Monday, December 03, 2018

That post on 'cops shooting when they shouldn't' got a big reaction

from both sides.  Since I've been called, in the past, a hater of cops for posting such, and too easy on cops by others, I'm going to throw this in:

As I've said before, I won't call all cops bad guys because I've known too many good ones to tolerate that.  I will call a lot of otherwise good cops a problem because they won't generally do anything- other than trying not to work with them- about the bad ones, and that itself is a big problem.

US policing took a real wrong turn when it began emphasizing 'law enforcement officer' instead of 'peace officer', and that's where a lot of the crap began.  Then, over time, throw in the 'street warrior' crap that some trainers use, and it gets worse.  In large part because it seems a lot of it emphasizes "Shoot fast, because you may not get another chance", which winds up with innocent people dead(that incident in the Wal-Mart a couple of years ago is a fine example).

Then the department lawyers up, in far too many cases because, in essence, "Whatever he did, we cannot publicly admit any wrong."  Throw in police unions who, even when there's video of an officer acting truly horribly, will make excuses.  Which, taken together, causes a lot of people to decide "The cops don't give a crap about us, why should I give a damn about them?"

Put together, it really messes things up, especially for the cops who are NOT abusive, or uncaring, or badly trained.  People who know them think they're great, but "All those others, guy, they suck."

Answers?  Personally I think getting rid of qualified immunity would help a lot; if the bad ones, and iffy ones, knew that pulling the crap they get away with now would mean paying damages out of their own pockets, I think a lot of it would stop real quick.  Department brass who care more about the profession and the people they serve than about 'image', and get rid of the bad ones as fast as possible.  Cops need to know that when they're in the right, their brass will be right behind them all the way; when they're in the wrong, they'll answer for it.

Clean up the SWAT bullshit.  It's a very valuable tool when used correctly, but that means
Do NOT use it unless it's actually needed.
Unless something actually requires the violence and hazard of a kick-in-the-doors raid, DO NOT DO THAT.
Your team raids the wrong address?  Didn't make sure, as much as humanly possible, that person actually lives there?  That needs to be punished harshly.

Add in, as demonstrated by the Portland and Seattle bullshit, that the cops are not used as enforcers by politicians.  That shit is going to come back on them really badly, and I'll bet they whine and moan a lot when it does.

Ok, I'm done on this for now.  I shall now see if I can get my sinuses to stop acting like someone's sneaking quick-set epoxy in there.


Phssthpok said...

"Clean up the SWAT bullshit. It's a very valuable tool when used correctly, but that means
Do NOT use it unless it's actually needed."

Special Weapons And Tactics became STANDARD Weapons And Tactics, which has subsequently morphed into Shoddy Weapons And Tactics.

I wholeheartedly agree on the elimination of 'qualified immunity'.

Phelps said...

Clean up the SWAT bullshit.

Even better, take it entirely out of the hands of the local PD and put it at the State Police level. Make the local yokels explain to someone whose bust it is not why they need to go out and do this, and don't let them make their own cases. If all the cases come from the yokels and the raids come from another unit (that encompasses many cities and maybe multiple counties) a lot of the BS would go away.

In large part because it seems a lot of it emphasizes "Shoot fast, because you may not get another chance",

This. Frankly, what would end a lot of it is pointing out that this is the OPPOSITE of what heroes do. Killing someone quickly without figuring out what is really going on? Shit, Obama did that all the time with drones.

Throwing a grenade doesn't make you a hero. Jumping on one does.

Firehand said...

I doubt that just making it a state-police level would help much; the People's Republic of Maryland stasi have done that for years with drug task forces, and their abuses have been legendary.

Or infamous. That's a better word.

Anonymous said...

Its a sticky situation, but a good point about immunity given immediately unless gross negligence is proven by evidence and witnesses. oTOH, if LEOS suddenly backed off like they did in Chi Town a couple of years ago and let criminals run the asylum (more) would certainly straighten up the 'Officer - do your duty !' folk. Perspective.

Anonymous said...

You are starting to see something much like this in the CC community. The demand that all CC handguns be manufactured without safety's, that all holsters have no form of retention to impede that sudden "cat like"draw. The "suggestion" that everyone carry at least ten-- 10 to 50 round mags at all times with an AR-15 SBR and 1500 rounds as a back up in the trunk, or in a CC case. For when the "zombies" attack. The paranoia and violence among cops seems to permeate FAR to much of the "black rifle and glock" community. The truth about OUR cops. The ones where I live in central Kentucky, is that they are incompetent or utterly corrupt. Last year we had the first homicide to happen in my little town in 35 years. It took TWO HOURS for the KSP to show up. EVERY county cop (less than five min. away) was "out on call with radio malfunction" UNTIL THE NEXT MORNING! Hero's all. You want to see corruption look up. Bardstown Kentucky. Go back ten years. Drug dealing, Child rape, Kiddy porn, Murder, Stealing then selling federal weapons & ammo, and ONE arrest in ten years of this. It is not getting better. It is spreading like cancer. Over all of central Kentucky I trust MS-13 more than I do the local or state PD.

Capt Craig said...

Wow Anon, I am glad I don't live where you do. I live just outside Crescent City FL and since I have been here for over 5 years now I have seen nothing but honest cops in the local police and the county sherrif's department. On a daily basis they bust their ass and take heat,bullets and media scrutiny. They get down and dirty with the folks like being a judge for a chili cook off and riding your horse in the Santa Claus parade or having a spaghetti dinner for all the folks in the area. I am an old fart 74 and I can remember policemen on a beat. I'll bet almost anyone under 50 has no idea what a policeman's beat is. I like where I an in small town America and we know more than most big city folks think we do and we care and local oversee actions that bigger centers are hide from the residents. There is a lot more but I am a simple man and quiet unless I have to become deadly which I trust will be infrequent.

Firehand said...

There ARE good departments. And some of the best are smaller city PDs and county SOs.

Lawdog once gave his advice to a kid wanting to become a LEO: an agency like that, partly because the chief or sheriff cannot avoid talking to people. He has an officer being an ass, instead of someone having to fight through IA or Public Relations to yell about it, they can see him at the lodge, at a store, or walk into the headquarters and demanding to speak to him; refusing to talk to them winds up with said bigshot losing his job.

Some bigger agencies do pretty well, too. Just not enough of them. And some, small and large, really need to be cleaned out, starting at the top.