Really tired of people who claim America is being destroyed.
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16-07-2015, 10:24 AM (This post was last modified: 16-07-2015 10:29 AM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: Really tired of people who claim America is being destroyed.
(16-07-2015 08:57 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  GwoG -

Yes, the "hands up don't shoot" story-line was entirely bullshit, based on the false testimony of that dredlocked idiot friend of his. In this case. But it was so believable, and able to tap into an anger that's simmering there in the entire populace, for a REASON. They defy the cops instead of a "we see no reason not to submit", white-people attitude, there for a reason.

I'm sorry your emotions about this prevent you from truly taking a close look at the ongoing history of racist police policies (as the government commission on the subject clearly found) there for generations. Yes, the "entirely shot in the back" original story was not backed up by the forensics. Little of it was. And yet neither is the "charging bull" scenario, which is another common tactic of slander used against black victims, preying upon generations of racist perspectives/propaganda saying that young black men are animalistic and more violent. Again, a lot of science has gone into studying how police and civilians alike perceive black bodies compared to white ones in identical situations, so I'm not asserting this in a vacuum. As for the killing of MB and its aftermath, I've carefully read those reports. The way the County District Attorney defensively presented the case and shaded the evidence was obvious and sad, and well- and properly-remarked-upon by other groups who examined the grand jury proceedings. On the other hand, as far as the reporters' sensationalist coverage, and the forensics/training issues, most of what you say I actually agree with. I wish you would stop saying I have a biased opinion. Not being biased pro-cop does not make me biased unless you believe I should be biased pro-cop to be "neutral", somehow.

A few points:

1. I use the term "attempted" because, under Missouri Law, an "attempt" to do something lowers the crime's category by one. For instance, car theft is called "Tampering with a Motor Vehicle", a C-Felony worth 7 yrs max. Attempted Tampering is lowered to a D-Felony, worth 4 yrs max.

2. The "protected" term you refer to has no meaning under Missouri Law except in certain types of civil cases. Police assaults are covered under a string of laws that deal specifically with the attack on an officer. It is part of Chapter 565, which covers a variety of assault types, from Murder/Manslaughter categories down to boxing match regulations. There are the levels of this, depending on circumstances spelled out in statutes:

To show I'm not hiding part of the code, here's the whole thing. Do a search for "Chapter 565", and it will list everything in the relevant chapter of the statutes, in order, even the repealed ones.
http://www.moga.mo.gov/htmlpages2/statut...earch.aspx

565.081. 1. A person commits the crime of assault of a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, emergency personnel, highway worker in a construction zone or work zone, utility worker, cable worker, or probation and parole officer in the first degree if such person attempts to kill or knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, emergency personnel, highway worker in a construction zone or work zone, utility worker, cable worker, or probation and parole officer. ... 7. Assault of a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, emergency personnel, highway worker in a construction zone or work zone, utility worker, cable worker, or probation and parole officer in the first degree is a class A felony.

565.082. 1. A person commits the crime of assault of a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, emergency personnel, highway worker in a construction zone or work zone, utility worker, cable worker, or probation and parole officer in the second degree if such person: Knowingly causes or attempts to cause physical injury to a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, emergency personnel, highway worker in a construction zone or work zone, utility worker, cable worker, or probation and parole officer by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument; ... 7. Assault of a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, emergency personnel, highway worker in a construction zone or work zone, utility worker, cable worker, or probation and parole officer in the second degree is a class B felony unless committed pursuant to subdivision (2), (5), (6), or (7) of subsection 1 of this section in which case it is a class C felony.

565.083. 1. A person commits the crime of assault of a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, emergency personnel, highway worker in a construction zone or work zone, utility worker, cable worker, or probation and parole officer in the third degree if: Such person recklessly causes physical injury to a law enforcement officer, corrections officer, emergency personnel, highway worker in a construction zone or work zone, utility worker, cable worker, or probation and parole officer;
(blah blah blah, class A misdemeanor... part in boldface is what applies to the situation here, under Missouri law).

3. In order to establish that anything this officer did, it all goes back to the "assault" at the car. The only evidence we have backed up by all witnesses and the officer's testimony as well is that Officer Wilson grabbed Mike Brown's arm/wrist after pulling up next to MB in the squad car, through the window of the vehicle, in an aggressive "don't you walk away from me while I'm talking to you" kind of way. This point is not in serious contention. What is in contention is whether it constitutes as assault where Mike pulled his arm away (this is improper contact from the officer, anyway) to break the grip, and the officer hit his head on the doorframe (also confirmed by all testimony). What is not confirmed by other testimony, nor by logic if you stop to think about it, is the assertion that Mike then re-initiated contact by suddenly diving his huge-ass frame into that cop window to try to reach clear across the resisting officer to try to grab the gun. That's just crazy, like literally only an insane person would do that! It's the testimony of the officer, and only the officer, and it doesn't make sense-- either by experiment or by reason. There's just no logic to a sober person with no serious history of violence or mental illness to suddenly decide to punch an officer through his car window, then leap into that window to squeeze between him and the steering wheel to get at a gun on the far hip, probably under the seatbelt (our experiment assumed the SB was off, but I don't know the detail of that, one way or the other). You should be scoffing at the idea that a 17 year old kid would suddenly decide to go from walking down the street with his buddy and a freshly-appropriated (stolen) $3.27 pack of minicigars, to annoyed at an aggressive cop, to "let's kill this cop with the gun inside the car and clear across this guy, if I can fit between him and the steering wheel while he pummels me". It doesn't make sense in that context; it DOES make sense if it's a false testimony given as the standard defense crooked cops give for a shooting-- "he went for my gun and I was skeered, so skeered!" It's Ned from South Park, blasting surprised deer with an automatic rifle while yelling "He's comin' right for us!!!"

Without the gun-grab-attempt, there's just not a justification for escalating to gun-drawn hostility and gunfire, which is why we should so critically examine the claim that the kid went for the gun; it seems MUCH more plausible to note that this was a claim that the officer gave because it "covers a multitude of sins", and would mean that officials wouldn't look as closely at the shooting once the "I was in fear for my life" card was played. That's why this phrase is always seen in the report/record, even in cases of dirty cops who're clearly caught murdering suspects (as you mentioned). And because this is such a common false justification, and because most of the rest of the case hinges on this fact, it needs the highest level of scrutiny and skepticism... thus, for instance, my shop crew's physical experiment, which I continue to ask you to experimentally reproduce, too (you look closer to Mike's size/build, and likely have cop-equipment-owning friends who would be willing to bring their units by the house for such an experiment), as I'd be more than curious to hear your results. Peer review. Smile

And finally, 4. I didn't say "slamming him against the door frame" in the way you continue to shade it. Stop looking to blame this kid and/or buy the official story defending the cop and *look at the evidence*. Surely you're a martial artist as well, and you know how easily a body can be pulled forward under those circumstances. If you (who are at least 100 pounds larger than I am) grab me by the wrist through your car door and I try to jump or twist away, you will be propelled toward me if you continue to grab me. It's one of the first easy non-actual-throw things we learned to do in hapkido, semi-throwing an opponent who has grabbed your arm/wrist, and it doesn't take expertise to do (which is why you learn it first), just timing and an off-balance foe. This is especially true since, according to Wilson's own testimony, his first shot (through Brown's upraised palm, which is part of why people thought he had his "hands up") was at point blank range, through the car window, meaning he had his own gun out while MB was still close by the window (raising a hand to ward off a bullet, even though impossible, is of course a common psychological reaction). The only damage Wilson exhibited was a little redness around the forehead/upper eye socket, consistent with bumping his face on the door frame after MB pulled rapidly away (or perhaps later, while trying to exit the vehicle), not with being repeatedly assault-struck unless MB hits like a six year old kid. I know it is not part of your training to grab someone like that, through a car window, especially with a gun in hand! And we don't even know that MB's pull-away is what caused the doorframe impact (nor that that's what happened to cause the bruising), rather than MB pulling away from the grasp first, THEN officer Wilson smacking the door as he too-hastily tried to exit in pursuit, now that the scene had gone to a shooting. All I know from looking neutrally at it is that they're not consistent with damage from a fistfight/batter, but are consistent with an embarassing/enraging accidental collision of the face with a metal car part. I am talking about these factors in terms of how they changed his emotional state from one of calm assessment of factors by a trained officer into simply an angry/frightened/unthinking man with a gun... and why that man drew his gun inside the car in the first place. As I hope your training emphasized, it is easy for an emotional-slip like this to occur. The most likely scenario I see is that Brown was angered at being grabbed, pulled away his arm with enough strength to rattle Wilson and/or bang him into the doorframe, and Wilson drew his gun to gain Instant Compliance... the gun went off, hitting Brown in the hand. From there it was not surprising that the kid ran away a bit, then turned around when the officer demanded he do so, to receive several more shots from the frightened/hurt/enraged Wilson. This version is fairly plausible, and unfortunately, common... it is Wilson's version which requires a huge leap of imagination to gain justification for such a shooting, one that cop-supporters seem all too eager to make. Undecided

None of what I have seen justifies a shooting unless shaded at every point against the kid and in favor of the officer... which is why I criticize your language, where it tends to do that (while inadvertently copying old racist tropes that feed mythological fears about the "wild and dangerous black man"; I don't actually think you personally are racist, just unaware of these tropes and/or the history of how black men have been portrayed in order to justify what was being done to them, all across the south, for generations) to a fairly extreme degree. Ferguson and other MO police departments have many problems in this respect, as the official investigation (pdf) revealed.

From the summary, quote: "The Justice Department announced the findings of its two civil rights investigations related to Ferguson, Missouri, today. The Justice Department found that the Ferguson Police Department (FPD) engaged in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the First, Fourth, and 14th Amendments of the Constitution. ... As detailed in our report, this investigation found a community that was deeply polarized, and where deep distrust and hostility often characterized interactions between police and area residents,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Our investigation showed that Ferguson police officers routinely violate the Fourth Amendment in stopping people without reasonable suspicion, arresting them without probable cause, and using unreasonable force against them." (Emphasis my own, of course.)

Routinely. As in, "this is the norm, rather than the exception".

This same report found that Officer Wilson on that day was not in violation of Mike Brown's civil rights, and was performing within his legally-authorized bounds. So it's not a biased, anti-cop report.

You think I am attacking police, and you react defensively. You think that most cops have a culture like yours, in which their oath means more to them than a longstanding culture of white supremacy and "protecting the good neighborhoods from encroachment by the darkies", which is an ongoing struggle in a lot of midwestern towns, and especially in St. Louis. When people point out the police issues, you defend the cop based on your own experiences as a cop, which do not apply to this particular region-- ironically because you're a decent human bein, not a racist-- and yet, you continue to copy language and descriptors used by racists, about which many books have been written on such bias. Without realizing it, you are attempting to counter what you perceive (in most cases, rightly) as media bias with counter-weighted bias of your own, and in doing so are actually resurrecting some dangerous ideas that I am trying to caution you about, and asking you to apply your usually-ferocious ability to neutrally analyze data from a scientific point of view. You're among the best of us at this, usually, but it is clear to me that your biases are preventing you from seeing this without an emotional lens. I assure you, despite how strongly I believe in this subject needing to be examined (and NOT only in MB's case), I have no emotional involvement here besides a love of argument over important social ideas/ideals.

In this case, it seems clear that the combination of pain, embarrassment, and hurled "F U, pig!" type insults by kids who belonged to a class of "all are potential/likely suspects", whether or not he was racist in the Klan sense, he believed (as you clearly do) should auto-submit instantly to his badge/orders, whom his training insisted were "suspect" simply because they were not obedient to the Point of Contact command-set (part of their training in a society that has been under the thumb of a demonstratably racist police force for so long that they have begun to resist at last, and are often punished for any such "uppidy" resistance) seems to have pushed this guy over the edge. I feel bad for him, in that regard, as the way he was trained and the society he was in led to a situation where, even though he was cleared by a corrupted system-- if you want to know how insanely corrupt Missouri's court system is, with all parties who're supposed to oversee/check one another completely in bed with one another, instead, I can talk about it for days-- that carefully arranged the data and how they were presented, must live with the life he took. He was within the bounds of what is permitted of American police by law, so no civil rights were violated based on the evidence at hand. There is certainly no evidence, as required for such charges against an officer, that Officer Wilson himself was racist, evil, or began the encounter with any racist intent. And no one in their right mind (emphasis on that!) argues that he was/did. Yet, even if justified in his actions by the loose regs and leeway America gives police compared to most countries, it is barely so unless one goes to great effort (as you do) to shade the chain of events entirely against the kid, and I remain FAR FAR FAR more skeptical of his self-defense claims than you or the Justice Department.

I applaud good and dedicated police officers who go to work to risk their lives in an attempt to make our lives better and more peaceful. Applaud! And I thank them for their service, as I do to military veterans who lay their lives on the line on behalf of my nation. But I do not give any of them a magical benefit of the doubt, which they too often receive, when investigating the actions of one potential bad actor in a place/situation where there's a pattern of bad behavior. The phrase "The Thin Blue Line", in which officers defend their fellow officers even when those fellows are the worst kinds of bad actors, tars you all with a brush you should not accept. If the good cops treated the bad cops as the same type of criminals you go after on the street, regardless of badge, and if civilians weren't treated as subjects-of-the-king, so to speak, especially in minority communities with a history of oppressive brutality by officials, you'd be in a lot less danger. That's not me talking, that's every study/report by the Justice Department, studies by university students/Criminal Justice professors, going back decades!

On a final note, I must issue a self-correction in my earlier posts. I previously asserted there was no stripe in the road, from low-angle images I had seen that showed none. There is in fact a center stripe on his residential neighborhood road, seen in higher-angle shots.

As I said earlier, we ALL have biases, promulgated from our life experiences, education, upbringing, cultural influences and personal views...ALL. I freely admit I tend to lean towards the law side when these media sensational stories break, partly because of how the media portrays each incident, and partly because I know how complex the inter and intra-community relationship between LE and citizens is, especially in high crime areas. If it comes down to he said-he said, I will lean towards the cop as he should have the position of law and order, and hopefully integrity. I am not quick to buy the story of a criminal, as they all lie everytime they interact with LE...all. I usually will wait until the actual facts come out before I make an opinion, but some stories are obvious, like that dumbass murdering cop who shot the man who ran away for a stop sign violation, then tried to plant a taser on him with the story, he resisted...thankfully a citizen video recorded his ass and I hope he enjoys life in prison. There is a "fleeing felon" legal element that allows a police officer to shoot someone running away, but the officer must have concrete knowledge the guy is a violent felon, and be able to articulate and substantiate the community at large was endangered if he got away.

Video isn't always a true representation of the whole picture, but in that case, I believe it was. I am very well versed on the sociological and criminogenic forces at play in neighborhoods, labeling theory, profiling, transitional zone impacts and social disorganizational theories....it is all contributory. Now we are where we are in society, and undoing jim crow law long term impacts, at home taught anti cop perspectives, culture of ignorance and non compliance etc etc all leads to a circular dynamic of distrust.

Reversing that dynamic is nigh impossible. In my thesis on this topic (criminology and generation next) I proposed social programs, minority leaders and community leaders work together to early mitigate these various forces at play by educating young parents, assisting them in gaining education opportunities and incentivizing adherence to programs and remaining on track to better position them in the community for a successful career track as well as ensure higher probability for not becoming a statistic. The recidivism rates are horrific, 4 out of 5 prisoners will be re-incarcerated within three years of release. These programs can be financed by the (hopeful) drop in the ever rising investigation/prosecution/incarceration costs if these types of changes are implemented. The only way the stigma will change is if community leaders from within raise the cultural standard of the people trapped in a cycle of disorganization and systemic poverty.

Once the disturbing trend of 68% of all violent crime being perpetrated by 13% of the population declines, police managers will put the police forces in areas like protect and serve, rather than the never ending cycle of patrol and arrest in high crime areas. The police are required to combat crime, if the crime drops, the tactics will change. Yeah I know, chicken and the egg, and that is the challenge that criminologists face...how to reverse the trend.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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16-07-2015, 10:56 AM (This post was last modified: 16-07-2015 11:28 AM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: Really tired of people who claim America is being destroyed.
(16-07-2015 09:41 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  GwoG, thanks for the thoughtful reply.

I don't think police work really can be proactive, except in the form of presence patrols in neighborhoods where troubles occur, because crimes can always happen faster than police can be there. Now, profiling can be a useful tool in helping to attack that problem, but the fact is that innocent folks can and do get caught up in profiling situations. And too often in the minds of bad cops, the profile becomes the enemy.

I'm not kneejerk anti-cop -- I've got two LEOs in my family -- but there are enough problems with policing in this country, particularly as it regards minorities and how they're treated -- that the current state of affairs is untenable. A justice system only works when the citizenry have faith that justice is being served. Your point about trial by media -- and the riots that ensue -- is apt, but look, riots are almost always an expression of frustration in people whose voices aren't being heard. Certainly it's counterproductive, stupid, and criminal. I'm not trying to justify those acts. But I am saying that they are symptomatic of a large feeling in black communities around the country that police are not policing fairly.

I'm sorry if I got a little strident in my earlier posts. I shouldn't have talked to you in such a manner; please accept my apology.

Absolutely, and this is a complex and difficult subject. Reversing the situation we have found ourselves in after generations of oppression, jim crow laws, segregation, and the boiling kettle that created is further complicated by the long term development of mutual distrust between minorities and LE. Fixing that is going to be difficult, if not impossible. I feel if the community most affected worked to stay out of the system by not breaking the law, and focus on education and staying out of trouble, the stereotypes will no longer be correlated to actual fact as they are now. Reversing the sad statistic of 68% of all violent crime is perpetrated by AA males between 16-26 yo. It is difficult for the government to step in and BAAAM fix it, you cant throw money at it, you cant propagate instant dismissal of years of systemic institutionalized racist perspective...only time will fix it, and strong minority leaders fixing their communities to change them from perceived criminal breeding grounds to socially responsible and contributing members' of society who simply want to better themselves, not victimize each other as it is now. The Black on Black murder statistics is appalling....if "black lives matter" then maybe start that within their own communities.

ugh....I could write for days on this, it is the basis of my thesis afterall, there is no quick fix, this has been exhaustively researched and studied, I have huge textbooks full of the studies, statistics, and criminogenic/sociological contributing causals of crime. The data speaks for itself, the problem is undoing the damage done and reversing the trend, part of that is self caused. "don't do the crime, don't do the time" is relatively still a true statement. We could get into another huge discussion on the WHY of crime, WHY the low income neighborhoods inevitably have all of the violent crime. The problem isn't the racist cops kicking timmy in the head on his way home from sunday school, it is the culture and circle of poverty that creates conditions that encourage crime. Labeling theory is valid and one of my pet theories, you call someone a criminal long enough, and treat him like one, he will become one.

INSERTED EDIT: Another of my favorite criminology/sociology theories is the Strain Theory, and specifically its American version. In America we are taught from birth the American dream, work hard and realize your dreams. The stark reality is quite the opposite for many, and the strain on them to craft conditions for themselves to realize that dream are few and far between. This breeds a unique level of frustration, and a subconscious desire to make that happen at any cost, and as short of a trip as possible. There are few legal shortcuts to financial success in America, but there are many illegal ones that beckon those who wish to change their lot in life, and get their "American Dream"...Like crime.

If black lives matter, then prove it amongst themselves as well would be a great place to start. You are correct, profiling is and should be illegal...in a perfect world. But if you don't study patterns of crime, to discover trends, and then promulgate actions to mitigate those, the crime just increases. We cant be a reactive police force. The community relationship between the community and the police SHOULD be one of dual concern, trust, and honesty. That isn't the reality, and HOW do we fix that is the question of the century. You cant say, "cops stop policing high crime areas and harassing citizens" when those very citizens are perpetrating the majority of the violent crime. The attitude from both sides needs to change, doing that is seemingly impossible...

No apology needed, or desired. No hard feelings here Thump, if we didn't give a shit, we wouldn't be discussing it. It is easy to let emotions and personal perspectives lead the conversation, and the heat rises right? Tongue I am well aware of my personal biases as a former cop, and my "white privilege" and I am also well aware of the complexity of the problem. Refusing to discuss it, or acknowledge the causals on both sides is not conducive for progress. Unfortunately as soon as an educated white man points out the hard cold facts, he gets labeled as a racist. The nation needs to have this conversation, and finger pointing and refusal to accept biases and causals on both sides of the problem isn't part of the solution.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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16-07-2015, 12:20 PM
RE: Really tired of people who claim America is being destroyed.
(16-07-2015 10:56 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  The data speaks for itself, the problem is undoing the damage done and reversing the trend, part of that is self caused. "don't do the crime, don't do the time" is relatively still a true statement. We could get into another huge discussion on the WHY of crime, WHY the low income neighborhoods inevitably have all of the violent crime. The problem isn't the racist cops kicking timmy in the head on his way home from sunday school, it is the culture and circle of poverty that creates conditions that encourage crime. Labeling theory is valid and one of my pet theories, you call someone a criminal long enough, and treat him like one, he will become one.

INSERTED EDIT: Another of my favorite criminology/sociology theories is the Strain Theory, and specifically its American version. In America we are taught from birth the American dream, work hard and realize your dreams. The stark reality is quite the opposite for many, and the strain on them to craft conditions for themselves to realize that dream are few and far between. This breeds a unique level of frustration, and a subconscious desire to make that happen at any cost, and as short of a trip as possible. There are few legal shortcuts to financial success in America, but there are many illegal ones that beckon those who wish to change their lot in life, and get their "American Dream"...Like crime.

See, yeah... all of that right there. That's something in which we are hugely in agreement. I am both a Label- and Strain-theory adherent, though the terms are new to me. Those fit with my observations of the population which, as a white, middle-class, college-educated scientist trained to study populations (of animals, yes, but many of the principles fit) and interactions, I was uniquely positioned to gather unbiased information about. By unbiased, I mean I had little interaction with law enforcement prior to the Big Arrest, and the cops weren't the problem in my case, so I could take in stories of both "it's a hard life in the hood" and the "evil cops they hate us" from a pretty neutral standpoint.

A common misconception (among my family, mostly, who still say some horrifying shit even as they're trying to congratulate me on my liberation) is that, because I spent so much of my time as a prisoner and defended so many guys who were wrongfully charged, overcharged, or illegally convicted (whether actually guilty or otherwise), that I have become some sort of anarchist! Criticizing the astounding degree of corruption in the system, and the trends that have gained so much momentum as to be seemingly unstoppable, doesn't make me against having a justice system. I simply hate the erosion of constitutional protections and rights on behalf of efficiency/expediency in pursuit of the awful (and racist!) policies of the drug war and the ghettoization of America. I have zero doubt, GwoG, that you had to read about the national and state policies that led to the bad neighborhoods in the first place as things like the works programs and GI Bill led to a suburban, lily-white Middle Class America that felt the need to defend itself against encroachment, and the bitterness of those who watched themselves passed by as their neighborhoods descended into third-world-nation status/societies.

I wish you officers knew how badly corrupted the "Justice System" of courtrooms has become. Most people (95%) won't go to trial, and plead Guilty not because they are guilty of the crime, necessarily, but because they're well aware that if a corrupt cop is testifying it doesn't matter what the other facts are... because they know the Public Pretenders are so overloaded they can't do more than give it a half-assed try against the resources of the state and a prosecutor who can manipulate every element of the courtroom (including, yes, the judge, in almost all circumstances), and if they take it to trial they'll get clobbered, as I was, and will do more time fighting to overturn the wrongful conviction (if they have the brains and money to do what it takes to do that, which few do) than they'd get on the plea bargain... you quite literally tend to do less time if you plead guilty to a crime than if you're innocent of that crime and fight to prove that innocence. This I know all too well. Undecided

Unfortunately this systemic and generational repression of minority and poorer communities, coupled with awareness of the ways in which the system is rigged--a fact widely learned via the "velociraptors testing the fence" method, which metaphorically consists of your group's snouts getting shocked repeatedly, and telling your friends about it, as you keep looking for a gap-- causes those who want to get ahead to seek alternate means, and to sink lower down the "moral chain" in order to survive. It's a jungle out there, after all. This blows back on the police, and their response makes the jungle worse. A bad cycle.

The Capitalist (American) model, which works well for the people at the top and upper-middle, but does so by crapping all over the bottom-levels and trying to sustain itself with false promises of upward mobility (as you know and stated, the stats bear it out overwhelmingly) causes a frustration that is palpable, a resentment that is almost overwhelming when you encounter it in person, because they are well-aware of this history and the reasons for such policy... and yet they, being good Capitalist Believers, live by the "get money at all costs" philosophy... and if they have to "go gangster" to get it (this means grab your cash at all costs, including and especially by breaking the law and/or taking it from others), then that's what they'll do. Why wouldn't they? Hard work is not only hard, tedious, and long, it is often actively discouraged and/or worthless, even for those who meet the struggle, because the system is rigged in myriad ways. It's definitely not a matter of "well if you just work hard enough", for those on the bottom, and it's our white privilege that we can even think so. I am very happy to see you recognize that fact... most of our ethnicity simply don't. Or won't. Sad

As a result, we have so much misery, and proportionally more crime among the groups most affected by these awful environments/societies/cultures (there goes my political career), and a "crabs in a bucket" effect in which it is all but impossible for an individual to "rise above" without the others pulling them back in. Or worse.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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16-07-2015, 02:21 PM
RE: Really tired of people who claim America is being destroyed.
(16-07-2015 12:20 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(16-07-2015 10:56 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  The data speaks for itself, the problem is undoing the damage done and reversing the trend, part of that is self caused. "don't do the crime, don't do the time" is relatively still a true statement. We could get into another huge discussion on the WHY of crime, WHY the low income neighborhoods inevitably have all of the violent crime. The problem isn't the racist cops kicking timmy in the head on his way home from sunday school, it is the culture and circle of poverty that creates conditions that encourage crime. Labeling theory is valid and one of my pet theories, you call someone a criminal long enough, and treat him like one, he will become one.

INSERTED EDIT: Another of my favorite criminology/sociology theories is the Strain Theory, and specifically its American version. In America we are taught from birth the American dream, work hard and realize your dreams. The stark reality is quite the opposite for many, and the strain on them to craft conditions for themselves to realize that dream are few and far between. This breeds a unique level of frustration, and a subconscious desire to make that happen at any cost, and as short of a trip as possible. There are few legal shortcuts to financial success in America, but there are many illegal ones that beckon those who wish to change their lot in life, and get their "American Dream"...Like crime.

See, yeah... all of that right there. That's something in which we are hugely in agreement. I am both a Label- and Strain-theory adherent, though the terms are new to me. Those fit with my observations of the population which, as a white, middle-class, college-educated scientist trained to study populations (of animals, yes, but many of the principles fit) and interactions, I was uniquely positioned to gather unbiased information about. By unbiased, I mean I had little interaction with law enforcement prior to the Big Arrest, and the cops weren't the problem in my case, so I could take in stories of both "it's a hard life in the hood" and the "evil cops they hate us" from a pretty neutral standpoint.

A common misconception (among my family, mostly, who still say some horrifying shit even as they're trying to congratulate me on my liberation) is that, because I spent so much of my time as a prisoner and defended so many guys who were wrongfully charged, overcharged, or illegally convicted (whether actually guilty or otherwise), that I have become some sort of anarchist! Criticizing the astounding degree of corruption in the system, and the trends that have gained so much momentum as to be seemingly unstoppable, doesn't make me against having a justice system. I simply hate the erosion of constitutional protections and rights on behalf of efficiency/expediency in pursuit of the awful (and racist!) policies of the drug war and the ghettoization of America. I have zero doubt, GwoG, that you had to read about the national and state policies that led to the bad neighborhoods in the first place as things like the works programs and GI Bill led to a suburban, lily-white Middle Class America that felt the need to defend itself against encroachment, and the bitterness of those who watched themselves passed by as their neighborhoods descended into third-world-nation status/societies.

I wish you officers knew how badly corrupted the "Justice System" of courtrooms has become. Most people (95%) won't go to trial, and plead Guilty not because they are guilty of the crime, necessarily, but because they're well aware that if a corrupt cop is testifying it doesn't matter what the other facts are... because they know the Public Pretenders are so overloaded they can't do more than give it a half-assed try against the resources of the state and a prosecutor who can manipulate every element of the courtroom (including, yes, the judge, in almost all circumstances), and if they take it to trial they'll get clobbered, as I was, and will do more time fighting to overturn the wrongful conviction (if they have the brains and money to do what it takes to do that, which few do) than they'd get on the plea bargain... you quite literally tend to do less time if you plead guilty to a crime than if you're innocent of that crime and fight to prove that innocence. This I know all too well. Undecided

Unfortunately this systemic and generational repression of minority and poorer communities, coupled with awareness of the ways in which the system is rigged--a fact widely learned via the "velociraptors testing the fence" method, which metaphorically consists of your group's snouts getting shocked repeatedly, and telling your friends about it, as you keep looking for a gap-- causes those who want to get ahead to seek alternate means, and to sink lower down the "moral chain" in order to survive. It's a jungle out there, after all. This blows back on the police, and their response makes the jungle worse. A bad cycle.

The Capitalist (American) model, which works well for the people at the top and upper-middle, but does so by crapping all over the bottom-levels and trying to sustain itself with false promises of upward mobility (as you know and stated, the stats bear it out overwhelmingly) causes a frustration that is palpable, a resentment that is almost overwhelming when you encounter it in person, because they are well-aware of this history and the reasons for such policy... and yet they, being good Capitalist Believers, live by the "get money at all costs" philosophy... and if they have to "go gangster" to get it (this means grab your cash at all costs, including and especially by breaking the law and/or taking it from others), then that's what they'll do. Why wouldn't they? Hard work is not only hard, tedious, and long, it is often actively discouraged and/or worthless, even for those who meet the struggle, because the system is rigged in myriad ways. It's definitely not a matter of "well if you just work hard enough", for those on the bottom, and it's our white privilege that we can even think so. I am very happy to see you recognize that fact... most of our ethnicity simply don't. Or won't. Sad

As a result, we have so much misery, and proportionally more crime among the groups most affected by these awful environments/societies/cultures (there goes my political career), and a "crabs in a bucket" effect in which it is all but impossible for an individual to "rise above" without the others pulling them back in. Or worse.

all very true and well stated. One of the travesties of the system is plea bargain. The way it works is we stack the book against you, pile up as many charges as possible, so the prosecution can lean on you and say..."look man, you are facing 15-20 years of hard time if we get a conviction on all counts, and we have the evidence to substantiate them....OR, you can plead guilty to a lesser charge, and we drop all of these other charges, you will get 3-5 years, be up for parole at 18 months....so which do you choose? Quickly now, the judge is impatient to try this case and we need an answer now."

The defense attorney also advises you it is a good deal.

The suspect agrees to the plea bargain and pleads guilty. The prosecution walks over to the judges chamber and says we have a guilty plea via a plea bargain, judge signs off on it, the prosecution gets another case cleared, with a conviction, the defense attorney gets another case cleared and a plea bargain which is viewed as a win, and you get the time and the conviction on your record.

Then (if it was a felony) you have the joy of trying to find legal and legit employment once you are out as a convicted felon. Now in Florida they are trying a new model. If it isn't a vicious crime, like murdered a family of five etc, and it is your first offense, they will remove the felon label, with the caveat you have to keep your nose clean for 5 years. This allows you to legally NOT check the convicted of a felony box on an employment application. Which gives you the chance to restart. if not, then as a labeled felon, the system is basically forcing you to recommit crime to survive, then back through the legal turnstile you go, now as a repeat pattern criminal, facing higher sentencing guidelines.

It is the way the system works, and that is from the inside, no shit. I think the no felon label for non uber violent convicted ex-prisoners who keep their nose clean is a brilliant method to allow those with mistakes on their record to reenter and reintegrate into society.

...and we wonder why we have 5% of the world's population, and 25% of the world's prisoner population.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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16-07-2015, 03:43 PM
RE: Really tired of people who claim America is being destroyed.
Dead right, GwoG. They don't even bother to tell you "we have the evidence", anymore. They just use various enhancements and games of delay (while you're held in increasingly-hellish jail conditions, depending on how much they want to lean on you) until going to prison quite literally starts to sound like relief, as guys tell you how much less-shitty life in prison is. And it really is not as bad as the jails, not because they want to be nice to prisoners, but because if you held inmates in the prison in conditions as bad as the jails, there'd be riots every week. Literally. The big plea-bargain system is the Probation bait-and-switch. After spending months in living hell... and let me try to tell you in 80,000 words or less how much hell it is, and still I will fail... of the big city jail systems (because of nightmare, psychotic and/or drug addicted violent neighbors, stacked in there like cord wood) and small-county jails (because they were built for 10 and now hold 50, and the Sheriffs out there enjoy tormenting their Evildoers)... they come to the Defendant with a "bargain" of probation. "Just sign this paper, and you can walk out of here today. Be good for 5 years, and you won't even go to prison." Well who wouldn't jump on that? What they don't tell you is you're signing an agreement with a HUGE 'backup' sentence, usually the full amount they could originally have gotten out of you at trial, and agreeing to a list of "tasks to complete" that are nearly impossible for a human being, and the 5-year number can reset and start the timer over, any time they want, if you're deemed to have violated any of the 100's of conditions the Probation Officer can demand of you. When they've gotten all the money they can out of you, usually at the 4 1/2 year mark, they find a reason to violate you, and you get the 15 year backup in prison. I must have had quite literally a thousand such cases go across my desk, while I was in. I am grateful I never had to deal with Probation, myself. It's a joke, a trap, and Public Defenders think they're doing guys a favor by getting them out of jail "right now", with huuuuge backups as part of the agreement; the prosecutor is snickering the whole time.

Jails are designed to be psychologically "breaking", so you don't want to keep fighting, and take the deal you'll be offered. If they had to keep you in jail longterm, it'd have to change, because people would be going insane with no stimulation and nothing at all to do, in crowded cages. Prisons know better, and provide games, distractions, hobbies, and some level of comfort. Same with the TVs in there... they're not for the inmates, they're for the guards to not get stabbed daily. Babysitters. (I laugh when people whine about how nice prisoners have it, since they don't grasp that it's still a living hell, and the few comforts the civilians are complaining about are what prevent Attica repeats. Some idiot politician gets that bright idea every so often, yelling "take away their TVs" for the public glee, and their Secretary of Corrections just ignores them.)

Because I fought for my innocence, I spent 21 months in jail before being taken to prison... I never saw the sun once in all that time, our "mandated by law" recreation was inside, in a room with slats over the windows, in a cyclone-fence cage no bigger than about double the cell I just left. And that's only an hour a day, in which you're locked in there without use of bathroom, etc, until the end of the period. No one to talk to in there. Pointless. Even the tunnel we took to go to the window-less courtroom was underground. When I was taken to a medical appointment, a few days before being transported to prison, I finally saw the sun and got to ride in a car... it started to drizzle despite the bright sun, as we walked toward the clinic, and I tripped on my leg-shackles, falling to my knees, and I just knelt there and cried. The transport officer looked around, embarassed, not understanding why I had started sobbing. Sunlight and water on my skin after nearly two years without either.

Was my accusation a crime of violence or a sexual predation, you wonder to yourself, trying to figure out why it would be so awful? Was I a supreme danger to society because of threats or robberies, or something else that meant they had to keep me in dungeon-basement conditions instead of being okay with my desire to go to trial? Nope. Just your run-of-the-mill Medical Marijuana proponent (and vocal AIDS activist who criticized the local gov't heavily for its treatment of them) who tried to help people attain high-grade medicine. Never sold it, never transported it. But I had an accuser (angry ex) who said I did, and that's all the evidence they needed to initiate hell on earth. To cheat to win, at least for the first 9 years... and really, longer than that, since I'm still fighting the identical, 2nd state case on the other side of the city.

I wish I could say I was an atypical case, but the only thing especially strange was that I fought back against the fabrications because I was naiive enough to think Truth Will Win Out, that the scientific method applied in that courtroom. So stupid! But still, even as reality dawned on me, I stood my ground, because damnit, what they were saying was WRONG, and I was RIGHT and you can't send an innocent person to prison! Etc... etc... etc...

Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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17-07-2015, 07:00 PM
RE: Really tired of people who claim America is being destroyed.
(15-07-2015 09:50 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  I walk as my dad taught me: boy, you should walk like you own everything you can see.

Is that a swagger, a strut, or a charade? I'm white and I don't know the deal.

No...that's a 'tude. You swagger despite what you've been taught. You can strut to keep up the charade.

The second mouse gets the cheese.
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17-07-2015, 07:27 PM
RE: Really tired of people who claim America is being destroyed.
From working in a detention centre, both as a CO and later with immigration, I've probably got enough fucked up stories to last a lifetime. I think I got along with the inmates better than management. We'd say if you don't get suspended at least once or twice per year, you're probably not doing your job right. I abandoned civilian law enforcement the second I saw a more viable option. I'll have to wait to chime in on the conversation, though. Going to bed.

'Murican Canadian
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