Police

Cops Say Indiscriminate Murder of Texas Deputy Sign of a 'Different World,' But It's Not Different the Way They Think

Cops are under more scrutiny than before, but there isn't a rise in killings, and it's probably never been safer to be a cop.

|

Joe in DC/flickr

Last Friday, Darren Goforth, a deputy sheriff in Harris County, Texas, became the 23rd non-K9 officer shot and killed in the line of duty in 2015, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP), which collects information about police line of duty deaths and includes K9s on their lists. Police say they haven't found any motive for Goforth's murder. They have apprehended a suspect, who was charged with capital murder, and believe the attack to have been unprovoked. It was the 6th fatal shooting of a police officer in August. Through the end of August last year, according to ODMP, 30 non-K9 officers had been gunned down in the line of duty. A total of 45 police officers were shot and killed in 2014. The number's ticked upward over the last few years, but that's down from recent highs too. In 2007, there were 67 cops shot and killed in the line of duty. In 2007 there was no "national conversation" about police reform, no sustained focus on criminal justice reform, nothing in the national zeitgeist that would suggest the number of murders were the result of anything more than the number of people who had killed cops that year.

Not so in 2015, where there are sustained police reform movements around the country, where criminal justice reform is being treated like a national political issue, and where federal oversight of local police officers gets mainstream media attention. In that environment, the brutal murder of a police officer becomes indicative of something more than there being a brutal murderer who killed a cop. It's indicative, as the Los Angeles Times quoted in its headline, of a "different world."

Cops are aware of the statistics showing that there is, decidedly, no spike in police killings. But, via the Times:

Statistics compiled by the FBI show the number of officers "feloniously killed" each year has fluctuated somewhat over the last decade, but it stands at about 50.

Numbers, however, don't tell the whole story, police said. Whether or not violence toward police is up this year, officers said attacks on law enforcement are playing out in a new atmosphere of amplified animosity, in which cops are routinely vilified — fairly or not — by a public on Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites.

The atmosphere surrounding recent incidents of police violence "is more dangerous," said Deon Joseph, a Los Angeles police officer who has spent 17 years working on the city's skid row. Social media now have "the capability of influencing millions with truth and embellished versions of it with the click of a button," he said, and "more people want to hear the sensationalized version than the truth."

Opportunists have used Goforth's coldblooded murder specifically to try to discredit Black Lives Matter, a race-based police reform movement that has pushed non-race-based police reforms, as a "murder movement," since Goforth's alleged killer is black.

The LA Times also mentioned two incidents of police officers being killed in Louisiana in August, and an incident in Mississippi where two cops were gunned down during a traffic stop. Louisiana state trooper Steven Vincent was shot and killed while trying to offer assistance to a truck in a ditch. His alleged killer is also accused of an earlier murder. He was apprehended in large part thanks to a passerby who approached the scene despite being warned by other locals that there was a man with a gun. Henry Nelson, the other Louisiana police officer, was killed while responding to a domestic violence call. Both are tragic murders, but neither fits even loosely into an anti-police reform agenda.

Goforth's does, so it's going to be exploited. The LA Times again:

The scrutiny, some say, is coming in many forms. The U.S. Justice Department is overseeing the operations of several major police departments across the country; police are being sued, investigated, arrested and indicted; a routine traffic stop may be recorded by dashboard video, body camera or a nearby cellphone; an officer in full uniform can get shot while filling up his vehicle at a gas station. None of these are new, but their frequency and the ongoing national debate over policing have crystallized into a sense of being under siege on all fronts, officers said.

"Day to day, you're a little more aware of your surroundings, you're a little more skeptical of people," said Rick Perine, a 17-year veteran of the Mesa, Ariz., Police Department.

Perine said he has found himself being "hyper-vigilant" since the killings in December of two New York City police officers, who were ambushed in their patrol car. Their killer had boasted on social media that he planned to kill cops in retaliation for the deaths of Brown and Eric Garner, who died during an arrest by officers in Staten Island, N.Y. Garner's and Brown's deaths — coming three weeks apart in 2014 — became part of a growing public outrage toward law enforcement.

"These days, if I don't know you, I'm going to be extra guarded around you," Perine said. "It is a different world."

But it's not a different world, at least not in the sense Perine means. Where there have been more prominent indictments and prosecutions of police officers for misconduct and brutality, that may or may not be a sign of a rise in accountability—it's too early to tell. The Times acknowledges there's nothing new about DOJ investigations, police lawsuits, recording of police officers, or killings in the line of duty.  The claim that there's a difference in "frequency" requires citation. Certainly, these things may be getting more attention, but there's no evidence of it happening more often. The DOJ, for example, has been investigating police departments around the country regularly for nearly two decades. Dashboard cameras are almost ubiquitous, and the rollout of body cameras precedes them becoming a policy point for police reformers. There's also ample evidence body cameras improve policing and make police officers safer.

Which leaves the "ongoing national debate." That debate, in a "democratic society," ought to be welcomed by "public servants," not feared by them. And the tragic murder of a public servant shouldn't be exploited to shut down the kind of debate that could make policing even safer.

Advertisement

NEXT: Pirates, political questions and Taiwanese citizenship

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. They’re looking for something to use to push back against recent scrutiny. Any number over one of shootings aimed at police is going to be evidence of an epidemic needing drastic vigilance and a toning down of “anti-police” rhetoric.

    1. That’s exactly it. Police can’t be held accountable for their actions because that creates animosity towards them. It isn’t their actions that create animosity. It’s the reporting of those actions, and the resulting arrests and indictments that create the animosity. It’s not the fault of the police. No. It’s the fault of the media and the courts.

      1. And the activists!

        1. #PoliceLivesMatter

          Wait, probably not those activists.

  2. Unfortunately, incidents like this will only provide cops with even more reasons to shoot first and ask questions later. Expect to see an uptick in police shootings if this continues.

  3. A short while ago I saw an article on “The 25 Most Dangerous Occupations in America”. They had to expand it to 25 to get cops on the list, because even house painters and general contractors have a higher job mortality rate than cops do.

    1. I wonder how massaged those numbers are, e.g. suicides, cardiac events, or car accidents being tallied in some cases but not in others.

      1. It was supposedly on the job deaths related to performance of the work. So car accidents count for cops but not for house painters.

        1. Well that’s not fair.
          The guy who painted my house did it while driving his car.

  4. “In 2007, there were 67 cops shot and killed by police.”

    Well, there’s your problem…

      1. Police-on-police violence

        1. go on….

          1. Talk about a flash bang…

  5. In 2007, there were 67 cops shot and killed by police.

    please. I know they panic fire but that number seems high.

  6. Until cops start talking seriously about ending the War on Drugs I have no sympathy.

    1. I have sympathy. Right here.

      *holds up a dictionary*

      Look between shit and syphilis.

    2. Yes, because it is the cops who pass the laws.

  7. Sorry Ed, but you can’t refute the claim “things have changed” with “but look at the past”. This is a sorry response to the claim the cops are making. The cops are saying that what happened in Houston is the sign that things are getting more dangerous and this type of thing is going to happen more in the future.

    Are they right about that? I don’t know and won’t know until I see if this type of thing starts happening more often. Regardless of whether they are right or wrong, pointing to how relatively rare these things have been in the past is not relevant to the discussion. Just because were relatively safe before this doesn’t mean things have not changed. It doesn’t mean they have of course either.

    The cops clearly think they are in more danger than they were. Get back to me in a year and we can start to figure out if they are right or not.

    1. I strongly disagree because of this paragraph:

      Numbers, however, don’t tell the whole story, police said. Whether or not violence toward police is up this year, officers said attacks on law enforcement are playing out in a new atmosphere of amplified animosity, in which cops are routinely vilified ? fairly or not ? by a public on Twitter, YouTube and other social media sites.

      In other words, who gives a shit if it isn’t actually more dangerous to be a cop, people are saying mean things about us and that’s almost as bad.

      Not only do we deserve not to be the victims of violence, we deserve to not be the victims of bad words too. #bluefeelingsmatter

      1. I like the way they slide from getting gunned down in the street to having mean Tweets directed at them.

        1. One does not have to cause another thing to be associated with it. And it is not unreasonable to read a rise in open animosity towards police as a sign that police are in more danger.

          Their point is not as unreasonable as you portray it. Again, time will tell. Likely and hopefully they are wrong. But you are foolish if you just assume they can’t be right.

          1. But police aren’t in more danger.

            In their desperate search for something to say in response to the heightened awareness of their brutality and criminality, all they can come up with is “mean Tweets”.

            If and when we actually start seeing increased violence toward police, we can speculate about whether it is caused by mean Tweets. But until then, its a transparent effort to throw dust in your eyes and make you believe that there is more violence toward police. Which there isn’t.

            1. But police aren’t in more danger.

              You have absolutely no certainty of that. You think they are not but you have no way of knowing if it is true. Can you tell me with 100% certainty that no more or no significantly more cops will be killed in the line of duty over the next year than were the last?

              If you can or think you can, you either have super powers or Harvard made you really stupid. This is simple logic. The past is not always a predictor of the future. The cops may be right here. We won’t know if they are until we see how the future pans out.

              1. You have absolutely no certainty of that.

                Howsabout: There is no evidence that police are in more danger, and so there is no reason to believe that police are in more danger.

                Happy now?

        2. The Tweets caused the cop to be gunned down in the street. That’s why people saying mean things about the cops is a problem. It causes violence. This whole scrutiny thing has to stop. It endangers the police. When the news reports on criminal acts by police officers, and how departments go to great lengths to cover them up, it creates animosity towards the police. It’s the fault of the media. Cops are totally innocent in the matter. Duh.

          1. Well, didn’t the murder rate sky rocket while Sarah Palin was around? It’s true. Look up the stats. And babies were murdered.

      2. Sometimes even paranoids are right. Does the fact that mobs are running around chanting “kill the pigs and wrap them in bacon” necessarily mean cops are actually in more danger? No. But it might mean that. It is not inconceivable that people running around saying how we need to start killing cops might be associated with more people doing that.

        As I said, time will tell.

        1. You know, there are some people who think talking about judges, shooting, and woodchippers increases the chances that people will go after judges.

          Also, should we be worried about the #KillAllMen hashtag campaign? ‘Cause there are a lot more people advocating that than there are talking about killing cops.

        2. If the media can accuse talk radio of inciting violence then chants about pigs in bacon will certainly come to the level of incitement. Of course the media doesn’t care when its their preferred group doing the inciting so they will be silent on that subject.

      3. Plus, a bunch of cops get killed every year in no-knock raids, far more than are killed in executions. For some reason, I don’t see cops agitating against no-knock raids which put their lives in danger all the time.

        1. They do the raids because terrorizing people is fun. When they need to apprehend someone who they know to be really and truly dangerous, they lure them out and ambush them. See Whitey Bulger for example.

        2. For the second time on this thread, “pointing to the past does not refute a claim that the future is going to be different”. The fact that cops haven’t been shot execution style in the past is no guarantee they won’t be in the future. The cops are claiming that the event in Houston is the start of something new and more dangerous. Again, they are likely and hopefully wrong about that. Regardless, however, pointing to how this hasn’t happened in the past doesn’t refute their point.

          I hate to be a pendent, but this kind of sloppy thinking bugs the shit out of me. You wouldn’t tolerate it from others and you shouldn’t tolerate it from yourself.

          1. Again, they are likely and hopefully wrong about that.

            Rest assured that the cops will escalate the situation until it does happen. They have no other tactics for dealing with opposition to their authority.

          2. You’re right, the past doesn’t refute the future.

            Now apply that thinking to every argument ever.

            1. Sometimes it does. If nothing has changed, it most certainly does. If things have changed, then not at all. If things have changed of course is the entire question and pointing to the past doesn’t answer it.

              1. Either it always does or it never does. It never does.

          3. Come on, John.
            You have to know that any opportunity to advocate anarchy will not go unremarked on, regardless of how sloppy the thinking behind it.

      4. I think you are being too flip, Irish. It’s a legitimate concern. While it’s ultimately in their essence that police operate via force, by far most of their day-to-day work involves merely implicit force. The more public animosity there is, the more likely it is that confrontations will degenerate from implied force to actual force.

        1. You can make the exact same argument that cops becoming irrationally paranoid when there is no evidence of an increase in anti-cop violence could result in an increase in use of force because cops are convinced they’ll be killed or beaten otherwise.

          So articles like the LA Times article could be argued to be putting peoples’ lives in danger just as much as mean tweets directed towards police officers.

          Unless you can point to actual evidence of increased danger though, bitching that people are saying mean things about you is petty nonsense that is nothing but another example of cops feeding their constant victim complex.

          1. So articles like the LA Times article could be argued to be putting peoples’ lives in danger just as much as mean tweets directed towards police officers.

            And when more innocent people are beaten and killed by paranoid cops, the animosity towards cops will grow. This will not end well.

          2. Well, one factor here may be that you (and Ed) are measuring this “different world” solely by the numbers of police killed. I don’t know, but perhaps there is an increase in non-fatal attacks, more resisting of arrest, more frequent examples of angry and threatening crowds gathering, etc.

        2. The more public animosity there is, the more likely it is that confrontations will degenerate from implied force to actual force.

          And so, it would seem to be in the interests of the police to work to limit those confrontations to situations where they’re actually needed.

          Say by ending the drug war along with petty fines for every-fucking-thing.

          1. True, but individual cops, or even all cops togethers, don’t have control over those laws.

            1. True, but individual cops, or even all cops togethers, don’t have control over those laws.

              I’d say you underestimate how much clout police unions wield in legislative hearings. In some states, such as Hawaii, the legislature is a wholly owned subsidiary of the public employee unions. Regulatory capture writ large.

            2. Not having control to change the situation is irrelevant if they agree with the status quo.

            3. The police pick and choose what laws they enforce all the time. That their hands are bound and must enforce every little infraction is dunphy’s biggest lie.

              1. True. Perhaps I should have written “the existence of those laws.”

      5. I think the nature of the violence is certainly different. There is some understanding that being a member of law enforcement involves an exposure to violence and that part of the job description necessarily entails putting oneself at some level of risk when apprehending criminals or serving warrants.

        But we have a few high profile ambush style murders of cops in past 12 months, murders committed not by a suspect that was in the process of being arrested. Those should rightly be distinguished from cases where a cop is murdered in the course of carrying out their job by the person they’re in the process of investigating/arresting.

    2. What “this type of thing” are you talking about? Oh, “Goforth’s coldblooded murder” sort of thing? See, this is the exact problem we’re talking about – some sensationalistic rush-to-judgement looking-at-the-big-picture sort of crap before we even know what the facts of the case are. You weren’t there, I wasn’t there, we don’t know what really happened. Was Goforth already known to be a threat from some previous action not captured by the video? Did Goforth make a furtive movement toward his waistband? Did he say something to indicate he would be unresponsive or combative toward commands to do as he was ordered? How long exactly would you propose waiting for an imminent threat to become an immediate threat? It’s easy enough for you assholes to look at some little edited snippet of film and declare you know what happened, but if you’ve never been there, never had a gun in your hand and had to face an armed and dangerous thug then you have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about. Let the investigation take place, let’s hear from the one man who was actually there and actually knows what exactly happened, let’s wait until the truth actually comes out before we start spouting off about what we think we know and what we think it means.

      1. Just my own little meaningless opinion – it’s hard to imagine that Goforth was just shot for no reason so rather than assuming he was shot for no reason, it might be wiser to conclude that there was a reason for him being shot but we are simply ignorant of the reason at this point in time. My best guess is that after a full investigation uncovers and clearly delineates the reason for the shooting we will see that a reasonable person could have concluded that it was a justified shoot.

        1. I will take that bet all day and twice on Sunday. There is no evidence of any confrontation and multiple witnesses say the shooting. If any of them had seen some kind of confrontation it would have come out by now. The cop was putting gas in his car. Just exactly what the fuck do you think he was doing that made it reasonable to shoot him?

          I am as anti cop as anyone on here but get the fuck out of here with this shit. Sometimes people really do just do crazy evil shit and sometimes that shit is directed at cops. There is no reason to believe this shooting was anything other than what it seems. Thinking otherwise is just engaging in counter factual nuttery.

          1. Adjust your sarcasm meter, John.

            1. It took me to part 2 to figure it was a rather clever recasting of cops common excuses /rationalizations into the ambush-murderer’s excuses/rationalizations.

              +1 dunphy

        2. This shit only applies when the shooter is wearing the uniform!

    3. What the cops didn’t do is take the next step and try to understand why they are losing public support. Here’s my educated guesses from nearly 40 years of dealing with cops.

      1. Asshole traffic cops. I don’t know a driver in NJ including my teenage daughter who hasn’t been pulled over by an asshole who completely fabricates a traffic violation, acts like a bully, then writes a revenue but non-points ticket that he knows you’ll pay without going to court. Fuck them. And don’t bother complaining – this is what the Chief and Mayor want.

      2. Pay – cops in a lot of areas in NJ pull down $100k plus with OT. I hang up whenever they call asking for contributions. Fuck you, buy your own military gear.

      3. Videos. We got to see a man with his hands up executed by San Antonio police this morning. Countless other beatings, dog shootings, and murders are now on video – very very few of them have have resulted in any real punishment for officers involved. The Unions, Department leaders, and prosecutors cooperate to sweep serious crimes under the rug.

      It all creates an us against them mentality. Cops no longer seem to care when they trash the wrong house or one of them kills a guy for disrespect. Don’t expect too many tears from us when something bad happens the other way.

      1. When you set your bed in the stable, you should expect to get shit on.

      2. What the cops didn’t do is take the next step and try to understand why they are losing public support.

        Of course not. It’s not in their nature to look at anything from any other points of view but their own. Theirs is the only one that matters. They are always right. Period. Even when they are wrong they are still right because they are always right. That’s just the kind of person who seeks out the job. And that right there is yet another reason why so many people look upon policemen with disgust.

      3. It all creates an us against them mentality.

        I would say, it makes people realize that, when it comes to cops, it is “us against them”. It only takes one side to create that dynamic, and it was already created. By the cops, for the most part.

        And now they want to cry about mean Tweets.

    4. Just because were relatively safe before this doesn’t mean things have not changed. It doesn’t mean they have of course either.

      Until about a week ago, I’d have thought you were pretty safe as a news anchor or camera man interviewing the local city councilperson.

      If you’d used their deaths to advance some sort of political agenda, I’d have considered you to be something between moron and scum. I see little/no difference in this situation.

      1. you don’t know something is a trend and things have changed the first time something happens. Lets say the cops are right and people are going to start doing this a lot more. You won’t know that is true until it starts happening. If say two or three cops a week start getting shot in the head going forward, that would be a real problem. Pointing to the past doesn’t help us determine whether that is going to really happen.

  8. Improved officer safety is an excellent reason for the cops to get on board with ending the drug war.

    That being said, we shouldn’t look at statistics nationally and conclude that things are safer for cops everywhere. Resentment against police must make a cop’s job more dangerous than it would be otherwise somewhere.

  9. Social media now have “the capability of influencing millions with truth and embellished versions of it with the click of a button.”

    BAN SOCIAL MEDIA!

  10. 67 cops shot and killed by police.

    It’s a start.

  11. Deon Joseph, a Los Angeles police officer who has spent 17 years working on the city’s skid row. Social media now have “the capability of influencing millions with truth and embellished versions of it with the click of a button,” he said, and “more people want to hear the sensationalized version than the truth.”

    Just like an official press release by the police? Funny how that works.

    1. Embellishing the truth should be a privilege restricted to public servants.

    2. Honestly, being someone who lives in downtown LA, has met Deon Joseph (in passing), and heard many locals including homeless and PoC (including BLM activists and sympathizers) rave about the kind of example he sets, his statement carries a lot of weight. If you’re losing him, if he’s starting fear the climate being created, it is a truly horrifying sign.

  12. Well.. it’s not like the police go out of their way to sow mayhem, and betray the public’s trust. Victims of circumstance.. the whole lot of them..

    1. And it’s not like the $ million check that Atlanta writes to this guy will have any affect on their pay or pension.

    2. One officer and the homeowner, identified as Chris McKinley, were wounded during the firefight

      The completely innocent homeowner doesn’t appear to have been armed when he was shot and the only people doing the shooting were officers. That’s not a fire*fight*, it’s a firing squad.

      A Polish Firing Squad.

  13. Meanwhile, Vox discovers domestic terrorism

    And occasionally, they’ve been violent. In 2010, a father-son duo named Jerry and Joseph Kane killed two police officers with an AK-47 during a traffic stop, and wounded two others before being killed themselves. According a 2012 Anti-Defamation League report, there’s a “growing tide of sovereign citizen activity and violence across the country … if the movement’s growth is allowed to continue unchecked, further acts of violence are inevitable, putting government officials, law enforcement officers, and private citizens all at risk.”

    And that, perhaps, is why law enforcement officials are growing so alarmed. Sovereign citizen ideas have been around for decades, but sovereign citizens traditionally aren’t violent. An increase in size coupled with high-profile violence would mark a new, and disturbing, direction for the movement ? especially since their ideas incline them to target police, prosecutors, and other government agents.

    It’s a war out there. A War on Civilization.

    1. Yes, the MSM loves the threat of right-wing terrorism. But note that survey is from last year. I’ll bet “Black nationalists” and “Left-wing revolutionaries” rate higher these days.

    2. SC’s have traditionally been fairly non-violent because *traditionally* the government just left the whackos alone.

      But this is the dawning of the golden Progressive Era – and you *will* conform to what is considered by ‘Top Men’ to be in your best interest or else.

      So these guys, who used to just run around in the woods with their AR-15’s and camo, and spent nights drinking themselves into a stupor bitching about the government (but never taking action) are being pushed more often and harder. And some of them have started pushing back.

      If there’s *one fucking thing* history shows over and over, oppressing a non-violent fringe movement is a sure-fire way to turn it violent and mainstream.

  14. The last thing this country needs is to reignite the panic that led to the militarization of police, something I suspect is far easier to do than to win real political change in favor of police victims, especially minorities. So I favor approaching this issue with an actual bias: assume until evidence shows otherwise that police get away with wrongdoing far more than they are held accountable for it. People who shoot cops don’t exactly get a mere slap on the wrist, and that’s not likely ever to change.

    1. Are you on drugs today Tony? That was a shockingly thoughtful and reasonable post.

      Yeah, if this really does start happening with some frequency, we will deal with it then. The worst thing to do is overreact before you even know for sure there is a problem.

      1. Tony is actually frequently reasonable on the issue of police violence. I think it’s a stopped clock kind of deal.

        1. Of course, that won’t stop him from giving cops ever more excuses to stomp people.

      2. John are you talking about the frequency of Tonys reasonable post or are you back on the cop issue

        1. Okay, that is funny. Both I guess.

    2. Okay, asshole, what did you do with Tony?

    3. The last thing this country needs is to reignite the panic that led to the militarization of police,

      A good step in that direction would be refraining from publicizing the self-pitying paranoia and borderline panic of the cops.

    4. It’s the last thing the country needs – yes. Also seems to be the first thing many cops want. Well, maybe the third thing – right after sovereign immunity and pay for life.

  15. I like the way they slide from getting gunned down in the street to having mean Tweets directed at them.

    Any refusal to blindly revere and obey them is tantamount to a mortal wound to their delicate psyches. It’s the exact moral equivalent of attempted murder of a police officer.

  16. Cop reportedly shot in Chicago this morning:

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015…..n-chicago/

    1. Yup, manhunt underway. What I can hear on the scanners, they have zero clue where he is.

      4 hours in, I’m thinking they’ll probably catch him 6 mo. from now 7 states away.

  17. Honoring Officers Killed in 2015

    . . . suffered a fatal heart attack while on duty and was detailing his department motorcycle . . .

    OK – You’re cops and you want to remember your fallen brothers, that’s cool.

    But . . .

    Don’t list officers who happened to die in a list titled *Officers Killed*, OK.

    Not cool.

    The guy above – tragedy for his family and all that, but he wasn’t *killed*. You can barely even say it was ‘in the line of duty’.

    1. And look at the list of K-9 deaths – 22 fatalities, divided up in 8 categories, *ELEVEN* of those deaths were ‘heat exhaustion’.

      To me, that looks like the greatest threat to a K-9 ‘cop’ is his fucking *handler*.

      1. I’m trying to remember recent stories about pig-dogs dying, and the most recent was exactly that. Left to fry in the car. Of course nothing else happened other than the poor officer being deluged with sympathy. I wonder how many household pets that cop killed without a thought as to how the owner felt.

        1. Yeah, and here I thought that police dogs were cops, legally.

          I guess if a cop kills another cop negligently, then its all good?

          Actually, it probably is. I doubt any of the cops who killed those 67 cops were charged or went to jail. In fact, I bet in most cases somebody else was charged, even though it was perfectly obvious they weren’t the shooter.

        2. And any non-cop under the same circumstance would be charged with animal cruelty and abuse.

        3. Several handlers killed more than one dog on that list *in the same incident*.

      2. I knew Marines who died of heart attacks and heat exhaustion in training. They were treated with respect, but not fucking “fallen heroes”.

    2. And I think Texas and Louisiana really need to look into what their cops are doing.

      The have twice the number of officer fatalities so far this year than the next highest state.

        1. Total. 10 cop deaths in TX, 9 in LA so fa this year.

          5 in MS.

          Most of the other states are around 1-3.

          1. the more rural the area the more likely a cop is going to be alone and far from help and they often have to encounter people that don’t want to be around anybody, let alone a cop, in the first place. A different type of danger than big city crime, not worse or less just different.

    3. This guy was on the clock while he was polishing his ride?

      Really?

      And keeling over from a heart attack while buffing your chrome makes you a Fallen Hero?

      Retch.

      1. Everything they do is on the clock. Wouldn’t surprise me if they get paid for their commute.

      2. They don’t go that far.

        But the list is for ‘officers killed’, not officer *deaths*.

        Its cool to list everyone who died (for whatever cause) in a memorial, I just think the title of the memorial is very misleading.

    4. And then there’s this poor guy.

      . . . was role playing an attacker with an edged weapon. The agent being attacked in the exercise drew his service weapon, which contained a live round, and fire once, . . .in the chest.

      A *training exercise* where the trainers were so incompetent they couldn’t ensure the trainees weren’t running around with live weapons.

      I think one of the worst last thoughts to have is ‘you stupid motherfucker, what did you do . . .”

    5. Oh, let me guide you to what has to be the epitome of what you talking about.

      The laughably over-rated Ohio State Highway Patrol wins the award for stretching things: “Trooper” Jack Holland is listed, at first, as being killed in an “animal related” incident. But when you read further, you can only shake your head and laugh: A bee sting.

      A freak’n bee sting, and this guy is treated like some big brave hero.
      Doubt me? Here is the link:

      http://www.odmp.org/officer/18983-tro…..holland-ii

      1. And while we’re on the subject, the clownish OSHP has another “officer down” example of pumping the numbers up: The very first “trooper” that died “in the line of duty”.

        It was 1935 when John Best was electrocuted when working on radios.

        You look into the details of all of this chest-thumping, self-induced hero status and you can only laugh.

  18. Latest word in the local media is that the suspect was a nut job. Heard a snippet of a news report last night quoting his mother as saying he wasn’t quite right (not the exact words, but to the point). So…sounds like this guy just picked a cop instead of former coworkers to work out his crazy on.

  19. “Cops are under more scrutiny than before, but there isn’t a rise in killings, and it’s probably never been safer to be a cop.”

    And never more dangerous to have to deal with one.

  20. I would have thought Reason would be all over this as another example of a Libertarian Moment. Attacks on the police are the ultimate political act. Granted, attacking the state doesn’t quite fit in with Reason’s preferred reforms like asking police departments to issue body cameras, but the police themselves are coming to realize they have become targets, with thousands cheering on the executions through social media. Reason’s reaction? Poo poo the whole thing. After all, someone somewhere is getting sent home from school for wearing the wrong t-shirt! Now there’s a story Reason can get behind.

    1. A lone wackos killing a cop is not the beginning of the revolution.

      1. Resistance. That’s what it’s called. Revolution is another matter.

        1. No, it’s not resistance. It’s an isolated incident. An outlier. The only resistance here is between your ears.

          1. “No, it’s not resistance. It’s an isolated incident.”

            You mean an act of resistance can’t be an isolated incident? I don’t know how you arrived at that conclusion. I don’t see how the incident is isolated. As long as we’re discussing it, there is some connection to the larger world. It has resonance, even though the editors of Reason see fit to dismiss this in favour of their preferred hobby horses.

            “The only resistance here is between your ears.”

            The act of attacking police is resistance. Revolution is the overthrowing of one regime and replacing it with another.

            1. Resistance is a sane person retaliating against police abuse, or perhaps a group of sane people retaliating against police abuse. A lone nut-job shooting a cop in the back is not resistance. It’s just a lone nut-job shooting a cop in the back.

              1. “Resistance is a sane person retaliating against police abuse..”

                You’d be surprised. The sane folks of France tended to collaborate with the Nazis. The resistance, those who attacked the Nazis, were marginal: criminals, foreigners, communists, sexual perverts etc. The outcasts you seem so willing to dismiss. Sanity is a much over-rated condition which seeks to accommodate itself to evil. I wouldn’t put too much stock in it if I were you.

                “A lone nut-job shooting a cop in the back is not resistance. It’s just a lone nut-job shooting a cop in the back.”

                How do you know this was a lone nut-job? Is it how the local press characterize him? Do you normally suppress your skepticism so readily when you come across something like this? And what if he is a nut job? What difference does it make? Somehow nut-jobs are incapable of political acts? They’re increasingly becoming the norm in any case. Some 50% of the population can be diagnosed.

                1. His mom said he wasn’t right in the head. If/when this becomes widespread and not done by people who are already on the edge of sanity, then I’ll agree. But I’m not going to call one isolated incident “resistance.” Besides, it’s futile anyway. Everyone who grew up in the 80s knows that.

                  1. ” who are already on the edge of sanity”

                    The more sane you are, the more likely you are to throw in your lot with the state, police and so on. That’s how it works so well. Resistance comes from the margins, from those whose opinions and actions you are determined to dismiss as ‘losers’ or ignore.

                    1. I see what you are saying, but I still disagree. For now. You have to know that what you are doing is resistance for it to be resistance. Someone who isn’t sane by definition doesn’t know what they are doing. And to me, with the limited information that I have right now, it doesn’t appear that this guy was right in the head.

    2. Please don’t feed the troll.

      1. Ya know, you’re right.
        I was tempted to point out that he’s a fucking ignoramus, but why bother stating the obvious?

        1. Welcome to Retardation

    3. Welcome to Retardation: A Celebration. Now, hopefully, I’m gonna dispel a few myths, a few rumors. First off, the retarded don’t rule the night. They don’t rule it. Nobody does. And they don’t run in packs. And while they may not be as strong as apes, don’t lock eyes with ’em, don’t do it. Puts ’em on edge. They might go into berzerker mode; come at you like a whirling dervish, all fists and elbows. You might be screaming “No, no, no” and all they hear is “Who wants cake?” Let me tell you something: They all do. They all want cake.

  21. it’s probably never been safer to be a cop.

    And never more dangerous to have to deal with one.

    What is truly incredible is, that’s exactly the way they want it. This is their desired outcome. There is no mountain of corpses too high for them to climb to get to zero officer fatalities.

    1. Not only that, but many people seek out to be cops specifically because they want to get away with murder. The more excuses they have to do so, the happier they are.

  22. “Day to day, you’re a little more aware of your surroundings, you’re a little more skeptical of people,”

    I’m all in favor of situational awareness, but explicit in that concept is the ability to distinguish between those who pose a genuine threat and those who do not.

    1. You know who poses a genuine threat? Let me tell you something: They all do. They all pose a genuine threat.

      /cop

  23. The cops want us to believe, simultaneously, that police misconduct is vanishingly rare in the context of the vast number of police-civilian interactions occurring on any day, BUT every time a cop emerges from a police station he is accepting the near certain perilous risk of assassination by some depraved monster.

  24. If the Harris County Sheriffs want to know why people hate them, maybe they ought to not defend handcuffing, stipping, and fingerbanging women on the side of the highway because TEH WEEDZ.

  25. “non-K9 officer”

    What? Seriously. What?

    1. Janitor; they gave him a title.

  26. Having been on the receiving end of cops treating me badly, I’d say they fucking deserve to be fearful of the public. If you want to be an enforcer for the local mafia, you should expect a lot of resentment from those you abuse.

    1. But don’t you see the feedback cycle here? More fearful cops are likely to be more trigger-happy.

      1. Yeah, practically speaking, it is unwise to antagonize them. But if they have such power as to cause us to fear before speaking, then the master-servant relationship has been inverted.

      2. There’s a feedback cycle, I think.

        The question is, how to break it?

        By having “civilians” cower in submission every single time?

        Or by having cops stop acting like sadistic thugs?

        1. I think several things need to be done, but I think it’s just common sense to treat police politely, because they might be trigger-happy or just having a bad day. It’s inherently contradictory to argue that police are sociopathic authoritarians and also say that it’s a good idea to antagonize them at a traffic stop or whatever. The best way to expose sadistic thugs is to not give them any excuses to be sadistic.

          1. “The best way to expose sadistic thugs is to not give them any excuses to be sadistic.”

            Hmm… And the second best way?

    1. Uh-oh. I smell a police riot coming if they don’t catch the perps right away.

      1. Looks like they basically shut down Chicago.

  27. Quite the uptick in police getting killed, execution-style.
    REASON getting a bit of a guilty conscience?
    Clearly, the posters aren’t. Even doubling down.
    Sad.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.