It looks like I’ve attracted a cop starting with this post at Unc’s place. We’ve been going back and forth in the comments of my last post. He’s posting as “Unknown,” but I’m taking an educated guess that it’s “Curtis” from that post on SaysUncle.
The comments are getting a bit long and I figured this deserved another post. Some of this is a bit of rambling, but I appreciate the exchange and wanted to expound on a few other somewhat related topics. Read those comments in the last post for context.
Most recently, among other things, I asked Curtis/Unknown what he thought of four items. You can read the details in the comments of Institutional Thuggery, but here’s the summary of the four things on which I would like every cop to express his opinion:
- Mike Vanderboegh’s “Choose this day whom you will serve.”: An Open Letter to American Law Enforcement.
- The right of citizens to record police activity.
- Abuse of ‘disorderly conduct,’ ‘resisting arrest,’ and other “piling on” types of charges.
Curtis/Unknown (I’ll call him Curtis from here on out) obliged and actually gave his opinion which I do sincerely appreciate. We need to know where cops stand on these things (and I’m sure that there are others) in the event that things go completely sideways.
In Curtis’ most recent response, he asked this question:
If someone decides they don’t like cops and attacks me specifically for that reason shouldn’t they be held accountable for that?
Absolutely not. He should be held accountable for attacking you. Period. Whatever his motive, even if it is specifically because you are a cop, there should be no more severe punishment because of it. I concede that if there is a warrant for an arrest or there is otherwise probable cause that a crime has been committed, then, and only then, if he resists arrest by assaulting the officer, then he should be charged with assault and resisting arrest in addition to the original crime. But as far as additional penalties for assaulting an officer that do not exist for assaulting non-LEOs, absolutely not. You’ve already got the original crime, assault, and resisting arrest. There’s absolutely no need for an ‘assault on a officer’ charge, and in fact it perpetuates the false belief that people have that the life of a police officer is more valuable that someone who is not.
If cops don’t get any extra measure of protection under the law should anyone?
No, no one should. Go back and take a look at the whole Martha Boggs / Stacey Campfield discussion. You can read it at Unc’s place, Linoge’s place, and Rich Hailey’s. I think it was Rich who said, somewhere in that discussion, that if anyone gets extra protection that means that someone gets less protection. You can’t have it both ways. Equal protection and extra protection cannot coexist.
No one deserves special protection. You may be missing my point. If you don’t think you are, please explain what you think “equal treatment under the law” means.
I realize that this may be an assault on everything Curtis and other cops have been taught or conditioned to believe. I note that Curtis includes a pretty long list of people who are specially protected in his state. And that is the problem. We have a protected class, and then everyone else. Some are more equal than others. As long as attitudes exist that are expressed in this article on Enforcer Training, particular this gem:
“…what I see when [enforcers] ‘re-group’ with their peers is a profound change in the way they act and see the world. The first thing that stands out is something that you can only describe as a sigh of relief – relief to be back among ‘those who understand you’ – and from that point on it’s blatantly obvious that they exist in a world of their own – a world which is at odds with the world in which the rest of us live. The world of enforcers is different to that of non-enforcers – something which we really need to understand.”
then the institution of law enforcement will continue to degenerate and become delegitimized. This is the epitome of an anti-Peelian law enforcement mentality.
Protection of Assault or Battery due to the nature of the job? That can mean at least a couple of things. First, it could mean the same protection anyone else gets, meaning criminal charges can be filed against the perp.
Or, second, it could possibly mean that you think that the penalty for assaulting an officer should be higher than for assaulting someone who is not.
It’s that second one I take issue with. Take the case of Maryanne Godboldo of Detroit. Welfare workers were medicating her daughter unnecessarily, or at a minimum, against the will of Maryanne. So the cops were trying to remove her daughter (i.e.: state sanctioned kidnapping), and she allegedly shot at them. At a minimum, there was a gun involved and standoff. Also, see here. There were criminal charges filed against her for her resistance of the illegal force (judge ruled warrant was bogus) used in abducting her daughter.
Both the Indiana and the US Supreme Courts have decided that the 4th Amendment doesn’t actually protect us against what it says it protects us against and decided that if we are illegally invaded by law enforcement, then we have no right whatsoever to defend ourselves. We must let the courts work it out, or, as most definitely happens in some cases, just sit back and let them kill us. There are some who believe that what the Supreme Court says is final. I don’t ascribe to that. The black robed tyrants have just put yet another nail in the coffin of their legitimacy.
I can’t find the exact quote right now, but there was one libertarian writer who summarized the 2nd Amendment along the lines of Mike Vanderboegh’s “If you try to take our guns we will kill you.” I believe he said something to the effect of, as hard as it is for some to swallow, my right to keep and bear arms exists so that when some government bureaucrat comes to take my child because he or his bosses have a problem with some aspect of how I’m raising him, then I can kill him right there. If cops engage in illegal activity (or even legal, but unconstitutional/tyrannical) to take me or mine into custody, I would like to know: do you think I should just comply and let the courts work things out? Destroying my reputation and finances while they’re at it? Or maybe even injure, maim, or kill me or mine in the process?
Sorry, but “articulable safety concern” doesn’t cut it. That leaves it to the discretion of an officer to deprive someone of his civil rights. Giving discretion to those charged with administering the law turns us into a nation under the rule of men rather than the rule of law. By the book (and not the Second Set of Books), and nothing else. Every time there is LEO misbehavior, I am utterly disgusted when the inevitable statement comes: “We are investigating the matter internally to determine if any department policies were violated and cannot comment on internal personnel matters.” That’s a perversion of justice. Frankly, nothing should be an internal personnel matter. You are a public employee. Deal with it. And I really don’t give a rodent’s posterior if any rules were broken. I want to know if any laws were broken or any rights were violated. And if they were, the officer needs to be fired and banned from ever being in any kind of law enforcement again and prosecuted as any non-LEO would be prosecuted. The only “articulable safety concern” is if there is probably cause for an arrest. And the mere possession of a firearm is not probable cause for anything.
For the items I asked about, thanks for answering.
A) Oathkeepers – are you saying that I should implicitly trust those who have taken the oath? Even with the rampant oath breaking? There would be no need for an organization like Oathkeepers if there wasn’t a systemic problem of oath breaking. Do I trust those who join? A little more, yes, due to the risk they potentially incur from their superiors and possibly a few other reasons.
B) Mike Vanderboegh’s “Choose this day whom you will serv.”: An Open Letter to American Law Enforcement. –
Wow, you sure honed in on something that makes clear you took it personally. He was not at all making a generalization. He was merely making an ancillary point. And that is that you need us. And that you best figure that out and how to capitalize on that now before it gets so nasty out there that it’s too late. It’s essentially getting back to the Peelian Principles of Policing.
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.
So now the people are to blame for the negligent and criminal behavior of NOPD? Gotcha.
I know he talked about more than that but that’s what got stuck in my mind.
Which makes me wonder where you stand on the salient points of the letter, since you chose to focus on one point you assumed he was making, but clearly was not.
C) Citizen video recording of police activity — Good to know. It would be nice to know that your department has that as an official position and has disseminated that policy to all of its officers.
D) You missed the point again. It seems that so many LEOs think they are an authority of the people in general. Anything they command that is not blatantly illegal, is a “lawful order.” And we are to obey. LEOs are not in authority of peaceable citizens. If there is no law being broken, and we are not contaminating a crime scene or directly interfering with a lawful arrest (i.e.: video recording in and of itself is not interfering), and you, for example, ask me to stop filming, or even stop flipping you the bird (if that’s my inclination), and I refuse, then “disorderly conduct,” or “disobeying a lawful order” is nothing but a trumped up charge because someone showed contempt by not respecting your “authority”. And, no, it’s not just up to the local leadership to fix. If any of the scenarios I’ve described occur, you have the option of letting it go. Nice if the law is stricter what LEOs can do, but you have the option of not misapplying those charges.
I think it’s important to discuss these issues, too, but there is no mystery in my mind. As long as attitudes exist like in that Enforcement Training article, it’s fair to ask, are you relieved when you are around those in LE as opposed to those who aren’t? Because they understand you? Any LEO who fits that description is a long way off from following Peel.
Common ground, by the way, isn’t the goal here. It’s a nicety, but it is not essential. I only seek to gain intel on which side cops see themselves on in the event of things getting worse, as Vanderboegh describes.
Finding common ground sounds too much like what those in the current administration thought when they saw so much public opposition to the health control bill. They thought that they needed to communicate what they were trying to do better, when the real problem was a policy disagreement. We knew precisely what they were trying to do and that was taking another major step in converting this nation into their utopian workers’ paradise where they only need to kill a few million right wingers to perfect it.
That’s not to say that’s what you are trying to do. But let’s be clear that I am not, ultimately, interested in the perspective of a someone who works in law enforcement. Certainly, I’m interested in what you have to say. That way I know what we’ll have to deal with should there be some sort of breakdown of law and order. I am only concerned with perspectives in the interest of liberty. If there is a tradeoff that involves liberty or making law enforcement easier or safer, but has no other measurable benefits, I will always side with liberty.
On the idea of going on a ride along with one of my local agencies, I think there may be a problem, there. You see, I’m not willing to do so unarmed. And as a FREE MAN, I would demand that that be respected. So I doubt it’s going to happen. Any disarmament is always about control and never about safety.
Some say that no rights are absolute. I believe that is bunk. My Right to Keep and Bear Arms is absolute. Some will scream, “how can I claim the right to gun down anyone I choose?” or some other similar nonsense. My claim is to keep (own, possess) my arms and bear (carry) them. And that no government interference (i.e.: infringement) at any level of government is either or moral or constitutional. I believe that manufacture, ownership, trade, sale, purchase, carry (in any safe mode, anywhere, anytime), safe practice, and storage of any weapon, ammunition, accessories should be completely out of the reach of any government control, from the Federal level down to Homeowners’ Associations. That said, I may be fine with a regime of training certifications that would reduce my insurance should I need to deploy a weapon in defense. I’m good with the Pittman Robertson Trust Fund, as well, but I’d much rather see it done at the state level without the involvement of the Feds at all.
To be clear, I don’t hate all cops. But law enforcement as a whole is committing institutional suicide with its constant circling of the wagons. It seems as if Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy is alive and well. And I would also add another corollary to that law. Even for that first group of people, those dedicated to the goals of the organization, they need to be cognizant of the fact that there may, indeed come a time when the goals are no longer relevant, necessary, or laudatory. There may come a time when disbanding the organization makes the most sense and those who are part of that organization/institution should be more than willing to move onto some other, more productive and valued task. I’m not saying that that time has come, but there was a time when we did just fine without “law enforcement” in its current incarnation.