• Seattle: “Teen” punched for felony assault on police officer, not jaywalking.

    As a police officer it’s maddening when people, from the most casual observer to the sharpest political pundit, gets it completely wrong. Now, I know we all get things wrong at times, but when we get those things wrong, and worse, in a very confident or even arrogant manner, but our error is based in ignorance, the issue demands edification.

    I’m referring to when a law enforcement officer becomes embroiled in some political hailstorm based upon his or her actions, often including the use of force, but which originates from some “minor” violation.

    Such ignorance has been loud and clear, recently, regarding the infamous Seattle “Jaywalking” Incident, with statements similar to: “The officer who punched a teenaged girl in the face for jaywalking obviously used excessive force,” and, “While the girl was wrong; the officer was wrong too.” What’s wrong, are those types of statements.

    Some suggested the officer lose his job, and others even wanted the City to charge him criminally. We even have some of our own leaders, some who’ve never been cops and couldn’t make a split-second decision at Starbuck’s and others who haven’t pounded a beat in years, calling perfectly acceptable actions, in which officers are specifically, and currently, trained, into question. This is not fair to all officers who can’t help but second-guess their actions in future similar situations.

    So, it doesn’t look good when a man punches a woman, especially a “teenager,” in the face for whatever reason…Duh! Of course it looks bad; uses of force rarely look good, but that’s not the point; the point is, a surrounded, lone officer, whose mind is racing a million miles an hour, needs to act as trained and within seconds. Having been through 18 years of police training sessions, I can tell you the officer used tactics as he was specifically trained. We don’t train for the specific person we’re dealing with, we train for the circumstances as a whole; isn’t that the point?

    That the use of force didn’t look good, no kidding; that the use of force is called into question, absolutely not, and shame on those who should know better.

    This criticism is seriously ignorant, but not entirely the civilian critic’s fault; the police are horrible at educating the public in police procedures. How the critics can speak so forcefully on something about which they understand so little is beyond me. Even people who purport to normally support the police sound like dunces to cops when they criticize, in a knee-jerk way, police practices they don’t understand, but think they do.

    There is one preeminent issue, which deserves dissection. Listen carefully: The girl was not punched for jaywalking; the girl—the suspect—was punched after assaulting a police officer, while interfering with his attempt to make an arrest, and then charging back at the officer.

    This is not a matter of semantics; this is a critical distinction. There is a transition that occurs during incidents such as this where, by the violator’s actions, the suspect elevates the encounter from, in the case of jaywalking, an infraction—the most minor level of law violations, to, in the case of assaulting a police officer, a felony—the most serious level of law violations.

    We see this especially when folks in categories outside those whom society feels may be, punched in the face, tased, or baton-whacked, without much public consternation. The categories include, women, children, the elderly, and the physically and mentally challenged. So, in this case we have a two-fer: a teenaged female.

    Regarding the female aspect, the young woman may have been seventeen, and though irrelevant, the officer obviously couldn’t know this, and again irrelevant, she appeared at least the same age as the other female, nineteen, and actually relevant, she was about the same physical size as the officer she’d assaulted.

    Now, regarding those folks who believe this was some arrogant, badge-heavy officer out looking to “harass” kids, proactively hiding and waiting to pounce on jaywalkers, think again. According to neighborhood comments, people described the officer as kind and fair, and more likely to give a warning than a ticket for such offenses.

    Also add to this that it was the school administration that specifically requested increased pedestrian “jaywalking” violation enforcement at the intersection. (Incidentally, there is also an alternate pedestrian overpass at this location, so pedestrians don’t have to cross the busy intersection). This is why the officer took the action he did—he was doing his job. All the “teenager” had to do was apologize for her infraction, and then accept the consequences of her actions in either a verbal warning or an infraction, like 99% of the world does.

    It should also be noted that, with the assistance of local minority groups, the “teenager” apologized to the officer—in person, and the officer accepted that apology. Neither the group, nor the “teenager” solicited an apology from the officer, which is appropriate, since he did nothing wrong.

    Please keep the bottom line in mind: The officer didn’t use force against the “teenager” for jaywalking; the officer used force against the “teenager” for assaulting a police officer and interfering with him conducting his legal duties.

  • Liberty vs. Tyranny: Part-Infinity

    Sometimes we have to distill a message to really “get” it, but it’s best distilled only after getting as much information as possible about it. The more I read and study American history the more I’m convinced that my position is a correct one, and since it’s the position of Founding Fathers such as Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, I feel I’m on firm ground.

    The entire current, and preeminent American issue truly comes down to the simple question of whether you believe the individual is sovereign, with the right to make peaceful choices for himself, or the government is sovereign and had the right to make decisions for the individual.

    This is a truly strange proposition when you consider that many on the left who believe in big government, also ostensibly believe in “choice,” but apparently only when it comes to smoking dope or aborting a potential human being.

    That government is best which governs least.” Thomas Paine

  • Washington Brewers Festival, Father’s Day Weekend!

    Don’t forget about the microbrew fest the Washington Beer Commission hosts every Father’s Day weekend, which will be held this weekend beginning this Friday evening. The event is held at St. Edward’s State Park in Kenmore.

    I’ve been attending this event for years and find it extremely enjoyable rain or shine–however, shine is preferred, but if it does rain, liquid sunshine in a glass warms me just fine.

    I find this aspect of attending this event to be the most interesting: I remember bringing my kids to the Festival where they’d partake of microbrewed root beer, watch the keg toss competition, and play at the kid’s area provided. Now, talk about a trip, my kids take me to the Fest and are old enough to buy dear ol’ Dad a beer…or two…

    See you there!!!

    “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” -Ben Franklin.

    “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning, that’s as good as they’re going to feel all day.” -Frank Sinatra

  • Bizzaro Seattle

    I’ve been joking with friends lately that we’re now living in Bizzaro World. You know that world from the Superman comics where everything is the opposite of what it’s supposed to be like in our “real” world. The evidence for my observation is everywhere. Consider the following:

    Yesterday on John Carlson’s show on KVI 570 Radio, John interviewed Seattle city attorney Peter Holmes about his decision to alter prosecutorial filing guidelines in order to make deporting convicted aliens (legal and illegal) more difficult. What?

    And what was his reasoning? Mr. Holmes asserted “disproportional sentencing,” meaning an alien—an invited or uninvited guest—found guilty of committing a crime in the United States, or at least the City of Seattle, aside from his jail sentence and/or fines, shouldn’t suffer the additional penalty of deportation. What?

    This is logic? Well, in today’s Seattle I guess it is. So, the fact there’s an additional factor that the convicted criminal “legal” alien was a guest in the U.S., and should respect that by following our laws, has no bearing whatever on Seattle’s chief prosecutor. And in the case of the convicted criminal illegal alien, this person had already committed a crime just crossing the border.

    Now, I’d be the last person to say all laws are good laws. However, just as we have a right to protect our own private property from trespassers, we certainly have a right to protect our nation from the same. But I forgot, this is, after all, Bizzaro Seattle.

  • Cop says Washington Cell Phone Law is bad Law

    Washington’s new cell phone law is bad law for so many reasons, so where to start? First, and perhaps most ridiculous, is that this law is redundant to begin with and it’s truly flabbergasting how every proponent deftly evades this reality. Laws like this serve only to make law-breakers out of formerly law-abiding drivers.

    Previous to this law, if an officer observed a distracted driver posing an articulable danger to others, the officer already had the authority to stop that driver and issue a citation if appropriate. This already included driving with a cell phone to his or her ear, or for that matter, while applying make-up, reading a map, or doing a crossword puzzle. Today the law allows law enforcement officers to stop a driver simply holding a phone to his or her ear, even absent putting any other drivers at articulable risk.

    Here’s another reason why this is bad law. Americans tend to have a strong sense of fairness; they generally know the difference between getting a fair shake and government overstepping. When a cop stops a driver who’s talking on a cell phone, something he or she’s been doing safely for years, respect for all laws and by extension all law enforcement is diminished.

    When the government enacts such statist edicts, giving government officials more and easier authority to interfere in its citizens’ pursuit of happiness, those citizens bristle and eventually get angry, having gotten pretty damned fed up with a paternalistic nanny government who feels no compunction at restricting individual liberty in deference to socialistic goals.

    Unfortunately we have too many statist politicians and community organizers afflicted with the do-something disease, or I should say, government-do-something disease, frothing at the mouth to pass more repressive laws. For too long these folks have based political “success” on how much tax money they can divert to pet pork projects and how many laws they can pass.

    Well, it’s well past time for a paradigm shift: Politicians need a new barometer for measuring “success,” and a new litmus test for deciding public policy. This new perspective should judge success not by how many laws a politician enacts, but by how many laws he or she repeals.

    As for an American public policy litmus test, from the smallest village council to the U.S. Congress, how about the preeminent question asked when considering any law is, how does this law affect individual liberty?

    How many unnecessary or redundant rules, regulations, and taxes can my political representatives repeal? That’s what I want to know. Repealing burdensome taxes, oppressive regulations, and nanny-statist laws, such as the new Washington cell phone law, would be a great start.

    The most I want my representatives to do for me is the least they can do for me.

  • A Leftists Assault on the First Amendment

    So, now we have a group of some thirty, well known to lesser-known, liberal-socialist advocacy groups calling on the FCC to begin monitoring so-called “hate speech” on talk radio and cable TV. (Read: Rush and FOX News).

    This is nothing more than a blatant attempt at censorship—period!

    Well, okay, that should be enough said, but I’ll comment further regardless. The left is so afraid that those whom they fear will arrive at different conclusions than they desire, and unable to persuade, now wish to use government force to control free speech. After all, people are too stupid to figure out what’s best for them without government help, right? Well, according to the left anyway.

    These groups cite sensational criminal acts, such as the Oklahoma City Bombing, supposedly committed by those motivated by “right-wing” talk radio or cable TV, to bolster their case–what nonsense.

    When will we wake up and realize that these are not innocuous groups relegated to the left fringe, because there is no longer a left fringe; the fringe has become the left’s mainstream and they are quite welcome at this White House. Attempts such as this demonstrate this nicely.

    The one thing I always thought both the left and right could agree on at least, is reverence for the First Amendment. However, with this the leftists show they have no reverence for any part of our Constitution.