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Friday, August 01, 2014

OT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video

As Gov. Chris Christie prepares to cap off his trip to New Hampshire tonight with a fundraiser at a minor-league baseball game, the Democratic National Committee has released a online video taking a swing at the Republican governor’s handling of New Jersey’s economy.

The clip is modeled after an old-time newsreel — the kind that would have been shown in movie houses when Babe Ruth ruled the baseball diamond in the 1920s.

It notes that under Christie — a possible candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2016 — New Jersey has among the highest property taxes and slowest job growth in the U.S.

“On his economic record, Chris Christie strikes out,” the video’s narrator says.

Bitter Mouse Posted: August 01, 2014 at 09:10 AM | 6359 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: new jersey, politics, video

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   6001. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 28, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4781130)
I say it's a combination of these 5 points:
I, as always, disagree.
1. Cops are paid plenty.
2. Sure, but I don't think this is possible (your stereotyping notwithstanding), and besides, cops are trained that way after they're hired.
3. Of course obvious racists should be rejected -- you don't think they do that? -- but one not be Eraser-X to note that "racial assumptions" are pretty difficult to avoid.
4. Not exactly; the problem isn't that they're untrained, but that they're incorrectly trained.
5. No. This misdiagnoses the problem and is illegal anyway. You think black cops are somehow less likely to beat up black suspects than white cops are? Cops are cops. It might "reduce racial tensions" or some such nonsense, but it has nothing to do with the problem of police behavior.
6. The public's attitudes are the problem, yes, but not what you identify. Cracking heads and mass arrests do, in fact, alleviate crime.

I'd say

1. Eliminate police unions (because they undermine whatever accountability there would otherwise be).
2. End the war on drugs.
3. Demilitarize the police force. I don't know that I'd go as far as Sam in suggesting they not carry weapons -- but they need at most a single handgun, not military hardware.
4. Fire people like Dutta, whose attitude that cop safety comes first is the problem.
5. More community policing, less nonsense about "civilians" and "wars" on crime or drugs.
6. All police personnel files should be public, as should all police disciplinary hearings.
7. Dash cams and body cams, and penalties for not using them.
8. Eliminate qualified immunity for cops (and absolute immunity for prosecutors.)
9. Make all legal settlements for cop misconduct come out of the police pension fund.
10. Repeal ordinances for "disorderly conduct" and the like, which give police unfettered discretion to arrest people.
11. Teach the public that cops do not have an incredibly dangerous job which should entitle them to a lot of leeway. (We can replace the anti-drug lessons in school with anti-cop lessons.)

Off the top of my head. Could think of plenty more if I tried.
   6002. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 28, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4781135)
   6003. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 28, 2014 at 05:36 PM (#4781136)
1. The pay is already very good when overtime, pensions and benefits are included.

If the pay package is enough to enable a policeman to be able to support a family comfortably in the city in which he's working, then the pay is sufficient. Otherwise not.

3. Every human has "racial assumptions". If someone is a racist, that wants to hurt people of a particular race, by all means screen him out.

I'm not talking about garden variety "assumptions". I'm talking about the sort of types who see the community as the enemy, and act accordingly.

5. Blatantly unconstitutional. Can a 100% lily white suburb hire only whites for its police force? I refuse to accept the idea that people can only be policed by people of the same race. You hire the best qualified applicants.

I'm not talking about hiring only minorities for minority neighborhoods, and I'm not talking about treating police jobs as political patronage---which of course was exactly what was going on back when big city police forces were topheavy with Irishmen, and policing in minority neighborhoods was far worse (and more corrupt) than it is today. But don't trot out the old chestnut that "we'd love to hire more minorities, but we can't find enough qualified ones".

And if a policeman is himself part of the community he's policing, of course he's going to have a natural advantage in relating to that community. A non-community member can sometimes transcend his "otherness" by means of empathy, but birds like that are a relatively rare breed. Do you really think that Ferguson's police force is made up of the "best qualified" applicants, when only 2 of them are black?
   6004. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 28, 2014 at 05:38 PM (#4781138)
5. More community policing, less nonsense about "civilians" and "wars" on crime or drugs.
6. All police personnel files should be public, as should all police disciplinary hearings.
7. Dash cams and body cams, and penalties for not using them.
8. Eliminate qualified immunity for cops (and absolute immunity for prosecutors.)
9. Make all legal settlements for cop misconduct come out of the police pension fund.
10. Repeal ordinances for "disorderly conduct" and the like, which give police unfettered discretion to arrest people.


I'd gladly sign on to all of those.
   6005. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 28, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4781140)
6. The public's attitudes are the problem, yes, but not what you identify. Cracking heads and mass arrests do, in fact, alleviate crime.

Sure, just like the air war won the war in Vietnam.
   6006. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 28, 2014 at 05:42 PM (#4781142)
I get we disagree. That's fine. You want to demonize the dude and I just think he is wrong. Move on dude.


Can't we at least agree that even though David can't have babies, because he doesn't have a womb, which is no one's fault, not even the Romans, but that he has the right to have babies?
   6007. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 28, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4781146)
You want to demonize the dude
I know it's fruitless to explain to you again what he said, but I want to clarify this point. I don't want to "demonize" him in the sense you mean. I want him fired, but I want him fired not because he's extreme, but because he's typical. And until we stop seeing the problem as a few extreme outliers, we can't fix it.
   6008. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 28, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4781151)
So once we fire Dutta for his Thoughtcrime and get that out of the way, how do you propose finding enough qualified (by Nieportentian standards) people to replace the 95%? For starters, how much do you think it would take to entice about a million+ ACLU members to apply for those sudden vacancies all over the country? $50,000 a year? $100,000? $200,000?

It's not a "Thoughtcrime," and I can't believe you're defending this jackboot this hard for this long -- particularly after your "You don't have standing, RAPE CULTURE!!!" objections to public service messages suggesting to women that they don't get shitfaced and thereby lose their capacity to express actual non-consent.

So it's perfectly fine for a police officer to suggest that he and his fellow officers have the right to use violence against citizens who don't meekly curtsy to him? You gotta be ####### kidding.

This is simply another in a long list of examples demonstrating that you have no conception of the general misuse, abuse, and corruption of power unless or until it is expressed inter-racially or in some other disfavored identity means; that's the only way to square your positions on these issues.
   6009. BDC Posted: August 28, 2014 at 06:13 PM (#4781156)
I don't fully understand the case Salinas v. Texas from the Slate story that Sam linked to in #6002. Evidently the issue is that even if you remain silent during a police interrogation, the cops can testify that you looked guilty while doing so? That doesn't sound like the Fifth Amendment I grew up with.
   6010. Davo Dozier Posted: August 28, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4781157)
I guess the question I have is--for the people on Dutta's side here--where do you draw the line?

Go back to the guy in St. Paul, tased and arrested for sitting on a bench. What's the right way to respond?

1. The cops ask him what he's doing on the bench. Well, he's not breaking any laws, he's not acting suspicious...but, yeah, he should probably just answer the question.

2. The cops then tell him he needs to leave. Well, you know, it's a public place, he has every right to be there...but if a cop tells you to disperse, you disperse.

3. The cops ask for his driver's license to verify his identity. Well, he's not driving a car, of course, and Minnesota has no Stop & Identify statute...but, well, assuming he has nothing to hide, he might as well just tell them his name and address.

4. The cops then ask if he doesn't have any outstanding warrants or anything like that, do you boy? Well, he doesn't, so he might as well answer, right?

5. The cops then say he's acting a little nervous and shifty, and ask if he's hiding anything, and if he's fine if they just pat him down quickly. For their own safety, of course. Well, he's not carrying any drugs or weapons, so he might as well consent to being frisked, right?

......I mean, at what point in this exchange would his refusal to obey put him at risk of getting tased/collared?
   6011. Davo Dozier Posted: August 28, 2014 at 06:15 PM (#4781159)
I don't fully understand the case Salinas v. Texas from the Slate story that Sam linked to in #6002. Evidently the issue is that even if you remain silent during a police interrogation, the cops can testify that you looked guilty while doing so?

No; the crucial issue in Salinas (I believe) is that it was not during an "interrogation".
   6012. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 28, 2014 at 06:20 PM (#4781162)
I want him fired, but I want him fired not because he's extreme, but because he's typical.


This is insane. You want to fire a typical cop? What percent of cops do you think should be fired? 95%?

Seriously nuts. You want him fired because you dislike cops and he expressed an opinion you don't like.

I also don't like his opinion (which is why I find #6000 bizarre, but what ever), but I support his right to express his opinion and don't think he should be fired for stating it.
   6013. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 28, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4781164)
I guess the question I have is--for the people on Dutta's side here--where do you draw the line?


Since I am not on his side* you can't be talking to me, can you?

* Unless on his side is supporting his right to express an opinion I don't agree with, without reprisal; that and a refusal to blanket demonize 95% of cops for being cops.
   6014. Davo Dozier Posted: August 28, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4781166)
6013--I have no idea who the individual posters are here or what their politics are.

I pulled a copy of Martin Chuzzlewit off my bookshelf the other day, some assigned reading from back when I was in college. This was taped to page one.

....I have no similar spreadsheet for BBTFers. Maybe I should start one!
   6015. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 28, 2014 at 06:39 PM (#4781174)
Go back to the guy in St. Paul, tased and arrested for sitting on a bench. What's the right way to respond?


Remove all public benches?
   6016. greenback calls it soccer Posted: August 28, 2014 at 06:56 PM (#4781182)
9. Make all legal settlements for cop misconduct come out of the police pension fund.

IIRC you're the labor lawyer, but I think most public pension funds only support future pension cash flows. Pension funds aren't a pool of money that is guaranteed to go to cops. Cops don't have a right to that money, so much as nobody else has a right to that money. That is to say a reduction in the pension fund wouldn't affect cops unless the particular government entity was forced into bankruptcy.
   6017. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 28, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4781186)
Go back to the guy in St. Paul, tased and arrested for sitting on a bench. What's the right way to respond?


There is no magical "right way". Put another way what exactly are you optimizing for? The appearance (age, wealth, gender, race, clothing, ...) of the person on the bench matters. It shouldn't but it does. Who the cop is also matters, as does what kind of day they are having. Again it shouldn't matter but it does. And finally the controls around cop behavior matter, if the cop knows he can get away with anything and everything then they are more likely to go off the reservation.

So again there is no one right answer. As a middle aged white male and with a normal cop (not acting crazy) I would probably be willing to tell him what I was doing there and then politely refuse anything else.

No idea what other people would or should do. If safety and "go along/get along" was important to them then I would suggest they do that.
   6018. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: August 28, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4781187)
1. Eliminate police unions (because they undermine whatever accountability there would otherwise be).

Lots of luck with that, even the all out public union busters tend to leave the Police and firefighter unions alone

2. End the war on drugs.

Agree

3. Demilitarize the police force. I don't know that I'd go as far as Sam in suggesting they not carry weapons -- but they need at most a single handgun, not military hardware.

Agree- back in the early days when the founder were freaked out about a standing army - what our modern day police are becoming is what they were worried about.

4. Fire people like Dutta, whose attitude that cop safety comes first is the problem.

I'm not sure if we'd have enough cops left, but yes cops who think they have a right to arrest/beat you up if you all then names should be canned

5. More community policing, less nonsense about "civilians" and "wars" on crime or drugs.


6. All police personnel files should be public, as should all police disciplinary hearings.

No to the first, do you know what's in personnel files? Disciplinary hearings? yes

7. Dash cams and body cams, and penalties for not using them.

Agree

8. Eliminate qualified immunity for cops (and absolute immunity for prosecutors.)

Absolutely

9. Make all legal settlements for cop misconduct come out of the police pension fund.

Hmmm., need some type of capping mechanism, may have unintended side effect of really making cops circle the wagon/protect their own.

10. Repeal ordinances for "disorderly conduct" and the like, which give police unfettered discretion to arrest people.

Agree

11. Teach the public that cops do not have an incredibly dangerous job which should entitle them to a lot of leeway. (We can replace the anti-drug lessons in school with anti-cop lessons.)
I think "anti-cop lessons" in schools would be a really bad idea.
   6019. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 28, 2014 at 07:05 PM (#4781190)
I don't fully understand the case Salinas v. Texas from the Slate story that Sam linked to in #6002. Evidently the issue is that even if you remain silent during a police interrogation, the cops can testify that you looked guilty while doing so? That doesn't sound like the Fifth Amendment I grew up with.
No. In a non-custodial interrogation, the police can testify that you remained silent response to their question(s), unless you invoke your 5A rights.

IOW, you can't just sit there mute; you must say that you are exercising your rights under the 5th.
   6020. BDC Posted: August 28, 2014 at 07:06 PM (#4781191)
Davo, I'm actually reading Martin Chuzzlewit right now. Helps to tell the players with a scorecard :)

In Salinas, then, cops can always just say they don't like the cut of my jib? Doesn't make one eager to cooperate with police if they can use your falling silent against you. And further draws lines between police & public.
   6021. BDC Posted: August 28, 2014 at 07:09 PM (#4781194)
Sorry, David, I refreshed too late. Thanks. I.e. silent isn't silent unless you call special silent dibs. If not then it's like, "He fell suspiciously silent, the nervous guilty so-and-so."
   6022. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 28, 2014 at 07:51 PM (#4781214)
This is insane. You want to fire a typical cop? What percent of cops do you think should be fired? 95%?
Sounds good to me. But for now, let's fire him pour encourager les autres.

I also don't like his opinion (which is why I find #6000 bizarre, but what ever), but I support his right to express his opinion and don't think he should be fired for stating it.
He's not being fired for "stating" the opinion, but for having it. Let's say that instead he wrote, "Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: black people are generally the criminals in this country. We can reduce most crime if we stop respecting their 'rights' and skip all that 'due process' nonsense. If I see a black guy looking suspicious, I'm going to make sure he knows to fear me in the future." Would you advocate that he keep his job then? Or, to go back to my example from earlier in this thread, how about a surgeon who writes, "This 'germ' stuff is nonsense. People get infections when they're unrepentant sinners. A doctor washing his hands before surgery is absurd, and there's no need for it"?
   6023. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 28, 2014 at 08:43 PM (#4781239)
So once we fire Dutta for his Thoughtcrime and get that out of the way, how do you propose finding enough qualified (by Nieportentian standards) people to replace the 95%? For starters, how much do you think it would take to entice about a million+ ACLU members to apply for those sudden vacancies all over the country? $50,000 a year? $100,000? $200,000?

It's not a "Thoughtcrime," and I can't believe you're defending this jackboot this hard for this long


Take it up with David, who in this case at least has the honesty to state his argument clearly...

He's not being fired for "stating" the opinion, but for having it.
[emphasis his, not mine]

You can now go back to hibernating for another blessed few weeks, until another Jack Morris thread comes along.
   6024. greenback calls it soccer Posted: August 28, 2014 at 08:45 PM (#4781240)
1. Eliminate police unions (because they undermine whatever accountability there would otherwise be).

Lots of luck with that, even the all out public union busters tend to leave the Police and firefighter unions alone

It's not a matter of 'even', it's a matter of politics. Police officers and firefighters vote Republican. All the other unions vote for Democrats. So who should start busting police unions?
   6025. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 28, 2014 at 08:57 PM (#4781245)
He's not being fired for "stating" the opinion, but for having it.


[emphasis his, not mine]

You can now go back to hibernating for another blessed few weeks, until another Jack Morris thread comes along.


Lol. As you know very well, he had it -- and publicized it.
   6026. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 28, 2014 at 09:28 PM (#4781260)
Lol. As you know very well, he had it -- and publicized it.

Okay, Ray, I'll let you decide whether David's comment amounts to firing someone for a Thoughtcrime, i.e. for "having"an opinion, not for "stating" it. Those were David's words and emphasis, not mine.

Oh, and if you need any help in coming to a decision, you can always consult your own comments in the Tony Dungy thread, where you were quite vo-CIFFerous in defending Dungy's right to state an "incorrect" opinion without being fired----a position that everyone here agreed on.
   6027. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 28, 2014 at 09:32 PM (#4781263)
Okay, Ray, I'll let you decide whether David's comment amounts to firing someone for a Thoughtcrime, i.e. for "having"an opinion, not for "stating" it. Those were his words, not mine.


He put scare quotes around "stating."

The cop's editorial amounted to a confession that he was unqualified for the job.
   6028. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 28, 2014 at 09:38 PM (#4781265)
Oh, and if you need any help in coming to a decision, you can always consult your own comments in the Tony Dungy thread, where you were quite vo-CIFFerous in defending Dungy's right to state an "incorrect" opinion without being fired----a position that everyone here agreed on.


This is just another display of your habit of arguing from an irrelevant example. I never said that NBC (or whoever employs Dungy - I forget) was not within their rights to fire him; to the contrary, I said they could go right ahead and fire him and whether they had to pay him the rest of his contract depended on what the contract said. I said that in a just world they should not fire him, and -- pay attention, because this is the key point -- his comments were innocuous and didn't prove him unqualified for his job.

Not that I understand why you're drawing such a bad analogy, from a cop to a tv personality. It's up to NBC to decide that, no matter how innocuous Dungy's comments were, if because of liberal hysteria he is turned into a pariah, then their decision to fire him is justified.

(Not, also, do I understand why you're comparing something David said to something I said. I never called for the cop to be fired. I'm sure 95% of all cops would agree with what this cop wrote if asked, so you'd have to fire 95% of all cops, which I don't think is workable.)
   6029. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 28, 2014 at 09:58 PM (#4781274)
Andy, as I explained several times by now, it's not punishment. If Dutta were an investment banker, CEO, sportscaster, or actor, I would criticize the statements but not call for his termination. If any of those cases, his opinion would not be job-related, and therefore firing him for it would be nothing more than retaliation for offending me. But in this case, it is job related. He's announcing that he can't do his job properly.
   6030. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: August 28, 2014 at 10:36 PM (#4781294)
If you don't want me to beat you, do as I say.

Apparently, holding your hands to your face while you are lying on the ground getting beaten by the 2 cops on top of you means you are resisting and a threat to others, so the beatings must continue.
   6031. Mefisto Posted: August 28, 2014 at 10:54 PM (#4781304)
Apparently, holding your hands to your face while you are lying on the ground getting beaten by the 2 cops on top of you means you are resisting and a threat to others, so the beatings must continue.


Sure, but only until morale improves.
   6032. Shredder Posted: August 28, 2014 at 10:55 PM (#4781306)
This is insane. You want to fire a typical cop? What percent of cops do you think should be fired? 95%?
Of course it sounds insane, but don't forget, in Libertarian Utopia, there won't be public police or fire departments. You'll decide how important your security is to you, and you (or you and a collective group of your neighbors) will hire private police and fire protection. We've already seen how well this works in some parts of the country that actually require people to opt in for a small fee to cover the fire department. But I'm sure the $75 those people saved by not opting was worth having firemen watch their home burn down. Plus, ya know, freedom.
   6033. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 28, 2014 at 11:29 PM (#4781313)
Andy, as I explained several times by now, it's not punishment. If Dutta were an investment banker, CEO, sportscaster, or actor, I would criticize the statements but not call for his termination. If any of those cases, his opinion would not be job-related, and therefore firing him for it would be nothing more than retaliation for offending me. But in this case, it is job related. He's announcing that he can't do his job properly.

David, all you and others here are doing is assuming that Dutta's words mean that this is how he actually acts in the face of nonviolent provocation. I doubt seriously that this is the case, no matter how ineptly he used the first person singular in his writing.

But perhaps you can provide some evidence of citizen complaints against him during his 17 years on the LAPD. Surely there must be at least one person out there in Los Angeles with resentful memories of horrible experiences at the hands of This Monster, a person who in the wake of the article's publicity would want to call that Monster's behavior to the attention of the media. Christ, if the social media can come up with dirt on Mother Teresa or Michael Brown, surely you can find some actual evidence that this guy acts in the manner he says in his article.

And as I've said, if you want to see this sort of police behavior diminished---you're never going to eliminate it entirely---you've got to begin at the beginning, and make our police forces much more representative of the communities they serve, and carry on from there with better training and monitoring. If you don't have that, all those other reforms that you and I mentioned won't amount to a hill of ####, and yet look at the defensive reactions I received when I even dared to bring up the subject of police demographics. All I can infer from this is you're more interested in venting abut police conduct than you are in actually trying to address the problem.

But maybe I'm wrong, and maybe all the Fergusons of the world need is to replace their current police force with the Princeton or MIT chapters of the ACLU. Forget anything else.

Of course to get those tender souls to do police work, you'd have to pay them about $150,000 or more a year, and then your taxes might go up 1%, which would cause you to pop even more veins than you've popped here already.
   6034. CrosbyBird Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:28 AM (#4781375)
I disagree. To me, DMN is simply reading the piece as written, and BM/Andy keep on putting in non-textual stuff to try to make it sound better with somewhat flimsy justification for doing so.

Same here. I don't think you need to "read in" any sort of threat or justification of the heavy-handed punishment for verbal dissent. Quite the opposite: you have to assume that the use of the first-person was a "mere rhetorical device" and disregard the frequent references to the challenges of a policeman's job to get to the idea that it's merely "friendly advice."

But even putting all that aside, and going with the assumption that Dutta legitimately hates this abuse of power but only offers the advice for the safety of the non-police in the country, the timing could not be more inappropriate short of delivering his message from the streets of downtown Ferguson. It is as tone-deaf as a college administrator giving a statement cautioning women not to drink to excess at a party for their own protection right after several high-profile rapes on campus.
   6035. zonk Posted: August 29, 2014 at 01:34 AM (#4781387)
As much as I'm a staunch defender of unions - public and private - I do have to say that I can see the point here regarding the shielding of bad police...

The thing is, though - I'm not so sure I'd be entirely comfortable just taking the protections that unionization provides away wholecloth.

As much as I'm absolutely certain that bad caps get away with bad things because there's a powerful apparatus backing up every member no matter what, does potentially tossing an individual police to the wolves/going wholly in the other direction fix the problem?

I'm not so sure it does... For one thing, I highly suspect that rather than just eliminating the blue wall of silence - it probably just moves it underground, or worse, makes it more of a patchwork fiefdom (which could have even worse consequences).

For another, I think it's important to remember that the officers are still citizens, too.... Does making the police subject to standing alone against the state apparatus when a scalp needs to be had really fix things?

Not saying I know all those answers - which probably means I need to get off the internet now - just saying that I do tend to think that being a po-po does present certain unique challenges and I'm not entirely sure I'd be on board with eliminating the union backing without some idea of a replacement for those instances (and I'm sure they do happen) when the officer WAS in the right, but circumstances put him/her in a difficult spot because of external pressures.

   6036. BrianBrianson Posted: August 29, 2014 at 05:32 AM (#4781442)
If Dutta were an investment banker [...] I would criticize the statements but not call for his termination.


If Dutta was an investment banker who wrote an op-ed suggesting people should buy stocks in companies that make pagers because technology is cyclical, he should get retrained*/fired. There's nothing wrong with having a jackass opinion that's not relevant to your job; if dentist writes an op-ed Donna Noble is better than Martha Jones, that's a jackass opinion, but it's not relevant to their being a dentist. There is something wrong with having a jackass opinion that's relevant to your job. If a dentist writes an op-ed saying you should use homeopathic solvents to cure tooth decay they need to be fired and sent back to dentistry college.

*I'm not a huge fan of the "Fire everybody who makes mistakes at their job" approach.
   6037. Lassus Posted: August 29, 2014 at 06:19 AM (#4781446)
Not that I understand why you're drawing such a bad analogy, from a cop to a tv personality

Because you've never brought up Fraser to prove a point or anything.
   6038. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 06:33 AM (#4781448)
David, all you and others here are doing is assuming that Dutta's words mean that this is how he actually acts in the face of nonviolent provocation. I doubt seriously that this is the case, no matter how ineptly he used the first person singular in his writing.
I assume that he means what he said. You pretend he doesn't mean what he said, for no reason whatsoever except your own stubbornness. Again, this was not an off-the-cuff oral statement, or a hasty post on Twitter; it was a published Op/Ed. There is no reason to think that when he used the first person singular, it was "inept" rather than deliberate. (Note that since the piece was published, and he has received massive criticism, he has not issued a statement walking any of it back or "clarifying" it.) Moreover, the rest of the Op/Ed makes explicit that he is defending this approach to policing.

And as I've said, if you want to see this sort of police behavior diminished---you're never going to eliminate it entirely---you've got to begin at the beginning,
I do want to begin at the beginning -- which is not, contrary to your belief, the Civil War.
and make our police forces much more representative of the communities they serve,
I understand that for old people, everything comes down to race, but this issue has nothing to do with race.¹ Black police officers are not more gentle in response to perceived disrespect towards their authority than white police officers. Black police officers are not trained differently about putting their own safety first by 'controlling' the situation. The police attitude that it's us-against-them is not a racial attitude.

Of course to get those tender souls to do police work, you'd have to pay them about $150,000 or more a year, and then your taxes might go up 1%, which would cause you to pop even more veins than you've popped here already.
Your argument is silly, but in any case, since I'd reduce the number of police officers by at least 50%, the taxes wouldn't go up at all.



¹ Hiring more black police officers might help forestall riots, to be sure. But that has nothing to do with what we're discussing.
   6039. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 29, 2014 at 07:14 AM (#4781453)
I disagree. To me, DMN is simply reading the piece as written, and BM/Andy keep on putting in non-textual stuff to try to make it sound better with somewhat flimsy justification for doing so.

Same here. I don't think you need to "read in" any sort of threat or justification of the heavy-handed punishment for verbal dissent. Quite the opposite: you have to assume that the use of the first-person was a "mere rhetorical device" and disregard the frequent references to the challenges of a policeman's job to get to the idea that it's merely "friendly advice."


Presumably with a 17 year record on the LAPD, there would be at least a smidgen of evidence that Dutta actually acts on the beat the way you assume he does on the basis of his writing.

But even putting all that aside, and going with the assumption that Dutta legitimately hates this abuse of power but only offers the advice for the safety of the non-police in the country, the timing could not be more inappropriate short of delivering his message from the streets of downtown Ferguson. It is as tone-deaf as a college administrator giving a statement cautioning women not to drink to excess at a party for their own protection right after several high-profile rapes on campus.

That's a completely different story, and obviously hard to disagree with. But to the extent that it encourages the sort of debate about police tactics that it has, it's not necessarily a bad thing.

----------------------------------------------------

I assume that he means what he said.

By that you mean you assume he acts in that manner. That's an assumption that would seem to call for a bit more tangible evidence before writing it in stone.

and make our police forces much more representative of the communities they serve,

I understand that for old people, everything comes down to race,


I would think that someone with your bloblike and dwarfish physical attributes would think of better ways of trying to insult someone.

but this issue has nothing to do with race.¹ Black police officers are not more gentle in response to perceived disrespect towards their authority than white police officers. Black police officers are not trained differently about putting their own safety first by 'controlling' the situation. The police attitude that it's us-against-them is not a racial attitude.

I've addressed both of these points repeatedly, and you simply ignore it. I realize that for libertarians whose lives are lived on paper, race is irrelevant, and the people of Ferguson need only re-educate their 95% white occupation army police force to solve the problem of police-community conflict.

Of course to get those tender souls to do police work, you'd have to pay them about $150,000 or more a year, and then your taxes might go up 1%, which would cause you to pop even more veins than you've popped here already.

Your argument is silly, but in any case, since I'd reduce the number of police officers by at least 50%, the taxes wouldn't go up at all.


Yeah, you're serious as a junkyard dog about keeping your money. I will grant you that. About reducing police-community conflicts, not so much.
   6040. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 29, 2014 at 08:18 AM (#4781467)
And as I've said, if you want to see this sort of police behavior diminished---you're never going to eliminate it entirely---you've got to begin at the beginning, and make our police forces much more representative of the communities they serve, and carry on from there with better training and monitoring.

No, it's not a matter of lack of "diversity" or any of your modern liberal buzzwords.(*) It's a matter of abuse of power and arbitrary authority, which as noted upthread you literally do not understand and cannot conceptualize outside the context of identity politics. It's actually sort of shocking to watch this play out, which is to say -- the effort you've put into defending this guy and his "advice" is shocking.

(*) Which isn't to say police forces shouldn't to some degree bear some resemblance to the communities they police -- they should -- but that issue isn't remotely implicated by the column.
   6041. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 29, 2014 at 08:24 AM (#4781468)
No, it's not a matter of lack of "diversity" or any of your modern liberal buzzwords.(*) It's a matter of abuse of power and arbitrary authority -- which as noted upthread you literally do not understand and cannot conceptualize outside the context of identity politics.


Accept, of course, that the abuse of authority is empirically linked to the failure to empathize and identify with the people the police are "policing." Which is where "diversity" of the force is a big deal, regardless of your knee-jerk need to pretend otherwise. The problem of fascism is generally a problem of nationalism, and nations are just large form tribes. The fact that the tribe of the police have no members of the tribe of the people being policed is a major problem. You can't solve the problem in full by simply hiring more pigs-of-color, but you can't solve the problem without diversifying the force either.
   6042. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 08:24 AM (#4781469)
Presumably with a 17 year record on the LAPD, there would be at least a smidgen of evidence that Dutta actually acts on the beat the way you assume he does on the basis of his writing.
I don't know why you would "presume" that. What "evidence" do you think there would be? We can probably assume that the LAPD has a more formal disciplinary procedure than the Ferguson PD used to ("Just write it up yourself, if you feel like it"). But that's only helpful if there was a disciplinary action, and why would you assume that, given that (as I keep trying to explain, and as Dutta himself explained) this is just ordinary policing? (Did you watch that confrontation in St. Paul linked in the video on the previous page? There was no written record of it anywhere; the only reason it happened to make news was because a video happened to have been made -- but even then, if you read the story, this incident happened early this year, and police kept the guy's phone until recently.)

By that you mean you assume he acts in that manner. That's an assumption that would seem to call for a bit more tangible evidence before writing it in stone.
No, Andy. I keep trying to tell you about the difference between "assumptions" and "conclusions." I don't "assume" he does; I conclude he does -- because he said he does. I don't need more "tangible evidence" than a carefully-crafted statement against interest. Of course, if it comes out later that someone held a gun to Dutta's head and forced him to write and submit an untrue Op/Ed piece to the paper, then I will admit that my conclusion was incorrect.

to solve the problem of police-community conflict.
I. Am. Not. Talking. About. The. "Problem." Of. "Police-Community Conflict." I am talking about the real problem of police abusing the public. A point that you have never "addressed," except with your same tired 60s talking points¹. And a point for which race is indeed irrelevant.



¹ "African-Americans, who make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, accounted for about 12 percent of the full-time officers working for police departments nationally in 2007, according to the latest figures available from the U.S. Department of Justice."
   6043. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 29, 2014 at 08:30 AM (#4781473)
¹ "African-Americans, who make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, accounted for about 12 percent of the full-time officers working for police departments nationally in 2007, according to the latest figures available from the U.S. Department of Justice."


Oddly enough, I'm still vaguely on your side of this one, but you can't really rely on nationwide stats to answer this question. Some forces have reasonable representation. APD is a majority African American force, I believe (and still occasionally shoot a grandma during no-knock drug "warrant" raids at the house two doors down from the supposed crack house they were looking for.) But the Ferguson PD is clearly unrepresentative of Ferguson itself, being demographically drawn from the whiter areas of STL County instead.
   6044. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 29, 2014 at 08:41 AM (#4781474)
Of course it sounds insane, but don't forget, in Libertarian Utopia, there won't be public police or fire departments.


Well yeah. So based on a published Op-Ed we should fire someone (for representing a typical cop I am told, not for being unusual in any degree), and then go on to fire 95% of all police (leaving only the "good" ones behind I suppose). Well yes I strongly suspect police brutality would fall to an all time low at that point.

And some people accuse Libertarians and their ilk of having rigid and idealistic views that would be a disaster if implemented. Personally I have no idea how anyone got that idea.
   6045. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 29, 2014 at 08:48 AM (#4781478)
Of course it sounds insane, but don't forget, in Libertarian Utopia, there won't be public police or fire departments.


David is regularly batshit crazy enough to damn himself without people making #### up for him to say.
   6046. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 08:49 AM (#4781479)
Yes, Kathryn Johnston. And the APD officers were just as quick to try to cover that one up.

But, yes, black officers may not be evenly distributed. If they're overrepresented in one place, they must, mathematically, be underrepresented somewhere else. But what's a solution to that? They're not machines on a production line that you can ship to a different factory because they're needed there; Atlanta can't assign its 'surplus' black officers to go to Ferguson to even things out. So the only other thing to do would be to convince a higher percentage of the black population to become cops than the white population. But how would one do that (and would that be a good thing anyway)?

And as you concede with your reference to Johnston, would that solve the problem anyway? It might make the black population of Ferguson less likely to protest/riot when Wilson shoots Brown -- but would it make it any less likely that Wilson shoots Brown?
   6047. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 29, 2014 at 08:57 AM (#4781485)
Well yeah. So based on a published Op-Ed we should fire someone (for representing a typical cop I am told, not for being unusual in any degree), and then go on to fire 95% of all police (leaving only the "good" ones behind I suppose). Well yes I strongly suspect police brutality would fall to an all time low at that point.

And some people accuse Libertarians and their ilk of having rigid and idealistic views that would be a disaster if implemented. Personally I have no idea how anyone got that idea.


Another stunning example of the modern liberal worshiping state power (*), and affording the citizen no real liberty other than at the whims and pleasures of government and its agents.

(*) They'll of course say they don't, and will occasionally protest excessive state power -- but only when it impacts something they hold dear, not as a matter of principle.
   6048. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:05 AM (#4781489)
And as you concede with your reference to Johnston, would that solve the problem anyway? It might make the black population of Ferguson less likely to protest/riot when Wilson shoots Brown -- but would it make it any less likely that Wilson shoots Brown?


I don't see a single "magic bullet" to solve this. On the one hand, you *must* basically redefine what "policing" means in America, remove the military assumptions across the board, and probably just generally disarm the police force. (Seriously, a cop on routine traffic patrol has no need for a side arm.) Eliminate the "no-knock" bullshit entirely, coupled with cessation of the "war on drugs" from all fronts other than medical treatment for addiction. And in addition to that, you need to have a police force that not only resembles the community demographically, but that is drawn from the community itself. When a cop clocks out he or she should drive home, to a residence in the community she or he has been policing. Policing, if done right (or at least less completely ####### wrong) is a long term relationship building and community networking exercise.

This is, IMHO, why the real hot spots for this sort of white cop, dead black kid scenario tend to be suburban areas. Because the police in those areas tend to draw then hiring pool from the metro at large, and are mostly white guys that live outside of the communities they patrol. You don't need to solve the representation/demographic problem by having a pigmentation scale and hiring quotas by "race." You solve it by hiring members of the local population into the cop pool that polices that population. You solve it by requiring that Officer McFriendly live two blocks down from the scene of the shooting and know that Mom walks her kids to church every Sunday on that street.
   6049. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:08 AM (#4781491)
Another stunning example of the modern liberal worshiping state power (*), and affording the citizen no real liberty other than at the whims and pleasures of government and its agents.


Wherein SBB exalts Liberty by agreeing with those calling for the firing of a police officer for a Op-Ed he wrote. Feel the liberty! Feel it.
   6050. Ron J2 Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4781492)
This is insane.


Nope. Seriously I agree with David here in both his reasoning and his prescription.

I don't believe I'm misstating your position -- that you don't like what he says, but that he should only be subject to discipline for his actions not his beliefs.

The problem is that until it's clearly communicated to the policing community as a whole that the positions he takes in the article are not OK the situation will not change.

Or to put it another way, I'd be fine with disciplining an officer who says in an op-ed that it's OK to drive drunk as long as you're careful.

You want to fire a typical cop?


Yup.

What percent of cops do you think should be fired? 95%?


As many as are required to effect a cultural change. I could happen, though I'm not hopeful it will.


   6051. Ron J2 Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:17 AM (#4781495)
#6018 I agree that nobody in public life wants those fights. And I think DMN is fully aware of this. Which makes my responses in 6050 more aspirational than anything. I'd be happier if he was fired, but I put the chances of even a reprimand at somewhere around -10% (+/- 5%). Firing substantially less.
   6052. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:18 AM (#4781496)
On a less serious note, it's Labor Day weekend, which is the most interesting weekend of the year for Atlanta. Every Labor Day, the Downtown tourist/business district morphs from a generally moribund neighborhood (though it is getting better) and hosts three major events simultaneously; Dragon-Con, SEC and Kickoff Classic college football, and Black Pride. I have no idea how those three demographics come together and get along as well as they generally do(*), but it makes me a little proud of ye olde City Too Busy To Hate every time they do.

(*) a few years back we had some LSU fans try to "invade" the Dragon-Con hotels and harass some of the cosplay crowd, but that seems to have shaken out for the better of late.
   6053. GordonShumway Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4781501)
So, hear's a question I've been meaning to ask: there's been a lot of talk, both here and elsewhere, about bad police departments. Which one would be considered the best, in terms of dealing with issues of crime, police brutality, and race?

Let's institute the following parameters:

1.) City of over 250,000.

2.) At least 20% black.

3.) Effectiveness at preventing/fighting crime.

4.) Effectiveness at minimizing police brutality, or at least holding cops accountable.

Admittedly, the above criteria is arbitrary, and leaves out many major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Phoenix, Austin, San Antonio, Portland, and Seattle, among others. But you got to start somewhere.

This may ultimately be a tallest midget contest, but I'd be interested in knowing what people would consider the best, or least worst, of a bad bunch.

Thanks in advance.
   6054. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4781506)
Or to put it another way, I'd be fine with disciplining an officer who says in an op-ed that it's OK to drive drunk as long as you're careful.


So would I. There a police officer would be advocating breaking the law and suggesting it was OK. A law enforcement officer can't publicly condone law breaking. I think that is a different matter though than what we have here.

I am really, really, really tired of debating what Dutta meant in his heart and mind (even typing this I fear yet another diatribe from David, complete with random sections in bold), but I think (based on what he wrote, what he has written before and the fact it was an Op-Ed for general consumption - context matters) he was expressing a legitimate (though essentially wrong) opinion. He is not threatening people or advocating law breaking. He even suggests steps to take if the police officer breaks the law (though we all agree those steps, though perhaps the right thing to do, are tragically toothless currently).

I don't think you should fire someone for expressing an opinion, especially one that is both legal and commonly held - no matter how wrong I find that opinion. Freedom of expression matters to me, even expression I think is wrong.

Perhaps it was tone death and should not have been printed, but I put that more on the outlet (publisher and editor) rather than the author, and even still I don't think Freedom of Expression means only stuff that everyone agrees to and will not inflame anyone's passion. It just isn't.
   6055. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:32 AM (#4781507)
I'm not sure I understand the question @6053, but I will say that "eliminating major cities such as...." is a benefit, not a bug. I honestly thing the best "first step" into fixing policing in America is to basically eliminate any force that "polices" outside of its community. APD officers should only police the city of Atlanta (i.e not Marietta or Decatur, which they don't for the record) and they should live IN THE CITY OF ATLANTA (i.e. not Roswell or Stockbridge.) Same for LA and her outer burbs.
   6056. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:33 AM (#4781510)
Presumably with a 17 year record on the LAPD, there would be at least a smidgen of evidence that Dutta actually acts on the beat the way you assume he does on the basis of his writing.

I don't know why you would "presume" that. What "evidence" do you think there would be? We can probably assume that the LAPD has a more formal disciplinary procedure than the Ferguson PD used to ("Just write it up yourself, if you feel like it"). But that's only helpful if there was a disciplinary action, and why would you assume that, given that (as I keep trying to explain, and as Dutta himself explained) this is just ordinary policing? (Did you watch that confrontation in St. Paul linked in the video on the previous page? There was no written record of it anywhere; the only reason it happened to make news was because a video happened to have been made -- but even then, if you read the story, this incident happened early this year, and police kept the guy's phone until recently.)


David, given the notoriety of this op-ed piece and the passions that it's inflamed, and given the the author put his name and his LAPD affiliation right up front, it's almost literally impossible to believe that if he'd had even the slightest reputation of being a "bad" cop even by the broadest definition of the word, that there wouldn't be someone out there who'd want the world to know the "real" background of this Monster.

Think about it: Is there a single public figure you can think of whose dirty laundry can't be found with a few clicks of the mouse? Wouldn't you think that a "fascist" like Dutta would have left some sort of a trail of disgruntled citizens behind him after all this time, if he were really as much of a Monster as you're making him out to be?

I realize that for libertarians whose lives are lived on paper, race is irrelevant, and the people of Ferguson need only re-educate their 95% white occupation army police force to solve the problem of police-community conflict.

I. Am. Not. Talking. About. The. "Problem." Of. "Police-Community Conflict." I am talking about the real problem of police abusing the public.


As if the latter all-too-real problem doesn't have its roots in the former. But perhaps it doesn't in your fantasy world, where the races are interchangeable because it's supposed to be that way.

A point that you have never "addressed," except with your same tired 60s talking points¹. And a point for which race is indeed irrelevant.

Unlike you, I've worked, played, and lived in minority communities and have seen police misconduct first hand and close. And the fact that the cops were white played an enormous part in the way that both "sides" acted. That you'd hand-wave away the racial factor simply shows the willful cluelessness with which you continue to address this issue. The fact that in many minority communities the police are seen as an "occupation army" is not exactly unrelated to their racial makeup.

That said---and I guess I'll have to repeat it every time just so you won't say I'm ignoring it---the racial factor is but one part of the overall problem. And of course I know that many black cops are just as bad as the worst of the white cops. I'm not suggesting for a second that you solve the problem by simply replacing white goons with black goons, and only a sophist would try to pretend that this is what I've been saying.

But to return to an older comment you made:

5. More community policing, less nonsense about "civilians" and "wars" on crime or drugs.
6. All police personnel files should be public, as should all police disciplinary hearings.
7. Dash cams and body cams, and penalties for not using them.
8. Eliminate qualified immunity for cops (and absolute immunity for prosecutors.)
9. Make all legal settlements for cop misconduct come out of the police pension fund.
10. Repeal ordinances for "disorderly conduct" and the like, which give police unfettered discretion to arrest people.


Those are constructive suggestions that are pro-active. You might want to concentrate on them, rather than spend so much time worrying about a op-ed piece written by a cop who for all you know might sign on to those suggestions himself.


   6057. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:33 AM (#4781511)
So would I. There a police officer would be advocating breaking the law and suggesting it was OK.


Dutta explicitly advocates breaking the law (by police officers) and explicitly argues that such law-breaking is OK.

Civil rights are, you know, the *law.*
   6058. BDC Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:41 AM (#4781516)
The good advice in Dutta's piece boils down to something Kurt Russell said in Silkwood: you aren't always obligated to stand toe to toe with people and call them a ############.

The bad is pretty much everything else. It really does tend toward the "obey authority blindly if you want to be truly free" paradox.
   6059. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:41 AM (#4781518)
Seriously, a cop on routine traffic patrol has no need for a side arm.

This is bat #### insane.

You're going to ask a cop to arrest people without a side-arm? I wouldn't ask a random person to "get off my lawn" without arming myself first. Much less go out in search of law breakers.

How about a compromise. We won't require them to carry as part of their job, just give them the same right of concealed carry that every citizen should have.
   6060. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:43 AM (#4781522)

I don't see a single "magic bullet" to solve this. On the one hand, you *must* basically redefine what "policing" means in America, remove the military assumptions across the board, and probably just generally disarm the police force. (Seriously, a cop on routine traffic patrol has no need for a side arm.) Eliminate the "no-knock" bullshit entirely, coupled with cessation of the "war on drugs" from all fronts other than medical treatment for addiction. And in addition to that, you need to have a police force that not only resembles the community demographically, but that is drawn from the community itself. When a cop clocks out he or she should drive home, to a residence in the community she or he has been policing. Policing, if done right (or at least less completely ####### wrong) is a long term relationship building and community networking exercise.

Very well expressed, Sam. That gets to the heart of the matter.

This is, IMHO, why the real hot spots for this sort of white cop, dead black kid scenario tend to be suburban areas. Because the police in those areas tend to draw then hiring pool from the metro at large, and are mostly white guys that live outside of the communities they patrol. You don't need to solve the representation/demographic problem by having a pigmentation scale and hiring quotas by "race." You solve it by hiring members of the local population into the cop pool that polices that population. You solve it by requiring that Officer McFriendly live two blocks down from the scene of the shooting and know that Mom walks her kids to church every Sunday on that street.

Amen to that as well. And you attract more Officer McFriendlys to replace the Officer McNastys in part by paying the Officer McFriendlys enough to give them and their families financial security.
   6061. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:44 AM (#4781524)
Dutta explicitly advocates breaking the law (by police officers) and explicitly argues that such law-breaking is OK.

Yeah this appears crystal clear. I'm shocked people are defending Dutta.
   6062. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:47 AM (#4781529)
The good advice in Dutta's piece boils down to something Kurt Russell said in Silkwood: you aren't always obligated to stand toe to toe with people and call them a ############.
If he had written what Andy and BM want to pretend he wrote -- basically, "Cops are human, too, and if you curse in their face they're likely to do what anybody else would do in that situation (lash out); therefore, if you want to avoid being hurt, be respectful -- I wouldn't have a big problem with it. (Cops should be held to a higher standard, but it's not unreasonable advice.) But that isn't what he wrote.
   6063. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4781532)
Amen to that as well. And you attract more Officer McFriendlys to replace the Officer McNastys in part by paying the Officer McFriendlys enough to give them and their families financial security.

What a red herring. When you include benefits, cops are very well paid.

After 5.5 years service, a NYC cop makes $91,000 in total pay plus full medical, unlimited sick leave, 27 paid vacation days, and a retirement package worth $2.2M.

http://www.nypdrecruit.com/benefits-salary/overview
   6064. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4781534)
Dutta explicitly advocates breaking the law (by police officers) and explicitly argues that such law-breaking is OK.


At the risk - again - of provoking a David Diatribe, I disagree. I think it can be read either way, it is not nearly so clear as "Hey it is fine to drive drunk".

As it being a matter of law I am puzzled by the interesting construct I see. On one hand I hear that basically all cops are bad, they all do this stuff and have this attitude, and they pretty much always get away with it without consequence. And on the other hand you are also saying hey these actions are clearly and unambiguously against the law.

Pretty handy that you get to declare that it is consequence free endemic behavior by cops that is rarely if ever prosecuted successfully (and thus clearly not against the law as practiced in the US today) and on the other hand it is so clearly behavior that is against the law of the land that anyone expressing any kind of support for that behavior should be fired.

So which is it*, is it lawful behavior, lawless behavior, or does it depend on what point you are making in any particular paragraph?

* Yes you can go with the "it should be against the law" or similar wishy washy nonsense, but while I agree there should be better enforcement of civil rights, choosing this one spot to enforce it rather than any of the thousands of much worse actions is feeble, especially in light of freedom of expression which is also a right.
   6065. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4781537)
Yeah this appears crystal clear. I'm shocked people are defending Dutta.


Clearly the idea of defending his right to express an opinion is not the same as defending the opinion. I am shocked this continues to trip people up.
   6066. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4781545)
Clearly the idea of defending his right to express an opinion is not the same as defending the opinion. I am shocked this continues to trip people up.

But expressing an opinion that goes against the very nature of your job is very different.

I work for a life insurance company. If we had a claims examiner write an editorial saying "I don't believe in paying people their death claims. We examiners look for every excuse to deny a claim, even if it's bogus, and the policyholders need to just live with that." he would be fired the next morning. This is very close to that.
   6067. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:02 AM (#4781548)
Amen to that as well. And you attract more Officer McFriendlys to replace the Officer McNastys in part by paying the Officer McFriendlys enough to give them and their families financial security.

What a red herring. When you include benefits, cops are very well paid.

After 5.5 years service, a NYC cop makes $91,000 in total pay plus full medical, unlimited sick leave, 27 paid vacation days, and a retirement package worth $2.2M.


Of that $91,000, how much is in actual take-home salary?**

And how much does it cost to support a family in New York City? You're big on traditional nuclear families, so maybe you can tell us what sort of space for four you can get in New York for less than $3000 a month.

**A rookie cop in the NYPD actually earns $41,975 a year in base salary. You can't pay your rent with your retirement benefits.
   6068. BrianBrianson Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:04 AM (#4781549)
You're going to ask a cop to arrest people without a side-arm? I wouldn't ask a random person to "get off my lawn" without arming myself first. Much less go out in search of law breakers.


How are things in the eastern Ukraine? I hear bad. In essentially the rest of the world, we ask people to get off our lawns all the time without arming ourselves with anything more threatening than a friendly hello. Someone issuing traffic tickets doesn't need a gun, and in much of the world they do fine without them. It would make sense to ensure cops have access to guns for when they're really needed, but the UK ain't exactly crime free, and yet it turns out you can write people tickets for speeding without even needing to contemplate putting a half dozen bullets in 'em.
   6069. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:07 AM (#4781551)
he would be fired the next morning. This is very close to that.


Well he would be telling the truth, that is pretty much what all insurance companies do, look for ways to not pay claims. And yes a private company is free to fire people for pretty much (within limits, of course) any reason.

However, I am not going to call for that person to be fired. I treasure freedom of expression and think it is perhaps the most important of our rights in a free society.

When expressing an opinion as critical to the workings of a society as his Op-Ed does - policing is central to the functioning of a society, obviously, certainly more so than claim payments - I think you have to bend over backwards to allow free expression. Even if the opinion bothers you, makes you uncomfortable, or if you completely disagree with everything about it. A society which makes a practice of monitoring speech on such topics is - IMO - in trouble.

I am - admittedly - a bit of a free speech absolutist and think we as a society are stronger for bringing these ideas out in the open and discussing them, allowing all sides to participate in the discussion freely, rather than deciding some things shouldn't be written about by some people, or else.
   6070. formerly dp Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:08 AM (#4781553)
You know what would be awesome poetic justice? If some heroic citizen beat, tased, and pepper-sprayed Dutta for legitimately expressing his opinion that citizens should expect to be beaten, tased, and pepper-sprayed for legitimately expressing the opinion that cops are racist pigs.

ETA: I am- admittedly- a bit of a cops-shouldn't-beat-on-people-who-insult-them absolutist.
   6071. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:11 AM (#4781555)
Of that $91,000, how much is in actual take-home salary?**

That's cash comp. After 5.5 years. In a job that only require 2 yrs. of college or military service. So you can be making $91K at 27 years old.

And how much does it cost to support a family in New York City? You're big on traditional nuclear families, so maybe you can tell us what sort of space for four you can get in New York for less than $3000 a month.

There's no law you have to live in ritzy Manhattan neighborhoods. NYC is a big place. They are also allowed to live in Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester or Putnam Counties. And here's a shocker, they even let their wives work.

As an example, Zillow has multiple 3 bed, 2 bath apt. in Ozone Park, Queens (where I grew up) for $1600-1900. It's a perfectly nice working class neighborhood.

**A rookie cop in the NYPD actually earns $41,975 a year in base salary. You can't pay your rent with your retirement benefits.

What do you think 22-25 y.o. college grads make? At that age get roommates.

You seem to expect a beat cop, straight out of the academy, to be able to support a family of 4 on the Upper West Side with a stay at home wife. That's just not reflective of any reality that has ever existed.
   6072. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:12 AM (#4781556)
Well he would be telling the truth, that is pretty much what all insurance companies do, look for ways to not pay claims.

You're not very familiar with Life Insurance companies; they rarely contest a claim.

Also, we're a mutual, we have zero incentive to screw policyholders; they own the company, there are no other shareholders.
   6073. formerly dp Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4781557)
There's no law you have to live in ritzy Manhattan neighborhoods. NYC is a big place. They are also allowed to live in Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester or Putnam Counties.
Is this true? Last I checked, all NYC employees were required to live within the city limits. Not sure if that applies to cops or not, but it definitely applies to City Parks employees.
   6074. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4781558)
You're going to ask a cop to arrest people without a side-arm? I wouldn't ask a random person to "get off my lawn" without arming myself first.


Traffic patrol is not in the business of arresting people, actually. They pull people over and give them citations for moving violations. The fact that every cop in the nation approaches a speed-trap stop with his hand on the butt of his sidearm is a problem with the cops. (Your pissing of your pants when faced with humanity isn't relevant, per se.)

I'm fine with patrols having weapons in the trunk. But we don't need a traffic citation force that comes in thinking "I wonder if I have to shoot someone today."

And of course, when we disarm the average street cop, we disarm the public as well. Seriously, there are millions of people being policed in Europe and the UK without armed cops.
   6075. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4781562)
How are things in the eastern Ukraine? I hear bad. In essentially the rest of the world, we ask people to get off our lawns all the time without arming ourselves with anything more threatening than a friendly hello. Someone issuing traffic tickets doesn't need a gun, and in much of the world they do fine without them. It would make sense to ensure cops have access to guns for when they're really needed, but the UK ain't exactly crime free, and yet it turns out you can write people tickets for speeding without even needing to contemplate putting a half dozen bullets in 'em.

The UK is an entirely different world. There's a long tradition of neither criminals nor police carrying guns.
   6076. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:16 AM (#4781566)
If some heroic citizen beat, tased, and pepper-sprayed Dutta for legitimately expressing his opinion that citizens should expect to be beaten, tased, and pepper-sprayed for legitimately expressing the opinion that cops are racist pigs.


I am against Dutta getting assaulted and against citizens getting assaulted. I am pretty much against anyone being assaulted. I am not a fan of violence, poetic or otherwise.
   6077. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4781567)
And you attract more Officer McFriendlys to replace the Officer McNastys in part by paying the Officer McFriendlys enough to give them and their families financial security.


One of the more reasonable programs in Atlanta, if I recall correctly, has been the "we'll give you a house for free if you move in town." This is for APD hires, and I'm paraphrasing the program from memory, but basically it's an attempt to get police officers to live in the communities they police.
   6078. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4781571)
Traffic patrol is not in the business of arresting people, actually. They pull people over and give them citations for moving violations. The fact that every cop in the nation approaches a speed-trap stop with his hand on the butt of his sidearm is a problem with the cops. (Your pissing of your pants when faced with humanity isn't relevant, per se.)

They often have to arrest people, e.g. drunk drivers, people with outstanding warrants.

Your pissing of your pants when faced with humanity isn't relevant, per se.

Better to have a gun and not need it, than need a gun and not have it. Why would I be pissing my pants? I have a gun.

And of course, when we disarm the average street cop, we disarm the public as well. Seriously, there are millions of people being policed in Europe and the UK without armed cops.

It is unconstitutional to "disarm the public". Most regimes that wish to "disarm the public" tend towards totalitarianism eventually.

The people of the UK, with all their fancy welfare state, don't even have basic rights of self-defense, and free speech (official secrets act, laws against "offensive" or "insulting" speech.

Edit: Links if you doubt me about the lack of free speech in the UK

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2614834/Arrested-quoting-Winston-Churchill-European-election-candidate-accused-religious-racial-harassment-repeats-wartime-prime-ministers-words-Islam-campaign-speech.html

http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/politics/2012/10/social-media-prosecutions-threaten-free-speech-uk-and-beyond

   6079. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:19 AM (#4781570)
On one hand I hear that basically all cops are bad, they all do this stuff and have this attitude, and they pretty much always get away with it without consequence. And on the other hand you are also saying hey these actions are clearly and unambiguously against the law.


I fail to see your "gotcha" here, buddy. The law is pretty clear re: civil rights. The problem - the fact that makes "basically all cops bad" - is that cops don't believe the law is the law. They believe THEY are the law.
   6080. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4781575)
Funny(?) story - A good friend of mine is a ST. Paul police officer who for a while was Officer Friendly. He went around to schools and everything, all that PR stuff. So one day he is on a call, domestic disturbance, and it is fairly bad. He calms things down, but has to take the guy into custody. As he is taking the guy away a kid shows up and asks "Officer Friendly, why are you taking my daddy away?"

Of course he gave the politic answer, but to this day one of his nicknames* is Officer Hostile and we bring that story up - because that is how we roll.

* He is one of those people who collects nicknames.
   6081. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4781576)
Clearly the idea of defending his right to express an opinion is not the same as defending the opinion. I am shocked this continues to trip people up.


Man, and you accuse others of red herrings? No one has suggested that Dutta's right to express and opinion be infringed. They have simply expressed the rather uncontroversial idea that expressing an opinion in which you explicitly argue that you and your fellow officers should be given privilege to break the law, and that people should just shut up and obey if they know what's good for them, is not without consequence. Freedom of speech is not freedom of consequence for you speech.
   6082. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4781577)
1. The pay is already very good when overtime, pensions and benefits are included.


If the pay package is enough to enable a policeman to be able to support a family comfortably in the city in which he's working, then the pay is sufficient. Otherwise not.


You've made this comment in the past, Andy, and I don't see why you're so hung up on it, as it's a bizarre criteria. Many, many people commute to the locations at which they work because they can't afford to live there. Why should cops be any different?
   6083. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:29 AM (#4781579)
You've made this comment in the past, Andy, and I don't see why you're so hung up on it, as it's a bizarre criteria. Many, many people commute to the locations at which they work because they can't afford to live there. Why should cops be any different?

It's bizarre, and also not true for most large cities. Yeah, maybe in Beverly Hills the cops can't afford to live there, but in NY, or LA or Chicago? There are tons of neighborhoods cops can afford.

But, like many of us, they'd rather live in the suburbs. Why should they be denied that basic civil right, to live where they choose?
   6084. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4781581)
Man, and you accuse others of red herrings? No one has suggested that Dutta's right to express and opinion be infringed. They have simply expressed the rather uncontroversial idea that expressing an opinion in which you explicitly argue that you and your fellow officers should be given privilege to break the law, and that people should just shut up and obey if they know what's good for them, is not without consequence. Freedom of speech is not freedom of consequence for you speech.

Concur. I don't know any non-unionized job in the world where you could write an op-ed saying that you and your fellow employees completely ignore the laws and the policies governing your work, and not faces consequences.

Imagine if this was a hedge fund employee talking about insider trading. Don't you think he'd be immediately fired, and investigated by the SEC?
   6085. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:31 AM (#4781582)
I fail to see your "gotcha" here, buddy. The law is pretty clear re: civil rights. The problem - the fact that makes "basically all cops bad" - is that cops don't believe the law is the law. They believe THEY are the law.


If all these actions are so clearly illegal - to the point you are willing to fire someone over maybe endorsing them - then why is it not being prosecuted? Why is it not actually illegal in the real sense of cops going to jail in droves?

You are one of the big "things are relative" and have brought that up multiple times regarding rights, specifically slaves rights back in the day, and yet here you seem to be a rights absolutist. Even though there is no one enforcing these rights in the way you declare is correct you are still insistent that these civil rights are absolute.

According to your past logic those rights are not absolute, they only exist to the point they are enforced. And clearly here and now in the US those rights are not being enforced the way you think they should be (or cops are not violating them to the degree you have stated), otherwise hordes of cops would be arrested every year.

You seem to want it whichever way is convenient, which I don't blame you for, but I am going to call you on it.

Note: And again I am for beefing up support for those rights. I think civil rights are endangered here in the US by many things including the police. So I support efforts to bring reality into closer accordance with my "should be" view. But reality is what it is for now.
   6086. formerly dp Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4781583)
Amending #6073: Cops are exempt from NYC employee residency requirements. So that's nice for them. Sucks for everyone else.
   6087. Ray (RDP) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:32 AM (#4781584)
So would I. There a police officer would be advocating breaking the law and suggesting it was OK. A law enforcement officer can't publicly condone law breaking. I think that is a different matter though than what we have here.


Same matter, same issue. Dutta advocated breaking the law and suggested it was ok -- not for us common folk, but for cops. (If Dutta wants to conduct an illegal search, just comply! It will only take a few minutes. How hard is it to comply for that long? Hey, if he finds something incriminating, you can take it up with the criminal justice system later, after he arrests you and you have no defense because you consented to the search.)

Count me among the many here surprised that you're taking his side here.
   6088. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4781587)
Man, and you accuse others of red herrings? No one has suggested that Dutta's right to express and opinion be infringed.


David and others have suggested firing him. I am going to call that infringing.

Concur. I don't know any non-unionized job in the world where you could write an op-ed saying that you and your fellow employees completely ignore the laws and the policies governing your work, and not faces consequences.


Still not what he is saying. The fact that many people here acknowledge the behavior many claim he is endorsing is typical and yet cops being arrested or otherwise disciplined for it strongly suggests this typical behavior is not illegal here in 2014 America (even if it should be, firing people for expressing favor for things that are legal but shouldn't be seems a bit much to me).
   6089. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4781589)
Count me among the many here surprised that you're taking his side here.


See this is what I mean. I have expressed dozens of times I disagree with cop dude, but support his right to express his opinion, and I get endless "you are taking his side". Can no one read for comprehension?
   6090. BrianBrianson Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4781590)

The people of the UK, with all their fancy welfare state, don't even have basic rights of self-defense, and free speech (official secrets act, laws against "offensive" or "insulting" speech.


And yet here in the UK, I can walk down the street drinking beer from a can. You win some, you love some. Most British criminals don't have guns, but neither do most American criminals. Cops don't need to have a pistol on them to issue a ticket for jaywalking (yet another freedom the British have Americans don't), never mind the need to use one.
   6091. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4781593)
And yet here in the UK, I can walk down the street drinking beer from a can. You win some, you love some. Most British criminals don't have guns, but neither do most American criminals. Cops don't need to have a pistol on them to issue a ticket for jaywalking (yet another freedom the British have Americans don't), never mind the need to use one.

So, you'll trade free speech and self-defence for no open container laws, and jaywalking. Good to know.
   6092. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4781597)
If all these actions are so clearly illegal - to the point you are willing to fire someone over maybe endorsing them - then why is it not being prosecuted?


Because the people in charge of prosecuting them for breaking the law are...themselves. And the IA departments that are just as corrupt. And the DA offices who never met a cop they didn't like, because cops will testify to whatever the DA argues, and juries always believe the cops testimony regardless of the other evidence.
   6093. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4781598)
See this is what I mean. I have expressed dozens of times I disagree with cop dude, but support his right to express his opinion, and I get endless "you are taking his side". Can no one read for comprehension?

Out of all the times on these threads this has come up, the one situation where the (core) modern liberals most robustly defend the right to express oneself is a cop's right to freely express the "opinion" that he and his brethren are free to assault citizens who don't obey their every command.

You really can't make this up. Amazing.
   6094. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4781599)
If Dutta wants to conduct an illegal search, just comply!


And by the way this is just stupid. If he asks and you comply it is not illegal. If he searches with a warrant or your OK it is illegal (there are other fiddly bits here also). Him wanting is not what makes the search legal or not and calling it "an illegal search" in this context is just plain dumb.

It is within his rights to ask and your rights to say no. And every cop I have ever spoken with is amazed more people don't say no and recommends people say no. But why let facts get in the way of your narrative.
   6095. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4781603)

If the pay package is enough to enable a policeman to be able to support a family comfortably in the city in which he's working, then the pay is sufficient. Otherwise not.

You've made this comment in the past, Andy, and I don't see why you're so hung up on it, as it's a bizarre criteria. Many, many people commute to the locations at which they work because they can't afford to live there. Why should cops be any different?


Because if it's a goal---which I realize you don't share---to have policemen more closely connected to the communities where they patrol, then the issue of housing affordability is very relevant. A policeman's relationship to the community he's patrolling is a bit more critical to his work than that of a government lawyer or accountant.
   6096. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4781604)
Hey SBB feel free to find an instance where I do not support free expression. Because I always do. It is one of those instances where I have a core principle I am willing to stand up for, though there are clearly those for whom free expression is just a whim to be tossed aside when convenient, I am not one of them.
   6097. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:48 AM (#4781605)
David and others have suggested firing him. I am going to call that infringing.


Then you fail to understand what "infringing" means. If someone prevented him from writing the op-ed, that would be infringement of his right to free speech. If his supervisor came up to him and said "yeah, so this thing you wrote where you explicitly state that cops are above the laws they are intended to uphold, and that citizens should cower and obey if they know what's good for them, that's actually a really bad thing and we're going to review your record and at the very least send you back to training for a while," that's not infringement of speech. That's being held accountable for your speech. Those aren't the same things.

I could go out and argue vehemently that the Boston Marathon bombers were totes right in their beliefs and actions, if I wanted too. No one could infringe my right to say that. And my Boston-based employer could call me in afterwards and fire me for it. Speech is not without consequence.
   6098. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4781606)
If he asks and you comply it is not illegal.


If he casually suggests that a blow job would get you out of a traffic ticket, it's not illegal, it's consensual sex between adults.
   6099. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4781608)
Because the people in charge of prosecuting them for breaking the law are...themselves. And the IA departments that are just as corrupt. And the DA offices who never met a cop they didn't like, because cops will testify to whatever the DA argues, and juries always believe the cops testimony regardless of the other evidence.


So this right of yours doesn't really exist in today's world, right?

How about we stop trying to fire someone for expressing an opinion regarding activity which we both agree is de facto legal and start working on changing things so civil rights are better protected?
   6100. Bitter Mouse Posted: August 29, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4781612)
That's being held accountable for your speech. Those aren't the same things.


So being accountable means being fired for expressing an opinion about de facto legal activities within your sphere of knowledge? And you claim that would not have a chilling effect on free speech? OK then, I disagree. I think freedom of expression is a paramount civil right and needs to be vigilantly protected and even encouraged wherever possible.
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