The Morning News: A Call for Complete Light-Rail Package on the 2016 Ballot, Questions Raised About Amazon's Affordable Housing Claims

Comments

1
A most disturbing video indeed from the Los Angeles Times.
2
http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=vide… For context to the LA Video. When someone is reaching around with their hands, what is the precise, split second where you can legally conclude you are at risk of "great personal injury" or "serious physical injury"? Even if you score a lethal hit first, as in the video provide here, that it will disable your suspect so they can't shoot you? The suspect later died, but it was minutes after he was shot by the state trooper, and after the suspect shot the state trooper. The point is that these cases are not as definitive and clear cut as pop culture and The Stranger leads us to believe. For every case like L.A. video, where the suspect is latter determined to be unarmed, there are also cases where the "reaching" suspect produces a gun, like Oregon. The suspect wasn't confused (as in LA) they were crazy like a fox, like Oregon. How is the officer in the field, or a citizen, to know the difference?

Additionally, what are the limits of defensive technology such as handguns in protecting those that use them (i.e. they often don't stop a determined attacker, or not soon enough to protect the person using it from being injured or killed)? What are the limits of human performance, even with the best training, when neuroscientists tell us that involuntary amygdal responses drive our perception of threat faster than our rational, logical, frontal parts of our brain? How much do you allow for that in the law? How much do you allow for human error that will inevitably occur, even with the best training. Nobody does their job, with the best of training, and the best of intentions, error free 100% of the time. If you make allowance for that fact, how do you stop those that act with less then good faith from abusing that allowance?

The answers aren't as easy as we would all desire or want them to be.
3
Happy Prime Day! It's odd, I make a TON of purchases on Amazon but so far the only lightning deal I've even considered was the toilet paper that sold out in a second. Did they miss their mark or is this just a taste what's to come?
4
Godspeed, young shark. Swim far, swim long.
5
@2: There's a big difference between this LA video and the Oregon video you linked to. Time and motion, for starters. The LA video shows all three suspects still with their hands up nearly 99% of the time. None of them were reaching into their pockets at the time the shots were fired as far as I can tell. They were obviously scared and knew that they were apprehended and weren't acting aggressively. Only the most excruciating extrapolation, I think, could one say that one of the suspect's hands was too close to his pocket - but I just don't see that.

Honestly, I haven't seen anything this brazen since WWI and Vietnam war footage.
6
Shark: "I am grateful, HU-man. Next we meet I will devour you swiftly."
7
Those people are terrible at... shark-saving. Just pick it up and toss it in! Or, whatever, shoot it in its fish-brain.
8
NO
KILL
I
9
@2. No two of these situations is going to be exactly analogous. That is EXACTLY the point. These situations are filled with stress, and ambiguity. To illustrate the latter, what if you are the LA officer who's vantage point , unlike the camera angles, just lets you see his hand repeatedly, in spite of commands, disappearing behind his torso? Is their a weapon there? Is he reaching for it? Is he not complying because he is high and having a psychotic break making him unpredictable and a threat, whether he has malice or not? Is he really confused and not understanding, or is that a ploy. He has malice? The suspect also is experiencing involuntary amygdal, fight or flight responses, well ahead of any rational thought? Is he going to do something irrational based on that, that he wouldn't with better training and the discipline to slow down and realize he isn't going to get away or might appear to be more of threat than he actually is. There are many reasonable conclusions one could draw in this situation, and as long as they are reasonable the law allows you act consistently with any one of them. You have a split second to decide. Decide one way and you and fellow officers might be seriously injured or killed. Decide the other way and an unarmed, legitimately confused kid is seriously injured or killed.) Yet the law and standards are "ONE-SIZE FITS ALL" by necessity, even though none of these incidents are exactly analogous and the prosecutor would have to get a unanimous jury to conclude, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it was without a reasonable basis to conclude he was reaching for a weapon based on what the officer (or a citizen) experienced in the moment. (Sorry for the caps, but you can't italicize, bold, etc.).

I am more inclined to your take on the LA video, but I also recognize that another conclusion is also reasonable. I also recognize that the one-size fits all law to be applied in this case allows for more than one reasonable conclusion from the facts and for the officer to rely on a conclusion that is different (but still reasonable, even less reasonable) than the conclusion you or I draw from the safety of a video consumed, possibly with a better view of the suspect's hands) when we are not under threat with all that involuntary fight or flight stimuli going off in our bodies.
10
As long as we have a pliant public willing to give the cops a gun and a blank check because OMG IT'S SO STRESSFULLL then we will continue to have citizens murdered with impunity, and most of them will be black or Latino.

If you can't handle the stress of your job without knowing when it's appropriate to shoot people it's time to find employment that better suits your stress tolerance.
12
Amazon to Seattle; "....and, you're done."
13
@3, you can order $45 in gift cards and get a $10 promo code for amazon products free. You can also order outdoor/tools/pet stuff at some total above, I believe, ~$20 and, with slow shipping, get a $5 credit towards a future outdoor/tools/pet stuff that must be used by the end of August. Still not as big as two weeks of ads would have you think but they're not making money.
14
I meant @1 in the prior post. @10. Nobody can. That is what neuroscientists tell us. The amygdala functions involuntarily to evaluate threat, 5 to 10 times faster than the rational, analytical part of the brain. It does so automatically, sub-consciously, and very rapidly. It makes us all profile. See http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/gues… See also http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/04…

Training and instruction appeal to the rational part of the brain. Also there is some evidence from the Scientific American piece and the study it references, that the more we are aware of sub-consciously profiling, the more likely we are to engage in the very behavior we have been trained to avoid. Very depressing in my view. So the question is, if that is the case, and we can't change it, how do we reflect that in laws surrounding the use of deadly force, by cop or civilian?
15
@14, You've certainly done your homework but oddly enough it doesn't include trying to figure out how to navigate around bias and human error, despite the fact that this is an issue humans have been dealing with for centuries. It's called accountability. Punish cops who fuck up. Have special investigators and prosecutors who are antagonistic to the police rather than leaving it up to the criminal justice system to decide when to police itself.

The police need to accept that the hazards of their work means they might face consequences if they kill someone. People in other fields where life and safety are at risk (like health care) do that; the police should be no different. By allowing these things to happen without any accountability we remove any incentive for police to do their jobs better because it's easier for them to kill someone.

When you make the argument that there is nothing that can be done about it because everyone has biases, even though it's sooo depressing to you, you are complicit in sustaining a system that is failing the people it is designed to protect, and that's pretty much the only reason you ever comment here.
16
Why don't the cops do the "ON THE GROUND!" - face down and arms spread? That takes away momentary lowering of the hands by abiding suspects that can be misinterpreted by the police.
17
People in healthcare? They get sued, not criminally investigated or charged.

Accountable is fine. But we hold people criminally accountable ONLY when we can show they willfully violated a law or were willfully negligent (eg choosing to drink or drug and drive). In self-defense cases that means that the prosecutor must show the person claiming self-defense had NO reasonable basis for perceiving they were at risk of great personal injury. Not that other explanations were more probable or that they had other options, but that the threat perception was without reason or basis. Nobody here talks about options for amending the standard and what the unintended consequences and harms would be.and whether they are more or fewer than the harms we have now.
18
@17, Health care workers are indeed investigated and charged (see Murray, Conrad for more about that). Most often they are tried in civil court, but its a distinction without much difference. The point is that when doctors fuck up they pay a price for it -- financially, having their license revoked, and yes, criminal charges -- and they pay malpractice insurance. When the cops fuck up they're often back out in the field with no repercussions, and any civil liabilities or settlements are typically paid out of taxpayer's pockets. We simply do not treat police malpractice as seriously as we do in the medical field, despite the consequences for malpractice being similarly severe. This contributes to a culture where the police are sheltered from accountability, just like when people equivocate and make excuses for their failures, which is what you do every time you comment here.

And I repeat: you cannot have true accountability for people in the criminal justice field when you leave it up to the criminal justice field to determine for itself when its own should be held accountable.
19
@13 Thanks for the tip! I love the non-rush shipping bonus and take advantage of it regularly. I just thought it was surprising because I was actually specifically looking for camping equipment but the selection seemed mostly limited to the basics. I did end up buying a portable power supply and GPS (full price).

Just to clarify, I like having Prime so it made no difference to me in that respect. Watching Twitter flip out was an added bonus.
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@16, Provided you have a suspect that understands commands and is willing to comply. If.you have that then you don't subsequently need a use of force investigation of the cops.
21
@18: I agree with your last paragraph. But the parallels between injury/illness and treatment don't parallel crime prevention and policing.

Doctors and EMTs and much more time to make decisions than police do, even under the most threatening medical situations. Even a few nanonseconds is a long time, when you consider that a police officer doing his or her duty simply does not have time for evaluation - so that's where the training comes in.

Medical field decisions are for the life of the patient. A police officer has not only the life of the suspect or person in distress, but his or her life, and the lives of others as they are affected by such daily situations they encounter, or could encounter, every working day.

So the LA video shows, in my opinion, a training problem first and foremost - then dig down from there.