“Why do they never try to save them?”


I always look forward to hearing Jay Smooth’s take on things.

Hey, “copify”? Did he just give away a million dollar idea?

Comments

  1. chigau (違う) says

    He just tried to kill the guy.
    It would be hypocritical to try to save him.
    We wouldn’t want that.

  2. rq says

    Because they don’t give two fucks, they don’t even give a single fuck, they just eliminated a threat to their lives and they feel pretty damn relieved about it in the immediate aftermath.

  3. Al Dente says

    Thanks, Jay Smooth, for speaking out so eloquently. Hopefully it’ll do some good.

  4. Saad says

    chigau, #3

    Oops. Yeah, that’s the right answer: Because then they won’t die.

  5. says

    Al Dente @ 5:

    Thanks, Jay Smooth, for speaking out so eloquently.

    Seconded. And I think we really need Copify.

  6. D-Dave says

    Thirded on the eloquence. The part where he turned from the need to deliver media files to our homes in lossless quality to delivering black lives to their homes in lossless quality got me. Well said.

  7. numerobis says

    In most of these cases that have been coming up, caring for the shooting victim is purely symbolic: the victim is swiss cheese. They’d be dead even if they were immediately teleported to a trauma center. To save these people, the cops would have to not shoot them in the back.

    Still, the symbolism the police choose is that they completely don’t give a shit about the victim, they only care to make sure they can cover it all up and maintain the brave-cop-versus-thug narrative. I can grok that it’s salt in the wound.

  8. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I was going to write something here about eloquence and stereotypes and how I get what y’all mean and there are appropriate uses but there are lurkers and blah, blah, blah.

    but fuckit. Here’s the blackyouthproject’s edward writing on the theme, though using the word “articulate” instead. Ze’ll say it all better than I can, and I don’t think y’all are wrong about Jay Smooth anyway.

  9. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Also, “copify” has been an idea promoted by photographyisnotacrime (PINAC) for a number of years now. There are some tools, the first one I know of was available about 2 years ago, but it’s kludgy. And it’s not got the funding for the servers needed to really take it mainstream. There’s no revenue stream for it. I don’t know what they’re going to do about it, but I know that things will keep getting better and server space keeps getting cheaper, so maybe someday soon.

  10. raefn says

    Here’s a relevant and excellent view of racism’s causes. I don’t know who the gentleman in the video is; I’ve had no luck finding the original video. Even so, I think the video is worth sharing.

  11. says

    raefn @13:
    That vlogger goes by the name ‘W. Honkey’.
    Here is his YouTube page. You’ll find he’s made a few more videos. I’m glad to see that he understands racism and is willing, as a white person, to share with others what he’s learned.

  12. PatrickG says

    I got nothing but despair right now, but frankly if Cop-ify actually happened (I would love to help code this), I can just see a new product entering the law enforcement marketplace:

    Tired of having pesky civilians upload incriminating videos? Want to preserve your ability to summarily execute black people on the streets? The solution is here: Cop-Out. Disrupts data uploads over a 100 yd radius — just don’t forget to confiscate the phones, too!

    Cop-Out: For when “accidentally” disabling your bodycam just won’t cut it.

    Inspired by an actual Facebook conversation with an acquaintance who actually believes that taking video of cops is a violation of their civil rights. I shit you not.

  13. PatrickG says

    Meant to add:

    @ CripDyke:

    [Re: Copify] it’s not got the funding for the servers needed to really take it mainstream. There’s no revenue stream for it.

    Yeah, this is definitely the biggest barrier. Well, that and LEOs disrupting the servers directly (hi NSA!) or indirectly (via a pliant judge or two). Still, if the resources were made available, I could foresee a truly epic open-source project developing.

  14. brucegee1962 says

    For honest cops out there (if any such exist), I’d think a body cam would be your best friend. You couldn’t possibly be prosecuted for an unjustified shooting if the jury saw exactly what you saw. Ergo, any cop who is opposed to body cams can be presumed to be dishonest.

  15. says

    As Smooth says, video proof does not guarantee convictions. Those who violently assaulted Rodney King still walk free when they should still be in prison, or would be if they were black men attacking a white cop in the same way.

    Not to derail the topic, but it was the same with Israeli atrocities, people denied they happened until the Rafah camp video came out. Even after that and subsequent videos came out, the western media said “Meh” and talk as if those killed brought it on the themselves, the same way would have been done with Walter Scott if not for the video.

  16. says

    I am wondering if some sort of federal department overseeing these police departments would make sense. An Internal Affairs local to a police department is in most ways still dependent on that police department, and it has become clear that District Attorneys are stuck with dealing with any police that are left after they attempt to prosecute an officer that had broken the law.

    Oversight not beholden to the local people seems like a way to deal with these murders. That and body cameras, which Ed Brayton has been advocating for at least a couple years now.

  17. lorn says

    He makes a lot of good points.

    I will answer the beginning question of why they don’t try to ‘save them’.

    A – The standard is that police are not EMTs and are not qualified enough and equipped to render aid.

    Dig deeper and it gets more complicated. Some of this has to do with simple legal liabilities, a hands off policy avoids questions about not doing enough, or doing the wrong thing, and accusation of looking like they are rendering aid while doing harm. There is also the question of preserving evidence after a shooting. In the Walker/Brown case they waited to bring in forensics team from an uninvolved department to assure neutrality. This was construed as being uncaring.

  18. says

    lorn @21:
    I think you meant the Wilson/Brown case.
    Also, they *were* uncaring:

    Mr. Stone ran outside and saw two police officers, both white men, standing near Mr. Brown, who was lying on his stomach, his arms at his sides, blood seeping from his head. Another neighbor, a woman who identified herself as a nurse, was begging the officers to let her perform CPR. They refused, Mr. Stone said, adding, “They didn’t even check to see if he was breathing.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/16/us/ferguson-mo-michael-brown-and-darren-wilson-2-paths-to-a-fatal-encounter.html

    You’re engaging in apologetics for the police. Don’t do that shit. They mishandled the entire case. It’s been well documented. I note you didn’t provide a single source for your claims, so perhaps you need to go read the Good Morning, America thread, and its successors. Those threads a great resource for those looking for information on not only the death of Michael Brown, Jr, police brutality in general, as well as the racism inherent in USAmerica’s criminal justice system.

    You clearly need to read up on all of that.

  19. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @sugarfrosted, #17:

    Thanks. I did read about that one a while back. That’s a very useful link.

    @lorn:

    The police are completely qualified to assess certain things about a person – including pulse and breathing. Checking on these things and monitoring them while EMTs are on their way is a useful service that allows EMTs to initiate treatment more rapidly when arriving on scene. As a 911 operator I was involved in a couple of calls where my officers did this.

  20. rq says

    lorn
    Police are trained and qualified to render first aid – in fact, anyone is allowed to render first aid, or to make the attempt, and as far as I know, there is no legal repercussion to rendering first aid wrongly (specifically to avoid being sued in cases where someone died anyway – this may or may not apply to the US). That’s one.
    When it comes to administering first aid, this always takes priority over any evidence at the scene – this to the dismay of investigators and forensics people, of course, but they’d mostly rather a scene of violent assault than a scene of violent murder. That’s two.
    Waiting around for a neutral entity and not allowing other people to administer first aid (because even as a police officer, not everyone wants to or feels themselves capable, and that’s allowed) in the meantime – that would qualify as being uncaring. ‘Uncaring’ being the lightest possible term from the Give No Fucks Scale to use in this case. That’s three.
    So, yeah, that bullshit about cops preserving evidence in lieu of rendering first aid because they’re so goddamn caring? Bullshit. If they can shoot at someone, they better damn well be able to do something about the bleeding.

  21. drst says

    ajb47

    I am wondering if some sort of federal department overseeing these police departments would make sense.

    That would be the Department of Justice.

  22. rq says

    Also, as it turns out, not all police officers are qualified to render CPR, but I would hope that they’re all trained in some sort of cursory first aid. The rest of my point in 24 still stands.

  23. grumpyoldfart says

    US cops charged with murder over the last few decades usually get acquitted or the charges are reduced until they get just a few years in prison.

    Scott Smith
    Joseph Mantelli
    Steve Marquez
    Sean Carroll
    Richard Murphy
    Edward McMellon
    Kenneth Boss
    Dan Lovelace
    Robert Faulcon
    Robert Gisevius
    Kenneth Bowen
    Anthony Villavaso
    Johannes Mehserle
    Richard Chrisman
    Manuel Ramos
    Daniel Harmon-Wright

    If things look really bad, the prosecutor anonymously releases evidence to the public thus ensuring the murderers cannot get a fair trial and the charges are dropped (see Danziger Bridge murders for details)

  24. numerobis says

    rq:

    anyone is allowed to render first aid, or to make the attempt, and as far as I know, there is no legal repercussion to rendering first aid wrongly

    From my memory, as the law was summarized to me years ago when I was taking a first-responder course:

    In the US (and Canada, AFAIK), any private citizen is allowed to make any reasonable attempt to provide medical help to a person in distress. There’s essentially no legal risk as long as you’re making good faith efforts to help.

    On the other hand, a trained and certified individual has both limits on what help they’re allowed to provide. If you provide the aid incorrectly, that’s potentially medical malpractice. If you go beyond your limits, that’s malpractice too.

    On the gripping hand, it’s normal in serious cases for first responders to go beyond their legal limits and to try everything they can until the cavalry show up. De jure this is malpractice, but nobody — and that includes prosecutors, judges, and juries — is interested in cracking down on good-faith efforts.

    If you have training but not certification, you’re a private citizen.

  25. numerobis says

    There’s a stray “both” in what I wrote: anyone certified with any medical anything can’t legally go beyond their certification — but they also have a duty to aid. So if the cops are certified in first aid or CPR or whatever, they have a duty to perform up to that certification if it’s safe to do so.

  26. Pteryxx says

    PatrickG #15:

    I can just see a new product entering the law enforcement marketplace:

    Tired of having pesky civilians upload incriminating videos? Want to preserve your ability to summarily execute black people on the streets? The solution is here: Cop-Out. Disrupts data uploads over a 100 yd radius — just don’t forget to confiscate the phones, too!

    Cop-Out: For when “accidentally” disabling your bodycam just won’t cut it.

    You probably didn’t want to know this, but there’s a device called a Stingray. (IBI Times)

    The Baltimore police department has used secretive cellphone tracking technology thousands of times in recent years while following orders from the FBI to withhold information about the practice from prosecutors and judges, a detective testified in court on Wednesday.

    The testimony of the detective revealed the widespread use of cell site simulators, known as Stingrays, which mimic the signal of cellphone towers to force phones to transmit their data to them. Police can then analyze the data to track the location of the phones.

    […]

    In March, a federal official admitted that the Stingray could possibly be used for mass disruption of cellphone service in an area, in addition to specifically targeted phones. Authorities have insisted that officials limit the use of the device to surveil and disrupt targeted phones only.

  27. Rich Woods says

    @numerobis #28:

    To add to that, in the UK (at least when I last took a first-aid course, 20 years ago) a first-aider is not obliged to obey any order to stop CPR unless it comes from a doctor. In practice I imagine few first-aiders wouldn’t defer to a paramedic or a nurse, though. As far as legal risk goes (or went), our first-aid certification was valid for three years before requiring a refresher course, and during that time we were automatically insured for a liability of up to three million pounds. And that was from just a four-day ‘First Aid At Work’ course.

    I’d be flabbergasted if a cop didn’t receive at least that level of training. I once met an 8 year-old trained in CPR.

  28. freemage says

    brucegee1962

    8 April 2015 at 8:53 pm

    For honest cops out there (if any such exist), I’d think a body cam would be your best friend. You couldn’t possibly be prosecuted for an unjustified shooting if the jury saw exactly what you saw. Ergo, any cop who is opposed to body cams can be presumed to be dishonest.

    Your supposition is supported by facts, the last I checked. In jurisdictions where videotaping of interactions is commonplace (the focus was primarily on interrogations, at the time, IIRC), the police had to make FEWER payments for misconduct suits. Whether that was because the cops knew they couldn’t get away with it, and so stopped doing it, or because the video made it clear that no malfeasance had occurred (and thus, the city could be assured of a swift decision by the judge, rather than a lengthly trial that would cost more than a fast settlement) is up to the individual to decide–I strongly suspect both, personally.

    So, yes. We should cease funding the militarization of the police, and channel all of those funds into providing:
    1: Body cams.
    2: Helmet cams on riot gear.
    3: 4-way dashcams on all vehicles.
    4: Cameras in all parts of a stationhouse where citizens are going to be in police custody (so, at a minimum: parking lot, entrances, booking, interrogation, holding cells, at least one restroom [if the cops feel it necessary to accompany the person to the facilities, they go to the one with the camera] and all corridors between these points).

    Cameras are required to be on and recording any time a member of the public is interacting with the officers. As a practical matter, this is likely to be constant for building cameras, and at-activation for personal cameras; vehicular cameras would be constant while the vehicle is in-use.

    Recordings must be stored digitally for a minimum of six months, after which they may only be deleted if there is no pending issue surrounding them. If a complaint is filed, either by a member of the public or by the chain of command, a CD-ROM is immediately burned and logged to keep all pertinent data stored until the resolution of the complaint, including whatever the time limit is on appeals.

    Officers are responsible for checking their own equipment at the start of every shift; commanders are responsible for the continued functioning of the building cams (which should have a certain amount of redundancy in coverage; anyplace that only has one camera should be someplace you can do without–if you’ve only got one interrogation room, you need two cameras in there in case one goes on the fritz).

  29. jedibear says

    I’m too exhausted by the constant barrage of these incidents to feel properly about them anymore. I’m glad not everyone is.

    Jay Smooth is a powerful and essential voice on so many issues and his eloquence on this subject got me to feeling for a little bit. So I think that’s good.

  30. lakitha tolbert says

    I’ve talked to a few people who mentioned rebuilding the system from the ground up. I don’t think that’s ever going to happen, nor is there going to be an end to racism, or people wanting to abuse their authority, any time soon. But what we can do, is start at the bottom and build safeguards, every step of the way up, to minimize an individual’s ability to engage in questionable and corrupt behavior, in every one of these systems.

    These systems simply cannot be be allowed to regulate themselves. Every system that has ever done so, has become unforgivably corrupt and the police are no exception. It benefits no one at all if so-called “good cops” are too scared to do anything about the bad ones. Essentially, it comes down to the system being run by the bad ones.

    Since the street cops are the ones at the bottom we, start with them first, monitoring and accountability. We can put cameras on them, limit the amount of ammunition they get issued, whatever. As you go up the personnel ladder, punishments and accountability for every time one of the officers under someone’s command does something they aren’t supposed to do, right up to the lawyers who have to work with them to do their jobs.

    Is that, at all, a possible scenario, because I don’t see tearing it all down and rebuilding as anything that’s going to happen.

  31. says

    a federal official admitted that the Stingray could possibly be used for mass disruption of cellphone service in an area, in addition to specifically targeted phones.

    The main purpose of the stingray is to man-in-the-middle your cell tower, then record trace information about all the handoffs that every phone makes. So, you get enter-into-zone timestamps, gps data (if it’s an iPhone…) and exit-from-zone timestamps – and any call metadata as well as cellular data (sms, web, whatever) The exact function of the systems is classified so that it makes it harder to ask whether 4th amendment violations are going on. There are other locales where the FBI, and maybe others, have stingray-like devices on aircraft, and they can loop over a municipal area and log all the phones in use and their locations. When the intelligence wonks say they are “only collecting metadata” that’s … metadata.(*)

    So, the guy who recorded the footage of the cop shooting Walter Scott? If there was a stingray in the area, they’d have been able to figure out who shot the video pretty easily using the timestamps and handoff data.

    There’s another interesting thing that hasn’t come up yet. Maybe the cop doesn’t know, but most Tasers record the time when they were fired, as well as containing taggants in the propellant. I bet Killer Copper didn’t know that important little detail. Newer Tasers record GPS coordinates and some models (at least, planned back in 2009) would record audio when they left the holster and take a picture of what they were pointed at when they fired. Taser’s Axon system has some pretty sensible design features and it’s specifically intended to protect cops against false accusations and to prevent cops from getting away with what Killer Cop did. What you would predict to happen, happened: cops pushed back strenuously against the system, and threw up all kinds of bullshit reasons why it wasn’t practical. Which ought to tell you what you need to know about what the cops are really thinking.

    (* that’s also a lie. They have redefined “collect” to mean “collect and look at”. They actually collect everything, but the system only automatically analyzes metadata – if there’s a hit on the metadata then the actual data is right there and they consider themselves justified in looking at it, because now they are seeing suspicious activity. It sounds like something out of a certain novel by Orwell, doesn’t it?)

  32. says

    brucegee @ 18

    For honest cops out there (if any such exist), I’d think a body cam would be your best friend. You couldn’t possibly be prosecuted for an unjustified shooting if the jury saw exactly what you saw.

    I’d think the racist cops would like them too. “Those liberals call me racist? I walk these streets every fucking day, I’m in these neighborhoods where they don’t go. I see what these people are like, and now’s my chance to show them. And they won’t be able to say I’m lying or exaggerating, the camera doesn’t lie.”
    Like, Wilson’s story was, basically, there was Michael Brown, 12 feet tall and breathing fire, and what other choice did he have? Even though he was officially vindicated, there’s still controversy, and I’m sure he’d have wanted a camera so the doubters could actually see the flames. (I’m assuming, of course, that he believes it, but I don’t think that’s unlikely, certainly not at this point.)