The police-abuse-of-power thread

_HighVoltage_

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I read in an arcticle somewhere that Yanez also stated he smelled marijuana coming from the car. That's always a go to for cops isn't it.
I read the transcript of Yanez's testimony:

"I thought I was going to die ... I thought ... if he has ... the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the 5-year-old girl and risk her lungs and risk her life by giving her secondhand smoke and the front seat passenger doing the same thing then what, what care does he give about me."

...because second hand smoke and shooting a police officer are apparently equally dangerous and related activities.

Absolute bullshit.
 

Der Stig

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Yanez knew he fucked up. Everything went wrong on that stop that could have, but at the end of the day, Yanez set a bad example of discretion and handling escalation that ultimately cost a man his life.
 

GRtak

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There is much more at the link, I am on a tablet, and it is not easy to quote it all.

Militarization and police violence: The case of the 1033 program


Abstract

Does increased militarization of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) lead to an increase in violent behavior among officers? We theorize that the receipt of military equipment increases multiple dimensions of LEA militarization (material, cultural, organizational, and operational) and that such increases lead to more violent behavior. The US Department of Defense 1033 program makes excess military equipment, including weapons and vehicles, available to local LEAs. The variation in the amount of transferred equipment allows us to probe the relationship between military transfers and police violence. We estimate a series of regressions that test the effect of 1033 transfers on three dependent variables meant to capture police violence: the number of civilian casualties; the change in the number of civilian casualties; and the number of dogs killed by police. We find a positive and statistically significant relationship between 1033 transfers and fatalities from officer-involved shootings across all models.

?I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.?
Abraham Maslow, The Psychology of Science: A Reconnaissance (1966)

?Soldierin? and policin? ? they ain?t the same thing.?
Major Howard ?Bunny? Colvin, The Wire Season 3, Episode 10 (2014)

Introduction

The summer of 2014 saw protracted protests to the non-response associated with the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown. By the second day of protests, police officers showed up in armored vehicles wearing camouflage, bullet-proof vests, and gas masks brandishing shotguns and M4 rifles (Chokshi, 2014). That militarized response led to a wave of criticism from observers including former military personnel and politicians from both sides of the aisle. In response, the federal government launched an investigation that ultimately resulted in Executive Order 13688 (EO). The EO sought to regulate the Department of Defense 1033 program, which makes surplus military equipment available to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies (LEAs) at no cost. The EO banned LEAs from acquiring certain equipment, and restricted them from acquiring others.1 It also called for transparency and training regarding the materials received. Some feared the demilitarized police departments would no longer be able to keep up with drug dealers, rioters, and terrorists. US Representative John Ratcliffe introduced the Protecting Lives Using Surplus Equipment Act to the House of Representatives that would nullify all aspects of the EO.2 In an interview, he said ?It would be one thing if there was some evidence that showed state and local law enforcement had abuse [sic] or misused the equipment, and then caused undue or unnecessary harm to American citizens. That isn?t the case? (Jennings, 2016). This paper provides the first attempt to analyze whether and to what extent military transfers have increased the propensity by which LEAs cause ?undue or unnecessary harm.?

Drawing from Kraska (2007), we argue that increasing LEA access to military equipment will lead to higher levels of aggregate LEA violence. The effect occurs because the equipment leads to a culture of militarization over four dimensions: material; cultural; organizational; and operational. As militarization seeps into their cultures, LEAs rely more on violence to solve problems. The mechanism mirrors psychology?s classic ?Law of the Instrument,? whereby access to a certain tool increases the probability that the tool is used for problems when other tools may be more appropriate (Maslow, 1966), including access to weapons increasing violent responses (e.g. Anderson et al., 1998; Berkowitz and LePage, 1967).

We evaluate this proposition using county-level data on police killings in four US states: Connecticut, Maine, Nevada, and New Hampshire (Burghart, 2015); and the data on 1033 program receipts (https://github.com/washingtonpost/data-1033-program). Estimating a series of regressions, we find that 1033 receipts are associated with both an increase in the number of observed police killings in a given year as well as the change in the number of police killings from year to year, controlling for a battery of possible confounding variables including county wealth, racial makeup, civilian drug use, and violent crime. Given that establishing a causal effect between 1033 receipts is potentially problematic due to concerns of endogeneity, we re-estimate our regressions using an alternative dependent variable independent of the process by which LEAs request and receive military goods: the number of dogs killed by LEAs. We find 1033 receipts are associated with an increase in the number of civilian dogs killed by police. Combined, our analyses provide support for the argument that 1033 receipts lead to more LEA violence.

We organize the rest of the paper as follows. First, we provide an argument that links police militarization and police violence. Next, we briefly introduce the reader to the 1033 program and why it is appropriate for studying the question at hand. Next, we describe the data and empirical strategy. Then we present the results. Finally, we conclude with some thoughts about how the research should influence policy and can be expanded in the future.
Militarization

Borrowing from Kraska (2007: 503), we define militarization as the embrace and implementation of an ideology that stresses the use of force as the appropriate and efficacious means to solve problems. Kraska (2007) provides four dimensions of militarization: material; cultural; organizational; and operational. We contend these dimensions reinforce one another so that an increase in one can lead to an increase in others. More specifically, the military equipment obtained from the 1033 program directly increases the material dimension. With the new equipment, martial language (cultural), martial arrangements such as elite units (organizational), and willingness to engage in high-risk situations (operational) increase (Balko, 2014). Military equipment naturally increases military-style training for said equipment. That training can increase the other dimensions of militarization. One trainer?s quote illustrates well the uptake of militarized culture: ?Most of these guys just like to play war; they get a rush out of search and destroy missions instead of the bullshit they do normally? (Kraska, 2001, quoted in Balko, 2014: 212). But the trainees would not have to settle for the normal ?bullshit? for long. Many LEAs began practicing SWAT raids on low-level offenders as a way to train and then as a matter of normal policy (Balko, 2014; Sanow, 2011). Officers running military operations with military tools and military mindsets organized militarily will rely more on the tenets of militarization (e.g. the use of force to solve problems) which should increase the use of violence on average. Since 1997, LEAs obtain much if not most of their military equipment from the 1033 program.
1033 program and militarization

President Bill Clinton signed into law H.R. 3230 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997). The bill contains section 1033, which allows the Secretary of Defense to sell or transfer excess military equipment to local LEAs. Between 2006 and April of 2014 alone, the Department of Defense transferred over $1.5 billion worth of equipment including over 600 mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles, 79,288 assault rifles, 205 grenade launchers, 11,959 bayonets, 50 airplanes, 422 helicopters, and $3.6 million worth of camouflage and other ?deception equipment? (Rezvani et al., 2014). Eighty percent of US counties received transfers, and those transfers increased over time from 2006 to 2013 by 1414% (Radil et al., 2017). These variations allow us to test the proposition that, all things being equal, the receipt of higher levels of 1033 equipment will lead to increased levels of violence from LEAs.

Again, there is much more at the link. I will also put a link to an article about the research.


Does military equipment lead police officers to be more violent? We did the research.
 

prizrak

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Nothing says freedom like arresting people for a peaceful protest.....

Coney Island hot dog eating contest sees 5 arrests after stunt involving banner, NYPD says
Five people were arrested at the Nathan?s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island on Tuesday, police said.
Shortly after the men?s competition began around 12:40 p.m., a handful of attendees were seen getting on each other?s shoulders in what looked like an attempt to flag the attention of nearby television cameras.
A few of them tried to hold up a banner, but the jostling crowd made whatever was on the sign indistinguishable.
The attendees were only up on their fellows? shoulders for a few seconds before NYPD officers bolted into the crowd and wrestled them to the ground.
One onlooker appeared to have his glasses broken in the incident.
The animal rights activist group Direct Action Everywhere claimed responsibility for the interruption, which it described as a protest. Police could not immediately confirm if the arrestees were animal rights protesters.
?The activists were protesting because companies like Nathan?s promote violence against animals by showcasing people eating them for profits and notoriety,? Direct Action Everywhere said in an emailed statement.
The five people were taken away in handcuffs and later charged with civil disobedience, police said.
About 1,000 people attended the annual Fourth of July event. Joey Chestnut won the men?s title by eating a record-breaking 72 hot dogs and buns. Miki Sudo won the women?s title by scarfing down 41.
 

Racin

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Cop?s body cam films him planting drugs?he didn?t know it was recording

The officer's alleged trickery was revealed by the fact that his body cam retained footage for 30 seconds before it was activated to begin recording. During that time, according to the footage and the Baltimore public defender's office, Officer Richard Pinheiro puts a bag of pills in a can in an alley and walks out of the alley.

The Axon cam's initial 30 seconds of footage, by default, doesn't have sound. After 30 seconds, viewers of the video can both see and hear the officer looking for drugs in the alley. Lo and behold, he finds them in the same soup can that he placed them in, according to the footage, which was released Wednesday. Pinheiro can then be heard yelling "yo" to his fellow officers, telling them he found drugs in the alley.
 

Interrobang

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Body cams are the way to go. The (hopefully) few bad apples are ruining the police reputation. Citizens must be able to trust their police force and for that police have to be as transparent as possible.
In my german home-state the new conservative (and very friendly with the police union) government has recently taken a step backwards from that approach to appease the police force (ironically they were responsible for some of the biggest cuts to police budget when they were in power last) so that they would not have to wear identification markers (a number, not their name) anymore when in riot gear.
Which means again that on the rare occasion if someone is illegally attacked by someone from the police (at a concert, demonstration, soccer game; for example) they cannot sue or press charges. They cannot identify someone wearing a helmet and no identification ... so there is no chance picking out one of thousands of police officers. Ironically? - we have Anti-mask laws in germany for "public meetings and demonstrations" - but it does not apply to the police and without things like identification numbers, officers who (unjustified) use force - get away with it because they cannot be tracked. It's a shame ...
 

GRtak

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Brooklyn Prosecutors Investigating Rape Charge Against Detectives

Two New York City police detectives are under investigation by the Brooklyn district attorney?s office after they were accused of raping an 18-year-old girl while she was in their custody, city officials said.

The detectives, both with the Brooklyn South Narcotics unit, have been placed on administrative leave, according to Sgt. Jessica McRorie, a Police Department spokeswoman.

The woman?s lawyer, Michael David, said the attack occurred around 8 p.m. on Sept. 15. He said the detectives, Edward Martins and Richard Hall, were in plain clothes in an unmarked van when they pulled over the woman, who was in a car with two male friends in Calvert Vaux Park in Brooklyn.

The detectives searched the occupants of the car for drugs, Mr. David said, and demanded that the woman lift her shirt. ?They said, ?We want to make sure there is nothing under there, so show it,?? Mr. David said, recounting his client?s account. ?She was petrified, so she showed it. She said, ?See, I?m not hiding anything.??

Immediately after, the woman was ordered out of the car, placed in handcuffs and put into the back seat of the detectives? black Dodge van, Mr. David said. She was told she would be driven to the 60th Precinct, about a mile and a half from the park.

Instead, the lawyer said, the detectives drove to a parking lot of a nearby Chipotle restaurant, where she said they raped her.

The woman remained handcuffed during the entire ordeal, her lawyer said.

About 45 minutes after she was handcuffed, the woman said she was shoved out of the van not far from the 60th Precinct, Mr. David said. The woman contacted her mother, who took her to Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park, Brooklyn.

?These are serious allegations and I am very concerned,? said Michael J. Palladino, the president of the Detectives? Endowment Association, which represents the city?s detectives. ?However, until this investigation is completed, I cannot make an informed comment.?

The Police Department?s Internal Affairs Bureau has not yet interviewed the two detectives, or their supervisor, Sgt. John Espey, according to a police official who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to discuss the situation. The Internal Affairs Bureau typically waits for prosecutors to finish investigating allegations against officers before interviewing them.

Sergeant Espey has also been put on modified duty, the police said. On modified duty, police officers are typically stripped of their firearms and badges and assigned administrative tasks.

A decade ago, prosecutors dismissed hundreds of criminal cases after it was determined they had been tainted by members of the Brooklyn South Narcotics unit, who had used seized drugs to bribe alleged criminals.
I got this story from Boingboing.net, I think they summed it up nicely.

Two NYPD plainclothes detectives and their supervisor have been placed on "modified duty" pending an Internal Affairs Bureau investigation into claims that they handcuffed and raped a teenager in a police department van.

In their defense, Brooklyn South Narcotics Detectives Edward Martins and Richard Hall are claiming the girl happily consented to having sex with them after she'd been handcuffed, kidnapped, thrown in a van, and taken to a deserted spot.
 

prizrak

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Holly shit that's literally down the road from me, me and my buddy were harassed there as well, only crime? We were driving around.
 
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