Franklin E. Zimring poses for a portrait.

An estimated 1,000 Americans are killed by police each year. Of those 1,000 only 600 are armed with a gun, black men are killed at a rate double their proportion of the U.S. population, and only one officer will be convicted of a felony. In his new book “When Police Kill,” Berkeley criminologist Franklin Zimring argues that increasing the conviction rate of police won’t prevent unnecessary killings and that reform efforts should focus on new leadership and placing restrictions on when police shoot. In this hour, we’ll talk with Zimring about his analysis of the use of lethal force and discuss how killings by police can be reduced while still protecting the lives of enforcement officers.

Guests:
Franklin E. Zimring, professor of law, UC Berkeley School of Law; author, "When Police Kill"

  • geraldfnord

    As someone who owns property to an extent likely impossible without laws and their implicit threat of State violence, and who doesn’t want to have to go around armed all the time and sleep with a shotgun across his lap (if at all), I support there being police and understand that violence and its threat—done in my name and the polity’s—are parts of their job. Some of their fans, though….

    There are some in the public who think the use of force is the police officer’s entire job. As far as I know, ever since Peel (at the least) each use of force beyond an unasked-for hand on the shoulder—serious enough to be ‘assault and battery’ if one civilian does it to another—represents to some extent a failure. Some failures are inevitable…others represent poor training, poor planning, someone’s having a bad day, or in some few but significant cases actual malice or negligence rising to malice.

  • Paul

    Can the guest comment on the impact of political correctness on the police?
    In Sweden an officer was threatened with being fired for merely pointing out that 90% of the serious crimes like rape and extortion that he investigates are by Muslim immigrants.
    Is that true in the USA?

    Description:

    • Kevin Skipper

      It was a racist lie, just like the statistics so causally brandished about by this police state pundit. Krasny will cross-question him but the set-up will be sure not to allow any debate to force the guest to contextualize his comments.

      Just more excuses for police (and white citizens) to justify irrational fears about armed and violent minorities.

    • Kevin Skipper

      Beware of those who use your gullibility and lack of virility against your critical faculties. Take any fantasy reports from the rapingest country in the world BEFORE immigration figures with a generous grain of salt. Scandinavia it the frontrunner of achieving racial homogeneity by any means necessary. Can’t be trusted by those interested in the truth.

    • Kevin Skipper

      Ignorant racism. Again. So very very very very very tired and played out, Paul, yet nobody deletes YOUR posts. Curious. Must be a Berkeley thing. Birth Of A Nation. 1919 propaganda film gave birth to the KKK is famous for its convincing white men that their women were at risk of being raped and impregnated by freed and wild blacks. Justified decades of white-on-black murder and lynchings as well as objectified white women. Bad on all sides, it’s the same thinking that demonizes and exposes beneficiaries of white male privilege and supremacy.

  • Kevin Skipper

    Interested in an actual inside story? Why not talk to a black man about it? What do you think a Berkeley criminologist to say!?!?! He’s employed by the biggest group of Nazi’s this side of the Rhine!

  • Kevin Skipper

    Compared to ‘other’ countries??? To what countries, with a still present captive minority and a racialized police state, do you compare?

  • Kevin Skipper

    HERE WE GO!!!!!

    Always eager to let whites glibly discuss black mortality rates as some scientifically accepted metric.

    WHO THE F*CK IS UNCLE EDDIE SUPPOSED TO BE? Shooting at his wife? Sounds more like a trailer park to me.

    This is pathetic.

    Empty numbers from what sounds like a publicly employed sociopath? Great job.

  • EIDALM

    Both victims of the police violence as well as the policemen themselves are the result of the U S unjust, and unequal economy, when we bring millions of children to the World specially African American children, and instead of giving them their given right to good education and good living wages jobs, we give them drugs and guns instead….That is exactly why the U S have the greatest violence and death of all countries.and by far the highest number of people in prison per capital in the World.

  • Kevin Skipper

    yes, yes, yes, AND THE SOLUTION IS…..

    yeah. just like I thought.

  • Kevin Skipper

    OK. Explain WHY US police officers are in SUCH greater danger than say, British cops? Do the criminals here have less refined accents and are therefore more predisposed to provocations and gunplay?

    • William – SF

      ah….more guns ….ah here than there ….?

      • Kevin Skipper

        Germans make and use the best firearms on the planet. Same in Austria, Canada and Britain. The CULTURES are not built on the same gun craziness because people have not been subjected to the polarizing forces of America’s CONTINUED segregation. It’s not our distant past that makes the situation. It’s our ignored present.

  • Another Mike

    Two questions:
    – Are black people in fact more likely to be killed by police than people of other races?
    – Does the rate depend on the race of the police officer?

    • Paul

      Wrong question. Most people killed by cops are white.

      Also ask, are nonwhite cops more likely to kill whites?

      • Another Mike

        Am I going to have to explain the concept of “likelihood”?

        • Paul

          The likelihood of you being PC is 100%

        • Kevin Skipper

          The (highly) conservative estimate given by the guest is 26% or twice as likely per capita.

      • Kevin Skipper

        Most sources embraced by Paul are, though well-interpreted, corporatized, whitewashed and misleading.

    • Kevin Skipper

      I doesn’t really matter the actual numbers so let’s not pretend. We’re conditioned to use black bodies as hypothetical worst-case-scenario placeholders in our sterilized crime-fighting models. Most justifiable fear reactions by police, most believable motives by assailants, least questionable outcomes as they rarely effect ANY but the black community from which most liberal whites are WELL insulated, separated and protected.

      Police of all colors are protected by the fact that it’s their job to protect white property, bodies, and ideal, in that order.

  • Kevin Skipper

    Seems that this guest has NO interest in responding to ANY question about racial trends in police stops, arrests, shootings, and deaths. Just scary examples of the dangers faced by police as they are deployed to keep control over unruly minority communities.

    “How can we tell them when to stop shooting when their lives are CONSTANTLY in danger?”

    • Noelle

      Time for you to call in!!!

      • William – SF

        Ring ring, Ring, ring, …

      • Kevin Skipper

        Line stayed conveniently busy. Posted more than enough questions for Krasny to pick one up. Really, it doesn’t matter. We all know that if I were to call, the producers or the host would shelter the guest from my carpet-bombing with concilatory and obligatory misdirection or oversimplification. It’s their job. Opinion builders. Goes with the territory.

        Thing is, once they pour that foundation, they’re stuck. Stationary. I can go, collect my demolition tools, implements and methodologies and return at my leisure.

        It’s the recessive manhood of a fearful race. It’ll be here when I get back.

  • Juan Amarro

    Here is the relevant video about the 21 foot rule. In this video, a police trainer demonstrates why a knife beats a gun within 21 feet.

    • Kevin Skipper

      For Gullible Eyes Only

      • Juan Amarro

        Whether you agree or disagree with it, you can see what police see during their training.
        It’s very easy to (safely) reproduce this experiment of knife vs. gun.

        • Kevin Skipper

          I obviously don’t agree. Police are liars. They exaggerate stress and danger in order to justify a fear requisite in the general public. Disingenuous and dangerous, especially to immigrants who know nothing else of American life. Polarizes people of color towards sympathizing with police, often against one another.

          • Juan Amarro

            Have you already or would you be willing to go for a “ride along” for a day or two, in order to see this first hand? Many police depts. offer this, and it would give your point of view more credibility.

          • Kevin Skipper

            Hmmm what happened to my previous comment?
            All the same, if you go on a ride-along with INS or better, yet, ICE and I’ll go on one with BPD. Fair?

    • Kevin Skipper

      If police and the public are so justified and rational in their fear, then why won’t he explain the difference in risk between US, British and German officers? Sounds REAL sneaky to me.

    • chriswinter

      That video is persuasive for the case where a suspect suddenly pulls a knife and rushes at the officer. But it doesn’t cover the cases where a suspect is just standing there holding the knife and still gets shot from 20 or more feet away.

  • Kevin Skipper

    You know this guy is a liar because he speaks in overemphasized paragraphical illustrations about a subject that would otherwise lend itself perfectly to a rational conversation.

    Zimring. You’re a gun salesman. Just say it. Not guns OR tasers, guns AND tasers! Yeah. We get it. Now, if you please, adjust your cadence to a non Hillary Clinton DNC address tone and talk like a NORMAL, TRUSTWORTHY PERSON. You’re creeping me out but I refuse to turn off this trash. If I can’t stop it, I can at least mark it and get back at you when I have the resources.

    • Another Mike

      He’s a professor, and apparently has only one tone of voice for the imparting of information to the masses.

      (Yeah, I know Krasny is a professor, but he’s been on the radio for decades.)

      • Kevin Skipper

        That’s not a professorial tone. That’s the voice of a propagandist ideologue. No place for that in public, non-fascist education which is why he’s employed by Cal.

        • Another Mike

          That’s so he can be heard even in the back of a large lecture hall.

          • Kevin Skipper

            Is that where the interview was taking place? I bet he talks like that in libraries and hospitals too.

            “I’M GONNA GET…GRUMPY WITH YOU!…I’M GONNA THROW AROUND SOME NUMBERS. 100% OF WHAT I’M SAYING IS STATE-FUNDED PROPAGANDA. BEFORE FEDERAL POLICE OVERSIGHT, WE KNEW VIRTUALLY NOTHING OF THIS!!!!

            The Samuel L. Jackson of Sather’s Gate.

  • Robert Thomas

    Cardioid choke holds are prohibited?

    What about epicycloid choke holds?

    • Noelle

      carotid artery?

      • Robert Thomas

        I suspect that that’s what Dr Krasny meant. I was having some perhaps misplaced fun with our English professor host.

        • William – SF

          …don’t we all, just not out loud 🙂

  • anon408

    I was surprised to see the SF cop in the video NOT use a baton or pepper spray – he was clearly -physically- ‘out-gunned’. On the other hand, as his life could be seen to be in danger, I could see this as a ‘clean’ shooting of the individual. A tazer may or not have worked. A simple tox screen would clear the drugs angle, but will this homeless man simply walk out of the hospital to perhaps attack another, less capable individual?

    • Kevin Skipper

      Uh huh….

      “clean-shot” is a hunting term not usually applicable to non-Gestapo law enforcement/police work.

  • Noelle

    What about the militarization of police forces as well as police departments hiring veterans of Afghanistan & Iraq wars? Are veterans more or less likely to use lethal force?

  • Fay Nissenbaum

    One of my nurse colleagues, Richard Poccia (a nurse practitioner at SFGeneral), was shot to death by Napa Police while he was suffering a serious mental distress. Any data on killing of citizens clearly needing mental health professional care? In the case of Mr Poccia, the police knew he had threatened suicide before officers arrived at his home in Napa.
    Link to settlement:
    http://www.napapolice.com/uploads/2/1/2/8/21281844/poccia_settlement_statement.pdf

    • Another Mike

      The page is not new — started the first of the year if I recall correctly.
      There is some script on the main Forum page that takes an eternity — I kill it and click right on the story.

      • William – SF

        Webby Award – Worst Web Site by a Dot-Org …and completely new and improved! (I know, that’s an oxymoron.) Makes me swoon for the old interface.

        • Fay Nissenbaum

          Thanks to you both! AnotherMike, I can’t find your right-click approach. This Forum webpage is a silly ugly step backwards.

          • William – SF

            From their main page, and drop-downs on top, I pick Radio and then Forum
            But I use Ad blockers, too.

          • Another Mike

            No, Fay: I go to the main Forum page, wait for it to load, the “waiting for script to complete” popup appears, I stop the script. Then I scroll to the current show, and click directly on it. The show will come up without difficulty, though I might have to wait for Disqus comments to load.

  • Kevin Skipper

    Hey, journalists and other media “professionals” ever think of questioning that “Chicago Carnage” narrative, if for no other reason than its mathematical feasibility? Why is such an extreme story so easy to swallow with NO QUESTION about the motives of the story teller!?!? I thought that’s what the whole thing is about? Facts, context and sober interpretation. Where’s the disconnect?

    The disconnect is that liberal thinking is not based in reality. It remains mired in the unrealistic conception that America can maintain a racially consistent lower class and still call itself a developed democracy. Wishful thinking that, in the end, stymies ALL social growth across ALL racial lines. Pathetic. Sad. Very f-ing sad.

    • William – SF

      What’s your thoughts on AG Jeff Sessions’ comments today/yesterday on violent crime?
      http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/27/517583304/attorney-general-jeff-session-focuses-on-violent-crime-and-police-morale

      • Noelle

        YES! I want to know too.

        • Kevin Skipper

          I don’t have a strong feeling one way or another. Federal law enforcement is different that local policing. Session’s words are pragmatic and minimally reactive to liberal calls to parrot sensationalist fear stories. He says that he’s waiting to see more results. I can appreciate that. Anything is better than the thinly-veiled apologetic racism implicit in liberal reactions.

      • Kevin Skipper

        Gimme a minute. Making sure that this dude gets nailed with or without my getting through by phone.

        • William – SF

          …deep breathes … repeat after me: serenity now … exhale …

          • Kevin Skipper

            rolling myself up some serenity right now. Had I realized that the guest was from UC Na-Zee, I wouldn’t have even bothered to get worked up. As far as I’m concerned, that institution is socially defunct. Feel sorry for the young minds in that informational gas chamber.

      • Kevin Skipper

        I don’t expect much from Sessions in terms of activism but I do believe that his experience and willingness to reserve immediate reactions or interpretations until things are more clear.

        • William – SF

          Pretty sure he doubled-down on conservative propaganda that it’s all-crime-all-the-time.

          • Kevin Skipper

            That’s okay with me. It’s what conservatives are supposed to do. I get concerned when liberals swallow it with open ears and closed mouths. Confirms my many indictments of the left, whom I believe to be the real racists, invaders and wishful thinkers.

          • William – SF

            Agreed, as a liberal, it’s hate, fear-mongering, and ignorance by conservative that blurs my mind away from useful thoughts. The drug is potent. Long live liberals – LLL (No need to remind me how close L is to K.)

          • Kevin Skipper

            By conservative!?!? How is liberalism opposed to conservativism yet invariably racist? Blame the right? I don’t think so. So-called liberals are unwilling to unpack and deconstruct their own thinking. Instead, they mindlessly shunt off incongruencies or inconsistencies to either GOP outsiders or resentful minority insiders. Never entertaining the idea that their racism and equality are self-formed. Schizophrenic denialism.

          • William – SF

            I’m not a conservative hater, …the vast majority of my family lean hard right. I grew up in a whitewashed military town. Racial and societal hierarchies were well defined, and enforced. I saw up close its effect. I can taste it even now. I bristle quickly.

            Perhaps what you see as liberal intolerance is liberal intolerance, …or just intolerance.

          • Kevin Skipper

            Intolerance is universal. Republicans admit it. Liberal don’t. The only real difference between to “two” ideological camps. Racism has to hands. A right and a left.

          • William – SF

            Got it! You just want to hold liberals up to their rhetoric, and you’re willing to accept conservative’s admitted intolerance and alienation. I’m up for the former and not down with the latter – I’ve experienced what that looks like.

          • Kevin Skipper

            Pretty much. With out honesty, we’re of little use to one another.

          • William – SF

            Amen

          • Kevin Skipper

            Teacher and Occasional Disciplinarian of Liberals and Other Wayward Archetypes, to you. I’m above the bicameral polarities.

          • Kevin Skipper

            KQED included.

  • Kevin Skipper

    Inappropriate comparisons!?!?!? Just compare per capita numbers and whether the police are charged with maintaining a post-slavery, segregated society. Simple math and a yes or no binary. What’s the trouble?

  • ES Trader

    Its ez 4 guest 2 say cop should know difference between gun/taser but in adrenaline rush situations its ez too mistake.

    Guest has not mentioned psychological screening;some people incl cops should not have public interaction w/ regular tests to screen out those unqualified.

    Cops have stressful jobs & I dont fault them to consider self preservation but a Lafayette retd cop told me he waa trained to shoot in 3 bursts 2 to body 1 to heas abd he said all depts have similar training.

    Re Woods if 1 cop did not shoot wouldnt he be open to criticism from other officers?

    • Another Mike

      If a taser has the same look and feel as a handgun, then muscle memory will allow their wielder to mistake the one for the other. This does not mean that the wielder is unfit to be a police officer.

      • Another Mike

        I have been challenged on this, and here is my response:

        Human reliability is, at best, 98%. That means that two percent of the time, human beings will mess up even under the best conditions. Our job as people is to make the consequences less dangerous (NB danger cannot be eliminated).

        Both the Glock pistol and the X26 taser are made of plastic. Both have pistol grips, and both have the usual gun trigger. The color would be barely a factor under the circumstances, where the police officer’s attention is focused on the man he is trying to subdue, not on his hand. (I have no idea what his sight picture was when he pulled the trigger.

        If I were making a taser, I would have a vastly different operating mechanism from a gun. For instance, a thumb-operated push button on top of the device. That would change three things: from the way a pistol works: the actuator, the location of the actuator, and the digit used to actuate. Thus the muscle memory of operating a taser will be much different from firing a pistol.

        • Kevin Skipper

          Maybe the taser unit could be actuated by the users sense of insecurity and fear. A neuro-trigger that also works by remote for more centralized ‘management’ of police officer drones and the populations that they are charged with wrangling.

          • ES Trader

            I would support trials of AI androids/robots when they are developed.

            See the 1st 15 min of the recent Robocop remake

          • Kevin Skipper

            Turing Test

          • Kevin Skipper

            There’s a remake? Skipped the first one.

        • ES Trader

          I dont think shape would be significant factor for reasons stated before.

      • ES Trader

        Completely disadree! When total focus is on Oscar Grant & crowd gathering yelling, self survival intincts will command total attention.

        Why do you think text/drive is so dangerous.

        Athletes go thru brief periods when everything is blocked out w/ total focus on catching a ball etc. and no sound or anything else is entirely unheard, if you ever participated in competitive situations you would understand from experience.

        • Kevin Skipper

          You’ve been listening to too many crisis actors. If you have to make excuses for cop’s performance, accept it and hire new, qualified cops. Face the music instead of shuffling, shucking and jiving.

          • ES Trader

            Make an effort to actually read what I said !

          • Kevin Skipper

            Unless your comment was meant sarcastically, I think I read it just fine.

            If you watched the Oscar Grant execution debacle, you can see that there was no crowd gathering.
            The supposed yelling was coming from inside the train that was conveniently held at the station, doors closed, full of youth with camera-phones.

            As for the athlete analogy goes, if we’re going to equate taking a life with catching a ball, then what more is there to talk about? Again, if the comment was meant in sarcasm, I support it. Otherwise it’s glib and somewhat disrespectful.

          • ES Trader

            I think the comparison is bulls eye,if it offends or incomprehensible to you then thats your issue not mine.

          • Kevin Skipper

            I said neither. Merely pointed it out as glib.

          • Kevin Skipper

            Silly question: Does the “Hail Mary” theory apply when the victim was shot while handcuffed?

          • ES Trader

            I fully agree, it is a silly question.

            Since you know nothing of competing in athletics I suggest you either get out of your comfort zone & put yourself in physical situations where success depends on a very thin margin or just pretend you do

          • Kevin Skipper

            No, I hear you. I remember a triathlon training technique that calls for running until exhausted before a high-intensity target practice. Very meditative. Really gets me in the zone. Summer football training was pretty interesting too. Coaches put grenades in the balls for passing practice. Miss a catch and Ka-BLOOEY!!! Helped our concentration. Of course, I have to type with my nose but it was definitely worth the experience. Character-building, it was.

            “Glory Days” -Bruce Springsteen.
            https://youtu.be/6vQpW9XRiyM?t=33s

          • Kevin Skipper

            Answer the question anyway. Does the idea of the heat of the moment apply to the adrenaline rush of subduing a handcuffed suspect? Help me better understand.

            Whether or not you would hold a cop responsible, I would hope that the conversation would happen in different grounds than the instant replay in a playoff game.

          • ES Trader

            I disagree its not silly, it’s plain assanine.

            Sounds like you never competed in sports or at least on a competitive level.

            I’ll simplify it for you; make it easy on yourself & instead of actually physically getting a front row seat just find a video of a master sleight of hand performer,excuse me promised I’d simplify so to you a Magician, and tell me if you detect the trick. If not its is hecause you were mis directed by focusing on a distraction; distraction! Got it?

          • Kevin Skipper

            That wasn’t a simplification. More of a shift to an even more obtuse metaphor, less pertinent than the first.

            On a certain level, the sports idea makes sense. I just don’t agree that such a theory should be applied to police work. Community policing is not a full contact sport, it’s a public service job.

            Firearms training and range practice should ensure safe handling, including mistaking a taser for a Glock. Should also cover situations that involve noise and crowds such as one would encounter in any public setting.

            If BART platforms are too chaotic, transfer the officers to patrol a zen temple or a national park or something.

            Still, I’m curious.

            “Completely [disadree]! When total focus is on Oscar Grant & crowd gathering yelling, self survival [intincts] will command total attention.”

            The survival instincts. How do they apply when the suspect is already handcuffed? Is adrenaline, the heat of the moment or technical user error still a valid argument? What am I missing here? Humor me.

          • ES Trader

            I envy you, never been in a fist fight as a kid, never experienced situations requiring complete concentration but you postulate on zen and know what a police officer attemtimg to subdue, right or wrong, must be feeling.

            Wow that’s Trump in essence isnt it! Never entered military service due to deferrments but calls McCain a loser for being shot down and imprisoned. If anyone coukd have avoided Vietnam, it was the son of the admiral of the Pacific command.

            He knows more than the generals, stiifed contractors and escaped personal bankruptcy by his lenders deciding to use his name to promote the casinos they re possessed to make some losses back, etc etc etc.

            You should consider running for POTUS

          • Kevin Skipper

            Your words!

          • ES Trader

            Dont get your hopes inflated, it was facetious as in Bronx cheer

            I envy no one, it means surrendering all I have that is precious.

          • Kevin Skipper

            You’re ‘special’, Trader.

          • ES Trader

            Very special at least at trading;fact no brag

          • Kevin Skipper

            Good niche. Political tangling is merely academic. The market is the closest thing we have to the truth. You indie?

          • Kevin Skipper

            Five different elemetary. Three different middle schools. Three high schools. Pretty friendly and good with words so I didn’t have to fight as much as come people but being an athlete, a young man of color, tempermental (at times) and not willing to tolerate disrespect, I’ve had my share of tussles. None of them were life and death of even close. To dramatize them as such would be a wishful extension of my own sense of adequacy and virility. Not necessary. I’ve won some and lost some. In the end, it’ not about potency or winning. It’s about peace.

            Peace Officers. It’s a job. You can extend hypothetical scenarios all you want. I’ll hold continue to hold cops to the level of professionalism that I’m used to when dealing with them. My responsibility as an adult male citizen. Their responsibility as employees of MY community. Ownership and responsibility. A little goes a long way.

          • ES Trader

            1 when a fight starts how is one to know if its life/death? Even if known no one wants to lose.

            2 I have been pulled over for traffic & some cops are very polite & professional while once in awhile there’s some w an attitude,maybe their nature, or thet had fight w wife/gf/supervisor who knows, nevertheless I would never attempt to escape, step on gas or disobey a command by someone in authority w a gun.

            You sound reasonable, at least today, but my impression is you are “uneven” from day to day and being a person of color I hope you would comply, be calm and challenge. I know thats no guarantee of safety but as I said I doubt any if at all of regular psychological screening is performed which as a lay person I think is necessary. People change from experience and not always for the better.

          • Kevin Skipper

            Have you ever been in a life or death situation?

            As for being a person of color, don’t you worry your liberal little head about me and my willingness to comply. I modulate it as it serves me.

            Been stopped, arrested, held at gunpoint, participated in mass protests, needlessly blamed for things white boys did the night before. No matter. Never an excuse. Always in control. Always treated politely and professionally with no exceptions. That’s no accident.

            Fact is, as a MAN of color, I have a far greater likelihood of actually having a realistic picture of how a cop thinks and act. Don’t make ourselves victims.
            Ownership and responsibility for myself and my community, police included, day in day out

          • Kevin Skipper

            Of course I’m uneven. I’m human and, to boot, I enjoy exploring my own polarities, especially in the face of various public media opinion-building campaigns.

            The key is to remember that human interactions happen between people, not situations. That means that we can’t expect a cop to act like he’s catching a ball or making a clutch save in the last seconds of the Stanley Cup.

          • ES Trader

            You must be very young or just naieve, the more experiences one has thru life the more it becomes clear that the forces that govern probably the universe and the world that we live in are essentially the same.

            Fir you to obfuscate my original point/analogy just shows the only thing you are motivated by is to pontificate endlessly, nitpick and waste time.

          • Kevin Skipper

            You misunderstood my examination of your figurative model. When I asked you to expound upon a separate subject, attempting to relate it to sleight-of-hand. From there, things descended into a miasma of typos and partially coherent mumbles. I didn’t speculate as to the reasons or pretend to be able to judge. It happens to the most lucid of us. I imagine that at some point, whatever disconnects will dissolve into a mutual condition of higher understanding.

            I seem to remember you mentioning something about trading. Sent a pretty mellow response. Exceptional skill is best dedicated to The Campaign.

            Be at peace.

          • ES Trader

            My apologies didnt realize I was addressing one incapable of connecting dots, so one final attempt.

            The issue was should Mehserle have known he reached for his taser and are all cops right psychologically for the job.

            I stated: 1) periodic reviews w/ initial well vetted screening is essential.

            2) in moments when focus of attention is narrowed, i.e. life endangered, sports activities and even magic performances, it is very easy to be momentarily unaware of anything except the focus of attention.

            That is about as simple as I can put it, hope it helps.

          • Kevin Skipper

            Just wanted to make sure I understood.
            We’ll agree to disagree on police training and behavioral psychology.

          • Kevin Skipper

            Perhaps you would be willing to expound on you original idea. One can’t obfuscate what one can’t understand.

          • ES Trader

            Light bulb just turned on, you cant understand anything regarding focus/attention because you can’t/won’t focus.

          • ES Trader

            First off, don’ assume me to be a liberal, only thing I have in common w/ liberals today is my disdain for Trump.

            Second, I don’t worry about things I have no control over and since I don’t know you have no concern about your welfare.

            Third, why do you always carry that chip on your shoulder?

            You expect the world to be against you and your attitude turns others against you, it’s a self inflicted wound.

            No one has control over how they were conceived, but being in America, everyone has control, somewhat of where they end up.

            Melville wrote, “In this world, sin that pays its way can travel freely, and without a passport; whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers.”

            It was true then & remains true.

            Happiness may have different meanings to different people, but one thing is certain, money in this society is often the result of succuess at one’s endeavor & that’s why laws governing abuse of the rules must be enforced.

            So yea Ive experienced life/death moments, & my conclusion is we arrive alone and we will depart alone, so get very good at something, make money, enjoy your time, share it with things/others that are important to you and stop worrying about things you cant control.

    • chriswinter

      In my opinion, he would. There was a case in point not long ago. Somewhere back east — West Virginia, I think — the first officer to arrive found a disturbed man with a weapon and tried to talk him down. Two other officers showed up and one of them immediately shot the disturbed man. The first officer was fired a few days later.

      [looks up article] I was right: It was Weirton, West Virginia.

      • ES Trader

        Too late for the deceased isnt it ? Which confirms my concern that not everyone is fit to serve as a cop just as not all are in right jobs in customer service.

  • chris martin

    More access to non lethal means, bean bag guns, net guns, would probably preserved the life of suspects is a standoff situation, such as in SF. (Mario..?..can’t remember the whole name.) Also the realization that so many of these suspects are in a psychotic fight or fight episode. Ditto those high on drugs….. the suspects brain is compromised. Act accordingly, the officer must, while at the same time not endangering their own life.

  • Kevin Skipper

    Do they make Kevlar ball-gags?

  • Fay Nissenbaum
  • mmc

    Yes, in Europe police shoot to disable, not to kill. However, police officers in Germany at least also receive much more rigorous training! It takes about three years before you get to be a beat officer.

  • Kevin Skipper

    LOL!!!!! ! Man, I thought this dude was from BPD, not Geobbels’ and Von Braun’s adopted alma mater! You should have said that this guy is from UC Berkeley and I would have left it alone. We know their policy and n (ay) zee (eye) traditions.

    My mistake for even responding. You all keep it…traditional. Peace (for us, not y’all)

    • Kevin Skipper

      Whoo! That Berkeley is a real class act.

  • Kevin Skipper

    Delete my comments and I’ll simply repeat them.

    The reason that US police are in greater danger is because they are the only law enforcement agencies charged with overseeing a though latent, still extant vestige of American slavery. No other white folks are afraid of their black neighbors because no other white country is under the illusion that it can have it’s slaves and eat them too!

    Delete this and I’ll post it again, every day and on every subject, if need be.
    Save that censorship for Der Kommissar.
    Suckaz.

  • Kevin Skipper

    BTW. AmeriKKKa. Along with cops, the SAME overseers on the SAME plantation. There. I said it. Delete is and I’ll post it again.

  • Kevin Skipper

    Okay. I’m back after a short breather.

    As much as I would like to leave this steaming pile of a debate behind, I feel compelled to offer a conclusive note.

    Despite my quickness to label certain individuals, institutions or ideologies as associated with Liberal German Nationalism and it’s well-known cohorts, I cannot realistically believe these epithets to be an effective means of conveying the understanding that I see as so crucial in discussions such as this one.

    Though it pains me to do so, I am replaying this segment in order to provide a more concise, pertinent and digestible response.

    To begin, I’d like to point out the difference between Pundit vs. Professor.
    Mr. Zimiring is a professor most likely tenured, at an accredited institution. Despite this credential, we must accept that his function is that of a pundit. The difference? While a professor professes or tells his students what is what, this impartation is accompanied with questions meant to encourage the listener or student’s improved understanding or facility towards a given subject. A pundit, on the other hand, seeks only to explain. The pundit’s function is to impart a narrative that is bolstered only by previous assumptions and is often expected to be accepted at face value. A pundit’s discourse is conspicuously devoid of contextual explanations or comparisons as the conclusion on their monologue renders their task complete. The case is different for the professor as without a student’s improved understanding, he must admit a certain level of failure.

    Zimering’s book is titled, “When Police Kill.” Not a question, not a thesis. A post hoc fact.

    His central thesis is that increased conviction of police won’t help decrease fatal shootings at their hands but that better training and rules around when and how many bullets are appropriate will decrease fatal police shootings. It’s worth mentioning that the former is consistent with our current laws around police brutality supposed immunity to capital crimes. I depends on and necessitates the vigorous involvement of a robust criminal justice system and legal sanctions to be enforced by it. The latter, guidelines to limit or more carefully direct police use of lethal force essentially places the discretion and judgement in the hands of armed and frightened officers without the threat of prosecution should they violate such rules.

    Seems simple enough until we listen to Zimering expound upon his theoretical platform. At the same time as he sites various figures (American cops are 100 times more likely than UK and 44 times more likely to engage in lethal altercations which result in 25 times more officer deaths than Germany for which Zimering refused provide per capita comparisons etc etc). At no point does Zimiring attempt to qualify or contextualize his assertions. In fact, he seems to purposely refuse to do so. Instead, he dives deeper and deeper into a false narrative in which he is reporting newly discovered information that previous efforts to address police violence and bias, were unable to synthesize due to the unprecedented nature of federal police oversight. That statement, as with all others, is allowed to stand.

    At the same time that Zimering appears to extoll the virtue of seemingly infallible federally compiled figures, he readily admits to certain crucial informational holes. “We know police are attacked more often in the US than in Europe but we don’t know how many.” At this point, it seems that the host resolves, I imagine, to let the guest spin and weave whatever awkward garment that he pleases. Zimiring doesn’t disappoint.
    From here, he essentially circumambulates the same compact orbit of the unilateral advantages of letting police training, not the law, dictate who police shoot, when and how many times.

    There seems to be no real room for questions here. Police shoot because they, feel that they must. No question about possible findings as to what it is that makes the US so much more dangerous for cops. No mention of differences in racial discrimination. No mention of sanctioned deep poverty or welfare or lack of jobs. No mention of the way that America handles its drugs. Or it’s alcohol. Or it’s domestic violence laws. Virtually nothing. Just cud chewing. It really hurt to hear it. I’m getting angry again just thinking about it.

    If this conversation were to take place on a broad-based level, with statistics of all Americans being equal, then perhaps we could accept a response that allows police the freedom to make a call. After all, British police don’t carry guns and German police rarely, if ever, have to use theirs. If we were willing compare ourselves to various societies by some honest means, such as quality of life or economic opportunity, it could be a fair conversation but we’re not so it isn’t. As it stands, liberal ‘thinking’ must reconcile the fact that police have and still do protect a set of laws in which property, safety, rights, liberties and freedoms are not equal among all native citizens. These laws preserve the fact that these inequities have always had glaring racial markers. No other country besides perhaps, South Africa is guilty of those offenses on the level of the US.

    That being said, the stories about Chicago and Ferguson and Miami and Fruitvale and the gorilla pen at the Cleveland Zoo are part of the same careful programming that implicitly cancels out any and all space for questioning a narrative. None of us goes to the S. Side of Chicago because we know that it’s poor and black and therefore to be avoided. That allows us to believe pretty much anything that we are told about what goes on there. Same case in East Oakland and SF’s Bayview and Western Addition.

    It is this willingness to have our ignorance filled in by presumptive agenda bound propaganda and opinion building that gets us into trouble. We allow it every day then wake up hungover in early November, asking how yet another TV star made it into the White House. We glibly ask one another “what’s fake news?” We pretend to pour over examples but we never stay tuned for a coherent answer.

    “Fake News” is simple unsubstantiated, unconfirmed presumption subjected to less than rigorous review by reluctantly accepted pundits as opposed to trusted and respected scholars. It’s the informational equivalent to fast food or TV dinners. Partially nutritious, and deceptively benign.

    So, for anyone interested in the logic behind tantrums such as the one seen herein, there it is, as simple and unimbellished as possible.

    in the end, it’s not all that complicated. Zimiring is an agent of an institution funded by the state to help secure public funds for more police training and equipment upgrades. For him, it’s not really about sensitivity or even any given version of the truth. It’s about getting the job done. Straight forward, efficient and effective execution of party orders. No other epithets necessary.

  • Kevin Skipper

    What is the root of the word, “criminal?” Significant?

Host

Michael Krasny

Michael Krasny, PhD, has been in broadcast journalism since 1983. He was with ABC in both radio and television and migrated to public broadcasting in 1993. He has been Professor of English at San Francisco State University and also taught at Stanford, the University of San Francisco and the University of California, as well as in the Fulbright International Institutes. A veteran interviewer for the nationally broadcast City Arts and Lectures, he is the author of a number of books, including “Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life” (Stanford University Press) “Spiritual Envy” (New World); “Sound Ideas” (with M.E. Sokolik/ McGraw-Hill); “Let There Be Laughter” (Harper-Collins) as well as the twenty-four lecture series in DVD, audio and book, “Short Story Masterpieces” (The Teaching Company). He has interviewed many of the world’s leading political, cultural, literary, science and technology figures, as well as major figures from the world of entertainment. He is the recipient of many awards and honors including the S.Y. Agnon Medal for Intellectual Achievement; The Eugene Block Award for Human Rights Journalism; the James Madison Freedom of Information Award; the Excellence in Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association; Career Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Journalists and an award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association. He holds a B.A. (cum laude) and M.A. from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Wisconsin.

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