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posted by janrinok on Monday February 16 2015, @12:39PM   Printer-friendly
from the voice-of-experience dept.

Common Dreams reports

Norm Stamper is a 34-year veteran police officer who retired as Seattle's Chief of Police in 2000. He is currently a speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com). He is the author of Breaking Rank: A Top Cop's Exposé of the Dark Side of American Policing.

Chief Stamper uses elements of recent police-involved events to construct an account of an assault by a SWAT team on the home of what is thought to be a low-level, nonviolent drug offender—executed on the wrong house.

As Radley Balko points out in his superb book, Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces, SWAT incidents of the type fictionalized above are proliferating at a frightening pace. In the '70s, the nation's roughly 18,000 municipal, county, and state police forces conducted a few hundred such operations a year. By the '80s the number had grown to approximately 3,000. And in 2005, the last year of collected data, there were more than 50,000 SWAT operations. Today's count is surely much higher.

Balko's book offers a depressingly abundant supply of all-too-real examples of city and county police officers shooting innocent citizens, getting shot themselves, dispatching beloved family pets, doing major damage to private dwellings, shredding the Constitution, souring relations between police and community, and scarring families for life.

Chief Stamper specifically mentions the grenade that severely injured Baby Bou Bou, whom we discussed here.

[...]how to reverse the militarization trend? As Seattle's police chief during the World Trade Organization's 1999 "Battle in Seattle," and acutely aware of my own unwise reliance on militarized tactics, I realize just how difficult the task will be. But that should not stop us. Here are five steps that can help us turn things around.

  1. Residents of cities across the country must rise up and reclaim their police departments.
  2. Sustained social and political pressure for demilitarization is essential.
  3. Local political jurisdictions must implement independent citizen oversight of police practices.
  4. It is vital that all law enforcement agencies, in conjunction with their communities, set and enforce rigorous standards for the selection, training, and systematic retraining of SWAT officers and their leaders.
  5. End the drug war.

We discussed that last point just the other day.

Related Stories

Five Startling Numbers Reveal the Militarization of U.S. Drug Policy 64 comments

A report at Alternet gives some context to the amount spent by the U.S. on its drug policy.

  • 1,100 - The number of Americans that die each year due to violent crime caused by the drug war
  • $51 billion - The amount that the U.S. government spends each year on the war on drugs
  • 61 percent - The percentage of individuals targeted by drug-related SWAT raids who are people of color
  • 82 percent - The number of Americans who believe that the government is losing the War on Drugs
  • 18 months - The age of Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh, a recent American casualty of the drug war

The article goes into further details on the number, including:

On May 28, a team of police officers raided the Phonesavanh's home, with the mistaken belief that the residents were involved with drugs. As they entered, they tossed a flashbang grenade that landed directly in the crib of baby Bou Bou, which exploded within point-blank range - critically injuring him.

In a harrowing article, his mother, Alecia, described seeing "a singed crib" and "a pool of blood", and later being informed by medics: "There's still a hole in his chest that exposes his ribs". Alecia said that the sole silver lining to this story is that it may "make us angry enough that we stop accepting brutal SWAT raids as a normal way to fight the war on drugs".

Fortunately, Bou Bou has been making a gradual recovery, but his family is relying on donations to support their living and medical costs.

Portugal Cut Drug Addiction Rates in Half by Rejecting Criminalization 41 comments

The old rat-with-drug-laced-water "experiment" is a sham. The only choice the rat in the empty cage has is drinking plain water or drinking drugged water. They never show you a CONTROL where there is a rat with a cage full of cool rat toys and rat friends.

Johann Hari reports via Alternet:

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety. It is human connection. [...] just 17.7 percent of cigarette smokers are able to stop [smoking by] using nicotine patches.

[...]Nearly 15 years ago, Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe [...] They decided to do something radically different. They resolved to decriminalize all drugs and transfer all the money they used to spend on arresting and jailing drug addicts and spend it instead on reconnecting them--to their own feelings and to the wider society.

[...]The [sic] most crucial step is to get [addicts] secure housing [as well as] subsidized jobs so they have a purpose in life and something to get out of bed for. I watched as they are helped, in warm and welcoming clinics, to learn how to reconnect with their feelings after years of trauma and stunning them into silence with drugs.

[...]An independent study by the British Journal of Criminology found that, since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen and injecting drug use is down by 50 percent.

[...]The main campaigner against the decriminalization back in 2000 was Joao Figueira, the country's top drug cop. He offered all the dire warnings that we would expect: more crime, more addicts; but when we sat together in Lisbon, he told me that everything he predicted had not come to pass--and he now hopes the whole world will follow Portugal's example.

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Fauxlosopher on Monday February 16 2015, @01:09PM

    by Fauxlosopher (4804) on Monday February 16 2015, @01:09PM (#145615) Journal

    The matter of up-armed police and heavy-handed enforcement pivots on the question of "who owns you?" If you don't own your own body, someone else will lay claim to it. Since slavery is generally considered to be outlawed within the United States of America, it follows that each individual owns his/her own body.

    As a consequence of being a self-owning human, you're also the primary party responsible for your body. Regardless of the purity of motive, police officers cannot teleport; this is reflected in the saying "when seconds count, the police are just minutes away." Further, case law in the USA explicitly disavows any responsibility police have for the safety of any particular individual, even here negligence or dereliction of duty is in play. Two cases supporting this claim are Castle Rock vs Gonzales [wikipedia.org] and Warren vs District of Columbia. (Warren is not linked to, as the circumstances of the involved crimes are horrific. Google may not be your friend in this case.) Baby Bou Bou is far from the only victim of such unjustified violence, and it's not just civilians that have been hurt or killed. Witness the events surrounding Cory Maye [mayeisinnocent.com], Matthew Steward [helpmatthewstewart.org], and Ryan Frederick [november.org].

    Because crime is, in general, quite uncommon, the typical USian has never had cause to question just exactly what service they are expecting from police. This lazy and perhaps even willfully ignorant mindset has given police forces room to grow rapidly using the excuses of public safety and crime prevention, when an honest assessment of how to actually provide for public safety, as mentioned in the summary, suggests AVOIDING use of surprise and overwhelming violence except in the exceedingly rare cases bordering on fantasy where such tactics have at least some chance of doing more good than harm.

    Naturally, the second American Prohibition, being enforced without a Constitutional amendment to authorize it such as the first Prohibition required, is a major source of the crime often used as a primary excuse to militarize police forces. When you deny a sector of business access to courts for use in dispute resolution, it shouldn't be a surprise that some people turn to violence to settle matters.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by CoolHand on Monday February 16 2015, @01:13PM

    by CoolHand (438) on Monday February 16 2015, @01:13PM (#145617) Journal

    I wish he was running for office somewhere so I could vote for him. I really think this is a huge issue that doesn't get enough press. The last point (ending the drug war) really is huge for it, though. Even before terrorism, our police were arming themselves for war against their own civilians thanks to the "drug war." It needs to stop.

    --
    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by canopic jug on Monday February 16 2015, @03:22PM

      by canopic jug (3949) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 16 2015, @03:22PM (#145662) Journal

      s/civilians/citizens/

      Cops are not military they are also civilians, unless they're MPs.

      --
      Money is not free speech. Elections should not be auctions.
      • (Score: 5, Touché) by Grishnakh on Monday February 16 2015, @06:46PM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday February 16 2015, @06:46PM (#145742)

        The cops disagree with you.

      • (Score: 1) by http on Tuesday February 17 2015, @12:23AM

        by http (1920) on Tuesday February 17 2015, @12:23AM (#145900)

        Here in Canada, MPs have zero jurisdiction over civilians off-base unless in hot pursuit from base, or actively deputized by police. Police like MPs as deputies because they're really good at not questioning heirarchy.

        What's the situation in USA?

        --
        I browse at -1 when I have mod points. It's unsettling.
        • (Score: 2) by tathra on Tuesday February 17 2015, @05:47PM

          by tathra (3367) on Tuesday February 17 2015, @05:47PM (#146213)

          its the same in the US, MPs only have jurisdiction on military bases, where civilian police have no jurisdiction. military bases are not non-extradition territories though so don't think you can hide on a military base for civilian offenses, its just the civilian police cannot arrest you in there.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by ikanreed on Monday February 16 2015, @04:55PM

      by ikanreed (3164) on Monday February 16 2015, @04:55PM (#145701) Journal

      There's one more thing, one thing that's so contentious that I know bringing it up is a bad idea.

      The police are in an arms race against civilians/criminals. Part of that is the fault of militarization of the police(which sounds circular, but the officer's recommendations will help this some).

      Part of it is second amendment fundamentalism. Demanding the ability to "fight back" against cops(just in case of tyranny) is going to make the cops want to arm up better for the criminals who are all too happy to take advantage of better gear availability. Which makes the 2nd amendment people see stories about cops getting "tanks" and go "See they're coming for us soon!".

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Arik on Monday February 16 2015, @05:38PM

        by Arik (4543) on Monday February 16 2015, @05:38PM (#145717) Journal
        Uh, no.

        Cops are for the most part not very concerned with legally owned weapons, and they should not be. A law abiding citizen doesnt just suddenly change overnight into a crazed cop-killer (outside of extremely rare medical cases, at least.) And that goes doubly for people with concealed carry permits - the people that go through the hoops to get the permit are NOT the people the cops have to worry about - to the contrary, those are people that just might wind up saving the cop. Even with all the blue-wall rot in their brains arguing against it, the majority of cops still consistently tell pollsters they are in favor of concealed carry laws, and in favor of the second amendment.

        I think a lot of RKB people are also concerned about what is happening with policing in this country - yes. But these are not the people that would try to solve that problem with violence.

        The people the cops have to worry about are the ones that own weapons, and carry them concealed, unlawfully. You could convert roughly 1/3rd of the law-abiding population of the US into criminals overnight by repealing the second amendment, but the one group that would not be affected by such a law is also the one group that you actually should be worried about, so such a move would be best described as 'criminally stupid.'
        --
        If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by ikanreed on Monday February 16 2015, @06:52PM

          by ikanreed (3164) on Monday February 16 2015, @06:52PM (#145744) Journal

          What's funny is that you think that if weaponry capable of piercing standard issue bullet-resistant gear were not legal to obtain, criminals would still magically just stumble on hidden stockpiles hidden in crimeland, where criminals come from.

          You know where criminals come from? "Law abiding citizens." That is literally the only place new criminals can originate.

          You're off on crazy town, because I'm not even advocating any particular reforms, you're just contesting obvious facts because you're conflating an arms race with "firearms existing in private hands". You're the 2nd amendment fundy here.

          • (Score: 5, Insightful) by khallow on Monday February 16 2015, @07:40PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 16 2015, @07:40PM (#145776) Journal

            What's funny is that you think that if weaponry capable of piercing standard issue bullet-resistant gear were not legal to obtain, criminals would still magically just stumble on hidden stockpiles hidden in crimeland, where criminals come from.

            Nah, they'd just smuggle a ton of them in with the drug and human shipments. Your post doesn't make sense when considering the ease of smuggling things into the US.

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by ikanreed on Monday February 16 2015, @08:09PM

              by ikanreed (3164) on Monday February 16 2015, @08:09PM (#145793) Journal

              FYI, when it comes to weapon smuggling, it mostly happens out from the US, with our centers of manufacturing and lax laws.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday February 16 2015, @08:31PM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 16 2015, @08:31PM (#145804) Journal

                FYI, when it comes to weapon smuggling, it mostly happens out from the US, with our centers of manufacturing and lax laws.

                So what? You proposed to ban them. I pointed out a ready avenue by which firearms of whatever sort can continue to enter the US.

                • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Monday February 16 2015, @08:34PM

                  by ikanreed (3164) on Monday February 16 2015, @08:34PM (#145808) Journal

                  And of course, the whole argument is specious. Countries that ban both classes of weaponry and illegal drugs see more smuggling of the latter, empirically. It makes sense structurally as well, guns aren't addictive and don't create their own market to the same extent.

                  • (Score: 2, Informative) by khallow on Tuesday February 17 2015, @12:29AM

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday February 17 2015, @12:29AM (#145903) Journal

                    Countries that ban both classes of weaponry and illegal drugs see more smuggling of the latter, empirically. It makes sense structurally as well, guns aren't addictive and don't create their own market to the same extent.

                    Drugs create the smuggle channels. Guns and people piggyback on that.

                    • (Score: 2) by tathra on Tuesday February 17 2015, @05:52PM

                      by tathra (3367) on Tuesday February 17 2015, @05:52PM (#146215)

                      so in other words, legalizing drugs would be a great effort towards stopping human and weapons trafficking. such a great pro-drug-legalization argument, i'd never thought of that before.

              • (Score: 2) by Foobar Bazbot on Tuesday February 17 2015, @01:20AM

                by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Tuesday February 17 2015, @01:20AM (#145929) Journal

                Which firearms?

                Firearms that are basically legal in the US, such as semi-auto handguns and rifles? Yes, more out than in.

                Firearms that are basically banned, such as assault rifles and machine guns? Oh, there's more of those smuggled in (from Mexico, mainly) than out.

                Since there's more traffic in the former than the latter, yes, most of the flow is out.

                But it's hard to imagine that banning the weapons you propose (approximately: centerfire rifles and some handguns chambered in rifle cartridges), and thus moving them from one category to the other, wouldn't alter that balance significantly. Handguns would remain an outflow, and might still be enough to push the net flow that way, but the flow of rifles would almost certainly be predominantly inflow.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @09:14PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @09:14PM (#145826)

              Your argument assumes significant influential connections and money between extensive criminal organisations as well as small-time criminals having those connections.

              I can assure you that the average small-time thug does not have the connections and wealth for that.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @11:21PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @11:21PM (#145881)

                Your argument assumes significant influential connections and money between extensive criminal organisations as well as small-time criminals having those connections. I can assure you that the average small-time thug does not have the connections and wealth for that.

                So you think big crime is better than small crime?

          • (Score: 2) by Foobar Bazbot on Tuesday February 17 2015, @05:24AM

            by Foobar Bazbot (37) on Tuesday February 17 2015, @05:24AM (#146010) Journal

            What's funny is that you think that if weaponry capable of piercing standard issue bullet-resistant gear were not legal to obtain

            You know, the more I think about it, the more bizarre characterising this as an "arms race" seems.

            On one hand, a big part of the history of police handgun cartridges is the history of one-upping such body armor as criminals were known to use, from the adoption of .38 Super and (once it was invented) .357 Magnum in response to gangster-era cotton armor to the increased adoption of 10mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP after the North Hollywood shootout. And it's hard to see why Latin American gangs are so infatuated with the FN Five-Seven, unless for belief in its ability to penetrate body armor.*

            But on the other hand, rifle cartridges from before 1900 are more than capable of penetrating most vests worn by police today. Since practical bulletproof vests for police wear didn't exist until the 1960s, and weren't widely adopted until the '70s and '80s, there hasn't really been a time when someone (on either side of the law) couldn't bypass the whole handguns vs. body armor "arms race" with an ordinary hunting rifle. Despite this, police departments have historically been more likely to issue progressively heavier pistol rounds, instead of issuing rifles to be kept in the trunk unless/until one does encounter the rare armored criminal. (I really don't see the logic.)

            *The Five-Seven fires the same 5.7x28 cartridge as the P90 PDW. While ammo designed for armor-piercing ability when fired from the P90 is available, FN voluntarily restricts its sale to military and LEO customers. (I'm not sure how ubiquitous access to these rounds is amongst such gangs, but assuming they can get them, surely they could also get AP ammo in other calibers through the same channels...) Combining the questionable availability of AP ammo with the reduced velocity from the pistol barrel, it's not at all clear that the Five-Seven is a better choice against armor than other handguns.

          • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17 2015, @03:17PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17 2015, @03:17PM (#146145)

            Fuck you. This is a feminist police state. Men can't have anything good: neither control over "their" women, nor good brides (young girls), nor good weaponry. All that was the opposite when america was founded.

            Owning weapons is a fundamental right weather or not it's in the constitution. As is being the master and marrying young girls.

            There needs to be a brutal civil war and your kind needs to die (or us, so we don't have to live in your cunt world)

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @08:12PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @08:12PM (#145795)

          RKB

          Acronym? What could it possibly stand for?

          Really Kooky Bastards?

          Raunchy Killer Badgers?

          Reprobate Knights of Blarney?

          Revolutionary Korean Guards?

          Random Kvetching Blokes?

          Retched Knaves of Ballistics?

          (If you reply to this. . . well, let's just say this is not an actual request for information. Oh, and look out behind you!)

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by el_oscuro on Tuesday February 17 2015, @01:09AM

        by el_oscuro (1711) on Tuesday February 17 2015, @01:09AM (#145919)

        The issue of a potential tyranny has nothing to do wanting to "fight back" against cops. In 1932, the liberal Weimar Republic of Germany issued a degree requiring the registration of guns, and had a provision for confiscation "in times of civil" unrest. Hitler took power a year later, and used the law to order Jews to turn their firearms. With the Jews disarmed, it was time for Kristallnacht and the onset of the Holocaust.

        It would have been much harder for the Gestapo to round up Jews if when they knocked on a door at midnight, they stood a decent chance of a 12 gauge in the face.

        An interesting article is here. [washingtontimes.com]

        --
        SoylentNews is Bacon! [nueskes.com]
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17 2015, @01:21AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17 2015, @01:21AM (#145930)

        "Second amendment fundamentalism" does not justify cops' aggressive actions. They're hurting and murdering innocent people, often using an excessive amount of force, and violating people's constitutional rights. "Second amendment fundamentalism" does not possess cops and force them to act this way; they act like thugs of their own accord, and they should be held personally responsible for their own actions.

        You might already agree with this, but I see an awful lot of people who try to take the blame off cops and blame the victims instead.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Gravis on Monday February 16 2015, @01:18PM

    by Gravis (4596) on Monday February 16 2015, @01:18PM (#145619)

    1. i'm not sure what "rise up and reclaim their police departments" entails but it sure sounds like something that would get you arrested or heavily pepper sprayed.
    2. you can change anything with "sustained social and political pressure" but the problem is there is enough support for such an effort. too many people just dont care enough or are hardliners against all drug use... unless the doctor prescribed it.
    3. we are supposed to have internal affairs to do "oversight of police practices" and unless "independent citizen oversight" actually has the ability to fire a cop, they can only point to the corruption.
    4. they follow "rigorous standards for the selection and training" the problem is the standards they are looking for are COMPLETELY wrong.
    5. the war on drugs is so far out of control that we would need to fire a huge amount of people and halt government contracts. a lot of money is in play and people dont like to let go of never ending meal tickets.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by TheGratefulNet on Monday February 16 2015, @03:00PM

      by TheGratefulNet (659) on Monday February 16 2015, @03:00PM (#145655)

      his list of 1-5 are not going to happen. not ever.

      there is money and profit and power in policing, at all kinds of levels.

      it satisfies the 'bulley mentality' and lets face it, its MOSTLY the bullies who are attracted to this kind of work.

      the military continues to rain goodies on the police force. you going to say NO to a million dollar tank gift?

      none of this will change. hell, most americans deny 1-5 and are in a constant state of denial. most americans think snowden was a traitor.

      the bootlicking of american 'justice system' is too entrenched. in my lifetime, I dont expect it to change. NOT. ONE. BIT.

      sad, yes. but only a full revolution can reset this (and none of us really want that, either).

      --
      "It is now safe to switch off your computer."
    • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Monday February 16 2015, @04:56PM

      by mhajicek (51) on Monday February 16 2015, @04:56PM (#145702)

      Indeed. The first thing that came to mind when I read the list was an SNL skit.

      "I've got a simple three step process. 1: Fix. 2: It. 3: Fix it!"

      BTW, we use that on Engineering Change Request forms at work.

      --
      The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday February 16 2015, @09:03PM

      by c0lo (156) on Monday February 16 2015, @09:03PM (#145820) Journal

      Unrealistic you say... mmm.. then scratch all the list and replace it with a single entry:

      1. more blowjobs** [youtube.com]

      ** office safe link, from an old documentary of a long passed more civilized age

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by VLM on Monday February 16 2015, @01:30PM

    by VLM (445) on Monday February 16 2015, @01:30PM (#145625)

    how to reverse the militarization trend

    Something carefully not discussed is who gets hired.

    So you hire some dude who completed 3 tours in the occupation force in Iraq, and you're surprised he treats citizens like terrorists when he goes out on patrols with his M-16 after rolling up in his APC in the USA. Whats the difference in the guys lifestyle and reactions under stress other than being in the USA instead of Iraq? Poor bastard is probably roiling in PTSD and here you go giving him body armor and a M16 and loading him up in a APC and rolling downtown to fight people of a different race than him and you're surprised the trigger finger is a little itchy. I got a great idea, lets freak out a dude in combat gear, what could possibly go wrong?

    What ever happened to the old traditions, my combat vet ancestors went into surveying, accounting, own a car repair shop, "personnel" dept back when it was 99% male before the females kicked all the males out and renamed the dept to "HR" in like the 80s. No, we take combat vets, put them in combat gear and into combat situations and then blame them when they act like they're in combat. What a load of BS. Its not some kids fault he was set up to fail by a system that profits off it. Some dude who was shooting Iraqi kids carrying IEDs WILL guaranteed start shooting American kids carrying iPads if you intentionally put them back in their PTSD situation again.

    I would imagine if police and SWAT teams were recruited from the ranks of social workers and case workers and womens studies majors and psych majors, they'd do an unholy hell of a lot better job at 99% of their day to day tasks (taking reports from beaten / raped women and kids, dealing with "poor people problems" in general, etc) AND when the shit hits the fan some womens studies major would probably kill a hell of a lot less innocents.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Fauxlosopher on Monday February 16 2015, @02:16PM

      by Fauxlosopher (4804) on Monday February 16 2015, @02:16PM (#145636) Journal

      Don't forget the contant police training that hysterically makes the claim that every traffic stop could be the cop's last act on earth, and that every single civilian person encountered could be plotting to end the cop's life. Grains of truth blown completely out of proportion.

      Now, I will state that I see reality reflected in James Mattis' advice: "be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet." This nonetheless must be tempered with personal responsibility and personal accountability for one's actions, the combination of which seems to be sorely lacking in actual practice in modern US police forces. Doing so would quickly clamp the brakes on gun-ho wannabe gunslinging lawdogs, or at least provide potential replacement inmates for when we finally get around to stopping the illegal War on Some Drugs.

      Being a cop should be a job very few people aspire to, even though such work can be helpful to society. Sort of like trash men.

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Monday February 16 2015, @03:10PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 16 2015, @03:10PM (#145657) Journal

      Something carefully not discussed is who gets hired.

      So you hire some dude who completed 3 tours in the occupation force in Iraq, and you're surprised he treats citizens like terrorists when he goes out on patrols with his M-16 after rolling up in his APC in the USA. Whats the difference in the guys lifestyle and reactions under stress other than being in the USA instead of Iraq? Poor bastard is probably roiling in PTSD and here you go giving him body armor and a M16 and loading him up in a APC and rolling downtown to fight people of a different race than him and you're surprised the trigger finger is a little itchy. I got a great idea, lets freak out a dude in combat gear, what could possibly go wrong?

      I think this is unfair. Veterans often have valuable skills, like the ability to think in a life or death situation or police training (if they were in Military Police). And hiring veterans doesn't cause M-16s and APCs to spring up in your police department.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by tftp on Monday February 16 2015, @11:03PM

        by tftp (806) on Monday February 16 2015, @11:03PM (#145878) Homepage

        Veterans often have valuable skills, like the ability to think in a life or death situation or police training (if they were in Military Police).

        Take that case of a Santa Rosa cop killing a kid with an airsoft rifle [wikipedia.org]. The cop was an Iraq war veteran. His "valuable skills" certainly [would have] saved him were the rifle to be real, and pointed and fired at him. He acted as a soldier on patrol in a foreign country. He did not act as a city worker operating at home. This is the key difference.

        It may well be that a soldier should NOT give benefit of the doubt to a foreigner. During occupation all locals are presumed to be hostile; they should act exactly as told, and if they don't do that then they can be shot. It's not polite, certainly, but wars are rarely polite these days. However at home it is probably an overreaction to approach someone from behind, shout an order at someone, and shoot that someone when he, surprised, turns around to find out who is talking and to who.

        In that case "mistakes were made." The kid shouldn't be carrying a rifle openly, even though the law permits that. There are soft cases for rifles that cost very little and protect the contents from view. Too many people nowadays are soiling their underwear at the sight of a firearm. It would be only polite to protect their fragile, confused mind. At the same time the cop should have taken cover before attempting to talk to a suspected gunman. It would be a great idea regardless of whether the weapon is real or not. In fact, were the weapon to be real, loaded, and ready to fire, the cop could be sporting a new hole in his chest. It's much easier to fire three rounds at a person who is not fighting back. I suspect that cops do not even believe that their subjects are armed and dangerous, as they act counter to what a cautious person would do.

        • (Score: 2) by tathra on Tuesday February 17 2015, @06:24PM

          by tathra (3367) on Tuesday February 17 2015, @06:24PM (#146223)

          During occupation all locals are presumed to be hostile;

          as a combat veteran, i have problems with this statement. no, all locals should not be presumed hostile. they should be presumed potentially hostile, as should everyone, period, but most locals (99-99.99%) just want to live their days in peace and are your greatest source of intel. "hearts and minds" really is the key to winning against guerrilla warfare forces since they get all their support from the locals; take away their support and they have nothing. the locals know who should and should not be there, and they do not want bombs blowing up in their streets. if you're not a dick to them and treat them with respect, they're likely to let you know when somebody suspicious starts doing suspicious things. assholes who treat the locals like they're sub-human are a bigger threat to their own forces than the locals would be normally.

          "situation awareness" is key; one must be able to tell real threats from imagined ones, and presuming everyone hostile is a poor way of doing that.

          • (Score: 1) by tftp on Tuesday February 17 2015, @07:24PM

            by tftp (806) on Tuesday February 17 2015, @07:24PM (#146261) Homepage

            as a combat veteran, i have problems with this statement. no, all locals should not be presumed hostile. they should be presumed potentially hostile, as should everyone, period, but most locals (99-99.99%) just want to live their days in peace and are your greatest source of intel.

            It depends on the war. Perhaps that is true in Iraq, if the conflict is seen by the population as between Saddam and Uncle Sam. But it was very far from that in World War II. When Nazis invaded Ukraine and Belorussia they discovered that at least half of the population is willing to stick a knife into the back of a German soldier. The rest would be just gathering intel ... for the guerillas. Nazis would never receive truthful intel from the population; a few locals that cooperated with Nazis were killed. This is why SS was sent to exterminate whole villages - not because German troops had nothing else to do, and not because German generals were all insane.

            Veterans of Soviet Afghan campaign report that *all* locals were considered hostile; a soldier could trust no one. Experience of US troops in Iraq is not far from that mark, as many of them are assassinated by Iraqi trainees. The mindset there is completely different.

            Regardless of the specific RoE, a tactic that may have place on a battlefield or in a village that houses fighters should not be used in a peaceful, home country. If an LEO is concerned that the suspect may shoot at him, he probably should stay away, under cover, and be on the radio to his dispatcher. There is no point in engaging a suspected gunman alone, short of some obvious hostage situation where every second matters (like an active shooter situation.) If the gunman wins the shootout, there will be no backup to take care of the wounded and to chase the shooter.

            • (Score: 2) by tathra on Tuesday February 17 2015, @07:58PM

              by tathra (3367) on Tuesday February 17 2015, @07:58PM (#146271)

              true on all points. if you're subjugating a country by force you should expect everyone to be hostile. i was using the wrong definition for "[military] occupation" since even though our recent wars have been called an occupation they don't necessarily fall under the definition (we haven't been trying to take over iraq or afghanistan).

      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday February 17 2015, @05:00AM

        by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday February 17 2015, @05:00AM (#146001) Homepage

        I'd say hire all the veterans you can lay hands on -- with the caveat that they must be stable mentally. Not everyone develops PTSD. We don't need PTSD reaction from cops on the street. Weed 'em out.

        --
        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @03:29PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @03:29PM (#145664)

      Social workers, case workers, women's studies majors, psych majors... all fine, upstanding people working for the common good. Why not include help desk technicians in that list? They'd be ... oh, okay. Never mind...

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Arik on Monday February 16 2015, @04:27PM

      by Arik (4543) on Monday February 16 2015, @04:27PM (#145688) Journal
      "Something carefully not discussed is who gets hired."

      An excellent point, yes.

      "So you hire some dude who completed 3 tours in the occupation force in Iraq, and you're surprised he treats citizens like terrorists when he goes out on patrols with his M-16 after rolling up in his APC in the USA."

      I'd be careful with that broad brush. Often the military people are actually the ones we *do* want in that job. Military police, in particular, are still trained to be police and are often shockingly good at it, while our civilian police more and more are coached to act like an army of occupation, and in fact often behave MORE like a hostile occupying army than the soldiers who were actually occupying a foreign country did. See for instance http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2014/08/14/military-veterans-see-deeply-flawed-police-response-in-ferguson/ for an interesting PoV from returning soldiers.

      Hiring is definitely a big part of the problem though. Did you know that police departments routinely exclude applicants for scoring too high on an IQ test? It's even gone to court and been pronounced legal. http://www.mintpressnews.com/can-someone-be-too-smart-to-be-a-cop/192106/

      So what happens is that at the first stage, the hiring stage, they exclude anyone smart enough to question the culture. Then, in the academy, they are encultured to be part of the 'blue wall' which means taking a tribal viewpoint where one tribe, their tribe, is the 'blue wall' that must be protected and defended from every sort of threat, at any cost, while the other tribe, consisting of everyone else, are called 'civilians' and conceived of as infinitely less important than the blue wall. The law that the police are supposed to obey and enforce is also infinitely less important than this 'brotherhood' and people smart enough to be likely to question it are excluded from the very start of the process. Those people are also clearly NOT smart enough to e.g. make an effective detective, but this fact does not dissuade! Showing clearly that the departments consider the blue wall more important than preventing crime or enforcing the law.

      All the military hardware being thrown at the departments winds up being the most visible element, but it's really only the tip of a very deep iceberg.
      --
      If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by khallow on Monday February 16 2015, @02:12PM

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 16 2015, @02:12PM (#145635) Journal
    What does it mean to "reclaim" a police department? What concrete steps should be taken? What's bad about the militarization of police departments that we should be applying social and political pressure? Why do SWAT officers and leaders need to be retrained?

    Here's my alternate list:

    1) Reduce dependency of local police departments on larger scale governance and funding. For example, part of the militarization problem is the funding, support infrastructure of dubious legality (such as Stingray phone tracking), and surplus military equipment coming from the federal government. These often come with strings attach and help disengage the police from their community.

    2) Eliminate completely asset seizure. I operate on the general principle that people commit crimes, not property. This is also a rival revenue source that again helps to disengage police departments from their communities.

    3) Hold police to professional behavior and dress. On this, I have a lot to say.

    For example, during the early parts of the Ferguson riots, there were several instances of unprofessional police behavior that made things worse (including driving over a shrine to Michael Brown and taunting the crowd). Several groups of police also dressed like soldiers. Consider this story [ibtimes.com]. About halfway down, there's a picture of a police officer wearing an olive green vest, black military helmet, and brandishing what I guess is an M249 light machine gun with scope on a tripod (I think he was on top of a Bearcat armored car too). He doesn't look like a police officer. And how in the world is that weapon supposed to be used in a riot situation? Meanwhile, just one picture above is a line of five police officers dressed as police officers. They still wear the riot helmets and one is wearing some sort of protective vest, but they're wielding long truncheons not military-grade firearms.

    Another collection of images [huffingtonpost.com] shows the damn Bearcat again. Notice again the contrast between the group with the desert camo, assault rifles, etc and the people in actual police uniforms. The fourth picture shows a police officer bringing a german shepard into the middle of things. That's pretty dumbshit.

    4) Provide legal liability for excessive use of force and property loss and damage in such cases. A big part of the militarization problem is that there is a minor crime happening, but things get out of hand because of a ridiculously over-aggressive police response. This is actually hard to enforce for single instances. If SWAT busts in on poker night once, they can always justify it on the grounds that they were told that the participants were armed. If they bust half a dozen poker nights without any indication that there was a credible danger in any of them, then force them to pay for the damage. It's not a lot of help in isolated egregious examples, but it shouldn't be hard to find and penalize patterns of bad behavior over numerous cases.

    5) End the War on Drugs and dial back the War on Terror.
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @03:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @03:49PM (#145672)

      Here's another list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peelian_Principles#Nine_Principles_of_Policing [wikipedia.org]

              To prevent crime and disorder, as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.
              To recognise always that the power of the police to fulfil their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behaviour, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect.
              To recognise always that to secure and maintain the respect and approval of the public means also the securing of the willing co-operation of the public in the task of securing observance of laws.
              To recognise always that the extent to which the co-operation of the public can be secured diminishes proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force and compulsion for achieving police objectives.
              To seek and preserve public favour, not by pandering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolutely impartial service to law, in complete independence of policy, and without regard to the justice or injustice of the substance of individual laws, by ready offering of individual service and friendship to all members of the public without regard to their wealth or social standing, by ready exercise of courtesy and friendly good humour, and by ready offering of individual sacrifice in protecting and preserving life.
              To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.
              To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
              To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
              To recognise always that the test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday February 16 2015, @08:09PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 16 2015, @08:09PM (#145791) Journal
        Excellent point. The Peelian principles or a close variant should be part of the basis of professional police behavior (for example, an area which it doesn't cover well is the role of the police officer as a professional legal witness, but that's not at issue here)
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @05:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @05:49PM (#145721)

      I don't disagree with the substance of your post, but I'd like to point out that what you guessed is a M249 is actually only a semi-automatic AR-type rifle. The same kind of rifle that you or I could purchase (assuming you're in the USA).

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday February 16 2015, @07:57PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 16 2015, @07:57PM (#145786) Journal

        but I'd like to point out that what you guessed is a M249 is actually only a semi-automatic AR-type rifle

        I would have a difficult time identifying the gun anyway, but that one had a lot of bling on it. I wonder if that was deliberate?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Monday February 16 2015, @06:52PM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday February 16 2015, @06:52PM (#145743)

      2) Eliminate completely asset seizure. I operate on the general principle that people commit crimes, not property. This is also a rival revenue source that again helps to disengage police departments from their communities.

      I'm going to add something else to this: eliminate all traffic tickets as a source of revenue, and in fact all fines. Police departments and local governments and courts should not ever see a dime in revenue from fines, ever. This doesn't mean we shouldn't be able to fine people for things not bad enough to warrant jail time, but the organizations doing the policing and fining should not benefit from it in any way. The money should instead go to some kind of charity, like maybe the National Park system or scientific studies or some other worthy cause, probably a fund managed by the Federal government so it's sufficiently distanced from local influence.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @11:11PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @11:11PM (#145879)

        eliminate[...]all fines
        [...]The money should instead go to some kind of charity

        Put the money in an Eminent Domain account.
        If an unused property (e.g. bank-owned house) isn't properly being kept up, declare it the blight that it is and purchase it under Eminent Domain.

        Move a family into it at a payment rate they can afford.
        (The robo-signing foreclosure rate has clobbered many families in the Bush-Obama Depression.)

        If it is a commercial property, get a local entrepreneur|co-op into that space and get them to producing stuff, thus generating tax revenue.

        -- gewg_

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @10:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @10:45PM (#145871)

      4) [...]force them to pay for the damage

      Requiring police departments to purchase liability coverage (insurance) out of their budget seems so logical.
      Increased rates due to payouts as a result of malfeasance would leave less money to accomplish further malfeasance (less money left in their budget to buy bully-boy toys or to hire more thug cops).

      Now, as an example, nuclear power plants get a federal waiver on liability insurance, so it's clear there is currently a bias in the opposite direction for gov't operations.

      .
      Missing from your list and his:
      A state- or federal-level Special Prosecutor's office to deal with police-involved matters.
      Have we learned nothing from Watergate?

      -- gewg_

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday February 16 2015, @11:55PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday February 16 2015, @11:55PM (#145895) Journal

        A state- or federal-level Special Prosecutor's office to deal with police-involved matters.

        What would they do that the FBI and state equivalents don't already do? The purpose of the Special Prosecutor was to represent US Congress's interests in various suspected criminal matters against the considerable power of the executive branch of the federal government. That's not an issue at the local police level.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17 2015, @02:23AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17 2015, @02:23AM (#145955)

          FBI

          You're off on a wrong tangent.

          The parallel would be the attorney general or district attorney.
          The difference is that -those- politicians have to work on the -same- side of the street as the cops, relying on them to "bring in business" and provide testimony for those cases.

          A Special Prosecutor|Independent Prosecutor wouldn't have those ties.
          For starters, that office would have its own investigators.

          ...and I'm not talking about a one-time thing.
          I mean an office whose fulltime job is spotting|busting bad cops.
          Imagine an Internal Affairs division with all personnel drawn from outside the police department they investigate.

          -- gewg_

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17 2015, @02:42AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17 2015, @02:42AM (#145962)

      The fourth picture shows a police officer bringing a german shepard into the middle of things. That's pretty dumbshit.

      Actually, it depends. Some K9 unit dogs are fine with large crowds of people, even unruly crowds. Some, quite a bit less so. True story: I once worked at an astronomical observatory in southern Arizona. The observatory was inside a wildlife refugium which made the presence of the observatory and staff controversial for some radical conservationists (think Earth Liberation Front, and the like). Consequently, a police presence was deemed prudent. Typically this was an officer and dog K9 unit. These dogs were german shepherds trained to attack at the first sign of danger. Most of the dogs were well-mannered and behaved professionally while on the job, but I do remember one dog that was particularly problematic. 'Bear' was the alpha dog's alpha dog. You quickly learned not to make eye contact with Bear because he seemed to see anything like that as a challenge to his authority. This wasn't too much of a problem as I worked in the observatory and Bear and his police officer handler were mostly confined to patrolling the grounds outside. But I do recall one particularly chilling incident. One time I had to make a trip over to the neighbouring observatory to take care of an errand. After completing my task I started down the road back to my observatory when Bear and I saw each other. He was perhaps 30 yards away when we caught sight of each other, and I couldn't see his handler anywhere in sight. Bear immediately came charging at me full-tilt. Unfortunately, running back to the observatory from whence I had just come was not an option. I still remember the look on that dog's face, like he was aiming for my jugular when we met. The only thing I could do was to brace for impact and hope the police officer came to rescue me before Bear snapped my windpipe shut. Luckily, his handler did make an appearance and call off the attack but only after Bear had closed in about several yards of me. I still get chills thinking about what could have happened. During my time at the observatory Bear was the only one of the dogs that I considered a threat to the safety of the staff and visiting scientists. The other dogs were just fine.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Thexalon on Monday February 16 2015, @03:15PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Monday February 16 2015, @03:15PM (#145658)

    This is actually starting to happen in both New York and Cleveland to a large degree.

    "Rise up and reclaim" - In essence, forcing the elected political leaders of the city, through threat of losing the next election and threat of lawsuits, to take control of the police departments they ostensibly are in charge of but often aren't. That means electing and supporting mayors like de Blasio who are willing to make decisions that really anger the police officers.

    "Sustained social and political pressure" means continual protests, including folks in the streets, and organizations drawing up policy proposals and the like. In Cleveland, for example, there is now a coalition of church groups with demands for specific changes.

    Another piece of the puzzle isn't just with SWAT, but policing in general: Community-oriented policing. The idea, in a nutshell: Hire cops connected to the neighborhoods they're going to police, have them patrol on foot and have as many non-confrontational interactions with citizens as possible, and reward officers for reducing crime in their area of responsibility rather than rewarding them for making arrests. This used to be what cops always did, and it's what exurban and rural cops mostly still do, but a lot of city police departments got away from that in between the 1950's and 1970's (at least some of that motivated by "blue by day, white by night" i.e. KKK connections). The big wave of crack-related crime in the 1980's made the situation worse, and cemented the culture of city policing being much more like military patrols through occupied territory and much less like enforcing the laws with the support of the community.

    --
    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
    • (Score: 2) by CoolHand on Monday February 16 2015, @04:24PM

      by CoolHand (438) on Monday February 16 2015, @04:24PM (#145685) Journal
      Here is a CNN Money article on new less-lethal weapons that Police are investigating [cnn.com].. Maybe there is a small ray of hope that the message is getting through and we are "reclaiming" our police departments..
      --
      Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job-Douglas Adams
      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @06:12PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 16 2015, @06:12PM (#145726)
        It's not the weapons. It's the attitude/culture of the cops. Just look at this cop. He investigates stuff with his gun ready to fire (there was no good reason to do that - there was no gun battle other than what he might start with his incompetence/poor attitude). Then when stuff happens the priority of so many cops is to cover their butts, not to save the people they shoot/incapacitate. Whether it was this case, or the many other cases. If you shoot/suffocate someone by mistake you should be trying to save them, or at worst not getting in the way of those who might help.

        Many nonlethal weapons can still kill, and if you don't fix the attitude they may just use the nonlethal weapons so much that almost as many will get killed, or crippled.
    • (Score: 2) by redneckmother on Monday February 16 2015, @10:14PM

      by redneckmother (3597) on Monday February 16 2015, @10:14PM (#145851)

      ...have them patrol on foot and have as many non-confrontational interactions with citizens as possible...

      Excellent point!

      Years ago, I had a conversation with a former US Army officer who was served as Provost Marshall on a military base in Germany.

      He was faced with a rising crime rate on base. When in a vehicle with the windows rolled up and the heater or A/C blowing, the MPs had little peripheral vision and no audible feedback from their surroundings. His solution was to take the MPs out of their patrol vehicles and put them on foot patrols, especially at night. All radar guns were confiscated, with the exception of one used during appropriate hours in the school zone.

      The crime rate on that Post dropped dramatically.

      --
      Mas cerveza por favor.
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by gman003 on Monday February 16 2015, @07:50PM

    by gman003 (4155) on Monday February 16 2015, @07:50PM (#145780)

    "Who watches the watchmen?"

    That's the core problem. The police are getting military weapons and performing military missions, but without the military training or military oversight. When they fuck up, nothing happens. Zero penalty for failure means zero effort at preventing failure.

    The police and their close allies, the state prosecutors, are expected to handle all crimes, including cases of police misconduct and political corruption. The watchmen are watching the watchmen, and letting them get away, literally, with murder.

    If I were somehow dictator of the country*, one of the things I'd set up is an Inquisition. They'd be charged with investigating crimes *within* the government, and *only* within the government. Doesn't matter if they literally see you rape and kill someone in front of them, unless you're on Uncle Sam's payroll, they can't do anything about it.

    But within the government? Carte blanche to examine any records, investigate anything and everyone, from the Senate down to the sheriff's secretary in Shithole, WY. Cases go to an *impartial* court - not some special inquisitor's court, but not to the local judiciary, either. Instead, either go up several layers to a court that's unlikely to be allied with the defendant (eg. try the aforementioned secretary in a federal circuit court), or one at the appropriate level but in a distant jurisdiction (eg. if a California Supreme Court justice is being charged, try them in Maine, or Florida).

    To prevent the inquisition itself from getting too much power, give an easy out. If, before being formally charged, you resign your position and never return to government service, the Inquisition can't touch you. The actual victims can still press charges, though, so it shouldn't be too big a get-out-of-jail-free card. In any case, there may not be retribution, but it will get the bad cops out of the force, pretty quickly, and that's more important than punishment.

    As an extra limit, put a hard cap on how big the Inquisition can be. I'd say 1000 is a reasonable number - that will keep them focused on the major breaks of the law, not chasing after minor problems. It also solves the problem of "who watches the watchers of the watchmen?", because 1000 is enough for a single person to be responsible for. The police watch us, the inquisition watches the police, the Attorney General watches the inquisition, and we watch the AG.

    * Making me dictator is an INCREDIBLY bad idea. I'd give myself two days before I go mad with power, and that's probably being generous. Don't even make me President or anything, I've found ways around all the limits that are actually legal**, if terrifying enough that it would spark a revolution anyways.

    ** No, I will not say what these methods are, because I'm terrified someone will actually use them.

    • (Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Tuesday February 17 2015, @01:31AM

      by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Tuesday February 17 2015, @01:31AM (#145934)

      Don't even make me President or anything, I've found ways around all the limits that are actually legal**

      According to terrible lawyer logic, anyway. Some people say the NSA's mass surveillance is constitutional, but it's obviously the exact opposite. Still, people with broken brains will try to justify it. Breaking the spirit of the constitution is still violating the constitution.

  • (Score: 1) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday February 17 2015, @02:22AM

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday February 17 2015, @02:22AM (#145954)

    Why is this guy referred to as "Chief" Stamper. He retired in 2000. Police Chief is not a job for life is it?