Patterico's Pontifications

4/19/2014

Shoveling While Black

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:44 am

[guest post by Dana]

In a thoughtful essay, ESPN sports analyst and retired professional baseball player Doug Glanville relates his recent experience of being racially profiled while shoveling snow in the driveway of his Old Tudor house in Connecticut.

A police officer from West Hartford had pulled up across the street, exited his vehicle, and begun walking in my direction. I noted the strangeness of his being in Hartford—an entirely separate town with its own police force—so I thought he needed help. He approached me with purpose, and then, without any introduction or explanation he asked, “So, you trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people’s driveways around here?”

His attorney wife, furious upon being told what happened, emailed one of their neighbors who also happened to be their state senator. Her subject line read “Shoveling While Black”,

Doug just got detained by West Hartford Police in front of our house while shoveling our driveway, questioning him about asking to be paid for shoveling. The officer left when Doug told him that it was his house. There were several other people on our street out in front of their houses shoveling snow at the same time. None of them were stopped for questioning. Just wanted to vent to someone whom we know cares and would be equally outraged.

Her email set the wheels in motion for a meaningful and productive conversation with community leaders. (It was later discovered that a complaint of door-to-door soliciting from a resident of a neighboring community led the police offer pursuing complaint to Glanville’s street. The subject was described as a man Glanville allegedly resembled.)

Glanville walks readers through his loss of confidence as a homeowner and subsequent navigation through unfamiliar territory. Readers will observe that as Glanville, a public figure, chose to respond to the incident with an intentional measured deliberateness, any sensationalism was avoided.

The incident caused him to reflect on something he had always believed,

My biggest challenge as a father will be to help my kids navigate a world where being black is both a source of pride and a reason for caution. I want them to have respect for the police, but also a healthy fear—at least as long as racial profiling continues to be an element of law enforcement. But I also want them to go into the world with a firm sense of their own self-worth.

Glanville, citing the wisdom of his parents and how they raised him, closes with a somber look at his reality,

That upbringing is what enabled me to deal with this incident in a slow, communicative, and methodical way. And it now allows me to see the potential in the officer who approached me. He’s still young, and one day he could become a leading advocate for unbiased policing practices. But I wish he would sit down with my kids and answer their questions. That might help him understand how hard it is to be a father—let alone a father in a black family. And I’d like him to know how much my children—and all children—expect from the officers trained to protect them. At the end of all my conversations with my kids, there were many things they still didn’t understand. But my 5-year-old son reassured me: “That’s okay, Dad. I still want to be a police officer.”

Read the whole thing.

Update from West Hartford News, providing more details:

The West Hartford police reported that on Feb. 18, 2014, an officer responded to a complaint of a suspicious male on Concord Street, West Hartford. The complainant reported “a black male, in his 40’s, wearing a brown jacket and carrying a snow shovel,” had knocked on her neighbor’s door, police said. A town ordinance prohibits door-to-door solicitation.

According to the complaint, the same neighbors had issues in the recent past with a black male who had solicited money for shoveling snow. That first incident had been reported to the West Hartford Police, but the man had left the scene and was not located, police said.

The police dispatcher advised the responding officer that a party who matched the description was last seen heading east on Fern Street, crossing Prospect Avenue into Hartford, according to the report.

“The officer exited his vehicle and asked the man, who was later found to be Mr. Glanville, if he had been seeking work shoveling driveways. When Mr. Glanville advised that he had not, the officer then departed,” according to a report issued by police. “The officer took it on face value that Mr. Glanville was not the correct person and immediately left the scene.”

The suspect was later located at South Highland Street and Farmington Avenue and given a verbal warning for soliciting, according to police.

“While the officer’s actions in searching for the suspicious party were completely appropriate, we wish he had taken the extra time to introduce himself to Mr. Glanville and to explain the purpose of the question,” said police. “We have discussed this with the officer and will work to remind all of our officers of the importance of good interpersonal skills and taking time, when practical, to explain their actions.

–Dana

76 Responses to “Shoveling While Black”

  1. LE, unless pursuing someone specific and dangerous, should stay within their own jurisdictions. When in other jurisdictions other than in “hot pursuit”, they should be required to partner with someone who “knows the lay of the land” to prevent themselves from looking the complete fool (sometimes that is very difficult, if not impossible).

    I think a public airing of subsequent communications on this matter between the Hartford, and West Hartford, PD’s would me most elucidating; and whether this officer has been tasked to undertake any “sensitivity” training.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  2. “be” …. not “me” following “would”.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  3. Racial profiling still happens?

    I wonder how much racial profiling happens in “may issue” states.

    Michael Ejercito (906585)

  4. You mean in places like NY, NJ, CA, and CT?

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  5. here in LA, “law enforcement”, to use a term ironically & sarcastically, shoots everyone, then blames the victim.

    i myself almost got shot in broad daylight near my house by two of LAPD’s “finest”… which is almost funny, since the day some guy was beating a woman in front of my house, they wouldn’t even send a car because i couldn’t give them a license plate, but they sent a car after me for picking up trash and digging out weeds.

    FTP.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  6. West Hartford is, of course, far whiter than Hartford; blacks are 6% there. Hartford is about 75% “minority”. A Hartford cop would never ever do that if he valued his job. His stupidity would be different.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  7. Reading the story, I note that Doug Glanville prefers to self-segregate. Nothing wrong with that — free country — but I wonder if he’s annoyed more that what he might have expected had he lived a few blocks away in “the suburb” happened in “the city” instead.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  8. O/T, but related to “shoveling”…
    (seen at Powerline Blog)
    http://www.bringmethenews.com/2014/04/18/court-rejects-minn-limits-on-importing-coal-fired-energy-n-d-declares-victory/

    Since CA has the same rules re the Four Corners Generating Station and others, I would imagine that this could have a significant impact on the price of electricity in the CA market if upheld.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  9. You mean in places like NY, NJ, CA, and CT

    Yes, and I wonder if racial profiling is used in issuing concealed carry permits.

    Michael Ejercito (906585)

  10. if we didn’t have cops the racist stupid violent people would probably get jobs working alongside the rest of us

    I think it’s more helpful to have them all in the same organization where they all wear uniforms so you can avoid them more easier

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  11. About five years ago, some friends and I were leaving the Georgia Dome in Atlanta following the SEC Championship Game. On our way back to the hotel, I made a wrong turn and wound up smack dab in the middle of what many people would call “the hood.” It was an area with VERY narrow two-lane streets, and on this particular Saturday night, said streets were populated by HUNDREDS of pedestrians, many of whom were violating whatever open container laws that existed at that time. People were walking so close to our vehicle you could almost smell the booze on their breath, and more than a couple pointed at us while loudly noting that there were some rather obvious “outsiders” present.

    After circling the same block a couple of times, I spotted a police car in the parking lot of a convenience store. As I pulled up behind the car to ask for directions, I noticed two cops in the process of arresting a man. I parked about a hundred feet from the police car and waited for them to place the suspect in the back seat. I then exited my car, approached the police car, and said “Excuse me, officer.”

    The driver of the car was a white guy, and when he saw me (another white guy), his face changed into the kind of expression one might expect to see on the face of someone who had just witnessed Bigfoot piloting a UFO. “What are YOU doing here?!” he asked/demanded with more than a little incredulity. The implication was rather obvious: What in the HELL is a white guy doing in this neighborhood at midnight on a Saturday night? His reaction was so extreme, I couldn’t help chuckling. I quickly explained our predicament, the cop gave us directions to the hotel, and we finally made it there safe and sound.

    Moral of the story: stuff happens. Get over it.

    Whitey Nisson (e100eb)

  12. Why were the cops even looking for someone doing door-to-door soliciting?
    Is that illegal now?

    kaf (81bcc7)

  13. it is in Lost Angels, without a permit.

    criminals also use going door to door to case houses for burglaries… no answer at the front door, they go looking for an entry.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  14. Kaf, from the article,

    I soon learned that West Hartford had an ordinance that prohibits door-to-door solicitation. A man whom I allegedly resembled had broken this ordinance. Someone in West Hartford had called the police, and a young officer, believing he was doing his duty, had pursued the complaint to my street. Our block would have been the first stop for the wayward shoveler if he had entered Hartford.

    Dana (5ca862)

  15. Since CA has the same rules re the Four Corners Generating Station and others

    IIRC, the DWP here in LA *owns* part of the station, and is selling it to be greener. i doubt you could get the morons in this city to reverse toe decision, even at gun point.

    but i’d be willing to try… ;-)

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  16. A very blue city, within a very blue state, involving someone from a very blue populace (ie, black America is one of the most solidly, overwhelmingly, preponderantly — and unhealthily — leftwing demographics in this nation).

    There may be some ambiguity — some pro and con — as to who’s right or wrong in such matters, but it’s impossible to accept the notion that things are black and white (literally or figuratively) when our socio-political scene is addled, saddled, distorted and corrupted by the era we now live in: By liberalism run amok.

    Mark (59e5be)

  17. What in the HELL is a white guy doing in this neighborhood at midnight on a Saturday night? His reaction was so extreme, I couldn’t help chuckling.

    I’ve seen a very sardonic yet sadly very revealing comment expressed by some folks out there who say that when visiting a city and wanting to know which part of town to avoid in order to limit the potential of being a victim of crime, stay away from neighborhoods where a major street is named “Martin Luther King.”

    Even more than a handful of truly devout, truly non-bigoted white liberals, but also black liberals too, may understand (at least grudgingly) the meaning of that observation and behave (at least grudgingly) accordingly.

    Mark (59e5be)

  18. One of my favorite stories from my teenage years (late 60s/early 70s). We lived in La Mesa (CA), in east San Diego County. Along Fuerte Drive, one of the nicer stretches of road, there lived a successful older black professional and his wife. He happened to love to do his own yard work. One Saturday, he was out in his front yard in grubby clothes, weeding and pruning. A pricey car pulled over to the curb in front of his house, and the window came down. The obviously well-to-do older white woman driving the car made admiring comments about how lovely the front yard was, then asked, “What does the lady of the house pay you for your work?” The man, keeping a straight face, replied, “Y’know, she don’t pay me very much…but she lets me sleep with her from time to time.” The woman, horrified, rolled up her window and quickly drove off.

    bfwebster (d277ca)

  19. I don’t get why you don’t have enterprising Mexicans going door to door signing people up for their reasonably-priced snow shoveling services

    here in Los Angeles nobody does their own gardening/mowing cause of you have enterprising Mexicans going door to door signing people up for their reasonably-priced gardening/mowing services

    it seems like the system must be broken

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  20. Door to door soliciting was legal when my parents were young: People would go door to door soliciting work: Yard work, handyman jobs, anything. There was the scissors and knife sharpening man who went around with a little cart, a junk collector, and so on. There are grocery chains that were started in a street cart by ambitious young immigrants–no expensive permits and restrictive zoning laws.

    pst314 (ae6bd1)

  21. Happyfeet, from the article,

    I thought about how my wife had been urging me to buy a snowblower. I hadn’t felt an urgent need. Whenever it got ridiculously blizzard-like, I hired a snow removal service. And on many occasions, I came outside to find that our next door neighbor had already cleared my driveway for me.

    Also,

    I found myself thinking of the many times I had hired a man who looked like me to shovel my driveway.

    Dana (5d25ec)

  22. “But I wish he would sit down with my kids and answer their questions. That might help him understand how hard it is to be a father—let alone a father in a black family.”

    It is interesting, probably the best way to deal with police actions would be to go this course. Make police officers responsible for their actions and face them.

    Not saying it would always be productive, but it would crack the “You listen to me” mentality among police forces.

    Dejectedhead (06f486)

  23. oh. Good point.

    Also my lil brother says shoveling is different than gardening cause of everyone wants it done on the same day.

    I can see that.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  24. Mark @17; Chris Rock does a bit stating if you ever find yourself in a strange town at the intersection of MLK Blvd and Cesar Chavez Ave, get the hell out, and quick!

    Gazzer (8a1037)

  25. To characterize the officer asking that stupid question to being “detained” is over the top.

    phaedruscj (753b80)

  26. Chris Rock does a bit

    His humor about that can be found around the 1:30 mark on this video.

    What’s exasperating about such honesty wrapped up in a joke is that someone like Chris Rock knows full well about the harsh reality behind his humor. Yet that comedienne generally remains as leftwing today as he would have been (if there were an early incarnation of himself) 30, 50 or more years ago. It’s as though the real world never manages to seep into the consciousness of those people who suffer from liberal inclinations and compassion-for-compassion’s-sake phoniness.

    newsbusters.org, April 2010: Commenting on the new health care law, on Wednesday’s Late Show with David Letterman, comedian/actor Chris Rock cracked: “I feel sorry for the people that were against it” since “that’s going to be a tough one to explain to your grand kids.”

    Rock, on to promote his new movie, Death at a Funeral, barbed that ObamaCare opponents remind him of those against civil rights in the 1960s who years later had to answer, “grand daddy, is this your ‘I Hate Martin Luther King’ hat?”

    Liberalism truly must be a mental disorder.

    Mark (59e5be)

  27. the idiot pig wasn’t even in his own barnyard he was freelancing

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  28. free gazing.. How come the BLM gives them a pass?

    highpockets (d91456)

  29. gazing = grazing

    highpockets (d91456)

  30. Cops are snoops. By training and by inclination. They’re hired to snoop, they’re paid to snoop, they get “attaboys” from their superiors when they snoop. Moreover, in a city like Chicago, the cops are mainly going to be concerned with keeping people from shooting each other and stealing other people’s stuff. In a place like West Hartford, they’re more like the doorman at a luxury highrise keeping the riffraff from bothering the tenants, but they’d still take their job just as serious as the Harry Callahans.

    nk (dbc370)

  31. I read the article just to see whether he really was detained. I would not characterize it that way.

    I once had a cop pull up behind my car in a parking lot, preventing me from leaving, while he asserted the temporary tag belonged on another vehicle. I chalked it up as a mistake, even after being yelled at about not getting out of the vehicle.

    “…in effect, letting them decide who belonged in the neighborhood and who did not.” “I learned that there is a monumental wall separating these towns. It is built with the bricks of policy, barbed by racially charged anecdotes…”

    ?

    Now,in light of all this, wouldn’t snowblowing while Black be considered a more serious offense?

    tek (29b9fc)

  32. pigs shouldn’t yell at people so much

    this is why nobody goes to their funerals

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  33. Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 4/19/2014 @ 3:31 pm

    feets, have you ever met a ski instructor from Mexico, or followed the exploits in the Olympics of the Mexican Bobsled Team?
    Neither have I.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  34. What in the HELL is a white guy doing in this neighborhood at midnight on a Saturday night? His reaction was so extreme, I couldn’t help chuckling.

    He probably thought you were looking for drugs or some such. Why else would you be there?

    Kevin M (b11279)

  35. Mexican Bobsled Team?

    No, but the Jamaican team was pretty cool in that movie. Glanville’s folks were from Trinidad.

    Kevin M (b11279)

  36. A police officer from West Hartford had pulled up across the street, exited his vehicle, and begun walking in my direction. I noted the strangeness of his being in Hartford—an entirely separate town with its own police force—so I thought he needed help. He approached me with purpose, and then, without any introduction or explanation he asked, “So, you trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people’s driveways around here?”
    [...]
    I tried to take his question at face value, explaining that the Old Tudor house behind me was my own.
    [...]
    After a few minutes, he headed back to his vehicle. He offered no apology, just an empty encouragement to enjoy my shoveling. And then he was gone.

    The parts clipped out and replaced by ellipses are a bunch of dumb thoughts going through dumb guy’s head.

    Am I supposed to be outraged by this? A cop asks a guy who is shoveling snow in front of a house if the guy is shoveling for money. Guy explains that he is the homeowner, shoveling his own walk. Cop says ok, tells guy to enjoy himself, and leaves.

    That’s a story about racist cop and we must do something?

    Sounds too stupid to even address. If dumb guy wants to be offended, the right response is, “Go ahead, be offended. Now if there isn’t anything else, I have some important things to attend to. Like scratching my butt.”

    Anon Y. Mous (8ec442)

  37. now that you put it that way it all seems so obvious Mr. askeptic

    Mexicans go really far north but a lot of that’s just for harvesting

    they’re not very acclimatized to the wintery climes

    so there you go

    so today I made texas caviar

    here’s a link with the basic recipe and the backstory

    http://www.texasmonthly.com/story/helen-corbitt-recipe-texas-caviar

    hardly nobody ever makes the basic recipe

    in the part of texas where i was raised up, it’s common to let hominy predominate and just add a can of black eyed peas

    tonight I also added a finely-diced persian cucumber, and nixed the jalapeno and the red onion cause of who I was serving it to

    I kept the green onion though

    I also add a small can of that “southwestern corn”

    and i only used dried herbs cause the rats got into my basil

    some recipes just have you use italian dressing instead of all the herbs and oil and vinegar

    but still

    bastard whore rats

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  38. Anon Y. Mous,

    First, the officer assumed Glanville must have been a hired man doing shoveling for the owner of the big Tudor home – obviously he could not have possibly been the owner.

    Secondly, if he was pursuing a complaint who may have entered Glanville’s neighborhood, would they have really found a shovel laying around and begin shoveling a random driveway?

    Thirdly, from his wife’s email,

    There were several other people on our street out in front of their houses shoveling snow at the same time. None of them were stopped for questioning.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  39. Dana,

    Again, so what? If the cop frisked him, prevented him from leaving, threw him to the ground, or was even rude to him, we might have something to talk about. As it is, it’s a big nothing-burger.

    Anon Y. Mous (8ec442)

  40. Anon Y. Mous,

    Why did the police officer not stop and question any of the other neighbors who were shoveling their driveways at the same time?

    (Also, my comment above, First, the officer assumed Glanville must have been a hired man doing shoveling for the owner of the big Tudor home – obviously he could not have possibly been the owner. should not have been in italics – only “assumed” was to be italicized. As in, the police officer assumed that a black man in that neighborhood surely was a hired hand, not the owner…

    Dana (9a8f57)

  41. Glanville had every right to be pissed about this. But he was not detained.

    JD (5c1832)

  42. Sigh. Let’s look at more from this idiot’s recitation:

    After getting legal advice from my neighbor and my wife, I ruled out any immediate action. In fact, I was hesitant to impulsively share my story with anyone I knew, let alone my media friends at ESPN or The New York Times. I hoped to have a meaningful, productive conversation with West Hartford leaders—something that might be hard to achieve if my story turned into a high-profile controversy. Instead, I asked my neighbor to help me arrange a meeting with the West Hartford officials. When I arrived at Town Hall, I was flanked by my neighbor and my wife. They came as supporters, but it helped that they were also attorneys.

    I soon learned that West Hartford had an ordinance that prohibits door-to-door solicitation. A man whom I allegedly resembled had broken this ordinance. Someone in West Hartford had called the police, and a young officer, believing he was doing his duty, had pursued the complaint to my street. Our block would have been the first stop for the wayward shoveler if he had entered Hartford.

    The first paragraph doesn’t really go to your question, but it does show where this guy is coming from. A cop asked him a question, so he is contemplating legal action. Too bad he can’t spin this a little more in his favor so the taxpayers would be on the hook to give him some money for his traumatic experience.

    The cop received a complaint about a door to door solicitor. We don’t have any details about how the caller described the offender, but, I don’t know, do you think it is possible that the caller described the offender as being a black man? Maybe that is the reason the cop didn’t bother questioning all the white people. Or, maybe the cop had some other reason that would explain his actions. Without hearing from the cop, it’s tough to say.

    I will say this, though. I don’t think we need to conduct a prolonged investigation to get to the bottom of this mystery about why a cop asked a homeowner a harmless question. We do not need to conduct hearings. Depositions do not need to be taken.

    Let me ask you a question: would your average homeowner, whatever race they might be, would they act like this idiot has in response to these completely harmless events? Would any normal person get all bent out of shape just because a cop asked them if they were shoveling snow for a few extra bucks, especially if the cop didn’t give them any other kind of grief, accepted their answer, and immediately went away?

    The answer really answers itself, doesn’t it?

    Anon Y. Mous (8ec442)

  43. I should have said that the question answers itself, but I suppose that technically, the answer would answer itself as well.

    Anon Y. Mous (8ec442)

  44. West Hartford police, acting stupidly.

    gary gulrud (e2cef3)

  45. WH someone, acting stupidly ? I wonder where else that is true …

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  46. Why did the police officer not stop and question any of the other neighbors who were shoveling their driveways at the same time?

    I’m not sure your question is raised because you’re bothered that a homeowner in Connecticut was imposed upon (if even that) by a passing cop while the nearby neighbors weren’t. If so, in this time in our nation’s history, it’s hard to become even a fraction as indignant about that (if at all) compared with, for example, the scenario of a person whose background is that of an Ivy-league graduate/Rhodes scholar/PhD-accredited/local Rotary Club member/volunteer at the Salvation Army/former close friend of Mother Theresa being turned down to membership in an exclusive country club simply because he is…black.

    2014 ain’t the 1950s, or 1920s, or even 1970s, and the requirements to earn the title of martyr are much more stringent today. Much tougher when, on one hand, people like Nidal Hasan are floating around out there in full force, and, on the other hand, people like Cliven Bundy or those setting up non-profit 501s and fighting the IRS are having to put up with what they’ve been putting up with.

    Mark (59e5be)

  47. How come it’s always cops in New England like Harvard or West Hartford supposedly acting stupidly racist, but it’s always Texas or North Carolina that needs preclearance from the DoJ?

    Steve57 (0124e7)

  48. Yawn. Typical whining. I’ve been hassled by police more than once when doing nothing wrong.

    DN (fe3f16)

  49. Glanville’s experience with the policeman’s visit and his measured response and the essay are the exact opposite of “victimology”. He did not over-react. He is teaching. And he is right to be most focused on his children’s attitudes toward this and the conclusions they will draw from this. He was in his own driveway at his own house and he was physically removing snow from that driveway as were others on the street that day following a storm. What could be more normal, more innocent or less threatening? Commenters who quibble over the word “detained” are sort of missing the actual point, no?

    It’s absolutely mandatory for us to continue to mock and criticize and be angry at the political and financial motives of the professional baiters–the Sharptons and Jacksons and Toures and their ilk, who have been horribly damaging the American societal and family structures for years . However, this post reminds that there’s also another (quieter) important side to the discussion. The reality is that nearly every Black person in this country has more than once been followed around or out of a neighborhood for no apparent reason by law enforcement, or has had to endure small personal insults or insinuations, or been trailed or asked questions by suspicious security when in a store, that others of us simply have not. These, although they are barely noticed or are probably not individually worth scrutinizing, do in toto, I believe, have a gradual, cumulative, insidious effect that in general makes many black people more susceptible to the baiters messages and the hoaxters’ hoaxes.

    Our black friends and valued work colleagues may not talk about this much or at all in “mixed” company. But if you ask, they will tell you their stories and you’ll be sad.

    elissa (330c50)

  50. I believe, have a gradual, cumulative, insidious effect that in general makes many black people more susceptible to the baiters messages and the hoaxters’ hoaxes.

    You’re making an excuse for the left-leaning impulses that transcends most of the “insidious effect” you describe. I might have (or would have) thought otherwise in the past, but not today. Not in the context of a nation that has plucked the chad for someone like Obama in two major elections, and not in the context of a nation that has witnessed over 50 years of “Great Society” do-gooderism, in which — after all is said and done — the resulting paradigm is that streets named for “Martin Luther King” are now ironically enough seen as a warning sign for those people concerned about their personal safety.

    If the ideology throughout much of black America had grown more moderate, much less more truly conservative, through the years, and if the socio-cultural problems in that part of society had declined noticeably since the 1960s, I could buy into the idea of a guy in Connecticut feeling that a bit of martyr-ism (or victimology) was perfectly justified on his part.

    Mark (59e5be)

  51. I’m making no “excuses” for anything Mark. I am stating my opinion on a blog on a post about a man being harassed in his driveway in America while shoveling snow. I cannot see that your comment addresses any of the points I raised in this instant case.

    Instead, I notice that your comment (as usual) seems to categorize people within America as “a crowd” or as a “group” or as part of an “ideology” rather than seeing them as individuals.

    For those of our faith, I wish you all a Blessed Easter.

    elissa (330c50)

  52. Elissa, so a cop approaching the person in question and asking “So, you trying to make a few extra bucks, shoveling people’s driveways around here?” is, as you label it, a case of “harassment.” Okay. I could accept that characterization if the cop at least started his question with something condescending along the lines of “hey, homie,” or, most certainly, “hey, boy.”

    Your desire to use “harassment” reveals a lot about what’s triggering your (and Dana’s) response to the story out of (true blue, ultra-blue) Connecticut. IOW, if you’re getting squishy about the circumstances, imagine how a “no justice, no peace” liberal will respond. That’s why this society is being Nidal-Hasan-ized up the wazoo.

    BTW, I hope you click on the link that Gary Gulrud posted in the “Abysmal Failure of Feminists” thread. It goes to an interesting article about the way crime statistics are being compiled in your hometown of Chicago. Another example of the wonderful nature of our culture in the 21st century.

    Mark (59e5be)

  53. y’all forget how even seemingly harmless interactions with idiot uniformed american piggy pigs can have unpredictable deadly and expensive consequences

    anytime one of these p.o.s. thuggy thuggy law enforcement union whores approach you, YOU ARE AT RISK

    act accordingly and take steps to prevent getting on these whores’ radar in the future

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  54. and have a great easter, chocolate pie and sunday funday and here is a good easter song for you

    and remember what happened

    they went to the cave and somebody had moved the rock

    and they were all like wtf this makes no sense

    then they got put some knowledge

    and thereby hangs a tale

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  55. I’ve just updated the post.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  56. A shovel is a deadly weapon. He’s lucky he wasn’t ordered to drop his weapon and shot for responding in a confused manner.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  57. oh good heavens with the piggy pig public relations pablum

    the Easter miracle of 2014 is that Mr. Glanville’s dog is still alive I think

    for now

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  58. After the update, the outrage is totally inappropriate. Glanville owes the police an apology for accusing them of racism when they were simply following the description they were given. Sad that he didn’t look for an explanation before going public. This is truly the age of OUTRAGE.

    East Bay Jay (a5dac7)

  59. Elissa – given the update, do you still think it was fair to characterize those that quibbled over whether or not he was detained as missing the point?

    JD (5c1832)

  60. Glanville hired a Haitian?
    I have never seen an African American for hire to shovel anything.

    #37

    Not true anymore.
    I’ve seen Mexican guys in their first week shoveling snow in the same shoes they crossed the border in.
    Seriously looking like toes are gettig frostbitten.
    In Mammoth Lakes,CA all the shovelers on roofs are Mexicans.
    There are no more temporary ski bum jobs in the resort kitchens etc all went to people who are reliable… ie: Mexicans.
    Of course Mammoth Lakes is 6 hours north of LA and is an extension of the southland economy, so of course the labor force starts to look like home.
    And yeah there are ski and snowboard instructors there who are Mexican.
    What surprised me was up in Sun Valley ID. It is serviced by heavily by Mexicans who live down in the valley. Same goes for Aspen.. Mexicans will eventually take over all the entry level jobs at the ski resorts (turning entry level in a career)
    I’ve also seen Mexicans riding herd in Wyoming, Nevada, and working with the horses in Idaho… because the American ranch kids grow up and either inherit the place or move out.. and the Mexican kids who worked horses since they were 5 gravitate north and west into these jobs, filling the void.

    The Mexican migration patterns are all about filling openings where they are skilled at something there are not enough Americans around to do. Like Iowa where a few Mexicans that grew up butchering hogs and beef called home to their skilled relatives and said get up here. The rest of the family may be unskilled, so they get the jobs cleaning up.

    steveg (794291)

  61. My experieces with snooping cops have led me to have a greater understanding of why some cops will never make detective.
    I also have learned that some important people skills are left out of their repetoire because of their need to control every situation within their mental construct of us vs. them. So they don’t deal well with people like Glanville because innocent people refuse to be put under police control… which to a cop seems so much like what a criminal would do.
    The cop in this story seems like a guy who did OK but like the update says, needs to go to charm school. My guess is most cops have a hard time with the notion that they have to explain themselves to a member of the vast pool of suspects… ummm… I mean public

    steveg (794291)

  62. Dana in #38 I think I disagree that it was obvious to the cop that Glanville was not the owner. It was obvious that the complaint was about a black male soliciting shoveling jobs door to door (probably carrying his own shovel)
    So cop sees black guy shoveling and stops to do his job.

    Why on Gods green earth would a cop go all TSA profiling and instead of looking for a black guy as per dispatch go bother some white guy over across the street?
    Or if there were several black residents shoveling and cop decides to pick one, it is probably because he/she matches at least part of the description given to the cop.

    I think the real problem is that most cops have a people skill set that is annoying to the general public. You have to remember that we are not the public being kept safe, but all potential criminals, cop killers. Or else we are revenue units to be ticketed and taxed via a blizzard of regulations that we inevitably find ourselves afoul in.
    Oh, and don’t mistake the false charm, buddy buddy cop either… that needs to be understood as just his/her way of working around to screwing you.

    I think respect for police is lessened by the massive numbers of regulations they are tasked with enforcing.
    Or the feds… look at Bundy out there in Nevada. Working hard on the same piece of nasty desert (I’ve been through his ranch via a dirt road that goes north out of Moapa.. it goes from desert to small muddy water hole in the river bed and away from the “river” it is creosote bush as far as the eye can see)
    People work hard and then get the boot on their neck because of the all encompassing rules of the EPA… of course the cops who are tasked with enforcing this are loathed. At the highest levels, someone should resign rather than allow the misuse of its force.
    The same goes for contractors working in downtowns remodeling a bathrrom who have to pay huge parking fines and fees as part of their job. They get alienated from authority and authority is more alienated from the public.
    It used to be the mob that shook you down, now it is the government as enforced by its blue or khaki teams

    steveg (794291)

  63. 56. A shovel is a deadly weapon…

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 4/20/2014 @ 11:02 am

    Very true. The shovel was the weapon of choice for the Germans when the went over the top in WWI. They found that bayonets would get stuck in bodies and they’d have to use their foot to pull it out. Which slowed them down. But a shovel would slice and dice nicely.

    Americans have used them, too.

    Anthony Thomas Kahoʻohanohano

    By September 1, 1951, he was serving in Korea as a private first class with Company H, 2nd Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. On that day, near Chup’a-ri, he was in charge of a machine gun squad tasked with supporting another company. When a numerically superior enemy force launched an attack, he and his squad withdrew to a more defensible position. Although wounded in the shoulder, Kahoʻohanohano ordered his men to hold their ground while he gathered ammunition and returned to their original post. From that position, he single-handedly held off the enemy advance, fighting hand to hand with an entrenching tool after running out of ammunition, until he was killed. An American counter-attack later retook the position and found thirteen dead Communist Chinese soldiers around Kahoʻohanohano’s body.[4]For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the U.S. Army’s second-highest military decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross.

    The medal was presented to his parents in 1952 on Maui.[1]

    Apparently he killed at least two of the commies with his shovel. He wasn’t the first or last Soldier or Marine to earn the nickname “e-tool.” A term of respect.

    As an aside, Sailors rarely if ever have earned the nickname “e-tool” because gardening supplies are just not part of a ship’s standard equipment. So if hand to hand fighting is involved, such as when the HMNZS KIWI rammed the I-1 off Guadalcanal, machine tools such as large pipe wrenches fall more readily to hand. Or chocks and chains.

    KIWI, BTW, found she was sort of stuck on the back of the Japanese sub. And in that position she couldn’t depress her guns low enough to kill all the Japanese sailors who were scrambling out of the wreckage. Which was a problem because a couple of them got the bright idea to try and board the NZ corvette. And while the KIWI sailors had broken out the small arms, some of them still had to use wrenches or what have you to deliver the message to the Japanese that, no, you are not f***ing coming aboard my ship.

    Eventually she got free of the wreckage and her sister the MOA finished the sub off.

    Getting back to shovels, I doubt the cop who questioned this guy was sharp enough to realize that a shovel is in fact a deadly weapon. But had the guy’s 5 pound Yorkshire Terrier gotten loose and “charged” the officer, the cop would have shot that dog deader than dead. Because “he felt his life was in danger.” It would have been deemed justified by his department because Fluffy was a real terror.

    The Volokh Conspiracy: The Police Should Stop Shooting So Many Dogs

    It’s flipping ridiculous.

    Steve57 (0124e7)

  64. Every member of the public is seen as “weaponized” in some fashion.
    That’s why the LAPD thinks its officers did just fine shooting hispanic news paper delivery ladies and the truck of some white surfer dude during the Doerner panicfest.
    Everyone and their property can be seen as dangerous and deadly .
    I’m still wondering how a 20 year old Marine in Afghanistan where everyone open carries AK-47′s is under stricter ROE’s than a cop in Long Beach checking on a drunk guy holding a spray nozzle

    steveg (794291)

  65. JD@59. I purposely used the word “visit” for that reason. I probably could have been more precise in my comment about “quibble” because I know that detain is a legal term and that he was not detained.

    But I felt and still feel that people were focusing too much on semantics rather than on “the visit” itself, that Glanville had from the cop who crossed jurisdictional boundaries to track a solicitor. The update Dana posted really does not change that. OK, let’s take at face value that West Hartford has a “no soliciting” ordinance. Let’s accept that neighbors in West Hartford had complained about a black man who wanted to shovel snow to make a few extra bucks and that it might fall under that ordinance. Let’s assume that the cop was so unbusy fighting actual crime that he was able to go over into Hartford proper to find the soliciting offender. I am quite willing to stipulate all that. But my issue is this: 1. would a solicitation complaint have even been filed with police in West Hartford had the snow shoveler been a white boy or man knocking on doors? 2. Even if so, would the cop have crossed boundaries to look for the alleged white miscreant in a neighboring community? 3. Even if so, would the cop have “visited” all the white snow shovelers he saw on the first block? I personally think the answer to all three of those questions is very likely NO, and for me therein lies the problem. YMMV.

    elissa (330c50)

  66. …In one infamous 2010 case from Missouri, an officer shot and killed a dog that had been subdued and held on a catch-pole. In another, an officer shot D.C. resident Marietta Robinson’s 13-year-old dog, Wrinkles, after Robinson had confined the dog to her bathroom.

    Last year police officers chasing two suspects in Lake Charles,Louisiana, shot a dog named Monkey that barked at them. In Henrico,Va., last July, police officers went to the home of a homicide victim to notify the family of the slaying. When the family dog ran toward them, the officers shot and killed it. In Danville four years ago, a police officer shot and killed a 12-pound miniature dachshund. For growling at him.

    Danville’s chief says the officer followed policy.

    There was a case of a cop getting lost, so he pulls into the driveway of some lady he sees who’s washing her car to ask directions. He gets out of his cruiser her miniature poodle or whatnot little rat dog comes trotting out of the open garage. Naturally he shoots it.

    And just as naturally his department said his use of force was justified. Because of course cops can just roll into your driveway uninvited and shoot your dog.

    I think they also gave him some sort of marksmanship award.

    Apparently if your dog is unconfined some cops just aren’t good enough shots to kill it. But as soon as it’s on the end of a catch pole or in a bathroom or closet where it can’t bounce around so much, they can hit it.

    If the concept of “officer safety” has reached the point where departments say it’s policy to shoot Chihuahuas because they might be a threat, let’s take it all the way and just have the cops stay home. Where they’ll be nice and safe.

    I have weapons. Hey, I even have a shovel. I also have friends with guns. After me and my florist kill the baddies, we’ll call the cops. Just as soon as we hide the toy dogs, guinea pigs, or rabbits or anything else they might find threatening that we don’t want shot.

    People who can’t even live up to the standards expected of civilians probably should not be police officers in the first place.

    Steve57 (0124e7)

  67. @ steveg,

    Dana in #38 I think I disagree that it was obvious to the cop that Glanville was not the owner. It was obvious that the complaint was about a black male soliciting shoveling jobs door to door (probably carrying his own shovel)
    So cop sees black guy shoveling and stops to do his job.

    If you note, steveg, the update was done after my comment at 38. I was bothered by a lack of detail in Glanville’s essay regarding the incident and this morning searched for any updates with more information. It does not change or alter what he believes occurred – that is his assessment, and I can understand and respect his measured reaction.

    With that, I now understand that there was a reason why Glanville may have been approached – however – that would have to assume that no other neighbors outside shoveling snow at that time were black. We don’t know that. Also, I don’t believe it negates a police officer’s role in serving all community members with respect. Neither article gives any indication that Glanville raised his shovel in a threatening manner or appeared hostile or aggressive toward the approaching officer. Rather Glanville himself sates,

    All of this had put me in an extremely vulnerable situation. In one moment, I went from being an ordinary father and husband, carrying out a simple household chore, to a suspect offering a defense. The inquiry had forced me to check my tone, to avoid sounding smug even when I was stating the obvious: that I was shoveling the driveway because the house belonged to me.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  68. “Glanville had every right to be pissed about this. But he was not detained.” JD.

    No he didn’t, I disagree. The cop may have been gruff but he was doing his job. A black male had been seen soliciting jobs door to door. The cop roles up on a black guy shoveling snow and asks a couple of questions and then leaves. He ignores the other white guys shoveling snow because the complaint was about a black guy. Glanville should put things into context and cut the crybaby act.

    A few years ago I walked out of my house of 20+ years on the north side of Chicago with a rug cleaner. (I am mixed race and part Mexican) A cop passing by slams on his brakes and demands to see my drivers license. Why? Because I fit the description of a prep that was robbing houses in the neighborhood. I showed it to him, he grunted and then showed me the list of addresses that were in question and left. Was I happy about it? No, but I got over it. He was doing his job. Glanville should realize that, but in today’s PC world, he gets victim credits for his travails.

    Ipso Fatso (10964d)

  69. 65. …But my issue is this: 1. would a solicitation complaint have even been filed with police in West Hartford had the snow shoveler been a white boy or man knocking on doors? 2. Even if so, would the cop have crossed boundaries to look for the alleged white miscreant in a neighboring community? 3. Even if so, would the cop have “visited” all the white snow shovelers he saw on the first block? I personally think the answer to all three of those questions is very likely NO, and for me therein lies the problem. YMMV.

    Comment by elissa (330c50) — 4/20/2014 @ 12:58 pm

    Actually, the answer to your first question is undoubtedly YES. I know people who take “no soliciting” rules very seriously. To the point where they’ll call the cops on Mormon missionaries. Who, if you haven’t noticed, are invariably the whitest of white people.

    As to what the cops would have then done about it, not a clue.

    Officer who shot dog at park to be charged

    Anne Arundel County prosecutors plan to charge a civilian Army police officer with two misdemeanors in the fatal shooting of a Siberian husky in a Severn dog park.

    The shooting of the dog, known as Bear-Bear, prompted widespread outrage, and County Executive John Leopold pressed county police for a full investigation.

    …Shepherd’s attorney has said Bear-Bear attacked Shepherd’s dog and that his client fired his gun to defend his dog, himself and his wife.

    I’m glad they charged the guy, but I doubt they would have charged him had he been an Anne Arundel cop. Then the department would have defended him.

    Point being, only cops shoot dogs in dog parks. Only they are trained to think this way. I can’t count how many times I’ve been to dog parks. I must have encountered thousands of Bear-Bears. Not once did it cross my mind to shoot it.

    Don’t get me wrong. I have encountered dangerous dogs. Only when they escaped from their yards and were running loose. Like the Rottweiler that killed my 4 month old Chesapeake pup or the pit bull that was trying to attack my neighbor. I wish I had shot them. But the only thing handy in the first instance was some bricks to bust over the dogs head, and in the second a shovel handle to crack open its grape.

    Yes, the shovel handle by itself is a deadly weapon, too. I never saw that Pit Bull again.

    But at the dog park? Hey, you know what you’ll find at dog parks? Dogs. And you know what they’re going to act like? Dogs. Some can be a little aggressive or over exuberant, but I’ve never encountered one that I or its owner couldn’t handle. Only cops go to dog parks thinking they may have to shoot their way out because of… dogs.

    So, yeah, if the people in West Hartford or Hartford or whatever are anything like some of my neighbors they would have most definitely called the cops on a white dude knocking on doors soliciting. As for what the cops would have then done, dunno. I’m just not that paranoid.

    Steve57 (0124e7)

  70. I can’t say that I have met Doug Glanville, but I once saw him up close and personal at a UPenn baseball game where I think he came at the occasion of the dedication of a new field (he played college ball at UPenn). He seemed a nice enough fellow.

    My son, who is white like his parents, was once stopped for being white in a non-white part of town where there is a lot of drug dealing. He was also already a police officer, though not in uniform at the time.
    He and we thought it was kind of funny, but understandable. I would have had no problem with being stopped and questioned by police in similar circumstances. There are places in town that if you look like a white suburbanite there is a good chance you are there to buy drugs. It’s a fact.
    Of course, had the police in my son’s case or with me acted like we were assumed guilty and mistreated, that would be something entirely different.
    In the story as related, I guess question number one is whether the officer was out of line for crossing jurisdiction, and if so how bad of a deal was that. Then the second question is whether the officer should have been more explanatory in his questioning. Obviously being courteous as appropriate is often a help, but/and we don’t know if the officer is hyper-focused on his work and comes off as rude to everyone, white or black.

    I think Glanville was certainly justified is thinking “What the heck?” and asking about it. Once he was told of the circumstances, I am less sympathetic to his pushing the issue farther, unless he doesn’t believe the story and thinks it was just a cover for an overtly racist act.

    But assuming he accepts the facts as given, then I guess the remaining issue is whether a black person being questioned because he is black is inherently worse than a white person being questioned for being white (given the appropriate surrounding circumstances). In one way I don’t think it is, though I can see how it would have a bigger emotional impact.

    I imagine perhaps the best solution would be to have a dynamic where the average police officer and the average citizen see each other as partners working together for safe neighborhoods. But sadly more than enough police officers do things to give a bad reputation, and too often the experiences of a police officer make it seem like nobody is to be trusted and the best they can do is try to get the worst ones off of the street.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  71. I think Glanville was certainly justified is thinking “What the heck?” and asking about it. Once he was told of the circumstances, I am less sympathetic to his pushing the issue farther, unless he doesn’t believe the story and thinks it was just a cover for an overtly racist act.

    That’s the thing that I find so annoying about this whole kerfuffle. When you hear about Black people being stopped for “driving while black”, the underlying possible motives, while troubling, are understandable. And by understandable, I mean that one can follow the logic. Cops are expected to be productive when it comes to writing tickets. Though the brass will officially deny it, there are quotas in place and cops who don’t make their numbers are going to get grief from their higher ups. So, they are on the lookout for people they can pull over and cite. Some might decide to take shortcuts, thinking that if they see a car full of young Black men, odds are they will come up with something if they pull the car over, even when they don’t have a solid reason for doing so. Black people are very aware of this dynamic. This results in a state of affairs where in a particular situation, maybe it is the cops who are harassing someone just because they are Black, or maybe the cops are going after a Black person for a good reason, but the Black person makes the claim that it is just because they are Black. They may truly believe it is race, or they may just be playing the race card because they think it is to their advantage.

    All that said: Shoveling while Black? Give me a break. Their isn’t a cop anywhere in this country that is under a quota to question people who are shoveling sidewalks. A conversation that is NEVER occurring is one where a cop has to explain to his commanding officer why it is that he has failed to question enough snow shovelers this week. It was obvious from the jump that this cop had some reason for talking to this particular guy. And, based on Glanville’s own description of events, the cop did nothing inappropriate during their interaction. All of Glanville’s issues were: A: not understanding why the cop had singled him out (even though there was nothing amiss in the interaction itself), and B: his own imagination running wild. Since he didn’t understand why he was singled out, he started imagining nefarious explanations.

    But, it makes no sense. Just for one moment put yourself in the cop’s shoes. Even if you assume he was some kind of horrible person with issues regarding Black people, this is how he behaves? He sees some random guy shoveling snow, so he stops and asks him if he’s making a few extra bucks, and then just goes away. Never says anything offensive, doesn’t even ID the guy, doesn’t put him in cuffs and sit him on the ground while he checks for wants or warrants. Nothing. It was obvious from first blush that the problem is with the guy trying to make a race issue out of literally nothing.

    I have to say that I had to read Dana’s write up 3 times to look if I was missing something. This kind of hysterical response to someone engaging in racial demagoguery is the kind of thing that I am more used to seeing on MSNBC. Usually, if you see a race issue on a right-leaning site, it is almost always something mocking the left for its typical race-baiting, or occasionally, when something egregious actually does occur, the site will give the victims their due.

    This case is the race-baiting kind – 100%.

    Anon Y. Mous (8ec442)

  72. Dana:

    Great post!

    Dustin (303dca)

  73. This was not racial profiling. Racial profiling is stopping/detaining/hassling someone simply because of their color and where they are or the time of day. For instance if there was no suspect and the officer just decided Glanville looked “out of place” THAT would be racial profiling. In this case there was a suspect who was a black male, wearing clothes that apparently matched Glanvilles, and was about the same age. It would have been strange if the officer has approached a white woman wearing a bikini to see if she was the solicitor.

    Mark Johnson (38989d)

  74. @ anon y. Mous,

    I just saw your comment at 7. Will respond tonight when I am at home – with attention given to this specific portion,

    I have to say that I had to read Dana’s write up 3 times to look if I was missing something. This kind of hysterical response to someone engaging in racial demagoguery is the kind of thing that I am more used to seeing on MSNBC. Usually, if you see a race issue on a right-leaning site, it is almost always something mocking the left for its typical race-baiting, or occasionally, when something egregious actually does occur, the site will give the victims their due.

    Dana (2298ab)

  75. Eh… At 71.

    Dana (2298ab)

  76. ==BTW, I also told her about the shoveling while black story. That made a bigger impression on her. She didn’t like it — so much so that she told it to her mother.==

    nk–if you think it wouldn’t be too personal and that she would not mind, why don’t you post some of what your daughter took from the SWB thread over on the SWB thread?

    Comment by elissa (9e7de1) — 4/23/2014 @ 10:08 am

    Your wish is my command.

    Her stronger reaction was when I said “this was a white neighborhood”. She responded, “A white neighborhood? There’s no such thing as a white neighborhood. All people can live where they want.” I hurried to explain that I meant a neighborhood like ours where the only black family, whose kids she goes to school with, is three streets away from us and there are no others anywhere close.

    Not that she wasn’t upset when I told her what the cop asked Glanville. “Are you trying to make a few extra bucks by going around shoveling people’s driveways?” Her reaction was also, “Whaat?”

    nk (dbc370)


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