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Video Exonerates Man Set Up By Louisiana Cops And Prosecutors

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by CometsWin, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. HamJam

    HamJam Contributing Member

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    Because reform does not work. It never works. When reform fails, the only options are more radical and revolutionary ones -- or complacency.
     
  2. HamJam

    HamJam Contributing Member

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    Police do not typically police the area they live in, unless it is a smaller town -- I honestly think it would be better if they did. They would have a connection and accountability to the people they were dealing with, because they would see everyday when they took their dog for a walk, or their kid to the playground. As it is now, they act like an occupying force.

    As to watch people abusing their neighbors -- I mean, do you really think that little of your neighbors. My kids go in and out of my neighbor's houses.Their kids are in my house. We trust each other.

    Maybe most people have weaker communities than mine and that is why they feel like my more anarchistic view is so impractical. I trust my neighbors a hell of a lot more than I trust the police though.

    I think neighborhood watch people would be less abusive than police because they would have the accountability of seeing the person they abused across the street every day, and because they would not be able to hide behind the law like police do when they abuse people. Unlike the police, if you abuse your neighbor then you have an enemy right across the street from you, as well as all their friends and your other neighbors who disagree with what you did. You would be a vulnerable target.
     
  3. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    And perhaps the corollary -- that we are often helping to unjustly destroy other people's lives. If it's happening so often, there must be a lot of participants. Think about what you've done at the office today. Have you destroyed a coworker's career? Perhaps you've sabotaged a customer? Maybe you've only abetted an evil coworker of yours to do such things. But look around because if you aren't doing it someone may be doing it to you.
     
  4. Major

    Major Member

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    Police also have oversight. Picture your community militia in Selma 50 years ago. A neighborhood of 100 white people and a few black ones. The white people kill the black ones. Who's to stop them? Basically, you just create a mob mentality - law is whatever the people say it is. No protection of minority rights. No objective authority for anyone to appeal to.

    Think of the following police departments:

    A small town in rural Texas
    A major city (Austin, Houston, whatever)
    State Troopers
    The FBI

    Which do you think is most likely to be corrupt? Almost universally, the larger the scale, the more professional and better trained people are, and the less subject they are to doing stupid things. When is the last time you heard about FBI members being involved in things like the original post?

    Smaller, more local = less oversight, less training, more abuse. Community watches are no different.
     
  5. HamJam

    HamJam Contributing Member

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    I don't know about the idea that the larger they are the better they are. I think that is wrong. The FBI and CIA have done a lot of very heinous things over the years.

    At any rate, your argument about small towns is a good one and one I have heard before. But I will also point out to you that the police in those areas often facilitated the abuse of minorities, not the opposite. They often made it harder on the persecuted than it would have been otherwise -- making the level playing field even more uneven.

    Have you heard of the book "This Non Violence Stuff Will Get You Killed"? It talks about the southern blacks creating something along the lines of what I am talking about, and what effect actions like that had on the civil rights movement.
     
  6. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    1. When your community militia starts abusing their powers, the second abuse they'll invent is how to protect one another from accountability to the community.

    2. Once the militia's power is established, someone will want to consolidate the power under him and create a government to do so. Governments were created in the first place to provide and control protection for its citizens.

    What you're describing is essentially a proto-government, the back-to-basics sort of governance when everything has broken down. This is feudal Europe or nineteenth century caudillismo or the mafia or current-day Somalia. I can understand the frustration with corruption in the current system but it is light-years more sophisticated than a do-it-yourself job. Modern policing has professionals who don't have to work a second job, they have training, management, regulation, and accountability. It has corruption also, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. If the citizenry remains engaged and demands accountability we can maintain a system that is less corrupt than the alternatives.
     
  7. HamJam

    HamJam Contributing Member

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    I look at the way the Zapatistas have been able to create a stable and peaceful community without the state police for the last two decades -- even under the duress of the state police. Whereas areas around them are infested with crime, corruption, drug lords and police brutality, they have created something that I think is worth emulating and learning from.
     
  8. Major

    Major Member

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    It's also how you get things like Honor Killings in India or all the crazy things we hear about in Sharia Law. That's all based on the idea of the community policing itself and creating its own rules. Just because it works for one community or for some period of time doesn't mean it will in others or in the long run. Just look at how dysfunctional and vindictive and childish HOA leadership often is and imagine those people actually having more power.
     
  9. HamJam

    HamJam Contributing Member

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    I would just rather try something like what the Zapatistas are doing which might work instead of plead for reform that I know won't work. What we have is not good enough, we should demand better and fight for those demands.

    If we don't we should not expect change.

    So, what I am saying is, if you want change and are tired of the abuse of powers, I think the only option is radical and revolutionary action like what is being done in Chiapas by the Zapatistas.

    If you can convince me that reform might somehow work, then I am on board. But I just have lost all faith in our government and officials to successfully and honestly do anything at this point. So, until I think reform is possible again, my only choice is to advocate for more revolutionary measures and to encourage others that are similarly frustrated to do the same.
     
  10. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    I think that's a fair example. But, I'd also point out that the Zapatistas are leveraging a pre-existing Mayan tribal government of elders. They didn't invent it from scratch. And the official government it competes with is much more corrupt than what we have in the States.

    There may be lessons worth taking from them or other communities. Maybe you're right that police need to be more local to the areas they patrol than they are. Maybe they need to represent the community better (I know some cities have pushed minority recruitment for just this reason, but they have trouble convincing minorities to become part of the Establishment). But I think you underestimate how much good we get from the current system to compare with the bad. And, just how traumatic sweeping away the old order would really be. Reforming what we have is possible and will be more successful than starting over.
     
  11. HamJam

    HamJam Contributing Member

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    First of all, I just want to say that, even though we disagree, I really appreciate your measured and non-dismissive tone.

    These are both good points. However, I will point out that, while they are indeed leveraging a pre-existing tribal government (as are the Kurds in Rojava fighting Daesh that are also currently organized in a similar manner), the structure they currently have borrows as much from non-traditional ideas like Socialism, Democracy and Feminism as from traditional culture. In other words, yes, the traditional strength of their communities can not be discounted when analyzing their success using the system they are -- but their structure is also heavily dependent on non-traditional ideas that we have just as much exposure to as they did back in 94 -- if not more so.

    And, while Mexico is indeed more corrupt and terrible than the U.S., I am not sure that makes me feel better about the state of things here -- I know it doesn't make the innocent people framed by the police and justice system feel better.

    I don't know -- perhaps my personal experience and that of the people I grew up around colors my view. First time I met my father was visiting him in prison. He was in there for non-violent crimes, but he came out a violent and abusive person. He ended up spending most of his life in prison --and, between that and the way he acted after being institutionalized, the family I grew up in was a nightmare. And the experience of most of the people I grew up with is similar. So, to me, I have a hard time seeing the good outweighing the bad.

    Reform is certainly an easier solution, but that does not make it the best solution. As I told Major, if I thought reform was possible I would be on board for that -- but I don't think it is anymore.

    Who would you trust and depend on in our government to reform things?
     
  12. CometsWin

    CometsWin Breaker Breaker One Nine

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    I don't think we'll ever have these types of significant structural reforms. I think in the foreseeable future as in the recent past it'll be technology that starts exposing more and more of this behavior. If it were not for the cell phone video this guy would be gone for life. It's frightening the power that is placed in the hands of unethical people that also are given the benefit of the doubt by virtue of simply having that power.

    I really like the idea of more community based policing. I would think you're less likely to commit these kinds of acts if you're more invested with the people and areas you police. It would be more conducive to trust rather than cynicism and fear.
     
  13. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    This!!!
    When 'law enforcement' breaks the rules. . .they are rarely punished
    and almost never to the extent of their victims
    [or the general populace would if they did the same crime]

    Rocket River
     
  14. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    There is a big difference between being disbarred and GOING TO PRISON

    When was the last time a Prosecutor went to prison for 'misinterpretting the law' or withholding vital evidence that sent people to prison?

    Rocket River
     
  15. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    Actually it is not as hard as we think
    Two Cops and set someone up
    Hell an overzealous prosecutor

    a nudge here . . and wink there . . . .
    If a cop says it happened this way . . . barring video [and even then it is not 100%]
    that is the way everyone will view it

    Video of Rodney King getting beaten didn't stop the officers from getting off.

    Rocket River
     
  16. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    I'm sure. And, I'm sure my experience colors my view. And, I take a lot from studies in history (and it sounds like you do as well). I think it's the latter, perhaps through the lens of the former, that informs my position that revolutions are 90% disaster.

    I don't think you can trust in people. I think Cometswin has it here -- technology and innovation will reform things. On the tech side, proliferation of cameras and things like DNA testing have already helped a lot. Body cameras are coming. Robust media has helped shine light on corruption. Even simple things like different patrol practices and organizational control have helped and will help in the future (there have also been innovations that took us in the wrong direction, like stop-and-frisk). We won't get rid of corruption. And, I don't think there's some initiative someone can take to radically reduce corruption. But, the steady advance of innovation and professionalization has and will put downward pressure over time.
     
  17. Major

    Major Member

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    I understand the approach, but I disagree. I think police bring a lot of value. For example, investigative powers. Community militias aren't capable of doing DNA analysis or having access to international databases or investigating people outside of their community or any number of other things. Your approach might make sense for the theft committed by your neighbor. Who takes care of the thief that came from another town, broke in, and left? Or some white collar mortgage fraud that takes place in the shadows and that your local militia has no expertise in?

    Reform is certainly complex, but I would argue the system is much better than it was 30 years ago, in large due to technology and professionalism. I think one thing that absolutely needs to be done is sort of the opposite of what you suggest - I think no group should be allowed to investigate itself. If a cop or judge is accused of wrongdoing, State Police or Feds should investigate. No police department should be relying on "internal investigations" and things like that. Eliminating that "thin blue line" concept would help rectify some, though not nearly all, of these abuses. A higher risk of getting caught would help reduce willingness to abuse.
     
  18. Teen Wolf

    Teen Wolf Member

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    This has always been my biggest gripe with the system.
     
  19. Remii

    Remii Member

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    'Brothers are scared of revolution'...


    The punishment for people who work in the justice system and participate in illegal activities should be harsh. They're too soft on these dudes and until that changes there will always be corruption.
     
  20. Duncan McDonuts

    Duncan McDonuts Contributing Member

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    I hope they throw the book at all the conspirators. Or rather, hand the book to them to not get accused of assault.
     

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