- Pilot diverts an international flight to save a dog traveling in cargo. (Yeah, I’ll bet that made some passengers mad, but …)
- The busybodies and their puppets in poly-ticks who hope to control all human behavior (including human ingenuity), really ought to have another think: prisoner nearly escapes using toothpaste and thread.
- Director of the Nobel Institute at the time President Unicorn got his peace prize regrets the award.
- Speaking of Obama, he’s just signed an executive order essentially allowing fedgov agencies to perform social “science” research on us all. Naturally, the evil father of “libertarian paternalism (spit!),” Cass Sunstein, has a hand in this.
- Yes, expat haven Panama is really, truly lightening up its gun laws. Not enough, mind you, but it’s a start and it’s not just a rumor. (H/T jb)
- Headline says it all: “Two of the nation’s top cops will be responsible for the next targeted killings.” Okay, not directly responsible; that will lie on the heads of the killers. But these guys will have aided and abetted. So far, however, there is no “war on police.”
- How many cops does it take to deal with a jaywalking kid? Even if he is showing some attitude (which, so far, seems unproven anyhow).
- 11 secrets to a successful ER visit. (Sent by ML, who knows.)
- Some techies have invented a system for making “anonymous” online surveys actually anonymous.
Hey, the 2015 IgNobel Prizes are out. I’ll take their word on the bee stings.
From Martin Kaste’s “thing” on NPR’s All Things Considered.
“I think that this ‘war on cops’ rhetoric is just another way to protect police from accountability,” she says. “What they’re facing is not violence; it’s accountability.”
Seems a bit like blaming a girl’s rape on the length of her skirt. Come on, people, you can’t have it both ways.
The girl in the short skirt has probably not been going around kicking people’s doors down, shooting their dogs, stealing their stuff during traffic stops, tasing handcuffed people, and beating people into comas.
And if she ever did such things, she would certainly not have her name hidden by her bosses, be allowed weeks before being interviewed by the police, get paid leave from her job, or have a union demanding she be allowed to continue rampaging.
Should cops be shot at random? No, of course not. Should individual thugs — and their bosses — be held accountable for conducting reigns of terror? Oh, you betcha.
I guess the jaywalking “kid” (who, like poor little Michael Brown, looked to be at least as big or bigger than any of the cops, regardless of his age) would not want me on the jury deciding his guilt or innocence. All he had to do was comply. He was jaywalking, which was against the law. He got caught. He resisted, and the cops took him down. It didn’t seem to me to be a particularly violent takedown. There seemed to be only one bystander heckling the cops. The cops get credit IMO for not reacting to her. And the ‘kid’ was ‘sobbing’ as the cops led him off. Sounds like to me like he bit off more than he could chew. Maybe it was an opportunity for him to grow up a little.
Claire, at the top of the NPR transcript was a picture of Darren Goforth. We have to separate him, who I understand was one of the good ones, from those who are guilty of your list of sins. I understand there are some in LE who are there because they ‘love’ the power, and ‘get off’ on it. How was Darren Goforth ‘accountable’ for your list of atrocities if he never partook? He was killed simply because he “had on a short skirt and looked like he deserved it.” We must not condone that, unless you are saying that the time has come to ‘kill the bastards.’
[Should individual thugs — and their bosses — be held accountable for conducting reigns of terror? Oh, you betcha.]
Should they be? Yes. Will they be? No. It’s simply impossible to imagine a system that would treat the cops as severely as the peons. The incentives don’t work out that way.
We can refrain from condoning the exceedingly rare cop shooting all we like, but things will not change until a war happens. Getting into discussions over whether cops will then “deserve” what they get are pretty pointless. It’s just the way things are going to roll.
And Bob, Heaven forbid that jaywalking would be allowed. Why, that would be anarchy!
As to the social science research, it brings that Bastiat quote:
“If I had to point out the characteristic trait that differentiates socialism from [a proper view of the political economy], I should find it here. Socialism includes a countless number of sects. Each one has its own utopia, and we may well say that they are so far from agreement that they wage bitter war upon one another. Between M. Blanc’s organized social workshops and M. Proudhon’s anarchy, between Fourier’s association and M. Cabet’s communism, there is certainly all the difference between night and day. What then, is the common denominator to which all forms of socialism are reducible, and what is the bond that unites them against natural society, or society as planned by Providence? There is none except this: They do not want natural society. What they want is an artificial society, which has come forth full-grown from the brain of its inventor… They quarrel over who will mould the human clay, but they agree that there is human clay to mould. Mankind is not in their eyes a living and harmonious being endowed by God Himself with the power to progress and to survive, but an inert mass that has been waiting for them to give it feeling and life; human nature is not a subject to be studied, but matter on which to perform experiments.”
BTW this quote has always confused me a bit. Apparently during Bastiat’s time, anarchy was considered a branch of socialism. Perhaps someone versed in the history of politics can explain this?
“How was Darren Goforth ‘accountable’ for your list of atrocities if he never partook?”
I know almost nothing about Darren Goforth except that he was apparently chosen for death just because he was a cop. If that’s true, then he was a murder victim, pure and simple, and murder is wrong, whether it’s cops doing it to “civilians” or them doing it to cops. I was clear in my last comment that I don’t condone the random killing of anybody.
That Nobel article is a perfect example of statist beer goggles, isn’t it?
Also, quite a confirmation of what a lot of us figured, at the time. (You know, the sort of unfair assumption-mongering that was such a killjoy among all those cult-of-personality parties.)
Don’t get me wrong. When/if a cop gets what he deserves, you won’t hear a word of complaint from me. However, I refuse to adopt the mindset that since the news “seems” to be full of cops brutalizing the hoi polloi, it follows that killing cops is “holding cops accountable.” That’s what the NPR thing was suggesting(not you, Claire).
Now, jaywalking – I’m a grown man, and I have to admit, I jaywalk from time to time. However, if a cop, right or wrong, took exception to that, and decided to cite me, I have a choice. I can either submit or resist. Each choice has it’s own set of consequences, When it comes time for me to resist, I hope I have enough sense to pick a battle that means something, rather than resisting a cop who wants to ticket me for jaywalking. Of course, at my age, things don’t look the same as they did when I was 16.
Claire, at the top of the NPR transcript was a picture of Darren Goforth. We have to separate him, who I understand was one of the good ones, from those who are guilty of your list of sins.
I spend some time volunteering as a civilian with our local PD. [ducks Claire’s outraged stare] So I’m around cops when they’re working, and when they’re off the clock.
The officer who is our liaison with the PD recently talked about the Goforth murder. His take was that the targeting of LEOs was solely due to a civilian culture change, and that it’s the civilian culture that needs changed back. Period. I don’t know any LEOs, including Massad Ayoob, who disagree.
IMHO there are problems with this:
1. There’s absolutely no acknowledgement among those in law enforcement, from “two of the nation’s top cops” down, that there’s any problem with the way law enforcement operates.
2. There are problems with the way law enforcement operates. Wrong-door raids where innocent people get hurt, and the LEO response is “procedures were followed, we won’t apologize or even fix the door, end of story.” Asset forfeiture. Petty crimes enforcement to raise funds for government budgets. Unions forcing the rehire of cops who shouldn’t be loose on the street, much less have a gun and badge. SWAT raids for minor offenses, like neighborhood poker games. And others.
3. Prosecutors and courts who see justice as a game, rather than a service.
4. There’s a general blindness by nearly everyone who is advocating for “police accountability” that the source of the problem isn’t the police chief, but the city/county/state government he or she answers to.
The longer law enforcement, the governments that oversee them, and their detractors, are in denial, the worse the problem gets.
Under California law, jaywalking is an infraction, not a misdemeanor, carrying fines up to $191.
I write up court logs for a newspaper. I’ll bet that in addition to the fine, there’ll be court costs, probation fees, and other charges that will at least triple that amount. $600 you don’t have, plus penalties when you can’t pay, might be incentive to unsubmit.
I reminded myself by going through the Anarchist Theory FAQ:
Also by reading Wikipedia about Proudhon, whose ideas were a bit esoteric if you ask me.
[There’s absolutely no acknowledgement among those in law enforcement…]
“Circle the wagons” behavior.
I guess that’s the whole point of having power; you don’t have to apologize or to justify your actions.
“There’s a general blindness by nearly everyone who is advocating for “police accountability” that the source of the problem isn’t the police chief, but the city/county/state government he or she answers to.”
Larry, you have to go one rung deeper on the ladder. The police chief is in the same category as the rest of the city/county/state people – elected and otherwise. They are all enabled by the “citizens.” Those in government – at any level – will do what they do as long as the ordinary people believe that those involved actually have a legitimate authority to control the lives and property of others.
Take a look at this small book. It could change your whole outlook. http://www.larkenrose.com/component/content/article/34-books/2019-the-most-dangerous-superstition.html
“I dint do nuffin!” It’s the new phrase that pays. Saw on the national news a 16 year old kid resisting the police, the news had quotes from the kid, nothing from the cop. Video they showed shows the cop roughing up the kid, kid says “I dint do nuffin!” the cops say he was jaywalking and when told to get on the sidewalk, he tried to grab the cops body camera and cussed at him. In the end the kid is hauled to the ground by 4 cops, struggling all the way down. This should be easy to clear up, let’s face it, if he grabbed for the body camera, we ought to see a hand coming at the camera, unless it was shut off…
BTW 16 year old boy, I was a 16 yearold boy and I was an asshole, I have a 16 yearold grandson who’s being an asshole, ok, maybe that’s genetic and maybe, just maybe it’s the 16 yearolds being an asshole.
Unfortunately, I’m a regular visitor and am on a first name basis with my whole ER staff.
One rule they didn’t have really should: Never go alone!
One day long ago I was walking to high school when I came to an intersection with a cop standing in the middle of it. He wasn’t facing me or giving any obvious stop-go signals. I’d never run into this situation before and had no idea what I was supposed to do, so after a pause, I crossed the street.
The cop gave me a foul glare, obviously believing I was being deliberately defiant. After that I figured out that if a cop’s standing in the middle of the street, you have to wait to figure out what he wants.
More recently, I was driving down a two-lane highway that had very, very narrow shoulders. Two adolescent girls were walking along the shoulder and every time a car would pass, one of the girls would make a move as if to dart out into traffic, trying to get the cars to swerve. Both girls seemed to think this was hilarious. As soon as I could find a safe place, I parked, walked back down the road, and gave the pair holy hell, pointing out that they could get themselves or somebody else killed. I doubt they ever played that game again.
Would a more appropriate response in these two situations have been for the “perps” to have been tackled by half a dozen cops, handcuffed, and hauled to jail?
“Would a more appropriate response in these two situations have been for the “perps” to have been tackled by half a dozen cops, handcuffed, and hauled to jail?”
I’m not sure what I have said which would justify that question. However, if the cop told you to wait for his signal, and you crossed anyway, THEN what would be appropriate for the cop to do? If a cop told the two girls to quit, and they continued, THEN what would be appropriate? If the two girls had refused to quit after you so gently and respectfully(smile) suggested that they should, what would have been your next move?
Over the years, and there have been a lot of them, I’ve interacted with cops many times – arrested twice, numerous “sobriety checks,” roadblocks, speeding tickets, illegal parking, as well as calling 911 once, security alarm being tripped, wreck investigations, etc., etc. I have never personally experienced anything that I would call discourteous, unprofessional, or brutal.
That’s not to say it doesn’t happen. I’m sure it does. But it hasn’t happened to me. Maybe I’ve just been lucky. Fact is, I show them respect and they show me the same. At the same time, I’ve never been asked to do anything which violated my rights. If they wanted me to consent to a search, or if the swat guys showed up at the wrong house, there would probably be more to this post.
Here’s my take on it. I’m being asked to accuse cops in general of being brutes and thugs based on an incident or two or three or twenty or more. I won’t do it. I’ve seen video of cops loving/hugging kids, break dancing with kids(in full uniform), saving animals, and giving of themselves to their communities in many ways. Should I ask others to agree that cops in general are like that? No. Some are, some aren’t. I’ll deal with them on the basis of who they are, not who someone else says they are.
” I’m being asked to accuse cops in general of being brutes and thugs based on an incident or two or three or twenty or more.”
I don’t know who’s asking you to make that assumption. It’s not me. Believe it or not, I’ve written on this blog about cops doing good things and I don’t believe in tarring all members of a group with the same brush.
That said, in this country we do have a huge problem with police culture and with cops getting away with the most egregious misbehaviors, up to and including murder. Asset forfeiture has allowed police to become highwaymen and SWAT raids are used — sometimes fatally — for minor matters. The drug war has corrupted policing from top to bottom. Cops have been taught to think of non-cops as the enemy — and increasingly they treat us as such.
You ask what would have been appropriate if cops had demanded that I or those girls stop our behavior and we didn’t. I can’t tell you precisely what I think would have been appropriate (though it certainly could have included physically stopping us if we were endangering anybody). I can tell you, though, that there are limits to what’s appropriate. And having nine cops pounding somebody into the ground isn’t appropriate. Not for the combination of jaywalking and disrespect of cop.
You seem to live in a world where if a cop gives an order, every citizen is obligated immediately to comply. I acknowledge that we live in a world where that’s generally the safest thing to do if you don’t want to get your skull cracked open.
However, “compliance” isn’t the greatest virtue in a free country. Compliance is one of the highest demands of a police state.
@Paul: Meant to come back to the Anarchist question, but got sidetracked – in the middle of starting to finish an AR. 🙂
Anyways, I’m no expert, but have done a bit of reading. I was confused about it as well, with the various flavors of anarchism. Seems somewhat along the lines of our present-day adjective libertarianism, where people attempt to redefine it to suit their particular beliefs. Back in the days of folks such as Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman, there were self-described anarchists who were, in fact, quite socialistic in their beliefs. I don’t that this a complete disconnect, as a voluntary association, organized according to socialist principles, could also be opposed to the existence of a state.
Well, you’ve sent me off on a wiki-wander, which has brought several names I recognize from prior reading. I could spend way too much time on this. Reading further, there is presently no shortage of adjective anarchists with a leftist bent.
Larry, you have to go one rung deeper on the ladder.
Oh, absolutely. It’s the voters who voted them in, and who have to vote them out. But until the activists realize that, and quit trying to have the government fix the problem it caused, the fixes won’t work.
On the arrest video, leaving aside the question of whether we should have jaywalking laws, the proper job of the police is to enforce the law. Regarding how this came about, the devil is in the details, pretty much none of which we know. As one of the links posted on this blog noted, the subjective behavior of the police matters greatly. And unfortunately, most of them are no longer being trained to “protect and serve” but to control in an adversarial environment. The media promotes this, as we are well aware, by sensationalizing selected incidents.
So the specifics of the kid’s and the cop’s initial behaviors aren’t known. Still, telling him not to jaywalk was a lawful order. If he refused to comply, the cop could (1) plead with him, (2) ignore him, or (3) enforce his order. Doing either of the first two completely negates any authority the cop has and effectively sets the stage for a worsening situation. In the video he repeatedly tells the kid to stop resisting, which the kid refuses to do. Then cops show up en masse and very efficiently take the kid into custody in a way designed not to hurt him, for any prolonged struggle increases the chance of injury. The cops did nothing else and did not respond to the constant cursing of the video taker.
Police ignore the race of an individual at their great peril. Since the kid was black, the officer had no real way of knowing if he was (1) a goofy kid just being stupid, (2) someone who on his own wanted to insult and provoke the police, i.e., had a ‘tude and was intentionally passive-agressive, or (3) part of a planned incident. The police also didn’t know how quickly a large crowd of blacks would gather to threaten them. There seems to be plenty of encouragement from people in high (retch) places for them to do just those kinds of things. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/17/valerie-jarrett-meets-black-lives-matter-leaders-white-house/
The police would have been foolhardy to take their time and have a discussion with the kid on the street, especially with all the cursing. Times, sadly, have changed. If they were going to try to have a conversation with the kid and lecture him, as you did, Claire, with the two girls, they would be begging for trouble. The two girls, I think, greatly benefited from the lecture because they likely weren’t bad people to start with and didn’t have others to egg them on or to harass and threaten you when you talked to them. You did exactly the right thing at the time; to your credit, you obviously were the only person who cared enough to go to the trouble. The police, I believe, did what they had to do once the kid refused to comply.
Shel — My take couldn’t be more different than yours. “Stop resisting” has become a kind of code phrase for police. They use it to try to provide evidence (esp on video) to justify rough behavior, even when the target isn’t resisting, a fact that’s become notorious.
Now, was this kid resisting? Hard to say from the video. At the time the cop started shouting, “Stop resisting,” the boy seemed to be curled up in a fetal position, sobbing. Is that resistance? I suppose that’s in the eye of the beholder, and in the eye of a cop, yes, generally anything that isn’t snappy compliance is resistance. But to me it looked like a terrified self-protective response — hardly the sort of punching, kicking, fighting, etc. that to me would constitute real resistance.
Notice that when the cop backs off, the kid just sits there and the officer is clearly not threatened or even worried that the boy’s going to bolt. This was a situation that could have used defusing, not violent escalation. The kid was hysterical; the cops showed him he really did have something to be terrified of.
Yes, we’re all just second-guessing, especially since we have no way of knowing what went before. But it still looks like a grotesque, hyper-authoritarian overreaction to me.
” If he refused to comply”
Also, as you initially imply, we really don’t know whether the kid “refused to comply” or just perhaps didn’t understand an order or merely irritated the cop in some way. We don’t know. But we do know he was sitting quietly in an extremely distressed state when the cops threw him to the sidewalk.
Jaywalking? This ranks along with crossing a freeway and other stupid activities… pretty much self regulating most of the time. The person either gets to the other side, gets hit, or gets the crap scared out of him/her so they don’t try it again. Civil liability should handle any actual damages.
Why do so many people believe that police (or anyone else) actually have any authority to dictate their behavior? That is the whole weight behind the “compliance” thing.
“You seem to live in a world where if a cop gives an order, every citizen is obligated immediately to comply.”
Again, I wonder how you get this impression. Certainly not from anything I have posted, I hope. Fact is, I agree with a lot of what you say – police culture, cops getting away with the most egregious misbehaviors, up to and including murder, asset forfeiture, SWAT raids, drug war – but I want to have an honest discourse. No hyperbole, no exaggeration, but true honest facts, and let the conclusion draw itself. Like you, there are lots of details about the jay-walking kid which I don’t know.
However, I did watch the video – several times. It is my opinion that the cop never swung the baton at the kids face, as claimed in the article. He did hit him twice. The kid was not taken down by nine cops, it was four. And they didn’t pound him into the ground, nor did they throw him to the ground. They put him down pretty easy, IMO, almost gently laying him down. And on his side, not on his face with a knee on the back of his head(like they can do if they want, believe me). The first cop over reacted, but when the others got there, I saw nothing wrong. Nor did I see the cop trying to block the video recording. He was taking a position to keep the crowd back. The kid was either a budding hoodlum, or he was stupid, barring other afflictions we aren’t aware of, and this experience will either help or hurt him.
There’s an agenda at work, and agendas get in the way of the facts. I would rather look at facts and leave agendas for others.
I’m putting my share of the worms back in the can. Someone else can play with them.
Bob — You wrote, “All he had to do was comply.” Which I agree is probably the safest thing to do. I took the implication from your statement that you also believed compliance was the right thing to do when a cop issues a command. I don’t think free people should necessarily be good at compliance.
But perhaps this is just one of the many areas where you and I misunderstand each other, because I also feel you’re not taking my points as I mean them. No biggie.
On some things, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Though “only” four or five cops may have taken the kid down, there were a lot more than that present to deal with the non-existent threat. The message of overwhelming force for the most minor offence was loud and clear. And there is nothing gentle or appropriate about grabbing a kid who’s sitting passively and wrestling him to the sidewalk.
I am curious, though, Bob. Under what circumstances do you feel that compliance with a cop’s orders is not required?
As I said in an earlier post, simply to point out that there are limits to my compliance:
” At the same time, I’ve never been asked to do anything which violated my rights. If they wanted me to consent to a search, or if the swat guys showed up at the wrong house, there would probably be more to this post.”
I don’t know(to answer your question) how to answer your question. 🙂 I can only say that refusing an order to get out of the bus lane and onto the sidewalk is not a battle I would consider fighting. In Michael Brown’s case, if the cop told me to get out of the street, I would. If a cop stopped me and wanted to search my car, I would say no. If a cop came to my house and wanted to come in without a warrant, I would say no, and pray I would have the means at hand to keep him out. If I were selling single cigarettes on the street, knowing it was illegal, and the cops wanted to enforce the law, I probably would not resist their efforts. I don’t know. Maybe if I were presented with a hypothetical, I could give an up or down on whether I would comply, and give a better answer to your question.
You are probably correct to say we misunderstand. I agree, no biggie. I would not say that “compliance was the right thing to do when a cop issues a command” But I WOULD say that noncompliance is not automatically a virtue, or an end in itself. Neither would I say that someone who complies is automatically wrong to do so.
The four cops thing was just to point out that things are sometimes exaggerated to make a point. On whether or not it was appropriate for eight cops to show up when only one was needed, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. I have run crews in construction, and sometimes I showed up with more manpower than the job required, but that doesn’t mean I overreacted. I always wanted enough though I didn’t always have them.
I don’t blame the cops for answering a “backup” call with “enough” cops. Cops were answering backup calls long before the drug war was declared.
I’m all for tons of backups responding to a call…that means fewer revenue enhancement efforts to nab me for going five over the speed limit!
Sorry, couldn’t resist!
Claire, good for you for giving holy hell to those stupid kids. I have also seen kids play this “game.” That was brave of you, but risky also. Even if they were kids, and girls, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t be dangerous. You were outnumbered 2 to 1. They could have been carrying some kind of weapon. Maybe you were armed too, but if you had to use a weapon in self-defense, you would be in legal trouble. I’m sure the prosecutor or their civil attorneys would claim you created or escalated the situation by confronting them personally, when you should have called the cops and let them deal with it. You took a libertarian approach to dealing with bad human behavior, and it worked. It doesn’t always work in a non-libertarian society.
My similar story with kids doing stuff like this: two boys, about age 12, were along the side of the road. One on foot, one on a bike. After thinking about what they did, it must have been a game of chicken. The one on foot gave a signal, and the one on a bike crossed the street right in front of me. I had to slam on the brakes, and my truck suffered a ruptured brake line. I didn’t do or say anything to them, and I didn’t call the cops, out of fear they would cite me for have an unsafe vehicle. I just limped the truck home (blessings of the manual transmission).
The paradigm today is kids have rights and we don’t. A cop essentially told me that, not using those exact words, but that was the message, when I called about trespassing and vandalism on my property. I personally would like to let natural selection do its thing, harsh as it may sound. Deliberately ride a bike on front of a vehicle, take stupid out of the gene pool.