Breonna Taylor, one officer charged in shooting, NYT
Policing has to be changed and that will only happen if a SIZEABLE mandate elects Democrats at every level of government.
And it will take years because we are ALL addicted to the abuse of power - just think of what we call entertainment.......
My money's on forming cooperation. Otherwise it might be one of those "if a frog had wings he wouldn't bust his but when he landed," type of things.
Can you be addicted to power if you don't have any power?
Do you know why the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover didn't go into enforcement of "drug crimes"? Hoover said because it was a losing proposition and he didn't want to drag down his agency.
Yes, there is a certain motivation to have more power, especially among the "vice squads." Read Cop to Call Girl by Norma Jean Almodovar. There are vice cops (maybe most) live that life because they get free money from drug busts, and they get blown by underage prostitutes as a condition of cutting them a break. If you have flexible morality or are behind the eight ball and need the power and money to get by, there are strong enticements. It's the same with "bad cops." If you like to kill people, being a bad cop is a way to get your vampire ghoulish licks in. Have you seen Training Day? Really good movie about that sort of thing.
Cops want to do their jobs, at least most do. Bad laws make them do bad things, and in a lose-lose situation. They want to collar the bad guy. That's their only real job, and their only way to be effective. There's a number, something like 92% to 98% (you can look it up) where if a criminal is that likely to be caught or more, crime drops like a rock. It gets above that point, crime skyrockets. If cops are made to fuck around with stuff that isn't their job (and I include vice crimes, but there's contension on that), that number drops, and eventually the sluice gates open.
A politician and negotiator worth her salt needs to couch things in these terms. How to get the cops to give up the stuff they shouldn't be doing and hand that over to other social service offices. Mentally ill -- more mentally ill people than black people (probably) get murdered by the police every year. In LA it was 4,000 a year before the LAPD set up a "mental health division" to serve beat cops dealing with mentally ill "perps" or "suspects." Defunding the police is the "stick" approach, but I know cops who are highly trained in detective work, weapons and tactics, driving, police equipment, and some things just don't fit that. If you've trained to local, identify, track down, and arrest criminals, and to take them down if they resist, and get the evidence the DA needs to send them up the river, dealing with domestic disputes "by the book" or mentally ill people or children is off the menu. Knowing how to talk down a delusional "suspect" does not make me a better detective, a better evidence collector, better at snapping the 'cuffs on a violent arrestee, and forcing somebody who's trained to be a good cop to choose between being all "nurturing" or whatever.and being a hard-nosed cop just distracts and detracts and may ruin performance of either role.
Anyway, whatever. We need to help the cops figure out how to weed out bad cops. That's tough. They're a tight-knit group. "Internal affairs" seems like it should be handled externally somehow. Did you know that an overwhelming number (c.f., John Oliver) of cops who commit bavures, wrongfully kill people, take money, whatever, and get fired (of course they don't get prosecuted, but that's a whole 'nother) go to the next town or State and get hired on as a cop again? Maybe there could be background checks. It follows that most bad-coppery is committed by cops who got fired for the same thing somewhere else. Maybe we need rehab programs to get these cops off the force, retrained, and into some other role. If a bad cop has a "no-fault" way to get out, funded by the city or county, start anew, maybe that could solve that problem.
And instead of dumping every new half-cock program on the police to implement, start letting them shed tasks and duties that don't fit them. They'd appreciate it, I think.
The Repulican Party did use the idea of "vice and virtue" to up the ante on using the police to fight drugs and other "vice crimes." It would be good, in my view, to decriminalize this, and it would probably go a long way towards demilitarizing the police. Drug criminalization is strongly rooted in racism. Chinese smoke opium, blacks and chicanos smoke weed. Chinese also run gambling games, kind of like everybody. Women are highly targeted for prostitution. Do we have to admit that laws against all of these things were put into place in order to target these minorities? They serve to sic the police on these groups, and to control women. It's a tough sell. It goes way back before Reason. Now it's hurting Whitey. Under Nixon, by far and away the most weed arrests were white, middle-class kids. Racist laws and institutions hurt everybody, including the dominant culture, either through degradation of the soul of society, or through the more in-your-face outcome of having your own teenager busted and facing hard time for a law that was past sixty years earlier for the purpose of destroying the freedoms of a targeted race of other people. In the end, there is no "other." Maybe that's what we have to admit.
There are Republicans who don't want to see their party destroyed, and who recognize that this has been being done steadily for the past forty years by a lot of self-serving decisions.
But if you really want to get the Republicans out, Gerrymandering (1)(2) is the thing to fix, and also voter suppression. I've been watching "All In" on Prime or Netflix.
Anyway, voting rights and redistricting. It's all just whistling Dixie without fixing that.
The police have an agenda, and it might not be "seize total power and start killing everybody." Maybe it is, but if we assume otherwise, then the cops will be glad to shed all of the roles foisted upon them in which they have a low chance of success, and these are many. Plus, getting rid of bad cops is currently hard, and that should and probably could be fixed.
I haven't heard a real plan from either the Democrats or the Republicans for any of that stuff. If our votes don't count, then we are kind of stuck in an "addicted to power" and "rooting from the sidelines" and "hoping that our guy gets on top and does a few things that we don't absolutely hate." If our votes did count, then I don't know what it would look like.
Anyway, cool beans,
(1) You probably know more about maps than I do. How do State congressional districts and Federal congressional districts and State counties correspond? Are counties irrelevant? I'm thinking about Federal laws that could be drafted to control redistricting, like it has to be whole counties, and rules for splitting them up.
(2) Elections are the purview of the several States, so districting for State and Federal elections is their thing. This is the problem -- if one party (so far, usually the Republicans) draws the districts weird , they control the election outcomes. How much pressure can the Feds exert? Silly folk think we need to dismantle the Electoral College. Even if it were possible, I think it might be a dumb idea. There are two extra "Senator Electors" and it might be interesting to give those to a downtrodden minority, such as the blacks or the Native Americans. That way they would be guaranteed one or two Presidential votes.
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