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By Philip Smith, president of the National African American Gun Association

I have a lot of friends who are Police Officers. I get it: They have a really difficult job that I wouldn’t want to do. I have ongoing conversations with many, especially when speaking about police shootings.  In most cases, we don’t agree, but we do have enough respect for each other to be honest and give reasons for our differing views. Mostly, we “agree to disagree but not disconnect.”

I don’t believe in blanket statements toward any individual or group. I am not built that way. I’d rather sit and talk with you, even if it is uncomfortable for both of us.  I say all this to say I am Pro- Law Enforcement all the way, but the current legal system is built with some serious shortcomings that must be talked about and corrected immediately.

In writing my Presidential Message this month, I am beyond pain, anger, and frustration regarding the verdict of the Philando Castile shooting.  Another good Black Man shot down in the prime of his life and, again, the Court System provides no answers for our community.

At this point I am tired of crying, tired of the verdicts that continually come down against us, tired of the lack of fairness in the Judicial System, tired of the “marches,” tired of the riots, tired of preachers praying for peace, tired of the carefully crafted politically correct responses in print and TV by activists on either side… And yes, I am tired of being tired.

So what do we do to stop the murdering of Black Men? I believe the answer is right in front of us, hiding in plain sight. We need to take a step back as a community and react intelligently instead of emotionally.

Here are my suggestions: First, start hiring a different type of Police Officer in America who is older and college-educated. Maturity combined with education produces a very different person compared to someone coming almost straight out of high school. Life experiences go a long way when interacting with the public.

The second suggestion is to pay Officers a lot more than they are currently earning in order to attract the best and brightest candidates. If you pay $30,000-$40,000 as a starting salary, you aren’t going to attract the best talent. You will get those individuals that have no other economic options and are being almost forced to take the job. That isn’t a desirable scenario for someone who will be interacting with the general public on a daily basis.

The last but the most important suggestion, or strategy, is to “legally challenge the foundation of the current law.” An example of this is Tennessee v. Garner. This Supreme Court decision is the basis for all “justified shootings” currently, and it was first decided in 1985 and reinforced in 1989.

Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985)[2], is a civil case in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that, under the Fourth Amendment, when a law enforcement officer is pursuing a fleeing suspect, he or she may not use deadly force to prevent escape unless “the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.” It was found that use of deadly force to prevent escape is an unreasonable seizure under the Fourth Amendment, in the absence of probable cause that the fleeing suspect posed a physical danger.

The courts have been the “legal tool” and method to change realities for African Americans in the 60’s. Now in the modern era, we need to once again develop multiple legal “Dream Teams” to start challenging this law as it is presently constructed in 2017.

We need a new standard for police and citizen exchanges. Fearing for your life is far too vague a reason for anyone to make a decision to kill someone else because of fear. I can understand if that person is physically attacking you and you have tangible evidence with your eyes and ears that he or she is trying to hurt you. Anything short of that is not acceptable.

I welcome all comments, suggestions and feedback regarding this issue at [email protected]

Philip Smith
National President

This post originally appeared in the National African American Gun Association’s newsletter and is reprinted here with permission. 

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  1. Rock on, I joined and I’m not even African American. Show some solidarity, get in there!

    • I am a black American, identify as just American (never been anywhere near Africa), and I completely disagree with this message. Most of the so-called ‘murdered’ black men over the last eight years have been in the act of physically fighting with the police. I have absolutely no sympathy for them. Philandro Castile is the one outlier in a sordid saga of black-on-police violence that rarely gets airtime. I’ve said it before in these pages, but it bears repeating. When we have a better class of black citizen, we will have better relations with the police. When we are no longer committing crimes at a rate that far exceeds those of other ethnicities, we will cease to be profiled. Stop blaming the cops, because I and every other black CCL holder I know clenches up just like the cops when we see the son of Fitty-Cent coming our way.

      • I agree with you that most police shootings are justified. There are very bad people out there doing very bad things and if they get shot by police or otherwise in the process, I have no sympathy for them. However, I don’t believe for one minute Castile meant any harm to the officer or anyone else at the scene. HE LOST HIS LIFE because the cop made a wrong assumption and a nervous mistake. A mistake that cannot ever be undone. Too many people wanting to blame the victim does not excuse the fact that it was the cop that made the lethal mistake. And if someone wants to set the standard that any slight deviation from perfect actions by a citizen in an interaction with a cop justifies the cop using lethal force against him, they’d better think long and hard about what they are advocating and what that future holds. You may be on the dangerous end of that service weapon one day, and you better hope you perform to perfection and at the same time hope the cop doesn’t screw up. If anything goes wrong, you lose. Sure, go after the bad guys. But how we go after the bad guys isn’t the problem here.

        • Castile’s choices were far from perfect. It wasn’t just the cops mistakes that proved fatal. Admitting these two facts does not invalidate your argument. Ignoring them weakens your argument more than admitting them.

  2. From what’s published here, I like what I’m hearing from Mr. Smith. I don’t know enough about Tennessee vs. Garner, but the other two suggestions seem prudent. We need the police to be the best and brightest, and I’ve heard too many stories of candidates being rejected because their IQ is too high. And if they are the best and brightest, they should be paid as such.

    • IIRC, the old law was that an officer could shoot a fleeing felon if they thought he would get away.
      The case stemmed from a dude who I think committed a burglary and was running from the police with his booty. They shot him in the back as he was scaling a fence because they thought if he made it over the fence, he would escape.
      It went to the Supreme Court.
      Their ruling was that you had to show the fleeing felon would be a clear threat if they escaped.

      Ralph, Johannesburg, Mark… am I missing anything glaring?

      • If that case is truly as it is represented, that lethal force is to be used to stop an imminent threat versus to control a situation, I’m not sure exactly how much further one can ‘reform’ the law from a logical standpoint without requiring officers sustain injury (or certain injury) before responding. The law itself is fine; it very clearly (*very* clearly at this point) dictates that lethal force is to be used exclusively for defensive purposes, first for the officer, and secondarily for others nearby in very narrow circumstances of immediate peril.

        What is needed is for the law to be respected, both by its enforcers and the citizens. The rampant immunity abuses out there (not so much by way of the handful of police shootings popularized by race baiters, but in a much more significant general practices perspective) that don’t even rise to the level of fatality are far more pervasive, and frankly, far more damaging to the institution of law that officers are attempting to uphold. Second to that, and even possibly first in some cases, the law needs to be respectable if it is to be followed. Too many officers are tasked with enforcing ridiculous laws that are either impossible to uphold, or plainly abusive & unfair to their fellow citizens; this area is where the law is failing us (gun laws, drug laws, and economy-destroying property laws first and foremost) because it cannot react fast enough to correct legislators’ abuses even if it were so inclined at this point. And that failure lies at the feet of voters they represent, for not being wise enough to demand better from the leadership.

        Were the people wiser to the law and politics, they would not be beholden to the whims of political machines
        Were the political machines dismantled, abusive laws would be challenged & smothered in the crib
        Were the political machines dismantled, the courts could hope to regain a more objective mission
        Were the abusive laws not stacking up on the books like cord-wood, the courts could catch up correcting them
        Were the abusive laws reformed, the police could more easily function with less controversy
        Were the law enforced with less controversy, the equitable rule of law we seek would be achieved

    • I am all for the brightest and best being on the job in all careers but it’s not feasible. Most departments are already scraping the bottom of the barrel and failing to adequately staff their departments due to budgets and salaries.

      If you think your idea is better than what’s out there then let’s hear it. But stating that things need to be better and people need to be better doesn’t offer a bit of help

    • Best and brightest also do things like drugs and all that, to experiment.

      Openness to new experiences tracks drug experimentation (NOT ADDICTION).

      Intel community has to be 2/3rds contractors because no one can adhere to the crazy .mil standards.

    • True story, here.

      As a mature person with a BA and 2 MA degrees, long military experience (including an intermittent requirement to be armed, and serious security clearances), and years dealing with the public, I was looking for something to do as a hobby on weekends. Then turns up a federal job posting for TSA agents at a not too distant airport. The position was part-time (no benefits), and weekends-only. My application was rejected.

      The official determination on my application was, “Not minimally qualified”. For a few weeks, I was amused at the rejection, thinking the government was living up to its reputation for being cement-headed (as I was a former federal employee).

      Then, a few days after, amidst a morning coffee, I realized that the government was actually saying I wasn’t capable of being ranked as “minimally” capable, as in not in the bottom quartile. Which almost caused me to blow coffee out my nose.

        • His point that many employers will not hire someone who is “over” qualified is still valid.

          • “His point that many employers will not hire someone who is “over” qualified.”

            And that includes law enforcement

            Thanx TX

  3. MEH…they “handcuffed” cops in Chicago. How’s THAT working out? Charging a cop with 1ST degree murder(it CAN’T BE PREMEDITATED)for shooting an armed punk on a crime spree. And I’m not a fan of the po-leece but that’s silly. As far as Philando I agree in part-hire cops who aren’t trigger happy. But don’t drive high and if you carry have our shite together.

    • …and don’t carry your piece in your lap as the cop approaches
      …and don’t have to reach for your wallet adjacent said gun after you’ve alerted said cop to its presence
      …and don’t continue to reach for your wallet (huge benefit of the doubt here) after he tells you to stop

      No, the guy didn’t deserve to die for what he did. Nor did the cop deserve to kill an armed stoner who was too baked or paranoid to act sensibly or comply with simple commands. Life is never fair, it (generally) is predictable, however.

  4. I work for a police department. I’ve NEVER heard of us rejecting a candidate for having too high of an IQ. We don’t even do IQ tests. We hire the best that is presented to us.

    Unfortunately, especially since Ferguson in 2014, finding qualified applicants is difficult. Few want to do this job any more. Sure, raising the starting salary and current salaries would do wonders towards getting more qualified applicants. However, that is far easier said than done. It is like pulling teeth to try to get a 2 percent cost of living raise, raising the starting pay to what you are suggesting would be a hard sell to taxpayers. Altruism doesn’t put food on the table, so it’s understandable that people look elsewhere for careers.

    The quality of applicants has decreased significantly in recent years. You say you want college educated officers and there’s nothing wrong with that, however many officers on the road do have a college education, but a college education doesn’t translate to good people skills and decision making. I learned more in my first twelve hour shift in field training than I did in four years of college.

    I’m not saying that stuff doesn’t need to change. I especially believe that bad officers need to be held responsible. But what I am saying is that making things better is going to be an uphill struggle.

    • Your department may not do IQ tests, but more than a few do. I tried to post a link to an ABC News story but here’s the gist.

      “A man whose bid to become a police officer was rejected after he scored too high on an intelligence test has lost an appeal in his federal lawsuit against the city.

      The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court’s decision that the city did not discriminate against Robert Jordan because the same standards were applied to everyone who took the test.”

      • The result isn’t even the best part. All of the arguments made on behalf of the city and the PD were kicks to the balls of any cop. Arguments were made ranging from “too smart, would get bored easily” too “might question orders.”

        Basically the whole circus painted every cop in that city as a braindead buffoon who did what he was told and was able to stare numbly into the abyss for hours on end.

        If I were a New London cop I’d have been pissed. But none were. So what does that tell you?

    • I agree. I’m in law enforcement and 4 years of college and a criminal justice degree taught me very little when it comes to actually interacting with people and generally doing my job. I wouldn’t say it’s worthless, I learned allot about facts and numbers and administrative level stuff… and it made me better at debating left wing lunatics… but none of that translates into making someone a good officer on the ground.

  5. “First, start hiring a different type of Police Officer in America who is older and college-educated. . .”
    ” . . . pay Officers a lot more than they are currently earning in order to attract the best and brightest candidates.”

    To the first point, you better be prepared to hire 100% of every person who applies. In my experience you will have maybe 3 applicants out of every 50 who meet those two qualifications. The other 47 are under 30 and almost every single one of them (male and female alike) meets the definition of “alpha male”. Very few educated adults who are old enough to be established in their lives are willing to take on a high stress job, with shit hours, where almost every interaction you have is with somebody who doesn’t want to talk to you. In short, the people you want to hire do not apply in large enough numbers to fill all of the available jobs if you hired every single applicant.

    To the second point after covering the first . . . you better bring that pay WAY up to drag established, educated adults away from careers that they have spent half of their lives developing. I’m not saying it is impossible and I agree that it would probably improve the image the police have. But the required wage required to create a pool of applicants would be far higher than this guy thinks.

    • Probably the most glaring omission from Mr. Smith’s letter is the current mission expected of our police. When the police were revered they helped get a kitten down from a tree. Now they issue tickets for not having the cat locked in doors. Two kids bloody each other’s nose after school they used to get detention and the cops sat down to give them a stern talking to in front of their parents. Now both kids end up with assault raps and often expelled. Your company parks with their bumper sticking into the neighbor’s driveway, they call the cops and you get a parking ticket.

      Half of the problem falls squarely on the people being policed and can only be fixed by the people they police. Changing the hiring demographic will change very little if the same people calling the police for help are calling them fucking pigs. Much of law enforcement’s current reputation is a byproduct of what is expected from them. Not much can change without changing those expectations.

      • In short, cops these days tend to act like members of an occupying force intent on crushing spirits and destroying lives to keep the people cowed.

    • Ian in Transit,
      Pay may be low for some areas, but not all. In Austin, Texas, a city with one of the lowest violent crime rates in the nation, our starting patrol officers are making $70k by year 2. That’s just for a 40 hour week, and does not include any bonuses or benefits, which are outstanding. By year 10, with a mediocre career path, they are at 90k per year, again, just for 40 hours, without bonuses or benefits.
      That outpaces the vast majority of jobs in this city at 10 years in, it doesn’t require a college degree, and it is extremely stable. Consequently, they have a waiting list for applicants. A friend of mine just got an academy date, for next year.

      • “In Austin, Texas, a city with one of the lowest violent crime rates in the nation, our starting patrol officers are making $70k by year 2.”

        Imagine that. Well paid cops in the same city that coincidentally happens to have low violent crime. I wonder what would happen to crime rates in other cities if they paid $70k by year 2.

      • JWT,

        This guys requirement was older and college educated beyond what Austin already attracts and hires. Austin police may already be paid well, but what he is requiring is to REMOVE adults from jobs that already likely pay that well with just as good of benefits, better working conditions, that they are already established in, that they probably already have a full professional network in that industry. These older college educated people are generally smart and stable enough to not change careers to an entirely new industry for a lateral or cut in pay. I don’t think Mr. Smith is realistic in his understanding of what that will take.

    • Let’s see…
      A safe, air-conditioned life of corporate tedium and slideshows in some office complex out in the burbs…or a sweaty, boring, frustrating job of watching, paperwork, waiting, paperwork, frequent aggressive interaction with clients, politics, nasty people, paperwork, scary people, the constant threat of or actual suffering of injury/loss of life, and lastly, events so shocking or disturbing as to give nightmares *at the very least* if not prolonged mental suffering.

      Yeah, gonna need more than a con-job pension promise & medical plan along with my current salary to get me on board. Oh, and I won’t even be joining until I’m about four years older than the average hood I’ll be wrestling to the ground if I need to go to college first.

      There are real solutions to the current state of things. Throwing even more money at police officers isn’t one of them (though it would at least help greatly as far as retention of current officers; it’s very common for a metro area like Dallas to produce a ton of officers who immediately flee to the surrounding suburbs where pay is higher and job quality tons better, leaving a relatively inexperienced/incompetent force behind them)

  6. “First, start hiring a different type of Police Officer in America who is older and college-educated.”

    The problem with hiring better-educated officers is that they need to be paid higher salaries.

    Currently, towns and cities are having a tough enough time as it is affording their police departments. Following that suggestion will mean departments will have to do the same job they are now, but with 20 percent fewer officers on the street, to pay for those better-educated cops. And the cops will be motivated to apply their higher education in fields where being shot at isn’t in the job description.

    That’s gonna be very unpopular with the citizens of those areas. And the local criminal element will make note of staffing shortages and change their tactics…

    • They have trouble affording cops AND they have trouble even getting people who want to be cops.

      The type of people that the author wants to become cops are rarely the ones who want to do the job (and can pass a background investigation). Money can help, but it takes a lot of it.

      • There is also an arms-race aspect to all of this; lots of people would not mind being Andy Griffith, but many would be leery of filling in for Dirty Harry after he’s finally gunned down by some lucky punk days from retirement. It’s, quite frankly (and respectfully to officers, but still blunt) a very dirty job on the best days in many places, downright dangerous either physically or personally in a large portion of those places, and often so futile and thankless that one would almost question the *need* for peace officers there (as opposed to soldiers).

  7. Raise taxes to pay higher salaries? No thanks.

    But I will consider legalizing vice (drugs, prostitution, gambling) to remove the justification for state/citizen interaction. Privatizing law enforcement will also be considered.

    • I dunno, I just have this gut feeling about privatizing the criminal justice system at all. Essentially the company is profiting from crime and that would therefore make them criminals. I know it’s a ridiculous logical leap but making crimes a profitable business model is a slippery slope, ethically. The lobbyists for those organizations would just be trying to legislate profit for themselves on the backs of your personal liberties.

    • While decriminalizeing those things would help, I’m telling you privatizing law enforcement is a horrible idea.

      • We at Omni Consumer Products would like to say that our Enforcement Droid, model 209, will be the solution to the issue at hand once privatization is a reality.

    • I’d be more in favor of removing the regulatory practices (licensing, insurance, zoning, minimum wages, workplace conditions, environmental, accounting) that make it impossible for legitimate commerce to exist in the urban hellholes. Crack-dealing actually *is* preferable to a life of listless unemployment for anyone with the slightest ambition or talent, so that is what they do. Were legitimate employment available, let alone employment with competitive pay scales (they get Caprices, not Bentleys, for selling rock on the corner) hardly anyone would bother with that line of work. Reform on the anti-drug law side would deal with much of the remainder (and properly punishing the few dangerous junkies in lieu of the dealers would dry up the market for the rest of the remainder)

  8. you know what i am tired of? the hypocrisy of black people like this guy. they won’t accept anything unless it has the words “black” or “african american” in it somewhere. a true racist. do they realize how stupid they look creating organizations for specific races????? obviously not.

    • Bro, he specifically talks about how he takes every incident on a case by case basis and has disagreements with people in a civil manner and still continues to respect them. Also, the organization exists because there is a need for representation for gun owners who historically have been ignored or barred completely from owning firearms. I’m not sure how that makes them look stupid.

    • Dude started the organization because he noticed that guns were taboo in his community (his community is black). He started the organization because he saw a problem with black culture. His problem actually helps make guns not taboo in the black culture. I disagree with him on several points, but I think what he is doing is worth while.

      It is a hard sale for any group that doesn’t have “African” or “black” in the name. I wouldn’t be surprised if most blacks thought the NRA was racist.

      • As a Black member of the NRA of over 25 years; I would say the view of the NRA is about the same as people have of the GOP. A club who may not address the needs or views of the community. Nor do they spend much effort to change that impression. Racist? No. Never felt or treated that way. But is is hard to preach fun & freedom of firearms if the only vision you have on them is a negative one. Gargoil, is not exactly a good PR rep to change that.

        • I think the NRA is doing a lot to try to change the view of the black community has of it. About half the “I am the NRA” ads (that I can recall) are black people. They’re hiring a bunch of black people out of the 2A community for visible positions. The GOP, not so much, and they really should. If the GOP could consistently get 20% or more of the black vote, they’d have a lock on just about everything until demographics shift very dramatically.

          I’ll admit that I’ve never known too many black people that well. My closest black friend was a Nigerian priest; I don’t think he is a typical representative, or technically even a representative, of the African American community. I took him shooting, and he loved it. I had a black boss who went on for a few minutes about how people who were into guns were just waiting for the race war. I let him finish before mentioning the number of guns I have. After I explained why I have so many guns (because I like guns, they are fun, and how each gun served a specific purpose except for one that I was given), he said that none of his friends (basically all upper middle class black guys) owned guns and viewed guns as something criminals owned (and therefore something upper middle class people wouldn’t). I still know the guy and see him. He said he and his wife were thinking about getting a gun, and I said I’d be happy to take them to the range and show them what I know and have. Hasn’t happened yet.

          Those two guys are about the extent of my personal experience with black people and guns, so my beliefs are based more on what I’ve heard 2A black people on the internet say about the black community and guns than on personal experience. One of those people being Mr. Smith.

    • Your post does not exactly sound like a warm a fuzzy welcome to join anything. I like the idea of a NAAGA.

  9. Wait right there, I need to sustain an injury before I can use DPF. I have fought for my life on many occasions, I had to restrain from killing many of people because they are just too stupid, too high to follow command, or combative. I was fearless and nuts as I look back on dangers I encountered and more persons should have been shot. I do think if your afraid you should use ever means necessary to get home safe. When we arrive on the scene we don’t get a welcome party we are there to do a tough job. Better field training officers would help in making better police not college, and the last note The JURY did their job too.

    • I’ve heard around certain places and training venues that the police in America don’t shoot as many people as they CAN.
      Let that sink in…
      Also, Tennessee v. Graham is the basis for the use of deadly force on a fleeing suspect, NOT use of deadly force. Graham v. Connor is the basis for use of force (police and civilian) as well as Terry v. Ohio.
      This sort of thing is an offshoot of the whole ‘cop bashing’ culture, as seen by the latest police assassination in NYC. If THAT is how you treat police, they’re gonna be twitchy, and that twitchiness will manifest in Castille type shoots.

      • It would be nice if the twichiness was proportional. Alaska Troopers work in a land where everyone has a gun. Yet they do not seem the shoot people over wallets, cell phones & etc. As say in comparatively gun less NYC. Nor do black officers seem to suffer the same level of twitch.

        • Not around white drivers, at least. Plenty of black officers forced to end also-black scumbags out there, and the rate at which they do so relative to white officers is *at best* statistically detectable (and insignificant compared to the statistical rate at which both groups of officers are forced to confront black thugs with lethal force compared to any other group).

        • Actually, it is black and hispanic officers who shoot blacks at a disproportionate rate, not white cops.

  10. Whenever the qualifying word “but” is added to a sentence, I know to ignore the speaker.

    “I support the Second Amendment BUT…” (Insert rhetorical justification for reducing American firearm rights.)

    “I am Pro- Law Enforcement all the way, BUT…” (Insert racist nonsense here.)

    As another poster has already pointed out, the VAST majority of Black males shot by police in the last five years have been PHYSICALLY ATTACKING THE OFFICER IN QUESTION. Furthermore, I don’t see this person writing about the Black female police officer murdered in New York two days ago while he was busy celebrating Independence Day.

    If Black males stopped their relentless culture of hatred towards the police, learned to respect authority figures, and followed the damn laws instead of being 22% of the population responsible for 46% of the crime (Check the demographics at on your own time.) they’d find themselves in far fewer confrontations with the po-po.

    Furthermore, what part of “found not guilty by a jury of his peers who listened and observed hundreds of hours of evidence before reaching this decision” do you not understand? How many officers have to be acquitted before you catch on that your distorted, tried-in-the-media opinion is absolutely irrelevant to the facts. You were NOT in the courtroom and you did NOT hear the evidence. All you have is your racism and your rhetoric, and I am tired of BOTH of them, Mr. Smith.

    Lastly, and I am surprised to not see anyone else comment on this, but I would expect the president of the National African American Gun Association (A racist organization by definition, since they specifically include Blacks and EXCLUDE Whites, Asians, and Hispanics) to know enough about firearms to KEEP HIS FUGGIN BOOGER HOOK OFF THE FUGGIN BANG SWITCH OF THE BOOMER!

    • Man, you are so tied up in your own weird righteousness and wanting to be the victim that you didn’t read the fact that they accepted me as a member. I am not black. Where the fuck did you get that they exclude any specific race? Probably from your own mind, without doing any research. Sounds a lot like an anti-gunner…

    • Angry D. More part of the problem, than a solution guy. The attitude in that rant is just sad.

    • The scumbag that murdered the officer in NY is dead. He was an unrepentant cop hater and got what he deserved. The cop did not deserve to be murdered just because she was sitting there filling out a report or whatever.

      In the Castile case, yes, the jury acquitted the officer. I don’t hold it against the jury to coming to that conclusion. They were trying to judge based on the law as presented to them. I think the author of the above article is saying that the law needs to change because current law/precedent is unfair (and in my opinion unconstitutional).

    • Right on…. Another racial grievance monger mouthing off. Year-to-date in Chicago: 1540 Shot and 326 Killed. Mostly black. Officer-involved shootings? 14 & 7. Which one is really the threat to the black community?

      And, to Renner:
      “I think the author of the above article is saying that the law needs to change because current law/precedent is unfair (and in my opinion unconstitutional).”
      Only because the law didn’t produce your desired outcome? What, precisely, is “unfair” about deadly force statutes?

  11. Another overdue change: give respect where respect is due. This goes both directions – from the officer to the citizen, and from the citizen to the officer.

    • What respect is due a system of law that jails a man for selling loose cigarettes on the street…or the officers who enforce that law?

      That two-way respect street is a real bitch because it goes way beyond the beat-cops and guys thugs they have to beat on. If Officer-nullification were a thing simple personal respect might be more viable (i.e. allow cops to use their judgement to identify when someone’s breaking the official law is actually resulting in harm or damage, and demur when it is not without suffering consequences themselves)

      • Officer nullification happens all the time.

        I had a client who was super guilty of dui, but the cops arrested him for a different class b misdemeanor (instead of both or the offense with much worse consequences) because the guy wasn’t driving dangerously, and it was his birthday. They tried to let him go, but he was too drunk to call for a ride.

  12. Angry D
    Is spot on, jury got it right. The media won’t show or tell the truth because it’s not controversial enough they just want headlines

  13. mr. dobalina was unavailable for comment.

    tough gig. i’m not advocating, but i understood the attraction for some; the perks were real. (some) chicks dig uniforms. in some areas it was the only way you could carry. you might get some passes on your reckless and/ or under the influence driving. free apples. half priced meals at ihop.
    some of that still flies some places. not so much, though. and in chicago the pension is not funding, it’s drying up. that’s why i don’t get why anyone here would join.

    and the “too intelligent” overqualified stuff for applicants being rejected does go on.

  14. Here is what would get us most of the way there: instruct judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, bailiffs, and juries that the job of the jury IS TO SERVE JUSTICE.

    The problem right now: a judge can tell a jury, “You must find the defendant NOT guilty if the defendant had not planned to shoot the driver weeks in advance.” Similarly, a judge can tell a jury, “You must find the defendant guilty if he broke the law no matter how repugnant (e.g. unjust) the law is.” … and even imply that the jurors will face some sort of legal consequences if they fail to find the defendant guilty when it is clear that he/she broke the repugnant (unjust) law.

    Judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys have bastardized trials into the circus that we now see. Fix THAT first. Unfortunately, that will be an even more difficult task than hiring high-quality people to the police force.

    • The job of a judge and prosecutor is see justice done (mostly the prosecutor). The job of a defense attorney is to vigorously represent his client’s interests. The job of a jury is to determine facts. The jury’s job only has anything to do with justice when they reach sentencing.

  15. ‘First, start hiring a different type of Police Officer in America who is older and college-educated.’

    Bingo. End of issue. $100k a year HS dropouts are not doing anybody any good.

    • Please find me a department paying $100,000 for high–school dropouts, I’ll go there and make a million a year.

        • Try to buy a house in San Jose or Napa. My wife’s family has vineyards up around Napa. You can’t afford a chicken coop up there.

        • Obviously some departments pay more than others (especially in insane housing markets). But they don’t pay that for ‘high school dropouts.’ San Jose requires at least a high school degree AND college or military experience (which is the norm as far as I know). So not high-school dropouts unless they then went on to earn a college degree at an accredited US college.

      • Last time I checked, Austin didn’t require a HS diploma (only having “attended” is good enough so 9th or 10th grade education is/was good enough to be able to be a cop—the idea of a 20 year old 9th grade dropout cop is downright scary). See above comments for Austin’s LEO pay scales.

  16. Then there is this. My city had by court decree two hiring lists, a white and a non white list. To be hired off the white list your better score close to 100 as a high 90 score will,not get hired, but often you reach down to the 70s on the non white list , it’s a 3-2 hiring off those lists.

    There have been times where the list went dead before the list would expire date wise because they ran out of passing non whites .

    So much for the best and brightest ……

    With a bit of OT you can make 100k plus full health care and a decent pension .

    The background check stops many, you better have very good credit , no traffic tickets a perfect physical exam , eye sight, hearing , blood work non smoker no past injuries like knees, backs from your high school football days , and all past employers neighbors and so,on all give you a thumbs up .

    Good luck

  17. Separating into two parts: 1/2

    Re: hiring different cops – sure, go ahead. Feel free to pay much higher salaries! I’m sure the places with the most violent crime- Baltimore, Chicago- will be happy to double their police budgets without increasing manpower. That said, if this guy thinks that a cop with a college degree will necessarily be better at this aspect of policing, I think he’s wrong. Having more college-educated cops would have advantages- especially in the area of writing- but going to college doesn’t make anyone better at using the right level of force. In fact, thinking back to the academy, the people who had to resort to a higher level of force in training (i.e. a gun) were often the most educated… because they were the ones who had no idea how to fight OR talk to people on the street.

    Hiring somewhat older cops (i.e. not 21) is a good thought (and agencies with high salaries tend to do this, often grabbing cops who are transferring from other places) but most people already have a career in their late twenties if they’re doing things right so you’re gonna have to increase benefits and salaries even more to lure them at that age.

    But I think it would be delightful to give some of those gender studies and philosophy majors a chance to use those degrees. I’ll be happy to watch from a safe distance and thank my stars that I’m not a supervisor.

    • Full disclosure: I’m one of those edumacated guys who needed to learn how to talk to people without using my fancy knowledge of Hegelian dialectic. And I know this sounds cliche, but I don’t think college degrees now are worth what they were ‘in my day.’

  18. 2/2

    As to the caselaw surrounding use of force… the author doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about.

    Tennessee v. Garner is NOT the basis for all justified shootings. It was the decision that disallowed the ‘fleeing felon’ rule but by no means is it what you would look at if you’re talking about shootings like that of Castillo. Yes, it discusses that killing someone counts as an ‘arrest’ but the standard for reaching that probable cause and what force to use is much better addressed in another case

    The major branch of caselaw involving justified shooting is the same one which involves ALL force: Graham v. Connor. This case set out the standard for justified force and that standard is “objectively reasonable.” Not, as the author seems to think, simple ‘fear.’ The very ‘changes’ the author proposes are already the standard: ” tangible evidence with your eyes and ears that he or she is trying to hurt you…” i.e. someone reaching for a gun when ordered to stop. The author apparently needs to talk to the juries, because they are already instructed to use that standard and have been finding that they do not have proof beyond a reasonable doubt (maybe THAT is the standard he should attack next.)

  19. Perhaps it was my military background; then maybe not. It was the height of the draft when I voluntarily enlisted. The service decided where they needed bodies, although I scored high enough to have my pick of careerfields. They decided to put me in the cops. While working as a cop, I learned a lot at a time I was too young to be a cop on the outside. There was no school, it was all OJT (On the Job Training). There are many who view military cops as big dumb mindless people, and view military installations as no big deal. Both are false. Indeed, a base is little different from any city of equal size. There are banks, stores, gas stations, residential areas, industrial areas, an airport and so on. The people come from every part of the nation; cities, farms, small towns, major cities, etc. Every post has it’s own zip code. The people enter the service with the same prejudices, experiences, backgrounds, attitudes. At one point, I was the liaison between the military and the civil police agencies of southern California. When I started, the civil agencies looked at military cops as “the mickey mouse club”. They had no idea we dealt with every aspect of crime that the civies do. Perhaps the difference is that we have fences and gates to control who enters and leaves our cities; and we deal with a bit better class of low life. My starting pay in 1967 was $96.90 per month when civilians were making over $1200 in my hometown. I was 18 and responsible for millions of dollars worth of weapons delivery systems (jets, bombers, down to typewriters and pencils). Many of my compadres wanted to be cops and this was a way for them to gain experience while awaiting their 21st birthday which was the requirement in most places. Many of them went to work in southern California and went on to illustrious careers. My experiences led me to love law enforcement and to stay with it when I left the military. so, I went to college and got a degree in Administration of Justice.

    Never have I seen anyone rejected for having an IQ too high. I have seen people with lower IQs who were much better officers than the smartest of us.

    What I see we need is to return to the days of R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Since the 1960s, the left has been developing an atmosphere of D-I-S-respect for authority between the people and those in positions of authority/power. In the field I saw young people change from respect to a point where they don’t even show respect for parents, clergy, etc, let alone cops. They talk back, smart mouth, and much worse. Try having juveniles tell you again and again that you don’t the right to stop them let alone take them into custody, or bald face lie. It’s surprising the reactions of more cops isn’t worse than reported. It appears that the majority of the 1 million police officers across the nation have a lot more self control than the media and certain groups would have the public believe. Not that there aren’t cops who are not disrespectful, especially after years of hearing the same old thing, along with never knowing if some kid is armed or not. It has not helped that we’ve 8 years of a president dissing cops which emboldens people to be disrespectful.

    Practically every case like Ferguson has been the result of the victim acting badly. I watched the patrol car video of the case of the CCW armed driver. Perfect example of an armed citizen behaving badly… even stupidly. Quite often, passengers can also exacerbate the situation by running their mouths, shoving a camera toward the cop, etc. I’m on edge just wondering if anyone is armed to start with. Now I KNOW someone is armed and I’m watching even closer for any move against me. If the guy is legally armed or not he better not make any sudden moves, or moves I am not OK with, or he is going to be looking down a barrel. The video indicated that’s where the driver went wrong. Common sense would tell me not to make any move without it being approved. This is where the problem of people being conditioned to be resistant to authority comes in.

    This is my view. Other views may differ. That’s OK. But we can’t have a DISCUSSION on anything when the moderators and participants are already predisposed to reject the other side’s position. I’ve seen this from back in the 70s and “race relations” where minority instructors would reject anything Whites had to say even if those Whites had come from minority neighborhoods and lifestyles.

  20. OK, I’m not going to try to flame the police here.

    Four major problems that I note from having lived in some truly shitty neighborhoods.

    1) Cops don’t generally live in the community and are therefore usually outsiders. They roll around in cars and have little contact with the actual community.

    2) Due to #1 the cops generally don’t have a fucking clue what’s actually going on and end up harassing the wrong people far too often. There’s a few damn good reasons no one wants to talk to you. They’re basic, so figure them out. No, I didn’t rat out the crack dealer next door and no, that doesn’t mean I’m dealing too. It means I don’t want to get shot by his gangbanger homies for talking to you. Most of the people in these communities hate and fear the thugs but view you as, at best, incompetent to help them.

    3) Related to #1 and #2: Your evidence collection needs work. No one is going to talk to you when they know there’s a good chance you didn’t follow procedure and the perp is going to walk on a technicality, come back and get revenge.

    4) Cops whine that their job is to enforce the law and that they don’t get to make the law. Well, that’s true to a point but the unions have MASSIVE political clout. Use that clout to lobby for changes in the law that people will appreciate and they’ll start to appreciate you a whole lot more. Instead of busting some kid for a bag of weed while the real thugs run wild lobby to reduce possession to a ticket or maybe even make it legal. Then you won’t scare the shit out of people and the community won’t see you as busting teenagers over a small amount of dope while ignoring the real criminals.

    • Why would you want to live in the community you are a cop in? So that when you do bust a real “thug” his buddies shoot up your house because they know where you live? Most cities are so far removed from Mayberry but down the street from Mosul on any given day, and if you want to force someone to live in their jurisdiction, you’d better pay them way better, living in the burbs is way cheaper than living in a “good” section of town. I considered becoming a cop back in my 20’s and I couldn’t get on the list in my town because they recruited from the next city over, they saved a butt load of money not having to do an academy, or thorough investigation of an applicant, and needed less training officers because they cherry picked the best cops that were smart enough to move for money and an easier job. Fwiw, when I was in my 20’s the avg murder rate was in the 300s in the city, my town was in the 30’s with similar population, over a larger area

      • Again, the mindset in your comments portrays the problem. Rather than see people as neighbors to protect & serve: you see them as a enemy on a battlefield to confront. If you act like a alien, the reaction is to treat you that way. As for the ‘burbs? They are home to many of the real crooks in area. The meth & heroin freaks are nearly all from the burbs. As are morons who shoot Women over a damn Lane change.

      • “Why would you want to live in the community you are a cop in?”

        Because it’s your community and you want to improve it…? Duh.

        Recruit from the community. Jesus, this shit ain’t rocket surgery.

        Hire local, you get intel and people known in the community rather than outsiders so the locals are more willing to chat. Worked in the 1960’s and well before that.

        I knew some guys in college that we’re from some really bad parts of Cincinnati. They went back to be coaches and teachers to try to fix this shit. They would have probably gone the LEO route but they were forbidden from going down that road because they’d smoked a joint in the past 10 years.

        • I hereby challenge you to spend some quality time at a job fair in LA. The candidates there are comprised mainly of liberal idiots with prior criminal records. I work in LA but have zero desire to live there.

          As much as I want to agree with you, a cop doesn’t need to live in his neighborhood. Heck, I moved out from Wisconsin to be a cop in California (and for MCRD before that).

          What does a cop need? Some decent social skills, a respectable uniform, the ability to deal with stress, and solid tactical training.

        • If you want to be welcomed and not feared, respected, not loathed and actually have a clue what the hell is really going on you need solid community connections that you can’t get by driving around in a patrol car and then retiring to your house 20 miles away.

          Again, not trying to put the cops on blast here but I lived in bad neighborhoods where everyone knew who sold what to whom, who ripped off what and who did what shooting. We all knew it within hours of it happening. We watched the cops “investigate” for days and come up empty when everyone around them knew exactly what what happened and who did it.

          Not only were the cops clueless about the crime they were clueless about how to interact with the community and get the information. Then they bitch that no one helps them.

          That whole “I didn’t rat out the crack dealer next door” part of my comment is a true story from my life. The cops didn’t know who was dealing but they knew someone in the area was dealing. They got mad that no one would tell them and a couple of the cops actually accused my roommate and I of being the dealers.

          Yeah, solid police work there boys. Rock fucking solid. All you had to do was play nice and I’d probably have told you where to park a UC unit to get the dude. But I knew that the cops could keep their fucking traps shut and that if I did tell them then my name would get out there and then, at best, I’d have gang bangers looking to fuck me up because “snitches get stitches”.

          I’m sorry, for all the talk about how cops “know things” it’s my experience that cops don’t actually know shit about how things work on the street and that is a big part of why the community doesn’t trust them. That lack of trust makes police much less effective at doing their jobs and we end up with a vicious circle of ignorance leading to distrust fanning more ignorance and distrust.

          The simple fact is that the granny who sits on her porch or the 16 year old kid biking around his neighborhood knows a hell of a lot more than the cops cruising up and down the streets in a “black and white” do about the goings on around there and the police NEED that information to be truly effective.

        • Strych,

          Normally I would agree with you but confidential informants sell out other bad guys on the cheap. Between cell footage, license plates, business video cameras, search warrants, and good old fashioned collection of evidence, we usually get our man.

          Again, I’d love to agree with you, but my own boots on the ground experience is different, and I’ve been working in LA since 2001. I agree with community policing, serving the community, attending town hall meetings, and all that. However, I can get it done living in OC and working in LA.

          To tell you the truth, I don’t like LA a whole lot. There are some fantastic restaurants and entertainment venues, though.

        • “Yeah, solid police work there boys. Rock fucking solid. All you had to do was play nice and I’d probably have told you” what you wanted to know. – Same thing happened to me. The cop accused me of the crime after I walked up to him and started telling him what happened and who did it. I didn’t get to who did it because the cop immediately accused me of doing it. At that point I gave him a lot of “attitude” because he was an asshole.

        • “What does a cop need? Some decent social skills, a respectable uniform, the ability to deal with stress, and solid tactical training”

          Add emotional maturity and and an ability to make abstract comparisons and I’ll agree with you.

    • If you ‘fix’ point number 1, you end up with cops in bed with the local gangs/mafiosos more than they already are. You’ll have detectives with sons in the Kings or Disciples. The main thing is these areas need to stop looking to cops to impose civilization among the ferals. Police are a byproduct of civilization, not a driver. If the gangs flourish because there is no legitimate employment, maybe start there, and once there’s an alternative to the lawless life, then think about whether the police can work as a motivating factor toward it.

  21. Simple solution:
    Recognize and apply the same laws and consequences to police officers that armed citizens already abide by.

    While better trained officers would be nice, one of the larger problems is the fact that corrupt police departments and judges have carved out a different set of self defense rules and ROE which grants officers undue protections that go beyond the reasonable standard that all other citizens are judged by. What’s more, even when caught red-handed, officers often aren’t punished (or are given lenient legal repercussions) for what would otherwise be murder charges for anyone else.

  22. So how do you find good people to do what is a very tough job? I’m not sure that a college degree proves much other than the fact that a student can pass courses which isn’t very hard in today’s environment. College grads may be more literate – and even that is questionable these days – but a diploma doesn’t automatically give you people skills or common sense. Faithful readers will know that I’ve worked as a reserve deputy for 26 years and I’m involved with our department’s hiring process. Reserve officers are a little different – and are often looked down on and ridiculed by the full time guys – but when I look at applicants I try to find people who are mature, sensible, and rooted in the community through church affiliations, civic organizations and volunteer work. I want former military people because they understand rank and duty and respect. I want people who are too old to fight unless they absolutely have to and would rather talk the bad guy down. You can’t teach maturity or common sense in school. It just comes from some place that’s deep inside us and this tired old deputy thinks that its always been in pretty short supply.

    Would more pay help? Probably but I’d ask everybody if you want your taxes to go up to pay higher law enforcement salaries. It isn’t the wages for the street cops, but the increases for the administrators – the captains and majors and chiefs who haven’t done an arrest in 20 years but have to make more money than the troops. I’m reminded of a line from Kipling: “Making fun of uniforms that guard you while you sleep is cheaper than those uniforms – and they’re starvation cheap”

    What’s the answer? We can hire better people and I think that more money may be a part of it. As a reserve I work for free so I don’t have any skin in that game. If we could figure out a way to test for common sense and maturity I’d be the first to push that idea. I think that the problems we have now are caused by people who spend their time on social media and can’t relate to people face to face.

    • These days wearing a Tin Star is not cool. And like Gary Cooper in, “High Noon” you soon go from hero to alone when the crap hits the fan.

  23. Google can be your friend. Hire a cop with a degree in Dallas, that officer will always be paid approximately $1200.00 more than the officer without. That’s less than a semester’s tuition at a local state college, books not included.Take college classes, get $60.00 a month more.

    However, Dallas seems to value certification classes. Pay raise of up to $500.00 a month more, upon completion.

  24. We lowered the standards in1983, hiring females, short persons, fat persons, so we could be purgressive and it went down hill from there. I worked with some tough mf!s, not now. Those days are over

    • Major problem with that. The job is a social worker with a Glock. Not a soilder treating everything not in Blue as the enemy. Plus, years spent in military life makes you detached from civilians. They think & act differently. The job is deflate a domestic dispute. Not toss a flash bang & shoot everything. Same problem with cops in schools. A 14 yr girl in a classroom can not be treated like a 35 yr old bank robber.

        • You? No claws. A Angry D “for something,” that is claw worthy. Just saying too many get into a Blue vs. The World view of policing. Fine for “Escape from NY,” or “RoboCop.” Not cool, for a guy just selling cigarettes.

  25. You can’t hire and keep better educated cops,. College educated cops don’t last long and they cause lots of problems. They question orders, patrol manuals, and department policy. When it’s clear that the chief or supervisor is ordering them to do something that’s either unethical or illegal, they resist and will ultimately leave the line of work for more lucrative private sector pay.

    The ideal PD hire is one that is high school educated and would otherwise be working a factory job. The PD pays better (PD pay is public record and it’s not as low as the author thinks) and is a whole lot more fun to talk about. They will do anything to keep that job and not go back to the factory job they hated or dreaded thinking about ever having to do. They will follow unethical and illegal directives and they’ll never question anything. They are loyal to the FOP and they don’t want to rise in department ranks, they stay on the blue line no matter what. Police testing is conducted to weed out those who think on their own or will question anything. The standard MMPI isn’t conducted to find the best thinkers and problem solvers, it’s in place to find the best street soldier who follows orders.

    You want to change a PD, start at the top. A chief that sets directives that are less about knocking head and more about building community trust is one that will put policies in place to do just that and the loyal foot soldiers will follow those orders. Really, the idea of a police chief is outdated. It’s time for non-sworn police commissioners to start leading departments.

    Last, every police academy should be teaching the Peelian Principles, I’ve yet to find one that does and I’ve yet to find any police leadership that has heard of this. Maybe then those principles can be put into practice.

  26. Easy Tiger, prior military folks make great cops.. I would say I learned more about life and death from my service in the military. Hell just and I learned more about myself. Also, prior service generally bring better work ethic to the table. I trained and evaluated cops in a large city, i find prior military guys are sharp, eager to work, make good decisions under stress, and work well as team. When your on the street your fellow officers are all you got. Like going to war, you only have the man next to you. They get this, now I seen college educated officers do the same and work just fine. I just believe prior service officers are better prepared for the job than graduating college. If you served in a combat arms job in the military you would understand. My military service only helped me as an officer.

    • Hey, not knocking them. You note the pros well. Just pointing out 99% of America does note serve or even knows anybody who did. When the two worlds meet, they are not on the same page sometimes. That’s all.

  27. Ok, am I really going to be the first to say it? Really? All right, here goes…


    NAAGA, please!

  28. One simple amendment to law/policy would do wonders: “No harm, no crime”. If no one is getting hurt, give guidance and a warning but don’t make an arrest. The principle Jesus stated for the Sabbath needs to hold here: the law was made for man, not man for the law. The law is a tool, not a god.

    • No harm no crime was mayor Dinkins idea to during the crack epidemic in nyc. That work out fine with 3000 murder a year. Do bother with the small crimes and let everyone just hang on street corners doing their thing. But little crimes lead to big crime, give people an inch and they take a mile.

  29. It doesn’t matter how they try to improve law enforcement when the judicial and correctional systems are equally broken. So they catch the cooks, good job now they hit the revolving door of the criminal education system that is the jails and prisons. Given the current correctional model alone there is no deterrent for criminals.

    • “criminal education system”

      Right there is the problem with having so many victimless crimes: those people end up in the criminal education system and learn how to do crimes with victims.

      We HAVE to get with “no harm, no crime”.

  30. Many Police Officers have degrees. Not sure a college education is going to change anything. Not sure anything needs to change. Why does Law Enforcement have to change? Why not just expect a suspect to cooperate with the police, instead?

    • Ja, sieg heil!

      Cooperating with police is the best way to get screwed over. It also reinforces their belief that they are superior.

      Police should have to cooperate with US — we are, after all, their employers.

      • I dunno, Roymond. Maybe it’s just me but somehow I get the impression that not only do cops work for you, you also help them earn their salary.

  31. How can you call an incident a “murder” if a court verdict says otherwise? If you did not personally witness the event, then how is your opinion of it more qualified than the verdict? I say this not because I blindly support law enforcement (my support for them is very limited actually), but rather because it contradicts the idea that one is innocent until proven guilty…no matter how controversial or unpopular their situation may be.

  32. Throwing money at the problem won’t fix it. Hiring people with degrees in English Lit or Advanced Basket Weaving won’t fix the problem either.

    Culture is to blame. Inner-city culture and, yes, cop culture. Cop culture can be fixed, but it will be difficult. Inner-city culture cannot be fixed, ever.

    • “Cop culture can be fixed”

      LOL. Whatever makes you think cops want to change things? Why would they give up their two-tier legal system they lobbied so hard for, and the culture of officer safety absolutism that said legal system has allowed?

      Meanwhile crime has been on a four decade downward trend despite this unfixable “inner-city culture”, and crime rates in large American cities vary widely. Is this inner-city culture of yours national or city-specific? Why have criminologists not discussed it? Oh right, it’s because you made it up. 🙂

      • Hey wise guy, how about you walk around 108th St and Broadway in South Central LA with a red bandana and expensive jewelry on a Saturday night at 2 am?

        Accomplish that, and you can lecture me about non-existent inner-city culture.

        MDS is a lot of talk and zero action.

        • The existence of gangs (in the so-called gang capital of the US nonetheless) does not prove the existence of a national “inner-city culture”. Especially when gangs in LA are spread throughout the city and come from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds.

          As expected, a mindless government enforcer such as yourself should not spend time with social analysis. Stick to what you know best: dispensing violence for politicians. 🙂

          “zero action”

          Curious you mention that, because the origins of gangs in LA can be traced to segregationist policies by the LA city government, and (wait for it), LAPD brutality starting in the 1930’s. All that police action really helped matters, eh?

        • comrade more dead soldiers playing the party’s favorite tactic. Tear down the institutions of the country the party wishes to infest to make the job easier.

          Let me guess. He’s a teacher. Middle school. Probably the debate team advisor. About 30 and absolutely convinced that communism can make a comeback if the people are just motivated enough.

          I have never heard anyone, “context” or not, call communist soldiers freedom fighters. Never. Until comrade more dead soldiers.

        • “Tear down the institutions of the country”

          Don’t you realize the institutions of this country have been taken over by socialists already?

          “Let me guess”

          Nobody is stopping you from being wrong. 🙂

          “I have never heard anyone, “context” or not, call communist soldiers freedom fighters.”

          I am truly sorry you are so intellectually un-curious and spent your life in an echo chamber. But it is never too late to start challenging your own views.

        • Naturally since I speak against your party line I’m un-curious and in an echo chamber. If you only knew.

          And nobody, except for people with their own agenda, none of which is good for people trying to hold to a little freedom, calls communist soldiers “freedom fighters”. Nobody.

          comrade more dead soldiers, you’ve well and truly outed yourself.

        • Hah. You live in echo chamber because you said you know nobody who knows communists can be freedom fighters, despite being provided numerous examples (which you failed totally to address or rebut). I would like to hear you explain how the communist French resistance in WW2 were not freedom fighters.

          Also, observe your defensive projection when your ignorance is called out and you refuse to defend your statements. Another sign of a long time echo chamber resident. 🙂

  33. I disagree with a couple of things he said:

    “Another good Black Man shot down in the prime of his life …” Castile wasn’t a good man judged by what I know of him. He drank hard liquor and smoked marijuana while driving around with a child in the car. This is not the characteristic of a good man. I have a hard time believing he was a good man. I’ll admit it’s a “[i]f a man builds a thousand bridges …”* kind of judgment.

    “Fearing for your life is far too vague a reason for anyone to make a decision to kill someone else because of fear.” The standard is that you reasonably fear for your life. With that caveat, I agree with the standard for private citizens. Maybe not for people whose job it is to go into dangerous situations, but definitely for people who don’t choose to engage in dangerous situations.

    *Google it. It’s a dirty joke many would find offensive.

  34. Tennessee v Garner is not the legal standard for justified police shootings. TN v Garner deals with fleeing felons. The basic decision that deals with the use of force is Graham v Connor.

  35. I think he’s wrong on some of his assertions. For one, most cases of “cops murdering unarmed black men” turn out to be something else once the investigation is complete. This is a problem with the media, not the police. As soon as the cops shoot a black man they roll out the “murderous cops” claptrap wagon and cover it 24 hours per day. Once the facts become known and it turns out that the “victim” wasn’t as innocent as claimed, they do a 15 second retraction and run to the next story. Philando Castile was an outlier as far as I can tell. Second, a lot of cops are college educated. I don’t know what the percentage is, but it’s not like all new cops are 18 years old and fresh out of high school.

    That said, we do need to rethink how we educate cops. Studies have shown that most have little if any deescalation training. There may be room to improve their unarmed combat skills. And a number of high profile police shootings have shown less than stellar accuracy, so we should probably work on their marksmanship too. None of this is intended to bash our LEO’s or deny their right to defend their lives. But if there are ways for them to do their job with less use of lethal force, we should pursue them.

  36. Phillip Smith
    Tell gun owners they a have a responsibility if they carry a gun to not get intoxicated. No beer. No marijuana. I really don’t know what to do about police training. I know they need more range time.

    Two years ago I was stopped by a white police man for not having my head lights on at sun set. I was carrying concealed. Keeping my hands on the steering wheel, while not required to I told the officer I had a gun. You should have seen the look of fear and surprise on his face.
    I asked him if he wanted to see my permit. He said no. I gave him by driver’s license. He ran my information, finding nothing he just told me to be more careful and left. That was my experience as a black gun owner and daily carrier.

    I open carry all the time. I walk past police office in their cars in Wal-mart parking lots all the time. I’m not afraid of the police. But then I don’t smoke marijuana and drive a car, and carry a load firearm, all at the same time. My mind was clear and sharp when dealing with a policeman. I was not nervous at all. I didn’t make furtive movements. Philando Castile mind was clouded with marijuana intoxication smoke. After watching dash cam video I don’t believe the officer woke up that day and decided to kill a black person that day.

    I know as an open carry black gun owner I have a great responsibility to represent my race. That is a very hard truth. Most gun owners of any race don’t know the racist history of gun control. And it’s still racist even though many whites are caught up in it and well.

    My reading list:
    The shadow of the Panther, Hugh Pearson
    Negroes and the Gun, Nicholas Johnson
    Negroes with Guns, Robert Williams
    A Grand Army of Black Men, Edwin S Redkey
    Black Heroes of the American Revolution, Burke Davis
    Death in a Promised Land, the Tulsa race riot of 1921, Scott Ellsworth
    Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family, Condoleezza Rice
    Forged in Battle, the civil war alliance of black soldier and white officers, Joseph T Glatthaar
    The Buffalo Soldiers, William H Leckie
    Deacons for Defense and Justice, L Lasimba M. Gray, Jr.

  37. “They have a really difficult job that I wouldn’t want to do. ”
    No. They have an IMPOSSIBLE job.
    It is not possible for any real person to do what we want police officers to do.

  38. I have enough years of experience as a street cop and supervisor to say without reservation that a college education is no predictor of someone’s effectiveness as a street cop. The ability to communicate effectively with a diverse range of humanity is not conferred with a sheepskin. The desire “to serve and protect” is. Some of the best street cops I’ve ever seen couldn’t spell “CAT” if you gave them the “C” and the “A” – but they had “people skills” in abundance and did their jobs much more effectively than many officers who had college degrees. The guys (and gals) who were “book smart” often went on to higher rank while the cops who were “street smart” were the ones doing the best police work.

  39. Or develop a better educated black that knows how to act when stopped for violating a crime.

  40. If I may point out the elephant in the room. The black community will continue to pay with their lives at a disproportional rate until the narrative and actions of their community changes. The break down of the core family group and the narrative that the police or white people are the enemy is what is driving this in my opinion. The total lack of respect for life nowadays doesn’t help, but I digress. Blacks commit a disproportional number of the violent crimes in relation to their population percentage. Like it or not, that’s the fact and that is where the “discrimination/racism” starts. They commit those crimes out of lack of opportunity and because in the black community male role models are non existent to a great degree because “fathers” take no responsibility for the women they impregnate or the children they father. Not to say that 2 parent households don’t exist , but they exist in much smaller percentages when compared to historical numbers. Leaving the ego inflated sports figures and lawless gang bangers to fill the void. In the 60’s when the civil rights movement was in full swing the black communities were full of 2 parent households, what happened? Clean up the house in this area and the problems you rail against will be drastically reduced. The responsibility for someone besides yourself and the accountability provided by a 2 parent household will reduce the criminal activity, which will improve opportunity, which will result in fewer black persons on the wrong end of a law officers gun. If you can avoid the muzzle end of a gun your chances of getting shot decline remarkably. (shocker, I know). This may not solve the problem immediately, minds change slowly but it has to work better than the name calling, finger pointing blame game that is happening now, don’t you think? Plus the possible unintended consequence of fringe whites seeing blacks in a new and equal light because yes, there are still racists on this planet. If the majority of the black community becomes righteous and lifts themselves up and are the “light of the world”, who could discriminate against anything other than the small percentage of all races that will remain lawless? Responsibility starts at home, if we quit blaming others for our plight we can use that energy to solve our problem. Just my 2 cents.

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