Police Abuse

Hillary Clinton Gives Long, Incomplete Answer on Police Reform

Mentioned Zachary Hammond, other cases, but not the role of unions and stupid laws in perpetuating police violence.



Asked about the backlash among police officers to Beyoncé's Super Bowl 50 performance, Hillary Clinton declined to engage the performance directly, instead talking about police reform in a way that identified a wide range of problems but also missed crucial solutions.

"I think there are an enormous number of police officers in our country that perform honorably every single day," Clinton said at last night's CNN town hall debate in South Carolina. "They put themselves in harm's way, they connect with the communities they are sworn to protect, and we should show them all the respect that they have earned and deserved."

Such deference to police officers—as if they were not public employees paid to perform a service but some kind of public servants for whom the only necessary payment is respect, and not, say, a paycheck, a pension, and protection from the consequences of their actions—make it harder to engage honestly about the police reforms needed.

Clinton moved on to acknowledge there "problems in our criminal justice system in a lot of places that we can't ignore."

She mentioned two prominent police shootings from South Carolina in 2015—that of Walter Scott and Zachary Hammond. While she mentioned Hammond was "unarmed and killed in a police action," she didn't mention why police targeted him in the first place—over a small amount of marijuana.

"We have lost too many young people," Clinton said. "So what's the answer?"

Clinton talked about training police officers to de-escalate, but it would be more effective, especially on the federal level, to consider how to de-escalate laws so that they don't put law enforcement officials and the people on whom the laws are imposed into situations where violence is more likely.

"I don't think the answer is for us to find ourselves in opposing camps, where we're just going to be looking at each other with mistrust," Clinton said, referring to the controversy over the Beyoncé performance.

Yet laws like the ones propping up the drug war create the most dangerous camps—police officers who are ordered to impose the will of lawmakers (and ultimately, in a democratic society, of voters) versus people engaged in non-violent, consensual behavior that the public disapproves of.

"We have to figure out how we're going to lift up the good practices, reform policing, provide more support, so that force is a last resort, not a first choice," Clinton said, "and that means helping to train police." It also needs to mean not asking police officers to go out and enforce the kind of petty laws that not only increase the likelihood of police violence but also trap many people in cycles of poverty.

Clinton then brought up the case of Dontre Hamilton, who was shot by a police officer in Milwaukee who was trying to remove Hamilton from a park bench after a number of officers who were previously called about Hamilton declined to do so.

"We've got to come to grips with the fact that we've got to do some retraining here," Clinton said, "We've got to do some work to make sure that our police are understanding how best to deal with situations, where somebody's not armed, somebody's sitting on a park bench, and he ends up dead, so there is work to be done."

Perish the thought that Clinton might've mentioned the independent review commission set up in Wisconsin to deal with police shootings just like Hamilton's, because Scott Walker was the governor when that law was passed. The commission, which ended up being stacked with former Milwaukee law enforcement officials, ended up ruling in favor of the officer, although the police department fired him for policy infractions related to the incident. Walker said he wasn't sure if the commission decided correctly, but did not want to get involved.

While Clinton framed the issue of police reform as one that still requires a lot of questions be asked to begin to arrive at solutions, that work is actually already being done. Activists associated with Black Lives Matter launched Campaign Zero last year, a set of policy initiatives aimed at reducing police violence. Clinton does not have to re-invent the wheel—she can work off the proposals of Campaign Zero.

Among their policy solutions is reforming police contracts to remove barriers to accountability put up via collective bargaining and other labor agreements.

"Let's hold police behavior accountable, so that there's an incentive for people to change how they are doing police practices," Clinton said.

Police unions are such a big part of the problem of incentives in policing that Black Lives Matter launched an initiative specifically to collect and analyze union contracts. It should be becoming increasingly clear that police unions are a major part of the problem of police violence. Clinton and other Democrats (and Republicans) should be held accountable for ignoring that, and other components, of the problem in favor of rhetorically pleasing bromides that won't lead on their own to meaningful reform.

"What we want to do is stop this from happening again," Clinton said. "We want to save lives."

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  1. While she mentioned Hammond was “unarmed and killed in a police action,”

    Gotta watch out for those police actions, they’ll kill ya soon as lookin at ya.

    1. A police action occurred and a suspect lost his potential to vote for Hillary Clinton.

      1. Since when has death ever been an impediment to someone voting Democrat?

    2. “The innocent bystander was unarmed and killed in a gang action”

      Somehow I don’t think she’d phrase it like that if it wasn’t the government goons.

      1. Clearly we’re not spending enough money on training the gangs.

        1. it’s amazing how the public sector manages to turn failure into more money

    3. Several prior cops understood that walking away was safer for their careers. This case had repeated calls to cops to move this guy out of the park, not several cops who were having fun being bullies to the homeless. This guy was a schizophrenic who was left to wander. When a cop decided to do his job instead of save his job, the guy fought instead of cooperating, much like the famous loosie salesman. This guy only had one cop to fight, and managed to get the billy club from him.

      That might have been the cause of firing. No cop should approach an arrest singly. But once the guy was armed, the cop was duty bound to control him. Mistake two: hold off, keep him in sight, call for back up. Instead, the cop fights. Even with the prior mistakes, he’s justified in using his gun b a gun because he was fighting a guy armed with a police quality billy club.

      Once gun use is justified, death of victim from using every bullet is justified. Clearing the cop for the shooting was not “shooting an unarmed man.” It was called that by using invalid logic, and saying “he wasn’t armed at the start.” So? He wasn’t armed at birth, either. Was he armed when the cop pulled his gun? Yes. Thus, invalid logic.

      So: PR fix, fire the cop, and on paper he made two screw up I can ID; local cop SOP may have included more. But shooting the fighting criminal wasn’t the mistake.

  2. I agree with all the people who feel strongly about this issue, and feel that something must be done
    – Politician

  3. Words were spoken.

    1. A lot of words. It doesn’t take all that many when you’re telling the truth. But someone dancing around the truth needs a lot to get the job done. Ask a cop what he thinks when he pulls over somebody on suspicion of something: you think a loquacious suspect makes the cop think, “darn, I pulled this innocent guy over for nothing.”

      1. Don’t ever talk to cops.

    2. And that’s all that her supporters need! Actions? Who cares!

      1. It’s enough for me. Taking action is an opportunity to screw even more things up.

  4. ‘”we’ve got to do some retraining here,”

    – code language = More Money for Cops

    1. Well, duh. It costs money to teach cops not to murder people so much.

      1. If only we could train people to just obey a lawful order!

    2. If she’d buy an “s” that sentence might mean something.

      1. RIght, it should be “retrainings” as in plural. You can’t solve this with only one training – DUH!

        1. Expensive trainings. For which the participating officers receive overtime, of course.


            1. Shut up, Tulpa! I mean Eugene!

              1. Careful with that Axe!

    3. I don’t think lack of training is the big problem. How many times do we hear the phrase “procedures were followed” to support a cop’s actions? And there’s never the follow-up question from the press: “Well, since an innocent person is dead, have you thought about changing the %$#@! procedures?”

      1. It’s not the training or the procedures. It’s what comes of hiring a bunch of low-IQ apes with a taste for violence and telling them there will be no consequences for their actions. I’m pretty sure procedures for proper firearms use don’t involve pointing guns at 4 year old girls, but it didn’t stop that hero in Ohio last June from doing just that and pulling the trigger.

        1. I’m pretty sure procedures for proper firearms use don’t involve pointing guns at 4 year old girls, but it didn’t stop that hero in Ohio last June from doing just that and pulling the trigger.

          I must have missed that particular nut punch. Lucky me.

    4. ^This^

      Her entire spiel could be summarized as “SPEND MOAR MONEY ON ‘TRAINING’ FOR COPZ!!1!!!111!!!!!”

  5. “I don’t think the answer is for us to find ourselves in opposing camps

    …we need to be in happy camps!”*

    1. Hillary could put a sign at the entrance that says “Arbeit macht Froh”. It’s her style.

  6. Hillary Clinton – Semantic content: nil.

  7. Can someone ask her if she would lie to us again?

    That shit was hilarious.

    Lying Should Be The Easiest Part Of Campaigning!!

  8. Training without consequences for ignoring it is meaningless.

    1. And that is the nut of it.

      Progressives love the *idea* of “Education / Training”…. and they DESPISE “Incentives / Disincentives”

      “Education” usually means that ‘their people’ will get more funding… and more importantly = *Control* of more funding.

      They have the lock on ‘teachers’ and ‘regulators’. If ‘education’ implies a more-robust regulatory system, they win.

      “Incentives or Disincentives”, on the other hand… usually means that money will be tied to *performance*

      Suddenly the bureaucracy isn’t just about ticking off boxes, but getting *results*. And that the flow of money is tied to actual objective criteria against which their formerly-powerful people are now being *measured*

      It completely reverses the power dynamic. So progs always talk about Training & Education to move things away from any discussion of Incentives or Disincentives.

  9. Hillary will be the worst ever on civil rights, you can count on it. In fact, she’ll be the worst possible on all issues, unless you’re a connected crony who considers freedom killing bullshit good.

  10. “What we want to do is stop this from happening again,” Clinton said. “We want to save lives.”

    So leadership. Many boldness.

  11. Asked about the backlash among police officers to Beyonc?’s Super Bowl 50

    I was asked to explain this to someone the other day. I became very tired and more than a little sad.

  12. If we paid cops more we would have better cops who would be less prone to making mistakes, so paying cops more is my solution.

    1. Mistakes are unintentional.

  13. Superb work-from-home opportunity for anyone…fd Work for three to eight hours daily and start earning about $4k-$8k each month… Regular weekly payments…If this interest you try here Viset My Page……..

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    1. Are you a cop? It’s against the law to lie and say you’re not.

      1. Do something a cop wouldn’t do! Smoke these drugs!

        1. You really want a cop smoking your drugs AND arresting you???

          1. Look, i panicked, ok?

  14. “”We’ve got to come to grips with the fact that we’ve got to do some retraining here,” Clinton said, “We’ve got to do some work to make sure that our police are understanding how best to deal with situations, where somebody’s not armed, somebody’s sitting on a park bench, and he ends up dead, so there is work to be done.””

    Clinton went on to say that “it’s time to get rid of some of the BS laws which allow police to hassle unarmed people on park benches,” then added she was just kidding.

    “If there’s a guy on a park bench and he may have been selling untaxed cigarettes,” Hillary suggested, “the cops should pick him up by his ankles and shake him until all his unjust profits fall out of his pockets. Then they should pick up the money and go on to the next suspect.”

    1. For Hillary Clinton to talk about a man on a park bench extemporaneously like that would imply that she has actually given thought to the concerns of individuals, even if only to shit all over them.

      1. I wonder if she’s ever sat on a park bench, eyeing little girls with bad intent.

        1. That was both funny and creepy.

          Um, good job?

        2. Hillary’s new slogan:

          Flowers will bloom like madness in the Spring. Vote Hillary!

          1. Is that some kind of communist Chinese motto? It sounds like it.

  15. Clinton talked about training police officers to de-escalate

    The best way to accomplish that is to punish them harshly for failure to do so.

    1. punish them harshly for failure to do so

      I’ll take “Things that will never happen” for $1000, Alex.

  16. Since when are state and local police a responsibility of the federal government?

    1. Since they started providing funding.

    2. “Since when is _________ a responsibility of the federal government?” would be a good response to 95% of the questions that candidates get asked.

  17. Even within the boundaries of a supposedly enlightened society that tromps around the goddamn planet acting as if it can solve all the problems authority refuses to be educated by those it demands to rule.

    Sort of smashes a crowbar into the dead temples of the bright fathers who designed this place to host governance that is limited and supremely respectful of the rights of its citizenry.

  18. “…we should show them all the respect that they have earned and deserved.”

    Fucking bulbous pink toad can shove those letters up her shaggy mausoleum.

  19. Hillary clinton is a wanker! If she becomes president, I am moving to Costa Rica.


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