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Black Lives Matter

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wolfhnd View Drop Down

Joined: 18 Feb 2015
Location: United States
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Black Lives Matter
    Posted: 24 Sep 2015 at 05:37
Black Lives Matter is a distraction from the larger issue that a large percentage of poor blacks and other minorities in America are programmed for failure.  There is no doubt that racism continues to plague American society and that blacks are unfairly treated by law enforcement.  The same is probably true of all minorities including poor whites and there in is the tragedy of this movement. 

This may seem harsh but the degree to which racism has held blacks down is not clear.  The extreme racism that Asians faced has not prevented them from succeeding in America and I think we should examine why.  First I want to go over the Black Lives Matter policy solutions to demonstrate how they fail to address the problem of police violence in a positive way and focus on prohibitions, increase minority isolation and are not enabling.

Black Lives Matter Policy Statement

1.  End Policing of Minor "Broken Windows" Offenses

The following activities do not threaten public safety and are often used to police black bodies. Decriminalize these activities or de-prioritize their enforcement:

Consumption of Alcohol on Streets
Marijuana Possession
Disorderly Conduct
Disturbing the Peace (including Loud Music)

All of these policy issues deal with social conduct.  What used to be called polite society does not engage in these behaviors.  The importance of good manners is hardly something most people equate with a successful social order but I believe it is relevant.  Good manners have some ethnic association but there are some universal principals most societies share.  The first principal of manners is self control, you don't pick your nose in public for example.  The second principal is respect for others and their rights, for example you don't play your music so loud your neighbor can't sleep.  The third principal is temperance,  Temperance is defined as moderation or voluntary self-restraint. It is typically described in terms of what an individual voluntarily refrains from doing. This includes restraint from retaliation in the form of non-violence and forgiveness, restraint from arrogance in the form of humility and modesty, restraint from excesses such as splurging now in the form of prudence, and restraint from excessive anger or craving for something in the form of calmness and self-control.

So why are manners important?  They build character the very thing the first Black Lives Matter agenda point fails to understand.  Self control, respect for others and temperance are skills that are necessary to living a fulfilling productive life.

2.  Establish effective civilian oversight structures

Establish an all-civilian oversight structure with discipline power that includes a Police Commission and Civilian Complaints Office with the following powers:

The Police Commission should:

determine policy for the police department based on community input and academic expertise

share policy and policy changes in publicly accessible formats

discipline and dismiss police officers

hold public disciplinary hearings

select the candidates for Police Chief, to be hired by the Mayor

evaluate and fire the Police Chief, if needed

receive full-time, competitive salaries for all members

receive regular training on policing and civil rights

not have current, former or family of police officers as members

select its members from candidates offered by community organizations

The Civilian Complaints Office should:

receive, investigate and resolve all civilian complaints against police in 120 days

establish multiple in-person and online ways to submit, view and discuss complaints

be immediately notified and required to send an investigator to the scene of a police shooting or in-custody death

be allowed to interrogate officers less than 48 hours after an incident where deadly force is used

access crime scenes, subpoena witnesses and files with penalties for non-compliance

make disciplinary and policy recommendations to the Police Chief

compel the Police Chief to explain why he/she has not followed a recommendation

have the Police Commission decide cases where the Police Chief does not follow recommendations

issue public quarterly reports analyzing complaints, demographics of complainants, status and findings of investigations and actions taken as a result

be housed in a separate location from the police department

be funded at an amount no less than 5% of the total police department budget

have at least 1 investigator for every 70 police officers or 4 investigators at all times,whichever is greater

have its Director selected from candidates offered by community organizations

not have current, former or family of police officers on staff, including the Director

The second agenda point doesn't seem to have anything to object to on the surface but how does it solve the problem of black lives not mattering.  Blacks after all are a minority and would obviously be at a disadvantage on any commision where they are not a majority.

It also creates another bureaucracy that needs to be funded by in most cases not the black community which it is supposed to be serving in already financially strained minority cities.  It is necessarily then going to be a tax burden on those not represented by said commission needing either state or federal funding sources.  While the concept can be stretched to far the idea of taxation without representation is fundamentally opposed to freedom from government over extension.  The failures of the "Great Society" programs comes to mind when considering government programs where there is no vested interest.

Nothing in this agenda provides that the commission's itself will not have a political agenda or be impartial.  There is also little competency expectation in the agenda and school boards have proved totally unable to deal with poor performance in minority neighborhoods even with external tax aid.  Why would we assume this type of commission to be anymore effective than school boards?


Establish standards and reporting of police use of deadly force

A. Authorize deadly force only when there is an imminent threat to an officer's life or the life of another person and such force is strictly unavoidable to protect life. (Ex: International Deadly Force Standard)

B.  require reporting of police killings or serious injuries of civilians (Ex: The PRIDE Act; Colorado law)

Revise and strengthen local police department use of force policies

Revised police use of force policies should protect human life and rights. Policies should include guidance on reporting, investigation, discipline, and accountability and increase transparency by making the policies available online. This use of force policy should require officers to:

use minimum force to apprehend a suspect, with specific guidelines for the types of force and tools authorized for a given level of resistance (Ex: Seattle PD Policy)
de-escalate first (Ex: Seattle PD Policy)
carry a less-lethal weapon (Ex: Seattle PD Policy)
ban using force on a person for talking back or as punishment for running away (Ex: Cleveland PD Policy)
ban chokeholds, hog-ties and transporting people face down in a vehicle (Ex: NYPD Policy)
stop other officers who are using excessive force (Ex: Las Vegas Metro PD Policy)
End traffic-related police killings and dangerous high-speed police chases

Prohibit police officers from:

shooting at moving vehicles (Ex: Denver PD Policy)
moving in front of moving vehicles (Ex: Denver PD Policy)
high-speed chases of people who have not and are not about to commit a violent felony (Ex: Milwaukee PD Policy)

Monitor how police use force and proactively hold officers accountable for excessive force

A. Report all uses of force to a database with information on related injuries and demographics of the victims. (Ex: Seattle PD Policy)

B. Establish an early intervention system to correct officers who use excessive force. These systems have been shown to reduce the average number of complaints against officers in a police department by more than 50%. This system should:

report officers who receive two or more complaints in the past month
report officers who have two or more use of force incidents or complaints in the past quarter
require officers to attend re-training and be monitored by an immediate supervisor after their first quarterly report and terminate an officer following multiple reports

C. Require police departments to notify the state when an officer is found to have willfully violated department policy or the law, committed official misconduct, or resigned while under investigation for these offenses. Maintain this information in a database accessible to the public (Ex: Illinois Law) and prohibit these officers from serving as police officers, teachers or other governmental employees. 

Agenda item three actually addresses the problem but unfortunately represents policy in most police departments.  If these policies were sufficient to address the problem there would be no problem.  It may sound trite but why is there no mention of how the police should be treated?  Most people if treated with respect will at least deescalate.  An educational program to teach people how to interact with police is something that is apparently needed.  Police officers are not robots and are prone to make mistakes like the rest of us treating them as robots is dehumanizing.  The process of creating empathy is a two way process and is likely to be difficult to achieve but is essential for normal human relations.


Lower the standard of proof for Department of Justice civil rights investigations of police officers

Allow federal prosecutors to successfully prosecute police officers for misconduct by passing legislation to eliminate the requirement that an officer must "willfully" deprive another's rights in order to violate Section 242.
Use federal funds to encourage independent investigations and prosecutions

Pass legislation such as the Police Training and Independent Review Act of 2015 or use of existing federal funds to encourage external, independent investigations and prosecution of police killings (see Action Items 2.2.2 and 2.2.3 of the President’s Task Force Report).

Establish a permanent Special Prosecutor's Office at the State level for cases of police violence

The Special Prosecutor's Office should be:

required and authorized to prosecute all cases of where police kill or seriously injure a civilian, in-custody deaths and cases where a civilian alleges criminal misconduct against a police officer
equipped with an office and resources to conduct thorough investigations
required to have its Chief Prosecutor chosen from a list of candidates offered by community organizations

Require independent investigations of all cases where police kill or seriously injure civilians

The independent investigators should be:

required and authorized to prosecute all cases of where police kill or seriously injure a civilian, in-custody deaths and cases where a civilian alleges criminal misconduct against a police officer
required to investigate all cases where police kill chosen at random from a list of the largest ten agencies in the state
required to report their findings to the public
Lowering the standard of proof is not a solution to any problem in a free society.  In this case it simply pits one minority against another as police are a small segment of the population.  These kinds of concepts have already been addressed in the military where civil rights are a constant challenge to "mission readiness" by increasing the standard of proof.   This agenda item should offend anyone interested in a just society.

It also represents another unfunded mandate when most agencies are struggling against growing tax payer revolt.

The real problem in prosecution of negligent officers is the police culture.  I find it ironic that this issue is raised while we have a president with perhaps one of the worst record on whistleblowers in history.  


Increase the number of police officers who reflect the communities they serve

Require police departments to develop and publicly report a strategy and timeline for achieving a representative proportion of police officers who are women and people of color through outreach, recruitment and changes to departmental practices (Ex: Connecticut Law)
Use community feedback to inform police department policies and practices

Require a regular survey (Ex: Milwaukee survey) to be fielded to the community to gauge their experiences and perceptions of the police and use this information to inform:

police department policies and practices
police officer evaluations
police officer pay incentives 

Agenda item 5 is a nice idea but it is part fantasy as the movement itself may be a disincentives for potential recruits.   The New York Police Department, for instance has seen the proportion of black recruits in its police academy classes fall amid growing attention to aggressive tactics in minority neighborhoods: to 13 percent in July, from 18 percent in 2003. 

To fully understand how twisted this debate has become you can go here and download a copy of What to do when Stopped by Police.  http://www.blackpolice.org/education.html   Published by The National Black Police Association.
Black officers are human just like white officers and if subjected to a hostile public will become hostile.   The above brochure illustrates how all police officers expect to be treated not just black police officers.


Body cameras

Require and fund the use of body cameras - in addition to dashboard cameras - to record interactions with civilians and establish policies governing their use to:

record all interactions with civilians
allow civilians to review footage of themselves or their relatives and request this be released to the public and stored for at least two years
permanently delete footage after 6 months if this footage hasn't been specifically requested to be stored
presume police misconduct if cameras or mandated footage are tampered with or unavailable
prevent officers from reviewing footage of an incident before completing initial reports, statements or interviews about an incident
stop recording and storing footage if a suspect requests to remain anonymous and notify them of this option
updating privacy laws to protect civilians from having video or audio recordings released publicly that do not contain potential evidence in a use-of-force incident, discharge of a weapon or death.
(Ex: ACLU Model Policy)

The Right to Record Police 

Ban police officers from taking cell phones or other recording devices without a person's consent or warrant and give people the right to sue police departments if they take or destroy these devices. (Ex: Colorado Law)

Represents another unfunded mandate which technically communities should be willing to tax themselves for if they want it.  Agenda item 6 may represent a partial solution but it is unlikely that all relevant information will be captured by body cams and if captured interrupted impartially.  It is certainly not fail safe as younger police officers will have the technical skills to work around it if they desire.  It has other technical flaws but is mostly of benefit to police in protecting themselves against false accusations.


Invest in Rigorous and Sustained Training

Require officers to undergo training - including scenario-based training - on the following topics on at least a quarterly basis and involve the community - including youth of color - in their design and implementation:

Implicit bias
Procedural justice
Relationship-based policing
Community interaction
Crisis intervention, mediation, conflict resolution, and rumor control
Appropriate engagement with youth
Appropriate engagement with LGBTQ, transgender and gender nonconforming individuals
Appropriate engagement with individuals who are english language learners
Appropriate engagement with individuals from different religious affiliations
Appropriate engagement with individuals who are differently abled
De-escalation and minimizing the use of force

Intentionally consider 'unconscious' or 'implicit' racial bias

Require current and prospective police officers to undergo mandatory implicit racial bias testing, including testing for bias in shoot/don't shoot decision-making, and develop a clear policy for considering an officer's level of racial bias in:

law enforcement certification
the hiring process
performance evaluations
decisions about whether an officer should be deployed to communities of color

I sure that the people that drew up these policy solution thought that they were unassailable.  Who could be against training for example?  Ignoring funding issues this is perhaps the best use of resources.  I would suggest that it should include public education and better whistleblower laws as well.


End police department quotas for tickets and arrests

Ban police departments from using ticket or arrest quotas to evaluate the performance of police officers

(Ex: Illinois law)

Limit fines and fees for low-income people

Pass policies requiring local governments to:

ban issuing fines or arrest warrants for civilians who fail to appear in court for a traffic citation (Ex: Ferguson Policy)
ban generating more than 10% of total municipal revenue from fines and fees (Ex: Missouri law)
allow judges discretion to waive fines and fees for low-income people or initiate payment plans (Ex: Pennsylvania law)

Prevent police from taking the money or property of innocent people

Prohibit police from:

seizing property of civilians (i.e. civil forfeiture) unless they are convicted of a crime and the state establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the property is subject to forfeiture
keeping any property that has legally been forfeited (instead, this property should go to a general fund)

Means testing for fines is kind of a novel idea with some merit but I suspect it won't hold up to Supreme Court scrutiny.  The rest of what is addressed here is not a minority issue and are being hotly debated by people with a broader agenda.


End the Federal Government's 1033 Program Providing Military Weaponry to Local Police Departments

End the supply of federal military weaponry to local police departments under the 1033 program. (Ex: Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act)

Establish Local Restrictions to Prevent Police Departments from Purchasing or Using Military Weaponry

Restrict police departments from:

using federal grant money to purchase military equipment (Ex: Montana law)
deploying armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft, Stingray surveillance equipment, camouflage uniforms, and grenade launchers
using SWAT teams unless there is an emergency situation or imminent threat to life and high-ranking officers have given approval (Ex: Cincinnati PD Policy)
conducting no-knock raids without probable cause to believe someone inside the home is an imminent threat (Ex: Cincinnati PD Policy)
accessing federal grant money or purchasing military equipment if the department has been recently found to demonstrate a "pattern or practice" of discriminatory policing

I only have one question here.  Who is going to demilitarize gangs?  This again has little bearing on minorities other than their over representation in criminal organizations.


Remove barriers to effective misconduct investigations and civilian oversight

Remove contract provisions, local policies, and provisions in state Law Enforcement Officers' Bills of Rights laws that:

allow officers to wait 48 hours or more before being interrogated after an incident
prevent investigators from pursuing other cases of misconduct revealed during an investigation
prevent an officer's name or picture from being released to the public
prohibit civilians from having the power to discipline, subpoena or interrogate police officers
state that the Police Chief has the sole authority to discipline police officers
enable officers to appeal a disciplinary decision to a hearing board of other police officers
prevent an officer from being investigated for an incident that happened 100 or more days prior
allow an officer to choose not to take a lie detector test without being punished, require the civilian who is accusing that officer of misconduct to pass a lie detector first, or prevent the officer's test results from being considered as evidence of misconduct

Keep officers' disciplinary history accessible to police departments and the public

Remove contract provisions, local policies, and provisions in state Law Enforcement Officers' Bills of Rights laws that allow police officers to:

expunge or destroy records of past misconduct (both sustained and unsustained) from their disciplinary file
prevent their disciplinary records from being released to the public via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request

Ensure officers do not get paid after they kill or seriously injure a civilian

Remove contract provisions, local policies, and provisions in state Law Enforcement Officers' Bills of Rights laws that allow police officers to:

receive paid leave or remain on desk-duty during an investigation following a police shooting or other use of deadly force
receive paid leave or remain on desk-duty after being charged with a felony offense

I doubt that due to the discriminatory nature of these provisions they would hold up in court.  Police have the same right of innocent until proven guilty as any other group.

I didn't mention black on black violence because it is a separate problem I do feel however that it is a more serious issue that should be given more than equal time.   We need to stop focusing on divisive issues and deal with pressing problems in a more constructive and unifying environment that does not pit group against group.  If we are really all in this together we had better find a way to make it feel as if that is true.

Edited by wolfhnd - 24 Sep 2015 at 05:38
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franciscosan View Drop Down

Joined: 09 Feb 2015
Location: Littleton CO
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Points: 3445
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2015 at 06:03
When i get pulled over (as occasionally happens), I roll down the window, turn off the car, turn on the overhead light, put my hands on the top of the steering wheel and say, "how may I help you?"  My attitude is like when a friend tells me my shoe lace is untied.  I know that the officer just wants to helpfully point something out, like a license plate light is out, nothing he should bother to go to the trouble of writing a ticket for such a friendly soul.  Do I ask if anything wrong?  No, the mere question presupposes something is wrong.

I am a middle aged white guy, and while my attitude is to be as helpful and cooperative as possible at a traffic stop, I am aware that officers have an arsenal of various weapons that they can employ, and I do not want to give them an excuse to do so.  You may be able to verbally talk your way out of something, if you are quick thinking, right and can get them to empathize with your situation.  But the point is to use language, not physicality either through fighting or running.  Sometimes the way to get out is to get deeper in first.

I want to tell a story that happened to a friend of mine, I am not saying anybody else could pull this off, just that he did and pulled it off.  He worked a nighttime job and walked through neighborhoods early in the morning.  He wasn't doing anything but going from point a to point b (work to home).  A police cruiser showed up and the guy started to interrogate him, asking him what he was doing out so late, he said that he was walking home, but the officer didn't seem to accept that.  He finally said to the police officer, look you are harassing me, I am going to citizen's arrest you, and I want you to call Arapahoe County Sheriff to be back up for me.  As a police officer you are obligated to help me in anyway you can if I am making a citizen's arrest.  (Undoubtably you have to say this right to the officer, mean it and not "blink" while you are doing it.).  The officer did call the Sheriff's office, and the Sheriff's Deputy did explain that, "no, the young man is just walking through the neighborhood, you have no reason to detain him.  A Sheriff's office is for the county, whereas the police department is for the town or city.  They overlap in their jurisdiction. 
What would have happened if the police officer had ignored my friend's call for backup?  There is an obligation of law enforcement officers to render assistance to citizens in, amongst other things, citizen's arrest.  The call to the sheriff's office is reasonable, considering that my friend was having problems with the local police department, and anyone else in the police department might be biased in favor of their own officer.  Therefore, he demanded that the officer call another law enforcement entity which also had jurisdiction there.  He was quick thinking, right, and he found someone who probably had empathy for him.  I bet the sheriff's deputy still loves the story of the young man who jammed up the police department by going over the officer's head, calling in the sheriff to decide the matter.

Edited by franciscosan - 29 Sep 2015 at 06:04
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