You really should read this article:

posted by Murphy in comments, it is a self serving commentary by a police officer:


Even though it might sound harsh and impolitic, here is the bottom line: if you don’t want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground, just do what I tell you. Don’t argue with me, don’t call me names, don’t tell me that I can’t stop you, don’t say I’m a racist pig, don’t threaten that you’ll sue me and take away my badge. Don’t scream at me that you pay my salary, and don’t even think of aggressively walking towards me.

In other words, you have no rights, can’t ask questions, and have to be subservient to me for my safety and convenience, no matter what.

Followed by:

” And you don’t have to submit to an illegal stop or search. You can
refuse consent to search your car or home if there’s no warrant (though a
pat-down is still allowed if there is cause for suspicion). Always ask
the officer whether you are under detention or are free to leave. Unless
the officer has a legal basis to stop and search you, he or she must
let you go.”

But if you follow the second bit of advice, the first paragraph says you might get “shot, tazed, pepper sprayed”, etc., even though the officer has no reason to stop you.

The attitude of this cop is that everyone is subservient to his choices, and his decisions. The fact is that I am a citizen, and have no reason to submit to a police officer unless I am a criminal and am being charged with a crime. Now, I generally am polite to officers, if they are polite to me. I have found that it (generally) makes for a better experience. But f they begin pushing me around, they get pushed back….both figuratively and literally. Just because a police officer stops you does not give him the right to handcuff you “for his safety” or his convenience, nor do you have any reason to follow his orders. This is not to excuse being rude or an asshole either….on either side.

Any officer who feels that I should submit just because he feels it necessary to detain me for his convenience or safety without reasonable cause should not have police powers.The police need to remember that the majority of the people they encounter are citizens, not criminals,and that the police are not rulers over serfs. Most of us in the US aren’t lowlifes, drug users, drunks, petty criminals or
murderers. And, while I realize that when cops first meet us, they don’t know, they can be decent while being cautious….and most cops, while having an attitude, aren’t jerks or assholes. Any cop who professes an attitude like Officer Dutta should not be a cop.

And until the police departments purge themselves of bad, corrupt, racist, ignorant and psychologically unfit officers rather than making excuses and/or hiding their actions, (as happens so often when cops hide issues behind the “Blue Line”) and we as citizens can expect fair and decent and professional treatment from every officer nearly every time (not true today) then no police officer can reasonably expect unquestioning cooperation.

I have had outstanding encounters with police, where I was treated well and professionally. Sadly, however, these are a rarity. I have had others that were not so good or professional.  I take the time for both the good and the bad to inform their superiors about them. 

13 thoughts on “You really should read this article:

  1. Where in the officer's essay does he say that you cannot ask questions? What he's saying is that if you unreasonably "Kirk out" and become aggressive, the officer will likely have to take steps to gain control of you. But if you ask reasonable questions in a reasonable manner, I suspect that they'll be answered just fine. And yes, you can politely refuse consent to search your car or person. Just know that if the officer has probable cause to conduct that search, and at that point, you cannot refuse to comply or resist with force. As for hancuffing you for officer safety, it can be done so long as the officer can articulate why he or she felt the need to do so. You may be a citizen, but that doesn't mean that your rights are always soverign to that of the other citizens or society in general. But again, what the officer is saying there is that you control the direction the contact between him and you goes. If you're cool and cooperative, it'll likely be over pretty soon. If you bluster and get loud and aggressive, it's liable to go in another direction but either way, you get to decide. You might also realize that most police officers don't just go out there to randomly mess with people. The typical police officer usually has far better things to do with his/her time and likely couldn't care less about you unless you do something that gives him/her reason to beleive that you may have just committed a crime. And if they have reason to think that you might have, they have the right to detain you for a reasonable amount of time to investigate their suspicions. You may ask if you are being detained, and they may say "no" and you are free to go, or they may say "yes you are", and then you're lawfully detained. You may still be released shortly without charges, or you may be arrested, but either way, this is a legitimate exercise of government power per the Supreme Court, and you have the right to challenge it or appeal it later in court or administratively.

    Now maybe I'm reading your posts wrong, but you seem to think that every police officer out there just goes to work hoping to be able to bully you and steal from you and force you to submit to his/her arbitary whims, and with a few rare exceptions, that's just not the case, and in regards to those few that do that sort of thing, the other officers and their supervisors want nothing more to see that person gone as well because today's police cutlure doesn't tolerate that sort of thing.

  2. It's a small minority as usual, that gives an entire group a bad name.

  3. I actually know a LOT of good officers. I interact with them on a more than weekly basis. There are a lot of men and women I respect greatly who wear a badge.

    But yes, most of them are willing to be pushy, and most of them fail to realize that joe average citizen isn't a criminal, drug addict or dealer, or a scumbag. They tend to forget that the rest of us aren't bad guys.

    It is the attitude expressed in the quote in the article…."Respect mah Autoritae!" that angers me, and IMO makes him unsuitable to have police powers.

    He talks out of both sides. On the one hand: "Do what I tell you or get hurt"….on the other: "you don't have to submit to an illegal stop or search".

    Pick one or the other. If I believe the stop is illegal, or that the search is illegal and ask for probable cause, he is likely to hurt me. On the other hand, many cops press the boundaries of legal in order to investigate, and often cross the line because the think they can and people allow it because they are scared or not sure of their rights. Even good cops do this for expediency or just because they can, and are often angered if you question them. When a cop is willing to break the law or violate rights for expediency or to make himself safer, he shouldn't have police powers. If that is his mindset, he should find another profession.

    And god forbid you ever ask what the person being detained or badly treated did….you'll get the beatdown that Mark Maher did for questioning a police officer. Remember, he simply questioned what the other person being detained had done.

    As far as bad cops: There are many. And while most cops might decry the bad ones, they do nothing to chase them out, and almost always close ranks when a cop is accused of misbehavior….even a bad cop. That "blue wall" comes up and they defend their fellow officers. If they really wanted them gone, they could make it happen, but unless the cop is really bad, they don't. It isn't like they are surprised when a corrupt or badly aggressive cop finally gets caught. They generally know what is happening and simply ignore it because it is a fellow officer. Cops that are drunks, or that get off on a major speeding ticket or on nearly any charge that can be swept under the rug.

    There is a reason that cops are believed to be, by many, as just another gang, only one with badges. It is a perception based, at least in part, in reality. While many cops don't deserve that label personally, the institution that they work in and the actions they condone and hide make it so.

    And yes, my reaction does, to a large part, decide how our interaction will happen. I find that courtesy goes a long way. However, I expect and demand that same courtesy from the officer, or he will find that the stop goes as badly for him as he is willing to make it. I am always willing to cooperate, until he chooses to make m go the other way, in which case I get stubborn and demand a supervisor. I prefer it to go smoothly, and most of the time, it does.

    You seem to feel that cops are always polite and respectful and never are aggressive or overbearing nor are they ever willing to ignore the Constitution…Perhaps it works that way in your neck of the woods, but it doesn't always happen that way here.

  4. I hear a lot of generalizations about what you think cops are like, but honestly, I'm not seeing very much in the way of facts behind those to back them up. It's like me going off on a rant about brain surgeons because for whatever reason, I hate brain surgeons. Now I am not and have never been a brain surgeon, and I didn't even go to medical school, but that does not stop me from saying that most brain surgeons are on power trips, are substance-abusers, violate the Hippocratic oath and are my inferiors in every way Because I hate brain surgeons, I am not willing to recognize a single scenario in which I will ever take orders from a brain surgeon. Hopefully I will never find myself in need of one, but whether that day comes or not, it does not make my rantings about them any more accurate or valid, even if I point to one or a few incidents and try to make the claim that because one or two might have done something wrong, that all brain surgeons are bad and that none of them should ever be trusted much less given credit for any of the good that any of them do.

  5. Something tells me each of us have had more experience, and therefore more knowledge of, Cops than Brain Surgeons.

    One does not have to have been a cop to know when a bad one is in front of them.

  6. What specifics would you like?

    You want bad cops? I can provide.

    You want cops that have been drunks for years? Had one of those in Indy that just got convicted of killing several people while driving drunk…everyone that worked with him knew he was a drunk, yet they let him drive and work intoxicated. Tam and Roberta wrote about it. His superiors tried to even make sure he couldn't be convicted …..they took him to a non approved clinic for his mandatory blood sample(s). Look up Officer Brisard

    You want cops who are overly violent? See LA, Chicago, St Louis, and others.
    Look up the case of Mark Maher

    I will do the research you seem to be unwilling to do. (or just don't want to admit that the facts are out there). DO you remember the cops who shot up a pickup truck when they were looking for Dorner? Not the same make or color of truck….but they shot at people in a truck because of "officer safety" concerns…never identifying the targets. 2 Korean ladies, not a large black man…And even if it HAD been Dorner, they never gave him a chance to surrender, they just shot…..and got away with it. You'd be in jail, had that been you…likely attempted murder. Those officers are still working today.

    What, specifically would you like? How many examples would you like? I've met you in real life, you are quite intelligent….You know I speak the truth.

    You tell me. I'll post the news stories and/or cases. You can find them yourself if you bother to look though.

    Police are a necessary thing. But the fact is that we as citizens have allowed the professionalism and quality of policemen to slip to a low that our ancestors would find unacceptable. The good cops aren't policing the bad ones out of their organizations. They no longer are able to command respect.

    I find that a very bad thing.

  7. But that's my point, One story here and another there reflects on specific individuals, not cops as a whole. In America today, there are nearly one million sworn police officers serving in local, state, and federal agencies and you bringing up a handful of cases of alleged wrongdoing by a few of them is not sufficient to indict that whole million, yet that seems to be your goal and that puzzles me because I also found you to be quite intelligent.

    But you've got another premise wrong. The professionalism in policing today is higher than it has ever been, and current hiring standards, in-service training and monitoring/discipline of officers today is at a peak as well. You make all these claims about what you think that it is and is not, but you're on the outside, looking at it selectively, trying to use a few isolated cases to redefine the norm when in all actuality, the norm is better now than it ever was. What would you have? The old 1950's and early 60's cops back? The era of beat-downs, throw-downs, holding court in the alley and winked-at corruption? Those days are long gone, and today's cop tends to be a college-educated professional with a considerable bit of training under his belt and supervision over his actions.

  8. Did you read up on Brisard or any of the other examples? The issue isn't the bad cop. Cops are people and there will always be a bad apple or two. ***It is the fact that the other cops know and condone it****, even if just by ignoring their actions. These cops just keep escalating because they get away with the smaller incidences. Their **SUPERVISORS** tried to cover for them…and the supervisors are still in command positions. Do you understand what I am pointing to here?

    You should read a few cop forums to find out what they really think of you and me…And how they feel that as long as their fellow officer is a cop that he/she needs to be protected by other cops, no matter what he might have done. If you haven't read any cop forums, or interacted with cops of duty, then you really have no clue. You should go drinking with cops some time. It'd be an educational experience.

    And I really don't see many college educated cops in Chicago, Indy, Cincinnati, or the 4 counties which I work and play in. While I have nothing but my observations to go on, the average big city cop appears to have an IQ of about 100 (maybe less) and a high school education. The county cops aren't much better. Some are brighter, some are less bright. Some may have college, but most around here do not. I would say that the more well educated and the more intelligent are the better cops.

    In our area, the actual training is lacking. Badly. They may take classes, but many really are poorly trained and educated….. It shows.

    This is a generalization based on my observations, mind you, but is fairly valid. Again, the police in your area may be different.

  9. I am also not unfamiliar with cops in general and had contact with many of them behind the scenes and from many different jurisdictions across my state. I had a job for a while installing the Statewide connection for their database system. Honestly the stuff I heard left me with a great distrust of cops. The overall abuse of power and knowledge is epidemic and needs to be addressed.

  10. No, I'm not willing to accept a few "examples" because they are handpicked to show only the bad actions of a few and that doesn't automatically extrapolate to reflect the entire body of the nearly one million sworn police officers in this country. I also have to question your estimates of the IQ of police officers and statements on the education level of them as well. How do you vouch for the validity of of these assessments? Have you conducted polls? Reviewed transcripts? Actually given IQ tests?

    You want to indict them all as somehow being less trustworthy and less honorable than the average citizen. I get that. But you can't get there with unproven allegations and a few select stories largely written by anti-cop authors that tend to slant things and leave out anything that doesn't reflect their agenda. It just doesn't work logically, to say nothing of factually. Come on, B. You're better than this, man.

    Again, is every cop a shining example of propriety? No. No more than every doctor, lawyer or indian chief is. Every group has it's good and it's bad and we can agree on that. Where we differ is that you seem to want to tar every man and woman with a badge with the same brush and I can't accept that premise. Have you forgotten how many cops are dead now because they ran INTO the World Trade Center towers on 9/11?

  11. No, Murph, I don't want to "indict them all as somehow being less trustworthy and less honorable than the average citizen" I want them to be AS trustworthy and AS honorable and held AS accountable as the average citizen. Sadly, they aren't. And they have powers that you and I do not, with less oversight that we do.

    As for my assessment of the IQ and education level of officers: I interact with them often. I get the impression that you don't interact with them as much as I do. I can offer no polls nor any studies, or any other assessment than what I observe. I could be wrong, but I would bet that I am not. If I am, show me. I don't think you can.

    I don't want to "tar every man and woman with a badge" I simply want them to remove the bad ones from their ranks, rather than accept and condone their actions. I WANT police officers to be, each and every one of them, paragons of honesty and trustworthiness. Those who hold the power they do should be….but they aren't. Not each one, there are many many good cops. But police, as a whole aren't. If they were, then the examples of bad ones would be very very rare and we would all be surprised when they come to light…..But none of us are surprised, and they aren't rate.

    Let me ask you….How many bad cops are acceptable? What percentage of unsuitable officers is good enough for you?

    I really don't think that you know many street officers, and I can tell by your statements that you have never spent time with them in a group. It shows that you have never experienced them in unguarded moments.

  12. "I really don't think that you know many street officers, and I can tell by your statements that you have never spent time with them in a group. It shows that you have never experienced them in unguarded moments."

    I'm sorry, but if I wasn't laughing so hard at this statement, I'd ding you for trying to turn this away from your claims and onto me personally. But as I'm too busy chuckling right now…

    Back to 9/11. World Trade Center. Were those officers "unsuitable" in your eyes? I didn't see any Gadsen-flag-waving CCW holders running into those buildings only to die trying to save others. And I do have to ask you why you haven't joined one of the nearly 18,000 law-enforcement agencies in this country if you honestly believe that you are better-suited to do the job then the men and women who did step up? Quite a few job openings every year, you know

  13. So then even after hanging out with officers you have never heard the contempt for "civilians" those officers show when they are relaxing over a beer in unguarded moments? Odd. Anyone who spends any amount of time with cops can see that clearly.

    Policing is a hard job. I respect the folks who do the job with professionalism. Many do, most, in fact. Some don't. Some aren't suited for the job of guardian, which is, ultimately what those men and women do….they guard the rest of us from the bad people in our society. It is a job which requires integrity and guts and professionalism. Most of our police force has those qualities. Sadly, some don't.

    But, again, I think you miss my point. Respect is earned, both on a personal level and on an institutional level. Allowing some officers to erode that respect tarnishes all in that institution. If police departments and the individual officers which make up those departments would keep their house clean(er) then there would be less disrespect. No matter how good an individual officer is, he or she will be judged by the actions of their fellow officers. Allowing bad ones in a department, even if only by ignoring their behavior, tarnished them as well.

    I do believe that cops should be held to a standard *at least* at the same level as those that they hold for the citizens they are policing. Surely not a lower one, just because they are cops and the job is hard. Nor should they have special treatments just because they are cops.

    Your 9/11 comment is disingenuous at best. First, I wasn't there, nor were many of us "Gadsen flag waving CCW holders" present in New York that day. (It is New York City, after all). Second, if there had been, they wisely let the professionals handle it. Their presence would not have been wanted anyway, either by the cops or the firemen, and for good reason. Heroes were made that day, and there is a reason we honor them. Don't drag that into this discussion…. poor tactics on your part. Cheap, really. I wasn't talking about that kind of actions and you damned well should know that.

    I never ever stated, nor do I believe that I am better suited to be a police officer than most of the law enforcement professionals. I am also not a fighter pilot. That doesn't mean I cannot recognize when a fighter pilot does something stupid, or way outside the standard of behavior.

    Again, I am have no issue with most police. I *DO* have an issue when they ignore and condone the bad behavior of their fellow officers. I DO have an issue when an officer blatantly ignores our laws and constitutional rights for any reason, no matter how much easier he may think it makes his job.

    Not sure why you can't understand the difference between bad cops behaving badly and good cops. I can, why can't you?

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