Patterico's Pontifications

7/28/2009

Radley Balko, Brian Doherty, and an L.A. Times Editor Distort Posting by Jack Dunphy

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 8:28 pm

I am proud to know Jack Dunphy, and I am especially pleased that he occasionally exposes my readers to his highly entertaining writing style in postings on this site. Jack is able to stand up for himself, and doesn’t need me to help out. Still, I find it highly annoying to see numerous people distorting a recent blog posting of his at NRO’s The Corner. It was bad enough when the radical libertarians like Radley Balko and Brian Doherty did it. But now that an L.A. Times editor is getting in on the act, I feel I must speak out.

Let’s start by reviewing what Jack actually said — which will make the distortion of his words plain to see. In a passage I quoted with approval the other day, Jack said:

So, since the president is keen on offering instruction, here is what I would advise he teach his Ivy League pals, and anyone else who may find himself unexpectedly confronted by a police officer: You may be as pure as the driven snow itself, but you have no idea what horrible crime that police officer might suspect you of committing. You may be tooling along on a Sunday drive in your 1932 Hupmobile when, quite unknown to you, someone else in a 1932 Hupmobile knocks off the nearby Piggly Wiggly. A passing police officer sees you and, asking himself how many 1932 Hupmobiles can there be around here, pulls you over. At that moment I can assure you the officer is not all that concerned with trying not to offend you. He is instead concerned with protecting his mortal hide from having holes placed in it where God did not intend. And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.

When the officer has satisfied himself that it was not you and your Hupmobile that were involved in the Piggly Wiggly heist, he owes you an explanation for the stop and an apology for the inconvenience, but if you’re running your mouth about your rights and your history of oppression and what have you, you’re likely to get neither.

Now, please understand: the cop in this example is acting lawfully. He has pulled over a suspect in a 1932 Hupmobile, which I think you’ll agree is a very rare car:

1932 Hupmobile

and he therefore has reasonable suspicion to detain the driver for what sounds like an armed robbery of a supermarket. (I’m reasonably interpreting “knocking off” a supermarket in a “heist” to refer to an armed robbery.)

If the driver didn’t commit the robbery, he may believe that the stop is unconstitutional, and that, by failing to do as the officer asks, he is “asserting [his] constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure.” But in fact, as Jack explained this morning, if the driver fails to comply with the officer’s demands (which may include such indignities as commanding the driver to raise his hands above his head, lie face-down on the ground, and/or submit to a brief detention in handcuffs), he is actually resisting lawful commands by a police officer conducting a lawful detention. Not only is said citizen going to lose his lawsuit for civil rights violations, he may find himself locked up for a misdemeanor violation of Penal Code section 148, subdivision a, subsection 1.

And if the driver casually ignores the fact that the officer might consider him a danger, for legitimate reasons the driver never imagined, the driver could indeed end up full of holes. For as the refuses to get his hands in the air, and instead reaches in his pocket to pull out his wallet — to show that he is really, say, an important Harvard professor, a famous writer for a libertarian magazine, or the editor of a big-city newspaper — his actions may cause the cop to think he’s going for a gun. Why else would the driver ignore the officer’s lawful command to get his fucking hands in the air? (And yes, the officer may say it in just that rude a fashion. Complain later, driver — but raise your fucking hands in the air now.)

For some reason, a few libertarian-leaning writers have not understood Jack’s point — and in their zeal to criticize him, they have misrepresented Jack’s point. In some cases badly.

Radley Balko started the ball rolling in a column titled The Henry Louis Gates “Teaching Moment.” Balko cautions readers not to display excessive deference to police, and cites numerous examples of genuine police overreaching (such as confiscating video cameras on public streets and such). Balko’s thesis is simple: “[T]he emerging lesson seems to be that you should capitulate to police, all the time, right or wrong. That’s unfortunate, because there are plenty of instances where you shouldn’t.”

This is true, but as Jack’s example shows, there are times when you may think you have the right to ignore the officer’s commands, but you really don’t. You can disobey, but you’d damn well better be right. Because if you judge badly, you could end up in jail or dead.

Balko misrepresents Jack’s point in support of his argument, saying:

Los Angeles Police Department officer Jack Dunphy (a pseudonym) oddly concluded at National Review Online that the lesson from the Gates/Crowley affair is that anyone who asserts his constitutional rights when confronted by a police officer risks getting shot.

(All emphasis in this post is mine.)

No, he didn’t. Jack posited a specific scenario involving a suspected armed robber, in which the officer is making a lawful stop of someone he believes to be armed and dangerous, and says that someone who refuses to obey the officer’s commands in such a scenario could end up full of holes. That’s far different from, say, a situation where a citizen tells an officer illegally searching his car for drugs: “Officer, I assert my constitutional rights! Please stop your search!” There’s no reason such a person would end up full of holes, and I wager that Jack Dunphy would never say otherwise. Balko is simply misrepresenting and oversimplifying Dunphy’s point to make it sound alarming, when it’s just not.

It gets far worse when we read Brian Doherty’s blog post, titled Anonymous LAPD Writer: Running Your Mouth About Your Rights Can Get You Shot, And Don’t You Forget It. I have personally met Doherty, and while I think he’s a radical libertarian, he seems like a nice guy. However, his blog post here is very misleading, and the title is really just crap. Go back and read the passage I quoted from Jack’s column. He doesn’t say running your mouth can get you shot. He says failing to obey the commands of a police officer who reasonably suspects you of being an armed robber can get you shot. And running your mouth about it afterwards — if you’re rude about the way you do it — might lose you an apology and an explanation, to which (Dunphy says) you would otherwise be entitled.

But it doesn’t make a very snappy or convincing blog post title to say: “Anonymous LAPD Writer: Failing to Obey the Lawful Commands of an Officer Who Reasonably Suspects You of Being an Armed Robber Can Get You Shot, And Don’t You Forget It.”

Also note how Doherty loads the dice by paraphrasing part of Dunphy’s quote:

[A policeman talking to a citizen is] concerned with protecting his mortal hide from having holes placed in it where God did not intend. And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.

Uh, no, Brian. This is not just any citizen talking to any policeman — although I can see where you might have gotten that impression from reading Balko’s column. Nevertheless, you’re a big boy, you read Dunphy’s post yourself, and you should have been able to overcome any misimpressions from Balko’s column, assuming that’s where you first saw it.

Finally, we get to the Dog Trainer editor.

Paul Thornton, an assistant articles editor at the L.A. Times, italicizes Dunphy’s sentence: “And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.” Thornton — a seemingly very nice guy who was my editor for the “Dustup” series with Marc Cooper — then says:

Note the italics — and consider that an armed officer of the law grotesquely warns any innocent civilian who cites his Constitutional protection against unreasonable searches that he runs the risk of being killed. I hope that a cop who pulls me over simply because another guy driving a blue VW Jetta committed a crime would exercise more restraint should I point out that the law is on my side.

OK, Mr. Thornton, a few problems here. The law is not on your side; it is not an unreasonable search; you are not just “any innocent civilian” but rather one reasonably suspected of a violent crime; and your blue VW Jetta is a bit more common than the Hupmobile pictured earlier in this post. This is pretty thin gruel on which to base this rather histrionic display of Outrage:

Dunphy is completely out of line here; any officer who considers citizens belligerent for asserting their Constitutional rights is a danger to the public and his department. Chief Bratton take note.

No, Mr. Thornton, you’re out of line for misrepresenting the nature of Jack Dunphy’s argument. Again, I don’t level a charge of deliberate misrepresentation; presumably you simply misunderstood what he was saying. Hopefully this post helps clear up any confusion.

259 Responses to “Radley Balko, Brian Doherty, and an L.A. Times Editor Distort Posting by Jack Dunphy”

  1. Batten down the hatches, Mr. Frey. Be prepared for a lack of civility to make Jeff Goldstein blush.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  2. Not that I agree with the “what’s in your wallet” horde that will shortly descend. I do not.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  3. awfully is an unfortunate typo there no?

    happyfeet (42470c)

  4. happy:

    I just got through fixing that. I was hoping nobody had noticed!

    Yeah, muy unfortunate. But it was up for only 8 minutes.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  5. Weird thing was I noticed it, fixed it, and came back here to see your comment.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  6. I thought it was awfully nice of DCSCA to suggest that Jack retire in one of his comments on the other thread.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  7. I deleted that comment. It violates the rules here to suggest that a poster is unfit for his job. DCSCA has been warned.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  8. Is is telling that Balko has not yet responded. ;-)

    Why don’t you just note that they are dishonest lying crapweasels? Would save a lot of pixels …

    JD (355e34)

  9. Why don’t you just note that they are dishonest lying crapweasels?

    I think Doherty and Thornton are good guys . . .

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  10. Here is your problem: it’s the high-minded attitude that Dunphy exhibits that most people take issue with. And it seems that arguing “argumentum ad Hupmobile” is failing to reside in reality. Yes, it’s a rare car. But, how many cars that rare, or even in that neighborhood, are fleeing the scene?

    Regardless, it’s the attitude that “reaching for your wallet gets you killed” that you need to contend with. And your affinity for the authoritarian state tells me more about you than I needed to know.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  11. The end game of all this is to reintroduce to those who have forgotten, or never knew, the Democrat left’s romance with lawlessness and contempt for public order. This is the 60s come back to show us why Reagan was elected in landslides. I am content to see them restate the doctrine that lawlessness and disorder is what civil rights consist of. We’ll see how that plays in 2010.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  12. Okay, they were dishonest crapweasels on this topic. I note you did not include Balko on that list.

    JD (355e34)

  13. The angry optimist makes my point rather nicely. If leftist libertarians, a contradiction in terms, choose to campaign the 2010 election with Henry Gates as their standard bearer, it’s OK with me.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  14. Pessimist likes to double down on the dishonesty.

    JD (355e34)

  15. Mike K – perhaps, since I asked you in the other thread and you failed to answer, you would care to illuminate where Gates did anything illegal?

    Oh, that’s right: he didn’t. My problem with Dunphy is that he constructed an absurd scenario that does not, in any way, comport with the facts on the ground. The arrest of Gates was an unlawful one. You have the right to be belligerent.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  16. “…And your affinity for the authoritarian state tells me more about you than I needed to know….”

    As we continue to see Godwin’s Law sneak into every discussion. Good to see new approaches to debate and discussion arise!

    What ever happened to “dissent is the highest form of patriotism”?

    Oh, that’s right: that concept is predicated on respect for people who feel differently than you do. But to you, people who feel differently than you do are are jackbooted thugs goosestepping to your door.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  17. Hmmm..

    “..he constructed an absurd scenario that does not, in any way, comport with the facts on the ground…”

    Absurd scenario? Sort of like tarring your opponents with the Nazi brush, wouldn’t you say?

    Ah, but that is different!

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  18. Funny, I never said the word “Nazi”. If you like, you can substitute “Stalinism” or any other lefty-authoritarian set of ideals so you don’t get your poor-baby Republican fweewings hurt.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  19. Actually, Eric, they are a perfect example of how people like to twist people’s clear meaning, and argue with positions not taken, or positions they wish you had taken, and in order to do so, they must bastardize your original position to the point where it bears no relation to what you actually said. It is lazy and lacking in integrity.

    JD (355e34)

  20. Dirty socialist Associated Press propagandist Barry Schweid may not know a lede if it bites him in his dirty socialist ass but he does at least finally get around to reporting that Colin Powell came very close to calling Gates a flipping idiot.

    But, he said, “when you are faced with an officer trying to do his job and get to the bottom of something, this is not the time to get in an argument with him. I was taught that as a child.

    “You don’t argue with a police officer,” Powell said.

    This is basic. Very very basic. This morning I ridiculed that examiner.com story that suggested wonkette might could be being homicidally negligent or whatever but this Balko person is gonna get people killed for real.

    happyfeet (42470c)

  21. No twisting here. What I am seeing is the deliberate setup of a nonexistent and irrelevant scenario to justify arresting a man for the “crime” of “belligerence”.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  22. Next comes the “wah wah you hurt my feelings and you are such a victim” whine, as though you should just accept their lies, misrepresentations, and distortions. Answering them will just make them say you are playing the victim. We saw this @ SEK’s, and it will happen here.

    JD (355e34)

  23. “Why else would the driver ignore the officer’s lawful command to get his fucking hands in the air?”

    Why else? Because he’s not the suspect and he doesn’t like getting yelled at by cops for no reason.

    imdw (e20863)

  24. Holy jeebus! Pessimistic proved me right faster than I could type. Thank you.

    JD (355e34)

  25. Here is your problem: it’s the high-minded attitude that Dunphy exhibits that most people take issue with. And it seems that arguing “argumentum ad Hupmobile” is failing to reside in reality. Yes, it’s a rare car. But, how many cars that rare, or even in that neighborhood, are fleeing the scene?

    It’s common for witnesses to give a particular description and for officers to detain someone who fits the description — but turns out to be innocent. Dunphy’s hypo was thus representative of scenarios unfolding across the country daily.

    Regardless, it’s the attitude that “reaching for your wallet gets you killed” that you need to contend with. And your affinity for the authoritarian state tells me more about you than I needed to know.

    If you were here you’d see me shrugging my shoulders. If a cop reasonably thinks you’re an armed robber, and tells you to put your hands in the air — and you don’t, and reach for your wallet instead, you may get shot. Sorry. That’s reality.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  26. He needs to go speak truth to power by flashing his bong in public, JD. I called him on his Godwin crap and he is claiming innocence.

    Fight the Power, TAO! You have nothing to lose but your chains!

    See, TAO? You think it is okay to look at a post or two and actually write boring jingoistic claptrap like

    “…And your affinity for the authoritarian state tells me more about you than I needed to know….”

    But it’s different when someone applies that kind of snap judgment to you!

    It’s fine to be a hammer and tong Libertarian. Just be a mature one. Hopefully one with a sense of humor about your own extremism. Whoops, I did it again! See how foolish stuff-a-person-into-a-box judgementalism is?

    See what I did there, JD?

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  27. So if an officer asks to search my bag or my car, should I say yes or no?

    imdw (e20863)

  28. I’m way past tired of hearing Radley Balko ramble on about cops running rough-shod over peoples rights.

    STFU already…

    thebronze (bfd7b6)

  29. I swear, my kingdom for honest trolls.

    JD (355e34)

  30. Imdw, I can’t tell if you are honestly asking a question. I have had this happen as a college student, at 1 in the morning walking home from a bus stop. There was no probable cause. I was also carrying no contraband. I had a police officer upend my backpack on Santa Monica Boulevard, stir the contents around with his foot, and look at me.

    I said nothing, and when he walked off, I put all my stuff back and walked home. If I wanted to file a complaint, I could have.

    But you see, I have also been mugged, twice, by black men. Should I therefore be a racist, or argue with the muggers?

    Should the police officer have messed with me? Nope. Was it a rough neighborhood? Yup (I had to find an apartment I could afford on a small budget).

    I could have complained. But later. That is the point with Gates. He could have done all that LATER.

    This whole argument is more “Speak Truth to Power” nonsense.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  31. Mr. Patterico – so, ask yourself this: how is that scenario in any way relevant to the Gates fiasco?

    He needs to go speak truth to power by flashing his bong in public, JD.

    Huh – well, I do not smoke marijuana. My current employer frowns on that sort of things. It gets in the way of “mission readiness” and “battle focus”. Perhaps you need to get a new stereotype.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  32. Goodnight. I am sure when I wake up, there will have been a monsoon of mendoucheity. Enjoy.

    JD (355e34)

  33. So if an officer asks to search my bag or my car, should I say yes or no?

    Speaking as a prosecutor, I say: the answer is DEFINITELY yes.

    Your defense lawyer might tell you something different.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  34. Angry Optimist – The link MattXIV supplied in comment 104 to the other thread (http://www.masscriminaldefense.com/disorderly.htm) provides a summary of the law, although from the criminal defense side. There’s ample room in that lawyer’s summary of the statutes for you to figure out probable cause for the arrest if you have any imagination. Taking it through to a conviction is another matter.

    Why don’t the folks claining it is against the law provide definitive links supporting that position?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  35. The Continuing Conversation About the Gates Case

    To the Editor:

    We are now moving from Stage 1 of a national spectacle (what do the events in Cambridge, Mass., tell us about America?) to Stage 2 (what do the commentaries on the events tell us about America?).

    As a professor who years ago taught Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s autobiography, “Colored People: A Memoir,” in an ethics class, I am struck by so many critics’ failure simply to put themselves in either Professor Gates’s or Sgt. James M. Crowley’s very different shoes, as if our experiences had no bearing on our perception of the facts.

    My moral lesson at this stage is that President Obama was right about Judge Sonia Sotomayor: in order to judge well you need empathy.

    Steven B. Gerrard

    Williamstown, Mass., July 26, 2009

    The writer is chairman of the philosophy department at Williams College.*

    um. ok.

    happyfeet (42470c)

  36. Mr. Patterico – so, ask yourself this: how is that scenario in any way relevant to the Gates fiasco?

    It’s a teachable moment, Angry Optimist! And we’re teaching citizens that, just because the citizen may THINK the officer has no basis for his actions, doesn’t mean the citizen is right.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  37. “My problem with Dunphy is that he constructed an absurd scenario that does not, in any way, comport with the facts on the ground.”

    Angry Optimist – It’s like an SAT test, right? Jack probably made it slightly different than the actual Gates case just to confuse the dimwits from Reason is my guess.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  38. “..Perhaps you need to get a new stereotype…”

    Oh, I think you pretty much have the market cornered, TAO.

    But of course, you don’t think you stereotype. Only those other stupid people do that. Not smart enlightened people like yourself.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  39. If an officer asks you, say no. Comply with only what will keep you living. I also advise refusing a Breathalyzer if you’re not sure if you’ll pass. The consequences are less severe.

    daleyrocks – see this for a start. </a

    And this.

    I’ll give you some time to peruse that, so let me know when you realize that the arrest was, in fact, unlawful.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  40. Has anybody blamed Bush yet?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  41. oh. also scroll to the bottom of that link at 34 to see a Columbia journalism professor *blame the press* for ensnaring the President Obama in a celebrated crime case they should have known he had no business commenting on.

    Beyond that and maybe it’s just me but the idea that Barack Obama didn’t know that question was penciled in for the end of his press conference is simply not in the realm of possibility.

    Barack wanted the backdrop of a heated racial profiling discussion as that Sotomayor chick was voted on. That’s just how he rolls.

    happyfeet (42470c)

  42. You have the right to be belligerent.

    Comment by The Angry Optimist

    Thank you for your condescension, sir. Personally, I choose civilization but you be my guest. You might try law school before assuming the ex cathedra tone but what do I know. If you do choose law school, you might meet Tim there.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  43. IT WAS UNLAWFUL BECAUSE A MASS CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER SAYS SO AND COPS SYSTEMATICALLY ABUSE THEIR POWER AND ARE PROLLY RACISTS.

    Racists

    JD (355e34)

  44. And we’re teaching citizens that, just because the citizen may THINK the officer has no basis for his actions, doesn’t mean the citizen is right.

    And, the teaching moment is: do whatever the cop says, regardless of whether you know you’re right? So, the Gates teaching moment is “do nothing, even if it’s legal”.

    The man had right to yell at that police officer on his porch. You do not have the right to resist instructions in the pursuit of a dangerous and violent criminal.

    The fact that Dunphy dismissively says that assertion of your rights means the police officer won’t apologize is just icing on the Goosestepping Cake.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  45. Thank you for your condescension, sir. Personally, I choose civilization but you be my guest. You might try law school before assuming the ex cathedra tone

    Again, there’s a difference between civilized behavior and asserting your rights. I believe that you have the right to be racist. I believe you have the right to engage in sexual intercourse with a consenting partner of your choosing. That does not mean that I believe all things that fall under acting within in your rights are civilized behavior. Again, your limited perspective is revealing.

    As for the law school thing – well, like I said, I invite you to read the relevant links I provided and construct a more compelling argument than ad hominems. Don’t worry: my expectations are low.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  46. And, the teaching moment is: do whatever the cop says, regardless of whether you know you’re right?

    No, it’s not. Do you care what it is? If so, you can ask. Or you can keep advancing incorrect guesses. Your call.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  47. “I could have complained. But later. That is the point with Gates. He could have done all that LATER. ”

    I understand this is the point: To focus on what gates did. Not on the BS arrest. Because we all know that cops are the types to arrest uppity people. Otherwise they wouldn’t save us.

    “Speaking as a prosecutor, I say: the answer is DEFINITELY yes.

    Your defense lawyer might tell you something different.”

    What do you tell your friends and family ?

    imdw (e6c812)

  48. Patterico – This one followed the exact same pattern as the folks @ SEK’s did. Exactly.

    JD (355e34)

  49. I still contend that if you transported 1,000 libertarians to an island that could support life they would all would be dead within a couple of years because they couldn’t stop arguing about how or whether to govern themselves, whether to share responsibilities and actually produce food to survive.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  50. “What do you tell your friends and family ?”

    imdw – Same as always. You’re an idiot.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  51. No, it’s not. Do you care what it is? If so, you can ask. Or you can keep advancing incorrect guesses. Your call.

    Please, go right ahead.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  52. “As for the law school thing – well, like I said, I invite you to read the relevant links I provided and construct a more compelling argument than ad hominems.”

    What links?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  53. daleyrocks – as I suspected, you must not be very serious about learning what the actual caselaw is, given that you’ve had time to sling vicious insults at imdw.

    So, how are those links coming? Figured out someway to twist stare decisis to fit your predetermined outcome?

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  54. This kind of says it all:

    “..The man had right to yell at that police officer on his porch…”

    Hmmm. I’ll bet our new commenter would not say that such is the case when the police officer is pursuing a possible burglary case? But my guess that TAO will be quite sure exactly what happened on that porch, and in that house, and in that neighborhood.

    I guess the yelling and insulting part as a “right” is a bit confusing to some people. And you know, I’m sure that there is case law that says that it is somehow a right. But the people who agree don’t generally go try it. I wonder why?

    Because it isn’t smart, nor does it do any good to anyone. Except for race-baiting college professors with a history of race-baiting.

    And it sure makes people feel powerful. And feelings are important.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  55. Patterico, a legal question: I keep reading here people saying that Gates has the “right” to yell and scream at the police. I believe I have read that this is true under freedom of speech. However, how does this fit into the possibility that he is then breaking the law under interferring with the police doing their jobs? If his continued yelling and screaming is preventing the police from getting the necessary information from him and protecting his property, wouldn’t that be an illegal act?

    reff (ee9f7a)

  56. Hey, daley? I missed the “vicious insults.”

    Do you suppose that it might be your right to viciously insult people, incidentally?

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  57. What do you tell your friends and family?

    I figure they’re clean, so I’d refuse searches as a waste of time.

    And, the teaching moment is: obey COMMANDS from cops unless you are 100% sure you are in the right not to. Understand that they may know something you don’t, and they may not have the time or patience to explain to you what that is.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  58. Patterico, a legal question: I keep reading here people saying that Gates has the “right” to yell and scream at the police. I believe I have read that this is true under freedom of speech. However, how does this fit into the possibility that he is then breaking the law under interferring with the police doing their jobs? If his continued yelling and screaming is preventing the police from getting the necessary information from him and protecting his property, wouldn’t that be an illegal act?

    I’ve seen people arrested many a time for screaming at the cops for arresting their son/brother/relative. If you’re interfering with a cop in the course of his official duties, there’s a point where your constitutional rights give way to his need to do his job. Just like your constitutional right to swing your arm ends where my nose begins.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  59. right, so, Dunphy’s, and yours, consequently, teaching moments have exactly zero to do with the Gates case.

    I figure they’re clean, so I’d refuse searches as a waste of time.

    Wait, what? you tell your family members to refuse searches? Did I read that right?

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  60. And if the driver casually ignores the fact that the officer might consider him a danger, for legitimate reasons the driver never imagined, the driver could indeed end up full of holes.

    Fearing for their life is the common excuse by cops when they shoot innocent persons. One thing I’ll say about Balko’s site is that he informs us just how often this happens. My thought is that if a cop is that fearful, he/she is in the wrong job. Prosecutors who put up with and sanction this crap should also hang it up. They sure aren’t serving the public.

    TC (115cbe)

  61. However, how does this fit into the possibility that he is then breaking the law under interferring with the police doing their jobs?

    Mr. Patterico, why don’t you answer his question? Your evasion is a nonanswer. More simply: did GATES break the law?

    reff, because Mr. Patterico sidestepped, I’ll answer: no, Gates did not break the law. The arrest was unlawful.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  62. right, so, Dunphy’s, and yours, consequently, teaching moments have exactly zero to do with the Gates case.

    No, Gates should have realized that the officer knew something he didn’t, and shouldn’t have been such an ass.

    If you have read my posts on this you already know I don’t think Gates broke the law, and that he shouldn’t have been arrested.

    But he acted wrongly. And he was not racially profiled.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  63. Again, it was an issue of class, I think. In both senses of the word.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  64. TAO, I didn’t ask that question. I asked: If his continued yelling and screaming is preventing the police from getting the necessary information from him and protecting his property, wouldn’t that be an illegal act?

    Now, I’ll ask you: IF he was doing that, would that be an illegal act? I’ll base my response that he was acting in an illegal manner on this:

    A “disorderly person” is defined as one who:

    with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or
    recklessly creates a risk thereof
    engages in fighting or threatening, violent or tumultuous behavior, or
    creates a hazard or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose.

    Now, I do understand that he gets to yell and scream at police under the first amendment, and I’ll accept that easily. But, if he can do that, then these two interpretations of the Mass. law must be unconstitutional on their face, since he did both of these that I highlighted in bold.

    But, then again, I’m just a simple referee…

    reff (ee9f7a)

  65. reff – please note that the links I provided in post 39 clear all that up for you. In short, Massachusetts has determined that what Gates did, by definition, cannot fit any of the four possible elements of the statute.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  66. If you have read my posts on this you already know I don’t think Gates broke the law, and that he shouldn’t have been arrested.

    So, your defense of Dunphy is, what, an act of kindness for a friend or something? Regardless, Dunphy set out an outlandish hypothetical and couched what looked like a universal proposition in that hypo: resistance = deserved death. If it’s as distinguished on the facts as you say, well, then this is all a giant red herring, isn’t it?

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  67. TAO – imdw is a regular, but she does need all the help she can get so I’m sure she appreciates your support. Unlike you, there is usually a perverse reason to her comments.

    Where is the case law to which you refer?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  68. Again, it was an issue of class, I think.

    It’s a shame when righteous indignation comes before thinking. It pays to first seriously consider if this hill is worth dying on…

    If Gates were so concerned with being falsely arrested, why hasn’t he filed suit? Is he waiting to see how it goes at the beer fest?

    Dana (57e332)

  69. From your link:

    3. The defendant either intended to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly created a risk of public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm.

    Mr. Gates’ actions were a public inconvenience, and an annoyance, and they recklessly created the risk of those things as well…..

    So, if Mr. Gates’ actions put the police in a hazardous situation, which I have trouble believing they didn’t, he can put the policemen in jeopardy and it means nothing?

    Ok, I’ll bite…and I’ll be thankful I’m not a police officer….all this does is make their job even harder….

    Thanks for the discussion….

    reff (ee9f7a)

  70. Actually, Dana, Professor Gates is praying (in a wholly secular fashion) that Officer Crowley does not bring Kelly King as his date for Racial Beerfest 2009.

    I loved this bit from her:

    http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2009/07/26/nr.comrade.in.arms.cnn

    The fun begins at 1:10 on the video.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  71. By the way, didn’t that press conference look…um, well…post-racial?

    At least more than the President managed. You know, the cool, hip guy who doesn’t shoot from the hip.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  72. So, if Mr. Gates’ actions put the police in a hazardous situation, which I have trouble believing they didn’t, he can put the policemen in jeopardy and it means nothing?

    just begging for there to be a way that the Good, Loving, Tender Arms of the State are right, aren’t you? I’m not going to tell you again: go read the links at 39.

    Daley – ditto. Links at 39 are a start. Anyway, there are multiple cases that support the notion that political speech in Mass., short of starting a riot, cannot be under the purview of a DC charge. Is Mr. Patterico’s belief that this is so not enough?

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  73. TAO,

    If you’re not going to read my explanations I’m not going to repeat them.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  74. Right, so big red herring it is, then.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  75. “Anyway, there are multiple cases that support the notion that political speech in Mass., short of starting a riot, cannot be under the purview of a DC charge.”

    TAO – Soley speech, if that is the only thing the Officer considers when he makes his decision to arrest the disorderly person, which, unless the Officer informs you of every criteria used, you are not in a position to presume.

    Why do you persist in misstating Dunpgy’s hypothetical with your juvenile, resistance = deserved death crap, omitting the context from which it was taken. It certainly does you no credit in advancing the credibility of other arguments here.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  76. Speaking of herrings of an ochre hue:

    “…just begging for there to be a way that the Good, Loving, Tender Arms of the State are right, aren’t you?..”

    Not at all entering into this discussion with an closed mind, huh? Yet you seem to have no trouble at all “viciously attacking” people who see things differently that you do.

    And watch the name-calling in your response. People who do not agree with you are not Nazis (oh, excuse me, “people who favor authoritarianism”). You seem pretty primed for that kind of impulsive binary behavior…and it takes away from your message, if you are actually trying to discuss instead of play Keyboard Kommando.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  77. “Is Mr. Patterico’s belief that this is so not enough?”

    TAO – Heh. Unlike where you are accustomed to reading, this blog allows disagreement with it’s host, even among regular readers.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  78. But now that an L.A. Times editor is getting in on the act, I feel I must speak out.

    Dealing with these “leftys,” who believe any lack of perceptiveness and common sense they may be guilty of is offset by their beautiful compassion, is ridiculous and mind-numbling after awhile. It’s like dealing with a person who’s about as down-to-earth as a tunnel-visioned teenager or bratty kid.

    Therefore, I feel the best response is to be snarky, and say an employee of the LA Times needs to spend time portraying a blogger inaccurately if only so that he can take his mind off the wheezing, reeling condition of his employer (ie, the LA Times) and industry overall (ie, the MSM, particularly the print portion).

    Mark (411533)

  79. I complained to Balko yesterday about his misrepresentation.

    http://www.theagitator.com/2009/07/27/the-gates-arrests-teaching-moment/#comment-329098

    Naturally one of his brown-nosing fans leaped to his defense.

    Brad (e542a0)

  80. Isn’t the tactic of the morally and intellectually bankrupt to distort what is said and take it out of context? It is all too common today and we see it on the comments frequently. The result is that in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

    And the status quo must be defended by those who control the normal means of power. But integrity always triumphs where lies cannot hope to obscure the truth.

    The Gates affirm has demonstrated Obama’s racial stereo typing and friendships with race hustlers in a way that provides no room for doubt about his true beliefs. In an unscripted moment we saw his true soul. Those who attempt to muddy the waters and obscure what happened only highlight the fraud that is being played on the American people.

    The time of theElmer Gantry’s is over. The people will be fooled no longer.

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  81. You seem pretty primed for that kind of impulsive binary behavior…and it takes away from your message, if you are actually trying to discuss instead of play Keyboard Kommando.

    Eric, your Keyboard Kommando crack reminded me of this pic: http://stuff.orly.ch/img/blog/dont_worry_sir_i_m_from_the_internet.jpg

    Mike LaRoche (28d23b)

  82. Angry O:

    You’re clearly a smart person, so I can’t understand why you insist on misinterpreting everything.

    Dunphy’s hypothetical is not supposed to be an exact parallel of the Gates situation. It’s a response to what he sees as a belief, among many, that refusing to comply with a cop is always and everywhere the right thing to do. Dunphy merely points out that in some situations, like the one he describes, that can have unpleasant consequences.

    Then it was twisted and misrepresented (including a flat-out deceptive editing by Doherty) as if Dunphy was saying that if you don’t show absolute fealty in all things, you’ll get shot and that’s too bad. Which, again, was NOT his point. This dishonesty by Dunphy’s critics made Patterico mad.

    The fact that Dunphy dismissively says that assertion of your rights means the police officer won’t apologize is just icing on the Goosestepping Cake.

    What? He didn’t say that at all. What he said was:

    “When the officer has satisfied himself that it was not you and your Hupmobile that were involved in the Piggly Wiggly heist, he owes you an explanation for the stop and an apology for the inconvenience, but if you’re running your mouth about your rights and your history of oppression and what have you, you’re likely to get neither.”

    It’s not “asserting your rights” that possibly loses you the apology, it’s being obnoxious. You can assert your rights without being obnoxious, can’t you?

    Mars vs Hollywood (f062b9)

  83. Mars vs Hollywood,

    Very good comment. However, I predict it’s a waste of your time. I tried engaging this person because he seemed smart. However, it turned out to be like every other Internet conversation I have with someone with differing views: he makes no effort to understand what I’m saying, and mischaracterizes my statements. Maybe you got through to him. I got ten bucks says otherwise.

    Haven’t seen your handle before, but it’s nice to see someone who gets it, and says it well.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  84. MvH: nicely stated.

    But I suspect that TAO isn’t posting to discuss or debate. I hope you don’t get “viciously attacked” for your trouble (grin).

    Or called a Supporter of Authoritarian Regimes of the Germanic Persuasion.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  85. I’m grateful for our host’s spirited defense of my position, one that I didn’t think was necessary but, judging from the colloquy here, apparently is. And I see there are still those who are unwilling or unable to see the point I, and now Pat, intended to get across. Pat says he’s acquainted with both Brian Doherty and Paul Thornton and he declines to attribute their mischaracterization of my post to an intentional deception of their readers. I’m disinclined to be as charitable, but I’ll defer to Pat’s judgment on the matter.

    Jack Dunphy (38fbdf)

  86. TAO: Tell you what, if a police officer pulls you over and orders you out of your vehicle, and to lie face down on the pavement with your hands behind your head, (known as a felony stop) DO THIS; jump out of your means of conveyance, loudly shout to the officer that you are asserting your rights and that you won’t comply, then make a furtive gesture toward your waistband or pocket (maybe for a wallet, whistle, or maybe a vaunted copy of the Bill of Rights). The officer may be looking for a robbery-homicide suspect that you and your car match closely. Please let me know how this turns out, or have your nearest relative do so as you will most likely be filled with holes.

    Or you may just refuse to stop since in your opinion, you weren’t doing anything wrong and the officer supposedly has no PC to stop you. Let me know how it feels to have the PIT maneuver done to you, I have done it several times to suspects but have never received the benefit of being PITTED myself. If your lucky, you will only be severely shaken by the incident, and not taken to the hospital because of a roll over or other such possiblity.

    Gates is lucky that the officer didn’t introduce him to Mr.’s Smith and Wesson or Mr. Glock. (personally I favor the Remington 870 shotgun, it seems to make more of a lasting impression) That is our procedure on investigations of a possible burglary in progress. You go in armed and order the possible suspects out, you don’t request shit! Then if the person or persons is established to lawfully be on the premises, an apology will be forthcoming with an explanation of what has occurred.

    Let me tell you something bub. When I am stopped by another agency for any reason, I calmly sit in my vehicle with both of my hands on the steering wheel in plain view, so that I don’t become a statistic. I do not reach into my pockets, under the seat, or the glove box for a DAMN thing while the officer is approaching my car, or after he arrives to the window, until told to by the officer. I comply with all of his lawful orders to smallest detail.

    One other thing, no I do not HAVE to give him permission to search my vehicle if he REQUESTS to do so on a regular traffic stop. However, if he orders me to step away and allow him to search it, I will comply. I will clearly tell him in a calm manner that I do not consent to the search. (most patrol units are now equipped with video and audio cameras) Then after the incident is over, I will lodge a formal complaint to his chief and to my nearest FBI office for violation of civil rights. A lawsuit will also be filed against him and his department. That is the correct method of enforcing your rights, not going on a raving mad shouting spree with the officer, which will accomplish not one DAMN thing except further hardship for you. After all, if he is a rogue officer, he might just feel free to administer a “WOOD” shampoo.

    peedoffamerican (06b8f6)

  87. And, the teaching moment is: obey COMMANDS from cops unless you are 100% sure you are in the right not to. Understand that they may know something you don’t, and they may not have the time or patience to explain to you what that is. (em added)

    This conflicts with you and Officer Dunphy’s other assertions to ‘not litigate your case at the curb’. It doesn’t matter if I’m 100% sure because the police are 100% sure in their commands, and are going to use esclating force to achieve compliance, right?

    Nonetheless, I basically agree. Because the advice doesn’t conflict with another nugget I once heard, that should should interact with any unfamiliar law enforcement officer the way you would interact with any large unfamiliar dog. (and note this is not the same way that law enforcement officers treat large unfamiliar dogs)

    Kolohe (72b7a1)

  88. RE #85

    Jack, I am not quite that charitable either. They either lack the prerequisite reading skills that they should possess in which case they should STFU, or they are intentionally misrepresenting your column, in which case they should also STFU!

    After all, even a defense attorney would understand your scenario, unless he’s a frothing at the mouth liberal, in which case you would need to draw him a picture and describe it to him VERY SLOWLY.

    peedoffamerican (06b8f6)

  89. I will interject one instance as to why police officers are generally very careful and forceful in their encounters. A Deputy that I worked with many years ago was shot on duty. He was shot by a female that he went to High School with, had dated previously, and still had occasional amicable contacts with. He didn’t recognize her at first, stopped her for a high rate of speed. He approached her vehicle saw who she was, let down his guard and then casually leaned on the door with his arms to converse. At this time she produced a .22 caliber revolver and shot him 6 times point blank in the abdomen. The only thing that saved him was his vest. Her reason was that she just had an argument with her boyfriend and was upset. She is/was serving a life sentence for attempted capital murder. Just about any officer can relate similar experiences to you. Now if this can happen with someone that you personally know, how do you think an officer feels about his safety and forcefulness with a perp?

    peedoffamerican (06b8f6)

  90. I think we should edit this to make it more analogous to the issue of racial profiling.

    So, since the president is keen on offering instruction, here is what I would advise he teach his Ivy League pals, and anyone else who may find himself unexpectedly confronted by a police officer: You may be as pure as the driven snow itself, but you have no idea what horrible crime that police officer might suspect you of committing. You may be [a black male] tooling along on a Sunday drive in your car 1932 Hupmobile when, quite unknown to you, a black male someone else in a car 1932 Hupmobile knocks off the nearby Piggly Wiggly. A passing police officer sees you and, asking himself how many black males in a car 1932 Hupmobiles can there be around here, pulls you over. At that moment I can assure you the officer is not all that concerned with trying not to offend you. He is instead concerned with protecting his mortal hide from having holes placed in it where God did not intend. And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.

    Joe 2 (46cc0f)

  91. sorry, the strike tag didn’t work.

    here’s a corrected version

    So, since the president is keen on offering instruction, here is what I would advise he teach his Ivy League pals, and anyone else who may find himself unexpectedly confronted by a police officer: You may be as pure as the driven snow itself, but you have no idea what horrible crime that police officer might suspect you of committing. You may be a black male tooling along on a Sunday drive in your car when, quite unknown to you, a black male in a car knocks off the nearby Piggly Wiggly. A passing police officer sees you and, asking himself how many black males in a car can there be around here, pulls you over. At that moment I can assure you the officer is not all that concerned with trying not to offend you. He is instead concerned with protecting his mortal hide from having holes placed in it where God did not intend. And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.

    There. that’s a little closer to the acutal complaint of racial profiling.

    Joe 2 (46cc0f)

  92. I know it’s early where you all are, so I shall leave this sole reply and see where that leads us.

    It’s not “asserting your rights” that possibly loses you the apology, it’s being obnoxious. You can assert your rights without being obnoxious, can’t you?

    Do you feel that’s justification for not apologizing? Being annoying? In Dunphy’s own words, you are owed an apology for a mistake like this, but if you have the audacity to actually, you know, be right that you’re not supposed to be stopped and assert it in an “annoying” manner, then so sorry, no apology for you.

    And you wonder why it is I call the police high-minded. If you’re owed an apology, that’s a debt. A debt is a debt – period.

    Then if the person or persons is established to lawfully be on the premises, an apology will be forthcoming with an explanation of what has occurred.

    peedofamerican – yeah, right. Given that you basically just said Gates is lucky he got what he got and not an automatic escalation of force with a shotgun, I highly doubt that the “little people” merit an apology. Thank you for so vividly reinforcing my point.

    Mr. Dunphy and Mr. Patterico –

    Sorry, guys, but your “teachable moment” does not make any sense. One half of your post, Dunphy, is derisive towards the President and Robert Gibbs on the issue of Henry Louis Gates. And then, completely randomly, according to both of you, you go into an example about an old-timey robbery.

    I’m sorry, but you want to talk about being charitable to me? Dunphy should be thankful he has readers so parsimonious. When it’s all said and done, the “final lesson” that Jack Dunphy wanted to relay to people is “Failure to comply can get you killed” That’s fine so far as it goes, but one has to ask “What does that lesson have to do with Henry Louis Gates?”

    Of course, the fact that Dunphy hitched his lesson to a story that has nothing to do with failure to comply is telling (to me): Dunphy wanted Gates to be more obsequious, and he thinks Gates got what he deserved.

    There is absolutely no other explanation for, according to both of you, the jarring disconnect between the first half of Dunphy’s article and the second.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  93. It was quite pathetic that the line in the sand here is your “right” to SCREAM and BELITTLE an officer because you are on your steps. The problem with that is there are so few of them to keep so many of us safe that in a civil society one would think to help the officer complete his job and move on to the task of helping the next citizen. This was not the case with Gates because he is already wound up that the “white man” is out to get him, so not only is a racist he put other citizens at risk by wasting the time of the police department.

    Jaded (2dcf17)

  94. Dunphy wanted Gates to be more obsequious, and he thinks Gates got what he deserved.

    again, gates’ actual crime was lese majeste. obnoxiousness is not a crime just yet, but as mr. dunphy helpfully reminded us, it might get you shot.

    dhex (ca7f40)

  95. Eugene Volokoh weighs in on the law

    Oh, wait, that’s right, we’re not talking about Gates anymore; we’re talking about some random hypothetical that has nothing to do with Gates and was wedged into an article with Gates completely innocently and with no implicit lesson whatsoever!

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  96. of course volokh is a notorious leftist, and as such, not to be trusted.

    dhex (ca7f40)

  97. I think people are conflating two different things in the whole Gates / Crowley affair.

    The first is whether or not the arrest of Gates was lawful.

    The second is whether or not race played any part in the treatment of Gates.

    The reason the public is upset about this incident and against the left on this one, does not go to point (1). I don’t think most of us have enough information to decide whether or not the arrest was proper (I practice in this area defending municipalities and police officers against claims for false arrest – and I can say, based on the facts that I have seen in the media, and not knowing Mass law, this one could go either way).

    Regardless, the facts in the media do clearly indicate that race was not a factor in the officer’s treatment of Mr. Gates. But, it does appear that race was a factor in Mr. Gates’ treatment of the officer. And, the media and Mr. Gates – as always – rushed to make this a race issue and paint the police as racists.

    And, it appeared that the President was more than willing to join in that rush to judgment.

    I think most americans are sick and tired of the racial grievance industry, the rush to lable everyone and everything as racist, and the constanty playing of the race card. And this incident, which never should have made local or national news, let alone be commented on by a president, made a lot of people angry.

    this is b/c most people saw this for what it was – an elite liberal harvard professor acting like a child and a fool, and being utterly vile toward the police officer and then getting some blowback from the cop. Most people support the cop in this instance whether or not the arrest was constitutional. And, in most such incidents, people would support the police. When one throws in the elite entitlement attitude of a Gates, as well as him throwing out the race card, and people get angry.

    Just b/c one has constitutional rights, does not mean one must be an ass toward someone (a police officer) who is simply attempting to do his job.

    Does this mean that I support the police arresting everyone who gives them sass or disrespects them? Obviously not. Sometimes though, such conduct crosses a line (depending on state laws) and can be the basis for a lawful arrest. Also, some times the frustrated cop simply makes a bad decision and arrests the person. Does this mean the cop is a racist or out-of-control jack-booted thug? No, just a human being who makes a bad decision in that incident. And, the individual so arrested has recourse – a lawsuit for violation of civil rights.

    But, having seen many such cases, I can say that in certain communities, people believe that not only should they not cooperate with police, but that they should always act as Gates did toward the police. Perhaps if people in those communities in such situations acted with a little more respect for the officers as fellow human beings trying to do a job, there would be many fewer such incidents.

    I know from my practice about 15-20% of such claims for false arrest are very similar to the situtation here – the cop responding to a call, an individual at the scene being beligerant, uncooperative, and insulting, the situation escalating, and an arrest is made. Had the person at the scene simply been courteous and cooperative, there would have been no problem and no arrest. I’m not even talking about subjegating onself to the police, just common courtesy.

    Monkeytoe (e66874)

  98. Of course, the fact that Dunphy hitched his lesson to a story that has nothing to do with failure to comply is telling (to me): Dunphy wanted Gates to be more obsequious, and he thinks Gates got what he deserved.

    I, for one, did not think Dunphy’s hypothetical was so difficult to understand. Like all such hypotheticals, he took it to an extreme case. His point simply was that in some situations, a failure to at least be courteous and cooperative with an officer could get you shot. Not that an incident such as w/ Gates could. I believe the point he was trying to make was that one does not know what information the police officer received in the call that brought him to the location. The officer may have received a call about an armed and dangerous suspect, and you might match the identity of the suspect and be at the location. In that instance, it is possible that acting in certain ways could lead to injury. Maybe not deadly force, but certainly the officer may believe (and be legally correct based on probable cause) that you are an armed suspect and may use force to subdue you. All because you simply refused to be a civilized human being and answer a few questions or step to the side or something just as innocuous.

    His point – which I attempted to echo in my comment above – is that people should at least attempt to be civilized when dealing with the police b/c we don’t know at the outset what the police are looking for / doing. In this instance, the officer was called to a potential home break in, with two potential suspects. He did not know who lived there – thus someone simply saying “I live here” is not necessarily enough. Someone who just broke into a house could make that claim. Immediately attacking the officer verbally and acting crazy may raise the officer’s suspicions that you are, in fact, a burglar.

    The problem in our society is that society as a whole no longer demands that people act like civilized adults. I cannot believe that a grown, educated man like Gates acted in the manner he did. Constitutionally, he may not have been properly arrested, but his conduct is still troubling and disgusting. And the fact that his peers at Harvard, his neighbors, his family, don’t think so is troubling.

    Monkeytoe (e66874)

  99. [...] Like that’s surprising. Patterico documents. [...]

    Right Wing Nation » Balko Lying Again (f5b68a)

  100. Mars vs Hollywood:

    Told you.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  101. Cop: Face-down on the ground now!

    Suspect: Officer, I have committed no crime. This is an unlawful arrest.

    Cop: Blam! Blam! Blam!

    Suspect: gurgle….wheeze.

    Patterico/Dunphy: That cop was totally justified in shooting that guy.

    Battle Panda (567029)

  102. Monkeytoe:

    Yet another patient attempt to explain the relevance of Dunphy’s example to someone who doesn’t care to listen. I appreciate the effort, but you’re talking to a brick wall. You can’t convince someone who refuses to be convinced.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  103. Do you feel that’s justification for not apologizing? Being annoying? In Dunphy’s own words, you are owed an apology for a mistake like this, but if you have the audacity to actually, you know, be right that you’re not supposed to be stopped and assert it in an “annoying” manner, then so sorry, no apology for you.

    And you wonder why it is I call the police high-minded. If you’re owed an apology, that’s a debt. A debt is a debt – period.

    No. You have no enforceable right to an apology from an officer who stopped you on reasonable grounds. It seems clear that Dunphy means “owed” in a moral rather than legalistic sense. It’s a courteous and respectful thing for an officer to to do, no question. But it’s at his discretion, and it seems odd to get bent out of shape if he denies it to someone who exercises his right to act like a jerk.

    Let me put it for you this way: you have exactly the same right to your apology that Sgt. Crowley had to expect Prof. Gates not to flip out and call him a racist for responding to a 911 call.

    Mars vs Hollywood (f062b9)

  104. again, Gates had thoroughly established residency, at least to the satisfaction of the officer. Again, the officer seemed satisfied with his safety. I already understand the point of the hypothetical, mokeytoe, but I thank you for your patient explanation.

    But, I’ll ask again…why wedge that hypothetical into an article about Gates, if not to communicate an implicit message that Gates got what he deserved? Like I said previously, the disconnect between the front-half and the back-half of the article by Dunphy only becomes congruous if you take the hypothetical as illustrative of what Dunphy thinks about Gates. And, Mr. Patterico, I said as much, and am awaiting your reply: why join these two disparate situations together, if not to make the lesson in both of them the same?

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  105. I think it’s pretty telling that the only thing Dunphy et. al can come up with to defend the police is “maybe he’s chasing an armed robber and thinks that you’re him, and you don’t know!” This is the equivalent of applying “lifeboat ethics” to every situation.

    In the real world, 99% of the time you do know why the police are detaining you, BECAUSE THEY TELL YOU. When a cop saunters up to your car window and says, “License and registration, please”, there’s a pretty damn good chance it’s not because you match the description of the guy who just hit the Piggly Wiggly and killed three clerks. And since Dunphy and Patterico seem to need it spelled out, the problem is not that cops sometimes need to ensure their safety, it’s that they are too often rude, pushy, and borderline abusive – in ways that a non-cop can’t get away with – when it is NOT a safety issue.

    JDoftheG (63899c)

  106. @JDoftheG – “lifeboat ethics” is exactly what it is. Excellent post.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  107. Mr. JDoftheG I think what you’re missing is that on the face of it, the Gates person behaved in a mystifyingly stupid manner. That’s not the way adult people behave and how more mystifying is it to see the President of the United States of America so very purposefully refrain from criticizing that sort of willful stupidity when given the opportunity? A lot more mystifying is how mystifying it is.

    happyfeet (42470c)

  108. To be fair, Pat, Dunphy’s example seems to have the relevance of a child suggesting scenarios that extend his bedtime his bedtime to 10:30.

    David (e0b8ba)

  109. In the real world, 99% of the time you do know why the police are detaining you, BECAUSE THEY TELL YOU.

    No. Not true. For a traffic stop, yes. Not for felonies. So, nice try. And, it is not the cops who are usuall abusive.

    Angry Optimist – you say you understand the point of the hypothetical, yet you then ask why it is in there. Obviously, you don’t understand the point of the hypothetical.

    In your mind, when a racist event happens, is it a teachable moment for the rest of us? Why then can’t an event where a citizen acts like an imature, elitist, boorish, ass, can’t it be a teachable moment to the populace that one does not always know what information the police are working from and acting with a little civilized courtesy when interacting with the police may be in everyone’s best interest? Is that too hard to understand? Or, when discussing the Gates incident and his use of the race card and his crazy, elitist, assinine, ignorant antics, are we not allowed to discuss things more broadly?

    I for one don’t feel a lick of sympathy for Gates. If he was falsley arresteed, let him sue. That is his right. Let a jury decide. Even if he was falsely arrested, it does not make him less of an ignorant, racist, ass, who Harvard should be ashamed to have on staff.

    The real issue here is not about false arrest. It is about the racial grievance industry and their attempt to label everyone and everything racist. And finally, it appears that the public has had enough of it and we can stop pretending the U.S. is a racist country.

    Monkeytoe (e66874)

  110. i don’t think anyone is defending gates’ behavior in and of itself. he acted like a jerk. but that’s not illegal – yet.

    not so mystifying in the larger context of even the recent history of police behavior towards minorities. seeing as he’s the first black president and someone he knew was involved, it’s not exactly a tremendous leap.

    rudeness doesn’t really fit into the same moral universe.

    http://www.nyclu.org/node/2389

    dhex (ca7f40)

  111. I think it’s pretty telling that the only thing Dunphy et. al can come up with to defend the police is “maybe he’s chasing an armed robber and thinks that you’re him, and you don’t know!” This is the equivalent of applying “lifeboat ethics” to every situation.

    In the real world, 99% of the time you do know why the police are detaining you, BECAUSE THEY TELL YOU. When a cop saunters up to your car window and says, “License and registration, please”, there’s a pretty damn good chance it’s not because you match the description of the guy who just hit the Piggly Wiggly and killed three clerks. And since Dunphy and Patterico seem to need it spelled out, the problem is not that cops sometimes need to ensure their safety, it’s that they are too often rude, pushy, and borderline abusive – in ways that a non-cop can’t get away with – when it is NOT a safety issue.

    Whatever. In the Gates case, there was a safety issue. And apparently Sgt. Crowley did tell Gates he was investigating a breaking and entering. Yet Gates behaved as if Sgt. Crowley was supposed to magically know that he was not a home burglar — getting offended when told to “step outside,” and even more telling, when the officer followed him into the house.

    Hey, if you’re a suspected burglar and you’re uncooperative at the door and you retreat into the house, I’m following you, lest I possibly get shot. That is the clear relevance of Dunphy’s example; too bad the libertarians seem too thick-headed to follow it.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  112. it’s that they are too often rude, pushy, and borderline abusive – in ways that a non-cop can’t get away with – when it is NOT a safety issue.

    Having worked w/ the police, and seen many, many tapes of encounters with the populace, this is simply not true. The police are almost always professional, at least in the department I deal with. the citizenry they police, however, tend to be the ones that are too often rude, pushy and abusive.

    Monkeytoe (e66874)

  113. I find it interesting that the left pretends suddenly to hate hypotheticals and their use. I will try and remember that in all of my other arguments with them, where they make up hypos ad nauseum, usually which are crazy and irrelevant. I’m sure that David and the Optimist and others have never used hypotheticals in their arguments or to try and explain a concept. Why this hate for the concept that people should at least act civilized toward the police? Why are you so against that concept?

    Will you at least admit that Gates is an immature, ignorant ass based on his conduct? Or, do you think Gates acted entirely appropriately in the situation? (Please note, I’m not asking whether he has a constitutional right to be an ass, simply whether in a civilized society his conduct meets the standards of adult and rational).

    Monkeytoe (e66874)

  114. You may be as pure as the driven snow itself, but you have no idea what horrible crime that police officer might suspect you of committing.

    So police officers are judges now too?

    I guess next time I go robbing a gas station in my 1932 Humpmobile, I’ll be sure to try and use ESP to figure out what the police officer is thinking.

    To all police officers: You are civilians too. You are not members of the military. You do not get special status over everybody.

    Taktix® (c97f04)

  115. Don’t worry: my expectations are low.

    Comment by The Angry Optimist

    If any of you know of a libertarian convention, will you let me know in time to avoid the area ? These people keep reminding me that, while I share many principles with them, they are obnoxious and dense in almost all instances illustrated here. I suspect libertarian principles are secondary to the need for confrontation on every subject.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  116. Mars vs Hollywood, thanks for the carefully thought out explanation.
    Monkeytoe, thanks for same.
    The Angry Optimist, thanks for Volokh link; he quotes illuminating instances of what Disorderly Conduct means by MA law. And thanks for sticking to your points; they are important.
    I was a participant in the colloquium at SEK’s mentioned by JD earlier. Though I ‘dislike’ many of the comments here, this is different, JD and Patterico. It’s much better–there is listening going on as well as shouting.

    AMac (c822c9)

  117. You may be as pure as the driven snow itself, but you have no idea what horrible crime that police officer might suspect you of committing.

    So police officers are judges now too?

    Whaa?

    Gerald A (78e08a)

  118. So police officers are judges now too?

    I guess next time I go robbing a gas station in my 1932 Humpmobile, I’ll be sure to try and use ESP to figure out what the police officer is thinking.

    To all police officers: You are civilians too. You are not members of the military. You do not get special status over everybody.

    Umm, that’s just idiotic. What, the cops aren’t allowed to investigate crimes in your opinion? Not allowed to defend themselves or take precautions when dealing with a potentially armed and dangerious suspect? the police officer has to take a person’s word as absolute truth and can’t investigate further?

    Police Officers are taked with enforcing the laws and investigating crimes. When called to a scene where they have been told a crime was committed and the suspect is armed and dangerous, the Police Officer has the legal right (and duty) to take precautions when dealing with an individual who matches the description.

    I’m am truly suprised at the level of police hatred by commentators. Sure, there are some bad police officers who abuse their positions, but the vast majority are just regular people trying to do a job as professionally as possible.

    Monkeytoe (e66874)

  119. Well, Mike, we’re all still waiting on that legal brief. Remember that, days ago, you mocked everyone for not knowing “the law” – now you won’t put up the proof that you know more. So sad.

    Radley Balko’s takedown of you jokers pretty much echos what I am thinking: you cannot give a hypothetical, wedge it in with a real life event, and then claim that one has almost absolutely nothing to do with the other. Dunphy wrote this as an Aesop’s Fable of sorts, and now won’t stick by it.

    monkeytoe – three things:

    1. I am not on the left, so eliminate the stereotype out of your head right now.
    2. I understand the point of the hypothetical, but this lesson:

    can’t it be a teachable moment to the populace that one does not always know what information the police are working from and acting with a little civilized courtesy when interacting with the police may be in everyone’s best interest?

    doesn’t make sense in terms of the issue of Gates. The officer was clearly satisfied with residency and not in fear for his safety. There was no “hot pursuit” or violent crime – so Dunphy’s teachable moment (again) is “Comply at all times”

    And (3), I really don’t have problems with hypotheticals. What I do have a problem with is dishonesty: to claim that we’re supposed to be overly parsimonious and somehow divorce Dunphy’s hypo from the context in which he wrote it is ridiculous.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  120. Eh, earlier comment stuck in spam filter. On to the next point.

    Here’s a hypothetical. Suppose one of Gates’ students listened to a police scanner as a hobby, heard the call go out about a B&E in progress, recognized the address, and called Gates: “Hey Professor, cops think there’s a burgalery, they’ll be at your place in a minute!”

    How would he have behaved? Politely, I’d guess. There would have been no news story.

    This speaks to the point raised by Dumphy and others: as citizens, we can’t know what we don’t know, specifically what the police may think they know, or suspect. Gates ought to apologize to Crowley for forgetting that and acting like a jerk. Even if it was legal.

    AMac (c822c9)

  121. Optimist,

    1) I still believe you are of the left.

    2) I’ve had many on the left divorce teachable moments from the facts of a particular incident. Indeed, some from the left talked about using this as a teachable moment on race, even though there was no race issue involved.

    3) I stated early on that many people are convoluting two issues 1) whether or not this arrest was legally justified and 2) Gates’ conduct and the throwing down of the race card.

    4) I believe that both I and Dunphy are speaking to point 2 – which is perfectly justifiable and relevant in the Gates incident.

    5) If the Gates arrest were justified – which it may or may not be, I don’t practice in Mass so don’t know the law (I do know that based on the facts I am aware of, this could go either way where I practice) – the whole incident would have been avoided had Gates acted like a civilized human being.

    I simply think you are pretending to not understand the point in Dunphy’s article b/c you don’t believe anyone should have to be civilized to a police officer.

    Monkeytoe (e66874)

  122. Balko’s “takedown” is about what I would expect from him.

    Patterico (9e86d6)

  123. Will you at least admit that Gates is an immature, ignorant ass based on his conduct? Or, do you think Gates acted entirely appropriately in the situation? (Please note, I’m not asking whether he has a constitutional right to be an ass, simply whether in a civilized society his conduct meets the standards of adult and rational).

    Of course he’s an ass. He’s your standard self-important, “Do you know who I am” sort who probably flips the fuck out when his order comes out wrong (and likely finds racial motivations) at Starbucks. He’s a buffoon for reacting to a simple question the way did. You know old saying about “When you’re a hammer…”.

    Two questions in return. Does having questions about the sensibility of certain police procedures (In essence, asking if the latitude granted for “disorderly conduct” that allowed Gates arrest was intended to be used that way? or if it was simply spite?)make a person a rabid leftist who wants police dead? Do you think Crowley arrested him just because he was a dick?

    David (e0b8ba)

  124. The angry optimist makes my point rather nicely. If leftist libertarians, a contradiction in terms, choose to campaign the 2010 election with Henry Gates as their standard bearer, it’s OK with me.

    If the GOP wishes to campaign on the justice meted out to the killers murderers of Amadou Diallo they can expect to lose even more seats in congress.

    Why is it so hard for the LEO community and their sycophants to consider that they may be largely responsible for the publics distrust and disrespect of the profession?

    I don’t like getting called names either. It happens, I live with it. When LEOs consistently treat the public they deal with respectfully they will find it returned.

    Guys and gals, the ball’s in your court.

    J sub D (6e12c5)

  125. As for Sgt. Crowley, it seems clear to me that he made an arrest that he (and the other cops present) knew was unlikely to lead to a conviction.

    Was this a bad arrest; an illegal arrest? It seems to me that it follows the pattern of many Disorderly Conduct or Drunk-Tank arrests.

    The similarity is that Gates was being a loudmouthed jerk.

    The differences are that (1) Gates is a member of the elite, not a prole, and (2) Gates was in his own house.

    I have no sympathy for reason #1 or the associated cries of racial profiling. But I have concerns about #2, the right to be an ass in your own home.

    I think that street cops are worried about something different: I sometimes need to arrest a loudmouthed jerk who’s interfering with a police investigation, though the charge is unlikely to stick. If this is viewed as a career-ending move, my job becomes more difficult and more dangerous.

    As is often the case, it’s a balancing act. Gates’ rights versus the demand that cops make the correct snap judgements every time, at every stressful, fast-moving scene.

    If I was on the jury for Gates’ wrongful arrest suit, I’d find in his favor. And award him damages of $1.

    AMac (c822c9)

  126. Strike tags don’t work here. Please remove the button.

    Thank you.

    J sub D (6e12c5)

  127. I hope that Gates has had the locks fixed by now. Seems to be any burglary call from that address will require supervisors, crisis counselors and at least one Cambridge PD lawyer.

    Monkeytoe is right. The teachable moment belongs to the police officer. He’s the one who got profiled.

    ukuleledave (4e6cbb)

  128. 4) I believe that both I and Dunphy are speaking to point 2 – which is perfectly justifiable and relevant in the Gates incident.

    No, actually, as I will say to you for the last time: the hypothetical is totally and wholly irrelevant to the Gates affair, and that is my entire point.

    You can believe I am of the “left” all you want, but if you are going to persist in calling me a liar, you can consider this conversation over.

    Patterico framed the “teaching moment” as – “obey the commands of the police unless you are 100% correct” – fine, but what does that have to do with Gates? And why would Dunphy say to the President that he should teach that lesson “to his Ivy-League pals”? Monkeytoe, you’re either being naively generous or hypocritically parsimonious. I don’t care which, but realize that you’re one.

    Balko’s “takedown” is about what I would expect from him

    Stunning rejoinder, sir!

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  129. Balko’s “takedown” is about what I would expect from him.

    At least he’s consistent. Balko hates drug bans, thus he objects to enforcement of those laws. His preferred weapon are cherry picked ‘no-knock’ raids (those which have a combination of procedural violation and harm to an allegedly innocent target) where he attacks, by extension, all anti-drug law enforcement programs.

    And his response to the Gates kerfuffle is along those lines. A ‘mistake’ sends police to Gates’ house where he is harmed by asserting his constitutional privileges. If Balko is going to defend people who shoot at police during drug raids, he’s got to defend Gates in this case.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  130. AMac — I agree with you on a lot of this, but a dollar is too much.

    What if police left the scene with Gates in a tumultuous state. (Assume we was really p’d off.) Two seconds later some other civilian walks by and says something that sets him off..it could turn violent.

    Why do you think the police want everyone more or less calmed down when they leave? Because angry people don’t think straight.

    ukuleledave (4e6cbb)

  131. ukuleledave – well, then the police should just be posted 24/7 in everyone’s homes, just in case they get “tumultuous”. And, of course, it always calms people down to arrest them – that’s just good commonsense.

    And what if Gates had a TICKING TIME BOMB!? ZOMG, *blarg*

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  132. No, actually, as I will say to you for the last time:

    Promise ?

    you can consider this conversation over.

    Don’t get my hopes up. At least one word in your moniker seems to be accurate.

    MIke K (2cf494)

  133. The thing that you have to understand about Balko and people like him is that they have automatic biases when it comes to anything to do with government, and the police (being where the Government rubber meets the public road) are their biggest targets. So anything a cop does (right or wrong) is an oppurtunity for criticism.

    They call themselves libertarians, but that’s just a mask, they are in truth anarchists. The REAL libertarians were out founding fathers (who, created a government, of all things), people who knew government had to exists, but who sought to limit it’s scope.

    Anyone with any sense knows what Jack was saying, only those already biased against cops would seek to twist the meaning of his words. Saying Balko is biased against cops is like saying McCarthy disliked communists a little……..

    TexasC (265917)

  134. TexasC – real “libertarians” suck up to authority absues, just like the founding fathers? Oh, wait, they shot the abusers, did they not? Even I don’t advocate doing that.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  135. Angry, the real libertarians knew the differance between real abuses and the imaginary BS modern-day so call libertarians obses about.

    TexasC (265917)

  136. Patterico,

    Are you not distorting Dunphy’s hypothetical just as much, if not more, than Doherty did?

    Dunphy said:

    He is instead concerned with protecting his mortal hide from having holes placed in it where God did not intend. And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.

    Nothing about reaching for a wallet. Or reaching for what may be a weapon. Only a comment on if you assert your 4th Amendment rights (which usually is done by stating, “I do not consent to a search” or “What is your probable cause for searching me”) you will be shot.

    Mo (938c68)

  137. TexasC – you’re frankly an embarrassment to the individualism that is supposed to embody your state. Tragic, really.

    Perhaps, for hilarity’s sake, you can enlighten me as to what offenses the Founding Fathers started a war over? I’ll guarantee you that 99% of them are way less egregious than anything the Modern State has pulled. So, please, tell me, what did the “real libertarians” get mad about?

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  138. Mr. Patterico,

    I’m sure that your response to Mr. Balko is exactly what he expected as well; something devoid of any argument pertinent to the discussion, devoid of substance and unrelated to the actual events in question.

    But thank you for making it so easy to decide who to side with!

    Matthew (1dd0bf)

  139. The rights and wrongs of the situation aren’t as clear cut as most people here seem to think.

    Nor are the merits of Dunphy’s hypothetical.

    More discussion, less snark. Please.

    AMac (c822c9)

  140. Notice that the way that people like Angry Optimist “win” their argument about Crowley’s actions and Gates’ reaction is to conflate the timeline and ignore that Gates reacted to Crowley rightfully investigating the situation. They invert the order of events intentionally and deceptively.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  141. It’s amazing how some people who claim to be conservative trust the government with a leftist’s devotion when it comes to the police and military.

    LJM (fad5e3)

  142. Monkeytoe identifies the source of some of the vitriol here:

    “..b/c you don’t believe anyone should have to be civilized to a police officer…”

    It’s more Fight the Power™ stuff from folks who probably act just a leetle bit differently in public with respect to authority figures than you might conclude from their very brave postings here.

    Eric Blair (204104)

  143. SPQR (how appropriate a handle) – no, actually, my “defense” (if you can call it that) of Gates is actually reliant on the timeline. At the outset, the Officer certainly seemed satisfied, despite the yelling he supposedly received at the front door, with his safety, or he would not have entered the house. Ask yourself this: if he was so concerned about his safety, why is he following one “suspect” into the house, without back-up, when he received a radio report that there were two suspects? Something satisfied him that he was not in danger.

    That is bolstered by the fact that he turned his back and walked out. Once he was satisfied, he should have left. Period. Gates had the right to yell at him (jerk move that it is), and the officer had no legal basis to execute the unlawful arrest.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  144. LJM’s comment (139) is instructive and useful, and I’d like to hear some conservative response to it. What, exactly, is it about the police and the military that immunizes those groups from the basic public choice type critiques of bureaucracy generally?

    It seems like conservatives are (rightfully) quick to take, say, the Department of Education to task, but completely lose any and all skepticism toward the state when its employees don uniforms.

    Maybe the IRS should deputize its employees; the modern right would probably embrace them, too!

    Henry Harrison (f12d29)

  145. Mr. JDoftheG I think what you’re missing is that on the face of it, the Gates person behaved in a mystifyingly stupid manner.

    …according to a police report that has been shown to be rather inaccurate. Even if we charitably assume that his inaccuracies are based on faulty memory rather than dishonesty, there’s little reason to credit his description of Gates’s behavior, either.

    David Nieporent (709193)

  146. I’d also like Patterico’s (and Dunphy’s) take on a couple of other hypotheticals.

    Should police be allowed to arrest someone for giving a cop the finger? For saying “F*** you” during a traffic stop? What about saying, “You’re an idiot,” or “you’re a douche bag” (or something simliar, without swearing) to a police officer? What about, “leave me alone, pig”?

    Should any of those be arrestable offenses? Why or why not?

    Also, I’m genuinely interested in hearing your general principle for when a police officer should be able to arrest someone in the absence of an underlying offense (e.g., for “disorderly conduct” that arises from the police encounter itself, and not from previous criminal activity).

    Thanks!

    Henry Harrison (f12d29)

  147. From the not too distant past.
    It’s got everything in it.
    A dead guy who wasn’t obeying police. Prosecution of the cop who shot him.
    Acquittal of said cop.
    Suit brought by said against those who prosecuted him.
    He alleges LEO perjury (J sub D feigns shock) in his prosection.
    Said cop wins half a million.

    A State Police trooper acquitted on a murder charge in January after shooting a homeless man last year sued the City of Detroit on Tuesday, claiming civil rights violations connected to his arrest.

    Jay Morningstar also sued Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and eight police officers, claiming malicious prosecution and defamation. He alleged that Detroit police lied in initial reports and testimony that led to his arrest.

    Morningstar, who is back at work, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court.


    Wednesday, January 21, 2009
    DETROIT — A federal jury on Wednesday awarded a $500,000 verdict to a Michigan State Police trooper who brought a malicious prosecution lawsuit against Detroit police.

    Meanwhile, harmless mentally ill homeless man remains dead.

    J sub D (6e12c5)

  148. My Dad used to say – poke the guard dog with a stick, expect to get bit. Pretty simple.

    Geoman (db0384)

  149. Rights go with responsibilities. I don’t know law, but it seems to me that as a citizen, I am protected by law enforcement, and responsible to obey the law and cooperate with law enforcement. Or, as a participant in a social contract, I don’t get to receive all the benefits without performing my end of the bargain. That seems to be what people want: protect me, but don’t interfere with anything I want to do. Me, me, me.

    I learned to blow off rude people years ago. If a police officer is rude, why should I care? Lots of people are rude. Though I have never had an officer be rude to me. In my few contacts with them, they were polite and businesslike, one of the advantages of being polite myself, and having nothing to hide. So being stopped or questioned is inconvenient – life is full of inconveniences.

    In years of volunteering in prisons I have drawn my own conclusions. I am very grateful that officers are willing to do a difficult and thankless job that I certainly couldn’t do. A friend who is a sheriff almost died from the stress of being assigned for years to handle child abuse cases. Another friend, a highway patrol officer, would be tense and remote for days after a fatality road accident. Have known many correctional officers. Dealing with the ugliest side of human nature as a career has tremendous challenges. They too are human beings, but we expect them to be perfect and act like automatons.

    We are called upon to understand the feelings of minorities about profiling. Fine. It’s fair to try understand the feelings of law enforcement officers as well. Reading about the death of a law enforcement officer in the line of duty is an almost daily occurrence. They HAVE to make judgements, and are continually in situations which could escalate into conflicts. Training and procedure are important, but each situation is unique.

    Just seems to me that making their job even harder is self-defeating. Can’t speak to the legality of Gates’ arrest, what is important to me is what the events reveal about Obama.

    jodetoad (059c35)

  150. “I am very grateful that officers are willing to do a difficult and thankless job…”

    What is that whole compensation thing for again? If I’m getting paid for a job, what do I care if somebody gives me a “thanks” or not. Police administer services. They are our servicers. The thanks I give is in the form of just compensation for a job that requires no formal education, only on-the-job training. If it’s not worth the money, don’t join and we will raise the offered pay. It’s that simple.

    Danny (a70223)

  151. Sez Eric Blair:
    Batten down the hatches, Mr. Frey. Be prepared for a lack of civility to make Jeff Goldstein blush.

    Less than half an hour later, sez JD:
    Why don’t you just note that they are dishonest lying crapweasels? Would save a lot of pixels …

    That’s before the first comment by a non-Pattericoan (do you have a term for regular commenters on this blog?)

    That’s a real nice glass house y’all got here. It’d be a crying shame if somebody started casting stones.

    lunchstealer (c23684)

  152. Angry O: (Hey, thats catchy.)

    Re: Comment 129. That’s just silly. I didn’t say what if he “had a tickicking time bomb.” From the arrest report, it seems like Gates was belligerent, combative and lots of other big words which boil down to creating a disturbance. Police have the responsibility to make sure that they don’t leave an out-of-control guy ranting and yelling. (And I mean he couldn’t control himself.)

    If you really want to think that police arrested him for being rude…fine. He was arrested so that he could be removed from a situation which he seemed unwilling to help de-escalate.

    Common sense: Act mature around police, and keep your hands in plain sight. Yes, you have a constitutional right to reach in your jacket pocket quickly — but it’s stupid to do so when being questioned by police about a robbery. The original post made that point.

    ukuleledave (4e6cbb)

  153. Whatever. In the Gates case, there was a safety issue.

    Not according to Crowley. He concluded almost instantly that Gates was the resident. He certainly didn’t act in any way consistent with the notion that he was worried about his safety.

    And apparently Sgt. Crowley did tell Gates he was investigating a breaking and entering.

    Apparently? Based on Crowley’s ever-changing story? Isn’t there a point at which even a law-and-order guy can admit that a cop might just be unreliable? Black men with backpacks?

    Even according to Crowley’s own version, the first thing he did was tell (sorry, “ask”) Gates to step outside, and only after Gates declined and asked him who he was did he identify himself and give his reason for being there.

    (My guess is that his “ask” was the voice used by police when they want to make people think it’s an order, but which on paper looks polite. “Would you please step outside.”)

    Yet Gates behaved as if Sgt. Crowley was supposed to magically know that he was not a home burglar — getting offended when told to “step outside,” and even more telling, when the officer followed him into the house.

    I see even you realize he was probably told to step outside, rather than asked.

    David Nieporent (709193)

  154. Umm, that’s just idiotic. What, the cops aren’t allowed to investigate crimes in your opinion? Not allowed to defend themselves or take precautions when dealing with a potentially armed and dangerious suspect? the police officer has to take a person’s word as absolute truth and can’t investigate further?

    The problem is that police “precautions” don’t involve merely, say, approaching the situation with caution, wearing a vest, etc.; they involve treating everyone they encounter as a potential cop-killer until proven otherwise.

    Police Officers are taked with enforcing the laws and investigating crimes. When called to a scene where they have been told a crime was committed and the suspect is armed and dangerous, the Police Officer has the legal right (and duty) to take precautions when dealing with an individual who matches the description.

    Of course, none of that is applicable to the Gates case…

    David Nieporent (709193)

  155. His point – which I attempted to echo in my comment above – is that people should at least attempt to be civilized when dealing with the police b/c we don’t know at the outset what the police are looking for / doing.

    Except Dunphy’s hypothetical was not whether people should be civilized or not, but whether they should assert their constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks.

    If constitutional rights are so asserted, Dunphy explains, you might get shot.

    Since–and this is part of Dunphy’s point–a citizen never knows when they might be part of just such a hypothetical as the armed robbery investigation he describes, how is Balko’s summary of his position: the lesson from the Gates/Crowley affair is that anyone who asserts his constitutional rights when confronted by a police officer risks getting shot off base?

    Gates didn’t know that Crowley wasn’t investigating an armed robbery by a suspect with an uncanny resemblence to Gates. Per Dunphy then, he’d better be careful about asserting his rights, or he might get shot.

    parse (88d5f7)

  156. He was arrested so that he could be removed from a situation which he seemed unwilling to help de-escalate.

    It’s his property! He can rant and rave and yell all he wants. The situation would instantly be de-escalated if the officer left after he was apparently satisfied that there was no burglary. The officer was there to investigate a burglary – upon beng satisifed there was none, you leave the property. period. you don’t wait around for someone to get mad enough so you can make a paper-thin and probably unlawful arrest.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  157. I will point out that Patterico immediately responded to the crapweasel statement, so that was menschy.

    lunchstealer (c23684)

  158. lunchstealer – except you’ll note he excluded Balko, implying that Radley is a “crapweasel” – of course, he did it in a backhanded, gossipy way, which isn’t the manliest thing I have seen all year, but hey.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  159. how is Balko’s summary of his position: the lesson from the Gates/Crowley affair is that anyone who asserts his constitutional rights when confronted by a police officer risks getting shot off base?

    In a case where the officer has probable cause to believe you’ve committed a crime, you don’t have a constitutional right to refuse to cooperate with the police. IN THE HYPOTHETICAL it was clear that there was probable cause. Therefore it was not unreasonable search and seizure. Also IN THE HYPOTHETICAL the officer has good reason to believe the driver is armed and dangerous. So THERE WAS NO GENERALIZATION that “anyone who asserts his constitutional rights when confronted by a police officer risks getting shot”. That’s the entire point of the post for crying out loud.

    Gerald A (78e08a)

  160. Question: regarding the necessity of the arrest vs the possibility of simply getting in his car and driving away.

    At the point where Crowley arrested Gates, he’d established Gates’ identity and that it was Gates’ home and that he was not dealing with a break-in. He’d also established his bona fides as a Harvard professor.

    Why couldn’t he have simply gotten into his patrol car and left the scene? If his only options are to leave, or arrest a guy, why couldn’t he pick the former?

    It seems like Crowley had all the pieces he needed to know that this was a case of a grandstanding douchebag rather than a violent criminal. Why couldn’t the standoff end with both going their separate ways rather than an arrest?

    lunchstealer (c23684)

  161. It’s his property! He can rant and rave and yell all he wants.

    It’s Harvard property, not casa de Gates. He declined to show ID at the door, went into the house and would have been out of the officer’s line of sight or ability to subdue quickly if he were to procure a weapon. He refused to answer if anyone else were present.

    Did his Harvard ID list that house as his address? Did his DL? What was the make up of the crowd of passers-by that had gathered to listen to him rant? Is yelling on your porch in full view of the public the same as yelling in your rental house?

    Ofc. Crowley certainly had cause to follow him into the house. Whether the arrest was justified or not is fairly difficult to tell without having been on scene. We’ll likely get more conflicting reports in the near future. The only thing worse than an eyewitness is a crowd of ‘em. No two descriptions will be remotely similar.

    I still think he got drunk on the plane; otherwise why not bring the bags in the back door (which he had no difficulty opening) and act like a normal citizen when being asked perfectly reasonable questions?

    Hell, there’d been a previous break-in attempt. You’d think he’d welcome police response, perhaps even asking them to do a room-to-room to ensure his safety.

    Drunk, looking for a new chapter in his book/documentary, or just a cranky douchebag with a hair up his ass about a perceived grievance? You make the call.

    Uncle Pinky (e4d7c2)

  162. So. If the description is not a 1932 Hupmobile, but a 2005 black Camry, (far more likely) and the perps are described as a man and a women, does the officer have the right to stop every 2005 black Camry occupied by a man and a women?

    And if the couple (a man and his wife, heading to the movies) in the car are somewhat perplexed by the entire episode, and make what could be construed by the officer, as a “sudden move”; does he have the right to go “Bonnie and Clyde” on them?

    Suppose he doesn’t do a slow motion shootout, but simply has them laid out on the sidewalk; do the couple have the right to be royally pissed – not to mention loud and profane – about the entire situation?

    Or should the assumption be that no matter how frightening, intrusive, or just plain incompetently, the police acted; the correct manner for an honest citizen to act is in a totally servile manner and abase yourself before the naked power of the state.

    In short, when dealing with the police, do so with the thought in mind that they can kill you if they feel like it because their job is dangerous and they might have been having a bad day.

    Okay got it – we live in a police state.

    Mike Giles (21cd77)

  163. TexasC – you’re frankly an embarrassment to the individualism that is supposed to embody your state. Tragic, really.

    Perhaps, for hilarity’s sake, you can enlighten me as to what offenses the Founding Fathers started a war over? I’ll guarantee you that 99% of them are way less egregious than anything the Modern State has pulled. So, please, tell me, what did the “real libertarians” get mad about?

    Comment by The Angry Optimist

    TexasC you really got the old stick deep into the hornets nest that time. I am being given even more reenforcement for my decision to not become a “big L” libertarian than I needed. Whoever said they are anarchists was right on.

    This is getting pretty funny now and I am just skimming the comments to see how outrageous they can get before they realize they are entertainment and not in a debate.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  164. TAO – Never attribute to malice that which may be adequately explained through incompetence.

    Gerald A – I’ll grant you that with an explanation, it is reasonable to conclude that Dunphy didn’t intend there to be any generalization to broader circumstances. However, since the hypothetical is posed as a ‘teachable moment’ to respond to the Gates/Crowley debacle it is NOT unreasonable to assume that he meant his hypothetical to extend to the Gates/Crowley debacle, in which Crowley had clearly established that Gates was not a burglar, and that no crime had occurred.

    So while I will take Mr. Dunphy and Mr. Patterico at their word that they didn’t intend to imply that their armed-robber hypothetical should apply directly to the Gates case, it was not so crystal clear that Balko and Doherty’s interpretation wasn’t ALSO reasonable.

    It is possible for two conclusions to both be reasonable, and for the difference to be based on a misunderstanding, not a deliberate misrepresentation.

    lunchstealer (c23684)

  165. “I’m am truly suprised at the level of police hatred by commentators. Sure, there are some bad police officers who abuse their positions, but the vast majority are just regular people trying to do a job as professionally as possible.”

    That “bad apples” has gotten pretty overused by now, don’t you think? Arresting a civvy for being mounthy, tasering him or her and making sure that everybody knows to respect my authoritiiiiie! (said in Cartman voice) seems to be de riguer…

    I wonder how that family of the deaf, mentally disabled man who was pepper spayed and tasered in a bathroom in Mobile Alabama yesterday feel about officer friendly today…especially since the police worked the guy over before finding out that

    a. He couldn’t hear them to comply with their demands to begin with.

    b. He has the development of a ten year old, and was frightened when they tried to bust into the bathroom where he had abdominal cramps.

    c. They justified using force and said it was within department standards because he had…wait for it…an umbrella. Maybe the Penguin has been robbing bathrooms out on Dauphin Island?

    d. No translator was ever made available in violation of Federal laws, and he described (as best as he could) that the police laughed at him and called him crazy.

    Some of you Law Enforcement types (my dad was in law enforcement) should really try to figure out why so many of us view you as dangerous, unpredictable, unaccountable (that thin blue line thing) and best avoided.

    celticdragon (d789b5)

  166. So THERE WAS NO GENERALIZATION that “anyone who asserts his constitutional rights when confronted by a police officer risks getting shot”. That’s the entire point of the post for crying out loud.

    Uh, it certainly looked to me like that is what was written…but I am just a geology student, and deciphering intent of a frustrated police officer with an attitude is not really my field. Rock samples don’t make you and your spouse lay prone on the street and point guns at you while you are frantically wondering if you are going to and up in jail, or dead, and how in the world did the cop decide to, uh…engage with you this lovely evening.

    I’ll stick with plagioclase feldpar, thank you very much. As for Officer Dunphy…perhaps he should admit that what he first wrote is not really what he meant, or least maybe not what he should have been so honest in admitting if he actually does feel that way…

    He is instead concerned with protecting his mortal hide from having holes placed in it where God did not intend. And you, if in asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own.

    I just don’t see how to parse that. The context does not even remotely support any other interpretation but that failing to kiss the officer’s @ss may get you killed. Too bad, so sad…you had it coming.

    In vino veritas? Maybe Officer Dunphy had a highball while writing…

    celticdragon (d789b5)

  167. Holy Mass Obstanance and Stupidity, Batman!

    The lesson here is Obama is racist who stupidly mouthed off.

    Gates is a racist looking for a fight where there is none.

    The officer is dumped on by a bunch of monday morning quarterbacks sitting in their armchairs treating their prejudices and agendas as if they were facts.

    Can we go back to how stupid it is to release violent felons because the flim-flammers in the CA legislature got too greedy and didn’t leave any money for essential services?

    PCD (02f8c1)

  168. lunchstealer – finally someone has come up with the answer? Why didn’t Crowley just leave? Instead a few insults hurt his feelings and he arrested him on a false pretense and it’s blown up into a mess. I’m not sure where anyone would think that the Police are there to protect and serve. That sounds pretty good in theory (and in Television Adam-12 come to mind), but I would say that the police have long ago left that mantra and treat civilians as combatants.

    My problem with the whole affair is that if a person is given a gun and authority, i expect them to be held to a higher level than any civilian (whether they are being a douche-bag or not) but it seems like too many sheeple feel that the police can do whatever they want and not be held accountable.

    bartleby (5db74e)

  169. That, in my opinion, is one of the problems with Jack Dunphy’s hypothetical. A 1932 Hupmobile is a very rare, I’d imagine; black people aren’t. That changes things in re: probability of involvement.

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  170. “That” being Mike Giles’ comment, #160.

    Leviticus (ebc85b)

  171. Whether the arrest was justified or not is fairly difficult to tell without having been on scene.

    Actually, it is not. Assuming the facts asserted in the police report are entirely, 100% true, the officer still had no cause to arrest Gates. I posted the link to the relevant laws way upthread.

    The rest of your post is totally irrelevant. The officer was clearly satisfied with his safety pretty much as soon as he walked in the house without backup. Clearly he didn’t think Gates was a thread, and the arrest had nothing to do with Gates being a threat.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  172. But TAO, you were wrong about the law. It plainly authorizes Gates’s arrest. The plain letter of it is clear. I know you found some defense attorneys who argue otherwise, but so what?

    Juan (bd4b30)

  173. Uh, Juan, no I wasn’t. Did you read Volokh’s post? Short of starting a riot, yelling at a police officer is not disorderly conduct under Massachusetts law. Go read the cases for yourself.

    When you say “plainly”, you mean, according to a superficial textual analysis. The four elements in the statute have been interpreted differently by the Courts. So, you’ll have to take that up with them.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  174. I suppose this was justified behavior as well?

    Mobile police used pepper spray and a Taser on a deaf and mentally disabled man Friday after they were unable to get him to come out of a bathroom at a Dollar General store, authorities said.

    After forcibly removing Antonio Love from the bathroom of the Azalea Road store, officers attempted to book the 37-year-old, on charges of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failure to obey a police officer, but the magistrate on duty at the jail refused to accept any of those charges.

    “I saw police laugh at me,” Love wrote in the note. “I don’t care them. I don’t want escape. I just wait long.” The magistrate refused to sign the arrest warrant, voiding the officers’ legal right to hold Love.

    The officers took him home.

    According to the note, Love gave directions as best he could.

    “Police told me that I’m crazy. I don’t understand,” the note says.

    Get rid of the bad apples and then maybe more people will trust the Police.

    bloodstar (c9dd5d)

  175. “I simply think you are pretending to not understand the point in Dunphy’s article b/c you don’t believe anyone should have to be civilized to a police officer.”

    What law says I or any American is required to be civilized to police officers?

    I know there were laws requiring people to address their superiors in England a while back. Those “people” were called subjects and those “superiors” were called royalty.

    I’m pretty sure we fought a bloody, costly war to cast of such precepts…

    Taktix® (c97f04)

  176. @happyfeet – Yes, I agree that Gates behaved in a stupid, unnecessarily confrontational manner. So what? That’s not an arrestable offense, or it’s not supposed to be, anyway. Arrests are supposed to be for actual crimes, not as punishment for putting a police officer in a bad mood.

    @monkeytoe – Is it your assertion that 99% of police contact with non-LEOs is in the form of felony stops? This is starting to sound like paranoia on the form of the LEO boosters, frankly. “Danger is everywhere! Everyone is trying to kill us! This is why everyone must do as we say!” etc, etc.

    I am not, BTW, claiming that all police are rude and abusive all the time. I’ve had perfectly neutral encounters with the police, even when I was admittedly being a bit of a jerk myself. I’ve also had plenty of negative ones, too. Who knows, maybe my skin is just thinner than yours? – but a few weeks ago, when I started to walk down a street (which turned out to be “closed off”, despite the fact there were still plenty of people walking around in it) and a cop gets in my face and snarls, “Excuse me! What do you think you’re doing?! Go back the other way! Go back the other way!” I would call that a negative interaction, you know? I dunno, maybe you believe that’s perfectly acceptable and professional; I don’t.

    JDoftheG (63899c)

  177. Black people (or suspects) aren’t rare, but they can be narrowed down to specific details, to a point where cop should suspect that individual as the wanted criminal. I’m not talking about general attire or appearance, but rather things like visible tattoos or scars on your face, or some physical conditions that make you stand out.

    If a suspect is reported to have a butterfly tattoo on his face, and cop finds a person matching a general descrption as well as that tattoo in the vicininty of the crime, he should stop him.

    I think the Hupmobile hypotethical is meant to illustrate that point. It’s rare and distinct mark on the criminal.

    lee (86706b)

  178. “Patterico framed the “teaching moment” as – “obey the commands of the police unless you are 100% correct” – fine, but what does that have to do with Gates?”

    Gates didn’t.

    “Stunning rejoinder, sir!”

    I have a job. My rejoinder will have to wait until tonight. Basically, his reading is selective and unreasonable.

    To the commenter who responded that I claimed Crowley told Gates he was investigating a breaking and entering based on “Crowley’s ever-changing story” or some such thing — wrong. I’m basing it on an interview of Gates.

    Patterico (2e76ec)

  179. Gates didn’t obey? So what? you yourself admitted that he didn’t deserve to be arrested, that Gates did not break the law.

    So, I see that Dunphy’s analogy was to illuminate your belief that Gates’ expression of his freedoms was somehow “wrong”, though not criminal. And did not Dunphy say “Next time you don’t obey, you could wind up with holes in you”? Why yes, he did.

    I guess you both let your masks slip a little bit, eh?

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  180. I don’t think the Hupmobile hypothetical is that problematic, insofar as it illustrates a cop pulling over suspect with a specific, distinguishable trait. Not general description or attire, but things like tattoo or a distinct scar on your face, or a visible physical condition.

    (This might be a double post)

    lee (86706b)

  181. I intend to bring an end to all this racial profiling once and for all. I have written to my Senators and Congressmen to propose a Constitutional Amendment that no one may appear in public unless he or she has dyed himself green from head to toe. Who’s with me?

    nk (57e995)

  182. I see MKDP is sneaking back in.

    SPQR (5811e9)

  183. “And did not Dunphy say “Next time you don’t obey, you could wind up with holes in you”? Why yes, he did.”

    That sounds more hyperbolic than an actual threat to shoot someone. Again, there was a clear context behind that remark. In Dunphy’s hypothetical scenario, the innocent suspect was driving a RARE automobile that was the criminal’s getaway car. It’s specific, distinguishable trait of the criminal (as opposed to just a general description about height or ethnicity) and the cop who stopped him had good reason to assume that he might be potentially confronting the robber. Not “obeying” the officer in this SPECIFIC situation could indeed wind up with the suspect “with holes” all over him should he escalate the situation by making threatening gestures.

    I tried to leave this comment at Reason, but too much is being out of Dunphy’s “holes in the suspect” comment. I can’t imagaine anyone familiar with Jack Dunphy’s overall body of work to even REMOTELY SUGGEST that he’s urging officers to shoot people who question police authority.

    Dunphy’s point is that, in a potentially dangerous situation where the cop is legally permitted to search and question you, he should perform his duty uncompromised by “offending you” (this is where he alludes to the Gates incident), being accused of “racial profiling”, and endure constitutional objections and verbal assualts. If a cop tries to enter my house without a warrant or “in plain sight” justification, I’ll certainly tell him off. But as in the Gages case and the scenario proposed by Dunphy, the officer was in his right to do his duty.

    Prof Gate initially refusing to provide his ID and being generally uncooperative to officer Crowley. You might HAVE to be polite to an officer, but you can’t deny requests from a police officer doing his legitimite duty by concocting some racial profiling situation in your head.

    lee (86706b)

  184. “You might HAVE to be polite to an officer”

    I meant NOT HAVE not to be polite

    lee (86706b)

  185. TexasC – you’re frankly an embarrassment to the individualism that is supposed to embody your state. Tragic, really.

    And this is from the commenter who continually screeches about personal insults being unfairly lobbed – cognitive dissonace or garden variety jackass? America, you decide!

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  186. TAO- The officer was clearly satisfied with his safety pretty much as soon as he walked in the house without backup.

    What exactly would lead you to believe that simply walking into a house would indicate a reasonable assurance of safety? Are you now an expert on law enforcement?

    RWL (4400c6)

  187. “Patterico framed the ‘teaching moment’ as ‘obey the commands of the police unless you are 100% correct’ fine, but what does that have to do with Gates?”

    Gates didn’t.

    Wait a second. I think we’ve kinda come full circle here. The whole point of this post is all about how Doherty and Balko and the LAT are being unfair and taking Dunphy out of context.

    You and Dunphy both claim that the “fail to do as the officer asks, run the risk of having such holes placed in your own [hide]” comment was limited to “the Hupmobile Hypothetical” and shouldn’t be construed as a threat that anyone ever who asserts that they have a right not to be subject to unlawful search and seizure (or by extension to not incriminate themselves) should worry about getting shot. So they claim that it has nothing to do with the Gates case itself, but is merely illustrative of the fact that there are certain instructions (“get on the ground” and “put your hands above your head”) that you should follow because they’re for the officer’s safety.

    So you’re all upset at Balko and Doherty for ‘twisting’ Dunphy’s words to be broader than he intended, but you’re going and applying his analogy directly to the Gates case.

    I think you owe both of them an apology. If YOU are conflating Gatesgate with the Hupmobile Hypothetical, isn’t it a bit disingenuous to get pissed off at them for doing the same thing?

    lunchstealer (c23684)

  188. Good grief; enough of these mouth – breathers. Now they’re demanding apologies? Go back to your holes.

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  189. lee,

    The problem isn’t so much with the hypothetical. I understand the broader point that the hypothetical is trying to make — that there are some instances in which you could place yourself in mortal danger by doing something stupid in an encounter with a police officer.

    But when applied to the context of the article, it seems to insinuate that us citizens should always be subservient and respectful to our guardians, because we never know when they’ll have probable cause to fill us full of holes. Taken alone, the hypothetical doesn’t fully lead to this conclusion, but when taken in context with the rest of the article, it does indeed insinuate such a thing. If that’s not the intent, why include it? Why say that this is the lesson to be learned by Obama and his ilk?

    Following this line of reasoning in the case of Gates, we could make the argument that there’s no way he could have known that the officer was actually investigating a serial killer matching Gates’ description who just ran from the police in the vicinity, and that if that was the case, he could easily find himself full of holes by a rightfully scared police officer.

    jmc (55b17b)

  190. I’m a bit late to the party, but I think I see a crucial difference in interpretation between the law & order types and the libertarians ( disclosure: I’m one of the latter. )

    The L&O types seem to be think that the “disobeying an officer’s command” is something related directly to the officer’s safety – ie the felony traffic stop.

    The libertarians I think are reading it as more of a be polite, answer the officer’s questions ( even if you’re not legally obligated ) and other such things that happen after the officer has the citizen / suspect in control.

    I know that given that it seems to be quite ok in many LEOs / supporters eyes to use tasers as pain compliance devices to gain obedience in non-threating / passive resistance situations[0], I’m worried about an officer who says that you may get shot for asserting your rights.

    Generally I want to trust the police. I like to think that most police officers are honest and respectful. What gets me tho is that when they’re not, it is very difficult to do anything about it.

    If a police officer feels fit to throw you into a wall [1] or kick you in the head while spread-eagle on the ground [2] ( after surrendering ), it’s very unlikely he will be charged with a crime ( if so the prosecutor will generally be more lenient ), found at fault in internal disciplinary hearings, but his fellow officers, union, and brass will generally come to his defense no matter how egregious the conduct.

    I’ve heard the explanation that the police are there on the ground and only they have the experience to make these judgments, but after seeing not just officers abuse the young, the old, and otherwise powerless I can’t just accept that as a blank check. Even more so when they get the backing they do.

    This is why I ( and other libertarians ) get concerned when a officer states that disobeying commands can get you shot. I’m concerned that the commands are more of the tell me X or stop disrespecting me then the do Y / put your hands up kind of commands.

    [0] 72 YO woman tasered for refusing to sign traffic ticket – http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/31202935/

    [1] 15 YO girl beaten for possibly kicking her shoes at an officer – http://forums.officer.com/forums/showthread.php?s=60705d6df3e01d3ec8e072a41cc66f04&t=114474

    [2] Officer who kicked surrendered suspect who was laying spread eagle on the ground used dept approved “distraction technique” – http://blog.simplejustice.us/2009/05/24/seeing-it-through-the-cops-eyes-part-2.aspx

    Nick (df9311)

  191. I guess a big point here is that there are certainly some circumstances where police should be able to demand instant cooperation to protect his own life, and there are other situations where a citizen minding their own business should be able to assert their rights vigorously.

    The question is, how does the guy without all the cop training figure out which case is which? I think that needs to be something that the policeman clearly conveys. Statements like “Police! Don’t move! Keep your hands where I can see them!” should convey that clearly. The officer should only use those in cases where he thinks there’s likely to be trouble.

    That way, John Q Citizen can tell the difference, and knows how to act.

    Because if the officer doesn’t convey whether he needs immediate cooperation, any interaction I have with an armed officer is one that I need to treat as a one-wrong-move-and-I-bleed-to-death-in-handcuffs situation. And I don’t think that’s the kind of fear the police should want your average law-abiding citizen to have in every single interaction they have with cops ever. That leads to mutual distrust and the entire police/public relationship just sucking for all involved.

    lunchstealer (c23684)

  192. Nick,

    I think law-and-order types believe “obeying an officer’s command” is something the law requires you to do, not only for the officer’s safety but also for the safety of the suspect and other officers and civilians. Police officers do not conduct investigations, detain suspects and make arrests because they want to debate political philosophy, nor should they.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  193. DRJ,

    How do I differentiate between a command and a request? Or a command I’m legally required to follow and one I’m not?

    I don’t have any profession experience with police officers other than routine traffic stops. However, the one time the officer questioned me about other matters she didn’t differentiate between the commands I’m legally obligated to follow ( show my your license / registration ) and questions which I could decline to answer legally ( do you have any drugs ).

    Officers are allowed to lie to suspects. Are you suggesting that everyone should instantly volunteer any information an officer asks of them?

    If they don’t should the be charged with a crime? Even if there is no legal basis for the crime?

    Nick (462a1b)

  194. Those that continue to maintain that Jack Dunphy was saying submit or be shot full of holes, at this point, can only be classified as being intentionally obtuse and aggressively dishonest.

    There are others that apparently think that linking to articles about cops behaving badly proves something other than some cops behave badly are fairly tiresome as well.

    JD (fecec9)

  195. Nick,

    I think most people know the difference between commands (“Show me your hands” or “Stop” or “Step out of the car”) and requests/questions (“Will you let me search your car?” or “Do you have any drugs?”). Granted, being in that situation may make people nervous or excited and they may not think clearly, but that’s no justification for opposing everything the officer says.

    I think the solution is for people to educate themselves about both sides of the issues and not just how to mouth legal phrases like “probable cause” and “due process.” It also means disciplining yourself to respond in a calm, non-threatening manner.

    FWIW, I suspect most people comply with requests as well as commands, and while I don’t think you have to comply with every request, I think you should accept the consequences if you choose not to. Thus, you will probably have to spend some time sitting by the side of the road waiting for a supervisor to arrive and/or going to the station while the police complete their investigation.

    DRJ (6f3f43)

  196. An infestation of Balkobots is sort of like a visit from the Petranos only a whole lot less entertaining.

    The level of pretzel logic, overall mendoucheousness and sheer obyuseness boggles the mind.

    Able to make unwarranted assumprions at the drop of a hat – check.

    Able to reach unreachable conclusions in a single bound – check.

    TAO’s insistence that he is the one, the only, the final arbiter of law on this matter (hey, he’s got Volokh too) is hysterical. TAO is nine, count them, nine, Supreme Court Justices rolled up into one deranged commenter who can’t even keep a story straight.

    With commenters like these, it’s no wonder Balko’s posts are so filled with explicit lies, lies of omission or other misleading information. His fan bois expect it and egg him on.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  197. “I think most people know the difference between commands (”Show me your hands” or “Stop” or “Step out of the car”) and requests/questions (”Will you let me search your car?” or “Do you have any drugs?”).”

    DRJ – I also believe reasonable people had no trouble understanding what Jack Dunphy was attempting to communicate, but then again we’re dealing with Balkobots and they get very hostile when embarrassed.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  198. Dmac, maybe all those libertarian droids were really sock puppets of DCSCA. They all started to sound like him after a while. Whew !

    MIke K (2cf494)

  199. Nick – Your fear of police – That’s your drug induced paranoia talking to you.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  200. Those who do not believe in JD’s particular view of events are simply stupid. Right JD? It is a black and white world, and you are always white.

    Seattle Slew (e9f1c0)

  201. With commenters like these, it’s no wonder Balko’s posts are so filled with explicit lies, lies of omission or other misleading information.

    Please list Balko’s “explicit lies.”

    LJM (fad5e3)

  202. My Dad used to say – poke the guard dog with a stick, expect to get bit. Pretty simple.

    if someone used this to justify the shooting of a cop in a city with extensive abuses of the poorest citizens via the police (detroit or the lapd, to start) would you accept this as an answer? would anyone?

    dhex (a80022)

  203. Oops, sorry, I posted before I saw post #199, which makes it rather clear that “daley rocks” is a badge licking authoritarian, who probably thinks guys like this are good cops who are getting railroaded by the media.

    Please ignore my previous question. There’s just no point.

    LJM (fad5e3)

  204. LJM, #201, actually you’ll have to go back and look at Patterico’s earlier posts on Balko where he did indeed do exactly that.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  205. And I don’t think that’s the kind of fear the police should want your average law-abiding citizen to have in every single interaction they have with cops ever.

    unfortunately, that seems to depend on the city and the cops involved. and the population involved, of course. the stop and frisk situation in new york, for example, is pretty extreme, to the point where they’re handing out courtesy cards:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/2009/04/30/2009-04-30_nypd_.html

    the cards are an interesting move, as far as cya maneuvers go. the low rate of arrests in the stop-and-frisk routines and the heavy racial skew aren’t going to be affected too much by said cards, especially in a city where police and community relations are pretty dreadful.

    on a personal note, outside of friends who are cops here, most of my interactions with the nypd have been with the subway searches. i’ve been picked out ten times since they started, and only once was it a problem. (i.e. i’d say “no, i’ll leave the station” and they’d shrug because they mostly don’t care and don’t believe the bag checks to be particularly useful.)

    the last time, however, was different. the officer said “oh, you’re one of those types?” i reflexively said “probably?” though in retrospect i don’t know if he was saying “that was odd” or “you’re a fuckin’ homo”. it did seem strange that someone not wanting their bag searched was particularly odd, or perhaps just a sad commentary on our culture.

    dhex (a80022)

  206. Did a search SPQR, and found no “explicit lies.” Disagreements on facts, but no “lies” from either man. It seems to boil down to the fact that Balko mistrusts the state and Patterico represents and defends the state. Personally, I’m sympathetic to the former position. There is simply no evidence whatsoever to suggest that the government agencies in control of criminal justice are any less inept and corrupt than every other government agency.

    LJM (fad5e3)

  207. @189

    I certainly didn’t read the article as an argument for unconditional compliance from the public, but that’s just me. Perhaps the tone of the article is conveying such sentiment.

    IMO the whole NRO post was really about Dunphy lashing out against individuals making uninformed / rash comments and assumptions about police work. The first half was mostly his criticism on the white house response to the Gate incident, and by now, Obama’s “I don’t have all the facts but the cops acted stupidly” is known to us all.

    He does sound a bit condescending in his hypothetical sitation (“holes put in you”), which was meant to “correct” the likes of Obama and his staff. but there’s a grain of truth to it. An inexpliably hostile suspect whose descriptions match that of a dangerous criminal probably does risk getting shot, depending how the situation escalates.

    I wouldn’t call total cooperation in that situation a sort of “unquestioning submission to the state” or what have you.

    lee (86706b)

  208. SS – You do a disservice to the legacy of a fine racehorse, unless you are trying to be its arse.

    JD (b033b3)

  209. You are all badge licking authoritarian racists.

    JD (b033b3)

  210. As a prosecutor in a county south of Patterico’s, here is a real life fact situation that went before a jury a few weeks ago.

    Cops get a call of a man breaking into a vending machine at a gas station. They roll up and detain said man (a teenager). Then a man arrives and begins screaming at the cops to let the teenager go. Cops tell him to stand aside while they investigate what is going on…..the man refuses, keeps yelling at the officers, and after being told repeatedly to calm down and move back off the gas station property, is arrested for delaying an officer.

    Turns out he is the owner of the gas station, his son is the teenager who was trying to pry open the machine. There was no crime involving the vending machine.

    We go to trial….and the man is convicted, even with the defense of overzealous cops and the accompanying backstory that he was trying to get his son out of a jam.

    Moral of the story—if he had just simply done what the cop told him to do, he wouldn’t have been arrested and convicted. Sometimes your mouth and attitude talks you into jail.

    Oh, and as to this commment—”The problem is that police “precautions” don’t involve merely, say, approaching the situation with caution, wearing a vest, etc.; they involve treating everyone they encounter as a potential cop-killer until proven otherwise.”

    Your damn right they should treat most everybody they contact with this sort of suspicion. It ensures they go home safely after their shift.

    doug (49dd6f)

  211. [...] himself unexpectedly confronted by a police officer.” After rubbing my eyes, I clicked on the link that Balko provided for my post, and was not especially surprised to see the very language Balko [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Balko Utterly Demolishes a Few Arguments that Jack Dunphy and I Never Made (e4ab32)

  212. ” “You don’t argue with a police officer,” Powell said.

    This is basic. Very very basic. ”

    Indeed. The idea that this was BS by this cop, and that it is a systemic problem, is just another version of the idea that ‘you don’t argue with a cop’ and that this is very very basci.

    imdw (3dead3)

  213. The idea that this was BS by this cop, and that it is a systemic problem, is just another version of the idea that ‘you don’t argue with a cop’ and that this is very very basci.

    Lemme ask you something…

    When a cop tries to pull you over when you’re driving, do you completely ignore him and keep driving, do you stop and then get out of the car yelling at him demanding he explain himself, or do you pull over, and act like a civilized human being?

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  214. TAO #72…

    I quoted from your link, and you ignored the response. Your link gave the interpretation, and I simply applied it to the situation.

    If you disagree that this is what Mr. Gates did, say that. Since you didn’t, you’re simply arguing for the sake of your points, and can’t defend your own link.

    Again, thanks for the discussion.

    reff (ee9f7a)

  215. Its rather amazing how different people see the same facts and the blinders they wear. The scary thing is when you serve on a jury they wear these same blinders. The facts do not matter. Logic does not matter.

    Only their personal experience and prejudices matter. Its amazing the jury system works in any way, but based on what I have seen and the comments here we’d be better off with jury selection by lottery (prejudices and all) and the adoption of nine votes to convict and 8 votes for a new verdict such as they have in the UK, guilty but not proven.

    Just remember you might sit on a jury with one of these people. What confidence would you have in them to apply the law and see justice done?

    Thomas Jackson (8ffd46)

  216. Your damn right they should treat most everybody they contact with this sort of suspicion. It ensures they go home safely after their shift.

    And we should treat all cops as potential armed psychopaths, by your logic? We want to go home as well.

    celticdragon (d789b5)

  217. Only their personal experience and prejudices matter.

    Personal experiences and cultural training/indoctrination pretty much inform you as to how you interpret “facts”. Yeah, yeah…I already admitted I’m geology tpyp, but I have taken anthropology as well. If you don’t like how humans relate to their environment, you had better start working on another operating system, no?

    Good luck with that.

    celticdragon (d789b5)

  218. “Your damn right they should treat most everybody they contact with this sort of suspicion. It ensures they go home safely after their shift.”

    So he police should treat the entire public – you know – the public they are sworn to protect and serve, the public that pays their salary, the public – the vast majority of whom are honest citizens; like potential cop killers? Because the police are operating from a basis of fear and paranoia? Always be ready to shot first and ask questions later? Perhaps they should have chosen a different career?

    And then they wonder why vast swathes of the public dislike and distrust them?

    Mike Giles (21cd77)

  219. NOR LUAP!!!!!!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  220. Ugh. Late at night and my typing sucks. I meant to say “I’m a geology type, but I have taken anthropology as well.”

    Does that make me an elitist who needs doesn’t understand that cops are overworked, unappreciated wonderful people who have only our bestest interests at heart, for truely and truely…?*sarcasm*

    Well, some are…and some are not. I have met both. So has my wife, and after having been sexually harassed by police in her hometown in Georgia (one of the guys was a brother to the chief…and politically bulletproof), let’s just say that we won’t ever be making any donations to a law enforcement charity.

    celticdragon (d789b5)

  221. So he police should treat the entire public – you know – the public they are sworn to protect and serve, the public that pays their salary, the public – the vast majority of whom are honest citizens; like potential cop killers? Because the police are operating from a basis of fear and paranoia? Always be ready to shot first and ask questions later? Perhaps they should have chosen a different career?”

    “And we should treat all cops as potential armed psychopaths, by your logic? We want to go home as well.”

    Wow!. How nice it must be to be a high minded libertarian, furiously opining from the safety of your keyboard.

    No, in the real world that police officers operate, virtually everybody you run across is somebody you didn’t previously know. Therefore, it behooves you to operate with constant appreciation for the safety of yourself, your partners, and the citizens your are dealing with. It doesn’t make you a “psychopath” or “paranoid” to operate that way—it makes you a professional officer.

    As for the claim that “vast swathes of the public dislike and distrust” police officers—-in my nearly 20 years as a prosecutor, and talking to thousands of citizens called for jury duty and the public in general, I would say that the “vast swathe” of the public likes and trusts police officers. While there is a “libertarian brigade” here that repeatedly negatively comments on police officers, they are as representative of the public as the pathetic vote totals the Libertarian party garners each election.

    doug (49dd6f)

  222. Mike Giles:

    Because the police are operating from a basis of fear and paranoia? Always be ready to shot first and ask questions later? Perhaps they should have chosen a different career?

    I’d like to make a point about this, and it’s something that I don’t think a lot of libertarians have on their radar screens.

    The FBI has made extensive studies of felonious killings of police officers. They look at the circumstances of the killing, the weapons, the demographics of slain cops and cop-killers.

    One strong trend they have identified in the past is that the murdered cops are often described as having been “nice guys”, easy-going, gentle types, who saw the best in people and tended to give people the benefit of the doubt. They get killed, very often, because they let their guard down.

    Mars vs Hollywood (f062b9)

  223. “When a cop tries to pull you over when you’re driving, do you completely ignore him and keep driving, do you stop and then get out of the car yelling at him demanding he explain himself, or do you pull over, and act like a civilized human being?”

    In the past I have done things such as continuing to drive to a highway exit; turning off the punk rock; putting on classical music; and indignantly told a cop that it wasn’t me that honked at him, it was some other asshole. Because i know cops can be pigs and it is ‘very very basic’ that you don’t argue with them.

    imdw (1b1354)

  224. While there is a “libertarian brigade” here that repeatedly negatively comments on police officers, they are as representative of the public as the pathetic vote totals the Libertarian party garners each election.

    Comment by doug

    LOL, nicely said, and true to boot. You’ll notice this from so-called libertarians, this claim about how large numbers of people dislike cops. They need to do this, to feel like people are on their side despite all evidence to the contrary (in the same way they need to down-play how dangerous police work is).

    Because of they didn’t they;d have to come to grips with the truth. The truth being that that are a small, inconsequential group of nut jobs who’se (anarchist, not classicly liberal) ideas keeps them far away from being real Libertarians….

    TexasC (265917)

  225. “Jack Dunphy” is a disgrace.

    angulimala (a418c2)

  226. Office Crowley is a liar.

    He lied about what the witness told him and there is no reason to trust what he wrote about Gates’s actions either.

    Racism has nothing to do with it. It’s just another example of the common practice of cops lying on arrest reports to make their actions look justified.

    angulimala (a418c2)

  227. “Jack Dunphy” is a disgrace.

    Comment by angulimala — 7/30/2009 @ 5:39 am

    Great rejoinder you pusillanimous little twit. You should be kissing his boots for protecting your dumb ass. I just hope he is not around to protect you from that armed mugger bashing your brains in for that $9.86 in your pocket, or saving you from a maruding gang of rapists on your stroll thru your local park. Maybe then you will realize that he, I, and other officers are the thin blue line that protects civilization from devolving into total anarchy and barbarianism. Without police, only the strongest and uncivilized would survive and rule. After all, just look what happens after a recent soccer championship–mob rule. Looting, assaults, arson, etc., etc., etc. No one was safe because the barbarian hordes outnumbered the police until the police were able to establish control.

    peedoffamerican (83dc9b)

  228. Patterico,

    It has been firmly established that these nutjobs have no concept of what occurs in the real world, and they should be locked away in a padded cell for their and everyone’s safety.

    peedoffamerican (83dc9b)

  229. Patterico,

    It has been firmly established that these nutjobs have no concept of the real world, and that they should be locked away in a padded cell for their and everyone’s safety.

    peedoffamerican (83dc9b)

  230. Those that continue to maintain that Jack Dunphy was saying submit or be shot full of holes, at this point, can only be classified as being intentionally obtuse and aggressively dishonest.

    That’s just false.

    Dunphy and Patterico have both added additional content to Dunphy’s original statement, to try to clarify what sort of behavior they were trying to say would “get you shot”, but guess what – none of that additional content was in Dunphy’s original post. The original post said that aggressively asserting your rights would get you shot. Full stop. There were no qualifiers about what sort of “assertion” he meant and did not mean.

    Now, it would be kind, and in keeping with the principle of intellectual charity, to look at Dunphy’s original statement and say, “Hmmmm…how could this mean something less extreme than what it seems to mean?” But that goes both ways. If Dunphy was willing to say, “You know, I can see why my original post might be misinterpreted. This is what I actually meant,” I might be inclined to also say, “You know, I can see where I might have read too much into your original statement, and now I see what you were trying to say.” But it doesn’t sound like Dunphy or Patterico is willing to do that – so why should I?

    Fluffy (6cea10)

  231. Wrong, Fluffy. In order to hold that position, even about his original comment, would require you to ignore the words that came before and after the selected little nugget quoted, and ignore the whole context of the scenario in which that little nugget was contained. Could it have been said better? Sure. But you have to give it an uncharitable reading to arrive at submit or be shot full of holes. Period. Full stop.

    JD (e58a23)

  232. In the past I have done things such as continuing to drive to a highway exit;

    Translation: (I pulled over to the shoulder immediately.)

    turning off the punk rock;

    (shoved that Jonas Brothers CD under my left butt cheek and put on Yaffi’s Greatest Hits)

    and indignantly told a cop that it wasn’t me that honked at him, it was some other asshole.

    (..and immediately crapped my pants, but had trouble communicating with the cop because of the incessant mouth – breathing through my retainer)

    Because i know cops can be pigs

    (because I read it somewhere on the viaduct under the expressway)

    and it is ‘very very basic’ that you don’t argue with them.

    (because arguing with someone who lawfully carries a firearm is not only incredibly ignorant, but can potentially shorten my miserable and pathetic little life)

    Dmac (e6d1c2)

  233. Wrong, Fluffy. In order to hold that position, even about his original comment, would require you to ignore the words that came before and after the selected little nugget quoted, and ignore the whole context of the scenario in which that little nugget was contained.

    No, it wouldn’t.

    Dunphy supplied absolutely no examples of the type of conduct he meant to describe. His sole description of the conduct that would get you shot was, “asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks…” That’s it. The additional context he provides about the type of car or the incident the police officer is investigating doesn’t change that, since we’re talking about what conduct will get you shot. And in Dunphy’s description of that conduct, all we’ve got to go on is “asserting rights” and not doing as the officer asks.

    In passing, I’d like to say that in the thread above a lot of words are wasting arguing about the distinction between officer requests and officer demands. Since Dunphy used the word “asks”, there are no grounds for asserting that we should know that he meant “demands”. “Asks” applies to officer requests, too.

    So based on Dunphy’s limited description, his statement would apply to this scenario:

    “Sir, may I search your car?”

    “No, you may not. That’s my 4th amendment right. And you just want to search my car because you’re a racist cracka!”

    [Officer pulls gun - BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM.]

    How would it not? We have someone belligerently asserting their rights and not doing as an officer asks, and then getting shot.

    Like I said, I am willing to believe Dunphy when he says that he meant “failing to do as the officer asks” to mean something like not getting out of the car, or refusing to keep your hands in sight of the officer, or something like that. But his original statement could very easily be applied to more behavior than that, and his original statement did not include limitation or qualification of the kind you seem to think it did.

    Fluffy (6cea10)

  234. peedoffamerican

    It has been firmly established that these nutjobs have no concept of what occurs in the real world, and they should be locked away in a padded cell for their and everyone’s safety.

    I suppose North Korea would be to your liking? You can lock away all kinds of people for the public safety there. Iran would be a good fit for you as well. I’m sure you can get some informative brochures here:

    http://www.iranvisitor.com/

    celticdragon (d789b5)

  235. These idiots are still spewing this BS ? How do you find the off switch on these droids ?

    Bradley,I hope you are reading some of this as it will be easier for me to explain why I would never join a formal libertarian group.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  236. Dunphy supplied absolutely no examples of the type of conduct he meant to describe. His sole description of the conduct that would get you shot was, “asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks…” That’s it.

    That would be true, provided he did not have an extensively laid out hypothetical scenario in the text before and after that little nugget that you keep harping on, but you know that. What you went on to say shows that you either do not care about what was meant, in the context that it was written in, or do not care. Either way, all of the efforts to explain it to you seem to fall on deaf ears, as you just want to argue about BLAM BLAM BLAM.

    JD (1762b4)

  237. doug

    I’m sure you have dealt with many people of a particular set in your capacity as a prosecutor. I have interacted with other people, which constitute a different set. Neither set is truly representative of everybody as a whole, which is why you have the notion of “false consensus”

    “How could Nixon have won the election? I don’t know a single person who voted for him”

    Obviously, the magazine editor who said this didn’t associate with people who voted for Republicans, therefor his observation is merely anecdotal as to his social set rather then performing a useful statistical function.

    I do not presume to speak for the public at large, and I can only say the…anecdotally…people by and large support the necessary function of police, but are wary of them also.

    We have seen simply too many videos of abuses, or known too many people who where harassed and profiled or simply met too many power abusive asses in uniform to buy the “one bad apple” thing.

    My wife was repeatedly sexually harassed by a cop. He actually proposed to make her his mistress (he was married) and set her up in a house. (this was before we were married, btw)

    God only knows how he was getting the money for this. Her complaints went nowhere, and the officer became abusive. It was a small Georgia town, and the rot came from the top. Just try telling her today that the police are there to help her. Better bring a riot shield…because she will throw something at you…

    celticdragon (d789b5)

  238. I suppose North Korea would be to your liking? You can lock away all kinds of people for the public safety there. Iran would be a good fit for you as well. I’m sure you can get some informative brochures here:

    http://www.iranvisitor.com/

    Comment by celticdragon — 7/30/2009 @ 8:31 am

    Once again we have a nutjob taking someone out of context. If you had bothered to read any of my posts ( see #86) (also see link http://patterico.com/2009/07/29/balko-utterly-demolishes-a-few-arguments-that-jack-dunphy-and-i-never-made/comment-page-2/#comment-526476) you would see that I was referring to the idiots who keep saying that they will defy an armed police officer under a felony stop situation and refuse to see what the real world situation will offer them in response.

    So my quote as follow;

    It has been firmly established that these nutjobs have no concept of what occurs in the real world, and they should be locked away in a padded cell for their and everyone’s safety.

    Comment by peedoffamerican

    Because if they do as they claim they want to and resist, then they would definately be a damn sight better off locked in a padded cell for yours and theirs idiotic ideas then the alternate choice of most likely being dead. And the police officers will not have to live with the constant thought of having had to take a human life because of some idiot’s stupid ass notions.

    And as for your snarky comment about me moving to N Korea, no thanks, it is run by asshole lefties like you. Same goes for Iran also.

    Why is it that you libturds are always suggesting that we move to a country that you have already screwed up?

    Is it that you can not debate the essence of the subject, and are just repeating what you think is a supposedly clever rejoinder?

    Well, I will give you one for your level if this is the case. STFD and STFU!!!!

    peedoffamerican (83dc9b)

  239. On link I gave above see post #53 on that page.

    peedoffamerican (83dc9b)

  240. lol – peedofamerican actually said that we should be bootlickers to Jack Dunphy. That tells me all I need to know about him. He would be on the side of the oppressors, rather than the oppressed, every. time.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  241. An amusing but mostly true way of seeing thing sfrom a police officers point of view.

    Why Cops Hate You

    peedoffamerican (83dc9b)

  242. TAO, Gates broke the law. you’ve denied it over and over, and a lot of people note that the arrest wasn’t necessary and probably ill advised, but Gates broke the law anyway. The law is plain to read and no number of defense attorney’s interpreting the meaning out of it changes the fact that Gates violated it.

    Gates also lied quite a bit about Crowley and deserves to be sued.

    Your need to make this a personal issue with everyone you argue with shows that the facts don’t matter to you… this is a position you will take no matter what the facts are.

    Juan (bd4b30)

  243. Also see this for a look into a cop’s daily grind if you have the guts to.

    Remember Us All

    peedoffamerican (83dc9b)

  244. Juan – no, he did not break the law. Massachusetts law has made that clear over and over again. you cannot be convicted of disorderly conduct, even assuming that the police report is 100% true. For you to continue to assert a textual read when you have caselaw that tells you otherwise is stunning ignorance or faith in the Daddy State on your part. I don’t care which, but I feel sorry for you.

    The Angry Optimist (2aba7b)

  245. And as for your snarky comment about me moving to N Korea, no thanks, it is run by asshole lefties like you. Same goes for Iran also.

    Why is it that you libturds are always suggesting that we move to a country that you have already screwed up?

    Is it that you can not debate the essence of the subject, and are just repeating what you think is a supposedly clever rejoinder?

    Well, I will give you one for your level if this is the case. STFD and STFU!!!!

    What an amazing display of cognitive prowness.

    Libturd?! Asshole lefty? STFU?

    Heh! Last I checked, I was still a registered Republican. Go back to your name calling and angry computer rants. I shall not bother about you any further. Townhall.com, FreeRepublic and Redstate would be lovely sites for you to really enjoy true authoritarian echo chamber screaming, and I highly recommend them for your blood pressure accelerating pleasure.

    Cheers :)

    celticdragon (d789b5)

  246. “Dunphy supplied absolutely no examples of the type of conduct he meant to describe. His sole description of the conduct that would get you shot was, “asserting your constitutional right to be free from unlawful search and seizure fail to do as the officer asks…” That’s it. The additional context he provides about the type of car or the incident the police officer is investigating doesn’t change that, since we’re talking about what conduct will get you shot.”

    The type of incident the police officer is investigatng is critical context, fluffy.

    Here’s an analogy:

    Fluffy says:

    Patterico says that “if you fail to do as the gentleman asks, you may get filled full of holes.” He doesn’t qualify that in any way, or claim that the gentleman is giving orders! What a weird statement!

    Patterico responds:

    Ah, but here is my full quote: “If a gentleman with a ski mask approaches you on the street on a hot day and points a gun at your head, you are in danger, even if you did nothing to provoke him. And if you fail to do as the gentleman asks, you may get filled full of holes.”

    See? Context is important. Contrary to your claim, the additional context about the sort of incident the officer is investigating is crucial context to understanding a) what sort of orders/”requests” the officer will make; and b) how he will react to any failure to follow those orders.

    Now please: proceed to attack the analogy with stupid, pointless comments that show you can’t understand reasoning by analogy. Here’s a good one: “Hey, Patterico, so you’re analogizing cops to criminals with guns? That’s real convincing!” I’m sure you can think of other idiotic and pointless comments.

    See? I have confidence in you!

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  247. The original post said that aggressively asserting your rights would get you shot. Full stop.

    Bullshit. Full stop.

    That’s not what he said would get you shot (re-read it) plus you’re omitting important context.

    Full stop.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  248. So there’s no possibility that Balko could have honestly interpreted the original post by Dunphy as he did? It doesn’t matter if you disagree with him, it is basic humanity for 100 people to read something and for 100 completely unique responses to develop.

    Danny (a70223)

  249. “Massachusetts law has made that clear over and over again. you cannot be convicted of disorderly conduct, even assuming that the police report is 100% true.”

    The law is black and white, cut and dried, leaves absolutely no room for interpretation, can only be read one way – my way. I am right SUKKAHS!!!!

    You would make a really shitty lawyer TAO. It would also help if you got the facys of the incident right.

    Please repeat your talking points once again, they just never get old!

    Heh!

    daleyrocks (718861)

  250. I always enjoy the reaction that libturds like celticdragon express after they receive a response in like kind that they butted in with. Like he said to me “I suppose North Korea would be to your liking? You can lock away all kinds of people for the public safety there. Iran would be a good fit for you as well.”

    When I respond in like measure with the following:

    And as for your snarky comment about me moving to N Korea, no thanks, it is run by asshole lefties like you. Same goes for Iran also.

    Why is it that you libturds are always suggesting that we move to a country that you have already screwed up?

    Is it that you can not debate the essence of the subject, and are just repeating what you think is a supposedly clever rejoinder?

    Well, I will give you one for your level if this is the case. STFD and STFU!!!!

    They always, let me repeat THEY ALWAYS claim to be republicans or conservatives, and run off to have a temper tantrum, just like a kid saying I’ll take my ball and go home.

    My answer to them is as follows: GOOD RIDDANCE, GOOD BY, AND DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU WHERE THE GOOD LORD SPLIT YOU!!!!

    peedoffamerican (2ba2a6)

  251. My answer to them is as follows: GOOD RIDDANCE, GOOD BY, AND DON’T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU WHERE THE GOOD LORD SPLIT YOU!!!!

    My my. Be sure to get your blood pressure checked soon. ;)

    celticdragon (d789b5)

  252. Celticdragon, just like the liar any libturd is, say your leaving and then come back for another snarky comment. True to the course as usual.

    peedoffamerican (2ba2a6)

  253. [...] The passage that Balko claimed I had omitted is right there, smack dab in the middle of my post. Let’s see that screenshot [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Balko Tries to Prevent Patterico from Reading Him (e4ab32)

  254. Quick, peedoffamerican, since celticdragon is so predictable, what’s he gonna say next?

    You act like you’ve got everybody figured out instead of listening and discussing. The end of a thread does not mark the end of a discussion, and this is why there have been hundreds if not thousands of conversations just like this one in real life and on the internet, yet there is still no clear-cut winner for all.

    Danny (a70223)

  255. [...] LAPD officer who writes under the pseudonym Jack Dunphy and blogger and prosecutor Patterico have each put up posts taking issue with my Reason colleague Brian Doherty’s and my criticism [...]

    The Agitator » Blog Archive » Response to Patterico and Jack Dunphy (2ccb72)

  256. Celticdragon, just like the liar any libturd is, say your leaving and then come back for another snarky comment. True to the course as usual.

    OMG! You are so cute when you get angry! I just want to pinch your chubby little cheeks and take a picture!

    celticdragon (d789b5)

  257. How can Mr. Balko and Doherty be so obtuse, yet so educated??? Very interesting, yet says boat loads about your inability to grasp reality. Also to all the left-wing bed-wetters on here, Feebly attempting to wax quasi intellectual, the LAPD is hiring, join up and head on down to Watts for some reality based education. Take Obama and Gates along with you. They are nothing more than race-baiters. Obliviion is obviously a very well populated place with all of the ignorant lefties spouting off about that which they no less than zero about. Time for the little left-wing tinklers to have thier parents change your sheets.

    Ed O'Shea (996c34)

  258. [...] Editor Paul Thornton allowed himself to get misled by Radley Balko and Brian Doherty, and thus criticized Jack Dunphy for things he never said. [...]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Patterico’s Los Angeles Dog Trainer Year in Review 2009 (e4ab32)


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