Police and Community Roundup

Walter Olson has an interesting roundup of articles related to police accountability, over-policing, and many other related issues.

  • Mercury

    The Left thinks this kind of thing highlights the last vestiges of an old, obsolete and decayed culture. The heart almost flutters at this image which, at first blush, seems evocative of certain events which led up to the American political Left's (but not the Democrat's) greatest triumphs many decades ago; fire hoses turned on MLK led civil rights protesters, the brave few standing up to the powerful but morally bankrupt.

    But in reality this image perfectly illustrates the Left's beloved, Compliance Culture interacting with and steamrolling over actual humanity in the real world. Compliance Culture is the original promise of the Rule of Law riddled with cancer. It claims to make the world safer, more predictable and more manageable by removing human judgement wherever it rears its ugly, biased and statistically inconstant head. It's "Zero Tolerance" (i.e. Zero Thinking), it's strip searching the old, handicapped lady at airport security, it's shutting down the kids' lemonade stand, it's the cop letting the guy he just shot four times bleed out in the front seat while he waits for backup and follows the playbook, it's yelling "GOTCHA!" when the wrong magic words are spoken or written by others. It's trading the ideal of one, common culture for millions of official rules, regulations and rolls of red tape arbitrarily created and enforced by unaccountable entities:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/07/a-single-photo-that-captures-race-and-policing-in-america/490664/

  • John Say

    Wow, a real libertarian.

    I was disapponted when after some initally shocked favorable responses from conservative media and blogs immeidately after Dallas things flipped and the entire right got behind the blue.

    The police have a difficult and dangerous job - we understand that. But it is still a job - a choice.
    If you can not deal with difficult people - whether innocent people possibly with concealed carry permits at ordinary traffic stops, or even possibly criminals petty or otherwise, without killing them, then you should be in another line of work.

    I am pissed at BLM for making this all about race - and doing so abysmally badly. I do think they share culpabilty in not merely the deaths of police, but in the increased fear of police that may get others killed.

    But in the end, the officer took the job. And it is their responsibility to do it without killing unless absolutely necescary.
    I do not see the necescity for shooting someone in the head who is pinned tot he ground.

    I do not see the necescity of shooting someone reaching for their wallet because they told you that have a concealed carry permit and a gun.

    Even when the citizen is difficult, angry beligerant - even dangerous - it is the officers job to avoid killing anyone if at all possible.

    To paraphrase:

    Better ten police officers lose their lives in the line of duty than 1 innocent person is shot by a policemen.

    The risk is theirs - not ours.

  • mlouis

    I agree. In the same spirit, Obama should be prosecuted for the sloppiness of his drone strikes. We have an obligation to protect innocent lives regardless of where people reside. If you can't do a job with a very, very high degree of accuracy you are not qualified to do it at all. And the person who, despite knowing collateral damage is likely, orders the action should be held responsible as well.

  • mlhouse

    Sorry, but the fact is that it is almost always the "victims" choices that gets them killed. When you resist arrest you are changing the rules of the game. Chris Rock's "How Not to Get Your Ass Kicked By The Pooolice" is a good tutorial on how to avoid being an "innocent" person shot by a police officer.

    Obey the law is rule #1.

    Don't resist and follow the officer's orders is a good #2.

    AS far as you "not seeing the necessity" of an action of a police officer, you probably would have pulled your gun faster. The margin for error is very small. Most police officers are killed because they hesitated before defending themselves. And sometimes tragic errors happen.

    On the other hand, I think that the police forces around the nation needs to look at a few things to mitigate these confrontations.

    1. I think more training needs to officers on how to handle these difficult situations.
    2. I think that they need to find better, non-lethal methods of subduing resisting offenders.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    "When you resist arrest you are changing the rules of the game"

    Police often claim suspects were resisting when they were not in order to justify either escalating the use of force or to pile on charges.

    I have seen video's on line of multiple police confronting a suspect, simultaneously yelling mutually exclusive commands at the suspect and claiming he was resisting because he failed to do the impossible and obey both commands at the same time.

    I have seen videos of multiple officer's piled on one suspect yelling "stop resisting" while two or more officers are pulling a passive suspect's limbs in opposite directions.

    One particularly egregious case involved officers called out for a suspected drunk driver who had stopped in the middle of a busy intersection. The encounter was captured on a dash cam the footage of which was eventually made public.

    The officers approached the car loudly yelling orders for the driver to get out. No response.

    One of the officers opens the car door and drags the driver out. The driver limply falls to the ground making no effort to protect his head from impact.

    Four officer pile on the driver, two officer, each grab one of the driver's arms and pull them in opposite directions. The other two officers start punching and kicking the driver. This continues for a minute or two with all for officers loudly yelling "stop resisting" to make sure the dash cam picks it up.

    Finally a fifth officer on the scene realizes what was really happening and pulls the other officers off the driver.

    The driver wasn't drunk, he was diabetic and was unconscious from insulin shock before the cops even got to the scene. The driver was physically incapable of resisting.

    After the fifth officer pulls them off, he calls for an ambulance, then the dash cam video continues for another minute or so with all five officers standing in front of the squad car that was recording and are all laughing is up over the incident while they wait for the ambulance.

    They just beat an unconscious man silly for zero reason and they think it's funny.

  • mlhouse

    In any 12 month period more than 60 million people have at least one contact with the police. In less than 2% is there force used in any form, including shouting or verbal threats. So, while there may be "videos" of police misbehavior it isnt a major problem and it is pretty clear that most of the reason any type of force or threat is used is because of the behavior of the person.

    It would certainly be nice to live in a perfect world that the Libertarians seem to want, but we simply do not.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    "So, while there may be "videos" of police misbehavior it isnt a major
    problem and it is pretty clear that most of the reason any type of force
    or threat is used is because of the behavior of the person."

    When you look at the ever proliferating number of such videos and then realize that the videos contradict officer statements about what happened 99.99% of the time. that is not at all clear. Every time video of such an incident shows up, it proves the police lied, why believe them when there isn't any video?

  • John Say

    False narrative.
    If we are going to hold the left responsible for ridiculous spin, then we can not engage in the same thing ourselves.

    I am sure Rock's advice is good, but you miss the key point.

    The requirement to dot your i's and cross your t's belongs to the police - not the citizen.
    It is a good idea for young women alone not to get drunk, but that does not mean that if they do and get raped it is their fault.

    Your engaged in typical blame the victim nonsense.

    Mr. Castile was stopped for a brocken tail light - only it appears there was nothing wrong with the tail light.
    So "Obeying the law" did him no good.
    The real reason he was stopped was because the police thought he resembled a bad photo they had from a burglary a few days earlier. Not being that Burglar did him no good.

    There is still some confusion as to what happened next - and we will never know the truth.
    Mr. Castile is dead. Ms. Reynold's story from seconds after the shooting is our best evidence, and my understanding of what she says occured is the officer asked for license and registration - a very standard request, Castile said he had a carry permit and gun on his person and while going for his wallet, the officer panicked and shot him presuming he was going for a gun.

    The officers stories are slowly "leaking" but our ability to rely on any story declines the longer it takes before that story is released and the more evidence the person providing the story has available to them when they report the story.

    We evaluate credibility - the officers and Reynolds, by the congruence between their stories and the subsequent evidence.
    The officer involved should have been removed from the scene at the first possibility, and interviewed immediately and separately - before they could coordinate stories, while their memories were fresh and before they had any knowledge of other evidence. Absent that, it is impossible to accurately guage their credibility.

    But lets look at the possibilities:

    We know that asking for license and registration is normal.
    We know the officers were suspicious Castile might be a dangerous burglar - the approach of the officers to the vehicle - one from either side with guns drawn is NOT normal for a tail light stop.
    We know that castile was not the burglar.
    We know that Castile had a gun and that his possession of it was legal.

    Absent some fact that has not come to light yet, we have absolutely no reason in the world to beleive that Castile would have drawn on the police officer.
    He is not wanted for anything - you do not get a carry permit if you have a record.

    The possibilities are that Castile went for his wallet - either to get the license or the permit or both.
    Or He went to retrieve the gun either to give it to the officer or to place it in plain view.
    He did nothing.

    Lets say Castile was stupid and essentially said "Officer I have a gun - here it is".
    Is that justification for killing him ?

    If you say yes, then you are far more left wing than right. You support near absolute government power, the government actor is right always and the requirement for absolute perfection rests with the citizen.

    Those of us who favor limited government see the burdens as reversed.

    The assumption of risk in an encounter with a citizen belongs to the government - not the citizen.
    Stupidity on the part of the citizen should not result in the citizens death.

    I have a very smart 17 year old son - that I am very proud of. But he often does stupid things.
    If he does one when pulled over for a busted tail light - should that cost him his life ?

    If you say yes - you have a far greater concept of the power and breadth of government than I do, and a far smaller scope for individual liberty.

  • John Say

    I understand that police officers are often killed because they hesitate.

    But that is a risk that comes with the job.

    My argument which you do not seem to get, is that ALL the risk belongs to the officer.

    We are not going to get perfection. In the real world someone is going to die on occasion who did not deserve to die. So who should that be ? The officer who willingly accepted a job with a risk of getting killed ?
    Or the citizen who in this instance was not even guilty of having a broken tail light ?

    The risk belongs to the officer. Not the citizen. If that means officers hestitate and sometimes get killed AND there are less shootings of innocent citizens - that is the better outcome. That is the one consistent with limited government and maximum individual liberty.
    That is the one consistent with government protecting the rights of citizens.

  • mlhouse

    The reason you believe them is that in the vast majority of cases they arent lying.

  • mlhouse

    Risk taht comes with the job....pretty easy statement sitting where you are right now.

    The police officer has the right to defend themselves, with lethal force if necessary. END. OF. Story.

  • John Say

    The conditions for the use of deadly force are prescribed by law.
    They are the same whether you are a police officer or an ordinary person.
    Deadly force may ONLY be used to defend yourself - or others against an immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm.

    Elsewhere when addressing weapons - the mere presence of a weapon is NOT sufficient to justify the use of deadly force.
    The weapon must be "brandished" in a way that suggests its immediate use.

    I do not pretend I can or would be a police officer. Nor would I be a steel worker, or many other jobs.
    No one is obligated to take the job of being a police men - but if they do, it comes with risks. You can not pass those risks off to others.

    You can not "blame the victim" That is a left wing thing to do.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    You don't know that.

  • morganovich

    "I understand that police officers are often killed because they hesitate."

    actually, they aren't. "police officer" does not even make the top 10 most dangerous jobs list.

    police deaths from being shot have been dropping. police are FAR more likely to die in a car accident or from obesity related disease than "enemy action".

    folks like mlhouse love to say:

    "The police officer has the right to defend themselves, with lethal force if necessary. END. OF. Story."

    but this is both misleading and misses much of the point.

    "defend themselves" is a slippery phrase. from what? a cell phone? sure, if they get attacked or overtly threatened, they can defend themselves, but just how good are they at telling?

    people are allowed to defend themselves too.

    a great many police deaths can be laid directly at the feet of police for needlessly creating dangerous and ambiguous situations.

    4am no knock raids are gonna cause all sorts of accidents. people are confused and scared. if someone busted in my door in the middle of the night and i had no idea who they were, i'd sure defend myself. what would you do?

    the question is why such a situation needs to be created at all. if you want to arrest a guy, wait. catch him coming out of the house. swoop in with 6 cops, and scoop him up. do it in a straighforward, unambiguous fashion.

    if you create violent, confusing situations, you're gonna get confused violence. we need to stop acting like this is fallujah and that the needless and counterproductive violence of police raids is somehow justified.

    the reason we have too many people killed by police is simple: you cannot charge and convict a cop for anything but the most insanely egregious actions. they get a free pass on everyhting.

    police union contracts give them extra rights. they cannot be questioned, sometimes for 30 days. they get to see all the evidence before they say anything. they get all sorts of special privileges. they should have fewer, not more than a private citizen.

    if a cop is in a shooting, they should be questioned immediately, before speaking to anyone, and without the ability to plead the 5th. if they refuse, they should be fired on the spot. it ought ot be like refusing a blood test for DUI.

    if we're going to give them additional power, they should get additional accountability as well. the mix of additional power and less accountability is toxic.

    it's exacerbated by conflict of interest with prosecutors. prosecute a cop, and you become deeply unpopular. you need the police to do your job as as DA. if they do not cooperate, you cannot bring cases and convict anyone.

    so they have you utterly compromised. no sane DA want to take on the blues.

    we need additional accountability and an independent ombudsman to prosecute police cases. until we have that, nothing will change. the incentives are all wrong.

  • John Say

    Excellent post,

    I have suggested something slightly different.

    It is going to be damn near impossible to convict a police officer if there is the slightest ambiguity.
    Even I would be loath to convict the officer in the castile shooting - given what currently appears to eb the likely facts.

    BUT these issues are not black and white.
    The absence of a criminal conviction is NOT exhoneration,

    I do not think that police should have to fear that a mistake on the job could land them in jail.

    But being in law enforcement is NOT a right.

    We can balance anything short of clear criminal conduct will not result in a conviction,
    with anything shoot of an absolutely justified shooting will result in the loss of your job.

    I am well aware of the egregious rules regarding questioning officers - and they MUST stop.
    I understand that police unions have negotiated those - but that is irrelevant.
    Terms in employment agreements that interfere with the investigation of a possible crime should simply be ignored. You can not alter the power of government to investigate a crime in a contract.

  • Jason Calley

    Let us assume that an officer is justified in shooting a man who reaches toward his pocket because the man may (or may not) have a gun and may (or may not) be intending to shoot the officer.

    Doesn't that work both ways?

    Assuming that I am a law abiding citizen stopped by a policeman, am I justified in shooting the officer when he reaches toward his belt, because he may (heck, there is no "may" about it! I can SEE that he has a gun!) have a gun, and he may (or may not) be intending to shoot me.

    If the officer is justified in his actions because he feared for his life, why is MY life somehow less important?

  • mlhouse

    Is this seriously your argument? Just as the argument below that police officers have to take the risk that comes with the job is unserious, so is yours.

    AS I state in another respoinse, we do not live in the perfectly theoretical world that Libertarians imagine. While you can have you own opinion, we require a police force and that police force unfortunately needs to be armed.

    The law is pretty clear. Right or wrong, you must comply with a police officer's instruction. If you are put into a position of police interaction YOU have a choice to make, comply or resist.. If you resist, you take your chances and you accept the risk of outcome. The police officer has a lot better things to do than beat your ass, but some are happy to do so.

    Thankfully, the average citizen ofthis country does not have any concept of the level of mental illness, drug abuse, and violence that happens every day. The police force is the first responder to most of these problems. ANd most of the time they are these people's true protectors.

    It is sad that we live in a world of drummed up claims against the police. The claims that they over use force is outrageous. So is the claims that they racial profile and are racist because they stop blacks disproportionatly. The fact is, blacks commit crimes disproportionately so it follows that they are arrested and detained out of proportion to their numbers. Any other result would be ridiculous.

  • marque2

    That is a case of self selection. If the video shows the cop doing the right thing it won't get posted. Simar problem in science - you have 20 teams do research on an issue and 19 find the claim is false, but one due to random luck finds the claim to be true (even as a false positive). Which paper gets published?

  • marque2

    It is hard to argue sense to libertarians, because they tend to believe any authority is always wrong. When they are always wrong how can one instance have them any "wronger?"

  • marque2

    You don't think people should do things to mitigate risks in a job? Your basically saying a police officer should let anyone shoot and mi him/her because it goes with the job. Seems like a bizarre argument to make at best. I can see all the BLM cop shoots when that policy gets implemented.

  • marque2

    That police die in other ways or that the rate of investment is dropping is irrelevant to the argument. Just thought I would point this out since you don't hesitate with other people.

    Regardless could it be policies to protect officers, Milhouse is talking about are responsible? Hmm

  • marque2

    It is only excellent because you hate police just like morg. Otherwise it is all irrelevant to any true argument.

  • mlhouse

    No doubt. WHile I have a lot of sympathy for their ideas with respect to individual liberty, the failings of their theories fall when we consider that individual liberty does not exist in a vacuum. You have rights, but I have rights also. There has to be a way of resolving any conflicts and "authority" is how we do it. I think the Founders did a pretty decent job in designing the authority although their vision has been assailed throughout the past 80 years.

  • Not Sure

    It is hard to argue sense to non-libertarians, because they tend to believe any authority is always right.

  • marque2

    Actually not true. Libertarian philosophy is authority is always wrong. Every other philosophy is that there is some degree of authority which is required and it can be sometimes right or wrong.

    I wasn't making a silly statement. You might want to study your own creed.

  • marque2
  • Ann_In_Illinois

    "our ability to rely on any story declines the longer it takes before that story is released"

    From the video taken by the girlfriend, just after the shooting, the officer who was still holding the gun said to her that he told Castile not to move, and to keep his hands up. He said that at the time, to someone who had just witnessed the event, and as I recall the girlfriend didn't deny it at the time - she just said that he was not reaching for his gun, which implies that he continued to reach for something after being told to stop.

    I have also heard that the girlfriend has since changed her story to say that the officer didn't even know that Castile had a gun, but that doesn't match the video or her initial statements.

    We're still figuring this out, and I didn't go back and re-watch the video before writing this, but it's important to get as many facts as possible before rushing to judgment. People rushed to condemn Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting, but the evidence shows that Wilson was a victim in the whole thing.

    "Hands up, don't shoot" should be used to teach everyone that they should comply at the time, to avoid making a dangerous situation worse. I'm a middle-aged white woman and I constantly remind my children and myself (i.e. I rehearse in my head) that if any of us are stopped, we should turn on the dome light in the car and put both hands at the top of the steering wheel. Then, if asked to do anything by the police, do it slowly and stop instantly if the instructions change. Everyone has reason to be frightened in these situations, including the police, so we should all work to keep the situation from escalating.

  • Ann_In_Illinois

    Were the officers punished in that case? This is a genuine question, since I don't know and it seems relevant. Did that police force improve training on how to assess and handle such situations? I don't think that people on the right are arguing that literally all police everywhere are perfect and infallible, only that it's not fair for us to ask them to go into these dangerous situations and then condemn them, without question, if the outcome isn't exactly what we want every time.

    It's important to constantly 'weed out' abusers and the power-hungry in all branches of government, particularly the police. But that's not the same as always blaming them when a situation goes wrong. Darren Wilson will never get his life back, and it's hard to say that there was any way for him to do his job so that Michael Brown came out OK. I would be more willing to believe that Black Lives Matter are looking for true solutions if the leadership issued an apology to Darren Wilson or articulated some sort of support for him, to show that they're not simply trying to use and manipulate every situation for their own benefit.

  • Not Sure

    "Libertarian philosophy is authority is always wrong."

    No, it's not. You might want to do some studying of your own. Or you can continue to make uninformed comments. Your choice.

  • TruthisaPeskyThing

    I do think that many in the police employment are trigger happy. Although that is my opinion, I also believe that police are taught to act without hesitation and with overwhelming force.

    That being said, your posting is very troubling. First, you are way to quick to accept what Ms. Reynolds said transpired before the video started. There are reasons why one may not accept immediately what Ms. Reynolds says at face value without investigation.

    Ms. Reynolds says that the officer told him to produce ID after he stated he had a gun. Such a request is very much against police protocol. Of course, we do not know if the officer failed to follow protocol, but it is too early to assume that he did not.

    Ms. Reynolds is not the person that BLM and the media have made her out to be. It does not mean that she is lying, judgements should be delayed until investigations are complete.

    Also, we do not know what Castille's frame of mind was. You say he did not have a record, but he has been in trouble with the law several times before. Yes, those were misdemeanors, but in some circumstances, society has condemned the type of behavior that Castille exhibited. We know that he got high while driving. He broke the law on marijuana. He drove while drinking hard liquor. He endangered the life of a toddler. And he list goes on. EMPHASIS: none of these infractions means that he ought to die, but it does mean that we are less sure about his state of mind as the officer approached.

    We do not know if Castille was being stupid and reaching for the gun. I doubt it. Your paragraph on that subject seems stupid to me.

    The question that to which I would an answer -- and probably we will never know -- why did he not follow the officer's instructions.

    You should watch of video of officers being shot during traffic stops. You then may gain understanding why officers are quick to draw -- even if you believe that "better ten police officers lose their lives in the line of duty than 1 innocent person is shot by a policemen."
    There are some stupid things that are easily forgotten and are not big deal, but there also are some stupid things tht are so dangerous that we never should do: such as driving 70 the wrong way on a crowded one way. such as tell the IRS that we are not paying income tax because we do not have to. such as not following the orders of a police officer, especially one who has a gun drawn.

  • TruthisaPeskyThing

    Oh . . . and another thing to bear in mind: in most of these high profile cases: the initial reports were wrong. That is another reason not to rush to judgement.

  • TruthisaPeskyThing

    In most of the high profile cases, the initial reports were wrong. That being said, I do believe that many in the police force are trigger-happy, and that issue should be addressed. But it probably will not be addressed if we make this a racial thing . . . and if politicians try to make the victim some kind of saint.

  • John Say

    As I recall Reynolds does contradict him - saying you told him to get his license and registration.

    Regardless you can take either version it does not matter.

    For the shooting to be justified Castile has to be going for a gun or other weapon, with the clear intention of using it.

    I do the same with my kids - who are both early drivers.

    But the penalty for not making the officers jhob easier is not suposed to be death.

    I have a 17 year old son - they do not take direction well at all. They can not conceive that an officer would think him a treat.

    I have little problem beleiving that he could be stopped, the officer could for some reason confuse him with a dangerous suspect, and my son could fail to head all the advice I have tried to drill into him and read for his wallet.

    Worse as noted he is a 17 year old boy - he could have an airsoft gun laying out somewhere in the car and appear to be going for it.

    So when the officer shoots and kills my child - or yours, because he confused them with someone dangerous, then are you going to say - "oh, it was their fault, because they should have followed the officers directions precisely " ?

    There are requirements for justified use of deadly force.

    It is not sufficient - atleast not according to the law, for you to think someone is going for a gun.
    It is not even sufficient for them to be actually going for a gun.
    They have to actually be going for one - in a manner that it is clear they intend to kill or seriously harm you or someone else.

  • John Say

    No onme is arguing what good etiquette for a police stop is.
    Nor the wisdom of teaching people that etiquette.

    But we do not kill people for poor etiquette or for being untrained.

    As to escalation - one of the problems is that the police are trained to escalate.
    They are trained to take TOTAL control, to take anything less than total control as a threat.
    To respond even more aggressively to anything less than complete perfect compliance.

    And we know this is a poor model. It goes against human instancts.
    A police stop is dangerous - both for the officer and for the citizen.

    When we perceive danger we get an adrenalin rush, and instinctive responses fight hard against thought and reason. The instinctive response is "fight or flight".
    In a police stop neither is acceptable.

    All the same is true of the officer - except one thing - he is far better trained.
    It takes lots of rote training to get past the adrenalin rush and to respond with reason and thought.
    Worse still - the officer does not beleive that is what he should do.
    The officer beleives he may end up having to make a split second choice as to whether to fire or not. that is exactly the circumstance where deadly mistakes will be made.

  • Seekingfactsforsanity

    Sure some cops are bad. Some cops make mistakes. But there are far too many lies spread about them by media or withholding of facts to encourage an anti-cop political narrative. And that narrative is accepted by the gullible, the "Monday Morning Quarterbacks" who don't face the violent ugly truth of keeping order every single day. The “Thin Blue Line” is now more real that ever. And the broken tail light is bullshit - "Confirmed – Philando Castile Was an Armed Robbery Suspect – False Media Narrative Now Driving Cop Killings". It is on the recording of the officer pulling over the car that Castile was driving. But the broken tail light is the narrative to sell.

  • Seekingfactsforsanity

    "Better ten police officers lose their lives in the line of duty than 1 innocent person is shot by a policemen." So - hey - that is a great one-liner but its meaningless. Who are the guilty cops? The ones the mainstream media conclude from partial videos, protesters, etc. must be guilty? BLM counts on false narratives, lies, and ignorance. BLM does not want to wait for the investigations, courts to process the evidence, and verdicts to be made. No, they prefer 10 cops lose their lives in the process of doing their jobs no matter what.

  • John Say

    Those acting badly among our police number few.
    But they have the protection of nearly all.

    Yes, police are taught - "shock and awe" - that is an appropriate means to overcome and enemy in war, it is a very poor choice to use against citizens in law enforcement.
    The Nazi's did that - it was a police - the "night and fog"

    The presumption must favor the earliest statements of all parties, it must also favor the uninvolved over the involved.

    Evidence can refute the statements of witnesses, but we do not presume such evidence exists.

    I do not weigh Reynolds subsequent statements highly. What she said hours, or days later is less credible - just as what the officers say hours and days later is less credible.

    The officers should have been removed from the scene immediately and thoroughly and independently interviewed - without access to evidence or other witness statements.
    That is how you conduct an investigation.

    You think police do not "violate protocol" ?

    With respect to Castile - he had a valid concealed carry permit - that alone means that whatever his past record, he was considered safe to possess a concealed firearm in public.

    Further you have produced nothing that suggests Castile had any reason to pull a gun and shoot a police officer over a broken tail light.

    If Castile was not reaching for a gun - he should not have been shot - PERIOD.
    If he was - it still likely was not sufficient to justify the use of deadly force.
    You have to be sure he is preparing to USE a weapon to justify deadly force.

    The fact that the police officer had his gun drawn at a tail light stop is, itself very disturbing.
    Have you ever been stopped by police ? I have many times. Have they ever done so "guns drawn" - never.

  • John Say

    The initial reports were not recorded videos from seconds after the shooting by essentially third parties present and right at the shooting.

    We had neither Martin, not zimmerman's stories within moments of the shooting.
    We have neither Wilson, not Brown's recollections within moments of the shooting.

    In most of these instances we have tripple hearsay that someone knows, someone who was somewhere nearby who purportly saw the whole thing and possibly recorded it.

    It is never possible to know everything. Decisions are ultimately made on the best evidence at the moment.

    The officer made his decision to shoot based on the evidence available to him. The jury if it reaches that, will be doing the same.

    What seems near certain is the officer made a bad decision. Whether that was criminally bad is what the jury if there is one gets to decide.
    I have zero problems with a jury acquiting, AND the officer losing his job. That sounds to me like the best outcome given the facts we see now.

    We do not want police going to jail for what is likely a bad snap judgement decision.
    We also do not want people who make bad snap judgement decisions as officers.

  • Seekingfactsforsanity

    The “Thin Blue Line” is now more real that ever. And the broken tail light is bullshit - "Confirmed – Philando Castile Was an Armed Robbery Suspect – False Media Narrative Now Driving Cop Killings". It is on the recording of the officer pulling over the car that Castile was driving. But the broken tail light is the narrative to sell. Its kinda like "Hands Up" which turned out to be a lie too!

  • Matthew Slyfield

    I'm not suggesting we make it a racial thing.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    "Were the officers punished in that case?"

    Not that I am aware of. The article that accompanied the video certainly didn't mention any discipline against the officers.

    " Did that police force improve training on how to assess and handle such situations?"

    Improving training/policies is pointless until they are willing/able to enforce existing training/policies with meaningful penalties.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    "Darren Wilson will never get his life back, and it's hard to say that
    there was any way for him to do his job so that Michael Brown came out
    OK."

    I don't feel the least bit sorry for him.

    The scuffle in / around the squad car can not be justification for the use of lethal force at the time it was used several minutes later.

    My personal opinion is that the use of lethal force in the form of a gun against an unarmed suspect is never justified. An officer that doesn't feel comfortable engaging a Michael Brown hand to hand shouldn't be police officer in the first place.

  • John Say

    If some officers are bad or make mistakes that cost others their lives - then lets get rid of those officers.
    We do not need to get into all the naratives to agree on that.

    There should be no issue of "monday morning quarterbacking"

    The officer deserves the benefit of every possible doubt - before we consider convicting them of a crime.
    Conversely if there is any doubt at all about a shooting - the officer should no longer have a job.

    The police can not pull people over without cause.
    The broken tail light pretext was a ruse and everyone knows it - unfortunately for the police it was an illegal ruse - the tail light worked fine.
    The purpose of the stop was because Castile resembled the perpetrator in a robbery a few days earlier.
    That is not sufficient cause to pull someone over.

    Regardless, there is no real evidence beyond a very very superficial resemblance to a very poor quality surveilance video. Castile has no record of violence of any kind. He has a clean enough record to get and maintain a Concealed Carry permit. Castile was a suspect in about the same way as any of the rest of us might be for some random criminal.

    It is trivial to call someone a "suspect" to justify killing them.

    Here is a transcript of the police dispatch communications

    "I have reason to pull it over" is the falser Tali Light nonsense. You can not pull people over and check their ID's because you feel like it. Nor can you do so, becase you claim they match the description of robbery suspects.

    I would note the officer beleives that Reynod's matches one of the suspects - both suspects were obviously male.
    Neither resemble reynolds at all and one resembles Castile only superficially.

    We have verified that the license plate mentioned by police in the recording matches the plate of the car Castile was driving. The location the officer gives also corresponds to the locations of the traffic stop.

    “I’m going to stop a car,” the officer says on the recording. “I’m going to check IDs. I have reason to pull it over.”

    “The two occupants just look like people that were involved in a robbery,” the officer says. “The driver looks more like one of our suspects, just ‘cause of the wide set nose,” the officer continues.

    A minute and a half later, the recording captures the first report that there was a shooting.

    Officer: “Shots fired Larpenteur and Fry.”
    Dispatch: “Copy you just heard it? … You just heard the shots fired?”
    Officer: (screaming) “Code 3! Shots fired.”
    Dispatch: “Copy shots fired Larpenteur and Fry. Do you need medics?”
    Officer: “Code 3!”
    Dispatch: “Copy. Medics -- code 3 to Larpenteur and Fry.”
    Officer: “One adult female taken into custody. Driver at gunpoint.”

    It’s unclear which robbery the officer was referring to when he said Mr. Castile looked like a suspect. But the BCA had sent out a press release earlier this week saying St. Anthony police were investigating a gas station robbery that occurred in nearby Lauderdale on July 2.

    ---
    You are misunderstanding the facts.
    Yes, the officers pulled Castile over because they thought he might be the robbery suspect.
    Yes, they were likely justifiably hyper-vigalent pulling over a possible armed robbery suspect.

    BUT, Castile was not the robber. Reynolds most certainly was not.

    There would be no reason to tell the officer that you had a gun and a permit if you were preparing to shoot him.

    The officers went into the stop with adrenalin flowing, they mis read just about everything.
    And they killed an innocent man.

  • John Say

    This is not about BLM

  • Ann_In_Illinois

    The "scuffle" in the squad car was Brown trying to grab Wilson's gun. After running away for a while, Brown turned around and charged towards Wilson. Wilson was backing up as fast as he could while shouting for Brown to stop. Sooner or later, Wilson would have fallen, or Brown would have caught up, and then Wilson would have been facing a larger man who had already tried to grab his gun and who was attacking him.

    If Brown had only stopped and put his hands up (or probably if he had kept running), he would have survived. Brown knowingly risked his life (by charging towards an armed police officer) in order to try to hurt or kill Wilson.

  • Ann_In_Illinois

    I don't think that there's much debate over such mistakes leading to negative consequences. But should an honest mistake lead to a criminal conviction?

  • Matthew Slyfield

    A criminal conviction, no. However, as is, more often than not even mistakes resulting from gross negligence or malfeasance on the part of the officer result in no consequences at all even when the mistake resulted in the death of an innocent bystander.

  • Matthew Slyfield

    "The "scuffle" in the squad car was Brown trying to grab Wilson's gun."

    Actually go read the reports on where the powder burn injury on Brown's hand was. This is more consistent with a defensive grab at the gun to push the muzzle away than an attempt to actually take the gun. From the position of the injury, Brown's hand was on the barrel, near the muzzle. With that grip position, even if Brown had gotten control of the gun, half in the squad, it wouldn't have been able to do much more with it than use it as a club.

    " Brown turned around and charged towards Wilson."

    According to Wilson, and there is really no other evidence to support that Brown was charging him, and I don't consider Wilson to be particularly credible.

  • Ann_In_Illinois

    On Brown charging back, it's not just Wilson's word. There's the evidence of the blood spatters and shell casings, and the testimony of the more credible witnesses. Granted, the witness evidence was mixed and things went fast, but after weeding out the non-credible witnesses (who said, for example, that Brown was shot in the back or that admitted they didn't actually see any of it), most of the witness evidence was consistent with Wilson's description, as was the physical evidence.

    On trying to grab the gun, are you saying that Brown simply reached in and hit Wilson, then tried to stop him when he reached for his gun to defend himself? That seems to be the best case scenario for Brown being 'innocent'.

  • Ann_In_Illinois

    If so, I certainly agree that it's a problem. All this anger and heated rhetoric and accusations of racism are getting in the way of a productive discussion of sensible reforms.