• Seattle Police Chief Insults Her Own Police Officers.

    Here we go again. In a speech given at Princeton University, Seattle’s police chief, Kathleen O’Toole, called on police departments to “embrace reform.” She elaborated: “Everybody wants to talk about guns and drugs, and, yes, we need to talk about crime and crime rates, but my most complicated issue right now is first of all equity and social justice in our policing, in our community. And also it’s the intersection of public safety and public health.” At the risk of appearing puerile, gag me

    Anyone espousing “social justice” in law enforcement exposes themselves as a left wing ideologue and displays contempt for constitutional equal justice. Social justice, as defined by liberal government, cannot coexist with equal justice because it treats people not as individuals but according to which “victim” group(s) they belong.

    Take Seattle’s race-based enforcement of Driving While License Suspended 3rd degree. For years, unlike other citations issued directly to offenders, officers must forward these tickets to the city attorney’s office so they can determine who “merits punishment,” according to social justice criteria, including race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. (Yes, no kidding) Check it out for yourself.

    In her speech at the Woodrow Wilson (well, there’s one problem, right there) School of Public and International Affairs, Chief O’Toole cites a focus on the relationship of trust between the police and children. She said, “Without that trust we as police fail.” Answer this: How does perpetuating lies about cops and what cops do engender trust? 

    To give you an idea of the false premises under which Chief O’Toole and other leftist leaders view police officers, the article’s writer used this springboard: “More than two years after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, law enforcement and government officials, scholars, student leaders and community members gathered to address the issue of “Racial Justice and Policing in America.” Ferguson? Michael Brown? In the article, the writer cites the Ferguson incident twice as if it’s an important anchor in this discussion of a false police excessive force epidemic—talk about fake news.

    Did I miss something? Wasn’t it Eric Holder’s U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that established Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson acted properly after robbery suspect Michael Brown assaulted him and attempted to take his gun? The writer is highlighting Ferguson as an apparent precipitating incident regarding the police “problems” discussed by Chief O’Toole. The writer is emphasizing a lie. The Ferguson “hands up, don’t shoot” never happened.

    According to the article, “She [O’Toole] described the past two years in Seattle as a very difficult period, with the department under a federal consent decree, required to curb excessive force and biased policing.” 

    Well, the left fabricated this “difficult period” over the past several years through an alliance between Seattle’s liberal government, anti-police community activists, and President Obama’s DOJ. The consent decree never should have occurred. What happens when you try to fix something that isn’t broken? It breaks. I point you to Seattle University Professor Matthew J. Hickman’s Seattle Time’s article and his study debunking the DOJ’s “conclusions” and advising Seattle to, “Call the DOJ’s bluff and demand an apology.” 

    Following a bogus study by the DOJ and its resultant sham conclusions, the feds enacted a consent decree against a police department that didn’t deserve it. Has anyone asked how the Seattle Police Department went from being considered a model American law enforcement agency one day, sought after by other departments for examples of “best practices” in policing, and the next day deemed a veritable American law enforcement disaster? I remember training with German police officers who traveled across an ocean and continent just to benefit from SPD’s superb knowledge base and training. But to leftists the ends justify the means, right? So sacrificing an excellent police department on the alter of liberal, political correctness was just business as usual. To hell with all of the good police officers negatively affected by their anti-police, political agendas.

    The DOJ’s result was no surprise. The DOJ hasn’t met a police department it didn’t find to be racist and abusive. Former U.S. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy laid out the DOJ consent decree formula: From a Newsmax.com article, “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.” Precisely what happened in Seattle.

    Could the SPD be improved? What organization couldn’t? Just because an organization must keep abreast of developing policies, strategies, techniques, and technologies doesn’t mean that organization is broken. Just because an individual officer violates policy or law, doesn’t mean all officers need “new” training. Especially when the liberal’s “training” is more about leftist, political indoctrination disguised as law enforcement training than it is true police instruction.  

    None of that matters to Chief O’Toole. She said, “Not only did the department [SPD] deserve that consent decree, it is a much better place as a result of that decree. We need to embrace reform as a good thing. Change is not bad.” Well, change is bad if it’s based on lies.

    SPD is “better” now? Oh, I want to say bad words!

    How does O’Toole know? She came to Seattle after the phony decree was implemented. She’s had to rely on the left wing ideologues permeating Seattle’s halls of “social” justice for her information. I retired from the SPD a month or so before she was sworn in to office. I was optimistic. On paper, she seemed a stellar selection. Also, we’re from the same state, Massachusetts, so I felt a kinship. No longer. While she is a nice person—in person, as with all of Seattle’s police chiefs, regrettably, she is a marionette whose strings are manipulated by Seattle’s leftist government. Drink the Kool-Aid or you’re out

     O’Toole boasted, “We’ve reduced our use of force by 55 percent just in the last year and a half.” Well, duh. Proactive policing is virtually nonexistent. Out of career preservation, officers can’t do nearly as much as they used to or want to—can you say, de-policing? How can they when their leaders will not back them if things go wrong, even when they act in good faith?

    Here’s a question: How can you do the job when even if you do it correctly, even if the department’s lead defensive tactics instructor says your use of force was “perfect,” the chief still fires you? I suppose it could be worse. An officer could be tried, convicted, and sent to prison for doing his or her job. Just ask Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes who’s tried and failed several times to prosecute Seattle police officers.

    The Princeton article noted that, “Ms. O’Toole also commented on the importance of hiring officers who reflect the communities they serve, and ‘not people who think that policing is all about the gun fighting and car chases they see on television, but people who understand that policing is a vocation.’” Oh, help me… I really, really, want to say bad words!

    Just look at what Chief O’Toole thinks about the type of people, prior to her administration, who’d become police officers and their motivations for serving. What a profound insult to police officers. This is the person responsible for leading Seattle’s Thin (and getting thinner by the day) Blue Line? Officers are persecuted (not to mention executed) enough these days without having a chief who seems to hold her veteran officers in such low esteem.

    “‘We’ve hired young responsible, articulate, idealistic people from very different backgrounds with very different professional and personal experiences,’ she continued. ‘It’s very exciting to see. They’ll make our department so much more effective.’” Gee, thanks, Chief. And good luck with that Utopian social experiment.

    Hey, all you old, stammering, realistic people [cops] from homogeneous backgrounds with very similar professional and personal experiences. You SPD dinosaurs who’ve dedicated your lives to making Seattle a safer place, just step aside. Salvation has arrived. No, really. The liberals have come to save the day. I mean, the left is well known for its commitment to “law and order,” right? 

    Does it sound like Chief O’Toole has a legitimate, objective view of her veteran Seattle police officers? No, Chief O’Toole describes the ideal police officer as, apparently, different from current officers who’ve served Seattle for many years and decades. Her perspective comes from a left wing, social justice ideological one—and that’s putting it politely. 

    “‘Princeton Police Chief Nick Sutter [appointed by liberals], who applauded the ‘excellent forum,’ echoed Ms. O’Toole’s message, observing that her proposals have been implemented in Princeton and are consistent with best practices as outlined in President Obama’s report on 21st Century Policing. Mr. Sutter summed up the comments made by Chief O’Toole… that ‘the police are the public and the public are the police. Without collaboration and trust, neither can be successful.’” This is so profound, I think my head might just implode from the dazzling brilliance of these people.

    Sounds like Chief O’Toole’s Princeton speech was another successful liberal echo [literally: see above paragraph] chamber. Leftists back-slapping each other, congratulating themselves on yet another brilliant forum about how to fix problems that don’t exist (or that they created or imagined), exacerbated by lies that won’t die, and delivered by ideologues who won’t quit.

     

     

  • It’s Coming Undone–Hopefully.

    This is an essential premise of conservatism (and libertarianism): If liberals get their way, conservatives must live their way. If conservatives get their way, people can live peacefully as they choose. Conservatives are much more live and let live than liberals, and libertarians certainly reflect this idiom. This philosophical dichotomy sounds simple—it is, but it also marks a huge difference between America’s two current major political philosophies. Conservatives tend toward an America that espouse the individual liberty, limited government virtues expressed in the U.S. Constitution. Liberals want a different America. An America unrecognizable to our Founders.

    Think about it. Liberals (progressives, democratic-socialists) have spent the last eight years “doing” stuff to America. The Democrat’s leftist administration has forced Americans to follow ever-increasing, intrusive, success-crushing government rules and regulations (IRS, EPA, OSHA, EEOC, FCC, FTC, FDA, ICC, NLRB, SEC, and so on). This includes, for the first time in history, the government forcing Americans to purchase a commercial product—healthcare. Liberals tend to suffer from the “do-something” disease more than do conservatives. To feel accomplished in our lives, the left says we need government. As Col. Potter used to say on M*A*S*H, “Horse Hockey!”

    Consider this: Today, First Lady Michelle Obama, in response to Trump’s election, told Oprah, “See now we are feeling what not having hope feels like, you know. Hope is necessary. It is a necessary concept.” So, people only have hope if it comes from the federal government? When her husband was elected, the right felt little hope—especially in government, but they went on with their lives as best they could despite the increased government interference. Then when their chance came to change things–really change things, they did. Mrs. Obama added, “What do you give your kids if you can’t give them hope?” Again, she conflates government with hope. How sad is that?

    Now, I don’t dislike the First Lady. She seems nice, intelligent, is obviously a good mother, and genuinely appears to care about her issues. Still, the enormous chip she seems to carry on her shoulder bothers me. She has had one of the most privileged lives any American can hope to have, yet she never seems to acknowledge this as an American blessing. America always falls short: “For the first time in my adult life, I’m proud of my country.” Really? It’s like something almost biological is blocking her ability to experience any heartfelt appreciation for her country. I mean, give me a freakin’ break: America elected her African-American husband president of the United States of America—TWICE! 

    Lately, I’ve heard folks reminding people about this equation: Free-market capitalists (conservatives, libertarians, and Republicans) don’t need big government—they don’t need socialism. On the other hand, big government leftists (progressives, socialists, and Democrats) need capitalism. The left needs wealth producers or else there is nothing to redistribute. Remember, government can either hinder your access to success—your pursuit of happiness, or it can get out of your way.

    The conservatives and libertarians primary message this presidential election was not for the government to “do” anything. The hue and cry from the right (and the middle) was to undo the damage the left has done. Undo Obamacare, undo unnecessary rules and regulations, undo an overbearing IRS, undo radical EPA “global warming” policy, undo harmful immigration policy, undo America’s unsuccessful foreign policy—undo, undo, and undo.

    Initially, Americans will not judge the new administration in Washington D.C. by what it does but by what it undoes.

  • Things that Make You Go, Huh?

    So, we were out this bright sunny morning doing a couple of chores after a nice jaunt around Green Lake. On our way home we noticed something—um, let’s go with—interesting.

    A city street cleaner was cruising down the street cleaning loose debris. As a motorcyclist, I appreciate clean roads. But it was also laying down a sheen of water. It was 31 degrees! The roads were dry–well, had been, anyway.

    And, as if we needed more validation of the silliness of a city street sweeper impersonating a Zamboni, a few blocks later we saw the telltale lines on the asphalt, indicating a city de-icing truck had recently passed this way.

    Not sure there’s much more to say about this one.

     

     

  • “Without Malice and/or in Good Faith” is Necessary when Judging Police Actions

    Setting aside that making life and death decisions in split seconds is one of the most difficult things for any police officer, what’s all this noise about changing Washington law to make it “easier” to prosecute cops for using deadly force?

    People in every profession make mistakes. But in some jobs, mistakes can mean people die. Perhaps mistakes that lead to death should never happen, but in real life, they simply do.

    The way I read the law change proposal, advocates want to remove the “malice” and “good faith,” elements from the prosecutor’s requirements to convict a police officer. Meaning, they have to prove the officer acted maliciously (evil intent) in killing a person or that the officer did not act in good faith—knew his or her actions were wrong.

    This is what is scary for a police officer: If the language were changed, an officer could have acted without malice and in good faith yet still be prosecuted for murder or manslaughter.

    Put yourself in the officer’s place:

    Let’s say you’re an officer, it’s dusk—almost dark, on an early winter evening, and a robbery victim flags you down. The victim is pointing to a fleeing man and yelling, “He took my iPhone, and he’s got a gun!” You chase the robbery suspect who runs across the street and then between the houses. You continue to pursue with the suspect in sight. You broadcast the suspect’s description and direction of travel over your radio. Then you lose sight of the suspect as he rounds the corner to the back of a house. You slow as you approach the corner of the building to avoid being ambushed.  

    You slowly round the corner. You see a young man matching the suspect’s description crouched near some shrubbery in a corner of a fenced yard. You pull your gun and command, “Show me your hands!” The man does not comply. Instead he asks you what you’re doing in his yard. You command the man show you his hands several more times, but the suspect still refuses to show his hands. As you tell the man once more to show his hands, he yells that he doesn’t have to and aggressively points an object at you. In the low light and based on the suspect you’re chasing reportedly being armed, the object could be a gun. Would you bet your life that it isn’t a gun? You fire your sidearm, killing the man.

    Later, investigators discovered that the man shot was not the suspect. Evidence shows the real suspect had run through the yard and jumped the fence and continued running. The deceased man actually lived at the house. Investigators don’t know if the man saw the suspect run through his yard. The object the man had pointed at the officer was a garden trowel.

    This is nothing but a pure tragedy. It can’t be described any other way. If you, the officer, were white and the homeowner black, it also would become a political calamity. Now, there are a many elements to consider here, but let’s stay within the realm of changing the “malice” and “good faith” language in the current law.

    Clear thinking people would instantly recognize the nature of the tragedy here and understand you had no choice but to shoot. However, these days we are not dealing with only clear thinking individuals. We are dealing with anti-police hysteria.

    You obviously did not have any malice, as you simply responded to a victim’s call for help—you did your job. You also clearly acted in good faith as you had a valid complaint from a legitimate victim who identified a man he said had a gun and had just robbed him. This is also the ONLY information you had to work with at the time.

    You were chasing an armed robbery suspect. In the shadowy low light of dusk. Alone.

    You had the suspect in sight until the suspect disappeared behind a house. Officer safety dictates you slowed to avoid an ambush. You updated radio with your current location for responding back up officers.

    Using proper officer safety techniques, you rounded the corner and observed a man matching the suspect’s description. He appeared to be hiding in the bushes. You do not know the man lived here, and even if he did, the man could still be the armed robbery suspect.

    You radioed you had the suspect at gunpoint in the backyard and gave the address. You, without malice, using proper police procedures, and acting in good faith, fully believing this is the robbery suspect you’d been chasing. The suspect refused to show you his hands when instructed. The victim had told you the suspect was armed with a gun. As a trained police officer you knew just how fast an armed suspect could point and shoot if he wanted to. Rather than immediately open fire (the safest course for you) you ordered the man—repeatedly—to show you his hands.

    The man would not comply. Instead, he asked you why you’re in “his” yard. You may have wondered if it was the man’s yard, but you could not automatically believe this. You had to proceed as if the man was the suspect. To do otherwise would have been foolish.

    We can’t forget the man is refusing to comply. If the man had simply put the trowel down and shown you his hands, the officer would have had the man lay on the ground and most likely waited for back up officers to assist taking him into custody. After which, his true identity would have been determined.

    But, what should have happened didn’t happen. Sadly, the man contributed to his own tragedy. He refused to obey a police officer’s lawful commands—for whatever reason, and a man who shouldn’t have died, died. But it wasn’t your fault. You did exactly as the police department trained you to do. Shouldn’t that be enough? Yes, but it’s not.

    Now, am I wrong to wonder, with a change in the law, what would happen to you? Without the malice/good faith language, could you be convicted of criminal homicide because somehow, anti-police, Monday-morning quarterbacks decided you “should have known” the man was the resident, not the suspect, and had a garden tool and not a gun. How could you have known? The best you could have done would be to guess. And what if you were wrong? The man did everything but wear a sign saying you should believe he was your suspect. Still, with new legislation, you could be in serious trouble—for doing your job.

    Remember the Cambridge police officers who detained Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. after someone reported Gates as a possible burglar at his home? Even President Obama concluded the officers acted “stupidly.” But how in the world were the officers supposed to know Professor Gates was who he said he was simply by his word? Isn’t that what a criminal would say? They’ve said it to me in similar circumstances. Again, they don’t issue cops crystal balls in the academy. So, if a simple detention is deemed “stupid,” what would they say about an incident where police shot a man?

    Governments at all levels are horrible at teaching the public what police do and why they do it. When a high-profile incident occurs, too many leaders would rather “teach” the public what the cop did “wrong,” even if it was “right” when he or she learned it in training. And if the officer is truly wrong and legally judged to be so, then let the punishment fit the crime. But when officers act as they were properly taught, how about government and law enforcement leaders start teaching the public that, though things turned out wrong, what the officer did was right.