Article of the Moment

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Re: Article of the Moment

Unread postby Magic J » 29 June 2020, 17:20

Brenden wrote:
Sullivan wrote:over-policing of black communities creates more crime

You say this as if it's a given. By what mechanism does "over-policing" create more crime? It certainly finds more crime, but how does it create more crime?

My stab at this would be something like:

1)Police pursue more "petty" crimes, such as drug possession, through things like "stop and search" policies.

2)It's pretty well established that police, in the UK and USA, are more likely to stop/search certain demographics of people. In this case, we're focusing on black persons.

3)Therefore, it's more likely for a black person to be apprehended on a drug charge, even if the rates of drug possession are similar with white persons of a similar economic position. Also, poor whites often just get blasted on prescription pain pills, which happen to be legal.

4)Once charged with the crime, it will likely be more difficult to find employment due to discrimination on the basis of criminal record. Even more so if one is sent to prison for the crime (to which judges send black defendants for longer sentences than white defendants, and for similar crimes, too).

5)Prison stays and general economic hardship are thought by many experts to increase rates of crime (or at least the kind of crime where you're liable to face more prison time for, no comment on white collar crime). Voila, you have created the conditions for the proliferation of more crime.
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Re: Article of the Moment

Unread postby Sullivan » 29 June 2020, 17:32

Brenden wrote:You say this as if it's a given. By what mechanism does "over-policing" create more crime? It certainly finds more crime, but how does it create more crime?

I mean, what is the obvious fallout of mass incarceration? It sticks tens of thousands of blacks, often for minor offenses, in a prison system from which they may well leave hardened criminals even if they did not enter as such. And even if they do make it out with a desire to reenter society, they now have a criminal record that can severely inhibit that transition. These seem like great ways, on the level of the individual, that initial officer interventions can create more crime in the future.

Beyond the individual, there is also the strain dealt to both family units and community fabrics that results from routinely and forcibly removing so many of their members. Here the idea would be that state violence depriving children of parents, fostering a general environment of desperation, what have you, all have knock-on effects that can lead to more crime.

And then you can also have a situation like Ferguson, where the police routinely fined African Americans specifically in order to generate municipal revenues, thereby increasing the economic precarity of an already relatively impoverished community, which seems like an easy way to, once again, create more crime.

These aren't difficult feedback loops to put together. Look at The Ferguson Report. Look at The New Jim Crow.

But the same thing — in fact, worse, because a whole group of pigs were cracking jokes — happened to a white man.

I think the fact of the matter is that, to American police, no one's lives but their own matter. Ironic that they use the phrase "all lives matter" when they have such disregard for human life.

If you want to argue that a major issue with U.S. policing is inculcation of an officer mindset that values preservation of oneself and one's corps above actual community protection, I certainly wouldn't disagree with that. But I think it's misguided if—as Harris seems to be doing—you're going to dissociate that alarming problem of police professionalization from centuries of societal racism and claim that the former factor alone is at play while the latter is irrelevant.
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Re: Article of the Moment

Unread postby Brenden » 29 June 2020, 17:39

That's a pretty long chain and at the end seems to try and absolve people of individual, personal responsibility for their actions. Are you using this as an excuse for the increased violent crime as well? Against members of their own communities.

I did acknowledge the more policing finds more crime, particularly petty, victimless crime, but the buck stops at the individual and their choice to commit a crime, and victimising, violent crime is still quite rampant amongst black communities in the United States even though crime is falling precipitously overall (likely due to removal of sources of lead contamination since the mid 20th century).

Sullivan wrote:It sticks tens of thousands of blacks, often for minor offenses, in a prison system from which they may well leave hardened criminals even if they did not enter as such.

And is this not largely a cultural issue? Who's turning them into hardened criminals in prison? The prison guards? Are there seminars?
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Re: Article of the Moment

Unread postby Brenden » 29 June 2020, 18:04

Anyway, I'm sure all the points you two raise do contribute significantly. I'm not arguing against that.

Is the answer through really to defund the police? Demilitarise, definitely, but defund? Isn't a lack of funding what led the Ferguson police department to prey on the poor for money?

The US has 238 police officers per 100,000. That's significantly fewer than The Netherlands (295), Scotland (318), Belgium (333), France (340), Germany (381), Portugal (445), and Spain (533)! 100th out of 145 countries with data available.
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Re: Article of the Moment

Unread postby Magic J » 29 June 2020, 18:05

Brenden wrote:That's a pretty long chain and at the end seems to try and absolve people of individual, personal responsibility for their actions. Are you using this as an excuse for the increased violent crime as well? Against members of their own communities.

I don't think I'm trying to absolve people of personal responsibility. I'm looking at the issue on a higher level than that. The point I'm trying to make is that the call for "personal responsibility" seems to fall hardest on black persons, in this case.

And on violent crime? Yeah, I'd think that relative levels of poverty are in play here. Take Glasgow, which has historically had some of the most impoverished communities in Britain, and also the most instances of violent crime ("murder capital of Europe"). Are we to suggest that the predominantly white, working class communities which are most exposed to violent crime are just "culturally violent"? Or is it more likely that poverty creates the conditions for violence to flourish? I mean, there could be elements of "culture" in this, but even if we concede this, it seems likely to me that any supposed ingrained "predilection for violence" has its root cause in economic precarity.

Brenden wrote:And is this not largely a cultural issue? Who's turning them into hardened criminals in prison? The prison guards? Are there seminars?

Well, I'd suppose that there's a certain level of institutionalisation occurring in those sent to prison, particularly if it's a violent environment. I imagine it has deleterious effects on a persons personality which might make it more or less difficult to deal with others upon their release.
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Re: Article of the Moment

Unread postby Brenden » 29 June 2020, 18:09

But guess how Glasgow has gone from being the murder capital of Europe to one of the safer UK cities (especially compared to London)! MORE POLICE. When Police Scotland reorganised, they got rid of a lot of middle management positions and used the money to significantly increase the number of on-the-beat officers. Scotland has ⅓ more police per capita than the United States now, the second highest in the UK (after Northern Ireland).
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Re: Article of the Moment

Unread postby Magic J » 29 June 2020, 18:37

Brenden wrote:Is the answer through really to defund the police? Demilitarise, definitely, but defund?

Brenden wrote:But guess how Glasgow has gone from being the murder capital of Europe to one of the safer UK cities (especially compared to London)! MORE POLICE. When Police Scotland reorganised, they got rid of a lot of middle management positions and used the money to significantly increase the number of on-the-beat officers. Scotland has ⅓ more police per capita than the United States now, the second highest in the UK (after Northern Ireland).


Ah! I seem to have missed one of your posts. :lol:

On the issue of defund/abolish/reform etc., I have no real idea. Soz. :P As an outside observer, I think I lean towards disarmament, systemic reform and democratisation, which probably would require more funding (though not just for police departments, but also for other social services). I suppose that I made a pretty uncritical comparison by raising the Glasgow example: since the contexts are so different. The community policing focus in Glasgow and Northern Ireland has indeed been very successful. Whether that could translate into a US context is, obviously, hugely debatable.
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