eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
Eagle, what you say is true. However, it should also be pointed out that cops are paid--and paid very well if they are part of a large department--to do what they do and assume the risks that they assume. Beyond great pay, there are great benefits, pension, job security and often generous amounts of overtime. You can retire after 20 years in with a full pension, then go get another job that has pension benefits and find yourself at age 60 or so with dual pensions collectively worth six figures, plus COLA, plus, depending on the department and CBA, lifetime health benefits for yourself and your spouse. Good cops are worth every penny of this. But there is a flip side, and bad cops are, unfortunately, all-too-often insulated from accountability by unions and other cops. And it doesn't take many bad cops to tarnish the image of the entire profession.

It can be nearly impossible to fire cops who need firing--an arbitrator hereabouts recently ruled that a cop who pleaded guilty to shoplifting after being acquitted of theft in a separate incident must be reinstated. That's crazy--such an officer is useless because he/she would effectively not be able to testify in criminal cases. But the union is nonetheless fighting for reinstatement. There are many, many other incidents of cops who need to be fired keeping their jobs. Cops who don't patrol and instead spend their shifts visiting girlfriends or sleeping in their cars. Cops who fib on the stand while under oath. Cops who keep getting in trouble every five years, knowing that, pursuant to CBA's, misconduct that occurred five years ago cannot be considered in determining discipline for instant cases of misconduct. I think that these cops are in the minority, but their misdeeds spread like oil slicks. Making matters worse are so-called bills of rights for police officers enshrined in statute in Illinois and several other states, thanks to police union lobbyists. These laws govern how investigations into suspected misconduct by police officers can be investigated. Among other things, these laws forbid use of harsh language during questioning, require that officers under investigation be given breaks during questioning (and I've seen transcripts of interviews in which officers are allowed to request breaks pretty much anytime they want, and usually when the questioning gets thorny--it's not a stretch to believe that these breaks are taken to allow cops to consult with union lawyers before answering), ban the use of polygraphs and a litany of other stuff, much of which doesn't apply when civilians fall under suspicion. It begs the question of a double standard: When civilians are suspected of criminal activity, the cops are allowed to do things during the course of investigations that are prohibited by statute when a cop is suspected of criminal activity. Here's a link to the law in Illinois:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=736&ChapterID=11

In my opinion, cops should be treated like everyone else when it comes to accusations of criminal activity, yet they are not. And it's the law in a lot of states. It is hard, I think, to blame activists who see this and call it a double standard.

While I can be critical of cops, I recognize how important and necessary they are. On the whole, they save lives, they keep communities safe and they make this world a better place than it would otherwise be. They are very often bona fide heroes. However, there also needs to be accountability. Look up the Burge case in Chicago, the cop who tortured innocent people into giving false confessions. Nothing has happened to him, and he continues collecting a pension at the expense of taxpayers who have paid millions to settle lawsuits filed by the wrongfully convicted. What bothers me is that cops so often protect their own no matter what. They very seldom turn in bad colleagues no matter what they do, and the result is an understandable erosion in public trust of the police. I don't know what it's like in other countries, but my gut tells me that there is not the same level of distrust in police abroad that there is here.

At some point, you have to look at what's happening now and acknowledge that police, by virtue of misconduct and misbehavior, shoulder part of the blame for these demonstrations. That doesn't mean that the protesters are 100-percent right. But it would be nice if the police would acknowledge that they have made mistakes and that there is room for improvement.

Again, I have the utmost respect for police. It is a job that I couldn't do myself, and I am grateful for police. At the same time, they are paid--and paid well--to do a job, and when they fall short, the public is entitled to be critical and demand accountability. That's how stuff gets changed for the better.
A very thoughtful and well stated response, my friend. There is very little of what you said with which I disagree. However, you may have overstated the compensation levels for all but the largest municipalities and some State and Federal policing authorities. It has always amazed me that in spite of comparatively rigorous selection approaches, which include psychological testing, extensive background investigations, etc. a fair number of candidates unsuited for the profession make it to serve on the front lines of justice and when they do, 32rollandrock, you are right...bad things do happen and those issues must be addressed.
 

32rollandrock

Connoisseur
A very thoughtful and well stated response, my friend. There is very little of what you said with which I disagree. However, you may have overstated the compensation levels for all but the largest municipalities and some State and Federal policing authorities. It has always amazed me that in spite of comparatively rigorous selection approaches, which include psychological testing, extensive background investigations, etc. a fair number of candidates unsuited for the profession make it to serve on the front lines of justice and when they do, 32rollandrock, you are right...bad things do happen and those issues must be addressed.
Amen, brother.
 

WouldaShoulda

Suspended
Strike Two;

[h=1]U.S. Won’t Charge Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson[/h]
https://www.wsj.com/articles/us-wont-charge-ferguson-officer-darren-wilson-1425490206

In an 86-page report on the shooting probe, prosecutors concluded “there is no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove [Mr.] Wilson’s stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety.”
Federal investigators concluded the claims by some witnesses that Mr. Brown was running away when he was shot were contradicted by forensic evidence and other witnesses. Claims by some witnesses that Mr. Brown had his hands up as if to surrender at the time Mr. Wilson shot him weren’t reliable, prosecutors concluded.
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
Strike Two;

U.S. Won’t Charge Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson


https://www.wsj.com/articles/us-wont-charge-ferguson-officer-darren-wilson-1425490206

In an 86-page report on the shooting probe, prosecutors concluded “there is no evidence upon which prosecutors can rely to disprove [Mr.] Wilson’s stated subjective belief that he feared for his safety.”
Federal investigators concluded the claims by some witnesses that Mr. Brown was running away when he was shot were contradicted by forensic evidence and other witnesses. Claims by some witnesses that Mr. Brown had his hands up as if to surrender at the time Mr. Wilson shot him weren’t reliable, prosecutors concluded.

Well that settles it. Eric Holder is obviously a racist.
 

32rollandrock

Connoisseur
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/05/...column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

I shouldn't do this, but, I told you so. Please see Post 62. Also, read the report. It's 105 pages, but worth the time. Really, read the whole thing. News stories that summarize its contents don't come close--a woman jailed for six days for illegal parking and still owes more than $500 on the fine after already having paid more than $500, sick racist jokes openly shared in emails within city government, the city's court system is part of the police department, and it goes on and on and on. It's like reading about apartheid: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/03/04/us/ferguson-police-department-report.html

Nothing in the report should surprise anyone who lives, or who has lived, in St. Louis, and Ferguson, one of more than 90 municipalities that ring the city, is not alone. It has been going on for years in these municipalities, and everyone with half a brain who lives there or who has lived there knows it. That it has been allowed to go on for as long as it has gone on is disgusting. Sure, Wilson might well have been justified in shooting Brown. But the encounter between these two did not occur in a vacuum, and if this tragedy results in true change, Brown's death might, just might, have a purpose.
 
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32rollandrock

Connoisseur
Elevating a dead thug to a champion for civil rights is a sickness.

Other than that, I support reform of out of control local governments.
I did not elevate him. At all. Did you read the report? If not, you should. It explains very well the "why" part of what happened in Ferguson. In my opinion, anyone who puts forth an opinion about what happened in Ferguson, and some other places, without taking the time to read this report--and it really doesn't take that long--does not have an adequate footing on which to base an informed opinion. I don't much care for willy-nilly opinions, but I do value informed ones. This is not necessarily a criticism of you or anyone else. My concern is, people all-too-often go off saying stuff before educating themselves. Again, here's a link. It really doesn't take very long. In my opinion, it should be required reading for every high school student in this country--and everyone else should also read it. In the cold light of day, it is hard to imagine, in this day and age, that this stuff goes on right in front of everyone and that it has been accepted as "just the way it is" for as long as it has.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/03/04/us/ferguson-police-department-report.html
 

MaxBuck

Elite Member
Unfortunately, an incident like this one tends to bring out those on either side whose wish is to exonerate the participant they "support," rather than investigate the root causes of misbehavior by both sides.

The officer likely had better options for response that could have enhanced his own safety and the dead thug's chances of survival. The thug likely had better choices to make as well. Both the police and the African-American citizenry would be well-advised to look in the mirror in addition to pointing out difficulties caused by those on the other side of the fence.
 

Acct2000

Connoisseur - Moderator
MaxBuck, this is one of the most reasonable responses I've ever seen on this issue.

Too many people are using this tragedy to try to score cheap political points ON BOTH SIDES!!
 

32rollandrock

Connoisseur
OTOH, I wasn't talking about Wilson or Brown. I was talking about the report that explains why civil unrest erupted. Really, it had nothing to do with the shooting. Anyone who read the report would understand that.
 

MaxBuck

Elite Member
OTOH, I wasn't talking about Wilson or Brown. I was talking about the report that explains why civil unrest erupted. Really, it had nothing to do with the shooting. Anyone who read the report would understand that.
Any report that claims the recent unrest "had nothing to do with the (Brown) shooting" immediately loses credibility, regardless of its authorship.
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
^ Of course it had to do with the shooting!

The only reason it all of a sudden doesn't is because the original narrative of the shooting does not comport with the evidence. So instead, just change the topic and make it about "the big picture".

When the facts don't fit with your argument, just change the argument.
 

32rollandrock

Connoisseur
^ Of course it had to do with the shooting!

The only reason it all of a sudden doesn't is because the original narrative of the shooting does not comport with the evidence. So instead, just change the topic and make it about "the big picture".

When the facts don't fit with your argument, just change the argument.
Go back and read Post 62--I said much the same thing a long time ago.

Have you read the report? It is a yes or no question. If you have not, then, due respect, your opinion is not an informed one.
 

32rollandrock

Connoisseur
Also, I consistently said that we should wait for the facts, and when those came in, I recall saying that the shooting was justified.

But please, read the report. This situation is a lot more complicated, and troubling, than a cop shooting someone, regardless of whether it was justified.
 
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