I have found that when in contact with the ‘authorities,’ a measure of being polite and using sir and mam tends to work wonders. The USAA and retired agent stickers on the automobiles works well too. Nothing and I mean nothing succeeds like a respectful and polite attitude.
I remember a time when if you were a regular law abiding citizen you rarely had any interaction with the police. They operated in the background and should there be any interaction it carried the air of mutual respect and courtesy. Today that is all but gone. From day one police are now instructed to base every interaction with a citizen on the presumption that the citizen might be a threat to his/her “safety” and over time the results of this “them vs. everyone else” mindset has resulted in it being completely reasonable for the citizen to assume the worst when confronted by a cop. Today when stopped by the police you are expected to submit and obey, anything more is a confrontation that will result in an escalation of force that will be used against you! I know, they’re just operating in safety mode so they make it home when their shift ends…. last time I checked…. that’s what we are all trying to do, make it home safe. But all to often the “perceived threat” the officer feels is little more than a less-than-immediate deference to their authority. We accept things today that 20 years ago were totally unacceptable….. how will it be 20 years in the future?
Those charged with enforcing the law and endowed with the legal authority to use force – should be afraid of citizens. Or rather, they ought to be afraid of the consequences of abusing their authority. They ought to be obliged to give us the benefit of every doubt. To put their “safety” at risk, if need be – for the sake of ours. That’s the way its always supposed to have been…… its not that way now.
You can find thousands of videos on youtube of cops being caught in the act, its disgusting and depressing.
You can also read about those who sacrificed their lives for the common weal in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletins.
Only the corrupt fear publicity and in that vein, U Tube has been great for exposing those who abuse public trust.
Although I try never to speed, I have ‘escaped’ several speeding tickets solely by having a USAA sticker on the back automobile glass. The state police officers almost all start out their conversation with, ‘thank you for your service …’.
PR, I’m as guilty as any in painting with a broad brush and I appreciate that all to often a hundred good deeds get canceled out by just one bad.. but if you haven’t noticed, its no longer 100 to 1 or anywhere near. The context of my comment targets the pervasiveness of the police state expansion, its abuses, and our waning rights because of. Who could argue that “reasonable suspicion” has not morphed into “anything” including mere whim & fancy. Someone please define for me “officer’s discretion”.
Most of the laws on the books (as in Nazi Germany, as in the Soviet Union, as in post-war East Germany) criminalize innumerable actions (and even non-actions, such as failing to buy now-mandatory health insurance) that involve no harm to other people or their property – but rather constitute “offenses” against the state and its statutes.
Cops are no longer expected to consider the rightness or wrongness of an action as based on true constitutional law, only whether a given action (or non-action) is illegal based on the prevailing wind.
PR, I know you know, as well as I that there is something wrong here, least you would not have bought the side of a mountain, nor spent your treasure on the finest preps you could afford….. neither would have I…. But there is something wrong….. seriously wrong.
We should probably have a more private conversation and I’m sure Rourke could facilitate. In this country there are two separate avenues of recourse against wrong doing, criminal and civil. I suspect ‘bad’ cops are more afraid of that civil suit other than criminal charges. Civil suits proceed with a different standard of process and rules of evidence.
I have long been a student of Nazi Germany and there are many books that attempt to explain how Hitler happened. I recommend the recent biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (In the Garden of Beasts) and Sirers’ comprehensive epic (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich). Back in the day, I traveled through the separate Germanys and have been to the camps. There is a lot to be learned about how the Nazi’s corrupted the German Polizei. A few years ago i read that new FBI Special Agents were required to visit the Holocaust Museum in DC as part of their training with the focus on learning how the Polizei were corrupted.
Witness today the rise of The Oath Keepers (http://oathkeepers.org/oath/) amongst those wearing blue. Much is written of life without rule of law. That thin blue line, our prosecutors, and courts establish and maintain the rule of law.
Sure there are bad apples posing as officers of the law. There are also bad priests, physicians, lawyers, and architects. If cops tend to be harsh, perhaps it is a sign of the civilization they police. I worked with Baltimore cops once upon a time in a place they called Terror Heights (a public housing project). If the cops took elevators, the power would be cut and tenants would urinate down the elevator shaft, if they left their marked cars unprotected, they would be stripped and burned, if they loitered in the streets, tenants would pelt them with brick bats. And you wonder why some cops develop and us vs. them attitude?
“And you wonder why some cops develop an us vs. them attitude?” no, I don’t wonder…. not at all. I believe I explained all that earlier. They enforce the laws. It’s what they do. It does not matter what the law is. Merely that it is the law. The law is the law. I’m just doing my job. The same things were said in the Soviet Union, in Nazi Germany, everywhere that authority rather than right was reverenced. I understand its not all. One can insist that the abuses of power (numbering in the thousands)anyone can now view on Youtube are the exception, I say they are quickly becoming the rule.
Years ago living in New Hampshire I befriended a guy who was getting ready to go through Police Academy. We became pretty good friends and hung out quite a bit. He enjoyed shooting and we did that often having small competitions as I sported a Glock 17 and he a .357 Magnum. Care to guess who won? Anyways, he went off to Police Academy and came home every so often. He changed. As time went on he became cocky. He developed a serious superiority complex. He started talking down to people as they were just “civilians” – even his friends. He became a “Superman” in his own mind. He got busted cheating on his finance and very quickly the couple buddies that I knew he was friends with stopped and he started hanging out with his cop friends.
It was disappointed and unneeded however I understand why it can happen. These guys risk their life with every traffic stop, every question asked to the innocent until proven guilty. The police officer must be confident and not display weakness which someone could take advantage of. Some of these officers go too far with their actions and attitudes. Their superiors are likely the ones to blame the most in those situations where Constitutional rights are trampled. Hey – these officers are doing a job to support their families and disobeying orders would be like taking food out of their kids mouth. Yes – it is easy to sit behind this keyboard and say I would stand up differently. Who knows.
In no way, shape or form and I justifying what is the militarizing of law enforcement and the willing participation of many officers in making their own rules and selectively standing up for the rights of citizens. No – it is a disgrace. On the other hand there are some great law enforcement officers out there. My sons first football and soccer coach changed careers several years ago and is now a police officer. He is the same guy I knew back then.
You know what drives me insane? When I decide to start reading the news for the day and I see another article stating “cop shoots elderly man going for cane”, or cops beat this guy, cops beat that guy, cops taser this guy then beat him half to death. I spent 8 months in Afghanistan Helmand province in 2007 as an Infantry Marine and participated in my fair share of combat. The hardest part was not shooting the men in the face who we knew , without a doubt were Taliban and spying on us. I did enjoy after the night time firefights looking threw my optics to which men would be sitting across from our small FOB to watch us and which ones I would never see again because they did not make the night.
That being said the part that drives me insane is the ROE. Unknown man approaches, wave you’re hands and yell at him, keeps coming? Good thing we have this bright colored little flag to use to wave as a mandatory secondary, keeps coming? Pop a pyro off in his direction, keeps coming? Fire a warning shot in the air, keeps coming? Fire a warning shot in the ground in front of him, keeps coming? Take care of the problem. Don’t even think about putting my hands on these guys and getting the village elders all upset. So my point would be we take those precautions in a foreign country against terrorists but are relaxed against the brutality of our own citizens. I understand the circumstances are different in situations … but these are extreme ROE’s for terrorists!!! Then I watch what these cops are doing and it humbles me as to how bad America is getting.
Now… I hold the utmost respect for cops, it is the man behind the uniform. They will always get my respect and courtesy regardless of what I think about the person. I understand the job is hard and you see and do things others will never understand. For that reason I believe the overall moral decay of America and the war on the silencing of Christian values plays a huge part of why we are seeing a lot of this. The destruction of manhood and the responsibilities of what a grown ass man is supposed to be in America as well as the strange infuriating process that we are quicker to jump on citizens in America than terrorists in foreign countries. Along with this strange push of a martial law I sense every now and then. This is the is the stuff that drives me insane.
Been following this blog for some time, awesome sight Rourke. Any feedback or criticism is welcome. That was kind of a rant.
Ronin, it was a great rant and I believe well justified. I assume you saw the video of the officer mistaking the elderly man’s cane for a gun… and shooting him. The video itself is very telling of what is wrong. The cop unloads on the elderly man without hesitation and with what seems a panicked hailstorm of bullets. -this is a reflection of teaching that “the streets are a war zone” & “your number one objective is to make it home safe” & “anyone might be a threat to you”-. As is natural, the cop gets upset and begins to break down emotionally after other officers show up. Note what another officer repeatedly tells the grief stricken cop “you done what you had to do” -really? he had to shoot an unarmed elderly man? He had no choice? There was nothing else he could have done?
For those who would counter that he thought the elderly man had a gun and that his life was in danger…… HE THOUGHT WRONG! I don’t blame the officer so m,uch as the system and the taught mindset. After all we’ve seen it enough times, a cop or cops shoot/beat someone (the video shocks and dismays everyone, yet) their commanders almost always say the magic word “JUSTIFIED”. 3 or 5 or 12 “peace” officers are caught on video mercilessly beating someone who they could have easily subdued “JUSTIFIED”. Tell me… where’s the good cop when this happens…. working another shift perhaps…
How about the latest in Law Enforcement’s techniques for keeping us safe “the digit drug check”. Your driving home from a nice dinner with your attractive wife, or a couple young women are doing the same…. either way… You hit a DUI check, an officer says your eyes look bloodshot, or he/she smells marijuana (no ones been smoking it so its bull). Your car Will be searched, you can refuse but the a drug dog is brought forth and he detects something…. he always does. But they don’t stop at checking just your car… oh no, they need to check your body cavities as well. Refuse and you go to the station and you WILL get the cavity check there. So you now have to submit to a roadside finger up the rectum check for drugs, if your a woman…. you can imagine…. and all video taped on the “dash cam”. Nothing is found (99.9% of the time nothing is) and your free to go. Imagine how you’d feel being forced to go through that, watching your wife being sexually assaulted by those charged with protecting you…. its sickening.
Lets be honest, the police do what is allowed and sometimes more, and they are defended by the system to the ends. The average Nazi was not a foaming at the mouth maniac or a clinical sadist or rabid racist. He was rather a man with a wife and children whom he loved, friends who liked him… who also followed orders. If that meant (as an example) filling out the forms involved with regard to confiscation of people’s property, he filled out the forms. If charged with manning the ovens he manned the ovens. Some resent some of their duties, others relish them….. we have to many who enjoy shoving the rest of us into the oven……
This is not a rant…. its the sad truth…
I considered posting links to youtube videos but decided against it. They are easy enough to find. But be forewarned, watch them on an empty stomach and don’t expect to get much sleep….
The power to control others is not the same as the right to control others.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
– Arthur Schopenhauer
Well put John Gault. It is like you said the sad truth. Check out the guys getting tazered and woman getting dogs sicked on them at the Bundy Family Ranch today in there 1st ammendemnt zones. Taking this mans land and cattle all for the desert tortoise………..
No… there has been no personal pivotal event or events, but you don’t have to be a victim to know there are victims. Look, are there honest, trustworthy, honorable and heroic cops, of course there are. Many if not the overwhelming majority may be in fact these very things, but where are they when it comes to stopping the bad behavior of their brothers and sisters?Reality is, Whether the cops themselves are conscious of their badness is immaterial.
What causes the head of a city police force to claim “justified” after watching a video of one of his men shoot a homeless guy in the back multiple times with an AR-15 from 30 feet away? Why are mostly women being more and more subjected to roadside body cavity checks at traffic stops, when did this become an acceptable crime fighting method? When did this become ethical? Why have so many police forces from across the country fought the right of the people to film them while doing their jobs?
Read about David Eckert, his kidnapping from his car by law enforcement and what he was subjected to…. including a forced colonoscopy. He got a 1.6 mil settlement. Still no word on suspension/firing/prosecution of the officers for aggravated sexual battery.
Care to look at all the cases of police killing the family dog over nothing, the canine “officer’s” life is regarded by the law as more valuable than ours. But if a cop shoots your dog… “justified”. Our Sheriff has been by many times, social calls, he’s a good guy though I didn’t vote for him in the last election. He knows my 3 dogs are charged with guarding my 40 acres and can come across as rather vicious. I doubt I would ever have an issue but I love my dogs, they are my children, if anyone drew down on them, including a cop, I would draw on them. All warnings aside, you shoot my dog and I drop you in the dirt…. and you won’t get up. Keyboard bravado is easy to come by, this isn’t that. A dad protects his kids.
The very definition of “heroic” Is an action that requires placing one’s own physical safety in jeopardy in order to secure the physical safety of others first? If things don’t change we are going to lose our heroes…. and it won’t be our fault, it will be the fault of those charged with protecting us insisting that their safety always comes first…. and insisting it to the extreme.
PR, you’ve seen things I never will, and you’ve seen them from the inside, I don’t discount that at all.
When I was a young whippersnapper, there was an old black and white 30 minute long TV series that I watched. It was probably way too ‘adult’ for me back then but hey, it was the 50s where decency on the airwaves was common. The series was called The Naked City and a voiceover at the introduction would inform, ‘there are a million stories in the Naked City…’ Well, the US population is around 300 million and I submit that there are 300 million stories in the US. We never hear most of those stories because the people somehow manage to live their lives in the peaceful pursuit of happiness and like you lamented, without contact with law enforcement. Most never do anything to propel themselves into the national light and live happily in obscurity. Edmund Burke’s Fourth Estate is indeed an essential safeguard to our way of life, but the sad fact is that the sensational story floats their boat so that is the side most often presented. Cops shoot an unarmed man; awful, horrible, tragic, but what the media presents is almost always the end chase and the sensational and we never learn what events transpired before the sensational end. I have seen some of the most horrible excuses for governments depraved men can imagine. What we have in the US is not really even on the same planet as the regimes of Idi Amin Dada, Pol Pot, Uncle Joe, and Hitler (may they all rest in eternal torment). What our forefathers have created here in the US is not perfect but it is lightyears ahead of anything else on this mortal coil.
When I was young, I craved excitement and had my wish fulfilled to the point that my wife and I still sleep in separate beds for fear that I will wake up from a bad dream and clobber her. She wakes me from the end of my bed by shaking a toe. I know now that what bothered me is now called PTSD but in those days seeking ‘professional help’ would likely result in a lost clearance and with it the job. Young men and ladies never understand the worst that can happen when they join the military, an intelligence organization, or that thin blue line. Most sincerely want to ‘make a difference.’ A few however seek to use their power and position to bully and sadly we hear of their unseemly behavior on the nightly news.
Honorable Patriotic service can all too often ends poorly and someone has to tell that young wife with three kids peaking out behind her that she has just become a widow and help the children understand dad is never coming home again. I know. In my organization we often partnered with a kindred soul and entered into what was called ‘the agreement.’ The Agreement was, that the surviving partner would be the one to break the news. We should be proud that this nation still raises young people with the starch to charge toward the sound of gunfire, young people with the courage to put themselves in harm’s way and to defend the weak from the bully.
Me, I’ve been to too many funerals.
John, I concluded from what appeared venom, that you had been mishandled. I really appreciate your reasoned response. I confess to being upset.
Someday, I shall try to write a post further explaining my thoughts. Yes, there is tragedy. On the news currently is the sad story of the high school student knifing his classmates. I heard a lawyer explain that there had to be some underlying reason for this behavior, the kid was bullied, was an outcast. Bull! That kid was fully witting when he sneaked the knife into the school. He is a murderer and not some misunderstood juvenile delinquent. A mere hundred and fifty years ago, if he survived for more than a few moments, it would be so he could be hung before nightfall. The kid is a murderer whose actions has forfeited his right to live with decent people. John, if you really want to be mad about something, be mad about a system that protects scum like this.