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Free Minds & Free Markets

Cops as Criminals

Police regularly violate citizens' rights and get away with it.

Credit: quinn.anya / photo on flickrCredit: quinn.anya / photo on flickrLate one night, during high school, I was driving home when several police cars zoomed by. Curious about what was going on, I followed them down a residential street, where they pulled up to a house. 

I drove by and saw some officers walking up the sidewalk, but couldn't tell what they might be after. So I pulled into a driveway, turned around and drove back. My curiosity still unsatisfied, I then looped around the block to make one more pass. 

Wrong decision. One of the cops pulled his car up behind me, turned on his lights, jumped out, and ordered me to get out of my car. When I did, I was surrounded by men in uniform, one of whom screamed profane threats and invective in my face. I quietly endured the abuse, and when they finally let me go, I considered myself lucky not to have been beaten or arrested. 

The police would have had trouble finding a reason to arrest me, since driving on a public street is not illegal. Nor was I interfering with what they were doing. But my unassailable legal position was not foremost in my mind at that moment. 

What was foremost is that they had guns, batons and badges and could do pretty much whatever they chose without fear of punishment. Had I argued, I have no doubt the encounter would have ended badly. 

I was breaking no law. The cop who threatened me, however, was guilty of assault—which Texas says occurs when someone "intentionally or knowingly threatens another with imminent bodily injury." Since he had a gun on his hip, he may have been guilty of aggravated assault. But it didn't matter. He and his colleagues acted as though they were in the right, and self-preservation dictated that I pretend they were. 

The lesson imprinted by the experience was one I already understood, even if I had never thought much about it: Some of the scariest people are the ones who are supposed to keep us safe. 

I've had only a few unwanted contacts with police since, and I've been very careful not to antagonize them. Even when I was ticketed for failure to come to a complete stop at a stop sign—which I was quite sure I had—I didn't argue. 

When I went to traffic school for that citation, the instructor confirmed my instincts. "When you're stopped, I'd strongly advise you not to talk back," he said with a smug grin. "If you do, any cop can find five or 10 things to write you up for." 

Sandra Bland probably understood the nature of this reality. She cooperated with the Texas state trooper who pulled her over for her trivial failure to signal a lane change on a mostly empty street. 

But when she failed to grovel sufficiently, he demanded an explanation—and didn't like the one he got. Soon he was angrily yanking her out of the car, taking her to the ground and handcuffing her. Why did the confrontation escalate out of control? Not because Bland violated the laws of Texas, but because the cop felt unconstrained by them. 

In many instances, police can trample on citizens' rights with impunity. Stopping and frisking without legal justification was the practice in New York City until 2013, when a federal judge intervened. Some Chicago cops tortured suspects, and for years they got away with it. 

The only reason police brutality has come to light via video cameras is that some officers are so used to committing it that they never dream of being held to account. 

It's no secret that they can and do get away with lying. A prosecutor I know once marveled at how often motorists leave illegal drugs on the front seat, where they can be easily spotted by police during stops. His implication was that the cops conduct illegal searches and afterward invent stories to make them appear legal. 

Video cameras expose some of this behavior, but they're not necessarily enough to change it. The officer who stopped Bland knew a dashboard camera was recording him—yet he proceeded to flip out. 

He acted on a view that too many cops have and that civilians learn at their peril: The police are obligated to enforce the law, not obey the law. 

© Copyright 2015 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

Photo Credit: quinn.anya / photo on flickr

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  • mnarayan||

    Timestamp check.

  • jrombouts||

    Its not just cops that behave like criminals, it is also IRS; state tax collectors; regulatory agents; prosecutors; judges; personal injury lawyers, and politicians.

  • Stephen54321||

    Not to mention those CIA officials who managed to torture detainees and then were not prosecuted for it. Or who rifled through the Senate torture report files without getting fired, let alone prosecuted, Or James Clapper's commission of bald-faced perjury before a Senate committee in March 2013 yet has never been prosecuted for it.

    Then there's the 150 intentional shootings by FBI agents (70 of them fatal) since 1993 thru 2011 which the FBI has diligently investigated--and found every single one of them to be justified.

    The US at all levels of government does seem to have a problem with holding public officials to account.

  • Jesuit Bukkake Bomb||

    Trampstamp check.

  • Jay Dubya||

    Doesnt a bukkake bomc qualify as a .. *dirty* bomb?

  • Calibertarian||

    Unfortunately, that's the point. Find something trivial and escalate from there.

  • Suicidy||

    In Spokane, where I live, we have had some troubling incidents with the county sheriff's department. A local conservative group which emphasizes restoring government to constitutionally mandated limits has been harassed by our sheriff's LEO's after several members attended a town hall meeting held by his office. They were questioning the department's procedures, and it's conduct in several high profile incidents in the recent past. The people present are not exactly radicals. Generally over 50 and gainfully employed or retired. Typical middle class types.

    At a recent meeting of this group, after the town hall, two LEO's were observed in the parking lot of the restaurant where the meeting was held. They were photographing license plates of attendees. I have also found out that at least a few people in the organization weren't on some kind of terror watch list by this sheriff. One of them is a former WA State senator who is an acquaintance of mine.

    This kind of shit is completely out of control.

  • Quixote||

    It's important that law enforcement personnel in a strong, ordered liberty like ours be allowed to uncover trivial infractions and delicately escalate, so to speak, from there, so that we can control some of the more bestial urges indulged in by the populace, many of which are unfortunately not actually covered by the law. This is, to be sure, important on the roadways of America, but also on the Internet, where uncouth trolls disguise their identities, triggeringly mock professors and judges, and stir up controversy with twisted words of questionable legality. Progress controlling this particular form of bestiality has been made in New York, but much more work needs to be done. For guidance, Internet authorities everywhere should study America's leading criminal satire case, documented at:

    http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Jay Dubya||

    dude. please stop. no one even pretends to give a shit. stop the spam.

  • Quixote||

    It is indeed sad that not enough Americans are aware of how the police are working to make our nation stronger, fighting for decency amidst the foul odors wafting from our sewers, teaching us that all viewpoints are allowed as long as they are expressed politely, limply, properly. Too much resistance is never a good thing. Next, we will work to free the Internet of insidious spam. In this regard, if you wish to indulge in sarcasm, be sure to place the term "/sarc" after your speech in any comment thread, because many online forum participants are easily misled. And above all, if you are stopped by law enforcement personnel on the great highways of our nation, limit yourself to politely answering their questions in a spirit of national cooperation. If you cross the line, we will make sure that you understand exactly where it is. We might get a little flack, perhaps even in one of them there New York Times editorials, when certain incidents occur, but order is quickly reestablished and that is the way it should be.

  • Juvenile Bluster||

    Video cameras expose some of this behavior, but they're not necessarily enough to change it. The officer who stopped Bland knew a dashboard camera was recording him—yet he proceeded to flip out.

    Conditioned behavior. I mean, you let a dog get away with a couple of bites, let it shit all over the floor without any form of punishment or behavioral training, it's going to continue those behaviors. Same thing; we're all just animals here. Just some of us are closer to our base animal instincts than others.

  • Vova||

    This is why liberal logic fails. Liberals will admit that police brutality is spiraling out of control, and that cops are evil (or at the very least, racist). Yet they will do everything within their power to prevent the foundation of an armed populace that can protect itself.

  • Mark6||

    Using "Liberal" and "logic" in the same sentence? Really?

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    This is because the few Liberals who think,and plan, LIKE this. They pander to people who feel oppressed, and so they need opression to create that audience.

  • Set Us Up The Chipper||

    There are precious few actual Liberals any more. Call them what they are Prog scum.

  • ||

    Parasitical prog pond scum.

    Alliterate, man!

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    They are Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressives. LIRPs. Our would-be New Aristocrats, always looking for ways to bestow the bounty of their wisdom on the Lower Orders.

    *spit*

  • Eric||

    So you think this will stop if more people carry guns? Bullshit, the police will simply become more frightened, paranoid, and trigger happy. The solution is for all levels of the U.S. Government and Citizenry to stand up for our 4th Amendment rights. And BOTH liberals and conservatives have been terrible about doing that. In fact, if anyone could be accused of cop sucking, it would be the law and order right.

  • croaker||

    Lots more gun owners then there are cops.

  • Tony||

    As liberals seem to be the only ones in the conversation actually trying to preserve a modicum of decent civilization, we would not be persuaded by the argument that cops would be better behaved if they feared armed insurrection. They'd simply get better armed. It's already happened. It's called an arms race, a well-documented feature of nature and societies.

    So in addition to less simple-minded policy changes like better screening and training and more protection of rights, we would rationally think that fewer guns in the general population would motivate less aggressive policing. A lot of this abuse comes from the fact that police are either taught or rightfully assume that everyone they encounter is their potential murderer. Stop trying to make the problem worse.

  • Free Society||

    As liberals seem to be the only ones in the conversation actually trying to preserve a modicum of decent civilization,

    Because we all know that decent civilization is characterized by race baiting and social justice, as opposed to the barbaric practice of calling out and trying individuals for crimes they commit against other individuals. #BlackLivesAreTheOnlyOnesAllowedToMatter

  • Tony||

    Please, it's too early for white racial resentment.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Go away, Tony, the adults are talking.

  • ||

    You forgot to give him his milk bottle.

    Goo-goo, ga-ga.

  • Darth Soros||

    And of course "decent civilzation" equals "statist civilization"--i.e., a civilization where Tony and his fellow State-F*ckers get to hold the whip hand and force the rest of us to live, run our businesses and spend our money (or not) the way Big Brother wants us to.

  • Suicidy||

    You really are the worst kind of garbage. You would probably cry in joy if Maerica were fully enslaved by a Soviet/Maoist statist system. Run by your masters, like the Obamas and Clintons.

  • Eric||

    Tony, this is not a 2A issue. The cop knew Bland wasn't armed and still escalated the situation. This is a cultural issue, in that as a society we allow the police to trample the 4th Amendment with impunity.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Ah, but Tony doesn't have a ready made narrative for what this is ALL BUSH'S FAULT, so he has to fall back on a side issue.

  • Suicidy||

    Forget it Eric, it's Tonyderp town.

  • hezamaru||

    Tony was responding to Vova's mindless blaming of "liberals" and stating that more guns would solve the problem of police brutality, thus making it into a 2A issue.

  • ImanAzol||

    Really, Mr "Rational Liberal"? Then you should be able to find three examples of societies where the police became LESS jackbootish as the population disarmed.

    In fact, I bet if we gave up some of those free speech rights so as not to provoke them, they'd get less aggressive, too.

    You're packaging the same faggotry you pussies peddled in the 1970s. Then, it was "Give up our nukes to show the peaceful Soviets we're not a threat, and they totally won't keep stealing Europe, Asia and Africa. And even if they don't, most of those are brown people so who cares?"

  • RockLibertyWarrior||

    Tony, King of the Fucktards, get lost. Your a fucking idiot loser who couldn't debate himself out of a fucking potato sack, we have the right to be armed so the government doesn't do what it did in those socialist countries you love. That is, marching people to the gulag and/or gas chamber, the American Revolution was won with privately owned arms, moron. The police should be paranoid, the police aren't our servants, their our masters and they need to be reminded of that. It seems YOU want people to be servile sheep who will gladly go to the slaughter house. Fuck you, fuck everything you stand for you fucking commie garbage bag.

  • Inigo "Chip" DuBois||

    Yes, and they will also readily oppose any effort to dismantle or weaken the police unions that invariably circle the wagons around even the most egregiously out of control cops.

    They will also studiously ignore any cop brutality story that does not fit their narrative of institutional racism being the problem. That's why you'll never see them coming to the defense of a non-black toddler, white female medical marijuana bloggers, or family dogs.

  • Seamus||

    No, no. The solution is just to get better people serving as cops. (It's the flip side of what Republicans believe about lawmakers and presidents. It never occurs to them that putting that kind of power in anybody's hands is a problem.)

  • Lawman45||

    Police work is like cleaning toilets. No one does it for $24.59/hr. They do it for the power and sexual feeling of DOMINATION over others, especially women and strong men. Anyone who wants the job is unsuitable for it.

  • jrom||

    I agree with you, they are usually in it for the power.

  • Seamus||

    No, no. The solution is just to get better people serving as cops. (It's the flip side of what Republicans believe about lawmakers and presidents. It never occurs to them that putting that kind of power in anybody's hands is a problem.)

  • Hank Phillips||

    That is false. Look at Australia's Liberal Democratic Party platform and there you'll find honest people striving to protect a second amendment their government lacks, repeal prohibition and sumptuary laws, sharply reduce taxation and guarantee a woman's right to control of her own body. They are anti-right, anti-left and pro-freedom. Americans unfamiliar with dictionaries abuse the word liberal as if it meant closet communist or socialist, then wonder why the world considers them ignorant buffoons.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    The thing is, in the United Staes, and to some degree also in Europe, people calling themselves "Liberal" have bee closet Communists and Socialists. And the closet door hasn't been particularly shut, either. That is because the consequences of the Communist Revolutions in Russia and China were already becoming fairly apparent by, say, 1950 and kind of put the stink on avowed Communists and Socialists. Then the behavior of avowed "Liberals" put the think on the term Liberal, in the 1970's, '80's, and 90's. Now the people who called themselves "Liberals" are calling themselves Progressives, although they are anti-progress, And that word is beginning to stink, too.

  • hezamaru||

    All political designations start to stink very quickly because they are cheapened by people oversimplifying, conflating, misunderstanding and deliberately misconstruing them in order to place all the blame for the parts of society they don't like on some other group that safely allows them to not have to reflect on their own shortcomings.

    It surely must be true that the behavior of "liberals" causes you not to like liberalism if you generalize the behavior of the many people who call themselves that so that they only seem to be responsible for the things you do not like. But this is much less a reflection on a particular political affiliation and more a reflection on you. In any case, the partisanship is getting tired. Anyone who has a thought in their head can tell clear as day that it's hollow and lazy no matter which side it favors.

  • jrombouts||

    I agree, the people need to be armed with even more weapons than are currently legal. We also need to allow people to have fully automatic guns again, and bullets made of harder types of material, so the people can defend themselves from government crooks. Unless, the government finally starts to restrict its own type of weapons. Which I doubt will ever happen.

  • Osama bin Pimpin||

    A more important liberal blind spot is their prostitution to public sector unions. The PBA's are incredibly powerful and determined to permit their members to misbehave with impunity. Smash them, problem solved. There's a reason that military unions are banned.

    Or go with the liberal fix, end racism. Sounds easy.

  • Stephen54321||

    Yet they will do everything within their power to prevent the foundation of an armed populace that can protect itself.

    First of all, am I to understand that your solution to America's rogue cop problem is for a citizen, when confronted by a rogue cop, to pull out his or her gun and point it at cop?

    Secondly, can you can name one example where what you are suggesting has been used nad has worked?

    Third, you are obviously white and (probably) male. If a law-abiding Afrtcan-American male with a legal firearm pulled said firearm on a cop illegally hassling him or his loved ones he would wind up dead a split second later. The police report on the matter would recount how the officer, fearing for his life, had shot the guy dead in self-defence.

  • Cap'n Krunch||

    Actually she was petulant and difficult even though she had violated traffic rules. He was polite and respectful and was just going to give her a warning, she acted the jerk and in my opinion was trying to create a situation so she could brag about how poorly she'd been treated at her next black lives matter meeting. While the cop could and should have performed better she was the instigator and was intentionally baiting him. In my opinion this is like the Micheal Brown story, using a real jerk to say the cops act badly. There are plenty of real abuse stories out there but we want to use the worst possible examples of how to get yourself in trouble while being a trouble maker to say the cops are out of control. It's like a woman who refuses to get out of a guys face or let him just walk away until he finally hits her so she can claim that all men are violent animals who just like to hit women. It's the guy who kills his parent pleading for mercy because he's an orphan. I have no sympathy for people who intentionally cause bad things to happen to themselves and then claim bad things happened to them, or for the people who hold them up as heroes and martyrs.

  • AlgerHiss||

    I don't care how "petulant" she was. She's allowed to be as "petulant" as she wants to be.

    Hell, far more people ought to begin these chicken-crap stops by greeting the "officer" with "Kiss my a** you freak'n coward!"

    The 3 most valuable things to say to an "officer" under any circumstance:

    Am I being detained?
    Am I free to go?
    No, I don't consent to a search of any kind.

  • Tony||

    The apparent motivation cops have to find *something* as if they're filling quotas seems to be a big part of the problem. Why can't cops be incentivized to be content with a stop in which the person asserts a right not to be searched? "Didn't find anyone concealing demon weed today? Good! Less money we have to spend incarcerating and prosecuting them. Well done, here's a bonus."

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Tony, for once, I agree with you.

  • hezamaru||

    I think once you are incentivized, through lack of correction or oversight, to respond in a knee-jerk way to the pull of your own pride and base impulses, other incentives just pale in comparison. And there are always plenty of people ready to argue angrily against any suggestion that police should concentrate on being more benevolent, helpful and constructive than authoritarian, aggressive and unpredictable.

  • Jalestra||

    Why should we have to incentivize them to do their jobs properly? Should we give them all trophies for showing up to work? I've always hated the idea that we should reward people for behaving as they should, as a decent human being. What do you do when you run out of cookies to reward them with?

    I would rather we harshly punish those who abuse their authority. Harshly, since they are in a position of power and thus any crime they have committed they committed both with full knowledge of its criminality and did it under the cover of authority.

  • gaoxiaen||

    It seems that if there isn't any Demon Weed, you can still start trouble over cigarettes.

  • EvilWayz||

    Don't ask if you are being detained. Ask if you are free to go. If a reasonable person would believe they are being detained, Miranda applies.

  • Osama bin Pimpin||

    Item 4: What questions am I required to answer?

    Told by my boss whose father (who was cop) told him never to trust cops.

  • BearOdinson||

    Are you actually saying that being snippy while receiving a traffic ticket (for changing lanes without signaling, no less) is the same as a thug who committed robbery, then when confronted by a cop tries to take his gun?? Every one of the examples you cited involved violence.

    Police Academies are generally on the order of 6 months. What the fuck are these people learning? Obviously not how to control themselves, nor de-escalation nor marksmanship (based on the ability of most of these cops to actually hit what they are shooting at). To put it in perspective BUD/S is six months long.

    So bottom line, you are saying: unless we adequately fellate our beloved "protectors" we deserve to be arrested?

  • Lawman45||

    In my state most officers have 3 months of "skills training" in the Summer at an underused Community College. "De-esculation" and citizen respect are one hour lectures in 90 days of watching a daily 1 hour video of cops being shot during traffic stops. Unremitting brainwashing is like beating a pit bull dog. You get a scared, vicious dog or police officer. As desired. Then it is off to the gym to fight or to the range to shoot.

    The real odds of an officer being shot during a traffic encounter is over 6.5 million to 1. But the academy and in-service brainwashing works. Never hesitate (think). If you can shoot, do it immediately. Do it, do it, do it now!

  • Cap'n Krunch||

    Are you actually saying you can treat a cop who's treating you well like a piece of shit and not expect him to react? I said he could and should have acted differently, but the fact remains she was intentionally being a flat out jerk and trying to cause the very situation she ended up causing. She got exactly what she wanted, what are you kvetching about? Good for her, she did her best to get herself in a bad situation and she ended up in one, I applaud her stupidity. I expect she hung herself expressly thinking that it would cause even more problems, well good for her, she's dead and no longer being a jackass.

  • John C. Randolph||

    Hey, Cap'n: go fuck yourself, you boot-licking piece of shit.

    -jcr

  • Eric||

    Bullshit Cap'n. It's a police officer's job to deal with all sorts of assholes on an average day. Just like anyone in the service industry, the police should realize that prt of their job is to be courteous and de-escalate volatile situations. It's not always easy, but it's their job. you've obviously been brainwashed by the current culture that places policework on an oversized pedestal that it does not deserve.

  • Cap'n Krunch||

    She got exactly what she wanted. He was pleasant and professional, she insisted on doing her best to get him to do something wrong, she got it. You're applauding her for being a flat out jackass to someone who had done nothing to her to deserve it. I expect she hung herself expressly thinking that it would cause even more problems, well good for her, she's dead and no longer being a jackass, the world is full of jerks who deserve the same end. Do you seriously do your best to turn easy peasy traffic stops into confrontations for a living? Do you go around yelling in peoples faces just to provoke reactions so you can talk about how intolerant people are? And I said the cop could have gotten through the abuse and should have instead of giving her the warning he was going to give her given her a massive ticket and let her go on her asshole way, but like I also said, she got exactly what she was working hard to get.

  • Jalestra||

    You know, most of us don't deserve to be treated like that from people, however, it's not a crime. You just deal and move on. No, he doesn't get ANY kind of excuse for acting like that. While the rest of us are NOT trained in de-escalation, it's supposed to be a part of his job. Which makes his error even worse than if any of us did it. She did NOT get what she deserved. Maybe she was an asshole, everyone has their asshole moments. For all he knows she had the worst day of her life and then to add to it, she gets pulled over. Hell, she was probably afraid given the recent behavior of many cops and we all tend to act weird then. She obviously wasn't wrong to be afraid (if she was), because she got someone who thought he could be a bully because he didn't like her attitude. Hell, I used to not be scared but since I've gone deaf I definitely am. Do you know how many deaf people have been beaten or shot for using sign language or not hearing one of their mighty commands?

    It's not applause, he was wrong. He should have ticketed her for her actual crime and then went on with his day. Just like anyone else that is forced to deal with an asshole.

  • ||

    Congratulations, you've been successfully trolled by Tulpa.

  • ImanAzol||

    Per TX law, his request was neither lawful nor reasonable.

    He's a pig piece of shit, you're a copsucker.

  • Tony||

    She's dead because the cop couldn't not be a hypersensitive asshole. Maybe they should train them against such tendencies.

  • Bush League||

    You really can't train it out of them because people that already have these tendencies deeply ingrained in them are the ones most likely to become police officers.

  • hezamaru||

    Not to mention the overwhelming volume (be that in numbers, or simply in loudness) of perfectly average people who are willing to defend the deep and terrifying lack of accountability in the entire institution with statements such as "he has a right to make it home safe."

    I actually saw someone earnestly say "he had a right to arrest her when she wouldn't put her cigarette out. He has a right to breathe clean air." Let that sink in for a minute.

  • Lawman45||

    Absolutely true.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Preferably with cattle prods.

  • Inigo "Chip" DuBois||

    And the punishment for petulance is to hang by the neck until dead, right?
    Not even so much as a kangaroo court needed for a judge to pass that sentence.

    Or am I to believe that, since her life was now ruined by the eternal shame of failure to signal a turn, she was simply driven to end it all?

  • Cap'n Krunch||

    I think she killed herself hoping to become a martyr, just like she tried to provoke a reaction from the cop who was being plenty nice and professional to her so she could brag about how badly blacks (not jackasses who treat people badly) are treated by cops. Apparently it worked. You think treating people who are being nice to you badly for no good reason is OK if they have a badge.

  • ImanAzol||

    Wow. No comment on him treating HER badly because he had a badge and impunity.

    How was pulling her over "nice"? It wasn't as bad as it could have been, but...oh, wait, yes it was.

    I bet she drove around not signaling, waiting to get pulled over so she could commit suicide as a social statement.

    Please wash your mouth out with Drano, you worthless piece of shit.

  • ||

    Seriously, Tulpa, do you not have anything better to do with your life?

    No?

    Pretty much as we all thought.

  • ||

    Rubbish.

    So a black woman gets uppity is an excuse to escalate and go full blown bad ass cop?

    Wow.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Gosh. I was on her side till I read the Krunch sockpuppet's unassailable and cogent argument. Now I agree the Texas government police officer should have simply shot her dead without so much as a word, just as the brave Cleveland public servant did that snotty 12-year-old Rice boy. We need a few more Amritsars to teach these uppity natives the proper way to yowsuh the servants of both the Inner and Outer parties.

  • Michael Price||

    Being "petulant" is part of first amendment rights. There are plenty of real abuse stories out there, and that you think this isn't one of them is part of the problem. Getting arrested for being "petulant" is tyranny, even assuming she wasn't murdered, and she was.

    "It's like a woman who refuses to get out of a guys face or let him just walk away "
    Except he could have walked away at any time. At most he had to endure being told he was a bad person for the length of time it takes to write a ticket.

    " I have no sympathy for people who intentionally cause bad things to happen to themselves "
    Which she did not do. Nowhere is she seen doing anything that justifies an arrest, or that can be considered provocation. You're a lowlife murder appologist.

  • hezamaru||

    "I have no sympathy for people who intentionally cause bad things to happen to themselves and then claim bad things happened to them"

    You must be of the third-grade philosophy that says words or attitude can provoke a physical attack, as in "she provoked me by making faces so I had to punch her."

    We are talking about a police officer. Becoming a police officer is a responsibility and an acknowledgement that you will see the worst of society. Yes, if you pull someone over, they may have a bad attitude. You give them the ticket and walk away. You're blaming the woman for being aggressive, taking the bait and being the worst person she can be, and then claiming victim, when that's what the officer was doing as well, but he gets a pass from you. And he is the one with all the power. It's on him to maintain control of the situation.

    The only provocation worthy of escalating a situation is physical assault or threat. This was true in third grade, and it's true now. I'm shocked that people still need to be reminded of this.

  • BillEverman||

    Supposedly she "violated traffic rules" to get out of the way of the cop's reckless driving.

    She can't very well brag about how she was treated, because she's dead. In light of that, your "lack of sympathy" makes you look like a bit of a sociopath.

    And the right to refuse a cop's request is vital to protecting the rest of one's rights. She refused to put out her cigarette, and he threw a tantrum. Do you think his behavior would have been any better if he'd asked to search her vehicle, and she'd refused? Respect is not the same thing as acquiescing to intimidation.

  • Cap'n Krunch||

    She killed herself to make herself a martyr, just like she treated the cop like shit in the hopes that he would do exactly what he did. She got both her wishes. You should be happy for her.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    Your ability to read other peoples' minds is astonishing.

  • ImanAzol||

    You'd say the same if she shot herself in the back of the head twice, you racist piece of shit.

  • bacchys||

    This is a real abuse story. It doesn't matter how petulant or irritated she was, he abused his delegated authority in extending the stop to get some petty revenge.

    She's not getting paid by the pepole in this Republic and she's not exercising delegated authority with the trust of the people. This particular thug obviously can't handle having authority.

  • AlgerHiss||

    This piece is so dead on: US “policing” has become completely out of control and sorely needs a firm boot placed on its neck.

    As is the case of this woman, traffic cops are one of the best places to find outrageous, downright criminal behavior that needs to stop: Chicken-crap stops for some burned out bulb that escalates into mayhem.

    Two places of sanity on these issues:

    The National Motorists Association:
    http://www.motorists.org/

    …and…

    Photography is not a Crime:
    http://photographyisnotacrime.com/

    Today’s cop is NOT your friend. These characters are best avoided whenever possible.

  • Kevin Sorbos Manful Locks||

    You should try driving through Connecticut on the weekend of July 4th.

    Highway robbery is alive and well.

  • PlaystoomuchHALO||

    Your first mistake is using the cop term "civilian" for non-cops. The police are not, despite their mightiest erections at the thought, actual military forces; they are civilian law enforcement.

    The faster we reign in this mentality the better for all of us.

  • Free Society||

    they are civilian law enforcement.

    The sooner we recognize that they are a paramilitary force operating on martial law lite vis a vis the drug war, the better. It's only proper we classify them as a paramilitary force. They behave like an occupying army, they kill with near impunity, they do not conduct themselves in any way that would enable one to conclude they are "peace officers".

  • hezamaru||

    I want to agree, but at the same time, if we start calling them that, they might take it as divine justification. Kind of like people trying to argue that we shouldn't be calling the Islamic State "the Islamic State." The enemy wins, hey?

  • Suicidy||

    Damn right. I've actually served in the military in a real war zone. Most of these cop pukes would probably wet themselves when the bad guys are just as well armed and you can't just call for back up

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  • ImanAzol||

    I'd actually cheer if the cops hanged you in a cell

  • Cybergeezer||

    You have a civil right to record your traffic stop on your cell phone, audio & video.

  • gordo53||

    Cameras are everywhere. It has already started to effect cop behavior. Body cameras will help. The next blow to the abusive law enforcement culture will come when politicians start making it an issue. Ultimately, the cowardly bullies that are so prevalent in police work will be weeded out. It will take time, but it will happen.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Excuse me? Libertarian Party candidates on the ballot in every marginally honest state do make an issue of jackbooted minion brutality v. peace officer politeness. It's just that dishonest and cowardly voters prefer the initiation of force or are not bright enough to grasp how spoiler votes are levers with which to change the laws. Read or hear "the case for voting libertarian" and see how integrity changes the laws.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Stopping and frisking without legal justification was the practice in New York City until 2013, when a federal judge intervened. Some Chicago cops tortured suspects, and for years they got away with it.

    Yeah, I'm sure both have now stopped these practices.

  • Tommy_Grand||

    you have far, far too much faith in cameras. that obstacle is being circumvented: a temporary nuisance, nothing more

  • John C. Randolph||

    Stopping and frisking without legal justification was the practice in New York City until 2013, when a federal judge intervened.

    Did they stop? News to me if they did.

    -jcr

  • Tony||

    If there were genuine national reform, I wonder what alternative vocation we could sort fat, dumb bullies into. Can we invent a new, physically unintensive, national sport?

  • Free Society||

    They can direct their sociopathic murder lust towards the ballot box and we can call them "socialists".

  • Tony||

    That kind of a stretch considering we're talking about fat white racist morons who vote Republican and are handsomely rewarded by Republicans for doing so.

  • Free Society||

    So it's a GOP conspiracy?

  • Tony||

    No, the opposite. GOP lizard brain reflexiveness.

  • BearOdinson||

    I don't disagree that many cops (prob the majority) are Republicans. But the Unions who protect these guys, and the police chiefs who allow these guys run roughshod over our rights are majority Democrats.

    Police militarization and violating liberty is a bi-partisan problem.

  • hezamaru||

    Thank you for the reminder. Everyone of any political affiliation is perfectly capable of ceasing to ask hard questions of themselves and others, mentally checking out, allowing themselves to be the worst person they can be in any given situation, and seeking out situations in which they are not penalized for doing so. Put enough of them together to encourage each other and you get every situation like this.

    The problem is that people are also perfectly capable of trying to pin the blame on everything that's wrong with society and themselves on a boogeyman who conveniently embodies everything bad, so that they don't have to reflect on their own contributions to the hole they're in.

    I mean, for god's sake. the liberals are blaming the conservatives for the police mess because conservatives think only minorities are criminals and deserve what they get, and the conservatives are blaming the liberals because statism etc. etc. And they're both both right, and everyone contributes directly to the problem by trying to place the blame as far from themselves as they can.

  • ||

    I don't disagree that many cops (prob the majority) are Republicans.

    Really?

  • Pope Tyrannicus XVI||

    This isn't a red state phenomenon. Plenty of abusive black and brown cops in baltimore, LA, NYC, and other proggie havens.

    If you actually cared about the issue, you'd be discussing solutions rather than exploiting it to stoke bs identity politics. How about the left gives beating the racism drum a bit and starts taking steps to address the problem? Requiring cops to purchase individual liability insurance might provide actual financial disincentives to abusive behavior. But no one wants to have that "conversation" because stoking grievances is so much more fulfilling.

  • hezamaru||

    "How about the left ... starts taking steps to address the problem?"

    =

    "When will this problem be solved by some people who aren't me, and preferably people I probably don't like?"

  • Suicidy||

    Again, look at the Teamsters. Not exactly a bastion of republicans. But they have a mortal lock on violent thuggery.

  • hezamaru||

    One thing I've learned about economic power and political power in the US is that, once they amass enough of both, everyone sucks and everyone is wrong.

  • Suicidy||

    Ask the Teamsters. They appear to have a plethora of fat, dumb bullies. Though I am uncertain if they also have a plethora of piñatas.

  • onebornfree||

    "In your dreams, the cops and the courts are not a scam"

    "In your dreams, the FBI is not a scam"

    "In your dreams, the Constitution was not a scam",

    "In your dreams, the Bill of rights was not a scam",

    "In your dreams, the Supreme Court was not a scam".....

    See : "Dreams[ Anarchist Blues]": www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0o-C1_LZzk

    Regards, onebornfree.
    The Freedom Network: www.freedominunfreeworld.blogspot.com

  • Fiercelyi||

    This problem is not limited to police. All types of bureaucracies enjoy the same immunity from the law, especially those who enforce regulations, codes, or tax collection. A "racketeering" element has become all too common in government America.

  • hezamaru||

    I hate to say it, but when you say "has become," all I can think is "it started that way." We've been trying to combat it back and forth for awhile, but I think we may have finally given up. We had the Bull Moose ethos of government trying to beat down business racketeering for awhile, whether or not it was more show than substance, but lately we seem to have swung toward business enterprise trying to beat down government racketeering. I think if you let the balance of power swing 1 degree in any direction everyone on the favored side leaps at the chance to be the fatcat slumlord they always wanted to be.

    It's always the people that get to the top fastest who are the very ones you don't want up there.

  • Fiercelyi||

    You're correct about "it started that way." But what "has become" is that how prevalent the racketeering mentality has become in all levels of bureaucracy. There were always racketeers. But what has gotten worse is that racketeering is now mainstream. It's simply how business is conducted.

  • Abe Froman||

    In reality police have no "obligation" to enforce the law. The choice is entirely up to them. Courts have ruled police have no affirmative obligation to protect anyone. Their primary function is to keep the donut shops in business and beating the living daylights out of anyone who looks sideways at them.

    I see cops who lose their way every day, and I don't like that,
    because their ambivalence is contagious. They infect those around them. They're like maggots. Where you find one, you find a nest.
    --- Robert De Niro in Cop Land (1997).

  • IceTrey||

    You can beat the rap but you can't beat the ride.

    I actually managed to harass some cops last year and get away with it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33SBIfkVdCc

  • ||

    Excellent! I agree completely.

  • Pinky||

    Je suis Sandra Bland.

  • Lawman45||

    I was a prosecutor as young lawyer. Cops have a different view of perjury that you and I, or even the law. If, in their heart they "know" the person is a scumbag, then twisting or adding to the facts is OK because this conviction will make up for the times he got away. And street justice will be done. As long as they do this to those who are poor, minority, and ugly, no one cares. Your Prosecutor had an ethical obligation not to subborn perjury but he evaded it (probably by convincing himself that he did not KNOW 100% that the officer was lying) because a conviction, however obtained, was valuable to him. The LE side of the CJS reeks of this. It is aided and abetted by Judges (mostly former prosecutors) who allow it and reward the lying with convictions.

    Private video and police body cam videos (if public data) will go a long way to bring Justice back to the criminal jusxtice system.

  • hezamaru||

    "If, in their heart they "know" the person is a scumbag, then twisting or adding to the facts is OK"

    That's the beauty of being people. We all want to think that way: that people we just don't happen to like or who rub us the wrong way are just objectively bad people, so anything bad that happens to them is fully deserved. The trick is when you get a whole sub-population of people who are actually rewarded and abetted in that lizard-brain thinking and are fully allowed to indulge in it without consequence. Of course you'd get a hugely disproportionate number of monsters. Anyone who's rewarded for their worst, most base behaviors will become a monster in no time. Ask any five-year-old. Then give him a gun.

    It's just like the Twilight Zone episode where the kid has the power to make people disappear with his mind. The one where just watching it puts you in an adrenaline-fueled panic state.

  • jrom||

    I cannot understand how we allow former prosecutors to become judges. It defeats the whole purpose of even having a judge. We should prohibit a former prosecutor from ever becoming a judge.

  • Lawman45||

    Pollice need not be assholes in uniform. Go to YouTube and search "Maine state trooper deals with angry driver". THIS is the video officers should watch every day before they start their shifts (only 5:31 seconds).

  • Alan@.4||

    An odd situation, the "Fuzz", it seems, can and do do just about anything that they feel like doing to or with the citizenry, including in some case, killing and or doing serious damage to citizens, until they pick on the wrong "citizen", this wrong citizen turning out to be someone who is "connected",not in the Mafia sense of the term, but is well connected politically, and wealthy, wealthy enough to demand justice, which grudgingly they might receive. As for Charlie Brown or Charlene Brown, ordinary citizen, as mafia types were wont to observe "FORGEDABOUDIT".

  • donalds||

    ~ All Levels of Law Enforcement have for decades felt that the polygraph is a much needed and essencial part of the hiring process. Why not change Policy that Polygraphs and Psych Evals for new Hires expire every 5yrs? (Including applicants for higher ranking positions)

    ~ Yes, polygraphs can be beat. Yes, the are inadmissable in court. Yes, they are only as good as the examiner. But if used as a tool to weed out the bad apples, and protect the good cops, maybe they would think twice before breaking the very laws they were sworn to uphold

    ~ National Institute of Ethics: Police Code of Silence - Facts Revealed http://www.aele.org/loscode2000.html

    ~ Center for Investigative Reporting ~ "Crossing the line: Corruption at the border" - http://bordercorruption.apps.cironline.org/

    ~ DoD: Random Lie-Detector Tests Increase Personnel Security ("the polygraph is the single most effective tool for finding information people were trying to hide.")

    Break the code. Break the culture.

  • Reverend Draco||

    Greet them with their own RoE.

    The bullshit will end soon thereafter.

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  • Alan@.4||

    At times, it would be hard to tell the difference between cops and criminals, were it not for the fact that one bunch of "criminals" wear uniforms, while the other bunch of criminals dress in mufti

  • jalank||

    Yep. It's one of the biggest areas (there are a few) where I gladly separate myself from "conservatives." They just really have difficulty seeing their love for police and the military being anything but saintly and patriotic. Sad.

  • Duelles||

    Wow. I guess I've been assaulted numerous times by police. From Profiled to threatened with the slapping in his palm of the billy club. Each and every time I did what was required not to escalate the situation. As a result, never been touched. . . To the question, ' any mitigating circumstances for up your behavior, speeding, looking like a doper, whatever, the answer is, " no, sir. Sorry you had to stop me."

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