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Business / Philosophy of Photography Taking pics is one thing, but understanding why we take them, what they mean, what they are best used for, how they effect our reality -- all of these and more are important issues of the Philosophy of Photography. One of the best authors on the subject is Susan Sontag in her book "On Photography."

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Old 09-06-2017   #41
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+1 on this. Make them liable
Drug test congress and make them liable for what they do.. good luck.
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Old 09-06-2017   #42
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I guess I am not surprised by this. A couple years ago I had to go into the local county courthouse where everyone had to put their possessions through an airport type scanner prior to entering the building. After my possessions were scanned, I was told I couldn't bring photography equipment into the courthouse. It turns out that my Sekonic Light Meter (which I had inadvertently left in my purse) was mistaken for a camera. The older gentleman in charge was not going to let me in, but a younger woman explained to him that it was a light meter and not a camera.
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Old 09-06-2017   #43
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so what are these guys, are they in great danger if in US?

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Old 09-07-2017   #44
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You know what they say, when you are stupid and holding a hammer everything looks like a nail.


I think the FBI should be made to investigate every shooting and it should be a federal offense. That would go a loooong way to solving the problem. Impunity needs to go away. Period.
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Old 09-07-2017   #45
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Cops are human like the rest of us. There isn't any one and easy solution.

For police recruitment, I suggest to hire more veterans who served in war as they have been under stressful situations and usually react in a certain way. Experience helps.

Emotions can get out of whack during a particular event. Reaction to a situation later wished it hadn't been made. Training helps but the real thing can be very different.

Money can help. Signing bonus and other financial incentives. Good people need to be paid. My first house I paid 30k in 1974. On active duty, early sevenities, some rates that were critical, meaning needing people, paid up to 20k signing bonus to re-up. And in the combat zone the money was federal and state tax free.

No easy solutions.

As photographers be aware of your surroundings. If you're going out somewhere maybe let authorities know. Things are different now since nine eleven and 24 hr. instant news.
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Old 09-07-2017   #46
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Cops are human like the rest of us. There isn't any one and easy solution.

For police recruitment, I suggest to hire more veterans who served in war as they have been under stressful situations and usually react in a certain way. Experience helps.

Emotions can get out of whack during a particular event. Reaction to a situation later wished it hadn't been made. Training helps but the real thing can be very different.

Money can help. Signing bonus and other financial incentives. Good people need to be paid. My first house I paid 30k in 1974. On active duty, early sevenities, some rates that were critical, meaning needing people, paid up to 20k signing bonus to re-up. And in the combat zone the money was federal and state tax free.

No easy solutions.

As photographers be aware of your surroundings. If you're going out somewhere maybe let authorities know. Things are different now since nine eleven and 24 hr. instant news.
I agree Bill. This would be a good start. Decent pay and regular raises for a very tough job would go a long ways towards improving recruitment.

Tough to get people to pay taxes to ensure good people are being paid a living wage. People like to complain but it is tough to get them to match their rhetoric with money.

But the carrot is only one half of the equation. In addition there has to be real and direct accountability whenever force, especially deadly force, is employed. I am not sure the FBI is the answer but an independent review board with the ability to enforce their decisions would certainly help.

Easy to talk about but much harder to put real improvements in place.
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Old 09-07-2017   #47
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+1 on this. Make them liable
They are held liable for everything they do. It's a multi-sided problem with dozens of contributing factors.

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Old 09-07-2017   #48
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This happened a few miles from where I live and the photographer who was shot was a customer of mine when I had my store. The photographer and the shooter are still friends.
The officer had lots of experience but obviously not enough training. Oddly enough, they had both recently been working at a 'live fire' exhibit at our county fair where civilians were put into simulated situations.
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Old 09-07-2017   #49
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How could this happen?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ffic-stop.html

trigger happy?
How could it happen? Who knows? Nothing much in this thread gives any facts or insight beyond your link.

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There are some very expensive/fancy shot guns that look very much like a tripod these days. One barrel, two tubes that hold shells. They hold a large number of shells and each being 12 gauge pack a bit of a punch.

We ask so much of our LEOs these days and don't give them a lot to work with or ability to make mistakes.

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So true. No right-minded person wants a police state. But most of the (mostly) emotional sounding commenters in this thread are apparently unwilling to ask for more information than that provided in the Head Bartender's link. Are mistakes made? You betcha! But why condemn all cops? Why tell police that in effect they must allow themselves to be shot at, preferably at least twice, before they return fire. That may have worked for Matt Dillon, but not these days.

As to the police who are willing to lie to preserve their jobs and/or freedom. Where do you suppose police come from, the bad eggs that are thrown out of the nest? They are people, civilians who decided to become police. Many, in fact I think most, start out wanting to be police to serve their fellow man. Granted, not all for sure. And certainly not Johnny Gangbanger, fresh out of jail and looking to re-assert his reputation in the hood. Do you think the "bad guys" are all paragons of virtue who would die rather than tell a lie?

When I was in my high school sociology class in the mid 50s, our book pointed out that people sometimes chose professions to further feelings other than altruism. One example was people who join police forces for the authority they got over other people. So what have we been doing for the last 60 years in recruitment?

The point of the two above paragraphs is first, police are people just like those on this forum. Some are very good and decent people. Some on RFF are incensed that anyone would tell them they can't go anywhere they chose, and shoot any photo, regardless of any laws to the contrary.

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This happened a few miles from where I live and the photographer who was shot was a customer of mine when I had my store. The photographer and the shooter are still friends.
The officer had lots of experience but obviously not enough training. Oddly enough, they had both recently been working at a 'live fire' exhibit at our county fair where civilians were put into simulated situations.
rybolt - Thank you so much for the insight provided. It may not explain why the officer shot the photographer who it turned out was a friend. But if the photographer remains a friend, who are we, without first hand knowledge of the incident, to judge the officer?

Oh, one more comment since I am on a roll of sorts, getting combat veterans to be policemen isn't an unknown practice. Will they screen them for violent PTSD tendencies? PTSD has just as many reactions as there are reasons for having it. So a person might have PTSD and still be as OK as any other citizen. And former soldiers will have had some weapons training. Of course most of that training, in application, indicated they had to make split second decisions on shooting or not, if they wanted to survive.
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Old 09-07-2017   #50
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I have had a Nikon F3P equipt with MD-4 and handstrap mistaken for a gun in Queens Plaza by a regular citizen. I figured out quickly that this man running for cover and I could read his fear, all because my black camera resembled a handgun because I carried it like a pistol dangling in my right hand using a Nikon AH-4 Handstrap that you wear like a glove.

On a different day in Long Island City not far away from Queens Plaza I also had my Gossen Luna Pro mistakenly suggest that I was an undercover cop by a truck driver that evidently had dialed 911.

"You took long enough to get here," he said to me.

And when I appeared confused not understanding his context, he further explained that he had dialed 911 and had been waiting for a while. So evidently I was also mistaken as a cop.

I have also had NYPD have their guns drawn on me in a case of mistaken identity. It was just like in the Rolling Stones song "Heartbreaker" based on a true story of a kid killed by NYPD in a case of mistaken identity. This song was rather disturbingly profound for me because I was a young teenager and this event happened around that time that that recording came out.

It was late at night right along the Queens Nassau border on Hook Creek Bulavard, when a NYPD cop car came close to running me over skeaching into a halt. Two cops jumped out of the car with their guns drawn. I kinda now realize that if I had run, which would of been natural instint of fight or flee, I probably and likely would have been shot like the boy in "Heartbreaker."

One cop yelled, "Freeze or I'll shoot," meanwhile the other cop moved beyond my sight so I could not see what or where he was. The one cop made it abundantly clear that if I moved at all I would be ventilated, and to only move when directed to do so. Again he repeated one false or sudden move and he would shoot me.

When directed I was able to show him my ID, and the police took off as rapidly as they had surprised me. I am an Asian, and in the early 70's there were not many in my town of Valley Stream. Asians were such a novelty back then that I knew of a guy around my age who lived in Rosedale Queens. I knew his name was Tommy TXX, like I said because we really stood out in our communities.

All I know that makes any sense was that these two cops were likely trigger happy because a fellow officer likely either got Kung Fu'ed, shot or killed by Tommy TXX.

A second time where I had NYPD guns drawn on me was during a robbery of a McDonalds in Rosedale, Queens. I was a cashier that day at work, when the cops came in (Pre SWAT-TEAM era) from every entrance, guns drawn, and pointing at me because one of the perps (there originally were 4) was standing directly behind me.

If there was a shootout I surely would have been ventilated. If there was a hostage situation, the likely hostage would of been me. Luckily the perp did not have his handgun in hand and it lay on top of all the cash in a box that had been emptied from the store's safe.

This man was arrested and handcuffed. Two of the perps had gotten away. This man earlier had pistol whipped the manager to have him open the safe. Also earlier a different perp had shot at a different store manager who was following him outside.

So I stood nearby when Hector, the one Manger who got pistol whipped, jumped the front counter, threw the perp who had pistol whipped him to the ground and repeatedly kicked him in the head like a shot on an open goal during a soccer game. Meanwhile the cop guarding the perp who was responsible looked on with me as this man took a rather savage beating with his hands cuffed behind his back.

It was rather interesting how the cop restrained Hector and made him stop. The officer touched Hector gently on the arm and spoke gently and said rather politely, "Please stop." The way he said it really was almost like permission to perhaps only kick him in the head one more time.

A third time I could of been shot also happened before I was eighteen. I went to a bakery near my house in the suburbs of Long Island to buy something, and the girl behind the counter yelled to me upon entering the store that she had just been roobbed and to run to look for the guy with the hat. I ran out and saw a man with a hat getting into his car and driving away, and I took note of the license plate.

It was later when the Nassau County Police arrived and I was questioned that I found out that the man with the hat had a gun. Also the guy with the hat was not the guy with the hat that had committed the robbery.

So in 1978 I suddenly found myself in a full blown riot. It was an odd 4th of July with low humidity and a beautiful day. I went to Eisienhower Park near the Nassau Colliseum to await the fireworks show scheduled for later that night when it got dark. Young people like myself camped out with picknics, coolers full of beer, and the grassy lawns were more like young people hanging out on a beach. People were throwing Frisbees, and every once in a while I got a turn when an errant throw came my way.

It was around dusk when I went to the bathroom in the back of the band-shell to pee. When I got there some drunk kid threw a beer bottle into the band-shell and it popped in an amplified manner taking advantage of the great acoustics.

After I pee'ed, when I came out I noticed a group of drunks had accumulated and they had gathered garbage bags of bottles and were breaking them in a manner that resembled machine gun fire. I paid no mine and continued walking towards my group of friends; I had not noticed the Nassau County cops forming a picket line to converge where I was coming from, but they advanced and began moving towards me.

A young couple also was walking towards me holding hands. I could tell they were in love by the way they expressed their happiness, sharing their bliss with the world. And then I heard this awful sound of a nightstick cracking a skull. The boy collapsed onto the ground. His girlfriend knelt over him, I heard that awfull sound of a nightstick against a skull again, and now the girl fell with her head laying on her boyfriend's chest.

The cop in full riot gear was about step and a half from striking distance. He seemed surprise that I saw what he just did. I stood there defiantly looking him in the eye and judging him for what he just did. If I was going to be clubbed with a nightstick, I at least would not be surprised, but this cop was a coward. All he did while I stood my ground is stand his. All he had to take is a step forward and he would almost be able to swing and hit me.

Perhaps he realized what he had done. Perhaps he realized he was wrong in hurting two innocent people. Perhaps he did not want to destroy my face. Maybe me standing there looking him in the eye made him change his mind about hitting me.

He pointed to me with his weapon and told me to walk away from him, I did not trust him, I explained that my friends with my ride home was behind him, but he pointed again with his nightstick, and I followed his direction.

I really did not know if when I turned away if I would get a night stick against my skull anyways, but in the end I just ended up walking away. I do feel that our interaction did make me human and more difficult for him to strike me.

By now it was dark, and I was in shock. I ended up hitch hiking on the entrance ramp to the Southern State Parkway. I was surprised someone stopped right away. I recognized the driver's distinct voice and asked if he was Larry Klienman, a DJ from WLIR. It was. I barely mentioned the riot I experienced and rode in silence. Larry dropped me off at Exit 13, and I walked home.

I am no hero, but I will say under difficult circumstances, no less difficult than what LEO's have to deal with every day, somehow I made the correct decisions. I would not want to be forced to make all those right decisions every day at work, and this is from someone who had the wrong end of a gun pointed at him on two occasions by cops.

I'm not trying to justify what that cop in riot gear did. Clearly the cops were outnumbered, and their job involved a show of force to assert their authourity or the alternative would have been a total loss of control. It was a means to an ends, yet innocent people got hurt.

Here in NYC I can say that I likely live in the safest large city on the planet. This isn't the 1970's anymore. Thankfully the NYPD I think are the best, yet still wrong doings and innocent people get hurt and killed.

Cal
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Old 09-07-2017   #51
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Oh, one more comment since I am on a roll of sorts, getting combat veterans to be policemen isn't an unknown practice. Will they screen them for violent PTSD tendencies? PTSD has just as many reactions as there are reasons for having it. So a person might have PTSD and still be as OK as any other citizen. And former soldiers will have had some weapons training. Of course most of that training, in application, indicated they had to make split second decisions on shooting or not, if they wanted to survive.
You don't have to have been in the military to have PTSD. Vicariously just growing up in the 1970's, my conditioned responses, and instinct for survival would make me a very poor candidate to be a cop.

Even before I was eighteen I could of been shot three times, and that was just a result of growing up in New York in the 1970's.

I really don't know how I got this old. I wan't expecting to become an old man growing up the way I did.

Cal
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Old 09-07-2017   #52
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You don't have to have been in the military to have PTSD. Vicariously just growing up in the 1970's, my conditioned responses, and instinct for survival would make me a very poor candidate to be a cop.

Even before I was eighteen I could of been shot three times, and that was just a result of growing up in New York in the 1970's.

I really don't know how I got this old. I wan't expecting to become an old man growing up the way I did.

Cal
You are quite correct. I know a man in police work who thought he had messed up and let a bad guy get away with a serious crime. He had left us and later developed PTSD. And as it turned out, the bad guy didn't get away with anything anyway.

Glad you are still with us. You have certainly had your share of dangerous times. Hope that isn't happening to you much any more.
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Old 09-07-2017   #53
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You are quite correct. I know a man in police work who thought he had messed up and let a bad guy get away with a serious crime. He had left us and later developed PTSD. And as it turned out, the bad guy didn't get away with anything anyway.

Glad you are still with us. You have certainly had your share of dangerous times. Hope that isn't happening to you much any more.
OTH,

Thanks.

I have deep sympathy for our veterans. It does seem like victims of trauma later in life embrace risky behavior. In my case having faced life threatening danger so frequently before I became an adult encouraged dangerous behavior and risk taking later in life. It is a strange dynamic and can be rather self-destructive.

It was in my early thirties that I had to learn how to relax. I had never learned how to be calm, and I use to be explosively aggressive. I was also so wired that I scared people. Bouncers would say, "We don't want trouble." People were afraid of me. Pretty much I was a time bomb.

Took me a long time to cope and learn new behaviors. Today I could not be happier. My thinking and experience is that events eventually catch up with Police, Firemen, and people in the military that experienced combat situations. Not everybody has that resilience that is required or the right personality.

Crazy stuff is finding out how fast my Jeep can go out west. The speedometer only went to 85 MPH, but I calculated a 20% speedometer error so just over 100 mph due to a lift and oversized tires. At 100 MPH a Jeep is barely on the ground, and expansion cracks skip beats if there is any rise in a road.

It only takes about an hour to drain a full 23 gallon tank at 100 MPH BTW. My PTSD compelled me to do such behaviors, yet at the age of 49 I ran the NYC Marathon "off the couch" without any training in under 5 hours. A friend at work had over-train and became too sick to run. He offered me his bib so I could run in his place. Had one full day to get ready before the race.

In my early thirties my body could not take the stress. I really did not sleep. I took up cycling and began racing Mountain Bikes and road racing on a bike to learn how to relax. I became a driven endurance athlete to cope.

It was because of muscle memory, knowing my body, and a huge base of training that allowed me to run a Marathon with no training at the age of 49. My half Marathon time was 2:20, but I made a serious mistake and stopped to pee and the resulting 7 minutes later made the second half painful on the verge of cramps. My gal was worried that I would cross the finish line and drop just like the original first marathoner. LOL.

In a way bicycling saved my life. Today photography is more important. Photography makes sense when the rest of the world does not. Anyways I have challenged the challenge and have had both an interesting and adventurous life. I had to conquer fear.

Hats off to all those who serve to protect whether a civilian or military.

Cal
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Old 09-07-2017   #54
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https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topi...sd/index.shtml

Just putting this out there
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Old 09-07-2017   #55
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Anyone else here own a Photosniper?

The old friend to whom I gave mine died, so now I have it back (his daughter passed it on to me).

Cheers,

R.
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Old 09-07-2017   #56
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don't have one of those, Roger, but sure wish I did
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Old 09-07-2017   #57
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Would it be in bad taste to suggest that this thread could be subsumed by another thread appearing on this forum - "Shooting the shooter"? Probably it would. Sorry I have a sick sense of humor.

Seriously I hope he is OK.

While this incident does seem to say something about poor police training perhaps it also says something about the state of affairs in the USA where after years of "Black Lives Matter" (some members of which advocated murdering police officers) and even more years of terrorism it is to be expected that police officers (who don't forget are also human) might be on edge and in fear of their own lives. This in no way condones what he did but I also have at least some sympathy for that guy too - whose live is now also altered unchangeably. We should remember it was a tragic mistake not a premeditated act.
Premeditated or not, this type of behavior on the part of one we trust to use deadly force on our citizens, should not be allowed.
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Old 09-07-2017   #58
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Anyone else here own a Photosniper?

The old friend to whom I gave mine died, so now I have it back (his daughter passed it on to me).

Cheers,

R.
No sir, I don't and never did. I don't remember seeing anyone use one. I do remember seeing them advertised in photo magazines. I think I remember seeing them advertised in Spiratone adds. Did you actually use yours?
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Old 09-07-2017   #59
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You know what they say, when you are stupid and holding a hammer everything looks like a nail.


I think the FBI should be made to investigate every shooting and it should be a federal offense. That would go a loooong way to solving the problem. Impunity needs to go away. Period.
I agree with your sentiment, but the FBI has a seriously troubled history itself!

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Old 09-07-2017   #60
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I agree with your sentiment, but the FBI has a seriously troubled history itself!

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Best idea I've heard on this one in a long time, I like it.

Yes, the FBI has their issues, but at least we might be larger publicity for the number of people shot by LEOs every year. I've heard some different numbers, all of them are shockingly high IMHO.

Our legislators at the federal level have effectively stopped all research into any form of gun violence. Sun light is a wonderful disinfectant for lens fungus and things like this.

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Old 09-07-2017   #61
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Intriguing thread... I'd be interested in knowing how many of you all who have posted here have actually ever been in a scenario based training exercise. Many PD's offer those opportunities to private citizens to afford them a close hand look at what the experience is like. Call up your local PD and ask them if they have a Citizen Police Academy that would offer that opportunity. It's the old saw: If you haven't walked a mile in their shoes, then STFU, and that's especially true in potentially deadly force contexts. Don't believe me? Try it out!!
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Old 09-07-2017   #62
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Having been at the business end of drawn guns as well I can appreciate your post Cal. Many police are taking a stronger tack than is warranted. Not only with guns, but with simple harassment. Long gone are the days when a cop who walked a beat would keep a youngster in line with a wagged finger. Nowadays they are more likely to have a knee in a kids ribs while he's on the ground for questioning the legality of being questioned for being out after 10pm. And why not? I have little respect for the police around here since their actions so often do little to engender respect. Our chief has been fired for inappropriate sexual misconduct with a subordinate, turns out the Sargent who is filling in while we look for a replacement was let off a few years back for the same thing. Pathetic conduct from those who are supposed to be keeping the peace, and actions that do not deserve respect from respectable people. And kids are plenty smart to see through the bullying tactics.

Nobody in civil society should be above the law. Even if the cop pleads it was accidental that should not prevent him from facing the same penalty that the photographer would had he used a gun and shot someone. Far too often these days it seems the cops are allowed to be above the law.

End rant.
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Old 09-07-2017   #63
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...If you haven't walked a mile in their shoes, then STFU, and that's especially true in potentially deadly force contexts...
The problem is in the current mindset of what is deadly threatening. A camera is not. A kid simply trying to get home for his midnight curfew is not. Having black skin is not. Civil society is a two-way street, and when the power is left in the hands of those who are able to abuse it without repercussions then we are all hurt.
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He shot a dude with a camera on a tripod, who was a friend
Old 09-07-2017   #64
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He shot a dude with a camera on a tripod, who was a friend

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Intriguing thread... I'd be interested in knowing how many of you all who have posted here have actually ever been in a scenario based training exercise. Many PD's offer those opportunities to private citizens to afford them a close hand look at what the experience is like. Call up your local PD and ask them if they have a Citizen Police Academy that would offer that opportunity. It's the old saw: If you haven't walked a mile in their shoes, then STFU, and that's especially true in potentially deadly force contexts. Don't believe me? Try it out!!
Dear Frank,

Walk a mile in their shoes?

The policeman shot a friend of his who had a camera on a tripod. I don't care how you look at things, if you can't see a problem with that you need better glasses, and not the other guy's shoes.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
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Old 09-08-2017   #65
oftheherd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Murphy View Post
Dear Frank,

Walk a mile in their shoes?

The policeman shot a friend of his who had a camera on a tripod. I don't care how you look at things, if you can't see a problem with that you need better glasses, and not the other guy's shoes.

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
I think there's a problem with your statement. We don't have all the facts of what happened, or why the officer thought he was reacting to a weapon.

If he was being unnecessarily careless, or arrogant, throw the book at him. If his actions are borderline understandable, maybe not.

I don't advocate protecting stupid. But wearing blue isn't proof of stupid. I don't support blaming every police officer for the actions of others, nor of supporting bad cops or even departments, because a department has a few good cops only.

You are correct that good 'glasses' are needed; ones that see all aspects of an incident should be used. And as to the saying about walking in someone's shoes, how about trying it so you can say you have, and therefore can speak with authority? That is, working in a neighborhood where all police are considered targets, or being given a lookout for a dangerous person who has just shot another officer with a rifle (on a rainy night with poor visibility), and you by yourself have just stopped a care reported stolen. Don't know if any of that applies, but within one year it could.

The problem as I stated before, is that we really don't know the circumstances. I am sorry for both the officer and the newsperson in this reported shooting. But I don't want to jump to conclusions about reasons for this happening without as many facts as possible.
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Old 09-08-2017   #66
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Originally Posted by sepiareverb View Post
The problem is in the current mindset of what is deadly threatening. A camera is not. A kid simply trying to get home for his midnight curfew is not. Having black skin is not. Civil society is a two-way street, and when the power is left in the hands of those who are able to abuse it without repercussions then we are all hurt.
No, a camera is not. But on a dark rainy night, with an object such as a light meter on a handle, what would you do? Shout out "Hey, I am officer friendly, you want to shoot the mean sergeant at the donut shop around the corner." More than likely, if you spot what you think is someone pointing a gun at you, you will get your gun out and shoot. And giving a command to drop the supposed gun would be nice, but do you give it before you have your gun in your hand, or after, and during all that decision time, will you get shot for hesitating?

Trying to get home for curfew (why miss it to begin with?), having black skin (no, nor being Asian, nor white if you are a black officer). But that does not appear to be the case here.
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Old 09-08-2017   #67
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OTH,

Makes a good point.

DISCLAIMER: The following actually happened, and I take responsibility for injuring and hurting an innocent person.

Understand it was in the 70's in NYC. This was an era of high crime and lawlessness. In 1974 NYC almost became like Detroit and was almost bankrupt.

So I was in the subway at 168th Street in Jamaica Queens, I was counting how many subway tokens I had, and someone approached me from behind and tapped me on the shoulder.

For me it was a matter of free association becoming "Free Assassination," partially a conditioned response from previous episodes of life threatening danger, where the subway system in the 70's was a dangerous place, I was counting money, and I was being surprised by being approached from behind.

So I turned and cold cocked a teenager not much younger than myself. Pretty much I laid him down. "Why did you hit me?" he said.

After the fact I realized that I over reacted, but really under the circumstances in the moment did I do the right thing? Hard to say, even though it was a mistake. I do understand why I did what I did. I can also say that under a similar situation today I really don't know how I would respond.

Not sure how others might of reacted, but research indicates that perhaps 3/4's of the population would of acted differently.

The kid only wanted to know if he was on the correct side for the train to Madhattan, but he made the innocent mistake of approaching someone from behind.

In WWII there was one study that suggested Army soldiers on their first day of combat were being killed at a high rate, and without having fired their weapon. It seems boot camp had inadiquitly had failed to prepare them for real combat. I am sure for some fear froze them, for others it was the inability to think under such duress, and for some it really was about the morality of violence and using lethal force. This study suggested that in WWII only 1/4 of the men in their first day of combat were able to fire their weapon.

In another study it suggests that during the Vietnam War that if new troops on the ground survived the first two weeks of combat that their odds of surviving their tour of duty rose dramatically.

In an analogy to these studies I mentioned I have an experience that supports the data.

I work in a nuclear physics lab: I run, operate and maintain a three and a half million dollar cyclotron (partical beam accelerator). One day at work I told my boss I was running down the block to Citibank to get cash from an ATM, but on my way back to work I saw that my building was evacuated due to a fire alarm, and I took notice that my boss was missing.

I have reason to dislike my boss, basically he is a jerk, but I broke procedure and did not follow my training, and I entered what could be like running into a burning building. When I got to my lab about 70-80 feet undergound which is built like a bunker I found out that the fire was real.

I saw my boss holding a CO2 fire extinguisher frozen right in front of an electrical cabinet that was on fire. Oddly a PhD Radio Chemist and a chemistry technician also stood by frozen. My boss had the same training I had, the fire extinguisher also was marked "safe for electrical fires," but my boss was unable to use his training and in that moment was also unable to read or process any information.

So basically I witnessed three smart highly educated people that were totally overwhelmed and unable to think, react, or process information. IMHO this is what really happens in an emergency.

I am no hero, but I had the sense to grab another CO2 fire extinguisher, pull the safety pin, and told my boss that it is safe to use the CO2 extinguisher and that a second one is right behind him.

I also told the other two bystanders not to leave my boss alone, and directed them that I was going to get the key and turn off the main breaker that was feeding the electrical fire.

So in a real life emergancy I witnessed three people who could not respond like in the WWII study, and only because I had experience with life threatening emergencies in my past that I was the only person able to respond to the stress that froze others.

I have not worn the uniform or shield, but I think I have had similar experiences that were potentially life threatening. I honestly told my boss that the next time I will not risk my life for him. LOL.

BTW the major cause of death among Cyclotron Engineers is electricution. My machine has voltages as high as 50K volts, and currents as high as 500 amps. When at full power and operating it consumes 80K kilowatts, or the equivelent power of 80 thousand hair driers.

Luckily the fire suppression system in my new building was faulty and did not get triggered. It seems the negative air pressure of my vault direct the smoke away from the smoke detectors.

Cal
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Old 09-08-2017   #68
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Jeeze Calzone..you had it rough...I grew up in midtown Manhattan in the 60's and early 70's...never had a problem w/cops...and even as a kid...when the older Irish cop who directed traffic on 59th and 7th ..found out my bike was stolen..w/o prompting...made sure I had another bike that same week as there was one down at the station...
Sure the streets were tough and I got robbed on occasion..but it is not sheer paranoia like it is today..
I really don't go out much anymore..no more street photography where I am..
I don't want trouble...
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Old 09-08-2017   #69
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Originally Posted by Emile de Leon View Post
Jeeze Calzone..you had it rough...I grew up in midtown Manhattan in the 60's and early 70's...never had a problem w/cops...and even as a kid...when the older Irish cop who directed traffic on 59th and 7th ..found out my bike was stolen..w/o prompting...made sure I had another bike that same week as there was one down at the station...
Sure the streets were tough and I got robbed on occasion..but it is not sheer paranoia like it is today..
I really don't go out much anymore..no more street photography where I am..
I don't want trouble...
Emile,

During the Vietnam Era, I looked like the enemy. I was born in 1958, and in the 1960 census there were less than 238K Asians in the U.S. I grew up in the suburbs of Long Island where I really stood out. I had to always be ready for attacks based on racial hatred.

The first thing I learned in kindergarden was how to fight. By third grade I had learned to be good at it.

I have never been robbed other than the break-in to my loft when away visiting my gal's relatives one Christmas.

Cal
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Old 09-08-2017   #70
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Originally Posted by narsuitus View Post

Photographer by Narsuitus, on Flickr
This Leica set up looks at first glimpse like a Lewis machine gun, a World War One infantry weapon.
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Old 09-08-2017   #71
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[Warning: long post with insider perspectives]

Thanks Cal!
I appreciate your kind words. I have been all of the people you mention. Emergency services, law enforcement, and even jobs I cannot talk about. I wasn't going to chime in, but this thread has shown a great amount of thoughtfulness and open-mindedness about the subject.

First. I am not currently in law enforcement. I have worked in law enforcement in the past. I am not currently a firefighter or paramedic, but I worked as such in the past. I am not an emergency services administrator, but I've worked as one in the past. I am a scientist whose lab is less dangerous than a particle accelerator apparently.

When I was younger, I wasn't interested in law enforcement, but did the coursework and training anyway (its a long story). I also wasn't interested in being a firefighter, but... I did want to travel to foreign lands and see the world. I did my POST and fire academy in southern California. My remaining training happened elsewhere. My careers in law enforcement, emergency services, and other service were all "accidental", but I'm glad I did them. I've had an interesting (to say the least) life. My current career is what I most wanted to do in life -- science.

I know about shooting and being shot:
I walk with a painful limp today. I was unarmed and checking up on a situation in a canyon on National Forest lands in southern California. As I wound my way up the canyon, on foot, I approached a bend with a large laurel tree on the side. A heavy set guy stepped from behind the tree. Looked at me. Reached down a pulled a rather long-barreled revolver (funny the details we remember). It was a target revolver with a 10-12 inch barrel and likely in .45 long Colt (in case any of you are interested). I had no time to think. This was the greatest fear I have ever felt in my entire life. I have been in many situations equally dangerous, but there is something about being unable to defend oneself from another human who is intent on ending your life. Obviously, I survived. I ran. Fast. The long barrel didn't help this guy and the only connection was above my left knee. We later found remnants of a methamphetamine "lab" behind the tree. Never found the shooter, but that wasn't my job. Every other time I've been shot at was different somehow. I never had that same fear experience as with the meth lab guy, and I never want to.

Anyway, that's off topic. I've known (and dated) many police officers and other law enforcement folks over the years, at local, state, and federal level. As with any group of people, they vary substantially in personality and "quality". Over the last 30+ years, I hate to say that I have noticed a shift in the number of local-level people that seem disconnected from the concept of law enforcement. Years ago, we built relationships with our community. Why? Because you NEEDED them as partners. Your job would be impossible otherwise. The buzzword for that nowadays is "community policing". I can tell you now that there can be no other kind if you wish to be successful. Someone above mentioned that many recruits are attracted to law enforcement because they crave the power that comes with it. Sadly, that may be a fair assessment of many new youngsters. It bothers me. At state and federal levels, not so much. The professionalism at these levels continues to impress me.

Culture is everything. Its been mentioned in posts above. And it was mentioned that there are "good" officers. Please believe me, there are many, many "good" police officers. But, in line with the trend I noted above, they seem to be the older, more experienced and level-headed guys (and gals), not so much the youngsters. Of course, that could be my perception bias, and I do know of very competent youngsters. Anyway, that culture also varies quite a bit among departments and gov't levels. But I see no pattern. People seem to expect small town departments to be more apt for "corruption" (I use this term very loosely), but not what I've seen. There are some small towns with top-notch professionalism and effective community policing policies that would (and should!) put larger departments to shame. Why? Culture (and luck). I can recall one small town in rural New Mexico with just a few officers. I happened to be speeding through the town one day and "met" one of those guys. Well, despite the deserved ticket, I had an opportunity to take a break with him and was I impressed. Turns out each of the guys (happens to be all guys, but they like gals too) really likes living in this small town. In other words, they want to be where they are, and they are intimate members of their community, and they are happy to be making a decent living that lets them live where they want. Sound familiar? All this fosters a positive environment and you get great police. By the way, plenty of guns in rural New Mexico. Still, I doubt these guys have ever come close to an unintended use of their firearm. I don't know what their training requirements or schedule might be.

Even though I'm trained and "authorized", I don't carry a firearm. After my incident with the meth lab shooter (which was about 27 years ago), I thought I would start, but I quickly began feeling odd about it. My job didn't really require it and I was self conscious. Today, none of my friends and colleagues even think I've held a gun, much less own one or be proficient. I like it that way. Still, I continued with training and certification, but that's about it. I mention the training because it seems to be a point of discussion here. Training does indeed vary a lot among local departments. Some small departments consider a few hours at the range as "training". Others have sophisticated scenario training (which I recommend for the curious). The advanced training is actually quite difficult. I hesitate to put it in writing, but I've made plenty of mistakes, misjudgements, and errors. That's why the training in the first place. I'm confident about my abilities to perform under "emergency" conditions, but I've definitely experienced the "frozen" moments Cal described, and I have been in a lot of "emergency" situations of many different kinds. (Feels odd to think back on it all). One training I don't think I received is how to defuse a situation with a mentally ill person. I did my academies in the late 1980s and it just wasn't a big topic then. Sure, there were plenty of classes on how to deal with the public, and that danced around the specifics of mentally ill, but not quite. I learned how to deal with difficult people on the job as a firefighter/medic. Mostly with people on drugs. Law enforcement is a difficult job, but firefighter/medic seemed harder. I worked in southern California and had the pleasure of seeing it all. I mean, I've seen it all. I also got to deal with nearly every kind of incident you can imagine. Especially once I moved to the mobile command unit for the state. Floods, riots (Rodney King), huge fires, tornados, earthquakes (SF world series quake), etc. Usually I developed and implemented multi-agency communications plans and infrastructure. I mention all this because the thread has touched on the topic of PTSD. I can tell you now that essentially all members of the law enforcement and emergency services community have some level of PTSD. If you know us (friends or family), then you know the rather twisted sense of humor that develops as a coping mechanism. Don't fault them for it. Its a necessary thing. I'm amazed at the resiliency of most members of this community. And it ties back into culture (I'm coming round to it). Like military veterans, cops and firefighters are in a "brotherhood" (we include sisters too). Even today, I continue to feel it. This is both good and bad. Without this strong, safe brotherhood, I think the PTSD and other rigors of the job would crush people. The bad part is the unwritten code of protection. The "Blue Wall" mentioned above is strong. You do not harm your brother (or sister), even when you know they did wrong. Period. For me, during the years I carried a badge, I never received a speeding ticket or anything. The culture we keep coming back to is a complicated thing. In my mind, it seems we should be able to exploit culture for positive change. For example, as mentioned above, if it were possible to recruit and keep quality people, the culture can be a positive force in helping to retain the good people via the effective support it provides. With culture comes a strong sense of pride and duty; if the shapers of this culture demonstrated the kind of behaviour and ethic associated with good law enforcement, the culture would be a great reinforcement. At FBI, despite my core disagreement with some administrators, I see this positive side of culture. The guys and gals I know are highly professional with an appropriate sense of duty and ethic. There's one agent in particular I admire for her ability to balance appropriate and inappropriate. She just has it down.

This post is long enough.. Sorry. Clearly this is something I think about and I'm not in those fields any more. I'm a scientist/statistician. Those careers were just "fun" stuff to do while on the way to becoming a scientist. I also managed to be a photographer and competitive rock climber as well. Sleep? Well yeah, a little.
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Old 09-08-2017   #72
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When I was in middle school. I got picked on for having non-white friends. Mostly hispanic (Mexican), but also an Asian friend too. I never learned how to fight very well, but after standing up to the bullies a few times, they lost interest. They don't like it when you don't cower and run. Perhaps it takes the fun out of being a bully? I wouldn't know...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
Emile,

During the Vietnam Era, I looked like the enemy. I was born in 1958, and in the 1960 census there were less than 238K Asians in the U.S. I grew up in the suburbs of Long Island where I really stood out. I had to always be ready for attacks based on racial hatred.

The first thing I learned in kindergarden was how to fight. By third grade I had learned to be good at it.

I have never been robbed other than the break-in to my loft when away visiting my gal's relatives one Christmas.

Cal
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Old 09-08-2017   #73
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There are LEOs that should not be in that line of work. There are also LOTS of great people who are in that line. Sadly, some are leaving due to changes in benefits/pay.

B2 (;->
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Old 09-08-2017   #74
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Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
...Deputy Jake Shaw should be fired.

Contrary to his statement, he was not doing his job. Not unless the Miami Valley Police Dept considers shooting bystanders to be part of the job that they want their police officers to do.

How do you actually rationalize shooting a bystander with a camera??? And which boss is going to let you get away with rationalizing it???

Furthermore, everyone who knows this guy should run the minute they seem him with a gun. I for one do not want him to be anywhere near me while carrying a gun. He is a menace to those around him whether he consciously considers himself to be one or not.
amen to all of this.

what frightens me more though is the 'don't give the cops a reason to shoot you' crowd. serve up the rights of millions of people on a platter without a second thought.

cops have tough jobs, no doubt but you NEVER want to cease being the oversight of them as a voting citizen. when security services of any kind start getting away with murder guess what they start doing a lot of?
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Old 09-08-2017   #75
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Quote:
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...Deputy Jake Shaw should be fired.

.....
You know, I was thinking about this and I have to disagree. They have already spend a lot of money training Deputy Shaw, he needs to be reassigned. Let's send him to train recruits on how not to make the same mistake that he made.

They are spending a more on him with the investigation.

It was a mistake, not malicious as we have seen so often these days. He has to earn the right to carry, perhaps a few years out.

Let's leverage what we can and help him recover and teach others to be better.

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Having worked in law enforcement many moons ago....
Old 09-08-2017   #76
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Having worked in law enforcement many moons ago....

on temporarily basis, and having several friends who retired after a long life of service in police forces, I can tell you that there are two kind of people who enter into the police: 1) the one who wants to make sure things are right, people do the right thing, and are usually good people, intelectuales smart, also street smart, gentle, nice, and use force only when needed to stop a bad action; the other 2) the ones who if not accepted into the police force, end up on the criminal path. These ones are usually muscle tonic, abusers, join the Force to subdue others and demonstrate their power. These are the ones that often cross the fine blue line that separate the good from the bad. Unfortunately, there are more of the second class wearing a uniform.
The unions are usually managed by the second type and there is no way the good cops are going to say or testify against another cop. They not only can make their life miserable, they can actually murder them in many ways. District attorneys work with the police, and very seldom they will prosecute a cop, because they will not work with them anymore. I have been around the US, and I can tell you some specificities from every area. For example a cop in the South is very different from the cop in California.
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Here is an example of a good cop
Old 09-08-2017   #77
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Here is an example of a good cop

Here is an example of a good cop.
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Old 09-09-2017   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oftheherd View Post
No, a camera is not. But on a dark rainy night, with an object such as a light meter on a handle, what would you do? Shout out "Hey, I am officer friendly, you want to shoot the mean sergeant at the donut shop around the corner." More than likely, if you spot what you think is someone pointing a gun at you, you will get your gun out and shoot. And giving a command to drop the supposed gun would be nice, but do you give it before you have your gun in your hand, or after, and during all that decision time, will you get shot for hesitating?

Trying to get home for curfew (why miss it to begin with?), having black skin (no, nor being Asian, nor white if you are a black officer). But that does not appear to be the case here.
The reality (from what i have read about it) is that far fewer police officers are shot at that civilians. And the US is way outside the realm of normal in how police/civilian interactions go down. lethal force is all too often used in this country. Just last week five officers fired on a guy simultaneously here in VT.
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Old 09-09-2017   #79
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I think part of the problem may be in the way officers are taught to see all members of the public as 'potential terrorists' and not just mostly 'ordinary people' with a few 'baddies' in there somewhere.

Hence an officer can end up shooting a friend.

This shift has come in the wake of 911 and the bombings etc. since then.
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Old 09-09-2017   #80
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Here is an example of a good cop.
Thanks for sharing.
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