Brickbats

Brickbat: It Had Wheels. That's Close Enough

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Aurora, Colorado, police officers ordered at gunpoint a mother and her children out of the SUV the woman was driving, made them lie down on the pavement and handcuffed them after mistaking her vehicle for a motorcycle reported stolen in another state. Police Chief Vanessa Wilson blamed the error on a license plate scanner that hit on the vehicle's license plate number. Wilson did not explain why officers did not confirm the description of the vehicle before pulling it over and detaining the family. "We have been training our officers that when they contact a suspected stolen car, they should do what is called a high-risk stop. This involves drawing their weapons and ordering all occupants to exit the car and lie prone on the ground," she said. Wilson said she has apologized to the family and spoken to the division chief about better training for officers on detaining children.

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  1. Maybe the scanner was drunk.

    1. No only the piano has been drinking

      1. Shame his necktie was asleep.

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  4. Their trained to act, not think.

    1. They’re grammar isn’t that good either.

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    2. They are trained to act like cowardly paranoid psychopaths.

      1. Most of them don’t need that training.

        1. Nope, it’s part of the hiring requirements. No training required or desired.

        2. a happens in 8th grade kinda thing for those guys

  5. Well, they came out better at the hands of Aurora police than Elijah McCain did.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Elijah_McClain

  6. Don’t stop at defunding them, also defund the schools where they got their obviously worthless education. I’d expect even a kindergartener to be able to tell the difference between a motorcycle and an SUV.

    1. Many moons ago I was on my bicycle wearing a jean jacket, and was detained by cops who said they were looking for someone on foot wearing camo.

      Can’t blame that on a license plate.

      1. Obviously you stole the bicycle and jacket too. Three strikes!

    2. Maybe they need to take a cognitive test. Come on, man!

  7. We have been training our officers that when they contact a suspected stolen car, they should do what is called a high-risk stop.

    Well, that’s all well and good, but you forgot your officers are so goddamn retarded they can’t tell the difference between a car and a motorcycle.

    1. No, that’s not all well and good. Most vehicle thefts aren’t by high-risk persons.

  8. Hey, the scanner just wants to go home safe at the end of its shift. We’re lucky its weapon wasn’t discharged and someone was struck. I’m sure the scanner will be placed on administrative leave and sent for more training.

    1. Do these scanners pay union dues? If not, I think we can get rid of them.

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  11. “Wilson did not explain why officers did not confirm the description of the vehicle before pulling it over and detaining the family.”

    This would seem to suggest that the vehicle descriptions in the system are often wrong–at least often enough that the police may be routinely ignoring them.

    1. Back in the day, CA gave different license plates based on makes and models of vehicles. CO doesn’t do the same thing? So that the officer can see XYZ plate number and know that’s supposed to be on a truck, not a bike?

      Weird. Also, at what point in the felony stop is the officer wondering why she took her two small children with her to steal someone’s car, and that maybe dispatch has this all wrong?

      John hit it on the head about a month ago here: the cops are terrified of the people they serve. That terror makes them contemptuous of the public, shuts down their rational thinking, and makes them paranoid of any thing that looks like danger.

      1. Most states don’t issue license plates that way and the ones that do have often stopped. The problem is that it requires pre-assigning number (or letter) ranges based on the type of vehicle. When you inevitably have more of one type than predicted, you run out of values in that range. Once you fix it by adding an additional range for that popular model (and do the same a couple more times over the years), you get a structure so complex that it’s functionally indistinguishable from random. Better to just assign them in order and use metadata in the database to match the number to make and model.

        That said, some states do still issue a different series for motorcycles based on the logic that the license plate is smaller. Therefore, they reserve the shorter values for motorcycles. But it’s only some states.

        Complete agreement with the rest of your comment, though. Training cops to not think is dangerous for all of us. If they keep thinking of the rest of us as “the enemy”, eventually they will make that prediction come true.

  12. Police Chief Vanessa Wilson blamed the error on a license plate scanner that hit on the vehicle’s license plate number.

    They were lucky they weren’t cited for having the wrong plate on the SUV.

    1. Or the wrong vehicle on the plate.

  13. #defundcomputers

    1. #learntodebug

      1. I did; for 45 years.
        Programming rule number one: every program has a bug.
        Programming rule number two: testing proves the presence, not the absence of the bugs.

        1. The difference between good programmers and bad programmers is that good programmers know how to test and actually do test.

          1. Programmers make shitty testers because they tend to test what they wrote, as opposed to what the user actually does.

        2. Programming rule number three: You have always found the last bug. There is always a next bug.

        3. Definition of an upgrade: Take old bugs out, put new ones in.

  14. This is ridiculous, that cop should get punishment for his action. Watch such news on playbox hd app on mobile phone.

    1. I know this isn’t a libertarian solution, but if we taxed spambot postings we could wipe out the debt in no time.

      1. So you oppose free speech if the speaker just happens to be made up of ones and zeros?

        1. It’s still free, we’ll just tax it!

          /prog logic

      2. There are so many bots on this site they are replying to one another.

  15. Here’s one where some black teens called the cops because some crazy dude threatened them with a knife. When the cops got there, the crazy dude was gone, so the cops naturally terrorized the people who called them.

    Cops literally arrest and basically prepare to kill Black kids they WERE CALLED TO HELP

    1. “I’m the one who called you! They didn’t do nuthin!” and of course the cops don’t care.

    2. Cops literally arrest and basically prepare to kill Black kids they WERE CALLED TO HELP

      Obviously this is a misunderstanding of why the cops were cops were called. They weren’t called to help anyone, they were called to arrest someone so by God, they’re going to arrest someone. Whether it’s the right someone or not, they don’t really care.

      Also, can we declare a moratorium on inserting unnecessary words into statements like this, especially the words literally and basically? “Cops arrest and prepare to kill…” gets the same meaning across much more concisely.

      1. I gets the same meaning across more concisely or *much* more concisely?

      2. “Obviously” was unnecessary.
        “especially” was an exaggeration.
        “much” was unnecessary.

        “we” was silly, you sound like a nurse.

  16. File this under stupid cop, episode # 398,212,385.

    But if we want all cops to be above average, along with all doctors, and teachers, and pilots, and reporters, and tech workers, and bus drivers, and civil engineers, and any other profession where we expect consistent, high-quality performance, then what do we do with the other two-thirds of the population?

    1. We have them compare “above average” (one half minus 1) with “two-thirds” in remedial arithmetic 101.

      1. Unless the distribution is skewed by a few outliers who bring up the average. But point taken.

  17. I bet the cops are really easy to set up these days. I’d be surprised if anti-fa weren’t prank calling the cops and antagonizing them once they arrive–just to catch a “crazy cop” on video for YouTube. I dunno. Maybe it’s easier to loot store in Chicago or burn them down in Portland.

    Anyway, the reluctance of the police to interact with people is almost certainly a major contributor to the spike in violent crime, and I bet the average cop is experiencing a lot more in the way of open hostility these days from the people they do interact with than usual. Being a cop would suck right now.

    1. You really think cops care if people hate them? They seek out a job where they can hurt people with impunity because they like to hurt people. So you really think they give a shit if people are hostile to them? They don’t care what anyone says, and if a person gets physical then the cop gets to hurt them, which gives the cop a boner. I bet lots of cops are loving the current climate because it means they don’t have to pretend to be nice or respectful, and can jump straight to the violence that attracted them to the job.

  18. Thankfully, car thieves are too stupid to maybe change the stolen plates on their vehicle for plates on a non-stolen vehicle? I wonder if cops aren’t trained to stop any vehicle with stolen plates even if it doesn’t match the description of the stolen vehicle? That would be good police work, except for the guns and handcuffing bit.

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  20. Seems possible this was caused by the state of Arizona issuing the same tag numbers to different classes of license plate.

  21. >>blamed the error on a license plate scanner

    also the scanner lit the rollers and threw mommy to the ground.

    1. Cops ironically turn out to be ultra passive little shits.

  22. I wonder how many other police departments are instructed to do that high-risk stop. Clearly this is a problem.

    1. The plurality of vehicle theft is by joy riders; after that, people stealing for parts. Neither of those categories is likely to be dangerous. This looks like one of these now-infamous cases of prioritizing officer safety over doing what they were hired for.

      1. So, where’s your car parked now? I have some free time. A vehicle is a weapon; joyriders/parts thieves can kill people in other ways. In this story, the cops were wrong because of mismatched plate, family didn’t fit high risk assessment. Your two groups do, as unknowns. Some cops are bastards, some aren’t. This attempt to categorize lawlessness is sophistic.

        1. There are literally categories to crime… Violent and non violent. Car theft is non violent. Car *jacking* is violent. There is an important distinction and therefore they should have different responses.

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