Konspiracy Korner: Mojician on Inner City Police Officers
report from the trenches, Dept.


The Counselor sez,


The murder capitals of the United States in no particular order are Chicago, Camden, Baton Rouge, St. Louis and Detroit.  Chicago had thirteen murders this weekend.  Like Doc said, police violence is 5 percent of the problem.  The biggest problems are young inner city mostly black men shooting each other, and bystanders, and other people who look like their enemies for inconsequential reasons. 

I imagine that police in that sort of environment are often put in a few very sticky situations.  Some police probably also become jaded and mean after a few too many gun battles.  Here's some questions:

1) Given the current bad press, how is an inner city police department to recruit good police officers?  

2) What does an inner city war zone turn police officers into?

3) What incentive do police officers have to do good work or enter into dangerous or sticky situations?

4) How does a city break out of this cycle of violence?


Field Gulls has a neat "Hawkstradamus" thread up in which users are called on to make predictions SAT-style ... What will be Russell Wilson's passer rating?  How many yards will Thomas Rawls get?  How many defensive Pro Bowlers will the Seahawks have?  It's fun and different because each reader is called on to commit to something in just a few words.  Tough for the commenters, but more than worth it for the readers.

Not holding out tons of hope that many denizens will respond to Mojician's survey, but if I do, perhaps Mojician himself will ;- )


1) People need good careers.  Quality young men jump at non-college jobs that pay well.  Young macho guys often love the idea of badges, even welcoming extra risk and bravado - at least in the recruiting phase!  Suggest just giving attractive wages, and making sure that the supervisors are "good guys."  With experience and good hearts.

2) Glad to hear Michael Bennett (of all people) saying this week that Americans need "to see both sides."  Nobody even talks about this critical 2) question.  Wish we did.

3) Only the goodness of their hearts.

4) I don't think it can, if the media and politicians are going to use the "divisive" rhetoric they've been using.


Outside the test, one more thought:  many, many young citizens today grow up lacking respect, especially respect for authority, much less respect for others' property or speech rights.  First thing the U.S. Army does to turn a non-functional 19-year-old into an adult, in 10 weeks, is Step One:  learn respect.

Which does go back to question 4).  Respect for authority is not much of the conversation, it doesn't seem.


Mojician can grade my test scores.

Much respect,





I think I read somewhere that a person who doesn't have a father figure in his life is twenty times more likely to end up in jail.  Why?  I don't know.  I've heard this several times though, so it must be true.  

Respect sounds like a good starting place.  Here's another: Marry your girlfriend.  

There's stone soup for a good society.


Whether there is a father or mother or what, way too many people/parents today believe that the schools or society or TV will teach these kids right from wrong, good from evil, healthy from junk food, or bond or free... let alone teaching manners, morals, financial competence and restraint, or just plain common sense.

Yes the fan is on full speed directed at the flames of racial tensions now, but the way society is going, it could very easily be a different divide in a couple years... and the issues will be the same. 

At some point, people have to start caring and acting like they want a safe and moral community that gives everyone a chance to succeed... or the next Hitler will be doing the thinking for future kids.


It's basically a free-for-all nowadays; few have even a modicum of restraint.

Somewhat relatedly, would like to read your opinion on the fluidity of everything these days... Autism, gender, identity.
It's all now a spectrum and it feels like moral micro-gravity at this point.
Or basically a giant chestwound of group identity crisis.

And I don't even consider myself conservative!


Especially since you bring it up.  You're the epitome of emotional neutrality here; when somebody (especially me) says something you can't relate to, you just shrug and say you disagree, or are puzzled, or some variation on mild-mannered dissatisfaction with the answer.

I'll write it up if we can count on you for a comment reaction ;- )

Henry 's picture

I really enjoy reading everyone's opinion here and getting insight to the other sides of things. I have a question. When talking about police brutality, excessive force, extrajudicial executions...whatever you want to call it, why is Chicago always brought up? And would you say that it is or is not a red herring?


Mojo started the conversation by listing the top 5 U.S. cities to visit if you wish to be murdered in cold blood.  It's not a problem to be minimized.  This last weekend, several children were killed, including a 3-year-old who will now be paralyzed for life.


To the extent that those five cities mis-represent the state of Inner City America, then to that extent it could be a red herring.  To the extent that gang violence, police corruption, and social disorder are in reality alarming problems, I'd give Mojo credit for sincerity.

For example, people point to Trump's characterization of a Latin judge as an easy-to-perceive representation of his personality as a 'racist'; from that point of view it's an accessible example, easy to process in our 140-character society.  Chicago, N.O., Detroit, etc., serve as similar 140-character examples of the broader problem.


Maybe our inner cities are okay, but that doesn't seem to be Kaepernick's or the Seahawks' perspective.



Seattle Outsider's picture

1) Given the current bad press, how is an inner city police department to recruit good police officers?  

Pay them more (money talks). Provide them with larger working teams (yes, budget increases but teams are able to handle situations in ways individuals and pairs can't). Hire as many minorities of the ethnicity of the respective community that you can (reduces social gap between community and police). Hire people as many people that live in the community they police as you can (reduces social gap between community and police). Build a campaign around a dramatic shift in policing tactics (don't have an answer on tactics as I don't study this, but announcing specific concrete changes, such as how to interact with police etc). Change the uniform, different uniforms for different Police job functions (starts to shift the perspective of police from a monobloc towards individuals). Give them an equivalent of a GI Bill incentive (maybe not for college, but some other post career financial incentive)?

2) What does an inner city war zone turn police officers into?

Veterans. The ones I know that are struggling with the job either are worried about safety (death) or they are on teh extreme opposite where they are going to do whatever it takes to make it out of any particular situation. The majority are likley fine, it's the fringes. Confirmation bias is everywhere in the job of police.

3) What incentive do police officers have to do good work or enter into dangerous or sticky situations?

Noble incentives - the "sheepdog" (people are sheep, criminals are wolves, sheepdogs are the protectors of people). Psychological rush. Whatever reasons they have to join the military. 

4) How does a city break out of this cycle of violence?

Persuasion campaign crafted by the leaders of the field (Robert Cialdini for one), A/B tested on a local level. Huge social campaign by the best comedians (who are relevant to that community) who savagely mock the gang lifestyle and gangsters as ridiculous, stupid, pathetic, etc. Economic recovery for low skilled workers. In some cases and forms, link Welfare and social benefits to required public service. Cut off all sources of illegial monetary funds (lock down border to prevent drug inventory coming in). Make anonymous testimony admissable to the court in some way - must work to eliminate the "snitches get stitches" mindset. Close all schools that under perform, open dozens of competing schools in their place with different educational forms - match students with schools based on individual kids learning style.   


Based on that quality response Outsider ...

I'd be interested to know your thoughts on selected deployments of the National Guard to stand in the streets and keep children from being shot.


Just for consideration...there are more white kids born out of wedlock than black kids.  (And yes, the white sample size is bigger...)

Maybe it's confusing to combine the two factors?


According to this very typical link.  You were speaking by "volume stats" like RBI rather than by "rate stats" like slugging percentage?

So if your point is, "sons with no dads is a universal problem," then of course I agree 1000%. 


Let's not pretend that we don't understand, though.  You're aware of the Charles Barkley quip that "if you're not an idiot or a thug, you're not black enough"; Seattle had the whole "Is he black enough?" conversation last year about Russell Wilson.  

Hard to imagine you missed that.  The RW3 theme was --- > deference to authority as "selling out" if you are black. It's not possible to deny this cultural theme with a straight face.  


In many of those inner-city schools, buckling down to good grades, talking to the teacher with respect, will get kids beat up on a daily basis.  If you're a child in that situation, and your FRIENDS regard you a sellout for trying to get a college education and not get a girl pregnant, what SPECIFICALLY do you do?  Call for more federal funding so your best friend won't sneer at you?

Russ, DaddyO, and I suggest changing the message on the TV screen, for starters.  Hint:  the new message doesn't begin with pointedly refusing to salute the flag -- and all of society's authority figures, by extension -- while the American President (!) nods and responds by saying "Maybe people will start to realize he has a point" in his rejection of civil cooperation and goodwill.  

Teddy Roosevelt would be awfully proud, wouldn't he?  :- )  Keep your hands in your pockets, there, son.  Bully good show.


We have a couple of unwed white mothers in my church.  It's not a rare thing.  Obviously, these mothers loved, supported, and accepted.  

In theory, we would have to start by agreeing that [sons with no dads] is NOT our IDEAL.  Not much chance of agreeing on that.  Long ago we decided it's much more important to affirm those not conforming to the ideal, than to work towards the ideal.


I seem to have annoyed you--and I'm not sure how.

1) Yes, of course, I agree that sons without Dads is a problem. Doesn't make any difference what race.  Of course, lots of single parent kids have prevailed, for whatever reason.  Do I remember correctly that your upbringing was not exactly Leave it to Beaver?  

2) If you want to choose one person (Barkley) as the authority on what black people are like or how they think, then I choose Trump to prove what white people are like.  This probably sounds harsh--but I really am missing the point here.  Would you not agree that any single opinion that proposes to capture how any entire group of people (race, nation, gender, sexual orientation--take your pick) acts and thinks is probably lacking fundamentally?  I know you do...so again, I'm not sure what you mean.

3) "...changing the message on the TV screen."  Totally lost. I can't see what you're referring to on the screen.  Maybe I'm tuned to the wrong channel?  :)

4) On the larger preceding issue of cops and training (not saying that what exists in many inner city neighborhoods is not an issue...and MUCH more severe than anything in Washington state.)  My wife is the expert on this, so I'll have to report on her behalf.  But there is something called the Criminial Justice Training Institute in our state that trains everyone except the state patrol.  A year of so ago they brought in a woman to lead it who is trying to change the mindset from "you're the authority" to "you're the guardians of democracy."  Think about that for a minute.  Everyone is entitled to the rights the constituion gives us.  Until the point you forfeit those rights by doing harm to others (breaking the law).  But punishment is not the job of the cops--it belongs to the courts.  So the cops' job is to protect everyone to the best of their abilities in every situation--the good guys, the bad guys, the innocent bystanders.

Not many people would disagree with this in principle--no one wants the power of the military or the police to be absolute.  History teaches.  So the distinction is between a mindset that is on one hand militaristic in nature (the background for many cops), and on the other hand looking at it as working from a foundation of 'life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.'  I am not a fan of BLM but I will say that a cop should have the training to believe his default position is that anyone who he confronts has that right to life...until the moment when he believes his own life, or those of others, are in danger.  The fact of the matter is that there are now way too many documented incidents of this not being the case...of citizens dying by the actions of police that are simply not defensible--even though they virtually never pay a price.

Will this training make a difference?  At the start, there was very heavy resistance.  it's waning now...but way to soon to tell.  If it does, it will spread to other areas.  (Although in the case of the south and west sides of Chicago, it won't make any difference.  No one has come up with a good solution there.  Those are war zones.  But not because no one is trying.)

5) Conforming/not conforming to the ideal. I apparenlty see this very differently than you...but maybe because we've got different 'ideals' in mind?

I hope this comes across as respectful...that's how it's intended.  


We've got to find a balance between The Thin Blue Line concept of policing (which correctly assumes there are organized bad guys out there intent on harmful pursuits, and hopefully takes active measures to protect law abiding citizens from them) and the Referee With A Gun concept (which correctly assumes that most people are not organized bad guys). If we don't find this balance, we'll continue to talk past each other. 

Trust lost is VERY hard to regain. It takes a long time and clear evidence of the will to regain it. Many in the black community do not trust the police. There are enough genuine incidents, and there is enough daily experience in that community to allow grievances against police to take root.

Some black leaders with agendas beyond common sense solutions are only too anxious to cultivate, fertilize and harvest this discontent to their advantage. These latter types have no interest in looking at the facts that come out in investigations and court proceedings. They insist that such endeavors are rigged. They may be correct in some instances, but they are never nuanced in their pursuits. They never produce any systematic evidence to back up their rants. When was the last time they retracted their assertions when it turns out evidence suggests a far different scenario than they one they originally portrayed? THESE BLACK LEADERS HAVE LOST TRUST AS WELL, the trust of fair-minded people who have no axe to grind. And they will have an equally hard time regaining it as the cops will with the black community.

This has left us all in a state where most of the talk is irrational and talking past each other. There seems to be no mutual will to actually arrive at a reasonable solution. America, LIKE EVERY COUNTRY IN HISTORY, has a racist past. Vestiges still remain. Since the Civil War this country has moved in fits and starts more and more towards its ideals of liberty and justice for all. There is more to do, and constructive efforts to make progress are embraced by people of good will in all political camps.

Many black leaders will point out that if they stay silent nothing will be done. Perhaps some feel they need to engage in their hyperbolic machinations in order to get the public and the government to pay attention and deal with the problems. But there are others who it appears will never be satisfied because they have professionalized the occupation of Leader Of The Black Grievance Movement. They make good money by doing enough good to legitimize their shakedown of business and government.

Meanwhile most Americans look at their own lives and say to themselves, "There's probably some racism out there, but I conduct my life just fine in the multi-ethnic society around me. Why am I made out to be a racist?!"

Finally, the inner city black communities have been the exclusive province of the political cronies of these very same black grievance leaders. They've taken in boatloads of money, been handed preferential treatments, been given the keys to the kingdom, and what have they done with it? They have presided over the further deterioration of their kindgoms. Grievance only takes you so far. Left unchecked it vengefully destroys. Grievance by itself can never build.

Most people are all for helping the inner cities, me included. But fifty years after the introduction of The Great Society, many are no longer content to keep throwing money at these same leaders. New blood, new vision is needed, new approaches, new organizing principles, new leadership. Heaven knows I'm not saying Donald Trump or the Republican party is the new blood and new vision needed. But Hillary's lackeys promise one thing: more of what's been going down the last fifty years. 

Let's extend a helping hand to those less fortunate among us, to the weak, the downcast, the helpless, the widow, the orphan. But the way forward is not to simply give into the failed policies of the last fifty years. Those policies will only further exacerbate the problem.

I've said my piece, have at it. I will let others defend it or refine it if they choose.


That SSI readers are known for being intellectually volatile.  Personally I find almost all of them to be very even-tempered, intelligent, and reasonable.


Driving at the point that it's a lot easier to condemn Kaepernick than it will be for many Seahawk fans to do the same depending on what happens Sunday.  

I agree with your assessment of SSI readers.  


I was listening to talk radio on the way home earlier this week, and host said something close to my heading... provocative, so I listened.

He said Kaepernick (and others who are not just trying to stir race relations) were not truly anti-cop. These people are against the police / government / law makers who are not using common sense and appropriate means to keep the citizenry in line. Yes, there have been cases where the police had to shoot, and were justified... many protestors are not talking about those though.

Several protestors are talking about apprehending an unarmed person who committed a crime - like selling cigarettes for a dime without a license, possibly selling small quantities of drugs, stealing food and candy, driving without a license, and etc... These criminals should not have died, but they did. It is wrong that they died.

Why did these people die - too many police, too many laws, and too much government.

Years ago, store owners would be doing more to protect themselves from crime... whether it was arming themselves, more doors or metal railings between the exit and the cash registrar, or just not opening shops in the wrong neighborhoods. Now-a-days, the police are being told to do EVERYTHING - like tickets for seat belts, crowd control at sporting or other events, security at schools, patrolling speed limits in school or road construction areas, local fund raising, community awareness programs, drug education classes, and etc... Are these areas where police really must be involved? Why not use other appropriate means or ways.

Moreover, the police MUST do EVERYTHING a SPECIFIC way or they will end up in jail themselves for breaking some code or law that was put into effect to protect the CRIMINAL. Yes, yes, innocent until proven guilty, but come on now... police getting arrested a & fired because they did not put on a criminal's seat belt??? Police being prosecuted for not shouting loud enough their presense on the scene of a crime. Police publically being named and shamed by media for just protecting themselves and others in a riot. Do we really need police to be extremely fine tuned pieces of machinery, or are they here to just keep the peace?   

If there were less police, and less laws and yes - less government... police would have to be doing other things than having to find & arrest the petty thiefs. Maybe, just maybe, if the Chicago police had less things to worry about, they would get involved with trying to stop gang violence versus the other million things they are tasked with. If there was less government, there would be less people spending our tax dollars, less people finding ways to make the citizenry conform to politically correct beliefs, less resources used to control behaivor... and maybe more people would have to think and do more for themselves... and I for one do not see that as a bad thing.

Lastly, IF Republicans were more on their game versus trying to weaken Trump, the Republicans would be out there with Kaepernick demanding less government invention, and pointing out how the increase in government is hurting the minorities in this country.


Diderot... Those numbers are interesting, especially those of the legislative and judicial that doubled from 1964 to 1988, but have held relatively steady since then. Those are numbers I would like to see reduced.

Furthermore, these numbers just start to illustrate how weak and nearly liberal the Bush's actually were as Presidents... and how there was really no difference between them, and Bill Clinton, and how all of them have an even eerily similar foreign policies to Johnson. Then since Reagan had several financial similarities with Hoover, Coolidge, Teddy and even Kennedy... the last truly conservative Republican President was in the 1800's.


...is how to factor in the number of people employed by 'government contractors'.  

It's no secret that in many cases you can take a job once paid directly by the government (federal, state or even local) and hire a pirivate company to use an employee to do the same work.  The money still winds up on the government books...but you can count a 'reduction' in government  head count.  (And the total cost is often higher.)

My feeling is this is where the truer picture lies.  


Regardless of party, the government seems to purposely make it difficult to track changes from year to year - let alone administration to administration. They change the terms, groupings, and even formulas used... and only use a footnote that there was a change... and unless you know what you are looking for, that change may not be specifically stated exactly what was changed all in one place.


In these gangland turf wars, we have police who:

1) Are themselves selling drugs and guns

2) Are overreacting out of fear and conditioning

3) Are reacting appropriate to the war environment, but CHARACTERIZED as overreacting by the media

The media acts like a dense fog, obfuscating our ability to think clearly about the situation and see both sides.  It wallows in cases (1) and (2), presenting a constant message that police are a much bigger part of the problem than is civil unrest.  Was the media more friendly to Black Lives Matter or Blue Lives Matter?


But I regret that I jumped the gun on Kaepernick's motivations; he and others are much more nuanced in their positions than I falsely assumed they were.

The fact remains that America is being systematically taught contempt for authority, and Kaepernick is helping forward that.  The Seahawks are apparently going to go ahead and do their part to "show unity" with black communities in rejecting authority.  They are nuancing an incorrect attitude also.  [America as a concept] is no more responsible for criminal decisions than you or I are.

But would unreservedly acknowledge Kapernick's assertions that he has seen a lot of criminal police behavior.  Am very sorry that he has.

Great post amigo.

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