Overcriminalization

Stop Overpolicing

Excessive traffic and pedestrian stops, especially in black communities, are dangerous and counterproductive.

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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, C.J. Ciaramella on regulating use of force, Alec Ward on releasing body cam footage, Stephen Davies on defunding the police, and Nick Gillespie interviewing former Reasoner Radley Balko on police militarization.

"The practice of racial profiling grows from a trio of very tangible sources….The sources include the difficulty in policing victimless crimes in general and the resulting need for intrusive police techniques; the greater relevancy of this difficulty given the intensification of the drug war since the 1980s; and the additional incentive that asset forfeiture laws give police forces to seize money and property from suspects."
Gene Callahan and William Anderson
"The Roots of Racial Profiling"
August/September 2001

On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile was fatally shot during a traffic stop in suburban Minnesota when a police officer freaked out over Castile's legally carried concealed firearm. While activists and the general public reasonably focus on the senseless tragedy that day, that stop was at least the 46th time Castile had been pulled over in the previous 13 years. There is little reason to believe Castile was a particularly bad or dangerous driver. He was cited once for exceeding the posted speed limit and once for running a stop sign; three other stops were for more ambiguous moving violations, according to an NPR investigation published after his death. It seems, instead, that the local police used the myriad regulations at their disposal to repeatedly stop, investigate, fine, and sometimes arrest Castile for minor offenses. It is no exaggeration to say that Castile had been victimized by police many times before he was killed.

Police officers make millions of traffic and pedestrian stops in the United States every year. A very small number result in any police use of force, let alone lethal force. But officers understand that any on-duty interaction may become violent and are instructed to be prepared for that possibility at all times. To drive that message home during training, cadets watch graphic dashboard camera videos of traffic stops that result in shootouts and officer deaths. Thus, any involuntary contact between citizens and police officers carries an inherent danger for individuals on both sides of the encounter. Despite this risk, police departments incentivize their officers to make stops not only for traffic safety and crime deterrence but also for revenue generation and as a means of conducting investigations that would otherwise lack legal justification.

Undoubtedly, lawmakers have put too many crimes and civil violations on the books that can lead to police-initiated contact, a phenomenon broadly captured by the term overcriminalization. Most states and localities could purge many laws and regulations without any damage to public safety or security. But every day, police officers routinely use personal and institutional discretion to ignore countless violations that range from jaywalking to not using a turn signal to public consumption of drugs and alcohol. Thus, the determination of how often and under what circumstances to make traffic or pedestrian stops is ultimately one of policy, not one of law.

Although departments are prohibited from setting ticket or stop quotas for personnel, commanding officers set expectations for what a successful shift looks like on a typical day. For example, an officer assigned to general patrol, in which his role is to respond to  911 calls in his assigned zone, may not be expected to initiate many stops, particularly on shifts with a lot of calls. But if that officer is assigned to traffic duty on a road segment known for speeders and he reports only two vehicle stops and no tickets issued during an eight- or 10-hour shift, he will likely be questioned by his superior.

Beyond the individual incentives that an officer faces on any given day, police departments also can set an enforcement strategy in response to local conditions or political agendas. If a city or policing district sees a spike in gun violence, for example, political pressure will come down on the police brass to do something about it, which invariably trickles down to front-line officers. There are only so many police officers in a given department, and they can't be everywhere at once, so the institution's ability to reduce crime right away is naturally limited. But officers have a considerable amount of power at their disposal to produce numbers that show that they are "doing something" in response to a perceived crisis.

Aggressive policing techniques allow officers to confront individuals, question them, and perhaps search them for contraband such as drugs and guns. New York City's stop-and-frisk program is the most notorious example of this style of policing. This program demonstrated to politicians that NYPD officers were in the streets discouraging crime with proactive tactics. Over the most active 10 years of the program, the New York Police Department (NYPD) recovered roughly 8,000 firearms by stopping, questioning, and frisking pedestrians. As in much of the rest of the country, violent crime in New York was trending downward during this period, so on its face, it may have seemed like an excellent anti-violence tactic.

What the NYPD didn't highlight was that recovering those 8,000 guns required stopping roughly 4 million individuals, the vast majority of whom were black or Latino men—a firearm hit rate of 0.2 percent. Of course, officers also sometimes found drugs or people who had outstanding summonses for both petty and serious offenses. But even taking those cases into account, roughly 90 percent of the people the NYPD subjected to a stop and frisk were completely innocent of wrongdoing in the eyes of the law, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Although New York's program has been pared back as the result of a lawsuit and public pressure, the aggressive use of pedestrian and traffic stops to investigate crime in the general public remains commonplace for police departments around the country. Stops are a common tactic police use to respond to spates of violence and gun victimization. Sometimes the stops seem to lower crime, and sometimes they do not. But even when such programs seem to correlate with crime declines while they are operating, it bears noting that New York did not see a spike in crime after stop and frisk was scaled down there.

In 2015, the Los Angeles Police Department created its Metropolitan Division, which uses unmarked police vehicles to increase motor vehicle stops to search for drugs and guns in high-crime areas. According to the Los Angeles Times, nearly half of the motorists pulled over by Metro Division units are black, despite black people making up roughly 9 percent of the L.A. population. The Times dubbed this disparity "Stop-and-Frisk in a car." Violent crime in those areas continued to increase until 2018.

In 2017, following an uptick in violent crime, the police department in Little Rock, Arkansas, assigned officers to special overtime patrols in marked cars with the express purpose of stopping vehicles to search for firearms. During a six-month period, the Arkansas Times reported, the Little Rock Police Department (LRPD) recovered 50 unspecified "weapons" as part of that initiative. But the LRPD needed over 6,000 vehicle stops to recover those weapons, pulling over 112 innocent motorists for every weapon recovered. When black community members complained about the special patrols, including reports that officers would sometimes draw their guns without provocation, the LRPD responded that the effort was part of a "community policing" strategy. Such tactics differ considerably from the ice cream socials and get-to-know-a-cop events that typify other cities' community policing efforts.

Defenders of aggressive policing strategies like those deployed in Little Rock will point to a measurable decrease in violent crime once the special overtime patrols were initiated. While this decrease is almost certainly tied to the actions of LRPD, the explanation is not as straightforward as it may seem.

Modern professionalized policing has mostly been a reactive endeavor in the United States. Local governments tend to throw police officers at public problems—ranging from crime and disorder to mental health and other personal crises—and the cops, in turn, develop ad hoc strategies based on experience, hunches, and the "do something" incentives described above.

In the last couple of decades, a group of academics, including some current and former police officers, have developed a discipline known as "evidence-based policing." They have designed research and field experiments to measure the effectiveness of police policy and strategies. By using legitimate scientific methods like random control trials, these researchers are creating a growing body of literature on how police can make society safer.

Getting police officers and departments to embrace this new way of thinking about their jobs continues to be an uphill struggle. One consistent finding is that Drug Awareness and Resistance Education (DARE) programs have no significant impact on teen drug use. Nevertheless, when I attended a conference put on by the Center for Evidence-Based Crime Policy (CEBCP) at George Mason University a few years back, one police officer in attendance was unironically wearing his department's DARE polo shirt. Although the program isn't as ubiquitous as it once was, the DARE America website boasts that its officers reach more than a million students every year, and its most recent annual report shows a 23 percent increase in revenue from 2017 to 2018.

The CEBCP maintains an online Evidence-Based Policing Matrix that collects and categorizes scientific research on police practices. The matrix characterizes studies by their methodological rigor and breaks them into categories such as "neighborhood," "micro-place," or "jurisdiction" to describe the size of the experiment. While DARE is an exceptionally useless police strategy, most policing practices aren't as clearly effective or ineffective. But trends are emerging as the database continues to grow.

One finding that is now widely accepted in the evidence-based community is that a visible police presence can decrease criminal activity in areas experiencing elevated crime. While no evidence-based studies concerning Little Rock's overtime patrol shifts or the L.A. Metro Division's methods have been published, this observation seems to match up with their respective experiences. Los Angeles didn't see a reduction in crime when it used unmarked vehicles to make its stops, but Little Rock, with its marked patrol cars, did.

Beyond increasing police visibility, though, the investigatory stops and searches may not have played any role in driving down violence. While some evidence-based studies suggest stop and frisk may reduce crime when carefully targeted in "hot spots," the dramatic rollback of stop and frisk in New York indicates that widespread targeting of black and Latino men is not an effective crime control strategy.

For decades, aggressive police tactics have overwhelmingly targeted black men. Far more often than not, the individuals stopped have done nothing wrong. When they can, police point to guns taken off the street or crime rates that go down. But they too often do not seriously consider the social costs of stopping and harassing innocent people who perceive—often correctly—that their involuntary police encounter is in large part due to their race. Most innocent drivers aren't shot and killed by an officer, as Castile was, but enough of the people who are stopped fear that could happen to them, and they rightfully resent it.

Data show that police don't need to stop as many people as they do. Police departments should deploy their officers in a way that maximizes safety for everyone in the community instead of boosting officer activity for its own sake. Harassing people is a policy choice, and a poor one: There's little evidence it works to reduce crime. But even if it did, in a free society, effectiveness must sometimes take a backseat to constitutional and civil liberties concerns. In this time of heightened sensitivity to police treatment of African Americans, reducing unnecessary police contact is an easy way for departments to demonstrate that black lives matter.

 

NEXT: Salt Lake City Police Shot a Teen During a Mental Health Wellness Check

Overcriminalization Police Stop and Frisk Crime

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148 responses to “Stop Overpolicing

  1. Everyone does something that can get them pulled over every time they drive. It all depends on when a cop really wants to check someone out in many cases.

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  3. This article should be given to the BLM brass so they can direct their movement at the correct goals rather than some vague ’tear it all down’ target.

    Or is that throwing pearls at swine?

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    2. Yep and “defunding police” should be understood as “decriminalization”.

      1. If they wanted decriminalization, they’d say decriminalization

      2. Nah it’s understood just fine thecway they say it now wothout your mealy mouthed equivocations

      3. That’s clearly not what they meant.

        “Reform the criminal code” sounds nothing like “Defund the police.” Saying the latter if you mean the former is an exercise in making people confused.

  4. Barr and Trump Campaign Lied About the “9 Missing Ballots” Story – And Used the DOJ To Do It

    The 9 discarded ballots were tossed because Republicans won their lawsuit requiring them to not be counted.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2020/09/the-9-discarded-ballots-were-tossed-because-republicans-won-their-lawsuit-requiring-them-to-not-be-counted-report/

    County officials were not aware of who the ballots were for until the DOJ’s press release was issued.

    1. And it was the DoJ that unnecessarily reported which Presidential candidate was voted for on those ballots, deliberately politicizing the story while it was still being investigated.

      1. “And it was the DoJ that unnecessarily reported”

        All you do all day long is cry like a fucking bitch Mike.

      2. This sounds beyond phony. They weren’t marked and set aside but chucked in the trash? What bullshit.
        I’ll bet everything that the WaPo is inventing a new narrative here in an effort to suppress the story. A week from now it’ll be shown conclusively that these had been illegally destroyed, but it won’t matter because your lie will have spread everywhere.

        1. You can have your own reality if you want to. The story as reported above is what the official investigation concluded.

          1. And offical investigations are so trustworthy

            1. Are we applying that standard to all official investigations, or selectively? Are we applying the same standard to believing the development in Senate investigations into the Obama Administration? Investigations of Hunter Biden?

      3. Hi you’re an idiot so you dojt get it, let me explain.

        It ONLY A STORY IF THE BALLOTS WERE DISCARDED DISPROPORTIONATELY.

        God damn how are you so fucking stupid.

        1. No, it is not. The story, sans politicization, is that nine ballots were discarded by a temporary worker, they realized what has happened and went to a great deal of trouble to dig them out of a dumpster, and then, as this breaking news reports it was found out the ballots cannot be counted because they were not in privacy envelopes.

          1. “No, it is not. ”

            Yes it is idiot, if it WASN’T DISPROPORTIONATE IT’S JUST TAKING OUT GARBAGE.

            God damn how are you so fucking stupid

            1. lol

            2. I mean, based on the performance of Trump and his opposition’s, it’s completely plausible the 75-90% of voters would vote for Trump.
              The mass psychosis of the hive mind left makes it less likely, but they’re so delusional that I wouldn’t put it past them to accidentally mark Trump since it’s all they see.

              1. Performance of Trump? Performance of his opposition?

                I doubt there is much popular perception that either one has performed well in the past four years. Neither Trump nor the legislature is even trying any more to pass legislation.

                Trump is cranking out executive orders in lieu of working with Congress. He immediately takes credit for whatever the executive order claims to do, although most of the orders are only ordering agencies to explore the possibility of doing this or that, or are subject to countersuits and other legal limitations.

                1. Yes, but your assessment is worth dogshit.

                2. “Trump is cranking out executive orders in lieu of working with Congress.”

                  Your mean he’s pulling an FDR?

                  1. Wow, not the expected whadabout. Kudos.

                3. You mean he’s got a pen and a phone just like that Kenyan usurper whose rectum you racist leftards used to suck?

                  1. That would have been a great comeback, if I were an Obama supporter.

                    1. Ah, yes, the ‘neutrality’ bullshit.

    2. Where is the evidence that anybody lied?

    3. “County officials were not aware of who the ballots were for”

      Suddenly we believe county officials.

      1. They’re trying to tell us that the “improper” ballots weren’t marked and filed (for disposal only after the election), but just chucked in the trash.

        This is called inventing excuses for electoral fraud by the WaPo.

        1. My read on it is similar

        2. Your criticism doesn’t make sense. If the local election officials were in on it, why would they have called any attention to the ballots being tossed? Why would they toss them in the first place, since they could eliminate the votes for Trump by simply marking and filing them? In general, why would they call attention to themselves if they were trying to pull off fraud?

        3. The entire story is actually one of the system working. The fraud to worry about is the one you never find out about.

  5. What will really reduce the number of stops is for the government to stop focusing on emissions and mileage, and direct car manufacturers to develop a tail light that never breaks or goes out.

  6. “Undoubtedly, lawmakers have put too many crimes and civil violations on the books”

    You think?

    Anyone who whines about excess policing, (assumption warning!) likely to be someone on the left, and does not whine even louder about too many laws, is an idiot. Instead (assumption warning!) most of those same progressives seem more eager than ever to come up with more laws and regulations about arbitrary and inconsequential things. How do they think those laws will be enforced?

    1. Q: “How do they think those laws will be enforced?”
      A: Civil courts and cancel culture.

      You’re absolutely right that they don’t want fewer laws/rules, they just want different laws/rules. But they still don’t want the police.

      They don’t need police to arrest you when you refuse to bake a cake, gather for a worship service, or allow customers into your store without a mask. Instead, they can either fine you into oblivion or take away your business license.

      They don’t need police to arrest you if you utter the wrong word in front of a classroom or send an email that doesn’t perfectly fit the party line. Instead, they can use mob outrage to get you fired.

      Who needs a police force if they can destroy your livelihood and reputation without one?

      1. But ultimately, they might need official force to make a miscreant comply with their social justice court orders, especially if said miscreant is armed.

        Now, they might think that calling an official group of government agents sanctioned to use force, even deadly force, something other than “police” makes any difference–and it probably would to like-minded ideologues–but does it really?

        1. You’re right but most of them haven’t thought that far ahead. Logical consequences aren’t a strong suit of extremists. Those who have thought ahead either have your solution of an armed government force that is, in their minds, certainly not “police” or mob violence. They assume that the mob will be on their side and there won’t be any “police” to stop the mob.

          Both of those happened in Kenosha. For two nights the mob ran wild because there weren’t enough police to stop them. Since the mob was on the “correct” side of things, our Dem officials didn’t bring in sufficient reinforcements. The third night, the rightwing vigilantes showed up and the mob was no longer on the correct side. The fourth night, we suddenly had 1500 Nat Guard (police by another name) and the violence stopped.

          1. “the rightwing vigilantes showed up”

            Sure they did.
            That 17 year old kid who was cleaning up graffiti and extinguishing fires was totes a vigilante.
            Vigilantes always run away from the people attacking them until they’re cornered, then exercise maximum restraint in defending themselves from murder attempts.
            Good call.
            Might as well declare your submission to totalitarian collectivism now.

            1. I’m withholding judgment on the 17 year-old. Our justice system isn’t perfect, but it’s what we have and it’s now dealing with his case. More broadly, I know people who armed up that night and there’s significant right-wing militia mentality among some of them.

              But from the left-wing viewpoint, the city was overrun with crazy rightwingers. That’s why the Gov finally sent troops. If it continued to be a leftwing mob, I don’t think the Gov would have acted at all.

              1. You have given more than enough evidence to conclude that you’re an idiot

            2. “Might as well declare your submission to totalitarian collectivism now.”

              And amazingly, he then did exactly that.

            3. The 17-year-old kid that killed two people and severely wounded another. He was totes just cleaning up graffiti.

              1. Yea he’s also a fucking legend.

                1. He’s a mixed-up teenager in a lot of trouble.

                  1. He’s not, but you will be.

                    1. WTF does that mean, Nardz.

                    2. Do your own work

              2. The charging document admits he was being attacked each time he shot. LOL.

                1. Not going to argue the case here. That will happen in court.

                  The bigger failing of society is encouraging a 17 year old to be out there with a gun and not stopping him from being there.

                  1. Yea, him Rittenhouse being there is the problem – not the rioting and the looting.
                    Good call, Karen.

                    1. They are both problems. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

                      A teenager should not have been out there. His mother should have kept him home, the militia should have sent him home, and right-wingers shouldn’t be encouraging this type of thing.

                    2. You’re judgement is noted and dismissed.

                    3. Of course they should have been checking his ID – 17 yr olds are not supposed to be cleaning off graffiti (there is video of him doing so). After all, those mostly peaceful protesters kept all minors out of their ranks when they wrote the graffiti, damaged and looted stores, and set fire to property and cop cars.

                    4. Being dismissed by you, Nardz, is a badge of honor.

                    5. Does his mother need to check his ID to know how old he is?

                    6. “I’m going up to Kenosha to help with the cleanup, Mom.”

                      “Don’t go unarmed, son, those protesters are animals!”

              3. Took out a perv who raped five boys age 9 – 11. He’s a fucking hero.

                1. White knight is very protective of child rapists.
                  One suspects he’s sympathetic to their actions.

                  1. Ah, the ultimate bullshit that the CACCLs throw around. It betrays your lack of seriousness.

                    1. You clearly are.

                    2. “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her“

                2. Where are you getting that information from? What are you talking about?

                  1. Ah, found what you are referring to. Looks like Rosenbaum may have molested a boy or boys when he was younger. That is bad.

                    Of course, it is irrelevant, in that Rittenhouse didn’t know that. And if he did, his place was not to be a vigilante street executioner.

                    1. ^I’m glad you wrote this for all to see

                    2. I admit when I am wrong or when someone here has filled me in on something I didn’t know.

        2. But ultimately, they might need official force to make a miscreant comply with their social justice court orders, especially if said miscreant is armed

          No, they really don’t. They can confiscate wealth and punish anybody with property simply by telling financial institutions to do so, and they will comply without the need for force. That’s because in addition to use force to gain power, government can also gain power by buying it, and it can buy it by printing money.

          BLM and ANTIFA are rebelling against laws enforced on them, while demanding more laws to be imposed and enforced on others.

      2. ” Instead, they can either fine you into oblivion or take away your business license.”

        They’re gonna need police to try to get that money or try to shut me down.

        1. That used to be true. Today, they don’t need police to get that money, they simply take it out of your bank account or ban you from the financial system altoghether.

          1. And then, because no cops, I go to the bank and get it back plus interest, then “speak” to the bank and the people involved. All the way up to corporate.

            No cops mean NO COPS.

            1. In that case you’d just be considered a bank robber, and banks don’t need police to deal with those. You still won’t get those digits added back to your account.

  7. Meanwhile, mindless hordes of blmantifa zombies keep attacking cars.
    Thankfully there’s one state in the union where drivers are empowered to put them down permanently.

  8. Oh good more leftie democrat koch reason liberaltarian whining about getting traffic tickets.

    Sure you don’t want the cops around so you can smash in windows, riot, loot, and pretend it never happened.

    1. “leftie democrat koch”?

      I’d like to go back through the looking glass now, pls.

  9. There is little evidence for overpolicing or overcriminalization. This article certainly contains none.

    Make your case with facts and numbers, not anecdotes.

    1. Come on, this article starts with an explanation of “decades of Reason journalism about policing and criminal justice”.
      Which represents zero actual knowledge of said practices and gives infantilized whining about being prevented from their “liberties”, completely separated from the concept of having to live in an organized and civilized society.
      Boiled down, “libertarianism” is nothing but libertine anarchy.

  10. Blm and antifa do not want less crimes or less enforcement. They want their rules to be enforced by their people and they want the ability to change the rules on the fly and punish people retroactively (habeus corpus be damned). The power of a law is only half in enforcement, the other half of the power is in granting exceptions. The progressives and socialists know this

    1. Antifa are a bunch of bored young people, many with too much testosterone, who don’t have a serious goal or end game at all.

        1. Don’t got one. It’s just my personal prejudice.

          1. Which is hilarious, since you identified “too much testosterone” as an attribute.

            1. Testosterone makes people have unfounded prejudices? What’s your logic here?

              1. “The White Knight
                September.26.2020 at 11:55 am
                Antifa are a bunch of bored young people, many with too much testosterone”

                You know other people can see what you’ve written, no?

                1. Your point?

            2. LOL in his mind no testosterone whatsoever = too much testosterone.

              1. What is your point here? You are suddenly a fan of antifa because I said something critical about them?

                1. It’s amazing how much needs to be explained to you.

                  I’m referring to the laughable idea that antifa has too much testosterone.

                  1. Sure, a group primarily made up of young men who like to get in fights. No problem with excess testosterone there.

                    1. Jesus WK you whiny hermaphrodite. How about Joe Rogan talking about what giant pussies antifa are ?

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGVd7k53hDw

                    2. “Antifa getting knocked out compilation”

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNMNtbjlcSM

                    3. Testosterone makes you more likely to get into a fight. It doesn’t make it likely you’ll win it.

                      Anyway, this is proof you’ll argue with me about anything. I say something negative about antifa and you try (unsuccessfully) to pick holes in it.

                    4. I say something negative about antifa and you try (unsuccessfully) to pick holes in it.

                      Derp.

      1. They are. And that’s the essence of people who support socialism/Marxism/progressivism: boredom, privilege, and destruction.

        1. I’ll buy that. But I’d extend the same general observation to Proud Boys, Boogaloos, militias, and other right-wing yahoos.

          They are mirrors of each other, and whether some young man ends up joining one or the other is largely an accident of whether they were born in a left or right wing echo chamber.

          1. The Proud Boys are western chauvinists. You equating them with anti-west communists reveals more about your self hatred than it does about them.
            Boogaloos seem to be almost wholly left wing.
            And as we saw above, leftist conceptions of “right wing militias” seem to be anyone who organizes armed defense of private property.
            Your attempt to cover for totalitarian pedophiles is noted and dismissed.

            1. Ooh, I’ve been dismissed by Nardz. [Hangs head in shame.]

              1. You’re a cunt.

                1. He knows.
                  Worse, he knows he’s incompetent

          2. They are mirrors of each other,

            No, they are absolutely not “mirrors of each other”. Both progressive/socialist youths and conservative youths are indeed wealthy and privileged compared to the rest of the world.

            The difference is that progressive/socialist youth want to destroy the system that made their parents and themselves wealthy and privileged; they often don’t even recognize their own wealth and privilege.

            Conservative youth wants to preserve, celebrate, and spread the system that made their parents and themselves wealthy and privileged; they acknowledge the benefits of that system.

    1. I haven’t read it yet, but Angelo Codevilla wrote it, if that tips the balance for you. It certainly would have for me. His, “The Ruling Class,” is one of the best essays on modern American political and popular culture of the last 50 years.

      1. I’ve read it. It needs another pass through by an editor.

        There are some howlers in there: “That is why the fascists, who were part of that tradition, never made it as totalitarians.” Could have fooled Nazi Germany, Angelo. They only ‘never made it’, because of the combined efforts of the rest of the World’s industrial powers.

        “Thus did the oligarchy manage to convince the public to let it treat a virus the infection/fatality rate of which (circa 0.01%) is either equal to or lower than that of the average of seasonal influenzas, as if it were the plague.” Think he meant 0.1%, which is still lower than the estimates I’ve seen (~0.2-0.4% IFR). It is the right number for 20-30 year olds, and younger than 20 have even lower fatality rates. Really, this is only super-dangerous if you’re over 70.

        All that said, he has some points in there that are outstanding. When writing of the mobs,

        In short, the Progressive ruling class’s intensifying efforts to oppress those they imagine to be their inferiors is not reversible. It is far less a choice of policy than it is the consequence of its awakening to its own identity—awakening to the powers and privileges to which they imagine their superior worth entitles them. It is awakening to its deep resentment—indeed, to hate—for whoever does not submit preemptively.

        That, “Awakening to the powers and privileges to which they imagine their superior worth entitles them,” is the best description of the people comprising Antifa, and the Occupy members before them, that I’ve yet read.

        It’s long, but worth your time.

        1. I’d never heard of Codevilla, but I will be paying attention to him.
          He is right on the money with the trends he identifies as fundamental.

  11. After every street shooting, the tv crew finds a local, law-abiding, hard-working resident who complains “too many guns on the street.”
    Not once has tv crew followed up with “what do you suggest be done?” I wonder if most of these locals wouldn’t endorse “stop and frisk?” Clearly, they want more cops in their neighborhoods and more aggressive policing to control and arrest the thugs.

    1. Stop and frisk?
      You mean the program that leftist complain that sent untold thousands of black and brown young men to prison, while in the same breath say it hardly ever found weapons on the ones frisked?
      I don’t think leftist even listen to their own bullshit – probably because their enablers in the media just report it as gospel and never listen, either.

  12. I’ve been particularly perturbed by the state of Ohio forcing business owners to be their Covid enforcers. If a bar or restaurant doesn’t enforce mask requirements then they get fined or shut down. Then the state claims that not wearing a mask is trespassing because your not following the rules of the “private property owner” (like they ever give a shit about their rights). But it’s not really the business owners rules, it’s the states. The business owners are now the cops who get no compensation and are forced into unnecessary friction with their customers.

    1. Some of us said this would happen when businesses allowed government to force them to collect sales tax, build infrastructure to get building permits, and other state duties that were passed onto private businesses.

      Businesses are getting Fascism good and hard that they got into bed with corrupt politicians who push unconstitutional legislation.

    2. Washington state is doing this too, no doubt because even Jay Inslee realizes that manhandling the maskless is bad optics. Therefore, he points the guns at the small business owners simply trying to stay open (if they can even be open to begin with). It’s completely disgusting.

    3. Camel’s nose under the tent when we acquiesced to “antidiscrimination” laws and forced private businesses and individuals to abandon freedom of association, to stop rioting back in the sixties.
      Say what you will about the domestic terrorism of riots…they work.

  13. Lol yeah they’ll stop making traffic stops, starts on 5th of never. Cops seem to only catch criminals with stops. I read earlier today the NY AG wants to end traffic stops AND if someone is pulled over and has warrants should not be arrested and free to go. Mix that with this new cashless bail setup and we can defund cops, courts, jails, AGs think of the money we’ll save totally ignoring the criminals!! Fucking genius!

  14. If we end drug prohibition all that will stop.

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  16. Exactly. But at the same time, people need to stop dialing 911 all the damn time.

  17. Police stop individuals in many cases because the resulting ticket and fine provide revenue for the city.

    I suspect that if you reduced fines from the ridiculous amounts now to what they should be police might be less inclined to stop people for ‘seatbelt violations’ (the infraction in the case that the NY AG was talking about).

  18. Great ideas. Unfortunately you’re swimming upstream against a current of police training and more importantly, police culture. It will take a generation or more to fix it.

  19. “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.” ~ Ayn Rand

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  21. By what objective standard is policing to be criticized? That standard must be established before we can discuss what is “excessive”. But our political system has no such standard, only a goal of protection of rights. The means is by granting a monopoly on violence to an elite. Does this achieve the end? Or do we achieve the opposite? We the victims have our proof through experience. But what good is that against the violent monopoly who claim authority to judge themselves, evaluate their efficiency, their fairness? None, until the monopoly is removed, the blanket moral sanction is withdrawn, and is replaced with a voluntary system of justice.

  22. This really needs to stop. Spreading love is the only thing one can do.

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