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Sunday, July 05, 2020

suggestions for making law law and order order: the police and us


1. Radically de-police traffic. Police now have the equipment to take pics of moving violations. Just as they have put up cameras to take pics of cars at stop lights. There should be a vast fall off in police stopping cars, when they can simply clock and photo, and send tickets via mail. These violations should, themselves, be in the nature of very low fines. The Sandra Blands of this world should never, ever be stopped.
2. “Just cause” has been used extensively to allow violent cops to get back on the force, via arbitration. This is an abuse of just cause, which should only be used if it can be proved that some kind of political corruption was behind the firing. Narrowing the just cause clause for police arbitrations would eliminate the abuse of the community having no say in the retention of violent cops.
3. Profiling the racial profilers. Every policeman has a record of what they do and who they do it to at the end of the day. If those records consistently show a racial bias, the cop should be pulled and questioned. And if this continues, the policeman should be dismissed.
4. Controlling the system of enabling. This is the trickier part. The oppression visited on Black America is not an accident of the system, but its logic. And it is the judiciary and the prosecutors who, in the end, are the drivers of the thing. We need a better system to, a, make sure that judges are neutral rather than cop friendly, and b, make sure that D.A.s are doing their job for the community, rather than a part of the community. The entire system of the judiciary in the U.S. needs to be re-constructed. Term limits are, of course, necessary. But there are a number of things that need change, from the way that the judiciary is used to predate on the low income population (a la Ferguson) to the use of threats to people who use their constitutional right to plead not guilty. That plea should never be the basis for a longer sentence. That should simply be outlawed. If the system is overwhelmed by the number of cases, then perhaps there is something wrong with the number of cases.
5. Drug reform of course. We need to look to places like Portugal and de-criminalize drug use.
6. Police should be licenced. Like doctors. A policeman fired for beating someone, or torturing or killing someone - vide Elijah McClain - should have his or her licence yanked, and thus be unemployable as a cop in any town. As with doctor licences, the decision can be periodically reviewed.

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