Police misbehavior thread

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:58 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:It is entirely plausible to have policies that adversely affect certain ethnicities while reducing death rates *cough*druglaws*cough*, but that's not the point. The point is that it's not the number of dead that's the problem but the psychological effect of racist deaths (aka hate crimes) that is.


Honestly, deaths are deaths. Racism is obviously not a plus, but if cops claim this wrongfully murdered chap wasn't killed because of racism, but because of something else, does it really matter? The psychological effect of a wrongful killing on a family appears pretty severe regardless of details.

I don't feel that, in general, making policies more racist is going to increase average safety. Drug laws...I'm gonna go with nope. Yeah, I might not be feeling the primary impact as directly as others, but it's extremely doubtful that it helps me in any way. Added violence, even not directed at me, can spill over. There's all the endless costs, both direct and indirect, from jail time to police attitudes towards violence. The costs may be unequally distributed, but just about everyone gets costs, not benefits.

A program oriented at reducing wrongful deaths is probably going to be more helpful than some anti-racism campaign. The latter can be pencil-whipped pretty easily, because of course police will attempt to use whatever criteria is handy to claim progress when the metric is at all ambiguous. The former will intrinsically help the latter. After all, an incident of racism that DOESN'T kill the victim is generally superior to one that does. At a minimum, it leaves a survivor who may seek recompense or justice.

Ultimately, I don't think you can fix US policing without attempting to significantly reduce the rate at which they kill people. This probably includes even a number of scenarios considered good shoots today. If police were actually motivated to say, use a taser instead of gun(rather than as a compliance tool), then deploying tasers might be advantageous. But, yknow, the motivation has to come first. Deploying the tool without the motivation fixes precisely nothing.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby elasto » Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:05 pm UTC

This isn't strictly a case of police misbehaviour, but it does point to the systemic racism that black people face.

Coffee chain Starbucks has apologised after two black men were arrested while waiting for a friend at one of their shops in the US city of Philadelphia. Amateur video shows police placing the pair, who were accused by shop staff of trespassing, in handcuffs.

The footage has been widely shared since it was posted on Twitter and has led to accusations of racial profiling.

Starbucks chief executive Kevin Johnson said the video was "hard to watch" and that the actions taken were "wrong".

In the incident, which took place on Thursday evening, the two men were approached by the store manager and asked to leave after they requested the use of the toilet without making a purchase, police said.

In response, the men told staff that they were waiting for a friend and refused to leave.

Philadelphia police commissioner Richard Ross said his officers were right to carry out the arrest after staff told them the pair were causing a disturbance and trespassing.

"If a business calls and they say that someone is here that I no longer wish to be in my business, they [the officers] now have a legal obligation to carry out their duties," Mr Ross said.

In a statement released on Saturday, Mr Johnson expressed "our deepest apologies" to the two men involved in the incident and said Starbucks would do "whatever we can to make things right".

"The video shot by customers is very hard to watch and the actions in it are not representative of our Starbucks mission and values," Mr Johnson said.

He added that the call to the Philadelphia police department should not have been made on the "basis" of the events which took place beforehand.

According to the pair's attorney, the pair had been waiting for less than fifteen minutes for their friend to arrive, and when he did, so did the police. In the video, other customers are shown asking why on earth the police are making arrests.

Having said that this wasn't really police misbehaviour, it's tempting to believe that had this pair been middle-aged and white, that even if the staff had acted identically the police might have attempted to mediate the confusion once their friend arrived and backed up their story that they really were meeting there. The police seemingly had no interest in resolving it any other way than walking them out in handcuffs though, and the temptation is to think that that's because they are black.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby addams » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:40 am UTC

Yep...
You are Right.
That kind of behavior is Wrong.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:43 pm UTC

I guess in relation to this, under what circumstances could police choose to ignore a private store owner asking them to remove someone? The store owner removing them because they were black is presumably illegal discrimination so in that case would the police be justified in saying "no we're not removing him, you have no legal right to kick them out for that reason?"

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:32 pm UTC

Given how many calls police show up hours late to or not at all, there is a clear de facto ability to effectively ignore certain calls whether or not that ability technically exists by law.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:19 pm UTC

But how often are they hours late to a call from a business?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Grop » Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:39 pm UTC

Did they really need to use force and handcuffs? Wouldn't they be able to tell the "intruders" that "now you get out" (and escalate if that does not happen)?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:31 pm UTC

Grop wrote:Did they really need to use force and handcuffs? Wouldn't they be able to tell the "intruders" that "now you get out" (and escalate if that does not happen)?


Another article says they asked and the two people allegedly refused.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/14/us/phila ... index.html

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:52 pm UTC

Yeah, I get the impression it's more the fault of charbucks than of the police in this case. People do business there all the time, they could be asked the men why they were waiting around without accusing them of anything, and not escalated the situation.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby elasto » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:31 pm UTC

Grop wrote:Did they really need to use force and handcuffs? Wouldn't they be able to tell the "intruders" that "now you get out" (and escalate if that does not happen)?

I imagine that's exactly what did happen, and the pair would have repeated that they were simply waiting for someone and doing nothing wrong - probably emboldened by the other customers asking why on earth they were being threatened with arrest simply for waiting for a friend to arrive, something that surely happens thousands of times a day across Starbucks stores.

That's why it's hard to be too critical of the police, but I still think the police would have tried harder to mediate between the pair and the store staff if they had been anything other than young black men, who seem to be scary simply by virtue of their skin colour.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Zohar » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:44 pm UTC

"It's hard to be critical of the police" in this case means you basically are OK with people having to spend the night in jail for no reason other than their blackness. Like, if everything went "by the book", that's an acceptable and reasonable result?
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:00 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:"It's hard to be critical of the police" in this case means you basically are OK with people having to spend the night in jail for no reason other than their blackness. Like, if everything went "by the book", that's an acceptable and reasonable result?


This is why I asked can the police use their judgement to tell a private property owner "sorry you're discriminating based on race here and thus have no authority to remove these people from the premises" and just leave if a shop owner calls them about people not leaving after being asked?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Thesh » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:36 pm UTC

They could talk with them and try and understand the situation before arresting them.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:43 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:They could talk with them and try and understand the situation before arresting them.


I haven't watched the video (I'm at work) but the article that I provided indicated there was a discussion that went on. Clearly it was unproductive but they claim it happened.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby elasto » Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:59 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:"It's hard to be critical of the police" in this case means you basically are OK with people having to spend the night in jail for no reason other than their blackness. Like, if everything went "by the book", that's an acceptable and reasonable result?

It means I'm ok with people who refuse to leave a store after being asked to by both the staff and police eventually ending up being arrested. I mean, what other logical end-point is there?

What's unreasonable is the staff asking them to leave rather than accepting their story at face-value, at least for an hour or so.

It'd be nice if the police had attempted more mediation between the pair and the staff - in particular asking the staff why they refused to accept the pair's story - but ultimately a private business has the right to refuse entry to anyone, don't they? (And then those refused entry have the right to sue if they can establish the refusal was based on racism.)

There's lots of ways the systems involved can be improved still, but the police seem to be the least in the wrong here. No reason the pair can't be immediately released after booking, either. No need that I can see that they should be spending the night in jail.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Zohar » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:18 pm UTC

I'm not interested in playing "who's the worst". But yeah, there's absolutely no reason for these people to spend the night in jail. Honestly there's no reason for the two of them not to be escorted out of the store and that's it - why do you need to do anything else to them?
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Grop » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:37 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
Grop wrote:Did they really need to use force and handcuffs? Wouldn't they be able to tell the "intruders" that "now you get out" (and escalate if that does not happen)?


Another article says they asked and the two people allegedly refused.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/14/us/phila ... index.html


Then (if true) that seems like sort of excusable police behavior to me. There certainly may be something wrong about police being present so fast because black people were unwanted in a place. But if we put ourselves in the shoes of the cops themselves, and assume that they didn't go out of their way and prioritize that business over something else involving white people. And that they actually asked the people to go out nicely. And that the people refused to comply.

That makes a lot of assumptions, but then the cops would have to apply force.

And then, I still agree with what Zohar said.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:51 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I'm not interested in playing "who's the worst". But yeah, there's absolutely no reason for these people to spend the night in jail. Honestly there's no reason for the two of them not to be escorted out of the store and that's it - why do you need to do anything else to them?


They refused to leave when asked. So the only way they could be "escorted out" was by the police arresting them. Once they're arrested the cops will hold you until they determine whether or not charges will be pressed. Now whether its Starbucks' fault for waiting the 8 hours before letting the police know they wouldn't be pressing charges or the police's fault for having gotten that info and just taking long to release them, is not clear.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Zohar » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:04 pm UTC

Yeah, I get that you're saying this is a reasonable and sensible process. I disagree.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby elasto » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:22 pm UTC

So how do you think the police should be dealing with people on private property without permission? Yes, they should be escorted out and let go, but it sounds like the police tried to do that and the pair refused (rightly believing that the staff should rescind their refusal to grant permission, and wrongly believing they would eventually do so).

Starbuck's CEO confirmed the pair's view that permission should have been granted for them to stay.

My understanding is that once people have been arrested there is no option but to take them to the station to take their details, and that part could have been speeded up: imo the police should be able to release them before Starbucks decide whether to press charges so long as they have confirmed their details.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:49 pm UTC

First of all, here is a video of the incident, something the 2 articles linked to should have provided. I cannot listen to the audio since I am at school, but it looks like the police are trying to mediate the situation. At 4:45 we see the police talking to someone who I think is the manager. True, at 0:50 one officer reaches for something on his belt that could have been a weapon, as plenty of people here have said, reaching for something on your belt is not an inherently threatening action. The actually arrest does not start until 7:00. Even after they begin the arrest, then spend another full minute talking to the person before they escort him from the store. How much more do you want the officers to do?

Second, why is everyone talking about these men spending the night in jail? Neither article even uses the word 'jail'. the CNN article says, "The men were taken to a police station and released when it became clear Starbucks didn't want to press charges."

Third, whether the store manager called the police due to a racial bias is not a decision regular officers get to make. Imagine the implications of letting beat officers decide something like that. It is the job of the courts to decide, based on the actions during this incident and the store's record of treating black people, if the store is discriminating based on race.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Zohar » Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:16 pm UTC

The cops could literally take them in handcuffs/escort them out and just leave them a block away. They were detained for NINE HOURS because they decided to meet for coffee with a friend.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:43 pm UTC

Are you sure about that? Are cops allowed to release someone from arrest without processing them at the station?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Zohar » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:55 pm UTC

I don't know? If they can't, maybe they should? Whether everything here was done by the book or not is irrelevant. A business being able to call police on two people who aren't being disruptive in any way, and police then detaining them for nine hours, is not an acceptable way to run things. If current procedures don't support this sort of activity, then the procedures should be changed. And at the end of the day, cops have a lot of leeway in what they choose to do, I'm sure they had other options, or could think of other solutions.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby SDK » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:04 pm UTC

Due process is super important when it comes to policing, and you don't want your average bicycle cop making the decision not to follow that process. But yeah, I agree that if the process truly takes nine hours, it needs to be changed.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby HES » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:06 pm UTC

In the UK you can certainly be "de-arrested". If that's not a thing in the US, it's a waste of police time let alone the civil liberty issue.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Thesh » Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:21 pm UTC

Police make judgment calls all of the time. Arrests should be a last resort if the dispute cannot be resolved. In the end, this is a business open to the public, and if they are there in good faith the police should be able to say "What if they are actually waiting for their friend and not lying about it? Do you really want to press charges and go to court over this?" and let them stay and order when their friend arrives. They don't have to arrest if the business isn't pressing charges.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:26 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I don't know? If they can't, maybe they should? Whether everything here was done by the book or not is irrelevant. A business being able to call police on two people who aren't being disruptive in any way, and police then detaining them for nine hours, is not an acceptable way to run things. If current procedures don't support this sort of activity, then the procedures should be changed. And at the end of the day, cops have a lot of leeway in what they choose to do, I'm sure they had other options, or could think of other solutions.


I... get the impression you've not been paying attention to the world these days. It is all bureaucracy now, The Process is practically more important than The Outcome. Everyone, especially the police, absolutely must follow The Process to the L.E.T.T.E.R. Because The System is such that, it amounts to jack-shit that the person did the right thing with a wrong result, only that they did exactly what they were required to do. This is the world the attorneys created for us, but it is not their fault, it's The System, a system they helped lobby for and create, but hey, that's part of The System.

Take for example Zero Tolerance policies at school. Little Timmy is a total shit, and his mom should've been into copraphagia, which she probably is, but according to her, her little crotch goblin is a darling little angel. Timmy keeps harassing Billy, all the teachers know it. Billy finally has enough, a fight breaks out at school, and both parents are screaming at the teachers. But the teachers can't do the sensible thing, which is to drown Timmy in a toilet bowl, or failing that, only punish Timmy. The school can't afford to fight every Timmy's Mom in court every single year. The only thing they can do is have The Process, and suspend both Timmy and Billy.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Zohar » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:29 pm UTC

Despite your very dramatic post:
1. You know that's not what actually happens.
2. I already wrote if there's no procedure for this, a new one should be created.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:33 pm UTC

It definitely is what is happening now, and its only getting worse thanks to the expansion of the surveillance state. People can't let things slide, especially now that everything they do is on camera.

As for 2, if that is the case, you can't blame the officers themselves for following the procedure as is no matter how stupid the procedure is, only the ones above them for having the stupid procedure in the first place.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Zohar » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:44 pm UTC

Ah yes, the police, the organization that never has any failure following on their exacting processes.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Apr 17, 2018 5:52 pm UTC

Yeah fuck all the way off with that "the police always follow the process exactly by the book" bullshit. It doesn't take more than a page or two in just this thread to see how much that isn't the case.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:19 pm UTC

Did I ever say the police always follow every procedure? Of course they dont, and when there's a mass screwup, it's the one that didnt adhere to The Process that volunteered to be thrown under the bus. Remember that United airlines flight where the doctor was dragged off the plane? Technically The Process had not been followed; the officers didnt even have jurisdiction on the plane itself, so guess who got fired as a result?

It's not to the point where the police are little more than robots, but it's getting there fast, and the ubiquitousness of cameras are speeding it up. It's happening in schools, it's happening in hospitals, it's happening in corporate America.


If it isn't obvious, I am in no way advocating for expanding The Process. It's just the way the world is headed.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:08 pm UTC

Quick correction: now that I have seen the video with audio I know that the person I thought was the manager was actually a customer.

Zohar wrote:Whether everything here was done by the book or not is irrelevant.

I think asking the question, "Did this situation result from the protocols police follow, or from police not following their protocols?" is a very relevant question on the Police Misbehavior Thread.

SDK wrote:But yeah, I agree that if the process truly takes nine hours, it needs to be changed.

They were released once Starbucks said that they did not want to press charges. If it takes Starbucks 9 hours to make that decision, then these mens' extended stay in jail is Starbuck's fault.

Thesh wrote:They don't have to arrest if the business isn't pressing charges.

How do you except the officers to know beforehand if Starbucks is going to decide to drop the charges or not?

In the end, the arrest of these men is Starbuck's fault. That is what usually happens when you report a crime to the police.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Thesh » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:16 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
Thesh wrote:They don't have to arrest if the business isn't pressing charges.

How do you except the officers to know beforehand if Starbucks is going to decide to drop the charges or not?

In the end, the arrest of these men is Starbuck's fault. That is what usually happens when you report a crime to the police.


If you read my post, you would know the answer: The police ask them if they wish to press charges over it.

Starbucks didn't drop the charges, they declined to press charges in the first place.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Zohar » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:20 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:
Zohar wrote:Whether everything here was done by the book or not is irrelevant.

I think asking the question, "Did this situation result from the protocols police follow, or from police not following their protocols?" is a very relevant question on the Police Misbehavior Thread.

What you get for quote sniping without context, is to be called an asshole. Because OF COURSE IT FUCKING MATTERS to figure out the solution to this and if it's a systemic thing, but as I wrote immediately afterwards, it doesn't matter in order to determine that this is shitty - it's shitty, period.

That you choose to surgically quote a sentence someone wrote in order to make yourself look smarter than them is obnoxious and pathetic.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:30 pm UTC

But the problem isn't that the police arrested two people for refusing to leave a place that technically they weren't legally allowed to be in, the problem is that Starbucks called the cops because two black people had the audacity to be in a Starbucks during business hours.

Oh, and as far as I can tell, "de arresting" is NOT an American thing.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby elasto » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:58 pm UTC

The manager who called the police has now 'left the company', and all 8,000 Starbucks branches in the US are going to close for an afternoon for 'racial bias training'.

Zohar, I agree that this was a 'shitty situation period', but not all shitty situations can be prevented, sometimes they can only be redressed after the fact. A store has an absolute right to say a person is trespassing and they wish them to be removed, and, in the moment, the police have to respect that - no different to if you called the police because you wanted to eject someone from your private residence who had no right to be there. The place to redress injustices is in the civil courts afterwards.

The concept of 'de-arresting' seems problematic. It seems like it could be a source of abuse if individual officers can arbitrarily arrest without any oversight because they simply de-arrest later. At least by being processed in the station the person arrested has the opportunity to get their side of the story formally on the record.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Thesh » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:00 pm UTC

elasto wrote:no different to if you called the police because you wanted to eject someone from your private residence who had no right to be there.


Actually, there is a huge difference between a private residence and a business that is open to the public. For example, a private residence has a right to deny entry to anyone, whereas a public business does not.
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elasto
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby elasto » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:15 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Actually, there is a huge difference between a private residence and a business that is open to the public. For example, a private residence has a right to deny entry to anyone, whereas a public business does not.

A public business has to be able to justify their denial of entry, sure, but that's not quite the same thing. The place to weigh up if their denial was justified is in the courts.

Remember, the manager called the police to say not merely that the pair were trespassing, but that they were causing a disturbance. The correct thing for the police to do is to assume the store owners are acting in good faith and remove the pair from the business, but then the rest of the cogs of justice can begin to turn - gathering evidence from the parties and witnesses, obtaining any cctv footage, civil lawsuits being served etc.
Last edited by elasto on Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:24 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.


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