Re: One other thing...

Date:2020-08-30 17:36:32
In Reply To:Re: One other thing... by squarooticus
We aren't disagreeing all that much.

Whether that's true or not is beside the point: it's only necessary for PDs to *perceive* that they are being thrown under the bus for this to happen.
That sounds incredibly dangerous. People who carry weapons, and are giving license to kill (in necessary) are so fragile they can't do their jobs if anyone questions or criticizes their actions? Good god, that's terrifying about what it says of the people who make up police forces.

The long-term solution is to rethink policing fundamentally.
It got caught up in the stupid "defund the police" slogan, but that's what most of the protesters were calling for. (There are some who mean it literally, of course, but they seem to be a very small minority)

* Remove some/most things from the purview of PDs, instead giving them to agents who aren't authorized to use force. This will reduce encounters with police, which will save lives.
* Improve hiring and training. Screen out more of the bad actors. But this isn't a 100% solution, just as "eliminate racism!" is a hopeless fantasy. That means adjusting incentives:
* Eliminate qualified immunity. Make police officers individually and departments collectively responsible for inappropriate use of force.
* Reform (or, better yet, eliminate) police unions.
* Institute elected public oversight of PDs and police policies.
* Dismantle and rebuild problematic PDs from the ground up to have a culture focused on preserving basic order/peacekeeping and helping people rather than one focused on citizen compliance.
* End the drug war and start treating drugs as a health issue, not a criminal justice one.
Those are all perfectly solid steps that can be taken. I agree with almost all of that.

It's not the same issue, but I know people so I can hear some things about our local fire department. Someone called them last night to come unclog their sink. We have two problems here; 1)People are too quick to call in force for issues that don't require it, and 2)These jobs have expanded to be too all-encompassing. A narrower focus for every role (and you can have multiples within each department) could go a long way to having more interactions with people who know how to handle the situations they face.
That means Biden taking it off the table by at the very least taking a strong, vocal stand against rioting and looting and talking about that at every turn. He should throw the extreme defund-the-policers under the bus if he has to and start promoting realistic and reasonable approaches to the issues of excessive use of force and killings of unarmed people while insisting that the rioting stop immediately.
That's exactly what he's been doing all along. He has condemned looting, he has come out against defunding the police, and he has called for reforms of how policing is carried out. It doesn't break through the Trump crazy news cycle, but he's done that.

I'm not sure what else he can do if the media gives more coverage to Trump's lies about his positions than his own statements. That's on the media, which is a whole different pile of crap.
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