Mostly about my amusement

Tag: NYC (page 1 of 1)

Might not be a civil liberties problem

I like the ACLU and by extension the NYCLU.  I think that people questioning their government is the right thing to do and civil liberties are very important.

But sometimes I read something like this and I think that they should prioritize what they spend their efforts and attention on.  Here is a quote:

”When a guy with nothing more than a chair in his hands ends up dead, that raises lots of questions about the propriety of a police shooting,” said Christopher Dunn, the associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “When a guy like that ends up dead, you definitely have to ask yourself, ‘How can that be?’”

via Police Defend Shooting of Man Swinging a Chair –

There are cases of Police shooting people under questionable circumstances. Those need to be addressed and made right but that’s a different problem.  Civil liberties groups perform a valuable service to us all when they ask questions of the government and try to hold officials to the law.

Here’s why I think this case is not a good one for the civil liberties groups: the officer was in real danger and that apparently warranted her discharging her weapon. At that point the confrontation was over and sadly someone died.

Guns are lethal weapons and if the officer tried to “shoot to wound” then she may have hit a bystander.  TV and movies play up the idea that you can shoot someone and disarm or just wound them but that really romanticizes guns.

Guns kill, that’s what they are designed for. Last time I checked, the NYPD did not hire professional wrestlers or martial artists.  NYPD are trained for physical confrontation but they have to measure the risk and keep people out of harms way including themselves.

When a Police officer discharges their gun, they are supposed to do so aiming for the center of the targets body mass.  No movie scenes, no John Wayne moments, and someone will end up seriously wounded or dead. There are alternatives such as using a Taser, but how is that working out?

Looks like no Amtrak strike

Penn Station as it used to be, Picture from Wikipedia

I heard on 1010 WINS this morning that a tentative agreement between 9 unions and Amtrak was going to be announced today. That’s a relief as both Lily and I both take the LIRR to Penn Station get to work. It would have been a pain for us to get to work, likely we’d have gone to Queens and taken the MTA.

We both enjoy working in NYC. When I started commuting again it was like I’d been banished to a third world country and had returned to civilization. My first week I was walking to work and trying not to look like a tourist.

That’s an exaggerated reaction and there are advantages to working close to home in Long Island. But I just prefer working in Manhattan and never mind the 90 minute commute.

Picture from of Wikipedia article on Penn Station.

DNA samples taken from anyone arrested?

In NYC for the state of the city address, Mayor Bloomberg apparently is proposing that DNA samples be taken from everyone arrested.

I think the idea is like the police running the ID of anyone who jumps a subway turnstile. If they’re naughty enough to jump a turnstile then they might have an outstanding warrant. Thus a ticket-able offense becomes a potential dragnet.

What could be the problem? Police already fingerprint people when they are arrested. And just like fingerprints, the DNA sample could finger the person being arrested for prior unsolved crimes. I think this idea should be expanded.

Let’s get samples of peoples DNA when they apply to any government program. Or even when people apply for a Social Security number. Get them when they are young. Think of the benefit, and best of all, if the person never commits a crime then they have nothing to be afraid of.

I guess even politicians get bad days. I don’t know why Mayor Bloomberg is channeling Rudy but that’s a dumb idea logistically as well as legally (maybe, IANAL).