Police Shootings Triggered by Subject’s Demeanor, Not Race

Force Science Institute writes:  It’s all about a subject’s demeanor—not about race, ethnicity, or attire—when encounters with police escalate to violence, according to a new study from Washington State U . . .

Activist groups and mainstream media, of course, tend to insist otherwise. But a research team that conducted the first controlled laboratory study comparing how behavior and visible characteristics influence whether officers escalate or de-escalate street confrontations has found that appearance bias is not a dominant factor . . .

The way subjects act is what makes the difference.

“These findings offer important new insight into how fairly officers interact with people during routine encounters that have the potential to turn violent, and what this means for perceptions of police legitimacy, procedural justice, and allegations of racial bias,” writes the study’s lead author, Dr. Lois James.

She’s an assistant professor and researcher who works with the university’s Sleep and Performance Research Center, with a number of police-related studies that have been reported in Force Science News.

While her latest findings are encouraging for law enforcement’s public image, her team uncovered some troubling evidence that she describes as “rather shocking.” Justifiably so!

TEST SCENARIOS

Participants in her new study were 50 officers randomly selected from a list of qualified volunteers from the patrol division of a mid-size metropolitan PD. All but a handful were white males, with an average of nearly 16 years on the job.

Armed with training-modified Glock 22s, they were exposed to a series of video scenarios, depicting police-citizen interactions in five situations: a vehicle stop, a welfare check, an investigation of “suspicious circumstances,” a disturbance of the peace, and a community meeting.

Six versions of each scenario were filmed, so that the same action could feature key role players who differed as to race (white, black, or Hispanic) and attire (“business” dress, consisting of suit or slacks with a button-down shirt, or “street” clothes, including jeans, sneakers, and hoodie). “Gender, age, body type of the suspect, and the environment for the interaction were held constant,” James says.

Half the scenarios within each racial/ethnic category depicted individuals who were confrontational from the onset, while the other half featured non-confrontational individuals, she says. Confrontational subjects, while not behaving criminally or displaying any pre-assault indicators, “acted with hostility, antagonism, contempt, or belligerence…being rude, disrespectful, and mocking.” Non-confrontational individuals were “friendly, polite, and respectful.”

James points out: “It is important to note that this variable was not dictated by [initial] actions of the officer. That behavior was apparent from the very start of the encounter, regardless of how the officer approached the scenario or initiated contact.”

Officers were told to “respond as they would in a routine police-citizen encounter,” interacting with people on the screen, trying to “resolve problems peaceably,” and de-escalating “where possible.”

DEPENDENT BRANCHING

Depending on what the participating officers did during the encounter, each scenario was “branched” in one of these ways:

1) to a “positive track,” where the subject ultimately cooperates and ends up “visibly pleased” or at least “neutral” regarding the outcome, or

2) to a “negative track,” which was initiated if an officer failed to display a professional attitude or dialogue, including disrespecting, patronizing, or insulting the subject, or pointed a gun at him/her “unnecessarily.”

Once the action branched negative, the subject “became visibly upset” or angry. Then the officer could initiate a “repair track” by trying to de-escalate these reactions.

If he failed to attempt de-escalation, however, the action escalated to the “deadly” level. The subject “became enraged, rapidly presented a weapon, and started shooting,” James explains.

Qs & As.

James’ team sought to answer two research questions:

1) Did officers differ in how they treated on-screen individuals based on race/ethnicity, attire, or demeanor?

2) If the negative track was initiated, did officers’ de-escalation attempts differ based on race/ethnicity, attire, and demeanor of the person they were dealing with?

Here’s what the researchers found:

• “[O]fficers did not treat white, black, or Hispanic suspects significantly differently,” James writes. “[R]oughly equivalent percentages of scenarios featuring white, black, and Hispanic individuals resulted in cooperative, neutral, and deadly outcomes [indicating] that officers were not influenced by individuals’ race/ethnicity during their interactions.”

• “[O]fficers did not treat street-dressed individuals differently [than] business-dressed individuals. [A]ttire did not predict the likelihood of a cooperative outcome…a neutral outcome…or a deadly outcome.”

• “The sole significant result was demeanor…. [S]cenarios featuring confrontational individuals were significantly less likely to result in a cooperative outcome…and significantly more likely to result in deadly outcomes…. [O]fficers treated people better and avoided escalation when the on-screen individuals were friendly, respectful, and polite….[Officers] responded similarly to confrontational individuals regardless of their race/ethnicity or how they were dressed.”

• Numerically, officers did attempt de-escalation (as evidenced by activation of the repair track) less frequently in scenarios with black individuals and with subjects in street garb. “But the difference was not statistically significant,” James says.

• Again, “the sole significant variable was demeanor; officers were significantly more likely to attempt de-escalation when the individual was non-confrontational.”

Bottom line: “Collectively, these results suggest that individual characteristics did not influence how officers treated people in the simulator,” James writes. “[B]eing confrontational was the sole significant predictor of a deadly outcome.”

MORE TO DO

The research findings suggest that police were impartial regarding race and attire, which speaks well for law enforcement in these troubled times. Nonetheless, James does point out a major dark element among the study’s discoveries.

Even in scenarios in which individuals were not rude or disrespectful at the outset, officers often “acted in ways that did not lend to the peaceful resolution of encounters,” she writes.

Indeed, 52% of the scenarios that began with non-confrontational subjects ended up with deadly force (compared to 63% of scenarios with hostile individuals). In the final split-second that officers are confronted with a lethal weapon, James notes, shooting may well be fully justified. But “when considering the ebbs and flows of the entire dynamic encounter” that led to that point, “the appropriateness of police actions [along the way] is less clear.”

Given her study’s set-up, where “any attempt to de-escalate the encounter would have resulted in its peaceful resolution,” the 52% could be “classified as unnecessary force,” James writes—a “rather shocking” result that shows “we still have much work to do.”

James’ study, “Testing the impact of citizen characteristics and demeanor on police officer behavior in potentially violent encounters,” appears in Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management and can be accessed in full for a fee by clicking here. Her colleagues in this research were Dr. Stephen James and Dr. Bryan Vila of Washington State U.

Dr. Lois James can be reached at: lois_james@wsu.edu

comments

  1. avatar No one of consequence says:

    But being polite is so old-fashioned.

    1. avatar CZJay says:

      I haven’t really met a genuinely polite cop. If they think you broke any law they will be unnecessarily confrontational and impolite if you are a man. Even polite cops quickly stop being polite when they feel their authority is in question. You know the, “What are you some lawyer?” or “Oh, so you know the law better than a police officer?” If you are armed, or appear to be, things get a lot worse regardless.

      People shouldn’t have to kiss a cops ass to not get murdered or falsely arrested. Since they have a gun and you likely don’t, they feel like they can do whatever they want. If you do have a gun, they will have the urge to shoot you as soon as they can get an excuse that seems legitimate to the public. They also don’t feel like they will ever get convicted of murder because they have a bunch of things on their side.

      By the way, it still seems like cops are being conditioned to fire on a human when they hear the words “gun” or “knife.” What do you guys carry on you everyday? Are you more likely to be killed by a criminal when you are unarmed or killed by a cop when you are armed? It’s ridiculous that America is basically at the point where that’s in question. Although, it’s not surprising considering how police chiefs tend to be anti 2nd Amendment.

      1. avatar ThomasR says:

        Interesting. Here in New Mexico, I’ve found the police and the Sherrif’s to be polite and proffessional. This is even after I started to OC nine years ago; even in Albuquerque, where you would normally expect a more hostile response to a citizen OC’ing a firearm.

      2. avatar Terclinger says:

        “I haven’t really met a genuinely polite cop.”

        Maybe because you come off like a jackass so they are immediately in “fuck you, skell” mode.

  2. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

    I don’t disagree with the results, but the test seems poorly done. They only used 50 officers from one police department. Also, it seems like 50 cops volunteering for and participating in a simulation would arguably not represent the behavior of the 1,000,000 other cops, especially when the latter is acting in real life.

    Again, I agree that cops aren’t generally racist killers. I support and appreciate LE. But it seems like taking the numbers from the actual police shootings would be more compelling than this. YMMV.

    Thoughts?

    1. avatar Michael S. says:

      It’s well done. I haven’t dug into the nuts and bolts, but the methodology isn’t flawed. They scripted it to remove certain variables and control others. It seems to be measuring what it’s examining. Post-analysis of officer involved shootings prevents that.

      And while the sample set is small, it was randomly selected. That lends some additional validity and reliability. Administered to a comparable department elsewhere, you should get comparable results.

      1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

        Okay, I didn’t catch that it was randomly selected. I’ll take your word for it that it’s a good study.

    2. avatar Bloving says:

      I’ve no problem with the methodology. Seems sound. But yes, a much larger sample base would be nice… and that’s where allocation of more funding comes in.
      It does bear repeating though: the study did indicate that the officer’s attitude had at least as much to do with an ugly outcome as the subject’s. It takes two to tango, as it were.
      🤠

    3. avatar Hannibal says:

      Looking at past shootings ‘by the numbers’ is about useless. That’s what people have been doing but it lacks ANY controls whatsoever. A good study is prospective, not retrospective, so that you can set up parameters beforehand.

      That said, you are right that this one seems very limited.

      1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

        People who are concerned about police racism are saying that cops have historically acted with negative racism, and I don’t see why they’d care about this study. Just my opinion.

  3. avatar BlazinTheAmazin says:

    In short: to all the hoodlums that think everyone is out to get you. STOP acting like an asshole. That is all.

    1. avatar H says:

      I so agree with you!
      It is curious that you don’t have a message for police officers too.
      The research shows it take two to tango.

      1. avatar BlazinTheAmazin says:

        Without question most police could use much better training in de-escalation techniques. However, not acting belligerent clearly negates the need for de-escalation in the first place.

        1. avatar MeRp says:

          If 52% of non-belligerent acting actors get escalated to confrontation, then further escalated to shooting when the study is designed such that ANY attempt by the officer at de-escalation (or never escalating in the first place) would not have that result, then the clear problem lies with the officer.

          Failing to not be “polite” enough only plays a small part; about an 11% increase for being belligerent.

          In short; you are wrong; the cop having a focus on de-escalation makes nearly all of the difference; the contactee being belligerent makes some difference, but not as much as one would expect.

        2. avatar CZJay says:

          Have you ever had a cop point a gun at you and threaten your life when you didn’t do anything wrong?

          It’s hard to be polite when cops themselves are just as bad as a gangster:

        3. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          Did the cop rob you, shoot you in the face, and then post pictures on social media? Didn’t think so.

    2. avatar Quasimofo says:

      In all seriousness, there are a lot of dumb people, many of whom have a sense of entitlement, who just don’t know how to get arrested, or how to interact with the police in general, for that matter.

      1. avatar Chris Morton says:

        And there are a lot of cops who view the populace at large as punching bags and reactive targets.

        1. avatar Quasimofo says:

          Agreed. Unfortunately, that’s all the more reason to not be a jackass around cops, because you never know if you’re dealing with one of the bad apples.

  4. avatar anarchyst says:

    I am sure that I will irritate those who have seen my screed before, but in light of this article, I feel that it is necessary to post this:

    If anything, police should be held to a higher standard than that of the public…As it stands now, police can commit crimes with impunity because, in most situations, they investigate themselves…Behavior that would get an ordinary citizen charged, convicted and incarcerated is routinely ignored by “the powers that be” because police are considered to be “above the law” as the “law” is whatever they say it is, the Constitution be damned…

    Police officers are of the only group that can murder someone by falsely claiming that “they feared for their lives”, have 48 to 72 hours to “get their stories straight”, and have a union lawyer and compliant prosecutor-steered “grand jury” absolve them of responsibility.

    Police demand immediate compliance (Israeli-style)–with two or three cops issuing and yelling out conflicting commands, it is easy to see how a person under police control could lose his life for merely attempting to follow conflicting directions.

    Ever notice that police unions are “fraternal”? This should tell you something. The “thin-blue-line” is a gang, little different than street gangs–at least when it comes to “covering-up” their questionable and quite often, illegal and criminal behavior.

    In today’s day and age, “officer safety” trumps de-escalation of force. This, in part, is due to the militarization of the police along with training in Israeli police tactics. This becomes a problem, with the “us vs. them” attitude that is fosters, along with the fact that Israel is a very different place, being on a constant “war footing”, its police tactics are very different.

    It is interesting to note that our military operates under “rules of engagement” and “escalation of force” doctrine, unlike American police departments which have NO “rules of engagement” policies.
    There are too many instances of police being “given a pass”, even when incontrovertible video and audio evidence is presented. Grand juries, guided by police-friendly prosecutors, quite often refuse to charge those police officers who abuse their authority.

    Police officers, who want to do the right thing, are quite often marginalized and put into harms way, by their own brethren…When a police officer is beating on someone that is already restrained while yelling, “stop resisting” THAT is but one reason police have a “bad name” in many instances…this makes the “good cops” who are standing around, witnessing their “brethren in blue” beating on a restrained suspect, culpable as well…

    Here are changes that can help reduce police-induced violence:

    1. Get rid of police unions. Police unions (fraternities) protect the guilty, and are responsible for the massive whitewashing of questionable police behavior that is presently being committed.

    2. Eliminate both “absolute” and “qualified” immunity for all public officials. This includes, prosecutors and judges, police and firefighters, code enforcement and child protective services officials, and others who deal with the citizenry. The threat of being sued personally would encourage them to behave themselves. Require police officers to be “bonded” by an insurance company, with their own funds. No bond=no job. You can bet that insurance companies would be more diligent in weeding out the “bad apples” than our present system…

    3. Any public funds disbursed to citizens as a result of police misconduct should come out of police pension funds–NOT from the taxpayers.

    4. Regular drug-testing of police officers as well as incident-based drug testing should take place whenever an officer is involved in a violent situation with a citizen–no exceptions.

    5. Testing for steroid use should be a part of the drug testing program. You know damn well, many police officers “bulk up” with the “help” of steroids. Steroids also affect users mentally as well, making them more aggressive. The potential for abuse of citizens increases greatly with steroid use.6. Internal affairs should only be used for disagreements between individual officers–NOT for investigations involving citizen abuse. State-level investigations should be mandatory for all suspected abuses involving citizens.7. Prosecutors should be charged with malfeasance IF any evidence implicating police officer misconduct is not presented to the grand jury.

    8. A national or state-by-state database of abusive individuals who should NEVER be allowed to perform police work should be established–a “blacklist” of abusive (former) police officers.

    9. Most people are unaware that police have special “rules” that prohibit them from being questioned from 48 to 72 hours. This allows them to “get their stories straight” and makes it easier to “cover up” bad police behavior. Police must be subject to the same laws as civilians.

    10. All police should be required to wear bodycams and utilize dashcams that cannot be turned off. Any police officers who causes a dash or body cam to be turned off should be summarily fired–no excuses. Today’s body and dash cams are reliable enough to withstand harsh treatment. Body and dashcam footage should be uploaded to a public channel “on the cloud” for public perusal.

    11. All interrogations must be video and audio recorded. Police should be prohibited from lying or fabricating stories in order to get suspects to confess. False confessions ARE a problem in many departments. Unknown to most people, police can lie with impunity while civilians can be charged with lying to police…fair? I think not…

    12. Any legislation passed that restricts the rights of ordinary citizens, such as firearms magazine capacity limits, types of weapons allowed, or restrictive concealed-carry laws should apply equally to police. No special exemptions to be given to police. Laws must be equally applied.

    13 “Asset forfeiture” is a form of “legalized robbery under color of law” and must be abolished. We must return to Constitutional principles when it comes to “crimefighting”. The so-called “war on drugs” is actually a “war on the citizenry” and has had an extremely corrosive effect on the Constitutional principles that our country is (supposed to be) founded on.

    14. “No-knock” raids must be abolished as they put both police and (especially citizens) in harms way. Even the Nazis “knocked on the door” before gaining entry.

    15. SWAT teams must be reigned in on their “dynamic entry techniques”. Utilizing SWAT teams for routine situations is dangerous to both police and citizens. Smashing everything in sight “just because they can”, blaming it on an “adrenaline rush” must end. There is NEVER a reason for destroying property.

    16. The “21 foot rule” must be modified or abolished. American police training assumes that ANYONE that gets within 21 feet of a police officer and is deemed a threat, even a non-life-threatening situation is “fair game” for the use of lethal force. Persons with rakes, sticks, knives, or even their fists have been executed, even when non-lethal means would have been more appropriate. Police hide behind the “21 foot rule” in order to justify questionable police shootings. Their “excuse”, when brought before a prosecutor or grand jury is that “they feared for their life” or “that is the way they are trained”. THAT has to change. Police have a greater responsibility NOT to use deadly force against those that they could easily subdue by other means.

    17. Clear and concise “rules of engagement” must be established for ALL American law enforcement personnel. Any deviation from these rules must be severely punished. It is interesting to note that American military veterans in combat zones operate under more restrictive “rules of engagement” than American “law enforcement”. In fact, American “law enforcement” operates under NO “rules of engagement”. They have total “carte blanche” to destroy whoever they want. THAT has to change…
    Police work is not inherently dangerous…there are many other professions that are much more dangerous.

    A little “Andy Taylor” could go a long way in allaying fears that citizens have of police.
    That being said, I have no problem with police officers who do their job in a fair, conscientious manner…however, it is time to call to task those police officers who only “protect and serve” themselve

    1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

      You have some good points, but maybe you should try being a cop before you judge them so hard.

      Also, if you want to be heard better, don’t talk for 1,300 words. There’s a German saying that a bad cause requires many words.

      1. avatar Chris Morton says:

        “You have some good points, but maybe you should try being a cop before you judge them so hard.”

        I’ll trade you: You try being a Black man in America before you condemn Black people.

        If I can’t condemn Tony Abbate without being a cop, you can’t condemn Patrick Ferguson without being Black.

        Cop idolators and Black Lies Matter are perfect mirror images of each other, sociopaths defending the indefensible on behalf of a criminal constituency.

        1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          I missed where I condemned blacks. In fact, I missed where I’ve ever talked about any race ever on TTAG.

        2. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          “If I can’t condemn Tony Abbate without being a cop, you can’t condemn Patrick Ferguson without being Black.”

          Of course anyone can condemn a specific person for a specific act. I was talking about saying cops as a whole are bad because a few are bad. It makes as much sense as saying all gun owners are murderers because of Vegas or Parkland.

          “Cop idolators and Black Lies Matter are perfect mirror images of each other, sociopaths defending the indefensible on behalf of a criminal constituency.”

          I agree, more or less. Moral absolutism and Justice both could care less about race or rank.

          That said, I think you think I’m a cop idolator. So, tell me, where or when have I excused any immoral/unethical action committed by LE?

      2. avatar MDC says:

        Well then, omniorousbeorn, thanks for proving you’re either a dick face law dawg or a boot licker. Either way fuck you. When did protect and serve become comply or die? Citizens with badges. Fuck the blue line. Mafia in blue. My name says it all. Look it up.

        1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          MDC,

          “When did protect and serve become comply or die?”

          Since never, that’s when. Wrong is wrong, and when people abuse power to do wrong it’s even worse. I’ve said it three times so far: I oppose wrongdoing by cops. I just don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, that’s all.

          As far as being LE (objectively false) or a boot-licker, I’m here for information, and that’s not info, so call me whatever makes you happy.

          I looked up your name and it came up with a vacuum, a rock band, and a two-bit college. =D

        2. avatar MDC says:

          Throw the baby out. Good cop seen bad cop be bad cop. Good cop protects blue line. Says nothing. Therefore good cop is bad cop. They are nothing more than armed enforcers for the state and revenue generators. You had it right at the band.

        3. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          “Throw the baby out. Good cop seen bad cop be bad cop. Good cop protects blue line. Says nothing. Therefore good cop is bad cop.”

          Agreed. Again, you’re saying that because a bad cop exists all (or most) cops are bad. Again, wrong. Let’s cut out the hypotheticals and proof surrogates, and throw in some verifiable and legitimate stats.

    2. avatar Tile Floor says:

      You are speaking in a lot of generalities and misinformation without citing any sources. for example, your carte blanche statement. Would the officer who planted a taser on the guy after shooting him been charged for murder if that were the case? No. There are use of force policies and case law that dictate how officers respond and use force.

      I can see how the “we investigated ourselves and found we did nothing wrong” statement can have merit, and the problem is with the division of police into local jurisdictions it varies. It probably would be better to have qualified third party members decide the reasonableness of the force, but again most departments have good IA officers who will charge if necessary. In this day and age police don’t want to work with fools that will make their jobs more difficult.

      Part of the problem of the “police work is not inherently dangerous” argument is that it is centered only on deaths. Sure, police deaths are lower than some other professions when just going off of death ratios, however, dig a little deeper. in 2016, 135 officers were killed. Not too bad out of 700k or so law enforcement officers. Of those 135, 66 were murdered, 62 of which were by firearm. I challenge you to take a look at the deadlier professions and find one with a higher percentage of homicides per workplace fatality.

      But dangerous does not necessarily mean fatal. Police have body armor and other tools to minimize deaths, but lets look at assaults and injuries.

      In 2016, 57,180 officers were victims of assault in the line of duty. And that is individual officers, not number of times they were assaulted. I was assaulted 7 times in the line of duty in 2016 and I appear as one of those 57,180. So no, it is not an inherently safe profession. (https://ucr.fbi.gov/leoka/2016).

      Another issue I have- “Today’s body and dash cams are reliable enough to withstand harsh treatment”
      Hate to break it to you brother, but that’s bullshit. Ive been through three body cameras so far. They are not durable or reliable at all. When we first got them they would spontaneously combust. Any bit of moisture gets to them and they are done for at least 24 hours, if not permanently. Also, the 21 foot rule, as we are trianed, is applicable for knives, not everything or everyone.

      You do have some good points. No knock raids need to go. If somebody busts down my door I’m assuming the worst. Asset forfeiture also needs to go.

      I think your heart is in the right place, as summed up by this satement-“That being said, I have no problem with police officers who do their job in a fair, conscientious manner…however, it is time to call to task those police officers who only “protect and serve” themselves.” I also do like the fact that you actually proposed solutions instead of just bitching, even if I may disagree with some of them. The problem is that I think a lot of the stuff you claim is generalities or gleaned off of sites like copblock or its ilk. If you take the time to research how things are actually done it may change your mind on a couple of things.

      1. avatar ironicatbest says:

        700,000 law enforcement officers, drawing an average of $10 an hour, wow takes a lot of money to fund an army. Where’s all that money come from?

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I am completely missing who, exactly, cares a whit about “homicides per fatality”. The concept of dangerous jobs has always been defined as injuries/fatalities per a certain number of employees. 135 fatalities from a field of 700,000 during a year does not sound very dangerous, to me. YMMV.

      3. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

        Given that a suspect bleeding on an officer has led to assault charges on multiple documented occasions, your ‘assault’ argument is disingenuous at best. CNAs are attacked and injured by dementia patients far more often than police officers are by suspects, but nobody documents those incidents and plays victim. As for homicides, clerks at 7-Eleven are far, far more likely to be shot and killed than any police officer. And you know what? Your brethren kill far more innocent people than the criminals who kill you, so who really has more cause for suspicion? When you defend bad officers, you taint public perception of your entire profession. People don’t distrust police officers because one bad apple planted evidence or killed some unarmed teenager; they distrust police officers because the rest of the department decided to put the murderer on paid vacation and defend his lies.

        1. avatar CZJay says:

          When people like Scott Israel run departments…

        2. avatar Chris Morton says:

          Look at the barmaid beating in Chicago.

          The friends of Officer Tony Abbate engaged in an organized intimidation campaign against the victim, her employer and co-workers.

          The rank and file of the Chicago PD engaged in VERY ostentatious shows of support for 300lb. coward Tony Abbate.

          It’s generally set in stone that if a cop commits an UNDENIABLE crime against an innocent citizen, other cops will line up against the VICTIM.

        3. avatar Tile floor says:

          Sources? Or just more generalities?

        4. avatar 16V says:

          Tile Floor, Try reading the FBI UCR sometime and then the BLS stats on how the (very few) cops who die on the job, actually die on the job – hint: you’re about 50/50 dying behind the wheel.

          As for the rest, you either live in the fantasyland of policing where good cops routinely arrest bad cops with no blow-back to their lives and careers, or you’re just another disingenuous copper who thinks the general public doesn’t know what really happens.

          Wah, wah. You do a slightly dangerous job, wearing body armor, an open carry sidearm, the loosest ROEs in the civilized world, and all your buddies will come running because they’re on radio speed-dial. Not to mention the union, and it’s money and connects have your back.

          What happens on Cop Talk is the tip of the iceberg. I know it, and you do too if you aren’t a legally blind hire…

    3. avatar Vanareb says:

      Anarchyst , I started a detailed response to your “screed” (which actually comes across as more of a diatribe), but quickly realized that the local farm and ranch store doesn’t carry a large enough manure fork to properly dig through your epistemological errors that evidence a lack of understanding of basic principles of police policy, ignorance of the law, and misunderstanding of force dynamics, not to mention your (as previously noted) unsupported assertions.
      I believe that you are actually sincere in wanting police interaction with the public , and vice versa, to have more peaceful and productive outcomes but I think you are missing the mark. In other words If you were on the 350 meter range the guys in the pit would be waving Maggie’s drawers.

    4. avatar Brian says:

      anarchyst: you have some good suggestions.

      OmnivorousBeorn: that explains Adolf and Fidel quite well.

      Tile Floor: good points.

    5. avatar Jay Williams says:

      +1

      Lots of great ideas.

  5. avatar doesky2 says:

    You must respect their authoritay!!!

    (Insert Southpark clip)

  6. avatar Tile Floor says:

    Its really about how they respond to commands.

    My buddy and I were chasing a home invasion suspect, description was a black male wearing sweats. So we see a black male wearing sweats tear out of the house and we run after him. He reaches behind him and pulls out a Glock, still facing away from us. We draw down on him and give him commands and he complies.

    Turns out he was the homeowner, trying to chase the dude. We gave him concise commands he immediately complied and he was fine. Had he turned around, faced us with a gun, etc. he probably would have been ventilated. And the worst part is, he may have due to confusion, the speed of the way things were developing, etc, not because of any malice on his part.

    It would have sucked, for both us and him, and I am so thankful it did not turn out that way. At the

    Some officers are too jumpy, and should be prosecuted for murder. I will be the first make that statement.

    1. avatar TStew says:

      Damn… Hell of a moment for you, your partner and the homeowner. Nice job.

      I’d say this also is an example that rebuts the “How will the police know who is the good guy with the gun” arguments I’ve had (most of which end with non-responses and a confused look when I reply “the good guy with the gun is the one NOT randomly shooting at everything they see and responds to commands.”)

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      Ewww. You gave someone a “COMMAND” You some kind Brit royalty giving commands to a serf (same point to popo with their institutionalized COMMAND BS). How about a polite request of a citizen?

      1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

        I have zero problem with that. Making a “polite request of a citizen” makes it optional. It’s not.

        If you were in his shoes (holding a gun on someone holding a gun), wouldn’t you demand that he drop it?

        1. avatar 16V says:

          “I have zero problem with that. Making a “polite request of a citizen” makes it optional. It’s not.’

          Please feel free to eff off to North Korea. I think you’ll feel at home there…

        2. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          How about you try answering the question I asked.

          To keep you from messing up the quotation marks again, here it is: If you were holding a gun on someone holding a gun, wouldn’t you demand that he drop it?

          I admire the don’t-tread-on-me spirit, but let’s not take it to hypocritical and unrealistic folly.

    3. avatar Brian says:

      Tile Floor: Wow, scary story, glad it turned out well.

    4. avatar Chris Morton says:

      “Its really about how they respond to commands.”

      And in what way did Levar Jones and Charles Kinsey “respond to commands”?

      By doing EXACTLY as they were told, WHEN they were told.

      How’d THAT work out for them?

      Exactly what “commands” were given to Akai Gurley?

  7. avatar 61north says:

    Chris Rock figured this out years ago:

    https://youtu.be/uj0mtxXEGE8

  8. avatar former water walker says:

    I have known far too many azzwhole cop’s in 64 years to believe walking(or driving) while black is NOT a thing. White & black cops equally guilty too. Chicagoland seems to be the epicenter for jagoffery…he!! I got hassled merely for having long hair years ago. I’m surprised more cops aren’t shot…

    1. avatar MeRp says:

      The study, as presented, does nothing to indicate that being black in the public is not a thing, so to speak. The given contact was already determined for them, as opposed to them deciding who to make contact with.

      That is where being black in public comes in; if you’re black and in the public, police are more likely to make a contact with you than they would if you were not black (or not in public, technically). If you then have a 52% chance of the situation being escalated by the officer (assuming you’re being cooperative and polite) until he’s got you upset enough to try to fight him and he shoots you, then each contact is a pretty dire circumstance.

    2. avatar Chris Morton says:

      The Chicago PD is no better than some Third World militia:
      * Jon Burge
      * Alvin Weems
      * Gerald Callahan
      * Jerome Finnegan
      * Tony Abbate

      The Chicago PD long ago gave up on Sir Robert Peel and switched to the model of Oskar Dirlewanger.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        Tile Floor says they’re just made up. Or outliers. Or some other bullshit he spouts….

  9. avatar PeterK says:

    That is fascinating. This was a good experiment.

    1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

      An experiment I’d like to see would be BLM activists or cop-critiquers being put through force-on-force scenarios.

        1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          Yup, that’s where I got the idea. I was mentioned it, but deleted it because it took too long. Probably should’ve anyway. Thanks for finding it.

      1. avatar Brian says:

        OmnivorousBeorn: Good idea.

      2. avatar Chris Morton says:

        An experiment I’d like to see is cops trying to comply with multiple, mutually exclusive commands screamed at them while loaded guns were pointed at them.

        Even better, I’d like to see cops react to being put in the same situation as Emma Hernandez, Margie Carranza and David Perdue. Of course they’d have to be completely unarmed and helpless as they get lit up with hundreds of rounds of ammunition (and rammed in their vehicles) WITH NO WARNING WHATEVER, the way those victims were.

  10. avatar Shire-man says:

    This is on display all the time if you ever watch Cops. The people who stop, drop and fold get wrapped up without pain or incident. The people who argue, flail, fight and scream always end up causing a shitload of trouble for themselves and the officers. White, black, whatever. The rainbow of stupidity is alive and well.

    That said it’s easier to follow instructions when you can actually hear those instructions. Six cops all screaming at you with dogs barking and sirens blaring makes it plenty tough to hear those instructions.
    Disorientation as a tactic is fine. Disorientation with expectations of the suspect following orders is stupid.

    1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

      What have you done to have six cops blaring orders at you and dogs snapping about the place? All my encounters with cops, including 2 with guns drawn, have been a lot calmer and easier to talk thru than what you describe.

      *I did see a cop dog chewing on a guy once. But I witnessed that incident from start to finish. That dude must have had a fetish about dog bites. He provoked and got a nasty response.

      1. avatar anonymoose says:

        Go watch the Philando Castile video. Oh, you’re high and you have a CHL? Better shoot you to make sure you don’t reach for your gun. Go watch the Mitch Brailsford video. That guy did nothing illegal and they still shot him after ordering his drunk ass to worm-crawl his way towards them in the “blind hallway” or some BS. Too many cops expect you to bend over backwards and spread your asscheeks so they don’t walk into something that might, might, might be a trap. Roids, propaganda, and military culture have no business in law enforcement.

        1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

          Do you have real life experience with cops or are you just going off videos?

          I’ve, in my youth, hung around stupid people in stupid places doing stupid things. Dive bars. Dads side of the family were, basically, biker trash.

          I’ve interacted with cops in West Virginia, where the standards of training were not all that, Texas and CA. The behavior that you saw in the vids was not the norm that I’ve experienced.

          And the cop, was it milwaukee, that shot the lady in her robe that had called them has now been charged with murder.

          I can surf the webz and come up with instances of wrongdoing from any profession. What I’ve experienced in real life holds more truth for me.

        2. avatar anonymoose says:

          I used to know a few cool cops. My uncle was one. Now it seems a lot of the younger officers I run into are elitist jerks who don’t really do anything but draw a paycheck and give normal people grief.

      2. avatar Chris Morton says:

        What did Charles Kinsey do to get shot?
        What did Carolina Obrycka do to get stomped into the ground?

        There are always sociopaths willing to defend ANYTHING a cop does, just as there are sociopaths willing to defend terrorists like the “car and knife” jihadi at Ohio State.

        1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          I have yet to hear anyone here defend murder. As far as I know, everyone here denounces murder for what it is, whether it be from cop or jihadist or private citizen.

          The confusion probably comes from you thinking the bad cops (murderers, jerks, etc.) is indicative of a problem throughout LE, whereas I don’t.

        2. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

          I guess your own definition of sociopath fits you, also, Chris. Condemn all for the actions of a few. Sounds a bit of sociopath to me.

        3. avatar Chris Morton says:

          “I have yet to hear anyone here defend murder.”

          I’ve seen LOTS of cops defend:
          * torture
          * home invasions
          * robbery
          * violence against women

          You can debate how many cops commit crimes against citizens.

          There’s NO debate about how many will leap to the defense of the perpetrators, and furthermore, attack the victims.

          I saw LOTS of people call Katherine Johnston a “would be cop killer”. I never saw a SINGLE one retract those accusations once it was proven CONCLUSIVELY that she was murdered by the Atlanta PD.

        4. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          Of course there are people who defend murder. I was talking about people in this comment section. Notice that the sentence after the one you quoted said “everyone here.” Should’ve been clearer.

        5. avatar Chris Morton says:

          “I guess your own definition of sociopath fits you, also, Chris. Condemn all for the actions of a few. Sounds a bit of sociopath to me.”

          It wasn’t “a few” cops who came out in favor of woman beating coward Tony Abbate. It was a LOT of Chicago cops, in uniform in public, as well as in the shadows making threats against the victim, her employer and her co-workers.

          You sound remarkably like some Swedish socialist trying to softpedal rapes by islamists.

        6. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

          You sound like the chicago pd, chris. All or nothing. Either you’re for us or the enemy.

          Tell me, snowflake, one incident that you’ve actually been involved with the cops that came out bad. Or are you another antifa type?

        7. avatar Chris Morton says:

          “You sound like the chicago pd, chris. All or nothing. Either you’re for us or the enemy.”

          I’m for neither MS-13 nor the Chicago PD.

          “Tell me, snowflake, one incident that you’ve actually been involved with the cops that came out bad. Or are you another antifa type?”

          I was never in Sobibor. I’m pretty sure it was a bad place to be.

      3. avatar Chris Morton says:

        “Do you have real life experience with cops or are you just going off videos?”

        Do I have to have been in Theresienstadt or Kolyma to know that concentration camps are bad?

        Do I have to be a woman to know that ISIS raping Yazidi women is bad?

        1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

          So, you’re an incensed sjw.

          Are you marching with the anti gun kids today?

        2. avatar Chris Morton says:

          “So, you’re an incensed sjw.”
          So, since I’ve never been a cop, I can’t condemn the murder of the cops in Dallas?

          “Are you marching with the anti gun kids today?””
          They and the cop idolators have that “brown shirt”, “torchlight march through Munich” air about them. I’m sure you approve.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    “[O]fficers did not treat white, black, or Hispanic suspects significantly differently”

    Yes, many officers are committed to treating all persons — white, black and Hispanic — like identical crap. This behavior is called either “occupational arrogance” or “good police work,” depending on who’s doing the calling.

    1. avatar Chris Morton says:

      Some call it being “pro-active”… you know, like how Officer Tony Abbate tried to pro-actively stomp barmaid Carolina Obrycka to death, and how his fellow officers engaged in an organized campaign of “pro-active” intimidation against the victim, her employer and co-workers.

  12. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Dah meaner day r dah shooter I gitzz

  13. avatar Warlocc says:

    Working private security, I often have to deal with some of the same sort of stuff that cops do. Difference is, I’m not allowed to murder people on a whim, I have to actually talk to them.

    Here’s the best part- it works. When you actually TALK to someone instead of screaming at them, you get fairly decent results.

  14. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Oh crap, war is hell. Blast away!

  15. avatar Chris Morton says:

    Exactly what in Charles Kinsey’s “demeanor” justified him being shot, handcuffed and allowed to bleed out with NO medical treatment?

    Oh yeah, he lay on his back with his hands in the air, repeatedly shouting that he and his patient were unarmed.

    It’s a wonder that the North Miami PD didn’t call in an Arc Light on him….

  16. avatar Hannibal says:

    I believe race plays a part, almost always unconscious. But yeah, demeanor matters more. An incident like that of Levar Jones (did absolutely nothing to warrant being shot) is incredibly more rare than incidents where a suspect does something- intentionally or not- to be threatening.

    I’ve seen an increase over the last 6 years or so of black youths treating the police like challenges to test their manhood, which can conflate race and demeanor. I don’t know where this whole “the talk” thing came from but I wish more mothers would teach their sons not to do stupid shit around police because I sure see a lot of it.

    I’m having trouble finding the article from The Sun but there was a great piece about how young black men would do shit like jump back and forth over crime scene tape, throw donuts at cops, and basically try and play ‘chicken’ to impress their friends. Playing chicken eventually goes bad.

    1. avatar Chris Morton says:

      While race undoubtedly plays a role, I believe that a general contempt for anyone who’s not a cop plays a MUCH bigger role.

      Look at the case of barmaid Carolina Obrycka. She is, to borrow a line from Weird Al, “whiter than sour cream”.

      That didn’t:
      * stop Officer Tony Abbate from trying to stomp her to death
      * stop Abbate’s cop friends from engaging in an organized campaign of intimidation against the victim, her employer and co-workers
      * stop the rank and file of the Chicago PD from engaging in ostentatious shows of support for the perpetrator, both in public and in uniform, and in various online forums.

      If a cop commits a crime against a TOTALLY innocent citizen, his contemporaries can reliably be counted upon to attack the VICTIM. Just ask the family of Katherine Johnston.

      1. avatar Brian says:

        ironicatbest: See anarcyst’s suggestion of eliminating public-sector unions (which also protect bad teachers who fail to education urban youth and set them up for a lifetime of failure) and requiring insurance bonds.

  17. avatar rt66paul says:

    Too many LEOs treat anyone they come into contact with like they did when they worked in the county jail or city lockup. Many LEOs have a chip on their shoulder and everyone gets the tough guy approach. This gets my back up, but I can take it a while. Others – not so much….
    Big city cops have bigger problems than the police in the burbs, but sometimes the attitude commutes along with the people involved.

    1. avatar Terclinger says:

      Dallas: 12 cops shot, 5 assassinated/killed by BLM sympathizer while protecting PRO-BLM MARCH…

      https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/dallas-police-ambush/protests-spawn-cities-across-u-s-over-police-shootings-black-n605686

  18. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    Short version: be nice.

  19. avatar Wally1 says:

    Many L.E. officers from large metro areas are very poorly trained, that is a fact. Smaller agency officers have much more training because they do not have options of calling for specialty forensics, gang units, detectives on more serious cases. The small agency street officer has to deal with all of it, all on their own. You find that these officers develop personalities that they know how to positively interact with people. They have a less ” me vs them” attitude. Small agency officers usually have more recreation opportunities, Hunting fishing etc, they are better at firearms training, usually better physical shape.
    Minor crimes are handled with a catch and release mentality, writing criminal citations and releasing the suspect, they know if the suspect is an asshole, doesn’t show up for court, next encounter will be with warrant in hand. This also keeps trust with the offender, they remember when they were caught it was a citation, now the court, not the officer is forcing their hand.

    So knowing this, it explains why good officers leave large agencies within two to three years for smaller departments for better pay, better benefits and more healthy family and quality of life. These agency’s have very little turnover. Officer feel rewarded and that the department actually cares about them, the job and the community. In turn they tend to have great community support.

    So who is left in the large agency, you got it right, the fuck ups.

    One example of this is the Washington State Patrol , they actually hired a consulting firm to evaluate why they could not get qualified applicants to apply and also why they had such a difficult time retaining quality people. Results are amazing. It all came down to failure in administration to look out for the line officers. They could have saved a lot of money on this study, had they just talked to the officers. Go figure.

  20. avatar Johannes Paulsen says:

    I think like most social science statistical studies, the person conducting it decided on the result they wanted before the project began.

    This doesn’t mean that the results are false. But it may mean that the results are so specific that trying to craft a general policy based on the study is facile.

  21. avatar cisco kid says:

    In Germany Cops get 3 years of professional training and they killed just 12 people in 2015 and China with 4 1/2 times the population of the U.S killed only 4 people while here in the U.S.Nazi cops slaughtered an astonishingly 1,500 people and few cops even went to court over it because our corrupt court systems are rigged in favor of the cops before the case is even tried. In the U.S. some cops get as little as 4 weeks training and are taught to simply blow people away to solve even the problem of a burned out tail light bulb and I am not being factious one bit as its happened far to many times in minor traffic stops. In Western Foreign Civilized countries cops are given severe psychological testing to weed out the sadists and psychopaths that are drawn to these positions of power. When you stop and think about it a person that is in his right mind would never consider taking a job where you never know as to whether someone is going to blow you away when you are at work but the lust for absolute power proves that only a mentally deranged person would ever consider taking and enjoying such a job.

    1. avatar Terclinger says:

      Germany is overflowing with jihadis raping women every week.
      China has the HIGHEST DEATH PENALTY RATE IN THE WORLD.

      Feel free to move to either country or kill yourself, you ignorant slob,

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