Doug B

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  1. My interpretation: it was both of the things you pointed out. It's also clear that the PI was personally frustrated by the approach, and taken aback by the cop's insta-draw. Some of the PI's reaction is frustration, for sure -- he wasn't stoic about it. I think if the cop waved and then walked up with his weapon holstered and asked the PI "Good afternoon, sir -- is everything all right?", the PI would have shown the cop his PI license much earlier on.
  2. Don't know about in Charlotte ... but our local PD (not New Orleans, but a suburban town nearby) LOVES their automated license plate scanners. At least here, if the car's owner is the one driving -- yes, they actually CAN get your criminal record in hand before pulling you over. Locally, though, it's used more to find people with expired inspection tags & plates. Driving legally is not enough to avoid getting pulled over -- they don't even run the plates actively. As they drive around, the plate runner tells them what nearby cars to pull over for $$$-generating tickets.
  3. I've skipped the last several responses, so this may have been pointed out, but: in this particular instance, the man in the car was parked where he was in a professional capacity (as a private investigator). When he told the cop he was "working" or "doing his job" (I forget the exact wording), the PI was being truthful. But the PI didn't want his cover blown -- if he could get the cop to move on in short order, the PI would be OK and be able to continue his surveillance. If not, and the cop made a scene, had a bunch of other cops show up, etc., then the PI's cover is blown and his immediate work assignment is shot.
  4. Two men having a urination match -- "rights" vs. "authority". Tough situation for the PI in the car ... he probably gets approached all the time during his stakeouts. The PI is 100% correct, though -- it's legal to sit in in his vehicle on a public street (where parking is allowed) so long as he's not on private property or violating a peace bond/restraining order. TGunz, Bender, Squis ... those guys might know of some counterexamples, but: from the famous cop-kills-black-man shootings (the ones since Ferguson, for sure), they don't ever seem to start off with the victim asserting his lawful rights to a deputy. I don't know of a case like that, anyway. So I wouldn't say the PI was exactly lucky he didn't get shot ... but it was fortunate that he knew the right questions to ask and the right way to stand his ground, as it were. And when I say "right way", I mean "right way" for that particular encounter on that particular day -- on another day with another deputy, the PI could well have been shot. The PI was more confrontational than he had to be, I guess, but he did not contribute at all to escalating the situation. I would bet the officer approaching the PI's car with weapon drawn was contra police training.
  5. IIRC, just took a few days after last season to get the 2015 MLB stats loaded into WIS.
  6. Explaining not advocating: Most of my money is on "The video is not cut-and-dried, and won't help settle the matter". I'm still hedging a few bucks on "The video nails the cop to the wall", though.
  7. I saw it and gained no clarity at all. Could not see what happened in the least -- way too shaky. Couldn't even see the shooting victim until he was already dead on the ground. ... Overall, a lot of people like to see "video", wonder where "the video" is, they gotta have "video". In what seems to me to be a strong majority of cases (but I'm not counting) ... the video helps little, and a lot of situations look like 50-50 calls at best. Video is nowhere near the cure-all a lot of people think it is. Hopefully, the technology improves a ton in future years so that clearer, better-angled shots are more consistently available.
  8. That's problematic in and of itself. People from outside of the community are only invested in their message and making sure compelling visuals get on TV/the Net. Traveling protestors are not invested in the local community and can walk away cleanly from any aftereffects of looting and property damage that may occur. They also necessitate a police presence at their protests ... this in areas where police are much more needed elsewhere.
  9. A lot of that went on in Baton Rouge in July, as well. Makes it very hard to take the overall protests seriously, even with a worthwhile message ... the protests aren't organic, home-grown, man-on-the-local-street concerns. People are swooping in from outside and making sure they're getting the attention of television cameras and YouTubers.
  10. No common ground here -- I disagree with the bolded. Lengthen the time frame, maybe go back another generation. Keep in mind that the comparison to African-Americans is difficult because African-Americans don't often have the option of passing off as "not African-American". In any event, I think the general social turmoil of the '60s ended up indirectly helping homosexual citizens 30-40 years later. ISTM that America "liberalized" during that time, and the teens/young adults of ~1965-75 raised a generation that today uphold values that allow for full (legal) inclusion of homosexuals in society.
  11. Well, our generation won't be the one to benefit from what eventual improvements come from these initiatives. Dismantling systemic racism is a lot harder than simply tweaking the ground rules. IMHO, people pretty much cannot change their minds on racial issues after a certain point in life -- the best that can be hoped from someone already racist is that they learn to suppress the actions that my result from their most base thoughts. And the whole thing is fraught with trip wires. Progress might look good for a spell ... then there'll be another foul-up, and here comes the protesters, BLM, etc. to get their opponents dug in harder. This is why I often tell people there is much value in forgetting. Individuals almost never forget, but generations do die off and society's collective memory can more or less forget. That will take some time to have a society-wide effect on racial issues, obviously.
  12. Not much of a solution ... but maybe humanity doesn't deserve to "have it all", as it were. It's already apparent to me that society will have to splinter A LOT more going forward before it can become (kind of) united. Things are only a little bad now ... but no one can escape their mental bubbles and their perspectives, so further suffering must ensue for a very long time. But, society cannot grow except through crisis ... hopefully the Americans of the 22nd century will be a little further along than we are.
  13. This is why the problems are intractable on any less-than-multi-generational time frames. Perspective absolutely kills people's ability to access reality, to take in information, to change feelings and behaviors. And humans really can't do any better any faster ... we're so limited by our experiences and perceptions.
  14. Good questions, but that stuff can't change fast enough for this cops-killing-people-wrongly issue to ever get fixed. Personal belief: if all police, DAs, judges, etc. were wished to the cornfield right now ... and every prison and station house vanished into the void ... the lives of America's poorest citizens would not change very much. They would just be preyed upon further by what criminal element remains. And should poor neighborhoods institute an ad hoc citizen "police force" ... those "policemen" would soon take on an us-vs-them mindset and start the bad-shoot traffic stop stuff anew. There is no workable solution.
  15. Any conceivable human society will have above-the-law strongmen wielding their power in unfair and potentially lethal ways. Now, societies can broadly choose whether or not these strongmen are agents of the state or not. Not sure that conveys anything helpful ... I just don't think we can improve or do much better. It's either criminal cops or criminal, um, criminals. Is it helpful in any way to have some portion of society's inevitable criminal element constrained in an environment with dash cams, body cameras, and at least a framework (if often unused) for accountability? People will die at the hands of these badged criminals, yes ... are those deaths too high a statistical cost to society to pay for at least limiting the sociaetal damage these criminal cops would potentially cause? I don't know ... just don't see a solution. Or even a mitigation.