The Two Sides Of The Police Coin – Amanda Green

The Two Sides Of The Police Coin – Amanda Green

Over the last few months, I’ve noticed an increase in comments in social media – not to mention the mainstream media itself – condemning the police. They look at events like what happened in Ferguson or New York City and say those incidents prove that the police are no longer looking to serve and protect. Some take the position that the police are out to screw over any minority, especially if that person is a young black male. Others claim that cops are all egotistical, power-hungry pigs who get off on screwing anyone who isn’t in the old boy network. It doesn’t matter to either side what the circumstances surrounding an incident might be. If an officer drew his gun and fired, he was exercising unreasonable force and should be charged.

The suggestions about what to do whenever an officer discharges his weapon in the course of performing his duty have ranged from immediately terminating him and instituting an investigation into what happened to an automatic felony charge without benefit of a grand jury review. What those advocating these sort of responses seem to overlook is that their so-called solutions are as much in violation of the officer’s civil rights as they claim the officer’s actions might have been.

As much as I don’t agree with either position, I can pretty much wave those approaches off. Those clamoring for instant charges against cops are having nothing more than a knee-jerk reaction to current events, a reaction fueled by the media that is having a blast doing its best to tear down not only law enforcement but the way the public views those who have chosen to go into it as a profession.

What I can’t wave off are the calls by some to completely do away with all forms of law enforcement. These folks believe that we would be much better off without police of any kind. According to them, we would police ourselves and our homes and neighborhoods would be much safer than they are now. After all, when you call 911 for help, you are running the risk of having a bad cop respond and shoot your, someone in your family or your family pet.

Let’s get something straight right now. I’m the first person to admit there are bad cops out there. But there are also bad doctors and bad teachers and bad any other profession (skilled or not). Bad cops are worse than crooks. Those men and women who have sworn to serve and protect and who then violate their oaths deserve to have the full weight of the law thrown at them. They have not only violated their oaths but they have violated the trust that has been put in them by the public they are supposed to serve.

However, this trend of condemning all cops because of the actions of a few is more than a little troublesome. The generalizations it makes are dangerous ones, not only for law enforcement personnel but for the public as well.

Yes, there are bad cops. But there are a hell of a lot more good ones than bad. The reason we hear about the “abuses” by cops so often these days is because of the media. For those of you not old enough to remember, there was a time when you’d turn on the 10 pm news and see sensational stories about the addicts and pushers offing one another or the innocent kid caught in the cross-fire. Now we hear about the cops and, in all too many cases, the story is framed in such a way as to paint the cop as guilty before the facts have been determined.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, there are more than 900,000 “sworn law enforcement officers” in the United States. If, as the detractors of law enforcement claim, all these men and women were corrupt, the first thing that would happen is the media would be silenced. Those corrupt cops would strong arm any reporter who dared try to expose their criminal activities and demand justice.

Let’s face it, with 900,000 people doing any job, someone is going to take advantage of their position. But that doesn’t mean everyone else will as well.

As for the suggestion that we move from professional law enforcement personnel to policing ourselves, well, think about it. Without a professional law enforcement arm to protect our communities and enforce our laws, it will be up to each individual to do so. They will have to be vigilant and watch what happens in their neighborhood. They will have to learn how to use firearms – or other forms of weapons – in such a way that they don’t automatically present a danger to themselves and others just by picking up the weapon. They have to be willing to step up and possibly put themselves in danger to protect their own loved ones or someone they might only know to nod hello to.

But most of all, for it to work the way the law enforcement detractors seem to think it would, these men and women in each neighborhood would have to never be tempted by the same things that tempt our professional cops. Anyone want to bet how likely that is to happen?

Sure, there are places where the community can and will police itself. Most of those are small towns or neighborhoods where everyone knows who lives in their area and they keep an eye out for one another. That doesn’t work, on the whole, in larger cities. Too many people never take the time to get to know who lives next door to them, much less down the street or one street over.

Our society has changed in the last fifty years. When I was growing up, we knew everyone up and down our street. Parents knew each kid in the neighborhood and they wouldn’t hesitate to correct a child if they saw the kid doing something she shouldn’t. There was a trust and sense of community that isn’t there in most places any more.

But that sense of community wasn’t limited to the adults either. As kids, we might not have always liked one another but, by ghu, no one had better bully or try to pick a fight with one of our neighbors. If they did, we would descend en masse to make sure they never tried again.

There was also a freedom we had as kids that our own kids don’t get to enjoy. Once we were old enough – and I’m talking grade school age – we’d get on our bikes, tell our folks where we were going and we’d be gone all day. Sometimes we stayed in the immediate neighborhood and other times we might ride to one of the neighboring towns to go to a park or play with friends there. If that were to happen today, some “concerned citizen” would be calling CPS on our folks and reporting them for child endangerment. Heck, they are calling the cops on parents who let their kids play in the park directly across from the house – with the parent watching.

But this is the world the cop haters think can police itself and we’d be a much more peaceful and happy society as a result.

Sorry, but I see only disaster. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t take too kindly to someone trying to take away my son simply because I let him play outside, especially if he was being supervised at the time. How many injuries and deaths from just this sort of thing would happen without there being an unbiased (hopefully) third party to intervene and decide what the facts might be?

Then there is the claim that crime stats have decreased in some cities after police forces have been downsized. Well, do quote Homer Simpson, “Doh!” Of course the stats are down. Crime stats are manipulated by not only the police but by the city/county and by the feds. The police do it to keep the city council and local citizens happy — and to get new recruits. The city/county does it to try to keep federal monies and the feds do it to justify their own programs.

This is something we have seen in Dallas of late. By changing how they defined certain felonies, the major crime stats fell dramatically from one year to the next. It had nothing to do with the number of cops on the street or the number of brutality complaints, etc. It didn’t even have anything to do with the number of actual crimes committed. It had everything to do with how those 911 calls were classified and how the data was compiled.

Like it or not, cops are human and they make mistakes. When those mistakes are the result of negligence of worse, and when they result in someone being hurt or property being damaged, those cops should face the justice system. That does not mean trying them in the press nor does it mean they get special treatment. It also doesn’t mean they are denied certain rights like having their case presented to a grand jury unless they waive it.

I’m not going to apologize for not jumping onto the bandwagon to condemn those good men and women who put their lives on the line every day when they put on their uniform and go out to protect their communities. I’ll even admit that this is something I am passionate about. I have worked with cops, good and bad. I have absolutely no loyalty or sympathy for a bad cop. They need to be sent to the pen just like anyone else who has committed a felony — or, if a misdemeanor, they need to face justice there as well. But we cannot shackle the hands of good cops to such a degree that they can no longer do their duty to serve and protect. Don’t like the way the cops in your jurisdiction act, then apply to join the civilian review board or run for office so you can have oversight over them.

All that said, yes, there need to be limits on what a cop can do and there needs to be a valid and unbiased review process in place. They are supposed to serve and protect, not rule and conquer.

 

239 responses to “The Two Sides Of The Police Coin – Amanda Green

  1. A related trend I’m seeing is the immediate, unquestioning acceptance of any rape claim, no matter how dubious the story, no matter how lacking the evidence despite the details of the claim (such as ‘was raped on top of a shattered glass tabletop’; or ‘was raped at the age of 15 in the Playboy Mansion for examples), and the demanding of justice and such – despite the refusal of the accusers to either go to to the police or be examined medically.

    Both the examples I cite above are more interested in trial by media than they are in trial by law and courts. There’s a meme now of ‘rape denialism’, where looking objectively at the claims and at the evidence is a ‘crime equivalent to Holocaust denial.’

    I think the same people who call for the abolishment of the police and the rule of law want that to happen so they can actively lynch people now, so there would be nothing ‘inconvenient’ like laws to protect them.

    • I have real issues with trying any “case” in the media. What so many people tend to forget is that all the evidence — good, bad and indifferent — is not known to the press. Nor do they seem to consider the fact that those reporting the stories cherry pick what they want to highlight in their reports and what they either downplay or completely leave out of the reports. Nor do they think about how the trial by media corrupts the jury pool. Of course, they don’t tend to care about that because they want the pool leaning in their direction so the jury will make the “right” decision.

      I understand outrage when your child is killed, whether that killing is justified or not. That anger is part of the grieving process. But when that anger turns into mob violence, it has gone too far. Where are those who called for the heads of the police when it comes to calling for calm and protecting the innocent people who are being harmed by the mobs?

      • The problem with the media is less the actual bias than it is the idiot notion that an UNbiased media is possible, and that “Journalists” are consecrated priests to Truth.

        Better in Mencken’s day, when everyone with two brain cells know that all papers were biased, and reporters were considered disreputable, if sometimes charming, fellows, only slightly more genteel than actors.

      • I’d rather save my outrage for those who attack the truth, or the attempt to find it.
        Yes, i get skeptical when a cop appears to have callously used excessive force (e.g. shooting a young child, or a dog, that was in no practical way threatening the cop’s life) and the Internal Investigation says “he did what he had to do”. But… in such cases, I’m more concerned about 1) the truth of the event, 2) the training/rules of engagement, and 3) the judgement calls — all three need to be subject to transparent public review. Lives really are important enough to be worth such an effor, IF we’re going to retain respect for the agents of law in a nation of laws.

        • Civilians are prone to forget something of which any intelligent police officer is all too well aware:

          Reason to fear: Cops are never safe when making an arrest
          … About 4:30 on the morning of March 13, 2011, four New York City police officers confronted one unarmed male, age 42, who was standing on the top step of a Brooklyn home owned by his parents.

          The officers were responding to a domestic-violence call from this individual’s girlfriend. He proclaimed his innocence, but an arrest was called for.

          As one officer approached him from the side to place him in handcuffs, he suddenly turned, determined not to be arrested, and struck the officer with both hands in the chest, knocking him backward over the stoop railing.

          The fall broke the officer’s neck. …

          [End Excerpt]

          Police officers are not “reasonable men” they are people who routinely put their lives at risk in any chance encounter, knowing their actions will be judged by those enjoying leisure and absence of adrenaline. “By Twelve or By Six” is the coin of their decisions and those judging them need to be aware of that fact.

          • REZ,

            This is problem caused by a lack of training in pre-attack indicators.

            http://www.amazon.com/Left-Bang-Marine-Combat-Program/dp/1936891301

            Left of Bang: How the Marine Corps’ Combat Hunter Program Can Save Your Life
            by Patrick Van Horne

            ConCom: Conflict Communication A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication
            by Rory Miller

            In the Name of Self-Defense:: What it costs. When it’s worth it
            by Marc MacYoung

            As long as Cops are taught that ever interaction with the public could be life threatening, then every interaction the public has with an Cop could be life threatening, and needs to be treated that way.

            Cops or Citizens do not need to go through life paranoid. All it takes is figuring out how stuff happens and be on the lookout for it.

            • 1) Training only goes so far and costs money (and time) taken from other components of training.

              2) Judging by this and other recent reading recommendations you’ve posted, you might consider exercising a higher degree of skepticism about that which you read.

              Regarding life threatening encounters, you’ve fundamentally misapprehended the situation. It is not that every encounter can be life threatening, it is that any encounter can be. That is why any time you interact with a police officer you need to be cognizant of behaviours likely to misidentify your intentions.

              Finally, your last paragraph is a self-contradiction.

              • RES,

                To point #1: Training only goes so far because you then have to apply what you learned and become proficient in it. Not sure what you are getting at with training interfering training ( job?).

                To point #2: Without knowing more about your qualifications on this subject I’m going to be skeptical on your qualification to recommend that I be skeptical of other sources that I know the qualifications of. Hell! I’m not even sure if you have read the books in question to be able to make an informed recommendation. If you have better sources you would like to recommend I would be willing to hear them.

                Now onto this:

                “It is not that every encounter can be life threatening, it is that any encounter can be.”

                An example: (Note: Larry Correia has a good primer on SD Law at his website. http://monsterhunternation.com/2014/11/25/the-legalities-of-shooting-people/ I’ll be using terms as defined in his essay of Ability, Opportunity (Also known as Means)& Immediacy (Also Known as Jeopardy or intent). Sense you don’t seem to like the source I provided. I’ll use someone that is respected in these parts.)

                Do you tense up and get ready to defend yourself when your waiter hands you a steak knife? If not why? The waiter has ability, a knife, and opportunity, within stabbing distance of you? Ah, we don’t worry about that because we haven’t established any intent on there part to do us harm, so we don’t worry about them trying to stab us.

                “That is why any time you interact with a police officer you need to be cognizant of behaviours likely to misidentify your intentions.”

                Agreed, but is it solely the responsibility of the citizen as to whether or not they getting shot or beaten by the officers?

                Or is it a two way street, and that it is perfectly acceptable to expect and require of our police force be the highly trained and professionals that they purport to be.

                As to my last paragraph:

                —————————-
                par·a·noi·a
                /ˌperəˈnoiə/
                noun

                •suspicion and mistrust of people or their actions without evidence or justification.
                —————————-

                If you can articulate from known information as to why someone is dangerous or is likely to act out then that is not paranoia but actionable intel.

                One of the things they teach officers is that anytime they get into a use of deadly force incident is just say, “I feared for my life.” Like that is there get out of jail free card. But when asked why they feared for their life they can not identify what made them.

                • Only addressing a single point here (“Not sure what you are getting at with training interfering training“), as it is clear there will be no agreement on others.

                  The point I was making is that the resources in time and money available to train officers is finite. Time spent on one type of training is time not available for other types, such as legal doctrine, criminal code, departmental policies, etc. Even once working patrols, the time demands on police officers are fairly high and the resources to engage in continued professional education limited.

                  Oh, heck, one other item: paranoia was your word, not mine. What I was describing was the need for officers to be constantly vigilant … for the reasons I and others have cited. If you want to call that paranoia to make an emotion-laden false distinction between the two states I do not have to humour your rhetorical flourishes. I took your phrasing of “figuring out how stuff happens and be[ing] on the lookout for it” as, in context, functionally equivalent to paranoia.

                  • RES,

                    Be vigilant for what? What are they supposed to be on the lookout for.

                    Just telling some one to be vigilant means absolutely nothing, if your are not going to tell them what they needed to be on the look out for.

                    If you want to know how to be or what to be vigilant for read Left of Bang.

                    😉

                    • Asinine question, Josh, given the numerous examples already provided of circumstances going South on officers. As you seem to know how a dictionary works, I recommend looking up the word.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Yah, that’s the problem for police officers. There’s no way to know ahead of time what to be “vigilant” about.

                    • There are things that you can look out for called pre-attack indicators that are pretty accurate in indicating when something is going to go bad, but you have to know to look for them.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      What classes in situational awareness have you given?

                      What training in situational awareness have you received?

                    • Paul,

                      It doesn’t matter any more. I’m not going to make an appeal to authority. I will say that this is my job dealing with this stuff.

                      The books that I’ve recommend are the best books on these subjects written for the public that I’ve come across.

                      My incompetent bugling of the written word has not done them justice, and for that I’m truly sorry.

                      The last word I’m going to say on that.

                    • “What classes in situational awareness have you given?

                      What training in situational awareness have you received?”

                      I have no idea if Josh is an incompetent bungler or not, but he IS a security guard, so he SHOULD have some idea of situational awareness.

                      I don’t completely agree with him, but he has good if not well articulated points. And frankly he is about as unbiased and informed an individual as we are likely to get on this subject. Unbiased in being neither a cop nor a criminal, informed as in he actually works in a related field. Doesn’t mean he is right, but until, like a calculus teacher who proves they can’t do basic math, he proves he is incompetent, he is assumed to have more knowledge and understanding of the subject than Joe Blow; due to his job.

                      I guess what I’m saying, Paul, is since you brought his expertise into question, what is your own on the subject?

                    • Josh suffers from an excess of idealism, but so did I at his age.
                      And I think the expression thing has gotten much better.
                      That said, I think this is now officially blue on blue. drop, please?

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      I got up late so I replied to posts before I saw your request.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      None really. Just what I’ve read. From what I’ve read “situational awareness” can never be perfect and is extremely hard to do over the long term especially when the person has long periods of “nothing dangerous” around them.

                      The average policeman may go through most of his career without facing danger yet even he must face the possibility that he’d run into a criminal that intends to do him harm.

                      At the same time, when he’s dealing with the public, he is required to treat them as “non-hostiles” but he & us may not know which of the people he’s dealing with will become a hostile.

                      From what I’ve read, “situational awareness” works best when the person knows that he’s going into a dangerous situation and just doesn’t know which direction the danger is going to come from.

                      Even in that situation, there’s a danger of an innocent stumbling into the danger zone.

                      While not downplaying the situation that a military man faces, IMO the role of the police is more difficult.

                      The police have to interact with plenty of “non-hostile” citizens (non-hostile meaning that they aren’t planning to do harm to them) while also having to be alert for the rare citizen that is planning to do harm to them or attempt to harm them in a spur-of-the-moment decision.

                      I don’t know what kind of security Josh is familiar with, but there is a difference between the “situational awareness” required when a security guard is patrolling an empty warehouse (where it’s unlikely for an innocent to enter) and the “situational awareness” required when plenty of innocents are around.

                      From everything I’ve read, even the best situational awareness training doesn’t give the students a “magical” Spider Sense.

                      In the real world, a person with good situational awareness will miss a danger or worse will see and react to a danger that really isn’t there.

                      I won’t be a policeman for a million dollars, partially because I don’t believe I have what it takes to be a good one, but mainly because they face “second-guessing” from people who weren’t “there” and imagine that they know best “how the cop should acted”.

                    • What is Left of Bang About?

                  • P.S.

                    Paranoia is being fearful without reason.

                    If you don’t know what to look out for and some just tells you to be vigilant they are just going to make you paranoid trying to be on the look out for everything and nothing.

                    • P.S.

                      Police officers don’t lack for reasons to exercise situational awareness.

                      Your assumption that they lack training as to what to be on the look out for is without basis.

                    • RES

                      Having a reason is not the same as knowing what to look for.

                      You seemed to be implying that they do not need formal training but that they will just know what to do. Granted there are officers with great situational awareness but mostly it is generated by firsthand experience and only works in an ad hoc manor.

                      My opinion is based on knowing basically what skills knowledge are taught in Police Academies and certification programs, which is a reliance on teaching officers to follow policy and procedure vs understanding the why or principle behind the procedures that make them work.

                      There is an expectation that officers will just learn what they needed to learn on the job.

                    • “[S]eemed to be implying …” Bullbleep.

                      Sharpen your reading skills — that inference is entirely your own creation. My argument was that a police officer must always be situationally aware; you inserted the idea that they lacked training in such awareness.

                      As for “knowing basically what skills knowledge are taught in Police Academies and certification programs” you have provided no evidence of such awareness except in the negative. As even a cursory Google of the topic revealed considerable training in situational awareness (and there is no easy measurement of how much such training is incorporated informally, but it seems highly probable the amount is considerable) I doubt your authority on the matter.

                      Your straw man will not stand your beating. Given your multiple misrepresentations of arguments made here over the last months I doubt your interpretation of books and article you think you’ve read and consider you an unreliable source.

                    • RES,

                      “My argument was that a police officer must always be situationally aware; you inserted the idea that they lacked training in such awareness.”

                      I see the problem. I made the assertion that they lack training, and I should of said lacked effective training. But your point doesn’t counter my point. People should always be happy and eat healthy doesn’t mean they know how to do or be either. You didn’t define your term. What does situational awareness mean to you, or what do you feel it should mean to the officers. When you do not define your own terms do not bitch if there is a miscommunication, because they defined the terms as they see fit. I can not read peoples minds. I do not know what people intend in their writing. All I can do is read what they write and a valuate it,. If I see implications in what they wrote not explicitly stated, I get accused of misrepresenting their position.

                      I don’t care if you read those books, or not, I at least provide the sources, some of them anyways, for why I believe the things I do.

                      Every once in a while you’ll putout there a book you think people should read I look them up and put them in my reading list and a valuate it’s merits on my own.

                      Communication is a two way street. I fined it funny how me and you spend a lot of time trying to correct deficiencies we perceive in the others character.

                      This started of about the cops and moved onto us.

                    • Josh,
                      I’ve no interest in correcting your deficiencies. I merely hope to discourage your putting them on public display.

                    • Does anyone else feel this way?

                      Is it better to stay silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt?

                      To paraphrase Mark Twain.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Some of what you say isn’t foolish. You need (like all of us) to learn what is foolish and what isn’t foolish. [Wink]

                    • Paul,

                      Wouldn’t the first one that figures this out have the power to rule the world, do we want that to be me.

                      [Wink]

                    • Unless by “effective training” you mean miraculous training that would prevent all problems even if the trainees are merely human — you have to be precise. And clear about what you’re prepared to accept by way of errors.

                  • P.S.S.

                    As to training. A large part a patrol officers job is dealing with the public safely for them and the public. I would think this would be a high priority on the training schedule of any academy or certification program they go through.

                    Continuing education and training is nothing new and is already apart of an officers, firefighter, EMTs life. This not asking them to do something that they don’t already do in other areas.

                    • P.S.S.

                      Dealing with the public is already a large part of a police officer’s training. Your idea for additional training means either less time on other training tasks or more expensive training. Presumably those in the best situation to balance the competing demands do so. You have failed to provide any hint of understanding of what training for a modern police officer consists, merely cheerfully waved your hand to demand more.

                      I would think an Anarcho-Capitalist would understand the concept of trade-offs. Training time spent on the topics such as you recommend is training time not spent on topics that experienced officers deem significant. As you acknowledge, they already do CPE, presumably on the topics their superiors find useful. You are assuming they spend no training on situational awareness, a view for which you have offered no support.

                      I suggest you Google (something you have demonstrated an ability to do in other circumstances) “police officer training” before further opining on what it ought include. Or you could simply click on http://discoverpolicing.org/what_does_take/?fa=training_academy_life

                      It is easy to have an opinion, having an informed opinion takes a little more effort.

                    • RES,

                      Thanks for the link but that tells me nothing about the specifics of the curriculum of what is being taught.

                      What is taught under “Human Relations?” Is it effective? Does it address the realities that officers will face on the street?

                      You assume because I do not agree with you that it must be out of ignorance.

                      Cost of training or cost in life of officers and citizens choose? I’m not worried about cost but Quality.

                      Google: Ask, Tell, Make.

                      Google: Police Conflict Resolution training.

                      You believe the training they receive is adequate; I do not. I’ll try to remember that you have your reasons for believing what you do, if you will do the same for me.

                      [Side note: I think why we but heads so much is personality wise we are too much a like. 🙂 ]

                    • “[N]othing about the specifics”?

                      How could you not notice the article was a summary of data, with specifics varying not merely by state but by municipality? Of course it offers no gd specifics. It was a flipping overview!

                      “You believe the training they receive is adequate; I do not.”

                      Wrong — you do not know what I believe and have summarized it incorrectly.

                      “I think why we but heads so much is personality wise we are too much a like.”

                      If you think you know anything significant about my personality then you are a tremendous fool, prone to draw conclusions on superficial experience and utterly lacking in any reasonable estimation of your intuitive capabilities.

                • Probably because the cop can’t come right out and say “I was dealing with someone from a group that is known to commit a disproportionate share of violent crimes and conditioned by its’ leaders and entertainment to hate the police and act violently towards them.” That’s profiling (and common sense).

                  Incidentally, that phrase “I feared for my life” is EXACTLY the phrase every book or course on self-defense I’ve ever taken, as a civilian and citizen, has told me should be the first one out of my mouth.

                  • Snelson,

                    Yes! That phrase gets banded about quit a bit.

                    Remember Ability, Opportunity (Also known as Means)& Immediacy (Also Known as Jeopardy or intent).

                    Being afraid doesn’t mean you were actually in any danger or that your actions were justified. It just means you were afraid. At some point you are going to need to prove first to your lawyer, then to those (officers) investigating the shooting and ultimately , if it gets that far, a jury of your pears as to why the actions of your assailant lead you to believe that your life was endanger.

                    There are a several reasons why I would not make any statement at the scene.

                    1. anything you say is admissible. Believing something to be the case does not make it the case.

                    2. You will still be under the Adrenaline stressor cocktail and not thinking clearly.

                    3. Self-defense is an affective defense , and making that statement is possible admitting to a crime.

                    4. There is a reason we have the right to remain silent and to counsel.

                    All of this even applies to officer involved shootings though cops are often granted a greater degree of presumed innocents.

                    Saying I feared for my life is not a get out of jail free card.

                  • Correction:

                    3. Self-defense is an affirmative defense , and making that statement is possible admitting to a crime.

                    Silly autocorrect.

                    • No it isn’t any more than being found over the dead body would be. It’s the essential step to establishing your motive for self-defense which is what you just did.

                    • Snelson,

                      “Excited utterances and spontaneous exclamations are the exceptions to the hearsay rule in court. Ordinarily, “he told me” or “I heard him say” are not allowed as evidence because they cannot be substantiated and there is no direct experience with the crime. That is unless it’s a cop—basically—saying, “The suspect engaged in an excited utterance or spontaneous admission of guilt when he said ______(fill in the blank).” If you say anything (especially when you are adrenalized) the officer interprets as evidence it was not self-defense, it’s going to be deemed a confession of guilt. Utterances and exclamations are what they call it to make it sound official. This is one of the many reasons with higher level of force incidents you need your attorney present while making a statement. He can body slam any questions an investigator asks that are designed to create an excited utterance or spontaneous admission. And yes, any interrogation technique can be abused this way.”

                      – Marc MacYoung, In the Name of Self-Defense, Ch 13. If Your SD Works…Part Three: The Cops

                      If the officer at the scene believe there is evidence that you acted outside of self-defense you are going to be arrested; wether or not you make a statement. “I feared for my life.” as a statement can be used as an admission that you did the dead and motivation for doing so, I did “what ever” because, I feared for my life. The first part is implied by the second.

                      Affirmative Defense is say I did it, but I was justified in doing so. I would only make a statement after talking it over with my attorney. Be polite point out witness, inform the officers you will make a statement with attorney present and will cooperate fully with the investigation and request medical treatment if needed.

          • Moderation and I only had one link.

            Erghhhh.

          • This Halloween was the five year anniversary of a cop who was murdered in his car, as best as we can tell because he treated the guy who walked up like someone asking for directions instead of as a possible threat.

            A few weeks after that was the 5 year anniversary of the Lakewood Cop shooting, where four police were executed while they were having coffee in the morning before going on duty.
            The coffee shop was part of a chain at the time, but “declined to renew” their contract with the company when conditions such as the shop not being involved in the (large) memorial nearby, and that they change the policy of what the shopgirls do in case of an active shooter. Which, my source carefully did NOT even allude to, probably includes a safe place to keep your personal weapon if you have a license for it; the ladies who were working survived because when the murderer came in and started on the cops, they followed the instructions and bolted out the back. If one of the girls had a gun, she still wouldn’t have been able to save those cops– the killer had a plan and had clear targets. The guys in uniform.

            • Actually, Fox, if the policy was simply “if you can carry concealed, you are allowed to here”, a shopgirl might have saved at least one.

              1. drop behind the counter.
              2. draw weapon.
              3. Come up firing.

              She wouldn’t have saved all 4 unless she was Mai from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D or Honor Harrington. She might have been able to get the goblin before he got to the last one or two.

              • 1) the police that had their weapons on them didn’t manage to draw in time to respond– the one that shot the murderer crawled out of the building to do so;
                2) that counter would be concealment, not cover, and that tactic probably would’ve gotten at least one if not both of the girls killed
                3) they didn’t know if he had any backup
                4) it’s very possible that the only reason the officer that shot him survived that long is because the girls running away meant he didn’t stand there shooting until everything in the building stopped moving.

                It is very unlikely that they’d CC on their person because of tight quarters– any carry where that would work for the area they have would be slower than an open carry holster. (other than a guy with a baggy shirt, lots of practice and a perfectly placed holster, aren’t they all?)

                That means that the most likely “concealed carry” spot would be an actual location in the shop, such as (in my dream world) the back side of the now-it’s-cover addition to the counter, near the till and away from the massive steam bomb of the huge coffee machine.

                Even then, by the time you find out that someone is attacking, they’ve fired, and by the time you’ve got your weapon, they’re turning to you.

                I game this stuff out a lot because I do carry; I figured out that the best tactics for non-professionals who are responsible for others is to get to concealment, then to cover, then be ready to surprise them when they come after you and/or you can choose your way to re-approach so they don’t get to choose the exact moment they interact with you.

    • I think the same people who call for the abolishment of the police and the rule of law want that to happen so they can actively lynch people now, so there would be nothing ‘inconvenient’ like laws to protect them.

      Racist, how dare you appropriate the word “lynch” to support the gentle-giant-killing cops!

      *gags*

      Yes, really. I’ve seen folks claim that only blacks were every lynched. Not always when someone points out that they’re part of a lynch mob….

      Just disgusts me when folks can’t be bothered to find the facts. Especially if they then pass those false facts on. really pissed with the Ricochet guys for passing on false information, and talking their heads off when they couldn’t be bothered to find out anything. It’s not like it’s obscure– that Shapiro guy (the one who looks something like 12, and got a lot of attention for standing up to one of the really famous guys trying to bull him over) managed to scrape together a ton of information on the Breitbart site.

    • Y’know, I still wonder what the !@#@ a 15-year-old girl was doing at the Playboy mansion. Whoever was responsible for her “adult supervision” should be fried.

      Amazing what gets past the “smell” test these days. Almost as if reporters no longer have a nose for news.

      • A lot of the stories re: Cosby make no sense. One of the allegations claim that ‘the whole entourage was in on it.’ That’s seriously flimsy. Another one claims that she was at a private houseparty with ‘another actress’… where’s this other actress?

        The one who claims to have been 15 years old at the time of her alleged rape makes even LESS sense when you consider the ‘when’ of the allegations. Playboy was working SERIOUSLY HARD not to get shut down by the Moral Guardians of the time. A minor being raped by a black man at the Mansion would have been the GODSEND the moral guardians would have LOVED TO HAVE to shut Playboy DOWN. HARD.

        So let’s pretend for a moment she really WAS there – let’s say, she lied about her age and faked her ID to get in. In the hopes of fame and fortune and sugar daddies.

        This was the HEIGHT of the Playboy Era. You couldn’t have KNOWN about Playboy and the Mansion without knowing that going there = lots and lots of sex happening with… everyone. Since the expectation would have been at least ‘age of 18 and up’, this supposed 15 year old should have known what was going on in the Mansion – ergo, lots of people having lots of consensual, hedonistic, sex. You could not have MODELLED for the magazine? you wouldn’t have gotten in.

        Seriously, whenever I read the stories, especially with the UVA and Cosby claims of rape, they all hit the bias triggers really hard, have rather huge gaps in the plausibility factors (holes the size of the Enterprise-D) and it’s rather… convenient that they’re all coming out and talking to the media after the fact and more than happy to talk to nearly everyone except the law. It’s all about ‘some form of justice’ that… the courts aren’t involved in. The UVA story is especially horrible because the details are so violent that people are EXPECTED to recoil in revulsion… but at no point does anyone wonder ‘if she was raped for 3 hours on top of a broken glass table, why didn’t she go to the hospital to have the glass REMOVED? She instead wanted to go back to the dorm and sleep. And … she has no horrific scars on her back? No physical evidence of the bleeding she should have had?’

        *shakes head*

        • Bill Cosby is being punished for straying off the progressive plantation because he has been telling blacks to look in the mirror for the cause of their problems.

          • Amazing how it’s always “black dudes are sex fiends” as an accusation, isn’t it?

            I’ve never heard that supposedly “typical” slander except when it’s in a story and attributed to my side, or is actually being employed against a conservative black man.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          The one that got to me was the one about being too stoned to bite.

          The stupidity in that seems appalling, as does the apparent willingness to not call her on it.

  2. As someone who lives in a country with no real police department* (Papua New Guinea), I’ve got to say that not having real police sucks.
    -You have to put bars on all your windows and doors, a fence around the house… with razor wire on top.
    -You also need to have a security guard at night- two is better.
    -Leaving a house unattended is not a good idea, even with bars and guards.
    -Roadblocks. Ugh. Usually just a bunch of kids that want 5 kina to let you past the fallen tree they’re ‘removing’ from the road- kind of a personal road work fee. Of course they don’t make change, and will stone your car if your try to drive past them.
    -Parking. Best to leave someone with the car to keep an eye on it if you’re out and about.
    -Clan fights. Clans tend to police their own, to a point. However, anyone that’s not a part of the clan is fair game. Which the neighboring clan won’t appreciate, so you get some nasty clan fights over there.

    I can go on. But as a whole, during my times in the US, I come to appreciate the fact that Americans actually have decent policing for the most part.

    *they have one, they tend to show up a few days after you call them

    • Thank you, Joe, for your insight. It confirms what I have seen when I’ve visited other countries. Our system may be flawed — and it is in many ways — but it is still one of the best in the world. We tend to forget that and, in doing so, romanticize what it would be like with a different system, one that wouldn’t work the way we think in our modern world.

    • Let me add another data point. An elderly Texan I know grew up in a small ranching town just north of the Mexican border. There was no police force, and far too few deputies to police the large expanse of the county.

      He reports that there was almost NO crime. Buildings that would sit idle and unguarded most of the year would not even get a window broken. A friend who had visited back East had to explain what graffiti was. How? First these were not New Guineans (Guineovites?), but Americans. Second, the War Widows (WW1) kept a party line going on the telephone circuit and there was NO mischief he says he ever got into that his parents didn’t know before he was home. The Widows could’ve, he insists, taught the OSS a thing or two about intel gathering. Lastly, was the local Church Deacons. What the Widows saw, the Deacons took care of. Someone beating their wife… the Deacons would show up and vigorously explain to him why that wasn’t done (though not generally vigorously enough to keep the man from being able to work). Someone drinking all their cattle profits and not paying their debts… the Deacons would show up and ‘explain’ things to them. The Church Deacons where he grew up, he explained, didn’t bother to wear hoods… everyone knew everyone else anyways. Rustle someone’s cattle… no local was dumb enough to see what would be done then. It’s Texas. “Rooms have corners so you have someplace to lean the rifles”, he explained. He recalled the Rangers having to come in once though, to deal with a particular bandit gang that was sneaking over the border. The Rangers left the bodies out to rot as a warning to their comrades. It was safe enough he would ride alone down to the Rio Grande as a pre-teen to shoot turtles.

      So ‘normal’ criminal activity was kept almost non-existent and social order enforced with almost no law enforcement. But here’s the thing. They didn’t just police criminal behavior. A divorcee moved into town, but had to sell out and leave because no other woman in town would transact business with her. Honest police wouldn’t have been needed to protect the locals from criminals… but they would have protected the law abiding social outliers from the extra-legal legal system the town had developed. (I’d say Odds, except that my Texan friend was clearly an Odd with a physics degree and all manner of eccentric interests and hobbies… but they were the acceptable sort of Oddities that generally don’t bother anyone else and keeps a young man out of the bars… as opposed to if he had been a Beatnik or something that frightened the horses.)

      • ” Honest police wouldn’t have been needed to protect the locals from criminals… but they would have protected the law abiding social outliers from the extra-legal legal system the town had developed”

        How?

        Boycotts are not against the law.

        • That was a bad example on my part, as all the others had been bad behavior by the man of the house (who the Deacons were free to rough up). Whereas the women apparently had a separate enforcement mechanism. Perhaps a better example might be a young man who got a local girl in trouble and was unwilling to do the honorable thing. Or perhaps a Mexican ranch hand calling on one of the local white girls*.

          *While the previous examples were actually given by my friend these two are hypothetical but seem plausible. The last one, while very ‘storybook’, may actually not have been enforced as rigorously as SJW narrative would insist. My friend was Caucasian but his family had cousins who’s side of the family owned their own ranch on the Mexican side of the border; I’m sure they procreated somehow. Also sometimes ‘upper class’ Mexicans would come take work on the American side. He said their Ranch at one point employed a Mexican doctor fresh out of medical school who stayed in America just long enough to earn enough hard money to pay for setting i[ his private practice back on the Mexican side. I wouldn’t be too surprised to find that the interest of a well-spoken young doctor would be treated differently than from some no prospect Mestizo hand.

      • You basically have two factors at play- those inside the clan, and those outside. Anything outside the clan, it’s fair game. You get the tragedy of the commons writ large- it’s not your town, road, business, or property, so who cares. Even a criminal who is a member of a clan will be sheltered and protected so long as he doesn’t “crap the nest”, so to speak.

        Ponder then, what happens when a raskol from clan B robs & injures a man from clan C. One would think that leaders from both groups would get together and work things out. But no. Most often what happens is that men from clan C will try to get revenge on someone from clan B… and if they can get the raskol in question, anyone from B will do. Of course clan B won’t stand for that, and it’s payback time… and so it goes.

        • No if a shitbird from you clan does something outside the clan, to embarrass the clan, the corrective action is often more severe.

          It’s one thing to embarrass yourself, it’s quit something else to embarrass the larger group you belong to.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            Yes and No.

            In the true tribal mentality, what you did outside the tribal territory didn’t matter unless your actions angered another tribe and said tribe was powerful enough to be a serious danger to your tribe.

            It wasn’t a matter of “embarrassing” your tribe.

            It was a matter of pissing off another tribe enough that the safety of your tribe was threatened.

            In the tribal/clan societies, there were two sets of Law.

            One set were the laws that related to how you acted within your tribe and to member of your tribe.

            The other set were the agreements between the various tribes that dealt with how a tribe handled a member of another tribe and how the outsider was expect to behave within the territory of the tribe.

            Minor note, the term “outlaw” originally meant a person who was outside of the protections of the Laws.

            If Harry Howard was outlawed from the Howard tribe, he was no longer protected by Howard tribal law and was no longer protected by the agreements made between the Howard tribe and the surrounding tribes.

            • Damn it Paul! I hate when someone makes my point better than me.

              😉

              • This is also the land of a kazillion languages. The next tribe over doesn’t even speak the same language. One of the reasons anthropologists love to study PNG.

            • The really fun part is the cities and towns. Since they are not part of any tribe’s territory, pretty much anything goes. Lae, for example, is the scene of a lot of payback killings for the Highlands tribes. It’s a lot easier to get to individuals there than in their own territory.
              One is far safer in a remote tribal village than in pretty much any city.

      • +1

      • That was like the small West Texas town I grew up in.

  3. With one notable exception, my interactions with police have all been professional and pleasant, even when I was a long haired freak. The exception was a single individual in a medium sized town who was loathed by the rest of his force and only remained on the job because of the union.

    We don’t want to get rid of the police. What we want to get rid of is the conditions that push the police in the direction of thuggery. To that end I propose we take a serious look at the following;

    1) The Drug War; this is the impetus for a lot of Eliot Ness roleplaying by otherwise sensible cops. It has eroded the Fourth Amendment to the point where police can do a dynamic entry raid on a residence based on the word of a known criminal, without announcing themselves prior to entry (I’m sorry, but shouting “police” as the ram hits the door does not count). If it were drying up the sources of illegal drugs there might be an argument for it. It isn’t.

    2) The “Broken Window” theory of policing; It may well be worth arresting vandals, but this theory has led to police enfacement of a plethora of petty regulations that have precious little to do with harm to persons or property. Too many jurisdictions are trying to fund themselves on fines, because there isn’t a tax base big enough for their big government dreams. Frankly, “Broken Window” has become an excuse.

    3) Partial, Qualified, or other Immunities. If the police mistakenly break into your home at 2 AM, and shoot you because you reacted violently to having armed strangers kicking in your door, they should have to face serious chargers, not an internal investigation. Qualified immunity should not excuse them from the requirement that if the want to play Gangbusters they bloody well better get it right.

    4) Political Demagoguery; Politicians are fond of jumping on alarmist bandwagons. They spout of about how The Superbowl ™ isa hub for Human Trafficking (no evidence for this actually exists) or claim that their little community is a major center for the manufacture of Meth, or whatever the panic-drug du jour may be. This inevitably leads to showy raids and shattered lives, and out has to stop. The Politicians who rode the Daycare Child Abuse Witch Hunt to fame and fortune are, for the most part, still riding high. By rights they should be dangling from so many gibbets. A lot of what is wrong with the police is wrong because nobody will hold their bosses accountable.

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly and each one of your examples stem from the government demanding certain actions from the police force to either game the stats system or to get money from the feds. There needs to be reform in those areas and it needs to come sooner rather than later.

    • 3) Partial, Qualified, or other Immunities. If the police mistakenly break into your home at 2 AM, and shoot you because you reacted violently to having armed strangers kicking in your door, they should have to face serious chargers, not an internal investigation.

      I’m going to have to disagree with the implementation of number 3 here (while I agree the intent is noble). What’s needed is to take a look at policies and procedures that cause mistakes to be made and change the policies and procedures to make mistakes less likely. Right now, this doesn’t appear to be happening, partly because police go into ‘circle the wagons’ mode because of the fear of civil liability, nebulous ‘Civil Rights’ charges, or trial by popular opinion (see Officer Wilson). I fear that making police criminally liable for mistakes means that instead of fixing broken systems, some will instead go further into cover-up mode when a mistake gets made.

      If I’m right, fixing the problem is going to require decreasing the civil liability for mistakes by the police for ‘first offenses’ and increasing it for repeat problems; i.e., you raid the wrong house because you got the number wrong, it’s a simple mistake as long as you then seriously review your policy and make changes to address the problem. If you then raid another house because you got the number wrong, then it’s a serious issue. In other words, the problem isn’t that mistakes are made, it’s that once a mistake is made, nothing is done to correct the underlying issue. (We could also get into the idea of ‘best practices’ here, where if the problem is identified and fixed in enough places you lose your ‘first offense’ immunity).

      • The actual problem is the police raid mentality. They shouldn’t be doing no-knock raids. They should be surrounding the house, shutting off the power and the water, and then waiting for the schmucks inside to come out. If it takes a couple of days, then it does. If the perps never come out, too bad. Let ’em starve/freeze/die of thirst.

        One has to ask in the Podunk Nebraska police department really needs a full up SWAT squad with Level 4 armor, full-auto rifles and an MRAP mine resistant vehicle. Because they -have- that stuff, and its pretty cool so eventually they will find or make a reason to use it. Its human nature. You have a tank, you want to drive it around.

        This commando shit is one of the biggest issues cops have against them today. The SWAT team comes out on every call in many cities. That’s beyond dangerous into the completely crazy zone. The -only- proper use of SWAT is an active-shooter robbery or hostage situation. Anything else they can just sit outside.

        I’m in favor of the judge and the police chief being hauled up on charges whenever a no-knock warrant service goes wrong. Cops follow orders, maybe we should be looking at the fat asses who issue those orders and stay safe back at the court house.

      • The reason to remove Qualified Immunity is the same reason removing teacher tenure is a necessary reform: as long as anyone is shielded from the consequences of bad behavior, the behavior will continue.

        • Except that as soon as you remove it, the criminal element will sue the cops into bankruptcy court. We are, after all, discussing people capable of everything from fraud to murder.

          • Loser pays court costs is a great way to get around that. Loser’s -lawyer- pays court costs and then has to recover from his client is an even better way.

            • So you can’t act as your own lawyer unless you post bond that you can make the defendant whole?

              My trust in the legal profession is not that high. Leaving aside corruption, it would encourage lawyers to ignore cases they can’t win swiftly.

          • Then the first part of the trial is to determine if qualified immunity applies. For bad behavior supported by evidence, it doesn’t.

            • Snelson,

              The Grand Jury all ready does this.

              My problem is they shouldn’t have qualified immunity in the first place. There shouldn’t be different rules for those that govern and those being governed.

              • No government can possibly operate if its agents are sued into bankruptcy for acting.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  For Josh, that may be a feature not a bug. [Wink]

                • Mary,

                  One I don’t see a problem with this. I’m anti-state.

                  But even if true and your worried about nuisance suits them make people liable for all costs if a majority of the case is found to baseless frivolous. You can add this in as part of the judgment phase.

                  • There’s a gap between “baseless, frivolous” and merely not winning. Quite large enough to bankrupt when the crooks are suing.

                    • Mary,

                      Google average legal cost for a Self-Defense claim. Now ask me why I’m not crying a river for the pore cops.

                      I have insurance that will cover this cost, the cops and government can do the same.

                    • Josh, you’ve made a basic error of category. You imagine that the likelihood of your having to mount a claim of Self-Defense is comparable to a police officers. That is on a par with presuming your seat in the left field bleachers poses you the same risk of being hit by a batted ball as the third baseman faces.

                    • RES,

                      You might actually want to look up the statistical likely hood of an officer having to use deadly force and the likely hood of getting mugged in some neighborhoods.

                      Officers barely break into the top ten most dangerous Jobs. And that do to officers killed on the job in car accidents.

                      But let’s say you are correct and they are more likely to have more incidences of use of force then the average citizen, then they pay higher premiums. Lots of professions and business require liability insurance as a cost of doing business. Or another option is that each officer as a condition of employment agrees to donate a percentage of their pay each month to an officers legal defense fund.

                      There are other options that protects the officer financially and still allow us to hold them accountable for wrong doing.

                    • Josh, you’re talking about crooks. “the statistical likely hood of an officer having to use deadly force” is entirely moot because crooks will be willing to lie and forge evidence to sue.

                    • Mary,

                      Yes they are crooks they prey mostly on the week and helpless; which the cops and government are not. You f’with the police they going to f’with back. Little old ladies though get preyed upon, should they get immunity from prosecution ?

                    • Nonsense. Criminals have no reluctance at all to use even violence against cops; they are not going to be frightened at the prospect of — horrors! — suing one.

              • Guess I can see doing a little of both. 1st offense/honest mistake – dept is responsible and has to make the homeowner whole. Pattern of offenses – it becomes a particularized responsibility of the officer(s) involved. If there’s a pattern with rotating personnel (as a way to ‘get’ a disfavored person or business without overly exposing a particular LEO) – the responsibility gets shared upward to those who assigned the LEOs, because this is starting to look like corruption.

          • Mary,

            So! I as a private citizen should be held accountable for my actions, but the cops should get a pass. Why, because they mean well ?

            Cops and Police should go through the same process.

            I as a citizen know that I’m in for a world of legal hell after any use of force. Knowing this I will do everything in my power to first avoid having to use lethal force, and that if I do that it will meat the legal and my moral standards for a justified use of force incident.

            Oh well that is my2cents.

        • +10000

      • I think you’re wrong. I think tat the way to solve this is to make mistakes involving violence costly enough that the cops will work HARD to avoid them. Even if it means knocking on a suspect’s door and presenting the warrant like civilized people instead of busting in like Eliot Ness on Crack.

        • And if they really are worried that someone will shoot at them through the door, bring up a freakin’ shield and stand behind it. Might look silly when an old lady opens the door in her slippers, but if they’re right, then no one gets hurt immediately, and they know they are almost certainly at the right door.

    • Let me know when you have found a cure for political demagoguery. I understand it to be one of the most persistent STDs known.

      • The only cure I’ve ever found has its’ dosages measured in calibers. Works on the same principle as giving arsenic for worms. The dose has to be carefully calculated to get rid of the worms without killing the host.

  4. It does seem that the police have a us vs them attitude that wasn’t there when I was a kid. I think there are at least two reasons.
    One is the war on drugs. This has been widely discussed so I won’t repeat the arguments.
    Second is all the new laws for “your protection” Seat belts, helmets, teenage smoking and on and on that the police have to enforce. This pisses people off and the police probably don’t like enforcing them,
    Then there are the laws that just look good, but really make things worse. For example, in Texas it was legal to drink and drive up until a few years ago. Drink and drive, not be drunk and drive. People would get off work, buy a cold six pack and drink a beer or two on the way home. Now that is illegal so they stop at a bar and have four or five and then drive home. We are worse off but it “looks better” not having those rednecks drinking and driving.

    • Yep and again, it isn’t the police but the government idiots who have caused the problem in the situations you noted. I understand the don’t drink and drive law. Back in the days when I worked with law enforcement, I saw too many accidents caused not only by drivers drinking and driving but also by drivers who couldn’t stop their cars after their can of beer got wedged under their brake pedal.

      As for the seatbelt law, again it is one that has some good to it. But, instead of setting up traps to see if someone is speeding or not wearing a seatbelt, I’d rather our traffic cops be out there stopping those who are speeding to the point of being a danger, not just speeding because they have to in order to keep up with traffic. Or how about patrolling those stretches of highway where it is known that motorcyclists congregate and then shut down all other traffic so they can do their stunts? We should have the system set up so our police forces aren’t so reliant on federal grants based on the number of seat belt violation tickets they write or how many speeders they stop.

      • Adding to, not disagreeing with you: Seatbelt and other personal safety concerns should be taken care of on the part of the insurance companies. If you don’t wear your seatbelt, and you get in an accident, your medical is not covered, unless you pay a premium for that.

        • On one level I agree with you. But then on another level — the mother who has seen one too many person with a baby in their arms as they drive, I doubt that would have much impact. Now, do I like either law on a personal level — heck no. But then I accept the responsibility for my actions. Too many other folks don’t.

          • I’ve thought about this a lot, and while I didn’t mention it in the previous comment, I think children below a certain age should fall under a different set of rules. Protecting children from truly being endangered by their parents (not the stupid CPS calls mentioned above) is not a violation of the parents’ liberty, since it involves another person for whom they are responsible. In other words, I’m all for laws regarding child safety seats, etc.

            • Professor Badness

              This of course ignores the fact that seat belts and child car seats are built to kill the occupants over a certain speed.
              I know I sound like a conspiracy theorist, but hear me out. My Father is an automotive engineer, specializing in diesel. He’s been in the industry since the sixties, and he’s d*mned good at what he does.
              The reason he’s so good is because he learns the laws/regulations and memorizes them. When he started asking around about the effectiveness of seatbelt and other “safety devices”, he found the mortality numbers to be unacceptable.
              The bottom line is that a company will pay out less to a family that has lost a loved one than they will pay to someone who is crippled for life. It saves them money to kill people in an accident.
              So if you crash over a certain speed, the car is designed to fail in such a way as too kill you, rather than just leave you badly injured. This does not hold true at slower speeds, of course. Car seats and seat belts do save lives at lower speeds.
              Enforcement of seatbelt/car seat law is just another piece of “Looks good to the taxpayer”.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                IIRC when the regulations were created, the auto engineers knew that the airbags were dangerous.

                However, the regulators refused to believe the “evil corporations” and didn’t even look at the tests that the auto engineers had run.

                The auto companies knew that the News Media would accept the lies of the regulators and were told by their lawyers that they couldn’t be sued for “wrongful deaths” because they were obeying government regulations.

                So they didn’t fight the regulators.

                Oh, when the “auto airbag scandal” began, the news media discovered this fact.

                Which IMO the “auto airbag scandal” was allowed to die.

                Instead of being this great story about “evil auto companies”, it was the government’s fault and it was a governmental idea that the News Media supported.

                So the scandal had to die.

              • “So if you crash over a certain speed, the car is designed to fail in such a way as too kill you, rather than just leave you badly injured.”

                That is the single most amazing crock of shit I’ve seen on the internet in days. No, they don’t design cars to kill you. Physics does that.

                Sounds like another one of those “corporations are eeeevile” conspiracy theories so beloved of the Lefties. The stupid burns.

                • “No, they don’t design cars to kill you. Physics does that.”

                  ^^^Yes.

                  I will note that my driver’s ed teacher made a very good point that was likely ignored by many of my classmates, and that is the fact* that a 90+mph COMBINED velocity is usually a killing one. That means a 90 mph single-car crash… but also a head-on collision where both participants are only going 45 mph. It’s why forward crumple zones are so big.

                  *That number may have gone up in two decades of design. You still probably don’t want to test it.

                  • Erm, he’s mistaken about that. What matters is the total velocity change of your own vehicle (barring any kind of obstacle pinning the vehicle in place). If you hit a concrete abutment at 45 and if you hit another identical car going in the opposite direction while both are travelling at 45, it’s’ the same thing. This is a common misconception, and it’s not going to go away any time in the near future, but it’s true.

                    What changes this calculation is when the other vehicle is bigger, and can change the location of where the impact is, or can pin the smaller vehicle down while crushing it. THEN the damage will be greater for the smaller vehicle.

                    • Oh, and one major factor in accidents is the location of the impact. A head-on collision in direct frontal impact is a far less deadly one than the more common driver-corner impact that robs you of much of the benefit of the crumple zones that are designed to spread out the area and time of the impact to make it less violent on the body.

                    • I know this is to the choir, but … F = MV

                      The value of F is what gives you grief. V = Velocity is the net change in speed, in this case the deceleration. M, of course, is James Bond’s boss.

                      We could factor in time, calculating force/seconds but that’s just killing the point.

          • And if they don’t, let karma catch up with them. We expend far too much time,effort, treasure, and freedom protecting dolts from themselves.

        • Really the seat belt type law should just be left off the books allowing Darwin free reign.

          • I read a blow-by-blow description of what happens to you in a crash without a seatbelt written by an EMT from Maryland, which was one of the few states that didn’t have a seatbelt law on the books. I’ve always been a seatbelt wearer, but somewhere around “The windshield removes your face” I started seriously questioning ever driving -around- anyone who wouldn’t wear a seatbelt. nope nope nope

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              My sister always buckled in her children but often didn’t buckle herself in. Until her young children started saying “Mommy, you didn’t buckle up”. [Very Very Big Grin]

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Cops are not produced by spontaneous generation.

      It has often been suggested that the stereotypical policeman’s philosophy is heavily shaped by those they frequently interact with.

      It seems credible that changes in this may be solely responsible for such changes as you observe.

      Drugs and welfare could well have shaped the heirs of the hippies into their current form.

      I submit that continually having people attempting to convince you with ‘innocent’ explanations that only the brain damaged could find credible does not breed humility and identification with the rest of humanity.

      • There are some simple principles one can follow to avoid undue difficulty with routine civilian/police interaction. Chris Rock* explains:

        Had Michael Brown seen that video he might well be still alive. As a civilian you do not — repeat, NOT — need to get into a dick-wagging contest with the police, complying with their reasonable requests does not make your willie shrink nor your testes draw back into your groin. Be polite and cooperative and your police interactions can be relatively free of inconvenience.

        *I can’t believe this thread has been going on all day without anybody putting up this link.

  5. Another issue is the “blue code of silence” that makes even many good police complicit in the crimes and mistakes of the bad and incompetent ones. If police fail to hold themselves accountable it makes it harder for the public to trust them. I want to trust the police but have found I no longer give them the benefit of the doubt.

    • Bingo. When the author says:

      However, this trend of condemning all cops because of the actions of a few is more than a little troublesome.

      She runs hard against the fact that with a few exceptions, like some small rural police units, all cops are bad cops because they cover for the ones in their unit that perform bad actions.

      • Bull shit. All cops? Nope, not going to happen. In fact, you are more likely to find the cops in a small unit more likely to cover, at least publicly, for their fellow officers than you will in a larger force. Like it or not, there are good cops and bad cops and more good than bad. Sure, there are some cover-ups but not nearly as many as you seem to think. Frankly, it is just too hard in this day of cellphones and tablets where everyone has a video camera at the ready for a cop to get away with much.

        Now, before someone comes in and says that the reason brutality complaints have dropped in cities where cops are now wearing body cameras is because the cops no longer beat suspects, step back and take a deep breath. That is part of it. A cop who might have been inclined to step over the line isn’t going to be as likely to do so with a camera running that will capture his every move and comment. But those same body cameras also put the lie to the false complaints that are filed. Funny how all those who are so quick to condemn the cops never seem to talk about the false complaints that are constantly being filed against them.

        • In fact, someone did a study and found that police self-reports of force declined, and so did the complaints of force — which declined much farther. One suspects that the effect was far large on the suspects than the police.

          • It is surprisingly more difficult to promote an excessive use of force complaint when there is video footage. It is also possible that the awareness that any provocation by the arrestee will be documented might tend to discourage such provocation.

        • When I see more prosecutions like this, except by state/local authorities, I’ll entertain the thought that you might be correct. That particular bottom line in what we’re debating is pretty clear to me.

          • Then do a little more research than Wikipedia. And what do you mean “except by state/local authorities”? Don’t the investigations and convictions they attain in cases such as these count? And yes, the bottom line is clear — you believe that we have approximately 900,000 crooked cops walking the streets and not the evidence that it is nothing of the sort. I am not saying there are no corrupt cops. Far from it. But I also admit there are a heck of a lot more good cops out there than you care to admit.

            I live in an area where bad cops used to be the rule. Over the last 30 years, and especially the last 10 things have turned around to a great deal. Sure, there are still some who strut around and throw their official weight around and they need to be taken off the streets. But cops are policing their own more now than ever before. Prosecutors are taking them to the grand jury and to trial. What we need to is get the government entities to let cops do what they are supposed to do — serve and protect — and quit making them into a means to gain more revenue.

            • “What we need to is get the government entities to let cops do what they are supposed to do — serve and protect — and quit making them into a means to gain more revenue.”

              The problem with that (at least in my opinion after Kelo v Cit of New London) is that governments actually think anything they do that will raise more revenue is Right and Good. THAT attitude needs to be changed as well as the feds not telling locals how to do their jobs whether police teachers or whatever and lauding federal tax dollars over their heads to enforce it. They’re bribing us with our own money!

              • I totally agree with you. It is a mindset that has to be changed and I have a feeling the only way it will be is to vote most, if not all, the incumbents out of office.

            • you believe that we have approximately 900,000 crooked cops walking the streets

              Fortunately I don’t believe that; I believe that what makes a “bad” cop is being crooked, abusive or the like or covering for such cops. Which to my observation is nearly universal; my reference to Wikipedia for one incident is simply because it succinctly and correctly packages up the essentials of the case. I didn’t learn about it on Wikipedia, but from bloggers and the like who track police abuse and consequences of such. If your claim:

              cops are policing their own more now than ever before. Prosecutors are taking them to the grand jury and to trial.

              Is correct then you should be able to provides some links to that effect, especially for cases that are very bad but don’t shock the conscience quite like the murder of Kathryn Johnston, or the horrible mistake that BART cop made and the like. Like “bread and butter” police brutality and homicide. I believe I’ve already done my homework in this area, but I’m willing to be convinced otherwise.

              As for your observation that in your area the cops have become better, no doubt my opinion is shaded by the fact that a non-insignificant fraction of my area’s cops have become significantly more abusive in the last 40 years, particularly in an Arrest-Proof Yourself manner.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        When it came out that Brown was high when he died, crickets.

        Under your argument, every single “pot doesn’t cause violence” so-and-so is just as responsible when some woman on meth shakes her baby to death. More or less making all druggies collectively responsible for as many capital offenses as desired.

    • Agreed but, fortunately, that code of silence is starting to crack and that crack has been widening for years. As more cities institute independent review boards and as more district attorneys or special prosecutors hold cops responsible for their actions — when those actions are in violation of the law — then we will see even less closing of the ranks. But that will happen only if those review boards don’t become witch hunt panels, much like we are seeing in the media right now.

      • Agree with you here: INDEPENDENT review boards & prosecutors. You can’t assure quality in any activity if the review is too closely connected to the causes of defects. I tend also to believe in public transparency for those boards — not in a 24-hour-news-cycle sense, but with a little more lag time so the competency and independence of their operations can be assessed by judges and the public from time to time as appropriate.

  6. One element of restoring faith, given the no-bill of the Garner and Brown police killings, would be the appointment of an independent prosecutor without ties to the police or prosecutor’s office. Self-dealing gives the strong aroma of corruption.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      My cynical side says that the “special prosecutor” would, in order to keep his job funded, start witchhunts. The police would so busy defending themselves against the witchhunter/special prosecutor they would be unable to serve and protect.

      • Pfagh. In cities like NY and San Francisco? The Police Abuses Prosecutor job would be a stepping stone to mayoralty. Look at Bill de Blasio’s resume: New York City Public Advocate.

    • How many of the actual grand jurors in either case were cops?

    • Phil, if you’re going to do that — and I agree a special prosecutor would have helped — you have to add that they have no ties to the other side as well.

    • The governor of Florida appointed a special prosecutor in the Zimmerman case. The result was a prosecutor who repeatedly perjured and suborned perjury, who went for a splashy 2nd degree murder (requiring a showing of malice and forethought, that it was planned and out of hatred), and ignored and fired people who raised valid concerns in her own office.

      And there was very little evidence Zimmerman was beloved by the local PD — he had campaigned to have the chief’s son face assault and battery charges for beating a homeless man.

      Honestly, I hear calls for a “special prosecutor” as demands to grand jury shop until the “right result” is reached.

      • newjerseybadger

        Well, crap. I didn’t hear about that. If we can’t use a regular prosecutor, and we can’t use a special prosecutor, is anything left?

        • As I watch some of these cases unfold I am tempted to the thought that the cases that generate the loudest outrage are the ones that don’t undermine the busybody State. Zimmerman was a private individual and could be made to be am indictment of armed citizens. Wilson shot a young thug under circumstances that seem to avoid the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard.

          Meanwhile there is the case of cops throwing a flash bang into an infant’s crib; “All proper procedures were followed” and absolute silence from Al “rabble rouser” Sharpton. There are rafts of “Dynamic Entry” cases (cops playing Gangbusters) where property was damaged, people were hurt or terrorized, and no charges have been levied.

          Why make a fuss about Travon Martin and Michael Brown? Because there is virtually no chance that anyone will do anything as a consequence of either case that will actually affect the Establishment power structure; that same structure that both promises the Black community that it has their best interests at heart, and simultaneously does everything in its power to assure that they will never rise. Why they might start voting for somebody else! Horrors!

          As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the Poverty Pimps and their lily-white Intellectual Masters infuriate me jet as much as the Plantation owners would have.

          F*ing slavers.

          • Given the behavior of the President and the Fed. Justice Dept. in Ferguson (and with Zimmerman, and with the NYPD choking thing, and with the punk who got shot with the toy gun) I think there’s a case to be made that they’re deliberately trying to start something up. None of these cases would have even raised an eyebrow if a White kid had got shot, and the feds wouldn’t have been involved.

            Problem is, white kids never seem to pull this kind of sh1t. Or if they do, we never hear about it.

            Its Big Government trying to get bigger, and using manufactured unrest to do it. How do you justify arming cops with military weapons? Give ’em a military-sized problem to deal with.

            Whole towns attacking them, that’ll do it.

            • Actually, we have simultaneous cases right now with the same elements only the races reversed, and no attention paid by either the media or the feds. Not a question of if.

              • There have been similar stories where the family (and their lawyers) were NOT willing to play along with the drama, and they get ignored, too.

          • It is not exactly a coincidence that the same political party who supported the plantation owners is now supporting the same collectivist approach today. Plantation or collective, the concept is exactly the same.

        • Oh, you can use either one. Just don’t entertain any guarantees that the results YOU want are going to occur.

    • The thing about the Brown shooting is that, unless there’s actual evidence that I haven’t see or heard of, not indicting Wilson was the right decision.

      1) If Wilson is indicted, the build up of tension continues.

      2) With a mix of eyewitness testimony claiming mutually exclusive scenarios, and physical evidence that does not contradict Wilson’s version, and may confirm it, the trial (if fair) is NOT going to end in conviction. Wilson is not guilty BEYIND REASONABLE DOUBT.

      3) Given 1 & 2, the riots following the trial would dwarf the riots we are seeing now.

      4) If Wilson is Guilty, and he gets acquitted, then he can’t be tried again. Not unless we are going to encourage the State to cheat; never a good idea. On the other hand, if Wilson is not indicted and evidence of guilt surfaces later, the he can be tried on the basis of that evidence.

  7. All the points I have to say about how good men are corrupted in the police force were said by rustypaladin, Sam Hall, and cspschofield.

  8. A couple of books that will help people gain a little perspective:

    “Force Decisions” by Rory Miller

    And…

    “Dukkha the Suffering” by Loren W. Christensen

    • I’m normally just a lurker here, but I wanted to second the recommendation of Rory Miller’s “Force Decisions”. It’s an excellent look at how police are trained to make decisions on the use of force.

      • Also, I was looking through some of Rory Miller’s other books on Amazon and saw one that might be of particular interest to some here. It’s called “Violence: A Writer’s Guide”. I haven’t read it, but if it’s like his other books that I have read it’s probably quite good and the writers here might find it useful.

  9. I think the Garner family is right on target when they say that it’s not a race problem, it’s a power problem. I would go farther and say that it is a government agent power problem, with all sorts of government agents (the clerk at the county courthouse behaving like Cartman, police officer, Department of Education armed response team, IRS, and so on) acting stupid and abusing their position, sometimes out of frustration with our frustration, sometimes because they like the power trip. And sometimes because they really are bad apples who need to be tried and disciplined or jailed.

    The sense the feds seem to be inculcating that government employees are “us” and the rest of the country are “them” doesn’t help one whit.

    • Unfortunately, we are also responsible for a lot of it as well. We’ve let common sense go out the door. How else do you explain people turning in parents to the cops and CPS for simply letting their child play outside? We have also sat back and let the feds tie so much of the funding to local entities to how those entities perform on certain matters — whether it is how many speeding tickets the cops write or how many foreclosures are processed. We’ve sat back and mouthed but haven’t taken our dissatisfaction to the polls. We haven’t lined up to volunteer for community boards and governmental offices (we being generic because I know some of the folks here have.) In other words, we haven’t put our time and effort and money into doing what we can to make sure things get better.

      • Good Points all. I was thinking a little too narrowly. I’d like to blame the lack of tea, or it being Monday, but I won’t.

      • At one point I’d breifly considered getting involved in local politics (when I lived elsewhere). The fiscal requirements and all the disclosures chased me off. Even for volunteering, I had to go through so many hoops that it would have interfered with my job. There’s a big old problem right there.

    • I have much respect for Mr. Garner’s family that they are stating that it wasn’t about race but about being poor. That is not the position being staked out by the poverty pimps.

    • There are not very many of us left interested in history.

    • It isn’t taught. But the students are given a belief that they know everything they need to know about it.

      Studying it takes intention and effort. And the purpose won’t become evident until after you’ve started.

      • History is taught. It’s just taught in a slanted way. As a friend put it yesterday, if BHO were in charge during Pearl Harbor, he’d have declared war on Montana.

        • Well, if by “taught” you mean “they pass out text books, have one test a quarter and each week you turn in the questions at the end of the chapter.”

          Although we did get some in-depth stuff– why, for WWII we found out how horribly Japanese were treated in the US! And that Indians were all peaceful folks who were horribly treated because Hatred.
          (Yeah… really didn’t like it when I pointed out that I’d known people who lost parents in Indian raids.)

          • Yuck, I remember back in high school my friend was telling me about how honorable and noble the Japanese were during the Sino-Japanese War and how all Japanese soldiers, being brave and loyal to their country, didn’t believe in surrender. As such they expected their Chinese foes to do the same, which was why they didn’t take prisoners and acted in ways that would be construed as harsh when viewed by an outsider. She went on along those lines for a bit until I realized what specific incident she was talking about and I said something along the lines of “Oh, you’re talking about the Rape of Nanking, yeah those women and infants got what they deserved I’m sure.” My friend was startled enough to actually do some research and lost some of her fondness for Japan after that.

            • *waggles hands back and forth* She had some truth to her view, it’s just that it’s a view that really doesn’t mix well with one that doesn’t have a belief that their idea of honor is universal. I think the effects of that really impressive view of honor… the logical conclusion to “you will spend the rest of your life trying to avenge the killer of the father you never knew”… is pretty #@$@# important. I’m glad you were able to get her to actually get her to find out the rest.

              The awe-inspiring levels of honor involved doesn’t make their actions any less horrific, or make me any less glad that the Japan of today is greatly changed.
              I hope their culture recovers, because I think if it does it will be sword-steel…but by God am I glad that the Old Japan is not around.
              *shudder*

              • If I understand correctly, that view of honor only extended to other Japanese, though, and everyone else was considered subhuman.

                • Their progaganda went to great lengths to establish that the foe was not honorable and didn’t deserve to be treated as such. (Leading to surprises on the battlefield when Americans would, after all, charge fearlessly into the fray.)

                • Generally, yes, with exceptions for those who had sufficiently proved that they lived by it. Only way such an extreme notion of honor could possibly survive– if they expected people to hold to the personally demanding aspects of honor, the system would collapse as nobody did it.

                  Internally consistent. And now freaked out a little to recognize how very Klingon it is, since “Klingon” and “Japanese” styles are not very compatible.

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    That’s because the Japanese Honor System is about the only human honor system that the “Good People” don’t sneer at. So when the writers of NG had to create an Honor System for the Klingons (and still make they nice guys), the only model they had was the Japanese Honor System.

                • Additional consideration: they probably didn’t see the “of course you’ll spend your life trying to kill the guy you hold responsible for killing your boss/father/etc” as being a matter of honor, it’s just a matter of course.

                  We’re Odd, here, remember? *grin* We try to figure out WHY we think stuff., but most folks don’t.

        • How bad was my history class? I can still remember being surprised when I found out that Italy had been allied with Germany… and my grandfather was a ski-trooper there.

          Family all assumed school was teaching history, school assumed we all knew what they’d been taught 50 years ago and they only had to teach the “missing parts.”

          • That was already so in my time, Fox. I’ve spent thirty years filling in the holes in the knowledge, i.e. the stuff that wasn’t even mentioned. Also discovering most of the the stuff they taught me was at best “not precisely true.”

            • I OTOH was fortunate enough to grow up in the ’50s and ’60s so nearly all of my male teachers and a fair number of the ladies were vets. Still remember my science teacher was a B17 gunner who saw a few of the first German jet fighters. Wicked fast, but no loiter time to speak of.

              • I grew up in the 40’s and 50’s. I remember my 5th grade teacher telling me he was going to stick his “8 and half shoe up my butt if I didn’t stop talking.” This was in public school.

                I also remember walking down the street at 11 years old carrying a .22 rifle downtown. And buying ammunition for same at the drugstore.

                Life in this country has definitely changed since then.

              • Our next door neighbor (1 mile down the road) was a member of the Rangers who assaulted Pont du Hoc. Once in a great while he’d talk about his service in WW2, especially if he had a few beers. I first heard about American soldiers not taking SS prisoners after they had heard about the SS massacres of American prisoners, and the really brutal fighting by the young (16-18 yr old) SS soldiers.

          • My “world history” classes in high school never made it past WWII, if they even made it that far. I was very grateful to my second-term history professor, who did from the 1600s to modern times at warp speed*, for finally explaining what the Cuban Missile Crisis was, instead of assuming I’d picked it up through osmosis from before I was born.

            *He was an excellent professor. We read four novels for historical flavor during that class—one of them Anna Karenina—and he was infamous for exam questions of crazy depth, like, “Why Hitler? Why Stalin? Explain the 20th century,” which he would then allow you to take as long as you needed to answer. (He’d been known to buy pizza for dedicated essayists.)

            He died two weeks after finals, from stomach cancer that he hadn’t found the time to get diagnosed. Raise a glass of Guinness in his memory.

            • These teachers deserve to be celebrated.
              It occurred to me I’m overdue to dedicate a book to my 10th and 11th grade English teacher in high school. I came to her speaking English like a savage, and she drilled grammar into me, including idioms and obscure things like collective nouns. She put more info than anyone should be able to in my jellied brain, (And terrorized the rest of the class in the process. I was never afraid of her.) At the end of the year she gave me an A which she’d never given anyone, not even my brother. And she wrote my recommendation letter for the exchange student program which was responsible for my coming over here and meeting my husband.
              I SHOULD dedicate a book to her, but maybe it should be one of the novelized bios of Tudor queens? I mean, she despised science fiction and fantasy, like a good literature-professor. (But ah, I introduced her to Bradbury and she made him part of the test in Techiques of Translation.) I don’t know. When she taught me she was in her sixties. It’s highly likely she’s dead now (though not certain) and if she’s up there somewhere, she’ll probably find it amusing.

            • Bless him, and may there be many who take up his spirit.

              I really hate the “of course you know this, it’s modern events” stuff for things that happened before you could read, and for some teachers before the parents could read….

  10. One notes that the leftists who scream over police brutality are also those who push regulation, regulation, regulation. . . .

    If you want a law that prohibits selling loosies, you are going to have to realize that folks are going to get busted for it.

    • The Other Sean

      I feel de Blasio is a major hypocrite in the Garner case. He is placing the blame squarely on the police, yet the incident was caused at least as much by his administration creating the law and telling the police to enforce it as the police or late Mr. Garner were.

      • Yep. Again, the government looked at income instead of practice. That’s a common problem when it comes to law enforcement. Our cops have been turned into income generators for a city/county/state instead of being there to serve and protect.

        • See also civil asset forfeiture. Which needs to be nuked from orbit. When you see articles describing classes on what assets are worth seizing, there’s something badly wrong.

      • Worse he is ignoring that there was a black female supervisor right there during the incident and claiming it was all about race. He is using this death to gain street cred as a black activist because of his wife and son.

        That is pretty much the definition of despicable. It is pretty standard for a politician but it is still despicable.

    • So true. But you are attaching a level of reasoning and logic to those folks that they don’t possess or understand.

    • It’s more than that: I wish more people realized the point of this article:

      “On the opening day of law school, I always counsel my first-year students never to support a law they are not willing to kill to enforce.”

    • I recall back in the Clinton administration a left-of-center law professor (I want to say it was Stephen Carter but Philip K. Howard seems more probable; both were coming forward at that time) making the point that any time a law or regulation is enacted those supporting it MUST realize that it potentially carries the death penalty, because efforts at enforcement can easily escalate.

      OTOH, the deification of Mumia Abu-Jamal has undoubtedly emboldened stupid young men to push police into killing them.

      Complain all you want about laws against “blacked-out” windows, but they go far toward making the officer approaching your driver’s side window on a routine traffic stop feel less trigger-happy.

  11. Pingback: Nocturnal Lives » Beginnings

  12. “Without a professional law enforcement arm to protect our communities and enforce our laws, it will be up to each individual to do so.”

    Guardian by Leslie Fish is a perfect summation of this paragraph.

  13. I’ve been stopped a few times
    all but two were polite folk out doing their job.
    the other two were both Jefferson Parish deputies and one was just a ass, who never gave a reason for stopping me (a three stop day) just insulted me with his questions
    the next stop was a bit later … I was not feeling well so I headed back home and passed a kid futzing with a boom box trying to get it working, then a few blocks and a walk over railroad tracks later I got stopped by a deputy with his gun drawn but not pointed at me who after a few questions realized the kid I passed was who he was looking for, got on the horn and thanked me for the tip
    before I got home, I got stopped a third time (yeah, it was a bad day) and that one cuffed me, left me lying on the hood of the car as he called for backup like I was a mob rioting or something
    one of the responders was the second deputy who lit into the guy for being an ass and told him to uncuff me and apologize.
    for some reason I don’t think his “sorry” was heart felt.
    second deputy then told me they caught one of the guys (the one I saw and steered them to) and the other certainly didn’t fit any description that could be me (6’+ black teen on a stolen mountain bike vs me at 5’7″ and white on a bmx bike) and he had no idea why the moron thought I must be him as I was now miles away from where he was last seen a minute before my being stopped and thanks to dumbass the other perp might well get away (they were playing cat and mouse with him it seems and some of the back up was called away from that search)

    • Out of curiosity, what was your general mind set at the start of the third interaction? Given how I react to frustration, I probably would have gotten myself shot.

      • I was coming down with a flu or something so I was “just let me get home so I can kill this headache and get to sleep” and, as I had done nothing wrong I knew all this was was a waste of time. Besides, asshole cops really seem to hate it when you are polite and answer their unreasonable question nicely. I did have a hard time not laughing after the second cop showed up at the third stop, especially when he lit into the fool. What is kinda odd is I had a very, very, very, short temper at that point in life. (quote from a co-worker when told I was being rehired “Is he going to choke me again?”) Yet I guess having an “uncle” who was/is a deputy and knowing any shenanigans would be dealt with in a most painful way for the bastard kept me calm enough to not kick him in the gonads.

  14. I believe that a key part of this is something that liberals are not going to be willing to talk about, the role of police unions in preventing the elimination of bad cops. Public employee unions make it very difficult to get rid of bad actors, be they teachers, cops or bus drivers. If the Sheriff can’t get rid of a bad cop because he’s protected by his union rep, it’s only a matter of time before bad things happen.

    In our rural county, we had a cop go rogue and kill the man who had started dating this ex-wife. As part of the investigation, the Sheriffs of the three adjoining counties ruled that the deputy was unfit for employment in their departments, but according to the union, that wasn’t enough to allow the county to terminate him. When the county terminated him anyway, the union took the termination to court and was able to force re-instatement with back pay in a case that went all the way to the state Court of Appeals.

    • newjerseybadger

      Walt, first of all: liberal here. Stuff your prejudices.
      Second, police unions should NOT have the power to prevent the firing of an officer under indictment. If s/he’s found not guilty, they should have the power to get him/her reinstated.
      Third, in the case you cite, the state Court of Appeals and/or whatever law they used as a basis for this, were dead wrong. Speaking as a liberal, I want criminal cops off the force and off the street.

      • Then you’re likely not the type of liberal he’s talking about. Most of the time here, when someone says something about “liberals”, we’re talking about the heavily left type of person who is all for Social Justice at the expense of real justice. When referring to the “classical liberal”, we will specify that.

      • 1) can you point me to examples of conservatives pushing the growth of public employee unions? Seems like a liberal thing to me.
        2) I agree that police unions should NOT have the power to prevent the firing of unsuitable officers, but they do. If that doesn’t change, criminal cops will remain on the street.
        3) Are you suggesting that Sheriffs should not have the power to fire an unsuitable officer prior to the commission of a felony? I think it’s better for the police to have the ability to police themselves, and thereby save lives.
        4) In the case I’m familiar with, the principle that the Court of Appeals relied on wasn’t wrong just because you don’t like the outcome. The County had testified in the wrongful death suit that the officer had acted properly, and that therefore the county was not liable. Once the lawsuit was settled, they fired the officer. It’s black letter law that having once the county testified under oath that the officer had not acted improperly, the county could not later go into court and swear that he had.

    • Yeah, that’s pretty much how unions work. Problems can’t be fired,they have to be relocated or promoted until they magically stop being problems.

      • Or reassigned to desk work in a closet, until they quit… works some places, not others.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          IIRC part of the “overhead” (ie non-teacher salaries) in the Chicago School System were people pulled from the classroom (for various reasons) but because of the Union couldn’t be fired so had to be given non-classroom jobs by the School System.

  15. I think the problem you’re seeing in the USA right now is a Media Moral Panic, where the newsies are actively trying to gin something up. Seems they want some riots to show on TV. Riots make for good video.

    The other thing that’s probably worse is a country-wide slow motion police strike. Cops are quietly not arresting black people if they can help it. Because look what happened to Darren Wilson. The guy’s name is #1 on Google, just type in darr and it pops right up.

    The more the media frenzy goes on, the more the cops are going to not-arrest blacks.

    In related news, Hartford Connecticut can’t meet its school integration quotas. Not won’t, can’t. Reason is, all the White people moved away. There’s no white kids to bus in to downtown craphole schools. They left. Because who’s going to let the city bus their kid 40 miles to some downtown school where the “students” shoot each other every week?

    Which of course leaves black populations to pretty much police themselves. That looks like Detroit, Hartford, Chicago, NYC and etc. where in certain parts of the city guys are shooting each other all day, every day. Last holiday weekend in Chicago, over 60 people got shot. That can’t happen unless the cops just don’t get out of their cop cars. It isn’t like they don’t know who these shooters are, they just don’t want to get famous like Darren Wilson for killing a career criminal.

    Rudy Giuliani proved it with his Broken Windows policy. If the city supports the cops against the media, crime pretty much stops. If city politicians beg for votes by trashing the police, it comes back. See Bloomberg.

    Its a police strike.

    • A good point and one worth making more explicit: reports of crime =/= incidents of crime.

      They can even be inversely related: as a crime becomes less common it is more likely to become newsworthy.

  16. Recently in Denver a group of High School students were protesting the Ferguson result. There were a group of cops that were trying to keep them safe. They got hit by a car (one is, I think, still in critical condition). What did the kids do when the cops who were there got hit by a car?

    They cheered!

  17. As Rhett Butler said to Scarlett, “What most people don’t seem to realize is that there is just as much money to be made out of the wreckage of a civilization as from the upbuilding of one.” The Zuckerbergs, Gates, and all the others who profit from importing cheap labor don’t care if they wreck society. The bottom line for them is the bottom line.

  18. Very nice article, Amanda.

    I’d like to add a couple things. You also have the problem of the progressive press publicizing things that wouldn’t have been even five years ago. White cop, black perp, perp gets shot, it’s all over the national news now. Five years ago it might not even have made the local news. The least bad thing I can say about this is the press is really playing up the sensational part of it.

    Another problem that is playing out right now is the Justice Department is getting involved in local law enforcement. To a much greater degree than in the past. First, “investigating” to make sure that civil rights aren’t being abused, then “retraining” the police force.

    Are there abuses by our law enforcement people? Yep. But that’s the minority. And I can’t see how sensationalizing things, allowing Jackson and his ilk to incite riots, and the Justice Department to apply “progressive” policing policies is actually helping anything in a positive way.

    • The repeatedly stated goal is a nationalized police force.

      The elimination of self-defense as a concept is mixed in there, too.

      • The thing that gets me is that the idiots pushimg for an end to self-defense appear to seriously believe that they can pull it off. They really think that a) the police and federal agents they have can and will get the guns that people already own. b) that if push comes to shove the military will back them and c) that is they insist on pshimg it the armed populace isn’t goin to hit them like Patton hit southern France.

        Oh, brother.

    • Well, look on the bright side: at least in some instances the MSM are willing to report it when a perp’s race is Black. Usually the only way you know that is because they did NOT report race.

  19. Pingback: Nocturnal Lives » Why not take responsibility?

  20. Another problem that I have not seen detailed here is that police are taught that they must control every encounter with non-police. This means that they do not respond well to the word no even when the person is fully justified in using it. This gives even good, even heroic cops a bad reputation.

  21. Pingback: The problem of policing | Something Fishy

  22. Police work, as with every other profession, is self-selecting. Those who choose to work as police generally (but not always) break down into two main groups: those who want to serve the community/make a difference and those who enjoy wearing the uniform/tell people what to do.

    Demanding and then ensuring that our cops are 100% upstanding paragons of virtue isn’t gonna happen, so what is needed is to manage what they can do.

    The recent case where Mr. Garner died is a prime example. His ‘crime’ was being known as basically a tax evader, by selling loose, individual cigarettes that denied the City of the tax revenue NYC has decreed it should get.

    The problem isn’t entirely thuggish police officers, although that is an issue. The greater problem is the corpus of laws and regulations that empower and justify police action. Open containers, selling cigarettes individually, seat belt laws, prohibiting people from impromptu gatherings without some permit, those are the real issue. Take away the incentive, the behavior will stop.

  23. Well said Amanda. As someone who’s had frequent contact with sheriff’s deputies, I agree completely.

  24. When I told my wife about this post, she said ‘Self-policing worked so well during the Ferguson protests.’

    • No, but parallel community organizations (e.g. Oath Keepers) apparently did pretty well. Someone made the argument a couple of days ago that the police should be operating with, not instead of, the armed citizenry. Could be made to work, if we wanted to.

  25. +1

  26. TOTALLY NOT ON A STOPPED TOPIC, but I liked an offshoot enough that I wanted to move it down– situational awareness.

    It’s freaking exhausting, if you’re actively doing it.

    A lot of it is can be passive– learning to… well, you know how you tend to notice cars that are the same color and shape as “your” car? Even if you’re not looking for it, because you didn’t bring that one? Doing that for people that are standing around for no apparent reason. For cars that are breaking the normal flow. For people who are looking at you for no apparent reason, or for the same car showing up several times when there’s no good reason for it. It’s a low level drain, although it makes driving a lot safer. It’s not like I never get surprised, because there are always people crazier than I thought, but I’m better at avoiding sudden parking lots because when I notice that the flow of traffic is “twitching” a lot, I get off the road, if possible. (That’s frequently caused by people up ahead changing lanes in a suicidal way, and everyone behind them having to hit their breaks. It’s also caused by Random Onset Stupid.)

    ACTIVE situational awareness is more like when you expect something to happen, but have no idea exactly what. This is AKA “that skill you use when you’re watching kids.” You must do other stuff, while still making sure that Really Bad Things don’t happen. It’s different than being a guard– when you’re guarding, you have some authority to challenge, and some control over who enters. When you have to wait for something bad to start before you respond, your options are a lot more limited.
    The traditional answer to that challenge is to act on suspicion. Not “prepare to act,” not “be suspicious,” not “reasonable belief,” but treat basic suspicion as evidence and punish accordingly. This is what neighborhood watches do… or my mother in law, who was inches from calling security on what was really obviously a grandfather watching his grandkids at the pool.