Leo Gura

Policing Is Hard Work

412 posts in this topic

Lots of police-bashing these days. And I agree that reforms are necessary to expunge systemic racism.

But also consider why this issue is much more complicated than it seems. Try to appreciate the challenges of policing drunk, crazy, and criminal people.

This video shows the challenges: two cops armed with a taser are still not able to successfully arrest 1 guy.

In my mind, if you resist arrest, steal a cop's taser, run away, and then fire his taser at him. Yeah... you should expect to be shot.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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It seems absolutely crazy to me that police officers in the US apparently only go through an average of 2 months of training. 2 months! In my country (Austria) it's 2 years, and I still think that's not quite enough to prepare someone for the job. Especially in the US where guns are a lot more widespread and the chances of being hurt on the job are much higher. With these protests, it is especially important that police officers have the ability to keep a cool head in stressful situations and know how to de-escalate a situation.

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It is indeed very hard. Police can get guns pulled on them right as they walk up to someone's car window, so they always have to be on guard. If someone tries to reach for your gun that's a life and death situation right there.


 "If you showed a caveman our technology, he would think it was magic. And if you showed a modern man magic, he would think it was technology." - Outlast (video game)

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yeah mhh ofc they couldn’t have arrested him at home the other day having his car and such...

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6 minutes ago, remember said:

yeah mhh ofc they couldn’t have arrested him at home the other day having his car and such...

When a drunk person is shooting a taser at you, the last thing you'll be thinking of is how you should let him go and re-arrest him the next day at his home.

If this his how arrests worked, everyone would resist arrest all the time.

If a cop gets tazed, his gun is free for the taking.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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Perhaps we replace police guns with stun guns or something that will stun the offender?

To think about it further: yes, what that man did I would consider wrong, but it is still a cruel  and excessive punishment.

He basically gave this guy a death penalty.


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6 minutes ago, Thewritersunion said:

Perhaps we replace police guns with stun guns or something that will stun the offender?

And what does the cop do in a mass shooting which happen on a weekly basis?

Cops have guns precisely because they need them.

Quote

To think about it further: yes, what that man did I would consider wrong, but it is still a cruel  and excessive punishment.

He basically gave this guy a death penalty.

Yes, when you taze a cop, you're giving yourself a death penalty.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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I often see the assumption that the police officer is the “good guy” trying to protect a community from the “bad guys”. That is certainly a perspective, yet there are also other perspectives that are valid as well.

There was a time I was driving through a city with my radio too loud and without a rear-view mirror. I was not aware a police officer was following me with his lights on trying to pull me over. At one point, I cut through traffic haphazardly and parked in an empty Walgreen’s lot and spent a few seconds to send off a text. As well, I had forgotten to renew my license plate  and was driving with expired an expired plate.

From the police officer’s perspective, I was trying to evade him and this was a potentially serious situation. I stepped out of my car and the police officer was in defensive/offensive posture yelling something about my hands. I was disoriented and confused. He looked at me, then relaxed his shoulder’s, took his hand off his gun and said “What’s wrong with you? Didn’t you see me following you with my lights on? What’s going on?”. I told him my radio was too loud and I was driving without a rear-view mirror (which he had no issue with). He then told me he pulled me over for driving with an expired plate. I said “Ooops. Sorry, I forgot. I’ll make sure to re-new it this week”. He said no problem and to be more aware as I drive.

So my questions are:

1) If I was a black male in this same situation, what are the chances that a police officer would have treated me this way?

2) Imagine myself living in a poor community as a black male in which the police force and justice system is biased against black males. The calculus now changes. I now have to factor in uncertainty of getting abused, arrested, going through a biased judicial system and going to prison. With these factors, I can see how my reaction would be different. Rather than being like “Oops, gee whiz officer, I didn’t see you”, it is now a very different dynamic. To be honest, I don’t know what I would have done. If I was afraid of being beaten and sent to prison for this, my immediate reaction may have been to run like hell to save my ass. And if there was a taser on the ground, I may have picked it up to protect myself.

As my white self, I did not perceive that officer as threatening. Yet I can see the perspective that the “police officer” is actually a predator against me. And in that situation, I would likely run away and try to protect myself against a dangerous predator. 

This is one of the reason fairness and trust between police and community is so important. 

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15 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

When a drunk person is shooting a taser at you, the last thing you'll be thinking of is how you should let him go and re-arrest him the next day at his home.

actually that’s how it probably works in most european countries. they don’t even use tasers. but here most people wouldn’t run from police like that...we know it’s just us movies when anyone runs and makes it. they also would treat a drunk drive differently.

Edited by remember

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20 minutes ago, Serotoninluv said:

So my questions are:

1) If I was a black male in this same situation, what are the chances that a police officer would have treated me this way. 

Yes, there would be more suspicion of you. Because humans make stereotypes and have unconscious biases as part of survival.

A cop is not going to treat a nicely dressed guy in a business suit the same way he will treat a guy who slurs his speech and wears a hoodie. Call it unfair, but such stereotypes are going to be a part of policing.

For example, when I police this forum, I have to manually approve each new member who signs up. I manually check their IP address. If their IP address is from India or Bangladesh I ban their account in about 50% of cases because 95% of spam accounts are from India or Bangladesh. Sometimes I ban Indian people by accident who aren't spammers. Is this fair or am I being racist? You can say I'm being racist, but it's just a fact of online policing that 95% of spam comes from India. I would be a fool to treat accounts from India the same as accounts from the US or Europe. Indian accounts must clear a higher bar. This is just the harsh reality. Nothing against Indians other than their fucking endless spam. Why do Indian's spam so much? Because they have dirt cheap labor costs and they speak English better than most underdeveloped countries with cheap labor costs, and they have decent internet access.

If I treated Indian accounts the same as US and European accounts, there would be a lot more spam on this forum. It would also cost more energy. But it would be more fair. So there is a trade-off between security, energy, and fairness.

Ironically, if you want very tight security AND high fairness you need to invest A LOT more energy into the policing system.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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I agree with the perspective that Leo has presented. The police go through some tough shit out there. 

I want to say something very important now. Imagine that this was a white man instead of a black man. If the police guy shot him, no one would have made such a fuss. But because he is black, the whole story gets turned on its head and now, it was apparently because he was black.

P.s. i know that black people are dissrespected and they need more rights. It is evident. But we have to be objective here and look at the situation without bias


"A great challenge of life: Knowing enough to think you're doing it right, but not enough to know you're doing it wrong."

- Neil Degrasse Tyson

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5 minutes ago, apparentlynoself said:

P.s. i know that black people are dissrespected and they need more rights. It is evident. But we have to be objective here and look at the situation without bias

That is the meta-challenge in this whole issue. Striking that balance between corrective action without losing objectivity is hard to do. Over-correction and under-correction are both risks. People can be too complacent or too proactive. Burning down a Wendy's over this case is an example of over-correction.

To have a smoothly functioning system requires exquisite balance -- which requires the intelligence and consciousness of God.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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19 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

There would probably be more suspicion of you. Because humans make stereotypes and have unconscious biases.

A cop is not going to treat a nicely dressed guy in a business suit the same way he will treat a guy who slurs his speech and wears a hoodie. Call it unfair, but such stereotypes are going to be a part of policing.

I was not nicely dressed in a business suit. I was dressed as a regular guy. I was wearing an old sweatshirt and worn-out jeans. The officer didn’t relax because I was dressed nicely or drove a nice car. Nothing like that. My impression is that may age and skin color were the two major factors he relaxed.

19 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Sometimes I ban Indian people by accident who aren't spammers. Is this fair or am I being racist? You can say I'm being racist, but it's just a fact of online policing that 95% of spam comes from India.

By this logic, the police officer would have treated me more aggressive if I was black because black people commit more crime and are more dangerous. You say it is a fact of online policing that 95% of spam comes form India. Yet I would challenge a claim that it is a “fact” that racial profiling is justified due to black people committing significantly more crime and being more dangerous. 

And this doesn’t address the perspective of an inner-city young black male. If someone encounters an armed predator, it is reasonable to try to escape or fight back. Consider what young black and brown males in NYC had to go through with stop and frisk. 90%+ of young black and brown males that got stopped and aggressively frisked were innocent. Many of them were arrested and held for a while. That is literally facing a predator from the black / brown perspective.

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6 minutes ago, Serotoninluv said:

I was not nicely dressed in a business suit. I was dressed as a regular guy. I was wearing an old sweatshirt and worn-out jeans. The officer didn’t relax because I was dressed nicely or drove a nice car. Nothing like that. My impression is that may age and skin color were the two major factors he relaxed.

Yes, I get your point. I definitely believe that happens. If you were black you would have more suspicion overall.

Quote

By this logic, the police officer would have treated me more aggressive if I was black because black people commit more crime and are more dangerous.

That is correct because blacks have lower incomes than whites on average and there is going to be a correlation between lower income and violent crime. Of course this is not because they have bad genetics. It is because of the legacy of slavery. But nevertheless, it is what it is. If you go to a poor white neighborhood vs a rich one, you will be more suspicious of the poor one.

All these subtle associations are baked into our collective culture. Which is why it's so hard to eliminate systemic racism.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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US police have a difficult job than European police. In the US there are guns under every leaf so to speak. Really makes you think why somebody would want to be a cop. It is either uneducated people who want a police salary or psychopaths people who like to shoot people and play the boss.

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8 minutes ago, StarStruck said:

US police have a difficult job than European police. In the US there are guns under every leaf so to speak. Really makes you think why somebody would want to be a cop. It is either uneducated people who want a police salary or psychopaths people who like to shoot people and play the boss.

There is an ennegram personality type which loves to get its sense of purpose and meaning from enforcing laws and justice. These types of people love to do work such a military, policing, bouncing, security, etc.

It's a valid personality type. Such people serve an important function. They are not bossy per se. They actually value loyalty and they can be healthily expressed. But if they become unhealthy then it can look very ugly as abuse or tyranny.

"When fighting monsters one must be careful not to become monster." is one of my fave Nietzsche quotes.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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53 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

In my mind, if you resist arrest, steal a cop's taser, run away, and then fire his taser at him. Yeah... you should expect to be shot.

You're not questioning WHY policing is tough in the first place enough. WHY is policing tough? WHY do people steal tasers? WHY are people committing crimes? WHY are they resisting arrest?

There are countries out there where policing is 1000x easier than it is in the US. Policing is way easier in Denmark, UK, Australia, Canada, etc.

Policing is easier in those countries because the culture is different, social norms are different, there's less systemic problems there, people have their basic needs met more, people are treated better, people are more aware, the laws are different, consequences are dealt with different, more holistically, more compassionately, less harshly, more focus on rehab than solidary confinement, etc.

Most developed countries have banned guns... and that's a first start for the US. The fact that you guys have guns is unacceptable and way below your standards as a country.

 

Policing is tough work, because the US believes cure is better than prevention. Its better for cops to solve all of the US's problems rather than to solve it at the systemic level. Instead of putting effort into reforming education, worker's rights, UBI, pill testing, medical stations, etc. Lets knock civillians into submission with machine guns and military equipment until they do what we want.

If you've got a kid, and the only way you've gotten that kid to do what you want is through violence, expect that kid to be violent too. 

 

There is a lot of police bashing going on, and while its unfair because its the fault of the training rather than the police officers themselves, its totally warranted, because its the problem. Police have it tough because your society treats your civillians like a piece of shit. 

Stop giving so much money to the police, and put it into solving the root problem, and that's what your progressive states are starting to do and its great to see. CHAZ (or CHOP) wont last forever, but its like a renaissance, live music, community coming together, money put into solving systemic problems rather than giving police machine guns, its great.

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52 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

Yes, I get your point. I definitely believe that happens. If you were black you would have more suspicion overall.

I would have been perceived as being more suspicious.

52 minutes ago, Leo Gura said:

That is correct because blacks have lower incomes than whites and there is going to be a correlation between lower income and violent crime. Of course this is not because they are black per se. It is because of the legacy of slavery. But nevertheless, it is what it is. If you go to a poor white neighborhood vs a rich one, you will be more suspicious of the poor one.

Suspicion of threat has many variables: age, night or day, poor or rich neighborhood, clothes the person is wearing etc. I agree that income disparity is a major issue. Yet I think you are leaving out that being black is itself an input. Everything else being equal, a young black man will be perceived as being more suspicious than a young white male by an average white person. Even if the crime stats are the same for poor blacks and poor whites in a neighborhood, a black male has an extra input for being black. 

In my town, the crime rate for black and white is about the same. Yet white homeowners call the police when they see young black or brown males around their house. This is common near the campus I work. In particular, white middle age / elderly women call the police when they see black and brown students around their home. And brown people actually have much lower crime rates in my town. The only brown people in my town are the students!

In the Wendy’s situation there are different perspectives: 

1) The police officer is the good guy who was doing his job serving and protecting the community. He encountered a person that evaded arrest and threatened his safety, so the police officer responded with lethal force.

2) A person got drunk and fell asleep in their car. They were awoken by a threatening predator. In fear of being beaten and kidnapped by the predator, the person tried to escape and protect themself by slowing the predator down with a taser. Then the predator shot and killed them, just as was originally feared. 

This is why fairness and trust between police and the community is so important. If people see the police as predators, it changes the dynamics. When I traveled through Central and South America, there were military police patrolling with machine guns and body armor in some towns. At first it made me uncomfortable, yet I developed trust over time after talking with locals and being around the police. However, if white tourists were were disproportionately targeted and abused, my relationship would have changed. If they targeted white tourists in a biased judicial system to extort money and get some payback against whites, my relationship would have changed. In this context if an officer approached me, running away is now on the table because I no longer see him as someone serving and protecting me. I see him as a predator that is threatening to me. 

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1 hour ago, Leo Gura said:

In my mind, if you resist arrest, steal a cop's taser, run away, and then fire his taser at him. Yeah... you should expect to be shot.

In my mind, getting killed in this situation is still too harsh.

Do you think the Atlanta incident is an example of over-policing or was it okay to take a risk by shooting at him?


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4 minutes ago, electroBeam said:

You're not questioning WHY policing is tough in the first place enough. WHY is policing tough? WHY do people steal tasers? WHY are people committing crimes? WHY are they resisting arrest?

There are countries out there where policing is 1000x easier than it is in the US. Policing is way easier in Denmark, UK, Australia, Canada, etc.

Policing is easier in those countries because the culture is different, social norms are different, there's less systemic problems there, people have their basic needs met more, people are treated better, people are more aware, the laws are different, consequences are dealt with different, more holistically, more compassionately, less harshly, more focus on rehab than solidary confinement, etc.

Most developed countries have banned guns... and that's a first start for the US. The fact that you guys have guns is unacceptable and way below your standards as a country.

Firstly, policing is hard everywhere.

Secondly, it's harder in the US because we have a unique culture here and a different level of development.

Policing will always be harder in less developed countries and countries with higher economic disparity. Western Northern Europe is more egalitarian with less economic disparity and slightly higher level of Spiral development.

Europe doesn't have a huge legacy of slavery to deal with.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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