Police

Regulate Use of Force

"When you're conditioned to believe that every person...poses a threat to your existence, you simply cannot be expected to build out meaningful relationships."

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In this month's issue, we draw on decades of Reason journalism about policing and criminal justice to make practical suggestions about how to use the momentum of this summer's tumultuous protests productively. Check out Damon Root on abolishing qualified immunity, Peter Suderman on busting the police unions, Jacob Sullum on ending the war on drugs, Sally Satel on rethinking crisis response, Zuri Davis on restricting asset forfeiture, Alec Ward on releasing body cam footage, Jonathan Blanks on stopping overpolicing, Stephen Davies on defunding the police, and Nick Gillespie interviewing former Reasoner Radley Balko on police militarization.

"Through a combination of specific legislative acts, departmental procedures, monopolistic default, and the general effect and aura of the laws they enforce, police have come to a point where, to one degree or another, they are above the law. Not only may (and do) and must police squash rights within the law, but, the degree depending on circumstances and motive, they may also do so outside the law."
Lanny Friedlander
"The Cops: Heroes or Villains?"
November 1969

As tens of thousands of Americans marched through the streets following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, city councils, state legislatures, and Congress all wrestled with how to address protesters' demands for an end to police brutality. One problem is that the standards for how and when police can use force on someone are complicated, and strong-sounding reforms have a funny way of getting neutered at the street level where day-to-day police interactions occur.

New York City banned police from using chokeholds, for instance, but that didn't stop New York Police Department (NYPD) officer Daniel Pantaleo from killing Eric Garner in 2014. Cities spent money on implicit bias and de-escalation training in the years following the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, but Floyd still died with a knee on his neck. The number of fatal police shootings has hovered around 1,000 per year since 2015, according to a database created by The Washington Post.

Yet there are concrete policy changes that, taken together, could improve policing and reduce excessive force incidents.

Defining the Continuum of Force

One of the most pressing demands from activists is to change departments' use-of-force policies, which govern how and when police can initiate force against a person. Every department has its own procedures manual, and traditionally lawmakers and courts have been loath to second-guess how police do their job.

"Currently, what is generally the requirement in most police departments in most states is kind of a sliding scale [of force] that leaves a great deal of discretion to officers," says Suzanne Luban, a clinical supervising attorney and lecturer at Stanford Law School. "So officers are told to use the degree of force they deem reasonably necessary under the circumstances, and usually the part that's not said, but it is included in that, is to attain compliance."

But as Luban notes, "compliance" isn't always worth potentially maiming or killing someone, especially when the underlying crime is a petty misdemeanor. She cites cases like Israel Hernandez-Llach, an 18-year-old graffiti artist who died after being tased by Miami Beach police in 2013. The Miami state attorney found the use of force was legally justified, although the Miami Beach Police Department later settled a civil lawsuit filed by Hernandez-Llach's family.

Campaign Zero, a nonprofit group that advocates policing reforms, has called for numerous changes to use-of-force policies beyond banning chokeholds. These include requiring officers to use de-escalation tactics and verbal warnings, defining what kind of force is appropriate for a given level of resistance, and increasing scrutiny of an officer's tactics leading up to his or her use of deadly force.

Several states have already taken steps along those lines. In 2019, California enacted a law that raised the standard for when police officers can use deadly force. The new law allows such force only when the officer "reasonably believes" it is necessary to prevent death or serious injury, while the old standard allowed "reasonable force" during an arrest. (Notably, the legislation was watered down under pressure from police unions, leading Black Lives Matter groups to pull their support for it.)

Efforts to reform the use of force have exploded in the months following Floyd's death in late May. The Washington Post reported that by July, 26 of the 65 largest U.S. cities had enacted bans on police chokeholds. Utah passed a bill that makes it a third-degree felony for a police officer to kneel on a suspect's neck as a method of restraint and a first-degree felony if that action results in a person's death. And an NYPD officer was recently charged for using a prohibited chokehold on a suspect.

Other cities and states are hoping to break down the infamous "blue wall of silence" that encourages officers to ignore misconduct. The Atlanta City Council passed a package of reforms that, among other things, created a statutory duty for officers to intervene when they witness excessive force by one of their colleagues. The Massachusetts Senate passed a similar requirement as part of a reform package.

Several municipalities and states have also considered or passed legislation banning police from shooting at moving cars or firing "non-lethal" projectiles at protesters' heads.

Yet the targeting of specific police tactics can only do so much, according to Luban. "Those are all important reforms," she says, "but that's not going to produce the holistic change that we need. It's just reactive. What we need to do is address on multiple levels the lack of trust and accountability with police officers, and try to change the warrior culture that is in police departments."

Addressing the Warrior Mentality

In 2016, Jeronimo Yanez, a 28-year-old suburban Minneapolis police officer, fatally shot Philando Castile during a routine traffic stop. Two years before, Yanez had attended a class called "The Bulletproof Warrior" developed by military veteran David Grossman.

Grossman's course is one of many offered to police officers around the country that promise to help cops make it home safe every night by instilling in them a warrior mentality. The New York Times, describing one of the booklets from Grossman's class, reported that it "portrays a world of constant and increased threat to officers, despite more than two decades of declining violent crime in the United States."

To prevent unnecessary loss of life, departments should emphasize de-escalation training and discourage or prevent officers from taking classes that cultivate itchy trigger fingers. The us vs. them mentality, fueled by overheated narratives about a "war on cops," will be hard to shake, however.

In Minneapolis, about a year before Floyd's death, Mayor Jacob Frey tried to ban the city police department from sending officers to warrior-mentality training courses. "When you're conditioned to believe that every person encountered poses a threat to your existence, you simply cannot be expected to build out meaningful relationships with those same people," Frey said.

In response, the local police union set up a fund to privately pay for officers to attend the courses.

Because use-of-force incidents often turn on the judgment and character of one officer in one of America's roughly 18,000 law enforcement agencies, there is no cure-all law that will immediately stop brutality. But steps like strictly defining what levels of force are appropriate, raising the standards for the use of potentially deadly force, and keeping cops out of training that warps the way they look at everyone else could at least help create a framework for changing an internal culture that has for too long been left to police itself.

 

NEXT: Eleventh Circuit Panel finds that Maritime Drug Law Enforcement Act exceeds Congress's Powers under the Foreign Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause Powers

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  2. Iffy.

    While bodyslamming 12 year olds is in the egregious use of force category, the Parkland sheriff probably could have used some of that warrior training. Or do you really want to wait for SWAT to assemble before charging in?

    While a change in mindset from law enforcement to peace officer would be a good thing, that also leaves open the door for other types abuses.

    There is a good discussion with Michael Bell Sr. on the Unregistered Podcast using a systems theory approach to police violence that is also worth considering.

    No solution is going to be perfect, so what tradeoffs are you willing to make?

    1. There is also the “right tool for the job” mentality. Not every cop needs to be a pseudo special forces soldier.

      Your example does a great job of pointing out some of the disparities that cause so much consternation in libertarian circles. In an incident where someone was actively shooting at people… suddenly there’s no great desire to dynamically enter the scene, guns a’blazin’. Caution is the watchword.

      But when you have a warrant for searching an apartment where people are suspected of having drugs, flash-bangs and door rams in the middle of the night are all the rage. 5 guys yelling and screaming incoherent commands with itchy fingers on triggers.

    2. The vast majority of Americans never interact with police. And suffering violence at the hands of police is much less likely than suffering violence at the hands of criminals. Put those two facts together and there simply is little reason to change anything, and certainly not much interest by voters.

      1. It would be especially true that most Americans never interact with police if there were a separate law enforcement organization for enforcing traffic laws and pulling people over.

        1. We do have separate law enforcement organizations: sheriff’s departments, police departments, highway police, parking enforcement, the FBI, the DEA, the BATF, the IRS, ICE, etc. They each have their separate rules, restrictions, and regulations. All of them, however, encounter violent criminals, which is why all of them are prepared for dealing with violent criminals. Any new organization you create would end up armed as well.

          Now, what additional agencies would you like to create? Why? Where are the benefits? What are the costs?

          1. If local police departments split off traffic law enforcement to separate unarmed offices who have only the power to pull people over and write tickets, it might work well. It’s worth a try. Criminals don’t go around shooting meter maids.

            1. Any city is free to have a partially or completely unarmed police force already; many already do. So I don’t see what you are proposing.

              Since in 95% of all police killings, the person who was killed was armed, it seems that it’s reasonable that police are armed in these encounters. Would you want unarmed police to face armed criminals?

              1. I’m proposing having a partial unarmed force be the only ones that make traffic stops. That would be novel as far as I know.

                It’s not even totally my idea. Someone as proposing something similar the other day, but I don’t remember where I saw it.

                Yes, I am exactly proposing that they be unarmed when performing traffic stops. Meter maids don’t get shot when handing out parking tickets. Why think it is likely someone is going to shoot an unarmed cop over getting a ticket if they know the stop is not going to escalate?

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                  2. First of all, it is awful that a police officer was shot. Don’t want you misquoting me as not caring.

                    Now that I’ve said that, this missed the point of what I said. The idea of having unarmed officers for traffic enforcement is that it might prevent this type of thing from happening.

                    Note that the police officer’s being armed didn’t help. Unless they approach every car they stop with guns drawn, they are still vulnerable.

                  3. “So when an unarmed traffic cop identifies a wanted, dangerous, possibly armed criminal, what should they do?“

                    Common sense would say that an unarmed traffic enforcement officer, if they had reason to suspect the person is going to cause trouble, would call for help from armed police.

                    1. When seconds count, the police are minutes away. When everyone knows that the traffic cops are not armed, I would expect bad guys to ambush and shoot them – like those two cops just sitting in a car today.

                      Used to be there “ride-a-long” programs. You rode in a cop car and experienced what their day was like. I see media articles about ride-a-longs, are they doing it with civilians any more? Many moons ago, I developed software for a small police department. I read a lot of log reports – the incidents that officers filed for events. There is a reason that cops divide the world into cops, civilians, and dirtbags. You might not like the reason but try being a cop.

                  4. Stop traffic stops! Its nothing but a money grab anyway

                1. I’m proposing having a partial unarmed force be the only ones that make traffic stops. … Yes, I am exactly proposing that they be unarmed when performing traffic stops.

                  That’s not a policy proposal, it’s a desired result. Police departments/agencies already have the option of implementing unarmed, but (for the most part) they are choosing not to. So what are you actually proposing? Are you proposing a federal law that prohibits traffic stops by armed police?

                  Why think it is likely someone is going to shoot an unarmed cop over getting a ticket if they know the stop is not going to escalate?

                  Traffic stops escalate not over traffic tickets, but because the person being stopped is in trouble with the law in some other way. And in almost all cases where a motorist shoots a cop or was shot by the cop, the motorist is carrying an illegal firearm.

                  So when an unarmed traffic cop identifies a wanted, dangerous, possibly armed criminal, what should they do? Not stop them at all and let them get away? Stop them, hand them the traffic ticket, and pretend nothing else is afoot?

                  And why would I as a law abiding citizen want to pay for a large traffic police force that can’t confront violent, dangerous criminals but will need to rack up massive traffic fines in order to pay for its existence? You really haven’t thought this through, have you.

                  1. “So when an unarmed traffic cop identifies a wanted, dangerous, possibly armed criminal, what should they do?“

                    Common sense would say that an unarmed traffic enforcement officer, if they had reason to suspect the person is going to cause trouble, would call for help from armed police.

                    1. If that person is a criminal desperate to not get caught, they also have some positive likelihood to shoot or otherwise harm a known-to-be unarmed cop trying to call for help from armed police.

                      Problem is that in most cases, it’s literally a second or less where a seemingly rational detainee turns into an active shooter. Go watch a few dashboard cam videos.

                      Criminals, mentally unstable folk, and tweakers are not always going to act in a common sense manner. A threat of arrest with or without an officer’s gun present is still a threat to their livelihood.

                  2. “ So what are you actually proposing? Are you proposing a federal law that prohibits traffic stops by armed police?”

                    No, just suggesting that some police departments could try the experiment and see how it goes. I would never suggest adopting some big nationwide edict without local experiments first.

                    1. We look forward to your update after going to your local government’s next council meeting and proposing this.

              2. Since in 95% of all police killings, the person who was killed was armed,

                By armed, you mean “armed.” The statistic uses the police definition of “armed,” which doesn’t mean that the person was actually wielding a weapon against them.

                1. It isn’t the “police definition”, it is the legal definition. The definition passed by your state legislature or Congress and modified by court interpretation and regulation. Most of the comments here ignore that the cops exist to and are required to enforce the laws passed by our government representatives – that means, us. We told the cops what the laws are and they are out there trying to do the job – enforce zillions of crazy conflicting laws.

                  If you think that a very large man is unarmed unless he has a knife, club, or a firearm then I suggest that you go to your local boxing gym and pick a fight with a big guy. Tell us all about it.

            2. Nonsense. Many officers have been murdered or wounded doing routine traffic stops. It is not uncommon for murderers, felons with warrants and other violent criminals to be pulled over for traffic offenses.

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        3. Obviously you don’t know that pulling people over is when the majority of cops are killed by the car’s occupants armed with handguns? If you had ever had LE training or attended a citizens police academy you would not put enforcing traffic laws in a category not requiring police. Unless the license check before the stop indicates the vehicle is associated with someone with warrants the officer has no idea that the occupants are harmless. Cops are constantly told that night time traffic stops in particular are dangerous. Day time can also be dangerous. Just ask the San Jose CA PD about the rookie officer who in daylight stopped an SUV occupied by the son of an East SJ gang leader. The officer took a dirt nap that day. Then there is an Oaktown motorcycle officer shot dead by a felon making a traffic stop in East Oaktown. When the Oaktown swat team located him hiding out in his sister’s apartment they tried to take him into custody. He managed to kill two swat team members shooting an AK through the wall of the bathroom he was in.

    3. Warrior mentality is about making sure YOU get home safely, not the kids being shot at in the school.
      Running into a school with an active shooter inside is “Hero” mentality – completely different thing.10

  3. “traditionally lawmakers and courts have been loath to second-guess how police do their job.”

    Killing people isn’t their job. They’ve taken on a lot of tasks because nobody funded anyone else to do them, which is why they wound up dealing with the mentally ill. Maybe getting some of these extra tasks off their plate will help them to learn some restraint when choosing to use force.

    1. Or how about, “lady, I’m sorry your schizo kid went off his meds and is screaming in the shower, but no one’s breaking any laws so I shouldn’t even be here. Maybe I can call an ambulance for you?” Instead of, “you called me, so now that I’m here someone’s going to jail because FYTW, and I’m gonna call six of my warrior brothers to make sure we all go home safe tonight in case this 120 pound kid with a butter knife doesn’t do everything I say, even if I scream conflicting instructions…BLAM BLAM BLAM!” Nail, meet hammer.

      1. One thing most people don’t notice in that video of the guy opening his car door and getting shot seven times in the back is that before the guy even gets to the door and starts to open it, the shooter already has his gun in his hand. This presents two problems:

        One: he now has only one hand. and his weak hand at that, available for other uses, such as grabbing the guy. IIRC, he makes an ineffectual one-hand grab and only gets a loose handful of shirt. This a direct consequence of his dominant hand already in use holding the gun, and only having his weak hand available to grab with.

        Two: he has already chosen the tool he has to work with, his gun, before he knows what tool is appropriate for the job. From then on, his entire mindset is fixated on using that tool. When his weak off-hand grab fails, his only fall-back is that gun. No time to holster it and grab his taser. No time to holster it and try a better two-hand grab. No time for anything but pull the trigger, and by then he is probably panicking at having the wrong tool, which is why he shoots the guy 7 times, when the very first shot is probably good enough at that range.

        1. “Two: he has already chosen the tool he has to work with, his gun, before he knows what tool is appropriate for the job”

          The full video shows the police on the scene had already used all other tools they had for the job. First, they tried to wrestle the suspect to the ground and restrain him, and that did not work. They then deployed Tasers, which were also ineffective. At this time the suspect was believed to be armed with a knife, which is why the officers were no longer trying to wrestle him to the ground. It was at this point the officer drew his firearm as the man (who the officers knew had a felony warrant for rape) tried to get in a vehicle with children to facilitate his escape, and began reaching into the car in a manner consistent with drawing a knife or gun.

          1. ” It was at this point the officer drew his firearm as the man (who the officers knew had a felony warrant for rape)”

            OK, in that state rape is punishable by summary execution, and the policeman is just carrying out the warrant, then?
            If summary execution is off the table, what does a warrant for rape have to do with whether or not you need a gun?

            The cop is supposed to be using their service weapon in cases where the cop or others is in danger from an armed person. And shooting an unarmed person in the back is inconsistent with defending yourself from imminent harm.

            1. officers are allowed to detain anyone by force fleeing off of a felony charge.

              1. Not deadly force, not for 35 years.

                1. (To be clear, I am not saying that they can never use deadly force against a fleeing presumed felon. I am saying that the rule that they can automatically use deadly force to stop a presumed felon from fleeing hasn’t been the rule for 35 years.)

            2. He was violently resisting arrest, he had a knife and was threatening to take children from the scene. You cant see what was going on inside the car but the officer did. The officer is vastly more likely to be right about this than you.

          2. “They then deployed Tasers, which were also ineffective.”

            Wrong. They simply missed him with the Tasers. The Tasers weren’t ineffective, the officers were ineffective.

        2. Blake. Had. A. Knife. In. His. Hand. Already. That’s why one was found on the driver’s side floorboard: because it was in his hand when he got shot. The Wisconsin AG, whose state police took over the case, decided to not mention that little tidbit, unlike what used to be the case in every other OIS, because the Democratic Party leadership of that state saw that this might be another Floyd wedge case. And inciting a riot is less bad than Orange Man winning again.

          Go watch all the videos. Including the one that showed the cops wrestling with him, and then jumping away from him like he was electrified. Why do you think the cops did that? And pulled their guns then? Might it have been because Blake pulled out a knife then?

          They should have shot his worthless, rapist ass then. They didn’t, because in this climate, people would have still bitched about it, to the point of it costing the cops their jobs. “He was walking away! Why’d ya have to shoot him?!” And so on.

          1. ” Might it have been because Blake pulled out a knife then? ”

            So they hot him in the back to protect themselves from a guy who might have used a knife behind his back (as people skilled with knifeplay are known to do).

            1. Or could have had a gun in the car he was reaching into.
              But you’re not going to have to worry about it much longer, James.
              Vigilante time has come.
              You’d better be very careful

              1. Jesus, Nardz, calm down.

            2. There are two rational reasons for an armed, dangerous, and violent felon who is in the process of resisting arrest to go for the car. The first is he’s going for a stashed gun, and the second is that he’s planning to drive off, complete with the three kids in the car as his hostages.

              Both possibilities constitute an immediate threat to innocent civilians that entirely justifies the use of deadly force against the thug. That we know there was no gun in the car doesn’t change the fact that the cops couldn’t know that, and still leaves the second threat to innocents open.

              And yes, it’s possible that he’s going to the car for an irrational reason, sure. An irrational, armed, and proven-violent felon is also an immediate threat to the innocents in the car.

              1. It was his kids in the car. His wife was also in the car.

                1. You say that as if you think it’s inconceivable that a parent could ever take actions to endanger his own kids.

                    1. I guess your finding a story on the Internet about some other person acting crazy and endangering their kids really proves me wrong.

                    2. Evidence that doesn’t agree with white knight doesn’t count.

                    3. Please present some.

                2. Then what the fuck was he doing pulling out a knife on armed police officers? Suddenly you deduce that the baby-rapist gives a damn about his kids because they are HIS kids?

                  1. You know the “baby rapist” accusations were debunked, right?

                    1. no they weren’t.

                    2. You are going to die on this hill of ignorance. I won’t even bother linking to any of the numerous sources debunking the story. If you are curious, google for it.

                3. She was his girlfriend, not his wife. He allegedly raped her and that’s why there was an arrest warrant out for him. Yes, they were his kids, but they were also her kids – in her car – and she had custody. She called the police when he showed up at her door.

                  I’d love to know where she currently is and to hear what she has to say about the entire event. All I’ve seen so far are a few incomplete cell phone videos and I’ve heard are statements from his attorney and family, none of whom were present.

                  Since I don’t live very far from the area, I’m anxiously awaiting the investigate results. I fear that we will have violence no matter what the conclusion is, but at least we’ll have somewhat more complete information on what happened.

            3. I think it’s remarkable to see the thought process of people whose idea of how to respond to armed conflict with known bad guys is limited to ideas how they would have responded if in that position, even if their best experience in doing so is limited to playing Call of Duty: Warzone.

              You’re one of those assholes that believe the police should honor the weapon of choice made by the criminal so as to make it a fair fight aren’t you? And if they do have to pull a gun and fire, aim it to the outside of the left shoulder so as to flesh-wound the guy. Cuz hell, that’s what Leonardo DiCaprio would do.

              1. I learned from this video that the proper technique to detaining a man armed with a knife is to grab for his short with my weak hand.

                Is that what you are saying? Because that’s what this supposedly trained intelligent observant cop did — try to grab a supposedly armed violent baby rapist with his weak hand, while he had a gun in his strong hand, and only then, when his poor weak hand failed him, did he shoot the armed violent felon in the back seven times.

                Yes, very much so.

            4. We somehow raised a generation of people who think that a knife cut is like the movies where James Bond or Captain Kirk gets slashed across the chest (remember that episode?). Ouch! Looks like it hurts! Oh wait, they’re still running, their intestines haven’t spilled out, bones are not exposed, tendons are not cut, and they’re not spurting / spraying blood everyone. Go James!

              There is one truth of a knife fight: If you get into a knife fight, you will get cut. And if you get cut, there is a reasonable chance that you will die.

              It takes a second to flip about and take someone out with a knife.

              A knife is properly classified as a deadly weapon.

          2. Blake. Had. A. Knife. In. His. Hand. Already.

            No. He. Didn’t.

            The claim is ludicrous. If had pulled a knife, (a) they’d have been injured; and (b) they’d have shot him then. In fact, he wasn’t shot until he went to his car, when the cop panicked and thought he was going to get a weapon.

          3. “They should have shot his _worthless_, rapist ass then”
            And that, in a nutshell, is what BLM is concerned with; this tendency to look the guy over and (unavoidably factoring skin color) and decide that we don’t _really_ need due process, in this case… or that, if we kill a guy who didn’t deserve capital punishment, it’s not that big of a “whoopsie” if the dude was black, since he probably wasn’t going to amount to much, anyway (or, assuming even more speciously, that we’re probably preventing more victims of this guy).

        3. You no, I’m a lot like you. I just love second guessing other people while they are doing their jobs. Every job is easy, especially when you don’t have to do it yourself.

        4. Here is a drill for you. Go to a shooting range. Your equipment is a pistol in a holster – condition 1, round in the chamber, gun on safe. Person two is a healthy individual 11 feet to your right. Person three has a shot timer. Instructions: you and person two get prepared. Person three starts the shot timer – there is a random delay between 1 and 5 seconds then a beep. On the beep, you draw and fire one round into a cardboard silhouette target at 3 yards. On the beep, person two runs as fast as they can and taps you on the shoulder when they reach you. I have never seen anyone get off a shot before being tapped on the shoulder. If person 2 had a knife, you could be dead, fatally injured, or disarmed. I may know some guys who could beat this but I have never seen it done.

          I don’t know why the officer drew his weapon apparently he thought that he was going to need it. I guess we will see.

          “…which is why he shoots the guy 7 times, when the very first shot is probably good enough at that range”. Probably good enough to get the officer killed. Pistols are under-powered weapons. The 9mm Luger round is the most common police and military pistol cartridge. Look up the statistics for one-shot-stops with a 9mm.

        5. Moron scum. The officers has already used other tools including tazing the felon who had just committed a sexual assualt going for a knife twice. So easy for you liberals to talk tough because you could not fight your way out of a wet bag.

      2. How about: if your schizo kid has gone off his meds, he’s made an irresponsible choice that puts others at risk and we’ll stop him quickly and by any means necessary, just liked a drunk driver on the highway?

        Going off your meds is dangerous to others and to yourself.

        1. Kids going off their meds is sometimes less a choice than something that just happens.
          This is why the ideas of age of consent and mental competence are important factors here.

          1. Kids going off their meds is sometimes less a choice than something that just happens.

            And if it “just happens”, then police may just happen to shoot you as a result. Same way you may crash your car if you lose consciousness, or die if you forget to put on your seat belt, etc.

            It’s not other people’s responsibilty to make the world safe against everything that “just happens” to you.

            This is why the ideas of age of consent and mental competence are important factors here.

            If someone is not legally competent, then it is the duty of their guardian to ensure that they take their meds. And if the guardian fails in that duty, they should be held legally responsible, both for what happens to the kid and what happens to others as a result.

        2. Going off your meds is dangerous to others and to yourself.

          No. Pulling a gun is dangerous to others and to yourself. That’s why cops shouldn’t do that.

    2. Yes, and we won’t fund anyone else to do it either.

      If you’re a legally competent adult, not becoming a nuisance or threat to your neighbors is your responsibility. It’s not the obligation of tax payers to turn the entire country into a mental health treatment facility.

      1. But it is the obligation of taxpayers to provide some place where these people who are medically unable to care for themselves, can be housed, clothed, and kept safe.

        Bring back the asylums. As hideously expensive as it will no doubt be.

        1. Why do you think tax payers have that obligation?

          1. Asylums will be expensive but they don’t have to be funded by taxpayers. Charities and churches actually did a decent job in the past, within the strictures of their time.

            1. I have absolutely no problem with charities and churches funding mental institutions. Up to a point, I don’t even have a problem with government doing it.

              I just object to the notion that this is an obligation. Taxpayers have no obligation to “house, clothe, or keep safe” anybody, whether mentally competent or not.

          2. One of the traditional roles of modern government is to take on the responsibility for public safety. At least, that is the explanation for forbidding private criminal prosecution and relying on government prosecutors.

            If you think that is wrong, and that taxpayers do not have that obligation to maintain public safety, then you will be glad to sign my petition to eliminate government prosecutors and only allow private prosecution.

        2. “But it is the obligation of taxpayers to provide some place where these people who are medically unable to care for themselves, can be housed, clothed, and kept safe.”

          ???

          Fuck you cut spending.

        3. I doubt “we” would be willing to pony up the real money it would cost.

          As hideously expensive as it was to do it wrong, it would be 10x costly to do it “right.”

          The institutionalization that was common as I was a kid was ripe for no end of abuses. Plenty of innocent people were unnecessarily institutionalized, and plenty were abused/destroyed in horrible ways.

          State solutions really don’t work, in any case.

      2. ” It’s not the obligation of tax payers to turn the entire country into a mental health treatment facility.”

        Here’s the deal. You want the mentally ill to be invisible so as to not bother your garden party. If they aren’t invisible on their own, and you want to force them to become invisible, then somebody has to deal with them. At present, the choice is to send police out to deal with it as a law-enforcement problem. They (police) aren’t doing well at it, which isn’t a surprise, because they’re trained to handle criminals, not nuts.

        1. You want the mentally ill to be invisible so as to not bother your garden party.

          Correct.

          At present, the choice is to send police out to deal with it as a law-enforcement problem. They (police) aren’t doing well at it,

          If you threaten me, I have a right to defend myself. I have no obligation to delve into your childhood or mental state to find the reasons for why you are a threat. And when me and my neighbors form a town and hire a sheriff to defend us, neither does he.

          We don’t have any obligations towards someone just because they are mentally ill. We may choose to help them or be kind to them as a matter of charity, but that is not an obligation it’s a voluntary choice, and a choice that we can legitimately reject in many circumstances.

    3. As with Rodney King, when police are charged with excessive force, there are “experts” around that will testify exactly what force is aloud. The experts are typically former police officers.
      You’ll be hard pressed to find a use of force expert that ever finds excessive force.

      1. So how would you define “expert” in police matters? Someone who has never been in that situation but has a PhD in it? Perhaps a social worker or someone with a gender studies degree? Of course it’s going to be someone who has worn the uniform.

        Curiously, what is the source of your information about the likelihood of opinions agreeing that excessive force was used? It sounds more like a convenient opinion of your own.

  4. how to address protesters’ demands for an end to police brutality

    That’s not what they’re demanding.

    1. There isn’t a single “they”.

      1. There doesn’t even seem to be a demand.

        Other than ‘let us riot’ and ‘fuck society in general’ they do not seem to be saying much at all.

        1. The intersection between the set of people who riot and people who are thoughtful about things is probability pretty small.

  5. These are all central planning nightmares and about as likely to succeed as the best farm collectivization nightmares of Stalin and Mao. Why is a libertarian rag supporting central planning? Laws and regulations already don’t work. All they do is create new bureaucracies and new confusion and new calls for more central planning. “This time is different.” It’s a vicious circle.

    The real cure is incentives, as is almost always the case.

    1. Make cops accountable for their mistakes. Get rid of immunity period, whether qualified or absolute, and for judges and prosecutors too.

    2. Make cops carry malpractice insurance. Whether they pay for it, the union pays for it, or the department pays for it, does not matter; it all comes back to the taxpayer anyway. What does matter is that the malpractice insurance is as individualized as home insurance or car insurance, so that when individual cops screw up, their insurance premiums are raised, and departments and the public can more easily pinpoint the bad cops. If a lawsuit costs more than the insurance pays, the cop is personally liable for the remainder.

    I’ll bet Reason has had previous articles on incentives for cops. I bet I’ve barely scratched the surface of possibilities.

    1. And make fewer things illegal.

    2. Laws and regulations already don’t work. …

      The real cure is incentives, as is almost always the case.

      Um, what do you think creates the incentives, besides laws and regulations? For instance:

      1. Make cops accountable for their mistakes. Get rid of immunity period, whether qualified or absolute, and for judges and prosecutors too.

      2. Make cops carry malpractice insurance.

      What do you think those two proposals are, besides “laws and regulations”?

  6. When you’re conditioned to believe that every person…poses a threat to your existence, you simply cannot be expected to build out meaningful relationship put on the mask.

    1. I see what you did there. Very clever!

      1. Anyone else notice how many “pro-life” conservatives have come out with a claim that being required to put on a face mask is an unjustifiable assault on personal liberty? While they maintain the claim that being required to be pregnant is entirely reasonable? After all, if you didn’t want to be pregnant, you shouldn’t have gotten raped.

        1. Not to worry, you can get your life back into order when the rapist demands visitation rights… after-all he is the father.

        2. Wow. What a fucking stupid comparison. 99% death rate vs 0.03%. Way to go champ.

    2. Except the mask doesn’t actually protect you, its to keep your germs from falling on someone else. So you are protected by THEM wearing a mask.

      1. Like hell you are.

      2. Show me an actual controlled study. Prior to April of this year nobody believed that for viruses.

  7. The Atlanta City Council passed a package of reforms that, among other things, created a statutory duty for officers to intervene when they witness excessive force by one of their colleagues.

    The problem with that is that no officer has ever witnessed a fellow officer using excessive force. When “comply or die” is the standard, the continuum of force allows for killing somebody for refusing to follow orders if that’s what it takes to compel him to obey.

    At this point, you have to wonder if BLM doesn’t have a point – we might be better off with no police at all (assuming illogically that the money not spent on police would be returned to the taxpayers rather than simply wasted on some other governmental bullshit). Allow citizens to take over the role of the police, victimless crimes carry no penalty, crimes with victims potentially carry the death penalty with judgement rendered right on the spot. Imagine how much money we’d save on the court system and jails as well.

    1. I imagine that in that world, anyone non-conforming, weird, or dissident enough to make others uncomfortable would have a short life span, as their “victims” would take them out, supported by “witnesses” with a good story. “He was comin’ right at him!”

    2. They don’t want “no police”, they want police they personally approve of. Police appointment by woke committee

      1. You mean in my neighborhood I can choose the police? – We cannot allow that!

        BTW, if you are black in America, do you have to be woke to racism?

        1. No, you don’t ever get to choose the police.

    3. “At this point, you have to wonder if BLM doesn’t have a point – we might be better off with no police at all”

      WTF are you talking about? BLM hasn’t advocated “no police at all”.

      1. You use a term, I then define it in the extreme, then beat you over the head for using it. Straw-man argument.

        1. “No justice, no peace. Abolish the police.”

          1. Well, hell, that’s not even their worst mantra.

            ‘no fascists, no wall, no USA at all’

            Ring a bell?

            1. Ring a bell?

              No, it doesn’t. And googling shows this was used by you and exactly one other person ever, several years ago. (And that’s assuming it’s not just you posting under a different handle.)

        2. “You use a term, I then define it in the extreme, then beat you over the head for using it. Straw-man argument.”

          Is this word-salad supposed to just say that you don’t have a point to make and got caught not making it?

      2. “BLM hasn’t advocated “no police at all”.”

        But the conservative voters in Southern Oregon counties came close. They don’t like paying property taxes, so the libraries are gone, and nearly all the Sheriff’s patrols.

    4. Police are new to cities. For most of history people handled their disputes face-to-face, without outside interference. Police were originally unarmed, community/neighborhood/street guardians of the peace, e.g., dispute resolution. Crime was minor (petty) thefts.
      With armed police came an increase in violent crimes. Violence leads to more violence over the decades. The policing policies slowly became more & more combative, polarization increased. Citizens witnessing police brutality lost respect for all police. The police who tried to counter the backlash were few, without support.
      The original idea of a mediator was lost, replaced with ruler/ruled, master/slave. Civilization has gone backward, e.g., less decent. Is this the normal result with increasing population density?

  8. “When you’re conditioned to believe that every person…poses a threat to your existence, you simply cannot be expected to build out meaningful relationships.”

    The legitimate purpose of law enforcement is not to build meaningful relationships. The legitimate purpose of law enforcement is to protect our rights from criminals.

    I have no idea why you’re telling us about the emotional state of the criminals, and I have no idea why we should care when you tell us about your feelings.

    Maybe next time write a poem or a song.

    1. I was thinking that phrase sounds more like a psychological profile of the average rioter than of police

      1. That might make more sense–if somebody’s hoping that if only we’ll be nice, maybe people of a certain race won’t burn our city down when there’s a bad apple. I mean, the idea might make more sense than the idea that the purpose of the police is to create meaningful relationship rather than to protect our rights.

        I don’t think about black people in those terms. The black people I know are just as concerned about safety in their neighborhoods as the rest of us, and they aren’t likely to burn the city down when there’s an incident like this.

        In fact, just like with the riots we’re seeing today, there were two riots in Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict. One of them was immediately after the verdict. No doubt, African-Americans converged on Koreatown, they beat the shit out of Reginald Denny, and there was some arson. Most of the destruction after the first couple of days, however, was perpetrated by blacks. People of all races saw that the police either couldn’t or weren’t doing anything about the looting,so people of all races converged on their neighborhood stores to loot and burn them.

        I see the same thing happening in other cities today. I see especially white kids burning cities down and looting areas while using civil rights for black people as an excuse. Portland hardly seems to have many black people involved at all. Building meaningful relationships with white, suburban kids who’ve lost their jobs because of the pandemic and the lockdowns certainly doesn’t make any sense to me.

        The cops don’t need to create meaningful relationships with opportunistic white kids on a rampage. They need to lock them in cages and make examples of them–to show them that the legitimate purpose of the police is protect our rights from arsonists, looters, and other opportunistic criminals.

        1. Type alert”

          “Most of the destruction after the first couple of days, however, was [NOT] perpetrated by blacks. People of all races saw that the police either couldn’t or weren’t doing anything about the looting,so people of all races converged on their neighborhood stores to loot and burn them.”

          Fixed!

        2. ” Portland hardly seems to have many black people involved at all”

          There aren’t that many black people in Portland in the first place. It’s a whiter shade of pale. The rest of Oregon, on the other hand, is even more melanin-challenged. Not quite to northern-Idaho levels, but close.

    2. “The legitimate purpose of law enforcement is not to build meaningful relationships. The legitimate purpose of law enforcement is to protect our rights from criminals.”

      The most effective way to protect your rights from criminals is to convince the criminals not to affect your rights. You can do some of that through fear, but you need more tools in the kit.

      1. “The most effective way to protect your rights from criminals is to convince the criminals not to affect your rights. You can do some of that through fear, but you need more tools in the kit.”

        Nope.
        But I encourage you to put your ignorant theory to the test

        1. Gotta admit though that it’s rather amusing to think about James trying to convince his would-be assailant that his impending robbery and clubbing is _[my best English accent]_ “bad form old chum”.

          1. If it amuses you to think about other people being victimized, this suggests you could use a bit of the old intensive psychotherapy. eh wot?

        2. “…convince the criminals…”

          Open carry a .44 Magnum, with the prospect of blowing a criminal’s head clean off. That might just convince them.

          “…more tools in the kit.”

          .357 Magnum, 10 mm Auto Mag .45 ACP, .500 S&W Magnum… so many tools from which to choose.

          1. “Open carry a .44 Magnum, with the prospect of blowing a criminal’s head clean off. That might just convince them.”

            … to shoot you and add your weapon(s) to their arsenal.

        3. “Nope.
          But I encourage you to put your ignorant theory to the test”

          Yep. it works.

      2. The most effective way to protect your rights from criminals is to convince the criminals not to affect your rights.

        And where is the evidence for that absurd proposition?

        1. Are you proposing that criminals aren’t _reasonable_ like the rest of us? That seems rather haughty of you. I’ve often thought that if someone would just sit down with people like MS13 gang members and just listen to their grievances, the world would be a better place. And Hitler? Now there was a man who just needed a good talking to and a shoulder to cry on.

          1. That was done, and the result was “peace in our time”.

          2. “I’ve often thought that if someone would just sit down with people like MS13 gang members and just listen to their grievances, the world would be a better place.”

            You’d be a lot less bothered by people like MS13 gang members if somebody convinced them that just shooting AT the other gang members, instead of driving by and spraying the whole corner with bullets, taking out anybody who just happened to be in the vicinity.

        2. “And where is the evidence for that absurd proposition?”

          Common sense. That’s why it eluded you and you consider it absurd that having criminals who aren’t being criminal is the best way to not be affected by criminals.

      3. Naivete is strong with idealists and their lazy thoughts

        1. By comparison, Stupidity is strong with you.

  9. Cops are asked to do the wrong things.

    They are asked to enforce laws that shouldn’t exist.

    They are asked to intervene in nonviolent situations.

    Blaming the cop is just another deflection of responsibility.

  10. Started the article with “protestors” and Floyd. Knowing full well what happened since they leaked out details of the autopsy.

    Reason has lost their way.

    1. There was a bit of a panic around Minneapolis, as the rumor was flying that Chauvin was going to be recharged with something actually winnable, and the other three officers were going to be cut loose. Everyone see yet the PowerPoint slide from MPD, showing how to place a cuffed suspect that they think is suffering from excited delirium? And how it looks a whole lot like how Floyd was placed on the ground, complete with knee on side of neck?

      The MPD training wasn’t good. But it’s how these guys were trained. Reckless disregard of risk leading to death is going to be a hard sell. Shoot, you might not even get criminally negligent homicide, now.

      1. From an objective perspective, they’d be smart to wait until after the election to change the charges. They’d also be smart to change the charges. If they think the riots are bad now, wait until after the police officers are acquitted.

        That’s what started the LA riots.

        If they’re willing to throw someone under the bus to avoid a riot, they better make sure the bus actually runs him over. Otherwise, it’ll look like they were trying to protect the cop in question by overcharging him.

        You wait until after the next election to protect the local politicians from the impact of your decision. That way, the local politicians are likely to not come after you for your decision (even if they condemn you for it). If they announce a change in charges before the election, the elected officials will be the ones leading the mob with torches and pitchforks.

        Like I said, the smart play is to wait until after the election to change the charges and then change the charge to involuntary manslaughter.

        1. After the election? They should do it ON November third. Then that story can slip between the cracks of the crazy shit happening with the election this year.

        2. If you wait until after the election, you run the risk of an effective federal prosecutor being appointed and taking over the whole show.

          1. That’s what they want, I’m sure.

            Then finding him guilty is no longer their problem, and if he’s acquitted, it isn’t their fault.

            Again, I’m looking at this from the bureaucrat’s perspective.

            1. ^^This^^
              Every politician wants to be put in charge of making the decisions and taking the credit for things that are good for him.
              Every politician wants someone else to make the decisions and take the blame for things that are bad for him.
              Every politician knows too well the necessity of combining the two so that he makes the decisions and can decide after the fact which were good or bad.

            2. “Again, I’m looking at this from the bureaucrat’s perspective.”

              The DA is elected.

      2. showing how to place a cuffed suspect that they think is suffering from excited delirium?

        There isn’t any such thing.

  11. following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis

    That’s a funny way to say “died of a drug overdose.”

    1. I think it’s safer to say that there is sufficient reasonable doubt–because of the drug overdose–that the chances of an unbiased jury coming to a unanimous decision on straight up murder charge is low.

      1. Depraved indifference murder sure looks like it would be possible to make all the elements out.

        Guy says he can’t breathe, and the cops yell back that he can breathe just fine and continue to hold him in a position known to cause positional asphyxia.

        1. Nope. You can’t even make the manslaughter charges stick, because one of the elements of the crime for both murder and manslaughter is causing the death.

          The fact that Floyd was overdosed on fentanyl is sufficient to raise reasonable doubt as to whether the actions of the officers contributed to his death. It is entirely reasonable to believe he would have died from the overdose had the cops not even touched him.

          You can argue Chauvin’s actions probably contributed, and that would let you win a civil suit for wrongful death, but that isn’t (or at least, by the letter of the law, shouldn’t be) sufficient for a criminal conviction.

          1. He did not, of course, overdose. But “he would have died if I hadn’t killed him” is not a defense to murder anyway. It might serve to reduce damages (but not liability) in a tort action, perhaps. But it’s irrelevant in a criminal case.

          2. ” It is entirely reasonable to believe he would have died from the overdose had the cops not even touched him.”

            Assuming, of course, that this is what you already want to believe.

        2. If you can’t tell the difference between someone suffocating from a drug overdose with a cop kneeling on his neck and someone suffocating because a cop was kneeling on his neck, then we’re talking about reasonable doubt.

          All the defense needs to do is prove reasonable doubt to one in twelve jurors.

          My bet is on the prosecutor if it’s an involuntary manslaughter charge.

          My bet is on the defense if it’s a first degree murder charge.

        3. he started saying he can’t breathe when nobody was on him.

          1. Not in the tape that was made public.

      2. the judge ready disallowed a previous arrest of floyd where he swallowed his stash almost died of an OD.

        His lungs were 3x normal weight. It is a sign of an OD.

  12. “When you’re conditioned to believe that every person…poses a threat to your existence, you simply cannot be expected to build out meaningful relationships.”

    sounds like Critical Race Theory

    1. There’s a good deal of police training that makes them look like awful cowards. Like there’s a criminal hiding behind every tree, looking to kill every cop. So the cops get trained like they’re in a video game… put down the “threat” and go back to looking for the next one as quickly as possible. better the not-police guy goes home to a morgue than any possibility that one of the blue crew might.

      1. “Better the not-police guy goes home to a morgue than any possibility that one of the blue crew might.”

        If I have to make a choice, that’d be mine. Every time. If it isn’t yours, then you have a duty to let anyone who might depend on you that you’re woke, but an entirely undependable asshole.

        1. The guy shooting unarmed people is the undependable asshole, jack.

  13. You jumped the shark on police reform, assholes.

    It’s not on the table anymore.

    What is on the table is keeping some level of freedom, as offended by that and its defenders as your delicate fucking sensibilities might be, or complete totalitarian domination by leftists who’ve delegitimized the election process, stoked panic through false reporting to seize total control over people’s lives, have thrown months of widespread violence and destruction directed at civilians in cities/states they control, and are now burning down every tree they can find on the west coast.

    And that’s partly your fault. Your need to push your short-sighted dogma and cover for the leftists you root for.
    But here we are: an imperfect union or complete soviet-nazi domination.

    The left is cancer.

    1. Who cares if they destroy cities and states they control? My city and state are fine.

      1. Because they’re trying to gain control of your city and state

        1. Going to, you mean.

    2. “soviet-nazi domination”???

      You know the soviets and the nazis didn’t get along with each other, right?

      1. Yes, because they were competing for the same base.
        Notably, most narco cartels don’t get along with each other either

      2. You should read a book sometime. They only “didn’t get along with each other” after Hitler violated the non-aggression pact. Prior to that, they were essentially each other’s best blockade and dominated Europe and northern Asia. It was by any definition a multi-continent domination. Translated to modern times would suggest that Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings don’t dominate NY neighborhoods because they have competing interests.

        1. Lot of Nazis in northern Asia in these books you read?

  14. Instead of all 9f that let’s just prohibit government from initiating force which would mean an end to the biggest problem drug prohibition. Making it so only initiating force is illegal would solve the entire situation.

  15. We think of criminals, mentally ill, and drug addicts as well meaning but misguided and so they just need the right treatment and techniques and they will settle down and be arrested without incident. But in fact they are often intent on instigating the police to use force even if it kills them. For example, it’s possible that the police believed that Jacob Blake was returning to his car to get a knife while resisting police orders to freeze (or submit to arrest). Do we really need the police to actually see the weapon before he can shoot? I would hope not.

    Anyway, police are generally well trained and professional and don’t need to be reformed or defunded. And the people (despite a few exceptions) are civilized and responsible and don’t need to be patrolled and controlled as much any more. So what’s the solution? Simple: decriminalize (drugs, weapons, sex, etc) and gradually reduce police funding. The whole point and promise of America and the Judeo-Christian tradition is to be obedient not to man or government, but only to God. And we’re getting close and it’s very exciting (and we’ve actually returned to the Garden), which is why many people want to get us kicked out by enacting dangerous ‘reforms’ that will create a host of new problems and stave off the great and awesome day of the lord.

    1. No thank you. Christianity is based on a human blood sacrifice. That’s gross.

      1. Hmm, if you actually understood what you are referring to, it was self-sacrifice. Which interestingly is what a lot of soldiers have also done for their buddies and many people have done for their children, friends and even strangers. We call them heroes. Then again, I don’t think this is probably of any interest to you so I wouldn’t try to explain, and perhaps nobody is more important to you than you are.

        What I would suggest however, is to educate yourself. Criticizing or disagreeing is perfectly acceptable and legitimate but only if done from a position of knowledge, not ignorance. That said, it only benefits the side you criticize when it is obvious that you don’t understand the basis for your own argument.

        1. I seem to remember a bunch of soldiers arresting him and him being condemned to death by Pontius Pilate. Didn’t he say “Forgive them Father for they no not what they do!” ? Doesn’t sound very self sacrificial to me.

      2. Read the book again.
        Christianity is based on the resurrection, not the crucifiction.
        The true symbol should be an empty tomb, not the cross.

    2. “But in fact they are often intent on instigating the police to use force even if it kills them.“

      I doubt that are that many criminals hankering to commit suicide by cop. Maybe a few, but not most.

      There are more likely explanations for resisting arrest, the most obvious being not wanting to be arrested.

    3. ” Do we really need the police to actually see the weapon before he can shoot?”

      Ah, Yes! A credible threat to safety.

      And apparently there is this notion of keep on shooting until the guy quits twitching. Also unnecessary – but hey, its policy or training so it must be right.

      ” police are generally well trained and professional”
      Well are they well trained or aren’t they? If they are so well trained, why do they do things like arrest people for not answering their questions? https://www.foxnews.com/us/lawyer-arrested-for-not-answering-questions-gets-settlement.
      How many settlements?

      “and don’t need to be patrolled and controlled as much any more”
      “Any more?” What changed?

      When exactly did you need to be “patrolled and controlled?”

    4. Do we really need the police to actually see the weapon before he can shoot? I would hope not.

      I would hope so.

      If anyone who wasn’t a police officer said, “I shot this unarmed guy in the back because I thought he might be going to get a weapon,” he would be convicted of first degree murder.

      1. Of course, in this case, the established facts (including witness testimony and other videos) are that:

        1) He was wanted on an arrest warrant.

        2) He did have a deadly weapon and the police saw it.

        3) He had been violent, both in the past and during this encounter.

        4) Verbal commands, physical restraint, and tasers had all previously been used and failed.

        5) This violent, armed, and wanted man, against whom all available measures short of deadly force had been exhausted, was moving close enough to children to use his deadly weapon against them.

        So whatever the hypothetical scenarios one might spin either way, in this case we have a perfectly legitimate use of deadly force.

    5. ” Do we really need the police to actually see the weapon before he can shoot?”

      Yes, the rules are that you can use deadly force if and when it is necessary to protect self and others. Shooting a person (in the back) because you didn’t see a weapon doesn’t qualify.

    6. “Anyway, police are generally well trained and professional and don’t need to be reformed or defunded.”

      They’re trained. How well is a matter of opinion. They’re trying to be professional in most cases.
      Some of the training is clearly leading to the escalation of tensions currently on showcase.

  16. When you’re conditioned to believe that every person encountered poses a threat to your existence, you simply cannot be expected to build out meaningful relationships with those same people.

    This is true. The weird thing is the assumption that cops are “conditioned” to this by a couple hours in a classroom, rather than the lived experience of spending their time patrolling cities where the ratio of homicides-per-year to cops is an order of magnitude higher than it is in London.

    (The London Met has 215 sworn officers per annual homicide. Chicago has 21; Philadelphia has 18; DC has 23; Dallas has 21; Phoenix has 21; Baltimore has 8; Detroit has 9; Minneapolis has 27.)

    1. Now do Kenosha.

      1. That’s 4 murders in a high year with 200 cops, so 50.

        So… not as good as I thought. I owe you a soda or something.

        1. Kenosha was a good shoot. When a wanted man who has just fought his way free of a couple cops and two taserings approaches children with a weapon in-hand, of course you shoot him before he can do anything unfortunate to the kids.

          The fact that they were his kids does not actually constitute grounds to believe they’re safe, nor is it a fact that the cops on the scene could be remotely sure of. What they knew is that a wanted, armed, and violent felon was approaching innocent kids after nonlethal methods of apprehension had failed.

          1. What they knew is that they wouldn’t face any kind of punishment for shooting a black man.

            1. It’s a great illustration of any number of cognitive failures how people who started by saying “Why didn’t they tackle or taser this unarmed man who wasn’t a threat to anyone!” are now refusing to change their evaluations, despite the fact that it’s now clearly established that the police escalated gradually, from verbal orders on up, exactly as they’re supposed to when dealing with an armed suspect who poses a potential threat to innocents.

  17. Continuum of Force training has been around for decades, as has been the Warrior Mentality aspect, largely driven by the quite reasonable Come Home Alive rationale. It’s all about Body Cams, Cell Phone Videos vs Police Unions and Qualified Immunity now. The former is useless without measured temperance on the latter.

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  20. “Disarm the police!” should be the chant rather than “Defund the police!.”

    “Ironically, the only gun control in 19th century England was the policy forbidding police to have arms while on duty.”
    ~ Don B. Kates, Jr.

    “No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.” ~ Third Amendment, US Constitution

    Forgetting how dangerous is an armed and and immune government force loosed on citizens has proved to be predictably very dangerous to those citizens and t.

  21. What’s missing in this excellent discussion is the failure of cities to hold their police accountable. Police are just employees, when they violate civil/constitutional rights, seriously injure or kill someone and it is determined (by an independent investigation) that the actions were not justified then the officer should be fired. Lesser violations should receive lesser sanctions. Reason blames police unions and abandons Libertarian principles to demand that such unions be made illegal, but no one forces the city to kow-tow to these unions. Have you ever heard of a police strike? It will never happen. Ignore police unions, develop litigation-proof strategies for disciplining and firing police officers, and declare victory. One reason this doesn’t happen is the silent agreement between (almost always) corrupt (almost always) Democratic mayors and the police to overlook mayoral and legislative corruption in exchange for giving the police carte-blanche in their affairs. It’s usually the media who uncovers municipal corruption, or a whistleblower who threatens to go to the media and thus forces the police and prosecutor’s hand.

  22. How do you regulate without using force?

  23. For all those suggesting that traffic stops be made by unarmed police. Please remember that Tim McVigh was arrested at a traffic stop.

    https://www.news-star.com/article/20090225/NEWS/302259941

    Pretty sure this would have gone differently if he knew the person stopping him couldn’t defend themselves.

    Just one example why this might not be a good idea.

  24. “When you’re conditioned to believe that every person encountered poses a threat to your existence, you simply cannot be expected to build out meaningful relationships with those same people”

    When I read this, it wasn’t cops that came to mind. There’s lots of conditioning going on these days.

  25. The latest ambush points out a slight flaw in “trusting everybody”

    Most of the problems are related to a new fad- RESISTING ARREST, and the major news media and democrats are enthusiastic about continuing this activity. It is not police policy and/or officer training which is the problem. It is that FAD ! I’m a old white guy, also not very big, so I don’t present much of a threat. However, I have no doubt that I would not enjoy the consequences related to resisting arrest, so I would not resist it. Why is the attitude of resisters any different? Resisting arrest is a serious crime, perhaps even more serious than what caused the arrest, so very few cops would expect to have to impose a death penalty as their only option

    There are obviously some rogue cops. They would be lots easier to find if folks would not resist arrest. One of the latest issues comes to mind where a “victim” was shot 7 times in the back. This started as a call reporting his presence. The police get immediate background on such cases, and lo, there was already an outstanding warrant on this guy”s arrest and what he was doing was also against the law.

    The last picture I saw showed an officer attempting to prevent this guy from re-entering his car. That can’t happen. The officer’s mission is to arrest this guy. The officer had hold of the guy’s t-shirt and the guy was ignoring him and attempting to climb into his vehicle. There might be a weapon in the car and it looks as if this thug intends to race off with his passengers.

    Three (3) children were in the back seat. I didn’t notice any information about whether these kids lived at this address of this guy was their actual parent. But dealing with a car race was not acceptable. Do you really think this guy would have stopped just because there were sirens? Lives were at stake, and this guy had to be stopped. Doesn’t look as if a bullet or two would have done the job He survived all seven!

    If black lives matter why doesn’t the BLM organization, democrats, and the major news media point out that blacks (as well as everybody else) is STUPID to resist arrest and should get no sympathy. They have more control of the situation by cooperating and it would be easier to identify and fire rogue cops.

  26. There are some sick, sick puppies here. The troubling thing is that bad cops, that shouldn’t be allowed on any force, are killing people that are clearly no longer a threat, and ON CAMERA, and they know it. That tells me that they think they can do whatever they want and get away with it. And the sick culture of having other cops standing around, allowing it or even participating in it, is incredible. My son in law is a SEAL, and their code would never allow this. They root out the warped individuals, because they need to trust each other’s integrity.

  27. Here’s a thought – why not get a better class of criminals? People who listen to lawful authority & comply when ordered to stop, or drop the gun, drop the knife, drop the Molotov cocktail. Stop being a threat, and comply. There would be fewer needless deaths on the street.
    And especially train black guys to be less violent, since they proportionally commit more violent crimes than white or Hispanic guys. Assign trained fathers to the homes with only single moms, so the dads can provide this guidance to the sons.

  28. I thought libertarians were against regulation? People didn’t resist arrest years ago because they got a baton to the bag of the legs. Now we have ‘regulated’ procedures and every one and their grandmother is resisting arrest, disobeying police orders and violently attacking police. Short of not enforcing the law, this is only now going to get worse and police will be in an even tougher situation, thanks to well meaning but idiotic garbage like is in this article. Criminals only respect firm command backed up by the threat of violence. If they think the police can’t touch them they will act accordingly. The joke will be on them when they get shot, but regulated force is impossible because each situation and each officer has a different amount of ability to navigate these situations.

    1. Apparently you are ignoring the clear distinction between good cops and bad cops. The incidents like a Floyd that stand out have nothing to do with going easy on criminals, and everything to do with the rule of law for everyone. Being issued a badge and a gun is not a hunting license. And I guarantee you that the good cops know the difference.

      1. What distinction? The guy (Floyd) was screaming he couldn’t breathe when he wasn’t being restrained by anyone. Watch the tape. There is no rule of law issue there. Had Floyd gotten in the car in the first place he would have been fine. Instead, he needed to be restrained. Only other option was to let him go. The method of restraining is taught to the police. The fact that Floyd said he couldn’t breathe (which was the alarming part of the viedeotape when I first saw it) means nothing when you realize before he was restrained he was saying he couldn’t breathe. WATCH THE WHOLE TAPE. Floyd went to the gorund because HE WANTED TOO. But hey, all thes atheletes got what they wanted. Dead cops and attacked cops. And it is only going to get worse. Every single one of these recent deaths/altercations that started riots would have been avoided by the suspect getting arrested and let go without bail 2 hours later. They chose to escalate. That is not good cops. It is dead cops who wait.

        1. Your response is laughable. You’re trying to justify cowardly, thuggish behavior by a bad cop. Period. He is charged with murder, as he should be. Even HE recognizes that he was wrong, and is, typically for a cowardly bully, trying to shift blame to his partners for not stopping him.

  29. When was the last time government ever relinquished or lessened it power over the citizens? It seldom happens. Those in power are always seeking more authority and creating ways to control the population. It is no different with the police. The more rules you create, the less protection for the victims and the criminals end up with more outs and excuses for acting with aggression.

    The qualified immunity clause along with the same exceptions given to drug companies for vaccines and other drugs, allows for extreme control over the citizen with little recourse. These “exceptions” allow for deep corruption and open the door for all kinds of aggressive activity. If there are no consequences for evil deeds, it is natural that some humans will seek to control others to protect their perceived realities.

    Governments are made up of control freaks and seldom do these people have the best interests of the population in mind. Congress is the perfect example.

  30. “Build out”? When I hear marketdroid blithering, it’s hard to take any associated arguments seriously.

    This comment not approved by Silicon Valley brain slugs.

  31. Please note the person writing this article has no more law enforcement experience than a nine year old. That last sentence was caustic, but it’s also true. On the whole, this is a workplace issue that involves cops and crooks. If you are neither, stay out of it. It doesn’t involve you. You will tilt the balance to one side, and it’s not the side your taxes are paying for. Police are trained to anticipate danger because the job really is dangerous. Not the video game version, but the real job. Everyone with common sense knows what it takes to get shot by a police officer. No one is claiming cops are randomly shooting people on the street so quit drumming the false narrative. You know that nine out of 40,000,000 black people were shot unarmed by police and 157 were struck by lightning, but you keep on with it. Try becoming a cop again, I heard they’ve relaxed the psychological standards on the testing even more than during the recession. One day you’re going to be old and regret how you changed things.

  32. Garner died because he was morbidly obese with the attendant health problems and chose to resist arrest. Pantaleo didn’t kill him since he had no way of knowing Garner would die of overexertion.

    Floyd died because he chose to ingest fentanyl and overdosed. The police were trying to restrain him using techniques in which they’d been trained pending the arrival of EMS.

    These are facts and all the rioting, I mean, protesting in the world won’t change them. As long as people choose to resist arrest some of them will die as a result. The one constant in the overwhelming majority of these incidents is the arrestee choosing to resist the police.

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