I know, the title is a sweeping generalization, and there are good cops and bad nurses. But think about the general reputations of the professions.
Nurses have a responsibility to help their patients. The whole principle of the health professions is to do no harm — they are literally working to serve people.
Cops have abandoned the whole “serve and protect” notion. Their operating principle is to punish the bad guys; their clients are assumed to be scumbags. If you find yourself in the back of a police car, “innocent until proven guilty” is thrown out the window…you’re not there for your safety, you’re there because a cop decided you were a bad guy.
It doesn’t have to be that way, but it is. We’ve been watching the police get increasingly militarized, SWAT teams turned into ideals, the ascendancy of broken windows policing, which makes every citizen a criminal. You don’t join the police because you want to help people, you join because you want to bust heads.
Here’s a stark example: a policeman roughs up a nurse because she refused to violate policy and patient autonomy by drawing blood from an unconscious person for a drug test. There’s a rule that you don’t draw blood for someone else in the absence of consent or a court warrant, or if the subject isn’t under arrest for a crime. None of those conditions applied. In fact, the unconscious person was an injured bystander in a crime, and wasn’t even under suspicion. But that police officer wanted his blood, and wasn’t going to tolerate a nurse disobeying his order.
Watch. What the fuck is wrong with our police?
Snarki, child of Loki says
Wouldn’t piss on that cop if he were on fire.
Okay, I would. If I pissed gasoline.
“there are good cops”
nope, because the ones that aren’t criminals or fascists protect the ones who are. see the two cowards ignoring this power-tripping pig in the background. no cop is without blame. they all maintain the blue wall of silence and they all deserve castration.
chigau (違う) says
What purpose would castration serve?
chigau: testosterone reduction. justice. entertainment.
As for there being good cops, sure, there are some, but they always cave, because they have no power. This should be required reading on the part of everyone: https://www.vox.com/2015/5/28/8661977/race-police-officer
It wasn’t just the cop because the article notes, “His lieutenant ordered him to arrest Wubbels if she refused…” Also, there is a second cop helping to get Wubbels outside and into cuffs. The other curious thing is why the rush. The injured person was not a suspect but the victim of crash caused by a suspect fleeing the cops.
chigau (違う) says
That does not make any sense.
FossilFishy (NOBODY, and proud of it!) says
I suspect that the cops are hoping the truck driver was intoxicated because that could be used to mitigate any responsibility they might have for the crash that caused his injuries.
A high speed chase that ended in the death of the suspect and severe injury of a bystander makes them look bad at best, and is possibly actionable at worse. Mind you, as a Canadian immigrant to Australia I’m guessing on the actionable part.
Marcus Ranum says
Mind you, as a Canadian immigrant to Australia I’m guessing on the actionable part.
In many jurisdictions in the US cops are basically indemnified if they accidentally hurt people in the line of duty. I had a high school friend whose leg was broken (permanent limp) by a cop who ran a red light and hit him, then turned his lights and siren on so he could say he was “in pursuit” which meant that the cop could then run over high schoolers with impunity. Of course, the courts believed the cop, not the high school kid.
Civilians are not safe near cops at any time.
Guys, I just don’t understand. I read the YouTube comments and I couldn’t find any that said, “LOL, do what the cops say and you won’t get hurt.”
But…every time I watch a video of police treating a black person poorly, I see endless, sanctimonious comments directing them to just follow orders.
I really can’t figure out what the difference is.
What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says
Can’t say for sure, but this guy might have the answer.
Very true Marcus Ranum. It is important to remember that the police do NOT exist to protect and serve the people. They exist to protect the state and to enforce order.
FossilFishy @ #9 — The truck driver was a victim of a crash. The crash was caused by a guy who was a suspect and fleeing the cops. So, they had no probable cause to draw blood. At least that’s the story in the linked WP article. I’m sure that as the cops evolve their side of the tale they will provide compelling reasons for insisting on doing a blood draw of a comatose burn victim.
Actually, the Utah Deseret News adds this about the crash: “The incident began when a truck driver was severely burned in a head-on crash with a vehicle that was fleeing from police in Cache County and crossed into on-coming traffic.”
This continues to sound like the cops had no probable cause to demand a blood draw.
johnson catman says
Authoritarian asshole. Cop thinks his orders must be followed. Otherwise, he will arrest you for defying him.
I hope she changes her mind and sues the pants off Payne and the Salt Lake City police department.
The article also stated the cops said the blood draw was for the truck driver’s “protection”, an obvious lie, but one I’m sure they will stick with.
I’ve been an RN for 15 years and I salute Alex Wubbels. She stood up to a cop’s face. every time I’ve done something similar was over the phone.
Tashiliciously Shriked says
Posted about this in the Political MAdness thread, good to see it’s getting elsewhere traction.
I didn’t watch the whole 20 minute video when I posted it, I just watched until she got dragged outside by the facist, while the security staff of the hospital just stared, and seemed to find it amusing.
Saganite, a haunter of demons says
I’d call that big government. I’d call that authoritarianism.
Somehow I doubt many of the self-styled “small government advocates” would agree with me, though.
They tend to really love big government when it wears a uniform.
Tabby Lavalamp says
I don’t know how there are people who can’t see that the United States has become a dystopian police state.
Tashiliciously Shriked says
Because they don’t deal with it directly and it’s all fine for *them* and why can’t people just stop being so dramatic and just get along?!
I don’t know numbers, but I have certainly had experiences with very good cops! My step-dad was severely demented–and I mean severely, needed to be coached to brush his teeth–and we somehow got separated from him and he got lost and the cops found him an hour later lying under a bridge muttering to himself, and returned him to us safe. And this was in New York City, where cops’ job is not easy or safe.
As I say I don’t know the numbers but it’s certainly not fair to say that cops as a group are not good people. There are good ones and bad ones, like everyone else.
PZ knows what’s up and is 100% correct.
“You don’t join the police because you want to help people, you join because you want to bust heads.”
I wish there was a solution because it appears to be a double edge sword that I’ve seen hundreds of times. The thing about it is that most supervisors, lawyers, judges, etc all hate hot head badges, but they are a necessary evil if you see some of the beats these guys work. You have to have a certain personality to decide to go into police work and unfortunately that is a little bit of a desire to crack skulls. However, most should just be a dog on a leash and I read concerning this story that the dog in this story was “let off” his leash by his lieutenant. It seems like everything is really okay in the country except for those in management positions which also incorporates the political arena. For example, most school funding is not poorly funded but most of the time you have nit-wit principals and superintendents. Everything is just mismanaged because the managers who manage the managers can’t hire correctly because they are idiots themselves. One solution would be to tell the captains, chiefs, lieutenants, and staff sergeants to get their shit in check. The funny thing is those guys know who “their shit” is. Hell, everybody knows who the idiot, hot head, troublemaking, piece of shit officer is…. I promise this guys actions are not surprising to some in the department. On another note, the hospital and the hospital supervisor actually seemed impressive in the video.
They want a blood test for drugs/Alcohol because they chased a suspect and had a part in causing the crash. So basically they are trying to dig up dirt on a badly burned victim of an accident who was sedated because of the extent of his injuries, all because they don’t want to be held accountable.
And the cop isn’t even on the little paid vacation they get when they fuck up, he’s still on active duty. What the hell do they have to do to get fired? The LT literally tells her that if their order is illegal, she has to follow it anyway and take it up with the courts later. Apparently the law is just whatever cops say it is now.
Good cops can also be bad cops depending on the circumstances. Would the NYC cops act the same way if you were black? Has your helpful cop also covered up malfeasance by other cops? Did he do evidence-less stop and frisk a few years ago when that was SOP?
They could do psychological testing to weed out the bad applicants but then there wouldn’t be any.
Hospitals are starting to lose personnel to the Trump immigration policies at a time when the need is only expanding. They need a way to improve retention. I would suggest that suing the Salt Lake City police department in general and Jeff Payne in particular for all their assets down to their lungs and kidneys in support of their employee would be a good use of University of Utah’s lawyers.
They need to start sending cops to jail over this sort of shit. In the states at least.
I live on the other side of the Pacific, and I found the body of a friend in his bed recently. The police who arrived couldn’t have been nicer, the took my statement and offered a referral for counseling. They’re not perfect, but I’d rather live here than there.
Danny Husar says
In 2016, 140 cops died in the line of duty. There were 14,000 injuries and 50,000 assaults on cops that year. America is also BY FAR the most violent western country – making policing even harder. And they get to be trashed on blogs too. It’s not a great career to go into.
There are egregious excesses that cops have to be accountable for but how can the mentality of cops really change before violent crime goes down to ‘regular’ western-nation level?
That was my initial thought, as well. I take any information from Heavy with a generous lashing of salt given how frequently they update their pages without attribution, which causes confusion down the line, but I found it interesting that they report the truck driver, William Gray, is a reserve police officer*, and that Payne, the violent pig we’re discussing, was caught on camera discussing the repercussions this event might have on his side-gig, as a transporter for an ambulance company. In addition to knowing full well what he was demanding was unconstitutional, he has a background in emergency medicine as a responder, likely how he got into the blood draw program in the first place. Given the upside-down values we have in this country, his behavior here is probably enough to warrant barring him from working with ambulances and patients ever again, but not enough to keep him off SLC streets as law ‘enforcement.’ I pity anyone occupying those streets with someone like him and his watch commander set loose on them.
*a crowdfunding page confirms this, as well
It Has Never Been Safer to Be a Cop
Once again: police work is NOT getting more dangerous
Only counting shootings, American police have murdered 603 people this year, and on track to reach 1000. They are, again, disproportionately mentally ill and black.
Also, your 140 in the line of duty from last year is misleading, given that some of those were related to pre-existing health conditions and only incidentally happened while working (like heart attacks) or the result of accidents and errors committed by themselves or colleagues. Ditto non-fatal casualties, of course.
What does one have to do with the other? As demonstrated, injuries committed against police officers are minuscule. If you want them to stop being hyperbolically fearful such that they consistently resort to disproportionate and pre-emptive violence against the non-law enforcement people they interact with, they need to stop being lied to about the risks involved in their jobs and they need to stop recruiting and harboring people disposed to violence. Violent crimes, the rate of which in the US is going down each year since the 1990s, affects people who aren’t police officers, who have more to fear from one another and from law enforcement than law enforcement does from them. It sounds like we’re on the right track with respect to the numbers (at least insofar as we’re talking about violence not committed by police), and yet you’re advocating that we view reality (that the US is becoming less violent, even though economic inequalities that lead to certain violent and property crimes are deepening) as darker than it is. Curious.
Mrdead Inmypocket says
@ 29 Danny Husar
I think those statistics, as you present them, are misleading. How about some context. 140 police officers died last year, out of how many police officers that are working in the US right now? How about a more nuanced statistic. How many police officers die per 100,000 in the US. Is that death rate more or less statistically significant than other careers, like truck drivers for instance?
How many of those deaths are attributable to violence related to their job and how many are just deaths that happen to any demographic. I mean, how many of those police deaths are related to traffic accidents, for example. Considering that a lot of police officers spend a significant amount of time in patrol vehicles.
In your comment you’re drawing a line straight from 140 officer deaths to violent crime. But is that an honest treatment of those statistics I’m wondering.
Simple: Us. Too many American people want to live in a police state, because they’re bought hook, line, and sinker the lie that we need a police state to protect us from criminals. They believe that we need to give police lots of special privileges, powers, and immunities, or else criminals would run rampant and society would break down. I say that this is a lie.
Even many people here believe this lie. Many people have not thought critically about it at all. They just take it for granted that we need a to give police special powers, privileges, and immunities, to protect us from criminals.
One of my favorite quotes on the matter:
– Terry Pratchett, Snuff
We need to remove practically all of the special powers, privileges, and immunities of the police. They should be able to arrest only by paper warrant, or by warrantless citizen’s arrest. The situations that permit arrest should be drastically limited (i.e. outstanding felonies, other violent offenses but only during the offense, refusing a lawful order to stop an ongoing offense but only during the offense, and “failure to appear” offenses).
The police do not obey the same rules that the rest of us do. They don’t obey the same rules for arrest, assault, battery, brandishing of weapons, ownership of weapons, searches, and other seizures. They are military in most ways that matter. This is what it means to be a police state. We are in a police state now.
We should also remove their protections against criminal liability while on the job, and we should allow victims to personally press criminal charges against police (or hire an attorney to do so). The government prosecutors have made clear again and again that they are unwilling to press criminal charges, and thus we must give the victim the ability to do so, and the victim should have the first opportunity to prosecute, with that power devolving to the government if the victim declines. (This is also how criminal matters used to work about 150 years ago.)
I’m not saying we should get rid of police. I’m just saying that we should treat them like hired goons, aka bounty hunters, aka hired goons. That’s what police are: hired goons. I would much rather be arrested by someone like Dog The Bounty Hunter than a cop, because I know that Dog knows that if he fucks up in any way, his ass is on the line civilly and criminally. Whereas, a cop knows that if he fucks up, nothing is going to happen, because he’s above the law, and therefore I know that the cop knows that he won’t suffer repercussions if he abuses me, and therefore the cop is much more likely to abuse me.
Is he white, black, other? And maybe you just had a lucky day. There is a lot of variation in cops in how fast they will resort to shooting someone to solve the problem.
I see others have already responded, but let me chime in:
Citation please? Most of those deaths are mundane traffic accidents.
Random google citation:
In 20126, 64 “firearms-related” incidents. Hell, that probably includes a lot of suicides – not that I’m trying to diminish suicide, but you’re trying to use these stats to show that lots of cops get killed by criminals, which is just not true.
In 20126, 135 total on-the-job cop deaths, the remainder of which IIRC is mostly mundane traffic accidents.
From my knowledge from other sources, when you exclude mundane traffic accidents, being a cop ranks very low on the list of dangerous jobs. Practically speaking, being a cop is about as dangerous as being a trucker, and most of the deaths of being a cop and being a trucker are the same: mundane traffic accidents. Driving on public roads is actually quite dangerous, relatively speaking.
Whereas, approx 955 people have been shot and killed by police in 2016 (according to the above source).
consciousness razor says
Where is this coming from? Maybe this is just generally how you think of yourself, as a classical liberal/libertarian in a sea of progressive/social liberals, but I have no clue who you’re talking about or which “special” things you think anyone is granting here.
We’re all complaining about it in this thread, we complain about similar issues in lots of other threads, and despite that (apparent) agreement, I’ve seen you repeat this same script again and again about how we disagree and you’re so different from us. I don’t get where that’s coming from. Maybe you should consider revising the script sometime.
Why should it be “only during the offense”? What difference does it make if the arrest occurs at that time, as opposed to a somewhat later time?
I’m interpreting it this way: you are allowing for it with outstanding felonies (outstanding, so it isn’t during the offense), so you’re referring to misdemeanor “violent offenses.” What you presumably have in mind are certain cases of assault or domestic violence, just not ones which are felonies. First of all, a judge, not an arresting officer, is typically the one to decide the difference, so this is not a rule that could be applied coherently anyway, unless you’re interested in giving police officers even more power than they already have. But even aside from that, what should details about the crime have to do with it? I don’t see any reason to make the connection.
Why should they have to be present at the time, in order to arrest someone for things like this? How often do you think they’re around when such offenses occur? There are also not fucking bounty hunters lurking around every corner, ready to pop in whenever a offense occurs. What the fuck would we gain from this?
But you’re saying cops shouldn’t be arrested for these charges people could press against them (like misdemeanor assault and battery, for instance), or you’re making it practically impossible for anyone to do so, since that will never happen at the time of the offense. Maybe you just haven’t thought through this very far, but I certainly don’t fucking get it.
Danny Husar says
@31 I pulled it up from a random site but it looked reasonable. Felonious deaths is about half the number of all deaths.
Nobody seemed to have responded to the fact that America is by far a country with the highest rates of violent crime in the developed world. I don’t know how you can divorce that fact from police action.
A number of commentators are minimizing the rates at which police officers are assaulted, injured or murdered on the job. I suppose those numbers may compare favorably to truck driver deaths – though there is a difference having a career where dying from careless driving is a reality versus having a career where you know you can die from violent action. It shouldn’t make a difference, but it does. People are irrational. By the way, the death rate of police officers is in-line with soldiers in Afghanistan in many of the years spanning 2002-2015. Police officers have some of the highest rates of PTSD outside of the military. It’s not an easy job. You see the worst of society and it takes a toll. It must.
This is not a justification, but it is context. I really don’t think you can hope for Germany – where shooting deaths caused by police action are in the low double digits, at least not without a corresponding crime rate and cop fatality level (German police officers killed are on the order of single digits a year – maybe less). By all means, reform the system, punish the cops who deserve it (like the one who assaulted the nurse for following the law), improve training – but I don’t think you can expect miracles if every cop who stops a vehicle is thinking that he may die when they approach it.
A. Noyd says
Danny Husar (#37)
No one’s doing that. We’re just not so ignorant as to get our causality backwards.
I know you don’t realize it, but you’re very late to this party, honey. Very few here are going to have any patience for an oblivious authoritarian who has mistaken his own credulity for some kind of novel insight.
To consciousness razor
It’s been variously said that every exercise of search and seizure power (including detention and arrest) is an opportunity for abuse. Therefore, the reasoning goes, we should try to strictly limit the situations that lawfully permit search and seizure as much as is reasonable, and punish those who violate these limits.
My interest in this topic was sparked when I learned about a relatively recent SCOTUS decision, Atwater.
In this case, a woman was not wearing a seatbelt, and a cop pulled her over for that offense, and the cop decided to make an arrestfor this offense. The woman was arrested, and brought to the police station, and immediately released, because the penalty for the offense was a mere fine. This is a clear and fagrant example of abuse of police power. According to SCOTUS precedent set by this case, police are allowed to make an arrest for basically whatever offense that they want, including offenses whose typical or maximum punishment is a mere fine. This is an outrage.
There should be different standards for arrest for a seatbelt violation, vs murder. Obviously so. Both in when arrest is permitted, the amount and kind of force that may be used during the arrest, the requirement for having a paper warrant on-hand, the level of suspicion or probable cause necessary, and so forth. Of course this should be the way that it is.
We should not permit arrest, with or without a warrant, for a seatbelt violation. That’s ridiculous. We should also permit reasonable warrantless arrest on sufficient probable cause of a felony. That’s obvious.
For an examination of how the Atwater SCOTUS decision was incredibly badly decided from a legal perspective, and a lot of accompanying historical context, please see this paper:
> Please see: The Fictional Character of Law-and-Order Originalism: A Case Study of the Distortions and Evasions of Framing-Era Arrest Doctrine in Atwater V. Lago Vista
How would my ideas work in practice? It should be obvious. Take this hypothetical example: I am somewhere, and a cop declares their intention to arrest me. Ideally, the cop should be required to state the charges and probable cause immediately. I can choose to resist, or not. If I resist, they’ll charge me with an extra charge of resisting arrest. Assume they succesfully arrest me, and put me in jail. I get out on bail, or I do not. My trial happens. I face a charge for the initial offense, whatever that is, and the charge of resisting arrest (if I resisted). A defense that I could put forth against the charge of resisting arrest (and not the other charge) is “the arrest was unlawful”. The judge or jury would then decide that charge and my defense on the merits, which includes an examination of whether the information known to the officer at the scene reasonably constituted a felony for a warrantless arrest, or whether the cop was a personal witness to an ongoing non-felony offense that permitted arrest (such as a violent offense), or whether the cop had a proper paper warrant for arrest and the execution of the warrant was proper.
Now, before you think I’m coming out of absolutely nowhere to allow a defense for resisting arrest, let me point out that I have a long and rich legal American and British legal tradition behind me. For the most recent such SCOTUS decision, year 1900, please see the Bad Elk SCOTUS case.
It wasn’t always true that we mere citizens had to submit to police arrest without question in all cases whatsoever. Of course now, it is true that we mere citizens are always obliged to submit to police arrest, even in the most extremely unlawful cases imaginable.
Separate to my trial for the original offense, I could also pursue criminal charges against the cop for wrongful arrest. Myself, or through a hired attorney, would approach the local government-operated grand jury, and file the necessary paperwork. A date would bet set for the grand jury hearing. I, or my hired attorney, would appear, and argue the merits of the case. The grand jury would evaluate these merits according to the usual grand jury standards (maybe slightly heightened compared to modern standards), and if these burdens are met, they give an indictment, and the date for criminal trial is set, and a summons order is issued to the cop to appear for their trial as defendant for the charge of wrongful arrest. Then, I, or my hired attorney, would argue the merits of the case in front of a judge or jury, who would decide on the merits of the case. Part of these merits would be an examination of the initial charge made by the cop at the scene, plus an examination of their justification for the offense, which includes a similar examination that I described above when a judge or jury must decide on the merits of the defense “the arrest was unlawful” for the charge “resisting arrest”.
Of course, the trials should be scheduled so that one concludes before the other starts, so that the legal determinations of one case can be reused in the second case, ala stare decisis. A separate and annoying issue is the length of modern trials, which means other arrangements may be required.
Why did I choose my standards as I did in my earlier post? Because those rough standards were followed for centuries in America and England before that, and society didn’t fall apart, so that seems like a reasonable place to start. I must emphasize that there were many exceptions historically, and I expect many exceptions to develop, in a properly rich and nuanced set of case law.
For some of my ideas spelled out (I hope) more clearly, see here:
After one of my too-frequent hospitalizations, I received a survey from a marketing company hired by the hospital. How would I describe my experience? Were the staff always courteous and professional? The doctors? The nurses? Was their conduct Poor, Fair, Good, or “Excellent”? If not Excellent, why not? Was my care Poor, Fair, Good, or Excellent? Was this, and that, and this other thing Poor, etc… And if not Excellent, why not?
I woke up tended by a nurse. She was being super-quiet so as not to wake me, but had to check my rate of blood loss, and if my pressure was holding up. Was my heart getting irregular. She’s up in the middle of the night taking care of some old white dude. Bet she’d rather be at home.
God, I hate those surveys. Once in a while a nurse looks really tired, but Excellent doesn’t begin to describe the times they’ve saved me. Their expertise. Their attention to sterile procedure. Their persistent kindness. Their exactitude with medication. If they had a bad day I’d no more rat on them than climb a wall.
How come municipalities don’t survey people who interact with cops? Sic marketing companies on them? And not multiple-choice either. “Please describe your encounter in detail. Did the officer use excessive force? Were you approached in a respectful manner? Was the jail clean? Your comments will be kept strictly confidential.”
Damn, I remembered just as soon as I hit post. Part of the reasons for these standards was to actually remove discretion from officers, not to give them more. A person who made an arrest was often held to a very high standard. The general principle was that a judge or magistrate should have the sole authority to decide when an arrest shall be made, except in extenuating circumstances where there is insufficient time for a person to find a magistrate for a warrant for arrest. The ability of a judge or magistrate to order an arrest was made through the issuing of a warrant. From that starting point, a rich set of rules developed of which sorts of warrantless arrests were lawful and which were not. Separately, a rich set of rules also developed to determine when warrants for arrest shall be issued, and when not.
According to CBS News, Payne has been put on administrative leave and the mayor is saying there will be a criminal investigation into his actions. Another cop is heard on the tape saying, “I don’t think this arrest will stick.” Ya THINK?
To answer this question again, more forcefully:
I reject your premise as “full of shit”. The actual dangers that cops face in the United States is minimal. These practically non-existent dangers should not be carte blanche for them to shoot people according to a lesser standard than a mere civilian. “With great power comes great responsibility”. If anything, we should hold cops to a higher standard for justified self defense when they shoot someone, not less, because they are trained, because it should be assumed they are more knowledgeable about the law, and because they volunteered for it.
Sorry for multi-posting. I’m mostly responding to the same by by consiousness razor. I’ll greatly diminish my posting after this.
That’s the general idea. That’s entirely correct.
This touches on another aspect of our broken criminal justice system. The assumption should be that many / most people should be able to obtain bail pending trial. The onus should be on the government / arrester / prosecutor to argue that a person is too dangerous for bail. Then, reasonable bail should be set, to avoid flight. Today, in practically all cases, the amount of money bail is way way too high.
This assumption that many / most people should get out of jail on bail can be short-circuited by simply stopping the arrest in the first place.
To go to your example: If the cop isn’t a witness for a mere domestic violence case, they shouldn’t arrest. It’s not an immediately pressing issue. They should go to a judge, describe the situation, and get a warrant, then make the arrest. Depending on the details, it might be close to a rubber stamp. However, it’s the judge making the decision, and not the cops. In the meantime, the cops are entirely free to remain close, or to escort the seeming victim away for their own safety.
You’re also going to find practically no sympathy for me with the example of domestic violence. Nationwide, cops regularly abuse the shit out of people with the trumped-up laws on domestic violence. Let me tell you the story of my mother. She was the one who was charged with domestic violence. Her husband practically begged the police to not charge her. Because of overreactions from people like you, the laws in Michigan are such that the police must arrest for domestic violence with no discretion, and charges must be pressed, and the prosecutor is not allowed to drop the charges once pressed. Then, the judge was able to fuck with her some more (a whole separate problem and rant), all because she had these lingering charges of domestic violence. Fuckery includes a restraining order that she may not see her husband, even though neither party agreed to it and both parties wanted it gone, and mandatory drug testing as a condition of bail which she must pay for and which costs a fortune. If I didn’t shell out close to 5 thousand dollars, she would have been sitting in jail for months awaiting trial because she couldn’t meet the bail requirements. Then, as part of the plea bargain, she had another year of drug testing that she had to pay for, else she would go to jail (included in the 5 thousand dollar amount above). So, don’t give me your sob stories about how we should empower the police and judges to terrorize the citizens in the name of battered spouses. It’s no better than saying “think of the children!”.
PS: That restraining order lasted for about a year. It almost destroyed their marriage. Thankfully, they’re happy now, together. All of this because of some asshole cops, and asshole and corrupt judge (that’s the separate story), and some extremely inflexible laws that granted wide-ranging police powers, because she threw pepper at her husband, and held her keys and a set of nunchucks in a supposedly threatening manner. Literally, that’s all that happened, and that’s all that the police claim happened.
I addressed it.
Police are almost never, ever the victims of violent crimes. And yet they assault and murder a lot of people, most of them are not violent criminals, many of them unarmed, mentally ill, in need of assistance, and/or fleeing rather than engaging their murderers in combat. If you want to claim that the US violent crime rate, which is falling, has a direct connection to number of deaths at the hands of police, consistent across several years’ span, you’re going to have to show your work, and if you want to make parallels between the US and Germany, you’re going to have to address how weapons laws between the countries differ, as do the quality of life, the cost of living, and how each country implements welfare. You’re also going to have to reconcile with the reality that violent criminals can be ferreted out much more readily by police if police have a good, healthy, and respectful relationship with the communities they serve. Paranoia on their part and justifiable fear on the part of all other Americans is not conducive to lowering the country’s crime rate. Police need the help and happy cooperation of people not reluctant to speak to them for fear of being murdered, sexually assaulted, or framed.
Again, it’s up to you show your work, that, firstly, police in the US do think this and, secondly, that it’s a reasonable thought to have, given the gulf between how many people police slaughter and how many police die on the job from unprovoked violence that involves someone other than another police officer or something other than a car accident. And if it’s not reasonable, then why you appear to believe that reforming who is recruited as a police officer, how they are trained and disciplined, and what additional limits on their behavior and power is necessary isn’t the answer, but asking everyone else to sit politely, patiently, and idly by without fear and disgust while police officers behave in dangerous, irrational ways is. The country is paying tax to protect and promote and pension off murderers and bullies and their co-conspirators. This should alarm you. Your first instinct should not be to explain or handwave it away as the price of policing, considering how the crime rates you are chirping about to justify police violence PROVE the system is not working as it should.
se habla espol says
From Political Madness thread:
More on the University of Utah nurse story, from KUTV, Salt Lake City, 10 PM news:
Two SLCPD officers have been suspended—the other one is not identified.
The SLC Mayor called the nurse and apologized.
The Salt Lake County DA called the mayor and the SLCPD chief—an investigation is started. Per Utah practice, a different PD is handling it.
The SLCPD chief also called the nurse. One or the other nurse-caller asked for her advice on fixing the problem for the future.
The spread of the video has been a major embarrassment to SLC—wonder why.
Reason number 521909 why I’ll never visit North America in my travels.
consciousness razor says
I asked direct questions — they start with where and why and how and what. In addition, I made several explicit points and indicated various things that seem to warrant some kind of explanation. I still don’t fucking get it. You can address my comment or not (once would be fine), but I was not just requesting a series of lectures.
I can show that there’s ZERO correlation between violent crime rates, and police shooting rates.
Rowan vet-tech says
I’d like a link to those injuries and assaults statistics that Danny Husar listed earlier… and a link that shows exactly what they mean by ‘injury’ and ‘assault’, because if a cop hits you and some of your blood gets on them, they’ll label that assault. And an injury can be a scratch.
Because 14,000 injuries? Woo. I’m a vet tech. You know how many injuries I, personally, get a year as direct result of my job? At least 100. Scratches, bruises, lacerations, punctures, bites. I’ve been bit in the face and the hands. One of the vets at work got bit on their abdomen by a rottweiler a month ago.
Every day that I go in to work, I am possibly facing very large, very aggressive dogs that I am expected to physically touch. These dogs could kill me. But I’m not packing a fucking syringe of euthasol with me just because my job is dangerous. And if I didn’t feel up to facing that danger calmly and rationally, I could always change jobs.
If a cop gets too scared to do the job in a way that doesn’t endanger people, they can always go into a different career rather than kill people for the crime of, say, selling a cigarette.
Also, keep in mind that the shitweasel cops in the video weren’t dealing with a violent criminal or someone threatening. They were dealing with a nurse who was calmly stating that what they were asking her to do was illegal. What “threat to his life” was the cop afraid of when he dragged an innocent woman out of the hospital to his car?
The shithead lieutenant in the video was flat-out lying when he said that the nurse was obstructing justice. I’m also getting the impression that the cops were trying to dig up dirt on the trucker so they didn’t have any liability for chasing a suspect into the path of his truck.
I’d say that cops like this make life more dangerous for the police who are trying to do the right thing: if the public is afraid of the police and expecting brutality from them, it’s going to be that much harder for the police to interact with the public. Saying that letting Payne and similar get away with it is helping the police is like saying that letting that surgeon who carved his initials in a patient get away with it is helping doctors: it is simply untrue.
To consciousness razor
I explained this at length. In short, it comes from my particular interest in things relating to civil rights, especially my discovery of travesty that is the SCOTUS Atwater decision, and the interactions with the criminal justice system of my mother, which I explained at great length up-thread, and also some of my other friends, which I did not explain. It also comes from my disgust about living in a police state.
Giving less discretion and power to the cops means less potential for abuse by cops. Therefore, we should proscribe constraining rules for when a cop may legally arrest. Thusly, as a general rule, warrantless arrest for non-felony offenses should happen only if the arrester is a personal witness to the offense. If the arrester is not a personal witness, then the offense is over, which generally means that there is time to go to a magistrate to seek a warrant for arrest. Thereby, discretion is removed from the cops, and moved to the magistrates, and therefore, we should expect less abuse from cops. Also, given the premise that magistrates will be less likely to abuse their power compared to a cop at the scene, we should expect less abuse of power overall.
As best as I can determine, you misunderstood my proposal. As I explained at length above, in the system that I propose, which largely matches the historical system of 150 years ago, the cop does not decide the charges that will be pressed, but the cop must have particular charges in mind during the time of the arrest, and the cop must declare these charges at the time of arrest, and this statement of charges at the scene of arrest will later be used to determine if the cop had sufficient legal reason to arrest. It seems that you believe that in my system that the charges which the cop gives for arrest must be the same charges that are pressed by a prosecutor – this is not the case.
To answer the question explicitly: What should the details of the crime have to do with it? Again, we should remove as much extra police power from the police as we reasonably can, in order to reduce the possibility of abuse of that power. For example, we should offer greater discretion for arresting on the reasonable suspicion of a felony, and we shouldn’t allow arrest at all for a mere offense whose maximum punishment is a 50 dollar fine, such as what happened in the Atwater case.
Expressly answered above. In short, to give less discretionary power to police, to curbe abuse by police.
Not often. It depends though. For example, if they’re around a protest, and they see someone beating someone else up, or violating weapons law, etc., then they are a personal witness to a violent offense, and therefore they can arrest immediately (but the arrest must immediately follow the offense – i.e. the cop cannot come back a day later to arrest without a warrant).
Expressly answered above. In short, to give less discretionary power to police, to curbe abuse by police.
Again, it seems like you misunderstand my proposal. As general rules:
If the cop is a personal witness to a violent offense, then they are permitted to arrest immediately.
If the cop is not a personal witness, and it’s not a felony offense, and the cop doesn’t have a warrant, then the cop shouldn’t arrest. In such cases, one of two things should happen: 1- The person simply should not be arrested and should merely be given a summons order to attend trial, or 2- the cop should seek a warrant for arrest from a magistrate.
If the cop is a personal witness to a violent offense, but doesn’t arrest immediately, they are not permitted to come back later to perform a warrantless arrest – they must arrest immediately, or they must seek a warrant for arrest from a magistrate.
Will this make arrest “practically impossible”? Yes and no. Some particular kinds of arrest will become impossible. That is the one of my explicitly stated goals. For example, the nurse in the story in the OP probably wouldn’t be arrested in a scheme like this, and if she was arrested, then the cop would likely later be found guilty of the the criminal offense of wrongful arrest. This incentive to avoid the criminal charge of wrongful arrest would be the impetus to make cops make less abusive arrests.
I have thought it through quite extensively.
You seem to suspect that you don’t get it. I agree. It seems that there was a miscommunication. That’s why I tried to explain myself better in later posts. Yet, that attempt was met with open hostility. You were also openly hostile to me from the start. I don’t get your open hostility to me on this topic. Could I ask where this hostility is coming from?
Mrdead Inmypocket says
@37 Danny Husar
Snuffcurry addressed that sufficiently I think. I’ll leave that between you and snuff to hash out further if you decide to respond to what’s been written already.
Have to take this somewhat out of order.
Your argument is very clearly using those statistics as justification for police behavior. I’m finding that denial very peculiar. You’re now acting as if anyone here, of all places, would have any difficulty recognizing any form of apologetics. I’m not quite sure what to make of that. Why deny the argument you’re clearly stating. It makes no sense.
That is a mischaracterization of what I wrote I think. I was not trying to minimize the rates at which police officers are assaulted, injured or murdered on the job. I was saying that your statistics were without context, hence very vague. That leaves me wondering what exactly your comment was supposed to be asserting. (There is a problem with quoting vague statistics without context that I’ll get into later.)
Lets back this up just a little. We’re all reading about and watching the interaction between this Nurse and the police. Without reference to any other comment, you leave comment #29. Which gives some vague statistics about police deaths, injuries and assaults in 2016. Stating that America is “BY FAR the most violent western country…” and so on. Clearly you’re using those vague statistics as an argument as justification for something. It’s a peculiar statement to be dropping on this thread if it has no relevance to the subject at hand.
As Emergence points out in comment #52, there didn’t seem to be any threat to life or limb to the officer. So if there was no threat of violence or death to this officer, why drop those statistics here and now. If you don’t mind providing some rope with which to hang yourself.
(But remember you’re not using those statistics as justification for what we see in the video. I mean, clearly yours is a totally unrelated remark that unlawful violent behavior such as this is actually caused by the public, because police are killed and violently assaulted all the time. It’s no wonder police act this way. Uh huh, it’s really the public’s fault for the behavior of police. This officer might have been wrong, but broad brush there’s reasons for this officers behavior. Just how much of the blame can we get onto the victim. You know what. It might have helped if this officer was shouting “Now look what you made me do to you! I didn’t want to, you made me do it!! I mean, they have to deal with the worst people every day, so when they step over the line we can turn a blind eye to that, bite our lips and understand it’s for the betterment of society. Can’t make an omelette… and all that.)
I’m going to have to stop here because my fingers are killing me. If you answer I may come back if not I apologize for my absence.
I can’t believe the other cops didn’t intervene and stand up for this nurse. Just how many cops are ignorant of the law? If ignorance is no excuse for us then it shouldn’t be for them either and this cop and his partners that stood by need to be prosecuted for false arrest and more. I find the attitude of these officers disturbing and a clear threat to all other police who try their hardest to serve and protect. If any cop defends these cops, then it shows negatively towards their level of competency.
consciousness razor was quite explicit about what they meant by “Where is this coming from?” @36. Look back and read it again. Then you might even try to answer the question asked – but somehow, I doubt it.
Marcus Ranum says
Nobody seemed to have responded to the fact that America is by far a country with the highest rates of violent crime in the developed world.
Maybe nobody responded to it because they didn’t want to laugh so hard that their tea snorted out their nose all over their keyboard?
Setting aside the ‘developed world’ bit, which allows careful cherry-picking of the data, the US is really not that bad at all. Less dangerous than Greenland and more dangerous than Japan, sure. But it’s a complicated problem – perhaps the US has large regions where the economy is bad and there’s basically no police at all, while in others there are lots of police but they’re pursuing drugs and immigrants. It’s also a reasonable argument that violence in the US may be at least, in part, a response to policing in some communities. The police play this game of ‘we need to be tough, because times are tough’ and ignore the fact that they’re part of what’s tough about the times.
[wikipedia] has some data collected by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. Anyhow, it’s not the “roaring 20s” out there on the US streets, though the police are still using the same argument that they used then: we must increase our power because we encounter resistance.
I tried to answer that question quite explicitly, especially in my last post. Did I not live up to your expectations? I’m really sorry if I didn’t. If I didn’t live up to your expectations, I must not understand what is being asked. Could you help me out please to better understand the question?
chigau (違う) says
get a room
No, you didn’t try and answer that question at all. Here is what consciousness razor said @36:
So, quite clearly and explicitly, consciousness razor is asking why you think a lot of people here take it for granted we need to give the police special powers, privileges and immunities. They are not asking what led you to your own views, which is the question you answered, more than once.
Oh, I see. Mostly, I just take it for granted that most Americans want a police state, and my interactions with people on this site have been largely consistent as far as I can recall. I don’t have a lot of particular examples off the top of my head. Sorry.
I can give the example here where consciousness razor seems quite upset that I suggested that as a general rule, we shouldn’t allow police to arrest someone for domestic violence unless the police have a warrant or unless the arresting police are personal witnesses. It seems quite likely that consciousness razor wants the police to be allowed to arrest with less less stringent requirements, and it also seems quite likely that consciousness razor doesn’t want to allow non-police to make the same arrest, e.g. he probably wants to give special arrest powers to police in this case.
I suppose the other example that I can think of off the top of my head is guns rights. Most people here are quite stridently against personal gun rights, but practically everyone here also wants the police, or certain subsets of the police, to be allowed to possess and carry guns. In other words, they want to live in a police state, where military is used as regular law enforcement.
I mean, am I wrong? How do you feel about my proposition that we legally permit resisting unlawful arrest? How do you feel about imposing the same requirements for cops and non-cops for when arrest is permitted in the case of domestic violence? How do you feel about enforcing the same rules for gun ownership, carrying, and use, for police, and all other citizens? (A licensing process similar to a driver’s license is permitted, as long as the license is equally available to all.) I’m guessing that most or all of these propositions strike you as silly and dangerous, and I would characterize such a response as supporting the police state.
There’s also less extreme propositions, such as the idea of allowing a victim of wrongful arrest by cop to personally pursue legal charges of wrongful arrest against the cops (or to hire an attorney to do so). There’s also the idea that we shouldn’t permit holding someone “for questioning” for any length of time, except for a court order to appear in court to give testimony. We should also end roadside sobriety checkpoints because they are an affront to the constitution and to civil liberties. Etc. I hope that we can get some agreement here.
I could go on for quite a while giving examples. I expect some agreement, but also some disagreement. Half of my doc here is devoted to such things:
consciousness razor says
Their job requires more than being personal witnesses to crimes. We hire them to enforce the law, and I’m against making our laws unenforceable, which appears to be the effect your proposal would have. If you think non-felonious violence should not be against the law, then we could have that conversation; but so long as it is, arrests are a valid part of the process, just as they are (and as you yourself accept) in the case of felonies. You’ve offered no reason to think the precise nature of the crime (or the person’s past criminal history, which may be totally unknown to witnesses, but can be relevant to whether it ends up being treated as a felony/misdemeanor) could in any way invalidate that.
I have no reason to be opposed in general to a citizen’s arrest. It’s a real mystery what would make you think it’s “likely” that I do, since I don’t recall it ever coming up in any of our conversations over the years. At the same time, I’m sure my elderly grandmother, for instance, would be entirely incapable (physically and mentally) of doing it if the need ever arose. So we have law enforcement to make arrests on our behalf (which is always some time after the fact), when they reasonably believe someone was responsible for a criminal act. If they need a warrant to obtain evidence sufficient to come to that conclusion (to search your house, etc.), then they must first get a warrant; if not, then not. If they didn’t have a good reason or otherwise acted improperly when carrying out their duties, then that should be dealt with as a violation of the law just like it would be for anyone else, since nothing in any of this entails granting them any special powers, privileges or immunities.
Again, it’s decided in court, well after all the events in question, whether something rises to the level of a felony or not, since that is often a complex legal issue which is not plainly and immediately evident to personal witnesses, so the decision to arrest or not arrest can’t coherently be made on the basis of things like this, which happen much later in the process.
To consciousness razor
Sorry, I don’t get your hang-up. Again, consider the case; if it’s not suspicion of a felony offense, and the potential arrester is not a personal witness (or perhaps has access to a personal witness at the scene of the arrest) – I am not saying “they should not be arrested ever”. I am saying that they ought to go before a judge to get a warrant to arrest. Also, regardless, there would be a court summons to attend trial, and if they don’t show for trial, then automatically a bench warrant should be issued for arrest. How you construe that as “non-felonious violence should not be against the law” is beyond me. Also, I would argue against “making our laws unenforceable” – again, I’m just saying they need to get approval from a judge in the form of a warrant. They could do it by phone. In many cases, I suspect it’s going to be less than a 5 minute process, probably less than that.
PS: Allow me to back something back slightly, and apologize, and clarify. You’re getting hung up on the word “felony”. Let me rephrase my position without that word. Allow warrantless arrest without being a witness but only for a list of very severe offenses which has been codified, i.e. rape, attempted rape, murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, etc.”. For a suitable list of such offenses, it’s reasonably clear to a person at the scene whether such an offense qualifies.
And again, I must emphasize what I wrote before: The cop is not the one who is determining charges for trial. However, the cop must have particular charges in mind at the scene of the arrest, and declare these charges, and if the arrested person wants to press charges for wrongful arrest, then this declaration will be part of the evidence used to determine if the arrest was lawful or unlawful. Some sort of “reasonableness” standard will be used to determine if the cop had sufficient basis for arrest, and this determination involves an examination of the declared charges at the time of arrest, and an examination of the evidence available to the cop, plus a quick check if the declared charge happens to exist on the list of codified charges that permits warrantless arrest without being a personal witness.
You still seem to be saying that this particular scheme is unworkable because the law is complex and hard. I strongly disagree.
The seeming alternative is that you’re ok with the conclusion of the SCOTUS Atwater case, which loosely says that cops can arrest anyone for any offense whatsoever. That conclusion is unacceptable. I’m taking inspiration from history. The standards that I propose were the standards actually used for the determination of wrongful arrest for many centuries. It was only recently in the American context and precursor English context that we entered a police state, circa 1850 or 1900. Society functioned just fine with these rather severe restrictions on the pre-modern police. Ergo, you are wrong on most of your points, because history says that you are wrong.
consciousness razor says
Which means your “warrant for arrest” means precisely nothing in practice, because this can happen with or without a rubber-stamp from a judge, who would have information that’s no more reliable than the officer’s.
What happens if a judge provides a warrant for arrest to an officer, but their provision of it was unreasonable? Shouldn’t that judge then be held responsible for it, just like a police officer would be if it were warrantless? So what has changed? What type of problem do you believe you’ve solved?
Also, how many additional problems have you created, by making it much harder for people to peacefully and lawfully address violent offenses? Will people start acting like vigilantes, taking “justice” into their own hands, because you have some misguided ideas about how we should make it more difficult for law enforcement to do their jobs?
In certain ways, I’d agree that it shouldn’t be too easy, but this is not the type of solution that I think will be helpful to people. At the end of the day, I care more about people than I do about some abstract general principle that you might try to articulate. So what will the end result be like in the real world, for real people? I especially want to know what it will be like for victims of “not-so-severe” violence, in addition to anything else that won’t be on your prescribed list of extra-severe offenses. But criminals have rights too, so I also want to know how they will fare, when their victims are less able to rely on the justice system and have to start fending for themselves (more than they already do).
Just consider me totally unconvinced that it would look any better than what we have now, because I don’t believe you’re thinking about this clearly.
You had no idea what I seem to be saying, since I’ve only just now responded to your revised scheme. Now that you’ve changed some details and spelled out it out in more detail, it sounds pointless. And you’re wasting time for lots of judges, in circumstances which are defined to be less serious (and are undoubtedly much more common) — so it is impractical in that regard, if not literally unworkable. (It doesn’t now require time-travel or psychic powers, in order for police to do their jobs in accordance with the law, so that’s at least a small improvement.)
It depends on what you mean by “any offense whatsoever,” assuming you have intentions of using that phrase honestly. A parking ticket? No, obviously not. I’ve only talked about violent offenses, in response to your original claims, so please just read what I’ve said, instead of inventing dialogue for me, based on what some case that I’ve never read “loosely” says.
LOL, well fuck history then. And fuck “liberalism” from the Enlightenment period too, while we’re at it. History is filled to the brim with awful shit, and I’m quite sure you realize that fact occasionally, at least when you’re not too distracted by your own nonsense.
Atwater was arrested for a seatbelt offense, whose maximum punishment as proscribed by law in that jurisdiction was a 50 dollar fine. Atwater was arrested, booked, and then immediately released. The SCOTUS decision of Atwater upheld the power of the cop to arrest in this case. By the language of the decision, yes, they could arrest you for an outstanding parking ticket, if state law permitted such a thing.
You are not taking the time to read my posts for full comprehension, nor reading my sources. I’ve explained this point several times already. You’re not taking me seriously, which is forcing me to repeat myself many times, making my posts longer. It’s a vicious cycle. I actually do know what I’m talking about, and you do not, in spite of my attempts to educate you to the contrary.
It would do a lot of good in practice. By moving the point of discretion from cops on the scene to a removed and detached judge, you’re going to get a lot less abuse in the discretion. You will get less abuse because it’s a judge and not a cop, and you will get less abuse because it’s someone not involved with the case. Both of these factors are hugely important and beneficial in practice. Also, the process of getting a warrant leaves a paper trail that will help potential future prosecution for false arrest.
Like – your argument here is a general argument against the utility of warrants in all cases whatsoever, including iconic search and seizure warrants, i.e. raids. Do you really mean to make this sort of argument? You seem really silly right now.
Whose provision? If the cop lies during the deposition to obtain the warrant? Perjury. Legal mistakes from the judge? Normal reprimand / censure / removal process for misbehaving judges. There’s also a category of so-called “honest” mistakes and “good faith” mistakes by the cop which would leave no-one legally blameworthy for the wrongful arrest; no process is perfect.
So, yes, back to you want to live in a police state. You believe the lie that we need to live in a police state to keep us safe, and that criminals would run rampant without it. — KG: Here is an example, of what should be a small tweak to the system, with a relatively minor impact on the ability of police to do their jobs, and yet I see consciousness razor reacting as if the sky is falling.
We don’t disagree there. We have several other disagrements. We have a disagreement about facts: How much this will impede cop’s ability to do their job. We might also have another disagreement about facts: The scope of the problem of police abuse in this context, and the effectiveness of my proposals in combating certain forms of police abuse. Ultimately, I put practicality above all principles. I am a pragmatic utilitarian at heart, guided by Rawl’s Veil Of Ignorance standard.
I think you should know what it’s like to be a victim of police abuse, such as my mother who was extremely abused by the police because of your all-too-willingness to give police and prosecutors way too much power and discretion.
You’re overreacting, in a classic “but think of the children” sort of way.
consciousness razor says
The judge’s, the one who provided the warrant to the officer, so that the officer may arrest someone. I think it was entirely unambiguous whose it was meant to be, when I said “their provision.”
What you didn’t answer in any of this is the following: “So what has changed? What type of problem do you believe you’ve solved?”
Apparently, you just don’t trust the police as much as you trust judges. Please educate me: is that meant to be a sound legal principle that I’m supposed to know about? I bet there is probably a judge who said as much, once upon a time, but I think I’m going to need more than that to be properly educated on the subject.
Are judges somehow inherently better suited to making decisions about arrests that police officers themselves will carry out (after first relaying some kind of story to the judges), specifically in the case of domestic violence (etc.), while the offense is not ongoing, while this is at the same time emphatically not so in the case of other more “severe” crimes, which you’re able to list? There are so many fucking questions to ask in there, I just don’t know what in the fucking world is supposed to make something like that a fact, which you have somehow determined and are attempting to “educate” me about. I suspect it isn’t one. What precisely is the reasoning/evidence that should lead me to believe any statement along those lines is true? (Without being circular, without confusing different concepts, without appealing to tradition, without making other bare assertions, and so forth.) I can perfectly well understand why you personally don’t trust cops very much (I don’t either), but that’s an entirely different kind of conclusion.
You’re such a terrible bullshitter. People can read the thread and decide for themselves. Maybe KG (or anyone) will agree with you and attempt to explain how you got here, since you won’t bother.
You’ve already gone there before. I was going to leave this crap alone:
If you contend that I should not count such things as legitimate crimes (apparently because of an unfortunate anecdote about your mother), but should instead treat them as mere “sob stories” along with you (unlike your sob story about how she was mistreated by the cops, which should be treated with utter seriousness), lest I believe the lie that we must have a police state…. Then it doesn’t look like there’s any way to have a reasonable discussion about this with you. I’m just fucking done, unless and until that kind of shit is out of your system.
To consciousness razor
I notice that you didn’t respond to my correction that the police can arrest you for a parking ticket according to the Atwater decision. Also, in terms of my comment about educating you, that was mostly limited to this example. In particular, you think you know the law, but you don’t. Further, you even had the gumption to
insinuate that I was both wrong and dishonest, quoting here:
i>”It depends on what you mean by “any offense whatsoever,” assuming you have intentions of using that phrase honestly. A parking ticket? No, obviously not.”
even though I had already posted the citation that shows I’m right, and explained the case (Atwater) in detail! What the hell, man? You’re not being an honest and reasonable argument partner.
I notice you’re not returning the favor of responding to my direct questions. Again: Do you believe that requiring police to get a warrant before doing a search or seizure is ever useful? What about the iconic case of a “search and seizure” raid on someone’s house? Again, it seems like your arguments apply equally strongly to any warrant requirement at all. Do you really mean to stake out this position that it’s silly to ever require a warrant for any search and seizure?
I really wish you would read all of what I write, and respond to it correctly. You just insinuated that this is the only reason that I gave. I didn’t give only one reason. I gave three clear and explicit reasons.
Because you seem rather anal pedant, I’ll answer your direct questions directly, again, even though I’ve answered them already:
Yes, actually. This is part of the reason of why to have a warrant requirement in the first place. (Emphasis: part, not all.)
I’ve explained the basic reasoning before. Let me do it again.
1- Judges have different jobs than cops, and they’re trained to be objective, and trained to know the law, and selected moreso on this basis, unlike cops. Magistrates and judges are trained to know the law, and to make decisions regarding the law, and empowered to make such decisions. The mere enforcers, cops, are not. You know the phrase: cops are not judge, jury, and executioner. They’re not even judges. It’s not their job description. It’s part of the inherent checks and balances of separating judicial power from executive power.
2- A cop at the scene is directly involved in the case, and his passions can easily become inflamed, and he can lose his objectivity. Whereas, anyone not directly related with the case is more likely to have a better objective judgment.
Again, I ask, do you ever see the benefit of having a warrant requirement in any case? What about the iconic “search and seizure” raid? Your reasoning seems to lead the conclusion that requiring cops to get a warrant from a judge as part of raiding someone’s house is extraneous and useless busy work for the judge. I still hope that you see the benefit of requiring a warrant in this case, which means that you already know the some of the answers to this question, and then it just becomes a question about the particulars and weighing the pros and cons in these other cases.
Again, I don’t know how you can construe what I’ve written to “[you] should not construe such things as legitimate crimes”. I’ve been saying the opposite, quite clearly. I’ve clearly described that the person should be arrested. Either the cop is a witness and can arrest right away, or the cop can seek a warrant from a judge, and assuming the evidence is sufficient, they can get the warrant, and make the arrest. If they are not a personal witness, they can still (voluntarily) escort the battered spouse away for her own safety while they wait on the warrant. They can still sit near the house, watching the spouse, while waiting for a warrant. There are a great many things that they can do under my proposal. I’ve corrected you on this point several times before. Why do you insist to paint a dishonest picture of my position? It’s infuriating. Rather, you are simply projecting right now, and you are the one who needs to shape up.
Finally, you have yet to describe how my proposal will actually substantially hurt victims of violent crime. I’m sure there’s some examples, but I also believe that you’re vastly overblowing it. Take a moment to consider an example scenario and how it will play out. Not much will change for most scenarios, except a slight increase in the time between detection and arrest.
A working definition of martial law:
“the imposition of direct military control of normal civilian functions of government, […]”
A working definition of a police state:
“term denoting a government that exercises power arbitrarily through the power of the police force.”
In all of the ways that matter, our police are military. They are trained in military doctrine. They are given military equipment. They are a select corp of military whose membership is limited at the arbitrary discretion of the government.
In most of the ways that matter, we are under martial law. The police are a military force that enforces the law. In practice, this military force has great discretion in when they may lethal force against mere citizens. Even in written legal principle, members of this military force enjoy superior discretion in when they may employ lethal force. The rest of us mere citizens are limited by conventional self defense doctrine, but the members of this military are not. This military force also doesn’t have to obey the same rules for detention, arrest, search, and other seizure that the rest of us do. This military force doesn’t have to obey the same rules for carrying, brandishing, and using weapons that the rest of us do. If this is not borderline martial law, then what is? Do you need to wait for an official decree that uses the words verbatim? Does that mean the Vietnam War was not a war?
I know you don’t give a rat’s ass about the founders, but I find it ironic that we have created the standing army that the founders warned us about. The police are that standing army. Remember, one of the final causes of the American War Of Independence was the imposition of a military force to impose the law. When the British army was stationed in America, it was to impose certain laws. There was no talk about revolt them. Practically everyone accepted this as coming from the lawful government. It’s not the imposition of a foreign army. It’s the imposition of a police force from within. In those times, that army shot and killed many civilians, and the murders did not face justice, through creative legal tactics like show trials, just like today, where cops regularly kill people, and they get off through bullshit legal doctrines like “qualified immunity” or through show trials run by government prosecutors.
Our police are the founding army that the founders were so concerned about, and every single one of them would be horrified by the modern situation. It’s flagrantly unconsitutional, and it’s no surprise to any student of history that they’re shooting lots of people and abusing lots more people.
Again consciousness razor, you’ve bought the lie that we need to live in martial law to be safe. It’s a lie. It’s such an incredibly common lie, that it’s hard to even question it. Free your mind. There are more choices on the table besides “anarchy / libertarianism” and “martial law”. You have been presented with a false dilemma. I’ve presented several proposals here that are neither anarchy / libertarianism nor martial law. I still have government police and government prosecutors in my proposal – my proposals do not privatize the criminal justice system.
Part of what separates martial law and police state from something else is limiting the discretion of the the executive branch and especially limiting the discretion of executive officers in the field. Executive officers in the field should be given as little power as possible. What extra power that they should have should almost entirely be at the individual and particular allowance of the judicial branch, granted in the form of warrants. This warrant requirement is a huge difference between a proper civil society and a society that lives under martial law. (So too are many other differences, such as an independent and properly functioning judiciary.)
Furthermore, this is also why the founders were particularly pissed about general warrants, and why we today should also be pissed about general warrrants. It’s even worse today. In ye olden days, at least they had the decently to pretend to be a civil society by issuing general warrants that describe the special powers. Today, the military force known as the police don’t even have the pretense of having their special powers bestowed by proper judicial authority, e.g. they don’t even bother with the pretense of general warrants.
Sorry, on a roll.
On the primary purposes of the fourth amendment is to forbid the issuing of general warrants. Well, modern authoritarian government has found a creative way around that restriction. Just take the special powers that would normally be granted by general warrant, and just give it to a select class of persons. They didn’t use the words “general warrant”, which is apparently enough legal magic to completely overcome the federal fourth amendment. It’s a nakedly transparent run-around of the federal fourth amendment, and yet no one cares. Our modern police are a travesty in terms of civil liberties and a free society.
Apparently, the hospital responded to the incident by barring police officers from care areas.
You know your police force sucks when hospitals have to take measures to protect their patients from cops.
consciousness razor says
Your “correction” of what? I never claimed anything about it. I thought you’d be pleased to know that I don’t agree that police should be able to arrest you for a parking ticket.
I said nothing about that decision and don’t agree with it. Perhaps this is how you’ve got in your head that you’re the only who’s right about anything — you simply don’t listen.
You were saying that I was seemingly “ok with the conclusion.” I am not. That is what I honestly think, for good reason. What I’ve said before, along with these statements now, are the only citation you need to determine that I am not okay with it. There aren’t legal rulings about what I am or am not okay with.
I don’t think the arguments are relevant to those, because a search and seizure is required to obtain evidence. That is the reason why it ought to be done. Your search needs to be warranted, in the ordinary sense of the word in plain English, that it is morally and rationally appropriate. Getting a document that’s called a “warrant,” to allow one to legally perform a search/seizure, is a procedural or systematic means of guaranteeing that in such cases.
I was arguing, contrary to your claims, that an officer doesn’t need to be there at the time of a violent offense in order to make an arrest. Not being there at the time of the offense doesn’t imply you lack the necessary evidence and must do a search of some kind or must seize some property. It’s just that the offense happened some time ago in the past, while the officer was not present (which applies to nearly every single case, although you don’t seem to care). They may have very strong reasons to believe the person committed that offense (witnesses, recordings, victims’ injuries, etc.). The arrest is on that basis warranted (in the “moral/reasonable” sense), and that is why there is no need to have a judge give “a warrant” for such things. No search or seizure of any property has to be done in order to carry it out, so that kind of warrant isn’t required either.
This is all to say, in other words, that I have a specific type of incident in mind, based on the stupid and rather specific claim you originally made. Domestic violence, let’s suppose. There is a 911 call, the cops arrive after the offense has occurred, and they have compelling reason to believe a husband beat his wife in the yard in front of the neighbors.
They do not need to search the place (or anywhere, or seize any property) to obtain the required evidence of the offense, so a judge doesn’t need to give them any warrant to do a search/seizure. And it would be awfully weird to say they must get one for that purpose anyway, then start searching the place and violating their privacy and seizing their property, simply as a matter of course or because it’s just about following procedure.
But you’re saying a judge must give them a warrant (if it’s not a felony) merely to make the arrest, because the cops were not there at the time of the offense. I disagree that this is how it ought to be. I think they were warranted in the senses that matter, with or without the addition of the judge. And it’s a serious question what you imagine will (not should, but will) happen after this, when the cops are unable to arrest the husband for crimes like this. I have no clue what about this scenario makes you okay with the idea that they can’t arrest him, if it’s not just something along the lines of “this isn’t a felony, not too severe, no big deal.” It is a big fucking deal. And what you’re recommending isn’t a way to stop all sorts of abuse from cops. It sounds a whole lot more like not treating certain things as crimes, as if that would somehow solve our problems.
They can arrest him. They just need the approval of a judge. Please stop mischaracterizing this. This is like the fourth time that you’ve done this.
And what is it that you think is “a big fucking deal”? Are you just morally outraged that the guy will be free for an extra hour, or maybe an extra day, while the battered spouse is taken into voluntary protective custody? Is it really so bad that the arrest is delayed by an hour, or a day at worst? Is it really so bad as to justify the extreme exaggeration “It sounds a whole lot more like not treating certain things as crimes” ? If that’s all you have, I politely disagree, and I again compare your concerns to “the sky is falling!”.
All abuse? I never claimed anything so silly.
No, it’s about reducing the amount of police state and martial law. It’s about reducing the level of special police powers that the police enjoy compared to everyone else.
consciousness razor says
So I won’t be accused of ignoring this:
It all sounds nice and orderly when you have a single husband in suburbia, the cops can wait as long as necessary to get a warrant (if it ever comes), and so forth. Even then, I do not understand what makes it more just that a judge was consulted. I do not see “martial law” or a “police state” anywhere in the notion that cops ought to be able to arrest people for violent offenses, when they do not have a warrant and they were not there at the time.
But let’s suppose there is a riot or looting during a disaster or something like that, where many people have committed violent offenses, somewhere short of a felony. What is it about being somewhere short of a felony which makes it so that a judge needs to be involved, prior to an arrest? The fact that it’s an especially bad offense doesn’t imply you have any better evidence of it or that you’re somehow more warranted to arrest a person who is suspected of the crime. Likewise, lesser offenses don’t mean you have lesser evidence, so placing differential requirements on it simply does not make any sense, at least in terms of that way of justifying why we need any warrants for anything… Is a “warrant” supposed to serve some other purpose, and if so, what exactly do you think that is?
How exactly would the police do their jobs in the situation I described above? Depending on what you mean by an arrest, those people can simply walk away. Could they be “detained” for some time, but not “arrested,” without a warrant? And if they can be detained in some sense like that, then what has this accomplished in the way of preventing/mitigating abusive police behavior? Give me some idea of how the arrest itself (not anything else that cops may do) is supposed to be problematic, when it is a (1) violent incident but (2) not a felony and (3) the cops were not present at the time.
consciousness razor says
Sorry, I didn’t refresh before the previous comment.
I was referring to domestic violence, for example, which isn’t as big of a deal as murder, but it’s a big fucking deal nonetheless.
Anyway, as I’ve already said, I think the evidential concerns which motivate the use of warrants have nothing to do with how big of a fucking deal the crime happens to be. Would you agree with my claim that “lesser offenses don’t mean you have lesser evidence”? If so, whence the distinction between felonies and non-felonies?
The police receive military training? Check.
The police receive military equipment? Check.
The police have wideranging powers concerning the carrying and use of weapons that the rest of us do not? Check.
The police have wideranging powers concerning the use of force, including detention and arrest, that the rest of us do not? Check.
The police have special personal legal immunity for civil and criminal liability for most misdeeds performed “on the job”? Check.
The police regularly are not even tried for offenses “on the job”, and the few trials that do happen are often show trials. Check.
Sounds like a police state and martial law to me. Again, I ask proverbially, do you need an official memo that uses the explicit words “martial law” before it counts? Was the Vietnam War a war? We didn’t officially declare war. Maybe you need them wearing little lapels with a picture of Robespiere or Stalin or something? Maybe a Gott Mit Uns belt buckle?
I really think it’s silly sometimes to answer questions point blank, rather than explain myself, but since you insist.
In my simple proposal, I said “felony” or “personal witness to a violent offense” as several of the options for warrantless arrest. So, rioting and looting are not good examples, because often the cop is going to be a personal witness to the offense. Your question is based on a false premise.
I’m sorry – I’m having a hard time following that grammar. In my ideal world, we should require lesser evidence to permit arrest for more serious offenses, and we should require stronger evidence to permit arrest for less serious offenses. Why? Because it’s important that we quickly arrest serious offenders compared to lesser offenders. Why? Off the top of my head: Because people who commit serious offenses are more likely to be a danger to others in the future compared to others who commit lesser offenses. Because people who commit serious offenses are more likely to be flight risks, and delaying an arrest can permit the suspect to flee. Because we need a stronger deterrence effect for serious offenses.
Because I couldn’t quite follow your grammar, let me answer the second part only. I gave a few examples above. Let me repeat myself, as per your request, with some additional benefits as well.
1- Judges are trained and selected to be impartial arbiters of the law. Cops are not. Similarly, the reward structure for judges is different from cops. For numerous reasons, judges will make better decisions than cops.
2- When a cop is at the scene, they are often involved emotionally. The situation can be tense. They can be worked up, and not thinking clearly. By moving the decision to anyone off the scene, and uninvolved with the case, we are more likely to get better judgment, which is true regardless of whether it’s a judge or even another cop, as long as it’s someone else. Being generous, this is what happened with the cop who arrested Atwater, and my proposal would have substantially helped in that case.
3- When a cop is permitted a lot of discretion at the scene, they can abuse this discretion to harass the victim. For example, when the cop used their discretion at the scene to arrest Atwater for the seatbelt violation. If this decision is moved to someone else, then great many opportunities for abuse simply disappear.
4- Often in practice, convention and legal tradition forbids a magistrate embedded in a team of cops to issue warrants for the cops. This is to prevent collusion. Again, by moving the decision from the cop to strangers, or at least people in different “teams”, we cut off a lot of opportunities for abuse.
5- To get a warrant from a judge, it is necessary for the cop to go on record, under oath, about the evidence. In principle, this evidence can later be used against the cop in a hypothetical criminal case of wrongful arrest.
6- Furthermore, by requiring a deposition under oath, this will dissuade many cops from performing abuse for fear of being found guilty of perjury.
I’ve been trying to be brief (and failing). I’ve pointed you towards my sources which are more verbose, so I hope you’ll understand that I’ve just been presenting a slightly simplified version, an approximation. Let me describe in some more detail this situation.
In the case of rioters, if the police catch them in the act, then they may perform a warrantless arrest. Similarly, if the rioters disobey a lawful order to cease some ongoing offense, then that permits a warrantless arrest.
For looters, if they are caught red-handed, then perhaps I would make an argument that it counts as a violent offense. Or perhaps I would say that the stolen property should be seized, their identities obtained, and then released with a citation. Or perhaps I would say that exceptions should be made to my rules because of certain circumstances, such as them being a flight risk, or undue risk of loss of other stolen property that is out of sight if they were immediately released. I only mean to present these as general rules, which then we can build statutory law and case law around.
Having said that, if you catch someone stealing a book from a store, I think that the proper response should generally be to seize the stolen property and return it, and issue a citation to the thief. I don’t see why you need to arrest that person in order to fix the problem. Again, there are plenty of exceptions that I can imagine, including: if they cannot obtain proper identification at the scene, or there’s reason to suspect a flight risk (which must be significant for a mere stolen book offense). If the person is a repeat offender and skipped their last trial, or hasn’t handled their previouos citations in the lawfully permitted time, then arrest for them that offense – you need to permit arrest for “failure to appear” offenses and similar offenses.
Yes. In my ideal world, the default resolution should be citation, and issuing a citation requires a temporary detention in order to obtain confirmation of identification, and enough time to write and deliver the citation. Further, we may want to permit full custodial arrest for when identification cannot be confirmed at the scene.
There is a massive fucking difference between a 3 minute stop while a cop writes you a ticket, vs a full custodial arrest, i.e. being handcuffed, driven to the police station, fingerprinted, booked, sitting for hours in a jail cell if you’re lucky, days if you’re unlucky, having to see a judge, having to post bail, etc etc. Massive. Fucking. Difference. For example, for Atwater, there was this huge problem with her kids, what happens to them when she’s arrested. Also, what was a 50 dollar fine turned into a much bigger expense, I’m sure, with all of the court fees, bail fees, etc. Her car was also towed, which more and more money. If you’re lucky, being arrested costs you less than 300 dollars, and it just ruins one day – if you’re lucky.
I’ve had a traffic citation. Thankfully, I’ve never been arrested. Handling the traffic citation is a mere annoyance. Being arrested is way more serious. A whole different thing.
Because cops lie, all the time. Because cops regularly abuse their power. Because very little is lost in such cases by requiring the cops to see a judge to get a warrant, because the offense has already concluded. In situations with extenuating circumstances, in my scheme, arrest will still be permited, but that’s the exception, not the general rule. By removing this discretion from the cops, and placing them under judicial oversight, and making them go under oath, etc etc., we will see far less abuse of power in such cases, and we’re lose very little, close to nothing, by delaying the arrest for a few hours or a few days. I mean, for all of the reasons that I’ve given above.
To properly answer this question, I still need you to answer the following question from me:
That wasn’t my question. Let me try again, using different language. My question is: In the case of domestic violence, what is the big deal if we require cops to get a warrant before performing an arrest (except and unless they find the offense in progress when they arrive)? In other words, what harm have I visited on what persons with this policy? Obviously domestic violence is important. I’m not minimizing that. It seems that you’re worried about some extra harm from my proposals. What harm is that?
consciousness razor says
I agree with your checklist of criteria for a police state or martial law. I’ve never claimed otherwise. Read what I actually said again, carefully this time. I will restate it for you here:
I do not see it “in the notion that cops ought to be able to arrest people for violent offenses, when they do not have a warrant and they were not there at the time.” That is not equivalent to anything on your checklist.
I bet we could have a very long conversation, agreeing with each other about how awful things are in all sorts of ways. I hope you do understand that we’re not so far apart on most of these issues. So if I really did believe the lie that we need a police state, then you can’t be so far away from it either. Maybe you should just relax, smoke a joint or something, and stop mischaracterizing my position in such an absurd way. If you don’t even mean it, since they’re just rhetorical flourishes meant to push me onto your side; then seriously, go fuck yourself. But I think we can probably get along better than that.
Often is not always, so it isn’t false. You didn’t say “they usually need a warrant” in such cases. You just said flatly that they must have one, period. As long as you see that you’re backsliding away from the original statements, one step at a time, I’m okay with that. Just please be upfront and honest about that. I only hope we’re making progress and are coming into closer agreement.
It looks like you understood it just fine. I don’t see any grammatical errors; but I’m sorry, they are rather complex sentences sometimes, so it probably is hard to follow the argument.
But they’re innocent until proven guilty. You don’t have offenders yet; you have suspects. If I say, in your ideal world, that I suspect you of all of the worst crimes ever, that would imply (by your reasoning) that I need much less evidence than I would for much less severe accusations. That doesn’t make any sense in the first place. The importance of the supposed crime that you supposedly committed has nothing to do with the value or validity of my evidence. And empirically, the lesser ones are more likely to be true, if a person is guilty of anything. More severe crimes just don’t happen nearly as much. So my prior probability that “EL did all of the worst crimes ever” ought to be much lower than it is for “EL stole a pack of gum.” If I’ve got absolutely terrible evidence of the former, and I’ve got really fantastic evidence of the latter, there isn’t any sort of valid reasoning that will lead to the conclusion that it’s more reasonable to suspect you of the former. That just isn’t right, in your ideal world or in any world.
Furthermore, the police could jack up the charges or invent them out of whole cloth (as I just did about you), in order to make their arrest without a warrant. Now the situation is even worse for the criminal; their rights are deteriorating awfully quickly because of this silly rule that you’re insisting on. Police do this enough already, but now you’re offering them a way to justify the practice by something that’s going to be enshrined in the law.
I’m sure that’s not the type of result you want, and it certainly isn’t what I want. But that’s apparently the road we’re headed down, isn’t it?
That’s what you get for violent offenses, which are serious enough to merit such actions, even if they’re not felonies. Again, I’m not saying arrests are necessary for parking tickets or anything like that (obviously, warrants are needed for that either). I’m sorry if you think it’s inconvenient for a violent criminal, that they need to endure more than a fucking citation, a 3 minute stop, or a small fine. Boo fucking hoo.
Let me point out that your quote above was in response to this question from me: “And if they can be detained in some sense like that, then what has this accomplished in the way of preventing/mitigating abusive police behavior?”
I know it’s a big difference, but in this you’ve told me nothing about preventing abusive police behavior. You just went off on another tangent. I don’t think it’s abusive in any sense to arrest a violent criminal, make them endure fingerprinting and so forth. It would be going over the line, if we were talking about minor parking/traffic violations, but we’re not talking about those.
consciousness razor says
Sorry, I omitted an important word: “(obviously, warrants are not needed for that either). “
Says the person who persisted in answering the wrong question even after I directed him to re-read the short and clear comment from consciousness razor where the question was asked.
I’ve no interest at all in reading your interminable lectures on this subject, so I’m not going to start answering your questions in any detail. I live in the UK, where many things about the law and police procedure are different. I agree in general that the police in both USA and UK have excessive powers, privileges and immunities, and frequently both abuse and exceed those they legally possess. I think they need some such powers to do their job. Since they have them in every country, if that makes a police state, then every country is a police state.
I’m sorry. I read the question several times, and due to my biases and pet peeves, I misunderstood the question. I don’t think it was quite explicit, and I did answer it as soon as it was explained to me.
It didn’t use to be this way, or at least it used to be far less bad, in both the United States and England circa 200 years ago; the courts would limit the police’s power according to a balancing act of the public benefit vs risk to the public. For the United States, excess police power and police abuse has gotten so bad that I don’t think it’s exaggeration anymore. I don’t know the situation in England, nor elsewhere.
PS: Even in my ideal world, I still see the need to grant some special powers, privileges, and immunities to the police. I’m not an absolutist on this. For example, I think that building code inspectors, health code inspectors, and the like, should have search authority like a general warrant to perform inspections for their domain of law to ensure compliance. Seemingly like you, I just want to roll back a lot of the excess. We may disagree about the level of excess and exactly what should be done, but I thank you for your productive and honest conversation and engagement.
To consciousness razor
Sorry for taking so long to get back to you.
For mere arrest, that is correct.
My standards for permitting or not permitting warrantless arrest is not solely about the probability of guilt that can be determined at the scene, vs the severity of the offense. It’s much moreso about the potential danger of immediate arrest of the potential offender, vs permitting the potential offender to remain free while we wait for a judge to issue a warrant, vs permitting the potential offender to remain free until trial e.g. no arrest at all. There are also many other factors that go into the analysis.
This is basically the status quo. It’s already enshrined in law that they can arrest you for whatever they want, and the oversight is already incredibly lacking.
Also, you may be applying a strawman of my position: I attempted to defend in part my proposals by appealing to the greater need to immediately arrest suspected violent criminals vs non-violent criminals, and said in general that a lesser standard ought to be required for arrest of very serious suspected violent criminals. However, this is not the only important factor, and other factors are important, which means I don’t agree with your strawman logic that we ought to permit arrest on the flimsiest evidence for the most serious suspected offenses. Rather, I still generally support a “probable cause” standard for arrest for suspected felonies.
Also, you may be applying another strawman of my position, or you seem to be grossly misportraying the checks against police abuse in the current system. In today’s system, cops can invent any reason that they can to arrest someone, and they have minimal oversight. Theoretically, a government prosecutor could prosecute a cop for inventing charges for arrest, but that’s exceptionally rare. In my proposal, cops can still invent any reason that they want to arrest someone. However, I impose formal rules and strict oversight on the process, which will lower abuse. For example, if a cop claims arrest for a violent non-felony arrest, but it’s later determined in court that the cop wasn’t a personal witness, then that’s generally sufficient evidence by itself for a conviction for wrongful arrest. That’s a hell of a lot better than the current system.
I’m still waiting for you to explain the harm that you think will follow from requiring a cop to get a warrant for arrest for a domestic violence case when the cop arrives after the offense has finished. Is this time #4 that I’ve asked this?
Also, you just chided me for accidentally using the language of “offender” instead of “suspect”, but you just made the same mistake, and unlike me the mistake was not a mere oversight or typo. Rather, it’s a severe fault in your thinking. You are writing, assuming that the person is a violent criminal, and justifying the arrest on the basis. However, in the eyes of the cop, he ought not be a violent criminal. He ought to be a mere suspect. This entire time, my point has been that in this scenario, the person is a mere suspect, not a confirmed criminal, in the eyes of the cop, and given the relative lack of need of immediate arrest in this particular situation, in order to provide additional oversight on cops, we ought to impose a rule that cops are generally not permitted to perform warrantless arrest in cases like this, and cops are generally required to get a warrant from a judge to arrest in cases like this. This is simply an example of a broader general rules that we ought to have:
* If the suspect does not pose a significant risk being free pending trial, then warrantless arrest should be unlawful, and warrants for arrest should not be issued, and the situation should be handled only by citation or other summons.
* If the situation is serious enough that the person poses a significant risk being free pending trial, but if the arrest can also be reasonably delayed by several hours or a day without significant risk, then a warrant should be required for arrest.
* If the situation is serious enough that a delay of even several hours poses a significant risk, then immediate warrantless arrest should be permitted.
It’s all part of the broader general rules that we ought to apportion the permitted amount of force according to the needs of the situation, and we ought to limit force as much as possible, and we ought to require as much oversight as possible regarding the use of force, and we ought to move discretion on when to use force from the person at the scene who will use the force to someone else unrelated as much as possible (in part to prevent collusion and other corruption, and also for many other reasons that I already gave).