NC Sheriff Ed Brown (courtesy jdnews.com)

“Those in the law enforcement profession have complete power and authority over you, your life, you family, your loved ones, your rights, your freedom, your future, and everything precious to life.” – Onslow County, North Carolina Sheriff Ed Brown [via jdnews.com] [h/t footforthinkers.com]

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90 Responses to Quote of the Day: Political Power Grows Out of the Barrel of a Gun Edition

    • In North Carolina, these are the psychos who get to decide who gets a firearm since NC doesn’t have NICS, instead they have PPP’s which sometimes have ridiculous criteria like living in a county for more than a year, having 6 upstanding citizens (no family members) sign a petition stating how deserving you are of ownership and if you take or have taken meds for depression or anxiety, or if you have even seen a marriage counselor, you are SOL . It’s actually a Jim Crow throwback that all 100 NC sheriffs fought tooth and nail to keep in 2013. Sieg Heil indeed.

      • Can all be bypassed with a CHP. Thank goodness CHP is shall issue. The reason the sherriffs fought to keep ppp is the fees. Follow the revenue…

        In other news, I recently moved to AZ because NC’s purple-state BS was starting to give me heartburn.

    • The cop problem suffers from relative rarity and compartmentalization. Anyone paying attention knows the institution of law enforcement as a whole is a monster that needs a bullet in the head but if you’re not paying attention (most of America) the opinion relies exclusively on experience and with a nation this large it’s still very easy to say “never happened to me or anyone I know”. Pair that with generations of Norman Rockwell “police are your friend” nonsense and the cancer just spreads and spreads while heads remain buried.

      The trouble is that by the time enough people finally get it it will just be the new order of policing and everyone else will simply be used to it by now and wonder why these last few people are just now getting upset about the way things have always been.

      • That’s just the thing, though. It HASN’T happened to me. I’m white, live in a middle upper class neighborhood, and so on. I’ve never had a bad experience with a police officer. Yet I know that the above quote is true, and that alone is unsettling enough for me to want to reject their presence entirely.

  1. Wow, the quote is taken COMPLETELY out of context, with much information left out.. Here’s what he actually said, in its entirety:

    “The vast majority of our Duties and Functions are performed with only your conscience Watching and Directing us. Thus the Core Values of a person in the Law Enforcement Profession is Everything.

    Those in the Law Enforcement Profession have complete Power and Authority over You, Your Life, Your Family, Your Loved Ones, Your Rights, Your Freedom,Your future, and Everything Precious to Life.

    From the very word of a Law Enforcement Office, all those Precious Things of Life hang. That is why it does matter what the Core Values are for those in the Law Enforcement Profession”

    Can anyone argue with the core message, that a dishonest law enforcement agency or official does and can have complete power over your life, should they choose to abuse that power, lie, or manipulate the law against you?

    THAT is what his message is.

    • The rest of the quote doesn’t matter. The point remains that they have complete power over us. Given this power, no matter how well elaborated or distilled or emphasized these core values are, whatever they may be, abuse WILL occur, just because of the very nature of the power itself.

      • This is also why I believe cops end up shooting dogs that bark at them; they see it as defiance. They see any resistance to immediate and complete submission to their “authoritay” even from a dog, as justifying immediate use of lethal force,

        This is the mentality that is trained, ingrained and demanded from the government. This is why the Founding Fathers warned against a police/military force that was not based on volunteer citizens. When these bodies become a “professional” entity that depends on it’s pay from the government; this is the mentality that inevitably leads to the police and military with the Jack Booted Thug mentality enforcing the “The Law” against the people. Waco and Ruby Ridge is the result.

        Historically; this does not end well.

        • I think the big reason cops shoot dogs is because they’re simply not trained in the “old school” ways of being a cop, and how to deal with situations without the use of guns anymore. My dad was a cop back in the 80’s and he resolved every single violent situation he came across hand to hand, and won each time. He’s told me about the recent phenomenon of cops shooting dogs, and back in his day, they didn’t shoot them, they were trained on how to kill a dog with their bare hands, if the dog actually attacks them. They were trained to grab the dog by the jaw, and bash the top of its head with a fist, therby driving the jaw into the brain and killing it. This made sense because if your code dictates you go hand to hand with the dog, by the time you have to do this, its obviously true that you had to defend yourself. I think policing has lost allot of its “art” in the last 20 years.

        • Has the police baton disappeared? I’d like to know what dog isn’t going to be discouraged with a baton strike to the head.

          Unfortunately I know the answer……the training encourages going straight to the gun because police now favor applicants from people who do not have the innate strength to defend themselves in the least. Thus all trained scenarios lead to pulling your gun.

          Yet another way that lawyers and their lawsuits have fvcked up this country.

        • If you mean “old school” in that the cops were looked as peace officers protecting their fellow citizens from bad guys. I agree. This is why the cops had shot guns instead of Thompson Sub-machine guns and BAR’s. They were expected to treat us as citizens, not as civilians in a military occupied territory.

          The “new school” is to be taught that the citizens are now civilians, that they are at “war”, first it was the “Drug War” now it’s the “War on Terror” and that the police now see everyone one as a potential “Perp/ terrorist”. And now they have their full auto M-4’s, military kit, armored personnel carriers (MRAP’s), and the mind set of a militarized police force.

          So now the mentality is more of a occupying force instead of a peace keeping force. and, of course; the atrocities and abuses that come from such a mentality.

        • @ ThomasR, yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Its become an “Us vs Them” scenario with a high influx of spying and military technology. It used to be community oriented policing, and it worked. It worked very well. Even in the big cities. But the late 90s and 9/11- its shifted to “Combat policing” where Americans that know the constitution and fly the Don’t Tread On Me are “Domestic Terrorists” and the Founding Fathers are considered Extremists. I can’t remember the source, But around when the patriot act was passed there was some attempt at legislation to start recording who rented what in libraries, and copies of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence would put you on a watch list.

        • Yep, NCA; The use of words tells the way a person is thinking; “Civilian” means a person in a country at war that does not belong to the police, military or firefighter organization.

          The term “civilian” is used in the Laws of War and the Geneva Convention for when a country is at war and it’s a way to designate those that are non-combatants from the active soldiers and law enforcement. So when we invaded Europe to free them from the Nazi’s; we designated the German and French “civilians”, and treated them differently than those that were uniformed soldiers on the battle field.

          In other words; when the government and their enforcers refer to us as “civilians” it is because they see themselves in a state of “war”; and like the Vietnam War; everyone not in uniform; ie-civilians, are the potential enemy.

    • I was reading the ad, and it seemed decent enough right up until that single line. At that point, everything he said suddenly changes from “generic sheriff dude proclaiming high standards” to “absolute power restrained only by good intentions”, which fundamentally violates our form of government. The power of the government is limited by laws and our Constitution, not by intentions that can change on a whim. So no, that line is unacceptable in a government official.

      • He is simply stating what is true. When a swat teams breaks down the wrong door and kills an innocent person; the cops are not charged with murder. A citizen would be.

        When a cop shoots your dog; he isn’t charged with a crime; if we shoot a police dog; we would be charged with a felony. Your house can be seized, bank accounts frozen, everything you own is impounded and you in jail, simply because some “confidential informant” says you might be a drug dealer; which you then have to fight in court to prove wrong without any money because all your assets have been seized.

        You can be arrested, not charged, denied a lawyer, not shown the evidence against you, held in secret, indefinitely; for the “duration of hostilities”, simply because you might be a “terrorist”.

        “Those in the law enforcement profession have complete power and authority over you, your life, you family, your loved ones, your rights, your freedom, your future, and everything precious to life”

        So tell me; where is anything this cop is saying is incorrect.

        • I was thinking what other power and control does the government/police have over us. They can seize your house and property bulldoze it down and build an industrial park for more taxes or just declare your property is a wetlands and keep you from selling it or improving it. Destroy your lively hood in lumber to protect a Spotted Owl, in farming to protect a minnow, or as a cattle rancher to protect a desert tortoise.

          Stop you on the road way for a safety check, strip search you at the airport, listen and record your phone calls and E-mails, be reported to the government if you pull more than a thousand in cash from the bank, have that same thousand in cash seized by the police if they find it on you because it could be drug money.
          Have your kids taken away and put into foster care because you spanked them when disciplining them. A vindictive ex-wife can put a baseless restraining order on her husband and have him lose his guns and gun rights without a jury trial.

          “Those in the law enforcement profession have complete power and authority over you, your life, you family, your loved ones, your rights, your freedom, your future, and everything precious to life.

          Yep, That pretty much says it all.

    • Unless the chief is actively pursuing those who abuse the badge,
      than his words are meaningless. I’d also argue that if he is not
      weeding out corruption he is merely using political speak to
      bolster the attitude prevalent among many LE organizations
      of ‘we can do no wrong’. Which, to me, makes the quote
      even more egregious.

    • Well, no, I’m sorry. It wasn’t taken out of context. He said it, he meant what he said. And he and his deputies will be in for a rude awakening if they go about their business with that attitude. They are going to cost Onslow county a lot of money at the very least.

    • No, the message was quite clear that’s what he believes the office should entail, and that is the power level he wants for himself personally, nothing about keeping it away from someone who might do the things he just nonchalantly listed as the normal aspects of the office. This is a clear sign of the broken mindset of law enforcement in this country, that they are somehow life chaperones to all us child like little non cops.

    • It would be a nice touch for him to list the core values. For example, do they include lust for absolute power, greed, vengeance, arrogance, or disregard for individual rights?

      All that semi-literate text proves is that he speaks some English. It tells me nothing substantial, but leaves some chilling suspicions about his and his Department’s attitude toward the people in their care.

      If he was elected Sheriff of my town I would move away as soon as I could.

    • The context makes me feel slightly better about the guy, but then incredibly worse about the guy, because he accepts that as reality. And it makes me feel MUCH worse about our relationship with LEOs. If what he said was true, then what he said serves as a definition for LEOs – among others.

      Law Enforcement Officer (n.) 1. An official of the state that has complete power and authority over you, your life, you family, your loved ones, your rights, your freedom, your future, and everything precious to life. 2. SEE “petty tyrant.”

    • I read the campaign flyer linked to, and it’s actually worse in context.
      Out of context, it can read that Sheriff Brown is speaking out against corrupt or overzealous policing, because they can take your life and claim it was justified and there’s no one left alive to say otherwise.
      In context, he’s actually advocating for this belief, and seems to fully support the idea that the police have absolute authority over every aspect of citizens’ lives.
      F*** that.

  2. I prefer “Keeper of the Peace” to “Law Enforcement Officer”. There are plenty of laws that ought not be enforced.

    • Their duty isn’t to “keep the peace”, though, but to enforce the laws, even if they should not be enforced.

      • I disagree. While enforcing laws is a large part of keeping the peace, law enforcement is often a justification of statism.

      • Well, not really. There is “officer discretion.” Some legislators try to write laws so as to remove this discretion, but creates more problems than it solves.

        Do you REALLY think every cop out there is enforcing EVERY law technically on the books? If you, you are wrong. There are places where sodomy and other “private” practices are illegal. Do you see cops getting warrants to bust down doors and enforce those on a daily basis?

        Furthermore, cops are citizens of this country AND they have affirmed that citizenship with swearing an oath to uphold the Constitution. As such, they have just as much responsibility to ignore immoral (or unconstitutional) laws as any other citizen.

        Or, have we seen rampant enforcing of the CT “illegal magazine” law since the 1st of January? No.

        It’s a complicated issue; it’s not black and white, and you cannot rationally argue that cops “are this” or “are not that.” To do so is to grossly misunderstand both their proper role in society AND how the abuses come about.

        • I think you need to reread what I said. I didn’t say that the police officers’ duty is to enforce all laws all the time without accounting for discretion. I was arguing that their duty is not to “keep the peace”, which is an entirely nebulous concept to begin with. Their duty, however, IS TO ENFORCE THE LAW. Their function is their title.

          And their duty is to enforce the laws even if the laws themselves should not be enforced. Choosing whether or not to arbitrarily enforce a law due to “officer discretion” is not the same as enforcing a law that is unjust. They might not be going crazy in Connecticut, but they most certainly go apeshit in California.

          Additionally, I most certainly CAN argue cops are this or cops are that. Their duty and role is codified in written law in black and white, as well as their procedures, training, and policies. They ARE NOT here for our protection, as the supreme court loves to remind us. They ARE here to enforce laws, as they understand them at the time of arrest, even if they are incorrect, and even if it is at the expense of our personal wellbeing.

          Their oath to uphold the constitution notwithstanding, their enforcement of unjust and unconstitutional laws, as well as the implementation of unconstitutional policies by their department that they follow anyway, the rule of law is subject to their whim. Recent polling of police officers admit that they are even cognizant of the immoral or even illegal situations they put themselves in, and will carry out their “duty” anyway. They admitted they will lie to protect a fellow officer, and their supervisors will lie to protect them both in turn. A lack of accountability, followed by an interpersonal code of conduct that promotes looking out for your brothers at all costs, and a perversion of the law to ensure officer safety above all else, not to mention a growing prison system fueled by private prisons and egged on by a drug war that allows for the seizing of private property to profit the police department, is what is responsible for the growing and damning rise of police corruption and abuse of power in law enforcement.

          It is, as you said, a complicated issue, but not so complicated that it can’t be explained in a simple equation:

          power structure – accountability + perverse sense of duty = corrupt cops

        • That should have read “perverse incentives” but its too late for me to change it.

        • For the record, I don’t disagree with your general points on the whole.

          But, I do disagree with this part:

          “And their duty is to enforce the laws even if the laws themselves should not be enforced.”

          Not really. The oath is made to the Constitution, not merely to legislated statutes that are, by definition, extra-Constitutional.

          And I think for a lot of folks that take that particular oath, it is to the SPIRIT of the Constitution. There is no “duty” to enforce immoral law.

          Granted, that’s not to say that some cops would not do it. THAT’s the point this guy was making (or one of them). If we start with the premise that cops have a proper place in our society, then we have a HUGE responsibility in insuring that those that are hired understand that “proper place.”

          If you don’t start with that premise, his comment is more or less irrelevant.

        • Again, you’re failing to read what I wrote. I did not say they had a duty to enforce unconstitutional laws, but unjust laws.

          Further, their job puts them in positions where they enforce immoral laws all the time. Nearly the entirety of the war on drugs is an example. Stop and frisk is another. There are hundreds of laws that are deemed constitutional that are prima facie unjust and immoral, and are enforced on the daily.

          I would also argue that the enforcement of laws in our society is indeed a valuable service that is essential for a functioning democracy, but that a professional force that has been tasked with enforcing an ever-expanding set of laws else they lose their job and their pay and their livelihood is not the solution.

          As for what the point he was making is, the fact remains that with this professional force in place, even with the understanding of the constitution and a well established set of core values, the very nature of the power structure of the police over a citizen leads to the kind abuses we see today, and, frankly, have been present in law enforcement since its inception.

        • No, I’m not failing to understand.

          “I did not say they had a duty to enforce unconstitutional laws, but unjust laws.”

          I just disagree that there is a distinction in the general case.

      • Their duty is indeed to keep the peace. In fact, disturbing the peace is a crime. Even by your own enforcing the laws standard, they’re still obligated to keep the peace.

        In a civilized society, the State has the legal monopoly on the initiation of violence. Private citizens may legally act in violence, under specific circumstances, but examine thise circumstances closely. You’ll find that in every one of them somebody else initiated the violence, which can start with threat of violence.

        This means that the default legal status is peace. Departures from that status are inherently violent and civilized people don’t have the legal right to initiate such departures. When they do, they’ve committed a crime by violating a law, which must be enforced.

        You can think back to the Declaration of Independence, too. All men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalianable rights, among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are all peace-oriented objectives. The declaration goes on to argue that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men. Government’s purpose, therefore, is to secure these rights and to keep the peace in an objective manner. Government has no legal authority or moral mandate to serve its own interests in controlling people’s lives, but rather only to serve the people’s interests in securing the people’s right to peace.

        • The government does not have a right to “initiate violence”; no more than the individual citizen. There is supposed to be a law being broken, a threat voiced, an act of obvious violence about to be launched, before the government can act with violence; whether against a street criminal or to declare war against a nation. The fact that this is routinely violated, whether in the initiation of violence against the individual alleged criminal, against law abiding citizens or against nations; is the issue.

          But this is the why of the second amendment. This was the justification for our revolution against the tyranny of King George. When the people of the government apparatus forget their purpose and come to believe that they don’t serve the people, but we serve them; that the law does not apply to them, but that law only applies to the people and if the power of the ballot box is not enough; then the bullet box is next.

          This is the choice of all people; is it better to die on ones feet as a free person, or survive on your knees as a peasant, peon or a virtual slave?

        • “In fact, disturbing the peace is a crime. Even by your own enforcing the laws standard, they’re still obligated to keep the peace.”

          This only proves that they are enforcing a law against disturbing the peace, not that their core duty is to keep the peace. If there was no law, would they be obligated to enforce it?

          “In a civilized society, the State has the legal monopoly on the initiation of violence.”

          This is wildly untrue, as ThomasR has noted above.

          “This means that the default legal status is peace.”

          I would love for you to cite where you gleaned this legal concept.

          “Departures from that status are inherently violent and civilized people don’t have the legal right to initiate such departures. When they do, they’ve committed a crime by violating a law, which must be enforced.”

          To “keep the peace” is defined as refraining or preventing others from disturbing “civil order”, which is defined as the government. There are thousands, if not tens or even hundreds of thousands of laws on the books dealing with non-violent crimes. You’ve slung some pretty intense hyperbole by saying that “all departures” from an undisturbed civil government are inherently violent. Is selling and ingesting perfectly safe raw milk inherently violent? What about starting up a crowd-sourced car service in violation of state-monopolized taxis? What about smoking pot in the privacy of your own home?

          By equating the breaking of a law as an inherently violent act you have given the authority to the state to initiate violence up to and including death for truancy, littering, and even name-calling.

          You are correct that the declaration of independence (a non-legal document) sets out the goals of government as protecting rights. Yet by offering them the ultimate power over yourself in the form of prosecution for trivial crimes and the ability to the remove those rights for unjust reasons you betray the very principles you seem to espouse.

          “Government’s purpose, therefore, is to secure these rights and to keep the peace in an objective manner. Government has no legal authority or moral mandate to serve its own interests in controlling people’s lives…”

          Now, if as you say, the police’s duty is to keep the peace, that is, to ensure an undisturbed civil order, which is defined as the government, then the government most DEFINITELY has the legal authority and a very distinct mandate to serve its own interests in order to remain undisturbed. By your own definition of law enforcement, their purpose is to ensure that the government remains unmolested.

        • Sorry, I should correct myself.

          You are correct that the government has no authority to serve its own self interests. Rather, it is the police that are acting in excess of the government’s own authority if your definition of law enforcement is to be considered accurate.

        • I’m afraid you’re both mistaken, Thomas and Jake. “There is supposed to be a law being broken, a threat voiced, an act of obvious violence about to be launched, before the government can act with violence.”

          Really? I rent you an apartment. You fail to pay your rent. What violence have you committed or threatened? None, because this is a civil, not a criminal, matter. And yet, I will file eviction proceedings with the local Justice of the Peace (take note of that official’s title, Jake, because I’ll address your misunderstanding in a moment), and the court will order the Constable to show up and evict you by force if you resist See? The government and only the government initiated the violence. I as your landlord may not legally pull a gun on you and demand payment.

          Want another example? Ok, someone calls 911 and reports that they heard a gunshot and screams coming from your home. When cruisers, perhaps SWAT, show up, hear no response from inside your house, they’ll break down your door, guns drawn, and proceed to clear your house in tactical fashion. Very violent! Someone made a phone call, but the police are the ones actually committing and initiating the violence, which they’re perfectly legally authorized to do under those circumstances. What crime was committed by you or in your house? None, you got SWATTED.

          Another? Ok, drive around town with no license plates, registration and inspection sticker. Sure, that’s a crime, but what violence have you committed? None. Watch how the cops respond, though: up to and including initiating violence against you, they will stop you and extract payment from you via tickets. Yes, I understand they have legal justification, namely your vehicle being out of compliance; but THAT’S my point: they, and they alone, have the legal authority to initiate violence. Hell, even if your vehicle is in apparently perfect compliance, but it just happens to match the description of a vehicle carjacked ten minutes ago, they’ll employ their legal monopoly to initiate violence against you. Believe it, pal, watch it happen, even though YOU’VE committed no crime. Suppose you hear on the news that a given car was carjacked, and the next day you happen to see a matching make and model, what happens if you draw down on them on that basis alone? YOU go to jail for deadly conduct, because you don’t have the right to initiate violence. You can only counter violence in very specific circumstances, while the police have much greater latitude, to the point that they have a monopoly on initiating, as opposed to countering, violence. Again, even their initiation monopoly is delimited, but still, they’re the only one with initiation authority, howsoever limited.

          In fact, it is the government’s serving as independent arbiter of civil disputes, whose rulings are backed by the use or threat of violence, that serves to remove the initiation of violence from private citizens’ hands and reserve the initiation of violence for itself. Sure, the government’s authority in that capacity is itself limited. Nobody said it was absolute, just that it was exclusive to the government.

          It’s the right and proper purpose of government to funnel ongoing disputes, whether between two parties or a party and the State, through the judicial system’s civil and criminal avenues and backed by the government’s monopoly on the initiation of violence. That’s what filters anarchy from society, re-channels conflict through a system of due process, and renders a society of laws, not of men.

          Jake? “’This means that the default legal status is peace.’ I would love for you to cite where you gleaned this legal concept.”

          Toooo easy: they’re called the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. To wit:
          From the Dec. of Ind. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed….”

          Right there it says that you have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; in other words, peace. Oh, the Dec. of Ind. doesn’t carry the force of law, you say? Fine.

          From the U.S. Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

          Right there: justice, tranquility and liberty, those mean peace. Oh, that’s just the preamble and that’s not good enough? Well, check out the 1st amendment then, which upholds the right of the people to peaceably assemble. That presupposes that peace is the default status. Check out the 2nd amendment, which, well, you know……. It provides for keeping and bearing of arms for the security of a free state; meaning peace is the default status. Arms are how we’ll maintain that status.

          I could go on, but I’ve more than made my point. What’s transpired here is that you two went off half-cocked, knee jerked, thinking I’m some pro-State yahoo when, in fact, I’ve done serious reading and thinking on this topic for decades. You both got caught up in rah rah rah cheerleading for Individuals, without pausing to consider what form an individual’s rights/responsibilities balance takes in a free society, particularly vis-à-vis the State. It’s more complex than you two even acknowledge, let alone understand. Great starter conversation, though! Take care, gentlemen.

        • For somebody who has done so much reading on the subject and is so well versed, it’s quite funny that you don’t see your own contradiction in your logic.

          If the government has the monopoly on the initiation of violence, and the default legal status is peace as secured by the constitution (as you have cited yourself), then you have given government the de facto authority to violate the rights of others by breaking that peace as they are the only ones who may legally initiate violence. By giving government the authority to INITIATE violence, even, as you have mentioned above, without the violation of any criminal law (even though in all the examples cited there IS a violation of criminal law, or at least probable cause to believe there is), then you have rendered the entire concept of the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness null and void in the shadow of a state that may violate rights as it pleases.

          I never thought you to be a pro-State yahoo, but I do think you should do some more reading until you realize the difference between the “initiation of violence” and the “legitimate use of force”.

          You take care, as well.

  3. Johnny Hart, great humorist and cartoonist, wrote these words of the “Golden Rule” of the king in the Wizard of ID: “He who has the gold, makes the rule!”

  4. The part of his statement that concerns you all is simply not true. There is a rule of law in this country that applies to LEOs just as equally as to anyone else. If the people don’t ensure that their law enforcement officials are acting in accordance with policy then it is they who are at fault. It’s the same as having a dysfunctional congress incapable of action. The people must see to it that their LE organizations are acting with integrity and within the laws that the people have set out for them to follow. Don’t like your local police department? Simply replace it.

    • While this is true, if you have a dysfunctional leader, it is going to affect most of his underlings. When a person in ‘power’ goes about with the attitude of ‘I AM THE POWER’, it’s going to cause trouble. Glad I don’t live there

    • “If the people don’t ensure that their law enforcement officials are acting in accordance with policy then it is they who are at fault.”

      First and foremost, government bureaucrats who violate the law and oaths of office are responsible for their own behavior. Furthermore, it is next to impossible to hold them accountable when prosecutors and judges cover for them … and even more impossible when prosecutors, judges, police officers, and other bureaucrats refuse to divulge information.

      About the only exception to this would be events that are so egregious and obvious that We the People would not need any cooperation from prosecutors, judges, police officers, and other bureaucrats to make a case. Such an example would be the police officers in California who shot-up the two wrong pickup trucks in the Dorner case. Not a single city, county, nor state prosecutor has filed charges (as far as I know) to prosecute those officers. Local citizens should form a Grand Jury and receive an indictment to prosecute those officers … and then prosecute the officers themselves in a proper court if necessary.

  5. Not the good ones. You become what you worship. Those who worship power become tyrants. Those who truly SERVE and PROTECT are the last knights of the realm. Cops are like any other job, some good guys, some bad guys, some care too much, some care too little.

    • When the guy at Subway is bad at his job you get banana peppers on your sub. When a cop is bad at his job you get a bullet in your head or locked away for twenty years. It’s really not a job where collecting a long history of reprimands should even an option yet many of the finally caught bad cops share a common trait with their felon counterpart of a long history of repeated bad behavior.

      The best is when they’re shuffled around like pedophile priests. Got to love that.

    • I think that just like every other segment of society, the huge majority are the good guys. However, unlike any other segment of society, a single bad apple can affect the lives of an enormous number of people. This is why policing themselves scrupulously is so very important, to weed out as many bad apples as possible. But it does not happen, instead they protect the bad apples for some reason.

      • It’s unlike other segments of society because law enforcement does wield so much power and officers are self-selected. In other segments of society, you do indeed have some bad apples here and there. However, in law enforcement, bad apples are drawn to the opportunity to wield immense power, so they concentrate there.

        Likewise, you’ll see thieves throughout society, but they’ll concentrate in occupations where they can steal the most. Same with pedophile taking positions in teaching and child care. They choose the paths that given them access to the object of their desire. For cops, it’s the chance to impose their will on others. More so than in regular society, where exchanges must be mutually voluntary and fraud-free, power hungry people seek out police jobs so they can exercise their authoritarian tilt.

        • In the service, when a theft or more serious crime was committed without an identified suspect we usually investigated the military police first. About 60% of the time the crime was solved without further investigation.

        • That’s disturbing, Bill, but I believe it. I remember back in college when I managed a local store in a national chain of convenience stores. Sure, customers and vendors would steal from the store; but the overwhelming majority of theft was by employees. It’s hard to watch the watchers. Unfortunately, some unworthy people will insinuate themselves into positions of trust and exploit their position.

  6. After reading the rest of that, I’m pretty sure that quote was an unintentional hyperbole.

    • If that is so, then it shows bad judgement on his part. When in power, what you say means something. The escape of “I was misquoted” is used too much to try and recover from voicing a real opinion.

    • I agree, James. Having read the whole thing it is clear that he’s saying “it really matters who is elected sheriff.” But I wouldn’t call it hyperbole. I’d call it grotesque misstatement of law in service to a political campaign.

    • It could be an unintentional statement of his beliefs. I would be worried. It’s hard to misquote printed matter.

  7. Its not sarcasm. If there really is a problem with the LE community and the way they carry out their duties, as I hear very often on this site, then organize to change it. This country was founded on that very principle. The country, its laws, its police and its politicians are yours to do with as you wish. Just be careful what you wish for.

  8. And it used to grow out of a man wearing armor and wielding a sword. Take the DeLorean all the way back from 1685 and its still a guy wearing armor with a modern long sword.
    Generally in human history, might is right and plenty of justification for anything.

  9. +1 Jake. Mao Zedong would be proud. Where’s McCain when you need a pro police state quote?

  10. This fascist wannabe needs to be thrown out of office the very next election. That quote shows his lack of fitness to hold any political office.Both liberals and conservatives should be outraged. Watch and see, this sheriff will be not just walking back his comment, he will be running away for dear life.

  11. No, he won’t. If you actually read the whole quote you would love this guy. He is saying that cops have the power to fvk up your life. But that administration has a responsibility to ensure that their cops are good cops because of this level of power (insert spiderman quote here). He is trying to motivate the sheeple to take control of their government.

    • I know, right?

      I mean, when I first read the quote, not even the WHOLE bit, just the part RF quoted, my interpretation was FAR different than what seems to be the norm here in the comments.

      The dude is stating an observable fact of ‘the way things ARE‘ and given that, there’s more to all this than just having LE as a job, or blindly electing Sheriff’s (based on party and what not).

      I have to confess…the response here in the comments came as a big surprise to me.

  12. My grandfather tells a great story. He was a repo guy in the 50’s. Was trying to repo a truck when the owner shoved a 1911 in his face. Long story short not only did my grandpa repo the truck but got the owner to drive it to the repo yard and then drove the guy back home.

  13. Somewhere there is a rope with his name on it. These pigs better realize when they have alienated the middle class they will have no friends left… and better grow eyes in the back of their heads.
    Eventually these tyrants will be Ceausescu-ed..

    • Really…he’s a “pig that should hang” for stating that cops have a tremendous moral responsibility to be worthy of the job they are hired to do, and that those that hire them have a tremendous responsibility to make sure they are of suitable moral character?

      I’m not sure any reply I make to that can do any good.

  14. I do think context matters, at least usually. In this case, the sheriff, in his ad, isn’t making the statement as if it is a good thing, the proper thing, the way things are supposed to be, necessarily. Given that phrase about “we do the vast majority of things we do without anybody else watching”, I would think he is merely acknowledging what many people on this site acknowledge all the time–that cops out on the street are, as a practical matter, restrained only by their own consciences and their own estimation of the risks involved in bad behavior. To the extent that that is true, and that the head of a particular law-enforcement agency can acknowledge such without any apparent remorse or sorrow or embarrassment, is troubling on all kinds of levels. I’ll admit that as a legal matter, cops are indeed constrained by the rights enshrined in our laws and Constitution. But legal remedies are on the whole, like cops are to crime–an after-the-fact matter. “Troubling” really doesn’t quite describe it.

  15. I don’t think he’s bragging about it, as the one quote alone implies. In context, it sounds like he’s merely affirming a situation that we’ve all railed against. Unfortunately, 99 percent of the population won’t see the quote or won’t see anything wrong with it if they do. The scariest part of the whole scenario, to me, is how willingly we’re letting it happen. Police forces getting bigger and meaner, dum dee dum. Oooh! A new reality show about midgets!

  16. The Sheriff is right. A cop can kill your civilian ass, destroy your property, shoot the pets and feel up your wife and kids (searching for drugs and weapons, of course) and nothing will be done about it. That’s the way it is, and thank you Ed Brown for pointing it out.

    But the Sheriff is wrong — it doesn’t matter who is in charge, because being in charge is an illusion. The cops are out of control, the Unions are in charge and the police have become a standing army of occupation, serving the almighty state, right down to their face masks, camo uniforms and weapons of mass destruction.

    • Chilling description. Again, though, I wonder how much of the population recognizes how out of control the police state has become. I mean, it’s right out there in plain view, marching up a quiet Main Street near you, but other than these forums, I never hear anyone complain about it.

    • “But the Sheriff is wrong “

      Is he wrong to draw attention to the issue and force this situation to be part of the ‘dialog’ during an election campaign?

      Agree with his particular stance on the details or not, but in my opinion it was pretty ballsy for him to bring up the issue of “cop morality” at all in this day and age.

      This page seems show that even an attempt at showing some integrity will ALWAYS be punished. It’s fascinating from a sociological perspective.

    • Large portions of the country don’t have police unions… or is that just a normal Fox News talking point about the evil unions in general?

      • Curious that you bring Fox News into this. Are you a CNN guy? The alphabets? NPR maybe? Internet browsing (that’s where I get mine, but even at that, it ultimately comes from a “news source”)? Just wondering.

  17. (in a somewhat high pitched whiney voice) You’d like to think that, wouldn’t you?!?!?!?

  18. The sheriff of Onslow County is an elected office. I place the blame squarely at the feet of the Onslow County voters (or non-voters). You get what you vote for.

  19. I get the point he was trying to make- that the power of a police officer’s words and action is such that they must be held to a higher standard- but he went about making it very poorly. So his fault for that, but it’s still taking him very much out of context to use just that one sentence as if he had no other point.

    That said, for those who want to read the actual source, you can skip down to the lowest red box to read the blurbs addressing the quote unless you want to read about how Godly and patriotic he is… according to himself, repeatedly.

  20. This is kind of off-topic but I think it needs to be said. I’ve long believed that a primary factor determining police behavior is how socially integrated officers are throughout their shifts which, in turn, affects their mentality and attitude behind the job. When my dad was a kid in the Long Island suburbs the local policeman parked his car, walked around, and chatted up locals about life and current events, especially in the summer. He saw his line of work as a way to earn a living and enjoyed keeping the peace in a community made up of people he cared about, people who were his friends on and off the beat. Corruption did exist, but the uniform did not create a feeling of superiority by default; he was just a guy whose job involved putting it on. The only place I’ve seen this type of cop still around is the small-town rural America of the mid-west and south.

    Look at the typical 21st century cop. Every car has superior climate control so he doesn’t have to park it and interact with the locals on hot summer days. In fact, most of the people he interacts with daily are his co-workers. On the job, he holes himself up in his squad car with a laptop, cell phone, radio, etc that link him to fellow cops and department HQ 24/7. He develops a sense of trust for fellow officers because they are the only people he truly spends time communicating with and being around. Cops become his friends. Time spent interacting with non-cops while responding to calls is negligible in comparison.

    When someone spends the majority of their daily hours with a certain group of people, they will eventually prioritize those people over everyone else out of trust. This eventually causes the person to be suspicious of anyone not in their trusted group, anyone who doesn’t “look like them”. Put this mental process under a law enforcement lens and it blows up by a factor of ten with heavier consequences. Notice, I didn’t even take into account current politics on gun ownership, government intrusion, lack of accountability via “qualified immunity”, or police militarization. This change of environment is the only push needed to transform the friendly neighborhood officer into a paranoid and trigger-happy wreck in a generation or two. The political factors we see today just catalyze the whole process and exaggerate the consequences.

  21. Whoever wrote the Copy for that Guy’s Ad Needs to have a Refresher Course in How Capital Letters Work in the English Language.

    My eyes hurt from trying to read that mess.

  22. Some Marines should drag his ass to the Onslow County Veteran’s Memorial. Hell, have some soldiers from Bragg come down and help out, the LCPL Underground and E-4 Mafia can have a temporary alliance while they educate this shitbird on the sacrifices men have made so people like him can’t control us.

  23. I don’t know what the hell he meant and he probably doesn’t either. It is an election year and there are lots of counties in NC where the sheriff is running for re-election usually against one or more of his deputies (talk about a hostile work environment). Maybe his point was, “I dont have a boss. I can do what I want for X # of years until you vote me out of office or I get sent to jail (which has happened quite a lot to NC sheriff’s in the last 20 years). So you need to elect and I need to hire good people with good core values.” God help us all.

  24. “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters”
    ― Daniel Webster

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