Patterico's Pontifications

9/23/2010

Injustice in Dallas

Filed under: Crime,Race — Jack Dunphy @ 10:43 am

[Guest post by Jack Dunphy]

The police department in Dallas is being turned upside down over an alleged case of police brutality. On Sept. 5, two police officers chased a man on a motorcycle and had an altercation with him at the end of the pursuit, an altercation in which the force used appeared, at least to me, to be measured and appropriate. Racial politics in the city caused a complete inversion of the outcome, with the charges against the black suspect dismissed and the white cops who arrested him in all kinds of hot water.

I have a column on Pajamas Media in which I discuss the incident, complete with links to the dash-cam footage of the pursuit and the so-called “beating.” An excerpt:

As is unfortunately required in these cases, the facts of the incident must be viewed through race-colored glasses. Andrew Collins is black while the officers who arrested him are white, a set of facts that has prompted Dallas Police Chief David Brown and Mayor Tom Leppert to trip over each other while engaging in a pathetic orgy of apologies to “the community.”

Ah yes, The Community. When mayors and police chiefs use the term, it’s almost always a euphemism for “minorities,” more particularly, “minorities who make trouble.” None of them would ever dare admit it publicly, but mayors and police chiefs in cities across the country live in constant, almost paralyzing fear of getting that phone call, the one that informs them of some incident that may, if things are not quickly and deftly handled, lead to rioting in the streets. Officers Bauer and Randolph of course didn’t know it at the time, but when they first put the spotlight on Andrew Collins as he rode down the sidewalk on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., it was destined to be one of those incidents.

Read the whole thing.

–Jack Dunphy

27 Responses to “Injustice in Dallas”

  1. two questions, jack.

    1) i didn’t realize you worked in LA until today. Do you and patterico know each other in real life? of course, you can freely refuse to answer out of a desire to protect your anonymity, but i am curious.

    2) you work as a cop in LA. these guys work in Dallas. can i ask a dumb question? why do you work in a city where the politicians are notorious for throwing good officers under the bus? personally i wouldn’t stick around. i mean obviously you can’t speak for those dallas cops, but i mean can you give me an insight on this?

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  2. And yet Officer Randolph, who as a rookie was on probationary status at the time, has been fired for his role in the arrest and is facing criminal assault charges; Officer Bauer remains on the job but on administrative leave and is also facing an assault charge; and Officer Henry Duetsch, who arrived at the scene after the arrest, is being charged with tampering with or fabricating evidence — a felony — after he allegedly adjusted the angle of the dashboard camera in his police car during the incident.

    Hmm. If the blue wall does not come up, they did something seriously wrong, or somebody in the department does not like them.

    nk (db4a41)

  3. Mr. Dunphy,

    I read in whole at the PJ Media your article and am going to ask the same question there as I do here. Why is it the Media/Community/Politicos are willing to sell out the police when some nutjob goes on a rampage about supposed police brutality and then kills an few innocent officers? Like what happened last year in Seattle. After the Lakewood shootings and the Holloween execution of a training officer and his probationary officer. In both cases the media and community are painting these folks in a sympathic light and that it was the nature of the evil police and evil city that drove both of these folks to do what they did.
    Even worst is when the Politicos and the Police Leadership that are politicos behind a badge end up selling out the officers and non-politco leadership in an attempt to appease the community.
    It is has gotten so bad in Seattle that a police officer can be assualted by a jaywalking teenanger and he as to apologize to her for supposed brutality when he grabbed her arm to talk to her.

    Charles (de678e)

  4. Has there ever been a case of alleged police misconduct where Jack didn’t loudly and bravely stand up for the powerful against the ordinary? Let me guess! I bet there was once a time when Jack saw excessive force…..one time.

    Otherwise, it’s as predictable as the Roberts Court announcing new rights for corporations (while denouncing activism, of course).

    Nice work, Jack. You can always be read for a solid authoritarian perspective

    timb (054b01)

  5. btw, off topic, but Democrat caught on spanish TV saying something really racist.

    http://allergic2bull.blogspot.com/2010/09/more-from-party-of-racial-enlightenment.html

    Aaron Worthing (b1db52)

  6. timmah! ad hom. timmah! non seq. timmah! false accusation. timmah! stereotype. timmah!

    Icy Texan (a8053b)

  7. Well, timb is always reliable. Here’s hoping you never need a cop, tim.

    One of the things that always makes me angry about a case like this is the fact that I once had a patient who was shot and paralyzed by an officer in an incident that was accidental but negligent. He had no criminal record and a steady job. He met a woman at a party and offered her a ride home (and who knows what after). It turned out the LAPD had staked her out because they were looking for her boyfriend who was not present.

    Anyway, I took care of him for years. His boss kept his job for him for a year. I testified at the trial of his suit against the city and he got zero, zip, nada.

    That was about 1975. He was not for a criminal action against the officers. Just that he be made whole for a mistake and he got stiffed. Then creeps like Rodney King come along and get millions. I sent money to Stacey Koons family while he was in prison. He saved King’s life because Melanie Singer was about to shoot him. She retired on a 100% stress disability and Koons went to prison.

    Mike K (d6b02c)

  8. How come the police union is allowing this guy to be railroaded out of a job? How come he was fired before an investigation wa even completed? The chief and his comments are despicable. I am with Aaron on this one and in fact I posed the question in the thread on the LA shooting. Why do cops stick around in a city where they are on a hiding for nothing? There must be plenty of towns, much safer ones too I would warrant, That would welcome them with open arms. Why stick around?

    Gazzer (c062b1)

  9. Gazzer

    well, i wasn’t trying to argue something. i was really asking… what keeps them there.

    Love of the locale? better pay? better hours? or maybe it isn’t as nice outside of LA for a cop as i think.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  10. Aaron, I agree with you. It seems such a thankless task that is made even worse when the higher-ups don’t even back you up.

    Gazzer (c062b1)

  11. I have a simple solution for this: white cop, chase white criminals and black cops, chase black criminals. End of racism charges and profiling accusations. Everybody is happy… :)

    The Solution (6e616b)

  12. Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, the bad boys always knew that running from the cops was usually considered a really stupid move especially if the infraction was a low level misdemeanor.

    If you ran, the cops assumed you had reason to run and acted appropriately. If they got their hands on you the consequences were immediate and memorable.

    Plus once you’d absorbed the initial pummeling, what remained of your sorry rear end was on the way to the slammer for more of the same. And later, the judicial system was sure to impose a much more severe penalty than the initial infraction would have brought.

    So, smart guys didn’t run from the cops, even dolts knew better than to try it twice. Nobody complained, it was understood: you run, they catch you, you’re gonna get what’s comin’. That was the way of it.

    ropelight (11333a)

  13. Mr. Solution: It didn’t work in Cincinnati. The “Community”, along with their moronic puppets in the press, excoriated officers in the Over-the-Rhine incidents, even though several of the officers were black.

    Steve (9158a4)

  14. Jack, I see the video differently. I see the bike rider going down, tripped or surrendering, I can’t tell. The officer approaches and immediately starts striking the guy with a truncheon of some sort. I do not understand why the apparent first approach to this guy was violence. The guy was an idiot and a criminal in a pretty stupid and obnoxious way, and … for that he deserves 4 or 5 full arm blows with a truncheon?

    If the officers claim he was violent and attacked them, that needs to be considered but it also shows the need for better camera placement and maybe some personal recording equipment.

    You need to understand that many of us who do support what you do generally are becoming troubled by the increasing violent and para-military ideas the police seem to be espousing, such as no knock warrants for trivial stuff, as well as complete crap like busting people for recording them, and by the recklessly large pay and pension checks earned for a not very dangerous job.

    The days when I automatically took your side are over.

    Fred Z (8b55a0)

  15. As the suspect was obeying the command to get onto the ground, the cop comes from the right and clearly whacks him with 4 full-on swings with his nightstick.

    The qualifies as a “beating” to any reasonable person. It’s not the most horrible beating ever seen, but that cop was beating him and not even arguably attempting restraining him in any way.

    Maybe it was “measured” in that it wasn’t a full-on ass kicking, but I don’t know how you can say it was appropriate — unless you general think retaliatory beatings by pissed off cops are “appropriate” against people who run from the police. The obvious fact is that those whacks were not part of any plan to detain the suspect or necessary to subdue him for detention. They were revenge for leading them on a chase, and that is NOT appropriate behavior for police.

    libarbarian (90bd00)

  16. Yes, the cop should asked him to please lie down and hold up his hands for the cuffs. Perfectly understandable. Previous behavior has no bearing on future behavior. OK Got it.

    Mike K (568408)

  17. Mike K:

    He was already on the ground, voluntarily, when the beating commenced. The cop who was fired is on tape saying that he wanted to “beat his ass”. And he did “beat his ass”. I’m sure it was real easy, the kid was on the ground and the cop had a nightstick.

    If I do something that a cop doesn’t like, and then later comply with his orders, he does not have a right to beat me with a nightstick when I’m on a ground. In civilized society that’s called assault and battery. Police are not allowed to punish someone. They are explicitly forbidden by our laws and our society to punish. That’s the role of a jury.

    Seriously, what’s your argument? He was asking for it? He was a threat to the safety of the police officers by laying on the ground? Or was it that he is supposed to be punished?

    Newtons.Bit (be0597)

  18. Sorry to see the corrosive effects of Radley Balko’s hyperbole (“no-knock warrants” et al) affecting the perception of a necessary, measured, and utterly reasonable use of force.

    Anyone wonder why so many LAPD coppers have decided it’s safest just to respond to calls for service, and stop messing with trying to find crimes in progress? I recklon Dallas won’t be far behind after this.

    starman918 (9d6b30)

  19. You need to understand that many of us who do support what you do generally are becoming troubled by the increasing violent and para-military ideas the police seem to be espousing, such as no knock warrants for trivial stuff, as well as complete crap like busting people for recording them, and by the recklessly large pay and pension checks earned for a not very dangerous job.

    Yes, nobody could ever mistake your support. Why must people be so transparently dishonest?

    JD (8ded14)

  20. Thank you for your warm support…I’ll wear it always.

    Gazzer (c062b1)

  21. Jack

    Well, i couldn’t watch the video at work, but at home i could.

    As a criminal matter, the cops, like any other accused, are given the presumption of innocence and the right not to be punished unless the state can prove its charges beyond a reasonable doubt. To me the video is entirely too murky to make a call either way, so tie goes to the runner–i.e. the cops. At the moment they are taking him down, its honestly hard to tell if he is just trying not to get wailed on, or is resisting arrest, let alone whether it was reasonable for the cops to think he was resisting arrest.

    Now as far as whether they keep their job or not, in my personal opinion the rights change considerably.

    Like let me give a counter example. you ever hear of troopergate? See Palin’s sister used to be married to a state trooper. At one point Palin, before she was governor, and one other witness, listened in on a fight between her sister and the trooper via speakerphone (without his knowledge). He said to her something close to this “If you get a lawyer, I will put a bullet in your father’s brain.” So then later as governor Palin was accused of trying to get him fired.

    My take on this so-called scandal was unique. like palin’s attackers, i agreed that palin was probably trying to get him out of there. I mean wouldn’t you? wouldn’t most people? Yes, threatening to murder a member of the boss’s family is a firing offense, even if you are not in law enforcement. And that is where i parted with liberals. i believe it was so self-evidently justified to fire him that it didn’t strike me as a scandal. the liberals seemed to think that the trooper had a right to some kind of neutral arbiter. But if the Governor says she personally witnessed misconduct that was that serious, she shouldn’t have to rely on whether she can convince anyone else to believe her. she is the governor. If you don’t like it, trooper, try to get a job in another state.

    If we are too protective of the jobs of law enforcement officers, we cannot assume sufficient control over them and that in turn erodes our ability to prevent abuse of power.

    So for me, i think that what us lawyers call the preponderance of the evidence standard should apply. That is whichever side has the more powerful evidence. And again, in the case of a tie, the officers win.

    But this situation is so ambiguous, I still side with the cops, at least for now. now maybe new evidence comes out, or we get a second by second analysis of the video that i can’t do just on my computer and i will change my mind, but honestly i can’t say whether it was justified or not.

    Let me also point out a subtlety in my analysis that you probably know about, but others listening might not. Say for instance a man pulls a gun on you in a threatening fashion, and you pull yours and shoot him, killing him instantly. then when you examine the body, you discover the man’s gun had no bullets in it. So are you a murderer? No, of course not. Because the defense of self-defense is judged not by what the truth was, but what you reasonably believed at the time. So you are justified in shooting even a wholly innocent man, so long as you reasonably believed he was placing you in danger.

    Btw, liberals, you know that is also why Bush was still justified in invading iraq. Because he reasonably believed Saddam had WMDS. So chew on that.

    Aaron Worthing (f97997)

  22. This event reminds me of a foolish liberal (oh, excuse me, progressive) I know who is very resistant to the idea of driving on the 110 Freeway at night—for non-LA people, that’s the corridor that goes through South-Central LA up towards USC and downtown. He said his hesitation is due to the freeway’s notorious reputation for drive-by shootings.

    He made me feel guilty when I ignored his warning and, due to my not wanting to be inconvenienced (because an alternative route would have been slower and longer), drove on that freeway anyway.

    I kicked myself for not blurting out “hey, dijya know that 90-plus percent of the people who live for miles all around the 110 are friggin’ liberals/Democrats?!!”

    Mark (3e3a7c)

  23. Mark,

    So, what? I’m not sure what your point is.

    Are you implying that liberals & Democrats are responsible for all the drive by shootings or that the liberal in question is terribly overestimating his chances of being shot?

    libarbarian (90bd00)

  24. For the PD to throw three officers under the bus, there are only three explanations, not necessarily exclusive:

    1) IA found bad things about this incident that have not been released to the public yet; and/or
    2) The officers had bad priors; and/or
    3) They have ticked off superiors in the department.

    nk (db4a41)

  25. We had these two cops in Chicago that got away with, literally, threats of murder against an ATF agent, until the feds had to step in and send them away.

    And then we had an off-duty cop who shot a felon (armed robbery among other offenses) who threatened him and his wife and got pretty much judicially lynched.

    The first were popular in the department, they were in the “exempt” positions of vice detectives, the second was not — just a patrolman.

    nk (db4a41)

  26. I spoke with a dallas officer today – who has first hand knowledge of the incident. I would invite jack to contact me privately. In summary, the beating has been greatly hyped by the media and chief brown

    Steve (93323e)

  27. Aw, this was a really nice post. In idea I would like to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get something done.

    Debra (97dc82)


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