Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cops, crime, corruption, communities and violence

I was terribly saddened to read of the pointless, senseless murder of yet another peace officer last week, this time in Texas.  It's the latest in a string of deaths on duty for the 'thin blue line', and there's no end in sight.  Sheriff Hickman said of the latest tragedy:

Hickman said Goforth was apparently singled out only because he was wearing the uniform of a law enforcement officer. The sheriff made it clear he felt the shooting was tied to a national backlash over several recent killings of unarmed black people by police officers.

"When rhetoric ramps up to the point where cold-blooded assassination has happened, this rhetoric has gotten out of control," he said. "We heard 'black lives matter.' All lives matter. Well, cops' lives matter too, so why don't we drop the qualifier and say 'lives matter' and take that to the bank."

There's more at the link.

I think we're approaching a point where there has to be a fundamental re-evaluation of what we - society as a whole - expects and wants our law enforcement officers to be.  There appear to be two widely differing perspectives on the matter.  One side wants minimal law enforcement commensurate with civil rights and liberties.  The other wants much stricter law enforcement, even if it violates civil rights and liberties, on the grounds that public safety necessitates it.  (Unfortunately for the second approach, crime in cities and areas with that approach to law enforcement appears to be at least as bad as anywhere else, and frequently worse.)

There's the issue of police themselves.  We expect them to be paragons of virtue;  but then we send them into situations where their daily interactions are usually with the dregs of society, where they're exposed to violence, threats, lies, filth and the worst that people have to offer.  Is it any wonder that they become hardened and cynical, viewing most people (including the 'good guys') as potential law-breakers, regarding everyone as a potential threat until proven otherwise?

There's also the problem of police becoming primarily fund-raising machines for themselves and their localities.  I've experienced this myself in Nashville, TN, where I live.  Last year I was stopped and issued a ticket for speeding, without the Metro PD officer providing any proof at all that I had, indeed, been speeding.  When I protested, he informed me that he wasn't required to do so.  He agreed that I could take the matter to court if I wished, but pointed out (rather smugly, I thought) that even if I won, I'd still be required to pay more in court costs than the fine he was issuing me.  I was basically in a no-win situation.  I thought very seriously about fighting the ticket in court, as a matter of principle;  but that would have meant going into town, waiting a full day (possibly longer) for the case to come up, having to come back again if the officer couldn't be there, and all sorts of bureaucratic hassles (as well as having to pay the aforementioned court costs whether I won or lost).  It wasn't worth the trouble.

As far as I'm concerned, this was nothing more or less than legalized robbery, and my opinion of Metro PD and of its officers has plummeted. Anyone willing to work for an agency that practices such extortion has already branded himself as worthless, IMHO.  As a result, I've lost almost all respect for Metro PD and its officers.  Unfortunately, there are all too many such agencies out there, and all too many officers willing to work for them, and all too many local governments eager to use their law enforcement agencies as fund-raising machines.

St. Louis County in Missouri is a classic example.  Read these reports to see what I mean.

It's not just there, either.  It's all over the country.

Answer me this:  how are we supposed to have any respect at all for law enforcement officers (or their agencies) who engage in these shenanigans?

I suspect this is a major part of the problem with certain elements of society who resent, distrust and fear law enforcement.  Some are just plain criminal, and deserve no consideration.  Others . . . no, others have a real problem.  They've been treated so badly, for so long, that they've lost sight of the fact that the law is there for a reason.  They see it - and those who enforce it - as more of a burden, more of a threat, than a blessing to society.  In time, they come to see peace officers as active enemies . . . and they respond accordingly.  I have to struggle against this myself, now.  When I see a Nashville Metro PD officer or vehicle, my immediate, unspoken reaction is, "Oh - another jerk looking to rip me off."  That's probably very unfair to the officer(s) concerned, but it's also entirely rational and logical, considering my experience last year.  That's unlikely to change anytime soon.

The trouble is, there are good law enforcement agencies and officers out there.  I'm privileged to have some of them among my friends:  JPG, Matt, Lawdog, Murphy's Law, Captain Tightpants and a number of others.  I know that all of them treat good citizens as such, with respect and professionalism.  I've worked in the law enforcement field myself, and tried very hard to do the same. To this day I carry retired LE credentials.  I know there are 'good cops' out there . . . but there seem to be a whole lot less of them than there used to be.  That's a tragedy.  What's worse, those good officers are now the targets of criminals who see all police, good or bad, as their enemies, to be shot on sight for no other reason except that they exist.  That's what seems to have happened in Texas a few days ago.  I live in the daily awareness that it could happen to one of my friends at any moment, for no reason at all except that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.  That's scary as hell for me, and even more so for them and their families.  Many of them are angry about it, and I don't blame them.

Sir Robert Peel put forward nine 'Peelian Principles', which have been the bedrock of community policing in democracies throughout the world.  The seventh of these Principles reads:

To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

I submit that far too many law enforcement officers and agencies have lost sight of that truth.  It's certainly honored far more in the breach than in the observance, in my experience.  That's perhaps the root of the resentment, anger and bitterness directed against police by so many today.  They're no longer seen as members of the public, but as oppressors of the public.  If we want to change the relationship between police and public, we've got to re-establish a right relationship between them.  At the moment, police all too often portray themselves like this:

How do we get from that, back to this?

How do we get police to respect and uphold the rights of citizens, when they so seldom deal with citizens who respect their rights in return?  I just don't know . . . but I do know that what we're in right now is a no-win situation.  Things can't go on like this, because if they do, the good cops will leave.  Their lives are worth more to them than the risks they'll have to face to continue as peace officers.  That will mean the dregs take over . . . those who don't give a damn about citizens or their rights, and will lord it over everyone and throw their weight around behind the authority of their badges.  The more they do that, the more of them will die, and the worse the situation will get.

What's the answer?



Xoph said...

The solution of course is for the Politicians to identify with the electorate and realize they don't want to be treated the way they are treating us - after all it is the politicians for whom the police work. Holding my breath - I'm blue....

I had a recent experience and wound up in court. I ended up meeting a lot of police - there are many good ones out there. Their effort means little if the courts don't follow through and don't uphold the law.

The whole system has many problem areas. My experience is such I trust the police more than I do the Courts.

Divemedic said...

I have been writing about this for years.

Florida police admit to having quotas:

The police write over 40 million traffic tickets a year in the US. The average officer writes $300,000 a year in traffic tickets. It is a $6 billion a year industry. The city of Atlanta has even admitted that police raises and pensions depend on how much revenue is brought in by traffic citations. So even though there may be no quota per se, you can bet that the police have a real motivation to write questionable tickets. The Atlanta police union admits to using traffic tickets to fund a raise for Atlanta cops.

How do we change it? I don't know if we can, because the fault lies with our lawmakers for making it possible.

Anonymous said...

You mention the change that I've seen, we've gone from Police Officers, to Law Enforcement, with things like this. If I didn't know it was a sale video, I'd say it was a training video for an occupying army. Which leads the "civilians" (what the LE call us) seeing the LE like <A HREF=">this</A>.

That said, I've enjoyed reading the Lawdog, and MattG, back when they were writing.

-- Steve

Nicky said...

The only way to change is the change the culture of the Police depts in this country. The Police in this country today, see people as enemy combatants than citizens. The way to change is to weed out all the bad ones. Mandate federal oversight and at the same time total ban of Law enforcement from ever owning used Military gear.

I also think training needs to be on par with what is common in Europe, where cultural awareness is a mandatory. For example, Look at the London Metropolitan Police, They mandate training in Human rights and Race & diversity. Which is mandatory before any London Metropolitan Officer hits the streets. Here's the link

Even Canada for example their Royal Canadian Mounted police are world famous cause they are known to go on international deployments for Peacekeeping operations. You can look at how they do things.

You can see how Canada trains it's police officers compared to America and it shows how Canada and Europe dose it better than America

Here's how they train them

pancakeloach said...

If the police is the public and the public is the police, the solution is conceptually very simple: draft the public.

Anonymous said...

You've written about the sins of the Roman Catholic church, Peter, the way they moved pedophile priests to new parishes instead of turning them in. It's no different in modern policing. Cops protect their own, even the very worst of their own. When a brave, principled, or foolish peace officer crosses "the thin blue line" to stop the abuses, it is he who gets destroyed, not the bad cop.

Until such time as the cops "police" their own as zealously as they do us mere "civilians", they will continue to receive condemnation, disgust, and the occasional bullet to the back of the head.


Joseph S. Ramirez said...

A great leader of a peaceful people was once asked how he could govern so many and have them behave with such dignity and integrity. He replied, 'I teach them correct principles, and let them govern themselves.'

The sole reliance on external force to guide human behavior will never produce the results necessary to ensure true peace in a community. A police force is, by it's very nature, an external force necessary when a person chooses to harm others by their unwillingness to comply with a moral code. But police would not be necessary if we, as humans, would keep and follow our moral compass. I feel they should be the last resort of a moral, law-abiding people.

I don't think the root of the problem is the police themselves. I'd say that the disintegration of morality and the family in our society leads to this sort of thing, and, as a society, we have largely discarded those principles that help people govern themselves. We have also discarded the family, which is the best place for those principles to be taught and reinforced. The things I learned from my father and mother are the things that I (with gratitude) carry with me everywhere - not an ever changing and ridiculously thick set of law books from the State.

There will never and can never be enough police officers to make up for the destruction of integrity, family bonds, unselfishness, and honor. Even at an insane and impossible ratio of one police officer to one 'civilian,' there will never be enough. And then, to expect the police to be of a higher moral fiber than the citizenry they are recruited from?


The public are the police, and the police are the public, and this is true in more ways than just the literal sense.

CarlS said...

Nicky made several good points, but said "Mandate federal oversight . . ."

Let us not forget that the "Feds" are the root cause of the militarization of police, and with their grants dependent on complying with federal rules, regs, and laws, many of which outright violate the constitutional restrictions and limitations placed on government by it, the Fed's requirements are part of the problem, and not a solution.

Plus there's the fact that FBI databases on crime demonstrate clearly that federal cops commit criminal acts just as much as state and local cops do. Their "Dark Business Suit and Wall of Silence" is just as much a problem as is the local cops' Blue Wall.

When the good cops - be they local, county, school board, state, park, federal - ostracize and allow the Wall of Silence to continue, by action or inaction, then those cops are also, b their own choice, bad cops. It matters not that they don't directly commit crimes, because their actions or lack thereof which allow bad cops to be bad cops are themselves crimes. Whether they hide behind the strict letter of law or outright ignore law, they too are bad cops.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Peter said...

People, I will NOT permit slanderous, libelous or just plain vicious allegations against ALL cops on this blog. There's more than enough of that on the Internet to go around. There are bad cops, sure; but there are also good cops. You can't tar all of them with the same brush.

Any further comments trash-talking cops will also be deleted. If you want to say something, say something constructive.

W. Fleetwood said...

Reality Check. The armed agents of the state have the same function in North Korea they do in the USA and vice versa. That is to intimidate those of questionable loyalty to the state. The goal is not to arrest or kill, it is to "keep 'em in line". When the armed agents have to arrest, club, kill, etc, etc, they have in a real sense, failed in their primary mission. The pivot point in the USA is that the definition of questionable loyalty has expanded, from a small minority of the population until it now includes just about everybody not a full time employee of the state. Therefore the armed agents must attempt to intimidate a wider and wider range of people, like those who cut down a tree in their back yard, or join a Tea Party, and so on, and on, and on. This requires an ever greater number of armed agents, who will fail (in the sense outlined above) ever more often. If the state finds it imperative to tax a single cigarette at thirty seven times its actual economic value the armed agents will have to arrest, club, kill, etc, the disloyal who act outside the states economic web (cf. NYC/NYPD). There it is.

Eric Wilner said...

It's a big problem, and indeed difficult to address, but at least it's not as fundamentally intractable (yet!) as the ongoing financial crisis.
Obviously, it's necessary for management to clean up police departments. This runs counter to (as you note) the financial incentives, but if the public were to get sufficiently riled up, it might just happen.
In this regard, the Black Lives Matter leadership is being counterproductive, by taking an issue which should be of concern to everyone and making it narrowly about race.
Police unions don't exactly help, either. A while back, I got curious about what had become of that deputy in Knox County who'd been summarily fired for roughing up a suspect. Turns out the union had forced the sheriff to re-hire him and allow him to retire. If you can't get rid of the bad cops, how can you have a good department?
Many years ago, I was hearing stories (mostly from retired or part-time cops) about the disciplinary processes of one of the large departments here in the Bay Area. Turns out it was very easy to turn a blind eye to abuses (as long as there was no video), and to make trouble for good cops who inconveniently spoke out against abuses. So having lovely shiny disciplinary processes does no good if they're applied by people with a vested interest in the status quo.
No, I don't have any answers. But it is necessary to get the public (not just a small segment of it) aware of the problems, and involved in pushing for reforms.
And, yes, remembering the Peelian Principles would be a very good thing.

Anonymous said...

So one Metro cop gives you a "bum" ticket yet you project that on the rest of the 1300 sworn officers.

What was his name?


Anonymous said...

Interesting that no one is ever allowed to disagree with you. Were you always this big a Nazi, or is it a new development? You really can't see that you might not be right all of the time, and that the evil YOU support is in fact the same evil you profess to hate. "Delete" things you don't like to read, burn a few books, support evil. Its just free speech after all. You stand as proof that cops and there supporters will do ANYTHING to cover up the depraved evil that go's with every badge and the sick mind of every coward that puts one on. Hitler's SS and the police(world wide) were and are the same kind of men, doing the same job, for the same reasons. The badge is THE symbol of evil, and government oppression world wide.

Roger Ritter said...

I don't have a solution for the problem, but I can point out that my little slice of Texas is a bit more sensible. I got called up for jury duty recently in our local JP court, and the case in question was a traffic violation. For Peter's violation, he said, "...having to come back again if the officer couldn't be there...". In this case, the officer wasn't present. The case was dismissed, even though the prosecutor asked for a continuation.

The presiding judge (OK, Justice of the Peace) made a point of explaining to the jury that he respected the time and effort we and the defendant had put in to be present, and wasn't going to cut the trooper or the prosecutor any slack for not putting in the same amount of effort.

Sara said...

One of the (many) things I love about the Discworld watch novels is how Commander Vimes is constantly correcting people--his own men and non-guards alike--that they (the City Watch) are citizens. They are civilians, not military, they are cops, not soldiers. Something I feel many people--both in law enforcement and out of it--have entirely forgotten in reality.

Old NFO said...

I don't know that it 'can' be fixed in certain locales... Especially those that historically rely on the PD for their city budgets. Those departments tend to attract a certain kind of cop, one that doesn't play well with the general public. I know of one case up here where an officer was basically pulled off any duty except traffic enforcement, due to his attitude... sigh

tannasmarchat said...

This is a very good question, and one I also struggle with. I spent four years as a part-time officer in a small town. We were a small department with only one officer on duty except during certain hours. I usually worked the weekends. I tried to get along with the citizens of the town. I spent more than half my road time in the residential sections, would stop and talk to the kids, even carried candy in my cruiser on Halloween. (I stole that idea from CHiPS) What I didn’t do was write a lot of tickets. I didn’t like sitting and running radar. A driver had to be doing something extremely stupid to get me to pull them over and then to write the ticket.

Most of my department members were more interested in the tickets, which brought in revenue for the town. –sigh- Any wonder I was the one who was never promoted to full-time? Oh, I am sure there were other reasons, but I still suspect that was the number 1 reason.

What *I* think would help is to have our police better trained in the Constitution. They are taught the laws, state and local, but only those of us who went to college were ever taught the foundation of those laws. Without a solid grasp of the Law of the Land, we’re operating in a vacuum; we’re doing only what we’re told to do. For example: We had a section of road were I thought the speed limit was not clearly marked. We were told to “watch that area”. I felt that it conflicted with the spirit of the Law of the Land so I passively disobeyed. I didn’t stand up and protest, I simply didn’t clock people there.

I disagree with Nicky. Putting LE in the hands of the Federal Government will not improve the situation. In fact, I believe it would make the situation even worse. Have the seat of power so far way leads to more corruption on the local level, as the local officials maneuver to become big fish in their small pond. Also, since they are no longer answerable to the locals people, they have no reason to try to “get along”. For all the fact that the stories are legends, the character of the Sheriff of Nottingham is a prime example of what I am talking about. The Federal government was inept (Prince John) but it was the local Sheriff, taking advantage of the weaknesses of the system, that was doing the real harm. I believe that returning more control to the local counties/ city precincts /towns/ villages would serve better.

Bring things back to a local level, have local people on your department, have them learn the laws from the Federal to the local, make them answerable to the citizens they serve. Get those officers out into the community, not just sitting in their cruisers. Bike patrols, mounted patrols, even beat patrols – interact. When you have a situation go south, have a review board from the next level up (country review state, state review county, ect) have a citizen or two on the board, or have a Citizen review board instead of an IAD.

Reward your good officers. I don’t mean the ones that pull someone from a burning building (they deserve it) but the ones that do the small things like helping someone change a tire or carry their grocery sacks. Shut down the media feeding frenzy on the bad ones.

I don’t have a quick easy answer for you Peter. I wish I did. I just know that we need more Sheriff Andy Griffith’s and less Det. Harry Callahan’s.

Bruce said...

Encourage the legislature to pass a law requiring court costs to be paid by the loser. If you go to court and the judge rules in your favor, you should not be penalized for (in this case) the state bringing a wrongful action.

raven said...

Mr Ramirez, your comment is spot on. Very well put.

Unknown said...

One thing that would fix a lot of this would be to pass a law that all fines go into the state general fund rather than to the local government that was in charge of the police/enforcement officer that wrote the citation. The other thing is to ban the practice of charging court fees in cases involving citations.

Peter said...

@Gerry: It's not just me, and it's not just one cop. Many of my friends and acquaintances have similar complaints. It seems far too widespread to be anything other than a deliberate policy.

@Anonymous at 9:51 AM: My blog, my rules. If you don't like either, start your own blog with your own rules. Here, we'll try to treat each other with respect unless and until it's proved that someone isn't entitled to respect. Congratulations - you just proved that about yourself. Talk about sweeping generalizations . . . sheesh!

C. S. P. Schofield said...

When I was in high school my part time job (comic geek store, WAY before such were at all respectable) brought me into contact with a lot of cops in down town Cleveland Ohio. They were, as a group, pleasant, well spoken, nice guys. This, in spite of the fact that the sot re's owner looked like - and WAS - a long haired hippie-freak drug user. If he blatantly endangered the public, they'd have landed on him. Until then, he was a decent guy.

At the some time, I got to meet a number of pathetic Cop wannabes; the Arcade the tore was in was patrolled by the Downtown Detective Agency. It was pretty universally known as the Clowntown Defective Agency, and for good reason. Its 'officers' were, with a few exceptions (most of them moonlighting Cops) arrogant, authoritarian (when they had, in fact, damn little authority), threatening, and imposingly stupid.

They sound an awful lot like the cops we hear about hauling people out of cars for reasons that don't stand up in court. I have to wonder what happened between then and now, because sh*theads like that didn't used to get hired by the cops.

There are a lot of good police out there, still. But the bad ones are poisoning the well. The good ones need, DESPERATELY need, to get the jerks under some sort of control. The Cops Omerte isn't going to cut it, guys. Because the Libertarians are beginning to side with jerks like Sharpton. And if that trend continues, you are in deep kimchee.

Angus McThag said...

The elephant in the room is accountability.

The cops no longer answer at all to the people they are policing, they're not accountable to their citizens.

Some of the justifications for being unaccountable are getting uncomfortably close to "just following orders" for my taste.

I've experienced first-hand what happens to an ordinary citizen when they attempt to take their local cops to task. My story is here:

doofus said...

Remember, you can't have a police state without police. Now, there are some truly weird interactions here. On one side, you have all the Democrats who are making more and more things illegal, which obviously gives more power to law enforcement, because the more laws there are, the better chance they can find some violation they can charge you under. THESE VERY SAME NITWITS are then going out and chanting "Black Lives Matter," after they were the ones that handed the police the power to act the way they do. There is really only one answer: to dial back the nanny state and the government and reduce the number of laws. Obviously, there can still be problems with police abusing their authority, but the fewer actual ordinances there are, the better off everyone will be.


Anonymous said...

David, you can't blame only the Democrats for making more things illegal; rampant authoritarianism is an equal opportunity offense for both parties.


Will said...

"the police are the public and that the public are the police".

Perhaps not so much, when they don't actually live in the neighborhood. Here in CA, they not only don't have to live in the same community, they don't have to live in the same county. When you don't have to be concerned about your neighbors holding you up to scorn and ridicule for bad behavior, lots of people will default to a low level.

The other problem is that they DON'T CONSIDER THEMSELVES AS PART OF THE CIVILIAN POPULATION. This is one of the reasons I would like to see most police jobs become a part-time position. To include no employment at a second force, or other security type jobs. Force them to remain as much a civilian as possible.

SewerDweller said...

Six Words.

Personal Accountability and Remove Fiscal Incentives.

Dan said...

The shooting in Houston is not an 'good guy vs bad guy' issue.
It's a bad guy vs bad guy issue. Black people in general have
little respect for the law unless doing so serves their purpose.
Thus they have a much higher probability of running afoul the law
with the predictable results of jail or fines. And because they
are far more likely to break laws they draw far more attention
from law enforcers.....that is a logical outcome. So black people
are usually the 'bad guys'....they break the law by choice on
regular occasions. Why? Why do black people ignore the law?
Can't say.....sociologists have theory's but no one can say.

However there is a modern phenomenon that has made it's presence
known in the past decade or or nearly live video on
the internet for EVERYONE to see. And with the presence of cameras
everywhere we are seeing on a daily basis LEO committing crimes,
lying, assaulting, abusing and even murdering people.....often black
people who already feel they are singled out for special abuse.
And a video released just a couple days ago where a black man caught a
a white LEO on video admitting that he pulled him over because he
'made eye contact', not because he broke a law is just one of the
countless instances on the internet that make people in general and
blacks especially feel that they are being targeted for state sanctioned abuse. And it's very hard to say they aren't. A very good
case can be made that the state has declared war on the people....and
that war is being prosecuted by those wearing badges.

When you have the situation we currently have violence is not just's to be expected. And it goes both ways. Just because
it's 'illegal' to shoot LEO in no ways makes it an act that cannot be
understood. In a war people die....ON BOTH SIDES. That's just how it is. If those in charge don't want people taking pot shots at cops
they MUST rein in the criminality, abuse, lying and all the other nasty rotten things cops do on a daily basis.

And by the way....there are NO GOOD COPS. Merely two flavors of bad cops. The bad cops who commit crimes and the bad cops who turn a blind eye to the criminality.

JK Brown said...

A good portion of this is that we've lost the historical traditions in the Anglosphere of individual rights as far as the accountability of officials. The courts have ginned up "immunities" to protect officers and non-armed bureaucrats who act wrongly in their duties.

This historical observation is very quaint today. We've become very European in our officialdumb.

One must not be misled by the generality of the phrase used in chapter 39 [Magna Carta], and think it unimportant because it looks simple. It is hard for an American or Englishman to get a fresh mind on these matters. We all grow up with the notion that nobody has the right to arrest us, nobody has the right to deprive us of our liberty, even for an hour. If anybody, be he President of the United States or be he a police officer, chooses to lay his hand on our shoulder or attempts to confine us, we have the same right to try him, if he makes a mistake, as if he were a mere trespasser; and that applies just as much to the highest authority, to the president, to the general of the army, to the governor, as it does to a tramp. But one cannot be too often reminded that this principle is peculiar to English and American civilization. Throughout the Continent any official, any judge. anybody "who has a red band around his cap' who, in any indirect way, represents the state — a railway conductor, a spy, a station agent — not only has the right to deprive you of your freedom, but you have no right to question him; the "red band around the cap" is a final answer.

Hence that extraordinary incident, at which all England laughed, the Kupenick robbery. A certain crook who had been a soldier and was familiar with the drill and the passwords, obtained possession of an old captain's uniform, walked into a provincial town of some importance, ordered the first company of soldiers he met to follow him, and then with that retinue, appeared before the town hall and demanded of the mayor the keys of the treasury. These were surrendered without question and he escaped with the money, representing, of course, that he had orders from the Imperial government It never occurred to any one to question a soldier in full uniform, and it was only some days later, when the town accounts were sent to Berlin to be approved, that the robbery was discovered.

--Popular Law-making: A Study of the Origin, History, and Present Tendencies of Law-making by Statute, Frederic Jesup Stimson (1910)

doofus said...

Anonymous, you are of course right about both parties being equally culpable on the "if it moves, criminalize it" front. However, I was speaking of the people who, on one hand, make everything illegal then, on the other hand, decry the "abuses" of the police when these policies are put into effect. While both parties are guilty of the former, not too many Republicans do the latter.


Emmett Fitz-Hume said...

First, I am a Peace Officer. Not Police. I'm Law Enforcement, per NYS CPL, but not with Full Police status. I can arrest, carry a firearm, off and on duty, and the entire state is my jurisdiction. Those are my "bona fides", as it were.


1) Accountability has been mentioned a few times. Dead right. We need to work with Law Makers and end Qualified Immunity.

2) "Officer Safety"- Numerous evils have been committed in the name of "Officer Safety". It's why cops draw their weapons to quick, shoot too often and use S.W.A.T. Teams to execute Arrest and Search Warrents for even the most minor offenses.

3) The "War on (Some) Drugs"- Are illegal drugs horrible? Undoubtedly. But it's time our society asks itself if the "cure" is worse than the disease. When infants get burned by flash bangs after after a warrant service it botched, you know something is wrong.The War has encouraged the use of the Police Force as hammer, which makes every problem a nail.

4) Constitution Education- It still shocks me how many Officers just can't process the concept of the "Fruit of a Poisonous Tree" concept. They don't grasp that they can't actually put the Bad Guys away when evidence gets excluded in court. And that's only one area that needs attention.

It should go without saying that I am not entirely accepted by my 'brothers in blue'.

Quartermaster said...

I used to live up near White House and worked for TDOT downtown and at the offices that used to be located in the Metrocenter. The Metro Police Department was not well regarded in the Nashville Region and I see they have not changed a whit.