• Hey, Mr. Goodell – How Would You Like it If Your Plumber Did It?

  • Nanny State Laws Enacted By Politicians Tarnish Public Perception of Police

  • New OpsLens.com Contributor

    I wanted to take a moment to proudly announce that I have become a contributor to the news and opinion website OpsLens.com.

    The site brings you a fresh look at the news and experience-based commentary written by writers who’ve “been there.”

    People who’ve served in the military, Law Enforcement, and Intelligence communities. Obviously, I will be writing on law enforcement issues.

    I’ll be blogging less here as my police related pieces will be dedicated to OpsLens.com. I will continue to offer my conservative-libertarian opinions directly on this blog. Thanks for reading.

    My first few OpsLens.com contributions can be found at the following links:

  • Nazi Storm Troopers! In Seattle?

    JewishSeattle

    Illustration by, Levi Hastings

     

    Well, we can count the folks at Jewish in Seattle Magazine (JISM) among those who not only hold negative stereotypes of police officers, in this case, Seattle police officers, but also commit those stereotypes to print and illustration. It would have been bad enough if the repugnant image they used portrayed generic cops, but the officers’ uniforms have SPD patches. Doing so, they declare their ignorance of and contempt for Seattle’s police officers to the world.

     

    Now, before some leftie includes anti-Semite on the list of invectives we on the right endure whenever we attempt to express our opposing views, my recent Ancestry.com DNA results showed a smidgeon of “Eastern European Jew.” I had no idea. How did I receive this news? I embraced it with the same pride that I embraced my previously unknown “drop” of “African” blood, my unexpected modicum of Scandinavian and Irish extraction, as well as the other 90% of my white privileged, “European” heritage. Why should any portion of my racial and ethnic heritage offend me? It doesn’t change that I am 100% American!

     

    Please, join me in related digression. Bono, of U2 fame, said something sublime and perfectly applicable in a speech at Georgetown University, I’ll share it with you:

     

    “America is an idea. The idea that you and me are created equal. This country was the first to claw its way out of darkness and put it on paper, and God love you for it. Americans say they have a bit of the world in them… The family tree has lots of branches. The thing is, the world has a bit of America in it, too.”

     

    This is how I see the world and why I find the JISM article so deplorable (can I use that term with the left?). The article, Can Holocaust Education Help the Seattle Police Department?, and the accompanying illustration exceed insulting or offensive and venture into the absurd and defamatory. While Emily K. Alhadeff, the author of the article, doesn’t state outright she believes Seattle police officers might become a Nazi Gestapo, but she certainly alludes to it by advocating for such “training.”

     

    What sort of leftist bubble must she live in to believe Seattle cops would commit mass murder? Oh, right. Seattle. Does she really believe that American police officers of 2017 equate to German police officers of Nazi Germany? Does she truly believe Seattle’s men and women, sworn to protect their communities and uphold the U.S. Constitution, would obey an order to take the healthy men as slaves and then murder the rest along with their wives and children? Really? This is an example of academic, theoretical, historical (or hysterical) quackery.

     

    And what is she implying about who exactly might give such an order? Is there anything even remotely on the political horizon about the new Republican administration that would give, lucid, rational, and critical-thinking human beings the notion that such an order is conceivable?

     

    And speaking of critical thinking, I served Seattle as a cop for about 22 years, most of it on Capitol Hill, probably the most diverse neighborhood in the city. Of course officers use critical thinking on the job. A cop can’t operate properly without it. However, leftists characteristically reject critical thinking. That’s why some of them (see below) find it so hard to see it in others—especially cops. Their bigotry toward law enforcement won’t let them.

     

    Alhadeff’s quotes an SPD lieutenant:

     

    “When you’re a police officer, there are written rules for everything you do. If you think about that, over the years it causes the critical thinking to go away. Now we’re looking at individual biases, individual decision making. We’re not giving them [SPD officers] the exact takeaway. We want them to come away with the takeaway themselves.”

     

    Think about how elitist this sounds. It’s as if the lieutenant is talking about teaching kindergarteners, not professional, sworn police officers, making them feel accomplished because they managed to find the “correct” (according to the indoctrinators) answers all by themselves. The audacity is stunning.

     

    I remember this teaching philosophy was in effect when I was forced to participate in leftist political indoctrination. It was based on the PBS program, Race and the Power of Illusion.” While there was some valid information and factual history, the “training” conflates institutional racism of the past with today’s America, which they skew to fit their narrative of a currently uber-racist society.

     

    Regarding, “We want them to come away with the takeaway themselves,” I remember noticing the same thing while attending my political indoctrination day camp. In fact, soon after the training, I wrote about my experience. I phrased it something like this: I felt like we were cattle being herded toward predetermined conclusions (I’m speaking literally: They asked questions and then had us get up and gather into groups according to our answers). Whenever officers offered opinions that didn’t fit the narrative, our instructors would stop or deflect the discussion in another direction. So much for critical thinking.

     

    Jewish in Seattle Magazine should be ashamed of marginalizing the memory of the holocaust by attempting to make such a bizarre comparison as Nazis in pre-war Germany to Seattle police officers in modern America. Is it just me, or does anyone else believe JISM owes the good men and women of the Seattle Police Department an apology for insinuating they could become Nazi storm troopers?

     

     

     

     

  • Charlottesville and Durham and Hate… Against Cops!

    Two recent news stories bring up some observations regarding the public’s view of law enforcement. First, the repulsive white supremacists—Nazis and KKK in Charlottesville, VA. and second, the nearly as repugnant radical, leftist agitators in Durham, N.C., including, the radical leftists Workers World Party, Democratic Socialists of America, and ANTIFA (anti-First Amendment… oh, I mean anti-fascists—yeah, right!).

     

    Much derision has been heaped on the cops’ handling (or not handling) of the riots in Charlottesville, which resulted in the tragic death of a young woman at the hands of a mob of despicable white nationalists.

     

    Even some conservative commentators are critical of the cops for not intervening in the violence. People need to remember something: it’s not the cops on the riot lines who decide when to act. Those officers were no doubt fighting with every molecule of their beings to tamp down the instinct to act. Police officers at potentially violent scenes like this, planned controversial events, are most often given orders for conduct and rules of engagement before being deployed. If officers are not acting to stop rioters, it’s because politically-driven superiors have ordered them not to act. I know it happens in Seattle, too—a lot. 

     

    In Durham, the cops also “failed” to act when protesters took it upon themselves to destroy public property and tear down a Confederate monument. Now, I have no love lost for the Confederacy that fought to preserve the vile institution of slavery. Think about it. I’m a libertarian! I believe in the sovereignty of every individual human being. In America, just because some piece of property offends you, you don’t get to destroy it.

     

    For example, in Baltimore, authorities removed Confederate statues, but they are being reinstalled at nearby Civil War battlefields. This form of display is in a much better context, anyway. Rather than being publicly displayed in a town common or in front of a public building, which is an implicit act of honoring something or someone, the statues now serve a legitimate historical purpose: to remind us of what can happen when some Americans ignore the rule of law and a nation splits apart.

     

    The Durham incident is also a reminder, once again, of who comprises the left: While watching the coverage of the radicals toppling the statue, I saw signs reading and heard the crowd chanting, “No cops! No KKK! No fascists USA!”

     

    President Trump has suffered from asserting there were good and bad on both sides. Frankly, I’d like to hear more about what he meant by the “good” on the white nationalist side. But President Trump is infamous for words coming out differently than from what he’d intended. However, that anti-cop sign and chant, and the groups’ commitment to ending America as it exists, verifies the “bad” on each side comment. Equating the KKK and fascists with America’s cops is absurd, but some, even in the mainstream left, tolerate or accept, or, even further, endorse this notion. 

     

    There seems to be a noteworthy difference between right and the left. The left attempts to conflate white nationalists with all Republicans, conservatives, and Trump supporters. The problem is all of these right-wing groups routinely condemn Nazis, the KKK, and other white nationalist groups. To the contrary, the left, including the Democratic Party and a Democratic President, respectively, invited the mother of a robbery suspect who assaulted and then tried to take a police officer’s gun to their national convention and radical minority groups like BLM to our White House.    

     

  • Seattle’s New Normal

    One way to inoculate yourself against anything is to ignore it day after day until it becomes—as they say—a new normal. I wonder if this is how people who work and live in Downtown Seattle experience Seattle’s self-inflicted blight. My God! Does anyone truly think allowing people to live in this urban squalor helps anyone? Actually, it seems pretty mean to me. It doesn’t help those living in the filth, and it certainly doesn’t help the decent, law-abiding, and productive who have to drive and walk past the out-stretched-hand harassment and piss stench of the indecent, law-breaking, and unproductive.

    I had to make an unavoidable trip to Downtown Seattle recently. After slogging through the Democrat-made traffic snarl on I-5, and after completing multiple circuits of the area around city hall, marveling at the lack of bicycle use of the myriad parking-stealing, convoluted ribbons of bike lanes and sharrows, I finally found a parking space (I think somewhere south of Northgate). Ironic, since I’d just been in a parking lot on what they call a freeway. Perhaps, I should have just turned off my car, left it there, hopped the guardrail, and walked to my appointment at 5th/Cherry St. –it was a lot closer than from where I had to park!

    Trodding from my parking space, under the freeway, I swerved to avoid two charming gentlemen who were reclined, usurping half the sidewalk, and sharing a marijuana pipe. How Norman Rockwell.

    I’ve recently heard that Seattle is the fastest growing major American city. I was at first surprised because who would move to a place with such an onslaught of bums. Then I realized that maybe they mean the bums. Now, that would make sense. The layabouts are everywhere in Seattle. The thing about those two particular bums, getting high in broad daylight, illegally in public, under I-5 is they were two of the least offensive of those gathered nearby in tents and sleeping bags on the sidewalks and along the edges of the HOV commuter parking. At least they were minding their own business and not harassing passersby.

    Inoculation may be an effective liberal city survival strategy. But I’d encourage those who can to make a point of intentionally “seeing” just how bad this is. Liberals are always talking about the “rich” not paying their fair share. Shouldn’t we all do our fair share? If you had an able bodied person living with you and not contributing to your household, you’d boot them out, right? That’s normal. If normal people do not run their households this way, why should “normal” cities? Then again, that’s the point, isn’t it? Liberal Seattle is not normal.

  • A Lucid Lesson in Law Enforcement for the Left, from Chief Kathleen O’Toole.

    Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole wrote a refreshingly candid email yesterday to the Seattle City Council’s reckless socialist, Kshama Sawant. The missive was in response to Sawant’s demands O’Toole answer questions publicly about the Charleena Lyles shooting (Two white Seattle police officers were forced to shoot Lyles, a pregnant, black woman, after she reportedly attacked them with two butcher knives). 

    Well, Kshama, you asked for it: 

    “I write in short response to your [Sawant] earlier email, which reflects a disappointing level of ignorance of SPD policies and clear disdain for the investigatory process and review that SPD is court-mandated to follow,” O’Toole wrote. “Facts matter and pre-judgment of this incident by any of us would be completely irresponsible.” [emphasis mine] 

    O’Toole, a law enforcement hero of the left (until this email, anyway), delivers to Sawant a blunt and necessary lesson in Police Investigations 101. O’Toole explained, “As we are barely over a week into an investigation that typically takes upwards of 90 days, I see absolutely no benefit to airing those private, difficult, and heartfelt conversations in a public, or worse, political forum.”

    How hard is this to understand? Any critically thinking human being should appreciate that investigations with such significant, potential consequences must be done in a sober and objective manner. Sadly, political ideologues avoid critical thinking. Without amped up raw emotions feeding the far left’s narrative, their foolish assertions dissolve.

    They remind me of people who don’t want to hear the truth. They stick their fingers in their ears and jump up and down, yelling, “Woo, woo, woo!” so they can’t hear it.

    Chief O’Toole finished boldly, “I will not, however, join in any process that threatens to exploit this terrible tragedy for another’s personal or political gain.”

  • Why Some Cops No Longer Carry Tasers.

    Charleena Lyles’ attack on two police officers, with butcher knives, which resulted in her tragic death, has brought up many issues. One of them is the use of so-called, less-than-lethal weapons vs. lethal options: Tasers vs. firearms.

    Many people have asked, “Why didn’t the cops tase her instead?”

    Facts people should know:

    • Seattle’s cops must carry a firearm and have an option to carry any of three less-than-lethal weapons: baton, pepper-spray, and/or Taser. An officer may carry one, two, or all three options. I carried a baton and pepper-spray.
    • In training, cops are taught that to properly deploy the Taser against a person armed with a deadly weapon, three officers should be present. One officer to deploy the Taser, a second officer for lethal cover (ready with a firearm should the Taser application fail), and a third officer to place the suspect in handcuffs. Routine calls, such as the (false) burglary report Ms. Lyles called in, normally require only one officer to respond. Her known criminal and mental health history made it so radio dispatched two officers (obviously, short of the three necessary).
    • When the Taser program started, many officers chose to take the training and become certified to use a Taser on duty.
    • As the program continued, community activists and groups criticized the police Taser use. Some even regularly accused cops of “torturing” suspects with their Tasers.
    • As criticism increased, policies began changing, making it so to use a Taser an officer needed nearly the same circumstances that would be needed to use lethal force.  
    • Several officers told me that due to these policy changes, they were turning in their Tasers.
    • Since a gun is much more efficient than a Taser in saving an officer’s life during a deadly encounter why would a cop put himself or herself in a position that causes hesitation? Hesitation kills cops.

    So, when cop-critics harangue police officers for not using a Taser, they can look in the mirror for why an officer didn’t choose to have a Taser as an option.

  • Not Ruling Out Terrorism.

    So, on my drive home today after a long walk, I heard a news broadcast of a stabbing of a police officer while on duty at Bishop International Airport in Flint, Michigan.

    As I listened to the news report, I was once again transported into Bizarro World. You know, DC Comic’s infamous “opposite” universe where up is down, forward is backward, and in is out.

    The news reporter on the FOX News radio broadcast said, “The attacker yelled, ‘God is Great,’ in Arabic [Allahu Akbar] as he stabbed the officer.”

    Next he reported this: “The FBI said it is not ruling out terrorism as a motive.”

    I…, uh…, I…, ummm…, I…, ugh!

  • Blame the Police… of Course.

    The recent shooting in North Seattle of 30-year-old Charleena Chavon Lyles is an unmitigated tragedy. There is no doubt about that. During my police career, I worked a sector with numerous mental health facilities and patients. I dealt with the mentally ill often, had a good relationship with their staffs, and received commendations from them. While I had little sympathy for those who knew better and still committed violent crimes, I had a great deal of compassion for people with significant mental health issues. In some cases, their actions simply were not their faults. But that does not lessen the danger they present to police officers responding to 911 calls. According to news reports from KIRO, Ms. Lyles seems to have been one of those people with significant mental health issues.

    Unfortunately, before anything more than a preliminary investigation has been conducted, some family members, community activists, and leftist politicians are already making assertions that police racism was a factor in the incident. Family members have leveled these knee-jerk charges, and anti-police groups have also glommed onto that all-too-convenient notion–it fits their narrative. Still, while families in mourning deserve wide latitude, regarding emotional comments after suffering such a loss, the cop critics do not—they know better but don’t care about the truth–the truth doesn’t fit their narrative. 

    What a shame that the mainstream liberal media, progressive politicians, and leftist community activists have given tacit (sometimes, blatant) permission or even instructions to minority communities to make quantum leaps, blaming racism every time police shoot a black suspect.

    During the fatal encounter, these facts should be remembered as critical: She was the one who called the police. She wanted to report a burglary. She armed herself with two butcher knives. She refused orders to “stay back” and came at the officers. Despite Ms. Lyles being a “known” entity to police for both mental health and criminal issues, officers can be heard on audio of the incident properly investigating Ms. Lyles’ burglary complaint. In fact, on audio the first words from one of the officers were, “Hello, good morning. You call the police?” Hardly the manner of a white, racist police officer intent on killing a black woman—or anyone!

    While conducting the investigation, reports indicate Ms. Lyles threatened the officers with the two knives. Despite numerous orders to “stay back,” Ms. Lyles reportedly came at the officers who were forced to shoot her.

    I know critical thinking is asking a lot these days, but rather than blaming the cops, how about looking at a mental health system that seems to have failed Ms. Lyles, her children, family, the community, and the police. And what about the judge who released Ms. Lyles despite her recent history of placing her children in harms-way and violent behavior toward the police?

    On June 5th, Ms. Lyles confronted police in a similar incident where she’d armed herself with an “extra-long” pair of scissors, using them to threaten the officers (incidentally, the officers responding in the butcher knives case were aware of that incident. Fortunately, in that incident, she dropped the scissors, so the officers did not have to use deadly force). According to KIRO, she also told the officers, “Ain’t none of ya’ll leaving [her] here today!” Incredibly, her 4-year-old child was, “sitting in her lap, and, at points, crawling around her waist,” during that incident. 

    Five days before the deadly shooting, Ms. Lyles attended a Mental Health Court hearing regarding the earlier incident. Think about this: The judge obviously considered Lyles dangerous enough to set this condition before her release: He ordered her not to “possess weapons or items which can be used as weapons.” Seriously? 

    Now, I hesitate to criticize the mental health system too harshly because they are overburdened and understaffed. But, just think about the level of mental instability of this poor woman the court released back into society. Anyone think the criminal justice or mental health system, as a whole, did Ms. Lyles any favors? During the fatal incident, Police officers reported Ms. Lyles said she wanted to, “morph into a wolf” and mentioned “cloning her daughter.” But, it’s too easy to blame the cops, right?

    But what about the people or person who made the decision to release her five days before her death? Do they deserve any culpability? Apparently not. I’m sure the release will come up in the discussion, but since they are a part of Seattle/King County’s liberal establishment, they will likely be seen as simply progressives who meant well, so they can’t be blamed. It must be the cops fault—always. And since the cops’ own political (and sometimes even police) leaders rarely support or defend officers’ uses-of-force with any vigor, if at all, then why shouldn’t society believe cops are bad? Most law enforcement jurisdictions remain horrible at teaching the public about what, why, and how cops do what they do.

    How have we gotten to a place in our society where nationally and locally we have the best trained law enforcement officers in America’s history, yet the default response is to blame the police? Ms. Lyles’ demise is a true and plain tragedy. But not just for Ms. Lyles, her family and friends but for the officers, too. Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole echoed this in the Seattle Times, “The message I’m trying to get out right now is that this is a horrible tragedy all around.” She added, “The community is distraught. The family is distraught. The officers are distraught.” [Emphasis mine] Come on, people. These officers, who chose to dedicate their professional lives to serve and protect the Seattle community, are not happy they were forced to shoot a mentally ill, pregnant woman. To even think that is a malicious insult, ignorant, and just plain stupid.

    Regardless of what the cop-haters spew about police officers “hunting minorities in the streets” (which government statistics have thoroughly debunked), those officers now must deal with the emotional ramifications of having to end the life of a mentally ill woman who should never have been at that location, never been holding those knives, and never been threatening those two police officers on that quiet Sunday in Seattle.