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Our email boxes runneth over these days with links to stories of alleged police misconduct, both real and perceived. It’s hard to Google through the news without running into stories of at least questionable LEO activity such as shooting a distant suspect, the mentally ill, choking suspects and the like. More significant may be that the larger mainstream media seem to have now taken note, too. Efforts are now on to try to determine if police-involved shootings have, in fact, increased. No one disputes that the majority of police officers are out there performing their jobs on a daily basis, doing the dirty work of arresting bad actors and patrolling our cities and towns. But in the wake of Ferguson and with fresh attention on the militarization of good ol’ Officer Krupke (along with some pushback from the up-armored lobby), have we reached an inflection point? Has the civilian/police relationship now been forever changed?

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116 Responses to Question of the Day: Have We Reached a Turning Point in Civilian/Police Relations?

  1. Only the delusional would believe that to be the case. The one place where police militarization makes sense is during the kind of civil unrest we saw in Ferguson. However, the triggering event had nothing to do with police militarization. You can keep your monomaniac fixation all you want but basic facts are a thug committed strong armed robbery, attacked a police officer and then got shot. His death was seized on by Al, Jessie and Rand to push their respective agendas regardless of the actual facts. This is no different than what happened in the Zimmerman case.

    You have gotten so bad that you cannot even recognize an extremist group like New Black Panthers just because the spout things you want to hear.

    • TTAG featured a lot of police militarization before the ferguson event. Saying that we only care after an unrelated death is incorrect.

      • Yes, they have and most of it has been appropriate. However, the unrest in Ferguson has nothing to do with police militarization. Please read up on 1965 Watts and 1967 Detroit to how those riots started. It was indistinguishable from today and the police were not militarized. You don’t make your case by acting like Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton. Stick to the facts instead of surrendering to your emotions.

        • Oh, I think the guys over at The Bang Switch seemed to think that the way the militarization was utilized was rather poor and confrontational.

    • “The one place where police militarization makes sense is during the kind of civil unrest we saw in Ferguson.”

      I disagree. There should be a big bold line separating the military and police. The police should not be playing tactical ninja on the taxpayer’s dime.

      If the situation’s too out of control for the police to handle the Governor should call out the National Guard in accordance with state law.

        • Ralph:

          Typical shiester lawyer, you can dish out but can’t take it.

          Gene:

          Do you know what Title 32 USC means? Apparently not if you think I don’t know that when guard is called into state service that they aren’t subject to the Federal prohibition and when they are called up for riot duty they usually deputized to boot.

        • @tdiinva

          ” As far as I concerned using the Guard in the manner under USC Title 32 is circumventing the Posse Comitatus Act.”

          This was made in seeming context of Governor activated NG assets. In that case it cannot circumvent PCA because PCA relates to Federal control not State – one cannot circumvent something that simply does not apply. Regardless, I’m moving on from this topic.

      • The NG may be the “organized militia” on paper but they are really part time military units similar to the US Volunteers in the Mexican, Civil and Spanish American Wars. Today’s Guardsmen are not the dope smoking, draft dodging baby boomers. If they are in infantry units most of the soldiers have a CIB. I do not want soldiers policing the streets under all but the direst circumstances and only after local civilian law enforcement has failed. As far as I concerned using the Guard in the manner under USC Title 32 is circumventing the Posse Comitatus Act.

        Let’s get something straight. Police militarization is not about wearing BDUs, Kevlar helmets and carrying AR-15s. I thought AR-15 were not military weapons anyway. It is about the SWATificatioin of the police. We got a lot of big talkers here about how we don’t police because armed citizens can do most of the job. It’s funny how some same people slammed George Zimmerman for “playing cop” yet that is what you are going to have to do if you reduce or eliminate the police. It’s nice to be part of the militia protecting your neighborhood on nice summer night when nothing is happening. Let’s see you do it when it as George Zimmerman said “it’s f-ing cold out here.” and big Mike Brown is bearing down on you. The history of such summer soldiers (or police) is that when big Mike shows up on cold and rainy night brave militiaman beats feet.

        “You sleep soundly in your bed at night because of the rough men who man the city’s gates.”

        • Ralph as cute as your smartass comments are you know full well that because of the “rough men” your chances of actually needing to use your 12 gauge have been greatly reduced. Although I have to say that I feel sorry for you that you need to lube up your 870 for company.

        • Posse Comitatus is Federal, not State. If the NG is mobilized by the Governor, then it’s under State control – not Federal – so it cannot violate Posse Comitatus. Now, if POTUS decided to one-up the Governor and take control of the NG for such a matter, then that would be a direct violation.

        • td, I said a 12 gauge by my bed, not in it. Learn to read. It’s a skill that will serve you well when you eventually mature.

          And no, I wasn’t being cute. Those “rough men” in the quote are the military men who are supposed to guard us and our borders, not the blue uniformed nitwits who love those no-knock warrants, dead dogs and burned babies.

        • “Rough men” with 30% clearance rates and 30 minute response times. With awesome stats like those one wonders what exactly they do.

        • I sleep soundly at night because I live in a good neighborhood full of sane, responsible and decent people. Oh, and like Ralph, I have ballistic self protection on hand. We see a sheriffs patrol car around here maybe twice a year. There is essentially no police protection in this neighborhood and yet virtually no crime.

          It is a myth to assert that the civilian population is safe because of what our badge wearing super citizens do to protect us. Mostly, they do nothing except ogle donut shop cuties, park in the shade writing reports or conduct speed traps for revenue enhancement.

          There is no amount of policing that can make a population full of low life’s, deadbeats and miscreants safe, and very little is needed where the populace is civilized and responsible. We the people make our neighborhoods safe or crime infested, regardless of what the arrogant and obnoxious enforcer class does.

        • IF the Feds have their way, all these rough men ya’ll keep talking about are going to be IN all ya’lls beds, roughing you up till the break of dawn!

        • Your failed attempts to present yourself as a know-it-all with behind the scenes info that the rest of us peons could never hope to understand rates much lower than cute.

        • Dy:

          Ferguson isn’t Chicago, NYC, New Jersey or LA. The residents face no impediment to their purchasing of any firearm on the market and getting a carry permit yet few store owners seemed to have armed defenders. In the world outside our little bubble most city people, where most of the crime occurs aren’t going tool up. They are going rely on the police or you to keep things safe. So if the cops aren’t there to filter 99% of the threat you get to. Do you feel ready to protect your neighbors? How about the block? What happens when the citizen sheriff has encounter with Big Mike. Are you and the rest of the 10% going down to Main street to set things right? It will be like High Noon. You and a couple of buddies against the mob. Good luck.

    • tidiivna, it must be comforting to live in a world where you know everying that happened far earlier than anyone else does. For me, and for millions of other people, we do not know what happened. We do not know if the young man was a strong-arm thug who had robbed a store because we watched a video that showed him both pay for cigars and push the cashier. We do not know what was said, what history the two might have had, what anyone’s motivations were. We wonder why the police office was hit, why he shot at the fleeing man; we wonder if the man charged at the officer after he turned around–we wonder this because there are conflicting stories.

      I have an idea, one that has been suggested many times here at TTAG: let’s wait until we actually know something until we base our opinions on the facts instead of our preconceived notions.

    • I’d have to agree. A brutal thug committed a violent crime spree and ended up dead.  Is there any other way these things end, or should end, perhaps other than with him in prison?

      The public is within reason and their right to mourn this young man. After all, it is a tragedy of a lost life. They should realize, though, that his life was lost long before his death, as his life decisions virtually assured a wasteful outcome. Their frustration should focus on themselves and the caustic culture of violence, entitlement and instant gratification they encourage, and not on the justice system.

  2. The police are reacting to threats. On armored vehicles; they’re used as moblie cover, a place to retreat to incase they’re over run, and personal extraction. On “assault” weapons; they’re countering a real threat, civilians have them so should police. On body armor; they’re reacting to people shooting at them, the relative small number of cops vs bad guys and I really like my cops without extra holes in them since my tax dollars go to pay for their care. Tasers; decreasing physical threats to officers, it causes a non-permanent injury and lowers the use of firearms for officer defense.

    I could go on and on, the police are not wilded assed thugs. There are some very serious threats to civilians and to the police. I want the good guys to win within consititutional bonds. I’m not seeing how these things detract from that mission. STOP IT. IT’S PEDANTIC.

    • Wrong. Cops have far easier access to fully automatic weapons than the rest of the civilian population. They get grenade launchers (yesterday’s paper reported than police here in WV have gotten their mitts on a couple). They get all sorts of gear and armor for cut rate prices. And when they shoot someone, beat them up, or just hassle them, they are backed-up and covered for by their fellow cops, the union, and the government.

      • Nope, not wrong. Whoopie, what difference does it make if the have full auto? None.
        Grenade launchers? Point to me any time a cop has fired a 40mm HE grenade at anyone? Never happened, they use it to deploy gas and smoke. Again, distance is your friend. What do you want them to do, run up and mace everyone in the face and get into a big melee? Now, 10 officers are off the street not protecting me because they went into a melee. This is so short sighted.

        • You said civilians get this stuff (which was wrong, as non-police civilians effectively don’t) so cops should too. Now you’re saying that it doesn’t make a difference if cops get special goodies that the rest of us don’t.

          Meanwhile, you’re wrong about cops protecting me. They don’t, except indirectly. Mr. Remington, Mr. Glock, and (in a pinch) Mr. Kershaw directly protect me, along with my situational awareness, my physical fitness, etc… Cops protect only indirectly by arresting criminals after the fact and collecting evidence against them so they can be locked up or even executed. This does prevent them from committing more crimes, and can have a deterrent effect. That’s important, but it’s hardly combat. Cops aren’t heroic soldiers combating the armies of darkness, they’re evidence collectors and thief-takers.

      • you are full of it. LEO have to jump through all the same hoops that that you do when they purchase NFA items. I have to wait months and fill out my form 1s just like everyone else. if an agency gets an NFA weapon, the agency owns it, not the individual officers. the cops with automatic weapons thing is such bullsht.

    • I think you’re speaking more towards the physical/equipment side than the attitude part of the equation, which is where the problem is, in my opinion. I want cops to be armed well and protected more than adequately, but I do NOT want those officers to procure that equipment under the guise of officer safety and then turn around and use it for an ever-increasing number of questionable uses.

      • Ok, so they need sensitivity training? Come on, you know what happens when the cops don’t act like absolute bad asses? The thugs treat them like punks. Sorry if that hurts your feelings when the cop is a dick but there is a reason for it. He’s enforcing the law. He doesn’t want a debate, that’s what you do in the court room. You want to plead your case, tell it to the judge not the beat cop that has to have the aire of a hard ass or the thugs are going to run him down. Sorry, I don’t want my cops looking like chumps.

        • Here’s an idea, you coward. Maybe try taking some responsibility for your own safety. How’s that for a crazy idea, huh? Then you don’t need to worry about law enforcement not protecting you. Also, do you truly not see what’s wrong with you WANTING cops to act like badasses?

        • My feelings are fine, I’m a big boy. Your comment clearly illustrates the us vs them mentality which is causing so many problems. It is ridiculous to treat every situation exactly the same. You SHOULD be a hardass when you’re dealing with gangbangers, i completely agree. But we’re not all gangbangers, and we’re pretty damn tired of being treated as such.

    • The premise that police should “react” instead of respond is a major part of the problem.

      Police are being trained that “threats are everywhere.” That creates in them a siege mentality; us vs. them.

      There’s a time and a place for certain equipment to be used by police.

      However, the tool that’s most accessible and most effective often gets used the least: their brains.

    • They can have all the military toys they want. I am even happy to have my tax dollars pay for them.

      Here is what I DO NOT WANT. Just because you have all those toys, it does not mean you have to use them at every chance you get. The SWAT Team does not need to be deployed because someone defaulted on a student loan or for unpaid parking tickets or a single marijuana plant. The problem is the police in many instances have abused their privilege and power. The intent of SWAT was for hostage situations or other similar highly dangerous situations — it has turned to a default means for serving a simply warrant.

      The attitude is the problem, not all the hardware. There is police corruption and there is abuse of power. The NYPD just paid out $150K to a photographer whom they beat up, arrested, stripe searched and then stole his photo equipment. What was the crime? The photographer grabbed pictures of them doing something they should not have been doing. While the photographer was awarded the $150K, the officers were NOT fired for abuse of their power — and that there in lies the problem. When these abuses are not dealt with, police will continue to assume that they are given permission to continue to abuse. Going all the way back to Frank Serpico the endemic police problem is abuses are allowed to continue to happen. We have seen over and over and over again abuses where there is no punishment.

      Once all the noise over Ferguson goes away, will anything change? Nope! I truly hope so, but I will not hold my breath. Good officers who do their jobs correctly will remain tainted by bad officers until there is a systematic change in attitude in law enforcement. Unless changed is demanded from within, not a damn thing will change.

      • Just because you have all those toys, it does not mean you have to use them at every chance you get.

        Unfortunately, that’s not the way it works in real life.

        • How does that saying go again?

          “When you give someone a hammer everything looks like a nail.”

        • When the Fed ‘grants’ the toys (MRAP, whatever) you have to demonstrate that you actually used them, or you may get your toy allowance cut off.

          While it may look good on an academic paper, all this does is positively motivate using these things for all sorts of purposes these departments will encounter every 10 years, if ever.

    • In case they’re overrun? IN CASE THEY’RE OVERRUN? Jesus Christ, you’re an idiot. 33 cops were killed with gunfire last year. 33, in the entire country. I mean, my God, do you picture gang bangers regularly launching full scale assaults on large groups of LEOs, with 50 bangers (armed with automatic AK-47s and frag grenades) advancing on a group of 30 LEOs? In case you hadn’t noticed, this is the United States of America, not a war-torn third world country. Idiot!

  3. Last time I was stopped, I turned on the video camera on my iPhone and placed it in the cup-holder facing the window. Gave him my license and registration and told him “Officer I just want you to know that we’re being recorded for my own safety.” He told me he wasn’t out to hurt anyone tonight and the rest of the encounter went smoothly. But I live in the city, where cops stop cars that are out in the early morning hours just to ask you where you’re coming from and where you’re going. My answers are “Work” and “home.” So yes, I’d say the relationship isn’t quite what it could be.

  4. Police ARE civilians. As long as the (false) connotation that police = military persists, the divide will grow and the “us versus them” mentality will continue. If police encounter a situation where military equipment and tactics are necessary (e.g. riots, looting, etc.) call the actual military – the National Guard.

  5. “…both real and perceived. It’s hard to Google through the news”

    We must be very careful with this conversation….

    The Anti-Rights and Anti-Gun crowd hold up the tiny few incidents and claim there is a problem. They use those few problems to be indicative of the larger group, because that one guy went off the rails the rest of us are just moments away from doing the same.

    Talking about the Police and pointing out the few incidents and trying to claim they indicate a larger problem is the same slippery slope.

    Yes, there are bad cops. They need to be pointed out, shamed, hassled, ridiculed, fired, and a whole bunch of other things that have an -ed at the end.

    The Police, as a group and as a profession, are not the problem. Just as the super-majority of firearm owners are law abiding people, the super-majority of Police Officers are good Cops making a difference by defending the good guys from the bad guys.

    We need to point out the problems to be sure. But we need to at least try to not dismiss or demean the actions of the ones who aren’t problems.

    • The difference is that gun owners who screw up, or end up being “bad guys with a gun” get thrown in jail and have their gun rights taken away. Cops who screw up or end up being bad cops get “placed on administrative leave” which is paid vacation.

      • “…Cops who screw up or end up being bad cops get “placed on administrative leave” which is paid vacation.”

        I agree 100%

        And this is one of the problems that need to be addressed sooner instead of later.

        And it should be addressed in such a way to solve the problem without penalizing the innocent.

      • Yup. That’s the main point of the whole thing.

        Cops need to realize they’ve gotta stop protecting their own few bad apples, that it’s necessary within police culture to make coverups and hiding the worst among them behind the sacred thin blue line unacceptable.

    • The politicians and the voters themselves are part of the bigger problem.

      Sadly, cops are going to do pretty much everything they’re told to do by their superiors as long as they feel it doesn’t handicap their ability to do their job in any way. It’s just human nature not to question why and follow orders.

      All this militarization came about in large part due to the racket that is the War on Drugs, the Defense Department giving out free surplus goodies, and federal money. This was all tacitly supported by voters but the more visible the results are the more people are starting to not like what they’re seeing.

      It’s not just a few incidents, by the way. There’s a real trend and a lack of accountability at work.

      I recommend the following book:

      http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Warrior-Cop-Militarization-Americas/dp/1610394577/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408641986&sr=8-1&keywords=rise+of+the+warrior+cop

  6. Police forces everywhere are operated by fallible human beings. That said society NEEDS heroes (even if they don’t deserve the adulation) to continue to function at a higher level IMO.

    I have at least one former colleague who joined his local Sheriff dept., after he retired from the USAF. He’s an honorable, stand up kind of guy. On the other hand, I have seen police officers in San Francisco I thought were no better than thugs…

    • Heroes are great, but I don’t understand America’s obsession with heroes being someone wearing a government uniform. That’s not a knock on some of the heroic people who may wear a government uniform, but I want to know what they did as individuals first. Just because someone is in the military or law enforcement doesn’t cut it. I have a list of heroes, and most are business tycoons, and I can count on one hand, the number who worked in government.

    • “Hero?” Talk about the most ill-applied, misused word in current pop culture/propaganda.

      Fireman aren’t inherently “heroes” any more than cops are. They’re all just folks like us doing a job that is safer than many Americans do. And getting paid far better than the average American, who does a more dangerous job.

  7. Protect and Serve are now meaningless words absent-mindedly painted on the bumpers of cruisers. I apologize to the good cops out there for saying that, but I feel strongly that it is the truth. I used to respect law enforcement as a whole because in taking their oath they understood that they would put their lives and livelihoods on the line for the betterment of their community, but it seems to me that they are no longer willing to do so, and as such are willing to go to any length to ‘get home safe’. Being a LEO is a dangerous profession by nature, that fact hasn’t changed since professional law enforcement began in London ages ago. It is dangerous because human nature dictates that people will disagree and conflict with one another, as well as disobey the rule of law for a multitude of reasons. As a LEO it is your task to insert yourself into those situations for the protection of peace, which is an inherently dangerous position. When the thought of manipulating whatever situation you find yourself in towards an outcome in which you return home safely, rather than resolving whatever problem you have encountered in the way that best serves and protects the community, it is inevitable that the community will get the short ends of both the ‘protect’ and ‘serve’ sticks. It is impossible to serve the best interests of both ones’ self AND the community. Selflessness and sacrifice are the fundamental principles of protection and service, and until LEOs live by those words painted on their cruisers, there will continue to be a growing rift between them and the rest of us.

  8. It is sorta like the Catholic Church priest abusing children. The abusers were shuffled off to another place and the church leaders hoped the problem would go away. Wash, rinse, and repeat.

    Bad LEO’s are not fired (for very long) and are not normally incarcerated. LEO’s can kill someone without justifiable cause and not be prosecuted. LEO’s can commit crimes that us regular citizens would go to jail for a long time for committing. Prosecutors refuse to submit a bill to a Grand Jury because it would endanger their special working relationship. I get a ticket for doing 61 in a 55 zone, but I am regularly passed by patrol cars going like a bat out of hell. Is it any wonder that people do not trust the system anymore?

    MOST LEO’S ARE GOOD PEOPLE, but they do not arrest their own bad actors. People notice this.

    Like the Catholic Church, the unions are going to have to come to grips with this. Soon.

    • …. the unions are going to have to come to grips with this.

      Unions are never self-aware until they are at the brink of self-extinction (and often not then either).

  9. I’d be happy with a ban on no knock raids and unjustifiable stops. How about stopping flash bang grenades in the baby’s crib? I’ve been around a long time and yeah I do see a change happening. It ain’t just about a cop shooting a “gentle giant”…keep your powder dry.

  10. It is not destroyed by any means but I think a lot of average citizens, my self included, are noticing small pockets where some police officers are above the law. It used to be they were held to a higher standard but not above the law. The recent display in ferguson is a prime example of “We are above the law”.

    If, as a armed citizen, I shot Brown (I am not passing judgment either way on officer Wilson) would my name be withheld for my safety, would I have 24 hour guard. If I went to an open carry rally and started point a gun at unarmed people (like the video today) would I not end up in cuffs. In reference to a sniper up on a truck looking through his scope at a unarmed crowd- if I did this on top of my house or car once again would I be a free man?(they can spend the money on armored personnel carriers, multiple guns for each officer, and tactical gear but yet can’t find it in the budget for a spotting scope or a pair binos which would have been more useful, probably in budget request with the tazers).

    When you have police who are above the law and treated differently then other people, you have a problem. When those same police first response to any unrest is to go to a show of guns then you have a huge problem. I hope people push back enough to allow the good officers out there to shine and prove they are not above the law, just there to enforce it.

  11. Na, I don;t think so. I think that anytime you set up a group of people, with even the tightest forms of regulation and oversight, give them the task of enforcing laws within the freest society that human civilization has ever known, there will be problems.

    That combined with the fact that we as humans, all people, can be and will continue to be fairly well depraved. Not all of course, but enough that it takes most people by surprise. This is one reason why liberal progressives, communists have always been on the wrong side of history. Their mantra is that if we just make everyone have the same thing, they will all live peacefully and work towards a common good. That is contrary to human nature. (Dam, didn’t mean to get off on a political blast there, lol. just got done reading something on Salon….still have a headache from it.)

    But the idea I guess I am getting at is that people will be bad, and that has always been. There will need to be a group of elected/appointed persons to “keep the peace” and no matter the rules, regulations, training, oversight..etc. And of that group of people charged with enforcing laws, you will always have bad apple, or people who turn bad or who are not bad at all, but under a stressful situation make a bad decision that has serious ramifications.

    When one person tries to force laws on another…most will agree to obey and face a day in court, but there will always be the few who resist, and when they do, violence is what becomes the situation. This is where it gets hard, because no matter how you sugar coat it, violence is ugly, brutal and not anything like what they learned about watching TV from the youngest of ages up to and including adulthood. Good guys doesn’t always win and bad guy doesn’t always go to jail and many times the good and bad are very hard to differentiate. Think about it, we ALL grew up watching Tv scenarios where a cop tried to make an arrest, sometimes for a minor violation, the person resists violently, the TV cop pulls a super slick move (with three different camera angles) , slaps him on the back of the head with a blackjack or whatever and his instantly goes lights out and is taken to jail. Next scene they guy is in court going “But Your Honor…!”. In real life that guy would be in a comma for days or at-least in the hospital for weeks. The reality is that the confrontation will be brutal and ugly, no way around it. We tried everything from chemicals, to batons to tazers..etc. trying to overcome physical resistance without hurting anymore than absolutely necessary. Can’t take away the ugly from ugly.

    I don’t know….should write something about flawed expectations and perceptions. Life is hard, even harder when you are stupid…etc. We are flawed creatures. This conversation comes up every decade or so, and it should. We should always be reflecting on it. Every day in fact.

    Love how Rob got someone else to write this story, even though it has absolutely nothing to do with guns directly speaking. First non-biased article yet!

    Woopse, look at the clock, man I got to throw on my military surplus gear and go to work. Operators got to operate, don’t ya know. (little love shot for Farago..lol)

  12. I think what you have is a bunch of middle class OFWGs that are coming around to what African-Americans have been saying for decades and decades about the po-po. We are not in this together anymore.

    • Yep, as someone who mostly fits that description, I didn’t use to believe that whole thing about being pulled over for DWB.

      Over the past decade, my eyes have opened to the pervasive police militarization and abuse going on all around us.

      We have got a serious problem in this country with the police.

    • The civil rights movement worked. I used to be exempt from close inspection by the cops by virtue of the fact that I’ma white male. But we have equal rights now and a whole lot of former protected class folks are pissed because they get the treatment that was reserved exclusively for “certain demographics” in the past.

      • Seems a good place to drop this:

        First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Socialist.

        Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

        Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
        Because I was not a Jew.

        Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

        –Martin Niemöller

      • Few people are better than Bill Whittle in getting to the essence of an issue. Talk about inconvenient facts.

    • After just watching that video, I am AMAZED that lady didnt get ventilated right next to that computer he was typing on.

      And then dually amazed that somehow putting a knife to someones neck and cutting them could NOT be attempted murder

  13. Law enforcement is an occupation. The question of how and what law enforcement needs to do their job is a term of employment, not a Constitutional right

    I do not do this job. Nor should I have to in order to define the limits of government.

    The Constitution restricts government, not citizens. Law enforcement is government. All government must be bound to the narrowest definition of the role they are assigned. Anything done outside of law enforcement is a kindness, illegal or mission creep. There are numerous examples of over reach in all facets of government in this country.

    This is the change we need reinforced.

    • The ship has sailed for smaller gov. We are a nation of 330+ million and climbing with large cities the norm now. And we are a world power. There’s no going back to frontier days with each man taking care of his own.

      We need cops. There’s never been a time in our nation’s history when a citizen could stand on the side of the road and bad mouth or fight a cop and not expect a beat down as a result.

      If we don’t like how our cops are behaving we change that by changing the elected officials and the appointed commanders thru ballot and recall efforts. Let one big city mayor get recalled because his cops are out of control and see how fast cops become polite public servants nationwide.

      • “There’s never been a time in our nation’s history when a citizen could stand on the side of the road and bad mouth “

        I disagree. I remember times when people could bad mouth cops and they had thick enough skins to take it.

        I’m pretty sure lots of people called cops “pigs” in the 60’s without arrest. It was pretty common, as I recall, though I was young.

        Part of the problem in that regard now is so many ‘catch-all’ laws and ordinances like “Disorderly Conduct” that are subjectively defined. Look sideways at some cops these days and they will find some justification to hassle you.

        Good cops are not like that. I good cop is a member of the community and knows the people with whom he interacts are his neighbors. One of them breaks the law? Yeah, they got to go downtown. But “us vs them” is a big problem.

        • Good cops are like any other good professional – you can be rude, abusive and abrasive – they’ll still take the high ground and say that “I’m sorry sir, but I disagree”.

          Sanctioning the behavior of unprofessional cops is at best insulting to legions of fast food workers.

    • Exactly.

      The enumerated Constitutional rights are declarations that restrain government, not giving citizens permission. Aside from those that are enumerated, we have other natural and civil rights that are self-evident and unalienable.

      We need to hammer that point home.

      It’s the very foundation of the United States.

  14. Money talks, bullshit walks. . . . . . the militarization of the police will continue, too much money will be left on the table. Too many drones, cameras, vests, tacticool equipment and other stuff to sell. Every cop needs a tank so they can go home at night.

    Wait til the Army is forced to change to a different infantry rifle. ALL those old useless M4’s etc mailed out for free to every cop in the country.

    Now I think of it, how come they don’t have Hellfire missles?

    Did I mention the police will kill you

  15. I think that the issue is larger. We see an increase of criminalization of otherwise lawful citizens. The cops are the edge were all these new regulations are enforced. As such they get the brunt of lash back instead of us looking at the larger picture. They are the creation of voters wanting to control all kind of behavior, they are the result of the utopia that you can prevent everything. “Three felonies a day” book comes to mind. I think that the trend can be reversed if we start repealing a lot of stupid laws. Local police is hired by the local government. You get the police that you voted for (indirectly through the local government). The easy way is to vote the right people in the office, with the right mandate.
    As I said, the police are just the tip of the spear, since our deeper mistrust and anger is toward a political class that tries to rule us more and more.

  16. As someone who grew up in the 60s and 70s, I think I have seen such a change in attitude toward police before. It didn’t last forever. In fact, like a lot of other social phenomena, it seems to be kind of cyclical or pendulum-like. My 2-cents.

  17. LEOs need to reflect on the reality that if they lose the trust and confidence of the people then no amount of equipment will be enough to keep them safe.

  18. If police point weapons at a crowd, even if the excuse is “there’s a bad guy in the crowd” they should lose their jobs. The end.

  19. No, we have not reached a tipping point. For one thing, this shooting may be completely justified — whether or not it was avoidable is another thing entirely, and not germane. How can a justifiable homicide tip anything?

    Second, it’s likely that there will be a full and fair trial. For the racial arsonists, only a hanging will do. But for the rest of the world, a trial will suffice, no matter the outcome. Guilty or innocent, the officer and the Brown family will have their day in court, which is what the decent protesters want and probably deserve.

    • We’ve got two issues here, the shooting, which may or may not have been justified, and the fumbled police response to a public whipped into a frenzy by a media willing and eager to jump to whatever conclusions will stir up the most ad revenue.

      The former is readily handled by the justice system. The latter is a whole lot more complex.

    • Whether Brown’s shooting was justified has nothing to do with whether the police response to the aftermath of the shooting was appropriate, legal, or reflective of good policies. One person’s criminal behavior doesn’t justify the violation of other people’s rights. That’s the same kind of thinking that says I shouldn’t be able to own a semi-automatic rifle because Adam Lanza used one to kill a bunch of people.

  20. I don’t think the shooting that tipped all of this off matters that much, whether homicide or DGU, anger at the police tactics afterwards is legit.

  21. Anyone think that a tipping point is exactly what the progressive media and politicians are working toward? Worsening distrust of local LE could lead to calls for a Federal police force.
    Under the control of the Justice Department or DHS.
    Which fall under the control of the President.
    Didn’t the mighty ‘O’ call for a civilian national security force, as well funded as the military? It’s not hard to imaging the Feds touting a ‘new and improved’ police force, under the ‘guidance’ of the Federal Govt, taking over the duties of local LE. While this may not be technically legal, I wouldn’t think that would stop the progressives…

    • That is valid point and may be the larger plan. The feds try to look like saviors, defenders of the rights, that these local “hicks” infringe. We complain about the feds getting into the States business, but it seems that sometime we actually invite them.

    • If the “progressives” think that a FedGov police force will get a better reception from the population, they’re utterly clueless. But then, I’m repeating myself.

      All you need to do is look at the contempt of the population of the west for the BLM, USFS, FWS, EPA, et al in the west. All these agencies now have “operator” groups within them… and I foresee that they’re getting closer to the point where some of their number simply disappear into the wilds of the west.

  22. This sounds like a good idea to me:

    ” A Modest First Step Proposal to Bring Police Under Control

    I have long held the view that Congress should enact a law that states the President of the United States should be the last man allowed into a bunker that protects against nuclear attack.

    Until all other citizens are protected, he should stand naked against the wrath of an enemy that launches a nuclear attack against the U.S..

    Quite simply, I view an attack on the United States by nuclear means as the ultimate failure of government and that the head of such a failure should be the last man protected.

    Taking this down a few notches to the local level. We are often told that local police are present “to protect and serve.”

    Indeed, this is the official motto of the Los Angeles police department:

    Now, personally, I hold the view that police protection is largely a myth (SEE: How to Deal with Police), but let’s continue with the generally held view that police do protect.

    How is killing a person ever “protecting” that person? Now granted there may be extenuating circumstances where a police officer kills someone in a way that most would consider justifiable, but in the current structure of the police versus the rest of society, the police can often get a pass after killing someone without justification.

    I believe that this needs to be changed. A good first step in making police think twice about killing someone is that it should be standard policy that any police officer that kills someone should be immediately removed from the police force, his salary stopped and that he be prevented from receiving any pension or other payments that would normally be due an officer leaving the force.

    This should be only a first step, of course. Prosecution of an officer should also be a further option if it is clear that the cop was not acting in self-defense or protecting others from harm.

    We need to get coppers to think twice about shooting people. We need them to understand that there will be no silent blue line, with machinations in the background, that will move to protect them of any killing. We need them to know that the killing of someone has serious consequences. If they truly are officers that “protect and serve,” then let’s put their feet to the fire and make killings on their watch have consequences.”

    -RW

    Credit the Robert Wenzel at the Economic Policy Journal
    http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/08/a-modest-first-step-proposal-to-bring.html

    If you feel your life is in danger then the choice should be easy.

  23. “Are we at a tipping point?”

    No, I don’t think we are. If all of the camera’s went home, the protesters would quickly disperse. I think some people get a little too excited when the media goes all 24×7 on a local issue. And boy do they love to fuel up the racial tensions. Great ratings! Quit buying the hype. Nothing changed overnight, but the media’s desire for another Trayvon story. Meanwhile, in the real world, ISIS is hacking American heads off, Putin has visions of riding into Ukraine, shirtless, on the back of a bear, someone is conducting air strikes in Lybia and know one knows who, Ebola is threatening to become a global pandemic, Israel and Hamas are still at it, China is threatening to rampage across the Pacific, and we are still spending money like my Ex at the mall with my credit card. Get some perspective.

  24. A couple of words….Situational Policing (spin of situational leadership). There is no reason for an innocent person to die or be hurt by Police. At issue is how & from whom they get data for no knock warrants. Informants, third party verifiers? Police are responsible for everything they do, however time & again a bad shoot is covered by saying for our SAFETY, the citizen was shot and killed.

    I’m partially deaf, a neighbor grows pot (more than allowed for personal use)….when that knock at 2:30 am comes and my door is blown open, family terrorized and Johnny law horizontal butt strokes my melon….then finds out the address is two doors down….I have no recourse. Now play that scenario is a crime ridden neighborhood and a man reaches for a gun thinking gang bangers inviting themselves in….instant dead guy by blue boys.

    Only 400 police shoots a year….if 10 % are bad shoots, 40 lives end while Tacto Cool juggernuts keep their jobs. If Police are not held accountable the state sanctioned murder continues.

  25. I lived through the riots of the sixties, I’ve watched the tapes of the police attacks on peaceful black (and white) civil rights protesters and marchers. Ferguson is nothing like those days, and in the long run will change little if anything.

    That said, I protest the use by police officers of MRAPs (unless until people start planting roadside bombs)–armored vehicles have been fine for decades. There is a need for armor, but cops shouldn’t be running around in BDUs, or worse, black uniforms. I can’t see any reason for fully automatic weapons. I can’t see any reason, in the vast majority of cases, for no knock raids for minor felonies simply because the resident may have a firearm. It is overkill, and people are dying, both as potential accused and as bystanders. The wanton killing of dogs, which no other public employee seems to have a problem with, breeds disrespect for the police because it demonstrates that the police disrespect the people. There is an attitude by some police officers that, because of their status, they are above the law. for example, I was talking to a retired LEO in a LGS about San Francisco’s ban on 10+ round magazines–an ordinance that the City Attorney has stated applies to everyone but on duty officers with duty mags–and he said that he would continue to carry his 10+ mags in San Francisco because, since he was/had been a cop, “no cop will arrest me for having them.” I responded, “Oh, you think that you are special, then,” he said he didn’t want to talk to me any more. Which proved my point–he thought of himself as “special” and entitled to “special consideration”, that no one would bother him even if he violated federal law on the transfer of a firearm from out of state (a nonroster handgun that as an ex-LEO he had no right to bring into the state.) And he even out and out said that he would lie about how he had obtained it if he was ever questioned. This kind of BS has got to stop. How? Beats me.

  26. I don’t know. The problem I have with the cops is anytime there is a person beaten, disabled, shot, or killed by police – there is an “investigation” held by the police that absolves the officer. The officer was following “police procedures,” etc.

    Examples:
    The beating of Angie Garbarino where the officer turned off the tape and beat her half to death because she refused a breathalyzer. The result? Officer fired. Prosecution of officer? No way.

    The death of Daniel Linsinbigler where in a cell the officers sprayed ridiculous amounts of pepper spray on his face and then put a mask over his pepper sprayed face. He asphyxiated and died. Linsinbigler was agitated and kicked and hit the wall within his cell. Officer’s were worried about his “safety” so they came in pepper sprayed his face and put a mask on him. He is very safe today – safely in the ground. He couldn’t breathe and begged to have the mask taken off. The medical examiner even ruled it homicide. The result? Nothing. Not even a officer paid vacation.

    This is just two small examples. There are countless examples.

    The problem I have with cops is the following:
    • They oftentimes investigate their own activities after a death or disability and are naturally found without fault – no 3rd party used.
    • Cops are not held accountable for their actions. It takes a city riot to get attention to this issue.
    • Officer cameras as provided in the description above, only would protect cops. If a cop performed a negligent or wrongful activity the video would disappear and the chief would state the camera was defective and the department needs more funding.
    • They exhibit the use of “too much” force when apprehending someone or resisting arrest. If they are resisting arrest, why not just taser them and throw those handcuffs on. Why instead are there seven officers with batons clubbing this red pulp in the street? Sometimes the use of too much force results in the death of the arrested person. (E.G. Luis Rodriguez – heart arrhythmia – refused to provide identification – resisting arrest? Let’s pepper spray and kick you in the face).
    • Militarization of police. I have no problem with cops having MRAPs. However, cops should patrol in uniform. If escalation persists then they can move up to equipment they need. By default without instigation they should not be patrolling around in BDU’s with load bearing vests, kneepads, M249s, steel helmets, etc. (E.G. boston bombers ridiculousness – lets muster a whole army costing tax payers millions to arrest two criminal youths)
    • Suspect homes – no knock raids: Cops should go up to the suspect homes in question and knock on the door. If they are fear of being shot, they can use alternatives to knocking. They should not be performing no-knock raids unless they want to get shot. (E.G. Henry Goedrich Magee shooting and killing police officer in no knock raid – jury refused to indict Magee for killing). Further, no-knock raids easily give cops the opportunity to kill the homeowner. Any homeowner responding to the threat is caught gun in hand and executed by cops. No knock raids are just simply a bad idea. They are bad for cops and bad for homeowners. Cops can surround the building so the suspect cannot escape and communicate by megaphone.

  27. I can only speak from my own personal experience but I have lost all trust in the police after years of pointless roadblocks, police drinking on the job and one incident where it took them 45 minutes to respond to some intoxicated people from the house down the cul de sac laying passed out in the road and ringing on residents doorbells and running off… Yes all this was just harmless college kid antics but it did scare an elderly couple next door to me and the worst part was the police station was 2 blocks away..I shook my head that when the police did arrive they sent a young officer all of 5’3 and maybe 140 pounds…after that Ive made a point to just avoid them at all cost and protect myself and my family because its simply not wise to rely on my city’s police force…

  28. I think it’s time to call a truce. We each have our own opinions and have said them, said them again and said them too much. Let.’s not blow up the community over this. It only serves Bloomberg if we keep this up.

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