Author Topic: Police brutality, looting and racism  (Read 54367 times)

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Offline Scheavo

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #210 on: August 18, 2014, 03:08:39 PM »
What changed on that Tuesday? What Tuesday was it? Was it the same day as the Presidential election, or was it a Tuesday in June in 2009? It is harder for black people to vote. We could argue the reasons for this, but survey and study after study shows that it IS harder for black people to vote. Given that, they could make the EXTRA effort to vote during the Presidential election, in '08 and '12, and it doesn't prove apathy for them to not be able to put in that extra effort into every other election.

On top of that, if it is a Presidential, more employers would probably be more leniant and letting of people voting. So during those elections, it's easier for them to vote. But for a local election, on a Tuesday in June, maybe they can't get the time off to go vote - or maybe just can't fenangle a busy schedule again to get the chance to go vote.

I'm sorry, you're not making sense.  Or perhaps I am just not understanding.   I don't know what a "Tuesday in June" refers to.   All I know, is the PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION in NOVEMBER OF 2008 and the PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION in NOVEMBER OF 2012, more blacks than whites found the initiative to get out and vote. 

I can't for the life of me understand why somehow the planets aligned in that election, but not others.   I don't understand how the planets aligned in - I think it was NOVEMBER of 1998 - when virtually 100% of blacks in Atlanta voted for Bill Campbell for Mayor.   What makes those anomalies?   I sometimes find it inconvenient or downright hard to get out and vote, too, and I make my choice:  do I want to put in the effort or not?   Usually I do, because I believe in the system.   But whether I do or not IS MY CHOICE, and certainly, under the strict definition of the word, if I opt to NOT go to the polls it is a form of apathy.   The relative threshold is irrelevant. 

I don't know about you, but I have a busy life. I have work, school, a girlfriend, and I have to take care of myself. There's been times when I hear about a local election for some minor offices that just occured, without even knowing they were going on. It wasn't because of apathy, but because other things were more demanding at the current moment which required my attention. The same cannot be said for the major elections which occur every two years on the 2nd Tuesday of of November. That's institutionized and consistent, and there is much less ability to say you didn't know about it.

Apathy is the lack of care. But you can't take no voting as not caring. That's a fallacy. "If you vote, you care" is a pretty strong statement. "If you don't vote, you don't care" is denying the antecedent. Not voting could be for a variety of reasons, and does not indicate, in any shape or form, that someone doesn't care. It could just as well mean they care about other things more, which could be so diverse that it's not even worth listing all the possibilities.

As an analogy, let's imagine climbing a mountain. On one side of the mountain, we have a nice gradual slope, which is easy to climb to the peak. The other side has a sheer cliff face, which would require expert climbing skills to get up. To say someone with no climbing experience who is at the base of the cliff is choosing to not climb the cliff is absurd. Their choice was informed and made for them by the realities and facts on the ground. It is not apathy. They could want to get to that peak more than anything else in the world, more than the person who climbs up the mountain from the back side in a leisurely stroll. Your account of "choice" and what "choice" is wants to completely ignore reality and how reality helps determine our "choosing." And this, I find, is exactly why I always, and will always, disagree with libertarians.

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But you're not answering the question, and I mean that nicely.  Put it another way:  is all "poor" equal?  In other words, are the "black poor" the same as the "white poor"?   I do know that unemployment rates for blacks is higher than whites (almost double) which suggests a racial component, until you look at the fact that blacks are the second LOWEST participants in the labor pool.   Meaning, they aren't even putting themselves out there as candidates for the positions!   Even if you have little hope of success, at what point does one have to take ownership of the idea that they have made a conscious decision to stop trying?

In the given context, they are close enough so as to not matter. Blacks and whites are equally likely to use and sell drugs, amongst all classes. You also brought in educational levels, so I went ahead and normalized for educational levels for you. When talking about incarceration rates for drugs and drug related crimes, they are equal. But what we see in actual incarceration rates is that blacks are more likely than whites to be in prison, regardless of class. You can't use poverty and economics as the reason for why blacks are imprisoned more than whites - which is what you're arguing -  because when you look at the question economically, you still see race being a dominating factor. Which does not mean that economics don't play into incarceration in general, because our system is clearly set up against poor people as well. But that's a different argument, and not the one being presented. It can be true that BOTH you are more likely to be in prison if your poor AND you're more likely to be in prison if your black. One does not disprove the other, and one does not exclude the other. Which is what would need to be the case for your contentions to have any relevance to this discussion.

My mountain analogy above as far as "stop trying." Plus, for a large many people, you're begging the question becuase one reason they may not be applying for jobs is because they have felonies which would preclude them from getting the job. Felonies both of us agree they shouldn't have, even if they performed what was necessary to qualify for those felonies.



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I'll just reference my above link. If this were as true as yo usay, then blacks who complete College wouldn't be more likely to be in prison, and whites who drop out of high school wouldn't be less likely to be in prison.

I'm not following?  More or less likely than who?

Come now. Not well worded, but it's pretty obvious what I"m talking about, especially if you read through the link.

If you're black and a high school dropout, you have a 37%ish chance of being in jail. If you're white and a high school drop out, you have a 12%ish chance of being in jail. If educational levels and economic opportunity were the major driving force behind the incarceration rates, then there would not be a nearly 300% disparity between the same class of people and incarceration rates.


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Citing under performing schools that are over funded doesn't prove that underfunding schools doesn't effect performance. Fallacious logic there.

That wasn't the statement.  It's back to "correlation" versus "cause and effect".  The only conclusion that one could draw (and I didn't even do that) is that "funding" doesn't directly improve performance.  Everything else is up for further analysis.

But underfunding can still hinder performance, which was my initial comment. It was never argued that there aren't a lot of factors in why a school may be poor, only that underfunding is a reason why schools wouldn't succeed.

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Where do you live, if I may ask?    I try very hard not to use anecdotal or empirical information in these posts, except as color or as sidebar.  But where I am now (in Connecticut, where I was born and raised), where I was in Charlotte, and in Atlanta, the reality supports what I am saying.  The only place I've lived which doesn't fit nicely in this is Philadelphia, and I'm still trying to figure out why.   There is a LOT of racism in Philly, of the most insidious kind, but having said that, many prominent civic leaders are black and there is a small black subcommunity that is economically prosperous. 

Montana. My experience with these issues are purely from academia, and not tainted with personal experience or bias. Personal experience should never really be used in these cases, which is why data is so important. I'm just not sure what you mean when you say your experiences back up your claims, but there's many reasons why that shouldn't be relevant anyways.


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Those are all fair points, but if I am understanding you correctly, they assume the conclusion.   Meaning, I can't answer what would happen if there were 100 candidates, exactly equal in training and qualifications, going for one job.  Presumably, that would include 13 black candidates and 63 white ones.  Clearly, if the white wins that job more than 63% of the time, there is a problem.    But we don't know that.  What we do know is that based on education - which is at least SOMEWHAT tied to choice.  SOMEWHAT - the 100-person candidate pool is more like 70 (or more) white and 6 (or less) black.   So no wonder the outcomes are skewed.

But more black people competing for the same number of jobs wouldn't increase the number of jobs available. That's all my point is. I will concede that a few more black people might hedge out a few more white people, but in general, those new black graduates would just compete with other black graduates for the local jobs and opportunities, and the overall economics of the system wouldn't change all that much without exterior changes.
 

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First, don't play that card.    We're talking concepts here; my "empathy" has nothing to do with it, and you have no idea who's shoes I've walked in.  I purposefully leave out "empathy" in these discussions, because "empathy" more often than not leads to bad decisions.   The right answer is the answer that leads to the best outcome; not the most emotionally satisfying outcome.    I would argue - strongly - that many of things we have to fix here are in place BECAUSE of empathy.   I think someone like El Barto will disagree with me, but I strongly believe that the current drugs laws are largely what they are because of empathetic reasons (most people don't know or give a shit about the monetization aspect of the war on drugs; they don't want it legal because they fear losing a subset of a generation to abuse).   

I didn't mean to imply you were being unempathetic, and according to my reading of it shouldn't have been implied. I was saying that to call blacks lazy, or apathetic, is to display a lack of empathy. I agree with you that emotions should be kept out of the discussion on what to do about a problem, but what we're talking about in this case is dealing with judging people, where empathy is more needed.

Fearing losing a subset of a generation to abuse isn't empathy (I won't get into how it's also misguided). It could be sympathy, and other admirable traits, but not empathy. Empathy isn't feeling for other people, or caring for other people. You could care a lot about other people, and be totally unempathetic. Likewise, you could be totally empathetic and not care one bit about other people.

Can you at least see how BOTH are not helping, and how BOTH feed the inevitable downward spiral?

Yep. But I fail to see why I'm supposed to defend this or somehow say otherwise. I've never once taken the opposing position you seem to think I'm taking. You're pigeonholing me into something and asking me to defend the actions of other people.

Offline Scheavo

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #211 on: August 18, 2014, 03:08:54 PM »


Um, it's speculation as to what the conversation was saying, either way. That was my point, and that's why it's hearsay.

No, that's not what makes it 'hearsay'.  It's hearsay when it is an out-of-court statement being used (whether it is good proof or not) to prove the issue at hand.   If a prosecutor introduced that to PROVE that Brown was not running away, it would be excluded as "hearsay", unless an exception could be found (i.e. that the witness was not available).

Sorry, I did speak poorly. It's hearsay because it's out of court. It shouldn't be allowed in court to demonstrate the cops side of the story as true because it's speculation that the the conversation was backing up the Cops story. For the same reasons, it shouldn't be allowed to contest a testimony because the video is hearsay that can't be verified. Luckily, I don't know any story out there that contests Brown was running away when he got killed.

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A lot of people claiming to be at Woodstock, and not being at Woodstock, does not prove no one was at Woodstock. Just the same, a lot of people claiming to have seen the events, and not, does not prove those events did not happen. Completely fallacious logic.

Ugh.  You're killing me.  I'm not saying that Woodstock - or the events - didn't happen.  I'm saying that we have to evaluate each person individually, and that there are 10 people saying the same thing DOESN"T IN AND OF ITSELF mean that the event happened.  You have to evaluate the veracity of each and every one of the 10. 

Sorry, I assumed you were trying to make a point. If your point is that the 'numerous eyewitnesses" could be 8 or 2 depending upon investigation of the eyewitness accounts, then my original statement is still true. There are numerous eyewitnesses, first hand eyewitnesses which have performed a more rigorous accounting than this video and a 2nd hand accounting from a party to the events. For the sake of an investigation, I'm not going to throw away those numerous eyewitness accounts in favor of unreliable and non-verifiable information.


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NOT of anything; it CAN be used to impeach a witness without being hearsay.  it can also be used as evidence that there are other interpretations of what went down.  What it CAN'T be used for is to prove that Brown was or was not running away when shot.

No, it is hearsay. Whether it's hearsay that meets criteria for being allowed in court is a different matter.

And the thing is, it's not a clear cut interpretation of what went down! That's what you keep ignoring and avoiding. If the guy was overheard saying, "The police shot in self defense" THEN you would have a point. But you don't. You have ambiguous, unclear and unverifiable information. You don't know if it says what you think it says, or maybe I should say we don't know if it says what people think it says. You need to clear away the ambiguity of what that person was saying, and actually VERIFY that the person was saying what you think he was saying. And that is why it's hearsay that should not be admissible in court (unless the person was found, testified, and obviously lied about what he said he said in the video, but that's a ridiculous proposition).


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The ambiguity of the statement does not matter in the context of "hearsay".  If it gets admitted, whether it is ambiguous or not, or whether it proves what it is intended to prove is a matter of fact for the jury.    Your last statement is not accurate; not because it isn't reasonable (a juror could come up with that interpretation) but because it isn't a matter of law.  It is subject to the jury's interpretation.  I as a juror am free to draw whatever conclusion I want to the evidence once it is admitted.

Do you see the difference? 

I see the difference, it just has no import on what I'm saying.

But the purported evidence isn't evidence, and that's the difference. It's total hearsay! And the reasons why we have hearsay are for the exact reasons I'm giving, so this is a matter of the law. The reason we have hearsay rules is partly becuase you don't know the context in which a statement was given. We want the testimony to be in person because that allows us to read the person making the statements, and to allow follow up questions to affirm what we think is being said. And in this video, you can't see the gestures the speaker made when he said "he like - be like" and without that you simply do NOT know what was being said.


See, here's where you lose me.  You say something that is completely factual and sustainable  - "the bullet trajectory through his skull does demand some explanation", then ruin it with something subjective, opinionated, and supportive of what appears to be a pre-determined conclusion - "a lowered head is a submissive response".    Ever see a defensive back in football lower his head to annihilate a receiver crossing the flat?   

You're not Michael Brown.  You don't know whether he was enraged, on steroids, on other mind-altering drugs or cold sober.   You don't know if he got the bright idea to lower his head to reduce his profile.  You don't know if he was off balance from taking a prior gunshot.   

Why do we even have to speculate at this point?    Let the professionals do their job.  Michael Baden, while often being an expert for hire, is about as credible an investigator as they come.  HE refused to speculate, so why should we? 


*sigh*

I do hate it when I have to quote my fucking self.


Again, not saying you're wrong, just that there isn't any good reason to support what you're saying is true.


the autopsy results released thus far doesn't say anything definitive. The corronor I saw went out of his way to make this point clear. At this point, the results don't back up either story, disprove either story, and definitly doesn't make Johnson a liar. You're making a huge assumption here.


While I agree the lawyers response is pretty bad, I do think that the bullet trajectory through his skull does demand some explanation. He was a tall man (who tall was the officer? I haven't seen that information), so that trajectory requires some explanation. As you point out, the shots prior to that were survivable and probably nothing to really stop him, so then why was his head lowered? A lowered head is a submissive response. It's reasonable to think that it's part of that raising his hands in the air per eyewitness accounts. It's also reasonable to think Brown was falling to the ground out of shock and got hit when the cop was unloading his round. Or, I'd say much less likely, if Brown had his head lowered and was bull-rushing the officer. But that's just becuase I don't see why you would lower your head that far away.

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It's not. I just don't see any reason to discount it given the evidence presented. I think the only reason I seem awfully keen to believe his story is becuase I'm arguing against people who are awfully keen on discounting his story, and didn't believe it prior to any "evidence" to discount it.

I'm taking a pretty damn neutral stance on the actual shooting. Johnson having some inaccuracies in his story doesn't make him a liar, it makes him human.

When a defensive back lowers his head for a tackle, he doesn't do so 35 feet away. That's why I find it less likely, but I never said it wasn't plausible.

You made a lot of assumptions to get to the point of where I'm only defending Brown. You've been making them against me this entire thread, despite my rather clear neutral position. I'm sure that if the conversation in this thread was focused at all around how the cop story is inaccurate, I'd be refuting more than a few of those contentions.


Offline Scheavo

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #212 on: August 18, 2014, 03:17:25 PM »
If the American Revolution were to go down today, the Founding Fathers would all be declared radicals with no respect for authority, who are criminals and dangerous to society. They rioted, they looted, they did a whole bunch of things we would like to think they didn't. But they did. I think it's terribly ironic that the more "conservative" people tend to be more upset with the recent events.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #213 on: August 18, 2014, 03:30:58 PM »
If the American Revolution were to go down today, the Founding Fathers would all be declared radicals with no respect for authority, who are criminals and dangerous to society. They rioted, they looted, they did a whole bunch of things we would like to think they didn't. But they did. I think it's terribly ironic that the more "conservative" people tend to be more upset with the recent events.
Yeah, so few people are willing to actually emulate the people they revere. Jesus is the best example of that. Easier just to reinterpret them to suit your own ideals.

However, I haven't seen the conservatives be any more upset than the liberals. They've just reversed sides. The conservatives are assuming the British role, while the liberals are outraged by the Boston massacre.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #214 on: August 18, 2014, 05:32:32 PM »
I don't see this as being down party lines.  Not at all.  Especially given that Gary posted this earlier:

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The radio personality who 'live tweeted' from Ferguson last night just tweeted this:

"Asked protestors in #ferguson what needs 2 happen for peace, they almost all said, not until the officer suffers the same fate as Mike Brown"

That kind of "we want him dead" attitude is most certainly not a liberal one.  Hell, it's not even a conservative one, a Libertarian one, an independent one, etc.

Granted, you are gonna have a portion of "white guilt" folks on the far left who will automatically take the side of the black over the white, just like you are gonna have a portion of far righties who will always take the side of anybody over a black, but, by and large, this shouldn't be a partisan issue.

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Offline El Barto

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #216 on: August 18, 2014, 09:39:58 PM »
http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/08/18/ferguson-pd-busted/
The video shows nothing interesting regarding MB (although his buddy might have been shoplifting while he distracted the clerk). We don't know what they were saying and we don't know what happened when they left frame. Plus, if you're some little Asian guy running a Kwik-E-Mart, after recent events your story would be that he was the nicest guy you'd ever met and the altercation was him refusing to accept the cigs for free.

Also, horrible article. Seizing the surveillance video of a man who was just shot and killed is a gross abuse of police authority?
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #217 on: August 18, 2014, 10:07:40 PM »
I watched that video a few times, and honestly can't make out what happened, and don't think that helps shed any new light. But are you refuting the claim that the owners didn't call the police or file a theft report? I didn't take much else away from that article other than backed-up claim that the store owners aren't claiming to have called the police or filed a report. Given that, you could say they're just scared to say it was theft, or you could say there is no evidence to support the claim that Brown stole anything. **

It just makes the police department look even worse, and makes their response all that much more questionable and despicable.

Edit**

Scratch that, I remember now Johnsons attorney admitting the theft.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2014, 10:51:00 PM by Scheavo »

Offline Scheavo

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #218 on: August 18, 2014, 10:57:28 PM »
3) you heard wrong.  I posted a link in this thread where the police said they wanted to talk to him and couldn't get a hold of him.

Just ran across this again

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/12/michael-brown-shooting-witness_n_5671156.html

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Freeman Bosley, Johnson’s attorney, told msnbc that the police have yet to interview Johnson. Bosley said that he offered the police an opportunity to speak with Johnson, but they declined.

“They didn’t even want to talk to him,” said Bosley, a former mayor of St. Louis. “They don’t want the facts. What they want is to justify what happened … what they are trying to do now is justify what happened instead of trying to point out the wrong. Something is wrong here and that’s what it is.”

Unless he's been proven to be lying, I'm going with this.

Offline KevShmev

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #219 on: August 18, 2014, 11:03:43 PM »
The lawyer says one thing; the police say another.  Why am I not surprised that you are taking the side you are?  It's astonishing how much benefit of the doubt you are willing to give to one side, while giving almost none to the other.

Offline Scheavo

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #220 on: August 19, 2014, 12:03:25 AM »
What are your reasons for thinking the lawyer is lying versus the police? Honest question.

I trust the person who has little or less to gain over the person who has a lot to gain. What does the lawyer have to gain by lying? And lying so publicly? This would be very easy to refute, and it would immediate cast everything he says into doubt. Meanwhile, the police have a lot to gain by lying. And considering their track record and the professionalism and quality of the response to the shooting, I don't see why they should be given the benefit of the doubt. The entire police response to the shooting by the Ferguson police has been quintessential incompetence.

Why am I not surprised that you are taking the side you are? It's astonishing how much benefit of the doubt you are willing to give to one side, while giving almost none to the other.

No quotes around that. I just find it hypocritical that you would try to level this against me while it applies to you much more so than me. You're willing to call Dorian Johnson a "piece of shit liar" based upon flimsy and incomplete information. I haven't once actually called the cop in question a liar, or said he executed Brown, or anything at all about that. I've in fact, on several occasions, said he could be telling the 100% truth. I DON'T KNOW and NEITHER DO YOU. I have only defended Johnson and others against outrageous attacks on their character based upon little or nothing.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2014, 12:08:28 AM by Scheavo »

Offline Stadler

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #221 on: August 19, 2014, 04:01:54 AM »
Nah, this kind of needs to work the other way. Like I posted some pages ago, cop gets held to a higher standard. Whether or not the dead guy was a scumbag, he was at the time of the encounter a citizen of this country which makes him both innocent and Johnny's responsibility to protect. I sort of think that the facts will favor the cop in this, and I certainly agree with you that the media, the parents, the buddy, the attorney, and the City of Ferguson have all combined to make this an epic clusterfuck which will likely boil over far worse than it already has, but at the point the benefit of the doubt goes to the stiff.

Interestingly, whether there is a higher standard or not (and we can debate that), even that won't trump the general standard applicable to both:  "innocent until proven guilty".   These are, technically in that sense, two different crimes.  Brown is IUPG with respect to the cop stopping him, and once the shooting incident went down, the cop is IUPG with respect to that.  I know it's hard sometimes but that is the way it has to work for justice to ultimately out. 

This is not a new concept; doctors have a higher standard of care than laymen, but if a patient dies on the table, IUPG.   

Offline Stadler

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #222 on: August 19, 2014, 04:06:22 AM »

I've got no problem whatsoever with a solid disrespect for authority.

Same here.

My problem is that many seem to have a total disregard for authority, and that is a problem.

But that's the rub, isn't it?   And while I don't share the "solid disrespect for authority", I get it and would admit to a healthy distrust of some authority.  But isn't it all how you manifest it?   "Solid disrespect" shouldn't translate into free-for-all violence.   Isn't that just street justice?   There's got to be limits, and regardless of what side of the badge you're on, there has to be SOME self-awareness of what reactions your actions might engender (and no, I am not "victim blaming" or implying that Brown "asked" for what happened to him). 

Offline Stadler

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #223 on: August 19, 2014, 05:09:21 AM »
I don't know about you, but I have a busy life. I have work, school, a girlfriend, and I have to take care of myself. There's been times when I hear about a local election for some minor offices that just occured, without even knowing they were going on. It wasn't because of apathy, but because other things were more demanding at the current moment which required my attention. The same cannot be said for the major elections which occur every two years on the 2nd Tuesday of of November. That's institutionized and consistent, and there is much less ability to say you didn't know about it.

But those are, at the end of the day, choices.   They just are, even if they seem like sometimes they are being made for you.  We're talking about voting here, but isn't it just one of a line of things that either get done on a given day or don't?   How do you prioritize work, school, and the girl?  Don't you have conflicts where you have to make a decision (sometimes hard, sometimes easy)?    I am a single dad, who works full time.  I sometimes have conflicts and while I generally put my kid first, it can't ALWAYS be that way, and I rationalize it by saying "I had to work", but at the end of the day, when I'm lying in bed in the dark contemplating yesterday and planning tomorrow, it was all a choice. 

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Apathy is the lack of care. But you can't take no voting as not caring. That's a fallacy. "If you vote, you care" is a pretty strong statement. "If you don't vote, you don't care" is denying the antecedent. Not voting could be for a variety of reasons, and does not indicate, in any shape or form, that someone doesn't care. It could just as well mean they care about other things more, which could be so diverse that it's not even worth listing all the possibilities.

Of course you can, and I do.   Perhaps it's more correct to say "If you don't vote, you don't care as much about it as the other things in your life that prevented you from voting", but it is exactly that.   As I noted I'm a single dad.  My kid is old enough now to stay by herself unattended for a couple hours (though not overnight, yet).   But back in the day, obviously, I couldn't leave her for any period of time.   So many things didn't get done because I had to stay with her.   But again, that was a choice.   I COULD have left her, if I was willing to accept the consequences (jail for endangering a minor, any injuries she might have sustained while I was not there, perhaps death or kidnapping).   It sounds obvious, and not like much of a choice, but in reality, it was. 

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As an analogy, let's imagine climbing a mountain. On one side of the mountain, we have a nice gradual slope, which is easy to climb to the peak. The other side has a sheer cliff face, which would require expert climbing skills to get up. To say someone with no climbing experience who is at the base of the cliff is choosing to not climb the cliff is absurd. Their choice was informed and made for them by the realities and facts on the ground. It is not apathy. They could want to get to that peak more than anything else in the world, more than the person who climbs up the mountain from the back side in a leisurely stroll. Your account of "choice" and what "choice" is wants to completely ignore reality and how reality helps determine our "choosing." And this, I find, is exactly why I always, and will always, disagree with libertarians.

The notion of it being "choice" is not absurd at all, even if the choices themselves are.  They COULD try to climb it if they wanted.   They might not be successful, they might sustain injuries or even death, but it IS a choice, and if for whatever reason the priorities were such that it was more important to try that steep face than any of the other alternatives, they COULD do it if they wanted to.

Maybe "apathy" is a strong word in the absolute sense - they might care about voting as a general proposition - but the prioritization is always a matter of choice.   Look, I'm not denying the notion of "reality" and how facts influence our choosing, it happens to me as well.   I was out of work for a while, and things were (financially) bleak.   I finally got a job offer, but it was 300 miles away, and would have taken me away from my family for the entire week (I'd be back on weekends).  Doesn't seem like much of a choice, does it?  And I know plenty of people that would have turned it down, and rationalized it as "not a viable offer".  But it was still, ultimately, my choice to make.   I DID take that job, and it effectively ruined my marriage.  I'm not proud of that, but in the end?  Yeah, I made the choice that that job was worth risking my marriage for, and I own that choice and the ramifications (she had an affair while I was gone, and we were divorced about two years later).  I made that prioritization, no one else, and no one forced me to do it.

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You also brought in educational levels, so I went ahead and normalized for educational levels for you. When talking about incarceration rates for drugs and drug related crimes, they are equal. But what we see in actual incarceration rates is that blacks are more likely than whites to be in prison, regardless of class. You can't use poverty and economics as the reason for why blacks are imprisoned more than whites - which is what you're arguing -  because when you look at the question economically, you still see race being a dominating factor. Which does not mean that economics don't play into incarceration in general, because our system is clearly set up against poor people as well. But that's a different argument, and not the one being presented. It can be true that BOTH you are more likely to be in prison if your poor AND you're more likely to be in prison if your black. One does not disprove the other, and one does not exclude the other. Which is what would need to be the case for your contentions to have any relevance to this discussion.

Look, we're going to have to table this.  I can't get any deeper into this discussion without using generalizations that don't help anyone.   The fact is, it IS economic.  That there are more blacks in jail on a percentage basis (and an absolute basis) doesn't mean they are there BECAUSE they are black.  "Black" is not a crime; there had to be SOMETHING to get them in the system.  SOMETHING is getting more blacks in the system than whites.  I'm sure you will argue that cops and judges and prosecutors are simply targeting blacks (which might have been true 100 years ago in certain jurisdictions) but it isn't the case today.  It's just not; in fact, more blacks are being released from jail (on a percentage basis and even accounting for the higher incarceration rates) so it isn't that the "system" just wants blacks to be incarcerated.  So why do poor blacks turn to crime at higher rates than whites?  And I'm saying it's economics, and I'm also saying - and here is specifically why I would not want to go too much further - that being poor and white is not the same as being poor and black.  Not better or worse, but different.

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My mountain analogy above as far as "stop trying." Plus, for a large many people, you're begging the question becuase one reason they may not be applying for jobs is because they have felonies which would preclude them from getting the job. Felonies both of us agree they shouldn't have, even if they performed what was necessary to qualify for those felonies.

Why would I agree with that?  If they performed what was necessary to qualify for those felonies, why shouldn't they have them?  White or black?

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Come now. Not well worded, but it's pretty obvious what I"m talking about, especially if you read through the link.

If you're black and a high school dropout, you have a 37%ish chance of being in jail. If you're white and a high school drop out, you have a 12%ish chance of being in jail. If educational levels and economic opportunity were the major driving force behind the incarceration rates, then there would not be a nearly 300% disparity between the same class of people and incarceration rates.

Sorry, I honestly didn't follow, and didn't want to do your point a disservice; I wasn't being cute or disingenuous.  call it a brain fart if you must. 

Why not?  I'm not conceding that they are the same class, at least in the sense of economic opportunity.  Are you accounting for unemployment rates?  Are you accounting for those that simply removed themselves from the working pool entirely?  Are you accounting for the working poor rates?  Are you accounting for public assistance numbers (which, incidentially, doesn't factor in to calculating poverty levels)?   

Look, we're going around and around a little bit here, so let me make it more clear:  I'm not saying race doesn't play in.  I have no doubt that there are circumstances where all things being equal, a black person is not going to get the benefit of the doubt, whether it is a job offer, the attention of a beat cop, or whatever.  But it CERTAINLY is not THE factor, or the most important factor. That is, and always will be, economics.   These things are complicated; we've been lulled into a sense of simplicity that just isn't there.

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Montana. My experience with these issues are purely from academia, and not tainted with personal experience or bias. Personal experience should never really be used in these cases, which is why data is so important. I'm just not sure what you mean when you say your experiences back up your claims, but there's many reasons why that shouldn't be relevant anyways.

Are you in the dental floss business?  ;)

"Tainted".  Haha.  Listen, I agree with you in terms of using personal experience (I said as much in the caveat to my question).  But "academia" can't exist in a vacuum.    I've got the academic bona fides too (MBA from Emory University) but it is useless without some application to the real world, even if it is just to ground-truth the assumptions that you use to formulate your "models".   For example, most economics models assume 'rational actors', even though most economists would tell you that humans are anything but. 

Again, don't lose my underlying point:  I am not saying you are "wrong" in the absolute sense, I am saying that you are incomplete and it goes deeper - much deeper - than any one factor.

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But more black people competing for the same number of jobs wouldn't increase the number of jobs available. That's all my point is. I will concede that a few more black people might hedge out a few more white people, but in general, those new black graduates would just compete with other black graduates for the local jobs and opportunities, and the overall economics of the system wouldn't change all that much without exterior changes.

Why would they compete with "other black graduates" and not "other graduates"?

Certainly the jobs question is a stand-alone issue that I'm not sure we're close to solving here.   But as a general proposition (and I know some here would dispute this, since I've had the conversation with them in the past on other forums) higher education levels mean more opportunities in terms of more potential jobs for which the candidate is qualified.   

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I didn't mean to imply you were being unempathetic, and according to my reading of it shouldn't have been implied. I was saying that to call blacks lazy, or apathetic, is to display a lack of empathy. I agree with you that emotions should be kept out of the discussion on what to do about a problem, but what we're talking about in this case is dealing with judging people, where empathy is more needed.

Well, I did at least imply that some blacks ARE apathetic, so that IS a display of a lack of empathy.  And I stand by what I said:  "empathy" in terms of analysis and decision-making leads to bad decisions.    We can be empathetic as human beings (and I'd like to think I am, though it's not for me to judge) but the idea of "let's do something, ANYTHING, for this particular group" is both condescending and short-sighted; we should be embracing the idea of "let's do the RIGHT thing for EVERYONE". 

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Fearing losing a subset of a generation to abuse isn't empathy (I won't get into how it's also misguided). It could be sympathy, and other admirable traits, but not empathy. Empathy isn't feeling for other people, or caring for other people. You could care a lot about other people, and be totally unempathetic. Likewise, you could be totally empathetic and not care one bit about other people.

You don't give me a lot of credit, do you?  Perhaps that is fair, in that perhaps I haven't earned it, but I know the difference between "sympathy" and "empathy" and I meant what said.   I don't think the drug war is borne of "sympathy"; in fact just the opposite.  I don't think generally there is a lot of sympathy in that regard.  I think our society is an extremely selfish one, and I think we have confused what is good for us as individuals with what is good for us as the collective.   The "tragedy of the commons" run amok, if you will.  If you still think it is not a case of "empathy" I would be interested in your ideas, though. 

Offline Stadler

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #224 on: August 19, 2014, 05:42:15 AM »
Sorry, I did speak poorly. It's hearsay because it's out of court. It shouldn't be allowed in court to demonstrate the cops side of the story as true because it's speculation that the the conversation was backing up the Cops story. For the same reasons, it shouldn't be allowed to contest a testimony because the video is hearsay that can't be verified. Luckily, I don't know any story out there that contests Brown was running away when he got killed.

I say this respectfully, but you should stay away from using terms that have a specific meaning unless you know what that meaning is.   I'm sorry to hammer this point, but it is important.  It is NOT hearsay because it is speculative.  It is hearsay because it is essentially "testimony of a witness that can't be cross-examined".   In other words, if a witness came in and took the stand and said EXACTLY what was on the video, word for word, it would still be speculative, but it would be totally admissible, because, of course, then the other attorney could cross-examine. 

Whether you feel it should or should not be allowed for impeachment is irrelevant.  The law is clear on this point:  the video WOULD be admissible to contest the testimony of the witness and would NOT be considered hearsay in that case.  Whether it is "verifiable" or not is a question of fact for the jury. 

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For the sake of an investigation, I'm not going to throw away those numerous eyewitness accounts in favor of unreliable and non-verifiable information.

Well, "eyewitness accounts" are singularly "unreliable" and often "non-verifiable".   Anyone involved in crime investigation in almost any capacity would tell you there is no single point at which the dichotomy between the "weight placed on the evidence" and the "reliability of that evidence" is greater than with eyewitness testimony.  It is sacred in the eyes of most jurors, but it is fraught with peril. 

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No, it is hearsay. Whether it's hearsay that meets criteria for being allowed in court is a different matter.

I don't know why you are arguing this point with me; I have been a licensed attorney for over 15 years, passed the bar in three jurisdictions.  The video - if used to impeach a witness - is NOT hearsay.   I've already defined that for you:  "Hearsay" is an out-of-court statement used to prove the matter at hand.   That's it.   

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And the thing is, it's not a clear cut interpretation of what went down! That's what you keep ignoring and avoiding. If the guy was overheard saying, "The police shot in self defense" THEN you would have a point. But you don't. You have ambiguous, unclear and unverifiable information. You don't know if it says what you think it says, or maybe I should say we don't know if it says what people think it says. You need to clear away the ambiguity of what that person was saying, and actually VERIFY that the person was saying what you think he was saying. And that is why it's hearsay that should not be admissible in court (unless the person was found, testified, and obviously lied about what he said he said in the video, but that's a ridiculous proposition).

I'm not ignoring it or avoiding it.  You are misunderstanding the notion of hearsay.   I'm telling you the ambiguity is irrelevant in the context of "hearsay".  There is no requirement that information be "unambiguous" for it not to be hearsay.   The ambiguity of the statement is not for you to decide, it is for a jury to decide.  Assuming that it could be admitted as evidence (there are something like 30 exceptions to the hearsay rule) the judge would instruct the jury that it is their job to assess the veracity of the facts presented as evidence, and to determine if those facts support a finding of "guilty" or "not guilty" based on the law (which would be explained by the judge). 

Put a different way, if that person could be identified, and was called to the stand, placed under oath, and did nothing more than recite verbatim what he said in that video, it would be absolutely admissible in court and it would be a question for the jury to figure out what he meant and why.   This isn't a complicated question at all.   

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But the purported evidence isn't evidence, and that's the difference. It's total hearsay! And the reasons why we have hearsay are for the exact reasons I'm giving, so this is a matter of the law. The reason we have hearsay rules is partly becuase you don't know the context in which a statement was given. We want the testimony to be in person because that allows us to read the person making the statements, and to allow follow up questions to affirm what we think is being said. And in this video, you can't see the gestures the speaker made when he said "he like - be like" and without that you simply do NOT know what was being said.

STOP!   You are getting the pieces right (it is hearsay, we do want testimony in person) but you are putting it together wrongly.  It's not based on the INFORMATION ITSELF.  It's not hearsay because "the purported evidence isn't evidence".  The rule of hearsay is silent as to the truthfulness of the statement.  If the video had the guy saying "I live on planet Earth" or "I am speaking out loud right now" - two things that are unequivocally true - it would still be inadmissible (unless it qualified for an exception) and if the guy came into court and testified that "My penis is made of fiberglass and American cheese" it would be admissible, even though it is highly likely that it isn't truthful.   The evidence is not in or out based on it's truthfulness. 

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You made a lot of assumptions to get to the point of where I'm only defending Brown. You've been making them against me this entire thread, despite my rather clear neutral position. I'm sure that if the conversation in this thread was focused at all around how the cop story is inaccurate, I'd be refuting more than a few of those contentions.

I'm sorry, I mean this respectfully, but I don't see "neutral position".   Positing arguments - for either side - is not "neutral".   Positing what is "more likely" or "less likely" is not a "neutral position".   What happened, happened, and is independent of what is "more likely" or "less likely". 

Offline Stadler

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #225 on: August 19, 2014, 05:50:17 AM »
What are your reasons for thinking the lawyer is lying versus the police? Honest question.

I trust the person who has little or less to gain over the person who has a lot to gain. What does the lawyer have to gain by lying? And lying so publicly? This would be very easy to refute, and it would immediate cast everything he says into doubt. Meanwhile, the police have a lot to gain by lying. And considering their track record and the professionalism and quality of the response to the shooting, I don't see why they should be given the benefit of the doubt. The entire police response to the shooting by the Ferguson police has been quintessential incompetence.


Well, we disagree about what "quintessential incompetence" means, then.   As for the reasons, I definitely agree with your assessment of "who has more to gain by lying" but totally disagree with your analysis.    That attorney is a paid mouthpiece, who by the very nature of releasing a statement is attempting to sway public opinion and ride the wave of what has essentially become "bullying by public opinion", and setting the stage for a potentially very big payday in civil court if things go down a certain way.   If he really had nothing to gain, his statement would be something along the lines of "My client is willing to cooperate with the police 100%.  No further comment."    He wouldn't be going out of his way to point fingers, or make anyone else look bad with accusations that don't serve anyone but his client. 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #226 on: August 19, 2014, 08:36:41 AM »
Nah, this kind of needs to work the other way. Like I posted some pages ago, cop gets held to a higher standard. Whether or not the dead guy was a scumbag, he was at the time of the encounter a citizen of this country which makes him both innocent and Johnny's responsibility to protect. I sort of think that the facts will favor the cop in this, and I certainly agree with you that the media, the parents, the buddy, the attorney, and the City of Ferguson have all combined to make this an epic clusterfuck which will likely boil over far worse than it already has, but at the point the benefit of the doubt goes to the stiff.

Interestingly, whether there is a higher standard or not (and we can debate that), even that won't trump the general standard applicable to both:  "innocent until proven guilty".   These are, technically in that sense, two different crimes.  Brown is IUPG with respect to the cop stopping him, and once the shooting incident went down, the cop is IUPG with respect to that.  I know it's hard sometimes but that is the way it has to work for justice to ultimately out. 

This is not a new concept; doctors have a higher standard of care than laymen, but if a patient dies on the table, IUPG.
Again, you make a very good point which confounded me quite a bit last week. However, as it did then, it falls short now in my book. We're not talking about a cop accused of a criminal act (although he might soon be). We're evaluating the actions of a cop in the performance of his job. If they decide he acted criminally refer him to a grand jury, then I'll be happy to extend the benefit of the doubt to him, but as it stands now he has no IUPG guilty protection.

And an honest question for you: Do you think that the cops investigating him should be starting from the standpoint that he acted lawfully and within the rules of his training and profession?
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Offline KevShmev

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #227 on: August 19, 2014, 08:45:23 AM »
What are your reasons for thinking the lawyer is lying versus the police? Honest question.

I trust the person who has little or less to gain over the person who has a lot to gain. What does the lawyer have to gain by lying? And lying so publicly? This would be very easy to refute, and it would immediate cast everything he says into doubt. Meanwhile, the police have a lot to gain by lying. And considering their track record and the professionalism and quality of the response to the shooting, I don't see why they should be given the benefit of the doubt. The entire police response to the shooting by the Ferguson police has been quintessential incompetence.

Why am I not surprised that you are taking the side you are? It's astonishing how much benefit of the doubt you are willing to give to one side, while giving almost none to the other.

No quotes around that. I just find it hypocritical that you would try to level this against me while it applies to you much more so than me. You're willing to call Dorian Johnson a "piece of shit liar" based upon flimsy and incomplete information. I haven't once actually called the cop in question a liar, or said he executed Brown, or anything at all about that. I've in fact, on several occasions, said he could be telling the 100% truth. I DON'T KNOW and NEITHER DO YOU. I have only defended Johnson and others against outrageous attacks on their character based upon little or nothing.

Regarding the first part of that, Stadler's reply said it better than I would have.  You can't really believe the lawyer has nothing to gain from this...

As for the second part, I will concede that calling Johnson a POS was a bit over the top, and I probably should have found a way to word it better, but telling what appears to be a story with major holes, while stirring up racial acrimony, is a dangerous thing, especially since the situation in Ferguson had already escalated, so it was tantamount to pouring more gasoline on an already-raging inferno.  Granted, he might still be reeling from his buddy being killed, so perhaps he should get more benefit of the doubt that I have been giving him, but then again, given his history of lying to authorities, it's just not easy for me to do so.  Plus, this is all happening 40 minutes from my home, and I'd be lying if I said that fact alone wasn't a bit scary. 

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #228 on: August 19, 2014, 09:00:44 AM »

I'll just leave this here and let's see how this gets rationalized.



http://ago.mo.gov/VehicleStops/2013/reports/161.pdf




Offline El Barto

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #229 on: August 19, 2014, 09:44:14 AM »
Uh, what is it you want to see rationalized? Black folk get stopped disproportionately to whitey. We all know it happens. Are you wanting somebody to defend that?

More to the point, why does it make any difference with regards to the shooting?


edit: somebody needs to teach black people in that town to stop consenting to searches of their vehicle.
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Offline Dark Castle

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #230 on: August 19, 2014, 09:49:42 AM »
Uh, what is it you want to see rationalized? Black folk get stopped disproportionately to whitey. We all know it happens. Are you wanting somebody to defend that?

More to the point, why does it make any difference with regards to the shooting?


edit: somebody needs to teach black people in that town to stop consenting to searches of their vehicle.
On the way to Bonnaroo, we got pulled over for a pretty bullshit reason and didn't consent to a search when they asked if they could search our vehicle with no reason as to why. Cops just brought in a dog and another few cops saying we seemed to nervous saying no and pulled a bullshit "Our dog sensed narcotics so we get to search your car now" even though we had nothing.  Proceeded to tear our van apart, friend's sister had the most minuscule amount of weed, they arrested her, cops looked up at me like I was a drug lord when they pulled out my pair of palm tree pants, fuckers were dumb enough to think they looked like marijuana leaves 2 inches from their stupid faces.

Online Chino

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #231 on: August 19, 2014, 09:59:49 AM »
Uh, what is it you want to see rationalized? Black folk get stopped disproportionately to whitey. We all know it happens. Are you wanting somebody to defend that?

More to the point, why does it make any difference with regards to the shooting?


edit: somebody needs to teach black people in that town to stop consenting to searches of their vehicle.
On the way to Bonnaroo, we got pulled over for a pretty bullshit reason and didn't consent to a search when they asked if they could search our vehicle with no reason as to why. Cops just brought in a dog and another few cops saying we seemed to nervous saying no and pulled a bullshit "Our dog sensed narcotics so we get to search your car now" even though we had nothing.  Proceeded to tear our van apart, friend's sister had the most minuscule amount of weed, they arrested her, cops looked up at me like I was a drug lord when they pulled out my pair of palm tree pants, fuckers were dumb enough to think they looked like marijuana leaves 2 inches from their stupid faces.

Police train the dogs to give a false positive on command. There will never be an instance of a cop bringing in a dog that doesn't end with the vehicle being torn apart.

Offline Dark Castle

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #232 on: August 19, 2014, 10:06:43 AM »
Yeah, it was painfully obvious too how obviously they were commanding the dog to "find" something.

Offline Scheavo

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #233 on: August 19, 2014, 10:09:29 AM »
Stadler:

I fundamentally disagree with your conception of choice, on a philosophical level. We're not going to solve that here. Doubt we'll ever solve it. It's why you're a libertarian, and why I'm a "liberal" (though I'd be willing to bet that on some political tests, I'd be more libertarian than you).

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Look, we're going to have to table this.  I can't get any deeper into this discussion without using generalizations that don't help anyone.   The fact is, it IS economic.  That there are more blacks in jail on a percentage basis (and an absolute basis) doesn't mean they are there BECAUSE they are black.  "Black" is not a crime; there had to be SOMETHING to get them in the system.  SOMETHING is getting more blacks in the system than whites.  I'm sure you will argue that cops and judges and prosecutors are simply targeting blacks (which might have been true 100 years ago in certain jurisdictions) but it isn't the case today.  It's just not; in fact, more blacks are being released from jail (on a percentage basis and even accounting for the higher incarceration rates) so it isn't that the "system" just wants blacks to be incarcerated.  So why do poor blacks turn to crime at higher rates than whites?  And I'm saying it's economics, and I'm also saying - and here is specifically why I would not want to go too much further - that being poor and white is not the same as being poor and black.  Not better or worse, but different.

This just read to me: I don't have any proof, so I'm gonna have to just make up things. I have no idea how you say that prosecutors or police don't target blacks, especially considering the evidence to suggest otherwise. The whole problem with your entire argumenet is that at no point has anything been presented ANYWHERE in the statistics to back up your claims. They, in fact, back up mine.

Poor blacks do not turn to crime at a higher rate than poor whites, where they still face higher incarceration rates. If you want to compare them to whites in general, than economics does start to play into this, but it also starts to beg the question.

Get back to me when you have evidence and not generalization you aren't willing to share, as well as unfounded assumptions. Either make your case, or don't, but don't not make your case then claim you're right without any evidence.

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Why would I agree with that?  If they performed what was necessary to qualify for those felonies, why shouldn't they have them?  White or black?

Because you already said you don't think the War on Drugs should exist... if the war on drugs didn't exist, those people wouldn't have felonies for the same "crime." White or black (though because of targetting, more likely if you're black).

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Look, we're going around and around a little bit here, so let me make it more clear:  I'm not saying race doesn't play in.  I have no doubt that there are circumstances where all things being equal, a black person is not going to get the benefit of the doubt, whether it is a job offer, the attention of a beat cop, or whatever.  But it CERTAINLY is not THE factor, or the most important factor. That is, and always will be, economics.   These things are complicated; we've been lulled into a sense of simplicity that just isn't there.

I notice you've conveniently shifted the goal posts. You originally contested the claims that blacks face an unfair system, and that race is the reason why blacks make up the majority of incarcerated individuals. Now, you're trying to say that economics is a stronger determining factor for someone being in prison. That's entirely different.

You have this habit of trying to have your cake and eat it to. You say, ya, don't use personal experience, it's bad, and emotions can blind. But then go on to say that without personal experience, it's all blind. Whomever said I don't have experiences that would matter when thinking about delving through statistics and how they can mislead?

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Why would they compete with "other black graduates" and not "other graduates"?

Because of population density and de factor segregation? People generally get jobs near where they're at, especially low paying, low trained high school jobs.

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Well, I did at least imply that some blacks ARE apathetic, so that IS a display of a lack of empathy.  And I stand by what I said:  "empathy" in terms of analysis and decision-making leads to bad decisions.    We can be empathetic as human beings (and I'd like to think I am, though it's not for me to judge) but the idea of "let's do something, ANYTHING, for this particular group" is both condescending and short-sighted; we should be embracing the idea of "let's do the RIGHT thing for EVERYONE". 

Saying some blacks are apathetic is not a blanket statment that all blacks are apathetic. One is almost certainly true, the other is a giant assumption.

And once again, I just have to ask, did you read what I said, or do I just write in a very unclear manner? I never said we should use empathy to come to decisions about policy. I said we should use empathy to JUDGE other people - such as calling them apathetic or lazy. Empathy won't tell us what to do, but it will make the debate about what to do more conductive to actual change and progress.

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You don't give me a lot of credit, do you?  Perhaps that is fair, in that perhaps I haven't earned it, but I know the difference between "sympathy" and "empathy" and I meant what said.   I don't think the drug war is borne of "sympathy"; in fact just the opposite.  I don't think generally there is a lot of sympathy in that regard.  I think our society is an extremely selfish one, and I think we have confused what is good for us as individuals with what is good for us as the collective.   The "tragedy of the commons" run amok, if you will.  If you still think it is not a case of "empathy" I would be interested in your ideas, though.

Well, when you misuse a concept and a term, I'm not going to give you credit for knowing what that concept and term means, no. Empathy is the ability to feel as other's are feeling. Not wanting other people to become addicts isn't feeling or seeing through other peoples eyes. It's using one's OWN fears as a basis for something.

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I say this respectfully, but you should stay away from using terms that have a specific meaning unless you know what that meaning is.   I'm sorry to hammer this point, but it is important.  It is NOT hearsay because it is speculative.  It is hearsay because it is essentially "testimony of a witness that can't be cross-examined".   In other words, if a witness came in and took the stand and said EXACTLY what was on the video, word for word, it would still be speculative, but it would be totally admissible, because, of course, then the other attorney could cross-examine.

Whether you feel it should or should not be allowed for impeachment is irrelevant.  The law is clear on this point:  the video WOULD be admissible to contest the testimony of the witness and would NOT be considered hearsay in that case.  Whether it is "verifiable" or not is a question of fact for the jury

Why is it that you read what I say, then repeat back to me what I say in a condescending manner as if I'm wrong? I'm honestly about to stop responding to you becuase of this. I didn't say it was hearsay because it's speculative. I said it was hearsay because it was spoken out of court. I said it shouldn't be allowed in court because it's speculative and you don't knwo what is being said. I then went on to say that if the person found in the video was to testify, and he denied saying something he could be overheard saying, it would be admissable.

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I don't know why you are arguing this point with me; I have been a licensed attorney for over 15 years, passed the bar in three jurisdictions.  The video - if used to impeach a witness - is NOT hearsay.   I've already defined that for you:  "Hearsay" is an out-of-court statement used to prove the matter at hand.   That's it.   

I forgot, you can do no wrong and everything you do is always correct. It's is not possible for you to make mistakes or take on a false conception. I also forgot that lawyers NEVER disagree about anything, that's impossible!

http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/hearsay

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Broadly, an out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of whatever it asserts.  Hearsay evidence is often inadmissible at trial.  However, many exclusions and exceptions exist.  Evidence meeting the broad definition may not actually be hearsay under the court's evidence rules.  Even hearsay may be admitted if exceptions are met.

The video, used in the context of the article and to prove the cops story, is hearsay. More importantly, it is hearsay, becuase it is information from other people that cannot be verified. That fits the definition of the word "hearsay." A court may allow it in circumstances or under certain exceptions, and you couldn't "objection, hearsay," but that doesn't change it from being hearsay.

We're probably just getting stuck up on words, here, to be honest. And at this point, you've proven yourself to just want to disagree with me for the sake of disagreeing with me. Maybe I just articulate it in a way that get's lost in translation between us, but I've basically just said exactly what you "countered" with.

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Put a different way, if that person could be identified, and was called to the stand, placed under oath, and did nothing more than recite verbatim what he said in that video, it would be absolutely admissible in court and it would be a question for the jury to figure out what he meant and why.   This isn't a complicated question at all

Put a different way, you just changed the context of the argument to such a point that it no longer applies to what I said. I in fact said ALREADY that if he was found, took the stand, and testified, it wouldn't be hearsay. And that the video could be used against him if he lied. I mean shit, we were talking about using the VIDEO as evidence. You now have changed it to an eyewitness taking the stand, and you're slipping that in hoping I don't notice.

I'm also sure that if he were to take hte stand, he would be asked to act out what he did with the "he like - be like," which of course can't be refuted by the video because it is not in the video. And those gestures are paramount in knowing what was said, or done.

The video used to prove the cops story as true is hearsay, which is what I've been saying. You've concocted a situation where it could be used, and are trying touse this other situation to say that it's not hearsay in the context of what I said. The police know this, it's why they're trying to track down who said the message, so they can actually get evidence that would be usable in court to back up the cops story.

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STOP!   You are getting the pieces right (it is hearsay, we do want testimony in person) but you are putting it together wrongly.  It's not based on the INFORMATION ITSELF.  It's not hearsay because "the purported evidence isn't evidence".  The rule of hearsay is silent as to the truthfulness of the statement.  If the video had the guy saying "I live on planet Earth" or "I am speaking out loud right now" - two things that are unequivocally true - it would still be inadmissible (unless it qualified for an exception) and if the guy came into court and testified that "My penis is made of fiberglass and American cheese" it would be admissible, even though it is highly likely that it isn't truthful.   The evidence is not in or out based on it's truthfulness.

Evidence supports a claim. This video doesn't support either claim. It is not evidence that the Cop told the truth. It is not evidence that Johnson lied. It is not evidence that Brown had it hands in the air. It is not evidence of anything becuase you don't know what was being said! Fortunately, I doubt any lawyer would try to use this video as evidence to support either side story (emphasis on THIS VIDEO and not a testimony given by the same person in the video). I've noticed that the only context in which you say it's not hearsay is in the caes if the person took the stand, in which it could be used to impeach him, and only him. It could not be used as proof that Brown charged the Officer. It oculd not  be used as proof that Johnson is a liar. In those cases, it is hearsay - and I have yet to hear you say otherwise!

(hehe, hear you say when talking about hearsay)

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I'm sorry, I mean this respectfully, but I don't see "neutral position".   Positing arguments - for either side - is not "neutral".   Positing what is "more likely" or "less likely" is not a "neutral position".   What happened, happened, and is independent of what is "more likely" or "less likely". 

Refuting a claim does not make me support the opposite claim. It doesn't even mean I disagree with the general assessment. If I say, "Your reasons are faulty," all it means is that your reasons are faulty! It doesn't mean your conclusion is wrong. It doesn't mean that I support the opposite of your conclusion. To even suggest this is totally irrational. If someone were to say that evolution occurs becuase of tiny gnomes, if I tell them they're wrong, I"m not saying evolution does not occur. And that's essentially what you're doing when you say I don't take a neutral stance because I refute other peoples claims. There is also a difference between purely positing an argument, and refuting other peoples arguments.

When I say it's "less likely" that he would have had his head lowered 35 feet away, that still doesn't say that I think it's less likely that the cop is telling the truth. Once again, an assumption on your part. I highlighed that previous sentence for a reason. He could have been shot at that angle while falling forward from other gunshot wounds, while running at the cop originally with his head up.

You also seem to be conflating several things. I have no position on the actual merits of the shooting. I do have a position on the response given by the police and protestors. Those two things are almost entirely seperate things. Even saying that this one shooting caused the protests and riots is erroneous (it took a long history AND this shooting to cause the protests and riots).

Offline bosk1

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #234 on: August 19, 2014, 10:28:39 AM »
And the personal attacks continue, I see.  Scheavo, you have been warned already.  And in reading the last several pages of posts, I see a continuing pattern of Stadler posting in a very rational, cool manner, and you responding with streams of personal attacks.  Just a few examples from your most recent post:

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This just read to me: I don't have any proof, so I'm gonna have to just make up things.

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Get back to me when you have evidence and not generalization you aren't willing to share, as well as unfounded assumptions.

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I notice you've conveniently shifted the goal posts. . . .  You have this habit of trying to have your cake and eat it to.

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I forgot, you can do no wrong and everything you do is always correct. It's is not possible for you to make mistakes or take on a false conception.

As I have said many times in this forum (and have said directly to you on occasion), attack the argument, not the person.  I certainly do not agree with everything Stadler posts, and I do not expect others to either.  But, again, handling disagreement needs to be done in a mature, civil way.  You seemingly cannot seem to resist attacking the person, and as expressed in your prior PM to me, you seemingly do not seem to care.  For that, you are getting a week off and final warning.  Even though I most often disagree with you or fail to see your logic, you also often raise good points for debate, so I am hopeful that there will be a change in attitude.  But if not, I am not going to let threads continue to go down this road whenever you happen to disagree with someone.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #235 on: August 19, 2014, 10:41:38 AM »
Again, you make a very good point which confounded me quite a bit last week. However, as it did then, it falls short now in my book. We're not talking about a cop accused of a criminal act (although he might soon be). We're evaluating the actions of a cop in the performance of his job. If they decide he acted criminally refer him to a grand jury, then I'll be happy to extend the benefit of the doubt to him, but as it stands now he has no IUPG guilty protection.

Hmm.  I have to think about this a little bit.  I don't know if the IUPG is necessarily the right terminology with respect to the performance of a person in their job (regardless of the standard).  Again these are two different discussions:   one (the standard) is the point at which behavior turns from acceptable to unacceptable, and the other (IUPG or whatever we call it) is where on the continuum we start when evaluating that performance. 

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And an honest question for you: Do you think that the cops investigating him should be starting from the standpoint that he acted lawfully and within the rules of his training and profession?

Hmm, also something I'd like to think more about, but initial thoughts are there should be NO presumption.  Just look at the behavior and it should speak for itself.  If that doesn't work I would tend to start with the protocols assuming that we are compliant with them, and one-by-one, see if there is evidence to the contrary. 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #236 on: August 19, 2014, 11:10:34 AM »
Again, you make a very good point which confounded me quite a bit last week. However, as it did then, it falls short now in my book. We're not talking about a cop accused of a criminal act (although he might soon be). We're evaluating the actions of a cop in the performance of his job. If they decide he acted criminally refer him to a grand jury, then I'll be happy to extend the benefit of the doubt to him, but as it stands now he has no IUPG guilty protection.

Hmm.  I have to think about this a little bit.  I don't know if the IUPG is necessarily the right terminology with respect to the performance of a person in their job (regardless of the standard).  Again these are two different discussions:   one (the standard) is the point at which behavior turns from acceptable to unacceptable, and the other (IUPG or whatever we call it) is where on the continuum we start when evaluating that performance. 
The distinction is well put. I can get on board with that. However, I think there's a very compelling argument for the starting point to be in different spots on the continuum for the citizen and the cop. The law of the land (at least ostensibly at this point) affords us a great deal of liberty. The cop's job gives him the obligation to seize that liberty in certain cases. I would say that in those cases the burden of proof should fall to the cop to affirmatively justify that seizure. I don't think that's the way things work on a practical level right now.

Hmm, also something I'd like to think more about, but initial thoughts are there should be NO presumption.  Just look at the behavior and it should speak for itself.  If that doesn't work I would tend to start with the protocols assuming that we are compliant with them, and one-by-one, see if there is evidence to the contrary. 
Starting from a neutral position is certainly the logical approach. However, like I said above, I see a compelling reason to start on the assumption that he's guilty, just for the purpose of safety of the people and oversight. I get that's dicey, and perhaps I'm wrong, but we're treading on fairly serious ground here and it's an instance where you definitely need to err on the side of the citizen. Your "if that doesn't work" statement actually implies the opposite, which is that Johnny is indeed innocent until proven guilty. That benefit of the doubt obviously concerns me.
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Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #237 on: August 19, 2014, 11:24:30 AM »
Uh, what is it you want to see rationalized? Black folk get stopped disproportionately to whitey. We all know it happens. Are you wanting somebody to defend that?

More to the point, why does it make any difference with regards to the shooting?


edit: somebody needs to teach black people in that town to stop consenting to searches of their vehicle.


Maybe if they weren't twice as likely to be pulled over versus white people this wouldn't be such a big problem. 

Offline El Barto

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #238 on: August 19, 2014, 11:43:03 AM »
Police train the dogs to give a false positive on command. There will never be an instance of a cop bringing in a dog that doesn't end with the vehicle being torn apart.
That's kind of a dicey point. The problem is that if you train a dog to trigger on command, then he becomes completely useless as an actual drug dog. Dogs are [comparatively] dumb animals. Training them to trigger on a scent or to trigger on a command is perfectly simple. Training them to do both won't happen. What's far more likely is that if after a couple of walkarounds he doesn't catch anything he'll alert anyway, since he knows that's when he'll get praise. Somehow I doubt there are many attaboys for a dog who rightly doesn't alert to a innocent car. As it stands now, you could probably get your dog to give a proper assessment by giving him 10 seconds or so and then putting him back, or if you wanted to drum up a bogus PC (but cops would never do that!) then you just wait until he gets bored and alerts anyway.

There's a simple solution to his, which is to have the dog testify as to his ability to not alert on a clean car. Alas, spooky men in black robes have since decided that Johnny's assertion that the dog is cool is unchallengeable.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #239 on: August 19, 2014, 11:43:34 AM »
Uh, what is it you want to see rationalized? Black folk get stopped disproportionately to whitey. We all know it happens. Are you wanting somebody to defend that?

More to the point, why does it make any difference with regards to the shooting?


edit: somebody needs to teach black people in that town to stop consenting to searches of their vehicle.


Maybe if they weren't twice as likely to be pulled over versus white people this wouldn't be such a big problem.

I didn't look at the stats, but isn't Ferguson  66% black?

Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #240 on: August 19, 2014, 11:45:21 AM »
Stadler:

I fundamentally disagree with


*post*



He let his frustration get the best of him and apparently let a little too much sarcasm enter into his articulation of his points, but that does not -in any way- negate the validity of the points he was making, which from my perspective hit the bulls-eye. 



Offline Stadler

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #241 on: August 19, 2014, 11:48:23 AM »
Stadler:

I fundamentally disagree with your conception of choice, on a philosophical level. We're not going to solve that here. Doubt we'll ever solve it. It's why you're a libertarian, and why I'm a "liberal" (though I'd be willing to bet that on some political tests, I'd be more libertarian than you).

For what it's worth, I don't conform to the general labels bandied about today, though "libertarian" is about as close as one word gets to me.   As a general proposition, I believe self responsibility.  We can talk about "systemic" this and "systemic" that, but I've long said, there are two types of people:   Those that, if the national language changed to Spanish tomorrow, would be hablo-ing Espanol like a mofo by the weekend, and those that would whine about the disadvantage.  That runs across color, across gender, across most demographics.  I have no proof, but I would venture it would not run across economic classifications. 

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This just read to me: I don't have any proof, so I'm gonna have to just make up things. I have no idea how you say that prosecutors or police don't target blacks, especially considering the evidence to suggest otherwise. The whole problem with your entire argumenet is that at no point has anything been presented ANYWHERE in the statistics to back up your claims. They, in fact, back up mine.

Poor blacks do not turn to crime at a higher rate than poor whites, where they still face higher incarceration rates. If you want to compare them to whites in general, than economics does start to play into this, but it also starts to beg the question.

Get back to me when you have evidence and not generalization you aren't willing to share, as well as unfounded assumptions. Either make your case, or don't, but don't not make your case then claim you're right without any evidence.

I'm not making up things.   I don't believe your evidence says what you says it does.  They are numbers.   I've never argued once that there isn't a CORRELATION.  "Suggests" doesn't mean "causes".  I don't believe the data is as "simple" as it is being made out to be. 

I'll send you a PM, but I'd like to leave it at that.   Criticize me all you want I can take it, I'm a Yorkshireman.  ;) 



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Because you already said you don't think the War on Drugs should exist... if the war on drugs didn't exist, those people wouldn't have felonies for the same "crime." White or black (though because of targetting, more likely if you're black).

Ah.  But it does, so we live under those guidelines.   

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I notice you've conveniently shifted the goal posts. You originally contested the claims that blacks face an unfair system, and that race is the reason why blacks make up the majority of incarcerated individuals. Now, you're trying to say that economics is a stronger determining factor for someone being in prison. That's entirely different.

You have this habit of trying to have your cake and eat it to. You say, ya, don't use personal experience, it's bad, and emotions can blind. But then go on to say that without personal experience, it's all blind. Whomever said I don't have experiences that would matter when thinking about delving through statistics and how they can mislead?

Please don't.  If "making concessions to find common ground" means "shifting the goal posts" then I'm done.  We're conversing, this isn't debate class where there are points awarded.    You want me to say "you win!" sure, you win.    I DO contest the notion that blacks face an unfair system as a general proposition, and I do think economics is a stronger determinant.   Nothing new there.   I brought in personal experience only because we beat the other topics to death.   If you like I'll pull those right off the table, and end with this:

I do not believe race accounts for all the differences you cite.
I believe economics accounts for at least as much if not more of the differences you cite.
I believe the statistics you cite are accurate, but do not prove the causation you are seeking to prove.  They show correlation only (which I don't argue). 

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Why wWell, when you misuse a concept and a term, I'm not going to give you credit for knowing what that concept and term means, no. Empathy is the ability to feel as other's are feeling. Not wanting other people to become addicts isn't feeling or seeing through other peoples eyes. It's using one's OWN fears as a basis for something.

I didn't misuse it; I didn't say that we keep the war on drugs because don't want others to become addicts (frankly, I think most people could give a shit).   I absolutely meant empathy, in the sense that I think many people like the security that laws bring, and while they may not consciously make the connection, they understand (or at least perceive) that to remove those laws is in a real way to remove the safety net.  "Life's fantasy... to be locked away and still to think you're free, you're free, you're free!" (RJ Dio, "Die Young"). 


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Why is it that you read what I say, then repeat back to me what I say in a condescending manner as if I'm wrong? I'm honestly about to stop responding to you becuase of this. I didn't say it was hearsay because it's speculative. I said it was hearsay because it was spoken out of court.

You said:
"It shouldn't be allowed in court to demonstrate the cops side of the story as true because it's speculation that the the conversation was backing up the Cops story."  That is not why it is not allowed in court.
You also said:
"For the same reasons, it shouldn't be allowed to contest a testimony because the video is hearsay that can't be verified."   That is also wrong; it IS allowed to contest testimony, and in that case it is NOT hearsay (even though it is said outside of court) because it is NOT going to the truth of what was said, only that something contrary was said. 
You also said (right here):
"I said it shouldn't be allowed in court because it's speculative and you don't knwo what is being said."  And that is wrong as well; whether it is "speculative" or not is a matter for the jury.  That would not (necessarily) be reason for it being allowed or not in court.


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I forgot, you can do no wrong and everything you do is always correct. It's is not possible for you to make mistakes or take on a false conception. I also forgot that lawyers NEVER disagree about anything, that's impossible!

http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/hearsay

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Broadly, an out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of whatever it asserts.  Hearsay evidence is often inadmissible at trial.  However, many exclusions and exceptions exist.  Evidence meeting the broad definition may not actually be hearsay under the court's evidence rules.  Even hearsay may be admitted if exceptions are met.

The video, used in the context of the article and to prove the cops story, is hearsay. More importantly, it is hearsay, becuase it is information from other people that cannot be verified. That fits the definition of the word "hearsay." A court may allow it in circumstances or under certain exceptions, and you couldn't "objection, hearsay," but that doesn't change it from being hearsay.

Haha, I make many mistakes and am more than willing to admit them.  This, however, is not one of those times.  And while what you write immediately above IS true and accurate, I have also pointed out where you made inaccurate statements.  Own them. 

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We're probably just getting stuck up on words, here, to be honest. And at this point, you've proven yourself to just want to disagree with me for the sake of disagreeing with me. Maybe I just articulate it in a way that get's lost in translation between us, but I've basically just said exactly what you "countered" with.

Except when I tried to agree with you I was what?  "Wanting to have my cake and eat it too"?   

By the way, how old are you?

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Put a different way, you just changed the context of the argument to such a point that it no longer applies to what I said. I in fact said ALREADY that if he was found, took the stand, and testified, it wouldn't be hearsay. And that the video could be used against him if he lied. I mean shit, we were talking about using the VIDEO as evidence. You now have changed it to an eyewitness taking the stand, and you're slipping that in hoping I don't notice.

I'm also sure that if he were to take hte stand, he would be asked to act out what he did with the "he like - be like," which of course can't be refuted by the video because it is not in the video. And those gestures are paramount in knowing what was said, or done.

The video used to prove the cops story as true is hearsay, which is what I've been saying. You've concocted a situation where it could be used, and are trying touse this other situation to say that it's not hearsay in the context of what I said. The police know this, it's why they're trying to track down who said the message, so they can actually get evidence that would be usable in court to back up the cops story.

If I missed you saying that, then I apologize.  I was referring to the several times you said (and I provided those quotes above for you) that "it wasn't admissible because it was speculative".  I didn't concoct anything; I was highlighting differences.   I don't "slip anything in thinking you won't notice".  I trust that you are reading this and I assume you understand it. 


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Evidence supports a claim. This video doesn't support either claim. It is not evidence that the Cop told the truth. It is not evidence that Johnson lied. It is not evidence that Brown had it hands in the air. It is not evidence of anything becuase you don't know what was being said! Fortunately, I doubt any lawyer would try to use this video as evidence to support either side story (emphasis on THIS VIDEO and not a testimony given by the same person in the video). I've noticed that the only context in which you say it's not hearsay is in the caes if the person took the stand, in which it could be used to impeach him, and only him. It could not be used as proof that Brown charged the Officer. It oculd not  be used as proof that Johnson is a liar. In those cases, it is hearsay - and I have yet to hear you say otherwise!

(hehe, hear you say when talking about hearsay)

And now you are back to being half right again; it is NOT evidence that the cop told the truth; it is NOT evidence that Johnson lied (as long as that ISN'T Johnson in the video).   On that you are correct.   It IS (or it can be, more correctly) evidence that the speaker in the video lied IF there is a conflicting statement on the record.  We may have been talking past each other with the notion of impeaching a witness; I did not mean impeaching a witness that was NOT the speaker of the video.   Which is why I used the example of the speaker testifying in court.   Having said that, if the video can pass muster on one of the exceptions, it would still be hearsay BUT it can be admitted to prove the truth of the matter asserted.  If, for example, the speaker can't be found, or if, for example, it can be shown that the speaker was engaged in a statement against interest. 

But again, in NONE of those cases is the "speculative" nature of the statement the reason why it isn't evidence.   


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Refuting a claim does not make me support the opposite claim. It doesn't even mean I disagree with the general assessment. If I say, "Your reasons are faulty," all it means is that your reasons are faulty! It doesn't mean your conclusion is wrong. It doesn't mean that I support the opposite of your conclusion. To even suggest this is totally irrational. If someone were to say that evolution occurs becuase of tiny gnomes, if I tell them they're wrong, I"m not saying evolution does not occur. And that's essentially what you're doing when you say I don't take a neutral stance because I refute other peoples claims. There is also a difference between purely positing an argument, and refuting other peoples arguments.

No, that is all true in terms of refuting claims; but there can be bias in the assumptions that are implicit in the refutation.

I don't know; I may be wrong, and if so you have my apologies, but I don't believe for a second that you think this is a clean shooting.


Offline kirksnosehair

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #242 on: August 19, 2014, 11:48:50 AM »
Uh, what is it you want to see rationalized? Black folk get stopped disproportionately to whitey. We all know it happens. Are you wanting somebody to defend that?

More to the point, why does it make any difference with regards to the shooting?


edit: somebody needs to teach black people in that town to stop consenting to searches of their vehicle.


Maybe if they weren't twice as likely to be pulled over versus white people this wouldn't be such a big problem.

I didn't look at the stats, but isn't Ferguson  66% black?


63% black


33.65% white



Offline El Barto

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #243 on: August 19, 2014, 11:52:19 AM »
Uh, what is it you want to see rationalized? Black folk get stopped disproportionately to whitey. We all know it happens. Are you wanting somebody to defend that?

More to the point, why does it make any difference with regards to the shooting?


edit: somebody needs to teach black people in that town to stop consenting to searches of their vehicle.


Maybe if they weren't twice as likely to be pulled over versus white people this wouldn't be such a big problem.

I didn't look at the stats, but isn't Ferguson  66% black?
Yes, but that would result in twice as many stops, when the number is actually 4.2x higher. Black people are always more likely to be pulled over. The why part is the interesting bit, since they're more likely to be convicted of doing something naughty it makes sense, but then that might or might not be a legitimate concern based on the realities of society, which Stadler and Sceavo had been discussing.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Police brutality, looting and racism
« Reply #244 on: August 19, 2014, 11:54:48 AM »
The distinction is well put. I can get on board with that. However, I think there's a very compelling argument for the starting point to be in different spots on the continuum for the citizen and the cop. The law of the land (at least ostensibly at this point) affords us a great deal of liberty. The cop's job gives him the obligation to seize that liberty in certain cases. I would say that in those cases the burden of proof should fall to the cop to affirmatively justify that seizure. I don't think that's the way things work on a practical level right now.

Not to make this all "Kumbaya", but in turn I agree with you: if there is ANY infringement of a citizens liberty, the onus SHOULD be on that cop to justify why.  I don't even see that as negotiable.  I have no issue with that.   I was thinking more along the lines of "did I follow protocol" like "tuning up my radar gun" or something like that. 



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Starting from a neutral position is certainly the logical approach. However, like I said above, I see a compelling reason to start on the assumption that he's guilty, just for the purpose of safety of the people and oversight. I get that's dicey, and perhaps I'm wrong, but we're treading on fairly serious ground here and it's an instance where you definitely need to err on the side of the citizen. Your "if that doesn't work" statement actually implies the opposite, which is that Johnny is indeed innocent until proven guilty. That benefit of the doubt obviously concerns me.

Well, even if we can't agree on where the line is, I think we at least agree that different aspects of the officer's conduct may be judged differently.   I'm with you 100% on the usurping of people's fundamental rights.