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Police Prosecutions Have Increased, but Convictions Have Not

Meanwhile, shootings by police show no sign of slowing.

I don't know that I would necessarily call it "good news" that we're seeing more police officers facing actual charges and trials for fatal shootings. Given, though, that there's been a notable increase in the number of people killed by police in recent years, a doubling in the frequency by which officers face trial in 2015 is at least a sign that officials have started treating public outrage seriously.

Now for the downers. The increase is from an average of five officers prosecuted a year to 12 so far in 2015. And none of the officers has been convicted yet. Reuters, reporting on the increase this year, notes that typically only one out of five officers charged has been found guilty over the past decade. Also, these numbers don't include the six Baltimore officers who face charges over the death of Freddie Gray.

By contrast, The Guardian reports that police so far this year have killed 940 citizens. Of course, a significant number of these shootings are a result of police confronting armed people engaging in apparent crimes and sometimes even getting shot at themselves. This shouldn't be seen as an insistence that there's some sort of appropriate ratio—that for every x number of killings by police, one will turn out to be a result of criminal misconduct by the officer.

It does look like the number of people killed by police could actually exceed the estimated 1,108 killed in 2014 if it stays at the current rate (based on numbers by killedbypolice.net). The public outrage does not appear to have stopped the police from using deadly force when officers think it's necessary.

James Comey, thinks public oversight terrifies police.FBIIt's important to look at that data, because now FBi Director James Comey has joined the complaints of some police (complaints unsupported by any evidence whatsoever) that all this outrage and surveillance of police is causing them to not do their jobs properly because they're afraid of accusations of misconduct, and that's causing the current increase in crime. From the Washington Post:

The "age of viral videos" has fundamentally altered U.S. policing, Comey said Monday in a speech virtually identical to one he delivered last week at the University of Chicago Law School.

His comments have been interpreted as giving credence to the notion of a "Ferguson effect" — the theory that riots and racial unrest in places such as Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, where police killed civilians, has prompted police officers to become more restrained. That, in turn, has theoretically resulted in an uptick in violent crime as criminals become emboldened.

Comey acknowledged Monday that he has little evidence to support the theory.

"The question is, are these kinds of things changing police behavior around the country? The honest answer is: I don't know for sure whether that's the case," he said, but he added that "I do have a strong sense" it's true.

So, you've got nothing, then. The White House is all, "LOL, no way," to Comey's accusations. All this outrage and the jump in prosecutions certainly hasn't lowered the frequency by which police kill people. Certainly Corey Jones didn't benefit from this allegedly new level of caution from police. And it certainly hasn't stopped some police from expressing absurd levels of aggressive behavior.

I want to throw the whole "If you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to fear" canard back in law enforcement's face, but probably the best observation about Comey's unsupported claim comes from Michael Petricone of the Consumer Electronics Association. Petricone tweeted that Comey's statement is proof that knowledge of surveillance causes people to change their behavior, an argument civil liberties groups use to oppose snooping by agencies like the National Security Agency and, well, Comey's FBI.

Photo Credit: FBI

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  • sarcasmic||

    Cops are the only people the legal system treats as presumed innocent.

  • Hugh Akston||

    "Your honor, we find the defendant vulnerable yet spunky!"

  • Swiss Servator||

    Sometimes celebrities and politicians too?

  • onebornfree||

    I don't care who finally gets elected, or which doesn't, nor what the Fed does/does not do, nor whether, according to Mr "investment advisor with a claimed "near perfect prediction record" [insert advisor name of choice] , we are supposedly in for recession, depression, deflation, hyper inflation, a stock market boom, or whatever .

    Why?

    Because whatever happens, my entirely self-managed, fully diversified, once per year adjusted long term savings plan will be safely protected and will , 9 times out of 10, grow at an average of 8% per annum over and above the prevailing inflation [or deflation], rate, year in, year out, as it has since 1986 when I started using it.

    Savings plan results 1972-201:

    http://onebornfreesfinancialsa.....gspot.com/

    Regards,onebornfree


  • Aloysious||

    I am going to entrust you with all my doubloons. And triploons. And quadruploons.

  • Suicidy||

    I might place 400 quatloos on the newcomer to invest.

  • retiredfire||

    What is the current exchange rate for quatloos to bitcoins, today?

  • DenverJ||

    And pantaloons

  • Notorious UGCC||

    I would guess the following:

    - The police are the people generally responsible for gathering and preserving evidence, so maybe there's not a good quality of evidence in some of some of these prosecutions of cops.

    - The cops who get prosecuted may not necessarily be the really guilty ones, but the ones whose cases prompt the race-baiters to...bait. When there's no political pressure to go after a really guilty cop, that guy may get off.

  • sarcasmic||

    Prosecutors who put on anything more than a mock-trial for criminal cops will cease to have the cooperation of the force, and be unable to do their job. So prosecutors have every incentive to make sure that cops don't get convicted. If they actually pursue criminal cops, then they lose their conviction rate and their chances of using the job for higher office. Justice shmustice. It's all about personal gain.

  • retiredfire||

    Ah, the laments of the uninformed.
    Always a belly-laugh on REASON when it comes to our boys in blue.

  • DenverJ||

    Yeah bs. You're alright, retired, except that you've got a blind spot about your fellow "first responders". And I bet you don't think we can afford to close any fire houses, either, even though modern building codes and materials have decreased the incidence of building fires dramatically.
    But, that's ok. I always tell the females in my life, that if they have a problem needing immediate help, call 911 and say you smell gas. Many large men will show up, much quicker than the police will.

  • Loss of Reason||

    940 people - ban cops!!! I mean that's ..940/318,000,000...0.00029 % of the population.

    Lighting kills 50 so we can keep that, so that doesn't have to be banned.
    But those crappy life guards, 3500 drownings a year. Ban pools!!

  • sarcasmic||

    Awwwww, ain't that cute? The little retard totally missed the point.

  • SugarFree||

    Since Tulpa's "Eli" sock got exposed last night, I wonder if this is his new one. Or just some other random copsucker.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    God, I loved kicking the shit out of him.

    LEARNING!

  • Suicidy||

    On which article?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Don't you understand sarcasmic? Individuals are fungible, just little replaceable cogs in the machinery of society.

  • LinoleumBlownApart||

    Welcome my son
    Welcome to the machine
    What did you dream?
    It's alright we told you what to dream

  • Loki||

    Welcome to Retardation: A Celebration. Now, hopefully with this book, I'm gonna dispel a few myths, a few rumors. First off, the retarded don't rule the night. They don't rule it. Nobody does. And they don't run in packs. And while they may not be as strong as apes, don't lock eyes with 'em, don't do it. Puts 'em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming "No, no, no" and all they hear is 'Who wants cake?' Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.

  • retiredfire||

    ...and we're all out of cake.

  • Win Bear||

    By contrast, The Guardian reports that police so far this year have killed 940 citizens. Of course, a significant number of these shootings are a result of police confronting armed people engaging in apparent crimes and sometimes even getting shot at themselves. This shouldn't be seen as an insistence that there's some sort of appropriate ratio—that for every x number of killings by police, one will turn out to be a result of criminal misconduct by the officer.

    It makes no sense to me to talk about this in terms of national statistics. Police and their policies are local matters. Yes, Cleveland and Ferguson governments suck; they are run by progressives catering to public sector unions and destroying the local economy. How is that a national problem? Why should towns and cities that function well be subjected to draconian federal measures just because a few places can't get their economic and political act together?

  • dantheserene||

    Good point.

  • Rhywun||

    draconian federal measures

    Which draconian federal measures are you referring to?

  • Win Bear||

    The ones that tend to happen when FBI chiefs, the HHS, and the US president get into the act in response to a "national debate". You know, like all the other draconian federal crap that has happened after national debates on health care, taxes, welfare, disability, gay marriage, etc.

  • John||

    Reason should be very careful about complaining about lack of convictions. Cops deserve due process too. You don't judge the process by the number of convictions.

    And it is entirely possible that cops, due to the fear of prosecution are not doing their jobs as well. It is also possible that cops are just saying fuck it and refusing to do their jobs out of anger over the possibility of being held accountable for their actions. Either case could be one of the results of holding police more accountable.

    That of course doesn't mean that police should not be held more accountable. But those who seek to hold police accountable do themselves or their cause no favors by lying or pretending such things cannot or are not happening. They might be and if they are, advocates for police accountability should be honest about that fact.

  • sarcasmic||

    If everyone got the same due process that cops get, prisons would be empty.

  • John||

    I wouldn't go that far. Regardless, the solution is to give everyone else more due process not cops less.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Yeah, if everyone got Cop Due Process, the DA's pathway to prosecution would be covered in heel marks.

  • R C Dean||

    Reason should be very careful about complaining about lack of convictions

    The contrast between the high conviction rate of non-cops, and the low conviction rate of cops, is a legitimate subject of discussion.

    But, yeah, its very hard to discuss this without going to individual cases. The real issue is the double standard, which the conviction rates point at, but you really have to look at the different laws that apply to cops, including the big one: they don't have to be in "reasonable" fear of their life to kill you.

    Hell, look at the cop who isn't even going to be charged, even though he shot somebody in the back as they were driving slowly away. No way on this planet a mere prole skates for that, and the cop isn't even going to have to hire a lawyer.

  • John||

    Some of that is the law but most of it is that juries like cops. The jury system is like any other human system in that it is personality driven. If you are likable, juries go easier on you than if you are not regardless of the facts. So, cops are always going to do better before juries than your average criminal.

    The only way to change that is to treat cops differently and deprive them of their jury trial rights. And that is a horrible idea.

  • R C Dean||

    If you are likable, juries go easier on you than if you are not regardless of the facts.

    Cops? Likable? Hah! Not most of them.

    I think if you were to prohibit them from wearing their uniforms, prohibit other cops from attending in uniform (on account of "prejudice", which is well within the court's authority), and instruct the jury that a cop claiming self-defense should be regarded in exactly the same position as any other citizen, then you would go a long way.

    Look at the vid in today's nutpunch. The cop had zero legal authority to even pull a gun on them, on account of they were not suspected of a violent crime or attempting to flee.

    When they did attempt to flee, they did no act aggressively at all. The cop put himself in an awkward position (that was still not dangerous), and when the danger had completely passed, he shot the suspect in the back.

    And, again, that is not allowed under current law. But no charges were filed, and if they were, the jury would be told the wrong law, would be treated to a courtroom full of cops in uniform, etc.

    Run a cop trial like the trial of anyone else, and you'd get different results, I believe.

  • Rhywun||

    I think he means cops are likable to the sort of people who wind up on juries.

  • John||

    What Rywyn said. Cops are very popular with a lot of people.

  • sarcasmic||

    Cops are very popular with a lot of people.

    Yeah. People who have never been a victim of a crime, and who have no friends or family who have been put through the system. The fact that cops are so popular shows just how little real crime there is in this country.

  • John||

    In a way, yes.

  • R C Dean||

    Cops in principle are popular.

    Individual cops, not so much.

  • John||

    You sound like Suderman RC. Individual cops are often plenty popular. If they were not, why would juries be so loath to convict them?

  • John||

    You sound like Suderman RC. Individual cops are often plenty popular. If they were not, why would juries be so loath to convict them?

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Fear. Ever see a courtroom when a police officer is tried ? A room packed with police all staring at the jury. Yup, fear.

  • Win Bear||

    they don't have to be in "reasonable" fear of their life to kill you.

    Correct. That's not a failure of grand juries, prosecutors, or courts, it's generally the law.

  • kbolino||

    This should have been, and still should be, about repealing LEOBOR/LEOPA laws and about removing all the "protections" codified in union contracts. Talking about the number of people killed by police is beside the point and is not likely to influence anyone.

  • John||

    I agree. The killings make for sensational headlines but they are only a small part of the abuse that goes on. For every shooting, there are hundreds if not thousands of cases of wrongful arrest, evidence planting, perjury in court, and serious physical abuse committed by cops. Those things are a much bigger issue than the shootings.

  • Suicidy||

    Cops already don't do their job for shit. Where I live, they have largely given up on dealing with property crime. Claiming they are underfunded. Idiot voters pass a bond or some tax increase to give the, more $$ and they hire a few guys, plus spend shitloads of money on expensive new Ford Explorer police cruisers, and other extraneous bullshit. Plus raises, just because. The. After a year or two they announce that their budget won't cover investigating property crime. So they need more money.

    Rinse and repeat. I can honestly say I have no use for the fuckers. If I have a problem I need to deal with, they are just in the way.

  • DenverJ||

    Yeah the new cruisers, year after year, are an obvious case of someone else paying the bill, so lets get the best. Heaven forbid the cruiser is four yrs old.

  • LinoleumBlownApart||

    Those vehicles are replaced based on mileage, not age.

  • DenverJ||

    Well maintained vehicles, that have been customized, and whose hours of operation are mostly spent at low speed or idle. Look at what used police fleet vehicles sell for. Oh and that's after money has been spent to convert them back to non police use. Police forces waste huge amounts of money on status vehicles.

  • Win Bear||

    Those spending decisions are local. What have you done about it in your town?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    All this outrage and the jump in prosecutions certainly hasn't lowered the frequency by which police kill people.

    The legal odds are still in their favor.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    the theory that riots and racial unrest in places such as Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, where police killed civilians, has prompted police officers to become more restrained. That, in turn, has theoretically resulted in an uptick in violent crime as criminals become emboldened.

    I'll take the uptick in violent crime if it reduces my chances of being killed by a police officer 'cause I'm just chillin' in my front yard.

  • John||

    Maybe. Given a large enough uptick and violent crime, you would think differently.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Well, shifting from what we have now to say, the Zombie Apocalypse, I'd be reluctant to call that an "uptick".

  • John||

    How about Mexico? Or say Washington DC under Marion Berry?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    As long as there's not downtick in my right to carry.

  • John||

    You ability to defend yourself only goes so far. And you might not realize it but gun fights, even the ones you win, are not very fun.

  • Suicidy||

    Even then, you only need Rick Grimes.

  • Some Engineer||

    Given a large enough uptick and violent crime, you would think differently.

    Or move. Enough people moving to places that have smaller upticks in crime and better utilization of tax funds for public safety, as well as better restrained police would properly incentivize local decision making in the bad areas.

    There's a term for that. Free market something or other.

  • Jason Bayz||

    "my chances of being killed by a police officer 'cause I'm just chillin' in my front yard."

    LOL

  • Suicidy||

    Personally, I'm far more concerned about general police stupidity and low level corruption. Being killed by a cop is very rare, it being victimized by one not nearly so much.

  • Hank Phillips||

    When you say "felony" do you mean failure to pay the tax on a cigarette or joint or failure to fill out 37 intertwined tax spreadsheets by a politician-cartel deadline? or are you referring to actual crimes that violate the rights of an individual human being (like shooting them in the back on a Salt Lake City sidewalk)? Can I quote you to Dillon's next-of-kin?
    When you say "gun" am I to assume you refer to those plastic things 12-year-olds brandish in games of cops 'n robbers? Those would go a long way toward helping check the arithmetic you failed to jot down.

  • Hank Phillips||

    "Not nearly so much" unless they claim in their courts that you weren't quick enough in complying... and thereby forced them to put a warning shot into your back.

  • Win Bear||

    if it reduces my chances of being killed by a police officer 'cause I'm just chillin' in my front yard

    There are about a thousand killings by police every year. Once you eliminate all the people who are waving a gun at police and/or clearly committing a felony, you are down to a few dozen people. That already makes it more likely to be killed by lightning than killed by police "while chillin' in your front yard". But that's assuming deaths are distributed equally across the US. In most places in the US, you are about as likely to be killed by police in your front yard as you are to be killed by a shark in your front yard.

  • Hank Phillips||

    True dat.

  • LinoleumBlownApart||

    "All this outrage and the jump in prosecutions certainly hasn't lowered the frequency by which police kill people."

    Considering the jump in prosecutions is a result of the pressure from political correctness, I wouldn't expect more convictions or a lowered frequency by which police kill people. The most likely change it will bring is a change of the culture in the LEO community that encourages timidity in Cops. That might be good for 0.00029 % of the population. No so good for the rest of us.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Why can't cops investigate crime, make arrests as needed, and still refrain from killing unarmed people who pose no threat? Why must we accept military raids and grenades being lobbed into baby cribs as the acceptable collateral to a 'lack of timidity' with cops?

  • LinoleumBlownApart||

    "Why can't cops investigate crime, make arrests as needed, and still refrain from killing unarmed people who pose no threat?"

    That's what is known as a loaded question. Your question contains the unjustified assumption that Cops kill people who pose no threat at a rate that is significant to this issue we are discussing, when in fact that occurrence is abysmally low.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    Low...lets look at this from another angle:
    Chance a US Person with a gun kills someone non-negligently - 0.0000105%
    Chance a US Police Officer kills someone - 0.00117

    That is two entire orders of magnitude! In anyone's measure that is more than statistically significant.

  • LinoleumBlownApart||

    Actually those are meaningless statistics. Of course the chances that a Cop kills someone is greater than the chance a US Person with a gun kills someone non-negligently. After all, the is Cop is required to carry a gun and confront gun-toting criminals. That's their job.

    BTW, did you know that Saharan Africans can swim better than native Hawaiians? I know this because drowning incidents are higher among native Hawaiians than among Saharan Africans.

  • DenverJ||

    How about any incidence of police illegality being unacceptable, and when specific cases come to light, the officer is treated the same as every other citizen? And if you're too much of a pussy, or too high strung, or just too much of a fucking dick to do the job properly, find another line of work. Something useful like cleaning latrines.

  • LinoleumBlownApart||

    Sounds good to me.

  • Win Bear||

    How about any incidence of police illegality being unacceptable,

    What makes you think anybody considers police illegality "acceptable"? But something being unacceptable, and having 100% efficient enforcement and prosecution are two different things.

    Your reasoning implies "it is unacceptable therefore the government should take steps to stop it completely," and that kind of reasoning got us police forces with too much power in the first place.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Then there is Kevin Bacon in the Saharan African movie "Cop Car", in which the pOlice officer is conscientiously remunerated by Society for enforcing national prohibition and his patrol car is absconded with by (now) gun-toting criminals (kinda like white Tamir Rices). Any grownup conversant with high school algebra can clearly see this is preposterous fiction that Can't Happen Here, so the unpatriotic scofflaw message in that movie is also as "meaningless" as them photoshopped videos. Q.E.D.

  • Win Bear||

    Of course it's statistically significant: police encounter large numbers of people who threaten their life. Once you eliminate those and eliminate people who police killed accidentally or negligently, you're down to maybe a few dozen cases where there even could be deliberate murder. Given that there are about a million police officers in the US, that is actually not significantly different from the murder rate in the general population.

    Go through the data yourself if you like: http://tinyurl.com/pktqu8k

    There are plenty of things wrong with police and the kinds of corrosive effect police power has on our liberties. However, the concerns about police killings specifically seem blown out of proportion.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Isn't there supposed to be a distinction between criminals who initiate force to take values from others and police whose job would be to restrain only those worthies? In other words, isn't the function of just laws the safeguarding of individual rights? I seem to be detecting an apples and oranges dissonance here. If we hark back to Mencken, 1924, that police are in the business of collecting paychecks rather than restraining from the violation of individual rights, the distinction problem vanishes. Which is the more useful and relevant perspective?

  • Hank Phillips||

    So all those videos are fake?

  • LinoleumBlownApart||

    Cliché Bandit and I are discussing the ratio of those killed by Cops and those killed by Citizens. So yes all those videos of Cops killing someone are probably real. If around 1000 people are killed by the Cops every year, I wonder how many of them are filmed?

  • kbolino||

    No so good for the rest of us.

    If the police actually develop a culture of "timidity", vs. just a culture of fucking with people who aren't politically connected enough, then we will return to law enforcement prior to the invention of modern policing--i.e. where the law is enforced by the average man with a gun. The idea that without the police we would be left with lawlessness is to assign to the police far more power than they actually have. About a hundred years ago, the Boston police strike was broken by the governor of Massachusetts (future president Calvin Coolidge) firing any officer who didn't return to work. We are no more beholden to the police than we choose to be.

    The "not so good" part comes in the burden shouldered by law-abiding people if the police decide to be "timid". But that burden is always there, to some extent or another. The police don't do a job none of the rest of us can do; they do a job that all of us are empowered to do but would rather not be bothered with on a day-to-day basis.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "About a hundred years ago, the Boston police strike was broken by the governor of Massachusetts (future president Calvin Coolidge) firing any officer who didn't return to work."

    Actually, the firing was by local authorities, Coolidge just gave moral support IIRC.

    But anyway, nowadays the only way to break a police strike is to give them what they want. You can't fire them except for finking on each other.

  • kbolino||

    Actually, the firing was by local authorities, Coolidge just gave moral support IIRC.

    Indeed, it was the police commissioner. And he hired more officers than those he fired, and paid them more than those who struck.

    Perhaps not the best example for the point I was trying to make...

  • R C Dean||

    Actually, I think that's an awesome example.

    Proves it wasn't about the money from the city's side. It was about people who claim to have a sacred trust, and then walk out on it. For money. Fuck those guys.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Jane Byrne of Chicago did something similar with another, more recent infestation of self-righteous leeches, IIRC. Someone had sent her a Who is John Galt? postcard.

  • LinoleumBlownApart||

    You make some good points there but still, I can't afford the liability of doing the Cops job for them.

  • DenverJ||

    Which is an argument against you being liable for what should be legal behavior, i.e. beating the snot out of a mugger, not an argument for officers being unaccountable for illegal acts.

  • LinoleumBlownApart||

    Right. No one here is making a case for officers being unaccountable for illegal acts.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Police are taught by those who sign their paychecks that:
    1. A right is not a moral claim to freedom of action.
    2. Freedom is not freedom from coercion.
    3. Altruism, collectivism and sacrifice do justify the initiation of deadly force.
    Res ipsa loquitur.

  • Long Woodchippers||

    "Prosecutions of Police..."

  • Hank Phillips||

    Nuremberg Trials...

  • Rt. Hon. Judge Woodrow Chipper||

    What a surprise. Government found a way to waste more taxpayer money - pretend trials!

  • Hank Phillips||

    If Mohammedan Taliban beheadings are cause for UN troops to make arrests and inquiries Over There, why do not US militarized police shootings of unarmed civilians merit the same extension of jurisdiction? It would be constructive to draft a petition calling for intervention in These States if the UN were not the enforcement arm of an international cartel fixing the price of opiates. Oh well...

  • Hank Phillips||

    What about cities that employ cops as hired muscle for criminal soft machines? Could "we" not have Nuremberg Trials of their politicians when they default on their bonds?

  • PlaystoomuchHALO||

    If you want to seriously address the issue of police murdering civilians and dogs, you'll need to do the following first:

    1) Castrate the police unions
    2) End SWAT teams - there is no need for them, and if anything they actually lead to most of the problems currently in place with our police
    3) End the pipeline of military equipment to police departments
    4) End policing for profit
    5) Body cameras that cannot be turned off and the recordings not in police control. Hell, I'd put them in a different state or country for safekeeping
    6) Treat the routine killing of pets for shits and giggles by cops looking for boner as a capital offense
    7) Start honestly evaluating police officers for mental health issues and booting them. Seriously, the number of sociopaths I've met with a badge is just fucking scary.

  • TimothyLane||

    Some very good suggestions there, especially 1, 4, 5, and 7. Killing pets should be punishable, but making it a capital offense is excessive (and would probably never be enforced, given the reluctance of juries to convict). I think there should be far fewer SWAT teams and far less military equipment in policing, but total elimination is probably not desirable.

  • Suicidy||

    1) Public sector unions have no right to exist.
    2) they have their uses. Just not the current overuse.
    3) agree 100%
    4) agree 100%
    5) good idea
    6) allow the pet owner to execute the cop in response with no repercussions to the pet owner.
    7) sociopaths and a massive number of control freaks.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Yeah! To hell with voting against the political rings and parties that created this state of affairs, or repealing the fossilizing campaign finance laws whereby they cannot be dislodged from absolute power.

  • TimothyLane||

    What concerns me is not how many police shootings there are, but how many unjustified police shootings. Are there a lot, or a few? Is there really a racial bias in them, or is that just a result of intense media coverage of shootings of blacks while ignoring shootings of whites? The facts no doubt are available, but no one seems interested in them when there are agendas to push.

  • Suicidy||

    I'm a white man of means who drives a nice newer vehicle and doesn't dress like a scumbag. Even I have been victimized through contempt of cop.

  • Hank Phillips||

    I would be more concerned that real videos of tax-supported looters with government service pistols are everywhere available, yet the politicians Nixon's campaign subsidies have entrenched want only to censor the evidence and free the murderers. Try to picture how many of these scenes were NOT recorded, or destroyed by the perps. Remember this when next you cast a vote.

  • LinoleumBlownApart||

    I just reviewed the 200-300 descriptions of the killings by law enforcement officers in the United States in 2014. Of those I read, most of those killed were armed, threatening the police, often while committing a felony. The best estimates place the number at just over 1000. Many of those killed were hardcore, repeat offenders. I found several sources for these killings. Below is one source.

    http://www.killedbypolice.net/kbp2014.html

    If one examines the empirical evidence dispassionately the facts don't justify the level of outrage in our society towards law enforcement. There is something else going on here.

  • LinoleumBlownApart||

    I don't mean to say there were only 200-300 killed by police in 2014. There were over 1000 as I noted above.

  • DenverJ||

    Yes, the "something else going on" is the justifiable anger of a free people being burdened with swarms of petty tyrants who can get away with assaults on the liberties of free people.
    Our ancestors fought a revolution to ensure our freedoms. Generations of soldiers, lawyers, activists, etc., have fought to protect those freedoms. But some people have such a blind spot about our "heroes in blue" that they refuse to understand that the biggest threat to their own liberty is not some foreign government or terrorist, but the minions of the state.

  • DenverJ||

    You cannot restrict "government". It is a nebulous concept. In actuality, what you can do is restrict the power of the individuals who make up the "government". If the same laws apply to all citizens equally, whether those citizens work for the government or not, then those who do not work for the government will have the same freedom as those who do.
    Otherwise, you have feudalism and different classes of citizens, some to whom the law applies, and some who are above the law.

  • Alan@.4||

    Funny you should notice or mention that, and by the way, it's application is not limited to interactions between the police and the private citizen, as it can be found in a comparison of how some private citizens fare, compared with how other private citizens fare before the law.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Guards! Billy-club, taze, mace and slap this less-equal animal with a contempt citation!

  • Win Bear||

    So let's focus on the actual problem: police are part of a general trend towards over-criminalization and over-regulation of our lives. That is a serious problem.

    But you can't make that argument effectively by fabricating facts: the data simply doesn't support the notion that police go around murdering people at an extremely high rate. Furthermore, looking at national statistics makes little sense, since both statistics and policies vary greatly by where you are.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Police are paid by politicians who deeply and sincerely believe, as an act of faith untainted by crude and vulgar facts, that the initiation of deadly force is good, necessary, right--provided only that their motives are altruistic and received with whoops of approval by prohibitionist lynch mobs of registered, voting, teevee watchers. OF COURSE their employees are gunning innocent people down like so many rabid curs! The very fact that these agents exist only to enforce the freedom of action of individuals as the sole raison d'etre of their just powers is what makes it shocking to individuals unblinded by superstitious ignorance. You are witnessing what the Congress and Senate, elected through the action of the Nixon law financing ku-klux elections, really want: a mystical dictatorship in which the police are the Taliban.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Something else indeed. Leaving aside the salient fact that "throwdown" is unquestionably in the vernacular as noun, verb and adjective, there remains a very real concern over whether the legitimate function of objectively-defined laws is to restrain the criminal violation of individual rights. One alternative interpretation is that laws can also supply a pretext for robbing and enslaving citizens for the benefit of an entrenched and predatory coalition of parasitical gangs. I seem to recall that Woodrow Wilson considered this a distinction worth contemplating in discussions of Germany. Few dreamt at the time that the distinction would acquire any such relevance when These States were the subject of discourse.

  • Berserkerscientist||

    This is the most sensible comment on this entire thread.

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  • Alan@.4||

    Idiot juries, idiot prosecutors perhaps simply a situation of bad cases being brought, possibly all or part of the above. I'm not in a position to judge, but it seems reasonably certain that at least some of the above factors are to be found in these cases.

  • Hank Phillips||

    In the GOP version of ISIS, holding a hemp seed and robbing a convenience store are the same thing: crime. They tax us to send youngsters off to battle with zealots of a different denomination and presto! Militarized police killing teenagers and sidewalk vendors with legal impunity. When instead of drone strikes or CIA assassins, lone hitters take these myrmidons out just as indiscriminately, their unions get in an uproar. But the fact is that God's Own Party's agenda, like that of its Mohammedan adversarial faith is also a 7th-Century ecclesiastical dictatorship with the Bible instead of the Koran enshrined as the Mein Kampf extolling faith, sacrifice and discipline. The police and military are simply believing what they are paid to believe, and acting accordingly.

  • Berserkerscientist||

    As always, the problem is not that police aren't following the laws, the problem is the police ARE following the laws. The laws are the problem. When selling "loosies" is a crime, you guarantee police confrontations. More police confrontations = more injuries, death and injustice.

  • jrom||

    The reason why convictions don't increase; is, because the prosecutors treat the police with kid gloves. Prosecutors, intentionally throw the case, like an athletic team intentionally throwing the game. That's why the police beat the rap.

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