Sunday, May 31, 2020

Bad Policing

Another day, many more examples of the police behaving badly.  It's everywhere.  I think much of it is because police have been militarized.  They dress differently than they used to, and they drive military vehicles.  When you're dressed like a hammer, the rest of us look like nails.

This happened in a residential area in Seattle.  Yes, there was a curfew.  No, the curfew did not require you to stay in your house.  It was specifically called out that you could be in your yard.  These people were on their front porch.  The police came up their street, screaming for people to go inside.  They had zero authority to give that order.  Upon seeing the family sitting on the porch, they were heard to say "light them up", and they began firing paint balls.  If you have ever played paint ball, you know how much it hurts to get hit with one.  You can view the video from twitter by clicking here.

A member of the Seattle PD maced this child in the face. 

This is part of the problem.

Police giving the white power sign, and yes, that's what it is. 

The Bulkwark published an article about qualified immunity which has morphed over the years from a stance of requiring police to be accountable for their actions, to the broad latitude they currently have to hurt people.  Here is an excerpt:
In determining the relationship between government and governed, one of the most important decisions a society can make is how accountable those who wield official power must be to those against whom that power is wielded. Congress made a clear choice in that regard when it passed the Enforcement Act of 1871, which we now call “Section 1983” after its location in the U.S. Code. Simply put, Section 1983 creates a standard of strict liability by providing that state actors “shall be liable to the party injured” for “the deprivation of any rights.”
Clearly enforcement has deviated from the original intent of Section 1983.  It's a short read and is worth the time.

I'm not saying that all police are bad or abusive.  I am saying that too many are.

Finally, I'm going to close out with this.


  1. I wrote a long post, but I deleted it. The difference between whites (and blacks by the way) carrying guns trying to stop the destruction of a neighborhood .... and blacks (including whites) demanding justice who are DESTROYING that neighborhood is pretty much evident. I don't see any racism there. Especially when the bad cop is already in jail (exactly where he belongs) and will be there the rest of his life.

    Accountability is much more prevalent than in the old days. I was involved with the police department when they could do anything they wanted with no accountability of any kind. As to their dress, you are only seeing pictures of the tactical groups who enter buildings trying to save people's lives. The vast majority of police do not wear tactical gear, but regular police uniforms. You probably won't see any pictures of them.

    Definitely peaceful protests are a good thing. I'm not a fan of looting and burning.

    1. They don't have to wear "tactical gear" to be militarized or perpetuate a culture of military tactics in law enforcement. Over time many uniformed officers have taken on military style buzz haircuts and jackboots, with a clear image of intimidation. Gone are the days of community policing as the standard.

  2. when people are protesting police brutality and the police react with brutality then you can expect the people to get violent.

  3. I am mystified about how any black voters could support Trump. And yet, they're out there. It's a mystery. (Granted, I don't think there are many.)

    That photo of the cops flashing the WP sign is chilling. And I couldn't agree more about the militarization. This is not community policing -- it's doing battle.

  4. Seeing the photo of the cops making the white power sign, which I hadn't seen, made me nauseous. All in that photo should be charged with something -- this is just WRONG WRONG WRONG.