Morning Links

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

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74 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Anthony | 

    Park police:
    You know you live in a polce state hn you have specail police for everything, especially parks.

  2. #2 |  Anthony | 

    Stephen:
    How sad is it that “a cool cop video” is one where a cop admits that you have a right to carry and “this is not a third world country” but I’m still going to stop, disarm you and demand identification. You know, for the cop’s safety.
    May our chains hang lightly around our necks.

  3. #3 |  overgoverned | 

    From the story about the deputy sheriff who buried the dog alive:

    “After a two-week internal investigation, Taylor was fired.”

    That’s a miracle on the order of the loaves and fishes. He was 1.) fired, 2.) quickly. Where’s the year of paid administrative leave?

  4. #4 |  Cyto | 

    #44 | bendover |

    Wow, that’s some grade-A roid rage there. I wonder how well his immunity will protect him… he’s guilty of terroristic threats, death threats, criminal coercion, false arrest, false imprisonment, making false statements under oath – at a minimum. I’m sure there’s other criminal statutes.

    If the Turner murder is anything to judge by, the fact that there were multiple officers present means you can also charge them with participating in a criminal street gang.

    But, if you can actually murder someone in plain view, on video tape, in front of multiple witnesses and not face criminal charges, i really doubt that you can get charged for merely threatening to kill someone, or threatening to pull them over and arrest them and tow their car every time you see them, or threatening to physically assault them if you see them….

  5. #5 |  Highway | 

    I thought “My Bad” was a Sudanese phrase, specifically Manute Bol’s:

    http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/002693.html

  6. #6 |  Highway | 

    And that story about Marco Sauceda is just so horrid. Once again, at every step, someone could have stopped this injustice: Cops could stop hassling him, cops could decline to arrest him, prosecutor could have not charged him, dropped charges later, jury finds not guilty, judge acquits, judge doesn’t give sentence. But no, at all those steps, we *have* to keep railroading a guy who didn’t even threaten the police except in their own overly excitable minds.

    What a way to run a railroad.

  7. #7 |  Cyto | 

    Executive summary of Highway #54:

    “Procedures were followed” – so nobody is culpable.

    Actually, that may have something to do with these cases. If responsibility is spread diffusely, a group will make a decision that no individual will ever make on his own. In this case each cog in the machine believes that some other cog down the line will correct the obvious error.

    I’ve seen this up close and personal in business. We had a department that had some quality control issues. So they added a review to double-check the work. But problems continued so they added a second reviewer. And a senior reviewer. And a final compliance review. Quality tanked. Each person relied on everyone else to do the review better than them, so the reviews were perfunctory at best. And the original workers knew there were multiple layers of reviews to catch any errors, so they didn’t bother being careful. Counterintuitive, but kinda obvious in hindsight.

    The same goes for all of the “just following the rules” automatons that enforce things like “zero tolerance policies” and “resisting arrest” charges where there is no underlying offense to resist arrest from.

  8. #8 |  Mike | 

    #42, “lazer” is incorrect. Geek trivia time, laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

  9. #9 |  BamBam | 

    Radley, saying that “training would have helped here” implies that training is the issue. The issue is very rarely training, but is sociopaths living out their fantasies and using The State and the police union and qualified immunity as their shields against accountability. As you yourself have said many times, how do mail delivery people, electrical meter people, etc. deal with dogs and not kill them? How is it that the general public doesn’t kill dogs at the slightest “furtive movement”?

  10. #10 |  ‘Resisting arrest’? When police have wrongly invaded your home? « David McElroy | 

    […] This story comes via a link at Radley Balko’s site, the Agitator. Share: […]

  11. #11 |  Pablo | 

    #55 Cyto–you hit the nail on the head. It is called “diffusion of responsibility” and psychologists have talked about it for decades. If lots of people potentially are responsible then the tendency is for no one to do anything b/c they think someone else will. Psychologists started studying it in the 60s after that lady in NYC was stabbed to death in front of dozens of her neighbors, none of whom did anything to help–not even calling the police until after she was dead.

  12. #12 |  Laura Victoria | 

    As a former criminal defense lawyer, I and others often didn’t put criminal defendants on the stand if we thought the judge would think they were lying in their own defense. It was a criminal law truism that judges would sentence higher if your client took the stand and lied.

    I’ve never ever heard of a judge sentencing higher because the client did not take the stand.

  13. #13 |  John | 

    Hey Radley

    Maybe this will make you happy

    http://www.slate.com/id/2299697/

    though sadly the authors are the sort to look the gift horse in the mouth…

  14. #14 |  lunchstealer | 

    A few of those ‘Americanisms’ are genuinely both ‘American’ and plausibly annoying. But most of the complaints are dumb, and a few are absolutely retarded. A number of them are complaints that we use one word for an idea instead of an entire phrase, which is just foolish. “Put into alphabetical order” is fine if you’ve got all day, but if you’re in a hurry, “alphabetize” says the same thing in a third of the time.

    Perhaps the most egregious example: 31. “Hike” a price. Does that mean people who do that are hikers? No, hikers are ramblers! M Holloway, Accrington

    So if one hikes up one’s skirt, one is taking a cross-country walk up a skirt? Some words have multiple meanings, douchefuck.

  15. #15 |  Johnny Clamboat | 

    Bill Line, a National Park Service spokesman, said the pedicabs are engaged in illegal activity when they come onto park service property because they aren’t allowed to make commercial transactions on the National Mall or the park service property around it — including the roads.

    “The pedicabs are obviously doing much more than driving a bike,” he said. “The pedicabs are obviously out at the National Mall to make cold hard American cash.”

    How dare that man earn a living. Voltage is a must.

    Bill Line, sheepfucker or something more sinister? I’m only asking questions.

  16. #16 |  Ted S. | 

    My favorite came courtesy of the BBC quiz show “Brain of Britian” a good 15 years back, when the contestants were asked what Americans call a coffin.

    (Yes, they were looking for the word “casket”, but I don’t know anybody who wouldn’t use the two words interchangeably.)

  17. #17 |  JS | 

    Johnny Clamboat “Bill Line, sheepfucker or something more sinister? I’m only asking questions.”

    It could be both.

  18. #18 |  Bernard | 

    Hi Pablo,

    The Kitty Genovese thing is kind of an urban myth. It really did happen, but the hysteria about all her neighbours watching and not doing anything was entirely made up be the newspapers to get a juicier story.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect#Kitty_Genovese

  19. #19 |  Rojo | 

    All the Brits that submitted to the annoying Americanisms piece can go get stuffed! (Is “go get stuffed” an annoying Americanism?). Our English has diverged, get over it. Similarly, all (hypothetical) Americans submitting to a piece on annoying Britishisms can also go get stuffed.

    I was going to say that there’s nothing I hate worse than language Nazis, but that would obviously be hyperbole. I do dislike ’em though. Language is fluid. It always has been, it always will be.

    Having lived in London (UK), Pune (India), New York, Massachusetts, Texas, and now Oregon at various points over my years, I’ve grown quite fond of the varieties of English that I’ve encountered. In fact, being open to such differences might even enrich one’s understanding of others, I dare say.

    That said, I don’t like “First off,” as in “First off, we should try the lamb.” That one bugs me. Yes, I’m a hypocrite.

    …and some of those “annoying Americanisms” I’ve never heard of.

  20. #20 |  Xenocles | 

    A while ago I came to the conclusion that a culture that feels the need to protect its purity has long since lost its relevance.

  21. #21 |  croaker | 

    @20 And cops wonder why no one respect them anymore. Before long, people will start thinking “I’m going to jail anyway, may as well be for putting this pig in ICU.”

    @23 This actually happens in MD and two other states.

    @32 Actually this should be (and I believe it is) grounds for appeal. A judge basically said that taking the “fif” is something to be punished. The judge should be censured by the bar, presuming he’s a lawyer.

    @39 I figured the prosecution was pure retaliation. That time line should be grounds alone for going after the DA for malicious prosecution.

  22. #22 |  c andrew | 

    @Rune,

    Or the means of administering a leather enema.

  23. #23 |  Buzz | 

    “as large men with guns screamed at him in a language he doesn’t understand. ” Screw that. If large men with guns screaming at me in a language I DO understand, locking myself in the bathroom is self preservation. There is no reason for a bunch of cops to enter my house, I’ve broken no laws. I do own firearms, I do have a CC. How do I know they will just detain me until whatever the issue is cleared up? How do I know they just wont start shooting at me? Locked in the bathroom with a cell phone calling lawyers, media, any one else that might provide a small matter of protection sounds like a very good idea.

  24. #24 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I’ll let you know when there’s something about the British that I like.