Wednesday, August 20, 2014

These Are Your Cops, America

From a well-respected member of the profession and acknowledged expert now teaching the subject, asked to write in one of the nation's (formerly) premier newspapers:
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…  
"... just do what I tell you." Does that include orders like that cop favorite "suck my dick, bitch"?

Here's the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments bottom line:
Cops cannot under any circumstances whatsoever order you to do anything unless you are under arrest.

Period.  Nobody realizes this any more because cops have gotten away with being motherfucking stormtroopers for two hundred years.

No, I don't want anybody to be another "killed for resisting arrest" statistic because she followed my advice and refused to let another cop get away with this shit.

I want the democratically elected officials of this country to fire every motherfucking special-ops wannabe and hire cops who understand that citizens - even black, poor, obscenity-spouting, jay-walking citizens - are their employers, not the enemy.

Believe Zandar, who knows whereof he speaks:
Believe me when I say that 98% of cops believe the same as Dutta here does.  They are police officers, and you are not.  When they tell you to do something, you do it or else, regardless of what that may be.

So when these guys swing their weight around and go after black men and women and Latino men and women, they expect obedience, respect and fear.  If you are black or brown and the President of the United States, for that matter, and a cop like Dutta pulls you over, it's because he knows he has 100% of the power in the encounter.  It's because he knows he has the power to take your life if he sees fit.  You only continue to draw breath because he allows it.

So yes, black fathers and Latino fathers have "The Talk".  That you assume all cops are Officer Dutta, and you do 100% of what they say, or they will end you.

How difficult is it to cooperate for "that long"?  For a black man, "that long" is his entire lifespan.

Or that lifespan may end.

PZ Myers:
I’m not endorsing calling a policeman a racist pig, but if someone is angry and does, is it really appropriate cause to pull out your gun and shoot them? Officer Dutta seems to think it is. That’s what’s objectionable: that the police have acquired an attitude that justifies excessive force in response to physically weak actions — that calling them a rude name warrants whipping out every tool in their arsenal to kill, maim, or subdue miscreants. When someone is killed for jaywalking (or possibly shoplifting) by a policeman, I think it’s clear that a line has been crossed — that the attitude that the police have complete authority and discretion to use their weapons without being limited by reasonable concerns has led to police who treat crime in a community as an opportunity for a military-style assault.
Popehat gets the last word:
The outrageous thing is not that he says it. The outrageous thing is that we accept it.

Would we accept "if you don't want to get shot, just do what the EPA regulator tells you"? Would we yield to "if you don't want your kid tased, do what the Deputy Superintendent of Education tells you"? Would we accept "if you don't want to get tear gassed, just do what your Congressman tells you?" No. Our culture of individualism and liberty would not permit it. Yet somehow, through generations of law-and-order rhetoric and near-deification of law enforcement, we have convinced ourselves that cops are different, and that it is perfectly acceptable for them to be able to order us about, at their discretion, on pain of violence.

It's not acceptable. It is servile and grotesque.

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