Police Abuse

Time for a Police Offenders Registry

A police job is a privilege, not a right

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Reason

This week, the Department of Justice announced new guidelines against racial profiling. The changes don't actually change all that much. As regular incidents of police brutality get more and more mainstream media attention, it's time for a bold move from the White House.

There's a moral obligation to keep bad cops off the streets. A job with a police department is not a right and shouldn't be treated like one. Police unions that push for permissive rules that end up protecting bad cops pose a serious public safety threat. Nevertheless, dismantling them where they've taken root is a difficult prospect even in the long-term. There are other ways to keep bad cops off the streets. The federal government, and state governments, ought to create and encourage the use of a police offender registry list. Such a list would register individuals who while employed as law enforcement officers were found unfit for duty or faced serious disciplinary issues they may have resigned to avoid. Just as any other component of comprehensive police reform, this won't eliminate excessive police violence, but it's a start.

When actually identified, a surprising (or not) number of officers involved in controversial, high-profile use of force incidents have previously disciplinary history. Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the New York City cop who put Eric Garner in a fatal chokehold, had been previously accused, at least twice, of racially-motivated misconduct, including strip searching a man in the middle of the street and allegedly hitting his testicles. The police union in New York City is among the strongest in the country. When a rookie cop shot Akai Gurley in apparent panic last month, he didn't think twice to reportedly contact his union rep first. A man lay dying in a stairwell for no other reason that he startled a rookie, and the fact that the officer called his union representative before calling for assistance isn't shocking enough to lead to the officer's termination. Even if it were, it would still be impossible to terminate the officer immediately. While all this is happening, the state of New York is on the verge of placing even more of the disciplinary regime that applies to cops under the purview of the police unions.

But not everywhere is the situation as hopeless as in New York City. In other parts of the country, cops can get fired relatively more easily. But it doesn't stop them from finding jobs elsewhere. Richard Combs, who was the sheriff and only cop in Eutawville, South Carolina, is now facing a murder charge for shooting a resident after an argument at Town Hall, but Combs had been previously terminated from the county sheriff's office for unspecified "unsatisfactory performance." In Cleveland, Ohio, the cop who shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice, mistaking the boy's toy gun for a real one, had been previously found too emotionally unstable and unfit to carry a firearm for law enforcement. In Georgia, the cop who shot and killed 17-year-old Christopher Roupe after the teen opened the door to his home holding a Wii controller, had been previously fired for multiple disciplinary problems including shooting at an unarmed person. Then there's guys like "Florida's worst cop."

This is just a sampling of stories that received enough local attention to gain some prominence. The situation is unconscionable. Police found unfit for duty in one jurisdiction shouldn't be employed in another. Cops who resign to avoid disciplinary charges shouldn't slither their way into another department. Cops who cost taxpayers millions in lawsuit settlements shouldn't be able to expose taxpayers in other places to the same risk. Insomuch as a police department might actively be seeking out bad cops, there's not much any government can do, outside of shuttering the police department and starting over. Yet in a lot of these instances, one would hope, the hiring police departments were unaware of the candidate's previous history. In these situations, the firing police departments may be complicit, or laws protecting the "privacy" of public employees' records, or the hiring police department's own inefficiency.

State governments, and the federal government, can help. Sex offender registries, which in some jurisdictions can lead to 19-year-olds who receive sexts from their 17-year-old friends being branded sexual predators for life, are an odious thing that makes a mockery of due process and the idea of the penal system as rehabilitation. But for some of the same reasons they would work to police the privilege of employment in law enforcement. Constitutionally, the federal government could not mandate states use its police offender registry list or operate their own. Yet because many of the most troublesome police departments (those in big cities and those in the sticks) also rely most on federal assistance in one way or another, the feds could induce compliance by tying it to such assistance. The federal government has done this before, though usually to push states to impose certain laws on its residents, not to protect residents from abusive government employees. Such a list wouldn't be a comprehensive solution to excessive police violence, but it's an important part, one that could work to lower the number of bad cops operating on the streets and begin to rebuild trust between police and the communities they're supposed to serve.

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  1. Not exactly what we have in mind when we hear the term “Hallmark moment.”

    http://www.fastcodesign.com/30…..-swastikas

    1. I wish the Nazis would have chosen something else as their symbol. I really like that paper and the swastika as a decorative motif.

      1. If you think that’s bad, how do you think the Jainists feel?

      2. Nazi Christmas trees!
        http://www.nydailynews.com/new…..-1.1392821

    2. It would have been better if it had been penises. Penistikas, if you must.

    3. I must be blind, I can’t see a swastika in that pattern.

      1. Its right next to waldo.

    4. Also, all lines intersecting at right angles are actually Catholic propaganda. its true! You can look it up.

        1. You know who else was Illuminati?

          1. Vietnamese monks?

          2. OMFG ITS HITLER *FOAMS AT MOUTH*

        2. +10 tangential associations

            1. No, it’s
              What’s your sine?

  2. Put the executive branch of the federal government in charge of blacklisting local police officers from all over the country? What could possibly go wrong? **COUGH COUGH **Oath Keepers**COUGH COUGH!!**

    1. Yep. Not sure where Ed came up with the idea of the Federal Government running this registry. Most of the problems with sex offender registries stem from them being designed by government with no incentive for them to contain useful information.

      The cop registry seems like a natural fit for a private, Internet-based and crowd-sourced “rate my officer” site. The iron is definitely hot for something like that today, and if it had wide enough public recognition, LE agencies could be forced to at least take it into account when hiring.

      Of course what would really help would be busting police unions, but I’m trying to be realistic here.

      1. Actually, a well conceived PR campaign isn’t out of the realm of the possible as far as swaying public opinion about cop unions. Of course the all-but-impossible part would be finding politicians with enough spine to implement it.

      2. Using PoliceOne comments in said rating site could be awesome.

        1. Are we suggesting that someone put a bunch of time and effort into creating a website meant for the betterment of our country, or are we suggesting that someone get themselves pulled over and beaten to death on the side of the road?

          Because you just KNOW one will lead to the other.

      3. Of course what would really help would be busting police unions…

        What would help is eliminating all laws against victimless crime and then reducing the size of police forces by 90%.

        1. While we’re dreaming, make all police private, hired by victims or their guardians, ditto for prosecution. That in itself would make victimless crimes an oxymoron.

          1. Oh, you’re dreaming too small. Let’s abolish all standing police forces, and allow each person with enough means to levy their own private armies in times of war, in exchange for permission to farm the land they live on. And to keep these workers from revolting, we can beat them regularly and have sex with their wives on their wedding nights, but mostly just encourage their superstitious fear of witchcraft, goblins, and eternal punishment in the afterlife.

      4. Nothing says Good Policy to me like the combination of the words “Federal Government” and “Registry”

        1. Bahahahahahaha… Yeah that would never work.

      5. There are “Rate my Professor” sites, so a crowd-sourced, private site might be a help.

        I still like the idea of liability insurance. Require officers to carry insurance that would be used to pay out claims. Private carriers would set rates based on the personal history of the officer. If the rates become too high for the officer to afford, or if he can’t get a policy at all, then he won’t be allowed to work.

        In this way private companies would provide the register, similar to a credit rating agency.

      6. The cop registry seems like a natural fit for a private, Internet-based and crowd-sourced “rate my officer” site.

        It’s going to have to be run by a representative of a Police Union looking to boost his billable hours or a board of public defenders running for office.

        No privately held ‘rate my officer’ site will survive a single bad rating in a city with a friendly DA. At least, not if they enjoy public parking or not getting mugged on public transportation.

        I think anyone except some sort of contract/private security firm would just be putting a bullseye on their back(s).

    2. “Says here on the registry that you didn’t make enough traffic stops in 2014, haven’t seized any Porsches or houses for civil-forfeiture purposes, that you’re a softie who doesn’t want to smack suspects around even when they’re asking for it…yeah, don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

      1. Serpico goes on the top of the list.

      2. That’s why we need private insurance companies to keep the records of the things that would cost them payouts.

  3. Get rid of qualified immunity and thereby put teeth back into 42 USC 1983.

    Or this silly suggestion, whatever.

    1. Kill QI and put the financial liability for misconduct on the police pension system not the taxpayer.

      You’d have cops cleaning up their own ranks without much issue.

      1. I very much like this idea. I was thinking that taxpayers should have recourse to sue their government for negligence in hiring and maintaining a dangerous police force, but of course that’s a zero-sum game. Putting it back on the pension fund is a marvelous idea. Plus this would mean a lot more publicity instead of cases quietly being settled.

        1. I was thinking that taxpayers should have recourse to sue their government for negligence in hiring and maintaining a dangerous police force, but of course that’s a zero-sum game.

          Not if you can PERSONALLY sue your elected officials for the choices they make. Watch how fast shit gets cleaned up then.

          1. I think the corporation that provides the labor should be liable, the union. if they want to be slapdash in their membership and standards, they should bear the costs.

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  5. QOT: Man has severe asthma attack. Girlfriend rushes him to hospital. 3 miles away from the hospital, cop pulls over car for speeding. Girlfriend emotionally pleads for police officer to allow her to rush her boyfriend to the hospital. Cop refuses and calls for ambulance. Man dies 3 miles away from the hospital. Police chief says (paraphrasing) “Bitch shouldn’t have been speeding”.

    1. piss poor occupational judgement. a life lost. and zero accountability, except possibly the taxpayers.

      1. Yes, correct course of action would have been to provide an escort where he could somewhat control her speed, while alerting others on the road to yield. Instead, wastes time and a life. Even if he had lived, they would’ve then charged him $4000 for the ambulance ride.

        1. I thought that was pretty much the standard thing for situations like this. This pig was a special asshole. Amazed that the chief excused it. Yes, she should have been speeding.

          1. The Police Chief said she should not have been allowed to drive because she was hysterical. Well, duh. In any case, the driver posed little danger to anyone. It was at a time of night where no one was on the road – during the entire 10 minute video, one car approached from the opposite way (on a divided highway), and maybe 3 more in cross-traffic ahead.

          2. is speeding even illegal in an emergency?

            1. Yes. There was a story in the last few months were a cop pulled someone over for speeding to the hospital (woman giving birth I believe), gave them an escort, and then handed the driver a ticket at the hospital.

          3. This pig was a special asshole

            And the chief knee-jerk protects him. Imagine how much of an asshole HE must be, eh?

            It must be a nightmare living within his jurisdiction.

              1. Well, fuck HER, then.

        2. Yeah, remember the good ole days, when a cop’s job was actually to protect and serve?

          Good job pig.

          Procedures were followed. Nothing else happened.

          1. Yeah, remember the good ole days, when a cop’s job was actually to protect and serve?

            No, and I’m not exactly young.

            1. Well, okay. At least Officer Friendly would provide a police escort to the lady in labor…in the movies.

              Perhaps that’s what I’m remembering.

    2. Cops are ‘law enforcement’, not ‘help and protect citizens’ force. To them, they were doing their job. Of course, if you were a decent human being, you would drop all the pretense and just help the guy…but I digress.

    3. I’ve rushed two of my good friends to the hospital in this same manner. Luckily, I’ve never been pulled over.

      If I saw cop lights behind me in that situation, I just wouldn’t pull over. Especially now, after reading that article. I’d rather have the fucker arrest me at the hospital than let my friend or loved one die.

      Fuck this cop. I sincerely hope he gets cancer and dies painfully.

    4. “Man dies 3 miles away from the hospital. Police chief says (paraphrasing) “Bitch shouldn’t have been speeding”.

      Christ.

      Shit is horrible.

      That said = IMHO, bad calls made all around – but if the lady had kept her cool instead of screeching and ranting and just said = ‘we need medical attention ASAP’… just made some effort to communicate effectively rather than emote and be adversarial, the outcome may have been different.

      I’m not excusing the dumbfuck cop, but just pointing out that the #1 thing that gets people killed is fucking hysterical people who can’t keep their shit together. They always take a bad situation and snowballs it into a fucking life/death crisis because they can’t control themselves or properly assess the situation.

      I’ve seen a half dozen ‘car crash*’ type situations where *after* the actual real crisis, people suffered more than they should have or the outcomes were 10X worse due to @#*$&@ hysterical people who can’t stop crying and yelling

      i was once in a similar situation where someone was in shock, and the driver simply slowed down, waved the chasing cop to pull aside them, and yelled “emergency!” (pointed) “victim! hospital!” and the cop pulled ahead and provided high-speed escort while radioing ahead.

      1. I get what you’re saying, but from how quickly the chief pointed to the woman’s behavior as a justification for the officer’s actions, I have a sneaking suspicion that when the woman was pulled over, she said something like “My boyfriend needs to get to the hospital. It’s a medical emergency!” to which Barney Fife replied “Sorry, ma’am, can’t let you do that (cuz’ how dare a non-“first responder” save a life!)”. She might have even pleaded as he became more and more obstinate. When the woman realized the gravity of the situation that the cop forced her into, she then lost her shit. In this case, the full dash cam video would help in judging whether the woman was irrational as they claim.

        1. Video here.

          Yes, she was hysterical, but police should be trained to deal with that. The victims also made the mistake of both immediately getting out of the car. The cold weather definitely didn’t help. There was little danger to anyone else – there was no one on the road.

          Basically, the typical “procedures were followed” rather than assessing the situation.

          1. If your boyfriend is dying of an asthma attack, it’s perfectly understandable if you’re hysterical.

            1. No kidding. Coming soon to a legislature near you. Crime #1,237,684: Not keeping your shit together in a high stress situation. Kind of like every cop in every nut punch story we read here.

        2. “Sorry, ma’am, can’t let you do that (cuz’ how dare a non-“first responder” save a life!)”.

          Don’t make fun of our heroic “first responders”.

          /sarcasm

    5. Procedures were followed; police made it home safely.

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    1. yesterday I picked up themselves

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  7. The Federal Government of the United tates of America:

    Fixing the problem of too much government with more government.

    1. The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.

  8. Event: Asthma patient dies after being pulled over.

    Facts: Government employee (pig) says “You’re gonna be alright, ok? Do you understand that? We are helping you.”

    Result: DEAD due to actions of said government employee.

    Lesson: Be critical of any government claim that their actions are helpful. They almost always do more harm than good.

    1. No, you are not helping me, and no, I am not going to be fucking alright. You just killed him, am I supposed to be thanking you?

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  10. OT: I was having a conversation last night about what another revolutionary war would look like. Long story short; What if we did just enough revolutionizing to drive the entire elite political class into hiding in one of those underground VIP bunkers like the one under NORAD. Then we just block up the entrance, pretend they never existed, and start fresh?

  11. No particular reason why a ‘civilian’ website couldn’t compile data on bad cops (and bad judges). is there? Let its records be cited once in a successful lawsuit against a cop and it will become, practically speaking, ‘official’.

    1. Yelp for cops? Why not? I’m sure there’d be some bullshit lawsuits and no end of harassment, but if you got enough momentum behind it and had a good team of admins to keep it civil it’d be hard to shut down.

  12. Elizabeth Warren makes speech = Huffpo wets panties

    ‘Historic’, ‘Game-Changing’, ‘Transformative’, says Entertainment attorney, writer and political activist

    The actual commentary is something like a word-soup of Oligarchy! Big Money out of Politics! Wall St! Fat Cats! Inequality! Speculation! Derivatives*!

    (*they always demonize ‘derivatives’ as the tools of CorporateSatan because they can’t even begin to comprehend how the fuck they are priced. i mean, 99% of them don’t understand how *anything* is priced, but their especial hatred for derivatives is particularly amusing to me)

    I read this Warren-Love as a positive sign…. of Democrat implosion. I feel almost like Emperor Palpatine watching them all fall into the trap they created for themselves.

    1. their especial hatred for derivatives

      Perhaps it’s derived from their hatred of free markets?

      Maybe it’s a derivative of their need to control our money flow?

      Perhaps. . .it. . .derviates. . ? Fuck it, I’m done.

      1. This subject clearly warrants future discussion

    2. I feel almost like Emperor Palpatine watching them all fall into the trap they created for themselves.

      IT’S A TRAP! Of course, that didn’t exactly work out for Palpatine either.

      1. This Warren…. is no Jedi

    3. Their hatred of derivatives can be attributed to Senor Buffett’s remarks against them. While derivatives have been a problem (and probably will be again), it has more to do with the ratings agencies and the implicit guarantee from the Fed than anything else.

      1. Sorry, make that an explicit guarantee from the government as of this week:

        Presenting The $303 Trillion In Derivatives That US Taxpayers Are Now On The Hook For

        Courtesy of the Cronybus(sic) last minute passage, government was provided a quid-pro-quo $1.1 trillion spending allowance with Wall Street’s blessing in exchange for assuring banks that taxpayers would be on the hook for yet another bailout, as a result of the swaps push-out provision, after incorporating explicit Citigroup language that allows financial institutions to trade certain financial derivatives from subsidiaries that are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, explicitly putting taxpayers on the hook for losses caused by these contracts.

        1. Notational Swaps value is a horseshit figment of the imagination.

          And there’s no reason to believe that interest-rate or credit-default swaps *increase* banks risk exposure any more than mandating that they hold tons of iffy municipal paper as reserves…. or anything else for that matter.

          The whole point of OTC swaps is to enable the distribution of risk. yes, the counterargument is that since distribution of risk lowers the ‘perception’ of its overall size, that banks increase the overall volume of risk in the system. There is some merit to that – but none of that is in any way “helped” by the proposed regulations, which would simply have made the process more costly and required more procedural red tape.

          The point is that the ‘solution’ proposed by Dodd Frank was not any kind of ‘solution’. It was red-tape for its own sake.

          Now they’re acting like the failure of the implementation of their Non-solution is some kind of horrorshow, and as usual trot out the bullshit “hundred trillion!” numbers to make it sound super scary.

          1. Yes I understand that the total value of the derivatives market is not a truly significant number in of itself. I’m pointing out that what was traditionally considered pure investment speculation is now being explicitly brought under the umbrella of federal guarantees. Which is exactly the opposite of what should be happening.

            1. “I’m pointing out that what was traditionally considered pure investment speculation”

              the specific things mentioned are attempts to ‘distribute risk’ and represent basis-points on-the-dollar $ exposure. They’re not ‘speculation’ so much as risk-hedges of existing reserve assets. Although some people call anything other than “plain vanilla” ownership ‘speculation’.

              The current ‘lack of direct regulation’ of OTC swaps markets is not significantly different than their prior ‘lack of direct regulation’ despite what you’d take away from media reporting or Elizabeth Warren speeches.

              I believe we should end federal backstopping of banks; so do many banks. Ending the inter-twinement is a different issue from arguing that, since they happen to be joined at the hip, that the fed should also micromanage their operations. As noted previously – many of the rules in Dodd Frank don’t even properly understand the markets they claim to be regulating.

            2. FWIW –

              the actual proper way to regulate these things would be to change *accounting* rules regarding how they’re booked.

              I wont pretend to fully understand all of it. But basically, there is little disincentive to engage in the ‘riskier’ applications (highly levered hedges of risk assets – borrowing to buy protection for other loans, etc) because accounting allows banks to bury the exposure in their balance sheets.

              if there were more transparency, the market would regulate *itself* better. Not ‘government mandated/regulated and orchestrated processes’ (which is what the rules wanted); but rather simply changing the rules for swap-hedged assets are booked. Everything else would sort itself out.

              but ‘market solutions’ tend to not appeal to people in D.C. whose perceived “war on Wall St” wins them votes.

        2. Also =

          Zero hedge was interesting before 2008

          Since then they’ve been a joke.

    4. Derivatives *did* cause the failure of AIG and Bear Stearns.

      The lesson there, which Congress has still not figured out, is that “credit default swaps” are insurance and need to be regulated as insurance, so that the companies that issue them are required to be capable of paying claims when they come due.

      1. “Derivatives *did* cause the failure of AIG and Bear Stearns.”

        That’s like saying that the Glock 19 murdered X # of people last year… not the people who actually pulled the trigger.

        And Bear went under due to a liquidity crunch entirely unrelated to any specific derivatives exposure.

        AIG’s (subdivision) failure was due to its large credit-default-swap positions …. but the fact it happened to be via ‘derivatives’ was necessary but not sufficient to their demise. Many other institutions engaged in the same practices and were largely unaffected in that area.

        The simple point is that there is nothing about ‘derivatives’ as instruments that makes them inherently bad or good or anything. they’re simply a type of transaction.

        And this =

        “credit default swaps” are insurance and need to be regulated as insurance

        no. because they’re not ‘insurance’, despite some superficial similarities

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  14. Actually, in light of all the police misbehavior stories I’ve read in the last 20 years, and the deep involvement of the Police Unions, I hereby propose an shortcut;

    “You belong to the Police Union?”

    “Yessir!”

    “You’re fired. And consider yourself lucky that you aren’t facing charges of criminal conspiracy to folate the civil rights of minorities, like the Union officers are.”

  15. For a daily dose of police criminality, visit CATO institute’s:

    http://www.policemisconduct.net/

    You will be astounded at the frequency cops are involved in criminal activity.

    This country’s civilian peace keeping activity is completely out of control and needs a firm boot placed on its neck.

    And if you’re a cop, you have a real problem when you have boring, completely law abiding people like myself that can’t stand the sight of you.

    1. If you’re a cop, and you’re NOT one of the bad guys, I challenge you to prove it by arresting the next cop you see delivering an unnecessary beating up, tasing, or killing — and being the witness that convicts him.

      If you’re afraid to do that, then at least quit and get an honorable job.

    2. As another boring, completely law-abiding citizen (except when blocking traffic in a police brutality protest march), I completely feel you. And thanks for that link.

  16. So giving the feds more power over the cops? What could possibly go wrong? It’s not the libertarians complain about the NSA and torture…

  17. Also didn’t violent confrontations between the cops, the SA and the Communists give Von Papen the excuse to take over the Prussian government, including the cops, which when Hitler came to power gave him control of Germany’s largest police force?

  18. Ed Krayewski…useful idiot.

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  20. The government, at any level, cannot be trusted to operate such a registry honestly. We need to do it ourselves. CopBlock is probably the place to host it.

  21. The time has come to ban public employee unions at every level, federal, state, & local. Public employee unions are inimical to the democratic process. They campaign for the elected officials who will give them most pay and benefits and to hell with the taxpayers.

    1. +1^nth power

  22. I just love it when I hear on the news that some stupid cop got clipped in the line of duty.

    http://www.AnonPlanet.tk

    1. My cousin was killed working an accident by a drunk driver. He was a father of three and good man. You are jackass..

  23. Of course the “solution” focuses solely on race. It’s as stupid a concept as handing out worse sentences do “hate crimes”. Why should a white person who beats a black person within an inch of their life receive a harsher sentence than a white person who beats another white person? And what about a black person who beats a white person, or another white person? How many instances of police brutality against white people are there? Police abuse is a bigger issue than just race. Anybody remember those four peaceful protesters who were killed at Kent State University?

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  25. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
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  26. My only question is what is the author’s plan if people decided being a cop was no longer worth the hassle? If suddenly we had 1/3 the number of police we have now, do you actually think the US would be safer? Over the past few months, there has been a narrative about rouge cops, yet no one seems to want to acknowledge the difficulty of the job we ask them to do and the fact they are still human beings. The only difference is on any day, they can die or make a mistake and get crucified for it by the media. I agree there are many things that police do now that are a danger to freedom, but that is the system, not the officers. Fix the system and stop blaming the men and women we ask to do a job the vast majority of us are unwilling and too chicken to consider.

    1. To counter that, the bad cops are making the jobs of the good cops more difficult. When an officer gets away with murder people riot and even murder cops they happen to see – who in such cases are usually good cops. It also increases hostility towards officers in general, and people will be far less cooperative when they are afraid of being murdered.

      The bad cops of a minority compared to the good cops, so if the registry was either just a shared database used exclusively by police departments to flag bad cops or as a way to share detailed records about both good and bad cops to improve the hiring process while eliminating the ability of a given department to erase a record or sweep anything under the rug it would probably improve police morale overall and make for a safer more secure work environment for the good officer who serve their communities proudly.

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  28. I can’t believe that I’m hearing this insanely unconstitutional drivel on this site. You openly admit that registries like the sex offender registry that never remove anyone in their entire life even if their “crime” was a technicality, are a violation of due process and then vouch for one anyway.

    1. The government is already in possession of the information on these officers. It isn’t a violation of due process for an employer to keep employee records.

      No county or municipal government is sovereign. They are all extensions of the states, which are sovereign.

    2. If the sex offender registry was only visible to officers and only used by officers it would likely be far less controversial. Similarly, if a national registry of bad cops was only visible by police departments (and maybe the judiciary branch for review) and used primarily for making hiring decisions it would actually make things easier on the police departments and save them money in the otherwise expensive process of checking their credentials.

  29. I like better, the idea of mandating that cops carry individual malpractice insurance, just like a doctor.
    It lets the innocent taxpayers off the hook when some ‘roid-raging Stormtrooper goes off his nut. . . and a cop that can’t get insurance (due to excessive claims, for example) can no longer be a cop.

    As much as I don’t like cops – not having met one even close to “good” since the 1970s – Cop offender registries are just as abhorrent to me as sex offender registries. . . So much for the idea of “paying one’s debt to society.”

  30. I think you too quickly dismiss the constitutionality of the Feds mandating the states creating and maintaining such a database.

    The Fourteenth Amendment radically expanded the power of the Federal government to, in effect, police the states. Congress is expressly given power in Sec. 5 of that amendment to enforce its provisions.

  31. The problem with malpractice insurance is the same as the problem with car insurance — since those who commit malpractice don’t pay the cost of their actions individually, they aren’t deterred.

    Better to make them fully, personally liable and then require that they post bond. If they fail to pay a judgment against them, the bond is revoked and the badge goes with it.

  32. Here’s an idea that would probably be less resisted by officers: Rather than a bad cop registry, a national record of all officer conduct. Both the good and the bad, with nothing eligible for expunging, but nothing visible to anyone outside police departments. Even mere accusations held in permanent record, because that can still be used to establish a pattern.

    If nothing can be erased than it would be harder to sweep things under the rug, and if it includes the good and the bad it would be easier for a department to review all the information needed to decide if someone should be hired or not.

    Obviously, that would incur a high cost, but I think it would be worth it. When a bad cop kills it’s the tax payers who deal with the costs. If the cost of the national registry was spread out, with a higher cost going to areas with more fatalities (regardless of justification or lack-thereof) there would automatically be an incentive to kill the death count lower, but even those with the highest would still pay less than they would have. The poor communities, on the other hand, will save money by making it easier and cheaper to check the history of officers before hiring.

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