Police Abuse

Off-Duty Cop Pulls Gun on Man Buying Mentos; Police Union Condemns Fourth Amendment

Not a good weekend for relationships between officers and citizens

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Two weekend stories from both sides of the country demonstrate the generally screwed-up relationship some members of the law enforcement community have with the citizenry.

First: It's hard to fathom what was going on in the mind of an off-duty Buena Park, California, cop when he decided to pull out his gun after mistakenly thinking a man was shoplifting a pack of Mentos. The man, Jose Arreola, had paid for them. The officer missed the exchange of money and only saw Arreola grabbing the mints and pocketing them and jumped to the wrong assumption.

The incident happened in March, but apparently is just now being publicized as Arreola retains a lawyer and is demanding compensation. Here's the video:

Though the police wouldn't comment on the story, the Buena Park Police Department posted a note from Chief Corey Sianez on Facebook:

The video of the incident clearly shows our officer drawing his gun, but not pointing it, at a subject he allegedly believed was committing a theft inside the mini-mart of a Chevron gas station in Buena Park. We were aware of this incident after it occurred and we immediately began conducting an administrative investigation into the conduct of the officer involved. The complainant also filed a formal complaint against the officer alleging misconduct and also retained an attorney. I want you to know that after I watched the video I found it to be disturbing, as I'm sure it was to you. However, because there is an ongoing personnel investigation and potential litigation pending against the city, I am unable to discuss the details of our investigation. I can definitely assure you that our investigation will be thorough and if the officer is found to be in violation of any policies and procedures, he will be held accountable. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

This response is notable for what it leaves out. Sianez blames his silence on the investigation and "potential litigation." But even after all this is over, Arreola and the citizens of Buena Park probably won't get any answers about this still-unidentified cop's behavior. California state law deliberately conceals information from the public about police misconduct and what discipline officers face. As the law currently stands, we'll probably never know what the authorities do about a cop who pulls his gun out because he thought he saw somebody steal mints.

There's a bill in the state Senate in California to make public some investigation and discipline records involving police conduct, but it focuses on cases of actual use of force and gun discharges. So even if that legislation were enacted, Buena Park citizens concerned about this behavior probably wouldn't get any answers.

Second: In New York City, a police union president's over-the-top reply to another New York agency is less violent but probably no less disturbing. As an amusing way to connect with annual May the Fourth Star Wars cultural celebration, the city's Civilian Complaint Review Board tweeted this:

Silly, but there was a whole host of tweets Friday trying to tap into the "May the Fourth" cultural moment. It was on point. Less focused was this absurdly furious response by the Twitter account of New York Police Department Sergeant Benevolent Association (SBA) President Ed Mullins:

So apparently just telling people how to file a complaint if they feel as though the police have violated their constitutional rights is too much disrespect for the SBA.

This is far from the first time we've seen such a bonkers over-the-top response from SBA. They're the ones responsible for a video last year that went viral for all the wrong reasons, suggesting that criticism of the police is a form of "blue racism" in a video that misquoted Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have Dream" speech. I noted back then that they appeared to be objecting to a police sergeant even having to face trial for shooting a mentally ill woman in Bronx. (A judge acquitted the officer in February, and he has returned to work.)

The tone of the tweet here is similar. The SBA seems to object to the very existence of a process to hold officers accountable if they violate a citizen's constitutional rights.

This blog post has been corrected to note that a judge acquitted the NYPD officer charged with shooting a mentally ill woman.

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  1. You don’t want to get gunned down like a thug, then don’t pay for mints like a thug.

    1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

      This is what I do… Dailycash.us

      1. Wait. What? you can be an online cop?

      2. No, you’re not, and nobody in their right mind tries to recruit people to compete with themselves in the same employment marketplace.

        THAT is what marks that comment as spam as well as stupid.

    2. He did pay.

      1. Misread.

  2. In the officer’s defense, the brown guy might have had an entire van full of diet coke. We all know what happens when you mix mentos and diet coke. That off-duty hero was trying to prevent a terrorist attack.

    1. Mouth breather with a badge = Hero!

    2. The cop looked browner than the perp.

  3. Well, to be fair, Mentos is “the fresh maker.” It was probably only a matter of time before the guy buying them did something “fresh” that could be interpreted as disrespectful of the cop’s authoritah. This was just good, proactive police work. /sarc

    1. “But it’s you I fell into.”

      1. Check out Pat Smear over here.

      2. +1 for the Foo Fighters reference. They stopped playing that song in concert because they got tired of having Mentos thrown at them. I recall Dave Grohl saying something like “Those fuckers hurt!”.

  4. The SBA seems to object to the very existence of a process to hold officers accountable if they violate a citizen’s constitutional rights.

    Uh duh

    1. The SBA seems to object to the very existence of a process to hold officers accountable if they violate a citizen’s constitutional rights.

      FTFY

    2. The solution to police unions is RICO.

    3. Since police officers are paid with tax dollars I don’t see how investigations into police misconduct/brutality/excessive force could possibly NOT be considered public record! How can there be any law that withholds from the public information on police misconduct? The people have every right to know every detail of every investigation. No exceptions. I don’t care about officer privacy. They gave up job-related privacy when they pinned on the badge and started accepting paychecks that come from taxpayer dollars. This law needs to be challenged and overturned if at all possible.

  5. It’s hard to fathom what was going on in the mind of an off-duty Buena Park, California, cop when he decided to pull out his gun after mistakenly thinking a man was shoplifting a pack of Mentos.

    It is really hard to fathom, Scott?

    1. It is when you’re not a sociopath trained to view anyone without a badge as “the enemy.”

    2. If you guys were being honest, it does look like he was jacking something from the counter. He moves fast and quick from the counter to his pocket. There is no way the dude knew it was Mentos.

      Is this deserving of a gun being drawn? No. But the dude did look like he was stealing something.

      1. Looking like stealing is immoral, and deserving of assumptions.

      2. JB123…. and nobody has commented on the fact that the PO’s brain was also “off duty,” as he could have asked the cashier FIRST if the dude had paid, AND the cashier is a dweeb for not volunteering Immediately that “Yes, He’s paid for that!”

        2.5 jerks on duty there!

      3. Nothing is stolen until it leaves the store and that is the law and one which Walmart needs to learn as well as they check every single customers receipt BEFORE they hit the exit. Why does nobody challenge them? Gone unchallenged it becomes de facto law.
        And sociopaths make very good bad cops. This cop should be in jail for assault just for brandishing a weapon, assault is the threat of violence, and off duty cops need to be off-duty-period. All things handled with a gun is government’s rule of thumb.

    3. Inspector Javert syndrome. No crime too small, no response too big.

  6. I don’t know about you people but i am going to find a way to cram the accusation of “growing up on the nipple of what’s easy” into every argument i get into from now on.

    1. Look, she may have fucked half the guys in my class by age 13, but it wasn’t easy.

      1. It’s not easy being easy.

    2. It does have a certain smack to it.

    3. And suspected shoplifter’s name was Areola. So that’s the tie-in between the two stories.

      1. ‘Minty Areola’ sounds like a James Bond villain.

        1. After “Octopussy”, that’s not too farfetched.

  7. Even if he stole Mentos, an armed response?

    1. When all you have is a hammer, guess what every problem starts to look like.

      1. A Peter, Paul and Mary song?

        1. A Nick Gillespie column?

          1. ^^^^^^^ Oh, yeah! Excellent!

        2. Actually, it was a Lee Hays, Pete Seeger song. The original was performed by the Weavers.

      2. A delicate porcelain figurine… that needs smashed with a hammer.

        1. Congratulations, you just aced the entrance exam to the police academy of your choice.

          1. Not yet. He still has to be cleared by the academy psychologist, they’re looking for sociopathic tendencies.

            1. My ex-brother-in-law was trying to get into the academy. He failed the lie detector test three times before he finally got good enough at lying to pass it.

      3. An Ice Giant?

      4. Some nut that’s about to get screwed?

      5. Stormy Daniels?

  8. One day you will dial 911 when evil is at your door and thank god for the NYPD.

    Especially since it’s nearly impossible to own a gun in NYC.

    1. When seconds count, NYPD is on a coffee break.

      1. Do nut make jokes like that.

    2. “One day you will dial 911 when evil is at your door and thank god for the NYPD”

      Won’t call 911 because there’s no evil like NYPD evil

      1. You want me on that wall. You need me on that wall. We use words like “honor”, “code”, “loyalty”. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “thank you”, and went on your way.

        1. No we don’t want you or any of that self-aggrandizing false heroism.

          1. Didn’t know it was a movie quote, but my response to that sentiment remains.

    3. Only a full-on idiot would live in NYC.

    4. And get your dog shot when he starts barking at the door. Seriously, if you have a dog, don’t call the police.

  9. can definitely assure you that our investigation will be thorough and if the officer is found to be in violation of any policies and procedures, he will be held accountable. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

    Not a rational adult human actually believes this anymore.

    Long past are the days when it was respectable to be a cop in America.

    1. Isn’t it interesting that the only violations of concern are those of policy and procedure?
      Violation of the law just doesn’t matter, doesn’t even occur to them.

      1. Laws are for little people.

      2. Aggravated assault for thee but not for me.

        1. Don’t aggravate cops.

      3. haha, good point

  10. You are all a disgrace. You sit on your ass and target the NYPD all while growing up on the nipple of what’s easy. You have no clue what a NYPD officer does yet target us and disparage our integrity. One day you will dial 911 when evil is at your door and thank god for the NYPD.

    This sounds familiar….

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it! I would rather you just said “thank you” and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a *damn* what you think you are entitled to!

    1. He probably does eat breakfast 100 yards from a bunch of men that are trained to kill him.

    2. “You sit on your ass ”

      He said, looking in the mirror.

  11. I can definitely assure you that our investigation will be thorough and if the officer is found to be in violation of any policies and procedures, he will be held accountable.

    Policies and procedures. Never laws. Because being a police officer means not being subject to the law.

    So apparently just telling people how to file a complaint if they feel as though the police have violated their constitutional rights is too much disrespect for the SBA.

    Well, yeah. Everything the police do is justified. Without exception. They have their reasons, and no one may question them. No one. Simply suggesting that cops are not infallible justifies them beating you to death.

    1. It’s long past time we told cops that they aren’t samurai and they don’t get to test their swords on the peasants.

      1. The sad fact is that they are. They can literally do whatever they want, because no one will stop them. That and they are obligated to kill anyone who tries. Everyone in the legal system, from attorneys to judges, knows that they lie about everything, and at the same time treat their word like gospel. The entire system is a joke.

      2. You know, I finally got around to watching “Game of Thrones” and it occurs to me that you’re right on the mark in terms of how police look at everyone else.

  12. I watched the video closely. Piggy-wiggy had his gun out already before he said that he’s a piggy-wiggy. If a man in civilian clothes pulls a gun on me from behind me, and I immediately wrestle him to the ground, grab his gun from him, and shoot him dead, am I up on charges, only if the dead man turns out to be a real piggy wiggy? What if the gun-puller merely SAYS that he’s a piggy wiggy, and he’s not? Am I supposed to stop, halfway through defending myself?

    Do the LEOs ever get taught to actually think about things like this, in piggy wiggy school?

    1. Piggy-wiggy had his gun out already before he said that he’s a piggy-wiggy. If a man in civilian clothes pulls a gun on me from behind me, and I immediately wrestle him to the ground, grab his gun from him, and shoot him dead, am I up on charges, only if the dead man turns out to be a real piggy wiggy?

      Yeah, reading the headline and watching the video, I was expecting the cop to stop at the door or to walk down an aisle. Walking up behind him and then pulling a gun is such a boneheaded move even Hollywood recognizes it as satirical or corny. As near as I can tell, he never does show the guy a badge or ID.

    2. Do the LEOs ever get taught to actually think about things like this, in piggy wiggy school?

      I doubt it. They are taught that they are gods to be obeyed. They are taught that nothing they do shall be questioned. They are taught to lie about everything because the system will always treat their lies as truth. They are taught to never second guess themselves. Ever.

      Short answer: no.

  13. Does anyone else think this dude totally looked like he was shoplifting? Touching his face and ears, looking around furtively, and whipping the goods into his pocket as soon as the clerk looks away. Plus, he looks like the bad guy Indian from Longmeyer.

    I almost think he knew the cop would react like that and was setting him up. It would make a great Mentos commercial: Walks out the door, spins around, raises his pack of Mentos, and smiles as if to say, “I got your job bitch!”

    1. Does anyone else think this dude totally looked like he was shoplifting? Touching his face and ears, looking around furtively, and whipping the goods into his pocket as soon as the clerk looks away.

      I hate using plastic bags for single ticket or handful items and frequently jam them into my pockets in this fashion. It does frequently occur to me that, to the wrong eyes, it would look like I’ve lifted the items. The other thing that’s a little wonky is the recessed counter. It certainly predisposes observers to the notion that he’s reaching over and into something he ought not be reaching into.

      Still, the officer pulls a gun on a shoplifter and doesn’t show a badge.

      1. Still, the officer pulls a gun on a shoplifter and doesn’t show a badge.

        It would be interesting to see the report he no doubt had to write about the incident. I can guarantee that it says he identified himself as a cop and showed a badge. Because that’s what they’re taught in the academy.

        1. It is pre-printed on the report form.

      2. Good catch with the recessed counter. I didn’t see that when I watched it the first time through. Definitely adds to the overall effect of reaching into someplace you’re not supposed to. And I’ve been known to eschew plastic bags myself for well for one or two small items.

        But still, reading the guy’s body language, it looks like he’s going out of his way to appear as shifty as possible. And what’s up with the other guy crowding the counter who went away for no apparent reason without buying anything as soon as the cop walked in?

        1. And what’s up with the other guy crowding the counter who went away for no apparent reason without buying anything as soon as the cop walked in?

          Somebody else mentioned this below. He picks up some, I believe, change off the counter and leaves. I presumed he had prepaid for something when he walked in and, thus, messed up the queue. The whole thing, a couple of times, has a very New York-style accidental invasions/forgiveness of personal space dynamics going on.

    2. Even if your fantasy is true, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander right? Maybe we should set up sting operations to entrap cops into overreacting like this. Maybe even offer to sell them sex or drugs?

      1. No fantasy, dude. Just based on actual observation of the video. And I’m not the only one who detected something “off” about it. (See Mike P’s comment below.)

        Anyway, I’m not crying for this trigger-happy Barney Fife. And I agree with you that even if this guy constructed this situation to trick the cop into blowing his wad, there is no problem with that whatsoever.

        1. How did he know it was a cop?

          1. I agree that this part makes the reverse-sting-operation thing doubtful. There are a lot of ways he could have known this guy was a cop (seen him on duty before, followed him from his house, smelled bacon, etc.), but the amount of planning and the complexity of execution that it would require to locate an off-duty cop and set him up like this makes me think that’s not really what happened.

            But I stand by my comment that the people in this video are acting weird, and I think there is something else going on here.

            1. Again, someone could be “acting weird” for any number of reasons that have nothing to do with committing crime. Maybe he has anxiety. Maybe he’s having an argument with his wife and he’s nervous. Maybe he’s just mentally pre-occupied with something.

              The “other minds fallacy” is the most powerful cognitive bias, we evaluate other’s minds and actions modeled on our own.

              I have been stopped by cops over 50 times. There’s probably a “reason”, but it has nothing to do with me breaking laws.

            2. Again, someone could be “acting weird” for any number of reasons that have nothing to do with committing crime. Maybe he has anxiety. Maybe he’s having an argument with his wife and he’s nervous. Maybe he’s just mentally pre-occupied with something.

              The “other minds fallacy” is the most powerful cognitive bias, we evaluate other’s minds and actions modeled on our own.

              I have been stopped by cops over 50 times. There’s probably a “reason”, but it has nothing to do with me breaking laws.

      2. Never work. No cop in NY pays for sex or drugs. They are accepted as part of the benefits.

    3. That’s the thing. People can be nervous or whatever for god knows what personal reason, and a cop sees it through the prism of evaluating everyone as a potential criminal.

      The person may “look” like what one thinks a “bad guy” looks like, due to their appearance, race, manner of dress, whatever, and that further influences the cop’s judgement.

      I know the “setting him up” thing was a joke, but he didn’t know the guy was a cop, so no, he wasn’t setting him up.

  14. Any interaction with a cop, just raise your hands and say, “Hands up don’t shoot” and “I do not have a weapon.” No matter what they say or ask, just keep repeating it, with increasing tone of panic and alarm. Eventually they will leave you alone. And yes I’ve done this many times and was never shot. (But yes I’m a white guy so ymmv.)

    1. Is that your sign? *Are* you an anti-semite?

      1. Hands up don’t shoot !!!

        1. I don’t have a gun on me. I was just a little surprised or confused at the leap from ‘STOP MULTIPLYING’ to anti-Semitism.

          1. God commanded Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply” and promised Abraham numerous descendants in the first covenant, a covenant that still binds Jews (and God, but who’s going to sue?) today.

            Lakewood has a big Orthodox Jew community; one of the biggest anywhere.

    2. Nah. All he has to do is yell, “stop resisting!” and he can do anything to you he wants.

    3. Any interaction with a cop, just raise your hands and say, “I choose to invoke my 5th amendment right against self-incrimination.”

      1. That’ll go something like this: “I ch-” [four straight minutes of Tazer]

    4. if you see a gun, it’s probably good advice, but what you’re suggesting means that for fear of getting shot you let a cop get away with anything.

  15. Video is strange.

    What’s the deal with the other guy, who was acting weird and then bails when the ‘cop’ walks in?
    Why did Jose’s demeanor change when the ‘cop’ walked it? His body language went from normal to very nervous. He wasn’t nervous at all with that other guy leaning way into personal space at the counter, but gets twiggy with the ‘cop’ 5 feet behind him.
    Why did the cop enter and stand so far back from the ‘line’? Almost seemed like he was expecting confrontation.

    The whole situation is strange and appears like something more is going on. Would be nice if folks would ask the questions and figure out what the truth is before jumping to conclusions. But then that would require some personal thought.

    1. ” I am unable to discuss the details of our investigation.”

      1. Valid point. It’s difficult to present a factual representation of both sides when one side consists of, “Good day, sir. I SAID GOOD DAY.”

        The communication breakdown is, I feel, a drastic development. Unfortunately, both sides are making a decent point, and they’ll have a tough time figuring this out without the means to communicate.

        This is what the police were supposed to do. They’ve been trained to act this way, rewarded for it, surrounded by a culture (subculture, maybe – pick whichever interpretation lacks derogatory tones) of folks who worship them as idols, as symbols of virtue.

        Looking at it from their perspective, it must feel akin to having neighbors and kinfolks all het up over our sister’s honor. They hound at us about duty and wring their hands about what MUST be done. Except now that the situation’s been handled, well, the mob of concerned citizens who couldn’t abide the situation another moment have melted away, and left us holding the bag.

        The cops may have a fair point in some respects. We get what we reward. Now people are getting mad at them for the same thing that used to be rewarded universally, and now only selectively. Sending some mixed signals here.

      2. Yes, we know that from the article. Which is standard fare for these types of things.

        But yet, that part of the story ends with “we’ll probably never know what the authorities do about a cop who pulls his gun out because he thought he saw somebody steal mints.” You close with the sentence clearly supporting the situation as described by Jose, that this is entirely about a misunderstanding about mints. Maybe it’s justified…maybe it’s not. Maybe something more is going on. Not sure why you choose to assume that Jose’s story is 100% factual.

        1. Not sure why you choose to assume that Jose’s story is 100% factual.

          Because 1) it’s the only story we have; 2) due to lack of transparency (which is what the article is REALLY about), it may be the only story we ever receive; 3) the chief agreed with the rest of us that the video is “disturbing”; 4) the cop’s apology at the end of the video, along with the nature of his demands/directions when the gun was drawn, implies that it truly was about The Freshmaker and not the other things you’re imagining.

    2. Almost seemed like he was expecting confrontation.

      Being that cops create confrontations wherever they go, that should come as no surprise.

    3. Assuming that there’s a “real truth” somewhere out there and we just don’t have access to it is a common strategy used to defend people for indefensible actions.

      1. Watching a video and assuming you can discern what is happening with 100% accuracy is a sign of idiocy.

        Asking questions is not some “conspiracy” or “real truth” nonsense. What happened to “free minds” around here? Or is everyone on the political bandwagon of the day, believing everything that supports their world-view?

        1. A sign of idiocy. Good one.

          Sometimes the most obvious answer is the right one. In the absence of even the most REMOTE shred of evidence that the cop acted appropriately, it’s ok to assume he did not act appropriately. The victim here acting nervous is not evidence of wrongdoing. No rational observer would assume that. That’s why it’s illegal to pull your gun on someone because he is acting nervous.

          You’re discounting the most obvious answer here: the cop fucked up. Sure, we could wait for more details. Maybe a guy who looked exactly like him robbed a bank the next block over? Maybe there’s been a string of terrorist threats where gum-like explosives have been set off? But it’s absurd to assume that something like that must be true in the absence of any evidence.

          This has actually been written about extensively at Reason re: foreign military intervention. Historically, we always assumed that it can’t be a mistake — it must be a deliberate strategy based on information we just don’t know. This defense fails every time. You’re making the same fallacy.

          1. Yeh, sign of idiocy. You see a video with the only context provided by an very interested party, and then presume that you are now capable of discerning the entire scenario without any doubt.
            I never said Jose was guilty of anything. What I said is there is some unexplained weirdness in the video that raises questions about what the complete context is.

            One quite reasonable scenario, is that the cop entered that mini-market expected confrontation because of something that happened beforehand. Perhaps he saw something that made him suspect a robbery. Perhaps Jose looks like someone else….or the second guy is known actor to the cop. Perhaps there is greater context, that makes the officer’s actions more understandable, and perhaps even justifiable. Buena Park is not a low-crime area. It is not conspiracy to recognize that context matters.

            But, no, you’d rather pillory the officer because it fits your world-view that all cops are bad. What I see is an likely overreaction and inappropriate behavior from the cop, but recognize that perhaps its not the whole story and thus unfair to castigate him without more facts.

            1. You’re right on all counts. Lots of reasonable scenarios there. But why are we defaulting to those scenarios when there’s literally no evidence to support any of them? This, of course, was my original point — that people come to the defense of police (or foreign policy interventionists) by default even when a complete lack of evidence exists to support that defense.

              Next article I read in my local paper about a killing, I’m going to just assume it’s self defense. I mean, it’s a reasonable scenario.

    4. What’s the deal with the other guy, who was acting weird and then bails when the ‘cop’ walks in?

      He had change on the counter that he picked up so I assumed that he’d paid up front, gotten his item, collected his change, and then left.

      The whole thing, including the cop forcing him to return his Mentos at gunpoint and then putting his gun away and telling him to get out has a New York kinda feel to it.

      1. Without going over the video a second time, it looked like he put the gun back in his pocket, and then kept his hand in the pocket. That’s not “putting away”, that’s “putting out of view”.

    5. So it’s a conspiracy? It couldn’t be the case that he knew the first guy or noticed the second guy was packing? The second guy didn’t leave immediately after the cop came in; it looked like he finished doing whatever he was doing and left. The cop probably stood farther back because he thought the second guy was in line behind Jose and was giving him space.

      Nice scare quotes on ‘cop.’ It really sells the “wake up, sheeple!” vibe.

      1. The cop probably stood farther back because he thought the second guy was in line behind Jose and was giving him space.

        He likely stood father back because he’s trained to always be ready to attack or be attacked. There is a war on cops you know. He took a tactical stance, and then jumped into action when he saw dude put something into his pocket. He had to draw his weapon because he’s trained to treat any lawbreaker as a possible cop killer.

      2. I never said it was a conspiracy. I pointed out questions that thinking adults might want to consider before jumping on whatever political bandwagon suits their world-view. But I guess any actual use of “free minds” is now verboten on Reason.

        And those aren’t scare quotes. Just highlighting that it wasn’t technically a ‘cop’ at that point…he was off duty, so essentially a civilian.

        1. Then tell us, what has your ‘free mind’ ascertained that the rest of us missed?

          1. wow, are you really so ignorant?

            I posed a couple questions, because the video seems odd. But in some way that is a problem here.

            1. I addressed those questions, as have others here. Refusing to elaborate on what you think your observations reveal isn’t helpful. Posing questions under the guise of ‘free minds’ or ‘something’s weird’ and responding to criticism with ‘I’m just saying’ is a classic conspiracy theorist tactic.

              If you don’t want to be treated like a conspiracy theorist go beyond questioning and make a realistic suggestion. Otherwise your points have already been addressed and discarded.

            2. You sure it looked odd and wasn’t just confirmation bias? If you saw the video without any other context and it was stopped before the cop took his gun out, I guarantee you wouldn’t think anything looked odd.

              1. If I only saw that dude reach across quickly and grab that thing off the counter I would think he was jacking it.

        2. re: he “wasn’t technically a ‘cop’ at that point…he was off duty”

          False. Police officers are officers 24 hours a day and are not released from their legal obligations until retirement. That’s why they are allowed to carry weapons while off-duty (even into places where the rest of us are not) and why they are allowed to conduct arrests for behavior they see while off-duty. He was most definitely a cop whether on or off duty.

          The more relevant question was whether he identified himself as a police officer before pulling his weapon and escalating the situation unnecessarily. If he failed to identify himself, then many of the protections and rights he enjoys as a police officer are void. Unfortunately, our legal system is skewed to put the burden of proof of non-identification on the victim.

    6. You’re interpreting meaning in random events. I don’t think there’s any more going on here that what is obvious.

  16. Nuthin’ to see here… keep moving…

  17. Several people above commented that in the video, the mentos guy looks real shifty.

    As a public service, I watched the video clip.

    No. There was nothing wrong with the way mentos guy acted. He looked one time at the “cop” and continued with his business. He’s got a massive cum-catcher on his chin, so of course he can’t stop stroking it.

    Pulling a gun in this situation is completely ridiculous. All the cop had to do was alert the cashier that mentos guy put some candy in his pocket and find out if it was legit.

  18. Bullets acceptable state offering for assumption of candy?

  19. I get the impression the store clerk is scared of the cops as well. The ass hat didn’t say a word the whole time to let the dumb ass cop known HE was fucking wrong and to shut the fuck up.

    1. If the cop didn’t identify himself, the store clerk would think he was either a robber or a random nutcase with a gun. And IMHO, the second assessment seems fairly accurate in spite of the badge in his pocket, and even if the cop said he was a cop. I would expect a well-trained cop to ask “Sir, did you pay for that” and show his badge, not to pull his gun.

      DE-escalate, rather than escalate. If this immediate escalation to deadly force was according to policy, the policy is a threat to the public safety and should be reversed immediately- and the police chief that either approved a policy under which this might be OK, or isn’t clear that it isn’t according to policy should be fired.

  20. You pull a gun on a guy for a pack of Mentos???

    You need to retire – NOW!!!

  21. To paraphrase tricky dick, when a police officer does it, it’s not illegal.

  22. There’s an encouraging suggestion for cities to purchase malpractice insurance for its police officers in case an officer’s misconduct results in the city [its taxpayers] needing to pay damages. see:

    http://www.chicagoreporter.com…..nneapolis/

    This would mean that the private sector would get involved in rating police officers on their job performance, and incompetent police officers would cost more to hire. Ostensibly, this seems to have major benefits…

  23. Why would anyone pull a gun on someone for shoplifting a package of Mentos? Stopping him and asking seems to be the more reasonable response. Oh wait it was in California… nevermind…

    1. New York City, not CA. Keep your progressive fascists straight…

  24. “Are you sure?” You don’t need to be intelligent to be a cop.

  25. The policeman is too unintelligent to understand that someone receiving change from the store-clerk can only mean that he’s just purchased something! And someone who has purchased something will usually put it in his pocket.

    Yet “New York Police Department Sergeant Benevolent Association (SBA) President Ed Mullins [says] You have no clue what a NYPD officer does yet target us and disparage our integrity” after a NYPD officer had, reportedly, murdered a black citizen for a misdemeanor.

    No wonder the public have lost confidence in the police!

  26. Quote “Not a good weekend for relationships between officers and citizens”
    It is rather hard to have a good relationship with an armed bully.

  27. Honestly, anyone who pays for items with cash deserves to be shot.

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