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I remember watching cop shows decades ago. The police would speak politely, even to those they arrested. That likely wasn't always the case. But it did seem that police didn't have this gung-ho, over the top, commando style attitude they display today. The screaming (command voice) the knee to the head, jamming your face into the ground, and the army type outfits and weapons used on even casual arrests.

Incidentally, after I heard about this story I googled it. The first cite is FOX news. Read it. It's very short. You won't find much there to upset you. FOX, of course, is a law and order outfit which rarely finds anything to criticize about what the police do. Then read the actual facts of the case in the second cite.

How it can take seven officers and how they think they need to draw guns on a college student they suspected of buying a case while being under the legal age is beyond me. But it's not that wildly out of line with some of the other stuff I've seen, like cops tazering old ladies for refusing to sign a ticket.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/06/30/virginia-college-student-arrested-after-buying-bottled-water/

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/07/01/virginia-college-student-arrested-after-buying-bottled-water/

Edited by Scotty
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I'm not sure if you're saying that police shows are causing police to behave more aggressively, or whether those shows accurately reflect the increasing aggression of police - but what we have here is a single outrageous incident. It's not enough information to make any conclusions or to justify a substantial argument, IMO.

I come under fire on MLW, from time to time, for refusing to wade into debates involving individual circumstances such as this. My response is as I stated above: that we can't draw conclusions from a single story, or even a string of anecdotes - and we can't conclude whether incident in question signifies some larger phenomenon. I am saying the same thing about this incident here, even though it's not about an immigrant apparently doing something outrageous, or a liberal judge or... or...

So we'll have to follow due process and see what happens. Such stories rarely follow up on what happens at the end of these stories - the investigations into wrongdoing and so on - because that's BORING and such stories exist primarily to enrage and entertain the readers and viewers.

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I'm not sure if you're saying that police shows are causing police to behave more aggressively, or whether those shows accurately reflect the increasing aggression of police - but what we have here is a single outrageous incident. It's not enough information to make any conclusions or to justify a substantial argument, IMO.

Oh come on. You live in the same world. You see the same things. What I see is a police culture which now seems to think any disagreement, any refusal to instantly comply with orders, no matter on how minor a matter, leads to them screaming and jumping them. We see it in Vancouver at the airport, where the four mounties immediately jumped and tazered that Polish guy. We saw it at the G20 police riots. Hell, have a look at this from the other day, from Montreal. This was a noise complaint. But the police felt they couldn't actually discuss anything with the guy. They had to attack him when he didn't instantly comply.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2013/06/19/montreal-youtube-police-arrest-merchant-vieille-europe-the-main.html

But in America, it seems to be worse, with the more militant mindset there leading to ridiculous overuse of hand guns, and police drawing weapons on the mildest of pretexts. Here's another very recent one where police drew guns on a 16 year old boy whose crime was failing to stop when a non-uniformed man who didn't identify himself as a cop tried to talk to him.

http://www.nbc4i.com/story/22451153/new-albany-mom-seeks-answers-after-drawing-weapon-on-son

It's all part and parcel of the militarization of policing in the US, where cops tend to dress, be equipped, and often enough act like soldiers. The problem is that soldiers, and the mindset of soldiers, isn't really about civilian policing.

http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/police-militarization-an-interview-with-radley-balko

Edited by Scotty
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I'm not sure if you're saying that police shows are causing police to behave more aggressively, or whether those shows accurately reflect the increasing aggression of police - but what we have here is a single outrageous incident. It's not enough information to make any conclusions or to justify a substantial argument, IMO.

It's not a single outrageous incident, it's the latest in an unending series of outrageous incidents.

-k

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Oh come on. You live in the same world.

As whom ?

But in America, it seems to be worse,

This is the key phrase "seems to be". I will use that phrase if I want to discuss things that already seem to be obvious, and might be bought into by the person I'm discussing with. But, I feel that it's hard to evaluate such things through a contemporary lens. Things always seem to be getting worse, or maybe better...

Children are bullied to death these days, and they're also thrown in jail for pointing bananas at their school mates and saying 'bang', and... and...

Anyway, if something 'seems to be so' then that in itself is a concern worthy of a topic. Maybe we can ask how countries can objectively discuss things such as this, which are necessarily entwined with cultural values.

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I remember watching cop shows decades ago. The police would speak politely, even to those they arrested. That likely wasn't always the case. But it did seem that police didn't have this gung-ho, over the top, commando style attitude they display today. The screaming (command voice) the knee to the head, jamming your face into the ground, and the army type outfits and weapons used on even casual arrests.

TV is not real.....law enforcement is "militarized" by definition. For instance, the Chicago or Philly cops of 40 years ago would have opened up a can of whup ass on any perp who even thought about resisting detention or arrest, including a beat down in the "paddy wagon". Law enforcement faces greater threats to their personal safety, and force will be escalated to overwhelming dominance as required, just like the military. They don't always get to work with the nation's finest citizens, but some expect them to be the finest men/women in uniform no matter what.

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Guest American Woman

We see it in Vancouver at the airport, where the four mounties immediately jumped and tazered that Polish guy. We saw it at the G20 police riots. Hell, have a look at this from the other day, from Montreal. This was a noise complaint. But the police felt they couldn't actually discuss anything with the guy. They had to attack him when he didn't instantly comply.

Seems to me you have quite a few examples from Canada, but by all means, let's make this about the U.S.

But in America, it seems to be worse, with the more militant mindset there leading to ridiculous overuse of hand guns, and police drawing weapons on the mildest of pretexts. Here's another very recent one where police drew guns on a 16 year old boy whose crime was failing to stop when a non-uniformed man who didn't identify himself as a cop tried to talk to him.

http://www.nbc4i.com/story/22451153/new-albany-mom-seeks-answers-after-drawing-weapon-on-son

How is that "worse" than anything that's happened in Canada? If it happens 10 times more often in the U.S. than it does in Canada, that's statistically comparable.

It's all part and parcel of the militarization of policing in the US, where cops tend to dress, be equipped, and often enough act like soldiers. The problem is that soldiers, and the mindset of soldiers, isn't really about civilian policing.

http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/police-militarization-an-interview-with-radley-balko

I'm still wondering how that's worse than anything that's happened in Canada. Your examples support my confusion. Edited by American Woman
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Ok - we can probably use something more substantial to kick off the discussion then, right ?

I'm confused. Are you asking me to flood the thread with examples of outrageous police incidents?

How about a video of these policemen arresting a man and shooting his dog because he was legally filming them?

-k

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I'm confused. Are you asking me to flood the thread with examples of outrageous police incidents?

I suppose you could do that.

Here's what I read as the framing assertion to the incident:

"I remember watching cop shows decades ago. The police would speak politely, even to those they arrested. "

So how do we back up such assertions ? I don't think we need to do a double-blind study, or valid random sample for every assertion we make but we certainly need to do more than was done in the OP.

Do you think police brutality is on the rise ? I don't think it is, in the long term. Here's an example of something with meat on it:

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-12-17-Copmisconduct_N.htm?csp=1

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I suppose you could do that.

Here's what I read as the framing assertion to the incident:

"I remember watching cop shows decades ago. The police would speak politely, even to those they arrested."

So how do we back up such assertions ? I don't think we need to do a double-blind study, or valid random sample for every assertion we make but we certainly need to do more than was done in the OP.

I'm not sure whether Scott was positing that policemen have changed, or that the friendly and helpful police we see on TV or meet at school events are an accurate reflection of how cops conduct themselves when they think they're not being watched. I'm not sure it really matters; the main point, clearly, is that they're out of control.

Do you think police brutality is on the rise ? I don't think it is, in the long term. Here's an example of something with meat on it:

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-12-17-Copmisconduct_N.htm?csp=1

I'm not actually sure that police misconduct is on the rise; I think the fact that almost everybody has a video recorder in their pocket makes it much easier to catch them in the act.

Personally I used to be one to assume that claims of police brutality were usually exaggerated and tended to result from criminals who wanted their cases thrown out or wanted money from the government, and that sort of thing. Now that we have this endless stream of police misconduct being caught on video, it's no longer possible to ignore it.

-k

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Guest American Woman

Do you think police brutality is on the rise ? I don't think it is, in the long term.

I don't think it's on the rise, either. Everyone has a cell phone, ready to record everything. I would think if anything, police are more wary of engaging in what could be considered "police brutality," but we are aware of every incident now in a way that we never were before because of cell phones, youtube, etc.

But if it is on the rise, it's a pattern not limited to the U.S., per the examples that Scotty himself gave, and a discussion about "law enforcement" might be in order, but this is more about the U.S. than anything else.

At any rate, I think it's rather pointless to take an incident or two that occurred throughout the years in a nation the size of the U.S., where there has to be thousands of police encounters a day, 24/7/365 and present these incidents as some sort of pattern. I've read a few accounts of the incident highlighted in the opening post, and some are so dramatic and skewed in their presentation that one can hardly even take it seriously. Of course the headlines read that she was jailed for purchasing bottled water, which is not true. That's not to say the police handled it the best way, but I doubt it was the drama that it's being presented by in a lot of the online media.

Edited by American Woman
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Here's a police officer pepper-spraying a squirrel.



In his defense, it appears that the squirrel may have been black non-compliant.

-k

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Brave post given recent suspensions for "racism".

Since these incidents often involve white cops and black victims, I think pointing out the squirrel's ethnicity was highly relevant.

-k

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Oh sure....there are seldom any "white" victims, right?

Of course there are. A couple of very well known ones right here in B.C. But I believe the statistics would show that police brutality disproportionately affects non-white victims.

-k

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Of course there are. A couple of very well known ones right here in B.C. But I believe the statistics would show that police brutality disproportionately affects non-white victims.

I believe that statistics show "police brutality" against many different kinds of perps, not just "black" ones. Must be a "visible minority" thing as seen from Canada.

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Of course there are. A couple of very well known ones right here in B.C. But I believe the statistics would show that police brutality disproportionately affects non-white victims.

-k

https://www.google.com/search?q=statistics+would+show+that+police+brutality+disproportionately+affects+non-white+victims

http://www.asanet.org/images/press/docs/pdf/ASARaceCrime.pdf

Wow, that was easy.

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Guest Derek L

Of course there are. A couple of very well known ones right here in B.C. But I believe the statistics would show that police brutality disproportionately affects non-white victims.

-k

But don’t statistics also show, both in Canada and the United States, a disproportionate percent of prison populations being made-up of “non-white” folks? Is this indicative of racism within our respective Justice Systems, or the social-economic factors that lead to crime effecting “non-whites” at a disproportionate rate?

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I didn't feel compelled to spend time searching for cites to support a claim that I assumed would be widely accepted and non-controversial, Michael.

-k

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But don’t statistics also show, both in Canada and the United States, a disproportionate percent of prison populations being made-up of “non-white” folks? Is this indicative of racism within our respective Justice Systems, or the social-economic factors that lead to crime effecting “non-whites” at a disproportionate rate?

Yes....based on such numbers, Asians have the lowest crime rate, and should be alarmed by so much "white" crime ! :lol:

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Here's a video from a thread I started a while back:

http://boingboing.net/2013/04/19/san-diego-cop-smashes-phone.html

...in which a cop is angry at being recorded and proceeds to smash the phone and kick the guy's ass.

The policeman attempted to justify seizing the man's cell-phone by claiming that cell-phones can be converted into dangerous weapons, a strategy attempted by policemen in other jurisdictions as well.

It seems apparent that some amongst the police would prefer to find ways of suppressing cell-phone video than improve their behavior.

-k

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