Sunday, November 27, 2011
An excellent post on the upcoming ruckus and how cops may respond
Mike at http://mike-istan.blogspot.com/ did a must-read post on "Concord Bridge or Fort Sumter". There were some responses to it speaking to the likelihood of the police following their oath to the Constitution vs how they may actually behave. Some felt that "small-town" cops would have more invested in their community, as opposed to "big-city" cops. Some of the folks in law enforcement and former military (as am I) claimed that they fully supported the Constitution and honored their oath. Here is my response (which I posted there), as I see it:
As a former peace officer in both big city and small town departments, I have to take some of the people who responded to task.
As Mike stated in response to a post about small town police:
It is probably unavoidable with big-city police who see bad stuff
every day, but it is disconcerting to see nice suburban officer Jones
all buffed out from gym time, head shaved, wrap around tactical
sunglasses, and tactical pants bloused into tactical boots (black of
course). I'm sure he is a fine officer, but it looks like he has
succumbed to early onset thinblueline-itis.
I guarantee you, having not only worked in two small town departments as well as at the California Highway Patrol and as a San Diego police officer, many of today’s young officers have indeed succumbed to “them vs us”. Being members of the community, small and local as it is, does not define them. They revel in their position of “authoritah”, shaved head and heavy badge and all. The time of the Andy Griffith style f police officer is long gone.
I saw this just a few weeks back, when my flight instructor was yanked out at gun point of the Cessna I was preparing to taxi from the apron to the runway. He had had a non-violent domestic disagreement with his wife for which she had pressed charges, and the young city cop treated him as if he were a piece of filth, instead of the patient, compassionate, and friendly man that I - and all of his friends in town - knew this 65 year old man to be. The deputy sheriff who was backing him up (an older, more mature man) was polite and professional, but not this young town cop.
Those who responded here, claiming they always supported and defended the Constitution are not being honest, with us or with themselves. If they enforced the laws that are on the books, they have gone counter to the Constitution. If they have arrested anyone for any sort of weapons violation - gun, knife (too long, double-edged, concealed), billy, loaded firearm, etc., they have violated the Second Amendment. If they have arrested anyone for drug use, they have violated the Constitution, for wherein does it give the government the right to legislate a private activity such as self-medication? If an arrest - and a ticket is an arrest with a promise to appear in place of being taken into custody - is made for lack of insurance, driving without a license, driving without a seat belt or helmet, then again, the Constitution has been ignored. [Yes, the states do have the power to pass various laws, but I submit that those such as being forced to purchase insurance - automobile, as opposed to healthcare, but both are wrong - and I believe the seat belt and helmet laws are equally wrong.]
I was as guilty of this as anyone else, although I did let a _lot_ of people go on these violations of “law” when I was in law enforcement. In California, it was a felony to ignore a felony, so there were times when I had a partner and my choice was to arrest or be arrested myself if that partner snitched me off, so I took the safe route (rather than the Constitutional route).
I’d bet a month’s income that these folks responding here to Mike’s post are as guilty of this as I was, hence my statement that they are not being honest. As far as military folks go, their ROE _used_ to be broader than those of the police, although I understand that isn’t the case anymore, thanks to the Pretender-in-Chief and those he has running the military. The former ROE were reasonable and necessary, given what the military was tasked to accomplish. I have no argument with that.
However, given the psychology of those sworn to obey their orders, trained to obey without thinking (for the most part, though most military folk do think in spite of such training), and the psychology of those acting in a group, thoughts of rights and Constitutionality are almost always far from their minds. Recall Tom Baugh’s brief essay on “When to Shoot the Colonels”.