What should I ask Rachel Harmon?

I will be doing a Conversation with her, and she is a professor of law at the University of Virginia with a specialty in policing.  From her home page:

Rachel Harmon’s scholarship focuses on policing and its legal regulation, and her work has appeared recently in the NYU, Michigan and Stanford law reviews, among others. She teaches in the areas of criminal law and procedure, policing and civil rights. Harmon often advises nonprofit organizations and police departments on legal issues involving the police. She is currently associate reporter for the American Law Institute’s project on policing, and in fall 2017, she served as a law enforcement expert for the Independent Review of the 2017 Protest Events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Here is her scholar.google.com profile.  So what should I ask her?

Comments

I would love to hear her views on the problems Alex just discussed about police union privileges, qualified immunity, etc.
https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2020/06/police-union-privileges-revisited.html

That was my first thought too. Also civil asset forfeiture, as Alex has also written about.

They're familiar topics, decades old, but they are as urgent as ever, maybe more urgent.

I'm thinking an analogy might be with drunk driving, which was also a major social ill for decades with tens of thousands of people being killed per year. Finally thanks to ... I don't know, MADD and whoever else, we finally got some drunk driving laws with teeth, enforcement, and major social changes such as designated drivers, free subway rides on New Year's Eve, and just the increased popularity of the notion that it's glaringly stupid to drive while drunk.

We need similar shifts with regard to those police topics. It's been decades, but maybe the country is finally ready to make a move on these matters.

Does she have or is she able to make a case for why militarization of the police has been a good thing for society at large?

Agreeing with refer back to Alex's post on unions, why is it ok to have separate interrogation rules for police that are much more generous than civilians?

And how can those interrogation rules - which are often simply contract-negotiated with a specific employer (a city) override State laws and practices about criminal procedure?

In “Why Arrest?” she argues that there are better ways to start the criminal process. And that arresting is often unnecessary: “arrests are usually unnecessary to start the criminal process effectively, maintain order, collect evidence, or deter crime.”

Agreed! We should just write perps a letter or send them an email, telling them where to show up to be scolded. (You don’t like “scolded”? Ok, schooled.)

Above joking aside, does she believe that perps will hang around to give statements and provide evidence — say fingerprints or fibre samples or to be photographed so victims can identify them in a lineup later — with being arrested?

Good question - will you open-mindedly listen to her answer?

Absolutely. It’s a practical “logistical” question that others can weigh in on, too.

As is the question of how to subdue the violent and dangerous.*

* And I understand that this is a small subset of criminals, but even if we decrease the number of arrests as per Rachel Harmon, there will still need to be some arrests.

At different times, in different places, offenders were brought before a group of community peers or elders to confront the offender on the offense. Immediate, direct, impartial and wiser in understanding the offender, the offense and the most effective resolution.
Impractical, you may say. unless communities are willing to accept responsibility and able to bind local residents. Not all offenses, but 50%+ of what law enforcement deals with every day.
If the options are letting offenders free, no bail, or lockup and court appearances, why not amend no bail to "offender may seek community panel hearing."

One's preconceptions on the composition of volunteer hearing panels, and their selection, will influence your views. Likely more impartial and civic minded than the typical jury.

At different times, in different places, offenders were brought before a group of community peers or elders to confront the offender on the offense. Immediate, direct, impartial and wiser in understanding the offender, the offense and the most effective resolution.

And then Billie Holiday sang "Strange Fruit". You know, I can think of various other ways of interpreting your piece of history. Many other ways in fact.

But it does reflect one truth. The police are not there to protect us. We can protect ourselves just fine. As the suburbs are doing. The British police seem to think their job is to protect criminals but most American policemen are not there yet. The police are actually there to protect people who are wrongfully accused. So those people will get due process rather than face some pretty stiff community standards.

> why militarization of the police has been a good thing for society at large?

Why has it been bad? As police forces have become more militarized, the police shootings and homicides per 100K have fallen.

I'm not a big fan of the cops playing soldier. But the propensity to drive armored cars and wear full body army have likely reduced a cop's eagerness to shoot.

Would you prefer cops with no body armor that had itchy trigger fingers?

Why don't you raise that as a question rather than post it as an assertion? I believe there actually is research on exactly that question - militarization effects.

Yours truly helped with this research:

https://chicagopolicyreview.org/2019/01/21/as-police-engage-with-military-equipment-citizens-disengage-with-each-other/

> In­sler et al. es­ti­mate that for every $1 million of DoD transfers to local law enforcement agencies, there is a 7.4 percent decline in overall charitable giving by black households

This is it? This is the link? Two graphs with opposing trend lines? I just found a trend line that shows the more police spend on military the more people floss. And the more the police spend on military equipment, the shorter women wear their hair. Pretty weak.

The fact is, violence has been declining for the last few decades, coinciding with a time where cops moved from revolvers, to semi-auto, added bullet proof vests, wraparound protective eye wear, other pads and body armor, gas, tasers, assault vehicles...you name it. The more armored up the cops get, the more peaceful society gets and the fewer people cops kill.

As I suggested, why don't you just ask the question?

Because we can all readily see with our own eyes and via every metric the BLS and DOJ keep that crimes rates have dramatically dropped over the last 50 years to levels we've not seen since record keeping began. And concurrently, we've seen the police becoming increasingly militarized from the 90's onward. And we've seen our population being increasingly armed and with increasingly powerful guns since the 90's too.

So, since the 90s:

* Guns per person: Way up
* Gun legality: Way up
* Police militarization: Way up
* Police weapon lethality: Way up

Rate of violence (per 100K): Way down

Exactly. crime started going down when we banned prayer in the public schools 50 years ago!

I'm not an expert but note that Tyler shared a tweet thread which contained research on police militarization that draws the opposite conclusion. Or it may suggest that militarization leads to more violence against citizens which may contribute to lower crime (ie, making your point). But we can agree, lower crime at the cost of increased police brutality is not the trade off we want, right?

https://twitter.com/samswey/status/1180655717038067712?s=20

Abstract

Does increased militarization of law enforcement agencies (LEAs) lead to an increase in violent behavior among officers? We theorize that the receipt of military equipment increases multiple dimensions of LEA militarization (material, cultural, organizational, and operational) and that such increases lead to more violent behavior. The US Department of Defense 1033 program makes excess military equipment, including weapons and vehicles, available to local LEAs. The variation in the amount of transferred equipment allows us to probe the relationship between military transfers and police violence. We estimate a series of regressions that test the effect of 1033 transfers on three dependent variables meant to capture police violence: the number of civilian casualties; the change in the number of civilian casualties; and the number of dogs killed by police. We find a positive and statistically significant relationship between 1033 transfers and fatalities from officer-involved shootings across all models.

> But we can agree, lower crime at the cost of increased police brutality is not the trade off we want, right?

But isn't this the trade off that must be made? Consider:

City A has police that largely function to enforce traffic laws. Drugmakers run everything else. They see about 350 murders per year (criminals killing those they don't like). The cops kill nobody.

City B has a police for that has a broader scope, and they actively fight drugs. Criminals kill about 200 citizens a year, and cops kill about 1 person a year due to poor judgement in tense criminal situations.

City C has a police force that is extremely strong, and they work to stamp out crime so hard that young professionals are moving into the city again. Criminals kill 10 people a year, and the aggressive police force kills 5-10 persons per year that likely wouldnt' have been killed if the cops werent' so aggressive in their enforcement.

In all cases, the people getting killed are in the thick of the various criminal enterprises.

City A is Baltimore today. City B is a Baltimore in 2014. C

What city would you like to live in?

The most aggressive police force would have the fewest overall deaths, I suspect. Why aren't protesters looking at minimizing all deaths, rather than just minimizing deaths from cops?

If this correlation holds in other countries, then it looks interesting. I don't think it does hold, however.

Yeah... I agree with you. That was kinda my point... that the evidence I’ve seen against militarized police is measly or conjecture. (To be fair I haven’t looked too hard into evidence for militarized police.)

How about a conversation with Martin Gurri? He seems to be operating on a whole other level from everyone else right now.....he’s one of the few people that understands the modern world completely.

Ask her if police militarisation is an inevitable consequence of a population saturated with easily-concealed handguns.

Indeed. Armed looters have killed more black people since the riots began than police have.

> Ask her if police militarisation is an inevitable consequence of a population saturated with easily-concealed handguns.

The turning points for cops was the North Hollywood bank robbery in 1997. Cops were shooting .38 revolvers and wearing no body armor, and the robbers were armed with illegal Chinese AK47s and full body armor. After that, everything changed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_1IvZFwj0M

How do we break the power of the police union that shields bad cops? How do we end the special privileges when accused of a crime? How do we end the "friends and family" "get out of jail free" cards and PAL license plates? How do we keep members of extremist organizations like the Proud Boys out of our police forces?

Ask about the most effective techniques to control crowds and prevent riots and looting.

I think the New Orleans police do an outstanding job of this at every Mardi Gras and that other cities can learn from their methods. I have seen them form groups of four and mix in with the crowds. They stop violence and property destruction immediately.

This prevents an us against them mentality which happens when a big clump of police stands separate from the crowd. I have heard people in the crowd chant “We love the cops”, because they don’t define the entire crowd as criminals but swiftly stop the troublemakers.

+1 why hasn't this spread across the country?

The rest of the country maybe doesn’t deal with crowds as often and doesn’t have the experience. This certainly goes against instinct, as being surrounded by people you’re policing probably makes one feel overexposed. Probably takes some trial and error and repeated interaction to circumvent the prisoner’s dilemma.

Drunk revelers with enough income for interstate travel and hotel rooms are a whole different animal.

If Mardi Gras ever became an actual riot, I'm guessing the NOPD would inflict some serious beatdown.

culture matters
culture comes from the top
the culture wrt bourbon street policing is: don’t beat the tourists

Tourists have monetary value and pay valuable sales and hotel taxes. Hood rats are net consumers their entire lives.

Seriously, you think you could go to Mardi Gras and start a riot and not have a New Orleans cop punch you in the face?

seriously, you think the protestors are all ‘hood rats’

No, most of the rioters are wealthy, white progressives. Uniformly have money, or families with money.

The protestors not as skewed wealthy progressive.

Idiotic. Neither the marchers nor especially the looters are mostly wealthy white progressives. That's a contentless assertion.

The looters in Los Angles have been predominantly black and Latin. The marchers are a mix of white, black, and Latin, with proportions of black over-represented by population.

I'd ask Rachel Harmon this:

#1
What % of the burden does the suspect bare for ensuring the police stop goes smoothly and doesn't escalate? Nearly every shooting we see (save a few) shows quickly escalating responses from the subject in response to the officer needing to do his job (remove suspect from car, put on cuffs, put suspect in police car). Different responses from the suspect would certainly have led to very different outcomes. And yet, everyone seems to expect wild, unpredictable behavior from the suspect and a precise, error-free and exactly proportionate response from the cop.

#2
The author advocates curtailing arrests. But in places we've seen this it has resulted in absolute bedlam (San Fran, Seattle, NYC). Where are the leading examples that have clearly shown curtailing arrests has delivered better outcomes?

#3
How much would the author charge to get into a life or death fight in order to put a 5'10 and 200 pound man into cuffs? This isn't a hypothetical. As our police forces struggle to fill the ranks with burly, fit men that have decided "no thanks", we've seen more and more shootings come because the officer (female, or smaller male) is unable to control suspect. Instead of relying on brute force to stop an attack, they must rely on the gun. Of the 9 unarmed black men shot and killed last year by police, several of the deceased were in the process of beating the hell out of the cop (Channara Pheap, Isaiah Lewis, Marcus McVae, Marzues Scott).

If all cops were 6'5" MMA fighters, it's very likely half of the 2019 unarmed shootings would not have happened.

do you have any evidence for any of this?

Evidence for which assertions? That cops that shot unarmed black people were getting the crap beat out of them? I gave you names. You can look them up and watch the youtube video.

Here's the body cam footage of the petite female officer trying to get a man (Marzues Scott) that is probably 10" taller than she is into cuffs. He begins beating the hell out her, knocks her to the ground, and she shoots.

Now, imagine a 6'4" man trying to put a 5'4" woman into cuffs. It's very easy. No gun required.

Ergo, when the police are much bigger than the people they are arresting, you need less deadly force. Pretty basic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_685-R-3bQ

And I'll ask again: How much would you charge to put a man 8" taller than you into cuffs if you knew he wasn't going to follow any rules and you had to follow lots of rules?

we won’t pay cops enough, so we have to accept the occasional murder of suspects lying on the ground while surrounded by cops.

alrightie then

> so we have to accept the occasional murder of suspects lying on the ground while surrounded by cops.

If by occasional you mean we have 10 unarmed black people shot each year out of 5M interactions between police and black people, then I'd say no. "Occasional" would generally be interpreted as around 10%. We are nowhere near 50K unarmed blacks shot by the cops.

To have 10 die out of 5M interactions each year is what you'd call vanishing small. That is measured at about 2000 parts per billion.

If you were able to eliminate every death to black persons by a cop (justified or not), you'd only reduce the death rate (due to violence) by 2%.

What we know:

* 98% of blacks killed by violence (justified or not) are NOT coming from the police
* The rate of officers shooting unarmed black people as a ratio to total encounters is measured in parts per billion. It is vanishingly small.

If you want to make a real difference in a black community, you would increase police presence by a lot AND suffer an additional 500 deaths at the hands of a cop (justified or not). But you'd save 5000 lives overall (fewer deaths by other criminals).

White neighborhoods take that exact deal all the time: They'd rather have the occasional and tragic death by the cop if it eliminates 10 deaths by other criminals.

Baltimore rid their neighborhoods of cops after the 2015 riots. They saw deaths from cops drop to nearly 0. But deaths to their kids by criminals jumped 50% and has stayed there every year since 2015.

Why does Jennifer Doleac "take as given that unnecessary escalation of incidents (e.g. to arrests/violence), as well as racial bias, are both (related) problems in policing"?

Does Rachel Harmon place a value on police officers residing in the communities they serve? If so what are the dynamics that make it valuable? If a community cannot produce a police force intrinsically, what does it say about the community?

I think one of the main draws of being a cop is that you can afford not to live in George Floyd's neighborhood.

You must not be familiar with Minneapolis. There is very acceptable housing within 4-5 blocks of where the incident took place and quite expensive housing at about 12 blocks away.

Where did George Floyd live exactly? I'm guessing it was in a neighborhood a cop and his wife would pay extra money not to raise their family in.

I’m not sure where George Floyd lived but there areas around where the incident took place as well as where the precinct was burned to the ground had been rejuvenated to the point of pricing out most first time buyers. It is an area filled with ethnic restaurants, minority owned businesses, a bicycle greenway and coffee shops. There are parkways lined with substantial housing along the Mississippi River as well as Minnehaha Creek. Like in any substantial city, housing choices can vary from block to block, but in general this part of Minneapolis has become a high demand area.

There has been concern and concerted effort to preserve housing for those of lesser means in the area. A 180 unit affordable housing complex, which was under construction, burned on Wednesday night. I read (not confirmed) that the owner had not received any tax increment financing but was engaged in the project in order to maintain affordable housing for local residents.

Are there empirically proven changes police departments can make that will reduce death at the hands of police, but not decrease police effectiveness (along the lines of Campaign Zero‘s 8Can’tWait)?

1. Are we selecting the right people to be authorized to use deadly force? Are police salaries sufficient to attract the 'right' people?
2. Do they have 'sufficient' training? If not, what three changes should be made to their training?
3. The cop who killed Floyd had 18 complaints, several of the others involved had none. It seems reasonable to conclude the system failed, if you agree with that, can we change the system to better protect us from them? How?
4. Which countries have the best criminal justice systems? Which aspects of those systems should we adopt? Quantitatively, what would those changes do? What would it cost?

This might be more about incarceration than policing.
I believe the US had the world’s highest incarceration rate. Does she understand the causes ? Are we stuck with this situation or will it improve ?

Require body-cams. Best way to protect people and police.

Ask her about the 55 years and trillions of dollars spent on liberal welfare programs and good intention nonsense and why we have more poor, ignorant and violent people than ever before.

The research has suggested bodycams don’t really affect outcome.

Some people in the criminal justice reform crowd have actually come back around on this (or, at least, they don't like body cam footage made public). The original idea was that it would expose all kinds of police brutality, and sometimes it does. But it often shows arrestees acting in foolish or criminal ways, making the police behavior look reasonable.

Ask her if she agrees with Ashley Meers' assessment that looks influence one's academic career.

One suggested solution to the policing problem is to return police to local control. Undo the professionalization of the civil service, in this case the police, back in the Progressive Era.

Local politicians can hand out police jobs as part of the Spoils system.

Ask her if she thinks that would improve matters - bearing in mind that there are two aspects to improvement - fewer deaths and more public support.

I'd like you to ask for a detailed comparison of how the Obama administration handled police department issues vs. how the Trump administration halted what the Obama administration was doing, and what if anything the Trump administration policies and actions have been thus far in this regard.

Assuming she agrees with the research showing a negative correlation between collective bargaining rights and violent misconduct by police (see, e.g., https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3095217), what is the single most persuasive point (empirical or moral) she would make to a police union to try to get it to surrender some of its bargaining leverage with respect to officer discipline?

And related, it seems to me: how does it happen that 'rules' adopted during a contract negotiation are somehow seen to trump (pardon that word, please) local and even State laws?

i’d like to hear about the problem of police lying at all stages of arrest and trial, as well as in defense of peers

That question needs to be put to the FBI and federal prosecutors also. There seems to be no penalty for lying or suppressing exculpatory evidence.

Not only are there no consequences for lying; it's symbiotic.

To what extent is section 14141 good law, to what extent a bureacratic nghtmare?

Ask about no-knock raids, particularly by SWAT teams. It seems a recurring news story that the police hit the wrong address, killed an unarmed resident, shot the dog, etc. It looks like this is used to keep the SWAT teams busy, and there is no penalty for mistakes.

See: Duncan Lemp, shot and killed (reportedly while asleep in bed) at 4:30 am on March 12 of this year, based on a 2 month old anonymous report.

https://pjmedia.com/columns/megan-fox/2020/06/02/we-dont-have-a-racism-problem-we-have-a-deep-state-problem-the-hideous-police-killing-of-duncan-lemp-n484233

Why have crime rates come down over the past several decades? What role has policing and criminal law played in reducing crime? What is her confidence level in that option?

How about asking about the philosophical role of cops in U.S. society? It strikes me that as politicians continue to criminalize activity for signalling and revenue enhancement (Ferguson, MO, that guy choked to death in NYC because he was selling untaxed single cigarettes, et al), cops become the front end of an unfair revenue-hunting that is less and less focused on true public safety.

Since the hard stuff -- limiting qualified immunity, changing police contracts, demilitarization, stopping the drug war, enforcing strict rules of engagement on the use of force -- is going to be very hard, how about also looking strategically for ways to reduce police interaction with the public? A significant number of cops are not ruled by their better angels. Why give them so much power over us?

This is a very good question and keen observation. But I think the answer is this: Cities want lots of things to be against the law, because that means lots of potential sources for revenue. But, they don't want these laws enforced against poor people, because they have no revenue.

So, you end up with weird examples where a gainfully employed person drinking a beer on a beach gets a $300 ticket, but the guy pooping downtown, on the steps of the capital gets no punishment even if a cop sees him do it.

Thus, as you describe, the cops are put into this terrible position--citing a homeless person for drinking on the beach is a big no-no, but citing the software engineer for drinking on the beach is expected.

And it is cops that have to sort through all this hidden city council intent.

What distinctive cultural or political factors influence policing in rural and exurban municipalities? How can they be changed to improve treatment of minorities?

Isn’t the worse performance problem with police today is that fear of being labeled racist prevents them from doing their jobs in black and Hispanic neighborhoods, so that residents in those neighborhoods are disproportionately victimized? Would she care to comment on Andrew McCarthy’s analysis in that regard: https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/06/the-institutional-racism-canard/

Please ask her whether she thinks it appropriate that our Kenosha, WI elementary schools enlist police officers to enter classrooms to lecture on "stranger danger," considering that statistics show that:
1. Children are nine times as likely to be abused by someone they know and trust, such as a family member, police officer, preacher, priest or teacher than by a stranger.
2. Police officers are themselves more likely to abuse their own family members than are members of the general public.

Ask her whether or not she would agree that if we were to return to a system of segregation with white officers in the white part of town and black officers in black neighborhoods then policing would improve?

how can police learn de-escalation techniques from hostage/negotiation skill set?
Humor/banter/verbal management of a situation not valued by US cops

When police arrest someone and are trying to put that person into a police car but the person resists by intentionally falling down and not moving, what should the police do?

Why are the perspectives on police of the haut monde and the normal people so disparate?

How much does 911 drive police work loads and responses?

I've come across many references to call volume and expected response time. How does that change officer responses to calls that would requires some discretion?

Ask her if she thinks it would be useful for academics who write about how to make policing better should do field work by joining a big city police department for at least one year.
BTW it has been done. Occasionally. Not by Alice Goffman, needless to say.
I mention the following only because I have a copy on hand: Cop in the Hood, by Peter Moskos, 2008, Princeton UP. (It was reviewed her on MR back in the day.)

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are roughly the same number of police officers and social workers in the United States. Should we encourage current and prospective social workers to become police officers instead? It seems that by doing so, they could be as effective in promoting justice and serving communities, earn more money and displace or dilute the number of bad cops.

Ask her exactly how many unarmed people were killed by police in the US last year.

Ask for the racial breakdown of those victims.

Ask for the racial breakdown of the police.

Ask for the number of police killed last year.

Ask for the number of violent crimes committed last year.

Ask for the racial breakdown of those crimes both in terms of perpetrators and victims.

Let's hear the numbers, not the garbage in the media/academia.

I love this line of sophistry.

I love that you think it works outside of Newsmax.

It's precious.

If someone presents actual data to you, you put your head int he sand and go with whatever is trendy?

George, you had a breakthrough earlier this week, now you've reverted.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-03/city-streets-calmer-after-curfews-thin-crowds-protest-update?srnd=premium

LA to Cut Police Budget in Wake of Floyd Death: Protest Update

The city announced plans to trim its police budget and use that money to invest in the city’s black community.
----
There is no investment in the rioters. Intsead they are faking a budget problem, they cannot afford the cops and firemen they have. Their union benefits are the highest of them all and a constant strain on LA budgets.

We will see as much public sector layoffs this recession as we had last recession. It is all about paying the pensions they already agreed to.

Many (Alex in particular) have discussed some of the outrageous advantages that police officers have over ordinary citizens with respect to the law, and the power of police union contracts. Others have questioned whether we are getting "the right kind of people" to become police officers.

My question is: do these realities reflect a difficulty in recruiting and retaining high-quality talent in policing? It seems to be a very unpleasant job, and although I suspect the pay and benefits are relatively high, most of us would not like to do it, even if only because of the signal that would send about the kind of people we are.

Does she have any insights into how we might improve the recruitment and development of talent in this area?

Many, many more black people are killed by other black people than by police. Much of this violence in concentrated in a small number of zip codes, and is largely perpetrated by individuals known to the police, often with multiple previous arrests.

The judiciary, and local political leadership have chosen to accept this level of violence, rather than preempt it.

Discuss the politics around this decision, the lack of interest from BLM, and the effect on the police, and on community - police relations, of accepting this routine level of violence.

This is an underemphasized point, I think. I'd not mind seeing some of the money for the police go to parks instead, for the police to be fewer, more courteous, less militarized; I'd like to see the police drive through my neighborhood sometimes instead of being in the same few parts of town all the time (they cannot fix the pathologies in those areas and should not spend an inordinate amount of time trying to). I'd like the police absolved of having to deal with anything that results from the taking of drugs - we need to go full libertarian on that - if somebody on meth and fentanyl passes a fake bill and "acts weird" that's just a part of the crazy narcotic world we wanted to live in. But it's lawyers I detest, as well as the judges they become. Where I could really get behind a push for reform, probably even demonstrate a convincing amount of anger, would be over the judiciary, the insane sentencing, the repeat offenders released as you mention with no regard to public safety even though we're all so risk averse in other ways; and the slowness of the process as lawyers hold us all hostage.

Ask her what she says to people who think the police should be abolished.

i am curious about revolutionary movement such as oath keepers and particularly right wing sheriffs who refuse to enforce laws they dont like. ( esp prevalent in the west/southwest)

also curious about the privatization of security, and growth of private forces beyond mall cops, if that has had an impact

In Mrs. Harmon’s area of expertise, what specific steps could the community of P.O.C. take now, that would produce measurable improvements in the systemic mistreatment it encounters? And why would these steps work?

And which commonly discussed actions does she think will not be sucessful? Why will these not work?

I'm a public defender in New York City who spends a lot of time in close proximity to police. From my perspective the foundational problem is the internal cultural that has developed in many police departments. I think many people who come in with good intentions have their perspective warped within a short period of time by a kind of us vs. them siege mentality. This leads to rough arrests and outright brutality. It leads to exaggeration and lying while testifying. How do we change the culture of police departments like the NYPD?

In American society there is a “f**k the police mentality shared among many people, (rap and hip hop playing a role in perpetuating this mentality) that seems to embolden a general disrespect for a police force, regardless of who is wearing the uniform. This then seems to cause a more authoritative and ruthless Police force, who then seem to perpetuate the cycle by committing new acts of violence upon the community due to a lack of trust in the community’s ability to abide by the law. What are her thoughts on this cycle, does she agree? If so, what are solutions to break out of the cycle?

Which came first, public disrespect or excessive police aggression?

That's kind of an important point it seems.

Public disrespect came first, if memory serves.

I'd also like to hear a discussion of how effectively no people were prosecuted for the myriad of crimes associated with the banking meltdown of 2008 and subsequent. Basically a massive unpunished (arguably a rewarded) orgy of looting.

How does this affect interactions with the police etc

It's probably without a doubt that police officers bring racial (and other) biases with them to the job each day. To what extend are those biases rooted in unrelated experiences, media representations, institutions, education and upbringing vs. formed by on-the-job experience? Do years of experience patrolling inner city neighborhoods make a cop less racist or more racist?

Why hasn’t the police invested in the use of some sort of non-lethal weapon such as this - https://byrna.com/. Has this approach been tried somewhere? It seems like this is an obvious first step in reducing the killing of civilians of any color.

Does the exclusionary rule accomplish its intended purpose? If the police violate your rights while obtaining evidence of the crime, does a court 6 months later, suppressing that evidence, actually change the LEOs behavior? (Answer: not really; Source: practicing attorney's experience)

Is there a better way of incentivizing behavior? Is the hard part really in hiring?

Police Officer Bill of Rights, Qualified Immunity, the fear mayors have of the police, and the extreme reluctance of DAs to prosecute police collectively amount almost to ceded sovereignty... being above the law? Doesn't that contradict popular sovereignty for reasons that go beyond statistics? Won't this be very difficult and slow to fix?

A lot of focus is on profiling with regards to the police stopping someone for questioning. But this is not the core issue. If a disproportionate number of crimes are committed by the people of colour it is understandable if more people of colour are questioned.
The real issue is the rules of engagement while doing this questioning both in terms of the feeling of humiliation and feeling of threat that is felt by the people of colour. I think a clear revision of such interrogation (with mistreatment being defined a crime by the policemen) rules is the need of the moment.
I will give the example of airport security. I have been stopped more than once (random or other wise) for frisking and hand baggage search). While this is inconvenient and irksome, I have never felt threatened or humiliated.
Why can’t we get to the same point as far as police questioning is concerned?

1) Would you rather serve a six-month sentence for a misdemeanor or probation for a felony?

2) Do officers plea bargain differently than other defendants?

3) Which Supreme Court justice is most underrated?

4) Is Miranda v. Arizona overrated or underrated?

Is there any support for the idea that there is a subset of police officers that are particularly violent or particularly likely to escalate situations? If so, would holding them accountable have a significant impact on violence going forward? Are there any data points from the protests that could be used to identify those individuals?

Also - are there any special protections for media? There have been a few instances were shot at, even from afar. Do we have any measure of how often this has happened previously.

How do juries differ across the country? What type of locality is most sympathetic to the police?

What intuitions about a physical encounter with a police officer (i.e., the difficulty of physically demobilizing an unwilling human, the physiological/mental challenges of the job, etc.) do laypeople most misunderstand when thinking about police violence?

Also ask her about her production function (she went to MIT and is also a triathlete and a great Crim Law Professor (Class of 2017 :))

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