Sunday, October 25, 2015

Blame Game

It's become a trope within the policing industry and community: that public questioning and challenging of violent policing has led to an increase in violent crime -- because the police are less aggressive against criminals -- for fear of being held up to scrutiny and ridicule.

In other words, video-ing the police has made them cower in fear. It's the "Ferguson Effect".

They are afraid of their violence being seen and criticized.

They are cowards.

Of course we've known that for I don't know how long, and videos help to confirm that assessment.

But is it true that there is an overall increase in violent crime? And if so, is there a correlation between said increase and "less aggressive" behavior by police?

The trope is a truism being marketed by police and their media confederates nation-wide, including by the FBI director -- I'm sure with the approval of the Attorney General and the White House. On the other hand, police chiefs and law enforcement honchos, as well as the Attorney General and the White House have gone to some lengths to examine and self-criticize the current deplorable state of criminal justice -- and by extension violent policing that feeds the system.

In some cities, there seems to be an increase (media would call it an "uptick") in violent crime, but there is no lack of violent and "aggressive" policing, as statistics on police kills and other police violence and aggression shows.

On the other hand, in some cities, like Albuquerque, where police violence has been reduced, it appears in the absence of complete statistics that crime rates are about the same -- despite growing media hysteria in the local market over an apparent "explosion" in violent crime, a "wave" as it were, as police back off their use of force, particularly lethal force. Reforms required by the DoJ consent decree actually don't affect the overall use of force or use of lethal force, they simply require that any such use of force be recorded and reported -- and that it fall within particular constitutional guidelines. Consent decrees are never about reducing or eliminating the use of force/use of lethal force; they are about rationalizing and standardizing it according to "best practice" guidelines.

That police violence has been reduced in Albuquerque is a result of decisions made at the top of the command chain, not because of the DoJ, but because the killing spree the police had been on for years was costing the city a huge amount of money in payouts to victims and their loved ones, and in lost business because the city's reputation for violence by the police (as well as by the alleged criminal classes) was in the toilet. Something had to be done and fast.

The order went out to stop the killings.

So let it be written, so let it be done.

Now police and media are trying to whip up public hysteria over particularly egregious or bloody incidents -- including the recent shooting of a police officer (who survived...)

Well, no. My advice to them is: "Stop it."

Basically what they want is to return to their Wild West days when they were killing at will with no consequences, something that some other police departments in New Mexico (and elsewhere) still do and feel is their right. They designate themselves to be judge, jury and executioner -- some are specifically executioners (ie: snipers) -- without hindrance of any kind.

They see the challenges they face from the public and politicians as interference and they want it to stop.

It's become a widespread ploy used by police departments and their media champions more and more frequently, and I see less and less potential for a genuine end to violent policing because of it.

The police do not want it to end, and they are terribly fearful that they might be in some kind of danger if it does end and pretty much the worst thing they can imagine is danger to themselves.

Statistics show that it has hardly ever been safer to be a police officer, however. What danger there is is less than that of many other professions, and they know it. But they want you and me to think that there is an ongoing "war" against police which they are valiantly fighting in order to make "us" safe. No such thing is the case. It's false.

And that basic falsehood must be pointed out as often as necessary by as many as can do so.

Otherwise the return to and reinforcement of the status quo of violent policing will be solidified, and there may be no way to undo it for generations to come.

DeRay's mantra of "We Will Win" will become a hope never realized. Or -- just as likely -- the definition of "win" will be massaged and refined to such a point that it's meaningless.

The nationwide effort to overcome police violence has been going on for well over a year (of course it's been ongoing for decades on a local level) and there is really very, very little concrete to show for it. The demonstrations highlight the problem, but solutions are absent. There's a considerable amount of talk but a paucity of action. Nothing changes. The number of those killed by police continues to rise. The rates of incarceration are stable. The System continues grinding on with no let up.

In some few cities like Albuquerque -- and until recently Oakland -- there has been a significant reduction in police violence. But that is being greeted with dismay by the PTB on the presumption that only violent policing against the lower orders keeps them in line enough to maintain the safety and security of the Overclass. They sincerely believe that only violence will do it.

It's a false belief.

But convincing the Overclass of that seems as far out of reach as ever.

So there.

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