Police misbehavior thread

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Tyndmyr
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:07 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:wasn't through a chargebackable payment method. thought I was delivering payment in person to the real sheriff's dept and didn't even realize it was something that could be transferred electronically. facilitating company has a fraud report mechanism but they say they're not responsible for giving you your money back and they require information that only the actual police have now in their evidence locker that i'm waiting on to make a futile attempt at reporting to them.


If the intermediate company is sketchy, then go back to the last point that is known good. Bank, at a minimum. Sometimes they go above and beyond what they are legally required to do. Good intermediaries, like Paypal, have some consumer protection mechanisms, but for ones that are out of country/sketchy, you pretty much have to treat them like part of the problem, since they unfortunately are.

But yes, this sort of thing is a good use of police time. It might not be easy, but it is of fairly high value. One scammer operating unhindered will eventually cause a great deal of damage. It's a disconnect between how police are incentivized with what's of value to society. From a practical standpoint, society would be a great deal better off if a single officer dealt with this instead of manning a speed trap for a couple of hours. The latter's directly beneficial to the cops, though.

One can also make a report to the Federal Trade Commission, as they have a responsibility to check up on such things as well, but I have no idea how effective it is. Ftc.gov ought to get you there.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Coyne » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:13 am UTC

Okay, yes, I was exaggerating for effect.

But there seems to be an assumption here that the crook will be waiting at home for the police to arrive and snap him up. It'll go more like this: when the officer arrives at the location, he will find an empty room. The room will have been rented in cash, and the phone lines will have been leased in cash as well. Everything will be gone except a few scraps of paper that will be little help. The cards weren't cashed by one person either, they were farmed out to 20 people in 10 different cities, going to a dfferent cash place for each card. That is what they do for skimmed credit cards, no reason to think they would do less for your $2000, given the organization behind this type of crime these days.

So even if there are dozens of victims under the same officer's workload, the odds are that he will spend hundreds of hours (5 weeks = 200 hours, so that is not a stretch) with good odds that after that expenditure, he will arrest nobody worthwhile and no cash recovered.

Since quota (at the officer's review, "Let's see how many cases you resolved/arrests you made this last year," is effectively a quota) is a driving concern of the officer's continued employment, count matters. Let's be conservative and say it takes the officer 80 hours to arrest a low level bad guy for this crime: he will solve 26 cases in a year if he skips vacation. You can pick your low-level crime (tagging, prostitution, betting, mugging) but his numbers look much better if he focuses on much easier to solve crimes. No one wants to tilt uselessly against windmills everyday, especially when they're being paid for results.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:31 am UTC

The odds of it being a local issue are exceedingly low. This shouldnt be a local PD’s task but it should be looked into at a higher level. I would assume this type of wire fraud falls under the FBI jurisdiction for the most part.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:58 pm UTC

Coyne wrote:Okay, yes, I was exaggerating for effect.

But there seems to be an assumption here that the crook will be waiting at home for the police to arrive and snap him up. It'll go more like this: when the officer arrives at the location, he will find an empty room. The room will have been rented in cash, and the phone lines will have been leased in cash as well. Everything will be gone except a few scraps of paper that will be little help. The cards weren't cashed by one person either, they were farmed out to 20 people in 10 different cities, going to a dfferent cash place for each card. That is what they do for skimmed credit cards, no reason to think they would do less for your $2000, given the organization behind this type of crime these days.


That's what they do if they are competent crooks. And even then, clues may accidentally have been left behind. However, not all crooks are competent.

Cops ought to make the effort, because it means incompetent crooks are caught, incompetent crooks are forced to put forth more effort(need to change locations more often, be more careful), and it generally means that crime pays less well.

In addition, such a group, being basically organized crime, is committing a LOT of crimes. Yeah, it may take a lot more effort than booking a speeding ticket, but it's also of far higher value. You're preventing a great deal of harm that would be caused. Fraud really ought to be taken a great deal more seriously.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby ijuin » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:39 pm UTC

Fraud gets taken more seriously in proportion to how seriously law enforcers take the defrauded party. I can guarantee that the cops would get out of their chairs for their state’s governor, for example.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:30 pm UTC

Crime in general is taken a lot more seriously for the "important people", sure.

Unfortunately, there are fairly few of those.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:42 am UTC

Hmm... which is more important would you say; getting the money back, or bringing the scammer to justice?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:32 am UTC

If I could choose just one, I'd be selfish and take my money back. I'm not sure how exactly that would happen without bringing the scammer to justice though, unless like, someone just wants to send me money to make me feel better.

Pretty sure, short of that though, the money is just gone for good, so all I really care about now is the scammer being caught. Personally, I don't even care about "justice" at this point. I'd be happy enough if some vigilante just made sure he could never talk or type again.

But that's me being pissed the fuck off and beaten down by life lately and not a measured assessment of what should actually be police priority or anything like that.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 12, 2018 2:27 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Hmm... which is more important would you say; getting the money back, or bringing the scammer to justice?


If the money were somehow reclaimed, the scammers would have made less money scamming folks. As a system, any sufficiently effective way of depriving them of gains from misdeeds should make the practice as a whole less profitable and attractive.

So, while there's a certain satisfaction from seeing scammers behind bars, the former is probably more important in practice.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby SDK » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:04 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:So, while there's a certain satisfaction from seeing scammers behind bars, the former is probably more important in practice.

Probably not from a societal standpoint. That scammer didn't just scam one person, they scammed a bunch. Unless you're hypothesizing that we can regain the lost money the majority of the time, seems to me it's more important to have justice. Not justice for the sake of justice, but justice with the goal of stopping this behavior going forward (both in that individual and in others who are aware of the likelihood of punishment).

For example, let's say we can regain the money 25% of the time. That's likely super optimistic, but let's run with it. One in four people who get scammed get their money back. Great for them, but what about the other 3/4? Isn't it better for society if we can successfully stop this behavior by getting justice?
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:42 pm UTC

SDK wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:So, while there's a certain satisfaction from seeing scammers behind bars, the former is probably more important in practice.

Probably not from a societal standpoint. That scammer didn't just scam one person, they scammed a bunch. Unless you're hypothesizing that we can regain the lost money the majority of the time, seems to me it's more important to have justice. Not justice for the sake of justice, but justice with the goal of stopping this behavior going forward (both in that individual and in others who are aware of the likelihood of punishment).

For example, let's say we can regain the money 25% of the time. That's likely super optimistic, but let's run with it. One in four people who get scammed get their money back. Great for them, but what about the other 3/4? Isn't it better for society if we can successfully stop this behavior by getting justice?

Is that how crime fighting works in practice? I thought the police have options to go after the money, or to go after specific criminals (taking out the kingpin).
The funny thing about this crime is that the police can't use civil forfeiture to seize the money because they never came across it.(forfeiture has lower burden of proof, and requires the accused to prove innocence) It's not in physical cash. It's just bank accounts that get shuffled about.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby SDK » Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:56 pm UTC

sardia wrote:I thought the police have options to go after the money, or to go after specific criminals (taking out the kingpin).

I hope (perhaps optimistically) that law enforcement would make whatever choice they deem more beneficial to society as a whole. Making deals with underlings to get to the kingpin is pretty much exactly that in practice.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:08 pm UTC

In practice, I'm all for doing both, but I note that increasingly harsh punishments may not deter all crime so long as the pay is routinely good. If you're just replacing a prior criminal with a new one doing the same thing, the net benefit to society is marginal. Sure, some deterrent effect exists, but there's a point past which further escalations have little deterrent value. Some folks are willing to take dumb risks if the prize looks great.

On the flip side, if you make the crime not pay, it looks a lot less attractive. In an ideal world, you pursue both strategies as they're complimentary, but in a situation where you can't apprehend the crooks, at least preventing them from getting money is desirable.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby SDK » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:12 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:In practice, I'm all for doing both, but I note that increasingly harsh punishments may not deter all crime so long as the pay is routinely good. If you're just replacing a prior criminal with a new one doing the same thing, the net benefit to society is marginal. Sure, some deterrent effect exists, but there's a point past which further escalations have little deterrent value. Some folks are willing to take dumb risks if the prize looks great.

On the flip side, if you make the crime not pay, it looks a lot less attractive. In an ideal world, you pursue both strategies as they're complimentary, but in a situation where you can't apprehend the crooks, at least preventing them from getting money is desirable.

This post is 100% correct. Hard for us to make the call sitting here, but law enforcement (hopefully) has people putting thought into how to approach each crime with this principle in mind.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Thesh » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:04 am UTC

So I was reading this thread, then watching this video*, and then read this.

*Link to relevant part of video
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:24 am UTC

The Hill article wrote:“If we didn’t do anything this thing could get out of hand,” Johnson continued. “We want people to understand we don’t want to see this kind of thing happening. They need to know they can’t go around doing whatever they want to our statues.”


First they came for the paintings, and I said nothing--
    Because I was not a painting.
Then they came for the photographs, and I said nothing--
    Because I was not a photograph.
Then they came for me--
Spoiler:
5bc29090dda4c87a768b4654.jpg

    --and there was no one left to speak.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:37 am UTC

Also:
I didn't watch the whole video, so maybe I'm missing crucial context -- but what he's saying here strikes me as a little off-base. Capital definitely conspires with police, but I don't think the example he gives (Tim Horton's giving police free coffee) is a good example of that; I think it more represents this near-subconscious understanding a lot of people have that you need to placate cops. Because cops have lots of power and very little oversight in regards to how they deploy that power.

I regularly get calls from police charities asking me if I'd like to donate. When I say no, the conversation gets very tense very quickly. Police don't like being told "no". They don't like it when you in any way challenge their privilege to your time and/or money. Or their authority. Or their cultural status.

Whether we realize it or not, I think a lot of us give them free shit because we don't want to see what happens if they took that coffee and we asked them to pay.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Thesh » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:51 am UTC

My understanding of that was always that stores give cops free stuff because it's cheaper than hiring a security company. I was more talking about the whole police doing nothing but filing a police report when a regular citizen is a victim of a crime, but when it's something like pooping in a business or putting googly eyes on a statue, then the entire chain of command gets involved.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Sun Oct 14, 2018 6:58 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:Also:
I didn't watch the whole video, so maybe I'm missing crucial context -- but what he's saying here strikes me as a little off-base. Capital definitely conspires with police, but I don't think the example he gives (Tim Horton's giving police free coffee) is a good example of that; I think it more represents this near-subconscious understanding a lot of people have that you need to placate cops. Because cops have lots of power and very little oversight in regards to how they deploy that power.

I regularly get calls from police charities asking me if I'd like to donate. When I say no, the conversation gets very tense very quickly. Police don't like being told "no". They don't like it when you in any way challenge their privilege to your time and/or money. Or their authority. Or their cultural status.

Whether we realize it or not, I think a lot of us give them free shit because we don't want to see what happens if they took that coffee and we asked them to pay.

If you didn't know this, charities have almost nothing to do with the organizations that they claim to serve. If it isn't a scam, it might as well be. https://www.forbes.com/sites/phildemuth ... -you-must/
Police charities by phone is listed under example 3.
3) Never give to anyone asking for money. The last thing you want is for half your donation to be siphoned off by some professional solicitor. Don't put money in the box next to the cash register, even if it has a heartrending picture on it (unless it's a tip jar -- keep reading). Be very afraid of any charity that happens to cross your path: all that means is that they have a big marketing budget.
If you really want to help the police, help them apply for grants to fancy military gear that they couldn't otherwise afford. Like armored personnel carriers, or advanced(read expensive) military surplus weapons. Your town council/mayor's office can help with that.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby WriteBrainedJR » Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:21 am UTC

sardia wrote:If you really want to help the police, help them apply for grants to fancy military gear that they couldn't otherwise afford. Like armored personnel carriers, or advanced(read expensive) military surplus weapons. Your town council/mayor's office can help with that.

That just helps push your community one step closer to a police state by giving them better gear to murder their pet dogs and unarmed teenagers with. The last thing your community needs is a more-militarized police force.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:17 am UTC

sardia wrote:If you didn't know this, charities have almost nothing to do with the organizations that they claim to serve. If it isn't a scam, it might as well be. https://www.forbes.com/sites/phildemuth ... -you-must/
Police charities by phone is listed under example 3.
3) Never give to anyone asking for money. The last thing you want is for half your donation to be siphoned off by some professional solicitor. Don't put money in the box next to the cash register, even if it has a heartrending picture on it (unless it's a tip jar -- keep reading). Be very afraid of any charity that happens to cross your path: all that means is that they have a big marketing budget.
If you really want to help the police, help them apply for grants to fancy military gear that they couldn't otherwise afford. Like armored personnel carriers, or advanced(read expensive) military surplus weapons. Your town council/mayor's office can help with that.
Y'know, now that you mention it, they don't ask for a donation; they ask if they can depend on me to make a donation if they send an envelop to my address. I never make it past that part (because my answer is always a polite "No, thank you"), but it occurs to me that that could be a setup for a scam.

I guess we'll never know since I have zero interest in giving a single goddamn penny to an American police officer.
WriteBrainedJR wrote:That just helps push your community one step closer to a police state by giving them better gear to murder their pet dogs and unarmed teenagers with. The last thing your community needs is a more-militarized police force.
I'd wager a guess that sardia was joking/being sarcastic? That's how I took it.

(Maybe I took it wrong?)

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:41 pm UTC

It's not so much a joke as acknowledging what police really want. If you were a supporter of police, then you would want them to have more stuff and what I listed is what lots of cops want. Now if you didn't like militarization of cops and stuff, why are you donating?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:29 pm UTC

They get my taxes if I want it or not, and they get further money from automated traffic camera systems which are pervasive here. I ain't gonna donate a dollar to them.

One wonders how law enforcement would work if people could choose where their tax dollars went. Are there enough folks who love the cops to maintain their current level of funding? If challenged for budget, would extortionistic practices rise?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby orthogon » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:56 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:One wonders how law enforcement would work if people could choose where their tax dollars went.

Probably not very well, but then the same applies to many functions of government. Try replacing "law enforcement" with "environmental protection" or "scientific research". Governments have to do some unpopular but necessary things, which is why representative democracy is better than direct democracy.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:11 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:One wonders how law enforcement would work if people could choose where their tax dollars went.

Probably not very well, but then the same applies to many functions of government. Try replacing "law enforcement" with "environmental protection" or "scientific research". Governments have to do some unpopular but necessary things, which is why representative democracy is better than direct democracy.


I don't think those options would actually do so badly. They get comparatively few tax dollars at present, it seems likely that the people who enjoy such things would be more than the tiny percentage of funding they currently enjoy. Nasa, for instance, would probably do pretty well. Smaller programs need comparatively few supporters, while the larger programs would need many. DoD, for instance, is not cheap, and would need many supporters.

When it comes to things like the police department, I'm skeptical of the ability to obtain change via representative democracy. There is very rarely an option to vote for genuine change for police. Sure, if you've got a sheriff, you may be able to directly affect the office, but in most cases, it's indirect, and neither politician has any intent of large changes to police. It may be politically dangerous to do so, as the police have enough power to form a significant political power on their own.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Grop » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:16 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:One wonders how law enforcement would work if people could choose where their tax dollars went. Are there enough folks who love the cops to maintain their current level of funding? If challenged for budget, would extortionistic practices rise?


One could worry it would only work decently in wealthy places, and not at all in poorer ones. That is already the case, but it could be worse.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:54 pm UTC

On the other hand, the police would be much, much less likely to conduct random searches and otherwise abuse the public if it meant they basically are chasing off their budget. It would create some interesting cycles of policing and crime waves.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:56 pm UTC

Maybe?

Or maybe they'd get grumpy about their perceived lack of power and overreact? Just sorta idle pondering about how to change the way of things, not claiming I got it all figured out. But one way or another, I'd like to see cops with a little less unchecked power, and a little more getting their jobs done.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby sardia » Tue Oct 16, 2018 3:31 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:On the other hand, the police would be much, much less likely to conduct random searches and otherwise abuse the public if it meant they basically are chasing off their budget. It would create some interesting cycles of policing and crime waves.

The people funding the police aren't the ones who get arrested. It's usually scared white people reflexively screaming for heads to roll whenever they get skittish. (Economy going down, unrest etc etc)

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:27 pm UTC

Except those "scared white people" are only going to fund the police in the good neighborhoods, and pay fuck all for the police in the crappy parts of town. Ergo, no police in the "south side of chicago" or "detroit" or whatever the dog whistle for black neighborhoods is these days.


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