Making police terrified of prosecution will paradoxically lead to MORE death - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15230259
How making police terrified of prosecution could paradoxically lead to MORE deaths

In recent times (and mostly due to a push by the news media) there has been an effort to try to reduce deaths when police take suspects into custody. There have been several high-profile cases of officers who were involved in deaths being prosecuted, in situations they might not have been before, with very long prison sentences to try to send a message to all the others, punishing them exactly the same as someone who committed ordinary murder.
Supposedly people think this will help reduce the deaths of suspects being taken into custody.

Police across the country are terrified of prosecution. They are afraid they might make one small mistake and could find themselves being prosecuted for murder. In some of these situations, it can be easy to make a mistake when struggling with a resisting suspect. There is not always a "perfect way" to take a suspect into custody who is fighting, especially suspects on drugs who may not be thinking rationally.

Because of this many cities are having difficulty attracting police officers. Potential applicants do not want to work there; they do not want to work in a situation where they fear the possibility of being sent to prison for over twenty years because they make a mistake on the job.

What this is going to result in is cities having to hire lower quality applicants. People who might not have been their first choice, but the city could not get anyone better. People who might not be cut out for the job. I read at least one city is considering hiring officers with a former criminal record. This could lead to more deaths.

I read in Russia, out in the rural hospitals, there are many nurses who show up to work obviously intoxicated with alcohol and this has led to many patient deaths. There is such a shortage of nurses, due to the low pay, that hospitals have little choice. Nurses showing up to work half drunk has almost become normalized, and alcoholism is very prevalent. If these underfunded hospital automatically fired everyone who showed up to work drunk, there would not be enough nurses, and more patients would die, so they are in a bit of a bind.
You can see the analogy here.

Look, I'm definitely not one of those people who automatically take the side of police in every situation. I do not believe police should be given blanket immunity because "they were just doing their job". (Nor am I a fan of giving police officers special privileges other normal people do not have) But the current situation has reached almost ridiculous levels. If someone makes a small mistake that was not difficult to make, and they weren't setting out into the situation with the intent to commit murder, they should not be punished as if they committed an ordinary murder. Police officers can find themselves faced with difficult situations every day. There is really no magical way to take somebody into custody who is fighting without hurting that person. In a few rarer instances, there is a chance that could result in death.

Imagine, as part of a job, being forced to buy a lottery ticket where if you "won" you would be sent to prison for twenty-five years. What type of publicity would that create? How popular do you think that job would be?
You would only get people who were more desperate. Maybe people who do not fear prison as much in the first place. You're going to get lower quality applicants.

It's true that some cities pay high salaries but these tend to be the same progressive cities where police know they would be most in danger of prosecution if anything went wrong. That the city wouldn't hesitate to throw them under the bus. Just to try to avert negative media coverage, so some mayor or politicians could get reelected.

There already exist several cities in the US where corrupt cops are plentiful, so it is definitely possible for police forces to get bad people on them. If police feel they have to lie to cover up for each other, because they do not trust the justice system, that is also not going to create a good working environment and could lead to higher rates of corruption. It might prevent an officer from getting fired who should get fired. Good honest people are not going to want to apply in that work environment.

Despite what some people think, it's NOT so simple as just "If you don't want to go to prison, don't make a mistake".
Nor is it always true that "only people who are guilty can be prosecuted and sent to prison." Officers often have to use physical force that could result in a small risk of the suspect being hurt of killed. Sometimes officers have to shoot a suspect when they believe their lives could be in danger. It's a decision that has to be made very fast in the moment, sometimes after the officer is physically and mentally tired out from a struggle, so sometimes the officer might not always have been correct in his assessment or decision.
#15230262
late wrote:Needs a link.

No it doesn't. Unlike a lot of stupid people here, I actually take the time to write out longer pieces.

Says something about this forum if anytime someone posts something with a couple of paragraphs that seems half well written, everyone assumes it was copied and pasted. I wrote it.
Last edited by Puffer Fish on 28 May 2022 17:00, edited 3 times in total.
#15230266
Puffer Fish wrote:A link to what?


A link to a study showing a causal chain between police brutality, the ensuing viral video, the ensuing investigation, the ensuing lack of work by cops, and the final effect of increased crime.

It took me less than 120 seconds.

Let’s see how long it takes you.
#15230270
America's Most Dangerous Cities Grapple With Police Shortfall in Recruitment, Retention
https://www.newsweek.com/top-us-crime-c ... on-1660779

Police shortages show cities are reckoning with the effects of Black Lives Matter
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opin ... ves-matter

"Seattle's police chief, city council and mayor all seem to agree that there is an alarming police staffing shortage"
https://www.king5.com/article/news/crim ... 4d13fade16

"The city of Tacoma is implementing recruitment incentives to hire police officers as the department faces a staffing shortage."
https://www.thenewstribune.com/news/loc ... 87008.html

Seattle and Tacoma are the two cities in the state with the highest African American populations, and both cities also both have strong Progressive Democrat activist politics (on the political Left, for those of you outside the US).

Police Shortage Hits Cities and Small Towns Across the Country, Safia Samee Ali
Several of the nation’s police departments are desperately losing manpower with decreasing numbers of officers and recruits.
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/po ... ry-n734721
#15230310
@Puffer Fish

The first article you posted in your latest post does not point to a reason for low recruitment. There could be several reasons for low recruitment including the fear of getting shot. I was born in the Seattle area and my mom heard that cops would pull over young moms with babies in their vehicles because they feared the young men who would just shoot a cop as he walks over to the driver's side door for a chat. Getting shot is a danger of being a cop. I don't approve of pulling over young, speeding moms but I can understand the fear of being shot by unstable young men. I have no idea how many were white or black, but this was the case back in the 90s. I haven't been back on the west coast since the late 90s so I can't speak much about the current conditions there.

The King5 article is better. Tragic events can definitely bring down morale. Cops get burn out just like anyone else. Like in accounting, the business world was shaken by the fiasco that happened with Enron and the Arthur Andersen firm. There is still a shortage of qualified accounting professionals even 20 years later. It's pretty frightening to think that the cop shortage could go on for decades as well.

I hope the police force figures out how to recruit more cops. It couldn't hurt to increase benefits and wages too. That could be tough though with the current state of the economy. Financial experts are predicting a recession in the near future, like next year. Benefits don't usually get extended during a recession. Some sectors are already cutting costs and even cutting benefits right now.
#15230313
@MistyTiger

MistyTiger wrote:The first article you posted in your latest post does not point to a reason for low recruitment. There could be several reasons for low recruitment including the fear of getting shot. I was born in the Seattle area and my mom heard that cops would pull over young moms with babies in their vehicles because they feared the young men who would just shoot a cop as he walks over to the driver's side door for a chat. Getting shot is a danger of being a cop. I don't approve of pulling over young, speeding moms but I can understand the fear of being shot by unstable young men. I have no idea how many were white or black, but this was the case back in the 90s. I haven't been back on the west coast since the late 90s so I can't speak much about the current conditions there.


You have to pull those young guys over. They aren't above the law. Getting shot is part of the job. No such thing as easy or free money. I mean, you shouldn't try to get shot, but you still have to do your job. What I don't understand is why those cops were doing driver-side approaches when they would have a tactical advantage by doing a passenger-side approach when pulling these young guys over. Doing a passenger-side approach, especially at night when you shine an extremely bright light onto them to blind them so you can see them but they can't see you would most certainly give you an advantage when making a passenger-side approach. You can spot if they have a gun more quickly by doing a passenger-side approach and immediately call for backup while pulling your own gun.
#15230379
This will lead to higher caliber candidates being hired since the violent thugs who wanted to abuse people whilst being protected by the thin blue line will be deterred much more heavily than those who wish to serve the community. I remember when the police tried to deter scrutiny by arguing that their job was dangerous. They then provided statistics that stated that it had the 10th highest death rate of all professions but on closer inspection this included all deaths that occurred off duty including suicides and car crashes. Other statistics show police committing domestic abuse 4 times more than the national average.

Anyone who wishes to verify these numbers can google it for themselves. They're not hard to find.
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