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Thu Jul 23, 2015, 10:50 AM

 

How do we change the culture in local police departments?

They are often so structurally racist that persons of color are often participants in the violence against persons of color.

Also, we talk about big money buying our government. Well, with drug prohibition we have powerful groups with infinite funds to corrupt law enforcement.

Then we have the cover-ups that come from the tribal aspect of police work. No different than doctors who cover for their colleagues, or hospitals who sweep things under the rug. It could be very dangerous for an officer to go against that flow.

How do you change the culture of a corrupt and structurally racist tribe?

46 replies, 6455 views

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Reply How do we change the culture in local police departments? (Original post)
virtualobserver Jul 2015 OP
riversedge Jul 2015 #1
virtualobserver Jul 2015 #6
riversedge Jul 2015 #26
MineralMan Jul 2015 #2
99th_Monkey Jul 2015 #5
MineralMan Jul 2015 #9
99th_Monkey Jul 2015 #12
MineralMan Jul 2015 #13
virtualobserver Jul 2015 #7
Man from Pickens Jul 2015 #3
virtualobserver Jul 2015 #11
99th_Monkey Jul 2015 #17
Man from Pickens Jul 2015 #37
NightWatcher Jul 2015 #18
Lisa D Jul 2015 #4
virtualobserver Jul 2015 #14
ProfessorGAC Jul 2015 #8
virtualobserver Jul 2015 #10
ProfessorGAC Jul 2015 #15
99th_Monkey Jul 2015 #16
Spider Jerusalem Jul 2015 #21
ProfessorGAC Jul 2015 #41
Calista241 Jul 2015 #36
ProfessorGAC Jul 2015 #42
Major Nikon Jul 2015 #19
virtualobserver Jul 2015 #24
Major Nikon Jul 2015 #32
bravenak Jul 2015 #46
Spider Jerusalem Jul 2015 #20
brer cat Jul 2015 #23
virtualobserver Jul 2015 #27
brer cat Jul 2015 #22
virtualobserver Jul 2015 #28
Nay Jul 2015 #31
brer cat Jul 2015 #40
Ron Green Jul 2015 #25
virtualobserver Jul 2015 #30
Ron Green Jul 2015 #34
tularetom Jul 2015 #29
procon Jul 2015 #33
JEB Jul 2015 #35
99th_Monkey Jul 2015 #45
Glassunion Jul 2015 #38
cherokeeprogressive Jul 2015 #39
beevul Jul 2015 #43
hunter Jul 2015 #44

Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 10:53 AM

1. In this case the culture does trickle down from the top-

If you have a Chief who looks the other way or advocates for the bully approach-the officers will follow along.

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Response to riversedge (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:18 AM

6. Do you think that a Chief can come in from the outside and change the culture?

 

I'm thinking about places like the CIA.

I will be watching the situation in Ferguson carefully.

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Response to virtualobserver (Reply #6)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:05 PM

26. Yes, I do. I have seen it happen in a samll

city in my area. Sometimes , the Chief just gets to friendly with too many folks--and they needed someone without such ties . I wonder if there is real research on this issue.

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Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 10:56 AM

2. Prosecute law enforcement officials for civil rights violations.

That's how. Every case of violence against a person of color should be immediately investigated by the FBI and if structural racism is found, federal civil rights charges should be filed against high-level officials in that department, along with the perpetrators.

That is within the authority of the Department of Justice, and should be ordered by the President. Just do it. A number of local Police chiefs going to federal prison for racial issues that are systematic in nature would have a salutary effect on police culture, I guarantee.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:16 AM

5. The problem with that

 

.. is that by definition, "civil" suits -- as opposed to criminal -- only can impose a "$ettlement for damage$" to the plaintiffs in dollars (not jail time for the perp) that is then paid out of the local gov't coffers, i.e. at the expense of local tax-payers who would rather see their taxes pay for decent roads, public services, etc. not this bullshit.

This is already widely done, but if effectively let's killer-cops walk free, with the added benefit of getting an extended paid vacation (called "Administrative leave" while the investigation is underway.

I have long said that these settlements need to start coming from the police dept budget directly, or from the police retirement funds. Then at least there is some modicum of "penalty" imposed on cops (not on the local jurisdiction.

I also think killer-cops are murderers, plain and simple, and need to go to jail.. when this starts happening, then things are much more likely to change, because there is real accountability, i.e. the perp gets punish, not the local gov't and local taxpayers.

I might have this wrong, or misunderstand what you are proposing. Do civil rights prosecutions result in jail time for those found guilty? This I'm not sure of, and would like to know.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #5)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:24 AM

9. Federal civil rights charges can be criminal or civil.

Yes, they can result in jail time. It depends on the charge that is made.

Here's a link:

http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/crm/

Here's another:

https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/civilrights/color_of_law

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #9)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:31 AM

12. That is very helpful

 

I was confusing local "civil suits" by plaintiffs (either the victim or their families) as opposed to Federal "civil rights" prosecutions.

Thank you for the link.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #12)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:31 AM

13. My pleasure.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:20 AM

7. I agree, but I worry about racism in the FBI as well.

 

I think that a carefully selected group should do the investigations.

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Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 10:57 AM

3. cut budgets dramatically

 

it's the only thing they respond to

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Response to Man from Pickens (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:31 AM

11. do you have an example of a place where that has worked?

 

how was that implemented?

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Response to Man from Pickens (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:44 AM

17. One way to do that

 

would be to have all settlements for damages paid out to victims and/or their families, come directly out of the police dept.s budget. and/or their retirement funds.

NOT out of the city/county general fund.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #17)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:33 PM

37. That's an excellent idea

 

Pull all settlements out of the police retirement fund would have the most direct impact of all the solutions I've seen proposed. A real incentive for them to police themselves, with a real penalty for covering up malfeasance.

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Response to Man from Pickens (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:46 AM

18. If you cut budgets they'll increase seizures and traffic stops for cash

And it's in these BS stops where problems come in.

They'll stop every black guy in a flashy car (that they don't now) in the hopes of finding a joint so they can seize his car to supplement revenue for the department.

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Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 10:57 AM

4. Start putting abusive officers in prison.

Appealing to their sense of human decency hasn't worked. Maybe fear of swift and harsh justice will get through to their bigoted brains.

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Response to Lisa D (Reply #4)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:33 AM

14. I think that we are starting to see that.....

 

now that the spotlight is on police behavior.....

We need to keep the pressure on.

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Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:23 AM

8. Have Every Incident Pursued By IAD

With, btw, oversight from Justice. Right now, it seems the only time IAD finds anything is when a cop steals something.

In strong departments, IAD scares marginal cops straight.

I friend of ours is a retired police captain from a city of 165,000. They do not have these sort of issues. There is a very good relationship between community and police. But, the cops actually fear being called before IAD. It's unpleasant, and findings are acted upon. It's not a Sunday skate before that board, which includes civilians.

If a city of 165k can manage it, it can be managed at both larger and smaller scales

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #8)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:28 AM

10. with a lot of oversight from Justice and the community

 

What are IAD's like in large metro police departments.

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Response to virtualobserver (Reply #10)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:39 AM

15. Sorry, I Wish I Knew

The city i was talking about was where my wife and i both grew up. We live in a small town 20 miles away now. I've never lived in, or right next to, a major metro. Chicago is 60+ miles away. So, i'm not sure how they do it there or NYC or Dallas or Houston, etc.

But, 165,000 seems like a large enough community that it's not a function of small town cooperation. That's a lot of people and a highly diverse population. So, if it can work there, it should work elsewhere.

It's not like it's Mars. Just another american city.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #15)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:42 AM

16. What does IAD stand for? nt

 

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #16)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:51 AM

21. Internal Affairs Division (n/t)

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #16)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 02:03 PM

41. Internal Affairs Division (eom)

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #8)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:31 PM

36. The Justice dept hasn't done jack shit in these recent cases.

Starting with Trayvon Martin and lasting until the present day.

The only thing they've done so far is a feel good visit from Eric Holder and placing a department under "supervision."

Here is an example of A Dept of Justice review:

The Dept of Justice concluded a year long investigation into the Cleveland PD last year. This was several months before the Tamir Rice shooting, and yet somehow, they gave a cop that was deemed unfit for duty and was previously fired for incompetence a job. That cop later went on the execute Tamir Rice.

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Response to Calista241 (Reply #36)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 02:04 PM

42. No Disagreement From Me

I'm saying that is what needs to be done. Stricter community standards, more IAD effort and Justice to make sure they're doing their job.

I am not implying that this has been done well enough except in isolated instances.

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Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:50 AM

19. Truly independent oversight of the police

A federal agency that does nothing other than provide police oversight and internal investigation.

In other words, someone to really police the police.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #19)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:01 PM

24. the nutjobs would freak out, but I couldn't agree more with you.

 

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Response to virtualobserver (Reply #24)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:22 PM

32. Human nature is the same the world over

The only thing that really separates us from 3rd world style corruption is ethical oversight. The less of it you have, the closer you get to the 3rd world.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #19)

Fri Jul 24, 2015, 12:14 AM

46. I want this.

 

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Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:50 AM

20. By changing the culture of a structurally racist society, probably

If America weren't a deeply racist country it wouldn't have deeply racist police. QED.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #20)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:52 AM

23. We posted at about the same time.

I agree with you.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #20)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:11 PM

27. yes

 

one of the biggest impediments to that is the textbook propaganda machine.

No one can rewrite history or reinforce old viewpoints like a local school board.


How would you change our society?

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Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 11:51 AM

22. Racist and bigoted police departments exist

because the communities they serve allow it, may even encourage it. That is why movements like BLM are so critical.

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Response to brer cat (Reply #22)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:17 PM

28. I agree.....when a society is comatose in relation to a problem...

 

it needs a shock to the system.

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Response to brer cat (Reply #22)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:20 PM

31. I can't help but think that having a black President has brought much of the animus to

the forefronts of the brains of lots of racist citizens in this country. The hate was always there, but the obvious public backlash against a black President (the birther nonsense, Kenyan muslim shit, etc.) has encouraged them to be vocal and physical over a feeling that, previously, just hung about in their heads. To them, it must seem that racism is OK in public now.

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Response to Nay (Reply #31)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:48 PM

40. I definitely think that PBO,

the ultimate "negro" who is not in his place, has both unleashed and made acceptable (to some) the public airing of racist speech. Relative to the OP, how could this not bleed over to our police, and encourage the deplorable treatment of AAs? The very fact that the murder of unarmed and innocent blacks by leos is met by cries of "but he was a thief," "she was arrogant," etc. tells us that those murders are condoned, probably welcomed, by a segment of our citizens. Until enough of us say "no more" it will not just continue, but escalate.

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Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:02 PM

25. I have a friend who developed this project:

He interviewed cops from different departments, asking them to describe a time when they were able to defuse a confrontational or potentially violent situation. He asked them for lots of detail about their thought processes during these successful de-escalation events, and from this information he sought to develop curricula for police training.

I don't know he was able to follow through on implementation of the training, but I like the idea of building on the cops' own (albeit rare) examples of doing the right thing.

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Response to Ron Green (Reply #25)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:19 PM

30. I think that it is an interesting idea.....

 

the officer would need to be motivated to actually change.

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Response to virtualobserver (Reply #30)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:27 PM

34. Right, every individual cop has to decide on a daily or even minute-by-minute basis

whether to remember the "community policing" training he's surely taken, or to respond to the testosterone-fueled camaraderie of his "brothers in arms."

The higher skill of street psychology that a beat cop must use has to somehow outweigh the lower skill of tactical fire-team operations that has become the problem in cities all around the country.

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Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:17 PM

29. Get rid of police unions

Politicians are scared to death of them and won't stand up to their demands.

Limit the amount of overtime allowed to be accumulated by each officer. Some cops are pulling down two or three times their annual salaries just by piling up overtime.

And get more cops out of cars and back on foot in the neighborhoods they're supposed to be patrolling. They need to be seen as part of the community, as approachable, rather than as an occupying army.

And finally, take away some of their toys. Local police departments do not need tanks, armored personnel carriers, or .50 caliber BMG's.

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Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:26 PM

33. Change will have to come from outside.

From voters, activists, civil rights groups, community organizations, churches, the judiciary and legislative branches, lawmakers, other police agencies, watchdog groups, the media, victims and their advocates, VIPs and celebrity critics, writers, columnists, politicos and pundits. Stop the federal government from militarizing the police departments in every one-stop-light town in the country with their overstocked weapons of war; community policing is not a military engagement.

Nothing short of a national, state and local pile-on will force these lawless actors to clean house. Laws governing sentencing, prison reforms, how we deal with drug abuse, mental health, poverty, youth, gender, the flawed grand jury system... everything must be revamped, modernized and updated based on proven science that produces effective results.

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Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:27 PM

35. Cut their fucking budgets. Less cops=bettercommunities.

 

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Response to JEB (Reply #35)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 05:56 PM

45. Not if the police cop an attitude about it

 

like they did in NYC when they "stood down" from policing because New Yorkers
were pissed about them strangling "I can't breath!" Eric Garner to death.

Police Dept.s have become local municipally-financed protection rackets, enabled
by police "unions".

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Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:35 PM

38. I recently read an old article about a cop who has a record number of citizen complaints.

In 20 years, he has written over 25,000 traffic tickets. In all that time, and after 25,000 encounters with the public, he has zero citizen complaints. None. Nada.

He is doing it right, and other officers should learn from his example.

link: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/la-traffic-cop-has-record-number-of-complaints/

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Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 12:37 PM

39. Make the police susceptible to the same laws we are, with "enhancements".

 

Namely "under color of authority", and increase the punishment for crimes committed "under color of authority".

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Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 02:21 PM

43. Make 'rights violations' career ending.

 

I don't know how it could be done, but make rights violations punishable in a career ending way.

Fuck up, and you will police no more.

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Response to virtualobserver (Original post)

Thu Jul 23, 2015, 04:20 PM

44. I think a prerequisite for being a cop should be at least five years satisfactory accomplishment...

... as a high school teacher in under-served-mean-street communities.

It doesn't matter the teaching subject really. Home room, detention, basic words and numbers literacy, raw "health" classes of sexual diseases, condoms, and birth control... lunch litter pickup, or sorting the recycling with the most deviant misfits...

I was frequently a lunch litter pickup deviant in school, and later as an urban school teacher, supervisor of such deviants. I met my wife teaching. Later she was accepted, following her dreams, to graduate school in another state.

The skills required to deal non-violently, without escalation, with over-crowded situations of hungry hormonally challenged teenage students in difficult environments, all are directly transferable to police work.

Ideally cops would be accomplished teachers who only rarely arrested anyone, and then always in the most polite and civilized way possible.

Arresting people for trivial things would make a cop subject of official scorn and derision.

A ticket for a burned out turn signal instead of a friendly fix-it? WTF is wrong with you dude? Two more like this and you'll be fired.

If you can't break up a fight between people bigger than you without a gun, if you can't deal with a teenager questioning your manhood or womanhood, if you can't suffer an occasional bloody nose or black eye or personal insult in the "line of duty," if you ever need a gun to feel secure, then you are simply not qualified to be a cop.

I've never been qualified to be a cop because I hate handguns. I'd probably rather be shot than shoot someone, but always I'd rather not find myself in that situation.





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