Patterico's Pontifications


More on that Kick in the Head

Filed under: Crime — Jack Dunphy @ 12:37 pm

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

My column on the matter (previously addressed by our host here) was posted today on Pajamas Media. As is most often the case when I submit a piece to PJM or National Review Online, as soon as I clicked on “send,” I thought of a few things I wish I had added. To wit, the incident is reminiscent of the August 2005 arrest of Stanley Miller, who was shown on live television – and in endless replays – being struck with a flashlight at the end of car chase. Though Miller wasn’t injured, the police officer was fired, and the LAPD prohibited officers from carrying the type of metal flashlight involved in the incident. Now, though we are entrusted with semiautomatic pistols, rifles, shotguns, Tasers, and batons, LAPD chief William Bratton, in an act of pure political pandering, determined we can’t be trusted with any type of flashlight other than the ridiculous little plastic models we’re now forced to carry. If the El Monte officer involved in the recent incident were instead with the LAPD, soon we’d be giving up our boots for ballet slippers.

Also, to those who claim that only the presence of cameras revealed this instance of what they claim is typical police behavior, I would point out that in many cities, most certainly here in Southern California, any pursuit that lasts longer than five minutes between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. ends up on television, covered by a swarm of helicopters resembling a scene from Apocalypse Now. And in a time when everyone has a cell phone and every cell phone is a camera, a cop can’t even make a simple traffic stop without having his picture taken. If there truly were instances of police abuse routinely occurring across the country, the news media would be only too happy to publicize them.

–Jack Dunphy

48 Responses to “More on that Kick in the Head”

  1. LAPD went down the toilet when Stanley Shinebaum was appointed to the police commission. George Putnam, God rest his soul, called it and chronicled it.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  2. I was under the impression that Bratton was regarded as a mostly effective police head – which was one of the reasons why Rudy got rid of him after he started getting too much of the limelight in NYC.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  3. I’m inclined to think that a kick to the head is probably never a good idea, but it may be an excusable action. In this case, it seems to me to be realy close to the line, and I’m mostly glad that I’m a bystander — neither the kickee, kickor, or judge of kicking excusablity.

    I am inclined to think that a large muscle (or group of muscles) would be a better target for distraction; pain but less risk of damage.

    (Having epilepsy from a head strike wound may bias my feelings and thinkings in this matter.)

    htom (412a17)

  4. He needed a kick to the head. Either the one on his shoulders or the otherone. I bet the punk is grateful for tread marks on his skull. The cop should have taken his knee and dropped it into the back of neck from a full run. Then he could have said he was “caught up in the moment” like those brick wielding pieces of work who turned Reggie Denny into a tonto. Then nobody would have said a thing. Yea, right.

    Don’t pick on the cop. The cholito needs to accept responsibility for causing the situation in the first place.

    PatriotRider (37b91c)

  5. All this publicity for every deviation from the manual results in less aggressive policing, the drain of officers from LAPD to other jurisdictions and a rise in crime. What’s not to like ? The people who are doing this, I hope, get to live with the consequences.

    My daughter has moved from Orange County to South Pasadena. We finally changed the registration of her car to her name. Of course, now she has to get her own insurance. Because her address changed from Orange County to LA County, her insurance rates tripled ! I felt bad. I had no idea the difference was so great.

    Courtesy of the LA County authorities. Those of us who live beyond the “Orange Curtain” forget sometimes what it means.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  6. Hey it was just a kick in the head. It’s not like the cop took out a knife and castrated him. Though I’m sure “PatriotRider” would have approved of it if he had.

    David Ehrenstein (405ab2)

  7. He kicked the perp?
    I thought it was just a footing problem…
    he tried to put on the brakes, and his foot slipped out from underneath him,
    unfortunately impacting the refuse lying on the ground.

    AD - RtR/OS! (c02a3c)

  8. who cares how it happened?

    this is a classic NHI situation…..

    redc1c4 (9c4f4a)

  9. From what I have seen, I do not agree with the actions of the cop, in the least bit. I can understand his likely frustration, but training is supposed to teach you how to overcome that. This just gives more ammo to those that would denigrate the service of these people. We expect better of those that are given the public’s trust.

    The criminal should be afforded no breaks due to the actions of the cop, but likely will be.

    JD (a67da8)

  10. Good column and post Jack.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  11. All gangsters engaging in criminal acts should be treated in this manner. I hope the officer was wearing a steel toed boots.

    Knuckles (9716a0)

  12. The ACLU is once again disgraceful in their patent dishonesty as they neglected to note the serious risk the citizens were put in due to Mr. Rodriguez’s actions. And the fact that he could have ended the entire matter at any point in time also seems to be overlooked. He was in control of the situation as long as the public was endangered by him.

    Your conclusion was reasonable and tempered, and not indulgent; a good article and your firsthand insights are always beneficial to us.

    Dana (4a6e8c)

  13. Soldiers should not be used as police, their training is wrong. Police should not be judge, jury, and executioner.

    Knuckles, do we train them for this or just let each rookie decide who is guilty and what their punishment should be? This has been done around the world and the results have not been good.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  14. I’m not supporting what the cop did in a moment of high adrenaline and frustration. I am condemning the constant drumbeat of this stuff, which no doubt affects the attitude of the criminal population, which then stimulates more of the same behavior. In Britain now, few such perps would even be jailed.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  15. Others with more experience can decide what if anything the officer is guilty of and what if anything the consequences should be. The people who assert the officer should have “tuned up” the suspect are dishonest or foolish. This is the road to hell. The police become the enemy of innocent people. This has never solved the problem.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  16. I don’t expect police to be Adam-12, but I do not believe police are Adam-12 either. You can not issue a young man a gun and make him immune from the consequences of his actions. Immunity corrupts. Can anyone name any time police have had immunity and have not turned out bad? I would point out the ATF.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  17. The ACLU are a bunch of boobs, and not the good kind.

    JD (a67da8)

  18. I don’t expect the police. Period. There is no ‘police’ – only a group of individual members of an organization officially tasked with enforcing laws. They are not tasked with trying the accused or applying punishment.

    I agree with Jack in his point regarding the problem of the repeated highlight of this incident. Not the replay of the dangerous behavior by the perp, but the kick.

    The problem is that people seem to need to identify specific actions by individuals as representative of an entire group. Thus, to find the officer ‘wrong’ is to find the ‘police’ wrong, and then add the false dilemma fallacy that either the ‘police’ are wrong or the ‘accused’ are wrong. The perps actions, on tape, are proof of his guilt of the high speed chase. The officer’s actions are his individual actions. One does not counter the other.

    I support the police and their hard work. I don’t support the actions of this individual officer from what I can see in the video. Separating the actions of individuals out from other individuals should be the emphasis of any investigation or report.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  19. Jack Dunphy,

    Anyone who thinks all cops are like this has clearly not read your posts.

    This cop is a criminal, and any good cop would abhor his freedom.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  20. One more thing to consider is that if the thug had killed the officer after that kick, he would have had a good case of self-defense.

    nk (a1896a)

  21. JD raises a great point too.

    In our system of government, sadly, bad cops = criminals skating. And as Jack points out, bad cops often hamper police in ridiculous ways, such as the flashlight thing.

    Bad cops aren’t just jerks… they’re simply ineffective as hell.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  22. If that wasn’t a clear case of assault by a peace officer I don’t know what is. I’d be happy to travel anywhere and kick in the head anybody who thinks otherwise.

    Curtis (e21caf)

  23. During the last campaign there were many cases of Democrats assaulting or vandalizing Republicans, but they all lost effect when that one foolish girl scratched a backwards “B” on her face and claimed muggers did it. Every bad officer tars all the good ones.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

  24. All gangsters engaging in criminal acts should be treated in this manner. I hope the officer was wearing a steel toed boots. All this bleeding heart BS is the reason gangsters continue to exist. Gangsters are urban terrorists that should not have any rights.

    Knuckles (9716a0)

  25. I would not be all that fired up to live in the world knuckles espouses.

    JD (a67da8)

  26. JD, if you broke down in a MS13 neighborhood in LA you would not last 5 minutes. Think about it.

    Knuckles (9716a0)

  27. Knuckles

    Those who enforce the law are required to obey it. What you advocate is not the rule of law but fascism. Get a clue.

    Terry Gain (4f27d2)

  28. That may be so, knuckles. Yet that, in no way, gives police the right to mete out justice as they see fit. I am sorry you feel that way. The system you espouse flies in the face of our flawed, but still the best, legal system.

    JD (a67da8)

  29. Knuckles is either an idiot or a moby.

    I’m embarrassed if any of the regulars here take that crap at face value.

    drug dealing thugs should be in prison for life… after a trial. No real conservative things cops should have so much power as to judge on the spot.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  30. Knuckles – All this bleeding heart BS is the reason gangsters continue to exist.

    Do you really think people won’t join a gang if they believe that they might be kicked?

    Gangs exist because they’re profitable, not because it’s easy to be in one. People band together into a ‘gang’ so as to gain money and influence through intimidation and control. Get rid of the profit, and you’ll cut down on the gangs.

    The way to do that is to empower the citizens, who are now at a disadvantage because they must rely on the State for their defense. Giving the government more power isn’t the solution.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  31. Apogee, I’m all for “empowering” citizens to hunt down gang members & turning in their pelts for a reward.

    Knuckles (9716a0)

  32. Knuckles – With enough law abiding citizens with CCW’s, there wouldn’t be a need even for a ‘hunt’.

    If you need to hunt them down because they’re afraid to act in your area, then you’ve already won.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  33. Apogee, I cant disagree with that. Till such a time we will have to settle for them being kicked in the head by ill tempered cops.

    Knuckles (9716a0)

  34. There is nothing conservative about the positions knuckles advocates. There is a fundamental totalitarian bent to its position. There is a fundamental willingness to hand over its liberties to a system of judge, jury, and executioner. It shows no grasp of our legal system.

    JD (a67da8)

  35. “No real conservative things cops should have so much power as to judge on the spot.”

    Juan – At the risk of reigniting a debate, isn’t that exactly what you are doing to the cop in the tape, judging him. Dunphy writes a nice balanced column relative to some of the “string up the cop” screeds on this and the prior thread.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  36. Unfortunately, Knuckles, I won’t settle for that. As I’ve outlined in earlier comments, the officer is tasked with following the guidelines of the department and State law in the execution of his duties, and in that respect he failed. That individual officer is going to have to ‘settle’ for the fact that it’s still illegal for him to kick a perp.

    I want those guidelines and duties enforced because, as we’ve seen lately with this Administration, abrogation of the rule of law (see the favoritism of the UAW over debt holders, etc.) to suit the whims of government officials is destructive to society. Again, abandonment of the rule of law isn’t the solution, reaffirming the rights of the individual law abiding citizen is the solution.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  37. Daleyrocks – I don’t want the cop ‘strung up’. I want him investigated for excessive force. If it turns out that he has a legitimate reason, then he shouldn’t be disciplined.

    I’m with Patterico on this (“I’m actually judging him”), and, I believe, Jack Dunphy. I don’t like it when Obama breaks the law, and I don’t like it when it appears that the officer has done so.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  38. If you are a gang member, you are involved in a criminal enterprise and you are an urban terrorist. Gang members should be treated just like Al-Queda and Taliban…. Shot on sight. It’s time to stop coddling these maggots. They are terrorists. Terrorists have no rights.

    Captain Iron Fist (9716a0)

  39. Daleyrocks, there’s a huge distinction between a legal judgment and a personal judgment.

    Of course I recognize that the tape displays a terrible crime and the cop is a criminal. I have a personal judgment. I would never say that this gives me the right to start punishing him. he deserves his chance to make his defense in a court, under basic rules, and have a jury decide his fate.

    As for all the ridiculous commentary about how gang members should have no rights because pirates should have no rights, this is absurd.

    How do you even know this kid was in a gang? Because a kid running out of a car could easily be mentally ill, afraid of this cop due to this kind of video or a personal issue with a specific cop, or any number of other issues.

    What’s so funny is that this is such a basic point.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  40. Well, we cannot have kicking occuring! But if the criminal, ahem – “alleged criminal” had reached for his waistband – the cop could shoot and kill him – but Katy bar the door if he kicks him.

    Californio (6657ce)

  41. Californio, if the criminal had actually pulled something, really anything, out from his waistband at that moment, I would not have had even a slight issue with him being shot dead.

    But he didn’t do that. This criminal garbage was just laying there while another criminal garbage kicked him in the head for the purpose of ‘distracting’.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  42. “How do you even know this kid was in a gang?”

    Did you look at him?

    Bill (f5c720)

  43. I mean the closeup of his face in the Times, with all the tats?

    Bill (f5c720)

  44. The cop should be disciplined, but not fired.

    Maybe he should have to wear ballet slippers around the squad room…. oh wait, that’d be hazing and then we’d be on the hook for another million dollar settlement.

    Cops have to show more discipline and restraint than than the civilian population they are in contact with.
    The police routinely interact with and arrest civilians who have acted out violently when caught up in adrenaline fueled situations… cops need to lead from the front, model how these situations are handled by a pro.

    Assuming knuckles is writing posts in good faith, I’d like to point out that all gangsters are not equal. Some are fools with tatoos.
    That goes for MS13 or whatever supergang name that gets dropped.
    Even hardcore gangs have soft members whose lives can be turned around

    I empathize with anyone who has to deal with gangster nonsense on a regular basis. Nearly every experience I can imagine where gangsters show up gets worse… even a baptism… who the hell comes armed to that event?
    Jail would be a much more positive correctional experience without them.
    I know a few gangsters.
    I know parents of murdered sons.
    If you are a person whose life is caught up in gang turmoil, I empathize with any expressed frustration and desire for something tangible from the police… a front row seat to a world class ass whipping sounds so good, I know.
    But I disagree with that… because ass kickings by the cops are a badge of honor to gangsters, this kid will be a frickin hero now to all his friends and he’ll get more respect in jail that he’d otherwise rate.
    That cop in the video lost control and thus power, and the skinny little thief gained power.

    One of the most impressive things I’ve seen was a black cop be utterly and totally impassive while booking in a tank full of hispanic gang members who are all screaming *nigger* and *monkey* and other nonsense at him when he was walking past. Sure the guards heard what was going on and moved to restore some order, but that cop has to want to cut loose after the fat loudmouths finish their sentences and are back out there raising trouble out on his beat… but he hasn’t or it’d be on Youtube and he’d be the one in jail.

    Oh yeah.
    I’d never assert my right to self defense against a cop unless I thought I was about to be killed… if I hear news copters and see a kick coming at my head, I don’t get up and start swinging… I praise the Virgin of Guadalupe and ask her to send a couple more from a better camera angle. I just won the lottery and went from America’s dumbest criminals to “bought my mom a house”.
    (of course it’d be partied away while I’m out on bail, and in the end of the day I’d have spent my comissary account down to zero within the year but hey, times were good, thank you El Monte PD for the party)

    SteveG (c99c5c)

  45. I didn’t know we had so many John Murtha and Dick Durbin fans commenting here.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  46. Someone asked how it was even known the crook was in a gang. I’m going to go with the fact that the crook had his gangs name tattooed across his face. It law enforcement, that was what we called a clue.

    Hondo (9716a0)

  47. Daleyrocks,
    If that is meant to refer to people that don’t think police should take the law into their own hands then it is perhaps the most classless and dishonest thing I think I have seen you say. You have yet to make any rational argument to support your position. You just smear the people you disagree with.

    Machinist (c5fc28)

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