• 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.   

  • Myth Affects Cops

    I went to a retirement party the other night for one of the best cops I’ve ever known. The term legendary came up many times during the evening. Most of the stories we told about him were great fun to tell, but it was something he said during his speech that struck me.

    After acknowledging “going out while still vertical,” he said, “I make no apologies for being a cop. I am not ashamed of being a police officer. I am proud of my career.”

    What a sorry state for American law enforcement that a cop like him felt it necessary to say this. The room was full of cops, friends, and family. Yet, the mood of the nation (as expressed by anti-police factions) descended on the celebration.

    As an officer and a sergeant, this man served his community for over three decades. Nearly all of it was in patrol where most police work is done. Sadly, there are people who couldn’t care less about this man’s service and dedication.

    Those people work hard to perpetuate the myth that the cops are “broken,” so they can destroy what cops work hard to build–safe communities.

    The cop haters should be the ones making apologies and feeling ashamed, not the cops.

  • Supreme Court Selections Matter

    Been busy with a manuscript lately but not too busy to respond to the importance of the Supreme Court nomination(s), riding on this election. Seems the split in the Court between conservative and liberal has never been clearer.

    There is a California case involving teachers’ union dues being collected from members which is then used to support political “speech” with which some members disagree. The Court, absent Justice Scalia, split on the case, sending it back to the 9th Circuit, which had ruled in the union’s favor.

    Sitting on a bar stool, around a picnic table, or at supper with family, how many people do you think would support the government taking money from people and using it to promote political positions they don’t agree with?

    With ordinary citizens, Republicans, Democrats, indeed libertarians, nearly no one would agree with this notion.

    Nevertheless, the Court is currently split on the issue. At this august, judicial supper table, 50% of the eight people see nothing wrong with the government using a person’s hard-earned income to pay for political “speech” they oppose—in this case, left wing speech.

    Conversely, thankfully, the other four justices, like most fair-minded people, know the idea of subverting free speech rights through the confiscation of Americans’ money is just what it sounds like—at best corrupt, at worst, theft! 

  • Gun Buyer Background Checks and Gun Registration Are Not the Same–Not At All!

    Police and libertarian issues

    With the increase in news reports, I’ve been writing a lot about gun issues, lately. When I write about firearms/gun rights it’s under two headings: one, as a police issue. The cops will not be there to protect you. If you are ever in a position to need a gun, you will have seconds to act while the cops won’t be there for minutes. This is also a libertarian issue. Put succinctly, the Second Amendment.

    Does Bill O’Reilly support gun registration?

    Last night on FOX News’, The O’Reilly Factor, I heard Bill say people should use “common sense” when it comes to “gun registration” while he was delivering “Talking Points” about background checks. He mentioned people drive and have to register their cars, as if cars and guns are similar. Americans aren’t under the threat of liberals wishing to confiscate their cars (well, maybe SUVs).

    Registration and background check are not the same thing

    I hope Bill isn’t conflating firearms purchaser background checks with gun registration—they are very different issues. I hope he understands that, if gun dealer checks my background, I check out okay, and then I purchase my firearm, that should be the end of the transaction. That weapon then belongs to me to do with, legally, what I will. If that means giving the gun as a gift to a family member or friend, that is my business as a law-abiding American.

    Gun registration provides government the tools for confiscation

    However, if I am made to register my gun, to let the government know what guns I have, how many I have, and where I live, in the unlikely (but, still far too likely for comfort, these days) event that our government descends into further liberal lunacy, this would allow the government to have everything it needs to try to take my guns or to prosecute me if I no longer have them.

    A guard against government tyranny

    Our Founding Fathers included the Second Amendment to guard against government tyranny. If this is the case, and we know it is, who could think that registering guns with the very government guns are kept to defend against makes any sense?

     

     

  • Obama’s Second Amendment Steam-Roller Continues

    Every morning, it seems I awake to more rights violated

    There exists a great deal of angst regarding President Obama’s latest attempt to circumvent Congress. I’m among those. It’s not as if the executive order will be all that far-ranging, but it’s yet another step that affects law-abiding gun owners and not criminals. I’m tired of getting up every morning wondering what other of my rights this progressive government is trampling. Still, some of the “gun violence” measures the President is “invoking” will need congressional approval, as they require funding, in order to take effect.

    Strong support for background checks

    The increased background checks portion is an interesting one. On its face, of course, background checks are important when done within reason. Anti-gun pundits and some pro-gun folks, for that matter, have been citing strong support in the polls for background checks.

    Trends shift with more information

    But, here’s the interesting part: More often than not, after Americans become familiar with the nuances of such a law, policy, or, in this case, executive order, the trend in favor tends to shift toward the other side of the argument.

    Background check before transferring gun to close family member

    For example, once people find out that the background check mandate could apply to a father giving a gun as a birthday gift to his son—with an additional sixty or more dollars plus the time involved, people begin to see how onerous—and useless—such regulations can be. Criminals won’t comply, only the law-abiding will.

    Professor Nicholas Johnson writes it like it is in the WSJ

    Today in the Wall Street Journal, Nicholas Johnson, a law professor at Fordham University, puts the situation into perspective in his column, “A Glittery Gun-Control Distraction.” Essentially, with his executive order, President Obama is expanding the definition of “gun dealer.” Now, a person who sells a few as one gun could be mandated to obtain a federal license (government permission) or wind up in federal prison.

    This has been shown a failure in the past

    Johnson explains this was the original result of progressive gun legislation back in the 1960s–to license more gun-selling Americans. Initially, the progressives praised it as a success. However, in the end, the law was a failure (ineffective for the purpose intended) because, the progressives posited, it resulted in “too many” FFLs issued in America. In the 1990s, under President Clinton, the policy was reversed and FFLs fell by 79% between 1994 and 2007. Humorously, the progressives, now, saw this reversal as a success. What’s that definition of insanity, again?

    Moving furniture…

    Now, here goes President Obama, as Johnson writes, “…moving the furniture around again.” This is a perfect demonstration of the “do-something” disease meant to politically placate the easily placated. People on the left who just want to hear pretty words designed to pacify but that will accomplish nothing in reality except to burden honest American gun owners.

    Finally, the President shows emotion

    The President, now, famously, came to tears over this issue. I won’t question his sincerity. A madman shooting little schoolchildren should make all of us shudder to our cores. However, when I think of his emotionless speeches regarding so many other issues, also highly emotional for Americans, such as about people whose lives have been snatched away by Islamist terrorists, by the most brutal methods imaginable, it just leaves me baffled.

     

     

     

  • A Chief of Police or a Chief of Mayor?

    Does a chasm exists between cops and their chiefs?

    Could a problem in policing today be the gaping chasm that seems to exist between many American police chiefs and their rank and file cops. The position is known as Chief of Police. However, it seems a mayor appointing a person to the office, instead, expects him or her to be the Chief of Mayor. Sheriffs, who are directly elected, may have similar problems depending on the politics of the electorate, but at least they run their own departments.

     

    Alchemy in achievement.

    Police chiefs rise through the ranks either within their departments or are appointed by mayors of other departments to serve as their top cop. These chiefs are usually good people, but many are also, evidently, politically malleable (i.e., the ladder seems to lean to the left as they climb it). Could the philosophical and political separation between cops and their chief come from the alchemy that occurs within some people who rise through the ranks? Sadly, many succumb to the adage: go along to get along. There may be a necessary professional distance that exists between employees and their bosses, generally. However, law enforcement, being a risk-laden, paramilitary organization, poses additional considerations, and trust and loyalty in both directions is crucial.

     

    Conservative cops vs. Liberal leaders.

    It’s no secret that the vast majority of street cops tend to be politically conservative. It is also no mystery that the people running cities such as Seattle are liberal, have oodles of leftist-sanctioned diversity, but scant political diversity. So, what happens when it’s time for the liberal city leadership to choose a chief of police to “lead” its police officers?

     

    The selection process.

    We cops used to parody Seattle’s police chief selection process. We could imagine the mayor meeting the police chief candidates at SeaTac Airport and requesting the candidate hand over his or her ______ (balls for men and, for women, the female equivalent) before then being pre-qualified to be invited to city hall for the formal interview. The city employs a ruse that the rank and file has a “vote” because the Police Officers Guild interviews the candidates and makes recommendations. However, in reality, the guild leadership essentially has to choose among candidates who range from politically left to, far left to, have left the building.

     

    Chief of the cops?

    There hasn’t been Chief of “Police” in Seattle for a long time—probably since Patrick Fitzsimons (the chief who hired me). Coming from the NYPD, many officers may have had legitimate issues with Chief Fitzsimons, but there was no doubt he was the Chief. I often saw Fitzsimons visit the precinct–and pound his knuckles on officer’s chests to make sure they were wearing their ballistic vests. To the contrary, even if I were missing three fingers, I could count on one hand how many times I saw Chiefs Stamper, Kerlikowske or Diaz in a precinct roll call during either of their tenures. How should patrol officers feel knowing they will never work for a chief they can trust—someone they could follow with confidence. The truth is, the mayor and city council will never appoint a chief who the rank and file approves of, because city leaders have never seemed very interested in the cops’ perspective (just shut up and be good little socialists, as a certain officer once put it).

     

    Chief of Police or Chief of Mayor?

    Does this mean the rank and file won’t give a new police chief the benefit of the doubt? Of course not. We gave it to Chief Norm Stamper, R. Gil Kerlikowske, John Diaz (in whom we had the most hope, because he came from us) and most recently, to Kathleen O’Toole. Still, while all of these chiefs, from a patrol officer’s perspective, made good and bad moves, officers were mostly disappointed after these chiefs seem to have been (or are a) puppet(s) of the municipal handlers, more concerned with following political protocols than with truly leading police officers. While a chief, ostensibly, has authority over his or her officers, should we have to wonder who actually runs the police department in Seattle? Shouldn’t it be an apolitical (as much as possible) chief of police? If Seattle weren’t lead by its liberal elite, its police department might not have become the petri dish for liberal, social justice experimentation that it is today. And it would have a Chief of Police, not a Chief of Mayor.