Michael Brown Shooting

Cops Take 'Highly Entertaining' Class to 'Win' Media After Shootings


According to a recently released flyer, the St. Louis County and Municipal Police Academy is going to teach "upper-echelon law enforcement professionals" how to "WIN WITH THE MEDIA" (emphasis in original) after one of their subordinates shoots someone.

Talking Points Memo blogged about the flyer earlier today and noted some features of it that don't mesh well. The class comes in response to the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, which has sparked widespread, persistent protests against police brutality. The flyer describes the shooting as "tragic," but quickly moves on and assures that "training is… highly entertaining… and you'll have fun doing it!" (Again, emphasis in original). The class will cover issues like "'No comment' is a comment," the "media assault and battery" against cops, and how to "meet the 900-pound gorilla," whatever that is.  If you're not convinced yet, the academy promises, "There is NO PowerPoint!"

St. Louis isn't the only department trying to make a better name for itself on the Internet. New York City Police commanders apparently need to go back to school for "common sense" training after some serious mishaps like making fun of dead people and the backfired "#myNYPD" campaign that generated floods of images of police abuse.

Cellphone image via New York Daily News

But, getting better at social media and learning how to elusively say "no comment" without literally saying "no comment" when an officer shoots a teenager or chokes to death a father of six for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes is not a solution, it's a way of avoiding a solution to bigger problems.

Reason has extensively covered the Pentagon's distribution of surplus military gear that breeds in local law enforcement a "must use" impulse for things like sniper rifles and grenade launchers, and mindset of "if you don't want to get shot… just do what I tell you." Reason TV caught a glimpse of troublesome policing at the Michael Brown rallies, where protesters discussed their own encounters with police harassment and abuse. And, the cops who responded to those protests didn't make their case much better by putting on body armor and driving armor-plated vehicles that made them virtually indistinguishable from ground troops in Afghanistan.

St. Louis' top cop is still unconvincingly defending this approach to policing, so we'll have to wait until after the class is over to decide if the pig's new lipstick suddenly makes it sexy.

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  1. This man is dead, too. Social media can’t fix this one, either.

    Why do you ratfucking teabagatarians hate our hero police and the children? In Libertomalia there would be no roads and no police, everyone would be on drugs and wiminz, children, and minorities would be in chains!

    1. Libertomalia

      This makes me hungry for Mexican food for some reason.

    2. everyone would be on drugs

      OK by me!

      wiminz, children, and minorities would be in chains

      The downside is . . . ?

  2. Cop shoots man intervening in an arrest (from Brazil) (warning: death).

    I wonder how they’d win the media over with that one?

    1. Alternative trigger warning: no Miss Bumbum competition pics.

  3. And if you can’t win with the media, shooting tear gas at them remains an option.

    1. Officer Fuck You, That’s My Name likes this.

  4. driving armor-plated vehicles that made them virtually indistinguishable from ground troops in Afghanistan.

    Pshaw! Its easy to tell the difference – our troops camouflage their vehicles to hide them from people who can actually *shoot back* while our police paint theirs black and boldly emblazons the name of the organization that is perpetrating the oppression since they know their victims are unable to retaliate.

    1. Wow, that’s a rabbit hole of lack of self-awareness. Especially this one:

      “I’m sick of guerilla tactics but being told I’m acting too militarized.”

  5. Regarding the two pics: Compare and contrast.

    1. Don’t be black, prone on the pavement with a grey shirt and tan pants. Contrast…I, uh, got nothing

  6. Since the media jumps on the opportunity to blow things out of proportion and sensationalize even isolated incidents, I don’t blame the cops for trying to improve media relation. Because you know, cops are falsely accused, and most cops accused of anything are eventually exonerated in court.

    The narrative that the Ferguson cop shot an unarmed kid who posed no threat is getting weaker everyday. The black actress arrested for being black pretty much lied about everything, and even civil rights groups are demanding that she apologize. More people will die from regular flash bangs or chokeholds than grenade launchers or drones.

    There are crooked cops, and Reason will jump on every raid that went wrong. But honestly, what are the chances that a vanilla law abiding citizen will get gunned down for no reason? If the kid got off the street like the officer asked him to, then nothing happens.

    Do you live in fear that some mad gunmen will kill you and your family? I don’t. And I don’t fear cops. They might ignore my rights during stops, but I can address that through proper channels. Most cops are perfectly pleasant and courteous. Cathartic experience aside, we don’t live in some police state. Get a grip.

    1. Yo tulpa. ‘Sup?

      What, exactly, are the proper channels you can go through when a cop fucks you over? Because every one of those channels is geared towards protecting cops, not you.

      1. Don’t you understand?

        Because you know, cops are falsely accused, and most cops accused of anything are eventually exonerated in court.

        Nobody’s getting fucked over – the cops are being *exonerated* so that means they didn’t do anything wrong.

        New Professionalism FTW.

    2. “isolated incidents” How many does there need to be before you can spot the trend lines?
      I don’t live in daily fear of the cops either and know that my bodily risk is higher driving around town or even taking a bath, but that doesn’t change the fact that even Helen Keller can spot the change in attitudes/behavior/equipment/etc going. It’s to the point, I’ve discussed how to handle police visits to the house w/ the wife and son so that they don’t trample our rights, ‘forfeit’ our assets and shoot my Doberman…’cause barking=attack.

    3. I’ll believe cops are held accountable when their unions are abolished. You are not laborers, you are public servants. If you don’t like being subject to public scrutiny, find another job.

      1. BINGO, cop unions and any other politically beholden strings.

    4. Because you know, cops are falsely accused, and most cops accused of anything are eventually exonerated in court.

      Kelly Thomas’s parents noticed.

    5. The narrative that the Ferguson cop shot an unarmed kid who posed no threat is getting weaker everyday.

      Well, the cop did shoot an unarmed person. So that part of the narrative is looking good.

      As for the details of the shooting, well, that’s nice and murky, isn’t it. Which, for a peasant, would mean something else would happen – indictment, arrest, etc. But, for a cop, it means nothing else will happen.

      No problem there, amirite?

      1. George Zimmerman did get indited, not for evidence of wrong doing, but cause the media hyped a bogus narrative and a trial was necessary to restore some appearance of justice. Of course, that’s where we’re headed here, unless something comes out that you and I are completly unaware of.

    6. Ah yes, the proper channels.
      You report, they ignore, and then just for fun they go to your place of work and ‘investigate’ just to see if you’re up to anything illegal that would ‘explain’ why you were so angry after an officer badgered your wife about her age until she was in tears; oh, and then demanded to search the vehicle and stormed off shouting ‘I’m just trying to do my damned job’ when told no.
      And then your wife, who has NEVER had even a ticket, gets pulled over every damn time she leaves the house for weeks after that.
      But it’s not retaliatory in any way, Oh no.

  7. pig’s new lipstick

    Been waiting to use that one for a while Zenon?

  8. If you’re not convinced yet, the academy promises, “There is NO PowerPoint!”

    Hey look, if the meeting culture is beginning to turn on powerpoint, I say we give them a chance!

  9. You didn’t mention course instructor Rich Roshenthal’s book: Feeding the Animals. That’s also the title of one of the course topics.

    I wish was making that up.

  10. This reminds of the guy from the Border Patrol who thought that a huge pile of complaints meant that Internal Affairs had a problem.

  11. Everybody’s got an angle how to make money off this dead boy. Bet they put out all the donuts you can eat at the plush training.

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