Toward a model of the New York City police

Bill de Blasio has excused police officers who swing batons at unarmed protesters and ram their vehicles into crowds. He has repeatedly stuck by his commissioner, Dermot Shea, and maintained the police have acted with the utmost discretion, though eyewitness testimony and videos suggest otherwise. Former aides who worked to elect a mayor on a platform of police reform are aghast. What went wrong, exactly?

Why does the Mayor of New York City defer so egregiously to his police department? Why does this keep happening?

Mass protests aren’t new to New York City. Neither is police violence. The police department in New York is a paramilitary that operates with little accountability, relative to other city agencies. A police commissioner in New York can be thought of as an appointed mayor of a quasi-independent fiefdom. The police commissioner, ultimately, must answer to the mayor and City Council—mayors can fire commissioners at any time—but the police can cow those who oppose them politically. As recently as 2015, one year after Eric Garner died in police custody, the otherwise progressive City Council led a multi-year campaign to hire 1,000 new police officers. This year, in their latest stimulus bill, House Democrats included $300 million for a nationwide police expansion. Politicians of both political parties have supported bolstering police power for decades.

That is from Ross Barkan, here is more:

Police, in this calculus, safeguard property value. If police don’t do their jobs, a mainstream Democratic politician would tell you, the city could spiral into chaos. Crime would skyrocket. Property value would decline. The real estate and investor class would lose confidence in New York and stop investing their capital. Any pivot toward a model of social democratic urban planning—or even, at the minimum, a reduction in the NYPD’s near $6 billion budget—would trigger this unraveling. De Blasio’s appointment of Bratton, the Giuliani-era police commissioner, can be understood in this context. Bratton was a liberal mayor’s concession to a business and real estate establishment he believed needed to be placated. It was a signal that his administration, no matter its reputation, would never veer too far left. De Blasio is of the belief that any progressive reform can’t happen without police to maintain New York’s low crime rate. Any spike will sap political capital for his projects.

Police unions understand politicians. Pat Lynch has been leading the PBA since 1999. He has merely followed a playbook written by past union presidents, who literally staged riots and race-baiting, citywide referendums when mild reforms of the department were proposed. The threat police have dangled over mayors, left and right, is rather simple: you make us angry and we will unleash disorder.

There is more of interest at the link, and for the pointer I thank Jordan.

Comments

2020: the year where Public Choice smashes its way into the world in an obvious way, and is immediately ignored by idiots who rather fight the same culture war skirmish for the millionth time

Falsifiable prediction #1: not one Democrat (or Rep, obv) controlled major city or state will abolish police unions, rendering this entire Burn-a-Thon pointless

Falsifiable prediction #2: in not one Democrat (or Rep, obv) controlled major city or state will the median income of police be lower in 2025 than it is now

+1, realistic.

Yes, realistic.

"Seriously, Bush and The Great Divider literally ran the country for a combined 16 years, yet together they’ve the chutzpah to conclude America still has a systemic race problem?!? Sorry, but WTF were you two doing during your time in office?!?"

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As noted in a Politico article talking about the huge number of federal LEOs - Thanks to pressure from the National Rifle Association on Republican lawmakers about the agency’s firearms investigations, the ATF has had a Senate-confirmed director for a total of only two years since 2003. Last month, the Trump administration withdrew its most recent nominee to be ATF director, Chuck Canterbury, a former police union leader who had been deemed by Republican senators as too liberal on guns. (Yes, you read that right: The former head of the Fraternal Order of Police was considered too liberal for the GOP.)

It strikes me as odd, given the current mass hysteria painting the US as a draconian police state, that the notion of a police union leader supporting liberal gun policies (i.e., gun control) doesn't raise an eyebrow.

Gun control increases the monopoly power of the police department on the use of deadly force, so why would anyone be surprised that many police unions favor it?

Really? A good cop-robber, cop-serial-killer shoot-out makes great headlines and info-web-tainment/ 11-oClock news coverage. And add a man-hunt and SWAT team and you have multiple days of news cycle, new weapons in your local police Force, and department budget spikes. Increased disgruntled gun owners/buyers are one of the main sources of take-down advertising for police presence.

Gun control doesn't solve that. See Chicago.

Aha. But see Boston post-Marathon terrorist act. Many monies came after that massive manhunt, sniper-take-down, semi-paramilitary action over multiple days. The media coverage and exposure and politicals were huge for para-military police 'enrichment'. My comment was 'anti-gun control' if that was unclear.

"(Yes, you read that right: The former head of the Fraternal Order of Police was considered too liberal for the GOP.)"

I'm not sure what to make of that. Is this just everything I like is liberal everything I dislike is conservative? How conservative / liberal should I expect the head of the police union to be?

It apparently should be obvious I guess, but I actually really have no idea here. Are there good studies on the political leanings of police leaders and (ideally separately) the rank and file. They're the leader of a giant, public sector union (codes pretty left wing), most politically active in the big cities (again generally left), presumably pretty high on the law and order front (codes more right or authoritarian).

Independent of their other political leanings, I'd generally expect police leaders to be fairly pro-gun control for obvious reasons, so using that particular issue as a bell-weather over overall liberalness seems pretty questionable.

Quite true. There are plenty of law enforcement leaders/members who favor stricter gun control, because they are the ones who have to police neighborhoods/counties/rural areas where they face a heavily armed population which means heavily armed offenders/suspects.

Also, police unions are public sector, but they are independent of affiliation with any larger labor bodies such as the AFL-CIO or regional equivalents -- by law-- because they can be called upon to police the activities of other unions.

From the Failure of Imagination, File:
"... Public Choice smashes its way into the world in an obvious way, and is immediately ignored by idiots who rather fight..." Obviously, the more we continue with Us vs them, so will Other Groups seek to forward their own Agendas and fan the Flames.

As with all problems where you have entrenched human values in conflict chronically without ever any forward movement, except lip service and post-tantrum relief syndrome... remove the Humans.

Treat the rioters as the Terrorists they are by refusing to engage and make their 'public shows of violence' childish comedies... that is: urban street element re-design, over-the-top surveillance, and refusal to make a media spectacle. The main thoroughfares 'special interest grievance zones' to have unsmashable storefronts, no parked cars, sidewalk 'groin crusher' bollards, cameras and pull-station-like-marker-paint way above, street flooding, unbreakable stadium-like flood lighting and Lawrence Welk morale-crushing ballads over megaphones. Limited media, minimal police presence. All sulk and no sock. Why do people think we have central parks? Low-value tantrum-diminishing assets such as landscaping to release the angst of all public gatherings that assemble and proselytize there. Fussy babies need tougher cribs. Easy.

It is hardly surprising that police are restrictionist when it comes to guns. They would like every police-civilian interaction to be between armed police and unarmed civilians.

This entire take seems rather silly. We are told that "Bill de Blasio has excused police officers who...ram their vehicles into crowds". Hmm, was there an event where a police officer ploughed a vehicle into crowds trying to hurt them, killing dozens? Seems odd that this hasn't gotten much attention.

Oh, he's probably talking about that video where protesters are illegally blocking the passage of two emergency vehicles that are trying to respond to a 911 call. The protesters are trying to block the vehicle, and some begin throwing objects at and jumping on the vehicles. The vehicles push through the crowd (with remarkable professionalism) and continue on.

It isn't clear exactly what emergency situation the two cars are responding too. But imagine, for a moment, that it's a life and death situation, and delaying the emergency vehicles (by 30 seconds, 2 minutes, however long...) results in someone's death at the scene to which they were meant to be attending. IANAL, but the act of the protesters blocking the cars starts to sound awfully like involuntary manslaughter at this point.

Maybe I'm mistaken, and there is some other case he is referring to. But if he is referring to this one, then the level of dishonesty required to give the description of "ram their vehicles into crowds" makes it pretty hard to take any analysis that follows seriously.

I almost think this is a Straussian post by Tyler, based on the amount of dumb statements quoted.

The lives of people who need EMS during a "protest" (much like the people who are killed directly by "protestors") are less important than the lives of those about whom the "protestors" are "protesting". This is a very complicated hierarchy, I know; however, if you ask your nearest leftist, I am sure they will be able to explain it to you clearly and succinctly.

I once had a talk with people about protesters blocking streets and highways. I said I was categorically opposed. After a mini-lecture about how in order for protests to be effective they need impose burdens on everyday people so the protest cannot be ignored, I responded about how closing a street ad hoc had resulted in our ambulances being routed into protest (if you file for permits when can route the ambulances around you) and two grandmothers losing half their survival odds when they had strokes.

Well functioning traffic flow is not a luxury so white collar workers can make it back to the burbs quickly. It can literally halve your odds of dying during a stroke, heart attack, or trauma.

I could understand if protesters thought that their issue was important enough that killing a few grandmothers was worth it, but they never seem to understand. Heck I have had protestors complain about the length of their ambulance ride when it is their very actions that make it take so long. Like so much else, having a "conversation" never seems to involve rational understanding of the actual impact of decisions.

While it's true that the "order" half of "law and order" gets ignored, you shouldn't assume it's entirely an oversight. Yes, an increasingly large swath of our population takes our society for granted; however, there are plenty of leftists whose explicit goal is to introduce enough chaos to prevent anyone else from rising above the rabble. I'm not talking about anarchists, either. It's just part of the leftist psychology. It's why we can't have nice things.

Here you go:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/05/31/new-york-city-george-floyd-protests-nypd-suvs-brooklyn-crowd/5299746002/

"While some condemned the actions of the officers, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio defended the officers saying their safety was threatened by the crowd."

no no no, the CDC/FDA are the rogue unreformable agencies.

the cops are heroes; they’re um, um... and they have to arrest large violent thugs.

no wait; it’s the unions. the, um, cop unions. um.

Oh heck, it’s the democrat’s fault.

Indeed, the police seem to resort to the same tactics as, for example, the teachers' unions (among other government workers) in order to maximize their benefits while protecting the least competent among them.

Concerning a bunch of petulant whining cops, who lied about a 75 year old man tripping, now deciding to take their batons home with them instead of enforcing public order according to the law, instead of in their own way.

'Fifty-seven members of the Buffalo Police Department resigned from a special squad Friday to protest the suspension of two officers shown on video shoving a 75-year-old protester to the ground, causing him to hit his head on the sidewalk and suffer a serious injury, officials said. ,,, “Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders,” Buffalo Police Benevolent Association president John Evans told WGRZ.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said at a news conference Friday that he was “exceptionally disappointed” by the resignations.

“It indicates to me that they did not see anything wrong with the actions last night, which I think each of us in this room found something wrong with, as well as our governor, the mayor and millions of people across the country — and, for that matter, the world,” he said.'

Maybe such crybabies can find a safe space where they won't be triggered into assaulting oldsters and then lying about it. www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/06/05/buffalo-officers-suspended-shoving-man/

Surely the way forward is to defund the police, as well as schools, fire/EMS, and other governmental institutions where employee unions wield too much power to our detriment.

Cool, pro-Trump and pro-union. Maybe one could have a non-unionized police force instead of just defunding them....

Sorry, as both George and our German friend have pointed out, there's too much bad behavior to allow the police to continue, union or not. They simply aren't accountable to the public, and obviously Democrat politicians are not responsible. (And as I noted, the same applies to teachers, firefighters, etc. who must also be defunded to maintain intellectual honesty).

I hear that Minneapolis is exploring the idea of abolishing their police department, which will lead us into a brave new world free from the shackles of government employees abusing their power. Ilhan Omar is backing that proposal; I can't think of a better sponsor, as she's already lived in an entire country with no functional police, having moved here to show us how well they got along back home. Just think, Minneapolis could be one step closer to being Somalia.

Such ignorance... Somalia is safe, when they are not having a civil war...

The pirates would indicate otherwise. Arrrrrrr!

'a model of social democratic urban planning'?

More money for the socialists, Democrats, urban dwellers, and planners. (What I found most amusing is that the sentence is written as if New York City does not already feature any amount of social democratic urban planning.) Again, statements like these really drive home the notion that the social democratic urban planners ought to be turned loose to show the rest of us what sort of utopian paradise they can create. I suggest New York City, and to make sure no white supremacists sabotage the experiment by inciting riots, we should build a wall around New York City and cut it off from the rest of the country.

'like these really drive home the notion that the social democratic urban planners ought to be turned loose to show the rest of us what sort of utopian paradise they can create'

Berlin or Bâle seem to be a fairly nice places to live. So does Helsinki or Copenhagen.

Interesting. I wonder what those places have that New York City doesn't. Or is it what New York City has that those places don't?

Violent criminals?

NYC has a lot fewer Muslims or atheists. And a lot fewer actual socialists who were part of the worker's paradise in the DDR.

But NYC does have a lot more police who kill people.

Perhaps those sentences are not unconnected.

https://www.kcrw.com/news/shows/zocalos-connecting-california/joe-mathews-police-have-been-looting-for-years

Joe Mathews: Police have been looting for years
Law enforcement costs are swallowing more of our local budgets.

You should trust California cops when they report looting. Because our state’s most successful looters are the police themselves.

California’s nearly 80,000 sworn officers have spent decades sacking the treasuries of local governments that employ them. Their escalating salaries, benefits, and pensions are swallowing up municipal budgets—and crowding out the other services, from libraries to summer programs.

The police have turned this fiscal dominance into unchecked political power. Police unions, fueled by dues from high-salaries officers, make the campaign contributions that determine local elections. So city council members rarely curb the pay or power of the police who installed them in office. In many California places, the city doesn’t oversee the police; the police oversee the city.
-----

California cannot afford them any more.

Police unions are hardly alone as public sector unions in general gorge at the public trough. This is just an intramural fight over a shrinking pie.

"The Los Angeles Police Protective League on Friday labeled [Mayor] Garcetti 'unstable' and accused him of political pandering after he referred to 'killers' in remarks about the proposed spending change.
'Now, with the current crisis situation in Los Angeles, we are honestly concerned about his mental health, and I think he should seek some help,' says Det. Jamie McBride, a union board member."

But what else can be done? 75% of the nation's population are sheep. If they don't have Unions/ collective agreements to protect their mediocrity, who else will hire them? What other option - shoot them? deport them? Give them $15/hr jobs at Walmart? We need to optimize the population demographics we have. To ween them off the taxpayer tit is one of the greatest puzzles of all human activity. Better parenting? Better schools? Shielding from the great unfairness and cronyism that pervade all areas? No happy endings here.

Ask the people of Santa Monica how much police protection they would have bought to save their property. Their life savings in many cases. The future for their children and community. What was the net present value of all that destruction on potential growth? Increased insurance rates, private security, etc. Police are cheap.

The key error in the article is the idea that "progressive" politicians actually believe the police-critical rhetoric they spout.

See, if you believe that, it's confusing why why Bill de Blasio, after the police slowdown didn't result in an increase in crime, "never used this data point to his advantage".

On the other hand, it makes perfect sense if Bill de Blasio, rather than being a would-be reformer cowed by the fear of declining property values, is merely a career apparatchik (now ascended to the nomenklatura) without any actual principles.

Who gave his wife’s business three $250 million contracts to help.

Good comments upstream, but my keen eye saw this fly in the otherwise excellent article ointment...

The author Barkan has enough sense not to touch the Third Rail of explanations of why crime rates have done down: "New York’s crime rate, broadly, mirrored national trends. A surge in the 1970s and 1980s led to a broad decline in the 1990s that continues to this day. There is no agreed upon explanation. Everything from the crack epidemic to the baby boom to the end of lead paint to new policing strategies have been used to explain this bell curve" - Ross Barkan

That Third Rail being: https://journalistsresource.org/studies/economics/abortion-crime-research-donohue-levitt/ (Levitt and Donohue's 2001 and 2019 showing that half the reduction of crime is due to unborn criminals due to Row v Wade legalizing abortion)

A public service post...back to lurking.

Stop-and-frisk did a number on the crime rate too; unfortunately that's just another example of police overreach.

The legal justification for stop-and-frisk was that it was needed in order to enforce laws against illegal gun possession. It goes hand-in-hand with strict laws against gun possession in public places.

After all, he knows precisely what stop and frisk was all about - allowing the police to use their own eyes to decide who gets stopped and frisked.

I know, it's abhorrent; in this day and age, it's much better to allow people to shoot and kill each other than to hurt their feelings.

Predictable, on the other hand, is how stop and frisk in NYC worked.

And why it worked the way it did. Bonus points to whoever guesses the voice behind the recording - "Ninety-five percent of murders- murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16-25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city (inaudible). And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of people that are getting killed. So you want to spend the money on a lot of cops in the streets. Put those cops where the crime is, which means in minority neighborhoods. So one of the unintended consequences is people say, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them… And then they start… ‘Oh I don’t want to get caught.’ So they don’t bring the gun. They still have a gun, but they leave it at home."

See? The cops can tell just by looking.

And Now for Something Completely Different.
Rather than using cops to aggressively seek and destroy crime in poor and/or minority neighbourhoods, which are fraught with political risk... reduce that presence and focus on lower-mid to upper-mid neighbourhoods and just protect people? Stop trying to wipe out crime as much as keeping crime from spreading into other neighbourhoods. Good optics all the way around. Are there going to be nationwide stories on minority killer killing minority family? unlikely. Nationwide story on 'not enough cops in my ghetto?' - unlikely. Its not about abandoning communities or allowing jungle-rules where crime is highest; just managing those assets that have the greatest political gain and least civil-unrest risk. Would people complain of policing unbalance? Would we get Detroit from last decade? Would big city investment decrease if crime neighbourhoods got 20% worse while low-crime neighbourhoods stayed stable? Methinks not. A cynical approach? perhaps but one cannot dispute the pragmatism.

Crime decreased everywhere else too, where they didnt have stop and frisk but only in NYC was it responsible for the decrease.

You might think I oppose gun control; on the contrary, I believe it's essential in our brave new world without police protection.

Of course, our intrepid blogger and his loyal readers should appreciate the need to take a statistics-based approach to gun control, and as "Mini" Mike Bloomberg famously noted, a majority of gun murders fit one demographic, not just in New York City, but nationwide.

Unfortunately our overlords are more concerned with black, scary-looking guns, which are used in a very small percentage of crime (and, like stop-and-frisk, tend to affect one specific racial group, although in their case racism is acceptable, fashionable even).

To understand the disappearance of the surge in crime, we must first understand why the surge appeared to begin with. If abortion explains the disappearance of the surge, then why was crime in the 1950s before the surge so low? Roe v Wade did not legalize abortion in the 1950s. Starting sometime between the late 60s and 70s, it became fashionable to view criminals as victims of society rather than people engaging in immoral conduct. Under that view, deterring crime through threat of punishment and social shaming was considered not useful and immoral. Crime rates surged. Then, we returned to the earlier view that crime was in fact an immoral act, which could be deterred by threat of criminal punishment and social shaming. Crime rates returned to pre-surge levels. Such a mystery.

Lucky for y'all white folks that black Afro-Americans only want equality and not revenge for the senseless suicide of George Floyd. If they wanted revenge, you'd really be sorry then.

How are looting and arson a search for equality? How is mob rule an improvement over the arrest, charging and trial of the accused? We do it for gangbangers, rapists, and other vial criminals without a collapse of the social order. How is a society made better by threats to have us all resort to armed camps and race wars?

We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us.

+1 You might want to have line breaks, but very good.

You are indicating that we have social norms. That those norms include respect for each other. And, that we have not done what we know we have needed to do.

A candle beats a flame.

Why isn’t competition (quality and price) among police departments (say across different areas) encouraged? Where is the market failure?

The rank-and-file do not want to be challenged or forced to exceed standards. Markets assume constant optimization, increasing access to information, and sacrifices to achieve successes - Unions don't like that.

The mayors of NYC, Boston, Minneapolis, and many other cities are elected in off-off year elections (2021 for the 3 listed). These elections are very low turnout, and in the case of Boston and Minneapolis are run off election. The mayor of Boston only needs the support of the unions and their spouse to be elected. Change elections to presidential years and the influence of unions will diminish.

What's amazing is how fad-driven and silly your concerns are.

The story about the NYPD and their riot is interesting. I live in the Northeast about an hour away from NYC so we are subject to a lot of NYC news. I dont remember that being covered at all. You would think that would have gotten weeks of coverage. Almost like we have lower standards of behavior set for police.

Everyone knew about the police riot when it happened. But NYC was in such a state of chaos from decades of vanguard progressive government, starting with La Guardia, that police misbehavior was just a blip on the radar screen. The police in general were considered to be ineffective time servers.

That such behavior now seems shocking and inconceivable even, is the result of Giuliani’s reforms that made the NYC police more professional, as well as a societal agreement to suppress racist speech.

Giuliani in office was as unpopular as Donald Trump. But his leadership and reform of NYC was the single greatest example of public leadership of the post WWII period. People don’t pay attention, and then they forget.

Professor Cowen is now posting junk. Pure garbage

47% of New York police are minorities. Depicting them as racist seems a bit dated.

"removal of residents from communities to go to prisons has a strong positive impact on crime in disadvantaged neighborhoods". From a 2014 Department of Justice study

Strong law enforcement has its' biggest benefit on real estate, it makes the community more desirable to live and invest in. You seem to see this as a negative for some reason. Why? It is bad to attract investment and make people feel safe and secure. Seems like you are spending pennies on the dollar given the increase in real estate values.

The police cause riots. What was the criminal damage to property after his "police riot." His description of the destruction seems like the typical trash after the average parade in New York. I suppose we should now call parades organized riots.

The support of bail "reform" has been a disaster leading to disrespect for the rule of law, moral decay, and increased the returns for criminal activity.

Our present Kristallnach is once again looking for scapegoats. Substitute the word Police for Jews in the Nazi propaganda and you see an attempt to scapegoat a group of people.

Kristallnach began with the shooting of a German official by a Jew that was then used as an excuse to cause mass destruction. Sound familiar?

I understand the marches today as I understand the German turn to the Nazi party. Today you had a large group of people who had lost jobs, were fearful about an unseen enemy virus. They were depressed and felt like they had lost some control over their lives. Germans had similar feelings. These protests give them a sense of power that they felt they had lost. It gave them a scapegoat to blame and become a target. The rule of law is replaced with mob violence.

That did not end well for Germany. Watching CNN nightly try to inflame racial tension to achieve a political goal makes. me nervous about the future. Businesses and elites in Germany thought they could buy peace with the mob and looked the other way or even helped in the scapegoating. Every time I see the phrase Black Lives Matter I am outraged. All lives matter. Kneeling to support the racial divides in this country is destructive even as it works as a political strategy. It makes me sad and worried about the future.

Professor Cowen I had more respect for you before your desire to spread such garbage.

One would think there would be at least one of the 20 largest U.S. cities, almost all of which have been under Democratic control for decades, that would provide a model for public safety management and results. If they actually cared about such things, and if their policy prescriptions actually worked.

One would think the same thing about pubic education, transportation, public financial management, public area quality of life, etc.

I can't think of a single city that provides this model of success, and in fact the bluer the city, the more entrenched Democratic control, the worse things seem to be.

I don't think you can treat cities as a monolithic crime/ policing entities. Neighbourhoods and other finer grain communities are more important even if there is a pervading political influence. Policing levels and resources are prioritized and constantly re-distributed. Unfortunately, the big new stories treat neighbourhood problems as city problems. Best Advice to residents: find your People and the level of Policing you can handle. All else is the other Place's problems.

These arguments could be levied against any public sector union. If Tyler's concern was the well-being of minorities, he would focus on the teachers' union rather than the police.

Unfortunately, one certainty is that if we de-unionize police, the police officers will get paid less. So, simply breaking the union may have undesirable consequences. Most people do seem to agree that more pay = better cops.

I would much prefer that we break the system of perks that police seem to enjoy as a separate superior legal class. Which can be done without breaking the union.

In my view, the obstacle in not the unions per se, it is the halo of infallibility that is granted to the police, mixed with reflexive automatic hero status and deference to their assumed truthfulness.

We see it in the coverage of the riots: outpourings of sympathy for how difficult and dangerous the job is; reflexive apologizes for obvious instances of excessive and unnecessary force; knee-jerk blame-the-victim narratives for anyone who dies in the process of arrest; sophistry around repeat examples of police-instigated protest violence; and repeat documented cases of obvious police lying and cover-ups; hyperbolic references to cities in flames and the thin blue line protecting private property from relentless remorseless gangs of thugs (with racial dog whistles fully intentional), etc and etc.

While police do insert themselves in volatile situations, and face a risk of being murdered at work, that risk is actually exceptionally low, and declining. Policing is not even one of the top ten most dangerous jobs - policing is well below truck driving, trash collecting, and roofing. And statistically, the real risk from policing is all that time spent driving a vehicle, not from facing violent thugs. Alas, such are the myths we perpetuate that we create in order to venerate this class of worker.

It has served partisan interests to push this narrative, and it has served as a major obstacle to accountability and reform.

The key to reforming policing is to end the cynical myth-making around police infallibility and waivers from ordinary legal and ethical accountability.

As long as we make excuses for obvious crimes, refuse to weed out bad apples by making excuses for them, tolerate high-consequence lying by officials, and cultivate the framing of cities at war with violent mobs, the police will not be reformed.

Breaking the unions without changing the culture and expectations will simply result in cops who are paid less, and have lower qualifications.

Police in inner cities face very different challenges and threats than the average police officer.

The police in most major cities are close to 50% or more minority.

We give the police authority to do things that we prevent other citizens from doing. Because they need to do the job. We given them protection but the penalties when convicted are usually more severe. Some formal some informal. Do you want to be a police officer in jail?

Cities routinely payout large settlements even when the case. against the police are weak. Often depends on the alleged victim being smart enough to hire the right lawyer.

If you make it easy to destroy the life of a police officer, and their families, without standing behind them, who will want the job?

Clearly Chauvin was unfit to be a cop, and we should not have stood behind him this long. So do we make it easier to get rid of cops like him or not?

What has happened to him? The same thing that every person facing criminal charges faces. Plus he has the FBI investigating

Are we supposed to make it easier to get rid of guys like him or not?

The AG in Minnesota is to the left of Chairman Mao. If the officer had committed egregious acts in the past, why was it ignored? I don't know. Civil suits against police are common, was this officer sued in the past. I don't know. I don't have the facts about his past but the politicians in Minnesota should know. As far as I know, they haven't been asked. Why not? I don't know.

> While police do insert themselves in volatile situations, and face a risk of being murdered at work, that risk is actually exceptionally low

Yes, but it's much, much higher than being killed while unarmed and black. In 2019, 89 law enforcement officers were killed, 48 in felonious acts and 41 in accidents.

In 2019, 15 unarmed blacks were killed by police.

The US has about 700K police officers. The US has about 44M black people.

Unarmed Black Murder Rate by Cops: 15 / 44 = 0.34 per million population

Copy murder rate by criminals: 48 / 0.7 = 62.3 per million population

Being a cop is 180 times more dangerous than being an unarmed black male. And if you take out those that were shot because they were beating the police, that 180 figure approaches 1000.

It's precious how you keep pretending like police shootings of blacks is the ONLY complaint.

It's also precious how you try and have it both ways: that being a cop is dangerous, even though it is not; and that being a black male is not dangerous, even though it is.

being a black male is mostly dangerous because another black male (who is not a police officer) might kill you

The biggest danger in America to Black males is other Black males. Sad but true. When the police withdraw or go fetal the murder rate increase for those Black males. Police inaction causes much more destruction in the Black community than police action. The innocent pay the price.

Perhaps you would have liked to live in the old Chicago projects. Where young Black men were forced to join gangs. Where young Black women were coerced into sex with gang members to prevent them from becoming victims of rape.

This scapegoating of the police is out of control. Do some police become coarsened by the daily violence they deal with? Regretfully yes. Yet most try to help the members of those communities who would be victims if left unprotected.

"Scapegoating the police"

See. that's the core BS here. This idea that calling out the police for enabling and covering up misconduct in their ranks is scapegoating.

No. It is demanding reform of a system that has carved itself immunity for its wrongdoing, which includes the occasional murder.

This entire line of sophistry is dependent on framing the entire masses of protester around the country as being completely wrong and without any claim to complain. is that your position, that the masses of people taking to the streets and facing tear gas and billy clubs are full of shit and have no reason to complain?

Society needs to attack problems with intensity proportional to the damage.

You can pick a problem: Say, black inequality.

The root cause for that problem is wealth, and the root cause of that problem is lacking home ownership. And the root cause of that problem is income. And the root cause for that problem is not enough college and not getting enough hard ($$$) degrees. And the root problem for that problem is test scores. And the root problem for that problem is high schools. And the root problem there is largely the breakdown of the family (parents don't care). This is even true in scshools that are 80% black, with 80% black teachers, 80% black administrators, 80% black cops, etc...

We know this because the black kids that mirror the behavior of top asian kids are treated like top asian kids (great colleges, great incomes, great jobs).

> is that your position, that the masses of people taking to the streets and facing tear gas and billy clubs are full of shit and have no reason to complain?

My position is that they are spending 99% of their time on the thing that is responsible for 1% of their pain. That is not a smart way to spend your time.

"Causing 1% of the pain."

Well, some people think symbols matter - and the image of cops harassing, beating and occasionally shooting unarmed blacks - is powerful among the African American community. Not just as a symbol, but as a frequent reminder of continued problems. Perhaps you can imagine why. Or perhaps you cannot.

Your pinning the blame for persistent poverty on parents who "don't care" about how hard their kids work in school is unconvincing. It's a common right wing racist trope though.

> Not just as a symbol, but as a frequent reminder of continued problems.

But as the data shows, it's not unique to that community. The cops aren't perfect by any stretch. But the data shows us over and over that cops overall aren't treating blacks and whites and asians and ? outside the lockup rates for the different groups.

From all the data we have, an unarmed black male has nothing to worry about from the cops--he's treated remarkably similar to an unarmed white male.

> It's a common right wing racist trope though.

Then can we agree on this: If all poor families parented their kids the way poor Asian families do OR first generation immigrant parents do from Africa, we'd see dramatically different outcomes from our black families and white families stuck in generational poverty traps.

You are blindly blaming an entire group of people. You must say nasty thinks about Jews, or Latinos, etc. After all, they are all the same.

What change do the protestors want? The officer was arrested, charged, and held for trial. That is our system. That is what we have agreed to do as a society against the vilest of criminals. Not mob violence.

Once upon a time, we lynched Blacks for alleged sexual attacks against white women. Major papers of the day and society generally understood the source of such outrage and accepted the street justice. Is that the kind of justice we now prefer? Just change the colors around?

There is no immunity for wrongdoing. You must proof wrongdoing. You don't complain that the burden of proof is too high, you complain that it exists. Great system you want.

OK, you like CNN want to deny that looting and arson occurred. Deny that the crowds were used as a cover for those crimes. Deny that the marches diverted police resources. Deny the attacks on the police. Deny. Deny. Deny Then attack the police physically. Then blame the police for the riots. BTW CNN told me how peaceful the marches were, now you tell me there were police riots. How did they miss that story?

Yes, the message of the protestors was mostly full of shit. Mob rule is wrong. Due process matters. All lives matter. Police violence is wrong but not rampant. Systematic racism is not a major problem in this country. Blacks commit vastly more crimes against whites than the other way around. Blacks hold major positions of power throughout our country, we had a Black President for eight years, close to 50% of inner-city police officers are minorities, minorities run the education system in most majority-minority communities, etc). Could Blacks do better in our society? Sure as could Latinos, Asians, and every other group but we do not do better as a society when advancement is based on racial identity. Michelle Obama wrote the book about Blacks socially advancing and leaving poor Blacks behind.

But please go wipe your keyboard, your drolling with your hatred of the police.

" The officer was arrested, charged, and held for trial. "

Only because it was on video. And then only after several days. In the Arbery case nothing would have happened, but then we had the video. The larger majority of police are good people and not racist, but when one is bad they get protected. Needs to change.

One, without evidence what should happen? How was Chauvin protected? The death in custody would have been investigated. Four days to arrest is not unusual and does not mean that he was not questioned on the matter earlier. That is normal. Statements, witness statements, view evidence, etc. Finders of fact. etc. Make determination. Take action. What in the investigation of this case is corrupt? After the tape became public the FBI stepped in. Anything corrupt about that?

Someone should do a reality show. Round up a bunch of 'experts' and internet commentators and put them on the streets as a cop for a month. Betting on how many people are shot, heads broken and general violent abuse is handed out by this group. It would be quite spectacular. No rational human being would put up with what most police officers see and experience every day.

How many here do jobs with a likelihood of serious injury or death? Where the people telling you what to do have no idea what they are talking about, and who will gain by your harm?

This is an impossible situation. The job of policing is to enforce the edicts of politicians, powerful people with resources. A counteracting force would be unnecessary if politicians were reasonable, honest and consistent. But they aren't.

There is no solution here. We are going to see another cycle where cities are emptied of business and residents and the remainders are going to fight over the burnt husk.

There are few people here who remember that. Here we go again.

As a NYCer, the quickest way to get me to permanently leave would be to convince me that the NYPD has lost its formerly-firm grip on crime.

Today’s high-earners can work from anywhere. Cities best tread carefully.

"How many here do jobs with a likelihood of serious injury or death?"

Well, actually, tens of millions of Americans do jobs that are vastly more dangerous than police work. They go in every day, with lower pay, worse benefits, no pensions, lousy insurance, no unions (usually), and little in the way of protections, and they are far more likely to get injured or killed on the job that police. By several degrees more likely.

They get hurt or they die, and then they are just screwed. End of story. No one cries. The media barely notices.

When someone proposes increasing their one-the-job safety for these workers, the business lobby and right wing of this nation howl about cost and government intrusion. There's no programs to buy these workers the best weapons, and body armor, and military-style armored mini-tanks. They don't get new vehicles every couple years. Hell, many of these workers were lucky to get masks in the middle of a pandemic.

No one wrings their hands over the risk of these jobs like the right does about cops. There's no long parades if one gets killed on the job. These workers are in fact told in ways both direct and subtle that they are disposable, not essential, and replaceable.

In other words, your gauzy veneration of cops jobs is utter bullshit myth.

Sure, cops get stuck between politics and a failing social service system. But they are comparatively well paid, and comparatively safe, compared to much of the nation.

Scientists at the CDC get stuck between politics and incompetent appointees too. But I don't see the right whining for them.

Tell that to the elderly in the Black community who are fearful of a trip to the store. It isn't the police they are afraid of. Think of the mother's worried about what will happen to their children on the way to school and when they get there. The police are the least of their concerns.

"tens of millions of Americans do jobs that are vastly more dangerous than police work"

Then why are people taking those jobs while cities find it harder every year to find applicants for the police? Especially cities.

Stop talking about national statistics for police. Talk about the dangers of being the police in the inner city.

But I guess bottom line for you, police lives don't matter. You have made that very clear.

Nice work Dan. You crammed an utterly incorrect premise and a strawman ad hominem in one paragraph.

Now I feel bad. Attacked by a moron who just keeps claiming police are sub-humans whose lives don't matter.

That's hilarious coming from a troll who can't make it through a paragraph without grossly misrepresenting my argument.

This line here: "claiming police are sub-humans whose lives don't matter." That's actually the only thing happening in your head. That, plus the racism, which you struggle to supress like Strangelove's salute, but just can't keep a lid on with any consistency.

Your argument is very clear and plainly stated. And then as after thunder comes the lightning is the racism charge. Thanks for proving you are a moron

BTW read my posts. My biggest concern is with the minorities who are victimized by crime in their communities. For the lives destroyed in these communities and the aftermath of these "reform" movements where crime rises, deaths rise, and the communities slowly decay. That is what and who I care about. High minded race-baiting morons leaving decent people to be victimized.

Ah yes, the Middle Class is definitely wanting to defund (what does that even mean? how much?) the police, increase broken windows, and sink property values.

Or maybe this is another vapid online trend pushed by extremely online people that have no correlation to the 'normie' world.

A smaller police force means increased crime. How is this not obvious? A policeman who arrests a gunman saves how many lives?
A smaller police force also means more incidents where cops fear for their lives and the 'better to be judged by twelve than carried by six' mentality takes over.

Certainly crime patterns change over decades, and one can modify the police force and their actions accordingly, but does anyone really think that stop-and-frisk was *always* unnecessary?

DiBlasio refused to allow horse mounted police to control the riots, which is precisely what horse mounted police are good at.

ergo: less regulation means more faulty dangerous products, more pollution dumping, and more white collar crime. amiright?

Can I get an amen!

AMEN. The FDA leads to the underdevelopment of new drugs. OSHA adds costs that make socially beneficial projects unviable. Red tape adds cost and prevents programs that could aid people in need. etc

You didn't know this ! Amazing! Not really. I've read your other posts

Still waiting for the 'model this' for protesters/rioters/public safety personnel and COVID19 rates? I guess it would go against the tacit liberal intellectual consensus.

1,200 public health "experts" have signed a letter calling outdoor mass gatherings "vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of Black people." We are in the midst of a mass psychotic break, but you won't see a NYT editorial though.

It might be interesting to think about what will happen if police funding is significantly cut, as has been promised in LA and advocated in NYC and other places. If there are actually defunded? What do they stop doing?

Domestic disturbances? Sorry, we don't do that. Call social services.

Burglary? Sorry, we don't send officers for that anymore. There's a form you can fill out on our website.

Traffic management around that construction work zone? Sorry, that's the Con Ed's problem. Here's their number.

Mayor's driver and protection detail? Sorry, we don't have the staff for that. Call 911 if you have an incident, and we'll put you in the queue.

Holding cell for the guy who knifed your kid? Sorry, he's released on his own recognizance.

Just what do those advocating this envision the end state will be ?

I'm reminded a bit of The Godfather movies, where people could not get formal justice, and sought out an alternative approach for solving some of those problems.

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