Joseph McNamara : 50 Shots
Joseph McNamara, writing in the Wall Street Journal, takes on the increasing militarization of American law enforcement:
Simply put, the police culture in our country has changed. An emphasis on "officer safety" and paramilitary training pervades today's policing, in contrast to the older culture, which held that cops didn't shoot until they were about to be shot or stabbed. Police in large cities formerly carried revolvers holding six .38-caliber rounds. Nowadays, police carry semi-automatic pistols with 16 high-caliber rounds, shotguns and military assault rifles, weapons once relegated to SWAT teams facing extraordinary circumstances. Concern about such firepower in densely populated areas hitting innocent citizens has given way to an attitude that the police are fighting a war against drugs and crime and must be heavily armed.If Mr. McNamara is advocating Barney Fife-style, one-bullet law enforcement, I'd have to disagree. Then again, there seem to have been changes in the law enforcement mentality over the years, and I'm not sure they're all for the better. I don't fault the cops themselves for this development., and I don't think cops should have to patrol the mean streets with a six-shooter .38. It does appear, however, that there's been a real shift in culture from "peace officer" to "street soldier," and I think that at least merits discussion. h/t : Glenn.
Posted by: Speaking for the Choir at November 30, 2006 01:08 AM
"Nowadays, police carry semi-automatic pistols with HIGH CALIBER rounds...." High caliber rounds? I don't know what department he's talking about, but the department that I work for uses 9mm. I don't think there is a single planet in our solar system on which 9mm would be considered a "high caliber round". In fact, 9mm Luger used in Glocks that many departments use is the exact same round that the Germans used in their P38's and Lugers in WWII 65 years ago. "High caliber" indeed!! 9mm is woefully inadequate. Also, most of even the most backward departments around the country have been using "semi automatic pistols" since at LEAST the early 1990s, if not long before. Mr Mcnamara acts as if "semi auto pistols" are a brand spanking new cutting edge hi-tech invention, just invented after the 2003 invasion of Iraq... when in fact semi-auto is 100-year-old technology.
In short, Mr Mcnamara is completely 100% wrong. "back in the day", policing was ALL about "officer safety". 80/50/30 years ago, in most cities, if one disrespected a cop, one got beaten down and put in one's place, to put it lightly. There were no on-board vehicle cameras, microphones, ACLU lawyers etc. There were no GPS recorders that showed clearly where every single police car was at every moment of the day like there are today. There were no TV reporters who tried their best to catch police officers doing something untoward on camera. Police officers used to have vastly more lattitude and freedom to act than we do today.
Just as I love to read commentery about soldiers and warfare by people who've never served a day in their lives, I love to read articles by people who not only have never been cops, but have never bothered to understand the situation that law-enforcement faces every day.
Posted by: Wolfenberry at November 30, 2006 02:01 AM
last 2 points:
1) the gent above seems to think mcnamara has "never been a cop". incorrect. good thing he isn't the guy in charge of typing out the address on swat warrants, huh?
2) the gent above seems to think a 9mm bullet is "woefully inadequate" for shooting citizens. maybe; maybe not...but evidently the nypd seems to agree. to get around the "too small a bullet" problem, they fired 50 (count 'em!) 50 shots at the *unarmed* guys.
i guess we should just thank god that no cops were hurt, huh?
Posted by: larry at November 30, 2006 02:38 AM
As for the woman who got shot in Atlanta, last I heard all the facts still weren't in.
Concerning the family dog, Rover deserves a bullet if he gets in the way. End of story there.
The cops of New York who shot off 50 rounds didn't know they were facing "unarmed" suspects. They believed otherwise. When you're in fear for your life, emptying the magazine is a real possibility.
And yeah, I think we should always thank God when no cops get hurt. They're on our side and we should show some appreciation.
For the record, I've been arrested a time or two myself. Even was involved in an incident where the police were unnecessarily brutal. But I still support the cops.
It beats calling on a liberal when there's trouble in the neighborhood.
Posted by: Subvet at November 30, 2006 03:56 AM
"peace officer" to "street soldier," and I think that at least merits
discussion." - it does merit discussion - cops are continually harassed, and looked upon as people on power trips, who just want to oppress innocent people just going about their daily lives, don't get me wrong, there are bad ones out there who do want to do those things, but the vast majority are good people who want to do a good job at what is a noble profession - protecting others. What also needs to be looked at is the types of criminal who the police are facing today, these people are often high on drugs, well armed, and have no issue with killing anyone who gets in their way, so if the "peace officer" has become a "street soldier", then to a certain extent it's because the criminal has become a type of urban, guerrilla terrorist.
Posted by: Matt at November 30, 2006 04:54 AM
The police weren't chasing someone who committed murder, rape, robbery or even tax evasion.
They were trying to bust these guys for possible possession of a firearm. The claim that one of the men in this bachelor party made a comment about having a gun is the sole reason why the police attempted to stop the car and the reason that lead to the cops firing 50 rounds into the car.
There was no firerarm found. None.
This wasn't a group of gang-bangers trying to shake down a store owner. This wasn't a group of Mafioso smuggling drugs. It was a group of guys out for a bachelor party who went to a strip club to ogle naked women. I don't care if that club also has a reputation for the trade in illegal weapons. These guys weren't there to do that and I would expect that any reasonable person who spent 10 seconds watching them would see that.
The root cause here isn't cops and it isn't the victims. The root cause is the evil of outrageous bias against the legal possession of firearms.
Who is to blame for the death and destruction? Mayor Michael Bloomberg is to blame for this and his co-conspirator is Rudolph Guliani. They have many more co-conspirators running back decades. The City of New York has been waging a war on its citizens to deny them their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. This debacle is a direct result of that war. If the cops hadn't been trying to bust people who MIGHT own a gun then the whole thing wouldn't have happened.
It isn't the cops' fault they were there to enforce an evil and unConstitutional law.
This death is a crime committed by Michael Bloomberg and his co-conspirators the same as murders carried out by organized crime are ultimately the responsibility of the crime boss.
Posted by: GI Joe at November 30, 2006 07:38 AM
Posted by: Greyrooster at November 30, 2006 07:39 AM
Posted by: Glenmore at November 30, 2006 08:01 AM
Posted by: Dill Doe at November 30, 2006 08:07 AM
Remember the laughter, jokeing and good times the FBI, ATF, etc: were having before they attacked some religious nuts with tanks and gas at Waco? The result? Some other friggin nut blows up the federal building in Oklahoma City. Of course that was when Clinton and his freaks (old ladies, midgets and 6'3" lesbians)were in charge.
Posted by: Greyrooster at November 30, 2006 08:19 AM
Posted by: Duncan Avatar at November 30, 2006 08:22 AM
The relentless bigotry against men doing a difficult job is neverending. We call people racists when they stereotype and denigrate minorities in that fashion, or anti-semites when they do it to jews, or homophobes when they do it to gays. Tell me again why we shouldn't employ the same disdain and scorn against the intellectually-lazy smack-talkers among us who would so casually label an entire group based on a stereotype?
If reports are correct, the guys in New York drove their car into a police van and toward about five officers. I'm sorry, but directing a 5000lb bludgeon towards police officers will get you shot every single time. There are also reports that at least one man made a reference to a gun... it's not the officers' fault that turned out to be a bluff. All the facts aren't in yet, of course, but that's my preliminary take.
As for Mcnamara's comments:
His post-hoc judgement on incidents where he wasn't there is rude, and he should know better (stand up, thump chest, state in booming voice "*I* never would have shot that man"). The officers in the Diallo case didn't have Mcnamara's psychic gift of knowing why the man was running and ignoring their commands, and when he suddenely turned and reached for his pocket, then thought it was a gun. Chief Mcnamara should show all officers how to tap into those amazing clairvoyant powers of his.
Patrol car rifles ("military assault weapons"): driven by incidents like the North Hollywood shootout and various active shooter incidents, where police needed longer-range weapons. This has happened before, (Texas tower massacre) and it's a shame we have to relearn the same lessons.
Auto-pistols: these have become more popular and higher-quality in general. It's not just police, but civilian shooters, and urban street culture that have driven this (and Gaston Glock, of course).
And what's his beef with shotguns? That I don't understand at all.
Posted by: TheNewGuy at November 30, 2006 08:46 AM
Posted by: n.a. palm at November 30, 2006 09:09 AM
But the real point is the larger picture. If 9mms aren't the problem (and they're not), something is. And that appears to be the pervasiveness of paramilitary methods against civilians - mostly nonviolent ones - based on an assumption that everything and everyone is a mortal risk to officer safety.
Posted by: biwah at November 30, 2006 09:17 AM
How does that work for the people who are sitting at home when the SWAT teams busts in with concussion grenades and assault rifles? That situation (even where neither police nor resident make any serious mistakes) is death and destruction on a platter.
Posted by: biwah at November 30, 2006 09:19 AM
Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at November 30, 2006 09:46 AM
A cop should, imo, be putting at least 500 rounds downrange every week in whatever weapons they qualify with (and every cop should have access to an AR-15 in similar. Semi auto rifle > pump shotgun for a laundry list of reasons). 500 rounds of ammo spread over a whole department will cost a lot in ammo and weapons (you'll burn those barrels out). But I'm sure there's some BS pet project that could be cut to fund that.
Most cops just aren't trained enough on their weapons. And on their typical below what they deserve salaries they can't afford their own training (and shouldn't have to). And thus most just don't know guns. Hell, I had one compliment me on the care I use and clean my 92FS with. He was shocked that I clean my pistol after every range session and do an oil and maintenance check every two weeks regardless of if I shot. He said he hadn't cleaned his in a month.
Posted by: Spade at November 30, 2006 09:47 AM
What we have here is a group of people who want to be "Gangsta's". They look like "Gangstas", act like "Gangsta's" and for all intents and purposes are "Gangsta's". Drinking, fighting, acting like gangstas and attempting assault with a vehicle (while attempting to flee and evade) when challenged by Police increases your chance of being shot by a wide margin.
Do I feel bad about the shoot? Not a bit, Tu Pac would be proud of him.
The Police are well armed and they need to be, someone has to keep the peace. They aren't "over-armed" with big scary assault weapons (Ooohhh!) they just have what they need. Try raiding a crack house with the old six-shooter and see how that goes.
Posted by: blackflag at November 30, 2006 10:06 AM
Those days are over....gangs and common thugs can be heavily armed (as seen in the bank robbery in LA quite some time ago where two robbers fired upwards of 1000 rounds and had body armor). Even then police were outgunned and had to resort to taking weapons from a gun dealer to even have the same firing power of TWO MEN!!
The only way for people to not be in a bad situation....do as the police say if you have done NOTHING WRONG!! You won't get shot that way.
Posted by: Steve at November 30, 2006 10:07 AM
That's not bad advice, though I wouldn't ask anyone to just accept or ignore corrupt, bigoted, or unnecessarily violent policing. It's our responsibility as citizens to seek and encourage competence and accountability from our government... but (and this is an enormous caveat) you're a complete fool if you think the street is the place to fight that battle. You will lose. every. single. time.
The place to fight thug, racists, or corrupt cops is in court, where you can actually get a fair hearing, backed by appropriate legal counsel. Alternatively, if your local LE agency has an elected leader, oust him and elect a reformer.
Unfortunately, there are countless dirtbags who scream "racist!" and "police brutality!" every time they get arrested, so be prepared to have some witnesses, video, corroboration, or some kind of proof before you level that charge, because I can guarantee the judge has heard that song before.
Posted by: TheNewGuy at November 30, 2006 10:46 AM
But over the last quarter century, the Police have decided that their safety outweighs the Public’s safety to the point that it apparently was Police Policy to deliberately kill hostages if it was perceived that a suspect posed a danger to officers. (New York, mid ninety’s). Police using No-Knock Warrants and SWAT Teams armed with explosives and Automatic rifles as SOP for arresting someone because a few pot seeds were found in their garbage. Or because they were suspect of placeing bets on football games in the Office. And when this person, or even an innocent person (because they raided the wrong address) is shocked out of sleep by the sound of crashing doors and deafened by explosions from Flash-Bangs, and not fully awake yet, leaps out of bed, the Police justify shooting them because they (A) were moving in an aggressive manner, (B) Did not obey shouted orders from multiple people, (C) posed a threat because there was a handgun later found in a locked drawer, (D) and did all this even though Police Identified Themselves.
NO S**T, Sherlock. And they find no contraction in the fact that the had deliberately deafened, blinded and Disoriented the person, before being ‘forced’ to kill them because they did not see the Police Logo on the back of the jackets of black-clad intruders, in a black room while blinded by flashlights and Flash-Bangs, Did not hear the Police identify themselves after being deliberately deafened by Flash-Bangs. And did not immediately obey shouted orders from six or more screaming people after being deliberately disoriented, deafened and shocking the nervous system by using Flash-bangs.
Then figures ‘Oops, Sorry. It don’t look so bad’ covers shooting that person for reacting EXACTILY HOW THEY PLANNED FOR HIM OR HER TO REACT!
And before you SWAT Guys start in, just think about it for a minute, and use common sense.
Posted by: Mark at November 30, 2006 10:52 AM
Going back to the Cato study, could an Officer tell me why, when a SWAT Team realizes that they have raided the wrong address, do they continue to search the house, sometimes for hours, all the while holding guns to the heads of the innocent occupants, despite not having a valid warrant? And no reason to suspect that the occupants did anything wrong? Sounds to me that they are hoping to find something to cover their mistake.
Posted by: Mark at November 30, 2006 11:05 AM
This is sort of Obvious. The officers in the Atlanta case fired 50 rounds, and hit their target three times. Compare this to an enfeebled 88 year old lady with a rusty 22 pistol, who somehow managed to put five of six round on target.
For that alone, they should be fired.
Posted by: Mark at November 30, 2006 11:18 AM
Indeed, I forgot to point out that the officers involved were two blacks, two whites and an Hispanic. This is just the usual anti-police media frenzy.
Posted by: blackflag at November 30, 2006 11:25 AM
Posted by: RegularRon at November 30, 2006 11:35 AM
I agree with the poster who said that most cops seem to have acuracy and fire control issues. Even if that one old lady had a gun and drugs, 90 rounds is overkill. Ditto with these guys in this truck being filled with 50 rounds. There's only two options, either the cops are so bad at aiming that it takes that many rounds to hit a target, in which case they should have a LOT more training, or they are so lacking in fire control that they should be disarmed until they can get the proper training to not be a hazard to everyone within a mile radius. There are skirmishes with automatic weapons in wars that have fewer rounds fired by both sides than what you hear about in some of these cases where the police are using semi-automatic weapons and pump-action shotguns against one or two pople, so I don't buy into this whole "it's stressful so we can't judge" line of thought.
Posted by: Ranba Ral at November 30, 2006 11:48 AM
Yes, the cops need to have heavy armament available.
The problem is with the increasingly common OVERUSE of them.
Cops these days increasingly use MAXIMUM force as the default, regardless of who they are dealing with.
Middle-of-the-night knock-down-the-door-and-fire-grenades raids are completely foolish, even if they DIDN'T have the wrong address so often.
I have it from ex-cops I know that it is (unofficial) policy to make sure you kill if you shoot - a wounded person, perp or not, will take you to court and ruin your career while a corpse rarely results in so much as a reprimand.
@Subvet: you say that the family dog desrves to be killed if he gets in the way - many swat teams designate someone to SEEK OUT the dog and kill it automatically.
The cops HAVE become over-militarized, paranoid, and trigger-happy.
Yes, by all means, they need to get the bad guys - but they need to be a LOT more careful of those they are SUPPOSED to be protecting.
interesting related info:
http://www.cato.org/raidmap/ (this should really scare all of us!)
http://www.theagitator.com/ in general...
Posted by: powerclam at November 30, 2006 11:53 AM
-New York City Police Department (N.Y.P.D.) Glocks with 12 lb. triggers: 15% hit ratio*.
Angeles County Sheriff Department (L.A.C.S.D.) Double/Single Action
trigger, first shot double action approx. 12 lb., subsequent single
action shots approx 5 lb. trigger pull weight: 51% hit ratio*
* SPECIAL REPORT: FIREARMS, Aveni, Thomas; Law and Order, Vol. 51, No.8 August 2003
The solution is to allow police to carry single action pistols that are easier to shoot more accurately. I realize this is an issue that many will find esoteric, but to the cops involved, a sloppy Glock is almost as bad as an armed assailant.
Posted by: Frank Hilliard at November 30, 2006 12:24 PM
Posted by: rightwingprof at November 30, 2006 12:43 PM
You should head on over the Patterico's place, or Eugene Volokh's blog. We've been discussing this to death for almost a week.
And CATO's map is pretty, but that's 20 years worth of incidents at up 40,000 warrant services a year by one estimate (current rates... there were fewer 20 years ago). In my experience, wrong-house and killed-wrong-guy incidents are extremely rare... and that's years of tactical-team experience talking.
And before you SWAT Guys start in, just think about it for a minute, and use common sense
Sure... and while we're doing that, why don't you gain some tactical experience going after armed felons and THEN tell me how evil noise-flash distraction devices are. Those devices gain the entry team critical seconds to get through the fatal funnel and overpower the subject. When they're blind, disoreinted, and shocked (your description), they have a much harder time regaining their bearings long enough to go for a weapon. This allows us to arrest them instead of shooting it out with them.
the Police have decided that their safety outweighs the Public’s safety
Umm.. no. We're not executioners... if we were, we'd just put the snipers out, let them take the suspect, and save ourselves all the trouble. Also, I'd appreciate a cite to the police department where it was their policy to deliberately kill hostages.
Posted by: TheNewGuy at November 30, 2006 01:03 PM
I noticed "rubber stamping" Judges and overzealous District Attorneys escape your scorn? these are the people that make it possible for a raid to occur in the first place. If judges are not making sure the address is correct, and a District Attorney is 'prosecuting' your residence in front of a Judge, it speaks volumes about the real judicial oversight of the raid themselves when even the simplist part -- the residential address is signed incorrectly, and no one noticed that the DA's evidence doesn't actually match the house that is supposed to be raided.
Posted by: davec at November 30, 2006 01:11 PM
9mm is medium calibre for a pistol.
My local police dept. was built up by a couple ex paratroopers, and these guys are good at 'serve and protect'. Our region is swamped with meth labs, and still we can avoid the kinds of shootouts you get elsewhere. It's not like the cops here don't have guns.
I have a relaible source that tells me our highway patrol is supplied with M72 law rockets, to emergency stop vehicles at road blocks. Still you never hear of them being used up here.
Our police are part of the community. I think that is the difference.
It would explain the fascism of ATF/FBI tanks a bit better to realize those guys didn't come from Waco.
The old fashioned cops knew the people in their patrol area better.
USA all the way!
Posted by: Michael Weaver at November 30, 2006 03:38 PM
can't have it both ways, guys. the hollywood shootout is prety much the only one of its kind. if there were more, you can be sure we'd be hearing about it in forums like this. what's most interesting to me is the sense that cops use that shootout as the holy grail of militarization not so much for "officer safety", but rather their fury and embarrassment at having been (for just that one time) momentarily outgunned. can't have THAT! so, to justify the ongoing upgrading of cop firearms to military-caliber weaponry, we hear about...that one (count 'em) one incident.
as for the gent who cheered the killing of the family dog: we can only hope a cop kills your kids beloved pet while serving a warrant meant for the next-door neighbor. and then jeers at the kid, and his mother, and you. which happens fairly often: look it up. all in the name of "officer safety", of course. we'll see what a hardcase you are then.
Posted by: larry at November 30, 2006 05:05 PM
to have, but by the same token you don't have the same prespective as average joe civilian. You implying we can't have an opinion on the tactics and
equipment since we haven't been in the line of fire is as stupid as
if we said you couldn't have a valid opinion because you don't have to worry
about such a raid since you hint at being on a team that does this kind
It's perfectly understandable to do a paramilitary style raid on
someone whose a known crack dealer with multi-conviction and a history
of violence. I don't get why it would be okay to assault a house of
someone who has no record with little or no investigation beforehand on
the word of an informant out to save their own rear, because trace
ammounts of an illicit substance were found in a publicly assessable
bin (otherwise the cops wouldn't have legally been able to search it
without a warrant), or an undercover caught them betting on sports in the office (a very common and usually non-violent thing to do). This is where
davec's proposal of better judicial and prosecutorial oversight would
help the matter tremendously.
These wrong address or invalid cause raids may be an extreme minority of the
overall amount of raids, but the increasing numberof them is a bit
startling. This feeling of alarm is compounded by the realization that
we only really hear about the botched raids in which someone gets
severely injured or killed.
It's also a bit alarming that
there is no recourse for civilians after the fact in a lot of these cases.
In most of these botched raids you guys get investigated, maybe get
suspended for a little while, see a shrink, then come back like nothing
happened (well, okay, maybe you get that promotion a year later than you would've otherwise). We, on the other hand, are at least out hundreds of dollars in repairs.
If we resist because we're startled we get smacked, shot, put in jail for life, or put on death row depending on how 'bad' we behave and how hyped up on adrenaline you guys are. In a lot of communities we can't even sue you or the PD in civil court for a botched raid since any
damage or deaths would be caused in a due to decisions in the 'heat of the moment in a dangerous
"I have it from ex-cops I know that it is (unofficial) policy to make
sure you kill if you shoot - a wounded person, perp or not, will take
you to court and ruin your career while a corpse rarely results in so
much as a reprimand."
I've heard the same thing from a few officers I've known, powerclam. They've also given me the same advice when it comes to self defense. I find the later kind of ironic since it's the cops flipping out over the potential of getting shot when they do assaults that contributes to some of these botched raid incidents.
Posted by: Ranba Ral at November 30, 2006 05:41 PM
Posted by: Greyrooster at November 30, 2006 05:41 PM
The hollywood shootout was 'high profile' it is not the only case of a suspect wearing body armor. a simple google search turned up many more:
The vehicle chase lasted several minutes until the suspect attempted to drive the wrong way through a McDonald's drive-thru. He became blocked in and was unable to escape. The suspect exited the vehicle wearing a bulletproof vest. He pointed his handgun to his right temple and began to walk towards Officer Oakes.
easthampdtapeBefore noon on Wednesday Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O'Keefe named the deceased as 23 year-old David Hill of Eastham who was arrested twice by local police earlier this year. O’Keefe also said the suspect was wearing a bullet-proof vest. O'Keefe also said the preliminary investigation indicated police did everything proper to "protect the community and themselves". Media reports say Hill had called relatives after the shooting saying he wanted to take someone hostage and kill a police officer.
Wilson approached the suspect and fired several times, but the shots appeared useless due to the multiple layers of body armor, witnesses said.
He was wearing both a bulletproof vest and a military flak jacket.
he Officer returned fire and wounded the suspect. New Haven Police took the suspect into custody and he was found to be wearing a bulletproof vest.
In March 2004, a man wearing a bulletproof vest fired on three Dallas police officers. Officers in that incident were investigating a report that the gunman was selling weapons in the parking lot.
After returning and killing Trooper Phillips, the man, heavily armed and wearing a bullet proof vest, stole Trooper Phillips' cruiser
When the suspect was secured by the officers on the scene, he was found to be wearing a bullet proof vest. Further investigation revealed that the handgun in the suspect's possession had been reported stolen from Fairfax, Virginia.
I'm guessing that is why in some places Felons are not supposed to own bulletproof vests?
Posted by: davec at November 30, 2006 05:43 PM
Posted by: Jeff Bargholz at November 30, 2006 06:06 PM
Did you even read my post, Larry? The Texas Tower Massacre resulted in 15 dead and 31 wounded... you may not be old enough to have heard of it, but it's happened more than once.
Here's why patrol car rifles are needed: rifles are simply far superior weapons to pistols... any person with any amount of training will select a rifle given the choice. The reason most police officers carry pistols is because they're easily portable, and their confrontations are typically up-close and personal... but what if they're exchanging fire with somebody outside 25 yards? Hits at that range, particularly under pressure, are very difficult. That goes double for moving targets.
The longer sight radius and barrel of most rifles allows far greater accuracy, which most would agree is a good thing. Rifles are also heavier, and will accomodate more-powerful rounds (typically 5.56 NATO) with less felt recoil than even a comparable shotgun. This speeds training, lessens flinching, and provides better extended range capability than even your best shotgun (only likely to be effective to 100 meters or so, and then only with a rifled slug). Patrol car rifle calibers are also a major benefit against body-armor-clad criminals, which we are seeing more and more frequently.
Incidently, a proper frangible 5.56 round is actually safer for the public than a standard 9mm FMJ. The frangible round will not over-penetrate nearly as much, which equals increased safety for bystanders and hostages. This is also one of the reasons why police officers use hollow-point rounds.
As for shooting the dog, it's necessary more often than you'd think. Dogs are inherently territorial, and even a normally-docile poodle-sized dog can turn into a serious impediment when he's got his teeth sunk into your leg. We typically used fire extinguishers or noise-flash distraction devices on them... we only shot them (usually with a suppressed MP5) if it looked like they would compromise a planned stealth entry, or if they were drug-lab or gang clubhouse guard dogs. It's no fun trying to wade through 4 and 5 pitbulls.
Posted by: TheNewGuy at November 30, 2006 06:20 PM
So you have a big problem with the Marines too?
And if you're expecting me to defend or justify racisism, corruption, cases where excessive force was clearly used, or where a corrupt department raided an innocent person's property and attempted to use the drug forfeiture laws to take it, you're going to be sorely disapponted... I dislike that kind of thuggery even more than you do.
Incidently, I'm a civilian now... been out of it for several years.
You implying we can't have an opinion on the tactics and
equipment since we haven't been in the line of fire
I never said anything of the sort... everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That said, a person's amount of experience or expertise within the area-of-interest will definitely affect how much I listen to that opinion. What I did do was encourage one poster to gain some experience with a tactic before passing judgement on the practice.
Seems perfectly reasonable to me.
Posted by: TheNewGuy at November 30, 2006 06:37 PM
Posted by: Jeff Bargholz at November 30, 2006 06:49 PM
According to the "the cops need to be armed to the teeth" argument, America should just have it's military enforce the law.
The 'Posse Comitatus Act' forbids it, nice loophole to make a military trained law enforcement unit however.
Posted by: davec at November 30, 2006 07:04 PM
You guys keep ignoring the fact that SWAT teams only execute a warrant, that has been signed by a Judge. The SWAT teams do not get to selectively choose which warrants they enforce, they have not done the investigation, most of the time they are called in by Detectives or the D.E.A. They limit their research into breaching the building, and the threats they may face, they are also sometimes given a list of materials to look for during a search.
The fact that Police forces are under funded (like the guy said about the reason cops cannot fire enough rounds to be effective marksmen) means that keeping a highly specialized force to do nothing but hostage rescue would be removed from the budget in a hurry, this is one of the reasons they are utilized for other operations, to justify their continued maintenance.
Posted by: davec at November 30, 2006 07:16 PM
you had a guy in a hardened, elevated sniper post firing down on folks. exactly what military weaponry would have worked on him, had the cops then had it? are you proposing giving mortars to the cops? bazookas? TOW missiles? rpg's? stingers? no? why not?
as for shooting the dog, no, it's NOT "more necessary than you'd think". this is a perfect example of how cops have become SO hung up on "officer safety" that they've made abominations seem ok. in fact, they've made them procedure. every month, we read of instances (and see video) of cops gleefully tasering grannies. and loudmouths. and, lately, small children. (go ahead: google it.) cops have made their precious "safety" so paramount, that we occasionally get videos of cops shooting the tail-wagging family spaniel, as in the infamous tennessee case 2 yrs ago. (you remember: dad had left his wallet on the car roof; cops pulled him over as a "possible bank robber"; supercop blew fido's head off as he playfully bounded out of the car. in front of the kids. despite their pleas to let them close the car door. which were denied, because the family-of-four was being held facedown on the ground. an most unpleasant 'felony stop' for the cleavers, but at least the officers were safe.)
the cops later apologized - sort of, in court - but made it clear that they'd do it again, because god forbid a cop gets nipped by a friendly, tail-wagging terrier. that sort of "risk" is just unacceptable for cops these days, huh?
and there's the rub: militarizing the cops does 2 things, both of then bad.
1) it gives the cops a 'soldier' mindset. how do soldiers deal with their enemies? they "kill people and break things", right? is that how we want cops to operate?
2) allowing the cops to become commandos, or ninjas, only exacerbates a 'we're above law' mentality that all police forces must guard against. do we want cops to become more valuable than everyone else? more special? do *extra-special* people tend to follow the same rules that constrain mere mortals? did the praetorian guards scrupulously follow roman law regarding emporer succession?
Posted by: larry at November 30, 2006 07:18 PM
Posted by: Jeff Bargholz at November 30, 2006 07:21 PM
So what? I don't want parity... I want a better gun than the other guy... all the time, every time. If you're fighting for your life or somebody else's, and you find yourself in a fair fight, you've done something wrong somewhere along the way.
so the claim that recently the "bad guys"have become as well armed as the police is just plain ridiculous
And what did the G-men in the 1920's and 30's era do? They armed themselves similarly.
America should just have it's military enforce the law
Nobody is saying this. Nice strawman. Next.
The canard that police are overworked, underfunded, and underpaid does
not stand up to even cursory scrutiny. The exact opposite tends to be
How much would you want to be paid to risk your life protecting a snide, judgemental, arrogant individual like yourself? In NYC, cops are paid less than teachers... 31K compared to 39K. That's $8000 dollars less per year (starting pay). How's that for cursory scrutiny?
Minding your own business and obeying the endless list of American laws will not protect you
Right. Because we did away with all that "probable cause," "due process," and "trial by jury" stuff years ago.
Posted by: TheNewGuy at November 30, 2006 07:24 PM
Posted by: Jeff Bargholz at November 30, 2006 07:27 PM
I really don't care what they call themselves... I care more about what they do. I wasn't the one making an issue of "brotherhood."
I've nevershot myself in the footto gain some experience on the subject
Because that's exactly the same as working in a field to gain experience, thus lending depth, understanding, and credibility to your position. Is that what you're trying to imply? You've no experience in law enforcement, warrant service, or tactical operations, yet you feel we should lend great weight to your opinion on the matter? You might take shooting lessons from a guy who has never picked up a gun, but I wouldn't.
The argument that only first hand experience is valid, is even more juvenile than an absolutist one
No... it's a perfectly legitimate point. You're welcome to your opinion on quantum mechanics and the properties of quarks, but if your knowledge is superficial, and you have no background in the field to speak of (either educational or vocational), expect a group of physicists to be skeptical, particularly if you can't even demonstrate an undergraduate level of knowledge. Your opinion may be "valid" to you, but it would certainly be viewed with a jaundiced eye by those assembled.
Posted by: TheNewGuy at November 30, 2006 07:47 PM
Posted by: Jeff Bargholz at November 30, 2006 08:02 PM
Posted by: Jeff Bargholz at November 30, 2006 08:07 PM
Your comment about "continued mainenence" proves the many points I've made about justifying bloated budgets. It's impossible to have a bloated, underfunded budget, by the way.
Posted by: Jeff Bargholz at November 30, 2006 08:10 PM
Posted by: Jeff Bargholz at November 30, 2006 08:18 PM
Two Texas highway patrolmen stopped a car with two black young men in it. They said they were driving suspicious. To make it short the cops told the two young men to exit their car and kneel by the side of the road. It had just rained and the roadside was wet and muddy. The two young men were well dressed on their way to some function and refused to kneel in the mud. One cop began screaming and hitting one man behind the knees to make him kneel. The man turned and punched the cop knocking him down. He then turned his back and began walking away when the cop shot him in the back, killing him. The cops were found not guilty of any crime. They claim merely did as they were trained to do. They followed police procedure. I say the procedure was wrong. We can come up with a thousand reasons to over react. Should everyone build a fence around their house that will stop an elephant just in case an elephant escapes from some zoo? Making people who haven't comitted a crime kneel in the mud is the same as making the elephant fence. Totally unnessary. If I am ever stopped and instructed to kneel in the mud while dressed in my Sunday best I will be shot too. Unless I am the fastest draw.
Posted by: Greyrooster at November 30, 2006 09:38 PM
Did you come up with that all by yourself?
The cops don't need to be better armed, because they outnumber the criminals overwhelmingly
Actually, no. Reference this article on MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15960666/
7 million americans in the justice system, compared to approx 950,000 police employees (total, including dispatchers and such) in the US, including federal officers. By my math, that means the criminals outnumber the police by about seven to one. Did you have some other numbers you wanted to use? In case you were referring to when backup arrives, most cops patrol in one-man cars, so until backup gets there, it's generally the officer who is outnumbered
I worked the graveyard shift at a convenience store in a crappy neighborhood
You brave, hardy soul... confronting death in every aisle. Those cowardly cops in that crappy neighborhood probably called you for backup, didn't they? I'll bet you got called to domestic disputes by the beer cooler and broke up bar-fights over by the slurpee machine every night. Those traffic stops you did to those armed gang members in the parking lot must have been pretty hairy as well.
My job was a thousand times more dangerous than any law enforcement job
The statistics on workplace fatalities puts police officers jobs as roughly four times as risky as cashiers... here's a pdf from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfar0020.pdf
Having TWAT teams that are indistinguishable from the military
So we use frag grenades, thermobaric weaponry, close air support, and have identical rules of engagement?
Your problem is that you're fundamentally a cop-hater... a bigot. You rail against your own inaccurate stereotype, and consider all cops foot soldiers of "the man." The saddest part of it all is that, like most hate derived from identity politics, it's based on pure ignorance.
You hit on something very important when you said: "My take is that cops are trained to escalate situations under the guise they are just protecting themselves"
And you're exactly right. Cops aren't allowed to lose a fight... because now the bad guy has your gun, your radio, your OC, your ASP, your cuffs, your taser, your car, your rifle... as a cop, losing a fight usually means serious injury or death. Try to look at it in that light when you attempt to discern what was going through an officer's mind during a confrontation.
Also, an officer has a duty to arrest... he doesn't have the option of simply fleeing a confrontation like a civilian. This is one of the reasons why police are generally allowed to use necessary force to effect an arrest, while a citizen may typically only use equal force. An officer's greater responsibility is recognized under the law, and thus police officers are granted power commensurate with that duty.
Posted by: TheNewGuy at November 30, 2006 10:22 PM
Free ammunition? I'm assuming if the answer is no, you have no idea how expensive it is to go the range with a good supply of ammunition.
although its sophistry to claim they fire too many rounds because they're poor shots. The victims of police shootings are often filled with more than 50 slugs.
Where you live they call that being a marksman then?
What is the ratio of expended to hit? are you claiming that the large majority strikes the victim?
It's impossible to have a bloated, underfunded budget, by the way.
Budget procurement is the same for the Police as it is in your office, if you use something 3 times a year, and pay over a hundred thousand a year for it, someone from above is going to "trim the fat" for you, however if you show how you use the same 4 days a week, a little bit harder to remove it.
The Police budget is also like your environment, it is possible to under fund a project, and fund others correctly. Here's a hint, the taxpayer doesn't want to spend thousands of dollars a month for their local police force to buy practice ammunition.
Posted by: davec at November 30, 2006 11:15 PM
I have never, and would never claim that you "can't" comment on something you have no knowledge of. By all means, you have the right to comment all day and all night about it, even in your sleep if you like.
However, no one, least of all those who DO have personal experience, respects what you would have to say. By all means comment all you like. But don't expect to be respected or treated seriously or listened to. In other words, you comments would have about as much interest as the exact number of fleas on my dog's behind.
This argument will never be "won" or "lost". Those who hate the police always will, and those who respect them will continue to respect them. I have a sneaking suspicion that those who have snide comments about the police have probably been arrested before for one thing or another, or have "checkered" pasts, or have "habits" they are secretly ashamed of. In any case, these people will be the first to dial 911 when their houses are broken into, their purses are snatched, or their kittens caught in the chimney.
Posted by: Wolfenberry at November 30, 2006 11:51 PM
Posted by: Jeff Bargholz at December 01, 2006 12:18 AM
Posted by: Jeff Bargholz at December 01, 2006 12:26 AM
Posted by: Jeff Bargholz at December 01, 2006 12:49 AM
Posted by: Jeff Bargholz at December 01, 2006 01:13 AM
the thing is, that in *each and every instance*, the guy who started the conversation's downward slide into profanity threats is....the guy who (at least claims to) makes a living as a cop. every time. see above: that's pretty much what happened here, too. (the post addressed to "wolfenfairy"). seeing as how that more or less confirms the argument of "cops are out of control, and see themselves as above law societal norms", that's a bad sign.
a worse sign is, presumably the cop (or the wannabe poser) (but they can't ALL be wannabe posers, now, can they. or are you lying about your cop experience, newguy?), the cop already knows that; and he just doesn't care. so! how might we describe an individual who ascribes his identity solely from belonging to an armed group; an armed group that literally sees the world as "us" and "them"; an armed group that sees themselves as above the law and social norms; an armed group so contemptuous of 'normal' folks that they kill their dogs, rather than risk being nipped?
oh, i dunno....i'm thinking "crip", maybe, or "vice lord", or "sociopath". certainly not officer friendly, anyway. is that really how police in american society should be behaving? like a mixture of pablo escobar and hannibal lecter?
Posted by: larry at December 01, 2006 03:46 AM
therefore, under recognized web law, my above argument is hereby invalid and not worthy of consideration; i lose the argument. cops aren't just normal people who took the job for the pensions: i hereby admit they're heroes.
maybe having to type that will teach me to double-check before i hit the frickin' "post" button.
Posted by: larry at December 01, 2006 03:52 AM
well, that's embarrassing.
just re-read the posts, and i was all wrong: the cop here isn't the guy
who escalated the ugliness, it was the guy i hailed as "right". shame
on me. i blame society for this. and racism.
No worries, Larry. We've all done it, and I didn't take it
personally. A simple error like that doesn't necessarily invalidate
your arguments, which you presented better than Jeff.
or are you lying about your cop experience, newguy?
That could be taken personally, and was totally unnecessary.
Ah... so now you're leveling that at me as an insult? So you're a homophobe too? This just gets better and better.
You are devoid of reason, and immune to logic. Sadly, I predicted you would right something this stupid.
Heh. Heh. Heheheheheh... *snort* stop.... just stop... you're killing me.
When a group of people commit a crime, there are always a larger number of cops able to go after them
Eventually... but not right away.
Maybe you can explain why hordes of cops show up for simple traffic pull overs if the first cops feel threatened.
The answer to that is contained within the question... thanks for saving me the effort.
While I was a clerk, the local police tried to trick me into selling beer to some squirrel in the explorer scouts... After all, if they were concerned about the safety of underaged drinkers, they wouldn't throw them in jail, would they?
It's called a sting operation. They were attempting to target the dealer instead of the user. Didn't you write:
Can you tell me why the police didn't arrest the drug dealer when he sold them the fucking drugs?
Yes... precisely. Isn't that what they're trying to do by sending an underage guy into a convenience store like yours? Targeting the dealer instead of the user... ask, and ye shall receive, Jeff.
If they don't like their jobs, they can feel free to quit... blah blah college degree... blah blah Iraq.... blah blah shut the fuck up.
Anyone who doesn't like their job can quit. If you don't like the pay, go back to school. Consider, however, that if you only offer low-pay, you'll get low-skilled workers. As any economist will tell you, there is no such thing as a labor shortage, only jobs where people are unwilling to pay sufficient wages to make them attractive. If you want better, and more-educated cops, be prepared to pay more.
You're cooking the books again with your labor statistics quote. You're
comparing total numbers instead of proportional numbers, you moron
Good Lord... do you not understand fatality rates? Those are proportional numbers, usually expressed per hundred thousand workers. You're starting to make be feel bad... it's like I'm beating up a child.
The study you pointed to isn't reputable at all
The numbers I cited come straight from the US Department of Labor... I admit it's not Parade magazine, but it's the best I could do.
Do they dress up like GI Joe or all in Black like the SS/Gestapo?
Ah... it's about time Godwin showed up.
Your problem is that you're fundamentally an immoral, unethical
apologist for vile policies and behaviour. You excuse every police
atrocity, and label anyone who criticizes them as a "Cop hater."
I have never excused racist, brutal, or corrupt behavior by police... if you'll reread my posts, you'll note that I specifically encouraged people to go to court on such issues. I dislike those kinds of officers even more than you do, because they make an already-hard job even harder for the good cops. Corrupt, racist, and brutal cops also give ammunition to smack-talking cop-haters like yourself. Don't want to be called a hater? Try engaging in some actual debate without the insults and stereotyping. "Shut the fuck up" does not qualify as debate.
You lie as badly as crooked cops do, but I don't believe for a minute
you were ever a cop. A real cop would have puffed his chest up and told
me what a tough guy he was supposed to be.
For my own part, I don't see the need for self-aggrandizing macho bullsh*t to prove one's manhood. It's interesting that you can't believe I was ever a cop because I don't fit your pejurious stereotype... ergo I must be a liar and a fraud. Talk about your self-serving and self-reinforcing positions...
Posted by: TheNewGuy at December 01, 2006 10:31 AM
Secondly, why would anyone wish to be a cop? Only way you can make your fortune is to be a crooked cop. Stupid hours. (unless your a L.A. Ca. cop, they only work 3 days a week.) Low pay (if you have a brain) and dangerous. Has to be an ego trip. Maybe the excitement is the reason. Not enough for me.
Posted by: Greyrooster at December 01, 2006 10:54 AM
Posted by: Greyrooster at December 01, 2006 11:07 AM
Perhaps, it's because the social left (piddledick, John Ryan, and Greg) were not part of it. I've always been against banning. But?
Posted by: Greyrooster at December 01, 2006 11:10 AM
heards busted open and charged with 14 other phoney charges. I have
seen this happen
And in the bad-ole-days of police work, it happened a lot more... "contempt of cop" earned you a beatdown. However, as policing has become more of a career, and more departments are professionalizing and requiring college degrees, this is changing. Back in the 1960's, only 3 states even required training/academies to be a cop... now all 50 states do. Some departments now require degrees starting out, and an even greater percentage require degrees for advancement.
As I mentioned, if we want better/smarter and more-educated police, we have to offer incentives...and that means paying them. It's also probably not enough to pay them what an average college grad makes... they do specialized work that includes dealing with antisocial and dangerous people... there is significant risk . As you so adroitly pointed out, it's not enough for you, and you're right... only offering low pay will bring in people signing up for other reasons... some for dedication, but others for ego, power, ability to carry a gun, whatever.
Most cops in my community don't last long when they take an overly
agressive attitude. The ones who last, use their heads more than their
As I was warned in the academy, a cop can get into a fight every single day of his career if he doesn't watch his mouth. It's stupid, but true... and there are cops out there who do act that way. You can get a priest to swing at you if you bait him enough. Again, I think the bad old days are going away. Current academies teach verbal judo and similar techniques to defuse instead of escalate situations. It doesn't always work, but it does help. It's also a red flag for sergeants and lieutenants when an officer consistently gets into fights.
I think law enforcement is really changing for the better... one only has to look back a couple of decades to see how far we've really come.
Posted by: TheNewGuy at December 01, 2006 11:23 AM
Forget this subject. Everyone is right and everyone is wrong. We live in a world where cops can't shoot at escaping crooks but will arrest a decent citizen for spanking his kids. Where cops feel they can beat a person into submission with clubs when there is 30 cops and only one arrestee. (Rodney King tapes) 30 cops couldn't handle one idiot? Where the cops will arrest you for carrying a pistol for family protection when it's needed.I would like to see a cop brave enough to walk certain areas of New Orleans without a gun. All it takes in one wrong turn in New Orleans, Miami or New York and you WILL be attacked by ghetto rats. Nothing will ever be accomplished until blame is put where it belongs and society does something about it. Good cops have my admiration. But they're still nuts.
Posted by: Greyrooster at December 01, 2006 03:26 PM
Posted by: Jeff Bargholz at December 02, 2006 02:09 AM
waco was 1993. according to these comments section, it looks like the cops are still killing dogs. after all that, i wonder is it more about "procedure" or "provocation"? killing dogs or puppies on a whim strikes me as pretty good evidence that cops have become overmilitarized. if a dog is seen as just an bothersome object to be killed, it's not too much of a leap for a person to be seen as one also.
Posted by: quintus at December 02, 2006 06:36 AM
I mentioned that we don't have a lot of shootouts in my area.
Statistically every household in my state has a rifle that can kill through level 2 balistic protection, so the police here are absolutely outgunned. Some residences still have TNT left over from blowing stumps. So the locals have explosives. Sometimes the locals have C-4, and customized .50 cal rifles which make level 3 protection useless.
Some of the guys posting here make it sound like you should give the cops tanks, etc, in such an enviroment. Wrong! The cops here don't get into a lot of shootouts because they know the people, and they know their enviroment.
If your in a standoff at the edge of some property, and the guy in the house has a .50 cal rifle, don't try and use your car as a barrier. At most, it just makes you less visible.
How does a local officer reduce risk, and resolve situations? Training. Not 'how good is my shooting', but rather 'how sharp is my brain'.
I've mentioned elsewhere that you don't tick off the cops in a small town. That is because they know how to find you, they know what you drive, etc. You can have a shootout if you want, heck, you can kill some cops! But you won't get far.
Cops in the big communities apparently get by not knowing their own area, or the people in it. Shootouts are apparently more common, even though they apply more government gun control in those kinds of places. It makes you wonder a little bit.
We had a guy in a standoff out here, who had a machine gun (media description) and they got him without firing a shot.
I believe in my local cops because I've seen their work, and they are not thugs. I was in a French class with the current chief of police, and he is a responsible guy. I even applied to the local force once, because I wanted to help my community, and an opportunity presented itself. I hate meth labs.
A better qualified applicant got the position.
I don't really trust cops in big communities I've visited. They act funny to me, and I believe there is a different mindset. I think that is the problem. Feds arent locals, and in big towns, the cops themselves aren't 'local', so they are in a 'hostile territory' mindset.
And the ATF is a sin against the American people for existing, so they are in hostile territory anywhere on US soil. My opinion.
So the real answer is to train your cops to serve in their own familiar areas, and to treat whatever area they are in as if it was their community, and their people. Then so what if the locals have truck killing personal ordinance. The cops won't have to face it, anyway.
Government buy the people, not over the people.
USA all the way.
Posted by: Michael Weaver at December 02, 2006 02:05 PM
When I applied for the police position, it paid way more than I could make with only a partial college education, so I think some of the above "STFU" arguments where cops make more than soldiers, are valid.
Anyway, I've seen my police operate (once from the front passenger side of the patrol car) and I trust mine. They are good people. But I don't live in LA, or New Orleans either. I keep thinking that it's a significant point.
USA all the way!
Posted by: Michael Weaver at December 02, 2006 02:21 PM
Any police officer who is not a staunch defender of the Second Amendment is either corrupt as hell, or fooling themselves. No exceptions.
NOPD and 9/11 are the only proof needed.
As Kim duToit puts it, the cop's job in the aftermath of a properly-finished goblin attack is to call in a meat wagon for the goblin carcass and take my statement.
Posted by: MegaTroopX at December 02, 2006 05:42 PM
Posted by: Jeff Bargholz at December 03, 2006 12:34 AM
People like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn would be appalled by people that compare the United States Police to the likes of the Cheka, and Stalin too.
Posted by: davec at December 03, 2006 09:20 AM
Posted by: Jeff Bargholz at December 03, 2006 10:29 PM
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