Innocent People, Not Career Criminals, Should be the Poster Boys for Police Reform

Protect and serve

You have a problem with the police being militarized to the teeth, and doing whatever they want, up to and including killing innocents, with no consequences?

Get in line.

Philando Castile, Walter Scott, and Dylan Noble are examples of where the authorities either made a mistake and/or acted maliciously, and need to be held accountable. If you think the likes of James Bushey, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and Alton Sterling are helping reform police behavior, you are either 1) too ignorant to realize the scumbag nature of these pieces of shit that got them killed in the first place, or 2) parading the bodies of a particular ethnic group to promote your own racist agenda. There are plenty of others that should be used as examples of injustice before career criminals resisting arrest for the 500th time, and deifying the likes of them in the hopes of changing police behavior is only hurting our chances at real reform. 

It is important that I point out that this is in no way an anti-police diatribe. Being a cop is a thankless job; people take it for granted when you do your job correctly, and when a few bad eggs do the job badly or abuse their authority, people will lump them together and call them all murdering racists. It’s a dangerous job, and its one they signed up for voluntarily, just to be there when you need them.  If we keep vilifying police, no one is going to be there next time you call 911 when you really need them.

Shoot him in the legs

Our nation’s policing system has become profit-driven instead of crime-driven, largely due to the failure of the war on drugs, and the fact that cops have been given surplus military hardware from the armed forces at bargain basement prices. SWAT team raids have gone from a few hundred per year in the 1970s to 50,000 annually, largely because they call SWAT in when “Special Weapons And Tactics” aren’t really needed, such as when apprehending a credit card scammer or raiding an organic farm for the filmiest of reasons. When a SWAT team nearly kills a 19-month old baby with a flashbang grenade, in a raid without the suspect present, how are there no charges filed? If you have problems with police behavior, start by telling them to give the military weapons back to the military; Ankeny, Iowa probably does not need a SWAT team at all, but they absolutely should not justify having one by using them to bust a credit card scammer.  

And given the circumstances, for the life of me I can’t understand why people are turning people like Alton Sterling into some kind of deity that represents racial division in this country. The guy was well known to Baton Rouge police even before he had a relationship and impregnated a 14 year old girl… at the age of 20. The guy’s rap sheet includes all sort of offenses ranging from illegal weapons possession to domestic abuse, with plenty of battery charges on the list.

So, just to recap: The cops are called to deal with a felon they probably knew better than some of their own family members. The guy was brandishing an illegal weapon and threatening passersby. And then, when the cops come to arrest him, he makes the brilliant decision to resist. Whether you think this guy getting shot was wrong or not, you’re going to have a hard time getting police to treat scumbags like this as anything but a deadly threat. If me, the white male, reacted the same way, with the same rap sheet and illegal gun, no one would care if I got shot and killed by the cops. Why is this guy any different?

The Side Of Alton Sterling The Media Doesn’t Want You To See

Alton Sterling and your friendly, neighborhood dindus

Alton Sterling

Same goes for Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Garner was a 6’3” 350 lb man, with asthma, diabetes and heart disease. Its not like it was his first run-in with the law either – he had 30 prior arrests. How are the cops supposed to take this guy down, with a hog-tie? Couldn’t this guy have died just as easily if he was tased? “Gentle” Michael Brown, all 6’5” and 290lbs of him, had just robbed a convenience store, which led to his encounter with the cops.  He assaulted the officer in question and “went for his gun”. How was the officer supposed to react, with kind words and safe spaces? If a federal inquiry from a black attorney general and a grand jury with three black members can’t find cause to charge this officer, maybe, just maybe, his story checks out, and Brown really did go after him and his gun, and the ballistics prove it?

If there’s anything to be upset about in Ferguson, it’s the police response to protests. The cops don’t need MRAP APCs, full-auto rifles, armored drones, and flashbang/stun grenades to keep protests in check. And they don’t need to point their weapons at unarmed protesters, something our soldiers in Iraq couldn’t even do to armed locals. If we want our police to treat our civilians as civilians instead of enemy soldiers, we need to start by taking the military equipment out of police hands.

Protecting and serving

An actual "hands up, don't shoot" event

I look at the case of Philando Castile as somewhere where policing needs real reform. Here you have a case of a man informing a cop he was carrying a concealed weapon, and reaching for his license. It could have been racial profiling, since he had been pulled over 52 times in the past (me, the white male, is nowhere close to that). Given his experience with pullovers and concealed carry, Castile should have known how to handle the situation much better than he did. But the cop should have handled the situation better instead of panicking and shooting him.

I’ll tell you this much: I’m a white male who sometimes carries concealed, and if I reacted the way Castile did, I could have been shot too. If there’s racial profiling going on in this department, it should be investigated, just like the officer is being investigated for this shooting. You would expect the same to happen at your job if you did something wrong or illegal, unless you’re Hillary Clinton. Cops need to get back to doing real policing and investigation of violent crime instead of writing tickets and busting people for weed possession.  Castile’s rap sheet consisted of only minor offenses almost entirely related to traffic. If he was pulled over because he was black, and shot because he was legally carrying concealed, he absolutely deserves justice.

Just like all professions have bad apples, the US has some bad cops. Walter Scott shouldn’t have run from the cops, but that didn’t give police officer Michael Slager the right to shoot him and try to cover it up. These days everyone and their mother has a cell phone camera, and cops can be held accountable because people take them out and start filming all the time. If this happened just ten or so years ago, Slager probably would have gotten away with killing an innocent man.

Resisting arrest

Given the extensive media coverage given to Sterling, you would think the Dylan Noble story would be all over the news. Ten days before Sterling was shot, an unarmed Noble, outside of his vehicle and not resisting police, with one of his arms near his pocket, was shot and killed in an incident which lasted several minutes. Even after being shot and falling to the ground, officers shot him again.

Why hasn’t this been splashed all over the news like Sterling’s shooting was? Surprise, surprise! Because Noble was white. So in spite of the fact that the 13% of blacks in the US are responsible for 52% of the homicides, and cops are 18 times as likely to be killed by blacks as they are to kill a black person themselves, apparently the media thinks the killing of an illegally armed and menacing felon like Sterling deserves more news coverage than an unarmed Noble, who had no prior arrests. Given the media’s coverage of Sterling’s shooting with its surrounding “call for justice”, and relative silence on Noble’s, its safe to say the media is far more racist than the cops.  And that is before you even consider statistics that show blacks are far more likely to murder and commit violent crimes against both blacks and whites.  Thankfully the cops who shot Noble were wearing body cameras and the footage was released, otherwise we likely would have never known the truth about this case at all.

Cop body cam

Body cameras can be used not just to document when police are in the wrong, but also when they are in the right. James Bushey pulled out a BB gun on two officers in Texas, who subsequently shot and killed him. The body cameras captured the whole incident and clearly showed that the officers were justified in their shooting. Body cameras can also keep police from being wrongfully accused of abusing their authority, and having a clear account of every incident should be reason enough for departments everywhere to embrace continued and expanded usage of body cameras. If you’re looking for police accountability, body cameras are a great way to get it.

Police these days are not only far too militarized; they are also victimizing people for too many harmless offenses, from speeding tickets to drug possession. Our country needs to start by getting the military weapons out of the hands of police. We can also decriminalize or legalize many harmless, nonviolent offenses, most of which are related to the war on drugs, and instead focus on locking up violent perps and keeping our streets safe. Give police incentives to solve crime instead of writing speeding tickets. And punish people heavily if they’re guilty of “swatting” – these assholes are putting our communities at great risk, all out of bitterness or a childish prankster mentality.

And when the police do something wrong, or display an obvious racial bias, hold them accountable for it. There were 1,208 examples of police homicide last year, and there are definitely bigger cases of injustice than dirtbags with extensive rap sheets resisting arrest. This isn’t about race – Bushey had it coming to him just as much as Garner, Brown and Sterling did.   Stop parading around the bodies of scumbags who weren’t willing to submit to arrest #67 without resisting, and got themselves killed because of it. If you think police accountability is all about race and isn’t part of a bigger issue, then you’re the one being a racist, not the cops.

Black Lives Matter

Editor’s note: Here’s a short list of white and Hispanic people you’ve never heard of that were killed by police: Juaquin HernandezAutumn Steele, Tommy McClain, Dillon Taylor, Frank Mendoza, and let’s not forget, Kelly Thomas. You can find many, many more stories here. It’s a shame that it seems they stopped updating the site last year because there are so few racially unbiased sources for victims of police violence. Google is fully committed to the scam, even when I search for “unarmed whites shot by police”, the first result returned is “Police killed more than 100 unarmed black people in 2015 …”. How’s that for bias? Fuck the mainstream media and fuck Google! Also see, Killed by Police.

Google "unarmed whites shot by police"

Duane Norman

Duane Norman is a thirty-something, straight, white male living in the northeastern US, and is a staunch advocate of free markets and legal gun ownership. Duane founded Free Market Shooter and occasionally contributes to Single Dude Travel on issues related to freedom, liberty and the basic human right to self-defense.

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  • Joeclyde17

    I love how white guys love to say it’s never about race. When these same cops would never treat a white person in the same manner. You can look at Youtube and see “hilarious” vidoes of white THUGS attacking cops and walking away free. But if you “resist” arrest for selling cigarettes. Then conservative injustice warriors will do a background check on you to see if you jaywalked 5 years ago and then claim you deserve to be shot or choked to death. It’s a joke and you are just a tool for the elites.

    Idiots and so called Thugs deserve their day in court. Just because they have dark skin doesn’t mean they deserve any less treatment than a Thug with white skin.

    • varlog

      Did you read the article?

  • Army Officer (Ret)

    First of all, police work is among the safest occupations in the nation. Only people who work in offices are safer on the job. Second, you showed a bunch of civilian cops wearing military gear and carrying military weapons… which one those cops are the “good guys” in those pictures? Thirdly, anyone who thinks most cops are “good guys” doesn’t know very many cops: as a military guy they tend to open up thinking I’m a kindred spirit, and let me tell you: they are SHOCKINGLY cavalier about the casual gratuitous violence they perpetrate themselves – and turn a blind eye to when other cops do it. It’s no wonder so many cop organizations fight tooth-and-nail to prevent the implementation of body cameras.

    • Manuel ✓Straight, Cis-gender

      I tend to agree with you for the most part, however, these “innocent” causalities the media screams so loudly about are bigger scum bags than all but the worst of the cops.

    • Duane Norman

      Firefighters, Police and EMTs helped save my life once; I’m not anti-cop and didn’t want to turn my article into an anti-police diatribe. The last thing I want is no police force at all. I’m with you that there needs to be a change in the way police do their job, and you can see where I think real change needs to be made in the article, including the implementation of body cameras that you noted some police forces have a tendency to resist.

      The point I was trying to make was that the BLM movement is hijacking police reform for their own racist agenda and hurting our chances at real reform. They see a video or hear a story about a black guy getting killed by the cops and stamp their feet and demand police reform, without realizing or even giving a shit about why the cops killed the guy in the first place. Its tough to work towards police reform if you’re citing the “wrongful death” of a pederast, violent scumbag resisting arrest while carrying an illegal firearm as a case where the police acted wrongfully, whether they did or not. There are plenty of other cases to choose from, we don’t need to cite examples based on race.

      Refuting BLM as well as criticizing the militarization of police and profit-driven policing was probably too much for one article. Unfortunately, the only way to demonstrate that the BLM idiots are hurting the case for police reform was to mention both together.

      • Manuel ✓Straight, Cis-gender


      • Army Officer (Ret)

        I see that you didn’t answer any of my questions. Let me reiterate: when cops think you’re “with it” they will openly laugh and joke about acts of violence that would shock you… acts that they would arrest a non-cop for in a heartbeat. MOST of them consider themselves to be functionally above the law on the supposed grounds that it’s for the greater good. Here’s the thing: except in defensive emergencies, deciding when the initiation of force is for “the greater good” is the job of legislatures and juries, not cowboys with automatic weapons.

        I’m no fan of BLM, either, but I can legally defend myself against a BLACK thug… I cannot legally defend myself against a BLUE one. And therein lies the difference.

        When cops start holding each other responsible for misdeeds rather than retreating behind the “Thin Blue Line” protection racket and “Its the most difficult job on the planet” rhetorical nonsense – and turn in EVERY piece of military weaponry to the nearest national guard armory – then we can talk.

        Until then: if you think of yourself as being the member of an occupying army, you get the consequences of that. On that note, cops need to stop referring to non-cops as “civilians.” A civilian is someone who is not a member of the military – by labeling non-cops as civilians they are overtly accepting the role of occupying soldiers rather than “Peace Officers.” You reap what you sow.

        • Duane Norman

          You asked one (rhetorical) question, did you really expect an answer to that? Otherwise your first comment was mostly babble taking me to task for not coming out and saying “cops are pricks” or something of the like, and talking about how good cops have it and how they protect each other when one of them screws up.

          And it seems you totally missed the point I made in my article, or the response to your comment. I agree with you that cops are too overzealous, too militarized, and generally held unaccountable for their actions. If you don’t think I go far enough to articulate that, write your own “cops suck ass” article ; like I said, I don’t want it to devolve to the point where we have zero cops. You shouldn’t either, so you should be advocating for reform instead of simply saying “cops suck”.

          I don’t know how many times I need to reiterate this – I think the BLM idiots are hurting OUR efforts at police reform. You want to make your case, go ahead, I’m probably in support of most of it, the same with the majority of Americans.

          And no matter how you respond, just remember that most authors won’t bother to respond to comments on articles they post. If you have more questions, ask away, I’ll do my best to answer.

          • Army Officer (Ret)

            The two questions I asked weren’t simply rhetorical, and answering them would go a long way toward making your point that the problem with cops is bad individuals rather than systemic corruption, if you have good answers for them.

            (At the risk of asking for a response from an author who is so popular that his article has garnered a grand total of seven comments (counting three from me and two from you), I’ll assume you aren’t too busy to answer this one as well.)

            But in the interest of seeking some common ground, I’ll reiterate the two questions I wished you had answered:

            1) Of the mob of cops in the first picture brandishing automatic weapons, which ones are the ones I can trust? (Or if that’s too rhetorical, how am I to separate a good guy pointing a machine gum at me from a bad guy pointing a machine gun at me if they are standing together and wearing the same uniform? Call me crazy, but as a soldier I assume that ANYONE pointing a machine gun at me is a bad guy.)

            2) Since we agree that civilian cops have no legitimate reason to be wandering down the street in full military gear brandishing automatic weapons they way those guys were – and such actions are in fact criminal – why aren’t the “1% of bad cops who give the 99% of good cops a bad name” in that picture being arrested rather than having their criminal actions defended by their fellow officers and their leadership? I guarantee that if you and I did what they’re doing it would be no more or less legal, but our outcome would be a lot different.

            I’m not an anarchist… I don’t want ZERO cops any more than you do. But I want them to be peace officers with appropriate civilian weaponry rather than soldier wanna’-be’s who commit acts of violence with impunity because they know they won’t be held accountable unless they’re extremely unlucky.

            But while you accused me of missing your point you missed mine: I can legally defend myself against a BLACK thug… I cannot legally defend myself against a BLUE one. If some inner-city thug tries to do me bodily harm I can defend myself and nobody will criticize me for it. If a cop tries to do me bodily harm I will be arrested and/or shot if I defend myself, and most of the “good cops” will line up behind my assailant no matter what. That’s the difference – when you give people the legal right to initiate physical violence at their own discretion, those people need to be held to a higher standard of conduct that reflects their enhanced authority, not held to a lower standard because their pretty-safe job is supposedly difficult.

            Feel free to have the last word.

          • Duane Norman

            Honestly I can’t tell if you’re trolling me or not, because your questions are so ridiculous and off topic. My post wasn’t about bad cops or systemic corruption; it was about working to improve police accountability, and not using BLM racism to do it. Improving police accountability will kill two birds with one stone and cut down on bad cops and systemic corruption – addressing those two on their own was not what I was going for.

            In the interest of fairness, I’ll answer you again:

            1) If we knew exactly which cops (and people for that matter) were trustworthy and which ones weren’t, we’d have a much easier time in life, wouldn’t we? If you’re retired Army, you’re not a soldier anymore, so your battlefield force continuum / ROE no longer apply, so you can’t just go assessing and blasting someone as an “enemy” as you see fit, cop or otherwise. You have to follow civilian rules to engage someone, and I’m not even sure how those rules apply if you were to engage a police officer you thought was a threat to your life or others’ lives. We clearly agree that cops shouldn’t be allowed to raise their weapons to people who are not visually armed and/or threatening, so we should be working towards demilitarizing police and tightening their displays of force; didn’t I already make this clear?

            2) I’m not a lawyer but my narrow understand of police force continuum leads me to believe that this was legal, whether you (and I) think it should be or not. Are you really expecting cops, who were probably doing what they were ordered to do by their superiors, to arrest each other for what they perceive to be legal policing? Again, if they were demilitarized and their force continuum tightened when dealing with protesters, this would be illegal, and you might have a point… but that’s not the case.

            The law and the voters have given police broad authority to do their job, and no shit, some of them are assholes and thugs, and abuse their authority. If you have a problem with the police force continuum and their military equipment (an area we both obviously agree on), then do what I’m doing, and educate people on the truth of police behavior, and work to get people to change what is and is not legal for cops to do. If this is clearly defined, the bad cops will be outed rather easily and departments will be unable to stop this, especially in this era of cell phone / body cameras.

            I only started writing about two months ago as a hobby in my free time. Manuel, this site’s operator/editor, had posted an open invitation for guest posters and I took him up on it. Despite being a novice to writing, my very first post was cross-posted by lots of other mediums, including ZeroHedge, Glenn Beck, and TheBurningPlatform, among others. No matter how many comments my work gets on those sites (more than we get here for sure), I will only respond to comments here. Doing this give me a way to engage with my readers personally and improve my content, as well as drive more viewers to this site and the content posted here by myself and the others here.

            If you have a rebuttal, post it somewhere and send a link… or why don’t you ask Manuel to post it here? In my experience, he’s not only been extremely helpful with improving my writing, but extremely fair on what types of content he’ll post. If you’re gonna mock a novice writer’s popularity and willingness to engage with his readers, you should show how much better you are with your own writing, right?

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