Voting with Your Feet (Police Edition)


A great find from Radley Balko: two very different police recruitment videos.

The first is from Decatur, Georgia (where—random useless fact alert—I lived for two years as a toddler):

The second is from Newport Beach, California:

Radley writes, "Let's assume two generic towns that are otherwise mostly similar. One town takes a Newport Beach approach to policing. The other takes a Decatur approach. In which town would you rather live?"

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    1. Oh! Ya beat me to it!

      1. Of course, now I know to pat the ground.

        1. Once one of those guys has you by the neck, they’re not going to miss the opportunity to choke you until you’re unconscious.

          Even if you try to tap out.

          1. If you’ve never seen an ultimate fight show, you won’t know to tap out.

            If you say stop, I’m choking, or arghh, arghh, arghh then you’re resisting and 3-4 more cops will jump on your chest while the other one chokes you.

            1. I learned to tap out long before ultimate fighting because the rage.

    2. I can’t believe they included that. Are they that tone deaf or are we the only ones who care?

      1. They included it because they want to attract people who look forward choking people until they are unconscious, beating them until they are bloody, and shooting them until they are dead.

        That’s what being a cop is all about! Kicking ass!

        1. Really? Why have you never mentioned this before?

    3. Holy shit, too perfect.

  2. NBPD likes to release the hounds, I see.

    1. Apparently their ideal officer candidate is as vicious and hyper as fido.

    2. They’re not all that bad. They didn’t shoot any of those hounds.


  3. The only black guy in the video gets chased down by the vicious dog.

    1. Oh, BTW, Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses.

      1. $20 to anyone who can remix and post that video with that song!

        1. That would be awesome


          Manually mute the left video.

          I take paypal.

          1. That actually synced up frighteningly well

          2. That worked really, really well. Fuck.

    2. It’s ok. The dog was black too.

  4. As soon as Newport Beach PD upgrades to powered armor I’m moving and joining up. Even I have a price.

  5. Decatur’s PD clearly is bunch of pussies who do not have the respect of the citizenry. People only respect police who see themselves as an occupying force and brutalize the occupied accordingly for the slightest infraction.

    1. *BOOM*

      “That’s a one trip salad bar, asshole!”

      1. “Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.”

    2. Exactly. They obviously see themselves as peace officers. Damn hippies.

    3. I got caught speeding through Decatur once. Cop gave me a warning and a bouquet of flowers.

      They were only carnations.

      1. He just wasn’t that into you.

  6. The closet opens and is filled with a planet killing array of military weapons. What. The. Fuck.

  7. Newport Beach PD – Protecting and Serving the Shit out of You!

  8. “Tonight at eight, Pyschos seize Santa’s workshop…”

    And only Lee Majors can stop the Newport Beach PD.

    1. The Night The Reindeer Were Shot In A Wrong-House No-Knock Raid?

  9. Let’s assume two generic towns that are otherwise mostly similar. One town takes a Newport Beach approach to policing. The other takes a Decatur approach. In which town would you rather live?

    The answer is No.

  10. I like my town. No police force.

    State troopers set up speed traps every now and again on the busy roads, but that’s it.

    No pigs following you around and giving you shit.

    It’s nice.

    1. I like my town. It has a police force. They’ve never followed me around or given me shit. It’s nice. And boring. And like most police forces in the U.S., it has never qualified for Reason’s sensationalist propaganda treatment. Slackers.

      1. Ignorance is bliss.

    2. Pennsylvania actually has a brilliant setup for avoiding discouraging speed traps. Only the state police are allowed to use radar, but any fines they collect go to whatever municipality the citation was written is. So since the State Police don’t get any benefit from speed traps, they don’t waste manpower running them. You don’t see nearly as many speed traps in PA as you do in other states, and even when they do have traps, they usually don’t pull you over unless you’re going way faster than everyone else.

  11. Post the recruitment videos from your town, or the nearest city that has one out.

    Here’s mine: Meh.

      1. I especially liked the military-uniformed cop with assault weapon say “Its pretty cool” before hustling over to the line of OTHER military-uniformed cops.

      2. When I clicked the link it auto-started the “K-9 Competition” video. The audio is “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor.”

        Still disturbing, but much less so than when I thought it was the audio to the recruitment video.

    1. Holy Shit!

      Police officer starts at $41k in my town.

      However, I am disqualified:
      Non-tobacco user of any type (on or off duty)

      Or am I? I use non-tobacco about 23.5 hours a day.

    2. This is the closest I could get for my current city:

    3. Oooohhh…Fairfax County is good. “Make a difference” by shooting at shit and rappelling and searching for drugs with dog!

      And I love the inclusion of Animal Control, because I know for a fact, from personal experience, that they don’t do jack shit.

    4. I couldn’t find one for where I live now, but Orlando has one. It seems to suggest the “kick ass, take names, shoot dogs” mentality, but apparently they’re too cheap to afford video, so they went with stills instead.

    5. I’m terribly disappointed that I can’t find one for the always ethical Prince George’s County MD PD.

    6. Here’s the fine folks at Richmond PD. Starts off Decatur-like warm and fuzzy, throws a little cuff-and-stuff action in at the end.…..ail_LG.wmv

  12. I like Decatur. Lived near it going to school. They have some nice bars downtown. Good on them for not adevertising to the ‘roided out crew.

  13. You can’t fool *me*, Radley. That “Newport Beach” video is from The Onion.

  14. Is that Newport Beach, California, or Newport Beach, SYRIA?

    1. In which town would you rather live?

      1. I’ll take either over Newport News.

  15. I thought it was Decatur, IL at first. If that had been the case, my answer would have been a resounding “No” to either city.

    Decatur, GA looks nice although perilously close to Atlanta.

  16. “Let’s assume two generic towns that are otherwise mostly similar. One town takes a Newport Beach approach to policing. The other takes a Decatur approach. In which town would you rather live?”

    I don’t want to go to school for an entire week. I just wanna go down to Newport Beach.

  17. RCMP Recruitment Video

    You won’t even know you have a gun!

  18. I’ve been in both towns. I would rather take white trash redneck Decatur over upper class liberal Newport Beach.

      1. SIV: The only man on earth to actually complain about lesbians.

  19. I can affirm that the NBPD enjoys policing the same way that their videos suggest. Earlier this year I was roughed up, arrested, and charged with resisting arrest after getting pulled over for the horrendous crime of having an old registration sticker on my car (my car is properly registered by the way). A few weeks ago the charges were dismissed after the DA finally took the time to watch the video.

    1. Enemies of the people deserve all the local fuzz can dish out. Let you get away with an old registration sticker and anarchy is on the horizon.

  20. Long story for those interested:

    I’m driving home from work. I’m a 23 year old 160 lb. accountant for a big company with a corporate environment. As tough as I like to fancy myself, I am not exactly what one would consider an imposing force. I am driving down Coast Highway well under the speed limit, and I have not made a lane change for miles. The cop flashes his lights at me. I am in the far left lane (3 lanes). I use my blinker and merge over two lanes to the right. It is dark outside, and the shoulder is a bike lane that sees a lot of use. I take the first exit off of Coast Highway, about 1/2 mile from where he first flashed me, and pull over. He blinds all my mirrors with his movable lights, and then starts screaming, “Let me see your hands!” I show him my hands. He shows up combatively demanding to know why I did not pull over when he first flashed me. I told him politely that I did not want to stop in the busy bike lane at night. He told me I was wrong. I told him I disagreed. He then repeated the question, and I gave the same answer. He then asked for my license and registration. I asked him what he was pulling me over for. He said he would tell me after. I think of that as an unlawful search and seizure, so I ask him again what he is pulling me over for. He finally lets me know it is because my tags are expired. I give him my license. My registration is behind my bench seat in my mini pickup, which I would need to get out of the car to retrieve.

  21. Like a broken record he again asks me why I did not pull over, and I state my previous reasons. He then asks me where I am coming from (I am dressed business casual), to which I reply “South”. He then asks me where south. To which I tell him it is none of his business. He then asks where I am going to which I reply “North”. Where North? Also none of his business. He then asks me how much I have had to drink. I do not drink. I was driving straight and steady. And the question was obviously a BS question. I asks why is he even asking that on a registration violation. He loudly proclaims that he can smell the alcohol reaking off my breath and out of my vehicle. I had not eaten in hours or drunk anything other than water in hours, I do not wear cologne, and my tiny little truck is as neutral smelling as possible. It is a loaded question. I tell him that I am not drunk, and that I do not need to answer any of his other questions.

  22. I am obviously not playing along with him or kissing his butt the way he likes it, but I am using a very calm and polite demeanor as I refuse to answer his questions. He demands me out of the car, while again yelling, “Hands where I can see them!” He easily has 60 pounds on me, and nothing about my person or actions is threatening. While we have been talking for about 5 minutes; a helicopter, K-9 unit, and about 5 more patrol cars all show up. Mind you, I have never been in any trouble of any sort. I exit my car with my hands out in front of me with my palms facing the officer.

  23. I have my wallet in one hand and my keys in the other. The officer tells me to lean against my car and put my hands behind my back. I ask, “What for? For having an old sticker on my car?” He grabs me by my right bicep. I immediately turn around to give him my back. He then lets go of my arm and tries to do a rear naked choke on me, while slamming me into my car. When I hit my car, I drop my keys and wallet into the bed of my truck. Four other officers then swarm in and grab my arms while he is still trying to choke me. I have kept my arms limp the entire time, but they are all screaming stop resisting at me. My hands were in a cuffable position within one second of them all swarming me, but instead they decide to keep on screaming at me while choking me, tweaking my wrists, and doing a bicep slicer on my right arm.

  24. I tell them that they know I am not resisting, and they know they are hurting me, so just cuff me already. They finally cuff me, and set me down on the curb. He asks me where my registration is, and I tell him it is in my truck, but he does not have my permission to go in there. He tears through all my stuff, while I tell him to get out of my car and write me a ticket for not having registration and let me go. He comes back looks at me and asks me why my sweater is wet, did I spill booze all over myself. I tell him that it is wet outside, my truck is wet, and a bunch of tools slammed into the back of my truck for fun. He tells me I am being arrested for resisting arrest and takes me to jail until papa bear came and bailed me out.

  25. The police report states that I was grabbing toward my waistband with my right hand. And when he grabbed me, I tried to flex up and turn into him in an aggressive manner with a bunch of inconsistincies about how he was able to get to my back, and that it took the rest of the officers to subdue me. I could not have been reaching for anything with my right hand because I had a wallet in it the entire time, and it was up about chest level, which can be seen in the video.

  26. In the video I am out of my car for about 3 seconds before he attacks me.
    The case was dismissed about 2 weeks ago, and I plan on filing a complaint with the police department sometime soon. If anyone has any advice on the best way of going about this, please let me know.
    The cop’s name is Officer Parker and he is a dick.

    Thanks Radley for taking time to post these videos, it made my day.

    1. No lawsuit?

    2. If anyone has any advice on the best way of going about this, please let me know.

      Call the State Bar, tell them you need a lawyer to file a civil rights complaint against the police department, and ask them for recommendations.

      Or, call the ACLU with the same questions.

      If you are at all serious about this, you need to lawyer up now.

    3. Gee, with a recruitment video like the one posted above, I can’t imagine how a fellow like Officer Parker would be drawn to the NBPD.

      It’s like the department is actively looking for bullies, sadists and pricks.

    4. Contact a lawyer now. The time to make a claim against a government entity may be short. Your damages may not be large, but it sounds like you have a pretty solid claim and you should sue. That sort of shit requires a response.

    5. Nuke them from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  27. If anyone has any advice on the best way of going about this, please let me know.

    Call the State Bar, tell them you need a lawyer to file a civil rights complaint against the police department, and ask them for recommendations.

    Or, call the ACLU with the same questions.

    If you are at all serious about this, you need to lawyer up now.

  28. This is why I don’t go to California.


    In 1990 I was with a school group going from Chicago to Japan, and we stopped to spend the night in LA. When I saw how rude the police there were, I figured I could never live in such a place, as either some cops or I would soon be dead.

    I have since met an ex-cop from northern California who claims that the rest of the state is not like LA, but apparently Newport Beach is part of that mess.

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