By Dr. Ray Kessler, who is, incidentally, a retired Prof. of Criminal Justice, former defense attorney and prosecutor is your host. I am also a part-time instructor in Criminal Justice at Richland College, an outstanding, 2-year institution in Dallas, TX.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015
More transparency means better policing
Many contend that increasing scrutiny of police is a bad thing and leads to police timidity and more crime. This is termed the "Ferguson effect." There's no data to support it and the benefits of increased transparency are changing police for the better.
In the NYT, a former NYPD cop tells it like it WAS:
“First, let me take you back to the way
policing used to be. Years ago, a group of men walked into a Harlem bar with
bats and hatchet handles. Moments later, they’d left their calling card: broken
bones and fractured skulls.
This wasn’t a robbery, but restitution.
Earlier in the day, a young patrol officer had been attacked by unruly patrons
of the bar. This cop’s off-duty brothers in arms made sure to give anyone there
a strong “attitude adjustment.”Continue reading the
My New York Police Department instructor shared this story with me and
my fellow recruits to explain “shaking the tree” — how the community had a
price to pay for the assault on an officer. No one would dare report the
incident, we were told, because it would be the officers’ word against the
public’s — no contest.
For many years, this was the world in
which our nation’s police agencies operated. What happened in the darkness of
inner-city streets was between the police and whoever was on the other side of
the nightstick and, on occasion, a gun. The police reports all read the same:
The suspect had a shiny object, he reached for something, he forced me to act
This was an inextricable part of the
policing culture in America, and many Americans benefited from these aggressive
tactics if their streets were safer. Frankly, we as a nation ignored how people
were treated to get the results.”
Body cams, dashcams, and smart phones have changed all this. Criminal prosecutions of police appear to be on the rise. More and more agencies are using body cams.More training is being offered. However, more needs to be done, as explained in the article.