Quote of the Day: A Cop Shot My Son Edition

Michael Bell (left) and his son (curtesy politico.com)

“Yes, there is good reason to think that many of these unjustifiable homicides by police across the country are racially motivated. But there is a lot more than that going on here. Our country is simply not paying enough attention to the terrible lack of accountability of police departments and the way it affects all of us—regardless of race or ethnicity. Because if a blond-haired, blue-eyed boy — that was my son, Michael — can be shot in the head under a street light with his hands cuffed behind his back, in front of five eyewitnesses (including his mother and sister), and his father was a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who flew in three wars for his country — that’s me — and I still couldn’t get anything done about it, then Joe the plumber and Javier the roofer aren’t going to be able to do anything about it either.” – Michael Bell, What I Did After Police Killed My Son [via politico.com]

comments

  1. avatar Oliver2w1 says:

    THIS…..its not about race, the shootings will continue to happen as long as we the people allow the gestapo to operate with impunity.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      +1

      Government is force. The Constitution defined our government and was supposed to limit its force. I still contend that the root of government mission creep and abuse is Marbury v. Madison. Once the Supreme Court crowned itself decider of all things constitutional, it was only a matter of time before this appointed, not elected, organ of government started deciding cases with a heavy bias towards government. It’s basic self interest. There is no substantial check and balance for the Supreme Court so it ought not have such a tremendous power to decide what does or does not violate the Supreme Law of the Land.

      1. avatar MacBeth51 says:

        +1000

    2. avatar Lhecker51 says:

      My heart and prayers go out to the Bell family.

      Why can we not have justice? It takes real men of character to stand up for their mistakes if mistakes were made and it takes real men of character that are leaders to ensure justice is done. Only the truth matters. Both sides of these issues become immediately polarized and do not trust each other. Emotion gets the better of folks on both sides. The system is broke and must be fixed. Even cops demand blood and are blinded by emotion when one of their own is killed. In SoCal, two women delivering newspapers were riddled with bullets because their truck matched the description of rogue officer Christopher Dorner. They were extremely lucky to have survived.

      Now we have rioters demanding the head of an officer before the investigation is even completed. If they had trust that justice and truth would be served, this would not be the case. Unfortunately, the Rodney King riots and the riots currently going on will perpetuate the mistrust on BOTH sides. Rodney King was not killed yet many died during the riots.

      Kelly Thomas was beat to death by the Fullerton police that I RIDE THE TRAIN WITH EVERY DAY and no riots erupt. Again, the police were found not guilty after being charged. I have sat on many juries and have no faith in this system as many jurors are about as smart as a sack of hammers. They reason on emotion only and even when the law is thrown in their face and a picture is drawn with crayons, they still think their “feelings” trump the law! I am retired and I do sit on juries because I have no job to go to. Many of the rest are the bottom of the barrel regarding any capacity to think critically. Think about it: If you are wrongfully convicted, folks with the mental capacity of a box of rocks will decide your fate. Even when they take notes, they do such a poor job they cannot make any sense of them! I sat on a rape trial where a convict raped his GED teacher on prison grounds. My fellow jurors were ready to let him off with simple assault! Not on my watch. He was ultimately convicted of rape.

  2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Well, at least those cops knew they were going home that night.

    1. avatar Jwestham2 says:

      I don’t know how you meant that statement, but if it is how I took, I’m dusgusted that I fight (I’m active duty army) for people like you.

      You believe cops should shoot first ask questions last? You’re pathetic.

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        I’m pretty sure that was sarcasm. The famously loose shootings by police are triggered (sorry for the pun) by the worship of “Officer Safety.” It’s basically the doctrine that any action is justified as long as the officer makes it home safely at the end of the shift.

        1. avatar Skyler says:

          This. The police unions have created an overblown sensitivity to danger that is completely out of touch with the nature of the job and the rights of the people. It’s high time we outlaw public sector unions.

      2. avatar Oliver2w1 says:

        +1 active duty AF here

  3. avatar Pascal says:

    I think everyone should read the entire article not just the post.

    You will see that the PD are in cahoots with the DA. The DA is in cahoots with various executive branches and there is systemic environment of cover up. Michael Bell helped get a law passed that required outside independent investigation of all police involved shootings. One of the first cases investigated was an incident where police shot a homeless unarmed man sleeping on a park bench 15 times. In following that story, you see the police already had justified the shooting, but quickly evidence and outside investigation showed it was murder.

    The issue as some have stated is not about race, you have a corrupt system between the police unions, the police and the DA and will add IMHO judges and the executive branches at all levels.

    It is story that is little reported by the media, because they are too busy supporting the same political agenda as well.

    Lets hope all the burned buildings and those shot bring light to the larger problem we have all over the USA. It is too bad our politicians are corrupt, inept and clueless that it takes a crises to make change.

    1. avatar DerryM says:

      I read the article, too, Pascal, before reading any comments. Thanks for your clear, cool-headed, assessment of what you read and I agree with you 100%. Good Job!

    2. avatar Taylor TX says:

      Yea your comment definitely encouraged me to go back and read the whole thing.

    3. avatar BR549 says:

      Well stated, Pascal. Not to contradict what you have stated, but I would add further that over the last 100 years (and one could argue ever since 1776) we have been under an assault by the Brits, pushed by the European elites and the Rothschild banking ilk to make sure this experiment in colonial democracy never sees the true light of day.

      To allow the serfs to engage in determining their own future would only seal the fate of rulers who clearly feel they are worthy of godlike adoration. All that said, this creates and continually reinforces a self-destructive system of reward that benefits people with no conscience. This permeates downward through society and is embraced by weak-minded people everywhere, who never question the long-term moral erosion that they perpetuate by always taking care of their own needs and to hell with everyone else.

      This is the problem we have with our politicians. They have succumbed to greed, avarice, corruption and established a reinforcement mechanism for themselves within the context of agencies that were once designed to help society, not further tear it apart. Looked at within the context of a living organism, these cells, which once had a necessary function within the host body, have now gone feral and become counterproductive to their own original purpose. We call that …. CANCER.

      Unfortunately, too many police, military, DAs, and judges have fallen into this ego-driven trap, and to that extent, we can say the disease has now metastacized as it spreads throughout our culture, all because …… they lost faith, perhaps with God, but certainly with the system.

      I go one step further with this model in stating that, if as long as these individual cells can still “believe” that the host body is capable of governing itself properly, it’s amazing how fast a recovery can take place, but when those cells decide, instead, that’s it every man for himself and to hell with the women and children, THAT is when they need to be removed from the “society”, forcibly if necessary. And since these “cells”, these judges, politicians and LEOs have gone that extra measure to SWEAR an oath of allegiance to support the Constitution and protect the public, it becomes doubly incumbent upon them to remind themselves which master they are serving; the public ….. or their fear-driven egos looking for a pat on the back after they kick the snot out of some innocent homeless person.

      My two cents.

      1. avatar Wood says:

        Thank you BR, I got more than $0.02 out of that.

      2. avatar whatever says:

        Hear, hear! It’s long past time to make *community* and *personal responsibility* genuine values, not PR crafted code-words that enable a culture of universal childishness.

    4. avatar Danny Griffin says:

      In following that story, you see the police already had justified the shooting, but quickly evidence and outside investigation showed it was murder.

      I didn’t think any results from the investigation had been made public yet. ???

      1. avatar whatever says:

        I’m refraining from any opinion on the trigger incident until there’s a corner’s report.

    5. avatar Lhecker51 says:

      The city of Los Angeles just voted down a proposal for a citizen’s review committee. They are happy with internal investigators investigating themselves. The whole system is rigged. The Grand juries are nothing more than connected friends of the system. We have police chiefs that will throw an officer to the wolves before the facts are even in! Let the truth be told and the chips fall where they may! I am tired of truth and justice becoming casualties to emotion and weak leadership.

  4. avatar Wood says:

    Good article, and great work. I am astounded by Mr. Bell’s restraint. Astounded. Murder is the only way to describe what happened to his son. “Bad shoot”. This has to end. We cannot tolerate any more. Trust the professionals? Not a chance. Ruthlessly punish those whose incompetence take innocent life? Yep, that’s the way to do it.

    1. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

      Reading that story.. If that were my son, there would be an awful lot of dead cops and lawyers in Kenosha.

  5. avatar John L. says:

    The whole article is worth a read. One line near the end caught my eye:

    “But I also think the days of Andy Griffith and the Mayberry peacekeeper are over.”

    I don’t think those days actually existed except in popular myth. In fact the LTC’s investigation into WI PD accountability over the past 129 years (short version: there wasn’t any) underscores the point.

    Rather, I think the tools have changed, both for the police and for citizens trying to document bad behavior (smart phones, anyone?). The public have ways of getting information other than via professional reporters who can be misled, lied to or outright cowed. And I think our society as a whole is starting to come to grips with the implications of that.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Anyone who believes in Mayberry obviously wasn’t paying attention back then when the police were in cahoots with the KKK and used dogs instead of tear gas on protesters.

    2. avatar Tominator says:

      When I graduated HS in the early ’70s we were a lot closer to Mayberry then than we are today. Even though I had long hair and played Hippie for a couple years, I knew the officers in my community on a personal basis. Knew their flaws and their strengths and though we had our disagreements, once settled, we respected each other.
      One Sargent on the local PD went on duty with a few band-aids and a swollen eye. Seems he got caught with someone’s wife and got the crap beat out of him. That served as ‘justice’ back then! Didn’t make the papers or the evening news and there was no complaint filed or lawyers involved.

      The Chief of Police and Sheriff were respected by one and all regardless on what side of the law you were on. That’s a whole lot closer to the supposed myth of Mayberry than it is today!

      Today if you get ‘justice’ you’d better have a LOT of cash…the poor go to jail!

      Society wants to be rid of God and along with that, respect common decency and purpose in life.

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        CORRECT!

      2. avatar Doug says:

        None of this is new. There have always been sleazoid cops and there have also been cops who were better than you would expect — some of them laboring as outcasts and misfits surrounded by pretty sorry fellow officers. Those men were unrecognized heroes.

        My father told me of his brush with bad law enforcement in the Carolinas as a young man. He was sideswiped on a country road by the drunken and locally notorious son of the local county Sheriff. Guess who got arrested and charged, despite all the tire tracks being on my father’s side of the highway! Being in the military and needing to get where he was ordered, he figured out the lay of the land, paid the fine and got out of Dodge.

        The bottom line quote, on trusting people too much, including authority figures: “Son, not everyone in this world means well.”

  6. avatar HamChuck says:

    Here’s an idea. An ROE for cops that states you only get to return fire. Cops carry a variety of non lethal and less than lethal options. Employing their firearm should be last resort. Also, if they do fire their gun before being fired on, they lose their civil immunity and get treated (legally) like the rest of us “civilians” and get to deal with the legal system just like us. Concerned about “officer safety” and getting home to your family? Then don’t become a cop. I’ll just bet the shootings drop like a rock. Harsh? Maybe, but it’ll keep a lot of dogs alive, at the very least.

    1. avatar Model 31 says:

      Hmm -interesting, going in the right direction, but possibly too far?… Of course, police acting in the line of duty will never deal with the legal system just like citizens. An officer being assaulted would justify deadly force, but I just don’t see a cop being cuffed and arrested after a DGU -ever.
      No civil immunity on the other hand…
      I’d wouldn’t mind hearing from some peace-officer’s point of view on the matter.

      1. avatar HamChuck says:

        “an officer being assaulted…” Yup just like a “civilian” being assaulted would be justified using deadly force. I just want them subjected to the same scrutiny in the use of deadly force as me or you.

        1. avatar Jus Bill says:

          This is our fundamental problem in all this:
          WE HAVE NO UNION.
          The closest we come are our 2A advocacy organizations, and in most cases they lack the backing from the government at all levels and the MSM.

        2. avatar Tile floor says:

          As an officer, if I am assaulted it does NOT give me the right to start slinging lead at my assailant unless he is about to or in the process of executing deadly force on me. If I shot every drunk that took a swing at me or my co workers there would be carnage out the wazoo. The only force that should be used should be reasonable and enough to put that person into custody, not a grave unless absolutely warranted. And if these cops are shooting innocent people because they can’t control their temper, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

          As for going home at the end of shift, that’s not my primary goal, nor should it be for any officer. That mantra has definitely gotten out of hand, it is supposed to remind police to exercise caution, but it should never come at the expense of innocent lives.

          I think police shootings should be evaluated by independent citizens selected along the same lines of jury duty.. Just an idea

        3. avatar HamChuck says:

          In reply to Tile Floor re: the drunk taking a swing at you.

          Absolutely, you have a variety of options. ASP him, or mace him or even Tase his drunk ass. A lot of my cop friends take MMA just for that reason, to subdue a subject non lethally. On the other hand, if that drunk pulls a knife and comes at you, then you as an officer and I as a CHL (assuming I’m not culpable in the fight) have the right to meet lethal force with force. Your lapel cam (required by all officers in my scenario) will see you justified. The officer and the CHL will both be refered to a prosecuter for charges and after the footage is viewed, no charges will be filed.

          I lived under military ROE for years. It worked for us, it’ll work for police.

        4. avatar Model 31 says:

          @tile floor:
          That sounds reasonable.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      You will have no police. That may be your goal, but society began using police for a reason, and I doubt you’ll soon find it ready to give them up as a whole.

      But hey, if you put enough limits on police they’ll start by just not doing anything except hugging protesters for photo-ops. And the city can burn at night.

      1. avatar HamChuck says:

        And yet I see pictures and hear reports of armed men and women standing a post in front of their buildings in and around Ferguson. I don’t see their buildings burning.

        Oh , and as to having no cops, I doubt it. Britain has no shortage of unarmed cops. Things aren’t exactly peachy there.

      2. avatar Jus Bill says:

        You could say the same thing about the Armed Forces, who operate under much stricter and limiting ROE (and punishment via the UCMJ) than the police. Any yet we have all volunteer Armed Forces. There will always be people who are willing to lay everything the line because it’s the “right thing to do.”

      3. avatar 16V says:

        Police as we now know them are a very recent (in societal terms) invention. The shift from the real job of recording and investigating crime to this nebulous nonsense of “crime prevention” is even more recent. The classical deployment of Sheriff and Deputies seems to have historically been a better system long term. Sort of.

        As to not having them, I’d say Ferguson is the perfect example of (at best) their basic irrelevance, and at worst their dangers. The only businesses protected by the police so far have been where the cops are camping out. Everyone else is on their own. The only people protected by the police, are the police themselves. Many folks called 911 from inside Ferguson night before last. 911’s response? “We aren’t taking calls.” Then the hangup.

        Not to mention the paramilitary response to the marchers. That one finds the protestors objectionable for whatever reason is irrelevant. They are American citizens, and until they start rioting, the police don’t get to play Tianamen Square.

        Had the cops been cops, posted a whole bunch of 2-man teams dispersed throughout the town, then maybe this all could have been prevented. But give a bunch of angry illogical protestors something like we saw in the beginning to push against? They’re gonna push and it’ll get ugly. Especially when gathering all the cops together and not policing the rest of the area.

      4. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        Nonsense.

        At today’s levels of compensation, you’ll have no shortage of applicants to police forces, regardless of ROE’s and policies.

        There’s no shortage of people who would love to have the sorts of comp packages cops do. And if the ROE says that they have to turn tail and run at the first sign of things going sideways, I think you’ll see more applicants, not fewer.

    3. avatar Pascal says:

      No, IMHO that goes too far. First, there is no way to know who fired first. Second, there are times that the police do see a gun and must shoot first. What Michael Bell did to have that law passed should be passed in every single state. If there is an officer involved shooting, then there must be an independent group, not only composed of police, but other experts who can review what happened. The police department involved in the shooting should not be allowed to investigate themselves. That is the issue especially in large cities that are run like political machines where they are all just watching each others back. The State PD should not be involved either because their could be collusion their too. An independent body to investigate the shootings is needed and whatever the outcome, the final verdict cannot be sealed by law.

      This is a case where a bright light is needed to find all the cockroaches and sanitize the environment.

      1. avatar JeffR says:

        This Wisconsin law needs to spread to every state in this country. Since I live in Illinois, however, I am quite certain that we will be the last hold-out.

        1. avatar Jus Bill says:

          The “Machine” in Maryland depends on lack of oversight and accountability for its continued survival. It will never happen here – we have the best government money can buy. And an urban majority population that’s just fine with that.

      2. avatar HamChuck says:

        “No way to know who shot first” actually sure there is. Put a Go Pro style camera on every cop. The camera protects us and them. How much info is gleaned from dash cam video? Citizen cellphones? Why all cops don’t have them now (other than money) I don’t understand. I even have my own dashcam. Built in GPS. Video proof that I didn’t run a stop sign and that the car accident was the other drivers fault.

      3. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        “An independent body to investigate the shootings is needed………”

        Sooo…….the answer to government gone wild is…..more government? No thanks.

        If it is sufficient at this point not to delineate the specific structure of a solution, but rather to describe that category to which the solution would belong, then the answer would be among those proposals which change the incentives involved among the various participants. New boards, commissions, and panels with new budgets, missions and powers, will suffer the same old biases and corruptions and yield the same old stale non-results. After all, who selects the members of this body, funds it and what ensures its adherence to ideals? Exactly.

        Right now, all of the people involved have their careers, fortunes, reputations and, in some cases, their personal safety, on the line. Any proposal that fails to address these factors, which are the incentives driving individuals’ behaviors, will naturally fail as well in effecting any change in those individuals’ behaviors. If anything, it could make things worse by lending a mantle of legitimacy to these self-clearing reviews by stamping them with the approving imprimatur of a pseudo-independent body.

    4. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

      My first thought was that goes a little too far, quickly followed by my second thought – those ROE are good enough for our troops so why not for the cops?

      1. avatar Jus Bill says:

        The troops don’t have a powerful union and self-serving politicians behind them.

    5. avatar DickG says:

      Nobody. NOBODY! Should be required to wait to be hit, clubbed, shot, or shot at before defending him/herself with whatever force is necessary to eliminate the threat of further aggression.
      .

    6. avatar MacBeth51 says:

      “Here’s an idea. An ROE for cops that states you only get to return fire”
      That’s why many carry a “throw away”, a cheap piece of crap gun they can plant on the deceased. And that is from personal experience

      1. avatar Danny Griffin says:

        And that is from personal experience

        I sense a story here. Tell it.

    7. avatar whatever says:

      Also, glue a camera to their uniforms and make sure the recording can’t be “lost.”

  7. avatar former water walker says:

    Is this the same bunch laughing about shooting a woman with a power drill? Whatever RF.

  8. avatar Jimmyjames says:

    I sure do seem to have my share of interactions, social, professional, etc., with ex-cops. They seem to fall into 3 categories: decent human beings, thugs with a chip on their shoulder, or dumb asses. Maybe all of us fall into those 3 categories.

    And yes I completely agree that we must hold LEO’s to a higher legal, moral and ethical standard. We cant have this, “we looked into it and we didnt do anything wrong” crap. Like one of the replies said, dont like the perceived double standard, dont be a cop.

    1. avatar Taylor TX says:

      I think youre right Jimmy, you could probably sum up all of humanity into those three categories for starters.

      A sort of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Perhaps people and cops in general both do fall into those three broad categories. However, do they do so in equal proportions? After all, people in general are deposited into the world at random. Cops self-select themselves to become cops from among the general population.

      What is it about a job with power, privilege, and instant, un-individually-earned respect, that might attract a disproportionate share of applicants from one or two of those three broad categories of people in general? And is that disproportionate share more or less likely to be from the genuinely decent human beings category, or the others?

  9. avatar Bunny says:

    What fascinates me is all the liberals I see online (especially on Facebook) who preach the race card. They preach the dangers of police oppression and a soft military state. Yet at the same time, these people demand civilian disarmament. HUH? What world do you live in where those two things add up? How delusional do you have to be to think that will work?

    The length people will lie to themselves in order to keep their fantasy utopia alive will never cease to amaze me. Il

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      I know one of those. I guess he figures if the police disarm, and citizens disarm, then all will be right with the world and we can live in harmony.

      1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

        That is exactly their perspective. They think (and honestly believe) that guns cause the problem. They honestly believe that if there were no guns, there would be no problems.

        Sadly for them, the first person to pick up a rock will prove them tragically wrong. The first male over 6′ tall who is in good physical condition who picks up a 4′ long piece of 1″ steel pipe would become king in their shiny-happy universe.

        The problem with these people is that they are woefully ignorant of how the world actually works, mostly because they’ve been quite comfortably isolated from how Hobbesian the world really is.

        1. avatar 16V says:

          “Civilization” is a veneer thinner than Tennáge

  10. avatar hugh says:

    The question is what do we do? And when I say WE I mean the citizens of this country. There seems to be a lot of info on examples of asshole cops but not much in the way of solutions.

    1. avatar Col. Angus says:

      To a large extent unions determine who can be hired, and make it virtually impossible to discipline the bad ones. Most PDs are over staffed. There are actually too many, not too few, cops. (Remember Bill Clinton bragging about how he had “put 100,000 cops on the street”? Thankfully, he was lying. Again.) Most PDs are hand in glove with prosecutors, many of whom have forgotten (or never even knew) that their job is to seek justice, not merely to rack up convictions. The whole system is rotten….stupid, roided-up thug-cops, politically motivated administrators pursuing their next promotion, over-zealous prosecutors, incompetent judges and mouth-breathing, knuckle dragging jurors who have no clue what they’re doing in the jury box.

  11. avatar Accur81 says:

    I would welcome independent review of all police shootings by a non-government agency.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      That’s been tried but often “Civilian Review Boards” (not my words) end up going the other way and are in the pockets of those who only care when there is a race card to play.

      1. avatar Dempsterdumpster says:

        Make the review system adversarial, then. At least on some level. Review with a mix of interests and expertise. This has problems, too, but might avoid group think, prejudice, and axe grinding.

      2. avatar Pascal says:

        There ways around that. First break up the board so there is no one group majority represented. Second, make it such that the seat on the board is limited to X years and nobody can serve on the board more than twice non consecutive years. Next use in state and out of state experts. Finally, fully disclose any and all affiliation and relationships with the local governments. It can be done.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Make it like jury duty. Send out random selections for citizens to sit on an individual case.

        2. avatar Accur81 says:

          Damn right it can be done. Fill it with different folks – Independents, Republicans, and, as a last resort – Democrats. Represent all walks of life. Use some CCW holders. Set it up like a jury, but a more intelligent one.

          One more thing – make the police department cover the expenses.

        3. avatar Jus Bill says:

          Agree with all of the ideas above. But use the existing jury system and juror pool – lots of people, paid by the municipality. RANDOM selection to avoid partisan appointments. And use each selected review board for ONLY ONE case, so nobody gets too chummy with anyone else.

        4. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          Interesting, but I don’t like using the jury pool, at least not the total jury pool. It used to be comprised of only those who were registered to vote. Now, with Motor Voter, it includes anyone with a driver’s license or I.D. Beyond that, are you aware that they send out voter registration cards with applications (more like solicitations) for welfare benefits now? Basically, the state governments are saying “Here’s your package of freebies and oh, by the way, here’s your ticket for ensuring that the right people are in power to keep the gravy train on track.”

          There would need to be a higher standard for eligibility to sit on such a board. If it’s just from potential jurors/voters, then it would deliver results on par with the quality of election outcomes and jury verdicts we’ve seen, which, if I’m not mistaken, are huge parts of how we got into this mess in the first place.

        5. avatar Model 31 says:

          Requirements to sit on panel:
          1. Voted at least once in a Federal or State election in the last four years
          2. Pass the same background check used for gun purchase from a FFL
          3. Paid up on all your taxes -Federal, State, County, City

          No civil slackers, violent felons or tax cheats.
          It should be considered a honor (reserved for upstanding citizens) to serve on the panel.
          Agree with one incident per panel.

  12. avatar Cesare says:

    Personally, I think the blanket immunity that law enforcement is granted is the root of the problem. It is an artificial and unconstitutional construct which creates a separate class of citizen that is effectively above the law. Worse yet, the doctrine is most pointed in terms of their official contact with the public which coincidentally would be entirely congruent with the potential for the worst abuses.

    SKIN. IN. THE. GAME. Rather than such broad governmental immunity, there should be heavier penalties, civil and criminal, for them breaking the Law as it really is an entire other order of infraction, as in violating the profound trust allowed them by the public above and beyond the particular crime. No citizen could get away with much of law enforcement’s conduct. Thinking back on the Duke LaCrosse atrocity the worst dimension was Nifong’s arrogant and absolute confidence that whatever he did WAS the Law; he ain’t the only one either.

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      Yep, skin in the game. If individuals don’t have something to lose by not abiding by the rules then the results are entirely predictable. It’s so obvious.

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      Now you’re showing me something. The idea may not be the complete solution, I don’t know; but it’s at least addressing the underlying incentives involved, which is key to influencing behavior.

      1. avatar Cesare says:

        I don’t think you can pre-empt wrong doing by anybody. All that can be done is to ensure reliable consequences. That said there will always be people who cannot or will not think beyond the moment, on both sides of the Law. Personally, I think consequences are key. Machiavelli suggested that all men love differently but fear similarly, I don’t think you can coax or induce people out of the wrong choice, only make it ironclad that they pay. The Law cannot be enforced by people who are not equally subject to it.

  13. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    The answer is not civilian review boards. Civilian review boards are usually convened AFTER a police officer has stepped beyond his duty and oath, and can also be corrupted by personal political agendas. Civilian review has a place, but the repeal of “Qualified Immunity” is where it must begin. There was no qualified immunity before 1970, yet the police still managed to do their job without fear of being wrongly charged for a justifiable use of deadly force. Granting a blanket immunity to the police has reduced the civilians they are sworn to protect, to 2nd class status. For a law enforcement agency, this is a bad, dangerous place to be,….above the law.

    And don’t be fooled, or placated by the police unions giving their support to civilian review boards. They’ve seen the writing on the tax-payer funded, under-funded pension payoff wall, and will do whatever it takes to ensure the funding for their pensions, and the police state bureaucracy(unions) remains intact, and profitable. Remember how the teachers union members cried and threw tantrums over now being required to contribute 3% of their salary towards their pension, instead of having the taxpayers foot the entire bill? I’m pretty sure they don’t want you to remember the union members’ selfish, public property-defacing, tirades at the state capital.
    We the people tend to resent being abused, and sometimes killed, by the people whose salaries and pensions we are paying.

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    “111 federal, state, local, tribal and territorial officers were killed in the line of duty nationwide this past year [2013], compared to 121 in 2012.

    “Forty-six officers were killed in traffic related accidents, and 33 were killed by firearms.”

    Meanwhile, cops killed 400 people, mostly by shooting them, although the occasional choke-hold murder remains an option.

    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131230/15411225716/number-officers-killed-line-duty-drops-to-50-year-low-while-number-citizens-killed-cops-remains-unchanged.shtml

    Being a police officer is a very safe job, despite the protests from cops and their admirers. Being in the custody of cops is far more dangerous.

  15. avatar mk10108 says:

    EVERY Police shooting, MUST be investigated by an outside jurisdiction, with no political ties to the city or county. The investigation MUST be made public and all lawsuit settlements MUST admit to wrong doing.

    If shooting was unjustified, the officer is band from a law enforcement career for life (National DO NOT Hire registry) and serve time in prison. ANY officer, DA, or management who lies, or falsify a report for the investigation is fired immediately and put on the no hire list.

    Instead of the Federal government providing armor vehicles, they should provide every officer with a video & audio recording device to wear while on duty.

    Killing a citizen and hiding behind a badge MUST END.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      EVERY Police shooting, MUST be investigated by an outside jurisdiction, with no political ties to the city or county.

      So that would be a state or Federal entity? Neither is a great example of impartiality and fairness, IMO.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Yup, and even if there is an impartial investigation, who’s going to prosecute? The DAs are in bed with the cops; the cops fabricate evidence, the DA withholds probative material and the case goes nowhere.

  16. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    Police unions are heavy contributors to the campaigns of local DA’s and councilmen. An endorsement by the local police union counts for a lot both in terms of money and outright votes and can make or break a political career. Think local politicians want to risk their budding political careers by pissing off the cops? Think again. If there’s going to be transparency—and, hence, a reduction in the kind of corruption Mike Bell talks about—this has to change. Mike Bell’s experience is not an isolated example. This stuff’s going on all around the country and the bottom line is we’re all vulnerable to it.

    What this kind corruption breeds is an “insider’s culture” where everybody on the inside is expected and required to observe discrete rules that are purposely hidden from the public. Social media has been so effective in showing evidence of corrupt police practices that this customary arrangement between the police and politicians under such strain that it’s reaching a crisis-point. Ferguson, MO is just the latest example. I used to trust the police. Now, I don’t. Or, to put it another way, the police used to have my vote. Now, they don’t

  17. avatar soccerdad1150 says:

    tragic. wow. I love the NTSB type analogy. ANY death at the hands of law enforcement needs to be reviewed by an independent non-political agency, be it a federal one (not in favor of this option), state level (yes) or local level (open to corruption, too familiar with the community maybe). And for God’s sake, make dash cam’s mandatory! If we can give millions of dollars of military equipment to the locals, we can afford a dash cam for every GD cruiser. AND personal recording devices on all uniforms should be a must as well.

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