9 votes

Police allegedly left a “bait truck” filled with Nike shoes in a black Chicago neighborhood

9 comments

  1. [5]
    dubteedub
    Link
    Bait vehicles is a fairly widespread police tactic that has been used My question for you all is, is using a bait vehicle ethical? Are the police preventing crime, or are they creating crime with...

    Mckenzie said that many Englewood residents have nothing to lose, making the temptation of unattended pairs of expensive shoes too great for many to resist. Englewood’s poverty rate is at least 40 percent, by some estimates, and more than 60 percent, according to others. While the community is known as a high-crime area, in 2017 shootings and homicides in the neighborhood dropped by 44 percent and 45 percent, respectively, the Chicago Tribune reported. Car theft also went down.

    Bait vehicles is a fairly widespread police tactic that has been used

    In 2008, the Chicago Police Department made headlines for using a bait car to cut down on auto theft in high-crime areas. The city is not alone. Dallas police use bait cars to reduce auto theft, and Philadelphia-area police have used bait cars for several years, too. In San Francisco, authorities use bait bicycles to deter bike thieves. Bait bikes have GPS tracking devices and are positioned in areas where they’re likely to be stolen. Authorities in other cities have used trucks, rigged with monitoring devices, to make bait out of UPS boxes, handbags, sneakers, food, beverages, and electronics.

    My question for you all is, is using a bait vehicle ethical? Are the police preventing crime, or are they creating crime with these vehicles?

    One other question stated in this article is

    "How do we supposed to trust [police] if they setting us up like this? How can we trust them?”

    10 votes
    1. [3]
      Gaywallet
      Link Parent
      Rather than address the problem of why people are stealing, we are instead creating more stealing opportunities in order to throw more people in jail where there is zero emphasis on rehabilitating...

      Rather than address the problem of why people are stealing, we are instead creating more stealing opportunities in order to throw more people in jail where there is zero emphasis on rehabilitating the individual.

      Yes, this sounds like a recipe for success /s

      29 votes
      1. [2]
        NeoTheFox
        Link Parent
        Another perspective here would be that if people know that bait trucks are a thing, wouldn't that make cost-benefit assessment on a part of the criminal harder? Not to mention that if there are...

        Another perspective here would be that if people know that bait trucks are a thing, wouldn't that make cost-benefit assessment on a part of the criminal harder? Not to mention that if there are people ready to steal something at the right moment, wouldn't it be better to bait them instead of waiting for them to commit the same crime elsewhere?

        3 votes
        1. JonSilentH
          Link Parent
          Yup. This is the goal of bait in police use.

          Yup. This is the goal of bait in police use.

          3 votes
    2. epitten
      Link Parent
      Thanks for the post, OP. To me, there were two parts of the article that I found particularly thought-provoking. I'm not convinced that bait items are bad for the purposes of reducing crime...

      Thanks for the post, OP. To me, there were two parts of the article that I found particularly thought-provoking.

      “Anything over $500 is a felony, and they’re going to get some guys who don’t [already] have a felony and charge them,” he said.

      The value of stolen property determines if a theft is a felony or misdemeanor. States establish their own thresholds for what constitutes felony theft. Illinois sets the bar for felony theft at $500, a conviction that can lead to a prison sentence of up to five years.

      I'm not convinced that bait items are bad for the purposes of reducing crime (though certainly, as you highlight from the article, they are bad for the purposes of fostering good relations between the people and the police). But even if they do help reduce crime, I think that doing so with felony-level values of items is too much. Given the state of correctional facilities in the US, I suspect this will do more harm than good in a given community.

      “Police are not bound by probable cause or reasonable suspicion requirements before they engage in a sting.”

      To me, this is the bigger issue. Police don't have to meet a standard of evidence to do a sting, and that lack of accountability opens the door for possible discriminatory targeting. Holding police accountable by ordering them to meet certain standards of evidence is how we can deter them from misbehaving, in the same way that the presence of these bait items is intended to deter people from stealing items they might come across.

      4 votes
  2. [4]
    LordManley
    Link
    This would be entrapment over here. The argument would be that the crime would not have been committed without the Police deliberately making it happen.

    This would be entrapment over here.

    The argument would be that the crime would not have been committed without the Police deliberately making it happen.

    6 votes
    1. NeoTheFox
      Link Parent
      Ah, but the police merely placed their property on a spot where the said property can be stolen, so why shouldn't the police protect its own property in case someone steals it? I don't really...

      Ah, but the police merely placed their property on a spot where the said property can be stolen, so why shouldn't the police protect its own property in case someone steals it? I don't really think that entrapment should apply here, since the crime has been committed, only in this case the victim of stealing was the police department.

      2 votes
    2. [2]
      RapidEyeMovement
      Link Parent
      In the United States, two competing tests exist for determining whether entrapment has taken place, known as the "subjective" and "objective" tests. The "subjective" test looks at the defendant's...

      In the United States, two competing tests exist for determining whether entrapment has taken place, known as the "subjective" and "objective" tests.

      • The "subjective" test looks at the defendant's state of mind; entrapment can be claimed if the defendant had no "predisposition" to commit the crime.
      • The "objective" test looks instead at the government's conduct; entrapment occurs when the actions of government officers would usually have caused a normally law-abiding person to commit a crime.
      1 vote
      1. LordManley
        Link Parent
        So, putting expensive things with a quick resale value in front of people in a manner designed to look like an easy win?

        So, putting expensive things with a quick resale value in front of people in a manner designed to look like an easy win?

        1 vote