Saratoga Springs Police Reform Task Force Publishes Draft Report; Schedules Public Forum

The Saratoga Springs Police Reform Task Force has published a 95 page draft of their report which includes recommendations for changes in policing practices in Saratoga Springs.

This is a link to the draft:

The Task Force has scheduled a forum for public comment on the report for Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at 5:30PM. The event will be virtual using ZOOM. In order to participate in the forum members of the public must pre-register here.

I plan to write about the draft in the near future.

5 thoughts on “Saratoga Springs Police Reform Task Force Publishes Draft Report; Schedules Public Forum”

  1. I read this report. The opening quotations are inappropriate – this is not a black power manifesto. Recommendations on changing language and policy in reference to choke holds and use of force are appropriate. There is a reference to using pain compliance techniques after chasing someone on foot, which is ambiguous and needs clarification. The report needs to provide strong guidance to the public that police commands are to be obeyed and that the courts dispense justice when the police issue a summons or citation.

    The police in Saratoga need to realize that the techniques used by the BLM protests this summer were used during the insurrection before inauguration. It works both ways.

    I do not know if there will be enough stimulus money to pay the plumbers if people decide to print this out and flush it down the toilets of those who wrote it.

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    1. I’m not sure how you’re equating two powerful quotes about the struggles for progress, and how society should value people and justice over profits and inequality, as being akin to a “black power manifesto”. Is it just because the authors of those quotes are black men? Whatever the case, your vaguely-to-openly racist initial critique looks to jive with your idea that “police commands are to be obeyed.” That is undoubtedly not true as a rule, as there are limitations to what officers can and can’t ask of citizens or do themselves. They are public servants, not a singular justice system unto themselves.

      And what BLM protests this summer, especially locally, looked anything like the domestic terrorist attack on federal grounds that left officers dead and wounded, and property destroyed and stolen?

      Lastly, are you trying to say that readers of the report will print it out for the sole purpose of going to the authors’ houses and flushing it down their toilet, with the repairs to be paid for by stimulus money? You may want to workshop the one a bit more.

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  2. The purpose of the report is to make recommendations on changes to police policy in order to reduce the possibility of injury or death in the performance of their duties. A quotation from Frederick Douglass in the context of ending slavery, an odious institution, is not applicable to this report on policing in Saratoga Springs. I have ancestors in my line from ancient Illyria, who fought against Roman and Caliphate subjugation. Slavery and subjugation are not only African-American issues.

    Why not a quote from John Brown inciting violence?

    I do not know the race or ethnicity of the authors of the report, so my critique is in the blind.

    I am an individual, and do not affiliate with ‘groups’. There is a tendency to do structured classification of people, which forms the basis of racism or subjugation (profiling) in the first place.

    Cultural value studies rate ‘group affiliators’ as higher on the ‘collectivist’ axis, which is in conflict with ‘individualist’ values. It is on display for all to see. Do a linguistic analysis of Lexis Figuero’s public speech, and you will see the collectivism. He is acting as a mouthpiece for a demographic, not an individual.

    As you to your last comment, I am gaming out one possible logical response by people who either are or will be offended by the report. Hence my recommendation to remove racial references and philosophical historic quotations from another context in order to reduce Newtonian force opposition.

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    1. While it’s nice that your response allowed you to flex your vocabulary, I disagree with your critique. Regarding the quotes, while the Douglass speech in totality may have been about slavery, the context for its use in this document is about reform (literally in the first line) and the struggle for progress. Even with a different underlying subject, the thrust of the quote makes sense here, as police reform has been historically difficult on a national scale, especially as it pertains to the unequal treatment of minorities.

      I don’t know the authors of this report, but my critique on your racist language was specific to your line calling the quotes “a black power manifesto.” Again, what makes it that, other than the race of those quoted? And why again bring violence into your argument?

      To my knowledge Lexis Figuero isn’t an elected leader of any group, and his views and language are his own. He isn’t even a member of the committee that drafted this document, so I don’t know why you would bring his name into the discussion, other than to muddy the water around the goal of this plan. I support police reform and the goals of organizations like Black Lives Matter that aim to makes the country a more inclusive and equal place for those who have historically been mistreated due to the color of their skin, their sexuality, or a disability, among other reasons. I do all of this without knowing, supporting, or advocating for Lexis Figueroa. Painting an entire movement or organization on one unelected person, especially one that is divisive, does your entire argument a disservice, as does ignoring questions about your attempt to equate a handful of violence events at BLM protests nationally, some prompted by questionable police actions, to a federal siege aimed to alter the countries democratic process.

      Individualism is easy to subscribe to when you are the member of a majority and have the means and/or opportunity to “go it alone,” but there are groups of people who have been mistreated by those in power for decades, if not centuries. Congrats to your for your no-labels approach, but hopefully you see that many people are fighting for groups of people that are incarcerated at a higher rate than others, handed harsher sentences for the same crimes, treated with worse healthcare, and have been denied equal opportunities (i.e. redlining), for no reason other than them looking different and being in the minority.

      Black people didn’t decide to be considered a group, but racism has consistently worked against them, so maybe you should direct your energy to speak out against a racist system rather than the groups and individuals banding to fight against it.

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  3. Mike, you have to be very careful when you make demands. Making policy changes to policing is a demand that can be accommodated, and I support that. There were many homeless people at the BLM rallies, and I support programs that get people into affordable quality housing. I believe in a national service program to build housing and community infrastructure, with service credit being counted in return for housing and food assistance. This was needed fifty years ago, and we are getting to a point where it may be too late because of pandemic(s), resource limitations, and environmental concerns. In order to get this done, you need land reform in the cities, with a cooperative ownership model, rather than a landlord/tenant model. Think of the problems here…the system is in a state of free fall collapse, just like when the British were making demands of gold and silver on the colonists when they had none. Our government is printing money to satisfy the creditors.

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