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Thread: I just do not understand police in America

  1. #16
    Geologist sjsmithjr's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Jimbo. During my younger days I once rode my motorcycle out the front door of a bar where a buddy of mine worked, a couple of blocks from where I was living. It was a 1969 BSA Rocket 3, and I had parked it inside because it was a beast start cold in the winter. A city cop in a patrol car seemed to think this was all a bit unusual and hit the lights. I was stone cold sober and figured I'd go ahead and head for the house figuring to plead ignorance and have the bike in the driveway. The officer was less than amused by my failure to pull over immediately and I freely admit to being a smarta$$ as he administered the field sobriety the test. I nailed the backwards ABC's and did a pirouette after successfully turning 360 with my eyes closed and arms out. He looked at me and said something to the effect of "son, I can't charge you with DUI but PD (public drunkenness) is at my discretion." I got to: spend the remainder of the night in the drunk tank, have a soggy p-nut butter sandwich for breakfast, and pay a fine. I've never been anything short of courteous to law enforcement since.
    Last edited by sjsmithjr; 10-19-2009 at 07:06 PM.
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  2. #17

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    Cops need to be better educated, a cop without a college education is a dangerous thing. They usually lack compassion, empathy, respect for anything or anyone, intelliegence and self-control.


    9 mins ago

    SAN JOSE, Calif. – A cell phone video that shows police officers repeatedly hitting an unarmed university student with batons and a Taser gun has prompted a criminal investigation into the officers' conduct, a San Jose police spokesman said.

    The video, posted by the San Jose Mercury News on its Web site late Saturday, shows one officer hitting 20-year-old Vietnamese student Phuong Ho with a metal baton more than 10 times, including once on the head. Another officer is seen using his Taser gun on the San Jose State math major.

    The final baton strike in last month's incident appears to take place after handcuffs have been attached to Ho's wrists.

    "It takes me back to the day I saw the Rodney King video on TV," said Roger Clark, a police expert and a retired lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.

    The last baton strike ought to bring a felony charge, Clark said.

    Officers arrested Ho on suspicion of assaulting one of his roommates. He was not armed when police arrived and he told the newspaper he didn't resist arrest.

    The confrontation began Sept. 3 when Ho's roommate, Jeremy Suftin, put soap on Ho's steak. The two scuffled, and Ho picked up a steak knife, saying that in his home country he would have killed Suftin for doing what he did.

    Police were called, and four officers responded.

    Officer Kenneth Siegel encountered Ho in the hallway, but couldn't understand the student's accent, police reports said. Ho then ignored a police command to stand still, reports said.

    When Ho tried to follow Siegel into his room, officer Steven Payne Jr. moved to handcuff Ho. Payne wrote in his report that he pushed the student into a wall and then forced him to the floor when he resisted being handcuffed.

    Ho, who weighs more than 200 lbs., said his glasses fell off. As he went to pick them up, the officers struck him, he said.

    Another one of Ho's roommates, Dimitri Masouris, captured the events on his cell phone. An officer can be heard on the video shouting, "Turn over!" Ho can be heard moaning and crying as he's struck.

    "In philosophy, they call it 'dehumanization,'" Ho told the Mercury News. "So when they think me a dangerous guy, they don't treat me like I was human. They hit me like an animal or something."

    Masouris said he considered the police response excessive. He sold the tape to San Jose lawyer Duyen Hoang Nguyen, who is representing Ho.

    The Mercury News obtained a copy of the video and showed it to Daniel Katz, San Jose's assistant police chief. The police department is taking the matter very seriously, he said.

    The city's large Vietnamese-American community is already angry over the police shooting of a mentally ill Vietnamese man in May, the newspaper said in an editorial about Ho's beating. The lack of public disclosure in the investigation that followed was also a problem, the paper said.

    Police experts said the grainy, shaky video is difficult to view and may not show actions by Ho that justified the officers' response. Nevertheless, several said the video raises serious concerns.

    "Once he is handcuffed, then he is helpless," said Frank Jordan, a former San Francisco police chief and mayor. "If you can show that his hands are behind his back, and he is handcuffed, that is where you get brutality. That would be excessive force."

    Siegel and Payne didn't respond to written requests for comment sent through department officials and their union.

    ___

  3. #18
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookie View Post
    Cops need to be better educated, a cop without a college education is a dangerous thing. They usually lack compassion, empathy, respect for anything or anyone, intelliegence and self-control.
    I don't think higher education gives anyone more respect, self control or compassion. There are definitely bad cops out there, as there are bad people in all trades and professions. I've met cops on both sides of the fence but don't let the bad ones color my views of the good ones.
    Matt
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  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gills View Post
    In England, it's easy. There is the police, they drive cars, and they can arrest you.

    In America, it's a lot more tricky. There's State Troopers, county police, town police, metro police, park police, the sheriff, the FBI, the CIA and a whole lot more. And they all drive cars with flashing lights on top.

    In a nutshell-

    In general terms, they're all Law Enforcement Officers (aka LEO's)

    -A Police Officer is typically an employee of a City. Local Police enforce City and State ordinances (most (all?) municipal codes have a blanket statement that incorporates all state ordinances into the municipal code).

    -A Sheriff is employed by a County. They patrol unincorporated (not under the jurisdiction of any city) County land. Also, towns too small to justify their own police department will often contract with their local county Sheriff for law enforcement services. The County Sheriff typically provides Bailiffs for county courts, and the correctional officers for county jails. Sheriff's enforce county and state ordinances.

    -State Trooper/State Police/Highway Patrol -- like a Sheriff, but at the state level. A primary duty is enforcement of the state Vehicle Code on state and interstate highways.

    -U.S. Marshall - like a Sheriff, at the federal level

    -FBI - the name kind of says it all - Detectives with nation-wide jurisdiction - enforce Federal law

    -ATF - like the FBI, but limited to Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms issues.

    -CIA - an information gathering organization, by charter, limited to operations outside of the U.S. --- (but...)

    -State Park Police, National Park Rangers, etc, etc, etc - what the name implies

    Cross-jurisdiction authority varies. In some cases, a LEO has zero authority outside of their specific jurisdiction (particularly in regards non-violent crimes). But in many (all?) states, any LEO can at least detain you and call in a local LEO if they observe you in the commission of a crime.

  5. #20
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    Don't forget the hunting and fishing police!!!!

  6. #21
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gills View Post
    Ah, I see.

    Does that mean (and I am being serious) that you need to carry an ID, like a driving license, at all times, even if not driving?

    Or will a spoken name and address suffice, should an officer ask?
    You are not required to carry ID. But you are required to identify yourself to the police if they demand it. Mind you, cops can't and don't go around pulling people off the road or off the street to check their ID. But if they pull you over for a reason...speeding, headlight out, etc, they have the right to identify you. If you are not carrying ID, and you give them your correct name and date of birth, then the BFC ( big freaking computer) at police headquarters, can confirm and all is well. If you fail to identify yourself, they can hook you up. This is one way that people who are on the lamb get caught. I am OK with the system. Secret to no hassles....carry your drivers license, and if you get pulled over, just get over it! I never get pulled over. People who do usually deserve it. There are exceptions....( for example, DWB....driving while black, in an exclusive high end community). We are working on that.

  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    . . . Mind you, cops can't and don't go around pulling people off the road or off the street to check their ID. . .
    "Can't" doesn't necessarily equal "Don't". I used to live and work in Irvine (an upper-middle class community with a highly paid, highly trained police foce, and virtually no crime to occupy them), and worked graveyard shift. My "well-loved" (read "beat to sh*t") 4x4 didn't fit the neighborhood profile, and I could count on getting pulled over at least once a month on my 5 minute drive to work at 1am . One time I asked the officer why she had stopped me, and she responded by issuing a ticket for - get this - a "too bright tail light" (when I took it in to get the fix-it ticket signed off (having made no change to the offending tail light), the officer laughed his a$$ off and wanted to know what I'd done to piss off the citing officer).

    So, Yes, cops do sometimes pull people over just to check their ID.
    Last edited by jeffeverde; 10-25-2009 at 09:43 AM.

  8. #23

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    In this regards, education does count, they need to be much more well-rounded in dealings with people. They need to know so much more than they do. They are very ignorant of so much. They need to sharpen their people skills, their decision making processes, if they don't have what it takes, what is needed, the people who come under their authority suffer. And, if one person suffers needlessly at the hands of one cop, it is one too many. It could be you or your loved one. It doesn't have to be and shouldn't have to be.

    Higher education is the key to being a good cop. They need to be better educated all the way around since, their job is so authorative and their postion and status can make or break another's life. THEY HAVE ALOT OF POWER AND THEY NEED ALOT OF EDUCATION TO USE IT WISELY.

    Just the way it is and should be. The bar has to be raised on this, and I hope in time it will be.
    Last edited by Cookie; 10-25-2009 at 09:55 AM.

  9. #24
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    The flipside to that is, how much education can you demand for a job that pays what theirs does? I know this varies by region & by which police force... but I make more money doing construction, than I would as an NYPD cop.

    Considering the relative stress levels of our jobs? That just ain't right.

    Anytime I interact with a cop, I aim to be helpful, make their day go smoothly, as much as I can. Reckon they've got enough crap on their plate, without me adding to it.
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  10. #25

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    Well, then, you might have to pay higher taxes, to pay the cops more, with more education, so, the cops can do their jobs as well as they should be.

    Their position is one that effects many people lives, not just yours, and because of that, they should be very educated to do the job well.

    They have a job which gives them power, and with that has to come alot of knowledge or everyone loses out.

  11. #26

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    In our township, they only need a high school diploma and when they are hired to weigh the appropriate weight. Afterwards, is a different story. Most townships do not require much. Anyone who wants a job, graduated high school, can run a mile, got a clean slate, can become a police officer.

    Keep raising the bar,

    http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the...ce-officer.htm

    Don't you want the best for your community that protect and serve you?

    (you don't want a fly by night fixing your plumbing or your car.)
    Last edited by Cookie; 10-25-2009 at 12:17 PM.

  12. #27
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffeverde View Post
    "
    So, Yes, cops do sometimes pull people over just to check their ID.
    I did mention the exception of DWB, and various corollaries such as DPS ( driving piece of @^*&$$# in wrong neighborhood) and DWN ( driving in the wrong neighborhood...you just don't look right).

  13. #28

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    What have you learned from all of this, Ian?

  14. #29
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    I did mention the exception of DWB, and various corollaries such as DPS ( driving piece of @^*&$$# in wrong neighborhood) and DWN ( driving in the wrong neighborhood...you just don't look right).
    You forgot DIAFCWTY. (Driving in a fast car while too young).
    Matt
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  15. #30
    write diagnostic firmware for embedded industrial digital cameras (aka machine vision) gdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaOrange View Post
    I don't think higher education gives anyone more respect, self control or compassion. There are definitely bad cops out there, as there are bad people in all trades and professions. I've met cops on both sides of the fence but don't let the bad ones color my views of the good ones.
    Ditto what FloridaOrange said!!!

    There are people in every profession that are qualified, have integrity of character and do their job in a professional manner, and then there are those that don't; regardless of their education level!!!

    Cookie: with all due respect, you are stereotyping cops based on your personal local experience, and any stereotyping (in my book) is not a good thing.

    BTW: I have lived in several different cities in the U.S. The city cops here are the most worthless ones I have seen (in general, of course) and this is the only city I have lived in where the city police are required to have a college degree.
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