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Old 05-03-2009, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,523,609 times
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:41 PM
 
5,757 posts, read 13,320,646 times
Reputation: 4523
Quote:
Originally Posted by elamigo View Post
I do not like to stereotype so I am not going to automatically distrust a cop if I had a bad experience with one.

Personaly I have not had a bad experience with a cop. However, I am sure there are those that should not wear the uniform.

I do think they simply reflect society where they come from. They, in my opinion, fall under that same general results of the bell curve.

I am sure they may feel the same way with us. I have no doubt they deal with a lot of the lowest of society and that has to affect them when they deal with other people.

However, people do the same thing in business and daily life. Business people do stereotype on certain groups due to observation and experiences. Right or wrong that is what they do.

You have a great day.
El Amigo
Oy vey! Lots of good thoughts on this thread, some I disagree with as well, and too many good posts to comment on each idea expressed here. The start of the third paragraph in this post quoted above--"I do think they simply reflect society where they come from"--does especially grab my attention, because I've had this same thought for a number of years. There might be the occasional bad cop in an area where most of the police are reasonably clean. They will be few and far between, though, because the other officers won't tolerate a bad individual, except where that individual is really good at being sneaky about his corruption. There might also be the occasional honest cop in the midst of a den of corruption, though this is unlikely because life could get really tough, and dangerous, for someone in this situation. It's possible that there might be that rare honest exception in a bad department, though. Still, for the most part the police will reflect the quality of the community they represent.

When I worked in law enforcement for several years, lo those many years ago, this was in a Midwestern county that was a mix of suburban, exurban, and rural in character. Out in the exurban part of the county, there was a larger town which was home to a small college, and had an economic base centered mainly on light manufacturing and the town's role as the commercial center for the surrounding outlying parts of the county. Overall, the area was reasonably prosperous. The mix of settlement patterns, types of communities, and residents' backgrounds kept the area largely free of the thick-as-thieves oppressive closeness that lends itself to entrenched corruption in some communities. There was plenty of small-town friendliness, without so much of the clannishness that can make life miserable for transplants to places where the locals have had tightly intertwined lives over the generations.

There was crime, but generally at the moderate level found just about everywhere. Generally speaking, this was a fairly average American local area, with pretty clean-living people for the most part. The various police agencies in the county reflected this generally clean way of life. The cops in the area were reasonably clean. Sure, they got free coffee at local convenience stores, but serious top-to-bottom corruption was absent, largely because the populace in general was not corrupt. Of course there will be some shady back-room deals happening everywhere, but this was not a way of life in that area. The generally clean lives of the area's people were reflected in the local legal system. The cops were basically clean, and the local D.A. would not even bother sending a major case to court unless the evidence was really strong. The community would not have tolerated it if he had.

You want to find the bad cops? Go check out the places where corruption is rampant throughout the community, and back-room deals are a way of life. Having lived most of my life in a large metro area in the Northeast (Boston), I can tell you that some of those inner-suburban older small cities have some of the scariest cops you'll find anywhere in this country. But it's not just the cops. They simply reflect the corruption that poisons these entire communities. God help the poor sap who, for example, goes to a bar in one of these towns and gets into a fight with some local yokel, a local yokel who is a cousin/uncle/brother-in-law of pretty much every cop in town, as well as all the local judges, and the other patrons in the bar who will be witnesses in court. Now THAT is scary, but, you know, God also help an outsider who moves to one of those rotten old-city places and actually expects to find a decent job locally, when the hiring for any job worth having is done through local connections, or an outsider who moves to one of those places and expects the longtime locals to treat him fairly in any aspect of life. Coruption wherever it exists, not just among police, is dangerous. The cops in corrupt communities are scary, but they are just one part of the picture in places that are rotten through and through. Conversely, in basically decent communities, you still might run into the occasional rotten individual cop--maybe--but overall the police in such places will be okay as well.

Last edited by ogre; 05-03-2009 at 06:57 PM..
 
Old 05-03-2009, 07:08 PM
 
5,757 posts, read 13,320,646 times
Reputation: 4523
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I think the central core argument I am hearing from most people, if I can sum it up, is this:

In any profession, there are going to be some malevolent or abusive of just incompetent ones. Pharmacists, bus drivers, Wal-Mart greeters, bank tellers, little-league coaches. It is impossible to screen out the bad guys.

The problem is, the police are the only bad guys that have a gun and the authority to use it with deadly force in any situation in which they feel threatened, coupled with the tacit assumption that they are always right.

Correct me if I'm wrong so far.
As SCGranny points out in one of her astute (as usual) posts, "Correct in your conclusion, but incorrect in your information-gathering." While it is true that it is especially worrisome when a bad individual possesses the means and authority to purposefully take a person's life, for the sake of keeping this discussion accurate, it should be noted that police officers do not have "the authority to use . . . deadly force in any situation in which they feel threatened." Laws regarding use of force are a bit more complicated than this. Now, it is true that a bad individual may disregard these laws, and that is scary, but, in order to maintain the high quality of this thread to this point, accuracy is a good thing.
 
Old 05-03-2009, 07:10 PM
 
1,788 posts, read 3,469,270 times
Reputation: 1039
I work for a counter ethics department that investigates fraud by those in positions of power. I can't disclose my position openly.

Yes, those who conduct investigations and prosecute are often fraudulent themselves. In many cases a prosecutor will not cut his loss and step aside when he is aware of innocence. It becomes more about him or her then the case at hand. Happens far more often they anyone realizes. I would not say it is widespread, but happens with a consistent frequency. I'm working a case from Canada right now that I happen to be intimately involved in.

That being said, I do believe that law enforecement as an entire entity is a much needed component of society as a whole is a good thing for us all.
 
Old 05-03-2009, 07:24 PM
 
5,757 posts, read 13,320,646 times
Reputation: 4523
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
You sound very disrespectful. The implication is that you do not believe me.

1. My wife's nephew. His ex GF broke into his house and began beating him. He had the self restraint to not hit back, but suffered physical injuries and his property was damaged. The girl called the police, swore a complaint against him, and he was arested. The evidenced clearly showed what happened, and charges against him were dropped.

2. My stepdaughter, who is a Pulitizer-nominated journalist, was filming a demonstration in New York, with proper media credentials. Without warning, the police swept in and arrested everyone on the sidewalk. She was jailed overnight, released on her recognizance (I was prepared to pay the bail, but none was necessary.)

3. A personal friend of my family was driving a car that had been reported "stolen" (late on the payment book) by her estranged husband. She had no way of knowing that. She was charged with possession of stolen property after a routine traffic stop, was shuttled from jail to jail, and it took 9 days to get a bail reduction hearing. Original bail was 30K, reduced to 1,000, and four months later all felony charged dropped on a plea bargain because there was literally no prosecutable case. The cop could have established this fact in 5 minutes, but wanted his moment of glory.
Numbers 2 and 3 here would need more detail before I would feel confident about offering much comment, and if you would rather not go into more detail about personal issues involving friends and relatives, that's understandable. However, number 3 just does not sound right. I'm having difficulty believing that someone was held for so long on the basis of nothing. If--and, as I said, I'm having difficulty with this one, but would also need more detail to be sure--your friend really was held for that long as information was sorted out, while truly being completely innocent of any wrongdoing, it sounds like a completely messed up system that goes way beyond any simple problem with just some plain old ordinary dishonest cops. I'd need more detail (which, again, it's understanble that you might not want to provide) about how the car came to be reported stolen, in order to have a clear picture of whether there might have been some egregious error in the reporting that set up the potential for this situation in the first place by having a car incorrectly reported as stolen. The officer who actually made the arrest, though, was correct in doing so, based on information he was working with, if the car was on record as being reported stolen.

As for 1, not knowing where you live, of course I don't know about the domestic violence laws in your state. I do know that many states have domestic violence laws that require cops to arrest anyone who is merely accused of domestic violence by someone claiming to be the victim. That does not mean the accused person will end up going to court or being convicted, just that the person will be held temporarily (often overnight) until the truth can be sorted out. This is an example of how difficult and complicated many real-life problems can be. These inflexible domestic violence laws are intended to prevent situations where an actual victim of domestic violence refuses to press charges, then ends up being hurt even worse, maybe even murdered, after the police leave and the fight starts up again. Not a good thing. So, they pass laws saying that an accusation alone is enough that the police MUST make an arrest and hold the accused person overnight, and you have innocent people spending nights in jail. Also not a good thing. What do you do? Life, and ethical/legal issues, can get very complicated. In any case, there is not a lot that the cop on the scene can do if the law REQUIRES him to arrest and hold anyone accused of domestic violence.

Last edited by ogre; 05-03-2009 at 07:35 PM..
 
Old 05-03-2009, 08:21 PM
 
339 posts, read 627,161 times
Reputation: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaCowboy View Post
I work for a counter ethics department that investigates fraud by those in positions of power. I can't disclose my position openly.

Yes, those who conduct investigations and prosecute are often fraudulent themselves. In many cases a prosecutor will not cut his loss and step aside when he is aware of innocence. It becomes more about him or her then the case at hand. Happens far more often they anyone realizes. I would not say it is widespread, but happens with a consistent frequency. I'm working a case from Canada right now that I happen to be intimately involved in.

That being said, I do believe that law enforecement as an entire entity is a much needed component of society as a whole is a good thing for us all.
Then you know all about Brady, etc. and what happens to those withhold exculpatory evidence.
 
Old 05-03-2009, 08:50 PM
 
1,788 posts, read 3,469,270 times
Reputation: 1039
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDTD View Post
Then you know all about Brady, etc. and what happens to those withhold exculpatory evidence.
ABSOLUTELY! Happens every day.

How about this:

Judge says to an innocent defendent waiting trial: "I aint interested in spending my summer here tied up in a trial, if you don't take a plea and you're found guilty, I'm sentencing your ass the maximum allowable time by the guidelines before me and I'm sure I'll find someway to add more!"

People are so gullible to think our justice system is fair and fact is, 90% of jurors believe the crap. they think just because someone is being brought to trial, they must be guilty. How wrong they are! 12% of people in prison, do not belong there. Over ambitious prosecutors and investigators.

"Sick em, get em, take em down at all costs"

Again, the vast majority are ethical and mean well, but not always.
 
Old 05-03-2009, 09:04 PM
 
8,973 posts, read 14,610,630 times
Reputation: 2983
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
You sound very disrespectful. The implication is that you do not believe me.

1. My wife's nephew. His ex GF broke into his house and began beating him. He had the self restraint to not hit back, but suffered physical injuries and his property was damaged. The girl called the police, swore a complaint against him, and he was arested. The evidenced clearly showed what happened, and charges against him were dropped.

2. My stepdaughter, who is a Pulitizer-nominated journalist, was filming a demonstration in New York, with proper media credentials. Without warning, the police swept in and arrested everyone on the sidewalk. She was jailed overnight, released on her recognizance (I was prepared to pay the bail, but none was necessary.)

3. A personal friend of my family was driving a car that had been reported "stolen" (late on the payment book) by her estranged husband. She had no way of knowing that. She was charged with possession of stolen property after a routine traffic stop, was shuttled from jail to jail, and it took 9 days to get a bail reduction hearing. Original bail was 30K, reduced to 1,000, and four months later all felony charged dropped on a plea bargain because there was literally no prosecutable case. The cop could have established this fact in 5 minutes, but wanted his moment of glory.
If this is directed at ME, re: my post #125, above, I can assure you no disrespect was intended..(this, despite the fact that I've been at the receiving end of your 'barbed replies' on several occasions, and wondered 'where did THAT come from'?).

Nevertheless, no, I am NOT questioning your truthfulness..only restating the fact that you seem to have a lot of 'turmoil' in your circle of friends, and an unusual number of run-ins with the legal system.....that's all.
 
Old 05-03-2009, 09:08 PM
 
339 posts, read 627,161 times
Reputation: 167
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaCowboy View Post
ABSOLUTELY! Happens every day.

How about this:

Judge says to an innocent defendent waiting trial: "I aint interested in spending my summer here tied up in a trial, if you don't take a plea and you're found guilty, I'm sentencing your ass the maximum allowable time by the guidelines before me and I'm sure I'll find someway to add more!"

People are so gullible to think our justice system is fair and fact is, 90% of jurors believe the crap. they think just because someone is being brought to trial, they must be guilty. How wrong they are! 12% of people in prison, do not belong there. Over ambitious prosecutors and investigators.

"Sick em, get em, take em down at all costs"

Again, the vast majority are ethical and mean well, but not always.
Boy...I'm glad we're boring where I live. I don't know a prosecutor or cop willing to lose their job for a case. Maybe there are some, but I have yet to meet them. Is there any particular areas (without being specific) that this happens more frequently?
 
Old 05-03-2009, 09:14 PM
 
Location: The Shires
2,257 posts, read 1,721,588 times
Reputation: 1050
I don't trust anyone outside my own family and close circle of friends, so the answer is "no". That's nothing personal, but "trust" is such a strong word in my books.

However, I respect the police and the job that they do. They put themselves at risk and in harm's way, just so that we don't have to. They have to deal with some of the worst scumbags known to mankind, many of whom we won't even have to deal with ourselves, because hopefully, they'll be locked up in jail. Also, cops don't get paid that much, particularly in my neck of the woods. So it seems to me that cops do one hell of a tough job, for little financial reward and for little appreciation, because many people just hate them for no apparent reason.
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