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Protecting Police Brutality

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636034171113699155-tda.Alton.Sterling.police.press.conference.07.06-2464

An essential piece by Mark Joseph Stern about how Louisiana law protects police officers who break the law, including those who kill people:

Police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, appear to have shot and killed a 37-year-old black man named Alton Sterling on Tuesday morning. A video of the encounter shows the officers pinning him to the ground and then at least one of them shooting him. Louisiana Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards has announced that the U.S. Department of Justice will investigate the incident. There are many reasons to be glad that the DOJ, rather than the Baton Rouge Police Department, is leading the investigation, including the DOJ’s independence and impartiality, as well as its mandate to enforce federal civil rights laws. But here’s a less obvious advantage: Had the state left the investigation up to the local police department, Louisiana law would have given the officers 30 days after their alleged wrongdoing before speaking to investigators.

This grace period is one of several laws in the state’s Police Bill of Rights that gives law enforcement officers suspected of illegal conduct privileges far beyond those afforded to regular citizens. For instance, the Police Bill of Rights also restricts the amount of time that officers may be interrogated and provides them with the ability to demand breaks for “reasonable periods,” granting officers “rest” and the ability to tend to “personal necessities.” The Police Bill of Rights only applies to internal investigations—but in low-profile cases of wrongdoing, those are often the only investigations that occur.

While some of the special rights granted to police officers are fairly benign, others are seriously troubling for criminal justice reformers. The 30-day grace period, in particular, could allow officers suspected of misconduct to get their stories straight amongst themselves before talking to investigators—in order to present a favorable narrative with no inconsistencies. That risk would be especially strong in a case like Sterling’s, where the most important witness to the alleged crime was the victim himself.

Civil liberties for me, but not for thee…

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  • slothrop1

    If this is a civil war, I am decidedly pacifist.

  • rea

    the Police Bill of Rights also restricts the amount of time that officers may be interrogated and provides them with the ability to demand breaks for “reasonable periods,” granting officers “rest” and the ability to tend to “personal necessities.”

    The 30-day day requirement is nonsense but the only thing wrong with the above is that it does not apply to every suspect, not just the police.

    • mikeSchilling

      Agree 100%. I suspect that the police wanted these rights specifically because they’ve often used their absence to get suspects to confess.

  • Murc

    The thing is, the “Police Bill of Rights” is actually a reasonable level of rights for employees who are accused of misconduct to have.

    The problem is that these incidents are being treated as employee misconduct. This “Bill of Rights” would cease to be operative if the offending officers were in cells because they’d been arrested on charges of murder, as would any other citizen who pinned someone to the ground and then shot them would be.

    • so-in-so

      Excellent point. If we want to stop the “cops vs. civilians” mindset cops often have, part of that is to stop treating them differently.

      Especially as the Concealed Carry/Open Carry folks make more inroads, and more “stand your ground” laws pass, the police become much less exceptional.

    • Brett

      I’m divided even on the “30 day” requirement. It can be used to change testimony and get stories, but it also does genuinely take time for people to find legal counsel, etc (although I’m kind of surprised that the department doesn’t have counsel ready for officers who get into trouble or sued).

      • lunaticllama

        My understanding is that if the police are unionized, they will have competent counsel almost immediately.

      • so-in-so

        Fine, if ordinary accused also have that.

        “Why don’t you go home for 30 days and find a lawyer” isn’t the normal remark made to a suspect.

        • Brett

          I’d be in favor of getting rid of the 30 Day Period, provided they have an opportunity to search for counsel. In the case of police, they probably already have someone on retainer or in-house for that purpose.

    • DrDick

      Exactly.

  • TM1

    Really? On this day, of all days?

    It took you, what, a few hours before LGM resumed its anti-cop, agenda?

    • milx

      Because what – some police officers being killed means that we no longer have to worry about the circumstances that got us to this point? I won’t victim blame but it’s obvious to anyone outside the grip of psychosis that the violence in Dallas was a [terrible] response to a PD culture where cops kill with impunity and are protected by the institutions that employ them. That doesn’t stop being true just because the violence is now moving in both directions.

      • TM1

        I won’t victim blame but

        “I’m not a racist, but…”

        • JKTH

          “I don’t expect zero accountability for police killings, but…”

        • What precisely is anti-cop about holding police to the same standard “don’t kill people” standard as we hold every other citizen?

          • TM1

            It’s anti-cop because you treat every single shooting involving a white police officer and a black person as if they were all the same. There’s a fucking world of difference between Michael Brown and Tamir Rice.

            But BLM has The Narrative and they’re sticking to it!

            BTW, ever heard of Bryce Masterson? Probably not…

            • so-in-so

              Except neither saw any punishment for the police involved, which makes them pretty similar.

              • TM1

                Rightly so, in the case of Michael Brown. The shooting was justified. “Hands up, don’t shoot” was a complete and total fabrication.

                • Drexciya

                  …Ah.

                • TM1

                  You’re saying it wasn’t? So promoting lies is a good thing to do so long as it promotes the Master Narrative that’s useful for your politics?

                  And this isn’t World Net Daily that called it a lie–the fucking Holder Justice Department did in a detailed report. But I guess Holder is just another privileged white supremacist…

                • milx

                  Extrajudicial murders are never justified no matter what nonsense narrative you cobble together. Why are the right-wing supposed law & order types so ready to ignore the bill of rights when it comes to black people? Oh, right.

                • TM1

                  A justified police shooting is not “an extrajudicial murder”. The state has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, yes? In the case of Michael Brown it was legitimate. In the case of Tamir Rice, it was not. In the case of Bryce Masterson (you probably don’t even know who he is) it was not.

                  Whether it is legitimate or not depends on the facts of the case, not the skin color of those involved.

                • milx

                  You are very confused. The State has a monopoly on the use of force does not mean that individual police officers have the right to escalate to fatal violence no matter the circumstances. And it does not mean that we should protect homicidal police officers from the consequences of their actions. All it means is that when violence is deployed, it can only legitimately be employed by the State. And you know what erodes that legitimacy? When State violence is employed illegitimately. If you have any concern for the State monopoly on violence (which I do because I have a strong interest in a safe, ordered society in which to raise my children), you must be for aggressive prosecution of police homicide.

                • TM1

                  Except the definition of “police homicide” by BLM is “any time a black man is shot by a white police officer, no matter what the circumstances”.

                  The Ferguson case and the “hands up don’t shoot” lie, and it was a LIE called out by noted white supremacist Eric Holder, makes that abundantly clear. Even when the shooting is justified, they’ll spread lies, urban legends, and fabrications to make it look like a homicide to promote their master narrative of cops scheming to commit genocide against black men.

                • twbb

                  Except the definition of “police homicide” by BLM is “any time a black man is shot by a white police officer, no matter what the circumstances”.

                  Demonstrably false. Many, many black men have been shot by police since BLM started that are not demonstrated against because there is a clear indication it was justifiable use of force. BLM has only focused on situations where there is evidence that it was not justifiable. If you put together a list of the police killings that BLM has protested, it is not a particularly long list.

                • mikeSchilling

                  Bryce Masters, who almost died from a police Taser? The only Bryce Masterson I can find is a minor league baseball player.

                • TM1

                  Bryce Masters, yes, stupid autocorrect.

                  BTW, his father, an LEO, led the effort to prosecute the officer that tased him. BLM could give two shits about that incident because the victim doesn’t fit their preferred skin color.

                  I’ve got a whole stack of links about white guys being shot by black cops illigetimately as well, but you’ll never hear about it because it doesn’t fit The Grand Narrative.

                • Scott Mc

                  I’ve got a whole stack of links about white guys being shot by black cops illigetimately as well, but you’ll never hear about it because it doesn’t fit The Grand Narrative.

                  Um – links or it didn’t happen.

                  Glad Bryce had someone to advocate for him (and I had heard of this case vaguely). Why are you objecting to BLM advocating for those who generally don’t have someone similar?

                • In the case of Michael Brown it was legitimate.

                  That’s and interesting interpretation of the facts. Not a goddamn thing Mike Brown did or was alleged to have done that day was a capital crime. Not jaywalking, not allegedly mouthing off to a police officer, not allegedly shoplifting, not even punching that cop in the face if he in fact did it. If the cop felt threatened he had a double handful of options before drawing his gun, he could have called in backup. He could have used night stick, pepper spray or taser. He could have decided that jaywalking and rudeness were too small of a matter to execute someone over. But, no. That cop decided Mike Brown’s defiance was a capital offense, and escalated the situation to the point where killing Mike Brown was his only way out. And then the DA did his level best to make sure that cop never had to face any kind of legal consequences. And it keeps happening over and over, and now we are just supposed to look at the wildly disparate rates of police killings by race and trust that in a country founded on genocide, nurtured by the fruits of slavery and built on a foundation of racist violence, and trust that police officers are coolly dispassionate guardians of the peace who never shot anyone that didn’t need shooting? Are you out of your goddamn mind? Until I see evidence proving otherwise, it’s going to be a tough sell to convince me that these shootings don’t have a common element of racism. And the police are going to have to provide that evidence, by wearing body cams, by submitting to be filmed and recorded in their interactions with the public, and by discarding any presumption of good faith when that doesn’t happen. I’m not asking police to stand meekly by if they are attacked or assaulted or killed. I’m asking for at at minimum, the same level of restraint we ask of a bar bouncer. I’m asking for the police to be trained in de-escalation of conflicts, I’m asking that shooting someone not be their goddamn first response to being startled.

                • TM1

                  Ever heard of Gilbert Thomas Collar? No, of course not…

                • Scott Mc

                  Still waiting for that “stack” of links. Gotta get some work done. I’ll check back.

                • TM1

                  It’s real easy for armchair quarterbacks like you to decide what Officers Wilson “should” have done while by assaulted by a drug-addled career criminal twice his size, isn’t it? Especially one that reached for his gun. One that had just strong armed a convenience store owner (a “Person of Color”, I might add, but I’m sure that’s the cops fault too).

                  Reaching for a cops gun IS a capital offense. At that point you’re out to murder an LEO. Michael Brown got what he deserved.

                  And do you admit “hands up don’t shoot” was a wholly fabricated lie, or did Eric Holder just make that up because he’s an Uncle Tom or something?

                  The whole “slavery and genocide” spiel is just another shibboleth that has jack-all to do with the facts of the case, except to bolster my point that there are many people in BLM, perhaps the majority, who view the very concept of policing as illegimate and racist. They’re anarchists, in other words. No different from “sovreign citizen” idiots.

                • TM1

                  I’ll say that the Ferguson protestors had a point in that the postage-stamp municipalities/police departments in suburban Missouri should be abolished as they’re little more than pettty-ante fine collecting machines. The County Browns, who have an actual independent funding source besides petty traffic violations are are much easier to hold to account should take over policing in all of the suburban STL. If they’d stuck to that they could have accomplished something useful.

                  No, instead, they had to tell wholesale lies to make a career criminal who reached for an officers gun into Emmmit Till.

                • ColBatGuano

                  Your absolute certainty about the circumstances of Michael Brown’s death are really helping your argument.

                • twbb

                  “It’s real easy for armchair quarterbacks like you to decide what Officers Wilson “should” have done while by assaulted by a drug-addled career criminal twice his size, isn’t it?”

                  Darren Wilson was a 6’4, 210 lb fit and trained law enforcement officer. That he was in that much fear of an obese, unarmed teenager can’t subdue an obese teenager without shooting him speaks to both his competence and courage (or lack thereof of both).

            • JonH

              That would be Bryce Masters? Who was tased into brain damage by a cop who got 4 years for it?

              Why are you bringing up a case where the cop was actually prosecuted and sentenced?

              You’re really not helping your case by citing the incident given that the teen was white, his father was a cop, and the outcome was so different from so many shootings of black people. Or even non-white people. “Tamir Rice might have gotten justice if his dad was a white cop” is not a good argument.

              Good for Bryce Masters that he got justice. But what about the 7 year old black girl killed in a police raid? What about the baby who had a hole burned through his chest wall when cops lobbed a grenade into his crib.

        • milx

          The police officers who were killed yesterday did not deserve to die because of the crimes of other police officers. But they were killed because of the crimes of other police officers. We live in a world where you are judged by the people who wear your uniform. If you have any sense of self-preservation you sure as hell better start concerning yourself w/ what those other people are doing that reflect on you.

          • TM1

            Replace “police officers” with “Muslims” and it could be straight from World Net Daily or FOX.

          • TM1

            MUSLIMS who were killed yesterday did not deserve to die because of the crimes of other MUSLIMS. But they were killed because of the crimes of other NUSLIMS. We live in a world where you are judged by the people OF YOUR RELIGION. If you have any sense of self-preservation you sure as hell better start concerning yourself w/ what those other MUSLIMS are doing that reflect on you.

            How does that sound?

            • milx

              It sounds fine and totally legitimate. Who do you think you’re arguing with? I think Muslims in places of authority should do all they can to eliminate radicalism in their communities and I have no sympathy for communities that preach radicalism and then suffer the consequences when their children go out murdering in the name of their God.

              • Scott Mc

                Going to agree with Milx here. Sounds about right to me.

            • njorl

              There are plenty of Muslims who want to hold their co-religionists responsible for their misdeeds. There are virtually no police who are willing to hold their fellow officers responsible for their misdeeds.

              • TM1

                Oh my God, you are so pig-fucking ignorant about LEOs.

                • milx

                  lol sure. Because this isn’t a thing:
                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_wall_of_silence

                • TM1

                  Oh wow Wikipedia. Are you going to cite The Wire next? Pig. Fucking. Ignorant. It’s just like the right-wingers that talk about Muslims and Taqiyya to justify their Islamophobia.

                • Thirtyish

                  For fuck’s sake, is it 2006? Wikipedia-bashing is your recourse here? Really? Get lost, troll.

                • milx

                  lol it has nothing to do with taqiyya. gosh you’re dumb.

                • njorl

                  About a dozen police officers witnessed Jason Van Dyke murder Laquan McDonald. None of them cooperated with the investigation.

                • JonH

                  Right. The justice-dodging Police Bill Of Rights bills just come into existence magically, not through lobbying by cops.

          • aidian

            If they were typical cops, they’d done plenty of stuff bad enough to die for.

        • DrDick

          No, you definitely are a racist and it shows in your comments here.

    • leftwingfox

      Because if not now, then when?

      • leftwingfox

        And of course.

        Accountability is “Anti-cop”.
        Anti-rape is “Anti-male”.
        Anti-lynching is “Anti-White”.

      • Woodrowfan

        I suspect his answer is “How about never, is never alight with you?”

    • Hayden Arse

      Did the issue become less salient today because some terrorist engaged in a mass shooting? If we want to address the issues of police brutality and gun violence, we should not take a day off just because of events that prove that these issues need to be addressed. To do so would be very counterproductive.

      • TM1

        It would be like somebody bringing up “black-on-black crime” or “fatherless black homes” after Charleston.

        • So this latest tragedy means we have to ignore the previous two which are what, three days old?

          • TM1

            BLM isn’t about police accountability. There are about promoting the total, utter, fucking lie that police are out to kill as many black men as possible and are morally equivalent to the old slave patrols.

            • milx

              Total strawman. “Too many black men are killed by police officers who should have demonstrated self-control” != “All police are out to kill as many black men as possible.” Way too self-serving to conflate the two.

              • TM1

                A BLM supporter recently said that American policing is nothing but a 21st Century slave patrol. Do you know how demeaning that is to those of us who are LEOs or have LEOs in our family? Do you know how that makes LEOs of Color feel? Do you know the kind of violence that promotes against LEOs?

                • milx

                  Wow, one BLM supporter recently said something. You really made your case there.

                • delazeur

                  Okay, do we get to judge all LEOs by a comment one of them makes? No? Fuck off.

                • TM1

                  I’d say you’d get to judge us if a police chief of a major city said something like “blacks are more likely than whites to commit acts of violence, it’s in their biology”.

                  Especially if no other cops bothered to condemn it.

                  The idea that cops are slave catchers, that prisons are the new jim crow/slavery is a very popular meme in BLM. There was even a book written about it.

                  If that’s the case then any and all policing of black communities is illegitimate. I guess they should just be left alone, right? What could possibly go wrong if all cops left Baltimore and St. Louis tomorrow? It would mean freedom and justice for all, right?

                  A police strike in major cities is what’s called for if this shit keeps up, swear to God. We’ll see how much you like anarchy.

                • so-in-so

                  The Slave catcher comment was not some #BLM “supporter”, it was Drexciya, on a thread yesterday, and was called out at the time.

                  I’m definitely calling “Troll” here.

                  The double use of “pig fucking” in a thread about cops is… interesting.

                • TM1

                  No, see below, it was made by a BLM activists though I’m surprised it is being repeated here.

                • brad

                  Drex said that’s one of the historical origins of police forces and patrols in the south.
                  I don’t recall anyone proving him wrong.
                  Not liking history doesn’t make it go away.

                • so-in-so

                  “one of” I’ll buy, but not sole source. Another commenter pointed out the European basis for modern policing, imported via Boston in the early 19th century. The fact it is tainted by American racism is hardly surprising, what isn’t?

                • Rob in CT

                  A police strike in major cities is what’s called for if this shit keeps up, swear to God. We’ll see how much you like anarchy.

                  “You hurt our feelings, so we won’t do our jobs.”

                  And before you try to conflate the two, the shooter wasn’t actually involved with BLM. So while anger over the shootings is entirely understandable, directing it at BLM really isn’t.

                  Which leaves us with your butthurt about the Jim Crow/Slave Catcher comparisons.

                  ETA: also, regarding the pronunciations of police chiefs in major cities… how about heads of major police unions? Like, say, Patrick Lynch?

                • JonH

                  “A BLM supporter recently said that American policing is nothing but a 21st Century slave patrol. Do you know how demeaning that is to those of us who are LEOs or have LEOs in our family?”

                  And Law Enforcement forums on the internet are hives of racists.

                  You want respect for Law Enforcement? Clean up your own shit.

            • Alex.S

              Thank you for saying this. It helps clarify your view immensely and lets me know the best way to view your posts.

            • rea

              You want to know what’s too soon? It’s too damn soon to exploit dead Dallas police officers to attempt to score political points against BLM.

              You might have noticed that this post is not about the Dallas PD, which from everything we’ve heard, has made a big effort at training its officers to avoid violent confrontations (note–Dallas has a black police chief), and which seems to have been handling the BLM demonstration in exemplary fashion (compare Ferguson–no armored cars in Dallas).

              • TM1

                Baltimore had a black police chief, but according to BLM it was still racist.

                • Matty

                  Man, if only people had done anything thinking about that, or maybe written something on why that might be. Wouldn’t that be something, huh?

                  http://www.vox.com/2015/5/7/8562077/police-racism-implicit-bias

                • JL

                  Even aside from the implicit bias thing that Matty brings up, you seem to have structural problems, such as how police are by design the violence-wielding arm of a state and society that happen to have a major racism problem that shows up in our laws, our institutions, and our attitudes toward crime and toward existing in public, confused with individual animus.

                  When people talk about how the system is racist, they’re not saying that every individual chief, or cop, is some racist white person who’s out to get black people.

                • JonH

                  Hey, Baltimore also has a bullshit “police bill of rights” designed to help bad cops escape justice.

                  Amazing.

        • milx

          No one is born a police officer you dumbass.

          • TM1

            Being a Muslim isn’t an immutable characteristic, either, but it doesn’t make Islamophobia any less real.

            • milx

              And yet people /are/ born Muslims, so… non-sequitar, bro?

              • gogiggs

                I’m totally on your side in this and obvious troll needs to go away, but, no, nobody is born Muslim or Christian or any other religion.

                • Rob in CT

                  This is both true and kinda silly. People are born into religious families and (some at least) are indoctrinated from the get-go. Even those who aren’t straight up indoctrinated are often simply immersed in the culture.

                  Some grow up and decide “yeah, no, bullshit” and some don’t. It’s not as cut and dried as a profession.

                  I, personally, wasn’t raised by religious people, and for years I said the easy thing which is what you did: hey, nobody is born X-ian, you chose that. Well… sorta.

                • NeonTrotsky

                  socialization is a powerful thing

              • JonH

                “And yet people /are/ born Muslims, so… non-sequitar, bro?”

                People aren’t born anything, but for whatever reason we as a society privilege religion at the same level as immutable, innate characteristics.

        • brewmn

          Except that the people perpetrating the crime of the “black-on-black” variety haven’t been granted a monopoly on violence by the state, and the prisons are full of perpetrators who have been held accountable for those crimes.

      • so-in-so

        “Counterproductive” is the idea. Just as the NRA ALWAYS feels its too soon after a civilian mass shooting to even mention gun control. Because they don’t see a good time EVER to mention it, except in sneering.

    • Wanting to hold police accountable for wrongdoing is not an anti-cop agenda. Quite the contrary. We need trust and legitimacy. Holding bad cops accountable and shining a light on the ways in which bad cops avoid accountability is essential.

      • Scott Mc

        Indeed – holding bad cops accountable sounds like the best way to support all the upstanding LEOs out there. In fact, I can’t understand objections to making cops more accountable. It’s like when the DAs don’t want to test DNA evidence after a conviction b/c it might be exculpatory. I can’t fathom a DA who doesn’t care if they got the right guy, just like I can’t get why LEOs should be less accountable than regular citizens. If anything, they should be more.

        • americanpride

          In fact, I can’t understand objections to making cops more accountable.

          It’s not unfathomable. How many people actually do what’s in their objective best interest? Police officers are no different. There is a “cop culture” but it’s not the murderous or fascist culture that it’s sometimes made out to be. It’s a small, close knit community that has strong beliefs in its role. It has its own norms, symbols, and language. Stepping outside of that circle is not easy, even if it’s sometimes the right thing to do. And looking into that circle from the outside is difficult as well. It’s true for any social organization.

    • DrDick

      So demanding that law enforcement officers actually obey the law is anti-cop? Good to know. I guess that means you are OK with the police breaking into your home with no cause or warrant and shooting your kids for no reason.

    • slothrop1

      Do not feed the troll. Sheesh.

      • DrS

        It’s like rain on your wedding day.

        • Ahuitzotl

          ok that actually made me laugh out loud

  • TM1

    What the “sovereign citizen” dipshits are to the right, BLM activists are to the left. Here’s the thing: the vast majority of African-Americans want more well-trained, accountable LEOs in their communities because they’re an overwhelmingly large portion of the victims of criminals in this country. They’re more pro-cop than comfortable white liberals in Ivory Towers and BLM professional activists.

    You know who wants LEOs out of their communities? Drug dealers, rapists and gangsters. BLM are their enablers and making it harder for LEOs to do their jobs with out cell phone cameras being shoved in our faces, without crowds shouting at us whenever we are doing our jobs. Pretty soon the police will just give up policing black neighborhoods, but I’d guess BLM and white liberals would fucking love that. Until violence skyrockets and then we’re blamed for not “caring about black communities”.

    • milx

      It’s so bizarre all the strawmen you construct to not have to deal with the actual critique. “Hold police officers accountable for their homicides” is not the same thing as “take police officers out of black communities.” The only reason you might think they’re the same is because the only way you can think of to reduce police homicide is by not policing. But there’s another way. Prosecute police officers who commit homicide.

      • TM1

        Saying that LEOs are slave-catchers is essentially saying that any and all policing of black communities is on its face illegetimate and racist.

        • brad

          You know how you’re feeling hurt, victimized, like your family is under threat?

          Black people always feel that way. You’re refusing to grant them the emotional response you yourself are now experiencing. You cite one unnamed BLM protestor as if it’s a monolithic movement with one central planning committee coordinating every public utterance, how many stupid, hateful things said by cops does it take to discredit them?

          • Thirtyish

            Forget it, Jake, we’ve got a racist troll on our hands here. Your entirely valid point sailed right past it.

    • njorl

      “…making it harder for LEOs to do their jobs with out cell phone cameras being shoved in our faces…”

      Why do you think they do that? Do you think that you’re very photogenic? Or is it that a merely verbal account of police misconduct has a 100% chance of being dismissed?

      • TM1

        Tell you what, I’ll come to your place of employment, shove a camera in your face, start shouting at you and calling you a racist pig, piece of sh*t, put you in a blanket fry ’em like bacon! And see how much you fucking like it.

        • Scott Mc

          I think you have that a little backward. What you mean is I’ll come to your house (or randomly stop your car), shove a gun in your face, and when you reach for your cell phone to video it (after calling me a racist piece of sh*t), I’ll shoot you. Then tell my friends your abrupt action caused me to fear for my life. Then you can see how much you fucking like it.

          That seems more analogous to what we’ve seen over the past couple years…

        • njorl

          I think you might not be psychologically suited to your chosen profession.

          • rachelmap

            Trolling?

            ETA: He or she seems perfectly suited to it.

        • JL

          Perhaps if I were a public employee who had a legal monopoly on violence, whose worksite was a public street, in a profession where wrongdoers are rarely held accountable, this “how would you like it” scenario would make some kind of sense.

          As a first aid provider at protests, I can play the “how would you like it” game too. For example, how would you like it if you walked a couple of guys in uniforms strangling a kneeling person with their own shoulder bag strap and you couldn’t do anything about it? Or if you made it to the front of a crowd that was shouting for first aid help, clearly marked as a first aid provider, and someone tried to hit you in the face with a big club? Or if you were trying to evacuate someone with multiple broken bones and dozens of armed people in riot gear were heckling you and your patient? Or if you were trying to help someone who had had a seizure, and a big armed man with a bunch of other large men backup threatened to hurt/abduct you if you didn’t leave, and then, when you complied, snickered at you for being a coward? Or if you watched a bunch of people with machine guns drawn charge a crowd that had no way to leave? And in all of these cases, you knew that most people wouldn’t believe you and that if you complained nothing would be done? For one thing, you might appreciate the increasing numbers of people trying to get such incidents on film (and fighting for the legal rights of the people doing so)!

    • Brett

      . . . Is that it? That’s your response to the people who point out police disproportionately target black folks and disproportionately kill them during arrests – people who include those LEOs of Color you tried to hide behind? A bunch of “thin blue line between the anarchists and civilization” dogshit?

      Kindly fuck off until you have a real response. And while you’re fucking off, why don’t you go look at the actual BLM platform on police reform, which notably doesn’t call for police abolition?

      • Brett

        I’m feeling generous, so here it is in case you’re too lazy to search for it.

        • TM1

          I notice two of the planks essentially amounts to union-busting. How progressive of them!

          • ColBatGuano

            essentially amounts to union-busting

            Only in your tiny mind.

    • Rob in CT

      making it harder for LEOs to do their jobs with out cell phone cameras being shoved in our faces

      Ok, this is a clear tell.

      What is it you want to hide, there, Mr. Public Servant?

      There’s no reason to film most people at their jobs because they don’t have a badge & a gun.

      There have been plenty of incidents that were caught on camera that weren’t as ambiguous as the Michael Brown incident. What happened to the guy who shot Tamir Rice again? Oh, and while we’re at it, the people who gave him a badge & a gun even after he’d washed out of another district (for, specifically, being a hot mess during training w/his weapon)? That’s just one example. There are many more.

  • My goodness, much post, so TM1. Is this a first for us, or have I missed earlier TM1 comments through some misfortune?

    • Alex.S

      It’s a new name. Could easily be an old troll.

    • Thirtyish

      He’s an Internet angry dude on a high horse, and like all such people, he’s probably best ignored.

  • TM1

    BLM is just a hipper, lefty version of little shits like this:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/sovereign-citizens-radicals-door-15882827

    • DrS

      You’re completely unhinged. Mad, red and nude is not a good look on the internet.

    • Origami Isopod

      Oink, oink. Didn’t I see you going home with David Cameron once?

  • TM1

    You mentioned that there was an African-American judge. We have a black mayor. We had a black policeman. But American policing was founded on slave patrols. This system of policing has been always exacting disproportionate violence against African-Americans, throughout the history of this countr

    –BLM Activist Professor Lawerence Brown.

    BTW, he lives in a ritzy neighborhood out in Baltimore County, when LEOs stop policing black communities out of frustration of being called racists he won’t be the one that gets hurt.

    • OK. Where is he wrong?

    • The Temporary Name

      when LEOs stop policing black communities out of frustration of being called racists

      The tough cop is a myth.

  • Cash & Cable

    It’s a rare day when our trolls are worse than Newt Gingrich and managing editor of RedState

    • TM1

      Of course Republicans will begin to go after cops just like they go after teachers, we’re both public employees. And just like when they started going after teachers, the left will be all too happy to join them. Public employees are public enemy #1 from both sides now. At this rate not even firefighters will be safe from budget cuts and public hatred.

    • americanpride

      Thanks for posting the article. Hopefully there will be some political movement in the coming weeks and months.

      That said – I understand TM’s frustration. I don’t agree with all of his statements. I wouldn’t even say that his statements are representative of the opinion of LEOs in general (although most LEOs with which I’ve spoken have at least a skepticism about BLM). There are multiple narratives and counter-narratives and the most polarizing are “cops do no wrong” and “all cops are racist/murderous”. It is possible to accept that (1) there are significant problems regarding policing and African-Americans and (2) that the majority of police officers are your average, decent human being trying to do a job. The two are not mutually exclusive.

      • milx

        I think you’re giving him too much credit. The only point to bringing up BLM and the most reactionary narratives out there in this thread is to derail the initial point that he cannot himself address (possibly without calling for disciplinary actions against himself): there should be consequences for police officers who murder [or commit any crime against] citizens. It’s so simple and obvious a statement that you need to drag in all kinds of distractions to not have to deal with it.

        • americanpride

          Maybe I am giving him too much credit. I’ll let him defend himself. I’m only saying that I understand the frustration of LEOs. There is ignorance, frustration, and misinformation about BLM and about law enforcement. And within each group, there are also ranges of opinions about the other and about themselves. The truth is buried somewhere underneath.

  • Pseudonym

    I think well-known BLM leader and mouthpiece Scott Lemieux has by now been sufficiently taken to task for his view (as expressed in this post) that all policing is inherently racist and cops deserve to be shot, no?

  • brad

    And Mr Angry Man? Stop associating the shooter with BLM. Not only because it should make you uneasy about what connections you’re implying between cops and sovereign citizens (which you understand would be ridiculous to assert) in the implied parallel, but for far more important reasons.
    Look at what happened, and what he’s reported to have said. He was angry at BLM, too. Who knows, or really cares, precisely why, but your instant conflation of him with them is very mistaken. If he wanted to support BLM why would he put so many in that march in such danger? Why do it at a peaceful march that was by every account being well policed, by, fwiw, a notably progressive police force? Quite simply, if he wanted to support BLM, why do such a horrible thing which quite obviously puts big new obstacles in front of BLM’s goals?
    Use your brain, not your rage.

    • americanpride

      If he wanted to support BLM why would he put so many in that march in such danger? Why do it at a peaceful march that was by every account being well policed, by, fwiw, a notably progressive police force? Quite simply, if he wanted to support BLM, why do such a horrible thing which quite obviously puts big new obstacles in front of BLM’s goals?

      That’s not hard to speculate about. The shooter could have very well concluded that BLM’s actions were insufficient to bring about the desired change and concluded that only violence could achieve it. It doesn’t actually have to have any reasonable or factual basis for him to make that conclusion and act upon it.

      • brad

        Ok, let me use clearer words then. If he thought black lives matter why did he put hundreds in direct risk not only of being shot by him, but by the police in confusion, crossfire, or bad aim?

        • americanpride

          He clearly didn’t think that any lives mattered. That’s one of the problems with ideologues and radicalization.

          • brad

            Which is to say that it’s a lazy, self-serving assumption to connect him in any meaningful way to BLM.

            It’s an important point that needs to be made respectfully but strongly.

            • americanpride

              At this point, any conclusion about the shooter’s motivation other than that it was racially motivated and targeted police is an assumption. It was also lazy and self-serving for some on this blog to immediately assume that the shooter was white.

              And I’m fine with assumptions as long as we discard them as more facts become available to rule them out.

              • brad

                Who assumed this? I saw it mentioned as among the possibilities, but show me a comment, give me the whitey tape.
                And so it’s cool for me to assume and argue this guy was actually hired by the RNC to distract attention from Trump? It’d sure be psychologically satisfying for me if that were the case, and there’s no direct evidence yet to discredit the idea, therefore I can aggressively argue it and presume bad faith in those who disagree.

                • americanpride

                  Be my guest. In fact, there’s merit to proposing as many outlandish ideas as possible when analyzing a situation. It helps break groupthink and other cognitive biases. The catch is to have the discipline to go where the facts lead as they become available.

    • Pseudonym

      But there's such a clear link from Scott Lemieux posting about a terrible Louisiana law through the Black Lives Matter movement directly to a sniper who just assassinated a bunch of cops. You can hardly tell any of those people apart, since they all share the apparent goal of reducing police violence against black people.

    • Cash & Cable

      A troll doesn’t care if Black Lives Matter has a decent relationship with Dallas PD, or if cops were posting pictures of themselves alongside protestors. Nope, gotta feed that monolithic evil BLM empire narrative.

  • DrS

    Man, a rageaholic cop gets made even when commenters on an internet site won’t immediately comply with his orders.

    Sad.

    • cppb

      +1000 stop resistings

    • Moondog

      Don’t troll me bro!!

    • MAJeff

      At least “comply or die” doesn’t apply in comment sections.

  • TribalistMeathead

    There’s something ironic about a cop who doesn’t like cops being painted with broad brushstrokes painting BLM with broad brushstrokes, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.

    • Brett

      I always wondered what kind of asshole would support Patrick Lynch as the head of their police officer union. It’s enlightening to meet someone like that.

  • Loofah

    A lot of you all obviously feel real cool throwing around the insider acronym “LEO’s.” Here’s a better one: PORK’s

    Police
    Officers
    Responsible for
    Killing

    Used in a sentence:

    Did you see those PORK’s murder that guy in Baton Rouge? What a bunch of assholes. And all the other asshole PORK’s are coming to their defense as always, making them AAF (Accessories After the Fact).

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