Thursday, May 25, 2017

In Seattle, Police Can No Longer Report 'Suspects,' They Have To Say 'Community Members'

I wish this was a joke, but it’s not. In Seattle, police can no longer use the term “suspect” for use of force reports. Instead, they have to write “community member.” Alas, we have political correctness now infesting law enforcement. Also, this isn’t new. KIRO 7 reported that the Washington’s Department of Corrections no longer calls prisoners inmates; they call them students (via KIRO 7):

    Sources point to the suspect who shot three officers last month after a downtown Seattle armed robbery. When officers involved in that incident were writing their use of force reports they were required to refer to the shooter, Damarius Butts, as a “community member,” not a suspect, police sources said.

    Police fatally shot Butts after they said he shot the officers.

    Last fall, the Washington Department of Corrections stopped calling inmates “offenders” and instead use the term “student.”

    “The term ‘offender’ does have a negative connotation and significantly impacts a broad group of people and communities,” Acting DOC Secretary Dick Morgan wrote in an internal department memo, obtained by KIRO 7.

So, if you shoot people, you’re a community member on the run. If you’ve been tried, convicted of a crime, and sent to jail, you’re a student.

What in the fresh hell is this?



Anonymous said...

So if criminals in Washington State are "students" to keep away the negativity of being inmates and offenders, whatever will the PC crowd use to rename all those high school and college "students" that haven't offended anyone? lmao


Bird of Paradise said...

P.C. Idiotcy getting out of hand the whining little snowflakes are whining again

Anonymous said...

There's BoP whining about other people whining. It's sad to see someone who lacks education and yet feels some sort of moral superiority while being a hypocrite.

Paul Weber said...

Translation: Every "community member" is a "suspect."

Anonymous said...

We really are talking about two classes of terms here - one that labels a person without proof and the others label a person based on what they have done.

The changing of "convict" to "students" is ridiculous. The convicts are, in fact, convicted of a crime and therefore convicts.

"Suspect" is a little different, in my opinion. In the days before the internet, search engines and almost immediate access to public records, this being called a suspect would not be an issue. For one thing, people were smarter and understood that a "suspect" was just that - a suspect. Now because of many factors, being a "suspect" can result in the ruin of your life. People don't care that you were never arrested much less tried and convicted. Since the police thought you were a "suspect," you must be guilty.

In fact, the term is often used as a weapon by police to "shake the tree" and see what happens. Naming a suspect in a crime can and does result in tremendous pressure on an individual even though they have done nothing wrong.

There are more practical issues as well. If the person applies for a job, a human resource person will see they were "suspected" of a crime and turn them down. It won't matter that they are innocent of any wrongdoing. The mere mention of the term "suspect" will disqualify them.

Don't believe me? How many cases have we seen on college campuses where a person has been run off campus for being "suspected":of a sexual assault? How were the lives of the Duke Lacrosse team affected by being named "suspects?" How did being a "suspect" change the life of Richard Jewell. You could ask him, but the mere accusation changed his life and it can be argued cause his death.

People only read and hear the charge of being a suspect. They never see or want to hear the clearing of the person. They are too busy with the next sensational story.

The term "suspect" has changed to now mean "the police think you are guilty" and in the minds of many, that means you are. You are convicted in the court of public opinion, and not in a court of law.

The term can go as far as I am concerned as it is used as a weapon by the police and carries long lasting harm against the truly innocent..

Bird of Paradise said...

Anon 3:36 Get a life pinhead

Anonymous said...

Once again BoP shows the depth of his critical thinking skills as his only retort for his hypocrisy is to call others names.

Dean said...

3:51; 48 years ago when I began teaching we were all proud of ourselves. We no longer labeled people as idiots, imbeciles or morons. Those terms were considered degrading, so we invented the term 'mental retardation'. Idiots were now 'profoundly retarded', imbeciles became 'trainable mentally retarded' and morons were now 'educable mentally retarded. Everyone was just so smug about how caring and kind we were. The world would be so much more accepting of our charges with the new labels.
Alas. TGhe term 'retarded' became the new 'idiot', etc. Instead of little moron jokes were heard 'little retard' jokes. Now a new label, one less derogatory was needed. So over the next forty or so years we went through 'cognitively delayed, cognitively disadvantaged, intellectually disadvantaged and many other terms. Each was meant to better hide reality. to make people feel better about themselves and stop negative feelings / comments / behaviors toward people with subnormal intellectual ability. It didn't work.

My point? Political correctness cannot hide or change reality. Sooner or later - more likely sooner - the term 'community member' will come to carry the same connotation as 'suspect'. People listed as a community member will have the same difficulties as those presently labeled 'suspects'. We will then need to find another term and continue the PC label game forever.

Is that fair? No, it isn't. Being accused of a wrong should never carry the consequences that being found guilty of the wrong. But humans are humans, and many would rather believe the worst. Suspect or community member - it won't matter after a short time.

As for convicts being labeled as students - given the way a lot of college students are acting there isn't much difference, other than one is in prison and the other is in an indoctrination center.

Anonymous said...

In Australia instead of using the term suspect people are described as 'assisting the police in their enquiries'. Much more socially acceptable.