Police Abuse

"We Need Our Police to be Better Than This"

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You've probably already heard about the work-stoppage that members of the New York Police Department are apparently staging (as Scott Shackford noted here yesterday, that's not clearly a bad thing). That's one sign that New York's Finest—and police around the country—are reacting extremely negatively to a wave of criticism in the wake of a series of controversial deaths and related legal proceedings.

That cops bristle at outrage directed at them is understandable (all the more so in the wake of the ambush-killing of two NYPD members by a deranged gunman). But it still isn't acceptable, especially if it leads law enforcement to publicly disparage elected leaders, as the NYPD did when members turned their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio at the funeral of Rafael Ramos and heckled him at a swearing-in service on Monday.

In a new Daily Beast column, I recall that Harry Truman fired Douglas MacArthur in 1951 not because of personality or even policy clashes (though there were loads of those), but "because he wouldn't respect the authority of the president." NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton has echoed those sentiments, saying it was wrong of police to disrespect the mayor at Ramos' funeral "he is the mayor of New York [and] he was there representing the citizens of New York to express their remorse and their regret at that death."

The NYPD—and cops more generally—have a public relations problem in the wake of the Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and a long string of other cases. Acting like a bunch of high-school jocks protesting a ban on keg parties isn't exactly going to win over many hearts and minds. It's exactly the inability of the cops who killed Garner to restrain themselves that bothered so may of us who watched the video of the encounter. The same goes for the hysterical overreaction and escalation of force used against protesters in Ferguson over the summer.

Yes, cops are under stress and tension (though their jobs are far less dangerous than normally supposed). But they are trained to rise above mere emotional responses; that's one of the reasons they are given a state-sanctioned monopoly on force. Yet even after the funeral protest, de Blasio was booed and heckled while addressing a new class of recruits as well….

It's precisely the highly emotional and unrestrained responses by police in tough situations (Ferguson, Eric Garner, etc.) that make people worry that cops are governed not by rationality and training but aggression and impulse. The stunts the NYPD is pulling underscore those fears, as do wild claims by spokesmen that Bill de Blasio has "blood on his hands" for the killing of Officers Ramos and Liu at the hands of a nutcase.

Until police learn to accept that criticism of specific policies and actions doesn't constitute a mortal insult, they will continue to have problems maintaining public support. Yes, there may be a few professional anti-cop activists who are always ready to blame the police for all the sins of the world, but the overwhelming majority supports law enforcement when it functions with a proper respect for civil liberties and the rule of law.

Bratton and de Blasio are sitting down with representatives of the rank and file to repair relations, which The New York Post and others note range far beyond issues of race to union contracts and the like. The widely acclaimed leader of the NYPD during the 1990s under Rudy Giuliani and of the Los Angeles Police Department in this century, Bratton is in a particularly strong position to make cops understand that they are in fact held to a higher standard than regular citizens and even most public-sector employees. And that change will start with them, not the body politic.

As Bratton and the NYPD start talking among themselves, the commissioner will do well to paraphrase another Trumanism: "The buck stops here." The police cannot ultimately control public opinion unilaterally. What they can do, though, is acknowledge that a change in their attitudes, behavior, policies, and willingness to engage in discussions about how people see them can help them win back the public trust.

Read the whole thing.

NEXT: A.M. Links: De Blasio and NYPD at Odds, U.S. Frees 5 Guantanamo Detainees, Earthquake Hits L.A. Area

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  1. Harry Truman fired MacArthur because, like the NYPD, he was doing a horrible job – and getting mouthy about it.

    1. He specifically fired him for expressly violating his orders to NOT try and start WW III, nuclear or not.

      1. If Mac had actually been winning the Korean War, he probably wouldn’t have been sacked.

        1. He was trying to start nuclear war against the orders of his civilian boss. That kind of insubordination would never have been accepted.

          1. Because he had blundered terribly.

            He and his toadies disregarded all reports of Chinese intervention – resulting in the worst American battlefield loss of the 20th Century.

            1. No, he specifically tried to start WW II by egging the Chinese on.

              It doesn’t matter if he did it to draw attention away from his blunders. He wanted to start nuclear war with the Communists before they built up their own nuclear arsenal. He was quite explicit about this.

              Blunders or not, he was expressly violating his boss’s orders. Insubordination my ass, he was mutinying. He had the same goals whether he thought he was winning the Korean War or not.

              Stop trying to imply he would have been better behaved if he had been winning. It is as relevant as saying that Stalin would have been smiling some days more than others.

              1. What I’m saying is that Mac and the NYPD are like spoiled children. When called on their failures and bad behavior, they double down on them.

  2. I agree with this column, although in one respect it’s difficult for me: I find being disrespectful of politicians comes naturally to me so I’m not inclined to cry over it. I think the way the police treats the average Joe is far more important. We’re the ones who pay their fucking salaries, not the politicians.

    1. The reason for the disrespect is key. They didn’t disrespect him for being a far-leftoid, but for failing to [bleep] the cops’ [bleep]s enough.

      1. “Failing to be copsuckers” is the phrase you were looking for.

    2. Its one thing for a private citizen to tell the chief executive, to his face, in public, that he blows and quite another for identified members of an organization subordinate to that chief executive to do so.

      One is a citizen’s rights, the other is an attempt to both undermine that executive’s authority and get out from under the constraints the citizen’s have place on that organization.

      1. What about the Oath Keepers?

        1. Seems distinguishable on the basis that Oath Keepers are saying that they will refuse to follow unconstitutional orders. The NYPD here is practically saying that civilians should not have authority over them except on the terms that they dictate.

    3. But the cops are government agents,not ‘civilians’,so I alright with this.

  3. “Bratton and de Blasio are sitting down with representatives of the rank and file to repair relations”

    In a well-run city, this sit-down meeting would be for the purpose of telling these “representatives” that any further stunts will get them fired.

    But no, the unions won’t allow that.

    1. Maybe Blasio can do like Bloomberg with teachers, charge the back-turners with insubordination and put them in a “rubber room” while their cases are dragging through the hearing process.

    2. Ronald Reagan had a way of handling unions. Of course, it’s not like anyone would ever expect an apparatchik like DeBlasio to grow a spine or anything like that.

      -jcr

      1. So did Coolidge.

  4. But it still isn’t acceptable, especially if it leads law enforcement to publicly disparage elected leaders, as the NYPD did when members turned their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio at the funeral of Rafael Ramos and heckled him at a swearing-in service on Monday.

    We serfs are supposed to respect the uniform, not the man.

    Those in uniform likewise are supposed to respect the office, not the man.

    Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha ha! Cops respecting someone who doesn’t wear their uniform? Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha!

    I’ll be here all week. Um, except tomorrow.

    1. I keep trying not sympathize with de Blasio on this–scumbag progressive that he is. I didn’t think it was possible to make him look any better than he is, but if the NYPD is treating him this way, he can’t be all bad!

      1. Ken,the NYPD is making Al Sharpton look sane,WTF?

        1. I’m saying that if the public employee union (police) hates him, then he can’t be all bad.

          I guess “can’t be all bad” is a Southern thing? It’s a way of saying something nasty about somebody in a nice way.

          I forget if it was said about or by W.C. Fields, but one example went, “Anybody who hates dogs and children can’t be all bad.”

          So, yeah, anybody the police union of the NYPD hates with a passion can’t be all bad–I can’t think of a nicer way to say that de Blasio is 99.9 percent progressive shithead.

          1. public employee union hates him because he called them racists. So Deblasio CAN still be all bad.

            1. Sometimes you don’t have any *good guys.*

            2. Assuming facts not in evidence.

  5. Let’s stop talking about the “good” cops because there are none.
    Nada, zip, zero.

    1. The closest there is might be, in some small town where there are only a couple of cops and neither is crooked. But they still sign up to enforce laws whether good or bad, and that alone makes them bad people.

      1. But they still sign up to enforce laws whether good or bad

        They also sign up to support whatever mayor wins the office, good or bad. If they don’t like their mayor, they are free to resign.

  6. Well, I understand why the cops are reacting this way. From Ferguson to the Garner case in New York City, it seems like the cops can’t do anything without being indicted by their local cop-hating district attorney anymore.

    And let’s face it, even if that cop was wrong to choke an unarmed man to death for selling cigarettes, there’s no reason why the judge should have given him such a harsh sentence.

    …what’s that you say? No cops were indicted, tried, or sentenced in the Eric Garner case?

    Well those cops must be mad about somethin’!

    It must be the criticism. How dare anybody criticize the police. Who do these critics think they are? Don’t they know that every time somebody criticizes the police, a lunatic ambushes a cop somewhere?

    1. We are all waiting on what happens to the cop who shot the 12 year old. Any thoughts?

      1. Quietly awarded a medal?

      2. There are only two kinds of 12-year olds to the police: cooperative or life-threatening.

      3. Thought he got put on paid vacation (i mean suspension) until the whole thing blows over.

    2. They’re mad because the one guy they can’t choke and beat into submission for criticizing them, criticized them

  7. The police could do more about Prohibition crimes. All they need to do is talk history. How the reputation of police declined during Alcohol Prohibition.

    Cannabis cures cancer. Cancer kills 586,000 Americans every year. Every Prohibitionist is complicit in mass murder.

    Pass it on.

  8. I have a few qualms with this article.

    If I understand my history correctly, the “not respecting the authority of the president” MacArthur engaged in was specifically trying to bypass the office of the President to make U.S. military policy. To date, the police unions haven’t done quite so much with DeBlasio. They turned their back on him in public. Well, isn’t that a person’s right? They do have a right, whether you agree with them or not (and I don’t), to make their displeasure with government policy known. And, in reality, that’s a pretty responsible way to do it. I don’t think it’s right or proper that the police should serve as the personal force of the mayor.

    And more to the point, DeBlasio isn’t exactly an innocent in this dispute. Frankly, I’d say he’s handled this in the worst way possible. After the Garner verdict came out, you had a situation where there was broad public recognition across the political spectrum that things had gone seriously wrong, that if police could choke a man to death with no consequence, something needed to be fixed. A prudent mayor, a statesman, could have offered up criticism of specific policies and actions and leveraged that into a genuine push for reform that even the cops wouldn’t have been dumb enough to attack. Instead, DeBlasio resorted to aggression and impulse and decided to demagogue the issue into a matter of racial division with Al Sharpton on hand to drive the point home.

    1. “To date, the police unions haven’t done quite so much with DeBlasio. They turned their back on him in public. Well, isn’t that a person’s right?”

      Yeah, I have a right to act like an obnoxious jackass.

      Nobody is questioning whether they have the right to act like obnoxious jackasses. They’re pointing out obnoxious jackassery.

      “Instead, DeBlasio resorted to aggression and impulse and decided to demagogue the issue into a matter of racial division with Al Sharpton on hand to drive the point home.”

      Yes, de Blasio is a progressive insect, and seeing NYPD create sympathy for him is amazing–like watching the Bush Administration create sympathy for terrorists with torture.

      Sharpton has been seen as the mayors’ racial tension release valve since Tom Wolfe wrote him into The Bonfire of the Vanities as Reverend Bacon back in the ’80s. Using someone with credibility in the community to stand behind you and endorse calm (with a fiery voice of vengeance) isn’t selling out to the rioters.

      It’s common sense. What’s the alternative? The beatings will continue until morale improves?

      1. Nobody is questioning whether they have the right to act like obnoxious jackasses

        I’m questioning it.

        You can publicly disrespect your boss to his face but don’t expect to keep your job. Public servants, on the other hand, simply cannot be allowed to do the same. It’s one of the rules of the job. Otherwise, you run the risk of confusing who is the servant and who is the master.

        1. Otherwise, you run the risk of confusing who is the servant and who is the master.

          At this point there is no confusion. The police are the master, and the people are their servants.

        2. Oh for goodness’ sake.

          They turned their backs on him at a funeral for a fellow-officer whose death they blame on the criticism of people like de Blasio.

          If people have a right to criticize the police, shouldn’t the police have the right to criticize the mayor, too?

          Again, wouldn’t it be amazing if we created sympathy for NYPD (and their disgusting union), here, by trying to punish them for their rights to association and free speech?

          There are plenty of other angles to nail them on.

          1. The turning of their backs is one thing, but now they are refusing to do their job. That’s a big deal. Anyone else would be fired, union or no union.

            1. On that, I do agree with you. The back-turning was within their rights. Work stoppages deserve termination.

              1. Where’s Calvin Coolidge when you need him?

            2. Blue Flu has a long and storied history, and I supposed this is another version of that.

              I don’t know the details of what’s going on right now, but it may be an exaggerated overreaction to de Blasio coming out against “stop and frisk”.

              If all the cops are doing is not giving out parking tickets, not busting people for pot, not dealing with this or that infraction…They may be trying to screw up the system, but I think that’s the way it should be all the time.

              If this strain of the Blue Flu keeps it up long enough, maybe the people of New York City will realize that if they get rid of their petty laws, they won’t need half the cops on the payroll. …and the world won’t come to an end.

              1. If all the cops are doing is not giving out parking tickets, not busting people for pot, not dealing with this or that infraction…They may be trying to screw up the system, but I think that’s the way it should be all the time.

                I disagree. It should not be up to individual officers to decide what to enforce and what not to enforce.

                If this strain of the Blue Flu keeps it up long enough, maybe the people of New York City will realize that if they get rid of their petty laws, they won’t need half the cops on the payroll. …and the world won’t come to an end.

                Hope in one hand…

                1. It should not be up to individual officers to decide what to enforce and what not to enforce.

                  Well, in that case, you wind up with “arrest everyone all the time” and squads of armed men going to pick up Eric Garner for selling loosies.

                  1. in that case, you wind up with “arrest everyone all the time”

                    Which may be a good sign you probably have too many laws on the books.

                2. “I disagree. It should not be up to individual officers to decide what to enforce and what not to enforce.”

                  Would you behave that way as a juror?

                  Would you convict someone of simple marijuana possession–just because it isn’t fair that other people are convicted for simple marijuana possession?

                  Or would you do the best you can for him from your place in the world?

                  Treating everybody the same is a totalitarian thing. Injustices aren’t made better becasue they’re inflicted on everyone consistently. In fact, that makes injustices worse than they would be otherwise.

                  Someone told me here once about an old army saying that said something about how out of smart, stupid, industrious, and lazy, the very worst possible combination is stupid and industrious. I think I’d rather live in a society where stupid, petty, and unjust laws are unenforced by the police.

                  1. Jury nullification is the place to decide what laws to enforce and what ones to not.

                    Allowing individual officers to choose what to enforce could result in turning a blind eye to real crimes, like murder and rape, because the cop doesn’t like the victim.

                    1. Not to say that that cops don’t already to that, but I don’t want to encourage it.

                    2. Allowing individual officers to choose what to enforce could result in turning a blind eye to real crimes, like murder and rape, because the cop doesn’t like the victim.

                      Is there evidence that that goes on? And that if it does, more of it goes on under these circumstances than under others?

                  2. I think I’d rather live in a society where stupid, petty, and unjust laws are unenforced by the police.

                    The enemy of freedom isn’t tyranny, it’s speciousness.

                    The problem is the speciousness. As it is, the police mostly DON’T enforce unjust laws – but they do enforce them every once in a while. Whether that enforcement is the individual officer’s whim or a once-in-a-while command from a superior is immaterial. The law is on the books and that is the cover they (the officers and their superiors) use for their actions.

                    Reducing the number of laws is the only way to reduce the opportunities for speciousness.

                    1. As it is, the police mostly DON’T enforce unjust laws – but they do enforce them every once in a while.

                      I dunno. Back when I naively thought the police help people, I called them a few times after being the victim of a crime. In each instance they were only interested busting me for drugs. So in my experience they don’t give a shit about victims, they only care about enforcing unjust laws. That’s where they get their power. Through unjust laws.

              2. it may be an exaggerated overreaction to de Blasio coming out against “stop and frisk”

                No, it’s their reaction to De Blasio calling them racists.

        3. Okay, then I guess you think these guys deserve summary dismissal, as well?

          http://www.leap.cc/

          Or maybe these guys?

          http://oath-keepers.blogspot.com/

          After all, they’re publicly challenging their bosses’ orders and authority.

          1. Are they still doing their jobs? That’s the question that matters.

            1. I was responding to Jerryskids’ argument that they shouldn’t be allowed to disrespect DeBlasio.

            2. When cops use discretion (and do not arrest/ticket) they are doing their jobs.

          2. There’s a difference between challenging a mayor’s politically-driven antics, and challenging orders and authority on the grounds that they are unconstitutional and thus illegitimate.

            Believe it or not, even the military allows illegitimate orders to be disregarded.

            But, getting into a public and political pissing match with the elected head of the city is not challenging the legitimacy of the mayor. It is asserting that they don’t have to show respect and deference to the elected head of the organization they work for because of a policy dispute.

        4. John O’Flarety has the right to be a jackass.

          Patrolman John O’Flarety, in uniform and so acting under color of law, does not.

          It’s not hard to see the distinction.

          As soon as O’Flarety flashes his badge he is acting as a government agent subject to the government’s rules. By taking the City’s coin he has voluntarily accepted restriction on his conduct and mode of speech. If he doesn’t’t like the bargain, he can resign.

      2. What’s the alternative? The beatings will continue until morale improves?

        How about the mayor leaving racial allegations out of it and actually pushing for genuine reform? Maybe publicly recognizing that “zero tolerance” works about as well in policing as it does in public education? Maybe a recognition that sending mobs of armed men to deal with selling cigarettes is an invitation to seeing things escalate out of control?

        1. You’re under the mistaken impression that De Blasion actually gives a shit about reform rather than preening himself in front of Sharpton.

          1. Not really. I’m just pointing out his own culpability in the dispute.

        2. The 2/28 Massacre in Taiwan started over a dispute about a 40 year old widow selling untaxed cigarettes. This led to the deaths of 10,000 to 30,000 people and four decades of martial law. Sometimes bad things happen when cops are nit-picking pricks.

    2. They turned their back on him in public. Well, isn’t that a person’s right?

      As an individual, yes. I have every right to spit in my boss’s face at the company Christmas party. At the same time, if I do it, my desk will be cleaned out before I get to work the next day. Additionally, these aren’t just individuals. They are part of a paramilitary organization under civilian control, and the mayor is their civilian commander. As such, what they are doing is insubordination.

      1. I have every right to spit in my boss’s face at the company Christmas party.

        No you don’t. I think that’s “battery”.

        You can shout “The boss is an asshole.”

        1. The best situation is to yell “The Boss is an asshole!” in a crowded company get together in a theater.

          Because then the boss can’t yell “You’re FIRED” back at you.

    3. If the cops have the right to disrespect their boss the mayor, why are they so two-faced about their bosses, civilians, who don’t respect them? I’m not talking about disobeying direct commands, I’m talking about facebook posts, op-eds, and other free speech?

      Cops suck. The end.

    4. Piggybacking on this: MacArthur was fired for acting in direct contradiction to Truman’s policies. In initiating the arrest of Eric Garner for selling “loosies” (as well as citing/arresting citizens for other low-level offenses) the cops were specifically carrying out NYC policies.

      To be sure, I’m not saying the cops are blameless. But ordering them to do shit that places them at direct odds with citizens and then cutting them loose when those policies come to fruition in the form of dead citizens is beyond sleazy.

      1. WTF? The chokehold on Garner was in direct contradiction of NYC policies.

  9. Funny how the cops routinely say “We don’t make the laws, we just enforce them. It’s not up to us to pick and choose which laws we enforce.”

    And then when the mayor suggests that the police aren’t perfect, they do just that.

    1. Yeah, cops that say that are totally full of shit. They decide which laws to enforce all day long. There are so many laws on the books, some of which are very old and not well known, that cops do not enforce at all, so…

  10. The problem for cops nation wide is the bad actors are being videoed and put on the internet.They can’t lie their way out of this crap like before.Even many of their former allies are seeing things as they are,not how they say.Another problem is there are very few cops speaking out against bad cops.Look no farther than Cleveland. BOOYA

    1. Yeah, technology definitely changed the situation.

      It’s not just that cameras are so cheap either–it’s that you can upload it to YouTube, email it to a broadcaster, share it on BookFace, etc.

    2. Funny how there are exactly zero videos out there of hero cops intervening when one of their brothers crosses the line.

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  13. The decision not to indict the two cops undermines public confidence in the justice system and calls into question the independence and fairness of the grand jury process when cops are involved. Now the cops loudly complain that they are being disrespected, further eroding public confidence in their professionalism. Then the cops publicly disrespect the mayor, further eroding confidence in them, as they identify themselves as selfish and self-serving infants, and the officials of government. Well played boys, well played.

    1. B-b-b-but nine eleven!

  14. A Nation On Fire

    Journalists write about human behavior. Yet, few journalists understand it. Most have no understanding of the principles that describe it.

    There is a fundamental difference between behavioral topography and behavioral function. Scientifically, describing a behavior in terms of how it appears to the eye of the observer is known as “topographical analysis”. Describing a behavior in terms of its context, antecedents, and consequences is known as functional analysis. Few journalists draw a clear distinction between the two.

    An analogous situation to that in NYC currently is not the situation during the Korean Conflict. It is the strike in Boston by the police.

    In 1919, the police in Boston struck to gain financial benefits for the police in Boston. Then-Governor Coolidge struck back and won.

    In 2014, the police in New York City are striking, in a fashion, not simply to gain financial benefits for the NYPD. They are striking in a context of increasing, unprovoked, lethal violence against them, mainly by members of a single minority.

    Topographically, a strike is a strike. Functionally, however, the strike in Boston in 1919 greatly differs from the strike in NYC today. The governing contingency in Boston was money. The governing contingency if NYC is life itself.

    America has become a nation on fire. Obama and his cabal have fueled the flames. One consequence is the current fire in NYC (www.inescapableconsequences.com).

  15. Okay, so let me see if I have this right–the boss tells them to do something, they go and do it, something goes wrong–and gets noticed, and the boss throws them under the bus for doing what he said to do, and you’re all on the boss’s side?

    Politicians make the laws police enforce. They set the parameters for how the police work. They’ve created this mess. Our fucked up police are a creation of the political machines–usually left leaning political machines–that control our cities.

    When stop and frisk was going on, Reason lashed out at Bloomberg, not rogue cops.

    The gang in blue is a gang because that’s what the people who control the police WANT.

    1. Problem is, attacks on how the police work (even if it’s created by politicians) is seen as an attack on the police. And, at least in the Garner case, the police can properly carry out the will of the politicians without the application of lethal force.

      1. the police can properly carry out the will of the politicians without the application of lethal force.

        Only if the alleged lawbreaker submits and complies. Any non-compliance must be met with force, which may from time to time escalate to lethal force. Ultimately compliance requires the threat of lethal force waiting at the end of the chain of force escalation. The state will not give up until you comply.

    2. something goes wrong–and gets noticed, and the boss throws them under the bus for doing what he said to do, and you’re all on the boss’s side?

      Bullshit.

      The NYC policy forbids chokeholds. The police violated that order.

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  17. the boss tells them to do something, they go and do it, something goes wrong–and gets noticed, and the boss throws them under the bus for doing what he said to do,

    Whoa, what happened to “something goes wrong”? Did it go wrong because of bad execution, or because they were given bad orders?

    Its entirely possible that Garner’s death was the result of a high-level campaign to target people selling loosies. Wouldn’t surprise me. But I haven’t heard of it.

    Or, was Garner just another example of police tribal/culture, operating in an agency that is largely insulated from any effective oversight at all, because unions? That’s kinda what I’m thinking, which means they didn’t kill Garner because they were ordered to by their political masters. They killed him because they were doing what cops do, regardless.

    1. Or, was Garner just another example of police tribal/culture, operating in an agency that is largely insulated from any effective oversight at all, because unions? That’s kinda what I’m thinking, which means they didn’t kill Garner because they were ordered to by their political masters. They killed him because they were doing what cops do, regardless.

      It bears repeating that Garner didn’t have any loosies on him that day, so he wasn’t actually engaged in any activity the cops could rightfully hassle him for. They killed him because he was in their way, and they knew he was just some peon that they could dispose with as they wished and that nothing would happen to them for it–and were proven right.

      1. they killed him because he was being non-compliant. Sure, the reason they were there was loosies. They were responding to a call by a shop owner who wanted him gone because he couldn’t compete with someone who wasn’t complying with tax law. When the cops showed up, he disobeyed their orders to leave and voiced his frustration with them because he wasn’t doing anything wrong (and it turned out he really wasn’t). It was bad tactics on the part of the police to move to violence so quickly rather than spend the time to talk Garner down (especially since Garner wasn’t being violent), but it’s technically legal for the police to escalate force until a citizen is compliant. That’s legal system is why Garner is dead.

        1. That and cronyism. The use of the government to apply force to stomp out your competition in the market. Usually done by banksters, but in this case a store owner.

        2. it’s technically legal for the police to escalate force until a citizen is compliant

          Exactly, but that will never change. That’s what’s necessary to enforce a law. You will comply or we will escalate force until you do. People should keep this in mind when they pass laws, that eventually someone will die having this law enforced upon them. Maybe then laws might only apply to actual crimes instead of some politician’s social engineering ideas.

        3. but it’s technically legal for the police to escalate force until a citizen is compliant.

          No, it isn’t. For example, chokeholds are against NYC policy. They used them anyway to “force compliance”.

          That’s legal system is why Garner is dead.

          Bullshit. An officer’s actions are why Garner is dead.

        4. No, the reason the cops were there was not loosies. There was a fight that Garner helped break up. The witnesses were telling the cops that Garner was the good guy in this situation. The cops recognized him from previous arrests, and decided to fuck with him because he was known to them, not because of any probable cause or reasonable suspicion of any illegal activity by Garner. And then they used a prohibited chokehold, piled on him and showed callous indifference to his distress and eventual death at their hands.

        5. He was no threat to shop owners as competition. No way he sold cigarets cheaper than in the stores. But what I heard from my cousin last week was that Garner was shaking store owners down.

    2. How many times need I point out that the cigarette issue was a red herring? He didn’t have any cigarets, as he could as easily have proven while still alive as after he died.

      What I did hear last week, however, was that he was also known as a shakedown artist to local businesses.

  18. The picture in this article is simply amazing. How can they be allowed to act like that with no repercussions, other than meaningless dribble from the police commissioner? The cops are subordinate to the NYC mayor, who is elected by the people of the city. This is a sign of extreme disrespect, bordering on mutiny, against the people of the city, not just the mayor (not to mention the poisonous language coming from the police unions).

    It would be like the marines at Camp Pendleton turning their backs on Obama when he visits… they would all immediately be disciplined harshly and the leaders would likely be discharged without honors.

    1. Yes, I know police are “civilians” and have rights that marines willfully sign away so the comparison isn’t exact. Regardless, are the police unions really so strong that NYC literally cannot do anything about this other than meekly say “you shouldn’t act this way”?

      1. are the police unions really so strong that NYC literally cannot do anything about this other than meekly say “you shouldn’t act this way”?

        Yup. And not just NYC, either.

      2. are the police unions really so strong that NYC literally cannot do anything about this

        Yes.

        Because they are the “Finest”, like unto gods. Also, because where one pubsec union goes, the rest follow.

      3. Police have privileges far above and beyond those of “civilians,” so it’s really not a fair comparison to compare them to the military. In the military, you give up a lot of rights. The police still have those rights as well as privileges to break certain laws and to apply force in a manner that would be unethical, immoral, or unlawful for the rest of us. The police get away with things i could never do when i was a Marine in Iraq back in 2009.

  19. The police should accept criticism on specific failures (and also videotaping possible misconduct, which some illegally try to prevent) instead of treating them as mortal insults, true. But chanting “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” is a mortal insult, particularly when accompanied by repeated attacks (some of them fatal) — and particularly when the agitators (such as Al Sharpton) and their colleagues (such as Bill de Blasio) express no outrage over such demands.

    1. And we see from a more recent post that the police are hunting down and killing people who are talking about killing cops.

      Happy now?

  20. The NYPD?and cops more generally?have a public relations problem

    And they like it that way.

    1. Indeed, their conduct on a daily basis confirm the middle-classes newly found disrespect for cops.

      If they want respect they will have to earn it back. And few current cops have any idea how to do that. Or any interest in doing so. The Fortress mentality is firmly in place.

  21. DiBlasio helped inflame sentiment against his own police department, he jumped on the anti-cop bandwagon and treated his police force in an antagonistic way, and the result is dead cops and people saying they want to kill even more cops. Reason’s not being reasonable here.

    1. Assuming facts not in evidence.

    2. You’re a fucking moron if you think anything DeBlasio, or anyone for that matter, said resulted in dead cops. Some piece of shit who shot two people dead is why two cops are dead.

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  23. The NYPD officers “outrage” is 90% pretend because they are using the incident as a grab for more MONEY in their pockets. At this moment the Patrolman’s Union is in contract negotiations with the Mayor. For a few bucks the demonstrations will cease.

    The Mayor doesn’t’t need to reduce public respect for cops. They are doing a fine job of showing the public the unsavory underside of police work. Now that nightly videos show the rest of us what the police do to the Black, poor, and, sometimes criminal, elements of society. Death for selling “loosies” (a misdemeanor, not a capitol crime), hundreds of wrong address raids leaving the innocent dead or wounded, flash-bang grenades blythly thrown in cribs, compliant children lying proned out on the floor shot in the back, and on, and on, and on. Seeing the officers doing their thing, e.g., high fiveing after shooting an innocent man in a F’ed Up raid,, sets most people’s teeth on edge and makes us wonder, I’m innocent too but that doesn’t guarantee my safety (does anything?).

  24. Drake you really should read history and NOT the nyt. The NYTimes ADMITTED that 1 out of ever 7 stories you read are COMPLETELY MADE UP LIES. Look it up “ny times admits 50 stories lies”. MacAuthur would have won easily if he had been allowed to fight with the weapons available. The last time the US military was told to “sic em”.and the politicians got out of the way was the Spanish-American War of 1898. EVERY fight since we “hold your fire while that POS hides behind his own child” or “Give up your fuel making your men sitting targets while another country’s general can be made to look like a hero(The Germans rated the BEST generals they faces as Patton, Ridgeway, Collins), don’t go too far we might scare the Russians(EVER though we KNOW they had NO, repeat NO way to get a nuke(stolen plans) to the US other than put it on a ship and sail to a US port without being sunk. Back to the subject. The cops did NOT murder anyone. EVERY one of these POS STARTED THE FIGHT. ALL those scumbags. Cops do NOT read minds. If you start a fight, how do they know you won’t reach under your shirt and pull a gun? Or around your ankle, I got a one last month for

    1. Liar, Garner did not start the fight. Neither did the 12 year old kid in Cleveland, or the poor sap gunned down in Wal-Mart. Also it’s telling that you, as a cop, refer to them as scumbags. Yes I’m assuming from your contempt for the general public that you’re a cop.

    2. So, the question is, are you stupid, badly uninformed, or just a mouthpiece for really terrible people? It is clear from the video that Eric Garner was not the aggressor. He did not instantly do what he was told, but that is not the same thing as initiating force. Cops have a terrible history of getting these things wrong, having previously attacked the mentally ill and people unable to comply due to diabetic symptoms and other health problems. Tamir Rice was not the aggressor; he was carrying something that was not an actual gun in a place where open carry is legal, and was almost instantly shot to death, as seen on video which contradicted the lies told by the police. Then there’s Akai Gurley, who was shot to death by a cop for the crime of entering a stairwell in his own building, in which A COP WAS LURKING, AGAINST ORDERS, WITH HIS FINGER INSIDE THE TRIGGER GUARD OF HIS WEAPON!

      I really hope that your name doesn’t stand for “space systems analyst”, because with your gift for analysis, you are going to make the Challenger look like a Fourth of July sparkler.

  25. Public employee unions are inimical to the democratic process. Unions help elect the politicians who then vote them large benefit increases and favorable rules. Public employee unions should be banned. It could be done at the state level. Once they no longer have union protection police will be responsible to city administration rules, not their union rep.

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  27. Guy’s You have proven you are at times incapable of restraint, good judgement, upholding the law and you have at times broken the law. It is only natural for your citizen’s, who you are supposed to protect, to feel threatened when you unlawfully kill them. It shows in your defiance that you are rejecting the notion your profession needs help. You cannot ignore the voice of the public. We own you. We outnumber you. And if necessary we will remove you. You are not above reproach. Do not turn your backs on what the public is trying to say to you. Do not make this about politicians. This is about the officer on the street. Your average everyday police officer that would respond to emergencies. These are the individuals committing the crimes. These select few. And I say FEW because as a whole we have some great police officers and officials. But to deny we have a problem. To turn our backs and lose focus. We aren’t helping anything by doing that. Pay the next police official you meet some respect and it will go a long way toward the way you will be treated. This outright defiance by our youth toward law enforcement is what is killing them. But guys, we also have some really bad cops. Please remove them and police yourselves or we will.

  28. This is why the entire progressive “don’t blame the laws, blame the cops” is a big mistake. Of course cops are going to be violent. That’s what cops do. Really, that’s what they’re supposed to do, if you buy the inherent decency of the system of laws and every piece of crap that comes out of it.

    Instead of questioning stupid laws in the first place, progressives want to make it a race issue, as if all problems will be solved as soon as police departments correctly reflect the racial demographics that they’re supposed to, as magically ordained by correct-thinking progressives. And, of course, right after we apparently convince all potential jurors to convict cops of crimes that the legal system specifically shields them from. Good luck with that.

    Funny thing is, most of these articles read like “yep, we’re fucked”, yet they never question the insistently on a myriad of stupid laws for which cops can shoot and strangle you to death over. I don’t think progressives get to wear the “pragmatic” award pin when they take that stance while simultaneously acknowledging that the justice system is completely fucked up and will be for quite some time. It’s as if they admit that cops are a criminal gang, and will be for a long time, while simultaneously coming up with more excuses for them to go upside the head with billy clubs. How compassionate.

  29. Bunch of clowns liberals wont be happy till the cities across America!They will get their dream and find they created the biggest nightmares in all of history.

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  31. Why not just dissolve NYPD and hire private security?

  32. It is frustrating, trying to read the comments, when you have to try to gauge the “indent” to see who is responding to whom. REASON needs to update their comment layout.That being said:
    The article and most of the comments are a bunch of crap.
    The two incidents that began this whole thing were adjudicated by the legal system and determined to be perfectly legal!
    What came next was this garbage about how a community, that harbors a vastly higher percentage of criminals, of all stripes, “distrusts” the police. Followed by feckless politicians jumping on that bandwagon and blaming the police for actions, which, when looked at in detail, were determined to be within legal bounds.
    The police involved did what they believed they were supposed to do, the were judged as doing it right, with some unfortunate results, caused by the suspects’ actions and, now they are getting all the blame.
    Gee, why would they be upset about that?

    1. What came next was this garbage about how a community, that harbors a vastly higher percentage of criminals, of all stripes, “distrusts” the police.

      The Jews deserved everything they got.

      1. Reductio ad absurdum

  33. And, on top of that, here we have all the anarchists at REASON, jumping in, with both feet, stating “we hate the cops because they bust us for using drugs”.
    Thank goodness your types will never get included in mainstream politics.

    1. That your type is included, in mainstream politics, is the reason this country, is so fucked up.
      Now go suck off a cop.

      1. Try another country, then, because this one isn’t so messed up, except for those who want the rule-of-law disregarded.
        Now, I have suggestion for you, since you seem to fit your screen name, go join a big city police force and put your life where your mouth is – it will be enlightening.

        1. if I wanted to disregard the rule of law, a cop is what I’d be. Do you think I could pass the super-hard, IQ test? Haha.

        2. “If you don’t approve of these laws, you should go and try to enforce them! Then you’d see how hard it is do do something you don’t think anyone should be doing in the first place!”

          Trouble making the cut for the debate team?

    2. The Brown case was probably adjudicated properly, albeit by a corrupts system. But you can’t point to the results of a thoroughly corrupt system in the Garner case and say it’s all the victim’s fault. Yes, Garner was the victim, and the perps were the cops. I give no credence to the legal system, at least as it deals with cops, nor to the dishonest, dishonorable people who run it, from the politicians to the cop on the beat.

      1. For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

        1. Nothing “mock” about the process – though it wasn’t a trial – just an extra-normal review of police practices, which were completely within the law.
          You are entitled to your opinions, but not to your own facts.

      2. Who is left?
        The law-breakers?
        If you have any dealings with them, as the police do, daily, you will soon realize who to trust.

  34. I usually agree with Nick Gillespie. This time I can’t.

    The lawless rioters in Ferguson and near-rioters in NYC were lynch mobs. Juries of normal citizens voted not to indict, but the mobs didn’t respect the juries’ votes – they demanded lynchings.

    De Blassio took the side of lynch mobs. He not only opposed cops, he opposed the vote of the grand jury, and excited the lynch mobs to oppose the vote of the grand jury. He undermined respect for jury system – so why should anyone respect HIS authority?

    I live in liberal Maryland – but thank God I don’t live in screwed up NYC with it’s idiot mayor.

    1. For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

    2. You are exactly right and it is why the police have every right to express their disdain for the Mayor.
      Those idiots who say the cops should be fired seem to forget that the back-turning was done by those officers that were off duty, either while attending the funeral or standing vigil at the hospital, or do all these “libertarians” believe the cops’ actions, while not on the job, should be strictly regulated as to deportment?

      1. Are they in uniform? Because those look like uniforms to me.

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