What strategy would you employ to improve the Black lives / Police situation?

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Aegon

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First and foremost, if this topic is unwanted, then I'm fine with mods locking the thread up. However, I'm trying to approach this in a calm, civil, rational way, so please bear with me...

We've been getting quite a few farewell threads here and I feel that some people underestimate the impact Abby's tweets in particular had on this situation, rather than just showing support for BLM.

Abby's tweets were met with a lot of positive responses from fans, proclaiming how the police force must indeed be disbanded because "All Cops Are Bastards".

I can say truthfully that I feel uneasy around cops, but that's likely only because I've never been in a situation where they were there and I needed them to be there. They wield authority. They have guns. It's scary. However, it's necessary. A civilized society has law and order, enforced by the officers (police), to keep citizens safe. So ACAB confuses me, as I'm sure it confused or dismayed those users canceling their subs and saying goodbye to GB. I'd appreciate any of the multitude of users I've seen on here calling for the dismantling of the police force to lay out a strategy where the end result is a better life for America's Black citizens (and of course all other citizens if the system has been so improved).

From my perspective, this is the situation:

  • Interactions with cops means you might interact with bad ones, who might end your life. Whether it be ignorant untrained behaviour or intentional misconduct. This is not the norm, it's just more likely the more interactions are racked up. Improvements on this front can be made via more thorough psychological vetting and training, but there will always be some that slip through. I'm under the impression that most people are assholes if they can get away with it anyways. That's hard to fix.
  • By ratio, Black people interact with cops a much larger amount than any other group. This is due to criminal activity.
  • I'm sure there are plenty of community outreach programs trying to get kids away from drugs, violence, gangs, but this is where the bulk of the effort needs to be put into. Don't commit crimes, don't interface with cops (to the best of your abilities). Participate in something productive. Focus on education, extracurricular activities, build a business, add to the growth of the community, etc.

That's really it. I don't see dismantling a pillar of civilized life as a viable option, but I'd like to hear a proposal for how it would be done without majorly crippling the day to day life of your average citizen during the transition period (transition to?....).

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Efesell

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That second bullet point hittin' the ear in a real troubling manner, not gonna lie.

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Fear_the_Booboo

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#3  Edited By Fear_the_Booboo

@aegon said:

  • By ratio, Black people interact with cops a much larger amount than any other group. This is due to criminal activity.

Hmmm what the fuck????

Let's start by massively defunding the police, give back to communities.

Like really your whole post just read as completely ignorant on the issues at hand, so why don't you just read on the subject? It's not the job of anyone here to educate you on the subject, but instead of blaming Abby's ACAB comment, maybe read on where that comment originated from and go from there?

There's literally thousands of people giving their opinions on the subject right now, it's really time for everyone to listen, but your comment makes me think you haven't been listening.

Edit: Every cop in the protests right now that are not putting their equipment down and quitting their job are also part of the problem, so there's more than just "a few" bad cops.

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Aegon

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#4  Edited By Aegon

Absolutely no-one who's posted ACAB has given me an end-game of any sort.

Reasonable, unreasonable. No end game at all.

I'd appreciate a legitimate solution being put forward from that perspective.

@efesell said:

That second bullet point hittin' the ear in a real troubling manner, not gonna lie.

It doesn't matter how it sounds. No disrespect is meant, but the truth needs to be dealt with for the lives of the people in the Black community to finally be rid of this weight.

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Fear_the_Booboo

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#5  Edited By Fear_the_Booboo

@aegon said:

Absolutely no-one who's posted ACAB has given me an end-game of any sort.

Plenty are, you're just not listening. Also you said "from my perspective" before those bullet points.

Let me be clear here: your perspective is wrong. There's movies on the subjects, documentaries, research, books, whatever floats your boat, if you're not willing to do the work to educate yourself on those subjects you should stay silent.

Nobody here is responsible to educate you on the history of police violence in the US and everywhere else, nobody can in just a few forum post explain why your perspective is completely off the mark, you should do that work yourself.

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Efesell

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It matters how it sounds because it sounds like rank bullshit.

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Aegon

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#7  Edited By Aegon

Your solution is no dialogue. How reasonable.

Give me a suggestion of what to google then?

"Dismantling the police force"? Will just "ACAB" do it?

*sigh*

@efesell said:

It matters how it sounds because it sounds like rank bullshit.

To what degree does the truth need to be sanitized for you to be palatable? Should I add "unfortunately" in there?

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Efesell

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@aegon: Since you love demanding that other people do homework for them start by citing your own claims instead of telling me it's the Truth over and over.

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Fear_the_Booboo

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What's the point of having a discussion with someone who's obviously not listening. Like, even assuming that your well-meaning, which is a stretch really, you obviously don't care about learning about those issues.

Anyway I dunno there's plenty of resources on the history of white nationalism in police force, you can google that but don't ask anyone else to do the work for you, especially when hundreds of recommendations on the subject are being posted everywhere during those events.

Anyway I'm off here, flagging the thread, if you're really well-meaning start informing yourself please.

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conmulligan

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@aegon: If you are truly interested in learning about alternatives to modern policing and not just stirring the shit you can start with The End of Policing.

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Slag

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#11  Edited By Slag

@aegon said:

  • By ratio, Black people interact with cops a much larger amount than any other group. This is due to criminal activity.

That just ain't true.

It's due to racist profiling and unjust unequal treatment.

That's what this is all about man, it's not just because George Floyd was murdered. That was just the straw that broke the camel's back. It's because black people are treated in tons of interaction with the police fundamentally differently than white people. It's about being treated like a suspect always, about being harassed when you are minding your own business, about being stalked, being abused, being setup and yes being murdered and having the perps get away with it 99%+ of the time.

did you not just read what was posted earlier today?

https://www.giantbomb.com/forums/bombcast-32/thank-you-giant-bomb-team-tuesday-pause-1882398/

there's an example right there in the OP

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Aegon

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@efesell said:

@aegon: Since you love demanding that other people do homework for them start by citing your own claims instead of telling me it's the Truth over and over.

"Of the 9,468 murder arrests in the US in 2017, 53.5% were black"

"According to the FBI Uniform Crime Reports, in the year 2008 black youths, who make up 16% of the youth population, accounted for 52% of juvenile violent crime arrests, including 58.5% of youth arrests for homicide and 67% for robbery. Black youths were overrepresented in all offense categories except DUI, liquor laws and drunkenness."

Source - Wiki, taken from FBI

@aegon: If you are truly interested in learning about alternatives to modern policing and not just stirring the shit you can start with The End of Policing.

Thanks for the rec, but is there no way to at least give me a bullet point idea of what the solution entails rather than having to read a book/books? At least to give me an idea.

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Efesell

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@aegon: You give me a wikipedia article that you clearly did not click through to the source and read further on, and then respond to someone giving you information that you want with TOO LONG DIDN'T READ.

Go away, this isn't worth anyone's time.

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ZombiePie

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Aegon

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@efesell said:

@aegon: You give me a wikipedia article that you clearly did not click through to the source and read further on, and then respond to someone giving you information that you want with TOO LONG DIDN'T READ.

Go away, this isn't worth anyone's time.

The source is the FBI. Wtf?

@aegon:There are known issues with the FBI's reporting and data on crime and homicide rates. Here's some evidence that talks about why relying on the hard numbers provided by the FBI and policing agencies is not a solid foundation for any argument.

Will look through.

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Efesell

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@aegon: Did you read that source or did you get the specific section of it that kind of supports your claim?

Because I'm looking at it and I feel you've ignored a somewhat important number, perhaps you can find it also.

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Aegon

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#17  Edited By Aegon

@efesell said:

@aegon: Did you read that source or did you get the specific section of it that kind of supports your claim?

Because I'm looking at it and I feel you've ignored a somewhat important number, perhaps you can find it also.

Don't be coy. Participate or don't.

Though I'm sure I know what you're talking about, but that would mean you ignored the part where I said "by ratio".

72% of America is White and accounts for 69% of the crime (for the 2017 stats). Whereas 12.6% is Black and accounts for 27% of the crime. You know how numbers work ( I hope). If the number is above 12.6, they're overrepresented.

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conmulligan

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@aegon said:

Thanks for the rec, but is there no way to at least give me a bullet point idea of what the solution entails rather than having to read a book/books? At least to give me an idea.

  • Reduce the scope of policing through legalisation and ending police involvement in areas like homelessness that should be handled by social workers.
  • Roll back the militarisation of police departments by ending programs like 1033.
  • End the war on drugs.
  • Divert police department funding to areas like housing, health and drug treatment.
  • Legislate to make it easier to fire cops that exhibit a pattern of abusive behaviour and forbid them from working as LEOs in other jurisdictions once terminated.
  • End qualified immunity.
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development

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#19  Edited By development
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bwheeeler

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Please someone close this thread already

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Onemanarmyy

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#21  Edited By Onemanarmyy

Don't underestimate the amount of people browsing by looking for some quality reading about this issue that we're all trying to make sense of right now. Even if you don't think it helps OP, it could make others think. There are plenty of people that see a number posted and then think okay.. well it's an official number so it's an accurate representation of the situation at hand. It's a fact. They put it on a wiki page.

I've seen a people look at the corona virus in the same way. Well this number is quite big, so i guess that is a country that's not very good at responding to the issue compared to this other country! In reality there are a bunch of different factors at play that determine how a certain number eventually ends up on a power point presentation. Like personally i've been sighing at some people that don't consider the size of the initial outbreak, The timeline, international superspread events, ease of travel, timing of the holiday-periods, traditions , amount of tests available, attitudes towards science, attitudes towards accuracy, economic situation of the country and all sort of things like that. There's an enormous complexity behind what eventually leads to a statistic on a page. Especially the ones that need to be shared with the world at large.

Always wonder who produces the numbers, who sees these numbers and how these numbers might impact the organization in the future. If i want a higher budget, naturally i will do whatever it takes to end up with a number that shows that the issue can't be handled with the current funds.

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Rejizzle

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Okay, there is a lot going into policing, systemic racism, and the other issues addressed in this post, so to be productive lets start with a very simply. To think critically you must interrogate ideas and statistics more than you are currently doing. You are taking statistics at face value which can be a problem.

For example, you see that black people are arrested and jailed a disproportionate amount and conclude that black people commit more crime. This may seem logical, but it fails to take into account external factors. Factors like policing black communities more than white ones will of course lead to more black arrests simply because they are policed more. Or that crimes typically associated with black communities have harsher penalties than crimes associated with white ones. Or that black people are more likely to face harsher sentences than white people for the same crime.

Of course you don't have to take the articles I gave you at face value either, and I encourage you to pursue further down this rabbit hole and ask more questions. It sometimes takes a lot of time and effort to become informed about the issues. It sucks, but that's what it takes.

Finally, this is a mistake everyone makes at some point or another, and if at any point you felt like I was talking down to you I apologize.

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DrBroel

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finaldasa

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#24  Edited By finaldasa  Moderator

There's so much to unpack here.

Between private prisons designed to only create profit, to the drug war that targeted Black communities, to how and why we use police forces.

First, occasionally interacting with a bad cop isn't excusable, and "hard to fix" isn't good enough. If a job gives you a gun and authority over your fellow citizens then you shouldn't have ANY bad apples. And if there are so few bad apples and so many good apples, why are there still bad apples? Wouldn't the "good ones" point them out? Kick them out? Sure does seem to be a constant stream of bad apples.

Second, African Americans interact more with the police. Why? Crime? Really? Or maybe...they're targeted. Reexamine how you perceive issues. Here's a 2016 study that found Black people were subjected to more police force than white people even when adjusted for arrests for violence. Black people are targeted more often and do not commit more crimes.

Lastly, I agree, we do need to focus more on local communities. So when LA passed their city budget yesterday, why was 54% spent on the LAPD? Look into redlining, a literal practice where banks, real estate, and investments (both governmental and private) are diverted AWAY from communities of color.

Your discoveries are shallow. You need to read more and listen more. These are complex issues with complex answers, don't assume you just know the path forward so simply.

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SethMode

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#25  Edited By SethMode

I hesitate to participate because of what I feel like is bad faith communication by a particular poster, but to add a more "simple" suggestion with a breakdown, here is one:

https://www.joincampaignzero.org/solutions

But, and I can't state this more clearly, this is a complicated issue so if your response is "I'm not reading something that long, what are the bullet points." then at least just be honest with yourself and admit you don't really care to learn more about the issue and that this is probably in bad faith.

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acharlie1377

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So, is the call to disband the police a literal call to end all policing in the United States, or a call to end the current system and build a better policing system? The current system is obviously broken in ways that may not be fixable, but I'm not sure if I fully support calls to have no police at all. European countries have police forces that don't have these systematic issue, for example; couldn't we try to rebuild police in that image?

I apologize if I'm speaking from a position of ignorance; I'm just now hearing of the sentiment to disband police, and I want to know what that means.

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finaldasa

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#27 finaldasa  Moderator

So, is the call to disband the police a literal call to end all policing in the United States, or a call to end the current system and build a better policing system? The current system is obviously broken in ways that may not be fixable, but I'm not sure if I fully support calls to have no police at all. European countries have police forces that don't have these systematic issue, for example; couldn't we try to rebuild police in that image?

I apologize if I'm speaking from a position of ignorance; I'm just now hearing of the sentiment to disband police, and I want to know what that means.

Don't assume Europe doesn't have these issues. I'm not knowledgeable about systemic racism in Europe, but I doubt it's absent.

Defund the police. In LA the city just passed its budget where 54% went to the LAPD, does the city not have any other place to put that money? Maybe in community programs to support parks, or education, or mental health programs.

We have police with face masks and shields only weeks after hospitals said they couldn't find any anywhere for their nurses and doctors.

Yes, there needs to be a form of police, there need to be enforcers of peace and law. But do they all need riot gear? Tear gas? Armored vehicles? How many schools could've been built with that money? Or hospitals? Or outreach programs that bridge the gaps in our society?

Money in capitalism represents our priorities. Clearly our priority is in maintaining the current order of a broken system aimed at punishing non-whites and poor people.

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acharlie1377

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@finaldasa: Okay, thanks for the details! I can definitely get behind defunding the police, and agree that police forces don't need any of the military armaments many of them have. This situation is completely inexcusable for a variety of reasons, and things cannot continue as they are.

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Kemuri07

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#29  Edited By Kemuri07

By ratio, Black people interact with cops a much larger amount than any other group. This is due to criminal activity.

Sigh. Instead of just getting angry and making a 10 page essay on why this is a yikes and a half comment, I'm just going to point you to some literature: https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ariannarebolini/george-floyd-amy-cooper-antiracist-books-reading-resources?utm_source=pocket-newtab

There are plenty of books that go into great detail about systematic racism and the oppression that black people still face. And instead of getting upset that people are calling you out--do some research. This is a complicated subject, and there are complicated reasons why things are the way you are. If you want to actually understand what's going on, then you need to do your part and do some reading.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander is the defining book on private prisons and the government essentially legalizing slavery.

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Kemuri07

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@finaldasa: Okay, thanks for the details! I can definitely get behind defunding the police, and agree that police forces don't need any of the military armaments many of them have. This situation is completely inexcusable for a variety of reasons, and things cannot continue as they are.

Part of the reason why Police institutions are a massive shitshow is because of "tough on crime" policies that serve soley to make governors and politicians look good, but wreak havoc on minorities and the poor. Instead of stopping crime, all it does is ensure that the conditions that create crime continue to exist. Tough on crime policies do not work. Look at the War on Drugs and see what a failure it is. It doesn't work, we know it doesn't work. But too many people benefit from the jailing of black bodies and arming the police to with military grade weapons to stop this.

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soulcake

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I don't think you can enforce democracy without a "enforcing" class like the police. You can always ask the regional defense counsel of Aragon, a Anarachist state during the Spanish civil war. (Spoiler they didn't win) So cops are here to stay.

Some solutions would be better training for cops, I am sacred of American cops as a European.( I am not afraid of cops in the country I live in) don't arm all cops I remember that some cops in Japan and some in London/UK don't wear firearms at all. Give cops a more counseling role in set community. I feel a lot off cops have become a piece of grey goo with a firearm. These where just some ideas from the top of my head.

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mellotronrules

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i've been thinking about this a lot- and there are plenty of well-reasoned and thoughtful proposals both in this thread and documented online that have far more experienced, intelligent, and pragmatic solutions on how to address the atrocious policing system in the short term than i could ever produce. the system is entirely broken, and we need to listen and act with those that are telling us how to fix it, full stop.

and i know this is zooming out a little further than the spirit of the thread- but i've been thinking about where the authority and power flows from that enables a racist police force to exist and be maintained- and how to address THAT root cause. because cops are employed by cities, that are in turn run by politicians- which are just produced by the (overwhelmingly affluent white) populace. and we can't do the work we must without addressing the latent racism in white america, of which police brutality is clearly an expression.

i think if you really want to start to dismantle the systemic ways in which the USA fails its own citizens and maintains the painful legacy of racism- you have to start at the federal level, and then follow through at state and local. and i think that starts with having a president that acknowledges the way america DID and CURRENTLY treats its black citizens, having the president initiate something akin to a 'truth and reconciliation' process and appoint a cabinet position to oversee (and provide them real resources to implement plans). and i think step 1 of all this is you commit resources immediately towards building a federal memorial to american slavery- because symbols have power and meaning- and it's way past fucking time that the USA owns its past just as Germany has with the Holocaust. we have zero federal works dedicated to memory of america's most painful history- which is revealing in the worst possible way.

a lot of my thinking has been shaped by this episode of On the Media- it really is worth a listen if you're interested in their research into the different ways America can own its atrocities the way other countries do.

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shorap

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A good book that details the militarization of policing is Badges Without Borders by Stuart Schrader. It’s about what the US did after WW2 with military personnel and resources, profiting through training other countries in stamping out civil unrest and such. Afterwards those tactics were then imported into policing in this country.

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isomeri

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Don't assume Europe doesn't have these issues. I'm not knowledgeable about systemic racism in Europe, but I doubt it's absent.

Unfortunately racism is very prevalent in Europe. Many countries, including mine, have openly racist political parties in parliament and hearing racial slurs on the street, at sporting events etc. is way too common. The situation has worsened in recent years with the influx of refugees from Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Here in Finland systematic racism is more visible in the job market, where the "wrong" name and face can significantly reduce your chances of getting hired. As far as law enforcement is concerned a bias certainly exists, but legal checks and balances keep the police somewhat under control. The use of force for example is always quite thoroughly investigated.

From an outsiders perspective the current situation out there in the USA seems to stem from an overall culture of perpetuating violence and aggression. Since the five year gap between WW2 and the Korean War in 1945-1950 the USA has continuously been involved in armed conflict around the world for the last 70 years. In very few other developed nations is it normal for three or four generations of the same family to have fought in consecutive wars.

The effects of the Finnish Winter and Continuation War of 1939-1944 were still felt in our society for decades after. For example there were many cases of violent gangs and police violence in the 50's and early 60's. A large factor in this were veterans suffering with trauma which lead to alcohol abuse, violent behavior, family instability and poverty.

If the effects of a five year war were felt in our society for decades, I can't help but think that 70 years of warfare has shaped society in the United States of America in a similar but deeper way. I have a hard time to find a better explanation for the constant mass shootings, police brutality and gun violence that the nation has been suffering from for such a long time.

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hnke

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Not much of a stretch to say that black people are often in a worse economic and social situation and therefore more likely to turn to crime. Economic factors are clearly a driving factor behind crime. That can be true alongside the fact that many cops are simply racist and devalue the lives and rights of black people.

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cikame

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Honestly, time.
Not the most exciting idea but there's not much if anything to be done as far as laws and rights go, as each generation is born further away from our massively racist past those feelings will fade also, we'll carry on making movies and other stories about it but it'll serve as a reminder of how stupid things used to be and help the process.
Now, there are still overtly racist people and unfortunately they have children who listen to them, but over time as they continue to be outnumbered and as communities continue to mix those ideas should diminish.

I have to bring up the racial make up of criminals, i can't avoid it, i live in the UK and am familiar with the types of people who steal and get violent where i work, they are Irish, Romanian or black, growing up the only people to cause serious injuries in school were Irish, all 8 Irish students who went to my school were all expelled for injuring other students, it's hard not to carry that with you and i'm definitely wary of Irish people. Should i be? Shouldn't i be?

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Shindig

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The higher up the chain you start this, the more you can influence. I think the police need to be demilitarised. When I heard talk about the military being sent in to confront the protests, I was looking at police already in riot gear and vests.

Hearts and minds are important so police should make themselves known to the community the protect. Patrol the streets, talk to people, find out what makes them tick. Earn their respect. Make the uniform a symbol of peace rather than a show of force. Hold regular meetings just to show people you're here to serve them.

I'm also not a fan of the way the US criminalises drug possession. It feeds into a prison industry which is lucrative and encourages long sentences for smaller offences. It is not an effective deterrent and, frankly, you'd rather have a black taxpayer out on the street spending money than being locked up inside making helmets and bulletproof vests.

I'd also advocate gun control. Largely for the knock-on effects it can have on policing. If there's less people out there carrying, the police can scale their own gun supply back. They can reduce themselves down to tazers or, at worst, rubber bullets. I've always wondered what effect guns have on police training. If they're going into every call knowing there's a good chance a gun is on the premises, they're probably quicker to escalate. Some officers probably thrive at the thought. Others probably fear it.

You need to fashion a system of recruitment and training that provides a much better, more composed group of officers. There's too much footage going around of police pushing solitary protesters around with little provocation, point-blank pepper spraying and needless bullying.

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SerAspen

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@aegon: It's not our job to educate you on why your posts are idiotic. Go read a book.

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LonelySpacePanda

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One bright spot in this mess is the possibility of using these events to look at why some cities and police departments got violent and others didn't. I suspect you'll find many that didn't were previously reformed, demilitarized and put focus on community-interaction. Let the data guide us, as it does with everything else in the modern era; not ideology and academic discussion.

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ivanetc

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#40 ivanetc  Online

Please read "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander and get back to us afterwards. I'd be curious to hear your perspective and whether you would still be able to defend policing in the United States.

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Tearhead

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#41  Edited By Tearhead
  1. TRAINING TRAINING TRAINING! - Generally, I don't believe police are properly trained for the community they are meant to protect. We must remember it is their JOB to PROTECT, DE-ESCALATE and to use deadly force ONLY to protect someone's life, including their own. This includes banning and minimizing deadly holds.
  2. MAKE THEM ACCOUNTABLE! - I really don't think the general (non-black) population really understands how often police get away with really shitty behavior, and how often that really shitty behavior translates to physical and mental abuse to the black community. You have to make policies and laws that catches and gives serious consequences for their actions.
  3. LESS MONEY FOR MILITARIZATION - I think these protests have really shown how inept the police are at meeting a population with the proper level of force.

WHO ARE THEY REALLY PROTECTING?

P.S. - I'd also like to bring attention to a way us black people are de-humanized. Think about how many times you hear statistics about the black community: Black people are much more likely to... African Americans make up bla bla % of those who bla bla. We are more than a statistic and more than black numbers on a white page.