Originally Posted by Van Veen
fundamentally the problem comes down to whether or not the citizens, from whom the police's power is derived, trust those that they've chartered to "protect and serve" their communities.
this is the meat of your issue, no? so no more accusations of cherry picking por favor.
imo this is a misreading of how police power works. the US Constitution - not the citizenry - grants states the power to regulate general health safety and welfare of their territories/populaces. this is the basis of law enforcement, land use and zoning regulations, etc etc. that's not political science circle jerk nonsense. that is the pragmatic reality.
police power. with me so far?
the rub is that "general health safety and welfare" ( aka The Greater Good) is essentially undefined. as is the way in which force is applied.
one could argue that The Greater Good is fundamentally a non-human value, and that anything the state does to preserve The Greater Good is an act of violence against human sensibility (@Harold falcon). you can see this in non-lethal terms in the way that a government can forcibly take somebody's property via eminent domain (or even zone away property value and rights without having to provide compensation whatsoever). and yet the courts have time and again basically upheld the ability of the state to infringe on individual liberties for the sake of the general good...
the issue is clearly not as simple as "cops amok". there are poor communities that don't have the kind of antagonistic relationship with law enforcement that others seem to have. the same can be said of minority communities. there are places where wealthy and powerful live cheek-by-jowl with the have nots. through all of these different contexts, can it be said that there is truly a systemic problem with abuse of power? i doubt that there is. statistics? you're writing about fractions of fractions.
understanding how governance works is a good place to start. so is understanding how the media works. how activists operate. how local culture can interact with and rub up against state agents. police culture. public administrators. by the time you get to the traffic stop the stage has already been set.
Edited by double00 - 7/13/16 at 3:32pm