Would You Ask Your Violent, Abusive Neighbor To Help Discipline Your Kids?

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80 Responses

  1. XS says:

    My son was many of the things you describe. His mother had said he could no longer live in her home and so he was living with me, his father. One night a knock at the door and I opened it to see four county sheriffs holding my son who was cuffed. They had a warrant to search the house for drugs and equipment (they found none.) He was sent to jail for 90 days for selling drugs to an under cover officer. It was the best thing that had happened to him. Following release he went back to school and found a job. Eventually getting a Masters. He started his own business and successfully supports himself, rather well, too. This is just my experience with my rule breaking son. Your mileage may vary.
    No neighbors involved in helping!

  2. Ken White says:

    XS: There are many "scared straight" stories like that. They are, to some extent, what we are taught to expect.

    I don't think people expert, or are taught to expect, the downside risks.

  3. jdgalt says:

    It's a good analogy — until the last sentence. Prowlers exist; how should we deal with them? If calling the police is not an option, I see only two alternatives. One is to ignore the prowler and let him do as he pleases. The second is to handle the matter in a way that will wind up — at best — with your neighbors describing YOU as violent and abusive, and at worst with the bad guy and/or neighbors calling the police against you and prevailing.

    There is a point where cultural norms become so leftist that self-defense stops working. If we allow that to happen, we're hosed. (The leftist definition of a "racist" as anyone who calls out bad behavior by a member of a protected group is strongly related to this problem.)

  4. Ken White says:

    Prowlers exist; how should we deal with them?

    We should deal with them cognizant of the risks we run by calling the police, rather than assuming that calling the police is a safe thing to do.

  5. Bastardo Viejo says:

    I think we should start drawing parents, police and children from the good-people pile instead of whichever pile they're getting them from now.

    In all seriousness, I am just as disturbed with the father who now points his finger at the police for over reacting (which they did grossly) when he let the dogs loose by reporting his van stolen.

  6. Zack says:

    What is the solution, then, to issues with the police? We've had issues with corruption long before the concept of a drug war even existed- the corruption of 1800's police departments was infamous; in the early 1900's, it was prohibition, in the mid 1900's, it was fighting gangs. J Edgar Hoover more or less had the FBI as his personal mob until he died. Problems with police predate the drug war.

    So what would the solution be? What would be the better alternative, beyond merely ending the drug war? How do you fight corruption and militarization in the police, and still have an entity capable of enforcing the laws of the land? (Unless, as Clark [I think, anyway] does, that you don't need one at all.)

    I guess that's what irks me the most- I see proposals centering on ending the drug war and while that would end some of the issues, we know that the issues stretch beyond that… and most people tend to not possess solutions beyond that or refuse to answer the question.

  7. Bastardo Viejo says:

    (continued) The notion that police and "boot-camp" drill masters are there to hand down life lessons and lead our children along the path of a more moral and disciplined life is just one example of widely held beliefs that make Americans a race of morons. There are 1,000's of them. Each seems to stem from intellectual laziness and a fetish for simple answers that have mass appeal.

    I say this having just lived through another agonizing Breast Cancer Awareness month.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QPZfcYTUaA

  8. bkmak says:

    So is today Stomp on Law Enforcement Day here on Popehat?

  9. Chris Rhodes says:

    @bkmak

    Leave those poor officers alone! Leave them alone!! *cries*

  10. Steven H. says:

    @Zack

    in the early 1900's, it was prohibition, in the mid 1900's, it was fighting gangs.

    You don't see a similarty between Prohibition and the Drug War? Really?

    And the criminal mobs/gangs that arose out of Prohibition and the Drug War are remarkably similar as well, really.

    Ultimately, Prohibition II will have to go away, hopefully before it finishes warping our society beyond all recognition.

  11. ZarroTsu says:

    People need to find the government reset button soon; things are getting pretty enraging lately.

  12. TimH says:

    Janice Wells is suing Richland and Lumpkin cities:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/173227744/Janice-Wells-Docket-History

  13. Autolukos says:

    @Zack
    In a word, "accountability." If officers who tortured old ladies were jailed or excluded from future policing instead of rehired by a new department, I suspect the incidence of police old-lady-torture would decline rapidly.

  14. bkmak says:

    @ Chris Rhodes

    Not even close. Just curious why there is so much hate is all. Clearly there are bad Police Officers, that's because they are human. All the officers I know wouldn't ever act how they are being painted by Clark and Ken today. I'm all for discussions about things, and differing view points, but to wholesale say all Cops are Eeeevvviill is bull. I'm certainly sorry if my question, and my dissension from the mandatory Pope Hat opinion upset your delicate sensibilities and forced you to tears.

  15. TimH says:

    Kinda @bkmak… but I wonder if it is true to note that cops generally refer to police as Law Enforcement Officers (or some subset of same, or LEOs) in posts

  16. Quiet Lurcker says:

    @Zach —

    What is the solution, then, to issues with the police?

    I can't give you a real-world answer to your question – and it is a good one.

    If you are willing to do a bit of self-directed research, I offer, from the worlds of sci-fi and fantasy, at least a conceptual model from which we as a society might draw inspiration.

    Look at Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar. Look at E.E. "Doc" Smith's Lensmen. Look at the shadow government mentioned in the movie "Remo Williams: the adventure begins" (and $DEITY forgive me for commending this bad a movie to you).

    In the real world, look at the concept of what the internal affairs (or whatever it is called) department within your local police department, FBI office, or similar is intended to do.

    Bottom line, I think you're looking for the answer to the question "Qui custodiat custodes?" Sadly, I think you, like Diogenes, will probably end up disappointed in the long term.

  17. TimH says:

    @Ken
    Janice Wells judgement below.

    A bit odd. Thoughts?

    https://ecf.gamd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2012-00093-41-4-cv

  18. a_random_guy says:

    @bkmak: The problem is: there are bad cops, and it is very, very rare for them to suffer any consequences as a result of their behavior. If a victim sues, it doesn't affect the misbehaving cop; the taxpayers pay the bill. In the unusual case that a cop is actually fired, he turns up a little while later, working for the police department one town over.

    So, sure, there are good cops. The problem is, they seem tolerate the bad cops – when one of their colleagues crosses the line, why do we never hear the other police, the judges, the DAs, the mayor saying "we will not tolerate this behavior in our ranks"? Why do they, invariably, close ranks to protect the bad cop?

    I think Clark absolutely nails it in his article: This is a fundamental flaw in the culture of law enforcement. It is probably an irremediable flaw. "Qui custodiat custodes?"

  19. Dion starfire says:

    Anybody that calls the police on their child has, somewhere along the line, screwed up (or, as in XS case, "allowed"* somebody else to screwup) as a parent. In other words, you reap what you sow.

    *given how messed up divorce and custody cases can be, I use the term "allow" VERY loosely. basically, sh*tty parenting has been involved somewhere (whether it was you or somebody else doesn't matter to the kid or the society that has to clean up the mess).

  20. nidefatt says:

    Um, drop the "good faith" nonsense for the exclusionary rule, enforce the 4th amendment the way it is written, rather than allowing any violation of any law to allow for arrest, toss laws that limit how much a person can collect for a successful 1983 action, end the war on drugs.

    Ta da. As Scalia wrote in his dissent in McLaughlin- "One hears the complaint, nowadays, that the Fourth Amendment has become constitutional law for the guilty; that it benefits the career criminal (through the exclusionary rule) often and directly, but the ordinary citizen remotely if at all."

  21. sc says:

    i was one of the "good" kids in HS (honor roll, national merit scholar, all-state in both band/track & field), and yet it was always understood that if i ever took "my" car off the property without having specifically asked to go somewhere, it'd be reported stolen.

    we lived fifteen miles out of town, so this was really kind of a drag.

  22. Clark says:

    @a_random_guy

    sure, there are good cops. The problem is, they seem tolerate the bad cops

    Which calls into question the name "good cop"…

  23. Geno0wl says:

    After watching the dashcam video of the kid shot for "Stealing" the truck….I honestly don't feel sorry for the kid.
    Yeah it is a tragedy. But the kid literally rammed the cruiser with his tailgate, FLEW through a red light(barely missing cars in the opposite direction), drove the wrong way down a one way street, THEN drove off road repeatedly slamming into, well, everything.
    Vehicles can be a deadly weapon, and it is obvious to me that it was the drivers intention to use that weapon against the cops.

    The second story is a vile mistake and people should pay for it.
    The first story is a kid who tried to grievously harm not only officers but also random motorists around him, and he paid the unfortunate price for his actions.
    Your title is wrong for the link. he wasn't personally armed with a weapon, he was armed with a vehicle that he obviously ment to do harm with.

  24. Clark says:

    @Geno0wl

    After watching the dashcam video of the kid shot for "Stealing" the truck….I honestly don't feel sorry for the kid.
    Yeah it is a tragedy. But the kid literally rammed the cruiser with his tailgate, FLEW through a red light(barely missing cars in the opposite direction), drove the wrong way down a one way street, THEN drove off road repeatedly slamming into, well, everything.

    I know that I'm perceived as an extremist, but, yes, I've seen a fair number of these videos where I think "even if the LEO culture was perfect, sometimes a cop shooting someone is the reasonable decision".

    I haven't yet watched this video, but from what I've read, this does not sound like the worst decision making.

  25. TimH says:

    @Geno0wl
    You can't see an approach to the situation that would have de-escalated?

  26. sc says:

    i suppose this is really just the childhood demons talking, but calling the police on your kid (or the threat of it) is really just what one does when their kid has reached the point where they're too big to whoop anymore.

  27. Geno0wl says:

    Yes there could have been other methods to potentially deescalate.
    But it is unclear how many cruisers they had, and what tools they had.
    But this isn't the movie. Shooting out the tires doesn't mean you auto stopped the car from moving(if you can even hit the tires and not risk ricochet hit).
    The point is that this kid 100% obviously was set out to do harm to the officers and was risking other motorists lives as well.
    When that is the situation the officers are trained over and over to "end the threat ASAP".
    Again, this is a tragedy that a young kid died. But watch that dash cam again.
    What if that young kid side swiped a family of four when he ran that red light and severely injured or killed OTHER people? That would be an even bigger tragedy.
    And I can promise that is exactly what those officers were thinking when they were pursuing this kid.

  28. Vermin says:

    @bkmak

    If we were something other than a dying civilization slouching toward god knows what, every day would be Stomp on Law Enforcement Day–both literally and figuratively. But the reason you're probably noticing more online criticism of police is that more and more people are finally realizing that the police–every single one of them–are violent criminals and pieces of human garbage.

  29. Chris Rhodes says:

    @bkmak

    Just curious why there is so much hate is all.

    Reporting bad behavior by police is hate! HAATE!

    Clearly there are bad Police Officers, that's because they are human. All the officers I know wouldn't ever act how they are being painted by Clark and Ken today.

    But all those officers you know will surely turn in their badge-holding brethren when they act out of line, right? (Hint: If they did, they wouldn't currently be police officers.)

    I'm certainly sorry if my question, and my dissension from the mandatory Pope Hat opinion upset your delicate sensibilities and forced you to tears.

    Clearly there is a mandatory Popehat opinion, and you're being persecuted by mean commenters making off-handed references to a blond kid crying about people making fun of Britney Spears. Let me call you up a wahhmbulance.

  30. AlphaCentauri says:

    Things that occur to me watching the dash-cam video:
    – We ask what's wrong with that kid? Well, there are a lot of kids with problems that cause them to have trouble with impulse control, and adolescents in general underestimate the negative consequences of actions. There are people, such as those with fetal alcohol exposure, who are never going to be okay walking through a store without shoplifting. Do we have any other solution other than incarcerating them or killing them?

    – If you raise your kid with the idea that there is no such thing as a good cop and that all government employees ought to be hanged from lamp posts, you shouldn't be surprised when he's a teen that he isn't thinking too much about the harm he might cause those men and women when he rams them with his/your 4×4.

  31. ChicagoTom says:

    Yes there could have been other methods to potentially deescalate.
    But it is unclear how many cruisers they had, and what tools they had.

    If I remember correctly, the dispatcher told the pursuing officers that maybe they should just let him go…since they knew who it was, where he lived etc. It's not like it was a car-jacking or someone who was potentially violent. It was a teenager who fled once being pursued. Bad decision? Sure. Shouldn't the adults have had some common sense though? Shouldn't the adults know better than to potentially keep a chase going for someone who really wont get away? Why risk innocent bystanders (both being struck by the vehicle being pursued, the pursuers or stray bullets) and collateral damage?

    This kid would have eventually had to go home, and they could have picked him up then.

    That's one of the things that enrages me. Even when cops have the ability to calm a situation or not escalate, they NEVER choose that option. Why? Because there is no incentive to. They are immune from liability — whatever mess is made, someone else has to live with it. They just get to keep on keeping on.

  32. ZarroTsu says:

    @ GenoOwl

    When that is the situation the officers are trained over and over to "end the threat ASAP".

    Sorry, I can't really speak for officers since I'm not an officer, and you don't really sound like an officer yourself, but I'm pretty certain being trained requires understanding and controlled practices. "Shoot first, ask questions later" should NOT be on the learning plan.

    What if that young kid side swiped a family of four when he ran that red light and severely injured or killed OTHER people? That would be an even bigger tragedy.

    Then that would add to the list of charges that would apply to his record. However, that is speculation. Speculation is not fact. What could have happened and what did happen are very different situations. Just as well, people could have NOT died, at all. That is also a situation that could have happened, even if the kid wasn't shot.

    Did it ever occur to you that the result "Nobody dies" was a possibility?

    And how the hell do you open your dialog with 'this isn't a movie', only to employ the idea of a badguy that needs to be defeated by heroes to save the day?

  33. Jack B. says:

    So is today Stomp on Law Enforcement Day here on Popehat?

    I gotta say, it's a welcome break from the nonstop badge licking that goes on here at Popehat the other 364 days of the year.

  34. Headlines are at best factoids. "[F]ather calls the police on 19-year-old son after the son takes off in the father's truck after an argument; police officers shoot the unarmed son to death in the truck" could have been titled "Police shoot driver of stolen car after chase and multiple vehicular assaults." Both are inadequate descriptions of the actual event, and both to the same degree.

  35. Bob says:

    I'm with GenoOwl on this one.

    Cops are supposed to let someone drive off after they've rammed them?

    There are plenty of police over reactions out there. I don't think this was one of them.

  36. En Passant says:

    nidefatt wrote Nov 8, 2013 @11:03 am:

    Um, drop the "good faith" nonsense for the exclusionary rule, enforce the 4th amendment the way it is written, rather than allowing any violation of any law to allow for arrest, toss laws that limit how much a person can collect for a successful 1983 action, end the war on drugs.

    And — end qualified immunity for cops; end absolute immunity for prosecutors. Those are judge-made doctrines anyhow. Just end them.

    Prosecute cop and prosecutorial misconduct. The cops who murdered Kathryn Johnston should have been given the death penalty. They only served a couple years on piss ant charges.

    Scumbag prosecutors like Mike Nifong should spend their lives looking at striped sunshine. But he only spent a day or two.

    But getting a statute passed to actually hold police and prosecutors accountable for their crimes either in criminal courts or civil courts would be difficult. Most people will always lick the badge that they believe "protects" them even if that protection is just a bogus racket.

  37. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries says:

    Having seen–up close and personal–the outcome of calling the police on a child, I don't recommend it. No one died, but it all ended with unwarranted jail time for an innocent (really), barely 18-year old girl who was scarred for life by the whole episode.

    Up to that point, I had believed in law enforcement and the legal system as perhaps somewhat flawed, but nonetheless inherently good. That changed when the police took my daughter into a room and questioned her for hours, threatening her and groping her leg and badgering her until she'd said enough to allow them to lock her in a cell. My faith eroded further when a smart-ass judge smirked at my mother (the victim, who was pleading with him to let her granddaughter come home) and sentenced my daughter to 270 days in jail for something she did not do.

    Even at that, I'm still not inclined to see it as inherently evil. It's just a system that needs a lot of weeding out, shoring up and overall improvement–a system that ordinary citizens should make use of with the utmost caution.

  38. Vermin says:

    Rhonda,

    I don't think the system is evil either–I think the people working in it are.

  39. TimH says:

    @Bob

    Er yes, if that reduces the further damage. They knew who he was, so there was no immediate need to apprehend for that reason.

    The UK and other countries with unarmed-police manage to deal with situations like this without shooting to kill as an excusable reaction.

  40. RKN says:

    Reason number… oh hell, I've lost count. Let's just say another one of many reasons why I'm relieved to be an evolutionary dead end.

  41. Shane says:

    @ZarroTsu

    … but I'm pretty certain being trained requires understanding and controlled practices.

    People always assume that police are trained for this or that. The reality is that training is expensive and most municipalities don't want to pay for it unless they get shamed and have to "do" something. That training is usually of the diversity variety, and is mostly useless for any real world application. Police are required to qualify with their weapon yearly (depending), but that is really about it. Most civilian CCW's have more relevant training than the police IMO.

    All careers are like this, and to think that someone in some career has some special training that makes him/her more qualified than someone else is foolish. In my experience the difference between an amateur and a professional is the flexibility that it takes to get something done. Experience seems to be the biggest predictor of this, not "training".

  42. nerdbert says:

    basically, sh*tty parenting has been involved somewhere

    You've obviously never been near an addict. You can see perfect parenting, but when a real addict gets hooked on their chemical of choice bad and stupid things happen. And don't tell me that perfect parenting will keep every kid from experimenting. Like it or not, teen culture tells kids to do chemicals to fit in and not every kid can resist peer pressure, nor resist addiction. Sorry.

    You want to fix how cops relate to the public? Remove immunity to lawsuits and provide the equivalent of malpractice insurance with massive deductibles all the way up the command chain. The cops would behave better if they had real skin in the game and having an a-hole working for you that costs you money would increase supervision of cops.

  43. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries says:

    @Vermin

    I have seen fair-minded, even-handed, reasonable, unflappable, unprovokable people working within the system (which is how I happened to err so badly as to say to my daughter, "Just tell the truth." My grievous error.)

    Even with the bad taste in my mouth, I'm not inclined to cast them all into the same pit. Most people are not evil, but all of us are flawed. It's a messy way to run a country, and we need to do better, but labeling huge swaths of the population as evil is not the answer.

  44. The Man in the Mask says:

    ChicagoTom is correct when he points out that police officers often (nearly always) choose to escalate situations even there are multiple obvious de-escalation alternatives available — because there are no repercussions.

    Here's an example:

    http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/crime/blog/bs-md-ci-police-chase-20130927,0,425450.story

    Notice how the line of blue forms up behind them. Notice who's conducting the investigation. Notice how this horrible tragedy was completely avoidable.

    I don't know how this will turn out. But I don't think three people, one of them a completely innocent bystander, needed to die that night. And I strongly doubt that those responsible will ever spend so much as a single night behind bars.

    And so, there is no real reason for the next pack of thugsXXXXXXofficers to do anything differently.

  45. En Passant says:

    Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries wrote Nov 8, 2013 @1:57 pm:

    Even with the bad taste in my mouth, I'm not inclined to cast them all into the same pit. Most people are not evil, but all of us are flawed. It's a messy way to run a country, and we need to do better, but labeling huge swaths of the population as evil is not the answer.

    If what you say is true, the judges, cops and prosecutors in your daughter's case were simply and inexcusably evil. I have no difficulty with calling them that.

    I also have no qualms about their suffering multiples of whatever punishments are accorded to ordinary people for the same crimes of kidnap, sexual assault, battery, and any other crimes they committed against your daughter. Multiples of ordinary punishments because they betrayed a public trust in order to commit their crimes.

    Even if they constitute a "broad swath" of the population, it's still better they be imprisoned than decent people live in fear of their predations.

  46. Robert White says:

    Of course the poor innocent 19 year old who got shot wasn't just pulled over. He'd previously rammed the police cars at least twice. At least one of those times was during an apparent surrender stop. (e.g. the Fully Adult driver pulled over, then partially backed over the police car, then drove off to continue the chase). The 19 year old _adult_ drove at high speed the wrong way on one-way streets and was generally using that truck as a weapon. At the prior stop "the kid" attempted to back over the cops with the trailer; a trailer he lost during the pursuit.

    Getting shot for not turning off the engine is, at that point, about the same as getting shot for refusing to put down the gun you've already demonstrated a willingness and ability to fire directly at police.

    I don't think Dad had told the cops "hey, will you help me teach my full-grown adult 'child' a lesson by getting all Sheriff Andy on him for his joyride" either.

    So while this article reads like "poor kid gunned down" the actual events have a little more story behind it all.

    Now I am not always a fan of police action by any means. Back in 2002 I guy ran me over in a crosswalk. Because I was dressed down the cop decided I was a homeless person pulling a scam and repeatedly said "you're lucky there were witnesses or I'd take you in". So consider that, there was a _witness_ to me being hit by the car but the cop had _still_ decided she just didn't like my look. I had a shattered knee but she had to be "talked into" calling an ambulance and she wrote the report in a way as to make my life as hard as possible.

    So cops can be raging power-mad dicks. I get that.

    But in this one case there no particular evidence that much "out of line" behavior was to be had. And once someone tires to kill you with their car it's not inconceivable that you would resistant to just letting them get away with that shit.

    This whole thing sounds like a Win for Darwin once you get past the biased reporting and into the material facts.

  47. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries says:

    @En Passant,

    In all fairness, I have no doubt they honestly believed she was guilty. I just know her a little better than they did, and I haven't any doubt of her innocence. She was extraordinarily stupid–she said too much to a "friend," and he, along with two of his friends, robbed my parents' home.

    My daughter loves her grandparents–probably more than she loves me–and she would never do anything to hurt them. But at the time, my father didn't much trust banks, and my daughter said more in casual conversation than she should have.

    The young man who masterminded the whole stupid incident saw an out for himself by blaming my daughter, and the police believed him. "Femme fatale leads boy scout astray." Except she isn't, and he was never a boy scout.

    At worst, the cops, the prosecutor and the judge were credulous and perhaps a tad misogynistic (and manhandling her leg was certainly over the top), but although I will be angry until the day I die, I do not believe that any of them (except, perhaps, the judge) were evil.

  48. Clark says:

    @Jack B

    So is today Stomp on Law Enforcement Day here on Popehat?

    I gotta say, it's a welcome break from the nonstop badge licking that goes on here at Popehat the other 364 days of the year.

    LOL!

  49. Robert White says:

    Barely 18? Is that like being "lightly pregnant"?

    But I agree, trying to run to any authority to resolve a personal problem is almost certain to result in an authoritarian response. It's like the two words are related.

    In Mayberry you can call your good friend Andy to have him help you instill a sense of cause-and-effect on a truculent teen. Such a down-home intimacy is possible in very intimate communities.

    But if you invoke the full weight of the anonymous machinery of state at random (e.g. without any personal familiarity with all parties involved) you should expect barely acceptable responses.

    This is not an indictment of cops per se. All organisms perform to _minimum_ standards. That's just the nature of thermodynamic efficiency. Go to a restaurant and you will get service that generally meets an acceptable minimum; how much it exceeds that minimum, if at all, is wholly dependant on the moods and modalities of the individuals involved.

    That area of excess is the discretionary window. For all that we were raised wiht Sheriff Andy and the good cop behind the shiny badge, Sheriff Andy _always_ had enjoyed the option of shooting someone dead on the spot. It was _always_ within the discretionary window. That's why Barney only got one Bullet. Shooting someone was in Barney's discretionary window as well.

    Dunbar's Number is the real and _only_ neurological limit on where your precious hide will likely land in that discretionary window. With 60,000 people and less that 600 cops, Dunbars Number says your precious bundle is highly unlikely to be treated as a miscreant with life issues if you report him for a felony and he then commits vehicular assault.

    The law of unintended consequences pretty much invariably leads to these outcomes as the population rises further and further beyond the ability of the police to know the individual members of their communities.

    Its far worse for prosecutors and judges who must operate almost entirely by stereotype.

    And don't knock stereotypes. Every noun you use that is _not_ a proper name is a stereotype and you couldn't function if that were not the case. Cop, teacher, blogger, commenter, editor, reporter… these are all stereotypes. And more still our stereotypes come in cascading flavors. "good cop" and "bad cop" and all.

    Defendant, fleeing suspect, these are powerful stereotypes as well. They must be. They are nouns and they are not proper nouns, they are invoked with and by authority.

    The arguments can only be about what constitutes the proper minimum. If you want that minimum to include the ability of the cops to shoot _anybody_ then it will include the ability of the cops to shoot your loved ones because your loved ones are just "random strangers" to everybody else.

    The English/British solution, where most cops are _not_ ready or authorized to shoot at all, and walk around without guns at all, would be available here if we really want it. It is a system that seems to work quite well. The patrolling cops and hte shoot-um-up cops could be kept separate. But we, with our wild-west manifest destiny heritage remain unwilling to put down our Mutually Assured Destruction mindset.

    If we had _more_ cops and courts and teachers, and each of them had _less_ individual power then we could lower the steep incline between peoples and authorities.

    We are in love with elitism as a people. We call all the educated "elite" and think of it as an insult, because we have a pervasive cult of stupidity going on. But the real definition of elite involves power, the possession of power and the ability to dispatch power at our whim. That very love of the elite is why we see people calling 911 for frivolous reasons and engaging in civil lawfare. Dad calling the cops because of a pack of cigarettes is no different than Kimberlain suing all and sundry because he doesn't like them talking about him.

    Powerless people want to touch the elite. They aso construct the elite edifices so that they can be there to wield if only in their fantasies. TSA, Dpt. of Homeland Security, beat cops in SWAT gear, the home arsenal in the bulletproof couch safe, stand your ground laws, judicial immunity, prosecutorial immunity… These are all constructions of the powerless.

    The true fantasy of Judge Dredd isn't just the invincible man with the ultimate authority, its the fantasy of _summoning_ that man to redress issues and slights both grand and minuscule.

    So bad papa killed his son over a pack of smokes; he used the cops to do it and we built the cops to be able to do it.

    We have not built up law to be anywhere near as surgical as we like to imagine it. The miscarriage of justice is a trope, a given, an expected outcome. That's because we've made the law into a long-handled sledge and then we hope to wield it as a emery board.

    Nobody has any right to act particularly surprised about any of this.

  50. John Neff says:

    The is reason to believe that something was seriously wrong with the young man that led to this incident. They rushed though an investigation and concluded the homicide was justified instead of having a grand jury investigation. My guess is that will not turn out well for the county attorney.

    Use of force incidents do include high speed chases and evidently the shift commander had called off the case because they knew who the driver was but the officer was not in his squad car and may not have heard the command. This is a crucial factor and the speed of the determination of justified homicide looks fishy.

  51. Chris says:

    People always assume that police are trained for this or that. The reality is that training is expensive and most municipalities don't want to pay for it unless they get shamed and have to "do" something. That training is usually of the diversity variety, and is mostly useless for any real world application. Police are required to qualify with their weapon yearly (depending), but that is really about it.

    This varies quite a bit from one jurisdiction to another. Some departments give their officers serious reoccurring training and make them shoot challenging qualification courses multiple times per year. Other departments have virtually no ongoing training and only require their officers to qualify once a year on a not-very-challenging course of fire. The latter is more typical than the former, however.

  52. Dan says:

    In the specific case of the kid stealing his dad's car, and going on a property destruction rampage…I'm not so sure the police acted without reason. If there's someone who's decision making should be questioned, it's not the police; it's the father for calling the police on his son. I mean, hell, what did he think would happen?

    As to the general behavior of the police, well, they're a gang of thugs. I'm sure that there are good police officers out there, but I've never met one. And I've met a lot of them; I grew up in one of the worst neighborhoods in the US (Brightmoor, on the northwest side of Detroit), and saw lots and lots of abuses of power. Enough so that you really couldn't pay me enough to call the police, no matter what is happening to me.

    I've been beaten by the police for the horrific, incredibly evil crime of "bringing niggers into our town" (I had, audaciously, thought that driving through the city of Redford with a couple of black guys in my car was legal; I committed no other crime. I didn't even speed, and made sure I came to a complete stop at every stop sign; Redford has a reputation. This didn't happen in the 60's, this happened in the late 90's). I've been arrested for, well, I'm not exactly sure why; I called the police to report someone shooting at stray dogs in my neighborhood, and, to be honest, I'm not sure why I got arrested, other than that I expected the police to do their jobs (they let me go the next day, without charge). I've gotten pepper sprayed for daring to get into a car accident in a neighborhood known for heroin sales. I've been pulled over and searched just so that I could have my property stolen (this was many years ago, and I don't do stuff like this anymore, but I had an ounce of weed and about $400 taken from me; the cop told me that "I'm doing you a favor". I'm not sure what favor he was doing; I wasn't able to pay rent that month and became homeless).

    And you know what happened to the police officers in all of those instances?

    Nothing.

    People always assume that police are trained for this or that. The reality is that training is expensive and most municipalities don't want to pay for it unless they get shamed and have to "do" something.

    Some districts don't train their officers at all. One of the suburbs of Detroit, Inkster, requires only a high school diploma or GED to become a police officer. Some of my friends joined the Inkster force, and were rather horrified. The "training" was minimal; basically, they were told to "listen to their senior partner, and learn from him/her".

    Also, as a side note, I'm a little weirded out that I'm agreeing with Clark.

  53. Aaron Meyer says:

    Ken, normally I'm with you on these sorts of things, but having seen the dash cam footage from the son who stole his father's truck I'm on the side of the police on this one. The son rammed police vehicles three times and drove off the road and onto a college quad. The gunfire came almost at the same time as the third and final ramming of a police vehicle. The officers were right to fear for their immediate safety and the immediate safety of the public in that case.

    To the extent that the father in this case should have anticipated the son would ram police vehicles and endanger the lives of others, and, based on that, anticipate that police might need to use deadly force to stop the son from further endangering people, I can see the father's motivation being problematic. But I don't think the stolen vehicle case is comparable to the case where the inmate died while guards watched. In the first case, the police were acting to stop a proven immediate danger. In the second they callously watched a person die and refused to render aid. There's a difference.

  54. Steve Simmons says:

    I'm hugely in favor of cameras. This article claims that "after cameras were introduced in February 2012, public complaints against officers plunged 88% compared with the previous 12 months. Officers' use of force fell by 60%." From the text of the article, it appears the cameras are improving both the behavior of the police and the people they interact with.

    Consider it another vote for the transparent society.

  55. Dan says:

    I'm all for the police use of cameras, with some caveats:

    1) The officer should not be able to turn the camera off.
    2) The video footage should be streamed to a remote site under civilian control.
    3) If the footage of an incident is "lost", the officer in question should not be allowed to testify in the case in question.
    4) "Lost" footage should be considered pro-defendant; that is, the defense should be allowed to use the fact that the footage was "lost" in the defense of the client, and be able to use the fact that it was "lost" to discredit police testimony.

    I'm sure I could think of other points, given enough time. The fact is, dashboard cam footage has been "lost" in a number of criminal complaints against the police, and it is never treated as misconduct.

  56. Shane says:

    Lol welcome back @Robert White you inglorious bastard :P

  57. Shane says:

    @Aaron Meyer

    The son rammed police vehicles three times and drove off the road and onto a college quad.

    He did do this, but you need to listen to the dispatch audio that is just below the video footage.

  58. Shane says:

    @Steve Simmons

    I'm hugely in favor of cameras.

    I concur, this is a huge step in the right direction. Next up privileged immunity.

  59. Brian says:

    I went to Iowa State and worked for the department of public safety. I also interacted with Ames PD. I learned first hand that many of the officers were worthless and not to be trusted. That experience always makes me doubt the actions of law enforcement. But I've watched both the Ames and Iowa State dash cam videos. Neither officer acted recklessly in the pursuit and the shooting was justified.

    The article linked in this post is very biased and leaves out many details. I would suggest anyone interested in learning what really happened go to http://www.iowastatedaily.com and read the many articles written over the past few days with details.

    This whole incident could have been avoided , but I don't believe it was the police fault for the outcome. This matter should have never been reported to the police.

  60. Ryan says:

    When I first heard about the first case, my reaction was a gigantic WTF.

    Then I watched the video.

    Here's the trouble – short of disengaging entirely, I didn't see much in the way of opportunity for police de-escalation until the very end – and by that point, the driver is behaving so erratically and with deadly intent (anyone who'd like to argue that ramming another vehicle with your vehicle at significant speed is not deadly intent needs to take some driver training) that the police didn't have the option to disengage and had to treat this like someone who is willing to exercise deadly force to escape. That creates the potential for a justifiable use of deadly force.

    HOWEVER.

    If:
    1. The truck was stopped.
    2. The person made no movements to move the truck.
    3. No person was in the direct path of harm from the vehicle.
    4. There were no other immediate and KNOWN sources of death or grievous bodily harm to anyone other than the suspect;
    Then – the shoot probably was not justified. Non-compliance with a lawful command when there is no immediate threat of deadly force is not grounds for law enforcement use of deadly force.

    I don't think that an incident of this nature should result in the death of anyone, but I have a great deal of trouble feeling much sympathy in this case – the 19-year old had every opportunity to make this go down differently, and didn't. The final shoot may or may not be justified, but the 19-year old put himself in a position where he ought to have known that his actions would be perceived as deadly force.

  61. Trent says:

    Dan,

    You didn't specify so I'll add it. The cameras should be button cameras on the officers badge/uniform collar, they should record continuously while the officer is on the job or wearing the camera. They should record both video and audio.

    Any incident of covering, obscuring or otherwise interfering with the recording should result in automatic disciplinary action with 3 incidents in a month resulting in automatic termination. Any of those items occurring where violence of any kind is used is automatic termination.

    I've always felt the only way to reign in police abuse is to record everything they do and say while on the job so that can be reviewed later. It will protect the good cops (from baseless allegations) and end the careers of the bad cops.

    There is no negative downside to it. Dashcams had an amazing effect on police conduct right up until they figured out they could turn them off or lose the tape when what they showed was detrimental to their version of events. With the rapid pace of technological advancement I believe the ability to record everything and stream offsite is nearly here.

  62. Another Patrick says:

    As someone who knows a lot of doctors, it's gut-bustingly hilarious that people are talking about improving the legal system by opening up extra liability and requiring cops to get malpractice insurance. Because, you know, that's worked so well in other professions….

  63. Noscitur a sociis says:

    I have no idea how technologically feasible the camera proposal is, but I don't think the prospect of having every private conversation with your coworkers, every instance of checking your personal email or baseball scores in the middle of a shift, every off-color joke, or every trip to the bathroom on camera in perpetuity would attract a higher breed of candidate to police work. (I do think that recording police interactions is positive, but these don't seem like well thought-out proposals. I'd also be curious to learn your thoughts on the recent revelations about the NSA.)

  64. Aaron Meyer says:

    @ Shane

    He did do this, but you need to listen to the dispatch audio that is just below the video footage.

    You mean the audio that tells the officer to slow down (which the officer did) but explicitly tells the officers to continue the chase? Or is this the edited audio where they omit the parts where dispatch tells the officers to continue the chase?

    The officer(s) obeyed dispatch instructions (you can clearly see the officer fall back in the dash cam video) but given the continued reckless and wanton disregard for public safety by the son, it seems to me that it would have been irresponsible to stop the chase entirely since the son clearly did not slow down or discontinue his erratic and dangerous behavior when the police fell back.

    In any chase there should always be someone questioning the safety of the chase, but the relevant question is the risk to bystanders, not risk to the person being chased (IMO). Had the driver slowed or stopped or otherwise indicated that his reckless behavior would stop once the officers fell back, it might be different, but that wasn't the case here.

    @ Ryan

    I'm pretty much in the same boat you are. At first it seemed horrible, but then when I watched the dash cam footage my view changed entirely.

    I just don't see how it could have reasonably been expected to end differently. From my viewing of the dash cam footage it seems clear to me that the shots were fired only after the final ramming attempt when the truck appeared to be attempting to back up and continue the same dangerous maneuvers.

    You can see parts from the truck flying over the police car just before the shots are audible. I don't see any other way to interpret it than the truck taking a final run at the stopped police car and the officers deciding that their safety was in real and immediate danger. The truck was only stopped because it had just rammed a police car and was giving every appearance of attempting to continue doing so.

  65. Stephen says:

    Ken,

    I concur that overreach, abuse, unprofessionalism, criminal acts, and general dickery among some law enforcement is a real and troubling problem in the US. However, I’m disappointed by your use of the incident in Iowa as an example, because I think you distorted some of the information. If you actually watch the dash cam footage it shows a very different situation from what it sounds like in your post. I think Ryan and Aaron Meyer pointed out good some things well in the comments, but also consider this:

    -The younger Mr. Comstock led cops on a rather lengthy high-speed chase through residential areas recklessly endangering anyone on the street.
    -He blew through at least two intersections filled with traffic.
    -He used the truck as a weapon to ram a police car.
    -He drove the truck through what appears to be a public park and continues to ram his way out even when boxed in by multiple police cars.

    He gives every impression of a man on a rampage. Certainly a clear and present threat to the people around him. Were the officers legally justified in their use of deadly force? Possibly not. I heard no efforts by the officers to apprehend or give orders to Mr. Comstock before opening fire. Neither do we have any indication that he had a weapon. However, since the truck is off camera, we also don’t know what else was going in that moment (like was he trying to run over one of the cops?).

    I’m not disagreeing with your core premise, I’m just saying that this is particular incident is quite a bit more nuanced than suggested by your post.

    Otherwise, excellent points as usual. I just recently discovered this blog and your efforts especially with regard to free speech issues. Keep up the good work.

  66. Tam says:

    I know that when I see blue lights in my rearview, the FIRST thing I do is ram the cruiser. It reassures them and lets them know I'm one of the Good Guys.

    ETA: Seriously, you want to build a "cops are monsters" case, stick with the anal rapes and avoid the ones where they shoot dudes trying to kill them with a pickup truck. You want your listeners to think "I'd NEVER do that," not "Well, I guess I might have done the same thing."

  67. Quiet Lurcker says:

    @Dan –

    Let's give this some teeth.

    1) The officer should not be able to turn the camera off.

    Let's add to that, if they do turn it off or even cover it over, or arrange things so it doesn't record relevant evidence – termination, no questions, no references, no appeal.

    2) The video footage should be streamed to a remote site under civilian control.

    And civilians monitoring in real time are authorized/required to compel supervisory personnel/internal affairs/other, outside party to intervene and detain or arrest at the first sign of the cops being monitored misbehaving.

    3) If the footage of an incident is "lost", the officer in question should not be allowed to testify in the case in question.

    Not needed. Look below.

    4) "Lost" footage should be considered pro-defendant; that is, the defense should be allowed to use the fact that the footage was "lost" in the defense of the client, and be able to use the fact that it was "lost" to discredit police testimony.

    Courts should be required to dismiss cases (perhaps on motion of defense – give the cops SOME slack) where footage is lost, and the entire department and prosecutors office in that jurisdiction should be investigated top to bottom with an eye to terminations and criminal complaint by qualified outside party, again under the rubrick, 'smell smoke, look for fire'.

  68. Shane says:

    @Another Patrick

    … improving the legal system by opening up extra liability and requiring cops to get malpractice insurance. Because, you know, that's worked so well in other professions….

    It serves two purposes, First makes it very difficult for the blue wall to protect bad officers, second makes it very difficult for municipalities to hire officers that have created problems in other municipalities.

    As to malpractice working or not working the alternative is regulation by the government (who employs these officers). This has already happened (Internal Affairs) and it has been an astounding failure. Plus smaller municipalities really don't have the funds for an IA department.

    As to the working in other professions, I am only aware of the medical profession where this applies. The solution that seems to be working is the Texas solution that caps malpractice claims. Honestly I don't think it would be a terrible day if we viewed police like doctors in court when it comes to "malpractice".

  69. Shane says:

    @Aaron Meyer

    … (which the officer did) but explicitly tells the officers to continue the chase?

    In the audio at 2:59 "If he's that reckless … coming into the college area, why don't you back off. 3:11 "… If I can get a location, I will put stop strips out.". 3:31 "… 88 what do you have for pedestrians out and about?". 3:48 "We know the suspects … so we can probably back it off."

    I don't see any other way to interpret it than the truck taking a final run at the stopped police car and the officers deciding that their safety was in real and immediate danger.

    Explain to me the real and immediate danger that justifies lethal force that the police faced? Big hint the danger wasn't to the police, and once they had him in the quad he had been effectively neutralized.

    If you are going to rant about how bad this kid is and what he was doing was dangerous, don't waste the bits. Because it is pretty obvious if this kid did come out alive he would be spending some serious time in prison.

    The problem that I have is that the police didn't act like adults, and here is the kicker, acting like an adult usually means you have to swallow your pride. Which in the case of police they don't like to do (who does). The reason why this kid was shot was because he backed his truck into a police car. This did two things, it showed that the kid had little respect for authority and that triggered and emotional response in the officer that was pursuing the kid. That emotional response is normal to everybody. The officer felt immediately angry because the officer believes he is (and is) justified in pulling this vehicle over (in other words done nothing wrong), and the guy makes an agressive move designed to hurt the officer (similar to a man slapping/hitting another man). This has now become a personal affront to the officer, and his natural response is to retaliate. From that point on the chase was fueled by emotion and the officer was operating from his monkey brain. The other officers heard on the dispatch that one of their "bros" had been hit and their emotional response also kicked in. Dealing with this response and how it plays out can not be trained it must be learned and integrated by the officer on his own. This is no small task, and a task which the officer will not be rewarded for.

  70. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries says:

    @Brian

    This matter should have never been reported to the police.

    Everyone else is talking about dashcams, but you've centered on the important point. From what I've read, Tyler Comstock was a scary smart but essentially good kid with some emotional problems. His father knew all that, and he sicced the police on him anyway.

    I'm disturbed that the police knew who Tyler was but continued to escalate anyway. Even so, I think that if we're to fix blame, it should be on the father's bad judgment.

    My opinion is that setting out to "teach the kid a lesson" is almost always a bad idea–life has its own way of meting out logical consequences. Active parental intervention in that progression–either to mitigate or to escalate–is what twists perfectly normal children entirely out of shape and leads them into danger. (Yes, of course, there are instances in which parents must intervene as a matter of safety–teaching a child to look both ways by letting a car hit him is not the way to go–but this was not one of them.)

  71. XS says:

    @Ken
    I did not call the police about my sons activities. Frankly, I was oblivious.
    He came and went as I had done when I was his age. I never had encounters with the police until much older.
    The downside of spending time incarcerated apparently did not materialize for my son or he dealt with them (6'3" 235#). He is an accomplished person making his own way in this world and that deserves lots of points in my book.

  72. Aaron Meyer says:

    @ Shane

    In the audio at 2:59 "If he's that reckless … coming into the college area, why don't you back off. 3:11 "… If I can get a location, I will put stop strips out.". 3:31 "… 88 what do you have for pedestrians out and about?". 3:48 "We know the suspects … so we can probably back it off."

    The officer did back off. It's obvious in the dash cam video. The officer slows down and allows the driver to open up a much larger lead. That's what "backing off" means. It doesn't mean "stop the pursuit" and it never has. The fact that you have misinterpreted the meaning doesn't change the fact that the officer obeyed the instructions, nor does it change the fact that the officer was never directed to discontinue the pursuit.

    Explain to me the real and immediate danger that justifies lethal force that the police faced? Big hint the danger wasn't to the police, and once they had him in the quad he had been effectively neutralized.

    Are we watching the same dash cam footage? The driver rammed police vehicles twice after entering the quad and the shots took place immediately after the final ramming. You can see car parts go flying across the dash cam's field of view in the split-second before the gunshots are audible. Far from being "neutralized," the driver was continuing his attempts to ram police vehicles and it was reasonable to assume he would do the same to any officer who exited his patrol car to attempt to arrest the driver. If that's not something you consider a real and immediate danger then I'm not sure what there's any situation that you'd claim qualified. The driver was in the middle of using deadly force against the officers and IMO they were justified in using deadly force to stop the threat.

    You may not think a 4,000 pound truck is a lethal object, but I would tend to disagree.

  73. somethingobvious says:

    So, somewhat familiar with law enforcement, though don't work for them. In regards to backing off, that's different than cancel pursuit. So, the scenario is this: you have a reported stolen vehicle, fails to stop, rams the police cars repeatedly. The final detail which seems to be missed is that the patrol car is stopped completely with the officer outside and the vehicle is rammed by the suspect. It's pretty obvious as you hear the door ding at 4:00, and then an impact from the right side at 4:02. So, we have a situation where an officer is outside a vehicle, and the officer is in danger, either intentionally or unintentionally. I am not surprised in the least that the person driving the vehicle was shot.

  74. ChrisTS says:

    In addition to the threat to the officers, did anyone else notice the kid (really a kid) on the bike when the teenager goes barreling down the street, debris flying?

    It is very sad that this young man is dead. But he was hardly some innocent victim of police brutality.

  75. markm says:

    Ken never said that the cops were wrong in the stolen truck case, just that the kid getting shot was a likely consequence of calling the cops.

  76. Dan says:

    @Quiet Lurker & @Trent: I can't disagree with either of you. Those are all really good ways to prevent police misconduct w/ regards to cameras.

  77. Shane says:

    @Aaron Meyer

    That's what "backing off" means.

    This is what backing off means.

    It doesn't mean "stop the pursuit" and it never has.

    If by this sentence you mean that we will pursue at another time then I agree.

    The fact that you have misinterpreted the meaning doesn't change the fact that the officer obeyed the instructions, nor does it change the fact that the officer was never directed to discontinue the pursuit.

    "The radio dispatcher does not supervise the patrol forces …" The dispatcher was politely telling the officer that what he was doing was unnecassary and probably dangerous, because he can't say directly to stop the pursuit. I think as per the definition it is pretty clear that the dispatcher doesn't think it is a wise idea.

    Are we watching the same dash cam footage?

    Apparently not. Because I don't see a vehicle ramming another vehicle in the space of about 20 yards as deadly, especially when the car being rammed is a police cruiser. Do not conflate aggressiveness with life threatening. The reason that this escalated the way it did is because the officer did just that.

    You can see car parts go flying across the dash cam's field of view in the split-second before the gunshots are audible.

    But you failed to note that the police cruiser pretty much doesn't move because the truck is not backing up very far and can't get acceleration because there is no traction in the wet grass. The truck is a lawn care vehicle and the debris is lawn care stuff that is not secured flying around.

    Far from being "neutralized," the driver was continuing his attempts to ram police vehicles and it was reasonable to assume he would do the same to any officer who exited his patrol car to attempt to arrest the driver.

    Here is a novel thought maybe the police could just stay in their vehicles for ohhhh say, another 10 minutes until Mr. Hothead cools down. Cause that truck was going nowhere in the wet grass, and more cruisers were on the way. You may have noticed the inability for the truck to gain traction and really get a running start at the police.

    If that's not something you consider a real and immediate danger then I'm not sure what there's any situation that you'd claim qualified.

    I have been in enough violent confrontations to know what was going on with the officers involved. I carefully outlined the escalation of events in my previous post.

    The driver was in the middle of using deadly force against the officers and IMO they were justified in using deadly force to stop the threat.

    And this is precisely why the police behave the way that they do.

    You may not think a 4,000 pound truck is a lethal object, but I would tend to disagree.

    Context is everything and you are using this utterly out of context.

  78. Robert White says:

    @Shane

    Colloquial definitions of terms tend not be identical to official usages. So while you _want_ "back off" to mean discontinue, it remains distinct from discontinuing pursuit.

    Go ahead and google "discontinue pursuit" instead of "back off" and you will see that there is official protocol and specific usage to "discontinue". The cops actually know about these words and will use them when they mean them. This search will take you to the policy guidelines of many police institutions, unlike the sloppy approbation you get from googling "back off".

    It's like the words have particular usage in that context.

    There's even a slang for discontinuing pursuit. It's "break off"… break being a different word from back.

    If the dispatcher _meant_ "discontinue" when they said "back off", there would likely be a lot of "why are you still in pursuit" chatter aimed at the officer in that audio clip. And there sure wouldn't be talk of spike strips.

    Backing off is, even in your cited definition, just a reference to _reducing_ _pressure_. While that _could_ mean letting someone go, it doesn't mean that in every, or even most, usages. And in the police usage it doesn't mean that at all.

    For instance this quote form a StarChase product (see link)

    [quote]
    Since dispatchers are tracking the signal in real time on a digital roadmap, police can back off but not lose track of their suspect, "we actually take the edge off of the person, bring that person's level down so he drives at a normal pace until we're ready to engage that suspect and effectively make a traffic stop without harming innocent people."
    [/quote ref= http://www.starchase.com/emailprinttext-size-dps-using-new-technology.html ]

    I know you _want_ to be right Shane. Your ire has been raised and it's hard to admit that you've gone off half-cocked in your stance. But the bulk of the evidence says you are having an emotional reaction that doesn't fit the facts. That happens.

    What _you_ would take the term "back off" to mean has no bearing on what a cop's training has taught him to do in response to that particular order (or even "suggestion" in this case).

  79. Shane says:

    @Robert White

    Go ahead and google "discontinue pursuit" instead of "back off" and you will see that there is official protocol and specific usage to "discontinue". The cops actually know about these words and will use them when they mean them.

    But it wasn't a cop that was saying this. I know this is quibble but the truth is that I acknowledged earlier it is not the dispatchers place to give orders. Unless of course a higher ranking gets on the channel identifies themselves and then gives the order. This is like talking to your boss about something that you know that he/she doesn't want to hear. You phrase things delicately.

    It's like the words have particular usage in that context.

    This is true, so what was the usage in this particular context? It can be made to fit anyone's definition. However, the reason that I gave the quick definition was because @Aaron Meyer gave a definitive specific definition of the phrase and presented that as the only possible definition. I called him out on this by providing an alternate definition. Yes context is very important and I also called him out on his declaration of deadly force. I cited specifically in that case, that context was an issue.

    Your ire has been raised and it's hard to admit that you've gone off half-cocked in your stance.

    Just to clarify, my stance does NOT center around the words "back off". My stance centers around the way that the police handled the encounter. If you read two of my comments up you will see my argument about the way that the police responded.

    I know you _want_ to be right Shane.

    LOL, I am glad you are back, I have missed your biting commentary. The funny thing is that in text this sounds like I am adversarial to you. Sadly that is not the case. As to my ire … meh. I have learned that being mad accomplishes very little.

  1. November 10, 2013

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