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I'm an American Citizen. If You Want to Remain a Cop, Don't Violate My Human Rights

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,650
3,134
126
Very well said!! I could not agree more!!
Excellent rebuttal of that piece --
I’m a cop. If you don’t want to get hurt, don’t challenge me.
http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2396099

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larry-womack/do-police-even-know-the-l_b_5693164.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

In light of the horrific situation in Ferguson, an op-ed ran in today's Washington Post, chillingly titled, "I'm a cop. If you don't want to get hurt, don't challenge me." Not "obey the law." "Don't challenge me."

Here's a bit of what this upstanding public servant has to say:
Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don't want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don't argue with me, don't call me names, don't tell me that I can't stop you, don't say I'm a racist pig, don't threaten that you'll sue me and take away my badge. Don't scream at me that you pay my salary, and don't even think of aggressively walking towards me.

He even echoes Cartman, bemoaning "outright challenges to my authority."

The officer who wrote that claims to have worked in internal affairs, but that's a little difficult to swallow. After all, a man who knew that police officers will regularly produce badges before raping sex workers, or that over 10 percent of juvenile inmates report being sexually abused by jailers, would know better than to make a statement like, "if you don't want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you."

A more informed bottom line would go a little more something like this: when cops armed like an invading army force observers from Amnesty International to their knees, at gunpoint -- which happened in Ferguson the night before that piece ran -- they aren't enforcing the law, they are breaking it. They are criminals, they should lose their badges and they should be sued. They should not get to kill people without trial for walking aggressively.
That doesn't mean that, if confronted by a police officer acting inappropriately, a law-abiding citizen should do anything to escalate the situation. Be nice, stay calm, of course. Do not presume that what he or she is doing is actually illegal, unless you are damn certain that it is.

But this idea that cops get to say when and where constitutional rights apply is so very, deeply misguided that I am shocked anyone could type it out without coming to their senses mid-sentence. After all, if you want to get kicked off jury duty, the fastest way is just to say, "If the cops arrested her, she must have been doing something wrong." Our entire system of criminal justice is built around the idea that law enforcement officers are imperfect.

There's an experience I think every reporter has had, at least once: you are filming or photographing something, in public, and a police officer demands that you stop. It is not a request. It is a demand, made with some show of force. On the second demand, as if by training, they usually indicate that they are explicitly ordering you to stop. (A deputy sheriff once sped his SUV, parked about 20 feet away, toward me as a means of punctuating an "order." I had to jump out of its path.) He or she will likely threaten to take your camera, or arrest you.

It's hard for the average person to wrap their minds around the fact that this sort of thing is fairly commonplace. Most cops, like most people, are nice enough, and generally just trying to do their jobs. They have our respect, because they keep us safe by doing work that is more difficult and dangerous than most. I know a lot of fantastic cops, and I daresay they far outnumber the bad.

Still, I've been threatened by police officers, for doing my own job, on four occasions. Little ol' me, the last guy to cross against the light, without so much as a speeding ticket (still) on my record. In each of those cases, the police officer backed down after being calmly informed that he was a public person in a public space, with no reasonable expectation of privacy. You know, stuff he should already know. I've been lucky, I suppose. I've certainly never been arrested or tear-gassed.

What has always troubled me most about these incidents -- if you can believe it -- is the inescapable impression that officers really believe they have the right to issue these "orders," under threat of arrest. As if a law meant to allow cops to direct traffic somehow trumps the Bill of Rights. First Amendment? Fourth Amendment? They don't need no stinking constitution. They have guns and handcuffs. And I knew each time that the only reason I wasn't being arrested was because I came across as the type of person with means of recourse.

In Ferguson last week, reporters for the Washington Post and Huffington Post were arrested, essentially for being inside a McDonald's. When the police chief learned of the arrests, he blamed an officer "who didn't know better." Didn't know better than to arrest someone who wasn't committing a crime, or didn't know better than to arrest a reporter? False arrest, it seems, only happens to people of means.

And I keep coming back to this thought -- "though it might sound harsh and impolitic" -- that a great many people in law enforcement just don't know any better. It makes for a needlessly dangerous environment. 82 percent of police departments in the United States require only a high school diploma, in spite of the fact that higher levels of education have been shown to meaningfully reduce police brutality. The very fact that officer education levels are a key predictor of police brutality tells us that we cannot reasonably pin the blame on other people.

Still, what do we do when cops show they can't handle the demands of their job? Do we educate them? No. We arm them. Because bad decisions are made so much better with deadly weapons. Police in New Mexico, Oklahoma and South Carolina are being gifted Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicles, as if they need and are prepared to use them. What the hell is a cop in Oklahoma going to do with an MRAP but overreact? Landmines are not a big problem in Tulsa.

To put this in perspective: police in Ireland, Norway and New Zealand don't even carry guns. Over 80 percent of police in Britain say they don't even want them!

In the United States, however, we are currently left with a deadly mix of peaceful protests, violent agitators and over-armed cops enacting the scene of a government at war with its people. A cop shot the suspect in a $50 cigar heist six times, and law enforcement's response has been tear gas, batons and bullets. Playing soldier.

So forgive me if I have a hard time accepting it when a cop cries that the real problem is the challenge to his authority.
 

row

Senior member
May 28, 2013
314
0
71
...In the United States, however, we are currently left with a deadly mix of peaceful protests, violent agitators and over-armed cops enacting the scene of a government at war with its people. A cop shot the suspect in a $50 cigar heist six times after being beat half to death and law enforcement's response has been tear gas, batons and bullets. Playing soldier...
fixed that for ya!
 
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cubby1223

Lifer
May 24, 2004
13,518
42
86
That wall of text can be summed up in one cliff note:

Good officers should be judged based on the actions of bad officers.
 

master_shake_

Diamond Member
May 22, 2012
6,430
291
121
Half of this forum has a deep hatred of cops. We get it.
not all cops are hated by AT.

just the ones who were too stupid to make it in boot camp and decided to try to rule the streets with their lack of education on rights and what not.

ever wondered what happened to all the people who were too stupid to be educated at your old schools?

just look to the local police department.
 
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JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,650
3,134
126
That wall of text can be summed up in one cliff note:

Good officers should be judged based on the actions of bad officers.
So be it......even good officers don`t know that it`s legal to record them...or that you can refuse to answer questions...or for that matter in most states you can refuse to identify yourself....even if asked...but we all know that if your behind the wheel of a car you have to produce a license when asked....etc...
 

momeNt

Diamond Member
Jan 26, 2011
9,297
350
126
The question comes down to can you stand up for your rights, or entrust the justice system to redress when rights have been violated.

Also an accountability system needs to be installed, either by citizens protecting their own rights, or police forces allowing officers to be accountable to the justice system, for when rights are violated.
 

Brovane

Diamond Member
Dec 18, 2001
3,956
33
91
The author of this article missed the main point of the op-ed. If you follow the advice of the op-ed you will avoid 99.99% of bad situations with LE.

But if you believe (or know) that the cop stopping you is violating your rights or is acting like a bully, I guarantee that the situation will not become easier if you show your anger and resentment. Worse, initiating a physical confrontation is a sure recipe for getting hurt. Police are legally permitted to use deadly force when they assess a serious threat to their or someone else’s life. Save your anger for later, and channel it appropriately. Do what the officer tells you to and it will end safely for both of you. We have a justice system in which you are presumed innocent; if a cop can do his or her job unmolested, that system can run its course. Later, you can ask for a supervisor, lodge a complaint or contact civil rights organizations if you believe your rights were violated. Feel free to sue the police! Just don’t challenge a cop during a stop.

Fighting back against LE never ends well for the civilian. We need to have a conversation about the militarization of the police forces. We need to have cops wear cameras and have squad cars equipped with cameras. We need more transparency with how illegal/criminal actions by LE personnel is handled. We need to make sure all Cops are all aware, yes it is ok for somebody to film you and no it isn't ok to tell somebody to turn off a camera. You can ask them to move back but you cannot tell them to stop filming. However all of this discussion needs to happen outside the realm of day to day inter-action with LE. The problem is things can go very badly very quickly for LE. This article shows how quickly for LE things can go bad - http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-deputy-lakewood-mall-20140817-story.html One minute the cop is escorting a possible suspect through the mall and next minute he is being beat up. This is how quickly a situation can escalate for a officer. That doesn't give the cop the right to violate your rights. However you are not going to win the argument on the street one-one on front line with LE. Reforms will need to come from the top down. However be aware that is exactly the type of situations in the LA times article why Cops during questioning might detain you and handcuff you until they can determine what is going on. Be polite and courteous and you stand a lot less of a chance having your face pressed into the pavement.
 

Pocatello

Diamond Member
Oct 11, 1999
9,754
2
76
Go ahead, folks, challenge the cops at the next opportunity. Or you just post and watch.
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,873
460
126
The author of this article missed the main point of the op-ed. If you follow the advice of the op-ed you will avoid 99.99% of bad situations with LE.

Fighting back against LE never ends well for the civilian. We need to have a conversation about the militarization of the police forces. We need to have cops wear cameras and have squad cars equipped with cameras. We need more transparency with how illegal/criminal actions by LE personnel is handled. We need to make sure all Cops are all aware, yes it is ok for somebody to film you and no it isn't ok to tell somebody to turn off a camera. You can ask them to move back but you cannot tell them to stop filming. However all of this discussion needs to happen outside the realm of day to day inter-action with LE. The problem is things can go very badly very quickly for LE. This article shows how quickly for LE things can go bad - http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-deputy-lakewood-mall-20140817-story.html One minute the cop is escorting a possible suspect through the mall and next minute he is being beat up. This is how quickly a situation can escalate for a officer. That doesn't give the cop the right to violate your rights. However you are not going to win the argument on the street one-one on front line with LE. Reforms will need to come from the top down. However be aware that is exactly the type of situations in the LA times article why Cops during questioning might detain you and handcuff you until they can determine what is going on. Be polite and courteous and you stand a lot less of a chance having your face pressed into the pavement.
Very, very well said.
 

halik

Lifer
Oct 10, 2000
25,696
1
0
sadly you do not get it.....Half the forum has a deep hatred for cops who honestly believe that what they say trumps the constitution....
Oh you must be one of those idiots that get tased, because they get in a cops face about your non-lawyer knowledge of your rights, right? Keep that doing, it's really the best way to handle that issue.
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
29,391
9,609
136
I know police officers get paid well but I thought that was because of their ability to handle stressful situations while being calm and making smart deciscions.

If that's not the case then why the hell do we pay them so much? Anyone can walk into a situation and fire a gun, that doesn't require a lot of brains.

Exactly what restraint was used in this situation? Can anyone think of a better way this situation should have been handled? I know I can.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5696546

The point in posting this isn't to highlight that threatening police or "acting disrespectful" can lead to negative consequences (which is a given) but rather to illustrate the seemingly inadequate training and restraint the police apparently lack in doing their jobs well.

I don't know about you but the phrase, "to protect and serve", means the #1 duty of a police officer is to protect the people and to serve the people and sometimes that means protecting people from themselves (like the guy in the above video), and sometimes police need to serve those that may suffer mental issues and I would think that their training prepares them to handle such situations with an emphasis of achieving the best possible scenario.

Now compare that to this situation:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BR-_R19TrrM
 

Londo_Jowo

Lifer
Jan 31, 2010
17,303
158
106
londojowo.hypermart.net
Police are citizens as well, do not assault or attempt to assault them as they have the right to self defense. They are authorized to use force up to and including deadly force to protect themselves from assault.
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
29,391
9,609
136
Police are citizens as well, do not assault or attempt to assault them as they have the right to self defense. They are authorized to use force up to and including deadly force to protect themselves from assault.
Yeah and I'm pretty sure, just like citizens, there must be an imminent threat in order to use deadly force. Unlike an ordinary citizen they are trained to handle tense situations, specifically so that they don't make knee jerk reactions and instead make smart deciscions.

Again, if that's not the case, then they are paid way too much. I suspect, though, that most people would have higher expectations of the police versus ordinary citizens.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,650
3,134
126
Oh you must be one of those idiots that get tased, because they get in a cops face about your non-lawyer knowledge of your rights, right? <-- never been in a cops face...that is not cool! But YES -- I have refused to show ID when requested.....I have refused to stop recording when asked.....nothing has happened! I do not need a lawyers knowledge to know my rights as a citizen.......Keep that doing, it's really the best way to handle that issue. <-- by best way you mean to let the Police walk all over you....no way!!
I bet your one of those guts who does everything a cop tells you too.....like a sissy who does not know how to exercise their rights!

You don`t need a law degree to know your rights!! You just need to take some time a learn your rights......for example when you are pulled over for a traffic stop...The policeman asks for your drivers license....registration and proof of insurance and he asks your passenger for their ID......your passenger does NOY have to comply.
 

Vapid Cabal

Member
Dec 2, 2013
160
0
71
Maybe the lack of mutual respect and basic human interaction are the issue? No One-size-fits-all "way to act" will result in a positive encounter each and every time.
 

Thebobo

Lifer
Jun 19, 2006
18,592
7,667
136
Did we need just need the 50th thread this week on the subject?
Do we need folks like you to decide what should be posted? And remember no one is forcing you to read this thread. All you are doing is bumping it.
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,563
9
81
Did we need just need the 50th thread this week on the subject?
Yes, we did. That was a great response to a terrible opinion by a cop who's far too full of himself.

"Do what you're told and you won't get hurt."

Bullshit, they're public servants, not our masters.
 

BoberFett

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
37,563
9
81
The author of this article missed the main point of the op-ed. If you follow the advice of the op-ed you will avoid 99.99% of bad situations with LE.




Fighting back against LE never ends well for the civilian. We need to have a conversation about the militarization of the police forces. We need to have cops wear cameras and have squad cars equipped with cameras. We need more transparency with how illegal/criminal actions by LE personnel is handled. We need to make sure all Cops are all aware, yes it is ok for somebody to film you and no it isn't ok to tell somebody to turn off a camera. You can ask them to move back but you cannot tell them to stop filming. However all of this discussion needs to happen outside the realm of day to day inter-action with LE. The problem is things can go very badly very quickly for LE. This article shows how quickly for LE things can go bad - http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-deputy-lakewood-mall-20140817-story.html One minute the cop is escorting a possible suspect through the mall and next minute he is being beat up. This is how quickly a situation can escalate for a officer. That doesn't give the cop the right to violate your rights. However you are not going to win the argument on the street one-one on front line with LE. Reforms will need to come from the top down. However be aware that is exactly the type of situations in the LA times article why Cops during questioning might detain you and handcuff you until they can determine what is going on. Be polite and courteous and you stand a lot less of a chance having your face pressed into the pavement.
Very, very well said.
No. It was not well said.

The only valid point from the original opinion was that fighting the cops will make things worse.

However, Brovane's idea that you can avoid 99.9% of the problem by not fighting back is false.

Cops harass innocent people all the time because they're pig headed idiots who think they ARE the law. By not challenging the cops, you might avoid immediate death, but in the longer term you will then be subject to other abuse by the legal system or you sit in jail for a few days on some bullshit charge, and even longer term it's further reinforcement for bad cops that they can in fact do whatever they want.
 

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