Saturday, September 22, 2007

Unsettling.

Zendo Deb has a post up concerning commentary found on a St. Louis area LEO message board about the now-infamous Brett Darrow video.
A user calling himself "STL_FINEST" wrote the following item, presented unedited and in full:

in reply to "Who is this terd?" I hope this little POS punk bastard tries his little video stunt with me when I pull him over alone- and I WILL pull him over - because I will see "his gun" and place a hunk of hot lead right where it belongs.
Chilling.

22 comments:

Zendo Deb said...

I wonder how Matt G will explain this away.

The whole ColtCCO/KPD Brouhaha is another example. "The law is what I say it is. I will take you to jail if I want to - I will invent something." NOT an isolated incident.

Mark said...

But... but the men in blue suits are our friends! They're there to protect us! That's why they have blue suits, right?


.....right?

Marko said...

I'm pretty sure Matt G. has no need to "explain this away", and that he'd be pulling that dude's badge off his chest personally if he was in a position to do so.

Crooked cops, and those who defend them, are bad news. Matt is neither.

Who is..... Carteach0? said...

No point in painting with a wide brush, branding every officer with the same iron, expecting every liberal to be moron, or every conservative to be on sound moral ground (g).

Learned long ago.... trust people to be crooked idiots no matter what uniform or label they wear, and you'll usually be right with occasional nice surprises.

Oliver Hart-Parr said...

Bad cop! No doughnut!
Seriously, from my home town: Google
Juan Lara and Roger Magana.

triticale said...

What scares me is the "little POS punk" portion of the quote. I've been working a POS contract myself, helping to install new Point Of Sale computer equipment in a chain of discount stores. I'd hate to think this is making me a target.

Anonymous said...

Heh, OK tri, I've done a ton of POS work myself, but we all know this cop means piece of shit.

Never judge books by their covers.
Guns are always loaded.
Shit stinks.
There is one in every crowd.
There is no box.
There is no hill.
There is no spoon.
There are bad apples in every barrel, don't let them ruin the whole batch.

Šhard

Chris Byrne said...

Hey Tam, did you notice comments from "Tom" over on Law Dogs site the last few days?

Talk about scary.

ColtCCO said...

Woohoo!

Whee!

Yeah!

And other things that express my enthusiasm for this kind of attitude.

ColtCCO

LawDog said...

You know, it's almost as easy to call yourself a cop on the anonymous Internet as it is to call yourself a Navy SEAL.

Ben said...

It's troubling. Boys in blue taking the whole "contempt of cop" factor to new extremes. Perhaps they forgot that other silly little bit about communicating threats?

The again, as Lawdog pointed out, at least some of those posters are probably not actual LEOs. They're the same guys who claim to be Agent Orange from whatever Special Tactical Unit Battalion is the coolest that particular week on other forums.

Tam said...

'Dog, pretending they ain't out there is no better than tarring all cops with the same brush.

Matt G said...

Tamara, you're right, of course.

But I've seen too many guys say that they were "cops" when in fact they had put themselves through academy and couldn't get themselves hired, or they had worked as a cop but had been washed out for one reason or another, such as bad attitude.

So, yeah, I'm concerned when I see a guy claiming to be a cop say such stuff, but only middlin' concerned, because it's highly possible, if not downright likely, that the idjit (make no mistake about that-- in any possible case we can think of, we start with him being an idjit) is a non-sworn person looking to stir crap up. Look at the response.

I've continuously been a moderator of a couple of popular firearms bulletin boards over the last 7 years. I've seen a LOT of trolls. I've seen lots of people whom we verified were not what they claimed, making wild statements, either to "prove" their point, or to simply stir crap up. I've personally banned them, and seen them come back, and banned them again. So has Marko. So has Tamara. So has Oleg. So has... well, it's a pretty well-known group around here.

But, yeah, sure. There are cops that slip in through the cracks, and really gum up the works on occasion. We usually figure out who these guys are pretty quick, and discipline, fire, or indict them.

Zendo, I read all of ColtCCO's account, from the beginning. I've talked to Tamara about it. I've been furious about it from the start. As a cop in favor of citizens carrying, I'm offended by the way he made broad assumptions. I'm offended by the way he physically roughed up ColtCCO. I'm always offended when I hear of officers denying rights to citizens on the basis of some hearsay law, which they've never bothered to look up.

I read ColtCCO's quote from memory of the officer's saying "“find some other reason to take me in, disorderly conduct, or inciting a panic. I’ll make some reason.” The first part, "find some reason," is not unacceptable, so long as he has reasonable suspicion to continue his detention and investigation, and he doesn't invent anything. A lot of people may misconstrue such a statement, even if spoken by an honest cop. The second part, "I'll make some reason," is utterly unacceptable and indefensible. If he said that, and if the I.A. finds that he did so, then at minimum an unpaid suspension should be ordered. More likely, a firing would be the way to go, if the I.A. found that's an actual quote.

Zendo, you're referencing me, so I suppose you've read my remarks before. Did you happen to read my apologies for the misdeeds of a few that cast a shadow on the many? Did you happen to read my demand that such cops be stripped of their badges, their authority, and even their liberties, when identified?

You can label me an apologist or a blue linesman, but your label is incorrect if you do so.

Trying to paint all or most even a huge plurality of cops as dirty is as meretricious as those who claim that there is no such thing as a dirty cop. The evidence to the contrary is easily found.

Don Gwinn said...

I drive through St. Louis and all those little speed-trap power-trip towns.

Chilling indeed.

I will note for the record that we don't know this wasn't posted by some pimply kid at his mom's computer, however.

Billy Beck said...

"The first part, 'find some reason,' is not unacceptable, so long as he has reasonable suspicion to continue his detention and investigation, and he doesn't invent anything."

"Wherever the law is, crime can be found."

(Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, "The Gulag Archipelago", Vol. I, p. 67)

Matt G said...

Good quote, Billy.

But my comment stands, that there are times when, in order to properly investigate a reported or suspected crime like theft or assault, we have to detain people while we look for further clues that are probably forthcoming.

When we find none, you have exhausted your reasonable suspicion, and the encounter ends.

To say that we expect to find probable cause is simply to express confidence that in our own reasonable suspicion. Sometimes it's not enough, and P.C. is never made, but that doesn't mean that we lose confidence in the reasonability of our suspicion. This is not a sign of being corrupt, or evil, or draconian.

And while it's true that it's hard to go through a day without breaking a law, I'll tell you that I've had to let people that I KNEW in my gut (and later had this feeling confirmed) go, when I observed them passing through town, because I couldn't find enough Reasonable Suspicion to detain them even for a second. If we were in a Police State, one would suppos that I could merrily detain anyone I saw and chose to stop.

I can't. I don't. I don't deal with any officers who do.

Will Brown said...

If I may be permitted, I briefly commented on this late last night. Beyond the obvious attempt to drive a little traffic my own way, I do think there is an under-remarked upon aspect to this circumstance.

That being, the perception among the general populace of how commonplace this attitude of superiority is among LEO's.

So two problems really, that mutually re-inforce their effect upon our society and that are both aggravated by the more wide-spread and immediate impact modern communication technology imparts to events.

Our Constitution doesn't change (Ok, it does, but only very slowly via ammendment process), but our societal capabilities do - often much more rapidly then we are accustomed to. Keeping the two in some sembalence of alignment is only going to become more challenging as our capabilities continue to increase. And successfully resolving circumstances just like this one are going to be necessary to our continuence as a society, I believe.

Dang, I shoulda used this as a follow-up post. :)

Zendo Deb said...

to explain away something:
idiom, to invent reasons why something is unimportant.

Matt G, I didn't say you would defend them whatever they did/said. I said "explain away."

Trolls
Not real cops
Wash-outs
Never got hired

I'm sure Brett Darrow will be able to stop video taping his interactions with police since we can see that his fears have been explained away.

I'll say it again.

MOST cops - the vast majority of all cops - are good people trying to do a hard job. The minority that aren't, constitute a huge risk to any of us who are not cops. That risk is reflected on all cops. When I meet you, I don't know which category you fall into.

Brett Darrow met an "I will invent a reason to arrest you" cop. (actually if I read all of the info, it seems he has met more than one on more than one occasion.) ColtCCO met an an "I will invent a reason to arrest you" cop. Those cops are out there. And they are a risk to anyone who isn't a cop. And these 2 guys were not trolls, they hadn't washed-out, they were the real thing. Cops who were acting like a bully with a gun.

I have known good cops, and I have met bigots in blue uniforms. (Slightly more than 2%, Matt, I am sad to say.) Both kinds are out there. The risk of meeting a bad cop is not zero. Every time somebody like me meets a bigot, and every time a story like this makes news, the image of the Law Enforcement Officer as the upright defender of the citizenry gets a little more tarnished.

I'm not sure how the good cops can fix this. I hope that they can, and I hope that they do.

Zendo Deb said...

"When I meet you, I don't know which category you fall into."

This is why if women pick up a cop for a traffic violation in a rural setting they will often put on their hazard lights and drive to "safe" location - one with lots of witnesses around.

Matt G said...

"to invent reasons why something is unimportant"

A. I didn't "invent" anything.

B. I never said that the issue wasn't important.

It's important when any kind of untamed dangerous wild animal gets loose. I'm just saying that it's not as common as people are making it out to be.

Where did you get your "2%," figure from, by the way?

I've met a couple of badge-heavy cops in my time. I've seen 'em fired, too. Hopefully, the day will come when we can spot them before they're hired.

Zendo Deb said...

"Where did you get your "2%," figure from, by the way?" From personal experience

Actually probably 25% of the cops I have ever interacted with (personal friends, traffic accidents, gay bashings, etc.) have been complete jerks.

When I said "more than 20%" you, Matt G, had kittens.

I don't imagine that the FBI has run a study "What percent of active duty cops abuse their authority?"

If you look at this posting and the referenced web page it would seem that a fair number of cops believe that "bending the rules" is not only OK, cops who won't bend the rules are "dicks."

When there is one set of rules for the population as a whole, and another set of rules for the cops - that is a police state. Then you can argue about "degree" but not kind.

I would love to see some stats - not compiled by cops of course. (Did I mention I don't trust a large minority of you?)

Zendo Deb said...

actually the more than 20% reference was in the other post