Black People Overwhelmingly Want To Maintain—or Increase—Police Presence. They Also Want Better Police.

“”Our key finding was that Black Americans preferred to maintain (or increase) police patrol and spending, and that this preference was not conditional on the described crime rates or policing reforms,” write Linda Balcarová and Justin Pickett of the University at Albany, SUNY; Amanda Graham and Sean Patrick Roche of Texas State University; and Francis T. Cullen of the University of Cincinnati. “Most Black Americans reported that even if crime rates fell and even if there were no new policing reforms, they still wanted to maintain or increase police patrol and spending.””

“It is well-established that black people are disproportionately afraid of cops, particularly in comparison to their white counterparts. Black Americans are reportedly more than five times as likely than white people to fear excessive force from police. What’s more, a study by three of the same researchers—Pickett, Graham, and Cullen—found that 42 percent of black respondents were “very afraid” police would kill them sometime within the next five years. Only 11 percent of white respondents feared the same thing.
But in their more recent study, they found that such fear coexists, however counterintuitively, with that strong desire to keep or increase police presence and funding. According to their data, 81 percent of black Americans who say they are afraid or very afraid of cops want to maintain or increase police spending”

“Just as the data make clear that black Americans are more likely to fear police, it is also plainly true that black people are disproportionately the victims of violence. It follows, then, that the people most impacted by crime are going to have strong feelings about abating it however possible. And while police are not always adept at solving crime—in 2022, for example, police cleared about 37 percent of violent offenses reported to them—their presence does have a deterrent effect on criminal activity, which also comports with basic common sense.”

https://reason.com/2024/05/14/black-people-overwhelmingly-want-to-maintain-or-increase-police-presence-they-also-want-better-police/

Trump Promises To Give Police ‘Immunity From Prosecution’

“The stakes, in other words, are high. So he made a few big promises to match.
One such promise: “We’re going to give our police their power back,” he told rallygoers in Waukesha, “and we are going to give them immunity from prosecution.””

https://reason.com/2024/05/03/trump-promises-to-give-police-immunity-from-prosecution/

Police are solving fewer crimes. Why?

“” the murder clearance rate fell from above 60 percent in 2019 to just 52 percent in 2022.””

“Asher also points out that 2020 began an exodus of officers leaving law enforcement. “The majority of big cities had fewer officers in 2022 than they did in 2019,” Asher says. “If you have fewer officers, you have fewer resources to dedicate to solving crime, which means lower clearance rates. And we do have lots of research that shows that.””

https://www.vox.com/2023/12/23/24012514/police-crime-data-solve-rate-eddie-garcia-today-explained

This Innocent Woman Is on the Hook for Thousands After a SWAT Team Destroyed Her Home

“it remains unclear if she will receive compensation after the government acted on its error-prone investigation and left her home a shell of what it once was. But one thing is almost certain: There will be more innocent people like her in the future whose lives are upended by the state, only to be told that’s just their tough luck.”

https://reason.com/2023/12/20/this-innocent-woman-is-on-the-hook-for-thousands-after-a-swat-team-destroyed-her-home/

Trump’s Promise to ‘Indemnify’ Cops ‘Against Any and All Liability’ Is Absurd for 2 Reasons

“Schwartz found that cops were not actually on the hook for damages or settlements in civil rights cases even when their employers decided that their conduct warranted discipline or dismissal. They were not on the hook even when prosecutors decided that their conduct warranted criminal charges. Yet Trump claims that cops “avoid any conflict” and are “afraid to do anything” because they worry that frivolous lawsuits will ruin them financially.

In reality, even meritorious lawsuits often do not get far enough that the defendants need the indemnification they would virtually always receive. Under 42 USC 1983, victims of police abuse theoretically can seek damages for violations of their constitutional rights. But thanks to qualified immunity, a restriction that the Supreme Court grafted onto that statute, such lawsuits cannot proceed unless they allege conduct that violated “clearly established” law. In practice, that means plaintiffs must locate precedents with closely similar facts, a requirement that can block lawsuits when police behave in ways that even Donald Trump might consider beyond the pale.”

https://reason.com/2023/12/22/trumps-promise-to-indemnify-cops-against-any-and-all-liability-is-absurd-for-2-reasons/

Hong Kong Police Targeting Overseas Activists and Speech

“Hong Kong is using its national security law to arrest and prosecute critics residing in the United States. The Hong Kong police recently announced cash bounties of HK$1 million ($128,000) for information leading to the arrest of five young activists. The targets—Frances Hui, Joey

Want To Challenge Your Speed Camera Ticket? That’ll Be $100.

“Motorists caught speeding in Peninsula, Ohio, have options: They can pay with Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or PayPal. But if they want to dispute a ticket, the flexibility ends.
Before vehicle owners can appear in municipal court to defend themselves, they must pay a $100 “filing fee.” No exceptions. No discounts. No deferrals. It’s the cost of admission—roughly the same as a one-day ticket to Disneyland.

Many drivers skip the expense and plead guilty, which works well for Peninsula. In just the first five months after launching a handheld photo radar program in April 2023, this village south of Cleveland generated 8,900 citations and $560,000 in revenue. That’s an average of about 1,800 citations and $110,000 in revenue per month.”

https://reason.com/2023/12/05/want-to-challenge-your-speed-camera-ticket-thatll-be-100/

FBI Seized $86 Million From People Not Suspected of Any Crime. A Federal Court Will Decide if That’s Legal.

“If the Ninth Circuit applies that same reasoning after it hears the case this week, it would deal a serious blow to the Fourth Amendment’s privacy protections in other contexts. In effect, that would say that as long as law enforcement has at least one legitimate reason for cracking open the safe deposit boxes, agents of the state are free to engage in all manner of rights violations without the targets having any legal recourse. It would be equivalent to saying that if the owner of a parking garage is suspected of a crime, all the cars (and the contents of those cars) stored there could be forfeited by the government.
“If the FBI can get away with this here, it’s a green light for the government to try the same ruse again throughout the country,” warns Johnson. “And it’s not just safe deposit boxes. The government could pull the same trick with storage lockers, hotels, even apartment buildings.””

https://reason.com/2023/12/06/the-fbi-seized-their-safe-deposit-boxes-now-a-federal-court-will-hear-the-case/