Anonymous LAPD Writer: Running Your Mouth About Your Rights Can Get You Shot, And Don't You Forget It

A fellow who writes regularly for National Review Online under the name "Jack Dunphy" who says he's an LAPD officer writes re: the Henry Gates arrest brouhaha:

[A policeman talking to a citizen is] concerned with protecting his mortal hide from having holes placed in it where God did not intend. And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.

When the officer has satisfied himself that it was not you and your Hupmobile that were involved in the Piggly Wiggly heist, he owes you an explanation for the stop and an apology for the inconvenience, but if you’re running your mouth about your rights and your history of oppression and what have you, you’re likely to get neither.

The LAPD, strangely, is seeing a polled upswing in L.A. citizen support these days, but that's probably only among citizens who have not been arrested or shot for the crime of discomfiting an officer who is bothering them. I blogged recently at my Southern California news and politics blog City of Angles at KCET.org about the LAPD recently getting out from under its court-ordered independent monitor, and about officers evading being fired for their use of excessive force on the May Day 2007 immigration ralliers.

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  • Xeones||

    And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.

    Yep, Mao was right.

  • Paul||

    VE VILL HAFF ORDAH! VE VILL HAFF ORDAH! YOU VILL OBEY UNDT VE VILL HAFF ORDAH!

  • Paul||

    Oh by the way, this attitude by the cops is nothing new. Nothing annoys a cop more than to be forced to confront the legality of his own actions while engaging in said actions.

  • ||

    It's not much of an assertion to utter the following:

    "I do not consent to any searches, sir."

    "Are you detaining me, or am I free to go?"

    AFAIK you are not required to answer any questions with perhaps the exception of establishing ID. Other than that I would answer any question with the question above.

  • hmm||

    And people wonder how I justify, or why I group all cops together. The mentality mentioned in the article is pervasive and those that don't act like this do not protect me from this.

    Had an interesting run in with a dipshit with a 1* patch Sunday morning. I swear I have no faith in those charged with protecting us.

  • ||

    Everybody in my family knows the drill:

    (1) Don't answer any questions asked by a cop about your personal activities.

    (2) Don't say anything that could give a cop permission to stay on your property or search you or your property.

    (3) Don't leave the house if a cop comes to the door.

    (4) Don't invite a cop into the house.

    (5) Clarify that you are free to leave or not answer questions right away.

    Two caveats:

    The above don't necessarily apply if the cop is responding to your request to investigate a crime against you.

    Discretion may be the better part of valor during a traffic stop, since cops have plenary authority to arrest you and impound your vehicle if you assert your Constitutional rights.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Well let's hope then that several cops (spit) end up with holes in them too. Particularly in their heads after being severally beaten and admitting what worthless pieces of shit they are on camera (that's uploaded to the 'net). Or have their heads slowly cut off.

    It's a death befitting terrorists since that's what they are.

  • bubba||

    Doesn't the Gates case actually prove Dunphy right? At least with respect to how things *are* if not how you would like your unicorns to prepare your ice cream sundae.

  • ||

    Rules can really only apply after the fact, not during the stop, so I would establish my rights via what "sage" said, while at the same time not trying to antagonize the officer. If the officer is intent on violating my rights and is abetted by those in charge above, unless I plan to take up armed rebellion against the government, my rights are going to be violated.

    The best you can hope for is making any case portray you in the best possible light and law enforcement in the worst possible light so as to renew the check against police.

  • hmm||

    The sad thing is that the phrases, "No you can not enter, no you can not search, am I free to go" are almost always seen as you have something to hide or you are escalating the situation and being defensive.

  • ||

    Public Service Announcement

    There's a vignette coming and it's not for the faint of heart. Don't even read the first line.

  • ||

    Jack gently parted the hairs around his partner's anus. The smeared headlights of the cars passing them on the highway lit up the tender folds of Bill's balloon knot. Jack felt sorry for those drivers. They could never know, never understand what he felt for Bill or what they had been through to get them to this place. Those passing motorists could not understand the unbearable sexual tension that builds when you taser a smartmouth in the crotch or rattle the teeth of an insolent teen or shoot some uppity professor for looking you in the eye. They could never understand the furtive glances that passed between them as they got their story straight or the soft brush of Bill's knuckles against his hand as they faked incident reports together.

    Jack grunted from his revelry as Bill twisted the saliva-lubed nightstick into his anus. He tensed against it, forcing Bill to twist harder, push harder. Jack began to lap eagerly at Bill's man-cunt. As he briefly wormed his tongue inward he tasted ashes and some exotic spice he could not place. Jack slid his tongue downward, lightly flicking along the seam of Bill's scrotum. Bill engulfed him with his mouth; Jack's penis throbbed, seemingly begging to ejaculate in the back of Bill's hot throat. Jack's index finger slipped into Bill's rectum. Probing as far as he could, he could feel a gnarled nugget of feces. Jack pressed against it urgently as Bill suckled him harder and harder.

    They rocked in and out of each other, in time to the frantic beeping of the radar gun.

  • Kyle Jordan||

    Hahahahahahahahahaha!

    Bravo Sucralose!

    Now write a non-homo sex story. You seem good at it.

  • Xeones||

    OH MY GOD

  • ||

    I think you captured Jack Dunphy's nature quite well, NutraSweet.

  • ||

    Sage is exactly right. But be polite. It doesn't help anything being an ass to the cop. That just gives him an excuse to be an asshole back. Further, maybe you do want the cop to catch the guy who knocked over the Piggley Wiggley up in Yazoo. Not every confrontation with a cop is a bad thing.

  • Warty||

  • MNG||

    "Doesn't the Gates case actually prove Dunphy right? At least with respect to how things *are* if not how you would like your unicorns to prepare your ice cream sundae."

    The scary thing is that this is not how Dunphy just thinks things, he thinks things are right that way...

  • MNG||

    "this is not how Dunphy just thinks are, he thinks things are right that way..."

  • T||

    (4) Don't invite a cop into the house.

    At our house, we've broadened that rule to include any agent of the state.

  • ||

    RC,

    Good advice. Oddly, it's also how one is supposed to act around vampires.

    I'm not surprised. Dunphy came from the same culture that lead to the Rodney King beating and the Rampart Scandal. Trying to learn proper police discretion from an LAPD officer is like having a lady of the night teach abstinence only sex ed.

  • hmm||

    Not every confrontation with a cop is a bad thing.

    But everyone has a higher chance of turning out poorly for me than most other confrontations.

    I'm not here to make their case. If they want to talk to me take me in custody, get my name and information and subpoena me, or arrest me. It's a shitty way to look at it, but everything I say to the cop can be used against me and all of it becomes hearsay as soon as I say it so it can't help me. I

  • hmm||

    If he needs me to make his case he has avenues to get information from me.

  • ||

    It's not much of an assertion to utter the following:

    "I do not consent to any searches, sir."

    "Are you detaining me, or am I free to go?"

    AFAIK you are not required to answer any questions with perhaps the exception of establishing ID.



    This is true when you're just an ordinary citizen minding his or her business, and not appearing to commit any crimes.

    However, if you were just spotted breaking into a house, you'd better be prepared to answer just about every question in a civil manner if you want to avoid going downtown to sort things out.

  • ev||

    I am appalled and unsurprised.

  • alan||

    Has the underlying rationale of police bullying, that is that is keeps them alive on the streets, actually been studied carefully. I can think of at least two dozen incidents in my life I came out of without a scratch precisely because I acted in a manner exactly the opposite of how a cop would handle the situation.

    Hell, the martial arts schools I'm familiar with (not bragging, I suck in practice) emphasize being unassumingly non cop like.

  • ||

    I am appalled and unsurprised.

    unsurpalled

  • alan||

    bubba | July 27, 2009, 3:13pm | #
    Doesn't the Gates case actually prove Dunphy right? At least with respect to how things *are* if not how you would like your unicorns to prepare your ice cream sundae.


    Every unicorn I have ever encountered came through it with a broken neck and with out a horn which I duly pocketed for sale. I didn't come to my position in life by being anything other than a extreme realist about life, asshole.

  • ||

    Has the underlying rationale of police bullying, that is that is keeps them alive on the streets, actually been studied carefully. I can think of at least two dozen incidents in my life I came out of without a scratch precisely because I acted in a manner exactly the opposite of how a cop would handle the situation.

    I was wondering the same thing. The cop reflex is to dominate. You don't dominate by de-escalating. Attempting to dominate someone will often generate a reaction, push-back, that escalates the situation, perhaps unnecessarily.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Warty: Great link to video at 3:55. Should be required viewing in every high school civics class.

  • hmm||

    Nice story. Could use more lube, handcuffs, and maybe some tazer to the nuts bondage.


    The run-in I witnessed and somewhat participated in Sunday morning occurred solely because the cop (claimed to be a cop) stuck his nose into business it did not belong and then started demanding things that were not in his purview if he was a local cop even if he was on duty.

  • hmm||

  • ||

    Mr. Dunphy was NOT talking about just any citizen under any circumstance here. Rather, he specifically constructed a scenario where, going into it, the cop had reason to believe the citizen was a dangerous criminal. I am thankful that the link to the full text was posted because it would do well for everyone here to read it.

  • Warty||

    CN, there's a companion video from the same lecture of a cop saying the same things. Seriously, never talk to the police about any criminal matter.

  • Warty||

    Beat to the punch, I see.

  • ||

    Rather, he specifically constructed a scenario where, going into it, the cop had reason to believe the citizen was a dangerous criminal.

    Ah. So, the cop has left his house. OK, I'm following so far. . . .

    Seriously, though, it doesn't make any difference to me what the cops thinks (like I could even know); I'll respond exactly the way I advise above?

  • Richard ||

    Jack Dunphry says that Doherty is misquoting him.

    Those who bothered to read the entire post would have understood that in the scenario I presented, the officer was not merely "talking to a citizen," but rather stopping one he reasonably (albeit mistakenly) believed had just committed an armed robbery. This important distinction was either missed by Mr. Doherty, or else he is deliberately misleading his readers. I can't decide which is worse.

  • Warty||

    he officer was not merely "talking to a citizen," but rather stopping one he reasonably (albeit mistakenly) believed had just committed an armed robbery.

    Weak. What difference does that make?

  • robc||

    At our house, we've broadened that rule to include any agent of the state.

    Nearly a decade ago now I slammed a door in a Census takers face because he started asking questions beyond how many people (1) lived in my household.

  • ||

    mcg,

    So, because I might resemble a criminal suspect, I should expect to be shot if I get the crazy idea that that ratty old piece of paper called The Constitution is supposed to protect me from the police doing anything they like to me. But if they are wrong about me, I might get an apology?

    Fuck you and your cop friends, cuntcicle.

  • ||

    The key here is your speech is either "Distracting" or "Delaying" the police officer. If the officer was a robot looking for clues in the speech dispassionately or could quickly determine suspicion based on non-verbal clues without being distracted by the beration, this would not be a problem. However, the officer is a human being, a very stressed and testosterone laden human being who has a very specific goal at the time and doesn't have the ability to judge things dispassionately. Hence, why you could get your head blown off by said individual. There is no right or wrong when you're dead.

    Sigh, its going to get worse before it gets better.

  • highnumber||

    Richard,
    It's not clear to me how Dunphry [sic] thinks Doherty has missed the point or mislead his readers. Could you provide a link to his response, please?

  • ||

    I'm always reminded of the line M. Emmett Walsh delivers to Harrison Ford in Blade Runner:

    "You know the score, pal. If you're not cop, you're little people."

    Never more true than today!

  • hmm||

    Mr. Dunphy was NOT talking about just any citizen under any circumstance here. Rather, he specifically constructed a scenario where, going into it, the cop had reason to believe the citizen was a dangerous criminal.

    So, since the president is keen on offering instruction, here is what I would advise he teach his Ivy League pals, and anyone else who may find himself unexpectedly confronted by a police officer: You may be as pure as the driven snow itself, but you have no idea what horrible crime that police officer might suspect you of committing. You may be tooling along on a Sunday drive in your 1932 Hupmobile when, quite unknown to you, someone else in a 1932 Hupmobile knocks off the nearby Piggly Wiggly. A passing police officer sees you and, asking himself how many 1932 Hupmobiles can there be around here, pulls you over. At that moment I can assure you the officer is not all that concerned with trying not to offend you. He is instead concerned with protecting his mortal hide from having holes placed in it where God did not intend. And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.



    Fuck I hope no one robs a bank in make and model. Cause as an innocent person I would hate to get shot over asserting my Constitutionally protected rights.

  • T||

    This important distinction was either missed by Mr. Doherty, or else he is deliberately misleading his readers. I can't decide which is worse.



    Fuck him.

    And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.



    He deliberately set up a scenario to make him, and by extension all police officers, look better. It's all boo-hoo, we have a hard job, so cut us some slack when we act like power-mad pricks.

    But don't miss what he's really saying. If you are mistakenly accused by a cop of a crime, he gets to shoot you when you start reminding him of the Constitution and refusing to comply with his demands? Again, fuck Jack Dunphy.

    He's either trying to explain police brutality or trying to legitimize it. I can't figure out which is worse.

  • ||

    Someone asked for the linky.

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZDEyMDQ5NjYxMDlkNjI0NTJlYzdlZjliMTBlY2I3ZmE=

  • ||

    robc--Did you eat his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti?

  • ||

    I've read a lot about this case and those involved. Assuming what I've read is true, the COP WAS RIGHT. Read about his history - he was hand picked (by a black man) to teach other cops not to profile. He gave cpr to a dying black nba player. The other cop on the sign supporter his story of events and is also black. (Save me your tired uncle tom arguments, people.)

    Now look at this harvard prof. He has a victim mentality and a chip on his shoulder because of things that happen generations ago. He didn't (again, fwih) show valid id, and was belligerent. He's gotten exactly what he wanted: liberal street cred. He'll be on magazine covers soon, if he isn't already.

    There are some criminal cops out there and swat is basically out of control gangs of thugs. However, this case is not abuse of police power.

    If I were in Gates position, I would have simply given the cops my id and explained the situation calmly. That's called being an adult - you're respectful to everyone, unless they give you a (LEGIT) reason not to be. I would be GLAD that a neighbor cared enough about my home to call the cops and GLAD that the cops checked investigated it.


    Stop crying wolf about police abuse. There are real problems (swat) that might be ignored after stupid false alarms like this. The bulk of news outlets, commentators, and especially Gates, are crying wolf.

    How about focusing on REAL ABUSE??

  • DevHyfes||

    If a cop stops you under the assumption that you just knocked over a bank, he doesn't have any right to harm you without provocation. (And Dunphy says that, upon clearing you of the crime, cops owe you an apology and explanation of their behavior.)

    But if, while trying to investigate this crime, you act like an insufferable ass, you should expect much more than a routine traffic stop. Since you fit the description enough to warrant the stop, and then you are uncooperative, you've turned a quick check-and-go into a long ordeal. Good for you...You've just wasted everyone's time!

    Dunphy wasn't saying it's Okay for officers to shoot you if you are a jerk to them. He's saying that if you try starting a confrontation with a cop who thinks you may be an armed criminal, you have no control how that confrontation will end up- and it could end up with you being shot.

  • Fluffy||

    If you are mistakenly accused by a cop of a crime, he gets to shoot you when you start reminding him of the Constitution and refusing to comply with his demands? Again, fuck Jack Dunphy.

    It especially doesn't matter, because the actual armed robber also possesses all of those Constitutional rights.

    So the distinction he thinks is important here actually isn't.

  • highnumber||

    Thanks for the link, John-David, although I find it not at all illuminating.

  • ||

    It especially doesn't matter, because the actual armed robber also possesses all of those Constitutional rights.

    So the distinction he thinks is important here actually isn't.



    Absolutely. An armed robber has the constitutional right to remain silent as the cuffs are put on him, gets a free ride in the back of the police car, and gets a nice warm cell to sleep in that night.

    If you are reasonably believed to be an armed robber, this too can be yours if you don't cooperate.

  • ||

    Once again I ask myself how libertarians think the police are supposed to do their jobs.

  • ||

    I've thought of myself as a libertarian but I find the comments here irritating. Isn't there some distinction between anarchism and libertarianism? For myself I believe all government is ultimately coercion by violent means and that there is a *very* limited sphere where such coercion is legitimate. A policeman investigating a report of a serious crime falls within that sphere. Since the policeman's mandate is to deal with the violent and criminal among us by means of violence himself it's not unreasonable to expect, or even to mandate, a certain degree of cooperation. That's true if only for the sake of prudence to avoid fatal misunderstandings between innocent citizens and those who are mandated to deal violence in their defense.

    Your constitutional right to be an ass is important but so is the cop's right to life and his own right of self-defense. He's not infallible or omniscient. He does not have some divine insight into your innocence of the crime he's investigating or possibly of a crime he's NOT investigating that may give you a motive to kill him. Erratic, provocative, confrontational behavior on your part is stupid and will increase his fears and his suspicions. His training (necessary for his legitimate function) is to take control over chaotic, heated, potentially violent situations. One of his means of doing so will be to simply arrest anyone contributing to the heat and chaos of the situation. Unless it's accompanied by actual physical harm, or some excessive punishment after the fact I can't get too worked up about it being a fundamental violation of anyone's civil rights.

  • Ari||

    The sad thing is that the phrases, "No you can not enter, no you can not search, am I free to go" are almost always seen as you have something to hide or you are escalating the situation and being defensive.

    "Suspect refuses to cooperate and is becoming tumultuous and disorderly."

  • Fluffy||

    If you are reasonably believed to be an armed robber, this too can be yours if you don't cooperate.

    Well, if all the cop has is "Drives the make and model car of the robber, and declined to allow me to search his vehicle or answer any questions" and he arrests me on that, I not only will sue the pants off the city and department, but will put a lawyer and private investigator on retainer to make the officer's life a living hell for the rest of his career, to the extent that I can manage the budget for something like that.

  • hmm||

    One of his means of doing so will be to simply arrest anyone contributing to the heat and chaos of the situation.

    That is exactly why disorderly person exists as a statute. Now lets apply this to the facts we know about the case. He identified the man as the homeowner or proper resident after a lengthy and heated confrontation. He moved to leave and the homeowner still distraught continued to be angry and follow him. At some point the officer had to stop leaving a scene at which he had already decided there was no crime and arrest the person yelling at him. The situation, consisted of the officer and Gates. The officer had complete control and could have completely diffused the situation by saying here is my business card, my superiors name is on the back. I have to return to patrol, I'm sorry for the inconvenience. He had has the power in the situation both ultimately (armed) and legally (bullshit statute abuse that will fly in any court). There was no chaos he had investigated and was not being stopped from leaving. By your account anyone that questions an officer, whether about concerning their rights or otherwise, is potentially contributing to the chaos and thus subject to arrest. Which is absurd, even if the norm.

  • ||

    Once again I ask myself how libertarians think the police are supposed to do their jobs.

    Gee, how can they possibly do it? By gathering evidence, getting witness statements, and collating that all into a criminal case? HOW FUCKING UNFAIR! Obviously, the police should be able to arrest anyone who even looks at them the wrong way and put the burden of proof on the person arrested.

    In case you didn't catch my point, buried in all that subtlety, here it is: Fuck you and fuck the police.

  • MNG||

    "how libertarians think the police are supposed to do their jobs"

    I'm not a libertarian, but I think the answer "in compliance with the Constitution and the law" will probably do.

    Arresting people who have not violated the law would, yes alas not be a weapon I would want them to have in doing their job. But I'm all for arresting people in compliance with the law.

  • Bingo||

    His training (necessary for his legitimate function) is to take control over chaotic, heated, potentially violent situations.



    What ever happened to "protect and serve"? The police are not (or should not be) an occupying force. You can't uphold the law and break the law at the same time. Dying on the job is an occupational hazard.

    Or do you think it's okay for the police to break or bend the rule of law to save their lives? Because that is essentially the argument that you are trying to make, they are just regular guys trying to put in their 9-5 and make it home to their family. They knew the hazards of the job when they signed up, tough shit. Don't trample on THE RULE OF LAW (the Bill of Rights) when your job is to enforce it.

  • ||

    I should expect to be shot if I get the crazy idea that that ratty old piece of paper called The Constitution is supposed to protect me from the police doing anything they like to me.

    Sorry to nit-pick, but if you expect the constitution to protect you, you're dreaming. The constitution does not create our rights, it delegates some of our powers to the federal government. The defense of our rights ALWAYS depends on our willingness to 1) demand them or if push comes to shove, 2) fight for them.

    -jcr

  • ||

    "Now lets apply this to the facts we know about the case."

    Actually the case we were discussing was Jack Dunphy's hypothetical about someone pulled over because they have the same (rare) make and model car as the perpetrator of a heist.

    His point was that after the mistaken identity is cleared up you're owed an apology for the inconvenience BUT in the meantime you have some responsibility yourself. In the encounter the policeman has a very reasonable fear for his own life. As far as he knows you are the criminal that just committed the crime, are likely armed and highly motivated to kill him. He is more concerned with living through the encounter than with your tender sensibilities, your rights, or about YOU living through the encounter. Persisting with exercising your rights to behave as an unreasonable, belligerent, and provocative asshole increases the likelihood of a misunderstanding that leaves you bleeding to death from multiple gunshot wounds. This may be deeply unfair, but it's simply true and won't change for all our internet ranting about how the rest of the world owes us perfect fairness while we owe it nothing but unhinged outbursts.

    I find it disturbing that so many here expect government agents to attain to godlike imperturbability and perfect judgement but expect nothing from citizens. That conception of the relationship between government and citizens is at odds with reality and it strikes deeply at the premises upon which the ideals of freedom and limited government rest.

    Do you really think government agents are capable of such perfection? If yes, why not sign up for some nice totalitarian utopia? Do you really think free citizens are so childlike that they can't be expected to be merely reasonable in response to a crime having been reported? How can such children attain, or keep (or deserve?) any degree of freedom?

  • hmm||

    Actually the case we were discussing was Jack Dunphy's hypothetical about someone pulled over because they have the same (rare) make and model car as the perpetrator of a heist.

    My fail.

  • MJ||

    "A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot..."
    - Robert A. Heinlein

    This is true even if the person you are dealing with is a cop.

  • Rock Justice||

    It amuses me to no end that the National Review has made up their own imaginary cop friend sock puppet. At least they didn't name him 'Dick Tracy'

  • Jim Murphy||

    Kids today won't believe it, but there was a time when you could read the National Review without IQ points flying out of your head.

  • ||

    >And people wonder how I justify, or why I group >all cops together. The mentality mentioned in >the article is pervasive and those that don't >act like this do not protect me from this.

    Yeah there are too many cops who are in that line of work because they never outgrew their bullying phase. Employees at Canada's "Human Rights" Commissions are similar.

  • ||

    'Jack Dunphy' is either a poor communicator or a tired cop. The citizens of Los Angeles should hope it's more a matter of weak communication skills. Either way the mere fact this mind set is locked and loaded up front in the thinking processes of an LAPD officer hired to 'protect and serve' telegraphs a level of stress too high to warrant having him on the streets.

    Retire, "Jack."

  • Fluffy||

    This may be deeply unfair, but it's simply true and won't change for all our internet ranting about how the rest of the world owes us perfect fairness while we owe it nothing but unhinged outbursts.

    If it's "deeply unfair", how should the law react to it?

    You're basically saying that, whether we like it or not, there's no way to avoid having a police force that, occasionally, will fill a citizen full of bullet holes even though that citizen does not draw a weapon, if that citizen is merely hostile, uncooperative, and anti-cop.

    Now, if that's "deeply unfair", then the way the law should react to it would be to stick the police officer in the gas chamber. Right?

    That's what annoys me about every last one of the a-holes who offers the "It might not be fair, but it's what you should expect," argument. Fine, maybe you should expect to be arrested for no reason if you hassle a cop. The question is what happens AFTER you're arrested for no reason for hassling a cop. Is the cop punished, or not? If you admit that it's unfair, why oppose punishment for the cop? If you oppose punishment for the cop and stand up for the cop, why should we regard your statement that you think it's unfair as sincere?

    That conception of the relationship between government and citizens is at odds with reality and it strikes deeply at the premises upon which the ideals of freedom and limited government rest.

    And the viewpoint that you have no rights if the police are afraid, or in a hurry, or merely annoyed - how does that jibe with the ideals of freedom and limited government?

    Do you really think free citizens are so childlike that they can't be expected to be merely reasonable in response to a crime having been reported? How can such children attain, or keep (or deserve?) any degree of freedom?

    The number of citizens who will be reasonable when dealing with the police will be directly proportional to the justice of the laws themselves. If belligerence and hostility to police is so ubiquitous that it becomes an insuperable problem, then you need to take a serious look at the underlying laws. If your question is, "How can we make sure people don't hate the police, while keeping the laws and police procedures we have now?" the answer is that you can't. This is where broader libertarian issues start to come into play: if the reason the police face overwhelming hostility is because they've been given unjust laws to enforce, or because the police act in an overbearing manner with citizens regularly because the legal system supports them in doing so, then it's perfectly appropriate and fair for citizens to treat them with hostility, and not "childlike" at all.

    Your questions here also smack of the attitude that says, "I'm in favor of freedom, but only if people act responsibly," which is, of course, not being in favor of freedom at all. "I am in favor of freedom as long as everyone acts in the manner they would if they were not free." See the problem with that?

  • ||

    Your questions here also smack of the attitude that says, "I'm in favor of freedom, but only if people act responsibly," which is, of course, not being in favor of freedom at all.

    Just so. As the Fourth Iron Law puts it:

    4. You aren't free unless you are free to be wrong.

  • Christopher||

    "discomfit" is a rather unfortunate typo in this context.

  • ||

    This is most amusing:

    RC Dean @ 3:01pm, 27 July

    "The above don't necessarily apply if the cop is responding to your request to investigate a crime against you."

    OH, OF COURSE NOT!!! When that officer goes to stop the perpatrator of said crime against you, you fully encourage that criminal to resist all investigation and would, no doubt, demand that the officer make no effort to restrain him.

    In fact, the officer should ASSUME he stopped the wrong person, and make no intrusion on their time or liberties whatsover, in his attempt to retrieve your property or avenge the assault on your person.

    Should the officer have any doubt whatsoever, you will stand up for that crook and demand the officer release him. 'Cause that's what you believe in, right?

  • ||

    Brian Doherty, your an obtuse buffoon! Your protec helmet is on WAY to tight.

  • ||

    Juvenile "f*** the cops" posts like these are the reason I call myself a small l libertarian. In fact, after reading some of these comments, I think I should just take the l off and call myself an ibertarian.

  • Kolohe||

    Nearly a decade ago now I slammed a door in a Census takers face because he started asking questions beyond how many people (1) lived in my household.

    robc-
    Ran out of chianti?

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