Jump to content

IPBoard Styles©Fisana

Photo

St. Louis/Ferguson Riots


  • Please log in to reply
49 replies to this topic

#31 Jasi

Jasi

    Hooray for Zoidberg!

  • Members
  • 2,348 posts
  • Location:NYC
  • Gender:Female
  • United States

Posted 23 August 2014 - 05:29 PM

You're implying that lethal force is the only solution when you say that you can't conceive of anything else they could have done. Again the cops in this video clearly already have the upper hand. They have a car, there are two of them, they have guns, they do have tasers (look it up), they have batons. On the other side, one mentally ill dude with a knife who honestly was not even posturing to attack and hadn't attacked anyone. He was taunting them at best. They could have tased him. They could have used a baton. They could have used pepper spray. They could have gotten back in the car if they really felt that threatened. They could have talked to him like he was a human being capable of reason.

 

Cops have to deal with people with knives all the time. They don't all get killed within 20 seconds of the cops first encountering them. I firmly believe they should try several other things before resorting to lethal force. You and the cops both need to think more seriously about what death and murder means.



#32 Selena

Selena

    Odinsdottir

  • Admin
  • 17,867 posts
  • Location:Behind you.
  • Gender:Female
  • Sweden

Posted 23 August 2014 - 05:38 PM

Did anyone actually say this?

 

 

 

No. That statement wasn't meant to be accusatory, if it came out that way. I was just saying.

 

 

Did you see a fucking taser? How do you know they even had one?

 

 

 

Police are typically issued tasers and guns. If these police officers were not issued tasers, then that in itself is a problem to be corrected. Officers should always have non-lethal options, as they do in other countries. Police departments around the country have issues with budget priority -- they're shelling out money for armored trucks when they should be shelling out money for tasers and dash cams.

 

The rule is not "kill or be killed" in law enforcement. If a department presents its officers with only two options -- shoot to kill, or stand there -- then the department is not outfitting their personnel properly. Training is also an issue.

 

Tasers can miss, but so can guns. Pepper spray is also ideal to have on your person, should either taser or gun fail.

 

 

 

A guy with a knife is threatening. So is a big unarmed guy walking toward you in a rage. But it's not threatening to the point of shooting him repeatedly with lethal rounds. This is a situation that could have easily been solved with non-lethal means. Same with Michael Brown. And Trayvon Martin. And anyone else who got gunned down for being threatening somehow. All of those situations could have been easily handled with non-lethal equipment. But people are wrongfully fixated on lethal force as the ideal solution.



#33 Oberon Storm

Oberon Storm

    And so it begins.

  • Members
  • 3,212 posts
  • Location:San Marcos, TX
  • Gender:Male
  • United States

Posted 23 August 2014 - 05:53 PM

The 18 seconds he had to drop the knife is more than enough time to drop the knife. And while he may not have been "charging" the officer he was clearly approaching them showing no intent of stopping. 

 

Then I am also considering that he stole the soda and just left it sitting on the ground waiting for the police to arrive. That tells me he had some sort of intent. He can also clearly be heard yelling at them to shoot him. If this isn't suicide by cop I don't know what is.

 

As for tasers, not all departments carry them. I don't know about St Louis Police or Ferguson, though. Also, tasers are NOT 100% effective. This particular department even addressed that question. The clothes he was wearing would likely have prevented the probes from making contact with his skin.

 

Also, this and Michael Brown's situation is not at all comparable to Trayvon Martin.


Edited by Oberon Storm, 23 August 2014 - 06:07 PM.


#34 Jasi

Jasi

    Hooray for Zoidberg!

  • Members
  • 2,348 posts
  • Location:NYC
  • Gender:Female
  • United States

Posted 23 August 2014 - 06:15 PM

So if they guy is trying to get the cops to kill him, why is the answer to grant him his request? That doesn't even make sense as a defense. 



#35 Selena

Selena

    Odinsdottir

  • Admin
  • 17,867 posts
  • Location:Behind you.
  • Gender:Female
  • Sweden

Posted 23 August 2014 - 06:40 PM

No weapon is 100% effective. They all have their pros and cons. Tasers may not always work, but that's where batons and/or pepper spray come in. Other police forces can make it work -- so can ours, if they put the effort in. I'm not going to say we should be like Britain and take guns away from our police, save a few officers. But we have too much emphasis on lethal takedowns, especially with minority suspects.

 

Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin are not directly comparable, no, but they are tied together. Both involved a controversial "threat," which resulted in a potentially unnecessary lethal killing. No one witnessed Trayvon's actions before his death to confirm or deny that he was being aggressive, while witnesses in Michael Brown's death have conflicting stories about how aggressive he was toward the cop prior to the engagement.



#36 Veteran

Veteran

    Time for adventure!

  • Admin
  • 10,891 posts
  • Location:Yorkshire, UK
  • Gender:Male
  • Falkland Islands

Posted 23 August 2014 - 07:04 PM

Coming from a country with fewer guns, may I ask an uneducated question?
 
How hard is it to shoot someone in the fucking legs?

#37 Oberon Storm

Oberon Storm

    And so it begins.

  • Members
  • 3,212 posts
  • Location:San Marcos, TX
  • Gender:Male
  • United States

Posted 23 August 2014 - 07:08 PM

The difference between Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown are bigger than that. George Zimmerman was not law enforcement. He wasn't a part of any official community watch. Everytime someone called him a crime watch volunteer I wanted to scream. He was also told by police dispatchers not to follow Trayvon. George Zimmerman created his own situation.

 

I guess I am not understanding why the onus is on the police to be sure they have exhausted all other options before anything else. They had to defend themselves and make a split second decision while also taking into account things they may have already noticed such as clothes that would prevent the effectiveness of a taser. Maybe they could have used a baton, but if I am them I'm not going to let him get close enough for that with a knife in his hand. I'm not going to start spraying pepper spray hoping I don't miss his eyes. In my mind these particular officers did not at all act inappropriately.

 

It sucks this guy died when, no, he didn't have to. The idea, though, that he is not at all to blame for his own death is kind of absurd. Just like George Zimmerman, he created his own situation. And police officers deal with these type of situations almost on a daily basis. If I am in their shoes I am making sure I get home to my family at the end of the day.


Edited by Oberon Storm, 23 August 2014 - 07:13 PM.


#38 Jasi

Jasi

    Hooray for Zoidberg!

  • Members
  • 2,348 posts
  • Location:NYC
  • Gender:Female
  • United States

Posted 23 August 2014 - 07:30 PM

Why is the onus on the police to avoid killing people?? A policeman is a public servant. Their job is to protect all people. That crazy guy was not harming anyone. The only violent people in the picture here are the cops. That's what's so messed up about all these situations. Being in dangerous situations is part of the job as a cop. You don't respond to all of them by killing practically on sight.

#39 Selena

Selena

    Odinsdottir

  • Admin
  • 17,867 posts
  • Location:Behind you.
  • Gender:Female
  • Sweden

Posted 23 August 2014 - 08:07 PM

 

The difference between Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown are bigger than that. George Zimmerman was not law enforcement. He wasn't a part of any official community watch. Everytime someone called him a crime watch volunteer I wanted to scream. He was also told by police dispatchers not to follow Trayvon. George Zimmerman created his own situation.

 

 

 

I didn't say they had a ton of similarities. Just one.

 

Training is meant to separate officers from the common rabble, but they're still capable of having irrational fears. I'm not saying that Michael Brown didn't do something wrong, because evidence is conflicting. I know that Zimmerman went and effectively asked for it, especially when he had no business getting involved, but both are capable of having the same irrational fears of young "thuggish" black dudes. That's the only common factor -- potentially irrational racial-based fear. But if you think it's a truly incomparable situation, forget Trayvon. There are plenty of other cases to compare, unfortunately.

 

 

 

As for the video above, I think we're all getting really myopic about just that one case. It's hard to evaluate one case just from a video.

 

But this is a bigger issue than just that one dude getting shot because he wouldn't put a knife down. It's bigger than Michael Brown. It's about the overall use of lethal force by American police forces. And the increasing militarization of those police forces. National crime is down, but police brutality cases aren't dropping at similar rates. Especially now that they're carrying paramilitary gear. We're getting "used" to police taking lethal action against suspects, even for minor issues, and that's a problem.

 

Other countries manage to handle violent crime without use of lethal force. It is possible. And we should be figuring out how to make it happen.

 

 

I guess I am not understanding why the onus is on the police to be sure they have exhausted all other options before anything else.

 

 

 

Great power, great responsibility. Big organizations like law enforcement are meant to have lots of checks and balances and limitations, because it's so easy for corruption to work its way into the system. The code of silence and all that. Police often protect their brotherhood above their oaths.

 

Heavy-handed escalation is what happened in Ferguson. When the police went out with riot gear on those first few nights, the protesters felt threatened and riots broke out. When the police dialed back, so did much of the strife. There are few things that incite unrest more than a heavy-handed police force. 

 

With Ferguson, military vets started chiming in, saying that they had much stricter engagement orders in Iraq. It is something to be concerned about.



#40 Egann

Egann

    The Right Stuff

  • Members
  • 4,169 posts
  • Location:Georgia
  • Gender:Male

Posted 24 August 2014 - 09:14 AM

The difference between Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown are bigger than that. George Zimmerman was not law enforcement. He wasn't a part of any official community watch. Everytime someone called him a crime watch volunteer I wanted to scream. He was also told by police dispatchers not to follow Trayvon. George Zimmerman created his own situation.

 

I guess I am not understanding why the onus is on the police to be sure they have exhausted all other options before anything else. They had to defend themselves and make a split second decision while also taking into account things they may have already noticed such as clothes that would prevent the effectiveness of a taser. Maybe they could have used a baton, but if I am them I'm not going to let him get close enough for that with a knife in his hand. I'm not going to start spraying pepper spray hoping I don't miss his eyes. In my mind these particular officers did not at all act inappropriately.

 

It sucks this guy died when, no, he didn't have to. The idea, though, that he is not at all to blame for his own death is kind of absurd. Just like George Zimmerman, he created his own situation. And police officers deal with these type of situations almost on a daily basis. If I am in their shoes I am making sure I get home to my family at the end of the day.

 

Strange, but I largely agree. In retrospect it's clear it's excessive force, but that's only because we have the advantage of hindsight.

 

Still, it took everyone involved making mistakes to get either of these to become fatal. In Trayvon Martin's case, Zimmerman was perfectly within his rights to pack a gun and talk to Martin. Stupid, but within his rights. Martin was also within his rights to be there...up until he assaulted Zimmerman. If both people had been sensible neither side of the situation would have happened.

 

The Brown shooting is similar. Brown was clearly not thinking clearly to try to assault a cop and the cop wasn't thinking clearly by responding with lethal force when that was no longer necessary. Both people did stupid things to get where they were.

 

 

 

With Ferguson, military vets started chiming in, saying that they had much stricter engagement orders in Iraq. It is something to be concerned about.

 

Yeah, that's kinda the horrifying bit. Pepper spray is actually banned in war, which puts us in the ridiculous standpoint of "using non-lethal force is a war crime, but a .223 bullet to the face is fine." Sensible rules? HA!


Edited by Egann, 24 August 2014 - 09:15 AM.


#41 Oberon Storm

Oberon Storm

    And so it begins.

  • Members
  • 3,212 posts
  • Location:San Marcos, TX
  • Gender:Male
  • United States

Posted 24 August 2014 - 10:21 AM

Why is the onus on the police to avoid killing people?? A policeman is a public servant. Their job is to protect all people. That crazy guy was not harming anyone. The only violent people in the picture here are the cops. That's what's so messed up about all these situations. Being in dangerous situations is part of the job as a cop. You don't respond to all of them by killing practically on sight.

 
I did not see a harmless individual. I see someone with the clear intent to cause harm. There is no reason either of those officers should have waited until the instant just before they get stabbed to take action. They also did not get out of the vehicle and start shooting. They gave the guy every chance in the world. He was the one to decline each opportunity. There was no killing on sight here.

 

 

 

 

As for the video above, I think we're all getting really myopic about just that one case. It's hard to evaluate one case just from a video.

 
But this is a bigger issue than just that one dude getting shot because he wouldn't put a knife down. It's bigger than Michael Brown. It's about the overall use of lethal force by American police forces. And the increasing militarization of those police forces. National crime is down, but police brutality cases aren't dropping at similar rates. Especially now that they're carrying paramilitary gear. We're getting "used" to police taking lethal action against suspects, even for minor issues, and that's a problem.
 
Other countries manage to handle violent crime without use of lethal force. It is possible. And we should be figuring out how to make it happen.
 

I guess I am not understanding why the onus is on the police to be sure they have exhausted all other options before anything else.

 
Great power, great responsibility. Big organizations like law enforcement are meant to have lots of checks and balances and limitations, because it's so easy for corruption to work its way into the system. The code of silence and all that. Police often protect their brotherhood above their oaths.
 
Heavy-handed escalation is what happened in Ferguson. When the police went out with riot gear on those first few nights, the protesters felt threatened and riots broke out. When the police dialed back, so did much of the strife. There are few things that incite unrest more than a heavy-handed police force. 
 
With Ferguson, military vets started chiming in, saying that they had much stricter engagement orders in Iraq. It is something to be concerned about.

 

Like Elven, if we're talking about that bigger picture then I generally agree with you. I have purposely been narrowing my argument to just the one video. The one case. On the larger picture you in particular have already said just about anything I would want to say myself. I fell no real need to add anything to it. Sharpy seems to have posted the video as an example of unwarranted police brutality. I disagree. The video itself is surprisingly clear and unambiguous. I think it pretty much gives us the full context of what happened. No one has argued over the facts. Just how those officers should have handled it.


Edited by Oberon Storm, 24 August 2014 - 10:21 AM.


#42 Doctor Pogo

Doctor Pogo

    mr. wisp

  • Members
  • 510 posts
  • Location:Domesticated
  • Gender:Male

Posted 24 August 2014 - 10:59 AM

NEVER, no matter how much the danger, no matter how intent the criminal, NEVER should a citizen of this country, protected by our constitution, be judged and executed by a representative of the state without a trial. The law is not ambiguous in that area.

 

There are an infinite number of possibilities for how the police officers could have handled this without killing him. The answer is not that they were threatened, it's that they were too lazy to seek an alternate solution.

 

This man was not even in the act of attacking, he could have been talked down. He could have been flanked and physically disarmed. The number of ways this could have ended without death are, again, literally infinite. The action taken by the police was not chosen because it was the only possible choice, it was chosen because it was the most expedient.

 

Besides which, the police possess overwhelming force. There is no such thing as a credible threat against a force that is impossible to defeat. There is no reality in which that situation could have ended with that man walking away victorious. He was never a threat, he never could be a threat. Might he have attacked? Yeah, but there's no possibility he could win if he did. He might have hurt an officer, which would be very bad (and he would spend many years in prison for it). But that's the downside of the job, isn't it? The curse, and risk, of having overwhelming force but using it benevolently is that you can never, ever, ever shoot first. Otherwise, you are no longer serving and protecting, you are occupying, and you have lost any claim to moral authority.

 

This is not how the justice system is meant to work. This person was summarily executed without even being charged with a crime, much less facing trial. The police are not judges or jury members. Their job is not to try or to sentence (or carry out sentences!), their job is to ensure that the person is alive and present to face the judge and the jury. They simply did not do their job in this case.



#43 Jasi

Jasi

    Hooray for Zoidberg!

  • Members
  • 2,348 posts
  • Location:NYC
  • Gender:Female
  • United States

Posted 24 August 2014 - 10:08 PM

I really can't understand why you consider 18 seconds of yelling such a gregarious act on the part of the cops. That's just gonna have to be a point where I cannot see what you are seeing at all. They don't have to wait until they are stabbed to take action. They can take action whenever. They need to not KILL people though. That doesn't need to be an action like at all. That's not the only way of "taking action" and I think it really reflects on America's gun culture that you don't understand that. The only people they protected is themselves, not the public.

#44 Oberon Storm

Oberon Storm

    And so it begins.

  • Members
  • 3,212 posts
  • Location:San Marcos, TX
  • Gender:Male
  • United States

Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:41 AM

I just consider 18 seconds plenty of time to drop whatever weapon you have and stop moving toward the officer. I don't understand why you would need more than that time and clear instructions. He had clear intent to harm. I don't understand how the police are suddenly the bad guys. Had the guy put his hands up  or just struggled a little while being arrested then I can see where they would be in the wrong.

 

But that's not what happened.

 

And I'm sorry. Getting hurt on the job may be a downside of law enforcement, but they shouldn't just let it happen. Getting killed is also a downside. So I guess when it happens we should just let it go as another day on the job. Oh well right?

 

The only overwhelming force these two officers had was their guns. That didn't look like it was stopping this guy at all. Maybe he had PCP in his system. Even if they had pepper spray and managed to get it in his eyes from that far away without him moving to fast out of the way who knows if it would have stopped him. Sure. Let him get closer and put yourself in even more danger. A slash to the throat because he was able to over power both you and your partner is worth making sure the guy trying to kill gets his day in court. It's a chance they should have to take because its part of the job.

 

It's just like firefighting. Yes running into burning homes is dangerous, but firefighters are both trained and equipped. The danger is minimal. There is an incident commander and a safety officer outside monitoring the situation. If things go sideways everyone gets pulled out. Even if there is a family still inside. The firefighter's life is more important than that family. I believe those officer's lives are more important than the guy walking towards them with a knife despite guns drawn and clear instructions to drop the knife and plenty of opportunity to do so. Nothing to do with gun culture. I have no real love for guns. Just respect for those officers and the situation they were called into. The situation the guy created.



#45 Jasi

Jasi

    Hooray for Zoidberg!

  • Members
  • 2,348 posts
  • Location:NYC
  • Gender:Female
  • United States

Posted 25 August 2014 - 10:54 AM

It's just, all these arguments hinge on "well maybe...what if...it could have been..." but if we instead look at what actually did happen, they killed him before he had done any of those things, or not done any of those things. You clearly think that's right, and I don't, the end. I also think it's very likely that it has to do with race that they didn't feel he was worthy of talking down or approaching in a different way besides with guns drawn ready to shoot.

 

Also I wouldn't compare choosing not to throw yourself into a suicidal situation with choosing to shoot someone five times and kill them because you feel threatened. I guess both involve civilians and public servants but that's about where the similarities end. 

 

Also, watch the video again. You seriously think this guy was on PCP and about to attack two cops with guns? I think you're imagining things, because all I see is him walking around taunting, not a Hulk figure ready to charge and slash people. This is also backed up by the fact that he never harmed any of the bystanders all watching and videotaping him. 


Edited by Jasi, 25 August 2014 - 11:00 AM.


#46 Twinrova

Twinrova

    The Fallen

  • Members
  • 14,738 posts
  • Location:Rova Scotia
  • Gender:Female
  • Romania

Posted 25 August 2014 - 11:50 AM

I'd also like to reiterate Vet's point: even if you think shooting the guy is necessary, how hard is it to just shoot to incapacitate and not KILL?



#47 Selena

Selena

    Odinsdottir

  • Admin
  • 17,867 posts
  • Location:Behind you.
  • Gender:Female
  • Sweden

Posted 25 August 2014 - 01:09 PM

In fairness, it's hard to hit someone in the limbs, even with ample firearm training -- because they're relatively small and typically in motion. The easiest and most reliable shot is the torso. Obviously, that can lead to death. Vital organs and such. I don't know if I agree that the "shoot 5+ times" strategy is an ideal one in most cases. Unless someone's tripping on meth or something, one or two shots will usually put someone on the ground long enough to get them cuffed. And with standard 9mm rounds, it won't necessarily result in death.

 

Partly, this has to do with how much value is placed on a suspect's life. Some would say that anyone who willingly breaks the law or threatens law enforcement effectively forfeits their life -- and it's perfectly okay to "shoot to kill." For example, any time local news on Facebook reports a burglary or something, plenty of people state that they would happily shoot the thief's brains out. But if you believe in rehabilitation (since young people do dumb things and make mistakes), then preservation of life takes greater precedence*. 

 

* The effectiveness of US prison systems in rehabilitating criminals being a whole 'nother controversial topic, since a lot of criminals do legitimately learn to be better criminals while in the slammer -- and the for-profit prison setup doesn't help matters.

 

 

 

 

 

And the biggest glaring problem with the "police were in danger, they needed to protect themselves" argument:

 

Non-firearm police in other countries encounter this exact same situation on a regular basis... and they manage both to protect themselves and take down the suspect. What's different about them? It's obviously not an impossible situation to deal with, or British police would be dying left and right from knife-armed lunatics. But they don't. The facts don't add up in the "self-defense" argument.



#48 Oberon Storm

Oberon Storm

    And so it begins.

  • Members
  • 3,212 posts
  • Location:San Marcos, TX
  • Gender:Male
  • United States

Posted 25 August 2014 - 04:43 PM

Also, watch the video again. You seriously think this guy was on PCP and about to attack two cops with guns? I think you're imagining things, because all I see is him walking around taunting, not a Hulk figure ready to charge and slash people. This is also backed up by the fact that he never harmed any of the bystanders all watching and videotaping him. 

 

I meant that as an unknown the police should have to take a chance on. I admit it's a pretty weak argument.

 

 

 

And the biggest glaring problem with the "police were in danger, they needed to protect themselves" argument:

 

Non-firearm police in other countries encounter this exact same situation on a regular basis... and they manage both to protect themselves and take down the suspect. What's different about them? It's obviously not an impossible situation to deal with, or British police would be dying left and right from knife-armed lunatics. But they don't. The facts don't add up in the "self-defense" argument.

 

I also have to admit I have no real argument for this, either.



#49 Doctor Pogo

Doctor Pogo

    mr. wisp

  • Members
  • 510 posts
  • Location:Domesticated
  • Gender:Male

Posted 25 August 2014 - 07:56 PM

You see two cops in a pinch defending themselves. I see them executing a citizen without making even the slightest attempt to resolve the situation peacefully.

 

I think the police have a moral responsibility to always try to resolve the situation peacefully first, no matter how dire the circumstances. And if that fails, they have a responsibility to resolve the situation without death, theirs or anyone else's. My problem with these guys is not that they didn't stand there and let a dude stab them, that's a massive misrepresentation of my argument. My problem is that they went straight to the gun - instead of 'let's get everybody, including us, out of this safely' it was 'obey or die,' and that is too far of a leap, and a failure to perform the basic duties of the job.  Protect and serve, not comply or die.

 

I don't intend to seem callous - if that guy had injured or killed either of those cops, it would be a tragedy, hell would rightfully rain down on him, and if he survived the encounter he would never get out of prison.

 

But being cops means never shooting first, because good guys don't shoot first, no exceptions. It means assuming the risk that goes with never shooting first. Cops are supposed to be the best of us, and that's why, and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect them to act as the best of us. I don't think it's unreasonable to have very high expectations for the on-the-job behavior of people who have the authority to arrest and kill. I wish they were paid better and trained better, too.

 

I think that would really go a long way to help with public mistrust of police, and the unfortunate results of mishandled police actions like this one, and that's to actually invest in the police themselves instead of just equipment and buildings. Pay them very well, recruit better candidates, train them very well, and refuse to compromise on expectations for their behavior.

 

There was a situation very similar to this that went down in another state recently, maybe one of the Carolinas, don't remember. I heard about it briefly on NPR - it didn't cause civic unrest, and there wasn't much in the way of national attention. Why? Because the police acted like police - they did not respond with aggression, relieved the shooting officer of duty, addressed the public about his involvement without making any excuses or casting aspersions on either of the parties, and immediately began a thorough investigation, and when the investigation concluded they charged the officer with voluntary manslaughter. He is currently awaiting trial.

 

The way to return respect to the police is for them to deserve it. Peace officers who resort to deadly force as a first resort are not deserving of respect. They are no longer peace officers. Comply or die is the language of hostage-takers, of occupying forces, of criminals. Peace officers should not be treading that ground.



#50 Egann

Egann

    The Right Stuff

  • Members
  • 4,169 posts
  • Location:Georgia
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 August 2014 - 09:54 AM

The similar situation was when a cop shot a guy two days later in Utah.

 

The news outlet (Washington Post) says that the reason you hear one story and not the other is because of racial bias. Ferguson was a black kid shot by a white cop, while this was a non-white cop and a white kid. I don't think I agree. The black community has always had reasonably strong internal ties, particularly in local areas like Ferguson. There's really no such thing as the white community, at least not in a broad sense. You hear about Ferguson because people are making noise there.

 

This just goes to show what I said earlier in the thread; for better or worse things like this are every day occurrences. It does look a fair bit like police are getting too brutal, but I'm having a hard time drawing what I would call a good, clear line.






Copyright © 2020 Your Company Name