Videotaping cops is all the rage. There is a real and spreading sense of distrust towards law enforcement and videotaping interactions with police is a means of holding them accountable for their actions. There are even apps for smart phones that stream video live to internet. There is a growing amount of video footage available online that would make any sane person fearful of the cats-in-blue. Horror stories about police misconduct and abuse of power have always been around, but with the more and more people capable of capturing video from their phones, the ugly and scary truth about the nature of law enforcers is becoming undeniable. Anyone who cares to see for them-selves need only spend a few minutes searching YouTube. What you will find should rattle you to the core.
I spent a few minutes last night on a cop forum: not expecting to find anything incriminating, but curious to get a glimpse inside the mindset of police officers. I Googled “cop forum” and wound up on officer.com. The very first thread I clicked on was entitled, “Gotta love the hood! (video)” In this post was a video of a black male in a confrontation with a single police officer. The officer had his stun gun drawn and was demanding that the man sit down.
Now let me backtrack here a bit. You can find all kinds of videos online that are meant to teach people about their rights and how to address a police officer who is confronting you. The advice given in almost all these videos is to simply ask the officer, “am I a suspect in a crime”, or “am I being detained”. “Am I free to go on my way?” These questions coupled with the the advice to never answer questions that a cop asks you. A cop has no authority to detain or question random people on the street without probably cause. To see this in practice, search YouTube for “Know your rights”. You’ll find all kinds of videos from traffic stops to DUI stops.
Note: it works sometimes, but there are plenty of incidents where people are literally pounded into the ground for the slightest hint of dissension.
OK, back to the video. So this black male has obviously seen these “Know your Rights” videos and was demanding that the officer allow him to go freely on his way absent probable cause. He repeatedly questioned the cop. “Am I being detained?” “Am I being detained?” In all fairness, the video does not show what occurred prior, so there is no way to know whether this man was involved in a crime or not. However, the man’s actions in the video are in no way aggressive. He seems to feel that his rights are being violated and is asserting his right to go on his way in peace. Remember cops cannot legally detain a person without probable cause and if they are detaining someone, it is the right of the detained to know what the reason is. It’s not exactly cut and dry but suffice to say, on American soil, people are supposed to have rights. It’s clear that those rights are violated in the most despicable ways quite frequently by the very folks who are expected to serve and protect, and who swear an oath to uphold the Constitution: the law of the land. It’s clear that some in this position take quite a different approach. Everyone, it seems, is guilty in their eyes and rights are something only people of a certain social status should be afforded.
While the video is disturbing, it’s not what shocked me the most. What really made my skin crawl was the ensuing conversation between a few officers. I should note that, while this forum is open to the public to read, only officers are supposed to post in it.
The forum is called “The Squad Room” and the description reads:
Only SWORN OFFICERS (and retired) post here, and only about law enforcement topics. Forum monitored for compliance.
So I think it’s safe to assume that the following responses to the video are indeed coming from police officers. Here are few that stood out.
“I somewhat understood what playa was sayin till he got a mouthful of grass/dirt in his mouth and then I really couldn’t decipher what he was saying. His posse of clowns didn’t help matters neither…. Crackers +1 vs. Gangsta Clowns -0 on to the next!”
“Did that lady say POLICE BOOTALITY?? lol… Let the K9 out they’ll scatter like the roaches they are. Of course tough guy isn’t so tough once the back up gets there. That area needs a zero tolerance enforcement for a few weeks”
“Wow. Horrible job by that initial officer. Put your damn taser up, get hands on and take his a** to the ground! Glad I don’t have anybody on my shift like this. Talk about lack of verbal judo, command presence, hesitation, and overall showing the arrestee that you are scared of him. That entire video should have been less than a minute.”
“That didn’t seem like too friendly of an area and most likely the other turds would have jumped in.”
“Sounded like he was outnumbered.. Best to take the verbal abuse anyday than physical or worse deadly and wait for brothers to show, then hands on and let them fight away only to rack up more charges…”
If you are going to be scared and dance back and forth with the POS for MINUTES, until another officer shows up and takes him down for you, then you might as well wait around the corner until back up arrives. Also, don’t dangle your taser around, right in front of the POS, right where he can snatch it and use it on you before you even realize what’s happening.
If the officer just went out on the subject himself, he shouldn’t have. Do not go out on things\people, or pull traffic if you are going to be chicken s*** and cant handle the situation.
The POS thought the officer was a joke and I don’t blame him. The officer is lucky the POS didn’t attack him or just take off running, because 99 out of 100 times in my neck of the woods, thats what would of happened.
I just do not agree with this chicken s*** tactic\officer’s way he handled this, even though, luckily, it worked out for him this time. Sorry, but I really mean it that i would not want this guy on my shift.
If you are going to put yourself in a situation, you need to handle it, and quick! Don’t wait for somebody to come handle it for you. If s*** hits the fan, back up is usually right around the corner.
“I’m all for going whole hog when you need to, but I also understand the tactic of delaying a bit so your buddies can join the party too…”
“I would tell the young guys that Rule #1 is “Don’t get into something you can’t handle or get out of.” First time shiatbyrd’s hand came up, he would have got zapped and cuffed. Got to be able to somewhat get a read on people/situations. His homeys were chicken shiate, as they didn’t get up on or surround the copper. They didn’t want any of whatever shiatebyrd was going to get..”
“That Officer looked afraid. When the suspect started reaching all around his pants, he should have been taken down.”
“Hell, these assh*les were using terms that used to be normally only used by the open carry freaks. (Hate the 2nd amendment much?)
Get in there, don’t take no BS, and show them who is in charge.”
“That’s what drive stun is for. Moron reaches for you, let him ride the lightning for a spell. He won’t do it again…”
“If you find yourself in a fair fight, then your tactics ****ing suck.”
Wow! Right? These guys are really just looking for a fight.
“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”
Each user has a signature that is attached to each of their posts. I found jhall’s particular disturbing. It read, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.”
Unfrigginbelievable! How’s that for a glimpse into the mind of a cop? I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again. “Law enforcement is at its core the INITIATION of aggression against society.”
I’ll close this up with a post that I wrote some time ago about the Due Process of Law.
The Fifth Amendment states:
No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law…
What does the “due process of law” really mean? What ever it is, it is the thing that allows the government to deny the individual of life, liberty, and property. As such, I feel compelled to understand it.
The fourth amendment states that The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated without a warrant. To get a warrant law enforcement officials must prove “probable cause”.
So Constitutionally speaking, a warrant is the first step in the “due process of law”.
But the fact is, law now permits search and seizure without a warrant.
“The Supreme Court has held that searches and arrests can be performed without a warrant under some circumstances. Most notably, arrests and searches can be performed if the officer personally witnesses the suspect committing a misdemeanor, or has reasonable cause to believe that the suspect has committed a specific, documented felony.”
This essentially moves the starting point of “due process” back a level – from warrant to probable cause. Clearly Unconstitutional.
But it gets worse…
“A police officer may search people and places when the officer has probable cause or “REASONABLE SUSPICION” to suspect criminal activity”
“Reasonable suspicion means that the officer has sufficient knowledge to believe that criminal activity is at hand. This level of knowledge is less than that of probable cause, so reasonable suspicion is usually used to justify a brief frisk in a public area or a traffic stop at roadside.”
So no longer is a warrant or “probable cause” the prerequisite to the initiation of force, but suspicion alone. Suspicion of wrong doing has now become the beginning of “due process of law”.
Sure the courts might decide later that evidence is inadmissible, but by that time, what are the chances that No person will have been deprived of life, liberty, or property?