Remember, Cops Are The Problem With America

Or so the many supporters of Colin Kaepernick would have you believe.

Yesterday, the news that GQ Magazine named Kaepernick their “Citizen of the Year” hit social media, and needless to say, much of America let out a collective “WTF?”

When I heard the news and saw the cover, I shared my disgust on both my FB page and on Twitter.  Twitter being what it is, I got a few replies that were not in agreement with my opinion.  That is to be expected, as not everyone has the same opinions as I do, but one of those responses lead to a “conversation” that is the epitome of what is ailing the United States currently.

This was my initial Tweet:

  What follows is the “conversation” that leaves me with serious questions about our future:

My response to that, which included retweeting it:

And it went rapidly downhill from there…

But lest we not forget, since I am calling Kaepernick out for his bullshit, that apparently means I am racist and want all blacks to die…

Apparently, according to this delightful individual, who is “Just a sexy, sophisticated, educated, charming, complicated kinda woman,” I said the Black Panther Party was racist.

While I never said anything of the sort, that is indeed factually correct, so I thought I would point that out to her.

In response, she dumbfoundingly calls the Southern Poverty Law Center “a racist bigot” because they have identified the New Black Panther Party as a racist hate group.

It was at this point that I realized that this person is definitely not firing on all cylinders. While I am no fan of the Southern Poverty Law Center, because they lean very far to the left and falsely identify a great number of conservative groups as hate groups, they most definitely are not a “racist bigot,” and the fact that this self-proclaimed “educated” person doesn’t know that, their supposed education is now being called into question. At this point, I attempted to bow out, albeit not gracefully.

But wait, how did I miss that? Did she just demand I show her where I did NOT do something???? Let me reread that. Yep, that is exactly what she said.

And at that point, it devolved into just insults and name calling, but my favorite is when she said she hopes I get killed in the line of duty. She has since deleted that tweet, but not to worry as I screen grabbed it.

So, thinking I was done with her, I carried on with life, only to check in on Twitter later in the night to find that now only is she a cop hating racist bigot, but apparently she is homophobic as well. Apparently, realizing she again screwed up, she has since deleted that Tweet too, but again, not a problem as I also saved it.  

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Then, when I point that out, she tried to put that on me, while simultaneously continuing her cop hating tirade.

It was at this point that I completely gave up, and since she was not going to let it go, I blocked her.

But, life is sometimes like a train wreck, and it begs you to look at the disaster, and so I did. I checked her Twitter feed this morning to see what other nuggets of wisdom she may have let fly during the night, aaaaaaaaand I was not disappointed.

But hey, remember folks, the cops are the problem here in the United States. It has nothing to do with the cop hating racists that continue to propagate the lies pushed by Black Lives Matter…

In all seriousness, how are we supposed to combat the blatant lies tearing this country apart when people like this actively dismiss information provided to them, and do nothing but project their racism onto others?

This is not just about the “Lioness of Judah” and other racist blacks, because there are plenty of backwards ass, idiotic racist whites too. I’m at a loss for how to effectively deal with them.

These people are the problem with the US.

These people are dragging us all down.

Ayala Vehicle Stop a Huge “Nothing Burger”

According to the news reports, on June 19th (nearly a month ago), two Florida cops performed a vehicle stop on a car occupied by Florida’s State’s Attorney Aramis Ayala.  The reason for the stop, as stated by the officers in the video, and confirmed by their department, is that they had run the license plates on her car through DMV on their computer and there was no record for the plates in the DMV computer system.  The officers, at least in all the versions of the video that I have seen, are polite and friendly to Ms. Ayala, who coincidentally is obviously perturbed and asked for the officer’s information.

The video of this stop was released a few days ago and since it was released, certain people’s heads are exploding.  The allegations that the stop was racially motivated are being thrown around like crazy.  Some people, namely those who have not the slightest clue about cop work, are straight freaking out over this.

Let’s watch the stop in its entirety.

So, let’s compare that traffic stop above to another one from a quite a number of years ago.  A CHP officer runs the plate on a mint green 1995 Ford Thunderbird, one that looks like it has seen better days, and has dark tinted windows.  The plate comes back not on file.  The CHP officer initiates a vehicle stop and the driver, me, a pale white guy, is contacted.  The CHP officer was polite and friendly, as was I, and once the CHP officer confirmed that the vehicle and license plates were not stolen and there was a legitimate reason the plates did not show up in DMV’s computer (it was an undercover cop car), we parted ways, and that was the end of it.  Which is exactly what should have happened in this case, but sadly that is not what is happening.

Folks, the media is playing you.  Just look at the incendiary headlines regarding this nothing of an incident.

  • Policeman pulls over black woman and quickly discovers she is the state attorney (Independent.co.uk)
  • Florida state attorney pulled over in traffic stop that goes nowhere fast (CNN)
  • Black Florida State Attorney Pulled Over in Traffic Stop, Prompting Criticism (NBC)
  • BLACK WHILE DRIVING: FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY STOPPED BY POLICE IN VIRAL VIDEO (Newswek)
  • VIDEO: Orlando police officers struggle to explain why they pulled over State Attorney Aramis Ayala (Orlando Weekly)
  • Florida Cops Goof In Pulling Over Black Female State Attorney For Garbage Reasons (HipHopWired)
  • VIDEO: State Attorney Aramis Ayala Racially Profiled By Orlando Police? (Florida National News)

This vehicle stop is a HUGE NOTHING!  Absolutely nothing about this traffic stop is remotely newsworthy, nothing.  And despite many of the articles, no one was scrambling to explain why they stopped her.  They very clearly stated the reason, a very legit reason.

For those of you who have no idea what we do, cops run license plates all day long.  We run them while we are driving to calls, we run them while we are driving to dinner, and sometimes we run them while we are heading to the station near the end of shift, but not as often then.   It is how we find stolen cars, wanted persons, verify registrations are current and valid, and many other things.  Not only is it legal to do that, it is actually part of our job and we are expected to do it.

In the case of Ms. Ayala’s stop, these cops ran her plate and it came back not on file.  There are many reasons why a license plate might not be in the DMV computer system, and only one of them is legal (the situation encountered in both previously mentioned vehicle stops).  Other reasons (the illegal ones) would be that the plates are counterfeit, of which there are many ways to fake this, or they could be very old plates that are no longer in the system and do not belong on the car.

In cop work, when a plate comes back not on file, we call that a clue, which usually prompts us to investigate why the license plate is not in DMV’s records, which is exactly what the cops in both of the vehicle stops previously mentioned did.  A stop was conducted, the driver was contacted, the vehicle and license plates were confirmed to be legit, and the drivers were released.  Everything occurred exactly as it should.  The only difference was one of the drivers (not me) got upset about being stopped and asked for the officer’s names and other information (insinuating that she is going to file a complaint).

Some people are insinuating she was stopped because she was black.  Was I stopped because I was white?  If she was stopped for being black (which she wasn’t), why were the cops so polite to her?

Come on folks, not everything is racist!  Stop looking for racism where there is none.  You are not fixing things, you are making them worse!

Being Lectured By An Academic, Oh Joy

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First of all, let me clear this up; this guy is most definitely NOT the “US policing leader” like the author of this Associated Press article wants his readers to believe.  The headline of that AP article, which is sadly as much of the article as some viewers will actually read, could not be more disingenuous and blatantly misleading.

According to a similar article at the Washington Post, Terrence Cunningham “issued a formal apology to the nation’s minority population ‘for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society’s historical mistreatment of communities of color.’”

The man who made those comments is correctly identified in the AP article as “Terrence Cunningham, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.”   He is the president of a private organization, one which comprises much more than what its name would indicate.  The organization is not even restricted to just law enforcement, but its membership is open to many other professions, many not remotely resembling law enforcement.

“Membership Criteria:  Police chiefs, commissioners, sheriffs, constables, security officers, investigators, colonels, city managers, public safety directors, instructors, highway safety specialists, police science coordinators, brigadier generals, doctors, senior research fellows, sergeants, criminal investigators, psychologists, attorneys, management analysts, border patrol agents, inspectors, human rights officers, coroners, handwriting examiners, criminal justice students and service providers—all comprise our vast membership.” 

To remotely suggest that this guy speaks for US law enforcement as a whole, or even to suggest that he speaks for US law enforcement leadership, is seriously misstating the truth.  He speaks for a group that he is the president of, and based on these articles, he does not even speak for all of said group’s members.

Secondly, Terrence Cunningham is the Chief of Police of “Wellesley, Massachusetts, an affluent, overwhelmingly white, low-crime suburb near Boston.”  Wellesley, MA is a whopping 10.49 square miles (my last patrol district was more than 4 times that size), the entire department consists of 62 full-time employees (only 33 of which are patrol cops), the city has a crime rate that is almost non-existent, and “According to a 2007 Census Bureau estimate, the racial makeup of the town was 84.6% White, 10.0% Asian, 2.2% Black, 0.01% Native American, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.4% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.4% of the population.”  “Overwhelmingly white” is a almost an understatement.

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Speaking of the ridiculously low crime rate, according to the information provided by City-Data.com, there has not been a murder in the city going back to at least 2002 and in the 12 year span shown on their website (2002-2014), there were only 17 reported rapes in that entire time span and only 26 robberies.  My department takes that many robbery reports in just a day or two.  The crime rate there is so ridiculously low, I began to wonder when the last time there was a murder in that town.  The most recent murder I can find any mention of using Google occurred in 1999.

According to Cunningham’s LinkedIn profile, his entire 33 year law enforcement career has been served in Wellesley, MA.  His entire career has been in a sleepy, wealthy, crime free small town.  This man has no experience dealing with the very communities that he is attempting to speak to.  Additionally,   he lists Harvard as his alma mater which makes me suspect he is likely a liberal.  So, he has a liberal education and he has no experience dealing with violent crime, which explains his “white cop guilt” BS comments.

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His comments are based on academics and speculation, because his employment history does not offer any credible facts on which they can be based.  While I am not begrudging anyone who works in a small, slow town, but for him to speak as if he is an expert on a topic that he has zero experience dealing with is totally irresponsible.

This man most definitely does NOT speak for law enforcement as a whole.

The atrocities he speaks of, the enforcement of Jim Crow laws, the blatant abuse of people of color, those things happened more than a decade before I was even born, and more than 30 years before I became a cop.  I do not have to apologize for something I did not do.  It is entirely possible for me to acknowledge that something bad happened, that something was done wrong, without my needing to accept blame for it.  Expecting modern law enforcement to apologize for things done 50 years ago is the same as expecting white people to apologize for slavery.  It is liberal minded, SJW bull crap!

As an actively employed cop, this man’s comments infuriate me.

This is yet another leftist attempt to alleviate a segment of society from personal responsibility, and his comments could not have come at a worse time.  There is currently a war on cops being waged, and this guy wants me to say sorry for something that happened before I was born?  Someone needs to step out of suburbia and experience real cop work before he is going to try and lecture us.

We as a nation need to stop blaming people who did nothing wrong.  The only way we can hope to grow as a people, as one nation, is to stop living in the past.  Make changes for the better.  Judge people based on their actions, not on their skin color or the clothing (uniform) they wear.

Now, before someone accuses me of trying to whitewash history, I am not remotely suggesting that we ignore the past, far from it.  As the saying goes, those who refuse to learn history are doomed to repeat it.  However, acknowledging that history does not require taking responsibility for it.  It is possible to learn from the mistakes of others, and that is what we all need to do, both the cops and the communities we serve.

Edit 10-21-16:  While I understand the message he was trying to convey, and I agree it is a positive one, his choice of wording was horrific and now the left is shoving those poorly chosen words in law enforcement’s collective face.

“Cops Murder Unarmed Black Man,” Or Did They?

Sadly, a couple of days ago, on Friday September 16, 20016, an Oklahoma cop shot and killed an unarmed black man, Terence Crutcher. There is absolutely no denying that, because that is what happened. But that is where the honesty in the discussion taking place on social media and in teh mainstream media ends.

Yes, the cops shot him, but does that mean they “murdered” him? If you were to search the hashtag #TerenceCrutcher on just about any social media platform, you will likely be inundated by comment after comment proclaiming the cops murdered him, or worse.

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Yesterday, numerous people were tweeting out this screen grab of the official police statement, while calling the statement a lie (wording used varied by commenter).

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I’ve watched a couple of the videos (helicopter and 1st responding officer’s dash cam – both videos linked here) and I will admit that the dash cam looks really bad, mainly because we can’t see anything past the officers. On the other hand, the video from the helicopter provides us a much better view of what happened, but neither of those videos can be taken as the sole piece of evidence.

(Helicopter video above)

(Dash cam video from 1st responding officer above)

Now, based on those videos, I can say, without any doubt in my mind, that the police statement is absolutely 100% correct. Just to clarify, agreeing that the official police statement is accurate does not necessarily mean that I am saying the shooting is justified. More on that later.


Slightly off topic, but one thing worth noting here because far too many people are making a huge stink about it online: the comment in the helicopter video where one officer says “that looks like a bad dude” is not something that went out on the radio.  That was recorded via the helicopter’s communication system that allows the pilot and observer to speak to each other.  If you don’t believe me, watch the in-car video again and listen to the police radio traffic in the background.   


 

First, we have the mainstream media spreading lies. Take this headline (below) from the ABC News main website (not a local station, this is ABC corporate). Half true, half incendiary lies. Yes, Crutcher had no gun; no his hands were most definitely NOT up when he was shot. ABC was not by any means the only mainstream “news” station to have a similar headline.  What is this, Mike Brown all over again?  Can we at least stick to the truth?

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Then there are the countless morons drawing the false comparison between Terence Crutcher and Ahmad Khan Rahami (the NYC & NJ terrorist bombing suspect), saying the cops killed Crutcher because he was black, but they only arrested Rahami.


I guess, you know, because cops like Muslim terrorists who shoot at them better than they do black men? I mean, that is what these idiots are insinuating, is it not?

The fact of the matter is the cops fired numerous rounds at Rahami, and struck him and unknown number of times (I’ve 1-2 times). Yes, the cops shot both men. Sadly, the ONE SINGLE round that was fired at Mr. Crutcher clearly (from the helicopter video) struck, at minimum, some vital organs, if not an artery, which is evidenced by the extreme about of blood visible almost instantly. Both men were rushed to the hospital after being shot, one of them survived.

There are many other morons out there, including Shaun king (the crazy white guy who thinks and pretends he is black) who the liberals at the NY Daily News have seen fit to give a large platform to, preaching that the cops had no reason to have their guns drawn and had no reason to even put Crutcher in handcuffs (because many people have asked why they didn’t cuff him) because he had not committed a crime. Well Shaun, your legal expertise is severely lacking. It is not necessary that someone have actually committed a crime in order for cops to handcuff them, or point guns at them. If the cops suspect they may have committed a crime, they can be detained, in handcuffs even. If they are refusing to cooperate, force can be used. More on that later.

Yet another thing far too many people are hung up on is that Crutcher “was unarmed.” Yes, he was, but in the beginning of this incident, Crutcher and only a single officer were involved in the encounter. None of us knows what transpired during that encounter, but we do know that whatever it was, it was tense enough that the female officer, who was much smaller than Crutcher, got on the radio and requested Code 3 cover, and it was enough to cause her to draw her weapon and point it at Crutcher. You see, while Crutcher may not have been a bad guy (I have no idea if he has a criminal history or not), there is no way for a responding cop to know that, and in order for cops to avoid being hurt or killed, we automatically assume everyone is a bad guy until we figure out otherwise, less something like this happen:

Further expanding on the irrelevance of the whole unarmed argument, Crutcher began ignoring the officer’s commands, he turned and walked back to his vehicle. As he walked, his hands were in the air, but they were only in the air until he got to his driver’s door. At that point, his hands dropped and he began digging in the car, still ignoring the officer’s commands. Honestly, when watching this video, it immediately made me think of a video EVERY cop has seen in training, and I would be willing to bet it was going through those cops’ minds too. The shooting death of Deputy Kyle Dinkheller.

When examining any police use of force, from a simple twist lock all the way up to deadly force, there is one thing that must be considered, and that is whether the cop’s actions were “objectively reasonable.”  That phrase and concept come to us via a US Supreme Court Case that was heard in 1989, Graham v. Connor.  The court ruled that only the information known to the cop at the time of the encounter (not facts later discovered), in conjunction with that cop’s training and experience, would lead another equally trained/experienced officer to make a similar decision.  In other words, were the cop’s actions objectively reasonable with the information they had at the time.

One last thing that we need to clear up before I delve into my opinions on this shooting; murder, by legal definition, is the unlawful, intentional killing of a human being.

Later

Ok, so now that we’ve got the lies and half-truths addressed, let me offer my own opinion, however limited.

As I said, I’ve watched the videos. From other reports, whether or not they were accurate, it appears the first officer encountered Crutcher while driving to another, unrelated call. Per those reports, Crutcher was not cooperative from the onset. While we do not see the beginning of the encounter, we do see that he is not cooperative from the time he is on camera. As soon as they have him in camera view, he is turned away from the solo, much smaller female officer, who has her gun drawn, and Crutcher is walking away from her. Crutcher continues to walk away, ignoring commands, and walks to his car and begins reaching inside the car. Crutcher is shot while still reaching in the car, falls to the ground and does not move again.

  1. What I can assume based on the facts is that the encounter between Crutcher and the female officer is confrontational at a minimum. If it was not, she would not have requested code 3 cover. If the encounter is going bad enough that you are requesting code 3 cover, it is reasonable to have your gun drawn.
  2. Cops have every legal right to detain Crutcher at the onset of this encounter. His car, which they have no way of knowing it is even his, is stopped in the middle of the street, and is actually on the wrong side of the road. According to the reports, he approached the cop and was immediately confrontational. That is two things that are not normal, which should lead anyone to wonder what is going on. Since it is the cops job to investigate situations like this, and the cops are present, it is legal and reasonable to detain those who are involved. If the subjects are cooperative, handcuffs may not be used, but if the subject is uncooperative, as Crutcher clearly (from the video) is, handcuffing him would be normal (once sufficient cops were on scene to do so).  So yes Shaun King, the cops could very well have legally detained Crutcher in handcuffs.
  3. As cops encounter any situation, we have no magical way of knowing who is a good guy and who is a bad guy. The first thing that gives us an inclination of which side of the spectrum they fall on is their behavior. Crutcher, at the earliest point we see him in the video, is most definitely not acting like a good guy. Acting in a confrontational manner, and refusing to follow lawful commands, only serves to put the cops more on edge, and put you in more danger.
  4. Crutcher walks all the way to the driver’s door of the vehicle and begins reaching through the open window, doing something that the cops cannot see. This is yet another red flag to the cops, and any cop in that situation is going to be assuming the worst.
  5. We have no idea what was said between Crutcher and the initial officer. Depending on what Crutcher told her, she could have had very real concerns that Crutcher might be planning on taking offensive actions towards her or the other cops. For all we know, he could have said “I’m going to grab my registration from inside the car” or just as easily, he could have said “I’m getting my gun and am going to kill you.” The fact of the matter is, none of us knows what was said, and none of us should assume one way or the other.

So, the million dollar question is, did those cops “murder” Terence Crutcher? The shooting appears to have been intentional, so half of that murder question is a yes, but was it unlawful? We do not have enough information to make that call. Granted, lacking any knowledge of cop work, and looking at the videos, especially the in-car camera, it looks bad, but we cannot judge the incident only on what we see.

With that said, I suspect it will be found to be a lawful shooting, based on everything going on here. I think the objective reasonableness standard will be found to have been met in this case.

Would I have fired? Damn, tough call. Some cases are a slam dunk “absolutely!” This is not one of those cases. I wish I knew what was said, and what transpired before the cameras were on scene.  With what we have available, I don’t know.

However, one thing I can say without a shred of doubt in my mind, if Terence Crutcher had cooperated, if he had followed the lawful commands he was given, he would be alive today.  Folks, this is not about skin color, none of it is.  It is about not doing stupid stuff when the cops are pointing a gun at you.


All of the above is the opinion of me, Matt, an actively employed deputy with 20 years on the job.  I realize some folks might dismiss my opinions because I’m one of those evil cops.  For another opinion, one from a man who is not a cop, read this article by Bob Owens at Bearing Arms.


** Updated 9-20-16 / 1245 hours Pacific **

Latest Update to this who situation is that not only did the female officer who first contacted Crutcher say that he was acting as if he was on PCP, but the cops located PCP in his car when they conducted a search of it.  This does not mean he was necessarily high at the time.  We will have to wait for the autopsy and blood tests to determine that.


** Updated 9-20-16 / 1400 hours Pacific **

The Tulsa Police have released two different 911 calls that they received from citizens regarding Crutcher’s behavior and his car.  These calls were made prior to the officer contacting Crutcher.  So, it now appears that the cops were not the only people who thought he was acting as if he were high.