Police officers should be educated professionals

It is ridiculous to give guns to people who are not required to have professional education in their field. Teachers are not allowed to rough up students, and certainly not to shoot the kids. (Anyway teaching attracts people who want to protect the kids.) Law enforcement types who are given guns and allowed to used violence should have at least as much training as teachers. At the very least police officers should complete a college-level program that includes law, sociology, psychology and EMT training. One semester of psychology should include information about recognizing mental illnesses. There could be a specific course on community policing. Any currently employed officer who does not successfully complete required core courses within a specified time period should be terminated.

Grade-school teachers have to have bachelors degrees to work in public schools. Teachers are expected to be professionals and to continue their education throughout their professional careers. Teachers have to pay for most of this education and any certification exams out of their own pockets.

EMT training should be required for all new officers. This would put a focus on helping and saving people, not attacking them. Citizens are patients to care for when they are injured. The EMT training would not need to be a full associate degree, but should involve enough hands-on training to allow the new officers to assist injured people at accidents and crime scenes. Officers who get tired of being cops should have enough training that they could get work with a fire department or driving an ambulance.

Currently employed officers without any serious citizen complaints could be encouraged to complete EMT training on a voluntary basis. Any officer who wants career advancement would need to take EMT training. Any officer who is involved in a shooting of any kind or any incident that results in the death or hospitalization of anyone would be required to complete the EMT training within some reasonable period. The life the EMT-trained officers save could be their partner's.

Here are some of the courses required for an on-line associate degree in criminal justice. I just picked this program randomly, but clearly there are existing courses that could be required for professional policing. Other programs might be better suited, but police unions should not be allowed to choose the courses. Exams should NOT be proctored by anyone associated with law enforcement.

J100 Preparing for a Career in Public Safety 5
CJ101 Introduction to the Criminal Justice System 5
CJ102 Criminology I 5
CJ110 Introduction to Crime Analysis 5
CJ140 Introduction to Constitutional Law 5
CJ200 Fundamentals of Psychological Profiling 5
CJ233 Introduction to Forensic Psychology 5
CJ266 Deviance and Violence

https://catalog.purdueglobal.edu/undergraduate/social-behavioral-science...

Citizens from the community should be allowed oversight of investigations into police misconduct. Please share any suggestions about how this should be set up.

Local police departments and magistrates offices should not be able to keep money from fines and confiscation of property. The money should be sent to the state government and redistributed back to communities. This would prevent some of the more appalling local exploitation of poor communities.

Qualifications for magistrates and coroners need to be increased in some places, too. There is too much rubber stamping of the "Oh, he just tripped" BS. There needs to be some transparent way to remove magistrates who are unethical and/or incompetent. Coroners should have enough science background to understand an autopsy report. Actual autopsies should be done by qualified professionals. Lab work needs to be done by qualified individuals and completed in a timely way using standard quality control procedures.

These suggestions are intended as a starting point for thinking of laws and policies that could decrease the problem of violence perpetrated by police.

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longtalldrink's picture

that police don't actually prevent crime, they usually only show up once a crime has already been committed. If there is a murder involved...detectives take over.

Here is an article from 2016 noting that having less police did not increase crime.

Y'all remember when NY's finest decided to go on strike to "prove" how much they were needed? Come to find out, the City breathed a sigh of relief during that time. No one missed the police...and the police (tail between their legs) quietly returned to "work".

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/07/25/does-more-...

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19 users have voted.

Well done is better than well said-Ben Franklin

gulfgal98's picture

is the culture of policing in the United States right now. I am going to copy a post I made late on another essay that has three main things wrong with policing in the US today as I see them. I applaud education and EMT training as things every officer should be capable of doing, but until the culture changes, they may not be enough.

At the top of my list is the warrior cop culture. The external trappings of the warrior cop are the militarization of police departments including equipment of war such MRAPs and the dressing of cop as if they are going into battle. But worse is the culture of the warrior cop, much of which is being promoted by police unions. This culture creates a mindset within the cop that every civilian is a potential threat to his personal safety. And his number one job is to return home safely each day.

From their earliest days in the academy, would-be officers are told that their prime objective, the proverbial “first rule of law enforcement,” is to go home at the end of every shift. But they are taught that they live in an intensely hostile world. A world that is, quite literally, gunning for them. /

The point of this training is to create fear within the officer every day. That fear translates into over use of force on a regular basis without any accountability. That mindset also takes the job of policing out of the serve and protect mode or even ensuring public safety because the very public they are supposed to serve and protect are seen as their enemy.

The second thing is most cops do not live in the communities that they serve. In Minneapolis, only 8% even live within the city itself. This means that the cops have zero vested interest in the members of the community that they were hired to serve. They do not see the people in their patrol routes as neighbors and acquaintances, but as just more potential enemies.

The third thing is that I am beginning to think many of these cops are on steroids because of the way they tend to react to stress and the fact that so many of them are very beefed up. Cops have one of the highest rates of domestic abuse among professions with estimates of it being two to four times that of the general population. Edit to add: I do not have a handy citation here, but police have the highest rate of domestic abuse of all professions. That would mean that people being hired as cops are either using steroids or have defective personalities for a job that requires them to interact with the public on a daily basis.

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24 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

@gulfgal98
I agree that getting rid of the warrior culture is essential. In the short run it will probably depend on the contracts with the police union. Protesters have filmed a lot of misconduct and filing complaints against some of the worst offenders could help get them off the force in their city. Politicians need a few scapegoats and the scapegoats should actually be guilty ones.

Helping abused spouses escape and file charges might be helpful in identifying some of the most violent individuals. Maybe even something like a witness protection program to help abused spouses relocate and get a job elsewhere? The spouses could be brought back to testify and if the cop is convicted that might lead to strict supervision of the abuser or even termination. I have also seen this statistic about abusive cops in multiple credible sources.

Some school districts require teachers to live in the district. Cops who already live elsewhere might have to be grandfathered but this sounds like a really good idea.

Taking away the war toys could happen immediately. That sounds like a great idea, too.

Moving forward by replacing many of the police with EMT-trained community protectors would remove some of the "warriors". The EMT training takes about a year at a community college. I used to teach allied health students and they were mostly self-selected to be caring, conscientious people. These people would have different job titles than the police but would be paid with the money saved by laying off police officers. Junior officers who are laid off could re-apply if they completed the EMT training, but it would be up to the mayor and police chief to decide if they would fit into the new, non-abusive public protection force.

This may be a rare window to get some of the improvements we want, so it is great if as many people as possible make suggestions about how to improve the situation. Your earlier thread was great and was one of the reasons I started this one.

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gulfgal98's picture

@ScienceTeacher thoughtful comment. I believe that EMT training is an excellent idea because to be an excellent EMT, one must have a degree of compassion. I have a family member who was a firefighter. All firefighters in our area are also EMTs.

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10 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

@gulfgal98 cops are also getting trained by the Israel army. This needs to stop.

https://progressive.org/dispatches/us-police-trained-by-israel-communiti...

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gulfgal98's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter another component of the warrior cop training.

Here is a chicken and egg question. Is warrior cop training attracting people who lack social skills or are empathetic and socially adept people being weeded out during the training as police officers? The reason I ask is that it seems this profession, above all others, is attracting people with sociopathic tendencies as evidenced by the exceptionally high amount of domestic abuse among the profession. Those tendencies are being reinforced by the warrior training programs.

I think if policing was more focused upon being a part of the community and not on this warrior cop mentality, we would see a far different type of person becoming a police officer.

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13 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

@gulfgal98 attracts a certain negative type of bully with a chip on his shoulder, and worse. But they could be weeded out at the outset if the ones in charge of the police dept and in charge of hiring were not so much like the type above. Good behavior starts at the top. Bad supervisors with an attitude tend to produce bad cops. Police chiefs and union heads who are also similarly inclined perpetuate this.

If the bad types at the top were removed and replaced with true decent human beings with some brains, we would see much positive change. So would local elected officials starting to show some courage in taking on the toxic police culture. To date, there have been precious few profiles in political courage in challenging police authority. Look at the fraidy cat mayor of NYC for instance.. Otoh, political leaders in Minneapolis are finally starting to work up some courage with significant police reform. They would do even better if they could manage to remove the toxic fellow there who is head of the police union.

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wendy davis's picture

@wokkamile

and in a different world of policing: cops would get psych evaluations, wouldn't they? and not be preferentially hired if vets? nor would they be hired in other venues if there were proven brutality complaints against them, or if they'd served a few months for a crime...then they weren't permitted to get their old jobs back.

but yes, the Rise of the Warrior Cop under obomba has created a hellish nightmare.

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5 users have voted.

@wendy davis I always think of that scene in The Parallax View (1974 starring Warren Beatty) where the company looking to hire assassins has created a test to ensure they get the wacko killer types. Police departments could stop doing just that and use the usual psych exams that are fairly commonly used in many areas that are designed to actually weed out the unstable types.

As for Obama, I was never a passionate backer, but I'm also not a passionate hater. True, he largely squandered 8 yrs in office for some minor achievements, but on responsibility for the warrior cop culture there's plenty of blame to go around. Including a Republican, one Poppy (GHW) Bush who signed into law the program of surplus military equipment going to local police forces. 30 yrs of police militarization. Obama wanted to cut back some of that equipment after Ferguson, but as typical with him it was only a mildly moderate step and for whatever reason, perhaps organized police backlash, the effort was for naught. If I get a chance, I'll ask him about this next time I see him and inquire about whether the police heat got to him.

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wendy davis's picture

@wokkamile

had reviewed the program, but sent back the tanks on tracks, allowed the tanks on wheels. some PDs are still using sound cannons (L-rads?) which can cause deafness. i had the increase in billions of bucks in 'surplus' military hardware under obomba in one of my diaries. no. it's not blue or red, but that increase and 'change seems noteworthy to me.

and hilarious on the film: life imitating art?

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5 users have voted.

@wendy davis if a professional semi-brave journalist who was granted an interview with His Eminence would dare ask him about such decisions he made, and 30-40 other unflattering items. But to my knowledge he's arranged by design to only face friendly MSMers lobbing softballs.

Would love to see a Max Blumenthal or Michael Tracey give him some uncomfortable questions in a 2-hr session. Will never happen of course.

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6 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@wokkamile

his speech to wall street: "I'm all that's standing between you and the pitchforks".

(shouldda been his bumper sticker), or this: 'Tweeting While the World Burns or: Elites Against the XL Pipeline' shadowproof, feb. 26, 2013

(obomba wasn't even in the white house, which the grfters knew ahead of time on the actual day of the 'protest'). few attended, of course, knowing they'd been burned.

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Roy Blakeley's picture

@gulfgal98 Not only do they look like they are on steroids and their actions really look like steroid rage, but there have been lots of instances of documented steroid use by police and the documented cases are probably a small fraction of the actual instances. If most are juiced up, who is going to investigate or charge them.

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13 users have voted.

@gulfgal98
All history and all places have attracted thugs to their gendarmes corp. (Not that there aren’t righteous people attracted. But there’s enough thugs.) It’s not just physical violence against the citizens, it’s the false charges, partnerships with drug dealers and all manner of corruption.

So with things as they are there simply has to be both strong incentives and strong penalties. Beyond that there has to be a way to weed out socio-/psychopaths before they get into the force.

(That last bit needs to apply to would-be office holders as well, but how can this be done?)

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9 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

Any prior servicemen and women should not be allowed a position that allows a firearm if they have or had PTSD.
I know of at least two officers that are medically retired from the military for PTSD. If they weren't retainable by the military, they should not be allowed a weapon as a civilian police officer.

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15 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

mimi's picture

@Pricknick
have been sent into unnecessary wars, were they were ordered to use them to kill civilians in the first place. Now the effects of those having been deployed, their PTSD, is used against them.

Why did they so often became police officers after their service? May be because no other jobs were available? May be because the majority of enlisted military service members had very little chances to go to college.

May be one could think of giving folks free education in colleges and universities?

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5 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

@mimi
about how they should be educated professionals.

May be one could think of giving folks free education in colleges and universities?

Both of the officers I mentioned have free education for life. Both of them had the opportunity to persue anything they wanted. They should have never been offered the opportunity to become police officers.
I'm a retired vet. Because of when I enlisted and because I didn't have medical discharge, I had to pay for my further education. I chose to help others by being an RN.
They had no incumberence on their choice. They chose to be enforcers and they are both shitty cops in my opinion.

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13 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Pricknick

for the hiring of so many vets as policemen. Bush tried to have PTSD declassified as a mental disorder, but, failed. (thankfully)

Had a bunch of quacks running around saying it was a 'soul' disorder. Getting the appropriate ministerial help should 'cure' it, supposedly. Yikes!

Of course, Bush's true goal was to destigmatize negative association with a PTSD prognosis, so that more employers would hire them.

Here's a blurb, and a link,

Both Prince Harry and Bush have made reducing the stigma associated with invisible wounds a key priority of their work with veterans.

Bush highlighted a major theme when he suggested dropping the D from the end of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). "We don't view it as a disorder, we view it as an injury," Bush said during the panel discussion. Harry nodded his head in agreement.

Those statements are ridiculous on their face. And such a disservice to veterans--literally, trying to scr*w them out of disability benefits.

(if PTSD is no longer classified as a mental disorder, vets won't be able to file for VA disability, based upon a PTSD diagnosis)

Imagine that both Bush and Harry would say that the above isn't the impetus for re-branding of PTSD as a 'soul injury,' not a mental disorder.

Talk about a crackpot proposal - Phew!

Mollie

“Revolution is not a one time event.”
~~Audre Lorde

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

may be those military service members shouldn't have been sent into unnecessary wars, were they were ordered to use them to kill civilians in the first place.

I'm not unsympathetic to their plight, at all. But, do think it's unwise to hire many of them for police jobs. Or anyone, with serious disorders--not just our vets.

They should be given opportunities in suitable fields. Of course, they are to some extent--in federal Civilian Service. (there was, anyway, a 10-point veterans hiring preference, for vets who qualify)

Mollie

“Revolution is not a one time event.”
~~Audre Lorde

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

mimi's picture

it doesn't convince me.

The degree of education has little to do with the emotional and character of an individual law enforcement officer.

I think it is the repercussions that an officer will encounter when abusing their power. In my opinion most of the officers in the Squad teams with military grade weapons would not use them, just because they have a college degree.

I would think someone who doesn't want to use these weapons would normally not sign a work contract, where he has to expect that he will be sent out to use them on non-violent demonstrators, at least in the US.

It looks to me it is officially and legally tolerated that law enforcement officers beat the heck out civilians and use the trigger of their guns when they feel like it. You can always claim self-defense in the heated confrontation with civilians on the streets. An educated racist is not better than an uneducated one. German history proves that.

See my sig. In the past I think in Great Briton street cops had no guns, just sticks.

So, get the guns out of the hands of cops and civilians. Could save a lot of troubles and lives.

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7 users have voted.

@mimi
Most people in the US want to take the body armor and war weapons away from the police. Many of us would also like to have police who do not carry guns and to have our police act more like the police in England. There is not much chance of eliminating guns in the US right now, though. We do need to make sure there are appropriate consequences for shooting someone when it is not absolutely necessary for defense.

Getting any kind of college degree requires some self control and ability to delay gratification. A degree in English or math would not necessarily make someone a better police officer, though. The skills of an Emergency Medical Technician would be useful for someone responding to accidents and violent crimes. The squad car could hold emergency medical supplies instead of body armor. The culture in EMT programs is about caring for others, not engaging in violence.

Courses in psychology and sociology generally encourage students to recognize that even though people can be very different from each other we are all human. First responders need to recognize if someone is mentally ill.

Cops often need to make legal judgements but most of them know very little about the law.

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9 users have voted.

@ScienceTeacher wearing a gun, it's that he has so many types of guns -- big guns and near-guns and other weapons to choose from these days. Take the rubber bullet for instance. It was shot at a protester recently and he lost an eye and several teeth. These rubber things that sound so harmless are apparently metal-jacketed.

Tear gas is another weapon of choice against large demonstrations, but along with producing tears, they can do lasting damage to the lungs.

Tasers and other delightful items also can do serious bodily damage and of course have been widely abused by police forces.

This is a partial list which likely overlooks a number of other major weapons they have, let alone what the SWAT teams have at their disposal.

On college education, much better results can be achieved just from better training. The more I read in this area, the more it's clear many cops are not being adequately trained, as if good training is a bit of a joke that only pansy liberals want, and the only thing that's important is watch out for those dangerous civilians and make sure you come back home at the end of the work day. Reform starts at the top, and it seems many at the top -- police chiefs, supervisors, union heads -- just haven't been interested in reform recommendations from fancy blue-ribbon commissions (like the one Obama ordered up) about changing the toxic police warrior culture. It would appear they won't be interested in acting on such recs until legally required too.

On the last point about legal knowledge, basic common sense and decency plus some basics in criminal law should suffice. They don't need a 3-yr legal degree. Just 3 weeks of instruction in this area.

But note the absurd current legal standard which shields cops from personal injury lawsuits behind a thick wall of "qualified immunity". Basically, if there hasn't been a successful legal case on substantially similar circumstances setting precedent which clearly indicates what a cop cannot do, a plaintiff cannot recover damages. If this absurdly lenient standard for cops were changed by congressional legislation, we might see much improvement in behavior from police who would be aware they could be personally sued and lose their house and bank account.

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6 users have voted.

@wokkamile
I agree about their weaponry. The rubber bullets and tasers are definitely dangerous and could even be lethal for a few people. Flash-bangs can be seriously dangerous at close range. Some types of tear gas can cause miscarriages; so much for all the pious conservative posturing about right-to-life.

Taking away their nasty toys will help, but only an attitude adjustment will solve the problem. I saw the film clip where a couple of cops decided to run people over. There are a lot of clips where the cops hit people with sticks and shields just because they think they can get away with it. The tear gas will cause anyone with the Covid-19 virus to spread it widely when they start choking. This is not that much of a risk for the protesters or cops, but is going to decimate older people who work, are homeless or live in nursing homes. I would ask "What is the government thinking?", but they have already made that clear.

The main reason for educating new peace officers in a community college setting is to take the training out of the hands of the older, thuggish officers who are terrorizing the communities where they work. Unlike universities, community colleges tend to focus on practical coursework. Some sort of an associate degree followed by practical training in a health care setting (something comparable to student teaching) would give the new officers some professional standing that would make it easier to stand up to the entrenched dysfunctionality we have now.

It is true that they do not need a 3-year law degree, but cops make daily judgements about legal matters. Many high schools no longer teach civics. People who swear to uphold the constitution need to know what the constitution says. A 100 level college course is really not that hard. Someone who cannot pass it is not bright enough to be a cop. There should also be a course that covers basic legal matters such a the difference between a crime and a tort, state laws about landlord-tenant issues, definitions of assault and of battery, stalking laws, and a whole range of other laws. Fundamentalist "common sense" says men have the right to "correct" their wives and that gays are evil sinners who cannot form a valid marriage. I also know some liberals who like to impose their opinions on others even when it is not legally justifiable.

I totally agree about greatly reducing the levels of legal immunity for law enforcement persons.

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7 users have voted.

@ScienceTeacher @ScienceTeacher with this a positive reform step that is achievable

The main reason for educating new peace officers in a community college setting is to take the training out of the hands of the older, thuggish officers who are terrorizing the communities where they work. Unlike universities, community colleges tend to focus on practical coursework.

It's more realistic to go for the 2-yr community degree than a heavy-duty 4-yr college degree requirement. Incentives can be given in hiring, promotion, pay for a 2-yr degree, but also for applicants who have college course work from an accredited school in the areas of criminal law, criminal justice and the like. All supervisor cops and trainers would be required to have completed such course work, as well as their superiors.

Cops policing in college towns like Austin, Madison, Boulder and similar would be required to have at least the 2-yr degree.

I would incorporate EMT and mental health specialists into police forces where they can be called upon to respond in situations where they are likely needed, rather than try to further train regular police in still more areas.

Caution also against overloading police in training with too much to learn, esp in the legal area which can quickly get tricky and complicated. Though it might be useful for supervisors to get such additional legal education.

Many of these education and training goals might be turned into a national policing standard program set by congress, ideally, (if such an idea doesn't have major legal roadblocks) which would establish minimum standards for any police force where officers would carry lethal weapons and for departments which want to receive federal assistance. Local police departments, as in the college town example, would be able to adjust upwards for their own situations.

On the very important issue of police qualified immunity, Reps Ayanna Presley (D) and Justin Amash (R) have introduced legislation to eliminate it for all gov't officials, and Sens Markey and Warren have a similar bill in the senate which however deals only with police officer immunity but this narrowly drawn bill seems a better chance to prevail and would represent substantial police reform. I hope the influential Sen Patrick Leahy on Judiciary and recipient of large sums from police unions over the years will get on board.

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4 users have voted.

@wokkamile
I suspect that we are thinking of very different kinds of law courses. A 100-level course at a community college is like a souped-up high school course. A lot of high schools no longer require a civics course for graduation. I have taught 100-level science-appreciation courses for future teachers and everyone who showed up regularly was able to pass.

100-level courses do not require library research or even deep critical thinking. The level of critical thinking would be to realize that if it is not OK to search someone's home without a warrant it would not be OK to search the garage on the same lot as their house. (This sort of generalization is usually spelled out in textbooks to help the students who are inexperienced with critical thinking.) If it is not OK to punch someone in the nose it is equally wrong to hit them in the nose with a flashlight. If a person has a right not to incriminate themselves it is not OK to hit them to make them confess.

It would be a good idea for cops to learn what the Bill of Rights says and to learn about major Supreme Court decisions that interpret it.

Law courses would just present basic information about what the laws say. There would be no requirement for subtle interpretation. I have taught at a community college and even students who were quite intellegent sometimes had a stunning lack of basic information.

There are a lot of on-line programs that offer these courses although it is much easier for most people to complete courses on campus. Many large universities have branch campuses that are essentially community colleges. Access to the types of courses I am talking about would not be difficult, even in rural areas.

Thanks for discussing this with me. Obviously I am just making up the details of a program to improve police training, but right now there is an opportunity to push something through in a lot of places. Detailed demands are more likely to be met in a satisfactory way.

I am glad the immunity issue is likely to be addressed. I very much hope Trump does not decide Fox news is opposed to any police reforms.

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Lily O Lady's picture

@ScienceTeacher

technical colleges. That would have to change. The police have a very tight knit, insular spirit. One for all, all for one. It will be hard to overcome that, I’m afraid. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it.

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4 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady the more I'm inclined to like Science Teacher's overall recs. We might differ in a few details, but I think it's probably an important step to require more than just a HS diploma or GED from police recruits, which is probably what the majority of recruits hired across the US have, which is to say almost no education given the sorry state of education in this country.

So I would amend some of my comments here to require at least a 2-yr degree for all recruits in any police force which would arm their officers with lethal force and expecting any federal assistance of any kind. Further, I would phase in a requirement, say looking 3-4 yrs ahead, for a college 4-yr degree, with req'd coursework in criminal law, criminal justice and US history.

I learned that the NYPD already has a 2-yr associates degree requirement for recruits, and look at how little that has changed things.

Age might also be an important issue to address, namely putting deadly weapons and so much authority into the hands of very young people still not adequately matured in life and knowledge of other people. Requiring college course work, then ultimately a 4-yr degree, would necessarily push the average age of recruits higher and closer to the fully mature adult stage (roughly age 25).

On Lily's good point about cops in comm colleges doing the teaching on some relevant courses, there could be a program locally involving the PD and elected officials working with the colleges setting up a special 2-yr and 4-yr program for prospective cops, taught by independent scholars outside the police field. Local millionaires and billionaires could help fund it along with funding from police union dues. The latter group would then have less money to spend on politicians.

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5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@ScienceTeacher
was just warning about any generalizations that education is the answer to cops abusing their power violently. I am tired to discuss this. I don't believe in education more than in character. Power abuse is a character flaw, not a lack of education, imo.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you have to use/abuse power.

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2 users have voted.

Real training comes when the rookies go out with the vets. Politicians of both stripes have kow-towed to them since they unionized, so pols are as much to blame as they are, Saint Biden included.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-labor-movement-faces-a-reckoning-over...

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14 users have voted.

@Snode
Apparently the two youngest officers who were accessories in the Floyd murder are saying they were following the instructions of their trainer. A reporter on CNN asked their lawyer if "they were just following orders"?

The EMT "cops" or any other brand of new public safety officer must not be in the chain of command of the old boys of the precincts.

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13 users have voted.

@ScienceTeacher want to invoke the Nuremberg defense? That might be relevant as far as severity of sentence from the judge, but shouldn't be allowed as an affirmative defense on the question of legal culpability.

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Was that something that they were taught or did they just start doing it on their own?

Why did he think he had to choke this woman out before he put her in handcuffs? No reason because he weighed much more than she did and if he screws up just a bit he could seriously injure her or kill her.

As to snode's comment I read that Chauvin was training the 3 other cops even though he had 79 complaints of excessive force. 79! Why even acknowledge that a cop has stepped over the line if nothing is going to be done about it? But I guess they do help once cops get sued in civil courts.

But finally I’m reading that a few states are outlawing chokeholds and a few other acts. Plus Denver just outlawed tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters. See my comment in the OT.

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15 users have voted.

"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

gulfgal98's picture

@snoopydawg choke holds but police are still using them. That one is a little more difficult to get rid of it relies on the individual officer. But outlawing the use of rubber bullets and other projectiles, along with tear gas, against protestors should be very easy. If the cops use these weapons of war against civilians, the elected officials should let the police chief know that he will be fired. If the chief knows that his job will be in jeopardy, he will put a stop to their use.

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9 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

wendy davis's picture

@gulfgal98

to make sure, and this is more recent coverage, but according to reuters on june 6:

DENVER (Reuters) - A U.S. District Court Judge ordered Denver police on Friday not to use tear gas, plastic bullets and other "less-than-lethal" force such as flash grenades against protesters, unless approved by a senior officer in response to specific acts of violence.

The temporary injunction was in response to an ongoing local lawsuit filed on Thursday in Denver District Court by protesters complaining about excessive force used by officers during demonstrations following the death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in police custody in Minneapolis last month.

The ruling, which is in effect for 14 days, cited examples of protesters and journalists being injured by police.

"Peaceful demonstrators' legitimate and credible fear of police retaliation is silencing their political speech," it said.

The court ruling cited numerous instances, captured on video, of police using tear gas, projectiles and other measures against peaceful protesters engaged in their U.S. Constitutional rights to gather and protest.

Journalists were also specifically targeted and shot with projectiles, "while in the process of documenting the scene," the ruling said.

In his decision, U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson said he sought to balance citizens' constitutional rights against police officers' ability to do their jobs, and that Denver police had "failed in its duty to police its own."

"If a store's windows must be broken to prevent a protester's facial bones from being broken or eye being permanently damaged, that is more than a fair trade," Jackson wrote in his 10-page ruling.

"These are peaceful demonstrators, journalists, and medics who have been targeted with extreme tactics meant to suppress riots, not to suppress demonstrations."

His ruling stops Denver police from using chemical weapons or projectiles unless a captain or more senior on-scene supervisor authorizes such use of force in response to specific acts of violence or destruction of property.

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4 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

to use chokeholds by the IDF; this is just minneapolis, but the jewish heritage library online had lists and lists of PDs. they were very proud of their contributions, as well. hell, the NYPD ha an office in israel, has had for years.

''Israeli forces trained cops in ‘restraint techniques’ at Minneapolis conference'
, June 3, 2020

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Lots of white people in the crowd.

Hundreds of thousands of people are marching all over the country and even more across the pond. Unfortunately there are still way too many cops doing everything they can to ramp up the violence. A white man ran over a black man and instead of arresting him they let him watch the aftermath while smoking. The guy died. Still no arrest.

A large group of men are dressed like cops do but with nothing that identifies them. Imagine if they were all black men doing it?

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9 users have voted.

"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

snoopydawg's picture

From losing our lives to losing eyes, limbs and organs to losing the ability to have children. This is a horrible story.

Man who trains San Jose police about bias severely injured by riot gun during George Floyd protest

A community activist, who has worked for years to promote understanding between San Jose police and the public, was seriously injured by a riot gun in the George Floyd protest one week ago.

Derrick Sanderlin knows the San Jose police chief well and has worked with him for three years.

But tonight, he can't help questioning if they've made any progress at all.

Just across the street, Sanderlin saw police shooting rubber bullets at protesters, including young women at close range.

Officer Jared Yuen, who has already been placed on desk duty, is now facing an internal affairs investigation for his aggressive behavior.

"I really just couldn't watch it anymore," Sanderlin said. "And just kind of made like a parallel walkover, put my hands up, and just stood in the line of the fire and asked them to please not do this."

The video shows the officers' training their riot guns on Sanderlin.

He stood a good distance away, made no aggressive motions to police, yet they fired on him several times, one round hitting him in the groin.

"I pause for a moment like maybe this isn't, maybe this doesn't hurt and falling afterwards is like the most painful experience," he said.

Derrick and Cayla Sanderlin have been married four years.

They both work for charities helping people who are suffering economically during the pandemic.

After Derrick's emergency surgery for a rupture, the doctors aren't sure they'll be able to have children.

"The doctor had let me know before the operation that there's no way of fully telling until you try to have kids," Derrick Sanderlin said.
"And I just started weeping at the thought of that. You know, we, we do want kids and we're very close to having kids," Cayla Sanderlin said.

"They were aiming for a body part that is prohibited when using those type of riot guns. You're not meant to aim at the groin or the head ever," said attorney Sarah Marinho.

Cities across the country look like war zones because of the number of cops who have been deployed just because people are fed up with them killing us. And many people are pointing out to the vote blue no matter who folks that it’s happening in cities and states that have democratic mayors and governors.

Anyone hearing anything from any members of congress? DeBlasio in NYC was asked about cops running into people with their cars. He calmly said he’d look into it. Then 2 cops were run over and he sure sung a different tune. Banged his fists on the table and yada, yada, yada. If people become afraid of what cops are going to do then they will defend themselves.

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12 users have voted.

"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

Pricknick's picture

@snoopydawg
This is the new excuse for the use of violent force.
The ptb fear political or social change.
The system needs a good cleansing by fire.

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8 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@snoopydawg
I have been afraid this would happen to someone. The violence of the police response is outrageous. I watched continuous live feeds on CNN and a very long, unedited Reuters film shot in DC. The protesters definitely did not provoke anything like this level of violence. The cops were not arresting looters, they were wantonly attacking nonviolent protesters.

The cops also clearly targeted and intimidated the media. There are too many citizens with cell phones to keep people from seeing what is going on so bullying the media will not work, though.

Anyone who paid attention to Occupy and anyone who has lived in a large city knew this could happen. The brazen openness of the violent attacks on people with their hands in the air is still horrifying.

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8 users have voted.
gulfgal98's picture

@ScienceTeacher @ScienceTeacher What was different for us versus so many other cities is that our local city commission directed the police to leave us alone. We were also allowed to set up on a vacant city lot with the only stipulation that we provided Port-a-Lets for the participants. Occupiers from other cities who visited our camp were shocked that we had tacit cooperation from the local government.

I believe the city officials made the decision that it was easier and better for the image of the city to passively allow Occupy there than to give the city a black eye by aggressively trying to get rid of the Occupy camp.

Unfortunately most other cities took a very aggressive approach that served no one well.

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2 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

enhydra lutris's picture

@ScienceTeacher

I was going to post something on it later today, been quite busy here last few days. Thanks for this column, though I wouls, with only slight snark content that regardless of any official and formal training, they are very well trained by their brothers in blue and they are quite professionally carrying out that training, and the over the top violence, lying, framing people, planting evidence and everything else *is* their current profession; thugs.

be well and have a good one.

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4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

smiley7's picture

they work for once they are quieted--beware the shell game--oligarchs, oligarchs make and control fascists. The true enemies of the people.

March on!

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8 users have voted.

The racists police force was built to crush worker strikes, protestors and people of color. They are not going to suddenly give a damn once they've been "educated". It's been tried, to no avail. The officers mock such education.

They need to be Defunded and the money going to public housing, mental health professionals and medical services as well as schools.

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7 users have voted.

@Battle of Blair Mountain
The budgets of most police department can be significantly reduced, but some sort of policing is necessary. Somebody is going to have to respond when some guy beats up his wife and threatens to shoot her and their kids. Somebody is going to have to do something to stop people who shoot the clerk at the gas station. I want intelligent, fair-minded people who are socially and emotionally mature to do this job.

In between dealing with violent incidents EMT cops could provide basic medical services to their communities. They could do things like checking blood pressure and providing flu shots at the senior citizens' center. They could do vision and hearing screening at the schools. They could deal with small injuries themselves and start stabilizing someone after a serious accident while waiting for the ambulance.

I want cops to know what the law really says, not some steroid-enhanced, blue-supremacist fantasy of their own overlordship. A few hours or weekends of cliche-ridden nice-talk about community policing is justifiably seen as a bad joke. I am talking about semester-long, rigorous courses about civil and criminal law that is relevant to policing. People who cannot complete them do not need to be peace officers.

Individuals who are into being jack-booted thugs with a license to kill are not going to have an easy time spending a whole semester listening to a librul sociology professor talking about cultural differences. Peace officers need to have an awareness of mental health issues that can cause people to act in bizarre ways. People having a mental health crisis need to be assisted, not murdered.

When we tear things down it is essential that we think about what parts of the existing system were truly necessary and what current deficiencies can be addressed.

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5 users have voted.

@ScienceTeacher degree of local policing is necessary. It just doesn't necessarily have to be to the extent of creating a occupying army of police equipped for the battlefield.

On the Defund the Police movement, or moment, which seems to be on people's lips lately, I read the term very broadly to not strictly mean Defund and Eliminate the PD but rather to substantially reduce the funding and maybe eliminate the militarization while reforming from top to bottom with community policing attitudes as the goal.

No question though that some out there, maybe many in the BLM , are in fact taking the term literally and thus taking a hard line.

Someone will have to come up with a better term, as Decrease the Police Department's Budget isn't very catchy and Reform the Police sounds milquetoast.

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3 users have voted.
wendy davis's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain

socialists on twitter believe that the 'defund the police' rather than 'disarm the police' will end up with private security services like any of the iterations of erik prince's mercenaries, who've expanded into all manner of private policing roles.

this is the first one they'd noted (with alleged caveats): 'In wake of looting, Chicago to spend $1.2 million on private security firms to help protect businesses', june 6, chicago tribune

'The city of Chicago will spend up to $1.2 million to hire three private security firms to help prevent a repeat of last weekend’s chaotic civil unrest and looting that erupted amid protests over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said.

The city has hired Illinois Security Professionals, AGB Investigative Services and Monterrey Security “to supply more than 100 private security guards to protect the local retail shops, grocery stores and pharmacies that community members rely on every single day.”

“The new guards are unarmed and solely in place to monitor activity on commercial corridors and notify the Chicago Police Department if any illegal activity occurs,” Lightfoot’s office said in a statement. “None of the security guards have policing powers, but are another set of eyes and ears to support efforts to deter looters. All security officers will wear visible identification.”
...................................................

Lightfoot’s decision to hire private security across the city raised concerns from some aldermen, particularly freshmen progressives who said they’re worried about Chicago’s liability if something goes wrong and said private security workers aren’t subject to the same accountability structure faced by police.

One of the companies hired by Lightfoot, Monterrey Security, is politically connected and has faced a series of controversies, including being fired by two NFL teams.
[ http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/breaking/ct-met-monterrey-security-de... ]

The Tribune in 2018 wrote extensively about the lack of effective government oversight over private security.

[ http://www.chicagotribune.com/investigations/ct-security-guards-agg-stor... ]

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6 users have voted.

@Battle of Blair Mountain as a BLM person at the mic literally talks down to the Minneapolis mayor. He then complies with her order, like a student being scolded by the teacher and told to report to the principal's office, and slinks away.

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3 users have voted.

It has become a practice among police departments to not hire smart people. Don't know why they see hiring the stupid as being optimum?
I have read about disarming police, but in our society that might not work. I do think that we should look at doing away with the military mode of doing business. With a few exceptions our country is not a war zone.

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6 users have voted.

@sandiapeach
If the cops have military equipment a lot of them will want to use it even though it is unnecessary.

I have read about disarming police, but in our society that might not work. I do think that we should look at doing away with the military mode of doing business. With a few exceptions our country is not a war zone.

I lived near a large city university when I was in grad school. The neighborhood with the drive by shootings was just down the road. Sometimes I would chat with older ladies while we waited at the bus stop. Several times they told me that the Drive-By-Shooting neighborhood had been a nice family neighborhood in the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s. Adults would sit on their front stoops and chat while the kids played ball and hopscotch on the sidewalks and in the streets. Then the neighborhood transformed into a place where people from the wealthy suburbs came to buy drugs.

Once a young man has been convicted of a minor offense it becomes difficult to get a job or a nice apartment. These guys get kettled into a poor neighborhood that quickly becomes a violent slum. The only lucrative jobs involve illegal activities like selling drugs. Using "stop and frisk" and aggressive policing toward young people is what pushed a lot of them into a vicious downward spiral. Neither I nor the older ladies I talked to knew exactly how to fix the Drive-By-Shooting neighborhood, but violent policing has certainly not been working.

I have also heard that police departments do not want to hire smart people. Maybe stupid types are less likely to tell criminal cops like Chauvin that they are wrong? Since cops get very little legal training the law becomes whatever the senior cops say it is--at least in practice. I don't know much about the details of the ways cops are being trained. I think we all agree that the result of the current training system hasn't be good though.

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5 users have voted.

@ScienceTeacher 15% of police departments nationwide require at least a 2-yr associates degree for recruits. A tiny pct of police forces require a 4-yr degree.

Obviously it's the HS grads and GED people who are the lion's share of police hires across the country. That is a sobering fact. Young and uneducated. I would argue too young and too uneducated by far.

It's likely, imo anyway, that even slightly older and much better educated cops are going to approach things in a more subtle, questioning way, and generally be less inclined to automatically follow dubious orders from a superior officer.

I wonder too if more police forces in recent yrs, as they have faced public criticism, have decided to double down by seeking to hire those with a clear uberpolice/warrior mentality. Or maybe it's more a matter of needing to hire the tough, manly Clint Westwood types who would be a good fit for all the department's war toys.

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4 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

We don't have to re-invent the wheel just copy success.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/what-norway-is-getting-right-about-policin...

cop killing per million.jpg

Norway also has a low prison rate, with less than 4,000 of its 5 million citizens in jail, and low recidivism rates.

The United States, on the other hand, is home to the world’s largest prison population. Roughly one in every 100 American adults is incarcerated. Recidivism here hovers above 76 percent.

And what is our side’s policy prescription? Less. Not better, just less. Fewer prisons, fewer SWAT teams, less surveillance. Not better-trained cops with body cameras, but rather less gear, less money, and fewer cops.”

The little town near my home once had two police and one car. Now there are over 30 and even military assault vehicles in a non-violent little town of a couple of thousand.

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5 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout
Cops do not need their war toys, either. We, the people, are not the enemy.

I am very much in favor of body cameras. This eliminates much of the need to guess who is telling the truth.

The article was interesting.

Years ago a prison guard from one of the Scandinavian countries was in my tour group during a vacation trip. He talked about prisoners like a slightly exasperated teacher. He was not so much interested in controlling prisoners as in helping them do better.

In the US we need to make sure people are actually guilty before we lock them up. Parole and drug treatment could empty out a lot of prison cells. Then we need to try harder to get the remaining prisoners to improve their lives and find constructive work once they are released. High unemployment rates are going to make this difficult.

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5 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@ScienceTeacher

revolves around the dollar bill. White collar crime is rarely prosecuted, it is some poor kid with a joint that is incarcerated.

In fact, white-collar crime such as embezzlement and stock manipulation is far more costly to society than blue-collar or street crime such as robbery. According to the FBI, the annual cost of street crime is $15 billion compared to nearly $1 trillion for white-collar crime.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/wicked-deeds/201704/why-elite-wh...

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7 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

enhydra lutris's picture

to some extent already conditioned to routinely using force and seeing people injured and dead. I know that in the sixties many agencies went out of their way to find vietnam combat vets because they could be readily convinced to "continue the war at home".

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4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --