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NY Couple On "Wanted" Poster For Filming Police 541

Posted by timothy
from the don't-watch-us-we'll-watch-you dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Ben Fractenberg and Jeff Mays write that the NYPD has created a 'wanted' poster for a Harlem couple who film cops conducting stop-and-frisks and post the videos on YouTube — branding them 'professional agitators' who portray cops in a bad light and listing their home address. The flyer featuring side-by-side mugshots of Matthew Swaye and Christina Gonzalez and the couple's home address was taped to a podium outside a public hearing room in the 30th Precinct house and warns officers to be on guard against them. The couple has filmed officers stopping and frisking and arresting young people of color in Harlem and around New York City, which they post on Gonzalez's YouTube account. They said their actions are legal. 'There have been times when it's gotten combative. There have been times when they [police officers] have videoed Christina,' says Swaye. 'But if we were breaking the law they would have arrested us.' Swaye was part of a group of advocates including Cornel West who were detained at the 28th Precinct in Harlem in October for protesting the stop-and-frisk policy which Mayor Bloomberg strongly defends. "
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NY Couple On "Wanted" Poster For Filming Police

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  • Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @12:55PM (#40583489) Journal

    It's amazing what we let what amounts to State employees get away with.

    • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:03PM (#40583549)

      we don't. democracy in the US is a failure. the feedback loop between government action and election of representatives is so tenuous as to not be perceptible.

      during an election a candidate gnashes his teeth about some hot-button issue, which, if elected, he will completely ignore.
      education and immigration are classics.

      the government just continues to do things, a mindless bacterial colony

      i don't see how you can ascribe any intent or meaning to any of it except the reflexive actions of a colony of self-perpetuating organisms

      • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

        by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:27PM (#40583723) Journal
        If the representatives get away with something, it's because people don't care.

        Now, go find a random person and talk to him about the importance of copyright limitations, and see how long it takes before his eyes glaze over in boredom.

        Then take a topic people actually do care somewhat about, like collusion between banks and regulators, and they'll agree with you, saying, "Yeah, someone should do something about that, it's horrible!" This is a medium level of caring. They care, but not enough to stop watching American Idol or stop playing video games or whatever.

        Finally take a topic people actually care enough about to vote on. If a politician raises taxes, there's a good chance he'll be voted out next election. Take money from my wallet, I'm really going to be upset! As a result, taxes have gone consistently lower, in every administration, in a bipartisan manner. Not even Obama dares to raise taxes on everybody.

        Politicians respond when people actually care. When people don't pay attention, they do whatever they want.
        • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

          by 0123456 (636235) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:32PM (#40583773)

          If the representatives get away with something, it's because people don't care.

          Uh, no. It's because all they can do is elect a replacement who will treat them just the same, or get out the burning torches, pitchforks and ropes.

          Finally take a topic people actually care enough about to vote on. If a politician raises taxes, there's a good chance he'll be voted out next election.

          And replaced by a clone who keeps taxes just as high as they were, because even if he does cut the specific tax that resulted in his election, he sneaks in other stealth tax increases to compensate.

          • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

            by roc97007 (608802) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:28PM (#40584321) Journal

            >> If the representatives get away with something, it's because people don't care.

            > Uh, no. It's because all they can do is elect a replacement who will treat them just the same, or get out the burning torches, pitchforks and ropes.

            Well, that would be caring.

          • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

            by interkin3tic (1469267) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:48PM (#40584513)

            Uh, no. It's because all they can do is elect a replacement who will treat them just the same, or get out the burning torches, pitchforks and ropes.

            That's very optimistic. So few of them vote in the primaries. More than two people to look into and form opinions about? That's more effort than most people are willing to do. If they were just fed up about having poor candidates, you'd think they would actually support reasonable people running for office rather than waiting for big campaign contributors to decide for them.

            And replaced by a clone who keeps taxes just as high as they were, because even if he does cut the specific tax that resulted in his election, he sneaks in other stealth tax increases to compensate.

            Well yeah, because while we hate taxes, we also hate reducing entitlement programs, defense spending, or government benefits. And the third option of "Do both and run up the debt" is becoming an exhausted option.

            That leaves 1. Doing some of both, making a reasoned, rational case for this approach to the voters, and getting thrown out of office by an angry mob, or 2. Doing either and pretending you're not.

            The problems with politics in this country are mainly due to the voters themselves. It'd be really nice if there were just a small group of politicians and shadowy figures messing things up, we could pretty easily revolt and lock them up. But that's not the case, it's much worse, it's most voters that are the problem, and educating them is far harder a revolution.

            • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

              by king neckbeard (1801738) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @05:36PM (#40585893)

              If they were just fed up about having poor candidates, you'd think they would actually support reasonable people running for office rather than waiting for big campaign contributors to decide for them.

              The problem is that they won't vote for the reasonable person because they know their vote won't count, so they vote for what they see as the lesser of two evils Basically everybody hates republicans and democrats and would rather see a literal pile of manure take their place, but they vote for one to keep out the other, and this mass of people voting against the two parties is why the two parties are the only game in town.

          • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

            by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:49PM (#40584531) Journal

            Uh, no. It's because all they can do is elect a replacement who will treat them just the same, or get out the burning torches, pitchforks and ropes.

            Uh, yes. You may feel like your voice personally is not being heard, because it's not. You are one of millions. You are an insignificant, meaningless nit. And your friends around you, who all agree, are a small, insignificant segment as well. Government does not represent you personally, but when the general electorate strongly wants something, it will respond. Problem is the general electorate doesn't care about the things you care about.

          • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Funny)

            by tsa (15680) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:02AM (#40588463) Homepage

            I thought you Americans didn't pay taxes. At least, what you pay is nothing compared to what we in Europe pay. But we have healthcare and social security, words you don't even know the meaning of. You should try it sometime: pay taxes and get benefits from that.

        • by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:59PM (#40584011)

          Actually, each party is happy to raise taxes on the other party, they just don't call it raising taxes.

          Democrats are happy to raise taxes on rich people who are unlikely to vote democrat. The individual mandate is an example, as well as the fight over raising taxes during the budget struggles last year.

          Republicans are happy to raise taxes on poor people. This is what ending welfare and reducing EITC do. They call it ending subsidies or socialism or welfare instead of raising taxes, but they're happy to do it.

          • by Genda (560240) <(mariet) (at) (got.net)> on Sunday July 08, 2012 @10:19PM (#40587801) Journal

            The difference is when I raise the taxes on the wealthy, they can't afford their twelfth McMansion. When I cut subsidies to the poor, babies die and children go to bed hungry at night. I don't know, I say let those pay who can by all means best afford it. To tax the impoverished is ghoulish.

        • Bullshit. We've been fooled into believing we only have 2 choices in elections. Democrats and Republicans. Those 2 parties choose issues that are irrelevant and will not affect the bribes and kickbacks they get once in office. Immigration, abortion, education, etc... The media is bought and sold just like these officials are. They only cover issues they're told to. Do you think any new outlet would ever cover copyright reform in any unbiased light?

          Until people realize that this country is run by a single pa
        • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ffflala (793437) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:11PM (#40585243)
          If I had mod points I'd waste them on your already level-5 rating.

          The failure here is humanity's, not the system. Elections are actually a pretty good way to keep things from getting bloody every generation or two.

          Here's an illustrative example. In 2000, I was pretty broke and living with four roommates. We had a circle of about 15-20 friends who'd regularly hang out -- come over, watch SouthPark or something. I was really concerned about the upcoming Gore -v- Bush presidential election. Without being a nagging pain about it, I tried to keep the upcoming election on their radar. I reminded them of the voter registration deadlines. I located our polling station --a five minute, seven-block walk from our house. Night before election day I reminded people to vote. Election day came, about 10 people were sitting around watching Southpark, and I reminded them again -- still plenty of time to get to the polls, it was close and there was no wait. Of course they didn't end up bothering to go vote. Had the country had a mere thousandth of a percent less apatheteic --had one of those friends in 10 across the country bothered to take a few minutes to vote-- we would not have had 8 years of W. We certainly wouldn't have a war in Iraq, and... well wishful thinking about what could have been is useless. Just happened again with the failed recall of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.

          Point is, don't blame the system; blame the lazy fucking public. Most people do not vote. It's a minor thing that could literally change the world, but hey no can do -- Game of Thrones is on and/or I have to head out to da club/mall/I'm too busy on reddit. They'll be sure to bitch about how bad the system is though, ignorance and apathy notwithstanding.
          • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

            by phantomfive (622387) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:26PM (#40585363) Journal

            The failure here is humanity's, not the system. Elections are actually a pretty good way to keep things from getting bloody every generation or two.

            Exactly. This point needs to be emphasized over and over. Democracy doesn't guarantee you a good government, it gives you the government you deserve. Not you personally, but the collective you, with the people around you.

            And when the time comes that the majority decides they want a better government, they can do it without a bloody revolution. Need it be said that voting is much more convenient than killing?

          • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

            by tmosley (996283) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:30PM (#40585401)
            Uhh, if the system can't deal with humanity, then the system IS a failure.

            Read about the Stanford Prison Experiment. The take away lesson should NOT be that the people chosen to participate were morally inferior (an aspersion you seem willing to cast at all humanity), but that poorly designed systems will turn good people into evil people based on the role they are assigned.
            • Re:Amazing (Score:4, Insightful)

              by ffflala (793437) on Monday July 09, 2012 @12:12AM (#40588517)
              I'm familiar with the Stanford Prison Experiment. If you read it as a lesson about a system rather than a lesson about humans, you're coming to a useless conclusion. Your position is that, if only there were some perfectly designed system, humans would behave in a manner beneficial to all, without cruelty and oppression.

              That is not what the Stanford Prison Experiment taught us. It is not what history has taught us either, because so far humans have managed to take every iteration of every single system designed by other humans however well-intended, and turn it into something that fosters corruption, abuse, injustice, violence, self-interest, and brutality.

              Every. God. Damn. Time. We're humans, this is part of who we are. Think it through: if most anyone can turn into a brutal prison guard in under 24 hours if you just tell them a certain story, that would indicate a problem in most anyone, not in said certain story. How can you conclude otherwise?

              I'm asking you sincerely: if you can describe a better system --one that will actually work better-- please, please do share. This one is far from perfect, and yes it's responsible for a whole lot of death and destruction, but at this point in out limited evolution this system seems like the best option. Compared to past ones, it remains the best one so far. Honestly, if you have a better solution please do tell me. I have no drive to stick to a system for its own sake or because I am comfortably familiar with it and frightened to change: I've looked around, and every other one I've seen has considerably worse failures --measured in blood and bodies-- than this one.
        • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hey! (33014) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:18PM (#40586211) Homepage Journal

          You're missing two important factors here: fear and anger.

          Fear is a favorite tool of politicians, because once it's ignited it makes people irrational. Emotions are "refractory" (they resist going away), and fear is the most refractory of all emotions. Once somebody is afraid, you can't talk them down with reason. The other favorite tool is anger, which works very nicely with fear. Once somebody is afraid of someone, it's easy to turn the object of that fear into a hated scapegoat.

          This is why people vote in politicians who do nothing for them, or worse, work against their interests. People who let themselves be scared and riled up with hatred are brain-dead in the voting booth.

      • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:57PM (#40583999)

        democracy in the US is a failure. the feedback loop between government action and election of representatives is so tenuous as to not be perceptible.

        You seem to be implying that a majority of the voters object to stop-and-frisk. Do you have any evidence to back that up? Personally, I find the practice to be appalling, and I am surprised that the courts consider it to be constitutional. But in casual conversations with my fellow citizens, my perception is that a clear majority support it, or at least tolerate it. So I don't see how this is a "failure of democracy".

        • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AmberBlackCat (829689) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:05PM (#40585201)
          That's one of the problems with being an "ethnic minority". A lot of times, people don't care what's happening to you because it doesn't happen to them. Their biggest problem is you won't shut up about it. So they consider you to be the bad guy instead of the people giving you a hard time.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        the government just continues to do things, a mindless bacterial colony

        Not mindless at all. The government works at the direction of the entities that have bought it.

        If you look at all of government behavior, you see a set of rules and strategies that are designed to provide the greatest benefit to a very few. Even things like social welfare programs are designed to benefit the very few who finance the elections of all legislators and officials. For example, the greatest beneficiaries of the food stamp p

    • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Skuld-Chan (302449) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:10PM (#40583605)

      As a state employee (I'm not a cop) its amazing what we let corporate employees get away with too.

      • Re:Amazing (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DinDaddy (1168147) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:38PM (#40583813)

        So I can choose not to provide any funds to the state if I don't like their actions like I can with a corporation?

        Corporate employees can wreak havoc with my life like the police can?

        While your statement is true, it does not reach the level of equivalency.

  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:06PM (#40583565)
    Well obviously the Harlem residents must be guilty of something, otherwise the police won't stop and frisk them...
  • by Patman64 (1622643) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:07PM (#40583577)

    Sounds like libel, especially since they are not making any money off it. They should get in contact with the ACLU.

    Also, very classy of the NYPD to do a public smearing of people who show their abuses to the public. They'll happily invade your privacy at random, but don't you dare film them while they abuse people on your dollar!

  • by strikethree (811449) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:07PM (#40583579) Journal

    Seriously, why would the police care if the police are doing nothing wrong? Are the videos revealing operational secrets that will make these "stop and frisk" actions less useful? Whatever their reason is, I would like to use that reason against them when they are requiring the same of me.

    Which brings me to a question: How is "stop and frisk" not a violation of rights? It seems to be CLEARLY a violation of the 4th and perhaps even the 5th.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:24PM (#40583701)

      Which brings me to a question: How is "stop and frisk" not a violation of rights? It seems to be CLEARLY a violation of the 4th and perhaps even the 5th.

      Unfortunately, the US Supreme court disagrees. It's called a Terry stop:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_stop [wikipedia.org]

      • by strikethree (811449) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:34PM (#40583777) Journal

        Fair enough. From the link you provided, "The name derives from Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968),[2] in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that police may briefly detain a person who they reasonably suspect is involved in criminal activity".

        To me, it sounds like there is no REASONABLE suspicion of criminal activity though. It sounds like they are grabbing random people who are not dressed like a businessman or who do not have the proper skin color... Which disqualifies them as true Terry stops. :/

        • by Telephone Sanitizer (989116) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:41PM (#40583835)

          > To me, it sounds like there is no REASONABLE
          > suspicion of criminal activity

          A "reasonable and articulable suspicion" that the suspect is armed.

          These stop-and-frisks are not Terry stops.

          There is no basis for them under the law.

          There are some law enforcement personnel who are allowed to do stops like this in the post-9/11 era... The Customs and Border Protection arm of the DHS.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @03:22PM (#40584843)

        This is in no way a Terry stop, which requires reasonable suspicion, these are pseudo-random (read: Profiled) searches. Random stops are not allowed under the constitution. I do not care if they worked so well they effectively eradicated all violent crime they are illegal, immoral and utterly contrary to liberty. One of the great things about this constitution is that without amendment it does not allow us to surrender our liberty even if a majority wanted to. This is by far it's most important function.

    • by Telephone Sanitizer (989116) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:29PM (#40583745)

      > Seriously, why would the police care if the police are
      > doing nothing wrong?

      Guilty conscience.

      > Which brings me to a question: How is "stop and
      > frisk" not a violation of rights? It seems to be
      > CLEARLY a violation of the 4th and perhaps even
      > the 5th.

      I don't get it, either. It's so obvious a violation of due process and flagrant bigotry that it should never have been proposed. Yet, they're doing it; they've been doing it since at least 2004; they're amassing a database containing information on those people who have been subject to stop-and-frisk; they're using the database for racial profiling and harassment (some people have been stalked by the police, stopped and frisked dozens of times); and nobody is stopping them.

      The NY ACLU is only suing them over the database. Not the practice.

      The law spells out very specific circumstances for a stop and pat-down.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_stop [wikipedia.org]

      The police are ignoring the law.

      This is the sort of thing that East coasters ridicule Arizona for, but it's going on right here.

      A true WTF.

    • by deanklear (2529024) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:35PM (#40583789)

      The police care because recording them violates their deeply held opinion that they have the right to do whatever they want without any threat of punishment. That attitude permeates government from the top all the way down, and unfortunately has the predictable effect of corrupting nearly every person who gets the slightest bit of state-backed power.

      Now that budgets are being slashed, the fascist tendency towards punishment and extortion through fines for small offenses has only become more engrained in our culture. How are they going to pay for their tanks and UAVs without making every deviation from total conformity illegal and expensive?

      • Cameras are getting smaller, better, and more ubiquitous every day.  It won't be long before everyone around you, and them, could have a hidden HD camera rolling all the time.

        When that happens, they'll have no choice but to tolerate it.

        Course, it could suck in general for everyone, too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The cops who posted this need to be identified and fired, IMMEDIATELY.

      And if there are any of you in the US who still think the majority of the cops are on the side of the good guys, you should think again. If this doesn't clearly show who's side they are on (their own and their political owners), then nothing does.

    • by trout007 (975317) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:15PM (#40584159)

      I don't see why the police should have any additional rights above that of a citizen. They should be subject to the same laws. They should be allowed to detain someone but in order to search need a warrant. The person being detained should be allowed to sue for kidnapping if the officer can't prove there was a reason for the stop in front of a jury.

    • by Chewbacon (797801) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:29PM (#40586305)
      It's not if they give consent, which is often the case. It's a police tactic. Cop says: "I need you to put your hands on the wall so I can search you," and someone does as it sounds like they don't have a choice. If the cop said, "Would you put your hands on the wall so I can search you? You can tell me no, but by doing that you imply your consent to be search," then it wouldn't be as effective. My dad was a cop, did a lot of cyber crime investigation, and he would often ask a suspect he was simply interviewing to turn over potential evidence, say a computer, and they'd gladly give it to him. They could've easily said no. So it's not really a violation of rights, but ignorance of rights.
  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:38PM (#40583815)

    Except now they're called "NYPD." This is how my grandfather ended up in a Siberian gulag.

  • More proof.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:57PM (#40584001) Homepage

    That police are simply thugs. If they are doing no wrong, then they should welcome public oversight like this.

    Any cop that is against being recorded is a dirty cop that needs to be removed and put in jail.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @01:59PM (#40584013)

    If it were up to me, police would *always* be recorded while on-duty. Cameras, or at least microphones, in the car and on the person, both recording to a tamper-resistant medium and broadcasting online (with a time delay).

    Why? Because the police are supposed to work for the government, and the government is supposed to work for the people. The people have a *right* to know what they are doing, to ensure that they are actually working properly.

    And if the police are doing their jobs properly, it will actually help them. They'll have video evidence of any crime they witness. That would be more than a little helpful.

    Of course, if it were up to me, we'd have nuked North Korea flat decades ago, so maybe it's good that I'm not actually running the country. But I still think my "record the police" idea is a good one.

  • by trout007 (975317) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:06PM (#40584085)

    They are guilty of VVS in the worst way.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt9zSfinwFA [youtube.com]

  • by OldSport (2677879) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:11PM (#40584115)
    ...is good for the gander. Law enforcement is always telling the citizenry that they have nothing to fear if they have nothing to hide.
  • by manaway (53637) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @02:49PM (#40584539)

    In the US, there is a separate division of the police department called "Internal Affairs," whose job is to monitor police actions. The IA is small, subject to bias, and monitors few events. The public is large, independent (subject to innumerable biases), and monitors many events. Police are already recording events and making selected recordings available. How those recordings are selected is an issue with substantial insider bias. Unless the right is taken away by law, the public already has a legal and even moral right to record those same events.

    Nobody wants to be watched, the chilling effect is well known. When the police make the recordings, their superior or IA is in charge of releasing the video. When the public is making the recording, the availability is more independent. Usually, the "nothing to hide" privacy argument falls apart easily; when monitoring police action, as demonstrated in the Stanford Prison Experiment, independently watching the watchers is a necessary hardship. Thus citizen review boards and citizen videos. There are, of course, endless special cases; so like most everything in society, laws and policies can at best be general guidelines requiring community oversight.

    With cheap recorders comes the ability to watch the watchers with fewer "he said, she said" problems. Fewer but not none, as with the selective editing of the Rodney King video. The above applies to police actions, not to the general public going about their daily activities (the recording of which is a different topic).

  • by D66 (452265) on Sunday July 08, 2012 @04:30PM (#40585403)

    Let it continue to slide and Bloombergian New York will be the future American Police State.
    Stop n Frisk
    Police intimidation
    Soda Bans
    Smoking Bans
    TransFat Bans

    What is the old cliche... if you are not free to make a bad decision, you are not free at all. We need to stop looking to our elected leaders for solutions and start pushing them to set only minimum standards and allow us to find solutions for ourselves. Otherwise we will be laying down and inviting the boot to step on us

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 08, 2012 @06:32PM (#40586315)

    As a police officer in Los Angeles, I'm bothered by all the anti-police sentiment and posts portraying cops as fascist brutes just waiting to violate people's rights.

    Are there bad/corrupt cops? Yes. However, I can say the vast vast majority are out there trying to do a good job and follow the law. There is no ulterior motive where we go around looking to piss off people or violate their rights. As far as people videotaping us, it happens ALL the time (at least in LA) and I've never worked with anyone who did anything about it or even cared that much. Sometimes it's annoying as the people videotaping assume we're assholes looking to beat people but we don't worry about it because we know our law and policy and do what we're supposed to do.

    Most police vehicles have cameras with microphones attached to each officer. We don't mind as it overwhelmingly helps us against bogus complaints or allegations. It gives us documented evidence that we didn't have before.

    And yes, I believe in privacy and our 4th amendment rights. I don't want police powers expanded at the expense of an individual's privacy and I do not believe that people have nothing to hide if they're innocent. Many cops feel this way, we're normal, thinking, people too. I went to college and majored in computer science, grew up reading slashdot etc etc. I'm a lot like everyone else here except when I go to work I wear a uniform with a badge and gun. Do I use force when necessary? Yes, but I'm not interested in hurting someone and I'll do everything i can to avoid a use of force, as a lot of us would.

    I can't comment on the NYPD's practice of conducting their stops, I'm not familiar with it. In LA of course we do Terry stops routinely and again, we don't do it to unnecessarily harass people. We have to have reasonable suspicion...this usually takes the form of seeing someone in dark clothing, with a backpack (commonly carried by burglars), walking around a residential neighborhood (which has a burglary or car burglary problem) at 3am, who crouches behind a car as I pass by. Will I stop him , identify him, and see what's going on? Yes. I don't think that's so ridiculous and if I lived in that neighborhood I would expect the cops to do their job and talk to that individual.

    Anyway, I just wanted to give a different perspective.

    • by Skapare (16644)

      Can you tell, from just watching an office make an arrest, whether he/she is one that is one of the few bad apples? But I know they are there because I've had the opportunity to deal with a couple of them on a longer term basis that clearly to me were among the bad apples. But they didn't do that all the time.

      I suspect you can't figure out on first meeting, either. Don't expect the public can. So many in the public will have latent suspicion all the time. "Is he, or isn't he".

      The dark clothing should n

    • A lot of the problem stems from the 'good majority' silently abetting the bad few. If police were more willing to, dare I say, police their own, rather than holding the thin blue line, I think a lot of the animosity would go away.

      Also, there's a fair amount of basic human psychology at play. 'Us and Them' always becomes 'Us Versus Them.' See the Stanford Prision Experiment. Abu Girab for a more recent example.

    • by russotto (537200)

      As a police officer in Los Angeles, I'm bothered by all the anti-police sentiment and posts portraying cops as fascist brutes just waiting to violate people's rights.

      As a police officer in Los Angeles, you're either a fascist brute or covering for any number of them. Because when a cop does something wrong in front of any number of other cops, none of those cops sees anything. So either a department is 100% squeaky clean (demonstrably false, as cops get caught on occasion), or every cop is at least coveri

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