Morning Ed: Crime {2017.06.28.W}

[Cr1] Look, but don’t touch. It’s important.

[Cr2] Ever get the impression we may not be giving CIA agents enough work to do?

[Cr3] Good news, pregnant woman! You can murder now.

[Cr4] In a couple years, John Walker Lindh is going to be a free man.

[Cr5] I had an awful lot of difficulty explaining the St Louis cop shooting to my wife. Also, some experts on the Philando Castile shooting.

[Cr6] Microsoft has really scaled back its anti-piracy efforts with Windows, but I don’t think this was what they had in mind.

[Cr7] North Carolina courts have repealed revoked consent. Sounds like something the legislature is going to need to address.

[Cr8] This is just surreal and is the sort of thing that’s going to make me a libertarian.

[Cr9] Body cams, not jut for the sake of defendants!


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Will Truman is a former professional gearhead who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He also writes fiction, when he finds the time. ...more →

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56 thoughts on “Morning Ed: Crime {2017.06.28.W}

  1. [Cr1] Where are all the cuties exposing their bewbs trying to get me to go to church?

    Cr2] Yeah, nice. But how come the AIG can’t find all the money and missing equipment the military “looses” and can’t account for but they can find some candy thieves?

    [Cr8] Keep your eye open, you’ll come around eventually if you keep an open mind.

    [Cr9] More cams for all.

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  2. Cr9: I suspect the policy may result in a lawsuit or two over privacy or consent issues. Apart from that though, I’m perfectly fine with body cams exonerating cops. I just want the truth.

    We have dash cams on all our trucks now and 80% of the time they end up exonerating our drivers, making a lot of lawsuits evaporate and saving our company millions. There’s also an effect where knowing you’re being watched results in better behavior.

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    • If cops have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear.

      I used to make that argument in an effort to mock the argument that the cops used about people claiming their 4th Amendment rights.

      Now? Hell with it. I’m all in.

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        • To apply a heavy thumb to the scales of justice is the role of a court, and little else.

          The United States is, I believe, the only country in the world where betrayal of the public trust is widely held as a mitigating factor in sentencing, rather than an enhancement.

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    • Just wait until we have more self-driving cars on the road with enormous sensor packages that can completely reconstruct the seconds before a collision. It’s going to be very hard to back up into a truck driver and then claim in court that he rear-ended you and hurt your neck.

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    • Apart from that though, I’m perfectly fine with body cams exonerating cops. I just want the truth.

      The police chief hasn’t promised the truth though – he’s promised to post only those videos that exonerate cops. I see no reason to suspect he will be posting those videos that substantiate the complaints.

      The article seems to suggest he has claimed he would

      He said he’s been asked what will happen if one of his officers does wrong, and that’s captured on the video. That won’t be hidden, he said. “If one of my officers does wrong, they’ll pay the consequences. It’s a two-way street.”

      But the actual quote is that his officers would “pay the consequences” – not that the public would get to see the actions for which they were paying the consequences, and judge for themselves whether the consequences were fitting.

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    • OTOH, NC laws on revoked consent are the same as they are in most states. A quick google research indicates Illinois was the first state to adopt the concept of withdrawn consent in its rape laws and that was in 2003.

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      • As of a 2013 law review article, Illinois is the only state to pass such a law. Courts adopted the concept of withrawn consent in Maine (1985); Connecticut (1994); Minnesota (1996); Alaska (2001); California (2003); Kansas (2006); and Maryland (2008). I looked at the first two court cases, and they really involved a woman claiming on the date that she never consented and a man claiming consent was withdrawn as a defense.

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      • Having spectacularly bad laws still on the books is hardly inconsistent with having the same rule as lots of other states, sadly. Of course NC has plenty of less horrible but very unusual rules still on the books too (looking your way, contributory negligence, accepting contracts under seal & lack of strict products liability)

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  3. [Cr5] “Fear for my safety” must be the first thing taught at the police academy. The cops start bleating that, it seems, as soon as the bullet leaves the chamber.

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      • “OK, I’ll try again. By the time I got there the individual was resisting arrest and I feared for my life.”
        “Better. But you really want to emphasize that you were acting peacefully and the perp wasn’t. That he was, you know, sorta crazy and unpredictable.”
        “Got it. {deep breath}. When I arrived on the scene I spoke to the individual in a calm voice to try to manage the scene, but he refused to comply with our reasonable demands and began physically resisting our efforts to restore peace. When he reached in his back pocket after we told him to raise his hands, I was shaken up and genuinely feared for my life.”
        “Perfect.”

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    • If this guy was shot going for his carry license, then compulsion to comply with the state is likely what got him killed. In most states if you have a license it is MANDATORY to show police your goddamned carry license, which gives police another event where it looks like your going for something. Way to go lawmakers.

      There are a multitude of reasons I took the training, but didn’t acquire the license.

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        • Yep tis true, but not every body is perfectly rational 100% of the time. At least constitutional carry would subtract one possible event from the encounter.

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          • Again, this is how the quality of officer training fails everyone. Departments need to focus more on software and less on hardware. You can’t have an officer sit through a 45 minute PowerPoint presentation and expect them to remember any of that under stress. This kind of crap needs to be role-played, yearly, so officers get it right by reflex.

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            • Hell, my ideal is to wrap the cop in enough body armor you could plink ’em all day with a pistol and there be no rational fear of dying. Most of the current reasoning for lethal force pivots on police survival. I don’t expect cops to have irrational thinking about altruism. I expect them to want to survive an encounter and not take one for the ‘society’ team.

              That said, even without body armor I don’t want them to ‘freak’ every time they see a civilian with a gun.

              Train and armor plate, if that doesn’t work I’m going all in with kazzy.

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                • “Uh uh. I know what you’re thinking. “Did I shoot that cop sixteen times or only fifteen?” Well to tell you the truth in all this body armor I kinda lost track myself. But this being a taser and would curl your toes clean backwards, you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, punk? “

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              • It doesn’t seem to work though.

                The more we armour ourselves up, the more we back-justify the armouring as a reasonable response to the level of danger we must be encountering.

                The more they wrap cops in armour as for war, the more the cops naturally think with a mentality of war. To think otherwise would make them feel ridiculous, wearing full flak suits to patrol a children’s festival where they end up writing three tickets for littering and one for jaywalking.

                (Relatedly, it’s why bicycle helmet laws raise the percentage of helmeted riders almost entirely by turning non-helmeted riders into non-riders, and not into helmeted riders – it raises the perception of danger. And perversely, it also raises the actual level of danger, since the biggest thing to make cycling safe, is lots of other people cycling.)

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                • From the sound of it, cops are already at war with a type of fear. If armor helps them rationally past that, maybe they wouldn’t be so trigger happy.

                  Probably another nothing burger, considering how many police are leaning toward gun control, I’m warming up to the idea of disarming them, without armor, or even a vest. High visibility uniforms, because they spend a lot of time around traffic.

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                  • If armor helps them rationally past that, maybe they wouldn’t be so trigger happy.

                    I dunno. I’d think armor would reinforce the “war” narrative, the belief that they’re armed occupiers of a savage land, constantly under siege.

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                    • Man, I’m not married to the idea, just trying to find a way to separate a human from their fear, as that appears to be the ‘goto’ reaction.

                      I’m not entirely sure that the way the state is using the police won’t end in a war anyway.

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                      • I think you’d be better off with a deliberate return to Peelian Principles, really.

                        Second would be entirely severing the police funding scheme from ticket revenue (and any civil forfeiture, a concept that should be shot, shot again, and nuked from orbit given how it’s turned out).

                        Third would be requiring police to live in, or very near, the towns, cities, boroughs, wards, whatever they patrol in.

                        The worst areas for policing tend to be police from “out of town” basically revenue farming for their own paychecks. Stuff like Ferguson — cops dealing with their own neighbors, instead of the “wrong types” a town over (or at least in the “wrong neighborhoods”) lends itself to bad outcomes.

                        The police aren’t apart from the citizens, but citizens themselves. They are protecting and serving their families, neighbors — citizens like themselves, not occupying or “enforcing” the law on strangers. To quote Peel:

                        To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

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                        • Police uniforms should also be like sports uniforms, with their badge number as visible as the player number – no more mask of anonymity during crowd control duty.

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                        • I’m all for deconstructing to the local condition. I would say it helps reduce the fear, and improve familiarity. But even enforcement within familiar settings, surrounded by familiar people, concern/fear of death continues to weigh in the decision process.

                          Survival is a central part of the human psyche.

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              • I don’t know where you got that from.
                “Officer safety” has nothing to do with “survival.”
                For an officer to experience any manner of physical discomfort or uninvited contact, or experience trepidation of the occurrence, is what “officer safety” is.

                Stepping on a cop’s foot is an issue of officer safety.
                Patting a cop on the back is an issue of officer safety.

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            • I don’t know if it needs to be that sort of thing.
              I *DO* know that the guy that shot Castile didn’t go to the firing range very often.
              It shows in that he wasn’t comfortable with his weapon.
              Had he been comfortable with it, three well-placed shots would have been much more likely than seven flying at random.
              This was a matter of inadequate training, quite clearly.

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  4. [Cr7] North Carolina courts have repealed revoked consent.

    I don’t think that is quite right. It looks like North Carolina law has two similar offenses, with similar penalties: rape and sexual offense. Rape is defined in the law as an act of penetration, where consent is given for each act. If someone keeps having sex with someone who has said, “stop,” sounds like they would still be culpable under the sexual offense charge if not the rape charge.

    Sounds like sloppy lawmaking that has allowed or could allow someone to get off way too lightly and the law should probably be clarified, but something quite different from what the internet is reporting. I say probably because I’m not a lawyer and this is my layman’s reading of the statute. And none of the articles I found on this even try to get to the bottom of this.

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    • My own take is that “revoked consent” is a policy initiative specifically directed toward making unrelenting strangulation a much more attractive option.
      Because, at that point, it becomes a question of, “How fast did he stop?” and then, the issue of whether there was a *COMPLETE* stop, etc.
      Dumping the body in the river is harder to prove in court.
      In the issue of conflicting testimony, it is always the defendant who loses, because no one would ever appear in court in a criminal case without being guilty as charged to begin with, because it is simply not feasible any government employee might make a mistake or miscalculation on any occasion.

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  5. Cr4: I just finished reading Graeme Wood’s The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State which recounts his interviews with a number of Islamist characters including Lindh. It’s a fascinating (if depressing) read. It will be completely unsurprising if Lindh heads off to join whatever resembles a caliphate when he gets out and starts right back up where he left off.

    I bet the Irish government wishes it could issue exceptions to its citizenship by descent laws.

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  6. HiNot quite crime (though possibly libel?), but Bleeding Heart Libertarians has a round-up of Duke history professor Nancy MacLean’s scholarly misconduct in her new government-funded book, Democracy in Chains.

    This is pretty much the level of intellectual integrity I expect from a hit piece on libertarians, but it’s telling how brazen she is about it. There are exactly the kind of quotes anyone with a reasonably well-functioning BS detector would check. Even if they were from people I didn’t like, I’d check them on the grounds that they’re too good to be true, and I wouldn’t want to look like an idiot for repeating stuff that turned out to be fake.

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      • My reaction to that article was kind of like years back when I read the title for a very esoteric seminar in genetics (we were all required to attend all the departmental seminars when I was a grad student):

        “I know, individually, what all those words mean, but put together like that, I cannot make any sense out of them.”

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    • I started reading, but when I skipped over the list of names of black shooting victims, I realized I did so because I was afraid of seeing someone I know listed there, and it lost a lot of appeal after that.
      Concerned about a good friend who went back to Chicago recently.

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