Chuck Nessa

America unleashed

376 posts in this topic

43 minutes ago, JSngry said:

I'm very much in favor of rethinking the very notion of what "law enforcement" looks like in this country. Apparently other people do as well, although they may or may not have a different take on the notion than I do. We'll see.

But, you know, the status quo is no longer sustainable by any means other than an increasingly tyrannical imposition of force on a massive section of the citizenry that ain't no longer smelling what The (Plymouth) Rock is cooking.

I couldn’t agree more. I don’t necessarily agree with defunding; reallocating funds makes more sense. 

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7 minutes ago, Brad said:

I couldn’t agree more. I don’t necessarily agree with defunding; reallocating funds makes more sense. 

I think it also depends on what one really means by defunding.  I'm sure in some advocates' minds it literally means spending nothing on police and everything on social welfare programs.  Which is its own kind of nihilism, since I am quite sure a city with no police force would not really be a place where most people would want to live.

Anyway, in Toronto at any rate, BLM has positioned defunding the police as a minimum 10% cut in the police budget to be reallocated in various ways.  This is something that I could plausibly get behind, though I still think "defunding" is a pretty loaded term that probably does more harm to the cause than gets people thinking about what we could spend the funds on if we did make modest cuts to the police budget.  Also, because it sounds so ambiguous, I'm sure some individual members of BLM insist that they really want cuts of 25% or 50% or more.

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Fact is, there are also bad people in the world who don't wear police uniforms.  Easy to say something doesn't work and we shouldn't have it, harder to say here's a better way to provide the necessary protection.   Has anyone seen any feasible alternatives proposed?  I'm not a fan of vigilante mobs or of everyone having their own gun and protecting their own turf, you know?

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15 minutes ago, felser said:

Fact is, there are also bad people in the world who don't wear police uniforms.  Easy to say something doesn't work and we shouldn't have it, harder to say here's a better way to provide the necessary protection.   Has anyone seen any feasible alternatives proposed?  I'm not a fan of vigilante mobs or of everyone having their own gun and protecting their own turf, you know?

Camden, NJ police seems to be what's on everyone's mind. They reorganized their police department and things seem to have improved.

Here's a link to an article about it.

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40 minutes ago, Matthew said:

Camden, NJ police seems to be what's on everyone's mind. They reorganized their police department and things seem to have improved.

Here's a link to an article about it.

This is a great story—just shared it on my Facebook page. Thanks for linking to it.

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1 hour ago, felser said:

Fact is, there are also bad people in the world who don't wear police uniforms.  Easy to say something doesn't work and we shouldn't have it, harder to say here's a better way to provide the necessary protection.   Has anyone seen any feasible alternatives proposed?  I'm not a fan of vigilante mobs or of everyone having their own gun and protecting their own turf, you know?

Yes, "there are also bad people in the world who don't wear police uniforms." But what also must be taken into account here is that if they do wear police uniforms, they carry deadly weapons and may, depending on their and only their estimate of the circumstances,  have and/or feel they have the right to injure or kill you. Further, they may well feel sure that whatever those circumstances actually were, their account of things will be backed up their colleagues in uniform. That "complicates" the "provide the necessary protection" issue, no?  espacially if one falls into a group that the police tend to hassle or worse. I should add that almost the interactions I've had with police in my own suburban community and in the city of Chicago have been pleasant and helpful, often very helpful. Guess, I've been lucky and/or bear the signs of privilege.

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51 minutes ago, Matthew said:

Camden, NJ police seems to be what's on everyone's mind. They reorganized their police department and things seem to have improved.

Here's a link to an article about it.

Sounds good to me, thanks.

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We gotta get past looking at the notion/assumption that if "I" am being protected and served , then it automatically follows that "we" are being protected and served.

 

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23 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

Yes, "there are also bad people in the world who don't wear police uniforms." But what also must be taken into account here is that if they do wear police uniforms, they carry deadly weapons and may, depending on their and only their estimate of the circumstances,  have and/or feel they have the right to injure or kill you. Further, they may well feel sure that whatever those circumstances actually were, their account of things will be backed up their colleagues in uniform. That "complicates" the "provide the necessary protection" issue, no?  espacially if one falls into a group that the police tend to hassle or worse. I should add that almost the interactions I've had with police in my own suburban community and in the city of Chicago have been pleasant and helpful, often very helpful. Guess, I've been lucky and/or bear the signs of privilege.

This leads to something I've been wondering about a lot. Whether the abundance of ex-military on police forces is a major issue. I have a lot of relatives with military training, and the thing about that training is that it is designed to get a person to be able to kill someone -- and that is hard to do. There have been studies to suggest that police officers with this background are more inclined to use force, or shot someone in the course of their duties. ( A article about this ) There's a number of things that can be done to properly train police in deescalating situations, and that definitely is one area that needs improvement.

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3 minutes ago, Matthew said:

This leads to something I've been wondering about a lot. Whether the abundance of ex-military on police forces is a major issue. I have a lot of relatives with military training, and the thing about that training is that it is designed to get a person to be able to kill someone -- and that is hard to do. There have been studies to suggest that police officers with this background are more inclined to use force, or shot someone in the course of their duties. ( A article about this ) There's a number of things that can be done to properly train police in deescalating situations, and that definitely is one area that needs improvement.

It’s the mindset. 

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20 minutes ago, Brad said:

It’s the mindset. 

Exactly, and it's a mindset that seems to be rewarded with promotions and climbing the ladder. It just seems, in my opinion, that the police are relying too much on military tactics of person and crowd control in situations that don't need that kind of approach. Would it have really made the situation out-of-control if Chauvin would have stood up two minutes into the arrest? Derek Chauvin also has a military background (I'm not surprised)

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Go back and look at one of the underlying premises of that Avatar movie - that there was such an abundance of war-trained military-mindset people that private concerns could hire their own police organizations to do their own bidding outside of public purveyance. And of course, these people being good soldiers, they were wired to just follow orders. Seemed like a very real-life concern to me.

That was, what a decade or two ago? And we've had how many more troops returned to civilian life since then? And not just private police forces.

My worry has long been that we have taken a generation (and now maybe two) and sent them of to learn the ways of the warrior (and not always the honorable ways...) and then bring them home with no comprehensive reorientation process available if/when needed. That's a crime against the people who went to serve in (mostly) good faith.

There's a day of reckoning, always. Pray that this is ours, while things are only mildly unrestful. Because if it is not, whenever that day does come, it is not going to be anything like this one.

The whole "Prison-Industral complex" is a real thing, and it's foundationally premised on there being a steady supply of product. Ultimately, we don't need to lose capitalism, imo, but we do need to deconstruct it as it now exists and rebuild it with a more "humanitarian" model, where "value" comes with more than just $$$ attached regardless of source, and that which does good for the most all is the most desirable quality and then THAT becomes what drives "value". Currently, all propaganda to the contrary, that is not how it is working here today.

I'm a dreamer on that one, to be sure. But in that regard, I remain a committed revolutionary, forever dedicated to the premise that...

quote-the-first-revolution-is-when-you-c

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2 hours ago, Matthew said:

Camden, NJ police seems to be what's on everyone's mind. They reorganized their police department and things seem to have improved.

Here's a link to an article about it.

Yeah, but Camden did this first as a way to reduce costs by eliminating the union. The county force is now twice as large as PD was in 2012 in a city of approximately 73,000 that has been experiencing a consistent population decline for years. It did work, but now you have one cop per 160-170 residents.

So, is increasing the size of police departments what people have in mind?

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17 minutes ago, catesta said:

So, is increasing the size of police departments what people have in mind?

Getting it right is what I hope people have in mind, whatever that needs to look like in any given community.

But, uh, doesn't it stand to reason that a county is a larger service area than a city?

And doesn't it also stand to reason that a smaller citizen/resident ratio is a good thing if the resources are providing a desirable service in a recipient-approved fashion?

You know, the old saw about you can never find a cop when you need one? Sounds like there, you can, and you don't need to worry about it going wrong when you do.

I don't know that there is "the" better way to do this, but there certainly are better ways. Get this party started and don't stop because it's "difficult". Stop when it gets done.

And yes, we're still going to need the "warrior" types, anybody who says we won't is an idiot with whom I would not encourage engagement. But that shit needs to be totally re-contextualized, with a new paradigm of responsibilities, expectations and accountabilities laid out in no uncertain terms.

A loose puppy and a rabid German Shepherd are both in violation of the leash law, but only one requires "exceptional" action.

 

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24 minutes ago, catesta said:

Yeah, but Camden did this first as a way to reduce costs by eliminating the union. The county force is now twice as large as PD was in 2012 in a city of approximately 73,000 that has been experiencing a consistent population decline for years. It did work, but now you have one cop per 160-170 residents.

So, is increasing the size of police departments what people have in mind?

I don't think the size of a PD, larger or smaller, is the issue.  The issue is how those officers are trained, what kind of leadership they're given, what kind of law-enforcement culture is established, etc.  And I completely concur with the points made above about the problematic militarization of the police--not just having lots of ex-military in law enforcement, but the kind of equipment and tactics that police departments have deployed and employed in recent times.  Then there's the FBI's documentation of white supremacists infiltrating U.S. police forces, just to make this stew even more toxic.  Then you have a U.S. president who actively encourages police to treat suspects, arrestees, protesters, *whoever*, roughly.  And whose AG put the kibosh on law enforcement consent decrees, both present and future, that were crafted to address the very kind of problems we're all talking about here.  I, too, have a long list of those I don't trust, though not sure how much overlap there is with your list.  ;)

What do you think is the best & potentially most effective solution?

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39 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Getting it right is what I hope people have in mind, whatever that needs to look like in any given community.

But, uh, doesn't it stand to reason that a county is a larger service area than a city?

And doesn't it also stand to reason that a smaller citizen/resident ratio is a good thing if the resources are providing a desirable service in a recipient-approved fashion?

You know, the old saw about you can never find a cop when you need one? Sounds like there, you can, and you don't need to worry about it going wrong when you do.

I don't know that there is "the" better way to do this, but there certainly are better ways. Get this party started and don't stop because it's "difficult". Stop when it gets done.

And yes, we're still going to need the "warrior" types, anybody who says we won't is an idiot with whom I would not encourage engagement. But that shit needs to be totally re-contextualized, with a new paradigm of responsibilities, expectations and accountabilities laid out in no uncertain terms.

A loose puppy and a rabid German Shepherd are both in violation of the leash law, but only one requires "exceptional" action.

 

There is the Sheriff's department and then there is the Camden County PD. As far as I can tell the number of PD officers I exampled are in addition to the sheriff's department and only police the City of Camden.

When it comes to crime reduction, ratio of cops to citizens is a major factor and that is why I brought it up.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, catesta said:

There is the Sheriff's department and then there is the Camden County PD. As far as I can tell the number of PD officers I exampled are in addition to the sheriff's department and only police the City of Camden.

When it comes to crime reduction, ratio of cops to citizens is a major factor and that is why I brought it up.

Then why are they called The Camden County PD? Serious question. Is it just a PR gimmick? A serious rebranding? A shift in structural hierarchy? Just what, exactly?

Ratio is important, but not in a vacuum. More of good service available is always good. More of bad service, uh....not so much.

It's a holistic problem and the solution will need to be equally holistic. But the focus should be simple - how do best provide a culture of "protect and serve" that works for all citizens equally? Not am I being protected and served, but are we being protected and served, everybody, equitably and appropriately. Do we feel that law enforcement is there, not for me, but for us?

And no, I don't get to answer for anybody else. I do, however, get to listen to all answers and respect them as they come in, as we move forward. Some of those answers, including mine, might not be as "objective"  as they seem as first submitted, but that's where the process needs to work, and work well. By the time it's over, we should be better than we are now.

That's the prize to keep the eye on right now. The only prize. Anything else is just one of those bright shiny objects that are so popular these days.

And yeah, suspicion of any and all "process" is both well-advised and well-justified.  But oh well about that. We either going to do this thing or we ain't. Bring the cynicism, bring the distrust, bring it all, but be there.

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29 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Then why are they called The Camden County PD? Serious question. Is it just a PR gimmick? A serious rebranding? A shift in structural hierarchy? Just what, exactly?

Ratio is important, but not in a vacuum. More of good service available is always good. More of bad service, uh....not so much.

 

 

All I know, it's is a county agency and there is also a Sheriff's department. There is a similar thing in Las Vegas and Clark County although that happened years ago in which city PD and county merged. All under the jurisdiction of Sheriff's department but they have metro cops and those that just work county side.

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And the accompanying notes...

I doubt I’m the last musician (and maybe not the first) who’ll want to create a musical piece of eight minutes and 46 seconds duration, the exact length of time it took for a man’s life to ebb away on that horrifying video we have all seen in the news. After I first saw some of that footage, I wept trying to describe it to my wife. I was extremely disturbed by what I saw. Soon after that, the protests began, and they have continued. When I finally heard on the news the astonishing amount of time that actually elapsed while that man – and many bystanders – pleaded in vain for his life, I knew I had to memorialize that number somehow. How long is eight minutes and 46 seconds? Very late last night, I dressed in black and went out to my Lab to make this video. It was done in one take. All of the flaws and struggles you hear should be considered a part of the piece. This is something I’ve never done before: a protest piece. It was not fun to make, and is probably no more fun to listen to. Nor should it be. The statement I want to make with this is not only about one man, or one police officer… or even about that one issue, large as it is. There is so much that is wrong right now, so much to cry out about. So much killing. The senseless, ongoing killings of black people. The endless parade of mass shootings in our schools, churches and workplaces. The gang violence in our cities (yesterday saw the confession of a 13-year-old involved in a murder in Central Park). The killing of our forests, our species, the rich and beautiful abundance of life on this amazing world we’ve been entrusted with. And now the coronavirus is killing us, 100,000 of us, some of my friends and colleagues among them. Meanwhile we find ourselves in this time of anguish, of multiple crises and emergencies, being presided over by a selfish, spoiled child who cannot possibly lead, unite or heal, because he fundamentally does not understand or believe that other people are actually real. We have so much to learn… but some of us aren’t even in school. I am sorry if any of this comes across as self-indulgent, melodramatic, or offensive to anyone. Please forgive me if it does. This is not about me. I simply felt compelled to make this statement. Silence is complicity. Now I will return to making music for the pure love and joy of sound. There is one more thought I would like to share. I’ve never done anything like this before, and wasn’t sure I could get through it. By the end I was shaking, and some desperation was starting to creep in. But there came a moment, when my timer showed about 1:20 remaining, that I realized I was going to make it. Sadly, that moment never came for George Floyd. Scott Robinson www.sciensonic.net

 
 

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I can only speak for myself but I find it impressive.

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5 hours ago, Matthew said:

This leads to something I've been wondering about a lot. Whether the abundance of ex-military on police forces is a major issue. I have a lot of relatives with military training, and the thing about that training is that it is designed to get a person to be able to kill someone -- and that is hard to do. There have been studies to suggest that police officers with this background are more inclined to use force, or shot someone in the course of their duties. ( A article about this ) There's a number of things that can be done to properly train police in deescalating situations, and that definitely is one area that needs improvement.

Let's not be too facile with the  bad-apple cops are often the (or even the inevitable)  fruit of military service. My sense is that in the U.S. military, by and large, there is far more and closer supervision by NCOs and officers  of the behavior of soldiers and sailors under their command than there is of the typical U.S. police force by its supervisors. Also, military personnel tend to train for and undertake more complex missions than policemen do. Further, when police officers are off duty they go home/into civil society. If you're in the military you're in the military until your term of service ends  and you're discharged. You're part of a unit that I would guess is more cohesively so than anything on the typical U.S. police force.

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5 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

Let's not be too facile with the  bad-apple cops are often the (or even the inevitable)  fruit of military service. My sense is that in the U.S. military, by and large, there is far more and closer supervision by NCOs and officers  of the behavior of soldiers and sailors under their command than there is of the typical U.S. police force by its supervisors. Also, military personnel tend to train for and undertake more complex missions than policemen do. Further, when police officers are off duty they go home/into civil society. If you're in the military you're in the military until your term of service ends  and you're discharged. You're part of a unit that I would guess is more cohesively so than anything on the typical U.S. police force.

Let's also consider that the overall "culture" of the military in in 2020 is perhaps different/better/definitely-evolved now than it was in 2001.

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22 minutes ago, Larry Kart said:

Let's not be too facile with the  bad-apple cops are often the (or even the inevitable)  fruit of military service. My sense is that in the U.S. military, by and large, there is far more and closer supervision by NCOs and officers  of the behavior of soldiers and sailors under their command than there is of the typical U.S. police force by its supervisors. Also, military personnel tend to train for and undertake more complex missions than policemen do. Further, when police officers are off duty they go home/into civil society. If you're in the military you're in the military until your term of service ends  and you're discharged. You're part of a unit that I would guess is more cohesively so than anything on the typical U.S. police force.

Are you saying in your second to last sentence that you cease to be military when you leave the service? I’ve had more than one ex-Marine day to me that you’re a Marine for life; I once referred to a Marine no longer with the Marines as a “former Marine.” I was quickly corrected. If servicemen and women who are no longer part of the service still consider themselves as such, that means the mindset doesn’t really end either. 

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