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Crafty_Dog
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« on: June 24, 2008, 02:35:31 AM »

Almost as reprehensible as the cowardice on display is the justification of it by the newspaper and "experts".  Surprise! Its a San Francisco CA newspaper!

Inaction in boy's killing called justified
Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/06/18/BA2G11ARO9.DTL
Wednesday, June 18, 2008

(06-17) 19:07 PDT TURLOCK (STANISLAUS COUNTY) -- The town of Turlock and much of the rest of the nation was shocked when a 27-year-old man beat and stomped his 2-year-old son to death on a rural road. But what was nearly as stunning for many people was that none of the motorists and their passengers who stopped and saw the attack tried to tackle the man.

Police officers and psychologists familiar with violent emergencies, however, said they weren't surprised at all.

A volunteer firefighter and at least five others saw Sergio Casian Aguiar assaulting his son Saturday night on the road west of Turlock (Stanislaus County), but it wasn't until a police officer arrived in a helicopter that the attack finally ended. Aguiar refused to halt the attack and raised his middle finger at the officer, who shot him to death, authorities said.

Bystanders are justifiably scared and confused in such situations, the experts said Wednesday, and they lack the experience needed to respond with force. They can also be mesmerized by shock.

John Conaty, a veteran homicide detective and former patrol officer in Pittsburg, said that in interviews of witnesses to violence, "the common thing you hear is, 'I was frozen in fear. I just couldn't take action.' "

Conaty questioned whether the witnesses had even been capable of stopping Aguiar. "If they were physically able, you have to take a look at whether they were psychologically prepared to intervene," he said.

"I would not condemn these people," said John Darley, a professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University who has studied how bystanders react in emergency situations. "Ordinary people aren't going to tackle a psychotic.

"What we have here," Darley said, "is a group of family and friends who are not pre-organized to deal with this stuff. They don't know who should do what. ... If you had five volunteer firefighters pull up, you would expect them to have planned responses and a division of labor. But that's not what we had here."

Darley said he was also not surprised that people who weren't at the scene of the killing believe they would have been heroic Good Samaritans.

"It's an aspiration," he said. "They hope they would have done differently."

First on the scene
One of the witnesses, Deborah McKain of nearby Crows Landing, said she was the first to pull up to the beating scene with her boyfriend, a volunteer fire chief who is 52, as well as her 20-year-old son, her son's wife and her son's male friend. They called 911 at 10:13 p.m., police said.

Over the next seven minutes, McKain said, Aguiar kicked his son at least 100 times as he calmly stated that he needed to "get the demons out" of the boy.

"It was like I was on some type of drug or something," McKain recalled Tuesday. "I couldn't believe what was going on. It was like a dream."

She said her boyfriend, Dan Robinson, forcefully argued with Aguiar in an effort to get him to stop, but that he would not. At one point, another woman, 23-year-old Lisa Mota, pulled up in her car, but stayed inside.

"We were looking for rocks or boards on the ground, just to knock him out, get him under control. But we couldn't find anything," McKain said. "We didn't know if he had a knife or any kind of weapon on him."

McKain said she wondered whether Aguiar was on hallucinogenic drugs and whether fighting with him might lead him to hurt several of the witnesses.

She also said it appeared the child was "gone."

People who are second-guessing her and her family can "never know until they're in that situation," McKain said. "We would have loved to knock his head off, too, but we had nothing to knock it off with."

Deputy Royjindar Singh, a spokesman for the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, acknowledged there was some "Monday morning quarterbacking" taking place, but said his agency had no problem with the actions of the witnesses.

'Everybody acts differently'
"Your headlights are shining on a person taking the life out of an infant, and not just shaking and slapping but punching and kicking," Singh said. "Everybody reacts differently."

Sheriff's investigators are still trying to determine why Aguiar, a grocery store worker who recently split up from his schoolteacher wife, killed his son so savagely. The boy's name still has not been released.

Investigators have learned that Aguiar left his home near downtown Turlock before the beating, but they don't know why he drove about 10 miles into an area of cornfields and dairy ranches, Singh said. He said investigators had found no evidence of drug use at Aguiar's house or in his pickup, though results of toxicology tests have not yet come back.

Aguiar's wife, who was in Southern California at the time of the slaying, and others have told investigators that Aguiar "wasn't acting differently than how he normally acts," Singh said. Aguiar's family members, who live in Mexico, were traveling to Stanislaus County to talk to deputies, Singh said.

"As of right now," Singh said, "nobody's saying he was having problems at all. It's baffling. It sounds like there was nothing anyone could have done."

E-mail Demian Bulwa at dbulwa@sfchronicle.com.
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peregrine
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2008, 02:41:54 AM »

Really sad story.
I am quite disturbed by this one.

I'm sure 90% of the people on this forum would find something within themselves to stop this guy.
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David
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2008, 05:06:25 AM »

Horrible.  It's amazing that people can witness this and not do anything to stop it, but I do think it's "normal".  I had a couple of psychology classes in college and remember this "phenomenon" actually has a name that escapes me at the moment.  I think one lesson to be learned is that you cannot rely upon anyone to help you if you're ever being attacked yourself. 

On a related but very less intense note...this weekend I was having dinner at my in-law's house.  We were eating out on the back patio and started hearing a woman screaming.  At first it sounded as if she could have been playing, as if being tickled too severely, but then it started to sound like she was in pain.  We recognized that it was coming from the house next door, where a man lives with what we think is a "mail order", young Thai wife.  My wife and I got up and quickly went to where we could see the house, and just as I was going to jump the fence, the woman stopped screaming and the man appeared, pulling up his pants.  However, he looked very relaxed and not at all like he was involved in a physical confrontation or abusive moment in any way.  He looked a bit embarrassed and said sorry, they were just playing around.  Then a moment later the woman came out and looked as if nothing was wrong, said hello, etc.  These people are very strange.  They have no curtains, and you can see that they watch porn at all hours of the day, from the time they get up until the time they go to bed.

What struck me about the situation though was that if myself and my wife would not have gotten up to see what was going on, my in-law's would not have.  When we came back to the table my in-laws said they had heard the woman screaming before, and had also heard the couple arguing, yelling, etc, but that it was "their problem".  I said, yeah, but you can't allow someone to get abused without doing anything, and my father-in-law said, "of course not", totally agreeing with my statement.  However, although he would verbally say you can't allow abuse to occur, he didn't get up to see what was going on.  I find this to be strange and a bit disconcerting.

I've noticed similar situations in New Orleans, where I'd stop a man from abusing a woman...very often drunk...and other people would be standing around doing nothing.  While I think it's horrible to stand by and do nothing, I do think it appears to be quite the normal human instinct.  Maybe it's a Darwinian survival mechanism...the weak are allowed to die, and you increase your chances of survival by staying out of trouble.  Really, I think the lesson to be learned is that if you don't act, no one will, and not to expect help yourself.

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maija
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2008, 06:24:50 PM »

Have any studies been done on the best way to get a random group of bystanders to do something useful in a situation such as this?
Trigger words? Tactics?
I'm sure I could have come up with something to do on my own, but it seems that strength in numbers would be better.... this reminds me of the first 'Grandfathers' speak' DVD and the interview with Leo Giron. He tells of how he started teaching again after hearing about a crazy guy that killed a group of women (nurses?), and how he believed the guy could have been stopped if they had had training and worked together.
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Karsk
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2008, 11:10:19 PM »

This past weekend, I was going to the store and I drove past a pretty large First Nations fellow, manhandling his girlfriend.  He was yelling and screaming  and although I did not see it, I think he was slapping her around.  I stopped my car and started to walk over to the guy.  At the same time about 6 other men did the same thing.  On of them visible took out a cell phone and started dialing.    I was to one side and about 4 of the other men were on the other.  We are about  50 feet away.   In this case, the fellow noticed.

He started talking to the crowd.  Saying really loud things like  "Whats your problem?" and shooting the bird.  No one approached but no one left.  He kept chest pounding and walked to his car shaking his head.  His girlfriend got in with him.

Something mild perhaps compared to the above horrendous story.  Sometimes the right combination of things match up.  The guys awareness was still there.  He wasn't enraged nby the time people had gathered.  The proximity of the people around him, the witnesses, the phone call, and the growing attention was enough in this case.

The story above, seems way past that.  Very  bizarre.

How about a belt looped over the guys head tied to a truck?

Karsk
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peregrine
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2008, 06:55:39 PM »

I believe the phenomenon is the "bystander effect"(Genovese syndrome)

The definition lies along responsiblity gets diffused as more people observe something out of the ordinary and do nothing.
Part of the solution imho are intrinsic moral values and the other being trained for emergency situations.
Moral values may dictate a person from letting another take advantage of a helpless being, while being trained may range from a self defense seminar to military backgrounds. The training imho is more of a mindset that something needs and can be done.
The last component is being held responsible/accountable. The bystander effect from what i have read and been taught lessens when a person begins aid, and holds the others responsible. This could be the reason why in cpr training you are taught to point to a specifc person, and tell them to call 911- a matter of taking charge and mentally they are held responsible.

This topic ties into the concept of the Militia.
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John Partika
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2008, 07:08:09 PM »

Wow... I mean, I knew that people can be affected by events, but I never would have expected something like this. For myself, I cannot imagine how anyone could watch a young child being mercilessly slaughtered like that and not involve themselves in the boy's defense. True, fear is paralyzing, but I would hope that most people would at least respond on a moral basis. I can understand the fear of being injured, but what's worse: the child getting murdered, or one or two people with a hairline fractures and new scabs?

I don't know, I just find myself perplexed by this.

I kind of agree with the opinion on the lack of moral structure and the like. While fear can affect us all, allowing it to absolutely paralyze you shows, in my own humble opinion, a gross lack of moral fiber and idea of integrity.
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grizzly
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2008, 07:06:30 AM »

Reading the top story made me feel sick to the stomach.

I can understand people's reluctance to get involved, here a story from the other side of the world (Australia) that unfortunaly didn't work out any better.

Bikie hunted for city street bloodbath
Email Print Normal font Large font Andrea Petrie and John Silvester
June 19, 2007 - 9:13AM


Wanted... Christopher Wayne Hudson.
 
A HELLS Angels motorcycle gang member who was connected with a gun battle in Queensland last year is wanted over a triple shooting in central Melbourne yesterday that left a father of three dead and two people in a critical condition.
A manhunt was under way last night for Christopher Wayne Hudson, 29, after he allegedly shot three people at point blank range at the corner of William Street and Flinders Lane about 8.15am.
Victorian police released a photograph of the alleged shooter late last night after initially refusing to do so.
Brendan Keilar, 43, a solicitor, was killed in front of horrified rush-hour bystanders after he tried to intervene in an altercation between the gunman and a dancer from a nearby club.
A man, 25, who also tried to intervene, was shot in the upper body and remains in a critical condition.
The other shooting victim, Kara Douglas, 24, a former Sydney travel agent, is believed to be a friend of the woman involved in the original altercation.
Ms Douglas, also known as Kaera, is in a serious but stable condition at Royal Melbourne Hospital with family members by her side.
The shooting happened after the alleged gunman and the two women had been at a nightclub, Barcode, in King Street, and emerged into the morning light.
Closed-circuit television footage captured much of the violence that preceded the shooting.
It shows a man picking up the dancer by the hair, hurling her onto King Street and throwing her suitcase, handbag and make-up kit at her head.
As she tries to get to her feet, she is kicked in the head and appears to fall unconscious.
Minutes later, Ms Douglas is seen walking down the stairs and finding her friend prone on the pavement.
"It was brutal and completely unexpected," a witness said.
Witnesses to the shooting said that when the two men tried to intervene the attacker pulled out a handgun without warning and, coolly and at point blank range, shot the two men in the upper body before shooting Ms Douglas.
Detective Inspector Stephen Clark said the dead solicitor's last act "was one of extreme bravery". "It's a tragic, tragic set of circumstances, and it does appear as though he's been in the wrong place at the wrong time and has gone to the assistance of a female," Inspector Clark said.
As Ms Douglas lay in intensive care yesterday, her mother, Linda, and brothers, James and Richard, kept vigil at the hospital. Mrs Douglas said she feared the gunman "could come after my daughter".
The Queensland gun battle happened at a kickboxing event at the Royal Pines Resort at Southport attended by 1600 people in March last year.
That fight was allegedly sparked by Mr Hudson defecting from the Finks to the Hells Angels and encouraging others to follow. Mr Hudson was shot in the chin and back.
He was also a suspect in NSW for assault and 40 fraud-related offences. He was previously convicted of adopting another man's identity to steal $100,000.
Police believe the simmering feud between the Hells Angels and the Finks relates to control of the growing market for drugs in the Gold Coast nightclub strip.
Mr Hudson is also wanted for questioning over an incident in which shots were fired near police when they tried to pull over a car in Melbourne this month.

with Cameron Houston / AAP

The bikie responsible handed himself in a week later after having his Hells Angels status/tattoo removed and is currently standing trail.
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Jonobos
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2008, 05:22:56 PM »

An experience I had today that ties into this.

I was sitting on the bus today, and a very strange old man got on. He was clearly talking to himself, and upset. He was waving an umbrella around at nothing before he entered. I have no idea why the bus driver let him on. Maybe he knew him and thought he was harmless? Maybe he was harmless? What became very clear was that everyone else was very uncomfortable, and they were not going to do anything about it. They did something completely illogical. They all did their best to ignore him and focus their attention somewhere else. Everytime the "crazy guy" had some sort of outburst they would all cringe and look away, and pretend it didn't happen! As I watched this fascinating spectacle, it occurred to me that not only do people not act to help others who need it, but they will actively ignore the situation if at all possible. If this guy went berserk and pulled a knife or gun, or even just started beating people with the umbrella, I would have been the only one capable of reacting... very strange.
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David
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« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2008, 08:13:05 AM »

Jonobos, did you read Grizzly's post?

As I mentioned, I think NOT getting involved may very well be the best thing to do for your own safety.  Maybe avoiding trouble is a good practice for "self preservation".  On the other hand, I'm not advocating not getting involved.  I think that in most situations, morally, it's best to help when you can.
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PhilipG
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« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2008, 09:02:03 AM »

We are continually bombarded by stories about people who, after getting involved, were arrested, prosecuted and otherwise treated like the perp they were trying to stop.

I honestly don't know what I would have done in those circumstances. I hope I would have intervened, but lets not judge these people. Rather, lets steel ourselves to the possibility that we could freeze too and work to come to grips with those feelings and pray that when it hits the fan, we can step up and do the right thing.
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JDN
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« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2008, 02:50:29 PM »

This past weekend, I was going to the store and I drove past a pretty large First Nations fellow, manhandling his girlfriend.  He was yelling and screaming  and although I did not see it, I think he was slapping her around.  I stopped my car and started to walk over to the guy.  At the same time about 6 other men did the same thing.  On of them visible took out a cell phone and started dialing.    I was to one side and about 4 of the other men were on the other.  We are about  50 feet away.   In this case, the fellow noticed.

He started talking to the crowd.  Saying really loud things like  "Whats your problem?" and shooting the bird.  No one approached but no one left.  He kept chest pounding and walked to his car shaking his head.  His girlfriend got in with him.

Something mild perhaps compared to the above horrendous story.  Sometimes the right combination of things match up.  The guys awareness was still there.  He wasn't enraged nby the time people had gathered.  The proximity of the people around him, the witnesses, the phone call, and the growing attention was enough in this case.

The story above, seems way past that.  Very  bizarre.

How about a belt looped over the guys head tied to a truck?

Karsk

While no one can excuse helping an innocent baby, or other truly extreme circumstances, in general I question the appropriateness of sticking your nose in somebody else's business.  A "crazy" guy on a bus with an umbrella?  Not your problem, that is up to the bus driver to decide what to do.  As for the above example, note, his "girlfriend got in the car with him".  So if she doesn't have a problem, why is an outsider suppose to intercede?  And guess who the police would arrest if you "looped a belt over the guys head tied to a truck"?  For your "heroic" actions, you could well be serving serious jail time not to mention a civil suit.  Best to call 911, period, and move on.  The police are trained to handle the situation, the average citizen is not.  Even the police, the experts, time after time, advice citizens not to intercede.  I think it is good advice.
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JDN
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2008, 08:52:04 PM »

Horrible.  It's amazing that people can witness this and not do anything to stop it, but I do think it's "normal".  I had a couple of psychology classes in college and remember this "phenomenon" actually has a name that escapes me at the moment.  I think one lesson to be learned is that you cannot rely upon anyone to help you if you're ever being attacked yourself. 

On a related but very less intense note...this weekend I was having dinner at my in-law's house.  We were eating out on the back patio and started hearing a woman screaming.  At first it sounded as if she could have been playing, as if being tickled too severely, but then it started to sound like she was in pain.  We recognized that it was coming from the house next door, where a man lives with what we think is a "mail order", young Thai wife.  My wife and I got up and quickly went to where we could see the house, and just as I was going to jump the fence, the woman stopped screaming and the man appeared, pulling up his pants.  However, he looked very relaxed and not at all like he was involved in a physical confrontation or abusive moment in any way.  He looked a bit embarrassed and said sorry, they were just playing around.  Then a moment later the woman came out and looked as if nothing was wrong, said hello, etc.  These people are very strange.  They have no curtains, and you can see that they watch porn at all hours of the day, from the time they get up until the time they go to bed.

What struck me about the situation though was that if myself and my wife would not have gotten up to see what was going on, my in-law's would not have.  When we came back to the table my in-laws said they had heard the woman screaming before, and had also heard the couple arguing, yelling, etc, but that it was "their problem".  I said, yeah, but you can't allow someone to get abused without doing anything, and my father-in-law said, "of course not", totally agreeing with my statement.  However, although he would verbally say you can't allow abuse to occur, he didn't get up to see what was going on.  I find this to be strange and a bit disconcerting.

I've noticed similar situations in New Orleans, where I'd stop a man from abusing a woman...very often drunk...and other people would be standing around doing nothing.  While I think it's horrible to stand by and do nothing, I do think it appears to be quite the normal human instinct.  Maybe it's a Darwinian survival mechanism...the weak are allowed to die, and you increase your chances of survival by staying out of trouble.  Really, I think the lesson to be learned is that if you don't act, no one will, and not to expect help yourself.



"Mail order" young Thai wife?  And that means???  Having stayed in Bangkok as a guest of the Japanese Embassy, I found the
Thai people, especially the woman to be intelligent and very attractive; definitely equal to American woman I have met.  And this couple seem to enjoy each other.   grin  Frankly, I think Asians in general seem to get a bad rap here.

And your advice, "just as I was about to jump the fence", doesn't cut it.  Sure, get up if you want. Sure knock on the door if you want - but maybe they won't answer.  I wouldn't, especially given the above circumstances  grin Or call the Police if you want.  But, while I don't know LA law, here in liberal CA if you jump my fence and threaten me, I might simply shoot you.  Justifiably.  So think twice, thrice before you get involved in someone else's domestic business.  And don't ever jump someones fence and threaten them.  Perhap because they are older, and perhaps wiser, in contrast to your opinion, I do think your "inlaws get it"; they would call the police if they thought it was appropriate, but they are not going to intrude in a neighbor's home or in a domestic situation.  It's none of their business.  Again, as I mentioned above, that is the job of the police; you need to stay out of it.  Simple; let the police handle it.  Nearly all civilians including myself are not qualified to interced; further, it's inappropriate, and you might get hurt or worse.
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foxmarten
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2008, 09:07:56 PM »

[quote author=Jonobos link=
Maybe he was harmless? What became very clear was that everyone else was very uncomfortable, and they were not going to do anything about it. They did something completely illogical. They all did their best to ignore him and focus their attention somewhere else. Everytime the "crazy guy" had some sort of outburst they would all cringe and look away, and pretend it didn't happen!
[/quote

Well, that situation raises a lot of issues...free speech is probably the first.  In our Republic even the most disabled among us is entitled to their say.  And most mentally ill folks are no more violent than the general population.  As long as there is no direct threat being made the avoid direct eye contact/keep 'em in your peripheral vision thing is probably the best approach IMHO.  A person who is that impaired would probably escalate with any intervention and (unless I was the bus driver with the authority to eject him) when the situation went south and there was a bloody disabled man on the floor I'm afraid that the constables would be less than sympathetic to my explanation.  I remember a similar situation in San Francisco about 25 years ago.  I got on a bus  and a few stops later an old toothless Black man walked up the isle and said something to me which was totally unintelligible.  I had to ask him to repeat it several times until I finally deciphered his dialect/accent.  He was saying "this bus ain't big enough for the both of us honkey."  I smiled, thanked him for the advice and stepped off the bus.  The next muni was along in a few minutes and I still made it to Dim Sum on time.  Maybe I've watched too many Kung Fu  episodes, but I side with the restrained passive approach which can diffuse most situations.  Of course if a 2 year old is being kicked to death I would probably go straight for the hyoid bone.
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David
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2008, 01:36:32 AM »

JDN:

You wrote: ""Mail order" young Thai wife?  And that means???"

The guy speaks German, and his "wife" does not.  She speaks Thai.  They can barely communicate.  When you go to Thailand and return with a wife who doesn't speak your language, you've got issues.  Do I need to expand on this?

I completely disagree with your idea that nothing should be done.  The police arrive AFTER you call them.  A lot can happen in that amount of time.  I'm not about to sit by while some big ass hole beats up what basically amounts to his "sex slave".  I'm from NOLA, but am currently in Vienna, Austria.  First, the chances of this guy having a gun are slim to none here.  Second, the reason we could hear them was because his back door was wide open.  I understand that there is a risk associated with intervening in a domestic situation (and in New Orleans I probably wouldn't do so in another person's home unless the situation seemed dire and I had a weapon), but if I know that a woman is being beaten and there is something I can do about it, I'm going to do it.  I'll leave calling the police to you.  The last time I called the police in New Orleans, for a shooting, they didn't answer 911 the first 4 times I called, called me back later (caller ID), and showed up 20 minutes after that when the shooters where long gone.

If neighbors don't put up with a man beating his wife, it's going to be a heck of a lot more difficult for him to do so.  The fact that most people do nothing in such situations allow the perpetrators of such acts to continue them.

PS.  I have no problems with Asians or anyone else for that matter.  I spend part of every year in S.E. Asia.
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Karsk
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« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2008, 03:21:32 AM »

JDN

Once again I am reminded of the careful consideration that needs to take place to clearly communicate on the net.  I am not sure that I made it clear that I was referring to 2 different situations.  The first was the incident that I witnessed with the woman being beaten.  The second was the OP about the man who was beating a child to death.

The point that you seem to be making in several of your responses is that you have to think things through very carefully if you  find yourself in a situation where something is occurring because there are many hidden dangers to "sticking your nose" into other people's business.  If that is your intention I agree with you.

Many of the postings that I have read concerning real life incidents here often are about the contingency of what you might do if help is not available and you are witness to something very bad happening.  At what point do you choose to act?

With regard to this, if you see someone assaulting someone else, is it "sticking your nose into other people's business to turn around and watch?"  How about saying something , carefully worded to decrease the energy of the situation if you see an escalation?  What are the consequences to even these relatively mild actions?  These are rhetorical questions.  The point being that yeah there can be consequences and its good if you are acting in a way that allows you to avoid stepping into big problems.  But what if something really bad is happening and something needs to be done right here right now?

I think that you are right 100% about potential consequences.  Sometimes interceding can land you in a whole lot of hurt and perhaps even justifiable legal trouble.  So where do you draw the line between interceding and not doing so?  I think that is the point of this whole thread in a way.  That and a bunch of people standing there watching a baby get beaten to death.

In the case of what I witnessed with the couple...the point was that it only took some people focusing on this guy to make him stop. That's all it took. In that mild case people showing an interest stopped some woman from being beaten at least temporarily. That's probably good you know.  Give the guy sometime to cool off, her time to think...that sort of thing.  In the case of the original post (OP), the child attacker seemed to have something serious going on...beyond just a case of being angry.

I still think that you have a point about choosing when to intercede though.  Sometimes things that are not what they seem.

But If you saw a man brutally murdering a child would that be enough to make you act?  What if you were not an adept at fighting?  Would you still act?  What if the only way that you could come up with was really brutal in return?  One of the points of martial arts is to provide the capacity to deliver. Another point is to provide more options.   Correct me if I am wrong but "training" often requires greater responsibility in terms of decisions and escalating level of response than an untrained defender in the courts.  My comment about using a truck and a rope was mildly facetious.  I was thinking what a fellow might do if he wanted to intercede but did not feel capable of physically fighting.   I was kidding in a way...but maybe the real point is that there are creative ways to intercede in such situations. 

You know...
John Wayne lassoing the bastard and draggin' em down the street a ways till he cooooled off?  (facetious alert)

 In my work as a wildlife biologist I have had a few occasions to handle bears and other pretty dangerous critters.  The absolutely most sensible way to handle a bear is from as far away as possible, with the bear in a cage or tranquilized.  In my case, I was the one on the ground rolling a tranquilized bear out of the cargo net he had been transported in (conscious but unable to move...his eyes were on me the whole time....rather disconcerting). Handling people in real life situations is the same and more so.  If you can manage things from a distance, in safety from legalities and physical threat and you choose to jump right in there ...yeah thats the kind of thing you end up kicking yourself for later.  But there are also situations that require action are there not?

I also did not make it clear that I was commenting on what someone without training might do but upon the above reflection it is good advice for anyone trained or not trained to  use the safest and most tactically sound approach of handling problems. That only makes sense.

I have not gotten the impression that careless action is espoused on this  forum.

So I was not clear in my earlier post that I was referring in the end  to the original post of the fellow beating the child to death.

I still like the image of dropping a rope over the baby beater, and "draggin em down the street a ways" though.

 cool


Karsk

« Last Edit: June 30, 2008, 03:45:35 AM by Karsk » Logged
peregrine
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« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2008, 06:24:42 AM »

We are continually bombarded by stories about people who, after getting involved, were arrested, prosecuted and otherwise treated like the perp they were trying to stop.

I honestly don't know what I would have done in those circumstances. I hope I would have intervened, but lets not judge these people. Rather, lets steel ourselves to the possibility that we could freeze too and work to come to grips with those feelings and pray that when it hits the fan, we can step up and do the right thing.

What i take from these unfortunate circumstances is that it can set some frames and parameters on a mental line in the sand, and on what a person can do. If my time comes i pray i do the right thing what ever it may be. Wisdom is key.
I also can see the perspective of not wanting to stick my nose in other peoples business such as a domestic dispute, but as a people we must understand disparities of force and excessive force. Everyone who has lived in the city i am sure has seen or been around situations that you wondered if one should do or say something and as CD has said it leaves a 'sour taste in the mouth'. A good example of trying to do the right thing could be on seeing a man attacking a woman, this could be a number of situations, including a police officer apprehending a suspect. 

If we do not do something(how ever small or big), how can we expect our communities and country(ies) as a whole to improve? I am not advocating going Audie Murphy on every shadow, but i am saying we should have the wisdom and foresight to understand excessive force and disparity of force enough to do something should we be faced with the decision to act.

Philip i can see you and most on this board doing what ever it takes be it distraction or direct intervention to get someone who is beating to a bloody pulp a young child or baby.


woof-
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« Last Edit: June 30, 2008, 06:27:17 AM by peregrine » Logged
peregrine
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« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2008, 06:50:32 AM »

A case locally that comes to mind is the beating to death of a woman earlier this year in the middle of the street.
One man attempted to directly intervene, a 70yo man.
A precarious position, do something and end up in jail, aor attacked by both the gf and bf, etc.

EDIT- he clubbed her to death striking her in the head with the 12gauge using double overhand strikes so much so that the gun shattered.





http://www.alohaupdate.com/2008/01/17/man-beats-ex-girlfriend-to-death/

Yesterday at about 5:45pm, a black Ford Explorer ran a stop sign at about 60mph and slammed into a white car on Maluniu Avenue.  When the woman stepped out the car, which had spun around since the impact was so great, a man came out of his Ford Explorer, ran to the woman, and punched her in the face.  He then went back to his car and grabbed a gun, came back to her, and started clubbing her with the gun.  A neighbor tried to help the woman out, but the suspect pointed the gun at him and told him to step back, to which the woman tried to run away again.  The suspect then chased after her, hit her in the stomach, and when the neighbor tried to help again, the suspect hit the neighbor in the back of the head with the gun.  She tried to crawl away, but the suspect repeatedly beat her on the head again, then got in his Explorer and drove away.  She was pronounced dead by the time she was in the hospital 15 minutes after the incident occurred.  (Source: Honolulu Advertiser).

What is going on.  The suspect is believed to be her ex-boyfriend whom they both had a child with together. The man was 6 foot 2 and 340 pounds.  Iím sure she couldnít do anything to defend herself, and with a gun, most people who wanted to help would be scared for their own lives.  This is jsut messed up.  I canít believe someone would go as far as beating up their ex-girlfriend in such a vicious way.  Maybe he wasnít trying to kill her, but you have to admit that he was out to hurt her, and real bad.  To take a metal object like the butt of a gun and repeatedly hit someoneÖI donít think anyone will escape without injury.  And from a 340 lb man?
« Last Edit: June 30, 2008, 06:52:52 AM by peregrine » Logged
G M
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2008, 07:16:13 AM »

On average, more law enforcement officers are killed every year responding to domestics than armed robbery in progress calls. If off duty, I were to see a violent domestic happening, i'd most likely be a good witness and dial 911 under most scenarios.
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David
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« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2008, 07:28:24 AM »

Peregrine,

That's another horrible story you referenced, and in such a case I don't think I'd risk getting involved.  I've got my own family, and I'm not going to attack someone who has a gun and risk being killed or put in prison myself.  I do think it's important to consider what you might be getting involved in before getting involved.  In the case I brought up here in Vienna, my risk would have been minimal. 

I agree with your point that if we do not do something when faced with such a situation, how can our community improve. 

Looking back, I know there were times I intervened in situations where it probably was a bad idea.  Fortunately things turned out for the best.  The problem I have with calling the police though, is that they often don't arrive in time.  Additionally, in New Orleans I've called on a situation down the block and had police come straight to my door first...without me giving them my address.  From that point on I always called from a cell, hoping that would stop them from seeing my address.  Anyway, this thread is great food for thought.
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G M
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« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2008, 07:56:10 AM »

The basic rule of thumb is: "Is this worth killing/dying/going to prison for?" If the answer is no, then dial 911 and be a good witness.
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David
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« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2008, 08:06:16 AM »

GM, I understand what you're saying, but that would mean no one would help anyone but their own families.  Calling the cops is very often too late for the victim.  I think your position is valuable, but a bit extreme.  I think there's a middle ground.
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G M
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« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2008, 09:15:39 AM »

David,

I don't think that means people won't help anyone but their own families. Every individual has their own personal moral paradigm. Some people might feel that if it's not their family, it not their problem, others are more willing to engage despite not having any direct connection to the situation.

Any confrontation with another person or persons may escalate into deadly force, just because your have good intentions doesn't mean you won't be killed or crippled as a result of the fight. If your motives are pure and you win, doesn't mean you get a pat on the back and a key from the city.

If you seriously injure or kill another person in a fight, you will almost always be arrested not matter how justified it might be. Depending on the laws and political orientation of the jurisdiction, you may well be charged even if your act was reasonable and legal. Having gotten through the criminal side, you also face civil litigation, especially if you have any assets worth going after.

Something else to consider, to the majority of the jurors that might judge you, knives are the weapons of bad guys. Hannibal Lecter, Jason from Friday the 13th and Freddy Kruger use edged weapons. John Wayne carried guns. They don't know FMA from TWA.

Having said all that, i'm not saying don't act. I just want people to go into this with their eyes open.


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Jonobos
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« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2008, 10:08:31 AM »

Jonobos, did you read Grizzly's post?

As I mentioned, I think NOT getting involved may very well be the best thing to do for your own safety.  Maybe avoiding trouble is a good practice for "self preservation".  On the other hand, I'm not advocating not getting involved.  I think that in most situations, morally, it's best to help when you can.

Don't get me wrong, I was not advocating smacking the guy around or anything... or even confronting him. I did no such thing Tongue I was just pointing out that everyone did their best to completely ignore the guy, which I found to be questionable.

If someone is around me, and through their actions they are making me uncomfortable, I don't look away and ignore them. I don't think that is the right reaction. They at least deserve a small part of my attention! In the case of the original post I have no idea whether I would be brave enough to step in and do anything. I sense that letting the guy beat his kid to death is wrong... but I have not been in the situation so have no clue what I would do. I do think for everyone that stood around and gawked, there was probably another person that just pretended they didn't see it, and didn't even bother calling the police because "it wasn't their problem."
« Last Edit: June 30, 2008, 10:24:18 AM by Jonobos » Logged

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When life gives you hemlock, do NOT make hemlockade!
JDN
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« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2008, 10:13:52 AM »

David, in your example, I am sticking with "nothing should be done".  At least by you
or a civilian.  As for calling the police, it's my understanding that the Austrian Police
are very efficient.  They would be there ASAP - I think your inlaws have a good
handle on the situation. 

I happen to agree with GM's posts, all of them, but I like the one where he says,
"Is it worth killing, dying, or going to prison for?".   So David, as per your comment
that you only get involved "if your risks are minimal", I guess that means you only
get involved if you know you are bigger, stronger, and/or better armed? 

In contrast, Karsk asked if and I agree there is a line.  In the original post, when a child is
being brutally murdered, I think it would be worth killing, dying or going to prison for
to try to save the life of that innocent child.  However, in a domestic situation, no one
is totally innocent - GM's advice, just stay out of it or call the police.  Even the police have a tough
time handling the situation as pointed out above.  As your in laws implied, mind
your own business.



PS I guess I still don't quite get the "sex slave" quote.   It bothers me.
You didn't even meet the couple yet you have a strong opinion.  I think your quote is
presumptuous.   Is it language?  Here in LA many people are married to foreigners and their
language is not common and communication is an issue.  So if I go to Italy, France or Germany
and come home with a wife (I only speak Japanese and a little Spanish)
she would be my "sex slave"?
Is it economics?  So second/third world country brides are presumptively "sex slaves"? 
Anotherwords, most mainland Chinese, Philippina, Thai, Latina, etc. wives are "sex slaves"?
I still don't quite get it.  I think it best not to make presumptions of other people's
relationships.  Nor to intercede unless you are asked and someone's life is obviously
in danger. 
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David
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« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2008, 10:46:34 AM »

GM: Very good points.  I agree.

JDN: The Austrian police are very efficient.  However, the woman was screaming.  In a situation in which I feel there is a VERY small chance of me being injured, I would not allow a man to beat a woman if I can help it.  I'm not saying I would have gone in and beat the man.  But, his back door was open and he was in the back room.  At least going into his yard and making him aware that I was there might stop him.  If not, then I'd have to go from there.

Yes, generally I would only get involved if I felt my risks were minimal.  My family is more important than a neighbor or stranger, so I'm not going to risk my life for someone less important to me.  I was once in a hill tribe market in North Vietnam where a man was brutally beating a woman in front of a crowd.  Although I hated to see it, I wasn't going to risk my life or risk going to jail there.

Regarding my in-laws...they SAID that they would not allow the man to beat his wife, yet they not only didn't look to see what was going on when they heard her yelling, but also didn't call the police.  I think this happens many times...people THINK something shouldn't happen, yet they do nothing about it.  My point in bringing them up was not that they're bad people, but that no one else is going to act if you don't.

Regarding the "sex slave" issue: I have met the couple.  I'm not sure why you assumed I hadn't.  I'm married to a foreigner, so obviously I have no problem with that, or language barriers.  It's the particular couple; not language or economics specifically.  I don't think the woman is actually a slave against her will, but I think the man picked up the woman in Thailand without knowing her, to marry her for her "services", home services and sexual.  I base that on my and my in-laws knowledge and observation of this couple.  There's also something wrong with you if you go to Thailand not knowing anyone there, and then come back with a wife two weeks later who you share no common language with...at least to me there is.  You can't know someone who you cannot speak to, in two weeks time, at least not NEARLY enough to know you want to be with them for the rest of your life.  Either you're very immature, or you have other intentions.  (Not you JDN; I mean in general.)  With this understanding I thought the man COULD be abusing the woman, and that the situation COULD be serious.  Without confronting them I wouldn't have known.

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Karsk
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« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2008, 08:24:43 PM »

This is turning out to be a fairly interesting thread that is bringing up a more complex considerations.  Perhaps this is moving away from the original thread a bit but...

It illustrates that the world is not a black and white place when it comes to what is right and wrong and what is the right action in a given situation.  Extreme situations are often easy to make conjectures about while more common complicated situations there is less certainty over what is the appropriate path to take.  It is creating cognitive dissonance...that place where we can confront our own contradictions in thoughts and where growth occurs.


Thinking deeply about this has led me to thinking about tribes...how its easier to be clear when one of your family and/or tribe is threatened.   Looking over the fence is different than something happening in your own house because those over there are not familiar to us, not in the same tribe.

But isn't that often at the root of many larger conflicts?  Differentiating between your tribe and others? By not including those others its easier to depersonalize whats going on on both large and small scales.

One way of improving relationships between groups is to get the "tribes" to see one another as part of the same group.

We started out looking at several individual circumstances and I am finding myself thinking about this in the larger context of conflicts between groups.

I heard on the news today that CA prisons are going to desegregate their living arrangements to break down perceived differences between races and groups.  I am wondering if this relates in some way to this conversation..about seeing others as close or separate, same or different.

Like I said I am finding this thread to be very thought provoking.

Karsk
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G M
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« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2008, 12:55:05 AM »

Karsk,

I expect violence, riots, shankings and deaths. Hopefully only inmates die. CDC is already a overcrowded powder keg.
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David
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« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2008, 01:55:12 AM »

Karsk: Interesting observations/connections you're considering. 

GM: I think you're likely to be right regarding the prison, but possibly people who are split up will be a bit less brazen. 

I've become more and more pessimistic over my years.  I think people have equal potential for violence and kindness, especially males.  Just take a look at history.  There are places in time where things are nice, but they never stay that way it seems.  Many people from cultures such as in the US think that "morals" or "right and wrong" are innate.  I disagree.  I think they're learned.  Look at the relatively recent practice of head hunting by tribes in Borneo.  These people would chop the heads off neighboring tribes for nearly every event.  A male had to present a head when he was married, for celebrations, etc.  I was told one method they used was to light fire to a neighboring longhouses and chop the heads off of the people running out...men, women, and children.  Obviously, these people used to not have the same sense of "right and wrong" that we do in the West.  Think about the Holocaust.  Most people can be lead to do anything, through ideology or even misinformation...Iraq.

In general, I find people to be a pretty rotten bunch.  Most don't think about what they've been brought up to believe; they don't REALLY question their beliefs and the validity of them.  Think of the concept of "faith" that pervades many cultures, including ours...a "belief" that must be held even if contrary evidence is introduced.  Anything that goes against the "faith" must be ignored or ridiculed, but never truly considered.  No doubt "tribes" will continue to kill each other over beliefs, struggle for resources, etc.  AND, I guess as Karsk points out, even neighbors can be considered mini-tribes. 

I agree that the mingling of tribes can help the different members to see their similarity, but also their differences.  And inevitably, even in a group of similar people, differences will emerge and new groups will be formed.  In the end, I come back to the fact that people are not only friendly, but also violent...ignorant, and violent...a bad combination. 

So, do you get involved or not?  Is getting involved really going to change the big picture if people are going to kill each other anyway?  Or is it worth it for certain particular situations?  I still feel that helping others without risking your life is "right".  Maybe that's just the way I was raised.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2008, 01:31:30 PM »

Woof David:

This one is for you:  http://www.vimeo.com/1211060

The Adventure continues!
Crafty Dog
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David
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« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2008, 02:41:56 PM »

Awesome video!  I saw the first one in 2006 and loved it too.

One of my "goals" has always been to get paid to travel in some way.  Working on the web is the closest thing I've found so far...
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G M
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« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2008, 02:32:55 PM »

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=5285964


Inmates' Threat: No Segregation, No Peace
Some Fear Court-Ordered Integration May Trigger Racial Violence Among Inmates

By ALEX STONE
July 1, 2008ó

When an inmate who is not black enters Will Williams' cell for the first time at San Quentin State Prison in Northern California, one of the last forms of legalized segregation will come to an end.

In a case that went as high as the U.S. Supreme Court, California's prisons must begin racially integrating their cells this month. Integration goes against an unwritten code of conduct among San Quentin inmates, which says they must never communicate with other races.

Click here to listen to a radio report by ABC News' Alex Stone about the San Quentin integration.

Inmates and guards admit they are nervous about the changes because so much of the violence inside the walls of the prison, which sits on the rocky shore of the San Francisco Bay, is caused by racial tensions.

"I just don't think it's going to really work because everybody is so against it," said Williams, who has been locked up at San Quentin for 35 years on a kidnapping and robbery conviction. "The whites are saying they don't want blacks, and the blacks are saying they don't want whites."

Until now, most California prisons, including San Quentin, have been segregated in order to keep the peace. Guards say nearly every inmate in the prison is in a gang. The gangs only recruit their own races, and when the races meet it can often result in deadly violence.

It is hard for outsiders to understand the gang lifestyle inside the prisons.

"We have the whites and they're not even allowed to talk to blacks," said Officer Jamie Allejos, who watches over inmates in San Quentin's B Block. "We've got guys who get beat up just for talking to another race or sharing food with another inmate."

The integration is the result of a 1995 lawsuit filed by a black inmate in California who claimed being segregated infringed upon his rights. The case eventually made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which handed it down to a federal mediation court. Both sides agreed to integrate the cells.

Allejos made it very clear that he believes integrating the cells will lead to increased violence.

"The guys who are making these decisions don't know nothing about prison. I think the people who are making these decisions should come here for six months and find out the conditions in here," Allejos said.

Some California prisons will begin integrating this month, but the races will not be fully integrated inside San Quentin until next year because racial issues are so complex at the prison housing California's only death row.

On the fourth floor of one of the prison's cell blocks, Scott Williams, who is known to inmates and guards as "Speedy," studies his law books alone in a cell. Williams used to be what other inmates have dubbed a "shot caller" -- essentially a gang leader who directs members of the Aryan Brotherhood. Guards claim Williams has killed two inmates himself.

Speaking through bars and fencing, Williams explained to ABC News how he would have directed his members to attack other races if they were ever put in the same cell.

"There's many rules that people have to follow in prison, and to integrate these people who have been fighting each other for so long is going to be an extreme problem," Williams said.

Despite the negative views about integration among some inmates and guards, experts point to Texas as an example of where the practice has been successful. That state's prisons integrated in the 1990s and, in time, violence was reduced within the lockups.

When the integration begins in California, it will not be blind. Even though race will no longer be a factor in deciding which cells inmates live in, the California Department of Corrections will evaluate a number of other factors, including street gang affiliation, mental stability, age and size.

California Department of Corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said her staff is prepared for the integration and she does not expect any major problems.

"Some inmates are going to be restricted to their own race because they were either the perpetrator or victim of a racially motivated incident," Thornton said.

If inmates refuse to integrate, they will be penalized. In most cases those who will not mix with other races will be sent to solitary confinement for 90 days. Some inmates, like David Glover, who has been at San Quentin for four months on a burglary conviction, said they would rather be penalized than be forced to integrate.

"Not because I have a problem with other races, but because every race has a shot caller and you have to obey the rules," Glover said.

But not all inmates believe they have the option to refuse integration. Will Williams is trying to get parole and if he does not allow an inmate of another race into his cell, he fears he will lose his chances at parole.

"Going home is the most important thing," Williams said. "Regardless of whatever else happens, that's first, so if I have to put up with somebody coming into the cell who's a different race, if that's what I have to do to get out of here, hey, at least maybe I'll be going home."
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