This morning, more than one person sent us a link to this horrible opinion piece in the Washington Post, and even though I am not really in the mindset to deal with this right now, I don’t want to ignore it since it appears to be on more than one person’s mind.
Let me start by saying the author of this throws out one example (and a bad one) and then jumps the Grand Canyon to come to his conclusion, that cops are militarized and bad.
The author of this starts by telling his tale of woe, in which he came home drunk on a Saturday night, apparently failed to close his front apartment door all the way, an apartment that he was only using temporarily, and was awoken the following morning by cops pointing guns at him. And this folks, is his example of militarization of the cops? You mean cops investigating a potential felony in progress pointed handguns at him?
Their tactics were similar to the ones I used to clear rooms during the height of guerilla warfare in Iraq.
Really? Me thinks thou doth exaggerate a bit…
Mr. Horton’s example is absolutely chock full of mistakes, his mistakes, not the cops’. Horton came home so drunk, he forgot to shut and lock his front door. He was in this apartment on a temporary basis, yet neither he nor the apartment manager thought to let the neighboring apartments know the previously vacant apartment was going to be used temporarily by Mr. Horton. A concerned neighbor, seeing the open apartment door, of an apartment they thought was vacant, called the cops. The cops arrive and “barged into the apartment”, in other words they pushed open the unlocked, open door and then they began”barking their presence”, in other words, they announced that they were the cops, like case law and common sense says we should. When they got no verbal response, they began searching the apartment and located Mr. Horton groggily awakening from his drunken stupor of the night before. The cops detained him, and in his own words, quickly sorted out the situation and left.
This quote is interesting and I find it somewhat humorous based on his naivete.
“But the Fairfax County officers in my apartment were aiming their weapons at a target whose rap sheet consisted only of parking tickets and an overdue library book.”
I mean really, don’t you know, all us cops have the magical super power of looking at someone we have never met and instantly being able to discern their past criminal history. You know, because he only pointed his weapon at stone cold terrorists while in Afghanistan… Clearly, the irony of his comment here escapes him.
Additionally, Mr. Horton fails to consider the fact that even if cops were to approach this situation as if it were only a mere “squatter,” even mere squatters can present deadly threats as is evidenced by the bodycam video from only a few months ago in Colorado.
If that officer has assumed that the situation was benign, as Mr. Horton seems to be suggesting we should, that officer likely would be dead.
Of course, in Mr. Horton’s mind, all of this was the cops fault. Why accept any blame for his own errors when you can simply blame the cops? Right? I mean, that is the point to which society has come now. No personal responsibility, it is always someone else’s fault, and if the cops are involved, it was clearly the cops’ fault.
Here is where Mr. Horton is wrong, just in looking at his personal example:
– He came home so drunk, he forgot to close and lock his apartment door.
– He was staying in this apartment temporarily, but neither he nor the apartment manager advised the neighbors.
– The neighbors did the right thing by calling the cops when they saw the open door .
– The cops were investigating a possible burglary in progress, not just some simple trespassing.
– Mr. Horton says the cops should have stopped to investigate the situation and should have contacted the apartment manger first, at 9am, on a Sunday morning. Clearly Mr. Horton is under the illusion that doing that, at 9am, on a Sunday morning, is a simple task.
– Mr. Horton seems to have forgotten how any men and what type of weapons he used when conducting raids in Afghanistan.
– Horton has also clearly never attempted to apprehend a burglar in the act of committing a burglary if he thinks the burglar will just wait for us in the apartment while we do all sorts of investigation in places that are not the actual, potential crime scene.
So, tell me where the cops were wrong? How do you jump from that crappy example all the way to “cops are militarized” and then blame them for:
This author is a freaking tool! He lays out a really crappy example, where he screwed up big time, then blames the cops for investigating his screw ups, then, out of nowhere he says the cops are militarized (without ever attempting to define what that even means – in his example, I guess pointing handguns and having good muzzle & trigger discipline constitutes militarized), then blames them for killing “unarmed citizens,” yet the link he provides shows countless shootings of armed felons, not unarmed citizens.
This author is an idiot. His example of “militarized police activity” is better suited as a “don’t be a drunk idiot” public service message.
Mr. Horton, thank you for your military service, but in terms of police work, you don’t know shit from shinola. Cop work is not the same thing. Your expertise as a soldier provides you exactly zero expertise in police work. Perhaps you should stop drinking so much, learn a little bit about cop work, case law, and common sense, and if at that time, you think you still have a better way, I invite you to suit up and lead by example. Until then, perhaps you should start acknowledging your own mistakes instead of transferring the blame to others.