Question of the Week

About Gene Howington

I write and do other stuff.
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35 Responses to Question of the Week

  1. Anonymously nYours says:

    Since they have the ability to take a persons, life and/orliberty along with property without due process of law… Hell yes, they should be held to a higher standard.

  2. mespo727272 says:

    You give a guy a gun, a badge of authority and the right to meet out life or death decisions on the street under color of law, he’s held to the highest standards.

  3. Anonymously nYours says:

    I was gonna say color… But didn’t want to get called out for being racist….

  4. Anonymously nYours says:

    Kinda of in the same breath…. What the hell is wrong with saying “all lives master” why is this not politically correct?

    Well mespo….

  5. And somewhere, Larry is missing his typo. :mrgreen:

  6. Anonymously nYours says:

    Say what…

  7. I have a raft of horror stories. Also have even more great stories. However, it is the bad apples who taint the whole barrel. I put even more blame on supervisors and administrators who let the bad ones get away with it.

    We have been fortunate here. Chiefs and Sheriff’s with a zero tolerance policy for officers acting out. About this time last year, at the jail where my daughter had worked, a correctional officer lost his temper at an inmate. Picked the inmate up and body slammed him on the cement floor. The inmate was taken to the local emergency room and the CO arrested for assault.

    Some administrators seem to think it will have a negative effect on morale if they don’t ‘stand behind’ their officers. I have news for them. If the good officers…which are most of them….know they won’t be punished or blacklisted for whistle-blowing, morale will actually improve.

  8. That “all lives master” typo was worthy of raff, AY. That’s what I say.

  9. Compare what happened here to this story from RT:

    A Florida prison guard who blew the whistle on abuse lost not only his job, friends and house, but he also broke a secret bond among prison guards which led to years of harassment. The incident involved a mentally ill inmate who had his eye torn out……”

    Rest of the story at the link:
    http://www.rt.com/usa/310420-florida-whistleblower-prison-guard/

  10. And on topic, to the gents who have commented so far, I’m sure it is no surprise I’m in the “higher standard” camp.

  11. AY,
    That is why I don’t have a smart phone or fish. I don’t want to be outflanked and outsmarted by my phone or a trout.

  12. James Knauer says:

    The situation begins out of balance, and the officer need only be armed with the law.

    It has since escalated to armored vehicles “manned” by the exact opposite sort of person you want serving the public. Accent on the serve part.

    A deep terror struck the police not long after government sanctioned torture told law enforcement all the way down the line anything only slightly less awful than waterboarding was available for rapid deployment to a neighborhood near you to deal with the critical problem and capital offense of being a free citizen.

    No one ever asked the toll it would take on the men — let’s be honest, mostly men, and to an awful degree — who would be asked to do it. The GI Joe schtick wears pretty thin.

    In the interests of complete disclosure, I confess to having attempted waton ballot box stuffing as regards this question in line with my duties as Chief Muckraker of the Spam Brigade. I can report the shields held, and my efforts went to naught. The Muck, however, remains of unfathomable depth… anyone who has managed a spam filter knows of what I speak.

  13. rafflaw says:

    It was my kind of typo!😀

  14. Anonymously nYours says:

    Well Raff,

    We all serve lesser gods…..at one time or another….

  15. bron98 says:

    How many people voted?
    How many were at the left end of the spectrum and how many people on the right end of the spectrum? The political spectrum.

    I personally think a higher standard is appropriate.

  16. Besides, what difference does it make? The question is to what standard of behavior should armed first responders be held to? Where would you put someone who is a social liberal and fiscal conservative? Or a socially conservative fiscal socialist?

    Labels are totally misleading. I don’t know anyone who can be neatly pigeonholed into a single category.

  17. bron98 says:

    social liberal and fiscal conservative…
    They call that an objectivist.

    socially conservative fiscal socialist…
    Probably a fascist. Although you know me I love to mix.

    I and not so sure that would be useless, it would be interesting to see the breakdown.

  18. bron98 says:

    I guess you have to define fiscal conservative. I’m sure there are socialists who are fiscally conservative. So maybe you are right.

  19. bron98 says:

    How about that Donald Trump, what a guy, he is talking some ship. The Republican Party is shipping itself over what he is saying. This is going to be a very fun election. I can’t wait to hear what he says next, who will he bash? What sacred cow will he gore next?.

  20. bron98 says:

    Gene:

    You never know, statistics is a pretty powerful tool. I used to use it for calculating construction manpower requirements and also to determine lost time accidents. It worked pretty well for both.

    • The problem here is junk data in. That hinders a lot of statics of this kind. Self-selection only works if it is both truthful and accurately describes. One may not self-identify according to proper definitions either purposefully or from accident or ignorance.

  21. Oro Lee says:

    Off topic, but I don’t want to pass on the opportunity. Mea Culpa.

    Here’s what is wrong with “All Lives Matter.” They don’t, at least not in American jurisprudence. “Whiteness” is a property right from which white privilege springs. This is institutionalized racism. Instead of acknowledging and responding constructively to institutionalized racism, benefactors of privilege adopt a colorblind stance — such as “All Lives Matter”.

    The colorblind stance — the refusal of the privileged to acknowledge and constructively respond to institutionalized racism — is racism. Of course all lives matter, but when used as an aid in perpetuating institutionalized racism, “All Lives Matter” is a racist statement.

    The “All Lives Matter” statement is obviously a response to “Black Lives Matter”. What the privileged fail to recognize is that the final word of “Black Lives Matter” is not explicit but is readily understood by those who proclaim it: Black Lives Matter, Too. The full import is that Black Lives matter just as much as White Lives.

    Only they don’t, not in America.

    Cheryl I. Harris, WHITENESS AS PROPERTY, 106 Harv. L. Rev. 1707 (1993)

    Natsu Taylor Saito, RACE AND DECOLONIZATION: WHITENESS AS PROPERTY IN THE AMERICAN SETTLER COLONIAL PROJECT, Harv. Jnl. on Racial & Ethnic Justice (forthcoming 2015)

  22. Oro Lee says:

    Gene.

    I’ve a college age daughter presently marooned in that part of the world. She’s a girl of color. And and activist. And I, hr totally white daddy who has very much lived the privileged life, fear for her. This is the only way I know to fight back. Something about having a stake in the game that grabs one’s attention.

  23. Anonymously nYours says:

    Oro,

    What about police accuracy in firing a weapon. Should it be a race issue or human rights issue or do you care?

  24. Oro Lee says:

    I don’t catch your drift, AY — for me, racism is a human rights issue. If you (a very generic “you”) shoot a person of color in a similar situation where you would not shoot a white person, it is a race issue and therefore a human rights issue.

    Your question is actually one about “accuracy.”

    For me there is a difference between “police firing a weapon” and “police accuracy in firing a weapon.” The issue in the first is whether use of deadly force is justified; The issue in the second is whether such force was appropriately deployed.

  25. Anonymously nYours says:

    Oro,

    Exactly the point. See Tennessee v Garner….. First is deadly force to be used, but primarily this question should be asked first, is the LEO qualified to possess a weapon. This may come as a surprise to you, but more than 60% of LEO agencies do not have a minimum qualification standard. In almost every Sheriff Department the Sheriff does not have to possess a handgun license or qualification. Almost every Police Department Chief is appointed, so the mayor or city counsel set up the qualifying aspects.

    I did a study for the Dof CR a number of years ago on the exact topic. People don’t realize that bubba gets elected to office and bubba gets to hire anyone they want to, with or without qualification for the job. To me, race should not play a role, human rights, are at stake. A LEO has the right to deprive you of life and liberty with a single shot.

    One case I was intricately involved with 32 officers shot 145 rounds of ammunition, only striking the dead one twice. What the hell happened to the other 143 bullets?

    And they say gang warfare is dangerous….

  26. AY,
    Obviously, the Celtic Lassie was not doing the shooting in the case you describe. Our occasional commenter, ‘Yankee Farmer,’ examined one of her targets where she put seven consecutive rounds though the same hole. His reaction? He said, “I sure as hell don’t want you shooting at me.”

    We had many conversations about decisions to fire or not. One of the deputies at her department was shot in the face at close range by an alcohol-fueled enraged guy with a .308 deer rifle. Her friend survived, thanks to the skill of a great medical team. As she told Brandi, the man was about to shoot the Lieutenant, but when he turned to shoot her, it gave the Lieutenant just enough time to take him out with one shot.

    Brandi said she had no idea if she would be able to bring herself to use deadly force. She admitted it would be easier to fire if another person was in danger, than if it were her.

    But you are right about training. Minimum does not mean proficient. I recall one sheriff in Mississippi who had been convicted of felony domestic violence. Under law, he was not allowed to carry a firearm, yet he was elected. Go figure. In that case, I believe the Feds and state AG office got involved and he was removed from office.

  27. Anonymously nYours says:

    That is exactly my point Chuck. When it all boils down to the core, black, white, Hispanic, Italian etc….. Every life matters…. Because if they did better training of officers and required a minimum qualification for LEOs to possess a weapon, I think the results in a lot of the “Race” shootings would not happen.

    In Michigan, the State Troopers are of an elite class. Not only must they have there house in order, they must be degreed and pass numerous psychological exams. It is my understanding that they not only conduct them before hire, while at the academy and every couple of years after being hired. They are scheduled just as regularly as urine drops. You don’t know when your day is going to be called.

  28. Oro Lee says:

    AY, I am in agreement with your sentiments, but no — I’m not surprised by lack of training or certification of LEOs. When a major political party and a large group of Americans hate government and refuse to adequately fund it, s— happens. I have some stale statistics which probably hold true in this stale economy that the typical LEO was unemployed for well over a year before applying for a law enforcement position.

    In common negligence cases the ultimate question is what a reasonably prudent person would do in the same or similar situation. In med-mal it is what would a reasonalby prudent doctor do in a same or similar situation. Since the defendant doctor is licensed, the reasonably prudent doctor with whom s/he is to be compared will be presumed to be reasonably trained..

    With LEOs the question, at a minimum, should be what a reasonably prudent and reasonably trained LEO would do in a like or similar situation. I hope this is what we mean when we speak of heightened standard of care for LEOs.

    BTY, I intend to use “s/he” as the no-gender-identified, singular, third person pronoun. I encourage others to do the same.

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