Recently in Policing Category
Where the video does indeed show that the cop is a bad apple, it will be valuable in weeding him out, leaving us with a better police force.
But what about other people inevitably captured on police video? By the nature of police work, the videos will very often record people in the worst moments of their lives. Should those videos be public? Might a video of a college student being arrested while sloppy drunk be used in an attack ad 20 years later when the now-mature upstanding citizen runs for public office? Could videos be used in extortion schemes similar to those we saw with "revenge porn," except that unlike the revenge porn the person shown had no choice in the making of the video in the first place?
Does the Americans with Disabilities Act have anything to do with the use of force by police to subdue a mentally ill and potentially dangerous person? It shouldn't. There is plenty of law governing use of force by police from other sources, and ADA is supposed to be about employment and public accommodations.
Lyle Denniston reports on the argument at SCOTUSblog. I would not be surprised if the Court drops the case. Technically, that's Dismissed as Improvidently Granted, or a DIG in SCOTUS practitioner parlance.
The mainstream media, however, have now turned their attention exclusively to the second Justice Department report, the one on Ferguson's police department. The Brown report and its implications for the anticop crusade are out of sight and out of mind. The two reports were produced by different sections of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, and it shows. The Brown report, written by the Criminal Section, in conjunction with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Missouri, displays a striking understanding of police work. It respects longstanding legal presumptions protecting police discretion from unjustified second-guessing. The Ferguson Police Department report came out of the Special Litigation Section, known for its hostility to the police and staffed almost exclusively by graduates of left-wing advocacy groups, as Hans von Spakovsky noted in the National Interest. No wonder that it strains so hard to cobble together a case of systemic intentional discrimination out of data that show only that law enforcement has a disparate impact on blacks.Why were the two reports released on the same day? The diminished media interest in the Wilson/Brown report may have been a completely intended consequence.
Two police officers were shot early Thursday morning outside the Ferguson, Mo., police department, according to a police spokesman.
A 32-year-old officer from nearby Webster Groves was shot in the face and a 41-year-old officer from St. Louis County was shot in the shoulder, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference early Thursday.
"The night was fairly uneventful until about midnight," Chief Belmar told reporters, adding that some officers had begun to leave the area. Then at least three shots were fired, hitting the policemen. The officers were taken to a nearby hospital. "They are conscious, however those are very serious gunshot injuries," Chief Belmar said.
"The police officers were standing there and they were shot, just because they're police officers," he said.
Police officers from adjacent cities and jurisdictions were in front of the Ferguson police headquarters at the time of the shooting, which occurred just after midnight, police said.
I have not had time to review this report in detail myself, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of the editorial, but I link it for those readers who are interested, and I have pasted part of it after the break.
In predominantly African-American neighborhoods of U.S. cities, far too many killers have gotten away with far too many crimes for far too long, fueling a disastrous murder epidemic. Solving these murders and other serious crimes of violence in black communities should be a top goal for law enforcement--and it deserves to take priority over much more widely discussed issues such as racial profiling and the excessive use of force by police in black neighborhoods, from Ferguson to Staten Island.* * *
But instead of checking this wave of urban violence, America threw up its hands. Prison terms per unit of crime in the U.S. hit rock bottom in the 1960s and '70s, making the U.S. one of the world's most lenient countries, as William J. Stuntz of Harvard Law School and others have shown. Reformers focused on the rights of defendants, remaining blind to the ravages of under-enforcement.
In the 1980s, a get-tough backlash hit, ushering in the current era of mass incarceration and long sentences. But unsolved homicides still piled up in black neighborhoods. Even as convicts grew old in prison, detectives remained overwhelmed by exploding street violence.
Hundreds of police officers again turned their backs as Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke Sunday at a funeral for a slain officer, demonstrating the challenge the mayor faces in healing a rift with the nation's largest police force.Commissioner Bratton asked but did not order the police officers to refrain this time, and an overwhelming majority ignored the request, as a picture in the article shows.* * *The officers' action reflected growing anger with a mayor who said he has counseled his biracial son to be careful during encounters with police, has allied himself with a police critic, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and has backed protesters rallying against grand-jury decisions not to indict officers in the 2014 deaths of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Missouri.
"Police officers feel like they were turned upon by City Hall, and we have a right to express our opinion as well, as they did respectfully," said Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, the city's largest police union.
He said the back-turning was "an organic gesture that started on the streets of New York."
After only a year in office, de Blasio finds himself in a crisis largely of his own making...Having antagonized the police by campaigning against stop and frisk policies, he went a bridge too far when he joined in the chorus of those treating law enforcement as the enemy after Ferguson and then the non-indictment of the officer accused of choking Garner. That rhetoric created the impression that de Blasio agreed with those who have come to view police officers as guilty until proven innocent when it comes to accusations of racism or violence against minorities.
The entire article, which isn't that long, is worth the read.
The police are not perfect and can, like politicians, make terrible mistakes. But the problem with the post-Ferguson/Garner critique that was relentlessly plugged by racial inciters, the liberal media and prominent political leaders such as Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder is that it cherry picked two extraordinary and very different incidents and wove it seamlessly into a highly misleading narrative about racism that might have been applicable in Selma, Alabama in 1965 but doesn't reflect the reality of America in 2014.
Mr. de Blasio isn't going to say it, but somebody has to: With [their] acts of passive-aggressive contempt and self-pity, many New York police officers, led by their union, are squandering the department's credibility, defacing its reputation, shredding its hard-earned respect.
[N]one of [the officers'] grievances can justify the snarling sense of victimhood that seems to be motivating the anti-de Blasio campaign -- the belief that the department is never wrong, that it never needs redirection or reform, only reverence. This is the view peddled by union officials like Patrick Lynch... -- that cops are an ethically impeccable force with their own priorities and codes of behavior, accountable only to themselves, and whose reflexive defiance in the face of valid criticism is somehow normal.