Social Question

MrGrimm888's avatar

What are we supposed to do? (Details )

Asked by MrGrimm888 (16809points) September 30th, 2016

More unarmed black people shot. The latest in Charlotte was a cousin of a guy I work with. A video of police planting a weapon on his dead body was taken by the dead man’s wife. It seems witnesses on scene report that a white officer actually killed the man, and the black officer was trying to take the fall to stop the appearance of another white cop shooting an unarmed black man. There are 6 officers present in the video. So, they were conspiring to cover for one another.

My black friends, and indeed most white or non black friends are getting really pissed. The tension is building.

It seems like once every week or two another case of unjustified police violence occurs.

There’s so much talk of gun control being important, but these are unarmed people. ..
We’ve been protesting (peacefully, ) but it clearly isn’t changing anything in reality.

How long are we supposed to stand by while police execute our citizens?

Is there a non violent way to address this issue? I’m not a ‘race war,’ or ‘kill all the cops’ guy….

WTF are we supposed to do?

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50 Answers

Seek's avatar

My general rule is to avoid police contact whenever possible. Stop teaching your kids you can trust the police. They are not your friend. They are not bound to serve and protect anyone but their immediate supervisor. They are not trained to do anything but apprehend people or, if that’s too difficult or inconvenient, dispose of them.

They will come into your house uninvited, shoot your dog and your child, raid your home, arrest you without cause, then apologise for being at the wrong address, then get a paid vacation so they can deal with their emotional trauma from the event.

I say this as a daughter of a retired NYPD officer: Fuck the police.

canidmajor's avatar

I agree, @MrGrimm888, it’s awful and scary. I was in a fender bender recently with a black teenage boy and I was terrified to call the police, (just for an insurance approved accident report) for fear that this kid would be hurt or worse. He was shaking he was so frightened. I got us off the road, we exchanged #s, made off-the-record payment arrangements, then we had coffee.
I’ll be eating some of the repair costs, but that beats the hell out of what might have happened.
I think he was just afraid that his insurance rates would skyrocket. I told him that’s why I handled it like I did.

ETA: I’m sorry I didn’t answer your Q, I honestly don’t know. Prevent unnecessary contact when possible, like in my situation, but other than calling my representatives, protesting and such, I don’t know.

olivier5's avatar

Jail the murderers for years. Fire the trigger happy punks. Retrain the rest. Hire more blacks and less white cops.

That, or expect the problem to get worse.

ragingloli's avatar

Tabula Rasa.
Every single cop needs to be removed and replaced with a new, properly trained one.
It does not matter if they directly participated in the corruption and the murder.
They know it is happening, and their silence makes them all guilty.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

The cops HAVE to stop protecting the bad apples, and call them to task when this sort of thing happens, or things are going to get a lot worse before they get any kind of better in your country.

ucme's avatar

I predict a riot…

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I predict a lot of riots if the police don’t do something about their public image soon,and I do mean SOON!
I don’t condone violence against the police in any form, but with all this police shooting of unarmed citizens I really can’t blame the public for it either.

Seek's avatar

There are riots. Lots of them. Peaceful protests are becoming riots because the people in charge of maintaining the peaceful protest are the same people that are being protested against and they have no incentive to allow a peaceful protest to be heard.

The hens are protesting the foxes while the foxes are being placed in charge of the henhouse protest.

And, do they show up preparing to babysit a peaceful protest? No. They show up in riot gear, with fucking military-grade weapons and armor, against people holding banners and signs.

Every peaceful demonstration that turns into a riot is used as further justification for the unconscionable way our militarized police treats the public that pays their salaries.

zenvelo's avatar

Prosecute the police. Outside investigation only. Civilian oversight.

Arrested police go through normal criminal justice process (booking, release only on bail after hearing). No administrative leave.

ucme's avatar

To be fair, my answer was in reference to the Kaiser Chiefs song, I tend to answer with random song titles from time to time, but only because it amuses my childish soul

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

1) Stop bowing down to police unions. They have undue power and they squash attempts to take away their impunity.

2) Stop training police as military units who must eliminate any opposition, including anyone merely showing insufficient deference. Eric Garner was strangled to death in broad daylight and on camera, and nobody was punished.

Why Are Police Unions Blocking Reform?

canidmajor's avatar

@MrGrimm888: Did you mean “What should be done?” which a number of people have answered, or “What are we (as individual citizens) supposed to do?”
It’s easy to postulate, but I would love to know what I, as a private citizen in my community, can do.

janbb's avatar

It amazes me that the police (some police) keep doing this while under such scrutiny. I would have been so careful not to shoot were I a policeman in this atmosphere. But I think the solution is community oversight and outside investigation and punishment for undue force with imprisonment, and lots of training in de-escalation techniques. Also, a refocus on community policing with police walking a beat. We also need to stop the privatization of the prison system.

And white people need to speak up and speak out about the injustice. My Unitarian congregation held a Black Lives Matter Rally last Sunday and 350 people came – white and black. We had speakers from local churches, the NAACP, a police chief, the local Black Lives Matter organizer, etc. It was very peaceful. There were five people across the street holding up “Cops Lives Matter” banners. And the local press reported it as, “Black LIves Matter Squares Off Against Cops Lives Matter in Lincroft.” What bullshit!

To answer @canidmajor, I think as white people we have to have conversations as we can with other white folk about the injustices and be alert witnesses if we see an incident of brutality. We have to look at our own assumptions (“Well, they must have been doing something wrong…”) and realize there are at least two sets of standards in this country. (What you did was great by the way.)

And we need to push for the de-militarization of the police force and the end of prisons for profit.

canidmajor's avatar

@janbb: thank you. A few friends that I told thought I was silly and over-reacting. I said that if there was a one in 10,000 chance that my actions could save someone’s child, I would take it.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Great answer @janbb and @canidmajor while you and I might not see eye to eye on a great many topics I can see why you aired on the side of caution in the situation you found yourself in.

Jaxk's avatar

Well the solution for me is simple. If a cop has a gun pointed at me and tells me to drop the gun, I’ll drop whatever is in my hand. Doesn’t matter if it is a gun or a book or an electronic cigarette. If you all want to stand and argue with the police as to what it is go ahead. I’m much more likely to walk away from the incident. If you want to teach your kids to run or resist, that’s your choice. I’ll teach my kids to comply.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Normally I would totally agree with you @Jaxk but several of these shooting the person was complying and was still shot, what is the answer to that?

Jaxk's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 – The only incident I’m aware of would be Tulsa and the cop is being charged. I’m not sure a riot would change that in any meaningful way.

janbb's avatar

@Jaxk Nobody’s is advocating for a riot, particularly in Tulsa, but in many cases, as @SQUEEKY2 says, victims are complying with the requests. I don’t think as white people we can be aware how the rules are different for black men in many cases.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

One that clearly stands out was the one with the black therapist, the guy was totally complying and the cop still shot him, when he asked the cop why, all the cop could say is “I don’t know”
great answer for a law enforcement officer who is supposed to be trained.

DON’T GET ME WRONG ,I still think the majority of police are honest hard working people trying to do a good job, but those good people have to stop protecting the bad ones, or things are going to get a lot worse before they get any kind of better.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Some conspiracy theorist I have heard from is that it is a planned design to throw the nation into anarchy with riots and a race war, then the feds can call Martial Law, and come take over, then blame it on the homeless, and poor and sequester them in FEMA camps….as the conspiracy go….

bomont's avatar

It is a mistake to think that being unarmed means you don’t deserve to be shot. This lesson should have been learned in the shooting of Trayvon Martin. People have a right to defend themselves. The laws allow to shoot and kill people that pose a potential and substantial threat to your life, i.e, bodily harm, injury, or death. Refusing, resisting, reaching, and resembling are all potential threats to the officer.

Another lesson that should have been learned from the shooting of Trayvon Martin is that it isn’t wise to speculate on pending investigations like the one of During that case, the media already decided that Zimmerman was guilty based on uninformed, selective evidence. But as evidence in the coming days came to light, including evidence presented in the trial, he was looking more and more innocent.

The next question is how many closed cases are there that have proven the unjustified shooting of a black man? For argument sake, let’s say there are a few. Does that somehow cancel out the other hundreds of cases that were justified?

There was a study published last year that showed cops have a racial bias towards blacks but that could be because 40% of all cop killers are blacks and are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the crimes. Similarly, of all the different ethnicities and religions, middle eastern men are stopped and searched the most at air terminals because of the history of terrorism associated with that type of group.

Seek's avatar

Zimmerman is a scumbag and he should be hanged from a tree at high noon. Fuck that guy and the horse he rode in on. He’s been a regular shitstain on the Florida newspapers ever since he was wrongly released.

bomont's avatar

Well, there are many other cases of justified killings of unarmed men. It would be silly to dismiss them all because the assailant was unarmed. But like hypocrisy said, there are certainly many conspiracy theories out there that claim its all one big plan by the illuminati and shape shifters for world dominance. Something along those lines…

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

there are many other cases of justified killings of unarmed men. It would be silly to dismiss them all because the assailant was unarmed

And it would be deplorable to use any justifiable case as an excuse for all the unjustified cases.

bomont's avatar

Right. That is why in my earlier answer I inquired to know how many closed cases were there that proved the unjust killing of a black man by a police officer? As long as these types of unjust killings are not part of the normal trend, there is no pandemic. As far as I know, there does not seem to be too many of them.

janbb's avatar

How many is too many?

bomont's avatar

Majority v.s minority. That is how it generally works. There are no absolutes. You just have a statistically significant number that shows a strong probability.

Poverty in the United States is around 13%. Relative to our overall population of 324 million, that is a small amount even though the actual 13% represents 42 million people. The trend isn’t a population of poverty.

Seek's avatar

The data is there if you want to actually look at it, instead of sticking your fingers in your ears and insisting there’s no problem, when about a thousand people are shot every year by police officers.

Here’s the nicely organized data for 2015

You’ll note a few big numbers:

Total number of people shot dead by police in 2015: 991. Nine hundred and ninety one. People. Dead. Because a police officer killed them.

Number of those that are…
white: 495. About half. (demographically 88% of the population)
black: 258. A little more than a quarter. (demographically 13.2% of the population.)
hispanic: 172. Or 17%, roughly in line with demographics.

unarmed: 93. About 10% are completely unarmed.
armed with a toy weapon: 34. 3.5% of people shot dead by police are holding toys.
unknown/unreported: 27. Another 3% of people shot by cops they didn’t even make note in their report as to whether they were armed or not.

signs of mental illness: 251. A full quarter of police deaths in 2015 were people who had known signs of mental illness. Demographically the number of Americans with any form of mental illness is only 18.2%, and that’s including people who are medicated and under control.

____

Meanwhile, the number of police officers killed each year is falling , even while sheer numbers of police in the country is on a steep rise.

in 2013, a whopping 27 officers lost their lives in the line of duty, compared with 115 in 1980. Whereas, in 1980 there were a little over 438,000 working state and local police, and in 2013 there were over 724,000.

—-

You tell me who should be afraid of whom.

bomont's avatar

Alright. I will review it later and get back to you.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@bomont . Welcome to Fluther. I disagree with most of your comments, but thank you for sharing them.

@canidmajor . I didn’t really mean me, or you, or white people specifically when I said ‘we.’

I’m just fed up with the killings. Fed up with this brotherhood of police covering things up.

What an incident like the one mentioned happens, I immediately think, ‘Well, how many times does this type of thing happen ,and not get caught on camera?’

There are absolutely great cops out there. It’s time for them to make a choice. Protect the public, or protect each other. If the good cops don’t step forward here, there will be worse than small riots.

kritiper's avatar

Write your legislators. That’s the way the system works.

Seek's avatar

Unless you’re writing them checks bigger than the FOP is writing, no it isn’t.

johnpowell's avatar

I think a good first step would be mandatory body cams if you are a armed LEO. For good measure put one on the gun too.

Full stop. If the camera is for any reason not operational you are instantly fired. No more I accidentally bumped the button to turn it off just before I shot the dude bullshit.

Seek's avatar

We’d also have to mandate that the footage be public record in case of an investigation.

Plenty of departments have dash cams and body cams and simply refuse to release footage. That helps no one.

johnpowell's avatar

Yeah, the North Carolina law that makes it so the footage never needs to be released.

If you favor this law you can never say shit about Hillary’s email.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@johnpowell , yes body cams, and gun cams are helpful. Before body cams they had dash cams. Some cops would park at certain angles , or put their hoods up to occlude the camera’s view.

It’s interesting you mentioned this ,as I did two nights ago to a friend. Like you said, if the cameras are nullified, blocked, or circumvented in ANY way, the LEO should face severe punishment. That’s a good start on the journey to transparency, and accountability.

Most good officers I interact with as a SLED officer on my main job are seeing the body cameras as a good thing. A body cam could just as easily show an officer’s innocence, as a bad officer’s guilt.

I have lots of cameras where I work as the HOS (head of security, ) and I love them because I don’t intend for me or my guys under me to do anything wrong.

In private is one thing,but in a professional setting, one should be open to observation, and recording. IMO…..

@kritiper . I suppose I could write some people in government. But why would my letter have more effect than thousands of people demonstrating everywhere? If they can’t tell through constant protesting, about the same problem, how oblivious are they?

Clearly the public is seething about this.

That being said, I am willing to try anything. Do you have a specific government representative you think might be the best to target with a letter? Not by name, but title?

I live in SC. Most in our government here are pretty shitty . Lindsay Graham is probably one of the worst people in our entire government. He supports most things far right, and his statements lead me to believe that he is just as detached from reality as Trump (yes,that bad.)

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Why do Police have a hard time releasing any video they have, if they truly believe they were in the right?

Also when three or more police officers have their guns drawn and at the ready it would truly take someone with a mental illness to try and do anything but comply, doesn’t that say something as well?

And yet training, or more training seems to be frowned on? So for now I guess it’s shoot first and ask questions later, pretty nice when there seems to be little or no accountability for the police and their actions.
I really hope I don’t have to come down to your wonderful “FREE” country any time soon or like ever, and I am an over weight middle age WHITE man I couldn’t imagine if I was a black man.That at least is what I am going to do ,because I don’t see the situation getting better anytime soon especially if sir Trump gets your top job

kritiper's avatar

@MrGrimm888 There is no other alternative, other than running for office yourself. Or leaving the country.
I repeat: There is no other alternative.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@kritiper ,that’s depressing….

olivier5's avatar

Well, you could kill the killer cops… One at a time. That’s a bit radical but it could work.

Slighly less radical, you could set up a team of vigilantes armed with cameras and follow the cops when they patrol your community, filming everything they do.

Or someone could develop a public internet database of killer cops, publicise where they live, where they work, and put posters / paint tags saying “cops=murderers” in their neighborhood.

Just trying to be creative here.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@olivier5 . I think if we killed the killer cops ,it would make the situation worse. Cops are a brotherhood. If one goes down they turn it into a battle.
The Dallas shooter was effectively killed by drone attack. He was never going to be taken alive (don’t think he wanted to be ,but that’s not the point. )

Cops being killed would raise tensions. Cops would be grabbing their weapons faster,and shooting sooner. And the tactics would be excused because of the killings. Plus, I don’t personally want to start a war , although we’re closer to that than many would hope.

What I would like to see is the police policing themselves. When an unjust act is carried out by an officer, other officers should treat that officer as any other criminal. Put HIM/HER at gunpoint, cuff them, process them, jail them, if need be incarcerate them , or give them the death penalty.

Accountability goes a long way in any situation. I’m the guy in charge where I run security, and my guys know how I roll. Putting your hands on someone is considered a failure to me. My guys,and myself should be able to de-escalate the situation, without violence. Sometimes violence is unavoidable, but going into a situation with the mindset of violence being the last resort is helpful. My guys know I don’t take violence on our crowd lightly, and they act accordingly. Discipline and self discipline are key. I’ve been punched in the face before and only restrained the attacker. It hurts and makes me mad, but I’m a professional, and I have a punching bag at home. I arrest them, or whatever is needed,and move on, I don’t take it personally, or act out of fear, and hurt someone. Because its on me if someone gets injured. ACCOUNTABILITY.

Some cops want to use their weapons. That’s the wrong mentality for the job.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Totally agree @MrGrimm888 and that is the answer pure and simple “ACCOUNTABILITY” and right now it seems that the police act outside the constraints of “ACCOUNTABILITY” and that is wrong and will turn the country against them if that doesn’t change .
All they have to do is say I was scared for my life and I thought he was going for a gun, yeah 3 or more of you have guns drawn on the guy and you were scared for your life? yeah right.

olivier5's avatar

The reason why the US has relaxed guns laws is supposedly so that its citizens can defend themselves from a tyranical police or army… So to me, it would make a lot of sense sense to kill the killer cops, especially since they always walk free.

Please jnote that I am not calling for more random violence against any cop. But if you kill a law-abiding citizen, there should be consequences, no? Where’s the accountability you guys are calling for? Nowehere.

If one of my kids get killed by a cop for not good reason (God forbid), I’ll follow the trial of this cop and if he gets serious jail time, fine, justice is served. If he walks free, I’ll try and make sure he’s held accountable. Maybe I’ll fail, but not for the lack of trying.

janbb's avatar

@olivier5 Some of them are.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Vigilantism and street justice are not going to make things better. That’s going down the path of societies with rampant violence and corruption.

Honduras is not a model society. Afghanistan is not a model society. Our own violent neighborhoods in the US are not a model society.

Strong institutions make life better. We’ve improved a lot. In my lifetime, the US had segregated schools and black people couldn’t vote in much of the US. Lynching went unpunished.

We’re not done. There’s more to do. But the answer to unfair violence is not lashing out with more violence.

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