NYPD Cops on Reddit: OK to “Get A Few Punches” While Arresting Suspects

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NYPD cops share their feelings on getting a couple extra punches on suspects who resist arrest…

Massive discussion forum Reddit‘s subforum forum for New York City-themed topics, /r/nyc, has a lively and diverse cross-section of New York’s population, with everyone everything from NYU students, retirees, young professionals, and even police officers.  I find the insight one can gain from seeing all these different points of view to be incredibly educational, and sometimes sometimes, people are, perhaps, a little more candid than they should be.

This morning, one of the top threads on /r/nyc was a NYPD cop caught on camera punching and kneeing a suspect in the back of the head while he was on the ground during an arrest (original link, archive).  A cop on the forum, /u/Fast05GT, was quick to defend the actions of the officers, and while starting with a reasonable-sounding explanation that they were dealing with a suspect accused of violent crime who was resisting arrest, he continued to expose that police officers feel entitled to get a little retaliation, seemingly without knowledge that this is wrong:

“You guys are crazy if you think I’m gonna let some extremely violent felon kick my ass and not get a few punches of my own in.”

Another NYPD officer, /u/Mac8831, quickly clarifies:

“The fact is, punching and kicking this shit head is perfectly fine until he’s in custody.”

A read through the thread is filled with these and other gems (“Those cops did nothing wrong. ‘pain compliance’ is taught in the Police Academy, punching and kicking are 100% proper tactical procedures…”) and makes blatantly apparent that these officers do actually think that their conduct — getting in a few extra hits than is actually necessary to restrain a suspect — is perfectly acceptable.

The problem in the NYPD is not merely a few bad apples, but rather than every apple is exposed to systemic and cultural ideologies that condone tactics that are simply not allowed anywhere in our country, whether it’s stopping-and-frisking black people simply for existing, arresting for contempt-of-cop, or excessive force.  Let’s hope the addition of body cameras coming soon brings this issue to light and helps us stamp it out.

Civil rights advocacy is expensive!  Want to contribute to the fight against police abuse, TSA assholery, and other civil rights issues? Donate via PayPal, Venmo, Chace QuickPay, Bitcoin, or check

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8 days ago
I cant assume anyone anonymously commenting on reddit is who they claim to be ...
10 days ago
New York, NY
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Function (and the dysfunctional organization)

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Here's how you end up with a bully in a position of authority at an organization:

Someone points out that the bully is a real problem. And the boss says, "I know he's a bully, but he's really productive and we can't afford to replace him."

And here's how you end up with a naysayer, or a toxic co-worker:

Someone points out that people are afraid to work with this person. And the boss says, "I know, but we really need her expertise."

And, person by person, trait by trait, we build a broken organization because we believe that function trumps cooperation, inspiration and care.

Until it doesn't, and then, all we've got left is a mess.

The negative people who do nothing functional are an easy decision. It's the little compromises around people who seem to add value that corrupt what we seek to create.

Build a team of people who work together, who care and who learn and you'll end up with the organization you deserve. Build the opposite and you also get what you deserve.

Function is never an excuse for a dysfunctional organization, because we get the organization we compromise for.

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10 days ago
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Rudolph Giuliani Claims U.S. Had No Terrorist Attacks Pre-Obama

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For a man once accused of forming every sentence with a noun, a verb and 9/11, it was a serious omission.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks before Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump in Youngstown, Ohio, Monday. Gerald Herbert/AP hide caption

toggle caption Gerald Herbert/AP
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks before Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump in Youngstown, Ohio, Monday.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks before Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump in Youngstown, Ohio, Monday.

Gerald Herbert/AP

Rudy Giuliani appeared to forget the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, while warming up a crowd for Donald Trump's foreign policy speech on Monday.

"By the way," Giuliani said, "under those eight years, before Obama came along, we didn't have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States. They all started when Clinton and Obama got into office."

The oversight was all the more glaring because Giuliani had spoken moments earlier about visiting Ground Zero with Trump's running mate, Mike Pence, "when we went through the worst foreign attack in our history since the War of 1812."

Giuliani's oversight was quickly mocked on social media and in his hometown newspaper, the New York Daily News.

Before 9/11, there was also the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. After the 1994 conviction of the bomber, Giuliani lauded the U.S. court system, saying the conviction "demonstrates that New Yorkers won't meet violence with violence, but with a far greater weapon — the law." He added, "It should show that our legal system is the most mature legal system in the history of the world, that it works well, that that is the place to seek vindication if you feel your rights have been violated."

Giuliani changed that tone in 2009 when then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced the U.S. would try 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed in New York.

This was not the first time a Republican speaker appeared to air-brush the deadly 9/11 attack out of a conversation. Jeb Bush did so during a GOP debate in February.

"While Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe," Bush said, ignoring the 2,996 people who died on September 11.

At that time, it was Trump himself who set the record straight, telling Bush, "The World Trade Center came down during your brother's reign, remember that?"

NPR's Domenico Montanaro contributed to this report.

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12 days ago
Never forget
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12 days ago
yep, checks out.
Bend, Oregon
8 days ago
Giulaiani knows it was actually charges planted by the government and that jet fuel can't melt steel beams.

By Eyebrows McGee in "CSM on LGBT and Conservative Christianity" on MeFi

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As you all know I'm pretty freakin' Christian. But what bothers me about the refusal to serve gay couples, etc., is that in American culture, the right to practice one's religion has always, always been intimately tied up in the right to retreat from civil society. The Amish, for example, are exempted from social security because they reject all of the benefits of social security. The more extreme end of free practice rights, where they conflict with civil society's rules, have always been recognized as a right to totally refuse to participate, not as a right to do whatever the fuck you want and still participate in general civil society.

Illinois has some lawsuits pending from the Christian bakers and venue-providers who want to refuse gay couples but still be regular businesses otherwise. To me, if they want to refuse to provide services to citizens of this state because they happen to be gay and engaging in legal gay marriage, well, whatever, that's their dumb business decision. BUT the many benefits the state provides private businesses -- from roads to incorporation to limits on personal liability to the right to sue those who dine and dash to the ability to enforce private contracts in public courts -- should be rescinded from those businesses that refuse to do business with all citizens of the state (whose rights are protected by law). The state's not actually here to provide you with a beneficial business climate; it's here to serve and protect and promote the interests of its citizens. If you want to refuse gay business, you can withdraw from civil society, as religious minorities in the US have done since its founding, and you can refuse to participate in the protections civil society provides for commerce. You can operate in the happy libertarian world where your word is your bond and your ability to strongarm people is the limit of your ability to enforce promises of payment or performance. And if that works out for you, great! And if it doesn't, you can access the courts the state has established for the convenience of its citizens at exactly the moment when you start providing equal access to your services for all citizens of the state. PROBLEM SOLVED.
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13 days ago
I can't sign on to the last sentence. Need mandatory waiting periods for regaining normal privileges.
27 days ago
Sounds fair b
30 days ago
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The syllabus – The Hardest Science


PSY 607: Everything is Fucked
Prof. Sanjay Srivastava
Class meetings: Mondays 9:00 – 10:50 in 257 Straub
Office hours: Held on Twitter at your convenience (@hardsci)

In a much-discussed article at Slate, social psychologist Michael Inzlicht told a reporter, “Meta-analyses are fucked” (Engber, 2016). What does it mean, in science, for something to be fucked? Fucked needs to mean more than that something is complicated or must be undertaken with thought and care, as that would be trivially true of everything in science. In this class we will go a step further and say that something is fucked if it presents hard conceptual challenges to which implementable, real-world solutions for working scientists are either not available or routinely ignored in practice.

The format of this seminar is as follows: Each week we will read and discuss 1-2 papers that raise the question of whether something is fucked. Our focus will be on things that may be fucked in research methods, scientific practice, and philosophy of science. The potential fuckedness of specific theories, research topics, etc. will not be the focus of this class per se, but rather will be used to illustrate these important topics. To that end, each week a different student will be assigned to find a paper that illustrates the fuckedness (or lack thereof) of that week’s topic, and give a 15-minute presentation about whether it is indeed fucked.


20% Attendance and participation
30% In-class presentation
50% Final exam

Week 1: Psychology is fucked

Meehl, P. E. (1990). Why summaries of research on psychological theories are often uninterpretable. Psychological Reports, 66, 195-244.

Week 2: Significance testing is fucked

Cohen, J. (1990). Things I have learned (so far). American Psychologist, 45, 1304-1312.

Rouder, J. N., Morey, R. D., Verhagen, J., Province, J. M., & Wagenmakers, E. J. (2016). Is there a free lunch in inference? Topics in Cognitive Science, 8, 520-547.

Week 3: Causal inference from experiments is fucked

Chapter 3 from: Bollen, K. A. (1989). Structural equations with latent variables. New York: Wiley.

Week 4: Mediation is fucked

Bullock, J. G., Green, D. P., & Ha, S. E. (2010). Yes, but what’s the mechanism?(don’t expect an easy answer). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98, 550-558.

Week 5: Covariates are fucked

Culpepper, S. A., & Aguinis, H. (2011). Using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) with fallible covariates. Psychological Methods, 16, 166-178.

Westfall, J., & Yarkoni, T. (2016). Statistically controlling for confounding constructs is harder than you think. PloS one, 11, e0152719.

Week 6: Replicability is fucked

Pashler, H., & Harris, C. R. (2012). Is the replicability crisis overblown? Three arguments examined. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 531-536.

Open Science Collaboration. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349(6251), aac4716.

Week 7: Interlude: Everything is fine, calm the fuck down

Gilbert, D. T., King, G., Pettigrew, S., & Wilson, T. D. (2016). Comment on “Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science.” Science, 251, 1037a.

Maxwell, S. E., Lau, M. Y., & Howard, G. S. (2015). Is psychology suffering from a replication crisis? What does “failure to replicate” really mean? American Psychologist, 70, 487-498.

Week 8: Scientific publishing is fucked

Fanelli, D. (2011). Negative results are disappearing from most disciplines and countries. Scientometrics, 90, 891-904.

Ioannidis, J. P. (2005). Why most published research findings are false. PLoS Med, 2, e124.

Week 9: Meta-analysis is fucked

Inzlicht, M., Gervais, W., & Berkman, E. (2015). Bias-Correction Techniques Alone Cannot Determine Whether Ego Depletion is Different from Zero: Commentary on Carter, Kofler, Forster, & McCullough, 2015. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2659409 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2659409

Van Elk, M., Matzke, D., Gronau, Q. F., Guan, M., Vandekerckhove, J., & Wagenmakers, E. J. (2015). Meta-analyses are no substitute for registered replications: A skeptical perspective on religious priming. Frontiers in Psychology, 6.

Week 10: The scientific profession is fucked

Bakker, M., van Dijk, A., & Wicherts, J. M. (2012). The rules of the game called psychological science. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 543-554.

Nosek, B. A., Spies, J. R., & Motyl, M. (2012). Scientific utopia II. Restructuring incentives and practices to promote truth over publishability. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 615-631.

Finals week

Wear black and bring a #2 pencil.

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16 days ago
17 days ago
New York, NY
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We've Ended Up with Donald Trump as a Candidate Because the U.S. Churches — the White Ones — Have Brought Trump to Us: 25 Theses on What the Church Is (Not) Good For


1. It is frightening to be in the final period of one's life, to be gay, and to see someone like Donald Trump not only rising to power in one's own nation, but vying for leadership of the nation.

2. This experience can make one question the worth of her or his whole life — to question whether all of his or her attempts to lead an upright, productive, generative life have meant nothing at all when all is said and done, in terms of earning respect or even basic security in his/her old age.

3. I am certain I am not alone in experiencing such fear and entertaining such questions now. Many women are contemplating the possibility of a Trump presidency with similar justifiable fear, I would think. African Americans and immigrants of various religious and ethnic backgrounds are doing so, and should do so.

4. I'm not claiming that my perspective, my fears, my questions, are unique and normative: they are fears and questions arising out of my unique perspective of being an aging, married gay man in a part of the country in which Donald Trump is wildly popular, especially among my fellow Christians.

5. One of the lessons the Nazi period in Germany should have taught us (I've been thinking of this lesson after having read Joachim Fest's Not Iand Alison Pick's Between Godsrecently) is that it's entirely possible for a whole set of human beings to imagine they count, are respected, will be accorded safety — and then to discover that their illusions about where they stand in the eyes of others can vanish in the twinkling twinking of an eye.

6. We count insofar as we are accorded a place in the world by people around us. 

7. Some people always count more than others count.

8. But the lesson of the Nazi period is that even people who have contributed much to the building of a culture, who are well-integrated into a culture, who are wealthy, educated, important to a nation's business life, who have gone to war on behalf of their nation for generations, can suddenly find themselves on the no-count side of the tally — as people they thought of as friends and supporters stand by in total silence when those no-count people are slated for annihilation.

9. For those of us who have no choice except to think about these matters as Donald Trump contends for the presidency as one of the candidates of the two major parties in the U.S., what do the churches have to offer?

10. I'll speak again from my personal perch: I know with absolute certainty that I could not turn to almost all of my local churches for support or assistance, if a sudden horrific twist occurred in our culture and I found myself targeted as an aging gay married man by people intent on doling out injustice or even violence to me.

11. The churches — the white ones — are responsiblefor Donald Trump.

12. The churches — the white ones — have brought usDonald Trump.

13. Some eighty percent of white evangelicals have declared that they intend to vote for Donald Trump. Half of white mainline Protestantsand half of white Catholicshave made the same declaration.

14. Donald Trump would not ever have made it to this point in American political life had it not been for the active support and strong sympathy many church members — white ones — have shown him.

15. The fact that Donald Trump has reached such a point in our nation's political life is the direst possible indictment of white American Christianity.

16. The rise of Donald Trump is a moment of dark kairos for American Christianity, in which the savage individualism of white American Christianity, with its callous judgmental disdain for those on the margins of society, should be apparent in a crystal-clear way for those who have hitherto not been able to see or acknowledge the maleficent potential of some forms of (white) Christianity in the U.S.

17. There is a mean, heartless edge to much of American Christianity (white-style American Christianity, I have to repeat). At its worst, that edge is apparent in the mean-spirited in-your-face decision of a group of (white) anti-gay church leaders to hold an in-your-face gay-bashing conference two blocks from the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on the two-month anniversary of the mass shooting there. Donald Trump will be at that event.

18. But, truth be told, how much lessmean is it, really, for a leading American Catholic scholar promoting women's rights in the Catholic church and writing for a "liberal" Catholic publication to publish an article about violence in the U.S. mentioning the recent massacre at "a nightclub" in Florida and refusing to name the nature of that nightclub or the specific identity of those murdered at that nighclub for having that identity? How is it possible for a well-informed "liberal" Catholic human rights activists notto know full well that refusing to name the sort of human beings slaughtered at a gaynightclub is a mean-spirited, in-your-face act?

19. It's not, after all, as if there hasn't been a ton of discussion about this very issue of making LGBTQ people invisible following the mass murders at the gayPulse nightclub in Orlando, is it? And a ton of discussion about the mean-spirited, in-your-face refusal of church leaders including Catholic ones to speak honestly and openly about whowas slaughtered in this act of mass violence . . . .

20. For that matter, is it really lessmean for the many "liberal" Catholics who defend this kind of behavior to lionize someone who deliberately and meanly refuses to name LGBTQ peoplewho are murdered en masse at a gay nightclub, and to suggest that a Catholic scholar engaging in such mean-spirited actions while claiming to defend other human rights is, after all, okay because she promotes defends at least somehuman rights issues?

21. What, when all is said and done, does either the conservative or liberal incarnation of white Christianity really have to offer to LGBTQ people as Donald Trump rises to power? I personally would not dream of turning to eithera conservative ora liberal church in my community for support if I were susceptible to unjust actions or outright violence following a Trump electoral victory. Neither kind of church community has shown much relish for welcoming, affirming, including, listening with respect to the likes of me.

22. The same Catholic journal that gives a loud voice to this Catholic scholar who engages in a mean-spirited, in-your-face refusal to name the Pulse nightclub as a gay club and those murdered there as LGBTQ people is now doing something it has done to certain people contributing to its online discussions in the past: it's targeting this person, expunging his comments, providing no explanation for doing so.

23. And even when other regular contributors to this journal's online discussion place note this and ask what's going on, the censorship continues — while people mounting direct attacks against LGBTQ people with snide comments about "buggery" and "so-called gay 'marriage'" continue to be allowed to post with impunity.

24. And while defenders of the journal (who also defend the Catholic scholar who engages in the mean-spirited, in-your-face behavior of speaking of the violence at "a nightclub" in Orlando recently) minimize and excuse what this Catholic journal is doing to this openly gay contributor to its online discussions — in precisely the same way they have minimized and excused its indefensible, never-explained censorship of other people it has targeted in similar fashion in the past . . . . 

25. What does such apathy in the face of techniques to target, marginalize, and exclude people who are alreadytargeted, marginalized, and excluded reallycommunication to these people, when it's dished out by good, faithful church members? What does such parochial, tribalistic behavior that never opens a door to those shoved to the margins of church and society reallyhave to offer those who find themselves excluded in this way? And how does it reallyserve as any kind of corrective to the white Christian tribalism that has brought us Donald Trump?

Mean-spirited white Christianity in the U.S. has brought us Donald Trump because mean-spirited white Christianity has not ever found it possible, in its heart, to listen attentively and respectfully to the testimony of those on the margins of society — notably, African-American and LGBTQ human beings. Mean-spirited white Christianity in the U.S. is utterly comfortable with a tribalistic club mentality that glibly and willingly excludes those regarded as different in a way that the tribe or club members find unacceptable at any point in time. And that mean-spirited clubby mentality is in full evidence not only in the right wing of American Christianity: it's in full evidence, too, among so-called "liberal" Christians in the U.S., who are as unwilling as are right-wing Christians to create safe, inclusive dialogue spaces within the churches to permit church members to hear the testimony of those shoved to the margins of church and society.

(Thank you all, by the way, for your kind comments in response to my posting yesterday — and this is not an afterthought; I'm placing these thanks at the end and not the start of my statements here so that they will not distract from the flow of thought in the 25 theses. I probably will not respond to each of them individually. Please know that this does not mean that I do not cherish what you say and your support of this blog. I simply do not feel "together" right now. I do not feel articulate. I don't, I suppose, trust my voice and insights, and rather than say something that may be harmful to anyone, I'm trying not to refrain from doing much talking — hence the "theses" approach I've adopted in this posting.)
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