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Officer Mehserle shoots dangerous criminal, is convicted
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Willem



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Except I never argued that he was guilty of murder. Except that I have indicated that I'm prepared to change my view and that I want to hear what Sam has to say so I can form an educated opinion about it. Except that at no point it's been proven that Mehserle was actually suffering from enough stress to make such mistakes.

I'm trying to listen to what you guys have to say, I'm trying to form an educated opinion, I'm trying to have a reasonable discussion about this, I'm trying, but you just won't even give me a fucking iota of respect.

So fuck you, WoC, you fat, useless piece of shit. Fuck. You.
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Mr_Moustache



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Willem just hit his second round of puberty.

Also, his avatar is strikingly appropriate.

(I still love you willem, you just need a hug)
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Willem



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry, but what the fuck is this shit? I'm trying to have a civilised debate without being browbeaten at every turn. It would at least be tolerable if they even tried to understand what I was saying instead of constantly jumping from strawman to strawman.

Fuck.
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WheelsOfConfusion



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm being patient with you and explaining things calmly as I see them. I'm not accusing you of anything other than perhaps a little cognitive blockage for whatever reason. If I didn't think that could be cleared up, I wouldn't have bothered. I am giving you the benefit of the doubt by not treating you like a proven idiot, because in my experience you're not an idiot. I'm hoping you can see a reasonable point and suddenly something will click that isn't clicking just yet.

So chillax for a minute. Let me tell you how what you're saying about your arguments does not match up with what you've said about this case.

Right out of the gate, you called almost everything about the cop's story and the conviction "complete and utter bullshit." You don't buy his excuse that he mistook a pistol for a taser.
Immediately and consistently, you've been confronted with reasonable arguments about how this isn't clear-cut bullshit the way you think it is. Notice that nobody has argued the killing was definitely not intentional and definitely was a mistake, just that it's more plausible than you give it credit for being. I don't have to go over three pages of it, but I will summarize three pages of your responses about how this is not an accidental gun shooting:

"On the other hand, there's no way he would've mistaken a gun for a taser. "
Sam responds with a reasonable assertion. You say:
"I hope that's a joke."
That's all until Sam provides a lengthy explanation. In the course of explaining why you think this is a different scenario, you end with:
"Oh, sure. In a high stress situation with a clear and present danger, he could've mistaken his gun for his taser. Sure. But here? No way he did that. No way in hell."
You are so certain here. So absolutely certain. There is no room for doubt in your mind, it's what you've just said.
When Andrew talks about his experience in high-stress situations where a cool head is needed but not always easy to achieve, instead of actually addressing anything he said it's just another trite dismissal:
"And hey, Andrew, shut your whore mouth, okay? You've never been capable of not being a condescending prick to whomever you're debating and clearly you're not going to start now."
So far up to this your first response is to be totally dismissive of anybody who disagrees with you, and still maintain the impossibility of this being an accidental shooting. Let's let that sink in for a second, please.

It continues. Sam explains why the psychological effects present in the Diallo case can apply to this kind of situation as well. Sam highlighted the same reaction of yours that I'm doing now, your utter and total inability to conceive of this as an accidental shooting being possible. I think he's got your reaction pretty well captured here, but you attempt to rationalize it away:
"Which is not what I'm saying. I'm saying that it could've been an accident, but it wasn't. "
No, you were not saying that. You were arguing that this couldn't have been an accident because there was "no way in Hell" the officer could make the mistake of firing a pistol instead of a taser. You're not arguing that this particular case wasn't likely to be an accident. There's a distinction you're not grasping yet, but hopefully I can give you some insight. I will grant you the "voluntary manslaughter" distinction, though. Pretend I said you argued that instead of murder.
It's only at this point that we see you trying to moderate your language, but it comes across mostly as backpedaling. You might say intellectually that you acknowledge the possibility of this happening, but clearly you don't before this point because the terms you're using are nothing but emphatic absolutes. No way in Hell, impossible, etc. Even at this point, you're still saying "that's not what happened," rather than "I don't think that's a convincing story." This kind of thing is why Ded made the remark about you knowing what was going on inside the cop's head earlier; you know what he was thinking and feeling. The fact of the matter is that even the cop doesn't know what he was thinking and feeling in all likelihood, which makes the case for this being an accident all the more convincing. That's what happens in stressful situations.
Now we get to the part that's interesting. Let me quote the whole thing:
Quote:
I'm saying that if the situation were different, it could've happened. (Doesn't even have to be a big difference.) So, no, he could not have mistaken his taser for his gun in this particular situation.

edit: Fine. It could have happened, in theory, but it's extremely unlikely. I'm speaking in absolutes again, I'm sorry. But I honestly can't imagine it being a mistake in this case.

That last part is pretty much exactly what I said you were doing. You can't imagine it being a mistake; but if you can't, how can you honestly consider the possibility and weigh it rationally?
Now Sam brings in some more heavy-duty summation of current psychology on the subject of how people think/don't think and respond under stress. Next we get to your response where it's clear you're still not quite "getting it" because you're making the same argument that he should have realized what he was doing, despite all the talk about peoples' psychological inability to realize what they're doing, and I jump in to point this out.

From where I was standing, at that point it hadn't sunk in that this situation isn't as impossible as you were still trying to argue. To your credit, you were starting to come around by recognizing some of your bias and dropping the absolutes, but it was pretty clear that you hadn't grokked the point that had been made over and over up until then: sometimes people simply don't realize what they're doing. You were still arguing for a level of awareness that this guy may not have, had even then. I wanted to point out the repetitive nature of your argument to keep things from going back in circles and getting hung up again.

Feel free to disagree with me, but I hope I've made myself clear. Trust me, if I were trying to disrespect you or your intellectual prowess, you and everyone else would know by now. Hopefully in the eighty-three hours it's taken me to write this things will have cooled off a bit.
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Snorri



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam the Eagle wrote:
Willem wrote:

Sam The Eagle: Relativism is an ugly thing.


Yes, so is forgetfulness.

That you want to go on a crusade about this is commendable, this is a misconduct of justice.

But fair is fair, and injustice is injustice wherever it happened. Why do we hear a lot more of human stuff, one on one thing, than mass killing?. The cop was tried, but neither UN nor Netherlands Army were regarding the other stuff, or other countries in other places. That bugs me, why do we pick this or that event instead of the other?. Do we have a finite amount of feelings?, do I need to my head out of my ass and take a long breath? (yes).

I won't derail this thread any further. My point was I just find it telling that you, or anybody here, feel this warrants more attention, and passion, than say the 15th anniversary of the worst mass murder since WWII (when this thread started) where no one got to face trial for their lack of action. Or the current issue regarding Khmer Rouge trial, or the other stuff that still happens.

Sam the Eagle,

out of this thread.


Why is this relevant and what the fuck?
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andrew



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Willem wrote:
I'm sorry, but what the fuck is this shit? I'm trying to have a civilised debate without being browbeaten at every turn. It would at least be tolerable if they even tried to understand what I was saying instead of constantly jumping from strawman to strawman.

Fuck.

Sorry, I would've responded sooner, but...Friday meetings.

First - I really, seriously appreciate your stepping back, inhaling a bunch of rationality, and then stepping back in. I can count the number of people on this forum capable of doing this and apologizing in the same breath on one hand, and I'm not one of them.

That said, in the past, when I've done something similar (e.g. apologized for being jackassy in a thread and tried to move on), people's responses seemed to lag my perceived shift in my own behavior, which I found frustrating and actually hurtful. Without trying to presume I understand what you're thinking or feeling, it seems like that's the case here, too: because you've taken steps to be more civil, you think (reasonably) that everyone else should now be engaging you on the same level. That hasn't happened yet, but it will, eventually, assuming the thread stays active that long.

Sam is doing a better job of discussing the same phenomenon I am. My posts were aimed at disabusing you of the notion that there's no way the cop pulled the gun by accident.

To try and clarify exactly what I think about this situation and how it relates to your posts:

1. I believe it's possible the cop's telling the truth about pulling the wrong weapon. I think you, now, agree that it's possible.
2. I have no idea whether the cop is lying or telling the truth. You strongly disbelieve his story, because the magnitude of the error seems too great to happen accidentally.
3. Regardless of whether he is or isn't telling the truth, we have no way of knowing whether it was intentional based on the evidence.
4. Because of that, involuntary manslaughter seems to be an appropriate verdict from a legal standpoint, even if it seems wholly inadequate from a moral one.

ETA: If any of this comes off as overly douchey, condescending or whatever, I'm sorry. I did put some effort into thinking about how I would read it if someone else wrote it, and trying to avoid having it come off that way.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's turn this thread towards discussing why I subconciously associate black people with good things more than white people.
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andrew



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because you love giant cocks

WAKKA WAKKA WAKKA
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrew wrote:
Because you love giant cocks

WAKKA WAKKA WAKKA


well sure, the gigs of interracial gang-bang porn show a preference for black guys in my porn, but why does that translate to thinking Obama is great?
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

because you're still waiting for the second round of stimulus.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
Let's turn this thread towards discussing why I subconciously associate black people with good things more than white people.


took the test? i was sad.
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Unnamed?



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nathan wrote:
Here's the thing: we have, on video, a clear case of an officer executing a restrained man. He can get involuntary manslaughter by claiming he mistakenly drew the wrong weapon (for what it's worth, I suspect in this case that's very possibly what happened) - but the successful use of this type of defense throws the door wide open for plausible deniability in essentially every case. It means corrupt cops can be caught on video deliberately pulling their sidearm and discharging a round into someone's back, knowing that at worst they can get off with involuntary by claiming it was a "whoopsie."

Either we need higher standards of prosecution for officers like this, or serious systemic changes to the way they distribute and use non-lethals on a day to day basis.


I found this insight to be the most interesting part of this thread. If this sort of defense can work for a case where the police officer is directly documented committing the crime, it would theoretically work for the vast majority of police firearm misconduct incidents in the field. Considering Sam and andrew's arguments for how easy it is for cognitive breakdown to occur in stressful situations, could this not also apply to civilian crimes as well?

I don't argue against how reasonable it is for a stress-induced disconnect from logic to be the source of Mehserle's actions. I'm also not arguing that he shouldn't get the sentence that he did. But I do find that it is presents a very convenient way of creating reasonable doubt for anyone committing at-the-moment types of crimes, which is definitely a problem.
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Guest



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fact of the matter is, whether it was a mistake or not, you can dispute that, he's an incompetent idiot and should not be a police officer.

You people say he was in a stressful situation and in the HEAT of the moment, picked up his taser (i.e. gun) and shot. I say that's a load of bollocks. Stressful? It doesn't look all that stressful. Maybe I'm watching the wrong video? Maybe if I look at it in a different angle? Maybe I need to put myself in his shoes? Let's see. Police officer, taser, gun. Two more people with tasers and guns. Unarmed civilians. Hmm. Nope. In all seriousness, though, saying he was in a 'stressful' situation is like saying the pilots in the Apache helicopter was in any kind of danger. Yes. I went there. But! Just to be sure.

What I see in the video, what I honestly see in the video, is three police officers (maybe one more off-screen), four people sitting down (one of them being Grant) and one lying in the corner to the left. So far, nothing really stressful. I see Mehserle wrestling down Grant after mouthing off, I can't really tell, and then having the other police officer put his knee on his neck. Grant is now incapacitated. What the hell would you expect him to do in that position?

No, apparently it warrants being tased. Oh, I'm sorry. Shot. Dead. Accidentally.

But he was confused! Then he shouldn't be a police officer. Or do you promote absolute idiots to work in law enforcement? Better yet, gun-toting, triggerhappy idiots, who may or may not confuse their guns with their tasers. I mean, their tasers with their guns.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guest wrote:
Fact of the matter is, whether it was a mistake or not, you can dispute that, he's an incompetent idiot and should not be a police officer.
...

No, apparently it warrants being tased. Oh, I'm sorry. Shot. Dead. Accidentally.

But he was confused! Then he shouldn't be a police officer. Or do you promote absolute idiots to work in law enforcement? Better yet, gun-toting, triggerhappy idiots, who may or may not confuse their guns with their tasers. I mean, their tasers with their guns.

Nobody said this even warranted a tasing. He should not have tased that bro either. The big stink seems to be about whether he intentionally gunned the guy down. So far I'm with Andrew here: based on the evidence, it's hard conclude that he did with "beyond the shadow of a doubt" certainty.

Unnamed? wrote:
nathan wrote:
Here's the thing: we have, on video, a clear case of an officer executing a restrained man. He can get involuntary manslaughter by claiming he mistakenly drew the wrong weapon (for what it's worth, I suspect in this case that's very possibly what happened) - but the successful use of this type of defense throws the door wide open for plausible deniability in essentially every case. It means corrupt cops can be caught on video deliberately pulling their sidearm and discharging a round into someone's back, knowing that at worst they can get off with involuntary by claiming it was a "whoopsie."

Either we need higher standards of prosecution for officers like this, or serious systemic changes to the way they distribute and use non-lethals on a day to day basis.


I found this insight to be the most interesting part of this thread. If this sort of defense can work for a case where the police officer is directly documented committing the crime, it would theoretically work for the vast majority of police firearm misconduct incidents in the field. Considering Sam and andrew's arguments for how easy it is for cognitive breakdown to occur in stressful situations, could this not also apply to civilian crimes as well?

I don't argue against how reasonable it is for a stress-induced disconnect from logic to be the source of Mehserle's actions. I'm also not arguing that he shouldn't get the sentence that he did. But I do find that it is presents a very convenient way of creating reasonable doubt for anyone committing at-the-moment types of crimes, which is definitely a problem.

It's possible that aside from being convenient, it's accurate.
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Unnamed?



Joined: 14 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:

It's possible that aside from being convenient, it's accurate.


I agree that it is likely accurate that many people make stupid mistakes because of the effect of a stressful situation on their psyche. The point I'm trying to make (and I think nathan is making as well) is that to accept "I was in a stressful situation and I didn't know exactly what I was doing" as a means of removing a large portion of responsibility seems to set a certain precedent. You can apply this sort of plea to anyone that does something irresponsible or immoral while in a stressful situation and all of a sudden you have to let them off the hook. The court, after all, has to be consistent.

At some point you have to pick between reality (the fact that it is impossible to accurately estimate a person's mental state and intention during a crime) and a functional judicial system. I'm not up on the history of U.S. law at all, but I don't imagine "I was stressed so I made a mistake" generally flies as a means of fulfilling the legal definition of reasonable doubt. Correct me if I'm wrong.

It seems the majority of this whole "reasonable doubt" is not due to the circumstances of the gun/tazer mix-up, but more to the fact that he's a police officer. We can't really imagine a police officer intentionally murdering a subdued civilian in front of a crowd of people. If you replace the group of police officers with a bunch of thugs, then all of a sudden it's a clear-cut case of murder. Mehserle could have made any other argument for why the shooting was an accident and it probably would also have earned him a reduced sentence. His killing of an unarmed person in the middle of a crowd is nonsensical, and we surmise that something else other than straight-up murder must have been going through the officer's head.
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