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Message Subject US police officer kills Marine in front of his children in California
Poster Handle Anonymous Coward
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We seem to swing from one extreme to another. As a kid in the 80s the violent crime rate in my town [NYC] was OUT OF CONTROL. An average of 2000 [!] murders a year. Gangs everywhere. I'm not going to get into the demographics of the violent street crime wave because everybody should know what they are. The police were able to do little because of politics.

Today, violent crime has been drastically reduced compared to the bad old 1970s and 80s. NYC averages 400 murders a year vs 2000 20 years ago. But our civilian police appear to be militarized, right down to the uniforms they often wear, like SWAT. And they swagger with a paramilitary attitude, with a dislike of the average citizen, a us vs them mentality, to boot. Some of this is to be expected, because the law and internal police regulation [the rules of engagement determined by the suits upstairs] force them to be often harsh and provide little procedural leeway. Much of this attitude though is a result of external societal forces. Our society in general gets more hardened, more stratified, tear by year. Cops are affected by this trend just like anyone else.

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As for California: Cops there are particularly harsh at least partially because there's a DEADLY violent gang problem. And they have no problem attacking law enforcement. If you were a cop, and had, for example, stopped a car for some violation, you'd be damn careful, even paranoid, as you walk up to the vehicle, watching that window roll down, not knowing if a gun will pop out and shoot you in the face.
 
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