Reason TV: You're Killing Me! Was a police-related jailhouse death an accident or a homicide?

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The recent police-related deaths of 43-year-old Allen Kephart in Lake Arrowhead, California and 37-year-old Kelly Thomas in Fullerton, California have sent shockwaves through the their respective communities. Indeed, both are being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The death of Thomas, a homeless schizophrenic beaten into a coma by Fullerton police, is also being investigated by the Orange County District Attorney's Office. His case is not the first time Orange County law enforcement has been accused of applying excessive force to a mentally ill homeless man.

In October 2007, 28-year-old Michael Patrick Lass was living on the streets of Santa Ana when police stopped him for having an open container of alcohol. At the time of his arrest he was alcohol-dependent, schizophrenic, bipolar, and had a history of seizures.

The altercation that led to Lass's death took place at the Orange County Central Jail, where Lass was sentenced to serve five days after pleading guilty to public intoxication. The day Lass would have been able to leave he felt ill and asked for medical attention. Lass was ordered to leave his cell and after repeatedly looking over his shoulder while being directed by a deputy, he was tackled to the ground and a melee ensued. 

"He wasn't fighting or anything and he was already in a contained area, locked in a contained area," Lass's father Frederick, says of the incident. "Immediately there was a second deputy there, a third deputy, a fourth, a fifth, and on and on it went. There was so many deputies that you couldn't count how many deputies were there."

Lass was shocked with a Taser nine times and the county's autopsy said he had multiple contusions on his body, "involving the head, neck, torso and extremities." The struggle was captured on film. "I can remember viewing the film and at one point while they are beating him Michael tells them, 'You're killing me.' Literally: 'You're killing me'," says Frederick Lass.

Frederick Lass sued Orange County and six deputies involved in the incident. Although neither was found liable in that case, Orange County later revised its Taser policy so that deputies would not be able to use Tasers on restrained suspects unless they display "overtly assaultive behavior."

While an improvement, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California says the policy didn't go far enough. Executive Director Hector Villagra sent a letter to Sheriff Hutchens in January 2009 urging still-stricter use of Tasers, pointing to five people who have died since 2005 after being stung with the weapon.

Like the cases of Allen Kephart and Kelly Thomas, the death while in custody of Michael Patrick Lass raises troubling questions about police procedures—and the power of surveillance videos to shine a bright light on the workings of the criminal justice system.

The following video includes graphic violence and viewer discretion is advised.

Written and produced by Paul Detrick. Camera: Paul Detrick, Zach Weissmueller, and Alex Manning; edited by Detrick.

Special Thanks: Frederick Lass.

Music by Audionautix.com.

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  1. Lesson: Dont make eye contact.

    1. Good afternoon reason!

    2. Lesson: Dont make eye contact.

      This applies to unstable, aggressive dogs as well.

    3. Don’t make eye contact. Head down, eyes on the ground, mouth shut. Keep your movements slow. Keep any hint of confidence or purpose out of your gait. In short, it should appear as though, if you had a tail, it would be tucked between your legs.

      1. Works for public school students as well…

        1. Yeah, but at least they won’t be be beaten to death for noncompliance, ya know?

    4. The Stanford Prison Experiment. And yeah cops and soldiers are just weak men who do the bidding of those in power. The chief agents in this campaign to make humanity rise against their brothers. Fucking monkeys all of them.

  2. And nothing else happened.

    New Professionalism

    1. Funny every time!

      1. Sad, is what it is.

  3. Cheeseburger|8.1.11 @ 5:55PM|#
    Public hanging would be a good option. Then leave the bodies for the crows with a sign saying “New Professionalism”

    1. Poor troll is against punishing murderers.

  4. Frederick Lass sued Orange County and six deputies involved in the incident. Although neither was found liable in that case […]

    Not relly sure how this was possible if the video was shown at trial and if it was accurately described here (video blocked at work for me).

    1. That’s what I’d like to know. I have no particular love for cops, but the fact remains they were found not liable by a jury. Why? What convinced them? There’s something missing here….

      1. I would imagine the judge tilted the playing field to help the cops.

        1. The law already tilts the playing field to help its tax feeding / low level / hilarioulsy haberdashered / thugscrum.

        2. Judge? How about the “excited delirium” coronor’s report. That doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

          This goes back to Balko’s call for independent forensics. If a body showed up in that same coroner’s office absent an accompanying story from the police about his status as a prisoner in conflict with guards, there’s no way he rules that anything other than a homicide. He’s clearly playing for the home team.

      2. I’m not familiar with the case. That said, if it went to a jury trial at all, it was an Orange County (read white/asian, generally law abiding, conservative, middle class+) jury and, I’m guessing, jury charges construed to aid in finding the officers not guilty. For all of the crap jurors take in popular culture, in my limited experience with them, they do try the best they can to get it right and to follow their oaths. They try to puzzle out the evidence and the jury charge. It may be that, with the jury charge as given, they felt they had no choice but to find the officers not liable (civil case, right?), or that the state didn’t meet their burden of proof.

        Alternately, the case may have been dismissed on summary judgment due to, I’m guessing again, some form of immunity claimed by the officers and department.

    2. If you lived for any length of time in the O.C., you would know exactly why neither was found liable. It actually surprises me how much uproar there is in orange county over the Fullerton PD mess. I would say in O.C., the moment the jury heard the case was against cops, at least half the jury decided not guilty or not liable before hearing any testimony.

  5. Hey, they aren’t professionals in the practice of restraint. They were following the procedures to the letter…

    1. Notice how Will Grigg covers the Kelly Thomas and countless other police lawlessness cases before Reason does?

      1. Because that’s his thing? His focus is a little more narrow than Reason, and more oriented toward power and abuses thereof than, say, macroeconomics or pop culture or when he’s appearing on Fox Business or whatever.

        Also, OT, but it confused me at first when I thought our PL might be him.

  6. Hey, I’m the anonopussy cop dick sucking troll who normally posts here. I’m sorry that I keep posting here even though none of the shit I say is ever funny, but I have no friends in real life to talk to because acne has left my teenage face more cratered than the surface of the moon and just the sight of my face is enough to make people flee in terror. I am stuck at home every day masturbating furiously to tranny fisting videos until my dick develops blisters, so please just give me some attention.

    1. You should write for Conan!

  7. Cops sure do like gang-beating people who can’t defend themselves. Such an admirable trait.

    1. Well, have you tried gang-beating someone who can defend themselves? It’s a lot of work.

      1. Both are hell on your shoes

        1. That’s why I gots stompin’ boots!

          1. +1
            That was pretty f*cking funny, especially if read in one’s preferred perjorative accent

            1. one’s preferred perjorative accent

              I’m going with Austrian.

  8. So here was at least a large percentage of deputies assigned to that particular jail, and yet none of them had any problem with it, up to, and including, killing the guy.

    Notice how none of them even looked particularly upset, they just piled on him, struck him, and tazed him until death.

    I also want to add that if a dozen dudes or more are piling on me, I might be fighting, involuntarily, because I don’t like being that restrained – a sort of claustrophobia.

    Basically, all those dudes have a big problem, and murdered a drunk, crazy guy. Way to go, tough guys.

    1. “if a dozen dudes or more are piling on me, I might be fighting, involuntarily”

      And there is the problem with the police getting a pass as long as they were appropriately responding to the situation. If a cop is beating you to death, you have every right to fight back with whatever you’ve got. But if his buddies see you fighting back, they are apparently justified in joining in, because you were fighting with a cop. Fuck.

    2. I did like the “STOP RESISTING” thrown in there by the cops. That’s basically the call sign of “we are going to kick your ass and you can’t do anything about it”.

      1. Yeah, that seems to be the spiral. He did something that they viewed as a threat to their authority, so they tackled him to assert authority. When he didn’t lay perfectly still and allow them to administer a little pain while they handcuffed him, they escalated.

        They were very clear about this on the video. They had no interest in “getting him under control” in a physical sense. That was already achieved. They wanted him to cower before them. One deputy says “We’ll be here all day until you do what we say”. This is an establishment of authority – “I can do anything I want with you and you have to submit to me.”

        He defiantly let them know that he wouldn’t respond to escalating violence. They ask him if he will do as they say, and he says “If you treat me with respect.” This is something they are not prepared to do. In their little slice of the world, respect only flows in one direction, and he wasn’t respecting their complete and utter power over him.

        The guy asked to see a doctor mere hours before his release, but they didn’t like the way he walked backward to them so they assaulted him and then put him in a punitive “restraint chair”. This is something that they all – from the top to the bottom – clearly view as perfectly correct. A prisoner got out of line and we had to punish him, that’s it. If he died, well, that’s tough.

        Perhaps the worst part of the whole thing is that a jury agreed with the state on this one that there was nothing wrong with killing this guy for what was at most passively resisting being handcuffed.

        1. In their little slice of the world, respect only flows in one direction, and he wasn’t respecting their complete and utter power over him.

          He forgot his place. Slaves may only use designated slave-to-master language, which means all language must be 100% submissive and grovelling.

          The guy asked to see a doctor mere hours before his release, but they didn’t like the way he walked backward to them

          It was the way he looked back that made them do it. I sometimes jokingly state that cops will kill you if you look at them funny. But this wasn’t a joke, I think we might have the first (documented) case of US police killing someone because he looked at them.

    3. I also want to add that if a dozen dudes or more are piling on me, I might be fighting, involuntarily, because I don’t like being that restrained – a sort of claustrophobia.

      Fuckin’ A! Self-preservation is a God-given right.

    4. After 5 days, I hope he was sobered up.

  9. “Indeed, both are being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

    Thank God for federal oversight of the states, eh?

    1. Weak sauce regulation argument is weak like Ukraine.

      The right of the people to be secure in their persons…

      1. What, you are’nt for state’s rights? Why should the feds oversee the states in this way?

        1. On pretty much a weekly basis we get stories of injustices by local and state agencies in which the only justice the victims get or can hope for is that the feds will come in and enforce federal legal standards and statutes and yet people around here still walk around crowing “state’s rights” like retarded roosters.

          Some of the best things in our history for protecting people from injustice involved the feds flexing over the states: the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, incorporation of the BoR, civil rights movement, etc.

          1. Should add sec. 1983 suits

          2. Yawn. I don’t think many regulars here are opposed to the 14th amendment or incorporation of the BoR. And most will point out that state’s have no rights, only powers. Rights are for individuals. What’s your point again?

            1. Quite a few people here throw the phrase “state’s rights” around.

              Then many of the same people praise cases like McDonald v. Chicago or the federal prosecution of some local jerkoff official.

              1. It’s called balance.

          3. Great federal protection when SCotUS expands the definition of immunity, or doesn’t penalize police misconduct under the 4th absent a conviction. Hey they can kick down your door and as long as you aren’t prosecuted/convicted, you didn’t suffer from it.

            Yeah, we sure need more federal oversight.

            1. Yeah, that’s laughable. An illegal search of your home is not a violation of a constitution that specifically spells out the prohibition unless you are charged with a crime. And then the only recourse is to exclude some of the evidence resulting from an illegal search. Not tossing the criminals in jail.

              Somehow I don’t think they’d feel the same way if I kicked in their door and rummaged through their things.

        2. The FBI investigating corrupt local cops and politicians is one of the most legitimate duties of the FBI. They should do it more and most of the other stuff they do a lot less.

          1. Agreed.

            I get the idea that some policy should be made at a local level because they are most familiar with the problems there, but you often see a reverse tendency where what you really need is an outside agency which does not share the local prejudices and biases.

            A local prosecutor might be beholden to or connected to some corrupt local officeholder, while fed officials have their own biases and such they are likely to not involve the local concerns and they are great for investigating them.

            Federal standards are more likely to mitigate extreme local prejudices and biases in the aggregate imo.

          2. State Attorneys-General should be investigating too, instead of engaging in grandstanding suits claiming to be “consumer advocates”.

            1. In FL, the big thing is PILLZ MILLZ! Because we have no real crime here, apparently.

          3. Maybe there should be a separate branch of the FBI that deals solely with this sort of issue. They would be the only branch of the FBI to be armed, and they would have no arrest powers over citizens; only over law enforcement officers. The remainder of the FBI would be unarmed and without arrest powers. If it was determined that an arrest needed to be made, they would be required to enlist the services of local authorities.

            1. maybe there should be asparagus that is blue

              1. I’m sure it’s far more likely that science will engineer a blue asparagus than it is that any law enforcecement entity will be made to yield up any power.

                So I’ll keep my fingers crossed for that blue asparagus.

                1. generally speaking, it is up to the courts to determine the limits of LEO agency power.

                  however, my agency (and many others) have voluntarily yielded power before. for example, we made our SWAT usage policy much more strict – iow, it requires greater justification to use SWAT *now* vs. 2 yrs ago

                  and it was a good decision.

                  however, courts and legislatures define the bounds of police power.

                  generally speaking…

                  1. “generally speaking, it is up to the courts to determine the limits of LEO agency power.”

                    That’s why I said “be MADE to yield up power.”

                    Good baby steps for your local SWAT, but changing the procedures under which they strap on the S&M attire is a far cry from actually yielding up any power; from saying, “we hereby divest ourselves of the authority to do such-and-such.”

                    1. and again, it would arguably be a BAD idea for an EXECUTIVE branch thing such as a police agency NOT to use power vested in them by the legislature and pursuant to the constitution

                      again… seperation of powers.

                      it is up the legislature (or citizen initiative) to restrain same, obviously beyond any constraints imposed by both federal and state constitutions.

                      rule of law works that way

          4. agree 100%.

            except to clarify it’s not just FBI investigating corrupt, etc. it’s FBI investigating allegations of corruption and/or civil rights violation.

            sunlight is the best disinfectant.

            parallel FBI investigations can be very helpful.

            they can help exonerate the innocent and convict the guilty.

            win/win

            1. Or they can provide an end-run around double jeopardy in criminal prosecutions. Double-plus win/win!

              1. that i disagree with. imo, the dual sovereignty thing violates double jeopardy. however, the courts disagree.

                ONE bite at the apple – local OR fed. BOTH is a violation of constitutional rights imo

                again, i know the courts disagree.

                i also note that this is almost exclusively (but not 100%) used against cops

                1. I’m not sure about that, dunphy. Isn’t felon in possession of a deadly weapon a violation of both state and federal law? In your experience, doesn’t the USA take a crack at them should, by some crazy set of luck, the DA fail to convict them on the state charge? I mean, it’s a near guaranteed 10 year federal sentence, isn’t it? And one of the easier crimes to prove.

                  1. FWIW, I do agree with your take on the dual sovereignty. I’d much prefer a Gibbs style rule of procedure where you try the defendant in one court, state or federal, with all charges, or lose the right to file those charges in the future. Naturally, there’d be a lot of wrangling about whether it was feasible to file all of the counts at the time of the indictment, etc…

                    But, IMHO, it’d still be better than the dual sovereignty mockery of the spirit behind the double jeopardy prohibition.

                  2. GENERALLY speaking with non-cops (and there are exceptions), IF there is a federal crime, they will choose to file federal OR state

                    cops are in the unique position where they more often will do both

                    USUALLY, what they will do is try it first in state court. if they lose, then they can try it in federal court, and have all the hindsight benefit of knowing what did and didn’t work in the first trial, and adjust accordingly

                    which 100% violates the spirit of double jeopardy imnsho

        3. In my opinion, this is one of the few things the feds should do.

          1. Ha! If you believe the feds should do some things, then you have to believe they have a right to be doing everything they do! Or TEH HYPOCRAZY!!!11!!

            1. MMM, cake and eat it too!

              1. Your use of dialectics diminishes you.

    2. Thank God for federal oversight of the states, eh? separation of powers in a federal system

      Huzzah!

      1. Ah, the old “state’s rights is great, except when it’s not” argument.

        Decisions should be made by the states, except for the really important, fundamental ones!

        1. “Decisions should be made by the states” has what, exactly, to do with violations of rights and crimes committed by agents of the states?

          And how do you get “separation of powers in a federal system” = “state’s rights is great, except when its not”, anyway?

          Unless your position is “plenary power by a centralized authority is great, period.”

    3. “Indeed, both are being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

      Thank God for federal oversight of the states, eh?

      Who oversees the feds?

      1. The Watchmen, duh.

        1. I thought the Watchmen were those dudes in the linked video above?

          1. Yes, they probably lifted the guy’s watch while he was at the bottom of that dogpile.

        2. “My son’s a police officer, ya fuckin’ faggots!”

    4. If the DOJ made that their top priority, they might eventually come close to deserving their name. But we’ll see if they pursue real charges, or watered down cop charges.

  10. They followed procedure. You people don’t know anything about the use of force continuum.

    1. Look people, you have to see the whole picture here. He was in prison so obviously he is dangerous. He had an OPEN container!!

    2. Fake troll Dunphy is fake troll.

      1. How can you tell the difference again? Just curious.

        1. The real dunphy never capitalizes anything.

          1. And he smells of goat semen.

            1. troll-o-meter: .02

              for obsession…
              also note neither you nor i have any fucking idea whether they followed procedure or not

              although the ignorati would benefit themselves to ACTUALLY LEARN what procedure IS before criticizing it

              hth

            2. trollometer: .02

              obsession downgrade.

              i also have no idea if procedure was followed, nor do you.

              1. It seems pretty clear that procedure was followed. The administrator on the video reviewed the case personally and said everything looked A-OK to him.

                Plus, a jury found that the state did no wrong.

                1. that;s a good point. i just don’t personally know their procedure, so i can’;t comment on it. however, it appears the reviewing agencies saw it was compliant

                  (and before the ignorati claim that always happens, i could give dozens of counterexamples. )

  11. Not relly sure how this was possible if the video was shown at trial and if it was accurately described here (video blocked at work for me).

    In the post, the video is edited so DRAMA!tically it’s impossible to follow. But it does appear to show a bunch of cops killing a dude, apparently by breaking his neck and swinging his head around, for no apparent reason, and in the casually brutal way gang-murdering types tend to do things like that.

    A jury that sees that is very likely to be pleased by it, because the dead guy is in an orange bad-guy uniform.

    1. And when the victim was yelling, “You’re killing me!”, the jury thought it was in the context of humor.

    2. apparently by breaking his neck

      This is probably where things should have unraveled for the police. The fact that police have a fake ‘diagnosis’ for why people die in their custody, but an independent autopsy showed that the guy’s fucking neck was broken should at least be thoroughly investigated.

  12. the dead guy is in an orange bad-guy uniform.

    Its the only way to tell them apart, no?

    1. From the guys in the green bad-guy uniforms?

  13. I was reading over at the excellent British libertarian blog Samizdata today, and this post in particular-

    http://www.samizdata.net/blog/…..rself.html

    Perry De Havilland wrote a piece defending the Turkish and Kurdish “vigilantes” for defending their neighborhoods from the looeters despite threats from the authorities that they would be punished for doing so. An american in the comments section noted that “Perhaps the British, having never been free, their police belonging to the Queen do not have this naturally as we in America.”

    Perry responded with a post that hit just about every libertarian Reason poster button on the nose-

    Perhaps the British, having never been free, their police belonging to the Queen do not have this naturally as we in America.

    Not really. Police do not ‘belong to the Queen’: the Home Secretary controls the police. In reality the Queen has the same role in the UK as the Flag does in the USA… a purely symbolic one. When an American ‘pledges allegiance to the flag’ it is no different to doing something similar to the Queen.

    I really do not see much difference between the US and Britain as a practicle matter when it comes to most civil liberties or policing. Given the huge gap between the theory and practice of constitutional protections in both places it really comes down to how are things actually done. The First and Second Amendments still have some genuine value for the defence of liberty in the USA, the rest of the Constitution, not so much.

    Certainly I would not care to see the UK go down the very paramilitary path policing has gone in the US where even small municipalities now have SWAT teams routinely kicking people’s doors down.

    Likewise my understanding is that recently the US Supreme Court have ruled it is not legitimate to forcibly resist even an unlawful entry by police, so clearly the notion of citizen-police who have to follow the same laws as everyone else has been abandoned in the USA, which at least in theory is not the case in the UK (in practice there is very little difference).

    Indeed in some ways the state of civil liberties in the USA is even worse than the UK (the ever broader application of RICO, asset forfeiture without trial (let alone conviction) and the nakedly corrupt ways eminent domain seizures are used comes prominently to mind)… and the fact prosecutions are brought by politically motivated people (thugs like Eliot Spitzer for example) as DA are elected rather than appointed in the USA, which is a truly terrible idea.

    To my mind the only really big advantage (and it *is* a very big advantage) to the way things are in the USA is that of firearms ownership. And of course that very much depends on where you live in the USA… it is hard to see how the state of civil liberties in New York is much different to that in London.

    1. A good writeup, but I think he missed a few things. It isn’t just firearms that the US is better than the UK on. It is the entire approach to the validity of self-defense of person and property.

      He is probably right on the cops, though. I’m sure the UK cops are a bunch of low-lifes that all need to be pushed off a cliff, but I can’t imagine them being worse than US cops.

      1. In my experience, they’re worse — but they don’t typically have guns to execute people with. They’d have to work harder at it with whatever they have on them, like batons.

        1. they sure executed a 7/7 suspect… unarmed, laying on the ground with police all around, and they executed him right there in broad daylight.

          1. They had to find their Lee Harvey, Timmy McVeigh or Mohammed Atta.

          2. Admittedly, if this was the Menezes shooting, they did think he was wearing a suicide vest. Of course, apprehending a potential bomber is the job they’re paid, and have chosen voluntarily, to do. They shouldn’t get to defray the risks of the job onto the rest of us. Second, if you summarily kill a man for carrying a bomb, then God damn it, you’d better be fucking right that he was carrying one.

            I doubt TPTB would be so lenient if I shot someone in the head once (never mind emptying the mag) because I thought he might have a bomb.

      2. It isn’t just firearms that the US is better than the UK on. It is the entire approach to the validity of self-defense of person and property.

        I agree with this, and in the context of his post it appears that the immigrants who just arrived in the UK have a more “Americanized” view of defending their own properties than the natives themselves.

        The best part of his post was in the beginning of the thread itself-

        Firstly, to those blaming ‘immigration’ rather than the welfare state, and the utterly grotesque way the state demands you do not protect what is yours, well people would do well to emulate the Turkish and Kurdish community in Britain. Indeed the looters we see on television and streamed over the internet are so multi-racial it must gladden the hearts of the Welfare Statists who created them.

        So when the police decry ‘vigilantes’, I would point out that communities can often do a better job at protecting themselves than the police can and the folks who got out on the streets, not to loot but to defend their neighbourhoods, well they are the real heroes here……..
        ………….If these last few days shows anything it is that when push comes to shove, only you and your neighbours can defend against what can only be called barbarian scum. Contrary to what the state would have you believe, you have the right to defend yourself and your property that morally supersede any law that would deny that right. The rioters ‘took the law into their own hands’ so I applaud those Turks and Kurds (and many others whom the Guardian would not be so keen to report on) who did the same… they took the law back from the barbarians with and put it where it belongs: in their own hands.

        The state is not your friend, so do what you have to do and if you drive off some thugs, do not call the police after it is all over as nothing good will come of that.

      3. Why does someone seek out a job that involves committing acts of violence if they are not seeking an opportunity to commit acts of violence?

        There is no real difference between cops here and cops anywhere.

        They’re all dicks. Period.

        1. Why does someone seek out a job that involves committing acts of violence if they are not seeking an opportunity to commit acts of violence?

          A sincere desire for public service. Wanting a decent job, with good pay and benefits and great job security—without needing 4+ years of college. Of the police I’ve known personally, and the people I’ve known who’ve tried to become LEOs of one stripe or another, those were the reasons. (Heavily shaded to reason set #2.)

          It wasn’t a desire to crack heads. The ability to fly down the road like Max Rockatansky did appeal to a few people I knew who applied. I don’t know if they eventually became LEOs.

          1. I dunno. Every cop I’ve known and everyone I knew in college who was studying Criminology in hopes of becoming a cop was more interested in authoritah than anything else. Authoritah of course meaning “Do what I tell you or I will hurt you” while thinking “Please don’t do what I tell you so I can hurt you.”

          2. Two examples:
            In response to my saying “What the fuck” after kicking my legs out from under me the cop said “Give me one reason, please, I’m begging you” and I believed him.
            A Criminology major returned to the cafeteria after doing some ride-alongs and all he could do was complain that nobody had resisted yet (meaning he hadn’t had a chance to use his “skills”).
            Needless to say I give police respect, but only because I like my teeth.

            1. Needless to say I give police respect,

              I think you mean “fear”. Which is only rational, of course.

          3. You know, if you ask them “why did you become a cop” you often won’t get the answer “I want to crack people’s heads in”. However you often find that jobs that have the opportunity of beating people to a bloody pulp are often staffed with those who enjoy beating people to a bloody pulp.

            1. If you ever listen to cops talk when they don’t think (or care) that civilians are listening?
              One time the local cops came to this restaurant where I worked, took over a couple booths, and got loaded.
              They were joyfully exchanging tales of cracking heads, humiliating people, collecting fines… oh they had a grand old time.
              You know the saying en vino veritas right?
              And it was obvious that they very much enjoyed their power and the perks that came with it.
              Scary shit.

          4. I will note that of the one person I knew who became a cop, she did it for the public service aspect. But several years on the job has changed her outlook considerably because she spends most of her time dealing with the scum of the earth. You can’t deal with the lowlifes for too long without some of it rubbing off on you.

            1. I completely agree with T‘s take. Again, from personal experience, if you didn’t have a large ego and a Napoleon complex before getting the job, you do after a few years on it. (That’s true though in many high-stress, high responsibility positions though. Executive chef, anyone? How about general surgeon?)

              I noticed, in the LEOs I knew, an ability to deny the possibility they might be wrong that would do a PhD proud. Not to mention a near pathological need to have the last word on a subject. (To be fair, the latter two traits are also true of many litigators I’ve known—particularly ADAs.) I suppose that mindset helps in all of their lines of work, but I’ve heard from them that it is challenging to “leave the Job at the Job” and not bring it home.

              I didn’t notice sarcasmic‘s stories of exulting in violence; rather, a sardonic acceptance of when it had to be necessary. Then again, I don’t believe that stories like sarcasmic’s would have been shared with me at the time. Or the culture of the job has changed over the last 20 years.

              1. You are wearing some very rose colored glasses.

                It is just flaky to asseverate that most or a very high percentage of LEOs are / were motivated by “public service”. If they were so motivated, they could provide the same, on their own dime and without impinging upon the natural rights of others.

                If an aspiring LEO is truly motivated by “public service”, why would they choose to join a state sponsored military or paramilitary organization? If you are about “service”, you cannot be about coercion / fraud / murder. If one is about service, one is about voluntary transactions, not police work.

                Moreover, if one is all about service, how could one join a state sponsored military or paramilitary organization which has special rules for its members but not for the Mundanes?

                One of the reasons why we have lost so much liberty is our willingness to suspend reality when it comes to sizing up our tormentors.

                Force attracts scum.

                1. No shit. A desire for public service? Go pick up some shit on the street. Go teach kids to swim at the pool, or at the very least, stand in line for someone at the DMV.

                  Handing out fines for rolling stops and “waiting for some real action” is of service to nobody.

                2. FOP is a prime argument against it being a “public service” job.

        2. I don’t know. My brother-in-law just joined a force, and he’s one of the nicest, most laid back people I know. Maybe he’ll be corrupted or be disgusted by what he sees there and leave. And even here, we occasionally see stories of respectful, decent cops (though the fact that this is noteworthy is not encouraging).

          But I think it’s fair to say that each force has its own culture, and while there aren’t many Mayberrys left, not every place is Chicago or Prince George County.

    2. Very good.

      He is mistaken about the court ruling. It was the Supreme Court of Indiana which recently held that one does not have a lawful right to resist police officers who have unlawfully broken into one’s home.

  14. I could have sworn that back when tasers were first introduced, they were to be used in lieu of deadly force, not to enhance it.

    1. you’re right, but today it is often used to coerce compliance or to torture.

    2. you could swear wrong.

      tasers are not, and should not be deadly force alternatives.

      that is neither their purpose, nor their (primary use)

      at times, when deadly force backup is available, they can be deadly force alternative.

      example, the king county guys who tasered a guy with a machete who was advancing on them. taser was ineffective, so they shot the guy

      but since they had deadly force backup (with rifles and handguns), they tried the taser FIRST

      however, as a primary force option, taser is located well below deadly force.

      as it should be

      1. yeah, like getting people out of a car when they don’t want to… or getting compliance out of a guy who is handcuffed and on the ground.

        1. imo, tasers should only be used for aggressive resistance OR fleeing suspects of a violent crime (iow not shoplift) or felony.

          the 9th circuit btw came out with a recent case that helps in that regards

      2. Tasers were introduced as non-lethal weapons to be used by police to subdue fleeing, belligerent, or potentially dangerous subjects, often when what they consider to be a more lethal weapon (such as a firearm) would have otherwise been used.

        This is the EXACT public relations reasoning used in the 90’s by cops when the taser was first introduced. Nobody claims it’s a substitute for a firearm when dealing with a dangerous armed suspect. I guess you are just another great erector of straw men.

  15. I think jurors are scared to testify against police abuse because they fear retaliation against themselves and or family members. The police state everyone (white) prayed for is here to stay. Blacks and other minorities have been getting beaten and robbed and raped so long they shoot back so the police need new meat. As Malcolm X said the chickens have come home to roost. Sad but true. When these scumbags (police) burned and then shoot that lil blk girl in Detroit they are no longer human to me.

    1. “As Malcolm X said the chickens have come home to roost.”

      You mean when his fellow Nation of Islam brothers whacked him?

      1. I suppose you believe in the in Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.

        1. Malcolm X talked about chicken!

    2. this is so colossally stupid it boggles the mind.

      do you REALLY believe this conspiratorial bullshit?

      really?

      get fucking real

      1. Just like you really believe that following orders means you don’t have to use your own conscience. “The legislature made that law, I have no choice………”

        1. ACTUALLY,i don’t believe that

          but you continue again with your strawmen

          btw, if you are paying taxes, you are supporting actions that go against your conscience

          better stop now you HYPOCRITE

          deerpderpderp

          1. “Cheeseburger” funny man!

  16. RESISTANCE IS FATAL

    1. So if the Borg had cops, they would have won in ST:TNG?

      It would have been worth it to see them kill Wesley.

    2. right. because when people resist they die.

      oh wait, thousands of people resist and don’t die.

      so you’re full o’ shit. thought so. restraint related deaths have always happened and always will.

      it doesn’t imply misconduct. in some cases there may be misconduct, but flight or flight response, adrenaline, etc. combined with restraint can be dangerous

      duh

      1. Then cut down on the number of times you restrain people. Pretty simple.

        1. generally speaking,. when we restrain people- they need to be restrained.

          1. We are opposed to the initiation of restraint. We call this the Anti-Restraint Principle. For us, it is an axiom, and no, we don’t really know what “axiom” means, so fuck you pig fellator.

            1. i am reasonably confident when a lib’tarian is the victim of a burglary he would be ok with us restraining the perp.

  17. MNG, hasn’t that shitty canard of yours about what we supposedly believe about states’ rights been butt-fucked out of existence, like, twice already? Do you ever give up?

    1. Do liberals ever give up when they are wrong?

      1. Don’t you mean statists?

        1. I suppose.

          “Political tags ? such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth ? are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”
          -Heinlein’s Lazarus Long

          Liberal, conservative, statist… it’s all the same.
          And they’re all wrong.

          1. Agreed.

            1. We only know three words. And three is enough.

          2. yah!

  18. Was police-related jailhouse death an accident

    I don’t see how any death resulting from a gang beatdown can be “accidental.” So that’s out.

    or homicide?

    You’ve got a dead guy. He died because of a beating. The beating was not in self-defense.

    So, yeah, smells like homicide to me.

  19. The beating was not in self-defense.

    Come on, R C- that guy threatened their feelings of self-worth. It was totally justified.

  20. What’s that authority they give James Bond??? License to kill, that’s it. That is, essentially, what cops have in this country. America’s heroes. When I hear good cops standing up and calling this barbarity and lawlessness our for what it is, then I will believe there are “good cops”.

  21. No one deserves to be treated this way. Lets hope the FBI does it job, and tears down the blue code of silence. These poor families, let them have justice served.

  22. I was just thinking how if a normal citizen takes a minor risk like running a stop sign or a light, and ends up killing someone in an accident, he will get charged with manslaughter. Quite a different world cops live in.

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