Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, July 24, 2009

Police Union Demands Apology

Here’s an interesting headline on Yahoo! News: “Massachusetts Police Union Demands an Apology.” I haven’t clicked on the article yet, but I know exactly what they’re talking about.

The vast vast majority of police officers are honest, hardworking and courageous. And their courage and professionalism are INSULTED every time a corrupt trigger-happy cop breaks the law and abuses his authority. I’m glad the Police Union is addressing this issue. They don’t deserve to be degraded and insulted by the few bad apples in their profession.

Here’s a recap of just a few of the crooked retarded goons who have smeared and insulted the reputation of law enforcement officers everywhere:

Rodney King, four KGB thugs LAPD officers, 56 times in 81 seconds, you know the drill.

In 1997, a Haitian immigrant was arrested by Brooklyn gang members cops, taken to the police station and had a broken plunger rammed up his ass repeatedly. After that, the cops found out they had arrested the wrong person — mistaken identity. OOPS, our bad.

In 1999, four North Korean Secret Police New York City Police officers shot and killed Amadou Diallo, an immigrant from Guinea. The four officers, all in street clothes, opened fire and shot Diallo 41 times. They claimed they thought he had a gun.

Last summer, a SWAT team, looking for marijuana, raided the wrong house and shot the owner’s Labrador Retriever, pointblank.

A few months ago, a Dallas police officer stopped a motorist — for rolling through a red light — who was driving his wife to the hospital to visit her dying mother. Even after the man and his wife explained their situation and begged him to let them continue on to the hospital, the officer pulled his gun on them and slo-o-o-o-o-oly wrote out their traffic ticket. The woman’s mother died before they could get in to visit her, thanks to Officer Friendly.

And just last month, an Oklahoma Highway Patrolman stopped an ambulance — that word again is AMBULANCE — for failure to yield right of way. He pulled him over and spent twenty minutes hollering at the driver and the paramedic, while a terrified patient was lying inside the ambulance.

The above-mentioned shitwipes have certainly tarnished the reputations of millions of honest law enforcement officers. And the Police Union is to be commended for finally recognizing this fact and for demanding an apology from the aforementioned douchebags.

cross-posted at Bring It On!


Anonymous Bee said...

What I haven't heard anyone in the news say yet about the incident with Prof. Gates is that those cops walked into his house (guns drawn? Yelling at him to get down, or spread'em, or whatever the hell they say now) and scared that old man to death. They got themselves cussed out for it, and couldn't take it? Aren't cops supposed to have a little bit thicker skin than that?? I could take a heck of a lot more abuse than some old guy cussing me out (rightfully so, imho), and I work for a freaking bank.
LOVE this post :)

July 24, 2009 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Bee: I haven't really followed this case closely. But I can only assume those cops were way out of line. It was the professor's own house and he obviously wasn't a burglar.

It's always really aggravated me that cops will circle the wagons and protect a dirty cop -- the "blue wall of silence" or whatever it's called. And at the same time they complain that they're being lumped in together with a few "bad apples." They can't have it both ways.

July 24, 2009 at 9:33 PM  
Anonymous Dave From Sequim said...

I can't say that most cops are assholes. I've known a couple that weren't. But if there is a profession that a larger percentage of authoritative dickwads are drawn to, I'd like someone to point it out to me.

July 25, 2009 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

I don't care whether Gates was yelling while in his own house. That's not disorderly conduct, at least in Massachusetts. I'd be fucking pissed, too.

Secondly, what kills me about hearing veiled racism couched in him playing the "don't you know who I am" card is that that's not a race thing, that's a professor thing. I see that nearly every day. Black, white, dude, chick, a lot of them carry superior airs, whether they're teaching PhD level English or Sociology 101.

It's up to the cop to be the voice of sanity, whether he feels insulted and/or disrespected or not. Period. Gates wasn't a physical threat.

I think the next time one of you assholes insults an over-the-top librarian, I'm going to demand a public apology to all of us.

July 25, 2009 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

In my opinion, our police are economic terrorists. The thin blue line between the haves and the policies that keep the have-nots in their place.

July 25, 2009 at 9:12 AM  
Blogger Demeur said...

Not knowing the particulars of the case but by going on logic (which is the bulk of police training by the way) I'd say the police did act stupidly.
Think about it. Having seen all the real cop shows what criminal would be smart enough to pull out his ID and show it to police? We'd see the bad guy in a foot presuit with the K-9 unit hot on his trail.

July 25, 2009 at 11:09 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Dave: That profession does seem to attract a high proportion of control freaks and "yeah, you wanna make something of it" types.

Randal: You're right, the fact that Gates was in his own house means he should have gotten some slack. It's not illegal to have the "don't you know who I am?" attitude, as obnoxious as it is.

I've heard about those crazed librarians. Everyone knows that when you're in the library you need to speak softly and politely, answer every question with Sir/Ma'am, and keep your hands where the librarian can see them.

Lew: They have a thankless job, but they're a necessary evil.

Demeur: I never watch those "real cop" shows, except when I've come in on the last few minutes of one, or if it's on in the background while I'm setting up the VCR. I remember this standup comedian was making fun of them: "Sometimes a guy actually has a shirt on when he's committing a felony."

July 25, 2009 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Dave Dubya said...

After reading the cops' report, I see this could be a good teaching case for officers to learn about escalation of an incident.

The officer certainly could have been more professional about this. It was obvious that these were not young thugs attempting a B and E. He could have verified Gates’ story in a less intrusive manner. The “step outside” line could have been seen as over-reaching. The situation could have been de-escalated if the cop had a cooler head. After the cop knew Gates lived there, it was the officers’ presence that escalated the situation. They should have left the scene.

Although I don't think Obama should have spoken about this, he was right. The cop STUPIDLY let the situation blow up out of proportion.

July 25, 2009 at 11:49 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

I can understand both sides of this. There are good and bad actors on both sides.

The incidents you mentioned, Tom,were horrendous. But then, I immediately recalled the case of a Washington State Trooper who, two or three years ago, stopped on I-5 south of Seattle to help what appeared to be a driver having car trouble. The driver didn't waste time finding out what the trooper wanted, he just shot him point blank. That kind of thing affects other cops.

No, that kind of thing doesn't excuse how professor Gates was treated, much less how Rodney King was attacked.

Like I said, I see bad actors, bad attitudes and badly handled situations on both sides.

July 25, 2009 at 1:10 PM  
Anonymous anubis1911 said...

You forgot about the BART officers who shot the unarmed man in the back in Oakland, while they had him pinned to the ground.

July 25, 2009 at 1:42 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Dave: I agree that Obama made a big mistake commenting about this. He's already trying to hedge and backtrack, and the rightwing shouters will see this as a sign of weakness. They'll smell blood.

This officer in the Gates case should be the "What Not To Do" section of the training video.

SW: Agreed, there are some vicious criminals out there that good cops have to deal with. Like I was telling Bee, I did this post mostly because of that Blue Wall of Silence, where cops circle the wagons and rally around to protect the shitty members of their profession. The good cops are just tarnishing their own image when they do this.

anubis1911: Damn, you're right, I did forget about that BART case. That was one of the cases I was thinking of when I started this post; I guess it slipped my mind while I was looking up other stuff.

July 25, 2009 at 4:27 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Tom, that's a good point about circling the wagons. But there's a dynamic at work among law-enforcement types even when no scandal or sensation incident is involved.

I heard a longtime cop on TV in the wake of the Rodney King atrocity discussing how the police fraternity feels a separateness. Even on a neighbor-to-neighbor or other social level, cops are regarded a little differently. Cops themselves feel a need to maintain a little distance, to not get get too close, possibly into conflict-of-interest or loyalties situations. For all they know, they someday might have to investigate or even arrest someone they know and like.

That cop said that as a result, you'll typically find a strong tendency among police to mostly socialize and form strong friendships among themselves. The tendency extends to their families, too. I thought it very interesting and a little sad in a way. But probably inevitable.

But when they develop a bunker mentality, nursing feelings the public neither knows nor cares what stresses they deal with, the risks they face and so on, then they can be primed to rally round one of their own, even when the one in question screwed up. That obviously is not good for them or for the rest of us.

July 25, 2009 at 10:09 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Randal Graves wrote: "I think the next time one of you assholes insults an over-the-top librarian, I'm going to demand a public apology to all of us."

I can honestly say I've never encountered an over-the-top librarian. Under the weather, yes; a little under the influence, possibly, but not over the top.

And, FWIW, I've never even thought of insulting one. I guess I lead a terribly dull life. :(

July 25, 2009 at 10:14 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

My parents were both librarians. Be careful what you say about quiet, bookish types! 8-)

I was galled at a CNN Headline News anchor who was basically wondering why the Gates story wouldn't die. She babbled "This story just won't go away!"

I don't often yell at the TV, but in this case I did: "It won't go away because you people won't stop reporting it!"

What I find saddest about this whole Gates thing is how the media has blown it up so big, right at a time when health care should be the topic of discussion. And I think the president unwittingly brought a good deal of it on. Now the conservative talkers will do their best to brainwash America into believing Obama hates our local police. Sigh...

July 26, 2009 at 10:15 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: That's definitely true about cops, that they have this siege us-against-them mindset. I can't think of any police officers that I know personally, other than kids I remember from high school who went on to be cops. From TV cop shows, it definitely seems like cops only hang out with other cops, even for dating, since those civilians just "wouldn't understand."

I can see why they have this mindset, but they're still shooting themselves in the foot when they rally around to protect a corrupt fellow officer.

Snave: It's too funny (not ha ha) about the media, when they cover a story over and over while commenting that "this story just won't go away!" DUH.

Obama definitely shouldn't have commented on this case. The rightwing spewbags will be all over this, no matter what Obama says next. If he won't backtrack, he hates the police. If he backtracks, he's a pussy that can't walk the walk.

July 26, 2009 at 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've grown up in some exclusive communities and some things are constant:

Their is a hierarchy in the community and the police are expected to know who they are (it may not be fair but it's real). Which also means if there is one person (or family) of color and influence the police are supposed to know who they are and act accordingly.

One big reason is these people do have influence and that can mean your job. So all investigations are usually tight and by the book - hell in a community full of lawyers and such they better be.

Guys who I know that are cops in those sort of areas love the peace and quiet but hate the power plays put on by the people that live there. Everytime they hear "do you know who I am?" The answer may relay on if that guy gets busted or walks.

For example of the Judge that got pulled over for drunken driving who said "Do you know who I am? That means they are expected to apologize for not knowing who they are and then let him go, knowing if that person gets in a wreck and kills somebody the police will be at fault.

This is what perplexes me about the whole Gates thing (and I haven't been this perplexed since the Brentwood police and OJ Simpson), as soon as they got the call, the Cambridge police should have known "it's the Gates house, he's black therefore don't be totally surprised if you see black people there." This defies all Protocol Police use in influential communities. This is how they keep their jobs.

LA takes it one step further, a black (or Latino) person can register his car and house with the LAPD so that they wont harass him, if he happens to be in his jeans and tank top and taking his Ferrari for a spin or if he walks into his house and his white neighbors don't recognize him and call the cops.

I predict this is not going to come out because the police don't want to admit to the public what they already suspect: "this is how we deal with the haves!" Which means for the next few weeks until it blows over we will hear left and right wing bickering over race.


July 26, 2009 at 4:02 PM  

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