from the world's big
The videos raise serious legal and moral questions about police crowd-control tactics.
- The publicly accessible Google Sheet lists nearly 600 incidents of alleged police misconduct.
- Each entry is organized by city, and most contain a link to a video.
- From tear gas to rubber bullets, the videos highlight the extensive powers police are given in certain situations.
Stephanie Keith / Getty<p>It's also worth mentioning that hundreds of police officers <a href="https://www.foxnews.com/us/nypd-292-officers-injured-floyd-protests" target="_blank">have been injured</a> during protests and riots in recent weeks. In St. Louis, four officers were shot and one <a href="https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/charges-filed-in-murder-of-retired-st-louis-police-captain-david-dorn/article_3e95441e-4126-520b-9c41-fbbcbf889e6c.html" target="_blank">former police captain was killed</a>. In Oakland, two Federal Protective Service officers were shot during a protest; one was critically injured, the other died. And in New York City, nearly <a href="https://www.foxnews.com/us/nypd-292-officers-injured-floyd-protests" target="_blank">300 officers have been injured so far</a>, according to the NYPD. (It's unclear how extensive those injuries are.)</p> <p>Still, no police handbook calls for officers to pursue extralegal revenge on civilian crowds. And it seems safe to say that no public official would argue that police — no matter the circumstance — should be permitted to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpTCjIa4_C4&feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">deliberately cover up their body cameras</a>, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rk9jMDK2ppk&feature=youtu.be" target="_blank">pepper-spray protestors from behind as they're walking away</a>, or <a href="https://twitter.com/DonovanFarley/status/1269701897377603584/photo/2" target="_blank">chase down and beat reporters</a> for documenting the protests. </p> <p style="margin-left: 20px;">"What we're taught in school is that all power comes from the people; the people elect their representatives, the representatives hire the bureaucrats, the bureaucrats hire the cops" Doucette told TIME. "They're supposed to be at the bottom of the rungs of power, and instead we've inverted that upside down— where the police are openly declaring war on their own citizens, and the politicians are simply sitting there, diddling their phones, not doing anything."</p>
The costs of prohibition are great, but can people be trusted to make the best decisions for themselves?
- Classical liberals favor democracy because it operates as a ruling of the people by the people, rather than rule by someone else.
- This lends itself to the concept of negative freedom, or freedom from being compelled by the state or other authority to do something. So Daniel Jacobson, professor of philosophy at University of Michigan, raises the question: Do we have absolute sovereignty over our bodies?
- The crucial point for liberalism is that liberty ought to be the default. It shouldn't be easy to justify compulsion.
Despite potential good intentions, interventionist policies are often viewed by classical liberals as violations of individual freedoms.
- Intervention covers a range of activity broader than just war. Some interventions have more humanitarian aims, such as disaster relief and development aid.
- Oftentimes, the drive behind many instances of intervention involves some form of political, economic, or social outcome.
- There are important questions to consider regarding knowledge, goals, incentives, and unintended consequences. The answers to these indicate whether an intervention is necessary and appropriate.
The answer depends on how we choose to balance religious freedom, social inclusion, and the search for self-identity.
- Most medical and mental health organizations have condemned conversion therapy as injurious and lacking support of empirical evidence.
- Today, 19 states and many cities have passed laws protecting youths from the practice.
- However, lawsuits and pushback by religious organizations have limited what laws can be passed.
What exactly is conversion therapy?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg3NDUwNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNDAwNzYzMH0.YZVSojBaaw0G6N_-SZ0zw12GuW0KsjEvLfCijSnBKAQ/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=12%2C0%2C12%2C0&height=700" id="7f9f5" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f614dbf1eca2e577273a38d5355390e1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Though former president Obama floated the idea of a nationwide ban on conversion therapy, it never came to fruition during this term.
Is there evidence that conversion therapy works?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg3NDQ4Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMzAyODk0OX0.H4bV_wfsUI58db-m9HZYIpa-D2IXJ2WURyC3EB9of4I/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C173%2C0%2C39&height=700" id="1980c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ffd8cb2a8b0410f9543d7832b3ae909a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
In 2017, Dannel Malloy, then governor of Connecticut, signed into law the state's ban against practicing conversion therapy on minors.<p>All told, 698,000 LGBT adults in the U.S. have received conversion therapy in some form, according to <a href="https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Conversion-Therapy-LGBT-Youth-Update-June-2019.pdf" target="_blank">a Williams Institute report</a>. While some studies and testimonials purport to have successfully altered some of their sexual orientations, such claims crumble when one examines the slipshod methodology and flawed data gathering.</p><p>"No credible evidence exists that any mental health intervention can reliably and safely change sexual orientation; nor, from a mental health perspective does sexual orientation need to be changed," states the APA in <a href="https://www.psychiatry.org/newsroom/news-releases/apa-reiterates-strong-opposition-to-conversion-therapy" target="_blank">its position statement</a>.</p><p>In <a href="http://www.drdoughaldeman.com/doc/ScientificExamination.pdf" target="_blank">an examination of the evidence</a>, Haldeman found several methodological flaws. These included using only clinical samples, a lack of replicability, poor assessment of sexual orientation, and outcomes substantiated by internal validation rather than external data.</p><p>Many studies, for example, hang their results on either therapist impressions or self-reporting. But such measurements cannot prove conversion. Therapists may cite a momentary drop in homosexual arousal as a full-fledged cure, while demeaned patients may report conversion in a bid to acquire personal and social validation.</p><p>"This reiterates one of the major objections to conversion studies: These interventions do not shift sexual orientation at all," Haldeman writes. "<a target="_blank">Individuals undergoing such treatments do not emerge heterosexually inclined; rather, they become shamed, conflicted, and fearful about their homosexual feelings."</a></p><p>Beyond a lack of methodological rigor, conversion therapy houses <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5040471/" target="_blank">many ethical concerns</a>. These include patient blaming, patient abandonment, indiscriminate treatments, breaches of confidentiality, and building informed consent on the subjective beliefs of the practitioner, not medical consensus.</p><p>These practices violate the ethical standards adopted by most professional organizations, and like the APA, <a href="https://www.hrc.org/resources/the-lies-and-dangers-of-reparative-therapy" target="_blank">many have issued statements</a> condoning its use. Among them: the American College of Physicians, the American Counseling Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American School Health Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.</p>
Medical consensus versus religious freedom?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="iAU9xTkK" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="f5c5615069c170211a07b6dd77d0e8f0"> <div id="botr_iAU9xTkK_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/iAU9xTkK-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/iAU9xTkK-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/iAU9xTkK-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Given the history, the lack of evidence, the harm done, the ethics violated, and the changing times—given <em>all of this</em>—one would think a universal ban was soon to come. But that doesn't appear to be the case.</p><p>Remember that New York City ordinance? <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2019/09/13/why-nycs-council-made-painful-decision-repeal-its-ban-conversion-therapy/" target="_blank">The city council repealed it in 2019</a> after the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian advocacy group, <a href="https://adflegal.blob.core.windows.net/mainsite-new/docs/default-source/documents/legal-documents/schwartz-v.-city-of-new-york/schwartz-v-city-of-new-york---complaint.pdf?sfvrsn=a8d0354_6" target="_blank">filed a lawsuit</a> against the ordinance. The group claimed the ban infringed on people's freedom of speech and religion.</p><p>"All New Yorkers and all Americans deserve the right to private conversations, free from government control," Roger Brooks, senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, said in <a href="https://www.adflegal.org/detailspages/press-release-details/nyc-council-votes-to-repeal-law-that-censors-psychotherapist-s-private-conversations-with-patients" target="_blank">a statement</a>. "By trying to regulate and censor private sessions between an adult and his counselor, New York City directly violated freedom of speech—a core right that the First Amendment protects."</p><p>Council members chose to repeal the ordinance rather than risk it going to the Supreme Court, where they feared the court's conservative alignment would set a precedent making future LGBTQ advocacy efforts more difficult.</p><p>And to gain backing from the Mormon church, <a href="https://apnews.com/d40028478077446195dbd139bd9a8575" target="_blank">the Utah bill</a> had to stipulate an exception for clergy, religious counselors, and any child's parent or grandparent who is also a mental health therapist. </p><p>"Progress is progress in this state. You kind of have to make some compromises," Justin Utley, a conversion therapy survivor, <a href="https://apnews.com/d40028478077446195dbd139bd9a8575" target="_blank">told the<em> Associated Press</em></a>. "My concern, though, is clergy who are licensed professionals having this ability to justify conversion therapy by claiming that they've turned off the switch and now are acting as a clergy member instead of a licensed professional. That's a very dangerous precedent."</p><p>Utley's concern is founded. A study published in <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00918369.2018.1538407" target="_blank">the <em>Journal of Homosexuality</em></a> found that attempts by family members and religious leaders to change an LGBT adolescent's sexual orientation can lead to multiple health and behavioral risks. The researchers found higher levels of depression compared to those who reported no conversion experience, as well as double rates of attempted suicide. Undergoing conversion therapy was also correlated with young LGBT adults attaining less education and lower socioeconomic status.</p><p>As Caitlin Ryan, director of the Family Acceptance Project and the study's lead author, said in <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181108130522.htm" target="_blank">a release</a>: "Although parents and religious leaders who try to change a child's LGBT identity may be motivated by attempts to 'protect' their children, these rejecting behaviors instead undermine an LGBT child's sense of self-worth, contribute to self-destructive behaviors that significantly increase risk and inhibit self-care, which includes constricting their ability to make a living."</p>
Can we find the balance?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg3NDUxMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxODAxMDQzNn0.ljwxm9_EKbW_ZASZ2XMB941WGmKmRifpQX5xuWNqIEQ/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C374%2C0%2C375&height=700" id="863d2" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f7aac6b534d7ae4d98dd2e6d91040186" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
An 2010 anti-gay protest in San Francisco.
In classical liberal philosophy, individual pursuit of happiness is made possible by a framework of law.
- The rule of law as a principle has a philosophical history before it was popularized by classical liberalism, which can be traced back to Greek philosopher Aristotle.
- The classical liberal conception of laws draws upon this pre-history but differs slightly. Yes, the end goal is the common good, however "goodness" varies by individual.
- In this way of thinking, instead of telling us what will make us happy, law serves as the framework that allows us to pursue our own unique happiness.