T Nation

Qualified Immunity / Recording the Watcher

According to the district court, â??the facts here do not support a finding that a reasonable officer would have considered the fleeing suspects a clear risk to others.â?? Indeed, that court declared, â??[t]he only objectively reasonable threat that Rickard posed was the threat that the officers also posed by participating in the pursuit.â??

The study found a 90% drop in reports of police misconduct and a 60% drop in incidents where police used force.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

According to the district court, â??the facts here do not support a finding that a reasonable officer would have considered the fleeing suspects a clear risk to others.â?? Indeed, that court declared, â??[t]he only objectively reasonable threat that Rickard posed was the threat that the officers also posed by participating in the pursuit.â??

The study found a 90% drop in reports of police misconduct and a 60% drop in incidents where police used force.[/quote]

Most complaints against the police are bullshit. It’s no surprise they dropped 90% when complainants know their bullshit won’t fly now that they’re being recorded.

What I see a problem with is if the recording becomes a standard of proof.

Here’s an idea… Why not make the police upload their recordings to a website at the end of their shift? Members of the public could pay for a subscription to the website to help cover the costs of the cameras. It would be like watching and episode of COPS in your own city. You could watch your neighbor’s domestic unfold on your laptop.

Thoughts?

[quote]WN76 wrote:
Here’s an idea… Why not make the police upload their recordings to a website at the end of their shift? Members of the public could pay for a subscription to the website to help cover the costs of the cameras. It would be like watching and episode of COPS in your own city. You could watch your neighbor’s domestic unfold on your laptop.

Thoughts? [/quote]

Too many problems. Finding an unbiased jury who hadn’t watched a suspect get arrested possibly in the middle of committing the crime would be difficult. Not to mention privacy rights especially in the case of sexual crimes. You would be left watching traffic stops and non-criminal calls. Listening to some tool complain that a branch off his neighbors tree fell into his yard is not riveting drama.

It’s great to have police recorded at all times…as long as everyone understands that the few police officers who actually use discretion will lose that ability(their supervisors will not like them allowing some guy to throw his pot in the trash instead of charging him, or allowing the guy who’s a little unsteady to walk home with his friends instead of taking him to jail).

[quote]NickViar wrote:
It’s great to have police recorded at all times…as long as everyone understands that the few police officers who actually use discretion will lose that ability(their supervisors will not like them allowing some guy to throw his pot in the trash instead of charging him, or allowing the guy who’s a little unsteady to walk home with his friends instead of taking him to jail).[/quote]

Spot on. It’s quite a trade-off.

[quote]H factor wrote:
Spot on. It’s quite a trade-off. [/quote]

Yep. The police can be as professional as you want when carting you off to the concentration camps, but they’re not going to be able to overlook you hiding under the bed.

[quote]WN76 wrote:

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

According to the district court, �¢??the facts here do not support a finding that a reasonable officer would have considered the fleeing suspects a clear risk to others.�¢?? Indeed, that court declared, �¢??[t]he only objectively reasonable threat that Rickard posed was the threat that the officers also posed by participating in the pursuit.�¢??

The study found a 90% drop in reports of police misconduct and a 60% drop in incidents where police used force.[/quote]

Most complaints against the police are bullshit. It’s no surprise they dropped 90% when complainants know their bullshit won’t fly now that they’re being recorded.[/quote]

As I have mentioned before; that is exactly why I’m in favor of recording. We ask a great deal of these men and women, they represent ‘social morality’. There should be little room for accusations without proof. On the other hand, on the occasion when the officer(s) conduct is inproper, they should be held accountable.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

According to the district court, â??the facts here do not support a finding that a reasonable officer would have considered the fleeing suspects a clear risk to others.â?? Indeed, that court declared, â??[t]he only objectively reasonable threat that Rickard posed was the threat that the officers also posed by participating in the pursuit.â??

The study found a 90% drop in reports of police misconduct and a 60% drop in incidents where police used force.[/quote]

As far as the qualified immunity part of this post is concerned-the officers who shot into the car should be tried for murder…or at least manslaughter. Vehicle pursuits should be outlawed, except under the same circumstances that allow a police officer to shoot a fleeing suspect.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

[quote]WN76 wrote:

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

According to the district court, �?�¢??the facts here do not support a finding that a reasonable officer would have considered the fleeing suspects a clear risk to others.�?�¢?? Indeed, that court declared, �?�¢??[t]he only objectively reasonable threat that Rickard posed was the threat that the officers also posed by participating in the pursuit.�?�¢??

The study found a 90% drop in reports of police misconduct and a 60% drop in incidents where police used force.[/quote]

Most complaints against the police are bullshit. It’s no surprise they dropped 90% when complainants know their bullshit won’t fly now that they’re being recorded.[/quote]

As I have mentioned before; that is exactly why I’m in favor of recording. We ask a great deal of these men and women, they represent ‘social morality’. There should be little room for accusations without proof. On the other hand, on the occasion when the officer(s) conduct is inproper, they should be held accountable.
[/quote]

I’m also in favor of it, and know quite a few people who have purchased these devices with their own money.

Yes, they should be held accountable. One issue I do have with this, and it’s minor, is that I like to speak with people on their level and at times that can seem unprofessional.

[quote]NickViar wrote:

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:

According to the district court, �¢??the facts here do not support a finding that a reasonable officer would have considered the fleeing suspects a clear risk to others.�¢?? Indeed, that court declared, �¢??[t]he only objectively reasonable threat that Rickard posed was the threat that the officers also posed by participating in the pursuit.�¢??

The study found a 90% drop in reports of police misconduct and a 60% drop in incidents where police used force.[/quote]

As far as the qualified immunity part of this post is concerned-the officers who shot into the car should be tried for murder…or at least manslaughter. Vehicle pursuits should be outlawed, except under the same circumstances that allow a police officer to shoot a fleeing suspect.
[/quote]

Yes…the courts decision regarding ‘qualified immunity’ is a liberty linch-pin.

[quote]WN76 wrote:
I’m also in favor of it, and know quite a few people who have purchased these devices with their own money.

Yes, they should be held accountable. One issue I do have with this, and it’s minor, is that I like to speak with people on their level and at times that can seem unprofessional.
[/quote]

I think everyone should record the police. What doesn’t need to be recorded is two officers talking about their shitty supervisor, and that(along with officers using discretion) is 95%+ of what police recording police will be used for.

[quote]NickViar wrote:

[quote]WN76 wrote:
I’m also in favor of it, and know quite a few people who have purchased these devices with their own money.

Yes, they should be held accountable. One issue I do have with this, and it’s minor, is that I like to speak with people on their level and at times that can seem unprofessional.
[/quote]

I think everyone should record the police. What doesn’t need to be recorded is two officers talking about their shitty supervisor, and that(along with officers using discretion) is 95%+ of what police recording police will be used for.[/quote]

It doesn’t NEED to be recorded, but speaking your mind about you boss in the car on camera and getting busted is a real possibility with consequences.

Do you think the camera should be rolling all the time, or activated by the officer?

[quote]WN76 wrote:
It doesn’t NEED to be recorded, but speaking your mind about you boss in the car on camera and getting busted is a real possibility with consequences.

Do you think the camera should be rolling all the time, or activated by the officer?[/quote]

I think citizens should record police. If it rolls all the time, there is going to be some typical government worker sitting in the building and snooping. If it’s activated by the officer, the officer may forget or choose not to activate it.

[quote]WN76 wrote:
Here’s an idea… Why not make the police upload their recordings to a website at the end of their shift? Members of the public could pay for a subscription to the website to help cover the costs of the cameras. It would be like watching and episode of COPS in your own city. You could watch your neighbor’s domestic unfold on your laptop.

Thoughts? [/quote]

A few years back, Dallas PD had cameras in every patrol car. They took most of them out because the video was supporting civil-rights claims, not the other way around. Its been a while since I’ve lived in Dallas and I’m not sure what the policy is now.

I’m not sure most of the public really understands how the doctrine of qualified immunity has been interpreted over the last 30 or years: it is a fucking civil rights hammer. The overwhelming number of civil rights cases get dismissed based on this doctrine and the facts underlying many of these dismissals are downright shocking.

[quote]jjackkrash wrote:
I’m not sure most of the public really understands how the doctrine of qualified immunity has been interpreted over the last 30 or years: it is a fucking civil rights hammer. The overwhelming number of civil rights cases get dismissed based on this doctrine and the facts underlying many of these dismissals are downright shocking. [/quote]

Yes; and I’m consistently shocked at the pathetic staying power the issue has. Many people regularly complain about the expansion of state power without realizing this is the ‘ground zero’ issue. Until this specific matter is dealt with properly there is no chance of restraining the expansion. Qualified immunity standards cast an immoral spector across all levels of crimminal justice by corrupting the ‘all men are equal before the law’ principal that the system itself relies on for authority.

[quote]WN76 wrote:
Do you think the camera should be rolling all the time, or activated by the officer?[/quote]

Jeterâ??s defense attorney requested all recorded evidence, but the police failed to hand over a second tape until additional evidence surfaced of a second police car at the scene. The tape showed Jeter complying with police, even as one punched him in the head repeatedly.
The kicker:
Without the tape, prosecutors had been demanding a five-year prison sentence.

24/7/365 recording is a start…