle barking dogs if they aren't strays. Your property was vandalized and the insurance company wants a report, and although the report could be made by an administrative person, they send a cop to do it. And then there are all the incidents where a "Karen" calls the police to report that a black person is birdwatching, barbecuing, entering their own apartment building, walking down the street, or breathing. Assign the police to handle major crime arrests and investigations and hire people who actually are trained and know how to handle all the other things.

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