If you’re unclear on who the enemy is…


It’s the cops. The protests were a response to unchecked police brutality, and the cops respond with more violence.

So why do the authorities think they can get the situation under control by sending in more squads of black-armored thugs wielding batons and pepper spray? We need institutional change, not more of the same cranked up on more opportunities to abuse civilians. This is the most goddamned stupid, counter-productive response our governments could commit. Next thing you know, they’re going to send in military units to quell the people, and it will get even worse.

These aren’t mere riots. This is an uprising.

Comments

  1. DanDare says

    Yes its been coming for a long time. Start pulling out the MLK speeches. They are apropo.

  2. JoeBuddha says

  3. JoeBuddha says

    Sorry about the garbage; I can’t seem to fix my entry. The link is valid, though: Peaceful Protest Interrupted By Swarm Of Aggressive Black-Clad Militants

  4. says

    All that because somebody stole a cheesecake. Frankly the protestors were entitled to defend themselves from the police who were hell bent on inflicting significant harm on them. The sight of several black shirted vermin with riot shields attacking a lone elderly man with a walking stick is disgusting.

  5. IX-103, the ■■■■ing idiot says

    OT, but @Joe Buddha:
    Be careful posting links like that. The “garbage” is a bunch of encrypted information that uniquely identifies both your Facebook account and the device you are using. Facebook adds these to all outgoing links so if the site you land on has a Facebook “like” widget they can match your activity on the page with your account.

    Even without Facebook’s decryption key other people on the internet can sometimes match the encrypted data up and track you.

  6. davegilbert says

    @microrapter.
    Your citation please. I’m interested to read your evidence in a peer reviewed journal like rational folk do.

  7. Rowan vet-tech says

    Davegilbert, once again, the fact that you are more concerned that someone might dislike you for having been a cop than the fact that cops get away with murder in the states shows that yeah, you DO deserve to get lumped in with the bad cops. You are a bad person.

  8. robro says

    There was a photo out yesterday of the Santa Cruz chief of police, Andy Mills, “taking a knee” with other demonstrators at a peaceful rally there. He posted his own photo with the comment, “Small portion of a very peaceful protest. Black Lives Do Matter.” Here are some photos on the SC Police FaceBook page. But hey, Santa Cruz is a bunch of pot smoking hippie Buddhist craft beer drinking vegans, so not too difficult to manage.

    I saw a number of stories yesterday about “outsiders” causing some (most?) of the trouble in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The mayor of St. Paul first said “most” people arrested were from out of state, but then retracted that saying he was misinformed. Gov. Walz was also quoted that out of state white supremacists and drug gangs were causing a significant amount of the trouble. Besides the white guy in the gas mask and umbrella breaking windows at the AutoZone I haven’t seen anything definitive, although I’m willing to accept that white supremacists and other provocateurs are exploiting peaceful demonstrations.

    Also saw a report in the NY Times about intelligence reports that Putin’s gang is fomenting trouble. Not sure how credible that is.

  9. davegilbert says

    @rowan vet-tech
    I am more concerned that, it seems during highly emotive times it’s okay to relax demands for integrity. I don’t care what people think of me that don’t know me. Any thoughts made are based on prejudice and bigotry that is not allowed in rational rhetoric. Being of scientific training I am ask for empirical evidence to the assertions that have been made by PZ and his apparent sycophants.

  10. christoph says

    That video is infuriating to watch. Seems like the police are trying to provoke a response. Not a good idea. It’s very probable that civilians will start to return their fire, and the police may find themselves outgunned. They’re asking for a bloodbath.

    One bright spot-we had a peaceful protest in Salem, praised by the mayor. No violence, arrests, or property destruction!
    https://patch.com/massachusetts/salem/salem-sees-peaceful-protest-over-death-george-floyd?utm_term=article-slot-1&utm_source=newsletter-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

  11. christoph says

    @ davegilbert, # 11: I have to agree with you. Emotions and outrage are at a peak, and there’s a tendency to stereotype all cops as bad. I see no difference between that and stereotyping minorities. I’ve dealt with a few bad cops, also with some very good ones. Cops are like everyone else-they have the same strengths and weaknesses we all have. That said, the worst thing you can do with a bad cop is to protect him from consequences or cover for him or her.

  12. Rowan vet-tech says

    Right. So you care more about your rep as a cop than the fact people are being murdered.
    Dislike of cops is not the same as prejudice against minorities. Minorities don’t have unions backing them to restore jobs to violent officers and keep them out of prison. And minorities are born as a minority. They never chose to be that way. You CHOSE to be a cop. I can actively dislike someone for choosing a job that seems to attract the authoritative and violent. Any “good cop” who is not active in fighting against the bad cops is also a bad cop. And the few good cops I’ve seen, who have stood up against the abuses perpetrated by their fellows, have lost their jobs.
    Your feelings are not more important than people’s lives. That you are choosing your feelings because you choose a career rampant with abuse, means you were a bad cop.

  13. says

    davegilbert @11: By all means, let us approach every question with true scientific objectivity.

    I have formed a hypothesis, based on your observed behavior here: The commenter who uses the nym “davegilbert” is a bad cop whose major motivation is the normalization of police brutality. What sort of evidence, primarily in the form of behavioral cues, might we look for to confirm or deny this hypothesis?

  14. Sean Boyd says

    The difference, @13 christoph, is that blacks, gays, and other minorities are born that way: they have no choice in the matter. Until someone shows me empirical evidence of a baby being born with a badge pinned to its chest, I think we’re safe to assume that cops select themselves for membership in that social group. For what it’s worth, I have about the same experience you professed dealing with cops. But then, I’m white.

  15. says

    So why do the authorities think they can get the situation under control by sending in more squads of black-armored thugs wielding batons and pepper spray?

    Because it has always worked before. Heck, being “tough on crime” is, even now, a gateway to electoral support.

    To quote:

    Minnesota has a Democratic governor.

    Minneapolis has a Democratic mayor.

    The Minneapolis City Council is 12-1 Democratic. The 1 is a Green.

    Voting alone does not fix this if elected officials remain deferential to the cops.

    @#8, davegilbert:

    When PZ becomes aware of a college professor doing something wrong, he is extremely vocal about the need to punish that professor, and actively disparages institutions which do not do that. Look through the archives of this blog and you’ll find many examples very quickly.

    Cops, on the other hand, have demonstrated for decades now that no matter how thorough the evidence is that some individual cop has committed a flagrant crime, no matter how serious — here we have (for the millionth time in a row) an unnecessary murder on video, unprovoked attacks on actively broadcasting reporters, and massive unprovoked violence across the whole country against (at this point) people who aren’t even protesting — practically all cops leap to the defense of the offenders.

    That is the action of a horrible person, and it is basically uniform — you’re claiming to be a “good cop” but you’re doing it right here, right now. The only stance you could possibly hold if you really were a good person would be “this is inexcusable and against professional ethics and all of these people need to be fired and charged with crimes”, but instead you’ve chosen to side with them.

    All cops, including you — in fact, specifically including you — are bastards. Go sit on a spike and swivel.

  16. davegilbert says

    @christoph
    Thank you brother for your support for rationality. I have never condoned police brutality and have taken steps in the past to stop it. My frustration here is not only the lack of rigour but the assertion that count positive and ignore negative anecdotes. Promoting populist pejorative memes is not becoming of a science based blog. It risks becoming a cult with a prophet and sycophants. I would rather assertions are backed up with the usually high standards of scrutiny rather than vilifying a whole cohort based on a limited sample. Posters become no better than others that spread hatred against minority groups.

  17. F.O. says

    So why do the authorities think they can get the situation under control by sending in more squads of black-armored thugs wielding batons and pepper spray?

    It is a show of strength.
    It’s called intimidation, it’s used by a group to assert control over another.

    We need institutional change, not more of the same cranked up on more opportunities to abuse civilians.

    Those in power will not give you what “we” need unless “we” take it.
    PZ, you still assume that they are supposed to work for you.
    They don’t and, despite what’s written on paper, they were never meant to be.

    Those in power give us only as much control as we can forcefully rip away from them.
    Concessions are made only in the measure that they stave off rebellion.

  18. davegilbert says

    Let’s gat this straight. I am not speaking up for myself but for any member of a minority that is vilified based on prejudice and bigotry. Those of you that assert, a cop choses to be a cop knowing they will have to be less than human is frankly disturbing. People ‘chose‘ to join a minority for many reasons, some commendable others not so. You don’t know me yet you make assertions based on my membership of a group. This is not moral or rational. Perhaps this site has become a cult after all and thus shoot down those that don’t share your world view.

  19. stroppy says

    The problem is a policing culture that has been exacerbated in part by increased militarization and the training that goes with it, in particular the hair trigger use of overwhelming force. Shoot first ask questions later–because constant fear of what the enemy is about to do at any given moment. Thank Dubya for sowing the seeds of runaway madness here just as in so many other areas.

    Like it or not we need cops, and I think some aspects of community policing have been positive, but still needing a whole lot of attitude adjustments and a major rethinking of their role in society.

    An OT question for davegilbert, how prevalent is the use of steroids among police? I mean wtf is it with these guys?

  20. kome says

    Making a choice comes with consequences. When a bunch of people independently and over the span of decades make the same choice on how to act – either murdering unarmed and nonviolent black people, or standing aside and doing nothing while watching unarmed and nonviolent black people being murdered by your coworkers, or actively working to impede investigations into the murders of nonviolent and unarmed black people – it is absolutely fair and rational to judge that entire group of people and those who wish to join or defend that entire group of people. That’s a form of Bayesian reasoning. It isn’t perfect, but it is rational. As for morality, I think judging an entire group of people – even if it is unfairly (as in the case with real prejudice and bigotry) – is still leagues more moral than murder. Your priorities are out of whack, davegilbert, and the values you’re expressing here seem self-serving and, ultimately, incoherent.

  21. mnb0 says

    @19: “I have never condoned police brutality and have taken steps in the past to stop it.”
    Such a comfort for the loved ones of the victims of that police brutality.
    In the meantime Afro-Americans better act according to the principle of ACAB indeed, also when they meet you when in function – it increases their chances to survive another day. It’s a matter of simple probability calculation. For some reason (maybe because I actually think Afro-Americans have human rights too) I understand that better than your concerns regarding morality on this blog. Why would that be? Perhaps because you’re a member of an organization that “relaxes demands for integrity” all the time to such an extent that its members over and over again get away with crimes with (near) impunity?

  22. stroppy says

    Well, I imagine people become police for all sorts of reasons; some idealistic, some nefarious, and some just naive. Saying they all or mostly join from bad intent needs actual on-the-ground data, otherwise you open yourself to post hoc, confirmation bias hypothesizing. Personally I’m more concerned about how they are trained: that and the effect on the public of the constant bombardment of simplistic TeeVee show law enforcement.

  23. Rob Grigjanis says

    davegilbert @21: Imagine you’re a black man walking down the street, and see three cops coming towards you. Your first thought will not be “not all cops are bad”. All it takes is one really bad cop, and two who wouldn’t intervene because of some misplaced “thin blue line” bullshit. It’s up to the two, and their supposedly “good apple” kind, to change the status quo. As long as they go along with it, they’re part of the problem.

  24. bobphillips says

    @davegilbert
    I was a federal inspector. I saw Customs officers steal items from leftover baggage, drug enforcement officers body-cavity search Serpico every time he came through JFK long enough he would miss his connecting flight (because he was a “bad cop” because he ratted on NYPD drug smugglers), customs officers taking kickbacks on valuable imports. When I reported these to my GS12 supervisor, he told me he would not file my complaints because “accidents” could happen to me in Cargo at night (he was protecting me). A couple of years ago, I compiled a list of all the times I have had official encounters with cops off the job: 13. Six of those violated my 1st and/or 4th Amendment rights. No arrests (I have been law abiding), no final actions beyond a single speeding ticket (and that cop was one of the good ones), and I am white. So, based on my small statistically insignificant sample, about half of cops are “bullies with a badge”. Again, I am white. I cannot imagine how bad it is for people of color, LBGTQ, et al. So, fuck you davegilbert.

  25. says

    @#25, stroppy:

    Yeah, sure, let’s ignore the actual video evidence and testimony from cities around the US to the effect that the cops are 99.9% of the time the ones to start the violence, are much worse than the protestors in every single instance, are acting with disproportionate force…

    You know what a good person does when ordered to fire teargas — a chemical weapon by treaty, which is forbidden to use in warfare — at peaceful protestors? They resign. It doesn’t matter what your fucking motivation was to become a cop, if you you are carrying out orders which make things worse, you are a bad person and you deserve anything bad which happens to you. In fact, you pretty assuredly deserve worse if you had good intentions, because you betrayed everybody.

    Here you are.

  26. says

    @#21, davegilbert:

    Throwing around paint is not necessarily a political act. Throwing a bucket of specifically red paint at a group considered to be killers is a political act. It’s all in the context and timing.

    Defending cops might possibly be innocent. Defending cops right now, when cops are overwhelmingly in the wrong in a highly visible, entirely inexcusable way cannot possibly be innocent. Your defense of your own actions amounts to “I am way too stupid to know what is appropriate”. Maybe you could just shut up and let the rest of us forget that you stuck your foot in your mouth and then took every opportunity to force it further down your throat, instead of just continually digging the hole deeper, okay?

  27. Rowan vet-tech says

    Cops. Are not. A minority. They are a profession. Black people did not choose to be black. You, however, are also choosing to be a fucking idiot right here and right now, davegilbert.

  28. stroppy says

    @ 28

    Stunning lack of reading comprehension. Maybe Vicar really is a bot…

  29. psychomath says

    I mean, this all blew up because of the most recent case where 4 cops felt completely comfortable being filmed while they leaned on a black man in the street until he was dead. Rationally, what is the probability that these four cops were the only bad ones in that department? What is the probability that the people in power didn’t know that they police force had sufficient numbers of depraved cops to allow this to happen? Why would all four cops feel so carefree about killing a person while being filmed? What’s your hypothesis, officer?

  30. katahdin says

    @23 Lomé “When a bunch of people independently and over the span of decades make the same choice on how to act – either murdering unarmed and nonviolent black people, or standing aside and doing nothing while watching unarmed and nonviolent black people being murdered by your coworkers, or actively working to impede investigations into the murders of nonviolent and unarmed black people – it is absolutely fair and rational to judge that entire group of people and those who wish to join or defend that entire group of people.
    There are 800,000 police officers in the US. The Washington Post reports about 1000 killings a year over a five year period by cops. So about 1000 cops a year kill a civilian, sometimes justifiably. So you are saying we should judge all 800,000 based on the behavior of fewer than a thousand cops (.00125), correct?

  31. says

    I’m not necessarily seeing any bigotry, including and not limited to prejudgement and discrimination, in viewing all cops as bad. The criminal justice system can be so messed up that it’s reasonable to believe you can’t be a good person and be a part of it. It’s that threatening to our collective stability as a society.

    A consequence of that is that all people in the criminal justice system get pressure put on them to fix that shit and ACTIVELY DISPLAY THEY ARE FIXING THAT SHIT. That’s the purpose of real virtue signaling, the kind that people abuse into a political pajorative. The kind where we’re looking for you to be doing something that proves to us that you are actively fixing the broken social structure because I’m not going to trust that group that’s defined by characteristics that can be changed.

    Being a cop isn’t some inherent characteristic like race. That doesn’t mean there isn’t bigotry against cops, just that it’s not reasonable to put the job of identification of good ones on the victims of cops or the people helping them.

  32. psychomath says

    @33-34 – katahdin

    Since killing is sot the only wrong cops commit – framing, beating, raping, stealing being others — I think a better measurement of for evaluating the righteousness of the police would be how often an officer reports and testifies against another officer. Police officers re human beings and have difficult jobs, so in any given year out of 800,000 people surely a few must step over the line. Where are all the stories of those crimes being reported by fellow officers? I can think of a few stories like that, but they all resulted in the complaining cop being fired. This seems very unlikely, but can you come up with some feel-good stories of heroic officers turning in their comrades and being rewarded for it?

  33. bobphillips says

    Just like how whites need to step up to the front to stop the bigotry and racism, police need to step up and put an end to their own brutal warrior mentality. They need to realize that, in the end, THEY are outgunned, and if they don’t do it, we will have to make them. I am so angry, I will not go out, because if I saw the flashing lights in my rear-view mirror and could see no rational reason, I might feel I would have to preemptively defend myself, and that would be bad (for the cop initially). And, I don’t want to go there. So, fuck you again davegilbert, show some ethical courage and either out (to the public) your bad colleagues or quit (if you really are a cop and not just a troll).

  34. katahdin says

    @36 psychopath. Your post reminded me of a book I read a year or two ago in a Unitarian Universalist church book club, which detained the physical/sexual abuse of women of color. The abuse was so frequent and so brutal that I found it hard to read. Truly there are many abuses. If a complaining cop is usually fired what would be the use of his complaining? Is it not better to stay, assuming he is a good cop?

  35. Rowan vet-tech says

    @katahdin, no because in that moment he ceases to be a good cop and is instead complicit. By ignoring evil you commit evil.

  36. F.O. says

    If a complaining cop is usually fired what would be the use of his complaining?

    Morality 101:
    The use is that you do not become an accomplice.
    The use is that you do not lend yourself to the system.

    Do we really need to get this basic?

  37. psychomath says

    @38 – katahdin

    I hope you’re joking? No, it is not better for an officer of the law to ignore their fellow officer’s lawbreaking. How could that be better? I once had a long argument with a person online who insisted it was too dangerous for a decent officer to report other officers when they broke the law because the other officers might kill the reporting officer. It when on through a dozen replies back and forth, with them insisting the officer who didn’t report on the law-breaking officers was still a “good” cop, and I still am not sure if they were being serious or not. Are you being serious? It’s very hard for me to imagine anyone holding that opinion.

  38. microraptor says

    @38 If he’s willing to tolerate the behavior of the bad cops, he’s not a good cop.

    People forget that the phrase is “a few bad apples spoils the bunch.”

  39. says

    I am disheartened by davegilbert’s seeming refusal to respond to my comment at #16. Said refusal is not consistent with the laudable commitment to scientific objectivity that davegilbert has spoken so eloquently in favor of!

    Perhaps davegilbert will respond to a second presentation.

    I have formed a hypothesis, based on davegilbert’s observed behavior here: The commenter who uses the nym “davegilbert” is a bad cop whose major motivation is the normalization of police brutality. What sort of evidence, primarily in the form of behavioral cues, might we look for to confirm or deny this hypothesis?

  40. nomdeplume says

    Right on cue, Trump completes the circle by declaring that the people trying to resist the rise and rise of fascism in America are “terrorists”.

  41. psychomath says

    @43 – cubist

    I don’t see any reason to think that davegilbert is an LEO. I don’t even think it is evident that davegilbert is out of school yet.

  42. jack lecou says

    I once had a long argument with a person online who insisted it was too dangerous for a decent officer to report other officers when they broke the law because the other officers might kill the reporting officer. It when on through a dozen replies back and forth, with them insisting the officer who didn’t report on the law-breaking officers was still a “good” cop, and I still am not sure if they were being serious or not.

    That specific question seems pretty academic. Regardless of whether or not there are “good” cops, and regardless of what they are or are not morally obligated to do, that whole argument is an explicit admission that the institution and its culture as a whole is completely broken and rotten.

    If what it means to be a “good” cop is to be faced with a choice between coming to harm (professionally or personally) for reporting wrongdoing, and keeping silent and/or changing professions entirely, then it seems like “ACAB” is pretty apt.

    Not because there aren’t technically some good cops — I’m sure there are. But at some point, talking about individuals like that is a bit like talking about whether there are some good Nazis or not. The individuals and their personal circumstances and good or bad intentions don’t really matter. You have to consider — and talk about – the whole, and the impact that collective whole is actually having on the world.

  43. John Morales says

    Those cops are pretty good at bashing and intimidating unarmed and unresisting civilians peaceful protesters.

    I’ve seen footage like that before — from the 1930s and in Europe.

    (Might as well put skulls on their uniforms)

  44. says

    davegilbert #19

    I would rather assertions are backed up with the usually high standards of scrutiny

    You can hardly ask us to provide evidence as long as that evidence is being actively suppressed by the same people who protest their innocence. Claiming to be innocent until proven guilty, while also hiding the evidence of what happened, is not a very convincing look.

    When we are actually allowed to review all the evidence, then we can discuss what it shows. But I’m not giving the benefit of the doubt to the very same people who are also deliberately keeping me in the dark. I don’t know why any honest person would expect me to.

    You seem to think that we can approach this as a simple scientific investigation, as if we’re looking at soil composition. However, soil doesn’t actively sabotage your attempt to investigate it. Soil will not arrest the camera crew and “accidentally” delete the video. Soil will not spray mace in your eyes because you didn’t move fast enough, weren’t respectful enough, or weren’t white enough. Soil won’t jump on your back and suffocate you until you die.

    It’s one thing to say that we should do things a certain way if we had perfect information. However, since we don’t – and since it’s the police that make sure that we don’t – asking for a presumption of innocence is easily spotted for the bullshit line it is. That’s why you’re getting the reaction you are.

    You want us to believe in these good cops? Fine, lets see them. Let’s see the supposedly good cops go out and arrest the bad ones that we know are out there. Then I’ll believe you.

    I’ll remind you that in the present case, three of the four perpetrators are still at large and police were quicker to arrest reporters than the murderer. This communicates something about police priorities, just like your comments here communicate your priorities. You might not be paying attention to that, but we are.

    Incidentally, davegilbert:

    Being of scientific training…

    I thought you were a cop for 30 years. That’s what you said in the last thread.

    katahdin #38

    If a complaining cop is usually fired what would be the use of his complaining?

    If a cop isn’t going to stop criminals, what’s the use of having them at all?

  45. jack lecou says

    @42 People forget that the phrase is “a few bad apples spoils the bunch.”

    “One bad apple spoils the barrel“, but yeah, that amazes me too. That police spokesperson always giving excuses about it just being a few bad apples shouldn’t placate anybody. That phrase should be jangling our collective alarm bells and prompting tough questions about how the bad apples managed to get in there, and how many more apples have been rotted by them.

  46. jack lecou says

    Also:

    What’s the plan for emptying out the barrels, sterilizing them with fire, and starting over with a new batch of completely fresh “apples”.

  47. psychomath says

    @46 – jack lecou

    Yes, that was my argument at the time, largely, though I maintain that you cannot be a “good” cop under any reasonable definition if you are unwilling to uphold the law when it comes to your fellow officers, whatever your reasons. That’s not to say that I think it unreasonable to be afraid as an officer to implicate fellow officers, and I certainly don’t say I can’t imagine being in a situation that I would make similar decisions. I hope I wouldn’t, at least, consider myself a good cop if I did. The Nazi comparison is apt to a degree, but maybe I am still not to doctrinaire enough or maybe I’m naive enough to think that one can actually be a good cop.

    My father taught me an important ethical principle in the form of a story about his time in the Marine Corps. In the early 50s his squad was seconded to guard the base brig with the unit that normally managed it. My father and his friend were disturbed by the beatings and generally abusive treatment in the brig, and they decided to report it to the base commander. As he told it, this put them in real danger of being killed, and as he told it his friend’s bravado succeeded in keeping the two from harm and the base commander was happy to finally have someone willing to testify against the regular unit. I don’t vouch for the story, but it is something my father told me many times, and it was clear that it was something he was very proud of.

    It affected me strongly, and I think that people can be taught that they have a personal responsibility to do what is right even if it puts them in danger.

  48. jack lecou says

    @51 It affected me strongly, and I think that people can be taught that they have a personal responsibility to do what is right even if it puts them in danger.

    Exactly. And good on your father.

    I think we have a cliche for this whole general idea, or used to. Something about good men doing nothing and evil triumphing.

    Whether the good men doing nothing are technically still “good” or not — the question assholes like davegilbert would like to debate — is really beside the point.

    Because, you know, evil triumphant…

  49. psychomath says

    @53 – jack lecou

    The US has the serious problem that we aren’t even trying to create a decent society. The collapse of the conservatives into reactionary nihilism and the absence of a leftist alternative for the working class has made a greater mess of things than I ever thought possible. I have trouble even imagining how we get where we need to be, but I hope that’s just because I’m old and tired and someone else is going to figure this out. If they are, they’re being awfully quiet about it. I think I’ll go off and shut up now. Nice chatting with you.

  50. says

    “I think that people can be taught that they have a personal responsibility to do what is right even if it puts them in danger.”

    Which is what, in the abstract, cops are FOR.

    The whole line about ‘fearing for their lives’ being an adequate justification for murder always twisted my melon. Fearing for your life is part of the goddamned job description. It’s the price you pay for getting to wear a uniform and bully people. Take that away and you’re just a bunch of thugs.

    I can’t help feeling that anyone wearing a badge in Minnesota right now is choosing a side.

  51. says

    @davegilbert
    Here’s a question that might move things forward. Would you support a policy that demands that:
    – all cops wear body cameras at all times, while on duty
    – all video is made available to the public on demand, e.g. via a website
    – in case of any sensitive material (e.g. if the officers enter a private home, ongoing investigations, an officer stopping at an ATM and entering his pin code, etc) redactions are only to be made by an independent board of citizen supervisors who will have access to the full, unredacted video
    – the officer is responsible for the proper functioning of his equipment and any failure of the camera results in a mandatory review by the board of supervisors, with full, independent authority to issue disciplinary cautions and terminations

    Would you agree to that? If not, what’s wrong with it?

  52. sparks says

    Never underestimate the stupidity of people in large groups confronting each other.

  53. Kagehi says

    katahdin’s, apparent moral code:

    Everyone else – “All that it takes for evil to reign is for good men to do nothing.”

    katahdin – “But since doing something might lose them their jobs, I don’t see the point!”

    His expected response – “Oh, well then. Sure, that make sense. Just ignore I said anything.”

  54. wzrd1 says

    Some years ago, I was taking some update courses in Cisco networking and the new fangled Windows 2003 operating system, suffice it to say, I was bored.
    Within that community college halls was our county police academy. While passing in the halls or on break, we’d hear about the “Us vs THEM” mentality that was being trained in, us being of course, law enforcement and We The People were THEM, The Other, the enemy.
    Total tribalism, their tribe “protects” us by shooting us and they even had badges of honor and painful rites of honor (want to use CN spray or OC spray, you get sprayed, want to use a Taser, get tased yourself and endure the tribal test of pain of the warrior).
    Forgetting that, without We The People, they’d not have wages, benefits nor ammunition, let alone fuel for a cruiser or ink pens for forms.

    Interestingly, our local PD goes with community based policing and being helpful, rather than confrontational.

  55. davegilbert says

    Ricky Gervais once said something like, science is knowing what you know and knowing what you don’t know. You don’t know that all cops around the world are bastards (what ever that means). Therefore, you are not being scientific and so,rational. You are becoming a cult and I will keep calling you out. .

  56. John Morales says

    davegilbert, OK, not 100.00% of cops.

    So… what about the cops featured in the video?

    Keeping law and order by knocking down old men with canes, by shoving young women into the kerb, by pulling the anti-virus mask off some youth with his hands up in the air and spraying them in the fact, by driving over seated protesters, etc etc.

    Are they fine cops in your estimation? What about their cohort, who watch this with indifference?

  57. Kagehi says

    You don’t need to jump off every freaking roof in the world to know that a) a damn lot of them will break your legs, at minimum, if you jump off them, or b) that there are clear, obvious, characteristics to the ones that will, like height, or that, strangely, all similar height buildings tend to be next to each other.

    Basically, Mr. davegilbert, we are not saying that all cops, every place, in every country, or even in this country, are bad, just that basic observation suggests that the ones who serve the government over the public, are given military style training, etc., even if “some of them” might not be completely bad, are never the less at extremely high risk of being bad. This is a case of contamination. And when this sort of thing happens with food, medical drugs, bottled water, or literally Anything Else which effects the public it results in a complete recall of every product, from the location that it was found in, and every other place that potentially contaminated product was sent to.

    So.. tell me, how many police departments have recruited from academies that use ex-military thugs to train them, along with other “known” sources of contamination? And, why are we not, logically, and scientifically, treating this as a threat, which requires removal of all possible contaminated products?

    Because, seems to me, the people who should give a crap (or pretend to), like the courts, the city, state, fed, etc., won’t clean out the contamination. They just let it spread, like mold.

  58. John Morales says

    I mean, silly me. I had thought riot cops were supposed to stop riots, not start them.

  59. Kagehi says

    Yes, well, its kind of like Firemen then, right John? They don’t stop them, they burn books? Or, did I just read that some place? Its so hard to tell in this crazy messed up world we seem to be in…

  60. says

    davegilbert #61:

    You don’t know that all cops around the world are bastards (what ever that means). Therefore, you are not being scientific and so,rational.

    So, you missed kome‘s point at #23? Well, here it is again, to remind you:

    When a bunch of people independently and over the span of decades make the same choice on how to act – either murdering unarmed and nonviolent black people, or standing aside and doing nothing while watching unarmed and nonviolent black people being murdered by your coworkers, or actively working to impede investigations into the murders of nonviolent and unarmed black people – it is absolutely fair and rational to judge that entire group of people and those who wish to join or defend that entire group of people. That’s a form of Bayesian reasoning. It isn’t perfect, but it is rational.

    While you’re at it, I’m really curious about your career path, so if you could address that too, it’d be swell.

  61. chigau (違う) says

    davegilbert #61
    Ricky Gervais once said something like…
    jesuswept

  62. bobphillips says

    If davegilbert is a cop, his stupidity only confirms it. He is not rational, and, hence, certainly not a scientist. He does not understand that the argument against his bullshit is: “If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.” ALL the cops in black armor are goons for the defense of property over people. And, if he thinks cops need protection from unarmed citizens: logging, fishing, aircraft piloting, roofing, garbage collecting, farming and ranching, driving, construction, iron and steel working, grounds keeping, and supervising some of these things are all more dangerous per worker-hour than policing. It is probably a waste of time to further argue with davegilbert, who is probably a troll.

  63. John Morales says

    bobphillips,

    [1] It is probably a waste of time to further argue with davegilbert, [2] who is probably a troll.

    I concur with (1) with the caveat that he’s an useful foil, but not with (2).
    Just out of his depth.

    (I’m kinda waiting for the Nuremberg defence)

  64. John Morales says

    numerobis, I am aware of the 60s civil rights struggle in the USA, and the parallels to now, but I am certainly no expert. I do know that (however grudginly) concessions were made in due course, and the civic unrest didn’t further escalate but rather simmered down. Until now, apparently.

    (I chose to go back even further and elsewhere, where the culmination of state oppression became evident)

  65. bobphillips says

    numerobis: I watched the Democratic National Convention in Chicago live in the summer between my Junior and Senior years in high school. It radicalized me. I had grown up in Phoenix AZ. Chicago was the worst, but maybe because it was televised live and so blatantly a police riot. More dangerous elsewhere because digital cameras and cell phones didn’t exist. Cops used shotguns. Rubber bullets, bean bags, etc. weren’t in use (or hadn’t been invented). National guard used M1 battle rifles with fixed bayonets. Watts, Detroit, and other cities burned. Cops fire bombed houses, shot and killed people (some innocent bystanders).

  66. christoph says

    @ chigau, # 68: “Ricky Gervais once said something like…
    jesuswept”

    You’re thinking of Frank Cotton.

  67. mickll says

    Frankly it doesn’t matter if there are good cops. Did it matter to the citizens of Iraq and Vietnam that there were some individuals in the US army who were decent individuals? What matters is how police behave, police plural. Police behavior is determined more by policy than by their individual traits, they’re government employees. The behavior of police isn’t because of their individual peccadilloes, they do what they are encouraged and allowed to do, what they are paid to do. They don’t do what they aren’t paid and aren’t encouraged to do. The reason why there are untested rape kits spoiling all over the US while there is active, militarized harassment of minorities under cover of an unwinnable “war on drugs.” This is because these are the priorities of the people who employ police. They expect the brutality, the unwillingness to protect the vulnerable and prioritizing protecting property before people. If this wasn’t the case, their employees, the police, wouldn’t be systematically doing it.

  68. bobphillips says

    One more thing: the soldiers in at least one of the National Guard lines in Salt Lake City yesterday were in battle fatigues and armed with their (probably M16 but maybe M4) assault rifles. I saw that live on TV. And, when a soldier has only his rifle for defense, what is he likely to do if a rock is thrown at him?

  69. unclefrogy says

    for all the “talk ” about “not all cops” and being rational and using science OK.
    How about we look at the situation as it is seen on the TV.
    video of cops killing an unarmed helpless man in the street
    not by any means the first one just the latest one with good pictures
    as a reaction demonstrations in various cities across the country
    again not the first time just the latest one
    cops react with force against the demonstrators
    an escalation of “violence against property”
    no police killed or store owners killed
    it has been going on almost my entire life that I am aware of and i was in High School in 1960
    you have to ask yourself why is this happening all the f’n time?
    is there something wrong here that we are not addressing?
    the evidence seem to indicate that there must be something wrong when the citizens of the country have this kind of reaction and a regular basis
    it is almost like only part of the citizens are considered to be actual citizens it looks like the country is at war with itself.
    how can that continue?
    why would those who feel the need to demonstrate again and again with out much real fundamental improvement feel the slightest amount of loyalty for such a place and government with such a system as the one being clearly displayed on the TV . The grievances are many and long standing against the system as it is and that is demonstrated as well by the smoke and tear gas and rubber bullets and the burning target store which is not your mom and pop local entrepreneur but big multi-national corp.
    for all the protesting of the authorities where there is smoke there is fire. there is clearly trouble and no amount of not all cops has ever made a bit of difference the trouble remains and the grievances fester.
    uncle frogy

  70. quasar says

    Demanding that we see cops as individuals is a trap.It blinds us to systematic problems.

    Cop’s X, Y and Z did bad things? They were “Bad Cops” and the problem will be dealt with when we prosecute them specifically, no need to look any further into it or examine whether police brutality is a result of training, workplace culture or social norms.

    We shouldn’t tar “Good Cops” with the same brush, because that might add social pressure for the good cops to identify and ostracize the bad cops before they murder someone, and also make the good cops uncomfortable. Which would be bad.

  71. says

    If out of 100.000 teachers, 1.000 teachers killed 1.000 kids a year, and 99.000 teachers were ok with that and kept working with those 1.000 teachers, and stood next to the torturing, murdering teacher and then bullied whichever teacher decided that maybe kids shouldn’t be tortured and murdered in school, I would really go looking for another job.
    BTW, this is what happens if you’re trying to be a good cop

  72. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    To stroppy
    I’d argue no – the problem is something else. The problem is that we don’t hold cops accounts when they fuck up. Qualified immunity has to go.

    Like it or not we need cops

    Oh, I’ll dispute that, depending heavily on what you mean by “cops”.
    https://www.constitution.org/lrev/roots/cops.htm

    To davegilbert

    I have never condoned police brutality and have taken steps in the past to stop it.

    Did your police union ever defend a cop who was clearly guilty of abuse of force? Did you pay member dues to the police union?

  73. says

    “Cops” may or may not be necessary. “People who enforce the law” probably are necessary. The current wave of black-clad agitators who happen to be on the payrolls of various police departments, should be all the evidence anyone needs that those two groups are not synonymous.

  74. stroppy says

    Re: “Cops.”
    OK. I think you’re playing with words here (I mean, are they really cops if they don’t wear copper buttons?), but I agree that drilling down on their rolls is necessary.

    And their training certainly takes place in a culture of impunity– which is a part of their training– so I don’t think you can entirely separate the two. Since they see themselves as protecting society, they see an attack on one of their own as an attack on society. And yeah, it’s a case of tribalism gone bad. If you want to say what’s needed is education as well as training, I’m OK with that. And if you want to say that their place in society needs to be redefined at a higher levels of government, no argument here.

  75. jack lecou says

    @81: “Cops” may or may not be necessary. “People who enforce the law” probably are necessary.

    That’s probably right, but I’d be careful, because I think framing the police force as “law enforcement” — something they love to see themselves as — is a big part of the problem.

    “Law enforcement” is one of the functions of the police, but only one. And ideally, it would be a minor one. For the typical beat cop at least (as opposed to, say, a white collar crime specialist) there should be a lot more helping little old ladies across the street, giving directions to the drug store, etc. Followed by a hell of a lot of social-work type activity and community engagement. Writing tickets or tossing people in jail should be a very last resort.

    If I were emperor, I’d ban the phrase ‘law enforcement’ for such roles entirely. It’s an impoverished vision of what it means to police a community, and helps lead to cop being a bad word. To black armored figures carrying guns and batons, brutally “enforcing the law” because they’re just pathetic human caricatures who neither have, nor can even imagine using, any other other tools.

    I always thought the title “peace officer” sounded nice (though I’m unaware of the phrase’s etymology — crossing my fingers that it’s not just as sinister as law enforcement.)

  76. mnb0 says

    @61 DG: “You don’t know that all cops around the world are bastards”
    But Afro-Americans do know that their chances of survival increase when they assume they are.
    Probability calculation is science too.
    You’ve done an excellent job betraying your own principle. Likely deliberate, as this is the second time I have to point this out.
    Makes you a bastard too.
    But you can falsify that conclusion. Like these colleagues of yours did:

    https://imgur.com/gallery/Gc8KXB1

    “I will keep calling you out”
    Yeah, calling out the anti-police-violence cult is so much more important for you.
    Like all bastards you’ve got the wrong priorities.
    Unless you join these three colleagues, of course.

  77. unclefrogy says

    @61 DG: “You don’t know that all cops around the world are bastards”
    But Afro-Americans do know that their chances of survival increase when they assume they are

    I am not an Afro-american nor Hispanic nor Asian but i have all of my adult years approached interactions with police with that understanding well in place
    I treat all strange dogs I meet on the street with the same caution because the only way I can tell if they will bight is when they bight.
    uncle frogy

  78. jack lecou says

    “All stray dogs are rabid.”

    Possibly not strictly true, and/or unfair to good dogs (#notalldogs), but nevertheless a good rule of thumb to follow, at least if one wants to keep one’s thumbs.

    (And I suspect stray dogs probably kill a lot fewer of the citizenry than cops.)

  79. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    jack lecou
    The rest of us don’t need training to not beat or kill people. For some to do that, it takes the belief that won’t be held accountable. It’s the lack of deterrence. Even if they had training to kill people, their behavior would change as soon as their friends started going to prison, and that would change the training. Nothing will change unless we get rid of qualified immunity. No amount of training fixes will matter given the current culture among cops. Maybe if you fire them all and start from entirely new, maybe, and that’s honestly not a bad idea, but that’s pretty extreme.

  80. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    stroppy and jack lecou
    My broad point is that I want to radically reform the rules of engagement of cops too.

    I think that power corrupts, and discretionary power especially, and that’s why I want to reduce the discretionary power of cops to use force as much as possible. I want to bring back warrants in hand. I want to remove discretionary power from cops at the scene as much as possible and give it to judges via the issuing of warrants.

    For an extreme position that I’m considering, all arrests should be by warrant in hand, or according to the standards of a citizens arrest, including use of force restrictions and the restrictions on the set of circumstances that justify it.

    In other words, we should treat cops as any other citizen or civilian. They shouldn’t have special rights concerning use of force, including arrest, searches, use of weapons, and they shouldn’t have special rights concerning weapons, including carrying, using, and brandishing. I don’t want separate rules for use of force for them vs me.

    This could work because most offenses should not justify arrest at all. They should be given a citation or summons order to appear for trial. That should be the default method of enforcement to replace arrest, booking, and arraignment, for most cases.

    I know it might not be possible to get completely to that goal of absolutely zero differences, but the regime that I want to pursue is reducing that difference as much as possible.

    My regime doesn’t view police as community helpers. I think that’s always been a lie, and it’s an impossible dream. We need to instead view them as a necessary evil, as regulated bounty hunters. Think of Dog The Bounty Hunter. He doesn’t beat or kill people. He treats people with respect, courtesy, and no excessive force, so far as I know. Why? Because he knows that his ass is on the line civilly and criminally if he fucks up, and that he is going to be held legally to a very high standard. That’s the difference.

    Dog would also require the ethical equivalent of a warrant of a judge to target a person, aka he can’t just fuck with a person because he wants to. He needs the permission of a judge to fuck with simeone. That’s also an important difference.

    I would rather be arrested by a private bounty hunter in the US than a cop in the US because I know it would be safer for me. I want cops To be regulated and held accountable civilly and criminally like Dog, especially where the victim can bring lawsuit instead of relying on a government goon, aka the government prosecutor, because then cops will start acting like Dog.

    I do want to abolish police in the sense of people who are given superior powers of discretionary use of force at the scene without permission from a judge in the form of a warrant.

    PS We probably need to limit those who can temporarily detain to issue citations for lesser offenses, eg traffic offenses. That’s one discretionary use of force without a warrant specific to cops that we probably cannot get rid of.

  81. jack lecou says

    Gerrard@90:

    I agree with most of that — especially WRT to qualified immunity and discretionary power — but not the bounty hunter bit.

    For one thing, I think that’s buying into the whole rotten, racist worldview that says there are intrinsically three kinds of people: citizens, cops, and criminals, and it’s the job of cops to “protect” civilians by apprehending and “removing” criminals (by whatever means). That whole bounty hunter thing may be buying into that in an even more explicit way than our current half-assed system does, which I doubt is helpful. Maybe a world of bounty-hunter cops would be a slightly politer, less violent dystopia than the one we’re living in now, but it’s still a dystopia.

    I think throwing in the towel on police as community helpers is premature. They can exist. Other places in the world do actually have pretty helpful cops. I’ve seen it. It’ll be a huge job of culture change (I’m all in favor of tossing the whole thing out and starting fresh) and legal change (probably constitutional ones — since I suspect that’s what it would take to reverse the court’s absurd view on qualified immunity), but well worth it. The direction we need to go is the opposite of what you’re proposing. It’s toward Peelian policing by consent, where everyone is just a citizen, and prevention is better than incarceration.

  82. Ichthyic says

    These aren’t mere riots. This is an uprising.

    I wish that were true, but I no longer think Americans capable of a true uprising to overthrow their corrupt government.

    they will gnash their teeth, but in the end accept their yokes and chains with little more than that. It makes me sad, but it’s also why I left. no regrets.

  83. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    jack lecou

    It’s toward Peelian policing by consent, where everyone is just a citizen,

    It is unclear to me whether “Peelian principles” actually include “as close as possible to no special powers, privileges, immunities, rights, or other considerations for police”.

    It would be nice to have that kind of police that you describe.

    However, even if we had that sort of culture, I would still want the police kept on the shortest possible legal leash concerning use of force, including detention, arrest, search, seizure.

  84. jack lecou says

    @93

    Yeah, the provision (or not) of special powers and privileges is probably somewhat orthogonal to Peelian principles per se. I think the spirit of such principles would tend to favor the lightest application possible, of whatever powers exist, but it doesn’t really say what those ought to be. (At least the original ones don’t — there’s no rule that says we can’t add a few more.)

    I definitely agree that ‘short leash’ is the order of the day. While I’m ordinarily a big proponent of encouraging people, including public servants, to take the initiative and do what they think best in the circumstances — deferring to the judgement of the “man on the ground” as it were — the US police, at least as currently constituted, have proven themselves manifestly incapable of exercising restraint, common sense, or even basic decency when given a free hand to use their own judgement.

    Maybe someday they can win that trust back, but until then, IMO, the law should take an aggressively positive approach to what police powers and actions are permitted. Spell out precisely under what circumstances police are allowed to make arrests, use force, make searches, give orders (including a list of precisely which orders are permitted, with exact phrasing), etc. Anything not explicitly authorized should be illegal, with harsh repercussions.

    I’d argue there should be a presumption of guilt, too, with regards to employment if not legal sanctions. Witnesses and body cam footage better completely vindicate you, or you’re off the force. All of them. There’s a case to be made that police testimony — especially when self-serving or self-exculpatory — should be held to a higher than normal standard of scrutiny too.

    All that said, I’m not sure you can entirely get away from treating police somewhat ‘specially’. Even if we had police (or bounty hunters) who technically had no powers beyond what any ordinary person does — all arrests are ‘citizen arrests’, e.g. — the mere fact that you have a class of professionals who exercise those powers on a more regular basis (and know the system) will inevitably lead to de facto special treatment by courts and juries.

    It really has to be all of the above, short leash AND dissolve/replace the culture AND have proper, systematic training AND diligently enforce strict accountability, AND…

  85. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Oh, I know the real underlying cause is a cultural problem, several cultural problems, and that I’m just proposing bandaids.

    As best as I can tell, a large portion of the modern mess of police happened because of racism and the drug wars – and the modern drug war is also largely rooted in racism. I strongly suspect based on my reading of history that this is what happened:

    Circa 1850, cops were limited in what they could do according to what I’m suggesting. However, during reconstruction, extra latitude was given to white cops in order to suppress black people. It was understood at the time that this extra latitude was only for black people, and that cops still had to show the same respect and deference to white people. However, because it was an unwritten rule, eventually case law and culture got away from them, and cops starting doing it to everyone because they could because the case law and culture let them.

    I also suspect it has a lot to do with the drug wars, and I specifically mean alcohol Prohibition. As best as I can tell from my mediocre self research, it was alcohol Prohibition that gutted the requirement that warrants spell out the people or things that may be seized. See: Marron v United States.
    https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/275/192/#tab-opinion-1931991

    It seems like it was the modern drug war which brought us other horrific legal abominations, like no-knock raids, and IMAO warrants for such things should be banned in every case whatsoever, and especially banning these things on the pretense of preventing destruction of evidence and especially banning these things on the supposed protection of occupants, cops, bystanders, or anyone else. There should be a strong announcement requirement consisting practically of several minutes of knocking before the door may be opened with force.

    Ugg, I’m just ranting now. But I know, I know that there are cultural issues that must be fixed. However, I think one that must be fixed which is only rarely addressed is this largely fictitious idea that is common among everyone, including the left, that we need to live in a police state to be safe. That’s a lie. We don’t need to live in a police state like we do now. In other words, we could radically scale back the rules of engagement for police and legal protections for police, and and society would be just as safe from criminals, and anytime I see anyone say otherwise, my gut reaction is immediately that they’re an ignorant fuck and/or an authoritarian bootlicker.

  86. jack lecou says

    I think one that must be fixed which is only rarely addressed is this largely fictitious idea that is common among everyone, including the left, that we need to live in a police state to be safe. That’s a lie. We don’t need to live in a police state like we do now.

    Very true.

    I’m always amazed at the failure of imagination and/or level of fascist bootlicking out there. I remember having the same deja vu argument with people over the years — possibly about Eric Garner once upon a time, or perhaps one of the numerous other incidents and videos — and so many people just can’t even seem to get past the question of “well, what were the police supposed to do — he was resisting arrest”.

    Somehow “pile on enough cops until you kill a man for selling some cigarettes” is a scenario that seems totally normal to them, and that they are totally fine with, but other seeming simple possibilities, like “walk away”, or “talk to the man until he calms down” are beyond their ken to even imagine.

    The mind boggles.

  87. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    ugg, more brainstorming. Here’s my current list of what I want done. It’s a short list. I have more ideas, but these seem to be the most relevant.

    Completely eliminate qualified immunity for cops.

    Ban plea bargaining entirely.

    Bring back private criminal prosecutions. Allow the victim or close friends and family of the victim to seek indictment from the grand jury before any government prosecutor. Allow them to nominate themself or any counsel of their choosing as prosecutor. Thereby, victims can seek justice from bad cops directly in court.

    Require cops to get warrants before any use of force, including detention, arrest, search, and seizure, with actual paper warrants in hand, unless there is probable cause that a delay to get a warrant would cause significant preventable damage. The major exceptions would be detentions for issuing citations for lesser offenses, warrantless arrests by eyewitnesses during or immediately after a breach of the peace offense, and warrantless arrest based on probable cause of an outstanding felony offense.

    Implement clear rules of engagement for cops with the goal of reducing as much as possible the special privileges and immunities that cops get regarding use of force, including detention, arrest, search and seizure, including carrying, brandishing, and using guns.

  88. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Also required reading. Sorry for multiposting.

    It always embarrassed Samuel Vimes when civilians tried to speak to him in what they thought was ‘policeman’. If it came to that, he hated thinking of them as civilians. What was a policeman, if not a civilian with a uniform and a badge? But they tended to use the term these days as a way of describing people who were not policemen. It was a dangerous habit: once policemen stopped being civilians the only other thing they could be was soldiers.

    — from Snuff by Terry Pratchett

  89. logicalcat says

    @22

    I don’t know if its been said already as I’m still reading this thread, but no. The problem with police is not that they were trained militarily. They have the equipment, but not the training. Not at all. A lot of veterans are in agreement that the police in this country respond to threats even more aggro than they do in a war zone.

    The police’s view of engagement is a caricature of actual military training. Its a pop culture view of threat assessment and tactics. This is why they are so dangerous(among other reasons). They have the military equipment, the attitude, but not the training to handle them. And since I don’t want people thinking the wrong thing, no I don’t support the militarization of police. I think they should be striped of their gear but trained by the military more effectively on threat assessment. That last part is the closest thing to militarization Id be comfortable with.

  90. wzrd1 says

    @bobphillips, you asked what a National Guard soldier would do if a rock were thrown at him or her. That’s actually an excellent question, it’s true for Guard, it’s true for regular army forces as well.
    What their ROE says (Rules of Engagement). Nothing more, nothing less. For events like these, a rock has no military relevance, take your lumps, your body armor and ESAPI plates will take the impact, your knee and elbow pads will protect your joints and your face shield will protect your face, ain’t much getting through that helmet either. Take hostile firearms fire, that’s a different ball of wax in most situations.
    Most, as I’ve had ROE that flat out said to not respond to hostile fire, report and break contact. Breaking contact is a high exertion exercise and adrenaline flows, but the ROE being violated opens the individual and leader to Article 92 UCMJ actions and rightfully so. That adrenaline flows more freely when you’re lugging buddies that were injured, the ROE is engraved in adamant.
    So, a rock, report rock throwing, a few more bodies might show up with riot shields. Fire the weapon, the idiot’s going to federal prison, if not getting a lethal injection.
    Now, a physical assault, well, that rifle is a fine baton made of aluminum, steel and some really, really strong plastic. Just a simple thrust with the rifle perpendicular to the ground, at a 45 degree angle to the chest is enough to make most angry folks think twice after that aluminum receiver grates against the sternum. Overseas, we’ve also fixed bayonets (big talk for putting the gigantic Rambo bayonet on the end of the rifle), which was enough to typically give angry people pause for long enough to get negotiators in to calm things down.
    Note the absence of bang, bang, boom, boom. Doing that only generates more, even angrier people and quite a few lugging around their own bang, bang, boom, boom and everyone gets a shooty mcshoot face for their trouble.

    Alas, shooting just might eventually occur, as there are some weird folks who actively want to start shootouts with law enforcement and our military, because of reasons. Google “boogaloo”, it’s more than a meme, it’s a bunch of certifiable idiots that shouldn’t be permitted anything more dangerous than a specially blunted infant feeding spoon.

    @logicat, police already get threat assessment training, which then gets swiftly undermined by the Rambo wannabe crowd making everything us v them. They get “shoot/don’t shoot” training that’s rather realistic, the training goes into file 13 after their command reinforces the battle mentality that they’re at war and everyone’s a threat.
    Reminds me of an old WWII joke. When the British fired, the Germans ducked. When the Germans fired, the British and French ducked. When the Americans fired, everyone ducked.
    Save, after being on pistol ranges with law enforcement officers from multiple agencies and towns, frankly, the safest place on the fucking range was in front of the goddamned targets! I literally heard rounds tumbling over my head across the road – behind the firing point, got behind a large pile of stones, as we weren’t wearing our vests that day.

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