Police Abuse

NO, Settlements Over Police Brutality DON'T Bring Accountability to Cops or Prevent Future Police Brutality

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New Jersey State Troopers
NJ.gov

A shocking story of police abuse from New Jersey, via NJ.com:

In the suit filed in Superior Court in Newton, Raul Sanchez had said he was on his property in Wantage in the early morning hours of Nov. 21, 2009 when he saw "four people with flashlights heading toward him."

The troopers threw him on the ground, handcuffed him and asked, "Where's the gun?" according to the suit. Sanchez said he told the troopers he had no gun.

Nonetheless, the troopers kicked him on his back and sides and beat him with their flashlights, he said. They continued to beat him after he was handcuffed on the ground and not resisting arrest, according to the suit.

Sanchez suffered three broken ribs and a bruised spleen as a result of the attack, according to his attorney, Jeffrey Patti.

"Luckily, there was no permanent damage to the spleen and the broken ribs have healed," Patti said, noting that Sanchez, now 61, was 56 at the time of the attack.

No criminal charges were ever filed against Sanchez as a result of the incident, Patti said.

He added that to the best of his knowledge, the troopers have all kept their jobs and none have been disciplined.

Even being accused of owning a gun in New Jersey can be dangerous to your health. Sanchez's lawyer claims police targeted Sanchez because he complained about patrons of the next door bar throwing garbage on his property.

The settlement, negotiated by a deputy attorney general on behalf of the four troopers, protects the state from having to admit any wrong-doing in the incident by offering money in exchange for Sanchez dropping the lawsuit. So taxpayers are paying not just for the settlement but for the thug cops' representation. The State Police won't comment, so it's impossible to find out if they even pretended to run an investigation into the serious allegations of corruption made in the lawsuit.

I'm not going to deny anyone their right to extract as much money from the government as they can when they've been brutalized by government employees but the process of obtaining a settlement over claims of police brutality does NOTHING to bring accountability to police. Yet that claim is often floated. Sanchez's attorney says he hoped that by "holding those four troopers accountable, future victims of police brutality can be spared."

Similarly, a police brutality case settled in Philadelphia had one columnist suggesting the settlement, which also led to no discipline of the officers involved in the brutality or the cover-up, meant "not every cop who behaves badly gets a pass." Much later in the piece the columnist admitted that "considering that taxpayers are the ones indirectly footing the bill and, as far as I know—police declined to comment—the officers aren't facing any disciplinary action, I'm not sure it's a lesson learned." She finished by calling on Philadelphia police chief Charles Ramsey to investigate the cops' behavior. And he should. But as Ramsey himself has stressed before, his options for disciplining and even terminating cops are severely limited by the police contract, something not mentioned by that columnist nor many of the others who touch on the issue of police brutality at all.

h/t Drake

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  1. Of course not, it’s a no brainer. The tax payers pick up the tab, why should the cops care? There has to be accountability.

    1. Start paying funds out of the cops pension fund and see how quickly things tun around.

    2. “considering that taxpayers are the ones indirectly footing the bill”

      There is nothing “indirect” about it.

  2. When they don’t have to pay the settlement and they don’t get punished, you’re right.

    What may, however, possibly maybe start to create change is when it gets to the point where insurers refuse to insure cities/counties/municipalities/states for police issues. There’s a slight chance that if the money actually starts to come out of the general fund, the politicians may change their tune. I’m not sure it would happen even then (see: Maricopa County), but there’s a tiny chance.

    1. Many govs are self-insured so that isn’t a factor.

      Insurance companies will insure anyone will pay the premium, and Insurance companies are damn good at figuring the “correct” premium.

      This problem has been going on forever and the fault lies firmly on the pulic’s ignorance and/or willingness to put up with this financial burden.

  3. Immunity=/=moral hazard. These cops should be treated EXACTLY as though they were four regular dickheads beating the shit out of someone. Costumes and democratic majorities do not change our moral obligations to others.

    1. immunity does in fact = moral hazard. fucking edit button is broken.

      1. I got what you meant and I agree with you.

        If you want to hear a statist really howl, just whisper a suggestion that “sovereign immunity” should be removed or even just reduced for minions of the state. Make sure you’re wearing earplugs to block out the high-pitched wailing about how the world would end.

        1. I know. Heaven forbid everyone be subject to the same laws and penalties.

  4. h/t Drake?

    I have the same opinion as Charlamagne Tha God

  5. At this point I would be happy just to see the cops get moving violations. Call it a broken windows theory of police accountability.

    1. The other story I noted this morning had a NJ State cop fired and pension docked – for falsifying audits.

      http://www.nj.com/politics/ind…..ry_package

      So the moral is – hurting civilians is okay. Making your bosses look bad = firing offense and partial loss of pension.

      I bet the moral of these stories is not lost on the rest of the Troopers.

      1. Embarrassing your superior, especially with the truth, is about the most serious offense you can commit as a government employee.

  6. No, those cops feel awfully sorry that the city has to pay their victim. It haunts them at night and is on their mind in every interaction with the public. Stop denigrating our heroes in blue!!

  7. WINNING

    hth

  8. At some point these union contracts have to be considered civil rights violations in themselves. These contracts are nothing but the cities setting up a system whereby its cops are free to violate people’s civil rights with impunity. Paying the resulting judgement does not relieve the city of its obligation to ensure the violations don’t happen in the first place. Signing a union contract that makes it impossible for any cop to ever be held accountable for such violations is completely inconsistent with that duty.

    Take the union contract out of it. Imagine for a moment that a city told the world, that while it would pay any judgments, it would never punish any police officer who violated people’s civil rights. Such a policy would never fly. Yet, cities do exactly that in the form of union contracts.

    1. Sounds like a case for FIRE. The ACLU has a reputation for handling civil rights cases, but I doubt they’d touch that case with a 10′ pole.

      1. I have tried explaining the theory to some plaintiffs’ attorney’s I know, but they don’t get it. I need to write a law review article on it. If I am not mistaken, Chicago pays out over a $100 million a year in civil rights claims against its police officers. That contract allows police to systematically violate people’s civil rights without being held accountable. I can’t see how refusing to hold officers accountable for abuse is consistent with the city’s duty to protect civil rights.

        1. I can’t see how refusing to hold officers accountable for abuse is consistent with the city’s duty to protect civil rights.

          According to all the beastly scribes who write all the articles hating on those who call into question the misdeeds of authority you are exhibiting the ‘naivety’ of principled Libertarianism. This is why you can’t see, bub.

        2. Weren’t some of the civil rights cases in the 60s similar? I seem to remember some high level cops being punished for allowing their subordinates to violate the civil rights of blacks. Seems like the same basic idea.

    2. First of all, this isn’t a judgement, it’s a settlement, as in “we agree to pay you off in this amount to go away, with no fault assigned“. It, usually, saves money for the one settling. The poor “victim” sure didn’t want to go through the entire process, being willing to sell out his “civil rights” for a measly 75 grand.
      Secondly, I don’t know where you get the idea that the government accepting responsibility for the actions of their officers is part of a union contract. Each new contract is a public document, so, you are under the impression that, with each renewal, there is a clause that says the actions of officers, no matter what, will be paid for, with no repercussions to said officers? Delusion!
      Thirdly, the entire article and all of these responses are based on only one side of the story – the one told by the guy trying to get money out of the “deep pockets” of NJ. Yeah, that’s good libertarian ideology for you.

  9. I’ll just leave this here.

  10. You just can’t be holding cops accountable for their misdeeds. It would just make the cunts feel disrespected and sad. Because, ‘MURIKA has laws and ‘MURIKANS don’t question the laws or the systems that enforce said laws.

    That’s something we used to do when our balls were much larger and hairier and we could actually knock doors down with our jizz lasers.

    We only get to excitedly read and write about other citizens in other countries protesting and bucking the various iron hands. Here in the ‘MURIKA protesting authority is just gauche and anti-‘MURIKA.

  11. “The process of obtaining a settlement over claims of police brutality does NOTHING to bring accountability to police.”

    They had something sort of like this in the Middle Ages. They were called “indulgences”.

    You want to beat the shit out of somebody and not be prosecuted? You can do that, but you’re gonna have to fork out some cash!

    Actually, indulgences were better, in a couple of ways. For one, the person who wanted the indulgence had to pay for it, but these cops don’t have to pay for it–it’s the taxpayers who have to fork over the cash.

    Second, selling indulgences was probably better in the late Middle Ages because you had to pay for them ahead of time. These cops, on the other hand, don’t find out until after they’ve indulged themselves–and so there’s no budget induced restraint. If the city had to budget for indulgences ahead of time, towards the end of the fiscal year, they might exert more pressure on their police department not to beat the shit out of people just for fun.

    1. If the city had to budget for indulgences ahead of time, towards the end of the fiscal year, they might exert more pressure on their police department not to beat the shit out of people just for fun.

      How long did it take for Chicago to burn through the millions of dollars they set aside to pay off people abused by the cops, and how much pressure did it put on their police department to actually follow the laws they supposedly enforce?

      1. You’re right, I guess selling indulgences won’t work either–if you’re trying to stop the police from beating the shit out of people for fun.

        On the other hand, if they actually sold indulgences, it would generate some revenue for the city! Have you ever seen that movie Hostel?

        You just open up some temporary positions on the police force to the highest bidder and–wham! It’s raining money.

      2. Chicagoans that matter are MUCH too busy buying shit on Michigan Avenue and eating at one of a billion Chicago steak houses filled with stiff-necked cunts to bother with reforming a bureaucracy seething with predator cops who mainly fuck with poor asses no one worth anything gives a single dump about.

        Let the fucking zeros deal with their own goddamn broken bones and lawsuits…

        1. The news I keep hearing out of Chicago right now is about how their murder rate is completely out of control.

          1. Thankfully all the goddamn murders aren’t taking place anywhere near Chanel.

    2. Much of modern law has roots in centuries-old theocracies which are still in existence in some form or another so your point here is well taken.

      1. Well, I was being facetious about selling indulgences, but it does seem like a funny ’cause it’s true kind of thing.

        …when they sold indulgences like that, at least the taxpayers weren’t the ones paying for them!

        1. … and the ones that weren’t paying for indulgences were poked full of holes and had their eyes fed to the crows.

          1. Much less than you might think. Medieval warfare was a soccer game compared to today’s democratic theories of warfare that casually dismiss civilian causalities and destruction of property as either a necessary consequence or a simple necessity in defeating an enemy.

            1. I don’t think it was quite as clean as a soccer game but clearly modern civilization has honed their mercilessness into something remarkably civilized and patriotic.

              Probably much like the ‘respectable’ religiosity veil of the middle ages- just without the endless internet rags, smart phones, and empty-headed pretty people on TV telling us what to think.

              1. I don’t think it was quite as clean as a soccer game but clearly modern civilization has honed their mercilessness into something remarkably civilized and patriotic.

                I didn’t say it was a soccer game, I said it was a soccer game by comparison to today’s breed of total warfare. Patriotism and nationalism now drives statist wars, as opposed to dynastic “property” disputes between kingdoms as it was in the past. Modern (ostensible at least) democratic states wage war far more mercilessly than in the age of monarchies because the theory of war has changed to include all of “the nation” as the enemy.

                Moreover in the medieval period, warfare between states was usually limited to a certain tract of disputed territory and commanders often fought as a series of maneuvers to counter the movement of enemy forces, often completing objectives with little or no bloodshed. Warfare was more costly to rulers’ own purse at that time and so was naturally more limited in scope.

  12. This struck me as odd:

    “The 0.01 C difference between 2014 and 2005, or the 0.02 difference with 2013 are not statistically different from zero. That might not be a very satisfying conclusion, but it is at least accurate.”

    He seems very concerned that we accept that 2014 was the third warmest, but not in any way that matters, and the implication seems to be that we should regard it as being no different than years that were hotter than 2014.

    Would he write the same disclaimer for a year that actually was the warmest by .01 C?:

    1. Whoops. Wrong article.

  13. If the Libertarian Party is looking for a new issue to pursue, reasonable restraints on rogue cops is certainly something to think about as the two major parties aren’t going to propose much of anything.

    1. The Libertarians have been touting this issue for decades, oldboy.

  14. The only thing that will make cops accountable is their facing penalties for not turning in bad cops. Unfortunately what we have is the opposite. Any cop who rats out a bad cop will be forced out of the department because no one will work with them, and no one will respond when they need backup. It’s cultural, and it’s not changing any time soon.

    1. The only place in the world where the word ‘ethics’ establishes a distinct ‘chill’ is in a police department.

  15. I got Lancia after having made $8688 this month and more than ten-k last-month . this is really the easiest work I’ve ever had . I started this 3 months ago and right away earned more than $84 per/hour .
    Go to this website ?????? http://www.jobsfish.com

  16. I know this is incredibly naive on my part, but it seems to me, if we want change and accountability from our police, we should be able to sue the police unions. When one cop fucks up, all cops pay. It won’t take long for the good officers to turn on their corrupt counterparts, and, more importantly, maybe the unions will stop protecting these bastards. In my purview, it has been the union heads that have fueled much of the hatred to officers (ie, Lynch v. deBlasio). In absolutely no way, shape, or form should the citizens be responsible for reprehensible conduct by the police.

  17. “She finished by calling on Philadelphia police chief Charles Ramsey to investigate the cops’ behavior.” And he should. But as Ramsey himself has stressed before, his options for disciplining and even terminating cops are severely limited by the police contract, something not mentioned by that columnist nor many of the others who touch on the issue of police brutality at all.

    Re the foregoing, who dreamed up the referenced stipulations in the police unions contract, and even more interesting is the following. Who is the idiot that signed such a contract?

    1. The “referenced stipulations” are generally that the officers may only be disciplined under the same type of strict evidentiary proof that any citizen would have to face, in a court of law.
      Too often cities used “kangaroo court” type of tactics, holding employees to standards, for political reasons, that wouldn’t stand up, for a second, in a real court.
      False claims, against police are filed all the time, they deserve to be treated the same as if someone claims you beat them up, for no reason. Unfortunately, this had to be included in contract negotiations, rather than what fairness would dictate.
      They are not stipulations that the government entity will pay off all claims, with no punishment of the officers, if punishment is warranted.

  18. Where’s the DoJ Office of Civil Rights?
    Shouldn’t they be pursuing charges against these thugs….er….cops?

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