Here is a post from my blog guru and my response to it:
>> And as I send this off to you, a video has surfaced showing police officers in Austin behaving badly. The cop in Florida who shot the guy on the ground with his hands up pleading, “Don’t shoot!” is praying for his speedy recovery. Nice. Oh, and the Austin officer is being counseled. Being a former counselor, I’m trying to think of what I might say other than, “Go back through police training so you won’t shoot any more people unnecessarily.”
> I would hope his employers (taxpayers) would say “Go find a job you can handle.”
I just read a Dallas newspaper’s article on this. They say that the officer who said, “I don’t know” is now saying he was trying to shoot the patient who he thought was a threat to Kinsey.
Which makes me ask, “So (1) why did you put handcuffs on the guy you claim you were trying to protect? and (2) if your aim is that bad, why do they allow you to carry a weapon?” And he is placed automatically on “administrative leave” which is pretty much standard procedure. But it’s paid leave. I think it should be UNPAID (except for maybe enough to feed the family) until the investigation is complete. If the investigation determines the shooting was not justified, officer’s employment should be terminated RETROACTIVE to the date of the shooting and any pay received during the leave owed back to the department. Such a policy might not make a lot of difference, but it would provide at least a bit of incentive to be less trigger-happy.
And whenever a shooting is determined unjustified, a trial should occur. NEVER “charges dismissed.”
I’d also like to see an independent study of recent (past year at least) incidents involving tasers and guns, to determine whether an allegation is true that officers usually draw their guns when dealing with blacks, but typically use a taser with whites.
Now there is also a plausible claim that officers are using guns because they are scared. The idiots calling for attacks on officers are exacerbating that part of the problem.
I’ve often said that I am not interested in spending much time in USA due to this and many other problems. But I have to admit that as bad as the situation with the police is, it is worse in many other countries. We don’t hear about it here because (1) it didn’t happen here, and (2) it doesn’t even get as much attention there because police are _expected_ to behave that way in some countries.
When I was in the Philippines, a six-year-old boy stole a wristwatch off someone’s wrist and a policeman who saw it shot the kid.
Now we are getting to the heart of it. You talk like a CEO: “Here’s the problem; here’s my fix.” The policy on pay was negotiated by the union. We could just do it the Republican way and say the boss is the boss, take your pay or leave and do as I say and when I’ve had enough of you, you’re gone….. with nothing. Or we could continue to have it as it is where everyone is in an adversarial relationship and everything has to be negotiated, in the end, in the courts. Reading Fukuyama, you’ll see how legislation ends up in the courts b/c of the way it is written and the way it is negotiated – it’s all settled through the court system.
Your scenario is what appeals intuitively: just do the right thing. Unfortunately, what is right for me might not be right for you. Now what?
In other countries, the relationship is not so adversarial. Protracted negotiations based on accepted tradition and protocol lead to outcomes acceptable to all (I’m thinking mainly of Japan here). But that requires a society of great consensus – I would include Finland.
Which brings me to my Magnum Opus in which I defend the proposition that our society was founded as a colony, a typical American (in the broad sense) colony with an extractive economy, an overlordship of wealthy landowners tied to a distant monarch, endless prospects for expansion, decimation of the native population and the importation of slaves from a distinct culture. This mix, this stew, gave us both the glories of the U.S. and its Achilles heel: the partition of the country into distinct regions and social groups that have never been fully integrated despite all the propaganda. One example: during WW II, U.S. universities began teaching for the first time American Literature b/c the line was we were fighting for the American Way of Life. Well, what was that? We had to teach it and literature was one way.
It is going to require a lot more than the President claiming we are one America to overcome this adversarial approach to governance, be it in the economy, education, the justice system, or whatever.
p.s. I hope you don’t mind: I’d like to put your post and this my response to it in my blog so kindly provided by you.