Tag: police

A way to treat police misconduct properly

So it hit me today. One of the problems when police shoot unarmed people is that the prosecutors they work with are never going to charge them, even if they do the evidence will either be downplayed or discounted and officers who shoot unarmed people are almost NEVER found guilty of murder.

Thinking about it today I came up with a solution.

First Citizen Oversight boards would be a good first step. They would recommend charges to the Attorney General or District Attorney. Then within those agencies there should be staff assigned to a unit that does nothing but prosecute police misconduct. That way prosecutors who deal with the police won’t be prosecuting them. It could even be part of the Oversight board.

Because when I worked at the AG’s office we had various units – Medicaire/Medicaid fraud control, BCI, Civil, Criminal, Diversion, etc. Why not a prosecutor or two whose sole job is to police the police?

Trigger happy policing

Marvin Gaye sang about this in the 60’s and it’s gotten no better in the 40 years since.

In the past week we’ve now seen two instances where young men were shot by police, the man in the BART incident having died and the one in the Texas incident suffering grievous injury.

The common factors between the two of the men who were gunned down by police? They were black and unarmed.

Being the long term partner of a black man let me just tell you, if anything like that were ever to happen to him I’m the cold calculating type.

I know the police, their methodologies, and their operational capabilities as well as their infrastructure. That leaves me well equipped to deal with them should the need ever come. Imagine what happens when the police communication infrastructure suddenly goes dark. That’s just one possibility.

Police departments across the nation are teetering on the edge of starting racial riots because of their actions. And they’re rapidly losing the respect of the citizenry they’re supposedly sworn to protect. I wouldn’t be surprised if people start taking pot shots at cops. Over the past few years my respect for police has diminished significantly after incidents I’ve seen.

You know the old saying, you live by the gun and you die by the gun.

I happen to know that the U.S. is one of the most well armed countries in the world. There are more guns in the hands of private citizens than there are in the hands of the police.

So I’d say that police departments around the country need to step back and re-think their general mode of operation because the current one sucks.

A couple years back the RI legislature determined that the police departments in the state had to record demographic data on all stops. It was called the Traffic Stop Statistics Act or TSSA for short.

In essence for the 4+ years the reporting was going on, it showed that black and latino drivers were several times more likely to have their vehicle searched during a stop.

And to this day that’s still the case even though every police chief swears up and down that his/hers is an enlightened department.