Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Cop Talk

  1. #1
    Regular Member Mainsail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Silverdale, Washington, USA
    Posts
    1,532

    Post imported post

    Cop Talk
    What happens when the boys in blue get too close to their keyboards.

    Eve Tushnet | November 9, 2007


    "I crushed a dude's eye socket from repeatedly punching him in it and then I charged him with menacing and harassment (of me)."

    "Seeing someone get Tasered is second only to pulling the trigger. That is money-puts a smile on your face."


    Those are two of the statements posted by corrections deputy David B. Thompson of Multnomah County, Oregon to an Internet chat room. The inflammatory rhetoric sparked an ongoing investigation by the county sheriff's office, as well as reporting by the Portland Tribune and other local news outlets.

    Thompson may also have filed a false police report to hide the eye-socket incident he brags about in his post. Although the sheriff's department can't comment on the investigation while it's still underway, he could be fired and prosecuted if he's found guilty.

    Many police departments across the country have experienced similar bulletin board crises over the last few years, putting police officers' freedom of speech in conflict with the public's need to be protected from, well, cops who get off on using Tasers.

    This March, the New York Observer reported that commenters on the "NYPD Rant" site were posting pictures of local bicycle activists from the group Transportation Alternatives with comments like, "These lawbreaking cycle pirates must be stopped!!" and "Someone please hammer these 2 turds this weekend" (at a Critical Mass event).

    In June, St. George, MO resident Brett Darrow incurred online cop hostility when he posted a video of a disputed traffic stop. According to TheNewspaper.com, one poster at St. Louis CopTalk wrote, "I'm going to his house to check for parking violations." Another, using the pseudonym "STL_finest," went further: "I hope this little POS punk bastard tries his little video stunt with me when I pull him over alone-and I WILL pull him over-because I will see 'his gun' and place a hunk of hot lead right where it belongs."

    Those posts were deleted, and discussion of Darrow has been banned from the boards. But these online threats have been accompanied by face-to-face death and arrest threats made at Darrow, including a second videotaped encounter with an officer who screamed at Darrow in a parking lot.
    In September, a Columbus, OH officer resigned after the Columbus Dispatch revealed that she
    and her sister had posted videos on YouTube blaming Jews, blacks, and immigrants for the country's
    problems. Susan L. Purtee was neither on duty nor in uniform when she said Jews "started to tell us—the gentiles—how to live, because if we did, they'd make a lot of money" and black people use "mangled English, dirty and filthy"; but neither was she entirely anonymous, since the sisters' website
    revealed that she was a law-enforcement officer. Purtee was reassigned to a desk job, and then
    resigned.

    Unsurprisingly, many of these conflicts have a racial component. In 2006, the Montgomery County, MD police chief got into a highly-publicized battle with the county's branch of the Fraternal Order of Police over postings on the police union's online forums. Some pseudonymous postings referred to Hispanic immigrants as "beaners," insulted another officer and threatened her husband—posting the officer's name, badge number, and station, and, in one case, threatening to attack her husband if he "scream[ed] profiling" after a traffic stop. The county responded by blocking access to the forums from county-owned computers.

    "It was basically perceived as an attack from outside," says Walte Bader, who was the Montgomery County FOP president during the controversy. Bader adds that the union was working on civility rules
    for the forum when the controversy went public, but "when the government, the police department, tried to interfere we saw that as a totally different matter of government interference with First Amendment rights. We would not shut that website down on the basis of [the government] calling for it or the Washington Post calling for it."

    Bader has a point. "Courts have said that there are limits on what public employees can say because of the nature of their responsibilities. You could say that the government has more leeway to clamp down on the speech of employees to the extent that it's inconsistent with their duties," explains Paul Alan Levy, an attorney with the Public Citizen Litigation Group and a specialist on Internet speech and anonymity. But Levy notes that the Internet offers ways to "separate the position from the identity of the person" in a way that may allow government employees more room to rant.

    Levy suggests that the Internet, with its possibilities of total anonymity, is an especially valuable free-speech forum: "People ought to be able to blow off steam. It's the marketplace of ideas—people ought to get it out there."

    John Gilmore's classic line about the Internet is that it "interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it." The Montgomery County FOP boards, for example, were shut down during the comments controversy, but a number of other boards maintained by individual cops sprung up to take their place.

    Levy adds that the specifics of each case matter a lot: Personal threats can be treated differently from more general ugly comments. "Is it a true threat?" he asks. "The courts distinguish between vague 'this is outrageous, people ought to be up in arms' and 'watch out, I know where you live, this is your address, I'm coming to get you.' There's a continuum."

    Levy argues, "If police officers are having these awful thoughts, it's nice to know about it so we can do something about it administratively." He has a list of questions to ask about incidents like these: "Are there morale problems here that need to be addressed? Are there community problems that need to be addressed? Simply by their intemperate speech, they reveal the existence of a problem."

    Mary Shelton, the Californian proprietor of the weblog "Five Before Midnight", took a different view after she found herself targeted. In 2005 and 2006, the local activist (she started her blog to monitor how the police department would respond to the end of a court-ordered reform plan) got a spate of threatening and racist blog comments from people claiming to be police officers. "I felt really intimidated," Shelton says. "It makes you look at them differently—is it this police officer, that police officer? ...I think that's one of the most difficult things of all, that you can't put a face on it."

    The threats escalated: Shelton recalls that one poster gave details of what she was wearing and what she was doing during the day. Finally, a comment—"The reason [cops] beat up the Mexicans is because it's a fiesta, you beat them and candy comes out"—led her to close comments.

    Shelton doesn't know exactly what happened after the department investigated the threats. "The official word was discipline was given out," she says, but California confidentiality laws prevented her from learning more.

    She acknowledges that the department's investigation raises free speech concerns: "That's a hard one for me, too." But she argues, "They have to operate under the understanding that they have rules to follow. They're police officers. They have a lot of authority. They have arresting power. They have this expectation that when they speak they will be truthful, because they have to testify in court. And they have to deal with different parts of the community."

    Shelton is left wondering. "If they're going around saying these statements anywhere, how do you know that's where it's being left, and it's not impacting their job performance? They have a lot of privileges and rights that come with their position, and there are responsibilities that come with that as well."

  2. #2
    State Researcher
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Olympia, WA, ,
    Posts
    3,201

    Post imported post

    WTF!!! :what: Sadly this seems to common now...

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    3,047

    Post imported post

    I can't find a way to express myself that wouldn't get me red-listed by the TSA. Just...



  4. #4
    State Researcher
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    , Indiana, USA
    Posts
    1,606

    Post imported post

    It is unbelievable enough for them to behave this way behind closed doors, and even worse for them to glorify it via internet. Although I am glad they caught this guy.

    The part that gets me is that what if police do this to a person and they get off the hook for something they actually did?!

  5. #5
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Fairfax Co., VA
    Posts
    18,766

    Post imported post

    openryan wrote:
    The part that gets me is that what if police do this to a person and they get off the hook for something they actually did?!
    Happens all the time--the getting off the hook part, not these particular nastinesses.

    Try making a complaint to the police unsupported by audio or video recordings. The Tony's 7 had their complaint thrown in their face, metaphorically speaking. Only a few of the police present actually did anything really objectionable. But when it came time, every single one of them supported the police side of the story.

    Get and carry a voice-recorder.

    For me, arming up goes in this sequence: wallet (CHP), voice-recorder, gun, spare ammo.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  6. #6
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    3,047

    Post imported post

    Citizen wrote:
    openryan wrote:
    The part that gets me is that what if police do this to a person and they get off the hook for something they actually did?!
    Happens all the time--the getting off the hook part, not these particular nastinesses.

    Try making a complaint to the police unsupported by audio or video recordings. The Tony's 7 had their complaint thrown in their face, metaphorically speaking. Only a few of the police present actually did anything really objectionable. But when it came time, every single one of them supported the police side of the story.

    Get and carry a voice-recorder.

    For me, arming up goes in this sequence: wallet (CHP), voice-recorder, gun, spare ammo.
    I even doubt an audio/video recorder would do any good. If a police officer is going to revel in breaking someone's eye socket, I doubt they're going to avoid breaking his recorder as well.

    The only legal way to end this systematic abuse of power by "L"EOs is to strongly oppose horsesh!t legslation like this http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum46/5927.html that perpetuates the ideology that the police/paramilitary are a different (and higher) class of people than the rest of us.

  7. #7
    State Researcher dng's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    , , USA
    Posts
    1,290

    Post imported post

    Folks, there are definitely bad LEOs out there, but there seems be alot of negative sentiment towards all LEOs on this board lately. We of all people, pro gun, 2nd amendment loving, Americans should see what is happening right in front of us. Just like the anti gun movementuses every timesomeone commits a murder or another crime with a lawfully acquired gun to press for more gun control, I feel the same thing is starting to happen towards LEOs on this board. Think of all the good LEOs who never make the papers because they are heroes every day, just doing their job. But we focus on the bad situationswith LEOs and let that influence our thinking about all law enforcement. Just like a couple of insane, horrible people who happen to use guns to commit their crimes should not mean all guns should be taken away, neither should all LEOs be judged for the criminals who hide behind a badge to commit their crimes. Nothing really has started on this thread yet, but I've been thinking about this for awhile, and I wanted to give my 2 cents on the topic.

  8. #8
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    , Illinois, USA
    Posts
    778

    Post imported post

    dngreer wrote:
    Folks, there are definitely bad LEOs out there, but there seems be alot of negative sentiment towards all LEOs on this board lately. We of all people, pro gun, 2nd amendment loving, Americans should see what is happening right in front of us. Just like the anti gun movementuses every timesomeone commits a murder or another crime with a lawfully acquired gun to press for more gun control, I feel the same thing is starting to happen towards LEOs on this board. Think of all the good LEOs who never make the papers because they are heroes every day, just doing their job. But we focus on the bad situationswith LEOs and let that influence our thinking about all law enforcement. Just like a couple of insane, horrible people who happen to use guns to commit their crimes should not mean all guns should be taken away, neither should all LEOs be judged for the criminals who hide behind a badge to commit their crimes. Nothing really has started on this thread yet, but I've been thinking about this for awhile, and I wanted to give my 2 cents on the topic.
    I think it reflects a frustration with the system, and cops are the most obvious face of the system.

    Its certainly true that most cops are not evil. Its also true that the perception is that few cops care thatsome of their colleagues indeed are evil. I don't know if that perception is true or not, but it is pretty widely held.



  9. #9
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Burke/Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    998

    Post imported post

    I know that pointing to fiction is never the best way to make an argument (in fact it might be the worst way), but I dare you to watch an episode of CSI Miami not want to hit your head against a brick wall (kind of like this ). Just the fact that theypresent cops braking all the rules and acting WAY above us dumb, helpless citizens as a good thingmakes my blood boil.

  10. #10
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    3,047

    Post imported post

    dngreer wrote:
    Folks, there are definitely bad LEOs out there, but there seems be alot of negative sentiment towards all LEOs on this board lately. We of all people, pro gun, 2nd amendment loving, Americans should see what is happening right in front of us. Just like the anti gun movementuses every timesomeone commits a murder or another crime with a lawfully acquired gun to press for more gun control, I feel the same thing is starting to happen towards LEOs on this board. Think of all the good LEOs who never make the papers because they are heroes every day, just doing their job. But we focus on the bad situationswith LEOs and let that influence our thinking about all law enforcement. Just like a couple of insane, horrible people who happen to use guns to commit their crimes should not mean all guns should be taken away, neither should all LEOs be judged for the criminals who hide behind a badge to commit their crimes. Nothing really has started on this thread yet, but I've been thinking about this for awhile, and I wanted to give my 2 cents on the topic.
    I understand your point, and realize it is very valid. But...

    First, I disagree that LEOs do something in society that is so much more important than other occupations, and this is the kind of thinking, even subconsciously, that leads to special immunities for them.

    The reason that we (or at least I) pay so much attention to when police abuse actually makes headlines is that it is indicative of a larger problem. Who do people go to in order to report abuses of police? The police. That presents a gigantic conflict of interest. While surely all the people who claim police abuse but have their claims ignored could be lying... but are they? Really, though, the media and the general public are both too ignorant of rights to know when police abuse occurs, and then when it does, is reluctant to admit it. Ergo, when something is so egregiously a violation of ethics (and laws) on the part of a police officer that it can be widely reported, it can be reasonably inferred that the case implies many, many more cases that received no attention.

    On the other hand, to look at your analogy, when guns are misused, the vast majority of the time these crimes are overreported. Media sensationalism and rampant hoplophobia bring undue attention when it is not warranted to situations. I guess to put it most simply, the "gun crime" that is used to tar and feather all gun owners is vastly overreported, whereas "LEO crime" is vastly underreported.

    To address the issue of cops' being made targets for frustration with the system... I'm of the belief that any LEO who uses his authority for any purpose other than lawfully pursuing an investigation of a crime is a bad cop. Even "minor" issues like pushing personal views while in uniform, using intimidation to gain compliance (let's examine the average traffic stop...), or just using one's position of power to make one feel better about oneself---they all make a bad cop in my book. So, also given the enormous temptation to fall into these less severe behaviors, that's what leads me to stereotype cops as bad until I can assess otherwise.

  11. #11
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    federal way, Washington, USA
    Posts
    58

    Post imported post

    Police are just not suspicious enough of themselves and I dont understand this mentallity that "we're brothers" a true brother or friend helps by keeping you in check, not going along with the crowd.

    One bad apple spoils the barrel.

  12. #12
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Fairfax Co., VA
    Posts
    18,766

    Post imported post

    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  13. #13
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    3,047

    Post imported post

    jonnyjeeps wrote:
    Police are just not suspicious enough of themselves and I dont understand this mentallity that "we're brothers" a true brother or friend helps by keeping you in check, not going along with the crowd.

    One bad apple spoils the barrel.
    While that would be true with any other group of brothers, and you make a good point in saying that, those police who choose to be corrupt and abuse their power, no matter how many of them there are, play on the American perception that police are above the law, or have a different set of laws than mere "civilians".

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •