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The Blue Wall of Silence

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  • The Blue Wall of Silence

    The family attorney for the Gray (Grey?) family was referring to the "Blue Wall of Silence". This, of course, is that "creed" that cops don't rat on one another, and "have each others' backs".

    I've actually been on the wrong end of this in the past, where a superior ordered me to do something which would have been unlawful, and I refused. He, and a number of other officers, falsified reports to show that things happened in a totally different manner than they actually happened. My official report of the incident was at variance with the majority of the other reports. This was going to trial and my options were to testify against fellow officers, or resign.

    There needs to be a way, particularly in touchy situations like these racially charged police shooting situations, for officers to be able to tell the truth - the whole truth and nothing but the truth - right up front. I think this is necessary as part of the effort to restore (or establish) the confidence of communities in their police departments.

    No, I don't know how to make this happen.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

  • #2
    Nothing can be done. Groupthink is as natural to us as breathing.
    "I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole, it was like... we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment." - Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State (source).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by seanD View Post
      Nothing can be done. Groupthink is as natural to us as breathing.
      seanD is right. There really is nothing that can be done. A few nights ago I was watching a documentary about a black serial killer in South Central that was allowed to operate there with impunity because the black community also looks down on those that might snitch. A "black wall of silence" you might say. The son of the killer was also abandoned by the community because they thought he turned his father in. I found it funny that the community then blamed the police for not doing more, even as the they refused to give up names. From experience I can tell you this embedded into the black community as well.

      What can you do?
      Last edited by Jesse; 05-01-2015, 06:00 PM.
      "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." ― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
        No, I don't know how to make this happen.
        Start by asking one question: What is more important: the group and your belonging to it, or Truth?

        There is one very simple way to start ameliorating such evils, and it is this: to do in-group criticism, not just in private but in the full view of outsiders. That is, you overcome the bestial tendency to stand with your tribe and your friends, with all the emotions that involves and instead do rational evaluation apart from all these.

        For example, if you're going to call out the prosecutor for "rush to judgment", you should also call out groups such as the police union who claimed that "none of the officers involved are responsible for the death of Mr. Gray.

        Fundamentally, this means that you have to start controlling your own herd instincts to defend your in-group; you shouldn't rush to defend cops implicitly or explicitly just because you were a cop and many of your friends have been police as well.

        Otherwise, don't come whining about the groupthink when you and others blatantly contribute to it.
        Last edited by Paprika; 05-02-2015, 02:05 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by seanD View Post
          Nothing can be done. Groupthink is as natural to us as breathing.
          Something can in fact be done-simply speaking the truth among as many of those whom you trust. Consider a missive on the drug war:

          Here’s the big lie: “the drug war is about keeping drugs off the streets to promote public health and protect American children.”

          Here’s another big lie: “people of all races are equal in intellectual and moral capability. We should treat everyone as if they’re the same value.”

          Here’s the half-truth: “the drug war is about locking up black people and other racial minorities.”

          Here’s the full-truth: “the drug war is a corrupt excuse to lock up black people and other racial minorities who commit a lot of violent crime, lower property values by their presence, and commit countless minor crimes against the peace and our sense of aesthetics.”

          Here’s the fuller-truth: “there’s no more money to pay for any of this.”

          Trying to square all these lies and truths together is impossible, so there must be chaos in the streets. No one is willing to tell the truth, and no one is willing to do what’s necessary to restore order to the cities. Because this is the case, just about all of these cities will be destroyed from the inside, as many of them already have been to some extent or another.

          For a brief period of time, it was possible to essentially jail enough young men from these minority populations to keep them off the streets for long enough until all the aggression was out of them in prison. Locking up large portions of the entire male population of various minority demographics may be somewhat effective in the short term, but it’s also extremely expensive, with inordinate unintended consequences.

          The destruction will continue to get worse until a military intervenes in a decisive way, in the typical manner that ends these sorts of disturbances definitively. This probably won’t happen until it becomes much worse, which it will.
          Until that Day of Reckoning, organizational silence, groupthink, and perfunctory violence among the usual suspects is the rule! Until that Day of Reckoning, going along to get along in any law enforcement organization that's in the public eye and subject to democratic and popular pressures is the rule! Until that Day of Reckoning, anyone who does not wish to participate in such morally suspect organizational shenanigans needs to get out of those organizations immediately and work on their local and neighborhood connections!

          Groupthink is nothing but the equilibrium point for the lies that bind, and is about to shift in all sorts of directions very soon.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
            The family attorney for the Gray (Grey?) family was referring to the "Blue Wall of Silence". This, of course, is that "creed" that cops don't rat on one another, and "have each others' backs".

            I've actually been on the wrong end of this in the past, where a superior ordered me to do something which would have been unlawful, and I refused. He, and a number of other officers, falsified reports to show that things happened in a totally different manner than they actually happened. My official report of the incident was at variance with the majority of the other reports. This was going to trial and my options were to testify against fellow officers, or resign.

            There needs to be a way, particularly in touchy situations like these racially charged police shooting situations, for officers to be able to tell the truth - the whole truth and nothing but the truth - right up front. I think this is necessary as part of the effort to restore (or establish) the confidence of communities in their police departments.

            No, I don't know how to make this happen.
            I don't have enough time right now to address the problem in general. However, I did want to point out that groupthink doesn't have a whole lot of play in situations like the Gray one. What's going on is that the officers involved knew they'd be on the chopping block. When the potential for serious criminal charges exist, simple self-preservation is going motivate the concealment of truth. Cops are, after all, human too.

            And what's happened in the Gray case only proves the need for them to go into self-protection mode (from their perspective). They're charging everyone they can, and probably over-reaching on about half the charges in an effort to appease the public. I'll admit that I haven't yet decided what I think about the Gray case in total (haven't had enough research time). But the reasons for the charges I've seen so far just don't seem quite right. I'm not saying no one should be charged, but I'm not so sure the prosecutor here has arrived at truth.
            "If you believe, take the first step, it leads to Jesus Christ. If you don't believe, take the first step all the same, for you are bidden to take it. No one wants to know about your faith or unbelief, your orders are to perform the act of obedience on the spot. Then you will find yourself in the situation where faith becomes possible and where faith exists in the true sense of the word." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

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            • #7
              Originally posted by myth View Post
              I don't have enough time right now to address the problem in general. However, I did want to point out that groupthink doesn't have a whole lot of play in situations like the Gray one. What's going on is that the officers involved knew they'd be on the chopping block. When the potential for serious criminal charges exist, simple self-preservation is going motivate the concealment of truth. Cops are, after all, human too.

              And what's happened in the Gray case only proves the need for them to go into self-protection mode (from their perspective). They're charging everyone they can, and probably over-reaching on about half the charges in an effort to appease the public. I'll admit that I haven't yet decided what I think about the Gray case in total (haven't had enough research time). But the reasons for the charges I've seen so far just don't seem quite right. I'm not saying no one should be charged, but I'm not so sure the prosecutor here has arrived at truth.
              I was hoping to get your input.
              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by myth View Post
                And what's happened in the Gray case only proves the need for them to go into self-protection mode (from their perspective). They're charging everyone they can, and probably over-reaching on about half the charges in an effort to appease the public.
                In reading the charges along with her personal commentary, the young and inexperienced State's Attorney, Marilyn J. Mosby, may have given the defense more ammo than she realized or intended, not the least of which is the basis for a change of venue.



                ETA: Mosby worked in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office right out of Boston College Law School, then as assistant state’s attorney. She also worked for Liberty Mutual Insurance for three years as a field counsel.
                Last edited by Cow Poke; 05-02-2015, 10:36 AM.
                "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Police forces should be practically invisible.

                  The underlying error involved in crime fighting is that person A (not necessarily a police officer) believes himself entitled to force person B to do something that person B does not want to do. It is fundamentally illegitimate for person A to define what is criminal because such definitions are usually intended to maintain unfair power imbalances. In Christo-think, the rot started with Moses. Laws ought to be restricted to areas of basic heath and safety, like drive on the left (or right). A fairer society with a more natural justice would then emerge.
                  “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
                  “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
                  “not all there” - you know who you are

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
                    Police forces should be practically invisible.
                    That's just turtle poop dumb. Often times crime is suppressed merely by the visibility of cops.
                    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
                      Police forces should be practically invisible.

                      The underlying error involved in crime fighting is that person A (not necessarily a police officer) believes himself entitled to force person B to do something that person B does not want to do. It is fundamentally illegitimate for person A to define what is criminal because such definitions are usually intended to maintain unfair power imbalances. In Christo-think, the rot started with Moses. Laws ought to be restricted to areas of basic heath and safety, like drive on the left (or right). A fairer society with a more natural justice would then emerge.
                      lolwut, so according to your speech right here, you don't want police to be able to control the public in a state of emergency....
                      "It's evolution; every time you invent something fool-proof, the world invents a better fool."
                      -Unknown

                      "Preach the gospel, and if necessary use words." - Most likely St.Francis


                      I find that evolution is the best proof of God.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Irate Canadian View Post
                        lolwut, so according to your speech right here, you don't want police to be able to control the public in a state of emergency....
                        Logic like that should require a social experiment -- put this individual in a crime-ridden area in the middle of the night, and announce that area is a "no cops zone".
                        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Irate Canadian View Post
                          lolwut, so according to your speech right here, you don't want police to be able to control the public in a state of emergency....
                          Let’s organise things so that we do not have emergencies of the sort that require police intervention. What is it; the two of us being equally free, that gives you the right to tell me that what I want to do is criminal? There is nothing. That is where the problem of police brutality begins. If you have fewer crimes you will have fewer criminals. As things stand, you are up to your neck in a crime management industry that thrives on bad laws and bad law enforcement and puts money in the pockets of people who would want to control everything you do.
                          “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
                          “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
                          “not all there” - you know who you are

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                            That's just turtle poop dumb. Often times crime is suppressed merely by the visibility of cops.
                            A lot like Epo's post, eh?
                            Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
                              Let’s organise things so that we do not have emergencies of the sort that require police intervention. What is it; the two of us being equally free, that gives you the right to tell me that what I want to do is criminal? There is nothing. That is where the problem of police brutality begins. If you have fewer crimes you will have fewer criminals. As things stand, you are up to your neck in a crime management industry that thrives on bad laws and bad law enforcement and puts money in the pockets of people who would want to control everything you do.
                              The logical conclusion of this is that nothing should be illegal. Pure stupidity as usual.
                              Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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