Questions tagged [police]

Questions related to the civil force of a state, responsible for the prevention and detection of crime and the maintenance of public order.

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81
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7answers
11k views

Why is there a broad pattern of excessive force by police towards protestors in spite of international focus on this use of force?

Right now (June 2020), sparked by the murder of George Floyd, there have been a wave of protests against police brutality towards black Americans. In these very protests, there has also been a massive ...
77
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8answers
13k views

Why do US police use handcuffs in otherwise calm, non-violent circumstances?

When the Atlanta police recently discovered that a driver, who was otherwise calm and cooperative was "over the alcohol limit" after a long and largely fruitless conversation (during which ...
63
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3answers
6k views

Why do US police treat using counterfeit money as an emergency?

One thing that surprises me about the George Floyd incident is that the police would treat the passing of a counterfeit $20 in a corner shop as some kind of an emergency. If someone called the ...
55
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11answers
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Would it save lives in London to arm every individual police officer?

Cressida Dick, the Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, said on the radio this morning that she continued to be opposed to ordinary police officers in London being routinely armed. Britain ...
50
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2answers
4k views

Why is the amount of training for police officers in the United States so low compared to other developed countries?

In the wake of current events the U.S. police have once again come under immense public scrutiny, putting the focus on various aspects such as police brutality, racial discrimination, qualified ...
45
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7answers
7k views

How do progressive US political thinkers explain anti-black police discrimination in cities where the population and government are majority black?

There is a common narrative among progressive political and racial thinkers in the United States that all or almost all police departments are systematically racist in a way that does significant and ...
41
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7answers
7k views

What is the origin of the fears of racism associated with facial recognition technology?

If one pays attention to technology-based news all the big players in facial recognition technology are now refusing to provide this technology to the US government and/or police. When news reports ...
41
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7answers
5k views

What could the US federal government do to reform the police?

There is a widespread belief that policing in the USA suffers from systemic racism. Let us suppose that Joe Biden gets elected President and decides that this is a priority. Let us also suppose that ...
37
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4answers
8k views

Can the so-called “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” in Seattle be treated as an insurrection against the Federal Government?

According to latest news from Seattle, protesters now are controlling some parts of the city, preventing police from entering. Can it be treated as insurrection against Federal Government, according ...
31
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5answers
9k views

Are police in Western European countries right-wing or left-wing?

In America, the police have a reputation for being politically conservative. One rarely sees clashes between conservative demonstrators and police. In Europe, though, there seem to be lots of clashes ...
31
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4answers
6k views

Who are the police in Hong Kong?

The current protests in Hong Kong have set me wondering where the police force are recruited from. Are they people who grew up in HK, or have they been bought in from mainland China? I ask because a ...
24
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5answers
3k views

Can society (under state rule) function without police?

Minneapolis has voted to disband its police department. This is in response to the BLM protests. Every developed society in the world has police forces. The police are one of the state's institutions ...
23
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5answers
5k views

Can the police unions be dissolved?

One of the demands of Black Lives Matter (BLM) is to de-fund the police. At the center of it are the police unions, since the contracts are negotiated through the police unions. My question is as ...
18
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9answers
7k views

Is defunding the police compatible with a libertarian mindset?

In light of recent tragedies, many people have been saying "defund the police". I'm a moderate conservative and moderate libertarian and generally think that defunding the police is a bad ...
18
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3answers
4k views

What happens to rank-and-file law-enforcement after major regime change [closed]

The question is inspired by the current situation in Myanmar, but since at the time of writing what will happen remains to be seen and obviously people on here can't predict the future, but surely ...
18
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2answers
1k views

Why do police unions support police officers that have committed gross misconduct, given that they tarnish the reputation of all officers?

In many fields, professional bodies will vocally condemn members who commit misconduct. For example, medical associations, learned societies or unions will seek to end the careers of members who ...
18
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3answers
18k views

Why are Sheriffs elected in United States?

In other parts of the world the police's chiefs are selected by the city mayor or the city council, but in almost all counties of United States they are elected. Why are they elected, and not ...
16
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5answers
7k views

Do people in countries besides the US react negatively to “militarized police”?

A 2018 PNAS study concludes that militarized “special weapons and tactics” (SWAT) teams are more often deployed in communities of color, and—contrary to claims by police administrators—provide no ...
14
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3answers
1k views

Who polices the police in the USA?

Who polices the police in the USA? Is there anyone a police officer has to answer to for committing racist acts, abusing their power, or committing other crimes unnecessarily?
14
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5answers
1k views

Comparing the summer of 2020's BLM protests to the events at the Capitol on 6th January, 2021

I realize that this is a contentious matter and do not want to start a heated discussion. In fact, having just come from one, I don't want a discussion at all - just some dispassionate, neutral, ...
14
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2answers
458 views

Did the FBI inform the US Capitol Police on the level of possible threat on Jan 6?

It's been reported that following the rioting and break-ins from Trump supporters at the Capitol, both the (acting) chief of the US Capitol Police and the Seargents at Arms of both chambers have ...
13
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5answers
34k views

Can I escape arrest by entering an embassy?

Police are not allowed to enter embassies by force. Would I be able to therefore escape arrest if I entered my country's embassy? What about if I entered a random embassy? Please also advise whether ...
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4answers
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In the US, what is the meaning of “declaring a Riot”?

According to CNN, the Portland Police Bureau "declared a riot" on July 4th, 2020 after protesters shot commercial grade fireworks at both the state and federal courthouses. Some local ...
13
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1answer
767 views

What proposals exist for a large city disbanding and reconstituting its police force?

Minneapolis has voted to disband its police The Minneapolis city council has pledged to disband the city’s police department and replace it with a new system of public safety, a historic move that ...
12
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3answers
1k views

What is the “appropriate” civilian response to police abusing their power? [closed]

Police are tear-gassing civilians during a pandemic that exasperates respiratory conditions while there is a shortage of ventilators and hospital beds. How/why is this allowed? What is the “...
12
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3answers
602 views

Why are CBP and other organizations within DHS allowed to arrest protestors?

As per the reporting about federal officers arresting protesters, I am wondering about the jurisdiction of the US's Department of Homeland Security. What is the specific legal purview that allows DHS ...
12
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2answers
396 views

Pickpockets in St Peter's Square

I read that the Lateran Treaty (which created the Vatican City State) specifically allows Italian police to patrol St. Peter's Square, even though the square is within Vatican City. Practically, what ...
12
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1answer
791 views

Whose responsibility is the physical security of the US Capitol?

It will seem, at first glance, like this question has an easy answer; the US Capitol Police. It might be that that's the answer, but I'm not sure whether it goes more in-depth than that. During the ...
11
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4answers
641 views

How can police brutality be prevented through policy?

Police Brutality (defined as a civil rights violation where officers exercise undue or excessive force against a civilian) is not equally prevalent in all governments and all places, which indicates ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Is the death rate due to police violence between men and women proportional?

According to https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/a/47814/25402 1 in 2000 men's cause of death is police violence while the corresponding number for women is 1 in 33 000. Risk is highest for black ...
11
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1answer
661 views

Is there any reason to believe that face masks increase the risk of racial profiling?

As established at Skeptics, Lincoln County, Oregon, legally requires everyone to wear facemasks to prevent the spread of covid...unless they are a person of color. In other words, only white people ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Is it normal for the German government to only release a partial name?

The name of the dead suspect for the Münster attack is “Jens R.”, according to ZDF. Is it normal for the German government to only release a partial name for a crime as serious as this? (Assuming ...
10
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2answers
10k views

What is the difference between the Guardia Civil and the Policía Nacional in Spain?

It seems that in Spain there are two separate police forces under the authority of Madrid: the Guardia Civil and the Policía Nacional. Why is that? And what is the difference between the two?
10
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2answers
822 views

Is there pervasive racial bias in United States policing?

Twitter user Leonydus Johnson posted the following statistics acquired from the FBI UCR Program website and the Washington Post: For every 10,000 black people arrested for violent crime, 3 are killed ...
10
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3answers
504 views

Do other countries provide police the same degree of immunity that USA police officers have?

In the USA, police have a high degree of immunity for their actions in the line of duty. It is nearly impossible to sue an individual officer due to qualified immunity, and one can't sue a precinct ...
9
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3answers
512 views

What are the responses to the police assaulting journalists during the 2020 protests in the US?

Countless* members of the press have been targeted and assaulted by the police for covering the current protests in the US. Has president Trump or his administration responded to these attacks? Have ...
9
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4answers
970 views

What are Arguments in Favor of Qualified Immunity for Police Officers?

Currently there is concern about police brutality and overreach. One suggestion I've heard often is ending qualified immunity, and there are many videos with convincing arguments for removing the ...
9
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3answers
571 views

Does the death of George Floyd represent the oppression of black people, or that of poor people generally?

The question mostly applies to America, but my own experience is with the UK. In Britain it is often said that a black person is twice as likely to die in police custody as a white person. That ...
8
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5answers
7k views

Do United States police officers answer to the president before the mayor?

Many mayors of major US cities are claiming that they were not implement some of President-elect Trump's orders regarding deportation. Would the police be obligated to listen to the mayor and ignore ...
8
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1answer
588 views

What is the Miranda exemption and what are its implications?

The Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was not read his Miranda rights immediately due to a "public safety" exemption: A senior United States official said Monday that federal ...
7
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3answers
1k views

Why do BLM protestors continue after all four police involved in the killing of George Floyd are facing charges?

Why do BLM protestors continue to protest now that all four police involved in the killing of George Floyd are facing charges and police around the country are being held accountable (e.g. the 6 ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Do municipal and state police have to cooperate with federal police?

To what level do local/state police have to cooperate with federal police when state law differs from national law, especially regarding the recent legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington ...
6
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1answer
471 views

Why do so many Sheriffs run unopposed in the US?

I read that nearly 60% of the incumbent Sheriffs run unopposed. Why is that?
6
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0answers
151 views

What can local governments do to reform the police & policing? [closed]

Much of the oversight power for police departments and sheriff departments is with local government. For example, in Michigan, the elected officials that oversee police departments in cities are City ...
5
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1answer
641 views

Is there an international consensus about Privacy vs Security (How Much Data Should We Collect?)

On the one hand, privacy gives people leeway for free thought, freedom of expression, and criticism without fear of personal consequences. On the other hand, security ensures the structural integrity ...
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5answers
2k views

Are there areas of London the police are afraid to enter?

From The Daily Mail (online): The US presidential contender caused worldwide consternation yesterday after a string of incendiary remarks about Muslims, including in Britain, and said: 'We have ...
5
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2answers
540 views

Why has the shooting of Laquan McDonald become a focal point of protest and media attention?

As Wikipedia puts it, "McDonald, a 17-year-old black male armed with a 3-inch (76 mm) knife, was shot 16 times in 13 seconds by Chicago Police officer Jason Van Dyke." However, the strong impartiality ...
5
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3answers
502 views

How are criminal cases with citizens from rogue states handled?

How does international policing work for countries that are not part of Interpol and do not have extradition treaties in place? For example if a North Korean citizen was suspected of murdering a ...
5
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2answers
324 views

What is the difference between the National Guard and the MVD Internal Troops?

Recently, Putin signed the law that creates the National Guard of Russia (Росгвардия), seemingly replacing the Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD, МВД). What is the difference ...
4
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1answer
608 views

Why Michael Brown shooting is still being used as an example of police violence against minorities?

It was proved that the officer had the right to use deadly force when Brown was charging at him, yet people still use it as an example of unjustified police violence; for example in this article (but ...