500: Lick The Sugar

Milestones — they seem so important when they’re far away and then you arrive at them and then it suddenly doesn’t seem such a big deal. At the start of the year, we had some big plans to mark this achievement (if that’s what you can call it), but then the lockdown happened, and well, the rest is…But, don’t fear — we actually put together a great show with a great guest: Roland Fryer, Professor of Economics at Harvard –making his Ricochet Podcast debut. His studies on changing the behavior of cops and racial differences in police use of deadly force are the gold standard and are used by police departments all over the world to write policies on training and engagement with civilians. It’s a fascinating conversation. We also do some reminiscing, some teasing, and some looking ahead to the next 500 (!) shows. Thanks for listening, sticking with us, and for all the thousands of great comments. We’ll do this again in 2030.

Music from this week’s show: The Proclaimers – I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

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  1. GlennAmurgis Coolidge

    Missed opportunity – should have had Ricochet Advertisers on the Suits/Cars

    • #1
    • June 12, 2020, at 1:09 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. Hoyacon Member

    GlennAmurgis (View Comment):

    Missed opportunity – should have had Ricochet Advertisers on the Suits/Cars

    But no confederate battle flag anywhere in the background indicates an A+ for current events.

    • #2
    • June 12, 2020, at 1:15 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. kedavis Member

    GlennAmurgis (View Comment):

    Missed opportunity – should have had Ricochet Advertisers on the Suits/Cars

    What? I see them. At least some. Freshly for example, front and center. On James.

    • #3
    • June 12, 2020, at 1:22 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. Henry Castaigne Member

    Keep in mind that the statistics presented by Roland Fryer are part of a bigger dynamic as Heather MacDonald has observed.

    The latest in a series of studies undercutting the claim of systemic police bias was published in August 2019 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers found that the more frequently officers encounter violent suspects from any given racial group, the greater the chance that a member of that group will be fatally shot by a police officer. There is “no significant evidence of antiblack disparity in the likelihood of being fatally shot by police,” they concluded.

    A 2015 Justice Department analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department found that white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects. Research by Harvard economist Roland G. Fryer Jr. also found no evidence of racial discrimination in shootings. Any evidence to the contrary fails to take into account crime rates and civilian behavior before and during interactions with police.

    Quite possibly, African-Americans are too likely to get roughed up by police officers as Mr. Fryer claims. I would love to have discussion about that particular issue. However the biggest deal seems to be higher rates of crime in the black-American community.

    • #4
    • June 12, 2020, at 2:11 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  5. kedavis Member

    What the rioters don’t seem to realize is that they ARE being judged by the content of their character – as demonstrated by their ACTIONS – not the color of their skin.

    • #5
    • June 12, 2020, at 2:55 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I hate the term civilians. We are citizens. That term is part of the problem 

    • #6
    • June 12, 2020, at 2:56 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  7. kedavis Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I hate the term civilians. We are citizens. That term is part of the problem

    Well, citizens doesn’t differentiate from the police etc, who are also citizens. But maybe that’s part of the point…

    • #7
    • June 12, 2020, at 2:58 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I hate the term civilians. We are citizens. That term is part of the problem

    Well, citizens doesn’t differentiate from the police etc, who are also citizens. But maybe that’s part of the point…

    Civilians are what we are called by the military. The Police are not the military. I agree with Bryan.

    • #8
    • June 12, 2020, at 3:07 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  9. kedavis Member

    Is there any chance of someone being more/fully compliant BECAUSE the cop is being more aggressive?

    I doubt there’s any way to derive that from statistics, but it could easily be a question of experience and/or instinct on the part of police.

    And your “average” white cop dealing with black people is more likely to be dealing with someone larger than themselves. That could lead to being more “aggressive” too, I’ve heard it referred to by terms like “command presence.”

    Michael Brown, for example, was 6′ 4″ and 292 lbs. Officer Darren Wilson was also 6′ 4″, but Brown had over 80 lbs on him.

    I would also appreciate – if not demand – a clear definition of what “roughed up” actually means.

    • #9
    • June 12, 2020, at 3:34 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. kedavis Member

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I hate the term civilians. We are citizens. That term is part of the problem

    Well, citizens doesn’t differentiate from the police etc, who are also citizens. But maybe that’s part of the point…

    Civilians are what we are called by the military. The Police are not the military. I agree with Bryan.

    Well, I still see it being confusing. Also, deciding to call everyone “Citizen” didn’t lead to good results in France.

    • #10
    • June 12, 2020, at 3:36 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I hate the term civilians. We are citizens. That term is part of the problem

    Well, citizens doesn’t differentiate from the police etc, who are also citizens. But maybe that’s part of the point…

    Civilians are what we are called by the military. The Police are not the military. I agree with Bryan.

    Well, I still see it being confusing. Also, deciding to call everyone “Citizen” didn’t lead to good results in France.

    I don’t care about France. The police are civilian too. They are not military no matter how they cut their hair 

    • #11
    • June 12, 2020, at 3:40 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. kedavis Member

    As someone who has been engaged in high-quality “coding” for almost 50 years, few things make smoke come out of my ears more than casual assertions that “anyone can learn how to code!” It just ain’t so. At least not in a way that you would want them doing YOUR coding.

    • #12
    • June 12, 2020, at 3:40 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  13. Bishop Wash Member

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I hate the term civilians. We are citizens. That term is part of the problem

    Well, citizens doesn’t differentiate from the police etc, who are also citizens. But maybe that’s part of the point…

    Civilians are what we are called by the military. The Police are not the military. I agree with Bryan.

    At least we’re not slimy contractors, those green badge wearers. ;)

    • #13
    • June 12, 2020, at 3:46 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. kedavis Member

    Did I hear that right?

    “And Andrew Breitbart was at the 250th episode anniversary party too!” – James Lileks

    Fact Check: False. Episode 250 was Feb 19, 2015. Andrew died March 1, 2012.

     

    • #14
    • June 12, 2020, at 3:54 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    A negroni is Campari and vermouth. Campari straight is kind of bitter. That is what the vermouth is for.

    • #15
    • June 12, 2020, at 3:54 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. kedavis Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    A negroni is Campari and vermouth. Campari straight is kind of bitter. That is what the vermouth is for.

    Racism alert!

    sigh.

    But you really don’t want BLM etc. to see that.

    • #16
    • June 12, 2020, at 3:57 PM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  17. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    A negroni is Campari and vermouth. Campari straight is kind of bitter. That is what the vermouth is for.

    Racism alert!

    sigh.

    Yep.

    Bloody Italians.

    • #17
    • June 12, 2020, at 3:59 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Blue Yeti Admin

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Did I hear that right?

    “And Andrew Breitbart was at the 250th episode anniversary party too!” – James Lileks

    Fact Check: False. Episode 250 was Feb 19, 2015. Andrew died March 1, 2012.

    This is correct, Andrew was not at this event. Rob is confusing it with another event that was not a Ricochet event — it was an event for an L.A. Conservative group we did a live version of the Ricochet Podcast at.

    That said, the episode we did immediately after Andrew’s death was one of my favorites. Perhaps one of you can find it.

    Andrew was an early and strong supporter of Ricochet. He came on the show often in those early days and his guest segments were alway fun and unpredictable. More importantly, Andrew let us post the podcast on Breitbart.com, which was (and still is) a much bigger site than ours. It was incredibly generous and was extremely helpful in getting the word out about Ricochet. Miss that guy.

    • #18
    • June 12, 2020, at 4:12 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  19. Henry Castaigne Member

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Did I hear that right?

    “And Andrew Breitbart was at the 250th episode anniversary party too!” – James Lileks

    Fact Check: False. Episode 250 was Feb 19, 2015. Andrew died March 1, 2012.

     

    The part about DocJay vandalizing Rob Long’s house is true. 

    • #19
    • June 12, 2020, at 4:23 PM PDT
    • Like
  20. OccupantCDN Coolidge

    Dude! Learn to code!

    The problem with coding is that it puts your labor in direct competition with guys from India or Argentina which puts a definite cap on your salary. So while you can get a job – it’ll not pay better 12 or 15 per hour.

    I dont get the deal with McDonald’s fries. I always thought they where mushy, and bland. Now, I havent been able to eat at McDonald’s for like 20 years, something changed in their food that upset my stomach. I think 5 guys and Fat Burger have much better fries. (But at their price points, they better be better)… Wendy’s are meh… A&W is Onion Rings, Sweet Potato fries are good.

    • #20
    • June 12, 2020, at 4:28 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  21. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Good episode.

    You should have used Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar On Me as the theme song. Though I do like 500 miles

    • #21
    • June 12, 2020, at 4:32 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. RktSci Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    A negroni is Campari and vermouth. Campari straight is kind of bitter. That is what the vermouth is for.

    And Gin.

    • #22
    • June 12, 2020, at 5:55 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  23. RktSci Member

    The stats that Dr. Fryer gave are important. While the BLM movement concentrates on shootings, it’s the day to day overly forceful policing that builds up resentment. Think of it as the community relations version of “broken windows” that was used in NYC policing – enforce the small things to set the tone and bigger things will get fixed. Except with the black community, the police are breaking windows every day.

    • #23
    • June 12, 2020, at 5:58 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  24. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    RktSci (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    A negroni is Campari and vermouth. Campari straight is kind of bitter. That is what the vermouth is for.

    And Gin.

    Or rum. Sometimes. Maybe. Depends on the price of Campari, probably.

    • #24
    • June 12, 2020, at 6:03 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. kedavis Member

    RktSci (View Comment):

    The stats that Dr. Fryer gave are important. While the BLM movement concentrates on shootings, it’s the day to day overly forceful policing that builds up resentment. Think of it as the community relations version of “broken windows” that was used in NYC policing – enforce the small things to set the tone and bigger things will get fixed. Except with the black community, the police are breaking windows every day.

    But as I mentioned in #9, it’s not just a static comparison even at that level. Sure, Darren Wilson was the same height as Michael Brown, but over 80 lbs lighter. And that was just one case. How many cops – especially the women – are even 6′ 4″, let alone 210 lbs? I don’t know if it’s still called “command presence” any more, but whatever it’s called, I expected it is still – and should be – part of any police training. At what point does something like that get called “aggressive policing” or even “roughing up” just because it makes bigger headlines? Gets more clicks, etc.

    • #25
    • June 12, 2020, at 6:08 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  26. James Lileks Contributor

    kedavis (View Comment):
    And Andrew Breitbart was at the 250th episode anniversary party too!” – James Lileks

    I don’t believe that was me. 

    • #26
    • June 12, 2020, at 6:24 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  27. James Lileks Contributor

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    The part about DocJay vandalizing Rob Long’s house is true. 

    And I was having a brain seizure as I related it, and neglected to mention Roman Gehn, his co-conspirator.

    • #27
    • June 12, 2020, at 6:25 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  28. Annefy Member

    two unrelated comments:

    1.  I recently attended a conference and heard Barry Sheck speak. He is currently working on compiling a database of police officers and the complaints against them. Biggest impediment is the Police Unions who fight to withhold the information under the guise of privacy.
    2. I have three sons and all of them have been hassled by the police. Two of them had so many interactions that in my opinion it rose to the level of harassment. The minute they shaved off their mohawks, dressed better and got better cars, it all came to an end. To Mr Fryer’s point, I doubt they’ll ever lose their distrust and disdain for the police. I had a horrible interaction with a cop at our local station thanks to my daughter (what a family I have …) and it’s impossible for me to convey the frustration, rage and powerlessness I felt.

     

    • #28
    • June 12, 2020, at 6:35 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  29. Jon1979 Lincoln

    RktSci (View Comment):

    The stats that Dr. Fryer gave are important. While the BLM movement concentrates on shootings, it’s the day to day overly forceful policing that builds up resentment. Think of it as the community relations version of “broken windows” that was used in NYC policing – enforce the small things to set the tone and bigger things will get fixed. Except with the black community, the police are breaking windows every day.

    Are we eliminating the differentiation between ‘Broken Windows’ policing and ‘Stop and Frisk’? Blurring the difference is what mayors like Bill de Blaiso and activists have tried to do in New York and elsewhere, in attempting to make sure the type of policing that William Bratton and Giullani made popular in the mid-1990s is considered no different than the Ray Kelly-Michael Bloomberg efforts of the ‘oughts.

    Those were justified because they continued to lower the crime rate, but were far more invasive and were tied in part to the idea of ‘policing for profit’, which got the city sued and increased the anger in the most heavily-targeted minority communities. But the activists also never want ‘Broken Windows’ to return, which has led to the decriminalization of even crimes that aren’t simply tied to policing for profit, and in New York were followed by the bail reform law, which backfired big time on the mayor and governor during last week’s rioting.

    • #29
    • June 12, 2020, at 6:57 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  30. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Congratulations/condolences on podcast 500!

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Quite possibly, African-Americans are too likely to get roughed up by police officers as Mr. Fryer claims. I would love to have discussion about that particular issue. However the biggest deal seems to be higher rates of crime in the black-American community.

    Agreed. Even if police are rougher with blacks in some areas, those blacks are victimized and threatened more often by their black neighbors. But a trustful relationship with police does make it easier to identify and catch those criminals.

    What about the racial demography of police? How often is it a black or hispanic police officer handling suspects with unusual force?

    Also, might it be a reasonable possibility, if not a mathematical certainty, that the prominent factor is passive stereotyping and not active prejudice?

    Stereotyping is simply pattern recognition applied to human beings. It results in a logical bias (which can be considered, balanced, and overridden) but by itself does not determine behavior. Prejudice is a choice to assume a pattern applies to a specific case without care of present evidence.

    If in a particular area a police officer rationally identifies a pattern that black suspects tend to resist, tend to be possess weapons, tend to destroy drugs or other evidence, or for whatever reason often merit aggressive seizure, then the police officers might simply be playing the odds for that area.

    As Americans, we believe that every American has inalienable rights. Theoretically, at least, our legal system proceeds from an assertion that it is better to let a criminal go unpunished than to punish an innocent man. pBut being handcuffed or arrested is a lower bar than being sentenced in court.

    Should we expect justice to be as blind in the investigation and capture phase as we demand in prosecution? Since policing is more dangerous and more dynamic (less predictable) than courtroom procedure, should police be afforded more leeway to play the odds, make mistakes, and let the innocent go with only ruffled feathers and perhaps an apology?

    • #30
    • June 12, 2020, at 7:21 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.