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New York Times

Momentary Decision: How the Supreme Court Proceedings Shaped Modern Police

In some cases, it took only a moment for the police to pull the trigger. 13-year-old Adam Toledo, who lives in Chicago, threw his pistol and began raising his hand. 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant, who lives in Columbus, Ohio, rushed into another teenager with a knife. Tyrell Wilson, a 33-year-old homeless man with a mental illness in Danville, California, was holding a knife when he shouted “kill” to an approaching deputy sheriff. All three were one of more than 100 people shot dead by police in the last six weeks. The justification of officers for using deadly forces in each case of signing up for the morning newsletter from The New York Times depends on the situation. However, as with almost all other recent cases, including the issue of the use of force by police, law enforcement officers defending police officers rely on the doctrine set by the Supreme Court 30 years ago. , Now deeply rooted in police culture. No matter how hindsight makes the killing seem unnecessary, the second guess is the policeman’s momentary decision. Now, the national movement, initiated by George Floyd’s death, has been bolded by police convictions for the murder last week and is pushing to change that standard. Most criminologists agree that police officers sometimes have to use deadly forces to protect themselves and others, but many criminologists say that wide freedom under the rules is the number of police killings. Parliament and many state legislators are beginning to demand stricter restrictions, saying it is an obstacle to reducing the number of people. The number of people killed by US police (consistently about 1,000 per year) is much higher than in other developed countries. As in the case of Adam Toledo, Makia Bryant and Tyrell Wilson, the disproportionate number of shootings was by white police officers against people of color. And many experts say that the momentary criterion is partly due to the number of deaths. “I’m sure that’s the number one cause,” said Lawrence W. Sherman, an American criminal scholar with experience at police stations in New York and Minneapolis, now an emeritus professor at the University of Cambridge. “It puts the United States in extreme exceptionism in allowing murders that would be prosecuted elsewhere like Britain,” he added. Police union lawyers reflect that police kill rates in the United States have higher levels of civilian violence due to higher gun ownership and weaker social safety nets than in other wealthy countries. Claims to be. They say that momentary decision-making criteria are essential to keeping officers and the public safe. “If police officers don’t act, individuals are likely to be killed,” said Larry James, a legal adviser to the Fraternal Order of Police, pointing out the recent shootings of a 16-year-old boy in Columbus. “Police officers are obliged to take that action to save the lives of other citizens or his or her own. This is not a quarterbacking on Monday morning, but a criterion that police should judge,” he adds. I did. Until the mid-1980s, policies regarding the use of force varied widely from state to state. Some have allowed fatal actions against seriously guilty fugitive suspects, even if they pose no imminent threat. It was changed in 1985. The Supreme Court ruled in Tennessee vs. Garner that police could only fire if there was reason to believe that the fugitive suspect poses a serious injury or death threat to police officers or others. According to the survey, the number of police killings has steadily declined over the next four years. But in 1989, a more conservative court took a different approach in the Graham v. Connor decision, setting a dominant precedent today. The case was filed by Desorn Graham, a black man who stopped by on suspicion of shoplifting after police rushed in and out of a convenience store in Charlotte, North Carolina. Graham, a diabetic who is anxious for orange juice to avoid attacks due to hypoglycemia, told police that he rushed out of the store for a long checkout. But when he staggered and temporarily fainted, police officers assumed he was drunk, pushed him into tight handcuffs, broke his leg, cut his wrist, bruised his forehead, and injured his shoulder. I let you. The Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court and determined that police only had to meet the criteria that a reasonable police officer might do. The High Court said the “reasonable” criteria should include a special response to the pressure of police work. “The calculation of rationality takes into account the fact that police officers are often forced to make momentary decisions about the amount of force required in a particular situation in a tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving situation. “Must be included,” wrote Chief Judge William H. Renquist in a majority opinion. “‘All pushes or sticks’ were inappropriate.” “Even if the peace of the judge’s room might seem unnecessary later,” the Chief Justice quoted a previous decision. The lower court finally ruled in favor of the police. The Supreme Court’s opinion does not explicitly address deadly forces, only defines the rights of suspects, and does not define the restrictions that states can impose on law enforcement agencies. But what the legislatures and judges are for police officers who often make momentary decisions as a test to assess the use of police force, whether deadly or not, sympathetic to the police. We mainly adopted the question of whether it was rational. Barry Friedman, a law professor at New York University and director of a police project that drafted a model law to regulate, said Graham vs. Connor became a “roadster” and “almost nothing is out of scope. Was created. ” Use of force by police. The same standards have been incorporated into American police training and practices. “It’s often overlooked because it’s part of the law enforcement’s DNA and acts in the background to determine our actions,” a police magazine said in a 2014 article on the decision. Declared. “A generation of officers has been trained in the practical meaning of the case and has spent decades applying it to all decisions on the use of force,” the article said. Published in response to a wave of protests against a black man, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, claiming excessive power in a deadly shooting. The police officer who killed Brown was not charged, partly claiming that he had made a momentary decision about his self-defense. Rachel Harmon, a police lawyer at the University of Virginia, said many critics were ambiguous about the many options leading up to the conflict when the criteria were focused at the moment the policeman triggered. It states that it will be. For example, she said, did the police officer recklessly enter the danger, or did they take steps to overcome the situation? The same criteria also make it more difficult to combat racial prejudice in the use of deadly forces, even though black suspects are more than twice as likely to be killed by police as people of other races. Columbia University. “The only thing the policeman has to say is,’I was afraid of my life.’ That’s a magic word,” he said. However, statistics strongly suggest that “police are more likely to form a sense of imminent danger when confronting blacks than whites.” Chauvin was partially convicted for failing to claim that Floyd’s choking was a momentary decision. But critics of the Momentary Standard cite a series of innocent black police shootings. In 2015, Cleveland police officers suddenly stopped a cruiser just a few feet from a black 12-year-old Tamir Rice playing in the park with a toy replica gun. .. He died the next day. The following year, a police officer in the suburbs of Minnesota pulled Philland Castile, a 32-year-old black man driving with his girlfriend and daughter. Police officers shot him five times at close range and killed him in a parked car seat, fearing he might have been trying to get a gun. In 2018, police rushed to the street corner of Brooklyn’s Crown Heights section to investigate potential shooter reports. Shortly thereafter, he shot and killed Saheed Vassell, a 34-year-old black man with a mental illness. neighborhood. He was pointing at the pipe they mistaken for a weapon. The policeman who shot Castile was acquitted of manslaughter. Officers in other cases were not charged. The city where Tamir Rice and Castile were murdered paid millions of dollars to settle a civil lawsuit. Professor Seth Storton of the University of South Carolina Law School said the momentary criterion was “a way to isolate officers from critical reviews.” A former police officer in Tallahassee, Florida, he testified as an expert witness in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed Floyd. Now, after the turmoil over Floyd’s killing, many state and federal lawmakers are trying to impose new restrictions on the use of force. Maryland law passed this month over the Governor’s objection states that such action is “necessary” to prevent a “threat of imminent physical injury” or to achieve “legitimate law enforcement objectives.” And demands that it must be “proportional”. Officers who are injured or die in violation of these rules are subject to imprisonment of up to 10 years. California, Illinois, and other state legislatures are discussing similar measures, and the House of Representatives last year passed its own bill calling for an attempt to deescalate, raising standards for the use of force. Some police supporters argue that the new rules could violate the right of police officers to protect themselves. “The benefits and luxuries of hindsight, time and tranquility have allowed all kinds of use of force, police experts and even lawyers to say that there is more that police officers can do,” said David. Told. Mastagni, a California lawyer for the police union who helped lobby in Sacramento against such restrictions. “The police are then retroactively stripped of their right to self-defense,” said James, a Fraternal Order of Police legal counsel, who has wiped out all legislative efforts and is not worried. He said that even if states and parliament pass stricter standards than “Graham vs. Connor,” it often depends heavily on whether they continue to direct the jury since the ruling. Second decision. This article was originally published in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company

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