General Question

Soubresaut's avatar

How much does "death penalty for drug traffickers" alarm you?

Asked by Soubresaut (12802points) March 20th, 2018

It’s the first thing Trump has suggested that’s truly shocked me. (Mostly in the sense that I didn’t anticipate it from him, or wouldn’t have guessed that he’d go there.)

I don’t think the idea’ll go anywhere—am I wrong on that?—but the fact that it’s something he’d suggest has really unnerved me. It feels very much like a “no man, no problem” kind of mindset… and I can’t help but find myself shifting my concept of how he views the world (it wasn’t great to begin with) to something decidedly… darker? colder? If that makes sense. I’m not sure how to word it. He’s saying he wants to expand the reach of state-sanctioned executions, and at some fundamental level that scares me.

Anyone else have a similar reaction? Or am I letting this feel bigger than it is?

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73 Answers

Yellowdog's avatar

Some designer drugs are more than 100 times deadlier than anything we had in the 1980s—don’t know the stats of how many have been killed by such drugs, but I imagine the number would scare you more than even Trump in office. Not to mention the killings caused by merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time when drug transactions are taking place, or other related crime is committed among the drug cartels. But I’m with you so far as “why can’t we all just get along’ is concerned.

funkdaddy's avatar

It’s alarming in that it’s killing someone for a non-violent crime. I can’t think of another non-violent crime we consider the death penalty for.

That’s where it’s crossing a line for me. I can’t see any justification for that.

I understand there can be violent crime related to drugs and you could argue they’re the cause of some, but we could go pretty far down that path too. If drugs kill people, how do you argue that guns don’t? If manufacturing drugs is an offense that should end your life, how about knowingly defrauding millions?

If someone commits violent crimes while dealing in drugs, then you prosecute for those crimes as well, I don’t see how an assumption there helps anyone.

It’s a “hard line” for the sake of being able to say you’re tough. I don’t think it would survive a closer look, but who knows.

thisismyusername's avatar

I suspect he means brown people who sell unapproved drugs, and not pharmaceutical company executives. It’s more racist horseshit, which is the intention of most drug laws anyway.

Of course it’s troubling. But this fucko isn’t alone. Drug policy is a nightmare all around.

zenvelo's avatar

So the death penalty for MDs that over prescribe? What aboout opioid manufacturers that offer incentives for prescribing their product?

Given that the country has been moving away from the death penalty, it seems just one more oddity of a policy recommendation that goes against the national conscience.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It doesn’t alarm me, particularly since it’s a Trump fantasy. Like most of his ideas, it’s probably going nowhere.

janbb's avatar

Given the fact that he loves Duterte, the President of the Philippines who is killing drug pushers in the streets, it does not surprise me. Again and again, the shock value of what Motormouth in Chief says is a distraction from what is going on.

Am I happy about him saying it? No. Do I think it will actually happen? No. Do I think he’ll say anything to tear the headlines from the Russian investigation? Yes.

chyna's avatar

Where is the stopping point? The guy in high school sells some weed to another classmate and he gets the death penalty? Or is it only the people that sell meth, or opioids or heroin?
We have a town here in WV, population 2,900 that was flooded with over 21 million opioids distributed by two pharmacies in a 10 year period.
Who would get the death penalty in that case?

JLeslie's avatar

It’s pretty alarming! WTH?! I actually like that Trump doesn’t drink or do drugs and is concerned about it, but I don’t like anything he wants to do about it.

I am not in favor of clamping down very hard on doctors for prescribing, and I certainly am not in favor of a death penalty for traffickers and pushers. That is crazy talk.

thisismyusername's avatar

Just to elaborate – Trump unveiled this plan during a speech in NH where he called out Lawrence, MA as being one of the principal sources of fentanyl.

Lawrence, MA (for the non-MA people here) is an immigrant city. It’s also a “sanctuary city”. Now, NH is 90% white. This whole drug policy push is more dog-whistle racism and xenophobia that ties in nicely with the border wall shit. He wants to present the “threat” to white Americans as non-white immigrants who are being protected in sanctuary cities and are killing white suburban kids. They cross over the Mexican border, move to Lawrence, sell your sons deadly drugs, and rape your daughters.

Oh, and the fact that the Republicans are shitting all over the non-wealthy in this country through aggressive redistributions of wealth upwards…shhhh…don’t worry about that. The reason you don’t have healthcare and your house is being taken by the bank is because of MS-13 and liberal-enabled immigrant drug dealer rapists.

seawulf575's avatar

I’m actually okay with it. I have dealt with heroin addiction in my family. It started with opioid addiction. I watched it destroy lives of those around the user. One of the dealers was the bail bondsman. The addicts that tried getting help would go to the NA meetings, but all the dealers knew that was a the perfect place to make sales, so the meetings were useless. My family member OD’d twice and is alive today only through the sheer luck of having someone nearby that knew what to do.
What we have done so far is to treat opioid addiction as a victimless crime. It isn’t. It destroys lives…the lives of the addicts and the lives of those around them. We have treated the dealers as committing a minor crime. To all of you that are shocked that Trump would propose this, let’s put it in perspective…Opiods killed more than 50,000 people in 2016. That is almost as many deaths as automobile and gun deaths put together. And that was 2016.
Since then, the number of opioid deaths has skyrocketed. How would you feel if someone was out there just selling guns to people? Think it would be a victimless crime? Think we should treat that person as a minor offender? I know…the argument…that’s not a fair comparison because guns only have one purpose. So what is the purpose of heroin?
This country has always tried to downplay the impact of drugs. And we have always had relatively light sentences for convicted drug dealers. I feel it is time to change that paradigm. It is time to start treating drug dealers like the murderers they are. MAYBE it will stop some of them, or at least take them out of the population when they are caught.

funkdaddy's avatar

How would you feel if someone was out there just selling guns to people? Think it would be a victimless crime? Think we should treat that person as a minor offender?

This is a joke, right? You’ve been to a gun show.

zenvelo's avatar

@seawulf575 ”...How would you feel if someone was out there just selling guns to people? Think it would be a victimless crime? Think we should treat that person as a minor offender?

That has been the national policy for the last 25 years.

Jeruba's avatar

Letting a vindictive bully decide who dies under the law is sheer madness. Making it about drugs is a powerful distraction. Look how many are distracted already by talking about it as a drug question.

Once you start making your definitions—such as the definition of murder—as elastic as that, a case can be made against pretty much anyone you want. You don’t have to win the case and carry out the sentence in order to ruin a person’s life; just get him or her behind bars and spending his life and resources trying to get out. Out of your hair then, aren’t they?

seawulf575's avatar

@funkdaddy and @zenvelo You can try being obtuse, but you know what I mean. Yes, there are pharmacists that sell drugs as well. You know perfectly well that I meant illegal gun sales in just the same form as illegal drug sales. And both of you want to try making gun sales this horrible thing, but you really just make my point. I identified that heroin/opioids have killed more than guns and autos combined and you STILL try to make guns worse. I understand you really have no constructive comments about my post but you don’t like what I say so you have to pick SOMETHING to criticize.

seawulf575's avatar

@Jeruba we have seen that doesn’t work. In fact, depending on who is president, the criminals don’t even need to lift a finger to be let out. Remember Obama releasing thousands of them? Wanna bet those people went back to their old ways and caused deaths in the process? The point isn’t that Obama was a schmuck…the point is that what we have been doing isn’t working and to keep doing it and expect a different result is the definition of insanity.
Normally I would agree that I don’t like toying with rules…it does open the door to abuse of power by the government and God knows we have enough of that. We have already seen much of that in the past few years. Remember the drive to make anyone that questioned the official Climate Change narrative guilty of serious crimes against humanity? How about the push to outlaw conservative viewpoints as being hate speech? All examples of the government using their power to find people guilty of nothing more than voicing an opinion that the sitting powers didn’t like. But to continue to look at drug dealers as minor criminals is lunacy.

Jeruba's avatar

@seawulf575, were you under the impression that I was defending drug dealers?

The fact that actual drug criminals may be let out doesn’t change the case that political prisoners may not be. One has nothing to do with the other. And what we’re talking about here is that the potential for abuse escalates greatly when you loosen your definitions of crimes.

gorillapaws's avatar

Pharmaceutical CEO’s would probably want to get generous life insurance policies…

But let’s be real, this isn’t about preventing drug deaths, it’s about executing brown people.

flutherother's avatar

The US has a bigger opioid problem than any other country in the world and a half of all opioid deaths involve prescription opioids approved by a doctor. Is Trump planning to execute these doctors?
Trump’s policies themselves are like inappropriately prescribed opioids.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@seawulf575 once again, the opioid epidemic and gun violence are both out of control for the same basic and irrefutaable reason. It’s about supply. The gun situation surpasses opioids in this ONLY because virtually EVERY gun employed in killing folks was legally manufactured and intially legally sold. The dope epidemic destroys the gun lobby argument around the laughable idea that people can be relied on to act responsibly with lethal shit all around them. Sure, most of us escape the urge to “shoot up” with either guns or dope, but failure to shut off the tap guarantees carnage. It is in allowing the excess manufacture and distribution of both items, that we are guaranteed future booms in the mortuary business.

filmfann's avatar

I am alarmed by everything he says.
Arm the teachers.
Mexicans are killers and rapists.
If you’re famous, women let you grab them by the pussy.
Let’s take the guns first, then make it legal after.

How can anyone think this man isn’t destroying the country?

stanleybmanly's avatar

And employment of the death penalty is is a worthless exercise in stemming EITHER epidemic. You can throw whatever legislation you choose in front of the profit motive, but as those engaged in either trade fully appreciate, the risks are worth it compared to the grinding implications of being broke in America.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Guns don’t get you high or are addictive. There is no comparison.

ragingloli's avatar

What is the lethal dose for bullets?
I would rather have the death penalty for gun merchants.
To be applied retroactively, of course.

kritiper's avatar

Not one bit.

flutherother's avatar

As a believer in civilisation I would not want to take such a step towards barbarity.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Just more distraction, like @seawulf575 dragging Obama into this thread. I would add that an article I read this morning sited the CDC as reporting 42,000 deaths from opiods in 2017. So. If his number of 50,000 in 2016 is factual, then the deaths have decreased, not “skyrocketed.” Likely he is regurgitating more conservative propaganda. Got to make up excuses for trying to hurt the impoverished, and the minorities.

I don’t doubt that Trump likes the idea. I just don’t see it gaining any realistic support.

I would add that alcohol is a drug, so I don’t know where that would fall. It’s still all a self control issue. Nobody is forcing these people to buy fentanyl, or heroin, after they run out of pain pills. A lot of judgement has to go on to inject yourself with a substance you can’t really identify, properly dose, or control with a syringe/needle that you also know nothing about.

Eat a handful of Tylenol, and you’ll be dead in a few days. Drink any number of chemicals in your home, and bye bye. People are dying taking selfies too, but phones are still legal.

Absolutely no strategy has proven to be effective in stopping illegal drugs. Unless you count legalizing alcohol.

funkdaddy's avatar

official numbers regarding opioid deaths

About 60% of overdoes are from prescription drugs, which we already have records of who produces, prescribes, and distributes those in what numbers.

Time might be better spent improving those systems.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly Let me get this straight…then you are FOR Trump building the wall to help keep drugs out of this country?

seawulf575's avatar

@MrGrimm888 Your source for 2017 data? I haven’t been able to find any actual numbers, just trend predictions. I’d love to see your source.

seawulf575's avatar

@flutherother I tend to agree with you. However, the civility of our nation is fading quickly. Take a look around and show me where it is getting better. We have tried dealing with drug addiction at the addict level. That hasn’t worked. We have tried arresting dealers, but are starting to view them as minor offenders. Yet the product they deal kills thousands every year. And really, there is no rehabilitating them…we have seen that proven true again and again. The recidivism rates are high…about 77% for drug related criminals. So we have criminals that don’t fear the punishment if they are caught. They repeat the crimes when they get out. It kills thousands of people. What would suggest as the method of changing this cycle?

stanleybmanly's avatar

@ARE you kidding me The comparison is in the death rate from either being clearly out of control. And those rates reflect the surplus in the manufacture and distribution of both.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@seawulf575 Do you recall Patton’s quote on fixed fortifications? The drugs will come, wall or no wall, and the same goes for the people. But the scourge nowadays is from prescription drugs legally manufactured HERE in ridiculous quantities far exceeding LEGAL demands (just like the guns). The results in either case are all too predictable.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 You should read up on the Dunning–Kruger Effect “the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias wherein people of low ability suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is.”

Then do a little fucking research about how the drug war has disproportionately affected minorities before using a data point of 1 and then generalizing to the entire population. Also, look into how punishment is a poor deterrent for most crimes. A sincere best wishes for your daughter.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly But I’m confused. Didn’t you just say that you don’t want to punish people but that we need to block the supply? If you look at the data that @funkdaddy provided, you will see that there are a large majority of deaths due to heroin and fentanyl which is being combined with heroin these days. In fact, if you look at the data, prescription opioids are about a third of the deaths while heroin and fentanyl account for most of the rest. A few thousand to methadone. So what you are trying to say now is that you don’t care to try to stop the supply of heroin, you just want a vendetta against big pharma. So you spout off about “stop the supply” and then argue “don’t waste the time trying to stop the supply”. Make up your mind, man. Or are you just being pathetic and going with “Why try?”

seawulf575's avatar

And in fact, @gorillapaws, here’s a little research for you to chew on:

I don’t see opioid addiction as a mainly black thing. It is mainly white. And I would venture to say that most of the dealers are white. So stop acting like a hurt little child and grow up. You don’t see me making excuses for why it should be okay for white people to get away with crimes. Maybe you should stop trying to say the system is rigged and start working on keeping black people out of trouble. If they don’t commit the crimes they won’t do the time. Even Martin Luther King Jr said similar statements. Blacks can’t wait for others to make things right for them…they have to take it upon themselves through education and integrity to turn things around. That really goes for people of all race…not just blacks.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 I think it’s pretty clear who is behaving childishly. Punishment is actually a very poor deterrent for crime.

I think you could benefit from going to college. It might really open your mind to all of the research out there. A lot of things that seem “obvious” from “common sense” actually turn out to be false. I took a very enlightening Sociology course on the correctional system and what is/isn’t effective for reducing crime. Also see Portugal, Why Hardly Anyone Dies from a Drug Overdose in Portugal.

flutherother's avatar

The main reason for the opioid problem is over prescription of pain killers leading to addiction. As the above article shows many heroin addicts started off on prescribed opioid pain killers, murdering those who supply their addiction is not a civilised or sensible response.

Appropriate health care is not available to many in the US and if a health plan won’t cover expensive physiotherapy for back pain ( for example) the quick and easy solution for the doctor is to prescribe a pain killer.

There is also pressure on doctors from drug companies trying to promote their products and pressure from patients who have seen glossy advertisements for miracle drugs that are no more than opioid painkillers.

seawulf575's avatar

Yes @gorillapaws we do see who is behaving childishly. And arrogantly. You assume to know much about me yet know nothing. I have been through college. I’ve been in the military. I work hard and have earned everything I have without the benefit of playing a race card. I have not once focused on race…until you did. Let me help you here:

He was spot on. But people like you have gone against his charge to you. Read page 3 to learn.

As for Portugal let me let you in on a little secret: we have tried stuff like that in this country. Guess what? It didn’t work. The county I live in, along with neighboring counties for instance stopped incarcerating addicts and referred them for treatment. The addict would get picked up and would spend a day in jail before going to the court and being sentenced to rehab treatment. What was happening was that the addicts would be back out on the street and nothing was changed. They continued to use, they continued to overdose and they continued to be put back out on the street. Why does it work in Portugal and not here? That would be a good question. The problem is that for rehab to work, the addict has to want it to work. Unless they hit that point, it is useless. Want some insight? Go attend a Nar-anon meeting. Those are the meetings for the families of addicts. The stories are all the same…child starts using drugs, eventually ends up on heroin, robs and steals from their family, the family tries to help and things get worse. Eventually the family boots the child to the curb and either the child realizes they hit rock bottom and actually seek help, or they die. That is the story. That is how heroin addiction works in this country.
But what am I saying…I only have lots of first hand experience and that can’t compare with something you read somewhere, can it?

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 Maybe you should go back to college and take some different classes, I recommend courses on Earth Science, Sociology and Critical Thinking. I think you might come away from the experience like a child figuring out Santa isn’t real and that a lot of the sources of “news” and “information” you are getting, are actually awful and full of shit. See Ralph Peters quitting Fox News for being a Propaganda Machine.

The decriminalization of Marijuana seems to be very effective in Colorado and elsewhere. Decriminalization takes the money out of the equation as well as reduces the variability in quality, which is a big reasons for overdosing.

As far as race goes, I hate to break it to you, but black people are arrested at a disproportionately higher rate than white people. Prosecutors are twice as likely to pursue mandatory minimum charges for black offenders than white. The death penalty is being applied in a manner that is racist. For example in GA:

“22% of black defendants who kill white victims are sentenced to death;”
“3% of white defendants who kill black victims are sentenced to death.”

This pattern exists in many other states. If drug trafficking ever gets punished with the death penalty, I’d be willing to bet a kidney that it would disproportionately be used against black people. MLK would agree with me if he were alive to read the same data that everyone else has access to.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

Under federal law sale of 1000 kg or more used to provide for 10 years to life/death penalty. I just looked at NORML and it now just says 10 years to life plus a $1,000,000 fine. Sales to a minor or within 1,000 feet of a school, youth center, or other protected areas result in doubled penalties. And, if you are a repeat offender or convicted of trafficking, you may also face increased penalties and mandatory minimums.

The president mentioning the death penalty for trafficking doesn’t scare me since I didn’t know it wasn’t still in the law. You obviously haven’t been acquainted with the law. I don’t know what he said specifically and which drugs he was talking about.

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws If you believe any of the news outlets are anything other than a propaganda machine you are childish. As for the decriminalization of marijuana, it has also brought on issues. Look up Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome. Yep, health impacts to marijuana and yes, they have gotten worse since the legalization. But don’t let that stop you from being blind due to the propaganda machines.
As for race, yep, blacks are caught more than whites. Could it be targeting by the cops? Possibly. But maybe what you need to look at too is…were those arrested committing crimes? The answer is most likely a huge yes in all cases. Were they repeat offenders? Again, given recidivism rates, the answer is Most Likely. So maybe what you need to spend your energies on instead of crying discrimination is to work with blacks to have them follow what MLK suggested. Stop committing the crimes. You would find that if they stopped committing crimes, they would stop getting arrested. If they stopped getting arrested, the trend would change. It’s amazing what a little personal responibility will do and how little whining will do.

stanleybmanly's avatar

For 30 or more years the only visible effect of the war on drugs has been that war’s proclivity toward stuffing the nation’s prisons with black folks. If there is anything positive to the current speed/opioid blight it is that it dispells the myth that drug abuse is the domain of black folks and jazz or rock musicians.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@seawulf575 so that’s the problem-personal responsibility? That was the mantra doled out to BLACK folks assigned to generating record profits for the prison cartels. The moment it was understood that those black inmates were being rapidly displaced by middle class white folks, the tune shifted from personal responsibility to “treatment” as the white criminals acquire the status of “drug VICTIMS”

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly you seem to think I am saying that whites should be treated differently or that the punishments should be different. They shouldn’t. You do the crime you should do the time. But if you to the crime and then complain because you have to do the time, you become a whiner. And if you do the crime and try to show how doing the crime is somehow racist against you? That is wrong on every level. Did the blacks that got arrested do so because they broke the law? Yes. Let’s stop at that. If they didn’t do that crime, they wouldn’t be arrested and there would be no large number of blacks in prison. But until blacks are willing to hold each other accountable to follow the law and not be criminals, the trend will continue.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@stanleybmanly Overdose deaths outpace gun deaths by several orders of magnitude and that gap is increasing.

funkdaddy's avatar

Factbot helping out:

Total US drug deaths in 2016 (from the link above) = 64,070
Total gun-related deaths in the US in 2016 (quick link here) = 38,000

Order of magnitude – a class in a system of classification determined by size, each class being a number of times (usually ten) greater or smaller than the one before.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@seawulf575 .

“until the blacks are willing to hold each other accountable to follow the law and not be criminals, the trend will continue.”

Spoken like a true Trumper. Appalling, yes. Surprising, no. Your kind are why I have given up hope for a third of the country. It’s quite pathetic how someone who thinks they are morally superior to most, would make such statements. I wonder what your god thinks of you… If I were him, I’d be shamed by your words. It’s sad that you aren’t…

seawulf575's avatar

@MrGrimm888 And it is statements like the one you just made that make me weep for the future. You are against people actually holding themselves accountable. I can’t do it for them. If I even suggest they do it then I am branded a racist or accused of thinking I am morally superior. Let me ask…are there high crime rates in black neighborhoods? Please, enlighten us all. Go ahead…tell me they are low crime areas and that it is all love and flowers there. Go ahead and tell me how it’s all white peoples fault that blacks prey on blacks and blacks kill blacks. Go ahead. Now, unless you have something actually intelligent to provide other than personal attacks, I will bid you good night.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)
MrGrimm888's avatar

^There isn’t enough time in the day to even begin to delve into why your comment is ridiculous, and full of ignorance. I pity you. I’m glad you show your true colors though. It makes my case about Trumpers. It galvanizes everything negative anyone has ever said about current conservatives. Thanks.

stanleybmanly's avatar

ARE you kidding me Of course overdose deaths outpace firearms homicides, a big clue to the fact that drugs are more plentiful than guns. The point is that there will be no decline in deaths from either with the expansion of supply or the reduction in the expense to acquire either product. And as has been consistenly demonstrated in the drug business, no factor competes with availability of the product when it comes to drug death tolls. Common sense would dictate that the same would hold true for guns, only the decline in gun deaths (unlike drugs) would lag significantly behind restrictions in availability.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Or it could be that drugs are addictive and I wonder how many gun related deaths are actually related to drug activity…

stanleybmanly's avatar

@seawulf575 Your position is that prisons bulge with black inmates because they are criminals. And then you suggest “let’s stop at that.” And THAT is the simplistic pile of crap responsible for those outlandish numbers. While even you insist that blacks shouldn’t be treated any differently than whites, the fact is that they ARE at every stage in the criminal justice system , with the cumulative effect that black men pile up in the jails. You sir have bought the ruse behind a system ENGINEERED to incarcerate black men, then insist that the numbers of black men in jail reflects their criminal tendencies. What those numbers clearly reflect is outright bias at every step in the criminal justice system, from who gets stopped, to who gets charged, to who gets convicted.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^Black men should hold themselves accountable, and stop diving in front of cop’s bullets while unarmed…

@stanleybmanly . You’re wasting your time. @seawulf575 and his kind would never admit their privilege, or the numerous problems with the system. As long as it benefits him, and hurts those he dislikes or doesn’t understand, he’ll find a way to validate it.

seawulf575's avatar

@MrGrimm888 in other words…you really have no response so all you will do is make personal comments. Pretty much cements my feelings about liberals. When questioned with direct questions that they know the right answer to, they will dodge because the truth hurts their little fantasy lands.

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly Are the blacks in jail there because they committed crimes? Yep. At what point do you hold them accountable for their criminal behavior? I suggest that whites should be treated just the same. If you are going to commit crimes, you ought to be punished for it. Playing a race card should not be an option. And here’s a thought…if the blacks didn’t commit the crimes, they wouldn’t be arrested and wouldn’t be bulging the walls of the prisons. To “corrupt” justice system would have to find someone else to target. You know…the others committing crimes. I’m not supporting the justice system, but I am not saying that criminals shouldn’t be incarcerated because they are black. Is that really what you are suggesting? That we should start considering race when it comes to incarcerating prisoners? Hell man, why don’t we just stop arresting blacks altogether. That would be the solution, wouldn’t it? We just pull the cops out of predominately black neighborhoods with orders to not accept 911 calls to those neighborhoods. Would that satisfy you? Then we could make sure the blacks don’t go to jail. Yeah! That’s the solution.

seawulf575's avatar

@ragingloli the Vox version is pretty one-sided. Go to one of the Sacramento websites to see the actual body cam and helicopter footage. It tells a slightly different story. @MrGrimm888 maybe if you actually did some research into the issue you would see that the cops didn’t just see some random black guy and shoot him. The police helicopter saw him breaking windows in cars which is the call the cops were in the area responding to. He was committing the crime. Then, when the cops saw him he ran. And when they shouted for him stop he ran through the backyard and then turned and started coming towards them with something in his hands. It was dark and adrenaline was high and he got shot. It is a tragedy.
Now, let’s back up to the beginning….he was committing a crime. If he weren’t committing a crime, the cops would not have been there at all. When they told him to stop, if he had stopped, the worst he would be in trouble for was vandalism, maybe petty larceny. Misdemeanors. So where in all this are his actions at fault for what happened? Does he not know that the cops carry guns? No, I’m willing to bet he knows that. So instead of looking at the actions of the criminal, you are looking at the actions of the cops. It is dark, it is not a nice neighborhood, you have a criminal running and then, when cornered, turning on you and pulling something out of his pocket. Should the cops have to wait until one of them is shot to be allowed to shoot back? Does that make sense? Come on, man!
I’ll tell you what…why don’t I give you the same answer I gave @stanleybmanly. Let’s stop sending cops into predominately black neighborhoods. Then we don’t have to worry about arresting them or accidentally shooting them when they commit crimes. That’s the answer, right? Or do you have some other fantasy answer rolling around in your little pea brain? I’m all ears, let’s hear it. Oh wait…I’m asking a liberal to actually give a direct answer to a problem. All you are good for is making personal attacks on those that seem to go against the agenda. But the challenge is out there….please explain in detail how we should handle the black crime issue. Now start crafting your personal attack…..

funkdaddy's avatar

@seawulf575 – so link to the footage that shows the other side… where the police acted properly.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@seawulf575 Of course you hold everyone responsible for their crimes. But there is a very real situation in the “Land of the Free” that doesn’t mesh with anyone’s concept of justice, and once again you make the usual mistake of proposing ridiculous solutions to imply that the idea of raising the matter is itself ridiculous, as if other remedies are out of the question. And believe me, I take great pains in restraining myself from attacking you personally.

stanleybmanly's avatar

There is nothing wrong with holding black people accountable for their crimes. There is something decidedly wrong in holding black people accountable for crimes while granting others a pass. If 80% of the drug convictions are doled out to black folks while they comprise 20% of the population, “they did it” works for me if that population is guilty of 80% of the drug offenses. When that population is responsible for 20% of drug offenses, yet comprises 80% of those imprisoned for such offenses, as a matter of intellectual honesty, I am required to ask “what is this about?” @seawulf575 since you apparently have yet to see fit to ask yourself this question, yet never fail to trumpet your own “fair and balanced” approach to all matters, let me ask you now, what do YOU think that’s all about?

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly I have already stated that I don’t agree with it. I believe that all people should be punished for committing crimes. Remember, I’m the one that thinks it’s okay for the death penalty for drug dealers and the interactions my life has had with drug dealers have almost always had them as white people. I’m certainly not saying that blacks aren’t screwed harder than whites. What I AM saying is that everyone knows that…so why give the system a chance to screw you? If I do a crime and get punished and I feel the system is against me, why in God’s name would I continue to commit those crimes? And then to cry about how the system is rigged? You knew that going into the crime! That’s like getting taken at a 3 card Monte table repeatedly and then complaining that the game is rigged as you go back to play again! Stop the insanity!
And if you have noticed, I’m about he only one on this thread that actually HAS been fair and balanced. I’m not giving anyone a pass because of race, unlike many on here. I’m the one that actually feels that people should be responsible for their actions.

seawulf575's avatar

@funkdaddy go to:

It has body cam footage…17+ minutes leading up to the shooting, the shooting, and the aftermath. It also has helicopter footage. It paints an interesting picture. And I’m not even sure I am saying the cops acted properly. What I am saying is that there is more to it than Vox puts out. The Vox story @ragingloli was citing makes it sound like the cops charged into someone’s backyard and shot the first black person they saw and then let him lie there until he was good and dead before calling for help. And THAT is what’s wrong with so much of this stuff. Someone slants a story WAY to one side and that becomes the truth. Look at Michael Brown as a case in point. His buddy, the one that just robbed the store with him, claimed he was on his knees with his hands in the air when the cop shot him. Just on the surface that sounds really far fetched. And then more witnesses came out that all confirmed the cops story. But by that time there were riots brewing, a bunch of idiots were running around putting their hands in the air as protest, and the cop’s life was entirely ruined. But what was the true story? A thug robbed a store and then was walking up the middle of the street, refusing to get out of the way when the cop was coming up behind him. The cop wasn’t even looking for him…he was going somewhere else. And then Michael Brown attacks the cop while he is still sitting in his car, tries to grab his gun while he is punching him. Then he walks away and when the cop gets out of the car, he charges him again. And he gets shot for his trouble. Now…is that a story that will garner support for blacks? No. And even with confirming witnesses, all of whom were black I might add, we are all supposed to look at the cop as the bad guy and the bad guy as the victim.
Did the cops in Sacramento act improperly? I’m going to let the investigation decide that. I will say the video paints a whole different story, especially with the radio discussions given. If the investigation comes back and says the cops acted improperly for violating some policy of their office, then they acted improperly. If it comes back and says they were justified, then to me it goes down as a tragic event…one that could have been avoided had the shooting victim acted differently.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@seawulf575 . You, like your fellow Trumpers, are too detached from reality.

I have 8 years experience as a LEO. I live in Charleston, SC. Whites are the minority here. I have managed not to shoot any unarmed black people, through thousands of sometimes rough situations. Breaking windows is not a capitol offense. Being black is not a capitol offense. Running, or resisting arrest is not a capital offense.

Putting over 20 rounds in the air, in a neighborhood, is also pretty fucking reckless.

When a helicopter is in the air, the suspect really can’t get away. Adrenaline, and circumstances are no excuse. It comes with the job. You don’t fire your weapon unless you have information. The cops involved didn’t have enough information to open fire. They just knew that it was a black guy. Some white people are just scared of black people. We call it DWS (defenseless whiteboy syndrome.) That’s when a white man is afraid of black guys, because he has no personal experiences with them. His fear of the unknown is what drives his decision making. In many cases, a suspect seems scary to an officer because of his simple ignorance. Those who are exposed to black people, and their culture are far less likely to have issues with black people during an incident. A scared/ignorant officer, with his finger on a trigger, is the common variable in most unarmed shootings.

I KNOW cops in Chicago, and one FBI agent there. They are honest about this. They say that impoverished neighborhoods, are simply given up on. The government simply lets these high crime areas rot. They are deemed lost causes. So crime rates soar, and the civilian population just endures it. They still punish the people that they catch, but do little else. It’s a systematic thing. If neighborhoods are allowed to decend into war zones, because they are poverty stricken, then the civilians there have little chance of thriving.
People living in these areas have higher chances of being pulled over, or stopped by police. They have higher chances of being less educated, being poor, having only one parent, having fewer ways to make a living etc. And white people buy their drugs there, keeping the demand high.

There is MUCH more to the problem than black people simply choosing to be criminals. I don’t expect you to understand. But you don’t have to be part of the problem, by spreading such ignorance.

seawulf575's avatar

@MrGrimm888 At least one of the cops was hispanic so there goes your DWS. As for the rest, you are actually confirming all my statements. You are trying to use the end result as the justification for blaming others. Take those neighborhoods in Chicago as the prime example. The crime in the neighborhoods was going up until it got to the point where the cops stopped going there. But why did the crime go up in the first place? Was it because some white guy made the blacks commit the crimes? No! Was it because the cops were there? No! It was because the blacks in those neighborhoods let it happen. They didn’t stop it. And now you are trying to say that people living in these areas are more likely to be pulled over. Gee….I wonder why. If I was a law abiding citizen in these areas I’d probably be okay with being pulled over.
Look at the scenario you are painting. People (forget race for a minute) start getting lawless. Crime in an area goes soaring. Cops start reacting to where the crime is. And because the cops are looking and the criminals are still committing crimes, it is somehow the cops fault? Or the judicial system? Please.
Are there extenuating circumstances that make it hard to excel? Sure. But it really comes back to personal responsibility and where you put your priorities. I have had two doctors in my life whose parents came to this country from Asian countries and didn’t even speak English. They weren’t doctors or lawyers or engineers or anything like that. But they worked hard and taught their children to not squander the chances they were being given. In one generation, that family went from poor and unable to speak the language of this nation to having the children graduating college as doctors. Where were their priorities? Were they given any more chances than the blacks in these neighborhoods? No. But they recognized that education was vitally important for their children. They recognized that working hard and staying out of trouble was vitally important for their children. And they made sure the children knew these things too. Even MLK recognized these things were important and put it out to blacks. So please…I’m just ignorant….why can’t blacks do this too?

seawulf575's avatar

And, @MrGrimm888, I’m struggling to understand how expecting people to be responsible for themselves is being detached from reality. What is your reality? That it is all the responsibility of society to make things great for people despite what they do? Is it all society’s fault when it doesn’t work? Please…explain how expecting someone to be responsible for their own actions is detached from reality. I’d love to hear it. Oh wait…I know…you will just talk about how ignorant I am or how you pity me or any number of other dodges, but you will not actually answer the questions. To do so will just make you realize how convoluted your brain really is.

funkdaddy's avatar

@seawulf575 – thanks…

I’m wondering your take on that guy deciding there was a gun there before he even seems to get around the corner? Maybe I’m hearing it wrong, but it sure sounds like

<duck back behind corner>

Should police officers be responsible for themselves as well? If you kill someone because you think they have a gun, when they don’t, that sounds like a mistake with consequences. How do you balance that?

MrGrimm888's avatar

@seawulf575 . MLK was killed before drugs like crack, and meth were a thing. Because these things are illegal, a black market developed. Street corners became places of business. Impoverished areas are always hit the hardest. They are places with a population that can eek out a check to check existence, or actually get ahead by selling the illegal drugs that people come into their neighborhoods looking for. Simple supply and demand. With police letting such areas fester, they grow worse, and worse.
There are a multitude of reasons that the deck is stacked against such communities. Starting points, government policies, poor educational systems, government programs, employment opportunities, tax systems etc all put these people at a disadvantage. For instance, a person with a “black” sounding name is proven to have a disadvantage to a equally qualified person who has a non-black name on a resume…

Expecting people to be responsible for themselves. That’s not the job of a community. Not in regards to crime. That is what taxes are supposed to be for. The taxes are supposed to provide police protection, infrastructure, education etc. All those things are in short supply/poor quality in impoverished areas. Poverty is the issue. Look at any community, in any place in America. It doesn’t matter what ethnicity is in the majority. If there is poverty, there are higher crime rates. The worse the poverty, the higher the crime.
The US largely ignores impoverished areas. Yet it just gave tax breaks to the wealthy…

Detached from reality.

When you think it’s just a matter of people being accountable, and working harder, and things will just fix themselves. Not how life works. Not in reality. If that were the case, rich people should have just worked harder, and not got any new tax breaks. But they got help from the government. Neighborhoods with walls and private security aren’t examples of the community being accountable. They don’t have high crime rates because resources are used to keep the crime down. Resources that impoverished areas haven’t been allocated.

Law abiding citizens getting pulled over, and having no reason to be worried. That’s just it. Unarmed, innocent black people get shot to death sometimes. The possibility of being potentially killed, in a routine traffic stop is a reality for the black community. It’s a reasonable fear. But is that a reasonable reality? I don’t think so.

Is it society’s responsibility to make things better? Yes. In America, that’s what we pay taxes for. Realistic employment opportunities, law enforcement, and affordable housing are things our politicians are supposed to provide to ALL citizens. Neighborhoods full of dollar stores, liquor stores, and gas stations don’t provide the things necessary for a healthy community to thrive.

Ah. The immigrants. The rapists, and criminals here just to get on welfare. I like how they are all of a sudden hard working doctors, now that your argument calls for it. Yes. They have more of an advantage, over the impoverished. It does take money to move here from Asia by the way. Transportation alone costs more than what many poor people make in months. And a couple of people, or a family of immigration starting from scratch, isn’t the same as a family that has been impoverished for generations. There’s really not a good comparison there.

Yes. Education, and staying out of trouble are important. That’s what is at the root of these impoverished areas staying downtrodden.

When a community is ignored by it’s government, and not protected by the police, what do you know, it doesn’t do well…

And by the way. I think I’m pretty aware of how convoluted my brain is. But even I have sense enough to see what’s really going on. It’s easy to see, if you open your eyes…

I hope I covered some of the big stuff here. There’s a lot more aflicting the poor. It’s cyclic, and it’s because of the way the government treats the poor.

seawulf575's avatar

@MrGrimm888 There is some truth to it being about how the government treats the poor. That’s what entitlements are for…to keep the poor dependent and poor. They are designed to be a way of life and not a helping hand. But not a way of life that will get you anywhere other than at the bottom.
As for the immigrants, I am not stating that all immigrants are suddenly doctors. I have never even come close to stating that. And the fact that you try to reword it that way shows you don’t have an answer and that you know I am right. I used the cases as an example of how a family can set their priorities and in one generation go from dirt poor to a graduating doctor. It does take drive and it does take determination and it does take sacrifice. But it can be done. But let’s make it even simpler. Let’s say the family isn’t going to get a doctor in one generation. How many of the poor blacks in this country are even putting out a generation that is better than the one before it? Is crime going up or down? Is drug use going up or down. Is incarceration going up or down? So don’t tell me that they are just helpless…they aren’t taking the necessary steps to improve things for their families. Public education is not good? Homeschool. Think you aren’t smart enough? There are plenty of resources on line that can help. Don’t have a computer? Go to the library. Can’t get a job that will let you move out of the poor neighborhood? Then work two jobs. There are always things that can be done.
Here’s another piece of my history…Dad had a nervous breakdown when I was about 10. We were not wealthy. Mom worked 3 jobs to try keeping a roof over our heads. And she still pushed we kids to stay out of trouble and do good in school. She set her priorities and worked to them. We knew what her priorities were and we knew why she was so strong about them. She sacrificed a lot for the success of her kids. It can be done if you are willing to try.
Let’s move it to you. Were you given everything growing up? Was your family wealthy? Did they drive you to make something of yourself? Think back on your life and the choices you have made. To go to school or to drop out, to get involved with drugs or to stay/get clean, what career choice you should take….the list goes on and on. Lives are made of decisions. If you aren’t given wealth and you want it, you need to figure out a way to get it. Unfortunately many think drugs is a way to get rich. They make a bad choice because looking at the statistics, there aren’t many rich or retired drug dealers. But that is where the family and the neighborhood needs to pull together. Work together to take back your neighborhoods.
You have an interesting dichotomy going. In one breath you talk about how cops just shoot black people for no apparent reason. Then in the next breath you are saying that cops not being in the neighborhoods is part of the problem. Which is it? Do you want cops involved or not? As a LEO, you have to know that people do squirrelly things all the time. You have to know that there are many protocols you are supposed to follow because people do try to hurt cops. And criminals are more likely to hurt cops than law abiding citizens. So if you are a cop in a really bad neighborhood, are your chances of having a problem greater or lesser than being in a really good neighborhood? So you have to be more on your guard in a bad neighborhood. And if someone starts acting odd or badly, you may not have a lot of time before you could be in real trouble so you have to make quick decisions. That is how things like this event happen.
Now here’s the part you aren’t going to like. The challenge we face today is how to undo all the rhetoric and race-baiting that has been built up in this country over the past 9 years? Yeah, there have been problems for a long, long time, but up until the past 9 years, were cops actually targeted for execution? No. Did we have riots because some thug got shot for attacking a cop? No. What needs to happen is that cops in these impoverished areas need to take extra time to get to know the citizens. Set up meetings to have civil discussions or even just to get to know the citizens as people instead of potential criminals. But that also implies the responsibility of the people to want to change things and to be willing to make the efforts.

Highbrow14's avatar

I think if it came down to him thinking he could up his popularity, or win an election, he would truly go for it. A terrible and flawed idea considering what actually consist of “trafficking” along with the fact I see more prohibition not being a solution to the problems created by prohibition. Though I don’t think it’s a real thing from him. Just a deflection from other true intentions. I mean that will slow down the trafficking but America is a country of smugglers we always have been Sam Adams smuggled tea from the Caribbean and that’s how he funded a lot of what he did. In the long run we’ll never stop smuggling it’s a lost cause. I am not sure.
It’s all bullshit, more derived legislation avoiding the real issues of the people. I always figured if the punishment was bad enough there wouldn’t be as many needing punished. In some cases, in my opinion, drug trafficking is worse than murder. Murderers just end people lives, while some drug traffickers introduce people to a living death that can last for decades. So the meth maggot that introduces the kid to crank with intent of creating a customer is as worthy of lethal injection as a murdering baby raper.

blanche's avatar

Bothers me a lot

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