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The Paranoid Style of American Policing


The Paranoid Style of American Policing

Ta-Nehisi Coates

When I was around 10 years old, my father confronted a young man who was said to be “crazy.” The young man was always too quick to want to fight. A foul in a game of 21 was an insult to his honor. A cross word was cause for a duel, and you never knew what that cross word might be. One day, the young man got into it with one of my older brother’s friends. The young man pulled a metal stake out of the ground (there was some work being done nearby) and began swinging it wildly in a threatening manner.


Thank you Mr Coates for this moral vision. The tragedy of people calling police for help with relatives results in many killings of people who did not deserve to die - calling police for help should be seen as, unfortunately, a death sentence at this point…

Police kill without need or cause and lie about it. Prosecutors are police by another name, and protect them, not the public, as we see all too clearly and all too often.

read the entire piece @ http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/12/illegitimacy-and-american-policing/422094/


This is wrong. People should not accept the premise that calling police is a death sentence! This a damn job not some special calling from on high! A damn job and any time a person is killed without real cause should be reason enough to fire the officer if not bring them up on manslaughter or murder charges.

A bat? Shoot the kid in the leg dammit! Value a human life, don’t shoot to kill unless absolutely necessary. Tazers, pepper spray, billy clubs, tackling and martial arts whatever… wound if you have to but don’t kill unless you have to.

F’k this crap. These are employees with a gun not a license to kill! Obey or die is not policing it is stormtrooper stuff!

Police should defuse situations not shoot to kill. This is sickening and it sure is starting to look like copycat murder… except the cops are doing the copycat of each other and becoming eager to kill without incurring a penalty.

Hell call a cop and someone dies is not a civil society… it isn’t even civilization. What it is I don’t know but murder is murder by whomever does it.


Not buying the premise that these individuals are so terrified for their lives they have to use lethal force on children with toy guns, women with knives, mentally ill individuals with bats etc. I think they want to use their guns and look for opportunities.


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I believe an important question to ask is if police officers or law enforcement improve outcomes. In this most recent incident I wonder if Quintonio LeGrier and Bettie Jones would have lost their lives if law enforcement were not involved. I want to believe the answer is no even though I don’t own a crystal ball. So frustrating. It seems that law enforcement has proven itself to be very skilled and efficient at making problems worse.


And some cops will kill without compunction to cover up their own gross incompetence.