Cop vs. Skateboarders


Keep those cameras rollin'.

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  1. Well it was their second offense, and they could’ve hurt someone.

    If it was Paris Hilton they would be cheering.

  2. But they’re keeping us safe from the evil skateboarders! THEY’RE VIOLATING A CITY ORDINANCE!!!

  3. What do you expect from Arkansas?

  4. That’s Eric Estrada in his part time job when he’s tired of selling real estate.

  5. I can not see how it is justified in any manner to use physical force against a teenage a girl that is at best a third of your weight. I thought cops were peace officers not fat thugs.


  6. We need something like a YouTube site devoted to nothing but police activity.

    …brutality, threats, arrests, plus links to scanned police reports, all on like a google map, so you can check on the cops in your area.

    That’s what we need.

  7. They’re kicking in Ken’s door in 3…2…

  8. > That’s what we need.

    Is taken? After thinking of that, I checked and it actually is a site. It’s not very extensive, but at least it’s a start. Ken’s idea is great.

  9. The fat pig was probably just pissed that one or more of the boarders was likely playing hide the salami with the cute skate betty, and he’s a fat slob and can’t get any play now and probably didn’t when he was that age either.

    I not really joking, here. God, I fucking hate the cops and video like this really gets my blood boiling. RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH OR I WILL BEAT YOU AND NOT FACE ANY CONSEQUENCES

  10. * I’m not really joking

  11. That’ll teach those punkass criminals a little respect for the law.

  12. I thought cops were peace officers not fat thugs.

    Silly rabbit…whatever gave you that idea?

    In all seriousness, there are good cops out there, obviously. However, there are way too many ‘bad’ cops out there and they should be kept watch on.

  13. That was pretty disgusting.
    It’s to bad that the only people who seem disturbed by excessive use of force are those who the mainstream of America beat up in high school.

  14. Radley Balko, keeping Jackboots on the run.

  15. Good for the cop, damn teens think they can do whatever they want these days. Show some damn respect for the police. Need more cops like this one. No, I am not being sarcastic.

  16. Ultimately this is a systemic issue and will not be minimized until there is more competition in policing.

  17. Serious question…how are these cops supposed to enforce the anti-skateboarding ordinance? I mean…when the kid took off…should they have just let him go? Why?

    Don’t blame the cops for the ordinance.

  18. jimmy,

    In all seriousness, there are good cops out there

    I saw one just the other day, riding Bigfoot to work.

    It’s a perfect catch 22, 99.9% of people who want to be cops are uniquely unsuitable to be cops. Even the ones who start out wanting to help people quickly become addicted to the power they have over “civilians.” Even the best ones I’ve ever dealt with are still have a starkly black and white view of “right and wrong” that turns “protect and serve” into “intimidate and punish.” The redneck buffoon in the video is not the exception, he’s the rule. He cuffs, chokes, and arrests not because those kids are breaking a law, but because they dared disobey. He ought to be fired and set adrift in the ocean in kiddie pool.

  19. MP,

    No, you do blame the cop, for a wildly disproportionate response to the situation. He probably walked by three dozen violations of nitpicky city ordinances before he decided choking a 13-year-old was a good idea. Vote out the city council later, fire Thuggo McNoNeck right now.

  20. Fat cop puts small teenage girl in a choke. I bet that gives somebody out there a boner.

    The kids probably could have handled themselves a little better. Or maybe not; they’re kids. Presumably skateboarding is against the law where they were doing it.

    I want every cop out there to know that your asses are on the hook to the public you serve. You are not omnipotent vigilantes who magically get to be above the law when you become its avatars. Every action you take while on duty, including dropping a load at the local truck stop, is accountable to the public at large. Besides, if you’re not doing anything wrong, you shouldn’t be afraid of being caught on video…right?

  21. This happened on “Go Skateboarding Day” too. So the cops were probably out looking for them.

    Being an over 40 skater it’s often times funny to get hassled skating some roadside ditch by a cop that wasn’t even born yet when I got my first skateboard. In general I wouldn’t trust a cop as far as I could throw him off a roof.

  22. SugarFree,

    Every time I hear a cop refer to someone who isn’t a cop as a “civilian,” I cringe.

  23. a wildly disproportionate response

    I guess the video doesn’t convince me that it was “a wildly disproportionate response”.

  24. That cop was just doing his job. Those kids got what they deserved for breaking the law. And they were smart-mouthing and harassing that police officer.

  25. These cops are way over the top, but it is also a fact that skateboarders do a lot of damage to public and private property. Have to admit though, I LOL when the little boneheads took off at light speed with the pork in hot pursuit.

    It is also dangerous to pedestrians for skateboarders to zip down a crowded city sidewalk, which is why cities don’t let you do that on a Vespa or a bicycle either. Well, Venice is okay with it (not Vespas, though). 🙂

    I’m fairly unsympathetic to the bleat that skateboarding is not a crime. In and of itself, no, it isn’t, but there is no inherent constitutional right to grind your way down a public stair railing either.

  26. Pride, Integrity, Guts.

    yeah right.

  27. Fat cop puts small teenage girl in a choke. I bet that gives somebody out there a boner.

    I might be sick, but that was funny.

  28. MP,

    I kind of see your point. I was expecting to see something a little more brutal, but that cop’s actions still are over the line. Andy Taylor would set that fat ass straight mighty quick, but we aren’t living in Mayberry anymore, if we ever were.

  29. MP,

    Choking a teenage girl, cuffing a kid in the street, threatening bystanders and arresting people filming you is not disproportionate to the crime of skateboarding? Fuck, I really hope you’re not a cop. The death penalty for shoplifting is next, right?

    Oh, and MP… posting under a different handle right under you’re last post is considered a breach of board etiquette.

  30. It would’ve been cooler if it had been a gang of Segway riders. You know, users of the most revolutionary invention ever.

  31. I guess the video doesn’t convince me that it was “a wildly disproportionate response”.

    So cops are allowed to choke minors who violate a city ordinance?

    No one in the video was “resisting arrest” — that little girls surely wasn’t.

    Just because someone may be violating a fucking ordinance doesn’t give cops the right to rought them up.

  32. TWC,

    Nah, you’re fine- it’s the guy with a boner who’s signing up to be a cop that’s worrisome.

  33. For me the worst part is the illegal-in-scholastic-wrestling, shoulder-poppin’ arm bar the cop put on the scrawny little kid.
    As for the kids who didn’t jet and were simply thrown to the ground, why couldn’t they just get cuffed from the standing position? There’s something sick about the “you will kiss the pavement and SUBMIT TO ME” mentality on display there.

  34. “your post” dammit. I sure wish Officer Friendly would beat some grammar into me.

  35. Pride, Integrity, Guts.

    I wonder if they thought about that acronym before they made the slogan

  36. I was expecting to see something a little more brutal, but that cop’s actions still are over the line.

    There’s over the line and then there’s over the line. The kids were breaking the law. They were mouthing off. They were resisting arrest. So they ate some pavement. Big deal. Bones broken? Billy clubs come out? Shots fired? No? Shrug.

    Compared to everything else Radley brings us, this hardly rates a yawn.

  37. To all the above apologists,may you die of chronic diarrhea.

  38. Pride, Integrity, Guts.

    I wonder if they thought about that acronym before they made the slogan

    That’s a throwback to the 1960’s in response to being called a PIG. The cops tried to co-opt the insult into something more respectful.

  39. Is there a girl in this video?

  40. That is the fascist-cop sympathizers.And just to emphasize my point,you are imbeciles!

  41. Brian,

    When Thuggo grabs the two teens at once, one of them is a girl who is off camera most of the video.

  42. I like how the kids remained relatively cool during the whole exchange. And technically, the girl wasn’t riding a skateboard when the cop put her in the choke. She was carrying a skateboard. Also, isn’t violation of a city ordinance usually punishable by fine, not arrest?

  43. Matt,your right,but the offense was not being sufficiently deferential to Mr.I am a fat fuck.

  44. haha, I wasn’t even a twinkle in my then-teenage dad’s eye at the time. I hate it when I reverse-date myself.

  45. I just watched the video at work with the sound off, so I missed the mouthing off… but then again what’s wrong with a little freedom of speech? If there’s a city ordinance against skateboarding, wouldn’t that mean you’d just get a ticket? And so when was the last time you got tackled for letting your dog shit on the sidewalk or for mouthing off to a meter-maid. If a 250-lb cop can’t handle a 80-lb girl without using a chokehold, they should send him back to the academy.

  46. ram?page -paged, -pag?ing.
    1. violent or excited behavior that is reckless, uncontrolled, or destructive.
    2. a state of violent anger or agitation: The smallest mistake sends him into a rampage. The river has gone on a rampage and flooded the countryside.
    -verb (used without object)
    3. to rush, move, or act furiously or violently: a bull elephant rampaging through the jungle.
    [Origin: 1705-15; ramp1 + -age]

    -Related forms
    ram?pag?er, noun

    -Synonyms 3. storm, rage, tear.

    …as in, “This cop was on a rampage.”

  47. Skateboarders irritate the hell out of me. The difference between me and many others is that I realize it’s my problem, not theirs. Think about it.

  48. Assumption #1: Skateboarding in this particular place at this particular time is a crime. [For a moment we suspend any queries as to the whys — others above have noted that there are issues surrounding the activity]

    Assumption #2: The “kids” in question committed said crime.

    Assumption #3: The cops are empowered to tackle said crime.

    Hypothesis: Surely the cops could have stopped one or two with little or no violence (just asked “Stop” … maybe grabbed an arm) and requested some id. Assuming no id forthcoming, calmly arrest suspect so that parents can be called / tickets issued / court date set. Do the same with as many as are practical, let the rest go. Make point with the few actually caught. Realize that these are teens, do this “arrest” act and call the folks as a (hopefully) effective “message sent”. Do not engage in overt violence, take no risk of causing bodily injury. Perhaps photog the other kids as they pass and publish in local paper, on TV, noting that these are scofflaws.

    Instead, ass-munches engage in borderline brutality way out of proportion with said crime, risk harming “kids” and enraging community (and get caught up in YouTube). Parents (taxpayer/employers) angry at police rather than offspring. Libertarians … oh right, no one cares about Libertarians .. my bad….

    You can see where I am going, you read Reason, you smart

  49. I don’t think anyone of real integrity could possibly work in today’s LEA’s. How could they when the entire (okay 99%) job is about enforcing unethical laws?

  50. And cops wonder why everyone hates them…

  51. Garth, good points. The cops could have rousted the kids and give ’em a quick figurative boot out of town. Citations and parental phone calls for the mouthier of the bunch. Unless I missed something I can’t see an arrest as appropriate.

    Now if they were riding dirt bikes, then, Book ’em, Danno.

  52. I don’t see why he didn’t just call in the riot squad. There were so many! If you’re really gonna solve a problem like the Skateboarding Menace, you gotta break out the big guns.

    Tear gas, billy clubs, dogs…

    It goes back to the “broken windows” theory of policing. …let the kids skateboard wherever and pretty soon, believe it or not, the whole place ‘ll be crawlin’ with crack whores!

  53. There’s over the line and then there’s over the line. The kids were breaking the law. They were mouthing off. They were resisting arrest. So they ate some pavement. Big deal.

    There is over the line..and that’s it. It doesn’t have to go WAY over the line to be offensive. Just because they broke the law doesn’t mean the police are allowed to rough them up — mouthing off or not (and I really dispute what you call mouthing off — saying “all he did was ride a skate board” is hardly mouthing off. No one insulted or verbally abused that fat fuck pig). Cops should avoid the use of force unless it is necessary. Nothing in this video indicated it was necessary. They could have been cuffed standing up without choke holds.

    And who exactly was resisting arrest? None of the kids being accosted resisted anything other than a choke hold. Should that be illegal?? Trying to get air when a fat fuck power tripping pig puts you in a choke hold because he can?

    I hope one day your kids get a beat down from the cops.

  54. “all he did was ride a skate board”

    No. One kid said “What the fuck’s wrong with you?” after the cop had grabbed the girl who was taking off.

    And who exactly was resisting arrest?

    The kids who ran.

    I hope one day your kids get a beat down from the cops.

    Feel the love.

  55. Now, now, Chicago Tom. You don’t really hope that. You might hope that MP himself gets roughed up by a cop for no good reason, but I doubt you really have a grudge against his children.

  56. Personally, I have met too many skateboarders who act like jerks by treating the sidewalk like a skate park. Talking to them does no good. Quite a few of them deserve to have their skateboard broken over their head.

  57. “Quite a few of them deserve to have their skateboard broken over their head.”

    Yeah! …and then we can run over all the truck drivers!

  58. The last time a skate boarder ran into me, I got up, took his board from him (he was laughing) and threw it up on the awning. He calls the law. I try to tell my story, and the officer tells me to turn around, I do, but withdraw from his reach, which is resisting arrest, got the pepper spray, and a misdemeanor plea. I should have stayed down, had the EMS come, and sue.

    Advice too late was — I’m a big guy and the officer was being cautious (scared) and it got out of hand due to my resisting. Seems protocol was to spray immediately on resisting, without warning. The officer should have (he was told) let me say my side before cuffing me, but he doesn’t have to listen. Soon as I admitted taking it and tossing it, I was toast. Moral: don’t physically take another’s property out of another’s hand and throw it away. Now, my community service is throwing pennies on concrete sidewalks. You can throw five dollars of pennies on the sidewalk and NO one, not even bums will pick it up.

  59. Turn “broken windows” back on the cops. If they are allowed to get away with roughing up people a little bit, a lax atmosphere is created in which they they get ever more brazen in their use of excessive force.

  60. Actually, I pick up pennies in honor of my late wife. It was her thing, and I figure since she’s gone, somebodys got to do it.

  61. MP,

    Under the circumstances, the kid’s asking ‘what the fuck are you doing?’ seems perfectly reasonable. The pig was so high on power and anabolic steroids that he didn’t realize a perfectly rational call to his senses.

    And nothing in the video indicates that the girl was under arrest when she decided to run. Unless he’s told her, on whatever the legally minimal grounds are for telling her this, to stay put, she is free to walk, run, crawl, skip away as she pleases. The recent Supreme Court ruling about passengers in traffic stops seems to apply here. So he put a teenage girl in a headlock without cause…. I think that’s over the line.

  62. “Turn “broken windows” back on the cops. If they are allowed to get away with roughing up people a little bit, a lax atmosphere is created in which they they get ever more brazen in their use of excessive force.”

    Yeah, see, a lot of people don’t understand this…

    …but that doesn’t really happen with the cops. Inaction against their abuse doesn’t make ’em think they can get away with more. And that’s because they have shiny badges and wear uniforms.

    And as we all know, people who wear badges and uniforms aren’t subject to the same laws of physics. They’re like supermen.

  63. by stander,

    I know hindsight is teh great stuff, but you’re proper response to any questions would have been “officer I know you’re just doing your job but I have nothing to say to you. I need to be on my way; am I free to go now?”

    Admit nothing.

  64. Keeping in mind that maybe there are important facts we didn’t see here, I’d still really like to hear the justification for putting the girl in a choke hold. Because she was running away when he tried to grab her? Well why was he trying to grab her? For holding a skateboard?
    Citing the one kid for riding a skateboard is one thing, deciding you can dominate anyone you feel like with any force you feel like because some kid was riding a skateboard is quite another. Does this guy have the good judgement to be trusted with legal authority?

  65. “I’d still really like to hear the justification for putting the girl in a choke hold. Because she was running away when he tried to grab her? Well why was he trying to grab her? For holding a skateboard?”

    There’s another one a lot of people don’t get…

    Civil disobedience is still disobedience, see? …Bonk, bonk on the head!

    “Does this guy have the good judgement to be trusted with legal authority?”

    Respect my authoritaaay!

  66. 10 to 1 baldy the bad ass cop votes conservative/republican.

  67. I don’t know but if I just saw my buddy get choked by the cop and he started coming after me I think I’d run too.

    He’s probably the only one that truly resisted and I didn’t see them catch him.

  68. 10 to 1 baldy the bad ass cop votes conservative/republican

    10 to 1 baldy the bad ass cop is a union member. WTF does that mean?

  69. No, I am not being sarcastic.

    But you are being a fucking moron.

  70. Here’s a follow-up.

    The officer is on leave. The article notes that the 13-year-old girl was lifted off her feet in the chokehold; which I didn’t catch the first time, but it looks like that’s the case. Sick.

    Remember this Nike Skateboarding campaign, back in the day? Showing what running, tennis, etc. would be like if they were criminalized:

    Priceless. “I used to run…when I was 8!”

  71. At least those bastards still haven’t caught Won Ton “Animal” Chin.

  72. 10 to 1 baldy the bad ass cop is a union member. WTF does that mean? WTF.that means are the rhetorical gymnastics some people will use to obfuscate crimminality,kind of like what the 26% OR whatever do to explain away all the crimes of the folks they look up to for some reason.The President,the military,cops,other daddy figures they unquestioningly sniff the balls of because they are really weak and scared inside.And MP.I don’t know if your a Military Police Officer or just aspire to be one,I was,and your a dick.I hope you weren’t deployed in Iraq,cause your attitude is indicative of why we’re doing so well in the hearts & minds department.

  73. Damn DEMIZE! – Take a pill or something!

  74. Not one man in the area? Jeez, if I saw this going on I would have stepped in. Ten bucks says if these skateboarders had been 20 somethings the cop would have politely asked them to leave.

  75. Bystander, weird story, but not the first I’ve heard where the vic goes to jail and the perp walks away. Those are cop terms I learned from reading detective novels.

    One afternoon at Balboa Park I got tired of being nearly clipped by this one skateboarder so I threw him an NBA elbow as he went by which about knocked him over. I was pissed. He called me a fat fuck and skated off. Mrs TWC was not impressed and told me I was lucky the little butthead didn’t call The Man and have me arrested for assault.

    Judging by your story I’ll have to retract my scoffing at the thought of being arrested for such a ridiculous thing.

  76. Without seeing the 30 seconds or so prior, I don’t think we can judge anything. If the COP just said stop, and the skateboarder did not with the next action being a choke, that would be excessive.

    The prior resistance of the individual on the ground dictates the response of the officer. I did not see anything subsequent that amounted to battery so I’m not ready to declare foul. The cop did exhibit a lot of aggression, but he also was not dealing with bunch of compliant bystanders either.

    This presumes of course that skateboarding is illegal where this occurred.

  77. The article has this quote from the Mayor of Hot Springs:

    “Bush called Williams “one of 100 best and finest we’ve got” in the city’s police department.”

    If wiki is to be believed Hot Springs has 38,000 or so residents — do they really need more than 100 police officers? Talk about big government.

    And the cops actions are way out of line, he should be fired.

  78. Far more disturbing is the link to the Fox news story about the escalation in arrests of people for videotaping the Polezei.

  79. TWC – you do realize that your story pretty much reads as “I was pissed off by this kid playing in the park, so I assaulted him.” How could anyone think of that as a defensible action?

  80. I love the “resisting arrest line” thrown in there. As Americans is it not our right and duty to resist unlawful arrest?

  81. Dave, maybe I wasn’t clear enough when I mentioned that part about nearly getting clipped by the guy when he skateboarded by me at about 2 inches away as I was walking on a public sidewalk.

    Think about this: How close to me do you suppose he was if I was able to throw an elbow as he went by and actually make contact? Go ahead, throw your elbow out there like a chicken wing. What you reckon it measures? 8-12 inches is my guess.

    Now imagine a 16 year old zipping past you on a skateboard about 10 inches away at a high rate of speed. If you blow past me within inches of my person and force me to take evasive action to avoid contact you are pretty much guilty of intimidation, which can be construed as assault. You do it more than once and I have to wonder what the motive is.

  82. Just in case I wasn’t clear, the guy did it three times in the space of a few minutes. Third time was the charmer as they say.

  83. Skateboarders can certainly be jerks, but they don’t have the “authoritaaah” that the police do when behaving like jerks.

    Keep those cameras rolling. When this stuff happens, people need to see both sides.

  84. bob, agreed.

    For those of you who didn’t read through all the comments:

    I thought it was LOL funny to see those little boneheads run like hell with the pork in hot pursuit.

    Situations like this warrant (at most) a citation.

  85. I bet the cop went out of the way to goad the kids into behaving that way. Maybe he had a little bit of justification for going after these kids to the level that he did, but I have a feeling that if I were walking by the street and saw that cop choking that kid, I’d be right beside the kids yelling at the cop.

    What was the woman yelling? I couldn’t make it out.

  86. Skateboarding is usually a violation of a city ordinance because (1) skateboarders tend to be young and loiter, (2) sometimes damage property, (3) scare old men away from the convenience store, (4) have bad attitudes and (5) have parents who sue the city when Johnny hurts his ankle. They rarely cause injury to others, and definitely no more than, say, an average guy walking down the street who gets pissed off that you looked at his girl the wrong way. I can understand banning skateboarding in a crowded downtown area. However, The choke hold is indefensible, and the cop should be fired.

  87. Man, you’d think the guy had been smoking or eating trans-fats or something. Sheesh.

  88. I thought cops were peace officers not fat thugs.

    You must have been watching a different video. These were clearly fat thugs.

  89. situations like this warrant (at least) that cop getting his face smashed with a skateboard. fucker.

  90. I had a female cop threaten me with pepper spray for drinking a beer on the beach. I said i never saw any signs. When I stood up to have her point one out for me, thats when she threated to hit me with the goods. I laughed. She considered that disrespectful and threatened to ‘take me in’. then she wanted my ID so she could give me my ticket. I mentioned i had none on me. Then I gave her my dead grandfathers name and address. When she left, i got the other beers out of my bag and went back to my day. These kids should have been given tickets at best. They shouldnt have to beat up teens to enforce the law. Thats common sense. These guys are servants of the community, not their feudal overlords.

  91. Hey, did I miss it, or did the cop fail to Mirandize any of those kids?

  92. At the risk of sounding all Terry, let’s put it to the cops this way – when you’re strangling a 13-year-old girl, do you want the bystanders pointing cameras at you, or would you rather they use guns?

  93. “Outside the local grocery I was stopped for skating the sidewalk.
    The man wants to know when my type is going to learn our lesson. Skating
    away I know the answer to his question is never.” Lowboy (C R Stecyk
    III), 1981

  94. Total Cartman cop!

    He’s bad news, and exactly what we don’t need in law enforcement. sounds like a great idea. Balko, keep up the good work.

    That said, it also disturbs me to hear that people think 99.9% of all cops are bad. My experience is far different. I’ve met and known plenty of cops. Most of them were not dicks. Many of them were upstanding human beings, some were just okay guys, some I didn’t care for, and some were dicks. It’s funny, but whenever I look at people around me, that seems to be the case, cops or not. I do think that the dicks who become cops tend to be bullies, but the dicks who become salesmen tend to be sleazy, the dicks who become doctors tend to be arrogant, and so on. Good cops may not always be enforcing a law that you agree with, but that alone does not make them a dick.

    We need to keep a better eye on them, I s’pose, to root out the bad ones so y’all start thinking better of them.

  95. Hey, did I miss it, or did the cop fail to Mirandize any of those kids?

    Good one.

  96. These kids should have been given tickets at best.

    Really, that’s what it comes down to. While none of us will ever be sure of what happened, the fact is what these kids were doing was on par with jaywalking, and we all know only British historians get the rough treatment for that offense.

  97. Be it with an animal, vegetable or mineral, that cop needs to get laid something fierce. The same goes for a lot of you “law and order” types too.

  98. Hey, did I miss it, or did the cop fail to Mirandize any of those kids?

    mediageek: You’re generally not mirandized on arrest. That’s a hollywood construct. You’re usually mirandized at the station during booking.

  99. By the way, I’ve been skateboarding for the last twenty years and will continue to do so for as long as I am able. This kind of thing is not at all new, now will it ever be abated by the YouTube’s invisible hand.

  100. I’d pay good money to have watched those kids bash those cops with the skateboards. That would have made my day.

    Why do we allow laws like “disorderly conduct” and “disturbing the peace” when it’s so plainly obvious that they are so easily abused due to their vagueness?

    When are we going to admit that police abuse is systemic and not the acts of one or two bad apples in a bunch of good ones?

    If it’s not systemic, we’re expected to believe that it’s pure luck that ALL of the bad cops in the entire dept end up working together. The alternatives are equally scary:
    A.Bad cops can seek each other out without apparently raising the suspicions of all the good ones and manage to get assigned to the same beat, swat team, etc.
    B.One or two bad ones corrupt the good ones if they work closely with them

    Imagine how deep the government would bury itself into the affairs of any other profession whose emnployees acted this way. Imagine if every day we got a video ina different city of pizza delivery “crews” of 2 to 4 beating or stealing from customers. They would be labeled a criminal syndicate.

    Claims from the pizza parlors that these delivery people were merely bad eggs in the bunch and the rest of the delivery personnel were wholesome upstanding guys would be ignored. It’s hard to play that card when it happens all over the country every day by groups of 2-12 and not just individuals.

    Are we really expected to believe that the Atlanta police show shot Kathryn Johnston were the only ones in the whole department who were bad? They just happened to get assigned to the same unit?

    The police should be treated like the criminal gangs they are. We don’t let crips and bloods get away with claiming that they are law abiding and those who commit crimes while wearing their colors are merely individual bad apples-no, anyone with their colors, their uniform is suspect and pretty much “the enemy”.

    When I see a group of men all covered head to tow in any one color, making unusual hand gestures to each other, I assumed they’re a gang. I don’t look at them, I don’t deliberately bring attention to myself and I try to prepare for some conflict if they should decide to focus on me. I feel pretty much the same way with cops-they can do almost whatever they want and get away with it, unlike the gang members.

    My stance is “Fuck the police”. Until proven otherwise, they are the bad guy, the biggest threat to me and everyone else around me-the enemy among us.

  101. Brendan – Last year I sat in on a presentation by some LA gang cops. They actually said that in order to do police work, they have to be the biggest, baddest gang in town. They talked about the difficulties faced when balancing things like civil liberties with performing their jobs. And this is how they choose to portray themselves. Its no wonder you compare cops to crips and bloods – its how the cops feel too. The scariest part is that the cop in the video probably thought he was doing his part for the good of society.

  102. highnumber,

    I’m glad you know some good cops. All I’ve known are, at the very least, the type of rigid thinkers that lead to the “us versus them” mentality that creates the widespread use of terms like “civilian.”

    But, I non-dickishly ask, why are your “good cops” not arresting fuckheads like this? Why are IA departments, the police who should police the police, “the rat squad?” Good people don’t protect bad people. At the very least they are all accessories after the fact when they witness this behavior and give it a pass.

    That being said, I think the thugs are drawn to the work by the thousands of inconsequential interactions that are labeled crimes. If the laws were restricted to personal and property crimes the police would attract far fewer roid rage nonecks and power addicts. If the police only went after violators of laws most of us here would agree on, I be the biggest goddamn cop cheerleader you have ever met. But as long as the focus is on petty crimes, we’re going to end up with petty people enforcing them.

    (All this and I’ve never even been arrested…)

  103. What the video doesn’t show is one of the little punks jumping on a cops back. I think we should be cautious of YouTube video shot, edited and posted by the so-called victims

  104. Funny that the litany of crimes he kept shouting at the kids didn’t include assaulting an officer.

    Thanks for playing.

  105. Another data point (on the general character issue), from Middletown, CT:,0,1628388.story

    Of course, the allegation needs to be taken with the number of grains of salt deemed prudent, given that it’s coming from a politician and all. If it’s true, though…


  106. You’re generally not mirandized on arrest. That’s a hollywood construct.

    They do it all the time on COPS, which (so far as I know) is not scripted.

    (Also, I laughed out loud at Seitz’s Animal Chin reference. That takes me back…)

  107. Here is a question I’d like Reason to investigate: When did police stop being “peace officers” and become “law enforcement” instead?

    I just wish I had enough money to pay for the legal defense of these kids. I used to skateboard back in the 70’s (think Dogtown & Z-Boys) and really: it kept me off of drugs and booze abd provided a way for me to be physically fit. Yeah, we were annoying sometimes, but most kids are annoying to their elders. That’s just the way of the world. I see no problem skateboarding in public if people aren’t knocked over or property isn’t destroyed. Skateboarding in and of itself isn’t a problem. It’s how *some* skateboarders act that’s the problem. Rather than deal with those specific troublemakers, they institute a blanket ban on skateboarding, this making the act of skateboarding a crime. That is bullshit.

    Destroying property? Crime.

    Harming someone? Crime.

    Let’s keep it at that.

  108. This is not an isolated incident. Happens all the time. I actually had my board taken by a Boston cop (and was slightly ruffed up) when he was working off duty in his uniform. I called his supervisor and got him in trouble because he took it home with him instead of turning it in at the station. When he was accosting me, he acutally said “it’s a shame I don’t skateboard because I have a garage full of these things at home”. Got my board back and embarrased the cop. Sweet.

    Also, those of you who like to throw elbows or otherwise show the kids who’s boss better think twice about that. Not only is that assault, you may mistake a grown man for a punk kid and take a beat down.

  109. Screw the kids, they were breaking the law. Fuck you sympathizers you just don’t like the fact that society has laws and you can’t smoke your joints while sitting on the sidewalk in front of a boarded up church. Only morons trust kids over cops.

  110. “You can see where I am going, you read Reason, you smart”

    me smart.
    me liked by everyone.

  111. oooh! mark! Mr. Tough Guy!

    mein Gott. You are teh Feisty. All oiled up and in a state of pump.

    wrapped in bacon.

    mmmmm bacon.

    *strikes jaunty pose

  112. That Mark dude is sexy when he’s mad.

    I fixed this for you:

    “Only morons trust kids over cops.”

  113. Ok how does one argue they are doing it “for the children,” on this one? Talk about need some creative bullshit wording to pull that off.

    If the kids were smart they would have cracked officer numb nuts right in the crotch with the edge of one of those skate boards and walked away. He didn’t look fast enough to catch them to begin with but a good cup check would have certainly slowed him down. At the point I would be being choked I would have to defend myself and if I had a skateboard in my hands oh my look out I am swinging for the fences!

  114. Masshole – correct me if I am wrong but is not what the cop did with your skateboard STEALING or THEFT perhaps and if he had a garage full it sounds like he is a habitual crook. Are there not laws about turning in evidence.

    Cop pulls over Corvette for speeding..
    Cop finds roach in ashtray and cofiscates car..
    Cop take car home as his own..

    Something about this no matter what the object in question seems like theft plain and simple.

  115. Radley’s coverage of unhinged police activity in the past few months has given me an idea: maybe the big-L Libertarian Party should focus on electing county Sheriffs. A nationwide focus on a specific office with some law enforcement, some judicial process, and some executive powers would do a lot to raise the standing and political-party brand of the big Ls, and give at least some meaningful local organization and personification of what it means to be LP. The role of Sheriff, at least in urban areas where it isn’t the primary LE agency, tends to cover a lot of judicial procedure grounds such as prisoner holding and process serving — do Sheriffs have some oversight role in on the procedure of serving warrants? Reject warrants based on a “kathryn johnson” level of evidence, or insist on having a deputy ride-along (with camera) on warranted no-knock raids? Maybe it’s too much to ask that they take on the role of internal affairs for all municipal police forces within their counties, but then again, maybe that’s what the big L party should push for.

  116. [calling out]


    Dinsdale wants to play…

    please come back. I’ll bring the crisco stix

  117. Just give it up VM, he’s gone back to shoving a grapefruit in his wife’s face. He might be a while.

  118. I know it is dusty down there in your mom’s basement but are you seriously ‘calling out’ someone over an INTERNET COMMENT BOX. Get a fucking life morons. Boo Hoo the mean cop took my skateboard. What are you 12? Grow up and join society.

  119. Dee,

    No correction needed. It was quite possibly armed robbery since the guy had a gun on his belt. Otherwise, it was definitely robbery and assault. I seriously considered hiring a lawyer and pressing charges. However, I was alone, so I had no witnesses I could identify and I have a fairly high paying job for a dirty skateboarder and I don’t think my employer would have liked to see my name in the paper over it. Plus, the cops are throughly corrupt in this town and I like to fly under their radar. Getting the cop humiliated in front of his boss and co-workers was victory enough. He even had to call me and ask me what my board looked like so he could bring me the right one! The whole thing was ridiculous. I’ve been putting up with cops hassling me for skating for over 20 yrs. Ask anyone that’s skated for any length of time and they’ll have similar stories. They’re bored bullies and they think a bunch of teenagers are going to be an easy time, then they get laughed at and can’t deal with it.

  120. Also, those of you who like to throw elbows or otherwise show the kids who’s boss better think twice about that. Not only is that assault, you may mistake a grown man for a punk kid and take a beat down.

    Masshole, if you beat the guy down, it’s also assault, isn’t it? Anyway, dicks shouldn’t throw elbows (I never would) and you’re right that it is assault, but barring rolling along a sidewalk going across town, in which case you’d be going slowly enough that a thrown elbow wouldn’t do much damage, you shouldn’t be getting inside elbow range of anybody.

    If you’re doing tricks, or zipping through pedestrian areas going balls to the wall, you’re being unsafe to the people around you. I’ve known enough people with serious knee problems who were fine walking down the street, but if they had to dodge an unexpected skateboarder they could really hurt themselves. So stay out of elbow range, and cut out the I’ve-got-the-biggest-dick-on-the-block bravado bullshit about beat-downs.

    Skate, but skate safe, away from people.

    Note, I run into the same problem while mountain biking, and we always have to watch out for hikers on the trail. If we’re tearing down the trail, it’s our responsibility to make sure that we don’t run down hikers, not thier responsibility to get out of our way.

  121. Yes Mark, we’re the ones that are unhinged. Do you read what you post? I think you got some spittle on your screen. Uptight much? Maybe that longhaired skater guy took your girl back in highschool?

  122. Of course, cops rarely hassle mountain bikers, although sometimes you can get yelled at by park rangers. And I’m careful to make sure I’m going to a bike-friendly place anyway.

  123. Lunchstealer,

    I wasn’t speaking for myself. I make a point to give people a wide berth and I’ve never hit anyone. I agree others aren’t so nice about it. However, there’s a lot of guys out there that will be happy to deliver a beat down if you pull a move like throwing an elbow. Tis not a big dick issue at all, just the truth. Do you start a fight with everyone that cuts you off in traffic? No, of course not. So if some punk decides to skate too close to you, deal with it and move on. There’s bikes on the sidewalk all the time that I have to dodge when walking to work, I don’t push them over.

  124. OK. I misunderstood what you said. Like I say, I wouldn’t ever do it, and it sounds like you skate responsibly, which is cool. I had thought from your previous post that you were referring to yourself in the elbow-scenario.

    So seriously, what’s with mark thinking the Moose was calling him out. Let’s face it, Dinsdale was always a gentleman, and what’s more he knew how to treat a female impersonator.

    What a tool.

  125. Hey the man was just doing his job, right? Too bad the majority of a cop’s job is just to be a bitch, enforcing all those wacko laws about minor inconveniences. Think about it. Skateboarding, gambling, wacking off in your own home all subject to oppinion.

    Also, there is no excuse for choking someone like that, the dt’s are trained in proper ways for restraining someone and I’m pretty sure that’s not one of them. Dipshit.

    The only cops I might have some respect for are the railroad bulls, they are not public servants, they are not law enforcers. They are junkyard dogs, and they don’t give a shit outside the yard.

  126. You’re generally not mirandized on arrest. That’s a hollywood construct.

    They do it all the time on COPS, which (so far as I know) is not scripted.

    Probably because it’s COPS.

    I’ve been arrested. I wasn’t marandized until I was at the station, and being processed.

    Oh, I was framed, too.

  127. The ladies always enjoy a visit from Colonel Angus.

  128. People who have spoken in favor of this cop should have their heads examined. I am 40 yrs old and I have skated for 30 years. My 12 yr old son is a well known, up-and-coming skater. I will not say his name but he is on and Go to these sites and read what these kids say to each other. You will never see a group of kids who don’t even know each other personally, give such positive feedback to one another. I bet your football jocks just make fun of the kid that can’t catch. Or maybe that is what you did when you played sports? Of maybe that is what you still do to people at your job everyday? This is a community that sticks together. Something you will never know. Skating is a beautiful art form. One that you will never understand if you have not lived the feeling yourself. I can hear your response now about what I kook I must be. I have a good job working for HP in Boise, Idaho. I own my own home, I just payed it off as a matter of fact. I paid it off in 6 years. How about you? How are you doing paying on that second mortgage? Don’t tell me about responsibilities. Tell that shit to the cop with the big ego. I grew up skateboarding in California. I don’t think any of you who have said some of the things in favor of this idiot have ever even felt good about yourselves. You are living a sad existence. Wake up and let people be who they are. So what if they were breaking an ordinance. Let me see how you feel after getting caught jay walking and find yourself with a boot on the back of your head. Let’s hear you then.

  129. Closeouts comming from liquidation centers all over the country are made eay to purchase by Wholesale Electronics> Electronics Closeouts.

  130. I hope someone is pursuing legal actions against the cops? Seems like there are more important things to go after as opposed to a couple teenagers having fun.

  131. screw you ‘andrew’ and ‘brian’. dont know u guys, but i sure as hell know that u guys r the type of guys who at school, will snitch on every single bad thing that happens. The cop has no right to strangle the kids. The cop has to follow the procedures that has been taught to him. (i think that they deserved a ticket or a warning) if the cop Was going to arrest them (which he couldnt because skateboarding in prohibited areas are worth only a ticket)he should have twisted their arms behind their backs, like any cop would do. the cop violated the kids’ rights.

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