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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) An Arkansas man complained about police abuse. Then town officials ruined his life. (Read 248 times)
TowardLiberty
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An Arkansas man complained about police abuse. Then town officials ruined his life.
Jul 11th, 2018 at 12:45pm
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When body-camera footage of an aggressive or abusive police officer goes viral, the response from law enforcement groups is often to caution that we shouldn’t judge the entire system based on actions of a few bad apples. That’s fair enough. But what does it say about the system when the cops gets away with their bad behavior? What if, despite video footage clearly showing that the cops are in the wrong, sheriffs and police chiefs cover for them, anyway? What if local prosecutors do, too? What if even mayors and city attorneys get into the act?

Adam Finley had such an interaction with a bad cop. He was roughed up, sworn at and handcuffed. When he tried to file a complaint, he was hit with criminal charges. The local police chief turned Finley’s wife against him, which (according to both Finley and her) eventually ended their marriage. The fact that video of the incident should have vindicated him didn’t seem to matter.

Finley wasn’t shot, or choked to death, or found hanging in a jail cell. He didn’t suffer any permanent or lasting physical injury. Mercado didn’t even use racist or bigoted language. But Finley did everything he was supposed to. From the footage we can see and hear, he was polite, provided ID when it was asked of him and stepped out of the truck when ordered. Despite cooperating, he was treated poorly, detained and roughed up. When he then tried to file a complaint, he was harassed, and the chief of police attempted to turn his own wife against him — by citing video she hadn’t seen and that ultimately vindicated her husband. Yet even after viewing that video, city officials proceeded to prosecute. And even after the video was released, city officials maligned Finley in the press and insisted that the residents of Walnut Ridge believe the assertions of authority figures over the video evidence that contradicted them.

The “lesson” Finley learned here is pretty clear. Power usually wins. You can be as cooperative as possible, but if a police officer wants to dish out some abuse, he can. And he’ll probably get away with it. Try to hold him accountable if you’d like, but just know that doing so may come with a heavy price.

It’s tempting to blow all this off as a single, insignificant incident in a small town. It isn’t Los Angeles’s Rampart, after all. Or Chicago’s systemized torture. But it also isn’t unique. There’s a steady stream of stories like this one. I was alerted to this particular story by a former police officer who now advocates criminal-justice reform. (He asked me not to use his name, for reasons that will be apparent in a moment.) I asked him: In his experience, how common is this sort of thing? His response:


Quote:
"This is very common in policing. Looking back on my career, I realize just how often I acted similarly and didn’t even realize it. It was subconscious. I was trained and subtly incentivized to do so. You intentionally create conflict and manufacture noncompliance in order to build your stop into an arrest situation. Because that’s what generations of law enforcers who have been steeped in a fear-based, comply or else, us-vs.-them mind-set do. They arrest people. Arrests are a primary measure of productivity and gives the appearance your department has solved a problem.

Most aggressive cops have honed this to an art. They are savvy, know exactly how to weaponize numerous petty laws, ordinances, use-of-force policy and procedure against citizens. This cop was off his game and clumsily went through the motions like a desperate door-to-door perfume salesman. Except when cops manufacture a “sale” like this, the “customer” ends up arrested, criminalized, emotionally and financially devastated, not to mention possibly physically beaten or worse. And the justice system will deem it legal, even when it isn’t.

As far as the police leadership and prosecutors, they knew exactly what they were doing. If someone makes a complaint, you find something, anything to charge them with."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2018/07/10/an-arkansas-man-comp...

Video and more details at the link.

File this under, "further evidence that there is a systemic problem with law enforcement in the US."
« Last Edit: Jul 11th, 2018 at 1:07pm by TowardLiberty »  

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Wadsworth
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Re: An Arkansas man complained about police abuse. Then town officials ruined his life.
Reply #1 - Jul 11th, 2018 at 1:12pm
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Yes there is a problem.  The wrong kind of people are being hired.
  

Rabbit_Reborn wrote on Oct 18th, 2018 at 1:53pm:
The average person is going to starve and die.

Thus has it always been with humanity, before the advent of the Great Society.

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TowardLiberty
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Re: An Arkansas man complained about police abuse. Then town officials ruined his life.
Reply #2 - Jul 11th, 2018 at 1:17pm
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Wadsworth wrote on Jul 11th, 2018 at 1:12pm:
Yes there is a problem.  The wrong kind of people are being hired.

I don't think that's it.

We have a problem with politics but it also won't be solved by putting the "right" people in power.

People respond to incentives. I think we need to overhaul the incentives and rules police work under. There in lies the problem.

Unless we change the rules we won't get very far in solving this problem, in my view.
  

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Re: An Arkansas man complained about police abuse. Then town officials ruined his life.
Reply #3 - Jul 11th, 2018 at 1:35pm
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TowardLiberty wrote on Jul 11th, 2018 at 12:45pm:
[/i]
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2018/07/10/an-arkansas-man-comp...

Video and more details at the link.

File this under, "further evidence that there is a systemic problem with law enforcement in the US."


Welcome to "democracy"!
  

Queshank wrote on Oct 25th, 2018 at 9:13am:
FC,

I've been thinking about how I can respond conversationally without coming across as a total dick.

Queshank
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Re: An Arkansas man complained about police abuse. Then town officials ruined his life.
Reply #4 - Jul 11th, 2018 at 1:39pm
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TowardLiberty wrote on Jul 11th, 2018 at 1:17pm:
I don't think that's it.

We have a problem with politics but it also won't be solved by putting the "right" people in power.

People respond to incentives. I think we need to overhaul the incentives and rules police work under. There in lies the problem.

Unless we change the rules we won't get very far in solving this problem, in my view.


What incentives do you think they have now and how would you change them?
  



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Wadsworth
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Re: An Arkansas man complained about police abuse. Then town officials ruined his life.
Reply #5 - Jul 11th, 2018 at 1:43pm
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TowardLiberty wrote on Jul 11th, 2018 at 1:17pm:
I don't think that's it.

We have a problem with politics but it also won't be solved by putting the "right" people in power.

People respond to incentives. I think we need to overhaul the incentives and rules police work under. There in lies the problem.

Unless we change the rules we won't get very far in solving this problem, in my view.

What rules need to be changed?  The only rule I see that needs to be changed is that any asshole who wants to be a policeman shouldn't be.
  

Rabbit_Reborn wrote on Oct 18th, 2018 at 1:53pm:
The average person is going to starve and die.

Thus has it always been with humanity, before the advent of the Great Society.

In Order For You To Insult Me, I must First Have To Value Your Opinion
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TowardLiberty
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Re: An Arkansas man complained about police abuse. Then town officials ruined his life.
Reply #6 - Jul 11th, 2018 at 1:48pm
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Maestro wrote on Jul 11th, 2018 at 1:39pm:
What incentives do you think they have now and how would you change them?


Well, I would rethink sovereign immunity. I would put the police on equal legal footing as everyday citizens, they could only use force for defensive purposes.

I would require officers to hold occupational insurance. This would create disincentives for abusing authority because the insurance companies risk and liability would lead them to raise their premiums or cancel the contract altogether.

Being a bully could be personally costly if we tweak the rules and incentives police face.

I would also invest in training and attempt to change the culture. I would scrap the war on drugs and civil asset forfeiture. Might even do away with traffic stops.
  

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Re: An Arkansas man complained about police abuse. Then town officials ruined his life.
Reply #7 - Jul 11th, 2018 at 1:53pm
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I hate to put it this way TL, but I will.  This is how Black people get killed by law enforcement officers.  This happens every day to a person of color. 

Greg
  

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Re: An Arkansas man complained about police abuse. Then town officials ruined his life.
Reply #8 - Jul 11th, 2018 at 1:54pm
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Greg55_99 wrote on Jul 11th, 2018 at 1:53pm:
I hate to put it this way TL, but I will.  This is how Black people get killed by law enforcement officers.  This happens every day to a person of color. 

Greg

Oh, I don't think anyone would disagree with that. Yes, you are quite right.

But part of the solution is going to be stressing the fact that we all suffer under the boot of authority. It's not just a black people problem.

We need to stop separating ourselves and focus on the real problem.
  

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Re: An Arkansas man complained about police abuse. Then town officials ruined his life.
Reply #9 - Jul 11th, 2018 at 5:15pm
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Greg55_99 wrote on Jul 11th, 2018 at 1:53pm:
I hate to put it this way TL, but I will.  This is how Black people get killed by law enforcement officers.  This happens every day to a person of color. 

Greg


Are you saying there are 365 black people killed annually by police under illegal (by police) circumstances?
  
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