Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thread

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Thad
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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Thad » Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:42 am

Seriously, fuck grand juries.

ETA:

National Journal wrote:"We need to accept that this decision was the grand jury's to make," Obama said Monday night.


Well no, Mr. President, we fucking-well don't, and if this incident helps open people's eyes to the corruption and servility inherent in the grand jury system, then they should scream about it at the top of their lungs, because it needs to change. A grand jury siding with police over civilians is not a fluke, it is the norm -- or, as we say in the industry, it's not a bug, it's a feature.

This is an example of our justice system operating in the way it is designed to instead of the way we're told it's designed to. Anyone who's surprised by this is...well, probably white.

Which, of course, doesn't excuse rioting.

Reuters wrote:Storefront windows were smashed near the Ferguson Police Department and at least two cars on the street were set on fire. Gunshots could be heard. Police responded with volleys of tear gas and flash-bang canisters.

Brown's family said they were "profoundly disappointed" by the grand jury's finding.

"While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change," the family said in a statement released by its attorneys.


Nothing much more to add. Depressed and entirely unsurprised.

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Classic
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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Classic » Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:48 am

Maybe they can vote in Democrats who better represent them?
O wait.

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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Mothra » Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:58 am

Disappointing as shit.

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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Joxam » Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:00 am

As much as its easy to blame a grand jury, the real problem here is years and years of creating a system whereby a person can kill someone who is unarmed and the LAW will be on their side.

I'm going to say from the very beginning that I think this is all bullshit and that Wilson clearly MURDERED Brown, but by the numbers the law protects him and as painful as it is for me to say, be precedent, the only real question that had to be satisfied is whither or not Wilson acted 'reasonably', and basically if the grand jury decided to believe the cop's side of the story, he did.

This is what we get when we have laws written in such a way that its legal for a cop to kill someone just by FEELING like their life is in danger.

Actually, you know what, this article put it better than I can.
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Joxam
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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Joxam » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:14 am

Deleted a post because the validity of what I was posting was called into question. In my defense I got it from a STL public radio evidence dump.
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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Thad » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:37 am

Joxam wrote:As much as its easy to blame a grand jury, the real problem here is years and years of creating a system whereby a person can kill someone who is unarmed and the LAW will be on their side.

I'm going to say from the very beginning that I think this is all bullshit and that Wilson clearly MURDERED Brown, but by the numbers the law protects him and as painful as it is for me to say, be precedent, the only real question that had to be satisfied is whither or not Wilson acted 'reasonably', and basically if the grand jury decided to believe the cop's side of the story, he did.


I'm not blaming a grand jury, I'm blaming grand juries. The grand jury system is an integral part of the institutional corruption you're describing; grand juries exist to abet law enforcement. As I said, this is not a bug, it is a feature. The grand jury did what grand juries are designed to do: exactly what the police tell them to. Any other grand jury would have done the same.

And if the grand jury had been tasked with deciding whether to indict a black civilian who killed an unarmed white policeman, well, guess whose story the grand jury would have decided to believe in THAT case.

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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Rico » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:53 am

538 had a good article, grand juries only didn't indict 11 out of 160,000 civilian cases. Police cases obviously don't have that volume, but... the ratios were very, very different.
Former New York state Chief Judge Sol Wachtler famously remarked that a prosecutor could persuade a grand jury to “indict a ham sandwich.” The data suggests he was barely exaggerating....

“If the prosecutor wants an indictment and doesn’t get one, something has gone horribly wrong,” said Andrew D. Leipold, a University of Illinois law professor who has written critically about grand juries. “It just doesn’t happen.”

A recent Houston Chronicle investigation found that “police have been nearly immune from criminal charges in shootings” in Houston and other large cities in recent years. In Harris County, Texas, for example, grand juries haven’t indicted a Houston police officer since 2004; in Dallas, grand juries reviewed 81 shootings between 2008 and 2012 and returned just one indictment. Separate research by Bowling Green State University criminologist Philip Stinson has found that officers are rarely charged in on-duty killings, although it didn’t look at grand jury indictments specifically.


No surprises, just... sadness.

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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Grath » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:58 am

Even if we give the benefit of the doubt that the grand jury saw all the evidence, there weren't issues of racism, etc: What this indicates is that we need always-on-by-law body cameras on police officers. It won't stop police brutality, but it will make it blatantly obvious (and provide extra criminal charges that might actually stick) when conveniently the cameras are malfunctioning every time police officers are assaulting/murdering a suspect.

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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Esperath » Tue Nov 25, 2014 5:04 am

Rico wrote:538 had a good article, grand juries only didn't indict 11 out of 160,000 civilian cases.


U.S. attorneys prosecuted 162,000 federal cases in 2010, the most recent year for which we have data. Grand juries declined to return an indictment in 11 of them.


Wilson’s case was heard in state court, not federal, so the numbers aren’t directly comparable.
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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Thad » Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:03 pm

Grath wrote:Even if we give the benefit of the doubt that the grand jury saw all the evidence, there weren't issues of racism, etc: What this indicates is that we need always-on-by-law body cameras on police officers. It won't stop police brutality, but it will make it blatantly obvious (and provide extra criminal charges that might actually stick) when conveniently the cameras are malfunctioning every time police officers are assaulting/murdering a suspect.


I'm inclined to agree. And no, it doesn't contradict my uneasiness about the security panopticon -- surveillance OF police achieves the OPPOSITE goal of surveillance BY police; it serves to PROTECT civilians from abuses of law enforcement.

A police officer engaging with a civilian doesn't have a right to privacy. Just this once, "the innocent have nothing to hide" is a reasonable argument to make.

Esperath wrote:
Wilson’s case was heard in state court, not federal, so the numbers aren’t directly comparable.


It's a fair point, but do you suppose grand juries are less likely to be swayed by a state prosecutor than a federal one?

The numbers aren't directly comparable. But I bet the trends are.

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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Rico » Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:32 pm

Esperath wrote:

I didn't expect people to believe I was quoting a number of 162,000 cases and think it was the number of Grand jury cases in St Louis, and perhaps also to read the article from which I quoted salient points which support its main point, but I do understand why you responded to it.

Still, though, if you were tacitly accusing me of cherry-picking my quotes, the follow-up to your quote from the article about the numbers being directly comparable, right underneath it, is
Still, legal experts agree that, at any level, it is extremely rare for prosecutors to fail to win an indictment.


The author does explain a few reasons why this may not be incredibly damning, true, but given how pervasive the trend is these read more like trying to play Devil's advocate than actually trying to provide justifications.

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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby zaratustra » Tue Nov 25, 2014 1:54 pm

Robert P. McCulloch is president of a charity to support dead cops, The Backstoppers Inc. Said charity has adamantly refused it's profiting or rewarding Darren Wilson.

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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby pacobird » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:15 pm

Trying to come up with a good reason why police ought to be held to a different standard by a grand jury is chasing the wind. Whatever justifications may exist, the reason grand juries consistently shield police is that the DA's office deeply relies on a cooperative police force to do its job, and aggressively prosecuting cops would ruin that.
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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Büge » Tue Nov 25, 2014 2:20 pm

The streets of Ferguson:

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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Classic » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:47 pm

Thad wrote:A police officer engaging with a civilian doesn't have a right to privacy. Just this once, "the innocent have nothing to hide" is a reasonable argument to make.

Except you don't have to make it. Police are public servants and privacy or anonymity has made police demonstrably worse at discharging the duties of their office.
Public servants, while performing their functions as public servants, need to justify the necessity or usefulness of privacy. They don't get it as a de facto right.

Or, that's how it would be if the Police were public servants.

I think, also, that the police are anxious for having more Serpico stories. I don't know how closely tied the police are to other violent organizations, but I suspect that there is a fear within law enforcement that additional surveillance will make it easier for other violent organizations to put pressure on "good cops".

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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Brentai » Tue Nov 25, 2014 3:57 pm

I'm pretty sure my employer has the right to monitor me while on duty for any reason, and they do, mostly when I'm around the media room (and I don't blame them for that at all). Why that would violate the rights of uniformed police officers is beyond me.
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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby nosimpleway » Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:55 pm

Feed the homeless: arrested.
Shoot a black kid: not even indicted.

Like, holy shit, America.

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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Esperath » Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:42 pm

Rico wrote:
Esperath wrote:

I didn't expect people to believe I was quoting a number of 162,000 cases and think it was the number of Grand jury cases in St Louis, and perhaps also to read the article from which I quoted salient points which support its main point, but I do understand why you responded to it.

Still, though, if you were tacitly accusing me of cherry-picking my quotes, the follow-up to your quote from the article about the numbers being directly comparable, right underneath it, is
Still, legal experts agree that, at any level, it is extremely rare for prosecutors to fail to win an indictment.


The author does explain a few reasons why this may not be incredibly damning, true, but given how pervasive the trend is these read more like trying to play Devil's advocate than actually trying to provide justifications.


It's more that I'm sure this number is going to show up all over the media in the next week or so. Nothing lends credence to arguments like "hard statistics", so it's frustrating to see data that admittedly aren't even applicable bandied about nationally. This is similar to the "77 cents on the dollar" argument, in which the trend is the same but the magnitude is misleading, and is still used as a regular talking point.
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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Rico » Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:07 pm

That's fair. Taking things out of context is a real problem, it's just a little different when it's still supported by the body of the article.

God knows I get angry enough every day about shit like, "1,000,000 people couldn't keep their plan with OBAMAcare!" without the accompanying (but got better or equivalent plans at lesser or equivalent prices while 10,000,000 people who couldn't get plans at all now can).

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Re: Sadly, we still need a "white guy shoots black teen" thr

Postby Esperath » Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:12 pm

I know, I wasn't saying that you were intentionally trying to mislead us. The problem is that this is how the telephone effect starts. One person summarizes an article with a link, and then 95% of people don't actually read through the whole article. "11 out of 160000" starts getting blindly passed around and is quickly divorced from the original source.

I'd like to think that we're more likely than most to follow through with article links, but I felt like it was important to highlight nonetheless. I apologize if the terseness came off as aggression.
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