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[P]
Less Than Lethal Weapon Proves Lethal

By sllort in Culture
Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 04:36:01 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

Modern police departments have been deploying modified paintball guns like the ones provided by Pepperball, Inc. to help police officers balance the American people's First Amendment right of free assembly against the demands of politicians. The "less than lethal" designation of these weapons was highlighted recently by the shooting death of Victoria Snelgrove, a baseball fan, by Pepperball equipped police near Fenway Park in Boston.


An eyewitness account at the scene indicates that the shooting was a result of rowdy baseball fans wounding the pride of local police. Boston police commissioner Kathleen O'Toole made a statement of guilt on behalf of the Boston Police:
"The Boston police department accepts full responsibility for the death of Victoria Snelgrove"
There was no word, however, on whether this statement of guilt would result in criminal penalties. Conventional wisdom would seem to dictate that police armed with weapons that they believe to be non-lethal would be rendered immune to prosecution from any lethal results.

[CNN] [BBC] [Skagit Valley Herald] [NBC 4]

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Poll
Pepperball guns and beanbag guns need:
o A rules of engagement statement akin to Tazers 21%
o To be removed from the arsenal of riot police 8%
o To be shot at dirty hippies as frequently as possible 26%
o To be treated like any other firearm when shooting deaths occur 42%

Votes: 89
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o deploying modified paintball guns
o Pepperball , Inc.
o shooting death of Victoria Snelgrove
o eyewitness account
o CNN
o BBC
o Skagit Valley Herald
o NBC 4
o Also by sllort


Display: Sort:
Less Than Lethal Weapon Proves Lethal | 323 comments (300 topical, 23 editorial, 1 hidden)
WHAT?????????? (2.00 / 6) (#4)
by dteeuwen on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:26:42 AM EST

Why do celebrating Americans always seem to end up dying and/or destroying stuff?

_________

Down the slopes of death he rides
The eight hooves pound like drums
Darkness reigns the crumbling sky
Invasion has begun


Tigers Win Series: 3 dead, 40 injured (3.00 / 2) (#9)
by wiredog on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:37:02 AM EST

Many years ago that was the headline in a Michigan newspaper after the Tigers won the Series.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
I never heard of that one. (none / 0) (#30)
by dteeuwen on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 11:36:42 AM EST

Winning, in the U.S>, seems to be more deadly than the flu.

_________

Down the slopes of death he rides
The eight hooves pound like drums
Darkness reigns the crumbling sky
Invasion has begun


[ Parent ]

Europeans too... (2.50 / 4) (#12)
by cactus on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:42:14 AM EST

Socker (er, "football") riots never happen in Europe, right?
--
"Politics are the entertainment branch of Industry"
-- Frank Zappa
[ Parent ]
Yeah, what's with that? (none / 0) (#29)
by dteeuwen on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 11:35:45 AM EST

Europeans are nuts, too, but in their case, I'm assuming you have desperately poor people with nothing better to do. Maybe I'm way off here. In the States, at least, people seem to have some money, for the most part, since these games always cost a lot. I guess baseball's cheap, but every other sport is for the rich.

_________

Down the slopes of death he rides
The eight hooves pound like drums
Darkness reigns the crumbling sky
Invasion has begun


[ Parent ]

Not desperately poor (none / 1) (#39)
by Nursie on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 01:03:01 PM EST

we have a decent welfare system going in the UK.

I think it's some sort of release of tension, mixed in with tribal instinct. These football hooligans can afford to get in (at prices approaching 50 dolars) so they're not that badly off.

FYI, it's largely a problem of the past. It doesn't seem to happen with any regularity any more. The exception to this seems to be international matches, where the assholes all come out and pick fights with the natives/opposition/whoever.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
Personal view (none / 1) (#70)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 03:16:52 PM EST

I think a large part of it is the supposed anonymity of masses, the same as on the internet people that behave normally when other people can see them behave destructively or abusively.

As was seen with soccer hooliganism it actually turned out to be mostly caused by a few individuals using a badge of one teams colours to get away with violent acts, and where normally the bystanders would be happy to stand witness against them, the supposed shared loyalty to the team meant this didnt happen until it became less accepted to do so.

In addition some of the crowd that would not have started trouble on their own had a tendancy to join in and excerbate the problem.

Fortunately in England enough of the people going to soccer matches decided it was unacceptable to behave that way whatever team you support that it became much less likely for people to get away with it on a consistent basis. Add in CCTV footage being used to make more secure convictions to get the worst offenders in jail/banned from grounds and the problem is far less problematic than it used to be.

[ Parent ]

no topic (none / 0) (#118)
by harik on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 08:08:08 PM EST

Last I recall, the UK surveyed hours and hours of video tape at the start of the riots, identified the #100 most common people there, and gave them police "escorts". It appears to have worked.

Either they were causing the riots, or they were attracted to the right crowd of people. Either way, we don't hear about tens of people being crushed to death anymore.

[ Parent ]

Remember (none / 1) (#48)
by Eccles on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 01:54:50 PM EST

The U.S. has an ever-growing disparity between its rich and its poor. While there are plenty of well-off people (and I certainly have no complaints in that area), endemic poverty within the U.S. is still something that just won't go away, and many European countries have a more extensive welfare system.

[ Parent ]
Excuses excuses (none / 0) (#155)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:14:03 PM EST

What we actually have these days is a tradition of rioting after a big win - it seems like it's expected these days.

At least we don't have to dig moats around our playing fields, and I can't remember ever hearing about fans being crushed to death in the stadium.

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]

Note... (none / 0) (#244)
by Eccles on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 01:12:52 AM EST

I said nothing about poverty being linked to fan violence, I was just responding to the person who thought the U.S. didn't have poor people.

[ Parent ]
I don't think only "more extensive" (none / 0) (#284)
by mcgrew on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 09:14:53 PM EST

Ours actually breeds poverty. I think not only is Europe's more extensive, but likely better thought out and implimented.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Ten bucks for a beer is cheap??? (none / 0) (#283)
by mcgrew on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 09:12:43 PM EST

I want a job where you work!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Parallel (none / 0) (#288)
by vectra14 on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 11:29:49 PM EST

I happened to be in Lisbon this summer when Portugal beat holland to advance into the Euro Cup (soccer) semifinals. The partying was insane.

I didn't see anyone destroy or vandalize anything or anyone. And i spent quite some time walking around Lisbon that night. Everyone was just chanting "Portugaaale, portugaale" and so forth, it was cool, but i didnt see anything destroyed.

Now, this is a single experience. I know that in russia soccer fans get quite, quite violent (i am russian). People die, lots of em. Likewise other european soccer celebrations might of been more violent. I was in Porto when Portugal lost to Greece in the finals, the amount of activity didnt match up to lisbon at all.

That night in Lisbon seemed really peaceful and really cool. There were many holland fans around too and they seemed to be having a good time, even though they lost. So it was cool.

Its a bad idea to justify any behavior by a worse example. Its just a negative feedback loop - the only thing guaranteed is that things wont get better. Anyway, Lisbon (Lisboa) was cool.

[ Parent ]

some answers (3.00 / 2) (#26)
by zenofchai on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 11:28:48 AM EST

because we live pent-up lives of quiet frustration, waiting desperately for an excuse to let loose. it is fairly accepted behavior to riot like a drunken lemur-like madman when your team wins (or loses) a big game. in fact it is one of the few "tickets to go crazy as you want" left, while the rest of the time most of us live in our bottled up Prodestant worlds, bereft of escapism (ooh... evil escapism!) or even actual acknowledgement of the prisons in which we keep our spirits. much like U.K.ers who riot after soccer (football to them) matches. Hell, Brazilians, Germans, whomever riot after big World Cup matches.

It mostly comes down to the fact that we are still animals, albeit 99% of the time we comport ourselves through "civilised" societies of cube farms, bank teller queues, and a list of "thou shalt nots" that grows long and weary.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

Walt Whitman had it right [nt] (none / 0) (#43)
by JohnnyCannuk on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 01:30:03 PM EST


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]
about baseball or partying? (3.00 / 2) (#49)
by zenofchai on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 01:55:03 PM EST

Walt on baseball: Baseball will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism. Tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set. Repair these losses, and be a blessing to us.

Again on baseball: I see great things in baseball. It's our game - the American game.

Walt on orgies and drinking: I am for those who believe in loose delights, I share the midnight orgies of young men, I dance with the dancers and drink with the drinkers.

On abusing your liberty: The shallow consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint. The wise man sees in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

Hey... (none / 0) (#174)
by Emissary on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 05:03:45 AM EST

You weren't referencing Tolkien with that escapism line, were you?

Jailers love escapism. What they don't love is escape.

"Be instead like Gamera -- mighty, a friend to children, and always, always screaming." - eSolutions
[ Parent ]
Excuse me? (2.40 / 5) (#140)
by trhurler on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:16:53 PM EST

Look at soccer riots and hooligans and then try saying that again with a straight face, dipshit.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
hit in the eye by a projectile (3.00 / 6) (#6)
by wiredog on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:29:41 AM EST

She (and the cop who fired) were very unlucky. About the only hit with one of those that could be fatal, or even cause serious injury, is a hit to the eye or temple. (Which is why paintballers wear head and, especially, eye protection.) Certainly unintentional, as getting a headshot, much less a fatal one, in a situation like that with a weapon like that has a difficulty approaching impossible.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

Sadly this was an MLP (3.00 / 9) (#8)
by sllort on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:36:21 AM EST

So I didn't go on to mention that in paintball, the spring that hits the CO2 valve is limited at a certain strength to keep the velocity down. You can modify the weight of this spring, but in doing so you "lengthen" the minimum range of your gun, that is, if you make the shot more powerful, you have to know not to shoot anyone closer than 20 feet or so. Because the pellets are round and rifling doesn't really work, the shots act like smoothbore projectiles and often visibly curve or corkscrew, especially at higher velocities. Finally, it should be noted that the sport of paintball has a minimum temperature, because below that temperature the balls start to harden up and shatter instead of splattering, and the frozen bits can really hurt.

Now I mention this because there's absolutely no reason to think that the police couldn't have been firing a weapon in the cold that had been set to a huge CO2 discharge level making it as powerful as .22 inside the minimum range. And I say this because I still have plastic in my chest from the day when we were all enthusiastic high school kids who though "bigger springs were cool" and played in the winter.

But I don't have any proof, and there's no room for speculation in the MLP. Not to mention there'd be no way to seperate negligence from malice.

But I do know that none of us would ever have played without full face masks and nut guards. We weren't insane.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

Kids and injuries (3.00 / 3) (#11)
by wiredog on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:42:06 AM EST

As the result of a playground incident when I was 11, I no longer see in stereo. Haven't for almost 30 years. Which is why I know about the delicacy of the eye.

Sometimes I think it's a miracle that any boy lives long enough to breed...

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

I have stitches on every part of my body except (none / 0) (#153)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:12:01 PM EST

my left hand. Probably because that's the hand that was holding what ever I'd just managed to hurt myself with.

Did just about all of it before I was 12.

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]

Stitches! (3.00 / 2) (#162)
by FieryTaco on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 11:00:43 PM EST

Fucking hell man. You need to find another doctor, cause you know, they usually take those fucking things out after a while.

[ Parent ]
I wouldn't let him. (none / 0) (#228)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 08:26:20 PM EST

I like the look.

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]
<aol>me too</aol> (none / 0) (#235)
by wiredog on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 11:03:20 PM EST

I've only got a couple of scars picked up after 12. One on my elbow from a sledding accident. One on my neck from a cigarette.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Heh. I was never tortured with cigarettes (none / 0) (#300)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 10:33:18 AM EST

but I did go through a "I am a master chef" phase in my 20's. I kept chopping the very tip off my thumb.

Took 3-4 incidents before I gave up pretending I was yan-can-cook.

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]

Did it to myself (none / 0) (#301)
by wiredog on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 10:39:49 AM EST

In the Army in Korea. On a field exercise. Was wearing t-shirt, shirt, field jacket with liner, and parke with liner. Walking at night with a cigarette in my mouth while laying a wireline. Hell of a place to put a volleyball net. Especially in late winter. Cig got knocked out of my mouth and fell down my neck. Behind 1" of clothing, so I couldn't put it out by pounding on it. Had to open up all the clothing to get at it.

I cook, and only cut myself once a year or so. Usually because I'm distracted by something else.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

thats true (3.00 / 2) (#16)
by thekubrix on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:47:52 AM EST

Paintball can be REALLY dangerous if not played safely, thats why when you play at any legit park they go out of their way to make sure everyone is playing safe......

I have heavy springs in my gun, and that does make a very siginificant change on the speed of the projecticle. And as you mention, if you play in winter, or worse, freeze the balls, then its outright deadly, eye shot or not......

[ Parent ]

Not always deadly (3.00 / 3) (#21)
by sllort on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:57:32 AM EST

Fucking hurts like hell though. Goes through coats.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
uhm, same diff? (none / 1) (#34)
by thekubrix on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 12:04:46 PM EST

"not always deadly" still means deadly.....the point is that a paintball gun can EASILY be modified into a killing instrument,.....

granted, you probably won't find the parts you need at walmart, but someone experienced can EASILY make a lethal weapon....

[ Parent ]

Oh, yes, given. (none / 1) (#51)
by sllort on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 02:01:22 PM EST

You can kill people with an unmodified paintball gun if they're not wearing headgear. You can kill someone with frozen balls if you're not lucky.... we were lucky.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
no (none / 1) (#54)
by thekubrix on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 02:10:08 PM EST

Even with headgear, an overly modified paintball gun using frozen balls WILL rip through even the best of masks.....and if you fire enough to the mid center (i'm thinking autococker!), you'll probably cause enough internal damage to cause death, but all you need is a headshot,.....or one to the groin, that will take anyone down, probably rip right through any jock protection there too!

[ Parent ]
autocockers suck. (none / 0) (#72)
by sllort on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 03:20:33 PM EST

On the other hand, did you see the thing rusty dug up?

http://www.fnhusa.com/contents/ll_303.htm

Ouch. Maybe that killed her?
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

Euthanasia? (none / 0) (#303)
by davidduncanscott on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 02:39:35 PM EST

You can kill someone with frozen balls if you're not lucky....
If my balls were frozen, I might beg for death.

[ Parent ]
Copball (3.00 / 4) (#45)
by rusty on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 01:36:18 PM EST

I read the description of these copball guns in the page you linked to, and they're somewhat different from paintballs. They seem to be polystyrene projectiles with some kind of crumbly tip substance, so freezing is probably not the issue that it is with paintballs. I assume they're made with much tighter quality control, since having the all-too-familiar barrel burst would really suck if your paintball was full of pepper spray. Also, they're fin-stabilized, so I assume the accuracy is quite a bit better than a regular round paintball, though still probably nowhere near rifle accurate.

I'm guessing from the range info that these are also fired a hell of a lot harder than a standard recreational paintball, and would probably go through clothing and/or skin under maybe 8 or 10 yards.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Fin stabilized? (3.00 / 2) (#50)
by sllort on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 02:00:17 PM EST

I used to and still do use fin-stabilized paintballs recreationally, and the disadvantage of them is that because they are directional, you have to take the barrel off, hand load them, and then put the barrel back on. Gravity fed top loaders simply cannot load them, because they're directional. From their projectile page:

http://www.pepperball.com/products/projectiles.asp (where's autoformat autolinkify?)

You'll note they sell a lot of different stuff, none of which are "pepper gas" balls as the press claim. The "pepper powder" balls claim to have an operational temperature as low as 30 degrees, so I would hope that was what was in use, however their liquid based ammo is not as flexible in this regard. Nowhere on that page could I find a "fin stabilized" product, however I've probably missed it somewhere else on the site. Link? I did see this pretty often though:

Kinetic impact less than or equal to standard paintballs

Of course, that depends totally on the spring setting. As for the guns, I assure you that this is a standard, top-loading gravity fed paintball gun OEM'd from a recreational manufacturer, and that unless you're barrel loading, you're not going to be putting fin stabilized projectiles in it.

They claim on their site a muzzle speed of 350-380FPS factory calibrated, though who knows what the cops did to it afterwards. But yes, inside 8-10 feet, that's gonna go through skin.

Interestingly the idea is patented. Here's the patent. What's funny about this patent is that rather than talking about the invention, it shows that the USPTO is having data integrity problems with their database... big time.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

I was looking at (none / 1) (#57)
by rusty on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 02:17:23 PM EST

these guys (scroll down to the projectiles).

It looks like those come in pre-loaded clips, for the rather specialized weapon shown on that page. I guess they're not the sort of thng that you fire out of an OEM paintball gun.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Oh damn (none / 0) (#64)
by sllort on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 02:47:08 PM EST

That was from one of my links? Damn. Those look decidedly nastier. Ouch.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
No... (3.00 / 5) (#138)
by trhurler on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:16:24 PM EST

A crowd is a sea of heads. It isn't like playing paintball games out on a course. If you fire a pepperball into a crowd high enough to avoid just hitting the front row, you WILL hit someone in the head almost every time. Think about it.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
So (none / 1) (#179)
by I Hate Yanks on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 08:25:39 AM EST

What you're saying is that the police did not receive the correct training.

They should have been informed that paintball guns can be lethal. I remember being told quite bluntly that a shot to the face could kill when I went paintballing for fun.


Reasons to hate Americans (No. 812): Circletimessquare lives there.
[ Parent ]

tragedies and blame (2.88 / 9) (#24)
by zenofchai on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 11:13:39 AM EST

firstly, what happened was a tragedy.

we can look at faults and punishments. but also at remedies to prevent future such tragedies, and weigh these remedies against the associated problems they might create.

Some possible remedies which may have prevented this event:

  1. Forbid the Red Sox from winning important baseball games. -> This would seem to only work towards keeping Red Sox fans safe, and at that only for important wins. Fans often riot after big losses as well.
  2. Strike laws against looting and brawling shortly after major sporting events -- police should stay out of all public areas inhabited by boisterous crowds, those entering the crowd are responsible for their own protection, and store owners are responsible for protecting their own storefronts, citizens their own property. -> This would be a chaotic, horrible situation for a while, as drunk happy idiots seem to think that jumping on a random car parked on the street is a perfectly good idea. However the owner of that car, granted authority to defend his property, will likely cause violence upon the rioter. But eventually, perhaps, rioters will figure out that they had better not trash other people's stuff, or else they might catch a shotgun to the head for looting.
  3. Have unarmed police enter rioting crowds, highly trained in kung foo, and hope that no rioters are violent and/or armed. -> This is a ludicrous statement.
  4. Forbid fans from spontaneously celebrating in public streets. rather, let them plan ahead and schedule a peacable public assembly in accordance with law. -> This is actually the supposed current situation, and it seems to not be perfect in preventing these kinds of tragedies. In fact, it seems to create a situation in which police are told to enforce the law and protect the peace yet "the mob" comprised of rioters feels anonymous and knows the police really aren't going to do anything.
Duke University actually has a pretty cool policy on assembling after big games. Students congregate and built a massive bonfire on campus and the situation is watched peacefully by police from a perimeter. However the students have to plan in advance a little for this, and get a permit for this celebration.

Anyway let's get back to the blame game, which everyone seems to want to play. A nice sized chunk of the blame must be reserved for the idiot rioters themselves. Without the actions of a few thousand drunk Bostonions, this (presumably innocent) girl would likely still be alive.

Naturally we can also talk about the individual police officer, his weapon, the laws, the regulations, the policies, the Yankees, the Red Sox, God, The Universe, whatever. But let's not get too far afield -- store owners don't want rioting looters smashing their shit. So guess what -- when rioting looters start smashing shit, the police are supposed to do something or else leave the area to anarchy.

The real solution? People should be instructed that acting as part of a mob does not absolve you of individual responsibility for your actions. Every person involved in the riots shares some blame for this girl's death. Way to go, jackasses.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph

they could also (none / 1) (#28)
by Altus on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 11:32:54 AM EST


design less than lethal projectiles that are bigger than somebody's eye.

this is a hell of a tragedy.  I feel really bad for the cop who will have to go through his life knowing what he has done, even though he could not possibly have foreseen it.  

 

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

hm... (3.00 / 2) (#31)
by zenofchai on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 11:40:09 AM EST

even if a projectile the size of a football hit somebody hard enough in the temple, it could be fatal.

the problem is that the police were firing "a projectile" of any kind into a crowd.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

yes (none / 0) (#32)
by Altus on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 11:43:20 AM EST


there is always risk... but these projectiles arent supposed to be fired at a high rate of speed.  There is no reason why these pepper balls couldnt be large, light and travel at relatively low speeds.

shooting a marble sized projectile at any speed has a decent potential for being lethal.

I guess the best we can hope is that the less than lethal weapons designers take this to heart and re-double their efforts to ensure that these projectiles cant (or at least are unlikely to) kill.

but nothing is perfect.  there will always be tragedy.

 

"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Yes... (none / 0) (#58)
by thefirelane on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 02:18:23 PM EST

There is no reason why these pepper balls couldn't be large, light and travel at relatively low speeds.

Or perhaps, to decrease risk, we could make them small.... Perhaps with future technology we could make them molecular sized.. so small they millions of them could be `sprayed' at slow speed at the roudy. Completely non-leathal... if only the technology existed...

Ok, enough joking... Yes, paintballs are more dangerous than other things. They do have advantages over less lethal methods like spray... such as being able to target specific individuals who are causing trouble

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
Targetting indiduals (none / 0) (#66)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 02:51:23 PM EST

That makes it seem not much use in a riot situation. Some form of spray pump would seem more useful to encourage an area being cleared.

If you believe an area is on the verge of a riot anything that injures or kills individuals in the crowd is as likely to cause trouble as to quell it.

Non lethal projectile weapons have their place, a riot isnt it.

[ Parent ]

What would you suggest then? (none / 0) (#68)
by wiredog on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 03:04:10 PM EST

Billy clubs?

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
That would be better (none / 0) (#75)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 03:29:18 PM EST

Than firing weapons without aiming or knowing who you are supposed to be hitting.

[ Parent ]
You've never seen a riot up close, have you. (none / 0) (#95)
by wiredog on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 06:25:09 PM EST

When the billy clubs start going whack whacka whacka on the rioters/protestors/whoever is in the way, it's much more damaging than pepper gas balls. Just ask Rodney King, or anyone who was in Genoa a couple of years ago.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Problem with comparison (none / 0) (#106)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 07:00:38 PM EST

So if the police that attacked Rodney King had pepper ball guns they would have just shot him a load of times then? Or do you think as it was fairly clear they just wanted to hurt him as much as possible, go in with their fists?

If the police are in the situation they just want to hurt people rather than return things to order, they are part of the riot whether they have uniforms on or not.

Consider for example that the UK riot police are regularly deployed in London (precautionarily in most cases), they use their shields almost as the only method of crowd control fairly successfully.

http://www.irvineworldnews.com/Astories/apr10/crowd.html

As a backup they have nightsticks (or whatever they call them now), but the vast majority of the time dont use them at all. The shields are used to defend groups of police, who then to isolate troublemakers and arrest them.

[ Parent ]

Yeah, ask Rod. (3.00 / 3) (#160)
by FieryTaco on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:46:43 PM EST

Or rather ask Victoria. Oh wait, you can't cause she's dead. Whereas Rodney King was hit many times by a number of people who really wanted to cause him some bodily harm, and he's still alive and able to go about his business. Except he's some kind of a junky and get's into legal trouble. On the other hand Victoria Snelgrove is dead from a single shot from a person who wasn't targetting her at all. Seems to me billy clubs are a much better way to go. Just my opinion mind you.

[ Parent ]
pre-riot... (none / 0) (#73)
by thefirelane on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 03:24:21 PM EST

I think the idea is in riot prevention... With most things like this, you have a large group of people, then a couple people act up, and it spills over into the crowd. The paintballs are ideal at taking down those individuals. In those cases, spray hits everyone and causes panic, and generally worsens the situation (I think this, and the combination of locked fire escapes led to a large amount of trampling deaths at a Chicago night club a couple months back) Granted, spray would be more effective once the riot has started... but I have a feeling the cops would rather it not start in the first place, so they'll go with the paintball guns (would be nice to have both though)

-
Prube.com: Like K5, but with less point.
[ Parent ]
Crowd control (none / 0) (#78)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 03:43:16 PM EST

If the mood of an overall crowd is bad (and in this case it largely wasnt) hurting/killing invidual people in the crowd isnt going to settle it down and avoid a riot that I can see.

Hurting individuals does not tend to disperse people very effectively either, and is likely to turn the mood worse, unless it is absolutely clear they are targetting individuals that are actively troublemaking in excess of the rest of the crowd. Even then it can still turn the mood worse.

I just think this type of weapon has very questionable use in a potential riot situation, if you need to avoid a potential riot then you need to disperse people to some degree, and arrest the main troublemakers in such a way that it does not risk the police's safety.

To get to people to disperse, order them to do so, and if they do not then use large scale measures like a gas canister, or a large area spray, or something to encourage people to move from the most problematic areas (best at the centre of the disturbance, so the crowd spreads over a larger area and individuals can be arrested more safely if needed).

[ Parent ]

Hmm... (none / 0) (#271)
by ckaminski on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 04:37:43 PM EST

Why not a firetruck rerigged to spray an OC spray 30-50 meters?

One whole hell of a lot more effective, no?

[ Parent ]

How about a pepper spray? (none / 0) (#274)
by pyro9 on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 05:34:30 PM EST

Pepper spray meets your criteria perfectly.

Most cops have the small cans of pepper spray already. I've seen some that are under higher pressure with a directional nozzel and a mechanism to release it all at once that can create a 10-15 foot cloud. Something like a simple insect fogger could also work and would have very little chance of causing a serious injury.

The paintball type weapon has it's place, but seems like a poor choice to fire into a crowd.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
WTF (none / 0) (#270)
by ckaminski on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 04:36:00 PM EST

Is wrong with normal tear gas?

Catching an OC paintball in the eye is gonna suck big fucking time.


[ Parent ]

How about (3.00 / 6) (#52)
by sllort on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 02:02:32 PM EST

Forbid the use of direct fire projectile weapons against crowds.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
a good suggestion (none / 0) (#56)
by zenofchai on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 02:11:22 PM EST

However, if the officer shot a tear gas cannister high into the air (indirect fire) it could still land on someone's head and kill them.

I think it gets much more complicated, depending on the particular projectile weapon, the value of the target, the likelihood of innocent collateral damage, etc.

For a low value target and a particularly nasty projectile weapon, the likelihood of innocent collateral damage must be near zero before firing.

For a high value target (terrorist holding an M-16, spraying bullets into the crowd he is hiding it) I could accept a higher likelihood of collateral damage.

For a fairly safe projectile weapon (say, an officer throwing a Nerf(TM) football) the parameters could differ as well.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

near zero (none / 0) (#67)
by wiredog on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 03:02:28 PM EST

The weapon used does have a near zero chance of causing serious damage in the conditions where it was used. But near zero is not zero. Preferable to using the nightsticks, or rubber bullets, which this type of weapon replaces.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
disagree (none / 1) (#69)
by zenofchai on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 03:09:19 PM EST

The weapon used does have a near zero chance of causing serious damage in the conditions where it was used.

I think the weapon has a fairly demonstratively well above zero chance of causing serious damage, from others' discussion of the non-rifled projectile characteristics, to the obvious "line of sight" nature of the weapon.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

Agree (3.00 / 3) (#71)
by sllort on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 03:17:14 PM EST

There's a picture out there of a lawyer who caught a bean bag round to the temple in Fla WTO protests who nearly died and lost movement in that side of his face, but I'm too lazy to go find it.

And yes, I agree that it's complicated, but this situation in my mind wasn't complicated at all. Have the balls to go kneecap the girl with a baseball bat.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

Infrasound (none / 0) (#202)
by needless on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 02:40:14 PM EST

Although if done incorrectly, it can also be lethal, but it is still easier to control than a pepper ball. Granted, you have then deal with a bunch of people who have either shit themselves or puked all over the place. Nonetheless, I imagine they feel decidely less rowdy.

[ Parent ]
The answer... (none / 0) (#273)
by ckaminski on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 05:09:47 PM EST

Is Putrescene.

http://www.brainyencyclopedia.com/encyclopedia/p/pu/putrescine.html

Guaranteed quick crowd dispersal.  

If you've ever had to bury a freezer full of stinkymeat(TM) that's been sitting in the sun for 6 months, you know exactly what I'm talking about.


[ Parent ]

This is a toughy (3.00 / 3) (#33)
by codejack on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 11:54:07 AM EST

I would have to argue that the Police have some responsibility for not realizing the danger of these weapons; I have played paintball quite a bit, and I still have a scar on my arm from an "overpressured" gun someone brought onto the field. I was given the choice of the offending player being removed from the field, or having to play the rest of the day without a gun, and a bright red flag sticking up from his back. I chose the latter /grin.

The rioters certainly have to accept responsibility as well, especially over something as silly as baseball game. I do not, however, think that any laws should be changed, other than the choice of crowd-calming equipment available to the police; The right to assemble is guaranteed, and sometimes you have to pay the price for that right against totalitarian administrations. Slap on the nose with a rolled up newspaper for both sides, get those stupid weapons away from the police, and remind both sides that there are more important issues.


Please read before posting.

right to assemble (none / 1) (#44)
by zenofchai on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 01:31:39 PM EST

yup, you have a right to peaceably assemble: Congress shall make no law ... abridging ... the right of the people peaceably to assemble ... .
  1. Many rioters were not peaceably assembling.
  2. Even if all the rioters were peaceful, it is generally accepted that disturbing the peace and blocking traffic without a permit to do so is already illegal.
  3. It doesn't matter if one hundred other people are speeding, if you speed, you're also breaking the law and could justifiably be ticketed.
Rioters don't have the right to block traffic or to block the storefronts of business owners whenever they feel like it and get enough people together. Generally, if you want to have a big-ass street party and block off the streets, you inform the city, get a permit, and have your stupid party.

Otherwise, they could assemble (peaceably or otherwise) on some large amount of private property somewhere.
--
The K5 Interactive Political Compass SVG Graph
[ Parent ]

Yes and no (none / 0) (#62)
by codejack on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 02:41:42 PM EST

How do you define "abridging"?
  1. How many were peacably assembling, and got caught up in the violence anyway? Those guns, as someone else pointed out, are none too accurate.
  2. I would suggest that requiring a permit "abridges" the right to peacably assemble, unless the permits are granted automatically, and then, what's the point? Also, the tradition of civil disobedience predates the founding of the country and is, in fact, enshrined (Boston Tea Party, etc).
  3. Actually, if you are in traffic where everyone is speeding, and you speed, it is not illegal; It is considered "keeping up wiht traffic," and a justifiable defense against a ticket.
Rioters do not have a right to riot, but protesters have a right to do just about anything, so long as it is peaceful. You can block them, and they can block you; If you don't like it, repeal the amendment.

Half the point of protesting is to get arrested; Otherwise nobody pays any attention, as so many discovered in the '60's.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
You're wrong on #3 (none / 0) (#282)
by mcgrew on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 09:10:34 PM EST

at least in Illinois. I've had a herd of twenty cars zip by me, and later seen a single car, usually the one close to the last (the slowest speeder) parked in front of the cop, with the cop writing a ticket.

Speed limit for trucks is 55, speed limit for cars is 65. By your reasoning a truck could drive 65 if in traffic. 'Snot so.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Clueless.... (none / 0) (#276)
by ckaminski on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 07:41:22 PM EST

Have you ever SEEN Fenway after a game?  Just emptying the park would qualify as a riot by that definition.  35,000 fans exiting onto Landsdowne street and Brookline Ave (which are pretty fucking tiny) is nigh on uncontrollable.

The fact seems to be, that the Boston PD has no idea how to quickly disperse the crowds.  I don't even want to imagine trying to fit thousands of people into the Kenmore Sq. or Fenway T stops.  I generally avoid Kenmore Sq anytime I know the Sox are playing for those reasons (and the $50 parking fee).

[ Parent ]

Except that someone died. (3.00 / 2) (#152)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:01:06 PM EST

I respect your opinion, and I have a ton of respect for the way the Boston mayor stood up and took responsibility; but in either case I don't think a smack on the nose is sufficient - there needs to be a thoughtful and thorough analysis of how this happened and how to prevent a repeat.

Will that happen? Probably not - but at the very least cops everywhere deserve to know whether this was a freak accident or lethal negligence on the part of the cop, or where ever.

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]

certainly (none / 0) (#163)
by codejack on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 11:01:00 PM EST

But the final defense will be that the weapons were "non-lethal." See? It says so right here on the box. And so the best we will get is to get these things away from them. What ever happened to tear gas?


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
I believe technically (none / 0) (#192)
by xria on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 11:33:10 AM EST

The manufacturers and police using them tend to use "Less Lethal" or something equivalent in their literature, its the media that tends to call them "non lethal", or "less than lethal" in general.

[ Parent ]
Whatever happened to tear gas? (none / 0) (#197)
by davidduncanscott on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 12:58:34 PM EST

Tear gas has killed people too, both from simple inhalation and from (wait for it) being hit in the head by the cannister (which is, IIRC, harder than any paintball, a whole lot more massive, and quite hot as well.)

There's no "non-lethal". There's "less-lethal". If it will disable or even discourage most people, it will kill a few, simply because of the range of human sensitivities. Throw peanuts at the crowd, and sooner or later you'll whack some poor bastard with a peanut allergy, or the guy next to him will have his mouth open and choke on the shell.

[ Parent ]

+1 Evil /nt (none / 0) (#233)
by skyknight on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 10:21:45 PM EST



It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
In defense of the police (2.76 / 13) (#35)
by LilDebbie on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 12:09:37 PM EST

Cops have one of the shittiest jobs in the world. Think about it: you home town baseball team just won arguably the greatest victory in baseball, but instead of going out and drinking and reveling, you have to go out and make sure all the other people drinking and reveling don't burn the town down. On top of this, there's some drunken asshole calling you a fag and a pig because he has a problem with obeying laws and dealing with consequences.

So you do what any of us would do and you shove/smack/bitch slap the guy. OOPS. Now all the other drunk assholes in the crowd who don't understand that actions have consequences start screaming "police brutality" and start throwing bottles at you. BIG SURPRISE THAT YOU FIRE TEAR GAS AT THEM.

And then the canister accidentally clocks an innocent bystander in the eye and kills her. Does the asshole who instigated this tragedy take responsibility? Of course not. I doubt he'll even apologize to the family. Who mans up? Boston PD.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

Dude, someone calls me a fag I walk on. (3.00 / 3) (#37)
by Nursie on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 12:56:34 PM EST

I know I'm not, I know he's an asshole, I don't make an asshole of myself by hitting the idiot. he's already an idiot, isn't that punishment enough? he's gonna be an asshole idiot all his life.

In the situation you described it is the cop who is the asshole who instigated the tragedy, because he smacked some guy that was mouthing off.
The only appropriate course of action is to decide if this constitutes harassment of an officer or whatever, and arrest the sumbitch.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
...walk on (none / 1) (#40)
by LilDebbie on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 01:15:14 PM EST

y'see, the officer can't walk on. he has to stay there and make sure the asshole calling him names doesn't set fire to a trash can. so the question you gotta ask yourself is how well would you handle a guy calling you a fag repeatedly over the span of many minutes while you had to stand there and take it.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
well (none / 0) (#53)
by speek on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 02:06:46 PM EST

It is a job that requires the cop to be there, hopefully with adequate training to deal with exactly this situation - hopefully training that makes it clear when force is required, and when it is not. Being called names should never require a forceful response.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

watch Cops sometime (none / 1) (#55)
by LilDebbie on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 02:10:15 PM EST

you'll quickly realize that cops are trained to employ non-lethal force at the drop of a hat. If a cop tells you to do something and you don't, they are encouraged to throw your ass over the squad car and cuff you.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
that strikes me as a problem (none / 0) (#103)
by speek on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 06:39:36 PM EST


--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

If the guy keeps calling you names (none / 1) (#127)
by Nursie on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 08:41:36 PM EST

He can be arrested for harassment. Seriously, that's what the cop is there to do. If a policeman hits someone who's mouthing off he should be fired.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
my answer to you (none / 0) (#286)
by ckaminski on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 09:19:54 PM EST

No matter how big the gun I have, unless it's lethal and explosive (think M16 and/or hand grenade), as a cop in a riot I'm outnumbered.  I'd ignore any reaction to me short of actual assault and or assault on other civilian, and I'd surely never try and take him/them down without backup. Anything else is more liable to cause a riot that to prevent it.

But I wasn't there that night, so I really cannot judge this man/group.  No, I'm not a cop, but I've had to do crowd control in bars and on the street.  
And I never had the benefit of a weapon. :(

[ Parent ]

It wasn't a tear gas canister (none / 0) (#47)
by sllort on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 01:46:19 PM EST

It was a paintball, which can be lethal if you don't have a face mask on, or if it's cold, or if the FPS were too high. I believe the point has sailed by you.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
that's all good and true (none / 1) (#97)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 06:27:19 PM EST

but do you not see how it was a mistake?

why attack the very notion of police work and the need for police in society?

bad things happen in bad situations

why do you blame the people in the situation, instead of the situation?

the job of police is to go into bad situations and fix them so you or i do not have to

does that not deserve consideration?

so for this cop shooting this poor woman in the eye, i believe the meaning of word "intent" has sailed by you.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

0; vertical spam (none / 0) (#297)
by sllort on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 09:22:17 AM EST


--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
Boo-hoo, I'm crying. (2.83 / 6) (#90)
by Empedocles on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 06:03:37 PM EST

Every single last cop knew what he was getting into when he started the job. He knew he'd be working long hours, working holidays, taking abuse from the general population, spending large amounts of his time doing paperwork, dealing with the scum of society on a daily basis, etc. Yet he still chose to work and to keep working that job. If the job was so damn bad no one would want to work it. Instead, we have people falling all over themselves in the rush to take this supposedly "bad" job.

Of course, all this seems to be somewhat mitigated (for a certain segment of the population) by the "perks" offered by the job. Not getting traffic tickets due to "professional courtesy," being all but immune from any sort of criminal prosecution for your actions while on the job (get caught beating a suspect on videotape and you'll still get off), the sheer abuse of power potential that you have (and you will abuse it), the opportunity to sodomize suspects with a broken broom handle in the bathroom, etc. Appealing to the right person, anyway.

---
And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Till touch down brings me 'round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home

[ Parent ]

there ARE evil cops in the world (none / 1) (#94)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 06:23:12 PM EST

but for the most part, they protect you from more evil things

do you have any consideration for what they do for you?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Odd. (none / 0) (#168)
by Empedocles on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 02:55:48 AM EST

I don't recall writing anything about "evil cops" or any consideration (that I may or may not have) for them.

---
And I think it's gonna be a long long time
'Till touch down brings me 'round again to find
I'm not the man they think I am at home

[ Parent ]
regarding "professional courtesy" (none / 1) (#146)
by LilDebbie on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:42:32 PM EST

an ex-friend of mine who works security for the U of MN and is deeply entwined with the local police was given essentially a "get out of jail free card." it is literally a card he can show to an officer who pulls him over that gets him out of minor trouble. anyway, thought I'd share.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Professional courtesy (none / 0) (#246)
by GottaSaySomething on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 01:39:00 AM EST

If you get a job at some car dealership, you are entitled to a discount if you purchase a car there.  People in the general public are not entitled to the same discount, yet you don't hear everyone saying "How come I don't get the car at $10,000 off invoice like your employees?"  Same idea with cops and tickets, so get over yourselves folks...

[ Parent ]
There's a difference... (none / 0) (#292)
by Shajenko on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 02:53:21 AM EST

Between being favored by a private entity, and being favored by the government.

[ Parent ]
Enlighten us (none / 0) (#311)
by GottaSaySomething on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 08:50:46 PM EST

Explain the difference please, I dare you...

[ Parent ]
Gladly... (none / 0) (#318)
by Shajenko on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 07:00:51 PM EST

Though this difference only exists when those private entities do not have a monopolistic position.

You see, if you don't like the policies of Best Buy, for instance, if they let their employees be extremely rude to the customers, you can always leave and shop at, say, Circuit City. Or CompUSA. Or several other places.

If the government allows the police to break laws and violate your rights, you're screwed. You can try to leave the country. Of course, they might not let you, and there's nothing you can do about it.

[ Parent ]
Actually, no (3.00 / 2) (#137)
by trhurler on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:14:49 PM EST

Tear gas canisters were not used. This was a pepper ball. A paintball, basically, with pepper spray in it. The difference is, a tear gas canister CANNOT kill you unless you have asthma or something like that, because it isn't fired at high velocity at your unprotected face. Pepperballs ARE, and they ought to be banned for crowd control purposes. They ARE lethal weapons. Not if it is just you and me, because you can aim and avoid my face - but a crowd facing a cop is almost nothing BUT faces. This is just a fucking stupid weapon, and the cops know that - they're not stupid.

Also, this crowd wasn't doing anything except refusing to disperse, and most of them weren't even doing that(for instance, the girl this cop murdered.)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Slightly OT (none / 0) (#151)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:54:28 PM EST

How long have pepper balls been around? I'd never heard of them till about a month ago, so I've been assuming that they're a new toy rather than something that's been around for years. Any idea which is true?

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]
Quite new (none / 1) (#189)
by xria on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 11:30:48 AM EST

The company has made them for a few years, but these weapons were brought in for the RNC or DNC or something a couple of weeks ago. Hence why some people are assuming the cops arent well trained/used to using them properly.

[ Parent ]
They're new-ish (none / 1) (#219)
by trhurler on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 05:42:46 PM EST

But paintball technology is not in any way new; the dangers are well understood. The cops should have known better.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Less than lethal (3.00 / 4) (#41)
by hatshepsut on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 01:15:57 PM EST

While the term "less than lethal" gets tossed around a lot, basically it comes down to the fact that the weapons are not designed to kill (normal guns are designed to kill something, whether a chipmunk a person or an elephant). Still, just because something isn't designed to kill doesn't mean that it can't.

I would like to have found some description of what exactly caused the officer to fire the weapon in the first place (all the linked articles were rather light on that subject). But, giving the benefit of the doubt (and assuming that the officer had reason to believe that the pepper spray was needed to disperse unruly elements of the crowd), it would seem that this is a terrible accident, but in no way a definite reason to remove these "less than lethal" options from the police.

Anything CAN be lethal, either through horrible accident (a fall off a curb, a car accident, an allergic reaction can all kill you) or intent. The intent doesn't seem to be here though, and I would prefer to know that the police will try to disperse a violent or rioting crowd with something like a pepper spray gun (or rubber bullets, or a water hose, or whatever), over a Glock any day.

From Boston.com (3.00 / 4) (#60)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 02:35:27 PM EST

Someone in a crowd threw a bottle at the cops, scaring a mounted cop's horse (which I agree with someone on Fark is completely inappropriate for use in a riot role). Another officer immediately turned around and fired two rounds into the general area that the bottle came from.

[ Parent ]
Actually horses are widely used for crowds (none / 1) (#147)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:45:18 PM EST

because they tend to intimidate modern Americans who rarely see them in any context.

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]
how are horses completely inappropriate? (none / 0) (#227)
by Rahaan on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 07:32:11 PM EST

They are pretty much the perfect 'nonlethal' crowd control 'weapon'.  The horses they had out on Lansdowne street that night were(seemed) bigger than a fairly large pickup truck.  They were at least 6 or 7 feet high(depending on how you measure) with a hell of a lot of girth.  They're not going to move for very much.  When you consider the officer's additional 3 or so feet of height on top of the horse, they're pretty-fucking-intimidating, regardless of your background.

Point is, instead of a crowd of people having control over who goes where, the horses do.  It keeps some sense of societal order in effect, up to the point where even a drunken out-of-control rioter (ie, a criminal -- and this is not quite inclusive of the people who were out that night) would have to really talk himself into any kind of riotous activity when there's an animal that fucking big right there.

The only inappropriateness I see is the potential for harm if the horse gets spooked, but they are trained to be able to handle situations like that, and the officers riding them are trained to recognize such things as their horse starting to get frightened.  Mix in communication and some legitimate police actions(stopping the cause of the horse's scare) or, say, leaving the scene and being replaced with more manpower, and the potential for a horse getting out of control is not very high.

The person who threw the bottle should have been arrested immediately.  Scaring a horse like that, in a crowd like that, would likely lead to more deaths than whatever the police could do, short of using live ammo.  Unfortunately, the cops were lazy and took the easy way out -- instead of calling for some sort of backup, like one of the hundreds of baton-wielding officers on foot to arrest the man(which could potentially make the situation that much worse..), one of the officers was tempted to use the force in his control and fired the pepperball shots into the crowd.  dumb dumb dumb.

I guess it makes sense, in that sometimes the best way to gain control over a situation is to exert overwhelming force, so as to intimidate whoever you're trying to control into submitting.  It would've been a justifiable decision on the officer's part had the crowd been actually, you know, rioting.  What was going on at the time was nothing like a riot, and the police at the scene should have recognized it for what it was and taken the appropriate action.  Instead, they escalated the 'riotous' nature of the scene by throwing down the first boy(who proceeded to yell obscenities and ask for the guy's badge number) for refusing to disperse, and once the officers take that step into physical force, they feel like they can't let the crowd justify any potential criminal actions because of police missteps -- ie, the police can't admit they're wrong, so when a boy is unjustifiably pushed by an officer, they will, at best, ignore what happened and focus on keeping the crowd under control.

The boy who was pushed wasn't helping, either, by continuing the situation in yelling at the cop.  I mean, it's one thing to be shoved by a cop in the middle of a weekday, but when you're in a situation which could very quickly escalate into anarchy, then, umm, just fucking deal with it.  Nothing good is going to come out of you yelling at a cop in the middle of a huge group of people, regardless of how right you may be.  Something like that gives other people around you(generally drunk and far enough away to be safe) bright ideas like, hey, let's throw my beer bottle at the horsey!  What then followed was a number of bad decisions by the officers involved in not recognizing the situation for what it was(it was definitely not riotous -- arguably in other places it was, but definitely not there) and vastly overreacted.

IF it were a riot, IF their horses were about to start behaving erratically, IF there had been more people involved(instead of the first boy and whoever threw the bottle), IF IF IF.. then MAYBE the officers actions were justified.  Unfortunately for that poor Emerson girl, none of those IFs were true.

To sum it up:  police aggrandize their righteousness, police use a show of force, police overreact, police abuse the power at their control.. check.  I don't think any of that is not to be expected.  Which is why it should be so god-fucking-damn obvious that, instead of giving policemen MORE power at their disposal, they should be limited to what is reasonable for the situation.  Those pepper riot guns might be a good idea if there's a huge mob of people burning down buildings or something, but to equip officers with them when there is nothing going on is just asking for trouble.

anyway.  Point is, riot horses and batons are a good idea, because they do what is needed effectively, and people aren't often accidentally beaten to death with a baton.  Firing projectiles(especially with a chemical payload) is more than begging for trouble because of all the inaccuracies and variables involved.  For that, I say fuck the BPD for having them there.

if anyone wants to see exactly how fucked-up of a situation it was, try looking for the front page of the Friday morning Boston Herald.  There was a full-page image of the girl knocked out on the sidewalk, eye oozing blood, dying!, while people peacably mill about around her, including a cop or two.


you know, jake.. i've noticed that, since the tacos started coming, the mail doesn't so much come as often, or even at all
[ Parent ]

anything can be lethal (1.50 / 4) (#79)
by Blarney on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 03:44:15 PM EST

Especially in the hands of our friend, the cop. Ok, nonlethal tear gas, oink oink .... I know what I'll do! I'll go spray the whole can in some stupid hippie's baby's face , that'll teach HIM! Or maybe take it apart, apply it to cotton swabs, and poke it into stupid hippy's eyes, that'll teach him! Oink, oink oink. I know what I'll do! I'll shove the whole can right up that hippie's ass, then see if I can light it with a match....

Ok, nonlethal paintball guns, oink oink... I know what I'll do! I'll shoot someone in the eye!

Oink oink oink, guess it's not such a bad weapon after all!

[ Parent ]

As Far As I Know (3.00 / 3) (#148)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:47:38 PM EST

AFAIK, these were actually brand new tools that have only recently begun being used. They're basically bean-bag guns but the bean-bags are filled with mace.

So, basically it would be incredibly inappropriate to hit someone in the face with one - even if it didn't actually kill you, I imagine having little pellets of pepper juice actually pierce your skin and eye tissue would be excruciating.

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]

rubber bullets (none / 0) (#254)
by DanK on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 07:37:42 AM EST

Rubber bullets would probably be just about as lethal as, if not more lethal than, these pepper paintballs. People have been killed by them in the past in a number of incidents.


--
"If your mother says no jihad, then no jihad." - Abdul Nacer Benbrika
[ Parent ]
No crime (3.00 / 13) (#63)
by Blarney on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 02:43:03 PM EST

Although there is no legal basis for this, the fact is that the courts bend over backwards for police simply because of who they are.

An ordinary citizen, protecting his property with a paintball gun, who shot some bystanding girl in the eye and killed her would get a couple years in prison at the least. And he would be lucky to get that prison time - because people would be clamoring for his death.

But a policeman gets away with it. And something is wrong here. Either they need to be lots easier on ordinary people, or lots tougher on the police, because as far as I know there is no legal reason why police aren't subject to manslaughter statutes. It's all wink wink, nudge nudge, c'mon how else could the system work?

And I got to see this picture first thing in the morning while buying my morning cola. Yay for tabloids.

it's because they're working for us (2.50 / 4) (#83)
by Delirium on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 04:14:35 PM EST

If the police are armed with paintball guns, it's because we the citizens are paying to buy them paintball guns, and sending them out there to patrol with them. It's their job, courtesy of us. If something weird happens as a result of that, it's more the fault of the people who decided it was a good idea to have police carry paintball guns (i.e. you) than it is the fault of the police who performed their jobs as requested.

[ Parent ]
Well assuming (3.00 / 4) (#88)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 05:46:07 PM EST

Only if he used the weapon according to police procedure, as he had been trained, and as the weapons manufacturer says it can be used.


[ Parent ]
To take things to an illogical extreme (3.00 / 2) (#99)
by skim123 on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 06:33:12 PM EST

Your argument contends that there would be no culpability for Nazis who were just "following orders" in extermination of the Jews. Yet the Nuremburg Trials ordered many of them to death. So what's up? Were the Nuremburg decisions morally bankrupt, or do you wish to take back your statement.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
difficult question (3.00 / 2) (#101)
by Delirium on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 06:36:47 PM EST

Generally, I think there ought to be a presumption of innocence if someone is following orders, because they don't typically have any ability to avoid doing so. If a US soldier thinks the war in Iraq is wrong, and refuses to go, they'll usually be jailed.

The Nuremberg trials established that in certain cases of severe war crimes, following orders isn't a sufficient defense. Basically, there is a fuzzy line over which you can't do something even if ordered to do so. But it has to be so severe that it is unquestionably a significant war crime. What you're asking people to do is give up their freedom and possibly their lives in order to resist an immoral order, and for you to have the right to do that, it has to be a very immoral order.

I don't think this case, where police were using what they were told were non-lethal weapons, in the manner they were instructed to use them (for crowd control) rises to the level of significant war crimes, or actually to any culpability at all on the part of the police.

[ Parent ]

No we aren't. (3.00 / 5) (#158)
by FieryTaco on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:34:32 PM EST

Police are tasked with doing a particular job by "the people". However as a citizen, I do not have the time to work my job, raise my family and micromanage every aspect of my government. Nobody does. We expect that our public servants will do their jobs wisely and with good intent and of their own initiative.

[ Parent ]
well, you elect the people in charge (none / 1) (#159)
by Delirium on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:45:59 PM EST

You ought to assume they're doing a good job, but if you have evidence they're doing a bad job, you ought to elect a different major, sheriff, or whoever else is in charge and on the ballot.

[ Parent ]
Elect. (none / 1) (#161)
by FieryTaco on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:58:24 PM EST

The fact that they are elected doesn't take away their free will. Nor does it mean that they'll always be acting in direct accordance with the ideas of every individual voter. You vote for who you think will do a good job and who is generally gives the impression they hold the same values as you do.

[ Parent ]
you don't understand the function of police (1.00 / 3) (#93)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 06:20:01 PM EST

they go where we wouldn't and shouldn't

to do things we cannot or should not do

these environments are more hostile and violent

so there is heightened chance of death and mistakes

you castigate the human beings in the situation, when you should be castigating the situation

if a doctor kills a patient by carving them up, is he like a depraved serial killer?

no, he is supposed to carve people up, and he does it a lot, and something went wrong: he has increased exposure in his career for causing death

so do we punish the docotr everytime a patient of his dies?

no

and same with police

of course their are evil doctors out there, of course there are evil police out there

and they should be caught, and punished

but where is the menace in the situation in boston?

there is none, it's just a tragedy


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Gross Overreaction to the Situation (3.00 / 3) (#130)
by araym on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 08:52:38 PM EST

they go where we wouldn't and shouldn't

to do things we cannot or should not do

these environments are more hostile and violent

so there is heightened chance of death and mistakes


From every article I've read the crowd was not being violent towards the cops. When the cops start firing into a crowd not only are you putting people in danger but the cops are putting themselves in danger. If I was in a peaceful crowd and they started firing into us you can be damn sure things would get violent from that point forward, it's a natural reaction. You tell us to remember that the cops are just people doing their jobs. You should remember that each one of these people in the crowd is a person too, the vast majority of whom are just trying to have a good time.

of course their are evil doctors out there, of course there are evil police out there

and they should be caught, and punished

but where is the menace in the situation in boston?


How would we ever know who's good and who's evil with people like you out there who don't even want an investigation?

-=-
SSM

[ Parent ]
Oh (2.85 / 7) (#136)
by trhurler on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:12:00 PM EST

You see "no menace" in firing a weapon like that into a crowd that WASN'T VIOLENT, WASN'T RIOTING, and in fact did NOTHING except refuse to disperse?!

Blah blah right of the people to peacably assemble blah blah blah blam oh look a dead girl.

Asshole.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Doctors (none / 1) (#268)
by pyro9 on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 03:20:04 PM EST

so do we punish the docotr everytime a patient of his dies?

Of course not, but we do investigate, and if we find that the doctor acted irresponsably (that is, in a manner that a competant doctor would expect to cause the death and would know a better procedure), we DO punish him.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
As a Bostonian (2.92 / 13) (#84)
by jubal3 on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 04:40:10 PM EST

I gotta tell you, it's sad this girl was injured, much less died. It was a fuck up.

But if you've been in the city after sports games in the last few years, there's no way you could resonably fault the cops for cracking down.

The riots after the games have become the stuff of legend around here.

A couple of years ago my wife was groped and nearly raped by several drunken Patriots fans on the way back from class, in front of a whole subway car full of people.  She managed to get away, only to have to walk through several blocks of burning cars and rioters to get home.

As someone who doesn't give a flying fuck about professional sports, I have to say, PLEASE put ALL of these fuckers in jail when they riot.

Keep them there for a LONG time.

The cops are in an impossible situation here. If they use force, they're damned, if they don't they're just as damned. Unfortunately, what happens in riots is that people get hurt and sometimes killed, even though no one wanted that to happen.

How about all the rabid fuckwads who were out there causing trouble steppin up to the plate and taking some responsibility?


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***

Or (3.00 / 2) (#85)
by sllort on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 04:44:55 PM EST

How about we don't use direct fire projectile weapons against crowds?
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
What would you suggest? (none / 0) (#86)
by lordDogma on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 05:20:58 PM EST

Mortars and artillery?

[ Parent ]
Laser/GPS Guided JDAMs (3.00 / 2) (#87)
by PowerPimp on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 05:27:56 PM EST

But seriously, it is stupid to go parading around with pepperballs and that sort of thing, all they do is panic crowds. and cause more mayhem, as well as causing injury and death from the impact of the weapons themselves. At least Tear Gas only causes mayhem and destruction and death from panic, and irreparable respiratory system damage.
You'd better take care of me God; otherwise, you'll have me on your hands...
[ Parent ]
Would you be ok with: (none / 1) (#89)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 05:48:47 PM EST

When your wife was coming home through those burning cars for the police to kill her. After all there was a riot going on, she was in the area, so all bets are off?

[ Parent ]
what would you suggest? (none / 0) (#92)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 06:16:15 PM EST

let me people torch cars whenever someone wins a baseball game?

why do you see menace where this none (police killing college coed by mistake), and miss the obvious menace (rowdy drunk idiots destroying the street)?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I do see menace in both (none / 0) (#96)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 06:26:28 PM EST

Cops firing this sort of weapon without thinking or aiming

Potentially riotous situation

Doing the first does not stop the second.

[ Parent ]

do you see menace... (1.00 / 4) (#98)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 06:28:48 PM EST

in a doctor carving up a person?

no, of course not, that's their job

so why do you see menace in police firing at a riotous crowd?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I see menace (none / 1) (#104)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 06:41:01 PM EST

Because they werent riotous in the area the incident happened. Have you even read the eye witness testimony of what happened?

[ Parent ]
does a doctor deserve your consideration... (1.66 / 3) (#105)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 06:52:51 PM EST

because he performs lots of surgeries? simple statisitcal inevitability means more will die at his hands

sometimes because of menace, sometimes because of simple human error, and sometimes because of worrisome human failings we all have encountered at one time or another in our lives

the point is, doctors, police: they are human beings

why castigate the human being in the hard situation?

does not the hardness of the situation deserve your attention?

do you honestly believe the policeman said that night "shit, i'm gonna shoot myself a college coed tonight"

why do you see so much menace in the human beings we as society put in harms way on purpose so we don't have to go there, while you completely downplay the menace of people like drunks celebrating in the street?

why is it some people inflate menace and create menace where there is none: the people we as society send into mad situations so we don't have to go there, and are completely blind to the obvious menace in the situations there, like in rowdy postgame celebrations?

do not the police deserve some consideration for that?

why doesn this case have to mean anything more than a horrible regrettable tragedy? what is served by inflating the meaning of this case?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Ok compare to surgeon (none / 1) (#107)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 07:10:18 PM EST

Have you heard of Dr Harold Shipman, the UKs winningist serial killer? I bet some of the relatives of his victims would be happier if the people that had died at his hands deaths had been investigated to ensure no negligence or menace involved.

There is strong reasons to believe he fired the weapon inappropriately from all accounts, so therefore it is appropriate his actions go under the microscope.

The police officer is not wholly to blame here, but that does not make him innocent of doing no wrong. Being in a hard situation does not make the results of every option you can choose not your fault.

[ Parent ]

statistics and intent (1.00 / 2) (#111)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 07:40:40 PM EST

"Being in a hard situation does not make the results of every option you can choose not your fault."

in a hard situation, the number of choices you can make resulting in a good outcome are much smaller

over time, the people we thrust into those situations will tend to fail to choose wisely: simply out of statistical inevitability, no malice at all

now, if you insist that the people who make a living in those situations be held to standards that you and i are held to in situations that are not hard, you are basically asking for one things:

no one will want to be a cop or a doctor

because these people work in environments where tragedy is part of the situation, and your attitude insists on blaming the tragedy on them, rather than the situation: you hold them to an impossible standard

look at malpratice insurance in the us: there are a shortage of obgyns in some parts of the country exactly because of attitudes like yours

of course there are evil people in the world, of course they should be punished: do you think what i am trying to say is let evil people get off without punishment?

but i really do believe that you don't understand how your attitude punishes good people in bad situations

you really need to give some consideration to the difficulty of the situation confronted by normal human beings with good intent just like you and me

simply put: your attitude helps no one, not least of which the victim of this awful shooting accident


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I think (none / 0) (#119)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 08:12:47 PM EST

You are reading other peoples comments and assigning them to me.

I havent said at any point this cop deserves anything more than being investigated. Someone has died, there is clearly a reasonable chance something could be done either to improve the weapon to make it less likely to happen again, improve tactics/training so a better way to resolve the situation might have happened, or possibly the officer might need to have some action taken against him.

I understand your point about the statistics of it, and I would hope that the investigations into the police (or doctors) take that into account, but I think too easily that argument can swing too far and let people get away with murder (literally in other cases).

Certainly I wouldnt be a police officer in a country like the US due to the gun laws, and how this would likely to rule your behaviour, and increase the chances of fatalities on either side every time they have to deal with the public. (I applied to work for the police in the UK a couple of times, but ended up in IT).

[ Parent ]

why can't you see? (none / 0) (#124)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 08:25:52 PM EST

it was an awful, horrible tragedy?

NO FUCKING BILLIONS OF COMITTIES WILL CHANGE THAT

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

It might be (none / 0) (#129)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 08:48:28 PM EST

Why cant you see it might have been avoided by better training/weapons/tactics/police officers.

[ Parent ]
because (none / 0) (#131)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:01:43 PM EST

no matter how much you plan, tragedies still happen

so it is better to brace yourself for fluke tragedies, then plan on eliminating what is impossible to eliminate

and if what happened to this poor woman does not qualify as a horrible fluke tragedy, i don't know what does


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

tragedies happen (none / 1) (#157)
by FieryTaco on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:28:55 PM EST

But the goal here should be to act in a way to minimize the number of such occurances. Let's move away from this to another tragedy: babies die. Babies die from all sorts of things. They might die falling down some stairs. They might put their fingers in electrical sockets. They might pull a pot of boiling water off the stove and onto their head. They might splatter against a windshield in a head on car accident. They might fall into your swimming pool and drown. Since these are accidental tragedies does that mean we shouldn't have stair gates to block babies from falling down stairs? Should we not have plastic caps for our electrical outlets. Should parents not turn the handles of cooking pots inwards so that they don't present an obvious handle for a child to grasp. Should we not buckle our children in child safety seats in the back seat in order to protect them? Should we just abandon all supervision of our children so that they can walk into dangerous situations? Seems like a prudent person would try to minimize situations like this. Just like a police officer should attempt to form a response that is appropriate to the situation and minimizes the danger to innocent bystanders.

Somebody died. Yup, it's a high stress situation. Yup, shit happens. But police know this when they choose their career path. Different people deal differently with stressful events, a police officer damned well better be able to keep their cool in high pressure situations. If they can't they should go become a fucking florist or something. Saying "oops, it's an accidental tragedy" isn't a proper response.

[ Parent ]

better be able to deal? (none / 0) (#178)
by GottaSaySomething on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 05:39:06 AM EST

How many people do you know that can deal with the pressure of being a police officer, and just settle for the measly salary a cop usually receives? The ones who are best qualified to do the job, are not planning on being patrol cops their whole career, they are moving on to the higher paying positions or fields. Very few people in this country actually want to do the job police officers have to do everyday, and of the people that do strive to become cops, very few of those individuals have what it takes to perform in high pressure situations such as riots. By your rules no one would be fit to be a police officer, everyone would be a fucking florist ;) Everyone makes mistakes on the job, it doesn't matter what you do for a living. Cops aren't robots, they make mistakes too. None of us know what we would have done in the same situation, so don't try to "armchair quarterback" this tragedy, because we all know "hindsight is 20/20"

[ Parent ]
Everyone makes mistakes on the job... (none / 0) (#194)
by loucura on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 12:11:38 PM EST

Everyone makes mistakes on the job.

When I make mistakes in my job, I'm called on the carpet for it. I don't get a "aw, too bad you made a mistake", we find ways of preventing similar mistakes in the future. I mean, my mistakes don't kill people, but it seems a logical way to handle this "tragedy".

[ Parent ]
That's because (none / 0) (#196)
by jubal3 on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 12:51:54 PM EST

you aren't in a job where your mistakes can kill somebody.

There will be an investigation.

The BEST the cop can hope for is to be exonerated by having the weapon blamed as malfunctioning. -Then all he has to do is live with it, which is a big deal in itself.

From there it goes to losing weeks or months of pay from a suspension, bearing the expense of a lawyer to defend himself, losing not only his job but his career, or even be charged with manslaughter, which yes, really does happen.

As a reporter I worked a crime beat for several years. For every cop that was a callous brute, I met dozens who were competent, compassionate professionals.

Whaat cops object to, and I've seen it happen, is getting critiqued in hindsight by people who weren't there, don't usually have all the facts, and who perhaps most importantly, get to sit on their asses at home and calmly review the action that took place in a split second.

Sometimes in emergency situations mistakes get made.

We investigate these things because we want to make sure the mistake was not the result of negligence or malice. If so, thaat changes the situation.

But if you were driving your car at the speed limit and misjusdged a turn and flipped your car into an oncoming vehicle, you wouldn't go to jail for killing someone. You might get sued, but that's not the same as criminal charges.

The accident stuff happens regularly, and that's not a paarticularly difficult judgement call.

In this case, the cops are getting pelted by bottles from a very unruly crowd, the cop uses what he reasonably believes to be a non-lethalk weapon and misses, hitting someone in the face rather than the chest, and then worse, a freak accident happens and someone dies.

And you wanna go after the COPS?


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

Sure do. (none / 0) (#198)
by loucura on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 01:29:39 PM EST

When you give a police officer a less-than-lethal weapon, and call it a non-lethal weapon they are going to be less likely to think before using it. I'm not saying that the officer in question should be pilloried, but we should hold them to a higher standard of action and responsibility if we're going to give them the powers we do.

[ Parent ]
Higher standard? (none / 0) (#313)
by jubal3 on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 11:26:49 PM EST

What standard is that?

They should never have bad luck? They should never use force if there is an infinitessimal chance for mishap? They should never make mistakes?

Look, this was freak accident, plain and simple.
There may have been an element of recklessness or incompetence, that's why it's going to be investigated.

If the cop really blew it, used terrible judgement, what do you propose? We should charge him with a crime?

Do that, and the next time a cop needs to make a judgement call about using force, they won't.
And when your house is getting set on fire by mobs in a riot, don't complain when the cops don't wade in.

That's the result of wanting someone's blood every time something bad happens.

The poor guy who fired the shot has to live with it forever. If you think that's not a big deal, you've never spent any time around cops. These people agonize for years over totally righteous shootings, much less over a tragedy.
If he really fucked up seriously, he'll lose his job, and probably his career.



***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

Thank you (none / 0) (#250)
by GottaSaySomething on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 01:56:19 AM EST

Well said

[ Parent ]
Objection (none / 1) (#108)
by tsubame on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 07:30:15 PM EST

do you honestly believe the policeman said that night "shit, i'm gonna shoot myself a college coed tonight"

Now I agree that the cops were (and often are) in a very difficult situation, but just because someone doesn't premeditate a crime doesn't mean they are not culpable for it. There are also the issues of negligence and responsibility - that is, someone in a dangerous situation has the obligation to be as careful as they can. See the vast majority of drunk driving fatalities, where clearly the driver didn't sit at home and decide to go out and run someone over, but were still grossly negligent in their behavior and deserve to be punished accordingly.

I'm not saying the policeman was negligent here -- it is very easy to imagine a situation where he stuck rigorously to his professional training, attempted to keep everyone safe to the best of his abilities, and the fatal accident still happened -- just pointing out that intent is only a part of the picture.

---
"Congratulations, that's now my new sig." -mcc, in response to my comment about circlejerk meta k5 sigs.
[ Parent ]
you can't do that (none / 0) (#113)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 07:45:37 PM EST

you can't hold human beings who make their living in hard situations to the same standards as those who work in normal situations, like you and i

statistical inevitability: in a hard situation, the range of choices which lead to positive outcomes is much smaller

therefore, given enough hard situations, and normal human beings, the failure rate for human beings in those situations will be higher

do you think i am saying let evil people go unpunished?

but i think you ARE saying that people doing jobs we don't want to do deserve no extra consideration for the extra challenges they face


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Ehm... (none / 0) (#210)
by tsubame on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 04:21:48 PM EST

but i think you ARE saying that people doing jobs we don't want to do deserve no extra consideration for the extra challenges they face

Really? You must have missed the first sentence and last paragraph of my post. In fact...

do you think i am saying let evil people go unpunished?

This would lead me to believe that you missed the entire point of my post, though in fairness perhaps I wasn't clear. The point was that a policeman, as much as I respect and value the work he does in keeping me safe, can still be held responsible for a disaster even if he didn't plan it.

As easily as I can imagine a case where the cop did everything he could do and still fucked up, I can also imagine a scenario where he did not plan to murder the girl yet his negligence was a factor. Maybe he had a few beers before his shift while he was watching the game. Maybe he stayed out late the night before with his buddies, and was running on an hour of sleep. I don't expect that was the case, but I don't know and neither do you.

Basically, you can't just say brush something like this off by saying "oh, he didn't mean to do it." I'm all for giving policemen an extra bit of consideration, but when a family has lost their child for no reason, it's something that needs to be investigated regardless of who did it.

---
"Congratulations, that's now my new sig." -mcc, in response to my comment about circlejerk meta k5 sigs.
[ Parent ]
Principle of least harm (none / 0) (#209)
by jolly st nick on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 04:21:35 PM EST

so why do you see menace in police firing at a riotous crowd?

It depends on what the situation prompting the shooting is, and what the alternatives open to them. Being a policemen doesn't give any body won whit of additional right to commit harm on somebody than a private individual. It just means they're more likely to be in situations where they have to make that call. Not only does general morality call for doing what is necessary in a manner least likely to cause harm, in the case of police profesionalism calls for them to be trained in making judgements of this kind correctly.

Here is an example where indiscriminate shooting into a crowd is justified: the classic race/ethnic riot. The crowd is advancing on a neighborhood with fire and weapons with intent to destroy and murder. In that case it's stop at all costs.

What we have here is a something different. A cop comes on a crowd in which some people are throwing bottles in the general direction of another cop. Firing indiscriminately into the crowd (let me stress we dont know that is what happened yet), is unjustified. Let me point out that eyewitness accounts report bottles being thrown, but not necessarily at the mounted cop. Clearly this was a very tense and tricky situation.

In this situation, I expect the cops to make a professional decision -- how do we keep the situation under control? How do we avoid casualties among innocent bystanders? I'd have no problem if they could have picked off the troublemakers with bean bag rounds or pepper balls, but it (a) was probably not possible to do so and (b) may not have been a good idea to try if it was possible.

In point of fact, it was probably a tactical blunder to use the weapon at all. There were just too many people, and an individual officer firing into a crowd with rowdy elements risked pushing the whole situation into a full scale riot. Clearly the police didn't have the tactics to restrain and control the crowd. That officer fired this "nonlethal" weapon with lethal results probably was a result of his not being properly trained in their use.

This, I think, is probably going to be another unfortunate case of bad decsion making under pressure. Understandable, yes, perhaps even forgiveable, but a terrible mistake nonetheless.

[ Parent ]

Darwinism in action. (2.50 / 2) (#177)
by Kasreyn on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 05:32:17 AM EST

Smart and survivable people see burning cars and bottle-throwing crowds and think, "WOAH!! I better not go in there!! Not dying is much more important than not getting home by my usual route tonight!" and then they find an alternate route home.

Idiots just shrug, go in, get killed, and then their relatives (who thanks to Gregor Mendel are also idiots) sue the police.

-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
No one (none / 1) (#180)
by jubal3 on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 09:04:59 AM EST

was suggesting it wasn't a tragic accident.

I merely pointed out that the Boston cops aren't known for being brutal or trigger happy.
And the riots are WELL known to be both violent and highly destructive.

Shit happens, people get run over, struck by lightning, etc. Using thiss as an excuse to castigate the cops is pointless, particularly when the matter is still under investigation.

Aside from the multi-million dollar lawsuit that's coming (regardless of whether investigators find any wrong-doing) the poor bastard that fired the shot has to live with it for the rest of his life.

My sympathies are with the family of the girl and the cop, and I have not the slightest for the rioters.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]

Yes, except (3.00 / 3) (#135)
by trhurler on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:10:22 PM EST

This crowd was NOT rioting. Oops.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Obligatory Dirty Harry Quote (none / 1) (#156)
by lucas on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:24:50 PM EST

I live in Boston and the Mayor has been too easy on the riff-raff and drunken students. I propose we draft Clint Eastwood as mayor.

Harry Callahan: Well, when an adult male is chasing a female with intent to commit rape, I shoot the bastard. That's my policy.

The Mayor: Intent? How did you establish that?

Harry Callahan: When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher's knife and a hard-on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross!

[ Parent ]

Yes well, (none / 1) (#218)
by trhurler on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 05:41:00 PM EST

Had the cops shot a naked man with a hard-on, I'd feel a lot less bad about it. Sadly, they instead shot a 22 year old girl who was out celebrating with her family in a peaceful, legal manner.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
I hear you, mistah, but... (none / 0) (#236)
by Apuleius on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 11:06:37 PM EST

If the cops had shown up with pellet rifles, your wife would have been in danger too. This blows. The cops should start going medieval with the billy clubs again. Less likely to hurt innocents.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
You're about (none / 0) (#237)
by jubal3 on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 11:11:11 PM EST

1000 times likely to get someone very seriously injured or killed wading into a riot with billy clubs as you are with pepper sray paintballs. Face it, this was a very freakish accident. Shit happens, move on.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]
Then there are 2 possible solutions... (none / 0) (#281)
by mcgrew on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 09:06:22 PM EST

1. Ban sports in Boston or
2. set off a neutron bomb in the heart of the city.

Ph wait, that's Philadelphia I would like to nuke, never mind...

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

this was an accident (2.33 / 6) (#91)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 06:14:22 PM EST

if a police officer makes a mistake in the execution of his duties protecting the community, why would you want his head?

do you think he shot the girl in the eye on purpose?

the police do lots of things wrong, lots of things evil

and when they do that, they should be caught and punished

but this case is clearly a tragedy, there is no menace here

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Personally I dont want his head (3.00 / 3) (#102)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 06:38:18 PM EST

I want him to face a tribunal (or whatever) to ensure he was enacting current policy correctly. And also to determine if those policies are correct, or could be improved.

If he has been negligent then he should suffer appropriately for it based on the degree.

Clearly no intent was shown, no doubt he believed at the time the worst he could do with the weapon is injure someone, but that does not necessarily relieve him from all responsibility for his actions.

The manufacturer may be at fault for either misselling the weapon, or not having enough quality control on the ammo to ensure each one fired will not be significantly more dangerous, or for not providing appropriate training/advice on how and when the weapon is to be used, or having not done enough testing to ensure its safety.

The police might be at fault for using this weapon without adequate safety checks, or allowing its use in areas where it could be more dangerous, or not training its officers well enough to use the weapon appropriately.

The officer might be at fault for not acting on his training correctly, or making a wrong decision about whether to use the weapon or not.

The people in the crowd might be at fault for baiting police, not dispersing when asked (presuming they were, havent seen it stated they were), throwing things at the police, or staying to watch this sort of thing rather than moving away from any trouble.

The vandals are at fault for making the situation worse and providing the basis for why it all happened.

All of the above might be true as well, in varying extents.

[ Parent ]

sometimes (none / 1) (#109)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 07:30:29 PM EST

a tragedy is just a tragedy

and no amount of tribunals or round tables or comitties will change that


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Agreed (3.00 / 3) (#115)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 07:53:37 PM EST

I dont necessarily agree that is the case here though.

These are fairly new technologies, and the makers have a vested interest in making them out to be safer than they are.

The fact that they are given to police officers as "safe" weapons tends to make them get used with less restraint than maybe is appropriate.

[ Parent ]

in your world... (none / 1) (#117)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 07:59:00 PM EST

there would be no incentive to make better technology, because of the potential risks

in your world, the risk you are familiar with is better than the risk you are not familiar with, even if the risk you are familiar with is clearly very deadly (cops shooting guns and swinging billy clubs, for example: the status quo before things like tear gas)

your attitude supports the status quo, in spite of the promise of progress

this is fear of the unknown, and if that were our motivating factor in life, we would all still be in caves

i'm glad i don't think like you about the world


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Ok sure (none / 0) (#121)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 08:20:19 PM EST

Let me just take your arguments to ridiculous extremes because I dont feel like making a sensible comment. After all whats the point of talking to someone and trying to understand them.

So for you progress is everything, so to test for the safest weapon we should give every prototype everyone comes up with and use it on the citizens until we find the best one. And we can save the time for new drugs being tested, progress would be much faster if people with a disease were given anything that might help, and we use the ones that dont kill people.

[ Parent ]

oh i see your point (none / 1) (#123)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 08:24:28 PM EST

extensive testing shows that we can't use these weapons that are less deadly than guns, because if you shoot someone in the eye with it by mistake, it's still deadly

you for full of so much wisdom

so fucking boatload of testing will prevent honest, horrible, tragic mistakes you fucking moron


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Not prevent (none / 1) (#128)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 08:46:09 PM EST

Minimise. Mistakes and freak occurences will occur still.

Freak occurences when the weapons have only be used by that force for a couple of weeks, and that particular company have only sold them for a couple of years, sounds like either the weapons are being used too much/incorrectly, or there is room for improvement to make them less lethal.

I'm very happy the police are using this instead of firing a gun. But dont tell me this cop would have fired a gun randomly into a crowd, so they are also using it other situations.

In those situations you are potentially killing people that you wouldnt have before you started using them, so you should be careful how often you do so, and how you do, otherwise the amount of lives saved by using it is reduced. Not only that the people you could now be killing are more likely to innocent (or guilty of a relatively minor crime), because you are more willing to fire these sorts of weapons into crowds, or at people who havent done much (if anything) wrong.

[ Parent ]

it was a fluke! (none / 0) (#132)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:02:57 PM EST

what happened to this poor woman was a horrible fluke!

no amount of planning will prevent horrible flukes!

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Yeah it was a fluke (none / 0) (#139)
by xria on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:16:52 PM EST

Did he have to roll the dice?

[ Parent ]
omg (none / 0) (#141)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:19:33 PM EST

life is rolling dice


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Bah. (none / 1) (#154)
by FieryTaco on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 10:13:32 PM EST

Rational, educated people treat guns with respect because we are aware of the dangers and act accordingly. The officers in this case apparently were uninformed about the true danger of this particular weapon and were also quite dumb about being able to assess that information for themselves. My guess is that in this situation the police in question were pissed because the crowd wasn't following direction and figured they'd, metaphorically, poke them with a sharp stick to get moving. The question is, was it appropriate for them to do so with a weapon they clearly didn't understand thoroughly?

[ Parent ]
who to judge? (none / 0) (#182)
by Patrick2 on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 10:10:26 AM EST

a tragedy is just a tragedy
And neither you nor I are entitled to make that call out of thin air or some selective news coverage.

The point of having the tribunal is to have an independent panel make that decision and not the mob by popular vote.

[ Parent ]

No, it wasn't an accident (2.50 / 6) (#110)
by fyngyrz on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 07:37:09 PM EST

there is no menace here

If there is no menace here, would you be willing to have a cop shoot you in the eye with one of these weapons? I don't think so. Unless you're not very bright at all. And why? Because there is a chance you will lose your eye, or die, that's why. And you know it.

What we have here is yet another case of cops out of control - the lack of control in this case is the actual rules of engagement for what is clearly a deadly weapon.

If I hit you over the head with a curtain rod and it splits your skull, do you think I'll be allowed to excuse my behaviour with "Well, it was only a curtain rod, that is not a deadly weapon." Of course not. And why? Because things become weapons, or not, based upon how they are used. Because they become deadly weapons, again, based upon how they are used.

If I stick a pillow into your hand, that is one thing.

If I shove it down your throat, that is entirely another.

These cops should clearly fry. We give great responsibility to police officers. With that responsibility comes trust. When that trust is abused - as it clearly was in this case - that greater responsibility turns into greater consequences. Just as when a preist molests a child and we consider that a terrible violation of trust, and react strongly, when a cop kills an innocent citizen with an aimed shot of a weapon (or worse, an unaimed shot), we should react in the harshest manner possible.

If cops are there to protect us, that's a good thing, and we need cops. If cops are going to kill us because we're celebrating and they're freaking incompetent, then clearly, we don't need them. I am making the assumption that there are only a few cops involved here that we don't need. We don't need stupid cops who are fool enough to fire a projectile weapon at an innnocent human being - or wildly into a crowd - and we don't need cops who create rules of engagement that lead stupid cops to do stupid things, since they're apparently unable to work the responsible action out for themselves.

You know how cops have to take a taser shot in order to qualify to use one?

Maybe these freaking idiots ought to take a shot from this "safe" projectile weapon in the EYE in order to qualify to use one, eh?


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

wow (2.00 / 2) (#116)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 07:54:38 PM EST

honest question: what kind of consideration does someone who does a job you and i don't want to do deserve?

what kind of consideration does someone who runs into a situation you and i run away from deserve?

in your world, no one would be a cop or doctor

it is exactly your attitude that leads to things like disappearing obgyns in middle america: no one wants to be an obgyn because the malpractice is too high- the job isn't worht the hassle they get from people like you

fact: if you ask someone like a doctor or a cop do something with an increase in danger, you have to give them some slack

why?

they are just human beings, like you and i

what, do you think they are superheros or something?

am i saying you should not see any malice where there is some? no! if someone does something wrong, punish them!

but i clearly see in your attitude a placing of blame, a fingering of malice, where there is none: just normal human beings in a bad situation, and statistical inevitablity leading to them being involved in a tragedy

see, in your world, there would no cops, and no doctors

in your world, why would anyone be a cop or a doctor?

because in your world, as soon as something bad happens, which always happens, because these people make their living in situations where tragedy is an increased risk, you would fry them

geez, you're an asshole


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

No. You're over the edge here. (3.00 / 4) (#120)
by fyngyrz on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 08:14:26 PM EST

In my ideal world, cops surely wouldn't be allowed to fire projectile weapons into crowds. Shields, armor, and muscle are what front line cops should use with a crowd, unless the crowd actually threatens their safety in spite of the armour and shields, as in guns, Molotov cocktails and so on (not very common, and certainly not the case here.) In the meantime, other cops should be arresting those people that are arrestable.

In my world, Doctors are hugely different from cops: Medicine is an art - it isn't even close to a science yet - it is often (perhaps even usually!) a lot more difficult to define what is correct action, and what is incorrect action in normal "doctor-space."

However, if the doctor is there to cut a splinter out of the foot of the guy in the next bed, and he turns around and kills you by sticking the scalpel into your eye, yes, he's going to be subject to my extreme dissaproval.

Dealing with an unruly, celebrating crowd is a task that has well defined levels of threat and response. If the cops life is at stake, then life-threatening defense may reasonably be undertaken. That's the same standard that applies to you and me. If you punch me in the head, I can punch you in the head in return, and it is considered self-defense. However, if you slap my hand, I cannot poke you in the eye, because that is escalation - which is innapropriate use of force to begin with, and the consequences of that innapropriate use of force are the next problem I would have to deal with.

In this case, the crowd was not threatening the lives of the cops. Nor were they doing anything else that could reasonably call for lethal use of force. That sews the situation up: The cops totally screwed up.

Now, as to what job I would want or not, you have no idea what you're talking about. I would not have this problem, because I wouldn't have fired into that crowd. Just one simple reason: I'm not STUPID.


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

how naive (none / 0) (#122)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 08:22:14 PM EST

apparently, also in your world, all situations are understood up front, there is no need for contingencies, nothing ever goes wrong, and no one ever second guesses their decisions in hindsight

i wish we did live in this world of yours, where everything can be planned for, and no one makes a mistake

in the meantime, i'll be disregarding your standards, as they are impossible to meet


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Sheesh. (3.00 / 3) (#142)
by fyngyrz on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:28:50 PM EST

apparently, also in your world, all situations are understood up front

So... what you're trying to say here is that the cop didn't understand that shooting someone in the eye could be lethal?

Or is it, the cop understood the above, but the cop didn't understand that shooting blindly into a crowd could hit someone in the eye?

Because if you're trying to say either of those things, what you're saying is exactly what I said, just using more words: The cop was STUPID.

Doesn't that make it (wo)manslaughter, rather than outright murder?

Look, face it. If you shot someone in the eye with this weapon because you aimed into a celebrating crowd when there was no threat to your life or limb, you'd be going stright to jail. You'd be a felon, you'd lose your "right" to vote, you'd be listed on the violent offenders site, and you'd be unlikely to ever get a good job again. I expect the cop to be held to the same standard. It won't happen, because cops literally get away with murder, but that is what I expect.


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Apparently in your world, (none / 0) (#145)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:40:16 PM EST

people have perfect aim and never strike the wrong target even when in rushed conditions in large crowd.

Must be nice, I wish I lived in a place where tragic mistakes were impossible.

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]

Funny thing, but... (3.00 / 3) (#149)
by fyngyrz on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:54:06 PM EST

...if you never shoot into a crowd (which is STUPID) then you'll never have to worry about shooting a random target in a random body part in any crowd. Will you?

So yes, you will never, ever see me make this kind of mistake. Because I'm NOT STUPID.

It has nothing to do with "my world." It only has to do with the cop being a MORON.

If you shoot a projectile weapon into a non-sleeping crowd of live human beings, ANY LEVEL OF DAMAGE CAN BE CAUSED TO ANY RANDOM PERSON IN THE LINE OF FIRE. Is this rocket science? Do you need years of study, your own personal guru, a doctorate? I taught my kids to handle projectile weapons the way they are supposed to be handled: Never, ever aim a weapon unless you intend to fire it. Never, ever load a weapon unless you intend to fire it. Never, ever take a weapon off safety unless you intend to fire it. I was supposed to teach them this just for hunter safety. If they shot someone, I'd cuff them and walk them into the jail cell myself. Are you trying to tell me that I should hold a cop to a lesser standard? According to you, it's OK for a cop to aim a weapon, which is loaded AND off safe, right at a crowd, AND fire it, AND kill somebody, because... "well gee, mistakes happen."

Now, just how difficult is all that for you to understand? If you really can't understand it, then I have to believe that you're in the same boat as the cop. To stretch the metaphor just a little bit, neither of your boats are seaworthy.


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Yeah, right... (none / 0) (#167)
by TaoJones on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 02:54:06 AM EST

If you shot someone in the eye with this weapon because you aimed into a celebrating crowd
And you define a "celebrating crowd" as people lobbing bottles at mounted police?

[ Parent ]
No. (3.00 / 3) (#170)
by fyngyrz on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 04:39:30 AM EST

This lady was back, off the street, out of the crowd, not throwing anything. There is no possible justification for this. The apologists are trying to make her an evildoer because she was in the vicinity. SHE was celebrating, as were the people with her, and none of them were "lobbing bottles" at anyone.


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Much as it pains me, cts is right and you're wrong (none / 1) (#176)
by Kasreyn on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 05:29:05 AM EST

And he's not just partially and muzzily right from a certain point of view if you squint your eyes and the lighting is bad, like usual.

No, this time, amazingly, he is entirely correct in every particular.

Your argument rests largely on the assumption that the cop thought the ball would hit someone in the eye. Umm, hello, moron? The cop of COURSE assumed it would hit somewhere in the torso, which is by FAR the most common location for shots to hit. Assuming he assumed anything about hitting Ms. Snelgrove, which he didn't, because he wasn't AIMING at her, he didn't even know she existed, so how could he assume anything about her?

Police are humans and subject to human weaknesses. They cannot be held to the sort of superhuman standard you seem to be implying, where an instant of fight-or-flight instinct and a extreme freak shot would, in your world, result in a cop who was just trying to do what was right, having a date with Ol' Sparky.

Frankly, that's full of shit. They didn't shoot her in the eye intentionally. They didn't even shoot HER intentionally. If they were aiming, they were aiming at someone else, like a drunken sports jock in a grey knit hat, and they were aiming for that someone else's torso, because that is where cops are trained to aim for. And a paintball can't do any harm when it hits the torso where it was intended, therefore there is no lethal intent. Intent is established at the pulling of the trigger, NOT the impact of the projectile. That is, if the target jumps aside or unforeseen windage alters the projectile's trajectory, then the ball may strike somewhere it wasn't intended to strike, such as an innocent young woman's eye. And that's a damned shame, but it's not the cop's fault, as his aim (and thus intention) was different at the moment he pulled the trigger.

But the lesson here isn't, "don't let cops have paintguns". It's "don't rubberneck around riots if you're an unarmored journalism student". Today it should be the Sox fans who should be hanging their heads in shame, not the Boston PD, who have my sympathy.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Intent to kill is irrelevant. (none / 1) (#191)
by warrax on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 11:32:01 AM EST

When you kill someone you didn't intend to it's called manslaughter. But when a police officer does it you just shrug and say "oh, well". That's not holding them to a higher standard, that's holding them to a lower standard than regular people. Why shouldn't we hold them to (at least) the same standard as regular people?

-- "Guns don't kill people. I kill people."
[ Parent ]
But fyngyrz was calling it murder. (none / 0) (#234)
by Kasreyn on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 10:26:50 PM EST

You ride the chair for murder, not manslaughter. Fyngyrz wants to fry him for a mistake.

I agree, manslaughter it is. The cop still has my sympathy, doubly because I know in his shoes I would be feeling horrible at having inadvertently become a criminal.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
I shouldn't have said... (none / 0) (#240)
by fyngyrz on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 11:47:34 PM EST

...fry. I was handwaving.

My apologies.

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Sorry, I was confused :) [nt] (none / 0) (#306)
by warrax on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 04:01:10 PM EST



-- "Guns don't kill people. I kill people."
[ Parent ]
You need to go back and read again. (none / 1) (#205)
by fyngyrz on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 03:25:45 PM EST

You said:

Your argument rests largely on the assumption that the cop thought the ball would hit someone in the eye.

No, my argument rests on the fact that the cop fired a projectile weapon in an unaimed manner, or "aimed at the head" manner, into a crowd. No more, no less.

Going with this argument, the fact is he did hit someone in the eye, someone standing upright, and this demonstrates that:

(a) it was either entirely unaimed which is is conclusive proof of negligence at the very least, or...

(b) it was aimed at the head "zone" of the crowd, which is conclusive proof of intent to shoot in the head.

You say (and I agree) that intent is established at pulling the trigger. So look at the facts. The cop fired into the crowd in an unaimed (or generally aimed at the head region) manner. I accept that he wasn't aiming at this specific person. But clearly, he meant to shoot someone. Anyone. Now, I maintain he fired at head level, not torso level. I say this because this woman, who was standing and was not a midget so as to have her head where the average chest is assumed to be, was hit in the top third of her head. Paintball guns are pretty accurate - I own several, and I can assure you that if I aim at your chest, I'm damn sure going to hit you in the chest. Next fact: Paintball contests require eye protection. Go to any paintball training camp or event and you'll see. Why would this be? There can only be three reasons.

The first reason masks are required would be because the assumption is the guns aren't accurate enough so that a shot to the eye is possible, even if not aimed there. If this is the case, then the rules of engagement for the cops are wrong, because the weapon can be deadly; it is uncontrollable if you accept this position (I don't, I shoot these and consider them accurate, but you can take this position, of course.) If the rules of engagement are wrong, as I have said they are already in a previous message, then the fault lays with the police department at both the rule-setting level and the cop using the weapon level, because he didn't know his weapon and he didn't reason out what the consequences could be before he fired.

The second reason masks are required would be because the guns are accurate, but the fear is that an intended shot would be directed at someone's eye - for whatever reason - and this is simply prophylactic. In this case, the cop is condemned because he fired at head level, or unaimed, either of which is negligent. I take this position.

The third reason masks are required would be because in a paintball fight, a shot that was aimed at one target might hit another target (this is the position you are taking, if I understood you correctly.) The masks are required because it is well known (actually, let me rephrase: it is obvious) that being shot in the eye with a paintball is extremely dangerous. So in this case, the cop fired in an unaimed or insufficiently aimed manner, at head level, with a weapon that is known to be very dangerous (remember masks are required!) when used in precisely that manner. He fired at people without eye protection, a complete no-no when using paintball weapons, actually hit someone in the eye, and the consequences were the predictable ones.

Now, it can be argued that some combination of the above three reasons are the actual rationale for masks at paintball contests. I suspect that this is true. However, none of them exempt the cop, or the person or persons responsible for designing the rules of engagement, from responsibility. On the contrary, all three lay the blame squarely on the user of the weapon if humans without masks are targets.

Rubbernecking: Innocent civilians are allowed to be anywhere in the USA. You absolutely don't get to say "she should not have been there" because that is not true on any level. Not by law, not by underlying constitutional declaration, and not in any reasonable view of the world. The fact is, she, and many other people, had every right in the world to be there. The rioters should not have been rioting, and you can certainly argue that the rioters should not have been there (or at least, they should not have been rioting) - but she was not a rioter. So we've completely disposed of that "rubbernecking" argument. The responsibility rests with the cop to protect the innocent public - not with the innocent public to assume that the cops are going to be shooting at them.

  • This specific type of weapon is known to be dangerous if used in an uncontrolled manner. This was known before cops ever began using the weapon. Just look at the warnings from the manufacturers. It is absolutely not possible to argue ignorance here.

  • This dictates using the weapon only in cases where it is acceptable that you are putting anyone in the line of fire in danger. That means that anyone in the line of fire must be someone who "needs to be shot." Was this the case here? Clearly not. Either the rules of engagement are absolutely wrong (because they allow use in situations where it is acceptable to severely endanger the innocent), or the cop broke them. Either way, the cop is responsible for the results, and if the rules of engagement were not broken, then the rulemakers share responsibility for making unacceptable and dangerous-to-the-innocent rules.

  • Add to this that we can be pretty darned sure (because this shot hit at the top third of this lady's head level) that the gun was used in an entirely irresponsible manner.

There is no magic "I'm a cop, so I don't have to be careful" encouragement one gets when the uniform goes on. In fact, the exhortation tends to be "protect and serve" or some variation thereof.

So you're wrong, and the original poster is wrong. No question about it.

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Rubbernecking. (none / 0) (#232)
by Kasreyn on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 10:21:31 PM EST

I wasn't saying she was wrong or culpable. It's not a moral lesson, but a purely practical lesson. Just saying that the lesson here is, "don't hang around riots - run the other way as fucking fast as you can go, because you could get hurt". As in, a lesson for others. She, of course, being now beyond all lessons. I'm not saying *moralistically* or *legally* she shouldn't have been there; only that *practically*, she should have avoided the riot.

Also, what happens if you're shooting *upwards* from the hip at the chest of a rioter a couple feet away who is threatening you? What if you miss? Gee, could that paintball continue to arc upwards, until it hit someone by accident in the eye?

You weren't there. I'm sure eventually there will be an inquiry as to whether the cop was aiming at eye level. If that is the case, then he is indeed worthy of punishment. But as that has not yet been established, the cop is still presumed innocent. Remember that part?

In any case, what I've learned from this article leads me to believe that there definitely need to be stricter guidelines for when to use these weapons and when not to, and also limits on what temperatures they may be used at. But I also believe it's a very good thing for cops to have a nonlethal alternative (well, normally nonlethal), as otherwise they would be limited to being defenseless or using a lethal weapon. There need to be gradations between "off" and "high" in terms of police self-defense.

Was self-defense in this case justified? That also has yet to be established. But I still feel this was an accident, and no one deserves to die for an accident. Manslaughter, quite possibly. Murder, certainly not.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Some responses (none / 0) (#239)
by fyngyrz on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 11:40:16 PM EST

Also, what happens if you're shooting *upwards* from the hip at the chest of a rioter a couple feet away who is threatening you? What if you miss? Gee, could that paintball continue to arc upwards, until it hit someone by accident in the eye?

  1. Cop was on a horse - the shot was downwards
  2. Downwards makes it even more likely to miss if aimed at chest height
  3. Shooting from the hip (unsighted firing) is irresponsible

It just keeps looking worse and worse for the cop.

the cop is still presumed innocent. Remember that part?

I certainly do remember the part about being presumed innocent. That's the part that comes before the conviction or exoneration in court. I'm not convicting him. I'm saying I have seen no visible reason in the public information available thus far such that he should not be arrested, jailed, possibly denied bond (is this a capital crime?), and subsequently tried. I have on the other hand seen numerous visible reasons that he should, based on my own experience. Convicting him or exonerating him is the job of the court. Opinion on if there is a problem or not is a perfectly valid place for a citizen such as myself to go prior to judge and jury. That is part of what leads to judge and jury - public outcry. I'm part of that. No more, no less.

(wo)Manslaughter is what seems to be the problem here, at present, with what I've learned thus far from the tube, the net and the paper. Some or all of that could be in error - we are talking about a media circus here, layered on top of a sports idiot circus, confused by what is most likely a closing of ranks at the police department and a (naturally) moving and emotional video interview presentation by the father - but the available information seems to be consistent and doesn't support the "gee, these things happen, just a mistake, oh well" point of view I've seen here over and over. Hence my arguments.

I really do think that the cop should be held to a very high standard. I am; I am a martial artist (the flying split kick at the right is me), and if I strike someone, the court looks at me quite differently than it does someone without my training. If I wear shoes, for instance, they can be considered deadly weapons - because of one simple thing: I train to use my feet as weapons. I don't have a problem with that, it is nothing less than the truth. The same thing applies if I attack someone with a stick. If I damage them, most likely, I meant to. I constantly train with sticks. Maybe I didn't mean to damage the person - but probably... I did. I have fought in dojangs and dojos for decades, using hands, feet, elbows, knees and a whole raft of Okinawan weapons and never injured anyone. If I walked into a courtroom with one injury to my record, one where I was actually in real combat with someone, the court would have every reason to look really, really hard at me if I said I did not mean to cause harm.

I see no reason not to hold the cop to the same standard, and for the same basic reasons. He drew, aimed and fired; clearly, he meant to do so. Now the question becomes, did he do so responsibly? If he is incompetent with the weapon, or the rules of engagement are defective (or both!), then the answer is no. And the cop is definitely responsible. But if he is competent with the weapon, then what was he doing firing into a crowd under conditions so uncontrolled they resulted in an unintended death? I just don't see a path for this to be "OK."


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Re: split kick (none / 0) (#243)
by Kasreyn on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 12:11:01 AM EST

is that the one where the person is just kind of flying up into the air doing a splits?

or the one where he is applying some serious pain to an innocent punching bag?

If the latter, you have my admiration. How the hell do you get high enough off the ground to be able to pull such moves before coming down? o_O


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Split kick (none / 0) (#264)
by fyngyrz on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 01:50:16 PM EST

It's the kick in front of the brick wall.

That was done by jumping off the roof you see behind me in the picture towards a pile of mats. When delivered from a standing position that kick typically hits two targets at about solar plexus to chest level, depending on how well you can jump. It is an extremely fast kick; it has to be. To get to full extension in a jump, you don't have much time. You don't have much time to recover to land on your feet, either.

The student flying into the bag was a 5th kup at the time, he's 3rd kup now, just a couple of ranks more until his black belt. He is presently serving with the US army in Iraq. That kick is delivered from the ground also, but you run, jump, let fly. That one is called a "flying side kick."

As to how we get the height for jumping kicks, we do lots of preloaded leg training. That is training for explosive jumping.

Basically, each training movement follows this kind of sequence: squat down at moderate speed so that your weight is moving towards your feet; when you reach about a 2/3rds crouch, jump upwards with everything you've got in an immediate reversal of direction without stopping, just initiate jumping up as fast as you can change direction. This means you're not only fighting your normal weight to jump, but you have to counter the energy of your body moving downwards as well. When you start, it is quite challenging - if you've got good knees, try it a few times and see. Otherwise, I suggest you don't try it. Once you can do this reasonably well, you add weights until it becomes difficult again. We use custom vests with zippered weight pockets for even loading.

After a year or so of this kind of regimen, students jumping abilities improve markedly. And during that same time, we also teach them how to execute the basic kicks. The guy kicking the bag had been training under me for about one and half years at the time that picture was taken. When he first arrived, he couldn't jump worth talking about. That picture represents a fairly typical level of improvement for that amount of training.

Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

So are you the head of that Dojang (none / 0) (#293)
by Kasreyn on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 03:23:22 AM EST

(hope I got that right... or is it a Dojo?)

The martial arts have always fascinated me. Off and on, I've wanted to learn, but I'm aware that I'm a wimp about pain and I have a hard time maintaining interest in anything physical. I would probably just drop out of the program. :-\ I also can never figure out which one I should learn. Karate seems to be mostly fists. Kung Fu is mostly kicks, right? Judo, I have a vague notion of being some sort of wrestling. Tai Chi sounds more like mild exercise than self defense. And Tae Kwon Do? I have no idea.

It's a shame, because this article points out one of the flaws with the guns-for-self-defense idea. Too black and white, to little control over how much force is applied to the aggressor. I'd like to know how to defend myself, but so far I've been both lucky and active in avoiding violent confrontations. What will I do when that luck runs out, and I meet someone who can't be "talked down"? -_-;;


-Kasreyn

P.S. I like the new line re: Republics in the sig. :P


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
MA (none / 0) (#294)
by fyngyrz on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 04:14:46 AM EST

Yes, I'm the highest ranked here, and I also own the school. Dojang is technically correct; that's the Korean term, and we're mainly a Korean style school. But dojo in Japanese = dojang in Korean = fighting gym in English. No big deal, or at least not for me. I teach judo, chin na and tae kwon do as a synthesized collection of skills - a more rounded skill set is what I'm trying to get across. Don't care what it's called, really. :)

Karate - empty hand - varies, depending on the style. Japanese karate is low, practical kicks, blocks, hands (not always in fists... open, knuckled several different ways, back of hand, fingers and more.) Okinawan karate is similar, but tends to lean toward certain types of farm-implement derived weapons training. Tae kwon do is Korean karate - it translates, after grammar adjustment, into the "way of kicking and punching", sort of. Definitely an empty hand style. Tae kwon do is a very gymnastic form of karate, in that the kicks can be very high and there is a great deal of jumping and flinging oneself around. Japanese practicioners tend to look on the Korean style with great disfavor... until they get kicked in the head like a cement block fell on them - from above. Likewise, the Koreans tend to look on the Japanese style with disdain... until they get their feet swept out from under them and meet an immediate elbow in the face as they fall on their butts. My take is it is all good, and since martial artists almost never have to defend from each other except in tournements, I don't think any of that stuff matters. What matters is, will it work against a thug? And the answer to that is pretty much, yes. Very much so.

Judo is indeed like wrestling; that's a pretty good metaphor. Throwing, locking, pinning are all major components of judo. Judo is the soft art, while jujitsu can reasonably be thought of as "combat judo." A jujitsu stylist is more likely to have damaging you in mind. :)

Tai chi does, I think, have both hard and soft styles; I have heard that there are effective fighting styles embedded in tai chi, but I have never witnessed such a thing. I'd be very interested to do so.

Kung fu, or gung fu, depending on who romanizes the Chinese characters for you, is a far broader term - it pretty much means martial arts in an English context. So you run into hard fighting styles that are similar to karate, soft styles that are more similar to judo and aikido, and trapping and locking styles (such as "chin na", which I work with) that don't have close counterparts in most regions, and some really strange styles that use extensive animal metaphors. The Chinese have been at this a long time, and there have literally been many generations of one family working to get things the best they can manage while isolated from the rest of the culture. Some pretty weird stuff came out of that.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, though. There are tons of martial arts. These are more common, true - that's why you've heard of them and can pull the names out of your hat - but there are lots more. Some of them are similar in most respects, some are amazingly different. Read up on Japanese ninjitsu; that's an art with an unusual genesis and it shows. Lots of myth there, so read with skepticism, though.

Learning: It does take a lot of time to train yourself to be effective. No matter what the style. I have no advice as to specific arts (I like mine, obviously, but I'm not you) however it is always fun to go to some schools and watch. My one tip is to watch the students and see if they seem happy. It should be obvious. If they're not visibly enthused and dedicated, you should probably go somewhere else if you think you want to train in that particular style. If you're not very flexible, you should begin to stretch as soon as possible. You can definitely do martial arts without great strength, and you can always develop speed (which is an absolute must) but you can't do most of them without significant flexibility.


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Flexibility vs. Dedication (none / 0) (#322)
by Kasreyn on Thu Oct 28, 2004 at 04:52:48 AM EST

Thanks for the primer on martial arts types! I've probably been horribly misusing the terms for some time. Being a knowledge geek, every bit is appreciated. :)

I have plenty of flexibility - not double-jointed, but bending my arm behind my back 3rd-grade-bully style discomfits me not at all, and I can do some tricks a fakir might know. However, in general I lack motivation for hard tasks with a long-term payoff but no immediate short-term gains. One of my worst character flaws.

Do you have any experience with students who lacked motivation or great work ethic? Were you ever able to inspire this in any of them, or did they universally let martial arts fall by the wayside?


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
need to determine (3.00 / 5) (#150)
by FieryTaco on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:54:12 PM EST

They need to determine if the cops were acting carelessly or recklessly. I don't know enough about this specific situation to say.

However there are well documented cases of cops just acting stupid that result in deaths and the officers rarely get what a normal person would get in the same situation.

One case in Florida comes to mind: a cop was going in to make an arrest of an unaware and unarmed suspect who was sitting in a parked Jeep Cherokee. In the car with the suspect was a wired undercover officer who was brokering a large marijuana purchase. The cop outside the vehicle used his weapon to tap on the window to get the suspect's attention. Unfortunately for the suspect, the officer in question had a round chambered and the weapon fired and the bullet hit the suspect in the head and killed him. On the tapes the officer in the vehicle asked "Why did you shoot him?" And the officer outside responded "I didn't mean to." The next day when he was interviewed by investigators his response was, I thought he had a gun. No charges were brought and the victim's family's civil suit was dismissed.

Clearly an accident, but even so, if I did such a thing I would be facing manslaughter charges and massive civil liabilities. The fact that someone is a cop should mean a higher standard of behavior, not a lower one. They supposedly have special training to handle their equipment safely. If they don't do so in practice then the officers in question need to be fired with prejudice at a minimum or prosecuted in more serious cases.

[ Parent ]

I don't know about his world, but... (none / 0) (#207)
by artis on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 03:49:37 PM EST

In my world people aren't rised to be mindless zombies. They don't consider beeing in a crowd to be a particulary good situationand understand the dangers of crowds. They also aren't trained by eduacational institutions and parents to do whatever everyone else does, and not just in th elipservice way they do it now.
--
Can you know that you are omniscient?
[ Parent ]
Oh really? (3.00 / 6) (#134)
by trhurler on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:09:42 PM EST

Firing paintballs into an unarmored crowd sounds reasonable to you? Would you stand around with no protective gear while I shot paintballs at you? No. You'd get pissed, and you'd consider it what it is: violence done to your person. Not only that, but the kid who started all this shit didn't even DO anything - he just taunted a cop. The cops decided a good response was to fire a projectile at several hundred feet per second into a crowd with zero protection. They ought to all lose their jobs and go to fucking prison.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Really... (none / 0) (#166)
by TaoJones on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 02:21:52 AM EST

Does an unruly crowd throwing beer bottles at mounted police sound reasonable to you? It sounds damn stupid to me.

The cops decided a good response was to fire a projectile at several hundred feet per second into a crowd with zero protection.
And the last time you have been in a crowd control situation outnumbered a few thousand to one was when?

You're extrapolating a situation based on unknown details.

[ Parent ]

No... (1.50 / 2) (#216)
by trhurler on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 05:35:15 PM EST

There is VIDEO FUCKING FOOTAGE, asshole. There WAS NO CROWD VIOLENCE. Nobody did ANYTHING at that scene except refuse to disperse, and even that was done rather calmly. The only reason the cops did ANYTHING was that some kid taunted them. What they did to HIM ought to send them to prison(it is illegal for a cop to assault someone just because he got made fun of,) and what they did to that girl ought to send one or two of them to the fucking death chamber.

This was NOT an unfortunate case of outnumbered, panicked cops doing something unfortunate. This was willful malice motivated by a desire for revenge. There's PROOF of that.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Depends. (none / 0) (#203)
by jolly st nick on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 02:48:56 PM EST

Firing paintballs into an unarmored crowd sounds reasonable to you?

Depends on the situation and alternatives. If the alternative is firing your Glock, yes, it is relatively more reasonable. If there is an option to not fire, then it's not reasonable. If there are safer ways of using the weapons in a particular situation, then using an less safe method is unreasonable. This reminds me of stories of people being shot with bean bag rounds nearly point blank in the head -- used this way, you can't expect the weapon to be non-lethal.

Tense situations with lots of people involved tend to escalate until they get out of hand. A guy decides to be unruly and gets manhandled a bit by a mounted cop. His buddies escalate the conflict by throwing bottles and startling the horse. Another cop comes up and sees the crowd attacking a cop. He decides to open fire with a "nonlethal" weapon, which he's probably never received training on.

There's a certain symmetry between the police and crowd, each on perceiving one of their own being attacked and thoughtlessly escalating the situation. The difference is that the police should be better trained. The Globe today reported that only a handful of officers have received any training with these weapons, which had never been used on the street before.

Clearly under the circumstances, deploying these weapons without training was the first bad in a series of mistakes. With training, the correct usage of these weapons in tense situations could have become second nature.

This reminds me of reading wilderness accident reports. You start with a bad decision (e.g. taking a sea kayak out in weather you are not prepared for) and compound it, step by step, with additional bad decisions. Each step doesn't have to be large, but their cumulative effect, with a bit of bad luck, becomes fatal. Thats why training is so important. You protect yourself with concentric layers of protection, the outer one is deciding to enter a situation or letting a situation develop in a certain direction.

[ Parent ]

Two things (none / 1) (#217)
by trhurler on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 05:39:36 PM EST

First of all, the police were worse than untrained. They know better than to attack someone physically over a verbal taunt, and they know that it is a crime for them to do that. These cops didn't care. They wanted to show someone how it was. "We're the fucking kings." Well, they ought to go to prison for that.

Second, your average EIGHT YEAR OLD would know better than to fire a paintball into a sea of peoples' faces. These cops knew. They just didn't give a fuck.

Third, there was no situation until the cops created one. Glock? This could have been defused by the police simply arresting that kid and being done with it. His friends wouldn't have risked being arrested with him, and if they were, tough shit. Most of the crowd was completely uninvolved. The cops did what they did because they were stupid, arrogant, and because they think they're above the law - not because the situation was hard to deal with. Yes, sometimes cops get put in impossible situations. Sometimes though, they just use that as an excuse - and this is one of those times.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Two points (none / 0) (#315)
by jolly st nick on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 08:34:51 AM EST

On your first point, I agree that the police did not have good tactics. They contributed to the situation getting out of hand, when they should have been controlling and defusing it. My read on the situation, given the available accounts, is that the officer who fired the weapon probably thought he was defending another officer, an emotionally charged situation that lead to bad decisions. The other officer is also culpable because he essentially incited the attack.

On the other hand, they were also firing at fans climbing the girders under Fenway, which is on the face of it inexplicable.

On your second point, I'm not so sure it's valid, for several reasons. The first is that we don't know, at least from published reports, whether the officer was firing at the peoples' faces. We don't know what he was firing at or the range at which he fired. Training definitely is an issue.

The information the officers received on these weapons is also relevant. These weapons were issued to the officer expressly for firing at a crowd, as a less lethal option than nightsticks or even bean bag rounds. Furthermore, according to the paper, these guns are described as having a projectile velocity that results in an impact "somewhat less than a punch in the face."

I am not arguing that the police aren't culpable here. But the BPD aren't the kind of badass cops you characterize them as being. They are leaders in community policing. However, they have a poor track record in crowd control. They clearly aren't adequately trained to do this.

[ Parent ]

Exactly! (none / 0) (#291)
by Shajenko on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 02:43:57 AM EST

I'm with you. We should make the police totally immune to prosecution or oversight of any kind. Wouldn't you love that, CTS?

[ Parent ]
Holy Shit (2.50 / 2) (#114)
by NaCh0 on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 07:53:28 PM EST

Break out the lawyers! Cost everyone a bunch of money, point lots of fingers, and not see a bit of change.

It's looking like John Edwards will need a job after Nov. 2nd.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.

True (none / 0) (#125)
by araym on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 08:31:59 PM EST

Yeah he will have a few months before he's sworn in next year...

-=-
SSM

[ Parent ]
To all people that hate cops (1.87 / 8) (#126)
by GottaSaySomething on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 08:34:51 PM EST

To all the people that hate cops and can't say enough about the bad things they do: Who are the first ones you call when you are in danger, or in a situation that you can't handle?....That's right, YOU CALL THE COPS! Now just stfu and be thankful you are not a cop.

Oh, fuck off (2.20 / 10) (#133)
by trhurler on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:07:43 PM EST

Cops have done NOTHING to protect me or in any way better my life. They have fucked with me for no reason more times than I can count - despite me never having been arrested, never having committed any crime more serious than speeding(and most of their harassement came before I was even old enough to drive,) and never having been AT ALL rude or in any way anything other than completely cooperative with them.

If cops weren't congenital assholes, maybe the public wouldn't despise them. As it is, fuck them. They get hurt or die occasionally? Yeah, about a tenth as often as construction workers. Who gives a fuck? They're ASSHOLES. Sure, one in ten or so might be a good guy who makes an honest effort, but most of them go around behaving as though they're above the law and then whining that the public doesn't support them. To a cop, your rights are only important if you can prove he beat you up with that phone book. Fuck cops.

Yes, I'm dead serious. FUCK cops. They do FAR more harm to innocent civilians than criminals ever did or will.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
here in Atlanta (none / 0) (#171)
by Delirium on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 04:48:07 AM EST

The cops are so useless for even intimidating criminals that neighborhoods hire their own police force. In Midtown there's a "self-taxing district" where the local businesses and residents pitch in to run a miniature police force. This miniature police force actually answers their telephones, patrols the streets, and generally makes themselves useful. Quite an odd sight.

[ Parent ]
Cops are assholes (2.50 / 2) (#173)
by GottaSaySomething on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 04:55:50 AM EST

I was talking about that very same subject to some other people last week. "Damn cops are never around when you need them, but they are so quick to give you a speeding ticket...they are all a bunch of assholes, etc" We all came to the same conclusion: YOU WOULD ACT THE SAME WAY IF YOU WERE A COP. Your post indicates you are very young, and most young people probably think the same way, but there is a reason the saying goes "walk a mile in another man's shoes" At your young age (or immature stage in life) you are only capable of seeing your own selfish point of view. Son, you just won't get it until you grow up ;)

[ Parent ]
Get over yourself (none / 0) (#215)
by trhurler on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 05:32:29 PM EST

You sound like that five year old girl who goes around saying "yes, we were friends, but she's SO immature. I'm just beyond her."

I am neither young nor immature. What I am is something you probably never will be. It used to be known as "upright." Basically, I take responsibility for myself, and I expect to be treated as such. Cops don't do that, so I despise them. You're ok with their behavior, because honestly you don't even WANT to be truly responsible for yourself.

My own selfish point of view? Yeah, it is totally reasonable when a cop murders someone and gets away with it just because he's got a badge. How selfish of me to think cops aren't entitled to go around behaving worse than most criminals.

It is dead simple: police as an institution are corrupt. They draw the stupid and the violence prone, because nobody else would want the job. Then they back each other up, and rather than admit that the police as a whole simply are not doing their job, the courts pretend none of it is happening.

I don't really care about speeding tickets. The way they're used(as a fund raiser,) is as corrupt as it gets, but they generally only catch the very stupid, the very careless, or the very unlucky, so I don't get many tickets. What I care about is the fact that the police behave as though they're an aristocracy in the middle ages. There WAS a time when police treated people well, not as a PR campaign, but because that was the right thing to do. It doesn't HAVE to be this way. It is this way because everyone lets it be. They shouldn't.

This simple fact is irrefutable: police harm more innocent people than criminals do. On that basis, police forces should be disbanded entirely unless they can shape their act up. We pay them - they're there for us. If they're not acting in our interests, they should go find jobs sweeping shithouses.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Yeah! Let's get rid of all police! (none / 0) (#245)
by GottaSaySomething on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 01:33:54 AM EST

I need alot more of what you're smoking to live in the same fantasy world you are posting from, genius.

[ Parent ]
All police? (none / 0) (#261)
by trhurler on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 01:10:30 PM EST

Nah. Just about 90% of them. Make them stick to the serious crimes and quit fucking around. Oh, and when they fuck up and beat some kid down on camera just because the kid made fun of them, they should get a proportionately STRONGER sentence instead of lighter, since they are obviously in a position to know better and because their position of authority requires trust in them: they should be executed.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
IAWTP (none / 0) (#279)
by mcgrew on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 09:02:50 PM EST

Also, the trouble with cops is that the kind of person who would want to be a cop is exactly the wrong persone to be one. Kind of like the President.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

police harm more innocent people? (none / 0) (#257)
by mcgrew on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 11:32:55 AM EST

I'd like to see some statistics. It sure doesn't fit with my experience... or are you referring to Saddam Hussein's cops?

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Depends on your definition of harm, but yes (none / 0) (#260)
by trhurler on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 01:09:00 PM EST

I realize most of the things cops do don't make the news, but that doesn't mean it isn't happening. Think about criminals. How many have ever done anything to you? How many did the police do anything about? How many times have you been harassed, illegally searched, stopped without anything approximating a reasonable cause, and so on? If these things have not happened to you, then think about why: do you just never do anything a cop might remotely find suspicious, including driving in certain places or at certain times? Are you literally a living incarnation of the Beav? Because if you aren't, then you're lying if you're saying that eliminating cops wouldn't make a bigger improvement in your life than eliminating criminals. Most "criminals" these days never even commit a crime against anybody - they're felons because they like their weed or something like that. Most people have never been victimized by a criminal who wasn't wearing a badge. On the other hand, nearly all of the US public has been treated improperly by a cop at one point or another.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
I'll accept that (none / 0) (#265)
by mcgrew on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 02:02:51 PM EST

By "harm" I thought you were speaking on topic, actual physical harm. I don't consider being pulled over "harm." I have, however, been burglarized more than once. That's what I consider "harm."

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Ok (none / 0) (#266)
by trhurler on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 02:17:52 PM EST

Out of all the times you've been burglarized, did the cops ever do anything useful about it?

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
my wife's car (none / 0) (#275)
by anonymous cowerd on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 05:37:23 PM EST

Aside from traffic tickets, here's the story of my last two interactions with the boys in blue.

Twenty or so years back I bought my wife a tape player for her car. A few weeks later she comes of out Busch Gardens with the kids and finds that it has been crowbarred out of the dash. When she called the police, they couldn't be bothered to drive out to the parking lot to look at the damage, much less dust for fingerprints.

A while later, this uninsured teenager driving an unregistered car ran a stop sign in front of me, as I rode down a through street with my two children in the car. I jammed on the brakes and almost stopped in time. Fortunately we were all wearing seatbelts. The impact pushed the fan through the radiator. Oddly enough, when the police showed up, she drove off with no ticket of any kind, despite Florida laws which require liability insurance and current registration for a cars. The repair bill was about $1600. Of course I paid that out of my own pocket; the teenager and her whole family skipped town. A while later I wanted a copy of the accident report in order to file a (wholly useless) lien. So I go down to the police station.

I'm standing at the counter waiting for the bored and nakedly contemptuous cop behind it to find and xerox the accident report. The counter guy turned away from me in the middle of a sentence as in walks this guy who looks like a bum, or more exactly like a cop impersonating a bum. He asks the counter guy for a plastic bag and proceeds to empty out a pocket onto the counter. It's evidence; the ersatz bum was a narc, and he's just popped some street dealer. The evidence itself was a tiny sliver of some white stuff, about 0.1" x 0.1" x 0.25" in size. The narc said it was "crack." If it was indeed "crack" and not a fleck of paraffin, it wasn't a large enough quantity to get a guinea pig high. But those two cops seemed pretty pleased with their night's work. I'll bet the taxpayers of the State of Florida ended up paying at least $50,000 to adjudicate that arrest.

So that's all "police protection" means to me. Excuse me while I fail to worship these heroes with sufficient awe to satisfy conventional public propriety.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@ij.net

"This calm way of flying will suit Japan well," said Zeppelin's granddaughter, Elisabeth Veil.
[ Parent ]

Actually... (none / 0) (#277)
by mcgrew on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 08:59:28 PM EST

I was strongarmed by a gang of blacks, who took a big speaker I used in my car (late '70s, I was the first to have a car stereo with bass) and the cops got it back. Even if it did take a year.

However, several years after one of 2 burglaries I found out that the cops not only let the burglar off, but let him keep my shit for narcing on somebody. I shared your view of cops for quite a long time after that.

IMO if they legalized all victimless crimes the cops would be a lot better, and better off. As would we all.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

I see (none / 0) (#310)
by trhurler on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 08:44:26 PM EST

So let me get this straight: I'm supposed to NOT dislike these guys?:)

I mean, really. You can't be serious. You simply cannot be. These days, they'd probably recover your speaker and then seize it after planting some dope in it just so they could install it in one of their cruisers. After all, they don't have to prosecute you to do it, and cops do like nice things; how do you think they get all those nice toys on a cop's salary?:)

We agree about victimless crimes though.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
I have no problems with the cops (none / 0) (#302)
by Cro Magnon on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 12:28:47 PM EST

In nearly all of my dealings with the cops, they were polite and professional. There was only one who was a asshole. I don't think that burglar that stole my stuff was as nice, and I KNOW the armed robber I encountered wasn't!
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
You have GOT to be kidding.... (none / 0) (#269)
by SupraTT GOP on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 04:24:25 PM EST

Dude...Here we have it... more backwards left thinking. Why do you think life should be so fair? You need adversity, to remind you of what is important. Stop thinking you are looking at a sunset. Most of the time what you see is a sunrise. Except... you don't see it. Because you don't GET it.

-Criminals harm .01 people per year per cap.
-Police harm .015 people per year per cap.
***Disband the instition of police law enforcement, and criminals now harm .5 people per cap. per year! A much needed improvement, wouldn't you say?

Liberals.... seeing the world through backwards colored glasses.


I apologize if I am not doing things correctly or following all the rules, given or otherwise, on this site. I am still trying to figure it out...
[ Parent ]
My sunset (none / 0) (#278)
by mcgrew on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 09:00:14 PM EST

is Japan's sunrise. Fuck Japan.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Patronising and so what (respectively) (none / 0) (#224)
by irrevenant on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 06:48:13 PM EST

(a)  Your post is patronising as hell.  Someone disagreeing with your position doesn't mean they haven't yet reached your sainted level of evolution.

(b)  So WHAT if "you would act the same way if you were a cop"?  You would probably "act the same way" if you were a criminal, too.  Understanding why people act a certain way doesn't mean you have to accept those actions as appropriate.  Police have a lot of power, and that means accountability is especially important.

[ Parent ]

Now that I have your attention (none / 0) (#249)
by GottaSaySomething on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 01:52:31 AM EST

A) Yes it does in fact....
B) So become a cop and do a "better job" and be held accountable for it.  You wouldn't last out there five minutes, you can only sit back on your comfortable chair, typing your messages of how bad of a job everyone else is doing.  If you think something is wrong, do something about it instead of whining.

[ Parent ]
salary (none / 1) (#317)
by trav on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 05:02:32 PM EST

Fortunately, I'm not a flaming asshole, so I can get work that pays a bit better than being a cop. No thanks!

I'd be happy to pay more in taxes though, if it meant that we could get good cops.

[ Parent ]

A patronizing comment is in order... (none / 0) (#256)
by mcgrew on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 11:30:09 AM EST

..when the original poster (thurler in this case) can't use punctuation properly. Or in other cases, when they can't spell, or misuse apostrophes, etc.

An illiterate on the internet is like Ray Charles driving a car.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

one hundred percent (none / 0) (#230)
by anonymous cowerd on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 09:57:23 PM EST

By God, this is the best thing I've read all day and the truest thing I ever read which you wrote. If I ever have the honor of meeting you in person, I'd like to buy you a beer.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@ij.net

"This calm way of flying will suit Japan well," said Zeppelin's granddaughter, Elisabeth Veil.
[ Parent ]

Come on... (3.00 / 6) (#143)
by fyngyrz on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:36:12 PM EST

Typically, you have to deal with it yourself when you're in danger. You call the cops later, if you're still able to. Or someone else calls them while you get the hell beat out of you. The cops aren't there, can't be there (unless the event happens where they chase speeders, perhaps) when things happen. They respond when they're called, which again, is typically after the event.

Cops are certainly useful, but they're rarely there when you need them. It's been many years since there were nearby beat cops that were actually useful to have around. Oh, they could be, if society would stop using them as traffic fee collectors - but as that makes tons of money, and protecting the neighborhood from evildoers doesn't... I guess we can forget about that one.


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

Just watch some TV (none / 0) (#175)
by GottaSaySomething on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 05:16:38 AM EST

All those "reality" hidden camera shows where random people are put in unusual and compromising situations and confrontations. The ultimate threat the unwitting victim always goes with is "I'm gonna call the cops!" The numerous prank calls you hear posted on the net or you buy on CD, the helpless victim almost always resorts to blurting out "I'm calling the cops!" Calling the cops is the ultimate threat anyone can make to another person, and it usually works. There are so many cases of domestic violence where the wife calls the cops because her husband is beating the shit out of her. The cops show up to arrest the husband, now the cops are the bad guys and the wife is pissed because the "bad" policemen took her only love to jail. Something is wrong with us people.....

[ Parent ]
no (none / 0) (#208)
by Mizuno Ami on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 04:09:31 PM EST

Something is wrong with females.

[ Parent ]
Then I say (none / 0) (#248)
by GottaSaySomething on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 01:43:53 AM EST

Damn you females!!!!!

[ Parent ]
Traffic fee collectors (none / 0) (#222)
by irrevenant on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 06:38:15 PM EST

I've heard that argument a few times and I really don't get it.  There's really two possibilities:

(1)  The traffic cops AREN'T making enough money to cover their salaries:  in which case it's hardly 'making tons of money'.

(2)  The traffic cops ARE making enough money to cover their salaries: in which case, there's no reduction (and maybe an increase) in the money available to pay regular cops.

[ Parent ]

Sorry, invalid argument. (none / 0) (#242)
by The Amazing Idiot on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 11:57:39 PM EST

---I've heard that argument a few times and I really don't get it.  There's really two possibilities:

---(1)  The traffic cops AREN'T making enough money to cover their salaries:  in which case it's hardly 'making tons of money'.

Police and "make money" do not go together. Police is a GOVERNMENT-paid force to keep general peace and draw chalk lines. Having a few cops walking in high-traffic places wouldnt be that bad an idea.

---(2)  The traffic cops ARE making enough money to cover their salaries: in which case, there's no reduction (and maybe an increase) in the money available to pay regular cops.

Thats the exact point why they have soo many "meter maids" instead of real police. They "make money" by screwing us all over. These people are in the same class as traffic cameras.

[ Parent ]

Reason I call the cops. (3.00 / 6) (#144)
by FieryTaco on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 09:37:42 PM EST

I don't hate cops, but I definitely have some issues with them. But the only reason I call the cops instead of dealing with situations myself, is that if I don't they'll come hassle me after the fact. If I kill an intruder in my home, they'll take the weapon until they have decided their investigation is complete. An investigation that will take place at the pace and timeframe of their choice.

Additionally cops have a mindset of us against them. I don't care how poorly they are treated by non police officers, they all need to constantly remind themselves that their job exists because society has chosen to have a so-called independant third party around to help sort out conflicts. Instead they go around acting like they have natural and moral right to go about thugging their way around town.

In the state I live in, it's illegal to smoke indoors or within 25 feet of an entrace, however the local police force regularily congregates at a nearby seven-eleven and several of them stand right at the entrace opening doors for people and smoking their cigarettes. When I stopped to politely mention to them that it is illegal yada yada yada, several of the officers puffed up their chests, started fingering their guns and generally started acting like dickheads. Then the officer I spoke to said "Is it bothering you?" like that has fuck all to do with anything.

They might as well be a fucking gang in that they all dress the same, they hang out at conveinience stores trying to bully people and they all carry guns.

Mind you, I believe in the idea of cops, I just don't think any municipality has ever done what it takes to make a police force into a legitimate organization that has the proper checks on itself. If cops are acting unlawfully, it's the police division of internal affairs that checks into it. However as a tax paying citizen who has an education superior (presumably a college degree is greater than six to eight months of vocational training) I am not given that same consideration to determine if I've broken the law or not.

Laws need to be in place that penalize in a very painful manner any kind of improper behavior on the part of law enforcement officials. Additionally the extra powers to investigate citizens need to have good checks to keep them in line. It's stupid that a law enforcement agency can get a sneak and peak warrant to search your place and if you don't happen to catch them, you never know about it. Anytime someone is investigated they should be notified after the investigation is complete or within six weeks of inactivity on the part of the investigators. Additionally the investigating officers need to be strictly gagged about talking about what they find. If they happen to mention in the lockerroom that they found some bondage girly mags in the house of a local clergy then the officers in question should get something like 50 years in a maximum security prison and the citizen should automatically get full ownership of all of the officers property and family. Yes, if a cop violates your privacy you should own his house, wife and children, everything except his debts and liabilities. Plus the prick should have to pay you child support and alimony for taking care of their family.

Cops need so fucking realize they are in a special position in our society and it's not as members of the cool fraternity. They are here to fucking serve and they should fucking act like it.

Ok, so my rant fell apart there at the end.

[ Parent ]

Smoking law (none / 0) (#200)
by DoorFrame on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 02:11:14 PM EST

<I>"In the state I live in, it's illegal to smoke indoors or within 25 feet of an entrace."</I>

This is completely irrelevent to the point you were making, but Jesus what a bad law.

[ Parent ]

Re: Smoking law (none / 0) (#212)
by FieryTaco on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 04:57:44 PM EST

Actually I misstated the law. You can smoke inside your own home, your friend's place, at a private club (bars, pool halls), etc. You can't smoke in a public building (schools, government offices) or in privately owned but publicly accessable buildings (stores.) It's Utah, fyi. As I understand it California has a similar law and maybe New York?

[ Parent ]
Ok, here's where you went nutty... (none / 1) (#262)
by Shajenko on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 01:17:56 PM EST

Additionally the investigating officers need to be strictly gagged about talking about what they find. If they happen to mention in the lockerroom that they found some bondage girly mags in the house of a local clergy then the officers in question should get something like 50 years in a maximum security prison and the citizen should automatically get full ownership of all of the officers property and family. Yes, if a cop violates your privacy you should own his house, wife and children, everything except his debts and liabilities. Plus the prick should have to pay you child support and alimony for taking care of their family.
So, in order to prevent abuse of powers by the police... you propose slavery. I was with you up until that part.

[ Parent ]
No, I know. (none / 0) (#287)
by FieryTaco on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 11:15:56 PM EST

That's why I said it fell apart at the end. I don't really endorse slavery. But I think that police departments need to be less of a fraternity and more of a monastary. Some dignity, reverance and respect for their relationship with the non-police might make things work a whole lot better.

[ Parent ]
This story... (none / 1) (#164)
by ShadowNode on Fri Oct 22, 2004 at 11:17:58 PM EST

Is about those times when cops are causing the dangerous situation people can't handle. Who do we call then?

[ Parent ]
So the cops are the ones rioting in the streets? (none / 1) (#172)
by GottaSaySomething on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 04:48:42 AM EST

The cops were not the ones who started rioting in the streets after their favorite sports team won, the cops were called out there to deal with the drunken losers that were tearing shit up.....take your head out of your ass shadownode!

[ Parent ]
the cops were the ones who started killing people (3.00 / 2) (#193)
by FuriousXGeorge on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 11:41:30 AM EST

nt

--
-- FIELDISM NOW!
[ Parent ]

Now cops just randomly kill people all the time? (none / 0) (#247)
by GottaSaySomething on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 01:41:39 AM EST

Jesus man, your resentment has gotten in the way of what you call intelligence

[ Parent ]
The cops were the only ones who killed anybody (none / 0) (#255)
by mcgrew on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 11:23:48 AM EST

And the girl they killed wasn't even rioting. If it were my daughter and the cop didn't go to prison, I would.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

People have a right to hold them accountable. (none / 1) (#185)
by jolly st nick on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 10:34:58 AM EST

We arm them and give them powers that could potentially interfere with our legitimate activities. We cut them a paycheck.

I don't think its unreasonable to hold them to account.

Nor do I think a witchhunt is a great idea either.

[ Parent ]

Manslaughter (3.00 / 10) (#165)
by dnight2 on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 12:39:43 AM EST

If I had shot her, I would be charged with manslaughter. Doesn't matter if it's a bow, a gun, a rubber band gun or a BB. Someone died, unintentionally. Someone pulled the trigger.

Boston PD has all these new toys because they never got to use them at the DNC. The write-ups I read on the cameras, car-mounted cameras and "control centers" scares the hell out of me. If the officer gets off, I'll be headed out of Boston before I get shot myself for just going to work.

If "keeping the peace" is equal to "causing the only death", fuck peace. You make your own realities. Having riot squads out against your own citizens just makes everything look like a a riot to the police. The police aren't there to have fun, they're either pissed or scared or both. I feel for the guy/gal that shot her, but they are guilty of a crime. Hopefully her position "behind the blue curtain" won't protect him/her.

I was like everyone else there, I just wanted to have a beer after the game, and go home.

Not time to jump to conclusions (none / 1) (#184)
by jolly st nick on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 10:30:36 AM EST

I'm holding back a few weeks until the facts are in on this one.

We need to know many things. (1) What were the precise reason for and circumstancs around the decision to discharge the weapon? (2) What was the information about and training on these weapons recieved by the officers using these weapons? (3) What are the characteristics of the weapon and is the trainign and information the officers received apporpriate? (4) Exactly how did the officer use the weapon and was it proper in accordance with the training and information he had? (5) Was the decision to equip the officers with these weapons appropriate given the commanders' understanding of their characteristics?

I expect that the main source of information on these weapons and their tactical usefulness comes from the manufacturers, so I wouldn't be surprised to find out the officers had inappropriate training to start with. The bottom line is that we've had a graphic demonstration that these weapons are potentially lethal. I expect that one problem is that they may have a muzzle velocity is higher than necessary or safe at close quarters.

The information I outlined above will allow us to distribtute blame accurately. If the officer fired the weapon in a manner that conradicted his training and instruction, then he is mainly at fault. If his superiors instructed him to use the weapon in a way that was likely to increase the chances of fatalities given its known characteristics, then they are mainly at fault. If the manufacturers misrepresented the weapon's letality, then they are mainly at fault, although the department may also bear responsibility for not looking at the manufacturer's claims critically. It is possible that there is fault to spread around, it even seems likely to me.

It is also possible that this was just bad luck, for example if the officer was jostled when he fired the gun or if the projectile bounced obliquely from its intended target without shattering.

[ Parent ]

fuck the police (1.80 / 5) (#169)
by auraslip on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 04:39:22 AM EST

coming straight from the suburbs
124
accountability instead of weapons (none / 0) (#181)
by dimaq on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 09:32:46 AM EST

My personal idealistic and probably utterly silly view is this - coppers should have cameras everywhere, laws to support canning, fining and preventing future participation in similar event for hooligans based on video evidence only and an independent review group to prevent misuse of these means.

Assuming coach potato... sport fans have any wit whatsoever very soon everyone who chooses or just can't help oneself to turn violent will be straightened out.

A more elegant way would be prevention of violent behaviour crowd rather than consequences afterwards, but I guess elegance is just too much to ask from modern police in some countries *giggle*

Cameras (none / 0) (#188)
by DoorFrame on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 10:57:38 AM EST

I was there the other night and cops were indeed using cameras to some degree to film the crowd.  Take, for example, <A HREF="http://www.rumorsdaily.com/images/kenmoreredsox/images/DCP_3483.jpg">this image</A>.  

[ Parent ]
David Brin's "Earth" (3.00 / 2) (#221)
by irrevenant on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 06:29:00 PM EST

David Brin's novel "Earth" (written in 1990) featured what he considered the most viable and egalitarian approach possible:

EVERYONE has cameras.  The police are recording you, you're recording them.  Roving groups of senior citizens served as a literal 'neighbourhood watch'.

Bearing this in mind, I found it very interesting when they started producing mobile phones with cameras in them...

[ Parent ]

Except that... (none / 0) (#231)
by skyknight on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 10:09:12 PM EST

digital video "evidence" is eminently forgeable, or at least it will be soon enough.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
aim to the ground? (none / 0) (#183)
by Patrick2 on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 10:28:31 AM EST

I don't know whether this is already standard procedure or at the cop's discretion but why not mandate to aim these projectiles to the feet or the ground?

Of course you can still have stray shots but the chance for serious harm would be minimized. I assume it would have been mentioned as an attempted to show that adequate crowd protection measures/training were in place.

Ground (none / 0) (#187)
by DoorFrame on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 10:55:41 AM EST

Well, unless someone's already been knocked down by the surging crowd and they're on the ground to begin with. Then the ground shot would seem ultra-mean as they're probably being trampled too.

I'm not saying it's wrong to aim at the ground, I just had this vision of someone being trampled and then shot in the face with teargas.  

[ Parent ]

actually (none / 1) (#190)
by Patrick2 on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 11:31:14 AM EST

What I meant with "ground" was the imaginary line in front of the crowd. The point is to get a curtain of tear gas between the cops and the demonstrators.
What I meant with "aim for the feet" was to aim at a particular individual and not just the crowd at large. It may sound like nitpicking but it is not so much different than the lethal weapons drill most law enforcement officers are trained to obey.

Aiming at a crowd at large is pointless (in the true meaning of the word) as you already pointed out.

The practical problem I see is the "shoot to kill" attitude that is often being promoted for the lethal weapons. In the heat of it an officer might forget which type of gun they have in their hands and that the associated intention and thus aiming point should be totally different.

[ Parent ]

As far as I am aware (none / 1) (#195)
by xria on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 12:31:42 PM EST

The effective radius of these pellets is 2ft, so firing them at the ground in front of people is only likely to affect midgets to any real degree. Hence why they are supposed to hit the torso.

Of course then you have non ballistic ammunition that can curve and corkscrew in flight potentially, and you start to wonder how safe they are really.

[ Parent ]

that's not so easy (none / 0) (#201)
by coderlemming on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 02:20:52 PM EST

Remember that these particular officers were on horses.  I don't think it would really be possible to aim below face level from on a horse, at least if the crowd is up close to your horses.  I think it was a grave mistake on the part of the officer in this case to shoot the pepper gas ball weapon into the crowd given the fact that there's no way he'll know whether it would hit a torso or a face.


--
Go be impersonally used as an organic semen collector!  (porkchop_d_clown)
[ Parent ]
Injured Pride? That's not what the article says (3.00 / 13) (#186)
by DoorFrame on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 10:49:23 AM EST

From the linked article: The man got up and began hurling obscenities and making obscene gestures at the furious cop. Tensions quickly rose. Some in the crowd tossed bottles at police while the horses began getting out of control. Riot cops moved in and started forcefully moving people from the area.

When the crowd is tossing bottles, you get to use tear gas.  That's a general policy I'm ok with.  Don't throw bottles at cops, this sort of thing is going to happen.

Now, that being said, the cops need to find a different method of delivering tear gas or pepper spray into a crowd that doesn't involve a pellet launched from an air rifle.  Clearly this is going to hurt people in unintended ways, and it now appears to have the ability to kill people.  Just throw cannisters.   I assume they'll learn this for future riots.  

Now, all that being said, I was in Kenmore Square that night  I wasn't in the truly rowdy area (because I'm a coward and don't really like being around people who are totally out of control).  Even in the "safe" part of the Fenway area, people were acting like nitwits.  I watched one guy climb on top of a streetlight, only to watch his weight rip it from the stand.  He, along with the hundreds of pounds of streetlight, fell into the crowd.  I was shocked nobody was killed when that happened.  I also watched a crod people smash the front of a bank and tear up the front of a McDonalds.  At this point the cops, wisely in my estimation, moved in with riot gear and moved people away from the facades they were damaging.  

When giant groups people get out of control (and don't let anyone tell there weren't moments when this crowd didn't start to get out of control, they're lying) the cops need to respond... and their response can't be "have a good time."  As soon as you start engaging in widespread property damage, yeah, I want to the cops to move in and, if neccessary, be a little bit rough in doing it.  That's what riot cops require.

Let's not forget, that this wasn't some sort of political protest.  This wasn't Ghandi leading a non-violent march.  People keep acting as though this is the Sixties all over again with people getting beating expressing political wishes.  These were people, at times, who were endangering the lives and the property of everyone around them.  The cops need to make a stand and everything that I witnesses personally had them acting calmly and responsibly.  

I was not, however, where the girl was.  And again, clearly the weapons they used for her where out of proportion to the threat.  Those guns need to go.


typos agogo (2.00 / 2) (#220)
by DoorFrame on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 05:47:18 PM EST

The typos in the above post are what you get when you do something else while you're writing a long comment.  Lesson for the day: Don't play online multi-player video games while composing K5 posts.  Eh, you got the point though.

[ Parent ]
This is what happens... (none / 1) (#199)
by gordonjcp on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 02:06:36 PM EST

... when you let all your police have guns.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


What do your cops do with riots? (none / 1) (#223)
by jongleur on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 06:44:56 PM EST

I can't believe they just line up and shout sarcasm en masse, per the old joke.

--
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]
Ah, simple... (none / 1) (#251)
by gordonjcp on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 04:19:41 AM EST

They send perhaps half-a-dozen police marksmen, *if* they think they're going to need them. These guys need to spend some ridiculous number of hours a week at the shooting range, otherwise they don't get guns any more. It's the same for the armed police you see at airports.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Somehow (none / 0) (#285)
by lazzurs on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 09:19:24 PM EST

I don't think our police really need mp5's at airports, it is over kill and getting one in the face is never a nice thing..........they do not *need* a weapon that could take out all of the people in an airport.

[ Parent ]
Very true. (none / 0) (#289)
by gordonjcp on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 02:06:34 AM EST

It does seem just a bit pointless. Let's face it, if you were going to attack an airport, you wouldn't do it with a submachine gun, would you? So defending an airport with them is a bit silly.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Why can't people get this excited (none / 0) (#204)
by rodentboy on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 02:57:47 PM EST

Why can't people get excited over something important? I mean there are plenty of worthy causes out there that could use the attention.

The largest crowd I ever saw in Toronto was when we won the world series. It was a sea of people.

However when the Mike Harris conservatives took office and started to dismantle, wreck and turn the whole city and province inside out, <crickets chirp>

Even allowing that half the people might have agreed with that government, where was the other half that disagreed? Why weren't they in the streets?



Go Leafs GO! (none / 0) (#225)
by purephase on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 06:56:57 PM EST

You're comparing apples to oranges. It is far more common that sporting events involve larger, far more devoted (some would even say excessive) fanbase/rallies than any political motivated event (in Ontario anyway).

I'm not saying that this is true for every event, but come on.. spend a night in Toronto when the Leafs are in the playoffs.

The pessimist in me says that sporting events and/or teams, the tax-funded outlet that they are, are a means to divert the public attention from more important (and this is subjective) events that directly impact the people. Your social/economical well-being may be at risk, but as long as your local or favourite team wins tonight/overall then the rest is simply incidental.

It always confuses the hell out of me, but there's little, or nothing, that can be said to avid sports fans that would convince them otherwise.

Well, other than "Go Leafs GO!".

[ Parent ]
What we need then (none / 0) (#229)
by rodentboy on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 09:01:28 PM EST

Is to have the politicians duke it out gladiator style. They already do so metaphorically.



[ Parent ]
The already do "duke it out..." (none / 0) (#272)
by dooglio on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 04:51:13 PM EST

...but you can see how effective it is. The Kerry/Bush debate offered little substance, but the press keeps on talking about "who won" the debate.

[ Parent ]
Parallel with sport (none / 0) (#290)
by xria on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 02:18:45 AM EST

In Europe many sports can end in a tie, and in the same way people can view a political debate as inconclusive.

In America there always has to be a winner it seems, even if it means hours of hanging about waiting to find the slightest difference between the two sides.

[ Parent ]

A tragedy, but what's new? (3.00 / 3) (#211)
by gibichung on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 04:24:01 PM EST

Poeple are killed by "less than lethal" tools all the time. How many people are killed by truncheons or cars every year? There should be an investigation as to whether the officer was reckless or acted with malice, but otherwise, it's just an unfortunate accident.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
But cars... (none / 0) (#213)
by konichiwa on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 05:01:04 PM EST

...aren't made to run into people. These guns are MADE to shoot people but NOT kill them.

A car would only be a nonlethal weapon if it was made to hit people but NOT kill them.

Apples and Oranges........

[ Parent ]
I guess you've never watched "Cops" (none / 0) (#214)
by gibichung on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 05:17:45 PM EST

But, really, cars are used as weapons, with non-lethal intention, by police officers all the time.

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]
Re: But cars... (none / 0) (#253)
by mpmansell on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 07:35:56 AM EST

Anything, whether deliberately designed so, or not, is a weapon if used to threaten deliberate injury. A stick or stone were certainly never designed as weapons, but did us proud for millenia and still work as well today at a pinch ;) If I drive a car straight at you with intent to injure, then it becomes a weapon. I do argue against them being non-lethal, though; a point made earlier by inference. A couple of tons of car is most definately at least as lethal as a couple of grams of lead! I also believe that for any device intended to cause harm can be called non-lethal is utter stupidity. They are meant to harm, otherwise they would be of no use. Whenever one intends to physivcally harm another, one must accept an increased risk to the victim's life. On this basis I cannot accept the existence of non-lethal weapons and would like their adverse uses to be treated as severely as any other 'lethal' weapon. In the case of use by police, that means that everyone involved, from the officer with his finger on the trigger, through the authorising officer, all the way through to the senior officers and politicians who pushed the use of these devices as 'non-lethal' should face the consequences. Unless such safeguards are implemented, a danger exists that 'non-lethal' weapons will be used inappropriately and (because their use should never have been authorised) will result in deaths that cannot in all concience be considered anything other than murder. While in a complex society it must be accepted that some people will leave no choice other than lethal force, no sane society should accept casually sancioned official murder.

[ Parent ]
What about the eggshell skull? (none / 0) (#259)
by gibichung on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 12:54:42 PM EST

The fact is that just about *anything* can kill a person. People are killed by the most "harmless" things every day. There's a statistical risk in everything you do, from chopping up your food to sitting on the toilet.

Imagine how much worse it is for tools that are designed to restrain people. The key to using these tools is proper training and discipline. This can reduce the risk but it's always still there. Knowing this doesn't make using these tools "murder."

Think about what we know about kitchen knives or cars, vacuum cleaners, swimming pools...

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

No, not murder (none / 0) (#280)
by mcgrew on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 09:04:08 PM EST

Manslaughter. If I'm drunk and run over you by accident, manslaughter is what I'll go to prison for.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Not down here. (none / 0) (#296)
by hummassa on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 08:48:48 AM EST

Here in Brasil, it's murder one. If you drink and drive, you are -- premeditately --  assuming the risk that you can kill a person.

OTOH, as we are wonderful optimistic humanitarians and any kind of life sentence is inconstitucional, you'll get a measly 12 to 20.

OT: yes, 12 to 20. Down here, the maximum sentence for one count is 24 years (robbery with murder... I forgot the English legal term for it) and the maximum continuous time one can spend in the cage is 30 years.

[ Parent ]

Not quite right (none / 0) (#304)
by PsyckBoy on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 03:41:54 PM EST

If you happen to be guilty of felony drunk driving, then you may also be charged with felony murder which is usually considered first degree murder.

[ Parent ]
Re: Not quite right (none / 0) (#305)
by PsyckBoy on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 03:47:45 PM EST

I'll amend my statement to say that you probably won't be charged with felony murder since that's reserved for "serious" felonies. You may be charged with second degree murder in a drunk driving case though.

[ Parent ]
You're kidding me (none / 0) (#319)
by gibichung on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 08:41:25 PM EST

The definition of manslaughter that applies to accidents usually requires gross negligence. That's a reckless disregard for the safety of others.

But let's just look at negligence:

The question is, did the person act with reasonable prudence. That is, did you take a reasonable precaution against what happened. Would a reasonably cautious person do the same thing?

So, then, an analogous question would be: would you drive down to the store to buy a gallon of milk knowing that there's a chance someone might jump in front of your car before you could react? It happens all the time.

Would a reasonable person go get the milk?

Would someone be reckless if they did?

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

This was not an improvised weapon (3.00 / 2) (#267)
by pyro9 on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 02:42:25 PM EST

A car is an improvised weapon when it is used as a weapon. I am not aware of any car that is advertised as being non-lethal when used as a weapon. A truncheon is generally considered to be non-lethal only if used as directed. It is not difficult to use a truncheon in a non-lethal manner, though they offer no intrinsic safety against lethal uses.

The device the police used was INTENDED to be a weapon. That is, unlike a car as weapon, it was used for it's intended purpose. The weapon was claimed to be non-lethal. The 'non-lethal' weapon killed someone.

The open question is WHY did it kill. Was it used incorrectly, or did it fail to perform as specified by the manufacturer?

If the former, did the officer recieve adequate training in the correct use of the weapon? Did he use it as trained? Did that training reflect the manufacturer's instructions?

Finally, was there some sort of unforseeable circumstance that somehow caused the death? These are the questions that need to be answered to determine liability.

There is a possability that it WAS a terrible accident. Otherwise, the manufacturer could be liable if they claimed that the device was absolutely non-lethal, or the police could be liable if they fired a device that was NOT claimed to be absolutely non-lethal into a crowd. For that matter, if the manufacturer's non-lethal claim was obviously untrue, they might be criminally negligent. If the officer fired it in a way contrary to his training, he may be directly liable (though his employer must still bear the responsability).

The various reports claim that the victim was not rioting nor were the people in her immediate vicinity (though there were plenty of rioters in general), so a natural question would be why she was targeted in the first place (or alternatly, how did the shot manage to hit so far off target).


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Really, now (none / 0) (#321)
by gibichung on Wed Oct 27, 2004 at 04:54:40 PM EST

Do you honestly think that any manufacturer would advertise something as being "absolutely non-lethal"?

Hell, you can't get a guarantee like that with children's toys. (Not that it makes any difference if they offer such a guarantee or not, but that's another post).

No, what they would say is that it's "reasonably safe if used as directed." And it is. There shouldn't be any liability, but who knows with the litigious world we live in today?

-----
"No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we require him to obey it." -- Theodore Roosevelt
[ Parent ]

Language lawyers (none / 0) (#323)
by pyro9 on Fri Oct 29, 2004 at 08:11:28 AM EST

Language lawyers out there may read 'non-lethal' as 'non-lethal when used as directed'

If the device doesn't come with that assurance or if as directed would preclude firing into a crowd, firing it into a crowd is criminally negligent.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
Go back to the big canisters (none / 0) (#226)
by jeremyn on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 07:17:04 PM EST

And throw them at exposed skin, burns last longer than bruises. Not that I have anything against drunken thugs, mind you. Pity the cops don't get more proactive against the anti-globalisation idiots who do damage and take a more care with decent citizens who are just a little pissed.

Humph. (3.00 / 2) (#241)
by BJH on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 11:49:59 PM EST

Pity the cops don't get more proactive against the anti-globalisation idiots who do damage and take a more care with decent citizens who are just a little pissed.

Pity the cops don't get a bit more "proactive" (I'm guessing you mean "violent") with idiots who are rioting over a fucking sporting event and leave the people engaging in legitimate political speech alone.

--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]

A very elegant solution. (3.00 / 2) (#238)
by Apuleius on Sat Oct 23, 2004 at 11:20:50 PM EST

Dear Massholes:
Any time a game we play is followed up by a riot, we will forfeit the next game.
Love,
-- Your Beloved Red Sox.


Hey, I can dream, can't I?


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
Elegant if you want more riots (n/t) (none / 0) (#258)
by xria on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 12:12:25 PM EST



[ Parent ]
That would be awesome (none / 0) (#316)
by sllort on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 11:55:32 AM EST

Yankee fans would come to Boston and riot en masse. What a scene!
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
Problems with "Marking System" in Geneva (none / 1) (#252)
by jeti on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 05:08:31 AM EST

The police in Geneva has been using a similar "Marking System" since March 29th 2003. The first time the system was used, a woman was hit in the head. The ball fractured her cheek bone. Splinters of the ball remained so close to the eye that they could not be removed.

The Swiss site http://www.ssi-media.com/pigbrother/ documents incidents with the police using less lethal weapons like rubber bullets, stun grenades and pepper spray that happened since 1980. Although the layout doesn't look too credible, the site mostly provides detailed facts instead of opinions.

water canons (none / 1) (#263)
by oohp on Sun Oct 24, 2004 at 01:34:22 PM EST

Whatever happened to water canons.

Good question (none / 0) (#298)
by sllort on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 09:24:36 AM EST

They never killed anybody, and they're a lot more effective for raining on somebody's parade.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
The usual suspects (none / 0) (#295)
by slaida1 on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 04:31:08 AM EST

Two things come to my mind here:
These pepperball guns scream cowboy gunslinging mentality where it just ain't cool if it doesn't allow shooting at "targets". It surely must be nice to "strategically place shots at targets with surgical precision", makes the shooter feel manly and strong and stuff being able to pick ugliest faces to shoot and "save the girl". Just like in the movies! No way one could use tear gas because that would mean gassing innocent bystanders, and make that baby/beautiful woman/little puppydog cry, omg! And maybe: Saddam used gas, I'm not going to, even if it's tear gas!

They fell prey to their own stupidity and I mean PD here. But "fans" went beyond that line the second they decided to "celebrate" in large growds among strangers. Either you control the growds or you don't control anyone. There is no place for cherry picking or choosing targets there, they must use tear gas or similar with impunity, gassing whole street sections at a time, spraying/applying it using general directions. I think in china police may know this already.

Secondly, it's unwise to spontaneously gather in large groups (hundreds of people) of strangers to celebrate or demonstrate, especially when drunk. If you find yourself in or near of such a group then go home! Don't be a sheeple, being/acting aggressive there doesn't make you any less sheeple. Don't answer to your primal urges, you're a human being. Also, don't try "helping" others by trying to talk'em out of it. Say once "I'm going home" and go. You can't help them, if they aren't listening even themselves.

Sheeples deserve all the gas they receive for just being there or near.

Hey, ass, I'm not a Brit (1.00 / 3) (#299)
by dteeuwen on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 10:03:15 AM EST

I'm commenting on the States you insecure dick.

_________

Down the slopes of death he rides
The eight hooves pound like drums
Darkness reigns the crumbling sky
Invasion has begun


The gun in question... (none / 1) (#308)
by gandalf23 on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 05:40:39 PM EST

Since I didn't see this on any other posts:

The gun used was probably a Fabrique National 303 or Pepperball or something like that. While the Pepperball system shoots something like a regular paintball (which can be lethal if it hits you in the eye) the FN payload is half metal (bismuth), so it would really fsck you up if hit in the face or eye.

These weapons don't need to be banned, but just like officers should be trained before they can pick up a gun, the officer's need to be trained how to use them before employing them.

Notice that Pepperball suggests that any agency take their training classes before using their products.

Less-than-lethal is a nice selling point, but it's not true unless certain precautions are met, such as not shooting blindly into crowds, or shooting at people's heads.

The officer who shot was wrong to do so in the manner that he did. Aim for the ground and/or lower extemities only when shooting one of these. It's a dispersal agent, you don't need to hit someone for it to work.

A few years ago they might've thrown a CS canister, but rioters, not specifically Boston fans, but rioters in general, have learned to throw the canisters back at the officers. Thats one reason the paintball guns are sought after: the payload bursts on impact with nothing left to throw back at the officers.



Exactly right (none / 0) (#320)
by cgenman on Wed Oct 27, 2004 at 12:29:02 AM EST

Word around Boston is that the woman was shot in the eye, with enough force to fatally damage her brain.  

The risk with non-lethal weapons is that they aren't used like normal weapons would be, but are largely crowd control measures.  Now you have police wielding "safe" weapons indiscriminately, instead of wielding "extreme measures crowd control" weapons responsibly.  I don't blame the cops necessarily: being faced with a rampaging crowd and being charged with stopping them is a terrifying prospect...  I'd probably resort to pulling out the extra-safe zapo rays too, except for the fact that they aren't actually safe.  

Let's have more sane crowd control behavior after Redsox games.  Let's have police fire non-lethal canisters of pot smoke into the crowds.  Give away free Victory Beer with extra ketamine.  Have them sponsor post-game concerts by the worst college musicians the Boston metro area has to offer.  Throw victory parties across town in Somerville so that everyone has to disperse and re-meet, and if they trash Somerville... Hey, it's just Somerville.  

--
- This Sig is a mnemonic device designed to allow you to recognize this author in the future. This is only a device.
[ Parent ]

Blame (none / 0) (#312)
by Effigykill on Mon Oct 25, 2004 at 11:13:48 PM EST

They Blame the crowd. They blame the violence. They blame the game. They blame the booze. They blame the victims. They blame the fucking victims. They blame the lack of training. They blame the weapons. Why don't they blame the fucking cop that shot her.

How about this. (none / 0) (#314)
by The Real Lord Kano on Tue Oct 26, 2004 at 04:01:17 AM EST

When something that you like happens, don't celebrate by rioting.

It's a shame whenever anyone dies unnecessarily, but come on now. This isn't really this cop's fault. He used a less lethan weapon and something bad happened.

LK

Less Than Lethal Weapon Proves Lethal | 323 comments (300 topical, 23 editorial, 1 hidden)
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