Life in these United States...

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by Seattle, Jan 19, 2024.

  1. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    I was on a public phone to my girlfriend (before mobiles had really taken off) in the 1990s and some guy opened the door while I was still on the phone.
    I told him to f off before I smacked him and he went for me, we both struggled out the phone booth trying to hit each other and that is when I realised he was the police!

    I jumped back and asked him what the hell was going on and he said some guy had been badly assaulted near by.

    We took a breath and I explained I had finished work, walked to train station, got train, then bus and here I am.

    My poor gf was screaming on the other end of the phone thinking I had been attacked!

    My question, Why the hell didn’t you tell me you were the police?

    I thought you would see the uniform! He may have even knocked on the booth I cannot remember.

    I apologized, he apologized he checked my train ticket which was time stamped so there was no way I could have been here and there at the same time.

    I showed him my work ID at some point thinking he would be impressed I worked in a lab!

    So sure, things could have ended badly but he could not wait till I had finished my call, someone was in hospital.

    He needed to either or arrest me as a suspect or eliminate me and find the bad guy not hang around till I had finished telling my gf she meant everything to me!

    Point of the story?

    I was questioned because I fit the description, white male 20-30 or what ever it was and I was there.

    Ok that was Manchester not Detroit, neither of us were armed and there was no mace or tasers either then, just fists!

    Reasonable people accept police are required in a modern civilized society; we need them.

    If the police are misbehaving there are proper channels, if the channels are not working, change the channels.

    MLK made changes peacefully, the world respected him for it, it is a high bar but what is wrong with that?
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  3. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

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  5. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    You make valid points but let’s be real about something - the cop probably wouldn’t have acted the way he did towards you or me, if we had walked away. I have been pulled over for a burnt out tail light, and I refused to get out of the car when asked. The cop asked a few more times, and I wanted to know what I did first. He explained and then gave me a warning. Seattle, what you say is true, we need to comply when stopped, but we aren’t profiled for lack of a better word, when we’re stopped. That’s the issue I have with this video - it went wayyyy over the top. Why couldn’t the cop simply tell the guy “hey, you have a broken brake light, did you know that?” Instead, he acted like the guy was a first degree felon from the beginning of the encounter.

    This doesn’t negate that cops have tough jobs but sometimes I wonder if they make it harder on themselves.
    Pinball1970 likes this.
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  7. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Yea, I get it and I’m not disagreeing with the overall premise behind compliance when it comes to a routine traffic stop. But, I also think our “justice system” is flawed here in the states, not that it could ever be perfect. And cops still profile. Although there are stats to support that cops have killed more white people in the process of arresting them than minorities but that’s simply a matter of whites making up a larger portion of the population.

    What I also find curious is where are all these “brave” cops willing to protect our communities when it comes to school shooters? They’re bad asses when it comes to taking down a guy who won’t stop over a brake light but hide in the cases of the Parkland school shooting and Uvalde, Texas. Google those, and it makes you wonder why cops are so brutal when it comes to these “routine traffic stops,” but hesitate to protect their communities if there’s a real threat.
    Pinball1970 likes this.
  8. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    Perhaps the cop profiled him but there are reasons for that.
    When I was pulled it was because I fit the profile for a crime.
    In London black teenage boys are committing a large % of knife crime.
    Who do you stop and search if you are looking for weapons in London?
    In the 1970s it was white Irish males for explosives/weapons and after 7/7 it was Asian men.
    This leads to innocent groups of people being harassed and the worse the potential, the more the harassment.
    I am not naive, I know some cops will be racist and have power trips, they are recruited from the population who can be racist, violent, hate women, pedophiles.
    If we could weed those out it would be ideal but those cops are not going to announce their, racist, violent, rapist tendencies at interview.
    Should the police be held to a higher bar? Like teachers, Drs, priests? Absolutely yes.
  9. billvon Valued Senior Member

    That's because you are a white man, and you have a reasonable presumption that you will NOT be killed by cops for no reason.

    Let's say it wasn't a cop. Let's say it was an intruder who told you "I am going to kill you and your family. Now lie down so it will be easier to kill you." Would you comply?
  10. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    Thanks Wegs I will look into that.
    wegs likes this.
  11. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    The stats are pretty shocking from what I have seen.
    I like to think cops do it because they want to be the best American/ American citizen they can be, like a marine, that mentality.
    Anyone else is not good enough.
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I think they do it out of simple homophily, rather than any conscious desire to discriminate. People are more comfortable/lenient/patient with people who look, sound, act, talk and smell like them.
    Pinball1970 likes this.
  13. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    I meant "do it" as in to be a cop. I get your comment though, emphasizes the need to employ black cops in black areas.
    C C likes this.
  14. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Black police officers aren’t colorblind – they’re infected by the same anti-Black bias as American society and police in general

    Police researcher: Officers have similar biases regardless of race

    Are black cops always better for black communities?

    I recall a news story where black cops shot/killed an erratically behaving bipolar man despite his mother pleading he was off his meds, and the community was still outraged about it. Labeling them as white in psychological character or cultural orientation (as if often the case in those scenarios).

    The country of Nigeria has an insignificant white minority, but is infamous for its abusive police force, even after SARS was superficially declared disbanded a few years ago (i.e., no privileged Euro-ethnic scapegoats available there).

    People simply don't like either bad or overly nervous cops of any ethnicity, period. Given the dangerous nature of the job, it's difficult to cure the latter cause or find recruits lacking self-survival associated anxiety. And corrupt (bad) cops are indigenous to most developing nations (as well as obviously a few wealthy ones).

    End SARS

    Within a few days of protests, on 11 October 2020, the Nigerian Police Force announced that it was dissolving the unit with immediate effect. The move was widely received as a triumph of the demonstrations.

    However, it was noted in many quarters that similar announcements had been made in recent years to pacify the public without the unit actually being disbanded, and that the government had merely planned to reassign and review SARS officers to medical centres rather than disband the unit entirely.

    Protests have continued accordingly, and the Nigerian government has maintained a pattern of violent repression including the killing of demonstrators. There have been international demonstrations in solidarity with those happening in the country, and the movement has also grown increasingly critical of Muhammadu Buhari's government response to the protests.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2024
  15. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    Also to emphasize, this is not my forte. So I am not making a trivial comparison on purpose I am very ignorant of some of these stats.

    Science is my thing but I will stray if something chimes.

    Posters are worried about a situation in America for Black Americans there.

    Fair enough
    Hopefully Trump will be in prison and not putting policy in place w.r.t. to this.

    Just a Brit perspective.
  16. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    Sorry CC my post crossed. I will read your links.
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Now you are profiling

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  18. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    This wasn't in your and my neighborhoods. Let's say this cop has made a lot of stops where people did have guns. He can't tell which do and which don't so he has to be careful with anyone acting erratically.

    If a cop told me to get out of the car, I would get out of the car. It has nothing to do with race. I saw a video where a guy went into a doctor's office, he didn't have an appointment, they said they couldn't see him. He threatened to shoot up the place if they didn't see him.

    The nurse called the cops, they chased him around, fought him, wrestled him to the ground. He had no gun. Maybe if you saw that video you would think "why can't they just talk it out, must be because he was black?".

    The nurse was black, all the patients were black in the clinic, half the cops were black. Race just isn't why this stuff happens, it's behavior.

    I have two personal examples. I was driving home from college for Thanksgiving, in the South, and a fat cartoonish (Jackie Gleason) type cop stopped me in a small town. I was speeding as it was a long, boring drive home.

    He said "Boy, is there a fire or something that you're going to (sarcastic)?" At this point, I knew I was getting a ticket and maybe even thrown in jail if I pissed him off. I said no sir, I'm just going from college to my home for Thanksgiving. He made some comments about how I might not be making it home for Thanksgiving with a car (I might be taking a bus).

    At the end, he said do you think if I let you go you can drive at the speed limit to go home? I said yes, and he let me go with no ticket. I'd gotten a few tickets in my youth so I was blown away.

    Another time I was moving from NC to WA state. I was speeding in Iowa because, it was just too boring not to be speeding. This time I got stopped by the Highway Patrol. My experience with them was that they were always very professional, polite but that you always got a ticket.

    He stopped me, was polite, asked what I was doing (moving cross country) and he asked me if there was really a "Mayberry" in NC. (old TV show). I said no but it was based on a real town there. He told me to be careful and let me go with no ticket.

    I'm always polite. Sometimes, in those days, I got tickets and sometimes I didn't. I'm polite with a polite cop and I'm polite with a rude cope.

    Third story, I was 16, in high school and was working in the school darkroom as part of my journalism class. I had permission to leave school, go downtown to a drugstore to buy some film for the darkroom. I had only been driving for a few months. It was early in the morning. No one was out and there was a wide street that was about a mile long so I hit the gas pedal and was going way over the speed limit for a few blocks.

    Unfortunately, at the top of the hill I met a cop car going the other way. I immediately slowed down and kept driving hopping that they wouldn't come after me (unrealistic). They did come after me, arrested me, charged me with careless and reckless instead of speeding. Speeding would have been a ticket, careless and reckless was a mandatory trip to jail. A polite, young, new driver, thrown in jail for speeding for a few blocks.

    While in jail (2 hours until my mom bailed me out) the guards had fun at my expense, "hey, we have a hardcore criminal here", etc. I kept my mouth shut, got bailed out, got an attorney, got the charges reduced to "too fast for circumstances" which doesn't even raise your insurance rates and even that charge was wiped off the record when I turned 18. By the way, I was in court while all this negotiation was going on, talk about stress...

    Later, I went to law school for a year before switching to an MBA in Intl Business. When applying to law school it asks about prior convictions and I didn't have to put anything down. If I had done nothing I would have had to.

    This is how the system works. Cops treat you fairly when they feel like it and don't treat you fairly when they don't feel like it. That isn't right, it's just reality. They feel like it more often when you do what they say and are polite.

    If you struggle, fight, run, have other circumstances that makes the problem worse, they never feel like cutting you a break. It's up to "you" as to how you want it to go. If you live in a neighborhood where there is a lot of crime and most of it is committed by black people then of course black people stopped will be grilled but if they are polite they are going to be OK because it's behavior and not race that causes these problems.

    The "proof" is that in those communities most of the cops are black, the mayor may be black, the innocent civilians are black and the criminals are black. Race is rarely a factor. Behavior is.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2024
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  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    While were are talking about behavior. When I was in high school I had a young teacher who had just graduated from Duke and he volunteered his personal theory regarding speeding and cops. I tried it for a few years and it seemed to work.

    Today I wouldn't do it because everything has gotten a lot more uptight. His theory was that when a cop came up to your window, he had the psychological advantage. You were sitting down, he was hovering over you and it was a power thing. He was at your car, hovering over you.

    His theory was that as soon as a cop pulled you over you should get out of the car and walk back to the rear of your car and start getting your driver's license out of your wallet. You were in neutral territory and you were both standing up. I'm 6'1" and am as tall as most cops (or taller), I'm at my own car and I'm being helpful by volunteering my driver's license and he doesn't have to worry about guns in my car or me reaching into the glove compartment.

    He is standing at his car. I'd never walk back to his car and hover over him. So that was the psychological theory and I have to say it seemed to work. It was friendly, helpful and sometimes I got a ticket, sometimes a warning but it seemed to reduce the power imbalance without intimidating the cop.

    Today, just getting out of your car and walking toward the cop would probably freak him out and I wouldn't advise doing this but for years, all through high school and college, I did this when it seemed like a good idea.

    I didn't do it with the cartoonish fat cop who said "Where's the fire" but in general that was my approach. By the time I finished with all schooling and moved to Seattle, I had quit doing that. It was also rare that I was ever stopped by a cop by that point, unless it was just a set-up speed trap, in which case you are going to get a ticket regardless of what you do.
    Pinball1970 likes this.
  20. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    I would not dream of doing that in the states. I have never been but I would be scared of being maced (i have asthma) or shot.

    Just the guns really, Brits do not get that.

    There is clearly work to be done by the police to demonstrate they are there to protect and serve all the community.
    I know it is a contentious subject but I would use positive discrimination in those areas to recruit black cops.
    Probably the first poster to clearly outline a racist thought ha ha!
    The communities need it. Say it saved just one altercation, one escalation, one life?

    Same with POs, social workers, teachers. Perhaps that already happens to some extent?

    I am involved in a similar scheme at the moment (different players)
  21. Pinball1970 Valued Senior Member

    I have had encounters with the police and always walked away feeling proud of them.

    I woke up in cell when I was at uni. Terrible hangover.
    Police woke me up with a cup of tea and egg on toast! Now this was Huddersfield, Yorkshire 1989 ish.
    Overdone it with my pals and decided to sleep in the town square. Idiotic.
    They thought I had been assaulted, realised I was drunk so arrested me, "for my own good."
    The sergeant gave me a military lecture before I left (with no charges) about mature behaviour, dangers of alcohol, spirits (wild turkey) asphyxiation or being mugged/ robbed while I was asleep intoxicated and the use police resources.

    Picking up drunk youths was not a fantastic use of those.

    I think I said "sir" a lot. Very humbling.
    Seattle likes this.
  22. cluelusshusbund + Public Dilemma + Valued Senior Member


    It coud be that:::
    People of color more often than whites refuse to obey the simplest of orders from cops.!!!

    Id say most blacks obey cops when pulled over... how about you if you tanned to look black an drove around wit a busted tail light an got pulled over... do you thank you woud be intelegent/sane enuff to obey cops orders... or not.???

    What i woudnt do is… behave in such a way to eliminate any possibility of gettin out of the situation alive an well.!!!
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    When I was a kid we were talk that the police are our friend

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    and to ask for help.

    When I was in high school my journalism class went to NYC for 3 days. One night we went to a broadway play and I got separated from the group. I was in Times Square and I knew our hotel was only several blocks away but I wasn't sure where it was.

    There was a cop on the street and I told him I was lost and asked if he knew where the Edison Hotel was. He said "no" and totally brushed me off. I wandered around a finally found it. No tea, no egg on toast.

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