On why American cops are killers compared to others

    In Britain and Japan, there were no police shootings last year.   In the US, in 2013, there were 479. See here.

      In “A Better Standard for the Use of Deadly Force,” New York Times, January 1, 2016,  Olivia Boykin, Christopher Desir and Jed Rubenfeld, two students and a professor from Yale Law School, underline:

        American police officers killed 74 unarmed black people in 2015. From January through July, according to The Washington Post, unarmed black men were seven times more likely than unarmed white men to die by police gunfire.

         An analysis of F.B.I. data from 2010 to 2012 concluded that the police killed black men ages 15 to 19 at a rate 21 times greater than the statistic for white men the same age. Department of Justice numbers indicate that a black person is about four times as likely to die in custody or while being arrested than a white person is.”  See here.

***

     In response to my post on the police murder, defended by DA McGinty and his corrupt instructions to a grand jury, of Tamir Rice, a 12 year old, playing by himself with a toy gun in a park in  Cleveland – see here – Andy Reid, who has long defended native americans and handled cases involving police shootings of young blacks, wrote a revealing letter on the ugly license to murder which the police, as a profession, have cultivated.

    At police academies, for “dangerous situations” (anything in a ghetto…), American police are trained to shoot first and to kill, not to use lesser means or even scope out the situation.  DAs rely on   police testimony and thus, mostly protect them.

      The figures at the end on how police are much less likely to die in their line of work than many other blue collar professions – loggers are 10 times more likely, trash collectors 3 times… – are also remarkable.

***

      Sadly, none of this is very surprising.  The police emerged in the US in slave patrols in the 18th century and to bust strikes of immigrant workers in Chicago in the 19th (see Sam Mitrani, The Rise of the Chicago Police: Class and Class Conflict, 1860-94),  They are still an army of Occupation, particularly in nonwhte communities, on behalf mainly of the rich.

***

      Becoming a cop often involves shedding one’s other working class friends and isolating oneself,

***

“Alan,

As an attorney having handled police misconduct cases for 40 years, including many cases of police officers shooting and killing young black males, one thing that always strikes me about the dynamics is that the focus is always on protecting the cops from danger… cops that that are highly trained from the police academy to shoot to kill in response to any arguably perceived threat, who are trained not to retreat, even for their own safety or tactically, who usually approach a suspect in numbers, who wear body armor, who are armed with semi-automatic weapons, and who often used deadly force when less-lethal weapons and crisis intervenors are available.  As a matter of law, they are also allowed to use the common law doctrine of “self-defense” as an excuse for the use of deadly force in any confrontation, and, as a matter of law, the courts are required to view the confrontation from the perspective of “a reasonable officer” rather than from the perspective of the suspect or victim of police shootings – which is why a cop can shoot someone with a cell phone, or a toy gun, that can be argued as looking like a gun.  
At the academy, for example, police officers are trained in the “21-foot rule” – that any person with a knife within 21 feet of the officer can reach and injure the officer before the officer can pull his gun and shoot.  The rule essentially gives all officers legal authority and impunity to shoot and kill anyone holding a knife within 21 feet of any officer.  There are several US Tenth Circuit Court opinions affirming this rule – one involving two Denver police officers standing in body armor and with semi-automatic weapons at the top of a stairway to a basement who shot and killed an 18-year old black youth standing at the bottom of the stairway holding a 3-inch utility knife.  The youth was killed in front of his sister and mother who had called the police to help calm him down after he got into an argument with his mother at their home.  Both officers received “Medals of Valor” from the Denver Police Department.  One of the two officers that killed the youth had killed a half dozen other youths and was the most decorated officer in the Denver Police force.  While posing as a pizza delivery man in a pizza rip-off sting, he killed one black youth who was sitting on a doorstep armed with a can of mace as his side.  
As a matter of law in addition to other legal barriers from liability, police officers are also cloaked with “governmental immunity”, “qualified immunity”, and draconian state caps on damages that can be awarded to their victims for their injuries.  Until fairly recently, the state cap on damages was $150,000 per case – meaning that in one of my cases the 3 children of a young black computer expert killed by a cop speeding without lights or siren, had to split that between them, after costs and attorney fees, as compensation for the loss of their father.  To even request punitive damages under state law, a victim has to get permission from the court and then has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer acted wantonly and maliciously – and then the municipality that employed the officer is statutorily immune from paying punitive damages, so the victim of wanton and malicious police misconduct has no deep pocket for the payment of punitive damages.
And – on top of all of this – is the cozy relationship that the police have with county and state prosecutors and the courts.  These prosecutors are wholly dependent upon the police day in and day out to investigate their cases and act as main witnesses in criminal matters.  The same prosecutors and police officers appear before the same judges on a daily basis.  They are an extended family – we call our “criminal justice system.”  Even tighter knit are the officers themselves who follow a “blue code of silence” and routinely falsify police reports and records and lie under oath to protect their brothers in blue with whom they have to work.  It is extremely rare that a prosecutor goes after any police officers involved in a police shooting, or any officers that fabricate evidence or lie under oath.  Medals of Honor are not given to cops that rat out their brothers.  To grand juries, it is well known that prosecutors often use grand juries to excuse their own responsibility to the public to prosecute bad cops and that the prosecutors present to the secret grand juries only one-sided, exculpatory, evidence rather than just the evidence that supports pursuing criminal charges.
Despite all their bitching and moaning about not being paid enough, lifetime police officers, largely due to their union and to their societal position of holding the public hostage as the providers of “law and order”, are paid very well, have great benefits, excellent retirement and pensions at almost full pay, and, through their control over police review boards, internal affairs, and civil service, have extreme job security.  Most suspensions for misconduct are short and with pay.  Not only is the termination of an officer for misconduct in police shootings almost unheard of, terminations of officers are more often than not overturned by the Civil Service Commission.  In the Denver area, police officers go through one psychological evaluation at the time they are hired and do not go through any other routine evaluation throughout their career to determine whether or not they have developed tendencies of violence, paranoia, or bad judgment.  Most of the Denver area municipalities have used the same shrink for the evaluations.  My hunch is that a proper evaluation by an independent psychiatrist would have prevented the Cleveland Police Department from hiring Officer Loehmann [the killer of Tamir Rice].
All of this is, of course, justified to the public with the argument that police officers are faced daily with extremely high risk to life and limb and need to be protected by their military / assault style weaponry, by their job security, and by the courts and doctrines of law.  Bullshit.  It’s an absolute myth that they “put their lives on the line” for the public.  According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, fishermen, loggers, aircraft pilots, trash collectors, roofers, iron workers, construction workers, farmers, ranchers, truck drivers, miners, and taxi drivers are more likely to die on the job than cops.  To put it in perspective, fishermen and loggers who make half what cops do are 10 times more likely to be killed on the job than a police officer – a garbage man is 3 times more likely to die while working than a cop.  The annual death rate for cops is around 12.6 per 100,000.  For loggers, it’s 127.8 per 100,000.  And, as anyone who is familiar with the operation of police departments is well aware, most police officers die on the job from traffic accidents, not from anyone shooting them.  Of the 76 cops who died in the line of duty in 2013, 18 of them were from gunfire and the rest were from traffic fatalities or slips and falls.  The murder rate of police officers is about 3 per 100,000 while that of the general population is 5.6 per 100,000.  In other words, you or I as ordinary citizens are more likely to be murdered than a police officer.  When a cop is killed “in the line of duty” it is sensationalized and published widely and nationally.  When a farmer, logger, construction worker, taxi driver, etc. is killed, much more frequently, we hear very little about it.
Additionally, no one is forced to become a police officer.  They choose to engage in an occupation that involves daily confrontations with crime and criminals, some armed, purported for the laudable purpose of serving and protecting the public, and are well compensated for it.  Like soldiers, their pay and benefits are direct compensation for the risks of their occupation.  They are expected as part of their jobs to place themselves at risk for public safety and order.  For that reason, it distorts their responsibilities and their relationship with the public to provide police officers the same legal defense to risk – “self-defense” – as the general public or to further shield them with multiple legal barriers from being held liable and accountable for their conduct as public officers.  The qualitative nature of the risk of death or injury to police officers cannot be compared to that of loggers, roofers, farmers, garbage men, or taxi drivers.  Police officers are supposed to put their own lives on the line to protect the public, even though they seldom actually do.  Almost always, it is the public that puts its lives on the line for the police.
So, you wanna know why cops kill with seeming impunity?  The entire approach to policing and law enforcement is fundamentally fraudulent, systemically corrupt, and rotten at its core, and will remain so as long as the policing institutions remain legally protected and in control.
Here are some sources for the statistics on the myth of that police work is one of the most dangerous occupations:  

          ***

    Bill Arthrell, who has long taught in Cleveland, sent a letter about how he defuses conflict in the class:

“Alan,

Living in Cleveland and having taught in the inner-city of Cleveland for 31 years I am appalled, but not one bit surprised at the determination of the Grand Jury….er Timothy McGinty.  He told the jury HE DID NOT WANT AN INDICTMENT and then orchestrated the jury by bringing in “experts” to underscore what he already had decided!

This is justice?  In my classroom in Cleveland Schools my students and I often talked about the cops.  I listened to their raw fear, intimidation and the harassment they experienced on a daily basis.  We had two cops in each building in which I taught and I guarantee you that I broke up more fights than the police.  The police were usually missing.  If they did arrive the often maced students or using extreme force.  I took blows from pugnacious students because I loved them and even when I was hit by a child I just hugged him or her.  This miraculously ended most  fights.  I never stuck back; they were children.

In fact they were my children.

-Bill Arthrell, Cleveland, Ohio.”

***
       H. Malcolm Newton sent the story below on the latest shooting in Chicago of Qiintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones, his 55 year old neighbor and mother of 5.  Andy Reid’s point that cops are trained to shoot to kill, while advancing, aggressively,  whatever the costs, could also not be more clear than in this case:

Antonio LeGrier: My Son ‘Was Still Alive and Moving and No One Assisted Him’

The father of Quintonio LeGrier, the 19-year-old who was fatally shot alongside his 55-year-old neighbor by Chicago police last week, breaks down during an interview with CNN.

Posted: 


screen_shot_20151229_at_3.48.20_pm

Antonio LeGrier CNN SCREENSHOT
The father of Quintonio LeGrier, the 19-year-old who was fatally shot alongside his 55-year-old neighbor by Chicago police last week, filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that the officer shot his son without justification.
According to CNN, Antonio LeGrier filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court on Monday. In addition to claiming that the shooting was without justification, LeGrier also alleges that officers “used excessive force and failed to provide medical care as he lay bleeding on the floor.”
LeGrier is seeking $100,000 in damages.
According to CNN, early Saturday morning, Quintonio LeGrier began behaving erratically and was reportedly threatening his father with a bat. The elder LeGrier reportedly called police and then called his downstairs neighbor Bettie Jones to open the door for the officers once they arrived. Police claim that when they arrived, Quintonio LeGrier began charging at them, wielding an aluminum bat. Police opened fire, fatally shooting both Quintonio LeGrier and Jones. Shortly after the shooting, police officials would acknowledge that shooting Jones, a mother of five, was an accident.
On Tuesday, Antonio LeGrier broke down during a segment on CNN as he attempted to recount what happened the night his son was shot.
“I heard a noise, which was a voice saying, ‘Woo, woo, woo.’ I can’t accurately remember, but it was along those lines,” he said. “I proceeded down the staircase, and as I got a quarter of the way down the stairs, I heard gunshots. I stopped at that point and time because I didn’t know where those shots were coming from.”

He continued: “After that I proceeded down the stairs displaying my hands, indicating that … I’m sorry, Ms. Brooks,” LeGrier said, apologizing to CNN host Brooke Baldwin for being unable to continue. LeGrier began crying and explained that once outside, he saw his son lying in the grass. “I wanted to reach down and grab him, but I wasn’t trained in CPR, so I didn’t know what to do. He was lying there and he was still alive and moving, and no one assisted him.
“I looked back and saw Ms. Jones lying there,” he continued. “At that point I yelled, scream as loud as I could, ‘Someone get an ambulance to help my son,’ ” he said. “That was all I could think to say.”
The Chicago Mayor’s Office also announced Monday that Rahm Emanuel would be cutting his Cuba vacation short to return to the city, where several protesters, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, have called for his resignation. Emanuel is expected to arrive Tuesday afternoon.
“He is cutting his family trip short so that he can continue the ongoing work of restoring accountability and trust in the Chicago Police Department,” Stephen Spector, a spokesman for Emanuel’s office, said in an email sent to CNN.
CNN notes that Emanuel has been under fire for a series of fatal police shootings.
On Sunday night, a day after Quintonio LeGrier’s and Jones’ fatal shootings, Emanuel called for new police policies and training in how to handle calls and interactions with people who might be suffering from mental-health problems. Quintonio LeGrier’s mother, Janet Cooksey, told ABC 7 Chicago that her son suffered from mental illness but added that he was not violent.
***

   And Ed Griffith sent the following note, along with a list of some 500 articles on police brutality:

Widespread Police Misconduct and an Expanding Prison Population

POSTED BY ED GRIFFITH 27SC ON AUGUST 27, 2013 · FLAG
    When I was growing up my father always said that a policeman was your friend who would always help you out.  In the United States and world wide that is no longer an accurate description.
    The increased use of violence without justification by police both here and abroad can no longer be regarded as isolated incidents. From the massive tactics used to break up Occupy and other democratic movements coordinated by the Federal Government to increasing unjustified violence to the increasing purchase and use of military vehicles all indicate a disturbing trend. Further, this violence seems to be increasingly directed against innocent protestors or other victims.
     The reason I have so many references is to show this is a steadily increasing trend. It is not a vanishing blip on the radar. Failure to deal with this trend will have disastrous consequences for the future.
    Search  on the internet “police brutality” or “police excessive force.”  If you search YouTube, there are many videos of cops acting WAY beyond their limits.  See also this website and the below references for extensive documentation. Courts have consistently ruled it is permissible  to not hire policeman or prison guards (often called “counselors”) if their IQ is too high. (see reference 243) Movies justifying violence and torture by police and federal agents magnify fear and make for juries and politicians increasingly reluctant to hold policemen accountable.
    Finally, the United States should face the fact that while it has only 4.5% of the world’s population, it has 25% of the world’s imprisoned people. We have the highest percentage of prisoners. Unfortunately, that percentage is  rising.
References
Detectives Kill 80 Year Old Man In His Own Home Because They Smelled Something
Read more at http://www.realfarmacy.com/detectives-kill-80-year-old-man/#bD5qIkOmsv6MV3Fw.99
Detectives Kill 80 Year Old Man In His Own Home Because They Smelled Something
Read more at http://www.realfarmacy.com/detectives-kill-80-year-old-man/#bD5qIkOmsv6MV3Fw.99
Detectives Kill 80 Year Old Man In His Own Home Because They Smelled Something
Read more at http://www.realfarmacy.com/detectives-kill-80-year-old-man/#bD5qIkOmsv6MV3Fw.99
Police perform “simulated drug raid” on 5th graders; child attacked by police dog
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/police-perform-simulated-drug-raid-5th-graders-child-attacked-police-dog/#FdLTPlTXqWDLbbJe.99
Police perform “simulated drug raid” on 5th graders; child attacked by police dog
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/police-perform-simulated-drug-raid-5th-graders-child-attacked-police-dog/#FdLTPlTXqWDLbbJe.99
Police perform “simulated drug raid” on 5th graders; child attacked by police dog
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/police-perform-simulated-drug-raid-5th-graders-child-attacked-police-dog/#FdLTPlTXqWDLbbJe.99
Police perform “simulated drug raid” on 5th graders; child attacked by police dog
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/police-perform-simulated-drug-raid-5th-graders-child-attacked-police-dog/#FdLTPlTXqWDLbbJe.99

Dog Named Parrot

Claim:   A dog named Parrot was murdered by a police officer during a Washington DC festival.

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/parrot.asp#pLcHhl05oHhX48OJ.99

Dog Named Parrot

Claim:   A dog named Parrot was murdered by a police officer during a Washington DC festival.

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/critters/crusader/parrot.asp#pLcHhl05oHhX48OJ.99

Arkansas Woman Chased And Tased For Refusing To Show Breasts To Cop – See more at: http://www.classwarfareexists.com/arkansas-woman-chased-and-tased-for-refusing-to-show-breasts-to-cop-2/#sthash.hudM40vo.dpuf
Cop Breaks into Home with No Warrant & Kills An Unarmed Teen. Judge Dismisses Case
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-breaks-home-warrant-kill-unarmed-teen-judge-dismisses-case/#xClsjpeCpO6VKGec.99
Cop Breaks into Home with No Warrant & Kills An Unarmed Teen. Judge Dismisses Case
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-breaks-home-warrant-kill-unarmed-teen-judge-dismisses-case/#xClsjpeCpO6VKGec.99
Cop Breaks into Home with No Warrant & Kills An Unarmed Teen. Judge Dismisses Case
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-breaks-home-warrant-kill-unarmed-teen-judge-dismisses-case/#xClsjpeCpO6VKGec.99
Cop Breaks into Home with No Warrant & Kills An Unarmed Teen. Judge Dismisses Case
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-breaks-home-warrant-kill-unarmed-teen-judge-dismisses-case/#xClsjpeCpO6VKGec.99
Cop Sexually Assaults Woman, Then Arrests Her for Questioning it, In Front of Judge
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-sexually-assaults-woman-arrests-questioning-it-front-judge/#SOubAdkOkOjKyFcA.99
Cop Sexually Assaults Woman, Then Arrests Her for Questioning it, In Front of Judge
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cop-sexually-assaults-woman-arrests-questioning-it-front-judge/#SOubAdkOkOjKyFcA.99
Cops Savagely Beat Woman on Video, Found Not Guilty. Taxpayers Held Liable Instead.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/cops-savagely-beat-woman-video-guilty-taxpayers-held-liable-instead/#fru7VPdTU2xuOXDz.99
Father Arrested for Trying to Pick Up his Special Needs Children from School
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/father-arrested-pick-special-children-school/#KHgMSebI8EuZcSfS.99
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/11/21/3769823/in-miami-gardens-store-video-catches.html#storylink=cpy154-155-
New Mexico Police Spray Mace in Woman’s Vagina to ‘Punish’ Her (Video) – See more at: http://aattp.org/new-mexico-police-spray-mace-in-womans-vagina-to-punish-her-video/#sthash.ISb2Qy3W.dpuf
Police Shoot and Kill Man for Watering Lawn, Family Awarded 6.5 Million
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/police-shoot-kill-man-watering-lawn-family-awarded-6-5-million/#62JziQHI7WQ9gRat.99
Two Years After Being Shot at Occupy Oakland, Vet Scott Olsen is Healing — and Suing

– See more at: http://www.occupy.com/article/two-years-after-being-shot-occupy-oakland-vet-scott-olsen-healing-%E2%80%94-and-suing#sthash.oKv3hvjU.dpuf

US Police Have Killed Over 5,000 Civilians Since 9/11 – See more at: http://asheepnomore.net/2013/11/08/us-police-have-killed-over-5000-civilians-since-911/#sthash.UFXL7aGV.dpuf
US Police Have Killed Over 5,000 Civilians Since 9/11 – See more at: http://asheepnomore.net/2013/11/08/us-police-have-killed-over-5000-civilians-since-911/#sthash.UFXL7aGV.dpuf
UTC Student Pepper-Sprayed And Arrested For Challenging Right-Wing Christian Preacher! (Video) – See more at: http://aattp.org/watch-utc-campus-police-mace-arrest-student-challenging-campus-teavangelical-preacher/#sthash.MvSOAvpT.dpuf
UTC Student Pepper-Sprayed And Arrested For Challenging Right-Wing Christian Preacher! (Video) – See more at: http://aattp.org/watch-utc-campus-police-mace-arrest-student-challenging-campus-teavangelical-preacher/#sthash.MvSOAvpT.dpuf
Plein air artist Alex Schaefer collides with the commercialization of art and and activism – See more at: http://lapostexaminer.com/plein-air-artist-alex-schaefer-collides-commercialization-art-activism/2014/01/04#sthash.JesEqLQz.dpuf
Plein air artist Alex Schaefer collides with the commercialization of art and and activism – See more at: http://lapostexaminer.com/plein-air-artist-alex-schaefer-collides-commercialization-art-activism/2014/01/04#sthash.JesEqLQz.dpuf
Thug Cops Rip Down Surveillance Cameras During SWAT-Style Raid…But They Didn’t Get All of the Footage – See more at: http://www.thedailysheeple.com/thug-cops-rip-down-surveillance-cameras-during-swat-style-raid-but-they-didnt-get-all-of-the-footage_022014#sthash.OuEV8x66.dpuf
383-What Caused the Crime Decline?  by the Brennan Center for Justice of the New York University School of Law

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