Patterico's Pontifications

8/15/2014

Does Police Militarization Result in Most “Needless” Deaths at the Hands of Police?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:32 am

Patrick from Popehat had the following comment this morning:

I have not followed events in Ferguson too closely, having been snowed under with work. I don’t agree with arresting journalists for sitting at a McDonald’s, or threatening to arrest them for going into an area of unrest to cover it. That said, I don’t agree with looting, attacking all cops because of the actions of one, or disobeying lawful orders of police. (Disobeying unlawful ones is legally distinct, but you don’t always know what they know, and disobeying any order is risky.) The following brief comment is not a full-blown defense of use of any military weaponry or tactics in any situation. I guarantee that I have just said will be roundly ignored, but that’s not my fault. I said it. See? It’s right there in this paragraph.

However: I submit that most “needless” deaths caused by police are caused by the simple semi-automatic handgun. And the most prominent feature of the military is firearms. So unless you’re planning to totally disarm police, there is going to be some resemblance between police and the military — and most “needless” deaths by police will result from firearms that cops simply need to carry to do their job. The answer to police misconduct is not always to take from competent and level-headed police the tools that were misused by incompetent or abusive police officers.

We have police for a reason. They carry guns for a reason. And looting is not permitted in this country, yet. (Give Obama two more years.) This is not to defend all actions of police in Ferguson; again, I know little about the facts there. But I caution people not to overreact.

Patterico: saying the things it’s unpopular to say!

110 Responses to “Does Police Militarization Result in Most “Needless” Deaths at the Hands of Police?”

  1. I saw the discussion so did Real Clear Politics

    Its interesting that those who already think police have too much power are going to be against flak jackets, rifles, protective headgear – but harken back to Ramos and Compean and the shooting of the unarmed 14/15 year old kid running back and forth on the border who was unarmed?

    There were discussions but none, that I can remember, were about whether excessive force was used nationally.

    More disturbing, was someone was introducing the 5000 number as a fact? Is this a yearly number of unjustified police murders?

    This is how discussions and debates on a national level get out of hand – lack of facts.

    EPWJ (abd159)

  2. To expound on what I said in a previous thread, it may be that while increasing militarization doesn’t explain some or even most of the increased police shootings, it may be a symptom of the same root cause, namely, an extreme risk-adversity for risks to police officers. The same line of thinking that says “we need to have the gear to protect ourselves from any threat; let’s buy a subsidized AFV and some military-grade combat gear” may very well translate down to the individual officer as “Is that a gun? Can’t tell; better safe than sorry.”

    I think this is a disturbing long-term development psychologically for Americans, and the long term consequences are not good for all involved. We expect police officers to take risks, to go into harms way for the public. As an increasing part of the force seems to be moving away from this view, the respect average Americans have for the police seems to be dropping. In the long run, it’s going to be harder for the police to both secure assistance from the public, and harder to justify their high salaries which are tolerated due to the respect for their public service.

    Civilis (06f555)

  3. It takes a minimum of 72 hours before any reliable data on a breaking story can be confirmed
    Sometimes it takes longer because of 1. Attempts to hide the facts. 2.Journalistic
    incompetence 3. The early arrival of Al Sharpton or Jessie Jackson.

    Bar Sinister (b48c12)

  4. Looting is just another form of income redistribution.

    Today we find out the angelic michael brown was really a thug.
    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/08/breaking-photos-released-of-suspect-michael-brown-robbing-store-before-shooting/

    Jim (145e10)

  5. Yes, Jim, but that doesn’t fit Teh Narrative™. And Teh Narrative™ is much, much more important than facts.

    It can make money and give power to others.

    Simon Jester (dd1562)

  6. NBC has a breaking story:
    “911 call about the robbery came in at 11:51 a.m., according to the police chief. A minute later, dispatchers gave a description of the suspect. The officer encountered Brown at 12:01 p.m.”

    The pictures are pretty damning

    http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/michael-brown-shooting/ferguson-chief-names-darren-wilson-cop-who-shot-michael-brown-n181326

    EPWJ (abd159)

  7. if America’s execrable police forces can’t procure public esteem by dint of their actions and professionalism then i don’t think it can be procured by other people’s pleadings for it

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  8. Much like in the TM case, note how the MFM has chosen to portray this young unarmed boy.

    JD (39402f)

  9. Should police have fully-automatic rifles? Armored vehicles? We have a National Guard to handle riots and insurrection. Police in other countries routinely carry machine guns; is that what we want here? We really do need to have this discussion before this stuff creeps any further.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  10. If by Militarization you mean only the arming of the police with G. I. Joe toys writ large, then I agree with you. But in my mind Militarization includes the spread of SWAT teams, and the mentality that goes with using them to serve warrants by kicking in doors. That behavior has certainly resulted in deaths. Whether they are needless would depend, I suppose, on whether a case could be made that serving warrants in that manner somehow prevented deaths elsewhere. I tend to doubt that it could, at least to my satisfaction.

    My point of view is that the militarization of the police, as a trend, includes the spread of SWAT teams, the broad perception (fostered by Films, not facts) that the Criminal Class is commonly armed with submachine guns and has routine access to heavy weapons, the use of “War” metaphors in law enforcement and political jargon, and so forth. Playing into this is the tendency to invoke the State in matters that it lacks the subtlety to resolve without making things worse (such as when can a parent allow a child to roam unsupervised, or who is allowed to consume what drugs).

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  11. Kevin,

    When a crowd shows up and starts lobbing incendiary devices – I think most law abiding citizens would want the police to show strength – The state police 4 days after the riots died down (Due to the story getting out that Brown wasn’t an angel?) were walking with protesters – bet they wouldn’t if gunshots, and firebombs were still being thrown…

    EPWJ (abd159)

  12. EPWJ,

    How do automatic weapons relate to crowd control? What police function do they serve in any situation?

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  13. I do think we need protection in a terrorist attack, but the National Guard should be the agency to do it. There is a difference between a military attack, no matter what Obama calls it, and civilian crimes.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  14. Kevin,

    Police have had M16 AR15, The state police used to carry tommy guns for DECADEs. I don’t think we can find a single incident of a rogue cop using a automatic weapon on a crowd of innocent people -

    EPWJ (abd159)

  15. Look PAt threw it out there already hours earlier – how many shooting were caused by Military weapons misused by the police?

    EPWJ (abd159)

  16. That’s not the point. They used to have Tommy guns were legal. Then they were made illegal for civilians in the 1930′s, since their ONLY use is to mow down groups of people. Why do police still have them? Why is their availability increasing? Just as you say that there are no incidences of misuse, there are similarly few incidences where the police confront similar weapons.

    If, as you say, no one would think of firing on a crowd with machine guns, why use them for crowd control? If your “bluff” fails, what do the police do?

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  17. *They used to have Tommy guns [when Tommy guns] were legal

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  18. Police have had M16 AR15

    Those are two very different rifles. An AR15 is not automatic. An M16 is.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  19. Militarization includes Rules of Engagement. Urban cops should not, but do, behave like soldiers in a free-fire zone with “no friendlies”, spraying everything in sight with their 32-clip Glock AK-15s. I’m joking about the gun so no letters to the editor please. But I am not joking about spraying the countryside neighborhood with rapid fire. There was a story out of New York not too long ago about cops emptying 20 (civilian capacity) magazines at a jaywalker and hitting only innocent bystanders.

    nk (dbc370)

  20. Cops still have tommyguns if by tommyguns* you mean submachine guns, carbine sized firearms firing a pistol bullet at full automatic. They have selective fire assault rifles too, just like the U.S. military’s. And they are legal for police and civilians, depending on your state and your payment of gazillions for the bullet wasters themselves, the registration, and the tax. Their new manufacture and importation for civilians was banned in 1985(?) but the grandfathered ones are still out there.

    *Due to the popularity of the Thompson, tommygun became generic for submachine gun to a lot of people.

    nk (dbc370)

  21. We have police for a reason. They carry guns for a reason. And looting is not permitted in this country, yet. (Give Obama two more years.) This is not to defend all actions of police in Ferguson; again, I know little about the facts there. But I caution people not to overreact.

    Patterico: saying the things it’s unpopular to say!

    I would add one thing to that:

    2nd Amendment supporters regularly talk about how owning guns when the 2nd Amendment was passed meant owning military level equipment.
    That would mean any police, or constables, or sheriffs, or whatever, also, by definition, had to own military level equipment.

    So . . .

    Should the police be reduced to a lower level of equipment than they had when the country was founded?
    Should the police be denied their 2nd Amendment rights while carrying out their official duties?
    (You know, the way teachers are denied their 2nd Amendment rights while performing their civil service jobs.)

    Sam (e8f1ad)

  22. I’ve heard the “McDonald’s reporters” were loitering in the McDonald’s. The manager asked them to leave, they refused and the police were called.

    CrustyB (69f730)

  23. 7. I’m not thinking association with government is a positive on anyone’s resume going forward.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  24. don’t confues us with the facts;

    narciso (ee1f88)

  25. The issue with militarization of the police isn’t so much that it increases police abuses/misconduct (although I would say it certainly does that, see police response to Boston bombing and BLM response to Cliven Bundy prior to Ferguson), it is that the distinction between police and military is blurred.

    So we effectively now have a standing army in just about every town in America…and for what reason?

    Plus, couple that with the fact that this Administration has been responsible for the rapid rise of Police owned military equipment AND have actively attempted to attack gun ownership rights of lawful citizens. They complain one day of AR-15 guns being too deadly, then trot out “police” with M4 rifles and armored cars.

    Dejectedhead (a094a6)

  26. 14. Kevin,

    Police have had M16 AR15, The state police used to carry tommy guns for DECADEs. I don’t think we can find a single incident of a rogue cop using a automatic weapon on a crowd of innocent people -
    EPWJ (abd159) — 8/15/2014 @ 9:02 am

    Yes, but I can think of a single incident of a rogue cop using a grenade on an infant.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2014/05/baby-in-coma-after-police-grenade-dropped-in-crib-during-drug-raid/

    And once is too many.

    Cops shouldn’t have grenades. This is the problem with militarizing the police. They have to use the kit they get from the feds in order to justify the grant proposal. So they seize on any excuse, such as serving warrants. They’ve got to put miles on the MRAP this year if they’re going to have a realistic shot at justifying the request for the M16s next year. Or even to keep the MRAP.

    I suppose to cover all my bases and defend against charges of hypocrisy I should point out that it’s entirely different when you’re 3000 miles from home, as opposed to being home. So it might be justifiable for a part-timer like me to do a little self-help in the first instance, but completely unjustifiable in the second.

    Cops should not have grenades.

    On the other hand most of these PDs never use them enough to get good at it. It’s the worst of all possible worlds. They’re overused to the extent they’re dangerous, but not practiced enough to get good at the job.

    I say most because I’m not theologically opposed to SWAT teams per se. Sometimes you can’t wait for the governor to call out the national guard. Like when the gorilla got loose at the Dallas zoo a few years back. No grenades were involved.

    I guess the Navy’s approach to VBSS colors my view. We divide Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure into three categories. Compliant, non-compliant, and hostile or opposed. We’ll send regular Sailors into the first two types. And we’ll train them to fight their way out of non-compliant VBSS should it turn hostile, which can of course happen. But if it starts out opposed, we leave it up to the SEALs or the Special-Operations-Capable Marines.

    No knock on us. We had day jobs. We practiced the trigger pulling, what, a couple of days a year? These guys do it for a living, every day.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  27. Optical mouse just disordered my paragraphs.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  28. With all due respect Steve57, you sound like the average coastal liberal describing any gun as an “assault weapon.”

    If someone were too lazy to follow your link, they would think there was a cop who deliberately used a fragmentation grenade on an infant in a crib, since you are speaking about military hardware in your little narrative. Turns out, there wasn’t a “rogue cop”, and your “grenade” turned out to be a flash-bang grenade (a non-lethal device) that was not thrown into the crib on purpose. There was a proper search warrant and there was the expectation of meeting armed resistance. Why, you ask?

    “A confidential informant was sent to the residence on Tuesday to make a buy for methamphetamine, Terrell said. At the time of the purchase, there were two Mercedes SUVs parked in the driveway, with a guard standing at the front door and the back door. The informant did not enter the home and made the alleged purchase in the doorway, the sheriff said.”

    Did you get that? They had actually purchased drugs at that residence (it wasn’t the wrong address or a similar mistake), and there were multiple armed guards present. So clearly, this would have been classified as at least hostile during VBSS, so Marines or SpecOps would have been employed, kind of like a SWAT team being used when armed drug dealers are known to be using a residence to traffic drugs.

    “Cops shouldn’t have grenades.” You repeated that twice for emphasis, even though you knew they were not military, lethal fragmentation grenades. It is almost like you are trying to inject overheated rhetoric and emotional triggers into a discussion in order to sway unsuspecting, low-information knee-jerkers.

    ProwlerGuy (3af7ff)

  29. NK @ #19–”There was a story out of New York not too long ago about cops emptying 20 (civilian capacity) magazines at a jaywalker and hitting only innocent bystanders.

    You mean this?

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/25/nypd-shooting-bystander-victims-hit-by-police-gunfire/

    So you boil down a situation where two police officers confront a gunman who had just murdered a co-worker with a .45 and who shot at them as “cops emptying 20 magazines at a jaywalker”? Really?

    A few other facts…

    The cops killed the gunman. The only other person to die was the original victim of the gunman.

    One cop fired 7 times, the other 9 times. Neither emptied their magazines and they certainly didn’t empty “20 magazines”

    9 bystanders were hit, none died.

    Spreading this kind BS urban legend does no one any good, NK.

    Calfed (2dd274)

  30. No, Calfed. I was thinking of this story. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/nyregion/unarmed-man-is-charged-with-wounding-bystanders-shot-by-police-near-times-square.html?_r=0

    But let me see if I can find the 120plus shots fired one, too. Just so I don’t spread urban legends.

    nk (dbc370)

  31. Maybe this will help more. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contagious_shooting I don’t mind being proved wrong as long as I don’t disinform.

    nk (dbc370)

  32. ProwlerGuy @30, with all due respect.

    If someone were too lazy to follow your link, they would think there was a cop who deliberately used a fragmentation grenade on an infant in a crib, since you are speaking about military hardware in your little narrative. Turns out, there wasn’t a “rogue cop”, and your “grenade” turned out to be a flash-bang grenade (a non-lethal device) that was not thrown into the crib on purpose. There was a proper search warrant and there was the expectation of meeting armed resistance. Why, you ask?

    At no point did I claim it was a fragmentation grenade. I would think the fact the kid is in a coma instead of dead would be a clue.

    Also, there is no excuse for blindly tossing around grenades. I don’t care how many informants you have. There is no excuse for throwing a grenade into a child’s crib, fragmentation or not, on purpose or not.

    If you want to keep digging, please feel free.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  33. You are correct, NK…that sort of thing does happen and I apologize for implying that it doesn’t.

    Calfed (2dd274)

  34. “How dare you criticize my promiscuous use of grenades.”

    And by the way, when you throw them into children’s cribs, even flash-bangs can prove something more than non-lethal.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  35. I don’t agree with arresting journalists for sitting at a McDonald’s,

    A closed McDonald’s, wasn’t it? They were trespassing. And they weren’t arrested for sitting there, but because after being ordered to leave, they didn’t do so as quickly as the cop liked.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  36. No apology necessary. I don’t mind being corrected. I likely conflated several stories to get the jaywalker and the 120plus shots.

    nk (dbc370)

  37. ProwlerGuy, A-6s?

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  38. And by the way, when you throw them into children’s cribs, even flash-bangs can prove something more than non-lethal.

    Don’t have to even get them into the crib. 10? years ago, Minneapolis police killed an elderly black couple by throwing a flash-bang into their apartment in the dead of night, which started a fire and killed them both. I think if you look, you will find more incidents similar to that where flash-bangs have started fires.

    Loren (1e34f2)

  39. Milhouse,

    He went right up to the cop and told him he was going to record him blocked his way and that’s when he kissed the coke machine and then he resisted being cuffed and yelled to the other reporter to hurry get the story

    So – if all that is true and it seems much more plausible than the reporters narrative

    EPWJ (29d77c)

  40. ProwlerGuy;

    The “Drug Raid” during which some thumb-fingered idiot managed to drop a flash-bang grenade into an occupied crib ends, according to the articles I read, with no drugs found and no arrests made. So, it was a mistake from start to finish. It was a mistake to think the cops would find drugs at that address. It was a mistake to raid that address “gang busters” style. And it was a mistake for which somebody should be publicly crucified (and no, I’m not using the term metaphorically) to entrust a bunch of arrested adolescent cops playing Eliot Ness with dangerous explosive devices. Or, for that matter, firearms … or pen knives.

    Y’see; this is my problem with how the Police and War on Drugs have evolved; Maybe, under some circumstances, with careful supervision and full legal and moral responsibility for the consequences, the cops would be justified in making heavily armed raids on SOME drug distribution operations … assuming that drugs should be illegal to begin with (which I don’t, but that’s another rant). But SWAT tactics are being used to raid the homes of people suspected to be low level distributors of marijuana, and who have no records of violence. Decades of Eliot Ness and War On Drugs dramatizations have left cops, and apparently their superiors, thinking that it is appropriate to raid houses containing families and children like Patton hitting the south of France.

    Giving these hyperactive goons military toys makes the possible range of horrible outcomes somewhat larger, but it isn’t the core of the problem.

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  41. Steve57 (5f6c2a) — 8/15/2014 @ 10:37 am

    Cops should not have grenades.

    They shouldn’t have guns that can fire more than 7 rounds without reloading. (with special exceptions)

    They don’t need them.

    Even if criminals have them. Criminals when firing weapons, have a different intent. They don’t need to aim carefully. Police do.

    Sammy Finkelman (b0c537)

  42. C. S. P. Schofield @ 42

    thinking that it is appropriate to raid houses containing families and children like Patton hitting the south of France

    The south of France?

    Patton was not part of Operation Dragoon:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Dragoon

    Although they linked up with his army on September 10, less than four weeks after the initial landing on August 15, 1944.

    This article tells you Patton’s route:

    http://www.3ad.org/members-only-section/infantry-site/48th-infantry-regiment/history/ww-2/

    Sammy Finkelman (b0c537)

  43. #42 I tend to place more blame on “parents” who have their children living in crack houses, surrounded by criminals, illegal activities, and guns. Much like Hamas using human shields, I find it morally reprehensible. I can see that your sympathies are with such people. So be it.

    Just because the meth dealer (who lived there and came and went as he pleased) wasn’t there at the time of the raid doesn’t make it a mistake, any more than the Son Tay raid was a mistake.

    I put those who take militant stands against LE in the same category as gun-grabbers; both big talkers who aren’t willing to live with the consequences of their opinions. They both should have to place signs on their property stating their views. For those opposed to guns for law abiding citizens, their sign should denote their homes are gun-free zones. For those opposed to police, it should state that they consider police to be paramilitary thugs and the are barred from entry. No response to any 911 from that residence should be dispatched to respond, regardless of the circumstances.

    ProwlerGuy (3af7ff)

  44. ProwlerGuy, I meant to ask EA-6s.

    And I’m not anti-cop. I just think we should have higher standards. I’m aware of the facts you bring up. But there is still no excuse for throwing a grenade of any kind without being cognizant of the destruction it will cause.

    Your excuse making, and that’s what it is, doesn’t change the fact that an infant is in the hospital. And for all we know may end up in the morgue.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  45. ProwlerGuy;

    I’ve read too goddamned may stories about raids on wrong addresses, raids on addresses the suspect hadn’t lived at for years, raids on suspects with no record of violence. If the War On Drugs requires this level of collateral damage, then I say we surrender and allow the junkies to go to hell in their own way. When SWAT first entered the public awareness, I was as excited as any other adolescent. But giving a police department a SWAT team appears to be like giving a small boy a hammer; all of a sudden everything needs to be SWATed.

    There are too many police departments who hole themselves above accountability. Too many cops who think that are Harry Callahan when the evidence on the ground is that they are the Keystone Kops.

    No more excuses. No more “Department Procedures were followed”, without firing the pillock who wrote it. No more legal immunity for stupidity, bullying, and faking evidence.

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  46. I made no excuses for anything. I simply recognize that mistakes happen. Unlike the scumbag criminals that led to the incident in the first place, those cops will have to live with their mistake and feel badly about it for the rest of their lives. I simply place the blame on those (the criminals and the parents, who claim complete ignorance and innocence) who would put a child into that environment in the first place. Curious that there is no ire from you, C. S. P. Schofield have not a single word of condemnation for those people, but you have plenty of slanted, partially true, incendiary rhetoric aimed at all cops that would make Al Sharpton blush.

    Evidently my previous comment is awaiting moderation, so I will repeat yes, EA-6Bs.

    ProwlerGuy (3af7ff)

  47. 47. …raids on addresses the suspect hadn’t lived at for years…

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801) — 8/15/2014 @ 1:26 pm

    It’s been almost 10 years since I moved back into my property in Texas. For a while prior to that I had rented it out, serving my country and all. I’m still getting letters and phone calls from various government agencies and debt collectors trying to run these people down.

    The thing is, they were never even on the lease. One of the last things my no-load property manager said to me before trying to convince me he went to Iraq as a contractor (right) was that he had to allow them to live there because otherwise the person on the lease wouldn’t have been able to make the payments.

    Trust me. I’m a Sailor. There aren’t cuss words to describe this. Or I would know them.

    Point being I’ve got a jury summons for one of these people that never was legally a resident of my domicile, nearly ten years later. I’ve told everyone who would listen that I don’t know these people, but still. I get mail. And I have to wonder, will I get a SWAT team someday?

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  48. The Governor appoints a new incident commander, who benches all the riot-gear the cops are wearing in favor of blues and khakis, and the rioting stops.
    Sort of like the old Texas motto: One Riot, One Ranger!
    And now, the Chief FINALLY reveals that the initial stop was due to a possible strong-arm robbery at a local convenience store, and shows the world the surveillance video. Then, media reports that the ‘friend’ of the deceased admits “Yeah, we did that crime”.
    Oh, wait, do you mean that almost a week of rioting, and the destruction of property in this town is all the result of this “mere child” (6’4″ – 290-lbs) wanting a box of cigars?
    Probably find out now that he’s got a juvie record as long as his arm.
    Now, I understand that this current Chief has made some remarkable strides in ‘cleaning’ up the force he took over four-years ago, but he seriously needs to consider hiring a competent public spokesman, and giving him/her the authority to gather/compel information from the ranks about situations such as this in the future.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  49. 32-clip Glock AK-15s.

    nk-
    One came in the mail yesterday….
    Happy Days!

    askeptic (efcf22)

  50. As to Tommy-guns:

    Before passage and implementation of the National Firearms Act of 1934 (essentially a tax measure, as it would require a constitutional amendment to restrict the availability of firearms due to the 2nd-Amendment in that less complicated time) if you wanted to buy a Thompson, or a BAR, or even a tripod-mounted Maxim/Browning/Vickers machine-gun, you just went to your local hardware store and ordered one. Shops specializing in the trade of firearms were few and far between as there just wasn’t that big of a demand. In fact, one of the largest outlets for firearms before the implementation of dealer licensing (GCA-68) here on the West Coast was a chain of auto-parts stores called Western Auto.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  51. Probably find out now that he’s got a juvie record as long as his arm.

    Evidently, there is a Michael Brown in that area with an extensive list of priors which post-dates any juvenile record. The fellow reporting that tidbit (from a database I’d never heard of) was not sure it was the same guy.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  52. Steve57 (5f6c2a) — 8/15/2014 @ 12:21 pm

    Can you imagine how they’ll handle car-chases here in SoCal when they trade in their choppers for A-10′s?

    askeptic (efcf22)

  53. Grenades kill!
    Even tear-gas grenades have started fires that have killed everyone, or don’t you remember Waco?

    askeptic (efcf22)

  54. ProwlerGuy, I’m a Tomcat guy myself. Never in a paid flight status, though. I was intel. It was a TARPS squadron, so I was able to worm my way in.

    Being an intel type, I am obligated to point out a flaw in your reasoning. If it was knowable that criminal activity was taking place in that house, it also should have been knowable that an infant was visiting.

    On the one hand you are blaming the relatives for not doing their due diligence. Yet you are absolving the cops of any need to do their due diligence.

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think the cops should have known out-of-town relatives totally unrelated to any criminal activity might have been visiting. In fact, I believe it was their responsibility to know. The cops have CIs, the relatives don’t.

    But even if the relatives knew, it’s still the cop’s job to look before throwing a grenade.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  55. I’m not trying to make more out of than it was. It was the only semi-pro relationship I had with an airplane. But I wasn’t a professional aviator.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  56. ProwlerGuy,

    Fine. You don’t want to hear it. I get that. I think you are catastrophically wrong.

    C. S. P. Schofield (e8b801)

  57. Steve57, there were a lot of holes in the CI’s story, particularly that he didn’t know that the seller had moved to another house in the neighborhood to make room for the relatives that needed to crash there after their home was involved in some disaster or another in another state.
    That, plus the department conducting the raid failed to conduct any advance surveillance to confirm the activity that the CI had given them.
    I understand that the next day or two they apprehended the guy named in the warrant at his new crash-pad, but there was no stock-pile of drugs as there should be if this guy was such a high-volume dealer as their CI had told them.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  58. Steve57, there were a lot of holes in the CI’s story…

    askeptic (efcf22) — 8/15/2014 @ 2:17 pm

    I’m sure there are. But my point isn’t to poke holes into a particular story. But to observe that certain general rules need to be revised.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  59. I’m convinced that ProwlerGuy won’t understand until one of his children is the victim of such a raid. It won’t ever happen to him, the armed thugs know he’s behind the Blue Line.

    htom (412a17)

  60. I’m giving ProwlerGuy the benefit of the doubt. Maybe all the Electromagnetic radiation went to his head.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  61. I have to ask, why would anyone with brains, trust the information of a CI who is usually is a criminal themselves, and trying to get out of some kind of charge. Didn’t anyone bother to do any surveillance, or could the CI just give them any address. Breaking into an honest citizen’s house in the middle of the night, on the word of some CI, is for asking for trouble.

    Mike Giles (930031)

  62. Mike Giles (930031) — 8/15/2014 @ 2:59 pm

    why would anyone with brains, trust the information of a CI who is usually is a criminal themselves, and trying to get out of some kind of charge.

    Because they are not really honest.

    Didn’t anyone bother to do any surveillance,

    Probably not.

    or could the CI just give them any address.

    Yes, except that of a real target.

    You also have to consider the possibility that somebody was bribed.

    You know, if you want to stop police raids, one way is to have a very wrong one made. That’ll slow ‘em down.

    Sammy Finkelman (b0c537)

  63. But Mike, the law never worries about trouble because for them there are never any consequences. Or if there are, the tax payer pays for it.

    Gazzer (42663b)

  64. FWIW, if Brown and Johnson did commit a strong-arm robbery of the convenience store, they certainly deserve at least an Honorable Mention in the Dumb-Crooks File for their inconspicuous method of leaving the area by walking down the MIDDLE of the street.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  65. And now we hear that the policeman who stopped them didn’t even know about the robbery.

    Sammy Finkelman (b0c537)

  66. Didn’t matter, he had PC to approach them.

    askeptic (efcf22)

  67. Love the insults from a do-nothing, sit on his behind intel guy. I guess Monday-morning quarterbacking is in your blood, huh? I always loved getting the ready-room LSO feedback from someone who would never, ever put their life on the line in any way. Of course, Dan Shanower was a great intel officer and a great man, but he was the exception that proved the rule.

    And thanks for your concern, htom, but since I didn’t keep my infant son in a drug marketplace, not likely to happen. And you and the other free drugs/kill cops crowd won’t understand why someone might prefer that scumbags were locked up until a loved one of yours is gunned down their own living room by a POS junkie so the junkie could steal <$20 from them to go commit another "victimless" crime.

    ProwlerGuy (3af7ff)

  68. With due and (at least with respect to Ken) genuine respect to the tweeters — and despite my enduring and reflexive disrespect for that medium — I don’t find either the initial tweet or the rejoinder very useful.

    Seems like the people arguing about this situation on both sides are eager to push every argument to its logical extreme or, often, well beyond that point.

    There are legitimate concerns about “police militarization” in general. Some of those participating in these arguments are doing so in good faith due to those concerns.

    But some aren’t. Some are using these events to score political points, and in particular, as part of a very deliberate and cynical desire to inflame racial tensions in this country for no better reason than turning out the vote in November. And I despise those people, and I don’t want to add oxygen to the mix, so that’s the last I’m going to say about any of this.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  69. The parents KNEW what was going on. They said so. They “claimed” they kicked the nephew out, but he kept coming and going, and it is unreasonable to believe that there were two Mercedes SUVs drive and armed men on both doors, but the parents didn’t notice. They also claimed to be moving the next morning. So if we are to believe them, they kicked the nephew out, knew he was still dealing drugs, but decided that they would stay there just one more night. What could it hurt, right? And with all the armed men and illegal activity, the natural thing any parent would do is place their child’s playpen/crib right next to the front door, amiright?

    I don’t see the holes in the CI’s testimony. He went to the house, was barred from entrance to the front door, bought the drugs, and left. The parents confirmed that the nephew was selling drugs from that house, and the nephew was arrested at later that day and charged with distributing meth. Where are the holes?

    ProwlerGuy (3af7ff)

  70. Now they are saying that he did know about the robbery – and saw (one of them?) carrying something.

    (Maybe what he didn’t have was a description of the robbers?)

    Sammy Finkelman (b0c537)

  71. Love the insults from a do-nothing, sit on his behind intel guy. I guess Monday-morning quarterbacking is in your blood, huh? I always loved getting the ready-room LSO feedback from someone who would never, ever put their life on the line in any way. Of course, Dan Shanower was a great intel officer and a great man, but he was the exception that proved the rule.

    ProwlerGuy (3af7ff) — 8/15/2014 @ 3:37 pm

    Dan Shanower was a friend of mine. He was killed at the Pentagon on 9/11.

    What are you doing dragging him into this?

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  72. ProwlerGuy — you misunderstand. It’s your grandchild who’s burned in the crib. What you have to do is be sure your child becomes a cop, that will stop it.

    htom (412a17)

  73. Dan Shanower was a good guy.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  74. No, Sammy, all the chief said was that when he first contacted them, he didn’t connect them to the robbery. He just thought they were punks blocking traffic, so he told them to get off the road. Then he heard or remembered the description of the robbers, and realized that he had just seen them, so he turned around and confronted them.

    Milhouse (9d71c3)

  75. I would like to invite everyone to scour my interactions with ProwlerGuy to identify the insults I directed toward him. I wasn’t even aware he existed until he weighed in at #30.

    The closest thing I can see to an insult is giving him the benefit of the doubt at #62, in which I speculated the EM radiation might have gone to his head.

    ProwlerGuy, I will not make the mistake of giving you the benefit of the doubt again.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  76. Steve57 it ain’t you it’s just PG puffing out his chest. He must be new around these parts.

    Gazzer (42663b)

  77. I always loved getting the ready-room LSO feedback from someone who would never, ever put their life on the line in any way.

    You have issues, ProwlerGuy. Since when have I advised you on how to land the plane? I said I could work the AWG-9. Somewhere I have the NATOPS entries to prove it.

    Are you really a Naval officer? I ask because of the above statement you made. I put my life on the line when I signed the contract. As did every Sailor. Things didn’t exactly work out as I hoped. Intel officer was number two on my list (If I’m flying, I’m driving, so NFO was three). But you know who does “never, ever put their life on the line in any way?” People who don’t serve.

    Sorry. We can’t all be EA-6 drivers. Some of us have to run the boat. So we’re electricians or mess specialists. Or we’re supporting the airwing as intel officers/specialists.

    Did I beat you up at a squadron admin during a port visit? If I didn’t, I should have. You disgust me.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  78. 78. Steve57 it ain’t you it’s just PG puffing out his chest. He must be new around these parts.
    Gazzer (42663b) — 8/15/2014 @ 4:56 pm

    But he brings up Dan Shanower’s name. Which leads me to believe he knows something of what he speaks.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  79. I agree on that but he still went 0-aggression real quick. And without provocation, I might add.

    Gazzer (42663b)

  80. Gazzer, I concur. I gather you can see what I dislike about the guy.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  81. Geez, Steve57 and friends, you sound like a bunch of junior-high girls going after the new girl who wears a skirt instead of jeans like all the other girls do because you just HAVE to make her conform.

    ProwlerGuy didn’t say anything hostile until he had been accused of defending police brutality and injuring of children. All he did up to that point was try to clarify your slanted description of that drug raid and point out that the child wouldn’t have been in that dangerous situation if the parents hadn’t put it there.

    Personally, I would have lost patience with you a lot earlier with your dishonesty. “a rogue cop using a grenade on an infant” was deceptive enough to be considered an outright lie. “Rogue” and “using [it] on” implies that the action was deliberate –a lie. “Grenade” means an offensive military grenade, which was also a lie. Later you defended your dishonesty by saying that you never said it was a fragmentation grenade, but in that context practically everyone will understand that you are talking about a fragmentation grenade as you know very well.

    Cugel (6bbb7f)

  82. No they won’t cugel. Not in these parts, anyway, where everyone knows about flash-bangs and their misuse by SWAT teams.

    SarahW (267b14)

  83. Sarah W. I have been reading Patterico fairly regularly for years so I think I qualify as “these parts” and when I read that, I thought he meant a fragmentation grenade. I’d be willing to bet about 9 out of 10 other people did too if they didn’t know the story.

    No one who wants to be understood calls a flashbang a “grenade” except in certain contexts where everyone knows that the subject of discussion is a flashbang. It’s like saying “he was run over by a car” when you mean a railroad car. Everyone is going to think you mean an automobile if you don’t supply more context. And providing a link that most people won’t click on does not count as context; it counts as a weasily way to pretend that you weren’t trying to deceive when you obviously were.

    Cugel (6bbb7f)

  84. An offensive grenade is a low-powered grenade, with a small kill/injure radius, so that the thrower does not need to throw it from cover and can even do it while advancing. Stun grenades and flash bangs fall in that category*. A defensive grenade, with a large kill/injury radius, has to be thrown from cover and you do not want to advance into it. Fragmentation grenades fall into that category.

    The issue with the baby hurt in the drug raid is Rules of Engagement. Granted, for the sake of argument, that the “enemy” was in the house. This was not Fallujah where there were “no friendlies”. The cops needed to take into account the presence of innocent civilians. They needed to know who would be in range of the grenade’s blast. They could not “kill them all and let God sort them out”. It’s also a fundamental rule of firearms: Know your target and what’s behind it. That’s where the cops’ fault lies.

    *If you want to quibble about the dangerous of that particular flashbang, pictures of the injured baby can be found on the internet including this site.

    nk (dbc370)

  85. PS. In sum, I find your arguments noncupatory. ;)

    nk (dbc370)

  86. I say anyone interested in that story knows it’s a flash-bang grenade.

    SarahW (267b14)

  87. Nk, I wasn’t defending the police actions, just observing that the description of those actions was intentionally deceptive.

    Regardless of how you feel about the behavior of the police in this case, there is a big difference between what actually happened and a rogue cop deliberately throwing a fragmentation grenade at an infant.

    I think you will find my argument more cupatory if you restrict your criticism to my actual argument.

    Bonus points for the Vance reference though :)

    cugel (8eebdc)

  88. Sarah, any grenade is a dangerous device. They all need to be treated as such.

    I also have no patience with people who think the cops have no responsibility for the safety of children. It’s their job. It’s a given that criminal parents will deal negligently with their children. But that doesn’t give the cops license to do the same.

    As for the rest, I’ll leave it up to the good sense of people reading this, if they’re interested. Lot’s of people are wrong on the internet. Maybe even me. But I never used Dan Shanower’s name to score cheap points on it. He was one of two friends I lost on 9/11. Since the other one hasn’t been mentioned, I won’t. Because this is an entirely undignified way to remember them.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  89. 91. ….just observing that the description of those actions was intentionally deceptive.

    cugel (8eebdc) — 8/16/2014 @ 3:32 pm

    No, I was being intentionally descriptive. A flash-bang is a grenade. And before you throw one, you need to check what’s in the vicinity of where it will land. In case you don’t want to destroy it.

    Doing otherwise in pure negligence. In my opinion, criminal negligence.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  90. this lawsuit against Mr. Governor Perry is also something of a grenade, no?

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  91. Flash bang grenades can SET THINGS ON FIRE. They cause serious impact trauma and serious burns if deployed adjacent to a person; they cause property damage even when they don’t land on a person or something highly flammable, and can damage hearing in the bargain.

    But the notion that anyone who cares about illegal or inappropriate deployment of SWAT teams or other inappropriate engagement didn’t know what you were talking about when you said grenade, is full of… well, disingenuous expressed notions.

    SarahW (267b14)

  92. Sarah, one the things we used to train for back when I was doing Ship’s Reaction Force training was the terrorist who wouldn’t be stunned by the stun grenade. At least not to the point he’d be incapacitated. When you’d open the hatch he could be standing there with blood streaming out of his ears.

    How much damage a flash-bang will do seems dependent on how big you are, how far away you are when it goes off. and whether or not there’s anything between you and it.

    But WTF do I know, Sarah? I was a no load, sit-on-your hands intel type who never put his @$$ on the line.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  93. I suppose I might be defeating my own case. What I’m saying is flash-bangs don’t always work even if you use them right. They can kill if you use them wrong.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  94. I really don’t care whether the militarized public servants can reach a ratio of 20:1 or even 50:1 in effected kills to losses, there isn’t enough of them to keep the government safe.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  95. a ratio of 20:1 or even 50:1

    Speaking of ratios, I bought a chainsw. Sears Craftssman, 20″ bar and 50cc engine. So for the first time in years, I have to care and feed for a two cycle engine. Not since I had to give up my beloved Hodaka Combat Wombat (sniff, sniff). It came with a 3.2 oz bottle of engine oil. Which according to the instructions (yes, I know I lose my man card for reading them) gives a 50:1 mixture. So being a forward thinking guy I went to home depot and bought some Husqvarna two stroke oil (along with bar and chain oil, because really what kind of fool runs his chainsaw dry; not this one). And it comes in a 2.6 oz size, and according the label gives me a 40:1 mix.

    Should I be worried?

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  96. *chainsw = chainsaw*

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  97. Don’t scare white people, gary. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to bad Star Wars prequels.

    nk (dbc370)

  98. But we white people are so easily scared. How is anyone to avoid it?

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  99. I guess the answer is, don’t shop at Home Depot. Drive another 20 minutes and go to Sears.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  100. Sorry, it’s all coming back to me. You can buy two stroke oil by the keg. I’ll just use the bottle I got from Sears as a measuring device.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  101. I miss my Combat Wombat.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  102. http://www.strictlyhodaka.com/

    It was a good bike.

    Steve57 (5f6c2a)

  103. It’s awesome in support of me to have a site, which is beneficial designed for
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    construction companies (56c3da)

  104. steve 57, sarah w, I think cugel is correct. When I read steve’s comments I thought he was referring to a frag grenade. I have been reading here for many years and am familiar with youse guys. Personally I have never heard a flash bang called a grenade by anyone, particularly those of us who used them they were always called flash bangs. The Officer that tossed the flash bang is going to have to live with the result of that toss for the rest of his life.

    The people responsible for the injuries to that child are the ones that allowed their residence to be a place to buy drugs. Sadly it doesn’t shock me that a child was there, when I worked a task force in the 90′s we had a member of the task for that worked for CPS (child protective services) and she was kept pretty busy taking kids to a safer place. Druggies keep kids in lab locations, keep drugs hidden next to babies and leave drugs around where toddlers can reach them. We all know that whatever a kid can touch or grab seems to immediately go to their mouth.

    Labcatcher (61737c)

  105. Here’s another police shooting to chew on. It’s not long so read the whole thing.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/maryland-father-child-3-killed-shootout-police-article-1.1906783

    elissa (35cd58)

  106. Eric Raymond explains why things have developed as they have.

    Have you ever bothered to ask yourself why we have this combination of over-militarization and inaction? Police armed like Marines standing by while looters destroy peoples’ livelihoods?

    read the rest

    Milhouse (9d71c3)


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