Knowing Achievement

While discussing inner departmental politics with a friend I was forced to take a step back, breathe a little and use my brain in an attempt to understand some of the more political things which have occurred in my career. I was not able to conceive of an answer directly, even after multiple attempts which led my ADHD empowered brain to a new chain of thoughts. I asked myself what has been truly important in my career looking back all of these years? It certainly wasn’t “who got that good gig in Detectives” or “Look who got promoted but why?” While some of those questions occupied much of my time during my career years, the more important thoughts garnered some amount of recognition.

1

I realized in a grand moment of temporary clarity the things in my career which resulted in meaningful change. It certainly wasn’t the shiny medals or the various accommodations I received from the Department. While I didn’t mind receiving those awards and was proud to have served, there wasn’t much substance contained. Often times a medal can be diminished by unwittingly comparing actions to someone else’s who have received a similar accommodation. The entire thought process seems to dilute the potency of such achievement leaving something to be desired. More importantly i observed great accomplishments in the many selfless acts of my partners which they thought were “no big deal” or “just part of the job.”

So grand realizations of those moments of pride came flowing back to me. There are so many lives touched by an officer serving for the good of the population rather than the good of the order. There are those rare calls for service or events which may spiral into an entirely new positive experience for an individual or victim. These types of effects can be difficult to perceive and takes a certain amount of introspection.

When an officer makes an arrest it is simply part of the job, we don’t get too excited about it. sometimes we get into a foot pursuit, chase somebody down and win the fight but a lot of those times no charges are filed. Sometimes the idiot we arrested just made a dumb mistake or was too emotional to behave like a civilized human being. Sometimes the subject was too socially stupid to Herve Leconte sits atop his vehicle to display a sign thanking all those who are dealing with the King fire while park alongside Highway 50 near Camino, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)warrant any pride from a resultant arrest. Sure there is the “job well done” feeling where Officers pat each other on the back the same way a carpenter looks back on his work and says “wow I did a good job on that cabinet” yet there is more to it than that.

True evil does exist. The willing and malicious damnation of fellow man through unspeakable acts of cruelty are defined as such. If we can nab one of them it is a fortuitous event which can be boasted of. Most of us count that type of arrest on one hand at the end of a long career. When you get to put that one away for good the effects upon time and space are astounding. That serial rapist won’t hurt anymore children. The sick kidnapper who imprisoned his victims for months and induced a feared loyalty upon them will be worshiped via fear no more. These are the events far more precious than a silver medal or a fancy letter from the Chief. The two may coincide and an officer may wear proudly upon his chest a mark of such achievement but the act itself is the source of pride. Everything else is just a distraction or a public relations campaign.

11996546_G

It doesn’t end there. When an officer picks up a child with a skinned knee who fell off of their tricycle while the parent was inside smoking crank. When the woman whose child was found dead in a puddle by no mistake of her own is hugged by the responding officers who tried to save her. And when the officer places his hand on the arrested juveniles shoulder with a stern but warm look on his face and says “you can do better,” these are timeless as well. For that child the Officer shall never age, even after he has long since left this world. In the mother’s eyes the Officer’s boots will always shine in unison with that badge and those shared tears. Nothing can dry the memory of those heroes who stood with her when the world crumbled all around. And for the demon behind bars, that fiery gaze will forever be tormented by he who delivered justice. Even if the Department or the public didn’t happen to notice that time.

4

The effects of a job well done are unending and incalculable. They truly spiral in every direction, undeterred by negative media attention, bad Departmental Policies or negative social attention. Those events are real and exist in a way which is infinitely repeatable yet important and distinct with each occurrence. The events are unchangeable and cannot be destroyed. The good will shown by officers who care is eternal and no hateful group or negative media attention can damage those moral deeds, for they have already been commuted.

Officer’s of the law stand proud during your career and do not minimize the great things you have done. Don’t listen to the garbage being spewed by public figure heads, brave keyboard bloggers or self righteous critics, they haven’t experienced the personal risk and reward system. Think back upon your career with pride and look upon the momentous life changing events you took part in for the better. Nobody can take that away from you unless you let them.
Good job and anybody who doesn’t think so or recognize it would never understand such an achievement anyways.

Disaster at Sac PD; Digging Deeper

Capture

Since I wrote my original piece on the situation over at the Sacramento Police Department, more information has made its way to me.  The good part about being in my position (a working cop) is that most of the people in my line of work know they can trust me, so I get some info that would never make its way to the “news” because no cop in their right mind would trust the mainstream media to do the right thing with that info.

Infighting for Chief of Police Position
Ever since the anti-cop Mayor Darrel Steinberg won the election, upper management at the Sacramento Police Department has been in an upheaval.  Steinberg, who incidentally is a complete moron when it comes to anything public safety related, like most liberal mayors, wants a yes man in the position of Chief of Police.  Steinberg and the mostly leftist city council have been initiating drastic changes that affect how Sac PD operates, and every single change has been based on the loud cries of the very vocal minority (whining anti-cop snowflakes).  One of those most recent changes involved the releasing of video from officer involved shootings.  The interim chief, Brian Louie, recently crossed the mayor and city council when he did not release video from an officer involved shooting as quickly as the city leaders wanted (because to them people’s feelings are more important than a police investigation).  That incident essentially ensured that Louie will not be the next chief, and it is my understanding he was told as much.  That is all old news to me, but what follows is new.

So, now that the Chief of Police position is again up for grabs, there appears to be a power struggle going on.  When this whole “Police Officer Beats Up Pedestrian” situation hit the news, Louie, the interim chief was out of town on vacation, so it was left to the deputy chiefs who are fighting over the vacant chief spot, and what better way to suck up to the criminal placating, cop hating city management than to throw a good cop to the wolves?  As an extra bonus, the cop in question is a white male and the “victim” (suspect) of the contact is a POC (person of color), even better since he is a young black male who claims (lies) to the media that he was totally innocent.  With that playbook in hand, one of the deputy chiefs stepped forward and publicly went to bat against his own people.  At this point, I’ve received no confirmation on who made that call, but I did hear that Deputy Chief Bray was one of the management folks hitting roll calls and giving the middle finger (figuratively) to all of the working cops.

58ee56ebce23918ca9391a2e

A Good Man Betrayed
So much for the internal battles at the heart of this public sacrificing of a cop, it is time to talk about man himself.  I do not know him personally, but from what I hear from people who know him and work with him, he is someone I would be proud to work alongside.

While his law enforcement career is still in its infancy, his service to this country and the public in general is not.  He is a Marine Corps veteran who served two stints.  After his full time military service ended, he began his career as a cop.  While he has only been off probation for a short time, I’m told he has earned the trust of the senior officers on his patrol team.  He has a reputation as a hard worker who is both reliable and willing to help his coworkers.

And it is not just his coworkers that he is known for helping.  Not too long ago, there was a gang shooting at a park in his district.  Injured in that shooting were a couple of innocent children.  This officer was not only one of the first on scene at that shooting, but he and one other officer, who both just took a tactical life saving class worked on an 11 year old boy who had been shot in the chest, saving that boy’s life.  Not that this officer cared what that little boy’s skin color was, but seeing as the local media is making this incident to be about race, the boy he saved just so happened to be black.

Of course, you will not hear his department or the media talking about his heroic actions because they are both too busy either attacking him or very publicly abandoning him.

The Kicker
Yet another thing that you will not see the Sacramento Police management, or official department representatives talking about, is that this officer and all of his coworkers have recently been instructed to step up their pedestrian contacts in the very area where this jaywalking stop occurred.  Why were they instructed to do so you might ask?

Do you remember that gang shooting I mentioned above, the one where this officer saved a young boy’s life, BECAUSE OF THAT SHOOTING, that’s why.    Many of the members of the gangs involved in that incident are from the area and often travel on foot.  And no, I am not making this up.  This is one of those times where real life seems stranger than fiction.  During roll calls in the days leading up to this stop, supervisors have been instructing the patrol cops in that area to increase their pedestrian contacts.  Being the conscientious employee that this officer is, he did what he was instructed to do, likely never expecting doing so would turn him into the sacrificial lamb of some politically minded asshole deputy chief who was going to use this officer as a stepping stone to the position of Chief.  While any working cop knows this is not the type of guy you want at the helm of your department, I can pretty much guarantee this is exactly the type of guy Steinberg and the city council do want.  As I stated before, this event and the fallout from it are going to drastically reduce Sac PD’s ability to hire and retain cops.

Meanwhile, the Sacramento Bee (not surprisingly) is happy about how this situation is unfolding.  While they acknowledge that the rank and file cops at Sac PD are “disgruntled” (a large understatement), they say this is how situations like this should be handled.

Sacramento PD: How NOT to Run A Police Department

This article is cross posted here and at Full30.

Cover

Sac PD Management Cements Their Role As A Horrible Example of How To Run a Police Department

The Sacramento Police Department has been in the national news the last couple days.  In less than five (5) days, the management at the Sacramento Police Department has demonstrated, to anyone watching, a perfect example of how NOT to run a police department.  And from what I am hearing through the grapevine, last night their upper management doubled down on that.

Monday 4-11-17
But first, some history for those living under a rock.  On Monday at about 5:30 PM, a Sac PD officer stopped a pedestrian for jaywalking.  While several people have argued the basis for the stop, there are many codes, both state and local city ordinances, that can be used to justify the stop.  During the encounter, the suspect refused to comply, stepped into the street, shed his jacket and, quite clearly (via the officer’s dash cam video) challenged the officer to a fight.  The officer took the suspect down to the ground where the two exchanged a few blows, and the suspect was taken into custody.

Present during the fight, but not for the initial contact, was a friend of the suspect who filmed the encounter and then posted the video to Facebook.  Local news station Fox40 ran with the cell phone video like it was gospel, and began generating and stoking mass public outrage.

Tuesday 4-12-17
In world record time, by about noon the next morning, Sacramento PD had thrown the officer involved to the wolves.  Not only did they publicly state that he demonstrated “unacceptable conduct,” but they also stated that they had placed the officer on administrative leave, started an internal investigation, and were considering filing criminal charges against the officer.  WOW!!!  That was really quick, his actions must have been so ridiculously over the line that it required such a swift, firm stance, right?  Yeah, not so much.

Sac PD also released dash cam video from several cars on the scene, including the primary officer’s car.

Fox40 also interviewed the suspect in this case.  The suspect made numerous, blatant lies in his statement, and despite the fact that those lies were plain as day to anyone who watched the dash cam video, Fox40 decided to air the lies as if they were truth.

Wednesday 4-13-17
By Wednesday, this incident had hit the national stage and the officer’s actions were being called into question by just about everyone, except for those of us who looked at ALL of the evidence, including the suspect’s actions and words.  Wednesday, I filmed a video in which I analyzed the situation and compared the information that was available.  In my opinion, the officer did nothing wrong, and the actions by the management were absolutely disgraceful!

(Some mild cursing contained in this video)

Shortly after filming that video, two more bits of information regarding the suspect came to light.  The information that came out helps explain his noncompliance and his hostility toward the officer.  First, he had an active warrant for his arrest from another jurisdiction.  This might explain why he refused to comply; he didn’t want to go to jail.  Second, he has a history of fighting with the cops, and had previously been arrested in Fresno, CA for the same thing.

Now, some folks in the comments of my video analyzing this incident pointed out to me that from the video, it appeared that the suspect did not actually jaywalk, and folks said that the suspect used an “unmarked crosswalk.”  I’ll be completely honest here; I do not know diddly about jaywalking laws.  I never worked traffic and I do not recall ever in my career stopping someone for jaywalking.  Since I was not fully informed on the laws, I dug into them, and boy there are quite a few.  (You can see the list of applicable CA laws here: http://www.legal-news-california.tozerlaw.com/jaywalking_laws_california.html)

For those unable or unwilling to watch my video, the following are a few points that I raised in my video.

While, at least from what we can see in the video, it does appear that the suspect crossed the street using an “unmarked crosswalk” as defined by CA law, he did not appear to allow traffic sufficient time to stop and just stepped out into the roadway, a violation of VC  21950(b).  Additionally, a cop from the Sacramento area sent me a message informing me about a couple of applicable Sacrament City Codes, namely SCC 10.20.20 and SCC 10.20.50.  Those can be found here, and they address standing in the roadway interfering with traffic and crossing the street within 300 feet of a marked crosswalk, both of which could be applied to this situation.  Now, you can argue against the need for jaywalking laws all day long, but the fact is they exist, and the suspect was in violation of those laws.  The probable cause for the stop on the suspect is legit.  He had a valid reason to stop him.

Next issue is the use of force, and whether or not it was justified.  First of all, the suspect did not have the right to ignore the officer.  We know, based on the fact that the suspect raised his hands, that he could hear the officer’s commands, and we can see based on his actions that he was refusing to comply.  The officer continues to follow the suspect giving him verbal commands to comply.  Eventually, the suspect stops, takes off his jacket, and challenges the officer to fight.  Thus far, the suspect has committed two crimes (PC 148 and PC 415), in addition to the “jaywalking. “  The officer grabs the suspect by the shoulder (NOT the neck) and takes him to the ground where punches are exchanged, the cop wins the fight, and the suspect is arrested without any major injuries.

Photo taken from related article at BlueLivesMatter.com
Photo taken from related article at BlueLivesMatter.com

I spoke to a number of people who work for the Sacramento Police Department, and the scuttlebutt around their department is that a HUGE number of people just consciously made the decision to seek employment with other agencies, even senior employees.  I’ve written in the past about the problems Sacramento PD has been facing with both hiring and retaining current employees, but this situation, and the way the department is handling it, just greatly exacerbated that problem.

Thursday Night, 4-13-17
This morning, I again spoke to a few people I know who work for Sacramento PD, because I was trying to verify a rumor I had heard.  They had not heard the rumor I asked about, but they did have something new to tell me.  Apparently, Sac PD upper management, as in Deputy Chiefs and others, showed up at roll calls at the various stations to speak to the working cops.  Apparently, from what I am told, the chiefs and other management were very aloof about the whole situation, saying that they stood by how they handled it, and that is just the way it is, and the way it will be.

Needless to say, that crappy “tough shit” attitude displayed by their bosses was not well received by the men and women who should be able to count on management to have their backs.  Instead, management told them to expect to be thrown under the bus.  The way Sac PD management has handled this not only has assured their personnel problems are going to get vastly worse, but they have also demonstrated to ALL of the cops who work there that proactive police work will only get you in trouble.  Expect proactive cop work to cease, and expect the safety of city residents to be vastly lessened.  Odd, you’d think the idiots in charge over there might have heard of that whole “Ferguson Effect,” but apparently not.

I find it EXTREMELY ironic that a department that is constantly telling their officers to be kinder and gentler to the criminals they contact, those very managers cannot even reciprocate that same sentiment toward the people who are supposedly on the same team as them.  Sacramento PD management has just driven that final nail in the coffin.  If you happen to work in the backgrounds department of any neighboring agencies, I would expect to see a huge influx of lateral applicants as everyone bails from Sac PD’s rapidly sinking ship.

A “Rational Discussion” About “Police Violence” is Impossible

Capture

Wow!  Is this USA Today, or is this HuffPo?   Not often do I mistake those two, but this piece at USA Today is nothing more than a collection anti-cop rhetoric quoting disproven lies, interspersed with quotes from far left, hardly legitimate sources, in an attempt to legitimize illegal, irresponsible behavior of people who are old enough to know and act better.  If you have been paying the slightest attention as of late, if you’ve actually bothered learning the facts of the overwhelming majority of the incidents the left keeps throwing out when they scream “police brutality,” the decision to run this anti-cop propaganda by a major “news” outlet should bother you.  The following quotation is how it opens.

“The image of an unarmed person of color being brutalized by police has become inescapable.

For Prairie View A&M University senior Jesse Valdez, each one of those images brings overwhelming anxiety.  He’s seeking a professional diagnosis for post-traumatic stress disorder.” 

In other words folks, he is doctor shopping, because no one has given him the diagnosis he wants.  No one “seeks a diagnosis” morons, you seek help from a doctor who diagnoses your issue, if you have one.  In this case, my professional diagnosis of this guy is that he is lacking anything resembling a spine.  Hell, according to the author, when Valdez drives past a memorial for Sandra Bland (a woman who committed suicide while in custody) it causes him severe anxiety.

The piece continues on, jumping around in an attempt at outlining all the reasons that cops and their use of force (to arrest people who are not complying) are to blame for, well, everything.  Let me address all the issues brought forth in the following two paragraphs and point to where, in my opinion, the problem really lies.

“Police are supposed to keep us safe,” Williams said. People who experience or see police violence can be thrown for a loop when they expect police officers to help them and the officers turn out to be “the bad guys,” she added.

The Louisville professor said a collective effect of police violence in African-American households tends to be empathy. Many African-American families pass down lessons about how to behave in order to avoid police violence. Valdez, who identifies as black and Hispanic, said his family taught him to be deferential to officers. The empathy that African Americans can feel for police violence victims can be challenging for other groups, according to Williams. She attributed empathy deficiencies to America’s legacy of segregation and us-vs.-them mentalities. Members of a so-seeming “out-group” receive less compassion, she said.

In the first paragraph, the police are keeping you safe, unless you are a criminal.  There are very few incidents that have hit the news in the last several years where the police were indeed “the bad guys.”  I can only think of a few cases of unjustified use of deadly force (Walter Scott and Charles Kinsey come to mind), and even in those cases, ONLY ONE person who was shot by the cops was an actual innocent man (Charles Kinsey).  All of the other legally unjustified shootings, which I freely admit there were some, but in every single other case, the person shot or injured was in fact a criminal who was actively resisting arrest.  In fact, most of the incidents that everyone constantly points to, it was the” bad guy” (ie: criminal) who got injured by the good guys (cops), and in nearly all of those cases, the force used was legally justified.  The problem is that too many people in society are siding with the criminals, not the victims or the neighborhoods.

As for the second paragraph, there are too many logical fallacies to address as a group, so I will break each sentence down individually.

  1. I would partially agree, and that is indeed the problem. People are empathizing with criminals based on their skin color, while completely disregarding the criminal behavior that lead to the police contact.  This contact is a cause and effect relationship, but the cause is most definitely not the skin color of the person being contacted, it is their illegal behavior.  You cannot logically discuss the results of the contact while completely ignoring the very reason for the contact.  It does not work that way.
  2. Apparently the lessons being passed down are wrong. Becoming belligerent, argumentative and uncooperative DO NOT WORK, and it is those very behaviors that lead up to the use of force by police.  Other than Charles Kinsey, show me a single example of a suspect who cooperated from the start who was subject to any form of “police violence.”
  3. Valdez’s family did not do him any favors, and in fact the lessons they taught him likely lead to his arrest. Had they taught him to be polite and respectful, I doubt he would have ever been in his situation to begin with.
  4. That is because the empathy you are talking about is empathy for violent felons!
  5. Again, the “us vs. them” is on the part of the segment of society you are claiming to represent, not on the part of the cops. The cops are not welcome in those neighborhoods, but the criminals are.  This is clearly evidenced after every single officer involved shooting, even when the suspect was armed and shooting at the cops.  The neighborhood always bemoans the loss of “another good young man who was turning his life around.”
  6. You are an “out-group” not because of your skin color but because of who you choose to support.

The author then continues with the “oh those horrible cops” whine fest and says that people can get PTSD from just watching videos online of “police violence.”  This is really getting out of hand.  That is an activity that they personally, willingly chose to subject themselves to.  No one sat them down and forced them to watch, yet you want to say they got PTSD from that?

Hell, I probably have PTSD from playing too much Call of Duty.  I mean really, have you seen how good the graphics are?  And in that game, I get killed.  Me, personally, dead.  Over and over.  It is traumatizing.  I have constant nightmares about it.  I am reliving it over and over.

And yes, that was dripping with sarcasm.  Do you see how stupid that sounds?  But it is the same exact argument they are using about the videos.

But I digress.  Remember, it is the cops that are the bad guys, and USA Today is none too happy to keep spreading that message.  “Both doctors stated that viewing videos of people being gunned down by police is not psychologically healthy.”  Gunned down?  Nope, no negative connotations by using that wording at all…

Just in case you forgot, the cops are the “bad guys.”

“What is happening is terrifying. If current patterns remain, 2016 could be a particularly deadly year for civilians at the hands of police.” 

01Really?  Would you also care to address the huge spike in officer deaths due to gunfire in 2016?  Last I checked, this year was holding at a 65% increase compared to last year, and this year in particular has had a number of coordinated, extremely violent ambushes on cops.  But of course you do not want to talk about that.

“As of Sept. 2, more than 700 people had been killed by cops, according to The Guardian’s The Counted project. And African Americans had the second highest rate of victimization per million, behind only Native Americans.” 

That is great, a raw number taken totally out of context.  That definitely proves, nothing.  How many of those 700 people were innocent folks doing nothing, vs. how many of them were violent criminals in the act of committing a violent crime?  Yes, context matters.  FACTS MATTER!

Here are some sad facts about police and minority communities.  You want to know why cops are “harassing” minorities more than whites, here is why.  More minorities live in low income and ghetto neighborhoods than whites.  Crime occurs more in low income and ghetto neighborhoods than it does in higher income or suburban neighborhoods.  More crime is committed by blacks and other minorities than is committed by whites (this fact has NOTHING to do with skin color, or any of the BS that racists use to justify their dislike of another ethnicity – it is strictly a socio-economic issue).  Cops spend more time where crime occurs than where it does not.  If cops are spending more time where minorities live, and minorities commit a higher proportion of the crime, it only follows that cops will interact with minorities on a more frequent basis.   It is really not rocket science.

“At ThinkProgress, Alex Zielinski reported the growing perception that race-based police violence is a public health issue and that reframing discourse as one of health could encourage a cultural shift.” 

Really?  Think Progress?  At this point, I’m waiting for the author to quote Cop Block.

Let me be perfectly frank, this is most definitely NOT a “public health issue” just like “gun violence” is not a public health issue.  Why is the left so emphatically trying to make everything somehow a medical issue?   You know what this is?  This is yet another example of the left trying to make everything into someone else’s fault.  They are driving a societal wide total lack of personal responsibility.  Nothing is your fault; it is always something someone else did.

Got pulled over and got a speeding ticket?  Cop’s fault! It was a speed trap, and he was probably rude.

Got twisted up and/or slammed to the ground while being detained by the cops?  It is totally the cops fault; your actions did not necessitate such “police violence.”  Had they only asked you in a nicer tone, 15 more times, you would have finally complied, probably.

Got shot and killed by the cops?  They just want to shoot and kill people of color because America has a legacy of segregation.  It had nothing to do with you resisting arrest / going for their gun / shooting at them / trying to run them over with your car.  Oh yeah, and slavery…

Folks, this is like trying to have a “rational conversation about police use of force” with a five year old kid, who is an only child, while he is all hopped up on sugar, and caffeine, and in desperate need of a nap.  There is absolutely NOTHING rational about that conversation.  When one side (the left) refuses to admit even the slightest amount of culpability, you absolutely CANNOT have an adult discussion.

Speaking of a rational discussion, here is a video in which Bill Whittle dismantles the majority of the arguments that are at the root of that entire USA Today article.  Take a few minutes, watch it, and learn something.

How has America turned into such a whiny, crying wuss in such a short period of time?  A couple hundred years ago, some pissed off colonials took on the most powerful nation on the planet at the time, and won our independence.  Seventy years ago, our nation came to the aid of the rest of the world and freed most of Europe and the Pacific.  Fifteen years ago, after our country was attacked by foreign terrorists, we went overseas and chased their America-hating butts into caves underground and did our damnedest to eradicate them.  Ten years ago, race relations in this country were far better than they are now.  Today, adults need safe spaces on college campuses to protect them from words, men want to be able to use the women’s bathroom, Black Lies Matter has convinced America that it is racist again, and people apparently get PTSD from watching a video where a cop has to use force to arrest a criminal.

Holy crap America, wake up!  While you are at it, toughen up too!

From the Mind of a Third Grader

While the Dallas Terrorist attack was being televised live my eight year old daughter became horrified and asked her mother over and over if Daddy was there. My wife tried to explain afterwards about racism, what it meant and why those Officers were being shot at. It was a very difficult discussion and we spoke about it at length everyday. After the President gave his speech at the Dallas Memorial my daughter was left with even more confusion. She wanted to know why the President didn’t like the Police. These are not words I prompted her with but even she saw through the false empathy. My wife suggested she write a letter to the president explaining how she felt.

My daughter edited her letter multiple times and the original told the President that: “He should dislike the bad guys more, the bad guys who do drugs and hurt children.” I thought this was profound but she wanted to erase it because she felt they were truly not her own words but inspired by her parents. She eventually changed the ending of the letter to simply state “Police are good!” This is meaningful not just for me, but for all Law Enforcement out there, our children will listen to what we are teaching them so let us try and teach them the truth whenever possible. If we let the state raise our children the result is chaos.

 3

Obviously I am biased here because I speak of my own child but I could not be more proud. After asking all of the appropriate questions over the last week and coming to her own conclusions she hit the nail on the head with deadly accuracy. Of course the president doesn’t have a great reputation in my household and I won’t ignore the fact that her words are ultimately inspired by my own lessons but isn’t that the point? Aren’t we supposed to foster critical thought in our young?

As a cop I’ve been taught to write at the fourth grade level which is extremely difficult for me yet this is third grade writing in its purest form. It speaks plainly to the message she wants to portray “my Daddy is good” and she is insulted by our leader believing anything otherwise. She feels strongly enough about it to mail this letter to the President and is hopeful for a response. The very idea that I or any of my partners would treat someone differently because of the color of their skin does not fit into her logic. She simply doesn’t believe this is true because she has not seen or heard of it. This is the danger of promoting false narratives.

Perhaps we could all learn from the third grade vantage point and learn to observe what is directly in front of us instead of focusing on the imaginary. We as a people can learn many lessons by simplifying the facts and acting on our own logic, deciding what the “truth” is by seeing this for ourselves. If I were a bigot and a racist she would know about it because it is not something you can hide from your own children. The obvious truth in her mind is vastly different from how the President views the world. What experiences has he had which causes him to believe in a universal falsehood that gives rise to racism in cops where it seldom exists?2

Our politicians need to leave their safe, upper class neighborhoods and mansions and view the world for what it truly is. I encourage President Obama to do a ride along with any lawman in any state and think about the things he witnesses. Any of you who are in doubt should also do this, perhaps some of your  questions would be answered and the world would reveal itself for how it truly exists in this realm, not the illusory world politicians speak of. Learn from the simple logic of a fourth grader and stop confusing the simple truth of the world. Racism is indeed real but where is it most prominent? Experience this issues from a wider vantage point if you can. Contact your local law enforcement agency and ask them about a ride along, you will be enlightened.

1

Law Enforcement Diplomats

Social media is an interesting armchair style warrior. Lots of opinions and sometimes zero experience or knowledge on a subject. The problem is we Cops don’t always know what someone else might have experienced or what their personal Law Enforcement story is. One reader today regarded this page as a “circle jerk LEO” page which made me remember something. Cops aren’t just Cops anymore we are Diplomats and Ambassadors to society. There is a certain responsibilitiy which goes along with the ideal and is inclusive in the duties of a Law Enforcement Officer.

People who are not cops and have never been cops might never fully understand every facet of our calling. Why become angry with those who are under a differing opinion? Obviously it’s ridiculous to think that Law Enforcement Officers are all racially motivated or on the flip side of the coin that we are all “the right hand of the democratic party’s agenda.” Ignorance can be bliss but I would rather enlighten than insult. All may not be enlightened I realize yet in some occasions it is well worth the extra effort which may benefit the Police Reputation.

1I teach my children to ask questions and not simply obey commands given to them by someone claiming to be a leader. I also teach my children to be respectful in the asking of those questions and most importantly to listen to the answer and make their own determination. When people put forth ridiculous ideas regarding cops we should seek to answer those accusations with logic and truth. We can also do it diplomatically if the misguided person isn’t too hostile. We may not reach all using this method but less will also be turned away.

When working the streets I usually allowed the public to ask any question they wanted, so long as it was safe at the time for me to do so. In one particular incident I had made a felony arrest on a subject with a warrant. Several people came out of the buildings nearby and began yelling at me. I feared they would surround me so while I was mentally prepared to kill all of them if needed, I also politely told them to give me a minute and promised to answer their questions.

I put the bad guy in the back seat of my car and secured him safely while asking for a cover unit. The potential mob was still angry but at a safe distance. Once my cover partner arrived I had him keep an eye on my prisoner and I approached the group with a smile. I asked what questions they had and It turned out these people were relatives of the man in my car, or so they claimed to be. It really didn’t matter, at this point I felt a small obligation to attempt an explanation as to why in their eyes “the government was taking away their friend for no reason.”

It was calmly explained I had a warrant for his arrest, explained the booking process and provided information on how they could contact the jail to schedule a 3visit with the subject. I was then asked about the court process, this time they were much less angry in asking the question. I explained the court process and the likelihood the subject would be in jail until his first hearing which would probably occur on the following Tuesday. I was thanked profusely by most of the group and they returned to their homes. One guy even tried to give me a hug and stated: “now that’s respect.”

Later in the day I had a discussion with my partner who told me it was pointless for me to address the small group. I explained I had only done this when it was safe to do so yet he believed I was wasting my time. It was difficult for me at the time to articulate my reasons for doing so but in short I told him this particular neighborhood might be more cooperative with Law Enforcement in the future if we treated them with a little more respect. I tell this story because I believe it is not a waste of time to explain circumstances which the public may not fully understand. Hell, the whole point of writing here is to hopefully enlighten and educate not just to complain. Otherwise our words only serve to rally those who are supportive and turn away those who may be on the fence.

I started a text conversation with one of my favorite and most trusted beat partners regarding this subject and he summed it up quickly and accurately while heading out the door. In a short text message which took him less than a minute to write he hit the nail on the head and went on to prove my point here. Examine the following text message:

“I think we have a responsibility to speak rationally and logically when we speak for the side of law enforcement. It becomes obvious that we are cops in these discussions, so why portray ourselves as irrational asshats. We both know that law enforcement officers in general are not out there hunting minorities and just trying to f with people, but there are people out there who legitimately think otherwise. We have legitimate arguments which carry serious weight. I think we do us and the real issues a huge disservice when we just yell and down talk people. I think some people start seeing the validity of our points when we calmly explain them.”

 

America’s Rosetta Stone


I read through the news today after a recent terrorist attack upon Police Officers in Dallas. Men and women serving their country and communities were attacked because of the clothes they wore and the color of their skin. Alternatively it is reported almost everywhere these attacks were in response to “two innocent black men being gunned down by police” yet the facts are not yet fully known. To respond violently based upon initial emotion is to discredit the American process and disregards civility entirely.

When historians look back upon the last several years what will our defining moments be? I often consider this point of view because as a student of history I realize the human condition is cyclical. Consider our greatest accomplishments and triumphs where Americans had a common goal, pulled together and achieved wondrous results. These American achievements need not be stated they are so powerful.

trosej

I use the Rosetta Stone as my example of ancient human achievement. The rock was found in 1799 by French soldiers and now resides in the British Museum. Written upon the enormous rock is a series of accomplishments and instructions for Egyptian priests. It is written in two languages and three scripts. It is amazing to me how multiple cultures collided in an era of little technology to create something this long lasting. (You can read more about this fascinating topic at: http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/writing/rosetta.html)

What do the words of the Rosetta stone say? What do they mean? We live in a culture now where it doesn’t matter. Facts are considered  boring while violent emotions are considered exciting and relevant. Idols fuel emotionalism as a movement and as role models to America’s youth. A popular musician of our time, Jay Z has released a new song which he addresses the problem. Here is an example of one lyric: “Got my hands in the air in despair/don’t shoot/I just wanna do good.”Young-Thug-JAY-Z

Perhaps the music is moving, maybe the lyrics are meaningful but they are not responsible. The words themselves are perpetuated by lies and drive further emotion instead of logic. That emotion is endorsed by powerful leaders of the state and the message becomes misconstrued. Violence is the result and ignorance is the tool.

Music, Television and Movies are not seen as entertainment in our time, they are words and actions to live by. Fantasy is our hero and I still wonder what America’s common goal is. We are divided on all things in regards to morality and justice and I cannot fathom what stamp of human achievement our generation has left upon history. If our Rosetta Stone is chaos, lawlessness and anarchy I wish to distance myself from it as far as possible.

I have children though, so I cannot wallow in despair and would like to leave them something to cling to. We spend so much time trying to convince the emotionally misguided that our own children often become neglected from the truth. More and more I disconnect myself from popular media, social media and even news networks. I teach my children how to think for themselves and encourage them to try and leave the Sandcastle-2world a better place when they leave it. More than anything I tell them to suppress emotion and use logic to respond. This is how we build a lasting monument to our prosperity as a nation. A nation not divided but as one people and as unified Americans.

A monument to our civilization needs not be represented by division and destruction. Through our common children we must build something greater than we have now. Utilizing morality and logic we must build a culture which welcomes all as Americans and respects the tenements of our rich history. A foundation which shrugs off its mistakes and moves swiftly and accurately to correct them. A foundation which withstands the decaying sands of time and utilizes a profound goal as opposed to destruction with no purpose.

The nature of The Deputy

Courtroom oath

As a patrol Deputy I always insisted on the public doing ride a longs with a law enforcement officer whenever possible. This practice was heavily advocated because of the difficulties I had in explaining the multifaceted angles of the profession.  Today a friend of mine was speaking with me about a tragic ordeal she both endured and participated in and I remarked about the horrific and wonderful strangeness of the profession. It is true that molecularly each human individual awakes as a physically “different” person each day. I propose The Deputy awakes conceptually or even spiritually different as a person each day.

As a blanket rule, Deputies do not believe in blanket rules so this multifaceted and angular description can only poke small holes into the container which preserves the entire essence of the topic, yet this is endeavored upon in multiple parts here. While certain examples are used, this is not meant to be a collection of cop stories or law enforcement accomplishments nor is it meant to be used as a political tool in any way. My intent is to simply educate and deduce.

Part 1:  The Bonding Pear
Having taught from time to time at the Sheriff’s Academy I see new recruits entering in to the profession from a perspective of naivety as to what kind of career they are embarking upon. As if looking through a foggy (and perhaps somewhat cracked) mirror I have delighted in realizing once again the varied backgrounds of each individual who believe they desire the job of “Protecting and Serving.”

From all walks of life, we get pilots, ex-military, bartenders, hairstylists, stay at home mothers, college students, college professors, doctors,  scientists and youthful wide eyed teenagers to name a few. They all desire to do something more with their life. The first few days of an Academy class are always awkward as each participant attempts to find a way to bond with others who are so different from themselves. As the Academy progresses individuals learn to function as more efficient groups and begin to motivate each other through various intensive training and testing procedures.

As the recruits learn laws, ground combat, defensive driving, report writing, firearms proficiency and physical education they begin to develop the muscle memory which ultimately kicks in when the body produces excess adrenaline. One might become top of the class in a certain area of instruction yet it does little to prepare the recruit for the actual work. If these skill sets can be learned at a fundamental level, the recruit moves into much more intensive training in the field. It is the field where many people, after witnessing the realities and cruelties of life choose to pursue other work.

In the beginning, it is ensured that Deputies plant the bonds of partnership deep within fertile soil. It was put to me years ago in the Academy that if one did not possess a certain “fire” in the belly, succeeding as a Law Enforcement Professional would be difficult. Within the same speech I was also told if I thought I could get through the academy or field training without the help of others then I was stupid. Deputies do almost nothing alone. We have each other read arrest reports, we bounce ideas off one another during complex investigations, we show up for each other when the potential for trouble exists and we offer a brotherly nod when a good job has been done.

Entire novels, psychological studies, endless theorems and both good and terrible television series and movies have attempted to capture the essence of what Law enforcement is. In an effort to demonstrate the temperament of such circumstances and shed light upon the greater existence, certain “stories” must be told. Those beginning bonds which took root within the elementary training environments ultimately yield the fruit of emotional and physical survival in various ways.  If those seeds have not taken root however, The Deputy is, for the lack of a better term, in a bad way. I thank God for those more experienced officers who came so quick to help me before I understood the overall predicament placed upon me.

I can recall, once while I was relatively new to the job and enjoying some personal relief within the heavily graphitized resting area of a gas station, a clerk shrieked to me about someone being shot across the street. While zipping up I remember thinking to myself how important the situation must have been to have the female clerk run screaming into the men’s bathroom while an armed, stone faced Deputy Sheriff in a black uniform urinated in a supposed secure environment.

I walked outside to look across the street and indeed witnessed a mob of people doing…who knows what. I am still not certain to this day what the angry group of people were doing because most of them ran away when I arrived. It didn’t strike me until much later, but the weight and authority of driving by myself in emergency status to a shooting where an angry mob gathered was much more than I could bear psychologically at the time. The thoughts of what could have happened always come much later, sometimes years later.

I remember calling for my partners immediately. Some of them were guys I didn’t quite get along with and others had pulled me aside to specifically tell me they flat out did not like me. Each one still came, and when they arrived upon chariots of salvation they came bearing fruit from those trees long planted.  I had never tasted fear and relief at the same time yet this was the overwhelming flavor. The fruit nourishes and helps to grow, even at times when it has a rotten appearance or taste. Without it, no Deputy could survive during, after or even before a significantly stressful incident.

Situations like having to kill someone, watching someone die, attempting CPR on an infant, rescuing a half burned corpse from a burning car, or attempting to bring order to chaos after an intoxicated teenager has killed the driver of another vehicle. Events such as these provide nightmares to The Deputy either immediately or many years after the fact. The events cannot be erased and they become part of The Deputy; forever to be carried upon high shoulders along with the radio, shotgun, rifle, Taser, baton, gloves, keys, chemical spray and medical kits. Deputies become weary yet they are always sustained by the fruit.

Put Up or Shut Up!

** Language Warning – explicative filled rant to follow **

The comments below are based on the following news story video regarding an officer involved shooting that happened December 12, 2015 involving the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

The full news story can be found here.


FFS, I am getting so sick of all this bullshit! Take your hurt feelings and your uneducated opinions and shove them up your ass!

An armed man was firing his weapon which lead to the cops being called. Cops get there and confront said armed man, who some witnesses say fired at the cops at some point. Cops shoot armed man after he continues walking toward crowded gas station with his handgun, while ignoring all commands by the cops. Armed man gets hit, goes to ground, but continues moving toward gas station, so cops shoot him until he stops.

The people in this news video are screaming injustice and all kinds of other bullshit. But holy fuck, can you imagine what they would be yelling if the cops had let that armed man walk into that gas station and start shooting people? Is there some set number of times we are allowed to shoot an armed subject?

The cops shot an armed fucking criminal who was just firing his weapon! What the fuck are you complaining about you ignorant morons!?!?!

The solution is really fucking simple, don’t commit crime and you don’t have to worry about being intentionally shot by the cops. If you choose to ignore that piece of advice, then when the cops do show up, drop any weapon you may have and do what you are told. If you fail to follow that advice, you best expect to get your ass shot!

Look, unless you are 1) willing to don the uniform and show us how to do this, or 2) have actual experience doing the job, your uneducated, inexperienced opinion equates to exactly shit. Put up or shut up!
-Matt


The comments above are what I originally posted on Facebook, but I would like to add a giant “fuck you!” to the news station themselves.  Take a look at the differences in the images they used in their news story.  The cops are standing there both pointing their guns, but the suspect is posing with a very young little girl (hint, he was a nice guy and was kind to children and the cops are armed murderers).  Was it possible for them to use a screen capture from the very same video that shows the dead criminal holding his gun?  Of course it was, but they did not do that.

03
Fuck You KTLA 5! Race baiting, cop hatred stirring media mother fuckers!

Until the media stops fanning the flames of cop hate and racial discrimination, we are screwed!
-Matt

 Misplaced Anger

DE7ECA7D-69FF-4761-8C1D-5A71D2250E98_cx0_cy4_cw0_mw1024_s_n_r1

As the anti-cop rhetoric continues to spool up in the ongoing #WarOnCops, I have been doing my best, going on three years now, to defend my chosen profession of nearly 20 years.  During the course of those three years, I have had a great number of discussions with people from all over country via Facebook and Disqus in response to articles I have written.  Those conversations have me convinced that a great number of the people protesting “police brutality” and “militarized cops” really don’t have a damn clue what they are mad about.

They are angry at the cops because we are the visible, very real hand of government that is slapping them on the back of the hand and telling them they screwed up.  We are the unemotional middle man in the whole system who neither makes the rules nor deals the punishment.  We are just the one catching the screw ups and making them be held accountable for their errant behavior.

Recently, I wrote a blog post in which I examined and countered the “policy change suggestions” being put forth by the Black Lives Matter movement, or as Sheriff David Clarke more correctly calls them, Black Lies Matter.  Many of the “conversations” that resulted from that article evoked arguments based on some or all of the following categories of displaced blame directed at law enforcement.

Political Cognitive Dissonance

I find it disturbing how many soft headed people are yelling about laws, that are supposedly part of the “police brutality problem” in this country, and blaming the police for the laws.  People are angry about the enforcement of those laws that are in place.  Some of the laws are national, some state and even others are local laws.  Some people point to loitering or public drinking laws as the problem, others point to drug laws, others to traffic laws.  Depending on the person or group, they all have a different pet peeve law.

Despite all those differences on what they consider the problem to be, there is one thing that all of those laws have in common.  Exactly NONE of them were created by law enforcement.  Yep, that is right. We do not create laws, we are merely tasked with enforcing them.

Now I, as a conservative (as are the vast majority of cops) find this particular part of the whole dichotomy simultaneously both disturbing and humorous.   The overwhelming majority of the cities and states that are in an uproar over “police brutality” are politically speaking, deep blue areas.  Every single city that has had rioting or marching in the streets, is a Democrat run city, and most of them have been for decades.  Thusly, all of the laws and policies being complained about by the “activists,” are written and enacted by Democrat politicians.  Those that were not written by Democrats are at least being maintained by Democrats.

So, what does that mean?  It means that the people complaining about the police enforcing the laws are the same people electing the very officials creating those laws.

Don’t like the cops citing and/or towing cars with expired registration out of your driveways?  Yell at your politicians.  Don’t like strict enforcement of seatbelt laws, or that “money generating speed trap” that you got cited for violating?  Yell at your politicians.  As cops, we did not write the laws, we just enforce them.   Don’t like the fines for a particular violation?  We don’t set them, yell at the courts and the politicians.

To use a very old saying, don’t shoot the messenger.

Unabashed Hypocriticism

When I point out to the folks complaining that the laws we are enforcing are not created by us, and that rather than being mad at us for doing our jobs, they would be better served by directing the angry words to the people making the laws, a good number of those people then suggest the following:

“As a cop, you can choose not to enforce those laws”

While I happen to work for an agency that gives it’s deputies a great deal of latitude in using officer discretion, my agency is a rarity in today’s America.  Additionally, agencies run by an appointed Police Chief are actually under the thumb of the elected politicians, not necessarily the head cop, and as such, officer discretion is often overrided when officers are directed to enact strict enforcement policies.

Now, ignoring that, and let us just assume that cops all across the country were given huge leeway with their officer discretion, and we were in fact allowed to determine which laws we were going to completely ignore, these same “protesters” would be the first to file a lawsuit when one person was cut a break and another was cited or arrested.

So, who gets to choose what laws we enforce and which we ignore, the person being arrested?  I mean really, looking at the list of crimes that the Black Lives Matter group suggested we ignore in their “policy suggestion” list is crazy.

This whole argument is just more deflecting fault.  They do not like the laws, do not follow them, and bitch about it when they get caught.  It is just one more attempt to decriminalize crimes, which if you want to see how well that works, take a look at the results of Prop47 in California.

Willful Ignorance

The final part in this cacophony of logic lacking arguments is the fact that the people screaming about “police brutality” have based the overwhelming majority of their arguments on stories where allegations of “police brutality” have been Thoroughly Disproven!

The cases that they constantly point to while they scream for “justice” (ie: revenge) include Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Freddie Gray.

  • Trayvon Martin – despite all the times they throw his name around, he was NOT killed by a cop. He was shot in self-defense, which was confirmed by the courts.
  • Michael Brown – absolutely none of their claims in this case were based on fact, other than a black criminal was shot by a white cop. This whole incident was nothing but a lie.  Multiple investigations, including eyewitness testimony, have proven that.
  • Eric Garner – no matter how many times they try and scream it, Garner was absolutely NOT “choked to death” by a cop. Garner died from coronary failure, which was brought on in part by him struggling with the cops as they tried to arrest him and in part by his horrible health and morbid obesity.  The officer involved did use an unapproved hold in trying to subdue him, but he was not choked which was confirmed by the autopsy.
  • Freddie Gray – the witch hunt, err, I mean “prosecution” is still ongoing. What we know so far is that Freddie Gray was not beaten or abused by the cops before he was escorted to the transportation van.  There are numerous versions of what happened once he was inside, but none of them point to any specific intent by the cops to injure him, and at best contain allegations that he received injuries that occurred during a rough ride while not seat belted.  The results of this case are yet to be determined, but based on how quickly it is unraveling, I suspect all 6 of the officers charged will be acquitted.

The very few instances where there appears to have been actual cases of police abuse (illegal use of force), such as South Carolina Police Officer shooting of Michael Scott or more recently, the Arlington Deputy shot Christian Taylor, the cops have actually agreed and have taken the correct steps, including dismissal of the offender and in most cases, filing of criminal charges (some cases are still being investigated).

Now, what do EVERY SINGLE ONE of these cases have in common?  The person shot/killed/allegedly abused was in the act of committing a crime, AND in all of those cases, they were ALSO resisting arrest.

The “protesters” however are completely ignoring that, and are putting every ounce of the blame on the cops, and not on the person who took the encounter to that level.

How To Fix This

The solution is really, really simple.  Just about anyone should be able to follow along here.  I mean if my 7 year old can figure it out, any adult should be able to, right?

  1. If you dislike the laws, don’t blame the cops. Stop voting for people who pass the very laws you dislike (Democrats).
  2. Don’t break the law, even the laws you dislike
  3. If you break the law and get caught, don’t blame the cops. They did not make you do anything.
  4. If you get caught breaking the law, don’t resist arrest and you will not get injured.