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IPFS News Link • Police State

Seven Reasons Police Brutality Is Systemic, Not Anecdotal

• The American Conservative

Darrin Manning's unprovoked "stop and frisk" encounter with the Philadelphia police left him hospitalized with a ruptured testicle. Neykeyia Parker was violently dragged out of her car and aggressively arrested in front of her young child for "trespassing" at her own apartment complex in Houston. A Georgia toddler was burned when police threw a flash grenade into his playpen during a raid, and the manager of a Chicago tanning salon was confronted by a raiding police officer bellowing that he would kill her and her family, captured on the salon's surveillance. An elderly man in Ohio was left in need of facial reconstructive surgery after police entered his home without a warrant to sort out a dispute about a trailer.

These stories are a small selection of recent police brutality reports, as police misconduct has become a fixture of the news cycle.

But the plural of anecdote is not data, and the media is inevitably drawn toward tales of conflict. Despite the increasing frequency with which we hear of misbehaving cops, many Americans maintain a default respect for the man in uniform. As an NYPD assistant chief put it, "We don't want a few bad apples or a few rogue cops damaging" the police's good name.

This is an attractive proposal, certainly, but unfortunately it doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Here are seven reasons why police misconduct is a systemic problem, not "a few bad apples":

1. Many departments don't provide adequate training in nonviolent solutions.

This is particularly obvious when it comes to dealing with family pets. "Police kill family dog" is practically its own subgenre of police brutality reports, and most of these cases—like the story of the Minnesota children who were made to sit, handcuffed, next to their dead and bleeding pet—are all too preventable. Some police departments have begun to train their officers to deal more appropriately with pets, but Thomas Aveni of the Police Policy Studies Council, a police consulting firm, says it's still extremely rare. In the absence of this training, police are less likely to view violence as a last resort.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by PureTrust
Entered on:

The answer is clear. Here are some of the basic parts:
1. Turn virtually ALL laws into strong warnings and advisories ONLY;
2. Let the people do ANYTHING that they want, but make sure that they are warned when their activity is dangerous;
3. Base virtually ALL litigation on harm or damage done; Do unto the other as he/she has done unto you; when they damage you they should be made to repay AND compensate you extra, but it needs to be REAL harm or damage, not just that they hurt your feelings a little;
4. Make ALL courts into harm and damage judgment centers; no more circumstantial-evidence based courts, and definitely not if there is any possibility whatsoever that the circumstantial evidence might be wrong;
5. If the cop, attorney, or judge makes a mistake in their judgement, thorough investigation into whether it was accidental or malicious; then, if it was negligent or malicious, punish them with the same kinds of punishment that they had caused to happen to the one they harmed by their poor or bad judgment; in the cases of attorneys and judges, removal from office mandatory;
6. In all cases where faulty judgment has been determined, let the people (a jury? but a much larger one than 12 people) make the final judgment.

Obviously there would need to be some kinds of limitations. These could be based on threats of harm or damage. For example. If someone is building an atomic bomb in his garage, and it has been found that the bomb is workable, it might be a good idea to restrain him in some ways.

Strongly warn the people about the dangers involved in smoking, using drugs, alcohol, driving 100 mph. But, that's it. Let them have their freedom. When they harm someone, make the punishment match the crime, and publicly display the results so everyone can see what happens if you can't take responsibility for your life, and you harm someone. This will warn others so that they will not involve themselves in the reckless follies that some people harm other people with.

Right now, the laws are advisories for the law abiding people. Almost none of the laws STOP those who really want to break them. So it seems that we already have a system in place that does what I am recommending above.

The difference is this. In the present system, Government officials in every governmental area can get away with all kinds of illegal, harmful, damaging and dangerous activity, with virtual impunity.

The things I listed above would limit the illegal activities of Government people in two ways:
1. They would have no right or ability to stop anybody from doing anything, except that they might simply warn him/her that certain activities are dangerous;
2. When Government people did wrong by harming or damaging anyone, they would be held even more liable than any average person under similar circumstances.

Anyway, you get the picture. Think about it, write down your ideas that might make it better, and start talking about it with friends and acquaintances. If is seems to be a worthwhile idea, let's start working to set it in place.