• Child Suspended for “Liking” Image of Toy Gun on Instagram.

    The First and Second Amendments are under heavy attack by the radical left. We see this leftist nonsense to squelch free speech and abridge gun rights every day. The following story combines constitutional attacks on the First, Second, Fourth—and probably Fifth Amendments Against a public middle school student.

    Now, I will concede that public school officials can argue that they have no idea what to do anymore—mostly, because of other public school officials who adopt stupid policies. We critics often say, “Just use common sense.” Well, much of the problem these days is that commonsensical school officials are not allowed to apply their common sense. In fact, school districts often mandate ludicrous policies that force officials to act in direct contravention to common sense or risk losing their jobs or worse. Remember the second-grader who got “dispended” because he threw an invisible grenade to rescue the world? Still, that does not mean we should stop fighting to make sure common sense prevails.

    So, in this story on the NRA-ILA website, according to WBRC Fox 19 News in Trenton, Ohio, middle school student Zachary Bowlin got himself suspended for violating the school board’s “zero tolerance” policy. The policy prohibits, “violent, disruptive, harassing, intimidating, bullying, or any other inappropriate behavior by its students.” What heinous act did Zach commit to elicit such wrath from school superintendent Russ Fussnecker? After school one evening, at home, while perusing the Instagram social media website, Zach had the unmitigated audacity to “Like” a picture of an Airsoft gun—a toy. No, really!  

    For those unfamiliar with Airsoft guns, the name implies its function. It uses air to propel a soft projectile (the size of a pea). The guns are plastic and the projectiles (bullets) are designed not to injure participants. I know: my kids used them as toys when they were kids and I used them for training as a police officer.

    According to the article, the photo Zachary “liked” was of a “plastic gun on the table, with the caption, “Ready.” You might wonder if this social media “like” was just one facet of a multifaceted set of nefarious circumstances that created suspicion about the student. Nope. That was it; Zach “liked” a picture of a toy on social media. WBRC reported, “Superintendent Russ Fussnecker essentially admitted that the school’s reaction was based only on the picture.”

    Let’s look at the bright side: Zach is getting a civics lesson, thanks to his overreacting, overreaching school officials: One, his First Amendment rights were violated when the district punished him for expressing his point of view. He let people know he liked a picture (it could be argued that his Fifth Amendment rights were also violated when he was suspended without due process). Two, his Second Amendment rights were, effectively, violated when a toy facsimile of a firearm became the focal point of Zachary’s discipline.

    Now, for constitutional violation number three: The Fourth Amendment prohibition against unlawful searches and seizures. According to the article, “The next morning, Zachary told a WBRC reporter, school officials, ‘called me down… patted me down and checked me for weapons, then they told me I was getting expelled or suspended or whatever.’” Where was the warrant? Where was the probable cause? Where was the reasonable suspicion? (Where is the ACLU?) And, finally, where was the common sense?

  • Seattle’s Leftist Lunatic Luminaries

    I’m wrong because I think laws should be followed? I’m wrong because I believe cops, local, state, and federal, should assist each other? I’m wrong because I recognize the distinction between legal immigration and illegal immigration? How did I end up on the “wrong” side? It seems that my point of view is simple common sense: Follow the law or change it. If you enter someone else’ country without permission, you have broken the law. Adhering to this common sense just makes sense. Just ask all the Americans who’ve been injured or died because of an illegal alien’s criminal actions. What’s an even greater question? How has the left been so successful in folding reality inside out? Why do so many of us let them win?

    The City of Seattle is and has been one of the nation’s best examples of this lunacy. I’ll name two local luminaries of the lunatic left: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant. If a political issue is ludicrous, absurd, hypocritical, or mind-twistingly silly, they’ll likely be found behind it. Mayor Murray, shrouded in a recent controversy, proudly refuses to cooperate with federal immigration law while insane Counsilwoman Sawant is encouraging leftist radicals to block freeways and airports. Why not? According to this “new normal,” we need only follow laws we agree with, right?

    In an article in, Jacobin Magazine, a socialist publication, Sawant encouraged “non-violent civil disobedience,” disrupting infrastructure by taking over freeways and airports. Okay, let’s say we agree these actions are ostensibly “non-violent.” What if we replace non-violent with depraved indifference? How can you claim a “right” that interferes with another persons true rights? In this case, to go to work, school, home to their families, or get to a hospital ER. Think about the people who call the police or fire departments for criminal, fire, rescue, or medical emergencies? Does she care about the person who’s being robbed, whose house is being burglarized, or who’s having a heart attack? Well, the Washington State Patrol does. It has described her comments as, “irresponsible” and “reckless.” I agree.

    Regarding Murray’s municipal resistance movement, retaining sanctuary city status, the mayor said, “Seattle has always been a welcoming city.” (Not for conservatives, Mr. Mayor). According to His Honor, welcoming people who intentionally entered our country illegally, stepping ahead of all those legal immigrants who are doing it the right way, amounts to some sort of warped, northwest hospitality? Does that mean I’m not a welcoming homeowner because I lock my doors and turn on my house alarm? Do you think Mayor Murray locks his house and car doors or sets his alarms? Oh wait, not only does he do that, but he also has a highly trained police officer, bodyguard to protect him. That seems so—what’s the word—unwelcoming.

    We have gotten to where sitting Seattle politicians are routinely disregarding laws, preventing their cops from enforcing certain laws, or are calling for people to break laws the city administration doesn’t like? Remember, these are the people we elect to make the laws. If politicians don’t like the laws, they are empowered to change them, not free to violate or flaunt them. If local politicians refuse to respect state or national laws, then why should any of us follow any law with which we disagree? Laws are only as effective as the civil society that respects them.

    Is it any wonder that those on the political right and in the middle shake their heads, bewildered at city officials adopting policies intended to violate duly enacted laws? I was a Seattle cop for over two decades. Think there were any laws, policies, or assignments I didn’t like but still had to enforce, adhere to, or complete as ordered? Of course there were. Several years ago, I was assigned to a protection detail for Governor Christine Gregoire. Not only did she and I disagree on nearly everything political, I believed she obtained the office under well-documented, highly dubious circumstances. Yet, I was polite, respectful, shook her hand, and did my duty. I did not “resist.”

    According to the attitude of today’s left, would I be expected to protect a politician with whom I disagree? I shouldn’t enforce laws I don’t agree with? I should—oh, what’s the leftist term—resist leaders they don’t like (Trump) and laws (immigration) they don’t agree with? How many Secret Service agents who protected President Obama agreed with him politically? I’d venture a tiny percentage. Yet, agents did their jobs. They honored their commitment to duty. They got the president safely through eight years in office—as was right and very American.

    On the subject, how many of you think today’s left would support a Secret Service officer who refused to protect Republican President Trump? Why not? They lauded acting Attorney General Sally Yates for countermanding a presidential order–you know, like happens in third-world dictatorships. As for such an insubordinate, if not treasonous, agent, they’d probably put him or her in charge of the DNC. On the other hand, how many of you think today’s left would have condemned me, and called for my firing, if I’d have refused to protect Democrat Governor Gregoire? Yeah, me too.    

  • Seattle’s Bogus Police Consent Decree will Finally Get an Honest Review.

    Leftist news bias–old news, but so true.

    Attorney General Jeff Session recently commented on the eight-year proliferation of federal investigations into local policing. The local news reporter didn’t mention Seattle’s consent decree was controversial, and the DOJ refused to release its methodology. They only reported the flawed DOJ findings.

    Criminal Justice Professor Matthew J. Hickman

    Inexplicably, in 2012, Seattle ignored Seattle U. Professor Hickman’s more comprehensive study, which prompted him, in the Seattle Times, to write, Seattle should, “Call the DOJ’s bluff and demand an apology.” 

    Law enforcement tactics.

    Leftists against law enforcement believe police tactics are wrong just because they don’t like them. Police tactics don’t look good on TV—imagine that!

    Police critics also deems officers “wrong” even if what they did was “right” when they were taught.

    All officers colored with broad liberal brush.

    With their expanding definition, all officers are racist even in incidents when officers violated no policy and broke no laws. In Ferguson, Officer Darren Wilson acted properly, but, the “broad liberal brush” assures Wilson will likely never be a cop again. Where was his Department of Justice? 

    Jeff Sessions replaces anti-cop zealots.

    An Associated Press (AP) article on Foxnews.com reports, Sessions “…has expressed concerns that lengthy investigations of a police department can malign an entire agency.”

    “Public trust?” What a joke!

    The AP reports, “Both the Baltimore Police Department and Mayor Catherine Pugh said a delay would threaten public trust in the process.” What “public?” BLM, supporters, and other cop-haters? The mayor added, “We believe there are reforms needed.” But, whose “reforms?”

    Political whims guide “reforms.”

    The left continues to talk about police “reforms,” but these are not dictated by law enforcement necessity but by political whim—by people who know nothing about good law enforcement. “Reform” often comes in the form of leftist political indoctrination disguised as police training.

    Holder’s DOJ always finds fault with cops—always.

    Former U.S. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy offered this formulation in a Newsmax.com article titled, “Ex-US Prosecutor: Holder Racially Biased Against Police:” “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.”

    The left’s double-standard is standard practice.

    Procedures exist to modify consent decrees such as Seattle’s. But, Jonathan Smith, an Obama administration attorney says, “… most judges would not be sympathetic to amend an agreement for purely political reasons…” That is literally incredible when you consider the Obama administration inflicted its consent decrees for “purely political reasons.”

    Simple Logic.

    Jeff Sessions said, “It is not the responsibility of the federal government to manage non-federal law enforcement agencies.”

    Is that so hard to understand?

  • Illegal Immigrants: All Lawbreakers Reluctant to Cooperate with Police

    My head hurts—again!

    On a recent news analysis program, a local politician, I think from upstate New York (doesn’t matter; it’s a cookie-cutter, leftist trope), repeated the threadbare, Democrat talking point that illegal immigrants won’t report crimes to police if they’re afraid of being deported. That may be true, but the issue deserves critical thinking to better understand it.

    This politician cited there are “many examples of illegals not reporting crime due to fear of deportation” but listed none. He also said where jurisdictions have a policy of not assisting the federal government with enforcing immigration law, crime goes down. REALLY? WHERE? Certainly, not in sanctuary city Chicago. Again, he mentioned no examples—not one.

    Is he arguing, where the law goes unenforced, crime goes down? Well, having completed a career in law enforcement, I must ask, why do we have any laws? By his logic, get rid of all the laws, and there will be no crime. You know, when I think about it, there is a sick logic here. If murder is not illegal, police won’t be arresting any murderers. This could extend to all crimes, right? Legalize EVERYTHING!  

    As much as I scoff at this notion, mostly because it’s so scoff-worthy, there is merit to the argument that people in the country illegally will resist reporting crime. However, this is a waste of fear for illegals. Otherwise law-abiding, border trespassers have no idea just how safe they are from their local constabulary. Forget the municipal edicts, such as in Seattle, where cops are prohibited from even asking a person about their immigration status. When cops take reports from crime victims, they are interested in the crime, the criminal, and the apprehending of that criminal for that crime.

    In my over two decades on the streets I can’t recall even once asking a victim, or a suspect for that matter, about their immigration status. It never came up. In fact, to those who exhibit, through words or actions, obvious anxiety about their immigration status, cops are much more likely to say, “Don’t worry; we’re not here for that.” Then officers investigate the crime as they investigate any other reported crime.

    Again, those who’ve entered the USA illegally might be hesitant to report crime due to their illegal immigration status. Proponents of this argument have a point. I mean, people wanted for other crimes, murder, bank robbery, rape, assault, fraud, and theft aren’t too interested in reporting crime for the same reason. Okay, entering the country illegally is not a felony, not even a misdemeanor, just a civil infraction (which blows my mind, by the way. Just driving a car with an altered temporary trip permit is a gross misdemeanor, but I digress). So, let’s stay within the civil infraction realm: People with outstanding arrest warrants for failure to respond to civil infractions—traffic tickets, etc.—also might not want to report crimes, either. Right?

    And stop with the berating a criminal justice system that would separate a parent who crossed the border illegally (a violation of federal law) from an American-born child. It happens everyday. Do you think crimes are committed only by childless people? Of course not. Many criminals have children and we don’t see marching in the streets because the mother who wrote fraudulent checks is being “separated” from her children, having been sentenced to eighteen months in prison. What about the dad who was convicted of burglary and will be separated from his children for three years. Guess he should have thought about that, eh? Again, it happens all the time.

    I understand there are nuances here because the crime is considered a minor one. But there’s another part of the problem. Can anyone imagine attempting illegally to cross the border of Russia, China, or even Mexico and not believing you’d be in a great deal of trouble if caught? I can’t. Why should our country be any different. Just because everyone wants to come here. Well, no kidding. But what makes our country so attractive will gradually dissipate if our borders are left wide open. Why is this not common sense? How nice would your house be to live in if you allowed anyone who wanted to (because you have a warm and inviting home) to move in? Not very, comes to mind.

    Let’s use common sense and give our cops a break. I can understand the resistance to the federal government inserting itself into local affairs–they do it too often, and often at the request of the left. But, that’s just it; immigration is not a local affair. United States immigration policy and control is primarily a federal responsibility.

  • Not Everyone Gets a Trophy.

    The leftist activists’ perpetual and obnoxious attempts to impersonate the Tea Party movement bring something to mind. I wonder if the left’s inability to accept an election result stems from the recent decades-long phenomenon hammered into our kid’s psyche: Everyone-gets-a-trophy

    The problem for the left is in an election you must keep score: Whoever wins the most electoral votes becomes president—gets the trophy. There is no trophy for second place. The left didn’t get a trophy, but, it seems, they still feel they deserve one. But, like Democrat President Obama told Republican Senator McCain, “The election’s over.” In that quip, President Obama told us, elections have consequences, losing has consequences. He may have been arrogant, but he was right.

    The left is throwing one big, I’m-taking-my-ball-and-going-home, tantrum. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, for example, doesn’t seem interested in participating as a part of a loyal opposition. She employs vicious hyperbole and irresponsible disengagement, preferring to not even work with the President. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so damaging to the political and social health of our great nation. 

    Democrat leaders want you to believe the leftist malcontents, engaging in violence during demonstration after demonstration, are a minority. That’s true. However, if the Democrats continue to recognize these groups officially despite their violence and disrespect for the First Amendment rights of others, and if the mainstream media continue to project this leftist minority as ordinary citizens who finally got fed up, got up off the couch, and hit the streets to protest some catchall oppression, then this minority of violent agitators, and the so-called “peaceful demonstrators” who provide them cover, will be viewed as more influential and legitimate than they merit. 

    The current administration hasn’t had time to create anything—to do anything–to cause any reasonable person to be “fed up.” To this date, President Trump’s cabinet hasn’t been fully staffed due to Senate Democrat delays.

    Why is the left so upset? What significant thing has the Republican administration done to them, other than win an election? Nothing. Could it be they’re angry they lost and didn’t get a trophy?

  • If Milo Yiannopoulos was Looking for Freedom of Speech, Why Would he Look for it on America’s College Campuses?

    A lot of folks on the political right, in a sincere but misplaced attempt to understand their political opponents, make excuses for their bad (sometimes criminal) behavior.

    “They just don’t understand.”

    “If they only stopped to think about their position…”

    “They don’t know what they’re doing?”

    Sadly, yes they do.

    Last night at the University of California Berkeley we saw the disgraceful behavior of ant-democratic, anti-free speech, anti-American radicals infringing on conservative/libertarian writer, Milo Yiannopoulos,’ First Amendment rights–destroying property and abridging the rights of those who came to hear him speak.

    These people (term applied loosely) are not mere political opponents the leftist media would have us believe. These are militant malcontents who know exactly what they’re doing: attempting to use violence to disrupt our civilized, democratic republic. One sign read, “Be Ungovernable.”  

    Think about it. Conservatives and libertarians often point out that the left needs the right because without the productivity of the right the left would have nothing to redistribute. Conversely, the constitutionalist right does not need the leftist activists, especially the radical left because they contribute nothing. The radicals don’t produce; they consume. These violent lefties don’t create, they destroy. And yet the national media put them forth as rank-and-file Democrats.

    As a retired police officer my heart went out to those Berkley officers obviously restricted from acting appropriately. They were complying with the incompetent direction of political leaders who cling to some romantic notion of the protest culture a la 1960’s. Tacitly or overtly, they allow left-wing crybabies to crush an invited campus guest’s civil liberties and then blame the guest rather than those who infringe on constitutional rights and destroy property.

    Here’s the leftist equation:

    Free speech does not include Hate speech.

    What is hate speech?

    Whatever the left says it is.

    The left blames Yiannopoulos for the threats, violence, and destruction by referring to him as controversial, radical, and divisive; inflammatory, provocative, and of using “hate-speech.” Isn’t this like blaming the rape victim rather than the rapist for being sexually assaulted?

    All of this occurring at the birthplace of America’s campus Free-Speech Movement made famous at Berkeley half-century ago. Many leaders of America’s college campuses have become despicable in the eyes of liberty. It seems Berkeley is now in contention to be the birthplace of the Restricted Speech Movement.     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Bellevue School District: Contempt for Cops Day

    It’s a wonder SNL hasn’t done a skit about the perpetual lefty demonstrations. Talk about a target-rich environment for comedy. However, the protesters are politically left, so… Try turning on the news these days, local or national, without seeing a leftist protest held against… whatever!

    New day, new cause. Just reverse the signs. “Hooray for liberal women!” Switch! “Down with conservative women!” Switch! “Sorry, we meant, ‘Hooray for Liberal WOMXN” (Note: Don’t try to find it in the dictionary).

    Reminds me of Marlon Brando in the Wild One: A girl ask Brando, “Hey, Johnny. What are you rebelling against?” Brando answers, “Whadda ya got?”

    My police career at the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct was punctuated by left-wing demonstrations: APEC, WTO, Anarchists; Communists, Socialists, Labor Unions; Marijuana, Illegal Immigration, Occupy Wall Street, and… whadda ya got.

    The last couple years were marked by nearly weekly, sometimes daily, marches by lefty agitators dissatisfied with… whadda ya got. As long as it went against traditional American values, the specifics didn’t matter. Didn’t even matter if most protesters knew nearly nothing about the issue at hand—as long as “their team” said it was right. 

    Today, yet another demonstration: The Bellevue (WA) School District is sponsoring a “Day of Action,” encouraging its students to wear Black Lives Matter (BLM) t-shirts, thus honoring a blatant anti-police, leftist (Marxist) organization. This from a public school district paid for by ALL American taxpayers.

    Think about it: supporting BLM, an organization that continues to promote the “hands up, don’t shoot” mythology and perpetuate the lie that there exists an epidemic of American law enforcement officers wrongly shooting young black men. It is also an organization that continues to disqualify some victims, such as those innocents gunned down in Chicago’s—truly epidemic—gang/drug violence, whose black lives do not seem to matter. At least, not to BLM.

    Rather than sponsoring support for Black Lives Matter why don’t they call it what it is? Contempt for Cops Day.

  • 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.

  • “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.

     

     

  • Defending Democrats–Well, Sort of

    Hold on to your hats. I’m going to defend Democrats. This may seem a bit odd coming from me, especially only days after Hillary Clinton suffered such a stunning defeat. I consider the defeat well deserved, if for nothing else, for her part in what four Americans suffered in Bengazi. Her myriad other alleged crimes may be illegal and unethical, but what happened in Bengazi appears to have been immoral. As they say, time will tell.

    Of those she’s been accused of, I don’t know what crimes she’s actually committed or policies she’s violated. She’s an American entitled to due process. However, just the amount of information that she and President Obama still haven’t released regarding the attack on the Bengazi consulate staggers credulity. We still don’t even know what Clinton and Obama were doing during much of the Bengazi attack. This reality is not fabricated by her detractors; this empirical information exists, but for some strange reason remains unanswered.

    Where I’ll defend the Democrats is against the hypocritical radicals protesting President-elect Trump’s election because their side didn’t win (Waaaaahhhhh!). I can easily imagine what those civic-minded protesters would be saying about political right people if they dared to protest Hillary had she won. It’s only academic, anyway, as the right doesn’t hit the streets in wild-eyed protests. The right would simply have prepared for the end, having made an unconscious, collective mass suicide pact in case she won! Well, at least we wouldn’t have watched the news for a few months, after which strongly worded editorials would begin to appear in the nation’s newspapers. The right sucks at disrupting society—and, that’s a good thing.

    But seriously, those violent protesters aren’t Democrats. Some of their political desires just happen to intersect with Democrats rather than Republicans. It’s similar to why some of the ultra-right groups’ wishes run tangent to some Republican causes. For example, Democrats tend to want open borders; Republicans want strict control of our borders. It’s not surprising that those on the extreme right, who’d prefer only certain white immigration, would prefer the party opposed to open borders.

    As much as I have a problem with the modern Democrat Party, even President Obama, Senators Warren and Sanders, and Secretary Clinton were magnanimous in defeat and showed patriotism with their statements of concession and congratulations to Mr. Trump. What was in their hearts, I can’t know. But I can appreciate the outward demonstration of respect for our electoral system they conveyed.

    The Trump protesters would have you believe that they are ordinary, mainstream Democrats who are fed up with an oppressive system and were impelled to get off their couches and hit the streets in defense of democratic ideals against a xenophobic tyrant. Yeah, right! These are perennial malcontents. And, unfortunately, statements by Democrats such as President Obama and Secretary Clinton, calling Trump a racist, misogynist, generally a hater, and associating him with the KKK, can’t help but enflame and legitimize the rioters. Hell, if Trump truly were everything the left says of him, I might be out protesting too. Problem is, he didn’t become these things in all the decades he’s been in the public eye. He only became a “degenerate racist womanizer” after he began running for president.   

    The protesters are perennial agitators for whatever cause comes down the left wing pike. They are Socialists, Communists, and Anarchists who clambered out of their parent’s basements, shook off the pot induced fog, grabbed an appropriate sign and mask, and then slithered into the protest pit with the rest of the anti-social vipers. These are poisonous people who are not simply on the other side of political issues; they want nothing less than to bring America down so they can start over in creating their own warped version of America. Imagine what that Utopia would look like.

    I actually feel bad for true, “old-school” Democrats for what their leaders have done by dragging their party so far left. When I was a kid, adults I knew, Republican and Democrat, revered JFK. Today, the Democrat Party would be unrecognizable to President Kennedy. If the Democrats are smart, they’ll do what the Republicans just did. Go outside the establishment for leadership.

    Oh, wait. They tried that with Senator Sanders. But the Democrat Party establishment, especially Hillary Clinton, slapped Bernie down like he was a peasant attempting to rise above his “station.” The sad thing is, Bernie helped them do it. Where was he in the final weeks? Throwing flaccid support to Hillary here and there, leaving his supporters grasping air where there was once substance.

    Though he is a socialist, a belief I abhor, the Vermont senator was honest and was not establishment—well, until he knuckled under to them at the expense of people who believed in him. What did they promise him? Doesn’t matter, now. It’s a promise they won’t be able to deliver. What a disappointment for Democrats looking for change that he let you all down. Democrats should have stuck with Bernie the way Republicans stuck with Trump. Fortunately, Trump didn’t abandon his followers—and that seems to have made the difference.