Archive for the 'Police' Category



PoliceOne On Rifles For Every Cop

BY Herschel Smith
1 day ago

PoliceOne:

We, as law enforcement officers, need to adopt the same mindset as that of the Marine Corps when it comes to job titles. In the Marine Corps, everyone, regardless of rank, is a rifleman first and foremost. The “job” he does in the Marines comes second. We’re civilian law enforcement, so our “job” to protect and serve comes first, but we need to have the mindset that each and every one of us is also a rifleman. We need to be equipped and trained as such.

You can feel free to peruse my category on the U.S. Marines as long as you wish.  I know a Marine, and you’re no Marine.  The last thing I want is for a cop to see himself as first and foremost a rifleman.  Because he’s not, and because he shouldn’t be, even if he has the skills.

What Mr. Rayburn wants to see is every cop carrying a patrol rifle at all times, and instead of raising a handgun or shotgun at people, he’ll have a rifle to make urban situations and CQB much worse due to increased range and muzzle velocity.

It’s sad, really.  All of that gun control hasn’t helped a bit, has it?  And that open border policy and family-destroying welfare have made matters much worse, haven’t they?

But I’m certain that Mr. Rayburn doesn’t support peaceable men like me openly carrying rifles with them everywhere they go, else he would have said so.  His solution is to super-arm the cops rather than address the situation at its root cause.

Because cops are just like us, only better, and more elite, with more rights and latitude.  Well Mr. Rayburn, if you want to be a U.S. Marine, join up, take the training, and fly across the pond.  On the other hand, with the way things are now in the Army and Marines, I’m not so sure I’m saying much compared to what it would have been ten or even five years ago.

The saddest part of all is that cops apparently listen to this goober.  It’s a long way and a lot of water over the dam since the days of peace officers, yes?  Steel yourself for what’s coming, folks.

Newark Police Pull Shotguns On Ten Year Old

BY Herschel Smith
1 day ago

News from the great Northeast:

A New Jersey mother is demanding answers from the Newark Police Department after her 10-year-old son was chased by police with shotguns.

Patisha Solomon says her son, Legend Preston, was playing basketball outside their home when Newark PD officers mistook him for a 20-year-old armed robbery suspect.

Police approached Legend with guns drawn. At that point, Legend says, out of fear, he ran into an alleyway.

“I ran because they thought that I rolled the ball into the street on purpose, and they were just holding shot guns at me trying to shoot me,” Legend told ABC New York.

Neighbors who saw the commotion, quickly yelled for the police to stop — one neighbor reportedly “threw themselves in front of the guns to protect” Legend.

“He’s only 10 years old, how you all chasing him? He’s only a kid,” Jackie Kelly, a neighbor of the Solomon family told ABC News.

Goobers with guns.  It’s what they do, ma’am.  They’re dangerous to everything and everyone around them, including themselves.  You know, it might have been easier and more efficient if they had walked up to the kid and talked to the him.

Father Utterly Terrified After Trooper Points Gun At His 7 Year Old

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 1 day ago

The Washington Post:

Suddenly, the officer rapped on the rear passenger side window with his pistol. My daughter, who was sitting inches from the barrel of his gun, jumped with fear as the officer yelled at me to roll down the front passenger window, his service weapon pointed directly at me. I knew something was terribly awry and I tried to remain calm, keeping my hands visible as I slowly fumbled for the window controls in an unfamiliar car.

My daughter rolled down her window and I explained that we were in a rental car, that we had no weapons, and I was having trouble figuring out how to roll down the front passenger window from my driver’s side door. The officer didn’t listen, and kept yelling louder and more insistently, ordering me to comply with his request as he leered at me down the barrel of his pistol. My daughter panicked and tried to get out of her booster seat to reach forward to roll down the front window, and the officer screamed her at her not to move as he pointed his pistol at her.

Then, as I had my hands in the air, he yelled, at the top of his lungs, in a voice I will never forget, as my daughter looked on in terror, “Get your hands away from your waist or I’ll blow two holes through your back right now!” My hands were high in the air as he said this, and I was not in any way reaching for my waist. I was utterly terrified. I’ve heard stories of police yelling out false things like this before they unjustifiably attack someone as a way to justify the attack, and I thought this was what was happening to me. I braced for bullets to hit me and all I could think of was my daughter having to watch it happen and being left alone on the side of the highway with an insane, violent cop.

I would be terrified for my child too.  The report says that the officer thought it was a stolen car.  Whatever.  There is no excuse for this kind of behavior.  None.

With a child in the car, the officer should have immediately reassessed the situation and concluded that his information was likely incorrect.  It often is, witness so many wrong-home SWAT raids.  Furthermore, inability to figure out how a window works when under duress isn’t equivalent to being noncompliant with the officer’s commands.  The officer doesn’t know everything about the situation, and he shouldn’t have drawn his service weapon.

Finally, men like this give gun owners like me a bad name.  His trigger discipline and muzzle discipline are non-existent.  Even if it was a stolen vehicle like he thought, the presence of a child in the automobile should have made him stop and conclude that it wasn’t worth the risk of injury to the child, even if the driver drove away.  The driver will never actually get away.  He knows that.

Honestly, from my vantage point, I don’t worry so much about crime or assault.  My biggest worry is goobers like this who believe they are Mr. tactical, when their thinking more matches Barney Fife.  And I would bet every penny I had that if a negligent discharge occurred, killing the innocent man or injuring the child, the PD would have hired “experts” who testified that he did everything right.  He would have gotten away with it.

Buffalo Police Department, The Dog Butchers, Strike Again

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks, 1 day ago

WKBW.com:

Buffalo_PD_Dog_Shooting

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) – Two separate police raids ended with pit bull dogs shot in their respective homes. Pit bull dogs were shot after police raided houses in the past week.

On the morning of Friday, July 29th, Michael Urban’s house was raided by the Buffalo Police Department, as their Narcotics Department executed 15 search warrants in the Lovejoy-Kaisertown area. Although BPD tells us a search warrant was executed for Urban’s home on Weaver Street, Urban says officers raided the wrong home, and that the description didn’t match him.

“5’11 210 white male and this is a 5’11 170 black male… I don’t look like either of those,” said Urban.

According to Urban, officers came into his home and shot his 18-month-old pit bull, Gotham, twice. A bullet hole on his kitchen floor serves as memory of that morning. The bullet made it through the floor to the home of the downstairs residents.

“What just happened?” Urban recalls what was going through his mind that morning. “As the bullet hole went through the floor through the ceiling, as the dogs blood is dripping through the downstairs apartment… who’s accountable?”

The Internal Affairs Division of the Buffalo Police Department has opened an investigation into the matter.

A similar situation occurred on Esser Street. According to resident of the home on Esser Street, Cindy Meers, her seven-year-old pit bull dog was shot by the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and Buffalo SWAT Thursday afternoon.

I saw you in the video, shit-for-brains.  You looked like this.

Buffalo_Police

What a drag, huh?  Someone had you get all dressed up with no place to go except shoot a dog in the wrong house!  Here’s a hint to help you in the future.  A lot of records that y’all use, such as tax records, are out of date.  They lead to wrong-home raids.  Have a uniformed officer walk up to the front door and knock on it.  He can then ask the resident of the domicile who he is.  That will work better than what you did.

Or if you’re really scared of who might be in there, you can have a plain clothes officer watch the home until the owner comes out for work, groceries, or whatever.  He can’t stay in there forever.  Then he can do this.

Officer 1: Uh … this dude isn’t black, he’s white.  Maybe the wrong place.  How copy?

Officer 2: Uh … okay.  Copy.  Wrong place.

Officer 1: I just called his name, er … the name we think is his.  He looked at me like I was crazy.  I think we need to think about this.  Standing down.  How copy?

Officer 2: Copy that.  Standing down.  Let’s go get a doughnut.

If you are concerned about the high personnel costs of staking out the residence, you can sell off those helmets, AR-15s, EOTechs, Kevlar, Tac-lights, Comms gear and other unnecessary stuff.  We don’t really care about your war on drugs.

You went into the home of someone else, a home that wasn’t yours, onto property that wasn’t yours, and shot his dog.  You committed a home invasion, and it would have been morally justified to shoot every one of you dead.  Most of us aren’t okay with something like that unless it involves the immediate protection of someone’s life, such as in a kidnapping, and even then, I would rather you take a cold shower, find someone with brains and let them deescalate the situation.

But all of this only matters if you have a moral compass.  It doesn’t, and you don’t.  I had thought that I remembered something special about the Buffalo Police Department.  Ohhhh yes.  We have history with you.

According to use of force reports requested by WGRZ-TV under the Freedom of Information Law, Buffalo Police shot 92 dogs from Jan. 1, 2011 through Sept. 2014. Seventy-three of those dogs died. Nineteen survived.

To provide a comparison, Buffalo’s numbers more than triple the amount of dog shooting incidents involving police in Cincinnati, a municipality of similar size.

“The numbers are what the numbers are,” Buffalo Police Chief of Detectives Dennis Richards said in an interview with WGRZ. “Certainly, no officer takes any satisfaction in having to dispatch a dog.”

I don’t believe you.  I don’t believe you because there are other ways to accomplish the same mission.  I believe that you are a bunch of sadists, and I think the people of Buffalo should begin to think of you that way.  You’re a hazard to yourselves and the citizens and animals of the city.  You’re clearly incompetent, and you need to have your entire department cleaned out top to bottom, side to side, front to back, with everyone replaced, entirely new procedures, and a new perspective.

Finally, I was looking for an email address to ensure that someone in the Buffalo Police Department read this article.  I notice that you don’t supply any such contact information for any person in particular, you just give that idiotic form.

I’ve taken to avoiding linking or commenting on articles where the author gives no contact information.  I don’t consider Twitter accounts or Facebook pages contact information.  An author who doesn’t give his email address is a coward.  And a cop who shoots up the city without giving his email contact information is doubly a coward.  I find y’all despicable and loathsome.  I’m glad I don’t know you.  I pity the people of Buffalo who do have to know you.

So After Six Months Of Legalized Open Carry In Texas, Is Blood Running In The Streets?

BY Herschel Smith
4 weeks, 1 day ago

KAGSTV.com:

In the first panicked hours following the ambush on Dallas police officers, the department released a photo of a man carrying a long gun as a person of interest.

But he was the wrong guy—and one who never broke any laws by carrying that gun.

“I also don’t fault Dallas police for immediately listing that person as a person of interest,” said Ray Hunt with the Houston Police Officers Union. “Just like anybody else that had guns on the scene, they would be considered persons of interest. That’s just called clues in police work.”

The worklist for police has gotten longer as more people will be sporting pistols and handguns through the state’s open carry law, which took effect this year. And at any scene, it may require more resources.

“It may take another officer to be there to watch that person to make sure that person is not part of the problem,” Hunt said.

But the Houston Police Officers Union is more concerned about the public.

“The number of people who were gonna be calling, because they’re not used to seeing that,” Hunt said.

So far, it hasn’t seemed too problematic.

Since January, the Houston Police Department says out of the tens of thousands of calls a month, only 62 were weapon related.

And out of those, only 19 were actual open-carry situations.

Considering the shootings we have seen around the country, it’s possible people are hypersensitive to weapons. So for now, police can only hope that dispatchers will determine how serious the threat is.

“If we find out that someone is carrying and they’re allowed to be carrying we are allowed to disarm them during the investigation,” Hunt said. “And then give them their weapon back at the end.”

So I reckon the sky isn’t falling and the bodies aren’t stacking up in the morgue because of open carry.  So much for the hyper-dramatic hysteria by the gun controllers.

But on to something the article said about LEO interactions.  “If we find out that someone is carrying and they’re allowed to be carrying we are allowed to disarm them during the investigation,” Hunt said. “And then give them their weapon back at the end.”

You … have … got … to … be … kidding … me?  Is the Houston police department really doing this?  Seriously?  Previously I had said this about the practice of LEOs unholstering weapons from innocent citizens.

If you’re a LEO and you actually touch another man’s gun in the process of a stop, or you have a partner touch his gun, much less unholster it, “secure” it or anything else you think you are doing to it, let me be as clear as I can be.  You … are … an … idiot.  If your procedures have you doing this, then your procedures were written by idiots.  You can tell them I said so and send them this article.

You have no business risking NDs or taking possession of property that isn’t yours, even temporarily, and especially since you don’t know of modifications that may have been made to the firearm that would make it unfamiliar to you.

Don’t do it.  Just say no.  I wouldn’t walk up and presume to take possession of another man’s gun at a range or while in his home.  You have no business doing that either.  It’s weird, creepy, and unsafe.

It makes no one safer, and it makes everyone less safe.  So in light of this, I have two questions for the Houston PD.

  1. What basis in law gives you the authority to touch another man’s weapon if he isn’t being charged with any crime?
  2. Given that there is a step change downward in safety if you touch another man’s weapon like this, why do your procedures have your officers doing such a stupid thing?

Submitted.

American Police Conduct “Three Block War” All Over The Land Of Promise

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

At SWJ one writer is advocating that the police conduct “three block war” over America.

There is more required for such a system to work than just an information operations cell. Police have to be trained to recognize what should be reported, be it good or bad. Twenty years ago, the Marine Corps began a training program to develop what it called “Strategic Corporals”. Marine leadership realized that a fire team leader engaged in the urban Three Block War must be trained to recognize that, in the media age, a local incident could have world-wide strategic impact near immediately (the Three Block War refers to situations where one can be involved in a humanitarian operation on one block, peacekeeping on another, and a full scale firefight on yet another in an urban environment). Junior Marine leaders were taught to recognize potential strategic incidents and act accordingly. In this age of social media, our police are engaged in a Three Block War domestically as was the case in Dallas and Baton Rouge; they need to be trained to react accordingly.

Expecting the police to perform COIN and stability operations is a testimony to just how badly the progressives have botched their urban, utopian dream.  But more on that later.  At any rate, it isn’t clear that there are any “strategic corporals” anywhere in any police department in the country.

There are thousands of examples every day, but let’s just focus on two recent ones.  First to the human interaction.

Video released Wednesday shows the moment before North Miami police shot an unarmed, behavioral therapist as he tried to calm a man with autism, according to WSVN.

Still recovering in a hospital bed, Charles Kinsey is now talking about what happened in that cellphone video recorded Monday.

“When I went to the ground, I went to the ground with my hands up,” he said. “And I am laying there just like this, telling them again there is no need for firearms.”

Police were responding to a 911 call about a disturbed man walking around with a gun, threatening suicide. Kinsey said that man was one of his patients, Rinaldo, who has autism. The reported gun, he said, was actually a toy truck.

The video shows Kinsey, with both hands held up in the air, telling officers “All he has is a toy truck. A toy truck. I am a behavior therapist at a group home.”

Kinsey was simultaneously trying to calm Rinaldo and explain what was happening to the police, he says, when an officer shot him.

“I thought it was a mosquito bite, and when it hit me I had my hands in the air, and I’m thinking, ‘I just got shot!’ Kinsey recalled. “I’m saying, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ and his words to me were, ‘I don’t know.’”

Next, to the animal (via David Codrea)

“There’s something wrong with Opie.”

Vickie Malone heard those words come from her young son as he stared outside the window of their Wynnewood home.

Malone had just taken in the children from outside where they had been playing while celebrating the birthday of her five-year-old son. Inside the birthday cake and ice cream hadn’t even been served when they heard the bang from outside.

That bang was the sound of a Wynnewood police officer shooting the family dog. Opie was a three-year-old American Bulldog and Pit Bull mix. To her son Eli, he was his best friend.

“I would have fun with him when he runned around and we played tag,” Eli told FOX 25.

The adults ran outside to see Opie near the fence that surrounds their yard.

“He [Opie] was over here kicking and gasping for air,” Vickie said.

The police officer used a high-powered rifle he retrieved from his police vehicle to put the dog down. He fired two more shots from the rifle in front of the children.

Malone said the officer initially told her the dog had lunged at him through the fence. According to the Wynnewood police chief, the dog charged the officer. While he declined our multiple requests for a recorded interview, Chief Ken Moore said the officer told him the dog was vicious and attacked him by coming around the corner of the house. Moore said the officer tried to kick the dog off him once and then shot him.

However, the chief said he had not seen video of the aftermath of the shooting which was provided to FOX 25. The video shows the dead dog with a gunshot wound to his head lying near the fence, not near the house.

The police chief said the officer was serving a warrant, which gave him legal authority to be on the private property. However, the Malones said they were never shown any warrant. They were only told the officer was looking for someone who had listed that address as his ten years ago.

“He said he was checking to see if a guy name Shon McNiel lived here and no one here has heard of talking about,” Malone said. The warrant for McNiel was from a 10-year-old case and the police chief said the Malone house was his last known address.

However the police chief said the department was aware the Malones had lived there for the past year. He also told FOX 25 the address was a “rent house” and that multiple people had “moved in and out” in the past decade. Moore defended the officer’s presence there saying he “had to start somewhere” in his effort to serve the warrant.

Yea, he had to start somewhere.  Just like that cop who shot the therapist.  How else would you find out what’s going on?  Kill ‘em all and let God sort them out, right?

There you have it.  That’s what three-block-war looks like in America.

UPDATE: Cop’s union.  I was aiming at autistic patient, not therapist.  I don’t believe you.  Besides, you shouldn’t have been aiming at anyone, idiot.

I Don’t Care If It’s Constitutional Or Not At This Point!

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

News from Cleveland:

The head of Cleveland’s largest police union is calling on Ohio Gov. John Kasich to temporarily restrict the state’s gun laws during this week’s Republican National Convention following Sunday’s shooting in Louisiana that killed three officers and wounded at least three others.

“We are sending a letter to Gov. Kasich requesting assistance from him. He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something — I don’t care if it’s constitutional or not at this point,” Stephen Loomis, president of Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, told CNN. “They can fight about it after the RNC or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over.”
So-called “open carry” gun laws in Ohio allow for licensed firearm owners to wear their weapons in public. With the exception of a small “secure zone” inside and around the Quicken Loans Arena, residents, delegates and protesters are legally permitted to walk around the city — including within its 1.7 square mile regulated “event zone” — with any firearm not explicitly banned by the state.
Kasich, responding to the request, said: “Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested.”

That’s interesting, yes?  It isn’t what you expect to hear from a cop.  Oh, they may think it about any number of issues, that is, not caring whether something is constitutional.  But you don’t expect to hear them say it.

This reference to the easy executive order Loomis is talking about might just be indicative of a changed perspective of having lived nearly eight years under a federal executive who couldn’t have cared less what the law said and issued dictatorial decrees as they saw fit to press their agenda.

It changes the expectations of people, huh?  Reeducation of the ignorant and valueless masses through lawlessness by the federal executive.  It’s a sorry-ass world isn’t it?

Police Tags:

When Doing So Will Provide A Tactical Advantage

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

WTOP.com:

Prince George’s County prosecutors have dropped 10 charges against a 25-year-old pizza delivery driver in Bladensburg, who says excessive force was used during a traffic stop.

Christopher Jeffries had used his cellphone’s camera to videotape the Jan. 17 traffic stop, in which a Bladensburg police officer approached his vehicle with gun drawn, after Jeffries made an abrupt turn and failed to immediately pull over when police followed him.

Jeffries repeatedly asked why he had been pulled over, while handing over his driver’s license.

In the video, which was posted on YouTube, Jeffries asked the officer to put away his weapon and said he was afraid having it pointed at him.

Eventually, after several warnings, Jeffries was pulled out of his car by more than one officer and brought to a police car, where he was assaulted, according to his lawyer J. Wyndal Gordon.

Jeffries was charged with 10 counts, including second degree assault, resisting arrest and attempting to elude a police officer.

Monday, Prince George’s County prosecutors dropped all charges against Jeffries, according to Gordon.

John Erzen, spokesman for Prince George’s County state’s attorney Angela Alsobrooks said “after we screened the case, we found there was insufficient evidence to sustain the charges against Mr. Jeffries. ”

Bladensburg police Lt. Tracy D. Stone said the police department was “disappointed” with the county’s decision not to proceed with the case.

When asked about the department’s policy on approaching a vehicle with a gun drawn, Stone said in an email that an officer may draw their firearm if they believe they “have to employ lethal force” or when the officer “believes that doing so will provide a tactical advantage.”

Well damn.  That about covers it, doesn’t it?  Whenever an officer believes that doing so will provide a tactical advantage?  By covers it, I mean all of the time, in any situation, any time, for any reason, you could have a LEO stick a gun in your face and argue that it was to his tactical advantage to do so.

And he would be right.  But he would also be in the wrong.  Moral wrong, that is.

The Presence Of A Gun

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

New York Times:

“The shooting had nothing to do with race and everything to do with the presence of that gun,” Mr. Kelly said in an interview, noting that Officer Yanez is Latino.

Mr. Castile “was not following the directions of the police officer,” Mr. Kelly said, but he declined to provide further detail.

Much of what is known about the shooting comes from a Facebook Live video of the aftermath streamed by Mr. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds.

Yea, I’ll bet he didn’t want to elaborate further.  Consider that.  The presence of a gun.  Let it wash over you again.  The presence of a gun.  Consider its implications for you and anyone carrying a gun.

His lawyer is floating his case now in an attempt to get the prosecutor to drop any potential charges.  This is his case.  “The presence of a gun.”  He shot the man because of the presence of a gun.

When Cops And Civilians Both Have Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 2 weeks ago

Julia Dahl with CBS News:

On Wednesday evening, police in Falcon Heights, Minn., fatally shot Philando Castile in his car. According to a video filmed by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was sitting beside him when he was shot, Castile informed the officer that he had a firearm.

“He let the officer know that he had a firearm and he was reaching for his wallet and the officer just shot him,” Reynolds tells the camera.

“I told him not to reach for it,” says the officer, whose face is unseen but whose gun is still pointed at the bleeding Castile in the driver’s seat.

“You told him to get his ID, sir,” responds Reynolds.

Minnesota law enforcement have yet to confirm whether Castile did indeed have a permit to carry a firearm, but if he did, he is one of more than 230,000 such licensed gun owners in Minnesota, according to Andrew Rothman of the Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.

Since 2003, Minnesota has been what is called a “shall issue,” state, which means that county law enforcement must issue a permit to carry a concealed weapon if the applicant meets certain standards. And, Rothman says, 13 years after this expansion of the right to carry, Minnesota police should know how to interact with legally armed citizens.

[ … ]

Bill Johnson, the Executive Director of the National Association of Police Organizations, an advocacy and education organization focused on advancing the interests of law enforcement officers, says that the presence of a gun other than the officer’s in a police-civilian interaction “does ratchet up the stress of the situation.”

Reynolds, who gave an emotional statement outside the Minnesota governor’s mansion Thursday on Facebook Live, says that they were pulled over because of a broken taillight, which she says wasn’t broken.

Reynolds said the officer asked to see Castile’s license, and Castile reached into his back right pocket where he keeps his identification. She said Castile told the officer he was carrying a firearm, and Reynolds said she told the officer he was legally licensed to carry.

That’s when, she said, the officer fired five shots into Castile’s chest. She said the officer told them not to move: “How can you not move when they ask you for your license and registration?”

In a situation like what Reynolds describes, Johnson says that there are multiple ways for an officer to make sure he and the citizen he pulls over are safe once that person has disclosed that he has a firearm.

“Most officers will say, I appreciate you letting me know: here’s what we’ll do,” Johnson said. The officer can then, for example, ask the subject to step out of the car while he secures the firearm until the encounter is finished. He can also ask his partner to secure the firearm while the civilian keeps his or her hands in plain sight.

Oh dear.  It’s going to take some unpacking for this one.  First of all, I sure am glad that with ISIS in the twin cities, we have cops focusing on the right things such as broken tail lights.  We wouldn’t want the inspection process to handle it or anything.  We need to pay cops good money to conduct stops to tell drivers about their tail lights.

Next, there’s just nothing more a peaceable, law abiding citizen can do.  He pulled over, came to a complete stop, rolled the window down, and announced that he had a gun.  He did everything he is expected to do.  And no, silly counsel to call what you have a “firearm” rather than gun or weapon has no bearing on anything at all.

Whether he is black, white or some other race is irrelevant to the issue.  He was exercising his rights, not just rights under the law (which is a covenant for living together), but incorrigible rights granted by God.  In addition to other things like departments possibly hiring the wrong kind of people, police officers are simply being taught the wrong things in the academy and by the example of their superiors.

According to the Supreme Court in Tennesse versus Garner, police can use their weapons only in the same instances I can, i.e., when their lives are in danger.  If I cannot legally do it, then police officers cannot legally do it either.  The fact that they get away with it because prosecutors won’t bring charges doesn’t make it okay.

Continuing, it isn’t okay for an officer to unholster his weapon and point it, showing no muzzle discipline, in the direction of someone who isn’t an immediate and clearly discernible threat.  I cannot legally do that, and it’s called assault with a deadly weapon.  It isn’t okay to assume that when someone is doing what you tell him to, he is really intent on doing you harm.  People cannot read minds, and Mr. Castile had no way of knowing that you thought he was reaching for his weapon.  If you cannot do any better than that as a LEO, then quit your job and go find one you can handle.

It isn’t okay to discharge your weapon in the direction of someone just because you surmise he might be doing something you don’t understand.  And finally, it isn’t okay to take another man’s life for obeying the law.  The notion that the mere presence of a weapon “ratchets up the stress” is ridiculous.  I’m around people with guns all the time.  I’m not stressed out.  I’m careful, but I don’t swing my weapons around and threaten people because that’s unwise, immoral and illegal.  What the cop did was unwise, immoral and illegal.  I don’t care if a jury exonerates him – he is guilty of at least second degree murder in my book, or perhaps manslaughter.

Here’s a note to cops everywhere.  Assume everybody is carrying a firearm.  Take a deep breath.  Be a friend to the person you have stopped.  Stay calm.  If a man pulls his car over, rolls his window down and announces pursuant to the law that he is carrying and agrees to produce his permit, don’t unholster your weapon and kill him.  He hasn’t done anything illegal.  These are basic childlike things that any fifth grader should know.  And don’t tell him to put his hands up.  That’s stupid.  Grow up.  Ask him to put his hands on the steering wheel if you can’t take the stress.  But don’t tell him to produce his license and then shoot him for moving his hands.  That makes you out to be the moron, not him.

The problem, notwithstanding Julia’s lede, isn’t that both cops and civilians have guns.  LEOs and civilians have always had guns, and they always will.  This is nothing new, but what is new is the reaction we see with LEOs.  And this reaction is itself causing problems.  Witness dead LEOs in Dallas from the Black Lives Matter protest.  BLM is quickly becoming a terrorist organization, and just to remind you, none of this has in my mind to do with Michael Brown, a criminal who stole, trespassed, and beat a cop nearly senseless.  Don’t mix these two things if you want to think clearly about the issue.

Our friend Amanda Marcotte at Salon reacted with disdain not at the police, but the NRA.

Right in the midst of a national outrage over  a video of police in Louisiana shooting Alton Sterling while holding him on the ground, yet another video of a police shooting of a black man has come out.

This video, filmed in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, shows a man named Philando Castile writhing in pain with blood splattered all over his car while his girlfriend says that a police officer shot Castile after asking Castile, responding to requests for his license, reached for his wallet. Castile later died of his wounds.

Beyond being yet more videos of senseless violence by police against African-Americans, what these two videos have in common is the police in question excuse their actions by citing the presence of a gun.

In the Minnesota video, the woman tells the camera that Castile informed the office that he had a licensed gun on him before he reached for his wallet. The officer then returns, arguing, “I told him not to reach for it. I told him to get his hand out.”

In the Louisiana video, officers can be heard yelling, “He’s got a gun!”

In both cases, there seems to be no question that the shooting victims were armed. It’s a point that’s already being flogged by conservatives in an effort to excuse these officers.

However, and conservatives should be the first to remember this, guns are legal in this country.

Guns are legal in this country. Louisiana is an open carry state. Minnesota allows concealed carry. Police officers in these states know full well that people have a legal right to carry. They have, according to conservatives themselves, no reason to believe that a man with a gun is a bad guy. Why, he could very well be one of those good guys with a gun, at the ready to stop crime, that we keep hearing about from conservatives

Which brings up a critical question: Where is the gun rights lobby?

Here are two American citizens that were killed while doing what the NRA claims is a constitutional right. Surely this must be a gross injustice in the eyes of the NRA! Surely they will be demanding action, petitioning congressmen, demanding the Department of Justice to step forward and make sure that every American has a right to arm themselves without fear of being gunned down by the police! Right?

Oh Amanda, there’s no reason to be bitchy about this.  The NRA doesn’t usually get involved in individual cases, but they usually do stay more on track for larger legislative actions they can effect (some to my liking, but if it ends in yet another gun control law, I’m always opposed to it).  But if you want conservatives to come to the defense of the man shot in Minnesota, why not use my example?  I am the NRA.  I say the cop did something that was evil, but I don’t think that’s the real issue with your commentary.  I think you’re being disingenuous.  See, you no more believe in Mr. Castile’s rights than you believe in mine.  You’re just using this event as an opportunity to be a SJW, aren’t you?

One final point as I close out and give readers free reign to analyze as appropriate.  If you’re a LEO and you actually touch another man’s gun in the process of a stop, or you have a partner touch his gun, much less unholster it, “secure” it or anything else you think you are doing to it, let me be as clear as I can be.  You … are … an … idiot.  If your procedures have you doing this, then your procedures were written by idiots.  You can tell them I said so and send them this article.

You have no business risking NDs or taking possession of property that isn’t yours, even temporarily, and especially since you don’t know of modifications that may have been made to the firearm that would make it unfamiliar to you.

Don’t do it.  Just say no.  I wouldn’t walk up and presume to take possession of another man’s gun at a range or while in his home.  You have no business doing that either.  It’s weird, creepy, and unsafe.


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