Institutional Thuggery

Over at Unc’s, there was this regarding the madness of the town of Keene, NH getting a tank (actually, a Lenco Bearcat).

After one commenter posted something I pretty much agree with, but prefaced it with this:

Look, 99 percent of the cops are good guys, but all this ninja stuff is not needed.

I took issue with it and posted this:

I just can’t agree with the “99 percent of the cops are good guys” statement anymore.

For all of Baron Barnett’s State Sponsored Criminal Count posts, and David Codrea’s Only One’s post, and a host of other sources, it seems there are far too many police chiefs and sheriffs willing to cover for their underlings and partners who don’t speak up.

There are at least three criminals in the Harless case in Canton: Harless, his partner for doing nothing during Harless’ criminal behavior, and the police chief for covering for him (including all his previous incidents) before he was left with no choice but to fire him.

I’m trying real hard not to hate cops in general, but with so many incidents and so much endorsement of it, I don’t think I’ll *ever* trust cops with this kind of equipment.

Another commenter responded, stopping short of actually accusing me of not doing anything to improve the situation. But, it read, in part:

I can understand your frustration and anger in watching something like the Canton incident but that kind of person is a minority in the law enforcement community, believe it or not. What about the Cop in California that buys a kid lunch in Burger King, or someplace like that, then a few minutes later has someone walk up and shoot him in the head? Was he a bad Cop? Did he deserve to get shot in the head just because he was a cop?
It is frustrating when you see a person in that position of trust doing things like that but in this day and age, even with overt evidence like the video, it can be a drawn out process to get rid of a guy like that.

To say it’s frustration and anger is almost condescending. A better word would be motivated. Harless should not have only been fired. He should be in jail. You think not? Would I be if I made those kinds of threats?

It seems qualified immunity has become unqualified immunity in almost all cases. And when that wall is finally, justifiably breached, you have 50 cops saluting the cop guilty of causing Otto Zehm’s death as he’s escorted out by federal marshals.

And then you have the NYPD ticket fixing scandal, where 16 officers were found guilty, yet approximately 100 officers clapped in support of them. Patrick Lynch, the police union president declared, “These officers should not be facing criminal charges for a something that has been a long standing practice at all levels of the department.”

All levels of the department.

Okay, now.

Can you see why it’s so hard to believe they are in the minority as more cases like this surface?

I have zero sympathy for departments who don’t want to risk getting sued over firing criminal cops. Innocent people die as a result. Like Otto Zehm. And then there are the “economic Wacos” where innocent people are harassed and have their substances eaten out when there is no case against them, but they are nevertheless financially ruined, as well as having their reputations destroyed (i.e.: employment prospects become grim).

And don’t even get me started on those who assert that a cop’s life is worth more than a non-cop’s.

Nowhere in my comment on Uncle’s post did I specifically implicate my own local law enforcement, though for all I know, many of them may be guilty, too. I’ll be watching.

As far as “what did I do?” goes, I directly addressed my County Commissioners, along with a representative from the Sheriff’s office (I live outside any town, out in the county) during a working group meeting about an Orwellian named “Good Neighbor” Firearms ordinance and then later at the hearing with the full Board.

I made the statement that, with all due respect to law enforcement, no law should enacted if there is any negative affect whatsoever on individual rights, but yet the only justification is to make the job of law enforcement easier. (I said more, but my previous posts have most of those details.) The point is that I didn’t just attend, but I spoke at these hearings and without sugar coating anything. More than most gun owners would do, or even those in the liberty movement.

But the fix was in and the ordinance passed. But I don’t give up. So your questions are not answered the way you might think. Of course I vote in local elections. And more.

And if you re-read my post you’ll see that I’m not saying they are all clones of Harless. But at least in the case of Seattle and NYC, they are corrupt to the core for supporting the corrupt cops in their midst.

8 thoughts on “Institutional Thuggery

  1. Firstly, I misunderstand what you posted. I thought you were referring to a local occurrence when you were talking about the Canton, Ohio CCW incident. Guess I could have asked for some clarification on that. Secondly, what I asked was “ if you knew there was wrong doing in your local police department what did you do to fix it? It is your community after all. Isn’t the Chief of Police hired by the City Council? Do you vote in local elections? How much responsibility does a community have for reelecting a sheriff that is a weak or corrupt leader or a City Council that does nothing with a weak or corrupt Chief of Police?” I’m sorry if you took that as a personal accusation that wasn’t intended in the spirit of my questions. I was just asking questions because I don’t know you and as hard as I have tried I still haven’t been able to finish my mind reader correspondence course. That last part was meant in good humor and I hope you take it that way.
    Spokane and New York have definite institutional level problems. What I was trying to get at on the other page is that Law Enforcement agencies are a reflection of their communities. I’m going to give some abbreviated responses here but that’s just because I have some things to take care of and not that I don’t care to discuss it.
    “All levels of the department.” Agreed and wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same in other parts of their local governments.
    “I have zero sympathy for departments who don’t want to risk getting sued over firing criminal cops.” Ditto and without going into a lot of detail had to watch this go on locally and kept thinking WTF! They also have to go through Due Process, then again if they never start the process… so yeah.
    “And don’t even get me started on those who assert that a cop’s life is worth more than a non-cop’s.” True but it’s not worth less either and I have been seeing a lot of that lately, maybe it’s just because I’m reading more but it does get old.
    “But the fix was in and the ordinance passed. But I don’t give up. So your questions are not answered the way you might think. Of course I vote in local elections. And more.” Good! I would love it if more people would do the same. I would be happy if just more of the people that voted would pay as much attention to the issues.
    My theory is that there isn’t more of this kind of thing going on than there used to be, we just hear about it more because we have more access to information than we used to even 20 years ago, but it’s just a theory. Well anyhow like I said I have things to do but will check back tomorrow, have a good day.

  2. I did actually say that you stopped short of accusing me of doing nothing, by which I mean that I didn’t think you were making that accusation, but that those questions could have been taken that way.

    Dude. That talisman you carry is suppose to give you superpowers. Whadaya mean you can’t read my mind. 😉

    I’m not so sure about LEAs being a reflection of their communities. There’s such an entrenched mentality that it pervades even the judicial system, where not all those who occupy those offices are elected. Some are appointed, some for life, which could long outlive a change in the makeup of the electorate. Judges tend to trust cops implicitly, and even end up being lenient in the face of video evidence.

    And just so I’m clear, I’m not implying that a cops life is worth less than a non-cop. I guess what I’m railing against is that cops are generally afforded more protection than they deserve. It flies in the face of the principle of equality under the law. I consider that principle sacrosanct and am livid when I hear, for instance, that in some jurisdictions, cops will routinely disarm motorists “for the officer’s safety.” Completely unacceptable.

    Your theory that things aren’t worse than they used be and that we just hear about it more might have some merit. However, to that I say, thank goodness for alternative media and the quicker and more broad proliferation of the news of these incidents. The outrage that it is generating is long overdue.

  3. Touché. Oh! Carry! Now where did I put that thing?

    I think they are a reflection in that if you have and apathetic, detached community that what you will have in your LEA and local government. I think Judges tend to have too much trust for the defendants but then again they can’t let, ok not supposed to, personal feelings and bias influence their decision. Oh I’m a cop by the way, lol. I am lucky that I haven’t had to deal with this kind of thing a lot. I have always trusted the opinions of the judges that heard cases that I worked on even if I didn’t agree with them. Our prosecutor, well that’s another story. I have also seen judges do what you described concerning video evidence with defendants so I don’t know. I guess all we can do is get rid of the ones we don’t like as soon as we can and not reaffirm them during elections. Then again that requires people to actually get out there and vote and well you know.

    I didn’t think you were saying they were worth less, I was just saying I have seen a lot of that going on lately. I think cops deserve a measure of protection under the law due to the sacrifice they are willing to make in order to do their job. I don’t think cops should be treated of as superior to any civilian because you are right, equality is a sacred right that is supposed to be preserved for and applied to everyone in the same manner. I don’t have a problem with an officer disarming someone if they have an articulable safety concern but not as a sweeping practice because they might not like guns or are “scared” I can’t agree with either.

    “…I say, thank goodness for alternative media…” Me too but I would like to see more people waiting to see what the whole story is before they screaming for heads to roll without having all the facts. That of course goes for everyone involved.

    At least we don’t live in Syria.

  4. I was with you until this:

    I think cops deserve a measure of protection under the law due to the sacrifice they are willing to make in order to do their job.

    With all due respect, that’s what will make you an enemy of the people and the rule of law. You can’t have that and still have equal treatment under the law. NO amount of sacrifice deserves that. Period.

    And you also need to keep in mind that disarming a citizen is a threatening act. Once again, if you endorse the disarming of a citizen without probably cause that a crime was committed and therefore and arrest is justified, then you set yourself up as our enemy. If officer safety ever trumps human rights, which some cops have been quoted as saying to the press (though they won’t say ‘human’ rights), then we are living under tyranny.

    By the way, thanks for coming here and commenting. I would love to have a sit down with some cops (I know two, one I trust, one I’m not so sure, and also have a brother-in-law who is a retired Newark, NJ cop) to discuss these things in detail.
    I would love to get all cops to, at a minimum, state what they think of a) OathKeepers, b) Mike Vanderboegh’s open letter to law enforcement, c) complete unimpeded rights of citizens to video record arrests, etc, d) elimination of the use of ‘disorderly conduct’ and ‘resisting arrest’ and a host of other charges that are usually piled on as an excuse to arrest someone who is simply showing contempt of cop (which though you many not like, should carry no penalty under the law, including arrest) when he is not actually breaking any law.

  5. Ok so if in a foot pursuit of someone and run across somebody’s yard should I get charged with trespassing? Or if they run into a house should I have the ability to continue into the house under fresh pursuit? If someone decides they don’t like cops and attacks me specifically for that reason shouldn’t they be held accountable for that? If cops don’t get any extra measure of protection under the law should anyone? In the state I live in protected people are “justice, judge, magistrate, prosecuting attorney, public defender, peace officer, bailiff, marshal, sheriff, police officer, peace officer standards and training employee involved in peace officer decertification activities, emergency services dispatcher, correctional officer, employee of the department of correction, employee of a private prison contractor while employed at a private correctional facility in the state, employees of the department of water resources, jailer, parole officer, misdemeanor probation officer, officer of the state police, fireman, social caseworkers or social work specialists of the department of health and welfare, employee of a state secure confinement facility for juveniles, employee of a juvenile detention facility, a teacher at a detention facility or a juvenile probation officer, emergency medical services personnel, a member employee or agent of the state tax commission, United States marshal, or federally commissioned law enforcement officer or their deputies or agents”. All of the people on that list have specific requirements put on them by the nature of their job that no one else has. They are required to do things and put themselves in situations that no one else is. So even though that is the case should any of those people, or their families, have an extra measure of protection under the law? When I say that I’m referring to protection from Assault or Battery due to the nature of the job, I don’t mean protection from prosecution or being held liable for their actions.
    I know disarming someone can be considered a threatening act. Remember I said if the officer had an “articulable safety concern” and not as a common practice. It is also a 4th amendment violation of search and seizure rights if a LEO can’t justify it.
    Well I can’t give you everyone’s opinion and about those things I’ll give you mine, since you asked. A) Oathkeepers, I guess I like what they stand for to an extent but if you don’t trust someone in the military or law enforcement for the oath they took when they joined why would you trust them because they said they were an Oathkeeper? I took the oath when I joined the Marines and when I graduated from the academy that’s good enough for me. If it gets to the point that it’s not good enough for my community then I’ll just walk and not worry about it anymore. B) that letter. I tired of people making generalized comments about all cops like that. Especially comparing us to the cops in New Orleans, that’s bullshit at least. That would be like us saying all civilians are trash because some of them riot after the game, it’s not a fair comparison. That also goes back to what I was saying about a department being a reflection of their community. That town was corrupt through and through and may still be. Anyhow, I don’t work there, never have and never will. I live and work in a different state and regardless of what anyone says I have absolutely no influence over how that place is ran and no responsibility for what happened there. If the people in that city didn’t like how they were treated they should have thought about it ahead of time when they were shrugging their shoulders and letting things slide by as business as usual. I know he talked about more than that but that’s what got stuck in my mind.

  6. C) Right to record LE. Most of the time I don’t have a problem with it, the only time I would is during some training and that is not done in public anyway so to me it’s a moot point. I usually have 2 cameras recording me and a pocket recorder as a backup anyhow so again, to me, it’s moot. D) That’s up to local leadership to fix that if it’s a problem. If the community thinks there is a problem with it then they need to fix it. I wasn’t sure what you were saying shouldn’t carry a penalty, was it “contempt of cop” or “disorderly conduct and resisting arrest”? If you meant contempt of cop I agree if you meant the others I disagree. I do agree that a person should not be frivolously arrested under those statues.
    I think is important to talk about issues like these. It helps everyone find some common ground and remove some of the “mystery” and get a different perspective. I also want to reiterate that you should look into going on a ride along with one of your local agencies. Those are the guys and gals you really need to get a feel for on these issues.

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