Weekly Poll, police shooting

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When should a police officer be allowed to use his service gun?

Only when there is an immediate treath to his life or that from others
5
29%
When there is a reasonably assumption that the target poses an immediate indirect/direct treath to his life or that from others
8
47%
When the target is suspected or charged of/with serious crimes and tries to flee or otherwise obstructs his arrest
1
6%
When the target has killed (or is suspected of killing) another law enforcer
0
No votes
Whenever the target is fleeing from a crime scene
0
No votes
Whenever the police officer feels like it and the target is from an ethnic minority
1
6%
I like shooting ducks
2
12%
 
Total votes: 17
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Xocrates
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Postby Xocrates » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:31 am

xander wrote:We trust them to exercise that power sensibly

You're supposed to, but you may not. And while trust is indeed a scale and you may (rationally) not fully trust them, the question "do you trust them" has a binary answer (though which one you give may depend on context).

If in this general context in which the default answer to "do you trust the police to exercise its power sensibly" is supposed to be "yes", but a significant segment of the population answers "no", then there is a problem.
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Postby trickser » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:33 am

Even my plumber has powers...
>_>
wont
<_<
trust him
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Postby Feud » Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:29 am

jelco wrote: (if they're wearing jackets they tend to cover the holsters pretty well).


Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:37 am

xander wrote:We should hold lawyers, physicians, and teachers to a similar standard, though tempered by the level of harm they could potentially cause.

xander

I agree, in this case it would be...

Teachers (most powerful)
Lawyers (somewhere in between, depending on what the circumstance is)
Physicians
Police (least powerful)

:P
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Postby xander » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:03 am

Xocrates wrote:...the question "do you trust them" has a binary answer (though which one you give may depend on context).

Not to be contrary, but no it doesn't. Or rather, it does, but only because it is a piss poor question. Trust is not a binary variable.

xander
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Postby zjoere » Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:32 am

Our legislation is quite adequate, but not enterily perfect, when it comes to describing when it's ok for police officers to shoot.

First of all we have three restrictions when it comes to violence in general by the police:
*Violence can only be just for reaching a legitimate goal (a goal in the law) if that goal can't be reached in another way
*Violence must be reasonable and in proportion to the goal
*A warning must procede every use of violence unless a warning would make the violence ineffective

After that there is a list in the law that describes in wich cases police officers are allowed to use guns (but it must always be used in accordance with the principles described above):
*lawful defence as described in our penal code
*against armed persons or in the direction of vehicles containing in armed personsn in case of a number of crimes (crimes with a possible jail sentence of at least 5 years) and other crimes if the suspects are caught while commiting the crime. If these crimes where commited using violence, if it can reasonablye be assumed that the persons are in the possesion of firearms ready for use and if it can reasonably be assumed they will use these weapons.
*In case of absolute necessity while protecting persons, goods, places
*Every use of a gun shall be preceded with a warning with loud voice or any other means including a warning shot, unless this would render the use of violence ineffective

That all looks great in theory, but I'm not sure how well the implementation works. But at least good legislation is in place.

EDIT: I'd have to agree with the fact that police officers with guns are scary considering that a year ago or so a cop accidently fired his gun while a suspect was already lying on the ground gettind handcuffed. Luckily nobody got hurt. It's also scary because in my country I get the impression that police officers aren't exactly the sharpest tools in the shed (especially the lower ranked ones)
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Postby Cooper42 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:07 pm

Xocrates wrote:That assumes that the Police force has power over the law abiding citizen. If you've done nothing wrong there is nothing the police should be able to do to you.
It depends what you mean by "done nothing wrong"
This will be old news to some here, but... :

Terrorism Act 2000, Section 44 wrote:An authorisation under this subsection authorises any constable in uniform to stop a pedestrian [or vehicle] in an area or at a place specified in the authorisation ...

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/11/section/44

This explicitly DOES NOT require that the officer conducting the stop and search holds any suspiscions in regards to the person being stopped.

All it requires is that an "area" has been designated under threat from Terrorism by the Home Office, and stop and search within that area is allowed without suspscion of any kind.
For example:
"for almost 10 years all of Greater London was designated as an area in which anyone can be stopped and searched without suspicion."
http://www.liberty-human-rights.org.uk/ ... /index.php


Your world, I'd like to live in it.
Because unless you count being picked on by a copper (i.e: You are a young black bloke) as having done somthing wrong, then the powers of the police here sit outside what you claim 'should' be the case.

I've been stopped and searched. I asked the officer at the time how I was arousing suspiscion. He said I wasn't, but as I was in London he was acting under the 2000 Terrorism Act.
I am law abiding, I had power exercised over me by a police officer regardless. I complained, and was told that the officer was acting entirely legally (which he was).

That's a white, middle class guy, stopped just once. I have mates who get stopped once or twice a week, like clockwork. They have no criminal record, are not known to the police (though one is one seems to have a rapport with the officer who always stops him at the end of his street...) and have never been told they were doing anything suspiscious to account for the search.

So, no, I don't live in a place where police have no powers over anyone not arousing suspiscion.
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Postby Xocrates » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:12 pm

I hope you realize that that contradicts nothing I said and, in fact, reinforces it.
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Postby Cooper42 » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:32 pm

I wasn't trying to contradict you.

Just making a laboured point about how your totally reasonable assumption about where the limits of police power should be don't apply here.

Feud wrote:Don't know the agency involved

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Territorial_Support_Group
Who can't seem to tell the difference between drug dealers, students, violent anarchists and newspaper salesmen...
Oh, and who routinely hide their badge numbers so any possible complaints can't stick.

At least I assume it was a member of the TSG who hit me, unlike the other officers I met that day (who were occasionally quite pleasent individuals) he had is face covered in a cloth mask (a bit like the guys tearing places apart down the street) and had his number covered.

Also, this remark was quite interesting:
Feud wrote:As you say though, such fear seems to be very prevalent amongst those with the least experience in them. I guess it's like many other things in life, tolerance (and acceptance) often reflects exposure. Having been to many shooting ranges where a person who's scared of guns upon arrival leaves with a grin on their face and a desire to return, I'm a firm believer in the power of hands on experience's power to convert. :D

I agree, pretty much enitrely. But that doesn't make the conclusion (guns are not scary) right.

You see, I spent 9 months in Ukraine last year, research the Chernobyl Zone of Alienation. I was there 3 /4 days a week.

Very quickly, surprisingly so, I became incredibly blase about my exposure to radiation, as were the people I was working with who were there very regularly.
The thing is, my experience of it made it less scary for me. It changed my perception of the risk, but it didn't change the risk itself. I was, quite simply, pretty stupid.

But you are right - exposure affects perception. But it depends on whether 'conversion' is a good ends. I wouldn't want to 'convert' anyone to having a laugh in irradiated areas... Ok, guns are not radiation, and the similarities are a bit tenuous, but your point stands that, yes, exposure makes people feel safer and less cared of something. But that is not, necessarily, in anyway a good thing...

Here I concur with what Xocrates said on this - for some, like myself, the fact that guns are primarily designed to kill and maim people, is and should be, really scary. Turning such a thing into a recreational item is a bloody frightening idea.

I'm not saying that I wouldn't enjoy a firing range. I probably would, but I'm not convinced that it would 'convert' me away from that fundamental aversion to something designed, perfected and manufactured with the killing of people in mind...
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Postby Feud » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Cooper42 wrote:Here I concur with what Xocrates said on this - for some, like myself, the fact that guns are primarily designed to kill and maim people, is and should be, really scary. Turning such a thing into a recreational item is a bloody frightening idea.

I'm not saying that I wouldn't enjoy a firing range. I probably would, but I'm not convinced that it would 'convert' me away from that fundamental aversion to something designed, perfected and manufactured with the killing of people in mind...


Shouldn't the re-purposing of such things into peaceful pursuits be celebrated?

To draw a parallel, the F-16 is a fighter jet designed specifically to kill, and it does so regularly. But, go to an airshow, and what might you see?

Image

Are they shooting anybody? Bombing anything? Strafing the crowd or launching missiles at other airplanes? Nope, but that's what they are designed and "perfected" to do. There is no reason to be scared at them, unless you don't like loud noises or think one of them might accidentally crash into you. Instead, they are being used for recreation and entertainment, re-purposed to highlight the technical and personal achievements of man and machine, not their destructive potential.

Sure, exposure can lower inhibitions, which can be a dangerous thing. But, exposure also serves to remove irrational fear that don't serve any purpose other than to scare someone. There is no reason to fear guns, they are just objects. Bad or irresponsible people with guns, sure, but the guns themselves? They might not be everyone's cup of tea, everyone has likes and dislikes. But finding them scary just doesn't make sense to me.
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Postby Ace Rimmer » Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:26 pm

Ah air shows. Best one I ever went to had Stealth Fighters and Stealth Bombers. I wasn't scared, even though I knew they could sneak up on me.
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Postby Jordy... » Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:01 pm

"Whoever finds beauty in weapons
Delights in the slaughter of men;
And who delights in slaughter
Cannot content himself with peace"

"Weapons are instruments of fear; they are not a wise man's tools."

"Weapons, however beautiful, are instruments of ill omen, hateful to all creatures. Therefore he who has Tao will have nothing to do with them."

Translated quotes from Tao Teh-Tjing, Lao-Tse


I can, to some extent, envision how you might enjoy firearms or other weapon. But one can hardly deny the nature of weapons and the goals for which they are designed.
Some people find joy in murder. Not every murder might be considered a bad thing. Still it is a wicked thing to do.
However well your intentions are, what good can come from a weapon? Except perhaps some short-term satisfaction?
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Postby Feud » Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:28 pm

Jordy... wrote:However well your intentions are, what good can come from a weapon? Except perhaps some short-term satisfaction?


So, your opinion then is that the Police should never use their firearms? I didn't see that as a poll option, which is funny since you wrote them, but ok. :wink:
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Postby vanarbulax » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:02 pm

I see what you're trying to get across in you analogy Feud, but the difference between a gun and an F-16 is that I take it as a reasonable assumption that the person flying and F-16 is fully qualified, sober, level-headed, experienced and has a back-ground check. If I was to see a friend of mine who I knew was not fully qualified I would run like all hell.

Now obviously the same can be applied to guns, they are less scary when carried by qualified, trust worthy people, for limited times, in specific contexts (i.e police officers when necessary). To be honest I've never been very disturbed by officers with guns in Australia, mainly because it's not that common, and they very rarely get used outside of serious violent crime fighting as far as I can tell since no-one else armed. However I do get nerved by machine guns especially like when we were visiting Washington D.C and the patrols carried them or at airports.

And this is because fundamentally I don't trust people, nothing is fool-proof and people can snap/make stupid decisions/whatever and I'd like to potential of damage to be done when that happens minimised. So no I don't fear guns, I fear people and what they can do with guns. I however do not fear people and what they can do with a baguette. That is what makes a gun more than "just an object".

And yes cars can also be deadly, but have a crucial roll in society and are not as good at intentionally killing.
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Postby zjoere » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:24 pm

Feud's analogy just makes me wish I could buy an F16 for recreational purposes.
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