Gun Control Debate -  Effects of "Black Lives Matter" movement (1536 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host8/26/15 7:07 PM 
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Massad Ayoob
25 Aug 2015

Among other things, regular readers here know that (A) I don’t usually host guest blogs and (B) as sort of the “resident cop” in the Backwoods Home writers’ stable, I frequently visit criminal justice topics in the news as related to guns and use of force.

One of our regular commentators here — “Dave, the liberal non-uncle one” — offered the following and rather than have it run as a thread tangent, I thought I’d let it stand on its own as a guest blog.  I have some disagreements with it, but I’m really interested in what you reading it have to say. The following are Dave’s words, not mine:


I asked Mas if it was all right to post this as an off-topic comment to one of his blog posts and he instead graciously suggested that he post it as a guest column.

Mas has argued several times in his BHM articles, most notably in the “Understanding a misunderstanding” section of this article that police chiefs and other police administrators often support gun control because, “In the great majority of communities, municipal police chiefs are appointed by the mayor, the city manager, or the city council. If those political entities are anti-gun, you may be sure that they will either appoint an anti-gun candidate, or make it clear to the appointee that he will speak the lines he is given or he will no longer be Chief.” On the other hand, says Mas, county sheriffs are elected and are more likely to be more pro-gun.

We are recently seeing a trend in relation to the Black Lives Matter issue for employers of law enforcement officers and prosecutors (who are usually also elected) to quickly take actions against officers who have shot Black people, especially unarmed young males. It happened in the Tensing/DuBose matter in Cincinnati and in the Miller/Taylor matter in Arlington, Texas. Though not a shooting, it also happened in the Various Officers/Gray case in Baltimore.

I’ve predicted in comments here that the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter campaign aren’t going to go away and that if law enforcement officers refuse to engage in dialog and procedural revisions that they’re going to find those revisions imposed upon them. This trend toward quick action against officers could be just that, and it could be worse than what I predicted. The political will to give officers the benefit of the doubt appears to be fading.

Instead of working towards a new set of rules of engagement, the trend may be to just second guess or Monday morning quarterback those police-involved Black deaths which cannot be absolutely and unquestionably identified on the very first and most superficial examination to be a justifiable homicide. In the recent Tyrone Harris shooting in Ferguson, there are even questions being raised in the face of claims and video showing that Harris had a gun and shot at officers first.

(An aside: Traditionally legal analysis of whether or not a shooting was justified as self-defense or under other justifiable-homicide laws tends to focus on the events immediately prior to the shooting. The Black Lives Matter movement, however, wants to expand the analysis far beyond that to issues such as whether police action was “really” needed in the first place, the seriousness of an action causing a need for police action, whether confrontation could have been avoided, and the like, and then adjudging whether the death was justifiable in light of the entire circumstances, not those just immediately prior to the confrontation. For example, in both the Sandra Bland and Sam DuBose matters the question is being raised whether the deaths were justifiable because the reasons that they were stopped did not justify what happened after, thus saying in effect that they should have both been written tickets and allowed to go on their way without the interaction which led to the officers wanting them to get out of their vehicles. That analysis, supported by continued protests and public complaints, is one of the things which is gaining political weight.)

That’s a reversal of what generally happened in the past where the officer was almost always given the benefit of the doubt unless the facts clearly showed him or her to be in the wrong (which is itself a practice to which the Black Lives Matter campaign objects). If the trend continues, then every officer involved in the death or injury of a Black person had better be prepared to hire a lawyer as soon as he or she can get to a phone, had better be prepared not to file a report or make any statements without that lawyer present, and had best be prepared to be fired because he or she will not do those things. In short, killing a Black person, or perhaps any mentally disturbed person or person of color, may except in the clearest of circumstances become a career-ender for many, many cops regardless of the eventual determination of whether or not it was legally justified.


  • Edited September 5, 2015 8:01 pm  by  EdGlaze
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From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host8/26/15 7:08 PM 
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 1593.2 in reply to 1593.1 

There will doubtless be counter-suits by fired officers and protests by police unions, but whether to act quickly to fire cops will likely be judged on a cost basis for the employers of LEOs: What’s the financial and political cost of fighting with one officer’s lawyers or dealing with some labor problems versus the cost of an outraged Black community and even widespread protests or riots? Which one hurts the worst and is the hardest to make go away, especially since each new shooting or injury simply fans the protests to a new, higher level and since the Black Lives Matter issues are not going to go away. If police chiefs are political animals as Mas suggests, the political will may be turning.


I wrote the foregoing a couple of weeks ago after reading about the Miller/Taylor matter and was waiting to post it as a comment here until I could do so at a time that it was not too off-topic. Since that time, a new report “Re-Engineering Training On Police Use of Force” has been issued by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), “an independent research organization that focuses on critical issues in policing” whose membership and board of directors is made up of executives, mainly chiefs of police, from law enforcement organizations around the country. What that report says led me to contact Mas to get his consent to post this sooner than I had intended.

That report says that police training and emphasis on de-escalation of confrontations is woefully inadequate. It comes to that conclusion in part because “the rioting last summer in Ferguson was not a story that would fade away quickly” (pg. 3) and “in the immediate aftermath of the demonstrations in Ferguson, there has been a fundamental change in how the American people view the issue of police use of force. A year later, this upheaval in policing is continuing, and it is unlikely to abate any time soon. … here’s why: Over the past year, the nation has seen, with their own eyes, video recordings of a number of incidents that simply do not look right to them. In many of these cases, the officers’ use of force has already been deemed ‘justified,’ and prosecutors have declined to press criminal charges. But that does not mean that the uses of force are considered justified by many people in the community.” (pg. 9)

It goes on to say, “there is a growing recognition in the policing profession that a review of an officer’s use of force should not focus solely on the moment that the officer fired a gun or otherwise used force. Instead, leading police chiefs are saying that the review should cover what led up to the incident, and officers should be held accountable if they failed to de-escalate the situation in order to prevent it from ever reaching the point where the use of force was necessary. And that is the type of analysis that community members make when they watch a video of a police shooting and wonder, ‘Why did all those officers have to shoot that homeless man? Just because he was holding a knife? All those officers were there, they had him surrounded. Why couldn’t they Tase him, or pepper-spray him, or just wait him out? They didn’t have to kill him.’ Police chiefs increasingly are recognizing this perspective, and are making a distinction between ‘could’ and ‘should’ when it comes to evaluating officers’ use of force. While a use of force might be legal, that is not the end of the discussion if there were less drastic options available.” (pg. 9).

In short, a professional association of chiefs of police is basically confirming — and recommending — what I had written a couple of weeks ago and, indirectly, what I wrote here long ago: that the real issue in the Black Lives Matter issue is ultimately going to be whether deadly confrontation could have been avoided, not just who was legally right after that confrontation occurred. If the report by PERF accurately characterizes public sentiment and the direction that law enforcement administration is heading, then law enforcement officers are either going to have to change or put their jobs in danger.

Just to wrap up, here’s some conventional thinking which is questioned by that report:

• Officers thinking solely about their own safety, rather than a broader approach designed to protect everyone’s lives.

• “Never back down. Move in and take charge.”

• Resolve dangerous situations as quickly as possible by whatever means legally available.

• Rigid or mechanical use-of-force continuums.

• The 21-foot rule being seen as “a green light to use deadly force”.

• The right of officers to have their need to make split-second judgments in tense and uncertain situations factored into whether a use of deadly force was legally reasonable should also be the ending point on whether their use of force was professionally reasonable.

• Officers thinking of themselves as warriors rather than guardians.


  • Edited August 26, 2015 7:10 pm  by  EdGlaze

From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host8/26/15 7:10 PM 
To: All  (3 of 44) 
 1593.3 in reply to 1593.2 

And here’s a few of the training ideas from the report:

• Emphasize training in de-escalation at a greater level than combat techniques.

• Utilize a decision making process which emphasizes gathering information, threat assessment, strategizing, identification of legal and policy requirements, and identification of options before taking action and then re-assessment of all those issues as events develop; train this until it becomes second nature and can be done in an instant.

• Considering objects which can be used as cover while creating and maintaining distance and time.

• Standing back to assess situations and allow communication, rather than immediately rushing in.

• Communicating and engaging with suspects, rather than just issuing orders.

• Realization that containment does not necessarily mean in restraint and that an officer can back up and still have someone contained.

• In after-action investigations always consider whether the officer’s actions created the exigency.

• Strongly emphasize the sanctity of all human life.

• Put very strict limits on foot pursuits and shooting at vehicles.

• Give special training for dealing with mentally disturbed individuals and individuals attempting suicide-by-cop.

The foregoing is a summary of some of the problems and responses highlighted by the report. Before reacting strongly to any of them, I’d strongly recommend actually reading the report, especially the interviews with two law enforcement officials from Great Britain where these techniques have been successfully in use for some time.


From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host8/26/15 7:38 PM 
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 1593.4 in reply to 1593.3 
  • Edited November 22, 2015 4:55 pm  by  EdGlaze

From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host9/5/15 7:49 PM 
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 1593.5 in reply to 1593.3 

About retraining police…
by Massad Ayoob
4 Sep 2015

A couple of posts back, we had a guest essay by one of our regular commentators. Much of what I’d have said has already been posted by other commentators, so I’ll be fairly brief.

The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) is, as others have said, seen by some as being a bit left of center. I don’t actually mind that. I am more concerned that some, myself included, see PERF as tinged by “ivory tower” syndrome. When you perceive yourself as very high above the street, you forget that the street is where policing takes place, and it’s easy to lose sight of realities.

Speaking as a sworn officer for more of my life than not: Yes, we understand that “the voices” may have told him to attack you (or us), and it “may not be his fault.” However, it’s not your fault (or ours) either, and cop or “civilian,” your right to protect yourself against his assault and meet force with force does not change. Neither an artificially altered state of consciousness nor an official diagnosis of insanity makes your attacker — or mine — a protected species. Yes, it would be nice if we could bring in an intensively trained Crisis Intervention Team to talk your attacker down and get him in touch with his inner child, or perhaps, his inner juvenile delinquent. Time is the essence in any sort of negotiation, including verbal crisis intervention. “Detached reflection” is a key ingredient. Unfortunately, that ingredient is missing from the recipe of reality in the cases that have brought about this discussion. It has been almost a hundred years since Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “Detached reflection is not demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife.” (SCOTUS, Brown v. United States, 1921.) It remains the law, and the truth, today.

The police are actually pretty well trained in bloodshed-reducing crisis intervention already; witness the prevalence of George Thompson’s “verbal judo” concept, championed today by my old friend and master police instructor and martial artist Gary Klugiewicz.

But neither you nor I can fit a whole lot of detached reflection into a second or two when the soon-to-be “unarmed victim” is trying to stab you with his knife, or kill you with your own gun.

Unfortunately, in a time when screwing with cops in front of your iPhone so you can upload your douchebaggery instantly to YouTube is seen as something about to become a national sport, nobody has trained the public how to react to law enforcement. Police/citizen contacts ARE a two way street, after all



From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host9/12/15 6:41 AM 
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 1593.6 in reply to 1593.5 

It’s On! NRA and Sheriff David Clarke
Take On #BlackLivesMatter Criminal Movement

by Jim Hoft
11 Sep`15

The National Rifle Association has decided to take on the mob.

In its latest ad Sheriff David Clarke and the NRA take on the “BlackLivesMatter cop-haters.

In one of their latest TV ads Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke defends US police officers and takes on the far left cop-haters.

You critics don’t define our honor. You try to shame us for doing our job. You teach children to fear us, crowds to attack us and good people to doubt us. But we will never back down from our sworn duty to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America. We wake up every day, put on our badge, strap a gun to our hips, kiss our families good-bye and put our lives between the law-abiding and any criminal who threatens their rights. We serve people of every color and creed, men women and children in violent and dangerous neighborhoods because they have the same right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as CEOs, movie stars and the political elite.

We are Americans and we are the American police officer. We stand with the National Rifle Association of America and the NRA stands with us. Together we’re Freedom’s safest place.”

  • Edited September 12, 2015 6:42 am  by  EdGlaze

From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host9/12/15 8:05 AM 
To: All  (7 of 44) 
 1593.7 in reply to 1593.6 

11 Sep 15


A pundit far wiser (and wittier) than I am once remarked, “America’s real favorite pastime isn’t baseball; it’s jumping to conclusions.” The ongoing controversy involving the alleged misuse of force by police, leading to the cold-blooded killings of cops, is in many ways a result of just such knee-jerk reactions.

The Ferguson, Missouri case of Michael Brown that precipitated much of the current animus toward cops is a perfect illustration of too many people jumping to too many conclusions…before any of the facts were even known.

The entire premise of the “Black Lives Matter” movement was that Michael Brown was a “gentle giant” who was surrendering to a police officer, with his hands up, when he was unnecessarily shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson.

After the case was thoroughly investigated, virtually all of the protestors’ claims about what happened were proved false. The grand jury, made up of Ferguson residents, found that Wilson was fully justified in shooting Michael Brown. Yet even a year after the incident, misinformation continues to be spread by the anti-cop protestors.

Meanwhile, in spite of being cleared, Officer Daren Wilson’s life has been ruined. Forced to resign, Wilson “now lives on a dead-end street on the outskirts of St. Louis. His name is not on the deed of the house. He wears a hat and sunglasses when he goes outside to greet a reporter, having synced his phone with a security system to tip him off to his visitor’s arrival” according to an August 5, 2015 New York Times article. Additionally, “he is unable to find work as a police officer, having been told that he would be a liability.”

Most of us in the carry community tend to be supportive of cops. Sure, at one time or another we’ve all encountered that cop “with a chip on his (or her) shoulder” — usually, though not always, a young rookie. But by and large, we consider those in law enforcement our friends. Many of us even have family members who are cops.

However, this doesn’t mean that we should allow ourselves to fall into the same knee-jerk reactions of the “Black Lives Matter” extremists, except in reverse — by automatically taking the side of cops, even before the facts are in, whenever we hear about some violent confrontation where deadly force by police was involved.

Those of us who carry should be just as outraged as anyone else when it comes to bad behavior by police. I know I am. I also have a lot of cop friends, and not surprisingly, they too are particularly angered by those who “sully the badge” — it reflects on all of them.

Most cops are good cops, but with the hostility toward all police dangerously escalating, the results are as predictable as they are frightening. Cops are becoming fearful, not just of being shot, but of being prosecuted for simply doing their jobs. Not surprisingly, violent crime is skyrocketing, most notably in the very cities where attacks on police have been most prevalent. This is bad for everyone.

Today, more than ever, good cops need to hear that we support them. Lately, I intentionally talk to every cop I see, saying something like, “Hey, officer, you stay safe out there,” or “Officer, just wanted to say thanks for doing your job.”

Keep it simple, and use your own words, but tell them. Every chance you get.

  • Edited September 12, 2015 8:05 am  by  EdGlaze

From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host9/12/15 8:13 AM 
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 1593.8 in reply to 1593.7 

26 Dec 14


I have a lot of friends in law enforcement, from street cops to sheriff’s deputies. And after what can only be called the cold-blooded assassination of two New York City police officers, they are all understandably nervous. After all, imagine being a cop today — watching news footage showing mobs of unruly “protestors” chanting, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!”

Such violent rhetoric not only pumps up emotion, clouding the facts of the cases involved, it also can easily lead to the kinds of violence we have recently seen. Even more disturbing is the fact that those in authority who should have been doing everything to tone down the situation have instead given a wink and a nod to those engaged in it.

New York City Mayor “Bill” de Blasio is perhaps the worst example of leaving law enforcement out to dry. After the incident in which Eric Garner, a black man, died subsequent to being wrestled to the ground, de Blasio essentially indicted the entire New York City police force. As the New York Post reported:

“In a press conference about the grand jury’s decision not to charge the officer, de Blasio announced that he had warned his 17-year-old, mixed-race son, Dante, to be careful around police officers.”

So angry and upset were the New York cops that they took the unprecedented step of demanding that Mayor de Blasio be banned from the funerals of officers who have been killed in the line of duty:

Given this environment, and after the killing of two police officers, it is easy to see that cops everywhere are more than likely to be particularly nervous in the coming months, even when making a routine traffic stop. As a result, those of us who carry guns for self-defense should be even more cautious about our behavior than ever before.

If you’re pulled over for a traffic violation, be especially calm and courteous to the officer. This is always a good idea, but it is even more important when we have a volatile situation like the one today.

And like it or not, circumstances, including who we are, have an effect on how cops approach us. A fifty-year-old woman stopped in the middle of the day is far less likely to be subjected to the same scrutiny as three or four males in their twenties pulled over late at night.

And if cops are nervous during a traffic stop, when responding to a “man with a gun” call, or worse, an actual defensive shooting, they will likely be even more on edge. In these circumstances, it is absolutely essential that we do everything possible to avoid triggering an escalation that may just land us in jail, or worse, in the morgue.

None of us likes this situation. But it is the one we have to live with for at least the immediate future. This isn’t about what’s fair. It’s about staying safe. So as always, be alert, be aware. And in any interaction with law enforcement, do everything possible to keep the situation calm and non-threatening, both for you and the cops.


From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host9/12/15 9:41 AM 
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 1593.9 in reply to 1593.8 

21 Aug 15


Policing in America is continuing its evolution from the days beat cops carried truncheons and slogged through the muddy streets of Boston. The policing paradigm is shifting, which should be good news, because it has leaned too far in the direction of a uniformed, domestic paramilitary. But the reason for this shift has consequences for concealed carry.

Protect And Serve. That motto is painted on the sides of thousands of police vehicles. It presents citizens with an image of Officer Friendly. The reality, however, is that beginning late in the 20th century, police departments adopted military styling: bulked-up officers, demanding and officious behind Cool-Hand Luke sunglasses. Officers cleared in every situation because they were “following protocol.”

Officer with dog

It might not be fair. It might not be accurate. But America’s police have an image problem. It could be the paramilitary styling they have adopted. It could also be the fact that policing is a dangerous job requiring an even temper and good judgment in an increasingly hostile world where decisions have to be made in seconds. Today everyone has a video camera. When you leave the theater or walk the dog in the evening should you first adjust your carry holster or turn on the GoPro camera attached to your belt? The flip side is that a clever prosecutor might be able to use your own video against you… (If you are curious about the amount of anger directed at America’s police, simply check Google Images for “Officer Friendly.”)

The problem with a militaristic police force in a democratic republic is that the model generates hostility among those who are being protected and served. We understand that paramilitary is a short step to an unimaginable America with a national police force, a “People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs,” or NKVD. The hostility of the people is then reflected in organizational insularity and defensiveness. A vicious cycle and the first victim — or the second, depending on your point of view — is the officer on the street.

What is promoting current changes in policing style (if not yet in tactics) is not this hostility or even the scorn and disparagement of a liberal media. It is not even the fact that this policing style is ultimately counterproductive. What is forcing the change is the video camera embedded in smartphones. Thus we witness the death of Eric Garner in New York City. We witness the murder of Walter Scott in Charleston. We become part of the story.

Hundreds of videos on show law enforcement officers behaving badly, often brutally. Viewing them shocks even those of us who customarily support the men and women in blue. shows a world — sometimes in our own home towns — that most of us concealed carry permit holders rarely witness, much less experience.

Except in extreme cases, America’s police need to disavow the paramilitary model. Dirty Harry was only dramatic fiction. People who want to be Navy SEALs or Army Rangers should apply elsewhere than the local police academy. We need Officer Friendly back.

Being a cop is difficult and dangerous. Officers have recently been murdered in Hattiesburg and Las Vegas, Tarpon Springs and New Orleans. Ferguson protesters chant: “We are ready for war” without a clue about the horrors that would bring. Right or wrong, they are expressing their anger, their frustration.

The latest evolutionary step in policing requires body cameras to supplement patrol car dash cams.

As a concealed carry advocate, at the first sign of trouble, shouldn’t you — or better yet, someone else in your group — in some circumstances, pull out a cell phone and begin videoing? Depending on the situation, of course, this could be better than placing your hand on a sidearm, which could be interpreted as a deadly threat. Should you video every negative encounter, from a confrontation in a dark alleyway to a hostile airline passenger to an argument with your spouse or kids? For your own protection?

Unless it takes place in some obscure corner, any public encounter will be captured on several videos. Perhaps the best accessory for your Taurus is your cell phone camera.

A clever thug might even hire an accomplice to record an interaction. Not the initial encounter — the provocation, the implied threat — but your frightened overreaction. A pushy panhandler gropes your wife and you draw — bazinga! Two hoodies follow you up the stairwell toward your car and you place your hand on your pistol; be careful, because one of them is holding a camera and the other has…who knows what.

Maybe it’s time for those of us who refuse to be victims to wake up and equip our bicycles and briefcases, our pistols and purses, with cameras. Fumbling with your cell phone in a real emergency will get you killed. But maybe our best first line of defense is the ability to record an incident where we feared for our lives and our pistol becomes the instrument of last resort. Maybe the police will be better off armed with body cameras rather than black paramilitary helmets and riot gear. Maybe Officer Friendly knows…

I don’t know the whole answer, the best answer, but it’s something to think about.

  • Edited October 15, 2017 3:28 pm  by  EdGlaze

From: EdGlaze DelphiPlus Member Icon Posted by host11/11/15 3:06 PM 
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 1593.10 in reply to 1593.9 



  • Edited June 28, 2020 10:05 am  by  EdGlaze

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