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Default US Now Have A Total Gangster Government

August 14th, 2009, 10:23
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Then again, he was a burly young man who physically assaulted the officer first, not a frail old lady standing around looking confused.
The old lady wasn't maced and nightsticked either, nor was it by four male cops.
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August 14th, 2009, 10:35
There are two parts to the question here.

(1) Was the use of force justifiable?
(2) Was the amount of force used proportionate to the situation?

In the mushroom guy's case, IMO the answer to both questions is a clear "yes".

(1) The mushroom guy initiated violence, and in my mind there's no question that the police is justified in containing violence with force. (In fact, IMO the police would have been justified at intervening even a second or two earlier, when he picked up the broom and broke it against his knee, which shows pretty clear intent to use the handle as a weapon.)

(2) AFAICT, the police used only as much force as was needed to bring the guy under control. They did not administer a punitive beating once they had him immobilized. They did not strike at his head with the nightstick. They attempted macing him first; only when that did not work, they whupped him so they could grab and immobilize him. And he was not seriously injured in the process.

In the old biddy's case, IMO the answer to the first question is a clear "no," and to the second, a "maybe."

(1) The biddy did not initiate violence, nor give any indication that she intended to do so. She was just wandering around looking confused, and holding a knife. This does not constitute justification for the initiation of use of force by the cop.

(2) I'm not an expert, but it *looked* like the amount of force used by the cop was big enough to pose a serious risk to the old biddy's life and limb. Old bones are fragile, and going by the video, it looked like she was lucky to escape with only a cut to the scalp — she could easily have broken a hip, arm, collarbone, or skull, which at that age could very well have killed her.
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August 14th, 2009, 10:49
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
She was just wandering around looking confused, and holding a knife
Yep, that sounds *completely* safe to me.


I'll make this simple. I agree that the level of force used was unnecessary in the case of the old lady, but I just don't see logic of the comparison you made, the situations are too different.
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August 14th, 2009, 11:01
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Yep, that sounds *completely* safe to me.
Of course not completely safe. If it was, the cops wouldn't even have been called. Clearly a confused old biddy with a steak knife shouldn't be left to wander around on her own. (Hell, a confused old biddy WITHOUT a steak knife shouldn't be left to wander around on her own.)

But: there's a continuum between "completely safe" and "imminent threat." Imminent threats need to be contained, with force if necessary. Do you think the old biddy constituted an imminent threat? (As you know, I don't.)

I'll make this simple. I agree that the level of force used was unnecessary in the case of the old lady, but I just don't see logic of the comparison you made, the situations are too different.
I'm not really making a comparison as such; it's more of an illustration. The line between justified and unjustified use of force is a fuzzy one; I don't think it would hurt to make it clearer, and the best way I can think of to do that is to find examples, look at them, and say "IMO this is justified, but this is not; here, the use of force was justified, but the amount of force was excessive; in this case, the cops erred on the side of caution and should have used force but didn't."
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August 14th, 2009, 11:20
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
But: there's a continuum between "completely safe" and "imminent threat." Imminent threats need to be contained, with force if necessary. Do you think the old biddy constituted an imminent threat? (As you know, I don't.)
That's just it though, we don't *know* if the woman was a threat, and neither did the officer. It doesn't really matter what you or I *think*. I can question the amount of force that was used, but I don't question her actions. They're trained to act if there's even a potential threat to the safety of others. I highly doubt that the officer intended to injure her like that.
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August 14th, 2009, 23:35
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
That's just it though, we don't *know* if the woman was a threat, and neither did the officer. It doesn't really matter what you or I *think*. I can question the amount of force that was used, but I don't question her actions. They're trained to act if there's even a potential threat to the safety of others. I highly doubt that the officer intended to injure her like that.
That is why he calls it a continuum rather than a sharp distinction … too many shades of gray …

— Mike
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