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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Please Help Us Combat the War on Cops

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Law Enforcement in America has been under attack for several years now. This attack is being led by a number of groups who are organized and far better financed than we, the working cops taking the brunt of the assault. Those attacking our profession include a “news” media that loves stoking the flames of distrust because it is good for ratings as well as the pocketbook, racists and race baiters who make money sowing the seeds of discontent amongst groups that claim to be victims, and agenda driven politicians occupying positions in all levels of government. They can often be found publicly siding with the deceased criminals who were eventually proven, usually in a court of law or grand jury, to have been at fault during the encounter that caused their own deaths.

This attack has been non-stop for several years, and it is beginning to have very serious consequences on this country. Two of the primary results of this war being waged on us are 1) many officers are no longer working proactively for fear they will be the next victim of the media assault, which has become known as the “Ferguson Effect” and 2) the number violent assaults on officers, up to and including shootings, has skyrocketed. The first two months of 2016 saw an 1100% (yes, you read that correctly) increase in the number of officers killed by gunfire over the same time frame last year.

When the media, some celebrities, politicians to include those at the highest levels are constantly telling you that the cops are stupid, or racists who “kill unarmed black men far too often”, even if there is absolutely no evidence to back those claims, when they praise groups who demonize us and call for our death, bring them into the houses of the people and parade them around as heroes and martyrs, then it only makes sense that attacks on cops will increase.

Just a few short months ago, Officer Ashley Guindon, a former US Marine, was murdered on her very first day as a sworn Police Officer.

And we are not the only ones taking the abuse. The narrative of our armed forces being brutes and war criminals harms them and their families. Firemen and medics are not able to answer calls due to civil unrest and lawlessness. All manner of service to our country and our people is now under assault by those who have no courage to serve on their own accord.

THIS MUST END.

To any celebrities or public figures who are willing to help, we, the police officers and families of those public servants, are asking for your help. We request that you stand beside us and help fight this propaganda battle. We are undertaking this effort on our own time, at our own expense. We will make no money from this, and as such, we can also offer you no monetary compensation for your assistance. But we feel it is incumbent on anyone who loves this country and respects the concept of law and order, to make a stand and fight to get our country back on track, to fight this malignant narrative. We respectfully ask that you help us make that stand.

If you are willing to help us with this goal, we ask that you contact us via any of our Facebook pages or Twitter accounts. We pledge that we will do all we can to uphold our professional dignity, and insure that your assistance is rewarded with a campaign that you can be proud to be associated with.

Thank you for your time and consideration,
Matt – Deputy Matt & Others Who Serve (or on Twitter)
Salty Dad – Salty Dad
M – Vegas LEO
Chief – Cops Supporting Gun Rights
Berserker – Inside The Fire: A Page for First Responders
AJ – Police Beat
Copzilla – Deputy Matt & Others Who Serve
Stache – Deputy Matt & Others Who Serve
Doc – Deputy Matt & Others Who Serve
Medic X – Deputy Matt & Others Who Serve
Ryan “Tactical Platypus” –  Deputy Matt & Others Who Serve
Inbound Hot – Deputy Matt & Others Who Serve

 

 Misplaced Anger

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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.