Dedicated to the Restoration of Progressive Democracy
Mound, I have long suspected bureaucratic bean counters have their fingers in the mix. Those in power have been agitating for increased efficiency and lower costs in all government functions. Now, for a cop in a tense situation, which is more efficient? Talking a culprit down or shooting him? Effective policing, like effective nursing or effective teaching, is simply not efficient. Some jobs take as long as they take, efficiency be damned. There's obviously more to it than this but police culture includes quick and dirty solutions. Maybe we can think of it like the Ford Pinto with the exploding gas tanks. Ford bean counters and execs calculated how many law suits they could pay out versus the cost of fixing the tanks. What's a few barbequed customers to a multinational? What's a few dead citizens to a police force? Bad publicity, that's what. The public has a short memory so the bad publicity isn't much of a problem.
First they came for the blacks, and then came for the blacks some more, and some more after that just to make sure we knew they meant it, and I said relatively little because I'm not black, and now they're gunnin' for all of us.
PLG - Relax, it's just the odd one, mix things up a little. So when the Black Lives Matter folks come by they can say, "no, ain't so - look we kilt a white guy too, gunned him down in cold blood, his hands in the air and everyting."
I'm sure the cops will be much more at ease once collaboration with the NSA reaches a point where they can just snap a picture of whoever they're accosting, plug it into their handy piece of software that calls into the massive spook databases and returns an ID and bank account size/net worth estimate.Then they can just whack us if we're poor without going through all these messy approximations like "Is his racial group usually poor?" "Does he look scruffy?" et cetera. Avoid all those embarrassments like when they brutalize a black who turns out to be a real person (with some money) and the President has to apologize in person. They won't have to try to figure out "Did that guy just make eye contact because he's uppity, or because he's someone I should be tugging my forelock to?"--they'll know right away from that net worth.
@ Toby - if they apply that practice - as they seem to - focusing on the poor and, where possible, the indigent then, yes, it's a dandy way to reduce petty crime and social welfare costs. And given that, with rare exception, most of those gunned down are black, it plays some role in slowing America's demographic change.
@ PLG - that capability isn't all that far off. Remember the Vancouver hockey riots and that facial recognition technology developed in neighbouring Burnaby. It allowed a massive crowd to be photographed and individuals to be identified out of the horde. Even though Admiral Poindexter didn't get his office of Total Information Awareness the NSA did create it on the sly. The capability you futuristically imagine is probably just a matter of asking.
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