Transference and Broad Leaps

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This morning, more than one person sent us a link to this horrible opinion piece in the Washington Post, and even though I am not really in the mindset to deal with this right now, I don’t want to ignore it since it appears to be on more than one person’s mind.

Let me start by saying the author of this throws out one example (and a bad one) and then jumps the Grand Canyon to come to his conclusion, that cops are militarized and bad.

The author of this starts by telling his tale of woe, in which he came home drunk on a Saturday night, apparently failed to close his front apartment door all the way, an apartment that he was only using temporarily, and was awoken the following morning by cops pointing guns at him.  And this folks, is his example of militarization of the cops?  You mean cops investigating a potential felony in progress pointed handguns at him?

Their tactics were similar to the ones I used to clear rooms during the height of guerilla warfare in Iraq.

Really?  Me thinks thou doth exaggerate a bit…

Mr. Horton’s example is absolutely chock full of mistakes, his mistakes, not the cops’.  Horton came home so drunk, he forgot to shut and lock his front door.  He was in this apartment on a temporary basis, yet neither he nor the apartment manager thought to let the neighboring apartments know the previously vacant apartment was going to be used temporarily by Mr. Horton.  A concerned neighbor, seeing the open apartment door, of an apartment they thought was vacant, called the cops.  The cops arrive and “barged into the apartment”, in other words they pushed open the unlocked, open door and then they began”barking their presence”, in other words, they announced that they were the cops, like case law and common sense says we should.  When they got no verbal response, they began searching the apartment and located Mr. Horton groggily awakening from his drunken stupor of the night before.  The cops detained him, and in his own words, quickly sorted out the situation and left.

This quote is interesting and I find it somewhat humorous based on his naivete.

“But the Fairfax County officers in my apartment were aiming their weapons at a target whose rap sheet consisted only of parking tickets and an overdue library book.”

I mean really, don’t you know, all us cops have the magical super power of looking at someone we have never met and instantly being able to discern their past criminal history.  You know, because he only pointed his weapon at stone cold terrorists while in Afghanistan…   Clearly, the irony of his comment here escapes him.

Additionally, Mr. Horton fails to consider the fact that even if cops were to approach this situation as if it were only a mere “squatter,” even mere squatters can present deadly threats as is evidenced by the bodycam video from only a few months ago in Colorado.

If that officer has assumed that the situation was benign, as Mr. Horton seems to be suggesting we should, that officer likely would be dead.

Of course, in Mr. Horton’s mind, all of this was the cops fault.  Why accept any blame for his own errors when you can simply blame the cops?  Right?  I mean, that is the point to which society has come now.  No personal responsibility, it is always someone else’s fault, and if the cops are involved, it was clearly the cops’ fault.

Here is where Mr. Horton is wrong, just in looking at his personal example:
– He came home so drunk, he forgot to close and lock his apartment door.
– He was staying in this apartment temporarily, but neither he nor the apartment manager advised the neighbors.
– The neighbors did the right thing by calling the cops when they saw the open door .
– The cops were investigating a possible burglary in progress, not just some simple trespassing.
– Mr. Horton says the cops should have stopped to investigate the situation and should have contacted the apartment manger first, at 9am, on a Sunday morning.  Clearly Mr. Horton is under the illusion that doing that, at 9am, on a Sunday morning, is a simple task.
– Mr. Horton seems to have forgotten how any men and what type of weapons he used when conducting raids in Afghanistan.
– Horton has also clearly never attempted to apprehend a burglar in the act of committing a burglary if he thinks the burglar will just wait for us in the apartment while we do all sorts of investigation in places that are not the actual, potential crime scene.

So, tell me where the cops were wrong?  How do you jump from that crappy example all the way to “cops are militarized” and then blame them for:

… this troubling approach to law enforcement nationwide, in militarized police responses to nonviolent protesters and in fatal police shootings of unarmed citizens.

This author is a freaking tool!  He lays out a really crappy example, where he screwed up big time, then blames the cops for investigating his screw ups, then, out of nowhere he says the cops are militarized (without ever attempting to define what that even means – in his example, I guess pointing handguns and having good muzzle & trigger discipline constitutes militarized), then blames them for killing “unarmed citizens,” yet the link he provides shows countless shootings of armed felons, not unarmed citizens.

This author is an idiot.  His example of “militarized police activity” is better suited as a “don’t be a drunk idiot” public service message.

Mr. Horton, thank you for your military service, but in terms of police work, you don’t know shit from shinola.  Cop work is not the same thing.  Your expertise as a soldier provides you exactly zero  expertise in police work.  Perhaps you should stop drinking so much, learn a little bit about cop work, case law, and common sense, and if at that time, you think you still have a better way, I invite you to suit up and lead by example.  Until then, perhaps you should start acknowledging your own mistakes instead of transferring the blame to others.
-Matt

My America vs. Obama’s

I’ve said it before, Barack Obama is absolutely the most divisive, un-American president the United States of America has ever had.  This morning, a photo (included below) of normal Americans sitting outside a Marine recruiting center, armed and standing guard over the disarmed Marines inside, really struck me as an example of the difference between what I picture when I think about America compared to Obama’s version.

All of these photos are less than a year old, and they serve as a good example of the difference between my America and Obama’s.  Imagine if I were to dig back to say, I don’t know, Benghazi…


My America

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Where citizens come out to stand guard at a Marine recruitment center, and show both support and appreciation for what those soldiers do

 

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Where a black cop charged with protecting a demonstration aids a KKK supporter who is having heat related medical issues

 

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Citizens from every ethnicity gather together to mourn the loss of 9 black folks murdered by a racist coward

 

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Citizens come out in droves to show their local cops that they support them

 

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Americans from all walks of life respectfully mourn the loss of 5 soldiers killed in a Islamic terrorist attack on US soil

 

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Citizens standing up for law enforcement, and realizing all lives matter, not just one segment of society

 And finally, a video that I watch periodically that reminds me of My America


Obama’s America

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Where the president immediately makes racially charged public statements in defense of a known felon who was killed while assaulting a cop

 

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Where these six cops are charged with a “racially motivated” murder of a fleeing black male suspect, who was arrested in a sweep requested by the very DA prosecuting them

 

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Where the actions of a deranged, racist coward are blamed on sentiments felt by some when viewing a historic flag

 

Lawmakers discuss legislation to force a small CA city to change its name, because the fort the city was named after was named after an Army General who at one point served in the Confederate Army
Lawmakers discuss legislation to force a small CA city to change its name, because the fort the city was named after was named after an Army General who at one point served in the Confederate Army

 

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Where the mayor of a major American city tells the cops to stand down and lets “protesters” destroy parts of the city

 

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Where the president visiting convicted felons in prison is touted as a good thing

 

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Where cops no longer have the same right to a grand jury review as the rest of the population

 

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Where the FBI is unable to find a link between this shooter and ISIS

 

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Where this deal is touted as a solution to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapons

 

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Where calling the president out for lying to push his social agenda is met by name calling, accusations of racism and demands I leave the country

 

Where these three people are murdered by multiple time deported illegal aliens who were multiple time convicted felons and the president does nothing, yet he sends representatives to the funerals of felons who were killed by cops
Where these three people are murdered by multiple time deported illegal aliens who were multiple time convicted felons and the president does nothing, yet he sends representatives to the funerals of felons who were killed by cops

 

Where a gang affiliated felon killed while feloniously assaulting cops gets a permanent memorial
Where a gang affiliated felon killed while feloniously assaulting cops gets a permanent memorial

 

And finally, where marches in NY city have protesters calling for the murder of law enforcement officers.


The people who voted for Obama voted for “hope and change.”  Well, there has been no hope, and all of the change has been dramatically for the worse.  I only “hope” that they will pull their heads out of the collective asses during this next election, or I fear the change Obama has brought will only get worse.

Learning From Bad Tactics

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Let me start by saying that in examining this stop, I am not trying to talk badly about the officer here. I know nothing about him.  That said, we’ve all done things over the years that when we look back on them, we realize how bad our tactics were. My intention in examining this is so that others will stop and think, and not repeat what was done here.  Thankfully this officer’s injuries were not life threatening, but they very well could have been.  And, while not life threatening, I’d be willing to bet they might be career ending.

SuspectThankfully, the driver of this car is in custody now.  He is “just a teenager” at 17 years old, and I’m sure family and friends will comment about “what a good kid” he is and how he was just starting to get his life straight before this officer made him do this, or some other such nonsense.  It is clear to any rational person that a good kid does not do stuff like this.

It is almost like I am a prognosticator or something because according to one of the news articles I read, “Two parents of the suspects have filed excessive force complaints on behalf of their sons in the case because Anderson fired shots.”  <sarcasm> Wait, the officer used deadly force against someone using deadly force on him?  How dare he! </sarcasm>

And last, before delving into the discussion on tactics, I’d like to say how thoroughly disgusted I am by every single one of the people who just sat there in their cars after the suspect vehicle plowed this officer and fled.  No one got out of their cars to help and no one was with that officer until the next responding officer arrived.  People suck!


Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let’s take a look at what happened here.  I don’t know the circumstances around this contact, and honestly, for sake of this discussion, it does not matter.  Watch the brief video first.

First, the officer rolls up to the car which is stuck in traffic at this point, and based on his actions, he is clearly after this particular car.  The car is obviously trying to get away from him too, which you can tell by how it is off and on the brakes trying to move forward.  Also, at this point, this officer is the only officer on scene.  There is absolutely no reason at all that he should have been attempting to handle this stop solo, especially not where it was taking place.  We know other units were on their way because one shows up moments after the suspect vehicle fled.   He should have waited for his cover unit(s).  Not only does he put himself in significant danger by attempting to deal with this solo, but he put the lives of the occupants of all the other cars surrounding him in danger too because if he had to fire his weapon, those other cars are his backstop.

Next, even if you were going to try and handle this particular situation at this intersection by yourself, why on earth would you approach that car like he did?  This was happening during darkness which means by staying behind the car, in addition to making the suspects turn to address him, he also would have been protected from view by his lights which would be shining in the suspects eyes.  Not only did he leave what little cover his car offered him and approach the car, which we know is occupied by at least 3 persons, but he actually walked well past the driver’s door and put himself in front of the suspects taking away all the tactical advantages he would have had by staying behind them and out of the direct line of sight.

Finally, when the front passenger seat suspect foot bails, rather than staying with the car, the officer runs in front of the suspect vehicle, between it and the car in front of them, which is a place you NEVER, EVER want to be.  Sadly, what happens next perfectly and graphically shows why this is a place you never want to be.  The suspect vehicle accelerates hitting the officer, and likely based on the vehicle positioning, squishes both of his legs between the suspect vehicle and the car that is stopped in front of it, which gets pushed into the intersection as the officer rolls up the hood of the suspect vehicle while firing his weapon twice.


Like I said at the beginning, I do not know anything about this officer.  I have no idea how long he has been on or what he has done during his career.  And honestly, none of that matters.  He could normally be the baddest ass, most tactically sound guy on the department, but during this incident, I suspect he let his adrenaline override his rational brain and what we see here are the results.  Like I said, we have all done stupid things at times.  I know I have stopped myself a time or two and said to myself, “whew, glad that worked out.”  I suspect many of you have had the same thought if you have done this job long enough.  It is with that in mind, and trying to avoid instances similar to this, that I am critically examining this video.

Let’s all be safe, and smart, and go home to our loved ones in one piece.
-Matt

LVMPD Setting The Example

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, at least in my experience, usually does an excellent job of informing the public and the media about high notoriety incidents.  They had an officer involved shooting on July 10, 2015, and how they have handled the information release should be used as an example for all agencies.

This is the press conference they held in which they described the incident.

And this is the body cam footage that they released.

LVMPD handled this extremely professionally and it really is a good example for other agencies to follow.  Additionally, the officers involved all appear to have performed admirably.  Well done to all involved!