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There’s this idea – a myth really – that local policing used to be low-key, even-handed and, well, friendly. While we’re busy deploring the current pace, scope and scale of current police militarization, it’s important to realize that law enforcement officials have been on the wrong side of the battle to defend and extend our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected rights for many, many years. (Birmingham Sheriff Eugene “Bull” Connor’s treatment of civil rights protestors springs to mind.) Not all cops. Maybe not even most of them. But enough of them that I feel fully justified highlighting the threat as and when it appears. You can call me anti-cop all you like. Below if you wish. But I’m committed to defending Americans’ gun rights and civil liberties against all enemies. I welcome any and all who share in that mission, police included. Questions?

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    • I’m generally pro-cop (not always pro-police powers, though, depending on how extensive they are) but I’d be happy to just have people stop pretending like the cops of yesteryear were somehow the pinnacle of courtesy and professionalism. The truth is, unless you were connected and white, getting on the wrong side of the cops ‘back then’ was a very dangerous move. People didn’t just get beaten or bit, they straight up disappeared.

      • True. I believe that there are a few places where that is still a danger. During graduate studies, I bought a house in the most back woods part of the state because it was affordable. It turned out to be a major drug pipeline town. The cops and other local government agencies were part of the game. It was tense living for me much of the time. That was the most overt and prolific corruption I’ve ever witnessed first hand.

        • Chillicothe outside dayton? Or whereabouts cause ive dealt with that, ashtabula and some small towns outside of bowling green where the biggest heroin and meth dealers were cops kids and the whole town shrugged its shoulders and said “i dont know why our town is flooded with drugs”

        • Much smaller than Chillicothe; in those hills around Marietta, Zanesville, Athens, etc. It wasn’t just dealing and use. This particular micro-town was supposedly a distribution way point for the Northeast. It was a lot of cocaine; might have been heroin as well. Weed use was commonplace in the village. Everyone in positions of authority and money were related in some way. They were also either very friendly or related to county officials. I hadn’t experienced anything like it before and, thankfully, since.

          AFAIK, Chillicothe still has methamphetamine as background static but heroin is currently the big thing. But, yeah, you know what I mean. I don’t think some of my city friends back in my original hometown really have a point of reference.

  1. Bravo!

    Truth is a real bitch sometimes, as are the honesty and objectivity required to come to the truth.

    Not all cops are bad, but some cops are. Not all cops go overboard, but some do. Not all cops kill unarmed civilians, but some do, and that number is increasing every year.

    Until such time as the good cops, the silent cops, do their best to out and get rid of the bad cops they will continue to be tarred with the same brush as the bad cops.

    Good cops are awesome and are assets to their communities. Bad cops deserve to be stripped of their badges, and potentially prosecuted, depending upon their deeds.

    Is that an anti-cop mentality? Hell no. It’s a realistic mentality that takes into account that not all cops are good cops.

    • Agree with most of your comments. However, the number increasing? I see two parts to that. First, poor reporting in the past. Secondly, everyone has a smartphone, and dash cams in police cars. So…….more instances of bad cops.

      Now, good cops. To me, the definition of a good cop would be ones who would actively work to rid his/her department of “bad” cops. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case. So, these so called “good” cops, are not so “good” after all.

      • I come from a family of cops, and I can tell you that “actively working to rid” a department of bad cops is a pretty unreasonable expectation. Unions don’t peer-review their members and unions are designed to protect the lowest common denominator.

        The best method of doing away with individual “bad cops” would be to have chiefs and sheriffs do a better job of policing their own, but that would require some SERIOUS micromanagement (and non-appointed police chiefs that answer to the people directly) as well as proactive DA’s, city-councils, and judges that AREN’T all part of the same proverbial circle-jerk of favors and self-promotion.

        In other words, they’re a natural part of a flawed system. We should focus on training, tactics, and equipment first and that will help to resolve a lot of the issues we’re having with individuals naturally.

        • The system can be fixed by limiting the Union’s power. But that would require giving up the Union.

        • And what you describe would generally be okay if:
          (a) police did NOT have qualified immunity, and
          (b) police were NOT in the business of deploying force against people

          However, police DO have qualified immunity and they ARE in the business of deploying force against people every day. Which brings us to the proverbial question: who polices the police? The apparent answer is “no one”. That is not good for We the People.

    • Replace “cop” with “people” and you have another generalized statement with a small fraction of truth. Personal responsibility and independent review is still needed…

  2. In general, I give police some extra benefit of the doubt because it is a difficult and stressful job, but in return I expect a higher standard of behavior and accountability. That’s not bashing, it’s maintaining a healthy respect for the power of the position.

      • Privatize the police! Start by allowing true private competition to the government police monopoly. Law enforcement was private before it was state run it can be again. In fact many aspects of security and protection are private now.

  3. Over my many decades of marriage and before, I have lived in numerous places throughout the South East and Mid-South. Most of the time, I was blessed to live in towns and areas where police chiefs and sheriffs at least tacitly approved of private gun ownership and use, and Second Amendment rights.

    I now live in The Sportsman’s Paradise where every home has guns, long and short, for duck hunting, deer hunting, alligator hunting, wild feral hog hunting, and just about every other type of hunting known to man. If a sheriff were elected that does not support the easiest methods of owning firearms he would not be re-elected to anything. Maybe that is the best check on law enforcement heavy-handedness and abuse of private gun rights, have every household own and know how to use guns. That may also help prevent tyranny.

    • Tired of seeing erroneous terminology and news reporting, particularly on social media?

      Tired of just sitting around at home on the weekends?

      Tired of worrying that your human right of armed self-defense is going to be stripped from you due the wrong people getting elected?

      Introducing Gun Rights Activism™, a new life solution that is guaranteed* to solve all of your problems! With Gun Rights Activism, you get to correct people on social media, join open carry groups on the weekends, and raise awareness of candidates’ stances on guns in local elections!

      *Product not guaranteed to solve problems unless a growing number of people participate. Product not approved by the FDA. Side effects may include loss of funds due to ammo purchases, accumulation of several holsters you don’t like anymore, and defense against government tyranny.

  4. Robert,

    I largely share your opinion that the growth and direction of police agencies nationwide shows a dangerous trend toward not only infringing upon but completely trampling our natural rights. I have defended you on occasion when the usual suspects come out and cry about your “anti-cop” bias.

    That said, I would personally like to see you actively defend your position in the comments sections yourself. You will articulate and defend your own opinions and musings better than most of your readers since they’re largely YOUR ideas to begin with. While many of your articles give us insight into the Robert Farago we wouldn’t know otherwise, engaging your clients will only help your brand in the long run.

    Keep up the good work on all fronts, and f_ck the detractors, which include me on occasion. It’s your baby and you should nurture and protect it. Whether I agree or disagree, I always respect your opinions because you provide good reason for having formed them.

    • While the urge to address some of the mudslinging directly is probably overwhelming for RF at times, my personal opinion is that he’s going about it the right way. By… not going about it.

      I’d wager solid money that a significant portion of the venomous detractions are in it solely for self-aggrandizement and/or the venom spitters themselves argue-for-the-sake-of-because “click my name in the comments section on this popular gun blog to generate traffic to MY site”. No sense in giving more air time there.

      Note I’m not speaking of decent or disagreement. Confirmation bias is at best boring, and at worst highly detrimental.

      • I expect that Farago is of the same opinion and that’s why he doesn’t do it. That said he isn’t active in the comments sections at all.

        Starting or having an argument won’t do anything but give the Good Rev and El Mac something else to cry about, but providing more information as to how opinions/conclusions are reached could do a lot to broaden the horizons of people on all sides of a topic.

        • I certainly can’t argue with your point about providing information. Only way to have a healthy (actual) debate.

          Difficult in some cases to determine if the source is simply attempting to be inflammatory. Perhaps it doesn’t matter if the goal is to inform.

  5. “But enough of them that I feel fully justified highlighting the threat as and when it appears.”

    That’s just it, though: is the threat evident and present, or is it anti-police bias that fabricates it where it didn’t already exist?

    It’s probably best to refrain from speculation until the facts are in. Then you can be sure that your argument and conclusions are tenable based on reality, and aren’t susceptible to claims of prejudice.

    Then again, controversy drives website traffic, page views and ad clicks, which amounts to money for TTAG. That’s fine by me, although the site’s credibility would take a hit as it places itself on par with hucksters and baiters we typically deride. Best to play it straight, don’t get cutesy, and let the traffic chips fall where they may.

  6. Been around for a long time, don’t remember cops ever being on anyones side. The cop mentality is this and has always been. “Us against them.” Everyone is guilty of something all I have to do is find out what it is. In many ways the cops of today are a hell of a lot better than they used to be. Used to be the cops got away with anything, no one questioned them and there was no one to go to for help. There was no Maranda rights, you got in to an interagation room and out came the rubber hoses and sap marks. Rape, murder, extortion, robbery, were the norm for highway patrol units. Still is today, but not like it used to be. Cops found on the side of the highway back in the day, wasn’t always becasue a bad guy shot a cop, but some guy was fighting for his life.

    • Rape, murder, extortion, robbery, were the norm for highway patrol units.

      Include sex trafficking and you just describe a scary percentage of NC State Troopers, unfortunately. The state has done a pretty incredible job of unf_cking their department though, I do applaud them for that.

  7. If all y’all cops think people are critical of you doing your job right/wrong, try being a school teacher. LOL!

    I think TTAG strikes a good balance between critique of bad cops and troubling trends in modern policing. I have a couple of friends, really good guys, who are cops and they’re critical of some of the same trends that have been discussed recently.

    The whole idea of criticism of bad cops = anti-police is as misguided as criticism of POTUS/Congress = anti-American.

    • Most cops, like most people are decent. They are not villains and frankly not heroes either. The problem is that it takes a special kind of hero cop to do anything about a villain who is also a cop and even then the deck is stacked I. Favor of the status quo.
      I am a huge believer in the right of citizens to defend themselves. I do think after this last shooting we should start to think that maybe SOME police duties are better carried out while not carrying a gun.
      In England beat cops do not generally carry firearms and they are able to do their job very well. They do have units that respond to dangerous calls packing and they serve arrest warrants packing often.
      So many cop shootings are done with the officers gun that an officer must make losing control of his weapon a constant consideration. Every hot head or drunk or traffic stop is a potential armed conflict to him because he has an open and fairly accessible firearm.
      The problem is that unlike an armed citizen who is unlikely to initiate a forceful encounter and certainly not likely to do so legally, cops must do this as part of the job. Also having beat cops with guns means that all police activity is done at gun point with maximum potential for intimidation. This attracts a bad eliment to the work.
      Solutions are simple.
      1. Stop having police do everything. Specialize more. The same cop who patrols for speeders does not need to be the guy that serves warrants on rapists.
      Have traffic wardens that have no special arrest powers but just issue tickets for traffic and basic safety patrol. Traffic wardens should be unarmed or concealed carry only. They should only be able to write tickets and should have to call other officers if other criminal activity is suspected.This will eliminate the most common sources of tension with police and the every day citizen. Also it will free up other types of police for control of serous crime.
      2. For response to drunks, juveniles , crazies etc who are public nusance type calls let’s have more officers on the scene ( now that they are not writing tickets) and if the suspect must be restrained let’s have officers unarmed so this while being covered by armed officers outside the mele. If a guy comes out with a weapon disengage and let your backup shoot. If he only has hands and fists superior numbers will take him down without putting the officer Ina position where he has no hoise but to shoot.
      3.lets train officers to disengage rather than escalate a situation when escalation taken all the way would force them to fire a weapon AND where no person is in immediate danger. This is so contrary to current police attitudes but let the guy walk at least until your buddies arrive. It’s not worth turning a trespassing call or a drunk in public into a justified homicide just to protect some cops ego.
      4. Cameras on all cops remote back up to two separate secure locations. Cameras can only be turned off by calling dispatcher and they de activate remotely. This way the officer and the dispatcher must both push the off button and this event is logged. Make it a felony to erase tapes. A side benefit of cameras would be that if an officer is in danger the monitoring officer could send help without being asked.
      5. We are going to have to make police officers more accountable. Let’s make police chiefs and supervisors civally liable for any actions commuted by officers under them that result in a judgement against the dept( city, town, etc). Also allow private lawyers to file criminal charges against police on certain instances. And allow judges in civil cases involving police wrong doing to issue injunctions barring individuals from continuing to work as police ( or maybe against working in government at all).
      You accidentally shoot bystanders ? No your not a criminal but your also not a cop any longer.

  8. I appreciate the critical eye on the behaviors of our LE community in both maintaining, and repressing, our natural civil rights. I sometimes see what I consider a negative bias, but if that negative bias comes with unwhitewashed truth (rather than the sanitized versions that are put out by the ‘mainstream’ media, I am glad to get it here.

    I am unapologetic in saying that those who have an enforcement ability MUST be held to a higher standard.

  9. I used to stop in daily to read about guns, gun related topics and the 2A. But now TTAG just not stop complaining about the police. Guns seem to be 3rd or 4th on the priority list. TTAG is going the way of HuffPo and CNN: Sensationalism first, information second. Maybe you need to open a second site for all of the off topic complaining so this one can get back to subject at hand.

    • There has been a notable change in content over the last couple of months, but you could attribute that to Matt and Leghorn doing their own things. (Notice Tyler and Dan have stepped up their content production to fill the hole?)

      I agree with your assessment that content has shifted some, but if you fail to recognize the correlation between the “not stop complaining about police” and “gun related topics and the 2A” then you have bigger issues than the content on the site.

      • Your final paragraph pretty much sums it up for me. Militarized, rights-trampling bad behavior from those that are supposed to be the protectors of those self-same rights should be a concern to every FA owner.

  10. After the crap I read this morning I skipped all the TTAG articles until I saw this one, I thought it would be an apology. TTAG can get back to reporting truth or change it’s name and readership.

    • Thankfully that’s what it’s doing. Some people would just rather stick their fingers in the their ears and pretend they aren’t hearing anything. Sorry to tell you, humans are bad creatures, across the board, including those in law enforcement.

    • After the crap I read this morning I skipped all the TTAG articles…

      Jeremy, you did exactly the right thing. Keep it up. There is no reason at all to upset yourself.

  11. The question of (over-) militarization cannot be reduced to how each individual cop carries himself. It also encompasses what the city officials do with the force. Good cops can be given unconstitutional orders and instructed to carry out ill-advised tactics (such as the sniper sweeping protestors while atop the MRAP).

    This is why the Boston lock-down was so alarming. Their pulling people out of their houses was entirely out of line and we’re delusional to think it couldn’t happen again in our own towns.

    • …the sniper sweeping protestors while atop the MRAP

      You don’t know how right you were. I use nearly all foreign sources for my news reading/watching. That image has been used worldwide to illustrate the riots. Literally in news outlets all around the world. I can’t help but feel sorry for that cop.

  12. I don’t begrudge you your apprehensive stance concerning the police. I feel the same way. It’s just that in this most recent uproar I could never, not once, believe that the victim was innocent. As soon as I saw his friend give his ridiculous account of what happened I knew he was lying, to the point where I figured everybody else saw it too. Thinking about it, I suppose that same reflex (to not believe someone who presents himself in poor fashion) is to blame for your own treatment of the cops, whose very real abuses are documented exhaustively on this site. The video where the neighbor accidentally told the truth about what he saw is alot like a wiretapped confession from a crooked cop, in my view; the crooked cop gets the paid vacation, whereas looters (who let’s not forget are engaging in criminal conspiracy) are protected by this sort of blanket immunity that the mob provides. I say, polygraph all witnesses and give them a chance to change their stories when they all inevitably come back hot (yes even Holders polygraphs will all be failed.) Once it is established they lied in concert to incite a riot for financial gain, federal charges are in order. If, on the other hand, they are somehow miraculously telling the truth and the evidence supports their version of events, than yeah hang the cop for a hate crime, no argument here.

  13. My wife comes from a family full of police officers. My work brings me into contact with city, county and state police on a regular basis. I have never, ever… let me say that one more time, ever experienced any anti second amendment sentiment from any of them. Quite the opposite – it has been police who have told me to arm myself because it is my job, not theirs to protect me and my family.

      • Kevin has been married 30+ years which puts him in an entirely different age bracket than many (or even most) cops on the street right now. His family correspondents will largely be people nearer his own age. I think we can all agree that we think a bit differently than the people who came a generation before us. My parents are crops, my grandparents were cops, my cousins are cops.

        From what I have heard, my grandfather was what I would consider a “bad cop” due to his behavior as a police officer. My parents behavior as police officers was/is scrutinized more heavily than the generation before them due to the budding culture of “cop distrust” that came out of the late 80’s-early 90’s which puts them both in the “imperfect” category (being human is a bitch, huh?) My cousin and I attended the same police academy two cycles apart and some of the stories I have heard about sh1t he has done makes me sigh and shake my head.

        Long story short, consider the source. I also know MANY cops who are VERY supportive of all of our constitutionally protected rights, but I know more than a few who are pretty well convinced that we’re sheep who need herding. They’re generally separated by a generation of thinking and bureaucracy.

  14. I don’t know of a “increasing” number of incidents where police are acting in a manner where individual liberty of citizens is being suppressed (even gun rights). While admitting there circumstances where police behave unlawfully our biggest fear should be of elected officials who legislate our rights away. I respect that the police have a difficult job in today’s entitlement society where political gain supplants the rule of law. The fact that you want to highlight the instances where the police go to far is fine, but let’s not make them all into stormtroopers.

  15. The whole institution is basically the state hiring an agent to keep you in check with the states will. From the perspective of the person who is to be kept in check I see no good in that institution.

  16. This is a good point. But that last post with the attempted diagnosis of what occurred in MO was extremely flawed and full of holes, and completely absent of legal knowledge, police protocol, and common sense. I usually applaud RF’s taking on of the police militarization issue but I have to call bullshit when I see it.

    Having said that I think you need to go even deeper into the issue of Police Corruption. You are merely scratching the surface of individual police related incidents and police militarization. Legitimate Police corruption is almost never an isolated incident. Its usually driven and supported by higher ups, to include politicians, like mayors, senators, governors and even the POTUS. Examples like how I mentioned above about Bill Clinton’s use of the Arkansas State Patrol to deliver prostitutes to Mr. Clinton while he was Governor, and Hillary looked the other way. That woman who claims to be all for feminist ideology and wants to be the first female president looks the other way during a total and complete abuse of power, upon women who very well could’ve been sex slaves. And this person, is most likely going to be president. This is why you and “we” need to dig into these things as far as we can, to try and usurp the hold these evil, powerful people have upon our society. It is “our society”.

    Police corruption extends all the way to the top of this country, right now. As we all know, The Attorney General, Eric Holder, the “top cop” of the United States is perhaps the most corrupt and bigoted AG the United States has ever had. Taking a look at him, and the Fast Furious scandal, and its relation to the current POTUS, that really aught to be enough to people at the top to prison for a very, very long time. Unfortunately as of most things of this nature these days nothing is done. Maybe more will happen after the midterms. However, this is further proof, “Our Republic is sick.” And we need to be the doctors.

    • “However, this is further proof, “Our Republic is sick.” And we need to be the doctors.”

      That is the key!

      • Starting this Fall. The less than 10% turnout for the Primaries so far is a good indicator of how apathetic we as a country have become. Or the quality (or lack of it) of the candidates provided to us. That’s shameful either way.

        • Yeah. I showed up to vote for the primary run off here in GA in July. I was the only person in the whole station except the people running it.

    • This post. A lot of this post.

      It honestly came across so badly constructed that I couldn’t tell what the point was besides “incompetent officer”. There were so many logical holes that even prefacing it as speculation couldn’t save that entry. Likewise, the fact that you had to post another post to defend the previous post should clue you in that it was pretty substandard. Hell, you should be apologizing to us for wasting our time pointing out just how bad it was.

      I’m fine with Farago policing the police. I’m not fine when you do so in such a sloppy manner, which seems to becoming more and more common as of late. You can either take that as a lesson or isolate yourself from feedback like so many liberal pundits do.

      • Exactly! I was pretty shocked at the blatant misunderstanding of the law. What got me the most was when it was stated that it is totally illegal to use a weapon on someone unarmed, regardless if they’re about to assault, are in the process of assaulting you. That is total and complete bullshit and I have no idea where that could’ve came from, unless RF is originally from one of the few states that did have those laws about 30 years ago, but by now are long dead, and to my knowledge in every single state, civilians and none the less police, can use a weapon in self defense against an unarmed opponent. Wether one can use lethal force is determined by your perception of the intent of the attacker, and if they are in the process of committing a forcible felony. This is BASIC self defense law knowledge that EVERYONE should know. The fact that this site got it so wrong was totally shocking to me. Its essentially the equivalent as if RF had posted, “You know, the liberals are right, the second amendment is only for the police and military.” Yes, it is that inaccurate.

  17. Well, I guess I am one that noted what I perceived as an Anti-Cop bias, so I have to comment here.

    I don’t think you can really make a post on every time Cops do something right, so maybe that’s just my perception that you come off as anti-cop?

    It’s not really a myth about local police in my area though. They are pretty fair, and do support our RKBA.

    I am of course against police militarization, which my local police do not seem to have engaged in here. Maybe it’s just because they don’t need to, or maybe they just haven’t yet, or maybe the up-armored vehicles are all just stashed away somewhere.

    Either way, I guess my point is that I think we should be doing all that we can to not create a further divide between the police and us. As I’ve stated before, I believe when the Police are separated from the citizens they protect, is when problems are more likely to arise.

    The Police should be, and always remain, a part of the Citizenry, protecting itself.
    The more the two are separated – in reality and in perception – is the more potential there is for injustice and tyranny.

    That’s why the Anti’s ‘sheeple’ mindset that ‘only Police and Military should be armed’ is so dangerous. And why Police militarization and/or civilian disarmament is so fundamentally wrong.

    And also why I think we should be conscious not to be perceived as Anti-Cop.

    My .02c only. FWIW

  18. Most of the Bronx cops that I knew when I was getting into trouble in NYC were big, tough Irishmen. They didn’t need MRAPs, Bearcats or automatic weaponry to handle things. They managed just fine with wooden batons, fists and as an absolute last resort, .38Spl revolvers.

    Until the Harlem Race Riot of 1964, I cannot recall episodes of cops shooting an unarmed perpetrator in NYC (the previous famous case precipitated the 1943 Harlem Riot). The 15 yo shot by a cop in the 1964 case was alleged to have attacked the officer with a knife. The involved officer had two other shootings on his record, which was rare for that time and probably still is.

    Back then, the last guy to pick a fight with was a cop, because he would win and he didn’t need to kill you to do it. Most were WW2 or Korean War veterans, so they knew damn well how to kill. They just chose not to.

    So no, local policing wasn’t necessarily low-key, even-handed or friendly. It was tough and bare-knuckled. But “our” cops didn’t run around in camo, pretending to be Rambo and acting like they were trying to capture Falujah. They knew the difference between police and military and they strongly preferred not to shoot anyone, ever.

    • Ralph, would I be wrong in guessing that back then, the police solved a lot of problems by just beating the crap out of people? And that whether any particular beating was justified or not, they were rarely reported or investigated? I doubt the public would tolerate that now in any way.

      • I got smacked around a bit, but was never injured. Back then, a cop would rather smack some sense into a young guy than arrest him and give him a collar that would stay with him for life.

        So I don’t think that the cops settled a lot of issues by beating the crap out of people. The heavy physical stuff like a dry beating was reserved for interrogations — as it is today.

        • Fair enough, and I suspect the world in general might have worked a great deal better back then. I think this was the same age where teachers could paddle students, and your friends’ parents would give you a light thrashing if they caught you being stupid, then tell your parents who would give you the real thing when you got home.

          Unfortunately, I think this is completely impossible with modern culture. If the teacher paddles a student, the district gets sued. If the parents down the street paddle a child, the child’s parents call 911 and report it as a crime. And when the police don’t arrest someone, people either demand they get fired or sue the city.

          I think maybe the youth of today has a different attitude in general, too. The last one I brought to jail was for residential burglary- during the drive, we talked about role models, personal development, a bit about history with the Tuskeegee Airmen and about Colin Powell (who he had never heard of), and I thought a bit of it had actually sunk in. He ran away from home the week after that, but was found a few days later when he stole a car and got into a pursuit that only ended when he ran over some spike strips.

        • Ralph, I grew up in Manhattan (second worst precinct in NYC) and Queens. I’ll back up every word you said. And more often than not, a miscreant was directed to the local PAL to learn how to spend time constructively.

        • I would prefer someone be shamed by asking what their parents would think of their behavior (maybe not so politely) than for them to be arrested in some cases, but an arrest looks more professional on youtube than a cop cursing out some dumb (but probably basically good) kid.

  19. “I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural; and this will be as long as there shall be vacant lands in any part of America. When they get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, they will become corrupt as in Europe.”
    – Thomas Jefferson, 1787

    Corrupt, abusive police forces – One more brick in the wall dividing small town, rural Americans from their big city, urban counterparts. Not that corruption doesn’t happen in small communities, it’s just easier to get rid of when it happens.

    In a big city if you encounter a police officer, he will be someone you’ve never met and will never see again. He has an elaborate, bureaucratic structure of administration and union to protect him if he abuses his power. Pray that you encounter one of the honest cops.

    In a small town if you encounter a police officer (or more likely, a county sheriff’s deputy), he’s probably someone who goes to your church, his boss could be your son’s little league coach, and you probably hunt deer with his brother. At the ice cream social that the sheriff hosted, you may have spoken about gun control and your mutual commitment to defending the Second Amendment (like the sheriffs of Colorado and other states have done publicly).

    And those who live in big cities and complain about big city problems like police abuse and systemic corruption, will continue to believe they are America’s problems. Sorry, no. They’re big city problems. And it’s time to quit vilifying an entire profession only because the corrupt, abusive ones are the only ones you happen to see.

    • The growing urban/rural divide politically is huge unaddressed issue. This is the basis for many problems the nation faces, and one that may lead to a very brutal future if the cities keep having their way.

  20. “There’s this idea – a myth really – that local policing used to be low-key, even-handed and, well, friendly. While we’re busy deploring the current pace, scope and scale of current police militarization, it’s important to realize that law enforcement officials have been on the wrong side of the battle to defend and extend our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected rights for many, many years”

    – I call BS frankly. It’s not a myth where I live. And our Cops are bigtime Pro 2A and have done nothing to try to take away our constitutionally protected rights here.

    That doesn’t mean I’m not against Police militarization, or that I think all Cops are just wonderful. It’s just a fact. It aint like that around here. I do see it happening elsewhere of course, and would HATE to live in NJ or NYC, but man… you just had to go local. That’s where I disagree. You aint from around here and have no idea about our local cops.

    • The key is “local cops.” When the cops are also your neighbors, when they shop at the same stores, go to the same church and their kids attend the same schools as yours and they play together, it’s hard to cross swords with the police.

      • Thankfully, that is the situation here in PA. Our Police are not separated from the community. Perhaps that is an anomaly, I don’t know. I’ve lived here most of my life. Our Cops are good dudes, who would (and have) risked their lives to save mine. They also support our 2A bigtime. Which is why I reject the opening paragraph of this post.

        • From the way I’ve read it, I think you misunderstood the point Robert was making. It’s not that small town cops are all just as bad. It’s that they’re just as vulnerable to corruption. Small town cops may generally be better, but there are bad apples there too. The point isn’t to attack all cops, but to be aware that some aren’t so good, and not look the other direction.

  21. …and what about all the Sheriff’s that came out against the Liberal’s BS gun control laws? Are we only looking at the bad?

  22. It occurs to me that there has been a cultural/social flip in the institutions of military and police since the 18’th and 19’th centuries. At the founding, a British/European soldier typically expected to remain in that career for life; he was answerable to the King whose word was law. Police didn’t come along until the 19’th century. Initially, the occupation wasn’t a lifetime career with a pension. Today, US soldiers expect to do a hitch or two and return to civilian life. Thereupon, they would enjoy the GI Bill; but the government would not own their souls through a lifetime pension. Today, police look forward to a 20+ year career followed by a handsome pension for life.
    – – – Now, imagine two American men, each ordered to carry out a command. One a soldier, the other a cop. Each has reservations about the Constitutionality of the act they are ordered to carry out.
    – – – Which of these two has more skin-in-the-game? Which has more-to-lose if his superior deems him negligent – or insufficiently enthusiastic – in carrying out the order? I pose these as thought-provoking questions. I have no first or even second-hand knowledge of the mentality of either group.
    – – – What is the training given to each of our two hypothetical men? Are soldiers/cops schooled in the Constitution and their duty to obey only lawful orders? Are soldiers/cops drilled on the importance of making split-second and sharp distinctions between non-beligerant civilians and combatants? What is the relative nature of intra-group self-regulation? Is a soldier more/less likely, relative to a cop, to intervene if he observes a comrade violating the rules-of-engagement? Again, I have no knowledge one-way-or-the-other.
    – – – If there is a compelling argument that the military and police have “flipped” in their historical relationship to civilian life then we need to recognize that fact. Today we worry about militarization of the police. Perhaps we should also recognize something of a militia-zation of the citizen-soldier who expects to return to civilian life.
    – – – We are looking at hardware – MRAPs and M-16s. Perhaps we should focus on the “wet-ware”; i.t., the mentality of both groups who wear the uniforms of our governments.

    • I think a soldier would be more willing to follow unconstitutional orders, sadly. I say this as a veteran myself. There are corrupt cops, but they’re still civilians, and I think tend to see themselves as such. There’s been a recent, post-911 change in military culture where soldiers see thenselves as “better” or more worthy than everybody else. They look down on civilians. I’d be more concerned about disarmament coning from soldiers than typical cops. Police screw up because they’re human. Soldiers screw up because they’re human and they’re taught that they’re not human, but better.

      Note that this applies mainly to active duty. National Guard and reservists seem less likely to see themselves that way.

      • a soldier refuses to obey an order and he can go to prison, depending on the order and the circumstances. In my day the ucmj expressly told us not to obey unlawfull orders.

        A cop refuses to follow an order and he becomes unemployed. He’s not risking anything but his job. And with a lawyer and his union he may not risk that.

  23. I got NO PROBLEM with you RF. I DON’T read TTAG for gun or gear reviews. I don’t read it for anything but politics and the 2nd Amendment. I don’t buy the Mayberry good old daysBS line. I was in Kankakee Illinois in 60’s & 70’s. Lots of racist, evil cops planting evidence & guns on people I knew.

    • I don’t read TTAG for the reviews either. I was first attracted to the site for it’s pro-Liberty articles and that’s why I continue to read and comment. Reviews and the like just don’t hold my attention because they aren’t my primary interest these days.

    • Former Water Walker,

      Did you know my uncle Clayton Werner or his kids Judy, Jerry, & Jane who lived there (Kankakee) in the 50’s through the 70’s?

      • Sorry Redleg. I’m not familiar with your uncles family. My dad lived there 90 years. My brother & grown up son still live there. It was nice as a kki kid. Not so much now. Voted worst city in America a while back.

  24. Shit, you even contradict your first paragraph in your second paragraph:

    First paragraph:
    “…it’s important to realize that law enforcement officials have been on the wrong side of the battle to defend and extend our natural, civil and Constitutionally protected rights for many, many years”

    Second paragraph:
    “Not all cops. Maybe not even most of them”

    – Which one is it, Farago? …enough to justify you having an anti-cop bias apparently.

    But it’s your blog, so do what you will.

      • I don’t know who the hell El Mac is. I’ve been posting under this name on this blog for years. Sorry that I don’t just play along. Dude’s got an anti-cop bias and it doesn’t help our cause at all. How can he tell me about my local police? Total BS. Make them your enemy and they will only become more so. The Police around here are the people I grew up with, my neighbors – and are very pro 2A. I think RF never got over his shitty experience with the apparent ass hole cops in RI. Whatever. His blog. He asked. I answered. So be it.

      • Lol, now now, El Mac is usually much more insult driven. Valley is making good points. There are plenty of PD’s that are pro gun, and not hyped up militarized chip on their shoulder rambos. The big cities have that problem but the majority of small cities, towns and rural areas, esspecailly in the South and West would never side with the Government in a showdown. Sure small town cops can be corrupt. My whole town department was busted for running drugs down I95. But that’s quite different than this warrior cop issue we see in large cities.

  25. PS. Kevin I have NO idea where you’re at. In Illinois I’ve talked to more than one extreme anti 2A cops. They HATE non LEO carrying guns. It ain’t just Garry McCarthy-mr street light.

  26. That was a hell of a great post, RF, and I completely agree with you. I will stand shoulder to shoulder with a good peace officer and have defended the individuals who have shown to be fine officers in our local rural departments. One thing those officers had in common was that they understood individual Liberty and defended it for all. Many of these same officers are very concerned because they are nearing retirement and see change in the departments here coming due to the influx of officers who have no concept of individual rights and why rights are crucial to our free nation. They know this area was never like the fictional Mayberry. They remember the days when departments in this area engaged in racist behavior; long after the rest of the nation, by and large, realized how very wrong it was. They were ashamed of their own and changed. They’re sort of at a loss for ways to change the mindset of this new crop positioned to take their places.

  27. Robert,

    Your bias is a clear as glass. No other writer for your blog does such a biased level of reporting on matters of police. And thats why none of them are accused of such things. Only you.

    You can use whatever words you wish, such as ‘blazing a path forward in defense of your fellow citizens’…etc, but in the end, your bias can not be hidden and it is also why you get called on it so often and your colleges do not.

    There are many many incidents in which police make untold sacrificed for their fellow citizens and they never get mentioned by you. Even just a decent decision made by police, who were under no legal regulation to do so, like the recent shooting at the hospital in PA. You reported the incident well, a good job indeed, but then,. when it came time to report the Chief of Police as stating that he supported the doctor carrying a gun in a clearly marked “gun free zone”….you didn’t post it, even though it was sent to you and widely available knowledge. This is a major bombshell to anti gunners, and a major win for our side, when high ranking officials are stepping more in line with their guys. WHY? Because it did not fit your prejudices and your narrative. Plain and Simple. That statement alone should have had a headline post of it’s own.

    You can not say one thing and do another. That is why your comments section has many posts openly calling for the murder and execution of police officers. But dam if I make a simple negative comment about that nutjob running the Mom’s Demand Action….BOOM with the ban hammer.

    You can own as many blogs as you wish, publish as many articles as you wish, it don’t matter, biased is biased. Look at the other side of the coin and ask Mr,. Blloomberg and his millions/billions. It don’t work for him and it won’t work for you. THANK GOD the majority of Americans do not believe as you do.

    • Well said. I think RF needs a little more self-reflection before he sees his own bias honestly. Bit of a case of cognitive dissonance, I’d say.

    • Rydak, as a lawyer I think that RF is far too kind to cops. I can post thousands of stories about bad cops, but already does it. Besides, you and your ilk would just deny the truth.

      There have been thousands of cases involving false and planted evidence by cops, 5000 police killings of civilians since 9/11, babies burned in their cribs, house pets killed — and you’re concerned about Farago?

      • “you and your ilk”…nice and classy, constructive even.

        “and my concern is Rob”…I am concerned about Rob, because I know him to be an intelligent and decent man. He has a passion for firearms and related issues. And I share this passion. His blog is the truth about guns, and I think he should keep it that way, if he wants to turn this into another copblock or other crap ass web site, Thats his choice, but I think he should consider the ramifications. It is a fact that right now on his blog there are undeleted posts, and thereby sanctioned posts, calling for the out right murder of innocent police officers, simply because of the uniform they wear. That is a sad state of affairs. And it is not the direction this blog should go and one that is not supported by the majority of the firearms community.

        PS: I’m sure you are the pride of the BAR

      • Ralph,

        While you could post stories on dirty cops all day, I could do the same with dirty lawyers. Rydak makes good points, particularly when it comes to ‘selection bias.’

  28. My problem is when the department treats all people as threats. No knock raids are a perfect example. Someone can have no criminal history and get their doors kicked in just because someone thinks they have a meth lab in their basement. Whatever happened to protecting and serving? Because the only people I see the police protecting and serving are themselves.

    • Yo Dawg! Heard you hate cops so we put a cop hating post in a cop hating article about hating cops!

      I kill me…

  29. The only problem I have with reporting on police misconduct is when emotion creates the narrative before the facts are available. Most of the time, TTAG is pretty good about this, but the Ferguson story seems to have swung further away from fact and reason than I’m used to. Now, to be fair, the Ferguson guys seem to have handled the PR aspect in the worst possible way, and the mainstream media which did the reporting certainly didn’t help with the non stop race baiting.

    Still, I’m used to seeing better here. More clinical analysis of where police screw up based on the facts, like we see in the all too often (and unfortunately deserved) police IGOTD awards. When the facts are available, then discussion is appropriate. For example, the Ferguson officer is now reported to have suffered an orbital fracture to his face. Kind of lends credibility to the idea that a very large young man physically attacked him, with enough force that a reasonable person would be in fear for their safety if the attacker ran off a short distance but then came running back?

    Granted, I haven’t seen that article before today, and even that’s not the full story, but I expect the tone and quality of TTAG and its readers to be better than the looters stealing televisions in the name of justice.

    • All of these stories are going to change over the coming months. Count on it.

      The police brass’ story has already changed three times — first the officer knew about the great cigar heist, then the stop of Brown had nothing to do with the cigar thing, then it did.

      The “eyewitness,” who was actually the accomplice, claims that Brown was shot from behind but the autopsy ordered by Brown’s family seems to indicate otherwise.

      It’s claimed that pictures of the officer right after the incident showed no facial injuries; now he has them.

      The whole thing is a fuster cluck.

      Sooner or later, we will know most of the facts, but we will never know the truth.

      • Ralph,

        Is it worth pointing out that we need to wait for all of the forensics to come out? If the sidearm was discharged in the vehicle there will be ample residue (and the spent brass) in the vehicle. If Brown was in close proximity then Brown (and the officer) will both have residue on their clothes & skin.

        As to the fracture: If it is true, then we still need to wait for the full path reports on Brown’s body, as hitting someone hard enough to give a fracture is going to lead to edema and potentially contusions/lacerations on the hand. Oh, and there are other ways to receive a fracture than a punch. Perhaps even something as silly as one’s own sidearm or hitting the door while exiting the vehicle quickly. Or, perhaps, if one of the other stories is true, when the door was being slammed shut.

        The vast majority of the neutral facts (forensics, scene analysis, etc) are not available for us to chew on yet.

        In any event, even if he punched the cop if he broke contact and there was no longer an imminent threat to the officer and others then the shoot isn’t justified. If Brown did bull rush him, well…forensics will help with that to a degree.

        You are right about one thing: We will never know the whole truth of the incident.

  30. There’s something bad wrong with America’s cops. The problem is systemic and will not be easily resolved. The first step is identifying and discussing police misconduct. Talking about the problem is not being “anti-cop”. Not talking about the problem is being anti-cop. Go for it, Robert.

  31. Robert,

    I say keep up the good work. Just because you report the abuse, corruption and out of hand activity of the police does not necessarily make you anti-police. It is the same logic that just because you identify and discuss the problems with America does not mean you are anti-American. I get real tired of people complaining that NPR is anti-American just because they run articles about jacked up things in America. Plus, if TTAG did not discuss the abuse, corruption and out of hand activity of the police then who would? Again, keep up the good work.

  32. “Questions?”

    Yeah, I have a question, Robert:

    What happened to you in RI as a kid, with the Police – and do you feel that has had any effect on your view of Police in general?

    If you do not want to answer on this blog, I understand. You can always reach me via email. I do feel that it is germane to this conversation, which you began…

  33. The Left, the Critical Theory crowd has intentionally created much that is wrong w/America today because they have learned that Marxist revolutions fail in countries that are not seething pools of rage (Bill Ayer’s Day of Rage is one example). Terrorist goups have been operating in the US at a growing rate since the 1960’s Police forces, in response, and as a reaction instituted SWAT units. Since 2009 PDs have, with Obama’s urging, up-armored beyond recognition. One small county in OR now has 294 M-16’s. Militarized units have become entrenched and like any other govt org grow unless trimmed.

  34. There is a difference between anti-cop or anti-government and being anti-corruption. I think this blog is anti-corruption.

    • If the dividing line between the two were truly as bright and unblurred as you suggest, then why would so many reasonable, intelligent and educated people here arrive at so many different and contrasting conclusions?

  35. I’m glad I was in a smaller (28 officers) department. Things were low key, friendly and even handed. It fit my personality.
    We dumped our union because it was affiliated with the afl/cio and we believed they were corrupt. We formed an association.
    I joined because I thought I could help my neighbors. Back then, you had to live in the city to work there.
    Being a cop wasn’t who I was, it’s what I did. I’m proud of the service I gave. I did it honestly and without malice. Even the worst bad guys were addressed as sir or Mr. Jones.

    I am distressed at the militarization of the police. It’s flat wrong.

    I don’t take offense to the stores posted here, I do get a bit frustrated over some of the obviously ignorant commenters. But, I know which ones to skip over. Why read the rantings of an idiot…

    • If you’re not careful, the ignorance gets repeated enough times that it becomes a widely believed fact. The discussions here in the comments go a long way towards fighting that.

    • Thank you for your honest service. As a former police officer you seem to have the most reasonable and well thought out opinions of the good and bad sides of everything cop related.

    • Its one of the 7 days of the week, so it time for another El Mac anti Farago post. WHY do you always feel that questioning if cops are doing their job or doing it in a correct manner is always cop bashing?

      • @S.CROCK, “WHY do you always feel that questioning if cops are doing their job or doing it in a correct manner is always cop bashing?”

        Why do you always feel that questioning if Farago is doing his job or doing it in a correct manner is always Farago bashing?

  36. Anybody under 50 has no idea what law enforcement was like prior to the Warren Court decisions of the 1960s. I wish Ralph would write an article to explain what impact those rulings had on how the police did their job and how much more restreicted policing is today with all its “militarization” than it was in 1960.

    • td, there have been a lot of well-intentioned but IMO poorly conceived decisions from SCOTUS. Aimed at deterring police fraud and strongarm tactics (see the Silverthorn Lumber case from 1920 for a good example of a good decision), SCOTUS eventually made a mess that nothing will clean up. Ever.

      Cops used to be very rugged, and if you were “interviewed,” you spilled your guts. That kind of conduct is what SCOTUS should have focused upon.

  37. Sure, but how about posting positive stories too? I see so much hypocrisy on this site. Let’s tear apart media outlets for only covering negative gun stories, but hey, let’s do the same thing when it comes to law enforcement. TTAG could use a good long look in the mirrow when it comes to some of their coverage.

    • People generally don’t write news stories about anything positive the police do. Often when such a story is written, it doesn’t involve guns, like stopping traffic so a mother duck and her babies can cross the street, or bringing a truckload of furniture to an elderly burglary victim.

      When there is a positive story involving guns, it usually isn’t that positive. Good tactics ending with a bad guy either arrested or dead after a gunfight get lost because the story focuses on the victims, and I don’t really want to see that change, because ignoring them in favor of police cheerleading just doesn’t seem right.

      • Well put, and thanks for not being an ass. Although I don’t fully agree with your view on this, I see where you’re coming from.

  38. It’s not anti cop if you’re just reporting misconduct. However the speculative analysis of the Ferguson shoot (specifically the part where you said if he drew while being assaulted he was in the wrong) came off as straight up anti cop.

    Cops as IGOTDs- just fine
    Cop misconduct (no knocks, shooting dogs, etc)- of course report that
    Speculation about cops’ actions without all that much evidence- please try to avoid.

    In short, report ALL misconduct you want, but don’t go assuming a cop was in the wrong without clear facts.

    Just my .02

  39. Where to begin. Yes, RF is biased. At 16 he was spit on by a cop while on a date with a young lady. He did nothing in reply. RF was also raised on stories by his father of the holocaust. The holocaust which was aided and abetted by cops in every country under nazi rule.

    I frankly would be surprised if RF wasn’t a bit of a cop hater. This bias colors his perceptions of all things cop. Which, as this is his blog, is within his rights to express.

    What he needs to do is admit his bias and quit trying to hide behind our rights he would like us to believe he’s crusading for. If in point of fact he was crusading for our rights every anti cop article would be instead an anti mayor, governor, city council and chief of police.

    Our rights will not be defended by beating up on rank and file cops. They will be defended by people coming together and removing from office those that allow police corruption and militarisation to continue.

    To steal an old military saying. “There’s no such thing as bad soldiers. Only bad colonels.”

    • @jwm, “I frankly would be surprised if RF wasn’t a bit of a cop hater. This bias colors his perceptions of all things cop. Which, as this is his blog, is within his rights to express.

      What he needs to do is admit his bias and quit trying to hide behind our rights he would like us to believe he’s crusading for. If in point of fact he was crusading for our rights every anti cop article would be instead an anti mayor, governor, city council and chief of police.

      Our rights will not be defended by beating up on rank and file cops. They will be defended by people coming together and removing from office those that allow police corruption and militarization to continue.”

      THIS!!!! but especially this:

      “If in point of fact he was crusading for our rights every anti cop article would be instead an anti mayor, governor, city council and chief of police.”

    • Unless “they were just following orders” excuses officer misconduct, pointing out law enforcement conduct that is harmful to a free people is entirely appropriate. Law enforcement officers in the United States have options other than towing a statist line. They are civilians, not military.

      • We, not the cops, elect and allow to remain in office those people that are giving the orders. If we, the people did our jobs the cops would not be getting unlawfull orders.

        • Yes, we have responsibility. But the people committing the acts, have greater responsibility. “I was told to do this” is NOT a valid excuse.

        • Jonathon, agreed. Just following orders is not an excuse. With the proper oversight from quality elected officials and involved communities it would cease all together. No excuses and any cops breaking the law would get handled.

          I know way too many people, some gun owners and some not, that don’t even vote.

      • I gotcha. You’re definitely right about that. Not enough people take their civil responsibilities (which include voting) seriously.

    • +1 to you sir. One of the better, rational and more well thought out comments I’ve read in the comments on this site.

    • This is the most embarrassing series of posts I’ve come across on TTAG. I will say nothing more about them because, well, nothing can be said that’s any more illuminating than what’s already here.

  40. But seriously. Do you have an editor, Farago? Because you need an editor for this stuff. You need an editor to point out logical inconsitencies in your arguments. You need an editor to tell you when you are clearly wrong about your facts. Whether you have an anti-authority agenda or not, you need an editor.


  41. Problem is the attitude (via Instapundit)

    THE PROBLEM IS ATTITUDE: Police Officer: ‘if you don’t want to get shot…just do what I tell you.’ “The thing is, Officer Dutta (pictured) is also an Adjunct Professor of Homeland Security and Criminal Justice at Colorado Technical University. And he uttered those words not in the heat of the moment, but in an opinion piece in the Washington Post responding to widespread criticism of police attitudes and tactics currently on display in Ferguson, Missouri, but increasingly common nationwide. . . . If you have the attitude that you are owed deference and instant obediance by the people around you, and that you are justified in using violence against them if they don’t comply, we already have a problem. That’s especially true if official institutions back you up, which they do.”

    orig link:

  42. Robert, don’t listen to the complainers on this post. As they say “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” and you have a couple of people who always show up and always start complaining. The fact is (which they hate) is that most of us here on TTAG love guns and the sites information but we are are also very liberty minded. We remember when cops asked questions, did good police work, and were WELL KNOWN in their community. They deserved the public’s respect. Today we have way to many cops with itchy trigger fingers, terrible self control and an attitude of we vs they. I don’t know ONE police officer that walks/drives my beat and I live in a small suburb. (of course I rarely see the cops except when they have pulled over some driver going 5 over) Why does every little town have cops which need MRAPS, grenade launchers and seal team 6 attitudes? These squeaky wheels here at TTAG never want to explain it, they just want to complain and state that TTAG hates cops.

  43. But I’m committed to defending Americans’ gun rights and civil liberties against all enemies foreign or domestic. I think I took an oath like that sometime in my life.

  44. I went to the police station in the western suburbs of Chicago with my son a month ago to fill out a police report on a fender bender, while talking to the cop he was a bit of a smart ass. I asked him if we offended him in some way and he said ” no, I just hate all people, after being a cop for Three years I’ve learned to hate citizens”
    Well I guess he better hop the shit doesn’t hit the fan, seeing that him and his thug patrol aren’t making many friends.

  45. TTAG would be singing high praises of the cops negatively portrayed here were it not for the badge. The same action would earn a medal for Jack from down the street but slap a title on that asshole and everything goes straight to “lynch that corrupt piece of shit!”
    I might come back ’round when there’s a return to normal programming.


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