• Cops are the Sword Arm of Society.

    As police officers learn in the academy, every physical confrontation with a suspect involves at least one firearm: the one officers carry. Cops view every confrontation, at least in part, through the prism of the possibility that their firearms could be taken from them by an armed or unarmed suspect or suspects and used against them.

    People make a big deal out of “unarmed” suspects. Most often, officers (and everyone else) know for certain that the suspect was unarmed only after the confrontation is over. People seem to think that officers have some sort of x-ray vision or should somehow know a suspect is unarmed. Just because suspects don’t have weapons visible in their hands at the time of the initial encounter doesn’t mean they are unarmed. Officers sure don’t know this for certain, and they would be stupid to bet their lives by assuming suspects are unarmed.

    I recently wrote about a suspect I dealt with, who, once he’d dropped the knife he was holding, some people seem to think I should have considered unarmed. By the end of the incident we’d found the suspect was armed with another four knives, including one banded to his wrist with hair ties. If I had considered him unarmed after he dropped the knife in his hand, I, or one of my fellow officers, could have been seriously injured or killed.

    Some people seem to think that an even playing field should exist between police officers and suspects during violent encounters. It’s as if some people expect it should be a “fair” fight. If the suspect has no weapon, then the officer should not use one. Again, putting the fact that officers can’t know for sure any suspect is “unarmed,” before and during an incident, it is a considerable offense for a person to resist arrest or assault a police officer. In the vast majority of recent high profile police shootings, it was the suspects’ actions that generated the use of deadly force. Even in the more dubious cases, the people shot were criminals breaking the law–not heroes.

    Police officers, while in the performance of their jobs, are not just like everyone else. When on duty, cops act as the sword arms of the criminal justice system and, thus, of their communities. Cops represent a community’s law-abiding citizens when they act to thwart criminals. When criminals assault police officers, they assault civilized society. They are conveying the message that they have no respect for their communities. When some in the community react by rioting after such cases, racial crisis entrepreneurs should not reward these community-destroying criminals by granting them some sort of warped legitimacy based on general historical injustices for which their violent actions are, if not overtly condoned, at least given the respectability of being “understandable.” Yes, like the Baltimore mayor did–and, in her case, overtly.

    This is why it is important that when officers are required to use force against suspects whose initial crimes are “minor,” people understand that the use of force was not employed for the suspect having committed shoplifting, jaywalking or drinking in public. The use of force was for the violent actions taken by suspects against police officers, which are felony crimes. It is the suspects who elevate the force by their behavior and disrespect for police officers.

    In Olympia, Washington recently, two “unarmed” black men were shot by a white police officer. To read, watch or listen to some of the reporting one might determine the two were shot for, either, being black or for shoplifting–or both. The fact that the two criminals had assaulted the officer and tried to take his gun—substantial facts, indeed—was not given the same weight as the, being-shot-for-a-minor-crime-and-for-being-black, narrative.

    This routine lack of proper context in media reports drives cops nuts. Now, as with the case in Ohio of the white officer acquitted in the shooting deaths of two black suspects, the suspects are often not referred to as suspects. I heard one report referring to the two Ohio suspects, in this case, who led officers on a lengthy, high-speed pursuit and used their vehicle as a weapon, as “motorists.” Really? “Unarmed, black motorists?” This despite the fact they committed multiple infractions and misdemeanor and felony crimes including putting the public at risk by driving recklessly, at high speeds and failing to stop for over 100 stop signs and red lights. I think they abdicated “motorists” as a primary descriptor when they initially attempted to elude the cops.

    Michael Brown became the “unarmed, black teenager.” Well, this could be the description of most black teens walking down the street. Michael Brown, though it was later determined was unarmed, was also a felony, robbery suspect who assaulted a police officer and attempted to take the officers gun. But, somehow, the media continue to peddle this distortion. I think the sword arm of society deserves more respect than the perpetuation of this bogus narrative.

     

  • Problem Police, or the Left Just Doesn’t Like How it’s Done?

    The fact that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will now investigate the racially and ethnically diverse Baltimore Police Department for a “pattern and practice” (sound familiar, Seattle?) of violating constitutional rights of minority suspects is no surprise. And, although it should be a surprise that the city’s own mayor would proactively request the Feds come in and usurp her authority over her own cops, having become familiar with this mayor’s grandstanding, politicizing nature and overcharging of the six accused cops, it’s not. It seems she intends to pave her road to political success with Baltimore police badges.

    Sadly, there can be no mistaking the federal government’s attempts to influence, if not completely take over, local law enforcement in America, thus establishing a de facto federalized police force.

    In a new book I’m working on I write, “The DOJ conducted a flimsy and spurious investigation [of the Seattle Police Department] the methodology of which they refused to publish or substantiate. This is a formula the DOJ has repeatedly used across America to force police departments to operate under federal consent decrees. According to Newsmax.com’s Sean Piccoll, former U.S. Attorney, Andrew C. McCarthy, who successfully prosecuted the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, says about the DOJ’s investigation of American police departments, ‘They’ve had their thumbs on the scales from the beginning.’ Further, ‘McCarthy cited a string of federal civil-rights investigations into some 20 police departments, including Ferguson, Missouri’s, which he said the Justice Department has approached with a presumption of racial guilt.’ This was precisely what the DOJ did to the Seattle Police Department. This method is ongoing and is currently being employed against my similarly besieged brother and sister officers in, among many other cities, next door in Portland, Oregon, down in Albuquerque, New Mexico—and, of course, back in Baltimore, Maryland. ”

    The thing is, just because the political left doesn’t agree with how American police operate doesn’t necessarily mean there is anything wrong with it, especially to a degree that merits routine federal takeovers. This national call for police “reform” is so purely political it stinks worse than a rotting rat carcass trapped in a heat register with the temperature stuck on ninety-five. There is always room for improvement in such a high-tension occupation, but we should not allow that to be the chink in the armor the left uses to legitimize its unconstitutional assault on local policing.

    This suspicious process also throws into jeopardy the trust average Americans have regarding their federal government. “Justice” only for those who belong to the political party in power. Really?

    When the DOJ usurps the local police’ authority to define its policies and procedures, based on frivolous or trumped up allegations, the public will be hesitant to trust the Feds when they have occasion to intervene in legitimate criminal behavior involving cops. Every investigation is suspect.

    What America needs is more education about what police do, not to castrate the police with liberal politics disguised as law enforcement training.

  • Prisoners Attempt Injure Themselves Often After Being Arrested.

    While I do not agree with the sentiment, I can certainly understand the cynicism honest people might have with the defense scenario offered by the six Baltimore police officers recently charged in Freddie Gray’s death. Reasonable people have a difficult time understanding things that, while unbelievable in their world, are routine in a cop’s world.

    When writing my first book, Is There a Problem, Officer? I went round and round with an editor who refused to believe that anyone would not obey orders and would even swear at a police officer. She thought I was making it up for dramatic effect. I’m not sure if I ever truly convinced her that people swear at cops—all the time, but the story made it into the book, so…

    People don’t believe that Freddie Gray would have intentionally injured himself to avoid going to jail or in an attempt to frame the officers for police brutality. To the reasonable person, this behavior is difficult to fathom. For the unreasonable cop haters, it provides much fodder for their animus. For the reasonable police officer, this behavior happens daily.

    Back in the ‘90s a sergeant had another officer and me team up to transport a domestic violence assault suspect from the scene to the jail, as he was deemed too unruly for just one officer. On the way to the jail, our prisoner, in the backseat, kicked at the patrol car’s windows and at the cage behind our seats, and screamed and yelled in Farsi, his native language. Just before we arrived at the jail, our suspect began smashing his forehead into the sharp bottom edge of the barrier, which separates suspects from officers.

    We arrived at the jail within a few seconds of when he began banging his head and got out to gain control of him, so he wouldn’t injure himself further. Even in this short time, he had significant lacerations on his forehead. Blood covered his face, as head wounds bleed heavily. As we walked the kicking, flailing and bleeding suspect into the jail processing area where the corrections officers were waiting with a specialty restraint chair used at the time for uncooperative prisoners, I can easily see where a group of “reasonable” people might suspect that we’d used excessive force on the suspect during the transport. However, neither the reasonable corrections officers nor the reasonable cops thought anything unusual about a prisoner injuring him or herself. Once again, this is a case that points to how poorly law enforcement educates the public about what cops do.

    Yes, Virginia, suspects fake illnesses and attempt to injure themselves often. In fact, cops have a word for it: Incarceritis. Suspects are perfectly healthy one moment but suddenly suffer catastrophic medical issues once they learn they are going to jail. But, don’t ask just any reasonable person about this phenomenon; ask a reasonable cop.