Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cops Fear Extremists

Yahoo article here. The thing is I sort of agree with both parties here, well at least partially.

On one hand those two whackjobs in Vegas who killed some random cops were complete psychos. I mean if a cop threw a stun grenade into their kids crib and the kid was crippled folks might not agree but I would get it. However they just smoked 2 people who were only guilty of splurging on pizza for lunch. Don't know what their deal really was but it was bad stuff. I am not in any way excusing their actions.

On the other hand the simple act of questioning police officers actions, especially when they are abusing their authority harassing lawful citizens or just plain being criminals operating under the cover of a badge is something that is good for our society. It is something that all decent cops, who I do believe are the majority, should accept if not be totally thrilled about. Like they say 'sunlight is the best disinfectant'. Cops, like everyone else, need to be held accountable for their actions to ensure said actions are legally and morally correct.

Personally I do not find the bad cops all that inherently offensive. Bad apples exist in every bunch, it is just the nature of things. Now what I do find quite objectionable is the lengths to which the rest of the cops turn a blind eye, lie, aid and abed,  hide evidence and generally prevent any action from happening against the bad cops. Our law enforcement system has a serious and systemic cultural problem when it comes to accepting abuse of citizens, excessive force and general criminal behavior with the thin blue line. 

The real issue I have here is that the article lumps everyone who questions law enforcement officers in with these total psychos. To simply questions cops, or maybe even record their actions in free open environments or official encounters does not make a person a psycho. Normal people might not like the way (some) law enforcement officers behave these days and taking legal ways to hold them accountable is an entirely reasonable thing to do. 

Thoughts?

23 comments:

Prairie Patriot said...

Many police officers will state that they treat every traffic stop like a potential threatening situation because they simply do not know who it is they are stopping. I agree with this because it is prudent.

Why then is it not prudent for average joe citizen to record his or her interaction with the police? We do not know them personally either. And, there are bad apples in both segments.

The days of knowing your local officers are long gone. It only makes sense that BOTH parties are allowed to take sensible precautions against abuse from either side. Painting citizens not employed by the state as crazy for wanting to do so is a political calculation by the MSM and the far left.

riverrider said...

i was a leo long long ago and it was beaten into us that it would be better to take a bullet than make a bad shoot. there was no such thing as "officer safety" to fall back on. the courts were harsh on violations of civil liberties as well. now, anything goes. my brother in law is the sheriff. he says he loses most of his good officer candidates when he takes them on the tour of the combatives class. they think they are not required to put hands on anybody. schools treat every fight like a felony and ingrain this attitude. the sheriff says those that stay have no idea how to fight. they won't get out of the car unless they have to either. back in the day i parked my car and walked the street introducing myself, and i was highway patrol, not city. now they don't want to even wave back at citizens. i quit and went into the .mil when i saw the changes coming 30 years ago.

Aesop said...

I know and have known a number of police officers, and consider them all to be of sterling character.

Despite that, the overwhelming evidence is that the breed as such routinely engages in a conspiracy to obstruct justice any and every time any of their brethren are caught doing what we know they do and shouldn't, based solely on video evidence about a thousand times over. And this is with handycams and cellphone cam smartphones being an extremely recent societal phenomenon.

I therefore suspect that the bad officers give the other 10% a bad name, going back to at least half a century. Any play in that number is basically dependent upon how close to an urban center one is, almost as if cities were IQ black holes.

Sunlight is always the best disinfectant, but which side is it that reflexively attacks those who film it, and the only side blanket-entitled to point guns at people with whom it disagrees?

Until they get some handle on their job, and are held personally, individually, and civilly responsible for all misconduct, we need more armed citizens, and fewer police. They have metastasized to become a cancer on the republic until a fundamental change in their everyday behavior becomes apparent, and precisely the standing army quartered in our midst the supposedly irrelevant Third Amendment was designed to circumvent.

I would far rather have them all sitting in the station house waiting for a specific call, and citizens in every state permitted open or concealed (i.e. "Constitutional") carry at their own discretion, than continue with the current broken model.

They PD comparatively excels at investigating and filling out reports.
They suck at patrolling and random enforcement, and their apprehension techniques owe more to the tripartite doctrines of "Spray and pray", "Kill them all, and let God sort them out", and "Whatever happens, I'm going home safe and sound", than to anything approaching rationality, common sense, and appropriate use of force.

The first few thousand incidents were passed off as mere happenstance.
Now, the operant mode is clearly by conscious design.

Curt S said...

Ever notice that most if not all police you talk to seem to have this thing of maintaining "distance". I don't mean physical, I mean normal social talking. You can live right across the street from one and they seem to sort of not see you much less stop over and chew the fat. Then we have this thing of "they get to go home at night", That's all well and good however that doesn't really cut it. Since we live in a sort of violent world I cannot belkieve anyone in their right mind would take the job of a cop and not believe they could be killed. It does come with the territory you know. Soeaking of violence, that is a sorr of natural thing. People have been engaging that idea ever since Cain bonked Able. What is wrong with the idea of no violence is that all violence is wrong. Nothing coukld be further from the truth. I have no problem with a cop bashing someone's brain in if that person is beating the crap out of another person or is in the process of killing them. I DO have a problem with some cop beating someone up for jay walking or filming an arrest. Finally, it is high time to ride herd on those cops who like to bully people. Can them, blackball them, and put their names and addresses in the news.

Chris said...

Since we live in a sort of violent world I cannot belkieve anyone in their right mind would take the job of a cop and not believe they could be killed. It does come with the territory you know.

Except cops don't really face that much risk compared to other high-risk professions.

In 2013 there were 105 line of duty deaths (http://www.odmp.org/search/year?year=2013). Of those a third were vehicle wrecks (cars, autos, motos, boats) NOT in hot pursuit of a suspect. 10% were heart attacks or other illnesses. 5% training accidents. Around half were bona fide deaths due to violent enemy action.

There's about a million sworn officers in the US (state/local/federal) -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_enforcement_in_the_United_States#Number_of_police

That means the violent death rate is 5 per 100K cops.

The general population homicide rate in the US is 4.7 per 100K. Cops aren't murdered at a substantially greater rate than citizens as a whole.

Meanwhile, other jobs have way higher death rates (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/08/22/americas-10-deadliest-jobs-2/):

1. Logging workers
2. Fishers and related fishing workers
3. Aircraft pilot and flight engineers
4. Roofers
5. Structural iron and steel workers
6. Refuse and recyclable material collectors
7. Electrical power-line installers and repairers
8. Drivers/sales workers and truck drivers
9. Farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers
10. Construction laborers

Garbagemen are more than twice at risk of dying on the job than cops. I never hear garbagemen complaining about "sanitation engineer safety" or using it as a justification for running down kids or causing property damage with garbage trucks.

The death rate of 5/100K is also WAY lower than that of soldiers deployed to Iraq (on the order of 500/100K*) each year, so the whole "warrior cop ethos" is also completely disproportionate to the threat. Want to be a warrior? Go to an actual battlefield where the risk of death or serious bodily injury is literally a hundred times greater.

*Math in public: ~5K OIF deaths from 03-11 = ~550/year... US forces in Iraq where on the order of 100-150K... So that means ~500 deaths per 100K per year for OIF.


"Officer safety" seems like complete horseshit once you look at the numbers. The excuses made by cops would NEVER fly in other professions where the risk is 10 or 100 times greater.

Prairie Patriot said...

@Chris

Wow, nice stats. I had no idea.

3rdman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
3rdman said...

Chris

While your stats are correct, they are misleading. You might want to look at the assault rate of officers compared to the general population as well. The death rate has been reduced over the years due to better training, body armor, and improvements in medical care. The same can be said about the loss of military life as well. We fought a war in Vietnam for 10 years and lost 58,000 service men. We fought a war in Iraq for almost as long and lost around 4,000 and are still in Afghanistan after 13 years where we have lost over 2,000. The reason for the lower loss of life is not because these war are less danger, but because of better battlefield medical care and armored protection of our troops. So to say officer's jobs are no more dangerous than the average American is like say Iraq was not as dangerous as Vietnam because fewer service men died in Iraq than Vietnam. It is just not factually correct.

Anonymous said...

As far as Extremists are concerned, it all depends on what you mean by extremist. If your talking about "Sovereign Citizen" types than yes. If your talking about "Leftist Commie Pinko Liberals" than yes. If your talking about "devout Christians", than no. I consider anyone whose willing to use violence to overthrow our government an extremist. The only Constitutional way to overthrow the U.S. Government is through elections. Any other means is a violation of the very Constitution they came to love.

Anonymous said...

As far as Extremists are concerned, it all depends on what you mean by extremist. If your talking about "Sovereign Citizen" types than yes. If your talking about "Leftist Commie Pinko Liberals" than yes. If your talking about "devout Christians", than no. I consider anyone whose willing to use violence to overthrow our government an extremist. The only Constitutional way to overthrow the U.S. Government is through elections. Any other means is a violation of the very Constitution they claim to love.

Harry Flashman said...

In general I just try to avoid interaction with the police. On those occasions where I couldn't, it was never a situation where I could have benefited from the outcome. The best case would have been a neutral resolution.

It's just better not to have dealings with them. My brother is a retired police officer, including time in an urban anti-gang squad. He feel this is a valid philosophy.

Bret said...

The problem is thus: It is not extremists who are dropping flash bangs in cribs, killing dogs and beating up crippled guys in wheel chairs. it is the cops. Check the blogs , cops are on the an abuse rampage and largely immune to justice. And food for thought. I'm a 27 yr law enforcement vet.

HarvKY said...

In my hometown I hung out with, knew, or spoke to most every cop on our force. I always assumed most stories of police abuse were slanted and figured it was probably just a bad guy in some way complaining.
That was until I had a cop I knew abuse his power to stalk me & arrest me on completely made charges costing me lots of time, stress and money.
I had evidence of his complete fabrication and later coverup attempts with security footage and email copies but they just kept stringing me along when I wouldnt please down.
I wanted to go to court sop I could expose the cop but they finally let it be dismissed & I couldnt afford 5-10K to initiate a lawsuit.
Unfortunately, all it takes is 1 dirty cop to create suspicion and distrust of all.

Chris said...

3rd Man,

I agree that improvements in medical technology, response time, etc have reduced fatalities. However, shouldn't those improvements be reducing fatalities across society? The CDC WISQARS data shows that trend. I am not comparing cops in 2012 against 2nd Lts in the Mekong Delta in 1970. I'm comparing cops in 2012 against infantry in 2012, or against civilians in 2012. All should benefit from these medical (and other) improvements, no?

But that's ok, we can look at the assault numbers too. It even more strongly supports my case. Cliff's notes:

ASSAULTS ON COPS: 10.2/100K (SOURCE: FBI UCR)
AGGRAVATED ASSAULTS ON CIVILIANS: 242.3/100K (SOURCE: FBI UCR)
ENEMY INITIATED ATTACKS ON MNF-IRAQ: 16,000/100K (SOURCE: DIA)

A cop is 20 times less likely to be assaulted as a civilian and a thousand times less likely to be assaulted than a combat soldier. They aren't even CLOSE.

When a cop justifies misconduct in the name of officer safety, remember that officers statistically speaking are WAY safer than typical citizens. And when they justify all the heavy mechanized infantry toys, remember that LEOs are literally a thousand times less likely to be assaulted than a combat soldier.


TLDR DATA CRUNCHING:

The FBI UCR has data for officers assaulted.
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/leoka/2012/officers-assaulted/assaults_topic_page_-2012

"The rate of officer assaults in 2012 was 10.2 per 100 sworn officers." Of those, only a quarter resulted in injured officers.

The aggravated assault rate in the US in 2012 was 242.3 per 100K people.
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/1tabledatadecoverviewpdf/table_1_crime_in_the_united_states_by_volume_and_rate_per_100000_inhabitants_1993-2012.xls

That is, the rate of AGGRAVATED assault in the general populace is over 20 times the rate of ALL assault of police officers.

Looking at Iraq, between 2003-2008 there were around 2-3K enemy initiated attacks on coalition forces every month (http://www.globalsecurity.org/jhtml/jframe.html#http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/images/sigacts_080600.jpg|||). Tha'ts on the order of 25,000 attacks per year, against all of MNF-IRAQ (probably on the order of 150K folks, plus or minus). That's a staggering "assault rate" of over 16K assaults per 100K. Given that most of those assaults are concentrated on combat arms soldiers it is likely even higher in some MOS's. Thus the rate of enemy assaults on combat soldiers is literally more than a THOUSAND times higher than that on police.

That said, this isn't a perfect comparison. Some of the enemy action might not rise to the level of assault in the states, but then again, a lot of it is far more intense than typical assaults in the US. Plus, it doesn't include US-initiated violence, whereas the FBI UCR data DOES include assaults where the LEO started the situation (like SWAT raids where targets resisted).

Pineslayer said...

The world is changing at a rapid pace, that means that we are changing too.

You can compare numbers until the 'the cows come home', but we are nothing more than rats in a cage. Crowded and trying to carve out our piece of territory. Conflict is in our nature.

It is coming to a head and this is only one symptom of our problem. It is probably true that the elite use the media to inflame our anxiety, but we can resist. Quit playing their game by not voting for their puppets, quit spending money on their crap.

The cops are stuck in this hell like us, brainwashed like most others. I am not condoning the actions of corrupt and complacent LEO's, but I don't trust most people I walk by in a crowd, I bet most LEO's feel it even more.

Am I paranoid or just being prudent? Rats in a cage. Keep your head down, don't make eye contact, get home in one piece. The flip side is stand up, speak your mind, run for office, try and change the course of your kids future. Good luck to all of us.

Thanks for getting us all riled up TOR.

3rdman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
3rdman said...

◾The rate of officer assaults in 2012 was 10.2 per 100 sworn officers.
The aggravated assault rate on citizens in the US in 2012 was 242.3 per 100K people

Not 10.2 per 100000.

It is a rate of 10,200 per 100,000 officer being assaulted.

Assault's on citizen is only 242.3 per 100,000

The reduction in injury as result of these assaults has much to do with LEO receiving better training and equipment such as pepper spay and Tasers. These non-lethal tool in all likelihood have prevent some of those assault on officers from turning into shootings. The everyday citizen does not always have the tools with them to fight off the assault as officers do.

Get your facts right my friend.

3rdman said...

Also Chris,

If there are approximately 1 million LEO in the country that works out to 102,000 LEO being assaulted every year.

riverrider said...

yeah, but they count our face assaulting their fists.

3rdman said...

Hahaha riverrider.

If that was the case multiple by 3. Than again maybe Chris can come up some stat on that!!!

I have no problem people asking questions about why we do something a certain way and if there might be a better way. With that said there are times when a violent response is the only possible and logical response to a situation.
While there are times when it might be better to take someone down away from their house, other times might warrant it to be safer to hit the house. Example of one of those times I was involved in turned into a chase where the suspect was driving away from his house as the officers were driving to his residence to arrest him on sexual assault of a child warrants. The suspect fled in his vehicle while leaning out and shooting at the officers. The chase end about 30 minutes later with the suspect drive down the highway at about 60mph shooting himself in the head. The vehicle ended wrecking into the center concrete median and did avoided hitting any other vehicles only by the grace of God. If he would have killed a third parties during the chase the first thing someone would have said "Why did you not just go to his house and arrest him". The point here is we can not see the future so we have to make the best decisions we can based on the information we have at the time. Sometimes things go bad and innocents are hurt, but remember the person whose acting criminally is the one placing others in harms way by their choices. LEO are responding to situations created by others not the other way around.

Chris said...

3rd Man,

Good catch! Every other rate in the FBI UCR is reported in incidents per 100K. I didn't read closely enough and assumed the officer data was the same as every other data set.

So let's compare apples to apples as best as possible.

LEOs
All Assault: 10,200 assaults per 100K
Assaults resulting in injuries: ~2700 per 100K (1)
Assaults with weapons: ~2000 per 100K
Violent Deaths: 5 per 100K

CITIZENS
All Assault: 1500 per 100K
Aggravated assaults: ~330 per 100K
Murders: 4.7 per 100K

MNF-IRAQ
Enemy Attacks: ~1600 per 100K soldiers
Deaths: ~500 per 100K soldiers


Analysis

Cops actually do self-report assault at a rate 10 times that of regular citizens, and at a rate higher than that of the typical MNF-I soldier (although not necessarily combat arms).

However, an assault on a LEO is many times more survivable than assaults on MNF-I soldiers. If you look at the expanded FBI UCR data you can see that 80% of the LEO assaults are from "personal weapons" (hands, feet, etc), and those make up the vast majority of injuries. The lower lethality makes sense; hands & feet are more survivable than roadside bombs and RPKs.

Citizens report assault at a much lower rate, but are killed at an equal rate to LEOs, likely as they have fewer survivability boosters. Citizens may also have incentives to underreport assault.

So at the end of the day, cops are actually far more likely to report being assaulted that citizens. They are, however, about as likely to go home to their wives than the average citizen, and much more likely to "go home alive" than citizens with hazardous jobs like taxi drivers, garbageman, commercial fishermen, and so on.

The #1 thing you could do to cut cop fatalities has nothing to do with violence. If you want to cup cop fatalities, you should seek ways to reduce needless vehicular, training, and health related deaths. There would be minimal impact on civil liberties by doing so, as well.

NOTES:

1) The FBI's UCR officer data does not break out aggravated assaults, but about a quarter resulted in some sort of injury. This is not directly comparable to aggravated assault; according to BJS, Agg Assault requires serious injuries or assault with a weapon. The FBI UCR data doesn't break out severity of injuries.

2) The BJS NCVS has a rate of about 15 assaults per 1000 people. That's a standard rate of 1500 assaults per 100K.
http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv09.pdf

3rdman said...

Chris,

Why are you hung up using Iraq as a comparison. LE and the Military serve two different role, but none the less important roles. I would like to know for starter is what is it you do for a living that make you an expert on the subject matter?

Now LE does not roll around in armored vehicles and wearing battle gear on their daily patrols or carry full auto M4s and HE Grenades. So why the hang up on comparing a war and violence related to criminal enforcement.
There is a need for enhanced response capability (SWAT) for those incidents were the patrol officer is insufficient, but this is the exception in LE not the normal daily response procedures of LE.

We have LE SWAT teams for the fact unlike other countries we have laws that prohibits the use of the military in domestic law enforcement operations. Unlike place like the UK and Germany who use military units to conduct LE raids. Would you prefer we use the military in place of LE SWAT teams in this country also. That my friend is a true slippery slope.
You for sure have some beef with LE, but that is a topic in itself. There is more to LE as whole than just strapping on a gun and driving around in patrol car and stopping for a donut every 15 minutes my friend. I encourage you to do some ride alongs with some different LE agencies in your area and get educated to the broader mission of LE.
Like Ryan said there are bad apples in every profession, but only in my profession can your poor choices off duty cost you your job and career. Can you say that about what you do for a living?

Chris said...

3rd Man,

I find your comments to completely support our host's original premise:

To simply questions cops, or maybe even record their actions in free open environments or official encounters does not make a person a psycho. Normal people might not like the way (some) law enforcement officers behave these days and taking legal ways to hold them accountable is an entirely reasonable thing to do.

I don't think it is unreasonable to examine the FBI and BJS data. Apparently you do find that unreasonable for some reason. Personally, I think the data sheds light on the actual threat vs. the claimed/perceived threat faced by those in LE. I don't think the data are threatening, scary, or objectionable. The data are what the data are. Apparently if you're behind the thin blue line it pisses you off to have it pointed out that fishermen, taxi drivers, and garbageman have a lower probability of going home at the end of the shift than police officers do.

\\

Nice ad hominem, too. I've personally worked with LE in combat zones and in the states. The best ones realize that they get paid to accept a little extra risk in order to uphold an important set of values. Others are just in it for the paycheck and benefits and want to go home at the end of their shift. I don't have an "issue" with LE. I have an issue with those who justify any piece of equipment, any TTP, or any misconduct on the tired mantra of "OFFICER SAFETY!"

Finally, it is complete horseshit to claim that "only in my profession can your poor choices off duty cost you your job and career." Absolute, unadulterated BS.

Mozilla's CEO was just fired for his views on homosexuals. Military leaders are fired for misconduct off duty routinely. I'm sure the other readers can chime in with examples of employees who were held accountable for conduct "off duty." LE by no means has an exclusive claim to being held accountable for "off duty conduct."

Bonus thought experiment -- If LEOs are always on the clock due to the exceedingly high standards they uphold (as you seem to be insinuating), should they be able to draw overtime? How can you draw OT if you are "on duty" 24/7? My job involves a degree of public trust with off-duty conduct standards and the ability to be recalled 24/7 yet I don't get OT when I work extra shifts. The Lockheed engineers working on advanced fighter projects who held security clearances (definitely influenced by off duty conduct) I worked with who put in 40+ hours didn't draw OT. Same for the nuke engineer I work with who holds a DOE clearance. Hrm. If cops were to give up claims to overtime then I'd take their assertions of being "on the clock 24/7!" more seriously.

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