Tag Archives: guns

LAPD Adopts New Policy: De-Escalate First, Shoot Later

Mother Jones

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This is from the LA Times yesterday:

The Los Angeles Police Commission voted Tuesday to require officers to try, whenever possible, to defuse tense encounters before firing their guns — a policy shift that marks a significant milestone in the board’s attempts to curb shootings by police.

Wait. This is new? This hasn’t always been LAPD policy? Apparently not, and apparently not much of anywhere else, either:

As criticism of policing flared across the country, particularly after deadly shootings by officers, law enforcement agencies looked to de-escalation as a way to help restore public trust. Like the LAPD, other departments have emphasized the approach in training and policies.

The Seattle Police Department requires officers to attempt de-escalation strategies, such as trying to calm someone down verbally or calling a mental health unit to the scene. Santa Monica police have similar rules in place, telling officers to try to “slow down, reduce the intensity or stabilize the situation” to minimize the need to use force.

….The focus on de-escalation represents a broader shift in law enforcement, said Samuel Walker, a retired criminal justice professor and expert in police accountability. Now, he said, there’s an understanding that officers can shape how an encounter plays out. “This is absolutely the right thing to do,” he added.

This is especially important in Los Angeles:

African Americans continue to represent a disproportionate number of the people shot at by officers. Nearly a third of the people shot at last year were black — a 7% increase from 2015. Black people make up about 9% of the city’s population but 40% of homicide victims and 43% of violent crime suspects, the report noted.

The LAPD also topped a list of big-city agencies with the highest number of deadly shootings by officers. Police in Los Angeles fatally shot more people than officers in Chicago, New York, Houston and Philadelphia did, the report said. The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department came in second, with 15 deadly shootings.

Go ahead and call me naive, but I would have figured that de-escalation was standard protocol everywhere. Not always followed in practice, of course, but at least theoretically what cops are supposed to do. But apparently not. It sounds like it started to catch on after Ferguson, and is only now being adopted as official policy in a few places.

Better late than never, I suppose, but I wonder what’s stopping this from being universally adopted? What’s the downside?

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LAPD Adopts New Policy: De-Escalate First, Shoot Later

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2 People Are Dead After a Shooting Inside San Bernardino Elementary School

Mother Jones

Two adults have been confirmed dead after a gunman opened fire inside North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, California Monday. Two students were also injured in the attack.

San Bernardino County Police Chief Jarrod Burguan confirmed the incident on social media, and said that the shooting is being treated as a murder-suicide. According to Burguan, the two injured students have been hospitalized.

This is a breaking news story. We will update when more information becomes available.

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2 People Are Dead After a Shooting Inside San Bernardino Elementary School

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Watch Betsy DeVos Say She’d Allow Guns In Schools "To Protect From Potential Grizzlies”

Mother Jones

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At Tuesday’s confirmation hearing, longtime gun control proponent Sen. Chris Murphy asked Michigan billionaire and Donald Trump’s pick for education secretary Betsy DeVos outright whether guns had any place around schools.

“That’s best left to locales and states to decide,” DeVos responded. When pressed further by Murphy, who represented the district covering Newtown where the nation’s deadliest school shooting took place more than four years ago, DeVos looped back to a question asked earlier by Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming about an elementary school in his state. “I would imagine that there’s probably a gun at the school to protect from potential grizzlies,” DeVos noted.

Watch the exchange below.

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Watch Betsy DeVos Say She’d Allow Guns In Schools "To Protect From Potential Grizzlies”

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Multiple People Dead after a Shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport

Mother Jones

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A shooting at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood airport on Friday afternoon has left multiple people dead, according to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. One person is in custody, and local authorities say eight people have been transported to a nearby hospital after sustaining injuries during the attack.

“He was a lone shooter and we have no evidence at this time that he was acting with anyone else,” Broward County commissioner Barbara Sharief told CNN.

Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary under George W. Bush, was on the scene and tweeted during the chaos immediately after the gunman first opened fire:

All services from the international airport have been temporarily suspended. President-elect Donald Trump weighed in on the shooting on Twitter:

This is a breaking news event. We will update when more news become available.

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Multiple People Dead after a Shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport

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Who Will Write Us a Syllabus for Sneerology 101?

Mother Jones

Paul Krugman notes today that all of us coastal elites actually do more for the recently famous white working class than Republicans do, but the working class folks still don’t like us because they think we look down on them. He’s a little puzzled about this:

Do the liberals sneer at the Joe Sixpacks? Actually, I’ve never heard it — the people I hang out with do understand that living the way they do takes a lot more money and time than hard-pressed Americans have, and aren’t especially judgmental about lifestyles. But it’s easy to see how the sense that liberals look down on regular folks might arise, and be fanned by right-wing media.

I’m not here to get into a fight with Krugman, but come on. Of course the right-wing media fans the flames of this stuff, but is there really any question that liberal city folks tend to sneer at rural working-class folks? I’m not even talking about stuff like abortion and guns and gay marriage, where we disagree over major points of policy. I’m talking about lifestyle. Krugman talks about fast food, and that’s a decent example. Working class folks like fast food,1 which explains why Donald Trump liked to show pictures of himself eating McDonald’s or KFC. It’s a sign that he’s one of them. Ditto for Trump’s famous trucker hat. (Did you even know that it’s a trucker hat, not a baseball cap? He did.)

If I felt like this was something that actually needs evidence, I could produce a million examples in a very short time. But everyone gets this, don’t they? We sneer at their starchy food. We sneer at their holy-roller megachurches. (But not at black churches; never that.) We sneer at their favorite TV shows. We sneer at their reading habits. We sneer at their guns. We sneer at their double-wides. We sneer at the tchotchkes that litter their houses. We sneer at their supermarket tabloids. We sneer at their music. We sneer at their leisure activities. We sneer at their blunt patriotism. We sneer at—

Again: come on. Maybe you personally don’t do it—though judging from the comments here, a lot of you do—but you hardly need to be an anthropologist to recognize that this kind of sneering shows up on TV, in newspapers, on Twitter, in books, on Facebook, and in private conversations all the time. It’s hard to believe that anyone is really blind to this.

Now, it’s true that they also sneer at us. Fair enough. But as all good liberals know, there’s a big difference between a powerful group sneering at a vulnerable group, and vice versa. The former is a far bigger problem. And we educated city folks are, on average, far richer and more powerful than ruralish working-class folks. Our sneering has a power component that theirs doesn’t. I confess that it’s fun, and I enjoy my share of sneering in private, but I also accept that this attitude has political costs.

Anyway, I’m curious: do you accept this? Is it as obvious to you as it is to me? Or do you think I’m overstating things? Do I really need to make my case in more detail?

1So do I. Except for McDonald’s.

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Who Will Write Us a Syllabus for Sneerology 101?

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