Today’s post is all about law enforcement. We start off with the Honolulu Police Department’s protocols for eyewitness identification, which are below. It has taken us almost 10 years to get the department to recognize best practices and the plethora of research about misidentification by eyewitnesses. In short, the mind is NOT A VIDEOCAMERA.
Following are articles from around the continent regarding law enforcement.
Eric Garner, criminalized to death
George F. Will, Washington Post, Dec. 10, 2014
“By history’s frequently brutal dialectic, the good that we call progress often comes spasmodically, in lurches propelled by tragedies caused by callousness, folly or ignorance. With a New York grand jury’s as yet inexplicable and probably inexcusable refusal to find criminal culpability in Eric Garner’s death on a Staten Island sidewalk, the nation might have experienced sufficient affronts to its sense of decency. It might at long last be ready to stare into the abyss of its criminal justice system.”
Police Misconduct — The Worst Case in November
Tim Lynch and Jonathan Blanks, CATO Institute, Dec. 10, 2014
“Over at Cato’s Police Misconduct website, we have identified the worst case for the month of November. It turns out to be the Cleveland Police Department.”
Rumain Brisbon Is Just the Latest to Be Shot Dead by a Cop Over a Phantom Gun
Suspects in 10 cases—most of them black men—wielded an iPod, a cellphone, and a set of keys.
Jaeah Lee, Mother Jones, Dec. 11, 2014
“Last week, 34-year-old father of four Rumain Brisbon was shot and killed by a police officer at an apartment complex in north Phoenix. The officer, 30-year-old Mark Rine, approached Brisbon’s SUV while investigating a suspected drug deal. According to police officials, after Brisbon stepped out of his car and Rine ordered him to show his hands, Brisbon reached for his waistband. Then Rine drew his gun, and Brisbon fled. After a short chase the two engaged in a struggle, with Rine firing two shots into Brisbon’s torso. Rine later said that he thought he’d felt a gun in Brisbon’s pocket, but it turned out to be a vial of oxycodone, a pain reliever. Rine has since been placed on desk duty pending an internal investigation.”
Race and Police Killings Reconsidered
Robert VerBruggen, Real Clear Policy, Dec. 11, 2014
An Ohio cop of 17 years on drug laws, body cameras, and the police’s race problem.
The Marshall Project, Dec. 12, 2014
Confessing While Black
When the threat of a white jury is an interrogation tool.
Andrew Cohen, additional reporting by Eli Hager, The Marshall Project, Dec. 12, 2014
“…Detective McDaniel… told Jackson that he needs to confess that he killed Clifford Harvey in self-defense because he cannot get a fair trial in Peoria because he is a young, African American male—something he has no power to change. He told him that the judges and the potential jurors have been reading the media coverage of what is going on in the south end, they are sick of it, and they will be working off of stereotypes when he appears before them for trial. Moreover, not only will the stereotypes apply to him, they will also negate the credibility of any witnesses he might call.”
America’s police on trial
The United States needs to overhaul its law-enforcement system
The Economist, Dec. 13, 2014
“THE store camera tells a harrowing tale. John Crawford was standing in a Walmart in Ohio holding an air rifle—a toy he had picked off a shelf and was presumably planning to buy. He was pointing it at the floor while talking on his phone and browsing other goods. The children playing near him did not consider him a threat; nor did their mother, who was standing a few feet away. The police, responding to a 911 caller who said that a black man with a gun was threatening people, burst in and shot him dead. The children’s mother died of a heart attack in the ensuing panic. In September a grand jury declined to indict the officers who shot Mr Crawford….”